Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Today's Word: Romans 5:8

This week, our thoughts are focused on the cross, where our redemption from death due to sin was paid for in full by the blood of Jesus. How glorious was the way we were saved! How unfathomable is the love for us by the sinless Man who chose to bear our sins and die in our place. May we all contemplate and meditate on that great love this week, instead of spending the days partying on the beach. We spend the whole year busying ourselves at work, school or at home, and some pleasure on our free time, but many of us have only the period of Lent to slow down and rest. 
May we use this time to read the Bible and learn and meditate about God's 
great love that moved Him to send His only son to save us from 
death. May we think of how we can thank Him and give back to God  
even a fraction of His unfailing and everlasting for us, His creations. 
God bless you today.

(Thank you for this picture,

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hot Star for your big-time hunger

Earlier this week, my daughter and I saw a new fast food restaurant at SM City Manila: 
Hot Star, which claims to be Taiwan's No. 1 large fried chicken store. Yesterday, a Saturday, 
we were at that mall again and decided to try it out. 
We ordered:  

Original Large Chicken with rice, P130.; P110 if solo
Fish Sandwich, P145. 
Spaghetti with drink, P70; P50 if solo 
Mashed Potato, P45. 
Blue Lemonade  

We were surprised at how huge the chicken chop really was! I think it was large enough to cover my face. Haha! Even the fish sandwich was big enough to feed two persons. I didn't like the original-flavor chicken a lot, though; it was a little bland for my taste. It was fun to eat though, 'because of the crunch. Also, I liked that the gravy wasn't salty unlike the usual that we have in most fast food chains. It was perfect for the mashed potato which I liked, too as it had a balance of flavors coming from salt, pepper and butter. But both my daughter and I loved the fish sandwich. The patty had some crunch and the sweet-sour mustard sauce added an interesting flavor. The cabbage was a plus point, too. Yummy! As for the spaghetti, it was "okay", according to my daughter. I didn't like how it looked on the plate so I didn't taste it. It wasn't nicely plated and looked messy and "lonely" with not enough sauce and meat. Anyway, we were happy with the fish sandwich and if only for it, yes, we'd like to be back. I only wished they served coffee 'coz it would have been perfect with the sandwich. And thinkin' about it, 
I may also give the other chicken flavor (barbecue) a try.

Hot Star at SM City Manila

Try Hot Star, folks. It's sure to cure your big-time hunger! They have another store at Bluebay Walk in Pasay City, which was the first one to open last year, 
and also along Banawe St. in Quezon City.
Happy eating!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Satisfy your sausage cravings at Longganisa Sorpresa

Longganisa or Philippine-style sausage, like adobo, has so many different versions in the country. In some places like in Pampanga, it's sweet and garlicky. In other areas such as in Lucban, Quezon province, it's also garlicky but a little bit sour. Depending on where you are in the Philippines, longganisa varies in kind according to the spices and marinade used. 
Now how would you like to try different kinds of longganisa from different parts of the archipelago at one time and in one place? I found a restaurant where this is possible -  Longganisa Sorpresa in Pasig City. Here, you can find over a dozen varieties of the native sausage from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao including the famous ones from Vigan, Tuguegarao and Lucban. If you're really into it, order a platter consisting of different kinds of longganisa. You can also enjoy longganisa in other "forms" such as on their pizza or as binagoongan and sisig. But aside from longganisa, there are other interesting items on their menu such as the Crispy Pinakbet (which, sadly, was not available when we were there) and champorado with tuyowhich, I imagine, would be a perfect 
breakfast or merienda on a rainy day.
Anyway, here's what I, with two companions on that day, had: 

Taconissa Ensalada, P150. 
Bagnet Silog, P150.
Vigan Longganisa silog with drink, P99.
Tuguegarao Longganisa silog w/ drink, P99.
Kapeng Barako, P55. 
Vinegar choices 


Map of where special longganisa can be found around the Philippines
Different kinds of vinegar for sale 
Longanisa Sorpresa at 16-A United St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City 

