Monthly Archives

July 2010


CATS Fever Finally in Manila :)

Photo from CATS Manila souvenir program.

Listening to the songs of CATS during my childhood introduced me to the world of Broadway Musicals. So when we learned last November that CATS would run in Manila, we immediately bought tickets for the opening night show.

What CATS is all about?

CATS is about the annual tradition of the Jellicle cat tribe whose members meet in a modern junkyard setting with the midnight moon in the background. Before sunrise, the leader of the tribe will select the jellicle cat that deserves to be reincarnated.

Throughout the show, the cats invite the audience to the Jellicle ball as they are introduced one by one. The cats are very particular about their identity and use three different names: one that is used by the family that owns them, then a more dignified name and a secret name.


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4 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Join Maven Secrets 4.0

Maven Secrets Batch 3.0 Graduation Dinner

We just completed Maven Secrets 3.0, and due to insistent demand, I’m launching Maven Secrets 4.0 from August to November 2010.

I would like to invite you to join this 90-day program. Here are 4 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Join Maven Secrets 4.0:

1. Be part of the Last Maven Secrets. This will be the LAST coaching/mastermind face-to-face group that I will be conducting for the year. If you want to capitalize on the Internet Marketing Boom in 2011, now is the time to set up your internet marketing business.

2. Attend IM-BC 2010 for FREE. You can attend the two-day Internet Marketing Boot Camp 2010 for FREE (worth P12,294) as an early registration bonus for the Maven Secrets 4.0 Program.

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The Magic of Batanes Isles (Part 2 of 2)

The Magic of Batanes Isles
La Isla Magazine, July 2010 Cover Story
Written by Anton Diaz
Photos by George Tapan

Read First: The Magic of Batanes Isles (Part 1 of 2)

Sabtang Island

Chamantad Viewpoint, Sabtang Island
.  Photo by
George Tapan.

Sabtang Island is 30-45 minutes away from Batan Island via a
falowa ride. The falowa is a U-haul boat designed with no balancing beam called
katig, so that it can freely dance with
the waves. Between Batan and Sabtang is the channel where the Pacific Ocean and
the South China Sea meet. In this channel, you can see the waves flowing in
different directions, and this is where most people get seasick with the
falowa’s rocking motion.

Once you arrive in Sabtang and see the heritage towns of
Savidug and Chavayan, you will realize that bearing with the rocky falowa trip
was worth it. These two areas are the remaining coastal towns composed
predominantly of the stone houses Batanes is known for. The houses have walls
that are made from stones bonded with lime and their roofs are made from cogon.
These towns are next in line for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List in
the Philippines.

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The Magic of Batanes Isles (Part 1 of 2)

The Magic of Batanes Isles
La Isla Magazine, July 2010 Cover Story
Written by Anton Diaz
Photos by George Tapan

A country-style charm in a lush garden setting at Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge. Photo by George Tapan.

I’ve been to Batanes a number of times. I’ve witnessed how people magically fall in love with these northernmost islands of the Philippines. They fall in love not only with its beauty, but also with its cultural heritage, yummy food and the islands’ proud Ivatans.  The love that is developed is very authentic (not induced by any marketing ploy) and very organic (not forced), to the point that some people want to live in this place. Even my wife who joined me in my recent trip could not stop raving about it to our friends and family.

But what makes the experience magical?

Related Blog Posts:

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Pepita’s Binagoongan… Ooh La La Lechon!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner
Pepita’s Lechon!
 Binagoongan and Garlic, Potato & Herb Lechon

 Total Number of Foodies who rated: 391
 “The binagoongan lechon with rice was delicious!”

“Lechon has the herbs I like. Yummy even without the sauce. I want
gravy to go with the gourmet meat taste of the lechon. love the roasted
– Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

Pepita’s Lechon debuted in the Ultimate Taste Test 4.0, and foodies raved about Pepita’s Filipino Binagoongan Lechon. The concept was simple — Lechon de Leche with Binagoongan Rice inside. It was awesome! But there were a few comments about the liver sauce being too “hardcore-liver” in taste.

