Monthly Archives

July 2011


Tourné, Slow Food, and Chef Sandralyn Hataway

Update 6/6/2012: This restaurant is now closed 🙁

The Tourné restaurant concept by a balikbayan Le Cordon Bleu Dallas chef whose passion is to serve modern good food using the local produce in the Philippines is interesting and admirable. 

Chef Sandra’s concept is similar with Chef Tatung’s Private Dining and Chef Sau’s Le Bistro Vert

She aims to revive the Slow Food movement in Manila (which is barely alive) using fresh and local ingredients. This is a refreshing contrast to the opening of international (fast) food franchises using “flown in” ingredients. 

Will she succeed? Let me share with you why we think she will … 

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Beer Pairing Basics 2: French Food with Beer?

This is Part 2 of the Beer Pairing Basics with San Miguel Lifestyle Brews. This time, it was a private, by-invite-only event. (Maybe because matching beer with French food is risky and experimental?)

The premise is, if we can pair French food with wine, why not beer?  Let me share with you our experience…

San Miguel Lifestyle Brews Beer Pairing Series:

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#Restaurants, Food

Manang’s Chicken – the Unofficial Story…

We ❤ Manang’s Chicken! It has the double-fried crispiness of Bon Chon Chicken, but with a sweet/spicy Filipino sauce comparable to (if not better than) Charlie’s Chicken.

Their story is typical — Jill’s Manang (a trusted househelp) created this fried chicken at home with a signature Filipino sauce. Every time Jill’s friends would come to their house, they would crave for Manang’s chicken.

When Mercato Centrale opened last November 21, 2010, Jill decided to make the jump and opened a stall to offer Manang’s Chicken to the foodies in Manila.  Jill is a lawyer by profession, so opening a food stall was truly a risk.

But true enough, foodies were raving about Manang’s Chicken.

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Bonifacio Global City

Building St. Michael the Archangel Church @ BGC a Square Meter at a Time!

Here is a chance of a lifetime for our generation to help build the Catholic Church of Bonifacio Global City, dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel.

The church will be located along 39th St., North Bonifacio Triangle. This is different from the St. Michael the Archangel Chapel along MRT Avenue (formerly Bayani Road). 

Here is a sneak peek of how the church would look like: 

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30 Awesome Food Experiences around the Philippines (by Pinoy Travel Bloggers)!

Food is an integral part of the Filipino culture. To understand why, you need to travel and experience it. We asked the most passionate Pinoy Travel Bloggers this question:  “What is Your Most Awesome Food Experience while Traveling in the Philippines?

 The answers pleasantly surprised us. We have only tried 16 (✔) out of 30.  Our favorite posts are marked with a ★ symbol because we recommend it as a must-try food experience or we want to taste the food in our future travels. Travel the Philippines First!


I’m inspired by the post of Kara Santos on experiencing what Aeta food really is. Hopefully, I can go to the 2nd Aeta Forest Food Festival. For balikbayans out there, Graciel Cecilio created a great guide on how to have an awesome food experience.

Ivan Briñas Cultura‘s Best Bibingka and Strangest Bibingka posts were very interesting. Every Filipino should try Alagao in Antipolo as blogged by Tita Lili. If you want something more exotic, there’s Frog Legs in the Estero by Brenna Bustamante. We aim to try the Pakaskas, featured by Josiah Sicad, one of these days.


“In terms of forest food, we learned that Aetas primarily plant mountain rice, wild bananas, corn, and root crops like ube (a form of taro), kamoteng kahoy (cassava) and kamoteng baging (mountain yams). Wild bananas called amukaw have lots of tiny black seeds, which are strained before the edible part of the banana is made into a refreshing juice. The extract is believed to cure ‘pasma’ (trembling hands and sweaty palms that occur after hard labor).”

READ MORE: Travel Up  First Aeta Forest Food Festival

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#Restaurants, Food

Hong Kong Roast: A Bagtikan Hole-in-the-Wall Favorite

When I first visited Hong Kong Roast, I had this nagging feeling that the food seemed familiar…

Later on, we found out that this HK-canteen-type resto along Bagtikan St. in Makati was actually the morphed version of Fortune Empire, an Ultimate Taste Test 5.0. winner and one of the pioneers who helped us launch Mercato Centrale last November.

Some of their dishes are awesome (like our favorite roast pork), but some are not recommended. Read on to find out what to order in Hong Kong Roast (HKR).

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#Restaurants, Food

The Cheese Steak Shop: Authentic Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, Anyone?

Cheese Steak Shop-19.jpg

Manila’s Philly Cheese Steak scene just got interesting…

The Cheese Steak Shop is the first international franchise of the company known for serving the original Philly Cheese Steak in California. This new shop brings a good mix of options to the already-popular cheese steak offerings of Elbert’s Cheesesteak Sandwiches and Charlie’s Cheese Steak Sandwich.

It would be interesting to see if Manila would prefer the “original”  stateside version over the Filipino version of the Philly Cheese Steak.

I was curious about this newcomer so we tried it…

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You are Invited to Maven Secrets 6.0!

Dear OAP Friend,

I would like to invite you to be part of Maven Secrets 6.0, the last batch of Mavens for 2011

Maven Secrets Program is a 90-day coaching, masterminding and mentoring program by Our Awesome Planet. It is a unique program where I personally handhold you to learn how to market online like a respected Maven.

There is NO other program like this in Manila

In Maven Secrets, you will learn:

  • Strategies to bring your offline business and new ideas to life online in 90 days.
    (The program includes setting up the website for you by our distinguished faculty)
  • The critical skill of internet marketing so that you don’t get obsolete.
    (Ignorance and incompetence in this must-know-how skill could cost you your career)
  • The Maven Mindset on how to make a living out of something that you love NOW 🙂 
    (You can pursue your passion while getting paid for what you love to do online)

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Ganso-Shabuway, an American Japanese-style Hot Pot Franchise

Update August 7, 2012: They removed the sharing fee charge already. Yehey!

A new hot pot place is in town.

It is the first international franchise of Eiichi Mochizuki‘s Shabuway, based in the US with branches in San Mateo, San Jose and Mountainview, California. Now, it’s in Greenbelt 5 too. 🙂

Shabuway is a coined term that means “the road to shabu-shabu for shabu-shabu lovers.”  Here, they serve high-quality beef and vegetarian shabu shabu sets.

The prices are quite reasonable at an average of P500 each for the regular and vegetarian sets.

The entire restaurant is conceptualized well — from the story behind the resto, to the minimalist menu and the hip-looking design. But beyond the “marketing” package, I wondered if the resto would deliver on food quality and overall experience…

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My Varekai Act :)


The first time a Cirque du Soleil show visited Manila, I ignored it. I thought it was just another circus.

But I was bitten by the Cirque du Soleil bug when I watched La Nouba at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida during our honeymoon. 🙂

I love Cirque du Soleil shows because of the wonderful storytelling, lighting, costumes, and original music, which set the tone for an unbelievable acrobatic show. It is a plus that they don’t use any animals in any of their performances.

Needless to say, I got addicted.

Related Blog Posts:

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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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