Friday, September 29, 2006


Philippine typhoons used to be innocuously named after Pinays:
Bebeng, Yoling, Huling, Gloria....

well, you get the picture.

A couple of years ago,
after having run out of silly feminine diminutives,
PAG-ASA went the Pinoy Macho route.


With such a dramatic, telenovela-ish name,
Milenyo proved equal to its promise;
delivering Hurricane Katrina-like winds
that lashed Metro Manila like no other typhoon has in over a decade.

Billboards by the dozen toppled on unsuspecting vehicles,
Hundreds of trees fallen by the wayside,
Thousands of G.I. sheet roofs... gone with the wind,
and millions of frustrated texters,
driven insane either by their cellphones losing power,
or the cellsites themselves falling prey to the outage.

As of this writing,
only a few areas in Metro Manila have had their
Electricity, Water, and Telephone services re-established.

As for me,
No Worries.

There's one best way to pass the time during Blackouts;
as Michael Johnson once sang:
"after you go, I can catch up on my reading..."

THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger
is a Most Excellent Novel!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


One of the biggest surprises during my Lola's wake
was the arrival,
via courier,
of a Perpetual Mass Offering from Sen. Mar Roxas.

Our only connection with the honorable gentleman
is from at least two generations back...

when Sen. Roxas' grandfather,
Pres. Manuel Roxas,
appointed my own grandfather,
Rodofo P. Hizon
(Lola Sally's husband),
as the OIC Mayor of San Fernando, Pampanga
immediately after World War II.

My late grandfather, "Daddy Pong",
was a loyal Liberal Party member,
and when he eventually served three terms
as duly-elected Mayor of San Fernando,
and then as Vice-Governor of Pampanga,
Pres. Roxas' son, Martial Law Hero Sen. Gerry Roxas,
enjoyed my Lola Sally's cooking several times.

My grandfather passed away in 1973;
and 33 years later,
the grandson of his partymate was kind enough
to offer condolences for an old political ally.

A True Class Act.

He's got the Hizon Clan's vote for President in 2010!
(with or without Korina Sanchez)

Post Script:

In contrast,
Cong. Mikey Arroyo,
a "barkada" of my cousins,
did visit my Lola's wake....

wearing cargo pants and sandals.

And if his mommy and her minions have their way,
there won't even be a Presidential election in 2010.

A True Crass Act.

Monday, September 25, 2006


40 members of Lola Sally's Clan
invaded Subic again over the weekend,
it being the last before all the Titos & Titas
and Cousins and Nephews & Nieces
return to their lives in Frankfurt, Germany
and San Francisco & Seattle in the U.S.

We stayed in the Legenda Suites,
which is offering an excellent P3,888
Rainy Season promo for their 2-bedroom suites
until the end of September.

Each suite is good for 8-10 people,
and is complete with a stovetop range,
microwave oven, refrigerator, cable TV,
and three very cold split-type A/Cs.

The Legenda Suites pool is gorgeous.
Mayor Atienza of ManiLA may have had in its design,
as it features constantly-changing candy-colored
underwater lights.

Before going home to nearby Pampanga,
The Hizon Platoon chowed down at Meat Plus,
and walked off all the food by shopping... for chocolates (!!!)
at The Royal Duty Free Shop,
where we found these limited edition goodies!!

.....BROKEBACK of the ust tigers

i was cheering for both teams in Game 1 of the UAAP Finals.

in perhaps the best basketball game i've seen all year,
Doug Kramer received a long inbounds pass from Macky Escalona
and put in the winning basket, unmolested, with 0.1 seconds left.

