Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Conti's resto

A promise fulfilled: Ma and Twinx got their bonus and decided to treat us to lunch at palaisdaan and dinner at Conti's!!! Sorry, no pictures!
Sunday night is a busy one for the BF branch. We had to wait a while and ogle at the yummy cakes in their pastry room. We finally got seated around 8pm and Pa ordered the fried chicken which was very flavorful. Ma got the baked salmon, also wonderful. Twinx got the pesto pasta which she liked but I didn't bother to taste as Jon and I were too engrossed with our shared 260-gram rib eye steak(P210 per 100 grams) which was so good it's surely unhealthy!
The funny thing was that Twinx was deadset on getting the mango bravo and she was afraid they might run out so we ordered our dessert in advance. I ordered the turtle cake but minutes later, I was told they were all out of turtle so I tried the strawberry shortcake which the waiter checked this time before I ordered. Minutes later, the manager came to tell me sorry, they just ran out of the shortcake and I just had to laugh as it seemed that our waiter was afraid I'd blow my top but I told them it was fine and that the 3 cake slices were enough as I was already quite full.
Overall a great food experience and I understand why BF folks continue to patronize their homegrown resto. But the clincher was when the bill came. The management was nice enough to use my Pa's senior citizen discount on the steak so the bill for a family of 5 was less that P1,500! And a thought formed in our minds: We must return again and again!

Friday, November 23, 2007

My materialistic Xmas list

Dear Santa,
I have really tried to be a good boy this year. To help you decide what to bring me for abovementioned statement,

Pls consider any or all of the following:

Adidas Kansas track jacket

32" Sony Bravia HD TV

Canon Powershot 7 megapixel camera

Nokia N series cellphone

a portable LCD screen dvd player

A macbook


sige na nga, World Peace.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Early All Saints Day visit

We decided to go to Lucena before Nov.1 to avoid the horrendous holiday traffic jams that would surely clog all roads to the provinces. Tita Gina prepared a sumptuous feast for us at her home. We had steamed crabs, shrimps, mussels, grilled fish and buko pandan, too!
I gave Dana the much delayed DVD of her 16th birthday celebration which she liked, even though there were scenes which she said she didn't want to see again! Ah, young love!heehee!We also brought a cake from Conti's, a mini-Mango Bravo which almost melted as it couldn't fit inside the freezer. It was still delicious, though.

Oh, and we also got the pasalubong that Tito Nonong and Tito Alan sent us. Got a cool pair of adidas sneakers and a Clark Kent/Superman figure! Yay!
Everybody:You can stand under my umbrella-ella-ella-ella...
After merienda, we went to Wowo's grave to pray although we were shivering from the rain and the chilly wind that blew through the cemetery. Brrr!

Then we were on our way home and instead of going to our usual dinner place, Leslie's, we tried out Rose and Grace, a cafeteria-style resto that also had a kiosk inside. We ordered the bulalo and fried tawilis and loved how quick the service was and more importantly, how cheap the food was(Around P500+ for a hungry family of 5!) And we could have all the bulalo soup we wanted ! Sorry, Leslie's, Rose and Grace resto is our new go-to place.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Amici delivers!

Public service announcement: Amici now delivers! Whoopee! Just call 818 4444 for pizza, pasta and yes, desserts too! I had a problem getting the menu by fax so here's a virtual file for all of you. Mojacko recommends the Montanara pasta(P165) and Spaghetti Vongole e gamberetti(P180) and the Cannelloni (P165)for vegetarians.

Warning: Delivery may take longer than expected depending on the number of dine-in customers, which is a major turn-off I hope they can fix. Instead of the promised 1 hour waiting time, we got our food after an hour AND 30 minutes. Good thing the tiramisu (P50 per slice)was heavenly. Too bad they only deliver gelato by the kilo at a whopping P400 per.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Step by step

My cousins abroad will be happy to know that little by little, the Philippines is starting to care about the environment. Shopwise supermarkets sell canvas bags which shoppers can use instead of plastic bags. As an added incentive, canvas bag users double their shopping points when they use the bag. Good job, Shopwise!

SM, the mall my cousins are most familiar with, introduced a green bag for their supermarket too but when I inquired about it, the salesgirl said they didn't offer the bags in the Bicutan branch anymore. What? How can they encourage a generation of shoppers to switch to a green bag when they don't even push it for more than a month? Better shape up SM! When we went to Corregidor last summer, the water on the side of the island facing Manila was full of ugly SM bags! Booo!

Conti's cakes

Mango Bravo: It's huge!

I wanted to buy a really good cake for Ma's birthday like maybe a mango torte but when we went to Cuerva's on Pasay Road, they were closed on Sundays! I bought an utterly forgettable tiramisu from Max's. Next Sunday, all the cake shops in Alabang were too plain or too expensive for my taste so we just bought some Red Ribbon slices. Then my sister remembered Conti's and we begged to pass by BF Homes and we were delighted to find that a) we could by per slice and b) they were all available! Wheee! The Mango Bravo(85 pesos) is one of their signature slices and it's really too tall to eat all the layers in one bite. But the one I loved was the peaches and cream cake (P75) which reminded me of another BF cakehouse we frequented in the 90's called Dates & Nuts. They've stopped making their version of peaches & cream but Conti's version is delectably similar though I suspect they freeze their cakes to preserve them. Nevertheless, I saw some promising items on their resto menu so we must ,must, must return another day!

Why hello, my lovely...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2 birthday lunches

Here are pics from Ma's birthday which took place on 2 Sundays.

We first had lunch at old reliable Italianni's and ordered the usual salad, artichoke formagio, risotto and bottomless dalandan juice but I was surprised at the bill. Last year, we spent just around P2000 but this year it amounted to P3200! Fortunately, an officemate gave me a P500 discount coupon.
Ang puti nyo ngayon a!
I noticed something wrong with my videocamera, though. The flash is unusually strong. My ma and sis' faces were almost washed out. I actually had to cover the flash a bit with my hand so I didn't blind my family.

Second Sunday was the promised return to Makati Supermart's coffee shop.

It would turn out to be a disappointment. First, the lobster tail was unavailable. We ordered the steak and the other meals that came with rice but none of them were worth writing about, not even the hamburger steak which was supposed to be a house specialty along with their spaghetti. Well, next time, just order their merienda meals like the pancit, spaghetti and burgers. This is the exact same table we ate at on our first visit!

The hamburger---nothing to blog about

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

wonder women

I can finally say I have worked with 2 of Asia's heroes as cited by Time Magazine. This week aside from working for Ms. Letty, I had the pleasure of making an ad for Ms. Eggie Apostol, two of the women who faced down the dictator and brought down a jueteng president. I felt so honored I could do something for Ms. Eggie who at 80+ years old is tirelessly reminding this amnesiac nation that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. While everyone else is going pragmatic or flying out, a true hero/heroine's ideals cannot be compromised. I am inspired and hope I can say the same many years from now.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Here's a cartoon I made for my sister's school poster.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Re-imagining Zuma

With all the remakes of Darna, Panday and Capt. Barbell these days, I was thinking what about big green baddie Zuma? But instead of the sappy soap routine, I think Zuma should be remade into a sitcom!

In my story, Zuma has repented his evil ways and has mellowed thanks to marriage and fatherhood. His wife, Ghirlie, has forbidden him from eating virgins' hearts and is now a nurse working abroad. Zuma must now raise teenage daughter Galema alone. Jobless, overweight and addicted to junk food, Zuma finds out that even immortals can face a mid-life crisis.

His only friends are the snakes on his shoulders the evil Tuklaw and the dimwitted Tukmol.

Galema("call me Gayle"!) is a typical teenager rebelling against parental authority. She has twin anorexic snakes in her hair, the party animal Ashley and the bookworm, Mary Kate.

O-ha! Special guest stars could be Tita Valentina, Gayle's aunt and Robinson, the twin snake of a Chinese mall tycoon.
UPDATE!!!!check out my first zuma strip here

Monday, September 10, 2007

blood stones!

Remember my post on Corregidor here ? That short vacation sprung to mind when I was walking in our garden and saw the blood stones my mom collected from the island and made my pa carry in his bag. I think she had a kilo of them! They're called blood stones because some sort of chemical reaction leaves a reddish-pink color on the stones. No, they were not tainted by the blood of all the soldiers killed in the war!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Guilty pleasure

In 1996, a telenovela changed Philippine television. Back in those days, one channel lorded over all. ABS-CBN had everyone watching all their programs, including an hour-long evening news report called TV Patrol. Then, government-sequestered RPN-9 came out with a clumsily-dubbed telenovela about a poor little girl who talked to her dog. Her name was Marimar and soon, everyone was watching her! I followed this little show trying to guess what they were saying in the original Spanish, or that was my excuse, because really, I had never seen a show like this! The flamboyant acting, the outrageous plot, the cartoonish characters! My ma and sister even recall that they would come home from school and the streets were eerily empty and they would run home quickly because it meant Marimar had started. Soon, TV Patrol was cut down to 30 minutes and afternoon soap Mara Clara was put on primetime to combat the Thalia invasion. And after that, Philippine TV was never the same again. Now, primetime shows mean soaps, fantasy soaps and Korean soaps. Gone are the sitcoms and public affairs shows have been pushed back to ungodly hours.

Almost ten years later, GMA has decided to remake Marimar with a Filipino cast and I must admit, I love it. It is my guilty pleasure once again. While I have misgivings about some of the casting (I mean you, Richard Gomez) I love Marian Rivera! She captures the verve and allure of Thalia perfectly! Thank God the role didn't go to Angel Locsin. And while I am sure this will not surpass the thrill of the original since we already know how it will end, I welcome the chance to reacquaint myself with Bella Aldama, Brenda and Corazon once again. One suggestion: I hope they guest Ogie Alcasid and Michael V. to recreate the spoof of Marimar which they did on Bubble Gang! That would be a riot!

Monday, August 06, 2007

oh no she didn't! Kris and Paris

Last week on a very special Boy and Kris episode:
They were doing a feature on pets and Boy was trying to convince Kris to try carrying a dog inside a bag like Paris Hilton. Kris says "Ikaw na lang." Noticing her aversion to being compared to the airhead heiress, Boy exclaims "Uy, nagbago na si Paris, ha! She reads the Bible..."
" Yeah, right!" Kris retorts
And all of a sudden, I am laughing myself silly. Did Kris Aquino just JUDGE Paris Hilton? This, from a woman who flaunted her affairs with married men which ended with an hour-long interview on clamydia and ball-crushing?!?
Heaven help us all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Makati Supermarket in Alabang

Jon's Hamburger sandwich


That's how I described Makati Supermarket's coffee shop food. After too long, we finally ate merienda once again at their famed coffee shop which moved to the south of Manila to make way for what is now Greenblet 2,3,etc. But that's how beloved that supermarket was, that it retained its name even though it's a whole city away from Makati.

Ma's pancit canton. Savory!

The cafe is small and unassuming but wow! the food was so good! Even my mom who's feeling depressed these days due to work only had good things to say about her pancit canton. Another thing I loved is how large the servings are at such affordable prices. Each dish cost less than a hundred pesos.

Spaghetti with sweet tomato sauce-so very Pinoy

My order of their specialty, spaghetti, was only P65! We were enjoying having a taste of each other's plates that there was practically nothing left to photograph! Good thing Jon's phone had a camera.

half of Pa's roast beef sandwich

We were already thinking of when we'd be going back there for lunch or dinner when we left because we wanted to try out their other goodies like that lobster tail for P150.mmmmm!
It's just too bad that it's out of the way for us...but it certainly is worth the trip. Makati Supermart's Coffee shop is located in Alabang Town Center.

Twink's baked macaroni, which tasted a lot like my spaghetti

Monday, July 02, 2007

Amici now open on Sundays

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Amici, that Italian restaurant formerly ownd by the Don Bosco Salesians, is now open on Sundays and has extended its business hours till 1opm from Sunday to Thursday and till 11pm on Friday and Saturday, which is good news to my brother Jon. We were supposed to go to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate my parents' anniversary but we ate here instead. Food is still good and the proximity of Makati Cinema Square/DVD Medina is enticing. Oh and I was also informed by their friendly staff that Amici has 5 free parking slots at Waltermart for a minimum purchase of P300 for 2 hours on a first come, first served basis.

Friday, June 29, 2007

10 people you should know if you're coming to the philippines

Here's a short list of people who you should try to be familiar with if you plan a visit to the Philippines. Try sprinkling a few of these in conversation. A mix of showbiz, politics and sports , one witty observer summed up Pinoy conversation as PBA: politika, basketball, artista. Who's on your list?

