Search and You Shall Find in My World

29 September 2010

Spice (con)Fusion

I really was so hungry that Gilda's description of good food at Spice Fusion in SM City Cebu made my mouth water. Aside from the fact that I do love Asian food, it has been a long time that I haven't tasted one.

I was dreaming of nasi goreng and some other spicy food for dinner even before we arrived in SM.

We sat down at Spice Fusion. 

At first the waitress was very eager to take our orders even if we have not opened the menu yet. It was a good sign. She came back when we signal her we were ready. She took my order of nasi goreng, baguio beans with garlic chicken instead of pork, avocado shake and a hot calamansi for Gilda. Gilda also ordered the grilled squid.

Minutes come and go and my really hungry stomach started to complain. Thirty minutes the first batch came. I eagerly ate the plateful of nasi goreng (250 pesos, good for 3-4 persons). Then came the beans with chicken (190 pesos, I think) and I devoured them because it was cooked deliciously in butter and was temptingly green and crisp. The chicken on it has this distinct flavor I could not determine.

It took time for the grilled squid to come. I reasoned out that because the squid was artistically cut into small and thin pieces, maybe the cook spend more time on it. But it was delivered to another table who protested it was not their order. Gilda told the waitress it was ours but she returned to the kitchen to find out if we were telling her the truth.

Glocel and Leslie joined us and were very late due to some office problems. They ordered chicken wings and glasses of hot calamansi too. While the a waiter delivered their calamansi, I asked for chili powder and a can of Coke Zero. But we have only Coke Light, sir, so I said yes. No Coke came. I called our waitress to tell her I need a can of Coke. Light.

I already finished my food and was kind of sick due to the immediate intake of the food. I went to the comfort room twice but my Coke did not arrived. I have to call the yawning waitress back and she apologized for the delay. The Coke Light refrigerator was a table away from me and if I have the energy I would be the one getting it. She was just standing near the counter.

I noted down that my chili powder still has not arrived.

We talked more. Minutes came and went, we were almost two hours talking in our table. We asked for our bill. We paid. We separated ways towards home. Now it is almost 12 midnight and still my chili powder did not materialize. Not that I wanted to sleep with it.

But still.

28 September 2010

Best halo-halo in Dumaguete?

We were looking for a nice place to cool down due to a very tiring journey from Cebu City to Liloan, Santander in Cebu and then to Sibulan, Negros Oriental and finally in Dumaguete.

My friends were hungry. I was thirsty!

We passed by this La CaviteƱa Restaurant (very near Dumaguete's Boulevard and just beside the Silliman Hall) and was interested to try. They ordered burgers and myself, halo-halo. 

The halo-halo was quite okay despite the claim of the waitress that they served the best halo-halo in that city. It was a very Tagalog recipe with more fruit preserves and some camote, saba, and as the waitress apologized for the lack of gabi (taro?), and was kinda shocked to know their version of halo-halos have gabi in them.

But it was good, really. Not the best but good still. It was consistent and not too-sweet. The syrup they put in it did not "flood" their halo-halo like you were drinking juice instead, unlike the halo-halo at Cafe Lawis in Dauis, Bohol which was the exact opposite and pricey. The ice and fruits mixed well, giving you that crunchy feeling when you chew the halo-halo. I paid only 60 pesos.

The burger, as my companions claimed, were heavy to the stomach and with lots of trimmings. The beef patty was generous. The burger was only 50 pesos and 40 or so for the mango shake. Not bad! 

Overall, we went out patting our full stomach.

Paella night with friends

There is a little known discovery I made of a Spanish restaurant somewhere in Guadalupe, Cebu where authentic Spanish cuisine are made daily to some very few customers they cater. It is like having an exclusive entry to this small resto and feeling prouder for getting there.

I am quite tempted to post here their address but I won't because of selfish reasons. One, the resto is just a small place finding everyone there would cause frequent suffocation. Two, the coming of guests would hinder me to have my paella served on time. Three, I am selfish, period.

