Come Away with Me

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song...

One dreamy night last week, where theres no place to go to because I was confined inside my room suffering from a sudden gout attack, I found myself listening to my all time favorite songs of Norah Jones to pave the pain away. After playing her songs on the playlist, I tuned in to one particular song that lets me dream of an amorous getaway.

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can't tempt us
With their lies...

As the song continued to play, it became a lullaby while I travelled to different places on my dream. From  luxurious ranch, to magistic castle, to rolling hills by the lake, to sandy beaches, to hidden lagoons, to gorgeous jungle...ahhh it was such a fabulous scenery! Picture perfect it was, like the images on estateweddings & events san diego locations.

And I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won't you try to come?

I flew from place to place and watched the sleek yachts moored in the bay of Santorini behind was the elegant white and blue villas. I drove through gorgeous landscapes and rolling hills and found a a plateau surrounded by snow-capped Himalayan peaks. I walked with the hummingbirds along the orchids of the cloud forest ending in surprise picnics in mountain temples....

Come away with me and we'll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I'll never stop loving you...

I rested on thatched casitas, which have their own pool, serving breathtaking sight of the setting sun and the lilac hills of the distant Sierra Madre. I woke up on the middle of the night so I decided to stroll around Calamianes group of islands by the moonlight.

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me...

Yes, it was far away from here...but would you come away with me?

Glimpsed: The Majestic Mount Malindig

The sweeping view of the dramatic Mount Malindig from Bellarocca.

"Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point."- Harold V Melchert

International Release: Some Like it Hot! Shocking Pink Shirts by BENCh

When your two piece polka dot bikini does not fit you no more, drop it like its hot! Heres another wardrobe  idea when going on a family holiday - wear matching flourescent outfit! No worries if you weren't able to achieved killer body for the summer. I'm sure, all eyes are still be yours with these hot pink shirts from Bench.

Bright, hot, shocking pink and purple shirts on top of our denim shorts was our killer ensembles going to Bellaroca last summer. This was, of course, another concept of the glomour queen, Anney. Our blending colors created a little scene in the airport when we entered. People in the airport cant help but noticed us. We were hot in pink! Damn well, it was the season's coolest shade. So think pink!

Pandan Juice: A Humble and Refreshing Welcome Dink in Bellaroca

This post marks the start of another gastronomic journey I had in the exciting island of Bellaroca.

Prepare your appetite.

Full Throttle in Gokart Race, Boracay

They reached Boracay's station two before the sun sets and were picked up straight by a four by four car at the back of D' Mall going to the karting track.  It was a short ten minutes ride uphill. From afar, they witnessed the island slowly painted orange by the setting sun, it was a breathtaking scene, indeed, life's simple pleasures. 

It was their first time to ride a kart. Karting never slips into their minds while they're planning their vacation. Their sporty outfit were not brought to the island so they opted to wear comfortable clothes, Carl, on the other hand, chose to go topless. 

There are too many all terrain vehicles to choose from, radical ‘Urban’ - a two-seater electric cars and  open-to-the-elements ‘spyder’ karts dominately parked everywhere in the rough parking area when they arrived.  It was far from a Monte Carlo like race track as Rome has dreamt of. Tourists were coming in and out of the track, its undeniably peak season. They were accommodated shortly, petrolheaded staff were courteous and were very accommodating in helping them in registering.

Rules of Engagement was discussed to them upon registration and were also asked to sign waivers. The controls are simple:  both hand brakes, right accelerates. As an eco-bonus, the karts run on electric, not petrol, to cut emissions. Karting is exceptionally fun but a non-contact sport.  Knowingly regarded as "racing", but they were told to stay away at least two meters from each other and under no circumstances to cut or overtake. Its a lower category of karting and driving should be smooth as possible. The basic race craft and how you should look after the car or the kart is to you look after yourself, the crew added as they  revved up.

