Foodies, gourmets, gourmands and gluttons

This article is long overdue! Food blogging in Metro-Iloilo is not complete without the company of these wonderful friends who appreciate good food and fun company more than anything else!

Their critique set the pace for discriminating Ilonggos in patronizing a café, resto, bar or fastfood outlet.

May it be an opening, anniversary or menu/product launch, their presence is most appreciated. In short nothing happens in Metro-Iloilo without them!

So, yours truly dedicate this article to these foodies, gourmets, gourmands and gluttons!

Amid food appreciation, and sips and spills of fine wine, their laughter and jokes resonates and reverberates across the room. Talks ranges from wild to sublime, colourful to tame, and historical to hysterical! Most of the time, their antics are freeze framed on FB, IG, twitter and snapchats.

In between openings and launches, one can see them hanging around, where else, in cafés, restos, bars and fast food outlets here, there and everywhere. Their bubbly and bouncing personas are hard to miss!

Yours truly look forward to more work and twerk with these wonderful people who always see the bright side of life!


Philippines Best Dressed Women 2016 portraits are unveiled

Cosmo-Manille’s most fashionable and sociable personas came to see and be seen at Glorietta 5 in Makati City for the unveiling of the Portrait Exhibit of Philippines Best Dressed Women of 2016!

Now on its 13th year, it is a charity event by Philippine Cancer Society and spearheaded by Event Chair, Angola Honorary Consul HELEN ONG.

Established more than 50 years ago, the Philippine Cancer Society is a non-profit organization. It focuses its resources in anti-cancer advocacy, education and information programs, the population-based cancer registry and patient services to carry out its mission statement “to enhance knowledge about cancer, combat the spread of the disease and bring relief to those afflicted with cancer.”


The awards night will be held on September 22, 2016 at Makati Shangrila’s Rizal Ballroom.

“The dinner, awarding and fund raising event has been a top drawer soiree to the country’s most generous personalities,” enthused Philippine Tatler Iloilo correspondent NONOI YBIERNAS!


Remembering Raul M. Gonzalez Sr.

Businesswoman/cosmetic surgeon Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ and her children commemorated the second death anniversary of her husband, former Representative of the Lone District of Iloilo City and former DOJ Secretary RAUL M. GONZALEZ, with a Holy Mass and dinner party at the RMG Museum at Petalsville Subdivision in Tabuc suba, Jaro.

Loyalists hobnobbed with businessmen, socialites, media personas and politicians.

Après dinner, an audio-visual presentation was shown. Lovingly made by Dr. GOLD T. GONZALEZ, it chronicled the life, time and legacy of her father with sidelights on family members.

Amid 80s dance music, guests exchanged conversations on politics, current events and social weather!

RMG Museum houses the memorabilia of the late statesman. Adjacent to it is the Medical Service Annex where indigent patients can avail of ECG, ultrasound and X-ray machines. Other services include dental and medical check-ups. And these are all for free! The building is PWD- and elderly-friendly!


Weekend at the Mansion

Not even the heavy monsoon rains kept the organizers – siblings QUITO and AMANDA TREÑAS and pretty heiress KATRINA LORING — of The Weekend Market at Molo Mansion from staging it.

The original plan was for the participating stalls, kiosks, pop-up stores and booths to be laid out on the sprawling lawn of the Molo Mansion. However, the inclement weather necessitated at least half of them to be transferred to the second floor of the mansion.

But the fun continued! Food was abundant and various novelle items were on display. The atmosphere was festive. Stalls and booths competed with one another on the variety and specialty of their products while diners, food lovers and the curious vied for space and attention! “Indeed, it was a street to gourmet weekend market,” enthused a blogger!

Moving around, the organizers were seen beaming with smile of success. They promised a bigger, better and more Weekend Markets at the Mansion in the coming months! (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)


Art in fashion

Fashion designer NONO PALMOS, top model RAPHAEL KIEFER and songstress ARMI PIAMONTE combined their creative forces to come up with Kalye.

