GLIMPSED: Gloomy Boracay

Introducing a new segment on this travel blog ....GLIMPSED!

On the upcoming "GLIMPSED" posts, I will share random pictures from my previous travels.

Consider this as my electronic post cards addressed to y'all.

It could be just a picture or perhaps some few lines.

When in good mood, I might compose a haiku for you.

Cook with an Italian Chef at The Maya Kitchen

Chef Roberto Cimmino

An Italian Chef will Visit The Maya Kitchen and will cook traditional Italian fare on May 5, Saturday, 9am-1pm. Chef Roberto Cimmino, Italian Chef de Cuisine at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel’s Paparazzi, will share his culinary tricks and tips as he prepares a complete the traditional Italian course of Zuppa Minestrone, Italian Vegetable Stew with Prosciutto and Parmesan; Insalata Rughetta, Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan, Toasted Pine Nuts and Balsamico Reduction; Fettucine, fresh homemade Pasta with Classical Tomato and Basil Sauce; Risotto alla Parmigiana, a basic recipe; Pan Seared Black Lapu-lapu with Broccoli Mash, Capers, Nuts and a touch of Anchovies and Tiramisu “As Roby Likes It.”

The 25 year old chef was Chef de Cuisine of Italian restaurant Danieli’s at the St. Regis Hotel, Shanghai prior to joining EDSA Shangri-la Hotel in October of 2011.He was also the Chef de Cuisine at Italian restaurant Bene at the Suzhou Sheraton Hotel & Towers. 


The Maya Kitchen's Summer Culinary Workshops for Kids and Teens continue this month of May. The Junior Culinary Workshop for 6-12 years old is from May 8-11, 8:30am-12:30pm. Kids learn something different each day with the following themes: Breakfast Surprise, Fine Dining in Italy, Modern Mexican and Jazzed-Up Kiddie Food.

For teens 13 years old and up, classes are from May 15-18, 9am-1pm. Daily themes include: Party Fare, Pie Day, Italian Yummies and Decadent Fun Desserts and Food Truck.

International Breads is on May 19, 1:30-6pm. Certificate Courses with Hands-On include: Cake Decorating (Basic and Advanced), May 2-4,10am-3pm; Fundamentals of Bakery Production, May 2-5, 9am-2pm and May 15-17 and 19, 1:30-6pm;  Basic Culinary, May 7-10, 1:30-6pm and May 22-25, 9am-3pm; and Catering May 25-26, 9am-5pm.

For more information, log on to or e-mail   or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F  Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108.

Ninong Max's Treat on Xia's Christening

Previous office mates of mine were reunited when Xia (Jelaine's daughter) was baptized last month at the Church of Malate. Jim, Jelaine, Lady and I strengthen our ties when we stood as Xia's godparents. In Catholic tradition, parents and godparents were asked to ‘reject the devil and all rebellion against God’ and to renounce ‘the deceit and corruption of evil’. We were asked to ‘submit to Christ as Lord’ on this solemn ceremony. It was a memorable experience to welcome Xia in Christian world.

 Baby Xia

Although it was a mass baptism, the ceremony was not long for the exciting part - the christening reception. It was held at Max's Restaurant in Robinsons Place - Manila. Xia's mom, Jelaine, availed Max's "Ninong Ko Si Max!" Promo. Max’s, being such a nostalgic restaurant that has nurtured family relationships for generations, has always been the first choice for milestone festivities like graduations, anniversaries - especially baptisms, a popular tradition among Filipinos who predominantly adhere to the Christian faith. 

Veggie Lumpia Bites

Max, the celebrated figure behind Max’s Restaurant, will be the official ‘ninong’ or godfather of every infant and child who will celebrate their christening reception at any Max’s Restaurant. Every year, until they reach the age of 7, Max’s inaanak’s can expect Christmas and birthday presents from their doting Ninong Max. They are also privileged to receive treats like free Max’s Corner Bakery goodies every time they visit Ninong Max’s restaurant (with a minimum purchase of PhP 200). They also get a special 15% discount on their 1st and 7th birthday celebrations at any Max’s Restaurant in the country.

The Package also includes the following:

• 2 hours use of venue
• Free use of bassinet
• Theme Cake **
• Decorated Party Area
• Party Balloons
• Balloon Centerpieces
• Tarpaulin Banner Rental
• Invitations
• Guest Book with Pen **
• Gift for the Baby
• Souvenirs
• 5% discount certificate (for your next party)

The dishes were great! We started from thick and rich soup. The original, classic fried chicken that made Max's popular was cooked to golden perfection, processed in a very unique way which gives this product the unforgettable "sarap to the bones" quality, spiced just right and totally MSG-free was my favorite. It comes with Max's Kamote Fries, a new spin on the sweet potatoes, a traditional and nourishing Filipino staple food, and turned them into a unique side dish. The Veggie Lumpia Bites (above picture), a selected vegetables in bite-size pieces comes with honey mustard dip was superb!

