Saturday, June 30, 2007

Swooning on a Moonlit Night

Going out for Sunday dinner has been a long standing tradition in our family.

Recently - such dinners have been mostly at the Serendra/ Bonifacio High Street area.To a large extent, this is because the place is new and is starting to blossom with one eatery after another. To perhaps a larger extent, it is simply because I can't stop swooning over Bonifacio High Street.

Kudos to Ayala Land for this development.

Almost a kilometer long with a wide (40 meter?) park area in the center, it is lined on both sides with dining and name brand retail outlets. The promenade is meticulously manicured and is dotted with water effects, sculpture, covered walks, and street lamps. It is just literally like a "walk in the park" - a modern park.

I love this place.
It is soothing and calming.
Proudly Pinoy.
Lots of open space
A modern day Luneta of sorts ...

Park-like shopping and dining on a moonlit night
Walking with my arms around my son
The proximity of family
A hole in my wallet slowly burning .

If you have not been
It's time to go
I will see you there
I will be the one with a camera and with no more money left ....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Okay na Okoy

"Okoy" - a traditional Filipino "fritter"
In it's Ilocano form it is made with "galapong" (sticky rice with water batter), small shrimps, onions, spring onions and a dash of salt. It is then deep fried ... and "voila" - shrimp fritters.
Dipped in sukang Iloko ...

Can't stop there ...
There is Vigan Empanada
Same "galapong" based batter filled with Ilocos longganisa, grated green papaya, shredded carrots, toge, monggo.
Sukang Iloko ....

Now this is a truly Ilocano merienda
Delicious in its simplicity

Mac's Deli Original Vigan Empanada and Okoy - is an oasis of Ilocandia in the middle of SM Mall of Asia. In true Ilocano frugality , it is a simple kiosk with a very simple provincial set-up. Cooking is traditional and is basically started as you order ... so you may have to wait just a while. But it is really worth it - if you like this kind of eat-on-the-go food.
And why wouldn't you?
Especially at 3 pieces for 100pesos ... di ba?

So ... fall in line

Two Ilocanos in a Manila bar

#1 - "weter dalawa ngang sirbisa"
#2 - "nakakahiya ka ... bakit sirbisa??"
#1 - "e ano dapat?"
#2 - " ber"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Still a work in progress …
But already worth a visit

My favorite bookstore – FULLY BOOKED – is now at the Global City’s rapidly developing shopping strip known as Bonifacio High Street

Four stories high and a basement
Glass walls
Well lighted
Comfortably cool
Books and magazines galore
A music section heavy on jazz and classical music
Reading accessories
A graphic arts viewing section
A forum area – for book launches, book reading and the like …

A Starbucks outlet is starting to take form at the 3rd floor
Reading chairs are scattered alongside the atrium-like central area
Music listening stations
Friendly and helpful staff

I love browsing here
It makes me look like I am cultured and educated …

Bldg 6
902 Bonifacio High Street
Bonifacio Global City

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ano daw ???

Antok na talaga ako
Matutulog na ako
Watch na lang kayo ng news ...
Tapos balita nyo na lang sa akin
Di ko maintindihan e ... humitit yata ng katol yung reporter

Ano daw ????????

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chef of Staff

Chef Maurizio Gibillini has got to be one of the most amiable Italians in town. It would be great to go to one of his restaurants to even just converse with him.

Fortunately ... his food is so good , that conversation is simply a plus. Cuisine is his big draw ...

Where have you seen Chef Maurizio before?
Well - he helped open up Pazzo at Rockwell and really drew in the crowds with his gelato. Subsequently he opened up Gelatone at Greenbelt, and Pagliacci at the Podium Bldg. of the Ortigas Center of Mandaluyong.

And the hits keep coming on ...
His 2 month old "baby" is aptly called Maurizio Ristorante.
Located in Salcedo Village of Makati, it promises "true Italian taste" as opposed to Italian wannabes for whom he apparently does not have too much admiration .
He is smug but has every right to be ...
His food is excellent
The ambiance is cozy, warm, innovatively lighted with homeland touches of bar and wine cellar influence.
It's a casually fine touch of Italy ...

As I always do, I benchmarked the beef carpaccio and the spaghetti vongole . I mean heyyyy .... if you can't get those two right , you don't deserve to be Italian ... correct?.

