Our Awesome Planet

Our Awesome Planet


28 posts from July 2007

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July 31, 2007

Food Styling: Confidential. Know the Shocking Truth About the Food Shots!

Food Photography Class - 15 
Q: What do these two photos of a salad and pasta have in common?
Food Photography Class - 11
A: These photos are used for a food styling class and it is NOT edible!

I was really shocked to know that 100% of the photos that you see in magazines like Yummy, Food, or Appetite, are NOT edible!  I recently attended a Food Styling and Food Photography Class by Jo Avila and Pixie Sevilla Santos, and all the bloggers in the group were shocked to see the behind-the-scenes of food photography.

The plates are cleaned with a glass cleaner to remove any trace of finger prints or any type of blemish on the plate that can show up in the photo. You would put drops of glycerine in the salad to show dew drops to communicate that it is fresh. Underneath the salad and pasta above are wet rolls of tissue paper to give the food some volume. Most of the ingredients are not cooked and usually handled by dirty hands.You cannot eat them period.

The goal of Food Styling is to entice the viewer to stop and look at the photo so that you can linger to read the text. Also,  it is used to educate the viewer about the subject. The goal of food photography is to enhance the food so that you are enticed to buy the food even if you get disappointed with the actual look of the food.   The food is treated as props and there are a lot of substitutes or fake ingredients (fake ice, fake charcoal, etc..) just to enhance the photo.  White paint is sometimes used as milk. There are a lot of tactics used just to produce that perfect photo.

I will NEVER be a food stylist. I cannot stand the lies that is captured in the food photos. I feel that I have a moral obligation to viewers/ readers to take actual photos of food that you can eat. I can't help it but look at photos in food magazines with disgust.

I'm proud to say that 100% of the photos you see in the blog (except for the ones above) are photos of food that you can actually eat. If there is one thing I learned in the P3,500 Food Photography Session, is that I will NEVER be a food stylist!

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Related Posts:
Marketman Flunks Food Styling & Photography 101
Is There Really Truth in Advertising?  by  Confessions of a Marketing Addict

Check out the rest of the Food Photography Class and I'll share with you some tips that I learned from the class...

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July 29, 2007

Avenue Q-Manila: Is Manila ready for the Puppet's Full Frontal Nudity?

Avenue Q - Final Run June 2008. 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss the Opening Night of Avenue Q’s Final Run!


Avenue Q, Broadway’s smash-hit 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, will soon be opening in Manila on September 7, 2007. I can't wait to see the great cast which includes Rachel Alejandro (dual role of Kate Monster and Lucy The Slut,), Frenchie Dy (as Christmas Eve) and Aiza Seguerra (as Gary Coleman). Chari Arespacochaga is co-directing Avenue Q with Bobby Garcia, so expect that this will be a world class show, similar to Rent.

What is AVENUE Q about?
" AVENUE Q is the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbors seem nice. There's Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fianceé Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his roommate Rod -- a Republican investment banker who seems to have some sort of secret; an Internet addict called Trekkie Monster; and a very cute kindergarten teaching assistant named Kate. And would you believe the building's superintendent is Gary Coleman?!? (Yes, that Gary Coleman.) Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life." (About Avenue Q the Musical)

Here is another fun fact:
"As it turns out, Avenue Q, the Tony Award winning Broadway musical that continues to run on Broadway, has Pinoy blood behind it. Bobby Lopez, who wrote the show with his collaborator Jeff Marx, is half-Filipino." (The Pinoy who wrote Avenue Q)

Start listening to songs such as "Schadenfreude", "The Internet is For Porn" and "It Sucks to be Me", etc.. So that you are not left out -- there is still time. Do you think Filipinos will be ready for the Puppet's full frontal nudity and explicit, vulgar lyrics? What's your Favorite Avenue Q song?

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P.S. 15 Sept 2007 3pm matinee performance
On the 15 Sept 2007 3pm matinee performance of Ave Q, P&G Employees are entitled to a 10% discount (yahoo!). Although the tickets for the 15 Sept 2007 3pm performance of Ave Q will be available mid-August, you can start reserving tickets for those interested. Ticket prices are (P&G employees are entitled to a 10% discount):

Balcony Php 500
Loge Php 1,000
Orchestra Php 1,250

Update 8/7/2007
FYI, Atlantis has decided that all the Saturday Matinee shows, including ours on 15 Sept 2007, will be moved from 3pm to 2pm.

