Rotary Club of Iloilo City celebrates 43 years of community service

RCIC President Marby Jiz and wife Jet Yap-Jiz with club officers and directors and special guests

The Rotary Club of Iloilo City (RCIC) has benefited the community in ways vital to group’s foundation. During its 43rd Induction of new set of officers and directors at the Excutive Room of Hotel del Rio, the members and their Anns with special guests came in black suits and evening dresses for a night of fun and camaraderie.

Top officers of two Rotary Clubs from Korea – Sae Goyang and Samcheonpo Jungang – were also in attendance.

RCIC President Marby with PDG Emma Nava and Rotary Club Council of Presidents: Shiela Mabilog, AG Joy Visitacion and PP Elma Magbanua; with Treasurer Jose Totengco, Dir. Ronaldo Melliza Jr., Secretary Michael Lee and Sec. Johnny Young; with family members; and Past President Ray Gomez and wife Sandra Sarabia-Gomez

The call to order and lighting of the candle by Immediate Past President SUNG HEE KANG was followed by the invocation led by club director ERNANDO “Bob” FLORES and the singing of the Korean National Anthem and Lupang Hinirang.

Past President FRANCIS GRIÑO delivered the welcome address while Past District Governor OSCAR NAVA Jr. introduced the guests and Korean delegates.

Treasurer Joe and Neira Totengco; ANN Emily Lepp and ANN Carmen Griño; RCIC President Marby Jiz and guest of honor Vice President for National Sales Division of Petron Corporation Archie Gupalor; and ANNs Lory Santos, Fatima Brunner, Jazzie Young and Cheryll Gupalor

After dinner, the program unfolded. It included messages from special guests, presentation of plaque of appreciation, induction of the officers led by President MARBY JIZ, his inaugural address, turnover ceremony and the speech of the guest of honor Vice President for National Sales Division of Petron Corporation ARCHIE GUPALOR. The 2016-2017 projects of RCIC were also chronicled in an AVP.

ANNs Sandra Gomez, Lyle Bartolome and Jet Yap-Jiz with Neira Totengco, Neneng Flores and Jean Flores; PP Kenneth Kim, PRes Rc Sae Goyan, Jayjay Lee, Samcheonpo District 3590 District Governor Nominee Melky Kang and Pres RC Samcheonpo Jungang Hansem Oh’ RCIC President Marby and Jet Jiz with Gene Valero; and Rtn. Bob Flores

The formalities were followed by the fun part of the night. Past President MANFRED LEPP, Director ERNANDO “Bob” FLORES II, PAG WINSTON SANTOS and PDG OSCAR NAVA Jr. presented a special number while Immediate Past President SUNG HEE KANG led Secretary JOHNNY YOUNG and President MARBY JIZ in Gangnam Style dance! Both numbers brought the house down.

In between sips and spills of beveragic delight, everyone danced the night away to the music of TOTONG VILLARUZ Band. Why not? After all, everyone was in a good mood! (Photos by Mindworkx)

RCIC President Maby Jiz signs the sisterhood pact with RC Samcheonpo Jungang Pres. Hansem Oh; with District Governor Nominee of Samcheonpo Jungang DGN Melky Kang; joins PP Manfred Lepp, Dir Ernando “Bob” Flores II, PAG Winston Santos and PDG Oscar Nava Jr. after their special number; and dances the Gangnam Style with Secretary Johnny Young and IPP Sung Hee Kang

SONA 2017: Red Carpet hits and misses

From Filipiniana to Muslim-inspired, from traditional to outré, politicians and their partners walked the red carpet for the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE at the Batasang Pambansa.

As it was last year, the invite suggested business attires for the guests. They came in more elegant yet simple dresses. A few expressed their political views in various fashion statements.

Others changed the attires they wore to the opening session of the Senate to another for the SONA while several preferred to wear the same outfits.

