Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The 2 ways to have Raclette in Manila:

1. Visit the OLD SWISS INN;
it's open 24/7!!!


2. you can buy the expensive machine below...


There's a 3rd way:

and it's the easiest
and most effective way
to get your melted cheese fix!

This is how Lola Sally's Clan devours the Noche Buena cheese:

Just get a dozen wedges of your favorite Keso de Bola
(Marca Pato or Marca Pina, NOT Magnolia),

in your microwave for a minute,
or until the preferred doneness,

and have your gourmet treat
right in the comfort of your own home.

these will be bubbling HOT!!!

The Colors of EASTER

and yes,
Easter Monday

falls on
April 9,

ang Araw ng Kagitingan.

Happy L-o-o-o-ng Holy Weekend!!!

A Wedding Cake that would make DR. SEUSS Proud!

The funkiest cake I've ever seen!

Definitely reminded me of THE CAT IN THE HAT.

All indications point towards a Fun Life Together
for the newlyweds, TARO and DECDEC...

congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. HIZON!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

STRANGER THAN FICTION: The Truth Is, this is My Best Picture of 2006!!!

First off,

My deepest congratulations
to my favorite Paisan,
for finally bagging the top Oscars yesterday.

It's long overdue,
and the fact that his 1970s batchmates--
Spielberg, Coppola, and Lucas,
who, collectively, along with Scorsese
changed our moviegoing experience forever---
presented him with the Academy Awards' Golden Boy.

That being said,
and despite my protestations to the contrary,
after seeing STRANGER THAN FICTION this past weekend,
I'm convinced that not only is it my Best Picture of 2006,
it's one of the best pictures I've seen.


There's a very special feeling when you finish watching
a movie and you come to the realization that you've
just seen one of the finest motion pictures,
something pretty much perfect,
in your life.

It's a feeling tinged with slight regret,
despite the fact that even if you know that
you'll probably watch the movie
again and again over the coming years,

you'll never have that same feeling of awe and discovery
as you did the first time you experienced it.

You know...
that movie that leaves you with a big silly grin
on your face as you watch it all the way to the
end of the closing credits?

Let me see...
offhand, in recent years,
I can recall LOVE ACTUALLY,

Movies that made me go
clap wildly,
and surreptitiously dab at my eyes.

Okay, fine.
I'm a sucker for very happy endings.

after all,
is my favorite movie of all time!

how best to describe STRANGER THAN FICTION?


Will Ferrell,
like his fellow comedians Bill Murray and Jim Carrey
before him,

shows unexpected depth
and utmost realism in his acting in this film,

without his trademark tics and schtick,

perfectly playing off
an amazing supporting cast that includes
Maggie Gyllenhaal,
Emma Thompson,
Queen Latifah,
Dustin Hoffman,
and best of all,
that dorky mama's boy from Arrested Development!


Then you'll know what the image below really means.....

Sunday, February 25, 2007


My compliments to the Chef!!!

Another fine Sunday dinner in Oroquieta,
courtesy of the Salmon from Farmer's Market
the Arborio Rice from Santi's!

p.s. On the lunch menu earlier? SISIG.

Capampangan households treat you right!

Welcome Back, KUYA!!! (younger brother mo ba si BANKER?)

Ngayong gabi,
magmimistulang mamboboso
na naman ang milyon-milyon
sa ating mga kababayan dito sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo.

Papasok na sa Bahay ni Kuya
ang ating mga bagong susubaybayan:
ang mga bagong natin kapamilya
sa pangalawang yugto ng......





I Defend ANGELICA's Basic Human Right to AIRBRUSH Herself!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Philippine Political ADobo

While I'm truly happy with my career as an Educator (naks!),
I still truly am a frustrated Advertising Man.

Which is exactly why I savor
my involvement with these two organizations:

a couple of weeks ago,
I hosted the Induction Ceremonies of the PANA,
the Philippine Association of National Advertisers,

and last night,
I emceed the Induction Ceremonies of the ADBOARD,
where I used to sit as a member of the ACRC,
the Advertising Content and Regulation Committee.