Kramer's basket,
coming right after UST's enforcer Allan Evangelista
made an impossible shot to put the Tigers ahead
with a solitary second left on the game clock,

not only provided the Blue Eagles with the series lead,
but preserved the 4th Quarter heroics
of leading MVP Candidate JC Intal.

it was the only way this classic game could end,
what with the score tied
at the end of the 2nd and 3rd Quarters.

i'm rooting for the UST Tigers in Game 2,
simply because basketball of this caliber and passion,
deserves a full series.

whichever team wins in Game 3,
and brings home the trophy
either to Espana or Katipunan,
i'll be deliriously happy for.

ateneo high school
ust college of science

Friday, September 22, 2006

THE BIG LAGOK would not have sounded as good...

known in 7-Elevens worldwide
as "The Big Gulp",

this is the mega-cup guaranteed
to directly result in at least
three bathroom trips.

Dedicated to the caffeinated cola needs
of Call Center Agents everywhere!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pres. Marcos' Lonely Hearts Club Band

It was thirty four years ago today,
Pres. Marcos taught the country to pray
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to make us cry.

So may I re-introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years,
Pres. Marcos' Lonely Hearts Club Band.

We're Pres. Marcos' Lonely Hearts Club Band,
We hope you will enjoy the show,

We're Pres. Marcos' Lonely Hearts Club Band,
Sit back and let the country go.
Pres. Marcos' lonely, Pres. Marcos' lonely,
Pres. Marcos' Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It's wonderful to be here,
There's so much we can steal.

You're such a docile audience,
We'd like to take you home with us,
We'd love to take you home.

I don't really want to stop the show,
But I thought that you might like to know,
That the singer's going to sing a song,
And he wants you all to sing along.
So let me introduce to you...

The one and only Martial Law
And Pres. Marcos' Lonely Hearts Club Band...

Maaarrrrttiiiaaaalllll Lawww!!!!

What would you think if I throw you in jail,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll shout in your face,
And I'll try not to sequester your home.

Oh I get by with a little help from Enrile,
Mmm I get high with a little help from my Ver,
Mmm I'm gonna to try with a little help from my military.

What do you do when freedom is away.
(Does it worry you to be corrupt)
How do I feel by the end of the day
(Are you sad because you're on your own)
No, I get by with a little help from Tatad,
Mmm I get high with a little help from Danding,
Mmm I'm gonna to try with a little help from Kokoy!

Do you need anybody?
I need more money to steal.
Could it be anybody?
I just want somebody to kill.

Would you believe in dictatorship at first sight?
Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time.
What do you see when you turn out the light?
I can't tell you, but I know it's gold!

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm I get high with a little help from my friends,
Oh I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends

September 21, 1972
Martial Law.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Remember Mike Teevee in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
In both the book and the movie versions,
Willy Wonka explained,
that by transmitting images of large objects
into a small TV screen,
all flavors are concentrated and made more dense.
the humongous 6-foot chocolate Wonka-bar made even more scrumptious
when minimized into a regular 6-inch chocolate bar.

The same principle is applied,
less the whimsical science fiction,
in the Tocino del Cielo,
another Capampangan classic dessert.

This time,
imagine the best Leche Flan you've ever had,
and somehow squeezed and formed
into a compact bite-size mold.

Which only means,
you can eat as many mini-Leche Flans
as you want.....


Monday, September 18, 2006

well at least he's not running for MANILA Vice Mayor!!!


if visiting Bulacan thrice a week
qualifies this Dick to be Governor,

we can make a case for all Makati office workers
to run against Jojo Binay for the
Makati Mayoralty post in 2007.

and come to think of it,
those professionals would be worthier contenders
than Leon Guerrero,
a.k.a. Senator (?) Lito Lapid,
the erstwhile pretender-to-the-CBD-throne.

Goma: Governor post or nothing
By Dino Balabo
The Philippine Star 09/18/2006

He’s up and running.

Putting an end to speculations,
actor Richard Gomez confirmed to The STAR Saturday that he is,
gunning for the Bulacan governorship in next year’s elections.

"It’s (the gubernatorial post) or nothing," said Gomez —
or Goma as he is fondly called—
after speaking before members of the Barasoain Host Lions Club.

