Friday, September 29, 2006


somehow because
if it is
therefore it be
whatever whenever
the either of neither
believe the all
to be then of course
if when the now
it shall there
which true or false
of life ...

( ... how deep , isn't it ?)

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I was already working after college when I first tasted Japanese food. We were in Japantown, in San Francisco - in a restaurant that had wooden boats floating on a water conveyer with different Japanese food dishes in them. One simply picked out his choice and was charged accordingly. My “buddies” started me off with a salmon sashimi. But I was instructed to “acclimatize” myself to Japanese food first by eating the "ball of green stuff" that came with the dish – a sort of aperitif. Not knowing any better, I gamely put the whole green ball in my mouth. The rest is history...

I was the laughing stock of the whole restaurant as I reeled, jumped, ran and shouted my own balls off. Coughing, choking, teary eyed and totally shocked ... I begged my “buddies” for mercy and asked them to forgive me for all the practical jokes I had ever played on them.

I learned two things.
Wasabi is not joke ...
The world is indeed round ... weder weder lang talaga

Ohhhh ... and I learned to love Japanese food. Sabi nga nila- kung saan ka nasaktan yun pa talaga ang mamahalin mo.

Just a flashback - as I sat waiting for my meal at the swank Tsumura Sushi Bar and Restaurant. I was in the new location of an old sushi haunt of mine.

Sushi Tsumura formerly located in Pasay Road is now in Salcedo Village. Its interiors are very modernly “calming"... after all, they were done by designer Ed Calma. There is a cozy sushi bar, an open dining area and private function rooms. The place can seat about 160 persons.

Tsumura is operated by the same group that runs Kuretake in Rockwell Mall. It is named after resident sushi chef Masamichi Tsumura who has created a traditional Japanese menu – no compromise fusion types here. You can sense the food authenticity because of the significant numbers of Japanese themselves who flock to eat here.

The downside is ... it’s really not “tsu-mura” ...
It’s actually “tsu-expensive”.
My bill for a dinner for two was a little over 4000pesos. Of course we ate a lot , but still...
If you want to splurge there’s 180g. of Wagyu Beef for 4250pesos, an assorted sashimi platter for 2 at 1600pesos or you might want a pricey Kubota Manjyu bottle of sake at 16,500pesos. Yikes ...

What would we do without corporate accounts against which we can charge these things ?
Hmmmmm ...
10pm dinner for me and one sexy lady
- charge to marketing representation (product presentation)
- will continue to represent the corporation over drinks at a bar down the street... (and later ... maybe even crispy pata)

... bosing, kailangan ko ng O.R. pls.

Tsumura Sushi Bar and Restaurant
2/F 88 Corporate Plaza,
Sedeno corner Valero Streets, Salcedo Village
(632) 887-4848 to 50

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thank God for U.P.

RP slips in anti-graft drive -- World Bank
Good governance rank declines in last 8 years
Hooded men knocking down doors and dragging out victims in the dead of night.
Assassins on motorcycles. Killers shooting victims in cold blood, often in close range.
Anguished relatives looking for answers and, most important of all, justice.
Pulse Asia poll says 6% back coup d'etat

There was a 1970’s protest song that asked... “Where have all the flowers gone ...”. It was one among many in that era of youthful protest . I was part of that era ... a participant in the “first quarter storm”. In those days the youth was the pivotal catalyst for change. We were loud, daring and activist by nature.

We grew up playing "turumpo", "tex", "holen", "goma" and "tiradoran"– all games of direct participation. We learned to fight our own battles – knowing that our mistakes would have long term consequences. We were social warriors in the making . We took our future in our own hands.

Today’s youth –my son included – were brought up in the world of virtual reality - Nintendo, Playstation, X-Box, internet gaming etc. Their participation is via remote control. They watch from a distance as their battles are fought by surrogate champions. They have the luxury of replay or reset. They are focused on their own gratification without the penalty of personal consequence.

We allowed them this.
Our own liberalism has backfired...

And so we pay the price.
We have produced a generation that is focused on self rather than on social issues.
The youth are generally distanced and non-participatory in the greatest of battles – the battle for the future of this country.

It has taken foreign organizations like IMF, World Bank, Amnesty International, Greenpeace etc. to bring to the attention of the world the social ills of the Philippines. For much less than what is going on today , my generation would have been out in the streets – generating the awareness, creating the noise, lobbying the influential, boycotting the necessary – being Gandhi. And we would be doing it in great numbers ...

If the educated youth of today do not create the critical mass that is necessary to peacefully effect change, I fear that the uneducated may well take up the fight in the only way they know how ... violence.

So when I saw this broadsheet article the other day, the older me shook my head as I realized that this is what it has come to, but the"youth" in me smiled and said ...
"Thank God for independent thinkers ...
for social consciousness ...
for the courage to dare ...
for the strength to cross the line.
Thank God for U.P."

