Writing Adventure @ The Writing Salon

After blogging 125 posts in 9 months (about one post every two days), I have this urge to improve my writing skills to appeal a lot better to the emotions of my readers. Blogging gets addicting, specially everytime you get messages from your readers on affirming how much they love some of the posts (so far, no hate comments yet 🙂 One of my passions in life is I would like to be able to promote the beauty of the Philippines via photos and words — I intend to improve on both.

This is my motivation and making sure that I don’t pass up this chance to join The Writing Salon. Ever since it got moved from Boracay as a location to Manila, I immediately considered joining this. I was inspired to write creatively and hopefully I can write as beautifully as the past participants of the Salon in Aleenta. I intend to write poetically about the Philippines and my life, and the impressive lists of directors James Nave, and Allegra Huston would surely make it worthwhile. Not to mention, the controversial Carlos Celdran is also there as a guest faculty 🙂

Therefore I made a leap of faith to join The Writing Salon 🙂


starts Lunch on Friday, 7 October and ends on Sunday afternoon, 9 October 2005.

  • Puerta Real Gardens Calle Real del Palacio (Gen. Luna Street), Intramuros
  • Miramar Hotel UN Ave., cor. Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila

The Semana Package: Php 13,500 – 2 nights stay at the Miramar Hotel, with breakfasts. Including lunch and all workshops. (check in Friday after lunch, check out Sunday morning)
The Juntos Package: Php 20,000 – the Semana package for 2 people sharing a room.
The Dia Package: Php 8,500 – Includes lunch and workshops for the three days (Breakfast and accommodations not included)
The Solo Package: Php 3,500 – includes lunch and workshops for one day of your choice.

[email protected] or [email protected]
Call or sms 0926 259 750 or 0906 304 9598

Checkout here —> Final Salon Schedule



Sunday Brunch Bday Celebration @ Lumiere

Best Sunday Brunch in Town!

I’ve always wanted to eat at Lumiere and I’m glad that I got a tip from whipsmart that they actually serve the best Sunday brunch in town! My office is just in Ayala 6750 but not a lot of people knows about Lumiere. It is a best kept secret and it should stay that way because it only can accomodate a few people. It was a perfect b-day celebration for Momsy who is celebrating her 64th bday last Sunday. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMSY!!) I’ll be sharing with you our awesome Sunday brunch experience @ Lumiere.

Excellent Bistro Ambiance. The place was small but what strike us the most is the ambiance of a homy feel to it. On Sundays, it’s like the expat community and only people in the know eat brunch here. I’m glad that we are able to catch a seat by making a last minute reservations. It also feels that most of the people know each other and we even saw Nina Tesoro owner of Kusina Salud eating brunch last Sunday.

Art is in the Air. It was able to convincingly integrate Art into the dining experience. Last Sunday, we were still able to catch the Scapular Nomad Gallery. A five-year long performance art gallery. A gallery worn daily by Judy Freya Sibayan, Curator, Performance Artist. I took pictures of the scapular here. On some months, there are actually photograph exhibits in this small quaint french bistro where you can appreciate them or buy them 🙂

Eat-all-you-can Fresh Green Salad and Potatoes. This is the first time that I’ve seen a restaurant offering this as part of the entire meal. It says on the menu above: “Generous Servings of Salad, Pomme Sautes, and Grilled Tomatoes”. On Sunday Brunch, Lumiere only serve set menus and most of them taste great 🙂 The only complaint that my mom had was it was too much cholesterol in one meal because of the eggs 🙂

Brunch Meal + Drink + Dessert + Coffee/Tea. You have to choose among 6 types of brunch menu. Among the choices, we loved the Egg Benedict, Baked Eggs with Foie Gras and Biscuit, and Steaks and Eggs (Yummy!). For the drink, Mimosa is a must try which is orange juice with Champagne. The brewed coffee and tea is a perfect way to end the meal. The dessert was not a winner although, they created a small cake for my mom and it was really good that it was immediately wipe out 🙂 All for P650/meal (net)!

– Lumiere is located along Makati Avenue and Ayala Avenue near the British embassy besides the PLDT building. It is soo small that people missed this secret place.
– Sundays serves Brunch. Tues-Saturday serves Ala Carte menu.
– Reserve @ 812-2976 because the place gets jampacked.
– More Lumiere photos here.


Restos Within Makati Area:

Som’s Noodle House – cheap authentic version of SukhoThai

Amici de Don Bosco — Home-Cooked Italian Food that you’ll love!

Sango — The Japanese Burger Master!

Kublai’s Rock is Back!

Beat Ateneo, ANIMO Lasalle!

Awesome Green Archers Beating Ateneo 5-0 This Season!

Beat Ateneo, Animo La Salle!!

