Anton Diaz

The Manila Podcast

Manila Dining in the New Normal?

How will things change once the ECQ is lifted? We’re certain we will all still love good food… but How?

Anton and Spanky talk about the spike in Food Deliveries, then dream about their priority food trips once we all can go out again!

Episode Outline:

0:00 : Kamustahan: Manila ECQ Update

7:30 : Easter Monday Madness~ why did so many people break quarantine?

14:30 : How will restaurants adjust their operations post ECQ?

16:30 : Who’s Delivering Now? and Stay Home, don’t Pick-up!!!

29:00 : The restaurants we can’t wait to go to after the quarantine

40:30 : Top Chefs doing Online Cooking

42:30 : A Farewell to CLOY


Listen to the MNL POD here:

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UNICEF: How to Protect Our Kids & Family to Survive the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Please watch and share the video in Youtube or Facebook


Dr. Mariella S. Castillo:
Check if they’re experiencing or spreading stigma. You know that the outbreak has brought with it numerous reports of discrimination around the world. So it’s important to check that your children are neither experiencing nor contributing to the bullying. Explain to them that coronavirus has nothing to do with what someone looks like, where there are a from or what language they speak. And if they have been bullied, they should feel comfortable telling an adult whom they trust.

Anton Diaz:
All right. Good afternoon. Good afternoon. Welcome to the awesome families out there. My name is Anton Diaz, founder of Our Awesome Planet. Welcome to our awesome chat with UNICEF. You know, one of the legit ways to continue to support COVID-affected families and communities here in Manila is by supporting legitimate organizations like UNICEF. So this afternoon we’re talking to Dr. Yella Castillo of UNICEF to talk about the situation and how they’re helping the communities here in Manila. Hi, good afternoon, Dr. Yella.

Dr. Mariella S. Castillo:
Hi Anton. Good afternoon.


Covid-19 Facts by UNICEF

Anton Diaz:
And so first things first, we’re now on the 21st day of the lockdown in Metro Manila. Can you give us an overview of the COVID situation here in your point of view, or UNICEF’s point of view?

Dr. Mariella S. Castillo:
All right. Well, according to the most recent case bulleting from DOH, and they issue this every day, as of yesterday at 4:00 PM there are now 3018 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. There have been 136 deaths due to COVID and 52 patients have recovered. The hotspot really remains to be in the 60 to 69 age group followed by the 50 to 59 year old age group. So it affects really older adults. They’re slightly more males than females, 61%. The other hotspot in terms of places will be National Capitol Region or NCR. 55% of all confirmed cases are here in Metro Manila. Then the other big hotspot is Davao. And the NCR accounts for 66% of all deaths. Of the 17 regions in the Philippines, 16 out of 17 have reported COVID-19 cases already. The only region that has not reported a case is Caraga or region 13.

Dr. Mariella S. Castillo:
Among those who died from COVID-19, we know that there are certain populations that are most at risk. So among the 136 Filipinos who died, the most affected age group is 72 to 79 years old. The 73% are males. So far, the youngest is 34 years old and the oldest is 89 years old. And more than three fourths of these persons who died have what we call co-morbidities, meron din silang sakit that include diabetes, chronic kidney disease or hypertension, heart disease, bronchial asthma or cancer.

Dr. Mariella S. Castillo:
So today we’re on day 21 of the enhanced community quarantine to help flatten the curve. And the Philippine government has been implementing actions on all fronts to address this global pandemic that’s affecting our country. So first, DOH is further strengthening its capacity in COVID testing. In the beginning we only had one testing center. That’s our RITM in Alibang. But now they opened five other subnational testing centers and many more. And it’s all on the DOH website, but are more than 29. Not to mention they’re private hospitals that do COVID testing.

Dr. Mariella S. Castillo:
DOH is strengthening hospital preparedness, rapid response, risk communication and very important information dissemination with its full support from UNICEF Philippines. Also, the government is looking at alternative locations for large scale quarantine facilities so that we do not overwhelm the hospitals. And LGUs are setting up their own quarantine facilities. So for example, the Interagency Task Force is reportedly planning three makeshift quarantines sites, one in Rizal Memorial Stadium, one in World Trade Center and one in PICC. We hear also of other regions setting up their own temporary quarantine sites.


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The Manila Podcast

Announcing…. The Manila Podcast!

Finally, we launched our city podcast dedicated to our beloved Manila and the Philippines with my good friend Spanky Enriquez.

We wanted to talk about life and culture of Filipinos and people living in Manila to inform, entertain and serve as a historic snapshot of the emotions and authentic sentiments of life circa 2020.

Please subscribe to the MNL POD in Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Here’s our first episode in Spotify:

S01 E01:  Introducing… The Manila Podcast!!!
What are Podcasts and why now is the best time to start listening to these sources of information and entertainment and positivity.

Our premiere episode discusses this new era of “Movies for your Ears” and the reasons why you should start tuning in.

Listen to Manila Podcast via Spotify

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Sunae Asian Cantina: Southeast Asian Flavors via Buenos Aires!

Sunae Asian Cantina is Christina Sunae’s much anticipated restaurant opening of 2020, bringing the flavors of her Buenos Aires restaurant of the same name to the Palermo neighborhood (since 2015) and newly opened Apunena to Bonifacio Global City (2019).

Let’s keep this straight—the restaurant serves Southeast Flavors in Buenos Aires which reopened here in Manila in partnership with the Nikkei group. Christina was born to an American father and Korean mother, but she grew up with her Filipino stepmother in Pampanga where she fell in love with Southeast Asian cuisine. She started her culinary career in the US and moved to Buenos Aires to study before falling in love with her Argentinian husband.

