By Sol Vanzi's Timpla't Tikim
at the Manila Bulletin

THIS WEEK
EAT, PRAY AND DANCE 

The new senior hub in Makati is a one-stop shop for everything interesting, delicious, and relaxing.


MANILA, NOVEMBER 10, 2014 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi - The new senior hub in Makati is a one-stop shop for everything interesting, delicious, and relaxing.

With today’s traffic situation, Malate residents like me try to string Makati activities together in one day: shopping, clinic visits, interviews, reunions, and other inescapable obligations.

No matter how hard one tries, however, several problems persist; biggest of these is what to do with oneself when there is a long gap between appointments. At my age, it is no longer interesting to hang around hotel lobbies and fashionable bars.

Shrimp Spring Rolls Risotto Uni Negra Soft Tacos with Fish & Roasted Sesames Sweet Potato Raviolui Watermelon & Rocket Salad

A Facebook message brought me together recently with ladies I worked with at the Malacañang through several decades and presidents.

Neny Regino, Maribel Dario, and Juris Soliman picked me up for a surprise reunion at the brand-new Makati Senior Hub “for lunch and other activities” and were joined by Ching Suba and Micky Fenix (whose husband Yen was a Palace presence).

Before lunch, we toured The Hub, an SM venture, where adults can engage in activities in the realm of arts and crafts, music, dance, games, leisure, technology, health, wellness, and self-improvement.

I immediately signed up for weekend art lessons under Fernando Sena, who had, decades ago, successfully tutored my kids on oil and pastel painting.

Hi-Tech Respite

The Hub’s IT Corner allowed me to check my email for clients’ latest instructions as well as peruse Facebook for the latest trending topics.

The gang twisted my arm to join them in a mahjong session. We sat around an ultra-modern table where the mahjong tiles magically mix and arrange, all on their own, after every game. The contraption mesmerized me so much, I did not mind losing.

While waiting for lunch, we watched a romantic movie classic on a gigantic HD screen, sinking comfortably into leather, reclining La-Z-Boy chairs. The chair was so comfortable, I wanted to curl up and sleep in its embrace.

We also reserved Zumba sessions in the spacious, fully equipped studio-cum-gym after lunch.

Exciting and All-Organic

The lunch at Kitchen 56 was well worth the trip and the wait; thanks to Chef David Hizon’s green thumb and the flourishing herb garden right behind The Hub, only a few meters from his kitchen.

We started with shrimp spring rolls, perked up with herbs, peanuts, and lime-hoisin sauce. They were light and refreshing, just perfect for the sunny day. Even the uni negra risotto we all shared filled us just enough to want more.

The squid’s black ink rendered the al dente risotto flavorful but not fishy, rich but not cloying. Uni (sea urchin roe) and scallops added layers of color and flavor to the dish.

The pomelo salad— made up of fresh greens, green papaya, carrots, cucumber, pomelo, mint cilantro, peanuts, fried tokwa, crispy shallots, and lime vinaigrette— was an oriental tapestry of textures and colors.

Our afternoon feast went on for hours, with flower-infused watermelon-rocket salad, kamote top ravioli, beef kebabs on Ifugao rice, and fish tacos.

Before we parted, we gathered at The Hub’s chapel to pray for palace friends who had gone ahead. I knew I would be back often, and soon.

The Hub is at 56 Jupiter, Bel-Air, Makati. For details, call 8564144


SOL JOSE VANZI'S CORNER
LIFESTYLE COLUMNIST OF THE MANILA DAILY BULLETIN & PANORAMA
'TIMPLA'T TIKIM'


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