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Philippines Weekend Visit to Tagaytay

Bailliage of Manila, November 12-13, 2011

The Bailliage of Manila marked the start of the holiday season last November 12, 2011 with another gastronomic adventure, this time in Tagaytay just two hours out of Manila. Not only was this event arranged for pleasure but it was also an opportunity to share the blessings of its members with the community by launching its 4th Supplemental Feeding Program.



The Chaîne and confrères Jonny and Milette Carlos sponsored the programme, providing the adopted Barangay of Iruhin Central with a daily glass of milk and a hot meal for the next six months. It is hoped that by training the resident mothers, they will finish the programme equipped with the skills necessary to provide and sustain the dietary needs of their families. The launch was attended with much enthusiasm by the Barangay residents and their children, several members of the Confrérie led by Bailli of Manila Federico Borromeo, and local officials.
 

The Chaîne then proceeded to a well-deserved lunch at Kalamunda Restaurant, found by negotiating winding interior roads at the border of Silang and Tagaytay. The restaurant is actually the residence of Carlos and Sylvia Miguel who open up their home for private lunches and dinners by appointment.

Passing through the gates of Kalamunda, one is greeted by an airy, terraced home, extensive greenery enhanced by sheep and goats at a distance and a warm welcoming handshake from Carlos Miguel. Even with boisterous laughter from children and adults alike, a peaceful spell is still cast upon the place.

The residence’s cook is the equally charming and engaging Sylvia Miguel, who took charge of preparing the sumptuous buffet starting with a sampling of her Duck and Chicken Liver Parfait accompanied by Melba Toasts. It was just perfect to whet everyone’s appetite for the lunch to come, which was composed of a Salad of Mixed Greens, Blue Cheese and Pear with mustard seed dressing, Chicken with Herbes de Provence and Mushrooms, Mixed Seafood Pudding, Slow-braised Americain Beef Belly that was just melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

 

     
Sylvia’s pride is Roasted Vegetable Paella (and rightly so), and the centrepiece of the occasion, the organic milk-and-corn-fed Lechon pig, for which Kalamunda is steadily being known for. Capping the feast was a creamy and light Pavlova and the delectable Chocolate Natilla with almond praline. It was indeed a perfect lunch for a perfectly sunny day. 

The lunch did not end without the group’s thanks given to Carlos and Sylvia for the unforgettable spread, and to confrères Charlie and Chinit Rufino who organized it.

Shortly thereafter we departed for the Sisters of Mary Girlstown at Bario Biga Silang, Cavite. This is managed by Father Al’s Children Foundation, Inc. (FACFI) which was established in November 26, 1992 after Monseigneur Aloysius Schwartz, founder of the Sisters of Mary congregation, passed away. It is the foundation’s aim to assist in the charity programmes of the Sisters of Mary’s Boystowns and Girlstowns.

 

 

These are actually schools wherein the congregation provides not only secondary education with technical/vocational training to underprivileged children from all over the country, but also food, clothing, shelter and medical services for free. Thus, the foundation is very much dependent on donations and sponsorships from generous patrons, of which the Chaîne was one of them. 

After the students regaled us with performance pieces from their orchestra of bells and gave us a sample of their culinary delights, the group once again travelled back towards Tagaytay for a more relaxed gathering at the Discovery Country Suites for “B.Y.O.B. Afternoon Cocktails”. 

  

The menu was meticulously planned by Maître Hôtelier Bobby Horrigan and Maître Rôtisseur David Pardo de Ayala. The small plates passed around held a wide assortment of canapés, crostini and empanaditas, and there was the delicate Creamy Smoked Salmon Maccheroni. However, it must be said that the Fresh-shucked Oysters with Ginger Shallot Granita and Oysters Fricassee with Caviar Cream were simply unforgettable.

   

   

Indeed, beneath the calming twilight sky and a view of the Taal Volcano through the shrubs of the Discovery’s gardens, the camaraderie among the confréres continued well into the night. It was an eventful and truly accomplished day. 

Karen Salle-Gatdula and Jemy Gatdula

Karen is a lawyer, also a food and travel blogger
Jemy is a lawyer and columnist for BusinessWorld

 

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