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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pansit Batil-Patong of Tuguegarao

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Pansit Batil-Patong-11
Pansit Batil-Patong of Tuguegarao (P35) with Liver (P45)

Related Pansit Posts:
Pansit Batil-Patong of Tuguegarao
Pansit Cabagan of Isabella

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It is highly recommended to go on a Pansit Food Trip when you are in Tuguegarao.

For such a little town, you can see pansiteria in almost every corner like Starbucks in Makati. The popular ones are Boks, Budjoks, Clare, Gretchens, and Natans. Ask any person in Tuguegarao and they would have their own pansiteria favorites. Don't worry most of them are the same in taste and they differ in the ambiance, cleanliness and service of the place.

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The Tuguegarao Pansit is called Batil-Patong. The main ingredients are pansit miki Tuguegarao, cara beef, togue with an egg on top. Our Batil-Patong has these two slices of red hotdog as accent on top of the pansit. The miki is freshly made in Tuguegarao.

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It goes very well with a sauce mix of freshly sliced onions, vinegar, toyo and lots of calamansi.

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It is very affordable and very filling. As much as we want to hop from one pansiteria to another, if you finish one bowl you'll be guaranteed full for 4 hours.

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Gretchen's Special (P40) is a slight variation of the standard Batil-Patong. The toppings are lechon carahay, chicken, mixed vegetables, egg on top and an option to have liver on top for additional P10. It is a fusion of Batil-Patong and Pancit Cabagan pansit.

Pansit Batil-Patong
Gretchen's was awarded as one of the cleanest pansiteria in town so we decided to eat here.

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph


December 11, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Monday, December 08, 2008

Kaya Ng Pinoy

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Kaya Ng Pinoy-6
Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao for beating Oscar de la Hoya! Also, Congratulations to Art Valdez for the launch of his Mt. Everest Book entitled "Live the Dream! The Saga of the Philippine Mount Everest Expedition Team Book "

Kaya Ng Pinoy
This Everest Book should be in every Filipino household to inspire the next generation of Young Filipinos that nothing is impossible for us, Filipinos! The Everest book sells for P2,000. Please email me if you want to buy a copy.

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It was very inspiring to meet the people the Philippine Mount Everest Team!

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Art Valdez also announced his latest project of building the legendary Balangay to sail around the Philippines in 2009! I will do a separate blog post about the "Voyage of the Balangay" project.

Dragons Tail
On a personal note, my wife and I have finally survived all the white water rafting adventures in Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Tuguegarao, and Kalinga! We survived two Class 4 white water in Kalinga! Thanks to Anton Carag for an awesome weekend!

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph


December 8, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Top Meals - Makati's Secret Bicol Comfort Food

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We love good food from the French Fine Dining Places to Hole-in-the-Wall restaurants. Our recent quest led us to Makati's secret place for Bicol comfort food. Top Meal Food Haus specializes on Bicol favorites like the Pork Binagoongan and Bicol Express. It is also popular for its Pancit selection which includes Pancit Lucban with Chili.

If you like Som's Thai restaurant in Makati, check out Top Meals Food House within its Makati neighborhood (at the back of Rockwell). There are 5 small tables inside and 2 small tables outside that can sit 2-3 people. You would see native artworks from Sorsogon around the resto and a single ceiling fan to cool the surroundings. Allegedly, this place is a favorite hang-out of Atenistas, Rockwell people and foodies.

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Bicol Specials, Value Meals, and Sizzlers | Pansit, Drinks and Desserts

What I like about Top House is that it is not like a carinderia where the food is prepared in the morning and served all day. Most of the dishes are cooked when you order it so that it is served hot and fresh from the kitchen. It is best if Wilson Tan is in the resto because he will be the one to cook for you.

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Ripe Mango Shake (P35) and Iced Milo (P20).

We tried out the cool drinks and it tasted like it was over diluted with water. For less than P40, you should lower your expectations on these drinks.

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Bicol Express (P65) and Pork Binangoongan (P61)

Wilson's specialty is the Pork Binangoongan which is prepared with toasted alamang. The Bicol Express is made with gata and a good mix of fatty and lean meat pork. You can specify if you want your food to be really (chili) hot like how they enjoy it in Bicol. The serving plates are small (in proportion with the small tables) but its flavor is enough to compensate for its size.

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Pinakbet (P64).
We ordered vegetables to go with the pork bicol specialties. It was a bit dry.

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Halo-Halo (P59)

The Halo-Halo was a bit different because it had a slimy texture because of the Ube made with gata. In Tiwi Halo-Halo tradition, it was served with cheese sprinkled on top. The Leche Plan tasted like it was sugar free. This one is a matter of preference -- I like it because it has its own character, while my wife hates it because it was slimy.

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Wilson Tan, a computer graduate turned into chef entreprenuer. You can contact him at +632 895 1249, or +63915-391 4571.

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Top Meals Food Haus
5994 J.D. Villena St. cor. Mabini St. Poblacion, Makati.
The place is beside Estelle Salon.
(Villena St. is the street in the middle of Museo ng Makati and Rockwell, along J.P. Rizal)


Live an Awesome Life in God's Grace,

anton signature

Text and Photos (Using a Canon Point & Shoot Camera) by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

P.S. Thanks to Elaine for the foodie Tip!

December 2, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Monday, December 01, 2008

The End Times by Fr. Bill Halbing (Kerygma Conference 2008)

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Kerygma Conference 2008: Awaken the Miracle Within (US Stream Channel)

Video clips at Ustream

I would like to greet all OAP Readers, a Blessed Christmas to all of you!


Can you feel the cool Christmas breeze this morning? Did you see the smiling face formed by two visible planets and the crescent moon last night?

My family attended the Kerygma Conference 2008: Awaken the Miracle Within last weekend. I want to share with you my personal insights and things to ponder upon this Christmas 2008.

Fr. Bill Halbing's talks and homily touched me a lot. He is a parish priest of St. Andrews Parish in Newark, New Jersey. He is known for his insightful and down-to earth homilies laced with humor. Although not a Filipino, he always proclaims that he is a Filipino at heart. The Pre-Recorded US Stream above is his homily about the Signs of the End Times (starting from the Third sign).


All Five (5) Signs of the End Times are present now (based on the official Catholic doctrine):

1. Jews come back to the Catholic Faith. The Jews will start to accept that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

2. Gospel is preached around the World. More people will be preaching the Gospel all around the world. We will see the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Philippines and in the World.

Worry is a sin. If you truly believe in the Lord, you should not worry.

3. The Anti-Christ is Coming. Watch out for people holding a bible without preaching the gospel. Do not be involved with the Maisons.

4. A Period of Apostacy. The greatest sin anybody can commit is unbelief. We would see a lot of people falling away of the Christian Faith. Your kids are the greatest prey for Satan to destroy. Having a Tattoo is against the bible. We are living a world of Vanity.

If you are living in the spirit of the Holy Spirit, the best way to show it is by the power of Testimony by leaving your past life behind, accepting Jesus as your personal savior, and showing the world your new life.

5. The Great Tribulation. We are going to see the greatest tribulation on Earth. A period where People will not care anymore.


After the Great Tribulation, you will be judged on:
1. The Knowledge, The Grace, and The Opportunity God gave you
2. How You Love (as defined by Laying down your life for one another)
3. Everything We Said (if we inspire or lead people astray)
4. Did you Follow Your Calling?


Last Kerygma 2007, the Holy Spirit blessed me by letting me realize my calling. In this year's conference, the message is loud and clear to take my spiritual self to the next level by getting to know Jesus more and accepting Him as my personal savior.


Live an Awesome Life in God's Grace,

anton signature

Text by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

December 1, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ultimate Kapampangan Christmas Tour 2008

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Pampanga Tour-2
(Ultimate Pampanga Tour Group Photo - October 2008. Photo Courtesy of Meg Koh)

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all Filipinos and Americans celebrating this special occasion!

I would like to personally invite OAP readers to join us for a once-in-a-lifetime Ultimate Pampanga Experience with Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks, Ivan Henares of Ivan, Spanx Enriquez of Manila Boy Blog, and yours truly.
Ligligan Parul 2007-26 Ligligan Parul 2007-27
Ultimate Kapampangan Christmas Tour 2008 |
December 20, 2008, Saturday | 7am to 12 mn

Why you should go this year?
1. A Kapampangan Christmas. Since our tour this year is close to Christmas, Claude is preparing a Kapampangan Noche Buena for us. Also, get to experience the biggest parol fiesta in the country :) See the Awesome Beauty of Pampanga!

2. Awesome 5-ways Lechon! Most of the Ultimate Pampanga Tour participants last October were raving about the 5-ways Lechon. You got to check out Ivan's post on the 5-ways Lechon: Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung, Everybody's Cafe and more from Pampanga

3. Meet Anthony Bourdain's Tour Guide in Manila and Pampanga. Two of the persons featured in the No Reservations Philippine Episode are no other than Claude Tayag and Ivan Man Dy! Get to bond with them during the tour.

4. Special Christmas Tour for a special group of 25 people only. We already have 17 reservations even before I market this tour. We are only looking for 10 more people to complete our tour this year. Join us now!

5. Plus Surprises! Here is a glimpse of what happened last year.

The Ultimate Pampanga Show-Off 2007
Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung - The Best Kapampangan Restaurant in Pampanga
a Memorable Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off (7.30am-12.30nn)
Lunch with Claude Tayag and Among Ed (12.30pm to 4.30pm)
Ligligan Parul - Pampanga's Giant Lantern Festival (4.30pm to 12.30mn)

Tour Description
Journey to the central heartland as we immerse ourselves in things Kapampangan!

From Baroque to Betute, its fun-filled day as we poke around and get intimate with the very best of Pampanga's cultural offerings. Gawk at the jewel-box of church in Betis while wading through the lahar-buried town of Bacolor.

We'll stuff ourselves silly with the best Kapampangan fare by one of the country's best known Pampango chefs! To it cap-off, we'll have front-row view of the most dazzling display of Kapmpangan artistry- the Ligligan Parul Festival of San Fernando! A tour with nothing but Kapampangan cool!

The Tour Experience
Betis Church* Town of Bacolor* Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung Restaurant* Pampanga Specialty Shops* Giant Parul Festival in San Fernando* Plus Surprises

Rate: P4,800.00/head (full board, includes: transfers, meals,tour, Lantern festival seats and some SERIOUS food binging!)

Reserve Your Spot Online
Major Credit Cards are Accepted. No Need for a Paypal Account. The transaction is securely processed by Paypal. Plus your earn points from your Credit Card!
  • Pay with: Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Bank


  • Ultimate Kapampangan Christmas Tour
    P4,800/ person ($95 - Adult Rate)


    Ultimate Kapampangan Christmas Tour
    P2,400/ child ($45 - Child Rate 5-12 years old)

    (Note: Kids below 5 years old are free)



Brought to you by the Ultimate Philippine Brothers,


Anton of Our Awesome Planet,
Ivan Henares of Ivan About Town,
Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks and
Spanx of Manila Boy.


anton signature

Text by Anton Diaz. Photo by Meg Koh. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 28, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Award Winners

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Enderun-8
Congratulations to Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb for the very first Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards!

The two big winners during the awards are Lolo Dad's for the Best Intercontinental Cuisine and Best Chef Ariel Manuel; and Colin Mackay for People's Palace - Best Thai Restaurant and Sala Bistro for the Best Bistro!

Most of my favorites won like Je Suis Gourmand for the Best French Restaurant; Elbert's Steak House for the Best Steak House; Terry's Selection for the Best Spanish Restaurant; Abe for the Best Filipino Restaurant (I like both Abe and Cafe Juanita); Old Swiss Inn for the Best Central European Cuisine; and Aubergine as the Best New Comer. MBKRS honored Larry Cruz with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Related Posts:
My Votes for the Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Award
The 2008 MBKRS Awards. And the winners are...


While I agree with 80% of the winners, I noticed that there are some "bias" despite the fact that it was voted by 75 judges who loves food:

1. Antonio's did not win any awards. One of the Top 10 restaurants in Asia according to Miele Guide did not win surprisingly.
2. All of the winners are located in Makati with exception of Spiral and Lolo Dad's which are located in Manila. The restaurants outside Manila did not stand any chance.
3. Zong the Fort won as the Best Chinese Restaurant? huh?
4. Sugi, which is owned by Ines' Father won the Best Japanese Restaurant. BTW, Ines and Elian are not part of the judging committee.
5. Although in the ballot, MKBRS put an option of Others, it did not matter because they were not even recognized during the awards night.

There were some bias because both the nominees and the academy of judges were decided by Ines and Elian. It would be helpful though if the names of the 75 judges will be published just to be transparent.

Update! Here are the list of the Judges who decided the winners below:
2008 MBKRS Awards Judges

Abba Napa – L’Opera
Amanda Griffin Jacob – Lifestyle TV personality
Anastacio de Alba – Alba’s Restaurante Español
Annie Nisce – Appetite Magazine
Anton Diaz – Food Blogger
Arnie del Rosario – Chaine des Rotisseurs
Audrey Carpio – Metro Magazine
Bel Castro – Manila Bulletin; Enderun Colleges
Boyet Sison – TV Personality
Cacay Moras – Lifestyle and Entertainment Specialist
Carrie Lagdameo – Je Suis Gourmand
Cecile Zamora Van Straten – Chuvaness.com Lifestyle and Fashion Blog
Chad Davis – Enderun Colleges
Chris Lacson – Habitat
Christine Nunag – F&B World
CJ Juntereal – Manila Bulletin
Coco Anne & Baby Imperial – B+C Design
Colin McKay – Sala and People’s Palace
Cristina Metelmann – Palato Fino
Cyril Ermita – Enderun Colleges
David Pardo de Ayala – Discovery Group
Dr Efren Vasquez – Café Juanita
Ed Quimson – Chef
Edward Simon – Photographer, Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets
Eri Neeman – WAVE 89.1 FM
Eric Kahn – Future Trade International
Ferdi Salvador – Discovery Group
Gabby Licauco – Powerbooks
Gene Gonzalez – Café Ysabel
Gwen Cariño – GJC Public Relations
Hossein Sohrabi – Hossein’s Persian Kebabs
James Aspinall – Call Search
Javi Berenger-Testa – Renaissance Makati City Hotel
Lexi Schulze-Testa – Media Personality
Javier Infante – Enderun Colleges
Jermaine Brown – Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets
Johnny Litton – Inquirer, Lifestyle Columnist and Host
Jenny Serrano-Silverio – ABS-CBN
Jose Mari Ugarte – ROGUE Magazine
Joshua Tiu – Zong
Katrina Tuason Cruz – ROGUE Magazine
Kimmie Assad-Lamata – Di’ Mark’s
Kitt Schroeder – Lemuria
Koby Parcell – Chocolate Fire
Lori Baltazar – Food Blogger
Lorraine Belmonte – Appetite Magazine
Louie Ysmael – Manila nightlife mogul (NUVO, Members Only, Silk)
Luis de Terry – Specialty Foods Expert
Mari Ressa – ABS-CBN
Marivic Diaz-Lim – Apartment 1B
Mark Jentes – PTFJ Ad Consult
Martin Wisniewski – Discovery Group
Mila Tan – International Food and Wine Society (Women’s Chapter)
Nino Laus – In Yo
Paco Magsaysay – Tuesday Dinner Group
Paul Huang – Fire Lake Grill
Pazzy Navarro – Pazzy Manila
Peter Jentes – Schwarzwalder
Pilar Barrenechea – Catholic Women’s Club
Rachelle Ismael – Appetite Magazine
Raymond Rufino – The Net Group
Rene Baltazar – Harbor View
Robert Spakowski – Restaurant Consultant
Rosanna Escudero – Cancer Research Advocate
Roxs Cailao – Katre
Santi Picornell – Entrepreneur
Sau Del Rosario – Kingdom
Sec. Joseph Durano – Department of Tourism
Sergi Rostoll – Barcino Gourmet
Sergio Menendez – CEMEX
Teddy Montelibano – Food and Travel Columnist
Thomas Wenger – Enderun Colleges
Tina Pamintuan – Celebrity Chef
Tita Trillo – Titania Wine Cellars, La Vigne
Tricia Tensuan – Enderun Colleges
U-Sec Oscar Palabyab – Department of Tourism
Vanessa Conanan – Enderun Colleges
Vanessa Fernando – Zafra Motors
Vanessa Vitrano – Galileo Enoteca
Werner Berger – Werdenberg Group

Enderun-5
The MKBRS Awards Night Venue in Enderun Colleges

1. Best Italian Restaurant - L'Opera

2. Best French Restaurant - Je Suis Gourmand

3. Best Spanish Restaurant - Terry's Selection

4. Best Continental Cuisine - Lolo Dad's

5. Best Steakhouse - Elbert's Steak Room


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The pioneers behind my favorite magazine, Rogue :)

6. Best Japanese Restaurant - Sugi

7. Best Filipino Restaurant - Abe

8. Best Thai Restaurant - People's Palace

9. Best Chinese Restaurant - Zong (fort)

10. Best Central European Restaurant - Old Swiss Inn

Enderun-7
I can't wait to go to Thai Kingdom by Chef Sau!

11. Best Specialty Restaurant - Hossein's Persian Kebab (Makati)

12. Best Bistro - Sala Bistro

13. Best Enoteca - Barcino Gourmet

14. Best Fusion Cuisine - M Cafe

15. Best Newcomer - Aubergine

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The lovely Vanessa of Galileo Enoteca (leftmost).

16. Best Restaurant/Bar - NU-VO

17. Best Wine List - CAV

18. Best Hotel Restaurant: International Buffet - Spiral (Sofitel)

19. Best Hotel Restaurant: Fine Dining - Tivoli (Mandarin Oriental) and Prince Albert (Intercontinental)

20. Best Hotel Restaurant: Specialty - Benjarong (Dusit)

21. Best Chef - Chef Ariel Manuel (Lolo Dad's)

22. Lifetime Achievement Award - Larry Cruz

anton signature

Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph


November 27, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (55) | TrackBack

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!

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Yohgurt Froz-4
After your Lego Island adventure, you can treat your kid to a Yoh-Gurt Froz frozen yogurt inside Hobbes and Landes.

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Yoh-Gurt Froz Classic Fro-Yo Plain Medium (P80) + 3 Top-Ins (P40)

Yoh-Gurt Froz has gone a long way from the first time we tried it in Mall of Asia. This was the first Fro-yo we tasted ever in Manila but we did not like it because they were using frozen toppings. The quality of the frozen yogurt has improved over time. The frozen yogurt is noticeably tangy with a lingering taste of powder milk (which I liked).

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(Click for a bigger version)

I would recommend the popular fresh fruit combination of Strawberry, Mango and Kiwi! Next time I will go all white with Nata de Coco, Mochi and Cheese combination.

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You can also play different board games and with other toys inside Hobbes and Landes. Setting up a Yoh-Gurt Froz inside was a brilliant idea :)

Hobbes and Landes
Bonifacio High Street
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

Related OAP Posts on Frozen Yogurt:
Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt - The Next Dessert Craze in the Philippines!
Sorry Ice Cream, I'm On My Way to Pinkberry!
Red Mango-licious
I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt -- The Best Froyo so far in Manila...
Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC)
Yogurbud
The White Hat - Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

The Buzz About Froyo's
California Berry Frozen Yogurt
Lulubelle
After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!

anton signature

Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 26, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

How to Surprise Your Kid with "The Legend of the LEGO Island"

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Lego Island-6

Lego Island-8
Most kids love and play with Lego at home. At home, we only have a few Lego blocks and Aidan would love to create a boat or an airplane. You would need a lot of imagination to create one just from a few standard blocks.

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This is my cue to tell him a story of an Island entirely made of Lego in a far far away land...

Lego Island
Of Big Ships and a Shipyard entirely made of Lego...

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An island where the citizens and buildings are made of Lego...

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Legends of actual airplanes made of Lego...

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I let him imagine what a lego gasoline station would look like...

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Aidan's favorite is the helicopter and I would share stories about helicopters flying over the Lego Island...

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If he loves horses, tell a story about a farm full of trees, corns pineapples and horses...

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Or tell a story about MRT Lego trains around the island...

LEGO ISLAND CHARITY CAMPAIGN
Entrance is FREE to see the Lego Island Exhibit. It is a fund raising campaign for UNICEF and WORLD VISION to aid in their efforts to help the Filipino Children. (see: official mechanics)

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For every P50 Donation, you'll get:
- a chance to guess the number of LEGO Santa Claus mini-figures in the Christmas Land
- the first (5) correct entries or the closest guess (without going over the actual number) wins a LEGO Set.
- all entries will be checked on January 11, 2009 and posted at hobbes & Landes Fort on January 13, 2009

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For every P300 Donation, you'll get:
- one (1) raffle entry where you can win a Canon Printer or a Special Lego Set (2 winners every week), or three (3) Grand Prize winners of a Canon Camera and a Special Lego Set.
- a chance to build with a bucket full of LEGO bricks (which means you cannot bring it home)
- after building your LEGO creation, Canon will take your picture and post it on the LEGO Photo wall above and uploaded to LEGO Christmas Land.

(Warning: The website is just another LEGO marketing gimmick, the photos are not even uploaded immediately. I guess that is why there is no commitment on when it will be uploaded, maybe next year :)

Lego Island-20 Lego Island-25
For every P200 donation, you'll get:
- get and build your own LEGO mini Santa Claus OR Christmas Tree. (You can choose to build a Mrs. Santa Claus )
- after building your LEGO creation, Canon will take your picture and post it on the LEGO Photo wall above and uploaded to LEGO Christmas Land (asa pa :)
- the best part is, you can take home your LEGO Santa Claus!

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Aidan with his LEGO Santa Claus! (at least, already uploaded in OAP :)

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He was so happy and when we came home, he introduced the Santa to his LEGO friends at home.

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LEGO ISLAND
Located in front of Hobbes and Landes in Bonifacio High Street Makati
Mondays to Thursdays 12nn to 9pm
Fridays to Sundays 12nn to 12mn (?)

anton signature

Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 26, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Takoyaki Man in Hana

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Hana Takoyaki
Why settle for anything less than the authentic Takoyaki? Manila is crazy over Takoyaki these days and I'm glad that Hana is selling an authentic Takoyaki in Little Tokyo.

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Meet Takumi, the Takoyaki Man who has been cooking authentic Takoyaki for less than a month now in Hana.

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Takoyaki (P100 for 6 pieces).

So far, this is the best Takoyaki for us, better than the New Hatchin Takoyaki. It uses a sweeter Okonomi Sauce with bits of Nori, Tenkatsu (dried fish), Spring Onions, and Kyupy (Japanese Mayonnaise) on top. The Takoyaki is also bigger than usual with red ginger, a secret Takoyaki mix, and a big chunk of Octopus inside.

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We decided to eat in Hana. It is a smaller resto with 3 normal tables and 1 private Japanese table. Hana is famous for their Kakigori, a Japanese shaved ice dessert. The owner is a big fan of the Giants Baseball Team in Japan.

Hana Menu: Agemono, Tempura, Yakimono, Yakizakana | A La Karte, Salada, Donburi, Noodl, Gohanmono

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Related Posts on Hana, Little Tokyo:
Urameshi Ya - One of the Best Yakiniku Place in Manila
Hana: Authentic Takoyaki in the heart of Makati by Kitchen Cow


HANA RESTAURANT
Little Tokyo
Telephone: +632 339-3855

anton signature

Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Going Crazy Over Japanese Ice Cream @ Yamazaki

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Yamazaki Japanese Grocery-7
We are going crazy over Japanese Ice Cream these days. After your Japanese meal in any of the Japanese restaurants in Little Tokyo, I would recommend going to Yamazaki grocery to have Japanese Ice Cream for dessert!

Yamazaki Japanese Grocery
The Japanese Ice Creams are freshly delivered every Saturday and Tuesday.

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Our favorite is this Pino Ice Cream which is a chocolate covered ice cream that sells for P88 for 6 pieces. We were literally fighting over these little pieces of chocolate heaven.

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Most people love this Azuki Waffle Ice Cream (P76.79) and it is highly recommended by my Japanese friend.

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One Waffle Ice Cream is good to share with your love ones.

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We also tried the Tiramisu Ice Cream (P81.25) but we did not like it because of its chocolate covering which tastes like old bread. We also did not like the Uji Kiniki (P69.64) that comes in different flavors like Green Tea because it was too sweet and has an icy consistency.

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You can also buy other Japanese goodies in the Yamazaki Japanese Grocery Store.

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Besides the grocery, you can also dine in. Yamazaki Menu: Ramen, and Set Menu | Teishoku and Drinks

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YAMAZAKI GROCERY
2288 Fernando, Makati City
Besides Fuji Spa which is besides Seryna
Across Plaza Fair in Makati Cinema Square.

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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Maruchan Dining - Seryna Japanese Food with Chinese, Korean, and Western Dishes?

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Maruchan Dining-9
What happens when the owners of Seryna learned their lessons from their first restaurant and decided to open a new one? Welcome to Maruchan Dining! It is owned by partners Mizushima and Sachu Maru. I guess instead of the name Maru-san, they used Maru-chan instead (as in Jose Mari Chan? :).


Maruchan Dining is much bigger and can hosts big groups and families versus the Seryna location. It is a big two-story restaurant with the first floor as non-smoking, while the second floor as an entirely smoking floor. So don't be surprised if most Japanese would eat in the second floor. The main elements of its interior design are geographic patterns mostly of squares and rectangles. Wood is often used to soften concrete and the open ceiling. The tables are arranged in a formal setting for big groups of 4 or more.

Maruchan Dining Menu: Appetizer, Sashimi, Salad | Tempura Fried, Grill | Donburi, Gohanmono, Korean Food | Chinese Food | Fish, Vegetables, Noodles | Ramen, Ala Carte, Western Food | Drinks | Kaisen Menu

(I now understand my Japanese friend when he said that he did not like this "Japanese" restaurant. It is like finding a Filipino Restaurant in the US that also serves Thai and Vietnamese Food. The menu is not focused and I also find it weird to see Chinese, Korean and Western Dishes in a Japanese Restaurant.)

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Chyashyu Men (P300). All Meat Ramen with Shoyu Sauce.

Thanks to Tim who recommended this Chayashyu Men in Maruchan. I personally like the dark but clean taste of the shoyu broth and the al-dente noodles that slides off your tongue. The four big pieces of meat slices surrounding the ramen are composed of layers of lean meat with the right amount of fat in between.

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Kani Salad (P240)

Their Kani Salad differentiates itself from other Japanese resto by using more of the Shoyu Sauce instead of covering the entire salad with Japanese Mayonnaise. This salad is definitely healthy with Lettuce, Tomato, Egg and strips of Kani (crab meat).

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We are happy that Aidan is showing more independence these days. He would insist on getting his own share of the salad and feeding himself.
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Negima (P40), Bara (P50), and Toriniku (P40) Grill. (order Japanese rice to go with it)

Here is a simple guide to navigate your way through the Grill choices:

Tebasaki - Chicken Wings
Toriniku - Chicken Meat *
Negima - Chicken Meat with Onion Sleek *

Nankotsu - Chicken White Bone
Sunagimo - Balun Balunan
Lever - Liver
Kashira - Pigi ng Baboy
Torikawa - Chicken Skin
Tan Shio - Beef tongue *
Bara - Pork Liempo *
Shiro - Pork Intestines

* Recommended :)


Maruchan Dining-18
MARUCHAN DINING
2282 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City
(across Kikufuji or Makati Cinema Square)
Telephone : +632 759-7777

Open Daily
11.30am - 2.00pm Lunch Time
6.00pm - 11.00pm Dinner Time

Happy Hour (Monday to Saturday)
11.00pm - 4.00am
3 Pilsen + 1 for P150 Only
Ladies Set (Fish or Meat) for P180 only


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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

3 Tips on How To Have An Awesome Lunch @ Seryna

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Seryna continues to be the favorite Japanese Restaurant among both Japanese and Filipinos. I wrote about Seryna almost two years ago in this post: Japanese Delights @ Seryna, Little Tokyo. The best time to go is during lunch time when most of the Japanese restos would have an affordable set lunch menu. Here are three (3) tips on how to have an Awesome Lunch at Seryna.

1. RESERVE.
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Seryna is quite small and has limited rooms. Call Seryna @ +632 8943855 to reserve preferably one week in advance.

2. KNOW WHAT TO ORDER.
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  • The lunch set menu is fixed at P320 all-in (I love it when restaurants put an all-in price in the menu).
  • If you look at my previous post, the Kaisen Gozen is priced originally at P250 :)
  • Seryna is famous for their Kaisen Gozen and the orange label on the menu says that there are only 30 sets available
  • Gozen is like a set lunch meal where the items are put in different dishes. In a bento, it is put in a box type container.
  • Yakizakana is grilled fish.
  • Higawari gozen is like Gozen for the day and it changes daily.
  • Makunouchi is a popular type of Japanese bento which consists of fish, meat, pickles, eggs and vegetables along with rice and an umeboshi. (source: Wikipedia)
3. ENJOY!
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I would order the Kaisen Gozen which is a serving of fresh sashimi on a bed of radish with Japanese rice. The set comes with soup, salad, appetizers and dessert. At P320, it is still a very good deal. I don't think there is really a particular order on how you should eat it. Just Enjoy your lunch!

Seryna Little Tokyo
You can park in front of Seryna if you are early (around 11.30am). Otherwise, I recommend that you park in Makati Cinema Square basement parking.

SERYNA
2277 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City
Telephone: +632 894-3855
Fax: +632 894-3853
Email: info@seryna.ph



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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Hatchin Japanese Grocery - Probably, the Best Japanese Grocery in Manila

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New Hatchin Japanese Grocery-4
Authentic Takoyaki (P78 for 8 pieces)

New Hatchin Japanese Grocery continues to be voted by both Filipino and Japanese as the number 1 Japanese Grocery Store in Manila. It is famous for Fresh Sashimi, Authentic Takoyaki, and Dorayaki (A pancake with sweet red bean paste inside).

Their authentic Takoyaki is made of Octopus, Cabbage, Tempura Flakes, Benishoga (red ginger) with Okonomiyaki sauce, shrimp flakes and noni (seaweed bits) on top. Once you tasted an authentic Takoyaki, you won't settle for anything less than the authentic ones.

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Fresh Salmon and Maguro Sashimi! (Depending on the weight it ranges from P100 - P200)

Make sure you have Japanese Soy Sauce and Wasabi at home. You can also buy that from this Japanese store. The fresh sashimi are only available during weekend.

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Japanese deli treats (3 for P100) --

We bought the sweet egg, vegetable tempura, and seaweeds with vegetables just to try out their different japanese treats. We were disappointed because the vegetable tempura was soggy, and Rache did not really like the other two.
New Hatchin Japanese Grocery

NEW HATCHIN JAPANESE GROCERY

Makati Branch
7602 Sacred Heart St. cor Metropolitan Ave
San Antonio village Makati City
+632 8977207/ 8905038/ 8901648
store hours 8 am - 7 pm

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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 24, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

8 Things I learned About Home Schooling in the Philippines

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I Love Home School
I'm seriously considering to home school Aidan in 2009. I would like to be one out of the 4,000+ Homeschoolers in the Philippines.


We attended the 2nd Philippine Homeschool Conference led by The Masters Academy Home School Program last Saturday. My quest for finding the best education for my sons (initiated by this post: Reedley International School), led me to conclude that Homeschooling is the best education that I can give the next generation of Filipino Leaders. Let me share with you some of my learnings and insights about homeschooling:

1. There are four (4) kinds of education in the country today: Traditional Education ( like Xavier, ICA, Ateneo and De La Salle); Progressive School (Explorations/ Keys, Raya School, Multiple Intelligences, Makati Gospel, Waldorf School), International Schools (Beacon, International School, Brent, Chinese International School, and Reedley IS), and Homeschool.

2. There are three (3) types of Homeschool: a. Independent (not affiliated with any program but gets the best from available modules), b. Local Homeschool Program (most popular would be The Masters Academy with bias on Christian teachings, and Catholic Filipino Academy with bias on Catholic teachings by Bo Sanchez), and c. US Based (like Calvert Home School Program).

3. Homeschooling is a privilege and a blessing. Not everyone can afford to homeschool because one of the parents needs to be full time in the Home School Program. Homeschooling is one of the opportunities I wanted to pursue when I decided to change career.

4. There are three (3) major reasons for Home Schooling: a. To give the best education at home, b. For Religious Reasons, and c. Because of poor learning environment at traditional schools. It would be wrong to do it solely for the purpose of cost savings.

5. Homeschooling is bringing a customized educational experience at home. This is the best definition of homeschooling and it aims to enhance the natural gifts of your child with academics as a foundation.

6. Here are successful case studies of Home-schooled kids, check out: Christopher Paolini who wrote Eragon, Tim Tebow who is the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, and locally, Paul and Carolyn Tan-Chi of Ateneo UAAP Basketball fame.

7 Three (3) Success Factors for a Home School program -- a. An Obedient Environment, b. a Nurturing Mother, and c. Parents as role models for the kids as demonstrated by the Holy Family:

" Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (See Luke 2: 51-52)

8. The no. 1 critical element for Home Schooling -- Jesus Christ needs to be at the center of the Home School Program to be successful.

Live an Awesome Life,

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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 24, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (33) | TrackBack

Chef Peter Ayson and Raymund Magdaluyo's Texas Smoke 'Em

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Texas Smoke Em-4
Texas Smoke 'Em Menu: TSE Smoke house, Wraps, and Lucks | Small Blinds, Bonus, Drinks and Cocktails

Texas Smoke 'Em (or TSE for short) is the newest BBQ/ Mexican Fast Food Restaurant in town by Chef Peter Ayson (of Red Crab fame) and Restaurateur Raymund Magdaluyo. I'm not really a fan of any of the restaurant chains of Red Crab, Claw Daddy, or New Orleans. We decided to give this a try because we are looking for a good barbecue and mexican place in the Metro.


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BBQ and Jalapeno Nacho Platter (P355 + SC)

We saw most of the tables ordering this Nacho Platter. We were intrigued by it, and decided to order it too but with the toppings on the side (for Aidan's sake). The choices of the sidings are interesting which includes jalapenos, black beans, cheese, cream, slices of chicken, and lime. It would have been better if we mixed it.

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Two Pair. Jumbo Beef Reefs and Mixed Texas BBQ Sausages (P488+SC) with Black Beans Rice, Mexican Chorizo Rice, and Beans Soup

You can either choose from four types of BBQ: Baby Back Ribs, Quarter Chicken BBQ, Jumbo Beef Ribs, and Texas BBQ Sausages. Individually, they would cost around P300+ each so if you are two or more, it is better to order the Two Pair combination or the Full House meal (see: TSE Smoke house, Wraps, and Lucks ) It comes with exciting side dishes but we decided to stick with the small cups of rice. I love the black beans soup which reminded me of Beans in a sinigang broth.

You'll love the Texas andue and chili sausages which always come as a pair of long and short sausages. We were disappointed with the Jumbo Beef Ribs barbecue because the BBQ taste is only skin deep. Most of the orders are delivered immediately so you don't have to wait.

Texas Smoke Em
Overall, we think that it is over priced for a fast food type of barbecue place. If we were to go back, we will check out their mexican offerings. Please let us know what you think about TSE.

Texas Smoke 'Em
(located in the Cinema Area of Greenbelt 3 near the Red Box Side)
3/F Greenbelt 3
Ayala Center, Makati City
Telephone# +632 728-3056

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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 24, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Votes for the Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Award

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I would like to share with you my perspective on my votes for the MBKRS Awards. I based my votes on the personality of the restaurant, the overall awesome experience it provides and the positive buzz it gets from the community.

The voting period ended last November 14, and the winners will be announced on November 26 in the Enderun Colleges at the Fort. Thank you to Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb for including me as one of the judges.