According to NONO PALMOS, who champions hablon from Miag-ao where he hails, Kalye “is the new collective of Panay’s premier artisans and their products.” Hablon is a handcrafted textile known for its colors and design. It has become a big industry in Panay and has attained international fame.

Indeed, at Kalye, there is varied array of fashion items, handicrafts and decors, all designed by NONO PALMOS!

Kalye Showroom is on the 2nd floor of B and C Square Building, Corner Iznart and Solis Streets, Iloilo City.

Best dressed SUSAN CAPERONCE-FLORETE led the special guests to its opening. Also seen on the scene were Mayor Dr. MACARIO N. NAPULAN and Vice Mayor Engr. LEONARDO N. NALDOZA of Miag-ao, Iloilo.

The formalities were followed by fun cocktails where fashion designers, models and socialites hobnobbed with each other.

While NONO PALMOS is the createur, RAPHAEL KIEFER handles the promotions and ARMI PIAMONTE designed the showroom.


Ilongga on the Philippine Best Dressed 2016 List

From the list of Iloilo Women of Style 2011, SHEILLA MARIE GOLEZ-TIONGCO is now one of the Philippine Best Dressed Women for 2016! The Ilongga businesswoman and philanthropist is the wife of top eye doctor, NAPOLEON L. TIONGCO Jr., and mother to four lovely children – JUDITH MARIE, MARY MAY, MARIA CECILIA and cutesie NAPOLEON JESUS III. The TIONGCO famille is into banking, construction, leasing and real estates.



The awards night will be held on September 22, 2016 at the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangrila. SHEILLA MARIE GOLEZ-TIONGCO will be wearing gown by Iloilo;s Bad Boy of Fashion BO PARCON who also did her blue and fuchsia gowns for the photoshoot.

Sweet treats at the Spa

Vivacious BABES RIVERA introduced the latest offerings of her family-owned Spa Riviera and Mrs. Wharton Pastries with a late-morning tea party at Mrs. Wharton Pastries at Spa Riviera Gen. Luna Branch.

The sweet treats included scones, muffins, cakes, cupcakes and baked lasagna complemented with English tea and brewed coffee.

In Gen. Luna (2nd Floor of Jabez Building) and Jaro (2nd Floor of Doña Maria Building on castilla-Burgos Sts.) branches, Spa Riviera now pampers its valued clients with its latest promo – the Kalipay Foot Massage! It will surely soothe you after a hard, stressful day of work!

Mrs. Wharton Pastries is located at the lobby of Spa Riviera Gen. Luna Branch. Its variety of pastries will be a perfect treat to bridal or baby showers. It is open from 3pm to 8pm, Mondays to Saturdays.

For details and inquiries on Spa Riviera, please call (033) 509-0209 (Gen. Luna) or (033) 329-4171 (Jaro), and Mrs. Wharton at (033) 338-2332.

Eye Society in Metro-Iloilo

For stylish and trendy Ilonggos, the long wait is over! Eye Society is now in Metro-Iloilo and, no less, at SM City Iloilo North Wing!

Eye Society is the country’s premier eyewear and optical boutique. Not only it offers signature eyewear brands, such as Coach, Versace, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Michael Kors, Ray Ban, Bulgari, Guess, Pepe Jeans and Elle, it also provides eye care and consultation and trendy frames.

It has a spacious and organized interior, gracious staffers who can help each customer choose perfect frames based on one’s face shape, skin tone, eye color, lifestyle and personality, and professional optometrists who conduct a 12-step eye exam using advance technology and equipment. Needless to say, Eye Society makes your eye health a top priority while customizing your lifestyle.

It recently held a VIP Shopping with eventologist RAINER PACIS as host. His guest list included bloggers, lifestyle columnists, society mavens and professionals. The merienda cena was catered by Tonino’s.

FARRAH RODRIGUEZ, Marketing Head of Eye Society Inc.; MIKKO ARANETA, Brand Manager of Eye Society; and PATRICIA CANTON, Regional Manager (VISMIN) of Eye Society jetted in from Cosmo-Manille for the occasion. They were joined by TIM DUEÑAS, Brand Manager of Vision Express.

