Monthly Archives: January 2015

Getting into a Boodle Fight

Bloggers and lifestyle columnists were treated to an exclusive boodle fight by Blackbeard’s Seafood Island (BSI) at its newest store at Shops at Amigo. BSI is the group that created and brought to Metro-Iloilo the “Original” Boodle Feasts.
Gastronomes enjoyed on grilled packages inspired by famous places and festivals in the Philippines: Tali Beach, Daguapan Festival and Mt. Apo.
The following day, Blackbeard’s Seafood Island North Shore Grill was formally opened and graced by who’s who in politics, society, business and profession. Once again, the invitees savored more mouth-watering grilled favorites including Boracay Feast and Grilled Tuna Panga!
According to General Manager RAYMOND BIHIS, “The Seafood Island Boodle Feast is first of its kind, creatively re-inviting the way Filipino food bundles for groups are created and presented – a trend adapted by most of the other Filipino grill concepts soon thereafter.”
Needles to say, it has innovated the Filipino casual grill dining experience by bringing to the market the first and the original “Boodle Feasts.”
It will celebrate 11 years of extreme seafood bonding on September 16, 2015 in an event called “national Boodle Day!”

Wedded bliss

Philippine Air Force Second Lieutenant JUNMARVIC NATU-EL, the son of PSSupt. FLOMAR and VIVECA NATU-EL, and STEPHANIE ANN TABINO, the daughter of the late SPO1 MARVIN and NINFA TABINO, recently formalized their commitment to love, honor and cherish each other at the St. Jude Thaddeus Shrine in Aluis, Bacolod City. The church was aglow with profusion of flora and foliage presenting an aura of romance and elegance. It was a military wedding with the groom’s mistahs at Philippine Military Academy as saber-bearing honors guards!
The entourage wore fuchsia and turquoise silk gowns with subtle hints of beadwork and embroideries. The bride was radiant in her 50s inspired gown. It featured a beaded and embroidered mesh bodice and bouffant skirt with a sweeping train. The groom was dashing in his formal “white duck” uniform.

The celebrating priest, Rev. Fr. JERRYVEL A. CELESTIAL, homilied on love eternal and marriage as a covenant. The exchange of I do’s was witnessed by Engr. ELMAR NATU-EL and JENNY NATU-EL, PSSupt. MARIANO NATU-EL and SONIA NATU-EL, JERRY RIOS and DORY CRIS RIOS, WINDA FONATANILLA, CARMELITA ROMERO, Major ACE ESCANIEL and TERESA MACALALAG, Atty. ELLA MAZON, Atty. ROLANDO RAVINA and VENUS MEIR, PSSupt. MILKO LIRAZAN and VERONICA TACUT, SURJIT SINGH BAPLA and ERMA GUANZON, Major GIOVANNI ASPIRAS and LEILA GUNAZON, SURJAN SINGH BAPLA and VILMA CANTOR, ROSSINIE BAYONA, LOLITA ARELA, Dr. NEIL NATU-EL and MARIA ELENA RECEDERO, Engr. OSCAR VALLAR and LUCRECIA VALLAR, Executive Judge PAOLO ARIOLA and THELMA CANINDO, and LCdr. ELISEO BARRIOS and SANDRA BENNET. Couple JOBERT and CELESTINA SESE and FERDIE GOTIANGCO who did not make it to the affair were represented by yours truly, LANIE CASTAÑARES and NOEL MIRASOL, respectively.

After the touching wedding ceremony, the joyful newlyweds, entourage and guests at Poolside for cocktails and at the adjoining banquet hall for dinner and program. Moroccan-inspired décor beautified the tables and arches. In the background, guests found delight in the strains of standard music and pop songs.
While enjoying the good food and fine wine, the guests were entertained by rib-tickling speeches and amusing audio and video presentations.
The celebrations were highlighted by the traditional money dance — the first dance for the newlyweds!

