The Peninsula Manila turns 40 | Inquirer Business
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The Peninsula Manila turns 40

CHEF Myrna Segismundo with Filipino food icon, Chef Glenda Barretto

CHEF Myrna Segismundo with Filipino food icon, Chef Glenda Barretto

The Peninsula Manila is turning 40 years old this year.

It’s great to see that after the Mandarin closed in 2014 and the Intercon bid adieu in 2015, the Pen—one of the last from that batch of “institution hotels” in Makati—remains not only open, but radiant as well.


The Sunburst—the iconic sculpture by National Artist Napoleon Abueva on the Pen ceiling—truly keeps the Pen shining 24/7, year after year!



The hotel is making a great effort to celebrate with its guests.

Escolta buffet—first known as La Bodega (carbon date yourself and say you’ve eaten here) then re-opened as Nielsen’s before becoming Escolta—is currently offering a promo, pricing the buffet at only P1,976 net this month of June.

1976 was the year the Peninsula—then nicknamed Manila Pen—was born.

To join in the festivities of celebrating Philippine Independence and Peninsula’s 40th, Chef Myrna Segismundo has created a special Filipino menu that will be available at the Upper Lobby from June 9 to 19.

QUESO de Bola Cheesecake by Segismundo and the Sunburst by Abueva at the Pen

QUESO de Bola Cheesecake by Segismundo and the Sunburst by Abueva at the Pen

Myrna Segismundo

Chef Myrna is a Peninsula “suki.”

Just last year, she did a “four hands” collaboration dinner with Spain’s Michelin-starred celebrity chef Mario Sandoval of Restaurant Coque, where he showcased his mastery of roasts while she displayed her expertise in presenting traditional Philippine cuisine for a fine dining audience.


For the Peninsula’s 40th, Chef Myrna is cooking up a fiesta of 12 modern Filipino favorites. Among these favorites are: okoy, batchoy, taba ng talangka (crab fat) and bistek Tagalog.

Pen-ified Pinoy food

But, since it is the Peninsula, what’s served is not your ordinary Filipino comfort food.

Okoy is served with an ensalada of palm hearts, jicama and pomelo.

An excellent execution of batchoy comes with a side of siopao-inspired pork buns using the most delicious Pen-worthy bread.

Crab fat shines even if it is the mere accent to a generous slab of sea bass.

Bistek Tagalog is “Pen-ified” using roast prime rib.

Chef Myrna also serves her signature desserts such as the Queso de Bola cheesecake that many a Segismundo fan will be familiar with.

Kenneth Cobonpue

So if your business meeting falls anytime between the 9th to 19th, remember that there’s a special menu available at the Upper Lobby.

As an added treat, you will also get to experience the art of designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

You might get to sit on one of the Yoda chairs made famous at the Apec summit (and feel as powerful as Barack Obama) or on a Chiquita stool made of what looks like cork but actually rattan poles on a polyurethane cushion.

You have to try sitting on this stool—the “corks” contour to your butt! It’s like experiencing Manolo Blahnik shoes for the first time—you’ll be amazed at how good they feel!

I asked how much one costs—it’s approximately P35,000 per stool.

Happy 40th

As with marriages, it is now rare for a business to last 40 years.

The Pen’s success must be attributed to the consistent quality and constant upgrade of the amenities as well as the warmth of the staff, some of whom have been with the Peninsula for almost 40 years.

Like many, I am a personal witness to the tender loving care from the Pen.

Our family has celebrated every Noche Buena here since I was born, with a photo by its famous giant Christmas tree.

Another family that always spends Noche Buena here is the family of Consul Fortune Ledesma with son/host RJ Ledesma. It came to a point where we would bring Christmas gifts because we would always see them on Christmas eve.

Congratulations to the Peninsula on its Ruby anniversary!

Here’s to 40 x 40 x 40 more!

The Peninsula Manila. Ayala Avenue cor. Makati Ave. For inquiries, call +63 2 887 2888.

More from the author at Follow @margauxsalcedo on Twitter and Instagram.

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TAGS: 40th anniversary, hotel, Makati, Manila Pen, Peninsula Manila
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