Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BAGUIO's Coziest CHRISTMAS House!!!

This restaurant on Loakan Road never fails to surprise.

The first time I went there, I described it as:

"Swiss Chalet.

The two words that would best 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 a curio shop's worth of continental bric-a-brac
lining the shelves as accents."

This Christmas Season,
Forest House surprised again by transforming itself
into the most Christmassy restaurant in the country.

Not only that,
but it's been honored as one of the best,
by that sozy slumbook, the Philippine Tattler.

All the Forest House specialties I wrote about
a while back remain on the menu:

"Home-Smoked Bagnet:

chicharon na liempo
perfectly spiced,
fried to perfection almost like chicharon bulaklak.

Chicken Fillets with Almond Slivers:

served with lemon butter sauce,
the crust was perfection,
parang Sosyal na ChickenJoy.

Brocolli with Prawns, Thai style:

the brocolli absorbing all the spicy sauces,
and all the flavors and freshness exploding over our tastebuds,
involuntary making us "mmmmmmm...." with every bite.

Peach and Cherry Cheesecake:

no gelatin extenders,
just a thick crumbled graham cracker crust,
and dollops of Philadelphia cream cheese."

we were not immune to the sheer Yuletide splendor
of Forest House, and our family photoshoot commenced
with wild abandon.

The very cool breezes wafting in through
the windows didn't hurt either.

My cousin Roxanne couldn't resist singing "Get Here"
with Baguio's Best Band,


And ultimately, we all gave in to the
Chocolate Vodka,

corkage was only P500.00!!!

Even the Lolas got smashed.

And we ended the enchanted evening dancing to...

what else?

Dancing Queen!

It's exactly Four Weeks to Christmas Eve!!!

Happy Christmas, everyone!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


The one thing we do best in my hometown,



When in Pampanga,
Eat as
(much as) the Kapampangans Do!

If there is anything that makes Pampanga famous,
it’s the delicious food!

And if the success of the recent Kapampangan Food Fair
at the Salcedo Market last June 21 is any indication,

food lovers young and old will have a blast at the
2nd Pistang Kapampangan King Sinukwan on November 29,
Saturday evening at the Old Heritage District
along Consunji Street in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Visit during the cool evening hours,
when dramatic ambient lighting and flood lights
will be used for the very first time to showcase
the beauty of San Fernando's Heritage Houses!

The whole stretch of the historic street will closed
from 4:30 pm to 12:00 midnight,
to light up the ancestral houses and to give way
to a food fair and fanfare that brings together
the best of Pampanga cuisine –

from authentic Kapampangan cooking by
Everybody's Café (a Tatler Best Restaurant in 2008),
Abe, Bale Kapampangan, Jun Jun's BBQ and Bibingka,
Teresita R. Razon's Palabok and Halo Halo
and home-cooked meals from Pamangan by Des Torres.

For the health-conscious, freshly-picked fiddle head fern salad
from the Hizon Orchard will be served.

Pasalubong items such as Carreon's Pastillas and Plantanillas,
Navarro's Taba ng Talangka, WOW Mani, Kuliat Cakes and Empanada
and Lailen's Pastries;

as well as mouth-watering offerings from
La Moderna Bakery (Masa Podrida and Gorgorias),
Bakeline (Mamon Tostado and Empanaditas),

fresh sugar cane juice from Alex Patio,
Heirloom Desserts from Mitchie Hizon,

and barrio goodies from the town of Sta. Rita
such as the duman and freshly-rolled native barquillos.

Other delectable attractions include Duck Ham from Lubao's Pride,
Ostrich Steak from Orstrichland's Bruno and Diego,
and the different Native Suman from Cabalantian.

There will also be an on-the-spot Cooking Contest
that seeks to discover and develop new talent in the field of cooking,
and performances by the Magsilbi Tamu Brass Band, Arti Sta Rita,
Aslag Kapampangan and the newly-formed Teatro Ima at Arti.

So have a reunion with your family and friends
and plan a pilgrimage to the birthplace of
sisig, tocino, buru, tamales and tibuk-tibuk!

Proceeds from the event will go to
the Foundation for Lingap Kapampangan Inc.,
more popularly known as the Save Pampanga Movement,
which advocates for the preservation of
Kapampangan culture and arts.

Come in your most comfortable “barrio Filipiniana” attire
and get ready to go on a hometown feast for all your senses!


