Showing posts from 2011

To Move or Not To Move! That is the question

So Gold's gym is setting up it's Cebu branch in Mandaue and is actively recruiting people from other gyms to move to their facility. If you don't know who or what Gold's is then it shouldn't matter. On the other hand, a few of my friends are making the move despite the fact that the area is prone to flooding, I guess the extremely attractive price is the come on but one has to consider the distance from where one lives as well as the convenience of the location.
I'm staying put in Citigym for a number of reasons (1) it is very close to where I work (2) the facility is superb and well maintained (3) they provide working sauna, steam rooms and shower with really strong water (4) towels are included (5) access to the pool (6) it is still rather "snobbish" as the price discourages the rather obnoxious crowd (i hate it though when they have the student promo thing going on argh) (7) free covered parking in Waterfront (8) they are open 24 hours! (9) they r…

The Sugbuano Rating System

the Cebuano market is very finicky, if you want to see if your dream of pinoy gustatory domination will work then you should try setting up in Cebu City. 

a number of restaurants have set up their operations here only to close down or downscale business due to low patronage. yes, we are still enamored by the usual brand thing and most of us would troop to the newest national/gobal brand that opens shop in the City. 

if you account for the market that actually goes out to eat, that would give you about a year or a year and a half max to sustain your operations. not enough to cover your return of investment. the only way to survive is to adapt and learn the ubiquitous Sugbuano Rating System when it comes to restuarants.

when Cebuanos eat out, the first question that majority asks is "Pila?" (Price?), and if the price is within a certain budget they next ask "Dako?" (Big Portion?) and followed by "Lami?" (Delicious?) which is sadly, the last consideration in th…

Another Fad? SumoSam hits Cebu City

"How's the food sir?"
I looked up to Vangie's (not her real name) face and started to say the usual polite thing that most of us mutter when asked the same question by people who serve us in restaurants.
Then again, i just plopped Php 700 pesos for a meal and that should give me some sort of license to be blunt.

"Do you want my honest opinion?"
Vangie looked a bit surprised, she obviously thought we were going to go through the standard routine.
"I like the portion size, the katsudon curry is huge though my taste is a bit confused with the oriental side salad, the sweet vinaigrette doesn't go well with the japanese curry.
speaking of which, i am used to real curry, this should be spicier... though portion-wise, I gotta say it's a huge slab of pork but where's the fat? Magpakatotoo na tayo, masarap pag may taba di ba?"
Vangie smiled, obviously I've hit a point.
"I gotta say though that the crispy squid teriyaki is brilliant! l…

Everything Yummy Food + Love

With a restaurant named "Everything Yummy Food + Love" certain expectations are set. It was a feature in a local newspaper that got me interested, that and the fact that the proprietor / owner, Hans Congmon, is an acquaintance in the gym where I used to work out. Added to the fact that his family originally owned the Sunburst restaurant/franchise that served very decent food and arguably one of the best fried chicken in town.

It took me a couple of months before I took the effort to drive all the way to piazza elisha in Talamban to sample the dishes on their menu array.

Verdict? Everything they served was indeed yummy. I can imagine Hans thinking of all the comfort food he loved and decided to put together a rather limited menu. They mixed breakfast type meals (think spanish chorizo, homemade corned beef) with dishes that are eclectic in their mix and origin with the wonderfully garlicky salpicao, (really) tender barbecue ribs, grilled lemon grass chicken served with its own…

A Thank You Note - To Leo

putang ina mo paul! walang hiya ka! ang sakit na ng mga hita, braso, dibdib at pork belly ko! leche ka, balasubas at pinahirapan mo ko sa gym. akala mo ngiti yung nasa mukha ko? sa english grimace yun. hindi ngiti! maswerte ka wala na akong hangin at di na kita masigawan - e naman gusto mo akong tumakbo ng isang oras - ARAW ARAW? tama ba yun? aba, nakaaabot na ata ako ng maynila sa pinagagawa mo sa akin! nakupooooo. wala kang christmas gift, balentayn, graduation, paders and maders day, indepedence day gift mula sa akin! magpapadala lang ako ng pera at bulak kung nasa burol ka na.

for my non-native readers - i just said thank you to my wonderful trainer who is doing a great job of motivating me to lose a bit more weight.

peace yoh!


I published this sometime in 2009. for the past few days i've gotten myself a personal trainer to combat the food and fat that has been steadily winning the war of the bulge. Palitan na lang natin ang pangalan na Paul na Leo and the same pa rin per…

Dimsum Heaven!

Hong Kong is a world renowned gustatory destination with some of the best restaurants that practically offer every known cuisine in the world in a small jampacked island. 

Be ready to spend, food is not cheap whether you go Rat Alley in Lan Kwai Fong or head out to the glitzy restaurants in any of the posh high rise hotels that dot the hong kong skyline. Even the foodcourt samplers can easily cost you anywhere between Php 400 - Php 600 for a single bowl meal.

That aside, if you do go to hong kong, one thing that i would recommend and YOU should never miss is Yum Cha (literally translates to Dimsum + Tea) in Hong Kong. There are famous places in HK for yum cha but my cousin doodle introduced me to Federal Palace in Gateway Aracade, Tung Chung Lantau Island in Hong Kong and for three mornings, i trooped to the same place to grab my fill of Yum Cha to jump start my day.
Easy favorite of mine would be the fresh shrimp wrapped in rice flour, steamed to perfection and flavored with light so…


I've been meaning to visit my cousin in Hong Kong for the longest time. The last time we saw each other was sometime in 2004 when i was still based in Sri Lanka and she had a regional flight that landed in Colombo. fast forward to 2011 before i booked myself a flight from Cebu to Hong Kong.

