Archive for May, 2009

31
May
09

STEAK MD

Do you like steaks?   Well, we do.   

My wife Tina, our son Gabby and I had our wonderful Sunday lunch at Steak MD.  It’s an affordable steak house made famous by word-of-mouth and ofcourse, virtually by blogs. 

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I first thought that a colleague owns the place because of its name, or a veterinarian perhaps- but it should have been named STEAK DVM, if the owner is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.   I was wrong and clueless  until we walked in to Steak MD this noon and found out some facts about its nomenclature and got to taste the most reasonably priced delicious steaks. 2A certain Ms. Monibel Juliette Tabora-Dychiao is the proprietor who came out of several flavors of steaks, perfecting its taste by using different herbs and spices in rubbing the different cuts of meat to satisfy the Pinoy palate.   Probably it was the idea behind the name of her resto and I also read from a framed broadsheet article displayed on the terracotta-painted walls of Steak MD that MD was also derived from the initials of her name.   I and Tina were one in saying that she was successful in coming up with steak flavors that can actually TREAT any steak lovers’ cravings.      

On Steak MD’s menu, there are two choices of beef steaks – T-bone and Porterhouse,  in  regular and large orders.  We had no choice but to settle for T-bone since Porterhouse wasn’t available when we ordered.  Then one has to choose the “rub” or the flavor of steak that will go with the gravy. Choices are  :  

Rub Ko To – Steak MD’s original house rub, an original blend of secret spices.

Heart Rub – garlicky gravy good for the heart! 

Atomic Rub – hot and spicy mix.

Ang Cha Rub – sweet and spicy.

Build Me Up Butter Rubyour guess is correct, it’s the buttery gravy.

We chose the one with garlic and the buttery rub.  We told the staff to cook the T-bone as medium well, and the other one as well done

T-bone, large,  Heart Rub / garlic rub, medium well, PhP 295

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T-bone, large, Build Me Up Butter Rub, well done, PhP 295.

4The beef cuts were tender, good to the bite, nothing rubbery, the rubs were tasty;  but comparing the two plates, I’ll order garlic rub and always medium well on our next visit. Yes, since the place is clean, service quick, and especially the steaks are wonderfully cheaper than the other and taste great too,  we’re planning to revisit and try other things on the menu like sisig, fillet na bangus, pork chops, salads, pork barbeque, etc…

We also had sidings with our steaks. We had buttered vegetables and mashed potato with gravy. We also tried Steak MD’s dirty rice – fried garlicky sweet and spicy rice.  Price range of these sidings :  PhP 35 to PhP 50.  But sadly, there was nothing special of their mashed potato. It was far from being creamy-melt-in-your-mouth-buttery expectations we had.  And it was obvious with Gabby’s reaction to it.  He just had one spoon of it and did not finish the plate.  At a young age of four, our son Gabby have tried dining at hotels and different restos, here and few abroad, had somehow developed his own preference to food.  And Steak MD’s forgettable mashed potato didn’t sky-rocket my son’s craving to it to seventh heavens but flopped!  The management has to do something with it.  Otherwise, it’ll affect the other food on the menu.  All clients’ requests should be address aptly, otherwise, some things may be forever marked as negative.    IMG_1673One side of the walls of Steak MD has framed broadsheet articles about the owner’s interviews over the years with journalists who featured her resto. Among these write-ups, I found this one as the most compelling and true! 

IMG_1659Everything we tried from Steak MD was OK except for the mashed potato and the refillable iced teas.  The servings had so many ice on it that it became too diluted already.  Overall, we will go back to and dine at Steak MD whenever we have cravings again for some steaks that are deliciously tender and easy on the budget.

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STEAK MD is located at #74 Creekside, Tomas Morato Quezon City. Tel # (63-2) 448-7114.

31
May
09

LIFE’S SIMPLE PLEASURES

My Sunday morning routine includes a short walk to our street to buy 3 leading broadsheets and sometimes, a supot or  pack of freshly baked pan de sal.  As I observed my weekly habit this morning, I brought along my point and shoot cam to capture the stillness of our place. 

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I’m always in awe whenever I see beautiful photos of nature, people and whatnot captured by pure visual talent and good quality-digicams of most photographers. I wish I’ll get to own one good camera soon but domestic budget and school enrolment of our preschooler son, monthly bills are our present top most priority, so purchasing a nicer cam would have to wait for the moment.  I’m just grateful to have virtual-friends who own personal sites dedicated to photography (Check out my sidebar here and visit also their photoblogs).  They don’t have idea how my daily visits to their sites continuously inspire and motivate me as a photographer-wannabe, LOL. 

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Going back to our place in Quezon City – it may not be Ayala Alabang Village where streets are huge and houses are far from the executive village’s main entrance (I know these things because we celebrate Christmas and New Year’s eves at my wife’s relatives living in a 2000-square meter- lot in Ayala Alabang Village whenever my dad-in-law from Missouri is in town),  it may not have 24-hour roving guards but baranggay tanod , LOL, the streets near where we live are peaceful and quiet and the coolest for having century-old trees.

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Imagine walking under these huge trees on a bright cool Sunday morning, it’s one of  life’s simple pleasures.

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Then seeing these flora on the sidestreets and on my neighbors’ gutters is really something… 

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Do you know that Bougainvilleas have bright colored leaves in varied forms and the only considered flowers are the smallest bloom at its center?  This atypical plant trait can also be found in poinsettias that bloom their red or white leaves mostly during winter months or at least here in our country, every Christmas season until early March…  

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More than those colorful petals, I always like walking through a street near our place with bamboos. I like bamboo so much, not only because of its physical attributes as the tallest grass, but perhaps figuratively and literally, its ability to withstand any weather is such a character that can’t be found even in some tall trees. After bamboo grass grew its tallest, it bows and that for me is a metaphor of humility. 

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Seeing all those before reading my broadsheets, drinking my coffee and starting another week is indeed a blessing!

30
May
09

SENTI

My family and closest friends and ofcourse my lovely wife know me by heart that my mood swings are erratic.   I don’t know what got into me now that I’m having few minutes of sentimental mood and eventually thought of posting one of my old-time-favorite love songs and it’s not Careless Whispher, LOL.  Perhaps it’s because of the weather.  The rain began to pour here in our place and I just love the drizzle. Some people say it’s being pessimistic to like the rain but  to each his own.  I usually feel inspired, motivated, recharged (mushy!LOL) when it rains (but not, ofcourse when there’s storm).  

My father-in-law in Missouri also likes this song so much. I fell in love with the song too even without watching the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s where it was used decades ago.  I’d like to find time one day to see it.   

One of my frustrations is to learn how to play the violin or cello. I’d like to learn either of them and play with an orchestra in a stage.  Violin for me is so romantic. I don’t know, some people like guitars, drums or for one of my colleagues, he and his dad play trumpets, but I like strings of violin.  I wish I could also find time in the soonest future to learn how to play it.

You can just imagine how smiley I was when I stumble upon this video on youtube of a three-piece orchestra, young Asian musicians at that, playing one of my favorite love songs on my favorite string instruments on a rainy day!  

Let’s get mushy : What’s your favorite love song?

30
May
09

MEDICAL LAUGHS

cartoon-doctorI was deleting my old messages from my Inbox when I thought of posting this email I got from a colleague which he sent way back March 2007.  I am not sure if these things really happened as I am not associated with PGH but definitely it’s really funny!  Read this entirely, you won’t be sorry, surely it’ll give you a good laugh too.

 

“Paano kaya kung ang SGH sa Grey’s Anatomy ay katulad ng sa PGH? Best comedy series ! Panalo ito!”

Actual documentation found on patients’ medical charts admitted at PGH.

1. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

2. On the second day, the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.

3. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

4. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

5. The patient has been depressed since she began SEEING ME in1993.

6. Discharge status : Alive but without permission.

7. THE PATIENT REFUSED AUTOPSY.

8. The patient has no PREVIOUS HISTORY of suicides.

9. She is numb FROM HER TOES DOWN.

10. While in the ER, she was examined, X-RATED and sent home.

11. The skin was MOIST and DRY.

12. Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.

13. Patient was ALERT and UNRESPONSIVE.

14. Rectal examination revealed normal sized thyroid.

15. She stated she has been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.

16. The lab test indicated abnormal LOVER function.

17. The patient wants to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stockbroker instead.

18. Skin : somewhat pale BUT PRESENT.

19. Patient has two teenage children but no other abnormalities.

Sa Philippine General Hospital may tinatawag na Central Block.  Nandoon ang Radiology Department kung saan ginagawa ang mga X-rays, Ultrasound, CT scan, at Radiotherapy.  Dito ko naobserbahan ang evolution ng mga pinoy medical terms.  May mga pasyente o bantay  na aking nakakasalubong and madalas na nagtatanong ng direksyon. 

Mga versions ng CT scan :

1. “Doc, saan po ba ang SIETE SCAN?”

2. “Doc, saan po ba ang magpa-CT-SKULL?”

3. “Doc, saan po ba ang CT-SCALP?”

4. “Doc, saan po ba ang CT-SCAM?”

Madalas akong mapagtanungan kung saan ang direksyon paputang Cobalt room.  “Doc, saan po ba ang COBAL?”  Yes, laging walang “T”.  Marami ding nagtatanong, “Doc, saan po ba ang papuntang X-TRAY?”  Conclusion : ang “T” ng Cobalt ay napunta sa X-ray.

7:00 AM Nagbigay ang kasamahan kong doktor ng instruction sa bantay ng pasyente, “Mister, punta po kayo sa Central Block, at magpaschedule kayo ng X-ray ng pasyente nyo.”…… 3:00PM Kararating lang ng bantay. Nagalit na ang doktor, “Mister, bakit naman napakatagal nyong bumalik? Pinaschedule ko lang naman ang X-ray ah.”  Sumagot ang bantay, “Eh kasi Doc, ang tagal kong naghintay sa gate, hanggang sabihin ng guwardya na sarado daw po ang Central Bank kasi Sabado ngayon.” (Nasa Roxas Blvd. ang Central Bank at sarado nga naman yun tuwing Sabado!)

Nagrotate ako  as intern sa Pediatrics ng PGH, mahal na mahal talaga ng mga nanay ang kanilang mga anak na may sakit. Pilit nilang tinatandaan ang gamot at tawag sa sakit ng kanilang anak. Doktor : “Misis, ano po ang gamot na iniinom ng anak nyo?”  Misis 1 : “Doc, PHENOBARBIEDOLL po!”   Doktor : “Ah, Phenobarbital.” (Ang Phenobarbital ay gamot sa convulsion).

Doktor : “Misis, ano pong antibiotic ang iniinom ng anak nyo ?”  Misis 2 : “METROMANILAZOLE po”  Doktor : “Ah, baka po Metronidazole.” (Ang Metronidazole ay gamot sa amoeba).

Ang tawag sa RECOVERY ROOM ay PACU o Post-Anesthesia Care Unit.  Doktor : “Misis, tapos na po ang operasyon ng anak nyo, punta po kayo sa PACU.”   Misis 3 : “Doc, saan po ba sa Paco? Sa may simbahan o sa may palengke?

Doktor : “Misis ano po ba ang sinabi ng dating doktor na sakit ng anak nyo?” Misis 4 : “Eh ang sabi po niya e TRAGEDY of FALLOT”.  Doktor : “Ah, baka po TETRALOGY of Fallot.”  (Ang Tetralogy of Fallot ay congenital heart disease).

Biglaang natarantang sumigaw ang isang nanay.  Misis : “SCISSORS! SCISSORS! Doc, nagsiscissors ang anak ko!”  Doktor : “Nurse, Diazepam please, nag-seizure yung pasyente.”

Doktor: “Misis, ano daw po ba ang sakit ng anak nyo? Misis 6 : “May KETONG daw po.”   Ineksamin ng doktor ang balat ng pasyente.  Wala syang makitang senyales na may ketong ang pasyente. Tumawag pa sya ng Dermatologist para maeksamin ng husto.  Wala talaga.  Doktor : “Misis  sigurado po ba kyo na KETONG ang sakit ng bata?”  Misis : “Eh yun po ang sabi ng doktor nya dati, mataas daw po ang ketong sa ihi dahil may Diabetes.”    Doktor : “Ah, KETONE po iyon!” (Ang positive KETONE sa ihi ay senyales ng kumplikasyon ng Diabetes).

Doktor sa buntis na nagle-labor :   “Misis,   pumutok na po ba ang panubigan mo?”   Misis:  “Eh Doc, wala naman po akong narinig na pagsabog!”  (Hanep!)  *^^*

28
May
09

MUCH ADO ABOUT SODIUM

I honestly admit my diet isn’t healthy.  I’m not religious on watching what I eat.  This blog is the virtual proof of that statement.  LOL.  I couldn’t care less for now because thank God I’m still asymptomatic and illness-free. However being such is not an indication that one is free from disorders.  At least for now, I am.  Yipee!   But seriously, for those with cardiovascular diseases and other metabolic disorder particularly Diabetes Mellitus, and for those otherwise healthy who guard their health diligently, physical activities and dietary modification are so essential to keep a normotensive lifestyle.

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Everytime I lecture on Hypertension or something related to it, I always refer to JNC 7  or the 7th congress of Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, Treatment of High Blood Pressure.   According to this report, the normal blood pressure considered since it was set is <120/80 mmHg.  

