A Wedding Banquet
Dr. Nestor Alonso ll (The Freeman) - November 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines — The movie producer is Atty. Joji Alonso and the best source of information you can dig up about her work is http://www.imdb.com/. She is the executive producer/co-producer of 30 movies such as “Minsan Pa” (2014), “Kubrador” (2016), “Here Comes the Bride” (2010), “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” (2011), “Ekstra” (2013), “English Only, Please” (2014), “All of You” (2017 MMFF entry), and the movie whose title is now part of the vocabulary of  today’s millennials, “Walang Forever” (2015).

There is a quote on weddings by Emily Giffin (in “Love the One You’re With”): “A son is a son ‘til he gets a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all her life.” The son, Rafael “Paeng” Antonio gets a wife, Alarise “Ayie “Domingo. It has been 11 years since Paeng and Ayie first met and it took them two years to save for the wedding ceremony, which was held at the Santuario de San Antonio Parish, with the reception at the Manila Polo Club, both located in Mackinley Road, Forbes Park, Makati City. The bride’s wedding gown was by Cary Santiago.

Invited guests had to travel to Metro Manila to attend the wedding. I took a domestic flight, while some guests had to make the trip from abroad.

At the reception, cocktails were the Roulade of Prosciutto & Melon, Bruschetta Al Fungi and Caramelized Onions & Mozzarella Canape. This was my very first time to dine at the Manila Polo Club, and I was full of anticipation as to the kind of food served here in the enclave of the upper echelon of Philippine society.

Centerpiece of the wedding banquet was the Lechon de Manille. I was busy documenting the supporting characters… I mean the dishes like the Chorizo Puff, Pollo Ala Pobre, Fish Ala Bilbania, Beef Salpicao, Paella Negra, Paella Valenciana, the Cerdo and Garbanzo Estofado. Lechon is really the showpiece of all Filipino celebrations like birthdays, fiestas and, yes, weddings – even at the Manila Polo Club.

I took a sip of the Cream of Mushroom Soup while trying to recall where I had first eaten the Fish Ala Bilbania. It was at a Spanish food festival where I ate this dish from Bilbao, cooked with garlic, chilies in hot oil and sherry vinegar sprinkled over the fish.

The Cerdo and Garbanzo is a stew of pork and chicken peas. I found the Beef Salpicao to be quite tasty. Two types of Paella, Negra and Valenciana were served in two different sizes of paelleras, and I was surprised to discover that the paella cooked in a larger paellera was more delicious than the one cooked in a smaller vessel.

Desserts were the Churros con Chocolate, Tocino del Cielo and fresh fruits.  Congratulations to the newlyweds, Paeng and Ayie Antonio! By the way, the movie producer, Atty. Joji Alonso, excuse me, is my younger sister. (FREEMAN)

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