Titser: Sino si Jose Rizal?
Juan: Di ko po kilala.
Titser: Ikaw Pepe?
Pepe: Di rin po.
Titser (irritated): Di ninyo kilala si Jose Rizal?
Paolo: Ma'm, baka po sa kabilang section siya!

toinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngk - (flying eraser)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fair Play

In my previous post I made kwento about my ChocNut habit. I made some very "male" remarks and even suggested that my "nuts" had over time taken a chocholaty (ummmmm) color perhaps due to too much ChocNut.

My female friends cried foul. Sila din daw kumakain ng tsokoleyt? Bakit daw nakalimutan ko na sila???

Well, the good news is an Italian research group found as early as 2004 that women who eat chocolate regularly do have better sex lives than those who don't.

So my dearest mga chikababes ...
Here in the interest of fair play, political correctness and gender equality is the female version of my Choc "nuts" It tastes similar and given the chocolate content will hopefully contribute to a real orgasm ... so you don't have to fake it again..

Chocolate flavored "mani" - extra large pa !
Wat r u weting 4 - lets c'mon ...
Ingat-ingat lang - same precaution as in males ... baka maging kulay tsokoleyt yung "mani" nyo ... eeewwwwwwwwwww

Chemical Overload

"Viagra works, but chocolate works better"...
So said an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last week.
I read through it - absorbing every word as my eyes swelled with tears.
Could it be?
Yes - scientific evidence shows that chemicals in chocolate stimulate your sex drive to higher than normal levels .
After all these years - here finally was the explanation as to why I am what I am. It is not a "personality disorder" (manyakiszophrenia) that I suffer from. I am after all, just a poor victim of chemical overload ...

You see I am a ChocNut abuser.
I grew up on ChocNut. Hanggang ngayon nangungupit ako ng ChocNut sa reception desk ng Basement Salon everytime I have a haircut. When I buy medicine sa Mercury Drug kasama na ang ChocNut sa nabibili ko . Pati ChocNut ice cream sa Uva Restaurant sa Greenbelt, pinatulan ko na.

Bata pa ako - ChocNutter na ako.
Every time I ate ChocNut it was orgasmic -(di ko pa nga alam nuon kung ano yung orgasm). Ngayon adult na ako , alam ko na - yung asawa ko hanggang ngayon di pa niya alam - kawawa naman ...) But I digress .......

There is an art to eating ChocNut.
You have a choice of breaking it into pieces lengthwise or into small squares.
Madali yung lengthwise kasi may linya - pag small blocks , minsan nadudurog.
Then yung nadurog, you can reshape with your fingers parang "booger" (pero masarap, hindi maalat).
Or pwede din dilaan mo yung foil hanggang mgkandasugat-sugat na yung dila mo.
You can then chew the ChocNut or let it melt in your mouth.

The real high is pag dumidikit yung ChocNut to the roof of your mouth. Then the challenge is how to use your tongue to dislodge it. Parang ahas yung dila mo kung saan-saan sulok nakaka-abot. Even pag ubos na yung ChocNut, the taste lingers in your mouth kasi yung naipit in between your teeth parang timed release ang tunaw for the next hour.

I have eaten so much ChocNut in my life that even my "nuts" are chocolate colored - hence the name ChocNut.

So ladies - if you bump into me and I happen to be eating ChocNut ... remember thats probably my last piece. The lump in my pants aint' ChocNut ....

Can I buy you a drink?

Monday, September 25, 2006


In the early part of this year, a big fuss was generated by a school principal in Canada who castigated a Filipino boy for eating with a spoon and fork. The principal insinuated that eating with both spoon and fork was uncultured as compared to the expectation of eating with a fork and knife.

Much has already been said about the arrogance if not ignorance of this hateful school principal, and I will not add anything more except to say that I would probably have kicked him in the balls and shown him how really uncultured I can be.

I bring this up because as I was musing over this topic, I suddenly froze in my seat ... a wave of warmth building up in my ears. I thought to myself .... “ohhhh no – if they think that a spoon is uncultured ...wait till they find out about the “tabo”.

It has often been said that you know that you are Filipino if you have a tabo in your bathroom. Don’t deny ... you know you have one in each bathroom even if you already have a shower installed. Some of you even pack one when you travel ...

Tabo (Eng. – "dipper") is an all-powerful, ever-useful, hygienically-triumphant device to scoop water out of a bucket. It allows us to take a bath ala buhos-buhos or tabo-tabo , and also to be refreshed after toilet activities ala washy-washy. It addresses the issue of water shortage, and does away with the concern about cutting so many trees to make paper. It is an environmentally friendly concept that is pure Filipino genius.

The beauty about the tabo is that it is a functional concept rather than a specific design. So that it can take any form from coconut shell to the most common plastic dipper with a handle now used by most Pinoys. I have friends who when faced with the challenge of how to “tabo” when abroad – have converted flower vases, pitchers, coffee mugs, soft drink cans, and empty cheeezcurl containers into their “magical tabo”.

The ancient Greeks looked at the stars and saw a Big Dipper and a Small Dipper - constellations that have inspired the imagination of man.

Tabo lang yun ....madaming Pinoy sa langit.
Pati dun nagsi-migrate na - makalayas lang ...

