I’m doing a soft launch of The Biggest Bargain Blog (BBB). I’m separating all my blog posts about Manila’s best bargains and deals in the BBB Blog. This is where I also put some of my commercial posts and attractive promotions from different companies that are worth mentioning.
If you noticed, I’m launching sub-blogs under the Our Awesome Planet franchise. As promised, I am keeping the Main OAP blog focused on Food and Travel Secrets. You can subscribe separately for The Biggest Bargain blog. I also put a link on the right sidebar for easy access to the blog.
Please feel free to let me know if you have feedback or other suggestions.
As we parked our car near the Pasong Tamo entrance of Little Tokyo, I can’t help but think of backing out and going to another place instead of Little Tokyo. This little Japanese town besides Makati Cinema Square transports you to a restaurant strip in Japan. Every time I enter the little red arc that welcomes you to Little Tokyo, I felt uneasy because I can’t read Japanese and I don’t know how to confidently choose among the different Japanese watering holes and restaurants.
Armed with a tip from a Japanese friend that the best Yakiniku place is hidden in Little Tokyo, we decided to proceed with meeting Chris (one of my best buddies in P&G) and his wife Sharon in Urameshi Ya inside Little Tokyo. Yakiniku is a Japanese term which refers to grilled meat dishes. Usually it is enjoyed with friends over long conversations and a few bottles of beer. This was the right place for our “reunion” meeting with Chris after his short expat stint in China.
We just launched our virtual Garage Sale — www.ourawesomeplanet.com/sale/.
It is an online site for selling our personal things, prizes that we don’t need and second hand belongings. We first publish it here, one month before selling them on eBay to give priority to OAP friends who might be interested with the items.
You might be interested with the following items:
FreeAgent Go 120 GB USB External Hard Drive (Brand New)
Sony 5.1 Surround Home Theater System
Shu uemura Eyelash Curler (Brand New)
Watsons Foot and Back Massager
Samsung S760 7.2 Mega-Pixel Digital Camera (Brand New)
Timbuk2 iPod Flip Case (Brand New)
Pinko Mirror For Sale Brand New
Sanyo 5 Mega-Pixel VPC-S500 Digital Camera
Adidas Sports Watch (Brand New)
Imarflex Rechargeable Vacuum Cleaner (Brand New)
Lowepro Computrekker AW Camera/Notebook Backpack
HP Laptop Bag (Brand New)
Our Ultimate Philippines’ Brother and Street Walker, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks fame was one of Anthony Bourdain’s hosts around Manila. He is our main cultural tour guide for the Ultimate Pampanga and Tagaytay tours. He blogged about his Anthony Bourdain encounter in his blog post: On One Steamy Saturday Morning…
In this OAP Exclusive, I tried to get some juicy anecdotes and kwentos by sending him 10 Questions about the Anthony Bourdain encounter. Check out Ivan Man Dy’s answers below:
Tony sampling local street food. Thank you bystander Christian Annonuevo for immortalizing this moment.
1. How does it feel like to be the person to tour Anthony Bourdain (AB) around Manila?
I feel giddy at the same time honored, it’s only right now that I’m beginning to digest everything. I know Anthony Bourdain, and I used to watch his shows but never read any of his book (and it totally slipped of my mind that he is also a writer). In short, I didn’t realize that he was demi-god in his industry. I’m glad I prepared and researched before the actual shoot .
2. What particular thing that you like about AB?
I appreciated his depth and spontaneity. Initially, I had this impression he was a man of few words but once you start the ball rolling and talk about food, he just delivers. I also noticed that there is a certain perceptiveness to him. I think this clearly shows how well-versed he is with the culture of food and to a lesser degree, in the things that surround him.
3. Can you share a sneak peak on AB’s Manila itinerary?
I could do a tell-all right now of the repertoire right now for but I am only a part of the Manila segment. It was actually a two day-shoot and I only covered the 1st day. I think pre-empting what happened in the the shoot might just ruin the viewer’s element of surprise when they watch the show and I don’t want to be a spoil sport. However, in words of the show’s producer, the menu I prepared for my Manila segment (3 places in total) went around the theme of being ” gritty by tasty.”
4. What was the most memorable moment you had with Anthony?
I spent a total of 4 hours with Tony during the whole shoot. Every moment and morsel was savored.
Shooting Prep. Getting ready to indulge!
5. What did AB like about Filipino Food?
I think what left a deep impression in him is how quite unexpected our culinary culture here as compared with our neighboring Asian countries. He did mention in our lunch conversation that he was not (yet) able to find an exact reference with regard to the Malay/ Chinese/ Hispanic melting pot ingredients that I emphasized in my presentation of Filipino cuisine. And then one day, I read an article on a local newspaper, he was referring to our cuisine as very ‘New World. In my opinion, that summed up what he like about our food, perhaps initially confusing but at the end of the day, our flavors really mixed well and defined the essence of our culinary heritage.
6. What was the most exotic food that you let him try?
If you mean exotic in the instant-shock ‘Fear-Factor’ context, none. I feel strongly about portraying our culture (including our food) in a balanced and ‘taken-in-the-proper-context’ way. The big question, and I’ve seen a lot of comments out there, is that did Tony eat ‘balut’? No, he did not. As much as I like this delicacy, I think its been negatively overused to represent Filipino food. Worse thing is, what they keep showing in Western television is the balut which we most of us (including me) do not eat – the over ripe one with feathers, beaks and all the scary half-fertilized membranes. And besides, Tony himself admitted that doing ‘balut’ again was so ‘last week!’!
Taken in a different context, I think most, if not all, of the food I fed him was exotic in the sense that they were all new to his palate. And most of them are everyday food that I think reflected a typical Manileno’s eating habits. Seen in a bigger spectrum, it’s food someone from Apparri to Jolo would probablly eat. No frills, just the real deal.
Oh, and they are also dishes that I really like to eat.
As we arrived in Lily Pad, I immediately understood why it was called an origami house. It was designed by architect Jorge Yulo with Lighting Design by Shoko Matsumoto. As we parked the car directly in front of the house, I saw Barbara at the door waiting to welcome the entire family. Iliterally dragged the entire family on a Halloween Friday and drove for 2 hours to Calamba for this historical encounter — OAP meets Second Wind. (Second Wind is the title of Barbara’s STAR column formerly known as Lily Pad Lectures)
Lily Pad is the newest, out-of-town, by-reservation only, intimate restaurant in Manila. They serve home-cooked meals by Barbara’s friend, Tina Tan for P1,000/ head with a minimum of 5 persons (preferably 10). On Saturdays, they serve Mediterranean with limited customization options and on Sundays, you can choose from the Filipino set menu. It is open lunch time only on weekends but you can reserve it for dinner and on a Friday depending on the arrangement. We were able to eat on a Friday because they were closed for the Nov. 1 weekend. Is driving for 2 hours to Barbara’s Lily Pad in Calamba to eat a home-cooked meal from a passionate chef for P1,000/ head , really worth it? Let me start with theThree Things I Love About Barbara Gonzalez’ Lily Pad.
1. Meeting The Barbara Gonzalez
The highlight of our trip was meeting Barbara. She welcomed us like her own personal guests. What I like about her is that she is very candid and direct to the point. I asked her about the story of Lily Pad and she told me that it was in the market for a while until her friend saw it and suggested to turn it into a “Sonya’s Garden” kind of place in Calamba. I bombarded her with questions about her stroke, her mother’s alzheimer’s disease, and about what she thinks about the advertising life. She answered all of them candidly, without any hesitation and without a hint of being politically correct about her answers.
I did not even feel an air of celebrity or snootiness during our conversations. She would serve us and often show us how to enjoy a particular dish like putting Bacalao on top of the slices of French bread. There were moments of silence and she would often break it by playing with Aidan. I can honestly feel the sincerity in making us feel at home.
She entertained my mom with stories of her paintings which were all about her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease with her butterfly signature. They also connected on Barbara’s stroke recovery story and how Ramon Tan’s Carica products were instrumental in her breakthrough recovery.
At the end of our Lily Pad lunch, my mom agreed to sponsor my tuition fee to Barbara’s Creative Writing Class (8 Saturdays) starting second week of January. (Yes!) Barbara also teaches Travel Writing in Sonya’s Garden this coming weekend. back to top
2. The Art of Lily Pad
I’m glad that Barbara pioneered the Dining with Style scene in Calamba. Could this be the start of another “Viaje del Sol” effect in the Calamba area? I certainly hope so. Most of her paintings are hanged on the wall and she would quickly point out which ones are from the other artists she admire. You can visit the small gallery in the second floor. The theme is feminine with focus on images of beautiful women.
Her sold paintings are now displayed as post cards. They represent the Alzheimer’s world of her mother. It is better for Barbara to tell you the story behind each of the paintings. (I don’t want to spoil that experience for you)
The restroom can accommodate our entire family and it is as big as our one bedroom condo in Burgundy. I like the garden scene outside and how I wish I can have this restroom experience in our own home.
You are literally eating in the middle of the pond. You can feed the coi’s and go around the garden while waiting for lunch to be served. The entire dining room has a matrix of rectangular glass views of the garden. The steel rectangular frames were made to have a wood-like illusion.
The house was named after the lilies that grow abundantly around the house.
Please specify to eat in this heirloom circular table which could easily seat 8 people comfortably and 10 people max.
Three Compelling Reasons Why You Should Buy Online? 1. You can earn credit card points on your Purchase. No Need to Have a Paypal Account if you want to pay via Credit card. Major Credit Cards are Accepted. 2.It is cheaper and less hassle.We ensure that we pass on some efficiency savings to people who buys online.Shipment within Metro Manila is FREE courtesy of 2GO Express – The Official Shipment Sponsor of OurAwesomePlanet.com 3. It is secure becauseI’m PayPal Verified.Paypal securelyprocesses the Credit Card transaction.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HAIRSPRAY, MANILA! 1. What is the story about? Hairspray, Manila Synopsis(source: Official Hairspray Website)
The running time of Hairspray is approximately 2 hours 40 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission.
Hairspray is based upon the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, with a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Hairspray is directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell.
In Hairspray, it’s 1962 – the ’50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion–to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, “The Corny Collins Show” and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program’s reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her ‘do? Only in Hairspray! Welcome to the ’60s!
The musical features an original score by Marc Shaiman (who co-wrote the music and lyrics for the acclaimed animated musical, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) and Scott Wittman. Their songs take Tracy from the soundstage of a 60’s-style dance show to the streets of Baltimore to a downtown rhythm and blues record shop.
Hairspray is the winner of eight Tony awards including Best Musical. It was recently made into a hit film starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Queen Latifah. After 2,641 performances and 31 previews, the 19th longest running show on Broadway history will close on 04 January 2009.
Headlining the cast is award winning film/television/stage actor Michael de Mesa. For the first time in his illustrious career, Michael will be playing a woman on stage as he takes on the role of Edna Turnblad, made famous in the original film by Divine, on Broadway by Harvey Fierstein and in the recent movie musical by John Travolta. Michael has been seen in numerous Atlantis show’s such as RENT, PROOF, TICK,TICK…BOOM!, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and, most recently, in DOGEATERS.
Dulce as Motormouth Maybelle (played by Queen Latifah)
Multi-awarded singer Dulce plays Motor Mouth Maybelle, a role that Queen Latifah made famous in the movie musical version of HAIRSPRAY. She gets to sing the second act power ballad I KNOW WHERE I’VE BEN. Dulce was last seen on stage in the musical HIMALA, and marks her 30th year in showbiz with her performance in HAIRSPRAY.
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Velma Von Tussle (played by Michelle Pfeiffer)
Musical Theatre sensation and now stage director Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo returns to perform as the villainous Velma Von Tussle, played in the film by Michelle Pfeiffer. Menchu has appeared in many shows for Atlantis including PROOF and BABY and recently directed WEST SIDE STORY for STAGES. She continues to be one of the country’s most sought after musical theatre actresses.
Nyoy Volante as Seaweed J. Stubbs (played by Elijah Kelley)
Singer/Songwriter Nyoy Volante returns to his theatre roots in HAIRSPRAY where he plays Seaweed J. Stubbs. Nyoy recently released his fifth album entitled HEARTSTRINGS with the hit single BECAUSE. He last appeared on stage alternating with Jett Pangan as James Thunder Early in Atlantis’ DREAMGIRLS.
Leo Rialp as Wilbur (played by Christopher Walken)
Actor/Director Leo Rialp plays Wilbur Turnblad, Edna’s loving and devoted husband. Leo continues to juggle directing with performing and last appeared with Atlantis in DOGEATERS and most recently, appeared on stage in THE GOLDEN CHILD.
Also joining the cast are comedian Gabe Mercado who will be playing numerous roles as The Male Authority Figure, theatre veteran Enchang Kaimo as the Female Authority Figure and Noel Rayos, who returns from Hong Kong Disneyland to play Corny Collins (played by James Marsden).
Other cast members include Tim Espinosa as Link Larkin (played by Zac Efron), Christine Allado as Amber (played by Brittany Snow) — performed with Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, and Monica Reynoso as Penny (played by Amanda Bynes) — performed with Enchang Kaimo.
In the ensemble are Jordan Aguilar, Emy Alcid, Caisa Borromeo, Erika Cedilla, Red Concepcion, Gerlin Francisco, Bea Garcia, Crienna House, Yanah Laurel, Cheeno Macaraig, Michael Odoemene, Anthony Ong, Myrene Santos, Mark Tayag, and Lee Villoria.
HAIRSPRAY is directed by Bobby Garcia, choreographed by Cecille Martinez, Production Design by Gino Gonzale, Lighting Design by Shoko Matsumoto whileMusical Director Archie Castillo will be conducting the FILharmoniKA orchestra.
And, introducing Madel Ching as Tracy Turnblad! back to top 3. Madel WHO?!?
Like most Tracy Turnbalds before her, Madel will be making her professional debut in Hairspray. She is a Junior at Ateneo de Manila majoring in AB Political Science. ( I can hear Ateneans cheering “Go Ateneo!” ) Having performed in school productions including High School Musical, Madel is thrilled to take on her first major role.
She says, “Girls like me don’t get opportunities like this! Honestly, I feel like I’m the modern-day Filipina version of Tracy. A big girl with big dreams It’s a little scary to take on a role this big, but I’m really looking forward to taking on the challenge of playing a character with this much spirit and energy.”
We recently interviewed Madel after one of the Hairspray Rehearsals. Get to know her and watch the Video below:
One of the ways to enjoy watching Hairspray is to familiarize yourself with the songs and dances. Here are some links to You Tube videos of the original Hairspray movie, Hairspray song lyrics and a sneak peak of the Hairspray Manila rehearsals.