Our Awesome Planet

Our Awesome Planet


26 posts from October 2007

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October 31, 2007

Piece of Cake Gourmet Cupcakes by Yumi Castillo

meet the bakers, originally uploaded by yummymag. (click here for bigger size)

Ever since Sonja created the Cupcake Craze in the Philippines, we've seen almost all bakers creating their own cupcake version. Just check out the Baker's Fair in Rockwell, and you'll be overwhelmed with the cupcake varieties to choose from. I would have to agree with Lori's description of Yumi Castillo's Piece of Cake, Gourmet Cupcakes in her article, Cupcakes in the Courtroom.

Most of the cupcakes I tasted during the September Baker's Fair were dependent on the icing to bring about the flavor of the cupcake, but not Yumi's Cupcakes. We liked the cupcake itself because it was moist and because of its inherent flavor.

We just hate it when we put the pastries in the refrigerator, it would harden and then it won't go back to its original form/taste when eaten at room temperature, but not Yumi's cupcakes.

It was great that she got featured in Yummy's November issue in the Meet the Bakers article where she shared the recipe of Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake. Well deserved feature! Clap Clap!

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The mini-Cupcakes were our favorite! You can't resist these small pieces of cupcake heaven. But just a warning, once you've tried one, you won't stop until you finish all of them.

For the mini cupcakes, it's Php360 for 24 pcs (minimum order). You can choose max of 6 assorted frostings either on a set of white vanilla cupcakes or on a set of dark chocolate cupcakes.

The frostings to choose from are as follows: java chip | dark chocolate | white chocolate | orange mocha | caramel | chocolate valencia | Nutella | Lemon | Baileys | Peanutbutter | Strawberry

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Piece of Cake by Yumi Castrillo
Gourmet Cupcakes | Minimum order: 12 pieces (1 dozen) | Piece of Cupcake Flyer | Order at least 3 days in advance | Keeps fresh refrigerated for 5 days | Serve at Room Temperature | Cupcake towers, personalized cupcakes, and single cupcakes available for parties and events.

+63917.8054063 or +63917 788 0996 | inquiries@yummypieceofcake.com | www.yummypieceofcake.com | Yumi Piece of Cake Flickr Photo Blog

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Fish Out of Water, First @ Greenbelt 5

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"Fish Out of Water is Red Crab's venture into a more sophisticated seafood dining experience. But more than that, it is our small way of paying tribute to a nation of voyagers and conquerors. It is our way of saluting how great people from a small nation can embrace and champion global colors, flavors, cultures and ways of lives."

The concept of this pioneering restaurant in Greenbelt 5 was quite admirable. It is a tribute to Filipinos who were very successful outside the Philippines and brought pride to our country. All of us have our own fish-out-of-water stories of our balikbayan relatives. Like the story of my brother, Lorenz who is a successful SAP consultant in the U.S. and met his lovely wife, Carmina in Singles for Christ in LA. This is a positive look at Filipinos who chose to migrate in the outside the Philippines in search of a better future.

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The restaurant is a high-end version of Red Crab with a simple well lighted ambiance, wavy ceiling and a kitchen with circle windows that resembled those in the submarine. The service crew was friendly and you can easily feel at home despite its modern ambiance.

The food is a fusion of Kapampangan and European/ Mediterranean cuisine. I must admit, it was an interesting mix and the concept works. We ate on the first day of their opening and the appetizers, entrees were quite good. We ordered the Set Menu for lunch (because their ala carte was not yet available) which were reasonably priced for a 5-course meal with a serving size that may be good for two people.

Fish Out of Water Menu
Appetizers | Oysters, Soups and Salads | Entrees | Entrees and Kids Menu | Deserts and Beverages | Beverages and Wine | Set Menu

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Fish Out of Water Stories. We don't know most of these stories and thanks to Red Crab for immortalizing these stories in the restaurant. Do you have your own Fish-out-of-water story?

Manila Men - First Filipinos in America
Enrique - First Around the Globe
Lilia Clemente - Wonder Woman of Wall Street
Carlos Bulosan - Foremost Novelist of the Fil-Am Experience
Vicky Manalo Draves - Two Time Olympic Gold Winner
Pancho Villa - First Asian World Flyweight Boxing Champion
Jose Aruego - Well -loved Children's Book Illustrator
Pacita Abad - Ivatan Gypsy Artist
Byron Acohido & Alex Tizon - Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalists
Peter Aduja - First High-Ranking US Public Official
Cristeta Comerford - Toque of the Town

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October 25, 2007

Baby 4 is coming to town :)

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My wife is about to give birth maybe tonight or tomorrow. I'm signing off for now and you may follow developments via Twitter. We are happy that we will see Baby 4 soon and at the same time, a bit sad because we won't be able to attend my big brother's wedding in Caleruega/ Balai Taal. Also, Aidan is the ring bearer so we will miss seeing him walk in Caleruega. For those wondering what is the name of Baby 4, check out Rache's post on Baby 4.

