Showing posts from May, 2008

Food Trip! - Arano's

By publishing this I am risking the only place where people go for clandestine romantic dates. you see, unless you have the patience of a treasure-hunter, this place is primarily a word-of-mouth sort of establishment. and when i say treasure, i am referring to sinfully spanish comida tesoro!

if you do not look closely, you'll miss the sign right beside the door that says "Arano". Incidentally, that also refers to the family name of the seƱor that greets you with a huge smile and broken cebuano mixed into spanish - not necessarily in that order though.

tonight he had a reproachful look on his grandpappi eyes, full moustache twitching and scolding us for the long while since we last came back. without missing a beat he ushers us in and promptly engages us in a conversation. i suspect half the people here comeback precisely because of this gentleman. that and the fantastic food. saboroso!

click more for saliva-inducing pictures hmmmm....

succulently soft pork-chops delicately s…

Disasters of Disproportionate Sizes

the hurricane nagris left a path of devastation in myanmar. a 7.5 level earthquake cracked the earth wide open in sichuan, china. but the greatest man-made tragedy hit cebu caused by Earth Wind and Fire (March 5, 2008).

to quote one blogger, "Why Meeeeeeeee? What did we do to deserve this?!"

i can hear hips pop and crack when the band did "Boogie Wonderland" - it's like watching a boy band - 50 years after version. Do we get these bands for a senior-citizen's rate? and if that's not enough, we were treated to another has-been band: TOTO.

Click on

if not for the free ticket, i wouldn't be caught dead watching their show. understandably, we grew up to their music and swooned to the syrupy love song "Lea" (Lea, how long do you still want me to love you...) and more.

but damn, i was just four years old when they got together in 1976. am sure they could have reinvented themselves like U2. if that fails, Vicky Belo is always an option. D…

Bisdak Siddhartha

theater is not really something most cebuanos appreciate despite the overwhelming number of talent in this island. blame it on commerce. at its current state, producing a full theater production is just not financially viable and those that foray into the activity end up with more loses than the sound of ka-ching ka-chinging accounts in the bank. you can say that most of these productions are literal labor of love.

painting with light - queen maya and dancers captured using slow shutter speed and deliberately panning the camera like a wave; Siddhartha

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Siddhartha, the musicale production of Buddha Light International - Cebu Chapter deserve to be written up as a gallant effort to bring cebuanos closer to a theatrical experience and appreciation of the arts. admittedly, some of the actors need to polish their skill at acting - but then again, if you were to act, sing, dance and coordinate with fifty other actors on stage i... i... i quit.

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha on a …

Vintage - Abandoned Truck

Vintage - Abandoned Truck

I dropped by a favorite eating place or lunch and saw this from across the road. couldn't resist taking a picture. look for the eyes and a huge grin. classy isn't it?

Food Trip! - Kuya J's

STK, otherwise known as Sugba (Grill) Tola (clear soup stew) and Kilaw (raw meat marinated and cooked in vinegar) form the base Cebuano culinary method of cooking all sorts of meats.

it's otherwise uninteresting as this is a common cooking method all over the country. but that's exactly the point. Kuya J's is not your usual common STK joint. (click on read more to continue...)

Huge, Fresh Scallops topped with butter, cheese,
and garlic bits grilled over hot coal.

Kuya J started as a grilling station outside the house of the owner specializing in scallops. the usual story goes that patrons eventually requested that they put up makeshift tables so they can feast on this dish served hot off the grill. eventually they converted part of the house into an aircontioned section and set up a restaurant with a complete set of menu. as the cliche goes, the rest is history.

soft, moist, melt-in-your-mouth grilled tuna belly

the walls of the restaurant attest to the number of famous, not so …

Food Trip - Binagoongang Baboy

a craving is a crazy thing. i used to think that "naglilihi" (a filipino symptomatic condition of pregnant women with an obsessive craving for a certain type of food) is just an excuse for women to have the hubby run around looking for that odd-out-of-season food. ice cream with bagoong-bits is a classic example. don't ask why.

there are days though that my mind gets fixated on a dish that i literally drive across town just for that. If you ever had the Binagoongang Baboy of Quadro in Sykes Building you'll understand this particular obsession. (click on read more to continue...)

