15 Dec2005

Filipino office Christmas parties are in a class all their own. party1I have attended Christmas parties all over the world and none of them come close to the sheer fiesta mentality that takes over any Pinoy office party! And for some reason, there are always games, prizes, contests… Last weekend I had to fly down to Bohol to host (together with my two brothers) a party for 40 or so employees of the family companies held at a small hotel on Alona Beach, Panglao. These are some of the photos for your amusement and for the rest of my family who live abroad and couldn’t experience it first hand…of course there was dancing on stage for various groups vying for the top prize…

There were the maintenance crew gyrating to their version of the musculados…


And how can we forget the grass skirts in a classic rendition of “pearly shells”…


And finally, the crowning of Ms. Cross-dresser 2005…


The food was superb…4 lechon de leche Visayan style, 20 kilos of prawns, fried chicken, giant lapu-lapu, fruit salad and a LOT of beer!!! And tons of prizes, gifts and food baskets for all! I had a great time!!!



  1. schatzli says:

    you must be a good boss MM… speaking of Pinoy Parties my other half is somehow getting the grip of it. Last week I went to Filipino Bowlers party, this weekend another one from another association here.
    Once I brought a Swiss, a Swedish and an american to a pinoy mrs philippines athens…I gave them a briefing somehow and I wanted them to see Filipino life.
    They enjoyed it!!!


    Dec 15, 2005 | 2:59 am


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  3. ShoppaHolique says:

    cebu’s lechon is tastier than the ones here in manila!

    Dec 15, 2005 | 3:04 am

  4. Pete says:

    looks like a blast!

    Dec 15, 2005 | 5:11 am

  5. Marketman says:

    Schatzli, Visayan lechon is not served with the liver gravy… as such, its flavor has to be totally in the pig itself. They stuff the stomach with tons of tanglad or lemongrass and other herbs and seriously rub the skin with salt. Cebuano style lechon is in fact tastier than luzon lechon that seems to rely more and more on the sauce… For my wife, she can eat rib after rib of this lechon as it is the tastiest part of the pig…

    Dec 15, 2005 | 6:53 am

  6. dodi says:

    Hello MM!
    That party looked liked a blast! And yes, Visayan lechon IS tastier. I order mine all the way from Cagayan de Oro and my sister airfreights it and I pick it up at the airport still hot! Mrs. MM and I are kindred rib-eaters! Somehow, lechon cooked here in Manila,even the Visayan way just doesn’t taste the same.

    Dec 15, 2005 | 8:39 am

  7. schatzli says:

    OK I do remember how lechon was done in Cebu,all those leaves.
    Never had it with any kind of sauce.

    Thank you for the info.

    Dec 15, 2005 | 8:48 am

  8. oscar says:

    The lechon in Zamboanga tastes great too. They brush the skin with buko juice, as I was told.

    In Pinoy Christmas parties, nobody goes home without a gift, as I observed.

    Dec 15, 2005 | 8:55 am

  9. wysgal says:

    With Filipino Company Christmas Parties you can always look forward to:

    1. Christmas presentations where people can show off their talents in singing, dancing and cross-dressing (Filipinos seem to enjoy cross-dressing a whole lot more than most other cultures)

    2. Mile-long buffet tables that the employees attack as if they haven’t eaten in months (“patay gutom” anyone?); quality becomes suspect once your company has more than a few hundred employees though

    3. Raffle prizes galore; mostly boring practical giveaways like rice dispensers and stand fans, but there are a few gems … I know someone that won a car!

    And of course …

    4. Illicit alcohol-induced goings-on between co-workers that become fodder for water-cooler gossip come Monday =)

    Dec 15, 2005 | 8:55 am

  10. Gigi says:

    I like Visayan lechon only when I am in the Visayas! Over-rated yata ang Cebu lechon dito sa Manila. It doesn’t taste as good when it’s flown here and even when it’s cooked here. The skin is limp and tired. I don’t see why people are fawning over the Salcedo Market Cebu lechon. I’d rather have Elar’s if you ask me. I’d be happy to be disabused of the notion that Cebu lechon only tastes good in Cebu. (Post here naman if you know a supplier who can deliver the real deal.)