The lists for an amazing 2015

Happy New Year! Here at Panay News we’re super excited to make 2015 our best year yet, and to kick start the new year, yours truly is bringing you lists of new year’s resolutions from thirteen friends and regulars of this column.
With every New Year, comes renewed optimism. And while I’m ambivalent on New Year’s Resolutions that you’re just going to toss aside when things get busy, I use them as a guide for the year. Beside I’m a fan of creating new habits!
This year’s lists are all about love, faith and change. Some just re-enforced their last year’s lists.
For one reason or another, few friends I asked decided to forego with the list altogether.
Here’s hoping that 2015 will be a bright year for all of us!

Eric de los Santos, Iloilo’s prince of Fashion: For 2015, I want be healthier, fit and happy.
Bo Parcon, Iloilo’s Bad Boy of Fashion: My rules to a better life this 2015 are pray always, never hate, live simply, learn something new, give a lot, expect a little, always smile, live with LOVE, and best of all be with GOD!
Agnesette Ausan, Iloilo’s Darling of Fashion: Mine is to stress and obsess less.
Jet Salcedo, president of Iloilo Young Designers Council: New Year’s Resolution has always been about CHANGE, but for this year, I choose IMPROVEMENT. Improvement in my craft, in selecting the “real” and the “right” people to be with and of course with my relationship to GOD. My 2015 will be all about that quantum leap towards a better ME.

Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing, restaurateur and chef: I promised myself to invest in myself by learning a new skill and do daily meditation. This 2015 I want to be a better mom to my growing children and to be there for them always. Last two resolutions are to work harder and to save more.
Kelvin Simeros, model: To find love, to improve, to change and to be a better person.
Paul Pollentes, animal rights advocate and dog lover: To be more focused in my business, not mind the negative issues against me or stressors that are complete waste of time, be more optimistic, and dive into new possibilities (business related).
Susie Cuachon-Facultad, bank executive: This year, I will try my best to do it, that is, not to eat meat anymore…anykind of meat …fish and vegetables only for this year….hopefully I can do it!

Jane Javellana, eventologist: To work harder for the future, to give time to my health by staying fit and healthy. good vibes and always thinks positive.
Mae Tamayo-Panes, eventologist. My New Year’s resolution is not to push myself too much and limit “stresses” that can be avoided. I will continue my healthy diet and give more time for my yoga and other healthy activities.
Beverly “Pangging” Rosales, businesswoman and one of Philippine Tatler’s top hostesses: I have no New year’s resolution but this is what I’m going to do for 2015 — to deepen my faith, trust jesus, and stay faithful to Him, and to be there for my mom through love, support and respect.
Nonoi Ybiernas, Iloilo correspondent for Philippine Tatler: My New Year’s Resolutions are to pray harder and never doubt on His wisdom, don’t be a people pleaser, trust my instinct, be kind to myself, stay away from negativity, and learn to say No.
Nneka Berte, model: I promise to myself that I will work really hard to achieve my main goal, and that is to pass the board exam this year. Also, I think it is about time that I stop blaming and start embracing Him again, to forgive more and leave bitterness behind. And finally, I will have a more positive outlook about life, live it to its fullest and just be happy.

My New Year’s Resolutions

Pray harder and be closer to God
Think positive
Exercise daily
Eat healthy
Work hard
Worry less
Stay strong
Dance more
Love often
Be happy
Family first

Seeing Red

It was fun to celebrate Disco of the 70s and 80s! Philippine Red Cross (Iloilo Chapter) did just that when it held its annual Christmas Party. The Executive Room of Hotel del Rio was transformed into a swinging disco. TOTONG VILLARUZ and his band dished out some of the most danceable tunes of this velvet era!
Led by Chair RAMON CUA LOCSIN, the directors, employees, youth volunteers and guests came in their best retro outfits. They also outdid each other in production numbers.
The dinner dance and drinks party was highlighted by the raffle of prizes and gift giving! Much to my delight, yours truly was one of the lucky recipients of both! (Photos by Ronnie Gabalda)

Birthday wishes

It surely was an amazing evening for very creative EDGAR LOPEZ SUELO on his birthday when he threw a fun celebration at his well-appointed residence in Jaro.
The dinner and drinks party was attended by nearest and dearest friends. It started at the landscaped garden and continued at the tastefully decorated living room. Everyone enjoyed the sumptuous dishes by chef TIBONG JARDELEZA.
The partying went in crescendo with the delivery of BONI GAVERZA’s rib-tickling Binalaybay entitled “Taxi, Gusto Mo?”
Amid oveflowing beveragic delights and bountiful hors d’oeurves, interesting conversations and animated laughter went on till wee hours.
Needless to say, it was a well-spent evening with the celebrator and friends!

Only at Steps of Rome

Creative PAULINE GORRICETA-BANUSING of the popular Steps of Rome at Plazuela de Iloilo recently launched “Holiday Cravings.” It is fare of favorites given new taste and update twists! “
“I want to give Ilonggos something that is straightforward during the holidays,” she enthused to a group of food bloggers and lifestyle columnists.
The list of sumptuous dishes include Spanish Chicken Fritata served with toasts, Croque Madame with Mortadella Ham, Gruyere Cheese and Bechamel Sauce, Big Breakfast of the Champions (a hearty set of sausage, ham, Spanish chorizo, omelette, garlic rice and toast with jam), Biscuit fried chicken with rice pilaf, and an assortment of Cookie Butter, Belgian Waffle Dulce de Leche with Blueberries and Pistachio Cream, Jelly and Chocolate Warm Waffles with Cream and fruity toppings!
So, what are you waiting for! All of these yummy victuals are available everyday at Steps of Rome, one of Metro-Iloilo’s gastronomic havens. See you there!

Say cheese!

A simple meeting at fashion designer BO PARCON’s place de maison for an upcoming event turned into a gastronomic treat!
Why not? Culinary wiz MINER del MUNDO prepared the antipasto platter of assorted cold cuts and cheeses, and grapes on his specially-designed chopping board! We also enjoyed on delicious Pancit Molo and juicy pork dish of Bo’s sister YOLANDA PARCON-TEJARES.
It was fun gathering of creative minds – Cosmo-Manille designers JEROME LORICO and XERNAN ORTICIO, and Chef MIGUEL CORDOVA who brought the fine wines!
It also our way of celebrating friendship and career! Oh, well, it set the mood of an all-night interesting conversation!

SOP celebrates

SOP stands for SARAH OPOLENCIA-PEÑA. She recently celebrated her birthday at her family residence in Ledesco Village. Some 80 guests came to greet and wish one of Philippine Tatler’s Top Hostesses all the best with her family and business. The dinner party pushed through despite of the storm warnings!
Stunning in her mocca lace cocktail dress, SOP welcomed everyone with a smile and beso-beso!
Also in hand to receive the wellwishers were her husband JUDGEE LOPEZ PEÑA and charming daughters – lawyer RITA, soon-to-be doctor RISA and soon-to-be engineer RICA!
Everyone enjoyed on sumptuous dishes by top caterer WILSON ESPARANCILLA, overflowing beveragic delights, good conversation, and each other’s company till way past midnight! (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)

Fun with Noel

One of the city’s well-loved darlings, vivacious NOEL MIRASOL, celebrated another dynamic year! A loan specialist of Armed Forces and Police Savings and Loans Association, Inc. (AFPSLAI) Iloilo, he celebrated it with “Red, White and Green” dress code. His fun-filled birthday celebration was held over dinner, drinks and dance at Club Metro of River Queen Hotel by the historic Iloilo River.
The guest list included an eclectic mix of socialites, colleagues, associates and cagers – all dearest friends.

All in all, the terrific night was prevalent with rip-roaring laughter and memories of good times that placed a smile upon the face of the celebrator and the rest of the guests. The partying was brought to feverish pitch by the games moderated by fun-to-be-with BONI GAVERA who cracked jokes in between, and participated in by the young and the young-at-heart!
Surely, NOEL M. will cherish his wonderful celebration as he continues to age graciously!