MBKRS Awards
What is the MBKRS Awards?
  • The First Annual Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Award promise to be "the Oscars" of Manila's restaurant industry, and there are approximately 100 judges in total deciding the MBKRS Awards, made up mostly of restaurant owners, top-chefs, educators in the hospitality industry, hotel GMs, columnists and food critics, magazine editors, and other celebrities and reputable foodies.
  • The awards are named after and inspired by the bestselling coffee-table book MANILA'S BEST KEPT RESTAURANT SECRETS, available at all major bookstores nationwide and now available internationally through Amazon.com.
  • As a general rule, we avoid franchises and prefer family-owned restaurants, with few locations (preferably only one), not located in malls (or originating outside of shopping malls, before having moved to a mall location). All restaurants must have authentic quality food, excellent service, and a great ambiance.
  • The MBKRS Awarding Ceremony is an invite only event that will happen on November 26 at Enderun Colleges, Fort Bonifacio Campus



1. Best Italian Restaurant
I voted for Bellini's because of the Italian personalities behind the restaurant and its warm family ambiance. a) L'Opera

b) Café Caruso
c) Bellini's
d) Amoroma (I've never been to Amoroma and I will review it soon :)
e) L'Incontro
f) Other: C Italian Dining (The number 1 Italian Restaurant for me is C Italian Dining in Angeles, Pampanga. But ever since Chef Chris Locher is not anymore connected with C Italian Dining, I cannot vote for it anymore. I'm surprised that the MBKRS Awards did not include him in the nominated list. )

2. Best French Restaurant
Je Suis Gourmand is probably one of the few restaurants that consistently WOW its customers and I've never heard any negative reviews about it.

a) Le Soufflé (Fort)
b) Je Suis Gourmand
c) La Cabane
d) La Regalade
e) Cuillère
f) Other: Cicou (Watch out for my review next week)

3. Best Spanish Restaurant
I don't really have a solid opinion on Spanish restaurant because my standard for good Spanish food is Chef Ed's Mestizo Spanish cuisine and Market Manila's Paella. . I voted for my favorite -- Terry's Selection (and it should be in Pasong Tamo Ext.).

a) Alba Restaurante Español (Makati)
b) La Tienda
c) Terry's Selection (Pasong Tamo Ext.)
d) Amalia's ( must confess that I've never been to Amalia so I will review it soon too :)
e) Casa Armas (Malate)
f) Other: Chef Ed's 21 Restaurant

4. Best Continental Cuisine
Antonio's is the Best Restaurant in the Philippines and Still the Best after all these years!

a) Chateau 1771
b) Sala
c) Aubergine
d) Lolo Dad's
e) Katre
f) Lemuria
g) Antonio's
h) Other: __________

5. Best Steakhouse
My vote goes to Elbert and the buzz is he is the undisputed king of steaks in Manila!

a) Fire Lake Grill
b) Mamou
c) Elbert's Steak Room
d) Myron's Place
e) Duo
f) Other: House of Wagyu

6. Best Japanese Restaurant
Seryna is the only Japanese restaurant that is loved by both Filipino Foodies and Japanese in Manila.

a) Sushi Tsumura
b) Tsukiji
c) Kai
d) Sugi (Greenbelt)
e) Seryna
f) Other: __________

7. Best Filipino Restaurant
Cafe Juanita's ambiance resembles a typical filipino home and serves authentic Filipino cuisine (not fusion).

a) Café Juanita
b) Harbor View
c) Abé
d) Laudico Bistro Filipino
e) La Cocina de Tita Moning
f) Other: Adarna

8. Best Thai Restaurant
I don't think we have a really good Thai restaurant in Manila. The closest would be People's Palace.

a) Silk
b) Azuthai
c) People's Palace
d) Kingdom (I can't wait to try this in Angeles, Pampanga)
e) Other: __________

9. Best Chinese Restaurant
Choi Garden in Greenhills and Golden Fortune in Binondo are the best Chinese restaurant for me!

a) Zong (Fort)
b) Hai Shin Lou
c) Gloria Maris (Greenhills)
d) The Good Earth (Fort)
e) Cantonese Kitchen
f) Other: Choi Garden

10. Best Central European Restaurant
I love Vieux Chalet because of the fresh ingredients used in the dishes, and spectacular view of Manila (from Antipolo)

a) Schwartzwalder
b) Old Swiss Inn (Makati)
c) Bianca's
d) Mickey's Deli (Makati)
e) Vieux Chalet
f) Other: Chateau Hestia


11. Best Specialty Restaurant
Nobody will beat the most authentic Vietnamese restaurant in Manila!

a) Hossein's Persian Kebab (Makati)
b) Ziggurat
c) Manos Greek Taverna
d) Korean Garden
e) Zapata's Mexican Restaurant
f) Other: Bawai Vietnamese Kitchen

12. Best Bistro
I voted Sala Bistro because of the quality of its simple dishes and its weekend Champagne Brunch.

a) Apartment 1B
b) Sala Bistro
c) Palato Fino
d) Chelsea
e) Di' Mark's (QC)
f) Other: Culliere

13. Best Enoteca
Galileo practically introduced me to the concept of Enoteca. My vote goes to them!

a) Galileo Enoteca (Mandaluyong)
b) La Vigne
c) Barcino Gourmet
d) Terry's Selection (Pasong Tamo Ext.)
e) Cav
f) Purple Feet (Wine Depot Makati)
g) Other: __________

14. Best Fusion Cuisine
The French Japanese Fusion of In Yo is the best in the Philippines.

a) M Café
b) InYo
c) Portico 1771
d) Other: __________

15. Best Newcomer
Ever since Aubergine opened, I only hear positive reviews about it and you can expect to have a good meal every time.

a) Aubergine
b) Purple Feet
c) Cav
d) La Regalade
e) Other: Lolo Dad's Brassiree

16. Best Restaurant/Bar
You should go to Handle Bar on weekends and see why this is the best restaurant/bar in Makati.

a) NU-VO
b) Piedra
c) Handle Bar
d) Cuisine
e) Brava
f) Other: __________

17. Best Wine ListI want to be a wine connoisseur someday...
a) Sala
b) Restaurant 101
c) Cav
d) Balducci
e) Lemuria
f) Other: Ralph's Wine Museum

18. Best Hotel Restaurant: International Buffet
I must admit that I'm biased towards Circles buffet. I'm doing an article on the best buffets in Manila in December (watch out for that!)

a) Spirals (Sofitel)
b) Paseo Uno (Mandarin Oriental)
c) M2M (Renaissance New World)
d) Circles (Makati Shangri-La)
e) Nielsen's (Manila Peninsula)
f) Café-on-the-ridge (Taal Vista)
g) Other: __________

19. Best Hotel Restaurant: Fine Dining
I'm not really a fan of Hotel Restaurants but if I were to go to one on a date, I would go to Red for its prestige and quality of food.

a) The Fireplace (Hyatt Hotel & Casino)
b) Prince Albert (Intercontinental)
c) Verbena (Discovery Country Suites)
d) Le Bellevue (Manila Diamond)
e) Red (Makati Shangri-La)
f) Tivoli (Mandarin Oriental)
g) Other: __________

20. Best Hotel Restaurant: Specialty
I can still taste the Chinese Dimsum Buffet in Li Li ... yummy!

a) Paparazzi (Edsa Shangri-La)
b) Li Li (Hyatt Hotel & Casino)
c) Spices (Manila Peninsula)
d) Benjarong (Dusit)
e) Inagiku (Makati Shangri-La)

21. Best Chef
The Best Restaurant in the Philippines also has the Best Chef.
a) Colin McKay (Sala)
b) Marivic Diaz-Lim (Apartment 1B)
c) Sau Del Rosario (Kingdom)
d) Ariel Manuel (Lolo Dad's)
e) David Pardo de Ayala (Discovery)
f) Marc Aubrey (Je Suis Gourmand)
g) Other: Chef Tony Boy Escalante

22. Lifetime Achievement Award
My only regret in my blogging life is that I've never met Larry Cruz when he was alive.
a) Larry Cruz (posthumous)
b) Margarita Fores
c) Gene Gonzalez
d) Anastacio de Alba
e) Other: _________

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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph


November 21, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bungee is Out, Swinging is the "IN" Thing... (Caption This!)

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Edwin Sacdalan gave us a sneak peek on his latest crazy idea of doing a pendulum swing, high above the tree in Camp Sabros. I must admit, I did not have the guts to try it. Instead of Bungee jumping, you got to try pendulum swinging instead!

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Caption 1

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Caption 2

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Caption 3

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Caption 4

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Caption 5

November 20, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Tree Rappelling - The Latest and Most Raved About Experience in Camp Sabros

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Camp Sambros-56
The latest addition to the zip line adventure in Camp Sabros is the 80ft. Tree Rappelling. Most of the people I met who tried it, raved about it more than the longest zip line ride.

Camp Sambros-55
At the time that we did this, the attraction was only 2 weeks old. First you have to zip seated on your harness to the _________ tree.

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The adventure is to rappel down the swaying 80-feet high tree via the Freefall Rapelling technique.

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It looks so easy from this photo of Rache rappelling midway down the tree with no hands on the rope.

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To go down, you grip a rappel device by your right hand which releases the rope steadily while your left hand guides the rope behind your waist.
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Then you are hoisted back up with a machine. This is the scarier part of the adventure because at one point, you would feel as if the rope was cut loose.

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A sigh of relief once you are back up in the tree.

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Animo La Salle sign while wearing a blue shirt amidst a green pine tree background.

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Finally, zipping back to the cable car ride....

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As we walk to the cable car, we reflected on how awesome the adventure was at Camp Sabros ( which stands for SAcdalan BROtherS ).

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This was the final cable car ride back to our normal reality.

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On the way back, you get to appreciate the entire Mt. Apo view and the view of the trees below.

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The best part of being the last person to do the rappel for the day is you get a chance to ride back with Edwin Sacdalan -- the maverick behind Camp Sabros.

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Once Aidan saw us walking back, he started to run to meet and give us a warm celebration hug.

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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph


November 20, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

400m Zip Line - Longest Zip Line in the Philippines (or is it the 700m of Outland Adventure?)

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Camp Sambros-36
The second time around was more fun. Rache is more confident now to attempt the zip on her own.

Camp Sambros-37 Camp Sambros-38
We knew the drill and we felt totally safe. The thing that will scare you is thinking about "what if you fall?"

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You need to relax and just fly like superman.



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This is the first zip line which measures 380 meters in length point-to-point (which means it is one continuous line).

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After the 380m, you hike up for a few minutes to a higher elevation to zip back on the 400m zip line.

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This is a much faster and scarier zip line than the first. 400 meters is so far the longest zip line point-to-point in the Philippines.

The world record is 2 kilometers in South Africa (see Pronutro Zip 2000). Camp Sabros plans to beat that world record. Would you ride a 2km+ zip line?

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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 20, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flying Like Superman in Camp Sabros!

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Camp Sambros-12 Camp Sambros-23
Anton: "Do you want to fly like Superman, Aidan?"
Aidan: "Yes, Poppa."

Camp Sambros-16 Camp Sambros-18
Rache: "This is the first time we are doing this... Can we really do it?"

This was our first tandem zip line ride. There's no turning back...

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All set to fly with Aidan riding on my back while holding on the cables.

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Yes, we are flying! (Look at Aidan's face :)

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Tandem Flying in the 380 meters zip line in Camp Sambros, Davao del Sur --- Our best family adventure to date! Priceless!


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We rode a Cable Car on our way back while enjoying the a top view of the pine trees and a view of Mt. Apo.

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We survived! (What a relief... I was really scared too...)
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We live to tell Syoti about our family flying adventure. We will do it with Syoti next time...

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We dare you to do it too :) (Please share your own Camp Sabros experience)

Camp Sabros
Cool highlands of Kapatagan in Digos City,
Davao del Sur


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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 19, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hairspray Moments

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Hairspray Cast Photos
(Left to Right) Nyoy Volante as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Dulce plays Motor Mouth Maybelle, Madel Ching as Tracy Turnblad, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as the villainous Velma Von Tussle, Tim Espinosa as Link Larkin

It's Hairspray Fever

When the Hairspray preview ended, we all agreed this is one musical show that Manila will talk about when it opens tonight in Star Theater. (see: Everything You Need To Know About Hairspray, Manila)

Michael de Mesa's portrayal of Mrs. Turnblad was both hilarious and believable. You gotta see Michael de Mesa in "drag" outfit :)

I would give the best performance for the night to Menchu's Velma Von Tussle. She portrayed the sexy, ambitious and evil beauty queen role quite well.  Her performance of The Legend of the Miss Baltimore Crabs was memorable and realistic.

I still can remember  Motor Mouth Maybelle's (played by Dulce) belting of her solo songs ala Witney Houston.   

Hairspray Cast Photos
Madel Ching as Tracy Turnblad and Tim Espinosa as Link Larkin

Madel and Tim's Love Team

Bravo to Madel Ching for successfully performing the role of Tracy Turnblad!  Her youth gives her the energy to dance (as if she was athetic) and to sing at the same time. She lasted the entire show with the same energy she started with. She was a little nervous during the opening scene but was able to gain her confidence towards the middle of the show. You gotta see her shake and shimmy dance! (Now I know why they chose Madel)

Tim Espinosa was a heart rob and I'm sure most of the teenage girls will fall in love with his performance.

Memorable Hairspray Moments

These are my favorite song and dance scenes in Hairspray:

Act I
Mama I'm a Big Girl Now - The Iconic Mother and Daughter Song/Dance Acts between Amber + Velma Von Tussle, Tracy + Mrs. Turnblad, and Penny + her mother.
Welcome to the 60's - You'll sing "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh" after this act

Act II
The Mr. and Mrs. Turnblad's Romantic Dance in You're Timeless to Me
The finale Shake and Shimmy dance!  ( I actually wanted to dance with them! )

What's your Memorable Hairspray Moment?

Hairspray Cast Photos

Monica Reynoso as Penny and Nyoy Volante as Seaweed J. Stubbs

I was surprised that Nyoy can really dance like Gary V! 

My personal favorite performance throughout the entire show was Monico Reynoso's portrayal of Penny - Tracy's best friend. I was smitten by her awkward performance, funny expressions and energetic finale dance. 

Comedian Gabe Mercado and Enchang Caimo's performances, as the Male and Female Authoritative Figure respectively, deserve a standing ovation. 

Thanks to Bobby Garcia for another awesome broadway musical show!

Overall, Don't be left out... You Gotta Watch Hairspray!

(see: Everything You Need To Know About Hairspray, Manila)


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

P.S. Please post a link to your own Hairspray Review in the Comments

November 14, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

5 Things You Need to Know About Star Theater

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Star Theater-3

1. Star Theater is NOT Aliw Theater.
I personally made this mistake of thinking that Star Theater and Aliw Theater is the same theater since both of the venues are beside Star City. Star Theater is located at the back of Star City while Aliw Theater is in front of Star City.

Star Theater-4

2. Star Theater is NOT inside Star City.
Star City is the entertainment park with different fun rides, and home to the Snow World and Dino Park attractions.

Read More About Star City:
10 Reasons Why Star City is the Place to be...
Snow World @ Star City

Star City Park Schedule:

Monday to Thursday : 4pm to 11pm (or 12 mn at the latest)
Friday to Sunday: 2pm to 12mn (or 1pm at the latest)

Star City Entrance Fees:
Star City Entrance Fee - P60
Snow World Entrance Fee - P160
Dino World Entrance Fee - P160
3 Cheers (3 Rides) - P250

Ride-All-You-Can (RAYC) - P300
Ride-All-You-Can (RAYC) with Dino World OR Snow World - P375
Ride-All-You-Can (RAYC) with Dino World AND Snow World - P450 (BEST VALUE)

StartheaterSeatPlan

3. The best seats in Star Theater are in Rows G to L.
For Hairspray, Lower Orchestra seats cost Php 1,200 (Rows A-I), Upper Orchestra seats cost Php 1,000 (Rows J-S), Loge seats cost Php 800 (Rows T-X), and finally Balcony seats cost Php 600 (Rows Y-Z). The best value-for-money seats are the Upper Orchestra (Rows J-S) because they have the best natural view and cheaper by P200. I would recommend buying the seats in J-K-L specially the center seats from seats 10-20.

Star Theater-2

4. Star Theater Recommended Itineraries

For Matinee Show (2pm Saturday and 3pm Sunday) - P2,500/person budget
10am -- Morning Massage/Lunch @ Wensha Spa (P1,000/head)
2pm/3pm -- Watch Hairspray ( 2 hours and 40 minutes) (P1,000/head)
6pm -- Ride-All-You-Can Star City with Snow World (P450/head)

For Evening Show (8pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday) - P2,500/person budget
6pm -- Dinner at Legend Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant (beside Wensha Spa) (P500/head)
7pm -- Park early to get good parking spots (FREE)
8pm -- Watch Hairspray ( 2 hours and 40 minutes) (P1,000/head)
11pm -- End the night with a Wensha Spa Massage (P1,000/head)


Don't Miss to Watch Hairspray, Manila !

Hairspray Poster Hairspray-12
Buy Your Hairspray Tickets Online Now from OAP!

November 22, Saturday 2pm (Seatplan)
Lower Orchestra P1,200 (Rows A-I) - $22 Special Online Price
Upper Orchestra P1,000 (Rows J-S) - $19 Special Online Price
Loge P800 (Rows T-X) - $15 Special Online Price
Balcony P600 (Rows Y-Z) - $11 Special Online Price

November 29, Saturday 8pm (Seatplan)
Lower Orchestra Php 1,200 (Rows A-I) - $22 Special Online Price
Upper Orchestra Php 1,000 (Rows J-S) - $19 Special Online Price
Loge Php 800 (Rows T-X) - $15 Special Online Price
Balcony Php 600 (Rows Y-Z) - $11 Special Online Price

Three Compelling Reasons Why You Should Buy Online!
1. You can earn credit card points on your Purchase. No Need to Have a Paypal Account if you want to pay via Credit card.

Major Credit Cards are Accepted.VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressDiscover
2. It is cheaper and less hassle. We ensure that we pass on some efficiency savings to people who buys online. Shipment within Metro Manila is FREE courtesy of 2GO Express - The Official Shipment Sponsor of OurAwesomePlanet.com
3. It is secure because I'm Paypal verified. Paypal securely processes the Credit Card transaction.

Official PayPal Seal

Try it Now!

Star Theater

5. Parking is FREE in Star Theater !
If you are coming from Diosdado Macapagal Blvd or Buendia, turn right when you see this Star City Parking sign. Don't miss this turn which is at the back of Star City. If you miss this, you'll end up with parking slots in front of Star City. The street parking are operated by CCP Management and they charge P60.


Live an Awesome Life,

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 14, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Lolo Dad's Brasserie @ 6750

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Lolo Dad-5
When I was still courting Rache, I was looking for a cool restaurant place for our romantic date near La Salle. We were adventurous already back then but also we are budget-conscious. We saw a nice old house converted into a restaurant and we thought this might be a good inihaw place. We decided to go in and noticed there were only a few tables. When the waiter presented to us the menu, we realized that it was a Fine Dining Restaurant!

That was our first encounter with Lolo Dad's in Malate. We ate there when it opened (unfortunately I was not yet blogging at that time). The menu in the 1-week old Lolo Dad's Brasserie in 6750 looks almost exactly as the menu when they first opened in Malate. The key difference with the brasserie menu is that they expanded the menu with pasta and sandwiches options. The prices are still shocking but you are paying for good quality food.

Lolo Dad's Brasserie Menu
Appetizers | Soups, Pasta & Filled Bread | Main Dishes, Steaks, and Desserts

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Lolo Dad's Brasserie is the latest (and hopefully the last) reincarnation of the corner restaurant in the prestigious 6750 address. This is the same spot where Giraffe, Dream Bar, Quisine and Gaster Deli (see: Gaster Deli-cious!) once stood. This is a favorite hang-out of P&G and Caltex people specially every Friday night. You can still see the remnants of Gaster Deli's chairs and ambiance.

You would notice that the ambiance is still boring. It lacks the homey Malate vibe of its main restaurant and it feels like it could use a few paintings and art accents. The table locations are also not ideal so you have to reserve in advance to get a good spot.

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"Only for the Rich" Salad (P1,650 +SC). Combination of Diver Scallops, Lobster, Seared Duck Liver, Jamon Serrano and Cured Salmon with Mesclun greens in Pomegranate and Molasses dressing.

Lolo Dad's is famous for their salads (see Salad Menu) . We felt "rich" that day so we ordered the salad that we can share for a group of three. At first, it looked like a smorgasbord of all the expensive ingredients you can put in a salad -- lobster, foie gras, salmon and jamon serrano. Its "Only for the Rich" name has a double meaning of being the most expensive salad and having a lot of flavorful ingredients.

Each ingredient was cooked to perfection. However, the vinaigrette dressing was too strong for our taste. Overall, we were satisfied and the salad price was justified. (That rhyme is for you Aidan :)

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Smoked Salmon Creamed Fettucine (P420 +SC) with grilled Pizza Omellet

I ordered the smoked salmon pasta. Everything seems to be perfect -- al dente pasta, right saltiness in the salmon, and clean creamy sauce. I appreciated the ingenuity of pairing the pasta with mushroom omelet on top of a flat crunchy pizza base. I also liked the clean 3D presentation of this pasta dish. It is very hard to complain about an almost P500 pasta dish if it tastes this good.

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Prawn Rigatoni Pasta in Garlic and Olive Oil (P480 +SC) with Prosciutto and Aragula Toast

We finally met with a long lost friend, Cai and she ordered the Prawn Rigatoni Pasta. Check out the other pasta dishes (see Soups, Pasta & Filled Bread )

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Lamb Chops (P1,100 +SC) with grilled fruits, and appropriate sauces, and a choice of Rice, Mashed Potato.

My wife Rache loves lamb chops which is one of the bestsellers in the house (see Main Dishes, Steaks, and Desserts). It is predictably good but nothing special. The presentation could be improved by using a different plate or being creative in its arrangement. The hollandaise sauce (white one) tastes like liquid butter and the au jus (black one) made of brown stock and rosemary complemented the taste of the lamb.


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I was pleasantly surprised with the awesome dessert line-up in Lolo Dad's (see Desserts Menu). I would definitely go there just for the dessert. I would recommend a romantic dinner date in La Regalade or Hotel Cicou and then hop on to Lolo Dad's for dessert.

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Chocolate Almond Segafredo (P200 +SC) Orange Popsicle and Berry Sauce

This is the best dessert for me. It taste like chocolate powder densely packed into a bar mixed with almond nuts. It is rich in chocolate taste and crumbles every time you bite into it. It is best to mix it with slices of oranges. The Dalandan popsicles are a must try!

Lolo Dad-23
Baked Cheese Cake (P250 +SC) Lavender and Honey Ice Cream with Fruit Compote

I would give this 5 stars for creativity. The cheese cake tastes like bread pudding with a pastillas consistently. We were turned off by the Lavender and Honey Ice cream which brings us memories of having a massage in the spa every time we tasted it. I don't know why this is one of their best selling desserts.

Lolo Dad
This is the best table in the house! When you reserve, request for the leather chairs with long backrest and insist on the tables in front of the restaurant. The particular table above is located in the front corner of the restaurant.

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Congratulations to Ariel Manuel for a successful Lolo Dad's Brasserie opening in 6750! I hope to meet him one of these days with Aidan. (The shot above was taken at around 5pm and I was surprised that all of the tables were reserved.)

Lolo Dad's Brasserie
Ground Floor 6750
6750 Ayala Avenue Makati City
Telephone Number: +632 8136750 (Reserve!)



anton signature

Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 14, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Biggest Bargain Blog (BBB)

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Mango Outlet
I'm doing a soft launch of The Biggest Bargain Blog (BBB). I'm separating all my blog posts about Manila's best bargains and deals in the BBB Blog. This is where I also put some of my commercial posts and attractive promotions from different companies that are worth mentioning.

Check out my first few blog posts:
The Mango Outlet
Delifrance's My Secret Santa
Free Nike Running Clinic

If you noticed, I'm launching sub-blogs under the Our Awesome Planet franchise. As promised, I am keeping the Main OAP blog focused on Food and Travel Secrets. You can subscribe separately for The Biggest Bargain blog. I also put a link on the right sidebar for easy access to the blog.


Please feel free to let me know if you have feedback or other suggestions.

anton signature

Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 12, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Urameshi Ya - One of the Best Yakiniku Place in Manila

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rache Uramesi ya | Uramesi ya (Continued...) by Mrs Awesome Planet

Uramesi ya
As we parked our car near the Pasong Tamo entrance of Little Tokyo, I can't help but think of backing out and going to another place instead of Little Tokyo. This little Japanese town besides Makati Cinema Square transports you to a restaurant strip in Japan. Every time I enter the little red arc that welcomes you to Little Tokyo, I felt uneasy because I can't read Japanese and I don't know how to confidently choose among the different Japanese watering holes and restaurants.

Armed with a tip from a Japanese friend that the best Yakiniku place is hidden in Little Tokyo, we decided to proceed with meeting Chris (one of my best buddies in P&G) and his wife Sharon in Urameshi Ya inside Little Tokyo. Yakiniku is a Japanese term which refers to grilled meat dishes. Usually it is enjoyed with friends over long conversations and a few bottles of beer. This was the right place for our "reunion" meeting with Chris after his short expat stint in China.

Uramesi ya
Urameshi Ya is located in a little corner in the heart of Little Tokyo. A lot of Japanese frequent this place which is usually a good sign but since you are in Little Tokyo you can find mostly Japanese nationals in most of the restaurants. Since we already know where we are going, we can confidently refuse all the invitations from waitresses inviting us to eat in their restaurant. If you are on a date, you will get pogi points for being confident in navigating your way around Little Tokyo.

Uramesi ya
As you enter the restaurant, you'll see bottles of Japanese wine on your right and the bar on your left. You'll be greeted with a warm welcome by the Filipina waitresses who would accompany you to your Yakiniku table. I don't think you would need a reservation but I noticed that the place fills up quickly around 7pm. Better go there earlier so that you can choose the right table for your group.

Uramesi ya
Yakiniku 101. If you are a big group of 4 or more, try to order the Tarafuku-set (P1,545) or the Wagyu set (P2,665). You can supplement it with a seafood set or additional meat servings. You have to cook the meat yourselves and you can't rely on the waitresses during the peak hours. They would show you how to cook the first time and change the griller top once in a while. Budget P700- P1,000/ person when you eat in a Yakiniku place.

If you decide to eat here, check out the menu ahead of time:
Uramesi ya
Set Menu, Sashimi, and Tukemono | Yakiniku and Horumon | Jingsisukan and Nabe | Yakai and Salad | Yakitori and Ramen | Other Japanese Treats | Karubi | Drinks

Uramesi ya
The meals starts off with a sotanghon with a slices of squid? ball meat.

Uramesi ya
Filipinos love sauces and I particularly love Japaneses sauces like the Yakiniku sauce with chili paste called kujijang and fresh garlic.

Uramesi ya
A yakiniku experience is not complete without enjoying it with friends or barkada. Make sure that this is your last stop for the night because it is guaranteed that you will smell like grilled meat.

Uramesi ya
Tofu Salad (P190). Be prepared for the name dropping selling line that Gretchen Barretto loves ordering the Gyushabu Salad or this Tofu Salad. We were skeptical but we ordered it anyway. The greens were fresh and the tofu has a clean soft taste just like eating a white pillow of tasteless gelatin. The Japanese sweet and sour sauce adds magic to this salad and we can't stop raving about it.


Uramesi ya
Tarafuku-Set (P1,545). The set comes with three (3) plates of beef -- tongue, beef meat and beef karubi (beef ribs); two (2) servings of pork -- pork butabara (belly) and buta horumon (intestines); a bowl of Wakami (seaweed) soup; a small place of choligi salad; and a cup of rice. It is typically good for two persons but you can stretch it to up to three. Just order extra servings of Japanese rice.

Uramesi ya
Horumon Santenmori (P1,097). We also ordered the Seafood Set that consisted of two (2) pieces of prawn, four (4) big round pieces of scallops , and two (2) slices of squid-- all seasoned with salt and pepper.

According to Rache, "Timing is very essential in yakiniku style of cooking…especially with seafoods. Grilling it too long would be a no-no while taking it out the grill prematurely would be like having a gum in your mouth. "

Uramesi ya
Aidan was happy to join us and played around with the Japanese books. The place is not really for kids because you'll see a "different" kind of magazines.

Uramesi ya
I don't really know how to cook (at least not yet) so I let my wife Rache do all the cooking. The meats are already cut in bite-size portions and it doesn't take long to cook the meat. You need to have a perfect timing when to declare the meat is cook and ready to eat.

Uramesi ya
Karubi (P380). Finally, we ordered the featured Karubi meat which was highly recommended by the waitresses as one of the meat best sellers next to the Tarafuku set.

Uramesi ya
Enma Ramen (P160). We ended the dinner with the "devil's" ramen. You have a choice to order from a scale of 1 to 20 which represents degrees of chiliness. We went for the usual choice which is 5 (bearable) and how I wish I ordered 10 just for the experience.

Uramesi ya
The coating of chili was different. This is definitely a must try for all foodies out there who likes an adventure with their ramen.

Uramesi ya
Hana Flavored Ice Shavings
Aidan was demanding a dessert so we ordered the best dessert in Little Tokyo -- the flavored ice shavings from Hana. We got the peach flavor instead of their chocolate with banana bestseller because it was out of stock.

Uramesi ya
It was a great Japanese Yakiniku night! Thanks to Atsushi Matsuura for the foodie tip!

Urameshi-ya Yakiniku Restaurant
Little Tokyo Makati
2277 bet. Pasong Tamo and Amorsolo Street
(beside Makati Cinema Square) Makati City, Metro Manila
Telephone: +632 8132210

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Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 11, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Anthony Bourdain in Manila: Ivan Man Dy Exclusive!

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Our Ultimate Philippines' Brother and Street Walker, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks fame was one of Anthony Bourdain's hosts around Manila. He is our main cultural tour guide for the Ultimate Pampanga and Tagaytay tours. He blogged about his Anthony Bourdain encounter in his blog post: On One Steamy Saturday Morning...

In this OAP Exclusive, I tried to get some juicy anecdotes and kwentos by sending him 10 Questions about the Anthony Bourdain encounter. Check out Ivan Man Dy's answers below:

Anthony Bourdain with Ivan Man Dy, The Streetwalker
Tony sampling local street food. Thank you bystander Christian Annonuevo for immortalizing this moment.

1. How does it feel like to be the person to tour Anthony Bourdain (AB) around Manila?

I feel giddy at the same time honored, it's only right now that I'm beginning to digest everything. I know Anthony Bourdain, and I used to watch his shows but never read any of his book (and it totally slipped of my mind that he is also a writer). In short, I didn't realize that he was demi-god in his industry. I'm glad I prepared and researched before the actual shoot .

2. What particular thing that you like about AB?

I appreciated his depth and spontaneity. Initially, I had this impression he was a man of few words but once you start the ball rolling and talk about food, he just delivers. I also noticed that there is a certain perceptiveness to him. I think this clearly shows how well-versed he is with the culture of food and to a lesser degree, in the things that surround him.

3. Can you share a sneak peak on AB's Manila itinerary?

I could do a tell-all right now of the repertoire right now for but I am only a part of the Manila segment. It was actually a two day-shoot and I only covered the 1st day. I think pre-empting what happened in the the shoot might just ruin the viewer's element of surprise when they watch the show and I don't want to be a spoil sport. However, in words of the show's producer, the menu I prepared for my Manila segment (3 places in total) went around the theme of being " gritty by tasty."

4. What was the most memorable moment you had with Anthony?

I spent a total of 4 hours with Tony during the whole shoot. Every moment and morsel was savored.


Anthony Bourdain with Ivan Man Dy, The Streetwalker
Shooting Prep. Getting ready to indulge!


5. What did AB like about Filipino Food?

I think what left a deep impression in him is how quite unexpected our culinary culture here as compared with our neighboring Asian countries. He did mention in our lunch conversation that he was not (yet) able to find an exact reference with regard to the Malay/ Chinese/ Hispanic melting pot ingredients that I emphasized in my presentation of Filipino cuisine. And then one day, I read an article on a local newspaper, he was referring to our cuisine as very 'New World. In my opinion, that summed up what he like about our food, perhaps initially confusing but at the end of the day, our flavors really mixed well and defined the essence of our culinary heritage.

6. What was the most exotic food that you let him try?

If you mean exotic in the instant-shock 'Fear-Factor' context, none. I feel strongly about portraying our culture (including our food) in a balanced and 'taken-in-the-proper-context' way. The big question, and I've seen a lot of comments out there, is that did Tony eat 'balut'? No, he did not. As much as I like this delicacy, I think its been negatively overused to represent Filipino food. Worse thing is, what they keep showing in Western television is the balut which we most of us (including me) do not eat - the over ripe one with feathers, beaks and all the scary half-fertilized membranes. And besides, Tony himself admitted that doing 'balut' again was so 'last week!'!

Taken in a different context, I think most, if not all, of the food I fed him was exotic in the sense that they were all new to his palate. And most of them are everyday food that I think reflected a typical Manileno's eating habits. Seen in a bigger spectrum, it's food someone from Apparri to Jolo would probablly eat. No frills, just the real deal.

Oh, and they are also dishes that I really like to eat.


7. Why do you think the producers selected you to be part of the No Reservations show?


I think this question should be addressed to the producers. I was only referred to them by my half-cabalen (from my matrilineal Kapmpangan side) Claude Tayag but I can tell you people behind No Reservations did a whole lot of back ground research ( I suspect I was also googled a lot) and did not just just take things from the tourist bureau as if the were gospel truth. Why they even asked me about ube hopia and one-day-old chicks! My hats off to the show's researchers for doing their assignment properly and picking people who were knowledgeable and passionate in their own fields. In total, I think we were six in all: two chefs, one popular food blogger, one famous local actress, the Fil-Am winner of the No Reservations FAN-atic contest and the only cultural tour guide, me.

Anthony Bourdain with Ivan Man Dy, The Streetwalker
After the meal. All smiles.

8. Can you share some anecdotes about AB's visit for all his fans out there?

He doesnt take too much to sweets. I tried offering halo-halo, didnt take it. I tried counter-offering mango sago, still no. And that was our own PHILIPPINE mangoes too, the best in the world! I guess to each their own really.

9. What can we expect from the No Reservations Philippines' episode?

I'm hoping it comes out really good. Diverse as our backgrounds were, I'd like to think that all those who were chosen for No Reservations Philippines had one goal in common, that is putting a positive light as well as giving a better understanding to this often misrepresented and misunderstood aspect of culture: food. That alone should make the show yummy! Watch out for it, I think it's coming out in the US early 2009.

10. Is there anything else that you want to share about AB's visit?

Tony, if you are reading this, next time you come back to the Philippines, Im making you eat spicy binagoogang baboy and buko-sherbet from Pampanga!


anton signature

Text and Questions by Anton Diaz.
Photos and Answers by Ivan Man Dy. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph


November 5, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Barbara Gonzalez' Lily Pad in Calamba, Laguna

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Lily Pad-41
As we arrived in Lily Pad, I immediately understood why it was called an origami house. It was designed by architect Jorge Yulo with Lighting Design by Shoko Matsumoto. As we parked the car directly in front of the house, I saw Barbara at the door waiting to welcome the entire family. I literally dragged the entire family on a Halloween Friday and drove for 2 hours to Calamba for this historical encounter -- OAP meets Second Wind. (Second Wind is the title of Barbara's STAR column formerly known as Lily Pad Lectures)

I was a bit nervous and I'm trying hard not to show it. I don't think she knew who I was and I want it that way to have a very objective review about Lily Pad. I heard a lot about Barbara Gonzales because of her legendary J.Romero & Associates career and lately because of her creative writing classes. The moment I shook her hand, I knew she was welcoming us like her own personal guests visiting her artsy Calamba home and not as paying customers.

Lily Pad Index
Three Things I Love About Barbara Gonzalez' Lily Pad.
1. Meeting The Barbara Gonzalez
2. The Art of Lily Pad
3. Lily Pad Home-Cooked Meal
Prescriptions for an Awesome Experience in Lily Pad
How to get to Lily Pad

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Lily Pad is the newest, out-of-town, by-reservation only, intimate restaurant in Manila. They serve home-cooked meals by Barbara's friend, Tina Tan for P1,000/ head with a minimum of 5 persons (preferably 10). On Saturdays, they serve Mediterranean with limited customization options and on Sundays, you can choose from the Filipino set menu. It is open lunch time only on weekends but you can reserve it for dinner and on a Friday depending on the arrangement. We were able to eat on a Friday because they were closed for the Nov. 1 weekend.

