PRESIDENT Aquino with Filipino alumni of top US universities: Taguig City Councilor Aurelio Paulo Bartolome (Northwestern Kellogg); Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco (Standford); PCGG Chair Andres Bautista (Harvard); Peter Coyiuto (University of Pennsylvania-Wharton); Felipe Estrella III (Columbia); Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (Cornell); Gerardo Borromeo (MIT)
Amid his busy schedule, President Benigno Aquino III made sure he didn’t miss the business forum sponsored by the joint Philippine alumni clubs of top American universities such as Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern-Kellogg, Stanford and Wharton-Penn, at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Manila.
The president was welcomed by Peter Coyiuto, president of the Wharton-Penn Alumni Association and president of First Life Financial Co. Inc.
The president was joined by his Cabinet memebers —Cesar Purisima of finance, Mar Roxas of transportation and communication, José Rene Almendras of energy, Jesse Robredo of the interior and local government, and Greg Domingo of trade and industry.
Now, how’s that for hot namedropping, palanggas?
In his speech, President Aquino tackled matters related to energy, public-private partnerships (PPPs), the economy, upgraded stock market indices, and transparency in government. He took note of the optimism by both local and international business communities owing to the government’s pursuit of judicial integrity, accountability in use of public funds, conditional cash transfer and infrastructure development.
President Aquino answered questions on the power situation in Mindanao, PPP projects, Scarborough Shoal, among others.
“In a little over four years, I will be stepping down as your president,” he said. “The only thing I want out of this position is to leave the country in a far better state than what I inherited, with a government unshackled from corruption and dishonesty, with a steadily growing economy that leaves no one behind, and with an empowered and engaged citizenry, much like yourselves, ready to take on the task of nation-building together. I’m certain these are goals that we all share.
“And we will achieve this. With a government that knows what it means to serve the public; with excellent men and women like you, who know about achieving dreams; with the Filipino people, who have for so many years kept their hopes of a better country alive—we can pursue and fulfill our collective aspirations for this country. Let’s continue to work together, and continue to believe in what this country can do. Let’s make the Philippines into what we all desire it to be: a country of potential fulfilled.”
The event was hosted by Gin Bee Go, alumna of Harvard, and Helen Limcaoco, treasurer of Wharton-Penn Alumni Association Inc.
It was a great day to imbibe the dynamism of power players all under one roof, dahlings.
New KLM flights
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines held a fun high-tea affair to announce its summer schedule for 2012 at MyCinema, Greenbelt 3, Makati.
Welcoming the guests were Air France KLM’s dashing GM, Cees Ursem; commercial director Julia Godet; and Philippine service manager Joan Doromal.
“KLM now flies nightly between Manila and Amsterdam with an intermediate stop without changing airplanes in Taipei,” said Ursem. “With this new schedule KLM continues to offer a single flight from Manila all the way to Amsterdam by departure from Manila, then a brief stopover in Taipei, letting our passengers arrive in Amsterdam at 6:10 a.m. the next morning, allowing them multiple flight possibilities to their final destination around Europe.”
KLM is also launching SkyPriority, a series of easily identifiable airport-based priority services for passengers of SkyTeam airlines. First Class, Business Class and SkyTeam Elite Plus members—including Flying Blue Platinum and Gold members—all qualify for SkyPriority, dahlings. The service will be available in over 235 airports around the world when you fly KLM and Air France.
“This new route is a historic move in KLM’s 60 years of uninterrupted operations in the Philippines,” Madame Godel told us. “Flights will be operated on a Boeing 777-200. There will be no change in planes during the intermediate stop in Taipei.”
Okay, KLM Flight KL808 is ready for boarding, palanggas.
I just love making my own pizza toppings, and that’s exactly what happened during the “Make-Your-Own Pizza” happening organized by Aria Cucina Italiana at its Bonifacio High Street Central East Superblock branch.
This in-demand Italian restaurant has made its way from Boracay to our town, dahlings, with its renowned chef Marino Leonardis, its special wood-fire oven and signature pizzas, natch.
Gorgeous Bianca Araneta-Elizalde urged guests to partake of the food. And before you could bat an eyelash, the invitees attacked the yummy appetizers, my favorite rucola e pinoli, the delightful combination of arugula, watermelon, feta cheese and pine nuts drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Then there was a talk on the “philosophy of Italian food.” Chef Marino explained “It starts with the ingredients; and how to choose them. You have to care when you make the dough while following the procedures, all the way to when you give the pizza a good bake. Care for every single step—this is the secret to making the best pizza.”
Pizza was the big star of the afternoon, palanggas. Later, moi headed out to do my must-do power-walking.
(More info? Call 6214111; visit on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AriaCucinaItaliana and @AriaCucina on Twitter.)