Monthly Archives

February 2010


The 10 Biggest Foodie Trends in Manila 2010!

Allow me to share with you my talk during the 2nd Top Menu Masters Conference in Tagaytay…

Good Morning! I’m honored to contribute to the restaurant industry by sharing with you What’s Hot and What’s Not In the Evolving Philippine Dining Out Market. I’m an engineer by profession. I worked for P&G for 13 years as an IT Manager and turned into a full-time blogger in 2008 to focus on OAP. I don’t know how to cook and my family is not into any restaurant business.


What I can share with you today are the insights that I got from running one of the most popular food and travel blogs in the Philippines for 5+ years. I’ve been to most of the awesome restaurants across the Philippines — just name almost any restaurant and I’ll share with you my experience there. I interact everyday with Filipinos who love food. Since I don’t have a conflict of interest with any restaurant, I can give my insights without any bias.

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Avenue Q is BACK with Rachel Alejandro!

Avenue Q is finally back in Manila on its fifth run!

Rachel Alejandro is back as Kate Monster/ Lucy The Slut instead of Carla Guevara-Laforteza, who is currently playing the role of Maureen in RENT. Calvin Millado, who originally played Roger in the first run of RENT in Manila, is joining Avenue Q as Brian. The rest of the Avenue Q Gang are back - Aiza Seguerra, Frenchie Dy, Felix Rivera, Thea Tadiar and Joel Trinidad.

If you missed Avenue Q last time, now is the time to see it. 🙂 Experience the excitement in its last run in Manila before going to Singapore…

Avenue Q Manila Cast with Princeton and Kate Monster (August 2007)
Avenue Q High (September 2007)
Avenue Q Final Run – 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss the Opening Night of Avenue Q’s Final Run! (April 2008)
 Avenue Q: My Gigantic Heart Will Go On… (May 2008)
Carla's Avenue Q (June 2008)

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Awesome Festivals

Alain Ducasse in Manila

(Video Link: Alain Ducasse in Manila)

Alain Ducasse, one of the world’s most celebrated modern French chefs and founder of Alain Ducasse Formation (Enderun’s academic partner for Culinary Arts), is in Manila for a 2-day visit. He is joined by Chef See Cheong Yan (Enderun’s corporate culinary head) and Thomas Nommer (ADF’s international development manager) at the press conference.

It was an honor to be in his presence. He preferred to speak in French with a translator. His philosophy is very simple: cuisine is 60% carefully selected ingredients and 40% mastery of French culinary techniques. He encourages Filipino Cuisine to be unique, to use our natural ingredients and to NOT be influenced by other cuisines. (I totally agree!)

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Floating Island – The Best Hospital Restaurant (for me)

One of our main considerations for choosing Makati Med versus St. Luke's in Bonifacio Global City is that MMC, at present, has the best hospital restaurant in the country! Not only that, you can buy the best siopao in Makati in this hospital. Floating Island has been a fave secret resto among foodies in Makati. It is one of the better Filipino restaurants in the country and has been operational since 1969.

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Romeo and Bernadette

Valentine’s is not yet over, not until you have watched Romeo & Bernadette. 🙂

The premise of this musical is funny in itself. Romeo did not die, he was just sleeping — until he awakens in the 1960’s. He meets Bernadette in Verona, Italy (whom he thinks is his lovely Juliet) and decides to pursue her all the way to Brooklyn in America.

It’s a bit “old school” theater, but it still is very, very funny. Just imagine: Brooklyn accents, Italian melodies, Shakespearean poetry, and Gangsters in a Romantic Comedy Musical. It’s sort of a weird combination but it works.

It has audience participation like RENT’s “Moo!” scene. Here, the crowd chants, “DONNA, DONNA…” Rem Zamora gives ROMEO & BERNADETTE great comic relief, much like what Job Bautista’s portrayal of Angel gave RENT. Both musicals are set in America but in different eras — RENT is in the ’90s while ROMEO & BERNADETTE is in the ’60s.

We love it because it’s unpredictably funny, complete with a showcase of 1960’s fashion. It is a feel-good romantic play that is light and sure to please any theater newbie out there.

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Awesome Festivals

Awesome Pilipinas Debuts in Travel Fair!

Finally, I’m launching the Awesome Pilipinas Tours in the 17th Travel Tour Expo 2010 on Feb. 19-21. It is the biggest travel fair in the country 🙂  Awesome Pilipinas is the signature tours brand of Our Awesome Planet in partnership with Frontline 8 Travel one of the trusted travel agencies in the Philippines. 

I designed all the full-packaged tours to celebrate the local flavors, to experience the awesome adventures the place has to offer, and to imbibe the local culture the best way possible. We partner with the best travel agencies, the best tour guides, the best hotels, and the best restaurants. The entire experience is designed to be hassle-free and guaranteed to take your breath away.

UPDATE Feb. 20, Saturday:
All the discounted Airfares are sold out on Day 1. All Holy Week Destinations are fully booked as well. Most people are looking for packages now. See you 🙂

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My Marathon Story

My Marathon Story

This is my contribution to those in the running community who want to finish their first dream marathon. How could I say no to Jaymie, who asked me to share my first marathon experience during the Bull Circle: The Dream Marathon session @ ROX?

I ran my first 42k marathon last July 2007 during the 31st Milo Marathon (even before running became a hit in Manila). It was an exhilarating experience but, at the same time, a bit traumatic. Some people misuse the word “Marathon” to connote running in an organized race of any distance. But we always want to correct that — you only run a Marathon if it is 42k and not less than that.

I’m planning to run my second Marathon this year. 🙂 

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Awesome Festivals

OAP Team Manila Shirt!

I’m so excited that the Our Awesome Planet and Team Manila Shirt is ready! The shirt was designed by Jowee himself of Team Manila 🙂 We are launching the shirt in time for the biggest travel fair in the country in SMX on Feb. 19-21, 2010. I’ll be there the whole day manning the Awesome Pilipinas Tours booth 🙂

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Secrets of North Luzon Travel in 2010

I recently journeyed with the best of the young travel bloggers and travel writers in the country on a 7-day North Philippines familiarization tour. I’ve been to most of them, but there were a few little secrets that I learned during that trip. Here are the top 10 secrets of North Luzon in 2010… 🙂

1. The Latest Attraction Travelers are Raving About: Sandboarding in Laoag Sand Dunes!

Out of all the places we visited in North Luzon, I found Sandboarding in Laoag the most AWESOME! It is just like surfing — but on sand. You also have to conquer your fear before you can really go down the steep slope of the sand dunes. Sandboarding here is still in its infancy, and all they do is slide down the slopes — no jumps and no complicated moves yet. The adventure starts with a 4×4 drive across the sand dunes and then you will stop at one of the dunes with the steepest slope — this is where the fun activity begins. 🙂

(BTW, there are two areas of sand dunes in Ilocos Norte — the one in Paoay and the one in La Paz. We tried sandboarding in the Paoay area.)

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Awesome Filipinos

Masawa Hong Butuan

A 24.7 meter-long second balangay named “Masawa Hong Butuan was built in the historic Butuan City where the first Balangay relics were discovered. It was named after the place where the first Christian Mass was held in the Masawa delta in Agusan River (with Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan). This is to put a stake on Butuan’s claim and to correct the history books that the first mass was held in Masawa and not in Limasawa in Southern Leyte.

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Looking for a new place to eat?
Or a guide for your next destination?

Looking for a new place to eat?

Or a guide for your next destination?

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