Is driving for 2 hours to Barbara's Lily Pad in Calamba to eat a home-cooked meal from a passionate chef for P1,000/ head , really worth it?

Let me start with the Three Things I Love About Barbara Gonzalez' Lily Pad.

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1. Meeting The Barbara Gonzalez

The highlight of our trip was meeting Barbara. She welcomed us like her own personal guests. What I like about her is that she is very candid and direct to the point. I asked her about the story of Lily Pad and she told me that it was in the market for a while until her friend saw it and suggested to turn it into a "Sonya's Garden" kind of place in Calamba. I bombarded her with questions about her stroke, her mother's alzheimer's disease, and about what she thinks about the advertising life. She answered all of them candidly, without any hesitation and without a hint of being politically correct about her answers.

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I did not even feel an air of celebrity or snootiness during our conversations. She would serve us and often show us how to enjoy a particular dish like putting Bacalao on top of the slices of French bread. There were moments of silence and she would often break it by playing with Aidan. I can honestly feel the sincerity in making us feel at home.

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She entertained my mom with stories of her paintings which were all about her mother's Alzheimer's disease with her butterfly signature. They also connected on Barbara's stroke recovery story and how Ramon Tan's Carica products were instrumental in her breakthrough recovery.

At the end of our Lily Pad lunch, my mom agreed to sponsor my tuition fee to Barbara's Creative Writing Class (8 Saturdays) starting second week of January. (Yes!) Barbara also teaches Travel Writing in Sonya's Garden this coming weekend.
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Lily Pad-9
2. The Art of Lily Pad
I'm glad that Barbara pioneered the Dining with Style scene in Calamba. Could this be the start of another "Viaje del Sol" effect in the Calamba area? I certainly hope so. Most of her paintings are hanged on the wall and she would quickly point out which ones are from the other artists she admire. You can visit the small gallery in the second floor. The theme is feminine with focus on images of beautiful women.

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Her sold paintings are now displayed as post cards. They represent the Alzheimer's world of her mother. It is better for Barbara to tell you the story behind each of the paintings. (I don't want to spoil that experience for you)

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The restroom can accommodate our entire family and it is as big as our one bedroom condo in Burgundy. I like the garden scene outside and how I wish I can have this restroom experience in our own home.

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You are literally eating in the middle of the pond. You can feed the coi's and go around the garden while waiting for lunch to be served. The entire dining room has a matrix of rectangular glass views of the garden. The steel rectangular frames were made to have a wood-like illusion.

The house was named after the lilies that grow abundantly around the house.

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Please specify to eat in this heirloom circular table which could easily seat 8 people comfortably and 10 people max.

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3. Lily Pad Home-Cooked Meal

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For Appetizers, Bacalao or Gambas. The only thing I remember about Bacalao was how oily it was. I would suggest to go with the gambas instead not unless you really like Bacalao.

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Crispy Dried Beef. In the original Lily Pad brochure, you have an option of Baked Clams or Chili Relleno. I'm glad she served this crispy dried beef with vinegar instead. It was so crispy that the dried beef shatters every time you take a bite like a pure meat chicharon. I kept on going back to take a piece, dip it in vinegar and munch on it as I go explore the different art pieces in Lily Pad.

Lily Pad-66
The main lunch is served buffet style and the entire family agreed that the servings are worth more than the P1,000/ head that we paid for.

Lily Pad-64
Arugula with Pesto Tomatoes. The arugula looked tired (maybe it travelled all the way from Manila).

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Grilled Taningue. We were so thankful about the huge proportions of Tanigue (or is it spelled Tangigue?). However, thick slices really doesn't work for this kind of fish because the insides become dry. It becomes boring eating this fish after 2-3 spoonfuls. I do hope they can slice this a little bit thinner so that you can still get a juicy finish for this fish.

Lily Pad-22
Duck for Oscars Farm. I like the crispy pata version of this Duck. I also like the entire story of where the duck comes from which is probably similar to appreciating the terroir of where a particular wine comes from. The plum sauce adds magic to this dish like what a good bagoong would do to a dull Kare-Kare.

Lily Pad-63
Pasta with Mushroom Sauce. When we were counting the dishes on our way home to Manila, we realized that this pasta dish was added on top of what was promised in the buffet lunch. What a pleasant surprise because Aidan loves pasta. (BTW, I forgot to mention to Barbara that we have kids with us so I'm sure this was not added because of Aidan). The mushroom sauce was clean without any overpowering cream or other sauces.

Lily Pad-60
Lengua. I'm glad she served Lengua instead of Mechado or Roast Beef. When I reserved, I did not specify my particular preference for any dish. I like it freestyle and I let them decide the best menu for us -- usually. Most of OAP readers would know that Rache loves a good lengua -- soft, juicy, tasty and oily. For me, my only criteria for Lengua is that it does not evoke an image of a live cow's tongue which is triggered when the meat becomes tough and dry when you chew it.

Rice. You have an option to specify to have the Clam Rice or the Jasmine Rice to go with your lunch buffet.

Lily Pad-23
Apple Pie. One of the downsides of letting them serve what ever they like is that you regret that you should have specified to have the Pecan Pie instead of the Apple Pie. If you are a party of 10, they can serve the Pecan Pie and Apple Pie together. You also have an option of ordering the bread pudding.

For me, Apple Pie is enjoyed when it is served hot and ala mode (with a creamy ice cream on top).

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Coconut Tea. They would serve Dalandan Juice, Softdrinks and the Carica Coconut Tea. You can bring wines for a P200 corkage fee. My intuition tells me not to trust their wine list.


Alternatively, Here is the Filipino Lunch Set

Appetizers: Crispy Shrimp or Tapa | Local Boquerones or Botarga
Lunch: Lato Salad | Crabs or Crispy Pata or Duck | Kare-Kare or Ginataang Pusit | Grilled Tanigue or Talakitok
Desserts: Glazed Banana or Kamote
Soda or Iced Herbal Tea | Coffee or Tea
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Prescriptions for an Awesome Experience in Lily Pad

Lily Pad-62
There is no doubt for me that Lily Pad will be the IN place to dine-in this Christmas season. I would like to contribute to its success by giving suggestions on how the entire experience could truly be awesome. The place has a high potential and I'm already planning to include it in our Ultimate Laguna Food Tour in February.

Uniquely Barbara?

Aside from the dry Tangingue and the tired Arugula, we love our Lily Pad lunch and we actually thought that it was too much. There was an ongoing debate on whether P1,000 / head is something I would pay for a home-cooked meal. The debate erupted when we found out that Barbara was not the one who cooked it but it was her chef friend Tina Tan. (just a side debate, can anyone be called a chef if he/she did not graduate in any culinary school?)
The food did not have any of Barbara Gonzalez' personality. You would go to Lily Pad because of the "Barbara Gonzalez" brand and I would have expected to eat some of her favorite dishes or favorite desserts. She candidly would tell the story about how tired she was eating the dishes.

To make the dining experience truly something that you would rave about, I would like to eat something uniquely Barbara. Is there any particular dish or dessert she would rave about? Is there any secret Calamba dish that she can serve? Is there any family heirloom recipe that can be served in Lily Pad?

Lily Pad-5
Dining under the Stairs and Bathroom.
I was surprised to see the appetizers served under the stairs and directly in front of the restroom. These are two places that have negative energy and you don't want to eat that kind of energy. It would have been more polite to serve it in the sala receiving area.

Lily Pad-50
Drink-All-You-Can Fresh Dalandan Juice
It is an absolute No-No to run out of a delicious dalandan juice. We don't drink softdrinks. I think we only have on average 2 glasses of Dalandan juice before it ran out just when we are about to start our lunch.

Lily Pad-36
Kitchen Ambiance?
I don't think that seeing the kitchen is cute. A divider to partially hide the kitchen would have been more appropriate. The maximum capacity of the dining area is 20 but I think it will be crowded already. The best experience would be to have the entire Lily Pad all for your group.

Lily Pad-45
Makiling Greenheights Tour?
It would be lovely if you can tour around the houses and gardens in Makiling Greenheights. It would be nice if Barbara could rally the Makiling Greenheights community to make it a destination in itself rather than just Lily Pad. Maybe there is an awesome viewpoint of Mt. Makiling in the subdivision. A Makiling Greenheights ala Viaje del Sol map would be a good marketing tactic.


So going back to the question:
Is driving for 2 hours to Barbara's Lily Pad in Calamba to eat a home-cooked meal from a passionate chef for P1,000/ head , really worth it?
Yes, I believe it is worth it and I'm going back to try the Filipino Menu with a barkada group. Thanks to Barbara for accommodating our Family for 3-hours lazy lunch. Now, I'm sure she would get back to me with constructive criticisms on my writing. I'm excited to attend her creative writing class in January.

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How to get to Lily Pad:

Lily Pad-4

Take SLEX, Calamba exit. (This is your LAST turnleaf exit in SLEX)
Go straight as if going to Calamba. (This is the left side of SLEX, the right side goes to Batangas)
On your right watch out for a sign that says ALTERNATE ROUTE TO LOS BANOS.
TURN FULLY RIGHT at intersection where you see a faded yellow sign advertising
SUNCREST LPG and LAONG-LAAN RESTAURANT with a lechon picture. (You won't miss this sign)
TURN (First) LEFT at next road to dead end
TURN (First) RIGHT for a short time THEN
TURN (First) LEFT again at a corner store called A.V. BAUTISTA TRADING.
Now you are on the SHORTCUT to Los Banos.
(An easier way to give the directions would be to just follow the jeeps and majority of the private cars)

Lily Pad-47
Directly across the first SHELL STATION is
sign saying BARANGAY LA MESA
and an ad for SAN MIGUEL PALE PILSEN.
TURN RIGHT into this road.

Lily Pad-46
Follow the concrete road to the top. (This view of the road is on our way back to Manila. You should see this kind of scenery)

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TURN RIGHT then TURN LEFT into the gated community.
You are in MAKILING GREENHEIGHTS.
You are on MARJORAM ROAD.

Lily Pad-40
Go straight until you see a big white cement origami house on your left.That is LILY PAD.
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Barbara Gonzalez' Lily Pad
Majoram Road, Makiling Greenheights
Calamba, Laguna
Telephone Numbers: +632 401-3558
Mobile: +63918-3624176 or +63917-8452902
Email: barbarac.gonzalez@gmail.com

anton signature

Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

P.S. I'm experimenting on a new blog post format which are long with navigation links instead of posts broken down into 3 blog post series. What do you think?

November 5, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (37) | TrackBack

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hairspray, Manila: Still Undecided About Watching Hairspray?

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Hairspray
Two weeks to go, are you still undecided about watching Hairspray?

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAIRSPRAY, MANILA!
1. What is the story about?
2. Star-Studded Casts
3. Madel Who?
4. Hairspray Songs and Dances
5. A Sneak Peek at the Hairspray Rehearsals
6. Why You Should Watch Hairspray?
7. When is it Showing?
8. Where is it Showing?
9. How to Buy Tickets?
10. Buy Your Tickets Now from OurAwesomePlanet!

Don't Miss to Watch Hairspray, Manila !

Hairspray Poster Hairspray-12
Buy Your Hairspray Tickets Online Now from OAP!

Hairspray Show November 22, Saturday 2pm (Seatplan)
Lower Orchestra P1,200 (Rows A-I) - $22 Special Online Price
Upper Orchestra P1,000 (Rows J-S) - $19 Special Online Price
Loge P800 (Rows T-X) - $15 Special Online Price
Balcony P600 (Rows Y-Z) - $11 Special Online Price

Hairspray Show November 29, Saturday 8pm (Seatplan)
Lower Orchestra Php 1,200 (Rows A-I) - $22 Special Online Price
Upper Orchestra Php 1,000 (Rows J-S) - $19 Special Online Price
Loge Php 800 (Rows T-X) - $15 Special Online Price
Balcony Php 600 (Rows Y-Z) - $11 Special Online Price

Email me anton@diaz.ph | Call me +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)



EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAIRSPRAY, MANILA!

1. What is the story about?
Hairspray-7
Hairspray, Manila Synopsis (source: Official Hairspray Website)

The running time of Hairspray is approximately 2 hours 40 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission.

Hairspray is based upon the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, with a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Hairspray is directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell.

In Hairspray, it's 1962 - the '50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion--to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, "The Corny Collins Show" and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her 'do? Only in Hairspray! Welcome to the '60s!

The musical features an original score by Marc Shaiman (who co-wrote the music and lyrics for the acclaimed animated musical, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) and Scott Wittman. Their songs take Tracy from the soundstage of a 60's-style dance show to the streets of Baltimore to a downtown rhythm and blues record shop.

Hairspray is the winner of eight Tony awards including Best Musical. It was recently made into a hit film starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Queen Latifah. After 2,641 performances and 31 previews, the 19th longest running show on Broadway history will close on 04 January 2009.

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2. Star-Studded Hairspray Casts
Hairspray-14
Michael de Mesa as Edna (played by John Travolta)

Headlining the cast is award winning film/television/stage actor Michael de Mesa. For the first time in his illustrious career, Michael will be playing a woman on stage as he takes on the role of Edna Turnblad, made famous in the original film by Divine, on Broadway by Harvey Fierstein and in the recent movie musical by John Travolta. Michael has been seen in numerous Atlantis show’s such as RENT, PROOF, TICK,TICK…BOOM!, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and, most recently, in DOGEATERS.

dulce
Dulce as Motormouth Maybelle (played by Queen Latifah)

Multi-awarded singer Dulce plays Motor Mouth Maybelle, a role that Queen Latifah made famous in the movie musical version of HAIRSPRAY. She gets to sing the second act power ballad I KNOW WHERE I’VE BEN. Dulce was last seen on stage in the musical HIMALA, and marks her 30th year in showbiz with her performance in HAIRSPRAY.

Hairspray-5
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Velma Von Tussle (played by Michelle Pfeiffer)

Musical Theatre sensation and now stage director Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo returns to perform as the villainous Velma Von Tussle, played in the film by Michelle Pfeiffer. Menchu has appeared in many shows for Atlantis including PROOF and BABY and recently directed WEST SIDE STORY for STAGES. She continues to be one of the country’s most sought after musical theatre actresses.

Hairspray-16
Nyoy Volante as Seaweed J. Stubbs (played by Elijah Kelley)

Singer/Songwriter Nyoy Volante returns to his theatre roots in HAIRSPRAY where he plays Seaweed J. Stubbs. Nyoy recently released his fifth album entitled HEARTSTRINGS with the hit single BECAUSE. He last appeared on stage alternating with Jett Pangan as James Thunder Early in Atlantis’ DREAMGIRLS.

Hairspray Cast
Leo Rialp as Wilbur (played by Christopher Walken)

Actor/Director Leo Rialp plays Wilbur Turnblad, Edna’s loving and devoted husband. Leo continues to juggle directing with performing and last appeared with Atlantis in DOGEATERS and most recently, appeared on stage in THE GOLDEN CHILD.

Hairspray-10
Also joining the cast are comedian Gabe Mercado who will be playing numerous roles as The Male Authority Figure, theatre veteran Enchang Kaimo as the Female Authority Figure and Noel Rayos, who returns from Hong Kong Disneyland to play Corny Collins (played by James Marsden).

Other cast members include Tim Espinosa as Link Larkin (played by Zac Efron), Christine Allado as Amber (played by Brittany Snow) -- performed with Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, and Monica Reynoso as Penny (played by Amanda Bynes) -- performed with Enchang Kaimo.

In the ensemble are Jordan Aguilar, Emy Alcid, Caisa Borromeo, Erika Cedilla, Red Concepcion, Gerlin Francisco, Bea Garcia, Crienna House, Yanah Laurel, Cheeno Macaraig, Michael Odoemene, Anthony Ong, Myrene Santos, Mark Tayag, and Lee Villoria.

Hairspray-30
HAIRSPRAY is directed by Bobby Garcia, choreographed by Cecille Martinez, Production Design by Gino Gonzale, Lighting Design by Shoko Matsumoto while Musical Director Archie Castillo will be conducting the FILharmoniKA orchestra.

Hairspray-9
And, introducing Madel Ching as Tracy Turnblad!

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3. Madel WHO?!?

Madel
Like most Tracy Turnbalds before her, Madel will be making her professional debut in Hairspray. She is a Junior at Ateneo de Manila majoring in AB Political Science. ( I can hear Ateneans cheering "Go Ateneo!" ) Having performed in school productions including High School Musical, Madel is thrilled to take on her first major role.

She says, "Girls like me don't get opportunities like this! Honestly, I feel like I'm the modern-day Filipina version of Tracy. A big girl with big dreams It's a little scary to take on a role this big, but I'm really looking forward to taking on the challenge of playing a character with this much spirit and energy."

We recently interviewed Madel after one of the Hairspray Rehearsals. Get to know her and watch the Video below:


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4. Hairspray Songs and Dances

One of the ways to enjoy watching Hairspray is to familiarize yourself with the songs and dances. Here are some links to You Tube videos of the original Hairspray movie, Hairspray song lyrics and a sneak peak of the Hairspray Manila rehearsals.

Hairspray-31

Hairspray Songs | Videos | Lyrics

Act 1
Good Morning Baltimore | Video | Lyrics
The Nicest Kids In Town | Video | Lyrics
Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now | Video | Lyrics
I Can Hear The Bells | Video | Lyrics
(The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crabs | Video | Lyrics
Detention Grove | Video
It Takes Two | Lyrics
Welcome To The 60's | Video | Lyrics
Run And Tell That! | Video | Lyrics
Big, Blonde And Beautiful | Video | Lyrics

Act 2
The Big Dollhouse | Video | Lyrics
Good Morning Baltimore Reprise | Video | Lyrics
(You're) Timeless To Me | Video | Lyrics
Without Love | Video | Lyrics
I Know Where I've Been | Video | Lyrics
(It's) Hairspray | Video | Lyrics
Cooties | Video | Lyrics
You Can't Stop The Beat | Video | Lyrics
Ladies Choice | Video | Lyrics
The New Girl in Town | Video | Lyrics
Blood On The Pavement | Lyrics
Come So Far (Got So Far To Go) | Video | Lyrics

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5. A Sneak Peek at the Hairspray Rehearsals

Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now (Photos)
Hairspray-4 Hairspray-6


Welcome to the 60's! (Video)

Run and Tell That! (Photos)
Hairspray-20
Hairspray-18

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6. Why You Should Watch Hairspray?

I can't wait to watch Hairspray after this exciting interview with Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo. Watch it!


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7. When is it Showing?

Hairspray-27

HAIRSPRAY runs every Friday 8pm, Saturday 2pm/ 8pm and Sunday 3pm/ 8pm from November 14 to December 7, 2008.

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8. Where is it Showing?
Hairspray runs at the Star Theatre, CCP Complex besides STAR City.
StartheaterSeatPlan
The BEST seats would be the center front seats.

Lower Orchestra Php 1,200 (Rows A-I)
Upper Orchestra Php 1,000 (Rows J-S)
Loge Php 800 (Rows T-X)
Balcony Php 600 (Rows Y-Z)

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9. How to Buy the Tickets?

Please buy your tickets from the show buyers by contacting them directly! It will maximize their profit and this will encourage more show buyers in the future!

HAIRSPRAY MANILA SHOW BUYER'S DIRECTORY
Date/Time | Show Buyer, Contact Number, and Email

Opening Night
Nov. 14, 2008
Friday 8:pm | Timothy Liong +639178735405

Nov. 15, 2008 Saturday 2:00pm | Allan Marasigan +63917-4382299

Nov. 15, 2008 Saturday 8:00pm | Fritzie Villacorta +63917-8337489 email: fsioson@yahoo.com apvillacorta@globetel.com.ph

Michelle Chan Show
Nov. 16, 2008 Sunday 3:00pm | Michelle Chan +63917-5393369 email: masychan@gmail.com

Nov. 16, 2008 Sunday 8:00pm | Rosanne Unson +63917-8300312 email: rkrodriguez@gmail.com

Nov. 21, 2008 Fri 8:00pm | Atlantis Atlantis Productions at +632 892-7078, 840-118 c/o Ticketworld +632 891-9999

OurAwesomePlanet Show: Buy Your Tickets Now!
Nov. 22, 2008
Sat 2:00pm | Camille Bautista +63917-8908905, Anton +63917-5683627

Nov. 22, 2008 Sat 8:00pm | Shirley Alinea +63917-8903564

Nov. 23, 2008 Sun 3:00pm | Jill Pena +63919-3608974 email: jill_mari@yahoo.com

Nov. 23, 2008 Sun 8:00pm | Timothy Liong +63917-8735405

Andrea Go & Daphne Uy's Show
Nov. 28, 2008 Fri 8:00pm | Andrea Go +63917-8867968 email: andreanicoleuygo@gmail.com

Nov. 29, 2008 Sat 2:00pm | Theody Demaisip +63920-9326067 email: tdemaisip@fastmail.fm

OurAwesomePlanet Show: Buy Your Tickets Now!
Nov. 29, 2008 Sat 8:00pm | Joelle Ona +63920-9010863 email: jhorca@gmail.com; Anton +63917-5683627

Nov. 30, 2008 Sun 3;00pm | Jill Pena +63919-3608974 email: jill_mari@yahoo.com

Nov. 30, 2008 Sun 8;00pm | Janna Chua +63928-5024066 Roan Isberto 0918-9133793

Dec. 5, 2008 Friday 8:00pm | Ticketworld +632 891-9999

Bachelor Girl Shake & Shimmy Show
Dec. 6, 2008 Sat 2:00pm | Lorna Lopez +632 913-157 +63922-3875729 email: thebachelorgirl@gmail.com

December 6, 2008 Sat 8:00pm | Ticketworld +632 891-9999

December 7, 2008 Sun 3:00pm | Teody Demaisip +63920-9326067 email: tdemaisip@fastmail.fm

Closing Night
Dec. 7, 2008 Sun 8:00 pm | Mae Castro +63906-3414559

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10. Buy Your Tickets Now from OurAwesomePlanet!

Don't Miss to Watch Hairspray, Manila !

Hairspray Poster Hairspray-12
Buy Your Hairspray Tickets Online Now from OAP!

November 22, Saturday 2pm (Seatplan)
Lower Orchestra P1,200 (Rows A-I) - $22 Special Online Price
Upper Orchestra P1,000 (Rows J-S) - $19 Special Online Price
Loge P800 (Rows T-X) - $15 Special Online Price
Balcony P600 (Rows Y-Z) - $11 Special Online Price

November 29, Saturday 8pm (Seatplan)
Lower Orchestra Php 1,200 (Rows A-I) - $22 Special Online Price
Upper Orchestra Php 1,000 (Rows J-S) - $19 Special Online Price
Loge Php 800 (Rows T-X) - $15 Special Online Price
Balcony Php 600 (Rows Y-Z) - $11 Special Online Price

Three Compelling Reasons Why You Should Buy Online!
1. You can earn credit card points on your Purchase. No Need to Have a Paypal Account if you want to pay via Credit card.

Major Credit Cards are Accepted.VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressDiscover
2. It is cheaper and less hassle. We ensure that we pass on some efficiency savings to people who buys online. Shipment within Metro Manila is FREE courtesy of 2GO Express - The Official Shipment Sponsor of OurAwesomePlanet.com
3. It is secure because I'm Paypal verified. Paypal securely processes the Credit Card transaction.

Official PayPal Seal

Try it Now!


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May you Live an Awesome Life,

anton signature

Text and Photos by Atlantis Productions.
Rehearsal Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph


November 4, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Antonio's - Asia's Top 10 Restaurant by the Miele Guide

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Asia's Top 20
Congratulations to Chef Tony Boy Escalante's for being recognized by the Miele Guide as Asia's Top 10 Restaurant! I'm happy for him because I voted for him as my number #1 restaurant in the Philippines. The Miele Guide launched last October 31, Friday in the Miele Guide Gala Dinner held at Grand Hyatt Singapore. You can buy your copy online at the Miele Shop for $15 + Shipping $.

OAP Related Links About Antonio's Fine Dining Restaurant
1. Nothing beats an Antonio's Dinner @ Tagaytay!
This is my very first post last February 2006. Read this first because I shared the entire menu of Antonio's in that post.

2. Breakfast @ Antonio's "Halfway House"
A few months later, I wrote about Antonio's Breakfast which has now move to the original Antonio's fine dining restaurant.

3. Antonio's, Tagaytay -- Still the Best
When my brother was looking for a wedding reception venue, I took shots of the facade, ambiance and entire surrounding last April 2007. You might want to check this out if you are planning to attend a wedding here.

4. Top 10 Awesome Restaurants of the Philippines
In September 2007, I wrote an article in Sunday Inquirer Magazine and named Antonio's Fine Dining as one of the Top 10 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines!

5. Antonio's - Asia's Top 10 Restaurant by Miele Guide
Antonio's is recognized as one of the top 20 restaurants in Asia!


Here is the excerpt from the Miele Guide Website:

10. Antonio’s Fine Dining
Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines


" Standing for over five years now, Antonio’s menu has proven to be as spoon-worthy as its ambience is swoon-worthy. It has consistently been considered among the top five restaurants in the Philippines and a favourite for proposals and intimate weddings. Chef Antonio Escalante’s commitment to fine cuisine remains strong. A la carte ordering is simple enough although the pre fixe menu may prove a little tricky as it allows guests a mix and match of salads and desserts with select entrees. Don’t skip the salads as Tagaytay offers the best greens in and around Metro Manila. Duck has also been known to steal the show, especially the duck confit in Grand Marnier beurre blanc or the roasted duck breast served with foie gras. The service here at Antonio’s is excellent. The wait is never long and within minutes you are seated, handed a menu and offered the restaurant's signature dalandan juice. " - Miele Guide Asia's Top 20

Call Antonio's Restaurant at +63918-899-2866 for reservations!
Congratulations to Charee Guico of Quezon City, Philippines for winning in the Miele Guide Lucky Draw! She won a dinner for two at Iggy's, the top ranked restaurant in Singapore, and two nights stay in one of Asia's most luxurious hotels, the Grand Hyatt Singapore!

May You Live an Awesome Life,

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 2, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween! (A Photo Essay of Our Halloween 2008)

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Halloween Party-11
Angel Joshua Xavier

Halloween Party-16
The Angel, Barbarian and the Princess

Halloween Party-17 Halloween Party-7
Halloween Party in our Community

trick-treat-2181
The Hogwartz and the Barbarian Aidan trick-treat-2012 tricktreatfamily-2209
The Barbarian goes to office and meets Jollibee!

Halloween Party-8
Aidan and the three Princess

Happy Halloween Del Monte-3 Happy Halloween Del Monte-2
Lion King Joshua with Aidan the Knight

May You Live an Awesome Life,

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph

November 1, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Friday, October 31, 2008

1,000th Blog Post and the Next 1,000

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Chocolate Hills
After 1,000 blog posts in 3 years and 10 months, our family is thankful for the 4,000+ OAP friends who read our family's food and travel adventures. We are honored and blessed for achieving this blogging milestone.

An AWESOME THANK YOU to all our OAP Friends!
1000

I want to take this milestone opportunity to share with you the results of the OAP survey conducted last June 2008. A total of 543 OAP friends responded to the survey. I read each one's comment and reflected on how I can apply them to take OAP to the next level. I'm committed to constantly improve Our Awesome Planet until the day I have to pass it on to Aidan and Joshua. Based on the readership's candid feedback, I would like to share with you my strategies and plans for OAP 2.0!

The Next 1,000 Blog Posts

1. The Mission of Our Awesome Planet:
" To use my never ending curiosity to discover new things and my internet marketing experience to inspire the minds and touch the hearts of Filipinos to live an Awesome Life in the Philippines! "

One of the secrets of OAP success is our desire to give as much value as possible to our OAP readers. OAP will continue to be the story of our family's adventures. It will continue to be the number one source of food and travel insider's secrets in Manila shared through word-of-mouth.

Our Awesome Planet will NEVER ...
- be formatted or written like a lifestyle magazine. I want to keep the content fresh, honest and most importantly, fun.
- spam our readers with advertorials. I have a policy of not accepting any freebies from restaurants and hotels before or after I review them. I'm committed to remove any bias and perceptions of any conflict of interests in my posts.

OAP will continue to support blog advertising through Blog Bank, Google Adsense Network, and Red Sight Media. I will let the Blog Advertising Networks to talk to advertisers and create a firewall between us.

2. National Geographic Photography, Conde Nast Traveller Writing Quality and Doreen Fernandez Food Writing Caliber

I am committed to "kaizen" or continuous improvement. OAP is a historical view of my professional development as a photographer, travel writer, and food critic. I am happy that 82% of the readers are either Very Satisfied (50%) or rated OAP as Awesome (33%). The Photography is rated highly at 84.5% (44% Very Satisfied/ 41% Awesome!) - my photography classes have paid out. The Articles are rated 78.6% (58% Very Satisfied / 21% Awesome!) overall because they are relevant, engaging and honest.

For the next 1,000 blog posts in OAP, I'm focusing on improving my Writing. I aspire to write Philippines-related articles for Conde Nast Traveller. I'm inspired to write as good as Doreen Fernandez when it comes to food reviews. In order to achieve that dream, I need to improve the way I write. I already mastered writing from the heart, and I will master editing with the mind. I tried to get an editor for the blog but with the fast rate I am writing my blog posts, the editors cannot keep up. Releasing timely, relevant and engaging articles is key to the success of OAP.

I get the message loud and clear from the comments. Thank you for the concern and I can only return your love with noticeable improvement on my grammar and writing style.

3. Focus on New Restaurants and Travel Destinations in the Philippines

I tried to experiment with a lot of topics in the survey and most OAP readers love the blog posts on New Restos and Travel Destinations in the Philippines. I will focus 80% of OAP's content on these topics. (20% will be focused on Aidan and Joshua and other cool topics.) To be specific, I will write more on proposed itineraries and budget travel deals. I will describe better the taste of the food. In order to do this, I plan to attend culinary classes and learn the ins and outs of the cooking process. I will also learn more about wines -- watch out for it.

I got comments to make the blog less personal by not showing posed pictures of my family in the restaurants and places that I review. I acknowledge this comment but at the same time I cannot help featuring my family in most of my blog posts. What I can do is make the shots as candid as possible and less on the posed shots.

Culture and arts scene in Manila will always have a spot in my heart. From time to time articles on these matter will be seen in OAP. It is a personal advocacy to show the world the best of the Philippines.

As for the other topics in the survey, I decided to create separate blogs for them. I will announce them in due time. I promised not to write anything about blogging, internet marketing or IT related stuff in OAP. I agree it is not appropriate and I'm launching antondiaz.com soon to tackle these topics separately.

4. Give Back to OAP Readers by sharing knowledge on Photography, Blogging and Building an Online Business.

As a way of expressing my gratitude, I am going to honor OAP readers by giving exclusive deals! The first batch of my Internet Marketing School will be offered solely to avid OAP readers. I will teach photography, blogging and how to build an online business to aspiring internet mavens. OAP readers will get a very good offer for those who want to be in the pilot group. This is my own way of saying Thank you!

5. Actively contribute to shaping the History of the Philippines in 2010.

The year 2010 is a historic milestone for the Philippines. I am excited because for the first time we will have a chance to shape the history of the Philippines. There are three events that will dramatically change our lives in the Philippines:

1. For the first time, the young will select the best President for the Philippines. Traditional Politicians should be scared. Don't ever underestimate the collective power of the youth.

2. For the first time, Philippines will be in the Tourism Map of the World when Chocolate Hills in Bohol and Underground River in Palawan win as one of the seven natural wonders of the world!

3. For the first time, Internet Marketing businesses will boom and change the business model of the different industries in the Philippines.

I am sharing with you my personal predictions and I'm excited to see what will happen in 2010.


May You Live an Awesome Life,

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: anton@diaz.ph


October 31, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ukkokei Ramen Ron - One of the Best Shoyu Ramen in Manila!

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rache Ukkokei Ramen Ron by Mrs Awesome Planet

OAP Goes Japanese Related Links
Ukkokei Ramen Ron - One of the Best Shoyu Ramen in Manila!

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Ukkokei Ramen Ron serves the best shoyu ramen in town! I got this tip from my Japanese foodie friend, Atsushi Matsuura.

Before reading the rest of the blog post, you need to be aware of unique policies of this ramen house:
1. The Ramen is not available for take-out. You can only enjoy it in the restaurant.
2. There is a NO-SHARING Ramen policy which means you cannot share the ramen between two people. (Even if it is good for two people)
There is NO dessert in Ukkokei Ramen Ron.

Ramen Ron-9 Drinks | Lunch Set | Miso Based Ramen | Shoyu and Shio Ramen | Other Japanese Treats

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Ukkokei Shoyu Koumi (P330 + 5% S.C.) Beef Ramen with Shoyu Sauce. Savor the smell of the ramen and look at the glittering oil before eating it.

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There are three types of Ramen: Shoyu (soy-sauce based), Shio (salt based) and Miso (Miso soup based). You can have it hot or cold.

In Ron, we would highly recommend ordering the Shoyu Ramen. Most of the ramen would have this sesame oily taste. The shoyu taste is smooth and clean like swimming in Kayangan Lake in Coron. I like the way the ramen noodles are cooked al dente. It is fatter than most of the commercialized ramen houses in Manila. The miso based ramen did not leave a good impression on us.

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The best time to go is during lunch time. They have a set lunch menu (P380) of Ramen, Mini Donburi, Salad and Kobachi. Order the ones with gyoza and rice. During dinner time, the ramen is usually priced individually at P300-P360.


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Ukkokei Nirra Niniku Karamiso (P360 + 5% S.C.) Vegetable Ramen with Miso Sauce.

" ... This was all-vegetable soup with some spiciness. The slices of shitake mushroom you see were not very tasty…maybe because it all went to the soup. I liked the soup for it was very flavorful but I always get distracted with the soup’s oiliness and the vegetable (I had lots of the hard parts of the petchay.) that I forgot to really take note of the flavor. I would like to think that the oil that I was referring too was the chili oil. "

-- Ukkokei Ramen Ron by Mrs Awesome Planet

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Ukkokei Ramen Ron has a simple modern japanese interiors with a ramen and bowl display as the highlight. I like the Japanese tables where you leave your shoes before sitting on a thin seat cushion and letting your feet hang and swing around.

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Gyoza (P120). This was gone in seconds. Eating gyoza is the best way to start your meal. We heard that Shinjuku serves the best gyoza in town.

What is your favorite Japanese Restaurant in Manila?

Ramen Ron
Ukkokei. Tesoro Bldg.,
822 A. Arnaiz Ave. (Pasay Road), Makati.
In between Paseo de Roxas and Amorsolo St.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com


October 30, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)

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The Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Related Links

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)
Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)
Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)
Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)
Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)
Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)
Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)
Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)

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Our final stop of the tour is a sunset chill-out merienda with Mang Rudy's Puto in T-house Dining.

OAP Related Posts:
The Definitive Guide to T-House, Tagaytay
T-House Dining's Fluffy Pancakes!
T-House Romance

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It is a very relaxing place specially during sunset. It lives up to its name T-house which stands for House of Tranquility.

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I just love hanging out here for chika chika until the sun sets and before we go back to Manila.

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Mang Rudy's Puto is a very traditional puto made of galapong rice. This is the best kept secret puto in Tagaytay.

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Most of the people love this simple Japanese salad with Japanese sauce and nori on top. tagaytayculinary-1987
Aidan loves these big pebbles fountain in T-house.

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The Flavored Banana Fritters with langka, ube or macapuno are our personal favorite. You don't know which flavor you'll get until you take a bite.

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A healthy merienda of fresh fruits skewer...