Yes, 2005 is the year that Ateneo wouldn’t want to remember. We beat them in the Legends Game, All Stars Game, two (2) UAAP Regular Games, and today’s semi-finals with 74-57 (17 points)! I can’t believe it that we swept all the games with Ateneo this year (I’m glad I watched all of them in Araneta except for the first UAAP regular game). Oh how sweet it is to savor the semi-finals win and to read the victory threads, and the’s sour graping threads and thank you threads.

But, we Lasallians have a lot to thank you for our archrival Ateneo in today’s game:
— Thank you Ateneans for putting a great fight and you make our winning a lot sweeter!
— Thank you to LA for really showing his true blue spirit and he is the only one who had the guts and spirit to fight the entire green archer squad. It is soooo sad that he would end his UAAP career with a cramps as Yeo shot a three points in his face.
— Thank you to the blue eagles for achieving your first lead at half-time this season at 22-25 with 15 points contributed by LA. We were scared for that moment.
— Thank you to the blue babble pep squad for a great half time show that is a lot better than ours (in my opinion) except for the errors the band made.
— Thank you to the Ateneo Crowd and Gordon for cheering your hearts out despite the odds. I know how it feels to lose and it is OK to cry. I also felt this once, when Ateneo beat La Salle two years ago during the championship.

— You make us all proud in showing Ateneo that they can NEVER EVER beat us!
— Thank you to Franz, for showing his coaching mentor, Norman Black that this is not the PBA and La Salle-Ateneo games are games about basketball spirit and alma matter pride.
— Thank you to king archer, Joseph Yeo, for showing us how great you really are in slashing, and attacking the ring for a magical basket. We would never ever forget the allehoop you assisted to Rico for a reverse dunk. You can never imagine the joy that you bring to the entire LaSalle Gallery with that play.
— Thank you to the La Salle Pep Squad for a funny half time show. Ateneans will never forget the Ryan Jig moves you did in front of the Ateneo gallery.
— To the players, thank you for all the great plays and for showing composure in the 2nd half. We know that the lead in the 1st half of Ateneo will be their last — we never doubted for a second.
— Can you give us the photo “shot” taken by Aquino at the half court in the dying minutes? Thanks for having fun and for sure Ateneans will loathe it forever.

ANIMO LASALLE!! We will have one year to savor a 5-0 beating of our archrival, ateneo!



I passed my PMP Exam! (Essential Info You Need to Know About PMP)

Finally, I PASSED my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification last friday!! I’m proud of this achievement for passing this certification test and now I can be more confident about my competency as a project manager. Admittedly, I’m scared that I might fail because it’s been a while since I studied for any exam. The last was 10 years ago for the B.S. Electronics and Communications Engineering Board (imagine that). Also, I only studied for one week which includes a vacation leave one day before the exam. All my practice tests were a failure and I was afraid to pay the cost of the exam (which is the agreement we have in our company).

Essential Information You Need to Know About the PMP certification:

What is PMP and PMI?
PMP stands for Project Management Professional and this is the globally recognized competency standard for all Project Managers.  

PMI stands for Project Management Institute which is the governing body for the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the official organization for Project Management professionals worldwide.

Most multinational companies and business process outsourcing companies recognized the need for PMPs to be part of the team to manage projects specially in a highly competitive and matrix organization. 

Read more

Viaje del Sol

Carlito’s Workshop 3 — Carlito’s Coffee

Superb Barako Coffee, Sweet Lansones, and Delicious Puto :)

This is the highlight of the trip —a cup of Barako Coffee and delicious Puto at Carlito’s workshop. Our only regret was we did not call in advance because he could have served us Rice Coffee and would be a unique experience. Since we are just walk-ins (hehe) we were entertained as guests still and Carlito was very hospitable. His art and books collection are intimidating but it was actually cool spending merienda in his workshop. BTW, he also serves sweet lansones that we cannot help but eat and be addicted to it (much better than rambutan hehehe).

There are interesting art pieces all around and my friend, Maong was fascinated with the swinging wooden chair in a steel frame (middle photoo). Carlito showed us how he is doing his steel/ brass masterpieces that could costs P40,000 at a minimum. The ambiance is very Filipino and alot of art talk pieces. We simply had a fun time in this place (this could change if there is already alot of people visiting here). We’ll let the photos do the talking here 🙂

Of course, I had to take the obligatory family picture photo (top right photo) 🙂

Here are the contact information:

Carlito Ortega Cellphone # 0919-837 7755 or (049) 5620351
Open on Saturdays. For the rest of the week, please call to give prior notice.

Just a word of advise, there are no signs from the maharlika highway going to Carlito’s workshop. If you are coming from Manila, after passing the left turn going to kusina salud, you will make a right turn to Brgy. Sta. Ana. The only landmark is a direction going to 3j foods corp. It’s a big road with alot of tricycles in that corner.



Best Chocolate Ganache in Manila! ?

