Saturday, October 21, 2006


Many of my better friends are female .

Many look to me for wisdom pag dating sa problema nila sa mga boypren nila. And try as I might, kung minsan wala talaga akong maisagot na maayos kundi ... "ganun eh" !

So, share ko sa inyo ang questions nila ...
Tulungan nyo naman ako para madagdagan din ang "wisdom" ko.

Bakit nga daw ba??

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo nakita ang ex mo sa party at nainis siya, understandable ... pero pag ikaw ang nailang sa ex niya, maarte ka?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo hindi ka mahanap sasabihin lakawatsera ka... pero pag siya hinanap mo, possessive ka?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo tawag ng tawag sa yo concerned siya ... pero pag ikaw ang tumawag, makulit ka?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo laging naka-embrace at kiss sa yo sa public, affectionate siya, ... pag ikaw laging naka-hug, la ka raw hiya sa tao?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo panay ang aya mag-date, sweet siya ... pag ikaw ang aya ng aya mag-date, demanding ka?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo vocal sa love niya, romantic siya ... pagikaw obsessed ka?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo nag-propose ng marriage committed siya... pag ikaw nagbanggit ng kasal, nagmamadali k.?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo laging nag-o-OT, dedicated siya sa trabaho ... pag ikaw wala kang panahon sa kanya?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo nag-offer maghatid-sundo sa yo protective siya, ...pag ikaw wala kang tiwala?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo nagpasama sa yo mag-shopping he values your opinion ... pag ikaw nagpasama dependent ka masyado?

Bakit pag ang boyfriend mo naglalaway sa FHM, natural lang ... pag ikaw kinilig kay Josh Hartnet malandi ka raw?

Bakit nga daw???
Di ba ... kasi "ganun nga eh"

Hindi ko nga mantindihan kung bakit ang dami daming tanong ng mga babae eh ...
At least pag kaming mga lalake - eh, nagtatanong lang naman !


I surf the internet a lot.
It is for me the modern day equivalent of encyclopedia, magazines, tv, home video, shopping catalogs, comics, newspapers, tabloids etc.

There is just an overload of information out there.
I would like to start sharing with you every once in a while, some gems that I find. Wala lang - sharing lang ... parang "show and tell" sa iskul nuong bata pa ako.

Good morning classmates ...
Today I want to share with you the iCarta Ipod Toilet Roll.

Available on-line at .
This is really kewl. Imagine literally "moving your ass" to the beat ...

Shake you booty ... yeyey

An ipod to ipot by.
Choose the music that suits your mood.
Just imagine yourself exerting the extreme effort to the music of "Rocky's Theme" .

Create a new playlist ... "Moving Music"
Inspiring ...
Di ba ?

Yun lang.
Sharing lang
Tenk you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Can Almost Remember

I looked at her as she floated down the stairs ... and I knew.
This woman would have a place in my heart.
A place that would keep me warm in the midst of the coldness of life.

She spoke ...
And I heard the strings of an orchestra playing music to which my heart would dance for all time
A waltz with a beat that was my very pulse.

She smiled and a brightness shot through the darkness
The stars danced as if in a frenzy ...
The moon beamed as if it were touched by the very light of life.

We talked about a life we never had and yet seemed to know so well.
Our pasts intertwined in a way that made sense of the future
Serendipity, providence, fortune ... perhaps love.

I am they say a hopeless romantic ...
For I see arrows speeding towards the heart
Where others see only a bow that has hardly been bent

To see beyond the obvious
To feel that which is unfelt
To know what is to be

We are all the sand upon which the footprints of others are left
We live the lives that were meant to be
Its not in the toss of the coin ... it is in the beat of the heart

Love is
Love was
Love will be ...

And she will be there with me...

( P.S. - special prize to the one who can think of who I was thinking of when I wrote this - while in my stilnox influenced state ... I can almost remember )

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Shopping at 168Mall can burn a lot of calories.
Pretty soon, the pangs of hunger start tugging at the belly. Luckily, there is a large food court at the third floor. It is always crowded , but basically clean. The smell and smoke of grilled food predominates.

There I was, looking at the kaleidoscope of food outlets.
I needed something familiar.
Something to strengthen me.
Something to energize me.
Something light.
Something easy to eat.

