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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I went to Secret Fresh over the weekend to talk about their upcoming exhibit at MANILART 2011. I got a first-hand introduction to art toys- displayable sculptures that take inspiration from more traditional art. Think a 3D form of a painting. I think it's definitely a form of artistry worth exploring. Here are some of the local toy art figures that caught my eye.  
Bochog Manster by Nemo Aguila 
Rizalborg by JP Cuison 
 Rainbow Bringer by Bjorn Calleja
 Paley Pills by Christian Tamondong
I also got to meet some very cool people. From left to right: Toy maker Rommel Chua, Artist JP Cuison, Gallery manager Lena Cobangbang, Artist Christian Tamondong, Secret Fresh owner Big Boy Cheng, and Gallery assistant Robert Dim. Of course, that's me at the end. Thanks to Marlo Ongpin (not pictured) for all the awesome photos!
They gave me some complimentary tickets to MANILART but I was able to go to the gala event last night so I've decided to give them away. MANILART is happening now until Saturday. It's something special to do this long weekend, with a friend or with a special someone. Just leave a comment on the blog (not on FB please) to let me know why you'd like to go. Best answer by 12pm tomorrow (August 26) wins it! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

This came out this weekend on the Inquirer. Ooohlahlah. 
The fruition of all my kikay moments: 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I’m back in Manila and after posting all my vacation pics, I remembered how many times a random American stopped me to ask where I got my duds. Of course, I make it a point to wear something Pinoy everyday so that got me beaming. I would tell them proudly but politely, “I got this in the Philippines!”. So in honor of all the stuff that got me great compliments, here’s a collage of all the things they loved. It just goes to show how Pinoy craft stands out everywhere in the world.

The pants below got a lot of attention too. In one day, I got stopped thrice by women of different ages who wanted to know where they could get it for themselves. I'll let you all in on the big secret- I got it at the Ramp for P300. That's just $7 dollars! 
The great thing about Pinoy crafts is that it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. Most of the stuff here I got at Kultura with the price ranging from P200 - P1200. Except the cyan cuff (Php 550) and ring (Php 350) which I got from Maria Pilar Menendez, a designer at the Salcedo Market.

I shot it against the stuff against an American landscape just for fun and it turned out better than expected. While on the trip, I reconnected with an old friend,  Michael John Sison, a registered nurse by day and a budding photographer on his off days. He edited the pics and gave it a High Dynamic Range effect. I'm really tripping on HDR- it makes all the colors pop! Thanks again Michael! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yes, I went all the way to California to eat at a Jollyjeep! Well, a gourmet one created by chef William Pilz. I first found out about Hapa SF through the mouthwatering photos of Jun Belen. 
I wanted to take my folks out for some Filipino food since I was nearing the end of my visit to the US. Hapa SF  looked too good to resist- gourmet Filipino food at food cart prices. I checked them out on Facebook and saw that they would be in Berkeley that afternoon. So after our sidetrip to the Napa Wine Valley, we headed over. What was on the menu? Sisig, adobo, pancit, and lumpia. I had the sisig taco. 
 I liked how the flavorful meat contrasted with the citrusy freshness of the greens. Too bad they ran out of lumpia which I heard was their bestseller. 
My parents gobbled up the sisig rice and adobo quicker the lightning. Afterwards, my mom said that her cooking is better. Of course, it’s understandable she’d say that. All Filipino moms would say that! I think she's comparing it to how Filipinos usually like their food- nanunuot sa lasa.
What I liked about Hapa SF is how it’s tempered Filipino dishes to suit a global crowd. Pad Thai from a Thai restaurant does not taste like the Pad Thai you get from Bangkok but it’s extremely popular. I want a Pinoy restaurant in every city, and although that’s a tall order maybe the best start is with a roving restaurant.
I always hear about Filipino restaurants closing down abroad so it was a nice surprise to see Hapa SF drawing in the crowds. There were 7 food carts, two of which had long lines around it. One was a burger place (how typical!) and one was Hapa SF. 
Eating al fresco and seeing these Filipino dishes up in lights made my day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I've been so caught up vacationing I've neglected to plug something that was sent to me a month back: the search for a new Rizal! 

In history, we look at the significance of all the people who fought for the freedom that we are all enjoying now. We look at their contributions to society, what made them distinct and what made them particularly special. Out of the hundreds of heroes, popular or unsung, who risked their lives for the country’s freedom, one person stood out with his writings and inspirational ways—Dr. Jose Rizal.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines calls for nominations to the Rizal Awards to celebrate 150 years of Rizal’s greatness! Read on if you are an individual or organization that has accomplished the following:

1) Spearheaded projects that  support the Rizalian concept of love of country and fulfillment of our duties of citizenship. 2) Achieved meritorious individual recognition in various professions, which promote, teach and disseminate the same through proven competence leading to the general benefit of the individual, community, and the country at large. 3) Promoted and encouraged civic and citizenship responsibility as model citizens- incorruptible patriots with the virtue of resisting temptations and misuse of wealth, influence, rank, or power.

If you believe that a person from your community, organization, or company deserves to be  a recipient of the Rizal Award, then send your nominations  to the NHCP Office or  e-mail them at on or before March 15, 2012. To know more about Rizal@150 and the Rizal Awards, log on to or call the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (02) 524 9952.Rizal Shirt