Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Not all who wander are lost." – JRR Tolkien

It looks like 2015 will be a year of exploring new places and going for new experiences (as if 2014 wasn't, right?). I have, so far, gone snowboarding, golfing, and hanging out on the beach and it's only been the second quarter! Unfortunately, I'm benched for most of this year's wakeboarding season... And I won't be playing sports maybe til the third quarter of the year. So, I sit back, relax, and explore. :)

Yongpyong, South Korea

Nasugbu, Philippines

Lipa, Philippines
Silang, Philippines

Changi International Airport, Singapore

Thursday, May 21, 2015

No more wrist brace!!

Three months to the day since I fractured my wrist, I went to the orthopaedic doctor for yet another check-up. I have a trip coming up so I had to adjust my doctor's visit schedule just in case I need to start therapy.

Anyway, I received the best news so far, health-wise: I no longer have a fractured wrist! Based on the x-ray shots, my arm has recovered pretty well. And so the doctor told me that I could remove the brace and start working on flexibility and strengthening exercises to get my left hand up to speed. The main issue, so far, is my weak grip. 

Guess who's excited to be back on a board and in a pool. Hihihi. :D

Monday, May 11, 2015

Best-kept restaurant secrets in Batangas

I've been eating my way through Batangas for quite some time now and so I list some of the restaurants I am planning to revisit at some point.

L'Atelier at La Chevrerie, Mabini
A one-Michelin star gem in a most unexpected place, I stumbled upon a review of this restaurant while I was searching for good places to eat. And to think that I've been in Anilao a lot for the past year! The food was high quality thanks to the man behind the kitchen, Chef Larry. Because the restaurant is quite popular to people in the know, it's kind of difficult to reserve a table to eat there; the restaurant is always full! When I ate there the first (and only, so far) time, I had steak with mashed potatoes... and the dish tasted so good! 

Anilao Beach Club, Mabini
I am starting to feel at home in this resort. The food is a major contributing factor to why I'll return time and time again. My favourites are the chicken cordon bleu (with mashed potatoes) and the chilli con carne (with nachos). These are so well prepared that I haven't even thought of trying the other items in the menu (well, except for sinigang... but I always eat sinigang). But aside from the food, I particularly like the friendly atmosphere exuded by the staff. 

Kambingan sa Ruz Ville Restaurant, Padre Garcia
Gotong Batangas is a famous dish and I couldn't believe I tried it for the first time, ever, in April. I've always thought that goto is like congee, with rice cooked in excess water with beef tripe... which is the version I often eat in Laguna. However, the Batangas goto just had savoury soup with beef tripe; there was no rice in it. It tastes like bulalo for me, another Batangas delicacy. But what makes the goto in Kambingan special is the impression that it's home-cooked over firewood. It's a very different vibe from typical restaurant food. Maybe the truck-stop atmosphere also helped... 

Johanna's Grille, Bauan
Sizzling frankfurters were delicious! Apparently, this restaurant is known to the beach crowd that frequents Anilao because everyone I saw eating there was sun-kissed, rosy-cheeked, and tanned. Also, divers recommended the place when I was searching for a good place to eat.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

the mystery of pushing the feeling on (again)

A few weeks since we found out that we were listening to Push the Feeling On by the Nightcrawlers, I still didn't have a clue about what the singers were singing. And so on another road trip, the discussion went back to the mysterious lyrics of this song, a piece of music I wouldn't even mull over if not for (1) Matty's hilarious interpretation, (2) the effort it took us to find out what it is (including a desperate call to Belgium when he got stumped), (3) and the curiosity about what the lyrics really are. This song has become legend.

We definitely knew one thing, moving forward: the song was NOT about Eliza pulling spoons or of her making fools of us. I had recorded Matty's singing and asked Siri to identify the song, only to be told that he (in a fit of sassiness) couldn't recognise it. But Siri was no JARVIS, so I think this inability to answer was forgivable.

Googling my way through the web, I realised that there were people thinking about this song for more than 10 years! And we were complaining about an earworm that's only a few weeks old! The discussion in one website was hilarious! Anyway, it was in the same website where I found the answer:

"And those who suffer pain will begin to live their lives again.
And this world will be a place to learn, but it's up to you, to pull us through."

Makes sense, since what we kept hearing was:

"Their lives again... their li... to pull us through
Place to learn... their li... to pull us through"

Which, when misheard was: "Eliza pulled a spoon"

Looks like this mystery is now solved... finally.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kris TV went to IRRI!

On a fine Friday morning, IRRI was transformed into a tv show set. Kris Aquino went to the Institute to shoot two episodes of her show "Kris TV" at IRRI. I was asked to come, despite the holiday, to cook heirloom rice for the shoot. There were four varieties for me to prepare: Ominio, Ingudpul, Kotinaw, and Minaangan. All of them were of different colours and were known to have different nutritive properties from white rice.

I worked mostly in the background, which is why I am not in any of the footages. I did, however, had the privilege to do some mise-en-place work for Amy Besa and her team of chefs soon after Madrid Fusion Manila. She prepared bibingka and the Ominio fried rice (so yummy!). I also met Chef JP Anglo (Liberation Shawarma) as he was the featured chef in one of the episodes... his delicious liempo barbecue was the dish he prepared on-cam.

The shoot was an exciting and surprising change in routine because instead of cooking where I normally cooked, I was in a real functioning kitchen. And it's been quite a while since I've been cooking in an industrial kitchen

The highlight of the day for me was eating the dishes prepared by these chefs for lunch outside the FF Hill Building with Tony, Liz, Leah, Lem, and Bob (yes, DG Bob Zeigler!). Good food and good company, definitely.