Friday, September 22, 2006


I had dinner with Zhang Ziyi at the Jumbo Floating restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong. We talked, held hands, and had expensive Cantonese cuisine with wine. She paid the bill ...
I planted a kiss on her cheek, put my arms around her and led her to our room. in a yacht anchored nearby. It was a passionate evening.

Okey okey ... it was just a dream.

The truth is I wasn't with Zhang. I was with my "tiang" ... bisita ko from the province, kasama si "tiong" at ang mga pinsan ko. Heck ... I wasn't even in Hong Kong. I was just by the Manila Bay behind the Folk Arts Theater.

But I was on the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant. Yan... totoo yan

The Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant is anchored at the Manila Bay Marina and permanently fixed to function as Chinese restaurant and function venue. This massive floating museum was pulled by two tugboats from the Aberdeen Harbour of Hong Kong to rest in the warm waters of the Manila Bay where it sits as a reincarnate of the grand royalty dining venues of the highest society in Hong Kong.

True to its original structure, the Jumbo Kingdom Philippines is a replica of the two floating restaurants that are left in Hong Kong - namely the Jumbo and the Tai Pak Kingdom. The project was initiated in year 2000 by Stanley Ho - but was stopped midstream by all-knowing, better-opinioned Filipino politicians and well-meaning NGO groups. Filipinos are like that - they can't leave well enough alone. Everyone is a suspect for ulterior motivation (Philippine politics 101). Heaven forbid that lack of vigilance would allow one group to excel or progress with out bringing the other along on the money trail ... (haaaaay, ang Pinoy talaga.) No no no - we must bring them down ... attack crabs attack ... (down with everyone except me - makibaka , huwag matakot !!!)

When the dust settled, what we had was a relic of Chinese history - ready to take on its original function.

So the wood was polished, the tables and chairs refurbished, the jade and paintings re-arranged, and the 10,000 bulbs attached. The spectacle begun..

If you are nostalgic about HongKong or if you even just want a good Chinese meal (though not the best) - or if you want to feel like royalty - go catch the food at Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant. I love dinner time because all the lights illuminate the water. It is a little pricey - but like all Chinese offerings there are occasionally some bargains like Crispy Roasted Chicken at 350pesos/whole, Crispy Chinese Pork Leg at 280/whole and Crabs (anyway you like it) at 80peos/kg. A set Dimsum Lunch is available at 160-180pesos per person.

Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Manila Bay beside CCP Complex
City of Manila
832-8888 832-9194