The "Tertulia Night: Meet Manila's Launch Party" held on
May 23, 2012 at the Adarna Food and Culture is an event that seamlessly
combined tourism promotion, social advocacy, and sumptuous food. These goals, I think, were attained despite
the power outage that hampered the technical aspects of the program.
The polite and accommodating staff continued in welcoming the guests with grace despite the problem with the electric post nearby. The dinner buffet included food with Hispanic influence such as adobong Batangas, Chicken Relleno, lumpiang sariwa, Bunuelos, and Peanut-Butter-and-Banana Rolls.
Before the tertulia proper, guests were entertained with a game of bugtungan (riddles).
Some of the riddles were new to me, enriching my Tagalog vocabulary in the process. Television and radio personality Francine Prieto read some riddles for the guests.
The tertulia night would have been a more engaging event if not for the power interruption that hampered the program. I was drawn to the awardees' brief but insightful speeches about their advocacies.
The restoration of the power gave me the opportunity to admire the Filipiniana theme of Adarna Restaurant. From the ceiling fans to the framed commercial advertisements, I was given a glimpse of Filipino middle class culture that prevailed about six decades ago.
The dance performances were marred by a problem with the sound system. Despite this issue, the props enhanced the flamboyance of the dance that involves three pairs. (Somebody, please help me what this dance is called ... The men strike the pieces of bamboo with smaller sticks. The women carry woven hats.)
Each guest, upon departure, was given a gift bag that contains a LOUDwhistle mouse pad, and back issues of Mabuhay and Travel magazines.
Despite the technical setbacks (and I am confident this would be proactively addressed in the future), the Tertulia Night was a worthwhile experience.
I am saying worthwhile because at a time that Western culture dominates the psyche of many people, there are still organizations such as MeetManila that promote Filipiniana. This gives hope that Filipino culture will flourish in generations to come.
A lot of thanks to Meet Manila for the opportunity to participate in this experience.