Rome with a pair of aviators slipped over his eyes, Josh and her waivy hair flapping about in the wind, and Carl who leads them was going full throttle in the blue and red carts to the main track. A staff came on board to guide and looked after them. Many carts went fast into the aspalt national road which also served as the karting track.  Their guide showed off his racing skills, he controlled them as well as his smooth driving style soon began to lead their line up. He helped them in difficult circumstances passing through zigzag roads, tricky terrains and steep learning curves that goes smooth by just tweaking it here and there so they don’t lose speed through a corner. They also learned how to run in traffic and progressed through controlling their aggresion.

There are two stop overs on the one and a half ATV ride. They climbed the Ocean Tower (Mt. Luho viewpoint) first after paying their entrance fees. They were stunned with the aerial view of the entire island that gave a 360 degree glimpse of Boracay's magnificent colors under a dusk sky. Mt. Luho viewpoint is the highest elevation in the island with a total of 150 steps to reach the viewdeck.

Everland Aviary Farm was supposedly their second stop over but they decided to pass because  it was getting dark already. There's always a second time, they thought.

Boracay has plenty to offer to its visitors: Tropical sun, fine sand, crystal-clear sea, sumptous cuisine, a luxury resort and the best of outdoor activities - no wonder local and foreign tourists can't resist returning to this island paradise where they can combine business and pleasure.

Coupe Romanoff

Nope, its not named after me, lol. Coupe Romanoff  (P415) is one of Marriott's gourmet ice creams for all seasons. It is oozing with sweet slew of strawberries in grand marnier. Combined with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with strawberry sauce and topped with whip cream, this fruity delight is refreshingly fun and dainty. Perfect for the days that you need to chill, take a break, and enjoy some casual moments. While that’s awesome enough, take it a notch higher and celebrate the day over these knockout and indulgent gourmet desserts, crafted lovingly by Marriott Manila’s certified connoisseurs.

Surely, the rainy season and nippy weather won’t stop anyone in enjoying every now and then everybody’s favorite cold, yummy, and tasty treat—ice cream! In the spirit of well-deserved indulgence and to celebrate our love affair with everyone’s saccharine favorite, Chef Fil Afable and his team is launching Marriott Manila’s very own homemade gourmet ice cream selections featuring eight sensational flavors that are guaranteed to bring eight sensational indulgences.  And yes, it’s the kind of ice cream that you can enjoy for all season!

The Gourmet Eight: the Ice Cream for All Season is serve everyday at Lounge and is open at 10 AM to 12 MN.  For inquiries or reservations, call 988-9999.

Cute Shih Tsu on Sale Now!

My cousins are breeding shih tsu since I came here in Manila and live with them, actually, I am renting a space in their compound. Although I never had one puppy in my life because I cant take care of it, Im having a second thought of getting one. I was thinking a golden retriever is handsome but shih tsu is the cutest and sweetest of all the dogs I've encountered. They love to snuggle on my feet while I'm watching tv and maintenance is low compared to golden retriever. I'm gonna get it and I am eyeing on a particular puppy who is extremely clever, well mannered, easy to train, as well as loyal. He is always smiling at me and the first one to approch me immediately when I come home from work. Yes, these adorable puppies are up for grabs ranging from Php 8,000 to 17, 000. If you want to buy one, send me a message so I could give you a discount *wink. 

I am prepared to welcome him home at the end of this month. Nuisance and fleas are the common problems in raising a dog. Luckily, shih tsus are not really noisy. For fleas, there are best and affordable treatments coming on to the market like frontline plus from VetDepot. I am really excited to have a company in my unit and to take care of him. 

Pandan-White Chocolate Mango Cake

Why is it that after a huge meal we can always find a corner for a delicious dessert

... even though we knew we shouldn't?

I am addicted to ice cream, chocolates, and yes ...cakes.

Cakes, among the desserts I've lived by is a pleasure I've never outgrown.

The Maya Kitchen has dreamed up the ultimate dessert in last month's cooking demonstration,

blending mango on top of a pandan cake covered in white chocolate ganache.

A delicious retro-colored cake - Surprisingly easy to make and a perfect season treat for everyone.


