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SOL VANZI's  TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE PAGE
FEATURING HER 'TIMPLA'T TIKIM' (Manila Bulletin)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

MOONCAKES FOR LUCK AND ROMANCE
[The story of how the mooncake came to be ]


A pastry traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the moon cake symbolizes unity among the family The most exhilarating part of my first visit to Hong Kong 50 years ago was jostling with hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents lighting firecrackers and swinging lanterns at Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island for the Mid-Autumn Festival. My guides were Las Piñas childhood friends, musicians Rey and Celso Cristobal whose family played a key role in the development of the Hong Kong music industry. They made sure my first trip to the British Colony coincided with the festival. The Moon Goddess was in a good mood that night; nary a cloud was in the sky to mar our view of the full moon, where legends say the Goddess Chang’e fled thousands of years ago to protect the potion of immortality from falling to evil hands. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Sol Vanzi recalls and reports: INSIDE MARTIAL LAW  MARTIAL LAW NIGHT --On the evening of Sept. 22, 1972, I watched the discreet unloading from military trucks of armed men in uniform at major intersections in Metro Manila. An unusually large number of police patrol cars roamed the streets. Overhead, helicopters were circling the city. --READ AT PHNO TOP PAGE HEADLINE NEWS or at Manila Bulletin @ http://www.mb.com.ph/little-known-events-of-dark-september-1972-come-to-light/


READ FULL MEDIA REPORT HERE:

Mooncakes for luck and romance
The story of how the mooncake came to be


A pastry traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the moon cake symbolizes unity among the family

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi September 17, 2015 - The most exhilarating part of my first visit to Hong Kong 50 years ago was jostling with hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents lighting firecrackers and swinging lanterns at Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

My guides were Las Piñas childhood friends, musicians Rey and Celso Cristobal whose family played a key role in the development of the Hong Kong music industry. They made sure my first trip to the British Colony coincided with the festival.

The Moon Goddess was in a good mood that night; nary a cloud was in the sky to mar our view of the full moon, where legends say the Goddess Chang’e fled thousands of years ago to protect the potion of immortality from falling to evil hands.

MOON GAZING

Young people carrying lanterns urged me to follow them and gaze at the moon in search of the sage old man who has all the names of future husbands and wives.


GOOGLED IMAGE

Others, whose loved ones were not around, gazed at the moon for deeper, more romantic reasons.

“May we live long and share the beauty of the moon together, even if we are hundreds of miles apart,” says a romantic Chinese poem recited over and over that night.

As the round shape symbolizes unity in the Chinese culture, the full moon stirs sentiments of love and family unity, which are embodied in the way the Mid-Autumn Festival has been celebrated since the early Tang dynasty (618-907).

FOCUS ON MOONCAKES

A decade after that first trip, I became a Hong Kong resident and began to notice changes in festival observances. The crowds at The Peak and Victoria Park increased. Lanterns started to show changes in design, sometimes incorporating product logos.

Fewer and fewer young people knew, or cared, what the Moon Goddess was all about. But everyone loved mooncakes and the festival soon became more popular, with bakeshops competing for the most innovative mooncake fillings.

MOONCAKE REVOLUTION

Legend credits the successful overthrow of the oppressive Mongol dynasty which ruled China from 1271 to 1368 to the distribution of mooncakes which contained the message “kill the Mongols on the 15th of 8th lunar month.” People responded, resulting in the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368.

MANILA HOTEL MOONCAKES


Chef Sun Bing

In the Philippines, the Manila Hotel’s premier Chinese restaurant Mabuhay Palace leads in the observation of the Mid-Autumn Festival with menu items considered lucky to partake of with family and friends during the season, plus mooncakes until Sept. 27.

Executive Chinese Chef Sun Bing’s kitchen staff has been kept busy making traditional mooncakes that are always in demand, as well as new variants that tease the palate.

Traditional flavors are: Honeyed Assorted Nuts, Single Yolk Red Bean Paste, and Single Yolk Pure White Lotus Paste. Modern variants include: Green Tea Paste with Pistachio Nuts, Pineapple Paste with Cheese, and Single Yolk Low Sugar White Lotus Paste.

GIFT BOXES

Over the centuries, mooncakes have become lucky gifts for families, friends, and business associates.

Mooncake box designs and materials evolved and have become beautiful, collectible works of art.


MANILA HOTEL's Mabuhay Palace unique varieties of moon cakes such as almond paste with sliced almond nuts moon cake, single yolk in pure white lotus seed paste, and green tea paste with pistachio nuts. GOOGLED IMAGES

At the Manila Hotel, one has several choices: a box containing one mooncake, a box of two variants, tower boxes containing two, four, or five variants.

Corporate clients can also avail of up to 20 percent discount on their orders.

Mabuhay Palace 02 527 0011 local 1345


SOL JOSE VANZI's PHNO PAGE


Photo from Kyle Victor Jose's iPAD -Lifestyle/Food and Arts & Culture columnist of the Manila Daily Bulletin. Signature title "Timpla't Tikim"
http://www.mb.com.ph/lifestyle/


Sol in 1997 Photo: PHNO Editor/Travel & Leisure page
http://www.newsflash.org/staff/solvanzi.htm


Photo of Sol and young Kyle Victor Jose in March 2005 at PHNO/QCNet office in Levitown, Paranaque. Photoshot by Leo Q. Carolino.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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