We pre-ordered our paella actually because there were about ten of us. A big paella pan made my mouth water upon serving. The big pan is priced at 500 pesos and still survived the deluge of the hands of 10 people.

The gambas ajillo was really good and crisp, the extra sauce I used as dip for the accompanying toasty bread. I did not taste the kalderetang kanding though but the lengua was so soft I am tempted to say it melted in my tongue.

We paid less than 2,000 pesos for ten persons including our drinks.

The owner, Angel Ibarlucea y Arano, asked us in his funny Cebuano intonation, to come back in his resto. He handed small chocolates on our way out.

24 September 2010

Snapshots from Bohol

I'm going to the place where love
And feeling good don't ever cost a thing.
Chris Daughtry

When was the last time I came home? July? And yet Bohol is still the place I know except for Tagbilaran which looks and feels too crowded.

Oh, Bohol. Yeah, this is Bohol. My Bohol.


21 September 2010

Martial Law in the Philippines

Today marks the anniversary of the Martial Law declared not just by President Ferdinand Marcos but also by President Jose Laurel! Anyways, those declarations were in the distant past. And Filipinos always forget. Here's a brief historical background of martial law in the Philippines:
  • President Jose P. Laurel declared martial law in September 21, 1944 through Proclamation No. 29 during the Second Philippine Republic under Japan.
  • President Ferdinand E. Marcos also signed Proclamation 1081 on September 21, 1972 declaring the country under martial law to eradicate communist takeover. Some assassination attempts were staged by the government to justify the proclamation.
  • President Gloria M. Arroyo signed Proclamation 1959 declaring Maguindanao under the state of martial law. Arroyo also imposed the State of National Emergency (considered by critics as a prelude to martial rule) in February 2006 to crush a coup d'etat led by Senator Trillanes and a possible staging of another people power in Manila.

Bagging it up!

Gov't urged: Ban plastic bags now, so goes the headline from

According to the report, plastic bags account for the most litter that clog waterways. I agree. It is a sad thing to see plastic bags all over the country.

In Cebu they are thrown freely just about anywhere. Bohol has a more educated populace since you can rarely see plastic bags even upon disembarking from the ferry in Tagbilaran.

It is also sad to note that some grocery and 24-hour stores in Cebu still needs to be educated on the use of plastic bags. 

Rustan's and SM should be praised for the introduction of their ecobags. However, at Colonnade in downtown Cebu, you have to do a lot of arguing when you insist you use your own ecobag instead of their plastic bags. They have to put the goods in their standard plastic before putting them in your bag. What a waste of time, money and effort.

Maybe stores like Colonnade should be the first to undergo training on the environment.

Estero pic from

20 September 2010

Today is Sophia Loren's birthday

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. ~Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren turns 76 today, September 20. Loren is the first actress to win the Oscars for Best Actress in a non-English performance. She has other 50 acting awards to brag about.

Mooon Cafe never fails to deliver

17 September 2010

Life Manifesto

Source: Holstee

Engorging myself at Grand Majestic Restaurant

I was invited by Mona Wu (one of the owners of Cebu Graphicstar) the other night to an eat-all-you-can (buffet) dinner at the Grand Majestic Restaurant (telephones 032.253.3087, 231.5876; opens 11 in the morning until 2pm for lunch, 6pm until 10pm for dinner) located at the Cebu Grand Convention Center in Lahug.

I've been to the Grand Majestic many years back when my Chinese friend brought me there. There was no buffet at that time yet but the ambiance is still the same: grand. The place, the service, the people, all of them in grand scale. 

A lot of Chinese eat there and I assumed this is their favorite hangout, although when we were there, there were a bunch of Koreans, a not so-surprising phenomenon because the Koreans are now everywhere.

For only 650 pesos per person, a buffet dinner at the Majestic is worth the price. I saw a poster at the entrance advertising a Peking duck buffet for only 450 pesos at lunch time. Peking duck is not my type. I also saw it during dinner but totally ignored it. Or was it fried chicken?

