Partly to be blamed for my bloated body shape right now aside from admittedly having an appetite for almost anything edible, are the thriving eat-all-you can restaurants in the city that offers extensive variety of mouthwatering dishes. Not even a fairly-priced buffet in the city would hinder me from trying and getting a “fullfilling” experience. I would never forget the over-indulgence I did in Café Marco (Marco Polo) – I started when the restaurant opened at 6:00pm and ended when the restaurant closed at 10:00pm. Don’t try to imagine how big my stomach expanded for it was a sad sight to behold. Fast forward today, I carefully choose what I eat as I was alarmed on the result of my recent annual medical examination. I instantly decided on that day that I will no longer eat anything that is high in cholesterol. No more red meats. No more eat-all-you can.
One day, I was invited by a friend Cinmayii (a sanskrit name) who happen to be a Margi (members of Ananda Marga) to try their vegetarian buffet. They have been doing this once a month for several months already but it was my first time to know such. Food is exclusively prepared and cooked by a vegetarian chef. They (Margis) are vegetarians who avoid some food ingredients in cooking like garlic, onions, mushrooms and eggs to mention a few. With this, I assume their food would taste much different from any restaurants in Cebu that offer vegetarian options. I was imagining how a dish would taste like without garlic and onions or what could instead be used as an alternative. I am more than interested on what it is like to indulge on everything vegetarian!
We arrived in their gathering place just in time the Margists finished their meditation. We were greeted by Dada, a respected high priest dressed in orange robe. I felt a little strange when we were accomodated inside the room – the way they dressed, the way they greeted us, the arrangement of the room, as if we were transported in a Hindu setting – pillows are everywhere, and all of us sat “yoga style” on the floor. It was my first time to mingle on that kind of crowd, but later I felt comfortable knowing that we went there just for the food. And then there was a table with calderos and big serving platters full of different dishes! That sight reminded me of a town fiesta, where food is being served right on its own caldero, very Pinoy yet in a Hindu-like atmosphere! Another one-of-a-kind experience.
Before I lined up to help myself, I asked some members who were helping in the table about what were those dishes and how it was prepared. It seemed however that nobody knew exactly what were those dishes. They pointed me to Hitendra (a Sanskrit name), the vegetarian chef but he was too busy assisting other guests. Without nobody to answer me, I sat down on the floor and just enjoyed every dish. Yes I tried all that were served! Among all the dishes that lined up in the table, I found the vegemeat barbecues awesome... it tasted like real meat!
We were also lucky that time because Jyoshna La Trobe, a famous ethnomusician in the world (the counterpart of Joey Ayala of the Philippines) gave a mini concert after the dinner.
We went home while Jyoshna was still playing, too bad that I had no opportunity to talk to the chef. I just comforted myself in the thought that I will be attending again this gathering very soon.
Price: P200.00 per head
Expectations: Be ready to be seated on the floor like a yogis, I assume it is part of the buffet experience. Do not expect soft drinks are served. Cold drinking water is free and unlimited.
Realizations: There is indeed a vegetarian eat-all-you-can here in Cebu!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Good news for vegetarians or those who would want to embrace this healthy lifestyle, Ananda Marga Wellness Center is trying to create a vegetarian group here in Cebu, called Vegetarian Society of Maharlika. If ever, this will be the first organization of vegetarians in the country.
If you want to attend yoga classes, you may contact yoga instructor Reynante “Rainjin” del Socorro, contact details below:
Ananda Marga Yoga Center
3rd Floor Yusing Building (near Holiday Plaza Hotel)
Ramos Street, Cebu City
Rainjan (Yoga instructor) - 0923-312-4766
Siddharta (Yoga Studio Manager) -0922-231-4549
Yoga Studio - 239-1460
Landmark: Yusing Building is at the back of a building where Workout Fitness Center is located.
Ananda Marga Wellness Center
N Alinsug St., Greenview Village
Mandaue City, Cebu Province
+63 (32) 236 – 4797
+63 (949) 672 – 2950
Please ask for Ms. Savitri