Archive for the ‘Food, Art & Culture’ Category

What’s Your Flavor?


The makers of BAILEYS® Irish Cream, the world’s original cream liqueur, made history again today with the introduction of Baileys® with a hint of Mint Chocolate and Baileys® with a hint of Crème Caramel. Their launch brings a playful twist to what is already a world best-seller and offers consumers the experience of something different.

Baileys® Irish Cream is a unique blend of quality ingredients – fresh Irish dairy cream, finest spirits, triple distilled Irish whiskey and chocolate flavors – combined in perfectly balanced proportions. It is an award winning taste that has been enjoyed by millions of consumers in over 150 markets around the world for the past 33 years. It is the same award-winning recipe that is now used to make Baileys® with a hint of Mint Chocolate and Baileys® with a hint of Crème Caramel. The key difference is the subtle addition of natural flavors to perfectly complement that same great taste giving peppermint with dark chocolate notes in one and a creamy caramel overtone in the other.

Few people actually know that there is scientific justification to the correlation between our personalities and preferences of flavours…

Let’s do the hula at The Polu Kai Grill! My family and I were looking for a no-fuss eating place when we got to Serendra yesterday. We weren’t in the mood for formality — we just wanted to enjoy being together and be able to laugh heartily over a spread of good food. When we spotted The Polu Kai Grill, we knew it would be the perfect place for our family lunch.

It’s a Hawaiian-themed restaurant, so don’t be surprised when you’re greeted with Aloha’s and huge tiki figures here and there. Our sights set on an aquarium in the middle of the room which kids were gravitating to — there were little happy shouts of “Dory!” and “Nemo!” as they pointed at the fish. We were led to the center of the restaurant. I have to admit I was a bit surprised that it didn’t look as roomy as I expected it to be. But that wasn’t a problem. From the doorway, the tables look cramped. But when seated, there was enough leg room and enough space to push your chair out of the table without having to knock over a neighboring diner. Good layout!

The food was very interesting; I’ve never really had Hawaiian food. Upon hearing the waiter’s recommendations, we had the following:

No U-Turn at C-5; Let’s Go to the 28th MIBF


While everyone (myself included) is going gaga over the 28th Manila International Book Fair this August 29 to September 2, others (myself included) are muttering the same word -though you’d have to replace the last letter with an o– as the adjective with which they would describe MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando after his latest implemented rule.

No more U-turn slots along C-5.

Whether you’re coming from Greenmeadows Avenue or from Santolan, you’re going to have to go all the way to the corner of Ortigas Avenue, under the flyover, to arrive at your C-5 destination (Eastwood City for most) – that is, if the place happens to be on the other side of the road. The result of this, as I’ve observed during the several times I had to go to City Walk last week, can be severe symptoms of road rage – for motorists, public utility vehicle drivers, pedestrians, commuters, call center employees, and (allegedly) Fernando’s own wife. (If you click on the link to this ABS-CBN Interactive story, you’ll enjoy a bit of whimsy about the MMDA Chair noting aloud that the turn is “malayo pala.”)

I am reserving further comment – at least until this and next week. Anyway I’ll be joining the rest of the Manilenyos at the World Trade Center for the book fair, far away from the congestion at C-5. (By the way, the wonderful and groundbreaking digest, Philippine Genre Stories, will be making its third issue available at the Anvil Publishing Booth.)

Happy reading and see you there!

ART Photo Exhibit at Shangri-La Plaza


Looking to catch a glimpse of France? Of Switzerland? If it sounds romantic, the captured scenery looks even more so.

Images de Suisse et de France: les gens, les paysages, les evenments (Images of Switzerland and France: people, places and events par Raoul ),” a photo exhibit by Raul J. Teehankee, is now open at Level 3 of the EDSA Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong; it will run until August 31. The exhibit was designed by professional photographer and art director Nykko Santos.

I was astounded when I went there last Wednesday. A total of 40 photographs were on display, all of which focused on the festivals, events, mountains, and people of Switzerland, as well as those of her next door neighbor, France.

Eating at New Bombay Restaurant

At New Bombay Restaurant New Bombay is a friggin’ good Indian restaurant. It’s been around for ages, but I only got to try it a few weeks ago. The food is authentically Indian, prices are very reasonable and servings just right. And the taste? Faaaantastic.

My friends and I tried the branch at Dela Costa St., Salcedo Village. We knew we wanted curry, masala and not so much spice (as one of our companions was very sensitive to spicy food), but didn’t know what dishes would be best. Our server was very pleasant, helpfully recommended viands and indulged us in our questioning. We ended up ordering Shrimp Curry, Chicken Tikka Masala, Eggplant Barta, Samosa, Chapati, Naan, and Sweet Lassi all around. That was one of the best lunches ever.

Bright Leaf


I got this in the mail today. To all writers, journalists, photographers, and filmmakers…well, you just might be as interested as I am, considering we have about 7,107 islands to scour for relevant reportage.

This is about the Bright Leaf Awards being organized by Philip Morris.

Just for trivia purposes, “Bright Leaf” is a term used to refer to Virginia tobacco, a key ingredient used in the cigarettes we smoke (and no matter how many times we try to quit).

Here’s more on the Bright Leaf Awards…and I quote—

At the Nestle Creamery

Late lunch at the Nestle Creamery (the old Magnolia House)My hubby and I found ourselves near the former Magnolia House last weekend. Feeling sentimental, we made our way towards the ice cream house which is now called The Nestle Creamery.

I remember sitting in huge dark green seats as a kid. I remember ordering strawberry ice cream, and that the scoops would be decorated like a clown! The cone would be the clown hat, candies would make up its eyes and mouth.

Bean Bread


Meet Mr. Bean.

He’s one of my favorite choices from Breadtalk, the bakery chain that sells designer bread.

Mr. Bean is white bread with red bean filling. He makes for a good snack! Best taken with coffee.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

(All photos, including those below, by Nykko Santos, who has put up his new online photo journal.)


The middle of last week was highlighted by a day-long immersion trip at the municipality of Angono in the city of Rizal, the so-called art capital of the Philippines, where scattered were a motley assortment of unheralded visual artistry and heritage sites. We drove to the modish Thunderbird Resorts for a photo shoot, but were more taken by the hotel’s convenient proximity to what no one stuck in Manila might ever discover: a breathtaking view of the lake, beside which were quiet -almost mute- fishing villages; the Petroglyphs Site Museum, where in 1965, National Artist Carlos “Botong” Fransisco stumbled upon a cave with Neolithic (3000 BC) engravings and which is now considered by UNESCO as one of the most endangered sites in the world (very Indiana Jones, archaeologically speaking); and imaginative figure painter Nemesio Miranda’s folkloric Arthouse. Touring the artist’s atelier and visual gallery, we learned that the place was also a venue for workshops, competitions, and exhibits – legitimizing its moniker as the town’s “School for the Arts”. We dined in the evening at the Nemiranda Art Café Grill & Restaurant. And I had a beer to sedate the dilettante in me, to ward off any manifestations of disproportionate impulsive excitement. That night I wasn’t able to sleep.

Before the weekend, I struck a brief yet very agreeable E-mail correspondence with Manila’s ultimate cicerone, Carlos Celdran. I asked him where I could find the “best little boutique bookseller” in Manila -the La Solidaridad, that is- because I was planning on spending the whole of Saturday acquiring a few good titles I was never able to unearth in any Powerbooks branch or ‘leading bookstore’. He gladly gave me the directions.

The Caramel and White Halo-Halo

Halo-halo is a popular dessert in the Philippines. The halo-halo I’m used to is a mix of crushed ice, evaporated milk, different beans, kaong, nata de coco, different types of gulaman, pinipig, langka, then topped with ube ice cream and a cube of leche flan. It’s a colorful delight and a perfect companion during summer.

So when my husband asked me to try Razon’s halo-halo a few months ago, I was game for it. But upon learning it was a very simple mix of saba bananas, shredded macapuno, leche flan, milk and ice, I wondered what was so special about it. Was that really halo-halo?, I wondered. No rainbow colors like the typical halo-halo? Just a mix of caramels and whites? Hmm. I shrugged and said I’d try it anyway.

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