The Charmed Life

Farewell, Clinton Palanca

No one could write a restaurant review as well as this revered writer did.
IMAGE ALICIA SY
Comments

There was a dinner last night at Toyo. I had to send my regrets. Sayang, I was just thinking to myself, what a shame, I bet I would have seen you there. I haven’t seen you in a while. We have shared many great meals at Jordy and May’s. And at Chele’s. And at Josh's. There have been so many others, too. We have eaten well together over the past years, haven’t we?

We would have talked about that feature we have been discussing for ages.  Time to get that off the ground, don’t you think? You know how ambitious I can be and you always fed that ambition. Thank you for that. And thank you for always messaging me when you just finished reading something that I had written. You cannot imagine what that has meant to me.


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

By the way, I have a new idea I wanted to explore with you. It would mean going back to that Chinese restaurant on Makati Ave. Remember that place? Where the level of heat was one for the books—that one. We shot it with Mignac, remember? You would like this idea. It involved a discourse on local politics, diplomacy, and Chinese food.  Who else could I have turned to but you?

Last night would have been fun. We would have talked about our children because we always talk about our children. In fact, I think the first meal where we really spoke at length was the one at the Raffles during Madrid Fusion when you guys brought your newborn son along. He must have been only a week old at the time and you didn’t want to leave him at home, but you didn’t want to miss that meal either. He was perfect.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

You were always so helpful and generous with your talent and time. I’ll always remember the advice you gave Alexa for her IB essay on press freedom during martial law. I told her how much she should treasure that afternoon spent with you. It’s not every day a high school student gets to speak to a journalist of your caliber. She’s back in Manila now and heading to London in a few weeks.


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Hey, that’s right—Bloomsbury. We were supposed to talk about Bloomsbury, and all the time you spent in the neighborhood of Russell Square.  

Tonight’s Toyo collaboration with the chef from Mumbai would have been the perfect meal to reminisce about all the time you spent in the U.K., where you met the love of your life. I know you share my love for Indian food. You told me about Tayab’s. I told you about Gymkhana. I wonder what would have been your dish of the evening and why. Our discussions would not have been limited to dissecting ingredients, flavor, texture, and technique. Conversations with you about food have always been about the backstories, the memories.

We surely would have laughed tonight with Lourdes. And with Cheryl and Jin and Comsti and Margarita, maybe. If we were lucky, Berna would have been able to stop by. Joey would have made sure we were all okay, and at some point we would have convinced him to sit down with us for a bit and enjoy a cocktail that you would barely touch. That Asian flush! 

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW


But you weren’t there tonight, were you? And I won’t be seeing you anytime soon, now will I? You excused yourself this evening, earlier than we all had hoped. There was so much more to talk about, to laugh about, but you must have been exhausted. It’s alright, it’s time for you to get some rest now. Don’t worry about us, and know that there will always be a seat waiting for you at our table.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Comments
About The Author
Alicia Colby Sy
Executive Editor
View Other Articles From Alicia
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
 
Share
He's currently eleventh in line to the throne.
 
Share
In his new book, Michael Shnayerson chronicles the art market's big personalities-and even bigger checks.
 
Share
Coco's Matthew Aldrich will head up the project, which will include both films and TV series.
 
Share
 
Share
Essentials you'll need on your next trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
 
Share
Alain Verzeroli breaks out on his own with the help of power developer Aby Rosen.
 
Share
The actress let it slip that last year's much-loved comedy, which also starred Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, and Candice Bergen, is getting a second chapter.
 
Share
 
Share
 
Share
The daughter of taipan Lucio Tan takes her places as OIC of the national airline.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US