1. Jose Rizal-our national hero and definitely a name you will read on street signs, buildings, banks, match boxes, etc. He was shot for writing against the friars and the church during the Spanish regime.

2. Gloria Arroyo-current president of the Philippines. It's always a good idea to know who the big boss is coz you don't know who you might bump into in the airport.

3. Fernando Poe Jr. Called the King of Philippine movies, he was an action star who ran against Arroyo and some say the true winner of the 2004 elections. He died before he could substantiate this claim.

4. Manny Pacquiao-most popular Pinoy boxer. Most sought-after commercial endorser. Buoyed by his immense popularity and probably misguided by his friends, he ran for Congress and lost.

5. Nora Aunor-one of the country's best actresses. Called the Superstar and idolized by the masses, she is the epitome of the troubled artist, her career soars to great heights in movies like Himala, and sinks to pitiful depths as in her arrest for carrying illegal drugs. Now based in the States, she is said to be married to her female manager.

6. Vilma Santos-called the Star for all seasons(showbiz writers have a penchant for titles) there has never been a rivalry like that of Nora and Vilma. Fans actually fought in the street over who was the bigger star. She is now the governor of Batangas

7.Sharon Cuneta-dubbed the Megastar, she is not the best thespian or songstress, but a mix of luck, talent and undeniable charisma has made her an enduring star and top ad endorser. She is also partly responsible for the election of her husband as senator (see how showbiz and politics mix here?)

8. Robert Jaworski - called the Living Legend, a basketball player and coach you either love or hate, he is probably the only basketball pro who still played till his 50s.He was also once a senator of the republic(Yikes!)

9. Ferdinand Marcos. While some still consider him a great president, make no mistake about it, he was the bad guy whose legacy is still felt today. He and his wife Imelda placed the country in debt while enriching themselves for 20 years. Under Martial Law, the people lived in fear and protesters killed or tortured. We continue to pay for debts incurred under his rule while Imelda and her kin live in luxury.

10. Ninoy Aquino-the man who would be the thorn in Marcos' side till the end. He was jailed by Marcos for opposing his New Society and later exiled to the US. He flew back to Manila and was assassinated. It was a national outrage. His death sparked a massive eruption of unrest which culminated in the toppling of the Marcos government in Feb. 1986.

Some notable runners-up: Cory Aquino-widow of Ninoy and first female president of the Philippines; Lea Salonga-first Pinoy Tony award-winner; Joseph 'Erap' Estrada-action star-turned-disgraced president; Kris Aquino-daughter of Ninoy and Cory, our very own Paris Hilton/Oprah wannabe.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

kusina salud and ugu bigyan's place

For father's day, we were invited by tita gina to have lunch in san pablo's kusina salud, owned by patis tesoro's family. i had heard a lot about it from anton's blog and i really wish we could have taken our balikbayan relatives on the viaje del sol experience...the buffet was ok, the best dish was the flavorful lengua. the thai soup was just toooo spicy to even sip! we then went around the eclectically designed property which included a shop and ukay -ukay which even sold cassette tapes, romance novels and old sunscreen (di ba may expiry yun?) i think they were taking the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure" to the extreme.

we then went to ugu bigyan's house in quezon which was an expansive area of brick and wood and pottery. we weren't even sure the owners were accepting visitors. we just went in and went around as we pleased. we admired the open-air structures that probably serve as function halls for receptions and pottery seminars. there were even rooms for guests that were left open to the public and i felt a little sorry for the poor bloke who would sleep there later because so many people must have come by that room and try out his bed. such is the filipino concept of privacy, (there is no privacy)heehee.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

duhat and apple mango

One of the great things about summer at our place is the abundance of fruits my Pa grows. Aside from the indian mango in our backyard, we also have huge apple mangoes that just grew accidentally in front of our gate. The duhat tree also just grew in front of our gate so it's always too tempting to grab the fruits even if they're not ripe yet. Nothing beats picking fresh fruits right off the tree when you're having the munchies. We also have chicos and on some other month, caimitos.Pa has a green thumb which I, unfortunately, did not inherit. We once had a banana tree, guavas, patola, okra and even corn!Meanwhile, my potted herbs didn't even make it past a few weeks. Oh well.


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