Dives and Dinner

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It was literally an earthshaking week for the entire country! After experiencing several nerve-racking earthquakes, we all realize how finite our existence on earth is, and how we are all in the hands of our Creator. 

During the Monday quake, I thought I still had my sea legs coming from our weeklong diving trip in Maldives. Seeing our chandelier swaying and the mini tsunamis coming from our pool, I knew it was the real thing.

After calming down from the temblor, I did a bit of research and saw that theWest Valley fault in Luzon last moved in 1658, and Phivolcs says it moves every 300 to 400 years. So this quake was almost right smack on time, if not slightly overdue. Looks like our Philippine plates have been releasing stresses.

​I was happy to spend a week in the Maldives for the first time last week. The archipelago has over 2,000 islands spread out over the Indian Ocean, and we saw a few on board a liveaboard dive boat. 

We did the Central Route that goes focuses on dive spots around the central atolls, North Male, North and South Ari, Rashdoo, and then back to South Male. This is the most popular dive route and gives good chances to see sharks, manta rays, and other pelagic fish.

​Visiting the atolls showed me the value of eco-tourism and how that can be a viable model to preserve our own islands and beaches. The Maldives takes great pains to make sure their dive spots remain pristine and will be enjoyed by tourists for generations. We should do the same.

​Most liveaboard boats have a support dive boat called a dhoni that shadows the main vessel, which is basically for sleeping, eating and entertainment. The scuba activities are all off the dhoni. There were always a dozen or more liveaboards around the dive spots, and yet, the ocean life and coral remained protected. Our liveaboard, Fun Azul, is a comfortable, spacious and luxurious yacht and can accommodate a maximum of 19 guests with a total of 10 cabins. 

For the dive trip, I made sure to be fashinably dressed. Before leaving for Maldives, I was able to attend the launch of Melissa’s latest limited edition collaboration with FILA. Sporty-chic meets style and function, the Brazilian footwear brand joins forces with Itaian sports-style label FILA to serve us totally fresh, fun and fashinable shoe options to work into your wardrobe. 

Since its establishment in 1911, FILA has been pushing an unapologetic sense of individuality and style to the fore. Taking this sartorial power from the tennis courts of Italy to the street scene all over the globe, FILA has earned a spot in the hearts of the sporty, the stylish and those who fall in between. On the other side of the spectrum, Melissa has long been a staple in the footwear scene for its unique steppers, unexpected collaborative collections and ability to take its raw material of plastic to new heights of design.

Marking the meeting of two iconic fashion brands, the Melissa + FILA limited edition collaboration delivers a total of four covetable pieces. The Melissa Sneaker +FILA comes with two colored shoelaces. The Melissa Slide + FILA features a distinct striped pattern on the insole. The Melissa Sandal + FILA features a chunky high platform with two ultra-thick double-lock Velcro straps. And the final item is the Melissa Pochete + FILA that hails back to the tri-color palette and athletic influences that Fila is known and loved for. The limited edition Melissa + FILA pieces are available at select Melissa and Fila stores, as well as online on www.melissaphilippines.com

​Coming back from a foreign trip, it is always superb to head back to some comfort food in a restaurant that the whole family loves. That’s what we all did with a visit to Chateau 1771’s new restaurant at the 2nd Floor Terraces, One Bonifacio High Street Mall, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, BGC, Taguig City.

​Chateau 1771 has a proud history in our country’s restaurant scene, and yet the restaurant constantly moves forward with the times. It is not just a place to get fancy European cuisine.

Ricky Gutierrez, founder and CEO of 1771 Group of Restaurants, envisioned a place where people could come together for memorable dining. When Chateau 1771 first opened its doors on 1771 Adriatico Street in 1988, it convened discerning gourmands who wined and dined amidst the backdrop of the busy city life. For more than three decades, Chateau 1771 has moved with the times, situating itself at the current center of business and lifestyle, from its original location in Malate to Ortigas, Makati, and now Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.  

It was Chateau 1771 that coined the term “No Borders Cuisine.” Executive Chef Vicky Pacheco showcases this concept superbly, highlighting outstanding innovations on French, Swiss and Italian favorites. Her culinary imagination constantly astonishes diners with wonderful twists on European favorites. She consistently heightens one’s perception of a good meal with Chateau 1771’s creative menu.

A special dinner was recently held to offer select guests a taste of the latest dishes being offered. For starters, the Tomato Cheese Fondue was an instant favorite. The deeply satisfying fondue made with Gruyère cheese and flavored with Fendant wine had everyone asking for seconds. The Smoked Gindara Salad was very refreshing with thinly sliced gindara meat, capers, cornichons, fresh orange segments, and nuts, with Japanese vinegar dressing. A vegetarian’s delight, the Ravioli Primavera was filled with roasted squash and parmesan with napolitaine sauce, topped with grilled broccoli, eggplant, carrots, and zucchini.

​Whether you decide to check out these new dishes, or just stay with the old favorites from the restaurant’s beginnings, it’s all good. For info and reservations, call 09178626467 or visit www.chateau1771.com.ph

More pics on Instagram @seaprincess888.

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