Sunday, September 24, 2006


The child in my aging body continues to giggle whenever I am under the influence of such "literary" masterpieces as Ronnie Santiago's Baltic &Co., Felipe de la Cruz's Ipenuts and the prolific Tonton Young's Pupung. Granted that the majority of my laughs today are sourced from cellphone SMS and e-mail attachments, there is in comics the added thrill of a flashback to times when "komiks" was the only source of networked humor. In the same way that I now instinctively turn the newspaper to the obituaries, I used to in earlier times, turn instinctively to the comics page. As a matter of fact... the comics page was in those times, the only value of newspapers to me.

Gosh... I am growing really old

Anyway, - imagine my surprise when I ran into a restaurant centered on Pupung. I couldn't resist the chance to even just sit there, look at the drawings and think back to when life was much simpler ... and much easier.

The food was not anyting to crow about but hey ... who's looking for gourmet when one just wants a quick meal. The usual quickies are available - pork tocino at 70pesos, lechon kawali at 75pesos, Pupungs original pork sisig at 75pesos, a rib-eye tapa at 125pesos and other Filipino lutong bahay favorites.

If like me, you enjoy an occassional "quickie" ... drop by.

Pupung & Friends
Unit 1128 G/F
Entertainment Bldg.
SM Mall of Asia

Saturday, September 23, 2006

To What You Don't Say

what friends are for

What would I do without friends?
My life has been and continues to be a roller coaster ride.
And I could never reach my ups without the friends who are with me in the downs.

This year has been especially difficult for me. Everything seems to be going wrong. My continued resolve comes from knowing that my real friends will always be around. They are my real wealth ...

It has been said that ...
"Everyone hears what you say.
Friends listen to what you say.
Best friends listen to what you don't say...".
The truth in that has been made exceedingly clear to me of late.

My journey continues.

Wala lang ... nag-e"emote" lang.
And thank you talaga sa inyo.

coz ur my friend..
watever u want..i want.. watever u say..i say..
watever u hate..i hate.. werever u go..i go.. watever u are.. i are..

Ano daw?!

Friday, September 22, 2006


A friend of mine will be buried tomorrow.
Last week, he was shot dead ...
Once in the head, once in the heart – and several other times in the body.

This, in broad daylight, while he was sipping morning coffee in a convenience store in Fort Bonifacio, Global City, the Philippine showcase of urban growth and modern architecture.

Not just.
I think maybe ... even arrogant.
Arrogant enough to think that anyone has a right to take another persons’ life.
Arrogant enough to know that they would not be caught.
Arrogant enough to think that that would be the end of it.

Many theories have surfaced
I, as do many others believe it to be politics ...

The Philippines, once referred to as the “showcase of democracy in Asia” has somehow re-invented (as it has many other things), democracy itself. Democracy in the Philippines has come to mean the elimination of dissent, in order that the powers that prevail may “freely” pursue any and all directions that they wish. The “freedom” to do as one pleases ...
Freedom ... therefore democracy.

A convoluted interpretation from warped minds addicted to the hallucinogenic effect of power...
There is no room in democratic space for such convolution. Democracy is not easy but it should at the very least be clear. It is no longer democracy when the majority rules because the minority died.

Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long,
has been concerned with right or left, instead of with right or wrong.
~Richard Armour~


I had dinner with Zhang Ziyi at the Jumbo Floating restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong. We talked, held hands, and had expensive Cantonese cuisine with wine. She paid the bill ...
I planted a kiss on her cheek, put my arms around her and led her to our room. in a yacht anchored nearby. It was a passionate evening.

Okey okey ... it was just a dream.

The truth is I wasn't with Zhang. I was with my "tiang" ... bisita ko from the province, kasama si "tiong" at ang mga pinsan ko. Heck ... I wasn't even in Hong Kong. I was just by the Manila Bay behind the Folk Arts Theater.

But I was on the Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant. Yan... totoo yan

The Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant is anchored at the Manila Bay Marina and permanently fixed to function as Chinese restaurant and function venue. This massive floating museum was pulled by two tugboats from the Aberdeen Harbour of Hong Kong to rest in the warm waters of the Manila Bay where it sits as a reincarnate of the grand royalty dining venues of the highest society in Hong Kong.

True to its original structure, the Jumbo Kingdom Philippines is a replica of the two floating restaurants that are left in Hong Kong - namely the Jumbo and the Tai Pak Kingdom. The project was initiated in year 2000 by Stanley Ho - but was stopped midstream by all-knowing, better-opinioned Filipino politicians and well-meaning NGO groups. Filipinos are like that - they can't leave well enough alone. Everyone is a suspect for ulterior motivation (Philippine politics 101). Heaven forbid that lack of vigilance would allow one group to excel or progress with out bringing the other along on the money trail ... (haaaaay, ang Pinoy talaga.) No no no - we must bring them down ... attack crabs attack ... (down with everyone except me - makibaka , huwag matakot !!!)

When the dust settled, what we had was a relic of Chinese history - ready to take on its original function.

So the wood was polished, the tables and chairs refurbished, the jade and paintings re-arranged, and the 10,000 bulbs attached. The spectacle begun..

