It’s raining men (and lechon!) at SM’s welcome party for Madrid Fusion Manila 2015

Last night, SM Supermalls held a welcome party for Madrid Fusion delegates called SM Fiesta By The Bay.
But they could have also called it A Night of 20 Lechons or Pogi by the Bay.
From the SMX Convention Center, guests of the ongoing Madrid Fusion Manila were shuttled by calesas and jeepneys to SM By The Bay, where a native cocktail set-up was waiting for them.
Meanwhile, Jeroen and I left the house at 6 PM and arrived two hours later due to the monster traffic.
Luckily the weather was perfect and we were welcomed with a festive set-up using indigenous materials like rattan balls, wood trunks, flora and local fruits like lanzones and mangosteen.

SM Fiesta By The Bay
SM Fiesta By The Bay

We made our way through many food stations. I started with the shredded catfish salad with green mango

SM Fiesta By The Bay

while Jeroen went for the deepfried catfish wrap

SM Fiesta By The Bay

I’ve heard good things about Manam restaurant and tried their crispy pork in a shot glass of singing

SM Fiesta By The Bay

They served smoke tanigue with herbed mayo

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Orzo and spice tuyo salad with kesong puti

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Jeroen said the fried chorizo balls were nice

SM Fiesta By The Bay

I’m supposed to be on a diet, but imagine my excitement when I heard there were 20 different lechon stations all over the place.

SM Fiesta By The Bay

We started with Pepita’s famous stuffed lechon (this one had salted egg and rice)

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Jeroen and I spent some time standing in front of Elar’s Lechon and picking the skin (sorry!)

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Lydia’s was there

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Mila’s Lechon

Mila's lechon

Charlie’s fried partition served in soft tortilla wraps and special sauce

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Cirkulo’s lechon de leche

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Guests enjoyed music by Katribo Kolektib, percussionists from Pinikpikan, Maguindanao, and Katribu and a special presentation from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Kontra-GaPi, an ethnic music and dance ensemble, set the mood of the night.

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Spotted: Cristalle Belo with a precious clutch

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Chef Claude Tayag

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Lali Hererra and Michaela Fenix

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Chef Him Uy de Baron of Nomama

SM Fiesta By The Bay

Jack de Mesa

Jack de Mesa

and let’s not forget the beautiful AFAMs* that graced the event.

SM Fiesta By The Bay
SM Fiesta By The Bay
SM Fiesta By The Bay
SM Fiesta By The Bay
SM Fiesta By The Bay
SM Fiesta By The Bay
SM Fiesta By The Bay

Madrid Fusion Manila is on this April 24 to 26 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, featuring Spain and Asia’s legendary chefs: Andoni Luis Aduriz, Elena Arzak, Quique Dacosta, Ramón Freixa, Francis Paniego, Paco Roncero, Mario Sandoval, Paco Torreblanca, André Chiang, and Alvin Leung.
The Philippines is represented by chefs Fernando Aracama, Margarita Forés, J Gamboa, José Luis “Chele” Gonzalez, Pepe Lopez, Rob Pengson, Bruce Ricketts, Myrna Dizon, Claude Tayag, and Juan Carlos de Terry.

In line with the festive culinary event, SM Supermalls holds a Gourmet Weekend Market from April 24 to 26 at SM Mall of Asia, where a premium selection of cheese, tapas, wine, ingredients, local finds and special bundles shall be made available in partnership with SM Markets (SM Supermarket and Hypermarket).
For a complete schedule of events at SM malls, visit SM Supermalls on Facebook or @smsupermalls on Instagram.
For more information, go to www.madridfusionmanila.com.

Special thanks to Candy Dizon for helping me take these pics :)

SM Fiesta By The Bay

*a foreigner assigned in Manila

What I learned from Art Basel Hong Kong 2015

Super late post!
I was lucky to have been invited to Art Basel Hong Kong 2015 last March 2015.
I love art, but I’d never been to Art Basel and didn’t know what to expect. The first time I ever heard of it was in 2009 when Brad Pitt famously bought a painting at Art Basel, Switzerland.
Art Basel, considered the premier art show in the world, is staged annually in Basel, Miami, and Hong Kong.
Here’s what I learned from the Art Basel HK experience:

1) Prepare your wardrobe. It is teeming with chica people, and I’m not talking about fashionistas. Art people are so much chicer than fashion people. I saw this from the moment we landed at Hong Kong International Airport. The vibe was different when we arrived. People were so well dressed.

chica girl in HKIA

2) How to dress: Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. This is not a time to wear heels or cocktail dresses. Wear sneakers and flats with smart clothes. There is no need to overdress. The show is about art, not you (no offence).

