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It’s not the Michelin Star, it’s Jason Atherton

Cebu seemed to have space too small to give a big enough welcome to British chef and GQ's "Best Restaurateur 2016" Jason Atherton, whose restaurants, under his critically acclaimed group The Social Company, have been collecting Michelin stars in London, such as in Mayfair just six months after his flagship restaurant Pollen Street Social opened in April 2011; in Soho, on Poland Street, where his Social Eating House opened in 2013; and atop the 24th floor of Tower 42 on Broad Street, where the City Social in Art Deco, Gatsby-esque style has been dazzling senses and palates since 2014. But other than his world acclaim, other than the Michelin stars that started descending on him as soon as he set out on his own after having worked alongside great chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, Nico Ladenis, and Ferran Adrià, Jason is …

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Orchids for show and grow!

By Kelvin Neil B. Manubay The months of August and September are the blooming season of the world famous Waling-Waling. Scientifically known as Vanda sanderiana, the waling-waling is renowned world wide as the Queen of all Orchids because it has greatly influenced the breeding of modern day vandas that are very popular in the orchid cut-flower and potted orchid trade. It is a Philippine endemic species, particularly from Mindanao, that is responsible for giving the large saucer size blooms to its off springs. And, because of this very desirable trait, the waling-waling has been heavily gathered from the wild and is now considered critically threatened. In celebration of its 70th anniversary this coming Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 the POS will be showing off the lovely blooms of the Queen of all …

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Love at first swipe

Portraits by Advan Ramirez By now, we all know that Love Marie Ongpauco Escudero, a.k.a. Heart Evangelista, is quite the Renaissance woman. Since she stepped off the flashy box of celebrity model/glamorous actress and began asserting her true artistic and multifaceted persona before the public, she has affirmed, time and again, that she’s serious about her art. She’s managed to pull the full 180 to perfection and with all, well, heart. And she isn’t showing any signs of stopping. The sold-out visual artist has collaborated with creatives like MB Lifestyle editor and poet AA Patawaran (Hai[na]ku and Other Poems), racer turned fashion designer Mark Baumgarner, creative director/bag designer Rocio Olbes (Daughter of the Sun and Moon). She has handpainted on so many Hermès bags, she has enough to show for a bag exhibit this coming September. She’s also currently working on mural-size painting, completing her collection for 2017. But what’s singular about Heart’s artistic ascent is that she never truly lets go of all the things that make up who she is as an artist. She’s still acting on TV, still …

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Summertime is for family, friends, and flowers

ANGEL THOUGHTS “Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but they’re always there.” —Anonymous Vancouver—It is so easy to fall in love with British Columbia where Vancouver is nestled. You are surrounded by hundreds of parks, lakes, rivers, mountain ranges, wide, well-made, garbage-free streets, lush trees, and now, in this summer season, flowers! Flowers everywhere, on street islands, hanging from lamp posts, outside residences, and office buildings lavished around in-city parks. My favorite hydrangeas are rioting in their blue and purple hues, and I am just enchanted with the colors of nature here. From our temporary flat here in Burnaby, I can watch the sky train rolling on its tracks. The Skytrain first appeared in Vancouver in 1986 when the Travel Expo was hosted by the city. It was a big …

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On the rise

For a country dubbed as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas,” it is ironic that the Philippines has no waterfront property crown jewel to rival Singapore’s Marina Bay, or Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, or The Thames in London, or the Sydney Harbour. Manila, in fact, was once envisioned to be Asia’s Paris and Venice, both of which, like the Philippines, had a major waterway running—and it is still running—through the city (Yes, Pasig River could have been the Thames!). Renowned city planner Daniel Burnham, for which the famed Burnham Park in Baguio City was named after, purportedly designed a world-class waterfront area at Manila Bay, where the new Luneta would be transferred to and surrounding it, a gaggle of hotels, world class resorts, boat clubs, and parkways. But the ensuing decades …

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We need to talk about Catherine

