Monthly Archives

May 2008


Avenue Q: My Gigantic Heart Will Go On…

Avenue Titanic Poster
2 Weeks to go to Avenue Q's Final Run. Thanks to all OAP friends who bought ticket from us. As promised, we will give your Genki Umbrellas before or after the show. Just look for either Rache or me near the main entrance.

Avenue Q Final Run – 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss the Opening Night of Avenue Q’s Final Run!

Avenue Titanic Poster
Rachel Alejandro's performance was one of the reasons for the smashing success of Avenue Q in Manila. I do hope Carla Guevarra – Laforteza can beat Rachel's performance. Join us on opening night to share your opinions and personal reviews in OAP after the show.

Avenue Q Final Run – 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss the Opening Night of Avenue Q’s Final Run!

Avenue Titanic Poster Avenue Q Opening Night
Good luck Carla and we will miss you Rachel!

Avenue Q Final Run – 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss the Opening Night of Avenue Q’s Final Run!


Kustaa Saksi: OFFPISTE In the Land of Kustaa Saksi

Kustaa Saksi-6
One of the things I learned from Master George Tapan is that you need to look at the works of great artists in order to train your eyes in photography. So together with Rache, we went to our first art show.

It was great to meet and have an inspiring chat with Scandinavian illustractor, Kustaa Saksi during his art show launch at the CCP Main Theater driveway. Manila is the final leg in his Asian tour after Singapore and Bangkok.

His artwork is greatly influenced by his growing up years in Finland. An example would be the artwork (photo above), he said that there were a lot of mosquitoes when he was growing up and they would often eat the apple. It is a simple concept but great execution on the design.

Kustaa Saksi-2
The show was impressive with a projection bomb of all Kustaa's artwork on the facade of CCP. Also, no less than Imelda Marcos attended the art show as their guest of honor but it was great to see a young crowd appreciating the illustrator's artwork.

How I wish we can also celebrate the works of the great Pinoy illustrators and give them this kind of Art Show in Manila. Maybe I just don't know about them…

Kustaa Saksi-1
Sugar Assault ($400). Digital Giclee Print [50]. 80 x 60 cm. Most people love this artwork.

Kustaa's artwork is described as:
" Kaleidoscopic prisms and psychedelic poetics interplay in the work of Scandinavian illustrator Kustaa Saksi. Retro and futuristic elements are interspersed, these two extremes complementing each other effortlessly, radiating energy, a vision of music and life manifest. "

Get a chance to view the "OFFPISTE In the Land of Kustaa Saksi " exhibit in Archeology, Rockwell only until 1 June 2008.

Our Family Posts

Aidan’s first shoot for CPK Father’s Day Promo – Create Your Own Pizza

CPK Shoot-1
This is Aidan's first modeling stint. We did a print ad shoot for CPK's Father's Day promo of Do-It-Yourself Pizza.

CPK Shoot-2
Aidan created a Hawaiian style pizza (P156). First, we put the tomato base on the pizza dough. Then, we sprinkled it with cheese. Lastly, we garnished it with slices of ham and pineapples.
CPK Shoot-3
Aidan loves to play Chef these days and the shoot was a perfect opportunity to show off his baby cooking skills. I do hope that the print ad pushes through — it was fun doing this.


Petra and Pilar – High Style Carinderia Dining in Makati (with Delimondo Store)

Petra & Pilar-24
Petra and Pilar is an interesting restaurant concept. Just imagine gourmet spanish and filipino food served carinderia style and priced at less than P150 per ulam in a minimalist restaurant ambiance. The concept is a winner and this will be my comfort food place in Makati from now on. Thanks to Chef Ed and the JAKA group for leading the restaurant industry with the best-value-for-money restaurant in the heart of Makati.

I do hope Chef Mia will be able to maintain the quality of the food. I have this perception that after a while the quality of the food suffers in a JAKA restaurant. They seem to short-cut the cooking process or they are tempted to commercialize the taste of the food like what happened in La Esquina in Splendido.