It was one enjoyable lunch we had. Longganisa Sorpresa's version of nacho salad, the Taconissa, had lots of longganisa bits, chopped tomatoes, onion and cabbage and topped with cheese and mayonnaise. Yummy! The two varieties of longganisa we had - Vigan and Tuguegarao - were equally good, especially when dipped in spicy vinegar. Even the fried rice and egg, I liked. Haha! My daughter enjoyed her Bagnet Silog, too. Apparently, she has not moved on from our trip to Ilocos Sur and Norte. Hehehe..Anyway, Kapeng Barako ended my meal on a perfect note. Too bad we didn't order anything for dessert. How I'd love to eat at Longganisa Sorpresa again someday soon to try the other kinds of longganisa and dessert. I suggest you also try Longganisa Sorpresa for the good food at affordable prices. By the way, for a bit of trivia, this restaurant is owned by actress Andrea del Rosario. 
Happy eating! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday good eats

How's your Sunday? Mine's busy and quite full of good eats that I enjoyed snapping away with my camera, too. One thing made me sad, though. I failed to use my camera at the restaurant because I left my SD card at home! Oh my, I wanted to cry...Anyway, I started the day with a nice brekkie at home consisting of tinapang salinas (smoked fish, which is among my favorite foods) and aligue (crab fat) rice. Lunch was pinakbet, leftover tinapa plus lechon kawali bought at the neighborhood carinderia. Merienda was at Banapple at SM North Edsa, where I found out my SD card was not inside my DSLR and I had to contend with taking pictures using cellphone camera. Back home for dinner, I had pork giniling with egg, which I cooked for the family. One more yummy eat for the day was chicken isaw (intestines) bought from the street vendor near our home and which was love, love, love...
no picture though..I forgot!

Breakfast - aligue rice, tinapang salinas and brewed coffee
Afternoon snacks at Banapple-SM North Edsa: chicken salad sandwich; 
iced tea, Pasta Jacintha and cappuccino.
Pork giniling with egg and rice for dinner 

Sundays are indeed great to spend with family and share good food and laughter. 
Have a nice week ahead, friends!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Today's Word: Micah 7:18

Today at church, the pastor taught us how we should ask the Lord for our needs. First, he said, we should come to Jesus for our prayer request and rely only on Him regardless of what other people say. Also, as we wait for His answer, we should look upon the needs of those around us and help them as a way of "sowing a seed". As the pastor ended his sermon, he gave this verse that struck me and touched my heart to the core: Micah 7:18 which says that God delights in showing His unfailing love. Our Lord is happy showing us that He loves us! That means He will not stop at anything if only to show how loved and important we are to Him. Now isn't that so wonderful of our Heavenly Father? 
So, if we have a need, let us be confident in asking from the Lord, 
knowing that He longs to provide it to us in His right time. 
God bless you today.

(Thank you, Pinterest for this photo)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lola Ote for your barbecue fix

I saw Lola Ote on "Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho" about two Sundays ago and I was intrigued by how they served their pork barbecue - really long and hanging down from a pole! When I had the chance to finally be there last Sunday, I didn't let it go and had lunch at this place near ABS-CBN in Quezon City. I had two kids in tow and went straight there after a visit to nearby Sidcor market at Centris. We were informed by the store manager that while they've been operating for a year now, it was the first time they opened for lunch on a Sunday, when they previously only opened at 4 or 5 pm. 
Talk about God's favor. Haha!
Our orders then:

For my youngest child and I , two orders Combo A consisting of 18" pork barbecue, 
rice and a glass of iced tea.