We have decided as well to give Early Bird Discounts for Cash Purchases for the 15 Sept 2pm show:
10% Discount—Tickets bought from 06-19 August 2007
5% Discount—Tickets bought from 20-31 August 2007
5% Discount— On every 10 Tickets bought from 01-14 Sept 2007

They may only avail of the discounts if the tickets are bought directly from me. My contact details remain the same.

Contact Lorna Lopez for ticket reservations:
(Sun) 0922.3875729
(Globe) 0917.9256505
(email) llornalopez@gmail.com

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July 28, 2007

About Diabetes -- What You Should Know About Diabetes

One of my realization as a food blogger is that I should also be responsible for my health and the health of my readers. To celebrate the Diabetes Awareness Week (and for consuming a lot of gelato this week), I would like to share with you a free Diabetes book from the Ampalaya Plus team. All of us are in danger of this illness, and with all the desert and sweets I am consuming, I'm looking for preventive ways on how to avoid Diabetes.

What You Should Know About Diabetes

"What You Should Know About Diabetes" is a book written in English/Tagalog designed for easy understanding for the diabetic patient, its family members, caregiver, househelp, etc. The book includes a sample 1-week menu plan for a diabetic patient made by a registered diabetes dietician from UP PGH. The book was written by 3 doctors from the UP College of Medicine. In the face of dire predictions about diabetes incidence increasing in epidemic proportions worldwide (the Philippines will be among the top ten countries with the most number of diabetics by 2010), this book would help create a better understanding of the disease and help empower people to avoid or cope with this illness.

In addition to the book there is a Diabetes ID Wrist Band (DIWB) give away . The DIWB is for diabetics who are at risk of passing out or losing consciousness due to their condition. The DIWB gives critical information regarding the health condition of the wearer thereby saving valuable time for the diabetic patient.

The book and DIWB are being given free to the public. To get a free copy of the book, just send a self address stamped envelope (P45 for Metro Manila and P68 for Outside Metro Manila) enclosed with a box top label of Ampalaya Plus Capsule with your Name, Add, Bday, Email and Cellphone written on it. Send it to:

Ampalaya Plus Free Book ,
2/F No. 59 Betty Go Belmonte St.,
New Manila, Quezon City

For More information:
Visit the official website www.gonatural.com.ph or email ampalayaplus@gmail.com

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Angelati Italia Gelato- One of the Best Gelato in Manila.

Angelati Italia

If you love Amici de Don Bosco's Gelato, Angelati Italia Gelato are even better! We celebrated my Marathon run and mourned the La Salle loss by devouring Angelati Italia every night. An ordinary ice cream is no match for the gelato's smoothness, creaminess and freshness. The only thing that comes close to Angelati Italia would be Chef Maurizio's Gelatone.

We asked Aidan to taste test the gelato and consistent with his mom, they both love the Hazelnut. My personal favorite is the Healthy Green Tea Sweetened by Splenda for the guilt free gelato experience. It taste like ice tea with an aftertaste. My other favorite is the Pure Pistachio because you can taste the natural pistachio ingredient in the cream. I always order pistachio flavor for my ice cream/ gelato, and the Angelati version is the best I've ever tasted. If you want to buy a unique flavor to surprise your family and friends, you should try their killer premium flavor -- Mascarpone Crumble. Mascarpone is a triple-creme cheese, made from a generally low-fat (25%) content fresh cream. It is one of their best sellers so far. We love the crocante bits which is sweetened hazelnut brittle.

Perhaps, the only criticism that we can say about these gelato is that they don't use bits of ingredients to enhance the taste of the gelato. This is good in a sense because the cream is enough to bring the flavor to life. On the other hand, some people prefer eating chunks of the fruit/ ingredient for added texture and flavor. As for their lemon version, I find the Chef Maurizio's Gelatone to be even better because it is closer to the taste of lemon. Let me know what's your opinion about Angelati Italia once you've tried them.

