Archive for April, 2009



flu1Being a father to our 4-year-old son and a physician, I am so bothered with the news that the  first confirmed reported death due to SWINE FLU outside Mexico specifically in Houston, Texas was a 23-MONTH-OLD TODDLER as I read it  here .  This is really alarming!  I so hope that everyone will be on-guard not to further transmit the disease.  There are reports that the virus had spread to Europe, Canada, and in the US.  The following States that have laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu : Arizona (1), California (14), Indiana (1),  Kansas (2), Massachussetts (2), Michigan (2), Nevada (1), New York (51), Ohio (1), Texas (16) and 1 confirmed death.


 This is according to CDC (Center for Disease Control) report dated April 29, 2009.  

This has to stop before W.H.O. declares it, God forbid a pandemic.  

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”   -Buddha. 

DOCGELO’s  Medical Dose :  Preventive vaccines specific against this H1N1 species of influenza virus from pigs are yet to be discovered.  Why are there NO available vaccines yet for the NEW and FUTURE species of  influenza ?  Because all types of FLU VIRUS mutates CONTANTLY.  There are two concepts behind the continuous mutations of flu viruses. These are ANTIGENIC DRIFT and ANTIGENIC SHIFT.   Antigen, to begin with, is any protein component of a foreign body, in this matter, it refers to the protein part of the flu virus that enables it to become VIRULENT and PATHOGENIC.  Influenza viruses undergo mutation swiftly in a matter of minutes, days, weeks and it’s so called antigenic drift. And likewise, these RNA(ribonucleic acid) viruses also mutate annually and the process is known as antigenic shift.  These two types of  viral mutations make the process of vaccine invention against NEW and FUTURE strains of flu difficult UNTIL such time that microbiologist and other specialist have isolated and identified the specific H or HEMAGGLUTININ, and N or NEURAMINIDASE (enzyme) which are the protein components of flu viruses present in their cell surface.  Drugs that inhibit this enzyme are used to treat influenza.

213Common signs & symptoms of flu are :

  • Fever over 38 ‘C in adults, and often as high as  39.5 ‘C to 40.5 ‘C in children
  • Chills and sweats / diaphoresis
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Myalgia or muscular aches/pains, especially in your back, arms and legs
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Anorexia or loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea and vomiting in children

SWINE FLU IS NOT TRANSMITTED BY EATING PORK. So it is safe to eat pork. Influenza spreads through direct contact with someone sick with it, usually airborne droplet so better cover mouth & nose while coughing or sneezing and DO PROPER HANDWASHING as it is still considered as the best universal precautionary measure.

BE  EDUCATED before you become the next patient.



Last month, I came across an on-line contest by Filipino Registered Nurses Advocates Foundation, Inc at their friendster account. At that time, they were in search of the official tag line for the foundation.  It was open to anyone who’s interested, so I joined.  I sent 3 entries, 2 of which were submitted on the contest’s deadline (March30).  Then last Monday, April 27, I was notified that one of my entries was chosen as the official tag line of their office.  It’s  “EMPOWERING  PINOY  NURSES!”  

Yesterday after my lecture series at Allgen the Intelligent Review,  I dropped by the office of the said foundation to claim my prize from the president himself.   After few cam clicks from their photographer for documentation of their activity, he gave me this…


Life is unfair sometimes but it’s still damn GOOD, right ?

One of my soonest post will be about you know what…

————–> Thank you to Filipino Registered Nurses Advocates Foundation, Inc and MORE POWER!



I love Pinoy nurses, in fact I am happily married to one!

God bless.



One more post before dozing off…

After a hearty brunch at the Fort, Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino 2 days ago,  we  (my wife Tina, son Gabby & 2 friends of 16 years, Rob & LG) strolled through the stretch of Bonifacio High Street and Serendra and explored DIMENSIONE   (I like most of their stuffs, neat & edgy! from the simplest photo frame to the contemporary furnitures), we went in to 2 other shops that I can’t recall the names (perhaps, I’ve eaten too much pork), LOL,  then we headed straight to Shangri-La mall  to meet another looooooooong  LOST friend, Gezzely.    

Our malling is unusual without a dose of caffeine, so we had sips of Starbucks coffee after meeting Gez.  One topic lead to another, flights of ideas were nearly manifested, LOL, family and personal lives were discussed;  chatting with each other as if yesterday was 1993 and time was left unnoticed. 

When it was time for dinner, Rob, our sponsor for that night and I agreed on CIBO!  My heartbeat ran fast,  I palpitated for excitement,  I was QUIETLY  jumping for joy as we approached CIBO at the second level of the mall.  CIBO is ONE of OUR FAVORITES!  My wife Tina, our son Gabby and I are frequent patrons of CIBO at various branches -Gateway, Trinoma, Shangri-la mall, even tried dining once at ELJ Building/ABS-CBN branch. 

It was really unexpected!  The probable fastfood dining became another CIBO experience, amazing!  LOL.


We never wasted time and immediately ordered to the waiting staff the following….


img_06581TEGAMINO DI FORMAGGIO FUSO :    Grilled cheeses, thin Sardinian flatbreadPhP  213.00

Then, as if one yummy ANTIPASTI   ISN’T ENOUGH!  We ordered another …..

PATE  DI  FEGATO:   Chicken liver pate dip, apple & pear fruit sauce, toast rounds, PhP  198.





RIGATONI ALL’ ALFONSO :  Shrimps, chives, stewed tomato, cream, chili peppers

 PhP 573    La  famiglia  size.   (PhP 325 for regular size). 



PIZZA CAVIALE, SALMONE :    Salmon and caviar; 2 of the most delicious toppings that are hard to resist!   PhP  365.

Cibo’s pizza breads are to-die-for.  All three of us- Tina, Gabby & i LOVE this pizza from Cibo.  SARAP!  

We’ll see you soon CIBO!




img_06961         img_0688           img_06972

When I posted something about  BIZU  after Tina, Gabby and I went to their branch at Promenade, Greenhills,  I honestly didn’t expect the owner herself will read my blog and best, drop a comment here .  She personally asked for my contact infos and promised to issue me a BIZU FANATIQUE CARD  for FREE which offers 10% discount valid until 2011, to be claimed few days after I replied to her staff via email from the same branch.  And for that, BIZU is really SWEET!    


We went to Bizu Promenade not only to claim the card but also to have a sugar boost, 

well not quite;   because some of their wonderful cakes are sugarless, even  flourless.

Take a glimpse at our late afternoon glucose loading…              


NAOMI  SUGARLESS :  a combination of sugarless milk & dark chocolate mousse between LAYERS of chocolate cake sprayed with cocoa liqueur.  PhP 195 / 735 / 1,430.



JOLIE,  SUGARLESS and FLOURLESS :  sugarless and flourless chocolate Kahlua mousse cake with hazelnuts and special chiboust cream.  PhP 195 / 775 / 1735.


AMOUR : Valrhona orange chocolate mousse in between layers of creme brulee and brownie. 

PhP  185 / 810 /1810. 



SWEETER than BIZU are moments like these….


GLUCOSE OF MY LIFE :  my son Gabby & wife Tina, 

naks!  =)



I believe in anything creative and innovative especially if it’ll champion anything Pinoy. 


One of my college friends of 16 years and counting,  Rob  usually comes home every 3 months from his work abroad. Now that he’s here again, I and my wife Tina asked him with another best friend LG to try weekend brunch at  Chef Laudico BISTRO FILIPINO at the Fort.  When friends agreed, we made a reservation and the staff of the said resto immediately emailed me of the menu featuring more than 50 of their dishes.

The staff who received my reservation call told me that the weekend eat-all-you-can brunch which is offered at PhP 788 adults and PhP 488  for kids below 10 years old;  prices plus VAT and service charge,  all food served at plated half of their ala carte portions, starts at 10AM & ends at 3PM.  We came in early in full pack only to find out that they’ll open late at few minutes before  11AM.   So we strolled along the 3rd Avenue and  found this sculptured monument of fishermen as we crossed the street going to a common favorite fastfood for quick drinks and apple pies.  


Poetic, isn’t it ?   After few minutes, we headed back to the resto…


Somehow, I already had expectations from this restaurant that promotes Pinoy cuisine at its best not only because that I got the menu a day before in my Inbox, but I read tons of comments and saw some photos of its food posted on blogs.  There are positives but ofcourse, there also the opposites as cliche goes, “you can’t please everybody.”   My wife & son, 2 friends and I were a bit disappointed to its late opening yesterday.  Had the staff clearly emphasized that they’ll open at past 10:30AM or 11, then we could have arrived at a later time.  I guess punctuality is a must in service. 

Just the same, I also expected the best from what I’ve read about Bistro Filipino, my little fretting on its late opening was changed into amazement at the simple but inviting exteriors of the restaurant & its very romantic Filipino interiors.  First, I was drawn to its logo out of metallic sun & 3 stars; indeed very Pinoy, depicting features of the Philippine flag with a woven sawali  at its corner.  It looks tribal and yet very Pinoy.    EyeLikeIt!