Thanks for all the prayers and support!!

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October 22, 2007

SM Science and Discovery Center (Level 2)

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If you think level 1 is cool, you should check out the Robotics section in level 2! I liked the focus of Level 2 on our environment and this is where I want to bring Aidan every time. I like him to be environmentally conscious when he grows up.

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Thanks to the futuristic staff of SM Science and Discovery Center!! They are very friendly and they helped me take care of Aidan.

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Level 2 Map Bigger Size

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SM Science and Discovery Center (Level 1)

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"Have you ever wondered what the future is like and what it holds for everyone? Welcome to the SM Science Discovery Center, where you get to experience tomorrow's technology today!"

One thing is for sure, the SM Science Discovery Center will have a big impact on Aidan's generation. You don't have to go Singapore to experience a similar Science Discovery Center where you can teach your kids how science and technology will affect our lives. I also liked the environmental focus of the Science Discovery Center and it will teach Filipinos to be sensitive about our environment. My sincere thanks to the Sy Family for creating this Discovery Center.

I took a leap of faith as I paid P330/person entrance fee for myself and Aidan on the opening of Science Discovery Center last Saturday. Only one year old kids and below are free. Just think about going to Singapore to enjoy something like this and the P330 will be a bargain. Don't compare it to your playtime in Timezone because this is an educational center and more hi-tech than your usual recreational game center. Remember your field trip to the now dilapidated Planetarium in Manila? The new generation will now enjoy the awesome Planetarium inside the Discovery Center.

I do hope they have an frequent pass (good 1 or 2 years) like they do in Singapore because you can only do as much in one visit. This is a good brainwashing tool for your kids to learn to love science and technology. I know families who still avoid Mall of Asia because of the crowd. But the opening of Science Discovery Center would definitely give them a reason to go to MOA.

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As you enter the Discovery Center, you'll admire how futuristic the planetarium is. I love it!

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Level 1 Map Big Size

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October 21, 2007

National Thank You Day -- a Toblerone Show...

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The first National Thank You Day is now part of history. It was a worthy celebration of this simple gesture often neglected by Filipinos. We are trained to say "po", "opo" and "please" ever since childhood more than "thank you". It wouldn't hurt to start including "thank you" in the children's vocabulary and train them to be always grateful about simple things in life.

There was a low turn out of people who supported the first ever National Thank You Day Concert. I have a few hypothesis:
1. Most people decided to avoid the malls after the Glorietta bombing which claimed the lives of 11 people and > 80 people injured.
2. There were two other competing activities within the same area: Channel 23 Day Break in the MOA Bay Area to celebrate semestral break ala Spring break and Anlene's bid to break the most number of people dancing simultaneously in a single event as part of the World's celebration of Osteoperosis in CCP.
3. Media is not really sold-in to the idea of Thank You Day since this is more of a marketing gimmick by Toblerone. You can't even find any press news about last night's Thank You Day in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

I would love to believe that it was number #1 but reality is, I don't think we acknowledged that we have an issue with saying "Thank You". What do you think? Please share your thoughts on this...

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The Thank You Wall was full of thank you notes from those who attended the event. I wonder where will they put this Thank You Wall in MOA.

Thank You for all those who initially supported the Thank You.PH Art Campaign. This will be an ongoing campaign until next year. I will select the most creative thank you posts each month and the winner/(s) will be entitled to a signed complimentary copy of Our Awesome Planet: Philippines -- a Travel Guide Book. My target is to complete the book in early 2009 or earlier in 2008. Thank you for all the encouragement for this project.

Check out the highlights of the first ever National Thank You Day...

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October 20, 2007

Forty, Filipino, and Fabulous

One of the awesome things about the Philippines is the creativity of the Filipinos. Our Interior designers are one of the world class talents that we should be thankful and be proud of. The Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) Advanced Class of 2007 mounts its graduation exhibit dubbed as “Forty, Filipino, and Fabulous” (“F3”) on Sept. 29-Oct. 31, at the Paseo Center, Paseo de Roxas cor. Sedeno st., Salcedo Village, Makati City. You still have time within this week to check out the exhibit.

When we redesigned our P&G Office (which is getting a lot of press lately), we got PSID design students to create innovative design for the meeting rooms. I heard that the Pinoy Big Brother house were designed by PSID students as well. So if you want a low cost but creative designs, you should tap on these young Filipino Interior Design talents. My favorites are Diwata, Silid ni Malakas and Sampaguita out of the 19 booths showcasing Philippine furniture integrated into masterfully-designed and executed interior spaces. Check them out...

Forty, Filipino, and Fabulous

Forty, Filipino, and Fabulous provides a medium from which design solutions come to life as furniture design takes center stage as a driving force integral in interior design. The merging of Philippine School of Interior Design and Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines will generate awareness in establishing Filipino design and Filipino designers as they figure prominently on global scale. F3 promises designs that are innovative ingenious, imaginative and pioneering set against a very Filipino theme. F3 Celebrates the Filipino as global designers as designs come to life in nineteen fabulous interior design settings.