Art Basel HK 2015
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Art Basel HK 2015
Galleries_Galerie_Hubert_Winter_20150313JH_EH_5763
Art Basel HK 2015

3) Where to stay: Jeroen and I stayed at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental, though the official hotel partner of Art Basel HK was Mandarin Oriental, which provided shuttles to the venue. There are two Mandarin hotels in Hong Kong’s Central district. Both are not far from the Art Basel venue in Wanchai.
But if you really want to be near the venue, the best place to be is Grand Hyatt Wanchai, which is literally next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Jeroen at the LMO HK

4) There’s Art Basel, and there’s Art Central. Aside from Art Basel, there was a smaller event called Art Central close to the area. Art Central’s inaugural Art Central event had 30,000 art collectors, buyers, and guests. There are less art pieces and though some are really expensive, there are more affordable offerings here.

art central HK
Art Basel HK 2015

My favorite piece: giant tablets (US$21,500)

Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015

Spotted: Bencab

Art Basel HK 2015

Interesting

Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015

The VIP Lounge

Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015

5) Do attend the talks. Jeroen and I went to the Art and the Movies talk at Art Central moderated by Alexandra Seno with guest speakers Joyce Wang, Fanny Pereire, and Fiona Marin. First time I heard and learned that almost every single thing you see in a movie scene needs to be cleared with its copyright owner.

Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015

6) Do not walk from Art Central to Art Basel! It may seem near, but it’s not. There as a construction going on in between venues, so Jeroen and I had to walk circles to get to Art Basel. The walk was pretty brutal for a girl with short legs, though Jeroen didn’t seem to have a problem with it. That said, I’m glad I wore Converse sneakers. My advice: take a cab.

Art Basel HK 2015
Looks near, but far

Art Basel HK 2015
Hang layo.

7) There’s a lack of food choices at both venues. Jeroen and I were lucky to grab HK$100 burgers at Art Central (I had two). After our long walk from Art Central to Art Basel, I wanted to find a place to eat and drink, but nothing decent. If McDonald’s were there I’m sure they would be packed.
At Art Central, this was packed

Art Basel HK 2015

This was lunch, eating standing outside

Art Basel HK 2015

8) What those VIP passes mean. When you get a VIP pass, you don’t have to pay entrance and you get to preview the shows before the masses enter. But beware, there are tons of VIPs in Hong Kong! That means every place is teeming with people. I can’t imagine how thick the crowds were when it opened to the public. But I saw the photos—the VIP days had better dressed people.

Art Basel HK 2015
VIP Lounge, Art Basel HK

9) You will feel poor. You will see things you want but cannot afford. Not in your wildest dreams. Jeroen and I heard the price of a David Hockney painting—over US$1,000,000.

Art Basel HK 2015

Yayoi Kusama

Art Basel HK 2015

Yoshitomo Nara

Art Basel HK 2015

Julian Opie

Art Basel HK 2015

My favorite artist: Mr.

Art Basel HK 2015
General_view_hall_booth_006

I love: Koji Tanada

Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015

10) You will feel overwhelmed. The sensory overload is too much you will feel like vomiting art after awhile. So pace yourself. Try not to take in everything in one day which we did because I got sick in Hong Kong.

Art Basel HK 2015
Art Basel HK 2015

Art Basel HK 2015

Come inside

Art Basel HK 2015

Galleries_1B13_Meile_005
Galleries_1B21_Kalfayan_002
Galleries_1C08_Lehmann_Maupin_005
Galleries_Goodman_Gallery_20150313JH_EH_5698
Galleries_Misa_Shin_Gallery_20150316JH_EH_7961

That’s not human. That is sculpture

GalleriesSullivanStrumpf20150313JHEH5753

General_view_ABHK2015_20150313JH_EH_5510
General_view_ABHK2015_20150313JH_EH_5548
General_view_ABHK2015_20150315JH_EH_7315

Poklong Anading

Insights_1C26_1335Mabini_002

So that’s my Art Basel experience. Thank you so much Alexandra Seno and Adeline Ooi for having us. Next time I know what to do.
To know more about Art Basel, click HERE.

Margarita Forés collaborates with Paco Roncero at the Raffles Makati

It’s a dream come true for established restaurateur and in-demand caterer Margarita Fores as she collaborates with Spanish two-star Michelin chef, Paco Roncero, in a six-course gastronomical feast in celebration of the first Madrid Fusion Manila (24-26 April 2015, SMX Convention Center).
This exclusive dining experience is scheduled this Saturday, 25 April 2015, at the Writers Bar of Raffles Makati.
For reservations, call 795-1840 or email dining.makati@raffles.com.

