Congrats to the 19th Grand Wine Experience
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - November 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Tomorrow is a grand day, the Philippine Wine Merchants’ greatest food and wine festival, dubbed “The 19th Grand Wine Experience” to be held at the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel, Resorts World Manila. Honestly, I’ve always been invited to these grand wine events, except that three years ago, I was prevented from leaving Cebu City because of my kidney transplant. Though I was also sent an invitation to tomorrow’s event, I had to beg off due to the demise of some of my friends and I needed to help condole with their families and friends, which meant that I was going to be very busy this week.

Tomorrow’s event is now on its 19th year, and as expected, the Grand Wine Experience promises to be one of those outrageously fun nights that I’m sure people won’t soon forget, especially when you have at least 700 different types of wines and spirits to drink including all sorts of Sake and as usual, Marriott Hotel never fails to thrill you with the food that they always prepare for this sumptuous night.

The Grand Wine Experience was the brainchild of the Joseph brothers, Bobby, Ronnie, Ralph, and Raymond, of Philippine Wine Merchants, and this experience has steadily grown into one of the biggest wines and spirits events not just in the Philippines, but also in all of Southeast Asia where it has become one of the most-awaited drinking events of the year. This year, expect around 700 branded wines fromaround the world for you to drink and international cuisine by Marriott executive chef Meik Brammer who is expected to prepare a decadent buffet.

This year’s theme is Generations, highlighting the story of wine as a legacy since heritage in winemaking plays across generations in vineyards and the families that cultivate them. Philippine Wine Merchants’ director of marketing, Ronnie Joseph talked about the theme saying “We connect it to the wine trade, connect it to wine philosophy, and we connect it to life.” Indeed life is too short to waste a full day, so it is best to enjoy your 19th Grand Wine Experience especially since it is going to be a Friday tomorrow and a mad Friday traffic is expected to ruin your day, so let the Grand Wine Experience give you a full list of wines and spirits and a great buffet to boot to finish your week with a grand experience. Have a great grand wine experience to all of you who will be in the Grand Marriott tomorrow!

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Yesterday morning, I was aghast to find out that under the most dynamic Mayor of Manila, Isko Moreno, he finally had the Lagusnilad Underpass cleaned of all the dirt and grime that have mocked its walls. However in less than 24 hours after the City Government of Manila cleaned the Lagusnilad, unscrupulous activists painted protest signs on its cleaned walls with slogans and words that said, “Presyo, Ibaba! Sahod, Itaas!” and “US-China Layas!”

It was then that I learned that the Manila Tourism and Cultural Affairs Bureau announced that it was saddened by the supposed vandalism by Panday Sining, the cultural arm of activist youth group Anakbayan. Hmmm, so this was the handiwork of Anakbayan? Shame on its members that these people are not helping clean up the dirt and filth of Manila when its local government unit under Mayor Moreno has done more for the City of Manila than the last three Manila mayors combined.

At this point, may I suggest that Mayor Moreno install CCTV cameras in Lagusnilad and come up with stiff fines and imprisonment of these vandals who are very irresponsible people. It is high time that these Anakbayan members be arrested for their vandalism.

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The latest news from Cebu City comes from no less than Pope Francis who recently appointed Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The 69-year-old prelate was among the eight new members appointed by the Pope to the dicastery, according to a bulletin released by the Holy See Press Office. He is the only Asian among the appointees, who are mostly Europeans.

This is great news for Cebu so we can finally impress upon our European counter parts that on the Year 2021 Cebu will be celebrating its 500 Years as the first Southeast Asian to adopt Catholicism. Notice that I did not use the word Christianity simply because 500-years ago, Catholicism was mocked by the Protestant Movement that overcame most European nations which were once strongly Catholics. But here in Cebu we will be celebrating our Catholicism, something that no European nation seemed to have observed. Indeed Filipinos will celebrate our Catholicism in the Year 2021.

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