Pandan Cake
2 ½ cups MAYA Cake Flour
¾ cup sugar
3 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup oil
7 pieces egg yolks, separated
¾ cup pandan water
1 teaspoon pandan extract clear
2 teaspoons green food color
7 pieces egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup sugar

White Chocolate Ganache:
500 grams white chocolate, chopped
1 cup cream

2 cups whipping cream (Pour N whip)

Filling and Garnish:
4 pieces ripe mango
Mint leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare 10-inch round pan. Line and grease bottom, ungreased pan sides.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Make a well at the center and add oil, egg yolks, pandan water, pandan flavoring and green food color. Beat until smooth and no lumps occur.  Set aside.
Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat egg whites until frothy.  Add the cream of tartar.  Continue to beat on high until soft peaks begin to form.  Add sugar very gradually and continuously beating until meringue is glossy and stiff.
Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the meringue until well blended, ensuring that you scrap the bottom of the bowl as you fold.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake until golden and middle springs back when touched for about 45 minutes.
Cool completely upside down.
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE: place chopped white chocolate in a bowl. Boil cream and pour over chopped chocolate. Let it stand for 5 minutes then whisk until all chocolate dissolves. Set aside. Slice cake into 2 – spread chocolate ganache.  Cover cake with whipped cream frosting and decorate with sliced mango and mint leaves.

One Block Away Easy Pastel Tres Leches

A story of struggle, humility and success lies behind this dessert's name.

But I ain't going to tell you the whole story.

The bakery, one block away from where he lives has something to do with it.

So the next time you visit MedChef along Ignacia Ave.,

You gotta ask chef Hasset what's the story behind.

139 Mo. Ignacia Ave., Diliman
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Phone Numbers:
(+63 2) 585-6052
(+63 2) 871-7723
(+63 2) 732-3355
(+63 917) 365-9415
(+63 915) 487-1332

Mamon Recipe:
1 cup sifted MAYA Cake Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 pcs eggs
1 pc eggyolk
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

•    Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour torta or brioche Mould. Set aside.
•    Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
•    In a bowl, combine milk and vegetable oil. Set aside.
•    In a mixing bowl.  Combine eggs and egg yolks and sugar and using wire whip attachment, whip egg mixture until fluffy.
•    Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and flour mixture together while gradually adding the milk mixture. Continue folding until mixtures are well incorporated.
•    Pour cake batter unto prepared molds and bake 15-18 minutes. Cool and set aside. Prepare soaking liquid

Soaking Liquid:
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups cream (all purpose cream)

Fresh strawberries
(or any fresh fruits of your choice)

Whipped cream
Mint leaves

•    Prepare mamon or chiffon cake base.
•    Soaking liquid: combine all and stir well.
•    Brush or inject soaking liquid unto the prepared cake.
•    Topped with fresh fruits and whipped cream.
•    Chill before serving it.

Low Sugar Citrus Cupcake Creme Brulee

With tremendous rain hitting the metro, I hope, everybody is okay.

Stay at home and keep yourselves warm and dry. Be alert and be ready for emergencies.

Lucky for you who were not affected, you might wanna spend the time with your family 

And try this recipe while keeping yourselves updated with what's happening outside.

Keep safe everyone!

Citrus Cupcake Recipe:
1 ½ cups MAYA All Purpose Flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
3 pieces eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake molds/pan with paper cups. Set aside.
Sift all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.
At low speed, add flour mixture alternate with milk.
Continue mixing until cupcake batter is smooth and no lumps.
Pour cupcake batter into prepared cupcake molds and bake for 15-18 minutes. Cool. Crumble cupcakes. Prepare Crème Brulee.

Crème Brulee:
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup coconut sugar
6 pieces egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 piece orange zest
1 cup white sugar

Preheat Oven to 350F.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients for crème brulee and lightly stir until sugar has been dissolved.
In a baking dish/ramekins/pyrex… Place crumbled cupcakes. Pour crème brulee mixture over cupcakes. Bake for 40-1 hour using a bain marie.
Sprinkle sugar on top and using blow torch, caramelize sugar.

Custard Springrolls

Kickstart your weekend!

Have a twist to your ordinary banana spring rolls...

Spread happiness to your love ones with this easy custard springroll recipe.