4:30 – 5:30 pm Anticipated Sunday Mass

5:45 - 6:00 pm Opening: Magsilbi Tamu Brass Band

6:30 - 7:00 pm Start of On-the-Spot Cooking Contest

7:15 - 7:30 pm Performance: Arti Sta Rita / Tetro MaArti

7:45 - 8:00 pm Cooking Contest Judging

8:15 - 8:45 pm Serenata: Magsilbi Tamu Brass Band

9:00 - 9:30 pm Demonstration: Barquillos/ Tamales

9:45 - 10:00 pm Performance: Aslag Kapampangan

10:15 - 10:45 pm Demonstration: Barquillos & Tamales

11:00 pm Final Performance: ArtiSta Rita & Aslag Kapampangan

Participating Restaurants & Specialty Shops

Everybody's Cafe

Red Rickshaw
Pamangan by Des Torres
Bale Capampangan

Teresita R. Razon's Halo-Halo and Pancit Palabok
Thai Kingdom - Sau Del Rosario

LJC Group:
Abe specialties
Cafe Havana cocktails

Jun Jun's BBQ and Bibingka
La Moderna - masa podrida, sampaguita cookies, gorogrias

SFO {Specialty Food Outlet} by Essel

Bruno and Diego- Ostrich steak
from Ostrich Land San Luis, Pampanga

Duck Ham from Lubao's PrideFrsh Fiddle Head Fern Salad
from the Hizon Family Orchard

Hizon Family Heirloom Desserts

Fresh Sugar Cane Juice : Alex Patio

Sweets and Delicacies Association of Pampanga:
Wow Mani, Navarro's Taba ng Talangka, Lailen's Pastries' sylvanas,
Sasmuan Delicacies, Pabalan Pastillas, Carreons Plantanillas,
Apung Uping's Original Espasol

Sta. Rita town : barquillos, tsokolate batirol, duman, umba,
bringhe, asadong babi, turrones, uraro, mamon tostado

Sto. Tomas : Bibingka

Cabalantian : Suman Makers

Sunday, November 16, 2008

50 Coolest Facts about President-Elect BARACK "O' BOMBER"

I imagine so many jaded Americans must be feeling in 2008
exactly what we Pinoys felt like during those halcyon days of 1986
when People Power's glow was like a halo around our nation.

One thing's for sure; the coolest cat to ever become
POTUS certainly has got game!!!

1. He was known as "O'Bomber" at high school for his skill at basketball

2. His name means "one who is blessed" in Swahili

3. His favourite meal is wife Michelle's shrimp linguini

4. He won a Grammy in 2006 for the audio version of his memoir,
Dreams From My Father

5. He is left-handed

6. He has read every Harry Potter book

7. He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali

8. He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager
and now can't stand ice cream

9. His favourite snacks are chocolate-peanut protein bars

10.He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics

11. He ate dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper
while living in Indonesia

12. He can speak Spanish

13. While on the campaign trail he refused to watch CNN
and had sports channels on instead

14. His favourite drink is black forest berry iced tea

15. He promised Michelle he would quit smoking before running for president
– he didn't

16. He kept a pet ape called Tata while in Indonesia

17. He can bench press an impressive 200lbs

18. He was known as Barry until college
when he asked to be addressed by his full name

19. His favourite book is Moby Dick by Herman Melville

20. He visited Wokingham, Berks, in 1996
or the stag party of his half-sister's fiancé,
but left when a stripper arrived

21. His desk in his Senate office once belonged to Robert Kennedy

22. He and Michelle made $4.2 million last year,
with much coming from sales of his books

23. His favourite films are Casablanca and
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

24. He carries a tiny Madonna and child statue
and a bracelet belonging to a soldier in Iraq for good luck

25. He applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar while at Harvard
but was rejected by the all-female committee.

26. His favourite music includes Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Bach
and The Fugees

27. He took Michelle to see the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing
on their first date

28. He enjoys playing Scrabble and Poker

29. He doesn't drink coffee and rarely drinks alcohol

30. He would have liked to have been an architect if he were not a politician

31. As a teenager he took drugs including marijuana and cocaine

32. His daughters' ambitions are to go to Yale before
becoming an actress (Malia, 10) and to sing and dance (Sasha, 7)

33. He hates the youth trend of low-rider jeans

34. He repaid his student loan only four years ago
after signing his book deal

35. His house in Chicago has four fireplaces

36. Daughter Malia's godmother is Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita

37. He says his worst habit is constantly checking his BlackBerry

38. He uses an Apple Mac laptop

39. He drives a Ford Escape Hybrid,
having ditched his gas-guzzling Chrysler 300

40. He wears $1,500 Hart Schaffner Marx suits

41. He owns four identical pairs of black size 11 shoes

42. He has his hair cut once a week by his Chicago barber,
Zariff, who charges $21

43. His favourite artist is Pablo Picasso

44. He was given the code name "Renegade"
by his Secret Service handlers

45. He was nicknamed "Bar" by his late grandmother

46. He plans to install a basketball court in the White House grounds

47. His favourite TV shows are M*A*S*H and The Wire

48. His speciality as a cook is chili

49. He has said many of his friends in Indonesia were "street urchins"

50. His late father was a senior economist
for the Kenyan government

list from:

Friday, November 14, 2008


Bella in Twilight?

Mina in Dracula?

Victims of Lust.

Object of Desire?


I admit it!
I'm a sucker for great advertising.

And after I laughed my head off
the first time I saw my new favorite TV commercial,

I just had to rush to the nearest supermarket
to get Axe's newest deo-cologne, Dark Temptation.

And wonder of wonders,
it's a men's scent that really does smell like


I'm going to spray it on tomorrow,
take a ride on the MRT, and see if a cute girl
really does take a bite out of my butt!