The interiors is more dramatic than its exteriors ofcourse.  Its entrance alone is already attractive with capiz chandeliers to welcome you and sinamay drapes dividing the restaurant into 3 longitudinal dining areas.   


                    41        51    

                   img_0538         61

The intricate details are spontaneous and consistent  to the small, clean toilets where Pinoy tribal arts served as damask stenciled prints that were sponge-painted on blue walls continuous to the ceiling; the toilets are not only well interiored but more importantly adequately equipped with essentials.  

The walls at the ends of each dining area are provided with huge antique-looking mirrors creating an illusion of distance and depth on the interiors of the resto.  Here’s the end with round mirror….  


Then here’s the wall with rectangular mirror…


I don’t know about you, but I like the middle area where we brunched.

Because we found our place under the green stars, figuratively.  

We were seated under this romantic black chandeliers with faux emeralds.


Now, the menu.  It’s creative and innovative.  It’s apparent that Chef Laudico Bistro Filipino attempts to elevate Philippine cuisine to where it should be.  I am not a chef and far from being a culinary arts expert but  I highly believe that our own dishes should be recognize as a global cuisine just like japanese, continental, chinese, thai, mideterranean  and others.  Bistro Filipino is one of those gourmet restos that serves well-prepared and high quality food however, improvement on taste of FEW dishes won’t hurt but will do more good.

So here are the dishes my wife, kid and 2 friends feasted on from Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino…

 img_0542            121 133SISIG BASKET :  ingenious serving of bite-sized pork sisig, with thin slice of quail egg at its bottom.

 142       15

TUNA KILAWIN ROLL :  raw and tangy!

16         17

STUFFED FISH BALLS (left) :  nothing unusual, really.                    

PRITO FRIO (right) : a better version of okoy made special with shrimps, squid rings and another seafood i missed out.  It comes with 3 various dips that were uncommon to my palate.  I like this appetizer.  

18                19

SHITAKE MUSHROOM SOUP (left) :  I don’t know about our best friends but my wife and I like this soup so much. There’s the distinguishing taste of the mushroom itself, sarap!

3 KINDS of MANGO SALAD (right) : I had this one and as a sucker for anything with mango, LOVE IT!


EGGPLANT TORTA with SPICY CRAB : my friend Rob  generously shared portion of his omelette to me and Tina.  Never expected tortang talong can go so gourmet!  Bravo! LOL.


GARDEN SALAD (with choice of dressing) :  LG had this one. Never tasted it, so no comment =)


US  ANGUS BEEF KARE-KARE :  I ordered this because I’m a huge Kare-kare fanatic; quite OK, only that beef was shredded, why?  


WAGYU and LENGUA ESTOFADO :   I, Tina & LG ordered this dish and I was so excited to grab my knife at the WAGYU BEEF but I think we’re one in saying that it’s probably (still) best eaten as a STEAK for not to be overpowered with the sauce.  I understand how estofado should taste and there’s nothing wrong with its sauce; only that we didn’t get to taste the WAGYU! Plus the lengua could have been sliced thinly and not served as an obvious chunk of ox tongue.  The sauce, the lengua all compete with the WAGYU, in the end nothing wins!  =(



SALMON  ESCABECHE  Sayang, only my friends tasted this plate.

When we called the waiter to order for something more, we all felt we’re all satiated but I myself was weak to resist the other dishes on the menu. So we tried some more…  It was time for the PASTA…

25     26

PRAWNS and BURONG MUSTASA (left) : I had this plate. I highly commend Chef Roland Laudico for being so daring on using a very Filipino green with one of my favorite seafood (no one, for me, goes wrong with shrimps!) but I honestly cannot appreciate the pasta probably because I’m already full at that time, but my palate was craving for some kick at this pasta and found nothing.

CALAMARI with CRAB ROE (right) :  LG and my wife Tina had each share of this pasta. But Tina didn’t get to finish it so (not to avoid the PhP 100 fine for every unfinished plate, but it was again, sayang) she fast-break  it to my plate.  Again, I’m such a seafood lover and I’m someone who wouldn’t pass on something with shrimp, or squid, moreso with crabs! But this pasta has (for the lack of a better term) an overpowering taste (again!) plus we found it too DRY!  Don’t get me wrong, I like pasta whether it has tomato/cream/herb/oil-based sauce/s, but this was just too strong for me.  To each his own, right?      

272         281       
ALL SMILES for the GOURMET SILOG! : my wife Tina & our son Gabby.
US  ANGUS BEEF TAPA with GARLIC RICE stuffeed in TOMATOES with EGG with SALTED EGG CUCUMBER SALSA :  This one’s a winner for me!  TAPSILOG at its best! plus thanks to the chef-creator, I’ll make his salted egg and cucumber salsa a  home-baon-favorite !
Finally, the DESSERTS…. Usual Filipino sweets were never given such recognition until this resto gave it a best shot.
MAJA BLANCA CHEESECAKE :  I’m so easy to please and EyeLOVEthis!  Another ingenuity of Chef Laudico! Putting the common merienda maja blanca into cheesecake was really something!  But what caught my discriminating taste was the use of COCONUT JAM as its drizzle. Another MUST-TRY from this resto! TWO-THUMBS UP!
BANANA  Q  TART  :  Another creative innovation of a simple favorite Pinoy snack.  Never tasted this one, my friend Rob had his fork on this, but I think it’s also perfect to end a sumptuos buffet.
DECONSTRUCTED SANS RIVAL :  I am so familiar with the common sans rival but this one from Bistro Filipino was truly deconstructed. I think it’s a misnomer to call it sans rival for it tasted like macaroons or chewy sticky rice cake;  just sooooooooo far from the usual sans rival. I just didn’t get its taste, sorry.
 img_0555       img_0576
Just when all of us four were enjoying and discriminating the taste of this brunch, my son Gabby was having his time at these 2 choco-treats.  I just had them on photos, not on my palate. 
Our drinks included lemongrass iced tea, iced and hot tea, brewed coffee. The brunch also offers assorted sodas and sampaloc (tamarind) juice (gotta try it next time!).
I’m very particular at service of any establishment, especially when I know that they’re charging it on our bill. The staffs of Chef Laudico Bistro Filipino, in all fairness, were discreet in getting orders and courteous and polite but IMO, they should add their volume to compensate on the number of diners.  It was not only that they opened late
yesterday, but some of our beverages and food were also served late.  Again the biggest room in the world is IMPROVEMENT. 
Nevertheless, with its romantic FILIPINO INTERIORS, and some really tasteful innovation of PINOY FOOD especially the desserts and some entrees, I’d still bring my family and friends AGAIN to Chef Laudico BISTRO FILIPINO for us to enjoy other dishes on the menu.  It’s recommended for most balikbayans who are longing for Filipino cuisine with a twist.   
Medical Dose :  Ingestion of something rich with carbohydrates is the stimulus of INSULIN secretion from the beta cells of the pancreas.  Once an individual eats, his brain stimulates the Islets of Langerhans specifically the beta cells to release INSULIN to carry and transport the product of  catabolism(breakdown) of carbohydrates which are simple sugars or glucose towards liver cells or hepatocytes, muscle cells or myocytes, fat cells or adipocytes for it to be deposited as GLYCOGEN (stored glucose) in the process known as Glycogenesis.  Once EATING is BEYOND 2 HOURS, such as in BUFFET EATING, the individual develops HYPERGLYCEMIA or increase glucose level in the blood because the brain can only stimulate INSULIN SECRETION for only 60 to 90 minutes or less than 2 hours. 


We went to the Fort this morning with a couple of best friends of sixteen years, had brunch at Bistro Filipino (I’ll post it soon) and strolled around Serendra and window-shopped at Bonifacio High Street.  If the places are greek to you, all of these are on one city : Taguig !  We’re never new to the place, been there many times but it was only this afternoon I got a chance to click my cam on those E3s…


We spotted  a queue of those E3  a.k.a. ELECTRONIC  TRICYCLES which are battery-operated,  meaning  gasless and ECO-FRIENDLY

our 4-y/o son Gabby & my lovely wife Tina on E3

our 4-y/o son Gabby & my lovely wife Tina on E3

 I asked one of the drivers of E3 and learned that it takes about 8 hours for it to be fully-charged and can be driven for 2 days with maximum speed of 60 km/hr.  According to the manong I chat with, electronic charging of one whole hour will already lasts them riding it for three hours. Good enough to diminish pollution on environment. The E3 with reverse/forward switch  can weather floods even with maximum of 8 passengers.

Each unit is made of fiberglass that looks like a golf cart. E3s were introduced December of 2008 by the Taguig City government. At present, the City of Taguig owns 178 units of E3;

each worth PhP 140, 000 and 20 units are serving people around the Fort area for FREE! 

Tipping is ofcourse encouraged!

Don't you wish all especially our kids to breathe FRESHEST AIR?

Don't you wish all especially our kids to breathe FRESHEST AIR?

Medical Dose :  Smoke emissions from usual vehicles can predispose anyone especially those of extreme of ages to develop usual respiratory disorders.  

Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons are released when fuel is burned in the internal combustion engine and the air/gasoline residuals are emitted through the tailpipe. Gasoline vapors also escape into the air during refueling, or when fuel vaporizes from engines and fuel systems warmed by running or by hot weather.

The compounds in vehicle emissions are known to damage lung tissue, and can lead to and aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma. Motor vehicle pollution also contributes to the formation of acid rain and adds to greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

But the pollutants that come directly from vehicles are not the only cause for concern. On warm, sunny days, hydrocarbons react with nitrogen oxides to create a secondary pollutant, ozone. In many urban areas, motor vehicles are the single largest contributor to ground-level ozone, a common component of smog. Ozone causes coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, and can bring on permanent lung damage, making it a cause of crucial public health problems.”    sourced from this.




Ice breaker muna.  JOKE TIME!  (Going green!)

I found this on my inbox emailed by my relative in San Leandro, California. It gave me a good laugh, so it might do the same for you. However, if you’re too sensitive & don’t go for something GREEN SOMETIMES, please stop reading & browse something else from my site. Okidoki? Read on if you haven’t received such forwarded email.


A first grade teacher was having trouble with one of her students, the teacher asked the boy, “What is your problem?” Boy answered, “I’m too smart for the first grade. My sister is in the third-grade & I’m smarter than she is! I think I should be in the third-grade too!”

The teacher had enough. She took the boy to the principal’s office.

While the Boy was waiting in the outer office, the teacher explained to the principal what the situation was.  The principal told the teacher he would give the boy a test & if he failed to answer any of his questions, he has to go back to the first-grade & behave. She agreed.

Boy was brought in & the conditions were explained to him & agreed to take the test.

Principal : What is is 3 x 3 ?

Boy : 9.

Principal : What is 6 x 6 ?

Boy : 36.

And so it went every question the principal thought a third grade should know. The principal looks at the teacher & tells her, “I think this boy can go to the third-grade.”

The teacher says to the principal, “I have my own questions. Can I ask him?”

The principal & the boy both agreed.

The teacher asks, “What’s in your pants that you have but I do not have?

Boy : Pockets.

Teacher : What starts with a C and ends with a T , is hairy, oval, delicious & contains thin whitish fluid?

Boy : Coconut

Teacher :  What goes in hard & pink then comes out soft & sticky?  The principal’s eye open really wide & before he could stop the answer, Boy was taking charge.

Boy : Bubblegum

Teacher : What does a man do standing and a woman does sitting and a dog does on three legs?  The principal’s eyes open really wide & before he could stop the answer,

Boy : Shake hands

Teacher : Now I will ask some “Who am I” sort of questions, okay?

Boy : Yep!

Teacher :  You stick your poles inside me.  You tie me down to get me up. I get wet before you do.

Boy :  Tent.

Teacher :  A finger goes in me.  You fiddle with me when you’re bored. The best man always  has me first. The principal was looking restless, a bit tense.

Boy : Wedding Ring

Teacher:  I come in many sizes. When I’m not well, I drip. When you blow me, you feel good.

Boy : Nose

Teacher :  I have a stiff shaft. My tip penetrates. I come with a quiver.

Boy : Arrow

Teacher : What word starts with “F” and ends with a “K” that means a lot of heat & excitement ?

Boy : Firetruck

Teacher :  What is it that all men have one of, it’s longer on some men than on others, the pope doesn’t use his & a man gives it to his wife after they’re married?

Boy : Surname

Teacher :  What part of man has no bone but has muscles, has lots of veins, like pumping & is responsible for making love?

Boy :  Heart

The principal breathed a sigh of relief & said to the teacher :

“Send this boy to college! I got the last ten questions wrong myself!”



This is nuts !  It’s almost midnight and as I was browsing My Picture files, I got a glimpse of the photo from our latest bite at a pizza… And before dozing off I am craving, LOL.


Greenwich is one of our favorite fast food chains.  I like their pizza and lasagna for quick cheap eats.  My wife Tina and I finished this  huge square “choose-your-four-flavor” pizza about 2 weeks ago for less than 30 minutes.  Burp!  Not for gluttony or something, but probably because it has been a while since we last munch on this pizza from Greenwich.  

That plate above came from this…


SARI-SARI SQUARE PIZZA, Greenwich.  PhP 435.





Medical Dose :  Cheese, pepperoni & pineapples from pizza are all rich in TYRAMINE, which may cause tachycardia (increase heart rate), hypertension, headache and should never be eaten when taking drugs specifically MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) which are basically ANTIDEPRESSANTS.  

Other foods that are tyramine-rich are soy, alcoholic beverages, avocados, banana peels, grapes, figs, prunes, raisins, oranges, processed foods, tuna, yeast extracts.



janitor-fishIn as a much as I want to maintain my blog as apolitical,   I cannot help it sometimes.

Probe Team,  a local documentary TV show here in Manila hosted by Ms. Cheche Lazaro, no less, exposed that  

“Hungry Pinoys find the pest, JANITOR FISH as satisfying stomach filler!” 

Yes, you read it right!


So how do you like those pesky fish be cooked or served? As sashimi served with only a dipping sauce, soy sauce with wasabi paste or other condiments such as grated fresh ginger?  boiled or poached in spicy coconut milk? or just grilled?  Eww!

Seriously,  ARE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AWARE OF THIS? or THEY ARE JUST INSENSITIVE to the needs of marginalized sector of society to the point that they disregard such DISTURBING  DISGUSTING issues of POVERTY & SOCIAL MALIGNANCIES?  Or THEY ARE TOO BUSY PUSHING FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMMENDMENTS for their personal motives (?) and ATTENDING TO “MORE GLOBAL” ISSUES that would present local economy to be “improving” or soaring high, c’mmon, GET REAL ,PEOPLE!

Pterygoplichthys (janitor fish) species are opportunistic voracious feeders of mud, dirt, algae, tadpoles, insects and contribute to water turbidity. They may increase in volume and may disturb the ecosystem.

Pterygoplichthys (janitor fish) species are opportunistic voracious feeders of mud, dirt, algae, tadpoles, insects and contribute to water turbidity. They may increase in volume and may disturb the ecosystem.

But to be fair with the authorities, I have to state that several years ago they had issued FOOD COUPONS to hungry Filipinos but ofcourse, even MORONS and IMBECILE understand that it only rendered TEMPORARY RELIEF and did not solve the issue itself.

As a young parent and a doctor,  I pity children who are fed with these pests.  No child deserve such treatment.

Poor children, they were born of  PESKY PARENTS who voted for PESKY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS!

What’s your say?



starbucks-1Starbucks Coffee Philippines celebrates Earth Day 2009 by giving PhP 40 discount on all sizes of coffee or any beverage orders made on April 22 to 23 using your Starbucks personal tumblers/mugs. This is a good treat for all Starbucks Coffee patrons like me and my wife and at the same time encouraging all of us to reuse plastic tumblers and ceramic mugs whenever enjoying favorite beverage, hot or cold, tall or grande. This would be a better option for Mother Earth than using plastic or paper cups.

So being Starbucks Coffee avid patrons and suckers for discounts and promos as we are, Tina & I headed to nearest branch with our personal tumblers & had our late merienda (snack) with ofcourse our personal Starbucks tumblers.

Here are our tumblers. Kulang pa yan, we still have mugs and Starbucks one-liter water jugs at home =) I ordered Espresso frappuccino, tall, twice blended, for my wife Tina, using her Starbucks Muan Jai blend pink tumbler and Iced Caramel Macchiato, grande for myself using my transparent logo tumbler which I availed months ago through my youngest brother JC who became a Starbucks barista for a year.
img_0502 img_0509
Corned Beef Pan de sal, PhP 55. Hungarian Sausage bun, PhP 95.
Expresso Frappuccino, tall, PhP 125 (less PhP 40)
Iced Caramel Macchiato, grande, PhP 145 (less PhP 40).

Don’t you just wish everyday is EARTH DAY?



3441631912_6bd21706621 Mothers’ Day came in weeks earlier today as we celebrate EARTH DAY! We honor & salute Mother Earth, she’s one and only, right? HAPPY EARTH DAY EVERYONE! I promise to plant tree/s whenever possible & to continue avoiding polluting the environment. I’d like to observe REUSE, REDUCE, RECYCLE as much as I could (crossed fingers). I wish local authorities will find better means of disposing our garbage without affecting anything & anyone. What’s your thing for Mother Earth?



Tina and I are coffee addicts. Not that we can’t last a day without it, but one to three cups are our usual consumption of instant coffee to brewed, even a cup of coffee from a vendo machine to any dose of caffeine. It just have to be a part of our breakfast or at least our day.

Since coffee shops have grown big business in every corner of Metro Manila, I and Tina have probably tasted most of them if not all, and I have been biased with STARBUCKS COFFEE. I thank God that Rustan’s Corp. brought STARBUCKS COFFEE to the Philippines, and since my youngest brother had been a Starbucks barista for a year, we have been sipping different blends and have been familiar with the tastes of our individual favorites.