Pancit Canton, A traditional well-liked rice noodle dish topped with vegetables, pork strips, chicken balls, chicken liver, chicken gizzard and shrimps.

Steamed Fish Fillet In Light Soy - Expertly marinated cream dory fillet with a light soy sauce topped with spring onion confetti.

Asparagus With Tofu - A healthy serving of fresh asparagus, tofu and vegetables mixed with an exquisite taste of dried wooden ear mushroom which makes this dish different from other vegetables.


Max's Corner Bakery Caramel Bars  - Soft, chewy caramel bars made with premium milk and butter generously topped with ground peanuts.

Max's Restaurant, Robinsons Place - Manila
4/Lvl., Robinson's Place - Manila, M. Adriatico St.
Manila, Metro Manila Philippines
(02) 7-9000

Hats: Must Buy in Boracay

Regardless of the season, Cowboy and Fedora hats are definitely a year round trend in the island of Boracay. Cool chick Josh dragged us to the nearby stall selling hats across  the Zeouk Bar where we had our Skin inked temporarily. We've tried several hats, Josh liked the fuchsia one but Carlo and I turned it down. We thought its  for oldies. She picked the white one. Perfect!

I also chose white because I thought it could match any color. Carlo picked brown, matching his skin tone. Gorgeous! aren't we?

Must Do in Boracay: Get a Henna Tattoo

...although they don't need to follow an itinerary, their original plan was to go island hopping but the weather that day was not cooperating. Rome, Carl, and Josh's first day in Boracay was spent strolling from Nigi Nigi to Fridays in station three where they had late lunch. Rome and Josh were sporting in summery ensembles while Carl showed off his impressive abs and perfect tan that any fitness model would be proud of.

On their way, they met Waway, a freelance tattoo artist, and convinced them to have a temporary ink on their body. They haggled to a bargain price and dealt with a good price and they decided to have a henna tattoo.

Henna, a non-permanent tattoo inked on the best part of  your skin. It is very necessary when you been to Boracay, Puerto Galera, Palawan or any other vacation spots . It is more important when you get back home after your grand vacation. It is a mark that shows and proves that you have been on a holiday to show off to your colleagues and be the object of their envies.


They say that a tattoo is the reflection of yourself. Josh chose butterfly and flower designs from the catalog, she also ordered a glass of Margarita. Butterfly stands for freedom, fun and joyous times, she  opted to ink it on her back and the flower which symbolizes femininity was inked on her leg.

Rome and Carl had tribal tattoos. Tribal tattoos have become one of the most in-demand and most requested styles of tattooing. The design was known as the aso and is a tattoo design that was done on the island of Borneo by the Dayak people. It is thought to represent a mythical beast that was part dog, part dragon. But modern masters of the form are taking it to new heights of aesthetic achievement and it's staying power seems strong yet.

 Waway's Contact Number: 09293206390

Kitchen Gadget: 3D 16 Liters Electric Oven Toaster w/ Roaster

My growing admiration with The Peach Kitchen and Not Just A Food Blog roasted chicken recipes prompted me to purchase this oven toaster. The last time I checked before I decided to bought it, it was around Php 3,000.00 so I waited like 300 years (lol!) until it went on sale and bought it for the price of Php 1,895.00.

Product Features:

Power Output: 1000W
Capacity 16 liters
Rotisserie function
Bake, roast, broil function
4 Temperature Settings
Broiler Option
With Timer
Auto Shut off
Color : White

The moment I went home, I tried to roast a quarter of chicken to test it but I thought it's not for share because I burned  it. What I'm just sharing is the "before" picture, lol! A beautiful chicken waiting to be roasted on my brand new 3D 16 Liters Electric Oven Toaster w/ Roaster.

Teleserv: Delivering Fast, Ligit, Secure and Certified Philippine Documents

We're living in a digital world -  where the days of long and slow ques are gone. Well, at least for few Philippine government agencies who tied up with the Filipino private company, Pilipinas Teleserv Inc.  POEA, DFA, and NSO were the ones with the best services when it comes to delivering certified documents. 

Birth, marriage, death certificates, and even Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) are documents issued and authenticated by the National Statistics Office and could be obtained and delivered through Telerv's Citizen Services. Balik Manggagawa OEC from POEA and Department of Foriegn Affairs' passport appointments are also being handled by this call center. Here's How.....

