Grilling with the Philippine MVPs : Episode 2 – Grill version 2.00

Since I became a Microsoft MVP for SQL Server some years ago, the challenge to gather the MVPs to go on some quality non-tech time has been a challenge, unless of course if called by the local unit of Microsoft. The first episode was a super success. 2 years ago, we went to a bird sanctuary to do some bird watching/photography and some grilling and of course a lot of discussion on whatever things that come our way. Check out MVP Jojo Ayson and MVP Eduardo Lorenzo’s accounts of the first MVP outing.

Last week, rarin’ for another quality time with fellow MVPs, I posted on Facebook the idea of doing the 2nd episode of the MVP’s version of non-tech weekend with fellow MVPs. And yesterday, with MVPs Allan Spartacus Mangune, John De Lizo and his other half and his pet Floppy and Michael Corpuz with his lovely wife and great kids, another milestone was achieved as we went to some nice resort south of Manila to spend the entire day by the beach and over grills and a lot of talk about how things are/were with each of our lives. And of course, as part of the tradition, we can’t avoid making as topics those MVPs who were not around. 🙂

Fast forward, we are once again on the road when for the 2nd time, I remember about the grill I was supposed to bring. Together with the grill was the knife and the charcoal igniter. We thought of going back for the important items as we are still not outside of the metropolis but thanks to Michael, for the second time, as resourceful as he is, he saved our day as he agreed to find some grill along the way so we have something to use for our BBQs.

So at around 7:00am, we cruised along CAVITEX

Photo courtesy of Chellie Acbang

and on the road in Kawit, Cavite, we bought some yummy talaba (oysters) and tahong (mussels). We bought some ice along the way too.

Photo courtesy of Chellie Acbang

It was a smooth easy ride and around 8:00am, we reached our destination: Puerto Azul, Ternate, Cavite.

Photo courtesy of Chellie Acbang

After we got ourselves settled down on some cottages, the main business for the day started : GRILLING.

Once again, like in the first outing, one has to ask: how many MVPs are needed to light the fire and make BBQs? There was a significant improvement compared to the first as to how MVPs deploy the grill and make BBQs. First, the grill Mike bought was better and a lot bigger.  Second, the charcoal was superb. A far cry from what MVP Eduardo Lorenzo brought in the first outing. Everyone agreed that what makes a great grill is not the wire mesh/grill but the quality of charcoal. John De Lizo brought the premium branded kind. 🙂 And with that, we all concluded to redefine what a charcoal for grilling is. We agreed that the charcoal has to be unused and dry 😛

Then it’s time to start the fire. Allan was the genius. He got the fire burning fast with some scrap newspaper. All these while he was able to avoid getting that black soot on his immaculate hands. 🙂

We thought, everything will go smooth when we realized that every food we brought, except for the fish Michael brought in, were all frozen, and are yet to be thawed. But to hell with ice, we defrosted everything on top of the grill … that is how efficient Mirosoft MVPs are.

Here is the MVPs Grill 2011, version 1.00.

Photo courtesy of Jojo Ayson … grabbed from his blogsite Lakwatsero

Here is what we had yesterday… the MVPs Grill 2013, vastly improved version 2.00.

Photo courtesy of Michael Corpuz

They say everything gets really awesome with Version 3.00. We probably need Jojo Ayson for the 3rd release 😛

So for the rest of the day, we just chilled out and enjoyed what the resort had for us. And we had with us the instant star of the day – Floppy, John De Lizo’s golden retriever, who had us star-strucked and glued to him all day! Here we are:

Photo courtesy of the resort’s caretaker 🙂

We headed home past 3:00pm and had another successful episode of Philippine Microsoft MVPs bonding together to form a great family. Great experience, great food, great company once again! Looking forward for Episode 03.