Monthly Archives

July 2008


Cinderella in Manila! Relive the Miss Saigon Feeling of being Proud to be a Filipino!

I love watching musical plays because of its timeless lessons that shape my life today.

Rent taught me that there is “No Day but Today”. I also learned how to measure your life — not in terms of five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes but in terms of Seasons of Love. It is the reason why I pursued my wife despite all odds at that time.

Kate Monster from Avenue Q taught me: “You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime.” That is one of the reason why I am pursuing my passion today – blogging my heart away and sharing with people how awesome the Philippines is.

The valuable lesson I learned from Cinderella is that: “Impossible Things are Happening Every Day!”. I watched how Filipinos — Lea Salonga as Cinderella and Bobby Garcia as Director – are leading a predominantly American Broadway cast in the Asian premiere of Cinderella. Is it impossible for Filipinos to be a great nation in 2010? It’s Possible!!

I can’t get this song off my mind:
” Impossible! But the world is full of zanies and fools
who don’t believe in sensible rules
and won’t believe what sensible people say..
and because these daft and dewey eyed dopes
keep building up impossible hopes
impossible things are happening every day! “
– Cinderella’s Godmother

We are so proud of both — Lea Salonga and Bobby Garcia! You guys deserve the sold-out opening night which ended in a standing ovation! Thanks for showing us that Filipinos can lead the world!


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Related Posts:

Cinderella in Manila! I’m Proud to be a Filipino : )
Cinderella Tips – 10 Tips When Watching Cinderella in CCP Main Theater
Cinderella – Interesting Facts You Should Know About Cinderella Before Watching It


Bohol – More Than Your Usual Tarsier Experience?

Congratulations again to Mich Guevara of Pinoy Lakwatsa! You've won a very nice Jansport Graphix Remix Bag that you can use on your next travel.

I'm going to Bohol which is the first leg of the seven (7) Havaianas Flipping for the Beach Trips. I'm excited to feature all of them.

Can you share with me your Bohol secret other than the usual Tarsier?


Where in the Philippines is the Next Destination of OAP?

OAP Contest: Where in the Philippines is the Next Destination of OAP?

This contest will be easy. Guess my next destination in the Philippines this coming August and win a prize. The first one to guess the right destination will win a JanSport Graphix Remix Bag. Just enter your guess in the comments and that will serve as your official entry to this contest.

Thanks to Bratpack for sponsoring the JanSport Bag for this contest.

About JanSport's Graphic Remix Line of Bags

Now after 40 years, JanSport continues to celebrate its hippie heritage through its Graphic Remix line of bags as inspired by this generation's most definitive counterculture — the Indie community. The Graphic Remix line's quirky and anti-conformist designs like graffiti, doodles, pop art and calligraphy fits the Indie community's passion for creativity, originality and individuality.

"For us a bag is more than just for carrying your stuff around, but as a practical and personal billboard of expression that's why we came up with the concept of the Graphic Remix line individually designed by the country's best graphic designers," says Clytie Choa, Brand Manager for Jansport.

#Restaurants, Food

Froyo’s in Serendra

The Froyo’s cart is now parked in Arama (formerly Chocolate de Batirol). This is the place-to-be to have your frozen yogurt dessert in Serendra.

Froyo’s Chocolate Frozen Yogurt (P70). Intense Deep Chocolate Taste. For adults only. You gotta try this!

Related OAP Posts on Frozen Yogurt:
Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt – The Next Dessert Craze in the Philippines!
Sorry Ice Cream, I’m On My Way to Pinkberry!
Red Mango-licious
I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt — The Best Froyo so far in Manila…
Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC)
The White Hat – Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

The Buzz About Froyo’s
California Berry Frozen Yogurt
After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.
Email: [email protected]


Jonas’ Pares

All-Time-Favorite Pares (P100)

Another unique treat in Robinson's Place – Pioneer, is one of the mall outlet of the popular Jonas Pares restaurant in Quezon City.

