Saturday, January 25, 2020

5 for 5: Persona Mesa Celebrates Five Years with Five Southeast Asian Dishes

Five years after it tickled the palate of picky Boholano diners and touristsalike with its innovative take on modern Filipino & Asian cuisine, Persona Mesa has expanded its menu. 
Marjoe Yamada

Quietly and sans the fanfare, Persona Mesa, the upscale restaurant that reigns supreme along J. A. Clarin St. this city launched its Southeast Asian cuisine with signature dishes from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Southeast Asian cuisine is famous around the world. Its mélange of delectable dishes is synonymous with intoxicating aroma, fiery spices and the soothing flavors of its cuisine. 

To capture the authentic flavors, taste and texture of these dishes, Marjoe Yamada, the stylish & sassy lady behind the upscale resto went on a month- long series of culinary classes. The gastronomic adventure that took her to exotic locales and the back streets of Bali, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand & Vietnam was an enriching experience that had her cradling an armful of completion certificates from the culinary classes she attended.

Here are the first five signature dishes that you MUST check out at Persona Mesa; 
Nasi Goreng

NASI GORENG Indonesia’s delectable rice dish with chicken, prawns & shredded omelet is the ultimate for spicy food lovers 
Pad Thai

PAD THAI, Thailand’s signature stir fried rice noodles with eggs, bean sprouts & tofu in a sauce of tamarind, fish, dried shrimp, red chili pepper, a pinch of sugar, a hint of crushed peanuts and a dash of lemon. Indeed, a delicate balance of sweet, salty, sour & spicy dish. 

PHO, Vietnam’s popular noodle soup is served in restos around the world. It consists of the perfect noodles, tender slices of beef, crunchy and spicy garnishes and broth for one hot sweaty heavenly treat. The key is in the broth that consists of simmered beef bones, onions, ginger & fish sauce. Mixed together, it’s perfection. 
Curry Laksa

From Malaysia, we have CURRY LAKSA, a slightly creamy noodle dish that is a cacophony of flavors is infused with coconut milk, the spiciness of chili and the fragrance of spices. 
Pork Binagoongan

And from the Philippines, we have PORK BINAGOONGAN, a best- selling dish in Persona Mesa, it is pork belly sautéed in shrimp paste. Scrumptious delight when served with eggplant and steaming hot fried rice.

After all these years, Marjoe Yamada has single- handedly stirred all the ingredients that made Trip Advisor consistenly rate Persona Mesa as one of Bohol’s best restaurants. Of course, with the backing of her Head Cook Aljon Solijon and her dependable & well- trained service crew. 
Head Cook Aljon Solijon

So what are you waiting for? Persona Mesa is open daily except Tuesdays, 11 am- 2 pm and 5.30 pm- 10 pm

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Bye Bye Bb. Pilipinas, Hello Miss Universe Philippines

With the new year comes new beginnings and endings,  and in the case of Binibining Pilipinas, the earth- shaking announcement of the parting of ways between Bb Pilipinas Charities Inc (BPCI) and the Miss Universe Org. The split effectively marks the end of a glorious era in Philippine pageant history. Under the guidance of Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, the country’s premier pageant has produced four Miss Universe winners, eight runners up, 10 semifinalists and the most number of Miss Photogenic winners.
For the past 55 years, BPCI has built and nurtured Bb Pilipinas into becoming the country’s premier beauty search and whose winners have brought pride and recognition to the country.  As the official Miss Universe franchise holder, Bb Pilipinas has been spearheading the selection of the country’s bet for the world’s most prestigious beauty competitions. It was unimaginable that the search for the Philippines’ candidate for Miss Universe would be headed by another pageant.  The news that the Miss Universe Organization did not renew its license with Bb Pilipinas sent shock waves to pageant fans. 
MEET THE NEW GROUP BEHIND THE MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES ORG. Starting this January, the newly- organized Miss Universe Philippines Org (MUP) will launch its inaugural search for the next Miss Universe Philippines. The group has former Bb Pilipinas- Universe 2011 and Miss Universe 2011 3rd RU Shamcey Supsup- Lee as its national director and long-time pageant mentor Jonas Gaffud as creative director. Other officials include Albert Andrada as the Design Council Head, Lia Ramos as Head of Women Empowerment Committee and Charity, lawyer Nad Bronce as Head of Legal Affairs, and Mario Garcia as Business Development and Marketing Head. 