1/3 cup MAYA Cornstarch
¾ cup fresh milk
6 pieces egg yolks
¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
½ cup sugar
Cooking oil for frying
Springroll Wrapper/ Lumpia Wrapper

Serve with
Whipped Cream/Ice Cream
Fresh fruits
Mint leaves
Powdered sugar
Chocolate or strawberry sauce


•    For the custard. In a bowl. Dissolve cornstarch with fresh milk. Add egg yolks. Set aside
•    In a sauce pan. Boil condensed milk, evaporated milk and sugar over medium heat. Temper milk mixture with the egg yolk mixture. Continue cooking until thick.
•    Add butter and vanilla. Set aside and let it cool to set.
•    Lay lumpia wrapper on a plate. Place a scoop of custard mixture and roll. Top with vanilla ice cream and decorate with mint leaves. Drizzle with powdered sugar and strawberry sauce if desired.

Guidelines on How to Use the “IT’S MORE FUN” Tourism Branding Campaign

I received an emailcast from Department of Tourism - Region III Regional Director Ronaldo P. Tiotuico regarding the proper use of the “IT’S MORE FUN” tourism branding campaign and I am pleased to share with you the emailcast in full text below.



In order to effectively and efficiently promote our campaign, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”, ALL offices and attached agencies are hereby directed to secure a copy of the complete logo guidelines of the country’s new tourism branding campaign.

The said guidelines will standardize and regulate the use of the campaign logo in all marketing and advertising efforts of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and all its attached agencies. The said guidelines may also be used and distributed to all national government agencies and instrumentalities, local government units, DOT-accredited establishments, and private partners, subject to the conditions provided for in the guidelines.

For the guidance of all concerned, the salient features of the said guidelines are as follows:

1. Word mark: It’s More Fun in the Philippines should be rendered in one phrase, without the period.
2. Font style: use only Harabara (by Andre Harabara, available for download at

3. Color Renditions: If the background image is light, the word mark should be rendered in all blue. If the background image is dark, the word mark should be in all white. If the logo is set against a colored background, contrast should be based on opacity. In all cases, if the entire line cannot be read clearly and easily, adjustments in color (either of the background or of the tagline should be made).

4. General Prohibitions: The logo cannot be distorted in any way. It cannot be boxed or embossed, nor have a glow or outline around it. Its orientation is fixed and cannot be altered nor reconfigured. Its proportion cannot be change. The font style and colors, apart from those mentioned previously, cannot be changed as well.

5. When using the campaign logo and tagline, the line “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” should remain intact and should not be changed. Hence, lines such as It’s More Fun in (brand name/place) is not allowed.

In all instances, the logo and the tagline cannot be used for commercial purposes without prior written consent or endorsement from the Department of Tourism through the Tourism Promotion Board (TPB). Furthermore, the logo and the tagline shall in no way be utilized for or associated with any illegal, immoral, inappropriate conduct, or anything that would degrade the Philippines and the Department.

For the complete guidelines, which include the high resolution file formats the logos (both in horizontal and vertical orientation), all are enjoined to secure a copy by downloading the same at


Emailcast by:

Department of Tourism - Region III (Central Luzon)
Paskuhan Village, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines
Ronaldo P. Tiotuico - Regional Director
Phone: (63 45) 961-2612 / 5617 / 625-8525
Recipient (Best Ecotourism Project - Mt. Pinatubo): PATA Gold Intl Award 2001, Kalakbay Natl Award 2001, ASEANTA Intl Award 2002
Log on:

Thank You,

Banana Jubilee Crepe

Its been raining non-stop for five days, do you miss the sunny days?

Geez, me too. I hate the flood all over the metro.

Lets feel the summer one more time with this treat from The Maya Kitchen.

This fruity dessert will add a summery touch to any dining table,

A tempting dessert to satisfy even the sweetest tooth.

This Chef Hasset's Banana Jubilee Crepe is a delicious dessert and would be lovely with a cup of coffee when friends drop by.

