Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Pinggan" is now a "Kalan" at Teacher's Village, QC

All time favorite, Sisig
Pinggan, my favorite carinderia at Mapagkawangga St, Teacher's Village, QC has transformed into "Kalan." There may be new management but the lutong bahay recipes are still there. The old time favorites like the Sisig and Lumpiang Ubod will always be the best sellers. Indeed, at Kalan, you will die for sisig - "dahil sa langit walang sisig" says a flyer.

The lumpiang ubod can be ordered for take-home
Pinggan is known for its cripy lechon kawali. Now Kalan has new recipe - Tofu con Lechon. Looks yummy!
A meal at Kalan comes with free soup - sopas, linaga, sinigang or miswa.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I love my Mac!

I had my first Apple Computer in 1985. When I was in Japan at Nagoya University in 1993, I was introduced to the macintosh computer. It was "new" then and the Japanese were hesitant to use it because of the new system. When I returned to the Philippines in 1994, I brought a Powerbook. Today, Apple computers are every where. My wife who is also named "Apple" is now an Apple user -she has an i-phone, i-pad and mac laptop computer. In coffee shops, you will see people proudly display their mac laptops with the apple logo emblazoned at the cover.

Eric of Eric and Andy Bitstrips is also a mac lover. Read his adventures in this new bitstrips series. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy at H-Cuisine

If you want to taste the "most awesome angus beef belly," drop by at the H-Cuisine at Scout Rallos corner Thomas Morato at Quezon City. We have been to this resto twice already and we always go home satisfied with our tummy filled with good food. Their Taco salad is our favorite appetizer. The taco and white sauce goes well with the fresh and crispy veggies.Of course their specialty is the angus beef belly which you can order as single or sharing. The beef is soft and tasty with their gravy. But I hope they have seasoning to add spice to their gravy. The poached fish and pasta were also good. Finally their desserts - the cakes were soft, moist and very appealing.  The "H" refers to the owner-chef, Hannah. But H-Cuisine can be dubbed as "Happy Cuisine" since customers always go home happy.
Apple enjoys the taco salad. Pahingi!

"The most awesome angus beef belly"

The poached fish

Fish pasta

Red velvet cake

Cookie choco chip cake

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fluffy and Me - by Julia

"Fluffy and Me - Our Adventures at Japan" is a slide presentation written by Julia to record her summer vacation trip at Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan. Fluffy is her favorite puppy who joined us in our Japan trip. Enjoy this slide show with Fluffy and Julia as the main characters.

Fluffy and Me from andyoreta

Geof also prepared his own powerpoint presentation about his thoughts and experience of the Japan Trip 2014. Emjoy!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Tips 10

After reading "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin, I tried to practice some of her lessons shared in the book. The most important quotation that I remember is "Do good, feel good." Indeed if you feel good, you feel happy. To help me remember the lessons in the book, I internalize them and rewrote them in my own words and interpretation as I practice them in everyday life as "Happy Tips.". I am using the bitstrips as my medium for sharing these happy tips. Eric and Andy, the dynamic duo are the stars of these "Happy Tips" series. Adding humor in the bitstrips, I hope you can easily remember the first TEN happy tips. Practice these ten tips and you will feel happy everyday.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Eric & Andy Bitstrips features Dr. J & Mr. G

Series No. 5: The Diet Expert - Eric is on a diet regimen under Dr. J who is a fanatic diet expert. Can Eric resist not eating?

Series No. 6: Workouts - Eric has new fitness trainer, Mr. G. Will Eric finally loose calories?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen at White Plains, QC

It was Apple's birthday. Where to have lunch after hearing mass at UP Diliman? Apple suggested a hidden Vietnamese restaurant at Katipunan Ave., White Plains, QC. Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen is a cozy family restaurant - hidden but already a crowd drawer. When we arrived at the place, we have to wait for 30 minutes since the resto was full. So when we got our table, we were so hungry and we ordered our favorite Vienamese dishes.
Apple views the menu while waiting for our table
Buttered chicken, pork and herb fried roll

Dory fillet

Pork and seafood noodle soup

Spicy tamarind prawns
Chicken curry

Bawai's is a cozy place for the family. 
So what's the verdict after savoring the flavorful and spicy dishes of Bawai's? The family was happy and satisfied, especially Geof.. Obviously we will come back to try the other dishes. Our rating: Taste (4/5), Price (3/5), Ambience (4/5), Service (4/5), Location & Parking (3/5).

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Eric & Andy Bitstrips: Their Adventure continues

Hello, Eric & Andy Bitstrips fans. If you enjoyed the adventures and antics of the dynamic duo at Batanes, here are more of their funny adventures. Enjoy!

Series No. 2: Lost in Space: It's Andy's turn to dream his vacation - a space vacation! Enjoy their adventures at Pizza Planet. It was an "awe-full" vacation according to Eric. "It was awesome," says Andy.

Series No. 3: Road Trip: This time it's not a dream but a real road trip. See the exotic places that the Dynamic Duo visited as they enjoy a joy ride on a flying car?

