Monthly Archives

December 2006


The Artist Chef

I’ve always wanted to do a series on exclusive dating places. Places or restaurants that will be exclusive for you and your date. When I learned about the Artist Chef, I got excited to try it out. From the looks of the menu and the presentation, I think this would be one of the exclusive dating places that will be special in time for the Christmas season. I’ll share with you some more information after our experience.


P.S. If you know of any exclusive dating places, please let me know.


[Kawayan Cove #2] Kawayan Cove Mystery Revealed

Kawayan Cove is the exclusive residential enclave on the verdant slopes that surround the fabled beach. It is designed as an exquisite, understated blend of nature and man-made wonders…. The name Bamboo Beach has an almost mythic ring to it. Many people have heard stories about it, but only a few have ever set foot on its natural white sands. ” — Head Home to Kawayan Cove Brochure.

Rache @ the Meditation Point.

Have you ever wondered if all the things they say in the marketing brochures are true? This was my motivation for really checking out what is the mystery behind Kawayan Cove.

There is no doubt that Bamboo beach is the best beach in the Nasugbu area and for generations it was owned by the original family. I’m glad they decided to share the beach via the Kawayan Cove residential resort. The 650 meter wide Bamboo beach is 80% private and 20% public area that can only be accessed via boat and through this resort. It is a fabled beach because for years, this was the secret white beach in Nasugbu and kudos to the family for maintaining the beach so well.

The other beautiful asset of Kawayan Cove, is the Meditation Point. This is more than 4,000 square meters of serene garden sanctuary with a breathtaking view of the sea. It is ideal for reflection and prayer. There is a literally giant rosary in the middle of the garden. Meditation point is becoming popular as a wedding destination for some couples who would have sponsored access to Kawayan Cove.

Ironically, the main clubhouse is not yet completed which is suppose to be the first facility to be completed. There are only 10 houses to date so it is quite peaceful and ideal for escaping the Manila jungle. Allegedly, they are very picky on buyers since they want to keep the place serene and peaceful by avoiding controversial personalities. A typical lot would costs P5 million pesos up with a starting lot size of 500 sq meters per lot.

So what’s the catch? Nothing. Kawayan Cove delivers up to its promise as stated in its marketing brochures. It is definitely a serene, secluded and secured beach escape which could be interpreted as boring if you like the night life or looking for some cool happenings in this resort.

Aidan will give you a glimpse of Kawayan Cove. Tara na!

Related Posts:
[Kawayan Cove #1] Bamboo Beach @ Kawayan Cove
[ Playa Calatagan #1] a Beach Discovery in Calatagan, Batangas
[ Playa Calatagan #3] Stay a week or stay a lifetime @ Playa Calatagan!
Playa Calatagan- First Signs of Life’s a Beach

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Attractions, Manila Life

The Need for Speed in City Kart

We just hosted our regional teammates two weeks ago for a teambuilding experience that they will never forget. Last September, I already treated my team to a City Kart racing session and that is why we know that it would be a memorable event. We decided to do it again for 42 people coming from ASEAN, Australasia and India. I personally had fun because the racing format was 90 minutes of non-stop endurance race.

We divided the team into 8 groups of 5 and we let them decide their strategy on how to change racers to complete the entire 90mins race. The only requirement is that each team member should race for 6 minutes at a minimum. The team who completed the most laps wins the race! Before the actual endurance race, we conducted a race leveling where we let every one have their test run for 6 minutes. Their lap times will be the basis for creating the group and we want to make sure that each group has a mix of fast and slow racers. After the leveling, the teams chose the main racer who would run the qualifying round to decide the pole positions at the start of the endurance race.

It was really fun. I actually got sick after this race because I was drenched with sweat in my suit and I did not change my shirt.. We started at 6pm and ended the race at 11pm. Overall, we spend about P150k for the entire teambuilding session for 42 members of our regional team. After this, it would be difficult to think about the team building for next year since the expectation was to top this one. If you have any bright ideas, let me know. Thanks to Jeff and the City Kart Team!!

Here is a glimpse of the endurance race team building we had two weeks ago.

Related Posts:
City Kart Racing, First Indoor Go Kart in the Philippines!

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Awesome Festivals

What happens if a Category 5 Typhoon hits you?

Geoff Mackley, the film maker from New Zealand was literally chasing Typhoon Durian in Naga City. He actually has pictures from his site: on the experience of an actual Category 5 typhoon hit. According to this veteran calamity chaser, this is one of the Strongest typhoon he has ever experience. This reminds me of the movie, Twister πŸ™‚ about hurricanes and storm chasers. (I forgot what is the name of the movie featuring helen hunt). Typhoon Milenyo is just category 3 and I just wish and pray that we won’t experience a Category 5 direct hit in our lifetime.