Text by Jacky Lynne A. Oiga Portrait by Noel B. Pabalate Makeup by Guilliano Valenzuela Hair by lionel fabros Video by JC Villanueva and Jay Bustamante There was a slight drizzle when our car entered the wrought iron gates of Catherine Ricafort’s ancestral home in La Vista, Quezon City. It was massive. A manor sprawled across a vast green land, straight out of a ’90s telenovela. As we drove around a brick driveway that led us to the towering main doors, we spied at least two—maybe three—white outdoor fountains encased in thick white balusters. The “house” was just as staggering within, lofty and gilded and intricate and grandiose, if a bit shadowy and eerie in the faint afternoon light. (ALMOST) FIRST TIME IN MANILA We found Catherine seated in a dimly lit anteroom, having her makeup done. “You grew up here?” I asked. “Oh God, no! I live in a crammed little apartment in New York,” Catherine said, her voice shrill with excitement, winning everyone over in the …

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Agri-volution needed to help farmers

ANGEL THOUGHTS “When you have food on your table, thank God for a farmer!” Anonymous Vancouver–Belated as it may be, we express sympathies to the family of  “Tita H.B.” or Helena Z. Benitez, senator, founder of the Bayanihan Dance Troupe, academician with her Philippine Women’s University (PWU)work, international advocate for women and the environment, and a great friend. A polished diamond with many facets, as Fr. Paul Marquez eulogized her. She was always so proud of her PWU graduates, and in our last encounter years ago, she still remembered me as someone who had finished her primary grades in the PWU-Jose Abad Santos school. I transferred to Maryknoll College, then in Leon Guinto street in Manila when I was grade five where I finished my high school and my Associate in Arts, but I …

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Society boodle fight

Celebrating the good life with family and close friends, man of the moment, Consul Louie Ablaza, recently celebrated his 78th birthday with a barrio fiesta boodle fight lunch. Louie realizes the importance of celebrating the milestones in our lives, as well as taking time out to get away from it all. Thus, their castle estate, Amelia, in Cavite was the perfect venue for such a celebration. The festivities kicked off with a Thanksgiving Mass at their chapel, one of the cluster of structures that comprise their vast sprawling estate, stretching out for miles. A two-and-a-half hour drive, Amelia is a luxurious urban escape like no other, and a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of daily living. Once again the queen of Amelia, Consul Mellie Ablaza, pulled out all the stops for her beloved husband, Louie. Party people love theme parties and the marching band in the …

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Is this the cure for cancer we’ve been waiting for?

Guangzhou, China—A new cancer technology offers hope to Filipino patients with cancer who are either afraid to undergo radical surgery or have no other treatment option. For many years, traditional open surgery has been the most often performed on people with cancer, but in some cases, surgery or chemotherapy may no longer work on middle and late stage patients, leaving them with no other treatment option. Other patients go through the stress of undergoing traditional surgery where they are cut and opened to remove certain tumors. At the Fuda Cancer Hospital in China, the Nanoknife procedure has been introduced to provide effective non-surgical treatment for patients who are not amenable to traditional procedure. Nanoknife has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2012. Fuda Cancer Hospital president Dr. Niu Lizhi performed the first Nanoknife …

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Love letter from a Michelin-starred chef

On Tuesday, July 26, Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton and his wife Irha Atherton will open their first restaurant in the Philippines, The Pig & Palm. Located in Cebu City at the MSY Tower, Cebu Business Park, the 57-cover restaurant will offer a modern Spanish tapas menu with a focus on pork dishes. A 25-cover standalone bar will serve innovative cocktails and bar snacks. The Pig & Palm is the 16th restaurant worldwide for the Athertons’ critically acclaimed restaurant group, The Social Company, which holds three Michelin stars and spans London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Sydney. The restaurant has been created in collaboration with their business partners, Cebu-based property developers Chris and Carla McKowen and architect Lyndon Neri, with the aim of bringing a taste of Spanish gastronomy to Cebu in an informal, contemporary environment. “It has always been Irha’s dream to bring some of the success of our restaurant group, The Social Company, back to her hometown of Cebu,” says Jason. “As she is my wife and co-director in the company, it …

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