If you are nostalgic about HongKong or if you even just want a good Chinese meal (though not the best) - or if you want to feel like royalty - go catch the food at Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant. I love dinner time because all the lights illuminate the water. It is a little pricey - but like all Chinese offerings there are occasionally some bargains like Crispy Roasted Chicken at 350pesos/whole, Crispy Chinese Pork Leg at 280/whole and Crabs (anyway you like it) at 80peos/kg. A set Dimsum Lunch is available at 160-180pesos per person.

Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Manila Bay beside CCP Complex
City of Manila
832-8888 832-9194

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Heyyyyyy ladies ... if you like it really big, then this one is for you.


Mall of Asia at the reclamation area of Roxas Blvd. has been open since May 2006. It is the Philippines' largest mall, and the 7th largest in the world. It is built on 19.5 hectares of land reclaimed from the sea. It's floor area is a whopping 386,224 square meters. It is so big that they have electric trams/carts going around for patons with "feet fatigue".

Mall of Asia or MOA as it is fondly called, is a 2 story structure composed of 4 buildings linked by walkways -Main Mall, Entertainment Mall, North andSouth Parking Buildings. It has 600 stores, 150 food outlets, and parking for 5000 cars ... o ano, laban ka pa?

Anchor establishments include SM Department Store, SM Hypermart, SM Appliance Center, ACE Hardware, Toy Kingdom, Our Home, Store Specialists, the Dell Call Center, IMAX Super Theater with 3D images projected on a humongous 22x30 meter screen - that's the equivalent of an 8 story building (350pesos a peek). Mango, Zara and all the usual fashion suspects are there. It is a veritable "find anything you want" mall. The back portion of the mall has a wonderful view of the bay - and is a good coffee or wine spot especially during sunset on days with a cool breeze.

For shopaholics - this is where your feet may give up before your wallet does.
Go .... stay for a week !

MOA tram

Boy: knock knock
Girl: hus der?
Boy: Mall of Asia
Girl: Mall of Asia hu?
Boy: Hapi hapi hapi bertdey, sa iyo ang inumin, sa iyo ang pulutan
hapi hapi hapi bertdey, sana'y mabusog mo kami .....
Girl: huh??? nasaan ang Mall of Asia?
Boy: e di nasa Pasay

Mall of Asia
SM Central Business Park I
Island A - Bay City
Pasay City
Contact Info: Phone - (632) 831 3340

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Never Been

images Shhhhhhhh...
I promised you in a previous post that I would tell you where the best crispy pata in town is ...

Well, according to a survey of warm blooded males in Metro Manila... that distinction is conferred upon the crispy pata in Victoria Court. It is available as part of 24hour room service. It has just the right tenderness, super malutong balat and a tangy soy sauce/vinegar “sawsawan.”. A couple of SanMig Lights makes the day (uhmmm or is it the night ?).

Victoria Court is a chain of “family-oriented” drive-in hotels (previously refered to as motels) in Metro Manila. I guess it’s called family-oriented because if you are not careful what you do there– you might end up having a family.

Victoria Court is ISO 9001:2000 certified for service such that you don't have to pay for your room if you waited:

• For more than 15 minutes for a clean room
• For more than 30 minutes for your food
• For more than 10 minutes for your bill


Room rates range from P215.00 - P4,700.00 depending on room type(standard, deluxe, suite, VIP), and length of stay. Upon driving into the m(h)otel property, you can signal the room type to the garage attendant, by flashing anywhere from 1-4 fingers from behind your heavily tinted window as the rest of your “family” slides down her seat and buries her head under the dashboard.

After the attendant has rolled the garage door down, you can climb up the rather steep wooden stairs. There are two doors, one after the other to ensure security. Both have chain locks in addition to standard door locks.

Rooms have standard amenities ' Some include karaoke, Jacuzzi, VCD players, and large screen TVs. Larger suites have playstation units in case you have nothing to do in the room ....

So, if you are looking for a hole-some ... errrrrr, I mean wholesome nocturnal experience, and enjoy (ehem) eating .... uhmmmmmm, drive it in ... awwwwww, I mean drive in to a Victoria Court ** nearest you.

All information on the crispy pata and about Victoria Court has been gathered from friends and other sources who have actually been there. I myself have never been ... (the paper slippers that my wife saw in my bag were a gift from those friends).

Victoria Court
Escarpment Road, Pasig City
For inquiries:
671-9782 Escarpment
671-9786 Suites
671-9789 Canley

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pizza Heaven

I Totally Adore and Love You

I was in a pizza mood.
I am like that every once in a while...

Where to go?
Hmmmm ... blogsearch Anton Diaz and his Awesome Planet. He has rarely failed me in my search for solutions to my hunger pangs. Ok ... search pizza. There you go - Pizzeria Via Montenapoleone !


This moderne Italian cantina is located on Jupiter St. which seems to be undergoing a resurgence as food row Makati. Upon entering, one cannot mistake the upscale canteen ambience... open kitchen, food display counters, and kitchen workers in t-shirts.