Jonas is credited for inventing the term "Pares" which means the pairing of beef and rice.. It also refers to the value meal of beef, rice and soup. It was founded by Lolly Tiu in 1979 who envisioned a restaurant providing fine-dining quality food at a price affordable to masses. What makes Pares so special is how the beef was prepared and cooked. Seventy percent (70%) of the beef is lean meat from beef flanks; the rest of the 30% is from fat. The beef is tender because it was slow-cooked in a charcoal-fed fire for at least 12 hours! Anythying you cook for this length in time will definitely becomes soft; add to these the various spices it is definitely tasty and yummy.

Jonas has a simple menu. Aside from Pares, you can order mami, siomai, siopao or spring rolls.
All Time Favorites and Mami | Siopao, Drinks and Desserts | The Story of Jonas

Be honest, have you tried pares before? If you haven't tried the carinderia version, check out the upscale Jonas restaurant version in Robinson Place Pioneer.

#Restaurants, Food

Chili Willy’s – Tex-Mex Restaurant in Manila

Note: This restaurant is closed already and moved to Katipunan Ave. 

Taquitos (P95). 6 pieces mini-tacos.

I miss eating in a good Mexican restaurant like Zapata in Angeles. So far, the best Mexican food in Manila is hidden in the alfresco restaurants of Robinson’s Pioneer. The name of the Tex-Mex restaurant is called Chili Willy’s. It serves Tex-Mex cuisine which is a cultural blending of Southern Texas and Northern Mexico usually found in San Antonio, Texas. Just think of it as Fajitas and Burritos meet Steaks and Burgers.

Read more


Why Blog?

I love blogging and I’m addicted to it. I love it not because of the money or fame it brings but because of its essence. It came to a point in my P&G career that I had to choose between a senior IT management career or a professional blogging and internet marketing career. I decided to pursue what I love and what keeps me burning inside. Let me share with you what the essence of blogging for me is and why you should blog too.

1. Our Blog is a love letter to our sons. OAP and Mrs. OAP blogs are proclamation of our love to Ahiya Aidan and Syoti Josh. The blog entries are written memories of our family life and a testament to their childhood. We want them to relive the fun when they grow up. We want them to feel how much we love them by sharing with them our hopes, dreams and aspirations despite the struggles in life. We want them to see how we reached for our dreams during this time of uncertainties.

2. I’m writing the modern history of the Philippines. I firmly believe that bloggers will shape the country’s future. I want to write the history of the Philippines based on my family’s point of view. I write from the heart because I want to capture the feeling of the moment in time in the Philippines. I’ve always wondered what Boracay would looked like in its virgin state. This fueled my passion to write about the virgin state of our beautiful and undiscovered beaches. History has never been this personal.

3. To sow good deeds. The Law of Fairness states that: What you sow is what you reap. If you sow positive good deeds, expect to receive a lot of good deeds in return. I’ve proven this law many times over. When I write something negative about somebody with malicious intent, I always get negative feedback and criticism in return. When I proclaim about the goodness of people and places, I reap a following that I never imagined would happen in my lifetime. I love to rave about places without expecting anything in return. I know that when I rave about them, I bring in a lot of business that they deserve. I also know that they will pay it forward in terms of great service for more people.

4. Ninoy Aquino is a blogger. If Ninoy was alive today, he would be one of the top political bloggers in the Philippines. Blogs are platforms for advocacy. You fuel the flames of the advocacy on each blog post you writeBlogs are infectious if used with pure intentions.. Bloggers with advocacy are the modern Ninoy Aquinos of this country. Don’t expect to build an advocacy in a few months time. How long do you think Ninoy took to flame the hearts of the Filipinos? I imagine that Ninoy had to do a lot of speeches and press releases to communicate his advocacy. As a blogger, you can now do it anytime you want to and as frequent as you want to.