Here are some noteworthy and trash-worthy looks. (Photos from Rappler and GMA)

HEART EVANGELISTA-ESCUDERO: She is a celebrity and has one of the most beautiful faces in showbiz. There is no room for style faux pas for her. Whether in jacket and pants ensemble by Boom Sanso or in white terno with ruched bodice and mid-calf bouffant skirt, she was best dressed.

Bagong Henerasyon Rep. BERNADETTE HERRERA-DY: Understated elegance. Sen. GRACE POE: Is she going to SONA 2017 or a baptism? Taguig Rep. PIA CAYETANO: Is she going to Bollywood for a production number? Sen. NANCY BINAY: A good idea gone wrong.

Makati 1st District Rep. MONSOUR del ROSARIO and wife: Just the right amount of elegance and style. Leyte Rep. YEDDA ROMUALDEZ with husband, former Rep. MARTIN ROMUALDEZ: She looks fab in Cary Santiago. Sen. MIGUEL ZUBIRI and wife AUDREY: Stylish couple.

Presidential Legal Adviser SALVADOR PANELO: He is so dapper that he defied style. Ifugao Rep. TEDDY BAGUILAT: Where’s the bahag?

Leyte Rep. LUCY TORRES-GOMEZ: Twinning with her daughter Juliana in Randy Ortiz creations, she is always a style perfection. Batangas 6th District Rep. VILMA SANTOS-RECTO: Ageless and stylish in her tinalak bustier gown and Barong-inspired bolero by Renée Salud.

Laguna 3rd District Rep. SOL ARAGONES with Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu and wife: Who wore the shoes better? Ilocos Norte Governor IMEE MARCOS: Always a fashion maverick, always a style maven.

Former Sen. NIKKI COSETENG: Too much Filipiniana even for a Carnival Queen. JINKEE PACQUIAO looks like a glamorous Maria von Trapp with her Paul Cabral modern Filipiniana dress.


Schüblig, my Schüblig

Yours truly with Marie Wharton; the table is set for the Dress Your Schüblig; toppings for Dress Your Schüblig; and my dressed schüblig.

As they say, there’s always many ways to do things! At one of fave hangouts, Mrs. Wharton’s London Bakes and English Teas, one can dress his schüblig any way he wants!

Yes, dearies, the owner MARIE WHARTON recently introduced a new gimmick at the coffee shop: Dress Your Schüblig!

The different ways of dressing the schüblig; Orson Orleans, Apple Ochon and yours truly having our schüblig; Andrea Ortega, Nonoy Taclino, Apple Ochon, Raymart Escopel and Nana Jover get ready to bite their schüblig; and Jimmy Feliciano, yours truly, Orson Orleans and Mia Feliciano.

A Swiss raw pork or beef sausage, schüblig is normally eaten uncooked. But in Mrs. Wharton’s case, it is steamed. And you have it just the way you want it – on a bun with shredded vegetables, grated cheese chilli con carne or chips and topped with barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, mustard, Caesar dressing or catsup. All for P150 and if you get three, the 4th one is on the house! It’s everyday from 6:30 pm to 11pm.

Mrs. Wharton is also famed for its naked cakes; and Ferraro Roche Cake and Apple Cinnamon Cake make my visits to Mrs. Wharton memorable.

A bit of a trivia: If you don’t understand and can’t make out what is being said, just say “Häsch Schüblig i de Ore?”  (Have you got schüblig in your ears?).

Basically with an English ambience, Mrs. Wharton is going international with its food selections.

The Buddha Bathing Ceremony

The altar of Buddha for the Bathing Celebration

Because yours truly believe in respecting other people’s beliefs to achieve peace and unity, yours truly can’t say no to the invitation of the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) Iloilo Chapter. It was for the 2017 Buddha’s Birthday Celebration activity at the North Wing of SM City Iloilo!

The program kicked off with Fo Guang Yuan Monastics leading a prayer of world peace. It was followed by the opening of the Buddha Bathing Celebration and the offering ceremony. Senior members and devotees took turns in offering special gifts at the altar of Buddha.

