ON ASSIGNMENT:When Supreme mixes with Hennessy

SNARK WITH HEART - Cate de Leon - The Philippine Star

Bes, ba’t ka nagpakan***?

This was the punch line of the night, thanks to Irish Dizon and her amusement at a viral video of an infidelity-inspired catfight. In said video, the line was spat out in a fit of emotion, but that night, it was being used in every context possible, as we were having dinner at a nice restaurant in Makati.

This is basically what it’s like whenever we at Supreme get together — lots of baklaan and sudden, disturbing NSFW hirits. The people at Hennessy thought it was a good idea to sponsor a night out for the team, so — unfortunately for them — we drank and dragged them down along with us.

After laying out the week’s issue and swiping on fresh coats of red lipstick, we were picked up from the office to dine at Sarsa, where Irish uttered her first “Bes, ba’t ka nagpakan***?” We paired their rich and flavorful take on Pinoy favorites, such as isaw, bulalo and laing with refreshing cocktails of Hennessy VS and ginger ale.

We at Supreme never hesitate to down drinks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re literate about the alcohol we’re drinking. Now, whenever I’m covering something I don’t know anything about, I like to Google on the sly. Irish, however, prefers to ask point blank. “So, what’s Hennessy?” she asked Hennessy VS brand manager Carlo Bautista over plates of lechon kawali. I proceeded to hide my face behind my hand. Jusko. Carlo gamely smiled and told us it was cognac — a high-quality brandy that is distilled in Cognac, France — of which Hennessy is the No. 1 brand in the world. He patiently differentiated it from and related it to other kinds of alcohol, such as whisky and wine. (Technically, brandy is a wine.)

Filled with new knowledge and good food, we decided to order dessert. Our creative director David Milan likes to gush about the memorable dishes he’s had before, so he suggested — and built up to a huge hype — the sizzling kakanin we were about to have. So much so that when it finally arrived and we put it in our mouths… we heard crickets. “Sobrang sarap!” Irish broke through our silent disappointment, sarcastically repeating what Milan kept telling us. The whole table burst out laughing.

Chill night





After dinner, we piled into the Hennessy Jeepney to head to our next stop. Hennessy strongly believes in embracing the local culture as it travels the world. In the Philippines, they chose the ubiquitous jeepney as the iconic and historical symbol to carry their campaign.

With a mobile bar and plush seating, here we met the friendly bartenders whose job it was to keep us happily buzzed. We feared our hosts had prepared a wild “tugs tugs” night for us. Thankfully, they were intuitive enough to know that we had entered the club-averse tito/tita stage, and all we wanted to do was chill and talk in our jeans — far away from blaring music, killer high heels, and body-con dresses.

We hit Reserve Gastro Tavern in BGC, where we were given a little mixing workshop. We learned to make the signature drinks for the night — both inspired by the different kinds of jeepneys and transportation found in the Philippines — the Habal-habal and Patok. The former, mixed with honey, black pepper, calamansi juice, ginger ale and bay leaf, was our unanimous “traydor” favorite. The Patok, on the other hand, I personally found to be an acquired taste, with its siling labuyo, honey, calamansi juice and a dash of white vinegar. Milan thought it was a hit, though, for which he received questioning looks from the rest of us. If I could make it my own way (which in hindsight we were freely given the option to do), I would have left out the vinegar and kept it sweet and spicy.

After relentless texting, our editor Pepe Diokno (who had been at The Philippine STAR’s 30th anniversary dinner) finally dropped in, just as Irish was asking Carlo about his personal life (she does this all the time). By now, the occasion no longer felt like business. We were red in the face, laughing non-stop and talking about our lives and routines. We also admitted our bartender from Sweden was cute and charismatic.

“What language do you speak in Sweden?” Irish had asked him earlier that night.

“Swedish,” he smiled. We laughed again.

Irish threatened to throw me the “Bes, ba’t ka nagpakan***?” line if I got with him.

We wound down the night at Ludo BoardGame Bar & Cafe, where we extended our already disturbing ways of thinking while playing Cards Against Humanity. And after we had filled our heads with images of foreskin and our fathers’ hours-long erections (that’s what the cards said!), we went our separate ways, glad to have agreed to come out for a fun, easy and hilarious night after a hard day’s work.

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Leading the way in experiencing urban Manila, the Hennessy King of the Road will take over urban hotspots throughout the metro. Catch it at the following tour dates: Sept. 16, Friday — Valkyrie, BGC; Sept. 24, Saturday — Revel, BGC; and Sept. 30, Friday — House Manila, Pasay. Follow Hennessy Philippines on Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram @HennessyPH.

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Tweet the author @catedeleon.

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