As Stella takes her exit, Shamcey sashays to take over

In a carefully- worded statement released right after the Miss Universe 2020 finals, MUP announced their partnership with the Miss Universe Organization in the selection of the Philippines’ bet for the Miss Universe Pageant and, at the same time, expressed the gratitude of the MUO of the leadership of the Araneta Group and Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. for their more than 50 years of stewardship of the Miss Universe brand and franchise in the Philippines. 
From Stella to Shamcey

The new alliance and partnership is confident that with its alignment with the transformative purpose and vision of Miss Universe, the beauty, the grace and intelligence of the Filipina will continue to shine and captivate in the global stage.

BPCI PROMISES A BIGGER & BETTER BB PILIPINAS SANS MISS U TITLE Through an official statement, "Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc (BPCI) and its ExCom headed by Ms. Stella Marquez de Araneta, Ms. Conchitina Bernardo, Ms. Betsy Westendorp Brias, Mr. Raymond Villanueva and Ms.Irene Jose, informed everyone that after 55 years of nurturing and protecting the brand, Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has decided not to renew its license with BPCI," 

Despite the setback, BPCI is putting on a brave face and appears to be moving forward even after losing the Miss Universe franchise with the launch of the 2020 edition of the annual search for Binibining Pilipinas, the longest- running and the most prestigious beauty pageant in the country which is aimed at focusing on its charitable initiatives and the selection of the country’s bets to upcoming international beauty competitions. 

The major crown will go to the Binibining Pilipinas International title. Other crowns are Binibining Pilipinas Supranational, Binibining Pilipinas Globe, and Binibining Pilipinas Grand International. But more importantly, BPCI shall continue its charity works with orphanages, children’s hospitals and wounded soldiers at the AFP Hospital, animal welfare and other charitable causes.

WHO IS MADAME STELLA MARQUEZ ARANETA?  With the breaking news that Bb Pilipinas Charities, Inc lost the Miss Universe franchise to the newly- organized Miss Universe Philippines Org, Stella Marquez Araneta, the lady behind BPCI became a trending topic in social media. 
Stella Marquez & her Court

THE FIRST MISS INTERNATIONAL  Born Stella Marquez Zawadsky, the Colombian beauty captivated the world when she was crowned the first Miss International in 1960. After winning the title, she got invited to visit countries from around the world. It was a year after becoming Miss International that Stella was invited to grace a fashion show to be held at the Araneta Center in Quezon City, Philippines where she met a dashing and well- mannered Philippine industrialist named Jorge Leon Araneta who swept her off her feet. 
What followed was an intercontinental romance that spanned the Pacific Ocean from Manila, Philippines to Cali, Colombia. Their love story culminated with a dazzling fairy tale wedding in Cali, Colombia. During the Golden Anniversary of the Bb Pilipinas Pageant back in 2013, the entire country swooned when the very private Jorge Araneta planted a kiss on his beauty queen wife during the tribute for Stella.

The now famous kiss was more than just a recognition of her exemplary and remarkable handling of BPCI. It was a reaffirmation of a Pinoy’s love and devotion for his beloved.

STELLA’S LEGACY & GREATEST CONTRIBUTION TO CONTEMPORARY PHILIPPINE SOCIETY Madame Stella maybe a Colombian by birth but she is definitely a Filipina by heart. Stella has been instrumental in paving the way for the discovery of lovely Filipinas who put the Philippines in the world map of legendary beauties. 

It was in 1964 that she organized the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Incorporated (BPCI), a non-stock, non-profit organization and foundation, the organizer of the Binibining Pilipinas (or Miss Philippines). For the past 55 years, BPCI has established skills trainings and educational workshops for the indigents and philanthropic/humanitarian projects and activities that have benefitted many orphans and street children, poor families and other less fortunate members of the Philippine society. 
Bb Pilipinas queens’ Golden Reunion in 2013

Under her stellar handling of BPCI, the Philippines has produced four Miss Universe winners, five Miss International winners and a Miss Supranational winner and this achievement has already secured for her a place in Philippine pageant history.

BOHOLANAS WHO WON IN BB PILIPINAS Four Boholanas have won in Bb Pilipinas. They are Karen Boyonas Gallmann 2018 Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental and 2018 Miss Intercontinental (First Pinay to win the crown) Anna Maris Arcay Igpit 2006 Bb Pilipinas World, Richelle Pacaldo Angalot 2009 Bb Pilipinas 1st Runner Up and Perla Salig Teves 1979 Bb Pilipinas 1st Runner Up
Your Roving Eye with Bb Pilipinas- Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallmann
& Ms. Vanessa Aumentado who organized Karen’s victorious homecoming visit 
L-R: Anna Maris Igpit, Ritchell Angalot & Perla Salig- Teves

Extra Special Blog Feature

Part 1: The Tragic Story of Amparo Munoz

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