5. Inspire 1 Mind, Touch 1 Heart. This is my personal mission in life. I get fulfilled every time a reader would tell me that I inspired them or I touched their heart. No amount of SEO tactics can do this. A blogger needs to talk from his heart every time. The goal of every blog post is to give the readers an “Aha!” moment or to make them cry. I would rather have a tear or an inspired thought any time instead of six-figure-adsense dollars.

6. To have fun. A blog is your ticket to blog contests and blogging parties. It is also a marketing medium to become famous in your niche. It is your own platform for debates and to share your point of view.

7. OAP is my personal art space. All bloggers are artists and blogs are their creative outlet. Each blog post is an expression of oneself. If you carefully examine it, the blog is the digital persona of the artist. Like any work of art, you can marvel at how magnificent the person is. Blogs are priceless if you do it with passion and not for monetary purposes.

8. Build personal brand. Your blog defines who you are, your values/principles, and purpose in life. If you are lost in life, expect your blog to be lost in the blogosphere as well. If you are just blogging for the money, expect your blog to look like adsense dollars by doing all the SEO tactics possible at the expense of your personal brand. If you are a leader, there is no doubt that you will be a King in your niche.

9. I write to globalize the local. I want to bring to the world’s attention the significance and essence of the Philippines– that we are not defined by our corrupt politicians and pathetic public servants. We are a nation that loves nature. We are a nation of people who are talented and can compete with the best of the best. We are Filipinos. Happy. Positive. God-loving.

10. To live forever. Julia Campbell is not dead. She is alive in her blog, just read Julia in the Philippines. If I only have 24 hours to live, one of the things that I would do is write my last blog post. I would write a blog post that would forever inspire the next generation of Filipinos. I would write a blog post that would forever express my gratitude to God, Family and all the people who influenced me along the way. This is why I try to write each of my blog posts as if it were my last.


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

P.S. Thanks to Migs for inspiring this post.

Awesome Festivals

Let’s talk About Gas

Instead of complaining about how the prices of gasoline are continuing to go up, we need to adapt to the situation and be more efficient with our fuel consumption. I would like to share with you some strategies that we started to do:

1. Keep a Fuel Mileage Log.
We now keep a log of the distance (in kms) from our house to any of the destinations we go to. Then we keep track of the car's mileage in between fuel refills. We make sure that we go to the same gasoline station, the same gasoline pump and stick to the automatic stop. In this way, we are able to track the most efficient way to go to one place. For example, from De La Salle University in Malate to Serendra Fort Area, there are two ways to get there. One is via buendia and the other one via Villamor Gate 3. The latter route is 13.5kms versus the former route which is 9.5kms only.

2. Avoid Traffic!
To minimize fuel consumption, we need to apply constant gas pressure when driving. We have to avoid changing lanes or halting to an abrupt stop. One technique is to let the car roll to a stop just right before hitting the car in front of you. Another strategy is to wake up one hour earlier or to go home later at night to avoid traffic.

3. Use the most cost efficient fuel.
I need your help here. I wanted to know based on your experience, what is the most cost efficient fuel brand in Manila? Earl, one of OAP's friends, asked me this question via email and I don't know. Hopefully with the Fuel Economy Survey below, we can have an objective answer.

(Fuel Brand, Gasoline Octane Rating, Price as of July 19, Saturday)

Petron Unleaded 93 (P60.61)

Petron XCS 95 (P61.28)

Petron Blaze 96 (P62.01)

Caltex Gold with Techron 95 (P61.28

Caltex Silver with Techron 93 (P60.57)

Shell Super Unleaded 93 (P60.57)

Shell Super Premium 93 (P61.06)

Shell V-Power 95 (P62.35)

Shell Diesoline Ultra (P58.98)

Petron Diesel Max (P59.03)

Caltex Power Diesel (P59.03)


Leyte Pasalubong

Tacloban is the Ultimate Leyte Pasalubong haven. The top 4 pasalubong from Tacloban are Binagol, Chocolate Moron, Sagmani and Carigara’s Pastillas. I would recommend that you buy all your pasalubong from Tita Aida’s delicacies along P.Zamora St. (across Chowking).

Binagol (P25? /each) is made in the town of Dagami. It is made of talyan (a root crop similar to gabi). coconut milk and sugar. It is called binagol because the mixture is placed inside a coconut shell called “bagol” and steamed inside. We love the sweet surprise hidden at the bottom of the coconut shell.

Moron (P25? / each) is a suman with chocolate flavor. It is made of ground rice cooked in coconut milk then flavored with cocoa. It is smooth like a budbud kabog. Just imagine a suman dipped in chocolate batirol. Our favorite!

Sagmani (P25? /each) is the less popular among the pasalubong delicacies. It is similar to Binagol but it is made of cassava, gabi or sweet potatoes. It is cooked with coconut cream, sugar and sometimes coconut meat.

Carigara’s Pastillas Special (P150). The special pastillas of Carigara is made of pure carabao’s milk. . Addicting.


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

PS. For Tacloban folks — can you validate my price for Binagol, Moron and Sagmani? I forgot.


The Buzz About Froyo’s

Good Morning, Manila!

David’s Pure Frozen Yogurt from the Salcedo Market is generating a lot of buzz lately. After 4 weeks of continuous product sampling in the Salcedo Market, Froyo’s is definitely a winner. Let me share with you a bit of trivia about it:

These Froyos are flavored fresh yogurt. They are indeed made from 100% fresh yogurt. No Refined Sugar. Nothing Artificial. Just Fresh Yogurt and another flavor. Don’t expect to get a plain yogurt flavor because it would be a bit sour. Most of the other frozen yogurt are made from powdered yogurt. My mom would love this!

Yogurt is made from New Zealand Milk. According to David, New Zealand milk is the best source for the yogurt. He makes it fresh and it is the secret to his highly raved about Froyo’s.

My favorite flavors are Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla. The Dutch Chocolate is an adult flavor that gives an intense dark chocolate taste. (I think he uses champorado, don’t you think?). Vanilla is a favorite because the taste is clean and refreshing. Aidan loves the vanilla flavor. The other flavors are Mango Blast (made with fresh mangoes), Mud Slide (coffee & chocolate with fudge & walnuts), Coffee and Coffee Strawberry.

Froyo’s is named after the popular American term for Frozen Yogurt. Why not name your product with how college students call Frozen Yogurt? It is indeed clever.

David’s healthy stuff is popular in a Waldorf school. The buzz is David sells healthy products in a Waldorf school. Every meal time, his stuff gets wiped out by the kids. When he decided to apply in Salcedo Market, the waiting list was long. The organizers gave him a break on the waiting list and asked him to bring his cart around the Salcedo Market to see how his product will go.

David is opening a Dessert Bar in Arama, Serendra. Arama is the new name of Chcocolate de Batirol in Serendra (besides Larry’s Bar). They got the first franchise and I’m excited that I can get my healthy dose of Froyo’s in Serendra. I do hope they open next weekend.

Froyo’s are sold in 3 sizes. 140 gms single serving at P65 , a pint(475 gms) at P190 and 1/2 gallon (1.9 kilos) at P650. To order call Dave +63 918 614-7479 or Rob +63927-263-9198. They also sell Rice Cremes made from organic rice.

Related OAP Posts on Frozen Yogurt:
Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt – The Next Dessert Craze in the Philippines!
Sorry Ice Cream, I’m On My Way to Pinkberry!
Red Mango-licious
I Love Berries Frozen Yogurt — The Best Froyo so far in Manila…
Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC)
The White Hat – Let the Fro-Yo Wars Begin in Manila!

The Buzz About Froyo’s
California Berry Frozen Yogurt
After Lego Island, Enjoy Yoh-Gurt Froz!


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

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