Exquisite Explorations: Hotel Okura Manila serves Saga Wagyu & Sake Pairings in a six course Dinner

Federal Meat Academy of Japan’s Hiroki Samata headlines as guest chef

Hotel Okura Manila invites guests and patrons to travel by taste to the historical Saga Prefecture in Japan through a six-course dinner featuring the globally-esteemed Saga Wagyu beef, elevated with authentic sake pairings. Four kitchen masters, including guest chef Hiroki Samata of the Federal Meat Academy of Japan, collaborate in curating a tasting menu that traverses through different interpretations of the premium beef.

For starters, Saga-Gyu is made from the finest breeds of Japanese cattle raised on fertile farmlands within the prefecture. These black-haired cattle are perfectly embraced by the region’s mild climate, clean air, and fresh water. The highly-maintained standards – from being raised in agricultural-association-designated farms and rigorous grading processes, places Saga beef among the best of over 200 beef brands in Japan carrying a grade of 4 (or A4) by the country’s meat grading standards.  In addition, its characteristics of tsuya-sashi or marbling is so outstanding, the shades of the cross-section are reminiscent of that of a cherry blossom flower. With a rating of 7 (the highest within the range of A4 grade meat), the marbling becomes an unwrapped gift of flavors when cooked.

With its arrival in Newport World Resorts, frequenters and enthusiasts alike are in for a spectacular culinary treat. The dinner features Yawaragi Chef de Cuisine Jerrymie Tamayo as he prepares the amuse-bouche, salad and soup, Yamazato Japanese Executive Chef Keiichiro Fujino prepares the entrée, Hotel Okura Manila Pastry Chef VI Serrano steps in for the dessert, and finally Hiroki Samata gets his hands on the appetizer and the main course.  

Hiroki Samata brings in years of skills sharpened by experience as a Master Butcher and faculty member of The Federal Meat Academy, a unique school located in Gunma, Japan, that advances the appreciation and knowledge of all skills associated with the processing and marketing of various kinds of meats.

The courses are paired with premium Sake for superior dining experience. The drinks include Sunflower and Strawberry-flavored drink from the historically-rich Amabuki Junmai, the award-wining bottles from Tenzan Sake Brewery, Shichida Junmai.

This exclusive gastronomic wonder is happening on March 18, 2023, Saturday, and starts at 7 PM at the visually-captivating dining venue, Yawaragi, in Hotel Okura, right within Newport World Resorts. Limited seats are available. Prices start at PHP 9,100++ per person. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5318 2888 or +63 917 842 9067. This event is made in partnership with Mayon Consolidated, Inc.  and Philippine Wine Merchants.

About Hotel Okura Manila and Okura Nikko Hotels

Hotel Okura Manila brings together Japanese omotenashi with Filipino warmth. Okura Nikko Hotels exemplifies the highest in Japanese hotel standards, both in Japan and around the world. Comprising Okura Hotels & Resorts, Nikko Hotels International, and Hotel JAL City, the Group includes 81 hotels in 12 countries and regions.

MullenLowe MARC bags 6 Anvils at the 58th Anvil Awards

MullenLowe MARC, the public relations unit of MullenLowe TREYNA, won 1 Gold and 5 Silver Anvils at the 58th Anvil Awards organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP).

Cetaphil emerged as the big winner in the group after Skin Awareness Month received top honors in the category of Special Events and Exhibits. It won Gold for effectively mounting a multi-stakeholder event despite the pandemic, bringing together over 5,000 pharmacists, 800 Health Care Professionals, and 2,814 consumers in Cetaphil’s biggest virtual event in 2022.

Also under Cetaphil, the Level Up Series won silver in the Product Launch category after successfully launching the Cetaphil Ultra Protect Antimicrobial Cleansing Bar in 2022.

Both wins mark a first for Cetaphil (and parent company Galderma) in the prestigious awards ceremony.

Unilever hair care brand TRESemmé also won silver in the Special Events category for the TRESemmé House of Salon, bringing MullenLowe MARC’s total haul to 3 for the events category.

