Marco Polo Plaza’s new aria

NOSTALGIA. The drive on the concrete pavement that led to the hotel lobby was all too familiar. On late nights out back in the 80’s it was the same path I took with friends that led to Bai Disco, the club to be and be seen on that era.

The driveway leading to the Marco Polo Plaza lobby is the same path I took in the 80s to Bai Disco.

Sunset across Nivel Hill seen from the 18th floor of the Marco Polo Cebu. 

It was good to back in this grand edifice on top of Nivel Hills, I dare say two decades and half after. The Cebu Plaza & the mirrored balls of Bai Disco are no more but the visit would be for another glittery affair—the launching of the new ballroom of the new property owner, the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Welcoming committee.  (CCW) Maya Padillo of Mindanao Mirror, Jesse Boga of Mindanao Times, Communications MPPC Manager Manna Alcaraz, MPPC E Marketing Manager Yumny Mariot, Ken Ong of Edge Davao, Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotels' Director of Communications Samantha Poon, MPPC Resident Manager Xavier Masson & MarcoPolo Davao's MarCom Manager Josef Ledesma.  

Save the Philippine Eagle, campaigning at the lobby.  The Marco Polo Hotels are actively taking part in this drive of the Philippine Eagel Foundation.

What's your hairstyle? The coolest Philippine Eagles at the sundry shop of the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Marco Polo Plaza’s refurbishment of Cebu's grand dame made it sing its glorious tunes from the hilltop overlooking the Queen City’s skyline once more. From the basement spa one can escape to for a blissful therapy, the superb array of dishes whipped up by chefs at Café Marco to the al fresco wine and dine Penthouse joint, Blu, where one can catch the colors of the city change from twilight to moonlight, the excitement is back.

Singing from Nivel Hills. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu's is overlooking this Cebu City landscape. 

Cafe Marco has an impressive array of delectable food offering. Ask Chef Victor to make his specialty homemade pasta dish for you.

My Cebu City breakfast staple. No other dish on the buffet is as tempting for me.

When night falls, head up to the Penthouse. Drink & dine to this scene.

If you must dine, you must have this soup-- Mushroom Cappucino.

But on that special night, from the mezzanine level through the grand staircase a new Marco Polo aria was reverberating—the new Cebu Grand Ballroom was unveiled.

The ice braking ceremony

A new aria reverberating from the Marco Polo Plaza

The grand hall was all about glitz and glamour, so typical of Cebu celebrations. Across the ballroom Cebu’s A-listers were hobnobbing, sipping wine and nibbling on delectable hors d’oeuvres masterfully presented by the hotel’s chefs.

Marge Lhuilier, Pinky Chang, Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, Teresin Mendezona, June Alegrado, Carmen Campbell & Iris Arcenas

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama & CIRC Chairman Alfred Ty

Madame Amparito Lhuillier & Marco Polo Cebu's Director of Sales & Marketing Lara Constantino Scarrow

 The men of Marco Polo Hong Kong- Head of Sales Sonny Ang, VP Operations Philippe Caretti & GM James Ong with Myrna Ngochua

Bonifacio Landmark Realty & Development Corporation President Hans Hauri with MPPC General Manager Julie Najar

MP Cebu Communications Manager Manna Alcaraz with MP Davao Marketing & Communications Manager Joesf Ledesma

With Zee Magazine's Eva Gullas

Remember Calvin Millado, 90's balladeer (& hunk)? He hosted the evening's affair & still sounded good.

MPPC E-marketing Manager Yumny Mariot and Mia Ali Faridoon

This is the Japanese food station, one of the many foods highlighted at the ballroom's opening night.

Needless to say, it was my favorite station. The LED backdrop showing images of Japan made me want to go back to the place more.

A sylized geisha serving Japanese hors d'oeuvres - for those who didn't venture deeper into the ballroom where the food stations were.

What made the evening gala “like it was before” for me was seeing longtime friends, locals whom I raided the Bai dance floor with and “tripped the light fantastic” until the break of dawn. Yes, it was good to be back, catch up and reminisce old times in this new ballroom, and meet new friends as well.

Ateneo HS schoolmate, former neighbor & Bai-mate Oj Hofer of Chiarascuro & fashion editor of Zee Magazine

I danced with June Alegrado at Bai. I met this gracious lady thru a common good friend, Bong Gulaberto.

New friends. Touching base with these ladies- business writers Kat Cacho, Aileen Yap, Ehda Dagooc with BigSeed's Jaja Chiongbian-Rama

And what of Bai? The discotheque may long have been gone but its beat will soon be pulsating again. This month end, in fact, when Marco Polo hosts a reunion for the denizens of the defunct discotheque at its newly launched grand ballroom. It’s going be one sensational soiree for sure.

 A toast from the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu team.

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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 25, 2015.

And the selfless of the night…

With Oj Hofer & Jaja Chiongbian-Rama

With Marge Lhuillier, June Alegrado & Iris Arcenas 

With Marco Polo Palaza's DOSM Lara Constantino-Scarrow

With Marco Polo Hotels' VP for Operations Pahilippe Caretti & Dennis Salvador, Director of Philippine Eagle Foundation & the Philippine Eagle.