Well - Chef Maurizio is true blue Italian - and you can taste it down to the last al dente strand of spaghetti.
In his characteristically counter-thematic black chefs outfit, Chef Maurizio will lead his staff in making the rounds of the tables to make sure everything is alright. He will drop a few recommendations here and there ... whether pasta, gelato, or wine.
Follow his advice - you can't go wrong.

This is definitely a place where you would be seeing me several times a month.
Perhaps with different "dates "...
Who knows ?
Its Italian ... and that's "amore"

Maurizio Ristorante
138 HV de la Costa St.
Salcedo Village, Makati
(63-2) 7507817 mobile 0917-8802871

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Zhu-braaang Sarap

The building at the Global City's 32nd and 5th Avenue is starting to blossom with tenants.

The latest addition is a colorful Chinese resto called Zhu.
Done in attractive pinks and yellows, you can hardly miss this place as you drive by.

It was on "soft opening" when we tried it
It was packed.
The menu is divided into Shanghai style appetizers, dimsum, roasting kitchen, hot pot, soup, rice and noodles atbp.
The food is tasty ... very Chinese (as it should be in a chinese restaurant...)
Good stuff

We chopsticked our way through
yangchow rice - 150pesos
porkchop king do style - 198pesos
braised beancurd with mushroom - 168pesos
sauteed schezuan shrimp - 240pesos
roasted duck - 280pesos
soya chicken - 180pesos
jumbo xiao long pao - 68pesos

Whewwwww ... and there were just three of us.
Zhu-braaaaang sarap.
This place is a must try.
Go ....

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fill Up

More problems - more eating
That's me

Well, today was one of those days
I needed to eat ... a lot

Standing proudly against the Manila Bay sunset is the Sofitel Philippines Hotel.
And within - lies one of the best buffet restaurants in Metro Manila (uhhmmm - actually perhaps the best)

It is a hungry eaters paradise ....
Food galore
Stress therapy galore

Cooking stations include Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Grillery and Continental among other choices.
Sushi, paella, grilled lamb, dimsum, bulgogi, pizza , prime grills ...
Ohhhhh - and save room for dessert.

The interiors blend with the wonderfully renovated hotel.
Calm, sophisticated, and warm.
Black ironworks with modern sculpture and imaginative lighting.
This place is lovable.

Parade down the lighted spiral staircase
Go dizzy with your food choices
Bathe in the ambiance
Marvel in the beauty
Sample various cuisines

Fill up till you give up ....

Then ...
Pay the bill
Its pricey - but well worth it

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Technical Support

Sorry guys and gals ...

I won't be able to post anything for the next few hours
It is so frustrating
I need to call technical support for help with my system

This happens every once in a while
Things are not working as they should
My computer is not responding well
I can't print
My cursor has a life of its own

It seems that my mouse is stuck ...

Somehow Detached

Sanity moments
Time alone - exposed to the elements
A glass of vodka on my table
Feeling the breeze
Watching the world go by

I found such an after office corner at the Karport Bldg. in Fort Bonifacio
Located on 32nd St. just before it takes off into the overpass from the Fort to Buendia Ave.
The place is called - uhmm - 32nd St.
It is simplicity in itself

Beer at 30pesos
Small - seating for about 30 peeps
Simple and spartan
Nothing fancy
Within the din of the Fort's traffic
And yet somehow detached

Want a small "berks" place ?
This might be a good alternative
It just needs to get going
It opened only a few weeks ago
Drive by
You can't miss the giant "street sign" facade

Independence Day

June 12, 2007

psssst, kuwan, ano, pan de sal, suman, tingi, tabo, jeepney, dibididibidi, kalesa, bayanhan, sawsawan, SanMig lite, butong pakwan, simbang gabi, bibingka, puto bungbong, komiks, telenobela, kapre, multo, dwende, kamag-anak, tricycle, terno, barong, Darna, Kenkoy, tongressman, padala, pasalubong, balikbayan box, Sarsi, Jolibee, Max's, Divisoria, Baclaran, bahay kubo, merienda, mano po, kapit-bahay, makulit, mangga at bagoong, patintero, sungka, tumbang preso, tinikling, turo-turo, sari-sari, banana q, turon, ate, kuya, manong, manang, chicharon, kwek kwek, tokneneng, lambanog, gin bulag, tuba, baguio, boracay, cebu, palawan, tuyo, dilis, tapsilog, fiesta, tiangge, kain kamayan, tsismis, pakikisama, barkada, walis tambo, walis tingting, gayuma, bahala na, agimat, anting-anting, kamaganak, tsinelas, polvoron, latik, balut, dinuguan, Santacruzan, yoyo, tumbang preso, halo-halo, sorbetes, pamaypay, sing-a-long, karaoke, videoke, magic mike, sampaguita, ilang-ilang, pandan, monkey eating eagle, tamaraw, kalabaw, Dolphy, Eat Bulaga, Game Ka Na ba, Deal or "Noodle", sabong, arroz caldo, goto, ampalaya, lansones, santol, kaldereta, kare-kare, adobo, sayang, kadiri to death, kilig to the bones, midnight madness, ewan, ano ba?, pala, bading, jokla, badaf, chuva, eclavu, chever, echos, Luneta, lovapalooza, SM, Robinsons, Jhun, Ernhee, Rhon, Bengbeng, Dengdeng, Lingling, patis, toyo, calamansi, Paskong Pinoy, watusi, triangulo, bagong taon, lahat sa ngalan ng Diyos ... atbp.