BTW, I had our office buildings, 6750 and Petron Megaplaza checked as to the pressure rating of the windows of the building. As usual, 6750 passed our design standards but unfortunately, the Petron building used inferior windows that could crack if a Category 5 typhoon hits Manila directly. You should have your buildings check to and it may mean the difference between life and death.


Bicol, Family

A Thousand Bears for Bicol and Red Cross

pdi foto, originally uploaded by cathyguballa. (Philippine Daily Inquirer’s (PDI) Edwin Bacasmas Photo)

I knew that Typhoon Durian/ Reming would be devastating since it was a Category 5 typhoon (the highest ever category) and a lot stronger than Typhoon Milenyo (category 3). After seeing the photo of this devastation from Cathy’s Nancydrewandme Blog, I’m determined to help out in any way I can. My mom’s province is in Catanduanes, Bicol and the devastation left the island with estimated 6 months without electricity and water. In Legaspi, our family friend Sarah’s father died of heart attack because of the sound of the typhoon as the entire city was engulf by water-shed-deep mud flood. The worst thing about Typhoon Durian was not only because it was a category 5 typhoon but also it stayed steady in Bicol for 4 hours.

We are blessed that the typhoon did not pass Metro Manila. You can send some bears over to Cathy @ A Thousand Bears for Bicol, 41 Milkyway Drive, Blue Ridge, Quezon City with a some noodles or canned goods. Please help in any way you can via this Thousand bear project or in cash via Red Cross.

From the Red Cross Site:

Typhoon Reming has left death and destruction in its wake. Many families have lost their homes and property after a series of mudslides and flash floods struck their villages. Schools and other makeshift centers are now crammed with thousands of evacuees with no other place to stay. They are in dire need of your help. You may send you donations to the Philippine National Red Cross through: Metrobank Port Area Branch

1) Peso Account
Account name: The Philippine National Red Cross
Account number: 151 – 3 – 041 – 63122 – 8 – MBTC

2) Dollar Account
Account name: The Philippine National Red Cross
Account number: 151 – 2 – 151 – 00218 – 2
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM

B. Globe G-Cash
Just text: DONATE <space> <AMOUNT> <space> <4-digit MPIN> <space> RED CROSS then send to 2882

C. Globe Donate-A-Load
Just text RED <space> <AMOUNT in 5/25/50/100/300> then send to 2899

Related Posts:
A Thousand Bears for Bicol from Nancydrewandme Blog
More bodies found in mud-swamped Bicol villages from



Al Dente — Welcome to Manila!

Al Dente (ahl DEHN-teh) “Firm to the bite.” Term referring to the proper degree of doneness for pasta or risotto, denoting that it should still be somewhat chewy, neither hard nor mushy.

Join me in welcoming Al Dente to Manila! If you have been to Iloilo, Al Dente is the first genuine Italian restaurant in Iloilo located at Sarabia Manor Convention Center along Gen. Luna street. This is Chef Pauline’s baby and you should read this article first before proceeding: Chef Pauline: Pauline Banusing’s culinary skills and enterprising spirit liven up Iloilo’s restaurant scene. She owns a number of restaurant in Iloilo including Citrus Global Bistro, Maki Japanese Restaurant, and Villa Regalla Seafood Restaurant in Villa Beach (head to head with Tatoy’s and Breakthrough). So, most likely if you are in Iloilo, Chef Pauline’s restaurants would have welcomed you to that lovely city. Now, it is our turn to give her a warm welcome to Manila πŸ™‚

I love their pizza because of their famous biscuit-like pizza crust which makes it unique and interesting. The crust is sweet that blends very well with their right choices of toppings. I love the Formaggio which is their 5 cheese equivalent with ricotta, mozzarella, feta, blue cheese (I love this), and parmesan cheese. The pasta is very good as well and delivered to its promised of “al dente” cooking. Although my wife and I debated whether the Lasagna should also be cooked in al dente style or it should be softer. Pizza and pasta are their core items in the menu and if you venture in the salad and fish department, I should warn you that they are not fresh (yet — I do hope they improve on this).