FA MFM_Paco Roncero Dinner_Invite

Margarita Fores would like to thank the following for their support: Qatar Airways, Nutriasia, San Miguel Corporation, the Department of Tourism, and Department of Agriculture.

SM hosts Madrid Fusion Manila 2015

SM—host to the first Madrid Fusion Manila—recently held a cuisine demonstration at Sarsa Kitchen, Mall of Asia last April 16, 2015.
Chefs Bruce Ricketts, Rob Pengson and Claude Tayag, the Philippines’ representatives to the Madrid Fusion Manila Congress showcased their mastery in cooking, with the special participation of Chef JP Anglo.

Chef JP Anglo, Chef Bruce Ricketts, Chef Claude Tayag, Chef Rob Pengson
L-R: Chefs JP Anglo, Bruce Ricketts, Claude Tayag, and Rob Pengson

Chef JP Anglo’s Bangus Spring Rolls with Talangka Vinegar and Batikulon Mang Tomas Sauce
JP Anglo’s Bangus Spring Rolls with Talangka Vinegar and Batikulon Mang Tomas Sauce

8.Chef Claude Tayag’s Adobo ni Juan Tamad
Claude Tayag’s Adobo ni Juan Tamad

Chef Rob Pengson’s Mango Tapioca Surprise
Rob Pengson’s Mango Tapioca Surprise

Madrid Fusion Manila is set on April 24-26, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
SM, in partnership with Department of Tourism and Madrid Fusion Manila, provides a platform to expand ideas in culinary innovation and aims to present the richness of our culinary heritage through festivities at SM Malls nationwide.

1
L-R: Millie Dizon, SM Mart Inc. SVP Marketing Communications Group; Verna Covar-Buensuceso, DOT Director of Market Development and Madrid Fusion Manila Project Director; Chefs Rob Pengson, Claude Tayag, Bruce Ricketts, JP Anglo; Steven Tan, SM Senior Vice President for Operations

Madrid Fusion Manila is the first culinary festival with Spanish and and Asian chefs: Andoni Luis Aduriz, Elena Arzak, Quique Dacosta, Ramón Freixa, Francis Paniego, Paco Roncero, Mario Sandoval, Paco Torreblanca, André Chiang, and Alvin Leung.
Representing the Philippines’ will be chefs Fernando Aracama, Margarita Forés, J Gamboa, José Luis “Chele” Gonzalez, Pepe Lopez, Rob Pengson, Bruce Ricketts, Myrna Dizon, Claude Tayag, and Juan Carlos de Terry.

From April 24-26, visit the Gourmet Weekend Market at SM Mall of Asia for premium selections of cheese, tapas, wines, ingredients, local finds, and special bundles. This is in partnership with SM Markets (SM Supermarket and Hypermarket).
Select Mall of Asia restaurants will offer dishes with Spanish influence, using the finest local produce.
Also from April 24 to 26, irresistible dining deals await guests at SM Megamall’s newly-opened Mega Food Hall.

To know more, follow SM Supermalls on Facebook or @smsupermalls on Instagram.
For more information and how to register for Madrid Fusion Manila 2015, go to www.madridfusionmanila.com.

Download Muji’s relaxation app for free

My boys love their Muji bean bags. I bought two of them with extra covers when Muji first opened in Manila in 2010. Nearly five years later, the bean bags are still being used on a daily basis.
Only now, our dog Anwar has claimed one of the bean bags as his bed.

Chris and Anwar

The Muji bean bag, also known as the Beads Sofa, is one of Muji’s globally known products. It’s filled with microbeads that conform to your body’s position.

Muji

Its washable cover is made with two kinds of fabrics: stretch and non-stretch. The stretchy side is for upright sitting to provide firmness and support, while the non-stretch side is for a horizontal, lying position, giving comfort, softness and relaxation.
I can personally vouch for the cover’s ability to withstand rough and frequent use.
The Muji bean bag is a great gift idea for any home with kids and pets.

Muji

If relaxing is important to you, you can download Muji to Relax, a musical app designed to help you rest and wind down.
Muji to Relax creates music based on pulse and time. Using your smartphone’s light and camera, the app detects and measures your pulse rate to create and play relaxing music for you.

The app is also designed to connect to smart Android watches and carries a feature upgrade of the Muji to Sleep app.
Download Muji to Relax from the App Store or Google Play for free.
Watch this:

In the Philippines, MUJI is exclusively distributed by The SSI Group, Inc. with locations at Bonifacio High Street Central, Power Plant Mall at Rockwell, Greenbelt 3, SM Mall of Asia, Robinsons Magnolia, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, and Ayala Center Cebu.

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