Celebrating Christmas

The Holidays came early for the management and staff of La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel, everybody’s favorite hideaway in Boracay! Owner, tres charmante BOY SO, led the fun celebration of the Employees’ Christmas Party!
The Poolside and the surrounding dining areas were filled with revelers and the curious! Officers, managers, supervisors and employees of every department, outdid each other in costumes and special production numbers to impress the judges. With “Experience to be UNLEASHED” as theme, everyone came in their chic-est animal printed outfits.
Housekeeping was declared Champions in the Departmental Presentation beating F & B Service, Reservation/Sales and Marketing/HRD and Maintenance, Laundry, Finance, Concierge/Transportation, F & B Production and Front Office.
After the contest, a video was presented. It featured the men and women behind the resort hotel and chronicled its successes. It was followed by the heartwarming and inspirational message of the Big Boss, Sir BOY.
Seen on the scene were MARY LOVE APELADO, Resort manager, JONA MAY RABANES, Front Office Manager and Engr. BUTCH CAWALING, hotel engineer and one of the judges.
Special awards were presented to employees whose costumes and presence were standouts – Stars of the Night (Male) MICHAEL GUBATON (F & B Supervisor) and (Female) STEPHANIE GAA (Front Office Assistant Supervisor), and Best in Outfit (Male) RODEL ESCANILLAN (Life Guard) and (Female) RIZA DARADAR (Front Office Associate).
For a job well done, MARY DOREEN VILLANUEVA, Front Office Assistant Supervisor, and ROBERT PERLAS of the Maintenance Department were declared Employees of the Year.
The celebratory event was capped with raffles of prizes, pictorials and all-night partying!

Birthday fun

Everybody’s favorite DADO TAN was surprised with a dinner party for his special day by very good friend EDGAR SUELO at the latter’s well-appointed residence in Tabuc Suba in Jaro.
The garden setting lent a casual ambience to the get-together of friends. Over sumptuous dishes by Chef MIGUEL CORDOVA and endless supply of beveragic delight, the guests enjoyed each other’s company and interesting talk on latest events and developments.

Shower of blessings

It was an eventful day of cute and cuddly KATIE JANICA PISUEÑA when she welcomed to the Christian world. The memorable event kicked off with the blessing and christening rites at the Miraculous Medal parish Church in Calumpang. It was witnessed by ninongs and ninangs who are all dear friends and close friends of couple JAY JONIC and KATE PISUEÑA.
Also there were the grandparents, grand uncles and grand aunts of the star of the day who slept through ceremonies.
After the formalities, a celebratory lunch was held at one of the VIP Rooms of Esca’s Garden Restaurant where more friends and well-wishers attended.

Puttin’ on the Ritz

Yes, when GMA Western Visayas hosted a swinging appreciation dinner party, it did it in ala Roaring 20s. Men in suits and women flapper dresses filled the Royal Garden Hall and Convention Center. The network’s national and regional top brass hobnobbed with guests representing the cross section of Metro-Iloilo society.
The decade of jazz, art deco, Charleston, bob cut haircut, Harlem Renaissance, marathon dancing and talkies was celebrated in song and dance production numbers featuring the stellar performances of AICELLE SANTOS, MARICRIS GARCIA, BIANCA UMALI, MIGUEL TANFELIX, WYNWYN MARQUEZ and MARK HERRAS.
Excerpts from the hit movie “Chicago” brought the house down. Comedian/impersonator ALBERT SUMAYO aka BETONG lighten the mood with his rib-tickling brand of hosting.
The raffle of prizes capped the night, much to the delight of the guests! (Photos by Raymart Escopel)

And the celebrations continued…

Exactly a month after my actual birthday, top chef and popular restaurateur, my very good friend PAULINE GORRICETA-BANUSING, hosted a very enjoyable dinner party for me at Steps of Rome in Plazuela de Iloilo. The theme was “True Blue.” So, the invitees came in their chic T-shirt and denim outfits.
The guest list included my loving mom ALITA BAYONA-CASTIGADOR, caring cousins and good friends. They enjoyed on the party ambience, good company, interesting conversations and fabulous food. It was at this party that Chef PAULINE served for the first time the fruit-flavored waffles and crepes, now part of Steps of Rome’s menu!
Ice-cold beer, fine wine and scotch whiskey also set the party mood that lasted way past bewitching hour!
Thank you, Chef PAULINE, for the wonderful party! (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)

MENU

Salad Bar

Assorted Appetizers

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Chicken Florentine
Fish Puttanesca with Green Olives
Yakisoba Seafood
Tempura Special
Italian Baby Back Ribs
Italian Parmigiana
Japanese Rice

Pasta Station

Carvery: Roast Beef

Desserts: Waffle and Crepes

Wine
Beer