Petra & Pilar-6-2
When Chef Ed was describing the concept, I can’t imagine how a sosy carinderia would look like. They did a great job with executing the sosy carinderia concept and they ensured that the restroom is likewise appealing. Rache was raving about their clean restroom and I was raving about our less than P500 gourmet lunch 🙂

Petra & Pilar-7

The restaurant is named after Katrina Ponce Enrile’s grandmothers – Petra being the mother of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Pilar being the mother of Mdm. Cristina Ponce Enrile. This restaurant is indeed a great tribute to Katrina’s Lolas.

Read more


[Bolinao] Puerto del Sol – The Place to be in Bolinao

Bolinao Escape-15
Bolinao is 50+ kilometers away (approximately 1 hour drive) from 100 Islands in Pangasinan. After traveling for 300+ kilometers (approx. 9 hours drive 4-5 hours via shortcut )from Manila, you should see both places to maximize your trip to Pangasinan.

For me, the main attraction of Bolinao is its unique sunset. This is the only place where you feel you are so close to the sun that you can touch it. The illusion is created by the low tide area which extends all the way to the horizon. It is a very romantic scene and a perfect time to propose to your special someone.

Bolinao Escape-18
The most popular place in Bolinao is Puerto del Sol. This is the place to be when you are in Bolinao. They have a signature floating hut where you can hang-out during sunset. Also, their beach area is the best among all of the resorts I’ve been to. I love their Cafe del Sol restaurant.

Bolinao Escape-11Bolinao Escape-7
Aidan and syoti Josh enjoy the Bolinao Sunset from Puerto del Sol’s floating hut.

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Bolinao, Pangasinan: Where Else to Stay and What to do

Bolinao Escape-1
There are a lot of resorts in the Bolinao, Pangasinan area. There are two other resorts worth visiting — Punta Riviera and Treasures of Bolinao aside from Puerto del Sol. They are not as nice as Puerto del Sol but their prices are a bit cheaper. I finished this Bolinao series with a visual land tour of Bolinao. Do share your getaway if we missed any awesome place in Bolinao?

” An upmarket, stunning, romantic beach and river resort in a unique environmental setting located less than one hour drive from Hundred Islands with infinity pool and quality cuisine, catering for tours, family reunions, weddings, business conventions for up to 300 persons.”

Bolinao Escape-51
Punta Riviera has the best infinity pool in the Bolinao, Pangasinan area. Just imagine sitting by the pool whle watching the sunset. Unlike Puerto del Sol, they don’t have an enclosed structure. Punta Riviera enjoys a wide 15km beach area you can use for beach activities. Also, the resort is strategically located where Ilog Malino meets the South China Sea. You can do Kayaking along Ilog Malino.

It is marketed as:

Room Rates ( + 10% Service Charge)
Riviera — 4 pax – Php 4,500
La Breeza — 6 pax – Php 5,500
Sunset – 5 pax – Php 5,000
La Marea – 6 pax – Php 5,500
Familia 8 – 8-10 pax – Php 11,000
El Grande – 10-15 pax – Php 10,900
Familia 7 – 4 pax – Php 4,500
Cabanas (no Aircon) – 3 pax – Php 1,850
Cabana Big (No Aircon) – 6 pax – Php 3,000
El Grande – 15-20 pax – Php 13,000
Familia 14 – 10-12 pax – Php 11,000

Extra Person – Php 500
Bolinao Escape-50
Take the Nestea Ice Tea plunge… Have you stayed in Punta Riviera? Any experience to wanna share?

Punta Riviera Resort,
Brgy. Ilog Malino, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Mobile: +63 918 591 7148
email: [email protected]


” Your visit to Bolinao is not complete until you see the Patar beach & the century old lighthouse. Treasures of Bolinao is the only resort located in the heart of Patar white beach. “

Bolinao Escape-42
This is the key competitor of Punta del Sol in Bolinao but it pales in comparison based on the swimming pool. I would agree that it is the only resort located near Patar white beach and the lighthouse — but so what? You can always drive to Patar beach anytime and see the lighthouse along the way.