For the Crepe

1 cup MAYA All Purpose Flour
Pinch of salt
1/8 cup sugar
2 cups fresh milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 pieces eggs, beaten

For the Banana Jubilee Crepe:

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup cream
1 piece fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
10 pieces bananas (lakatan)
Pinch of salt


Vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sauce
Mint leaves


•    Crepe: In a bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Make a well, add milk, butter and beaten eggs. Whisk/stir well until well combined and no marks of lumps. Set aside.
•    Cook crepe.
•    Banana Jubilee: Caramelize sugar in a non-stick and heavy bottom sauce pan until brown in color. Add butter and cream. Add orange juice and zest. Add sliced bananas. Add pinch of salt. Cool and set aside.
•    Assemble:  Fold crepe in two. Spread the banana jubilee on top.
•    Top crepe w/ scoop of ice cream, drizzle with chocolate and garnish with mint leaves.

International Release: Lightly & Confident Summer Solution from Opus

I have plenty of reasons why summer is not over yet on this blog like giving solution to the perennial problem that majority of men always overlook during summer - finding something to wear.

Just because it is summer does not mean you have to walk around in your speedo swimming trunks everywhere... and please stop wearing hip-hop shorts while on a two weeks holiday. Men of any age should wear shorts to1 inch above or below from the knee. People with unattractive parts of their bodies should refrain from wearing their basketball jersey with flesh spilling everywhere (unless you have Derek Ramsey's body) nor hugely patterned shirts with hibiscus flowers or palm trees all over them! Sandals and flip flops are not classy but are ok - but please don't wear socks and make sure you've cut your toenails. From my own sense of taste,  men of all ages should wear leather deck shoes throughout the summer.

For hot, tropical climates like ours, clothing should be loose and allow air circulation. A short-sleeved/ half sleeved shirt  to the elbow,  polo shirts, or long sleeved polo shirts like this Opus (bought from a charity store) in a cool fabric matched with tailored shorts is a nice combination.

I am not a follower of designer garments carrying its makers logo. Besides, I spend no more than Php 200 to throw away on summer garments, thank you very much. Good smooth fabric and manufacture is very important than the brand.

A fully dressed man, regardless of the weather, looks so much nicer don't you think? Well, charity shops will supply all of the above.

Coconut - Calamansi Squares

Do yourself a very nice flavor.

Here's another recipe from The Maya Kitchen's  Dessests to Go event last month.

This sticky treat is another masterpiece of chef Hasset Go.

For the crust:
1/3 cup flaked coconut, toasted
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup MAYA All Purpose Flour
6 tablespoons butter

For the Custard:
4 pieces eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup MAYA All Purpose Flour
½ cup fresh calamansi juice
1/3 cup flaked coconut, toasted and cooled

•    Preheat Oven to 325F. Grease and flour an 8x8 square baking pan.
•    For the crust: combine all dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut in butter and toss mixture using fork or pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Press mixture into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
•    For the Custard: In a bowl whisk together eggs and coco sugar until well combined. Add flour, stir well. Add calamansi juice.
•    Pour calamansi custard mixture over pre baked crust and bake for 20 minutes. Top custard with the toasted cooled coconut and bake again for 5 minutes.
•    Cool for 1 hour, dust with confectioners’ sugar then cut.

Chef Hasset's 15 Minutes Energy Mug Cake

Desserts, if you''ll spell it backwards is stressed.

A sweet course to supposedly  reverse the spells of shell-shock.

But desserts are difficult and time consuming to prepare and would trigger more stress.

Chef Hasset defy that connotation.

Here, try to make a fabulous dessert that would just take 15 minutes of your time.

1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ piece egg, beaten
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 drops teaspoon lemon extract
¼ cup MAYA All Purpose Flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 tablespoons MAYA All Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon butter, chilled

•    Combine butter and coco sugar in a mug until fluffy. Add egg, cream and lemon extract into the mixture. Stir well. Add flour and baking powder. Stir again until smooth.
•    Streusel: combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in butter or toss the mixture using fork until crumbly.
•    Sprinkle streusel mixture over the cake batter in the mug.
•    Cook in Microwave Oven on high for 1 minute. Continue cooking in 10 seconds intervals until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.