These executives also introduced Dinner in the Dark. An exclusive, limited-runs-only partnership between Eye Society and Cru Steakhouse, it is a unique sensorial dining experience where diners eat their meal in a dark setting and blindfolded. For a single receipt transaction of at least P10,000.00 at any Eye Society Boutique nationwide, one can avail of Dinner in the Dark for two at Cru Steakhouse of Marriot Hotel Manila at Resorts World Manila. It will serve a three-course meal worth P9,600,00! The event benefits Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines.

For more details and information on Eye Society and Dinner in the Dark, please visit its website —; Facebook – eyesocietyph; and Instagram — @eyesocietyph.

Indulging at Seda

Metro-Iloilo’s nightscape was a perfect backdrop for a Seda Hotel Atria experience at the Straight Up Bar! The cozy bar is on the 7th floor of the hotel.

The management, led by its Head Chef SHAHAB HESNI and Communications Officers ANGLEA TAN, introduced the latest in its menu and promos.

Four promos are lined up for the fun months of August, September and October. Apricena is a complimentary buffet of pica-pica for any order of alcoholic drink, 6;00 pm to 8:00 pm. It is complemented by Beer Blast, with 40% discount on all beers. Both are happening at Straight Up Bar.

Brew lovers can treat themselves to Coffee Indulgence at Misto. For Php 250, they can enjoy on unlimited choices of cafe latte, latte, macchiato, cappuccino, brewed coffee and espresso with complimentary pastries and use of E-Lounge and Wifi!

The Dish of the Month is Seafood Laksa at Misto. Savor the winning dish of Chef ALBERT LEDESMA, the Champion of the Elite Chef Challenge 2016. With a taste of victory, the Asian fusion creamy and spicy vermicelli (rice) noodle broth is loaded with tender pieces of squid, shrimp, squid ball and fish cake, jazzed up with coconut cream, laksa paste and the chef’s secret ingredients, and given the Ilonggo flavor!

So, spiced up your August, September and October with these indulgences at Seda Hotel Atria. For inquiries and reservations, please call (033) 506-8888 and (033) 330755 or email

Celebrating my 28th

Robinsons Place Iloilo, through its Group Marketing Communications Manager ROFEL JOHN PARREÑO and his prized marketing assets STEPHEN VON JERUTA and STELLA MAE HEMBRA, hosted lunch for me at the swanky DoVa Brunch Café. It was to celebrate my 28th anniversary in newspaper writing! My first column came out on Aug. 8, 1988!

In attendance were eventologist JANE JAVELLANA, Philippine Tatler‘s NONOI YBIERNAS who made it time from Bacolod City, Iloilo’s Bad Boy of Fashion BO PARCON, supermodel and Iloilo’s very own RIA BOLIVAR and society chronicler ZEDRICK SEÑERES.
Also there were Metro-Iloilo dynamic ladies ROVEA ONGLATCO, MARITESS LIM and TWEETIE TUPAS-BALLEZA.

Located at Megaworld Iloilo Business Park, DoVa Brunch Café is owned by MIGUEL CORDOVA who prepared an array of sumptuous dishes that made us enjoy till cake, coffee and tea time!
Hot topics were politics and current events with a dash of fashion! Needless to say, it was a fun celebration made even better with messages and greetings from friends, and good company!

Rightfully so, I’m looking forward to many more anniversaries to celebrate! Thank you, RLC! (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)



A catwalk on the ramp

Aside from the juiciest and freshest seafood, Capiz is also known for its goodlooking guys and pretty gals. Thus, the Ramp Star of Robinsons Place Roxas!

Now on its third year, it is the most popular modeling competition in the province. Seven male and seven female finalists, culled from one grand go-see and two monthly eliminations, competed in playsuit by Iloilo’s Bad Boy Fashion BO PARCON, casual wear by Robinsons Department Store and formal wear by Hablon Queen JAKI PEÑALOSA. They were judged on model look, x-factor and ramp performance. Facebook likes were also included in the criteria.

