It is definitely Rizal month, made even more special because it is his 150th birthday, and everyone is invited in this nationwide celebration.
I’ve been invited by my friend Marga Deona to the media launch of My Rizal 150 in Rizal Shrine at Fort Santiago. The event is organized by Saturnina Rizal‘s great granddaughter Lisa T. Bayot and Maite P. Gallego, relative of Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and Maximo Viola. Together with Binhi founding members Lois Ilustre, Miles Po, Rosalyn Consing and Peachy Avancena, film producer, writer and event organizer Ria Limjap, artist Yodel Pe, composer Tess Salientes Bloom, musical arranger Gerard Salonga, architect Miko Liwanag, Lucia Rizal descendant Trixie Herbosa Grau, and Vibal Foundation, they bring Rizal closer to each Filipino for “every Filipino [to] be inspired to emulate Rizal and work towards the strong Filipino nation he envisioned for us.”
We were treated to an extravagant Rizal-era merienda. I must commend the organizers that they have done such an effort for us. Adarna Restaurant by Chef Jeannie and Elizabeth Angsioco did excellent in imitating a 19th century meal, experienced by the alta sosyedad of Rizal’s age. It was well-researched!
Tsokolate Batirol from Batangas. Buttery creamy cocoa drink thickened by continuous swirling of a wooden tool called batirol.
Empanada de Kaliskis from Malolos. Like a regular stuffed empanada, only that the crust is crunchy, and textured like that of a croissant.
Hamon, Rich Man’s Pan de Sal, and Grilled Kesong Puti. Chef Jeannie shared to us that back in time, the alta ate small pan de sal which are made with extra egg yolks that makes it extra fluffy. True enough, extra yummy!
Grilled Kesong Puti from Malolos. My favorite item. Not too feta-ish, crumbly yet smooth and just plain cheesy goodness! I’m glad it’s from Bulacan, I can source it easily! :P
Fruits: Siniguelas and Bananas.
Chef Jeannie and Beth Angsioco of Adarna Resto.
Pop Quiz time! Noemi Dado @momblogger, Dean Jorge Bocobo @SagadaSun, and I won MiLi chargers for answering questions about Rizal. Well, technically Dean whispered one answer to Momblogger. She gave her prize to Dean afterwards. I love my seatmates!
Architects Miko Manalo and Miko Liwanag.
Organizers Marga Deona and Ria Limjap.
Yen Dreyfus and Beth Angsioco.
Maite Gallego and Lisa Bayot.
Cool press kit (left) and my new MiLi Power Miracle! Been wanting a MiLi since I knew of it last March!
We were then toured in the ongoing restoration of Almacenes Reales or the Royal Storage House of then Spanish Government in the Philippines which is heavily bombed during the Japanese occupation. Architect Mico Manalo of Escuela Taller explains to us what it would be in a few months time. It will be the future visitor center in the area and will house the shopping center, information and other offices of the government. This is being done in a very careful manner so as to avoid “tampering” the ruins, maintaining some details of the building and telling history through it.
Freelance Journalist Sunshine de Leon, Blogger Yen Dreyfus, Chuckie Dreyfus, Maite Gallego, Architects Miko Manalo, and Miko Liwanag.
They are in crunch time and in need of sponsors, so if you guys know somebody, or if you yourself want to take part in this wonderful project, please do so.
Thanks to the organizers of My Rizal 150 for such a pampered afternoon! Catch the month-long celebration of our national hero – Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda. Intramuros Administration will host a party of sorts in Rizal’s birthday on June 19 in Fort Santiago. Come in with your favorite Rizal-era costume and get in for free!
This is a month-long celebration, so please do check their daily schedule here.