Story & photos by Cesar Cruz Jr.
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Hotel Jen Manila (HJM, formerly Traders Hotel Manila) is always something to look forward to.
It is a time when the team behind HJM shows its appreciation for the inspiring support of its valued clients and, at the same time, give back to the community by way of supporting a foundation.
Corporate clients, hotel guests and the media were recently led to Kitsho Japanese Restaurant (at the left side of the hotel lobby) for some quick refreshment and authentic yakitori. They were then treated to a gleeful performance of the kids of Maytubig Day Care Foundation. Soon after, HJM’s General Manager Edward Kollmer with his jolly red hat, gave a heartfelt welcome speech before proceeding to light the Christmas tree decorated with a lot of white balls and Christmas cards with written dedications from the guests. Especially designed cards by Jera Bustamante, a talented local calligraphist who helps raise funds for cancer patients from Cancervants PH, were given out.
The hotel lobby was suddenly filled with an energetic and fun vibe as the HJM team together with Pas de tous (a dance organization from Saint Paul College Parañaque) burst into a dance number to the delight of everyone present.
The Food Thrills of Latitude
After all was said and done, it was time for a dinner buffet at Latitude,the all-day dining establishment of HJM. As a veteran diner of Latitude, this writer was pleased to discover new and exciting dishes in the buffet spread for the evening. Shrimp thermidor, lamb rogan josh, chicken with chimichurri sauce, fried oysters and grilled pineapples were just some of the food items that grabbed this writer’s attention and tummy space.
A giant turkey and a Christmas ham were the main attractions of the carving station.
Making the dinner more special was a selection of fine wines. Have your fill of Shiraz to complement your meat dish or have a glass of Chardonnay to pair with your salad.
Two mean-looking Italian coffee machines were on standby to create a “bean to cup” coffee experience with a touch of a button.
In a little corner of the hotel lobby, a thick Chocolate De Batirol with Churros, and gingerbread cookies can be had for a sweet-tooth fix.
Windows by the Bay Cocktails
Not to be missed is the action on the 19th floor of the hotel, where it boasts of having an awe-inspiring night views of Manila Bay from 7:30 p.m. daily. It is where one will get to discover Rick’s Mix cocktail drinks, which were all inspired by the vibrant colors of Hotel Jen. The drinks are named Torquoise Tropics, Yellow Mellow, Blue Royal, Mandarin Magic, Captain’s Drink, and Purple Punch. According to Rick the Bartender, the must-try drink is the Mandarin Magic that is made with a few drops of Tabasco sauce, among other ingredients. “You will feel different when you drink it,” he added.
To take a glimpse of HJM’s Jenerous calendar, visit www.hoteljen.com/manila.