Happy Independence Day.
Be proud
Be loud
Be Pinoy
And love it ........

Monday, June 11, 2007

What was She Thinking?

If we were to listen to the Malacanang spinners - the country is doing great. The economy is picking up and we are well on the way to stability and progress ... DAW.

I would really like to think that we are.
Maybe ...

Maybe our June 12 Independence Day this year is a fitting landmark of Philippine progress.

As we look back on the landscape of post -election Philippines, it is gratifying to note that the electorate appears to have tired of showbiz, johnny come lately concerned citizens and rehash trapos. Perhaps indeed, we maybe learning the meaning of not only being free but also that of being independent.

We will see ...

In the meantime, let us focus on more important nation-building matters.
Particularly the Presidential wardrobe ...

The caption screams ...
" What was she thinking? - President Arroyo pulls at her vintage looking dress - which looks too loose for comfort, which also looks like a wardrobe malfunction ... "

A loose vintage dress for a state visit...
What indeed was she thinking?
Proud Pinoy moment ba ito?

Couturier or modista

Where in ukay ukays heaven did she get that dress?
To wear on a state visit??
As guest of honor??
Tignan mo yung mama sa tabi nya - takang-taka kung ano yung tinitignan nya.

The least that could have been done was to get an advance on someones pork barrel and buy a new dress. Or some of her closest could have gotten a balato from PAGCOR and gifted her with an Inno Sotto classic or something. Maybe some jueteng contributions could have been collected for a shopping spree in Zara or Mango ... pero 'wag naman yang suot ni Ma'am sa front page pa naman. Parang kawawa naman masyado ang Pinas. Kawawa na nga sa totoo e ... pagmumukain pang ang suot na damit ng Pangulo ay galing sa baul ng Lola ko.

If the fashion intent was vintage .... que horror . Tuloy , pati the helicopters that America recently donated to the Philippines were "vintage" - walang bago - puro panahon pa ng Vietnam .Ginawa tuloy na bagay yung helicopter sa damit ni Ma'am...

Remember a President should be a reflection of the country.

If vintage, ukay ukay, ill-fitting, and passe is a conscious choice then how in "chevers" name will anyone ever think better of us???

Wala lang ...
Sharing lang.
Haaaaaaaaaaaaay naku !!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Moment

Leave the future to God.
Enjoy what He has given you ... today
Live the moment for the moment.
Thank Him for what is
That is how I have tried to live ...
In each day of these turbulent times in my life

And as I lay me down to sleep
I thank Him for the joy that has been
Today ...
I woke to the morning light
I enjoyed the company of friends
I ate to my satisfaction
I felt the breeze of summer
I saw the sun set
I watched the stars appear
I felt the warmth of family

Once again , I have known the majesty of life
And I thank God for all

"Gentle Jesus hear my prayer.
Keep me in your tender care.
Be my guide in all I do,
and help me live my life in You "

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Go Ahead

It was a Friday ...
The night was young
We gathered at my friends apartment
It was our boy's night out

Never ending stories
Back slapping
Lots of beer
More beer
More stories
More laughter
A very guy kind of evening

I got really drunk
Weak on my knees
The room was spinning
I was close to just being totally useless
The guys decided to lay me down on the couch and just let me spend the night there

Saturday noon
I went home
I rang the doorbell.
Wifey opened the door, and had that "psycho" look in her eyes
You could see her sweat rising in the form of steam on her forehead
Her fist was clenched in a classic boxer's form

"Where the f_ _ _ have you been?" - she shouts
Expecting a little understanding, I said - "Uhmmmm - I was just with the guys. I got really drunk"
Now with blood visibly rushing to her head , wifey shouts back - "HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF YOU DIDN'T SEE ME FOR A FEW DAYS ?????? "

Irritated by this nagging (and thinking that not seeing her for a few days was not really a threat but maybe even a blessing) - I answered back " GO AHEAD - DO YOU THINK I CARE ????"