Ahaaaaaaaaaa ...
Balut Eggspress

Balut is “fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell”. It is often eaten with salt and beer, and is considered a delicacy if not a curious exotic food. Recently, it gained some notoriety by being offerred as part of the challenge in the TV reality show Fear Factor. Of course , it completely grossed out the American contestants who couldn’t seem to accept the concept of eating an aborted duck fetus – feathers, beak , pink limbs, eyes and all. Yummmmmmmmmmmm ...

With a reputation as an aphrodisiac, an energy food and a nutritious snack all in one, balut is considered a Philippine national street food icon. I can still picture my father and I rushing out into the streets as we used to respond to the nocturnal call of an itinerant street vendor shouting ... baluuuuuuuuuuuut.

Balut Eggspress has brought the balut into a state of indoor kiosk and counter snacking as opposed to street vendoring. It sources balut from Pateros (the balut capital of the Philippines) which guarantees that its quality and taste is true to tradition.

Balut Eggspress offers:
Fresh Steamed Balut/Penoy 12pesos
Specialty Deep Fried Balut/Penoy 16pesos
Eggsotic Crunchy Day Old Chicks 25pesos/3pieces
Eggstra Adobo Balut 16pesos
Eggstra Caldereta Balut 16pesos
Pateros Red Egg 12pesos

What are you waiting for?
Chomp into that duckling .
Yikes ...

(picture of balut taken from

Monday, October 16, 2006


The economy has been much less than ideal.
No matter what the politicians say ... the fact is that at the level of Juan de la Cruz, times are very hard. But what can we do? The voices of the “have nots” are progressively being drowned in the hum of the growing power of the “have mores”. That plus the harsh reality that the “have nots” continue to swell in numbers as many of the “had mores” are realizing that the financial challenges of today have transformed them into “have nots”. Or in short ... more and more have not .

There is perhaps no more telling reflection of this than the growing number of Makati “mall rats” and "fashionistas" who will join the legions who will be giving DKNY gifts for Christmas this year.

Ohhhh for the non-indoctrinated ... DKNY means Divisoria Kanto Ng Ylaya.

Divisoria is this years “hit”. Once the destination only of business shoppers – it has slowly evolved into the private shopper’s mecca.

The “market” modification has to a large extent been due to 168Mall – a 3 story building on Sta. Elena St. just off Juan Luna St.. Its main draw has been that it is fully air-conditioned, and yet maintains the totally cramped frenzy and drop-down prices that gives it the seamless feel of the equivalent organized chaos that prevails on the streets outside.

When one is finished with the mall, it is time to charge through the bedlam of the streets for even better bargains. Sta. Elena, Soler, Tabora, Juan Luna, Ylaya and Recto streets are lined with a confusion of vendors that sells everything from pigeons, underwear, clothes, slippers, shoes, food, fruits, commercial dry goods, electronics, hardware... just anything and everything .

Here one can find cheap goods at pricebacks that represent perhaps 30-70 % of their Makati prices. The challenge is in engaging the stampede and finding what you want in the deluge of goods that catches ones attention.

Amusing brand finds include Socks 5th Avenue (50pesos/pack of 5), Peragamo rubber shoes (250pesos), Havanas slippers (35pesos), Soni MP4 player (700pesos 256mb), and a myriad other mind challenging brands.

In Divisoria the social classes merge into one. The economics of bargain shopping becomes a great equalizer. To the vendors everyone is “kuya” or “ate” as is every vendor to the shopper.

I have been to Bangkok’s Chatuchak as well as to HongKong, Shanghai and Beijing’s flea markets. The Divisoria experience is in a class all its own ...

The noise, the crowd, the heat, the stench, the filth, the pandemonium – all come together to somehow make the shopping experience uniquely pleasurable to the adventurous.

So if you have a spare weekend ... Divisoria na tayo .
WOW Philippines ...

Leave the accent and the English at home.
Dress down.

No jewelry and watches please.
Mind your wallet.
Haggle vigorously.
Walk away like a spurned lover if you don't like the price
Cash only – small bills preferred.
Street smarts are a must.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Writer's Block

Today ...

I guess that's it !

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

To the Batcave

The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.
- Thomas A. Edison -

When I was a kid, Batman was my hero. He was an ordinary man – no superpowers. He was simply strong, agile, innovative and fearless. He was a loyal friend and an idealistic crusader. Whenever he had problems, he would retreat into The Batcave. Here he would in his solitude ... find peace, see things for what they were and find the wisdom to hurdle the obstacles that lay before him. Here he would come to his “eureka” moments ... and find the strength to carry on. The Batcave was his real source of power ...

