Saturday, March 16, 2013

The opening of Solaire and then a 10-course black-tie dinner at Makati Shangri-la tonight

Today was the grand opening of Solaire Resort.

It was such a big party and -- as someone at the event today said -- "everyone who was anyone" was there.

If you had a VIP car pass, you got off at the other end of Solaire...

All the big shots, the tycoons, the society personalities, and even President Aquino and his cabinet graced the event.

And after the launch itself, everyone walked around admiring the massiveness and opulence of it all, and not really knowing where to go because it was all so big and new.

I bumped into a couple of friends and when we parted, I said: "I'm going to say goodbye here. I'm sure I'm not going to see you again in this huge place."

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I also bumped into a very important businessman who asked after my La Salle friend M, for some reason, as he knew we were friends. So I updated him on what was happening to M and promised to give M his regards.

I left Solaire early as I had to dress for a black-tie dinner that was starting in a few hours at the Makati Shangri-la.

Tonight's black-tie dinner at Makati Shangri-la


On my way home, as there was lots of traffic and nothing much to do, I texted M to tell him about this common friend I'd bumped into. I also told him I'd seen two of his mentors.

M messaged back: "Must've been a big event, for both of them to have been at the same place." Of course. It was the grand launch of Solaire, after all.

1st round of security at Solaire today:
security personnel with iPads checked your name on the list.

I replied: "Everyone was there. Except you."

Of course, I was just half-teasing him. But I didn't get a reply after that.

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I actually thought I'd upset him for once. But apparently not.

While I was at a dinner, I got an email from him instead on my phone. He sent me a long discourse that had been forwarded to him, on the pros and cons of a Jesuit pope.

So typical of him to do so, especially with the cons part. But I read it between courses at dinner and it was surprisingly good and thorough.


He said: "This is so much deeper than that "One Big Fight" you emailed me a few days ago."

Yes. I'd seen a funny status update on Facebook earlier in the week, -- from an Atenean, of course. The update went something like this: "What if Pope Francis begins all his masses with 'One Big Fight?'"

I found this funny, for some reason, and so I'd sent it off to him. He didn't share my sentiments.


The table for tonight's black-tie dinner at Makati Shangri-la

Meanwhile, the black-tie dinner tonight was the 41st grand dinner of the Chaine de Rotisseurs Manila Chapter. It was held at the Makati Shangri-la, and it consisted of 10 courses based on a Shakespearean theme.

The menu alone was one of the longest I'd ever been given.

The menu for tonight's black-tie dinner at Makati Shangri-la


I was very skeptical about what could be done with a Shakespearean theme in Manila, but the Makati Shangri-la truly outdid itself.

I ate every single thing and drank all the wines, and I felt I'd just eaten a ton afterwards.

On the way out, I said to Makati Shangri-la GM Reto Klauser and his executive chef: "I blame you both for this personal disaster. I've just eaten enough for a year tonight and I don't know how I'm going to recover from this."

Reto said to me: "Just walk it off tomorrow for an hour."

Yes. Right. Tonight's dinner plus wines must've been 5000 calories.

Matters are made "worse" by the fact that water is not normally served at a Chaine dinner -- so you're kept on the wines, for better or for worse.

The last time I drank this much was in a little town called Franschhoek, eating at one of the world's best restaurants, living a Travelife. Read about this little restaurant in the Feb-March 2013 issue of Travelife Magazine. Still on sale everywhere now.

They both laughed, even if I wasn't kidding. And that's how I ended another day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

More on the Chaine dinner tomorrow...


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