If there is one thing that I learned from The Fred Factor book, is that each day is an opportunity for you to make life a better place to live. The book is based on the extraordinary customer service of Fred the postman, and teaches you how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. When Fred was ask what motivates him on doing that things he is doing, here is the key ideas on what motivates him to be a “Fred”:
Do good and you’ll feel good.
The best never rest.
Treat customers and others as friends.
The impact you have on others is the reward.
Live the golden rule.
Fear nothing except to waste the moment.
The book contains heartwarming and inspiring practical examples of how to become a fred.
A Breath of Fresh Air in the Fine Dining Cuisine in Manila
Finally, another new secret fine dining place in Manila. Parallel 45 is neatly tucked away in a busy mandaluyong neighborhood along Samat Street. This fine dining restaurant just opened last July 26 and on Popsy’s bday we made sure that this is the place to be to select his 69th birthday. I’ve always been in the lookout for very nice dining places that is not in a hotel but the likes of Chef Laudico in Urdaneta, Tita Monings in Malacanang, Lolo Dads in Malate, and Antonio’s in Tagaytay. This is a place where you celebrate special moments, anniversaries, or reward yourself and your family.
The main chef of the restaurant is Humphrey Navarro who is a very approachable guy and it is easy to strike a conversation with him. At the moment, the main dining space is small which can occupy less than 30 people so you should reserve in advance. There are other function rooms in the 2nd floor which would include a chocolate room and a wine library which is still 70% complete.
I like the way the food is cooked and prepared. The Foie Gras appetizer where very good (although I know that duck liver is fattening). You should try the Soup & Sandwich (with foie gras), and the four dances of Foie Gras (small servings of duck liver cooked in 4 different ways — the “meat ball” cooked foie gras was good). We also loved the starters of a small plate of sea urchin and a dash of caviar. The soup of the day which is like an oyster soup and the mini-sorbet before the main dish was a winner. For our main course, we shared family style the 500g Angus Beef Cowgirl Steak, A Shellfish pail, and Lapu-Lapu for my mom. It was a heavenly treat specially that the cooking is light/healthy and usually with wine as a cooking ingredient. Although the tastiness of the lapu-lapu or the seafood can be improved, as well as the different sauces for the shellfish pail, and the chocolate dessert. The food is expensive so be prepared with a P1,500-2,000max/person when you eat here on your special day.
One of my favorite website is Change This which promotes a practical, fast and free way to spread the very best ideas to people who can actually do something with them. One of the recent manifestos is about Barriers to Health by Michael Gonzales Ph.D. where he attempts to explain why people do not exercise. This was indeed a revelation to me, and he goes on to conclude that:
“What prevents the non-athlete from exercising is his or her sense of time, motivation and worthiness….What it takes is willingness.”
This is a must read for all those people who want to reduce weight and be healthy forever.
This article The CEO’s Secret Handbook published in the Business 2.0 website inspired me to create my aphoristic revelations blog. It is based on Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Managementwritten by Bill Swanson, CEO of aerospace contractor Raytheon (RTN). According to the article, this tiny handbook has become an underground hit among senior executives and management thinkers. It contains Swanson’s Aphorisms on Management which I loved very much — practical wisdom. My personal favorite is that you always have to appeal to emotions of people for you to be effective. Here are his management aphorisms:
You can’t polish a sneaker.
Learn to say “I don’t know.” If used when appropriate, it will be used often.
You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you, but 100 percent of what you feel.
Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what’s there; few can see what isn’t there.
Never direct a complaint to the top; a serious offense is to “cc” a person’s boss on a copy of a complaint before the person has a chance to respond.
Treat the name of your company as if it were your own.
Have fun at what you do. It will be reflected in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump!
When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization. Your perspective will change quickly.
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
When something appears on a slide presentation, assume that the world knows about it and deal with it accordingly.
A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter — or to others — is not a nice person. (This rule never fails.)
When facing issues or problems that are becoming drawn out, “short them to ground.”
It’s truly inspiring and you can immediately apply this on your work. You have to read the article to understand the wisdom behind the aphorism’s above.
I got carried away with excitement with my first wedding photoshoot assignment. My friend, ask me to be a backup photographer during her brother’s wedding (Jay & Portia) last Sunday. Alot of things went wrong at the start. I was late by 15 minutes in the church and by about 90 minutes in the reception so it was a bad first job for me. Also, I’m having problems with my flash unit. Initially, most of the shots are dark and underexposed, or with an unflattering flash burst. I was able to handle it during the church ceremony but I had a hard time with the exposure during dinner time. I need to practice some more and buy the diffuser for the flash.
I was happy with the shots I got and I tried out a couple of effects I learned from Flickr’s Technique group. Here are a couple of effects that I used in the wedding photos:
1). Explosive Photo Effect
2). Comic Art Effect
3). Ipod Ad Effect
4). Lomo Effect
5). Color / B&W Effect
I’m really having fun with photography and digital art these days. I’m thinking of taking photographs on a weekend basis ala Fol Rana. Let me know if you have some questions on the different photoshop effects above.
