Dining at Victor Magsaysay’s seductively designed private restaurant in Makati City’s Poblacion area is like stepping into a totally different world: Framed vintage Philippine maps from the 17th to the 19th centuries converse with beautiful assemblages, one of them made with found objects by contemporary art duo Juan Miguel Aquilizan and Jessica Dorizac. Statues share guard duty with taxidermized animals – one of them a towering, hat-wearing polar bear.
In this eclectic 180m2 space, which Magsaysay also calls home, he can host a nine-course dinner for a minimum of one and a maximum of 20, or a cocktail dînatoire (cocktail buffet) for up to 20. The table setting is no less whimsical – guests are invited to sit around a ’40s tanguile wood table adorned with a pair of bronze ibex heads crafted by a French sculptor.
Magsaysay was born and raised in Manila, as well as in Zambales, where his family belongs to a prominent political clan that produced the seventh president of the Philippines, Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay.