Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Magandang Bagong Umaga,


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Damn You WAGYU Why Can't I Quit You???

Unforgettably Umami.

Savory goodness that enrobed my palate
to the ultimate degree of steak satisfaction.

I can still taste you...

I cradled the Wagyu,
I wanted to hug it, to kiss it, to love it...
now I really understand the meaning of "Food Porn";

the Wine was spectacular;
tried to describe it in terms of Apple Pathways,
but the sommelier was having none of my Neruda-isms:

I was fortunate to be invited to a WAGYU & WINE dinner
at the Hyatt Manila's elegant yet cozy grill, the FIREPLACE.

PENFOLDS of Australia
provided the Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Shiraz,

Chef Oro ensured that all the prime cuts of
TAJIMA WAGYU were grilled perfectly.


Tajima Wagyu Striploin
with the highest Australian meat grade: 9+

No other steak is as beautiful, or better than this.


Rosemary infused cocktail potatoes,
green asparagus britney spears,
oven roasted vine cherry tomatoes,
herb bundle, and a shiraz glaze...


The seared crust providing the perfect counterpoint
to the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of the beef.

It was absolutely one of the finest dinners I've ever attended,

a perfect meal, from the appetizer of King Prawns
in a Macadamia Nut vinaigrette,

to the dessert of soft-centered Pavlova
with a Forest Berry coulis;

and the Fireplace,
all dark wood accented by
the soft glow of golden lamps,

an ambiance that proves equal to the restaurant's
task of serving absolutely the sine qua non of steaks.

Inevitably, in such ritzy surroundings,
I was bound to run into a VIP;

and despite being a Yellow fellow
since EDSA in '86, there was no way I was
foregoing a historic photo op with the Imeldific:

"CongressMadame and Me"

for reservations: 245-1234
5th Level, Hyatt Hotel and Casino
Pedro Gil cor M.H. Del Pilar, Malate, Manila

Saturday, June 26, 2010

SICK and TIRED . . .

. . . of all the sniping
from the camps of V-Nay and Mar.

Mr. Vice President, if you want to help, please help.
If you don't, please shut up and get out of the way.

We need a Sense of
not a sense of entitlement.

We need to see
not overdramatic telenovela acting.

Why don't you take care of this?

And for Mr. Roxas's supporters,
it was a very tight fight,
but OUR man lost.

Let's live with it.
That's Politics.

Don't fret;
there's always 2013...

and 2016!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


"It took us a while to perfect this,
but we're delighted to announce that we finally did it!
This is pure Yakult goodness in smooth, creamy, ice cream form!

Made with Pure Yakult with no additional cream or milk,
this is your favorite tangy-sweet delight
in scoopable, spoonable form!"

Available starting June 26 Saturday,
at all Sebastian's branches:

Scooping Stations

- Alabang Town Center Mall
Cinema Area
0917 405 7678

- Podium Mall,
4th floor, near escalator
ADB Avenue, Ortigas
0927 453 7426

- The Block, SM North Edsa
3rd floor, near Cinema Ticket booth
Quezon City
0927 290 1633

- Trinoma Mall
3rd floor, center atrium
Quezon City
0915 232 4253

- Glorietta 4, Food Choices
3rd floor
0915 440 9662

COLD COMFORT Ice Cream Parlor

SM Mall of Asia
New Entertainment Mall, 2nd Floor
(near IMAX exit)
0915 489 5753


(I know. I'm such a Nerd, I swear.)

for all 500 MILLION of us!!!

All You Need to Know about our addiction:

for example...
The PHILIPPINES is the #8 country with the most Faceboinkers!

This is the better FACEBOOK "biography";

another one,
"The Accidental Billionaires", is full of "imagined conversations.
In other words, completely unauthorized, and frankly, it sucks,
although it is the novel the upcoming David Fincher (!)
Facebook movie is based on.

The Facebook Effect is the much better read;

Mark Zuckerberg and apparently,
all his Facebook contacts cooperated fully with the author,

and readers get a real insight on how this website that is
changing the world, essentially
started as a geek's way to rate Hot Chicks in Harvard.

Yup, that's exactly what it was!!!

BOURDAIN serves up a sizzling dish of

The most unique, most radical Foodie of All returns
with an addicting, appetizing new non-fiction book!!!

I'm beginning to hate Tony.

Not hate as in hating Nazis or GMA,
but hate because he just writes so damn well,
and although I'd like to think that I'm not so bad myself,
Bourdain is effin' awesome, every other foodie pales in comparison.

The writing is so damn good,
you just know you're going to re-read this book,
just to enjoy the titillating wordplay again and again.

Every aspiring food blogger or damn it, every writer wannabe
should read this latest collection of essays,
each one just dripping with
the former chef's trademark snark and take-no-prisoners brutality.

Throughout, Bourdain's thoughts are so strongly opined,
you can almost hear his cigarette-gravelly whiskey-soaked voice
reading every word out aloud.

Enjoying this book's tales is like
eating salty peanuts with an ice cold brew.

You won't be able to stop at just one.

The Black Superman,
BILLY RAY BATES is in this book!!!

