Last week, the nation of Türkiye celebrated its 100th National Day at the Peninsula Manila’s Rigodon Ballroom with Philippine Vice President and Education Minister Sara Duterte as the guest of honor. The event was a symbol of the strong diplomatic ties between our two nations, and the festivities were brimming with pride and enthusiasm.
Niyazi Evren Akyol, Ambassador of the Republic of Túrikye, recently went on a courtesy call on the vice president where they discussed education and defense. The Kuşadası Folklore Research Association Folklore team added to the festivities with their captivating performances at the reception. Their traditional folk dances were a splendid representation of Türkiye’s rich cultural heritage, enthralling the audience and creating an atmosphere of unity and friendship.
This momentous celebration marked the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye, and it was truly a time to commemorate the nation’s remarkable journey. As the guests gathered to honor this significant milestone, we remembered and paid tribute to the founder of Türkiye’s Republic, the revered commander-in-chief Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and all the heroes who contributed to the nation’s struggle.
Türkiye’s 100th National Day reception reminded us that while we may be separated by geography, we are united in the celebration of milestones that define our nations’ rich histories and shared aspirations for the future.
Staycation at Ortigas Center
Is it a sign of aging to be so repulsed by the idea of having to brave the crowds during an extra-long weekend? I’m hoping it’s just something that came out of being an experienced expat and appreciating your current home more as I’ve found myself happily saying no to traveling on long weekends and school holidays. It worked wonderfully for us in Kuala Lumpur and Berlin. Manila, in particular, is my favorite during a long weekend when I get to enjoy taking walks in my neighborhood more. And if I ever want to feel like I’m on vacation without having to go through the stress of traffic or lines at the airport, let me—once again—make my case for staycations.
Staycations might not be a global trend yet, but they’re something us Filipinos hold dear. Recently, we opted for a stay at the Marco Polo in Ortigas, a place I hadn’t visited in about a decade. The secret to a great staycation? Exploring a new part of the city by staying in a different neighborhood. It’s fresh and exciting, minus the usual travel stresses of being on the expressway or the airport for hours.
I arrived first on a Friday afternoon and decided to bask in the hotel’s stunning sunset views. Marco Polo, a five-star gem, offers breathtaking vistas of Metro Manila’s dynamic cityscape and distant mountains. Check-in happens on the 24th floor, with a cozy spot for a mango-centric afternoon tea right next to the concierge. On the other hand, I chose in-room dining to tackle some work.
The rooms are spacious and specifically designed for the comfort of a business traveler. After all, Ortigas is one of Metro Manila’s business districts, just a stone’s throw away from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that draws an expat crowd into the area. But that doesn’t mean it lacks the luxuries I look for when staying in a hotel like a comfortable bed, which I count as a non-negotiable.
A decade after my last visit, I’m glad to report that the hotel has become quite the dining hub in Ortigas. Dinner that evening was at Cucina, the hotel’s buffet restaurant. Like most hotels at that time, it was in its Oktoberfest phase and I’m not one to complain over the presence of Nürnberger sausages and Haxe. The seafood station where they cook your picks to your liking is not to be missed.
The next morning began with a delightful breakfast at the Continental Club Lounge, followed by a peaceful stroll around Ortigas. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Emerald Avenue is closed on weekends, turning into a pedestrian-only area where kids can ride their bikes and a community market reminiscent of the ones at Salcedo and Legazpi Villages.
We made our way back for lunch at Cafe Pronto, at the hotel’s ground floor where we indulged in one of the creamiest lasagnas in the city. It’s also officially on my list for cake orders. The hotel caters to fitness enthusiasts with a well-equipped gym and an indoor lap pool with controlled temperature. I opted for a swim to burn off those weekend calories.
Dinner at Lung Hin was a culinary adventure, with the signature roasted goose stealing the show. Milder than wild duck, it’s a dish I’d happily have again, alongside the steamed siomai in truffle sauce. To cap off the day, we headed to Vu’s on the hotel’s 45th floor. It offered postcard-worthy city views and delightful cocktails at reasonable prices. If you’re a fan of rooftop bars, I highly recommend this one and staying in the hotel after drinks for convenience.
Romantic Philippines in Rome
Renowned Filipino designer Renee Salud showcased “Romantic Philippines” in Rome, marking the third edition of the “Balik sa Basik” fashion show. Held at the Hotel Quirinale, the event featured a bridal collection and traditional Philippine ternos, all designed by Salud, celebrating the nation’s rich culture.
Padova-based Filipino Laarni Silva led the initiative to connect generations of Filipinos and Filipino-Italians to their cultural roots. Renee Salud’s creations, including Mindanao weaves, not only made these textiles fashionable but also provided livelihood opportunities for Filipino weavers.
Philippine Ambassador to Italy Neal Imperial praised the event for promoting Philippine culture and talent. He shared the embassy’s plans to further showcase the country’s rich heritage in Italy. The grand finale featured traditional and modern Filipiniana ensembles using Mindanao weaves, worn by models like Gazini Ganados and Ma. Katrina Llegado.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph