Conrad Manila has launched its mid-autumn festival with China Blue by Jereme Leung’s and his selection of handcrafted mooncakes in four premium flavors, packed in elegant limited edition Filipino-designed bags. Also launched was its chosen Women Champions of Sustainability.
“We are delighted to celebrate this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival with our Harvest Mooncake Bag collection, an artisanal celebration combining festive treats and fashionable fanfare in one elegant, sustainably sourced and packaged,” Conrad Manila’s general manager Linda Pecoraro happily announced. “In a very special collaboration with local fashion designer Zarah Juan, in two limited editions, designed to preserve the cultural heritage of the Philippines.”
A salute to local craftsmanship, the bag’s embroidery depicts the traditional barong fabric with an intricate design of rice grains, a graceful and seamless homage to mid-autumn’s lunar harvest and the country’s national costume. Handcrafted from upcycled wood by artisans in Paete, Laguna, each bag comes in luscious red and coral tan.
This mid-autumn season, executive Chinese chef Eng Yew Khor takes inspiration from the bag collection to introduce the new Baked Fragrant Pandan with Taro Black Gold Charcoal Mooncake. Embellished in classic black and edible gold paint finishing, this treat is handcrafted in round perfection with a luscious balance of smooth pandan paste and a creamy taro center.
Amid the lockdown and the flurry of corruption issues involving a vital agency, the Department of Health, Conrad Manila’s “Harvest” mid-autmn festival is a welcome event. The hotel recognizes seven Filipina women as Champions of Sustainability for their support and meaningful contribution in driving social, ecological, and economic wellbeing of communities.
Linda Pecoraro, a strong advocate of sustainability, said “We are turning on the spotlight on the Filipino’s harvest of bountiful produce, borne from the nation’s hard work and ingenuity. We celebrate the festival to highlight Philippine culture. It has been a good harvest season. We did it with the strength of our corporate vision to spread the warmth and light of hospitality, and with our passion to make a difference in the market we serve. We could not have achieved our good harvest without the inspiration of industry and community leaders who, in our modest but sincere tribute to their individual achievements, are our harvest of seven Women Champions of Sustainability. Let’s meet three of them.
Loren Legarda, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, a noted Filipina the representative of Antique province. Her strong advocacy on sustainability has been internationally recognized with a LONG list of national and international distinctions. This include (among others: 2001 UNEP Laureate by the United Nations Environment Program, a 2008 regional champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaption for Asia and the Pacific, and declared by the United Nations as a UN Global Champion for Resilience in 2015. She initiated a number of culture, human rights, education, and environment-related laws in the Philippines, such as the Climate Change Law and Anti-Domestic Violence Act.
Berna Romulo Puyat, secretary of tourism, is a distinguished Iskolar ng Bayan. She pursued Economics as a bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of the Philippines where she taught for 12 years. In government, she has since worked as an economic consultant at Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, and now as secretary of tourism. She’s focused on development areas, supporting sustainable tourism, increasing investments in the sector, and enhancing programs for tourism infrastructure. She is the industry’s “driver” in its journey of resilience toward recovery in the hospitality industry.
The mayor of Pasay City, Imelda “Emi” Calixto Rubiano, is another Filipina political leader, who served as legislator. She is now the top executive of a city government. Her efforts were recognized as she became an awardee of Outstanding and Significant Achievement in Public Service, Golden Globe Annual Awards for Outstanding Filipino Achievers in 2016. Putting the needs of local people at heart is the key attribute of this Filipina—a good leader.
The chairperson behind the DFA Ladies Foundation, International Bazaar Foundation, ASEAN Ladies Foundation, Maria Lourdes Locsin “is the magical link among the DFA Ladies Foundation, the International Bazaar Foundation, and the ASEAN Ladies Foundation (ALF), and steers the collaborative projects and partnerships with the 10 Embassies of the ASEAN member states, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.”
Mons Romulo is the founder of KatutuboPH and board member at the Child Protection Network and Pink for Life Foundation and a book author of Baro: Philippine Fabric and Fashion in 2003. In 2016, her idea was born of how to combine a passion for fashion with a desire to help Filipino artisans and entrepreneurs. In time, Katutubo PH has become a regular supporter of indigenous artists who strive to find livelihood through their crafts and art.
Joining Linda in awarding the Women Champions of Sustainability were Conrad Manila’s executives—Emile Otte, director of operations, Michael Albaña, commercial director; and Ben Nicolas, F&B director.