For my daughter, Combo B: liempo, rice and a glass of iced tea 
Chicken Isaw: my favorite! 
Leche flan for dessert 

Inside Lola Ote 

Lola Ote at 26 Sgt. Esguerra St. Quezon City. If you're coming from Quezon Ave., 
it's at your left after ABS-CBN

It was love at first bite for Lola Ote's pork barbecue! The meat was tender and packed with flavor. The only problem was that it leaned a little too much on the sweet side, that's why my taste buds kind of got tired (the sawa factor, yes) after a while. The barbecue was delicious, no doubt about it, but it would have been a notch yummier had the sweetness been toned down. And the 18" serving was really a lot! My son and I just shared one stick and took home the other. My daughter liked her pork liempo but said it tasted just like the pork barbecue so I surmised they had the same marinade for the two. As for the Chicken Isaw (intestines), my childhood favorite, it was delish with the vinegar and I was confident it was clean unlike its counterpart on the streets. Haha! 
And then, it was time for dessert. We loved the leche flan! It was firm, not soggy, but still soft and smooth on the tongue. And it wasn't too sweet, thankfully. Even our drink, the iced tea, was good as it was house-blend, not instant. All in all, it was an enjoyable lunch ended by a little chat with the store manager, who informed me, too that opening four stores in other parts of Metro Manila 
is on their plan this year. 
So there, folks, if you love barbecue, Lola Ote is the place for you. They offer different kinds, even your street favorites, and you'd be happy to have it here clean. Haha! I'd definitely recommend Lola Ote for your family lunch-out or even barkada hang-out for the delicious barbecue, 
friendly service and affordable prices. 
Happy eating!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Army Navy: My happy tummy place

Visayas Ave. in Quezon City has been my second home for 11 years now because it is here where I go to work and spend 1/3 of each day, five days a week. And happily so. This stretch of a road is both residential and commercial, giving a feeling of both home and business. Whatever I need - food, housewares, school supplies, and just about anything, can be bought in the market at the far end of the road, and the groceries and restaurants and mini-mall (Wilcon Depot) that line the road on both sides. Surely, there are more restaurants now than when I started working more than a decade ago, and my officemates and I rejoice whenever a new one opens its doors.  Haha!
Last year, Army Navy, which serves all-day breakfast plus burgers and Mexican food, opened a branch on Visayas Ave. and I believe it's still the latest foodie place to open there. And I was happy to add this to my list of favorites. I've eaten there four times since then, 
once solo, the other times with my kids and co-workers. 
Here's what we've enjoyed at Army Navy: 

Burger, Classic, P165
Fearless Fried Chicken, P175.
Crunchy Tacos, P160.

Freedom Fries, P75. 

Tortilla chips, P35; Cheese dip with jalapeno, P20.

Freedom Toast ala Mode, P65.

Brewed coffee, P50.

Strawberry Milkshake, P99.
LiberTea Large cup, P75.

Army Navy on Visayas Ave.

I love everything I've tried at Army Navy. However, I order the crunchy tacos for myself everytime I visit. That's how much I love it! I also heap praises on their fries - the best I've had anywhere! I've never had fries that thin, crunchy and flavorful. Their blueberry French toast ala mode is also a must-try. For me, it was perfect with coffee - never mind if there's a scoop of ice cream on it (the contrast between hot and cold makes it all the more interesting. :)) It's a heavenly dessert that gives a sweet, nice ending ending to any meal. And speaking of coffee,  I'm happy they serve it all-day at Army Navy. And quite good at that! For me, it's of just the right roast - not light, not too dark either. All in all, I've had such happy visits to Army Navy because of the yummy eats and good coffee. 
I'm looking forward to my next!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Today's Word: Philippians 2:3

When I was still "in the world", meaning before I became a Christian, I was guilty of being vain and fell into the trap of thinking that in a number of ways, I was better than others. But when I was born again and started reading the Bible, I was amazed to find out about the complete humility of our Lord Jesus, who received all the insults and mockery and even refused to defend himself by answering accusations against Him before He was finally nailed to the cross. Humility is something that Jesus wants us to learn from Him and emulate as we live our everyday lives. In Philippians 2:3, we are clearly instructed by the apostle Paul to consider other people as better than ourselves. That is very straightforward and the first time I read this verse, I was struck. And now, I've quit thinking I'm better than other people on doing anything, or on what I have (materially, especially). On this note, I encourage everyone to remember that pride is the greatest sin as it's what caused angels to become demons. Pride is the exact opposite of humility. Our Lord Jesus 
tells us to completely do away with pride and be humble like Him. 
God bless you today.

