Have a Bubbly Christmas, Everyone!

Welch’s Sparkling White Grape Juice and Sparkling Red Grape Juice for Christmas

IT’S Christmastime, and it is one big celebration—with all those parties, reunions and family get-togethers. So bring out the bubbly, start pouring, and let’s party!

But what about the kids? With Welch’s line of Sparkling Juices, the kids can join in the fun!

Welch’s Sparking Non-alcoholic is so light and refreshing even kids will enjoy them

These light, refreshing and bubbly drinks simulate the drinking pleasure that Champagne and other bubblies give, but since they are non-alcoholic and fruit-based, they are safe for the kids to drink. No intoxication is likely to happen.
They come in two variants—Welch’s Sparkling Non-alcoholic Red Grape Cocktail Juice and Welch’s Sparkling Non-alcoholic White Grape Cocktail Juice—and are both made from the freshest Concord and Niagara grapes.

Carrying a long tradition of real grape goodness for every kind of celebration with loved ones, especially during special occasions such as Christmas, Welch’s Sparkling Red Grape Juice and Sparkling White Grape Juice can also be combined with other beverages to create a myriad of fizzy mocktails.

A product of the United States of America, Welch’s products are available in supermarkets and retail stores nationwide.


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Filipino Family Traditions Featured
in Pan de Manila’s Christmas Bag

The 2018 edition of Pan de Manila’s Christmas paper bags features the artwork of Eberle Catampongan

SINCE 2008, Pan de Manila has featured works of up-and-coming local artists in its paper bags during Christmastime.

The annual Christmas paper bag tradition lives on this Christmas season with the artworks of 38-year-old artist Eberle Catampongan, who hails from Antipolo and studied architecture at the Technological Institute of the Philippines. A member of the Art Circle Gallery, he is a proud apprentice of his father-in-law, highly respected artist Tony Mahilum. His background in architecture is reflected in the intricate details seen in structures that he uses as backdrop in the Filipino rustic villages that have become his signature.

Eberle is known for immortalizing heritage landmarks, landscapes and sceneries in the country, even as he focuses on the rich history of the Philippines. For his artwork for Pan de Manila’s 2018 Christmas paper bag, he has created Pasko sa Nayon, a 25″x60″ oil on canvas artwork that conjures up a captivating rustic rural scene that reflects that familiar comforts and sights seen in a barrio community as it eagerly dresses up the town for the holidays. Amid all merry-making preparations is the pure joy and infectious anticipation by both old and young come Christmastime.

In his sweeping visual masterpiece for Pan de Manila, Eberle features traditional elements, such as hanging parols and a church façade (to signify the observance of Simbang Gabi), as well as elements of nostalgia plucked from his own cherished childhood memories.

Artist Eberle Catampongan putting the finishing touches on his ‘Pasko sa Nayon’ oil painting

His artwork now ‘decorates’ Pan de Manila’s Christmas paper bag

“One particular childhood recollection that I included in this artwork is the caroling scene, one that showed how I, as a child, enjoyed serenading homes with Pamasko jingles along with my neighbors. I also portrayed the bustling scene in the barrio during this much-celebrated time of the year when rural folks are busy and happily participate in the many festivities that include eating after Simbang Gabi and dressing up their homes. It shows how Filipinos love celebrating the occasion with all those dear to them,” says Eberle.

Pan de Manila’s Christmas paper bags in different sizes

The artist also sees his work as a reflection of how Filipinos come together during this joyous season. Says he: “It reminds us of the togetherness and love shared among the family and the genuine camaraderie in the community as everyone excitedly looks forward to Christmas. I think it’s a message that remains relevant and is very timely to spread today.”

Grateful for being chosen as featured artist by Pan de Manila, Eberle considers it as one of his biggest achievements.

“The most appreciated underlying aspects of Pan de Manila’s project would be its way of giving artists the opportunity to express, through brushstrokes, the true spirit of Christmas. Through this initiative, artists are given the opportunity to showcase and immortalize timeless Filipino values and love for the family. I wish Pan de Manila more success as they passionately continue this project so that more artists will be given the opportunity to touch people through their talent,” he adds.

Pan de Manila’s Pan de Coco comes in a roll

Cinnamon Bun

Spanish sardines in different variants

Pan de Manila’s tarts, from top: Leche Flan Tart, Macapuno Tart and Almond Tart

Pan de Manila also sells unique beverage mixes like Chocolate con Leche

Pan de Manila’s Christmas paper bags, which come in different sizes, are used to package freshly baked breads, tarts, pastries, spreads and bottled items.

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It’s a Whimsical Winterland
at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila!

Make your own Christmas hamper at Cafe Pronto by choosing the goodies that you want to include in it

EXPERIENCE a classic tale told in a magnificent way through a menagerie of curious characters, sweet parties and wonderful things at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila this Christmas. It’s a Whimsical Winterland in all outlets of the hotel—Café Pronto, Cucina, Lung Hin, Connect Lounge, Vu’s Sky Bar and Lounge—during the entire holiday season.


