@MeetManila celebrating oneness in promoting #ThoughtfulTourism.

The launch of Meet Manila came with a catchy title..Tertulia Night “but what is Tertulia?” Well, the short meaning of a Tertulia is “an evening party, a soirée, especially in Spain”. The Meet Manila’s launch party is called a Tertulia Night because the travel community gathered together to celebrate oneness in promoting #ThoughtfulTourism. Ysobel Hamidjojo of Loudwhistle Inc. created Meet Manila not only to promote Philippine travel and culture but #thoughtfultourism as well.

A century ago, Tertulia was a social gathering where friends gather together for a night of dinner to celebrate their friendship and culture. The Spaniards love having tertulias especially at outdoor cafés. Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant is the perfect venue of the modern-day Tertulia.

The restaurant celebrates Filipino culinary heritage by serving historical, regional and heirloom recipes in a warm, elegant and homey setting. Walking around the restaurant feels like one is caught in a time-warped zone dating back to the Spanish days.

Vince Golangco, Ysobel Hamidjojo , the author and Ivan Henares after the press conference

As guests arrived, they were surprised to see Adarna Resto covered in darkness with candles floating on a water fountain and dotted on all corners of the al fresco. “Living it up to the good old days” a guest remarked. Someone remarked “that perhaps the power failure was intentional so that we could experience how it was during the time of our forefathers, back when electricity was yet to be invented.”

What many were not aware was that the MERALCO transformer outside Adarna Resto exploded causing a power failure. Vince Golangco, a co-presenter, and When in Manila founder, together with Ysobel Hamidjojo used the unfortunate technical difficulties to their advantage. Holding a candle, the night started out with fun and games at the al fresco.

Bugtungan is the playing of bugtong, a Tagalog riddle (palaisipan) that showcases the Pilipino wit, literary talent, and keen observation of surroundings. There was never a dull moment as the hosts rattled off riddles.

Even Elijah Murray, who recently arrived in the Philippines was not spared from the Bugtungan.

Ysobel introduced Meet Manila and the #ThoughtfulTourism campaign while Vince Golangco introduced the Meet-a-Hero initiative. Meet Manila celebrated the game-changers; and the empowering of travelers who may be a nomad, a group, a blogger, a photographer or any travel and tourism enthusiast who share Meet Manila’s advocacy and passion for Philippine tourism.

With one hand-held light focused on the center of the veranda, the program proper started.

Ivan Henares the guest speaker for Tertulia is Travel junkie & writer, TV host, tourism consulant, heritage advocate and educator. Ivan is proud to have visited all 80 provinces of the Philippines and is on his way to visiting the world. As Vice President & Trustee of the Heritage Conservation Society and Philippine Representative to the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC), he is passionate about the preservation of our heritage homes. He talked about his frustration about local officials and developers who are unable to appreciate heritage homes and its rich history.

Meet a Hero

Meet a Hero is Meet Manila’s initiative that fuels their main orbit. The mission is to find and feature well-deserving Filipino citizens who lead for a good cause. These game-changers are self-driven by their knowledge, motivated by their passion, and are not afraid to fight for what they believe in. The initial list of 15 heroes is just a start and Meet Manila will continue to honor advocates who take part in #thoughtfultourism.

While promotion of tourism and travel destinations is a given for most travel enthusiasts, people should also be informed about #ThoughtfulTourism such as conserving our precious wildlife, uplifting small communities, promoting far-flung provinces, and instilling ethical use of our natural resources. It is this goal that the Meet the Heroes initiative was launched.

Meet Manila Tertulia honored the heroes present that night.

Melissa Villa , the co-founder of Project Pearls .

Niccolo Cosme , a World-class photographer and HIV advocate

Antonio Ingles, the Founder of Aral Pinoy

Anna Oposa, Founder of Save Philippine Seas and the Chief Mermaid of the country

Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chairperson of Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, Owner of Adarna Food and Culture, RH Bill Advocate

Jayvee Fernandez, Diving Enthusiast, blogs at abuggedlife.com

Lynn Pinugu, Founder of Mano Amiga Philippines

Froilan Grate, President of Mother Earth Foundation Philippines

Lito Perez, Fashion Designer and Founder of Project Hearth for conservation of heritage houses

Meet the Empowered Travelers

Meet Manila pooled the most deserving Travelers to be empowered by generous sponsors such as Lenovo, Rox, Peninsula Manila, The Farm at San Benito, Mandarin Oriental, Travel magazine. Both Travelers and Sponsors expressed the genuine desire to be part of Meet Manila’s vision, in the hopes of providing continuity for the cause of promoting and preserving Philippines’ places and culture. The following are Meet Manila’s first batch of Empowered Travelers: Manyel Oyek , Mai Flores, Tim Libunao, Rogelio Gabiano, Jaypee David, Macy Anonuevo , Vera Venus, Reah Mocorro, Aleah Taboclaon.

Carlos Celdran one of the heroes came in late due to a last minute barter tour.

Blog Watch as the social media partner and co-presenter came in full force.

A night of culture

Meet Manila tertulia’s night closed with four cultural dance numbers. Power from a generator brought lights and sounds during the latter part of the Tertulia . Music and dancers closed the program proper but the rest of the guests mingled around to appreciate the beauty of Adarna restaurant.

Originally, a Spanish tradition Meet Manila Tertulia Night is a truly unique event. I hope it will become a regular activity when new heroes or empowered travelers are recognized. I thank Meet Manila for letting us appreciate what Tertulia night is all about as we celebrated the oneness of our online travel community through this gathering .

Thank you to Meet Manila sponsors. Meet Manila’s Party Launch: A Tertulia Night for #ThoughtfulTourism is co-presented by Loudwhistle Inc., When In Manila, Walk this Way and https://blogwatch.tv.s175152.gridserver.com, the official social media partner for the event. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors: The Peninsula Manila, Greenlite Banner, Mandarin Oriental Manila, The Farm at San Benito, Lenovo mobile, R.O.X. Recreational Outdoor Exchange, and Don Papa Rum care of PinwheelPH. Special thanks to our media partners Rappler.com and Choose Philippines, and to our exclusive magazine partner Travel Magazine.