Bolinao Escape-44
Treasures of Bolinao Room Rates (+ 10% Service Charge)
Villa 1,2,3,4,5 – 2 pax – Php 3,500 (Extra Pax is php 500)
Coconut Cottage 1, 1B, 2, 2B, 3, 3B, 4, 4B, 5, 5B – 2 pax – Php 3,500 (Extra Pax is Php 400)
Jr. Suite 1,2 – 4 pax – Php 5,500 (Extra Pax is Php 400)
Suite 1,2,3 – 4 pax – Php 6,500 (Extra Pax is Php 500)
Conservatory – 4 pax – Php 5,000 (Extra Pax is Php 400)Corkage Fees (bring in Food) (Adult – Php 200, Kids – Php 150)

Day Tour
Entrance (Adult – Php 150, Kids – Php 100)
Use of Swimming Pool (Adult – Php 100, Kids – Php 75)
Corkage (Adult – Php 100, Kids – Php 75)

Treasures of Bolinao, Pangasinan
Manila Office: +632 375-8884. +632 413-4914
Mobile Numbers: +63 920 381-8888. +63 921 559-2732. +63 910 783-6648

Bolinao Escape-43
Here is your sunbathing view from the resort obstructed by this concrete bridge. We don’t want you to see this in the brochures, don’t we?

Bolinao Escape-46
The best asset of Treasures in Bolinao is walking along this concrete bridge with an awesome view of the Rock formations.

Bolinao Escape-47
This is one awesome view! I would book in Treasures of Bolinao just to enjoy this view. I am surprised that they are not marketing this in their brochures. But if you are staying at Puerto del Sol, you can always enter Treasures of Bolinao and just say you are checking out the place for your next return trip to Bolinao.
Read more


Hundred Islands: Where to Stay and Eat

100 Islands-2
I would recommend that you stay overnight in one of the islands in Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. I highly recommend that you book in Governor’s Island either the Big Brother house or smaller cottages. Electricity is available in the island and you have access to the highest vantage point in the 100 islands. The other option would be to book in Quezon Island but there is only 1 hut (I believe) that has electricity.

Most people would stay overnight in one of the hotels or inn in Lucap especially if you have kids. I would highly recommend Maxine by the Sea. They have a nice restaurant with free wi-fi, secured parking lot, affordable rooms and nice location by the sea. I also included the other recommended hotel options below. Please let me know in the comments section if you have a particular hotel you want to recommend.

100 Islands-45
Governor’s Island Rates
Telephone +63 75 551-2505

Big Brother House (10 pips) – P10,000 (with generator from 6pm to 6am)
Extra drum of water – P100
Extra Pax/ Extra Bed – P200
Table for Rent & Picnic Area -P200 (day tour); P300 (overnight)
Bahay Kubo (3 pips) – P1,500

Hundred Island Resorts-3
Maxine by the Sea Restaurant and Lodge
Lucap, Alaminos City, Pangasinan
Telephone: +632 75 551 2537
Mobile: +63 9216428551
Email: [email protected]

16 fully airconditioned rooms with one single and one double beds (3 Person per Room) @ P1,100.
There is FREE Wi-fi in the dining area.

Maxine by the Sea-14
Bangus Bellies Sinigang (P250). A Pot of tamarind-based all filipino soup of bangus heads and bellies cooked in the traditional sinigang.

Maxine by the Sea Complete Menu
House Specialty Soup, Sotanghon, Sandwiches, Rice | Breakfast, Omelette, Pancake, Side Orders | Vegetables and Salad | Lobsters and Prawns | Shrimps | Pork | Beef | Chicken | Shellfish and Plated Fish Steak or Fillet Dishes | Whole Fish or Slice and Fresh Bangus |Calamares and Crabs | Drinks and Beverages, Fruit Shakes and Smoothies

Maxine by the Sea-15
Maxine’s Famouse Calamares (P170). Deep Fried Rings of Squid in Maxine’s Special Recipe. The best I ever tasted and you should never miss this on your visit in 100 Islands.