In my adult life, I have always had a “batcave” .
A place where solitude allows me the space to find my bearings ...
A spot that allows me a meditative cleansing process ...
A location all my own ...
A “sanity corner”.

My “batcave” is a concept of solitude, rather than a specific place.
It has over the years been a shaded portion under a tree, a place by the sea, a section of a library, a favorite table in a coffeeshop, a specific bench in a mall, an al fresco restaurant, a wine cellar, a hotel room, a sofa in my own house, a friends apartment ... and lately, at the foot of my fathers grave. Anywhere that allows my mind to be alone ... to recharge, to pause, to reboot.

Quite often, the best way to see better is to step away. From the distance created by solitude comes the vision that sees through the clouds of life. Mastering the state of being alone without being lonely leads to a self awareness that can give one a sense of perspective in a world that is spinning ever so rapidly around us.

I find in these quiet “alone” moments a peacefulness that allows me a chance to renew myself ... to foster thinking and creativity ... to appreciate nature, people and life itself.

So whenever life starts to overwhelm me ...
I disappear into a state of inner richness that allows me to contemplate on whatever it is that lies ahead .

Do not be afraid of the darkness ... for therein begins the light.
... “to the Batcave ... there’s not a moment to lose” ...

Older But Wiser

I am the eldest among my brothers and sisters. I am the eldest in my barkada. I am the eldest in my "golf group". I am the eldest in my eating group. I am the most senior in my office.

I am as they say - "older but wiser".
As such, I have become the adviser , the consultant , the shoulder to cry on, the counselor to many of my younger friends and family. As this blog progresses, it has become inevitable that I share with you every once in a while, some of the gems of wisdom that I have had to impart as part of my continuing mission to be of help to those around me.

Here is the first ...
a letter written to me about a year ago from someone that I hope I have helped to guide towards the right path.


Dear Ankul Dagul,
I'm writing you about Ben. ,

We're in our twenties and we both work in Makati. In fact, we used to be officemates. I've known him for almost two years now and all the time, I've been in love with him, although we are just friends and he has a girlfriend he intends to marry.

Angkul, I can't help but fall in love with him. He's perfect; responsible, intelligent, resourceful, thoughful, loving, sweet, caring, upright, kind, family-oriented and a God-fearing individual. His good looks is just an added bonus. I can't believe such a man still exists today and I will forever be thankful for his friendship.

It pains me to be so in-love with him because he and his girlfriend are perfect for each other and are so happy being together. I don't know if he's aware of my feelings for him. But winning his heart, I think, is out of the question.

His girlfriend is too precious for him. Losing her would truly hurt him, and I don't want to see him in pain. I know, however, that a part of me wishes for him to reciprocate my love. But he's just too good for me. He deserves someone better, like the girl he has now.

Knowing he's happy with her is enough consolation for me. I want his happiness even if it means my own despair. God knows how much I'm suffering. Writing this letter alone is already torture.

I've been trying very hard to forget him. I've done ways I know to free myself. Pero ang kulit talaga ng puso ko, ayaw sumunod. Angkul Dagul, I haven't seen or talked to him for a long time and I thought his absence would somehow cool down the feeling, but it hasn't. I dont want to miss him, but I do miss him terribly. How can I forget him?

Whenever I see a place, a thing or a situation, my mind automatically associates it with him. His memories occupy most of my waking and sleeping hours. His face pops into my mind in the middle of my lunch, when I'm talking with my friends, cleaning our house or just doing something which has nothing to do with him but reminds me of him anyway.

Odd, but true. I'm not bitter Angkul Dagul. I don't blame myself, him nor God for this situation. As a matter of fact, I'm thankful, painfully odd as it is, that this situation has made me the more mature person that I am now. But I can't help ask myself why should a woman, or a man for that matter, fall for another when they are not meant for each other?

Why Angkul? Why?
You know, whenever I pray, I always ask God to help me let go of this love. I just want to feel the same way he feels for me -- as a friend and nothing more. I know I can get through this because I believe that God wouldn't give me something He knows I can't handle.

Someday I will be able to smile again without being hurt when I remember him. God has His reason for all of these and until I know the reasons, I want to hear words from you.
Please Angkul Dagul, help me.


Angkul Daguls Advice:

Dear Roberto
Lintek kang bakla ka pinagod mo pa ako kababasa.