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Yes, our Lil' Mr. Terror :)

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Thank you to our Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Pioneering Participants: Charles, Asunta, Oskie, Dodjie, Teng, Wendy and Andy, Franklin and Jasmine.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com




October 30, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Destination Wedding Tagaytay – Lessons and Tips On How to Make Your Day Special

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Happy Anniversary Enzo and Carmina! They are expecting their first baby soon! I'm sharing with you a blog post from my brother about that special day. - Anton

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Destination Wedding Tagaytay – Lessons and Tips On How to Make Your Day Special
By Enzo Diaz

Readers of OAP are privy to the little experiment I had two years ago. I went to a regression session. See the article here: a Frances Gloria Regression Experience . My brother Anton gave me a surprise experiential Christmas gift-- that of having a regression session with Frances Gloria. Part of the experience is supposedly taking a peek into the future. Based on the notes from Frances, the name of my future wife is supposed to be “Carly”. We are supposed to be married in some vineyard setting and the date is September 14th, 2007. The honeymoon will be at some mountain retreat in some foreign country.

My date in the altar came on October 28 2007 (date is off by 44 days). I got married to Carmina (first syllable is correct though). I got married in Caleruega, a chapel on top of a hill in Tagaytay (not really a vineyard) and we had our honeymoon in a beach resort at El Nido, Palawan (really far from the predicted mountain retreat in some foreign land).

Lesson: Don’t ever believe in hula, predictions and pre-destinations.

In this blog entry, I will share with you our experiences in setting up what I consider a destination wedding. Being based in Los Angeles, making it happen 8,000 miles away is a real project management challenge. I hope I will be able to add value to other couples out there who are based outside the Philippines and want to get hitched in their home country. We hope that by sharing our hindsight views and experiences with our vendors/ suppliers, you will be able to make your day awesome and memorable.


On Setting the Date

The date of the wedding is usually the first thing that the couple will decide on. There are different methods by which couples decide on “the” day. Some people like to be guided by feng-shui. Others take their cue from availability of suppliers, priests or church or reception area. For some, they probably take into consideration the low seasonality for travel since this will be easy on the couple and their guests to make travel arrangements - and this is exactly what we prioritized. We decided on October precisely because of this reason. Air ticket to Manila is only $800.00 per person roundtrip as opposed to more than a thousand if it is near Christmas. We ended up having it on 28th due to the availability of Caleruega.

We set this date hoping that we will not be rained on. But nature and the Almighty decided to shower us with a lot of blessings.

Lesson: The weather could spell a big difference on how your day will be remembered.


On Choosing the Church

Being a photographer myself, my primary consideration in choosing the church is its sheer beauty and the photogenic images it will render. There are a lot of good looking churches in Manila but for me nothing beats Calereuga. Its size is just right for 200 of your guest to easily fill up the pews.

We also tried to be unique and get something off the beaten track but we didn’t find any church that would satisfy our criteria. Aside from this, we had a great time here during the wedding of Anton and Rache. Akin to starting a family tradition, we decided to make it all happen here.

On choosing Caleruega, there’s one thing that we didn’t count on. Tagaytay is considered “out of town”. Our suppliers added traveling fees ranging from 10% to 50% of their normal.

Lesson: Be prepared for out of town costs, for this could affect your budget.



On Selecting the Reception Venue

After selecting the church, the next thing you need to nail is deciding on the reception venue. Of all the decisions that we made, the reception venue selection proved to be an ordeal by itself. The reception usually commands the biggest part of the budget so you want to get it right.

There are a lot of reception venues in Tagaytay. You have a wide variety of choices that range from restaurants to club houses. When we decided on our venue, our primary consideration is uniqueness…meaning it is not yet gasgas as far as usage is concerned. We wanted something that was less photographed and less popular yet will still deliver.

When we were selecting the venue, we trimmed the list down to these four sites:

  1. Balai Taal
  2. Antonio’s
  3. Hacienda Isabelle
  4. Ville Sommet

We decided to go for Balai Taal due to that pioneering feeling that we were one of the first few people to have a reception party there. When we were researching for wedding photos in Balai Taal in the Internet, we were only able to find a couple. This was a solid sign to us that the place was relatively undiscovered. We learned that that there was only one wedding held here in 2005. In 2006, there were only six. For 2007, they were set to hit 18 weddings by year end.

Another reason why we went for Balai Taal is the theme and motif of our wedding. We threaded our wedding with the Verdant Leaf theme. Nothing comes close to Balai Taal in providing a good fit to our wedding concept. For photos and articles related to what’s in Balai Taal, see previous entry here: Balai Taal, Tagaytay

Antonio’s recent renovation and expansion made it an ideal venue for weddings. The food here there is hailed as the best in all Tagaytay bar none. Only problem with this site is that the tables are spread across different floors. You will not have that “intimacy” since guests are spread out. On top of that, you will have to really limit your guest since it can accommodate only up to 150 to 160 guests. See article here: Antonio's Tagaytay, Still the Best and Nothing Beats an Antonio's Dinner @ Tagaytay .

Another unique reception area is the Ledesma’s Hacienda Isabelle. This was originally a private Tagaytay retreat that recently opened its doors to the public as a dining place (by reservation only) It is a place of character in its own. We didn’t go with them because they only allow food served by their chef. We figured that if we factor in the food, we are better off going with Antonio’s. See article here: Ville Sommet, Tagaytay

Ville Sommet is another area that is well manicured and set up for big weddings. Their glass house pavilion is something to be admired once you do your set-up. The glass house is huge and we figured that we will be spending a lot of resources in styling the place. If you are having a wedding in a rainy month, you might want to go for the very well covered area they provided. See article here: Hacienda Isabella's Lazy Sunday Lunch and Hacienda !sabella , Celebrate Life!

Other venues that you might want to consider are Splendido and Tagaytay Highlands.

In the end, selecting the venue is a matter relegated to preference, wedding concept, budget and weather. You will never go wrong with the choices listed here.

Tip: Have a wedding concept or theme. This will make your decision making faster. Make this theme as unique as possible since this will help making your wedding distinct from the rest.


October 29, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)

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The Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Related Links

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)
Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)
Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)
Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)
Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)
Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)
Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)
Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)

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We drove for 30 minutes crossing over the Tagaytay Ridge and finding our way to Yoki's Farm. It is a hydroponics farm which houses a private collection of Yoki's artifacts collection.

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The vegetables are not grown on soil but on water with nutrients. We love buying our salad ingredients here which is one of the sources of Tagaytay Greens for Tagaytay's famous restaurants..

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Aside from Yoki's treasure, buying cheap and good quality vegetables is one of the highlights of the leg of this tour.

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You have to get a special permission to see the private collection at Yoki's farm.

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We would usually go around the simple farm as a break before we head off to our final foodie destination.

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Don't forget to take your lucky picture with one of the biggest buddha I have seen in Manila.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 29, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)

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The Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Related Links

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)
Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)
Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)
Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)
Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)
Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)
Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)
Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)

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Let me share with you one of my latest amazing discovery in Tagaytay. We visit this place after lunch during the Ultimate Tagaytay Tour. Are you ready for this?

Welcome to Yoki's Treasures!

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I Love Yoki's!

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 29, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)

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The Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Related Links

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)
Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)
Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)
Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)
Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)
Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)
Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)
Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)

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After the Bawai lunch, the group walked over to Chateau Hestia, my personal favorite dessert and wine place in Tagaytay.

OAP RELATED LINKS: A Chateau Hestia Birthday Celebration (January 8, 2008)

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We ate a dessert trio of Ferero Rocher Ice Cream, Mango Napoleon, and Panna Cota.

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We finished the Ultimate Tagaytay lunch with a toast of Lemon Cello and/or Vin de Orange. Both wines are proudly made by Johannes in the Philippines!

It was indeed a Happy Lunch after all...

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Dodjie's happiness...

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Ivan Man Dy's Jump for Joy for being featured in No Reservations.

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Hep, Hep.... Hurray!

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Aidan's imaginary house in Chateau Hestia.

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A Spanky Ending...


anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 28, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sister Raquel Reodica, Cancer Healer of the Lord

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One of my pro bono projects is to do a total site makeover of Sister Raquel's website from a Web 1.0 site (Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry) to a Web 2.0 Site (Sister Raquel Blog).

Sister Raquel is one of the Mother Ignacia nuns who is known as a Cancer Healer of the Lord. You can subscribe to the blog to get inspirational photos and poems by Eastwind and Sister Raquel. You can also pray for people from all around the world who requested for prayers for their sickness. You can also send your own prayer requests to the prayer warriors.

We visited Sister Raquel and had a healing pray over session for my mom.

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My partner for the blog site, Bernie Lopez was busy filming testimonials on how Jesus was able to heal the sick through Sister Raquel.

Check out SisterRaquel.com if you want to know more about the Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry of Sister Raquel, RVM.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com




October 27, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Astralis by Diamond Hotel, Rockwell Power Plant Mall

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We wanted to try out Astralis by Diamond Hotel ever since it opened to give new life to the Rockwell strip.

Every time we visit, the restaurant is empty with one or two groups eating. We hesitated to try it because we find the ambiance boring, and we expected the food to be hotel prices with + 12% VAT and (We just verified that the menu prices are inclusive of VAT) +10% service charge added to the menu price. I really don't understand why the prices are higher than the Serendra or Boni High Street restaurants. Despite the fact that it is located in a once-famous gimmick strip of a mall. In the end, we decided to go because we wanted a quiet date in a new restaurant we haven't tried.
Astralis Main Menu
Appetizers, Cheese & Cold Cuts | Salads, Sandwiches and Tarts, Soups, and Pasta, Risotto and Gnocchi | Seafood, Meat, and Desserts | Drinks and Beverages

Tapas Selection | Red Wines | Sparkling and White Wines | Astralis Flights: Red Wines from 3 Continents | Vignoble des Verdots by David Fourtout and Vin de Pays Wines of France

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The meal starts with a choice of bread with butter. The waiter was kind enough to bring us a pesto dip and a balsamic vinegar dip upon request. The sun-dried tomato bread tasted a lot better with the dips. One of the thing I like about Astralis is the attentive and friendly service that you can only find in hotels. After eating the bread, the waiter was kind enough to clean the crumbs off our table.

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Baked double-broiled mushroom soup (P220+) with swirl of pesto cream.

The phyllo pastry cover was a nice touch and it added excitement to our mushroom soup. My wife loves mushroom soup and she orders it every time. She thought that it lack an ingredient to really give it the mushroom ommph. For me, it tasted like monggo soup because of its consistency and the flavor.

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The restaurant is named after this expensive Astralis Wine. Astralis means stars and stands for high quality product and service.

Can anybody guess how much a bottle of Clarendon Hil 2005 Astralis wine would cost?
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Sato-san's Japanese Mentaiko Spaghetti (P460 +) spicy cod roe, nori on cream sauce

We love the combination of cream sauce with nori (japanese seaweed). We ordered extra servings of nori to truly enjoy this Japanese Spaghetti. It was served on an elongated white dish where two people can eat on both ends.

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Chicken stuff with gorgonzola, mozzarella, and stilton (P390+) with mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini

We love the combination of the 3 cheeses highlighted by the strawberry sauce. According to the waiter, this is one of their bestseller together with the Wagyu Steak.

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Astralis recently did a blogger's PR event on their Astralis Wine & Raclette Buffet. Just search on google and you'll easily find them. I like Noemi's post educating people about the Raclette.

Astralis Wine & Raclette Buffet
Every Mondays and Thursdays from 5pm onwards
Wine and Raclette - Php 950+
Wine Only - Php 650+
Raclette only - Php 390+
For reservations call Astralis by Diamond Hotel at +632 703-2688

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Astralis by Diamond Hotel
Lopez Drive, Power Plant Mall

Along Rockwell Strip, Besides Via Mare
Telephone Number: +632 703-2688

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 27, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where is your favorite place to travel on a rainy day and Why?

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CatstoothMatchPointArgyle Crush
Where to Travel on a Rainy Day and Why? a Pluey's Blog Contest

I love traveling during the rainy season because of the off peak rates and the lesser crowd in the different tourist destinations in the Philippines. For today's blog contest Friday, I am interested to know: Where is your favorite place to travel on a rainy day and Why? You can write your answer (maximum of 100 words) in the comment section below or link your blog post with photos (a plus!).

The best answer will win one Pluey and you can choose from the Pluey's 2008 collection. 10 runner-ups will be chosen and will be given a 10% discount to Plueys (with January 31, 2009 expiry date).


pluey

Deadline for submission of entries is on October 30, 2008, Thursday. I will announce the winner next Friday in time for the next blog contest Friday :)

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Text by Anton Diaz and Photos c/o Pluey's Manila.
Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com



Oooh La Lace Tokyo RainCatstooth

October 24, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (35) | TrackBack

Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)

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The Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Related Links

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)
Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)
Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)
Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)
Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)
Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)
Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)
Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)


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I always love to go to Bawai for the best vietnamese meal I ever tasted in Manila. Also, I love to hear the love story of Bawai on how they courted each other via sign language and how they ended up in Manila. I would like to share the experience to more people via the Ultimate Tagaytay Tour.

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The secret to Bawai's success is that she personally prepares the food with love. They don't want to expand the operation because they don't want to commercialize the taste of Bawai.

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Everyone was raving about this vietnamese salad which hits the right vietnamese notes and tunes.

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The salad was followed by the vietnamese lumpia, chagio and barbecue with the sweet patis sauce and peanut sauce.

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My brother Rommel is the one taking the pictures during the Tagaytay tour and he would often take care of Aidan as well.

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Aidan loves to go with me during the tours. He often promised to behave and entertain our foodie friends. The entire family is joining the Ultimate Pampanga Food Tour tomorrow.

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The main meal is the vietnamese beef soup or the pho. I prefer the pho and I took a mental note to serve rice in the next Tagaytay tour.

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Aside from the salad, most people rave about these chicken dogs as the finale for our Bawai lunch.

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Bawai was kind enough to serve us a complimentary serving of banana pie dessert with cream sauce.

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Ultimate Tagaytay Food Tour Souvenir Photo!


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Text by Anton Diaz and Photos by Rommel Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 24, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

F*#%^! Word

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Director Erik Matti's F*#%^! Word restaurant is the latest hang-out place along C. Palanca which replaced Sake Club. Spanx, Ivan H and I decided to do our pre-production meeting here for the Ultimate Pampanga Tour this coming Saturday. We had fun figuring out what the F*#%^! Word stands for. The most likely meaning, if I would guess, is Filipino Fusion Food.

The open well-lighted restaurant entices you to go in and just chill out. Most people just drink and we found out the reason why after our dinner.

You cannot see the F Word logo from the outside but you can see all the cartoon paintings on the wall. The paintings are not for sale.

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Peanut Butter Soup (P170).

When I invited Spanx and Ivan to F*#%^! Word, my hook was the peanut butter soup. We were surprised when we learned that it was replaced already by the pakbet soup. We were tempted to say the "What the F*#%^!" Word, but I'm glad that the waiter succumbed to our request and insistence to order the peanut butter soup.

As it turns out, the peanut butter soup is the highlight of our meal for the night. It tasted like curry with a peanut butter twist. It is interesting enough for me to rave about F*#%^!. I guess they want to keep the peanut soup as an off menu secret item :)

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F*#%^! Word Menu
Appetizers | Soup and Salad | Pasta | Meats and Fish | Off the Grill and Dessert | Merienda and Sandwiches | Drinks

The menu has humor and it would have been funny if they were able to deliver with good food. The restaurant is promising but something has to be done with the people running the kitchen.

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Spaghetti de Bilbao (P290). Guiltless all meat pasta for the ones who live to eat.

Ivan ordered this spaghetti and requested to remove all the cheese. This tasted more like tomato than meat. I don't know if it was intentional for the meat to have subdued taste.

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Ventre Croustillant de Porc Avec le Demi-glace de Pomme a.k.a. Lechon Kawali (P280). Crispy pork belly a la lechon kawali with apple demi-glace and pan fried apple-banana sidings.

With all the funny french translation, this lechon kawali tasted ordinary according to Spanx. It is just like the ones you can cook at home.

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Sole Fillet with Seafood Paella Risotto (P380). Pan fried sole fillet with taba ng talangka-caper sauce on Paella flavored risotto.

My waiter recommended this Sole Fillet as the best food in the house. I fell for the upsell again and I tasted more salt in this dish than what I expected. The risotto was harder than expected. The dish concept is very good and I fell for it. But the experience of eating it makes you regret ordering it. I should have ordered the sweet adobo, Pork Onnie.

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"Uber Healthy" Sisig Wrap (P230). Grilled Pork cheek, Pork ear, Pork snout, Pork sweetbreads, Chicken Liver and Butter wrapped in really, really fresh, healthy and green lettuce.

The waiter told us that there will be 12 pieces of lettuce which turns out to be only 3. You have to pay P40 for extra pieces of lettuce. There is nothing unique about wrapping sisig in lettuce. But this is a good appetizer to kick off the drinking session.

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Ivan Henares and Spanx Hizon will be our tour guide for tomorrow's Ultimate Pampanga Tour.

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Durian Cheese Cake (P210). The taste of durian without the stench masked behind a creamy, tasty cheese cake.

We all agreed that this would have been a great dessert if it was not frozen. I guess it needs to be "Frozen" to conform with the theme of the resto.

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I love the ambiance specifically the open ceiling with flat cylinder lights, cartoon painting effects on the wall, and the F emblem. I do hope Erik Matti improves the food.

F*#%^! Word
C. Palanca St., Makati City
(Besides Gweillos)

Live an Awesome Life,

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com


October 24, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)

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The Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Related Links

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)
Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)
Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)
Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)
Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)
Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)
Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)
Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)

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The highlight of the Ilog Maria Tour is the honey tasting straight from the honey bee comb. (I heard Paul Calvin tried to do this kind of honey tasting in their restaurant)

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At first it was scary because you don't know how clean the bee hive is.

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But once you tasted it, you'll swear that it is the sweetest honey you ever tasted.

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The best part of the trip is shopping from the Ilog Maria Store. My wife would often have pabilins to buy from Ilog Maria.

Ilog Maria Store
Telefax: +63 46 - 865 – 0018.
Email: info@ilogmaria.com
Mailing Address: P. O. Box # 1 , Silang 4118, Cavite, Philippines tagaytayculinarytour-2065
Our favorite Ilog Maria Products are the Lip Balm, Oatmeal and Spearmint Soap, and the Insect Repellant. What is your favorite Ilog Maria product?

Here are the current pricelist (as of October 2008)

Honey
Virgin Honey 500g (P230)
Honey Cider Vinegar (P115)

Propolis
Propolis Gold 30/ 320 ml (P110/ P930)
Propolis Throat Spray (P75)
Propolis Ointment B/S (P175/ P100)
Propolis Cider Linement (P95)
Feminine Wash (P45)
Liquid Soap - Lavender (P77)
Liquid Soap - Green Tea (P70)
Propolis Toothpaste (P155)
Propolis Pet Soap (P60)

Royal Jelly
Fresh Frozen Royal Jelly (14g/58g) - (P160/P600)
Royal Jelly Cleanser Moisturizer (P80)
Royal Jelly Honeymilk Lotion (P120)
Royal Jelly Face Oil (P110)
Royal Jelly Hair Oil (P110)
Royal Jelly Hair & Hand Cream (P110)

Fresh Bee Pollen 40g/225g (P100/P530)

Soaps
Mini Soaps (P35)
Baby Soap (P45)
Mint & Oatmeal (P60)
Kalamansi Ginger (P60)
Bamboo Charcoal (P60)
Coffee (P60)
Sandalwood (P60)
Cinnamon (P60)
Lavender (P65)
Milk (P65)
Carrot (P60)
Rosemary (P60)
Rose Milled (P60)
Honey Glycerin Face Soap (P80)
Saddle Soap (P30/P80)
Shaving Soap (P110)
Spa
Propolis Bath Salts (P95)
Eucalyptus Bath Gel (P70)
Honey Face Scrub (P130)
Massage Oil: Floral/ Citrus/ Chamomile (P155)
Shampoo (Handy// Family) - (P70 / P140)

Beeswax
Lip Balm (P65)
Beeswax Hair Styling Balsam (P90)
Beeswax Sheets (P88)
Beeswax Clay (P90)
Candle Rolling Kit (P140)
Leather Balsam (P80/P130/P230)
Wood Polish (P115/P220)
Beeswax Candles

Oils
Aromatherapy Oil, 15ml (P90)
Sting-Less (P70)
Citronella Fly Repellant (P300/P275)

Gifts
Gift Packs (P75/P85/P95)
Stoneware (P75/P85/P95)
Pineware Buckets (P75/P85/P95)
Pinewood Boxes (P75/P85/P95)
Native Bags (P75/P85/P95)

Ilog Maria Fresh Roasted Coffee (P170) 500g

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It is also interesting to read on how Ilog Maria Store started . Here is a catalog of the Ilog Maria Products.

" Ilog Maria Honey Cider Vinegar is best for removing wastes & toxins from your body and improving digestion & bowel movement. Together with this inner cleansing action, Ilog Maria Honey Cider Vinegar changes your body's chemical reaction from acid to alkaline in reaction. This triggers a host of beneficial co-reactions in your body. Wastes in our bodies precipitate as salts. Many times, these salt deposits are so large they cannot be expelled or excreted by normal body processes. These salts or “stones” only start to melt when we are able to change our body's chemical reactions to alkaline by regularly drinking 1 tablespoonful of Ilog Maria Honey Cider Vinegar in a glassful of water every morning before breakfast. Because of these and many other beneficial body reactions, regular use of Ilog Maria Honey Cider Vinegar helps lower uric acid, cholesterol and blood sugar & arthritis (especially when taken together with Ilog MariaBee Propolis. Ilog Maria Honey Cider Vinegar also helps ease migraine headaches, melt gallstones, lower hypertension and melt kidney & bladder stones. " (see The Farm - Fresh from the Bee Hive)

tagaytayculinarytour-2263 We love the natural soaps particularly the oatmeal and spearmint. I like the coarseness of the oatmeal and the minty cooling effect after using it.
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We often use the sore throat spray with Bee Propolis at the first signs of itchiness of the throat due to coughs/ colds.

" Ilog Maria Bee Propolis is nature's most powerful probiotic. Propolis is an essential part of the immune system of trees. It is a sticky resinous substance secreted by flowering buds and under the bark of trees. Our honeybees collect propolis to seal, varnish and, thus, disinfect their honeycombs and insides of their beehives. Ilog MariaBee Propolis possesses antiviral, antibacterial and fungicidal properties. It is even capable of destroying some bacteria & viruses that have now become resistant to modern synthetic antibiotics. Ilog Maria Bee Propolis is effective against infections of the skin, mouth, throat, respiratory and digestive systems. Ilog Maria Bee Propolis stimulates tissue regeneration, antibody formation and strengthens & stimulates the immune system. It is also effective in treating hypertension, arteriosclerosis and coronary disease. Dermatological disorders and rheumatism respond to propolis therapy. Ilog Maria Bee Propolis is a potent anti-oxidant, which combats the ill effects of eating processed and preserved foods. " (see The Farm - Fresh from the Bee Hive)

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Ivan Man Dy is the shopping winner bringing home P3,000+ worth of Ilog Maria products for his sister :)

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Text by Anton Diaz and Photos by Rommel Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 22, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)

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The Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Related Links

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)
Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)
Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)
Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)
Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)
Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)
Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)
Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)

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I always love going to Ilog Maria because I'm always energized by the love story of Joel and Violaine Magsaysay. Also, Ilog Maria products have a cult following because of their natural ingredients. You can only buy them onsite at wholesale prices. (see How to Buy -- New Priorities for Handling Orders)

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Our mini-bus had a hard time navigating through the narrow rough roads leading to Ilog Maria. They are open Tuesdays to Sundays 8.30am to 5.30pm. (see How to Contact Ilog Maria)

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It is one thing to read their humble beginnings from their website (see The Farm - Why Honey Bees) and it is another thing hearing the story first hand from Joel. He would often point out the humble house where Ilog Maria started.

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I love going to Tagaytay to meet the Personalities and Families behind the most successful establishments and foodie places.

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Joel is proud to share the story of the Bees and why it is called Ilog Maria in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Ivan Man Dy gets up close and personal with the Ilog Maria bees. tagaytayculinarytour-1071
On a special tour arrangement, you can see the Ilog Maria Bee Museum.

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A Video Presentation is shown to educate people on bees, their behavior and natural habitat. Also, it gives a sales pitch about why you should buy the natural products of Ilog Maria. (see Fresh from the Bee Hive)

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It is too good to be true living an eco-friendly life, and using only natural products not harmful to your body or the environment.

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Dodjie and Teng listens attentively to the Ilog Maria Story...

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Text by Anton Diaz and Photos by Rommel Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 22, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)

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The Ultimate Tagaytay Tour Related Links

Loumars Buko Pie (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 1 of 8)
Ilog Maria Story (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 2 of 8)
Ilog Maria Store (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 3 of 8)
Bawai Vietnamese Lunch (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 4 of 8)
Chateau Hestia Happiness (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 5 of 8)
Yoki's Treasure (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 6 of 8)
Yoki's Farm (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 7 of 8)
Mang Rudy's Puto @ T-House (Ultimate Tagaytay Tour 8 of 8)


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We left Starbucks 6750 at around 8am and arrived in Tagaytay around 9.30am onboard a mini-Bus. Our first stop is my favorite drive-thru buko pie tart place called Loumars.

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This was our first public Tagaytay Food Tour after two successful private tours with Alveo (formerly Community Innovations). The first tour was for media as a marketing tour to promote Verdana Homes Mamplasan. We got rave reviews from both bloggers and media. It was followed by another successful tour with the top sales people of Alveo. Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walk fame is our official tour guide for the trip.

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There are three buko pie places you should try: The Laguna Buko Pies which include Letty's, Original Buko Pie and Collette's; the Nueva Vizcaya Buko Pie; and the Buko Pie Tarts of Tagaytay. I was informed by Wendy that there is another popular buko pie in Iloilo which tastes like a bibingka. (Can anyone share details about this place?)


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In Tagaytay, there are three popular brands of buko pie tarts: Loumars, Rowena and Amira. We always buy Loumars.

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The secret to eating buko pies is that it should be eaten fresh out of the oven and bought from the source. A box of 9 buko crumble costs P130.

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Thanks to Wendy, Andy, Dodgie, and Teng for joining us in all the Ultimate Philippines Food Tour!

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Text by Anton Diaz and Photos by Rommel Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 22, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How to Drink a Heavenly Cup of Chocolate? (Caption This!)

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Caption this just for fun! The best captions will win a California Berry Frozen Yogurt Gift Certificate!
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Caption 1

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October 18, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (54) | TrackBack

Heavenly Chocolates

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Hot Dark Chocolate Drinks 5oz (P80)

We literally closed our eyes when we tasted the Ecuador Hot Chocolate Drink of Heavenly Chocolates. This new chocolate haven is teaching the foodies in Manila on how to enjoy cocoa from different origins (similar to wines). We fell in love with the strong full bodied Ecuador and we would recommend this for all chocoholics out there. For Aidan, we ordered the chocolate from Ghana which offers a smoother taste.

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Flavor Guide to Cacao Origins
ECUADOR - Strong and intense, full-bodied, bitter, hint of smoky notes. For true-blue chocoholics.
GHANA - Smooth, rounded, uncomplicated. Well-received in Japan and Korea, and by children too.
IVORY COAST - Rich cocoa with a nutty flavor. Provides more than a third of world's cocoa bean supply.
MADAGASCAR - Unique and exotic, with distinct fruity notes of raisins. Avaiable on Seasonal Basis
PERU - A Mild cocoa delicate floral notes, with a background of dry flowers. Currently in limited supply worldwide.

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1 pack of Ecuador chocolate (P175). It was so good that we decide to buy our own Ecuador chocolate buttons so that we can enjoy the hot chocolate at home. We know that this pack could easily serve 5 cups.

Recipe for Hot Chocolate:
110 ml of Anchor Milk Chocolate
40-55g of chocolate origin buttons (with a scoop serving as big as the one above)
whipped cream (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it just begins to simmer. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the chocolate buttons until melted. Pur hot chocolate drink to a cup and top with tablespoon of whipped cream.
(recipe from Reggie Aspiras' Kitchen Rescue Article)
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I'm tempted to try my own chocolate fountain fondue at home. They sell unique chocolate stuff mostly coming from Singapore.

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Heavenly Chocolate Menu: Hot Drinks, Cold Drinks, Fondue Dips

The ambiance is simple and we were disappointed that they were not able to execute a "heavenly" ambiance. The signage is not well lighted and it looks like an ordinary chocolate place.

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You can have a free taste of Sachi Nama chocolates!

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Sachi is similar to the more popular Royce Nama Chocolates and it has the same melt-in-your-mouth experience. I can't really taste the difference from Royce. If you buy one, you can only travel with it for 30-60 minutes without refrigeration. Unfortunately, they don't have dry ice which they would give you when you buy Royce in Singapore.

Could this be the start of the Chocolate Craze in the Philippines?

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The facade looks dilapidated and I wonder where are the pearly gates? I'm not surprised that they are not able to attract the crowd from Taste of L.A. Despite this, I highly recommend their hot chocolate!

Heavenly Chocolates
Benjamin Pedro, Chocolatier and Ellaine S. Sevilla, Store Manager
Unit 1, Roces Centre
127 Roces Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone: +632 666-2208
Mobile: +65 9743-9375 and +63915-788-2105
Email: benjaminvpedro@yahoo.com and ellainessevilla@yahoo.com


Live an Awesome Life,

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 18, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

How to Serve Bellissimo Pizza? (Caption This!)

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Caption this Aidan Photo Essay on How To Serve Bellissimo Pizza. The best captions will win a Delifrance Tray Couture*. To enter this contest, just enter your best captions in the comments.

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Caption 1

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Caption 3

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* Delifrance Tray Couture is a tray of several small meals that can lead to an exploration of epicurean flavors. This latest Delifrance offering introduces Filipinos to the French gourmet sampler trend that has gained a following of food connoisseurs across the globe. It comes in four (4) flavors: Premiere Clubhouse and Shrimp Pesto Pasta, Seafood Deluxe Clubhouse and Pomodoro Angel Hair Pasta, California Chicken Clubhouse and Garlic Pesto Pasta and Tuna Onion Mayo Clubhouse and Beef Stroganoff Pasta.

October 18, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (34) | TrackBack

Bellissimo Pizza

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Gorgonzola Pizza (P330). Tomato, Mozzarela, Blue Cheese, Oregano, Olive Oil.

I am skeptic about the good reviews of restaurants owned by artistas. I did not expect the pizza in Bellissimo to be really good. All the raves about Cesar Montano's pizza was true after all. The crust is crunchy and chewy with the right amount of ingredients on top. All the pizzas are line-priced at P330 (P40 per slice) so all you need to do is choose the toppings and taste of your pizza.
We love the Tre Formaggi pizza of Friuli so we are looking for a "blue cheese" pizza like the Gorgonzola. We know that if we order the Quattro Formaggi pizza that the blue cheese will be drowned by the taste of all the other cheeses. The pizza servings are big and we brought home 2 slices to eat the next day.

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Cannelloni agli Spinaci (P298). Baked Cannelloni stuffed with spinach and cheese topped with bechamel and parmesan cheese.

The cannelloni we ordered was reheated and our server was quick to admit it. We regret ordering a pasta that tasted like microwave reheated lasagna from last night's dinner. At ~P300 per pasta, I'll stick to the pizza. I guess that is why we don't hear any raves about Bellissimo's pasta.

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Bellissimo Menu
Pizza Menu 1 | Pizza Menu 2 | Pasta | Antipasti, Soup, Insalate, Sausage, Entree, Gelato | Coffee, Hot and Cold Drinks

The menu is simple and reminds of the menu from any Amici-trained Chef Italian restaurant.

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It was packed on a Monday night surprisingly. I like the siksikan-feel and Italianis-type ambiance. Meeting Angela Montano, daugther of Cesar and General Manager of the restaurant is a treat in itself.
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It was refreshing to see this cobra snake toy which "bites" you when you press the red button. It is the first time I've seen one. Aidan was surprised, kept on pressing the red button and reacted the scared every time.

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This garage-turned-into-waiting area was a cool touch. It resembles a tunnel that prepares you for a homey ambiance ahead.

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This is the first corner after the T.Morato and Roces Avenue stop-light intersection.

Bellissimo Ristorante
Angela P. Montano, General Manager
105 Unit E & F Scout Castor corner Tomas Morato, Quezon City 1103
Telephone: +632 376-5746, 414-0274, 411-8335
Mobile: +63922 882-1701
Email: akmontano@gmail.com

Live an Awesome Life,

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 18, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Ultimate Day

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(I am attending the WakeUp Productive Class of Eban Pagan and this is one of the class exercises I wanted to share with you. We are encouraged to create Our Ultimate Scenario 90 days from today)

My Ultimate Day

I wake up at 4.00am. I feel refresh knowing that I got 8 hours of sleep and I had quality time with my wife and kids at night. The very first thing I do is thank God for the new day and for all the blessings I received.

I already prepared all the things I need to do this morning. I wash my mouth with water and drink half liter of water from my Sigg. I proceeded to our clutter-free bathroom and start to floss and brush my teeth. I clean myself and prepare for my morning exercise routine. My exercise outfits and gadgets are ready for my morning exercise. I'm happy that I am able to follow my triathlon training schedule. Before 5am, I am off either running or biking around Bonifacio High Street. After an hour, I end my exercise with lifting weights at the gym or having a good swim. By 6.00am, I am ready to eat my breakfast of fruits, oatmeal and milk. After breakfast, I'll do one blog post for the day and finish it in 30 minutes.

By 7am, I am ready to play with my youngest son, Joshua and waiting for my other son, Aidan to wake up. I would greet my wife "Good Morning" and "I Love You" which sets the happiness throughout the entire day. I dedicate the entire morning playing, reading, and spending quality time with my sons and my wife. I live for this morning every day and each day is the best day of my life. By 11am, we either have healthy lunch at home or go to the newest restaurant in town. By 12.30pm, Aidan is excited to go to school and we will drop him off to the best pre-school in Manila.

By 1pm, I start to work on my internet marketing business. I prioritize working on the items that suck the most energy out of my day. These are items that are urgent this week, or obligations I need to fulfill. I allot the first 90 minutes to complete this. At 2.30pm, I take a break and eat another healthy snack to prepare for the next 90 minutes. At 3pm, I am studying either photography, writing or internet marketing training to take myself to the next skill level. At 4.30pm, I start to work on my blog posts and answer all my emails for the day.

At 5.30pm, my son arrives from school and we celebrate this moment by jumping around and giving each other a warm welcome hug. This is the time for either reading, playing, swimming or watching the sunset together. At 6.30pm, we eat our healthy dinner over good conversations. By 7.30pm, we are cleaning up and preparing all my things for the next day. We perform our nightly ritual of brushing teeth, sharing bedtime stories, and saying our goodnight prayer. Before 9pm, we are already asleep ready for the next day ahead.

I sleep contented knowing that I spent 8 hours of my day with the family, 4 hours on my internet marketing business and 1 hour for exercise every single day.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 13, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Aidan's First Blog Post

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October 11, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (46) | TrackBack

The Stock Market Flying High in Boni High

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The first time I heard about The Stock Market (TSM), the Philippine Stock Exchange popped into my mind. TSM is the newest restaurant at Fort Bonifacio High Street beside Fridays. It is owned by Del Monte Philippines (who has offices on the second floor of Boni High) and operated by the TOSH (The Old Spaghetti House), Grilla, Chilly Willy's Restaurant group. It is called "Stock Market" because it is a place where Del Monte intends to sell its stock of products which include Del Monte drinks, fruits, and its own line of salad dressing.

They are still on Dry Run phase so you still get less 10% on card and 15% on cash purchase. The grand opening is set on October 15, Wednesday. This is the perfect time to go since they have stabilized their operation for 2+ weeks now and you still can get the discount. Please share your experience in the comments section.

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The Stock Market Menu
4S Soup, Starter, Salad, Sandwich | Beef & Lamb, Chicken & Pork, Seafood, Pasta | Drinks and Desserts

Some of the interesting things on the menu are the Pan-Seared Roast Beef and Prime Burger which use the famous pineapple-fed premium Australia Beef from the Del Monte Lodge, Bukidnon. You can also try the dishes with mashed sweet potatos (Kamote) like the Pan-Fried Catfish or the Pulled Pork Barbecue. You can also try the fresh stock market salad with the unique pineapple vinaigrette.

The prices are a bit on the expensive side. Even the Del Monte Drinks are priced at P85. I was disappointed that I can't even get a pineapple juice at a lower price.

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Cream of Porcini Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil (P260)

We savored every bit of this soup. I think you won't go wrong with truffle oil and mushroom. Although, we are still guessing if this mushroom has a little bit of Campbell mushroom soup...

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Prime Burger with Grilled Pineapple, Bacon and Caramelized Onion (P380)

It tasted like ground beef packed into a thick burger without the use of other ingredients to artificially make it big. I like the sweet combination of pineapple, caramelized onion, and tomato. I was trying to see if there is a noticeable difference in the taste of a pineapple-fed Australian beef but it tasted just the same. Is there really a difference or is this just a marketing tactic?

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Fork-Tender Beef Short Ribs with Sauteed Beans and Corn Risotto (P420).

This was the best seller recommended by our servers. The beef tasted like corned beef and my wife didn't like it. We both fell in love with the risotto which we ate slowly to last throughout the entire dinner.

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Cornmeal-Crusted Salmon with Horseradish Hollandaise and Rice Casserole (P490).

We were wondering what a Rice Casserole is and we joked that it is rice from the two days ago cooked in machang style. The salmon was a bit bland and mushy inside but it complemented the crunchy and salty crust.

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Desserts?
Our waiter recommended Creamy Banana Trifle and Key Lime Pie for dessert but the description was just too boring for me. The dessert display didn't look appealing either. Let me know if you tried the desserts and what you would recommend?

Stock Market
The Stock Market
Beside Fridays in Bonifacio HighStreet
Telephone:          +632 8566300        , 8566301

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 11, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lulubelle

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Lulubelle-4 Lulubelle-9

Lulubelle has the best ambiance among all the Frozen Yogurt establishments we have visited to date. The hot pink & white ambiance with purple pink christmas tree accent draws you inside this little corner store at the 3/F of Rockwell Power Plant Mall. The Lulubelle logo resembles the cow version of Santa Butsiki of Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit. Lori has the scoop on why it is named Lulubelle in her post, "A Cow Named Lulubelle".

Related OAP Posts on Frozen Yogurt:
Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt - The Next Dessert Craze in the Philippines!
Sorry Ice Cream, I'm On My Way to Pinkberry!
Red Mango-licious
I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt -- The Best Froyo so far in Manila...
Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC)
Yogurbud
The White Hat - Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

The Buzz About Froyo's
California Berry Frozen Yogurt
Lulubelle
After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!

Lulubelle

These days, we are training Aidan on how to boost his self confidence. We asked him to choose what he likes by looking over at the counter. He preferred just the plain frozen yogurt despite seeing all the fresh fruits, chocolate and cereal topping options.

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Lulubelle's Plain Yogurt Small (P80) and Flavored Yogurt Small (P80) with granola toppings (P20).

We tried both the plain and strawberry frozen yogurt of Lulubelle. The tanginess and sweetness taste of the frozen yogurt was a bit awkward. We should have listened to Lori's recommendation to try out the smoothies instead. Have you tried Lulubelle's frozen yogurt already?

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Lulubelle is a sister company of Fruits in Ice Cream. I don't quite understand why Lulubelle's FIC Ice Cream is 30%+ more expensive than the Fruit in Ice Cream Stall at the ground floor of Rockwell. Maybe the serving is more than what the FIC stall is serving and you pay the premium for the ambiance and the topping options.

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Lulubelle is the frozen yogurt dessert place to be in Rockwell.

Lulubelle
3F Playground area and at the opposite end of Fully Booked
Power Plant Mall, Rockwell
Telephone: +632 515.8129

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

October 10, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Thursday, October 09, 2008

100 Awesome

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I would like to share with you a rough draft of my outline for the OAP book. The emphasis is on "rough" since this is my personal brainstorm list of the experiences that really wowed me or the things that I can't wait to experience. I would like to get the collective thoughts of OAP Friends about what you think about the outline and what are your inputs/feedback. The list is focused on three awesome aspects of life in the Philippines: food (food trips, and restaurants), travel (beaches and fiestas) and spiritual experiences only in the Philippines.

My simple objectives are:
1. To honor the best experiences Only in the Philippines
2. To inspire Filipinos to experience them and realize how beautiful the country really is.
3. To immortalize the Filipinos behind these experiences.

It will be a 100% ad-free book and it will be our family's contribution to a better Philippines. I'll put a facility to give Donations if you want to contribute financially to the OAP book. Donors will be appropriately acknowledge in the book.

100 Awesome Experiences Only In The Philippines

1. Bale Dutung Experience
2. Isla Naburot
3. Halo Halo Food Trip
4. UP Food Trip
5. Experiencing Coron
6. 7 Day Bicol Trip
7. Rustic Beauty of Batanes
8. El Nido, Palawan
9. Ligligan Parul Fiesta
10. Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
11. Foodie Haven of Pampanga
12. Chocolate Hills, Bohol
13. Kota Beach, Bantayan
14. Batad Experience
15. Viaje del Sol
16. Forever Tagaytay Secrets
17. Walking San Juanico Bridge
18. Donsol Whale Sharks
19. Daet
20. Caramoan
21. Surfing in Baler
22. Siargao Experience
23. Rafting in CDO, Davao, Kalinga, Cagayan
24. Road Trip CDO-Iligan-Osamis-Dakak
25. PSI Experience
26. Bora Night Life
27. 4 hours Massage
28. Masscara of Bohol
29. Sinulog Cebu Festival
30. Dinagyang Iloilo
31. Blue Lagoon, Pagudpud
32. Baguio
33. Callao Caves, Tuguegarao
34. Mayaoyao Harvest
35. Romblon
36. Apo Reef Experience
37. Tubataha
38. Underground River Palawan
39. Romantic Restos of the Philippines
40. Lea Salonga and Joanna Ampil
41. Bohol Beach Club Bumming
42. Milo Marathon Experience
43. Pangasinan Loop
44. World Pyro Olympics
45. Anawangin
46. Mall of Asia, Biggest Mall
47. Balesin Experience
48. Cagbalete
50. GK Volunteer Experience

51. Penafrancia Pilgrimage
52. Manaog, Dagupan
53. Flower Festival of Baguio
54. Mt. Pinatubo Trek
55. Chef Popit and Artist Chef Experience
56. Carinderia Tour of the Philippines
57. Pagsanjan Falls
58. Healing Centers of the Philippines
59. Sister Raquel & Father Suarez
60. Homily of Fr. Armand
61. Be inspired by Why Not Forum?
62. Kerygma Feast
63. Inner Child Retreat
64. Laguna Loop Tour
65. Antonio's Tagaytay
66. Climbing Taal Volcano
67. The Beaches of Cebu
68. Lighthouse Tour of the Philippines
69. Corregidor Island
70. Amanpulo
71. Lengua of Chef Ed Quimson
72. Salcedo and Legaspi Weekend Market
73. Wake Boarding in Camsur
74. Surfing La Union
75. Old Manila Walks
76. Tina Decal's Tours
77. Pink Beach, Zamboanga
78. Beaches of Tawi Tawi
79. Kadayawan, Davao
80. Sunset Paraw
81. Mt. Pulag Climb
82. Anilao Diving
83. Giving Birth @ Asian Hospital
84. Buko Pie Trip
85. Puto of the Philippines
86. Pansit of the Philippines
87. Suman of the Philippines
88. Bukidnon Monks
89. Surfing Purar-an
90. Quiapo Devotion
91. Divisoria
92. The Farm 7-Day Detox Experience
93. Artist Haven of Antipolo
94. Delicacies of the Philippines
95. Amanpulo
96. Ateneo Food Trip
97. Flavors of La Salle
98. Virtual Tour of the Philippines
99. Romantic Resorts in the Philippines
100. Massage Havens

October 9, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (37) | TrackBack

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pink Kitchen Tips

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PINK KITCHEN

Pink Kitchen is one of the foodie events of the year you shouldn't miss. The first Pink Kitchen last year was a lot of foodie fun. Here are some tips for an awesome Pink Kitchen experience on Oct. 18 and 19, 2008:

1. Expect a lot of foodies. The rockwell tent will be packed with people so expect that it would be hot and there will be a constant battle for seats. Since there are a lot of foodies, expect to see a lot of people from the foodie community from magazines and blogs. Also, you'll get to meet the chef and people behind the food. Unfortunately, I'll miss this event because I will be traveling at that time.

2. Have a foodie plan of attack. You will be overwhelmed with a number of options you can buy from. I included the complete list of vendors and their specialty so that you can plan what you will order. Pink Kitchen is great because there are chefs that you can only have access to during the Pink kitchen event. For example, you should must try Rob & Sunshine Pengson French cuisine and WynnWynn Ong Burmese Cuisine. Also, don't miss to pay a visit to Margaux Salcedo, the infamous Food Writer of Sunday Inquirer Magazine, as she personally serves you a hot Nana Meng Tsokolate.

3. Best time to visit is Saturday Lunch. It is best to be there as early as 11am for the Saturday lunch opening day. You can easily reserve a clean table and ensure that you won't run out of the best-selling food. If you are a blogger, it is best to be the first one to blog about it. I wonder if there is wifi in rockwell tent where you can live blog about pink kitchen :)

4. It is best to eat in groups of 5 or more. You should try as many cuisine as possible. You can do that by sharing the food family style between groups of 5 or more. Try to celebrate your special event in Pink Kitchen so that you can experience all of the cuisine. Also, if you are a big group you can reserve a whole table for your group.

5. P200 is to support women with cancer. Some people might be turned-off by the P200 entrance fee per day. Think about it as your contribution to the ICANSERVE foundation. In fact, most of the foodies I know would go back on both days to support the foundation and eat good food that you cannot find anywhere else.

I do hope through this blog post, I'm able to help the foundation in my own little way even if I'm not available on the actual pink kitchen dates.

Pink Kitchen 2008 Vendor and Their Specialty
Bambina Herbosa Tapa / Bibingka Galapong
Bettina Legarda Mediterranean
Boyd's Coffee (Robert Francisco) coffee & tea
Buddy Trinidad desserts
Café Juanita (Boy Vasquez) Asian, Filipino
Chariya Thaikupt Thai
Chelsea Deli sandwiches
Chocolat Bakeshop Mini cream puffs
Cristina Santiago Rivera desserts / Strawberry Charlotte
Dely Fernandez Tuscan Provencale
Dimpy Camara Frozen Brazo de Mercedes
Enderun Salad & Smoothies Station
Estrel's Caramel Cake
Fina Quimson Mexican
Everybody's Café (Poch Jorolan) Kapangpangan
Galileo Enoteca (Vanessa Vitrano) cold cuts and cheeses
Ipe Cruz & Mariko Jacinto Italian & Japanese
Jaemark's Tuna Panga, Belly & Buntot
Jasmin Magallanes Healthy Cuisine
Judah Liu Spanish
Kai (Chef Gilbert Pangilinan) Neo Japanese
Kanin Club (Tony Cancio) Crispy Dinuguan
Karen Young Red Velvet Cake
La Tasca & Pazzo Gelato (Marilou Senn) Spanish & Gelato
Maj Lazatin Italian
Malu del Rosario pastries
Mara de la Rama desserts
Maricel Cunanan Cunanan Ensaymada
Michele D'Orival French
Minnie Puno Wraps
Mona Valdes Indonesian
Myrna Segismundo Beef Belly / Continental
Nana Meng (Margaux Salcedo) Tsokolate
Offie Benavides Filipino
Old Swiss Inn (Katrina Limcaoco) Fresh Corned Beef
Pauline Gorriceta Banusing Iloilo Specialties
Picole Healthy Pops (Candy Mejia) Healthy Pops
Quito Jose Thai
Rob & Sunshine Pengson French
Roselyn Tiango Desserts
Suman Gogna Indian
Susie Quiros Lasagna
The Farm at San Benito Macrobiotic Cuisine
Tippi Tambunting Continental
Vargas Kitchen Comfort Food
Wendy Ozamis Singapore Hawker Style
WynnWynn Ong Burmese
Happy Living Wines wines
Premium Wine Exchange wines

October 7, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Thursday, October 02, 2008

KAI Revisited

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Kai Revisited-29

We celebrated my Mom's birthday last September and decided to try out an old favorite. Kai recently transferred to the new Greenbelt 5 beside Myron's with a classy intimidating look. Kai is the japanese word for "gathering" and specializes on Japanese fusion cuisine. It was started by four (4) young filipino chefs Ricky Estrellado, Gilbert Panilinan, Rex Soriano and Pierre Angeli Dee who had extensive experience with Chef Nobu Matshushita's Nobu Japanese-Peruvian Restaurant in New York.
KAI is known for interesting dishes with a surprising taste. Let me share with you the food that we thought were winners.

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Miso Soup (P70+) Simple soup served in a flower shaped bowl. It was a bit cold and too salty. Too bad, it ruined our miso soup experience.

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Wasabi Oysters Tempura with Balsamic Dynamite (P250+). I'm not fond of oysters but this one was interesting enough to try.

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Age Dashi Tofu (P140+) Soft huge squares of tofu with just the right crunch on the outside with seaweeds as the topping to add flavor.

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California Maki "Kani" (P120+). The maki was perfect and it is what you would expect from a good California Maki.

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Dragon Roll (P240). The crunchy unagi in these rolls were gone in a jiff. Reminds me of my Omakaze experience.

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KAI Neo Japanese Cuisine Menu
Special Sushi Rolls and Vegetarian Sushi Rolls
Cold Appetizers, Salad, Hot Appetizers
Hot Dishes Seafood
Meat, Beef Ishiyaki, Kushiyaki
Vegetarian, Soup, Rice and Noodle, Table Cooking on Paper
Sushi and Sashimi
Flavored Shake & Ice Tea, House Sake, Bottled Sake, and Flavored Sake
Beer, Coffee, Bottled Water, Soda
Liquer, Whisky, Cognac/Brandy, Rhum, Gin, Tequilla, Vodka
Dessert

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Portobello Mushroom Confit Salad with Maple Ponzu Vinaigrette (P280+).
We love Kai's salads. The quality of the Portobello Mushroom and the Maple Ponzu Vinaigrette sauce mades this the bestseller in Kai.


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Roasted Grapes and Tomato Salad with Sesame Dressing (P280+).
The simple combination of roasted grapes and juicy cherry tomato worked together with the thinly sliced of shitake mushroom.

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10 hours Buta Kakuni "Braised Pork Belly" (P350+).

We can't resist ordering this and imagining how soft and tasty the pork belly is after 10 hours. It delivered its promise and we savored every slice and partnered it with additional cup of plump white rice.


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Banana Nutella Harumaki (P180+) rolled in sesame fillo topped with caramel, chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream. "Kai's interpretation of banana split".

If you find yourself looking for a unique dessert to impress your date, order this at KAI and this should give you pogi points. I loved the crunchy sesame coating with a shot of ice cream.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar (P110) with glazed bananas and walnuts

This was a big disappointed but I guess if you like peanut butter so much, you might want to give this a try.

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Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake (P220+) with green tea ice cream and vanilla sauce.

I liked the twist of the green tea ice cream on top of this all-time favorite Valrhona cake.

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Happy Birthday Momsy! (with Aidan doing the honor of blowing the candle.)
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KAI Neo Japanese Cuisine
Unit 1-112 Greenbelt 5
Ayala Center, Makati City
Telephone: +632 75705209 to 10
Email: kairestaurant@yahoo.com


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.

October 2, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

La Boheme Manila

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La Boheme
Scenes from Act III.

La Boheme is all set for the Gala Opening on Oct. 3 Friday 8pm! We were able to watch the run through of Acts III and Acts IV of La Boheme. The voices of the La Boheme cast were solid even without microphones. The love songs were beautiful even if you don't understand the lyrics.

The biggest complaint from first time Opera watchers is that they don't understand what is going on. Before watching the show, it is your responsibility to read the synopsis of the 4 acts and the translation of the songs to english. Here is a helpful site to learn more about La Boheme.

Related Posts: 10 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss Watching La Boheme in Manila!


Check out the Tony Awards performance of La Boheme. They performed the Musseta scene in Act. 2 with English Translations.

La Boheme-3
Mimi's Death Finale Scene in Act IV

Congratulations to the following people who commented on the post: 10 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss Watching La Boheme in Manila! You just won 2 tickets to the gala opening night of La Boheme on Oct. 3 8pm! You can claim the tickets by texting me at Anton +63 917 5683 627 or email me at anton@diaz.ph

1. Comment Posted by: Frugal Pinoy | Sep 24, 2008 1:03:36 AM

I've been meaning to watch this, especially since my partner and I are having our second anniversary that week (on the 4th to be exact)! Ang alam ko nga, may afternoon showing.
I actually have the mp3s of the songs in my computer, and they make good background music when I'm writing. But thanks for the video clips! It's much more emotional seeing the songs acted out.

2. Comment Posted by: heidi morales | Sep 24, 2008 12:02:15 PM

Can't wait to see jennifer perform mimi. Naiinip na ako. 1st time ko watch opera thanks for posting the synopsis and songs. Been reading on it nga eh para may idea din. Gonna borrow the best of Opera Music from my dads CD collection, to hear more.

3. Comment Posted by: Posted by: travelgirl11 | Sep 29, 2008 8:57:23 PM

my lola started humming bits of the famous scenes after we saw the trailer from lifestyle network. she's a big fan of the opera, having loads of classical CDs in her small library! too bad we don't get to watch shows as they are really pricey. hope we get a chance this time through your kindness! :D

Live an Awesome Life,

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.

October 1, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Manila Grand Opera Hotel and the New President

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Manila Grand Hotel-51

We are excited and finalizing our plans for the Ultimate Tagaytay (10 days to go) and Pampanga Tours (24 days to go). Spanx's Uncle sponsored our meeting in the newest hotel in the heart of Manila -- Manila Grand Opera Hotel. One of its main attraction is the New President's Sharks Fin & Seafood Restaurant and Circa Bar & Restaurant. You might have heard the news that President's Restaurant along Ongpin in Binondo closed down recently because of internal problems. The two restaurants have no connections whatsoever. I was even surprised that they were able to reuse another restaurant name by just putting in "New".

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I was surprised to see an 8-storey elegant hotel in the middle of all the old houses and buildings.  The hotel is located at the corner of Dorotheo Jose and Rizal Avenue where LRT1 is located.

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The Manila Grand Opera Hotel is significant because this is the place where the First Philippine Assembly was inaugurated on October 16, 1907.

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One of the interesting restaurant is the Circa Bar and Restaurant at the first floor. The actors who started their career and performed in the Manila Grand Opera were honored with a big portrait surrounding the restaurant.

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In each of the floor, you'll be greeted with panels showcasing the significance of the Manila Grand Opera in Phil history.

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This is a sample of the rooms in Manila Grand Opera Hotel. Spanx was right to compare the rooms with Tides Hotel in Boracay or G Hotel in Roxas Blvd. One thing I noticed was the absence of a window in the room but I don't think there is even a good view out there, if you are familiar with the location. The curtains creates an llusion so that you don't get claustrophobic. Take advantage of the P1,500/ room opening promo rate!

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The 8th floor houses the ballroom where you can reserve it for weddings and grand functions.

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General Manager Lawrence Li Tan showed us how high tech their kitchen is, particularly their oven wherein you'll just choose what type of cooking you'd like to have. The young GM's claim to fame is that he started Club Ultima in Cebu, Avenue Hotel in Naga City and now Manila Grand Opera Hotel in Manila.

Full Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Spanx's Uncle who is promoting the new Manila Grand Opera Hotel. The photos are taken by Iggy Bilbao with my Canon DSLR camera.

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The New President's Sharks Fin and Seafood Restaurant has a grand buffet by Chef Lau Wai Chung. Chef Lau is the former chief cook and working for 20 years at Century Seafood Restaurant before transferring to the New President Restaurant. The restaurant serves a mix of Chinese and Western cuisine.

I don't like buffet style especially if you arrive late because the best parts have been taken and the food is a bit cold already. I would recommend ordering from the Ala Carte menu instead.

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Chef Lau showed us the fresh and authentic ingredients used (including the Shark's fin) by the New President's restaurant.

Check out the Chinese Menu 1 | Menu 2 and the International Cuisine Menu.

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Sauteed Australian Scallops with seasonal vegetables (S-P920, M-P1,470, L-P2,070).

We enjoyed these big and soft scallops from Australia and the fresh crunchy cauliflower.

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These shrimps were forgettable because you need to exert an effort to separate the skin from the shrimp's meat.

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Steamed Lapu Lapu was soft, juicy and fresh. We all enjoyed it and this was gone in a few minutes.

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GM's Cocktail fave is the huge Margarita to share via straw. Chef Lawrence was kind enough to serve us this margarita he created. The alcohol content was deadly but I liked it.


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Lamb Chops (P665). Don't be surprised to see a chinese restaurant serving delicious lamb chops.


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We tried out the desserts at the Circa Bar and Restaurant. I would not rave about them but if you have to choose one, get the Chocolate Cake.


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The Manila Grand Opera Hotel
925 Rizal Avenue Corner Doroteo Jose St. Sta. Cruz
Website: www.ManilaGrandOpera.com
Telephone: +632 314-0090-99

Live an Awesome Life,

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.


October 1, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rich Schefren Guided Profit System

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A lot of people are asking me about Blogging and Internet Marketing. I just gave a talk to graduating IT students from different top universities and it was the most remarkable talk of the entire conference. I got interviewed in Masigasig Magazine and a lot of people are calling me to coach them on how to get started with professional blogging or internet marketing.

I learned most of my internet marketing strategies from my coach, Rich Schefren. He is launching a new internet marketing coaching program called Guided Profit System. (with my affiliate links) You might be interested to learn directly from my coach. The coaching program is $2,497 for a one-time payment or a payment plan of $750 now and 3 payments of $750. Check out the Top10 frequently asked questions about the Guided Profit System in Rich' Blog.

This is the last time I will be posting about internet marketing related post in OAP. I will be launching AntonDiaz.com soon focused on professional blogging, and internet marketing. OAP will be focused on Food , Travel and Lifestyle. Due to insistent public demand, I will be teaching a pilot group of students on how to become successful in their internet marketing business. Just let me know if you are interested. I would like to prioritize OAP friends in that pilot group.

Live an Awesome Life,

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.




September 26, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Focaccia - a Slice of Italy in A.Venue Mall

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A.Venue Restaurant Reviews in OAP
Fluke
A Tale of Two Art Cafes in A.Venue
Gasthof - Home of Boracay's Famous Baby Back Ribs!
Burger Avenue's Ridiculous Challenge
Foccacia, A Slice of Italy in A.Venue Mall

Slice of Italy Foccacia
This is probably my favorite AVenue restaurant at the moment. Focaccia Slice of Italy is the meeting of two of my favorites -- C Italian Dining Panizza and Italianis FREE Focaccia bread. Finally somebody copied the panizza of Chris Locher's C-Italian Dining in Pampanga and I must say it is really good. Finally, I don't have to drive all the way to Pampanga to get a taste of Panizza.

Slice of Italy Foccacia-8
Marina Pazzo Rollio (Mini P130). Fresh Tomato, Sundried Tomato, Garlic and Pomodoro.

Focaccia's pizza is branded as Pazzo Rollio Crazy Rolls. It is best if you order the ones with meat like Milano, Prosciutto or Slice of Italy. The pizza is super thin cut-up diagonally into 8 slices for the mini and 12 slices for the normal one. You put arugula leaves and alfalfa sprouts at the end of one slice and carefully roll it up. You can eat it in half or just swallow the entire thing in your mouth. The arugula gives it a bitter finish.

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Foccacia Bread with Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chili Flakes and Parmesan Cheese. It is FREE but technically the cost is already folded into the prices of the other dishes. Their focaccia is the crunchier commercialized version. I actually love the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lots of parmesan cheese combination and I can take any bread to go with it. So far, Focaccia is the best complimentary to that combination.


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Tuscan Garlic Chicken in Parmesan Cream Sauce (P250). Baked Garlic Chicken served on fettucini noodles in parmesan cream sauce.

This pasta was a disaster and I regret following my waiter's recommendation. I was tempted to return it because the pasta was overcooked and the chicken tasted frozen. You can check out the other dishes in their menu: Starters, Appetizers, Pasta, and Secondi Piatti, and Pazza Rollio, Drinks and Desserts.

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Angelati Italia Gelato (P80). I love Angelati Italia but the gelato servings in Focaccia is so small that P80 pesos is like stealing money from you consciously. How I wish I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt opens already so that I don't fall for this expensive gelato. I think the waiters need to be trained to put more gelato into the cup rather than air.

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Focaccia a Slice of Italy
Ground Floor, A.Venue Mall, Makati Avenue, Makati City
Telephone: +632 729 9403

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.

September 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Burger Avenue's Ridiculous Challenge

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A.Venue Restaurant Reviews in OAP
Fluke
A Tale of Two Art Cafes in A.Venue
Gasthof - Home of Boracay's Famous Baby Back Ribs!
Burger Avenue's Ridiculous Challenge
Foccacia, A Slice of Italy in A.Venue Mall

Burger Avenue
These are the people who got FREE Burgers by beating the Ridiculous Challenge of Burger Avenue.

The ridiculous challenge is you have to finish a freshly grilled all-beef triple patty sandwiched on an oatmeal bun laced with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and three cheese slices in 5 minutes and it is free! The Ridiculous Burger is equivalent to 3 burgers and it costs P224 if you don't finish it in 5 minutes. Most of the winners are men and recently a 10 years old kid was able to finish the burger in 5 minutes. After 5+ months in operation, they are still looking for more women to win this challenge :)

You can only win this once. I have not done it because I'm reserving it for a special occasion like after finishing a half-marathon :) What was your experience in taking this challenge? (Any tips?)


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The seats in front of the counter are usually reserve for the ridiculous challenge. There is an official timer in the counter and they would watch you carefully if you really finish everything in 5 minutes.
Check out their Burger Prices --P90 for a burger and P101 for a cheese burger!

BURGER AVENUE-5
Burger Avenue
Avenue Mall, B. Valdez St. corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
Telephone : +632 729-9108

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.

September 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Gasthof - Home of Boracay's Famous Baby Back Ribs!

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A.Venue Restaurant Reviews in OAP
Fluke
A Tale of Two Art Cafes in A.Venue
Gasthof - Home of Boracay's Famous Baby Back Ribs!
Burger Avenue's Ridiculous Challenge
Foccacia, A Slice of Italy in A.Venue Mall

Gasthof-21
I'm surprised why Gasthof is not taking off well in Avenue in Makati. With a heritage of serving good baby back ribs in Boracay and a branch in Legaspi City, I would have thought Manila would welcome it with open arms. Gasthof is owned by a German with a Bicolana wife so expect a Filipino-German mix in the cuisine. I've been going back to Avenue for some time now to complete my AVenue series and Gasthof is nearly empty during Lunch time. Maybe because they are still constructing it, most people think it is close or the prices are too expensive. (What do you think? )

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Baby Back Ribs Half Order (P450). The dish that started it all and became the all-time favorite of Boracay's for local guests and tourists. Succulent pork back ribs marinated in our special Gasthof sauce.

The only reason I included Gasthof is that there are a lot of people of who love Gasthof ribs. You don't have to go to Boracay to satisfy your craving. Although I heard lately that the Boracay branch is declining in popularity (not sure also what is the reason? any comment?).

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Caesar's Salad (P180). Crunchy Fresh Lettuce with grated Parmesan cheese, bacon bits, and croutons in Caesar's dressing.
The salad serving is huge and can easily serve 3-4 people. Our salad was fresh and no complains about it.

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Laing Pinangat (P120). I've been to Bicol and tasted really good pinangat. But this one failed my expectation because I'm looking for a more tastier and hotter version.

Gasthof
Like in any German restaurant, expect a deli where you can buy sausages and cheese!

Gasthof Menu
Native Specialties, Ensaladas, Vegetables and Rice
Grill Specialties and Seafood Festival
Pasta! Pasta! Wolfgang's Kueche, German Specialties
Starters and Salads
Deli Sandwiches and Breakfast
Desserts and Gasthof Wine List
Cocktails and Drinks


Gasthof-17
Gasthof, Home of Boracay's Famous Baby Back Ribs
Ground Floor A.Venue Mall, Makati City
Telephone Number: +632 382-8407

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.

September 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

10 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss Watching La Boheme in Manila!

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LaBoheme_Poster

10 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss Watching La Boheme in Manila!

1. If you love Opera, witness the first ever full length all-Filipino cast Opera in the Philippines!

" This 2008 production brings a talented young cast and fresh inventive staging making it a real operatic tour-de-force. Playing the lead roles are tenors Juan Alberto Gaerlan, Dondi Ong and Gary del Rosario, who by the way also sang “Parpignol” in the Rolando Tinio version of Boheme at the CCP in the 90s. He is also presently a resident artist of the Seattle Opera House after spending many years with Cleveland Opera. Mimi, on the other hand, will be performed by Jennifer Uy, a finalist in the 2001 Maria Callas Opera Grand Prix in Athens, Greece, where she has worked intensively with Dame Joan Sutherland and Gundula Janowitz. Alternating as Mimi is Maribel Miguel who is making her opera debut while sopranos Ana Feleo and Elaine Lee play Musetta. Baritones Lawrence Jatayna and Jesus Baang plays Marcello while Joseleo Logdat and John Ocampos plays Colline and Schaunard, respectively. " (Philippine Opera Company)

2. If you are watching an Opera for the first time, join us in our excitement in watching the "World's Most Popular Opera" according to the New York Times!

I am excited to watch my first Opera. I don't have to fly all the way to La Scala in Milan or Metropolitan Opera House in New York to watch one. Also, La Boheme in Manila is more targeted to the youth rather than the elite society of Manila. I like the Philippine Opera Company's advocacy of bringing the Opera to more Filipinos as possible. The biggest misconception of the Opera is that it is only for the elite who can appreciate Italian music. I love a lot foreign songs which I don't even know the lyrics like Con Te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye), Pie Jesu, and a couple of Josh Groban songs. I know a lot of friends who also listen to Italian or Opera music.

La Boheme will be purely in Italian and there will be no subtitles. The trick in watching this opera is you need to read the synopsis of all the 4 acts before watching it. In this way, you already know the gist of what is happening and you can concentrate in appreciating the beautiful love songs in Italian. It would be better if you can listen to La Boheme music before watching the show. I included the synopsis of La Boheme Manila in this post and the you tube videos of the 1979 La Scala performance of La Boheme.

3. If you have watched La Boheme Opera before, why not watch La Boheme with Manila as the setting?

LA BOHEME IN MODERN DAY MANILA? WHY NOT? by Floy Quintos, Director of La Boheme
When Giacomo Puccini wrote his immortal opera, “La Boheme”, he gave the world a view of love and lovers that was far from pretty or sanitized. And yet, the opera about Mimi, Rodolfo, Musetta, Marcello and their band of young bohemians is still called, “the greatest love story ever sung”. Perhaps the real glory of “La Boheme” lies in the fact that the storyline delves into youthful passion, obsessive jealousy, co-dependency and love-at-first sight and makes these rather unruly and uncontainable feelings soar with beauty of his music.

Puccini was also very concerned with the concept of “verissimo”, a truthful rendition of life even in an art-form like opera that is governed by artifice. He wrote about young people on the fringe of society, young people who make art and who can’t pay their bills, and yet are given to grand passions and extravagant gestures, like falling in love and breaking up on a whim. In short, it is a love story all about the dizzy joys and deep pitfalls of young love, as all young people experience it. The universality of Puccini’s themes transcends borders and, yes, physical settings.

Thus, it seems only right that the Philippine Opera Company’s exciting new production of “La Boheme”, while retaining the original Italian libretto, is set in present-day Manila, a city obsessed with youth and beauty. In this new production, Rodolfo and Marcello are Indie artists working on their manuscripts and their multi-media art forms. Mimi is a creator of silk accessories, and Musetta, an ambitious and brazen performer out to make a name for herself. The horizon that Rodolfo’s garret looks out to, is a jungle of billboards advertising the promises of youth and beauty. The famous Café Momus is set in a street full of tiangge stands. The third act, traditionally set in a camp outside an army garrison, is now a tired perya in the off-season. The characters of Puccini’s masterpiece could be any young person wanting to make a name in a city that doesn’t care. That is the look and feel of the POC production. Aside from being a statement on the impermanence of love, the POC “Boheme” is also about a statement about young people on the fringe of society.

4. If you are a RENT fan, watch ACT I where you will see the original version of RENT's Would You Light My Candle song.

La Boheme, Manila ACT I. In their small apartment, the painter Marcello and indie film art director Rodolfo try to keep warm by burning pages from Rodolfo's latest drama. They are joined by their comrades — Colline, a young philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician who has landed a job and brings food, fuel and funds. But while they celebrate their unexpected fortune, the landlord, Benoit, arrives to collect the rent. Plying the older man with wine, they urge him to tell of his flirtations, then throw him out in mock indignation. As the friends depart for a celebration at the nearby Café Momus, Rodolfo promises to join them soon, staying behind to finish writing an article. There is another knock: a neighbor, Mimì, says her candle has gone out on the drafty stairs. Offering her wine when she feels faint, Rodolfo relights her candle and helps her to the door. Mimì realizes she has dropped her key, and as the two search for it, both candles are blown out. In the moonlight the art director takes the girl's shivering hand, telling her his dreams. She then recounts her solitary life, embroidering flowers and waiting for spring. Drawn to each other, Mimì and Rodolfo leave for the café.

La Bohème 01 - La Scala 1979 - Che gelida manina


LaBohème 02 - La Scala 1979 - Sì, mi chiamano Mimì


La Bohème 03 - La Scala 1979 - O soave fanciulla


5. If you are an Ana Feleo fan, watch ACT II where I can't wait to see how Ana Feleo would perform the sexy Musetta.

La Boheme, Manila ACT II. Amid shouts of street hawkers, Rodolfo buys Mimì a bonnet near the Café Momus before introducing her to his friends. They all sit down and order supper. A toy vendor, Parpignol, passes by, besieged by children. Marcello's former lover, Musetta, enters ostentatiously on the arm of the elderly, wealthy Alcindoro. Trying to regain the painter's attention, she sings a waltz about her popularity. Complaining that her shoe pinches, Musetta sends Alcindoro to fetch a new pair, then falls into Marcello's arms. Joining a group of marching soldiers, the Bohemians leave Alcindoro to face the bill when he returns.

La Bohème 04 - La Scala 1979 - Quando m'en vo'


6. If you are a blogger, Bachelor Girl is inviting bloggers for a special La Boheme preview!


7. If you are heart broken, you might be able to empathize with the emotions of the songs in Act III of La Boheme in Manila!

La Boheme, Manila ACT III. At dawn on a rainy night, a Customs Officer admits farm women to the city. Musetta and revelers are heard inside a tavern. Soon Mimì walks by, searching for the place where the reunited Marcello and Musetta now live. When the painter emerges, she pours out her distress over Rodolfo's incessant jealousy. It is best they part, she says. Rodolfo, who has been asleep in the tavern, is heard, and Mimì hides; Marcello thinks she has left. Rodolfo tells Marcello he wants to separate from his fickle sweetheart. Pressed further, he breaks down, saying Mimì is dying; her ill health can only worsen in the poverty they share. Overcome, Mimì stumbles forward to bid her lover farewell as Marcello runs back into the tavern to investigate Musetta's raucous laughter. While Mimì and Rodolfo recall their happiness, Musetta quarrels with Marcello. The painter and his mistress part in fury, but Mimì and Rodolfo decide to stay together until spring.

La Bohème 05 - La Scala 1979 - Donde lieta uscì


La Bohème 06 - La Scala 1979 - Dunque è proprio finita


8. If you are a fan of Jennifer Uy, I can't wait to see her performs the death love scene of Mimi and Rodolfo !

La Boheme, Manila ACT IV. Some months later, Rodolfo and Marcello lament their loneliness in the garret. Colline and Schaunard bring a meager meal. The four stage a dance, which turns into a mock fight. The merrymaking is ended when Musetta bursts in, saying Mimì is downstairs, too weak to climb up. As Rodolfo runs to her, Musetta tells how Mimì has begged to be taken to her lover to die. While Mimì is made comfortable, Marcello goes with Musetta to sell her earrings for medicine, and Colline leaves to pawn his cherished overcoat. Alone, Mimì and Rodolfo recall their first days together, but she is seized with coughing. When the others return, Musetta gives Mimì a muff to warm her hands and prays for her life. Mimì dies quietly, and when Schaunard discovers she is dead, Rodolfo runs to her side, calling her name.

La Bohème 07 - La Scala 1979 - Mi sento assai megli


La Bohème 08 - La Scala 1979 - Sono andati?


9. If you are watching Paul Potts, please watch FIRST our very own talented Filipino Opera Singers sing Italian Songs in La Boheme.

La Boheme will be performed on October 3-5, 2008, a few days before the Paul Potts performance on October 8. Let us support our very own Filipino Opera talents!

Tickets for 2008 LA BOHEME, CCP Main Theater
( For OAP Friends, I can help you get the tickets please text me Anton +63917-5683627 or email me Anton@Diaz.PH)

Oct. 3 (8pm) GALA NIGHT
Orchestra center P4,000.00
Orchestra side P3,000.00
Balcony 1 center P1,500.00
Balcony 1 side P1,000.00
Balcony 2 P 500.00

Box (6 exclusive seats)
Parterre Box (6 exclusive seats) P30,000.00
Upper Box P20,000.00
Lower Box P10,000.00

Oct. 4 (8pm), Oct. 5 (3pm)
Orchestra center P3,000.00
Orchestra side P2,500.00
Balcony 1 center P1,500.00
Balcony 1 side P1,000.00
Balcony 2 P 500.00

Box (6 exclusive seats)
Parterre Box P20,000.00
Upper Box P15,000.00
Lower Box P10,000.00

Discounts:
Senior Citizen 20%
Students 50% (for Balcony 1 and 2 sections only)

Please contact the Philippine Opera Company at 892-8786 or visit www.philippineoperacompany.com for more details.
Tickets are also available at all TicketWorld outlets with trunkline number 891-9999.


10. If you comment on this post, you might just win tickets to La Boheme in Manila!

Our Awesome Planet fully supports the most awaited opera La Boheme in Manila! OAP will give prizes to the best comments and reactions to this blog post.


Live an Awesome Life!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Copyright 2008.

September 23, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack

Our FaMEALy Day

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Our FaMEALy Day-7

I must admit that I often dragged my feet whenever we would go to my in-laws for Sunday lunch with the entire family. When we started to have kids, I learned that having a family meal is one of the best gifts we could ever give our children. Last Sunday, I realized how blessed we were to be together. The children loved to play and it is always a riot when they meet. Sunday lunch would often be a coordinated potluck event between my wife's siblings. It is a feast complete with dessert. We'd call our parents via Skype to greet them and express how much we missed them during these times. It is usually a long lunch with lots of chikahan about the latest happening in our lives. Often, it would be stories about the kids, latest finds or a new girlfriend would be introduced. After lunch, the kids look forward to swimming time and spend the entire afternoon in the pool until sunset. It is always a long farewell process whenever the kids part ways. It seemed that one full day is never enough for them.
I asked Aidan before we went to sleep that night, "Are you happy playing with your cousins today?". Aidan paused and replied, "Yes Poppa, I'm happy!" At that point, I realized that these moments were priceless. We vowed not to take it for granted ever again and continue to create loving childhood memories for our kids and their cousins.

Our Awesome Planet supports the celebration of National FaMEALY Day 2008! This is my official entry for the FAMEALY VALUES: What I Learned from the Dinner Table Lucky Me! and Philippine Star Photo Contest!

Our FaMEALy Day-17
Syoti Josh starting to type in the computer at 10 months old.

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Josh and Aidan latest wacky photo.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008

September 23, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

A Tale of Two Art Cafes in A.Venue

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A.Venue Restaurant Reviews in OAP
Fluke
A Tale of Two Art Cafes in A.Venue
Gasthof - Home of Boracay's Famous Baby Back Ribs!
Burger Avenue's Ridiculous Challenge
Foccacia, A Slice of Italy in A.Venue Mall

Botong's Restobar-2
I've been checking out A.Venue mall lately and this is one of the places in Makati that is less crowded during lunch or dinner time. I would like to share with you our experience on two of the Art Cafes in A.Venue. Botong's Restobar and Artina Gallery Cafe both feature paintings of different artists as part of their overall ambiance. It is interesting to go there on a regular day or if you just want to get out of the business district crowd.

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Artina Gallery Cafe @ A. Venue

Artina claims that their food is based on classic French cooking techniques. The food is more western fusion with salads, pastas, and sandwiches ranging from P150-250 and main entrees from P350-400. Check out --> Artina Gallery Cafe Menu. It tries to recreate a garden type ambiance with the use of heavy iron black chairs and different plant accents. The art gallery display is the main highlight of the resto featuring Artist Jose Guillermo Cristobal Naval's paintings.

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Mesclun with Italian Vinaigrette with crisp phyllo-stuffed mushrooms (P190+). We liked this lumpia variation with fresh greens salad.

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Trio of Mushrooms with Hint of Fresh Herbs ( P 135+). Too mushroom in taste but this is how we like our mushroom soup.

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Risotto with al Funghi with Fragrant Truffle Oil and Shaved Parmigiano (P 220+). You can't go wrong with this risotto with truffle oil. This reminded me of the same dish we enjoyed at Sala.


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Classic Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables and Mushroom Jus Lie (P380+). Tender beef cubes with sweet vegetables.

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Grilled Salmon Fillet with Citrin Risotto, Pesto Glaze, and Grilled Vegetables (P360+). Our salmon was a bit mushy either because of the way it was cooked or the quality of the salmon meat was not good.

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LemonGrass Tea (P70+). Lemongrass tea is quite common these days and it is quite easy to do this. Order this if you are looking for a refreshing drink.

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Artina Gallery Cafe
Ground Level, A. Venue Mall
Makati Ave. cor. Juan Luna St.Website: Artina Hotel Suite Website
Phone Number: +632 729-8983

Botong's Restobar @ A.Venue
Botong's Restobar
Botong's Restobar was named after Botong Francisco but the place serves as an exhibit hall for different artists. I don't like the all black theme which includes waiters in black uniform. Botong serves Filipino cuisine that tries to be different by adding a twist to the ingredients (to justify its price perhaps?).
Starters, Appetizer, Soup, Pasta,
Vegetables, Entrees, Desserts, Grill, Sizzling, Dessert, Drinks
Drinks and Wine

Botong's Restobar-9
Spicy Bulalo Soup (P360+) If you are craving for a spicy bulalo then check this out at Botong's resto cafe.
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Pinakbet with Lechon Kawali (P170+)
I arrived from an Ilocos Norte trip when we tried this so it would be unfair to compare this with the Pinakbet with Bagnet (which is way better). I love my pinakbet with huge chunks of crispy meat.
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Botong's Restobar has a mezzanine and a third floor (photo above). The black sofa and white walls were intentional to bring out the colors of the paintings.
Botong's Restobar-4
I asked Aidan what he likes among the paintings and he pointed the UFO paintings.
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Botong's Restobar
7829 A.Venue Lifestyle Center
Ground Level, Avenue Mall
Makati Avenue, Makati CIty
Telephone: +632 756-0346
Mobile: +63 918 2380059 (c/o Mayi Mirabueno)


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008

September 23, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Friuli Trattoria and Ateneo Foodies

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Fruili Tratoria-5
I got invited by the cool dudes of MIS Association of Ateneo to give a talk on blog marketing in the KinEITics IT conference. It was nice to meet Lance, Lorenz, Francine and Mark in Friuli Trattoria in UP Village for our pre-meet before the conference. I've know a lot of restaurants in QC area but this is my first time to hear Fruili. Thanks to the MISA guys for suggesting Friuli to me. Fruili is a small Italian restaurant that is a favorite among Ateneo and UP foodies.
Fruili Tratoria-2
Tre Formaggi (P160). Another classic pizza of three cheeses - mozzarella, cheddar & blue. A treat for cheese lovers.

This is the best pizza of the house and you can order one for takeout because this is quite unique. The blue cheese taste stands out in this 3-cheese pizza with wheat bread crust.

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Magherita (P160). Simply a combination of garlic and herbs smothered with 2 layers of mozzarella cheese topped with fresh tomatoes.

The magherita is done well and this is another bestseller for Fruili.
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Spaghetti Meatsauce ( P 110). Beefy Tomato sauce served with spaghetti.
Lance recommended this meat sauce and Friuli is a master of simple pizza and pasta with simple ingredients cooked well. If there is one pasta you would want to try, this is it.

Fruili Tratoria-3
Putanesca (P120). Angel hair with our version of putanesca - made of tomatoes, capers, anchovies & olives.

I also love their simple putanesca pasta.

Fruili Tratoria
Carbonara (P115). White sauce with egg & bacon served with linguini

For some reason, this is the only dish that has some left overs... It speaks for the quality of this dish.
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Fruili Trattoria Menu: Soups, Pasta | Pizzas | Desserts, Gelato Cakes, Drinks | What's New

Can you recommend other best restaurants in the Ateneo area?
Fruili Tratoria-13
Fruili Trattoria in UP Village.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008

September 21, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chef Alain Raye's La Regalade in Manila!

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La Regalade

Update 9/20/2008 - I heard from my wife that the Valhrona dessert we are craving is not that good and it is really small than expected... Also, getting a buzz about La Regalade being a hit/ miss and the food is not consistent.

rache La Regalade by Mrs Awesome Planet

There are only a few times when I feel I'm in the presence of great food and dining in La Regalade Manila was one of them. It lives up to its name, La Regalade, which perhaps mean a place where you would often go to eat great food. I felt I was not worthy to review the newest French Bistro in town that would redefine the discriminating palate of Filipinos.

Eating in La Regalade is an education on fine French cuisine from a 2-star Mechelin Chef Alain Raye. La Regalade is the Manila branch of the famous French Bistro La Regalade in West Vancouver , and from the chef who authored the cookbook La Regalade, simple French Bistro Food at Home. (Any OAP readers from Vancouver who tried La Regalade in Canada and can share their foodie experience?)

Read: The Story of La Regalade French Bistro Manila Page 1, Page 2,

From the outside, La Regalade is intimidating because of the formal ambiance it creates when you passby Pasay Road. It didn't help that we saw some foreigners and personalities in their nice looking clothes while we were in our casual jeans attire. Upon entering the bistro, some of the insecurities melted down because of the genuine smile and warmth greeting by the bistro staff. We loved the exclusive French-only background music which makes us comfortable little by little. Opened only for one and a half months, it is one of those places where you would create memories with your special love ones and price of the food is not even a consideration. If you bring a date to La Regalade, it sends a message that she is someone dear to you. Better book in advance especially on a Saturday night for they really get full and you wouldn't want to be turned down with your date.

You can check out the partial La Regale menu so that you'll be somewhat ready emotionally and financially. Most of the specials are not in the menu but are written on a black board above the kitchen counter. It would be reasonable to budget P1,000 - 1,500 (with wine) per person, you'll see why when you are there for their special menu of the day. We would definitely come back to try the desserts which ranges from P350-P450 per dessert. I'm already curious how a P450 Warm Valhrona Chocolate Tart would taste like.

Soupes, Entrees, Plats Principaux (Main Courses)
La Regale Wines: Champagne, Sparkling Wines, White Wines
La Regalade Wines: Red Wines

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The meal starts with a serving of baguette with butter. This is the only unimpressive part of the La Regale dining experience. They serve commercially available baguette with a simple butter.

La Regalade-8
Gratinee A L'oignon (P200). Gratinated Onion Soup.

On a rainy day, I always crave for hot french onion soup. This is a sweeter version of a French Onion Soup and uses locally available red onions which gives it a sweeter taste than expected.

La Regalade-10
Salad Regalade (P450). This is one of those moments where you eat this salad and you can't help but just close your eyes in gratitude. My mind was overwhelmed and giving thanks to Him for all the blessings I receive each day and for the opportunity to be alive to taste this great food. My amateur palate can't comprehend how a combination of squid, shrimp, bacon, parmesan cheese, spices and greens can be a spiritual experience. The salad seemed too perfect and I don't want to ruin the experience by describing it in detail.

La Regalade-12
Navarin D'Agneau Aux Epices Et Abricots Secs (P750). Stewed Lamb with Dried Apricots and Spices served with Rice Pilaf.

The braised lamb is slowly cooked with dried apricots, spices, ginger, tomato, carrots and other secret ingredients. Only the tender lamb meat and the sweet carrot can be recognized when served. The servings are good for two but a typical Filipino would order more rice to go with the somewhat sweet sauce. I regret not ordering wine to go with this.

La Regalade-15
The ladies' restroom is blessed with sofa chairs that would surely make every woman's trip to the La Regale restroom a little longer. It is unfair that the men's restroom is a bit cramp.

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Even the takehome brown bag was designed well.

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We love to eat in places where we can easily get a table pronto because we cannot let the tummy wait long at past 9pm.

La Regalade-18
Chef Alain Raye
La Regalade Manila
820 Arnaiz Avenue Makati City, 1226, Philippines
(in the middle of Paseo de Roxas and Amorsolo along Arnaiz Avenue formerly Pasay Road)
Telephone: +632 7502104, 750-2105
Website: www.laregalademanila.com
Email: Fritzweber@gmail.com (Fritz Weber is the general Manager)
Mobile: +63 917-855 3652.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

P.S. Chef Alain Raye will be back in Manila on October 19. Fellow Frenchman Chef Pierre Cornelis is the current Executive Chef.

September 19, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adarna Food & Culture - The Magic of the Rich Filipino Heritage

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Currently, I'm inspired to promote really good Filipino restaurants. Technically, this is not part of the series 10 Restaurants We Love But Never Blogged Before. LA from Studio 23 News Central raved about this when we were in Sitio Remedios, Currimao. This is so far away from where we live but the trip was worth it! Check out Adarna Food & Culture :)

Adarna Food & Culture-47
Adarna Food & Culture was conceptualized by partners Beth Angsioco and Chef Giney Villar showcasing Filipino antiques and different Filipino flavors around the country. The restaurant is a reapplication of Beth Angsioco's Adarna house and the first resto for AHA-graduate Chef Giney Villar. The food and ambiance is quite unique so you got to check this out and let me know what you think.

Adarna Food & Culture Menu:
Soup | Salads & Vegetables | Appetizers | Historic Regional Dishes 1 | Historic Regional Dishes 2 | Historic Regional Dishes 3 | Rice | Dessert | Drinks | Cold Drinks | New on the Menu | New Desserts | New Cold Drinks | Heirloom Recipes 1 | Heirloom Recipes 2 | Old & New World Pinoy Plates |
(Don't be intimidated with the menu, I'll give you some recommendations below)

Adarna Food & Culture-37
Coincidentally, we bought a book from Adarna House (in the recent book fair) about the Ibong Adarna. We read the story to Aidan regularly and we promised him that we will bring him to see Ibong Adarna. He would love to see that painting of the Ibong Adarna above. Adarna is a Filipino magical bird that can cure sickness just by listening to its songs and can turn you into stone with its poop. The restaurant was named Adarna to proclaim its Filipino heritage and the "magical" dining experience it offers.

Adarna Food & Culture-17
I love to see old newspapers and this one with a headline about Magsaysay's inauguration and later on his funeral.

Adarna Food & Culture-44
Felicidad (P 120). A luxurious drink made from eggs, cream, milk with a splash of rhum and vanilla. Nice with a naughty streak. An unauthorized deviation from a secret originally wholesome family recipe.

This is something unique that you got to try. It is like drinking sweet cream that is very addicting.

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Seafood Special (P471). A true-blue Manila family shares an Iberian style seafood dish of shrimps, scallops and fish in a flavorful tomato-olive oil suace topped with bell pepper, fried onions and parsley.

This is one of their best sellers. Adarna specializes on unique sauces like this oily tomato sauce that is sweet with a spicy kick in the end.

Adarna Food & Culture-38
Piassok (P304).From Mindanao, experience this exotic Sulu dish of beef chunks cooked slowly in smoked coconut cream and ten spices till tender then buttered and grilled just before serving.

With a description like exotic Sulu dish, we decided to try this. The coconut cream is not offensive. The sauce is rich and complicated.

Adarna Food & Culture-40
Batanes Yellow Rice Family Size (P130). From up north, a rice dish that is so simple it is elegant. Turmeric, garlic and a bit of pork flavors the rice for a special treat.

A different treat from your usual garlic or paella rice. I didn't know they have this rice in Batanes...

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Platanillos con Mangga (P150). Light cream on crepe twirled into a cone and finished with rhum-flavored mango slices.

Technically it is mango crepe but the light creme and rhum gives it a different yummy treat and a fitting end to the magical meal.


Room of the Stars
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Adarna has two special rooms that you can reserve with a minimum consumable of P5,000. The first room showcases the partner's collection of old movie stars.

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Can you spot Vilma Santos and Tirso Cruz (see Bigger version)?

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Check out these old Filipino Movie Actors and Actresses.

Room of the Carnival Queens
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Before Miss Philippines, there was the Carnival Queens of the Philippines. It is the first time I heard about Carnival Queens and I'm starting to learn a lot about our rich Filipino heritage.

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Check out the different Carnival Queens in their majestic poses.

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Collection of Old Long Playing Discs... Too bad the LP player is not working...

Old Bottles Collection
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I can't identify any of the old bottles on top.

FREE old Sari Sari Store
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Live out your childhood memories by grabbing any of the FREE goodies in this sari sari store!

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Old Pinoy Comics, Old Softdrinks Trays, Takalan ng Kanin, Tirador and many more...

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The Space Balloon is the best seller so it is often out of stock. You can get chocnut and white rabbit for FREE before you home.

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Adarna Food & Culture
119 Kalayaan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
Telephone: +632 926-8712
Mobile: +63 917 961 8113
adarnafoodandculture@yahoo.com

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 18, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cafe Juanita - Eclectically Romantic

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Cafe Juanita is an all time favorite for romantic dates within the metro.

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Its biggest asset is the sort of mish mash of things mixed with different kind of lights to create an eclectic romantic ambiance.

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It appears small from the outside because of the unassuming entrance but you'll be surprised with the different world that awaits you.

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You have a lot of nook to choose from as you go deeper into Cafe Juanita.

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For special occasions like engagement, you can reserve this small and less complicated second floor. Cafe Juanita
I'm glad that the place is now well lighted because it looks creepy otherwise. It felt like the walls have eyes.

Cafe Juanita Menu (Even the prices are a bit eclectic)
Soup, Salad, Appetizers | Asian Favorites | Filipino Flavors | Pasta, Steak, and Mediterranean Entries | Dessert | Drinks

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Juanita's Caesar Salad (P 242). There are as many variations of this classic salad as there are chefs.
The caesar salad is a classic with a creamy dressing ( you can taste the egg yolk used). It is simple, tasty and fresh.

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Kare-Kare ni Juanita (P483). Always served with pride as one of our specialties: Ox-tail and tripes stewed in peanuts and toasted rice with tropical vegetables.

This is one of the best Kare Kare I tasted but I should have bought the Bagoong Club Special from Bagoong Club to go with this Kare Kare.

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The pianist plays old love songs to add a romantic feel to the setting.

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Dinuguan with chicharon (P230?). This is a new addition to the menu which tries to recreate Kanin Club's Crispy Dinuguan.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding (P89). Don't leave without trying their signature dessert.

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No need to reserve on ordinary days except during their popular Sunday Lunch Buffet!

Cafe Juanita
No.2 United Street corner West Capitol Street, Brgy Kapitolyo, Pasig.
Telephone Number: +632 632-0357.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 15, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bagoong Club - a Bagoong Themed Restaurant Everyone is Raving About

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rache Bagoong Overload by MrsAwesomePlanet

Bagoong Club
FREE APPETIZER. Singkamas with Bagoong Asya (asian flavor spices) and Bagoong Umaga (with Chili)

If you are looking for a unique Filipino restaurant where to bring your balikbayan or foreigner guests, you have to drive all the way to Bagoong Club (BC) in the Tomas Morato area in Quezon City. Most Filipinos are raving about this restaurant specializing on bagoong (salted and fermented fish paste). There are 7 variations of the Bagoong and you'll encounter the first two-- Bagoong Asya (P15) and Bagoong Umaga (P15), with the free singkamas appetizer. The traditional bagoong version is called Bagoong Lipunan (P15).

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All Vegetable Kare Kare (P180). Kare Kare is one of their best sellers and the perfect partner for bagoong and rice. Bagoong Club's Kare Kare is a bit sweeter and nuttier in taste. It is a bit different and seems to be created to match the Bagoong Lipunan that comes with it. What's good with BC's Bagoong is that you'll never get tired of its taste. It is addicting and you can easily finish 3 cups of rice if you don't watch what you eat.

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Club Binagoongan Special (P240). Another favorite combination is the Binagoongan Tomato Sauce, Bagoong and Rice. It is better to just serve this binagoongan without the pork meat which are all fatty anyway. The sauce was wiped out like somebody licked it.

Check out the other combinations you can try with Bagoong: Bagoong Club Main Dishes Menu 1 | Bagoong Club Main Dishes Menu 2

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Bagoong Club Special (P25) a mixture of our special bagoong and our secret ingredient. If the Bagoong Lipunan is not enough for you, try this deadly special combination of bagoong with taba ng talangka.

If you want to try all the versions of Bagoong, I would recommend you order the Bagoong Sampler for P100.

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Bagoong Club Pasta (P190). Just stay away from the pasta dishes. I felt that I will have kidney stones with this dish.

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Calamansi Torte (P130). Exclusively made for Bagoong Club by Chef Pixie Sevilla - Santos. You have a choice to end your bagoong food trip with Pastillas de Leche Cheesecake or the Calamansi Torte. Both desserts are very good and created by one of the Sevilla siblings who owns Bagoong Club. I prefer a contrasting Calamansi ending to our Bagoong Club visit.

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Highly Recommended and you got to check them out in Tomas Morato area. If you are coming from St. Luke's area, turn left to Tomas Morato and turn right when you see Starbucks.

Bagoong Club Resto
122 Scout Dr. Lazcano, Sacred Heart, Quezon City
Telephone Numbers: +632 929-0544, 929-5450

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 14, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Manila International Book Fair

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Manila International Book Fair-9 Manila International Book Fair-11
Manila International Book Fair-14 Manila International Book Fair-16
We bought and collected the 25 Best-Loved Children's Books of all time from Adarna House, Lampara, Anvil Publishing and OMF. The Children's Books are normally priced from P55-P65 and you can avail of 20-25% off depending on the publishing house and if you have a Manila International Book Fair 5-day pass card.

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We met Augie Rivera, author of Alamat ng Ampalaya and Rhandee Garlitos, author of Chenelyn! Chenelyn!

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Power Books, National Bookstore, and Anvil are 20% off across the board. That is a significant discount from published prices. Most of the religious publication houses are also present but their books are not discounted. We bought some DVDs of the life of St. Don Bosco (P500) and St. Francis Xavier (P450).

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I've always wanted to buy the Childcraft books but I'm still thinking how effective they are. Any experience with Childcrafts book?

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We were crazy about the Cheese Sponge Crunch from Oishi! Check out the free samples from Oishi booth...

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Finally, we were able to buy back issues of FOOD magazine at 3 for 100 :)
Did we miss any awesome find in the MIBF?

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.





September 14, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

25 Best-Loved Pinoy Children's Book Characters of all Time

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Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK) and Philippine Board on Books for Young People mounted a touring exhibit of the 25 of the Best-Loved Pinoy Children's Books Characters of all time. It is based on a survey among hundreds of Filipino school children. I'm ashamed that I only know 3 out of the 25 pinoy characters. We decided to buy all the children's books in the ongoing Manila International Book Fair in SMX Convention Center. You can catch the exhibit in the lobby of SMX Convention Center.

1. Santa Butsiki of Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit

Top 25 Children's Books-4
25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books
Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit
Writer: Rene O Villanueva
Illustrator: Ibarra C. Crisostomo


2. Pilo of Si Pilong-Patago tago

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-8
Si Pilong Patago-tago
Writer: Kristine Canon
Illustrator: Leo Alvarado

3. Kas of Ang Barumbadong Bus

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-12
Ang Barumbadong Bus
Writer: Rene O. Villanueva
Illustrator: Jo Ann Bereber-Gando

4. Lola of Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Lola

Top 25 Children's Books
25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-13
Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Lola
Writer: Rene O. Villanueva
Illustrator: Ibarra Crisostomo

5. Raquel of Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Raquel

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-10
Ang Pambihirang Buhok ni Raquel
Writer: Luis P. Gatmaitan, M.D.
Illustrator: Beth Parrocha-Doctolero


6. Onyok of Ang Mahiyaing Manok
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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-9
Ang Mahiyaing Manok
Writer: Rebecca T. Anonuevo
Illustrator: Ruben De Jesus

7. Pilandok of Pilandok Series

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-19
Pilandok Series
Writer: Victoria Anonuevo
Illustrator: Kora Dandan-Albano

8. Mariang Sinukuan of Ang Hukuman ni Sinukuan

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-20
Ang Hukuman ni Sinukuan
Writer: Virgilio S. Almario
Illustrator: Mitxi Villavecer

9. Ampalaya of Alamat ng Ampalaya

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-16
Alamat ng Ampalaya
Writer: Augie D. Rivera Jr.
Illustrator: Kora D. Albano

10. Si Langgam at Si Tipaklong
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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-14
Si Langgam at si Tipaklong
Writer: Alberta Angeles
Illustrator: Ibarra Crisostomo

11. Si Pagong at si Matsing

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-22
Si Pagong at Si Matsing
Writer: Danilo Consumido
Illustrator: Hubert Fucio

12. Filemon Mamon
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Filemon Mamon
Writer: Christine Bellen
Illustrator: Jason Moss

13. Emang Engkantada at ang Tatlong Harangan

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-11
Si Emang Engkantada at ang Tatlong Haragan
Writer: Rene Villanueva
Illustrator: Alfonso Onate and Wilfredo Pollarco

14. Pandakotyong

Top 25 Children's Books-3
25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-2
Si Pandakotyong
Writer: Christine S. Bellen
Illustrator: Albert E. Gamos

15. Tiktaktok at Pikpakbum

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-18
Tiktaktok at Pikpakbum
Writer: Rene Villanueva
Illustrator: Renato Gamos

16. Peles of Ang Kamatis ni Peles

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-17
Ang Kamatis ni Peles
Writer: Alberta Angeles
Illustrator: Renato Gamos

17. Rosamistica

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-3
Rosamistica
Writer: Christine S. Belen
Illustrator: Liza A. Flores
18. Mateo of Oh Mateo! Series

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-6
Oh Mateo! Series
Writer: Grace D. Chong
Illustrator: Beth Parrocha-Doctolero

19. Ang Parusa ng Dwende
Top 25 Children's Books-20

Illustrator: Elbert Or.

20. Chenelyn

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-7
Chenelyn! Chenelyn!
Writer: Rhandee Garlitos
Illustrator: Liza Flores

21. Carancal

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25 Best-Loved Filipino Children's Books-5
Carancal Series
Writer: Rene O. Villanueva
Illustrator: Kora Dandan-Albano

22. Ibong Adarna

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(I'm Still looking for these 3 books.... )
23. Ug Uhug

Top 25 Children's Books-7

24. Mariang Alimango

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25. Juan Tamad

Top 25 Children's Books-19


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 14, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Philippine Travel Fair Tips

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Philippine Travel Fair-5
The Philippine Travel Fair is the Best Domestic Travel Fairs in the country where you can find cheap tickets, very good deals from airline, hotels, and resorts. All of the major tourist destinations in the country are represented in this travel fair. It is usually held around September and this year it happens Sept. 12-14, 2008 in Megatrade Hall in Megamall.

Here are some tips to maximize your P50 entrance fee to this travel fair:

1. Decide on the places you want to go for vacation next year in the Philippines. Prioritize going to the booth of the places you want to visit. You can already get all the travel information you need to plan your vacation next year. The resorts offer as much as 20-50% discounted rates depending on the destination. There is a lot of clutter in the trade fair and you will be confused if you don't have a set destination in mind.

2. Leverage expert travel resources in the travel fair to enhance your travel research. I'm planning a trip to Anini-Y and Butuan/ Surigao del Sur at the end of the month. Most of the local travel tourism officers are in the travel fair. I was able to do my research in less than 1 hours. I also was able to establish connections with the local people in that place.

3. Benchmark Travel Packages. I'm exploring the possibility of creating the best travel packages to certain destinations and offer it in OAP. It is easy to do a national benchmark of all the travel packages from different travel operators. Most people would collect all of the brochures and marketing materials from the different booths.

4. Best time to go is when the travel fair opens. Allot 3 hours just to go around the entire travel fair.

5. Reward the best booth by voting with your sticker. There is a competition for best booth that is why most of the booths are creative and done well. You can vote by putting your sticker on the booth that you like.


Philippine Travel Fair
I was a bit disappointed that most of the deals are for travel during the off peak season and before the year ends. I was expecting to find a travel package offer that I can't resist but it failed to meet my expectation. For those who went to the travel fair, can you share the best deal you bought in the travel fair?

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Don't forget to vote for the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and get a chance to win in their raffle at the end of the year.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.


September 14, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 11, 2008

THE Ultimate Pampanga Food Tour

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Pampanga in a Plate full!
The Ultimate Pampanga Food Tour

We are excited to bring you THE Ultimate Pampanga Food Tour. We are doing a first ever 5-ways Lechon with Claude Tayag. Join us for this Ultimate Pampanga Tour!

Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung-48-2

Date: October 25, 2008, Saturday
Time: 7am - 7pm
Meeting Place: Starbucks 6750

Journey to the central heartland as we immerse ourselves in things Kapampangan! From Baroque to betute, its fun-filled day as we poke around and get intimate with the very best of Pampanga's cultural offerings. Gawk at the jewel-box of church in Betis while wading through the lahar-buried town of Bacolor.

We'll stuff ourselves silly with the best Kapampangan fare by one of the country's best known Pampango chefs! A tour with nothing but Kapampangan cool!

The Tour Experience: Betis Church * Town of Bacolor * Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung Restaurant * Pampanga Specialty Shops

Tour Fee: P3,800/ Person inclusive of tour, lunch, snacks and surprises. (Maximum of 30 people)

Tours brought to you by: Ultimate Philippines Travel Experiences in collaboration with Our Awesome Planet, Ivan About Town, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks and Spanx Manila Boy. See the Awesome Beauty of the Philippines!

Contact me anton@diaz.ph +63917 (5683-627) to reserve your slot!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 11, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

THE Ultimate Tagaytay Food Tour

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Southern Secrets by the Spoonful!
A Tagaytay Culinary Tryst

We are excited to finally open this tour to everyone. This is the Tagaytay Food Tour everyone was raving about. Join us for the first Ultimate Tagaytay Food Tour!

Verdana Gateway Tour

Date: October 12, 2008, Sunday
Time: 7am - 7pm
Meeting Place: Starbucks 6750

Chateau Hestia-26

Up up to the highlands!

Let's us savor a smorgasbord as we explore the BEST international kitchen
in THE COOLEST CITY SOUTH OF MANILA!

From the best Buko Pie to the tastiest Banh da Lon,
let us cruise along this city by the ridge, taking in her scenic views,
mountain weather and best of all, indulging in her UNDISCOVERED culinary delights!

More than the food, let us meet the people
behind some of Tagaytay's most DELICIOUS dining establishments
as we share the stories and behind the recipes

A tour to nourish your stomach and spirit!

Verdana Gateway Tour

Tour Route: Ilog Maria Bee Farm * Bawai Vietnamese Kitchen * Chateau Hestia European Garden Restaurant * Yoki's Treasures and Hydroponic Farm (upon availability) * T-House Dining

Tour Fee: P2,800/ Person inclusive of tour, lunch, snacks and surprises. (Maximum of 30 people)

Tours brought to you by: Ultimate Philippines Travel Experiences in collaboration with Our Awesome Planet, Ivan About Town, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks and Spanx Manila Boy. See the Awesome Beauty of the Philippines!

Contact me anton@diaz.ph +63917 (5683-627) to reserve your slot!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 11, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Charice, We are Proud of You!

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Charice Pempengco, David Foster, Celine Dion, and Andrea Bocelli in the Oprah Show. I'm so proud to be a Filipino watching this special Oprah show featuring Charice. Congratulations!

September 10, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Awesome Sale That I Don't Want You To Miss!

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I just came from the Ultimate Ilocos Norte Trip which included surfing sessions in Blue Lagoon. While I'm getting back to the blogging grove again, I don't want you to miss five (5) four (4) awesome sale events that are happening in Manila this coming week.

philippine-mart
19th Philippine Travel Fair Triple X:
Xtreme Adventure, Xtreme Wellness and Xtreme Leisure in the Philippines
Date: September 12-14, 2008
Venue: SM MegaMall Mega Trade Hall
What Makes it Awesome: This is where you can get the cheapest airline tickets, and hotel rates you can use for 6-12 months.

THE BIG GARMENTS SALE
The Big Garment Sale
Date: September 11-13, 2008
Venue: STAC Warehouse in Meycauyan, Bulacan
Blog Posts: The Great Bulacan Sale
What Makes it Awesome: Otherwise known as the Bulacan Sale that only happens 3x a year. This is the best and much anticipated factory sale event in Manila. This is where we buy cheap fashion branded clothes.

mibf
The 29th Manila International Book Fair: Words without Borders
Date: September 12— 16, 2008 10:00 A.M.— 8:00 P.M.
Venue: Halls 1-4, SMX Convention Center Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Website: www.manilabookfair.com
What Makes it Awesome: This is where you can find really good books at a good price.


OAKLEY, REEF & SURFER GIRL CLEARANCE SALE
Oakley Sale
Date: September 18-20, 2008
Venue: 8062 JASRA BLDG ESTRELLA ST COR ST. PAUL ROAD SAN ANTONIO VILLAGE MAKATI
What Makes it Awesome: This is where you buy Oakley from the distributor sale.

Style Therapy Sale
Style Theraphy at Trinoma
Date: September 11-14, 2008
Venue: Various Brands, Trinoma Mall
What Makes it Awesome: Fashion Brands Sale. We will check this out this weekend.

(got feedback from OAP reader that the selections are not that good so I'm scrapping this from the list)
Live an Awesome Life!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 10, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (31) | TrackBack

Friday, September 05, 2008

La Boheme Opera - First Full Length and All Filipino Cast Opera in the Philippines

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September 5, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Kawayan Cove Photography Class

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Kawayan Cove Photo Class for Bloggers on Sept. 11

Here is an official invitation to Bloggers who would like to learn photography skills with an excellent subject like Bamboo Beach! Please let me know if you would like to join this photo class by texting me +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627). It is sponsored by Kawayan Cove so it is FREE to join but you need to be a blogger or photographer to join this activity.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 5, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Meralco Theater Views

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Meralco Theater Views
Click here for the full Meralco Theater Seat Map Version.

The most frequently asked question when buying West Side Story tickets is what is the best seat to buy. This is a matter of preference based on eyesight, company, status, and budget. Most of the views are generally OK for me except for the extreme A334 in Orchestra Left and A101 in Orchestra right which have a blind side. As an OAP exclusive, here are the different views of Meralco Theater based on the highlighted seats in the West Side Story seatmap above. Enjoy!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.


Related OAP Posts on West Side Story:
West Side Story Complete List of Direct Show Buyers
The Most Romantic or Tragic Love Story Ever Blogged Contest
West Side Story -The Most Romantic and Tragic Love Story Ever Blogged Winners
West Side Story -- The Two Faces of West Side Story
Meralco Theater Views

Meralco Theater Views
Orchestra Center H225 View

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Orchestra Left H343 View

Meralco Theater Views-3
Orchestra Right H101 View

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Balcony Right X101 View

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Balcony Center V217 View
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Balcony Left X311 View


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Loge Center O234 View
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Loge Left N350 View

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Loge Right P101 View

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Orchestra Right A108 View

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Orchestra Center A218 View

Meralco Theater Views-12
Orchestra Left A336 View

Meralco Theater Views-13
Orchestra Center K224 View - Best view for me.

