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Dinner with Frank Sinatra

On Oct. 12, Arthur Manuntag, undoubtedly today’s top crooner in the Philippines, will be performing at Emilio Mina’s Caruso Ristorante Italiano with a repertoire of songs sung in recent years by such masters as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mat Monroe, Sammy Davis, Jr., and others.  Very few singers today on the world stage can put together such an assortment with such mastery and class. Manuntag certainly can be considered one of the best.  He knows how to keep the audience glued to their chairs. Emilio Mina is hosting the evening with his undeniable style and charm.  He is preparing an excellent menu, accompanied by the best Italian wines and in keeping with an already tested and successful formula: bringing together music and gourmet food at his renowned restaurant.  The right music with the right food!  He has done so most recently with none other than Andrea Boccelli, and …

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Bicolor waxy corn, anyone?

Boiled corn is a favorite snack food for the young and adults alike. Years back, we enjoyed the small ears of native glutinous or “malagkit” white corn. Then the yellow sweet and super sweet varieties came along, which are still among the favorites. Later came the so-called waxy corn varieties. These are hybrid varieties with tender kernels that are sweet and somewhat glutinous. The early waxy varieties were pure white and because they are hybrids, the ears are much bigger than the old native glutinous corn. The latest to be introduced in the local market is the so-called bicolor waxy corn. This has multicolored kernels, some of which are dark purple, some light red, violet, and in between. There have been bicolor varieties that were earlier introduced but the latest we know …

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There are no ‘Probinsya artists’

Rock Drilon has contributed much to the Philippine art scene, not just as a painter but also as an active player dedicated toward advancing the cultural and artistic landscape of Iloilo. The distinguished visual artist, heralded for the unique works he presented upon emerging as a vibrant young artist in the ‘70s, was also the founder of the now defunct Mag:net Gallery, a widely sought after artistic space in Quezon City. Since returning to his hometown of Iloilo, he has set his sights on cultivating the local artistic landscape and helping create new platforms that will showcase the abundant talent that the city has to offer. While in previous years, artistic communities outside Luzon were considered to be widely underrepresented, recent activities have thrown the spotlight on the promising artists of the Visayas region, through events such as VIVA ExCon, one …

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A Chinese restaurant without bright lights, red tablecloths

Photos by JYD As a food destination, Manila does not blow its own horn and beat its drum for Chinese cuisine, but as food trippers, food lovers, gourmets, and gourmands will tell you, a good Chinese restaurant is always an appetizing choice for when they’re hungry, celebrating an event, or simply in the mood for something other than adobo or steak or ramen. The newest, latest Chinese restaurant to open in Metro Manila is China Blue at the brand-new Conrad Hotel near the Mall of Asia. Like the rest of the building, interiored in minimalist style to maximize its bayside location that commands a sweeping view of Manila Bay and its changing colors—blue, green, gray, or a mix— China Blue prefers to stay away from the very bright lights, red or gold tablecloths, and …

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Mounted memories

Since its public opening in October 1976, the the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) has launched over 400 exhibitions that showcase art from the Philippines and other cultures around the world, in various forms and contexts. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the museum has designed a series of exhibitions that highlight its colorful history and show pieces, culled from its extensive collection of modern and contemporary art. “Configuring Philippine Print,” which is already on view, features a selection of 40 printmakers, whose techniques, concepts, and approaches have contributed to the development of the art form. The Philippine prints in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Art Collection are put side by side with prints by foreign artists in the MET Collection, examining the notion of modern printmaking locally and in Western art. This exhibition looks into various themes in …

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This week in arts & culture

Dance Ballet Manila will bring together some of today’s most esteemed names in the international and local art scene for an unforgettable showcase of talent and mastery of their respective crafts. A production that pays tribute to one of the world’s most distinguished composers, Peter Tschaikovsky, whose masterpieces are immortalized in classical ballet, The Swan, The Fairy, and The Princess  goes on stage on Oct. 14 and 15 at 8 p.m., and on Oct. 16 at 3 p.m at the Aliw Theater. It features excerpts from three of the master composer’s most celebrated works, namely Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty. The ballet company is bringing together some of the world’s most notable artists including Kremlin Ballet Theater’s premier danseur, Mikhail Martynyuk, and maestro Alexander Vikulov of the Mariinsky Theater, …

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Rising temperatures change the way we behave

Despite Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump’s, insistence that he doesn’t believe in climate change, the evidence, as columnist Nicholas Kristol pointed out in New York Times editorial, is overwhelming. And it is much more harmful than we thought. Up until now, the focus of climate change research has been on rising sea levels, more intense storms, acidification of our oceans, and drought and crop failures. But the latest studies indicate that some of the most important effects will be on our own bodies and minds. A study being conducted by a Harvard PhD student compared the performances of New York students with the day’s temperatures. He found that students taking a New York state Regents exam on a 90-degree day had a 12 percent greater chance of failing than when …

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Talking politics

Since when have we forgotten WE SHOULDN’T TALK POLITICS (OR RELIGION) ON THE DINNER TABLE? I mean, what would Emily Post say? But, I guess, times have changed and so have the rules of engagement, like we all agree we should keep our smartphones in our pockets when we check into a dining room, but anyway we end up spending an inordinate amount of time fiddling with our phones between bites and during pauses in the dinner conversation. Etiquette, indeed, since we made an everyday expression of “Get real!”, has taken a backseat to what we truly feel, what we consider important, who we are at any given moment, regardless of the timing. The standard answer to the question “how are you?” at a cocktail party is “I’m all good, thank you, and …

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Be Positive 

By Kaye Estoista-Koo “It takes a village to raise a child.” This old adage needs to include “practicing positive and non-violent discipline” and “healthy and emotionally secure” in it. Raising children is taking more effort in a world plagued by violence, abuse, and brokenness. In the Philippines alone, from a Pulse Asia survey conducted in 2011, two out of three parents use physical pain to discipline their child with eight out of 10 parents reporting they experienced the same growing up. Known as corporal punishment, this kind of discipline involves the intent to hurt, however softly, and includes any kind of pain inflicted on the body, kicking, pinching, shaking, or throwing. It’s also forced and prolonged standing, kneeling, or sitting in a difficult position. Other forms include: threatening, scaring, embarrassing, and violating human rights. Children become …

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A tribute for its past achievers and leaders

The De La Salle Alumni Association (DLSAA) is 100 years old this year. Through its Grade and High School Manila Chapter, a grand centennial event called: “Proudly Green: A Night of Tribute” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Manila Polo Club, Forbes Park, Makati City. The event is a celebration of excellence, paying tribute to past DLSAA leaders and awardees who have made Lasallians proud through their outstanding achievements. The celebration will also gather loyal Lasallian alumni in an evening of camaraderie, dinner, music, and dancing. The famous Kundirana and Replay Band will provide entertainment. In the roll of honor, there are some 369 awardees listed who have received, through the years, the Distinguished Lasallian Award, the Lasallian Achievement Award, the Sports Hall of Fame Award, and the past …

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