Yup, it comes with sliced sour green mango on the side that perfectly compliments the salty shrimp paste, stir-fried with tender yet slightly crunchy pork cutlets. Fried egg tops the dish. I like to cut the egg, add a dash of soy sauce and mixed with my rice. For Php 79 you understand the reason why i keep on coming back for this one.

Secret Tip: ask for a saucer and a bit of chili (adjust acco…

Bodily Harm

i don't think "you've grown fat" is a perfectly acceptable opening line to a conversation. specially with someone you've never seen in a long while. it just reminds you why you conveniently deleted their numbers from your phone.

they quickly add... "you really should get into shape dear!" have they ever thought that "round" IS a SHAPE?

then again, my theory is that the "other" person pulls out the heavyweight (pun intended u-huh) question so you can't use the same attack. it's all psycho-warfare you see.

what about naturally thin people, uh.. i think that was an oxymoron, natural and thin just doesn't go together. hypothetically, they should get off easily in this slim and thin obsessed culture.

man was i wrong. (click on read more to continue...)

a friend came to me to confess that she thinks herself too thin. u-huh, another vain attempt to solicit a compliment. apparently, conversation openers with her long-time-thank-god-i-…

Travel Bug: Downtown Cebu City

i was sweaty, my feet hurt and extremely satisfied with myself.

having some free time on a sunday, i decided to head off downtown of this city on a walking-photo-taking-tour. people normally DON'T end up in this part of town - horror stories of traffic and a number of undesirable citizens usually scare people off. then again, am tall, burly, bearded - hopefully something that will scare them instead. hmmm.

my agenda? i wanted to record a part of the Cebuano Architectural Heritage before any of the old structures fall victim to termites, weather, the wrecking ball... or all three.

the guard dog, Cebu Cathedral Museum

Click on Read More for a photo tour of the Sto. Nino Basilica, Cebu Cathedral Church and Museum, Old Parian, Casa Gorordo, Plaza Indepedencia and Fort San Pedro.

Sto. Nino Basilica - My Starting Point

Cebu Cathedral - just a block away from Sto. Nino
bought some pineapple sprinkled with salt for 10 pesos

Cebu Cathedral Museum, just across the road from the Cathedra…

Food Trip! - Apurado Chicken Haus

a set meal in a mid-range cebu restaurant with delusions of uppity ambiance will cost you on the average Php175 - Php250 pesos per person. cheap compared to manila - then again, in a city where cost is a more important consideration compared to quality, that price tag is already considered to be a luxury.

i have been to the swankiest restaurant and places in the metro. on the other hand, my opinionated taste buds are not impressed with expensive interiors. after all, biting delicate china and chipping your tooth on silverware hardly counts as a gustatory experience.

my Php61 meal - crispy chunky chicken thigh,
two pieces pork barbecue, three puso (wrapped rice)

if you want unpretentious, cheap, huge, delicious food then there are places in the metro that's waiting to be discovered. places that serve huge scallops by the plate topped with garlic and cheese, grilled over hot coals till the cheese melt. a joint that thrive on a single signature dish: the heart stopping, artery clogging …

Food Trip! - Vienna Kaffeehaus

Last night I was supposed to head off to Persian Palate for dinner with the gang. unfortunately, a member is not so hot about persian-indian food and suggested to head off to Vienna Kaffeehaus.

I would have loved to write something, anything about the place. On the other hand, if there's any food god out there - this restaurant is in serious need of REDEMPTION!

the busted light at the front should
have set my radar off.

i ordered the farmer's platter which is supposed to be a set of grilled sausage, chicken and pork. the sausage is a famine victim, the chicken is dry and wrinkled - granny chicken finally croaked, and the pork should be renamed bacon strip - it is that thin and small..

a colleague ordered aoili pasta with specific instructions for less chili. i don't think "MORE" sounds very much like "LESS". back to the kitchen for another try. it came back properly spiced but someone forgot to tell the kitchen we wanted pasta, not huge chunks of garlic wi…