Almost immediately - she disappeared.
I didn't see her for the rest of the day.
Sunday - she was nowhere in sight.
Monday - still no sign of her.
Tuesday - I didn't see her the whole day.

Wednesday - the swelling around my eye subsided a little and I could see her a little.
Thursday - I could see her in all her glory, apparently still fuming but with a wickedly triumphant smile on her face.

It took two weeks for my black-eye to heal completely.

"Anger is only one letter short of danger"

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”
(William Congreve)

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Mamang sorbetero, anong ngalan mo
Tinda mong ice cream, gustung-gusto ko
Init ng buhay, pinapawi mo
Sama ng loob, nalilimutan ko

(lyrics from Original Pilipino Music
" Mamang Sorbetero ")

So true ...
I stress eat.
The more problems I have - the more I will eat.
Food is my tranquilizer.

One of my feel good "foods" ever since I was a kid running around in the streets, has always been "sorbetes de calle"

Also known as "dirty ice cream", it's really not dirty - it's just homemade -and perhaps therefore does not have the defined and monitored hygiene protocols of branded ice creams . It is also for the most part sold in the streets rather than in supermarkets.
But heyyyyy ........ I don't ever remember getting sick eating dirty ice cream.

On the other hand - I once found a curly piece of hair that looked suspiciously familiar in my food in one of the metros best (but that's another story).
So ....

So, I couldn't resist when I ran into a sorbetero.
Actually, she was a sorbetera ...
Pushing one of those typically colorful sorbetes carts.
I just had to ...

Queso, ube, tsokoleyt and mango sorbetes ...
Stuffed into bread
The Pinoy "ice cream sandwich"
Ice cream in real bread
How "kewl" is that...

Totally worth the 12 pesos
I was happy
I felt better
I felt relaxed

It was ice cream therapy
I chilled ...

And I felt like a kid again
There is no better medicine than that.

Monday, June 04, 2007


“Vamos tumba la cama, entrada mi picoy tu fuerta,
con atras abante; no pwersa pero sige rapido birada,
cargada cemilya todo discarga..ole!! "

My wifey just got back from a month long trip to Spain.
She was with her "amigas" ...
Actually it was an immersion experience of her Flamenco Dance Class.

What better way to learn, know and feel flamenco than to be in its heart - Andalucia, Spain.

Flamenco - the music and the dance - grew its own subculture in the Andalucian cities of Seville, Cadiz, Malaga and then beyond. Developed through the interplay of Andalucian, Islamic, Gypsy and Sephardic cultures - flamenco was initially a lower society dance that has since taken its place in international perception as part of the very essence of Spanish performing arts. Flamenco is expressed through the "toque" - the playing of the flamenco guitar, the cante (singing) and the baile (dancing).

If I am to believe my Mastercard bills - an integral part of the Flamenco learning experience appears to have been sightseeing, eating in expensive restaurants and shopping. Perhaps the beat of the music is best appreciated in new shoes, new clothes, and new earrings ... worn while eating in a swanky, tony part of town partaking of expensive wine and "tapas".
Hmmmmmmm ....

When wifey is away, I would sadly look at our empty bed and be overcome by the emotion of loneliness. I would get so lonely that I sometimes couldn't even sleep in our bed ... or in our room ... and many nights, not even in our house.
Hmmmmmmmmm .....

Now the wifey is back.
She lives and breathes flamenco.
She talks Spanish in her sleep.
The morning after she arrived ...
She looked at our cook with Iberian passion, stomped her feet and rhythmically clapped her hands while asking for her breakfast.

Our cook smiles in amusement as I chime in - "abre de lata de carne norte ".
I mockingly look at wifey and ask ... "queres tu el ketchup?"
Wifey gives me her irritated look - and with a flamencan sway of her hips and an emotional swing of her arms ... she barely misses my chin.
I duck with the skill of a matador.
And my son - as if watching a bullfight shouts ...."ole"

Our home ... a real nut house by many standards - is back to it crazy normality.