Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Manila: Ateneo Alumni Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Rizal Park

Filipinos rarely visit Rizal Park. I guess it's because we feel it's just there. Every time I get the opportunity to pass by the park, I relish it since it's one of the few real open spaces left in this crowded metropolis. I got that chance again last Saturday.

One week before the Ateneo Alumni Homecoming, Ateneans remember the university's most distinguished alumnus, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Ateneo University President Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J., officers of the Ateneo Alumni Association and representatives of the jubilarian classes graced the Annual Ateneo Alumni Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park last Saturday, December 5. This formal ceremony was held to commence the 2009 Grand Ateneo Alumni Homecoming activities.

This year is extra important since it's the 150th anniversary of the Ateneo. And this coming Saturday, there will be a big celebration to celebrate the sesquicentennial. Dubbed One Big Night, it's the sesquicentennial celebration and annual homecoming rolled into one.

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception! See you all on Saturday! And thanks to Gab Malvar for the photos!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Pampanga: News from the 1st Annual Clark Freeport Horse Festival

We were in Clark last November 28 to attend the opening of the 1st Annual Clark Freeport Horse Festival. The day started with a parade from El Kabayo to the Clark Parade Grounds. Among the guests were Asian Games gold medalist Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

In the afternoon, there was a polo exhibition match also at the parade grounds. We missed the equestrian event and tilbury races the next day but I'm sure that was fun too.

Watch out for next year's festival since they will introduce a rodeo event as well. In fact, Sen. Zubiri had already pledged to send in a delegation from Bukidnon for the rodeo of next year's Clark Horse Fest.

Around Clark: Rodizio Rooftop Grill at Holiday Inn Clark

Clark and the area around it is a haven for international cuisine. Holiday Inn Clark has three restaurants worth dining in. One of my favorites is Rodizio Rootop Grill, a Brazilian barbecue or churrascaria restaurant.

Rodizio is actually the term for the style of restaurant service in Brazilian and Portuguese restaurants where you pay a fixed price and the waiters bring the food to your table until you signify that you've had enough. While churrascaria refers to the cooking style or barbecue. Waiters come to the your table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared local cuts of beef, pork, or chicken among others.

The meats were really great. And there is also awide selection of salads and desserts. And who said they only serve Brazilian? They also mave a Mongolian barbecue with ingredients that include baby scallops, squid Norway and peeled shrimps aside from the usual fare. The buffet lunch at Rodizio is Php790++ and dinner is Php990++

Rodizio Rooftop Grill
Holiday Inn Hotel Rooftop
Mimosa Leisure Estate
Clark Freeport
+63 45 5998000 loc. 1317

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Malaysia: Nasi Kandar, Zouk and more from Kuala Lumpur

Nasi kandar is a steamed rice meal that is originally from Penang. It can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes which include fried chicken (ayam goreng), fried squid (sotong goreng), curried spleen, cubed beef, fish roe, or fried prawns. For our last dinner in Kuala Lumpur, we were brought to Nasi Kandar Pelita along Jalan Ampang, a famous and the largest nasi kandar restaurant chain in Malaysia.

But the menu of the restaurant went beyond nasi kandar since it included dishes one would find in a typical mamak stall. Among the dishes we ordered sotong goreng, kicap ayam (chicken in soy sauce), ketam goreng (fried crab), chicken tandoori (chicken marinated in yogurt and seasoned with tandoori masala) with garlic naan, murtabak ayam (chicken murtabak), murtabak kambing (mutton murtabak), and sup ekor (oxtail soup).

Of course, like in any mamak, I always order Horlicks ais for a drink. I wonder when they'll bring back Horlicks to the Philippines.

After dinner, we were brought to Zouk along Jalan Ampang for a preview of KL nightlife. But since it was a weekday, and still early for the party crowd, there wasn't much action. We would have wanted to stay a little longer and wait for the people to come, but unfortunately, we all had to wake up early the next day. So we'll have to save that for another day.

Book now for the Ultimate Pampanga Giant Lantern Festival Tour!

Mark your calendars! The Giant Lantern Festival will be on December 19, 2009! And Ultimate Philippines will be organizing a culinary tour to coincide with the Giant Lantern Festival. We'll be at Everybody's Cafe for breakfast, Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung for lunch and merienda, and attend the world-renowned Giant Lantern Festival in the evening.

Book now because slots are limited! To reserve, e-mail reservations@ultimatephilippines.com or contact Ivan Man Dy at +63 917 3291622.

Also check out the Ultimate Tours 2010 Calendar. Those who reserve for the Ultimate Batanes Culinary and Heritage Tours on or before December 31, 2009 get a Php2,000 discount from the Php34,000 tour price. Remember, the earlier you pay, the better your room at Fundacion Pacita.

Previous tours
Ultimate show-off in Pampanga and Giant Lantern Festival 2007
Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung, Everybody's Cafe and more from Pampanga
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