"This is the kind of book that makes you proud to be a sportswriter,
for at its best, sportswriting informs, entertains and educates.

I learned, I laughed (I mean, out-loud, splatter-the-page hilarity),
I loved it all. Pacific Rims is nothing but a joy."

-Rick Telander, Senior Sports Columnist,
Chicago Sun-Times

Height or not,
Basketball will always be Beloved in the Philippines,

and conversely,
FOOTBALL may never really
catch on here because of the following:

1. Low Scores/Draws :
no instant gratification like Basketball

2. Not Really a Contact Sport:
not enough blood and fights like Basketball

3. Requires a Large Grassy Playing Field:
can't be played on concrete city streets like Basketball

Finally, I found a book about

After YEARS of searching, I found this new edition
of a collection of essays that was last published in 1993 (!).

The only one previously available, and now also years out of print,
was "The Aquinos of Tarlac" by Nick Joaquin.

Unbelievable, really, that a National Hero,
husband and father to two Philippine Presidents,
has only one slim volume of essays about him available.

But this one is really really good:

featuring works by Max Soliven, Louie Beltran, Teddy Benigno,
Nick Joaquin, Melinda Quintos De Jesus, Jaime Cardinal Sin,
Cory Aquino, and practically all the key figures pre-EDSA.

Truly worth waiting for.

The Return of MANILA BEER!!!

Maligayang Araw ng Maynila!!!

Mon Fernandez is smiling:

once upon a time,
when real Pinoys still dominated the PBA,

after the Toyota basketball team broke up,
El Presidente became the MVP of Asia Brewery's Manila Beer team,

while his then arch-rival as the alpha male of the league,
Robert Jaworski, became the playing coach of Gilbey's Gin.

just in time for Manila Boy's Manila Day, Manila Beer is back,

The Big J will be the adviser of the new Meralco team in the PBA.

I'll Drink To That!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

TUKSO, Layuan Mo Ako!!!

Ice Creams:

Brand New from Nestlé's Chocolate Collection
now in your supermarket/convenience store freezers!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TOY STORY 3: Bar None Absolutely No Doubt The BEST MOVIE of the Year!!!

Top 3 Reasons why Toy Story 3
is the Best Movie of 2010:

1. It's a poignant story about letting go, and holding on.

I can sooo relate.

I still have my most beloved of toys,
and the one time, years ago, when my mom
"donated" some of them to charity without my consent,
I had a major meltdown. I still miss those Matchbox cars.

You know how it is with us men and our toys; we never really let go.

Visit any grown-up boy's office,
and you'll surely see some sentimental keepsake
proudly and prominently displayed.

Toy Story 3 captures this yearning for childhood perfectly,
and that's the reason why so many grown men cry. . . discreetly.

Which is exactly why those 3-D spectacles really come in handy:
for surreptitiously hiding our suddenly itchy, red, weepy eyes!

2. It gifts us with closure.

The Toy Story Trilogy is now undeniably
one the Greatest Movie Series in history.

It's as thrilling as the original Indiana Jones,
and as originally character-driven as Star Wars;

welcome to the pantheon, Buzz and Woody!

From the grand opening sequence of Toy Story 3
to its simply exquisite, silently eloquent ending,

this is the highest level of storytelling, the true art of cinema.

3. Pixar's traditional short film? Sheer Genius.

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz have a movie coming out this week
that's almost got an identical title to the "bonus feature"
that's attached to Toy Story 3.

Cruise's is "Knight and Day"; Pixar's, "Day and Night".

I'm betting though, that years from now,
after Tom's action-comedy will have been long-forgotten,

this outstanding blend of classic cell animation and digital wizardry
will still be profoundly influential.

Come early when you watch Toy Story 3;
I guarantee, you've never seen anything like this before...

Monday, June 21, 2010

PENGUIN was here...

Penguin Cafe' was my home away from home
for most of the first half of the 1990s.

I wooed women and got mind-numbingly wasted there so often

that I eventually became the only regular who was
invited to the serving staff's Christmas parties.

It was The Bar of Bars of my reckless youth, and to this day,
no other has come close to replacing it in my affections.

Well, it's gone now.

There's a gaping vacant lot
by the Remedios Circle in Malate
where that most Bohemian of Bars used to be.

Practically all my beloved bars and restaurants in Old Malate
have disappeared, no thanks to over-enthusiastic gentrification.

Patio Guernica is now a poker club, Moviola turned Japanese,
Camp Gourmet and Hard Rock, abandoned and empty,
and even Tia Maria will soon be a Cowboy Grill.

Garlic Rose, Cafe Caribana, Patio Mequeni:
one-of-a-kind restaurants, still very much missed;

Insomnia and Iguana, Sala and Blue
side by side on J.Nakpil street, gone, gone, gone, and gone.

Weinstube, arguably the greatest date place ever,
now just lives on in the annals of Malate's romantic history.

However, the hidden Cosa Nostra
lives on, still with the same waiter and
the same cashier and the same five tables...

But Penguin, my Penguin, is finally extinct.




June 17 to July 17
at all MAX's nationwide!

Happy 65th Anniversary
to the Philippines'
Best Fried Chicken!