I like hot blends and frappuccinos, coffee or cream-based. I also dig iced coffees, depending on my mood and the weather. From the usual expresso to ICED or HOT CARAMEL MACCHIATO, to JAVA CHIP, MOCHA, WHITE CHOCOLATE FRAPPUCINOS, every sip is shared with moments of BONDING with family and friends.

I also like the pastries and breads of Starbucks. There was one holiday season they offered ITALIAN DARK MOCHA FRAP and CAKE, wow, those were indeed unforgettable! Coffee mugs and tumblers are also good collectibles from Starbucks and we have some of them and would want to have more (greedy undertone).
Tina and I also have the 2009 Starbucks planner which we availed for free after completing 2 sets of sticker-promo cards.

Our malling with family or friends usually include ventis or grandes from Starbucks. And this afternoon is no exception. We went to TriNoma mall in Quezon City for our usual family weekend bonding and our little bundle of joy Gabby had initiated the call for cups of frappucinos. We tried the Starbucks Coffee summer blends which include DARK BERRY MOCHA FRAPPUCCINO and DARK MOCHA FRAPPUCCINO and a mango-based pastry to satisfy my craving.

And by the way, Tina and I like our frappuccinos TWICE BLENDED, or as baristas put it, somewhat like “watery”…

DARK BERRY MOCHA FRAPPUCCINO, grande PhP 170 (for me),
DARK MOCHA FRAPPUCCINO grande PhP 130 (for Tina).
Our son Gabby took small sips of both frap.

I’m a sucker for mango-based cakes and pastries
so I failed to resist this sweet temptation from Starbucks….
This one has great texture with not-so-sweet taste, just right summer.

Here’s the nutritional fact table of a 16 fl. oz / grande serving of
Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream…
It’s absolutely SINFUL (but delicious).

Fat Calories………………. 130
Total Fat (g)…………….. 15
Saturated Fat (g)………… 9
Trans Fat (g)……………… 0
Cholesterol (mg)…………….55
Sodium (mg) ……………….240
Total Carbohydrates (g)……57
Fiber (g) …………………….0
Sugars (g) …………………47
Protein (g) ………………….6
Vitamin A ………………….10%
Vitamin C ……………………0%
Calcium …………………….20%
Iron …………………………. 4%
Caffeine (mg) …………….115

Sourced from



You know that a restaurant serves yummiest and reasonably priced foods when diners need to queue and wait for a table during lunch and dinner. Luckily for the three of us (my wife Tina, son Gabby & I), even if we arrived at exactly 12 noon today, we didn’t have to wait that long as we revisited Mann Hann in TriNoma mall, Quezon City.

Among the many chinese restaurants in the Metro, Mann Hann is one of our favorites. We already had lunches and dinners with our families and friends at their branches in SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia and ofcourse, TriNoma. Ambiance in all of its branches, is plain and simple, unpretentious, very unlikely other oriental restos. The entrees in Mann Hann’s menu have distinct taste served within few minutes after you made the order, by courteous and efficient staff.

And these are among our favorites :
LECHON MACAU, PhP 205. Crisp, deep fried pork belly.

SPICY SQUID, PhP 215. Not-so-spicy, tender slices of fried squid with bagoong & calamansi dip.


LECHE FLAN, PhP 50. for Gabby. We also had WONTON SOUP, PhP 125
and a liter of HONEY LEMON ICED TEA, PhP 100.


Unit 1007 Level M1 TriNoma
North Ave., cor EDSA, PAGASA,
Quezon City
Tel/fax : (63-2) 901 3133



I am no stranger to Quiapo. I practically grew up going to this place every so often. We frequent Quiapo church since childhood especially when doing Visita Iglesia during Holy Week. When I went to college & enrolled in my pre-medical course at Far Eastern University, I continued going to the church & to the side streets of Carriedo when securing/renewing NBI clearance & buying some cheap finds. Until now, since my work place is in TM Kalaw Ave., Manila, I usually drop by Quiapo whenever possible.

I ran an errand in Manila this morning and I found myself in the vicinity of Quiapo Church again. It’s so darn hot and as early as couple hours before noon, there was already a multitude of people from all walks of life. I suddenly remember that today is Friday : Quiapo day! (Friday is the novena/mass day for the Black Nazarene).


Quiapo is both spiritual & commercial district in the heart of Manila. It’s a slice of Manila where people who are marginalized and those with so much, meet as hopefuls and prayerfuls. The strong Catholic faith of countless Filipino devotees who flock to the Basilica of Black Nazarene to ask for penance or pray for miracles, or simply pay homage or show gratitude for blessings; some even walk on knees to the altar, is a common scenario within the vicinity of Quiapo during Fridays.


I managed to say my prayer outside the church and did not dare squeeze myself inside the church where a huge crowd was attending the Holy Mass.


A huge LCD screen brings the Mass to the crowd outside. Then the homily caught my interest when I overheard the priest including a “Kapamilya teleserye : Tayong Dalawa” scenes in his homily. How creative! LOL.

Then for few minutes, I took photos with utmost caution knowing that amidst devotees and prayerful are snatchers & thieves. And these scenes were caught with my random clicks.


The obelisk in Plaza Miranda with colorful balloons being sold by numerous vendors.


I wonder if those balloons can withstand the heat and still be considered as saleable items to kids.

Sampaguita vendors who try to earn a decent living despite the irritating summer heat. I wish they do something to enjoy more what they do other than chatting with each other. Humming Beyonce Knowles’ “Single Ladies” or a local song “Hawak Kamay” may kill time while at work, don’t you think? LOL. And may I ask why is there a need for Quiapo Church authorities to put a signage as “BAWAL UMAKYAT”? I mean, who in his RIGHT MIND would do such thing? If any guy who’ll try to climb those barriers is schizophrenic or illiterate, now why bother to put such warning? It’s absolutely pointless! It’s the same as “BAWAL UMIHI” or “BAWAL TUMAWID, NAKAMAMATAY!” signs printed in pink aluminums on other public main roads. I just don’t get it! You don’t need to stress or emphasize things which are apparent to begin with and those things that require less intellect but instinct.

Plaza Miranda and the vicinty of Quiapo church aren’t complete without the rows of fortune tellers. In this age of digital whatever, they still exist, their “BUSINESS” must have been really good! LOL. Seriously, I can’t comprehend why Church people tolerate this practice since God knows when, when in fact they preach that only the Good Lord knows tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m nothing against making ends meet by fortune telling, but isn’t there more APPROPRIATE venues to do such “business” ?

ITO PA ISA! And why in the world those “PAMPA” (pampa-regla, pampa-galing etc) LEAVES & VINES being sold outside a Catholic Church? I think the house of God deserves our highest respect. And selling these so called HERBAL MEDICINES which are NOT approved by DOH/Department of Health and BFAD/Bureau of Food and Drugs, is again improper and illegitimate “medical” practice. As a licensed physician, I know a list of herbal medicine approved by DOH which are clinically tested to render positive effects. But these things sold in Quiapo are not bounded by such studies and are only supported by BELIEFS and “RURAL CULTURE” from generation to generations.

I’m OK with flowers & candles since these are being used in religious veneration. But again selling it near a church is another story.


The stalls beside the church that sell images of saints from Sto. Niño to Blessed Virgin Mary and others.

My heart breaks whenever I see physically-challenged individuals who still try within their means, to make a living. I honestly admit that inspite of everything, I have frustrations and disapointments but the sight of these people who have strong will to go on with life, always gives me a reality check.

It’s just always crowded in Quiapo and its side streets : Hidalgo, Carriedo etc.. It’s one of the busiest places in the Metro. But it appears to me now that Quiapo deserves a MORE SERIOUS MAKEOVER. I wish authorities and the public come out with efforts in bringing GLORY, “CLEANLINESS” and ORDERLINESS back to Quiapo. I hope those bandits, thieves, snatchers, and other ill-natured individuals realize that individual reform is a must. Don’t you wish for Quiapo to be a SAFE place even for our kids?

Till my next Quiapo visit.



Physiologically speaking, there are three phases of regulation of gastric (stomach) secretion & motility (bowel movement a.k.a peristalsis). These 3 phases are CEPHALIC, Gastric & Intestinal Phases. I’d just like to point out that there is really a scientific basis on how our digestive system is stimulated with the mere sight or an aroma, or taste of food or any beverage. Upon visual, olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste) stimulations, these send signal to the brain activating the “parasympathetic or cholinergic” responses. As result, the parasympathetic neurotransmitter acetylcholine will be release from the nerve endings in the head & elsewhere enough to stimulate salivation, gastric acid secretion, & bowel movement. In short, cephalic phase of gastric secretion & motility regulation is as simple as making the stomach ready for digestion. Getz? Now these medical concepts explain why even as simple as looking at photos of food, we tend to feel hungry or make us salivate, worse drool of hunger, LOL.

Enough with the blah blahs of medicine. My blog is called BEYOND TOXICITY for one reason that I don’t intend to post anything TOO medical & stick to my other interests which include FOOD ofcourse! View the rest of this post & see if there’s truth to CEPHALIC PHASE of gastric stimulation, LOL.