My Wife loves it but too chocolatie for my taste :)

It’s the first time I encountered the word ganache and by defition it means rich paste of chocolate, cream, and sometimes butter. Now this taste and sounds more fattening than an icing 🙂 The entire cake tastes like death by chocolate because literally it is sooo good and sooo sweet that even if you know that it is not good for your health, you still try to eat it !

Anyway, I’m starting to taste all these best desserts in manila but this one was not even included in the list but it was tucked away in the comments of lori’s readers. We ordered one during Aidan’s 8th month birthday last Sept. 19. My wife loves it! most of the women loves it! But still I don’t get what’s with women and chocolates? can anybody explain?

Here’s the contact information:

Karen E. Young/ Gigi
Karen’s Kitchen (KEY Specialty Foods)
428 Adalla St. Palm Village
Makati City, Metro Manila 1211
Tel# 898-2280
Cell# 0917-key4you (5394968)
email: [email protected]

(and yes, we have to pick it up in Palm Village near Rockwell. They also make the Xanadu cake of UCC but it is almost P1000. So, we’ll save it for a special occasion…)


More Desserts For You:

Chocolat Cakes — Best Chocolate Dessert Place in Mall of Asia!

The Battle of the Gasoline Cakes

Sonja’s Cupcakes— Creating the Cupcake Craze in the Philippines?

Viaje del Sol

Carlito’s Workshop 2 –Photogenic House with an Outstanding Garden :)

Photogenic House with an outstanding garden!

When we went to Carlito’s, we were hesitant to go in because we are literally walk-ins because we did not call in advance for reservations but the brochure said it is open on Saturdays. When we arrived, the place looks quiet with only one red pickup car parked in front of the house. Now, the main reason we went here is to have coffee and this is right after the rambutan festival in Tiaong.
The picture above shows the facade of the main house and the back of this nice house.

It was really intimidating because the house is very beautiful. The leftmost picture is the view of the well manicured lawn from the main door of the house. Upon entering the house, you are greeted by the picture in the middle where there is a fountain statue behind a glass encarving. We were invited to the living room where there are alot of art pieces as well including a patis tesoro doll (see right most photo above). At this point, Carlito met us and we felt right at home and we felt like a guest of a long time friend.

At the back of the main house is a small structure that has dining tables featuring Carlito’s work. At this point, Carlito was explaining to us what he is doing, his work, and the story behind Carlito’s workshop. Apparently, he is a very good friend of Patis Tesoro and she asked him to open up his very nice house for people visiting San Pablo. Viaje del Sol, was a very nice concept where the insight was people who would love to eat at Kusina Salud needed to have other site seeing places in the area. Thus, Carlito was convinced, and he opened up his nice home.

Having said this, Carlito’s workshop is still not a full pledge coffee house (yet) since viaje del sol is just 6 months old. I actually like going to these places when they are young when there are not alot of people. In this particular case when we visited, we were the ONLY people and we were entertained very well 🙂 Carlito lives with his wife and daughter but they were out in San Pablo city when we arrived. After looking at the magnificent (first time we’ve seen such) steel brass artwork, we finally tasted the coffee that we came for and much more in his workshop place.

The structure above is his workshop where he creates his masterpieces. This is where we spent our afternoon coffee time — Carlito’s Workshop ala Starbucks with a Filipino touch.

to be continued… 2/3


Viaje del Sol

Carlito’s Workshop 1– Intimidating House with Surprisingly Hospitable Host!

Excellent artist place and perfect for afternoon coffee and chit chat :)

This is another Viaje del Sol posts. We vowed to complete and visit all the Viaje del Sol locations and blog about them. In the viaje del sol map, we saw this Carlitos Workshop area which is very intriguing just along the maharlika hi-way in between Villa Escudero and Kusina Salud. In the brochure, here is Carlito’s Workshop description:

” Carlito Ortega is a sculptor who works in welded steel and brass, as well as with old hard wood. He creates figurative works in both intimate and monumental scale inspired by Laguna folk art and lore. An avid art collector, he has a striking collection of contemporary art.

He is also a land artist whose garden is his masterpiece. Come and visit his artist workshop and garden. Inspired by the American Southern-style plantation homes, his house sits on a 1.5 hectare property. His garden boasts of a collection of plam trees and rare plants. “

The above photos are just some of Carlito’s awesome welded steel/brass art. His place is intimidating at first because of the big steel gates and grand driveway to his house. According to Carlito, a lot of people get intimated to the point of turning away once seeing the gate and the driveway.

to be continued… 1/3



Can you resist not to click?

Interesting proof-of-concept on “zero clicks” user interface. I thought this cannot be done, but this website have been able to achieve the dream of most users to have a simplified web application interface. Although, after some time, I can’t resist clicking 🙂 can you? try it out here.



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