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The Heart Of Morocco In Manila

You mention Morocco, and it conjures up an image of souks, of desert nights, of romance and espionage under the stars, of an eclectic blend of Middle Eastern intrigue, Berber culture and European ‘savoir faire’. After all, while Rabat may be the present capital of this Arab country, the biggest city is still Casablanca, and it is home to other fabled cities such as Marrakech, Tangier, and Agadir. Without doubt, it is one of the most romanticized of Arab nations; for who of us will not have watched, or at least know of, the Humphrey Bogart classic, Casablanca. 

It is more than fortunate that the Tantoco family behind Rustans has a special relationship with the country of Morocco. So when Rustans mounts an all month of August, Moroccan Festival, it turns into something rather unique, not just an exchange of culture, produce, and crafts but literally, into an outpouring of goodwill and mutual love. This was readily evident during the launch activity. 

Le Coeur du Maroc (the Heart of Morocco) is being held at Rustans in partnership with HSBC, the Fairmont Makati, and the Moroccan National Tourism Office. It’s all about Moroccan beauty and color, about their dance and music, about the food and a myriad of products that are proudly Moroccan. Personally, I loved the Babouche slipper/shoes, as these are the one with exaggerated upraised toe tips, very Aladdin and Ali Baba. 



Fashion designer Fatim-Zahra Ettalbi brings her creations to be a special part of the month long festivities. And the 5th floor lounge and dining section has been converted into Casablanca Cafe with a Moroccan celebrity chef in residence for the month of August. Chef Moha Fedal is the resident judge on Master Chef Morocco, and he’s here! There are henna paintings for your body until the 8th of August, and special calligraphy demonstrations. 

As you can see from the partial listing above, this isn’t just about Moroccan carpets, scarves, fragrances and home accessories, nor is it about pottery, dinnerware, and spices! Yes, Rustans certainly has all that; but this is also a living, breathing collaboration and celebration that shouldn’t be missed. I, for one, will be back for the food at Casablanca Cafe and their highly aromatic Moroccan mint tea.