"I would never waste my time going around if I am not serious,"
said Gomez,
who admitted visiting Bulacan thrice weekly for quite sometime.


it's hard to believe that less than 18 months ago,
hardly anyone was drinking "Green Tea".

there were a couple of imported brands available,
but they were too expensive for everyday refreshment.

then one fine day in early 2005,
i opened my cousin Tet-Tet's fridge
and saw these curious bottles with the terse
alphanumeric "C2" written in calligraphy.

I "borrowed" one, twisted the cap off,
took my first sip,
and fell in love.

I thought I was drinking an imported drink
until I realized that it was a local URC product.
(Universal Robina Corporation)
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

In less than 2 years
via savvy marketing,
prime placement in supermarket gondolas
and convenience store refrigerated cases,
Cool & Clean advertising campaigns,
and absurdly strong word-of-mouth,
C2 has forever changed the drinking habits of Pinoys!

While in very quick succession,
Zesto, Nestea, Lipton,
and the unfortunately named UNIF (!),
all came out with competing Green Teas,
C2 remains steadfast as the GOLD Standard.

From the original Green Tea and Lemon flavors
(both also available in sugarfree),
C2 can now be enjoyed in
Apple, Peach, & Lemon Iced Tea flavors.
The last one, I'm not sure if it's still around.
It may have been the only C2 flop,
since it didn't have that trademark Green Tea taste.

Last week,
during my Lola Sally's wake,
we had an endless supply of C2,
(thanks to my cousins' JayLarr Distribution!)
including the 4 New C2 Flavors:
Forest Berry, Kiwi, Lychee, and Strawberry

Forest Berry was by far the favorite new flavor;
it tastes like a Berry Good Skittles Iced Tea Drink.

Congratulations, C2...
More Power 2U!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lola Sally's BON VOYAGE Food Trip Continues.....

Day 3 of my Lola Sally's Wake:

Lola had 7 children.
Around 50 years ago, this was considered average,
I guess!

Four of her kids and their families are in the Philippines,
while the other three are abroad.

Tito Raffy, Child #4,
who is my future Ninong sa Kasal,
(whenever, wherever, whoever)
flew in from Seattle today.
He used to be a regional manager of the Jack in the Box
hamburger restaurant chain in California.

When he moved his family to Washington state,
he took on the challenge of managing Krispy Kreme stores.
Naturally, he brought home dozens of boxes
of these magnificent donuts for his foodie family!

Ma Vedus is Child #3.
She has 6 kids and a multitude of grandchildren.
Aside from cornering the market on C2 distribution in Bataan,
she's a great cook just like her mom, Lola Sally.
The best TAPA you will ever taste will come from her kitchen.
And most likely, the best homemade CHICHARON too!!!

Tita Roselle is Child #5.
She's the glamorous one, a former PAL flight attendant.
Eventually, she made San Francisco, Ca. her home....
and when she arrived very early this morning
(via PAL, of course!),
she brought us the Best Chocolates of the Bay Area!

Elsie is Child #1, and she's my mom.
Luckily, she inherited Lola Sally's culinary talent.
and as we all know, to paraphrase Spider-Man,
With Great Talent Comes Great Ingredients.

For over 25 years,
our family has been buying all our meat
from Garcia's Supermarket on E.Rod.
And all this time,
we've only trusted one particular butcher to supply us
with the Best Cuts of lengua, liempo, steaks, etc.

Just this afternoon,
I met with this kind gentleman, every carnivore's idol,
and went home with 20 Kilos of Prime Sirloin
for my Mom and Ma Vedus to turn into something special
for Friday dinner, the last night of Lola's wake.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
meet Arturo The Great!!!

we all take after our Lola's love of good food.
Very Obviously!!!

It's pleasant to note that
all the priests who have celebrated Holy Mass for her
these past 3 days have said one thing in common:

That Lola Sally was one of the most memorable characters
that they had ever met,
and that this week-long party we're having is the perfect way
to celebrate a person who made the lives of everyone she loved,
so much more colorful.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

simply the best : HIZON'S ENSAYMADA

Day 2 of my Lola Sally's wake:

Our Great Aunts who own and manage
the legendary Hizon's Bakeshop in Malate,
paid their respects and brought a bunch of foodie goodies!

