Search and You Shall Find in My World

28 December 2009

Off to death row? No. Just a little vacation.

That's the problem when you are a guest in some unknown island in the Philippines. You become an instant celebrity! 

Special food suddenly would be brought in and you are expected to eat all of them even if you tell them you are a practicing Buddhist. You remain bloated all through your stay. Just like a walking dead on his final hours of stay. And you love the attention. 

Just don't stay so long.

American Idiots

I do not know what happened to them but Filipinos mostly staying in the US of A have become idiots specially if they come back to the Philippines. I hope not everyone of them are.

In a recent meeting with them, these Americanized Filipinos have become irritatingly boastful that by just hearing them talk, you would think some American invasion is going to happen in the Philippines. They wanted everything to become just like in the States.

That TV ad Walang ganyan sa States is all I could recall.

They criticize everything in this country. Almost everything. From roads, traffic, the government, the Filipinos, everything. Even cockroaches were not spared. Walang ganyan sa States.

They wanted to have that hole to have a sign telling everyone that it was supposed to be a hole. We Filipinos can tell even without anyone telling us what is a hole and what it can do.

They wanted to sue a restaurant because the hot plate where a sizzling order they served burn one of their kind. We Filipinos know from sight that a sizzling food need not to be touched until it cools down.

They would not pay an entrance fee of 150 PESOS! because no dance instructors danced with them. They forgot they were served free drinks and have stayed two hours already. And the event did not tell them dance instructors were available. It was a concert.

They promise to sue because they were caught jaywalking.

And worst, they know to the solutions of just about everything because "we know better in the States." If I know, they were just outcasts of the racist American society so they turn their revenge on the Filipinos.

But even then, if killing someone is not against the law I could have killed a few.

I have become one of them. Puro reklamo na lang.

Cartoon from

23 December 2009

Jollibee Catbalogan lowered its standards at the expense of customers

After having a sleepless night from Cebu to Catbalogan (eight hours of sea and land travel my goodness!), I should have deserved a little pampering. No resto could do that in Catbalogan. Only Jollibee.

So I thought.
  • My favorite hot chocolate was served in a Swirly Bitz (a cold dessert) container. WTF! I told the girl at the counter that that was unusual. They ran out of styrofoam was the reason. I told her they should make them safe. "I am sorry sir" was all I heard.
  • You could not take hold of the cup. It was too hot.
  • And so was my friend's coffee. It was supposed to be a "gourmet" coffee as stated on their receipts.
  • Our orders took 30 minutes to arrive.
  • The ladies at the next table were even furious. The breakfast meal they ordered were served without eggs.
  • We bought Tuna Pie for take out. They were served later on our table as is. We asked for a bag. It came minutes later.

I adore breakfasts at Jollibee. But with this kind of service-

This is my hot chocolate on a Swirly Bitz cup.

So you think these ladies were eating ice cream? NO! They were drinking coffee and hot choco on an ice cream cup.

Gourmet Coffee- RIGHT!

20 December 2009


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19 December 2009

The way they "lechon" their pig in California

I am not a pork fan but I have attended a lechon eyeball with Marketman of the Market Manila fame. I saw the way they grill the pig resulting in a very sexy porky pig all glazed in its natural oil and other condiments

But when I read Inuyaki and saw the pictures of how they roasted their pigs out there in San Francisco (The Porky Delights of PigEat Fest 2009), I was literally aghast! Looks like their pig underwent a massacre worst than Maguindanao. But well- he said it was worth the wait. But still-

All pictures from

18 December 2009

Sherlock Homes

Avatar: It's a virtual orgasm

My friend brought me along to watch Avatar because we have nothing to do while in Ayala Center Cebu. I tagged along. Anyways, I was treated for free. The first showing (1.50pm) was ours to enjoy.

Despite of the fact that I am no movie critic and do not even know how to critique a movie, I am highly recommending this one.

The plot, the action, the adventure, the storyline- all worth the 160 pesos and the long lines at the movies. Everything in the movie was eye candy. I was extremely amused by the technology being used on this one. 

In one scene, I was teary eyed when earthlings (that means WE the people) killed nature in some fantasy planet for some minerals needed by man. It shows our greediness and the disrespect for life on that planet, affirming our abuse on earth.

And with a powerhouse casting (Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Rodriguez, etc.), the movie is worth a second watch. Or maybe a third.

I had goosebumps when the audience clapped their hands in appreciation after the movie ended. And to think the crowd was mostly composed of youngsters and children. (Hey, today is still Thursday. Why are you not in school?)

By the way, Leona Lewis sang the movie theme I See You adding another set of goosebumps in my skin.

A very charitable review of the film by CNN's Tom Charity can be read through this link-

17 December 2009

Of deformed forks and spoons

I went to Robinson's last night to have dinner and could not help but noticed that their utensils there (spoon and fork) were mostly deformed. And so is the case of mostly cheap restaurants anywhere in the country. Ang arte mo, said a friend, and I was forced to use the deformed fork.

My theories were more imaginative than the food I was eating:
  • The dishwasher (a person of course!) got so tired of his job he threw all utensils on the wall before sending them back to the trays.
  • Someone uses his fork for a really hard food, or a hard object.
  • Somebody was pissed with the food he took revenge on the spoon and fork by stepping on them.
  • Those were remnants of a failed experiment on food science, whatever that was.
  • I have a distorted mind.

Now tell me your theories.

Early morning Cebu from my window

I woke up to the sound of Christmas songs from the Guadalupe side of Cebu. When I look out, these were the scenes I saw.

Camera: Canon Rebel XSi

16 December 2009

Just About Time

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum recently announced that ABBA will be inducted to the Hall next year. A long delayed action, I believe.

Abba has been a favorite way beyond generations. They go beyond the 70s that kids even now can sing and dance to Dancing Queen. Remember Mamma Mia? There is even a group in Canada who is very popular among Canadians called Abbamania (?).

Congratulations Abba. Salud.

Other inductees include:
  • Genesis. I was surprised to know that Peter Gabriel was the original lead singer of this group. All along I thought it was just Phil Collins. I was not reading history. Now I know.
  • Jimmy Cliff. Familiar but I think I haven't heard his reggae songs.
  • Hollies. Who are they?
  • Stooges. Iggy Pop founded this group. I heard songs of Iggy Pop but never heard of Stooges.

15 December 2009

Birdwatching from my porch

I was sitting outside our place in Mansasa when this bird, perhaps searching for food, perched on the tree as if waiting to be photographed. I went in and got my cam and when I returned he was still there. When I trained my lens on him he seemed inquisitive. I took 20 shots and still he was there looking at me. I gave up.

Meteor showers and predictions

For three days now I wake up at 3 in the morning to see the supposed Geminids meteor shower despite of the fact that the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or Pagasa predicts (as usual) it to happen yesterday, a Monday. Pagasa says it will peak on 14-15 December 2009. Some sources say 13-14 December. I followed the other sources.

I haven't seen any.

Instead I saw a hundreds of stars. A rare sight in the city since those stars are usually hidden from the bright street lamps. Pagasa could not predict that. It is a fact.

So I brought my coffee along, stare into oblivion and wishing for a falling star to wish upon. Still nothing. Until the stormy clouds started to gather. The winds getting colder.

I predict rain. But it has not started yet. And I waited. 

I have become the Pagasa.

(Picture from

13 December 2009

The Pizza Deference

I do not claim I am a food expert. I have no sophistication like that of Marketman or Jamie Oliver who have mastered their cooking skills that food seems a scientific tour for them. No. I do not have the chance to experience French cuisine, or the Italian fare, or what the Kapampangans brag about. But a plateful here and there exemplifies my right to blog about food.

Food is a very personal event, I should say. Surely I only rely purely on my instincts. What my palate tells me is good is good for me. That palate that has been fed with whatever was available in that small town called Batuan in Bohol. Frogs, birds, worms (yes, worms), turtles, dogs (arrest me), yes, those have been stuffed, voluntary of course, in my intestines when I was young.

You may say Roma Mia is the best. Or Cyma. Or Anzani. Or Aling Nida’s Carenderia. To each his own.