I was deeply touched by this essay “Not everything is a power struggle” by the ExpectoRANTS blog. It makes us reflect that life is not a rat race that the more money you have the more successful you would be. It reminded me of my favorite broadway Rent song “Seasons of Love” where it poses the question:
How do you measure a year in the life? In 525,600 minutes or In Love?
For most part, I’m still measuring it in calendar terms. I need to change.
If you haven’t eaten in Amici yet, then I suggest that you hear mass in Don Bosco Makati and right after mass, walk towards Amici which is located under the pasay road/ arnaiz st. It is authentic Italian cuisine brought to us by one of the entreprenurial Italian Salesian Priest, Fr. Gianlugi Colombo, SDB. Now, having said that it is authentic, it means that its not the Italian food that we grew up in Manila — Spaghetti that is sweet with red meat sauce. Here are my assessment of the Amici food so that you can calibrate your expectations when eating here:
1. Canteenambiance. The entire resto has a canteen feel to it, and it is self service. This would mean you have to order pizza, pasta, and gelato from their respective counters and they will give you a number. There’s a long line sometimes and the food delivery is slow so I would suggest to avoid the main dining hours.
2. Italian food for a price. The food is expensive and I think just rightfully so since it’s kinda authentic and I’m hoping that some of the profits goes to a good cause by the salesian priest. Pizza costs around P240 while the pasta goes from a range of P120-P170. The gelato goes for P35 per scoop.
3. I love the home-cooked Italian taste! Now this is debatable because Filipino does not like the Italian taste which is bland, and sometimes sour in taste. You can certainly distinguish the taste from the commercial italian restos and the jollibee spaghetti taste. The pizza by the way is wood fire pizza so it tastes great except that sometimes there are some burned portions. Try Pizza #10 Four Seasons, #23 Al 4 Formaggi, and #24 Tutta Carne. On the pasta, try out #15 Spaghetti Vongole e Gamberetti (seafood pasta) and the Lobster Linguine. The gelato is addicting — try out the vanilla with nuts.
By the way, there are cooking lessons available for P1,500 for 6 hours and the session varies. I actually would have an idea to propose a teambuilding cooking sessions with the priest and see how it goes. The number to call are: 893-8915 for the cooking lessons.
Finally I was able to eat in Dayrit’s which for the longest time I’m just seeing it along Buendia. Now, they moved in Magallenes already where they have spacious parking and a canteen like ambiance. I don’t have alot to say about Dayrit’s because so far, only the Roastbeef is great. All the rest, burger and non-beef food like sizzling fish is a big disappointment. So, if you are a meat lover and you happen to be in the Magallanes area, this is something to try out for a change.
G/F GF & P Building
139 H.V. Dela Costa Street
Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel# 812-0016, Cell# 0921 740710
Awesome Power Lunch!!
I’ve always wanted to eat and try out Chef Ed’s famous cosmopolitan cuisine specially the famous paella. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to eat during lunch time with the phils leadership team in Salcedo. We arrived at 11.15am (they open at 11.30) and this was just a perfect time for us to order the paella which should be ordered one hour and 15 minutes in advance! Yes, we have to wait but it was worth it 🙂 Lunch was heavenly specially with all the happy discussions we are having with the team. You should also try out their laing lumpia, crispy cochinillo, and the decadent cake! we tried the grilled salmon tocino on vegetable sinigang but it was just OK.
Just a couple of advice for people eating here, you should alot at least 2 hours for lunch, call one hour in advance, and prepare a power budget of >P500 🙂
I remembered to post this article when Mike Best, my visitor from Cincinnatti, gave me a thank you gift which I received via mail last week. He appreciated the tour very much and I enjoyed joining the carlos celdran tours as well. Finally, I was able to meet the funky down-to-earth carlos and I joined not only one but two tours in one saturday afternoon. The first one was a scheduled Funky Imelda tour of the CCP complex buildings (CCP Main Theater, Folk Arts, and PICC). I learned the great importance of the Leandro Locsin architecture and understand better Imelda Marcos and how the CCP came to be. Then, we had a private tour of Intramuros which started with the tour of San Agustin Museum, Casa Manila and finally Fort Santiago. This tour talks alot about the spanish colonial era and the liberation of the Philippines by the Americans. There has been alot of articles already written about the tour and everything they said about Carlos is true. What I like most about the tour would be:
Carlos funky getup and how he starts all his tour with the Philippine National Anthem.
There are alot of funny anecdotes, controversial insights and unwritten gossips about the history of the Philippines.
Carlos is a great promoter of the Philippines and we should have all tourists to our country to have the celdran tours as a must in their itinerary.
By the way, we requested Carlos to bring a psychic friend, Jessica along to cap the day with ghost stories and psychic readings. It was truly a fun saturday with Carlos.