The owner is an amiable man named Nuccio. He is from Sicily and talks with a thick Italian accent. He engaged us in conversation about Italy... we talked about food, football and my favorite Italian destination - Capri. He recommended the Spaghetti Via Montenapoleone (house sauce). I shot back ... "how does one refuse a Sicilian?" That got him laughing ... and it got me a complimentary glass of white wine.

And then there was the pizza. We ordered a Pizza Romana - tomato, mozarella, anchovies, olives, capers, oregano and olive oil. I took time to take a picture of their high heat wood fired oven with a sea salt bed. I went back to my table and ... whoaaaah - the pizza was there already. It was almost like sex - 3 minutes or less ... finished na.

Nuccio is so proud of this - he struts around the tables relating the technicals of his oven and why it is possible to produce the pizza so fast. I wasn't listening ... I was digging into chewy, thin crusted delicious, hot pizza . Pizza heaven ...

The evening ended with an interesting espresso con sambuca - again a Nuccio concoction. My obligatory limoncello digestif ... then of course the slurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrpy coffee gelato ...
Calories galore - but well worth it.

Via Montenapoleone is actually the name of a street in Milan, Italy. It is the most important street in Milan's "quadrilatero della moda" (fashion district). It is home to high end fashion labels like Gucci, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo ... etc.

Pizzeria Via Montenapoleone
#38 Jupiter Street
Bo. Bel-Air, Makati
899-6147 (reservations and delivery service)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Of Twins and Bisteca

This weekend, I had dinner with twins. Two wonderful ladies who share the joy of food and wine with the same enthusiasm that I do.

Twins have always held the interest of people. Who can resist the curiosity? Barbie doll look-alikes in youth ... cloned tag-team partners in adulthood. The odds of having twins is about 3% among Caucasians, but unfortunately down to about 1% among Asians. The odds increase with age to as much as 17% for mothers over 45 years old. And ... no, twinning does not necessarily skip generations.

My twin dates were the cutest things when they were babies (according to them...). They were identical-looking and often played "switcheroo" tricks on their teachers and friends. Today, the toll of lives lived in different directions has allowed a difference in look, stride and demeanor that allows easy identification. But a passion for culinary adventure continues to bind and bond them ...

We chose to try out the relatively new Palatofino in Makati. It is a small,cozy, homey, unpretentious haven of Mediterranean dining. It was a warm night. I chose not to stay in the quaint al fresco terrace (where I would have chosen to stay on cooler nights). Instead I picked a nice intimate corner table inside. We were greeted by the gracious proprietor Christina Metelman - an impecabbly dressed, attractively bronzed Filipina. She personally briefed us on the specials of the night, and engaged us in conversation as she led us on a tour of the substantial menu offerings.

Sipping a flavorful German Riesling wine, we started with a "Calamari Fresca" appetizer that is to die for, and "pita bread with Baba Ganouch". My twins had Chicken Orange and Snapper dishes. I was focused on my Bisteca al Florentina wth pasta - a tasty spiced up variant using tender Brazilian beef. Their dessert of Belgian Chocolate Mousse transported me to chocoholic heaven ...


This is a place I could keep going back to.
Good wine, good food, good personalized service ...
Given the great company I was with .... it was a perfect evening.

Ohhhhhhhh, I almost forgot - Palatofino not only delivers but will also allow you to "hire a chef" for home parties !

Do I sound like I love this place?
You betcha' ...

150 Jupiter St. cor Saturn
Call 751-0431

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Our family trio makes it a point to eat out together every Sunday dinner. Last Sunday, we were joined by my kikay sister-in-law... one of the wierdest but most fun buddies one can ever have.

Our tastes and likes for food differ, so I decided to re-visit Cafe Juanita in Pasig, where the menu offers Filipino, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Continental food all under one roof. Besides, I had not been there in a while and really missed this old dependable ...

Cafe Juanita is a wonderfully eclectic cafe that more properly belongs in Malate but is located in the Kapitolyo subdivision of Pasig. It is an old (circa my grandmother... or is it my aunt? ) apartment type of building, that has been gayfully embellished with every kind of decor there is - paintings, mirrors, feathers, ceramic collections, knick knacks, beads, crystals, chandeliers, water fountain, rugs, antiques, art-deco, - stuff - just anything - put together with no apparent rhyme or reason. The effect is surprisingly pleasing if not entertaining.

Surprise ... everything you see is for sale. Just ask for prices. Its like eating in the middle of an elegantly set garage sale ...

Just about anything you order is really good - culinary interpretations of owner Dr. Efren "Boy" Vasquez. Try the crispy phaiphai, kare-kare, spare ribs adobo, and asuhos with crab fat. Or ... your choice of an extensive no borders menu - from sushi, to dimsum, to tom yang, to vietnamese roll, to pasta ... to gosh ... anything.

If you are looking for a nice bohemian dining experience - this is a gem of a place.