For auspicious blessings, dragon and lion dances were performed by students of Iloilo Sun Yat Sen High School and Hua Siong College of Iloilo. The mood was solemn with chants, prayers and ringing of the gongs, bells and hollowed wood. The three tenets of the faith – Speak Good Words, Do Good Deeds and Think Good Thoughts/Have A Good Heart – were emphasized in the rituals!

Venerable Yung Ling of Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) leads the prayers and makes an offering to the Lion before the dance; Ven. Miao Roon of BLIA Bacolod

Rightfully so, in attendance were members of various chapters of BLIA who came from here, there and everywhere.

The program was conducted in Chinese and English. Cast members of Siddharta, a long-running musicale, performed a medley of songs to the delight of the audience. The musicale chronicles the life and times of Buddha as a worldly prince who attained spiritual enlightenment.

Senior female and male members/ devotees of Iloilo Fo Guang Yuan make offerings at the altar of Buddha; and Doña Urgonia Tiu receiving 200 copies (books) of Master Hsing Yun’s words from BLIA Manila President Erwin Choa

Observed in May or early June, Vesak is celebrated by Buddhists around the world. It is one of the most important days in the Buddhist calendar. Also known as “Buddha Day”, it commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhist scriptures state that each of these significant events occurred on the full moon of the Indian lunar month of Vesakha.

The formalities of the morning were followed by the musicality of the afternoon. Different Chinese schools in Iloilo City presented song and dances.

BLIA and Iloilo Fo Guang Yuan invite the public every year in a ceremonial bathing of the Buddha to commemorate Buddha’s birthday. (Photo credits: BLIA Iloilo/ BLIA YAD)

The Dragon dance; the cast of Siddhartha Musicale; yours truly and Noel Mirasol; and members of Buddha’s Light International Association

Bathing of the Buddha; the Sun Yat Sen High School drummers; and 365 Days for Travelers: Wisdom from Chinese Literary and Buddhist Classics with Venerable Master Hsing Yun as Executive Editor


Conrado A. Escudero’s plantation cookbook

A bird’s eye view of Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort

There are cookbooks and there are cookbooks. And there is Villa Escudero: Coconut Plantation Cookbook!

Published and produced by CONRADO “Ado” A. ESCUDERO and his eponymous publishing company, the cookbook encapsulates the country and plantation life as exemplified by Villa Escudero Plantations and Resorts in Quezon Province. The 800-hectare hacienda is more than a tourist attraction; it is also a food destination.

Hailed as steward of foodways and master of hospitality and famed for his themed parties, Don ADO or Tito ADO, terms of endearment of those dearest and dearest to him, dedicates the cookbook to his mother Doña ROSARIO ADAP-ESCUDERO.

Villa Escudero: Coconut Plantation Cookbook; with dedication from Conrado “Ado” Escudero: “To John, a toast to good food and lasting friendship! Sincerely, Ado”; and Conrado “Ado” Escudero and chef Cocoy Ventura

Tito ADO was born on July 13, 1933 in Hacienda Escudero to Don ARSENIO MARASIGAN ESCUDERO and Doña ROSARIO ADAP-ESCUDERO. He went to Cornell University where he finished Hospitality and Culinary Arts. He holds top leadership in the Philippine chapter of Chaines de Rotisseurs, an international society dedicated to the promotion of culinary and hospitality arts.

Together with COCOY VENTURA, a chef of international calibre, trained in US and has worked with world-renowned celebrities, he compiled recipes that made Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort famous here and abroad.

Noel Mirasol, Conrado “Ado” Escudero and yours truly; the 32-seater long table at the dining room of Conrado “Ado” Escudero’s private residence in Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort; and picnic at the waterfalls

The cookbook is divided into seven chapters  — Ado Escudero, Picnic at the Waterfalls, Feast of the Ascension, Plantation Meals, Villa Escudero Weddings, Holidays at the Villa and Food Friends — with colorful rendition of the dishes and vignettes of the events and people who came and partied with the ESCUDERO family.

