MANUEL H. Osmeña or simply “Manny O” is a paragon of excellence.
It has been sometime since I had the pleasure of another of his wine-paired degustation. We were all excited to spend an evening with this remarkable man whose touch continues to amaze people.
His Manny O Group, a Cebu-based profitable holding company that includes the Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island that houses the Ibiza Beach Club, Sky Logistics, Sky Kitchen and Manny O Wines are prominent players in the Philippine tourism industry. In fact, the Ibiza Beach Club, the premier lifestyle dining and unrivalled entertainment is opening its biggest project in the heart of Bonifacio Global City with no less than 1,000 seats, with Manny and his French Executive Chef, Christian Bouby, taking food to a higher level.
Manny O’s passion for food and wine continue to create ripples. His gregarious and engaging personality can mesmerize anyone once he talks about his business pursuits, especially his vast knowledge and profound understanding of wines. He personally blends his wines created for the Asian palates and have received prestigious international awards and recognition.
The Ibiza Beach Club Wine-Paired Dinner two weeks ago revealed a Manny Osmeña with a pure heart for charity. Unbeknownst to many, HopeNow Philippines, which serves as the charity arm of the Manny O Group was established by this Cebu-based hotelier and social entrepreneur to give hope to disaster victims and vulnerable people through housing projects, community and livelihood rehabilitation projects and medical relief.
To date, Manny O Group, in partnership with Kagawad Kalinga, has turned over 160 typhoon proof houses to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda, motorized fishing boats for the livelihood projects and licensed social worker mentoring program. He is working on the HopeNow Gulong ng Buhay, a P100 million Hospital on Wheels project, the first Mercedes Benz Zetros 6 X 6 that will provide medical assistance in case of calamities.
We were all deeply touched by his video presentation as we found our way to Ibiza Beach Club for the much-awaited award winning wines-pairing degustation. To amuse our palates, we had Seared Tuna with Special Spices and Ballotine of Cured Salmon on a bed of green asparagus with unagi sauce washed down by 2013 Manny O Agapitos Rose blended in Alentejo, Portugal.
To warm our anxious tummies, Golden Parmesan Lobster Bisque was unusually paired with red 2013 Manny O Discipulus Syrah from Lanquedoc in the South of France. Our first main course from the ocean was Tiger Prawns Ibiza Style, settled on “Tinta de Calamar” (squid ink) hummus flavored with a dash of saffron aioli, paired with 2013 Manny O Agapitos Branco from Alentejo, Portugal, a refreshing blend with a hint of ripe green apple.
Red Wine Granite refreshed our palates for the second main course, US Angus Rib Eye grilled on skewer and served with sautéed French beans, mushroom, olive mashed potatoes.
I chose to have 2012 Manny O Bibulus Bordeaux, a more elegant cabernet sauvignon served from a decanter. As the wines were poured, Manny spoke of the awards and characteristics of his blends. Dessert was a fascinating trio—Passion Fruit Cheese Mousse, Chocolate and Coffee Croquant and Movenpick Vanilla Dream Ice Cream.
After the satisfying evening, Manny Osmeña left us pondering on his quote, “Money is pressure until it is used to help people in need.”