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1438 Amadeo Street, Brgy. 678, Paco, Manila
Tel. no. (632) 562-2217; 559-0316
Email add.
dee.gwen@gmail.com, marilyn.dee@gmail.com

Thanks to Gemisis Artisan foods for producing these authentic, premium-quality and healthy Italian gelato. They use imported ingredients and machines from Italy and underwent training there too. According to them, a lot of foreigners, especially Italian chefs/consumers, who have tasted our gelato, have commended them for making really good quality gelato. Right now, they are supplying to some restaurants like Cantinetta Rockwell, Cantinetta Pasong Tamo, Caruso in Nicanor Garcia St Mkti, Gaster Deli in 6750, Prioes Cafe in Visayas Ave, Green Tomato in 6F Shangri-La Plaza, Nuccio's Pizzeria in Jupiter St., Prioes Cafe & Resto in Fernwood Garden, GreenTomato in 6F Shangri-La Plaza (half of their flavors only) , etc..

They now sell direct to consumers through orders for delivery in selected areas (Manila, North Greenhills, etc.) while others are for pick up at their Paco office. They have no plans to enter the supermarket but we can expect to see them soon in a kiosk in the malls. They recommend consuming the gelato 4 months from date of production to ensure the freshness and quality. There are 25 flavors so far which is a combination of all-time favorites, classic Italian favorites, and their own signature flavors.

Angelati Signature Flavors ( includes Lemon, Mango, Cappucino, Heavenly Tiramisu)
0.3 Gallon (1 Liter) - P450
1/2 Gallon (1.9 Liters) - P780

Angelati Premium Flavors (includes Mascarpone Crumble, Healthy Green Tea, Pure Pistachio, and Hazelnut)
0.3 Gallon (1 Liter) - P570
1/2 Gallon (1.9 Liters) - P1,005

La Salle-Ateneo. 67-67 Overtime Game

Ateneo vs. La Salle Game 1 Overtime

The Sea of Greens vs. the Army of Blues...
Go La Salle Go Go La Salle vs. One Big Fight...
La Salle Spelling 3x vs. Blue Eagles Spelling...
The Green Archer Waves vs. the Blue Eagle Waves in the gallery..
The Half Time Face-Off between La Salle Pep Squad vs. the Blue Babble Battalion...
The student, Franz Pumaren vs. The teacher, Norman Black...
Rico Maierhofer, JV Casio, Cholo Villanueva and TY Tang vs. Chris Tiu, Ford Arao, and Jai Reyes squad...

I love La Salle vs. Ateneo games! I've been watching it ever since college days, way back in 1991. I love the drama, the cheers, and the "kantiyawan" before and after the games. I love the sense of pride that comes with supporting your alma matter in good and bad times. I love watching it with fellow alumni and officemates who share the same pride and joy in watching these games.

For me, the game ended at 67-67 Overtime. It was a great Casio-time story that we will never forget. It hurts to admit that we lost 80-77 in Overtime because of Chris Tiu's 3 point shoot. I have to congratulate Norman Black and the Ateneo squad for their first win against La Salle under Norman Black as coach in 3 years. I can still feel the pain caused by text messages, SUSPENDED kantiyawans, and boastful voices of an Atenista. I hate it but Congratulations! Congratulations is also in order for the wonderful half time show by the Blue Babble Battalion and gang. ( I hate writing this post... Arghh...)

Ateneo vs. La Salle
We watched together with my IDS team in P&G. Ethel was the only Atenista in our team vs. Joyce / Men and the rest of the La Salle gang. I admire Ethel for seating in the La Salle gallery and good thing, Ateneo won.

Remember, we lost the battle but not the war.... See you in the 2nd Round of La Salle vs. Ateneo.

Animo La Salle!!

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Related Posts:
Top 10 Things Why I Love the UAAP & The La Salle Green Archers !
La Salle humbles Ateneo's Basketball Legends and All Stars!

The La Salle PEP Rally! Animo La Salle!!
Ateneo solves La Salle riddle By Reuel Vidal

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July 25, 2007

I am a Marathoner! I live to tell about it...