Dedet loves lechon, and we were privy to her taste test sessions at home when she was experimenting on different flavors since last Christmas. Aside from the Binagoongan, our personal favorites were the lechon with pineapple (which tasted like ham) and the lechon with chorizo and cashew. Innovative and masarap!

The secret of Pepita’s Lechon is that they use native Lechon de leche. Plus, they are pugon-baked, which makes it really yummy because the meat is juicy and absorbs the flavor well. The crispness of the skin needs to be consistent, though, and she needs to work on the right sauces for the lechon.

Congratulations, Pepita’s Lechon! Try ordering her lechon for your next special event. 🙂

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EQUUS, A Naked Review

Photo by Jojit Lorenzo

EQUUS is a very intense, disturbing and a bit shocking straight play.

It is intense because of the involving drama between child psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart and the young man he is treating, Alan Strang, who blinded horses and has a sexual fascination with them. It is based on a true crime involving a 17-year-old who blinded six horses in a small town near London.

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Strawberry Ginger & Orange Whisky — The Fruit Garden Jam Love!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner
The Fruit Garden Luxury Jams!
Orange Whisky, Dalandan, Strawberry Ginger, Peppered Pineapple, Mango Coriander, Mango Banana, Pineapple Banana.

 Total Number of Foodies who rated: 194

“Interesting flavor combos! and they work!”


weet but with a kick at the end-

– Jams are unique and very good”

 – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

The Fruit Garden debuted in UTT3, and most of the foodies there raved about it (Read: The Fruit Garden as the Best Fruit Jams in Manila). We received Fruit Garden Jam as gifts last Christmas, and we loved it.

In UTT4, they introduced an innovative line of Jam flavors. Most foodies raved about the Strawberry Ginger, Mango Coriander, and their premium jam — Orange Whisky, made with the Scottish Glenlivet whisky, which is 12 years old!

To make jams, fruits and sugar are cooked together, so adding an exotic ingredient like ginger, coriander or whisky is quite tricky. But when balanced perfectly, it enhances the overall taste so that you won’t get tired of it and, as the UTT 4.0 foodie commented, it does give the jam a nice kick in the end.

Congratulations to The Fruit Garden for their consistent product innovation — proudly made in the Philippines!

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#Philippines, Events, Ultimate Taste Test

Denim Kitchen’s Smoked Mackerel!

 Congratulations, Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Winner
Denim Kitchen
Bangus Sardines in Canola Oil, Smoked Mackerel in Olive Oil, Crunchy Garlic, Mango Chutney

Total Number of Foodies who rated: 274
 Subtle, delicate…flavor, just right saltiness”

“Love the smoked mackerel. May konting spice.” – Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 Foodie

This is one of the surprising discoveries in Ultimate Taste Test 4.0 because it is quite rare for foodies to rave about this kind of food. During the event, you could see a lot of the foodies were delighted with the homemade bangus sardines and the smoked mackerel.

I find the branding strategy counter-intuitive, using a type of fabric as branding for food. They do have very unique packaging, though — a 750g microwaveable tub placed in a pine crate.

The taste is way better than the bottled ones you can buy commercially. It has the right amount of flavor and salt that goes very well with rice (although some foodies did find it a bit too salty). The love and dedication the owners put in their product are quite evident in every bite.

Homemade-Tasting Food + Awesome Packaging = Winning Foodie Product!

Congratulations, Denim Kitchen!

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[Contest] Top Blogging Tools I use in OAP; What’s yours?

Top Blogging Tools I use in OAP; What’s yours?

Contest Duration: July 12, Monday, 12.00am to July 25, Sunday, 11.59pm

I’m often asked variants of this question: What camera / hosting / tools do you use for blogging? 

So, for this blog post, I would like to share my answer to that question with you, but I also want to know what blogging tools you use.

As an incentive, the best answer (via the comments section, blog post or Facebook entry) will win my favorite Flip Ultra 120 HD 120 minutesThanks to Flip Camera Manila Distributor for sponsoring the prize for the contest!

My Top Blogging Tools

  • Blog Hosting: Typepad Pro

Typepad is a managed hosting service that has the easy blogging interface of Blogger and the sophistication and nice template of WordPress. I love Typepad because I don’t need to worry about hosting, bandwidth and security of the site. I’ve been using Typepad ever since I started. And Seth Godin also uses typepad.

  • Digital Camera: Canon 20d 17-40mm L Lens

Ninety-five percent of the photos you see in OAP are produced using my Canon 20d. I love Canon — this has been my camera ever since I started. What makes the food shots crisp in OAP is the fine 17-40 L lens by Canon. The other 5% is produced by my back-up camera (when my Canon is in the shop for repairs).

  • Video Blogging Camera: Flip Ultra HD Camera 120 minutes

I love Flip because you can shoot a video and immediately upload it to YouTube in a matter of minutes. The video is HD quality and the audio is quite good already in a relatively quiet environment. For blogging, use the Ultra HD version and not any other version if you want to publish the video in your blog.

  • Mobile Phone and Subscription: iPhone 3G with Globe

These days, you already need a GPS-enabled camera so that you can participate in location-based services like Four Square. I like the simplicity and seemless integration of the iPhone with my Mac and other online services.

I’m a proud Globe subscriber ever since — 0917-LOVEOAP (5683627).

  • Laptop and Blogging Client: MacBook Pro with ECTO

I love Mac! It is easy to use, especially for blogging. I specifically use a Macbook Pro version so that it can handle my simple video editing needs.

There is a special blogging client called ECTO (for MAC only) where you can blog offline and just publish your post when you are online. Also, ECTO can manage multiple blogs in multiple platforms.

  • Photo Editing, Watermarking and Hosting Tool: Lightroom 2.0 with Flickr.

After 5 years of blogging in OAP, I now have 78,841 photos, and they all need to be managed. I have all my photos managed by Lightroom, which automates a lot of the post-processing like cropping, renaming the filenames, placing the watermark, and automatically uploading it to Flickr.

I would recommend you also use a separate photo hosting tool like Flickr instead of just uploading your photos to your own server or hosting platform.


That’s it! Now it’s your turn. What are the top tools you use for blogging?

To officially enter the contest, just put your answer or link your answer in the comments section of this blog post. Deadline for the contest is on July 25, Sunday, 11.59pm. 🙂

And the winner is…

for all the great entries! It was actually very very hard to choose. I
didn’t expect a lot of people to join so thank you all for joining!

I learned a lot from the entry of the winner and it made me rethink
the webhosting I use and the putting watermarks on my photos. You should
read the winning entry.

The Geekette Speaketh’s My Blogging Tools

Congratulations Charo, you just won a Flip Ultra HD Camera!  To claim, just email my wife [email protected] and we will arrange a meet-up 🙂

As a runner up, I need to mention this post because I like it:
Cher Cabula’s Mindbox My Top Blogging Tools

Live an Awesome Life,

Call or Text Me: +63917 5683-627 (LOVE-OAP)
Follow Me FacebookTwitterFlickrYoutube

Disclosure: We are distributors of the Flip Ultra

The Flip Ultra HD camera selling price is at P9,995. Yes, it is now locally available in Manila! Just email my wife at [email protected] or text/call her +63917 5318949 if you are interested. Ask for the special OAP friend discount. 🙂

P.S. Join Maven Secrets 4: A 90-day Internet Marketing and Professional Blogging Program!


Banchetto Love – Friday Night Foodie Market Feast!

If you are looking for a place to eat after a late Friday night gimmick in the Ortigas area, then Banchetto is the perfect foodie place for you. Banchetto is an Italian word meaning “a feast”, and it lives up to the expectation of being the best foodie night market in the area. It was organized for the call center crowd in Ortigas as it literally opens at 12 midnight.

Here is a photo essay of our Banchetto Food Trip on Emerald…

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Or a guide for your next destination?

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