Their menu is mostly Chinese but there were also Japanese food choices and a lot of seafood, a good and appropriate combination for the Filipinos' taste of food. In fact, most of the menu were Filipinized (suited for the Filipino taste), so to speak. I saw a tray of fried beef adobo which looked really good but I attacked the California maki and some sushi instead since they were lighter and more nutritious, I believe. And my new favorite there- scallops with fresh asparagus- was my first and I loved the crunchy feel of it.

After three return bouts, I sat bloating in the corner and waited for my stomach to settle down for dessert.

At the dessert counter, I ignored the halo-halo despite of the fact that it is one of my favorites and preferred the Gelato Eliseo instead, coming back for the fourth time, sampling each of the flavors of ice cream available, two scoops at a time. I also picked up a piece of mango roll (the waiter told me it was good) but was disappointed with the tikoy-like dessert. The mango was quite sour and the tikoy (that sticky Chinese dessert) coated with coconut was bland. The real mango, fresh and fragrant and some pineapple slices made my dinner. If I would have died that night I am sure I would be in heaven.

With us occupying around three round tables, the place was like a battlefield of hungry attackers. I am sure the waiting staff would be having another tiring day.

Grand Majestic Restaurant has these to brag about: Ordre Mondial des Gourmets' Degustateurs 2007 and Chaine des Rotisseurs 2007. (Whatever those meant, I do not know. LOL)

16 September 2010

Weird night

I happened to meet an online friend tonight and was very uncomfortable with the meeting. First, I have no work and I was afraid I might foot the bill. Second, I don't know what to do or say since he claimed he was from my hometown.

To be safe, I chose Mooon Cafe. Not too expensive and not too seedy.

He came in late. I already had my dinner.

He did not seem to know what to order and was quite amazed at the location. I could relate. When I was a newbie in Cebu, everything seemed big and expensive. But wait, he said he studied in Manila and that innocence could be superficial then. He ate his steak like it was his first time.

Well- I should understand.

Then over a set of beers we talked about just anything. He said he graduated from a seminary in Manila and that Ateneo professors were his instructors. Cool. He talked about the places he visited and that I should also visit them. Every time I mention a place, he has a word or two about them.

Then we had an argument which led me to think of the kind of education he was really getting from that seminary. He would not mention the name. He said the geothermal power from Maria Cristina Falls in Luzon was used to power a car in the Philippines. I said that was impossible. My argument was, if that technology is already in the country or elsewhere, why are we not using it since it would be less expensive and kind to the environment? He was very sure it was invented here, right in the Philippines. No, we could not use it because he said the technology was bought by a German-Swiss-Chinese company so that when the rest of the oil supply in the world would stop, that technology will be introduced. Goddamn capitalists!

I vehemently disagreed. First and foremost, I know that Maria Cristina Falls is in Iligan and that a falls could not generate geothermal power. I corrected that it should be hydroelectric power we were dealing with. I know Leyte has a geothermal plant in Tongonan and I visited those steam powered plants producing electricity in the Visayas. He insisted that it is geothermal power we got from Maria Cristina. A sureness that would not move for a decade or so. It was one of those lessons he got from the seminary. 

Oh my. I was frustrated.

No wonder our graduates now are getting worst. I still am against the move of the Department of Education to have our students undergo 12 long years of education. What we need are reliable and competent teachers that really teaches students right. No erroneous books. Maybe he is a product of one of those DepEd books?

Am I wrong in this point of view?

In the end, I paid the bill like what I expected. I won't be seeing him for a long time.

Selfish plug: Me in another state of being :p

14 September 2010

Edgar Allan Poe's version of Inception

A Dream Within a Dream
Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

A lot of people will never understand Poe. That is a terrible thing. Poe was tormented by numerous devils and his poems and stories were his escapism. Poe actually wrote only 50 poems in his life, only 50. Not volumes upon volumes. But every one was a work worthy of the effort of a genius. -Juan Olivarez

Taking pleasure of life in the islands

I have been here a hundred times. I have come to love this place for a million reasons- the ever hospitable people, their culture, the serenity, the freshness of almost everything.

This is Zumarraga in Samar.