The ambiance is like bistro style with both air conditioned area and al fresco dining places. I found it weird that it is located in the Silver Auto Mall area where you have a view of the parked cars in the background. The silver auto mall would also be the home of Forest Bistro, Baguio’s famous bistro place. This is one alternative place you can dine if you are in the Tiendesitas or SM Hypermarket, Ortigas. Or if you are like me, looking for a place to eat with ample parking slots, good food, and still relatively small crowd (I’m sure not for long).

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Shopping Secrets

St. James Bazaar – Is it the Best Christmas Bazaar?

For some reason, Christmas season is becoming shorter and shorter each year. Usually, you can feel it as soon as the Ber-months arrive. But this year, I only realized that the season is near when Dec. 1 arrived. Manila got an early Christmas present when the Typhoon changed directions due to our collective prayers.

It is now time to feel the Christmas Traffic, the Christmas rush and the bazaars. I hate bazaars while my wife gets excited when I bring her to bazaars. Once, she mentioned to me that she doesn’t get hungry when she shops and wouldn’t mind skipping lunch for shopping. Being a rational person, I cannot comprehend this. I avoid Bazaars at all cost and I asked her to join her girl friends to do those kind of shopping.

But yesterday, I can’t say no to allegedly the Best Christmas Bazaar in Manila. We usually don’t miss the St. James Christmas Bazaar in Ayala, Alabang. This is where you can find unique items and wide diversity of stalls. This year it got a lot bigger and it already occupied the Cuenca covered courts and the St. James parking lot. I actually got suffocated so I just hang around in the dining area where they sell Bananaque for P30, mineral water for P30, Roasted organic Beef for P250, halo halo for P55 and everything else with +50% mark up. Some of the guys would go here to do sight seeing of the young Alabang Girls with their casual beauty.

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Shawarma Center – Malate’s Mediterranean Favorite

I love Mediterranean food specially the authentic ones which gives you a different and unique taste aside from the filipinized mid-east food you find in the malls. One of the shawarma place favorite in the Malate area is Shawarma Snack Center (SSC) near Hyatt Casino area. I’m sure most of you would know this already and I just want to share the secret to other people who haven’t been to this place.

This is frequented by tourists and makati people who wants to eat authentic mid-east food. There are a lot of hole-in-the-wall shawarma places in Malate that you can get confused on which one to go to. This place is packed night after night. In fact, the owner of the SSC bought the space across which was formerly a chinese restaurant and decided to expand so he can cater to more people. You can order in both places but I prefer to eat in the original shawarma snack center. Hopefully, you get to find a table in the original place because usually this gets packed more easily than the one across.

Overall, the taste is quite unique and delicious but sometimes inconsistent. Although some people might find mid-east food to be dry and the meats mostly hard in texture. I like it because of its unique flavor. You might want to check this out.

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#Restaurants, Bonifacio Global City

Thai at Silk @ Piazza Serendra

Best Tom Yung Kung (Php 240++). Hot and Sour Prawn Soup

The Thai at Silk experience started and ended with the Best Tom Yum Kung I ever tasted in any of the Thai restaurants in Manila. It is sweet and at the same time, spicy hot because of the lemongrass and the ginger that lingers and soothes your throat. As for the rest of the menu it was forgettable and I still would not compare this to People’s Palace. I must admit that they get great compliments for the interior design and the green – white motif designed by Cynthia and Ivy Almario. They put a lot of attention to detail which includes how the food is presented, how the plates and spoon/fork are selected, and even to the simple toothpick.

Thai at Silk is a Thai Fine Dining place and has been operational for less than a month at Serendra Piazza. They still need to improve a lot on the food which tasted ordinary (mostly) and it is a filipinized Thai version that is more on the sweet side. In the absence of quality premium food, you would feel that you are paying for the ambiance and presentation. In our case, cost was at P500/ person. The service we received was not at their best. Was it because they were preparing for a more important event than their customer at the moment or we were just ordinary looking folks dining at a fine dining resto? We also thought we saw the owner/ chef, Cecile Ysmael, wearing a chef attire but we could be wrong. (No photo moments with the chef and Aidan this time.) Maybe they need to learn from their neighbor across Duo on how to provide great warm service for everyone.

Net, I guess we just came at the bad time when the kitchen is already closing at 2pm in the afternoon but still, there was no excuse for that, maybe they should have closed their doors to us. I fell in love with the interiors and I do hope I can say the same thing about their food in the future. I’m sure this would get mixed reviews by the time you get to eat here so I would appreciate your dining experience with me. This would also be a gauge for me if it is time to go back and get an awesome worth of what I pay for my food and service.

Related Post:
Fash Pack Let’s eat: Thai at Silk
Som’s Noodle House – cheap authentic version of SukhoThai

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