Ang haba ng letter mo !
Malandi !
Tigilan mo na ang ilusyon mo, hindi mo kayang ibigay kay Ben ang kayang ibigay ng girlfriend niya.
Sa susunod na sumulat ka pa sa akin, ipakakain kita sa buwaya !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Angkul Dagul

Monday, October 09, 2006

Crescent Moon - (Mezzaluna)

“Mezzaluna” (Italian/Portuguese for half moon/crescent moon) - in the culinary world refers to a crescent shaped kitchen knife often with handles on each end that is used for chopping or mincing food.

In MetroManila, Mezzaluna is home to Chef Carlo Miguel. After making his name as a special event chef, he and brother Anton opened a first resto at the Valuepoint Condominium in Legaspi Village that was an office executives fav. Now ... a swanky new Mezzaluna Restaurant at Global City.

High ceilings and friendly servers greet you. Well set fine dining tables wait for you. Soft retro standard music surrounds you. A view into a glass enclosed kitchen grabs you. And a culinary treat awaits you.

We started with a bottle of Woolshed 2005 Australian Chardonnay. Appetizers were a “Sautéed Foie Gras with Caramelized Apple Pasticcio, Mesculin Leaves, and Vanilla Walnut Dressing” 780pesos, and ‘Seared Japanese Scallop, Lobster and Saffron Risotto” 480pesos. Our main dishes were “Tournedos Rossini (Roasted USDA Angus Bistro Fillet with Potato Galleta and Sautéed Foie Gras)” 990pesos , and “Fish of the Day (barramundi) with Mussel Linguini, Cream Fraiche and Snow Peas” 450pesos.
Yikes ... foie gras overload

The portions were just right so there was room for dessert – "Valrhona dark Chocolate Marquis" 250pesos and "Yoghurt and Honey Panna Cotta" 180pesos.

Coffee and limoncello capped our meal.

Nice interiors.
Small enough to be romantic.
Refreshingly high ceilings are a plus.
Food is very good.
Pricey but well worth it.
It makes it to my “must go back” list ...

Servers are well intentioned but need more experience.
Kitchen pace is a little slow.
All glass façade makes it difficult to have a date with someone you are not supposed to be with ...

Ground Floor
Serendra Commercial Complex
Bonifacio Global City

Hooked - (Cupcakes by Sonja)

Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw), in one of the episodes of Sex in the City , ate a creamy retro cupcake at the Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker St cor. 11th. in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. Since then, Magnolia Bakery has not only developed a cult following and become a New York City tour stop, it has also become the benchmark for a boom in cupcake specialty shops.

Manila of course is never far behind when it comes to foodie craze ventures – so welcome to Cupcakes by Sonja. Located at the new Serendra Piazza , this little cutie is home to the best cupcakes in the Metro. It is owned by a charming lady (Sonja ... who else), who actually lived in New York and actually worked in the Magnolia Bakery.

Cupcakes by Sonja is small. One sit down counter facing the outside ala NY, and then the ordering counter/display area. There are a few tables outside. I guess the market is expected to be a “take-out” and “pre-order” market.

Its a refreshing alternative to my current donut addiction.
Traditional and tiered custom made cakes can also be ordered.

I tried the “flourless chocolate cupcake” and was hopelessly hooked ... yummingly good. Their cupcake variety list is growing as they add new variations regularly. Price ranges from 50pesos to 80 pesos per. cupcake. They serve Lavazza coffee and a tasty Strawberry Iced Tea as well.

In New York, cupcake orders are starting to level up with traditional cake orders including for events such as weddings. Well if they taste as good as Sonjas cupcakes , I can totally understand why.

Try it out on your next date.
Have some sweets with your “sweetie”.
Have a cupcake with your “cupcake” ...

Cupcakes by Sonja
1C03 Serendra Piazza

Global City, Taguig

Friday, October 06, 2006

What's Goin' On?

I stumbled onto a box of 12 flavored condoms at a convenience store recently. The rubbers were marked "PARTY PACK"

What's goin' on?

It used to be that sex was a private matter.
An act of consumation between two loving partners ...
An act of passion between two consenting adults ...
Or even a misguided indescretion between two experimenting teens ...
But still a private matter.

Now they market condoms in a "party pack"?
As in ... "taralets, mag party tayo - may condoms ako".

I must really be getting old.
Not that party pick-ups were none existent in my time ... but it was always the result of a private effort to address pheromone driven lust aggravated by alcohol that made women look prettier proportionate to the number of bottles of beers we were consuming.