Maxine by the Sea-17
Kilawen Talaba (P150). Fresh-shelled and “cooked” in vinegar and calamansi topped with onions, ginger and red hot pepper.

Read more


100 Islands, Pangasinan: My Favorite Islands

100 Islands-30

Have you been to 100 Islands in Pangasinan? If not, these tips would be helpful for you!

1. You can finish the island hopping tour of 100 islands in 4 hours. There are only 21 islands that has beach area and these are the only islands you can visit.
2. My favorite islands to visit are:

Governors – to see the Big Brother House and get to the highest vantage point in the island;
Quezon Island – for swimming;
Children’s Island – for swimming with kids;
Marcos Island – for dipping and jumping into the Imelda Cave;
Lopez Island – for sunbathing.

What’s your favorite island/s? Did I miss any island worth going to?

3. I would suggest that you go early in the morning and you will be back by lunch time. For overnight options, see (Hundred Islands: Where to Stay and Eat)
4. Eat lunch at Maxine by the Sea and order their super delicious calamares and fresh seafoods.

5. Get the medium boat and offer a nice tip to the boat man. Budget about P1,500 for the boat.

Any other tips?

100 Islands-7
Hundred Islands National Park
Lucap Alaminos City, Pangasinan
Tel: +63 75 551-2505

Victory Liner Trips to Alaminos

Entrance Fees:
Island Entrance Fee
(P20 day tour and P40 Overnight)
5 years old below free
20% discount for SENIOR Citizen

Motor Boat Rates
(with Island Hopping @ Quezon, Children and Governor’s Island)

Small Boat (1-5pax) – P800 Day Tour | P 1,400 Overnight
Medium Boat (6-10pax) – P1,100 Day Tour | P1,800 Overnight
Large (11-15 pax) – P1,100 Day Tour | P2,000 Overnight

100 Islands-24
1. Quezon Island

Area: 13, 667 sq. m. (est.2000 sq. m. of beach area)
Flora: molave, kalumpang, igyo, maladuhat
Birds to watch: : pied fantail, Phil. Coucal, black-naped monarch, sunbird, little tern

One of the well-developed and most frequented islands in the Park which has facilities that includes 2 dining pavilions, and grilling area, where you and your family can do the eating and the grilling ;cottages and nipa huts for relaxation and restrooms that assure comfort. Lie in the sand, take in the salty breeze, savor the delectable seafood and swim to your heart`s content. Don`t pass up the chance to snorkel or dive in the island`s azure waters and see its thriving coral and giant clam garden. (source: Hundred Islands National Park)

Quezon Island Room | Day Tour | Overnight Rates
Hundred Islands National Park Information +63 75 551-2505

Cottage without room [Nipa 1,2,3] | P350 | P500
Cottage without room [Nipa 4] | P500 | P1,000
Cottage with room (Nipa A) | P500 | P900
Cottage with room (Nipa B) | P600 | P1,100
Picnic Tables & Picnic Area | P200 | P300

Quezon Island Overnight Kubo with Electricity
c/o Ted +63 909 715642
Overnight on Quezon Island (P1,600) | Day Tour (P700) | Cottage only (P400-P500)

100 Islands-23
Make Quezon Island your first stop because this would be a good place to swim and roam around for a while.
Read more

Awesome Festivals

My Miele Votes

My Miele Guide votes
” The Miele Guide will be Asia’s first truly independent regional restaurant guide when launched in October 2008, and also its most authoritative—we do not accept free meals or advertising from restaurants. Written by food lovers who know and love Asia, The Miele Guide will rank and profile restaurants across the region’s major cities, categorised by country, city and cuisine, in a slim, indispensable volume. ” (

The Miele Guide is now in their second phase where the public can vote their best restaurants this month May 2008. I don’t really believe that Miele Guide is 100% independent because they are sponsored by Visa and Hyatt Hotels. In order for you to vote, you need to key in your Visa card. I’m sure Visa and Hyatt would have a say on the judges, restaurant critics and respected foodies who would vote in the other phases. In any case, I participated in the online voting and I had to make sure that Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung and Chef Chris Locher’s C Italian Dining are included in the list.

I’m campaigning for the top 3 finest restaurants in the Philippines. (You are only allowed to vote for 3 restaurants per country)

Antonio’s Restaurant in Tagaytay

Bale Dutung - 50
Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung in Pampanga

C Italian Dining-20
C’s Italian Dining in Angeles, Pampanga.

Please VOTE for them to be included in the !


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Our Family Posts

Jollibee, Philippines and Our Awesome Planet 30 years from now.

Jollibee Philippines
Aidan Congratulates Jollibee on their 30th year Anniversary!

I’ve always wanted to congratulate Jollibee, Philippines on their 30th Year Celebration! I got reminded about it when I saw their sponsored house during the Pahiyas Festival. This is one Filipino company I truly admire. Given a choice between Jollibee and McDonald’s, I would go for Jollibee every time!

I’m just imaging, what would become of Our Awesome Planet 30 years from now. I will be in my senior retirement years. I still continue to blog away about how to eat healthy, lessons learned in 30 years of blogging and the secrets in living for 100 years. Aidan will be 33 years old and this was about the time I started OAP. We would be blogging together in OAP and we would have posts like what happened to the GB5 restaurants or what happened with Chef Florabel, Chef Laudico and others… I do hope OAP wins blogging awards locally and globally like Jollibee. OAP will be a multimedia site with photos, videos, and music about the beautiful things about the Philippines and Asia. In 4 years time, I would have posted my 1,000th blog post so 30 years from now, I do hope to post my 10,000th blog post. Market Manila and Dessert Comes First would still be there and we would reminisce together the early years of blogging in the Philippines. My imagination goes on and on…

What do you think will happen with OAP and the blogosphere 30 years from now? Please post your predictions and let’s look back at this blog post 30 years from now, hahaha!

Jollibee, Philippines 30th Year Celebration
1975: The Tan Family opens ice cream parlors in Cubao & Quiapo, the first Jollibee outlets.
1978: Jollibee Foods Corporation is born as a 100% Filipino Company
1980: Chickenjoy is hatched. Jollibee Mascot debuts.
1984: The Champ is Launched1985: Jollibee becomes the #1 fastfood chain in the Philippines
1987: Efforts to establish a foothold abroad gained ground with the opening of an overseas outlet in Brunei
1991: Jollibee opens its 100th store in Bolton, Davao
1993: Jollibee becomes the first food service corporation to list its share in the PSE.
1995: Launch of MaAga ang Pasko sa Jollibee
1996: Jollibee opens its 200th store in Malolos, Bulacan and opens stores in Hongkong and Vietnam
1998: Jollibee opens its 300th store in Balagtas, Bulacan and its first in Daly City, USA.
2001: Jollibee opens its 400th store in historic Muralla, Intramuros.
2001: Jollibee hailed as Best Employer in the Philippines by Asian Wall Street Journal.
2003: For the 6th straight, the Far Eastern Economic Review ranked JFC as the Philippines’ Leading Company
2004: Jollibee opens its 500th store in Basilan.
2004: Tony Tan Caktiong receives “World Entreprenuer of the Year” award from Earnst & Young
2006: CNBC Asia awards Ernesto Tanmantiong the “Corporate Citizen of the Year” award in Hong Kong
2007: Jollibee opens its 600th store in Aparri, Cagayan, and Las Vegas becomes the first US Jollibee store outside California

Anyway, Congratulations again to Jollibee! Paglaki ko, gagayahin ko kayo mga idol!


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

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