The best part of the trip? My cousin who has been in Hong Kong for close to 16 years remarked that she saw more places in Hong Kong that she hasn't even visited if it were not for my trip. Hmm, for those people that say Hong Kong is a cheap place, well I got news for you, it is a bloody EXPENSIVE place if your idea of a trip is to troop to the next outlet store and buy a wardrobe set for the next decade or so.
here are a few condensed travel tip (1) grab all the MTR and Tourist guidebook in the Airport and actually read them (2) get yourself an Octopus Tourist Travel card (3) Learn how to use the MTR system and you'll never, ever, get lost (4) Take lots of pictures. lots and lots of pi…

My Esfektakular Life

I totally blame my new Asus Transformer tablet. 

i haven't been writing (writing with effort, not just to get something in my blog) seriously for the past few months and as a result i have a esfektakular (this is another story,  a person i know, and many of you probably don't know,  refuses to pronounce "spectacular" properly) pile of pictures and stories that make up my fabulous life.
I have been practically travelling every weekend, throw in a trip to Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau, mixed in with local Cebu travel to Camotes, Tabogon, Danao and Barili. I also managed to insert some travel time to Bacolod where i rediscovered the beauty of Bago City's waterfalls.
Camotes was specially fun as i spent a weekend exploring spooky caves, gorgeous beaches and lakes with my very dear friends.
Last weekend alone I was in Manila to visit family and see friends, had a mega humongous burger in the Sunday Legazpi Weekend Market, oblivious to the raving of paki and morales fig…

the ING thing

while the brits and aussies debate who started the planking craze, i still can't for the life of me understand how this is supposed to be hip, and cool. yeah yeah yeah, no one says hip and cool nowadays so i guess that explains why i'm left stiff and cold with plankers, planktons or whatever you call them.

and just when our politicians have gone "stiff" in the head by proposing a planking ban, i came across owling where people sit on unusual places on their haunches, arms on the side and staring into space. hello. no debate here, pinoys have been practicing owling way way back into ancient times. they usually do this in the bathroom, specially when they are using the public loo or if they're on a trip, any huge tree or shrub would do just as well.

but trust the pinoys to come up with our own craze. presenting to you....

Pinoy Food Talk!

ever wonder why pinoys leave the last piece of food on the table? apparently it is an asian influence on our dining etiquette. to celebrate blog action day 2011 that celebrates food, i'm posting some quirky pinoy food habits that most of us don't even notice we do.

i don't pretend to be the emily post of pinoy food decorum but it is often prudent to understand the practices in sharing food with pinoys.
1. Unang Pasalubong - this tradition is sadly lost in the present generation. when a guest is invited for the first time to a meal or dinner in a pinoy home, it is customary to bring a gift, preferably food, specifically fruits or dessert. bawal magdala ng tupperware para take out (yes, some people actually bring containers to bring food with them!)
2. Plastic na Ngiti - hosts MUST always appear smiling and gracious in front of guests even when they are literally grabbing their hair in the kitchen screaming at the maids to get things out to the dining area. Guests MUST recip…

The Great Adobo Challenge

adobo flakes

oh yes, i've done a number of adobo entries in this blog, but i couldn't help salivate at the thought of doing the mother of all adobo entries.

the premise is simple enough, marco polo flew in four chefs from all over the philippines to do a limited edition cook off ala iron chef with one theme in mind: adobo. unfortunately, with competitions, there is a single winner and many losers. hopefully not sour (pun intended) losers.

glenda barretto represented samar from eastern visayas, danny de la cuesta brought northern luzon to central visayas, batangas sent myrna segismundo and nancy reyes represented the tagalog region. after going through the spread, sampling 7 dishes, only two came up to my definition of what makes adobo great: should have a strong salty body with the sour undertone of vinegar and that element of surprise. that and copious amount of fat. adobo without the fat is like ice cream without the cream.

first off, i was a bit disappointed to find out tha…

adobo fiesta - warning can cause uncontrollable salivation and craving

any filipino worth to be called that knows what adobo means. we tout it as our national dish, and to those that barely know the history of adobo, it is actually a spanish term that refers to sauce, marinade or seasoning. interestingly, adobo is just a name that spaniards used to baptize a method practiced by our filipino forefathers in cooking their meats in vinegar and salt.

2/5 adobo flakes, postrio - too dry. could have used some adobo sauce or oil and spiced up a bit with a chili undertone.

4/5 adobo kangkong, kuls kitchen - the sauce was too runny and the only reason why i deducted 1 point is because adobo should have meat.
the filipino adobo was born out of practical reasons. considering that there is no refrigeration and means to preserve food in the humid and hot weather, cooking in vinegar inhibits the growth of bacteria and allow huge quantities of the meat to be cooked and stored longer for later use.

4/5 adobo na manok sa gata, melting pot - the ingenious use of guava leave…

Food Porn - Pho 2000, Ho Chi Minh


Food Porn - Chocolatier, Cebu City


Food Porn - Pork Belly, Maxims Hotel, Cebu City


Picture of the Day - Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

the largest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City is a blend of modern elements and traditional Japanese and Vietnamese culture. It's home to a sanctuary and a seven-floor, 40-metre high tower. People come here to pay homage to Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha himself, Samantahadra, the Lord of Truth and Manjusri.

- Saigon City Pass

Picture(s) of the Day - Motorcycles