I enjoy hosting these events for PANA and ADBOARD,
as it provides me continuing education on the latest
on the World of Advertising, Marketing, and Communications.

While I defer my usual TF for TY (ubo, ubo!),
I really don't mind at all.

I even got to take home a copy of the 1st Anniversary issue
ADOBO, the Philippine AD industry's bible.

Last night,
the keynote speech was delivered by
a True Titan of Philippine Advertising,
the legendary HERMINIO "Minyong" ORDONEZ,
The Man behind the great campaigns that made household names
of products as diverse as TIDE to BENADRYL,

His speech reflected on the Past,
and considered the Future of Philippine Advertising;
it gained deeper resonance
when I considered that Mr. Ordonez could have been
talking of Philippine Politics as well.

"Ka Minyong" talked about how, in the Golden Days,
advertisers built BRANDS,
products & services with strong equity
and even stronger consumer trust.
Brands that lasted for generations.

These days,
so much of advertising seem like flash-bang grenades;
they make a lot of noise, dazzle you a bit too much,
but are definitely annoying;
they stun you, and not in a good way.
They disappear in a flash,
and most are ultimately forgettable.

Check out the dude in the indian headdress above.

He's certainly confused,
and afflicted with a severe case of hubris.

From underwear model to Senator of the Republic.

It's sad, really.

In the pre-Martial Law Senate,
we had politicians who built strong equity,
translated into even stronger consumer, or voter trust;

and yes, during his seemingly uncorrupted youth, MARCOS.

They were BRANDS.
To this very day,
you can sell their grandchildren to the Philippine voting public
on the basis of their surnames alone.

and maybe even MONTANO and GOMEZ.

Action Stars all,
the Senate versions of Flash-Bang Grenades.

"HOPE" and DESPAIR....

A very charitable nurse,
who single-handedly
morphed Belo Medical Clinics
into Belo Massage Parlors,

a place where men
can actually give a "facial"
as they get a Facial!!!

Irony of Ironies,
this "Hope" is the reason
for Kris Aquino's Despair.

"happy endings" for James Yap,
but none for his wife...

thanks to Yubi Akira for the pic,
and for the scandalous full monty,
click here!!!

after FHM, read UDS!!!

To Dr. Honrado "HonHon" Palugod,

As my best friend for life,
here's the first issue of your lifetime subscription
to this magazine...

Happy Birthday, bradder!!!

(just kidding, Agnes. hehehe!)



Diana Zubiri.

PCSO : The Worst TV Commercial, EVER!!!


“Ikaw ang kanlungan sa kahirapan/
Ikaw ang pagasa at kinabukasan/
Haplos mo ay lunas sa bawat pagal/
Ikaw ang dampi ng pagmamahal/

Too many times in the past month or so,
I've almost thrown the remote at my TV,
or punched out my car stereo.

All because of this $#(@*@!)*@:!" song and commercial.

thanks to CONRADO de QUIROS,
I don't have to.

He has righteously and indignantly exposed
the torture that millions of Pinoys
have been subjected to.

My dad, the late great
Atty. Conrado B. Enriquez,
would have loved the piece below.

Thank You, Tocayo!!!

By Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Last updated 01:02am (Mla time) 02/22/2007

I REMEMBER again a joke I heard many years ago
about Ferdinand Marcos.

A foreign correspondent came to town
and wanted to get a feel of the public sentiment about Marcos.
He chanced upon a man in the street and asked to interview him.
The man agreed, and the journalist asked him,
“What do you think of Marcos?”

The man froze and said,
“I can’t answer that question here,
the walls have ears, we have to go elsewhere.”

They went to a park and the journalist repeated his question.
The man still looked anxious and said,
“This place is still too full of people,
we have to go to a more secluded place.”