Meralco Theater Views-14
Orchestra Right A101 View

September 4, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

West Side Story -- The Two Faces of West Side Story

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West Side Story-2
Christian Bautista's West Side Story is the best West Side Story to date in Manila. WSS has been shown once in every decade in Manila and this version is focused on the young generation. (Young is generally defined as <40 years old.)

You will fall in love with the romance between Tony and Maria. I'm sure everyone can relate to Tony's struggle of loving Maria with a different cultural background. Tony is American and belongs to the Jets while Maria is Puerto Rican and belongs to the Sharks. I'm sure that the people who submitted entries to the Most Romantic and Most Tragic love story ever blogged would be able to relate.

Also, the dance fights between the sharks and jets are engaging and fun. It has a variety show production appeal with a broadway twist because they have to sing, dance, and act at the same time. I wanted to give a standing ovation to the AMERICA and GEE, OFFICER KRUPKE! dance performances.

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There are three technical rehearsals before the opening night on Sept. 5, Friday. The first one was held last tuesday for the Meralco employees, last night was for the press and tonight is for ABS-CBN. Also, there are two good versions of the show, the Joanna Ampil version and the Karylle version. We watched last night's Karylle's version of West Side Story.

West Side Story-5

The Karylle West Side Story version is fresh and entertaining in a showbiz kind of way. What I love about her version is the chemistry between Tony and Maria. They both share the same vocal range so their voices blend perfectly well. Karylle's and Christian Bautista's version of TONIGHT and SOMEWHERE are memorable and you can't help but fall in love with the characters.

Since both of them don't have that broadway vocal range, there are times when you would feel that their voices fell short of what the song demands. But they compensate it with a loving performance that looks real. With Joanna, I'm afraid that her voice would dominate the love song duets and would ruin the loving moment. (Anybody watched Joanna Ampil's version yet ?)

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I wonder how Dingdong Dantes would feel when Christian Bautista kisses Karylle more than 3 times in West Side Story. Multiply that with the number of West Side Story shows, and...

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Thanks to Gerard Salonga and the Phil Harmonic Orchestra for the lovely West Side Story Music!

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Congratulations to Audie Gemora and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo for the best West Side Story production in Manila!

I want to watch the Joanna Ampil to really see the broadway version of West Side Story Manila.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.


P.S. Just a tip, there is a canteen in the basement of Meralco theater if you lack time to eat outside to catch the 8pm show.
West Side Story-8


September 4, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

West Side Story -The Most Romantic and Tragic Love Story Ever Blogged Winners

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The Most Romantic or Tragic Love Story Ever Blogged Contest

And the winners are...
Thanks for sharing a part of your most romantic and tragic story ever blogged. It was very tough for us to decide the winner because each love story is special. We decided to award an OAP second choice as a third prize. Here are the winners:

OAP's Choice:
Chocolate Stars and Sapphire Dreams' The Best Night of My Life.
Thanks for sharing your most romantic adventure, Cat! A must read for romantics like us :)

Chocolate Stars

OAP's Choice (P4,400 Prize)
Two (2) Orchestra Center Tickets (P2,400 worth) to the Sept. 6, Saturday Opening Night of West Side Story
One (1) P2,000 Gift Certificate in Alchemy (Manila's Only 3 Floor Euro Superclub)

Mrs OAP's Choice
TheFool's Notebook Regrets.
rache Mrs. OAP’s Winner for the WSS Contest

The Fool's Notebook

Mrs OAP's Choice (P 3,400 Prize)
Two (2) Orchestra Center Tickets (P2,400 worth) to the Sept. 5, Friday Opening Night of West Side Story
One (1) P1,000 Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Gift Certificate

OAP's Second Choice
Like it Or Not's The Last Quarter of 2004.
Thanks for sharing your detailed tragic love story via email. We really appreciate it.
Like It Or Not

OAP's Second Choice (P1,400 Prize)
Two (2) Balcony Center Tickets (P1,400 worth) to the Sept. 6, Saturday Opening Night of West Side Story

Congratulations! Email me at anton@diaz.ph to arrange for the shipping of your prizes.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.


September 3, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe

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Mom & Tina's-2

The hottest restaurant in Makati these days is in the corner of Perea and De La Rosa St. in Makati. Barely a month old, Mom (Belen Vergara Torres) and Tina's (Torres-Santos) Bakery Cafe is creating an unstoppable foodie buzz and long queues during lunch time. I've never seen such excitement and warm welcome for this Bakery Cafe originally based in Ortigas.

Mom and Tina's formula for success is simple. They promise to serve home-cooked meals with fresh ingredients and fresh-from-the-oven pastries and baked goodies. I was pleasantly surprise about how affordable gourmet food is in this cafe.

The cafe can accommodate roughly 100 people and opens daily (10am to 11pm at night). This is a favorite hangout for late night dinners or weekend hangout in Makati. It is often difficult to find a good restaurant open during weekends in Makati.

Mom & Tina Bakery Cafe Menu:
Soup of the Day, Starters, Salads, Pasta & Tomato Dishes.
Pasta & Tomato Dishes, Hearty Main Dishes
Hearty Main Dishes & Sandwiches
Desserts, Hot & Cold Beverages

Mom & Tina's-11
Chicken Spinach Lasagna (P125). Layers of chicken and tomato and cream sauce with homemade spinach lasagna pasta. Served with Garlic Cheese rolls.

If you don't know what to order, just give this rich lasagna a try. You would savor the thick cream sauce in every bite. The garlic cheese roll is crunchy and shape like a flower you can peel one layer at a time.

Next time, I'm coming back for Paella Valenciana (P170), Chicken Relleno (P160), and Lengua con Setas (P295). I heard they are great from other foodies and the price is quite reasonable.

Mom & Tina's
Mini-Oreo Cheesecake (P125).

According to Marbee Go of Wedding Essentials and Manila Bulletin Travel, this is the best Oreo Cheesecake in town. We have to agree and this is a must try!

Mom & Tina's-12
Mom & Tina's Bakery Cafe
Perea corner De La Rosa, Makati City
Telephone: +632 894 3598, 840-4299

106 E. Rodriguez Jr, Avenue Ugong, Pasig City
Telephone: +632 571-1540 to 41, 914-0833

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 3, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Cucina Gayuma's Laing Pasta

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Leisure Farms Adventures-15

The name Cucina Gayuma intrigued us for some time now. We were hoping to try it sooner but it was closed on a Monday when we visited the area. Gayuma is a filipino term for love potion or food that will make you fall in love with a person. In a sense, the Gayuma term is misleading because the food is actually experimental meals on Filipino fusion. Gayuma is used to refer to food that seduces your senses. I remember that there was a Gayuma restaurant before (in Katipunan?) but this one is not related to it.

Leisure Farms Adventures-9
Laing Pasta (P190). Taro Leaves, coconut milk and cream topped with smoked fish and crumbled white cheese.

The Laing Pasta of Cucina Gayuma is getting a buzz in the foodie community. It is the best and if you have only one dish to try this is it. We love laing made from gabi leaves and authentically made in Bicol. It is a little bit creamy and the laing taste blended well with the pasta.
Leisure Farms Adventures-4

The ambiance is characterized by old wooden tables, mismatched chairs, antique accents, and red motif. The small office before was transformed into a Filipino Spanish home. The only thing that was off for us was the waiters in black. In Chinese, wearing black is a sign of bad luck and death.

Cucina Gayuma Special Menu
Appetizer, Salads, Beef, Pork, Chicken
Fish, Pasta, Dessert, Drinks.

Leisure Farms Adventures-5
Pesto Pita Pizza (P95). Pesto Pizza topped with sun dried tomatoes, tuyo, olives and mixed cheeses.

The menu prices are affordable with servings proportionate to its price. Take the pesto pizza pizza as an example. For less than hundred pesos, you get a small platito size pizza. It compensates its small slice with a rich taste of cheeses and tuyo.

Leisure Farms Adventures-7
Alimaki (P120). Alique and avocado stuffed Japanese style maki.

A deadly high-blood combination of aligue and avocado is a cute concoction but not memorable.

Leisure Farms Adventures-11
Cheese Crusted Baked Fish (P230). Baked dory fillets infused with mushrooms and shallots, and topped with mixed cheeses.

This is one of the best ways to enjoy the dory fish - baked and with a lot of cheese! Dory is usually bland in taste, the baked cheese on top gives it a salty ending.

Leisure Farms Adventures-13
Lamb Goulasch (P300). Lamb shanks and sausages in a Hungarian tomato stew.

The tomato stew is thick, rich and a bit salty. Eat it with the beans and rice to complement the tender lamb meat.

Leisure Farms Adventures-14
Leche Flan (P60). A rich flan that melts in your mouth.

We would recommend to end your meal with an old-school rich leche flan that is guaranteed to give you flashback of your childhood memories.

Cucina Gayuma
Villa Ortigas Unit 22,
Granada St. Quezon City
Telephone: (+63 2) 723-2975
Website: welovecucinagayuma.multiply.com
Store Hours: 11:30am-2pm (Tues-Sun), 6pm-10pm (Tues to Thurs, Sun), 6pm-11pm (Fri-Sat)

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 2, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

NAIA T3 Food

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NAIA Terminal 3-6
So far, Delifrance is the best food available in NAIA Terminal 3. A sandwich would cost anywhere from Php 120-Php 240. We would order it to go and bring it to the airplane with us. Yes, you can eat on the airplane as long as the tray tables are stowed during take off.

NAIA Terminal 3

Finally, I'm happy that we have a world class airport for our Cebu Pacific and PAL Express flights. Just another tip, Philippine Air Line EXPRESS terminal is in NAIA Terminal 3 and not in NAIA Terminal 2.

I made a mistake last Friday of assuming all Philippine Air Line flights are in NAIA terminal 2. My brother Rommel dropped us off in Terminal 2 and found out that we are in the wrong terminal. I'm glad that we had enough time (45mins before the flight) to transfer from T2 to T3 and catch the PAL Express flight to Busuanga. Did you make the same mistake before?
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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

PS. Here are the other food options in NAIA Terminal 3... NAIA Terminal 3-3
Go Nuts Donuts

NAIA Terminal 3-4
Cinnabon

NAIA Terminal 3-5
A Sari Sari Store

September 2, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Monday, September 01, 2008

My Human Race

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The Human Race at Calauit The Human Race at Calauit
I love Nike Plus because it motivates you to run by joining virtual races like last Sunday's Nike Human Race 10K.

On 8/31/08, I already planned to run on Calauit Island for my 10k Nike Human Race. One good thing about the Nike Sports band is that it is light and you can wear it like a watch. I own a Garmin 305 and a Nike Plus iPod Kit but I find the Nike Sportsband to be traveller friendly. You can bring it anywhere and the battery life lasts for 3 days. With the iPod Kit, I had to bring an iPod, a Sennheiser earphones, and the Nike Plus transmitter. It is inconvenient to run with the iPod because you have to strap it to your body or use a special Nike Plus shorts to hold the iPod in place when running. For the Garmin 305, it is a bit bulky and you need to ensure to charge it before using it. It is notorious for its short battery life. Since the Nike sportsband uses pedometer technology it is not as accurate as the Garmin 305. It has an error of +/- 1 Km with the actual distance (in my experience). You have to calibrate it properly and it is accurate for shorter distances.



On Human Race day, I ended up running 3k on the Calauit Island with the Giraffes and Zebras. Then we travelled one and a half hours by boat to Club Paradise where I continued to run for the next 7k. Unfortunately, you cannot pause a run for 90 mins so I had to start a new run in the Nike Plus Sportsband. Club Paradise Island is quite small so I ran around the island a couple of times and climbed up Eagles point - the highest point in the island. It was more of a trail run that lasted for 2 hours. We celebrated the completion of my virtual Nike Human Race with a lunch buffet at Club Paradise.

Thanks to Nike Plus technology, I'm proud to be part of 1 Million runners globally who ran for the first Nike Human Race 10K!
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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

September 1, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, Best Amazing Chefs-For-Hire | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Comedy Cartel Open Mic FREE Session @ Kape Isla

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Comedy Cartel Open Mic
The Comedy Cartel - The Best Stand-Up Comedy Act in Manila!

Here is an awesome tip for you. If you are in Serendra on Wednesdays 9pm, why not attend the Comedy Cartel's Open Mic Session for FREE at Kape Isla? They would usually try new jokes in this open mic session so it would be fun. You'll get to see Mike Unson bomb on some jokes. I brought my family last Wednesday at Kape Isla, and Mike Unson is the only comic who was able to make my Mom laugh. Of course, the rest of the gang were great as usual.
If you decide to eat in Kape Isla, you can order in Healthy Kitchen and have the food delivered at Kape Isla. It is perfectly OK because they have a partnership. Also, you got to try the local coffee @ Kape Isla. Enjoy!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

August 27, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Nike Human Race 10K Bracelet

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Finisher Bracelet
Wow! Nice Human Race 10K bracelet for all runners who will finish 10k on August 31, 2008.

First 241 virtual race participants to upload their 10K run will get a finisher bracelet Nike+ Human Race must be claimed on 8.31.08 at Nike Park, Bonifacio High Street. For you to qualify, simply be one of the first to sync your run in any of these 2 ways:
1. Sync your run immediately after completing the 10K during the scheduled run. After the race, just go to the available laptops and upload your run. The race marshal will be affixing a stamp and a number on your race bib after you've successfully uploaded your run. Present your marked race bib at Nike Park, Bonifacio High Street to claim your finisher bracelet. Open to attendees of the scheduled run.

OR

2. If you didn't get the chance to upload your run after the scheduled run, you can simply go to Nike Park, Bonifacio High Street any time during the day from 9:30am - 5:00pm. A laptop and wi-fi will be specially made available on the race day so that you can sync your 10K. You will be given a stub once you've successfully uploaded your run. Present this to the counter to claim your finisher bracelet. Open to both attendees and non-attendees of the scheduled run.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

P.S. Virtual race participants have until 11:59pm on September 2nd to upload their run.

P.P.S. I still have 20% discount for the Nike Sports Band or iPod Kit. Please email me anton@diaz.ph, your complete name, contact number, and shipping address. I'll send the discount coupon tomorrow.

August 27, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Syoti Joshua @ 9 months and 12 days old...

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Syoti Joshua
Just sharing with you a cute picture of syoti Joshua @ 9 months old (taken by my brother Rommel).

August 26, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Top 10 Legaspi Sunday Market All Stars !

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Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-33
Thanks to my Ultimate Philippines Brothers -- Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks, Ivan Henares of Ivan About Town, and Spanx of Manila Boy for organizing a Sunday Legaspi Food Trip coinciding with my birthday. Also, thanks to the Filipino Food Blogging community for attending the Legaspi Sunday Market Food Trip. Lastly, thanks to the great Legaspi Market people for the wonderful food, desserts and other treats!

I also did a survey among the food bloggers, food stall owners, and friends eating in the Legaspi Sunday Market. I would like to share with you the best of Legaspi Sunday Market based on who are generating buzz among the foodie community.

Top 10 Legaspi Sunday Market All Stars! (in no particular order)

Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-4
Imang Salud Classic Ensaimada (P 160). One of the biggest classic Ensaimada in town based on an old family recipe inherited from Ivan Henares' great-grandmother, Salud Dayrit-Santos of San Fernando, Pampanga. It literally melts in your mouth in softness with a yummy buttery taste and topped with generous servings of queso de bola. Also, one of my favorites in Imang Salud is the plantanilla, super sweet latik in egg crepe. You have to order in advance for the plantanilla.

Imang Salud Dayrit's Kapampangan Homemade Classic EnsaimadaHeirloom recipes of Imang Salud Dayrit-Santos of San Fernando Pampanga passed on to three generations in the Dayrit-Santos Family. Telephone: +63 920 947 8819, +632 837-0842

Related OAP Posts: a Memorable Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off

Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-3
Japanese Tofu Steak (P230 Takeout 600g). The savory tofu cakes of Denise Celdran (yes, the sister of Carlos Celdran) is raved about even by non-vegetarian foodies like us. The combination of tofu, peanuts, sesame seeds and japanese seaweeds is their best seller.

Edgy Veggie Productions
Savory Tofu Cakes, Vegetarian Lumpia Shanghai, Siomai & Other Goodies, Veggie Meat, Hotdogs, Burgers, Gluten Barbecue, Choplets, Tocino and Spam.
Denise Celdran - +63917 820 208

Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-11
Freshly Made Vegetarian Noodles, Boiled or Stir Fried with Seafood (P90). The polanchai noodles are made on site. You can see how they mix the polanchai with flour and create the vegetarian noodles in the morning. People rave about Manvy not only because of its freshly made noodles but also the sauces you can put on your noodles. Think about it as mongolian dish where you have the following sauces as toppings: Peanut Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce, Chili Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Sate Sauce and Soy Sauce.

Manvy Foods
Veggie Wrap, Kikiam, Siomai, Misua Gisado, Kiampong, Lumpia
Telephone Number:+632 254-7404
Mobile Number: +63917 8486012, +63920 9212675

Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-18
Shaahi Paneer (P280 Regular) and Mango Honey Lassi (P120). Abhra is getting raves about his Indian Food and All Natural Drinks in the Legaspi Sunday Market. We like the Shaahi Paneer which is made from Indian cheese that is rubbery when cold and with a soft, mozzarella-type texture when cooked . For the first time, I like the taste of Lassi - a lactose free yogurt smoothie. The Masala Lassi (P100) and the Mango Honey Lassi (P120) are the best sellers.

Indian Gourmet (Legaspi Sunday Market)
Abhra Dam and Ria A. Villanueva-Dam
Mobile Number: Ria +63920 903-6256

Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-21
Galette Egg, Ham & Cheese (P140). Gigi's claim to fame is that he serves the real Crepe made from right proportions of wheat flour, eggs, milk and Galettes made from right proportions of buck wheat flour, eggs, water, and salt. We love the galette complete with egg, ham and cheese.
Gigi La Crepe
The Real Traditional Breton Crepe and Gallette
Telephone: +632 729 7783
Mobile Number: +63 926 879-5980/ +63 926 599-8756


Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-28
Quattro Formaggio (P150) Pizza. Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Kesong Puti, Danish Cheese & Parmessan. What makes the Pizza's unique is the way it is cooked in charcoal. Other flavors include Margherita, Tutti Carne, Four Seasons, Napolitana and Antonio's Special.

Pizza di Grazzia
Food Alley, King's Court Building. Pasong Tamo St. Corner De La Rosa St. Makati City
Miguel Ongpin | Grace Valdoz
Mobile Number: +63 927 339 0462 | +63 906 442 9669
Email: miguelongpin@yahoo.com | geevaldoz@yahoo.com

Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-14
Assorted Desserts: Sobyet and Baklava with Walnut, Hazelnut, Pistachio (P250) This must be the best dessert in both Salcedo and Legaspi Market. All of the people I talked to raved about this. Thank you Mehmet and Levend for introducing this Turkish pastries in Manila! Don't miss this!

Anatolia Cuisine
Turkish Pastries & Desserts
Mehmet Serce and Levend Ekizoglu
Telephone Number: +632 437-4249
Mobile Number: +63 917 855-8006, +63 922 855-7690
Email: anatoliacuisine@gmail.com

Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-25
Froyo Frozen Yogurt (P65). The popular frozen yogurt in the Salcedo Market is now available also in the Legaspi Market. My favorite flavors are Vanilla and Deep Chococolate. Nothing beats this healthy yogurt treat! (See my related blog post on Froyo's.)

Froyo's
Dave +63 918 614-7479
Rob +63927-263-9198

Salcedo Market-4
Budbud Kabog (P30) and Sugar-free Budbud Kabog (P35). Most of the food bloggers love this. Budbud Kabog is a suman made from millet seeds. We love the Budbud with Mangga, Langka, Purple Rice and Ube-Langka.

Budbud Gourmet Suman
Maribel Van Hoven
Telephone Number: +632 807 1636, 842-8261
Mobile Number: +63 929 366 1999

Legaspi Sunday Bday Brunch-7
Citrocello Lemon Liqueur. A Lemon Liquer is made from the peels of organic lemons, carefully microplanned, mixed with vodka and simple syrup and left to steep from 60 to 80 days. Ever since I tasted the lemon cello in Chateau Hestia, I got hooked with this drink. Usually it is taken as a digestive but you can drink it anytime during the course of the meal. I like the higher alcohol levels (20%) of Citrocello.

Citrocello Lemon Liqueur
Nel
Telephone Number: +632 840 0193
Mobile Number: +63 917 846 1135


These are my top 10 favorites. Let me know what are your favorites in the Legaspi Sunday Market. I should do a similar list for the Salcedo Saturday Market one of these days...
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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.


August 26, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Monday, August 25, 2008

California Berry Frozen Yogurt

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California Berry-5
California Berry Banana Split Signature Creation (P115) - Banana, Strawberry, White Chocolate chips

The resemblance of California Berry to the famous Pink Berry is obvious. The color scheme and menu is a bit similar. I like the frozen yogurt which tastes similar to Pink Berry as well. It was great to see nutrition facts for the California Berry yogurt.

Related OAP Posts on Frozen Yogurt:
Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt - The Next Dessert Craze in the Philippines!
Sorry Ice Cream, I'm On My Way to Pinkberry!
Red Mango-licious
I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt -- The Best Froyo so far in Manila...
Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC)
Yogurbud
The White Hat - Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

The Buzz About Froyo's
California Berry Frozen Yogurt
Lulubelle
After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!

California Berry-3
The toppings are usually cereals, chocolate, canned fruits (except for the kiwi, bananas, mangoes) and bottled berries. Based on the nutrition facts, Total Fat is 0g but Carbohydrates from sugar is 17g.

California Berry Signature Creations Menu
Small | P60 + 15 Each Topping P75
Medium | P85 + 3 Toppings P115
Large | P115 + 3 Toppings P145

California Berry-2
The Ortigas outlet is actually small and hidden inside Silver City Mall. It is not an ideal place to hang-out because of its location beside the parking lot. I do hope they get a better location for their future outlets. You would need the map below to locate it.

californiaberry
I would recommend eating the frozen yogurt naked to really enjoy it.


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

August 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mom's a Stewardess Viral Book

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Moms-a-Stewardess

Reading Mom's a Stewardess feels like reading the woman version of Bo Sanchez.

I travelled to Bohol to do a research on what an Ultimate Tour of Bohol would be. I only planned to spend two (2) days to explore the Chocolate Hills tourist route and Panglao Island. Unfortunately due to airplane flight constraints, I had to extend my stay for another day. I knew that I don't have anything else to do on the third day except wait for the boarding time for my flight back to Manila.

I don't know why I settled for this kind of predicament but I felt that I had to do it. I realized later on that it is God's way of pausing my busy life. In that moment of peaceful existence waiting for my 5pm flight back to Manila, I finished reading Angel Viloria's book : My Mom's a Stewardess.

How I wish that I could write a book called "My Dad is a Steward". I'm still in my "personal searching" stage. In a way, I find myself following Angel's life path...

I decided to quit my CIO job for one of the best multinational company in the Philippines after close to 13 years of loyal employment. It was my first job so it was difficult leave. I felt like a traitor leaving all my stressed friends behind in the front line of the battle for improving consumer's lives.

Angel left her professional career in the Philippine (audit) Rating Services Corporation for 14 years. Like her, I found peace in the company of my family, friends, and OAP friends after resigning. I became more thankful and in constant search for a meaning in life.

I'm happy that Angel accomplished her dream of becoming a published author. Like her, I'm eager to publish my OAP book: 100 Awesome Experiences Only in the Philippines.

Mom's a stewardess is certainly a blessing for me. It gave me a reassurance that I'm on the right path and direction in life. It fueled my search for knowing more about Him and finding my own steward niche.

I wanted to be part of Bo Sanchez's Light of Jesus Community but don't know anybody who is a part of that community. Sometimes, I wanted to give back to my alma matter, Don Bosco Makati and support all the Salesian's projects and undertakings. I also had an encounter with the born again organization and got invited to the Union Church's Bible Studies.

Also, the book left me reflecting on how I would celebrate my 40th Birthday, 6 years from now. Or, how my 10 years Wedding Anniversary would be like. Thanks Angel for inspiring me and blessing us with your stewardship stories.


OAP GIFT
I'm giving away a FREE copy of Mom's a Stewardess Book to the first OAP reader who wants it. I want it to be a viral book where after you read it, you promise to write a comment on the book and give it away to the next person. In this way, this viral book will be able to bless more people all around the world!


It was indeed a blessing being stuck in Bohol on my third day. I was able to write this reflection.

May God Bless You and May you Live an Awesome Life,

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.


August 23, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Kerygma Conference 2008 - Awaken the Miracle in You

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Kerygma Conference 2007-4 Kerygma Conference 2007-4-2
" Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit."
(Jeremiah 17: 7-8)

I attended the Kerygma Conference 2007 with Aidan last November entitled " You have the Power! Nourished. Empowered. Unleashed. " I was so blessed that it led me to my Independence Day decision and to pursue my dreams. I don't want you to miss the 2008 Kerygma Conference entitled "Awaken the Miracle in You!"

Kerygma Conference 2007-2
Be inspired and be blessed in the biggest, most powerful catholic learning event of the year!

2008 Conference Details

Date: November 29-30, 2008
Time:
November 29 - 8:30am to 5:30pm
November 30 - 8:30am to 12:00 noon
(see detailed program)

Venue: Philsport Stadium (formerly ULTRA)




Kerygma Conference 2007-3-2
Last year, I love the inspiring and funny talk of Arun Gogna on " You're more gifted than you can ever imagine" and Bo Sanchez' talk on "Don't Burn-out, Burn-Up!".

As a gratitude to all my family's blessings on my birthday weekend, I would like to share five (5) copies of the Kerygma Conference audio recordings for FREE. I can guarantee that these recordings would bless your life. I'll give it to the first 5 people who would like it and comment on this post. I will ship it for FREE thanks to OAP delivery sponsor 2GO Express.

May God Bless You and Your Family! Live an Awesome Life,

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.






August 23, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Choi Garden - A Chinese Restaurant Worth Raving About

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Choi Garden-21
Our family loves chinese food. On my father's birthday, I reserved this special chinese restaurant -- Choi Garden in Annapolis Greenhills. It is seldom that you hear a buzz on Chinese restaurants. Most people rave about Choi Garden because of the food prepared by their Hongkong Chef and the interesting interiors.

Choi Garden occupies the hole left by Country Waffles in Greenhills. It has two floors -- the first floor is for shabu shabu, while the second floor is for fine dining. For special occasions, better reserve the rooms on the 2nd floor. The first floor is for casual meetings and romantic dates. Better reserve to get the best seats in the house. I love the dramatic tunnel entrance, and the interesting chandelier lighting effects. The word "opium den" comes to mind (I don't know why) when I entered the first floor because of its bloody motif.

The specialties of the house are usually not found in the menu. Choi Garden is famous for their Pigeons (which you have to order in advance) and 3-way Lapu Lapu.

Choi Garden-8
Choi Garden Pigeons (P350/ pigeon). I don't eat pigeons ever because usually it is oily and rubbery in texture. This is the first time I've eaten pigeons because it is a bit crispy without the oil. A must try in Choi Garden for special occasions.

Choi Garden-4
3-way Lapu Lapu (P3,000). First, the lapu lapu is served in Miso Soup. We kept raving about how good the soup is. It tastes like Japanese miso soup and appears like Lapu Lapu sinigang with a smoother taste.

Choi Garden-10
The second way is to steam the lapu lapu with brocolli. The fresh and soft taste of lapu lapu stands out. There is no need for seasoning. My mom kept raving about this!

Choi Garden-14
Finally, the rest of the lapu lapu is cooked adobo style in hot pot with tofu. This one got mixed reaction because it was mixed with meat and adobo sauce was super thick. Choi Garden-16 Choi Garden-6
We also ordered the Crab cooked in Singaporean Chili-crab style. The sauce is a bit gingery in taste. (I don't know why Manila can't reproduce an authentic Singapore chili-crab?) We should have stopped with the pigeon and lapu lapu.

Choi Garden-2
Of course, we ordered birthday noodles for my Father's Birthday.

Choi Garden-24
This is the best room in the fine dining area located behind the massive Choi Garden logo. (Minimum consumable isP8,000)


Choi Garden-15
Happy Birthday Popsy!! Brobo and Ate Mina -- we missed you in Popsy's celebration.

Choi Garden
Choi Garden Seafood and Shark's Fin Restaurant, Annapolis
Contact Person: Helen Tang
# 12 Annapolis St. cor. Purdue St. San Juan, Metro Manila
(+632) 727-6042 , 727 7489
Website: www.choigarden.com
Email: Choi@yahoo.com


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

August 14, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

West Side Story Complete List of Direct Show Buyers

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One of the greatest lessons I learned from my PSI experience, is the principle of "Scoring as many points as possible without hindering the chances of other people to score points." Ok, this is a bit vague. Let me give an example by applying the principle to selling West Side Story tickets. I know I've been promoting our Sept. 6, 8pm West Side Story tickets for weeks now. I'm also promoting Minnie's Sept. 5 Opening Night show. But what about the rest? I'm really promoting the entire West Side Story and I would like to share with you the rest of the contact numbers for the other shows.

The frequently asked question about West Side Story is when will Joanna Ampil perform? Nobody knows except the people from Stages. This is also to protect the show buyers. There are theories that Joanna Ampil will perform on opening nights since it is a tradition in the theater that the senior actress are given priority on opening nights. But this is not confirmed.

Also, please buy directly from the West Side Story Show Buyers for them to maximize their profits. Most of them have charity institutions or foundations as beneficiary for their West Side Story sponsored show. Of course, we would love it if you buy your West Side Story tickets from us.

WEST SIDE STORY 2008 SHOW DATES | SHOW BUYERS | CONTACT INFO.
Sept. 5 Friday 8pm | Minnie Fong | +639178676332 minnie_fong@yahoo.com
Sept. 6 Saturday 3pm | CBN Asia | +632 8124747
Sept. 6 Saturday 8pm | Our Awesome Planet : Anton Diaz +63917 5683627 anton@diaz.ph
Sept. 7 Sunday 3:30pm | Catherine Zobel | Contact Angie: +63 9178981419 + 632 8438472 +632 7572984
Sept.12 Friday 8pm | Timothy Liong | +639178735405 tliong@jnjph.jnj.com
Sept. 13 Saturday 3pm | Justice Raoul Victorino | +632 5529510 +63 9209389429 raoulvictorino@yahoo.com
Sept. 13 Saturday 8pm | Marc Ong / Ria Buenafe | +63 9209623918 +63 9175349437 bauerpb@yahoo.com rrbuenafe@yahoo.com
Sept.14 Sunday 3:30pm | Marissa Saba | +639178637770
Sept. 19 Friday 8pm | SM-Contact Imee Aquino | +632 8349565
Sept. 20 Saturday 3pm | Christopher De Venecia | +63 9178908633 imcalledtoffee@mac.com
Sept. 20 Saturday 8pm | Benjamin Chua | +63 9209704089 alexander_martos@yahoo.com
Sept. 21 Sunday 3:30pm | Williamson Nocom | +632 4008716 +63 9228994647 williamson@pldtdsl.net w_nocom@yahoo.com
Oct. 3 Friday 8pm | Bruno Omlin/Khaki Delos Reyes/Evita Bunyi | +639167179186 +639184216565 +639052969055 bfo@gmx.ch
Oct. 4 Saturday 3pm | 49 Polaris Productions Co. (Contact Emily Kho) | +639177956397
Oct. 4 Saturday 8pm | Mike Luakian / JayDuran | +63 9175386688 mluakian@pldtdsl.net
Oct. 5 Sunday 3:30pm | FILHARMONIKA
Oct. 10 Friday 8pm | Big Pounder Entertainment Alan Ranola | +63 9175310607 alr_bigpounder@yahoo.com
Oct. 11 Saturday 3pm |
Oct. 11 Saturday 8pm | Karylle Tatlonghari | k3hari@gmail.com
Oct. 12 Sunday 3:30pm | STAGES OWNED

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Related Posts:
West Side Story Manila - 10 Things You Should Know Before Going on a West Side Story Romantic Date
The Most Romantic or Tragic Love Story Ever Blogged

West Side Story Saturday Opening Night!

Our Awesome Planet in partnership with Ticket2Me invites you to the Saturday Opening Night of West Side Story Manila!
September 6, 2008,Opening Saturday Night 8pm at the Meralco Theater, Ortigas, Pasig

Buy Your West Side Story Tickets Now from OAP!

West Side Story - Phils

West Side Story Manila. (Click-->Seat Plan) Reserve Your Best Seats Now!

cart_button_8.gif Orchestra and Loge Center ($26) ~ P1,200
Orchestra and Loge Sides ($22) ~ P1,000
Balcony Center ($15) ~ P 700
Balcony Sides ($11) ~ P 500
Official PayPal SealIt is cheaper to buy online! All Major Credit Cards accepted.
Credit Card charges would be based on prevailing exchange rate. (see BSP Exchange Rate)


Email me: anton@diaz.ph or call me +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) to order and pay via Bank Deposit

August 12, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

JT's and Rocci's @ The Zone

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JT's Manukan-5 Rocci
If you have been playing badminton in the Zone area, then you would have noticed the newly opened Makati outlet of JT's Manukan. After eating inasal, you can hop on to Rocci's coffee and chocolate cafe beside it. Bacolod Chicken Inasal Express is still the best versus the commercialized version of JT Manukan. Since JT Manukan has an open kitchen, just notice that all the chicken are half-cooked already. This makes the chicken dry versus grilling the chicken raw. It is still a good alternative specially if you want to taste other Bacolod treats like Kansi and Batchoy.

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Pecho (Chicken Breast with Wings) P88 or Paa (Chicken Legs with Thigh) P85 + Rice (P20)

JT's Manukan-9
Kansi (ilonggo Version of Bulalo) - P110. A bit more oily than your usual bulalo.

JT Manukan's Main Dishes and Side Orders | Beverages and Pasalubong Items

JT Manukan Grille
The Zone, 7224 Malugay Street Corner Gil Puyat Avenue Bel-Air, Makati
Telephone +632 8130106 Rocci-3
For dessert, the rich chocolate cookies and drinks of Rocci are recommended. The place is cute but it could only accommodate four small tables.

Rocci-10 Rocci-9
Dark Hot Chocolate and Cookies (P128). An intense hot chocolate drink made of pure belgian chocolate and paired with 2 pcs. of Belgian Chocolate Bliss Cookies. Aidan loves it but he was wide awake until 12 midnight because of the richness of the chocolate.

Rocci Coffee Company
Specialty Coffee & Chocolate
Email: rocci.coffee@gmail.com
The Zone, 7224 Malugay corner Buendia St., Makati City
Telephone: +632 474 8084
Mobile Numbers: +63 922 824-7236, +63 917 526 8689

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

August 12, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Most Romantic or Tragic Love Story Ever Blogged

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A West Side Story Contest

Related Posts:
West Side Story Manila - 10 Things You Should Know Before Going on a West Side Story Romantic Date
West Side Story Complete List of Direct Show Buyers


West Side Story is one of the most popular storylines based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Two feuding street gangs – the Jets and the Sharks – are on a collision course in the gritty slums of New York City. Out of the chaos, a passionate romance blooms between Tony and Maria, teenagers caught on opposite sides of the turf war. But can they find a place for their love amid the prejudice and turmoil that surrounds them?

Rache and I were wondering what is the most romantic or tragic love story ever blogged in the Philippines?