CARL AVELINO and SHARON ABARACOSO took the nod of the judges — model/beauty queen JHOANNE TAÑADA, commercial model/actor GABB DRILON, BO PARCON and JAKI PEÑALOSA. They were declared the Grand Winners and have the right to wear the gold champions’ belts!

YOKOHAMA ARATA and TIN DARIA came close second.

Previous winners include EARL VISCO and PHOEBE CATE BARBASA (2014), and FRANKLIN MAYOL and FREINA PUNGOT (2015). (Photos by Ian Laserna)




From a cozy nook in Lapaz, DoVa Brunch Café goes big time at Megaworld Iloilo Business Park!

Recently, owner/chef MIGUEL J. CORDOVA gathered bloggers, lifestyle writers and friends and introduced to them the resto-café and its latest menu.

In his travels to Cambodia with French colonial persuasions, he was inspired by its laid back European influences very much like the Ilonggo way of life.

Brunch, a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, is exemplified at DoVa! A leisurely way of starting the day, it can start late morning and end at 3pm.

Consistent and varied, DoVa’s brunch meals can be eaten any time of the day – morning, afternoon or evening. European, Amercian and Mediterranean in touches and taste, the menu is suited to discriminating Ilonggo palate.

His cheese choices and cold cuts can be an appetizer and a meal paired with the rest/cafés wide range of wine selection.

“My menu selection began with Eggs Benedict, my all-time favorite,” enthused Chef MIGUEL! “I regularly update myself with the latest and innovate them bringing in my own signature touch.”

If there are Hangover Fries, there are Cured Meats; they are two of the signature appetizers of DoVa.

The dishes set before us were divided into following groups: appetizers, salad, main courses, pizza and desserts.

Indeed, it was a sumptuous gastronomic treat from DoVa Brunch Café! (Photos by Ray Tabfunda)



Home, sweet home

For brothers BOY and JOENICK DINSON and the latter’s wife ROSELYN and daughter SAM, there is no place like home. They are based in New Jersey, USA.

Taking time out from work, they jetted to Metro-Iloilo for a two-week vacation which coincided with the Molo patronal fiesta.

Naturellement, they were treated to a whirlwind of lunches, cocktails, dinners and after parties! Topping their list of activities was the buenvenida bash hosted by woman of style NORMA P. ROSALES at her family’s Strawberry Mansion!

The sit-down dinner party gathered old friends and family members of the host and the honorees. Chef PAULINE GORRICETA-BANUSING and her team outdid themselves with sumptuous dishes and awesome service. Beveragic delights overflowed amid interesting hot topics on politics, fashion, weather, current events and traffic!


Partying at Subaru Iloilo opening

After the formalities of meet the press, ribbon cutting ceremony, blessing and speeches from special guests, the invitees to the opening of Subaru Iloilo got to the real reason they were there in the first place – to party!

In demand eventologist JANE JAVELLANA and her hardworking Artjuana team transformed the Subaru Iloilo showroom into a swinging party place. There was violin music by architect BADONG JUMAYAO to set the mood during cocktails and a dance band for all night dancing.

Chef PAULINE GORRICETA-BANUSING and her team laid out a sumptuous array of delectables complemented by overflowing beveragic delight.

With the elements of fun partying in place, hosts with the most Subaru Iloilo President LYNDON GO and Vice President BRYAN CHUA were seen beaming with success! (Photos by Al Destacamento)


A weekend of gastronomic treat

Iloilo, as a city and province, is famed for its food. Cooked in elaborate to everyday Filipino, Spanish, Chinese or fusion way, its juiciest seafood and farm-fresh crop are always a delight to tourists. For them, Iloilo is always about sights and savor!

Rightfully so, the upcoming Food Park @ Molo Mansion is a must-attend event!

A newly opened establishment in Molo, Iloilo, Food Park boasts of collection of various cuisines specially selected by the management to “create a harmonious community among the tenants, giving the customers a fresh and new dining experience.”

Since its opening, it has experienced an influx of food lovers. In Metro Manila, Food Parks have been successfully popping up in different areas.

