Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Just arrived from a midnight candlelight service
Remembering the One Light in our lives
Christmas carols sung by a melodic choir
The cool evening breeze somehow warming our hearts
Melting into the arms of loved ones
Thankful for the mercy and the grace that has seen us through another year...
May the spirit of of the season be with you all as well.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
It's Saturday evening.
2 days before Christmas.
Metro Manila is in the midst of the chaos of endless parties and last minute shopping.
Before we lose ourselves in the frenzy of tiangges, bazaars, lechon, leche flan, traffic gridlock, haggling, malls, brand names, bibingka, puto bumbong, fireworks, caroling, San Migs, blarin'music, ferris wheels, carnivals, christmas lights and the like ...
Allow me pass this prayer by you ...
A Christmas Prayer
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.
Find a moment of peace
And remember that it is all about Jesus Christ.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I had a couple more than I could handle,
Needed to slow down
Recover my senses
I was saying much too much
Revealing too many things ...
I was with friends
At the end of a very long day
Just hanging out
Just talking about anything under the sun
(or perhaps it was under the moon)
I was in BRAVA (again...) - my watering hole of the moment
Classy little place
Lounge music in the background
High tables and high chairs on the ground floor
Romantic seating for twos and fours at the mezzanine
Sumptuous "cichetto" -( small snacks )
Juicy tenderloin strips
Or choose from their "pizzeria" fare
Drown in bellinis, martinis, cosmopolitans, mojitos, caipirinhas - all flavored with self made naturally flavored alcoholic "infusion" bases.
There is the new Absolut LEVEL high end vodka
Or your pick of the smoothest single malts available
And then to cap the evening (you've gotta' try this) - order a "Flaming Lamborghini"
It starts with Grenadine+Blue Curacao+Bailey's+Gallano in a stemmed cocktail glass on the table ,
Then the bartender sifts some Sambuca in another glass and ignites it to form a blue flame
He then pours the blue flame down in a vertical stream towards the bottom glass
When the flaming Sambuca mixes with the Grenadine et al - you are asked to suck the mix up with a straw
Bottoms up ...
Down the hatch ...
Thaaaaaaat is hot stuff
A flaming mix of flavors with an alcoholic kick
It's a knockout
If only for this- you really have to try the place out
Good music ....
Now all I need is a baaaaaaaaaaaaaad girl
BRAVA @ Serendra Piazza
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
He runs a photoblog - My Sari Sari Store
Sidney follows my Daguldol food trips, and occasionally he comments on them with genuine interest despite the fact that he is transitioning himself into a self-confessed vegetarian, while I am and always will be a true, blue carnivore ...
Wiki says that - "Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all animal flesh, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, and slaughter by-products."
People may choose to be vegetarians because of moral, cultural, ethical, religious, environmental, social, political, economic, aesthetic, taste or perhaps most often for health reasons.
Society is increasingly recognizing, respecting and accommodating such a choice.
There is no better way to learn than to try.
CHIMARA is coined from the Greek word "chimera" meaning "an impossible dream"
But the food - what about the food?
Guess what ?
The "mock" beef was a beef look-alike which I understand is soy-based.
I went home with a "take-out" of popcorn "popped" in olive oil
Monday, December 10, 2007
I was scanning a well circulated paper the other night and I just happened to notice this ad.
Screaming into my face,
Penetrating my mind .
Heyyyyyy ... a "purely social date"
What could be more harmless than that?
I could just walk out of the house one evening
And when wifey asks .... " excuse me - and where do you think you are going?"
I could say ... "uhmmmmmmmm - I will just be doing some social work."
And with a smile on her lips and a twinkle in her eyes she would say ... "oh that is great -I am so proud of you "
And off I would go ...
No big deal - just a "purely social date"
Anyway- if I really were on a date
(With none other of course than my housemate and "escort" of many years) ,
I would be wanting to spend part of the evening just chilling out in a small, quiet, elegant, cozy bar serving the best drinks in town ...
A place with the warmth to ignite conversation
And the character to enhance the evening.
Such a place is BRAVA
Open for just about a week now,
This little nook in the Serendra Piazza of Fort Bonifacio is a wonderful new find
Dark wood, bricks and glass come together to create an elegance that is immediately attractive
Muted ceiling lighting allows accenting of the uplit bar which is lined by the liquor basics
The bartender is a friendly and engaging pro
He explains the concept of "infusing" the basic alcoholic base like vodka with different flavors to create unique and totally interesting signature drinks
We tried their version of a Peach Bellini
Then became adventurous with a Tartuofo martini and a spicy Choco-chili martini
One could spend an evening just taste-testing their concoctions
Light bar chow is available to complete the experience
Operated by the highly reputed L'Opera restaurant group,
BRAVA positions itself as a pre and post dinner bar
Its seating in the mezzanine against a lighted wine holder rack, however, is conducive enough to want to order a full dinner from the co-owned Balducci Italian restaurant just next door
(They do allow this -by the way)
So if you are in the area,
Join me for a drink
You just might catch me "socializing"
I'll be the jerk in the corner seat with a silly smile on his face
And a "classy Brazilian beauty" on his lap ...
Bonifacio Global City
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Thursday - November 29, 2007
In the early morning, I was in a queue at Manila's NAIA 2 airport for another necessary trip to Hong Kong.
The flight was expectedly late to depart - and arrived in HK just before lunch.
As I checked into a modest hotel room with wonderful goose down pillows, I started to link-up to the world by broadband ...
BREAKING NEWS ...
Omigoshhhhh - a military "rebellion" was taking place in Manila
The Peninsula Manila Hotel - whose lobby was one of my fave hang-outs , was under siege
Police and soldiers had the hotel surrounded
An ultimatum to a break-away "oppositionist" group led by a Senator, a 1-star general, and a former vice-president had been sent
This is the stuff of which Philippine political "tele-nobelas" are made
A few hours later the deadline had been breached
Wait, wait, wait - omigudnesss goshhhhhhhh
An armored personnel carrier (a tank to many of us) - started firing endless rounds into the lobby
Tear gas was fired in as well
And the "tank" started ramming into the doors and into the front wall of this pristine 5-star refuge in the middle of Metro Manila's financial district
Within minutes, the rebels who had warned that they would die for their cause if need be, started complaining that the tear gas was hurting their eyes (huh??)
Then the "never surrender" heroes promptly surrendered ...
The tele-nobela was over - as quickly as it had started
And my favorite hotel?
It survived - but its wonderful lobby which had been converted into a war zone was ruined
The hotel was evacuated and closed for 3 days
By Monday it was ready to re-open
I arrived from HK the night before
As soon as I wrapped up the days work - I hied off to the Peninsula
In part for curiosity
In part to support my fave hotel's "re-opening"
I invited a few friends to the now "historic" lobby for a couple of drinks
The lobby had been restored with its 30+ foot Christmas tree as center piece
The glass doors were replaced temporarily by wooden board ups
Without the glass - there was an eerie feeling of confinement
Like walking into a giant cabinet and having the doors close behind you ...
Having overdosed on Chinese cuisine these past few weeks, I was hungry for anything Filipino
So it was good old "arroz caldo" for me ...
Hmmmmmmmm - arroz caldo, white wine and friends
In the lap of what was a firing range just a couple of days ago
In a historic hotel that once again made history !
Only in the Philippines .....
The Peninsula Manila Hotel
corner Ayala and Makati Avenues
City of Makati