Benvenutto al Banchetto!*

*Italian for “welcome to the banquet!”

Banquets are considered a way of life in the country, most especially in occasions like feasts, parties, or other celebrations. Celebrations that last throughout the day and, at times, last overnight. Then again, overnight banquets are a rare occurence themselves.

So who would have thought of a banquet being held throughout the night in a place as “dead at night” as a heart of a bustling business district. A banquet that is even being held overnight lasting to the morning at that. And it’s a weekly event to top that off.

This is the weekly Friday night-Saturday morning at the heart of Ortigas Center, in the middle of the street formerly known as Emerald Ave., (now renamed to F. Ortigas St.) aptly called “Banchetto” or banquet in Italian.

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The tradition of the “Banchetto” is a fairly new one, having been held weekly since it was introduced around February 2007. While it was first conceived (and still is primarily geared) specifically to the night-shift employees of Ortigas Center, particularly those belonging to the outsourcing industry, its reputation has come to such a renown that it has attracted quite a number of people beyond its intended market. Suddenly, people who usually associate Friday night with partying at bars found an alternative venue to have fun. And also, midnight snacking all of the sudden has become less of a sin thanks to the Banchetto.

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Being a feast in itself, the variety of food available there for consumption is staggering, whether it’s Filipino, American, Chinese, Japanese, Italian food, etc. Chances are there’s food there that will satisfy your palate. The prices are not that shabby as well.

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This urban roamer recommends you check out the Banchetto at Ortigas Center on a Friday night and let your gastronomical desires be fulfilled and satisfied through the night.

P.S. And apparently, the guys behind Banchetto have their own site. So for more information, photos, and anything about Banchetto, you can also check out http://banchetto.multiply.com

and also my acknowledgements to Babelfish for the Italian I otherwise would not have been able to write.

© The Urban Roamer

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