Ice cream was the first thing that Hidilyn Diaz had right after bagging a silver in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting competition last year, ending the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought.
While other members of the Philippine contingent to the Rio Olympics had their fill of meat at a churrasco restaurant, the 26-year-old Hidilyn downed a big bowl of ice cream after several months of depriving herself of her favorite treat and sticking to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.
“I love sweets. But I cannot eat sweets before a competition, only after,” she said, chuckling at the memory, a vision of a small town girl from Zamboanga City. Hidilyn gave her silver medal as a birthday present to her mom, Emelita.
Through Emelita’s steadfast belief in her daughter’s potential, Hidilyn, who developed her love for the sport at the tender age of 11, became the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal.
When volleyball player Gretchen Ho was still a kid, her mom Annie prohibited junk food from her diet, forcing her instead to eat fish, vegetables and fruits.
But just like any other average kid, Gretchen would give in to her cravings from time to time. When she lied about a chichirya wrapper in their garbage can, her mom did not think twice about making her eat chili as punishment.
“It was supposed to be a punishment for her for not telling the truth. But now she likes spicy food,” Annie said.
Gretchen eventually joined the varsity team of the Immaculate Concepcion Academy in fifth grade. She became the team captain in her senior high year, and, in college, was one of the so-called “Fab Five” players of the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
Hidilyn and Gretchen are two successful athletes whose discipline both in their chosen field and in the kitchen have been shaped largely by their moms – the first chefs in their lives who made sure healthy eating would not necessarily mean eating bland food.
And with the belief that behind every successful athlete is an equally “super” mom, Sofitel Philippine Plaza decided to pay homage this year to mothers who have instilled a happy and healthy lifestyle as their legacy to their children in a weekend celebration from May 12 to 14.
“Parents oftentimes neglect their own well-being, getting too caught up with work and with the kids. We want to recognize the people behind our champions,” said Sofitel General Manager Adam Laker.
The master chefs of Sofitel’s Spiral buffet came up with colorful and nutritious specialties, treating all moms to a sumptuous journey of taste inspired by the households of Hidilyn and Gretchen.
The specially-curated dishes spread across Spiral’s 21 dining ateliers include Thai chicken green curry, braised chicken with black mushrooms and fresh ginseng, rainbow maki roll, chicken ginseng soup, a salad of edible flowers, quinoa, pomegranate and calamansi, avocado prawn with wasabi light mayonnaise, and guilt-free desserts such mix berry panna cotta and banana hazelnut torte.
Lunch on May 12 is priced at P2,650 while dinner is set at P3,550. Saturday lunch on May 13 is a little higher at P3,450, while the Mother’s Day brunch goes for P4,655 and comes with live musical entertainment.
Now, these offerings may be on the upscale side, but for those who want to indulge their moms – biological or by choice – on their special day, that four-digit price tag may just be worth it. They are, after all, the true champs in our homes.
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