They went to a pier,
and again the journalist repeated his question.
The man replied:
“Please excuse my nervousness,
but just to be sure let’s take a boat and row out into the water.”

They did so, and the journalist said,
“So now, we’re all alone, no one can hear us.
What do you think about Marcos?”

And the man whispered, “I actually like him.”

Something not unlike this happened to me recently.

It was a reunion of sorts in the province,
and in the middle of the festivities
someone pulled me aside to ask,
“Why do you keep attacking GMA [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] --
don’t you see anything good in what she does?”

After blinking a few times at the suddenness of the question,
I said as pleasantly as I could, “No.”
And I asked him why he had to pull me aside to ask it.
“Because,” he said beyond earshot of the others,
“I’m actually maka-GMA.”

Why am I not surprised
that someone who wants to profess to be a fan of GMA
now has to do it in secret?

I remembered these because of an ad
that I keep seeing with numbing regularity
each time I watch the NBA on Basketball TV.

In the ad,
a singer of a band sings in a plaintive Freddie Aguilar-type voice
a paean to the legit numbers racket known as the sweepstakes.
At least the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)
is the ostensible subject of the paean.
But Arroyo’s ubiquitous face there shows otherwise.

The lyrics are positively ingratiating.
The reason I know the words is their sheer repetition,
the ad materializing at nearly every commercial break,
giving me a case not just of “last song syndrome”
but of being subjected to hypnotic suggestion under torture.
It’s tapered off over the last few days but last I looked,
it was still there. The song goes:

“Ikaw ang kanlungan sa kahirapan/
Ikaw ang pagasa at kinabukasan/
Haplos mo ay lunas sa bawat pagal/
Ikaw ang dampi ng pagmamahal: PCSO."
["You are the refuge from poverty/
You are the hope and the future/
Your stroke cures every tired body/
Yours is the caress of caring: PCSO.”]

While this is being sung,
Arroyo is portrayed in various poses of solicitousness.

No, the office is not the object of adulation, the person is.

Every time I see that ad --
which is inescapable unless I foreswear to give up the NBA --

I ask aloud,
“E sino ba ang nakakapagal sa bawat pagal sa bansang ito?"
["Who is making the tired of this country tired?”]
Take it from her name.

My first reaction upon seeing this ad was annoyance,
particularly because it came at the break
of a particularly suspenseful game where my favorite team,
the Phoenix Suns, was trailing its opponent.

My subsequent reaction from seeing it again and again --
enough to give me the paranoid feeling it is expressly aimed at me --
was awe at the cheekiness of it.

And no small amount of infuriation
that I and the other taxpayers of this country,
who earn our money honestly through the sweat of our brow,
were being fried in our own fat.

We saw the same ad before in different clothing
but with the same ferocious ubiquity during the 2004 elections.

The PCSO -- and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. --
ran ads then depicting Arroyo
as the secular version of Our Mother of Perpetual Help:
visiting the victims of floods,
earthquakes and natural disasters.

Then too you wanted to say:
Forget the natural disasters,
mind only the human one.

Or forget the supertyphoons,
mind only Typhoon Gloria.

My unhappiness over the new PCSO ad was soon dispelled,
by the realization that it does serve an eminently useful purpose.

Which is that it draws attention to the one thing
the administration candidates would rather have the world forget,
who is Arroyo.

Arroyo is not a candidate in these elections,
but she might as well be so.

She is the issue in them in the same way
that Marcos was the issue in the 1971 elections
and George W. Bush was the issue in last year’s American elections.

The latter two were also senatorial elections
but they became a referendum on the two presidents.
Arroyo’s burden is by far the heavier in this respect
because her unpopularity comes not just from
a widespread perception of misrule
but from a widespread perception of having no right to rule.

Except for Mike Defensor who has tried to brave or brazen it out,
admitting freely he is an Arroyo protégé,
but trying to score points with Joseph Estrada’s hordes as well
by calling for his release,
nobody else in the Team Unity ticket
wants to be associated too closely with their boss.

