CuisineKnow - Maitre d'

The maître d’ (short for maître d’hôtel - plural, maîtres d'; maîtres d'hotel, in the original French)  literally "master of the hotel" in a suitably staffed restaurant or hotel is the person in charge of assigning customers to tables in the establishment and dividing the dining area into areas of responsibility for the various servers on duty. The maître d' may also be the person who receives and records reservations for dining, as well as dealing with any customer complaints. It is also his duty to make sure that all the servers and waitstaff are completing their tasks in an efficient manner. In small restaurants, the post is also known as the headwaiter or host. This term originated from medieval courts, where the holder was an important courtier, like Olivier de la Marche in 15th century Burgundy.
In large organizations such as hotels or cruise ships where restaurants are more frequent, the maître d’ is often responsible for the overall dining experience including room service and buffet, and customer satisfaction, while the headwaiters or supervisors are responsible for the specific restaurant or dining room they work in.

The Malampaya Sound

I was raised in New Guinlo, Taytay, Palawan. By the bay of Malampaya Sound, I learned how to swim in the brackish water along with my peers.

Malampaya Sound is located in northwestern Palawan. It was known as the "fish bowl" of the Philippines In the 1940s. It is a watershed with a productive fishing ground called the Sound, an elongated body of water with diverse ecosystems such as mangroves, sea-grasses and corals. Malampaya, in the local dialect means, "rich in fish". It is a word by the Tagbanua people, the first inhabitants of the place who have given much of their land to other Filipinos who came to the area seeking a better life.

In the 1960s, the local government unit allowed a big fishing firm called San Diego into municipal waters where it began to fish excessively.The affected communities were never consulted and their despair over the loss of their traditional fishing grounds still echoes in these strains of a composo1 sung by the Cuyunon’s Tipano Band:

Datong unang tempo, tempo ni San Diego
Maeng pagkaganap ng mga pescador
Ang ila intensyon sa Malampaya
Doon na sila na magpuyo kay maga pangisda
Nang didto na sila sa loob ng Malampaya
Ang intensyon ay mangisda
lahat ng mga tao okupado nila
pati may asawa nadaramay na

(A long time ago, during the time of San Diego, fishers came in droves to the island of Palawan, to stay and live in Malampaya. And because fish abounded in Malampaya, their hearts and minds were content. They lured our girls, even the married ones.)

Groups of Cuyunon live in the mountainous side of the village while the majority of the Tagbanua have settled in the small village of Yakal in New Guinlo. Many decided to reside there after being displaced by waves of migrants. Other fisher communities remember only too well how government hung them out to dry when it declared Malampaya Sound closed for fishing by virtue of Fisheries Administrative Order 11 (FAO 11) of 1973. Government extended no support, causing the majority of gill net fishers to denounce this feeble attempt to conserve the resource.

Sources:idrc  and    iapad

Prince Wilfred and Lady Chocolatey

Once upon a time, in Southern California there was a kingdom. The King and his family were famous for being chocoholic. The entire kingdom was built in chocolate. Different kinds of chocolates can be found in the kingdom. Sweet milk chocolate, Cocoa solids chocolate, dark, white, cocoa butter, expensive and less expensive chocolates. Chocolates from the other parts of the world were transported to the kingdom.

In quest for the perfect kind of chocolate, the king commands his only son, Prince Wilfred to search for the chocolate named 'n amor. Rumor was, it can only be found in Northern California where there was another kingdom named Romepedia.

Romepedia is a land of happiness, good times, angels, breathtaking landscapes, fairries  and immortals. No one is allowed to enter the kingdom. 

Obedient as he was, the Prince pursuit the search for the ultimate chocolate n' amor and proceed to Romepedia. He disguised himself as one of the commoners to spy and prove if the rumor was true. He was informed that the 'n amor can be found in the Center Castle. One day, on his way to the Center Castle, he met a lovely young woman and fell in love. He introduced himself and found out that the lady is the Romepedia Princess named Lady Chocolatey. Lady Chocolatey fell inlove as well.

Later on, they found out that Prince Wilfred was not from Romepedia and was cursed that the love of his life will  turned to be a chocolate....

                                                         Lady Chocolatey

Photo courtesy of Wilfred Brillo

Water Plus Lu

Held at Lu Restaurant in Rockwell, last Friday, I accompanied my cousin and fellow blogger Peachy to attend the launching of Water Plus' new print ad campaign. The new Water Plus billboard print ad feature the physically fit and glamorous VJ Andi Manzano.

What’s good about  WaterPlus is its near water formulation.  Like water, it is light and refreshing, no heavy flavors, just a hint of your favorite fruits. Choose from either grape, apple, or lemon & berries WaterPlus Reduce variant. Unlike other weight loss drinks, it has zero sugar and zero calories which enables you to burn more fats without  adding extra pounds .

I liked that they paired the Water Plus with the great food from Lu's menu. Kinda wine pairing.

The Tease - Courgette flower crisp with roasted bacon & basil broth paired with WaterPlus Apple flavor.

The Green Mind - Caramilized grilled pork and rice noodle salad paired with WaterPlus Grape Flavor.

The Nice Catch - Sweet & Sour tamarind prawns green mango fried rice paired with WaterPlus Lemon and Berries flavor.

The Happy Ending - Pandan Bukayo & spicy ginger ice cream.

What's inside the box is LOFU.

The sophisticated, safest, simplest, elegant and stylish color is white. Everybody agree. So when I saw this photo of Willie Revillame in Yes Magazine couple of years ago wearing this white footwear, I dreamt of having one.

