Author

Anton Diaz

Musicals

“The Good Body”, Review

I must admit that I was not able to relate to the show.

Don’t get me wrong… the entire show was very entertaining from the moment Pinky Amador started her monologue and showed her belly button to Eve’s last entry #18 in her diary about Afghan Women eating ice cream illegally. The performances by Monique Wilson, Pinky Amador, and Juno Henares were excellent with their eloquent delivery with the right accent to the emotional facial expressions. Pinky Amador played the role of Eve, she was very funny. Her timing was excellent and her confidence showed through out the entire show. Monique played the role of Woman 1 which means, she would play a lot of roles and have to transform herself through the different woman she portrayed for 2 hours. What was memorable for me was the time she played an aggresive Indian woman in the gym — it was a hilarious scene! Lastly, this was the first time we saw Juno Henares in a play. She has a very beautiful expressive face and a not-so-slim body which fits very well with the role. The highlight for me was her performance on the “spread tuck” — I can still imagine the spread until now…

There was no dull moment except for Entry #13 on Isabella Rossellini portrayal that we ask what was the point of that monologue? This was an adult show obviously and it was very vulgar. I originally thought it was all about women’s obsession on her stomach but it attacks issues on women’s obsession in conforming to society’s standard of beauty defined by a slim and young body. The show is an essay and a deep dive on these issues and provokes the audience to reprogram their minds and love the body they are in. This reminds me of Olay’s tagline “Love the Skin you are in” and Dove’s Natural beauty campaign.

Now, this is where I can’t relate: why women around the world have been “programmed” to hate their body for what it is and always strive to make it a “good body” as defined by society. I guess this would remain a mystery to me and a subject of debate between me and my wife. There was no mention of the Filipina in the show but I bet these issues are also prevalent in our society brought about by the “Kris Aquino” generation. For me, a Good Body is a Healthy Body and that is the standard that we should aim for.

Anton

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Ilocos

[Fort Ilocandia #3] The Sand Dunes of Ilocos


To end my Fort Ilocandia series, I would like to share with you my experience of going to the famous Sand Dunes of Ilocos. This is about 45 mins to 1 hour walk along the beach from Fort Ilocandia. Yes, I endured the walk just to get these photos. This Desert in the North is famous because this is the setting of Fernando Poe’s Panday desert scenes and you can just imagine it when you are already in this place.

There were no people in sight but I was surprised to see bahay kubo/ shanties hidden in the small sand hills. I also took a self portrait above and this one is my favorite! I experienced for the first time what they call the “presence” walk where you don’t think about the future nor the past but just think and be grateful for the present. It was such a nice experience visiting this desert.

This is not for everyone so I’ll leave you with the photos to enjoy this place. These photos are very special to me so please ask permission if you want to have a copy of it. I only ask for proper acknowledgement and my special request is not to use it for commercial purposes.

Lastly, imagine your favorite saying or think of inspirational messages as you look through them.

Enjoy!!

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#Restaurants, Food

Abe means good filipino food!


Abe (ah-beh), noun.
1. Capampangan word for friend, companion, and getting together.
2. Nickname of a beloved son of Pampanga, Emilio Aguilar Cruz (1915-1991), writer, editor, painter, connoisseur, bon vivant and legendary eater outer.
3. Means good “Filipino” food!

Finally, a Serendra restaurant that is relatively cheaper with a filipino food quality that can rival the best Filipino restos. Of course, expect only the best from this restaurant which is a loving tribute to Larry Cruz’s Father, Abe. This is part of the LJC group of companies and you should not be surprised to see some of the menu items from Cafe Adriatico, Bistro Remedios, etc. etc. What I like about this is that it serves true Filipino food and I always believe that Campampangan dishes are the authentic Filipino food that have little influence from our colonizers.

Also, if I would have foreign visitors, this is the type of place that I want to bring them to experience Filipino cuisine. This is not your modern fusion cuisine but Capampangan dishes at its finest. Think about Kamayan + Cabalen with a touch of Chef Laudico into the quality and presentation. The menu items are P200-P400 and if you just stick to the P200 menu items, this would be the best deal in Serendra restos! Also, rice is bottomless @ P45++ so you can eat all you want ] as most Filipinos do. The Buro or what they call balo balo relish is superbly done. Rey, the manager who has been with the LJC group of companies for the longest time, provides very good customer service. I do hope he gets to train the rest of the staff quickly.

In the past, I have a star rating system for restaurants with 5 as the highest rating. I would rate this a 4.5 overall because of the overall ambiance, quality of food, value for money and friendly service. The only thing is that it is not kids friendly and they don’t have a high chair. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Musicals

The Good Body by Eve Ensler (creator of Vagina Monologues)

Finally , Eve Ensler’s The Good Body will be showing in the Philippines courtesy of the New Voice Company. I was happy to receive the email below and I’m sure would not miss its premier shows either on Nov. 10 or 11 @ 9pm. I’m sure it would be a night of laughter, and intellectual stimulation on the subject of Flabby Stomach. The main cast of the show would be theater veterans MONIQUE WILSON, PINKY AMADOR, and JUNO HENARES.

See you there! I do hope that the show won’t be disappointing because I heard mixed reviews about it.

Anton

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Manila Life

[Dear Awesome Planet #6] Viaje Del Sol Itinerary

Dear Anton,

I read your entry about Viaje del Sol — and great timing, too, since my
wife and I are planning to drive there this weekend. You mentioned that if
we needed tips I can email you. I was hoping you can help me out with the
itinerary. Like where should we start? And is there a need to call in
advance?

Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,
Glenn, OAP Reader

Related Posts:
[Dear Awesome Planet #1] Best of the Philippines in 30 days
[Dear Awesome Planet #2] Golden Sunset Resort, Calatagan
[Dear Awesome Planet #3] My Favorite Blogs about the Philippines
[Dear Awesome Planet #4] Out-of-town Recommendations and “Not to Miss” Restaurants
[Dear Awesome Planet #5] a few photography and blogging questions

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Food

The FunnelCake Factory

Lately, I’m getting education on different types of cakes that are available here in Manila. The lesson for today is all about funnel cakes. For me, it is the cousin of pancakes and waffle. It taste like Maruya (a local delicacy of fried banana in flour) and it has the same consistency. It is fried and crispy. Usually it can go with any sweet toppings like chocolate, cream and fruits. Some of the existing flavors include, caramel almond, cinnamon, nutty choco loco, peanut butter banana, mango graham and tuna cheese. Funnel cakes are associated with Pennyslvania Dutch region of the US and popular around ball parks, country fairs, and festivals.

The funnel cake factory used to have a stall in the Fort strip and they transfered to the third floor of Festival Mall. Finally, they setup a 45 sq meter dining resto along President’s avenue in BF. We were surprised that they were opened on a Fri and Saturday night until 12 mn when most of the shops would already close by that time. For late night desserts, they have a funnel cake fondue composed of three-piece fun-size funnel cake topped with banana and powdered sugar. They use toblerone for their chocolate and this would costs around P150 net. Here is a copy of the menu since they also serve sandwiches and coffee –> Funnel Cakes Factory Menu.

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#Restaurants, Food

Hula Hula @ Westgate

I must admit if not for my readers, I would have miss visiting this place @ Westgate in Filinvest, Alabang. From the outside, you only have a glimpse of the white staircase and there are no visible signs of happy eaters. The name sounds cheesy and childish that you will make you think twice if you want to eat here. The place just opened in June so for the record, it was ahead of the hawaiian resto — Polu Kai in Serendra.

It feels like Gerry’s grill with Japanese, American, Portuguese and Asean cuisine fusion. Is this really how Hawaiian food should look and taste like? Polu Kai actually beats Hula Hula in terms of ambiance, warm welcome and space (*** it feels like it since Hula2 seems to be crowded). But this Hawaiian inspired resto in Westgate, is definitely much more affordable and you won’t complain about the quality of the food. We were tempted to order the Luau feast which is good for 3-4 persons and the price ranges from P550+ for the Bora Bora to P695+ for the Japanese Hawaiian. The Luau feast is quite innovative since they put composition into the arrangement of ordinary food and it appears like food painting from the distance. Since it is only me and my wife, we decided to try the best sellers of the house which includes the Mess of Steaks and the Paella in Bamboo Sticks (this turned out to be more expensive though).

Overall, great affordable food that you would come back for more. I usually have a rule that once I’ve eaten in a resto, it is seldom that I go back since I would like to save our resto money for other new places out there. But for Hula Hula, we’ll make an exception since by the looks of the Luau feast, not only is it a good photo opportunity but you can also see the happy faces of the people eating it 🙂 Lastly (huling hirit na), this is a good place to treat your friends or family on your birthday or celebrating milestones like graduation.

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#Restaurants, Food

TheFrench Corner

October 18, 2006 Update: Formerly Voulez Vous which means “Do you want? “, I just recently went back to Westgate and realized that this place has a new permanent name “The French Corner”. Here is my original post on Voulez Vous and I was wondering if only the name was changed or is there also something different with the menu and the chef?

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Original Post Title: Voulez Vous? Do you Want? (January 17, 2006)

Formerly C’est si Bon (which was registered already to a pastry store) , Voulez Vous offers Mediterranean cuisine — I crave for this type of food 🙂 This is manned by Billy King’s proteges Larry Cruz and Chef Mauro Arjona. Billy King’s claim to fame is having worked as the executive chef of Le Souffle which is one of Manila’s Best Fine Dining restaurants. This is located in Westgate Filinvest, Alabang and if you look at the building structure, you won’t be immediately attracted with its weird shape building facade.

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#Restaurants, Batangas, Food

Kainan sa Dalampasigan!

3/17/15 Update: KAINAN SA DALAMPASIGAN: A Must Stop Over Filipino Restaurant in Nasugbu! 

A Warm Welcome to Kainan sa Dalampasigan!

Doesn’t this remind you of a scene in The Lord of The Rings?… These hanging vines are enough to set the tone for a lunch/dinner in a middle of a rustic garden. The nearest beach places in Manila are the ones in Nasugbu or Calatagan Batangas. I like going to these parts of Batangas, because it passes by Tagaytay. So almost, always, Tagaytay is the setting for Breakfast on the way to Batangas and for Dinner on the way back home. I’ve always been on a look out for a good lunch place within the Nasugbu area. The ones that gives you a give provincial feel/ welcome, with a nice ambiance, good food with a good value for money. I’m glad we found Kainan sa Dalampasigan right in the heart of Nasugbu Town.

I would recommend this place as a good stop on your way to Punta Fuego or the Calatagan Beaches. The places serves home cooked food with Tangingue steak as the main attraction. The ambiance is quite nice and they took time to invest on the ambiance to compete with the beach resorts to attract the beach goers for a lunch or even merienda affair. I must admit this place has been in existence for a long time now, but they just renovated recently so during my first visit — I was happy to find this garden place. Of course, this wouldn’t compare with Sonja’s garden or Antonio’s but you can say that this is more of a provincial version of a garden leaning towards a rustic feel to its ambiance.

I was just excited to see the hanging vines and I took a picture above to remind me of the opening welcome scene when you arrive at this place.

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