Hizon's is the home of Manila's best Turkey Dinners & Ham Steaks,
Dolphy's secret hangout,
the source of The Ultimate Ensaymada.

this are NOT your
mall-friendly, bite-size, quick-melt sprinkled flour balls.

these are old school:
with a dough that's fluffy yet filling,
authentic Keso de Bola cheese grated on top,
and rich whipped butter coating it with creamy goodness,
definitely not your next-generation disposable ensaymadas.

Try toasting these babies to melt the cheese,
or better yet,
GRILL them in a pan with butter....
then eat them with thick hot native chocolate fresh from the batirol.

You'll close your eyes,
smile beatifically,
and thank the Hizons for keeping fine foodie traditions alive.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Latest CHOCOLATE Haul

It was a HAUL, literally and grammatically!

My HAUL (noun) was composed of all these brand new, never-before-seen
chocolate treats bought at the SBMA Freeport Exchange
as part of last Saturday's Food Trip 2.0,
(see post below)
I had to HAUL (verb) the heavy grocery bag containing
all these precious morsels of brown gold
through knee-deep floods in the UST area.
(see post further down)

I love Peanut Butter.
I love Chocolates.
I love Cookies.

a 3-in-1 treat, from REESE's??!??!?!
this just may be the true food for the gods.
and if you think that's great...
this newfangled cookie configuration is also available in:

Up next,
the "sozy" version of those rolled-up chocolate wafer sticks
that are availalbe in various incarnations all over Manila...

and finally....
my ultimate favorite chocolate bar
reinvents, reloads, and revolutionizes itself:

Double Chocolate.
Peanut Butter.
Classic Original.

.... it's all good!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

M.Y.L.P. (make your lola proud!)

here's my good friend Awesome Anton's write-up
of the Pampanga Food Tour we enjoyed last Saturday.

Pampanga Food Trip 2.0

i'll never forget this particular food trip,
because it gave me the chance to visit Lola Sally one last time.

i crossed the street to San Fernandino Hospital
while the hungry hordes were buying BBQs at Jun-Jun's ",

Lola Sally, a true Foodie Pioneer,
would have loved that Cabalen Manyaman Pamangan Tour!!

Best. Lola. Ever.

During the 1950s and 1960s,
when her husband,
Rodolfo Hizon, (a.k.a. "Daddy Pong")
was holding political office
in San Fernando, Pampanga,
Lola Sally gained a reputation as one of the best cooks
in the province with the best food in the Philippines.

She would cater to hundreds of political supporters,
from the Huks to the Metrocom,
from the poorest constituents to the highest officials of the land.

And yup,
every gathering was ONE BIG PARTY for Lola Sally!

And I guess that's how Lola Sally would want us to say goodbye
to her this coming week,
with all of her family together,
from her children to great grandchildren,
eating great food,
enjoying each other's company as a family,
and with her very close by,
enjoying watching us eat and laugh ourselves silly.

Don't worry about us, Lola.
We know you lived a full life,
and it was time for you to rest.

We may cry,
but our tears will not be because you've left,
but simply because we're going to really really miss you.

We love you!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Shouldn't this be at HALF-MAST?

Our Philippine Flag flutters gaily
over the Neptune Club,
where the accused Americans supposedly "picked-up"
the victim in the Subic Rape Case.

them G.I.s sure were on full-mast that night.

This is turning into a
"minsa'y may isang gamu-gamo" issue,
what with the beloved Fr. Reuter weighing in
with opinions seemingly from pre-Vatican II.

“I think it was seduction,”
said the man in the cassock, the Rev. James B. Reuter,
of the highly charged case in which four American marines
are accused of raping a Filipino woman.

“She was 22 and Danny was 19,”
said Father Reuter, 90,
an American Jesuit priest
who has lived in the Philippines for most of his life.
“The only one accused of touching her is Danny, the baby boy,”
he said, referring to Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith,
who is at the center of the case.