I dont know if this is the one he wore in the magazine's photo shot but when I saw this footwear at Res-Toe-Run in Trinoma I thought this is it.  Well, with its cost Im sure it is. I must agree with you this footwear cost a little fortune. It costs Php 2500.00 for a slip-on I seldom use. I bought this two years ago, and I wore it three times since then. During those times, people are crazy with crocs. Being exceptional  that I am doesn't mean I need to have one, besides, I though crocs designs are funny and trash. 

Designed by Stefano Casanova, the Lofu is infinitely sportier, trendier, and less likely to illicit finger pointing and laughter from onlookers.  The inside of the shoe is studded with bumps to keep your foot from sliding about. The treads are also nice and deep so traction thru slippery surfaces are on-par with any other basic sneaker. There are also 2 velcro straps to achieve a better fit but the material lends itself to being very forgiving so no matter how you tighten it, it always feels snug.

They seem to dress well with almost anything. Perhaps the best part about the Lofu are utility and comfort like Crocs with a lot more wearability. You can use it in your errand running, laundry doing, grocery shopping and dog walking. Lofu stands for 'Light Objects For You' It’s extremely lightweight, almost like wearing socks. The added benefits are durability and easy cleaning. 

See food? Seafood!!!

At Regent Magalawa, we woke up around 6 in the morning  we took a sip of a newly picked, sweet, fresh buko juice (Php 20 each) before swimming into the deep blue sea. They say that buko juice is healthy than orange juice, it contains natural sugar and complex array of vitamins and minerals that are good for the body.  Some say its good for  clearing the urinary path.

Lunch was a seafood fiesta!!!  We had Fish Sinigang, Shrimp Tempura, Fried Fish, Steamed Alimasag and Steamed Crab. All of the seafood are freshly catched from the sea. Steamed Crab is not included in the package but with an extra charge of Php 250 it is very affordable.

Each humongous crab weigh more than a kilo. You can request a day before your arrival.

Fried fish


 Fish Sinigang


Nanay Auring also sells goodies for "pasalubong", Coco Jam, Latik and Bukayo. Coco jam is my favorite best for hot pandesal and coffee.

Breakfast at Magalawa Island

The Magalawa Escapade won't be completed without sumptous food on the dinning table. Breakfast is not the typical Filipino "silog" meal. We had steamed okra with fish sauce,  steamed rice and fried fish. I liked okra,  it was fresh picked from Nanay Auring's organic farmville. It tastes naturally sweet. Most probably the owner takes care of her veggies with extra sweetness.

The big fish  fresh catch from the sea and the sweet vegetables from Nanay Auring's farmville are very delightful. Lunch is something to look forward to, will be featured next.

Regent Magalawa

"Check this out ", Jelaine pinged me with attached  picture of an island somewhere. We were looking for some place to spend the weekend in replacement to the canceled team building with Dart Team. I opened it, I was amazed with its simple beauty. "lets go there! ask everybody who wanna go with us!", I replied. We asked our colleagues and 3 others said yes to the impromptu escapade.

Jim, Tedgc, Jen, Jelaine and I went to Magalawa Island located in Palauig, Zambales, an island barangay of the Municipality of Palauig. it is a place where you can relax and connect with nature. Ideally perfect for swimming, snorkeling, mangrove sight seeing, island hoping and scuba diving. I have a little chitchat with the owners, according to them, several ship wrecks are around the area. I was informed that coral reefs are abundant in the area but I was a little bit dismayed when I saw dead corals, kinda alarming though.

They offer different packages please click here. We chose the overnight package, Php 1000.00 per person inclusive of  4 meals, boat transfers, island tour and overnight stay in the island's bahay kubo.  Fresh sea foods were served, (I will post it on The Cuisineuer)If you are allergic to sea  foods, you can make special arrangements. Part of the package is the Bacala Sandbar which is cool for photo shooting.

The concept is: Back to basic nature tripping. Do not expect luxurious, air-conditioned cottages, jacuzzi, nor free soap. Don't forget to bring your insect repellent if you dont want to be bitten by "niknik" (sand flea). portable water is abundant in the area, but dont expect shower. I enjoyed exercising while pumping the pitcher pumps before taking a bath. During summer days, I was told that water from the pump become salty. But they have back up water pump from the mountain nearby.

Contact Information:

Regent Magalawa
Reynaldo Boy Armada or Grace Armada
Mobile Phone Number: 0939 870 7413

Coffee, Tea and Me - Starbucks' Smile

Happiness is a state of mind and like other things it takes practice. Devote five minutes a day to smiling just smiling, after a while, it will come naturally. There are a lot of  things or feelings that makes me smile. Silly text messages, zero traffic when going home after long hours of working at the office, the smell of Carolina Herrera 212 for Men, a passionate kiss, the colors of the sunrise, hearing Bob Marley on my i pod, a good night sleep, a walk on the seashore, being tickled softly, great food. A molar to molar smile every time I have the Starbucks' Green Tea Latte with Strawberry Syrup and Starbucks' Oreo Cheesecake....

There are different things and reasons that make us smile. So, before putting up a frown on your face, make sure there are no reasons to smile.

Red Ribbon's Coffee Crumble

I was addicted to Red Ribbon's cakes after attending their Blogger's Event to launch their Chocolate Fudge Cake last week. Today, before going home, I tried another Red Ribbon's best seller, Coffee Crumble Cake.

Coffee Crumble is so yummy. Tastes just right, not too sweet. The design of the cake is very creative.I liked the delicious, creamy, mouth-watering slice. I can't resist but to bring joy into my daily life every time I pass a Red Ribbon store.This is indeed a heavenly slice!!!