Or, heaven forbid,
to remind the voters with such ardent passion they are her alter ego.

Comes now this ad that does exactly that,
an ad that not only grossly intrudes on the Filipino male’s
(and probably female’s as well) favorite pastime,
if not secret pleasure,
but shows him exactly where his taxes,
much expanded by the expanded value-added tax,
are going.

It is not to charitable works,
such as portrayed in the ad,
it is to indulgences like the ad itself,
which is nothing more or less than (costly) electioneering.

The ad’s intention is clearly to convince the public
their president cares for them.

Its effect is unwittingly to tell the voters:
You want more of this,
vote for Arroyo’s minions.
You want a respite, reject them.

Justice, like the Lord,
has been known to work in mysterious ways.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


... a Marketing Whiz, that is!

no wonder,
his future rival for the Presidency of the Philippines,
Mike Defensor,
turned as orange as an Oompa Loompa in his TV commercial!

Google "MICHAEL (or Mike) DEFENSOR",
you get a really dull, text-heavy, and outdated (!)
page from the Malacanang website.
I always knew that Sec. Defensor is a GMAma's Boy,
but this is ridiculous!!!

However, try googling "CHIZ ESCUDERO",
and you get his official website right at the top of the Google results page.

A couple of days ago,
I was talking to one of my favorite aunts, Ma Veds,
and she was telling me that she wanted to
voluntarily make some kind of unsolicited campaign contribution
to Senator Escudero.

That got me to thinking that we ought to produce
some really cool bumper stickers...

well, Chiz's Marketing Campaign Whizzes
had beaten me to the punch,
and have conveniently made all the design templates
available for download right

The Best Little KOR-House in .....

... in Malate!

After the original TOKDO on R.Salas closed down,
my drinking group felt lost and abandoned,
until we found the most authentic
and most affordable
and most excellent
Korean Grille on J.Bocobo!!!

This mural depicts HAPPY PIGS parading towards a....

and turning them into SAM GYUP SAL!!

The Korean Bacon
comes with asparagus, three kinds of mushrooms (!),
rice cake rolls, stringbeans, and pumpkin slices.

And not to be forgotten
are the kimchee, pepper oil, and chili garlic sauce
for maximum hotness

that ought to be slightly muted by the fresh greens for wraps.

And yes, as always, SOJU,
lots and lots of Soju!!!

Enjoyed our Soulful Seoul Boys' Night Out
with three of my best friends,
Dr. Elmo, Dr. JunReb, and Dr. HonHon,
each with a checkered past,
and apparently, checkered fronts as well!

I was about to baptize this joint as the
it's a good thing that Ajay translated
the Hanggul for me,
and it's a doozy:


To get there,
turn right on J.Nakpil from Taft Ave.,
drive towards Remedios,
and turn right on J.Bocobo,
the last street intersecting Nakpil before Remedios.

You'll find this wonderful Korean BBQ house on the left side of the street.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In Honor of Baguio's PANAGBENGA

from March 2005:

found myself up in the city of pines
for a series of meetings
(illicit and otherise),
and gastronomic adventures last weekend;

took the world-class & super comfortable
Victory Liner bus out of their Pasay terminal
at 11pm last Friday nite,

not counting a couple of 15minute stop-overs
in Tarlac and Pangasinan and EDSA's friday night traffic,
the total travel time
from Balintawak in NLEX to Session Road was only 4.5hours.
Arrived in Baguio at 5am sharp.

proceeded directly to my favorite new home up north,

with very cozy homestyle accomodations along South Drive.
Iggy's is also one of the few hotels in Baguio with a Jacuzzi,
and it's installed in a room with a perfect view
of a valley flush with pine trees.
very much like those Aspen "hot tub in the snowy resort" deals!

all the walls are overflowing with the owner's collection of paintings.
there is even one wall dedicated to the career
of the 1st Pinoy Chess Grandmaster, Eugene Torre,
who apparently is a good friend of the owner.

