Saturday, October 20, 2007

Alain's Birthday Spread at Punta Fuego, Batangas, Philippines

Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to the birthday weekend of my friend Alain Panlilio. He celebrated his big day with nine friends at the house of his sister Deanne-Deanne in Punta Fuego, Batangas, a three-hour drive away from Manila. The house was gorgeous, with an infinity pool and a lovely view of the sea, which was right behind the house.

Other than the beautiful venue, I was excited for the grub as well. Alain and his sister run Urban Feast, a successful catering business, so I was looking forward to his birthday dinner (It was bound to be great).

The birthday celebrant and his spread

When dinner was about to be served, I couldn't wait to dig in. Only one dish was not seafood, so I knew I was in for another session of near-gluttony. Most of the food was grilled, so I consoled myself with the thought that the healthy manner of cooking the food would compensate somehow for the sheer volume that I would be sure to consume.

Grilled Squid

Grilled Shrimp

Crispy Crablets

Vegetables, Salted Egg, and "Bagoong" (Shrimp Sauce)

Alain's whole birthday weekend was so relaxing. The company was fun, and the sun was out, so we all spent a lot of time tanning by the pool. I also got to a chance to go snorkelling, since the sea was just a stairway away from the house.

But the highlight of the weekend for me was Alain's birthday dinner. That's exactly how a Filipino birthday should be celebrated- with good food, and lots of it.