Cine Europa 2018 Cocktail Party
Dr. Nestor Alonso II (The Freeman) - October 26, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Jean-Jacques Forte, Councilor of Cooperation and Consular Action for the French Embassy in the Philippines invited guests to an “aperitif dinatoire” cocktail gathering to celebrate Cine Europa 2018, at the Alliance Française de Cebu. The film festival was organized by the European Union in cooperation with EU member-states’ embassies in the Philippines. The occasion was in celebration of the 21st edition of bringing the diversity of European culture to the Philippines. Twenty seven films from Europe were shown in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.


My earliest recollection about movies was a film projected to a folding screen attached to the side of a truck selling Purico, vegetable lard manufactured by Philippine Manufacturing Co.  Since then, I’ve been hooked to the world of the cinema (both Hollywood and European) and have been collected movies and other videos long before YouTube and Netflix.

For a long time, at the advent of better technology, movies were in Betamax and VHS formats, and then in VCD, LaserDisc, DVD and Blu-Ray disc. Today, portable storage device or flash drive (USB) is used to store digital media; the latest device available is a Flash Drive 1TB USB 3.0. I was lucky to update my storage devices with a purchase, excuse me, of a 6TB External Hard Drive USB 3.0 before the fall of the Philippine Peso.

Back to the aperitif dinatoire, which actually means a party with sufficient appetizers and drinks that “guests go home feeling full as if they have eaten dinner (dinatoire) .” Various types of Terrines (Lobster, Foie Gras and Scallop) and Rillettes (Pork & Salmon Fillet) were served, paired with cocktail drinks, sparkling white wine and a red wine (Syrah). A Pizza Burrata and Normandy Oysters with Cheese & Champagne were also served.

While a Terrine and Rillette looks similar, there is a big difference in the preparation.  Rillettes are usually made with pork, which are chopped, salted, cooked in its own fat, shredded and cooled until a form of paste is made (similar to liver spread). Terrines are ground meats (including veggies, herbs, seafood and liver) layered in mold (a terrine), to be cooked in a water bath, cooled and served in a plate (similar to embutido). My top three appetizers were the Foie Gras Terrines, Lobster Terrines and the Pork Rillettes. The pork was delicious, the lobster superb but the taste of the foie gras was heavenly.

The discussion in the cocktail party was focused on the future of the film industry and the issues that surround it. Where should we view films… at home or in a theater? At home, we can subscribe to Netflix which offers online streaming of films and TV programs. Experts point to the obvious reasons of the going to a theater because of the picture quality, sound and the distractions of home viewing.

My contribution to the discussion was an inquiry as to where here in Cebu could I watch a European film like “Blue Is the Warmest Colour” (La Vie d’Adèle), winner of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival‘s Palme d’Or Award. Later, we moved to the roof deck of La Vie Parisienne where the movie “Pierrot le Fou” was shown – with a glass of sparkling wine, excuse me, a far cry from the time when all I had was Royal Lem-O-Lime and “mani sinangag” in its shells in the city’s Avenue Theater then.

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