Yours truly had the honor of enjoying the friendship and hospitality of CONRADO “Ado” ESCUDERO and Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort several times – Holy Week and his birthday celebrations. The sights, sounds and savor of the plantation resort never cease to amaze me. Youthful and spritely at 84, he oversees every detail in his preparations and he has interesting stories to tell on his collectibles. Indeed, he is a man of the world, full of fun and zest for life.

Banana Q; a basket of lumpia and other gilled favorites; and leche flan   

The some pictures on the cookbook were provided by Tito ADO while others were taken by VAL PORRAS and COCOY VENTURA who was also the Project Director and Designer of the cookbook. FRANCISCO dC. MENDOZA was the Layout Artist and RICHARD PRONOVE CAVOSORA was the Copy Editor.

The Fairy Tale Prince in Dane Marco Tabuena

The Fairy Tale Prince Dane Marco P. Tabuena makes his entrance; the party favors; the candy corner; and the celebrator blows the candles on his 7-layered birthday cake by Wilda Wutrich Usi of Sue Cakes.

Two banquet rooms of Diversion 21 Hotel were turn into a princedom for the 7th birthday party of cute and huggable DANE MARCO P. TABUENA. He is the unico hijo of Drs. ROLLIN and DAISY TABUENA who left no stone unturned to make his special day the most memorable.

The late afternoon coming of age bash was well attended by family members, relatives, friends and colleagues of the birthday boy’s parents who all came in their finest royal attires.

Amid bountiful good food, the guests were entertained by the cotillion de juvenes (choreographed by WINSTON BEDIA LEE), magic show of RINGGO the Magician, AVPs, roasting and toasting, and cheers and best wishes!

The celebrator leads the cotillion de juvenes with Princess Selena Jaruda; and  joins the 7 Candles Boys Jemuel Porras, Czar Urien Grecia, Julian James Terol, Adriel Benedict Zamora, Jurichson Sernicula, Johan Garibay and JC Ross Davila, the 7 Rose/Cake Girls Gianne Dominique Zamora , Alexa Tupas, Mary Claren “Angel” Gales, Jellah Porras. Lyiana Myia Ysabelle Uy-Libanan and Alana Castaños and the 7 Princesses in the Cotillion de Juvenes Mary Claren Gales, Alana Castaños, Selena Jaruda, Czasha Grecia, Arianne Tejare, Anne Segador, Jameellah May Salazar, Leara Gloria Borro and Shannah Verlia Lao

To add glamor, pomp and circumstance to the party, the celebrator and his parents changed twice in couture creations by fashion designers BO PARCON and ALEX SONCIO.

The theme party was organized by JIMMY GARCIA BEDAÑO of JGB Events and Wedding, who was also the program host. VRIAN JEFFREY BUENVENIDA of Wacky Productions was the event stylist while JOY PALMA SELORIO took care of the invites.

ELY SOBERANO of Giggle N Smile captured in his photobooth some fabulous memories of the event. The LED Wall and Lights were provided by PANOY GO.

With this creative team, the party was indeed a resounding success! (Photos by Heavensent Studios by RR Productions)

Dane Marco Tabuena joins Toto Davilla, JC Ross Davilla, Czar Urine Grecia, Shannah Verlia Lao, Leara Gloria Borro , Mary Claren “Angel” Gales, Arianne Tejare, Czasha Grecia; and his parents Dr. Rollin and Daisy Tabuena with Asclepius Staff Ma. Rona Montelijao, Cheryl Japitana, Ivy Benal-Borro and Maylyn Tiangson, Hon. Candice Tupas, Alexa Tupas, yours truly, Hon Lex Tupas and Lextom Tupas. 