Collaborating with SM City Iloilo, siblings QUITO and AMANDA TREÑAS, and KATRINA LORING organized “Food Park @ Molo Mansion.” It will kicked off  The Weekend Market on August 13 and 14, 2016 from 10am to 10pm.

Pride in Kia

It was a weekend well-spent with family and friends when Kia Iloilo held its Family Care 2016 at Plaza Mayor of Plazuela de Iloilo.

On its first run in Metro-Iloilo, it was the car company’s way of thanking its patrons and the Ilonggos!

With slogan of “car that cares,” Kia displayed a wide array of sedans, hatchback and hybrid SUVs, like Rio, Picanto, Kuop, Soul, Carens, Grand Carnival, Sportage, Sorento and K2700.

Guests and curious were treated to street magicians, 3D Virtual Reality experience and kiddie games. As if not enough, there were test drives for car enthusiasts, food for gourmands and play pen for babies and kids. And they are all for free!

Top Kia executives – National Aftersales Sales Director APOLLO ROSAL, National Service Manager JOSE LUGTU, and Central Parts manager JOCELYN TINGZON jetted in from Cosmo-Manille to join to Kia Iloilo officials ANDREW PO and PETER PO.

Kia also launched another promo, “Share Your Love for Kia.” Car owners are encouraged to share their experience and love for Kia. The winning story will get a 5-day all-expense paid trip to Seoul, Korea and have the chance to visit royal palaces and Kia’s Hwaseong Plant, and to experience the sights, savors and sounds of Seoul!


Partying at Cable Car

The opening night of Cable Car Iloilo at Two Global Center of Business Park in Airport Road, Mandurriao was well-attended attended by politicos and partyphiles of Metro-Iloilo!

Owned by four good-looking honchos – HANNIBAL ONG, MANJO UY, PATRCIK NACIONALES and JR SIO – it is the first outside Cosmo-Manille! It is a pub and bar that offer family dining and beer pong!

To the acoustic music of RONALD and ERIC, the well-dressed guests hobnobbed and enjoyed Cable Car Iloilo’s signature dishes, like Cable Car Rice, Lechon Kawali, Sisig Pasta, Beef Salpicao, Cable Car Pizza, Nachos (round beef, cheese sauce, salsa and sour cream), Buffalo Wings, Macapuno Cheese Cake and Espresso panacotta with coffee jelly.

As the partying went in high gear, the management gave everyone a sample of entertainment to come – 80s music and Top 40 hits by hotshot DJs!

Cable Car was first opened in 1992 and has branches in Makati, BGC, Morato and Ortigas. Certainly, the premier party place is a welcome addition to the ever-changing business and entertainment landscape of Metro-Iloilo!



Oath taking in Culasi, Antique

Yours truly was a witness to a unique oath taking in Culasi, Antique. There was the curious case of transfer of power and responsibility from father to son, and the latter swearing the oath of office the Freemason way!

Two-termer Mayor of Culasi, Antique JOEL LOMUGDANG administered the office of office to his son, Mayor-elect JOSE JEFFREY “Joje” LOMUGDANG, in a simple and yet well-attended affair at the town’s multi-purpose covered gym. Seen on the scene were VIP guests from Metro-Iloilo, San Jose de Buenavista and nearby municipalities.

On the last day of his mayorship and as one of his last acts, Mayor JOEL officiated the civil marriage of his son, Mayor JOJE, to ISAI. Yours truly heard of a December religious ceremony.

Needless to say, it was worth the three-day stay at Culasi, Antique, and the eight-hour road trip from and to Metro-Iloilo. Yours truly extends my special thanks to my High School classmates Mayor JOEL LOMUGDANG and HRMO II MANUEL YAP POLIDO III, and good friend IAN CARONONGAN for the Culasi, Antique experience!

Culasi is a picturesque third class seaside municipality at the north of the province of Antique. It boasts of the enchanting Madja-as Mountain Range and the famed Mararison Resort Island. It was once tagged as Ville de Hong Kong for having the biggest Chinese population in Antique in the 1905 census. (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)


Sun-powered Robinsons Place Antique

Clean and Green advocate, Sen. LOREN LEGARDA, took time out to be the special guest of the ceremonial inauguration of the first solar-powered mall in the province – Robinsons Place Antique!

