Jo de Vivre: Ten years of Swissness

FOR as long as Marco Polo Plaza has been celebrating its hotel anniversaries, it has also been celebrating Swiss National Day. As the hotel turns Timeless at 10 this year, it’s also the 10th year it is celebrating Swiss National Day.

This year’s theme for Swiss National Day is Swissness from A to Z, as the menu includes a list of far more than the 26 letters of the alphabet—from Alpine dried beef to Zurich-style sliced meat. Between A to Z were the barley soup with dry beef, several kinds of cheese including raclette with its own station, four types of bread, four types of salad (sausage and cheese, potato, beef with caraway, beans with bacon), a carving station with ham and meat loaf, desserts including a separate chocolate station, and some hot Swiss dishes that I hope I don’t misspell: rinds gulasch, spatzli, alpermagronen, gebratene herdopfel and blumenkohl. A mouthful, indeed!

Apart from the Swiss culinary journey served alongside Café Marco’s lunch and dinner buffet, the Swiss National Festival party held on Aug. 5 was the highlight of the week-long celebration. Guest of honor for the evening was His Excellency Hans Peter Fitze, Head of Chancery of the Embassy of Switzerland to the Philippines. Cebuanos and friends from the international community enjoyed a buffet spread that spanned an entire wall of the Cebu Grand Ballroom, including tables of cheese and chocolate, plus free-flowing drinks.

Guests had a great time with live entertainment, games and the thrill of the raffle draw. The hotel wasn’t exaggerating when it announced that exciting raffle prizes were up for grabs that night. These included travel bags from Victorinox, gift certificates for overnight stays at the hotel here and Marco Polo Davao, and a spa package at the hotel’s Wellness Zone. One winner was a little bit luckier than the rest, taking home the grand prize of an airline ticket to Switzerland sponsored by Cathay Pacific. Considering how full and lively the hotel’s ballroom was, there are no signs that this decade-old celebration is enjoying any less popularity among Cebuanos and the expat community.
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