Dane Marco Tabuena poses with Best Dressed Awardees Dr. Mike Castaños and Maricar Anthonette Gonzales and Runners up for Best Dresses Award: Carmelo Grecia and Ivy Benal-Borro, and enjoys the magic show with his guests!

In good company

Antoine Greg Flores, Jojo Ang and Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III of Iloilo City; former Rep. Jeffrey P. Ferrer of the 4th District of Negros Occidental, Mercedes Nava, Baby T. Ang, Dr. Pacita T. Gonzalez, sisters Pangging and Pane Rosales and Pinoy Gonzales; Joe Marie Agriam, Jane Javellana, Jojo Ang, yours truly and Antoine Greg Flores; and Dr. Pacita T. Gonzalez and Baby T. Ang with Jojo Ang, Allen Tan, Aljun Tan, Aileen Grace Tan, Allan Ryan Tan, Alvin Patrick Tan.

Whadoyou know, tres charmante businessman JOJO ANG, gathered Metro-Iloilo’s most veritable social personas for a gastronomic trip at the newly renovated Café del Prado of the posh Hotel del Rio.

Indeed, we savored the most delicious, mouth watering dishes at par with best hereabouts. Adding spice to them was the hot topics exchanged by everyone in the most colorful way! And they were complemented with overflowing fine wine!

The buffet tables and the menu for our gastronomic trip 

The next night was Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ’s turn to host an intimate dinner with closest friends at, where else but, Café del Prado. The food trip continued with a different set of dishes specially prepared for our hostess with the mostest by the chefs of the café cum restaurant.

Popular that she is, friends of different social and political persuasions came to our table and greeted her.

Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Mediterranean Salad, Sopa de Calabaza con Jamon and Chorizo Potato Soup

Angus Salpicao, Oxtongue in Mushroom Sauce, Camaron con Jamon and US Rib Eye Steak

Paella Marinara, Royal Pork Ribs, Callos and Pasta Nero

Scampi Pomodor, Mushroom and Quinoa Salad, Ube Cake and Flourless Belgian Chocolate Cake

Varied guests discussing different subject matters were the order of the night. As what CREAM Magazine publisher JOE MARIE AGRIAM said, “There is no dull moment in this company!” Food blogger ANTOINE GREG FLORES enthused, “Another night of this, not only would I have tasted all the dishes Café del Prado can offer, I will have an overload of the latest tidbits about everything and everyone!” To that, yours truly say, “Cheers!” And yours truly could hear NONOI YBIERNAS of Philippine Tatler saying, “Oh, well, welcome to high society!”

Café del Prado

Café del Prado opening: from breakfast to lunch…

Café del Prado of Hotel del Rio

After more than a year of renovation, the posh Café del Prado, a restaurant cum coffee shop of Hotel del Rio, opened with a breakfast and lunch event. The by-invitation affair saw a long line of wellwishers coming and going in steady flow!

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by hotel owner MANOLETE LORING and General Manager ALAN TAN whose family is renting the hotel from the LORINGs.

Interior designer CLAUDINE YAO-DIEZ’s modern and eclectic take on classic design reflected the old world charm of the hotel and the Continental and Spanish menu prepared by topnotched chef MINER del MUNDO.

Rightfully so, the famed Hotel del Rio touch is still there much to the delight of everyone. While the favorites are still on the menu, new dishes were added to the list. It was a good mix of old and new.

Jay-r, who officiated the blessing of Café del Prado, and Manolete “Tata” Loring; Iris and Andrew Po; Joe Marie Agriam, Jacquiline Tiu and chef Miner del Mundo; and Alan and Maisie Tan, Pia and Alvin Tan, and Michelle and Allen Tan

Yours with Gerrick Tagamolila and friends; Delia Goldberg, Baby Ang and Cathy Liboon; and Nards Jiz and Dr. Bong Gustilo

Bing Juaneza and Jane Javellana; Frances Barbasa and yours truly; Ludy Ho and Joe Marie Agriam; and Herminia Pineda and Maria Isabel Hobilla Uy