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31 December 2011

Philippines' Tallest Ferris Wheel Yet

'Twas a scorching hot, very bright Friday morning when my folks and I had our little jaunt at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA). We went to see and ride this Ferris wheel.

MOA Eye, as this Ferris wheel is called, is the tallest in the country. A ride which lasts for  more or less 10 minutes costs 150 pesos per person (same fee applies for kids). Costly? We think it is, considering you'll only get one turn! But anyway, it was such a merry experience!

The gondola
This Ferris wheel has two types of gondolas - one with tinted windows and the other with the usual clear windows. A ride in the tinted gondola costs more but the fee is yet to be decided, according to the staff I asked. One gondola can accommodate up to 6 persons.

If you have a fear of heights, I HIGHLY recommend riding this Ferris wheel. Time to get rid of your phobia and enjoy the view!  :)

The Manila Bay
On the other side of the bay, there were so many ships! Too bad I wasn't able to take a photo of it! Blame it on my imagination ha ha! It sure felt like I was watching one of those war movies where ships come and invade a land. :))

The view is probably much better at night so this place starts to get crowded at sundown. If you're the type who just hates crowds, then go here first thing in the morning! :D They're open from 10AM til midnight on weekdays and until 1AM on weekends.

I really like the design of this Ferris wheel. It looks like a giant Parol - very Filipino! That's why I can't help but be disappointed with the name of it. MOA Eye? Another copy cat. . . Anyway, come and visit this place and ride the tallest Ferris wheel in the country - it sure is fun!

30 December 2011

Tomas Morato: Army Navy Burger + Burrito

Tomas Morato: Army Navy Burger + Burrito
December 14, 2011
By Tiffy

After moving in to our new house, we found ourselves neighbors to an old family friend. Fifth grader JP was reading K-Zone magazine while in the car accompanying our moms on an errand. An article on the magazine talked of Army Navy, which apparently is one of the restaurants that JP likes. 

JP was supposed to order the Bully Boy Burger (triple quarter-pound beef patties!!) but decided on an order of Fearless Fried Chicken instead.

 Army Navy Burger + Burrito 

Carnitas (Pork) Burrito | Php 165 | USD 3.77


Soft Taco (Steak) | Php 155 | USD 3.

I love how much diced onion it had--it made it really spicy. 

Ube Shake | Php 99 | USD 2.26

Real ice cream shake. No sugar. My mom liked it so now we might just buy some ice cream, add milk, and shake. 

Quesadilla (Steak) | Php 165 | USD 3.77
Freedom Fries | Php 130 | USD 2.97

The fries remind me of KFC fries except thinner. Yum. 

The dips.

Fearless Fried Chicken | Php 145 | USD 3.31

JP asked me how many readers my blog gets. I told him that it depends. So he asked me how many people have visited my blog. "Around xxx I think." "Yay! I'm going to be famous."

You just have to love kids: he even let me grab some chicken skin off his plate!

Definitely going back.

Army Navy Burger + Burrito
Address: 305 Tomas Morato St., Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephone number: (02) 352-3333

They also have other branches:
Dela Rosa Makati (02) 836-3333
Emerald Ave. Ortigas (02) 570-8181
BF Parañaque (02) 519-9999
La Salle Taft (02) 526-5252
Harbour Square (02) 403-8080
Tagaytay (046) 483-3333

28 December 2011

Bacolod: Pendy's Napoleones

Bacolod: Pendy's Napoleones
October 2011
By Tiffy

Have you ever tried Napoleones?  

I've never tried it before my friend let us try some when she came back from Bacolod. This dessert, known as mille-feuille in France, is a specialty in Bacolod. It is a custard filled pastry.

I think that it's too sweet--my throat hurt after eating one. Too much sugar and sweetness.

What do you think?

27 December 2011

Danne: Kusina Master with Chef Boy Logro

Manila Foodistas was invited to the taping of GMA7's newest noontime cooking show, Kusina Master last December 21, 2011.

We were able to talk to the show's chef/host Chef Pablo "Boy" Logro" alongside several press people. Chef Boy shared stories of his humble beginnings, starting as a houseboy at age 14 and pursuing culinary until he has reached his current status as the first Executive Chef in the country. Chef Boy talked about establishing his own culinary school in Cavite and his many experiences in cooking for royalty while he was still in the Middle East.

Upon entering the studio we saw chefs preparing this particular dish. The recipe for that episode was spareribs with pineapple. Food was precooked for audience tasting.

I was unfortunate to have to leave earlier so I wasn't able to try these! :-( They look delicious though.

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Every week, one Kapuso will be Chef Boy's co-host, and for each episode, there will be one celebrity student. Singers Kyla and Rachel Ann Go were present during that taping day. I guess they shot for more than one episode.

Chef Boy begins his demonstration. He is most known for his comic style of hosting which adds up some energy and liveliness to the whole cooking demo.

Celebrity guest Kyla assists Chef Boy.

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Kusina Master is one of the first few shows I've seen taped live. It's really interesting how much work is put into pre-production as well as to every little detail of the show.