Like I said,
I'm a sucker for great advertising!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"ISKUL BUKOL : 20 Years After" : The Return of the Escalera Brothers!!!

After almost two decades,

too many terms in the Senate for Tito,
too many younger girlfriends for Vic,
too many corny donut commercials for Joey,

TVJ are finally back where they belong:


from the wiki:

Iskul Bukol 20 Years After
(Adventures of Vic Ungasis and the Escalera Brothers)

It was revealed by Vic Sotto during an I-Witness documentary
that he wished to do a reunion movie with the surviving cast members
of Iskul Bukol, particularly his co-hosts, Tito Sotto and Joey de Leon.

On July 2, 2008, Vic's film production company, M-ZET Films,
submitted a script written by fellow cast member Bibeth Orteza,
intended for the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
The entry entitled "Vic Ungasis en the Escaleras"
was immediately approved by the MMFF jurors.

The title has since been changed to
"Escalera and Ungasis: 20 Years After,"
which will chronicle the events that transpired in the two decades
since the TV series, when the Escalera brothers and Ungasis graduated
from Wanbol University.

Mely Tagasa agreed to reprise her role as Miss Tapia
and so did Anthony Roquel as Tonette Macho.

The role of Mang Temy however may be retired
as a tribute to cast member Bing Angeles
who passed away in 2001.

The movie's title was changed again to "Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After"
in order to gain strong audience recall, owing its large fanbase
of people who grew up in the '70s and '80s watching the TV show.

The film opens on Christmas Day 2008!!!

Below is the confirmed cast of the movie,
which is already touted as the biggest movie of TVJ:

Original Cast Members:
Tito Sotto as Tito Escalera
Vic Sotto as Vic Ungasis
Joey de Leon as Joey Escalera
Mely Tagasa as Miss Tapia
Jimmy Santos as Big J
Anthony Roquel as Tonette Macho
Richie D' Horsie
Redford White
Bibeth Orteza

Special Guest Roles
Sharon Cuneta
Sen. Bong Revilla
Manny Pacquiao
Lorna Tolentino
Annabelle Rama

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, JO-BAMA!!!

11/11 is Jejomar Binay's birthday,
and earlier today, he formally announced
his campaign for the Presidency in 2010.


1. He was a Human Rights lawyer during Martial Law,
working hand in hand with the great Sen. Lorenzo Tañada.

2. He was Cory's "Rambotito" against Gringo's coup d'etats.
He's as tough as Pres. Aquino's other favorite mayor, Fred Lim.

3. He gives Yellow Cards (free healthcare) to Makati residents,
and free movies to all of the city's senior citizens.

4. His city is the only one that allows rallies against GMA,
from the FPJ protests all the way to the Jun Lozada tearfests.

5. He beat Lipo Lapid senseless during the 2007 Mayoralty Race,
and Edu Manzano had no game against him in the 2004 Elections.

6. His campaign will be managed by Cong. Teddy Locsin Jr.,
ensuring Barack-quality presidential speeches.

7. Once you go black, you don't go back.

I knew this would happen!
Check out this post from
4.5 months ago!

PIXAR : Nowhere to go but UP!!!

Another heartbreaking work of
staggering pixelized genius.

Up, up, and away in those beautiful


Tuesday, November 04, 2008


From around 16 years ago,
my favorite TV commercial,

where a young Manila Boy
wore a glued-on fake moustache

for the advertisment that launched
Asia Brewery's Stag Beer,

and started me off on my career
as an Orestes Ojeda impersonator.

Long Live Scorpio Nights!!!

Hello GARCI, thanks for uploading this!!!

Bleurgh STEPHIE, for finding it!!!

One for the FAD boys:
Hillary Duff, all grown up!
just click to biggify!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

SO GOOD IT'S SCARY : A Pampanga Alloween & Hall Saints Food Trip

Creepy Children.


The traditional way Halloween/All Saints Day
is supposed to be observed; but in Pampanga,
these two days are another horrifying excuse
for my family to enjoy terrifying amounts of food!!!

1. The. Best. KARE KARE. In. The. World.

My Tita Vedus' secret recipe;
the oxtails are simmered for hours
in the peanut sauce, and this results
in layers of the fat thickening the Kare-Kare,
a perfect melding of uric acid and cholesterol.

2. Double-Barelled BURO

On the left, more of a Balu-Balo,
slightly fermented rice & shrimp,
we eat it like lugao, our daily carb.

To the right, the smelly stuff: aged, hardcore Buro.
It's the Pampango Durian:
if you can stand the hellish smell,
you'll experience the heavenly taste.

3. BURONG BABI, a.k.a. Fermented Pork Belly

The preservative used for this delicacy
is now illegal: Salitre, a curing salt
so potent it's used for making explosives.

It's a good thing we have a secret stash
of this "Prague Powder #1", as it's essential
for the color, crunch, and salty-sour taste
of this Capampangan take on bacon!


Not really a Capampangan Original,
but my cousin Charee, the family's genius baker,
always makes sure that we have all our
Basic Food Groups: Pork, Beef, Carbohydrates...

and Cheese and Chocolate,
in the form of this truly decadent meal-ender!

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