Dining

Cristobal

The name CRISTOBAL is the maiden name of Virginia who, in 1940, married Vicente T. Calma after whom this hotel is named.

Virginia or Nanay, as she is affectionately called by family, friends and the ten children she bore, was a great cook. Home-trained but highly imaginative, she created traditional Filipino dishes in her own unique way. Nanay learned to cook in her early years because she had an uncle who owned a restaurant in Bulacan. That uncle, on the Cristobal side, happened to be a cook trained in Sulipan, a legendary town in Pampanga known for great cooking and where government and foreign dignitaries were brought to sample dishes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (Sulipan is now a barrio in Apalit, Pampanga.)

Although she raised her children in Cotabato and then Davao, Nanay brought the flavors of the north over to the south. Her mastery of favorite dishes like dinuguan, batchoy, arroz caldo, pancit luglug, and lumpiang sariwa made her friends crave for Cristobal-inspired food. Her every dish is a triumph of ingenuity, a reflection of her inner strength, grace, and reverence for the simple life.

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