What's unique about the concept of the show is that viewers will be given an assignment for the next episode: a list of ingredients to prepare, so that they could follow the chef's instructions right while the show is airing. Chef Boy also promises to use more 'techniques' such as wok cooking.

Kusina Master with Chef Boy Logro airs beginning January 2, 2011 (before Eat Bulaga) at GMA7.


26 December 2011

Therese in Taiwan: Taipei Fine Arts Museum 台北市立美術館

Not to say that all I do here is eat (which is really basically what I do, aside from studying of course *wink wink*), my friend and I went to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum last month. I suggested the place because I liked the exhibitions that were on display that time, and I wanted to see it for myself.

There were five exhibitions on display but I was only able to look at four: "Ai Weiwei absent," "Super Contemporary, Designed in London," "The Photographic Journey of a Maverick — Huang, Tse-Hsiu — 82-year-young," and "Night & Day – Exploring Arts Exhibition 2011."

Ai Weiwei absent (until January 29, 2012)

     I wanted to look at his works because of the uproar they are causing in China. Although I didn't understand a lot of his works (probably because I'm not part of the society he is targeting), I can say that there's a shocking feeling you would get from looking at his stuff.

Super Contemporary, Designed in London

     You could see how art (and culture) progressed in London, starting from the 50s all the way to the present times. It wasn't all that spectacular, because there was nothing really special about the items that were on display. The thing I liked most about this exhibit were the maps with post-it story notes - of how these designers made a name for themselves, how certain citizens lived, where you would shop for clothes, or drink a cup of coffee, etc. I liked how personal it felt.

The Photographic Journey of a Maverick — Huang, Tse-Hsiu — 82-year-young (until January 29, 2012)

     I liked this exhibit the most because his photos are wonderful! There were different rooms with certain themes - Yehliu, aboriginal tribes, artists, landscapes, etc.

Night & Day – Exploring Arts Exhibition 2011

     This was really meant for children (and their parents), because it was an interactive exhibit. However, I still decided to check it out. I liked the animated short video with the ocean as the setting place, showing how morning becomes evening, sun becomes moon, and so on and so forth.

Taking of photographs are not allowed inside, hence the lack of photos! :(

Tickets: 15 NT (~PhP 22.5) for students, 30 NT (~PhP 45) regular price 

Address: 181, ZhongShan N. Road, Sec. 3, Taipei 104, Taiwan

How to get there: Get off the MRT YuanShan station exit 1 捷運圓山站,出口1 (there are signs all over, so you will not get lost looking for the museum)

Operating hours: They're open from 9:30AM-5:30PM (and up to 8:30PM on Saturdays). They're closed on Mondays


25 December 2011

Corniche at Diamond Hotel

My officemates and I celebrated the season with a lunch at Diamond Hotel's newest restaurant, Corniche, located at the hotel's lobby level days before Christmas. My verdict: The food selection is quite impressive, with my favorite part, the desserts, being really divine and really sinfully good.

Cream of Mushroom

Appetizer: Salad plating

Japanese Selection: Sushi, etc.

Main Course: Seafoods, Steak and Chinese

Corniche is proud of its beautifully appointed facilities, elegant interiors, cuisines of the world and impeccable service. It offers an exceptional breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet spread and an extensive all-day a la carte menu. Corniche's lunch buffet menu showcases a combination of "Asian, Western, Japanese, salad, and dessert stations, all meticulously prepared by culinary experts."

Desserts Part 1: Cake and Dessert Shooters

Desserts Part 2: Creme Brulee and Chocolate Truffles

Truffles and Green Tea White Chocolate Ice Cream


Corniche is open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, daily.

Merry Christmas! Remember, "Food tastes best when shared." - Brian Ong

24 December 2011

Nicole's Museum Hopping: Yuchengco Museum + Rizal Coffee

Nicole's Museum Hopping: Yuchengco Museum
by Nicole

This year is about to end and a new one is about to start hence people are going to pen their to-do lists once again. As for me, I've started writing mine last month. One of the things listed: visit museums around the metro.

So it began. First stop is. . .  the Yuchengco Museum in RCBC Plaza, Makati City! HONESTLY, this is my second museum stop but I decided to share this one first :D

@ the Yuchengco Museum entrance
My humble camera died so most of the photos here are from my lovely friend (who's actually more like a sister :D).  So grateful she went with me! She also said she'll be joining me in my next museum trips so HOORAY to that! I am stoked!

The Yuchengco museum opened in September 2005. A pretty young museum but one of the best I've been to. It was created to house the art collection of businessman, diplomat Alfonso T. Yuchengco. You don't just see paintings and sculptures here but you can also read books. I just looove that this museum has a library in it! I spent a couple of hours reading some books from those shelves - España, Bound to Empire: The United States and the Philippines, and O.D. Corpuz' The Roots of the Filipino Nation.  If get rich, I would absolutely build something like this!

Library at the 4th floor
This is also the room that showcases a glimpse of Mr. Yuchengco's roots and his works.
You can also see paintings of the women associated with Jose Rizal here.

