14 Oct2013


National Bookstore recently brought into Manila and Cebu four New York Times best-selling female authors to sign books and meet with fans. Zubuchon had the opportunity, on two separate dates, to host dinners on our garden terrace in Cebu for the authors and other guests. Kiera Cass, Alyson Noel, Melissa de la Cruz and Margaret Stohl write mainly young adult or teen novels and some of them have upwards of 20 books written and millions of copies sold. I have to admit I have never read one of their books but some of the kids of our managers had, and we were all thrilled to have them as guests.


We set up one of the classic feasts for each of the evenings, and an extra dose of flowers (we always lose money on these dinners when I do the flower shopping, but we consider it good PR and it’s always our pleasure to leave foreign visitors with a good impression) and prayed for an absence of rain which the powers that be provided for several hours during each dinner despite the otherwise stormy conditions.


The menu was made up of lechon and several other dishes, with a few more grilled seafood items thrown on in case guests weren’t too keen on meat. Several salads and vegetable dishes provided a meatless option as well.


Large vases of tropical blooms on the buffet table and lots and lots of candles in glass votive holders and capiz dotted the venue.


We created vases from fresh bamboo and filled them with rosal (gardenia) leaves and lots of white roses on the dinner table.


Large anthurium leaves were laid directly on the table, partly to cover some blemishes on the all-natural wooden “picnic” tables.


The authors had grueling schedules and I feared they would pass out from jetlag at dinner, having just arrived a day or so before, but they seemed to have really enjoyed their meals and I know they tweeted and instagram-ed updates of the meal and the food so I guess that was a mission well accomplished. Thanks to Xandra Ramos-Padilla for insisting that the dinners be held on the Zubuchon terrace, and for fearlessly insisting they be done outdoors despite the potentially disastrous weather conditions. :)



  1. millet says:

    green and white and a pop of red, and candlelight all over..so beautiful!

    Oct 14, 2013 | 9:27 am


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  3. ami says:

    The birds of paradise flowers in the picture looks similar to the ones we have growing in our garden. They’re surprisingly easy to maintain and multiply by themselves except during the summer months where some of them may wither and die from the extreme heat. Have you considered growing some easy to maintain plants/flowers to keep down flower costs?

    Oct 14, 2013 | 11:45 am

  4. Gina says:

    Again, loving everything about your tablescape.

    Oct 14, 2013 | 11:52 am

  5. ysa says:

    i love the chairs, and the red color too….. they provided a sharp contrast to the greens and whites.

    Oct 14, 2013 | 12:05 pm

  6. manny says:

    Filipino hospitality at its best!!!

    Oct 14, 2013 | 1:14 pm

  7. Jaja says:

    ang ganda ng table setting. simple yet stunning! :)

    Oct 14, 2013 | 1:35 pm

  8. bearhug0127 says:

    Just curious…. wanted to take a peek on what was served. My mouth waters thinking about the
    glorious food you have prepared.

    Oct 14, 2013 | 3:05 pm

  9. Lou says:

    Love your use of local produce and resources – like the bamboo vases.

    Oct 14, 2013 | 7:24 pm

  10. MP says:

    Wow! Xandra made the right choice!!!

    Oct 14, 2013 | 9:13 pm

  11. corrine says:

    Love the floral arrangement! You’re the perfect host. I still remember our first EB with you. You and Mrs MM made sure everybody was welcome.

    Oct 14, 2013 | 9:27 pm

  12. Josephine says:

    Beautiful. I dream of going there one day.

    Oct 14, 2013 | 9:51 pm

  13. La Emperor says:

    Beautiful setting. Love the greens, everywhere.

    Oct 14, 2013 | 11:12 pm

  14. greens_blossoms says:

    Lovely setting…goes without saying the food must be delish too – cant wait to see the pics…on another note just saw the news about earthquake in Cebu, Bohol, and other parts of the Visayas….hope you and your crew are all safe and well….

    Oct 15, 2013 | 9:16 am

  15. Betchay says:

    Hope you and your crew are ok and no damages on any of your Zubuchon outlets.

    Oct 15, 2013 | 9:32 am

  16. Getter Dragon 1 says:


    Oct 15, 2013 | 11:35 am

  17. Joey in Dubai says:

    Off-topic, Marketman. I just hope you and your crew are all safe in Cebu.

    Oct 15, 2013 | 3:53 pm

  18. Lei says:

    Keep safe MM and Cebu- based crew! Hope you are all okay.

    Oct 15, 2013 | 5:27 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    Lei, Joey, Betchay and greens_blossoms thanks for those comments. We at Zubuchon are very fortunate, and have only suffered superficial and relatively minor damage to restaurants and offices. Our staff all appear to be safe, though some have experienced significant damage to their homes around the city of Cebu. We managed to get 2 restaurants operational today by lunch, the rest remained closed, including our airport location, due to concerns from building authorities (airport and malls) that they wanted to clear up before letting things return to normal. We were pleased to be open to the public, and were mobbed with guests, as many other dining places remained closed for the day.