Now - a party pack?
Should I expect my party coordinator to bring a party pack as well as sixpacks to my next party?

What would the party theme be?
Uhmmmmm - "Sex in the City", "Desperate Housewives" ... or "Animal Kingdom"?
What games do we play?
Uhmmmmm - "Eat it.. Bulaga" , "Pinoy's BIG Brother" ... or "wetDREAMS Academy" ?
Does the winner become the "Philippine Idol" ????
And after the party, do the partners become "kapuso" or "kapamilya" ?
U kn neber kn tel

I guess this is where we have brought ourselves.
What with cybexsex, internet webcams and phone video
- not to mention permissive television, movies and printed media.
Ohhh and let's not forget our role in liberal (if not negligent) parenting ...

Sex has become public domain.
It has jumped from the privacy of the bedroom into the limelight of the stage of life. It has become so communal that some astute marketing genius has dared to assume a market for a "Party Pack" of condoms.

Oh well ... such are the times.
There is nothing to do but to celebrate ... you are all of course invited to the party.
Please "come" ...

You may "come" again if you have the stamina.

I suggest we make the condom
our government's official symbol
- because -
it allows for inflation,
halts production,
destroys the next generation,
and gives us a sense of security,
while we are actually being screwed

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bring a Date

Despite his low profile, Chef Rolando Laudico has been a much sought after culinary wiz in the Metro scene. Those in the know contact him directly to cater for their special parties and dinners.

Chef Laudico himself started a reservations only affair at his Urdaneta Village home where one could have a dinner by candlelight in the romantic setting of a tropical home garden. This continues to be a draw...

It was just a matter of time before he would succumb to the lure of mainstream restaurant operation. And that time is now...

Welcome to Chef Laudicos Bistro Filipino. Located in the less busy side of the Fort ... just a stones throw away from last years hit Je Suis Gourmand, Bistro Filipino is a wonderfully interiored haven for Filipino fusion food. Fusion has always been a difficult food style because more often than not there is a confusion of the taste buds and of expectations. One cannot quite define the resulting taste – and is often unsure whether he liked it or not. But in the case of Chef Laudico the fusion remarkably ... works.

Filipino food cooked with European flare – both tastes familiar – one complimenting the other. No clash of tastes – just seamless integration into a new but very familiar taste. The presentation of the food is likewise “internationalized” with tables set to fine dining standards.

Candles, organic fabric overdrapes ,chandeliers , solid wood tables, a checkerboard Vuitton brown floor, a play with lights and music ...
Start pouring the wine.

We started with a bottle of Chilean Chardonnay which was the house wine – tangy and adequate for both my taste and my wallet. Appetizer was a wonderful “Silken Tokwa’t Baboy” – grilled pork liempo and silken tofu wrapped in rice paper with spicy garlic vinegar, soy glaze and caramelized shallots at 225pesos. I would return even if only for this and a bottle of wine ...

We proceeded with “Pinakbet Puree Soup” and “Chicken Binakol Soup” – both at 150pesos. Mains were “Foie Gras Laced Lamb” – 1000pesos and “Foie Gras with Adobo Overload” – at 750pesos.

The chocoholic in me went into high gear with their desserts.

You guys are going to have to try this for yourself. Words have always been difficult to find in describing fusion food ...

The bottom line is ... highly recommended.
Catch it this weekend . Bring a date ... (someone has to pay ... di baaaa? )

Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino
Net One Building, in the Fort
+632 856-0634, +632 856-0541 (for reservations)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


My mother is a balikbayan. She is a true-blue kuripot Ilokana. She lived in the United States for 15 years working hard for the green bucks that clearly helped ease the life of her 5 loving children.

While in the States, Mom had always amazed us with her mastery of the science of balikbayan box packing. She could put the whole state of New Hampshire inside one box and still have room to spare. Whenever she would make trips to the Philippines, her “maleta” would be a veritable jack-in-a-box with little goodies popping up from every little compartment, nook, cranny, pocket, corner, fold, cuff ...

As her years in the US started to pile up , I had always feared that death might catch up with her in that cold and faraway land. I had imagined how I might have to take on the role as eldest among the children, of tackling the dreaded job of rushing to the States and arranging the transport of her remains to the Philippines – her beloved homeland.