And other than exercise ofcourse, DASH eating plan or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is integral to lower blood pressure and avoid complications.  DASH eating plan focuses on reduction of salt, or sodium from the diet.  We need salt to maintain balance or homeostasis a.k.a equilibrium of our systems, so to eliminate it completely from the diet is a  no-no!   We only need to diminish its intake to two grams or 2000 mg sodium per day.  Our blood system should only have 135 to 145 mEq/liter of sodium.  Abrnomalities below or beyond that range will result to disorder/s.   (I panic when I see numbers, so better don’t ask me of what food menu will fall within such normal range for I’m not a nutritionist or a geek to memorize all those, LOL).

My breakfast this morning is not that healthy pero masarap!.  Blame my wife who prepared it, LOL.   It was far from the DASH eating plan (of which I am not observing as of present). 

Forgive me, but most Pinoys will admit that other than pan de sal and coffee as favorite breakfast, another hit to start the day is tuyo or daing (dried fish) and fried (salted) garlic rice or sinangag, with preferred side dish or viand.  I am one with those Pinoys who like these salty foods!  Danggit (dried and fried rabbit fish) and other salted foods are so delicious especially with tomatoes or vinegar.   My wife prepared my plate with fried fish ( i think it’s called SALAY; wish it was Danggit but it’s not), salted red egg, garlic fried rice, with tomatoes and cucumber garnishings which I also ate.   Yummy!

Again, I know nothing of figures so don’t ask me the sodium content of this breakfast plate, though I’m pretty sure it exceeded the allowed sodium dietary consumption per day, LOL.  I’m not eating this daily anyway! (defensive, LOL). IMG_1594

What did you have for breakfast? 

What’s your favorite first meal of the day? 

I wish to have pancakes before going to work tomorrow.   *^^*

27
May
09

PHO HOA

We had our late snack-early dinner at Pho Hoa  in Mega Mall.  It’s a Vietnamese Noodle House.  Do you like Vietnamese food?

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The iced tea in Pho Hoa was served in huge tall glass, and it has very distinct lemony taste! Affordable too at PhP 75.  It was served to our table with a plate of fresh basil and bean sprouts with small slices of lemon as toppings-to-taste for the soup we ordered.

PHO  NAM, CHIN, GAN, BO BIEN (Flank, brisket, tendon and meatball pho), PhP 265.

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The meat in the soup was so tender, the noodles and the broth were tasty.

FRESH SPRING ROLL SHRIMP, PhP 125. 50.   It was good to bite on veggies and vermicelli with shrimps wrapped delicately and served with its perfect dip – a delicious peanut sauce. IMG_1585

IMG_1579I am with my wife Tina and our son Gabby who asked for a vanilla ice cream served in two scoops with chocolate drizzle and a cherry on top (PhP 75).

Service was fast and efficient. Staffs were courteous and served our food wearing smiles and Vietnamese outfits. Nice!  Best of all, Pho Hoa doesn’t have service charge!  We’ll try to visit again soon to try other foods from the menu.  

PHO HOA VIETNAMESE NOODLE HOUSE. Upper Ground Level SM MegaMall A, Mandaluyong City

27
May
09

RED MANGO PART 2

I told you, it can be so addicting!IMG_1543

Left : Original frozen yogurt,  medium (PhP 115) + 3 toppings (PhP 40) : Blueberry, Kiwi, Peaches.

Right : Swirl Yogurt of Original & Green tea, medium (PhP 120) + 3 toppings (PhP 40) : Mango, Kiwi, Peaches.

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It was only 48 hours  and one blog post  when I first tried Red Mango yogurt in TriNoma mall.  It’s a healthier alternative to ice cream and other sweet treats with less guilt on the caloric-sugar-fat-counters.  I so like it that I brought my wife Tina and son Gabby to Megamall this afternoon to visit Red Mango’s branch there and for them to enjoy my present cravings. Expectedly, they love it too!  Who can resist fresh fruit toppings of choice (or you can opt for nuts or choco chips) on an all natural-frozen yogurt ?  It has reasonable price, friendly service, nice comfortable interiors – an option to coffee shops that we also frequent.

One of my blog visitors posted comments on my previous entry on Red Mango and suggested for me to try green tea yogurt on my next visit.  And so I did have a swirl of original frozen yogurt and green tea! Not bad at all!  Sarap pa din! LOL…  

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Here’s a photo of the variety of toppings one can choose from.  Slices of fresh fruits or do you fancy nuts or chocolate and candy bits ? You can have it as one, two or three toppings! It’s cheaper when you have 3 toppings; plus it’s appetizing  & visually appealing.  

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The staff was so pleasing and politely answered my querries. She told me that they have been operating for few months now (where was I during those days? I’m always late on what’s new! LOL).  After their branches in TriNoma, Eastwood malls in Quezon City, and their branch in SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Red Mango will invade the malls in Makati soon!  Yipee! We live in Quezon City but we like Glorietta and Greenbelt malls. They are my son’s stroll places.

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Look how nice Red Mango’s serving bowl is! It has the store’s logo at its bottom- a little surprise for the kids and kids-at-heart.  This was my bowl, emptied after 3 minutes!

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RED MANGO MEGA MALL.  Ground floor SM Mega A, SM Mega Mall, Mandaluyong City.

26
May
09

RES IPSA LOQUITOR

Somehow, I regret the fact that I didn’t pay much attention to 2 particular subjects in Med school more than a decade ago – these were Medical Jurisprudence and Legal Medicine.  Not because the professor was boring, hell no!  He’s one of  top MD-ATTY in the country and the legal consultant of most tertiary private hospitals here. Needless to say, he’s not to blame but me; even if he usually came in late to our classes back then, every after night gigs with his band (our prof-doctor-lawyer-high-caliber was also a crooner of a rock band in a hotel in Quezon City- talk about part-time jobs!).   Although I passed those subjects with him, I’m not sure if I had absorbed everything.  Probably I didn’t give my undivided focus and attention to Legal Med and Med Juris where laws encompassing medical practice and ethics are taught.  Sayang talaga!  Wish I can find time to read those texts again.

With the never-ending saga of sex videos of a local doctor-turned short-time-celebrity with starlets and models uploaded on the www and with DVD-pirates currently feasting on their marketing strategies to sell their “commodities” as cheap  low as PhP 30 a copy,  a legal terminology resurfaces from the deepest of my memory.  I may not have studied Medical Jurisprudence and Legal Medicine the way I did with Surgical Pathology, Internal Medicine, Ob-Gyne, and Surgery subjects, but with all these brouhaha on local sex video scandals (with parts one, two and and so on!) my two cents worth  is the term I remember vividly now -

RES IPSA LOQUITOR, legal term in latin meaning “the thing speaks for itself”.

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Do you think Philippine senate should probe deeper on these scandals rather than spending their precious paid time on issues to alleviate poverty, corruption, politics among themselves and other social malignancies? 

Your guess is as good as mine! LOL.

25
May
09

RED MANGO

I like their tag line -  Treat yourself well!   We all have to.  All the time.  

RED MANGO FROZEN YOGURT is a franchise from US that offers irresistable decadent, a better option than other desserts such as ice cream, but i love ice cream so much and cakes too   with less guilt for it has zero fat! 

It was my first time to treat myself well   try Red Mango yogurt this afternoon in TriNoma, after a petty disappointing moment and almost having a bad day.  But when I saw their kiosk with various toppings of fresh fruits and nuts to choose from, i smiled and became so child-like as I was too excited to taste it.  Imagine the toppings include choices of fresh fruits and crunchiest nuts – it was a bit hard to decide the number of toppings (1, 2 or 3) you’ll have per serving (that comes in sizes - S,M,L and family).  Try to CLICK  THIS  for list of toppings you can enjoy with Red Mango yogurt.  

While on queue to the counter for my order, I decided I’ll have mango and peaches (which reminds me of a pie from Jollibee) with the original yogurt (the other option is green tea yogurt), but when I found out they ran out of mango slices, I ordered peaches and mandarin oranges instead as toppings to my yogurt.  

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For nutritional facts of Red Mango yogurt, click this SOURCE.

Sarap!!!  It’s not irritatingly sweet. Nothing hurt my teeth.  It’s also easy on the budget – the small sized original yogurt costs PhP 80, and 2 toppings cost PhP 30.  With this delicious refreshing treat, the only problem that I see with Red Mango yogurt is the fact that it can be so addicting.

24
May
09

ONE FOR THE BOOKS

“Pakinggan nyo naman po si Ninong Lirio!”    - docgelo & nurse tina.

I only get to read broadsheets – Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star and sometimes  Philippine Daily Inquirer once a week. It’s a part of my Sunday morning habit while enjoying a cup of coffee.  And today’s news included an entire page of an open letter address to the president of the country. Such appeals are no longer new, I pass on them often, but this one.  It caught my attention because the person who wrote the letter was a second-degree relative who also stood as one of our sponsors in our wedding.

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Mr. Lirio P. Sandoval,  the President of BDAP/ Book Development Association of the Philippines, is appealing with his colleagues to greatest local  authority 0f the land and her other loyal  officials for almost a month now, in order to veto help them withdraw the imposition of tax to imported books as directed by Department of Finance for this will surely diminish the interests of the reading public. 

This Sunday’s paper open letter to PGMA, “an appeal to withdraw the Department of Finance Department Order 17-09 which imposes duty on the importation of books. Mr. Sandoval and his colleagues believe that the Order violates two distinguished prevailing acts : an international treaty -the Florence Agreement, and R.A. 8047 or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act.” 

And I quote “The Florence Agreement, of which the Philippines is a signatory since 1952, has for its main objective the free flow of information among contracting states. The Florence Agreement Guide also expressly states that “Under the Agreement, books, newspapers, periodicals, and many other categories of printed matter are GUARANTEE DUTY-FREE ENTRY”.

Here I’m posting an earlier letter of  Mr. Sandoval with the same appeal sourced from (CLICK) HERE.

BDAP Letter to Secretary of Justice

April 30, 2009

HONORABLE RAUL M. GONZALEZ
Secretary
Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila

Dear Secretary Gonzalez:

The book reading public in the country is suddenly jolted when the Department of Finance (DOF) imposed duty on the importation of books through Department Order No. 17-09: Guidelines of Duty-Free Importation of Books, issued on 24 March 2009 by Secretary Margarito B. Teves, published on 12 April 2009 at the Phil. Daily Inquirer and is now being implemented.

We earnestly seek your opinion on said Guidelines because they run counter to Sec. 12 of RA 8047, which provides that “In case of tax and duty-free importation of books or raw materials to be used in book publishing, the Board and its duly authorized representatives shall strictly monitor the quality and volume of imported books and material as well as their distribution and the utilization of the said imported materials.”

It is interesting to note that RA 8047 or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act of 1995 was co-authored by Secretary Teves when he was a member of the House of Representatives.

Your immediate rendering of opinion on this matter will greatly benefit our reading public and the book industry.

Please find attached a copy of the DOF Guidelines and the position paper of the Book Development Association of the Philippines.

Respectfully yours,

LIRIO P. SANDOVAL
President

I know little of laws, and  it’s not an excuse. What I only understand of the situation is whenever imported books will be withhold in customs for failing to pay newly imposed taxes, the common readers will be are robbed of the opportunity of greater knowledge acquisition. The appeal was only for CONTINUED DUTY-FREE IMPORTATION OF BOOKS.  end of story.

BUT- Why impose taxes on imported books?

Is it the most intelligent way of recovering “lost” revenues ? Huh ?  

Enlighten me please, Madame/Sir.

24
May
09

TALANGKANIN

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What did you have for lunch today? 

My wife and I chose to stay at home since we had a dose of dining out the past few days and decided to cook a meal inspired by the teleserye she follows.  Tina likes Diether Ocampo so much that she religiously watches his latest TV series ONLY  YOU adapted from a koreanovela (that I am not familiar with until my wife watches its local version)  about a love torn between 3 characters amidst cooking Asian cuisine.  Diether plays a chef who fell in love with Angel Locsin’s character who’s a chef-wannabe and had a chance to learn how to cook a recipe called TALANGKANIN  from the mom of Sam Milby’s character when they were sent to Korea for a sponsored  course on culinary arts.  Apparently, I also get to watch it while I’m on-line at night, as my wife rules the remote control of the boob tube. 

We became interested with the dish from that show, it’s made of crab fat in rice, more locally known as Aligue rice  and decided to prepare it for our Sunday lunch.   We didn’t forget to but a bottle of taba ng talangka or crab fat yesterday from SM Megamall grocery, and I volunteered to buy the other ingredients in a nearby talipapa this morning as I was  excited to cook the dish with her. 

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We googled some sites which shared its ingredients and cooking instructions.

Ingredients include :

1/2 kg of shrimps, shelled, deveined

2 tsp of sugar

*2 tbsp of cooking oil

a bottle of crab fat or aligue

3 to 4 cups rice, cooked

1/4 cup spring onions, chopped

salt and pepper to taste.

- *my wife preferred to use Anchor butter  than cooking oil which made our version of the dish more sinful.

Steps in cooking  (our version) of TALANGKANIN / Aligue rice

1. Heat oil or melt butter in a stir fry.

2. Saute onions and garlic.

3. Add crab fat, salt, pepper, sugar and cooked rice.

4. Add the shrimps, mix,  and cook for 3 minutes.

5. Top with spring onions and add a side dish (optional).

And the result was….. (applause, applause please…) a very flavorful, iodine-calcium-cholesterol rich dish! 

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Be sure to take your lipid-lowering agent after savoring a plate of this talangkanin LOL.