The words have a discordant ring in a trial
that has been cast by nationalists and women’s-rights groups
as a symbol of American abuse and exploitation of its former colony.

They come as a particular surprise from Father Reuter,
whose fondness for the Philippines
and high-profile involvement in public affairs
have offered a contrasting view of the American presence here.

He has no formal role in the case
but has taken it upon himself to be not only a spiritual adviser
but also an energetic advocate for the marines.
“I don’t think they’re guilty,” he said, “not a bit.”

Manila SINKS, not STINKS.


just got home after walking (wading!)
an hour and a half
in knee-deep to thigh-deep floodwaters,
from the Welcome Rotonda to Casa Oroquieta.

drenched in dirty vermin-infested waters.

but I still love this crazy underwater city.
It's the Venice of the East,
a modern-day Atlantis!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

buhay pAPO sila

Ely Buendia,
former lead singer of the Eraserheads,
once wondered aloud,
as to why a tribute CD for the E'heads
(the excellent UltraElectroMagneticJam)
had already been recorded and released,
"we're not dead yet."

no such sarcasm was heard from the APO
during the Live Concert that launched
"Kami nAPO Muna",
a lovingly crafted tribute album by this year's hottest acts.
it's likely going to be 2006's #1 selling (not pirated!) CD.

funny, it sounds like 1986 all over again.

i hear the APO's songs all over the radio,
kids on the street are singing "batang-bata ka pa",
and MP3s of the remakes are on iPods everywhere.

the really wonderful thing?
the new versions are uniformly excellent.
they've gained more resonance over time,
and in some instances,
have somehow evolved into totally different songs.

"Doo Bidoo", in particular~~
a sly song that simultaneously dissed the Bee Gees
and honored Sinatra's "strangers in the night"
while profiling the Pinoy's penchant for impromptu singing,
is transformed by Kamikazee into an anthem
celebrating the "joint" joys of Jutz and Rock!

It certainly was cool to see the classic and the new
merge into one glorious whole during the concert's conclusion.
As the lead singer of Kamikazee stood on his head (!)
while screaming out Doo Bidoo,
Danny, Jim, and Buboy sauntered out and crooned the chorus.

Somehow, it worked.
And the audience went NUTS!!!

And that's why the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society
still matters.

Like that of the Beatles,
APO's music is rediscovered and again loved
by each new generation of Pinoy music fans.

DaBest pAPO sila!!!

CRISPY PATA a la Rachael Ray

Our main pulutan during last Saturday's Vodka Night
was composed of Calamansi-Marinated Grilled Liempo,
and Kumareng Suzette's ULTIMATE CRISPY PATA...

boiled, baked, and finally turbo-broiled
to Absolut Cholesterol Pork Perfection!!

I remember thinking that it was a dish
worthy of Rachael Ray,
so I wanted some pics of Martha Stewart's omni-media challenger.

Lo and Behold,
I googled and found Ms. Food Network's pictures...
from FHM USA's October 2003 issue.
I want to be scandalized,
but I enjoyed the pix way too much ",)

take a look at Rachael Ray's (crispy) Patas!!

Delicious, right?

Now, will she be next?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

AGASSI rages against the dying of the light

"I've lived a dream for 21 years. It's gonna be impossible for me to be disappointed with a result when you have that sort of support and feeling out there. This is why I chose here to retire."

Once upon a time,
a rebel from Vegas turned the tennis world upside down.

Well, he's just played in his final professional tournament,
his beloved U.S. Open.

He survived an epic 5-set match in the 2nd round to advance,
but in the end,
his bad back did not allow him to take just one more match.

Ironically, he played his final match against a B. Becker.
no relation to his own rival when he was the Benjamin of Tennis,
Boris Becker.

But I believe it would have even been more poetic
if he could have faced this passionate Spaniard,
his true spiritual successor,
in his farewell match.

Age: 36
Titles: 60
Grand Slams: 8 (4 Australian, 2 U.S., 1 French, 1 Wimbledon)
Career W-L: 868-274

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