Jose Mari Chan is first Filipino Dante Alighieri awardee

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Becky Garcia

Becky Garcia

Caruso Ristorante Italiano keeps on following the vision of owner Emilio Mina to become the center for arts and food.

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After successfully organizing the Caruso Awards for painters under 35, Kidspizza awards for painters under 11, and the memorable Dante Alighieri night “Inferno di Caruso,” the next logical step for Mina was to invite Filipino personalities in culture to witness another historical moment for local arts.

As part of his and Arthur Manuntag’s birthday celebration, the event saw Jose Mari Chan receive the Diploma of “Merit” and a Medal in recognition of his numerous and exemplary contributions to the World of Arts and Culture. This is a unique recognition and the first to a Filipino artist.

 Jose Mari Chan receives an award from Eduardo Delgado, president of the Societa Dante Alighieri Association Manila. With them are the birthday celebrants

Jose Mari Chan receives an award from Eduardo Delgado, president of the Societa Dante Alighieri Association Manila. With them are the birthday celebrants

Eduardo Delgado, president of the Societa Dante Alighieri Association Manila, awarded the famous composer, singer and business leader.

Previously, the Dante Alighieri Association, which stands for Italian language and culture to help Filipinos working in Italy, only awarded the Italian Ambassador to the Philippines and a long tenured Filipino teacher of the Italian language.

Fr. Boyd Sulpico, a Filipino priest who speaks fluent Italian and who was at the awarding was specially mentioned by Delgado for his continued support to the Societa.

Delgado also thanked the oldest college in the Philippines, San Juan de Letran for teaching Italian and he wishes that more schools and colleges in the Philippines will appreciate the importance of Italian culture and language because most number of Filipinos in Europe work and live in Italy.

 A duet by George Yang and Caruso Ristorante Italiano owner Emilio Mina

A duet by George Yang and Caruso Ristorante Italiano owner Emilio Mina

The outstanding staff of Ristorante Caruso led by Chay Francisco and Leo Balanquit surprised the guests with their unique dishes, the favorites of the birthday celebrants like Vitello Tonato, Insalata Russa Con Prociutto and Rotolino Con Funghi Porcini Dell’ Ossola for the antipasti and for Primo. Angel hair with garlic, Olive oil and Chili or Classic Italian Ravioli in butter and sage and tomato sauce, for the main course. Not to forget the tempting desserts Chiacchiere and Semifreddo Al Cappuccino.

All paired with the best Italian Red, white and Sparkling Wines. All theses were enjoyed by selected guests led by Rep. Imelda Marcos, American Chamber of Commerce executive director Ebb Hinchcliffe, CCP president Raul Sunico, Italian Chamber of Commerce president Sergio Boero, businessman turned tenor George Yang, and Miss World licensee Cory Quirino, among others.

 Arthur Manuntag and Emilio Mina blow their birthday candles

Arthur Manuntag and Emilio Mina blow their birthday candles

Singing followed after dinner by the celebrant himself Arthur who just came back from a very successful European tour to celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100 years in Prague and other cities.

Lovely wife Kathy and good-looking son Sean Paolo could not be outdone and entertained the guests as well. Another popular crooner Mina Remollo showed her best moves. The singing waiter of Caruso Odie Estiller also surprised the guests with his amazing voice.

Of course the night will not be complete without Jose Mari serenading the guests with his love songs, followed by Madame Imelda who gave her all in spite of a cold and.

Hans de Metz and Emilio Mina

Hans de Metz and Emilio Mina

Debonair Dr. George Sarakinis was not only the emcee that night but did a Tagalog duet with his Ninang Meldy and later did a mean Elvis number, which he is preparing to do for his gig on January 28 at the RJ Bistro at the Dusit Hotel. He then had a duet with Arthur who is also doing a show at Hard Rock Cafe on January 27.

As if these were not enough, dancing followed up to midnight! What a night to remember indeed that guests did not want to leave.

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