Meanwhile, longtime MullenLowe MARC client Avon Philippines bagged 3 awards in this year’s show. Avon’s SpeakOut Dialogues won Silver in Podcasts, Beauty For All won Silver in Publications, and Avon’s Breast Cancer Awareness effort #NormalForMe won Silver in the Multimedia category, all under PR Tools.

For this year’s haul, MullenLowe MARC became a PR Agency of the Year nominee for the second straight year.

The Anvil Awards, presented by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), is the industry’s most prestigious awards program for public relations campaigns in the country. For more information on MullenLowe MARC’s Anvil-winning work, visit, https://philippines.mullenlowe.com/

PCPPI recognizes exceptional employees at Gold Crown Awards Excellence thrives where it is practiced consistently. Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI)

PCPPI recognizes exceptional employees at Gold Crown Awards Excellence thrives where it is practiced consistently. Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI)—the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country—recently honored three outstanding employees with this year’s Gold Crown Awards. This recognition is awarded to employees for demonstrating professional dedication in line with PCPPI’s ICARE Values, which stands for Integrity and Innovation, Care and Respect, Empowerment and Excellence.

The three awardees for this year are (in photo, from left to right) Faith Marie M. Zacal of from PCPPI’s Cagayan De Oro plant, Lucky J. Mallari from the Central Luzon Operations (CLO) and Jona Marie S. Rollan from the Davao manufacturing facility. Of the awardees, PCPPI president and chief executive officer Frederick D. Ong said, “Our people remain at the core of what makes us proud to be part of PCPPI. The Gold Crown Awards allow us as one team to acknowledge the exceptional contributions of our employees.” He added, “Jona, Lucky, and Faith are among the many brilliant team members who exemplify how true PCPPI Bravehearts are. We look forward to nurturing more inspiring professionals in the future.” For more information about PCPPI and the organization’s ICARE values, please visit pepsiphilippines.com.


One of the galleries that will be participating in Art in the Park 2023 is Art Cube Gallery featuring Isko Andrade for special exhibits.

For this year’s art fair, 60 exhibit booths representing galleries, art collectives, independent art spaces, and student groups will be showcasing and selling an assortment of exceptional pieces by seasoned and rising artists BPI offers flexible payment options to Art in the Park 2023 fairgoers Looking to build your art collection on a budget?

Don’t miss this chance as the annual Art in the Park, famed for being the most anticipated affordable art fair in the country, returns outdoors on March 19, at Jaime Velazquez Park, Makati City to mark its 17th year of celebrating and championing Filipino artistry. The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) once again teamed up with Art in the Park 2023 to offer flexible payment options for fairgoers with BPI Cards when they shop for art at the exhibit-sale, which runs for one whole day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. “BPI has been supporting Art in the Park for continuously uplifting the vibrant Filipino art scene and for providing a platform for our valuable contributors of art whose works truly merit more support and respect. It also makes art accessible to Filipinos, helping them learn more about art and Filipino artists,” said Jenny Lacerna, BPI Product and Sales Head for Unsecured Lending and Cards. For this year’s edition, 60 exhibit booths representing galleries, art collectives, independent art spaces, and student groups will be showcasing and selling an assortment of exceptional pieces by seasoned and rising artists.

One of the galleries that will be participating is Art Cube Gallery featuring Isko Andrade for special exhibits. “Art Cube Gallery has been a backbone of the Philippine contemporary art scene since it was established in 2012 for helping Filipino artists get their well-deserved spotlight,” said Lacerna. The said Gallery provides a platform for talented young artists to showcase their works before an extensive roster of art collectors, as well as help promote the careers of seasoned artists by giving art aficionados a broad access to their work in international art exhibitions. The gallery has so far mounted over 100 art exhibitions here and abroad involving award-winning and seasoned artists, as well as promising young painters and sculptors. Francis Eugene E. Andrade, also known as Isko Andrade, is a young artist based in Bulacan who has been known for sharing his stories through his artworks that evoke a sense of nostalgia.

