Surprise! Communications specialist Ginggay Joven-de la Merced walked into Cerveseria Resto at Greenbelt 3 and got a pleasant shock: a birthday bash thrown by her husband, Noel de la Merced.
Ginggay had caught wind of the secret shindig for her. But when her businessman-hubby insisted there would be no party for her, she totally believed him, palanggas.
Of course, his insistent denial worked since she felt ambushed by the party waiting for her, and a pleasant ambush it was at Cerveseria, an Old World-theme tapas bar run by chef Gilbert Pangilinan.
Noel had conspired with close pals Margarita Locsin-Chan, Trina Goulbourn-Feist, Pinky Tobiano and Penny Ngu to divert Ginggay’s attention by first bringing her to chef Gilbert’s other resto, Kai.
“Why are we going to Cerveseria?” she asked afterward. But before she could get an answer, Cerveseria’s red fabric-covered doors opened with invitees inside greeting Ginggay a loud “Surprise!” and singing for her Happy Birthday.
Her ninong, Inno Sotto, held out her birthday cake for her to blow out the candles, while her kids, Noey and Chloe, ran into their mommy’s arms.
Brilliant chef Gilbert outdid himself with the menu, from the finger food during cocktails to the excellently prepared main dishes. My favorite was the wow Paella Cerveseria, with a touch of coconut milk; Salmon al Horno; and his famous Cochinelli, natch!
May you have many more happy birthdays to come, my dearest palangga Ginggay, who who has grown to become the successful PR specialist and awesome mom she is today!
Filipino costume ball
One of the country’s top fashion mags made publishing history with its Mega Pinoy Pride Terno Ball at Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
It was a thrill watching Cosmo Manille’s A-listers, from the business world to the fashion industry, making a toast to Filipino creativity.
For starters, the finest hors d’oeuvres and chilled Moët Chandon champagne were served as fashion models acted as live mannequins wearing Frederick Peralta’s ternos and choice gorgeous pieces from Jewelmer, naturellement.
Entering the red-carpeted grand ballroom, guests were treated to a vision of awesome modern Filipino elegance, with timeless ternos designed by Inno, Pepito Albert, Rajo Laurel and Paul Cabral, among others.
Bubbly Tim Yap and gorgeous actress Angel Aquino emceed. To everyone’s delight, chef Gene del Prado created a divine five-course dinner inspired by the rich heritage of Filipino cuisine, to combine with the awesome table centerpieces by Robert Blancaflor, palanggas.
Check this menu out: a modern version of Filipino degustacion, with a mélange of flavors from kesong puti, kangkong, lapu-lapu and vegetables and fruits.
The kare-kare was given an updated vibe with sweet potato mash and caramelized pumpkin. The delightful sweets were made up of mango pudding, ube macaroon and cashew sansrival. Now, that’s a meal to totally forget your diet-pledge, di bala?
Musikito String Orchestra played OPM songs, while JM Rodriguez serenaded the guests. For the finale, Dingdong Dantes led the Panatang Makabago, a pledge to modern nationalism, palanggas.
“We started Mega Pinoy Pride last year, and decided to make it an annual event,” said Sari Yap, Mega Publishing Group’s president and CEO and editor-in-chief of Mega. “More than anything, Mega Publishing Group prides itself with the talent of Filipinos, for our Pinoy Pride Terno Ball which are homegrown and not franchises,” she ended to the wild applause of the audience.
More info? Visit www.megastyle.ph.
A perfect meal will have to be a grand degustation dinner accompanied by an excellent collection of the chilled champagne, dahlings. Renowned champagne brand Moët & Chandon excitedly did that at Edsa Shangri-La’s popular Paparazzi. The hotel’s executive sous chef, Canadian-born Damon Campbell, created an excellent six-course menu paired with four awesome varieties of champagne.
For starters, Campbell had Japanese-inspired appetizers paired with Moët Impérial Brut, known as “the living legend.” This champagne was distinguished by a bright fruitiness and an elegant maturity which set the mood for more of the delightful dishes, palanggas.
Next was the pairing of Lobster Tail, Orzo Pasta, Black Truffle and Lobster Emulsion with Rosé Impérial NV, which was perfect for the textured flavor of the lobster.
With the elegant Grand Vintage 2003 champagne the 68th from the Maison, characterized by mature velvet creaminess and robust serenity, the main course made its entrance: the divine Roasted Veal Loin and, take note, dahlings, the 48-hour-cooked Veal Cheek with Onion Apple Goat Cheese Tart and Natural Jus.
At the end of this fantastic tasteful journey, a Grand Vintage Rosé 2003 was served with the brilliantly champagne-inspired dessert selection. The vintage Rosé, dahlings, was the perfect finale for all of us who were privileged enough to enjoy a connoisseur’s dream dinner, thanks to Moët Hennessy’s PR & communications manager Richard Jamandre Alarcon and Edsa Shangri-La director of communications Lesley Tan. Meanwhile, designer-musician Kate Torralba relaxed us with her soulful jazz music.