French Embassy celebrates first ‘October Fête’ weekend

October Fête was a French weekend at the Makati Street Meet on Paseo de Roxas Avenue last weekend, 14 and 15 October. Some 40 merchants, chefs, pâtissiers, and restaurateurs offered French goodies from croissants to crêpes to wine, champagne, and beer, among other things.

Chef Patrice of Society Lounge came up with a special Paris Burger that was juicy, perfect to pair with any of the wines available in the booths around. Although the Saturday afternoon was disturbed by a quick downpour, the evening was cool, ideal for some drinks outdoors with French electronic music mixed by a live DJ spinning in front of an LED wall showcasing beautiful sceneries of France.

Sunday afternoon was marked by a parade of Randonneurs, cyclists who participated in the 1,200-kilometer ride from Paris to Brest and back. Last August, some 82 Filipino cyclists flew to France to join this cycling adventure across the Western region from Paris to Normandy and Brittany.

Two-time participant TJ Jimenez was enthusiastic: “The countryside is simply spectacular. The French hospitality and generosity are something that you want to experience again and again; looking forward to the next PBP in four years!” PBP is the ultimate test of endurance for cyclists who want to enjoy the best of France, according to Arnel Marcelo Andal, founder of Philippine Bicycle Demo and Expo.

“To stand side-by-side with other audacious cyclists from all over the world brings a certain joy and feeling of accomplishment,” added Carmela Pearson, Filipîna cyclist who was recently elected vice president of Les Randonneurs Mondiaux, LRM, the international body that overseas all brevets or certificates with 1,200 kilometers or more. “It’s a ride that embodies grit, discipline, integrity, and tenacity.”

Lady rider Rina Vera Cruz initially joined because of the thrill of riding alone in a foreign country but realized that “it was nothing short of a transformative journey that immersed me in the unparalleled beauty of France and the boundless warmth of its people.”

French Ambassador Marie Fontanel, who is originally from Brittany, was delighted to meet with the cyclists who rode all the way to part of France, and waved the flag to start the parade of the Randonneurs around the Ayala Triangle, joined by other cyclists present at the event.