Jim, my boss, was right that I will be a totally different person after finishing my first 42km marathon. Now, I know why only a few people, 1/10th of 1% of the world's population, even attempt to run a 42km.  It was incredibly tough but at the same time, fulfilling for me.  We finished last, together with Momer and Jane, at 7 hours and 43 minutes.  I never doubted for a moment that I will finish the Marathon and I was determined to raise enough donations for Kythe (almost >P500 for every kilometer covered). 

The race started at 4.30am and we arrived at the finish line closed to noon time at 34 degrees centrigrade!  It was so hot that during the last 2 kilometers along Roxas Blvd, I was not sweating anymore. Also, we started to walk at the 31km point, so just imagine walking from Kalayaan Flyover --> Buendia --> Roxas Blvd and until the finish line at the Quirino Grandstand. Surprisingly, I did not feel any cramps on race day and the following day, my entire legs didn't really hurt that much.  We had the privilege of running side by side with some of the Ultra-Marathoners who were already on their  >70km mark. They really are super individuals and I admire their courage.  Congratulations Olive for finishing 100km!

Related Posts:
Ultra Marathon Part 1 by Run For Your Life Official Blog Site
Ultra Marathon part 2 by Run For Your Life Official Blog Site
How to do a 100KM Run by UP Mountaineers

After the marathon, I was over dehydrated that I was in a state of electrolyte imbalance and potassium levels were abnormally low. The medical term for this condition is HypoKalemia.  We knew that marathoners die from either HypoNatremia (low sodium levels) or HypoKalemia (low potassium levels) and we were advised to drink a combination of water and gatorade throughout the entire run to avoid this. Unfortunately, due to my lbm sickness several days before the marathon and the scorching heat that morning, I suffered from HypoKalemia.  I was still able to eat lunch but when I went home, slept a bit,  that's when my condition got worse.  Some of the symptoms I experienced was headache, nausea, vomiting, and numbness of the hands (which felt like a stroke).  To stabilize my condition, I ate banana, drank gatorade and an extremely salty campbell mushroom soup but all I did was threw it all up.  That's when I decided to go to ER for precautionary measure. I decided to l et myself be admitted and was at the hospital for two days after the marathon.


Thanks for all the support and pledges for the Blogger's Marathon-For-A-Cause!  My entire family was also there to support me and I felt really special that I don't know how to react to the overwhelming emotions.  I cried as I approach the finish line and boy, I finished my first 42 km Marathon!  Thanks to the P&G Marathon team for waiting for us and for ensuring that the clock and finish sign is up until we crossed it.

For your pledges, I will give you a receipt from Kythe once I turn it over to them.  You can give me your pledges via the following options:

1. Personal EB. We can meet up in Starbucks 6750, Makati any time during next week. You can text me at 0928-558 8500 to coordinate the schedule.

2. Paypal. You can also send the donation via paypal. 

3. BPI. You can deposit your donations via my BPI account. Let me know so that I can email you my account details.

4. For the other bloggers, who joined the Blogger's Marathon-For-A-Cause, let's meet up with Kythe next week and turn over the donations. Thanks so much for all your support!!

Related Posts:
fUll MaRathOn exPeriEnce by Ben M. Chan
The Milo Manila Marathon by the Bull Runner
Pia Cayetano's Blog ( we saw her run past the marines)

Thanks again and I aim to finish my next marathon below 6 hours (at least) !


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July 21, 2007

Conquering the 31st Milo 42k Marathon

31st Milo Marathon
The moment has come...to face one of the biggest personal challenges in my life. I aim to conquer my first 42 kilometers Marathon tomorrow at 4am for the 31st Milo Marathon. The marathon starts in Km. 0 at the Rizal monument, going all the way along Roxas Blvd making a U-turn in NAIA road going to Buendia. From Gil Puyat, the race continues all the way the entire stretch of Buendia crossing over the Kalayaan flyover to the Fort. Then it passes the Fort area passing through Lawton avenue until Heritage Gardens near C-5 which is the 25km point. Hopefully, I will survive on my way back and reach the Quirino grandstand safely at 11am.