Antique VIPs and guests from Metro-Iloilo were seen on the scene. Among them were Vice Governor EDGAR DENOSTA, Mayor ELMER UNTARAN of San Jose de Buenavista, Provincial Board members BING LOTILLA and VINCENT PICCIO and former Governor SALLY PEREZ. They were joined by Robinsons Land Corporation’s Engr. RODERICK CANLAS and General Manager of JG Summit Corporate Energy Division Engr. CESAR CAMAONGAY.

Environment-friendly and efficient, the solar panels on the rooftops of the mall augment at least 40% of the electricity needs and powered by 414.375 kilowatts!

Much to the delight of the Antiqueños, Sen. LOREN LEGARDA will donate solar panels to one of the elementary schools in San Jose de Buenavista!

On the Go

Go Hotels, famed for providing affordable and convenient stays to local and foreign tourists in Bacolod, Butuan, Dumaguete, Otis-Manila, Ortigas Center, Puerto Pincesa, Mandaluyong, Tacloban and Metro-Iloilo, recently had a Bookers Appreciation Night at Dinagyang and Kasadyahan Hall of Go Hotels Iloilo. It was hosted by Robinsons Hotels and Resorts.

For “every Juan,” it targets businessmen and smart travelers because of its “hassle-free stay” and “book early, pay less” concept. First opened in 2010, it will soon inaugurate Go Hotel Lanang-Davao and Go Hotels Manila Airport Road.

The fun Bookers Appreciation Night was attended by the media community and business sector. Five top bookers, namely Robinsons land Corporation, Philippine Foremost Milling Corporation, Business people Inc., Eastwest Banking Corporation and China Banking Corporation, were honored with plaques of appreciation.

Robinsons Hotels and Resorts also presented its latest offering and promos through audio-visual presentation.

Everyone was treated to raffles of prizes and giveaways. (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)


Cheers to the golden couple

Marriages nowadays seldom last. So, it is heartening to know that some couple celebrates fifty years of togetherness and happiness. Take the case of couple, taipan Dr. ROGELIO MIRASOL FLORETE and jeweler IMELDA CAPERONCE-FLORETE, who recently commemorated their golden wedding anniversary with grand celebrations.

The big day kicked off with a holy mass officiated by Archbishop ANGEL LAGDAMEO of Jaro and 15 priests at the historic Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral. Amid the heavenly voices of USA Troubadours, the golden couple renewed their vows.

The fun continued with a celebratory lunch at the iconic Iloilo Convention Center. The guests list included A-Listers from politics, society, business, profession and the academe. They all enjoyed the delicious feast laid out for them by top chef WILSON ESPARANCILLA.

As the guests hobnobbed, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (it was flown in from Cosmo-Manille) played the golden couple’s favorite songs. An AVP of the wedding 50 years ago at the Archbishop’s Palace and officiated by the late Archbishop JOSE MARIA CUENCA was also shown much to the delight of everyone.

Seen on the scene were the golden couple’s children MARGARET RUTH and ROGELIO JR. and his wife MARIA ARLENE, and grandchildren CLAIRE ADRIENNE and FRANCIS LAWRENCE.


50th Wedding Anniversary

Dr. Roger and Inding Florete

By Wilson Esparancilla


Chicken Macaroni and Ham Salad

Caesar’s Salad

Cold Entrée

Norwegian Pink Salmon Sashimi

Chicken Galantine


Wagyu Ohmi Sirloin Steak

(Sidings: corn on the cob, mashed potato, steamed vegetable and croquettes)

Pan Seared Norwegian Pink Salmon



Hot Entrée

Lamb Stew

Lengua con setas

Paella Tomato Based



Fresh Fruit in Season

Halo Halo native

Claire’s Choco Chip Cookies

Francis’ Macademia Cookies

Imported Chocolate Cake