anyways, took a nap first;
upon waking up at 11am, vectored directly to
Baguio's premier Chinese Restaurant, ROSE BOWL
on Harrison Road near Burnham Park for the 1st meal:

perfectly crisp bite sized fried pork belly
on a bed of super fresh veggies cooked in oyster sauce.
plus fragrant YANG CHOW fried rice.

afterwards, needed a walk to clear my head.
walked all the way up... up..... and up Session Road
all the way up to SM Baguio.

for those who will wonder why a lowlander should go to
another SM Mall when there is so much more to enjoy in Baguio,
well, let me tell ya:

SM Baguio is the best damn SM Mall in the country.
Faaaannntassstic views all around!!!

With its architecture influenced by the rice terraces,
each of the levels of the mall lead up to
wide open-air verandahs
where you can really, really enjoy the fresh mountain breezes
while drinking your favorite overpriced coffee:
Starbucks, Seattle's Best, Figaro's, etc, etc., are all here!

at the topmost level of the mall,
with an awesome view of the Baguio Cathedral
and the mountains leading up to Marcos Highway,
X and I chilled out for the next 2hours,
sipping 16-ounce cups of Barako-Arabica from Figaro's
while we pondered our next meal....

hmmmmm. walang magawa. 3pm pa lang.
way tooo early for Happy Hour.

Now Showing sa SM ang Constantine, Hitch, Zebra Stripes,
and The Passion of The Christ.

rolled the dice and despite our misgivings,
entered the very large and yup, fully-airconditioned SM Cinema 4,
and was entertained by Will Smith for the next two hours.

"it's not how many breaths you take in your lifetime that matters....
it's the number of moments that take your breath away"

Whattta killer line!!!

for decades,
the only three movie theaters in baguio
were the surot-infested, blower-cooled mini-theaters on Session Road.
perhaps the best thing about the whole SM Baguio experience
are the brand-new world-class theaters with plush seats and Dolby Sound!
finally, the uplanders can watch their movies in comfort.

We then decided to grab a bottle of Red and some chocolates
to enjoy in our hotel room.

best place to buy imported stuff?
At John Hay, syempres!!!! the duty free store there
has all the Hershey's you want, and lots of wine and liquor
at rock-bottom prices.

where to eat in John Hay?
there's a Brother's Burger resto,
a Dencio's for sisig,
several cafe's,
and the obvious choice: Carlo's Pizzeria!!!

excellent Shakey's-style thin-crust pizza
with a plethora of toppings:
italian sausage, salami, pepperoni, fresh baguio mushrooms,
four kinds of cheese, etc. etc. etc.

Ordered a side of authentic Buffalo Wings with bleu cheese dip.
All washed down with 3 bottles of my beloved SMB Pale Pilsen.

...... and so, by 7pm of Saturday night,
we were ready for bed! Back to Barracks!!!


7am, Sunday morning!
after untangling ourselves from the sheets,
had a long leisurely shower.
Iggy's Inn must have the strongest water pressure in the mountains.
and yup, lots of HOT WATER!!!

decisions, decisions.
where to go for Breakfast on this beautiful Palm Sunday?
well, not really a difficult decision there.

CAFE' by the RUINS wins by a knockout!!!!

and so, off to the Ruins at 9am.
perfect timing! the breakfast crowd had thinned out,
and the lunchtime crowd had yet to pull themselves out off bed.

we get there, and find the place practically all to ourselves.....
ahhhh, the serenity!
the smell of longaniza frying!!!
the smell of freshly-ground baguio coffeee brewing!!!!

the waiter promptly brings a cup of Ruins Coffee.....
freshly brewed cappuccino with a sprinkling of nutmeg and cinammon.

armed with the thick encyclopedia-like sunday editions
of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star,
we embark on a 2-hour brunch.

chilly morning breezes blew in from the sawali-covered
walls of the ruins, as we perused the menu.

a baguio bounty salad?
biscuits with fresh goat's milk kesong puti?
strawberry pancakes drizzled with honey?

