I love the rain. The weather gets a little bit cooler. Streets and buildings get a much needed wash down. The leaves on trees and plants glisten with their coat of water. The sound of raindrops hitting the pavement muffles the otherwise deafening sound of daily life and, for a few hours or so, we are forced to slow ourselves down.
And slow ourselves down we did one stormy afternoon when classes were cancelled and work was called-off early. Knowing that traffic would be going in the opposite direction, I swept my wife from bed, got into the car and hied off to Makati for a relaxing, mid-afternoon date.
Soon enough, we found ourselves in the immaculate and familiar confines of Rustan’s flagship store in Ayala Center (Let’s face it… Most of us grew up borrowing our mother’s frequent shopper card). We had a leisurely stroll among the beautifully laid-out displays with my wife taking note of the “X” items (my knees are quivering as I write this), while I was subtly directing her toward the men’s department.
I thought my efforts were succesfull when something caught her eye (*face palm*). She immediately made a bee-line for some well-lit refrigerated display cases set against a purple background. With no other choice but to follow, I scampered off after her.
She was already choosing what to buy when I made it to her side. I don’t blame her. We were staring into the display case of Machiavelli Chocolatier and the chocolates on offer were bite-sized works of art. We bought a couple of pieces (the Grand Marnier and Coconut Screw) and relished the smooth, buttery chocolate that could have only come from the best chocolatiers in the world. Upon closer inspection, I saw that most of the chocolates on offer had Filipino names. There was Yema de Manila, Dusty Negros and Batangas Star. There were even chocolate bars dedicated to prominent Filipino personalities such as Benny’s Morrocan Bar (dedicated to Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco) and the Cory Aquino Bar wrapped in yellow. I asked the proprietor, Raul Matias about the store and he confirmed that the store is his original concept and that he made the chocolates himself! Amazing, really. It just goes to show that Filipinos can stand as equals on the world stage.
I’ll have this over Belgian chocolate any day.