(Thank you, BibleStudyTools and 700 Club Asia for this photo)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Amor sBread Your Love: Manila's hot, new thing

Last month, my daughter and I saw a new foodie place, still closed, on Espana Blvd. in Manila as we commuted going to church on Taft Ave. Both of us were baffled by its name: "Amor, sBread your Love". I thought something was wrong with it and tried to figure it out. Do they mean 'Breads you Love'? I wondered. Then, one day last week, my daughter came home from work telling me Amor had opened and looked really beautiful outside. I decided that we go there before going to church last Saturday. And I'm glad we did! I was instantly enamored by this lovely place. On the ground floor is where their assortment of breads and the ordering counter are. On the second floor is the dining area. After ordering our food and drinks, we went up and my jaw dropped upon reaching the top of the stairs, amazed by the beauty all around me. The walls are unpainted cement but the lamps and chandeliers all around, the wooden tables and chairs, lamps on every table, dried tree branches from where more lamps are hung, all made the room look both classic and modern. The beautiful lamps hanging from the ceilings, particularly those that seemed antiquated, elicited the most superlatives from me. There was not one bright lighting fixture, giving an ambiance of coziness and relaxation. 
Then, our orders arrived and it was time for a snack:

Strawberry Donut, P45 
Blueberry Cupcake, P59 
Sausage Bun, P49. 
Lychee Fruit Tea, P85.
Wintermelon Milk Tea, P95.
Afternoon tea and munchies 
Chocolate Milk Tea, P95.
Caffè Americano , P135


Students hang around here to chat with their friends and study

There's a mural of women working on a farm on this wall.

Gentlemen's restroom on the left, ladies' on the right
Chandelier inside the ladies' room. Beautiful!  
Pick a book here 
Please excuse my bottle of water. Haha! 
Order numbers are printed on the teddy bears' shirts. If you order for take-out, 
they give you a teddy to play with while waiting. Hehe 

Bread display 


Amor on Espana Blvd. corner Tolentino St. in Manila

Truth to tell, there was nothing outstanding about the food at Amor. My bread, the so-called sausage bun, has a big room for improvement with regard its quality, particularly its texture. It would have been better if it were softer and fluffier. Also, the filling looked and tasted like hotdog and not sausage. They should have called it a hotdog bun instead. Hehe..My daughter liked her strawberry donut, yes, even though she was not really heaping praises on it. The filling was good, she said, but the donut itself again, should have been softer. The blueberry cupcake, however, gave me a little bit of surprise because it had the consistency of mamon (sponge cake), not a cupcake. Not that it was bad. It was good! I liked, too, that it was just a little bit sweet. As for our drinks, we both loved our own - Lychee Fruit Tea for me, Wintermelon Milk Tea for my daughter. 
Again, I loved that mine was just a little bit sweet. 
Anyway, the following day, I returned to Amor with my youngest child. This time, we didn't order something to eat because we came straight from two parties - our office anniversary and my sister's despedida - and had no more room in our tummies except for drinks. So, it was Chocolate Milk Tea for my son and Americano coffee for me. My son so loved his drink that he had me buy him a second cup. I liked my Americano too, which, by the way, is expensive here at P135 a cup! Latte here costs P155! Pricier than in most coffee shops, right? Also, after paying that much for coffee, I expected it to come on a nice china cup. However, it came to me on a paper cup. How disappointing..Nevertheless,  I now have "amor" for this chic and lovely place aptly called "Amor". Well, they're still on soft opening so there's still plenty of time for improvement with regard their products. 
Surely, I will always be dropping by Amor on church days for my caffeine fix.