Monday, November 19, 2012

BBQ and Isaw

In the Philippines, when you say BBQ or Bar-B-Que, we don't usually refer to slabs and slabs of meat grilled in hot smoke. Yes, we do grill some meat in hot smoke, but we prepare them differently. For one, we use thin and small slices of pork meat. Then put them on BBQ Sticks, similar to the Kebab style. This is one of the Filipino's favorites -- sometimes eaten during meryenda (afternoon snacks) or during meals (lunch or dinner). Another favorite is the isaw, which is grilled intestine in BBQ sticks.


This is our Pork BBQ and the isaw. For me, the most delicious part is the grilled fat. Have you had some today? If you're in the Philippines, this is a must-try. There's usually one BBQ vendor every other street (except maybe in high-end areas), or you may order them in any Filipino restaurant. But the authentic ones are just around the corner. For a better isaw experience, UP (University of the Philippines) Diliman is the best venue.
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Ganito kami sa Makati

During the 2010 Elections, one of the positive publicities that came out for the Binays is how things were done in Makati ("Ganito kami sa Makati"). Free education, giving importance to Senior Citizens, free medicines, etc. Being a resident of Makati for the past 10 years, I have experienced first hand how things were done, and I couldn't be prouder.

Anyway, before I turn this into into a political rave and rant, I just want to share that last month, we received a birthday cake for Manang, our house help! And I thought those were just rumors. Here's proof:



The birthday celebrant with her alaga

Haha, they say there's corruption behind these cakes. But we don't really mind, Manang didn't really mind. Our government was able to make her birthday extra special with an extra cake. Ganito kami sa Makati.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Laoag: Bangui Wind Mills

Happy Summer 2012!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Science Discovery Center Manila

I never would have visited this place if not for a friend. Her son celebrated his 7th birthday at the Science Discovery Center Manila at the SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, Philippines (I didn't even know you could hold birthdays there. To all moms out there -- now you know!). I didn't know what to expect, but I had an idea at the back of my mind that it will most likely be similar to Singapore's Science Center.

Well, it wasn't really what I hoped it would be. Not even close enough. In terms of space, the local science center is probably only a quarter of Singapore's. The facilities aren't as updated and as many. And you can probably finish wandering the place in just 3-4 hours (In Singapore, it took me a whole day to discover the center, my curious mind was just too engrossed with what they have).

Fortunately, though, the Manila Science center has something that Singapore doesn't -- the Planetarium. This is where you'll be seated looking at the sky and watch a short presentation about the stars, the moon and other space objects. Very nice for the little kids, especially since the show is about Elmo and Big Bird of Sesame Street. LOL.

Anyway, here are some pictures I took. The lighting wasn't good so the pictures didn't come out the way I wanted them to.


At the 2nd floor of the Science Center, facing the Robot area. The Sphere at the side is the Planetarium

Oceanarium Area

Finding Nemo 

Fish made of scrap metal 

Famous buildings replica using PVC pipes 

Robotics Area 

Kids interacting with the motion sensor 


For more information about the Science Discovery Center Manila, please visit their site at: http://www.sciencediscovery.ph/

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Manila Restaurants: Banana Leaf


I remember the first time I tried Banana Leaf via their Podium branch in Ortigas and how I immediately fell in love with it. The ambiance -- the uniforms of the waiters/waitresses, the interiors, the chairs, and the wall ornaments -- made me feel as if I were somewhere in Indonesia and Malaysia. The menu made me think of Singapore, Thailand and India. The experience of eating in a literal banana leaf reminded me that I was in the Philippines.

 Yes, that banana leaf will be your plate

Unfortunately, my recent experience with Banana Leaf is somewhat disappointing. I don't know if it was because I was in a different branch (Greenhills branch), but all my high expectations were shattered.

First, the waiting list. It was a Sunday and a LOT of people were waiting in line so I didn't really mind being in the waiting list. However, maybe because a lot of people were complaining already, the order of the list wasn't being followed anymore. We had to be very vigilant to secure us a seat.

Second, the ordering. We waited a very long time before finally one of the waitresses noticed that we were ready to order. I'm not sure if it was because of the number of people that were there, but that shouldn't be an excuse to keep your guests waiting when they haven't even ordered anything yet.