I would shed tears during sleepless nights as I imagined the letter to my brothers and sisters that I would have to write from the States as they waited anxiously here in Manila:

Mga minamahal kong mga kapatid,
If you are reading this letter, that means na dumating na dyan sa Pinas ang coffin and remains ni Inang.

Pasensya na kayo, at hindi ko nasabayan ang flight ni Inang, dahil naubusan na ako ng perang pang pamasahe. Naghihintay ako ng budget fare ... wala kasing buy-one take-one ngayon.
Umutang pa nga ako kay Angkul Veneracion de Asis (na ang pangalan pala ngayon sa Amerika ay naging Venereal Disease).

Anyway nagpadala ako kasabay ni Inang ng:

- Dalawang dosenang lata ng corned beef – nakatago sa likod ni Inang. Mag hati hati na lang kayo
- Apat na Nike sneakers – tig-isa kayo. Yung isang size 7 suot ni Inang; yung iba nakasiksik sa may ulo nya.
- Apat na Lacoste t-shirt, suot ni Inang patong patong. Tig-isa din kayo .
- Dalawang WonderBra suot ni Inang. Bahala na kayo my dear sisters.
- Dalawang Levis na maong –patongpatong din nyang suot. Bahala na kayo my brods.
- Dalawang Victorias Secret na panty at dalawang Calvin Klein na brief din ang suot. Alam nyo na kung kanikanino yan.
- May Nestles Crunch, Hersheys at M&M din na nakaipit sa may binti ni Inang. Pakibigay sa mga pamangkin natin.

- Pag binuksan nyo ang bibig ni Inang, naka ipit sa pustiso nya ang isang diamond ring na padala ng anak na narses ni Kapitana Sosing... pasundo nyo na lang dyan
- Ang ibang accessories ... suot ni Inang, isang Tag Heuer na relo sa bawa’t kamay, Gucci na hikaw at Salvatore Ferragamo na bracelet . Kayo na ang mag-decision kung kanikanino... pagod na rin akong mag-isip e.
- Ang medyas niya Chanel ... apat din yun.

- And last but not the least, yung mga pabangong Davidoff at Issey Miyake, nakatago sa likod ng pwet ni Inang.

Mga kapatid, bahala na sana kayo hanggang sa pag-uwi ko. Wag nyo siyang pabayaan. At bago ko makalimutan – pakibihisan ng maayos si Inang pag nahubad nyo na ang lahat ng pasalubong niyang suot.

Touch up nyo na rin yung ilong kasi parang napitpit nung sinara namin yung kabaong. Kinailangan pa kasing upuan ni Ankel VD para magsara ng maayos !

Ang nagmamahal nyong kapatid,


– Needless to say, I never had to send the letter.
My Mom is now 81 years old. She is alive and kicking. She is now finally here with us in the Philipiines where we can shower her with the unending love that she deserves.
Love you Mom ............

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


The last time my niece and nephew from the United States visited Manila, they were unbelieving and amused at McSpaghetti. It was unheard of in their neck of the woods. They even wanted to take pictures of the McDo menu board to prove this aberration to their friends back in the good old US of A.

Well now, they can flip and do the somersault even more.
Welcome to McRice Burgers.


McRice Burger replaces a regular (bread) burger bun with two "specially made" rice patties, with a beef or chicken patty and vegetables in between, to create a sandwich.

Already available in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore – McRice was an attractive concept that I just had to taste test. At first, it has a funny feel to it – sticky rice buns in my hands. (pleasant memories of holding “buns” ... hmmmmmmm). It tasted really like a big “sushi” with no wasabi. You eat it like a regular burger sandwich – no spoon and fork necessary.

The McRice Chicken Supreme was all around better than the McRice Burger Supreme. It was filling . I guess it would do for a quick lunch...

I still prefer my McNuggets and French Fries.
But at least I have something new to offer to American visitors ...

AmeriKana looking at Filipino food menu: "uhmm Dagul ..can you please translate this foods for me cause i dont understand them."

Dagul: Sure why not - chocnut?
'Kana: what is fried tinulingan?
Dagul: circumsiced fish.
'Kana: Chicken Binakol?
Dagul: Pervert CHicken.‘
'Kana: kinalawing kambing
Dagul: Eagled Goat‘
'Kana: nilagang baka?
Dagul: Boiled Maybe?
Kana: thanks dagul! Waiter!waiter!
Waiter: yes mam whats your order?‘
'Kana: can i have a hamburger.
Waiter: yes mam? do you want to try our dessert tsokolateng mainit just ten pesos mam.
‘Kana: dagul - what is tsokolateng mainit in english?
Dagul: CHocolate That Want Sex

( toinnnnnnnnnnnngk ... flying menu board)

Tikman Mo

It was a Sunday. We were in the Mall of Asia. It was time for dinner.

