Monthly Archives

February 2011

Manila Life

How to Extend the Validity of Your Philippine Passport

2/17/2019 Update: Passport Application Appointment (2019 DFA Philippines Renewal Requirements)

My Philippine passport is expiring on March 1, 2011, and I have to fly to Malaysia this weekend for an OAP.TV shoot. I forgot to renew my passport, and when I applied for a passport renewal appointment, the earliest was mid-April already.

I was planning to cancel the trip until I learned how to extend the validity of the passport. It took me an entire day to line up at the Director’s Office at the DFA and I got the extension of validity 2 days after.

What a relief! It was extended for another two years with a gentle reminder that you need to renew your passport asap.

This is how I did it…

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RENT Manila 2011 Review: Why I Love RENT This Time Around…

Honestly, I was not expecting a lot from the second run of Rent in Manila, especially when I learned that Carla Guevara-Laforteza as Maureen was only playing on Sundays.

In last year’s performance of RENT, Carla’s Moo performance in the song “Over the Moon” and Job Job Bautista’s portrayal of Angel Dumott Schunard were the highlights of the entire show.

I thought it would be the same as last year, just with a new cast.

I was wrong.

I was actually surprised at how awesome the entire show was, particularly the new cast members playing Mimi Sheree Bautista (and Ciara Sotto) — and Carla’s Maureen alternate — Mian Dimacali.

The actors have matured and own their roles already. You can feel the angst and the emotions leading up to the second act of the show.

Here is why I love RENT this time around…

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A Torch 1st Birthday

A Torch Birthday-53

We often celebrate the first birthday with a simple celebration with the immediate family. This time around, for Raphael, we celebrated his first birthday last 2/10/2010 at Torch. 🙂

Torch is a fusion restaurant by Peppermill Caterers. It feels like a cross between Omakase and Amici in a diner set-up. They get the overflow crowd of Lugang and the late-night dinner crowd because of the bar.

It’s nice finding a place for feel-good food that can be enjoyed with the family.

Related Blog Posts:
OAPAidan’s Je Suis Gourmand Birthday Dinner
OAP | Syoti’s (Joshua’s) Birthday

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Bonifacio Global City

Midnight Snack @ Midnight Mercato!

Manang’s Chicken @ Midnight Mercato

Finally, we launched THE weekend night market @ Bonifacio Global City last Friday & Saturday!

Midnight Mercato is the weekend late night food bazaar where you can enjoy mouth-watering food finds — from home-cooked meals to gourmet signature dishes to classic street food re-invented — while listening to live acoustic musical performances. Most importantly, you can enjoy Midnight Mercato in a clean, comfortable and organized setting inside an air-conditioned tent.

Some trivia:
– It is the First Midnight Market (11pm to 3am) in the heart of Bonifacio Global City.
– It is the First Saturday Night Market and Second Friday Night Market in Manila.
– The morning Mercato Centrale continues to operate every Saturday and Sunday 7am to 2pm  with the fresh Organic Market and Food Market.
– It is an ongoing night market every weekend!
– Beer and alcoholic drinks are NOT allowed in the market. (Yes, it is a wholesome family place.)

Here is a photo essay of the Midnight Mercato Launch:

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How to use the OAP Travel Planner for Summer 2011

The OAP Travel Planner is out! We are releasing 1,000 copies ONLY since this is a limited edition batch to get input and feedback to make a killer 2012 Travel Planner. 🙂 We released the first batch of planners already, and this is one of the best feedbacks I received:

Hi Anton,
I just received the OAP 2011 Planner. Bro, I couldn’t believe that you’re just selling this for P600. This is waaaaay better than the P2,500 planner that I buy. I have a question, why the heck didn’t you think about this a long time ago?!?
Kidding aside, this is truly a fantastic planner!!! Now, I can’t wait for your 2012 OAP Planner. Just a small suggestion for the 2012 OAP Planner, if you can, add a latch or a ‘rubber’ thingy so that it will hold the planner close. 
Kind Regards,
Romeo Gonzales III

This planner is great for summer travel and a unique gift for Valentine’s since it is a limited edition copy only.

This is the beta edition of the Our Awesome Planet Guide Book. I’m only accepting input for the 2012 edition from owners of the 2011 guide book/planner, though. I have a lot of ideas in mind and I need your help to focus on items that would benefit the foodies and travelers of the Philippines.

It is available only in Midnight Mercato starting tonight, 10pm-3am and Mercato Centrale Saturdays/Sundays, 7am to 2pm. You can also buy it from the Philippine Travel Fair in SMX from February 18-20, 2011 (until supplies last).

Here are 8 Tips on how you can use the OAP Guide Book/Travel Planer for Summer 2011:

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Awesome Festivals

World’s Best Sandbox 2011 by Butch J. Jimenez

My friend Butch Jimenez has a simple advocacy: “To trumpet to the world that the Philippines is the World’s BEST Sandbox!” He gives away  FREE desk calendar showcasing the best beaches in the Philippines. He does not ask for payment in any shape or form – there’s no catch. 

This year, Butch is partnering with Our Awesome Planet to share the World’s Best Sandbox 2011 Calendars to all Our Awesome Planet readers and friends 🙂  All the photos are taken by Butch J. Jimenez.

Here are snapshots of the calendar:

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Awesome Festivals

14 Ideas for a Different Valentine’s in 2011

Celebrating Valentine’s is getting competitive, with a lot of events happening all at the same time. Since V-day falls on a weekday, it offers a unique scenario where you have a pre-Valentine’s weekend (Feb. 12-13), the Valentine’s Day celebration itself, and a post-Valentine’s weekend (Feb. 19-20).

I know it’s tough to plan a V-day date or gimik these days, so here are 14 ideas to make your Valentine’s celebration a little different:

1. Valentine’s Picnic by Taal Lake

I’ve always loved picnics, which is why I was happy to find a perfect spot for it beside the Taal Lake. Club Balai Isabel in Talisay is now a full-fledged resort with a big swimming pool, a new chapel called The Spousal of Joseph and Mary Chapel, and an unobstructed view of Taal Volcano.

Club Balai Isabel offers a picnic for 2 for only P1,200, exclusively for 12 couples per day from February 12-14. The picnic includes: chips and 3 kinds of salsa, chicken yakitori and pork loin barbecue with java rice (to be grilled), baked chorizo penne with bechamel sauce , pandesal de pugon with 3 kinds of spread , fresh fruit salad , and ensaymaditas with queso de bola.

The best time to go is from 5pm-8pm so you can catch the Taal sunset. Club Balai Isabel is just an hour away from Manila, thanks to the SLEX-Star Tollway. You exit via Talisay, Batangas.

Reserve now with Richard, Account Executive of Club Balai Isabel +63 917 872-1533!

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Performance Arts

Myth of the Human Body: A Review


This is an interesting traveling exhibition from Korea that you should not miss. It may be a bit disturbing but it’s justified as an education in anatomy with a slant of “you should stop smoking and start living healthy”. This is an exhibit of cadavers preserved with a technique called plastination (developed by Gunther von Hagens, a German anatomist).

I like the educational value and eerie feel of the exhibit, but my gut tells me that whoever developed this is a bit mad. If you believe that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, then it is not right to manipulate and use it in this manner. (Even if you say that most of the cadavers are ex-cons from China).

Overall, I would recommend seeing it because it is very effective in giving you a sense of urgency to live healthy. Here’s my review of the exhibit…

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#Restaurants, Bonifacio Global City

Back for 2nds, Definitely!

Chef Mikko’s Buffalo Bacon Chicharon
(P285 +10% service charge)

2nd’s is a great place to hang out with friends, while enjoying food and a single malt whisky. Its laid-back vibe is certainly inviting.

There, they serve comfort food and unique dishes like the crispy fried bacon with its tangy buffalo flavor and blue cheese. With food like that, they make sure you come back for 2nds after your first visit. 🙂

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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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