Balik Manggagawa OEC Delivery

The Balik-Manggagawa OEC Delivery service empowers OFWs to process their OEC applications via the convenient of the internet at the comfort of their homes by logging on to OEC Delivery website. With just a click of a button, OEC processing runs simultaneously with the enjoyment of pending quality time with the family. OEC processing comes with PHILHEALTH and OWWA membership updates. Balik-Manggagawa OEC Delivery is available nationwide and is coupled with an inquiry hotline 737-7777. An OEC Express Delivery booth is also situated inside the POEA Balik Manggagawa area to cater to OFWs who find themselves at the POEA.

NSO Birth Certificate Delivery

NSO Birth Certificate Delivery provides birth, marriage, death, and even Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) door-to-door deliveries. By simply calling the NSO Helpline 737-1111 or logging in to their website, citizens can enjoy the convenient request and procurement of their NSO certificates without the hassle of traffic, queue, and waiting. Helpline 737-1111 is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even on Sundays and holidays. With nationwide coverage, everyone from Batanes to Jolo can enjoy the same world-class service that Pilipinas Teleserv Inc. has been providing for the last 9 years.

DFA Passport Appointment System

In the new location all applications for electronic passports (ePassports) will only be accepted and processed via the appointment system. Applicants may set an appointment by going online through its dedicated website or by calling the DFA Appointment Hotline 737-1000. The new system aims to bring the passport processing service at par with world class consular services. The new appointment system is available for free. The system is designed to help eliminate long queues formed with the old walk-in system, as the applicants would be pre-processed using information given via hotline or online.

You may have some unprecedented requests, you may add their Facebook and Twitter accounts and have your querries answered or visit Teleserv and citizen services websites and chat with one of their representatives.

Chasing Centris' Pavements

A beautiful day should be spent strolling. So one fine day, my cousins, nieces and I found ourselves strolling in "Centris Walk", a new, open-space commercial center strategically located within Eton Centris – a 12-hectare mixed-use complex that epitomizes the vibrant work-shop-play-and-live concept in Quezon City.

I was amazed with it's promenades, I noticed that they used “green architecture” featuring lush landscape, covered walks and pedestrian-friendly pavements. A playground on artificial grass was installed at the center of different restaurants was a big hit to my nieces, while the shopping area was dominated by Anney and Peachy.

I mentioned from my previous post that I'm planning to go back in our home town this summer. I was  planning to revive our front lawn and I was gathering model lawns and information. An idea flashed in while I was admiring the patios...I'm going to transform our front garden with artificial grass so my folks would not deal too much care on it. I was thinking of a tiered patio with steps if could be possible, that will make our backyard the envy of our neighborhood!

I found INSTALL-IT-DIRECT on the internet when I went home. They are the premiere paver installers. Installing driveways, pool decks, walkways and patios for decades including artificial grass for pets, landscape turf, putting greens and athletic turf. A master riverside pavers installing paving stones and synthetic lawn. Sharing this to y'all for your next lawn project. To learn more about Installitdirect and the paver installation process, please visit their website.

Manila STG Canada Celebrates Quarter End and Welcomes New Colleagues at Seattle's Best

Big Breakfast #3: Egg, Schublig, Bacon Strips, Pancakes, Wheat Bread, Fruit Marmalade

"The Canadians" had breakfast at Seattle's Best in celebration of good 1st quarter end of 2012. It was at least caused cheer for us as it emerged that we had the busiest 3 months with 'unprecedented' business volumes. It was the day I'm waiting for, the best-ever day in the first three months of the year . To Celebrate great team at its best teamwork, as everybody agreed... with best food. I must admit, this is the best part of every quarter.

While other teams chose to spend an overnight stay out of town, some were gone far outside the country, we chose the warm and casual ambiance, a typical of modern American coffee shop of Seattle's Best. Most of The Canadian members were family people and going out of town was out of the proposal. At the back of our building where the nearest Seattle's Best is located, we immediately put ourselves at ease after our shifts to fully enjoy its brews and try their enticing array of cold drinks such as SBC's Javanilla Shake, Iced White Chocolate Mocha, as well as iced varieties of lattes, mochas and sodas. 

Since I'm not a big fan of Seattle's Best, I never knew that they offer a wide array of breakfast choices. Their breakfast choices were divided into four; pancakes, french toast and omelets, regular breakfast, and big breakfast. Y'all knew how I love breakfast. I became an instant fan!

Ham & Cheese Omelette, French Toasts, Fruit Marmalade

I chose Big Breakfast #3 that includes scrambled eggs, Schublig, Bacon Strips, Pancakes, Wheat Bread, and Fruit Marmalade. Rush, picked one from french toast and omelets. She had Ham & Cheese Omelette, French Toasts, Fruit Marmalade.