Two winners with the following prizes:
OAP's Choice (P4,400 Prize)
Two (2) Orchestra Center Tickets (P2,400 worth) to the Sept. 6, Saturday Opening Night of West Side Story
One (1) P2,000 Gift Certificate in Alchemy (Manila's Only 3 Floor Euro Superclub)

Mrs OAP's Choice (P 3,400 Prize)
Two (2) Orchestra Center Tickets (P2,400 worth) to the Sept. 5, Friday Opening Night of West Side Story
One (1) P1,000 Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Gift Certificate


I'll start first. Rache and I met in college in 1991. We were classmates during our first year. We both took up the same Engineering course. During our time, there were only a handful of ladies that would take up Electronics and Communications Engineering.

When I saw Rache the first time, I instantly had a crush on her. I came from an exclusive all-boys school and I was focused on my studies only. So, the only courting technique I was familiar was called: "Style Ninja". (Not sure if this style is still relevant these days) This style ensures that I am not rejected outright but I have the opportunity to get to know my crush better. Basically, my goal was to become part of my crush's circle of friends. This way, I would have numerous occasion to be with her and get to know her more. My immediate goal was to become her confidant. We often meet in the Library for study sessions and I would tutor her on some subjects. All of this, under the disguise of being a concerned good friend instead of an admirer. It is a level above being torpe.

The style Ninja did not work for me during the first two years of college. We had separate relationships while in college. Eventually, we had our different group of friends and we got busy with our own school acitivites. At the same time, we have different cultural backgrounds -- a very pinoy family and a traditional chinese family. After graduation in 1995, we were both busy already with our respective love life and careers.


Not until a few years later, we met again because our common college friends left Philippines to work abroad. We, the three of us, were thrown back together just like our college years. It became an opportunity for us to get together once again and console each other's misery. I remembered one time, we had to drive all the way to Tagaytay just to forget our former partners. We went out together on gimmicks, road trips and barkada outings almost every weekend. I just grabbed every opportunity I had so I can show my pure intentions for Rache.

Finally, in 2001 (after 10 years), she finally said yes to our relationship. We got married in 2003 at a church where I prayed and prayed that Rache will become my lifetime partner. Aidan came into our life in 2005 and soon after, syoti Josh joined our family in 2007.

So what's your love story? To join this contest, you just need to put a comment and link back your most romantic or tragic love story ever blogged. It could be your own or your friend's story. It could be written years ago or just recently. Winners will be based on what we think is the most romantic or tragic story for us. Deadline will be by 11.59pm on August 25, 2008 and we will announce the winners on Sept. 1!

Two winners with the following prizes:

OAP's Choice (P4,400 Prize)
Two (2) Orchestra Center Tickets (P2,400 worth) to the Sept. 6, Saturday Opening Night of West Side Story
One (1) P2,000 Gift Certificate in Alchemy (Manila's Only 3 Floor Euro Superclub)

Mrs OAP's Choice (P 3,400 Prize)
Two (2) Orchestra Center Tickets (P2,400 worth) to the Sept. 5, Friday Opening Night of West Side Story
One (1) P1,000 Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Gift Certificate

anton signature

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Our Awesome Planet in partnership with Ticket2Me invites you to the Saturday Opening Night of West Side Story Manila!
September 6, 2008,Opening Saturday Night 8pm at the Meralco Theater, Ortigas, Pasig

Buy Your West Side Story Tickets Now from OAP!

West Side Story - Phils

West Side Story Manila. (Click-->Seat Plan) Reserve Your Best Seats Now!

cart_button_8.gif Orchestra and Loge Center ($26) ~ P1,200
Orchestra and Loge Sides ($22) ~ P1,000
Balcony Center ($15) ~ P 700
Balcony Sides ($11) ~ P 500
Official PayPal SealIt is cheaper to buy online! All Major Credit Cards accepted.
Credit Card charges would be based on prevailing exchange rate. (see BSP Exchange Rate)


Email me: anton@diaz.ph or call me +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) to order and pay via Bank Deposit

Related Posts: West Side Story Complete List of Direct Show Buyers

August 11, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, Arts and Culture in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (53) | TrackBack

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Secrets of PAL NAIA Terminal 2

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Ya Kun Kaya-4
Set A - Kaya Toast Set (P175). 2 Slices of Kaya Toast with Butter, Hot Coffee, 2 soft-boiled eggs.

I love flying via PAL in NAIA Terminal 2. It is the only place where you can find the best and original Kaya Toast and the best Arrozcaldo in Manila for FREE.

I've been addicted to Kaya, a singaporean local spread of egg and coconut. Like Frozen Yogurt, I've been tracking down all the places that serve it. Just check out all my posts about Kaya, :
My Kaya Addiction
Kopi Roti Love!
Toast Box opens in Trinoma!
Heads or Tails - a new kaya place in Mall of Asia
Old World Kopitiam, Banaue
[Singapore #1] Makan Food Trip - My Top 10 Favorites!

Ya Kun Kaya
Ya Kun Kaya Toast Menu | The History of Ya Kun

The best of them all is the original Ya Kun Kaya Toast of Singapore. Their one and only outlet is in NAIA terminal 2. Finally, Loi Ah Koon's coffee stall since 1944 has reached the shores of Manila after 64 years. The only downside is the Ya Kun price is almost double versus the local Kopi Roti since it is located in the airport. One cost saving tip: if you don't like to eat raw soft boiled egg, just order the coffee and Ya Kun kaya separately. This should cost only P150 versus the set meal of P175. ( I think eating soft boiled eggs is a chinese / Singapore thing.)

The Best Goto in Manila
The Best Arrozcaldo in Manila is only available in Mabuhay Lounge for FREE! Yes, I've never tasted any arrozcaldo in Manila that can rival this. Not even, the Jose Goto in SM Makati or any carinderia for that matter. It has generous servings of big chunks of chicken and a complete set of condiments to suit your taste. What's your favorite arrozcaldo?

Mabuhay Lounge
There are two ways you can have access to Mabuhay Lounge. It is either you fly Business Class OR you are a Mabuhay Miles Elite member. Recently, I just found out that my mabuhay miles elite membership was downgraded already. I was sad because I'm already craving for this goto which you cannot find anywhere. Time to earn miles again and buying promo fare tickets won't help.

With all the buzz about NAIA 3, I still prefer to fly via PAL NAIA 2 Terminal :)

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.


August 10, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, Arts and Culture in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Spicy Fingers Laffamania

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Spicy Fingers-5
Related Posts: The Comedy Cartel - The Best Stand-Up Comedy Act in Manila!

Your Monday Nights will never be the same with Laffamania @ Spicy Fingers in Greenbelt 2. The show starts promptly at 8pm with entrance fee of P150. Better reserve a table with Spicy Fingers and be there by 7pm. The food is OK and nothing to rave about. Don't bother to ask recommendations from the waiters because they would often say, "Lahat po sa menu ay masarap." That is one sign of either the waiters are not trained very well (and have not tasted the food yet) or there is nothing remarkable about the food. Better check out the menu already and order based on your personal preference. Budget P500/ head for your Spicy Fingers dinner.

Spicy Fingers Menu:
Starters & Soup | Pasta, Burger Platter, Sandwiches | Specials Grill and Steaks | Spicy Fingers Snack Menu | Desserts | Spicy Fingers Drinks List #1 | Spicy Fingers Drinks List #2

Spicy Fingers-14
Tim Tayag @ Laffamania in Spicy Fingers.

Tim started performing stand-up comedy in 1997 in a little cafe in San Francisco. In a few years, he developed his act and showcased it in world famous comedy clubs such as Punch Line and Cobb's where famous comics like Robin Williams, Chris Rock and Drew Carey took their first comedy steps.

In 2002, Tim decided to go back to the Philippines and share his style of comedy with Filipinos. (Hooray! We should always celebrate when Filipinos decide to go back to the Philppines :)

Spicy Fingers-13
Mike Unson @ Laffamania in Spicy Fingers

Mike first started with an improv theater group Big Bang Cheery, and once the bang fizzled out, he moved on to going solo. From there, he's opened for Rex Navarette on numerous occasions during his Philippine tour of duty, and even taught Stand-up comedy courses at the Ateneo law school in Rockwell. His next big break was when he performed in "Jojo A. All the Way" and "Men's Room" on Channel 23. In 2005, Mike out-laughed his contemporaries at a stand-up comedy stand-off, to take home the grand prize. Spicy Fingers-12
We were pleasantly surprised to see Donita Rose' husband Eric Villarama doing one of the opening acts for Comedy Cartel. I like his humor because some of it is based on his unique situation as the husband of a Filipina celebrity.

Spicy Fingers-7
Seafood Fettucine (P370 + SC). Pasta with melange of seafood cooked in white wine and olive oil. The white wine and olive oil sauce was not as tasty as we expected.


Spicy Fingers-6
Spicy Fingers Chicken Coconut Curry (P360+SC). Chicken fillet cooked with red curry paste and creamy coconut cream. We were not happy with the coconut curry sauce. Maybe, we are just used to the Thai sweet curry sauce of Sukho Thai.

Spicy Fingers-11
Sticky Nachos (P360+SC). Nacho Chips with Guacamole, Salsa and Sour Cream. We were happy with the huge serving of spicy fingers nachos. Beer + Nachos + Comedy Cartel Jokes = Winner!

Spicy Fingers-15

Spicy Fingers
Ground Level, Greenbelt 2 Ayala Center, Makati, Metro Manila
Phone Number: (+63 2) 729-8761, (+63 2) 729-8932, (+63 2) 817-4729

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

August 9, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

The Comedy Cartel - The Best Stand-Up Comedy Act in Manila!

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Have you seen the Best Stand-Up Comedy Act in Manila?

I highly recommend Comedy Cartel if you are sick and tired of the usual gay comedy or slapstick humor in the comedy bars in Manila. I like the more intelligent humor (and sometimes green jokes) of the Comedy Cartel based on taboo truths about the Filipinos. However, I don't like some of the proteges' tasteless jokes about Christianity just to get a laugh from the crowd. Also, I'm hoping they could get a female stand-up comic to be part of the cartel.

I created a video sampler of the best jokes during the Laffamania last July 28 in Spicy Fingers. It features my favorite jokes by Eric Villarama, Alex Calleja, Mike Unson and Tim Tayag. It is guaranteed to make you laugh. You can watch the full Laffamania show every other monday by 8pm in Spicy Fingers. The show runs for two hours featuring the Comedy Cartel and their proteges. The next shows would be August 11 & 25, and September 15 & 29, 2008. They also have practice Open Mic sessions to test new jokes every 9pm Wednesday at my favorite wi-fi place in Serendra -- Kape Isla.

Fwd: Watch LAFFAMANIA on August 11 @ Spicy Fingers - 8pm
The Comedy Cartel is a guild of professional comic artists whose aim is to expand and master the art of comedy beyond the usual definitions through the practice of the classic monologue form of standup and through sketch comedy. In other words, it was created to impress chicks...

This group is the first of its kind in the Philippines. As the Comedy Cartel, they hope to instill in each artist, professionalism, mastery, and respect for the art of comedy by providing training and building resources to further the craft. If they fail, then it's back to selling hot dogs!

The Comedy Cartel is composed of Alex Calleja, Stanley Chi, JB Dela Cruz, Marlon Olivan, Tim Tayag, and Mike Unson. Other members include: Vic Anastacio, Trian Lauang, Red Ollero, Uli Oposa, Chickie Manio, Ryan Puno, Raffy Taruc, and Eric Villarama.

The Comedy Cartel is exclusively managed by:
eCircle Entertainment (www.eCircleEntertainment.com).
Telephone: +632 533-9316.
Mobile Number: +63917-8860706.
Email: info@eCircleEntertainment.com

August 9, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (93) | TrackBack

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Cinderella Tips - 10 Tips When Watching Cinderella in CCP Main Theater

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Cinderella-3

10 Tips When Watching Cinderella in CCP Main Theater

1. Don't bring your camera. You would have to deposit your camera with the security guards. You don't want the hassle of lining up to get it after the show.

2. The show starts on time at 8pm. There is a major construction along Vito Cruz which creates a traffic jam around the CCP area. Target to be in the CCP area around 7pm. There are plenty of parking spaces beside CCP.

3. Mobile phones are allowed. Please turn it off or put it in silent mode. I hate it when a phone rings in the middle of the show.

4. Buy the Souvenir Program. It would cost you P200 for the souvenir program. I also bought the original soundtrack of Lea Salonga's Cinderella for P550. Buy them during the intermission period. I still regret that I did not buy the Miss Saigon Manila Souvenir Program.

5. If you are watching in Balcony 1 or 2, please bring binoculars. In the balcony section, you can only appreciate the music and see the live orchestra. You can't see the facial expressions not unless you have binoculars. Also, you won't be able to see the top portion of the stage.

6. My favorite performances are the Impossible/ It's Possible and Step Sisters' Lament. Impossible/ It's Possible is the last act before the intermission where Godmother turns the pumpkin into a golden carriage, the mouse into horses, and Cinderella into a beautiful princess. Step Sisters' Lament is the sour graping of Joy and Portia over Cinderella which is the third song after the intermission. Don't miss it.

7. Sleep before watching it. Some of the love songs can have a lullaby-effect and induce sleep. The plot of the story is of course predictable. Watch it for Lea Salonga, for the lavish costumes, and for the enchanting waltzes and marches.

8. Watch it with your daughter. This is one of the musical plays where you should bring your daughter. It is very inspirational.

9. After the show, eat in Ice Bergs. The nearest hangout place is Harbour View Square besides CCP. You can hangout in Starbucks, Figaro, Dencio's, Pancake House or Ice Bergs after the show.

10. Don't miss watching Cinderella. The cheapest ticket is P500 Balcony. I would recommend to watch in the lower area if you can. You can buy the tickets in National Bookstore outlets. Cinderella will play in the Philippines from July 29 to August 24, 2008 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the tour will also play in mainland China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Related Posts:

Cinderella in Manila! I'm Proud to be a Filipino : )
Cinderella Tips - 10 Tips When Watching Cinderella in CCP Main Theater
Cinderella - Interesting Facts You Should Know About Cinderella Before Watching It

August 2, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (29) | TrackBack

Friday, August 01, 2008

Cinderella - Interesting Facts You Should Know About Cinderella Before Watching It

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Cinderella-2

Interesting Facts You Should Know About Cinderella Before Watching It
(from the Cinderella Souvenir Program)

1. Cinderella was the only musical written by Rodgers & Hammerstein for Television. Its live premier on CBS was viewed by 107,000,000 people - the largest television audience to date.

2. Julie Andrews was the first Cinderella. She wrote Lea Salonga a goodluck letter and I quote:

" My Dear Lea, I know that you'll soon be starting the tour of 'Cinderella' - and I just want to send you my thoughts and all good wishes for a wonderful success. The music is so pretty -- and I would love to see you in the play. Enjoy! Much Love to you-- and I hope we meet up again soon. Julie"

3. Cinderella made an easy transition to the stage and began appearing in theaters around the US. In 1996, according to the R&H Theatre Library, more than 250 productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella were presented in the US alone.

4. CBS re-staged the television version of Cinderella with a taped broadcast. It featured a cast as remarkable as the original with Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon as the King and Queen and a young Broadway star-to-be, Lesley Ann Warren, playing Cinderella.

5. Cinderella made television history again when 60 million viewers tuned to ABC-TV's "The Wonderful World of Disney," for the dazzling 21st century remake. Its all-star cast included Whitney Houston as The Fairy Godmother, singing and TV sensation Brandy in the title role, Bernadette Peters as the Wicked Stepmother, Whoopi Goldberg as The Queen, Victor Garber as The King, newcomer Paolo Montalban as The Prince, Jason Alexander as his Steward and with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle as the Wicked Stepsisters.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Related Posts:

Cinderella in Manila! I'm Proud to be a Filipino : )
Cinderella Tips - 10 Tips When Watching Cinderella in CCP Main Theater
Cinderella - Interesting Facts You Should Know About Cinderella Before Watching It

August 1, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cinderella in Manila! Relive the Miss Saigon Feeling of being Proud to be a Filipino!

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Cinderella
I love watching musical plays because of its timeless lessons that shape my life today.

Rent taught me that there is "No Day but Today". I also learned how to measure your life -- not in terms of five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes but in terms of Seasons of Love. It is the reason why I pursued my wife despite all odds at that time.

Kate Monster from Avenue Q taught me: "You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime." That is one of the reason why I am pursuing my passion today - blogging my heart away and sharing with people how awesome the Philippines is.

The valuable lesson I learned from Cinderella is that: "Impossible Things are Happening Every Day!". I watched how Filipinos -- Lea Salonga as Cinderella and Bobby Garcia as Director - are leading a predominantly American Broadway cast in the Asian premiere of Cinderella. Is it impossible for Filipinos to be a great nation in 2010? It's Possible!!

I can't get this song off my mind:
" Impossible! But the world is full of zanies and fools
who don't believe in sensible rules
and won't believe what sensible people say..
and because these daft and dewey eyed dopes
keep building up impossible hopes
impossible things are happening every day! "
- Cinderella's Godmother

We are so proud of both -- Lea Salonga and Bobby Garcia! You guys deserve the sold-out opening night which ended in a standing ovation! Thanks for showing us that Filipinos can lead the world!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Related Posts:

Cinderella in Manila! I'm Proud to be a Filipino : )
Cinderella Tips - 10 Tips When Watching Cinderella in CCP Main Theater
Cinderella - Interesting Facts You Should Know About Cinderella Before Watching It

July 31, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Friday, July 25, 2008

Where in the Philippines is the Next Destination of OAP?

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Jansport-2
OAP Contest: Where in the Philippines is the Next Destination of OAP?

This contest will be easy. Guess my next destination in the Philippines this coming August and win a prize. The first one to guess the right destination will win a JanSport Graphix Remix Bag. Just enter your guess in the comments and that will serve as your official entry to this contest.

Thanks to Bratpack for sponsoring the JanSport Bag for this contest.

Jansport
About JanSport's Graphic Remix Line of Bags

Now after 40 years, JanSport continues to celebrate its hippie heritage through its Graphic Remix line of bags as inspired by this generation's most definitive counterculture -- the Indie community. The Graphic Remix line's quirky and anti-conformist designs like graffiti, doodles, pop art and calligraphy fits the Indie community's passion for creativity, originality and individuality.

"For us a bag is more than just for carrying your stuff around, but as a practical and personal billboard of expression that's why we came up with the concept of the Graphic Remix line individually designed by the country's best graphic designers," says Clytie Choa, Brand Manager for Jansport.

July 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (82) | TrackBack

Froyo's in Serendra

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The Froyo's cart is now parked in Arama (formerly Chocolate de Batirol). This is the place-to-be to have your frozen yogurt dessert in Serendra.

Froyo's
Froyo's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt (P70). Intense Deep Chocolate Taste. For adults only. You gotta try this!

Related OAP Posts on Frozen Yogurt:
Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt - The Next Dessert Craze in the Philippines!
Sorry Ice Cream, I'm On My Way to Pinkberry!
Red Mango-licious
I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt -- The Best Froyo so far in Manila...
Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC)
Yogurbud
The White Hat - Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

The Buzz About Froyo's
California Berry Frozen Yogurt
Lulubelle
After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: anton@diaz.ph
Blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

July 25, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jonas' Pares

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Jonas-8 Jonas-9
All-Time-Favorite Pares (P100)

Another unique treat in Robinson's Place - Pioneer, is one of the mall outlet of the popular Jonas Pares restaurant in Quezon City.

Jonas is credited for inventing the term "Pares" which means the pairing of beef and rice.. It also refers to the value meal of beef, rice and soup. It was founded by Lolly Tiu in 1979 who envisioned a restaurant providing fine-dining quality food at a price affordable to masses. What makes Pares so special is how the beef was prepared and cooked. Seventy percent (70%) of the beef is lean meat from beef flanks; the rest of the 30% is from fat. The beef is tender because it was slow-cooked in a charcoal-fed fire for at least 12 hours! Anythying you cook for this length in time will definitely becomes soft; add to these the various spices it is definitely tasty and yummy.

Jonas-6
Jonas has a simple menu. Aside from Pares, you can order mami, siomai, siopao or spring rolls.
All Time Favorites and Mami | Siopao, Drinks and Desserts | The Story of Jonas

Jonas
Be honest, have you tried pares before? If you haven't tried the carinderia version, check out the upscale Jonas restaurant version in Robinson Place Pioneer.

July 24, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (30) | TrackBack

Chili Willy's - Best Tex-Mex Restaurant in Manila

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Chilly Willy-8
Taquitos (P95). 6 pieces mini-tacos.

I miss eating in a good Mexican restaurant like Zapata in Angeles. So far, the best Mexican food in Manila is hidden in the alfresco restaurants of Robinson's Pioneer. The name of the Tex-Mex restaurant is called Chili Willy's. It serves Tex-Mex cuisine which is a cultural blending of Southern Texas and Northern Mexico usually found in San Antonio, Texas. Just think of it as Fajitas and Burritos meet Steaks and Burgers.

Chilly Willy
This is the best restaurant in Robinson's Pioneer. (Actually, I was surprised to find one in this mall.) So if you have friends working in Robinson's offices in Pioneer (like Summit Media or Accenture), ask them to have lunch or dinner with you at Chili Willy's.

Chili Willy's Menu
Appetizers, Tacos Enchiladas Quesadillas, Fajitas & Burritos, Soups & Salads.
Texican Combo Plates, Mexican Bowls, Texan Pasta, Chili Willy's Burgers
Texas Grill and Entrees
Beverage, The Classic Cocktails, Wine
Side Orders, Desserts


Chilly Willy-11
Blackened Catfish with Mango Salsa (P 170). Catfish coated in black spice rub, topped with crispy tortilla chips, served with refried beans, mango salsa and cilantro rice.

One of the interesting and unique dish that I would recommend is this Blackened Catfish. I like the peppery spice of the catfish complemented by the cilantro rice.
Chilly Willy-12
Mexican "Mock-Fried" Ice Cream Choco-Hazel Nut (P110)

Don't forget to order the ice cream dessert. The ice cream is wrapped in tiny bits of peanuts and set on top of fried tortilla with a yummy layer of nutella.

Chilly Willy-14
Chili Willy's Tex-Mex Grill
Robinson's Place Pioneer
The Forum Al Freso
30 Edsa corner Pioneer St. Mandaluyong City
+632 68704218

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

July 24, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why Blog?

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I love blogging and I'm addicted to it. I love it not because of the money or fame it brings but because of its essence. It came to a point in my P&G career that I had to choose between a senior IT management career or a professional blogging and internet marketing career. I decided to pursue what I love and what keeps me burning inside. Let me share with you what the essence of blogging for me is and why you should blog too.

1. Our Blog is a love letter to our sons. OAP and Mrs. OAP blogs are proclamation of our love to Ahiya Aidan and Syoti Josh. The blog entries are written memories of our family life and a testament to their childhood. We want them to relive the fun when they grow up. We want them to feel how much we love them by sharing with them our hopes, dreams and aspirations despite the struggles in life. We want them to see how we reached for our dreams during this time of uncertainties.

2. I'm writing the modern history of the Philippines. I firmly believe that bloggers will shape the country's future. I want to write the history of the Philippines based on my family's point of view. I write from the heart because I want to capture the feeling of the moment in time in the Philippines. I've always wondered what Boracay would looked like in its virgin state. This fueled my passion to write about the virgin state of our beautiful and undiscovered beaches. History has never been this personal.

3. To sow good deeds. The Law of Fairness states that: What you sow is what you reap. If you sow positive good deeds, expect to receive a lot of good deeds in return. I've proven this law many times over. When I write something negative about somebody with malicious intent, I always get negative feedback and criticism in return. When I proclaim about the goodness of people and places, I reap a following that I never imagined would happen in my lifetime. I love to rave about places without expecting anything in return. I know that when I rave about them, I bring in a lot of business that they deserve. I also know that they will pay it forward in terms of great service for more people.

4. Ninoy Aquino is a blogger. If Ninoy was alive today, he would be one of the top political bloggers in the Philippines. Blogs are platforms for advocacy. You fuel the flames of the advocacy on each blog post you writeBlogs are infectious if used with pure intentions.. Bloggers with advocacy are the modern Ninoy Aquinos of this country. Don't expect to build an advocacy in a few months time. How long do you think Ninoy took to flame the hearts of the Filipinos? I imagine that Ninoy had to do a lot of speeches and press releases to communicate his advocacy. As a blogger, you can now do it anytime you want to and as frequent as you want to.

5. Inspire 1 Mind, Touch 1 Heart. This is my personal mission in life. I get fulfilled every time a reader would tell me that I inspired them or I touched their heart. No amount of SEO tactics can do this. A blogger needs to talk from his heart every time. The goal of every blog post is to give the readers an "Aha!" moment or to make them cry. I would rather have a tear or an inspired thought any time instead of six-figure-adsense dollars.

6. To have fun. A blog is your ticket to blog contests and blogging parties. It is also a marketing medium to become famous in your niche. It is your own platform for debates and to share your point of view.

7. OAP is my personal art space. All bloggers are artists and blogs are their creative outlet. Each blog post is an expression of oneself. If you carefully examine it, the blog is the digital persona of the artist. Like any work of art, you can marvel at how magnificent the person is. Blogs are priceless if you do it with passion and not for monetary purposes.

8. Build personal brand. Your blog defines who you are, your values/principles, and purpose in life. If you are lost in life, expect your blog to be lost in the blogosphere as well. If you are just blogging for the money, expect your blog to look like adsense dollars by doing all the SEO tactics possible at the expense of your personal brand. If you are a leader, there is no doubt that you will be a King in your niche.

9. I write to globalize the local. I want to bring to the world's attention the significance and essence of the Philippines-- that we are not defined by our corrupt politicians and pathetic public servants. We are a nation that loves nature. We are a nation of people who are talented and can compete with the best of the best. We are Filipinos. Happy. Positive. God-loving.

10. To live forever. Julia Campbell is not dead. She is alive in her blog, just read Julia in the Philippines. If I only have 24 hours to live, one of the things that I would do is write my last blog post. I would write a blog post that would forever inspire the next generation of Filipinos. I would write a blog post that would forever express my gratitude to God, Family and all the people who influenced me along the way. This is why I try to write each of my blog posts as if it were my last.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

P.S. Thanks to Migs for inspiring this post.

July 23, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (34) | TrackBack

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Leyte Pasalubong

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Tacloban Pasalubong-10
Tacloban is the Ultimate Leyte Pasalubong haven. The top 4 pasalubong from Tacloban are Binagol, Chocolate Moron, Sagmani and Carigara's Pastillas. I would recommend that you buy all your pasalubong from Tita Aida's delicacies along P.Zamora St. (across Chowking).

Tacloban Pasalubong-4
Binagol (P25? /each) is made in the town of Dagami. It is made of talyan (a root crop similar to gabi). coconut milk and sugar. It is called binagol because the mixture is placed inside a coconut shell called "bagol" and steamed inside. We love the sweet surprise hidden at the bottom of the coconut shell.

Tacloban Pasalubong-5
Moron (P25? / each) is a suman with chocolate flavor. It is made of ground rice cooked in coconut milk then flavored with cocoa. It is smooth like a budbud kabog. Just imagine a suman dipped in chocolate batirol. Our favorite!

Tacloban Pasalubong-7
Sagmani (P25? /each) is the less popular among the pasalubong delicacies. It is similar to Binagol but it is made of cassava, gabi or sweet potatoes. It is cooked with coconut cream, sugar and sometimes coconut meat.

Carigara Pastillas

Carigara's Pastillas Special (P150). The special pastillas of Carigara is made of pure carabao's milk. . Addicting.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

PS. For Tacloban folks -- can you validate my price for Binagol, Moron and Sagmani? I forgot.

July 22, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Buzz About Froyo's

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Salcedo Market

Good Morning, Manila!

David's Pure Frozen Yogurt from the Salcedo Market is generating a lot of buzz lately. After 4 weeks of continuous product sampling in the Salcedo Market, Froyo's is definitely a winner. Let me share with you a bit of trivia about it:

- These Froyos are flavored fresh yogurt. They are indeed made from 100% fresh yogurt. No Refined Sugar. Nothing Artificial. Just Fresh Yogurt and another flavor. Don't expect to get a plain yogurt flavor because it would be a bit sour. Most of the other frozen yogurt are made from powdered yogurt. My mom would love this!

- Yogurt is made from New Zealand Milk. According to David, New Zealand milk is the best source for the yogurt. He makes it fresh and it is the secret to his highly raved about Froyo's.

- My favorite flavors are Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla. The Dutch Chocolate is an adult flavor that gives an intense dark chocolate taste. (I think he uses champorado, don't you think?). Vanilla is a favorite because the taste is clean and refreshing. Aidan loves the vanilla flavor. The other flavors are Mango Blast (made with fresh mangoes), Mud Slide (coffee & chocolate with fudge & walnuts), Coffee and Coffee Strawberry.

- Froyo's is named after the popular American term for Frozen Yogurt. Why not name your product with how college students call Frozen Yogurt? It is indeed clever.

- David's healthy stuff is popular in a Waldorf school. The buzz is David sells healthy products in a Waldorf school. Every meal time, his stuff gets wiped out by the kids. When he decided to apply in Salcedo Market, the waiting list was long. The organizers gave him a break on the waiting list and asked him to bring his cart around the Salcedo Market to see how his product will go.

- David is opening a Dessert Bar in Arama, Serendra. Arama is the new name of Chcocolate de Batirol in Serendra (besides Larry's Bar). They got the first franchise and I'm excited that I can get my healthy dose of Froyo's in Serendra. I do hope they open next weekend.

- Froyo's are sold in 3 sizes. 140 gms single serving at P65 , a pint(475 gms) at P190 and 1/2 gallon (1.9 kilos) at P650. To order call Dave +63 918 614-7479 or Rob +63927-263-9198. They also sell Rice Cremes made from organic rice.

Related OAP Posts on Frozen Yogurt:
Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt - The Next Dessert Craze in the Philippines!
Sorry Ice Cream, I'm On My Way to Pinkberry!
Red Mango-licious
I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt -- The Best Froyo so far in Manila...
Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC)
Yogurbud
The White Hat - Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

The Buzz About Froyo's
California Berry Frozen Yogurt
Lulubelle
After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

July 21, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The White Hat - Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

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The White Hat-5 The White Hat-4

You gotta try this! The White Hat is the closest frozen yogurt taste to Pink Berry. The yogurt is more on the creamy side with a tangy kick. This is the kind of frozen yogurt taste that started the fro-yo craze in the US.

They serve fresh fruit ingredients (finally!) unlike the Korean-owned yogurt establishments which include Cold Spoon in Clark and Yogurbud. What makes Pink Berry and Red Mango so unique is the assortment of ingredients. In White Hat, their signature ingredient is home-made cinnamon flavored granola. I would recommend that you combine the granola with any fresh fruit toppings.


Related OAP Posts on Frozen Yogurt:
Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt - The Next Dessert Craze in the Philippines!
Sorry Ice Cream, I'm On My Way to Pinkberry!
Red Mango-licious
I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt -- The Best Froyo so far in Manila...
Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC)
Yogurbud
The White Hat - Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

The Buzz About Froyo's
California Berry Frozen Yogurt
Lulubelle
After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!

The White Hat-2
Check out the White Hat Menu

This one is super expensive. The small one (4oz) sells for P85 yogurt only while the large one (6oz) at P115. You would have to pay P35 for two toppings. Net, you would have to pay P140 just to indulge on this frozen yogurt treat. The Pink Berry and Red Mango in the US are expensive because their store is as big as a Starbucks cafe with bright funky colors. White Hat on the other hand is just located in a small booth in Mall of Asia.

Net, White Hat is recommended in terms of fro-yo taste, but it is expensive. It is definitely a healthier alternative than a Frapuccino from Starbucks.

The White Hat
Let the Fro-yo Dessert Craze begin!!

The White Hat Italian Frozen Yogurt2/F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia
(near SM Discovery Center)
Telephone Number: +632 727-4198Store hours: 10AM – 10PMwww.thewhitehat.com.ph


The White Hat CouponPrint out this coupon...

July 19, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, 9. Blog's Eye View of the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Mamma Mia in Manila! 2009?

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A Petition to bring the Smash Hit Musical Mamma Mia to Manila!
Mamma Mia

I just watched the movie Mamma Mia and enjoyed it, because of the songs and the wacky adaptation of the smash hit musical Mamma Mia on screen. Most of the Filipinos watching in the movie theaters were singing along the ABBA songs and having a great time. All of the people leaving the cinemas had a Last Song Syndrome of either Mamma Mia or Dancing Queen. Mamma Mia is a certified hit in Manila!

I watched the Mamma Mia musical live in Las Vegas in 2003. The live performance is 10x better than the movie. Just imagine bringing the live Broadway show Mamma Mia to Manila. This is the kind of show that would attract more Filipinos to watch and appreciate Broadway shows. Mamma Mia in Manila would be the greatest show ever played, in the tradition of Miss Saigon and Rent.

Why would Mamma Mia in Manila will be such a hit?

- We have so much talent here who can sing, dance and act as part of the cast of Mamma Mia Live.

- The sets of Mamma Mia are simple. We can even be more creative with the set.

- Manila has proven that it can successfully stage Rent, Miss Saigon, Avenue Q, and West Side Story.

- Filipinos love ABBA and any karaoke session is not complete without singing and gyrating to the song Dancing Queen.

- The target market of Broadway musical shows belong to the ABBA generation.


I do hope that Audie Gemora or Bobby Garcia will be able to get the rights for this show. I can't wait to see Mamma Mia in Manila.


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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.


July 19, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, Arts and Culture in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Friday, July 18, 2008

About Diabetes - Why should we care about Diabetes?

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First 100 Buyers of West Side Story Tickets from OAP get a FREE copy of the book "What You Should Know About Diabetes."
What you should Know about diabetes West Side Story - Phils

In celebration of the Diabetes Awareness Week (July 14-20, 2008) in the Philippines, Our Awesome Planet in cooperation with Ampalaya Plus will be giving out 100 copies of the book "What You Should Know About Diabetes". We will give out the book to the first 100 buyers of West Side Story Tickets from OAP.

The book is written by doctors from UP College of Medicine It is written in very simple and easy to understand English and Tagalog. The book is geared towards educating the patient and the caregiver (from the patients relatives to their househelp). The book also includes a sample meal plan that is easy to follow.

I personally know of some bloggers and food writers who are diabetic. I'm very concerned about this as well and I want to contribute to the awareness of this disease in the blogosphere. Maybe you also have some tips on how to battle this disease.

Why should we care about Diabetes?
  • There is no denying that diabetes is a growing problem with an ever increasing number of diabetic being diagnosed of the condition at an alarmingly young age.

  • There is no cure for diabetes. The best way to control diabetes is by changing one's lifestyle. The way we live plays a strong part in determining how early the condition sets in and how fast the condition progresses. Most doctors agree that the best approach to diabetes would be diet and exercise. Medication is prescribed when the blood sugar level remains uncontrollable or if the patient admits being unable to comply to the diet and regular exercise.
  • There is a new label called Pre-Diabetic. This refers to those who are highly predisposed to diabetes either because of hereditary predisposition or because of the nature of their lifestyle (no execise, poor diet, stress, overweight, etc). Research shows that most Pre-Diabetic develop diabetes within 10-years from the time this condition is first recognized, UNLESS THE PATIENT SHIFTS TO A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE.

  • The Philippines is poised to join the ranks of the top 10 countries with the most number of diabetics.

For more information regarding the book please visit www.gonatural.com.ph or email ampalayaplus@gmail.com.

What you should Know about diabetes What you should Know about diabetes

Our Awesome Planet in partnership with Ticket2Me invites you to the Saturday Opening Night of West Side Story Manila!
September 6, 2008,Opening Saturday Night 8pm at the Meralco Theater, Ortigas, Pasig

Buy Your West Side Story Tickets Now from OAP!

West Side Story - Phils

West Side Story Manila. Seat Plan: Reserve Your Best Seats Now!

cart_button_8.gif Orchestra and Loge Center (1,200)
Orchestra and Loge Sides (P1,000)
Balcony Center (P 700)
Balcony Sides (P 500)
Official PayPal SealAll Major Credit Cards accepted.


Email me: anton@diaz.ph or call me +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) to order and pay via Bank Deposit

July 18, 2008 in 2. 100 Awesome Restaurants in the Philippines, Arts and Culture in the Philippines | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack