Sugar High: Cebu Whirl
If you don’t see me socializing nowadays, that’s because I’m dieting from all the fabulous food from a recent trip to Cebu Island that had me perched high ontop of the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel overlooking the Queen City of the Philippines.
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu's General Manager Hans R. Hauri welcomes RANI Ambassador Ed Garcia to the hotel's Continental Club together with PR Director Lara Constantino.*
With GM and Marco Polo Philippine Area Manager Hans Hauri welcoming me to the hotel’s fabulously comfy Continental Club Lounge, I had the luxury of enjoying premiere service which included a sea view room on the 19th floor, access to round the clock amenities at the Club lounge which included breakfast, lunch, cocktails and dinner mini buffets, plus the BLU Bar and Grill which had a 360° view of the city on the 21st floor! But most of all, I really enjoyed the special lechon at the hotel’s Café Marco with its show kitchens offering an Ilocandia buffet aside from the variety of Asian and Western cuisine. Ever since I got stranded in the Cebu Plaza for more than 20 days during the first coup attempt on Cory Aquino, it has always been famous for its Cebu lechon. With Marco Polo’s excellent management, I declare it my official residence in Cebu City! Thanks to constant contact with Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s super efficient Sales and Marketing Director Lara Constantino, I was able to attend all my socials in comfort and style.
Amir Rahar, Alvaro Pertierra, Zee Magazine's Editor in Chief Jing Ramos, Saba Rahar, ELG with Joy & Francis Onglatco (l-r)
My wish came true when mogul Francis Onglatco and fashionably elegant wifey Joy entertained us with a Lauriat dinner at Mactan Shangri-la’s "Tea of Spring" Chinese restaurant arranged by Cebu social arbiter Jing Ramos, editor to the fashionable Zee Magazine. I missed the Shang’s Chinese restaurant in Paris due to a 5 month fully booked reservation. But they told me that their Chinese menu would almost be the same in any Shangri-la outlet in the world. Joining us were Dubai businessman Amir Rahar and his London-based daughter Saba who treated us for cocktails at Cebu’s Marriot Hotel.
The next day, we were off to a 3 hours drive to Moalboal’s famous La Serena Resort where I was booked in a fascinating African inspired lodge overlooking the entire resort. The place has a marine sanctuary that can be reached in 5 minutes by snorkeling. I swam like a fish and reveled at the colorful corals that filled the coastline. But I must gush over the gourmet dishes the kitchen kept feeding us. To imagine that I was eating mousse au chocolat in a beach resort was already heaven! We had a romantic beachfront dinner with a petal strewn path illuminated by candle lit sand sculptures. There were leisurely lunches by the pool where a blond, blue-eyed dive master taught foreign tourists the basics of deep sea diving. Looking across the strait, I could see Guinhulngan and the recent landslide from the earthquake changing the façade of the Negros mountainside. Now, if only we could add some color by planting red bougainvilleas on the newly made cliffs…
But the siren song of Cebu lechon had its toll and I just had to return to the Marco Polo Plaza to have one more meal before going back home. Of course, a formal sit-down dinner with Garrison Rousseau at his showcase of a house was the climax of the Cebu adventure. Now you know why I have to go on a diet!
Lord, make us shine with the glory of Christ!