How do I go around a museum? The best way is to start from the very top - learned this from one of my favorite museums which I will be showing you guys soon. Take the elevator up to the top most floor then journey down by taking the stairs. Take the stairs - you'll get to see more stuff than taking the boring elevator :D

The Yuchengo Museum is currently hosting the Nothing to Declare exhibit. Nothing to Declare aims to contribute to the discourse on migration, the movement not just of people across borders, but also of forms and realities across time and space.

This one is one of the coolest in the exhibit! These eggs won't break even if you step on them. A metaphor for being strong and yet fragile.

 “The Easter Bunny—Just As Charming and Just As Fake” Ovoid/Void piece (2010)
 wherein the author invites the audience to walk on a ground
made of resin trays filled with resin eggs.

3rd Floor

Beside those eggs is this piece called "Suspended Garden." There are few ways on how to view this floating potato or pebble-looking recycled pulp pieces. One is to look at this from the top (just how this photo was taken). You can also lie down on that circular carpet (which is made of newspaper formed into strings). We did lie down and it was so cool! I didn't understand it but like what my friend told me, "you don't need to understand art. You just have to experience it."

Experiencing art
Tony Gonzales and Tes Pasola (Philippines) Suspended Garden Installation (recycled pulp), 2010
3rd Floor

Now down at the ground, you'll see a continuation of the Nothing to Declare exhibit, paintings by Juan Luna, Botong Francisco. . .

The Yuchengco museum joins the 150th year of Jose Rizal's birthday hence in almost every floor, there's something about Rizal. This one is, for me, the center of it all.

"Genius has no country" - Jose Rizal
A painting of Jose Rizal (center) by Juan Luna. The other two paintings are by Luna and Hidalgo
The paragraphs written on this wall are excerpts from Rizal's famous speech delivered in 1884 at Hotel Ingles, Madrid

Speaking of Rizal, here's my take home. I bought this limited edition Jose Rizal Blend from the Yuchengco Museum store. This is the most fragrant coffee I've ever smelled, hands down! The aroma is just addictive! I was so eager to drink this so we boiled this for breakfast ha ha! We don't have yet a coffee grinder at home that's why.

Php 250.00
A combination of Arabica and Robusta coffee grown in the Philippines

I had a blast in this museum! I can't wait to go back! I hope you'll get to visit this museum too. Entrance is only 100 pesos. Happy Christmas!  :)

Address and Telephone number
Yuchengco Museum
RCBC Plaza
Corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues
Makati City, Philippines 1200

Information: (632) 889 1234
Please note that the museum is at the courtyard of RCBC Plaza.

Museum hours
Monday to Saturday
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Sunday and on holidays

23 December 2011

Therese in Taiwan: Smoothie House 思慕昔

When we talk about shaved ice dessert, the first Philippine store that comes to my mind is Ice Monster. There was a time back in the summer of high school sophomore year when I spent a lot of time hanging out at an Ice Monster store because I loved eating their desserts.

On the other hand, I could also say that halo-halo (Filipino dessert) belongs to the same type of dessert because it is shaved (or crushed) ice topped with various ingredients. While I do like shaved ice, I prefer snowflake ice because the texture is finer and it melts in your mouth.

Do you know of snowflake ice? From what I've heard, it is a popular dessert that originated in the night markets of Taiwan. Over the years, stores have also been opened in other countries such as Japan, and the Philippines.

Although it's starting to get colder in Taipei, some of my classmates and I still decided to try this popular snowflake ice place found at Yongkang Street (永康街).

Yongkang Street is located in Daan District (大安區), so we rode the MRT brown line to Daan (大安), and we walked from there. There are actually 2 popular snowflake ice stores there - Smoothie House, and FnB Gourmet Group.

The latter is more popular in the sense that there is a back story about it. It was first opened by this couple that eventually got married. To cut the long story short, they eventually separated and the store is now being handled by the wife, I think. A lot of Taiwanese people know of this story. My classmate heard of it through one of her Taiwanese friends. When our teacher heard that we were looking for a snowflake ice place, she also told us of this story. LOL!

Since it was drizzling, we ended up choosing Smoothie House because of its indoor area. They also have a second floor. According to their website, the whole store can seat up to 100 people.
We decided to share 2 orders - Fresh Fruit Mix Snowflake Ice Mango Flavor (超級綜合芒果雪花冰) and the Matcha Green Tea with Red Bean Snowflake Ice (宇治抹茶雪花冰). Our orders were topped with panna cotta but you could also go with an ice cream topping.

Fresh Fruit Mix Snowflake Ice Mango Flavor | 150 NTD (PhP 225)
Matcha Green Tea with Red Bean Snowflake Ice | 140 NTD (PhP 210)
They were delicious! The snowflake ice melts in your mouth, and the fruits are fresh. The condensed milk that they used had just the right amount of sweetness - not too overpowering. All in all, we enjoyed it. We're gonna try the other store next time to see how theirs taste like.

Smoothie House is located at 9, Yongkang St., Daan District, Taipei City (106臺北市大安區永康街9號1樓2樓). They are open from 7:30AM-10:30PM.
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