The Best and Most Favorite Filipino Restaurant

It is a common notion and a customary aspiration that if you are in a foreign land, you would want to taste the best and most favorite that such locale or country has to offer.  Meaning, if you are in France you would normally want to dine in the best or most preferred French restaurant.  Or if you are in Italy you would of course aspire to eat at the best or most popular Italian restaurant.  But when in the Philippines, has it been determined which would be the restaurant where to taste the best and most preferred Filipino cuisine?

The Filipino cuisine is experiencing a renaissance in the world cuisine stage. The world is now discovering that the Filipino cuisine is not just the exotic “balut”.  Thus, it is essential to determine in today’s generation which Filipino restaurant in the Philippines is the best and the most favorite.  Here are two trusty basis for this.  One for being the best while the other for being the most favorite.

One would be based on the selection made by MBKRS which is short for Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secret award.  MBKRS is a biennial awarding body considered by a lot of Filipino foodies and food establishments as the most prestigious award that recognizes excellence in city dining scene.

Two would be based on the honor given by the recently concluded Choice Awards 2015.  A new food-scene recognizing body which was established and organized by popular and “powerful” food bloggers in the Philippines.  This award does not recognizes the best of the country’s food and food establishments but instead honors the most commonly preferred and most favorites.

These two recognizing bodies has bestowed honors to food establishments in various categories – best or most favorite: buffet, Italian resto, Spanish resto, burger joint, coffee shop, steakhouse, Chinese resto, and a lot more.  But these recognizing bodies being based in the Philippines, I would personally consider their choice or their award for being the best and most favorite Filipino Restaurant would be the most prestigious.  It’s like bestowing the Best Picture award during the Oscars or the Golden Globes of Philippine dining scene!

Few people I guess knows that there is one Filipino restaurant (in the Philippines) which has received and has been awarded by both these recognizing bodies.  MBKRS in 2012 awarded it as the “Best Filipino Restaurant” while the first Choice Awards held this year (2015) chose it as the “Most Favorite Filipino Restaurant”.

That restaurant is Abe.

at the trinoma branch

at the trinoma branch

at the serendra branch

at the serendra branch

Award wining!

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I Lava LAVA

super lavet!

super lavet! (btw, images in this post are not mine)

My most previous post is about how I loved and enjoyed the movie Inside Out.  But I could not stop myself from writing about another reason why people should see this new Pixar animation.  It is because of the equally adorable short film which was featured prior to the main movie.  It’s entitled Lava.

I was totally clueless when the short film started.  I thought it was just one of the movie trailers or previews.  But as the film continues with its charming music and unique love story, I eventually found myself so engaged with this impressive short film.

The short is about a volcano all alone in the middle of the sea longing to meet another volcano he would love.  But since he’s stuck and could not move, all he could do until he grows old to the brink of extinction and nearly submerged under the sea was to sing a song about his dream of meeting a volcano he could love.  He however doesn’t know that deep beneath the sea is a female volcano who hears his singing every day.  This lady volcano knows that she is the one that the male volcano was longing for.

mr. volcano

mr. volcano

lady volcano

lady volcano

But when a colossal shaking of the earth occurred, the female volcano emerged above the sea level.  But she emerged facing the wrong way!  The male volcano was at her back!  The male volcano noticed the new, high and lovey lady volcano, but could no longer sing because his mouth is already submerged in water.  He could not also be seen by the lady volcano for she emerged above water facing the wrong way.  Until a great storm came and have the male volcano gone totally submerged underwater.

While underwater, the male volcano could hear the lady volcano singing his very song of hope.  He was happy and knew that the volcano he was longing for was already up above the water.  But the problem is, he is down submerged under water.

Until another mighty shaking and rumbling of the earth happened and the male volcano was pushed up above the water.  Now both of them were above water and was actually positioned side by side seeing each other!  Now both are singing a new song.  This time, it is about having their wish coming true and that is to grow old together as two loving volcanoes.

Here’s the adorable storyteller of a song…

It sent shivers down my spine when the male lava has grown old and when the female volcano emerged from under the sea facing the other way.  I was screaming in my mind “Goodness! Why are you facing the other way?”

But when both volcanoes eventually found each other, I was tearing already.  Good thing, me and my family chose to watch the 3-D version.  I was already wearing the 3-D glasses that’s why my relatives could not see me crying! Hahaha!

Aside from the adorable song, what I loved most about this short is the simplicity of the story.  Maybe I am already so complicated that is why seeing something simple is so great for me. For me, Lava is a beautiful and moving short film.  Those who won’t be moved by this film may literally need lots of super hot lava so as to melt their heart of stone.

Ang ganda! Parang gusto ko tuloy maging bulkan. Hahaha!

Inside Out Made Me Never Too Old For Cartoons

20150823_193931_resizedIf my memory serves me right the last animated movie that moved me was Pixar’s Toy Story.  It has been a decade ago and I started wondering whether at my present age I would still be affected by animation.

I thought that with the complex experiences and encounters in life, I am already a hard-boiled, cold and frigid person when it comes to cartoons.  Being a full grown adult, I thought that I was too old for it.

But the latest Pixar offering entitled Inside Out changed all that.  Inside Out is clever, sharp and adorable.  It is a well-thought concept with genius storyline.  It provides glimpses of the complexities of the human psyche – train of thought, sub-consciousness, imagination, long-term memory, consciousness, emotions and core memory.  It features the intricacies that scurry through inside a person’s mind, from abstract thinking to poignant feelings to even loss of memory presented into an amusing and entertaining way.