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Dino Alaba | Casa Buendia | Audrey Coo | Gie Gorospe | Anne Murphy

A luxurious bathroom, accentuated with soft curves and natural elements, serves as a gateway to that enchanting realm only imagined and felt in one's solitude and dreams. A bath area inspired by the encantos and encantadas of Philippine Mythology, this bathroom gives a sense of serenity and charm like nature at its fantastic form. A water feature stage sets an elegant bathtub for that lush bath as fabrics drape from the ceiling giving privacy as well as adding a whimsical effect to further excite senses. A shower encircles just enough to give seclusion to enjoy a spell of rain just like in nature. The curved walls terminate to a vanity where one can allow beauty to transcend. A magnificently crafted full length mirror leans on the other side to further admire oneself. An upholstered high back chair rests beside the full length mirror for that moment to just sit back and relax and enjoy the pleasure of solitude and solemnity this bathroom aims to provide

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Silid ni Malakas

April Alcantara | Anne Marie Kristine Lim

What does a man do when there is no place for his toys in the home? Why, build his own cave, of course. This booth demonstrates how a converted garage can be an interior design delight. Here, two ladies take on the challenge of creating a very masculine interior space, going all-out even to the extent of including an aggressive BMW sport bike completing the look, and putting the room in a guys list of inspiration.

Rhythm in irony is demonstrated all throughout. The industrial look of this space gives away the occupant's practical side but the attention to detail and the painstakingly designed pieces give a glimpse of refinement within the very rugged interior. On the other hand, the experimental approach to furniture pieces, like the traditional Filipino "silla perezosa" which borrows the wings of the classic wing chair, give the booth a slight Filipino twist.

This is what happens when the most neglected part of the house turns into "a guy's ultimate cave."

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Karen Eleazar | Christine Monteverde

Elegance, Grace, and Sophistication... characteristics that best describes this classy den.

Attention is centered on the heavily craved daybed that serves as the area's focal point. It is an extraordinary modern eclectic room mixed with the intricacy of the baroque influence.

Using an elaborately designed piece, the design intent was to tame down on the peripherals of the area. The sampaguita accent incorporates a Filipino touch to the room. Here, the designers incorporated a "high-browse" concept with a modern feel plus a mix of glass, wood, and black finish to complete the look.

The goal of the space is to make people feel that they are "floating in elegance." The use of black finish on the furniture is aimed not only to attract the mature audience but it is further used to introduce this particular flavor to the younger generation. The intention is to blend the ideals of the different generations in the hopes of tearing down boundaries via design.

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October 19, 2007

Josh Groban in Manila, Last Leg of Awake World Tour

Josh Groban in Manila

He was only 17 years old when David Foster discovered Josh Groban and that was 9 years ago and finally, he gets to perform here in Manila! I liked the Josh Groban self titled album released in 2001 and the Closer album released in 2003. I should have listened to the Awake album before I watched the show because some of the songs do not resonate with us. The grand finale song was Awake and it was the first time I heard it. So I guess, I'm not a die hard Grobanite after all.

Up Closer with Josh Groban with Ricky Lo

Josh sang our favorite songs like: You Raise Me Up, To Where You Are, She's Out of My Life, Remember When it Rained and the Prayer. One of the awesome concert moment last night was the duet of Lani Misalucha and Josh Groban on The Prayer while I'm hugging my wife. It was also fun to watch the UP singing ambassadors who were the backup singers in the song, You Raise Me Up. Feel na feel nila yung kanta :) We also loved the solo performances of Lucia the violinist. Galing!

It was disappointing that Josh did not sing "You're Still You". This was our ultimate theme song and I can still remember this was the song when Rache walked down the aisle during our wedding in Caleruega. Why oh why, Josh?! Most people were waiting for Josh to sing this song during his encore performances but all of us got disappointed.

Is paying more than P3,000 worth it? Yes, if you want to get a closer look at Josh and get a good picture of him and possibly with him. Even the P25,000 crowd was crazy over Josh when he decided to sing his song amongst the crowd. I would have paid for more if I realized that camera and video taking was allowed. In any case, the P3,000 balcony seats were OK already since you watch the concert to hear his voice. Thanks to Gerald for the MTV complimentary tickets!

I liked it every time Josh would converse to the audience during his spiel in between the songs. He is young, funny and cute, as the ladies around us would shout. There are girls shouting "I Love You Josh" and he would respond back with "I Love You More". He was cool when a mother brought her daughter up the stage to give Josh roses and have a picture.

It was almost sold out alright with only a few seats not occupied. But there is no doubt that it was priced so high that it seems you are paying for the two days concert performance. I share Nikka's disappointment in her post No More Josh Groban for me.

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PS. I have three extra copies of the People Asia October Issue where Josh Groban is the cover page. This was used as the "souvenir program" for the night. Email me if you like to get my extra copies and send me your address so that I can mail it to you.