Big Breakfast 2: Egg, Cocktail Sausages, Bacon Strips, Pancakes, Fruit Marmalade

Daddy Regie, Gemma, Bobby, Austin and Lee had Big Breakfast 2: Egg, Cocktail Sausages, Bacon Strips, Pancakes, Fruit Marmalade. Austin, Rad and Lee are the new members of the team. Rad was absent and he missed that warm welcome from our team.

Pancakes, Bacon Strips, Maple Syrup

Nathalie chose Pancakes with Bacon, as usual she wasn't able to finish it. The Team had to go home with heavy stomachs. It was another splendid gastronomical experience!

International Release: Topman Shirt

I love orange! I have a thing with bright colors nowadays I've just figured. So when I visited Topman store in  SM Mall of Asia, I found this shirt  with an orange print, I bought it. Besides it was on 50% sale. 

The shirt was printed with "Working Class Heroes" at the top with vintage photo of kids playing an old game. There's a little print defining what  working class means.Working class is a term used in academic sociology and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs as measured by skill, education and lower incomes.

The term is usually contrasted with the upper class and middle class in terms of access to economic resources, education and cultural interests. Its usage can be derogatory. But many people self identity as working class and experience a sense of pride similar to a national identity.

Sippin' Margarita in Bora!

Beside the Zeouk Bar in station two, while waiting for Carlo and Josh getting their non permanent  tattoo done, I ordered Margarita. A random picture when we had a Boracay get together.

Vaporizing Summer

The heat of summer sunshine is here once again, same time when the turquoise sea is inviting us to swim. This is the time for more action and vacation, a perfect time to escape from our desk, working non-stop, to relax and have a good time. So where are we heading this summer?

We have a lot of itineraries for this season. First stop would be in Subic and Zambales happening next week. We will visit our cousins in the province and discover what the island of Potipot could offer. I heard a lot of good reviews about it and we are all very excited for the four day trip with my cousins and nieces. On the first week of May, we'll fly to Marinduque and visit the beautiful island of Bellaroca. The Pahiyas festival on the third week of May is what excites me, I never been to Quezon province and that will gonna be my first time.

My summer outfits were packed and I’m very ready to go. Other than that, we will also prepare some good summer food. Isn't it nice to munch grilled food on the beach? Of course, we will bring gourmet food too! How are we going to make it? I heard you asked. The answer is very simply, we will make it through the convenient of technology because we just discovered Molecular gastronomy, and that is cooking food with the digital volcano vaporizer! With the vapir no2 which is a high efficient digital hand held vaporizer. It is entirely portable, extra nice, isn't it?

I would say that apart from last summer's getaway in Hong Kong this summer plan is the most promising!

Lawn Care? Mow Worries! Just Snap, Lock and Go!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The colorful spring and bright summer days are my favorite seasons of the year and are just around the corner. This is the most exciting times that brings flash back to my memory of good times during my college days, living in the countryside with my parents.

Back in my province where my parents still chose to stay in our old provincial house, the balcony over our front lawn was my favorite spot while cooling off with home-made iced tea or lemonade. From the balcony, I would always adore our green, manicured lawn that's surrounded by a tapestry of star apple, mango, citrus trees and adorned with different kinds of tropical orchids that my mother used to collect. Ahh, memories of laid back times that I longed to experience again.

The last time I went home, I noticed that my oldies had forgotten to take care of the lawn. The lawn's gone brown - it's full of mole-hills! Maybe because they are kinda old and have other priorities that I understand.

If time and work permit, I'm going home this summer and I planned to revive the green grass at home. So, I started looking for some ideal lawns and gathered some gardening techniques online. The lawn in the park near my office where I eat my lunch everyday captured my heart. This would be my model lawn when I get back in the province....

I approached the gardener/caretaker one afternoon and asked him some tips on how he take care of the grass. He gladly demonstrated using Scotts® Snap® Spreader System I was fascinated with how easy it was! The Snap Pac connects directly to the Snap Spreader – no cutting, no opening and no pouring from heavy bags – no spilling or waste! The system auto-sets the proper flow rate. No Spreader settings required! It also has a unique EdgeGuard feature that keeps product where you want it…. on the lawn! When he was done, the Snap Pac self-seals upon removal making it easy to store – No more half empty bags on the garage floor. Its a no mess, no guess spreader system I would say.

"Your Grass is Alive…and the single most important thing you can do for it is feed it", he mentioned. And Now its easier to do so with Scotts® Snap® Spreader System! I thanked him and now I know how to get a beautiful lawn without the mess and guesswork. All we have to do is just Snap, Lock and Go! Get a great lawn in a ---- Snap®!