While we're on the topic of Pasig ... next time I will tell you about the best crispy pata in town, just a sudden left turn away from the Cafe Juanita area ... ssshhhhhhh

Cafe Juanita
#2 United Street corner West Capitol Street
Brgy Kapitolyo, Pasig

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Be Discipline

"You can fool me once, you can even fool me twice, you can even fool me thrice. But you can never fool me four"
- Melanie Marquez -

I had a lunch meeting at Le Souffle at Fernandos Rockwell Club. This is always a delicious treat as my friend Chef Jessie Sincioco always cooks up a wonderful continental meal.

The meeting was short - more eating than meeting. As it ended ... I got up to start walking towards the building lobby where I would stop as always to enjoy a panoramic view of the Rockwell pool and garden area. As I was both digesting and enjoying the view, an impecably uniformed server sheepishly approached me and said ... "sir, you falling your money..." . Huh? Apparently, a 500peso bill had dropped from my pocket. This honest worker (whom I have to commend) had taken the initiative to return it to me. Good news , bad news ...

The good news is that there continue to be honest people in this country - there is hope. The bad news is English proficiency is dropping to alarming levels.

English is recognized as a global language - a modern era lingua franca. It is an official language of both the European Union and the United Nations as well as most international scientific and athletic organizations. Proficiency in this language is a must to be competetive in todays world particularly in a country like ours that has dreams of becoming a center for global outsource services (call centers, transcription, software development, back room operations etc).

Decades ago, the Philippines was considered a country of proficient English speakers. Even provincial elementary or high school grads could speak English as it was meant to be. It was part of our early edge as opposed to other developing Asian countries. Then fundamentalist nationalistic legislators decided our medium of instruction in schools should be Pilipino rather than English. Today the newspapers are full of the alarm that has been sounded by both local and multinational employers about the poor quality English of graduates of the Philippine educational system.

If we don't wake up - we could lose this battle for the outsource industry to neighboring Asian countries in the same way we lost the battle to become centers of manufacturing and trade.

I opened an e-mail tonight from a college friend of mine that contained a picture attachment that completely makes the case for me - hayyyyyy naku :


Le Souffle at Fernandos
The Rockwell Club
Lobby Floor, Amorsolo Bldg.
Rockwell, Makati

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Heaven There Is No Beer

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
- Benjamin Franklin -

There is a drunkards' ditty that goes ... "in heaven there is no beer , that's why we drink it here..."

Maybe ...
But apparently in paradise, there is beer ... or should I say in Beers Paradise.

Beers Paradise

Beers Paradise is located in the newly cemented Polaris St. in Makati. It can be easily spotted as it has a colorful signboard on what is a one-way street. Ones' curiousity is immediately aroused by the signage tagline - "100 kinds of beers".

As we entered, we were greeted by very friendly waitresses who also became our sources of answers as we started querying them about the beers - many of which we were unfamiliar with. In truth, at this time Beers Paradise has even more than 100 beer brands - including Satan, Lucifer and Judas. The owner is a Belgian who thought of introducing Begian beers to the Filipino beer-drinker. Apparently, Belgium has the most numerous locally brewed beers in the world. All counted, there are more than 1000 types of beers in that small country. The bartender playfully related that "bawa't barangay dun gumagawa ng sariling beer" - to which I playfully responded - "buti pa dun, buong barangay nakikinabang... dito barangay captain lang ang kumikita".

Ever the consumate beerhog ... I couldn't do without "pulutan". The menu is fitting of a restaurant more than a tavern ... appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pates, pastas, entrees, specialities, desserts. Ever conscious of my doctors' advise to eat more seafood and less fat, I chose to benchmark their Lechon Kawali (crunchy), Spicy Squid (very spicy)and Gambas (not great). I took a mental note of the fact that every Wednesday, they have mussels available.

Beers are assigned specific glass or mug styles, so that what you experience are not only different beers but also different glasses. Be prepared to spend a bit as the beer prices are averaged at about 150-250pesos per bottle depending on the brand. After a couple of different beers, I topped my evening with a bottle of Desperados (a beer-tequila) at a pricey 346pesos a bottle.


If you are adventurous enough to spend a few more bucks than usual for your beer - then this paradise is for you.

Beers Paradise Tavern and Restaurant
#36 Polaris St. cor. Durban St.
Bo. Poblacion, Makati
Tel. - 895-9272


"At ds momnt 3.7 milyon peeps r sleeping, 2.3 milyon r foling n lv, 4.1 milyon r eatng bt onli 1 cutie n d hol world s readng ds msg.
Naks! Nkngiti nyan"

Yikes .... ur so baduuuy nman.

But then again, that is the stuff that Philippine textmania is made of. And mania it is ...

The Philippines has been dubbed the "Text Capital of the World" for generating the most number of text messages per day in the world. Our volume in the Philippines represents up to 15% of worldwide SMS (short message service) or text messages sent daily. In the estimation of various surveys, there are about 28-30million cellphones in use in the country today. This generates between 150million to 200million text messages PER DAY.

The Filipino has somehow re-invented and morphed this business tool into a social institution. In the process, we have developed not only a unique brand of humor, but a specific text language with matching (mis)spelling that threatens the already depleted levels of English proficiency that remain in our badly run public school system.

