Monday, March 24, 2014

The Pen Academy.

The Peninsula Manila has enhanced its iconic experiential program, The Peninsula Academy, with new activities designed to delight and educate guests of all ages. Eight experiences for adults and children staying at The Peninsula Manila include lessons in whipping up the most famous of Philippine iced desserts, the  halo-halo; a private studio visit to one of the Philippines’ most eminent private jewelers; reliving the past in a heritage tour of the colonial town of Taal; a full day at the atelier of three of the country’s iconic art, style and fashion mavens while discussing trends and shopping to one’s delight; an exhilarating helicopter and tranvia (tram) visit to Corregidor, and more – providing guests with an authentic taste of the culture of the Philippines.

The Peninsula Academy was created to give guests an insider’s introduction to key aspects of local culture, lifestyle, cuisine, arts and history through individualized classes, tours and activities. The Peninsula Manila has meticulously curated its programs by sourcing the very best tour guides and local partners, bringing the city and the country to life through exclusive activities, all accomplished with the celebrated Peninsula attention to detail. 

Spirit of Corregidor: World War II Tour by Helicopter and Land

The Peninsula Manila’s signature WOW! program. This program brings to life the drama of the last stand of the combined Filipino and American defenders against the invading Japanese forces in World War II. 

The day begins with a lift-off from the hotel’s helipad where guests will cross Manila Bay to the rocky island fortress of Corregidor where a guide will take them on a private tour of the island onboard a 1940s tranvia (tram) and relive the history of major sites, their strategic importance and legacy. Later in the morning, a Peninsula page will offer Champagne and canapés before the helicopter flies along the spectacular Cavite – Batangas coastline before descending into Taal lake and hovering over Taal volcano, one of the most geologically active environments in the Philippines. Then the coconut plantations ringing Taal lake open to reveal the hillside town of Tagaytay where the helicopter will land near Antonio’s restaurant for a garden lunch at one of Asia’s best restaurants. This is the perfect finish to the The Spirit of Corregidor tour before returning to The Peninsula Manila with enough memories to last a lifetime.

If These Walls Could Speak: Tour of the Old Walled City of Intramuros

Intramuros brings to life nearly 400 years of Philippine history in a breezy three hours with some of Manila’s most accomplished, educated and interesting historians as the hotel’s private tour guide. The tour starts in Fort Santiago, retracing the steps of Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal and in the process, providing a backdrop for a sometimes biting, oftentimes humorous but always incisively intelligent commentary on the Philippine psyche. The tour ends with either lunch or dinner at a 1930s Art Deco mansion.

Manila Design: Experience Philippine Art, Design and Fashion 

Die-hard stylistas will love this experience. Wander at leisure through a pretty and peaceful gated 1950s residential compound that houses the galleries and atelier of three Manila style setters –

Albert Avellana (art), Eric Paras (interior design) and Jesus “Jojie”Lloren (fashion) – and where they can discuss over lunch current trends and even buy or commission artworks, limited-edition furniture and couture designs.

Defining  Luxury: Jewelry by Wynn Wynn Ong

We take guests to the private studio of Wynn Wynn Ong, one of the Philippines’ most eminent bespoke jewelers whose pieces have been extensively featured in The Robb Report, Town & Country, Asian Fortune, Platinum and on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily and NY. Over coffee, tea or Champagne and canapés served by a Peninsula page, she will explain the process of creating her works of wearable art that are celebrated for their beauty, craftsmanship and attention to detail. Hotel guests may also commission jewelry which, because of Wynn Wynn’s refusal to make more than one piece of a kind, and no more than a limited number of pieces each year, makes her brooches, bracelets, rings, necklaces and minaudières highly sought after by a select list of clientele who appreciate the extraordinary vision and unflagging commitment to quality that is her hallmark.

Art in the Hills: 27 Years of Philippine Contemporary Art

With a new dawn rising for Philippine contemporary art, The Peninsula Academy will arrange for curious minds or art enthusiasts to go on a private guided tour of Pinto Gallery, the Silangan Gardens and Pinto Art Museum with the Art in the Hills: 27 Years of Philippine Contemporary Art program. The tour starts at Pinto Gallery with refreshments served at Silangan Gardens. From there, a guide will take guests to the capilla (chapel) with its antique santos (saints) and then on a short walk down the hillside compound to the museum. The “Art in the Hills” tour comes to a close with a chilled glass of Deutz Peninsula Champagne in hand, as well as a greater appreciation for contemporary Philippine art.

Pasalubong: A Filipino Crafts Class for Young People  

After a trip abroad, a Filipino would never dream of returning home without bringing back a pasalubong (souvenir) for one’s family or friends. The Pasalubong: A Filipino Crafts Class for Young People is a wonderful introduction for budding junior artists to work with paper and fabric painting techniques. By the end of a two-hour class, young artists will have painted on a taka (papier-mâché molds shaped like people, horses and the Philippine water buffalo or kalabaw). This is a lovely arts and crafts gift from the Philippines, made even more special by one’s labor of love. Adult guests are welcome to join as well.

Lutong Pinoy: Sweet Cooking the Filipino Way for Kids

Junior guests of The Peninsula Manila eager to learn the ABCs of easy-to-make Filipino desserts can join the Lutong Pinoy: Sweet Cooking the Filipino Way for Kids class and learn how to make halo-halo which is a compound Tagalog (the Philippine national language) word for “mix-mix” because halo-halo means just that – to mix in a glass layers of cooked fruit, egg custard, pulses, shaved ice and ice-cream and scooping it up with a spoon. Adult guests are welcome to join too!.

A Taal Tale: Tour of the Grand Old Houses of Taal Town 

The Taal Tale: Tour of the Grand Old Houses of Taal Town academy program relives the lifestyle, customs and traditions of a wealthy Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period. Guests will start their journey back in time at Villa Tortuga, a restored 19th-century bahay na bato (stone house) whose gracious owner will host them to a typical provincial lunch and then take them on a walking tour of the centuries-old Basilica of St Martin de Tours before finishing with merienda (Philippine afternoon tea) at Casa Villavicencio

Call 8872888 for reservations.