CULTURAL POTPOURRI| Marco Polo Davao Celebrates the New Year of the Rooster

WITH the pounding of drums and the clanging of cymbals, the mostly red-clad guests waiting by the Prosperity Tree of Fortune and Good Chi at the lobby of the Marco Polo Davao, headed towards the hotel’s entrance to witness the spirited traditional Dragon/Lion dance. The Dragon/Lion dance was performed last January 27, 2017, by the Eugene Sy and Company. The dragon is considered the most auspicious animal which symbolizes the great Chinese Emperor of centuries ago as well as good fortune, among others, according to the Chinese and Chinoys. Indeed, those born in the Year of the Dragon are admired for their intelligence, bravery, authority as well as bringing good luck to the family. Even during these modern times, those born under the Chinese zodiac sign of the dragon are sought after as spouses.

3

GM DOTTIE Wurgler-Cronin and Juanito Yap draw the eye of the dragon

As is the annual ceremonial practice, GM Dottie Wurgler-Cronin and Juanito Yap did the traditional drawing of the dragon’s eye in the midst of a team of dancers who controlled the long body of the dragon in coordinated and choreographed movements. The performance reinvigorated the guests whose spirits were earlier dampened by the rain and the worsening Davao traffic.

     The hungry guests then made their way to the Lotus Court which was also celebrating its most recent achievement. The Philippine Tatler (yes, spelled with one T), well-known as the “ultimate arbiter of high society, taste and glamour,” recognized and awarded the Marco Polo Davao’s Lotus Court as one of the Philippines’ Best Restaurants for 2017. “Lotus Court is all about refinement…The elegant interiors and flavorful Cantonese dishes make it one of Davao’s favorite dining spots,” as quoted from the Tatler review. The Lotus Court was the only Cantonese restaurant from the Davao region that was nominated and eventually given the honors. The award was made through an evaluation done by professional chefs and client recommendations.

6

GM DOTTIE Wurgler-Cronin and PRO Sarah Mama with Davao’s lifestyle writers

  “Chef Alex is a well-loved and hardworking member of the Marco Polo Davao family who has truly made significant strides in the hotel’s culinary standards. We expect only the very best from Exec. Chef Alex,” said GM Dottie Wurgler-Cronin. On the other hand, the happy Exec. Chef Alex Destriza commented, “We are very honored and proud to represent not only the Marco Polo Hotels but Davao City as well. We are really happy that our beloved City is gaining its due recognition not only as a Model City of our dear President Duterte but as a culinary destination as well in this part of the Philippines. Davao is truly worth the tourists’ culinary adventure. There is no other way for us to go but to get better and introduce innovations to make our guests’ culinary adventure a truly unforgettable experience.”

8

GM DOTTIE Wurgler-Cronin and Exec. Chef Alex Destriza and the Lotus Court Kitchen crew presenting the citation as Philippine Tatler’s Best Restaurants for 2017

     Naturally, the Lotus Court under the able culinary stewardship of the good-looking, talented and friendly Exec. Chef Alex Destriza, showcased its Special Chinese New Year Buffet prepared from lucky ingredients to attract good fortune. Featured dishes included the much sought after Peking Duck, Yin Yang Lapu-Lapu, Chili Crabs, various fresh seafood items and that finely textured Lotus Court’s braised tofu with mushrooms. Not to fail to mention the lucky dim sum which included the Chinoy and Pinoy’s favorite siopao and siomai plus barbecued meats. Ahh, colorful, aromatic and so tasty comida China at its best only at the Lotus Court. It only reminded me that Chinese cuisine is the most widespread among culinary heritages in the world; and among the best loved. Now I wonder how many Chinatowns there are in the world. The world’s oldest Chinatown is reputed to be that of Manila’s Binondo.

     The eve of the Chinese New Year celebration at the Lotus Court of Marco Polo Davao was, indeed, a taste of Chinese culture as well. While in heaven tasting the distinctive Lotus Court Cantonese culinary delights of Chef Alex, guests were also treated to a cultural presentation of Chinese music and dances performed by the elementary and high school students of the Colegio de San Ignacio. Spotted among the excited guests was the lovely Elizabeth Abellana Zimmerman, former wife of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, whose attention remained focused on her grandchild performing. She quietly disappeared after her grandchild’s performance just as she had so quietly entered the Lotus Court. Admirable.

     After the cultural presentation which was just about the time the guests finished their main course meals, traditional Chinese sweets like tikoy, buchi, glutinous rice cakes, which are believed to usher in auspicious tidings, was served.

     Wishing you all Happiness, Peace, and Prosperity. Thank you, Marco Polo Davao, for the gracious annual treat to welcome the New Year of the Fire Rooster. Hoping the Rooster brings you good fortune, good health and good tidings and happiness this year.

Posted in Lifestyle