Series No. 4: Kidnapped!: Eric was kidnapped by the alien, E.T. What would Andy do to get his buddy back?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Toys 4 Us: Kids and Adults

My Minions Collections and Geof's Lego Cars (from Shell)

My 15 yr old KFC
Star Wars Droid

Toy collection is one hobby that kids should pursue. At their young age, this is the time where they receive various types of toys (some expensive, some cheap) during their birthdays and Christmas. They should preserve their toys especially the collectors' items. In the future, these toys become rare and cost much. There are toy and antique collectors who buy old and used toys for their collections. If you own a very rare old toy, you might hit a jackpot at selling it to these collectors.

Geoffrey, our son, collects toy cars - tomica, hot wheels, match box and lego. He has a framed box of toys which serves as a decor in his room. Geof has Lego toys but he disassembles them and create his own like airplanes, ships, cars, etc. So what he has are collection of Lego blocks - waiting for Geof or Julia to be transformed into a beautiful contraption.

Geof's Toy Car Collections
Geof's Lego Helicopter

Geof's Pacific Rim Robot using Lego
At Shiroi Koibito Park's Chocolate Factory in Sapporo, Japan, at the second floor of the Chocolate factory, there is a toy museum where old and collectors' toys are displayed. You will see both traditional (toys made of wood) and modern Japanese toys (e.g. Mazinger Z robots, Hello Kitty, etc.. Western toys (e.g. Star wars) are also displayed. Indeed, toys are for us to enjoy. Kids enjoy playing with them. Adults love collecting them and reminds them of their youth. We should appreciate the toys given to us - keep them for your collection or share them to those in need. Have fun with your toys!
Traditional Toys at the Toy Museum (Shrioi Koibito Park, Sapporo)

Collecting toy dolls of  famous characters is popular like the Beatles.
Apple collects Presidents of the Philippines (she has already Erap, GMA and Cory)
In my case, I am collecting Despicable Me Minions.

World War I and II biplanes

Vintage car toys

Star Wars Collection




Mazinger Z
Small toys of various characters

Sunday, January 19, 2014

We love Ramen!

Authentic ramen in one shop at Sapporo (850 Yen)
 Ramen shops in Sapporo serve their own specialty
Sapporo Ramen. I love Ramen. In my visit at Sapporo, Japan last Sept 2013, I tried the Sapporo's popular and traditional miso ramen. "This uniquely Japanese ramen, which was developed in Hokkaido, features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and is blended with oily chicken or fish broth – and sometimes with tonkotsu or lard – to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup (Wikepedia)." There are various ramen shops in Sapporo. There is even a ramen alley in one department store where different shops serve their own variations of ramen, We tried one shop called Shin.
Miso Ramen at Shin (Sapporo, Japan)
Shin's menu of ramen

Instant Ramen. I even brought ready to eat ramen from the Sapporo airport to share authentic ramen to my family. There are also instant ramen noodles from Japan which can be bought in supermarkets here that taste like those in Japan. You just have to add additional garnish, meat, veggies and egg and you have an almost authentic ramen which is better than those served in restos here in QC and Manila.
Instant Japanese ramen from supermarkets 
(left: Sapporo ramen and right: Hakata ramen)

Japanese instant ramen (from Sapporo) made authentic by adding meat and egg
Ramen Reviews. I am now in search of the best ramen in Metro Manila.  There is one ramen shop located at West Ave., Quezon City - Ramen Cool which we tried recently. Their ramen is good  and their servings were generous. A lot of slice meat and noodles. Not so expensive (P165 - P290). We tried shio and miso ramen. The resto is new, hence the service needs improvement.

RCool Ramen (Miso Based). Very nice. The soup is tasty and lots of mixed ingredients.
Rating (4 out of 5)

Pork Shio Ramen. A little bland but serving is generous. (Rating 3 out of 5)

Ramen Cool 

Various choices at Ramen Cool.
Another new ramen resto is Taisho Ramen at SM North. The shop takes pride of its Hakata ramen which originated from kyushu. Hakata ramen features a soup based on pork bones.. I tried their ramen and I was disappointed It tastes like local instant noodles. The instant noodles  we buy at the supermarkets tasted better. Poor quality of noodles. The sesame seeds didn't help improve the taste.

Taisho's Hakata Ramen. Rating (1 out of 5)

The search for the best ramen in Metro Manila continues.... Any recommendations?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Comics with Bitstrips

I love to create comics. But I have no talent in drawing comic characters. Comics drawing is really a talent that some people possess like my Nagoya U colleague, Jerry V. or even my son who can easily draw his favorite lego characters. I drew comics when I was a kid but they were not that good. I like comics which are simple and neat like Snoopy, Dilbert and Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD). I also like Baltic and Co. and Pugad Baboy. The key to comics making is not only how nice the drawings are but the intelligent humor presented.

So when Eric, a colleague at UP, introduced me to Bitstrips in Facebook, I got excited. Eric posted several Bistrips comics of himself and I got intrigued. So I tried Bitstrips. First, you decide on your avatar - choose the shape of the face, eyes, nose, ears and hair. And then you choose the body and the attire. With a few clicks, wholla! You have a character of yourself. You are now ready to create Bitsrips comics. Finally, I found a venue for creating comics even if I don't know how to draw. After several trials, the Eric & Andy (The Dynamic Duo) Bitstrips was born. Comics making is fun. It is a venue to share your ideas and humor. When you have fun, You feel happy. And when you feel happy, your friends will also feel happy. This is a lesson I learned from Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project." She also wrote " Do good, feel good. Feel good, do good." Enjoy the slide show of the Bitstrips introducing Eric & Andy. Smile!