He received several awards and citations such as Shell National Student Art Competition and Metrobank Art Design Excellence Competition. He is a graduate of fine arts with a major in visual communication at Bulacan State University. For his show titled Intersections II, Andrade uses knots as his art subject to depict his own impression of ‘persevering’ by utilizing oil paint on canvas. Lacerna said art as an asset remains an auspicious investment as it tends to hold its value over time in contrast with other asset classes whose value has the propensity to decline sharply when the market crashes. “What’s really enticing about collecting and investing in art is that aside from having a potential lucrative return in the long-term, they can also make stunning display pieces at home,” she said. BPI Cardholders can enjoy an exclusive Real 0% Special Installment Plan for up to 6 months and buy now pay 3 months later using their BPI credit cards. Organized by Philippine Art Events, Inc. and supported by BPI, Art in the Park will continue to benefit the Museum Foundation of the Philippines in support of its projects and programs for the National Museum of the Philippines and its network. For more information about Art in the Park and BPI’s special offers, follow www.facebook.com/bpi and http://www.facebook/artinthepark on Facebook, or visit www.bpi.com.ph/ and www.artinthepark.ph.

Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc.

Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. reaffirms commitment to responsible water stewardship Water remains the world’s top resource, as industry and community benefit from having access to clean, sustainable supply. Among the environmental commitments of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI), the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country, is practicing sound, responsible methods that help manage its use of water in collaboration with its various stakeholders.

The 22nd of March marks the commemoration of World Water Day, and aside from implementing industry best practices and policies, PCPPI encourages process improvement to further optimize how water is utilized across all areas of operations. “Upholding our commitment to responsible water stewardship goes beyond having the systems and protocols in place that allow our teams to carry out their responsibilities effectively. Our employees are encouraged to embrace innovation as part of our advocacy,” said PCPPI president and chief executive officer Frederick D. Ong.

Strategic plans supported by strong partnerships The water resource management policies of PCCPI are embodied in the Luntiang Yaman program, which covers the organization’s sustainability efforts. These include the 3Rs approach to manage water consumption: reduce, re-use, and recycle. Other than reducing water use, PCPPI also has protocols in place to optimize electricity use, optimize fuel yield, manage solid waste output, and community engagement. PCCPI also works with government authorities in the communities where it operates.

For example, the organization actively works with the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to periodically assess the health of the waterways in the communities they operate alongside multi-sectoral groups. Sto. Tomas: Shifting the traditional mindset PCPPI’s commitment to responsible water management is demonstrated in its manufacturing facilities, particularly in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The plant has twice-received PCPPI’s Galing at Sikap Plant Excellence Award in Sustainability in 2021 and 2022. This recognition is given to the business units with the highest performance ratings on key focus areas of operations, including environmental resource management. “The Sto. Tomas facility was lauded for its efforts in consuming water and energy in the most economical way, thereby minimizing environmental impact,” Ong added.

According to Plant Manager Chrysler Salcedo, one of the best practices at work at the Sto. Tomas plant includes setting definitive operating hours for optimum target volume of water required, both for the products to be manufactured and for its manpower’s daily water consumption. This encourages all employees to become more mindful in their water use in daily operations. Regular training sessions on resource conservation are also scheduled, and serve as checkpoint meetings where employees can proactively address potential areas of concern. “Open communication and collaboration make even the most complex policies work.

In Sto. Tomas, it remains important for our team to engage in discussions about how we can best manage the resources we look after: water, electricity, and oil, among others,” said Salcedo. “To become more effective in our industry, we recognize the value of implementing more creative, cost-efficient policies so that we can better serve our communities,” he added. Strategic and planned updates in the Sto. Tomas plant have also been implemented to further manage how the facility consumes water, one of which involves decreasing the frequency of production line Clean-in-Place (CIP) procedures.

These pertain to the overall cleaning of equipment used after continuous production. “We shifted to a 72-hour cycle, which will allow us to save 780 liters of water a week. Combined with our stringent sanitation protocols, we are confident that our operations will continue to meet internal and industry standards while maximizing financial and resource savings,” Salcedo explained. PCPPI is the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country. It distributes well-loved brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Mirinda, Mug, Gatorade, Sting, Tropicana, Lipton Iced Tea, Milkis, Chum Churum Soonhari, and Premier. For more information about PCPPI and its products, please visit www.pepsiphilippines.com.

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