Town&Country Celebrates With Family and Friends at The Podium

We explore The Podium lifestyle hub and all the fun things you can do to bond with your family and friends.

A year into its relaunch, The Podium has cemented its position as a weekend rendezvous favorite. With a selection of both fine dining and casual restaurants, specialty workout studios, curated shops, and activities, the luxury mall has steadily earned its title as one of the premier lifestyle hubs in the city.

To demonstrate just how every member of the family is poised to find something that they would enjoy at the Podium, Town & Country invited five groups to spend a leisurely afternoon with us at the mall. Their invitations arrived at their homes with a box of Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory cheesecake.

Our guests first gathered together to go on a shopping spree at Cul-De-Sac. The glossy multi-brand concept store, which is also known for stores such as Distinqt and Xception, offers apparel and everyday items for the person who has it all. The retail space carries chic and streamlined pieces from sought-after brands Tibi and N21, as well as European streetwear brands such as MSGM and Han Kjobenhavn, among other items.

Afterward, they dined at five Podium establishments.

On the first floor, the gourmand behind the blog shootfirsteatlater.com, Leslie Cheng and company Elisa Payumo, Patricia Kue, and Rochelle Rodriguez enjoyed a Spanish feast at Terry’s Selection. The chef prepared Cinco Jotas Croquetas, as well as the chorizo Terry on Piggy Back, which was a spectacle in itself. The diners looked on as Terry’s homemade chorizo was flambéed with sherry brandy on a porcelain pig grill. After a Caesar salad, the main course was served—Super Paella Parellada, based on an original recipe straight from Barcelona, and Black Angus Salpicao. The lunch ended with Flan de la Abuella from the recipe books of chef JC de Terry’s mother.


Elisa Payumo, Leslie Cheng, Rochelle Rodriguez, and Patricia Kue

Terry's Super Paella Parellada and Black Angus Salpicao

Almost adjacent to Terry’s is Ça Va, which offers a different dining experience altogether. Vanessa Mayuga-Santos, Jopeng Santos, and their two children, Stella and Cisco, communed at the airy and bright floral-themed café. They started with a savory crepe, the Scampi Escaper, before ending with two dessert crepes, Mangoin Home, filled with mango and butterscotch sauce, and a unique Bibingka crepe.

Jopeng, Stella, Cisco, and Vanessa Santos at Ça Va

Chorizo pasta

A couple of floors up, Macky and Bernard Fah and their brood enjoyed a Chinese meal at Shi Lin. Their two daughters, Cara and Renee, enjoyed the establishment’s classic take on Xiao Long Bao and other dumpling dishes. What delighted the whole family was the dessert—chocolate-filled dumpling and custard buns.

Renee, Macky, Bernard, and Cara Fah

Braised beef noodle

Close by, Andy and Agoo Bengzon, and their sons Angelo and Andres, were treated to a Japenese meal at Chibo Okonomiyaki. They had a lineup of noodles, gyoza, filet mignon, and of course, the restaurant’s namesake dish, okonomiyaki.

Agoo, Angelo, Andres, and Andy Bengzon

Chibo Okonomiyaki

Right next door, restaurateur Happy Ongpauco-Tiu and three of her youngest boys, Chezco, Nicco, and Matteo, had a different experience at Motorino. They were served plates and plates of New York-style pizza, including the bestselling Truffle Honey and 4-Cheese, and three types of pasta.

Nicco, Happy, Matteo, and Chezco Tiu

Buratta margherita

After the VIP groups finished their meals, they met again at Sip & Gogh, a venue where customers create their own masterpieces on canvas, while enjoying a glass of wine or other libations. The culminating activity was supposed to be for the children to enjoy, but their parents joined in for a picture-perfect afternoon of family bonding.


The Bengzons concentrating on their paintings

Stella Santos

Happy Ongpauco-Tiu and one-year-old Matteo

Nicco and Chezco Tiu

Angelo Bengzon

About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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