While hearing mass last week,
I was so woozy from all the antibiotics and antihistamines
I took for my cough and colds, that i said "Peace be with you" to...

And that's not the worst part...

the family in the pew behind me saw the whole thing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How SWEET It Is!!!

As Good As It Gets...

Game Sevens
don't get any better than this:

a killer,
a grinder of a game,
where will, more so than skill,
proves to be the undefinable difference
between a crushing defeat and a championship.

The pressure was tremendous, and all on
The Greatest Basketball Player in the World.

One of the commentators, at the start of the fourth,
saw Kobe Bryant suffer through a horrible shooting night,
but still insisted, predicted: "I'll bet on greatness every time."

L.A. had never beaten Boston in any Game 7.
Black Mamba drove for free throws and rose for rebounds
when he couldn't score from the field. The Lakers won in the end.

Greatness every time.

And Derek Fisher,
the Robin to Kobe's Batman,
drilled in a three to rescue his partner
at the most critical juncture of the last quarter,

and guaranteed another ring for Coach Phil Jackson:
the tamer of egos, the master of the triangle, the Tao of Zen,
calm and cool, poise personified, understanding understatement.

There was only one Laker who was not a member
of the 2009 Championship Team; a former Bad Boy
just a year removed from grabbing Kobe in a chokehold.

A man more notorious for brawling at the "Malice at the Palace"
than his accomplishments for his then team, the Indiana Pacers.

A defensive genius and offensive spark who had the most to prove;
and on his day of days, the most important game of his life,
with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals,
he guaranteed the Ring.

Redemption for Ron Ron!!!

(and the most hilarious, most heartwarming press con ever ",)

And for our gallant opponents:

I miss all the Celtics fans already;
it was a glorious two weeks of trash talking
and non-stop heckling on Twitter & Facebook.

I can't wait for the rematch in 2011, but meantime?
I leave all the Boston faithful with this very useful gift...

The Best KRISPY KREME of the Year!!!


Slivers of Fresh Strawberries on a Vanilla Striped
Chocolate Frosted Moist Chocolate Cake Doughnut!!!

So Good,
served chilled, these taste like succulent slices of
Black Forest Cake!!!

Happy Father's Day
to all the Legit Daddys and
Illegitimate Papas (me?)!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Like Water for XOCOLAT...

"Would you like some chocolate
with your chocolate, sir?"

There's only one restaurant in MetroManila
where you'll likely hear that question;

and yes,
I do mean a full service, full menu restaurant
from appetizers to main courses to dessert,

where practically everything,
I repeat, EVERYTHING is infused with chocolate.

It's a Willy Wonka dream come true.

Where is this chocoholics' paradise?

X marks the spot:

X stands for Xocolat:

X stands for X-cellent Service:

X stands for X-treme Chocolate Cake Creations!!!

X stands for X-citement, X stands for X-stacy!!!

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get
when you're comforted by a cup of hot chocolate?

Casa Xocolat

across the Ateneo and Miriam College
will give you that exact same cozy feeling,
that pleasant, grateful feeling of coming home...

I really really love this restaurant's look and feel;
it's a converted split-level residence, very 1960s,

and it reminds me very much of my Lola Sally's house in
San Fernando, Pampanga, including its happy food memories!

Xocolat first gained fame because they served
the best cups of Hot Chocolate in Metromanila,

including this rich concoction:
a thick chocolate with a historic hot-peppery kick!!!

(that's the reason for the mint leaf)

Going against convention,
and because I wanted to have chocolate
in all the courses of my meal that day,

I decided to sip the Aztec Xocolat as my first course,
my appetizer; I enjoyed it as my

And it was perfect;

just the right amount of sweetness, with a surprising spicy finish
that perfectly stimulated my appetite for...

the main reason I went to Xocolat,

to try out the new FULL MEALS from Xocolat's Kitxen:

PORK BELLY served with an unforgettable CACAO-BAGOONG sauce;
Liempo con Tsokolate... susmaryosep!!!

SPICED CHICKEN with Shitake Mushrooms and lavished
with Xocolat's signature CACAO RUB!!


These are signature dishes that are intensely flavorful,
immensely intriguing, and delightfully infused with chocolate.

These, along with an Arroz a la Cuban with Chorizo (!),
and a grilled five-spice Cream Dory with Cream Sauce (!!)

are enticing new reasons to rediscover
Xocolat for Lunch or Dinner.

Casa Xocolat,
aside from its sweet and savory goodies,

also has the quirkiest, most interesting bric-a-brac
sprinkled all over this coziest of restaurants...

(some are for sale, ask your server : )

Whatever you do at Xocolat,
Do Not Miss these Chocolate Classics;

whether you decide to have them as
appetizers or desserts, you have to have these:




Not surprisingly,
most Xocolat fans complain about this after...

which is why I always tell them:

"If your clothes are getting too tight?
You may have to take something else,



XOCOLAT Katipunan
172 B. Gonzales St.
Loyola Heights, QC

Topy's Place
Economia cor. Calle Industria
Bagumbayan, QC

Ground Level
Serendra, Taguig

XOCOLAT Greenhills
Lobby, The Promenade
Greenhills Shopping Center
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