It continues to amaze me how people at the same table for example text each other instead of talk to each other ... they're one seat apart - for heavens sake. One day I expect a priest to text the marriage vows to a couple kneeling in front of him, and blesses them as he awaits the texted response of ... "ys pder, i du :-) " after which the man will send "mwah" to the girl who in turn will text back ".. uhhhmmmmmuuuahhhhhhhhhhh" They will then be man and wife ...

A while back while walking along the peaceful and serene white sands of Boracay, I encountered a lovely lady lying on the beach in front of the Boracay Regency Beach Resort - obviously sunbathing, in the solitude of sun and surf - surrounded by the sounds of nature, away from the urban jungle ... but totally unable to dissociate from the addiction of text ...

Unbelievable .... Addiction? Mania? Sociologic evolution?
Well - If you can't break them ... join them na lang

Plz znd dz 2 20 pipol nd u wl exprienz a mirakl ....

Bili na kyo panty... kpag suot nyo to di kyo mabubuntis
Babae: bigyan mo ako ng 3 nyan
(3 months later, galit c babae)
Babae: Bakit ako nabuntis ????
Intstik: Baka hinubad mo :-)

Boracay Regency Beach Resort
Station 2 - Tel. No. (63) (36) 288-6111

Sunday, September 10, 2006


During my last trip to Bangkok, I watched a show at the famed Calypso Cabaret Theater, rated the best in Thailand . All performers were transexual men known as "katoey" . These "ladyboys" were even prettier than many women I had seen - complete with curvy hips, prominent cleft chins, bouncing breasts, Caucasian noses, highlighted hair, flawless skin, etc. The transexual transformation is a miracle of modern day surgery and an aberration of modern day society.

The current world "gay" demographic is estimated at a high of 11%. Based on an estimated world population of 6.6BILLION ... that means that there could conceivably be 660MILLION gays out there. They are here to stay ... live with it.

Many of my better friends are gay. They are fun. They make very dear friends... but very dangerous enemies. They are a melting pot of talent, fashion, innovation, and wisdom. In the Philippines, they speak an amusingly challenging "swardspeak" - a language derived from "englog" - a form of communication that challenges the limits of imagination .

I cannot help but agreeing ... that if only our president GMA and that wily fella' referred to as Garci had just spoken in "swardspeak" during that infamous telephone conversation... maybe the country would now have less conflict and division.

GMA: Hallooo Gracia!
Garci: Yes mother! Nachukchak ko na po yung mga chuva ek-ek!
GMA: Bonggacious! Eh yung mga tienes-tienes –.carry na ba?
Garci: Winnie Santos mama! Wiz na worry! Eclavou na ever!
GMA: Ang tarush! Babush!

Calypso Cabaret
at the Asia Hotel, Bangkok
296 Phayathai Rd., Bangkok 10400

I'll Drink to That

Even when in other countries , I continue to be fascinated by names. During a recent trip to Frankfurt, Germany - I was taking a leisurely stroll in the touristy pedestrian zone known as Zeil. There, I found a cafe by day, bar-lounge by night, that immediately made me homesick because it led me to thinking about the Philippines and some of its more prominent politicians ...

The food? Well ... I was really hungry. Besides, give me a vodka on the rocks, and everything to me is good. Just for price comparison - an order of spaghetti bolognese is 6,20Euros (about 400pesos), a gambas al ajilo is 7,50Euros (about 500pesos), a Heineken beer is 3.00Euros (about 198pesos), a vodka on the rocks is 6,00Euros (about 390pesos).

A toast to Philippine politics ... yup, I'll drink to that.

If you are in the area, its worth a visit.
Gagos Bar Lounge
112-114/Eb.7 , Franfurt, Germany

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fat Chance

I was in Makati Medical Center last week. I joined a friend as his doctor lectured him on the merits of keeping his cholesterol levels under control. As in anything in life, so with cholesterol - you need more of the "good" (cholesterol) and less of the "bad" (cholesterol). Yearly monitoring of cholesterol levels, exercise, no smoking and a compliant diet would be a good investment in one's future health. My friend and I nodded our heads in enlightened acceptance of this well meaning advice.

We left the medical center with the resolve to determine our own future by exercising healthy options.

Two blocks down the road, as we were about to make a right turn onto Pasong Tamo towards Buendia... at the Centerpoint Bldg. we ran into this sign - "Aling Lucing - Pampangas Sisig Queen".

Whoaaaaaaaa - I had tasted Aling Lucings famed sisig a few years back at its famed Angeles City "crossing at the riles" location. I had since used it as a benchmark for comparing various sisigs in Meto Manila. My juices started to flow ...

Aling Lucings trademark sisig was started in the mid 1970s by "sisig queen" Lucita Cunanan. A unique blend of chopped pigs cheek, liver, onions, vinegar and calamansi - it quickly found its place in urban folklore. Its famed taste spread by word-of-mouth and captured the gastric patronage of many who would make the trip to Angeles from Manila specifically for this "food for the gods", not to mention the multitudes who would make the stopover on the way to or returning from the north. A testimonial to its staying power despite many would-be sisig champions, Aling Lucing was recently judged winner in the 2005 Angeles Sisig Festival.