So many choices ...
Then we saw Gumbo.
It was not empty (it had a wonderful view of the bay)And Cajun cuisine is always a treat. So we tried it out.

Gumbo presents itself as a “ taste of New Orleans” themed restaurant. Its interiors are fairly well done in an American colonial style reminiscent of old Louisiana homes. An open kitchen dominates. The typical sounds of jazz and blues were in the air interrupted by almost musical cheerleader type shouts from the kitchen ... “ ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh seafood jambalaya” !!!

It felt like a multinational franchise. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that it was a pure Filipino operation. An affiliate restaurant of everyones fav Burgoo – much was expected from it.

The menu was dominated by typical Cajun (New Orleans) fare. We ordered Buffalo Chicken Wings (195pesos petite 295pesos grande), Umm ..Seafood Gumbo (175pesos petite 325pesos grande), Ahh ..Seafood Jambalaya (295pesos petite 425pesos grande) and Bourbon-Style Ribs (425pesos petite 795pesos grande).

The whole thing started wrong. The corn-on-the-cob was “panis” – we called the supervisors attention to this. She tasted it and did not contest the observation. She proceeded to hold mini-meetings with kitchen staff and other managers.

The gumbo was visibly pale – not the right color. The jambalaya was clearly too dry. The ribs were a waste of effort. The only redeeming point was that the cole slaw siding was good.

I guess the problem with us is that we are old enough to remember “New Orleans Restaurant” in the old Greenbelt, Makati which was a word-of –mouth mecca for Cajun cuisine aficionados. Also, we had been to many “New Orleans” type restos in the United States where we had originally learned to appreciate this type of food.

The verdict:
Sorry guys but I just really wouldn’t go back there myself.
I can feel Anton (“Our Awesome Planet”) smiling, and saying “I told you so ...”

Perhaps you will have better luck.
Try it in the very Filipino way of – “pare, ang pangit ng lasa – tikman mo”.

Gumbo - A Taste of New Orleans
2nd Level, Entertainment Mall
SM Mall of Asia
Pasay City
556-0238 556-0239

Sunday, October 01, 2006


“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet”
- Roger Miller -

It was raining house and lot last week. Typhoon Xangsane (Laotion for “elephant”) trampled on Metro Manila. Trees fell, billboards crashed to the ground, roofs flew off, streets flooded, walls crumbled, cars flipped over– it was a war zone.

This was the strongest storm to hit Metro Manila in 11 years. The winds just blew the life of the city away . Wind , wind , wind ... wind everywhere. It was such a powerful blow job , even the coconut trees had to hold on to their nuts ... .

Pakinshet talaga ang lakas

Electric posts and towers fell. The city struggled with an electricity deprived darkness. The floods were knee-deep for the Filipino people and neck-deep for the Philippine president.

For many this was very bad weather. For lovers it was "bed weather". For friends and families, it was another chance to get together. Share the candlelight. Share the meals. Share the anxiety. Share the jokes ...

Wait it out ...
Finding good in the bad.
Making light of the darkness.
Laughing through the sadness.

The Pinoy is like that.

We face adversity with a happy face. It is a coping mechanism. It is the pinoy way of adjusting to stress. Tambayan , inuman, kwentuhan, chismisan, kainan ... all tools to overcome the all too harsh realities of life.

The problem is - we live through a typhoon and revel in survival itself - forgetting the horrible infrastructure, the poor economy, the lack of governmental foresight and the despicable politicians who bring it all into being. We chug a drink, puff a cig, tell a tale, sing a song ... and fatalistically accept what is.

We 've become too calloused to do anything but "adjust" and "accept" , dooming ourselves to a repeat of the effects of disaters for which we might have been better prepared ... if only we cared enough.

Is it too much to demand that we have better drainage systems, cleared esteros, safer electrical conduit systems, adequate emergency response teams, pre-emptive evacuation protocols, better weather forecast capability etc. ? Do we deserve any less?

Whatever ...
I guess it is better to drown in floodwaters than to drown in self-pity and despair - right?

So bring out the pulutan and beer ...
It's party time - bakit? - bumaha e !