The Peninsula Manila’s power breakfast

BUSINESS SNIPPETS - Marianne Go - The Philippine Star
The Peninsula Manila�s power breakfast
Wick with his cat Ginger.

The Peninsula Manila, it seems, is the second preferred power breakfast destination in Makati, especially for those who do not play golf. For those who prefer to put in even a short nine-hole exercise of golf, the preference is the Manila Golf.

Unfortunately, to enjoy the privilege of eating breakfast at Manila Golf, one must either shell out at least P125 million for a share (if you can buy one), or know someone who has a share and can invite you to eat breakfast there and hobnob with the top movers and shakers in the banking, economic and even political scene.

However, the venerable Peninsula Manila continues to attract its fair share of the power breakfast club.

Last week, I had the opportunity to check out the hotel’s breakfast scene again and learned quite a good tip from GSIS president and general manager Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso on the best area to sit at so that the morning sun does not shine in your eyes for an uncomfortable 30 minutes or less.

Apparently, the early breakfast crowd starts trickling in at 8 to 8:30 a.m., preferring to be seated at the right side, upon entering the popular lobby. For regulars, the best seating is at the tables at the periphery near the stairs to the basement where the sun does not hit the guests, unlike seating at the center or near the front desk of the hallway going to the Spices restaurant.

On that day, among the early birds were former Duterte presidential adviser on economic affairs RJ Jacinto and BDO director Walter Wassmer. Coming in a little later was Land Bank of the Philippines president Lynette Ortiz. Also seen having breakfast with her girlfriends was Lizzie Zobel, wife of Ayala chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, and mother to the next generation leaders of the powerful Ayala Group – Mariana and Jaime Alfonso Zobel.

Restaurateur and chef Tony Boy Escalante, it seems, also enjoys breakfast at The Pen Lobby when he comes down from Tagaytay where his popular restaurants Antonio’s, Breakfast and Balay Dako are located.

Also spotted on his way up from the parking basement was Aboitiz Power’s president and CEO Emmanuel Rubio who was on his way to attend an energy conference.

Of cats and dogs

Youthful looking Lizzie Zobel stopped by to greet Wick Veloso, and it was then I learned of the interesting “conversion” of Wick, and possibly of JAZA from a dog lover to a cat lover.

Apparently, when Wick used to reside in Forbes Park during his stint as president and CEO of HSBC Philippines, his wife Cayen and Lizzie shared a common cause of rescuing and fostering abandoned cats in the tony subdivision.

Barangay Forbes has a cat shelter for former pets that may have gotten lost or have been abandoned by their previous owners. According to Wick, Cayen and Lizzie would often get attached to some of the foster cats and bring them home.

In the process, Wick narrates, they ended up adopting 12 of the pusakals or pusang kalye, much to the initial dismay of Wick’s two pet dogs - Thor, a Husky and Loki, a German Shepherd.

The 12th rescue, Wick said, was actually driven back to the shelter, but after two weeks somehow managed to find its way back to the Veloso residence, and thus was given a collar and a name.

Two of the 12, named Ginger and Garlic, have gotten so attached to Wick that they get the special privilege of sharing the bed with him, especially when Cayen is out of the country. Ginger and Garlic, particularly, he said, like to snuggle under the bed cover with him, thus, capturing his affection.

According to Wick, his favorite cat used to be Socks, named as such because his feet are covered with white fur compared to the rest of his body. Socks, dethroned from his No. 1 ranking, now stays in the room of Wick’s son, Paolo, who has moved to his own place.

Another white cat has been named Salt. I guess the choice of names for the cats also reflects Wick’s love for food while his dog’s names reflect his favorite Marvel Super heroes. Unfortunately, Thor, the Husky has passed on.

Cats, Wick revealed, are actually more loving than dogs as they like to snuggle and be close to their humans. Dogs, on the other hand, Wick said, after they are fed, go off to sleep, or like Loki, prefer to stay at the balcony looking out to the street on guard-dog mode.

Loki, at 10 years old, or in human age is 70 years old, is likely to be the last dog for Wick as Cayen, the ultimate Boss in the house, no longer wants to get another dog, Wick admitted.

While the cat menagerie of the Velosos are now residing in Dasmariñas, Wick pointed out that the Dasma community does not appear to be as friendly to felines as the Forbes community, requiring residents to have all their cats neutered.


Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Berna Romulo Puyat, meanwhile, has added another askal (asong kalye) to her growing brood, a white mongrel she has renamed as Tuna.

Tuna is the third askal Berna has adopted after her son Vito initially brought home a stray dog from Palawan that he named Mocha, and then another that they adopted named Pizza.

Biggie, Vito’s original Pug, remains Berna’s favorite and is the family’s spoiled brat that constantly has to be put on a diet and snores as loud as a human!

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with