She even made an effort to serve it in style with garnishing and side dish a-la restaurant ! 

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Tina had her food in a bento box but didn’t finish all of it, she had to refrigerate her leftovers.

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What completed our Sunday lunch at home were other yummies cooked and sent by my aunt. Who could resist a leche flan for dessert?

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Have you tasted Talangkanin ?

24
May
09

ALARMING

Map with latest World Health Organisation figures by country for swine flu infections and deaths. Global health chiefs on Friday warned against the "sneaky" swine flu virus but said a vaccine could be ready as early as June as Russia reported its first confirmed case of the disease...  by AFP/Graphics

Map with latest World Health Organisation figures by country for swine flu infections and deaths. Global health chiefs on Friday warned against the "sneaky" swine flu virus but said a vaccine could be ready as early as June as Russia reported its first confirmed case of the disease... by AFP/Graphics

“As of April 2009, there are more than 12,000 confirmed cases of Influenza A H1N1 viral infections from 43 countries with 86 mortalities.” – World Health Organization. 

We were enjoying our hearty lunch at home today when the news about the second confirmed case of swine flu in the Philippines was reported via presscon conducted by Department of Health Secretary Duque himself. 

Dr. Duque III said that the first case in the Philippines was of a 10-year-old girl who has recovered from the viral infection, quite OK now and only nursing a sore throat. It was good news that the dreaded disease wasn’t transmitted to the girl’s mother or to her household; no other victims were noted. 

The second case of a 50-year-old Pinay who came from Chicago last May 20 was also noted to seek medical assistance when she developed fever and cough, was managed properly and is currently on recuperation and still under close monitoring.

Source: CLICK HERE.

24
May
09

C2 = CLASSIC CUISINE PHILIPPINES

Have you tasted BIBINGKA SOUFFLE ?  If you haven’t, read on and enjoy…

“C2 serves the best Filipino food in the country today, bar none, and not just because the portions and the prices make it a steal. The food is good at any price.” – Teodoro L. Locsin, View Quarterly Magazine, Sept-to-Nov. 2006.

My wife Tina and I went to Megamall yesterday to while away time after goint to our costurera who lives quite near the area and does most of our uniforms and blazers. Ofcourse our malling won’t be complete without food!  It’s another chance to eat something new to our palate.  We walked straight to Mega Atrium at the mall’s third level, to look for a dining place that we haven’t tried before.  We’re looking to satisfy our late afternoon-early dinner craving – I just wanted something heavy and to taste something sweet. And after few minutes of being ambivalent, strolling from one resto to another, we read a poster with the above quote at the C2′s entrance. Found it was compelling, so we gave it a try.    

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The interiors was simple, never intimidating, with mirrored walls to create an illusion of space, and contemporary colorful designs in the ceilings.  The menu was equally impressive!  We ordered these…

BAM-I,  PhP 260.  A combination of egg and rice noodles sauteed with shrimps, chicken and Chinese sausage. 

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BAM- I is a dish from Nothern Mindanao and the Visayas, popular in the entire country as miki-bihon/miki-sotanghon(vermicelli) pancit.

GOTO,  PhP 120.   Homestyle porridge of ox-tripe topped with fried tofu, spring onions and garlic chips.

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The fried diced tofu was served separately.  This goto was delicious but only good for one serving.

I’ve tried PANDAN ICED TEA, PhP 60, which had a cool refreshing taste far different from the usual iced tea flavors.  Sarap!!!   And it was served in a bamboo-like tall glass with pandan leaf and calamansi, nice!  My glass here was already half full because I immediately sipped it the moment it was served.   Also look at the seasoning per table – see how appetizing those sleek bottles of soy sauce, patis/fish sauce, and capsicum and garlic dipped in vinegar are.

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And to capped the heavy All-day-merienda we had from C2, we also tried this…

BIBINGKA SOUFFLE,  PhP 145.  C2′s award-winning dessert – light and fluffy blend of coconut custard, salted egg, quezo de bola and toasted coconut…. IT WAS TRULY A WINNER! SARAP, A MUST-TRY!!!

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How innovative! I never thought even with wildest imagination that bibingka (rice cake) can be recreated into a more modern delicious dessert.  I am so familiar with bibingka and have had tasted quite a number of recipes from various restos, but this one is so uncommon and new.  And the waiter politely asked us if it was our first time to try it, and if we already knew how it should be eaten.  He gladly demonstrated to us how C2′s Bibingka Souffle should be enjoyed.  Here’s how…

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We’re told to create a small opening at the bibingka, then pour its sauce which was a mixture of evaporated milk and toasted coconut. Allow few seconds for the mixture to settle inside the bibingka, for the salted egg and the coconut custard to absorb it. See how light and fluffy it is…

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If there’s one best reason to come back for more C2 experience, it’s definitely this bibingka souffle. 

—————–

C2 Classic Cuisine Philippines, 3rd Level Mega Atrium, Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.  Tel #s (63-2) 470-1149,  470-1152.  They also have branches at the Ledge, Shangri La Mall, Mandaluyong City,  Powerplant Mall in Makati City, Robinson’s Place Manila, and soon to open Summit Ridge in Tagaytay City.

24
May
09

PASTO

Before heading to the movies a couple of days ago, my wife Tina with our son Gabby and I made sure that we’re satiated first, so we decided to dine at PASTO, one of the an Italian restaurants in Eastwood City.

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It was our first time to dine at PASTO and it wasn’t bad at all.  Although I am bias with CIBO,  I’ve enjoyed the few things we tried;  the ambiance was OK too, -simple and just overflowing with red!  I like the unique use of bloody-red-painted corrugated iron roofing  sheets, as one of the walls which make good accent interiors. 

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Since we were catching a movie schedule, we just chose a pasta, a pizza and beverages ofcourse, from PASTO menu.  I love seafoods especially shrimps and I also like pesto, so you can just imagine my widest ear-to-ear smile when I read their menu that PASTO have dishes with two of my favorites. Pesto perfectly compliment seafoods. It effortlessly spells delicious! Hence we ordered…

GENOVESE, PhP 255.  Capellini (thinner than vermicelli) with shrimps, arugula (peppery-mustardy green leaves), pesto and pine nuts, in a tomato sauce.

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BIANCA,  PhP 265.  Pesto-based pizza with assorted seafoods. 

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TE FREDDO-LEMON, TE FREDDO- RASPBERRY,  PhP 95 each.

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Everything could have been a nice first-time- dining experience for us except for the service. I and my wife are very particular not only of food taste, and presentation but moreso of service.  Though it was fast, foods were served within 15 minutes, it was  less efficient.  They didn’t know how to anticipate diners’ request – say refilling of bottomless drinks, tissues and whatnot.  Most, if not all of the few waitresses forgot to wear smiles on their faces while at work.  Courtesy and customer relations should be improved. It counts a lot, definitely.

—————-

PASTO, Eastwood City Walk, Cyberpark City, Libis, Quezon City. Tel # (63-2) 911-2768.  They also have branches at the Fort, Greenhills Theater Mall, El Pueblo Ortigas, Paseo Center, Makati.

23
May
09

LOVE KO ‘TO

Let’s not speak of the calorie counter and healthy eating, but just good taste and fun moments!

I enjoy eating breakfast – either at home or somewhere else, except when I’m on the rush to work, a sip of coffee and a quick bite at anything will suffice.

I also like foodplaces that offer breakfast all-day menu! One fastfood that ventured into coffee shop business that’s so competitive in providing affordable breakfast yummies is Mc Cafe of Mc Donald’s.   And here’s my most recent Mc Cafe delights shared with my son Gabby.

CAPUCCINO,  PhP 90.

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PEACH BOAT TART,  PhP 55                                              FUDGY CHOCO,  PhP 55.

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23
May
09

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2

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That’s my four-year-old son Gabby all smile after watching the movie at Eastwood Cinemas 22/05/09.

“HAPPINESS IS DOING WHAT WE LOVE WITH THE PEOPLE WE LOVE”   - if there’s one best thing that Ben Stiller’s character delivered in this movie, it was this cheesy but honest-to-goodness quote. 

OK, we know that the movie was made for kids so better leave your cerebral expectations at home whenever you feel like watching it too. Just consider that we need a dose of chuckles and a childhood adventure sometimes, and is it not always healthier to smile than to frown?  LOL. 

We watched this at Eastwood Cinemas yesterday and for parents like us who are kids-at-heart, we were entertained more of seeing Gabby enjoying the movie than the entire plot itself.  Not that we didn’t enjoy it but the story itself is already given since it’s a sequel.  However, this second movie was much more interesting than its first one,  for having better visual computer-generated effects of museum wax figures coming into life.  And man, seeing that air and space museum scene of somewhat like  Apollo 13 being launched simultaneously with other aircrafts was a whole lot of fun for me.  The scenes of  those three singing cherubs from a fountain,  bubble-head Einsteinssss and all paintings  moving and breathing  were also hilarious.

Go see it, it’ll give you a break from the brouhaha of  local news.

SYNOPSIS – When the Museum of Natural History is closed for upgrades and renovations, the museum pieces are moved into federal storage at the famous Washington Museums. The centerpiece of the film will be bringing to life the Smithsonian Institution, which houses the world’s largest museum complex with more than 136 million items in its collections, ranging from the plane Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) flew on her non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic and Al Capone’s (Jon Bernthal) rap sheet and mug shot to Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Fonzie’s jacket from Happy Days, the still from M*A*S*H and Archie Bunker’s lounge chair from All in the Family. With a forwarded resume, Larry (Ben Stiller) becomes another caretaker at the Smithsonian, where Kahmunrah, an evil Pharaoh will come to life with the reestablishing of a tablet as a magical force in the museum bringing the old exhibits (Such as Theodore Roosevelt and Dexter) and new exhibits (like General Custer and Al Capone) back to life, and in conflict with each other. Larry enlists the help of Amelia Earheart, who he develops a romantic interest in, and together they try to put everything back in order.  (Sourced from CLICK HERE)

22
May
09

GIANT BLOOMS

Have you seen a garden on air?  Have you heard of spring in the Philippines? LOL. 

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We dropped by Eastwood Mall in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City before dusk today, after watching a movie at Eastwood City Cinemas.  We usually go to Eastwood to dine, or simply to stroll and while away time, or to sip a venti of coffee.  Apparently, the mall display still depicts the blooms of May and on time to bid goodbye to summer.

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I, my wife Tina and our son Gabby as young as he is, are mall-rats!  Gabby enjoys Timezone arcade or any kids’ fun places whenever we go out.  We frequent Gateway Mall in Araneta Center, Cubao, Shangri la mall in Mandaluyong City, and Ayala Malls in Makati and Quezon Cities, sometimes in Greenhills, San Juan.  But I am bias to Ayala Malls (Greenbelt, Glorietta, TriNoma, Bonifacio High Street, not so with Alabang Town Center because we’re far from it), because they value lush greens in between malls’ urban setting.  I also appreciate architecture and interiors of Powerplant Mall in Rockwell Center, Makati and this new Eastwood Mall in Quezon City because they’re also competitive and at par with the malls abroad. 

What makes Eastwood Mall unique than other shopping centers is the presence of mall butlers clad in their black suits and leather shoes who offer to carry the customers’ shopping bags to provide convenience and comfort.  I’m not sure if their services are free but I’m definite that one is shameless without giving them a tip. LOL.  Eastwood Mall’s proximity to high-end condo units and business establishments, mostly BPO/call center agencies is another edge.

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Who would have thought that many Pinoys are living at the marginalized corner of a third-world country when malls are always packed with people? LOL.

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Do you like going to the malls ? What’s your best mall experience? Or would you rather stay at home ?    As for my family, they don’t mind having  PDA  public display of affection in malls!  But my wife felt awkward wearing scrubs in malls as we usually meet her right after her O.R. duty;  for according to her, she look less of a mother to Gabby, hence the hugs & kisses…hihihi…

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22
May
09

MANILA IN FRANCE

The four Filipino films currently on exhibition in the Festival de Cannes 2009  are  MANILA (Special Screening category), INDEPENDENCIA (Un Certain Regard, Official Selection Out of Competition), the only Pinoy film competing is KINATAY (a movie by director Dante Mendoza about a gang of hitmen who chop up bodies of their victims hence the title) and a short film SABONGERO (by Filipino-American director Janice Perez).  I’m not sure if these will be shown locally because as of now, indie films (indpendenly produced) do not have that local market appeal or are yet to be recognize at the local box-office. Unfortunately, seems like most Pinoys aren’t ready yet to watch out-of-the-box movies.

Here are excerpts from the two Pinoy movies on exhibit and the other one competing in Festival de Cannes.

MANILA, film by Adolfo Alix, Jr. and Raya Martin

028461SYNOPSIS – William, a drug addict, tries to reconnect his ties with people close to him. Slowly, as night falls, he learns that there is no one left to trust, not even his own self. Philip, who works as a bodyguard for a mayor’s son, thinks his boss considers him family. After a shooting incident, he discovers his real worth to his boss. As he struggles to hide, he is slowly being consumed by the claws of darkness lurking the city. In between, Lav Diaz is shooting a romantic film. Sourced from Festival de Cannes

 

 

KINATAY, film by Brillante Mendoza, In COMPETITION.

028233SYNOPSIS – Peping, a criminology student, is recruited by his schoolmate, Abyong, to work as a part-time errand boy for a local syndicate that collects protection fees from various businesses in Manila. The easy money Peping earns is spent mostly on his girlfriend, Cecille, who’s also a student. Peping decides to marry her, but in order to do so he’ll need more money. Abyong contacts Peping to join a “special project” that pays more than normal…Sourced from Festival de Cannes.

INDEPENDENCIA, film by Raya Martin

027926SYNOPSIS – Early 20th century Philippines. The sounds of war signal the arrival of the Americans. A mother and son flee to the mountains, hoping for a quiet life. One day, the son discovers a wounded woman in the middle of the forest, and decides to bring her home.

Years pass. Man, woman and child live in isolation from the growing chaos all over the country. But a coming storm soon threatens their existence, and American troops draw nearer. 

Sourced from Festival de Cannes.

DO YOU FIND THESE FILMS INTERESTING?

Read the rest of the story here.

21
May
09

EIGHTH SEASON

42090It was a blessing in disguise that I was off from work today and I got to enjoy the live feed of 2009 Americal Idol finals night.  Honestly,  I’m not much of a fan and would only watch the remaining 5 or 3 contestants booting each other one after the other everytime there’s a season. 

With the recently concluded AI Finals, it was a blast!  I don’t know with you but I enjoyed it since most of the guests who performed were truly icons in their own right. They had Black Eyed Peas, Jason Mraz, Keith Urban, baby! Man, they rock super!  Cyndi Lauper doing one of her classics “Time after time” with the flame-haired top 10-finalist Allison Iraheta;  Lionel Richie who was great in singing his hit  “Hello” with American Idol top 3 Danny Gokey and it sure brought me back to my wonder years during the eighties.  Carlos Santa also graced the show with his strings, the rock bands Queen and Kiss, and no less than Rod Stewart and comedian/actor Steve Martin also had their own intermissions with other Idol contestants. 

Although one of the judges, Simon Cowell himself commended that both finalists were winners for what they have reached since the beginning of the contest, and as they were given new Ford each,  the big night was for this year’s dark horse/underdog Kris Allen, 23 year old from Conway, Arkansas who set a new record having millions of votes to his name over Adam Lambert,  judges’ favorite. 

Hands down to America for being innovative with every choice, from President to their Idols. 

 Applause, applause!

21
May
09

INSPIRED

I previously hate commercials and advertisements that are shown even on cable TV; especially political ads that lure the common viewers to TRAditional POliticians’ ridiculous campaign promises.  They simply disrupt the momentum of watching a favorite movie or series on cable or a local TV show.  But some are really worth watching.  Those ads that are informative and direct-to-the-point, commercials that speak of moral values, and simple advertisements that use human interests such as love, inspiration and life in general.

One particular commercial that I so like these days is the 30-second-”Inspired”- TV ad of Nestle Coffeemate creamer made by Mc Cann Erickson.  Who doesn’t want waking up every morning in your own love nest with fresh garden breeze, Pinoy breakfast of pan de sal and fried eggs, plus a perfect cup of coffee to share with the person who inspires you the most?  I also love the look those glass windows and the use of that vast space of the dining area with attractive wooden furnitures.  The morning depicted was almost perfect!   Those are the interesting elements of this ad that makes me want to sip a cup of coffee with creamer everytime I see it!  Indeed so INSPIRING!

What’s your favortie TV commercial/s?

20
May
09

THERE’S MORE TO HOT NOODLES!

As I’ve tasted stated on my previous posts, we had too much of food tripping last week when we went to a mall.   Tina was encouraged to try for the first time an established Chinese restaurant that offers good tasting dishes that are easy on the budget.

This post was also inspired by one of my virtual-blogger friends, mrs. lavendula whose blog entry reminded me that it has been a while since I last munched at this foodplace where reasonably priced and delicious gastronomic yummies can be enjoyed with a cup of hot tea.

HALO-HALO CONGEE, PhP 130.

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Tina had this congee. I like this too. It’s always soothing to hungry stomachs!  It’s served hot, with eggs, organ meats, and pieces of  thin crackers.  With this alone, one can be easily satiated. 

BRAISED SEAFOOD NOODLES, PhP 185.

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The mushroom, the braised noodles on special oil and seasoning, the seafoods yield delicious oriental dish!

We had these favorites as our hearty dinner last week which were all served fast by efficient and friendly staff of Luk Yuen, MegaMall.  Their other branch that I’ve tried was at Greenhills, between Unimart and Virra Mall near the Holy Family Chapel.  And their service and food were consistent.  No wonder Luk Yuen has a following among foodies and families.   

SPRING ROLLS, PhP 90.

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Fresh veggies wrapped and fried to crispiest. 

STEAMED SHRIMP DUMPLINGS, PhP 100.

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Steamed shrimp dumplings or Hakao is always a winner. Luk Yuen’s version has a soft moist wrapper and generous serving of shrimps. I just love anything with shrimp!

JUMBO HONG KONG SIOPAO, PhP 75.

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I am biased with bola-bola siopao than asado only because it has red salted egg.  Luk Yuen’s HK style jumbo siopao reminds me of  Hen Lin’s and Le Ching’s.  We enjoyed this as well but considering the siopao bread, Kowloon’s always wins my vote!

RIPE MANGO SHAKE, PhP 65, ICED TEA PhP 42.     Look how my wife and son enjoyed Luk Yuen…

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LUK YUEN.  Bldg B MegaMall EDSA Mandaluyong City.

20
May
09

MAD WORLD

kris-allen-and-adam-lambert_314x404Watching American Idol Final Performance Night  was a breather from the sex video scandal of a local doctor and a bunch of starlets and a brazilian model. Enough with that brouhaha and on with the Idol.

  “All around me are familiar faces
   worn out places, worn out faces
   Bright and early for the daily races
   Going nowhere, going nowhere
   Their tears are filling up their glasses…”

Adam Lambert’s rendition of this song, MAD WORLD is really haunting! Amazing.. His voice transcends attitude!  However, he sings his songs in a grimace;  I can’t distinguish one from the other…

If only for the jackets they’re wearing on this photo, I’ll go for Kris Allen, LOL.

 

 

 

Who got your vote? …. (docgelo! docgelo! docgelo! ,LOL !)

19
May
09

NOTE TO BAD NEWS

Amidst the news of a very distasteful joke from local comedienne Candy Pangilinan who said, “Hindi po ako IGOROT, tao po ako” that lead Baguio and Mountain province authorities to ban and labeled her as “persona non grata” despite her teary-eyed public apology,

another issue with similar inconsiderate thoughts from a Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin on his David Letterman The Late Show-May 12 guesting commenting that he might just get a Filipino-mail-order-bride… wasn’t ofcourse, taken as trivial and funny but another insensitive statement which provoked sharp responses from many Pinoys.

with the local controversy involving starlet Katrina Halili and the unethical voyeur Dr. Hayden Kho’s sexual youtube videos (that gave George Michael’s song Careless whisper another meaning!) resurfacing publicly for two weeks now that lead Senator Bong Revilla calling the issue as PERVERT ACT of the HIGHEST KIND with a demand from the local action-hero/senator for the revocal of Kho’s medical license;

with the premature campaigning of politicians on TV that bugs me and other ANTI-TRAPO Filipinos, one voice just saved the day…

I’m NOT a fan actually, I honestly think she always stresses her larynx too much but her song NOTE TO GOD and her latest Oprah show guesting were fresher than those local headlines!

19
May
09

FOODCOURT JAP FOOD

I was waiting for my wife at TriNoma mall after work last week for us to go grocery shopping when I got bored of roaming around and window shopping. I decided to eat something and found myself ordering japanese food at KARATE KID fastfood at the Landmark foodcourt in TriNoma.

About 3 months ago, I’ve tasted the best sukiyaki from UMU in Dusit Thani hotel in Makati City and posted that experience here  so I smiled the moment I spotted the menu of KARATE KID has it, or at least similar taste to it at a very affordable price.  I ordered SUKIYAKIDON, it’s sukiyaki served with rice at its bottom.

SUKIYAKIDON, PhP 99

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I became too excited with the price of their menu and ordered japanese roll yummies…I just thought that my wife Tina, who then was on her way to meet me in the Landmark foodcourt, can help me finish everything just in case I had too much already. So before she came, I was also enjoying these ….

KANI SUSHI, PhP 69 (very reasonable price!) 

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TONKATSU MAKI, PhP 75

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And to complete the meal, I had KIDO PUNCH TEA, 16 oz, with 1 free refill at only PhP 35!

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KARATE KID JAPANESE FASTFOOD, stall #7 Food Center Level, Ayala Triangle, North Mall, EDSA, Quezon City

19
May
09

COMMERCIAL MUNA!

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Masaya po ito!  Katuwaan lang…

To all my virtual blogger-friends, those who frequent and visit my blog, I’ll appreciate if you vote for my site as Filipino blog of the week by clicking this link :  docgelo   SCROLL down this site (of The Composed Gentleman who owns the contest) to the lower right corner, you’ll see the poll site, just click and vote docgelo! One unique vote daily is counted until the end of the week, so you can vote everyday and it will go a long way! vote daily!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!   

Huwag lang po mangulelat hehehe…LOL. Salamat!

19
May
09

PIZZA HUT BISTRO

Perhaps it has been a couple of years or so when Pizza Hut innovated its chain of pizza parlors into Pizza Hut Bistro offering wide selection from their menu coupled with impressive ambiance.

Do yo like Pizza Hut ?  Well, we do.  I’ve compiled here our recent and past foodtripping at Pizza Hut Bistro, here’s some of our favorites…

CRAB SALAD ROLL, PhP 179                                     GARLIC BATARD, PhP 70

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This is MY FAVORITE :    GARLIC SHRIMPS and MUSHROOM PASTA! Php 175.

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as if one photo isn’t enough!  I just like it so much, I had to post 2 photos of the same pasta from different branches.  It’s spaghetti tossed with sauteed shrimps and mushrooms, in garlic butter sauce!

FETTUCCINE ALFREDO, PhP 145.              SUPREME PAN PIZZA STUFFED CRUST, PhP 235++

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TIRAMISU, PhP 99.                                                           CHOCO LAVA

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19
May
09

EAT AND GO

We had a blast of some sort foodtripping / family bonding last week.  It was last Thursday when my wife Tina, our son Gabby and I took the day off and went to MegaMall.  We explored the new Mega Atrium which houses both new and establish reataurants and fast food. At an early age of four, our son already has his own preference to food and at that time, he wanted to eat at Pizza Hut Bistro. Not that we don’t like Pizza Hut, in fact, we love the food of the new Bistro, but Tina and I wanted to try something new.  However, we can’t resist our child’s request, so we ate first at Pizza Hut, which I’m posting next after this one…

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After giving into Gabby’s foodplace choice, we walked a few steps further and found EAT and GO.  Among the many must-try new restos at the Mega Atrium, this caught our attention first.  It has a contemporary european appeal that is not only apparent on its menu, but on its interiors as well. 

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Since it was our first time to dine at Eat and Go, I’m clueless if it’s a fastfood or a restaurant. But soon after being guided to our table and seeing the entire place, I guess it’s an affordable restaurant because food and beverages are served by wait staff.

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I like the interiors, it’s never intimidating but has somewhat like bottle-neck space.  The walls have framed photos of food and scenes in colored and black and white.  Contemporary cartoonized art work served as attraction on the other wall.  Seats are comfortable too. 

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I think everything is good on the menu of Eat and Go but the beverages need improvement!  We just don’t like the coolers that we ordered.  It tasted like so artificial that we failed to distinguish their flavors!  We had Strawberry Jelly Cream PhP 80,  Choco Loco Oreo PhP 90 and Kiwi Lime PhP 70.  We also thought that the servings of their shakes/coolers were too small for their prize.  It’s bad that it suffered comparison with fresh fruit shakes that we like from Juice Avenue, Fruitas, Big Chill and Fruit Magic kiosks in malls, also it was far from the cold beverages of Starbucks Coffee. 

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Eat and Go may have disappointed us in their drinks but the food as I’ve stated, were served OK.  It may not be the best, but we were happy with what we ate.

SEAFOOD PAELLA, PhP 295.  its a personal serving, I finished it in less than 10 minutes, lol.

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CHICKEN SALTIMBOCCA, PhP 155. 

IMG_1174This was Tina’s plate.  I got to taste it, and with generous and delicious serving, it’s a good choice from the menu of Eat and Go.

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EAT and GO @ Level 3 Mega Atrium, SM MegaMall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

19
May
09

MANILA EXPLORED PART 4

After having an overdose of Pinoy arts, culture and heritage for less than an hour at the National Museum last Sunday,  I decided to go to Binondo, Manila to have my late lunch in Chinatown.  Another visit in that stretch of Manila populated mostly by Chinese and Chinese-Filipinos or Tsinoys  who basically are merchants and businessmen,  gave me added sense of appreciation to one of the earliest commercial districts in the country.  Commerce, religion and culture are apparently rich in this part of Manila. 

First stop: Binondo Church a.k.a  MINOR BASILICA & NATIONAL SHRINE of SAN LORENZO RUIZ 

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As sourced from Wikipilinas :

Founded by the Dominican priests in 1596, Binondo Church is one of the oldest places of Christian worship in the Philippines. It was administered by the Secular Priests in 1768, returned to Dominican Administration in 1822 and back to Secular Priests in 1898.

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The Binondo Church is located in front of a plaza and across Juan Luna Street which go through the busy Divisoria markets.

I LOVE FOUNTAINS.  I like seeing and hearing drizzle of water.  I like architecture. 

Binondo’s fountain at the Plaza de San Lorenzo Ruiz, although far from the grandiose Fontana di Trevi  in Rome that I long to visit one day, is a beauty on its own. I just hope that it will be well maintained and preserved by the local government coupled with observance of cleanliness from the by-standers and passers-by.

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ONGPIN  STREET

On the right side of Binondo Church is Ongpin Street, which takes you to Manila Chinatown.  Taking a stroll from Binondo to Sta Cruz has been my once-in-a-while habit done whenever I feel like having enough of malls and a breather between work and home.  Last  time I went to Ongpin was during the Chinese New Year celebration.  It felt good to revisit.

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 The sidewalks of Ongpin Street do not only offer Chinese restaurants and eateries but more colorful sights to behold.

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But then again, I am bias to gastronomic treats from Chinatown… I go to Ongpin for authentic dimsums, noodles, and other Chinese dishes plus that ENG BEE TIN HOPIA or mung beans! Sarap! Even our relatives in Auckland,New Zealand now in Melbourne, Australia only wanted those as pasalubong last time we visited them. 

I don’t have hyperuricemia or gouty arthritis yet, LOL, so there’s still time to enjoy those hopia. Do you like hopia ? What flavors do you crave ? There a lot now offered in Eng bee tin – ube, pork, pandan, etc… but my greatest favorite is the red mung beans!  So I bought some for myself and as pasalubong to my wife Tina and son Gabby. My 4-year-old son loves it too. 

Each 4 red mung beans / hopia packed in colored coded plastic is sold at PhP 32.

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The sidestreets also have other good buys such as fruits, fancy chinese accessories and other oriental ornaments…

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Other than Vigan in Ilocos Sur (a cobblestoned streets with colonial houses that were built long before Spanish period in the Philippines, a must-visit-UNESCO heritage city – province at the far north of the Philippines), it’s in Intramuros and Binondo areas where one can still see kalesas

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I only failed to ask the kucheros how much would it cost per ride within Chinatown and I haven’t tried it yet. Probably when I go back when my mood and Manila weather jive…

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If God’s will years from now, since Tina and I already decided to build our dream home with contemporary Asian interiors and architecture, I wish to have a pair of Fu lions a.k.a. Chinese guardian lion statues believed to have mystic powers that have traditionally stood in front of Chinese temples, Imperial palaces, emperors’ tombs, and entrances of homes and offices since the rule of different dynasties until present times. 

The Fu /Foo lions always come in pair – the male playing a ball and the female lion statue with her cub.

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At the end of a 15-minute-walk from Binondo to Ongpin in Chinatown, it pays to visit Sta. Cruz Church. In front of the Sta Cruz Church is the Carriedo fountain.  It should have been more pleasing if not for those electric cables that go haywire as a clear proof that Manila is a city in a third-world country and that begs for much improvement. The fountain too is gradually degraded by the moss or fungi that grow in its glory. Sayang! Mas matanda pa ata sa lola ko itong Carriedo Fountain…

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The end of my lunch date with Manila’s sunshine was capped by a short visit to Sta. Cruz Church…

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I always pass by this church on way home from work but seldom get to visit for the hurry to beat the rush hour traffic.  What makes Sta. Cruz Church beautiful isn’t only its exterior but the main altar.  It’s made of colorful mosaic of a lamb shedding its blood flowing to the Holy Host.  It’s an artistic representation of  Kordero ng Diyos (lamb of God) or God the Father’s Son who gave His life for our salvation. The altar is so poetic. 

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I am familiar with this since childhood whenever we’re brought by our parents here for our annual Visita Iglesia every Holy Week…

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Even the doors of Sta Cruz Church have inclinations to chinese arts.

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I enjoyed my three hours of being alone in Manila last Sunday. It was perfect to start a new work week.

18
May
09

MANILA EXPLORED PART 3

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A visit to Ongpin Street isn’t complete without tasting authentic Chinese cuisine.

NIDO SOUP, anyone? It was a bit sad when the waitress told me that it won’t be served with boiled quail eggs because they’re unavailable last Sunday afternoon when I ordered.  Nevertheless,  I wasn’t disappointed; the soup was thick and delish!  Affordable too, at PhP  80.

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I LOVE SEAFOODS!  I can eat this everyday, LOL. 

SHRIMP with MUSHROOM… served with thick buttery soy sauce.  PhP 90.

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SCALLOPS with BROCCOLI… thick buttery soy sauce plus a dose of calcium-rich broccoli, so yummy!  also cheap at PhP 110.

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I’ve tried Dong Bei kuchay dumplings (view former blog post), enjoyed and regarded it as one of the best steamed dumplings but my my palate is craving for more oriental yummies.  I’ve  eaten in Hap Chan, MXT and the President’s tea house before but never tried the chinese food fastfood or carinderia in the ESTERO until yesterday, Sunday. 

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Opo… Ongpin Street a.k.a Manila Chinatown Estero or canal!  Eateries literally located beside that canal offers sumptuous but affordable and authentic Chinese cuisine.   Would you dare yourself to eat on those food stalls with red painted walls literally located beside an estero? 

To be honest, I expected worse:  to eat a la carte dishes while being disgusted with unpleasant estero aroma, LOL. however my expectations were not met but was truly delighted with the experience. 

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This is a marker on the ONGPIN NORTH BRIDGE shown above which is few steps from the ESTERO FASTOOD.

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The yummy food above were prepared, cooked and served here : ESTERO FASTFOOD, and real fast!  They also have menu, mind you…

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Inspite of its location beside an estero, the small eateries there were packed with hungry stomachs, Pinoys and foreigners too, who all craved for great food at cheap prices.  Hey, if  Chef Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations show got a taste of  Ongpin food few months ago, I think it’s a must-try for all Pinoys to visit Manila Chinatown too.  I did’t get any gastrointestinal symptoms afterwards anyway.  LOL.

18
May
09

MANILA EXPLORED PART 2

This is the continuation of my recent Sunday afternoon date with Manila’s sunshine…

It was almost noon and Mr. Sun was up, when I rode a train; LRT line 2 from a station near our place in Quezon City and found myself in Recto after 25 minutes of, ofcourse, no traffic! …

I like line 2 than line 1 which made me puke, well almost, when I last took that transport 3 months ago and swear I’d avoid it if I could after experiencing it with all other passengers as we’re in a can of sardines because it was so packed; I just hate that day! LRT line 2 is also more spacious than MRT (which runs through the stretch of EDSA from North EDSA in Quezon City to Taft station in Manila). I so appreciate taking LRT line 2 especially during rush hour-traffic and heavy rains…and my last ride was even better.

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A  less than PhP 15 worth ride will take you to Recto station in a flash. And a PhP 7.OO jeepney ride will take you from JP Rizal Avenue formerly known as Avenida along Recto, Manila to my destination this weekend…

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I got off after Manila City Hall and revisited this building after more than two decades…

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Recognize where I was eleven hours ago ?  Any clue where those beautiful pillars belong to ?

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It’s a breather from my usual malling and restaurant hopping or movie watching and arcade time with family.  Not that I got tired from doing those things, I still enjoy them especially with Tina and Gabby but it was so special time to inhale art and culture once again even for few minutes.  It’s just a bit sad that I didn’t go with them for she had to rest for the weekend and my son was preoccupied with, well, practically nothing other than being a four year older.

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I thank the good Lord that despite the traffic, pollution, corruption, politics, prostitution, and hassles of living in a third-world -country, there are STILL A LOT of things to be proud of our country. One is giving importance to its culture, arts and heritage.

Perhaps, blame the recent movie my wife and I watched (Angels and Demons), that showed an overdose of Vatican and Roman arts, Renaissance at that! Or I can attribute this weird unusual but special Sunday “trip” to our ultimate dream of experiencing LOUVRE MUSEUM in Paris one day… (sigh!)

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The next few photos were taken using my mobile phone with only 2 megapixels, the reception asked me to deposit my bag with my digicam and stuffs, and only to get hold of my wallet and cell phone. As you know cameras are prohibited inside this museum, and FORGIVE me for being insistent on taking pictures. I have only the purest intentions of sharing it with my few readers; that somehow, they also may find time to visit and appreciate the Philippine arts and culture.

If there’s only one reason to visit the PAMBANSANG MUSEO NG PILIPINAS, it would be this….

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SPOLIARIVM, JUAN LUNA 1884.  oil on canvas.  422 cm x 767.5 cm

I don’t know with you, but I think every Pinoy, regardless of personal and financial status, should see Juan Luna’s Spoliarium even for once in their lifetime. The Spoliarium is a masterpiece that depicts a scene at the basement of Colesseum in Rome where gladiators fought and died as seen in Luna’s painting, dead bodies of gladiators were dragged by Roman soldiers and on-lookers at its left were hungry to loot the dead men’s helmet and other possessions while an old man holding a lighted candle seen on its right assumed a father figure looking for his child… This scene at the painting remains to be dark but it surely reflects a lion share of our history.

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Spoliarium is located at the Hall of Masters, after the lobby of National Museum…

As sourced from The National Art Gallery of the Philippines :

Hall of Masters

 This room is dedicated to the 19th-century Filipino painters Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo who achieved prominence at the 1884 Madrid Exposition. Luna’s Spoliarium received one of the three gold medals and Hidalgo’s Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho (Christian Virgins Presented to the Populace) received one of the fourteen silver medals.

After being lost for words seeing the Luna’s Spoliarium for only second time since my educational field trip when I was in Elementary, I fell in love with another Juan Luna’s masterpiece…

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PORTRAIT OF A LADY, JUAN LUNA,  undated,  oil on canvas,   82.5cm x 63cm.

Isn’t she lovely ? well, second best to my wife ofcourse, LOL.

After the Hall of Masters, I went to another room called BELOVED LAND and I found these …

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MANUNGGUL JAR, replica.  890-710 B.C.E.

As sourced from this :

The Mannungul Jar was found in the Tabon Cave in Palawan. It was found by Robert Fox and Miguel Santiago. The faces of the figures and on the prow of the boat have eyes and mouth rendered in the same style as other artifacts of Southeast Asia of that period. Note the depiction of sea-waves on the lid. This style of decoration places this jar in the Sa-huýnh-Kalanay Pottery tradition of Southern Vietnam.

The steersman’s oar is missing its paddle, as is the mast in the center of the boat, against which the steersman would have braced his feet.This symbolizes that they are traveling to the next life.

Then I appreciated these sculpture on the same room…

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TAU- TAO,  BAGOBO MYTHOLOGY.

Another room was devoted to our religion, it’s labeled as VESSEL OF FAITH…

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A relic of STO NIñO (L) and a RETABLO (a board behind an altar) of DIMIAO CHURCH, BOHOL.

Just when you had an overdose of arts and culture, another floor is devoted in keeping flora and fauna. Since I am not with my family, and just appreciating the museum with a couple of  foreigners from Australia, and another Pinoy family of which the dad appeared to be a professor in a university or something, I didn’t explored much the other rooms and floors, and settled after seing these…

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No, that’s not T-rex folks, but bones or fish spines of  SPERM WHALE (Physeter catodon) retrieved from Torrijos, Marinduque.

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Hmmm, did I already mention that National Museum offers FREE ADMISSION on SUNDAYS

For more details on entrance fees and exhibit schedules click this.

Now I’m more ready to watch Ben Stiller’s movie A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM part 2 that my son Gabby is excited to see. LOL.

Have you been to National Museum or any museum ?

17
May
09

MANILA EXPLORED PART 1

This will be a three-part-or-so- chronicles of my extraordinary Sunday afternoon spent in OLD Manila for few hours…

Late this morning, after reading the Sunday’s broadsheets, I felt terribly bored and wanted to do something outside the comforts of home.  So I told my wife Tina and my son Gabby that I needed to go out for a few hours to spend time with myself.  It was a perfect timing since she, on the otherhand, didn’t like to go somewhere today, for no reason but to rest and enjoy the weekend.  

I think it’s healthy for our own stomach soul if we find time, even once a week, to spend a part of our day alone.  Magmuni-muni ba…  And so I took a train LRT line 2 ride from our place in Quezon City and headed to Recto station.   I just needed to do something as a break from my usual weekday activity, as tomorrow Monday will be a new start of  another work week… I knew I had to, ehem, hmmm.. eat something uncommon from my daily diet. LOL… So I went to Binondo, Manila and finally found the best kuchay dumplings in Yuchengco Street, that’s the first street on the left, after few steps from Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Lorenzo Ruiz  a.k.a.  Binondo Church.  The small comfort food place is known as DONG BEI DUMPLING…  

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Have you tasted any kuchay dumplings ?

Are you familiar with kuchay or CHIVES ?  Here’s how it looks like and its difference from spring onions…

CHIVES / KUCHAY                                                       SPRING ONIONS

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As sourced from Vegetarianism & Vegetarian Nutrition :
Chives have similar properties to other allium vegetables, except that chives are milder, since they have fewer sulfur compounds. While garlic or onions are well documented to possess anticancer, anticlotting, hypolipidemic, antibacterial, antiviral, and decongestant properties, chives could be expected to possess similar, but substantially attenuated, characteristics.

Population studies have shown that a higher intake of allium vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of several types of cancers. The organosulfur compounds they contain inhibit tumor growth and cell proliferation, and arrest the cell cycle in tumor cells. Allium vegetables, including chives, especially have a protective effect against both esophageal and stomach cancer as well as prostate cancer. The highest antioxidant activity in chives is observed in the leaves, which are also rich in flavonoids.

There are no side effects or dangers from the use of chives. However, large quantities may cause stomach irritation.”

And so these are the kuchay dumplings from DONG BEI DUMPLING…The wrappers have that soft chewy consistency and the stuffings were so tasty! sarapppp!!!

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I’ve tasted this kind from other chinese restaurant in a mall before, but IMO, the DONG BEI kuchay dumplings do not have that overpowering-taste, neither it has aftertaste.

Their dumplings are freshly made upon order. The thin dumpling wrappers are of special recipe made from scratch using flour that became dough in a matter of seconds, prepared in front of customers.  The friendly service crew of that small air-conditioned food haven were so accomodating and allowed me to take photos of them while doing my order…

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Here’s DONG BEI DUMPLINGS menu simply posted on one of the walls covering their small kitchen…

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The kutchay dumplings are best when dipped in their soy and chili sauce… I finished a plate of 10 assorted dumplings (5 kuchay, 2 pork, 3 shrimp+kuchay) for PhP 100.  I had another order for my take-away/to-go/take-out/take-home for my wife……   Burp!

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Now I’m confident to say that I’ve tasted one of the best dumplings in Manila. The kuchay dumplings of Dong Bei is really one of the many reasons why a trip to Binondo is really worth it.

17
May
09

CREATION

It’s a good Sunday morning and we haven’t started the day yet, so I’ve checked my Inbox and I got this e-mail that I’m sharing it with you. But before any religious people would react, this isn’t factual ofcourse,  it appeared to me as an ice breaker of hassles of daily living. So if you want to know the ridiculous reasons for our sufferings  life, read on… Happy weekend!

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THE CREATION

On the first day, God created the dog and said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.”

The dog said, “That’s a long time to be barking.. How about ten years, and I’ll give you back the other ten?”

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said, “Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this I’ll give you twenty-years life span.”

The monkey said, “Money tricks for twenty years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back the ten like the Dog did?”

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said, “You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.”

The cow said, “That’s a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give you back the other forty?”

And God agreed.

On the fourth day, God created man and said,”Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy life. For this I’ll give you twenty years.”

But man said, “Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my tewnty,  the forty that the cow gave back, the ten that the monkey gave back, and the ten that the dog gave back; that’s makes eighty OK?”

“Okay.” said God, “You asked for it.”

So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

There’s no need to thank me for this valuable information. I’m doing it as a public service.  *wink*

15
May
09

SINFUL

If being hooked to a restaurant is a mortal sin, then my wife and I are guilty as charged, lol.

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It was only four days since we last dined in this Gateway Mall restaurant and we’re ate there again this afternoon!  Is this an early sign of addiction? lol.

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We had our merienda again this afternoon before watching Angels and Demons at Cafe Adriatico.  After savoring Lola Ising’s Adobo rice, Binondo Pancit Canton on our last visit, we had our quick bites and tried other house specialties before heading to the cinemas.  Because Tina and I were also planning to sip ventis from Starbucks after, we chose to share plates at Cafe Adriatico so we only ordered these …

CHICKEN A LA KIEV,  PhP 330.

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Served with freshly blanched or was it poached ?  crisp veggies, look at those broccolis (which are calcium-rich) with stuffed chicken on top of a creamy mashed potato serving, with the chicken skin, though SINFUL was sooooo delicious that I’m lost for words to describe how it was baked to perfection!  It’s our new alternative to KFC, Max’s, Chicken joy and Mc Chicken. Ang sarap!!!  To add to its guilty pleasure, chicken a la kiev’s stuffings, in case you don’t know are parsley and lots of BUTTER!    So when I got to slice the chicken into half,  the melted butter just overflowed!  Wow!!!  I just drool with anything buttery, lol. 

C’mmon, feast your eyes… mouth-watering huh?

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To clean the palate, we had MANGO JUBILEE, PhP 120

IMG_1237     I swear, we’ll frequent this resto from now on.

15
May
09

ANGELS & DEMONS

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I don’t know with you but although I don’t idolize Dan Brown, I like his books that I’ve read way back 2004.   I have enjoyed the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons in paperbacks long before I’ve watched their movie adaptations. 

With the newly released Angels and Demons movie, to quote Tom Hanks in one of his interviews, is truly “a trip to the renaissance!”

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini's scultpture the Ecstasy of St. Theresa.  REUTERS/Chris Helgren (ITALY ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini's scultpture the Ecstasy of St. Theresa. REUTERS/Chris Helgren (ITALY ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

I have been waiting for this day - the opening of Angels and Demons movie.  It’s the prequel of Da Vinci Code story.  My wife Tina and I were not disappointed when we watched the new collaboration from Tom Hanks, Dan Brown and Director Ron Howard.  We watched it at Gateway Cinema 5 on Dolby Digital surround.  It’s better that I’ve read the book, been familiar with the story that made me more entertained while watching it on screen.  

The story was about alleged “resurfacing” of the secret anti-church society Illuminati, the main reason why Robert Langdon, a symbologist, (which was played again by Tom Hanks to a tee after his movie with the same character in Da Vinci Code)  was flown from Harvard to the Holy City to solve the puzzle behind the Pope’s death and to uncover the plot to annihilate Vatican City using a destructive antimater which was stolen from CERN, a laboratory in Geneva, by members of Illuminati.

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It’s amazing how Hollywood people behind this movie’s production had created a replica of Vatican City and almost Rome’s entirety. 

Armin Mueller-Stahl (L), & Ewan McGregor in a scene from “Angels & Demons.” (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures/Sony, Zade Rosenthal)

 

So will you go see it ?

Have you read Dan Brown books ?

Do you think it’s blasphemous ?

I say they’re only books and movies. 

If you’re faith, regardless of religion, is of a rock, then why worry?

15
May
09

KIDS’ ART PLACE

My wife Tina and I brought our son  Gabby to MegaMall yesterday to have another family bonding day. Gabby chose to spend the  afternoon doing creative art activity here…

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Kiddy’s Arts Town located in most malls in the Metro offers arts and crafts activity that kids can enjoy with their folks (who are kids-at-heart).  It was Gabby’s 2nd time where he enjoys doing rubber art.  One has to select a pattern/s  from the wide variety of choices and color it with liquid rubber paints.  We chose 3 patterns, one for each of us. =)  I tell you, it’s a good de-stressing/relaxation activity for adults too.

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I don’t know but because of swine flu, without a doubt, I’ve preferred a porky pig pattern while Tina’s choice reflected one of her/our favorite fun movies – Pirates of the Caribbean as she had a pirate ship pattern to color, and ofcourse Gabby had a military tank pattern, taking manifestations from his former military grandparents, no! God forbid. 

Each pattern is sold at price range of PhP 140 to PhP 180, inclusive of everything – rubber paints, use of facilities, etc.  Not bad for an afternoon of wholesome family fun! 

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The friendly staff also provided toothpicks, cotton buds, and tissues (but we liked to use baby wipes) to clean up edges as one apply colors to the pattern. It takes few minutes to finish a masterpiece!

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Check out our masterpieces in progress and how Gabby was so involved with the activity.

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After “painting”, one has to give the colored pattern to the staff for her to put it in the microwave oven for few minutes until the rubber paints dry up.  Then the art pieces can be brought home, and be pasted on glass windows or smooth surfaces such as bathroom tiles simply after wetting the back surface with plain water.

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Gabby was so happy with the experience at Kiddy’s Art  Town that he didn’t ask us anymore to bring him to Timezone arcade to play games.

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How we wish he could be the next Amorsolo or Da Vinci, lol but he prefers to be a chef and a golfer as early as now.

15
May
09

ENGRISH FUNNY

It’s around 3 minutes past 2 in the morning and I’m about to doze off when I found myself laughing as if there’s no tomorrow.   Try hard not to drop your jaw laughing, ahihihihi, lol.

I think this one is beyond my mortal powers…

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Prepare for an emotional future…

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Analyze this…

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Just close your eyes and swallow…

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No one is allowed, sorry…

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Go get more dose of laugh here.

15
May
09

DO YOU DIG 168?

The other day, my wife Tina and I went to Ylaya Street in Divisoria where textiles are cheaper than you can imagine, to buy what else but cloths.  We want to update our wardrobes so we bought materials for her uniforms and my blazer which we wear at work.  We’re sending it to our costurera / tailor who usually does our workwear for the longest time.

But just before spotting that immaculate uniform and suit materials, we went first to 168 mall.  Have you been to 168 in Soler Street?  It’s an airconditioned haven of cheap finds and a paradise to hagglers.  Most of the items for sale are from nearby Asian countries where labor, just like here in Pinas, is cheap !  We go to 168 mall usually to buy party needs -from invites, to party hats,  balloons to loot bags and giveaways!  We go to 168 mall and Juan Luna Street in Divisoria for nice finds like towels, socks, handkerchiefs in good quality but of  lesser price.  Onions and garlic and other farm goodies such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and fruits are also sold in the sidewalks of Divisoria.  However, the disadvantages of going to Divisoria are the traffic (so I suggest you commute or take LRT/MRT), the snatchers (no-wearing of anything that sparkles, lol), and the fetid streets ofcourse. Nonetheless, I’ve seen Madame Imelda Marcos herself before at Tutuban mall, and what I’ve seen on news on TV that she also went to 168;   the likes of Tessa Prieto-Valdez too, is a self-confessed  Divisoria shopper.  

Just when Divisoria shoppers are in need of quick bites, there’s a huge foodcourt  in 168 mall, now with commercially known fastfoods (McDonald’s, Jollibee, Greenwich, Chowking, Tokyo Tokyo, Reyes BBQ etc.) other than food stalls that can only be found in that Chinese-populated district.  During our last visit, we dined for few minutes at an uncommon fastfood, not only to experience again 168 food, but primarily to fill in our hyperactive stomachs then, and made sure that we”ll be loaded in time for traffic going home.  

Tina and I shared these Divisoria yummies, lol …

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 Although I have preference for Ferrino’s and Kamayan’s, the bibingka (rice cake) of Aldrino’s in 168 mall is a must-try.  Though it doesn’t have muscovado sugar, instead has the usual refined white sugar, coconut shavings and butter, nevertheless, it has the right melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and slices of salted egg that provides contrast to its sweetness.   

We had two orders of Aldrino’s bibingka at PhP 60 each.

 

 

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See the crowd ?  Despite the long queue for ordering, and the wait to forever before you can have your food, the photo speaks for itself that this stall at the foodcourt of 168 mall sells hotcakes, err, chinese menu that most shoppers crave for. So we also lined up not only to experience what others are having but to have a break from the commonest fastfood food.

CHAMI, PhP  110 (thick delicious noodles! sarap!)            

CRABMEAT SIOMAI, PhP 60.  (loser : too much extender and artificial crab flavor)                                            

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Have you been to Divisoria ?  How’s your experience in shopping there ?

13
May
09

THE GRADUATION SPEAKER

“You really haven’t completed that circle of success unless you have helped someone else to move forward”

Oprah Winfrey attends grad rites of batch 2009 in Duke University, North Carolina  / photo by: Jon Gardiner, Duke Photography

Oprah Winfrey attends grad rites of batch 2009 in Duke University, North Carolina / photo by: Jon Gardiner, Duke Photography

These words were uttered last Sunday, May 10, in front of the 2009 graduating class of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, by no less than their commencement speaker, OPRAH WINFREY!  The queen of daytime talkshow was also given an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree that lead Oprah to joke the crowd after receiving such, that she will have to require everone to address her as “doctor”  from now on…

I don’t know with you, but I envy these graduates!  Wow,  it must have been memorable event having Oprah on their graduation. 

I like her being a philantropist and an advocate of so many positive things more than being a celebrity.
During my own graduation rites -first from a notable university in Manila in 1997,  and the last to date was almost a decade ago from a  medicine school, our speakers then were a political figure and an doctor-achiever turned businessman.  Both delivered mediocre speeches.  For a momentous event such as commencement excercises, where everyone usually has to wait to forever for the speeches to end,  I believe that despite the length of a commencement speech, it should be inspirational if not influential, motivational and moreso, optimistic.  A talk would be greatest if it encourages anyone to do something good.
Here’s an excerpt from Oprah’s speech sourced from here. 
“It’s great to have a nice home. It’s great to have nice homes! It’s great to have a nice home that just escaped the fire in Santa Barbara,” she said. “It’s great to have a private jet. Anyone that tells you that having your own private jet isn’t great is lying to you. You may achieve great things, but you haven’t completed the circle of success until you help someone else move to a higher ground and get to a better place.”
I can’t help but grin when I read this on yahoo news – “Sadly, Oprah didn’t  follow up these remarks with: “You get a plane! And you get a plane! Every! Body! Gets! A! Plane!”   LOL.
Oprah Winfrey, smiles at Duke president Richard Brodhead, after receiving her honorary degree from Duke University (AP Photo/The News and Observer, John Rottet)

Oprah Winfrey, smiles at Duke president Richard Brodhead, after receiving her honorary degree from Duke University (AP Photo/The News and Observer, John Rottet)

“I am who I am because I trust my gut more than anyone else’s opinion, that is my best advice to you — Trust your gut. You know what is right and what is wrong. Trust your gut and stand in your own shoes and you will be a huge success”

If you can find a way to give back, you will be a huge success…
“If you can summon courage in the face of hardships, I know for sure that you will be a huge success…
“If you can see the possibilities of what you can become and not just what you are, you will be a huge success…
“If you can go through life with humility, you will be a huge success…
“If you can stand in your own shoes, you will be a huge success…
“If you can be generous enough to say kind, affirming words to those that long to hear them, you will be a huge success.”
                -
Oprah Winfrey.

 

 

13
May
09

BATANG BATIBOT

I’ll always be a Pinoy kid at heart. =)

If you’re a Pinoy child of the 80s like me,  and now in the early 30s age bracket,  chances are,  your wonder years included anticipation to watch educational TV show like BATIBOT.

Did you grow up with BATIBOT too ?

 

My 4-year-old son Gabby is presently enjoying his summer vacation from his preschool (he just finished Nursery), spending half of his day watching cartoons on cable TV.  As parents, I and my wife Tina would want something educational and entertaining-kid-friendly shows for him to watch.  Sometimes he preferred cartoons that we find too harsh for children as most of them have violence and other inappropriate contents.  He’s fond of watching Nickelodeon, Disney channel, Cartoon network and shows like Spongebob Squarepants,  Tom and Jerry, Mr. Bean,  Ben10, Monster Allergy and the list goes on… But he’s not stubborn neither headstrong and would easily listen and obey us whenever we asked him not follow shows ill-suited for him.

I think watching educational show like BATIBOT before contributed something to what we are today.  I don’t discount SESAME STREET and other foreign kiddie-TV-shows that also helped us grew better persons, but I also want my kid to have a sense of being Pinoy as young as he is.

I wish I can find dvds of BATIBOT for Gabby to enjoy and be familiar with Pong Pagong, Kiko Matsing, Kuya Bodjie, Ate Siena, Manang Bola, Ging-ging and Ning-ning, and songs from the show like “Alin, alin, alin ang naiba?”, “Ako ang kapit-bahay…” and the theme song ofcourse that used to open the show…  Otherwise, we’ll just watch together some BATIBOT clips on youtube. 

Don’t you miss BATIBOT ?

Who’s your favorite BATIBOT character/s ?

11
May
09

CAFE ADRIATICO = SARAP!

Apparently I am not content with our celebratory lunch date for mother’s day yesterday because the restaurant my wife and I chose was far from being impressive.  Totally wrong decision!  So I made an effort to convince her for us to try Cafe Adriatico in Gateway mall, Araneta Center this afternoon, to compensate for the bad experience we had yesterday.  This time, it was a sure winner!

Good thing we dined there to have our late merienda/early dinner on a Monday when it wasn’t packed.  We got to enjoy the ambiance and food before we went shopping for our weekly needs to a nearby grocery.

From the wide choices in the menu, to the interiors, to the VERY FRIENDLY and EFFICIENT SERVICE, I highly commend Cafe Adriatico, Gateway!  The wait-staff was courteous and attentive; everyone was smiling at us! Nice!

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It’s interiors from floor to ceiling is arresting!  The tables and chairs are so simple yet very comfortable.

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Freebies :  fish crackers                                           Fresh mango juice, PhP 75;   Iced tea PhP 55.

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Gabby had this PAN DE SAL with KESONG PUTI and butter, served with TSOKOLATE  E,  PhP 135.  The pair of pan de sal had its distinct taste, the kesong puti serving was ample, and the cup of hot chocolate with peanut buttery taste was a unique Pinoy alternative to coffee.

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Then I was excited to try Cafe Adriatico’s Lola Ising’s ADOBO  or Adobo rice as it’s called by Ms. CZVS of her widely-read blog where I discovered that this food place is amazing.  But she dines at its original Malate branch.  As I’ve stated, the ADOBO here is served at its best. Being the commonest Filipino dish, I guess it’s hard to serve it with a twist or at least to make it spunky but Cafe Adriatico was successful in doing so. Their adobo recipe is a must-try!  Spareribs were tenderized and served in a soyed rice with achara as side dish.

LOLA ISING’S ADOBO, PhP 330.

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Tina wanted to eat noodles so she ordered pancit canton. It was again served with distinct TSINOY (Chinese-Pinoy/Filipino) taste.  While we’re savoring its taste, we wondered what ingredients were used for it to be that delicious. It’s another usual favorite yet it can impose as another gastronomic stimulant.

LOLO’s CANTON BINONDO, PhP 215.

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As we know our son’s preference for something sweet, Tina ordered LECHE FLAN for Gabby.  When I tasted it myself,  the flan didn’t appear to my palate as the usual egg yolk-milk-and-sugar, but it had a twist of having a lemony taste.  Sarap!  

Leche Flan, PhP 68.

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Cafe Adriatico Gateway also serves breakfast as early as 7AM, I’m excited to try it and as well as the other entrees.

Burp!

——————-

Cafe Adriatico-Gateway

G/F Gateway Mall, Araneta Center

Quezon City.

*Prices inclusive of 12% VAT but exclusive of 10% service charge.

11
May
09

UNHOLY COW CHOPHOUSE

I am always PUNCTUAL because I VALUE TIME. So it really upsets me when something or someone’s LATE!

After my son Gabby and I gave my wife Tina roses and personally-made greeting card for mother’s day, the three of us went to TriNoma mall to eat lunch.  Since we wanted to eat in a restaurant that we haven’t tried before, two food places were considered and both of them were steak houses.  To be honest, Tina and I even surfed the www and the blogosphere to read reviews and menus before we finalized everything.  And we were so wrong to give benefit of the doubt to those bad reviews and comments about this particular resto. In short, we were misguided by our own insights.  Can you blame us?  Anyhow, here’s my two cents worth of views and personal opinion.  It’s up to you then to believe it or not.

We rode the lift to the fourth level of TriNoma where the upscale restos with al fresco dining (that includes one of our all-time favorite TGI Fridays--and I regret not dining there for a special occasion such as mom’s day) are located but and decided to eat here …

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The exteriors of Holy Cow Chophouse was truly inviting.  As we saw the place at around half hour past noon, it was so packed with hungry celebrators and their families and friends, we were somehow convinced that it’s OK for us to give it a try and just forget the not-so-good comments in  MUNCH PUNCH (the site I frequent for menus and reviews of local restaurants).  So while we’re on queue, we forgot the clock was ticking because we’re busy checking their menu and I was taking pictures of my family while they’re seated on a custom-made, what else but cow, in the waiting area, which I found so cute…

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As you can see from those photos above, Tina and Gabby had the sincerest smiles, proof that we really gave the restaurant a chance to prove its worth, however these were taken before we knew the truth behind those reviews from other blogs.

I agree with the other commenters on MUNCH PUNCH that the bar at the center of the resto made it too small. The traffic of diners and service crew was going nuts because of that bar!  Plus how do these cow heads appeal to you? There were three of its kind on one of the walls of Holy Cow. Do you like seeing them while eating your favorite steak?  Just asking.

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Since I was busy taking the photos, and we’re still OPTIMISTIC with this place, we disregarded the 25-minutes of waiting on that cute cow couch as we’re ushered to our seats.  They were wonderful bulky leather seats, really comfortable.

IMG_1059   IMG_1057 Still smiling ‘no?

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And what killed our time for a while other than capturing the moment, was a lady from TriNoma Ayala Malls who approached every moms per table to give these paper bags of freebies. It has Hersheys Kisses chocolates and a feminine douche POMELO scent! That’s sweetness from Ayala malls management.  My wife was delighted!

But DESPITE THE CHARMING EXTERIORS and the freebies from TriNoma /Ayala malls, IT HAS BEEN EXACTLY 45 MINUTES SINCE I TOLD THE WAITER OUR ORDERS and I’m having hyperactive bowel sounds because of hunger! That was few minutes to 2PM.  Yes,  the single-serving glass of  iced tea landed our table at around 20 minutes since we sat there, but the entrees were still out of sight and I was starting to believe the testimonials of the previous diners posted on other blogs.  IT FELT LIKE WE HAD THESE FOODS ON OUR TABLE AFTER WAITING FOR A LIFETIME!  Tina and I noticed that we were NOT ALONE WAITING TO FOREVER for our plates but most of the diners there experienced the same.  One mother who was with her teenage daughter even stood up from her seat to notify the unmindful staff that their food hasn’t been served yet!  We heard clamor from other tables of the same complaint.

And to top it all, all the staffs were CHAOTIC in getting orders and serving plates to other tables. All of them WERE  NOISY, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE! How can you enjoy your meal with such inappropriate behavior? 

We made a follow up for our food twice, and they were only served nearly an hour after we first sat at those pretty black seats.

Nevertheless, here are the photos of those plates, which seemed to be OK but far from being special.

SOY HONEY GLAZED MAHI MAHI, PhP 280 .                GIANT PORK CHOP, 12oz, PhP 420.

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The fish and its side dishes were just typical.   The pork chops were not tender! And the price was as if we bought 2 kilos of  swine meat! I don’t know how much longer (than 45 min) it should have  stayed in the grillery for it to be perfectly bite-worthy.  The mashed potato, according to Tina, wasn’t tasty either. It lacked the buttery creamy taste of its kind.  Why Holy Cow? Why ? Haven’t you heard the cliche, “First impressions last”?

It was good thing though, that we ordered Gabby his own meal. It came LATE with a toy in a box that would remind us of our first dining experience with them, lol.

CORNFLAKE CHICKEN TOTS, served with kid’s iced tea and a scoop of vanilla ice cream plus the toy-mascot, PhP 350.

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ALL OF OUR PLATES WERE SERVED LATE!  THEY WERE NEVER WARM OR HOT FROM THE GRILL!  FAR FROM BEING TENDER. What almost saved their day was the chicken fingers and fries which were a little bit nice. 

I also wanted to note that COURTESY BEFORE and AFTER receiving guest/diners WASN’T OBSERVED! NOBODY GREETED US “Good Afternoon”  or said “Welcome”  or whatever… and as we walked out of the place SILENTLY AS IF EVERYTHING WENT FINE,  NO ONE BID US “Goodbye” or “See us again..”  “Thank you for coming..” -NOTHING !!!

I guess the ENTIRE STAFF and CREW of Holy Cow TriNoma WERE NOT TRAINED to WORK UNDER PRESSURE. The mere fact that there was an occasion – Mother’s day, they should have done EXTRA MILE on THEIR SERVICE to make each diner’s experience SPECIAL!

I’m so proud I am learning to control my temper now.

All I remember was the bill when asked from the staff was IMMEDIATELY, PROMPTLY, URGENTLY handed into my table for me to settle.  Need I say more ?

——————-

The Chophouse Holy Cow Bar and Cafe

Level 4 TriNoma Mall EDSA cor North Avenue, PAG-ASA,

Quezon City. Tel # (63-2) 919 – 6299.

*All prices noted are subject to changes and VAT plus SERVICE CHARGE !

10
May
09

SWEETNESS

A day before Mom’s day, I and my 4-y/o son Gabby collaborated to do a personally-made card for my wife, Tina.  For the plan to be a little secret, we did everything while she was sleeping.  I copy-paste  pictures of her with our son Gabby since she delivered to present and had it printed on a photo-paper in A4 size.  Then at its back, I glued a paper with Gabby’s message for his mom which he wrote in crayons guided by, ehem, me ofcourse. 

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Then to further the sweetness, I made an effort to wake up this morning at 4:20AM, headed straight to Dangwa in Manila where fresh cut flowers are delivered from various farms and bought bouquet of red roses.  Few minutes after I came home, Gabby surprised his mom with our simple presents to her.

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Tina was teary-eyed when she woke up with this sight. Then our kisses made it all complete!

We went to a mall to have lunch which I’ll post soon.

Happy mother’s day to my wife and to all moms in the world wide web whole world!

09
May
09

LOVING U IS LIKE FOOD 2 MY SOUL

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It’s that time of the year again that we honor MOMS.  And admittedly, I haven’t been a good son to my own, I do have my shortcomings, but nevertheless, I am and will be forever grateful to her and will continue to try my very best to live up to her expectations.  Ofcourse, all moms know best.  I digress -  with regards to the mother of  my only son, a.k.a.  my one and only wife, lol, this one’s for you. 

I hope she reads this (because she has interests other than the blogosphere).

Let me show you the proofs of  the TWO BEST GIFTS  my wife has given me to date :

001  42232  

20   26    

 42373   14 

5

Apparently, my lovely wife  gave me two important gifts so far, her “I DO” when we got married and ofcourse, when she had our son for 39 weeks and a day in her uterus.  And as you know, her being my son’s mom doesn’t stop there, for being a mother is a life-long job that she and any other moms are committed  24/7, forever and ever, amen!  

To my wife, Cristina, I thank you  for these reasons :

for mothering our four-year-old son Gabby, setting a good example to him as a God-fearing person.

for enjoying the life of a parent with me while raising Gabby.

for having a mind of her own. She may not know this but I’m so proud of her for being who she is, and her simple accomplishments as an Operating Room nurse, as a silent educator producing globally competitive Pinoy nurses.  As she already completed her requirement as a US-RN, we’re just presently praying for VISA-blessings! 

for being my BFF  best friend for life, my partner through thick and thin literally and figuratively.

for dreaming the same dreams with me.  we both hope to work abroad, earn and save more and travel the globe!

for sharing good laughs and few cries.

for bearing with my erratic mood swings (she and few of my friends and family are the only people who know how to tolerate me). 

for  being my personal nurse in sickness and in health.

for entrusting me our domestic budget and for allowing me to handle our finances (yes folks, it’s uncommon I know, but she prefers it that way and i love it, lol).

for being my best critic at all times.

for understanding that I, too, am not perfect and neither omnipotent.  I may have so many flaws as a son,  as the eldest sibling to my 3 brothers, as a husband to her, but the good Lord knows that I am trying to be the best dad and provider to our son Gabby.

for being with me during good times and bad.

for accepting my apologies everytime we have lovers’ quarrel  LQs.

I just want you to know that you’re so blessed to have me as your hubby am so blessed to have you as my wife! Happy Moms’ Day! I and GABBY LOVE YOU SO MUCH  ‘NEY!

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To all moms reading this post, and frequenting this blog, THANK YOU and CARRY ON!

Cheers to you!  I just wish I can sing this to you, but I can’t, lol.

You taught me everything
And everything youve given me
I always keep it inside
Youre the driving force in my life, yeah
There isnt anything
Or anyone I can be
And it just wouldnt feel right
If I didnt have you by my side
You were there for me to love and care for me
When skies were grey
Whenever I was down
You were always there to comfort me
And no one else can be what you have been to me
Youll always be you always will be the girl
In my life for all times

Chorus:
Mama, mama you know I love you
Oh you know I love you
Mama, mama youre the queen of my heart
Your love is like
Tears from the stars
Mama, I just want you to know
Lovin you is like food to my soul
Youre always down for me
Have always been around for me even when I was bad
You showed me right from my wrong
Yes you did
And you took up for me
When everyone was downin me
You always did understand
You gave me strength to go on
There was so many times
Looking back when I was so afraid
And then you come to me
And say to me I can face anything
And no one else can do
What you have done for me
Youll always be
You will always be the girl in my life

- BOYZ II MEN,  A SONG FOR MAMA.

06
May
09

PALENGKE

I’m off from work today and Gabby has been enjoying his cartoon-all-day-pre-school vacation, so we thought of fetching Tina from her work.  Her duty from O.R. ends at 2PM and since probably we’re looking for an alternative place other than going to the malls, coffee shops and restaurants, we decided to drop by a market in Quezon City which is a stone-throw away from (my former and) Tina’s workplace.

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Before hitting the famous market, it’s common along these streets to see locally made handicrafts, decors and furnitures inside and out of Dapitan Arcade. Even its sidewalks had these spread…

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Then few steps from Dapitan Arcade is this …

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Where  wrought-iron furnitures and tiffany chairs and ceramic and stonewares that I’m sure anyone can haggle for a cheaper price than somewhere else are all for sale…

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Ofcourse you know we went there not for these wonderful buys but certainly for something to satisfy our gastronomic cravings, lol.

Do you like kakanin  (rice cakes) ?

 

Puto,  Kutsinta  or  dimsum (kikiam and siomai) perhaps ?

 

What about jap rolls like california maki with some wasabi ?

 

These are sold in SUKI MARKET for very affordable prices.  The rice cakes are up for grab for only PhP 40 – 60 while  California maki and other jap rolls can be bought for price range of PhP 80 to PhP 350 (biggest bilao).  We bought and took home the medium sized bilao of these rolls (PhP 200) along with other nice-for-bites…

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It would take probably two or more snack sessions before we finished all of these. We shared some to our household. =)

Have you been to Suki Market ?

05
May
09

SUPER BOWL of CHINA

img_09652This is another Chinese restaurant that we frequent in malls.  They serve nice oriental dishes crisp and fast.  After eating at most of their branches for several times(we already tried Megamall in Ortigas, Promenade in Greenhills, Glorietta, Greenbelt (Big Buddha) in Makati, Trinoma, Eastwood in Quezon City)  Tina, Gabby and I already singled out their branch in Gateway Mall is the friendliest, especially the lady manager (on the chubby-side, sorry, can’t recall her name yet after dining there countless times) she who always take note if our orders were all given promptly and if the food tastes OK… Other than taste of dishes, service counts a lot.  My personal disappointment is only with their price, it became a little steeper than usual.  I can tell because there was a time last year that we ate at SBC, Gateway Mall almost once-to-twice a month. (I don’t know, there might have been drugs on the food that why we’re kind of addicted to it before -kidding on the drugs!)  Take it as one of the effects of global financial crisis?  huh? 

Nevertheless, resistance is futile, especially when one of our friends was craving for chinese, lol.

Last Friday, May 01, when most people were enjoying the holiday/Labor day at the beach or somewhere else, Tina, I and Gabby went to Trinoma Mall after checking out from our bed and breakfast stay at  Manila Pavilion to watch X-men Origins : Wolverine with two of our best friends.  At around past 4PM we bought tickets for 6:10PM screening then headed to SBC for an early dinner.  These are few of our favorites …

My son and I always like their freebie : a wooden bowl of PRAWN CRACKERS (refillable too!)

We had SEAFOOD BEANCURD SOUP, PhP 95 per order but I failed click my cam on those two bowls.

DIMSUM COMBINATION PLATTER , PhP 255    SUPER BOWL LEMON CHICKEN, PhP 250. img_09711  img_09761

YANG CHOW FRIED RICE, PhP 195.     DEEP FRIED CUTTLEFISH with SPICY SALT, PhP 280.

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And for desserts :   MANGO SAGO, PhP 80  and CRISPY BANANA BALLS, PhP 80.

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And Lipton Lemon/Red Iced Teas/Lemonade, bottomless, PhP 75.

Burp!

———————-

Super Bowl of China, Trinoma

Unit 1135 Activity Center

Corner North EDSA, TriNoma

Tel No : (63-2) 916-6891.

For more details, click this.

05
May
09

WHY MARTIN?

Nagtatanong lang po : BAKIT GINAWANG POP ANG NATIONAL ANTHEM SA LABANG PACQUIAO-HATTON?   Why Martin, why?  Amidst the anticipated victory of  the Filipino Champ Manny Pacquiao against the brit boxer Ricky Hatton, a triumph that we’re all proud of,  a lot of  Pinoy commenters on papers and on-line gave their strong views regarding the issue.   According to :

“Republic Act No. 8491 Section 37 : The rendition of the National Anthem, whether played or sung, shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.”

Iyon naman po pala e!  There is really a reason behind the outrage of concerned Pinoys.

Here are my views :

1. It sounded like an old song being revived by a pop/ballad singer.  It should have been sung the way it was composed, according to the law and never rearranged or modified. I think there’s DISRESPECT more than violation of the law. 

2. I think Martin should have less facial expressions while singing it, he looked like he’s singing in his own concert or in ASAP ’09.  He appeared as having TENESMUS (medical term for urgency /difficulty of defecation) or somewhat like having constipation.  I mean, to be honest, I may not be his biggest fan but I’m ENTERTAINED with his performance but this… it’s the LUPANG HINIRANG ,  Martin, it’s far from your  “Be My Lady.”

3. He should have looked more dapper if he proudly wore a BARONG TAGALOG which I think is more appropriate than a Francis M shirt under his jacket.  I have nothing against Francis M, in fact, I like him and some of his views of nationalism and would gladly wear his shirt/s one of these days, but still in a HUGE event viewed by millions such as that bout, Mr. Nievera could have been more considerate and cautious with his appearance and his entire act.

4. I agree with the many that Martin should have a public apology and should not wait for anyone to file a formal complaint against him. It may be petty thing for some, but it might be a bad precedent to others not only singers.  Kids might be mixed up with the so-many renditions of the anthem.

5. This should be an eye opener for every Filipino that RESPECT & LOVE of COUNTRY should be given utmost importance at all times. It’s the least we can do to elevate our “third-world-one-of-the-most-corrupt” national condition.

6. And for the singers, entertainers, or artists as they would most likely to be called, we looked up to you especially if you become inspirational with all of your achievements, but please, kindly bear with your status.  ‘Ika nga ni spiderman, “with power comes great responsibility”.  It’s the responsibility of all artists to memorize all their acts, lines (attention : singer Christian Bautista who sang the National Anthem in a local boxing bout and forgot a few lines), because you’re being watched by millions, and your acts are always magnified.   

7. The way Tom Jones and Jasmine sang the other National Anthems sounded like Hatton is already a winner before the fight.

8. Other than Martin’s facial expression, the flag-earpiece, man, was so distracting!   Why?

9. Bring in LEA SALONGA to the ring on the soonest Pacquiao fight before he retires from boxing and concentrate on, ugh, politics!

10. I wonder how ELY BUENDIA  and the Eraserheads will do the Lupang Hinirang. Don’t you wish?

04
May
09

CARROTS, EGGS, COFFEE

If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I don’t actually read forwarded emails except if they’re sent by closest family or friends or messages that are really worth my time.  Now here’s another interesting email found on my inbox.  This was shared to me by one of our nurse-reviewees (thanks, Anjelly!).  I tell you, after reading this, you’ll never look at these 3 staples the same way again.                       

                    

“A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked. “What’s the point, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?”

03
May
09

KUSANG-LOOB

I’m all for anything PINOY especially if it champions OPTIMISM or anything POSITIVE like having INITIATIVE, ENTHUSIASM, DETERMINATION, EXCELLENCE, PERSEVERANCE, HOPE…  

Just like this new organization AKOMISMO  which I think is very apolitical (I hope) UNLIKE those TV campaign ads of presidentiables…  The message is so clear and apparent : it calls for personal commitment to do something good for our own.  And if you’re true blooded RESPONSIBLE  PINOY, this should sink into your deepest neurons

Wataryuweytingpor?  Click the TVC and see for yourself…

I  proudly joined  AKOMISMO and had my personal PLEDGE to do something GOOD.  It’s for a worthy cause.

Spread the word and join the crusade.

Plus the dog tags are really nice!  eyeWANT!

g

03
May
09

VICTORIOUS

And Manny did it again!  After leading Oscar dela Hoya to his retirement from boxing, Pacquiao continuously rules the ring!  He’s just too much for Ricky Hatton nailing the brit boxer on the second round.  Hatton just fell flat after receiving a big blow to his jaw that  jarred him completely.

(Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

One thing that I admire with Pacquiao: he really inspires people (including myself) that  focus and efforts in preparation to any endeavor will definitely yield success.  He really exceeds himself in every training.  The man is always determined to win!  

Nike, no less, had him as endorser with the slogan, “TRAIN TO WIN!”  Boxing champions also believe in his might.  Hollywood celebrities like Mario Lopez and Mark Wahlberg are now Pacman fanatics! With these fame and seemingly endless success,  I just wish that Manny will keep his feet on the ground, be prayerful at all times, and may divine intervention convert his political views!      

    

(AP Photos : Rick Bowmer)

 

 
Isn’t that sweet ?                                           Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson attended the fight     
(Photos by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

BTW, Are you in favor of Manny Pacquiao’s political aspiration ? 

——————

docgelo’s Medical Dose :  A boxer or anyone who was mauled or injured may suffer CONTUSION and/or CONCUSSION, or worse, FRACTURE.

CONTUSION : any injury in which the integrity of the skin remains intact but with a bruise or hematoma.

CONTRECOUP CONTUSION : one resulting from a blow on one side of the head with damage to the cerebral hemisphere on the opposite side by transmitted force.

CONCUSSION : occurs when the head hits or is hit by an object.  It can also occur when the brain is pushed against the skull with a strong force ; this may lead to disorientation, confusion or transient loss of consciousness. 

FRACTURE : any break in the bone tissue.

02
May
09

BREAKFAST @ SEASONS

Since I did not to set any great expectations to our bed and breakfast stay at Manila Pavilion on the last day of April, there were no disappointments; I was content with everything from service to facilities and most especially with our first meal of the day before checking out.

img_0839img_08242223

Seasons is one of the restaurants in Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino located at the far left end of the lobby.  The interiors wasn’t grand but impressive, the staffs were discreet but attentive.  There were few open-cooking stations at Seasons, but food was nearly- impeccable, enough to jumpstart your day.  I can’t say anything bad.  We were just happy with it.

24

And so these were our gluttonous  plates …

27  251 

30  26

689  36

Of all the plates I had from Seasons, nothing beats the freshest fruits in the morning… 

28  311 

There were no mangoes and dragonfruit but lots of watermelons, papaya, pomelo, and pineapples…

These vitamin and fiber-rich fruits came from this spread…

33  34

I’m amazed with our son Gabby that he was not surprised seeing different colors of people dining with us.  We left him most of the time at our table when Tina and I went to look around for few more bites…

37  38

These were the spread at the few but distinct stations of Seasons Breakfast buffet…

Bread, anyone ? From French toast, pancakes, waffles to hot crepes and omellets cook-on-the-spot…

39  40

Cereals and milk or pastries,  perhaps ?

412  42

What about congee and other oriental hot yummies ?

43  44

I don’t know about you, but I like sardines (L) alone, or with bread or rice, anytime of the day!

46  45

47  48

Care for chicken liver pate or strawberry jam or marmalade perhaps to your bread? 

What about some green salad, your choice of dressing…

49  50

Daing na bangus (L) (dried milkfish).  Surprisingly, these japanese rolls (R) were gone after few minutes…

51   52

And now Seasons’ breakfast entrees need no more labeling…

53   54

55   56

57   58

That was an overload!   Juice or Coffee ?  Burp!

221   321

Dining is such a good family bonding experience, isn’t it?

img_0870img_0859img_0860img_0874

And a wonderful productive day always starts with a happiest morning…

 

——————–

for details of Seasons and Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino, click this .

Thanks again Filipino Registered Nurses Advocates Foundation, for that memorable prize!

More power!




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