Banana Leaf Curry Roti. The curry sauce is really really good

Third, the incomplete orders. My boyfriend and I ordered some Curry Roti, Malayan Chicken Curry with Potatoes, and Spare Ribs with Coffee Sauce. Unfortunately when our orders arrived, only the Roti and the Spare Ribs were served. So where was our Chicken curry? Yes, they forgot.

Spare Ribs with coffee sauce. Sweet and salty but very palatable

Finally when our curry arrived, we had asked the waitress to heat the spare ribs up for us because it was already cold and has solidified. When she arrived, the sauce was gone. =/

I guess I won't be visiting Banana Leaf Greenhills (Promenade) for a while.

To know more about Banana Leaf, please visit their website at: www.bananaleaf.com.ph
They have branches in the major malls such as Greenbelt, Trinoma, The Podium, Power Plant Mall, Robinson's Place Manila, The Block (SM City North), and Promenade (Greenhills).

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ye Dang: Korean Restaurant

I've heard about Ye Dang from a couple of friends and I finally got the chance to experience the place. I was never really a fan of Korean food, but I really enjoyed my Ye Dang experience. Marc and I went to their Ortigas branch, just a few meters away from the gimmick place, Metrowalk. You won't miss it because you'll be seeing lots of Korean establishments before reaching Metrowalk, and Ye Dang happens to be one of those.

Appetizers (or whatever they would call that. Not sure, sorry). I especially loved the potatoes with sesame seeds and sweet sauce. Didn't really know how to eat this, but we observed other people wrapping those in lettuce leaves, so naki-gaya na lang kami haha.

 When we entered the place, it was spacious and comfy and each table had its own grill and exhaust. We immediately asked for the menu. We ordered some pork, beef, and since Marc likes spicy dishes, he went for the kimchi pot stew.


Pork fat grilled to perfection

Kimchi Hot Pot. You can tell from the steam, this is one HOT dish. Hot and Spicy, just the way Marc loves it.

We did enjoy our Ye Dang experience, but it was too pricey for me (we spent around Php 500.00 per person). I wouldn't go there if there's no special occasion, or if there's nothing to celebrate for.

Free Pineapple after the meal!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Starbucks Waffle with Strawberry Syrup

One reason why I love Starbucks aside from their Cold Caramel Macchiatto Upside Down and Cold Vanilla Latte is their Waffle with Strawberry Syrup. This is my comfort food, my happy food. Yes -- whipped cream with strawberry syrup can be too fatty but the experience just won't be complete without those. It has a way of brightening my gloomy day and making me smile.

Visit your nearby Starbucks coffee shop and grab one of these. Best enjoyed with friends and loved ones over a cup of coffee.




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Sunday, February 12, 2012

SM Mall of Asia at Night

Here are two pictures I was able to take last week. Unfortunately, we weren't able to go to the seaside area so I wasn't able to take pictures. I hope you enjoy.





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Friday, February 3, 2012

Antipolo

The City of Antipolo is one of the cities in Luzon, particularly in the province of Rizal, Philippines. It is popular locally for being the alternative to Tagaytay, if you find Tagaytay too far and too time-consuming to travel, because of its altitude. Compared to the city, Antipolo boasts of higher grounds, which means fresher and cooler air, and a fantastic view.


Aside from the resorts and restaurants that Antipolo boasts of, one of the city's attractions is also its Church and its patron, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage or Nuestra SeƱora de la Paz y Buen Viaje. According to history, the statue of the Virgin Mary was brought from Mexico in the 1600's and survived the burning ship, thus the title. The statue also survived damages during the Japanese occupation, and some marks can still be seen on the wood.

Seafarers and travellers or their families would visit Antipolo church and pray to the Virgin Monther for the safety of their or their loved ones' travels. On weekends, the place is usually packed, and a small market outside the church grounds can be seen. The best time to visit Antipolo church is during the weekends.


A sculpture of what seems to be a replica of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage outside the church

Church Interiors -- Simply beautiful.

Church Interiors: Glass windows

And while you're at it, don't forget to visit Cloud 9 along Sumulong Highway for a nice view of Manila.