This afternoon, I & my wife Tina (without Gabby this time, he needed to stay home for we went to a wake before we) went to Trinoma mall in Quezon City for a much needed grocery shopping. Before doing so, we decided to eat merienda (afternoon snack) at CONTI’S.


I like the interiors of Conti’s. It’s relaxed, comfy, in cool yellow & fresh green palettes. The seats & tables are also uncomplicated for the pleasure of simple dining experience. Even the toilet, though small, is adequate with essentials & basically clean. Most of all the foods are special at Conti’s; so affordable too! The entrees are deliciously stimulating, the pastries & cakes, for the lack of better description, look good taste even better (oops, sounds like other food’s tag line!)


And my wife’s meticulous & picky taste for nice foods was satisfied. We were both content with what we ordered & promised ourselves to eat frequently at Conti’s to try something else next.

These are what we feast on…


I love PESTO. I love SEAFOODS. I love them both in pasta. This is simply delicious!

MANGO BRAVO, slice PhP 105.
This is also lovely. I love anything with mangoes, most especially if mangoes are chilled. This is one of the yummiest mango-based cakes I’ve tasted. Its sweetness is just right. It’s not irritating to the teeth. Makes you not feel guilty of eating glucose-rich. What’s interesting with this cake are its various layers that render different texture to palate. It has the usual icing, & a bit splash of chocolate, & most of all, it has layers of broas (lady fingers). Definitely a must-try whenever you visit Conti’s.

We were looking at the fridge near the counter where they keep the cakes on sale, & my eyes were glued for few minutes at the whole MANGO BRAVO cakes. I politely asked the lady at the cashier counter if I can take photos for my blog of those yummiest mango cakes but unfortunately she was clueless if i can click my cam. So I just told her, “Miss it’s Ok, never mind…” But don’t get me wrong, it was really OK (but it would be better if she said yes, considering this is FREE ADVERTISEMENT for them… I just wish she knows what blogging is, LOL, no pun intended! ) other staff especially the waiters on duty a while ago were efficient with getting orders & refilling our botomless iced teas (Php 70).

We just can’t go without pasalubong for our 4-year-old son Gabby. We opted to buy Conti’s ensaymada, PhP 25 each.

It’s surely WON’T be our last visit at Conti’s.
Can’t wait to try other food & pastries from their menu.


Conti’s Pastry Shop & Restaurant
P1 Level Trinoma
Edsa corner North Avenue, Quezon City
Tel No.: (63-2) 900-5013 / 900-5014 to 15.
Mobile : +63 922 881 9127.



I have a confession to make. I usually disregard & never read forwarded messages in my inbox especially those chain letters that require the recipient to do the same thing of perpetuating those emails. I can be more productive than doing such. Until not so long ago, I found a forwarded email sent by a relative abroad that caught my interest. I thought it’s worthwhile to share it here for it may INSPIRE & MOTIVATE others to always observe POSITIVISM. It’s a little mushy but it cuts through you.

I hope you like it as I did.




























My wife, Tina texted me this afternoon while she was on-way home from her 6am to 2pm shift in the Operating Room of a private hospital in Quezon City as a clinical instructor, to ask me if I wanted to try eating snacks at PenPen. We’ve been reading about this “comfort food place” from other blogs & we’d like to experience it ourselves. Since I’m enjoying the last day of my off from work, & my son Gabby also wanted to eat out (he’s craving for chocolate frapuccino of Starbucks Coffee, one of his favorite at his age of 4), we finally gave it a try.

I found PenPen as an upscale carinderia . The place can be spotted easily. It is a small airconditioned eatery located in a corner of a street from Tomas Morato in Quezon City where we live few kilometers away. The entire place, I guess, can only accomodate 30 to 40 people at its first floor (I’m not sure if they also allow dining upstairs) with 6 to 7 palo-china tables & chairs, which I like, they’re homey!  The yellow-painted walls are nearly bare except for few frames of the house specialties. Do not expect interiors similar or at par with other restos along Morato, you won’t find it in Pen pen. But as I have stated, it’s homey & comfy, perfect for barkadas (friends), small families who are looking for an affordable daily dining place.


PenPen offers Pinoy staples like pan de sal with choices of palaman (filling), crispiest liempo (deep-fried thinly sliced pork belly), & spicy bicol express (pork cooked in spicy coconut milk) to name a few of their specialties & other usual favorites. It’s owned by the wife of the veteran Philippine actor, Mr. Pen Medina (hence its name!) & their son, Ping, who’s a character actor in TV & most indie films, also helps out.

We tried PenPen’s crispiest liempo, PhP 125.


It’s cripiest, yes! but don’t expect that it’ll be served in a huge platter, LOL.
C’mmon, with prices of a kilo of pork & cooking oil nowadays, what can you expect from its serving?  You get what you pay for, of course. But I cannot say anything bad with its taste.  It’s saltiness is best dipped in vinegar & you’ll be sky-rocketted to the seventh heavens! Just be  careful with atherosclerosis, hypertension & other cardiovascular disorders that may result from too much intake of these fatty & salty foods. Ouch!

Then we ordered pan de sal which were so affordable at PhP 45 each.
I had the pan de sal with special home-made ham…

I like it ! It’s a breather from the usual hamburger of commercial fast foods.

But my wife Tina was a bit disappointed with her pan de sal with kesong puti (white cheese). The bread was good, but the slice of kesong puti was so thin she barely tasted it. Plus it was described in the menu to be served with pesto, but there was none. =(

Nonetheless, PenPen is better than other eateries around.
They also accept catering.
and to my surprise, Pen Pen  also offers wi-fi access!


105-C Scout Castor Street,
South Triangle, Quezon City.



Yes, I am one of those millions of Pinoys who have social networking accounts in multiply, friendster, twitter, & the latest, Facebook (Fb). Being hook with those websites keep me sane despite daily hassles & what have you. Among them, I find Fb more user-friendly because one can do more things other than uploading photos & giving comments & testimonials. In Fb, you can kill time by answering quizzes that suit your interest, & do anything for fun.

Our 4-year-old son Gabby, my wife Tina & I are currently addicted to Superpoke Pets! in Facebook . Each of us has our own pet, mine is a panda, i named him Blake.


In Fb’s Superpoke Pets!, the “virtual pet” owner can choose from cute animals like tiger, dragon, hen, puppy, sheep, penguin, pig & a cat. Once selection is made, you can take care of it whenever possible & do things like play with it, tickle, feed & groom it & you can do same things to your friends’ pets. By doing so, you earn points which are awarded as coins that you can use for buying anything for your pet, from background/setting, to furinture, toys, etc. It’s wholesome fun! It draws me out of stress & it gives me a chance to bond with my family.



Filipino director Chito Roño is at his best element again in the movie T2
(short for Tenement 2).

His suspense drama movie Dahas was memorable. But his horrifying flicks have been making a mark in Philippine cinema since the remake of Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara. He also directed the movies Feng Shui & Sukob, both horror films I watched with my wife several times not only in movie houses but also on cable TV.
My wife Tina is really into these movie genres.
(FYI, our first movie date was a Michelle Pfeiffer horror movie “What Lies Beneath.”
romantic, isn’t it? LOL.)

T2 is about Claire, played by Maricel Soriano, who rans a travel agency & does volunteer job for an organization that reunites orphans with their relatives. She caught herself on the edge of separation from her husband Jeremy portrayed by Derek Ramsay. Being depressed & troubled, she decided to deliver an orphan boy to the province of Samar with their office driver Elias, played by Eric Fructuoso, through a road trip from Manila to Naga in Bicol then emabarking on a RO-RO trip (roll on/roll off) to Samar. After the boy was delivered to the province, strange things happened to Claire & Elias as they try to bring another young orphan girl from Samar to Manila. They were caught in the world of engkantos(supernaturals) while unknowingly escorting a girl who’s only half human.

SPOILER : John Lloyd Cruz appears as an important cameo being the blind father to the young orphan played by Mika dela Cruz, while Malaysian actress/model Carmen Soo acts as one of the engkantos.

The movie, in my opinion was well-researched based on the stories & myths behind engkantos told & retold to us Pinoys by our geriatric relatives. It was well-acted not only by the lead, but support especially Ms. Tetchie Agbayani who played her part effortlessly. T2 is definitely more of a suspense than a horror flick, with humor in between, better computer graphics for a Filipino film, fine cinematography & in my humble opinion, more entertaining than the past scary movies done by its director.

Now, click this link for a sneak peek..



It’s so darn hot here in Manila at 32 degrees celsius up & one simple way to cool down is by drinking our favorite refreshments & chillers. Other than the famous Filipino “Halo-Halo”, cold fresh juices & smoothies are best to enjoy during summer. One of our favorite kiosks in malls offer the best smoothies – JUICE AVENUE!

I want something with mango, while my wife Tina hates anything with banana (in beverages only that is, NO PUN INTENDED!)… So she ordered TRAFFIC which is a smoothie combination of apple, orange & mango. And I drank ROXAS BOULEVARD which is a smoothie concuction of mango, pineapple, guava, & banana.

At JUICE AVENUE, all drinks are named after intersting streets & places…

There’s even one called FREEDOM PARK that gives you the freedom & free will to choose the fruits to be mixed.

My son Gabby tried the 2 smoothies & agreed both are simply delicious!

It’s worth your sip !



Yes, you read it right… Binondo is now in Makati.
Binondo’s famous PRESIDENT TEA HOUSE is now offering its best chinese eats
in foodcourt of Glorietta 4, in Ayala Center Makati.


This afternoon of Black Saturday (a day before Easter) we headed to Glorietta Mall in Makati to see a movie but since we haven’t eaten our lunch yet, & undecided where to dine, we immediately hit the foodcourt. And ofcourse, Tina, I & even Gabby agreed for us to order our late lunch from PRESIDENT…

Affordable combo meals that satisfied our chinese food craving…
Yang chow fried rice, fried calamares, & sweet & sour pork, with blanched veggies & fried prawn crackers + iced tea for PhP 145 ( steal !)

Yang chow fried rice, fried calamares & beef with brocolli with blanched veggies & fried prawn crackers + iced tea for PhP 145…

Dim sum is sold at PhP 65 per tray… how’s that?

We chose crab siomai & mini pao with sauces to spice ‘em up…

Burp !

President Tea House
3rd floor Food Choices
Glorietta 4, Ayala Center,
Ayala, Makati City

other branches : Binondo, ATC/Alabang Town Center, SM Mall of Asia.



On this season of lent,
reflecting on our lives as mortals,
we have to give importance to each minute of our existence
& utilize it to the fullest.

Life is damn short;
no one is certain about tomorrow.
In so many things that we have to do daily,
over & beyond our busy schedules,
have you REALLY thought of your HIGHEST PRIORITY?

take your pick…

3427360957_e9f1aa3d36I study.
I lead.
I inspire.
I believe.
I cook.
I travel.
I eat.
I smile.
I raise.
I breathe.
I drink.
I take.
I give.
I receive.
I search.
I paint.
I sing.
I talk.
I teach.
I heal.
I build.
I motivate.
I write.
I blog.
I preach.
I post.
I work.
I see.
I hear.
3427360957_e9f1aa3d36I say.
I play.
I rest.
I drive.
I laugh.
I sleep.
I follow.
I feel.
I admire.
I forgive.
I dwell.
I grow.
I improve.
I pay.
I read.
I think.
I withstand.
I swear.
I stand.
I dream.
I change.
I decide.
I pray.
I listen.
I uphold.
I promote.
I help.
I search.
I encourage.
I love.

Have a blessed lenten season everyone!
docgelo =)

“Believe in yourself and you will inspire others to believe in themselves”
- Kevin C. Brown




HINT # 1 :


HINT # 2 :
08 April 2009, Holy Wednesday….







I grew up knowing most side streets in Metro Manila. Why?
Because every Holy Week since my gradeschool, my siblings (3 brothers) &
I used to accompany my parents to thirty (read it again : 30) different churches within the metropolis to nearby provinces.

I was literally exposed to the entirety of Manila at an early age.
And this is all because of Visita Iglesia.
I became familiar not only with the streets of the metro but of these churches we visit prior to Holy Week.
From churches like the Shrine of St. Martin de Porres in Leon Guinto in Pasay City,
to Manila churches such as that of Our Lady of the Remedies in Malate,
to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Bulacan,
historical church of Malolos,
to shrines in Cavite, Taytay, Cainta, Marikina, Pasig, Antipolo,
to as far as Tagaytay, I have been to more than 30 churches since my growing years.

I’m also familiar with most saints enthralled in carozas adorned with flowers
(one time with balloons!) in long processions
every Holy Wednesday, Good Friday & Easter Sunday.
This Holy Week procession of saints in Marikina City
somehow made the passion of Christ comprehensible even without reading the bible.

I do have my favorite “houses” of God.
Favorite in the sense that I always find solace & peace with these churches…
I also frequent these churches most especially in times of problems – huge or otherwise.

This morning I went to some churches in Manila & did my own-style of Visita Iglesia (V.I.)
I just sneaked in to these shrines and pray & heard 30-minute masses at few churches,
but did not do the stations of the cross which is the correct way of doing the V.I.
Armed with the newly sent digicam from my dad-in-law in MO,
here are my snap shots of my V.I….

Quiapo Church a.k.a Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene

I am not a strict religious devotee of the miraculous Black Nazarene
but I usually go to Quiapo Church whenever possible just to say my thank yous
& ask for forgiveness for my shortcomings.

Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, beside Malacañang Palace…


For us Catholics, St. Jude Thaddeus is the patron saint of HOPELESS CASES.
I always go to this shrine & pray to God through St. Jude whenever I feel helpless.



Few more steps from Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus
is the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat a.k.a. as San Beda Church
where the Holy Child or the Sto. Niño is venerated at its altar.
I heard mass this morning at this church & was lucky to see the Benedictine priests
wearing crimson robes for the first time.
But I was not that lucky to get a crisp picture of its sublime interiors…


Then walking towards the exit of Mendiola Street will lead you to another remarkable shrine :
Basilica Minore de San Sebastian a.k.a San Sebastian Church…
This beautiful church has twin steel spires as its towers.


FYI, Gustave Eiffel no less, of Eiffel Tower in Paris
was involved in the design & construction of this one & only steel church in Asia.
Most of the steel that built the shrine came from Belgium.
The San Sebastian Church seats also as the shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel…


This is only one of the stained glass windows of the basilica that came from Germany
adding spirituality to the gothic design of the shrine…


Built during the Spanish Colonial period, this door is the entrance to the altar of one of the Baroques Churches of the Philippines, also noted by UNESCO as World Heritage Site….

This intricately carved wooden door is guarded by saints with granite lions which are gifts to the church by Chinese people who were converted into Catholicism…


These were all part of the facade of San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila…
Mass was on-going when I dropped by, so I failed to flash my cam for a shot of the altar.


One can walk through the cobble-stoned streets of Intramuros
to the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception more popularly known as Manila Cathedral…


The Manila Cathedral was closed when I dropped by so I just made a sign of the cross,
utter a brief prayer & I headed back home…

I also love Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City
where Tina & I got married 5 years ago but I’ll go there some other time..

Whatever Holy Week tradition we practice or uphold, the most important thing is maintaining a constant personal communication with our Lord.
I am far from being a saint but I know my God is so forgiving.
All of us should try our best to walk in His path.




We love going to the grocery.
It’s a family thing for us three (Tina, Gabby & I).

We prefer to buy fruits & veggies, meat & fish from the supermarket
than in public talipapa simply for CONVENIENCE.
Although most goods at the supermarket are bit pricey,
it’s compensated with airconditioning, no-mud, no-sweaty vendors,
& most of all, no flying & crawling insects, aww!!!
Convenience that is.

We like going to Landmark, Trinoma in Quezon City for grocery,
Also in Rustan’s & Shopewise in Araneta Center,
and certainly not the least in our list, we also prefer to buy our stuffs from
SM supermarkets. We tried the newly renovated SM Cubao,
the one in Makati, Hypermart near Tiendesitas, &
the newest branch of SM in Marikina near Riverbanks
several times already.

my wife wanted to do our grocery shopping in SM Marikina.
So we did yesterday…

Aren’t those veggies wrapped in elastics appear crisp, fresh & “clean” to you?


My wife Tina holding her grocery list with my son Gabby who made the grocery cart his tsubibo for the moment…

Fruits, anyone?



Tina plans to make fried shanghai rolls from these tilapia
with sweet chili & sweet & sour dips.
She bought 2.6 kilos & had them filleted at the fish station for FREE.

Another personal favorite seafood aside from SCALLOPS & MUSSELLS
are TIGER PRAWNS & FISH BELLY (tuna or salmon)…
I just like them grilled or fried on ANCHOR BUTTER,
with honey lemon sauce perhaps, sarap!
Prawns are also delicious in sour soup cooked with veggies & lots of tomatoes
SINIGANG NA HIPON for us pinoys, always a hit, Holy week or not…

It’s always expected here in Manila for prices of seafoods & veggies from
both palengke (public markets) & supermarkets to to sky-rocket during Holy Week.
It would be a great miracle from the good heavens when opposite happens.

We bought kilo of Norweigian SQUID (they did not come from Europe, eh?)
and had it cooked in soysauce, ADOBONG PUSIT for lunch!

Gelatin & tapioca served with some vanilla &/or banana flavor,
chilled & sweetened in ice cold-water are cheap coolers this summer.

Till our next family bonding…




I consider myself optimistic, or at least I always try to be one.
Most people associate sunrise with positivism
& sunset as with the opposite.
But a lot of people see beauty in Manila Bay sunset.
And that’s something positive.
You can’t blame them.
It’s truly poetic.

In times when most things in Manila seem to go haywire,
it’s refreshing to look at its sunset once in a while.
Dusk for me is a promise of a new day…
And everyone will agree that we have the best in Manila Bay.
If only we can appreciate it,
even amidst financial & political crises,
we’ll be reminded that there’s so much more
to hope for.

I found myself one late afternoon along Baywalk in Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
And I surrendered to the fact that Manila Bay sunset is indeed breathtaking…



those kaleidoscope lamp posts in perfect queue at the promenade add colors to the twilight…


The graying Manila skyline is always worth your glimpse, isn’t it?



It was already Holy Monday, around half past midnight & we’re still awake.
I & my wife are still watching TV as I’m posting this.
We’re glued on the Eraserheads Reunion Concert.


I was already in pre-med when they started to lord the airwaves.

It was apparent on the faces of those thousands of pinoys
who came to witness the concert,
most of them are in their thirty-something years
that they remain to be super fanatics of Eheads.
I can’t blame them,
I’m one with them in saying that Eraserheads is until now

I like their Alapaap…
What’s your favorite Eheads song(s) ?



I know we started the week right by attending Holy Mass this Palm Sunday.
Observing religious teachings of penance & sacrifice is always mandatory
these days but resistance is futile when it comes to gastronomic cravings.
My family & I are obedient in Catholic tradition of avoiding meat
during Holy Week particularly on Holy Thursday & Good Friday.
It’s the least thing that we can do for our worldly sins.

Few steps outside the Chapel of the Holy Family in VirraMall, Greenhills,
there’s a kiosk of sweet temptations you can’t resist.
It’s the CRAZY CREPES that offers the best tasting crepes in town.
With fresh fruits & whipped cream & affordable prices of PhP 60 to PhP 105 ++,
with option of having your choice of ice cream,
how can you say no?

My son Gabby enjoyed MANGO NUTTELA, PhP 105.

my 4-year-old son Gabby is now becoming a FOODIE himself

my 4-year-old son Gabby is now becoming a FOODIE himself

He personally chose his crepe from all of these variants.
These were not even close to half of the menu…

choosing the (which) ONE is the hardest part

choosing the (which) ONE is the hardest part

But Tina & I usually start the day with coffee; since we barely eaten breakfast yet,
we passed on our Starbucks addiction this morning over this…

brewed coffee kicks in the day for me

brewed coffee kicks in the day for me

And ordered these …



served with coffee or four seasons, PhP 269.



served with coffee or four seasons, PhP 229.



served with coffee or four seasons, PhP 249.

got to smile for the cam before taking the first bite

got to smile for the cam before taking the first bite

We went around bargain stalls, & enjoyed the lunch time,
everything was A-OK until Tina suggested we go to KRISPY KREME, Greenhills.
No, there was no fight between us three,
we’re so happy awhile ago until I was annoyed with the crew of the said doughnut branch.


I told the staff at the counter our orders, which included…

For Tina…

dulce de leche

dulce de leche

Gabby chose to bite on…

chocolate glazed doughnut

chocolate glazed doughnut

My order…

chocolate glazed with sprinkles, iced mocha

chocolate glazed with sprinkles, iced mocha

The cashier who tendered my order told me to wait at our table for my iced mocha which supposed to be served expectedly, in less than 15 minutes. So obedient as I am, I carried my tray with our orders to my family & waited for my iced coffee.

Tina & I were so keen observers & very particular at SERVICES rendered by staff, crew of any establishment. In this branch of Krispy Kreme, a lot of the crew on duty (Palm Sunday, lunch time) were mostly chatting, roaming left & right, as if no work should be done!

We can’t help but to compare them with the pleasant staff of Krispy Kreme Glorietta branch who were so accomodating when we bought KK mugs & doughnuts before. The crew of KK Trinoma was nice too.

Ofcourse, the always COMMENDABLE BARISTAS of STARBUCKS COFFEE who are always ATTENTIVE to our orders, regardless how we want our drinks to be prepared. They’re so courteous & professional too!

Going back to KK, Greenhills, after more than 10 minutes of waiting, my LARGE ICED MOCHA hasn’t been served to my table. My son Gabby wanted a straw for his soda in can so together we went to bar & asked for my iced coffee. And the chinky eyed lady barista had an unmindful face to hear that I was politely asking for my drink. I saw in her face that she was even hesistant to give a STRAW to my kid, for goodness sake!

My intuition was correct! They did not know that there was a PENDING ORDER they need to prepare! Ayan, kasi, daldalan ng daldalan while working!
In our medical & teaching professions, SERVICE always comes first!
CLIENTS are our priorities!

What irritated me the most was these baristas at the counter were NOT EVEN APOLOGETIC when they learned that they forgot to prepare my drink! I WAS ABOUT TO BURST INTO ANGER but I remember 2 important things : THAT TODAY IS THE START OF HOLY WEEK and FORGIVE ME FOR BEING CYNICAL but I
THOUGHT THAT IF I DID NOT CONTROL MY TEMPER, they could have done something DIRTY to my drink.

SO I KEPT MY ANGER IN SILENCE AND HID MY DISAPPOINTMENT with those coño-looking-unfriendly baristas of KK,Greenhills. I went out of the store without a smile on my face, as if the doughnuts were SOUR!!!


I swear I won’t bring my family again in that branch of KRISPY KREME.
We’re happy with KK staffs in Glorietta & Trinoma, but for that Greenhills branch,
you already lost three doughnut-loving patrons!
You have to serve your clients SWEETER THAN YOUR DOUGHNUTS!

FYI, abroad, especially when we were in Auckland, NZ, whenever a customer is not satisfied with his order, he is entitled to an immediate replacement & a much-needed apology.

Like when my cousin ordered french fries in Mcdonald’s Auckland, NZ, he told the counter that his fries were too salty, he got a FREE big mac and an apology. When his wife’s pizza hut boxes came in 5-minute-late than expected, she was given another box of pizza for FREE! And when our pictures got exposed when developed, a day after I complained via phone call in Kodak, Downtown Auckland, they sent me 3 extra 36-shot rolls via courier for FREE without even asking the receipt number or proof of purchase.

These KRISPY KREME, Greenhills branch people should be trained for their jobs.
Whatever you do, do it with utmost RESPECT & DILIGENCE!




Holy Week ushers in today with Palm Sunday.
And for us Pinoy Catholics, we usually attend mass with “palaspas
or crafted coconut tree leaves to be blessed by the priest
in remembering the entry & return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem
few days before His suffering on the cross.

And so Tina, Gabby & I went to hear the 9AM mass
in VirraMall, Greenhills in San Juan.


The simple chapel is airconditioned, with very inviting ambiance,
located in the heart of a shopping complex, amidst the numerous bargain stalls,
shops & restaurants. In my opinion, its location is strategic,
reminding shoppers that above all earthly things,
intangible ones like religious belief & the love of the Lord
should be given top most priority, ofcourse.

the simple altar of Chapel of the HOLY FAMILY

the simple altar of Chapel of the HOLY FAMILY

God give us PEACE this Holy Week & beyond…



I left the house the other day for some errands;
I needed to go early so I managed to eat breakfast late outside.
I found myself in BUTTER DINER which is a stone throw away
from Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

At first, I was skeptical to eat my first meal for that day there
for I saw some people drinking buckets of beer early in the morning.
Those guys probably just finished their work shift at a nearby call center.
Heck, my stomach was screaming for something
so I had this plate soon after I walked in to order…

four bacon strips, 2 scrambled eggs, french toasts with maple syrup & butter & a mug of hot brewed coffee

four bacon strips, 2 scrambled eggs, french toasts with maple syrup & butter & a mug of hot brewed coffee

this meal was decent enough for less than PhP 200 including charges.

It was my first time in BUTTER DINER but it existed since God knows when
at the ground floor of Shopwise in Araneta Center, Cubao.
The waiter had a smile & was friendly & quick to take the orders.


The interiors was hip, only if they have kept it more crisp & tidy.
There was a feeling of 70s to 80s era inside that small resto
where memorabilia from those years in Hollywood, both in music & movies
were used as decors on the wooden & glass walls.

red shoes as telephone ? mirror, mirror on the wall..

red shoes as telephone ? mirror, mirror on the wall..

A couple of hours after, I met my son Gabby & wife Tina
at Gateway mall before we hit the grocery.
It was lunch time then so we decided to eat.

fiesta rice, seasoned ground beef, fiesta salsa salad, potato bites with cheese sauce

fiesta rice, seasoned ground beef, fiesta salsa salad, potato bites with cheese sauce

PhP 129, another affordable meal !

It was OK but too plain for me.
Tina asked me if I wanted something for dessert.
I suggested Razon’s Halo-Halo.

summer in manila won't be complete without it

summer in manila won't be complete without it

PhP 73 per Halo-Halo.
Not bad for thinly crushed ice, which I so love
very unlikely of the other Halo-halo that taste like ice-pebbles, lol.
It only has leche flan, macapuno & sweet bananas as “halo”
making it uniquely Razon’s. =)


Butter Diner
G/F Shopwise Araneta Center Cubao
Tel # (63-2) 421-0030

Taco Bell
Ground floor & Level 3
Food Express, Gateway Mall
Araneta Center, Cubao

Razon’s of Guagua
Level 3 Food Express, Gateway Mall
Araneta Center, Cubao
Quezon City.



Pacquiao is so Hollywood now!
Mark Wahlberg, no less, favors him over Ricky Hatton…
Aww, este, wow!

who's your bet ?

who's your bet ?

Boxers Ricky Hatton (L) of Britain, actor Mark Wahlberg (C) and Manny Pacquiao pose on the red carpet as they arrive for a news conference in Hollywood, California March 30, 2009. Hatton and Pacquiao will meet for a junior welterweight (140 lbs) bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 2.

I may not be a 100% fan of him, but
what I admire in Manny is his dedication to his sports.
He trains hard before all of his fights.
He’s an inspiration for anyone who prepares for any endeavors.
No wonder even Hollywood superstar Marky Mark is betting on him.
We’ll know on May 2.
que sera, sera!



My wife & I were craving for BIZU cakes last night.
So this afternoon, after our lunch at Le Ching Tea House in Shoppesville,
Tina, Gabby & I went to Bizu Patisserie in Promenade, Greenhills.

We simply love how baked goodies are prepared & presented in Bizu.
It was such a feast to the senses!
I envy those chefs who prepare such delectable works of art.
By mere looking at those sweet treats made me realized more that perhaps
I can be a chef too one day, as my son also dreams of becoming one.
But for now, we’re happy being food enthusiasts.

These are the sweet pleasures from BIZU…

sweet treats not only to the palate but to the eyes as well...

sweet treats not only to the palate but to the eyes as well...

Then another glass stores these macaroons with flavors such as
Caramel, Raspberry, Blueberry, Mango, Lemon, Rose, Coffee,
Vanilla, Chocolate, Pistachio, Cherry Chocolate, Orange & Mint.
Bizu calls it MACARONS DE PARIS !
Gabby found it hard to choose on those colorful flavored macaroons…

spectrum of colors & flavors

spectrum of colors & flavors

Our plates had…
Luscious fresh mangoes crown Bizu’s most famous French-style cheesecake.
I like it so much. Lovely, isn’t it?
I enjoyed looking at it first &
took me few minutes before taking the first bite from this intricate decadent pleasure.
Those slices of mangoes were perfectly chilled before it was shaped into rose petals.

mango chiboust : simply divine

mango chiboust : simply divine

PhP 185/ per personal serving (+ 10% service charge)
also available in larger/whole servings : Midi : PhP 810 / Grande: PhP 1515

BABYLON was the cheesecake Tina enjoyed…
Light raspberry mousse between layers of infused almond sponge with a crème brulee surprise.

looks great, tastes BERRY good...

looks great, taste BERRY good...

PhP 150/ per personal serving (+ 10% service charge)
also available in larger/whole servings : Midi : PhP 545 / Grande: PhP 1330

MACAROONS for our 4-year-old son Gabby….
He chose Blueberry, Pistachio, Chocolate & Butterscotch.
He didn’t finish it all, so I ate 2 of them, lol.

bizu has it as MACARONS DE PARIS

bizu has it as MACARONS DE PARIS

Per piece PhP 35 (+ 10% service charge)
Box of 8 PhP 265
Box of 14 PhP 455
Box of 28 PhP 895

Burp, burp !

Was that heavenly sweet or what?

Sourced from & I quote :
“BIZU was coined from the French word “Bisous”. Translated in English, the word means kiss. “Beso-beso”, the Filipino term for kissing, is one of the most endearing and enduring qualities of Filipinos. We kiss one another to show gratitude, happiness, excitement, love and affection. A kiss inspires. And this inspiration begets energy. This energy, in turn, begets creativity. BIZU was born out of this inspiration. From this inspiration came the unique selection of cakes and pastries that were truly made to inspire.”

The Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center
Tel. No.: (63-2) 724-2498 • 726-2496

Greenbelt 2
G/L Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: (63-2) 757-BIZU • 757-4749


Glorietta 4
3/L Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: (63-2) 757-2086

Alabang Towncenter
G/L Corte Delas Palmas, Alabang Towncenter, Muntinlupa City
Tel. No.: (63-2) 809-BIZU • 772-1917 • 772-1918



Both Tina & I were off from work so we brought Gabby to Greenhills today
& had lunch at Le Ching Tea House in Shoppesville.

Le Ching Tea House offers very affordable but authentic chinese dishes.
It’s a good place to munch on comfort food if you dig chinese.

Anyway, here’s a peek of what we had for lunch today….

beef wanton noodle soup

beef wanton noodle soup

The steamed dumpling that is uncommon in most local chinese resto here can be enjoyed in Le Ching.

eye love shrimp cheongfan

eye love shrimp cheongfan

As written in Wikipedia, and I quote:
“Dim sum (literally meaning “touch the heart”) is the name for a Chinese cuisine which involves a wide range of light dishes served alongside Chinese tea. It is usually served in the mornings until noon time at Chinese restaurants and at specialty dim sum eateries where typical dishes are available throughout the day. Dishes come in small portions and may include meat, seafood, and vegetables, as well as desserts and fruit. The items are usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. Yum cha (literally “tea drinking”) is the term used to describe the dining session, especially in contemporary Cantonese.”

Another bestseller dimsum from Le Ching is their Bola-bola siopao..

bola-bola siopao : savor every bite !

bola-bola siopao : savor every bite !

Then we had another favorite dumpling, hakao or shrimp dumpling…
In Le Ching, the shrimp is generous per serving, less of extenders.
Tina ordered chicken mushroom rice, I ate spareribs rice
which were both rice toppings
served in little aluminum bowls (that looks like smallarinola, lol)

more delish with chili soy sauce + calamansi !

more delish with chili soy sauce + calamansi !


The entire meal only cost us PhP 642, inclusive of taxes & charges
& a can of dalandan soda, a bottle of soya milk & a glass of iced tea.
Cheap, right?
Good food need not always be expensive.

Le Ching Tea House
8-10 Level A, Shoppesville Arcade
Greenhills, San Juan City, Metro Manila.

Before we left the house this morning,
I received another package sent by my wife’s aunt (again) from London
who came home recently for short vacation & asked prescription from me.
It was my second package from her that contained sweet treats.
These were the contents of her gratis…

thanks, Tita Marie !

thanks, Tita Marie !



Yesterday, Tina & I decided to bring Gabby to
Dad’s, Saisaki, Kamayan’s Ultimate buffet in Glorietta.
It’s been awhile since we had those “blue plates” (read : used for crossover buffet).

I like their HAPPY DINER’s promo card that entitles the bearer to one FREE BUFFET after completing 10 validations. Being frequent patrons, we already claimed one free buffet few months ago & at present we only need one more “blue plate” to complete a new HAPPY DINER’s promo card.

Here’s a quick peek at what we had on those blue plates…

my plate

my plate

My first blue plate was almost full of jap rolls, kani tempura, tamago rolls,
& grilled pork slices & squid skewers…
I also had sukiyaki which was OK, hot
& was served with a smile from the jap cook station,
it was sweet and bit salty, with tender beef slices, glass noodles & some veggies
but that of Umu in Dusit Thani (read my former post) was to-die-for,
perfectly marbled beef served with delicious broth sent me to the seventh heavens.

my wife's

my wife's

Tina requested for EBI TEMPURA and one of the waiters brought this to our table…

to share

to share

I also had slices of Dad’s ham, roast beef, & lengua in mushroom sauce,
(fyi, I only eat lengua in Dad’s) coupled with paella…

carnivorous plate

carnivorous plate

Little bit of Asia…

asian mix : jap rice, roasted pork, crispy kangkong, sweet n spicy dilis

asian mix : jap rice, roasted pork, crispy kangkong, sweet n spicy dilis

Kamayan’s pride : Bibingka served with coconut shavings, margarine & muscovado..



Our four-year old son Gabby had these on his plate as starters…

immediately sweets!

immediately sweets!

Gabby also had one glass of refillable iced tea that came with a colorful fish stuffed toy.
All in all of our 3 blue plates (crossover buffet/dad’s ultimate buffet) + bottomless iced tea inclusive of all taxes & charges : PhP 1421.
(we only paid half price for Gabby).
It’s a steal, don’t you think?

Dad’s, Saisaki, Kamayan
2nd Floor, Glorietta 3
Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel # (63-2) 892-8897; 892-8898.



T.G.I. Friday's CAESAR's SALAD

T.G.I. Friday's CAESAR's SALAD

Tossed crisp, chopped romaine lettuce
with T.G.I. Friday’s creamy, garlicky Caesar dressing,
topped with cheese & garlic-butter croutons.
(PhP 352.69 exclusive of VAT & service charge),
plus extra bacon bits & cheese (PhP 100).



Three juicy chicken breasts served with corn on the cob,
with Jack Daniel’s dipping sauce
and a choice of either creamy mashed potatoes or rice pilaf.
(PhP 316. 96 exclusive of VAT & service charge).

Those were my dinner last Friday (after my son’s preschool graduation)
at T.G.I. Fridays in Trinoma mall in Quezon City…
I just love Jack Daniel’s dipping sauce!
It’s sweetest to perfection…
Simply worth my drool, err, my post! lol

TGI Friday’s / Trinoma Bistro Americano Corp.,
Space 4009, M4 Level
Trinoma Mall QC
Tel # : (63-2) 901-5626
email add :


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