Her colorful story reflects in the food and ambiance of her cantina. Here’s what to expect…

First Things First

Sunae Asian Cantina is located on the 2nd level of One Bonifacio High Street Mall beside its sister resto, Nikkei.

Sunae Asian Cantina
2nd level, One Bonifacio High Street Mall, Bonifacio Global City
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Facebook: Sunae Asian Cantina PH
Mobile: +63 916 607-4903
Email: [email protected]

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El Jardin de Manila: Buenos Aires-Inspired Cafe (A Review)

El Jardin de Manila is Jenny Bernabe’s travel-inspired dining concept tribute to her travel buddy Miguel who owned El Jardin De Patricio in Buenos Aires.

We had our last dinner in BGC here before the Manila lockdown, and here’s what we think about El Jardin de Manila…

First Things First

It’s like a hole-in-the-wall secret cafe in the latest Bonifacio High Street South destination.

El Jardin de Manila
G/F Unit 1 18a High Street South, Corporate Plaza Tower 2,
26th Street Corner 11 Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00am-11:00pm
Email[email protected]
Facebook: El Jardin De Manila
Instagram: @eljardindemanila

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BANGKOTA Explained by Visionary Architect Royal Pineda!

The [email protected] 2020 Dubai: BANG – KÓ – TA

Bangkóta, the Philippines Pavilion at the 2020 Expo in Dubai is more than just an architectural masterpiece showcasing the Philippines. Woven within its undulating and free-flowing form is the 4,000-year journey and history of the Filipino people.


Designed by visionary architect Royal Pineda, the “Bangkóta is a living coral reef, pulsating with people, movement, activities, flora and water features, all functioning as one global ecosystem.” Measuring a total outdoor area of 1,268 square meters and 385 square meters of winding path, with a total landscaped area of 676 meters that includes water features, the Bangkóta is surrounded by a see-through and free-form wire mesh exoskeleton that shelters visitors from morning and afternoon sun.

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Shanghai Saloon: 1920s Modern China Experience @ThePodiumMall

Shanghai Saloon is a modern Chinese restaurant inspired by 1920s Shanghai dining places with European influences and characterized by a mix of oriental attitude and western culture.

It’s a proudly local concept by Korean owners Grace Lee and Han Bright Concepts known for their Kko Kko chain, in collaboration with Executive Chef Tony Ho who comes from a Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong.

It feels like Modern China meets Mott 32 yet with surroundings that remind you of its mall setting. It’s a restaurant first then a bar, definitely one of those places where you’ll love to hang out when you are in The Podium area.

First Things First

Shanghai Saloon is in a secret corner in The Podium Mall beside Mamou Prime in the Arabica/Manam Cafe wing.

(Trivia: The Bee logo is a tribute to their investor partner, the late Bong Tan who signed his name with a bee.)

1st Level The Podium Mall, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila
Telephone: +632 8426-5587
Facebook: Shanghai Saloon

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PANDAN: Chef Tatung’s Southeast Asian Specialties!

Pandan is an Asian cafe specializing in Southeast Asian comfort food favorites by one of our favorite chefs, Chef Tatung Sarthou of Talisay fame. It promises authentic recipes—no twists—and flavors that will bring memories of your travels to neighboring countries.

With the over saturation of Filipino fusion concepts last year, Southeast Asian food is now trending in Manila. No wonder, Pandan was a hit the moment it opened, filling a void for people craving for Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian or Vietnamese flavors in the QC area.


First Things First

Pandan is a total make-over from Asian fusion to legit Southeast Asian flavors of the former Lazat resto by the same owners.

Pandan Asian Café 
76 Scout Limbaga Street, Quezon City
Operating Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday
Mobile: +63 917 774-8999
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Pandan Asian Cafe

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NEXT TO NORMAL Blue Rep Manila (Review)

Manila’s Theater season of 2020 opens with an awesome college production of the iconic Next to Normal.

My wife was crying throughout the show as I kept my emotions to myself in solemn reflection.

I felt it was unfair for Next to Normal Blue Rep to draw us into the roller coaster of traumatic emotions within Diana and Dan’s family and left it unprocessed. There was no talkback, which could be helpful for a delicate material such as this. Best to watch it with a close friend or special someone so you can talk about it after.


First Things First

Next to Normal Blue Rep opens today March 6 until the 22nd for a 3-week run with theater veterans Cris Villonco headlining as Diana and Jef Flores as Dan in collaboration with Ateneo’s Blue Repertory team under the awesome direction of Missy Maramara.


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GRAM Cafe Manila: The Japanese Premium Pancake Experience!

Gram is instagram-famous for its fluffy, three-stack premium pancakes. It opened its first store in Shinsaibashi, Osaka in 2014 and now finally in Manila with its flagship store in SM Mega Fashion Hall.

We waited for 3 hours just to have a taste of the famed Gram pancake from Japan. Was it worth the wait?

First Things First

Allot 90 minutes queuing time to get to taste the precious 30 premium pancakes hot and freshly baked only for each of the 3 time slots during the day.

Gram Manila
3rd floor of SM Megamall Fashion Hall, Ortigas Center
30 Premium Pancakes only available at 11.00 am, 3.00 pm and 6.00 pm
Instagram: @grampancakesph
Facebook: Gram Pancakes Philippines

Gram Menu: Premium Pancake, Pancakes Menu | Pancakes Menu | Toast & Sandwiches, Toppings Menu

We arrived 11.30 am and we were hungry, so we tried the other pancake and toast options for lunch while waiting.

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Or a guide for your next destination?

Looking for a new place to eat?

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