Aside from having adorable characters, what I particularly liked about this movie is the bumpy yet common development of the main character’s personality as she ages.  That as people mature and develops, a distinct memory or experience is not only colored/covered by a single emotion (either: joy, sadness, disgust, anger or fear), it is the complex inimitable mixture of all these emotions that makes up a person’s unique personality.

"long term memory"; how i wish my psychology classes then were as colorful as this one

“long term memory”; how i wish my psychology classes then were as colorful as this one

I agree with Joe Morgenstern of Wall Street Journal on what he said about Inside Out, “The level of invention is so high and the density of detail is so great, that it is impossible to absorb everything in a single viewing.”  With this thought, I know for sure that I will again be seeing this animation movie in the future may I be too old or not for cartoons.

Si Nengkoy nga na kasama kong nanuod nag enjoy, ako pa!

Epic Fail: Bureau of Customs On Balikbayan Boxes

balikbayan boxIn the past days, the undeniable posts from a lot of my Facebook friends is about their fury towards the Bureau of Customs’ implementation of the rule regarding random inspection of Balikbayan Boxes being sent by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

With the abundant and amplified posts of people on social media about their resentment regarding this ruling, it can simply be deduced that this new ruling is one hell of an epic fail of a move from BOC.    This failure is so imminent and forthcoming because people from Bureau of Customs are simply not the type of people to be trusted.  They actually have quite built such a despicable reputation for themselves.  Because of the protracted history of corruption, pilferage and embezzlement in the bureau of customs, people working in this bureau are simply the last souls in the planet to be trusted by the overseas Filipino workers.

What is so utterly dense about this decision is that the bureau’s main aim is to catch big illegal smugglers out from the regular people’s parcels and packages.  When in fact, big time smugglers can actually enter their illegal goods in mall-sized amounts via cargo ships.  BOC people can’t seem to see the freaking cargo ship in front of them – containing fake rice, household trash from Canada, high-end luxury cars from Europe, oil and fuel from Middle East and deadly drugs from China — yet they choose to look into the small and meager balikabayan boxes.

A conceited Philippine senator even agreed on opening the boxes but suggested that it would have to be under the watch of a CCTV camera.  Such proposal though tolerable is still not acceptable because, this means that BOC people would still have to open a private property.  The best solution I suppose is for BOC to purchase high tech x-ray and scanning machines similar to the ones found in the airports so that no boxes would have to be opened up.balikbayan boxes 2

And if they find expensive shoes or pricey designer bags in these boxes, I suppose these items need not be charged with irrational taxes.  Bureau of Customs must realize how much sweat and blood has already been shed by the desolate OFW so as to bring joy to their loved ones back home.  BOC people should also realize that OFW sending or bringing these high ticket items is the OFWs few possible channels in compensating for the time that was lost on being together with his or her family.  I know this because I myself grew up receiving these types of items from my father who worked his butts off in the Middle East during the ‘70s and 80’s.

It cannot also be denied that a lot of Facebook posts suggests that OFWs should temporarily cease sending their hard-earned goods to their loved ones until the Bureau of Customs has fixed this unwise and ridiculous ruling.  This definitely would create hatred and animosity not only by the OFWs but also their loved ones here in the country not only towards BOC but throughout the present administration itself.

Two words of advice to BOC: Fix It!

Buwaya lang ang peg!

Royce Potatochip Chocolate: The Ultimate Snack for a Cheat Day

Now that I am back to going to the gym after more than 6 months of hiatus, I am also back to having a cheat day.  And for the initial salvo in this very important moment of calming my cravings, I will eat a snack that contains all of the elements that a fitness trainer forbids.  It is a snack that will ultimately resolve my one week old wicked cravings! Carbs, salt, sugar, fat!

I will devour the outrageously delicious Royce’ Potatochip Chocolate.  This unique and incredible snack is a combination of salty potato chip and rich chocolate.

japanese snacks never fail to amaze me...

japanese snacks never fail to amaze me…

What I like most about this snack is that the potato chip is not fully coated with chocolate.  The uncoated side of the chip results to the brackish flavor of this snack.  Perhaps, if the whole chip is choco-coated, the unique saltiness would not be achieved.  Thus, for every chip that you munch you would experience the fleeting sense of saltiness but would eventually mix up to the precise sweetness of the rich Royce’ chocolate.  This amazing sensation to the palate makes it a truly unique snack.

wicked ration for the next cheat day!

wicked ration for the next cheat day!

The only problem that I have with this snack is that it can extremely be addictive.  It will take a lot of will power not to consume everything in one sitting or to save some so as to munch in the future cheat days.

Sobrang makasalanan ang chibog na ‘to! Pero grabe sa sarap!

A Michael & Madonna Megamix

beat it, bitch i'm madonnaI’m not a fan of Michael Jackson but watching this remix/mashup music video makes me wish that he was still alive.   This is one superb work by Robin Skouteris.

I never wondered whether these songs would mix so well together.  This is genius!  Seeing the late Michael Jackson and the very much alive and bitching Madonna now could have been one great event that this planet would experience.

Enough with the wishful thinking!  Just beat it bitch and hit the play button!

Ay em labing dis!!!

Happy Birthday to the Rain Singer

Only God and I knows why I am very happy today!!! My general happy feeling can be described by my chosen song of the day.  And I would like to greet a very Happy Birthday to the woman who sang this lovely song.

A shower of kisses to you and see in February here in Manila!

Maligayang bati sa bruha kong aydol! ‘Di lang ikaw ang hapi ngayon, AKO din…