Holidays at The Manor

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star

I love the cold weather. And I have always loved Baguio especially during the holiday season all the way up to the end of February when it is still very cold in the City of Pines.

Whenever I am in Baguio, there’s only one place I stay in — The Manor.  Luckily, I got to go again to Baguio for a few days with good friends to have “The Manor experience” and to explore more of this lovely city.

The Manor is part of Camp John Hay (CJH) in Baguio City, where roughly 247 hectares are covered by the John Hay Special Economic Zone and make up the area leased to CJH Development Corp. Of this, a total of 48.43 hectares (approximately 20 percent of the leased area) are occupied by the golf course. Only about 22 hectares (approximately nine percent) have been designated as areas where development is allowed.

The Manor is a four-story structure, designed to blend neatly with towering pine trees. It provides a magnificent view of the Cordillera mountain range. The interiors emulate the atmosphere, the history and the fond memories of the real Baguio. Paneled walls and wooden furniture evoke a Filipino-Colonial feel. Wooden shuttered doors open to outdoor patios with a breathtaking view. 

With 177 rooms to accommodate guests, The Manor promises five-star services through highly trained staff and world-class facilities. It consists of superior, deluxe, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites. Units are equipped with a refrigerator, hot and cold shower and in-room safe. The hotel features a café and restaurant, a lounge adorned by a large fireplace, and other amenities one may find only in deluxe hotels. The Manor at Camp John Hay is managed by Camp John Hay Leisure Inc.

While there, we of course indulged in chef Billy King’s legendary cuisine at Le Chef at The Manor. We also did the touristy stuff like going to the Mines View and visiting the market. A visit to the BenCab Museum was on the agenda as well as a trip to one of the most haunted spots in Baguio, the old Diplomat Hotel.

What made our stay more festive was when we built a bonfire and roasted marshmallows over it as we watched the Saint Louis University (SLU) Concert Orchestra at the gardens of The Manor one magical night. 

The SLU Concert Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the Center for Culture and the Arts (CCA) of SLU. Of the five performing groups of the CCA, the Concert Orchestra is the newest group, which was formed in 2009. It was previously called the SLU Chamber Ensemble under the baton of Zamir Tabora and included 26 members playing the violin, viola, cello and the flute. In 2012, the group was renamed SLU Concert Orchestra. With the addition of new members having the ability to play woodwind and brass instruments and along with the strings, the orchestra was thus formed. The baton has been handed down to a new and able conductor, Melvin Morallos. The group has expanded to 60 members and is still growing.

During the launch of its first major concert entitled Project Genesis, the group captivated its audience with its unique music and talents. The students of Saint Louis University were lucky to have witnessed the group’s 2013 concerts such as the Showcase 2013, The Blue Book and The Blue Book: Christmas Edition. The members of the SLU Concert Orchestra, still ably headed by Morallos, continue to share their good music to their audiences inside and outside of the confines of the University.

The orchestra was so good that we are thinking of watching it every holiday season!  The concert was indeed the highlight of the trip and considering how much fun we had, we would gladly have another group trip and head to The Manor again soon!

(The Manor is located at Camp John Hay, Loakan Road, Baguio City. Tel. nos. (6374) 424-0931 to 43/50 to 53. E-mail [email protected] Call its Pasig City sales office at Tel. nos. 687-6524 and 687-6710 or e-mail [email protected] Visit www.campjohnhay.ph.)

Salute to the Don!

Bleeding Heart Rum, the maker of homegrown Don Papa Rum, recently launched the 10-year-old Don Papa 10 at Bistro du Vin in Rockwell. Members of the press and guests were present to sample the new product.

Present during the sipping event were founder of Don Papa Stephen Carroll, brand and communications head Monica Llamas and assistant brand manager Cristhel Molina, who made sure that everyone had a taste of the blend.

Bleeding Heart Rum’s success story began in 2012 when it first introduced the Don Papa Rum, which has become a mainstay in selected bars here and abroad.

Don Papa 10 contains the highest quality sugarcane from Negros and has a bolder taste, with notes of oak, cacao and dried fruits with alcohol content at 43 percent by volume. The rum is aged in American oak on the island of Negros. The aging facility is near the town of Bacolod, towards Mt. Kanlaon.

The limited edition Don Papa 10 is only available in select venues, wine shops, choice hotels and retail outlets such S&R and Kultura Filipino. It will only be available in the Philippines and France.

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)











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