24/7 Parañaque (Mabuhay Magazine)

Feel Parañaque’s easy and steady southern atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the north.

CLASSIC FILIPINO

Food:  Missing the taste of a good home-cooked meal?  Goodah!!! dishes up classic Filipino comfort food to please your palate.  Chose from such affordable dishes as Goto (35 pesos or 80 US cents), Arroz Caldo (55 pesos or US$1.20), Pares, Dinuguan (69 pesos or US$1.50, Classic Tapa, Tokwa, and many more.  Their solo servings are enough to fill your stomach but they won’t put a hole in your pocket.

Ambience:  Very informal in an al fresco setting.

Crowd:  Employees from nearby offices to barkadas (peer groups).  Solo diners eat in the counter; customers in groups occupy the surrounding tables.

What to Expect:  You can sample a selection of classic Filipino dishes without paying a fortune.

Goodah!!! – Along Doña Soledad Ave., Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque City; tel. no. +632-8243166

GAMBLER’S PARADISE

Food:  Casino Filipino offers

 various gastronomic delights from its scrumptious buffet and in its different restaurants. Some of the restaurants have personnel who go around and offer free food-order service to casino patrons, but you’ll need a casino card for it. 

Ambience: Very lively and fun atmosphere.

Crowd:  Mixed.  Mostly a haven for senior citizens, but plenty of you

ng people also play in the gaming tables.

What to Expect:  You can spend all day and night playing internationally-recognized games like Baccarat, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Big & Small, Pai Glow Poker, Super 6 and the Slot Machines.  You can also join the Bingo games in the afternoon or watch the nightly entertainment shows from 6pm onwards.

PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) Casino Filipino – PIRC Bldg., Ninoy Aquino Ave., Parañaque City; tel. nos. +632-8541605 or +632-8540602

BREAKFAST ALL DAY

Food:  Sinangag Express serves favorite Filipino breakfast favorites any

time of the day. The most popular one is Tapsilog (49 pesos or US$1.10), a combination of beef tapa flakes, garlic rice and sunny side-up egg that’s best eaten with their chili vinegar. You can also choose from Tocilog (sweet pork), Chosilog (chorizo), Hotsilog (hotdog), and several other delicious dishes.

Ambience:  No air-conditioning but very airy and has a relaxed vibe to it.

Crowd:  Anyone who enjoys eating Pinoy breakfast meals, from teenagers to family groups.

What to Expect:  You get value for your money with the economical and tasty dishes as well as the quick service.

Sinangag Express –  79 President Ave., BF Homes, Sucat, Parañaque City 

(Published in Mabuhay Magazine, November 2008)

24/7 Makati (Mabuhay Magazine)

Known to be the business and high-end capital of Manila, Makati is a bustling city, day and night.

EAST MEETS WEST

Food:  Bento Box offers Japanese dishes inspired by American cooking style and presentation.  Its bestsellers are shrimp tempura (210 pesos or US$4.60), chicken teriyaki (108 pesos or US$2.40), and sukiyaki (137 pesos or US$3).

Ambience:  The interiors are a mix of American and Japanese designs.  The bright-red walls and black pieces of furniture reflect the modern American style, while the minimalist look characterizes the Japanese style.

Crowd:  Mostly professionals and office employees.

What to Expect:  Fresh, tasty and affordable American-inspired Japanese dishes served in bento boxes.

Bento Box – 117 Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City; tel. no. +632-8137272

AUTHENTIC EUROPEAN CUISINE

Food:  Since 1946, the Old Swiss Inn has been dishing up European favorites such as pork knuckles, corned beef, pepper steaks and sausages.  It also serves artisan beers that complement their staples.  Recently, the restaurant has become more popular with its fondues, particularly the Toblerone fondue (395 pesos or US$8.60).

Ambience:  Casual and cozy with its pinewood and ski lodge-inspired interiors.

Crowd:  Corporate people during lunch; mostly families during dinner.  Foreigners are also frequent guests.

What to Expect:  Large-portion meals.

Old Swiss Inn – Lower ground floor, Sommerset Olympia Makati, Makati Avenue, Makati City; tel. nos. +632-8176462 or +632-8941711

(Published in Mabuhay Magazine. October 2008)

24/7 Ortigas (Mabuhay Magazine)

Ortigas is a thriving business, commercial, and residential center located east of Metro Manila.

PORRIDGE REPUBLIC

Food:  Suddenly craving for a hot bowl of lugaw (rice porridge) on a late night or the wee hours of the morning?  Try Lugawan Republic’s bestseller, Pilugaw (95 pesos or US$2) – it’s a complete meal by itself with sotanghon (glass noodles), chicken, ox tripe, quail egg, mushrooms, spring onion and toasted garlic.  Or just create your own lugaw by choosing your favorite toppings.

Ambience:  Casual and comfortable.

Crowd:  A lot of senior citizens at daytime, while the yuppies take over at nighttime.

What to Expect:  You get your “lugaw fix” served quickly and as hot as possible.

Lugawan Republic – 2nd floor, Metrowalk Complex, Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; tel. no. +632-7062930

POKER MADNESS

Food:  The Metro Card Club serves all kind of drinks but doesn’t serve food on its own.  However, it has a selection of menus from the nearby restaurants.  You can ask the staff to order for you.

Ambience:  Lively, friendly but laid back and everyone’s having a heck of a good time.

Crowd:  Mostly males who are above the age of 21.

What to Expect:  If the sound of poker chips is like music to your ears, you’re going to love the Metro Card Club.  It’s the first poker room that was allowed by PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) to be put up outside the casino.  Get a kick out of tournaments like the low stakes, high stakes and other special events like the Metro Seventy-Five Tournament and the Filipino Poker Tour.  The club requires membership but anyone can sign-up for free.

Metro Card Club – Bldg. 2A & B, Metrowalk Commercial Complex, Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; tel. no. +632-6331422

TASTY FILIPINO FARE

Food:  Jay-J’s serves the best of Filipino cuisine found in different regions like Pampanga and Bacolod.  Your cravings for comfort food will be satisfied with their bestsellers such as inasal or grilled food (99 pesos or US$2.20), sisig or sizzling plate (155 pesos or US$3.60), bulalo or bone marrow steak (199 pesos or US$4.60), kare-kare or ox tail in peanut sauce (230 pesos or US$5.30), among others.

Ambience:  Casual and cozy with Asian-inspired interiors.

Crowd:  Joggers and morning walkers at daytime, and office people by lunchtime.  Yuppies and night owls hang out here for after-dinner drinks.

What to Expect:  Different varieties of native dishes, all under one roof.

Jay-J’s – 106 Ortigas Bazaar Center, Julia Vargas St. corner Meralco Ave., Pasig City; tel. no. +632-6386410

(Published in Mabuhay Magazine, September 2008)

Uniquely Pinoy (Mabuhay Magazine)

The Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC) boasts of 41 unique flavors from avocado to queso (cheese) to red munggo (mung beans).  A must-try is the Grasshopper Mint Chip (210 pesos or US$5), a combination of pistachio, double Dutch, and choco-mint ice cream with rich chocolate sauce and whipped cream.  Aside from the sundaes and parfaits, the bar has Pinoy concoctions like mangga’t suman (mango and sticky rice) at 120 pesos or US$2.90, a mouth-watering combination of two suman slices and mangga’t suman-flavored ice cream, all drizzled with chocolate.  Tasty sandwiches, pasta and coffee are also available.  Dig in!

The Ice Cream Bar (Flavors by FIC) – Ground floor, Joya Tower, Joya Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City

(Published in Mabuhay Magazine, May 2008)

Alternate Route (Mabuhay Magazine)

Route 196 is an underground bar with cool lighting, wooden panels and graffiti art works on the walls.  Legendary bands like The Dawn and The Jerks have played here.  Acoustic performers, band nights and even iPod nights are regular features.  A must-try is the Noypi pizza.  Light, crunchy but not too salty, it combines tinapa (dried fish) flakes and kesong puti (white cheese).  The pepper-seared tuna with wasabi sauce, chili cheese sticks and tinapa rolls are all spicy and delicious.  When you’re stuck in a traffic jam, take this route.

 Route 196 – 196a Katipunan Ave., Blue Ridge A, Quezon City; tel. no. +632-4391972

(Published in Mabuhay Magazine, March 2008)

CD Review: Interpreter by Silverfilter (Mabuhay Magazine)

The electronica scene in Manila may not be as popular as the ubiquitous show bands, but it is kept alive by one of the more well known local electronica acts, Silverfilter.  This one-man act just released his second album, Interpreter, which features a collection of remixes that Silverfilter has done over the years.  The 12-track CD contains a wide range of music, from chill out to techno to house.  The opening track, “The Indefinite…,” showcases Silverfilter’s musical expertise as he transforms rock music into electronica.  You would surely be hooked to the pulsating beats and infectious vibe of Silverfilter’s music.   

(You can get the album from www.silverfilter.com or www.fliptunes.net.)

Rating: 4 stars

(Published in Mabuhay Magazine, April 2008)

CD Review: "From Inside the Fishbowl" by Overtone (Mabuhay Magazine)

Overtone is one of the long-time playing local rock bands who finally took a leap from regularly performing in bars into releasing their debut album, “…from inside the fishbowl.”  The songs from their album reflect the kind of alternative and pop punk music that they perform in their gigs.  Tracks such as “Comic Book Hero” and “I’m Not a Psychic” show how foreign bands like Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Hoobastank have been great influences to them.  The other upbeat tunes in Overtone’s 12-track CD would definitely make you appreciate punk rock more.

(You can get their album from selected record bars around the metro.)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

(Published in Mabuhay Magazine, April 2008)

Tipco 100% Advertorial

“Eat your veggies” – that’s what moms usually tell their children.  But with Tipco 100%, children and adults alike could actually drink the required serving of vegetables with its wide selection of veggie juices.  Contrary to what you may think, these juices do not taste like vegetables at all.  In fact, these are combined with the goodness of fruits for that delicious drinking experience.  Aside from its good taste, these juices are high in nutrients and have no added sugar, color or preservatives.  Tipco 100% also has the most unique flavors of veggie juices in the market.  Try one today and drink your way to a healthy new you!

Beetroot & Fruit Juice 

Contains betacyanin which improves blood circulation and prevents coronary cancer.

Broccoli & Fruit Juice with Green Tea

Has a high vitamin content that assists in preventing stomach cancer and improving eye and skin health.

Carrot & Fruit Juice

A very good source of vitamins A, B2 & C, which help improve eyesight.

Spinach & Fruit with Wheatgrass Juice

 Provides protection against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer and arthritis.  Stops the growth of bad bacteria and eliminates unpleasant body and breath odors.

Purple Carrot

 Contains antioxidants that are more potent than ordinary carrot juice and helps prevents the growth of cancer cells.

Aloe Vera & White Grape Juice

 Promotes the balance of stomach acids that aid in digestion.

Try the other flavors of Tipco 100%:

  • Tangerine
  • Apple
  • Guava
  • Red Grape
  • Prune & Grape
  • Kiwi & Grape
  • 4-Orange Mix
  • Tomato
  • Pineapple
  • Mixed Vegetable & Fruit
  • Cranberry & Fruit