So... there we were - in a predicament. Health or sisig?
Would the will power and discipline of two educated adult men overcome the temptations of Aling Lucing????


Fat chance ........
I started with sisig served with hot dog and rice, while my healthbuff buddy had sisig with barbeque... both at 69pesos. Then we shared a sisig with fried chicken at 79pesos. Being health conscious we of course both ordered diet cola (Pepsi products only)...

The doc had just told us to invest in our health.
Instead we invested 250pesos in Aling Lucing.
Life is about taking risks. Only time will tell ....

(Aling Lucing delivers for a minimum of 250pesos - call 844-4437)

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Wifey: O ... nasaan ka nanaman?
Kawawang ako: Ahhhhh ... ehhhhh nag-oobeertym lang dear
Wifey: Blogggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

Oh goshhhh ... nabagsakan nanaman ako ng telepono. Grrrrrrrr ... the tragedy of this is that I was not telling a lie ... well - not really ... uhmmmmm, not technically speaking.

I was having a couple of beers, with super "pulutan" and a very pedestrian conversation about how tall (or small) president GMA really was. Among inebriated friends, this was important because her "center of gravity" might explain why she is so hard to topple over .... Where was I? Where else ... but in a place called OBeerTime.

Located in Makati, at the corner of de la Rosa and Pasong Tamo, this nook of a carinderia cum bar-grill house is packed after office hours everyday. Landmarked by a BurgerMachine kiosk, and escaping ihaw-scented smoke, OBeerTime is kinda' like a mini-"dampa" - two tables lined with fresh (?) fish and meat. Take your pick and have them grill it to soft and chewy perfection.

The choices are focused but extensive including plapla, samaral, tuna belly and panga, plato, talakitok, bisugo ... pork/beef BBQ, baboy dila, tenga ng baboy and others. You are given a generic "sawsawan" of vinegar-toyo-calamansi-sibuyas-sili. Yummmmmmmmm ...

The crowd is a mix of TAS (tsinelas and sando), and office types in 168Mall barongs. Fish is anywhere between 100pesos to 170pesos per whole fish. Beer is 23pesos. Chairs are strictly monobloc. Ambiance is definitely zero. Air-conditioning is non-existent. Waitresses are pretty by about the 4th bottle of beer...

Its fun. Mag-obeertime tayo.
Try it ... if you dare

Mission Impossible

CNN was ablaze the other day with news that Viacom/Universal Studios had cut ties with its long time superstar Tom Cruise. That saddened me coz I am a fan of such favs as The Samurai, Mission Impossible, Minority Report, Collateral, A Few Good Men, Top Gun, Far and Away, The Firm and others.

The nostalgia led wierd me on a meandering thought path to a time not so long ago when one of my secret hang-out places was a grill cum beer guzzling station with some of the best inihaw food offerings known to a cheapskate, fun-loving male like me. It was located off to the side of Pasong Tamo near the Mitsubishi Cars Showroom. It had closed down about two years ago.

I was in the area, so I decided to just whiz by to take a memory filled look. Lo and behold ... the signage was still there. I even had a short but animated talk with the "bantay" who was looking after the now vacant lot. I miss that place .... how I wish it would do a sequel and re-open. But I guess that's a mission impossible ...


Sunday, September 03, 2006


Greenbelt 2 is alive despite the competition from newly developing food and nightlife hubs in the metro. On a weekend the place still teems with beautiful glitzy people mingling with the more pedestrian (and more down to earth) office types looking for a way to forget the weekday stresses. In the midst of it all, in between Nuvo and Pepato is my consistent favorite place - Mezze Restaurant and Bar.

In the Mediterranean rim region, the word mezze conjures up the concept of "small plate" dining. When they invite you to "mezze" - it is an invitation to feast over various food preparations in small portions meant to be shared and tasted among friends - as the regions wines are used to both enhance and complete the dining experience. It is not a far cry from the Filipino concept of "patikim" or "eto... tikman mo" - sabay tagay ng wine. Food is used as a social lubricant to spice up a culinary table event. Good food, good wine, good service, good conversation ... ahhhhhhh, this is the life ..

Try their crochetas, gambas al pesto and other gambas variants, salpicado, signature paella, their own flat bread version of pizzas, to die for shrimp cocktail, oysters and a dynamic list of entrees. The food is what I have come to refer to as deliciously "eatable" - simple, well presented, a tendency to play with fusion concepts but retaining the original taste expectation ... just unpretentiously eatable ... and occasionally unforgetable. The wine selection is small but adequate. Price points are fair for the area, particularly if you eat in groups.

Mezze is a chameleon of a place. It is elegantly set for lunch and dinner. Then it slowly and seamlessly morphs into a bar and dj music hotspot as its full wall projections and its huge LED bar backlights start to animate the place with the rhythm of its themed music selections. From here on in... its kick off your shoes and drink till you think you are handsome or sexy.

Call 7288896 - ask for Joel, Ayen or Erwin.
Go ... have fun ... you deserve it