Smoggy Manila

Panorama shot from Cloud 9, Antipolo.


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Friday, January 20, 2012

Bonifacio Global City

Just some shots near Serendra and Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). I'm still a newbie in photography and I am NOT an aspiring photographer. But I want to take nice pictures to capture the essence of the moment I'm experiencing. Hopefully, I do improve over time. =)

In the meantime, here are very few noob shots with post-processing by yours truly. I'm using a Fujifilm S4000 bridge camera. Please feel free to leave some advice and tips on how I can improve. I really hope to maximize the usage of my camera.

This is in Serendra, but if you cross that street, you'll be in Bonifacio High Street. While I was there, I was really, really shy to take out my camera and mag-Feeling photographer haha. So I had to steal this shot and act as if I weren't there for a photo-walk even though my original plan was to be in one. Social norms, nowadays. So stressful.



This is also in Serendra, Just a close up of one of the very unique streetlamp. As you can see, my model is quite uncomfortable with what we were doing, and so I took this shot in haste and left hastily.

I was experimenting on taking shots of moving objects (i.e. cars) in this picture, but since I'm a newbie, I really don't know what settings to use. =/ Panning shot, fail. But I'm a bit satisfied that *at least* I got a light trail. Haha.



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Monday, January 9, 2012

Pilipinas, Tara Na!

The Philippine Department of Tourism reveals this year's tourism campaign: Pilipinas, Tara Na! (Philippines, Let's Go!). This is in line with the recent ad campaign "It's More Fun in the Philippines."

Enjoy!

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Friday, January 6, 2012

It's More Fun In The Philippines

This is the latest tourism slogan coined and launched by the Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) to kick off the year. It has been trending worldwide, and there have been a lot of positive and negative feedbacks about this. There was even an article that this is another non-original slogan, since the Swiss have already used this 60 years ago.

Personally, I like this one compared to last year's slogan. It gives me the impression that the Philippines is a fun place to go to. Doesn't matter what you do -- shopping, sight seeing, camping, or going extreme. Every little thing you do can be fun. Heck, even haggling in Divisoria stalls is fun. The design is also very simple yet modern.

Last year's slogan, "Pilipinas Kay Ganda," which had an issue of plagiarizing a Polish slogan, was terrible. I actually forgot about it for a couple of months haha. It just didn't leave a good impression. For me, the best slogan would still be WOW PHILIPPINES. Not because I am a Dick Gordon supporter, but because of the impact it gives. It's simple, yet captivating and very attractive.


Here is a list of other tourism slogans of our neighbors in ASIA.:

Singapore: "Your Singapore"
Thailand: "Amazing Thailand"
Malaysia: "Truly Asia"
India: "Incredible India"
Indonesia: "Visit Indonesia"
Brunei: "A Green Heart of Borneo" or "A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures"
Cambodia: "Kingdom of Wonder"
Laos: "Simply Beautiful"
Myanmar: "Mystical Myanmar"
Vietnam: A timeless charm.
Philippines: "It's more fun in the Philippines"


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Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Philippine Holidays

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Another year, another opportunity to go out and visit places! The list of holidays has been released and declared by PNoy, so plan your trips ahead of time and watch out for those Fare promos!



  • January 1 (Sunday) - New Year's Day
  • January 23 (Monday) - Chinese New Year
  • February 25 (Saturday) - EDSA Revolution Anniversary (Special Holiday for ALL schools)
  • April 5 (Thursday) - Maundy Thursday
  • April 6 (Friday) - Good Friday
  • April 9 (Monday) - Araw ng Kagitingan
  • May 1 (Tuesday) - Labor Day
  • June 12 (Tuesday) - Independence Day
  • August 21 (Tuesday) - Ninoy Aquino Day
  • August 27 (Monday) - National Heroes Day
  • November 1 (Thursday) - All Saints Day
  • November 2 (Friday) - Additional special (non-working) day
  • November 30 (Friday) - Bonifacio Day
  • December 25 (Tuesday) - Christmas Day
  • December 30 (Sunday) - Rizal Day
  • December 31 (Monday) - Last Day of the Year


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