Friday, October 7, 2011

Black-tie dinner for Hope

The beautiful centerpieces with capiz candleholders
made by GK communities.
After the dinner, we were invited to take them home!

Last night I donned a long gown and headed over to the Peninsula Manila to join the black-tie dinner for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga, one of my favorite NGOs and also one of the few organizations who are brave enough to really build and help sustain depressed communities in the most dangerous areas of Mindanao.


This ball was particularly significant to me because last year -- the first year of the ball -- I was vice-chairman of the ball and auctioneer as well, with a little help from TJ Manotoc. We were the perfect duo on-stage -- so much so that he was missing from my side at one point and I was frantically looking for him because we had a great teamwork on stage. He was also excellent at keeping track of the amounts, and we had great fun on-stage.

We raised an incredible amount of money for GK via last year's auctions -- I think it was a record amount raised for any ball, as of that time -- and I had a wonderful and enjoyable time organizing and planning it together with my friend Beliz and the wonderful ladies of the organizing committee.

This year I wasn't involved in the ball, but I was happy to attend it and see all my old friends who had worked so hard over the past months to organize this second GK Ball. "I've missed you," I said to almost everyone, for many of us had indeed started out as strangers and ended up as pretty good friends over the course of last year; and I became a little sentimental walking into the ballroom and seeing my old friends at GK.


We were assigned a very nice table full of good friends. It was a four-hour dinner, which is quite long, but with friends all around it was very enjoyable. The four-course dinner, too, made by four different famous chefs was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the duck breast inasal and adobo foie gras terrine with guava jelly, created by Chef Ariel Manuel by Lolo Dad's Cafe, and the Angus beef and bone marrow tenderloin by Chef Patrick Boucher, executive chef of The Peninsula Manila.

And then it was over. I was sorry I stopped checking messages on my phone because this morning I got a message from my good friend Gia, which arrived on my phone last night, asking if I was at the Pen. Apparently she and her friends were in Salon De Ning last night and she was thinking that we could have joined her if we were at the Pen for the dinner.


And tonight, on a bit of a spur-of-the-moment, I've invited 16 of my good friends for a Peking duck dinner somewhere in this city. It's my birthday sometime soon so I gave this as an excuse -- but actually it's just an excuse to get people together for a nice and relaxing Saturday night out.

Have a great weekend, wherever in the world you happen to be.

Last night's dinner

Duck breast inasal with adobo foie gras terrine
and guava jelly
by Chef Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad's Cafe

Pancit luglug with scallops, prawns and King crab
by Chef J. Gamboa of Il Circulo

Angus beef duo, Herb bone marrow tenderloin,
truffled mushrooms braised short rib, kaldereta sauce,
and fresh corn polenta
by Chef Patrick Boucher of the Peninsula Manila

Cassava cake, rice cake with coconut and ginger ice cream
by Chef Fernando Aracama of Republiq


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