i end up ordering what i always do:
Longanizang Baguio na Hubad style
(dinurog na longganiza, in other words.....
very meaty and almost crunchy--- not fatty at all),
with Red Mountain Rice na ginawang Sinangag (lots of garlic),
a side of 3 slices of crisp Bacon
(just to maintain the cholesterol intake),
and two eggs, one sunny side up, and one scrambled!!!
the perfect fry-up breakfast!!!

all that, chased down with fresh ginger tea
(a.k.a. salabat!!!) sweetened by golden honey.

eat slowly... it's a sunday morning brunch, after all.
included in the price of the meal?
a dessert bowl of the freshest fruits in season...
papaya, pineapple, melon, honeydew, orange slices,
and this being baguio, lots and lots of strawberries!
I decided to pour honey on the mixture of fruits.

oh shoot. i had to go to one my meetings.
in the cab, heard this congressman Live from Las Vegas on Bombo Radyo,
on his cellphone,
delivering the sad news that
a bloody Pacman had lost to the sneaky headbutting Morales.
oh well.........

St. Joseph's church right beside Wright Park is full.
The priest gave an excellent sermon;
he somehow managed to compare Manny Pacquiao
to the beaten-up Pinoy nation
and how we should have the Christ-like strength
to all rise up despite all the adversities we face.
Maybe the best homily i've heard in the past 5years or so.

7hours since the bacchanalian feast at Ruins.
Stomach growling.
Sun setting on this Palm Sunday,
the sky is ablaze with a crazy kaleidoscope
of deep reds, dramatic yellows, and blood orange rays.

No idea where "Mother's" is now;
it used to be near Hotel Nevada,
which crumbled to the ground in the 1990 earthquake.

Mother's is the hole-in-the-wall carinderia
which was beloved by the Hizon cousins for the tasty bistek & BBQ chicken.
it was a tradition for us in the '80s,
when we all discovered the joys of
puberty, alcohol, and nicotine
as we spent at least two weeks of each summer up north.

Near the old entrance to John Hay,
the road leading to Loakan airport and the PMA,
was where Mother's used to be.

I almost feel orphaned, since Mother's is nowhere to be found.

hmmmmm. i seem to have read somewhere that there was a bistro
put up near here by a retired flight attendant from PAL.
We wander on down the road, and Voila!

(thanks to for the great pic!)

Swiss Chalet.
those are the two words i would use to describe
this restaurant perched on a cliff,
with a bungee-jump inducing view of the hillside below.

massive polished wooden beams
complete the european ambience of the interiors'
20-foot high ceilings.
very old-world,
with continental retro bric-a-brac lining the shelves as accents.

Excellent Service.
obviously, the training and experience of the owners,
from the world's friendliest (if not promptest) airline
has been passed on to their waiters and waitresses.

and the Food.....
i started off with an SMB Pale to complement their top-selling appetizer:
home-smoked BAGNET!!!
apparently, this is the only Ilocano Bistro in the world!
gaddem....... chicharon na liempo!!!
perfectly spiced,
fried to perfection almost like chicharon bulaklak,
as only a true anak-ti-batac can.

yup, this pulutan will definitely take you
one step closer to Heaven if you have it everyday.

for the main course,
we ordered chicken fillets battered in almond slivers,
dipped in lemon butter sauce.
the crust was perfection, parang Sosyal na ChickenJoy,
and the chicken practically melted in my mouth.

for veggies,
we just had to have the brocolli with prawns, cooked Thai style.
...... with every bite,
we involuntarily made "mmmmmm!!!" sounds,
as the brocolli heads absorbed all the Thai sauces,
and all the flavors and freshness exploding our tastebuds!

and to cap a perfect meal?

no gelatin extenders, mind you.
these ex-flight attendants knew their stuff.
just a thick crumbled graham cracker crust,
philadelphia cream cheese,
and a topping of peaches and cherries.


I need to go back up.


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