Blogging can be a lonely avocation. But it can be immensely rewarding when you get feedbacks from people and then meeting those who claim to (ahermm) fanatically read your blog.For a blogger like moi, this is heartwarming because it means am not just talking to the wall. I am glad that my online persona strikes some as nice and approachable (because this is how I am too, in real life) and it means a lot when readers-turned-friends take the time to email and meet me, especially when they come from other countries and only visiting the Philippines.
Meeting this blog’s readers always highlight my year, and after the successful eyeball with Mira from Hong Kong last year, I was glad to chat face to face with Marissa Marquez-Scherer this time around. Marissa is a Filipina based in Zurich, Switzerland for close to 20 years now and considers dropping by AWOTW as part of her regular ritual (thank you. I am not worthy,hehe). It was good that Mdme. Scherer got herself billetted at the Hyatt Hotel & Casino Manila which literally made us next-door neighbors 😛
Though we have emailed only each other last March, it seemed like we have known each other for a long time. There was certainly no awkward moment with this kababayan and conversation freely flowed from one topic to another (some of them unprintable, in the real style of teh Ajay who promises not to blog everything about her life but will tell all if you meet me in person, hehe)
For my part, it’s always enlightening to meet somebody from another country, to get to know the thoughts and feelings of fellow Filipinos living in a foreign land. Marissa impressed me as extraordinary since she has her feet firmly planted on the ground and her heart anchored towards her original home. Certainly, there’s none of the air of superiority displayed by some Filipinas who marry into
white meat, and she despises the culture of tsismis/crab mentality acquired by other Pinoys now settled in foreign shores.
In a nutshell, the meeting with Marissa consisted of a modest dinner at Bistro Remedios, followed by dessert and coffee at Cafe Adriatico, then cocktails at Guilligan’s Island, all in Malate. Our imported guest instantly took a liking to the gising-gising dish at the Bistro, composed of chopped kang kong (water cress) stems simmered in chili pepper and coconut milk. Perfect with hot rice and grilled fish.
( The Bistro is good in the classic sense, but I am still on a hunt for the best Filipino restaurant in Manila, considering the friends I have to show around who hanker for the best representation/interpretation of Filipino food. Kamayan was a disappointment the last time I tried it; Zamboanga was surprisingly superb but very tourist-y, and Harbor View near the Quirino Grandstand has the greatest ambiance, in my book. But in my own opinion, the best Filipino restaurants can now be found outside of Manila – the likes of Kusina Salud and the ones we tried during our last food trip to Pampanga).
As we capped the night, I had the good fortune of receiving assorted Swiss chocolates from Marissa. Anybody who knows good chocolate would surely agree with me that these chocs are truly exquisite to the taste, the closest thing to heaven on earth. My kids scooped them up in no time. Thank you Marissa, and till we meet again 🙂