Sunday, March 30, 2008
Remember Claire de la Fuente ?
"Karen Carpenter of the Philippines"
That was how she was dubbed in the 1970s-80's - what with a voice and singing style that bore a striking resemblance to that of Karen Carpenter - the iconic multi-awarded but ill-fated international singer'.
Claire's own Philippine career peaked, plateaued and faded away
She subsequently put her hard earned money in business - and set up a successful bus line, and a chain of restaurants to boot
But recently - with the advent of youtube and digital recordings, Claire was "rediscovered" by none other than Richard Carpenter , the late Karen Carpenter's brother, and composer of all their chart-breaking hits.
Charmed and amazed by the voice quality similarities, Richard got in touch with Claire and contracted her to re-launch the "Carpenters" sound worldwide.
Richard Carpenter came to Manila and was typically overwhelmed by the welcome and adulation that he received from the star-struck Filipino music lovers.
Claire de la Fuente - "rediscovered" and now an international recording star
Another fairy tale story that focuses on Filipino talent, perseverance, and never-say-die character ...
Good news about the Philippines
Such a rarity these days
That was certainly worth a celebration of sorts
How to celebrate?
There were two ways I could think of ...
One was to ride one of Claire de la Fuente's buses
Or I could go out and EAT in one of the Claire de la Fuente restaurants ...
Such a tough choice ...
A bus ride or food?
Claire de la Fuente Grill and Seafood, at the San Miguel by the Bay is the latest of what is now a chain of " Claire" restaurants
I love this particular location to a large extent because I have learned to love the baywalk ...
It is such a social equalizer
Leave the pretensions of Makati's social structure behind
And just immerse in the crowd as one of the guys
Nobody is anybody
Everybody is somebody ...
I was with my Saturday wild bunch
A conglomeration of family and friends, young and old
Just a Saturday chill-out, let loose, be yourself exercise ...
It was a "paluto" set up - (pick your ingredients and have it cooked)
The wives and girlfriends hied off to the adjacent wet market
And started picking the seafood that was to comprise our feast
Fresh, soft, alive, moving - still smelling of the sea
A seafood buffet in the making ....
The guys stayed at the table contented with San Miguel Beer,
And the bonus of ogling at all the luscious, attractive, delicious, mouthwatering members of the opposite sex parading down the baywalk ...
(We had to be careful though ... oftentimes the opposite sex was really the third sex)
Cementing of bonds
Enjoying the view
Tolerating the sounds of bands and entertainers
Waiting for the food to be prepared
Grilled, boiled, sauteed, "sinigang", "kilawin" (fresh, raw and mixed with vinegar and onions) ...
When the food came - everyone just jumped in
It was a frenzy of 15 hungry people attacking a seafood feast
Arms reaching out
Picking from seatmates plates
A large extended family devouring a delectable selection of food ...
It was a total wipe out
Like a tsunami had swept through the table
The food was THAT good.
Or perhaps ,we were that hungry ...
(see video below)
You should really try this "baywalk" experience.
Spread the word
We will be there quite regularly
We will be the happy bunch singing the songs of "the Carpenters" ...
Claire de la Fuente Grill and Seafood
San Miguel by the Bay