Let me share to you some more good news, Go on and "like" the page Scotts Snap perks on Facebook  for the chance to win amazing prizes! The Scotts® Snap PERKS Program begins March 7, 2012.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Rome: Son of the Beach!

Here's another photo of Rome on a tropical island paradise of Boracay cam-whoring with friends Josh and Carlo. Posting photos with just little words on this website doesn't mean that we are going to make this a photo-blog. I simply doesn't have time to write about Rome's experiences in Boracay because I'm kinda preoccupied at work. So I am just sharing to you selected images out of  8,000 on his external hard drive. Oh, I love this post's title, don't ya?

Cafe Via Mare, Landmark

Crispy Binagoongan, Php 298

When I've told you last week that I decided to go on a three day liquid diet for abstinence and fasting and that the first food that will enter my palate  would be pork belly, it was not an April Fool's joke. Yes, I mean it.  So here, we had a visit at Cafe Via Mare in Landmark with my "kumare" Jelaine to renew our love for pork, lol! She ordered Crispy Binagoongan that we both shared. A slice of crispy pork belly served with sauteed shrimp paste, green mango and small amount of  "pinakbet".

Vigan Longanisa, Php 290

I had  Vigan Longanisa - crispy fried, lean , garlicky pork meat sausages flavored with freshly cracked black peppercorns and lightly soured sukang iloco. That pink vinegar ( sukang iloco) is definitely a win!

Sago, Php 42

We also shared the Sago (Tapioca pearls in caramel and ice) but I wont recommend this refreshment to y'all. The unsweetened sago was a disappointment, I'm telling you. Maybe you wanna try something else from their menu.

Morning Light in Nigi Nigi, Boracay

The calm, quiet, and laid back green foliage by the Cottages in Nigi Nigi, Boracay, where they woke up with the birds' chirpings. Good Morning!

Last Supper at McDonald's

Hot, steaming coffee and crisp, sweet apple pie! My final dinner before abstinence and fasting. I vowed to go on liquid diet after this dinner at McDonald's before the fast food closed earlier today. Of course, I'll be missing pork belly until Monday.

Sweet Dreams at Nigi Nigi

Banana Chips - Nigi Nigi Nu Noos 'e' Nu Nu Noos simple way of saying Good Night!

Trully Tropical at Nigi Nigi, Boracay

Setting up a holiday mood, Rome entertained himself listening to Bob Marley's reggae songs while crossing the channel between Caticlan and Boracay island in a motorized boat. The boat trip takes roughly 20 to 25 minutes crossing the 1.4 Km channel. The waves were kinda calm promising a very good time.

A pale moon greeted them upon arrival that adds excitement and thrill to their bones. They were picked up by a small van going to Nigi Nigi located in White Beach's station 2. Carl chose their accommodation months in advance.

At first glance, Nigi Nigi Nu Noos 'e' Nu Nu Noos does not look promising but it occupies a prime spot in the island. Indeed, all the places and things they could possibly need are just around the corner and they were blissfully happy with the warm welcome. Welcome drinks were served at Nigi Nigi's beachfront restaurant which is a stone's throw from the beach and also where their free breakfast with all the eggs you can eat were served everyday.

As they entered, he immediately liked the nice tropical pathways that gives an illusion of being in the middle of the jungle. He felt that all of his senses lightened and much closer to nature. Their little bamboo cottage was tucked away and secluded, but had an easy access to beachfront.

The modern nipa hut is built in native traditions with Polynesian pagoda styled architecture, set around a lush tropical garden, that's ideally located at the center of the world famous White Beach and extremely popular with value-minded international tourists, which was mostly were Europeans.

The huts had a nice wrap balcony, perfect place to get out of the hot mid-day sun and read or nap.

It is also equipped with ensuite bathroom, hot and cold shower, air conditioning, cable television and mini bar. A garland of Sampaguita flowers was hanged inside their restroom that produce refreshing and natural scent.

The room was made of glass windows combined with the all wood interior. It was tidy and cleaned every afternoon - with the linens and towels changed, while beach towels were also available from the reception area. Water bottles (free 3 bottles everyday) and internet tickets were also part of the package. Safety deposit boxes were also available in the front office, free of charge.

The staff was friendly and were smiling all the time. Service was wonderfully relaxed sort of way, they were very pleased when he found some sweet banana chips labeled "sweet dreams" on their bed one night....

Overall, the resort was so calm, the rooms are clean, the property is lush, and there is a very laid back vibe. They were very satisfied with their stay.