Sweet delights and goodies are bountiful at Café Pronto, which makes exciting Christmas hampers available to everyone this festive season. Perfect for the season of gift-giving, hampers to choose from include Mad Hatter’s Party, Winterland Magic and Carroll’s Choice. All three gift sets contain red wine, panettone, fusilli tricolore, artisan chocolate bars, chocolate figurines, fruit sweets, devilled ham spread and marzipan stollen, among others. You can also build your own Christmas hamper by choosing items that you like.

One of the set hampers at Cafe Pronto is ‘Carroll’s Choice’

The ‘Alice Cake’ is Cafe Pronto’s featured cake for the month of December

Also available for Christmas takeaways are Hong Kong Roast Goose and Christmas Turkey, as well as the featured cake of the month of December, Alice Cake. The latter is made up of layers of banana compote, orange sponge, milk chocolate mousse, plus peanut butter crunch at the bottom.


Partake of a bountiful feast with loved ones at Cucina this Christmas. The Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet is particularly special because it features a wide array of dishes, such as Roast Angus Beef Rib Eye, Caramelized Ham, and Crispy Duck Breast on Mango Basil Sauce; while the midnight spread includes Filipino signatures such as Pancit Palabok and Cebuano Pork Humba.

Carvings at Cucina

The New Year’s Eve Dinner Buffet lays out a spread of sumptuous dishes, including Iberico Pork Loin with Apple Sauce, Chinese Barbecue Duck, and Gratinated Prawns, Mussels and Salmon with Wholegrain Mustard Cream. On New Year’s Day, guests can feast on Orecchiette with Pepperoni and Tomatoes and Roast Leg of Pork.

Holiday buffet rates are Php3,800 (Christmas Eve Dinner), Php1,800 (Noche Buena), Php2,888 (Christmas Day), Php3,800 (New Year’s Eve) and Php2,888 (New Year’s Day).


Lung Hin’s Christmas Set A

Lung Hin’s New Year Set A and B

Lung Hin, the Cantonese restaurant at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, offers special set menus for Christmas and New Year. Included in the set menus are Crispy Roasted Suckling Pig, Pan-fried Australia Wagyu Beef with Black Pepper, Stir-fried Abalone with Fresh Scallops and Broccoli in Oyster Sauce, and Roasted Peking Duck.


Connect Lounge’s holiday drinks

This yuletide season, visit the Connect Lounge for a leisurely sip of Tequila Navidad, Arabican Spice and Skylips with friends.


Now, here’s the perfect place to do the countdown to 2019 as the clock ticks to bid farewell to 2018 and welcome 2019. As the stunning skyline of the metro lights up with fireworks at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2018, raise your glasses of bubbly champagne or, better yet, festive cocktails, such as Yuletide Pears, White Christmas and Holiday Sangria.

Vu’s Sky Bar and Lounge’s cocktail drinks, clockwise from top: Yuletide Pears, Holiday Sangria and White Christmas

Vu’s Sky Bar and Lounge’s ‘Red Queen’ and ‘Jabberwocky’

There’s also Red Queen and Jabberwocky cocktails to enjoy. You even get a second glass for free if you order either cocktail drink.


As part of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Whimsical Winterland celebration, Santa Claus is coming to listen to Christmas wishes and have photos taken with kids who have been ‘nice, not naughty” this year. Despite his busy schedule, Santa has allotted some time to be with kids on December 9, 16 and 25 at 11:00 a.m. and on December 24 at 7:00 p.m.—at Level 24 Sky Lobby. Then there is anticipated Holy Mass, a long-standing tradition of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, taking place at Level 7 Ballroom on December 24 and 31 at 8:00 p.m.

Finally, make your Christmas celebration even more meaningful by purchasing an eagle stuffed toy for Php650 in support of the hotel’s worthy cause for the third year in a row. The money will help protect and conserve the country’s national bird, the Philippine Eagle, for generations to come.

For any of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Whimsical Winterland packages and offerings, visit www.marcopolohotels.com. For reservations, call (+632) 720-7777.


(Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is located at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.)


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Cravings Offers Festive Cakes for Christmas

Cherry Walnut Cheesecake

WHEN December dawns, can the Christmas season be far behind?

As soon as Christmas carols began to play this year, with Jose Mari Chan’s classic Christmas in Our Hearts dominating the airwaves, The Cravings Group launched its Christmas offerings in a special event called A Merry and Bright Christmas.

Among the many savory and sweet holiday treats that will be available this Christmas season is an entire line of Christmas-only, special-edition cakes that have been concocted especially for the festive season. These include soft, light and airy cakes as well as dense and filling ones to give Filipinos choices to give loved ones and friends as Christmas presents and to enjoy with family on the Noche Buena table.

Some of the really interesting limited-edition cakes include:

Avocado Mousse Cake

Avocado Mousse Cake (P1,200)—a layer of fresh avocado meringue cream over a thinner layer of Castella sponge cake sitting on top of cashew cookie crumble crust, and garnished with white chocolate and cashew crumbs. You can really taste the fresh avocado flavor in the mousse and feel it melt on your tongue one bite at a time.

Dark Belgian Cheesecake

Dark Belgian Cheesecake (P1,400)—creamy cheesecake made with dark bittersweet chocolate, topped with chopped Maltesers on piped dark chocolate icing. Nothing tastes better than dark Belgian chocolate cheesecake with a very smooth texture.

Cherry Walnut Cheesecake

Cherry Walnut Cheesecake (P1,400)—a slow-baked cheesecake with white chocolate incorporated into the cheesecake and cherries and walnuts swirled in the cheesecake to create a marbled effect.

Mango Brazo Dome

Mango Brazo Dome (P1,200)—a twist on classic Brazo de Mercedes, it is not jelly-rolled but shaped using a dome mold, filled with very light fresh mango meringue cream and coated with chiffon crumble.

Naked Devil’s Food Cake

Naked Devil’s Food Cake (P1,300)—not the traditional Devil’s Food Cake, this one has three layers of chocolate cake with boiled icing filling and topping. The burnt “wave” style iced topping, which reminds one of classic Baked Alaska with torched meringue icing, is garnished with silver dragees. The sides are not iced, giving it a raw look, which is exactly the idea of making naked cakes.

Mocha Praline Cake

Mocha Praline Cake (P1,200)—is Mocha Chiffon Cake with whipped buttercream spiked with espresso. The cake is sprinkled with chopped walnut sugar praline on top.

Mars Decadent Cake

Mars Decadent Cake (P1,300)—another version of decadent chocolate cake, with layers filled and then iced with rich chocolate icing. The top is outlined with rosettes of whipped cream garnished with bits and pieces of Mars chocolate bar and drizzling of chocolate.

Twix Cheesecake

Twix Cheesecake (P1,200)—cheesecake incorporating crushed Twix candies, generously garnished with halved Twix chocolates on top and outlined with a ring of whipped cream.

Chocolate Caramel Cake

Chocolate Caramel Cake (P1,200)—this one’s not entirely new, as it is a Cravings original since 1989. It is a moist chocolate cake with a thin layer of caramel icing on top and a generous swirling of chocolate icing all over the icing.

Other cakes available during the entire Christmas season include Strawberry Shortcake, Double Chocolate Cake, Devil’s Food Cake, Carrot Cake, Nutty Nirvana, Dulce de Leche, and Loacker Chocolate Cake.

Truly festive and sinfully delicious, these cakes are meant to make the Christmas season merry and bright.

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Diamond Hotel Celebrates Thanksgiving

Diamond Hotel’s Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce

THANKSGIVING Day falls on the fourth Thursday of November, and this year, it happens to be on Thursday, November 22, 2018.

Primarily an American holiday where families gather together to give thanks for all the blessings for the year, the Thanksgiving celebration started in 1621, when pilgrims gave thanks for their bountiful harvest in Plymouth Rock one year after arriving and founding the first permanent English settlement in the region of New England. That first celebration lasted for three days, with the settlers and the natives feasting on boiled pumpkin, turkey, venison and dried fruits.

The next time Thanksgiving was celebrated was in 1789, when George Washington declared November 26 of that year, the last Thursday of November, as Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday. But then again, each state celebrated the holiday on a different date, so Thomas Jefferson decided to do away with it during his presidency. It was Abraham Lincoln who finally turned Thanksgiving Day into a national holiday in 1863 by proclaiming the last Thursday of November as a national holiday of Thanksgiving.

These days, Thanksgiving is also celebrated in other places in the world, including the Philippines, where hotels spearhead the celebration of the annual holiday.

Over at Diamond Hotel Philippines, a bountiful Thanksgiving feast is available at Corniche from November 22 to 25, 2018. Enjoy Thanksgiving fares, such as Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce served with the best trimmings, hearty stuffing and thick buttery mashed potatoes. Match this with Corniche’s Buy 1 Take 1 offer on a glass or a bottle of wine, plus a wide selection of delectable desserts.

Thanksgiving is also celebrated at Bar27, where guests often unwind after a hard day’s work by having a drink or two while enjoying the view of the dazzling Manila Bay skyline. Raise your glass to the good life in the company of friends and colleagues. Make a reservation and use the code THANKSBAR27 to get a free pica-pica.

A special treat awaits at Corniche. It comes in the form of an exclusive ONLINE OFFER on the lunch and dinner buffets at a rate of Php888nett per person from November 19 to 21, 2018. Vouchers can only be purchased via onlineshopping.diamondhotel.com.

For restaurant reservations, call 528-3000 extension 1121.


(Diamond Hotel Philippines is located at Roxas Blvd. corner Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila.)


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