What is my point?

Sometime recently we have a lively argument on who makes a good pizza. There is a pizza invasion in Cebu and we were eating a really good pizza in some unknown place in Cebu. I don’t know why pizza suddenly becomes a hit and I would like to think this is just a trend. And like all fads, they all will come and go.

Maybe the multiplication of call center agents must be the reason for this occurrence.

And smacked right near Sykes, a call center, is an unknown cute little payag (nipa hut) where one of the best pizza is cooked, diligently. The last time I was there, there was no signage of the place so you have to open your eyes and scan the area.

I asked the owners what was the name of the place and they told me they were still contemplating on that. Preferably there would be a PAYAG because the agents already called it as such. The second time I went there, still no neon lights was put up to advertise their pizza.

Which is good enough for me. I have this feeling I discovered it first even if others are already called patrons.

Payag Pizza (give me the liberty to call it that way just this time), offers an array of pizza menu all pizza lovers would surely be delighted. I particularly give preference to veggies, no pork please (and dogs). And they gave me two varieties- Tomate and Verde.

Tomate as its name suggested was all tomatoes gently sprinkled with basil. When it was brought in, the smell was engulfing and I dived in, heady with its unique flavors.

Verde is also a vegan’s little paradise. The pizza is delicately made with olives, onions, bell peppers, pineapple, mushroom and tomato.

For those who abhor vegetables like my friends, try their Pizza Todo. A combination of Hungarian sausage, bacon, salami, chicken hotdog plus veggies (sorry, you can’t get away with that) would surely left you bloated and wishing for a gym enrolment the next day.

The owners told me they would soon be using pugon (a native-style oven) when the place is fully operational. That would give them an advantage because we always go for the home-cooked feeling when everything else is mechanized, or should I say electrified, nowadays.

That also gives me another reason to go and visit that place again and again.

I asked Maya if the uniqueness of their pizza should be attributed to the dough or the oven or ingredients. She just smiled. It is a trade secret, I think.

09 December 2009

Ahhh sunset...

Taken in Pinamungajan, Cebu using my Sony Ericsson W810i while aboard a moving car.

08 December 2009

Are you going to eat that?

It was purely a coincidence that I was reading a book by Robb Walsh titled Are You Really Going To Eat That? Reflections of a Culinary Thrill Seeker when we made a stopover in Naga, Cebu for lunch today. A part of the plaza was used by the enterprising local government unit as entertainment and dining area where several seafood restaurants were offering some fare. 

Coincidence because the book was talking about the author's esoteric and peculiar culinary expeditions all over the world and there we were at the plaza in Naga City deciding among the display what to eat for lunch. Some were peculiar indeed and were not-so-familiar type. Some I didn't even know could be eaten.

I decided to eat the kinilaw nga bat (sea cucumber salad, I think and I don't want to think of any other species), nilabog nga iho (shark in coconut milk), and a plate of milled corn.  I asked the tindera if it was really shark meat and commented that they sure were illegal since they were an endangered species, to which she replied- I don't know. I was not sure though which shark was endangered. My companions chose tinolang isda, a salad out of the innards of the sea cucumber, nilabog nga pagi (manta ray, endangered too?), and some pork servings.

My choices were actually good. The sea cucumber salad was crunchy and sweet perhaps enhanced by the use of sukang tuba. The commercialized version of the nilabog shark meat was so-so, I could not even distinguish if it was chicken or real shark, although it was my first time to eat shark meat. But one thing I was sure of I could not taste the coconut milk, the ingredient that makes all nilabog desirable. A hefty sili solved that.

But in general, I felt wonderfully full.

This reminds me to visit that restaurant in Tagbilaran that offers an array of exotica in their menu including python meat (oh my!), deer meat, frogs, etc. I hope I could answer back when Robb Walsh will ask me- are you really going to eat that?

Nilabog nga iho (Shark meat cooked in coconut milk)

Kinilaw nga bat (Sea cucumber salad)

Nilabog nga pagi (Manta ray meat cooked in coco milk)

07 December 2009

Oh, Love.

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love. -Neil Gaiman

Artwork from