    We are most distraught by damage to centuries old churches, heritage sites, buildings, infrastructure and of course, most of all the loss of life and injuries. Thankfully, an extended family “ancestral home/site” of sorts from Duero, Bohol has weathered the quake well though it was quite close to the epicenter. Hundreds of aftershocks are hitting Bohol and Cebu and our prayers are with everyone in the area for their safety and peace of mind.

    I hope in the days ahead, people recover, thankful that we mostly appear to be spared even worse damage. I have said it before and I will say it again, I really worry about Metro-Manila’s ability to weather say a 7.5+ richter scale earthquake and hope lots of these new, tall and rapidly built structures are strong enough to avoid disaster. I was a young child of 4 but vaguely remember the Casiguran earthquake of 1968 at 7.3 that caused a lot of damage and loss of life in the Ruby Tower tragedy in Manila, and that was hundreds of kilometers from Manila! I can only guess what buildings will remain standing if Manila figures in a direct hit or closer proximity to a major quake. The last really major quake of 7.8 in 1990 towards Dagupan/Baguio on the island of Luzon was 23 years ago…

    Oct 15, 2013 | 5:30 pm

  20. pixienixie says:

    I don’t have relatives and friends in Cebu and Bohol, so the first thing I did was check your blog to see if everything’s ok. Really glad you and your family, as well as the people at your Zubuchon restos, weren’t harmed by the earthquake.

    Oct 15, 2013 | 6:19 pm

  21. kristin says:

    really impressed with the Zubuchon terrace :) one day soon, I hope to be able to dine there too… Glad to know the business is doing well after the quake..Keep safe all the time..

    Oct 15, 2013 | 7:08 pm

  22. Migs says:

    Keep safe always!

    Oct 15, 2013 | 8:01 pm

  23. millet says:

    glad to know everyone and everything’s fine. i can imagine how nerve-wracking the aftershocks tonight will be. praying for all.

    Oct 15, 2013 | 8:31 pm

  24. Fards says:

    When I heard of the earthquake, first thing I thought was to check your blog. Glad you and the Crew are okay. Sorry to hear of the major damage to the Basilica.
    MM, I thought at first the white roses were the rosals, but then the perfume would cover the aroma of the food, he,he.
    Must go to this Zubuchon terrace the next time I go home.

    Oct 16, 2013 | 12:19 am

  25. Charly says:

    Hello Mr MM I’m glad to hear that you and your staff are safe. I’m looking forward on dining at one of your Zubuchon restaurant this coming Jan.

    Oct 16, 2013 | 12:44 am

  26. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Glad “everyone’ are ok..my prayers to all,I am home for now living around Clark area,feeling all the grief on this natural disaster,Typhoon & now this earthquake.
    My fave part of blog are the flower arrangements..lovely,with the gardenias I can almost smell them!!Birds of paradise,gardenia are present on our garden..some were cut off to established a semi Japanese garden..regrets :( for I love cut flowers fr,the garden.

    Oct 16, 2013 | 5:17 am

  27. ami says:

    Glad to hear that your crew are safe. I was also saddened because of the damages to our beautiful churches in Bohol because I haven’t gotten around to seeing those places yet.

    Oct 16, 2013 | 9:17 am

  28. wongkangkong says:

    Great :)

    Oct 16, 2013 | 5:25 pm

  29. Slightly Epicurean says:

    Lovely setup MM! We are all praying for Cebu and Bohol’s safety and recovery. The company I work for is organizing a fund raising to help the victims of the recent earthquake.

    Oct 17, 2013 | 6:42 pm

  30. achtungbabe says:

    Gorgeous table setting with a rustic but classy feel. The chairs are also distinctive! if you don’t mind, would you please tell us where you sourced those chairs? I haven’t seen them in Cebu, although I must admit I come home only once in two years. I would love to have these chairs in my backyard garden!

    Oct 18, 2013 | 12:01 am

  31. Marketman says:

    achtungbabe, the chairs are heavy duty platic or resin of some sort. We got them at Home Builders or you can also find them at Mandaue foam, roughly PHP2000-2500 each. We order in bulk for the restaurants, so get a wholesale price just slightly below that. Slightly Epicurean, I am sure Boholanos and Cebuanos are most grateful for corporate and individual help provided to earthquake victims.

    Oct 18, 2013 | 9:01 am

  32. achtungbabe says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing Marketman. In awe of your generosity in continuing this blog!

    Oct 20, 2013 | 1:38 am

  33. Meg says:

    Your garden setting is very gorgeous. I like all the tropical flower arrangements, it reminds me that i need to come home to my tropical Philippines….and settle there someday. Thanks MM for showcasing our country again to these writers.

    Oct 25, 2013 | 1:21 am


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