Marco Polo Ortigas relives Silk Road

General Manager Frank Reichenbach in his opening remarks

General Manager Frank Reichenbach in his opening remarks

THE cultural journey from West to East marked a new milestone for Marco Polo Ortigas Manila with the hotel’s “Silken Voices, Silken Roads: An Opera Gala Dinner.”

Opera, cuisine, and couture filled the halls of the Grand Ballroom of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila on April 18, as the hotel celebrated its second year anniversary with its first ever-grand affair. The event was graced with elegantly dressed guests that experienced a travel from one region to another in one delightful evening.

The journey on the Silk Road began with a Venetian collection of couture pieces by Renee Salud, inspired by the place that impressed the young Marco Polo and made the boy embark on a long journey. As models stood in the middle of the grand ballroom, Canapes from Spain, to China, to Philippines were served, especially made by Executive Chef Lluis Pesarrodona. Chinese Black Marinated Fungus, and Mahi Mahi Crudo, were just one of the savory dishes served to guests.

As guests settled in, General Manager Frank Reichenbach opened the ceremonies. Afterwards, guests were serenaded with Italian opera song, Libiamo, performed by Asia’s Got Talent runner up Gerphil Flores, the Philippine Opera Company, and Francisco Aseniero.

 ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ Gerphil Flores

‘Asia’s Got Talent’ Gerphil Flores

Europe is a region dear to Marco Polo. The culinary journey continues with satisfying appetizer, Italian Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio, paired with a delightful 2014 Banfi Placido Pinot Grigio from Italy.

Marco Polo then travelled through the Middle East. The region was an inspiration for the song, Lakme, for its distance and exoticness. This opera song was performed by Philippine Opera Company’s Karla Gutierrez and Marian Santiago.

This also gave way for the feast of Baby Calamari and Roasted Duck, a walk through Asian cuisine.

Continuing the journey through Middle East was violinist Joseph Brian Cimafranca with a contemporary piece, Kashmir, and a savory dish, the Chicken Kebab with orange-flavored hummus and dried fruits.

 Tenor Francisco Aseniero

Tenor Francisco Aseniero

Showcasing her versatile talent is Gerphil Flores, who sang “Un Bel Di,” the most famous aria from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.”

Guests simultaneously feasted on a taste of China, the Stir-fried Lapu-lapu and Tiger Prawn in XO Sauce and Soft Tofu. The world-class dish became even more enjoyable as Philippine Opera Company’s Marian Santiago, Tenor Christian Nagaño, and Baritone Lawrence Jatayna, together with tenor Francisco Aseniero, sang one of the most moving love songs, Kismet and And This Is Beloved.

+China is truly the region that Marco Polo was fascinated for with the rich culture it brings. From the West, Marco’s homeland, to East, the land of endless discoveries, came together with Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s version of a pasta medley, Lemon Ricotta Tortellini and Fried Noodles with Scallops. The savory dish was followed by the very charming aria, “Yours Is My Heart Alone” and “When He Speaks,” sang by tenor Francisco Aseniero.

Violinist Joseph Brian Cimafranca

Violinist Joseph Brian Cimafranca

After 23 years, Marco Polo returned to Italy, bringing a vast array of different cultures from the different regions he went to. Topping off the culinary journey were scrumptious desserts from the country that always brings the best of the best, France. A French-type cake made with layers of almond sponge Joconde, soaked in coffee syrup were enjoyed while listening to “Funiculi Funicala,” and “O Sole Mio.”

In one night, the hotel was able to bring its guests from West to East. The success of this cultural journey marks the start of the yearly celebration of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila.


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