31st Milo Marathon

I can't imagine how the Ultra-marathoners (see Run For Your Life) will survive running the 100km starting from U.P. at 7pm tonight and also ending in Quirino grandstand in sync with the Milo Marathon for their last 42km. We joined forces together to dedicate our marathon run for a cause to Kythe. Thanks to all the people who sent me their pledges!! Collectively, for every Kilometer I finish, I will be donating P500 to Kythe and I do hope to complete the 42km tomorrow. I actually have a bad stomach since last week and I do hope that the meds would take effect in time for the Marathon tomorrow. There is still time to send me your challenge pledge (via email anton@diaz.ph / text 0928 - 558 8500) (see Blogger's Run For a Kid's Life) and to other blogger-runners who decided to join in the Blogger's Marathon-for-a-cause.

If you have time, please watch and support us tomorrow morning for the 31st Milo 42k Marathon run. If you decide to support, you can give gatorade to the runners or just a simple cheer would do to encourage our spirits to complete the marathon. If not, make sure to avoid the marathon race route tomorrow morning since it will be closed for 7 hours. Thanks for all your support and say hi when you see a fat guy running hopelessly in green milo marathon shirt with P&G logo at the back.

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Jim’s Top 10 Tips for Running a Successful Marathon....

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Sesame Street LIVE in Manila Presents "Elmo's Coloring Book"

Sesame Street Live: Elmo's Coloring Book - 2

"Sunny day - Sweepin’ the clouds away, On my way to where the air is sweet.
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street..."

"Come and play, everything’s A-OK. Friendly neighbors there that’s where we meet
Can you tell me how to get, How to get to Sesame Street..."

Ok, admit it, you are part of the Sesame Street Generation like I am and our childish memories are tickled every time we sing the Sesame Street theme song. When I heard the Sesame Street gang is coming to Manila, I convinced my brother Rommel to treat Aidan (me included) to the live show of Sesame street (to my delight, of course...). Finally, the VEE Corporation, who was licensed by the Children's Television Workshop and Jim Henson Productions, to take the life-size characters on the road, has finally arrived and performed in Manila. ``Sesame Street Live'' debuted in 1980 to clamoring fans of the then-11-year-old ``Sesame Street'' show and after 27 years, we finally get to watch it in a limited 5-day show in Manila.

We had to buy a DVD of the Sesame Street and let Aidan watch it for a few weeks so that he can relate to Elmo, Big Bird and Ernie and Bert tandem. Aidan now belongs to the Backyardigans, Dora and Barney generation but still he was so fascinated with the Sesame Street characters when he saw them live. As I search my childhood memories, I actually can't remember Rosita or Zoe and the only character who was not included in the gang was Snuffalafugus (remember him?).

ElmoCount Von CountBig BirdBertErnie
Oscar the Grouch!Cookie MonsterGroverRositaZoe
Photos are from the Official Website:
www.sesamestreetlive.com. (Click on each photo to get a description of each Sesame Street characters) My favorite Sesame Street character is Cookie Monster because he was the original foodie. Who is your favorite character?

The show is actually expensive which ranges from P500 (Deluxe Side) all the way to the back of Aliw theater to P1,800 (VIP Center) where you can touch the Sesame Street characters when they go down and interact with the audience. The Friday show was 30% occupied so from the Patron Center, we were able to go down to the VIP section after the half time intermission. The show lasted for 90 minutes only and the second half of the show was when the fun began.

The moral lesson of the story emphasizes on the importance of sharing, diversity and acceptance of others of different colors and even those with no colors at all. It is full of amazing songs, dances and interactive participation with the audience. I was surprised that it was truly a world class show with performers coming from different nationalities. After learning that, I did not complain anymore on how expensive the ticket was. I do hope they come back to perform "When Elmo Grows Up", "Elmo Makes Music" or "Ready for Action".

For those who missed the show, here are snippets of the "Elmo's Coloring Book" show.... BTW, amateur photography is allowed as long as you use a point and shoot camera. Professional photography and videotaping, however, are strictly prohibited without prior written consent from VEE Corporation. So I got harassed a number of times every time I bring out my DSLR camera. I reasoned that I'm still an amateur just equipped with a big camera but the bouncer was still very angry about it.

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