‘Binakol’ and ‘kinilaw na tanguigue,’ from an enchanted island called Balesin

11/28/2012 | By: Reggie Aspiras, Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – Alphaland Corp.’s P3-bilion premium-grade green office building at the heart of the Makati central business district will open its doors to the public in January next year, supplying around 48,000 square meters of high-end, state-of-the-art office space.

“Alphaland Tower will be the newest, prettiest and smartest upscale corporate structure in Makati and the first pre-certified Gold LEED building along Ayala Ave.,” said Mario Oreta, president of Alphaland

The United States Green Building Council’s ratings sytem, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health, sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Oreta said the 35-story Alphaland Tower is open for business and welcomes companies looking for Grade A office space.

“Initially we wanted to lease it to a single tenant but we found out it might be a little difficult to lease it to just one party. There’s a lot of interest in the building so we decided to lease it a minimum of one floor,” Oreta said.

Alphaland vice-president for marketing Joanna Ongpin Duarte, said the company has received letters of intent from several prospective tenants since last year but has not signed any contract. “We’re not in a rush to sign contracts. We want to carefully select our tenants. We want to have Grade A tenants,” she said.

Alphaland, which is known for its high quality and upscale projects, will be leasing out Alphaland Tower at P1,000 per square meter, relatively higher than rates offered by existing Grade A office buildings.

“We want to maintain our standards. We’re going to the market at P1,000 per square meter, that steep so at that price it would only appeal to Just 25 minutes away from Manila by plane is the island paradise of Balesin, Quezon, a 500-ha private membership resort.

Not many places offer such a great diversity of attractions for lovers of both land and sea. Balesin combines the ruggedness of the great outdoors and the comfort and luxury of pampering indoors. It is an island that seems to have been built out of one’s imagination, where a visit is best described as slipping in and out of a dream.

The island has seven themed villages, five of which are now functional and ready to cater to your every whim. The Balesin clubhouse alone is enough to make one’s stay pleasurable, especially if you fancy fantastic Japanese food.

I’ve noticed that everyone who comes back from the island raves about Sakura Restaurant’s chef Edo San, who is a whiz. His sushi, sashimi and teppan creations are reason enough to keep visiting the island, but most particularly his aburi (grilled) sushi, which are phenomenal.

The best way to enjoy chef Edo San’s food is to sit back and have him serve you. That would usually mean a meal made out of what he has swimming in his aquarium.

Balesin Village is home to a huge, bewitching banyan (balete) tree. It is also where you will find the Balesin Sala, the island’s Filipino restaurant. The beach is over 4.2 km long, according to literature from the island and The Relic Bar (an old poolside bar), the oldest surviving structure from the old Balesin resort.

Balinese village

Further down the island is the Balinese Village where you can have a glimpse of a miniature version of the rice terraces, inspired by those in Bali but planted with highland-variety rice grown in Banawe.

The village restaurant Bali Warung serves authentic Indonesian dishes. It is authentic in both food and feel, adorned with intricate woodcarvings flown in from Ubud. Prominently displayed are shadow puppets that further add character to the already impressive interior. It is interesting to note that the island is home to some 38 carvers from the Mountain Province.

Near the water is Nusa Dua Bar, decked with comfortable sofas where you can sit, enjoy a drink and nibble on krupuk.

After Bali, Greece. Mykonos is Balesin’s Greek Village. The view of the ocean with the striking royal blue and white villas is what makes Mykonos a picture-perfect destination.

The Mykonos Taverna, a restaurant embellished with ceramics flown in from Greece, is beautiful. It serves world-class Greek food developed by acclaimed chef Thannisis, from Rhodes. The chef’s specialties include mezes, best enjoyed with ouzo (anise liquor). Not to be missed is the grilled lamb for main course.

If you wish to bask in the sun and enjoy a great souvlaki (Greek-style barbecue) then head for the Cove Deck, a sun lounge above the taverna that has four separate Jacuzzis and a Souvlaki Bar (BBQ-grilled meat, Greek-style).

From Mykonos, you can head to Phuket, situated along the Island’s south tip. Phuket Sala serves Thai food with a fantastic view of the infinity pool lined with coconut trees and Buddhas.

Currently being constructed are the villages of Toscana, St. Tropez and Costa del Sol.


It is amazing how one place can have so many faces, where no two experiences will ever be alike. And though we travel to the destination with company, we come home with memories that are exclusively ours, carrying with us a piece of the island in our heart, mind and belly.

Here are two of Balesin’s most popular dishes. Though simple, the flavors of the dishes give an accurate taste of experience. The secret is in the use of only the freshest ingredients. On the island, the buko is freshly picked for the binakol, which makes all the difference.

Thanks to Bollie Bolton, Balesin’s GM, for sharing these recipes with us.


30 g lapu-lapu or cream dory fillet
10 g onion
10 g tomato
1 pc buko
1 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt and pepper

  1. Cut the fish fillet, onions and tomatoes into small cubes.
  2. Boil the tomato and onion cubes in the buko juice. After five minutes, add the fish cubes.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
  4. Serve in a buko shell.
Kinilaw na Tanguigue
30 g tanguigue fillet
10 g onion
10 g tomato
10 g ginger
2 pcs sili labuyo
5 pcs calamansi
½ c vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper

  1. Clean tanguigue fillet and take out the bones and the veins.
  2. Cut the tanguigue fillet into ½-in cubes.
  3. Slice tomato, onion ginger and chili into very thin strips.
  4. Mix all the ingredients and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
  5. Garnish with whole chili.
For more information on Balesin, visit https://www.balesin.com.

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