    I can so relate to Mrs. Marketman and Dodi. I had a meeting in Cebu once and I can’t forget to this day how I just went straight for the ribs — the under belly of the pig where all the juices of the salt rub and tanglad went and then just started feasting on the stuff.

    Talaga naman. In my katakawan, I went straight for the lechon discussion and almost disregarded the Christmas party post. MM– You and your family will be blessed for what you have done. To have provided your people not just a Christmas party but memories that they can treasure is priceless.
    I just finished a poverty report and it’s heartbreaking to know that what financial hardships have taken away is people’s ability to create good memories. God Bless, MM. God Bless.

    On a lighter note too, I think parties like the one you featured are a refreshing change from the chichi parties where the women dress up showing off their thanks-to-Belo twins bursting out of their décolleté dresses while pretending to enjoy standing on 4-inch Blahniks. I’d take a cross-dresser’s ball and lechon anytime of day and twice on Sunday.

    Dec 15, 2005 | 10:50 am

  11. filet minion says:


    how can you own a resort in panglao beach– for me one of the best divespots and beaches in the philippines– and not have a mean tan?!? that’s aggravating!

    so what costume did you come in?
    did you also cross-dress?

    Dec 15, 2005 | 5:42 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    filet minion, didn’t own a teeny tiny part of a teeny tiny hotel until recently…long story…but I don’t dive and am pretty brown naturally…

    Dec 15, 2005 | 6:39 pm

  13. Zita says:


    So which hotel in Alona do you own? H and I used to freuquent Bohol when we were dating. His work allowed him to go to Bohol several times (ARIVAC project) and he brought me along with him. We’ve stayed on most of the hotels at Alona. Allthough not the newest addition right next to Alona Tropical, they were still building it back then. When we get the chance to come home, H and I would love to go to Bohol again to remind us the good times we had!. Love that place. Food, beach, friendly locals. What moe do you need?

    Dec 15, 2005 | 6:55 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    Zita, let’s just say it’s one of the many hotels on the beach… and, no, I have had no hand in its restaurant, menu or kitchen…heehee

    Dec 15, 2005 | 7:24 pm

  15. joey says:

    Love Cebu lechon (in Cebu)! I also adore the lechon from Zamboanga…it’s really good (yes oscar!)! When I visited Zamboanga for the fiesta I had lechon at every meal (without slowing down, truly)…

    I too love the wackiness of our office Christmas parties here. Went to a “That’s Entertainment” themed Christams party once…I came as Lotlot…you can only imagine :)

    Dec 15, 2005 | 8:14 pm

  16. Mandy says:

    ay! there’s this cebuana lady who makes real cebu-style lechon in Fort bonifacio. sarap! ka lami gyud!

    Dec 16, 2005 | 3:32 am

  17. MLA says:

    Maybe WSM was a cross dresser.

    Dec 16, 2005 | 11:24 am

  18. Kai says:

    Amen to everything Gigi said. I love Alona and Panglao – their proximity to spectacular Balicasag island alone beats anything and everything under the sun. Lucky you, MM, you should seriously take up diving and honor Bohol’s other wondrous resources.

    Dec 16, 2005 | 11:43 am

  19. bugsybee says:

    Ha ha ha! Thanks a lot MarketMan for sharing with us these pictures. My Christmas gift to myself (and I hope I can get it done this year) is a trip to Bohol. Merry Christmas!

    Dec 16, 2005 | 11:56 am

  20. gene's_student says:

    cebu lechon is the best, what can i say, but we did manage to copy the cebu lechon flavor at out school at CACS.

    filipino christmas party, it rocks but its becoming more and more boring and at the same time interesting/creative.

    Dec 21, 2005 | 2:27 am

  21. lechgo says:

    Does anyone know what the real secret or prep process of the Cebu style lechon? Please, I would like to try it here in California. I actually purchased an automatic pig roaster just to try it for myself. I’ve heard the same story in San Francisco Bay Area that the Cebu lechon is the bomb.

    Jan 3, 2006 | 2:10 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    lechgo, as far as I can make out, a cebu lechon has its stomach cavity filled with lemongrass (tanglad) and/or young tamaring leaves (sampaloc) and lots of salt and pepper… the skin is also sometimes brushed with sugared water, 7up or coconut water to crisp it and caramelize it…

    Jan 4, 2006 | 10:12 pm


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