Sunday, December 30, 2018

Zero Degrees Beer and Unique Sisig at B&S

If you love to watch sports like the PBA, UAAP or Wimbledon or watch music videos of the 70' and 80's with your friends while drinking zero degrees cold beer and enjoying good and tasty food, Beats and Stats Sports Bar is the place to be. B&S is located along Congressional Ave., Extension, QC. My first visit to the bar was a reunion of college friends and our balikbayan buddy, Art. Our host then was Olan, part-owner of the bar. You know what I remember most and the primary reason why I will return to that place is their bestselling pulutan, the B&S SISIG. It's not the same as the sizzling sisig that you will find in many restos. It's not the sisig that originated from Pampanga. It's a different kind of sisig. The pork is crispy, mixed with special sauce like mayo (?) and onions. According to the description of the sisig in their facebook site, the pork jowls are pressure-cooked. That I think is the secret to the crispiness of the pork. B&S sisig is really addicting. Once you take a bite, you will craved for more.  Olan boasts of their other food specialties like their pizza, kilawin, gambas and more. I need to try them when I come back.

A reunion of friends at B&S Sports Bar!

Their zero-degrees frozen beer. Tap it and it will turn into ice!
My favorite B&S Sisig, a discovery!

B&S sports bar is surrounded by TV monitors showing stats of sports highlights  and filled with beats of nusic. That's why it's called Beats and Stats!
B&S exciting dishes that must I need to try!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Provenciano Resto at Maginhawa St, QC

Old Friends enjoy Old Time Favorites!
Provenicano Restaurant at Maginhawa St., Teacher's Village, QC is a haven of good Filipino  dishes. I discovered that this resto only last 22 Dec 2018 during a reunion of UP friends and the family. Sammy, our host, simply ordered  the waiter's recommendation of their best recipes and I was impressed with the quality, quantity and taste of ALL the food served. Every dish is a marvel: kare-kare, sinigang, pinakbet, baby squid, the unique crispy ukoy, crispy pata, pancit bihon ala palabok, fried hito and their dessert of bibingka (with red eggs) and puto bong-bong. The ambience is native with decor of folk art and the place  is clean and cool. Except for the limited parking space (avoid parking along the street otherwise you may be victimized by towing racketeers in the vicinity), I should have given the restaurant a rating of 5/5. If you have balikbayan visitors, this is the place to let them taste our old time favorites of lutong bahay!

Pinakbet, Fried Hito and Pork Sinigang
The AISC Family (Early Birds)

Crispy Ükoy"
Pako salad, Crispy Pata, Ginataang Gulay

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Trip to Tanay, Rizal

A view of Laguna De Bay
Holy Week is a time for reflection and vacation for the family. An overnight trip at Tanay, Rizal on Holy Thursday was what we did. Going to Tanay from Manila is very convenient because the roads are smooth and well-paved. On the way, we had lunch at Paseo - Rizal, an art gallery and restaurant. Lunch of sinigang na ulo, fried tilapia and sizzling gambas filled our hnugry tummies. The food was great and the ambience was cool but the loud music from the karaoke-style singers was a little irritating. It would be better if soft and relaxing instrumental music be played instead.
Lunch at Paseo-Rizal

Paseo-Rizal is both an art gallery and a restaurant
Next stop was our final destination, a vacation house at Pililia, Rizal. The place was quiet and had a good view of Laguna de Bay. The plan was supposed to set-up a tent for sleeping but the room and bed of the vacation house are so comfortable that we skipped that plan and took advantage of the comfy beds. We spent the night reading our favorite books. The following morning, breakfast with a view of the Laguna de Bay was exhilarating and refreshing.
Apple - reading a book and coffee with a view
Winding roads to and from Tanay, Rizal - a cool alternative to Tagaytay or Baguio.
Back to Manila at 9:00 AM but first a stop-over for early lunch at Pico de Pino along the zig-zag roads at Baranggay Cuyambay.  Lunch of calamares, fish fillet and sinigang (again) with ice cream and coffee was lovely and relaxing. The place is popular among travelers because of its cool ambience and lovely huts.

Pico de Pino is a good stop-over to unwind and relax.
 It was Good Friday and a visit at Ateneo's House of Jesu and a station of the cross at the Ateneo's ground was a fitting act to glorify our Lord.
The station of the cross at ADMU grounds infront of the House of Jesu

"We are NOTHING, and yet GOD sent His Son to die for our sins."

Sunday, March 11, 2018

My Top 4 Fiction Writers

Reading novels is one of my hobby and past time. My love for reading was ignited when I was in high school. Our English teacher, Mr. Razon required us to read a novel and write a book review. I don't remember now the title of the novel I reviewed but it was an action and mystery novel. After that iI started reading Agatha Christie's books about Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. Another influence to my love of reading was my mom. She has a collection of novels like Irving Stone's Lust for Life, Airport, Madame Bovary, The God Father, to name a few  at home and during summer vacation I spent my time reading those novels. In college, I came to like Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (books borrowed from the UP Library) because of the influence from my UP friend, Roger Esquivias. Anyway, I want to share my top 4 novel writers. When I say my favorites because after reading one novel, I thirst for more. I either buy from or Book Sale or even download for free if available. My list is not according to any order.

1. DANIEL SILVA. My first on the list is Daniel Silva. I came to discover this author while browsing for books on sale at National Book Store. I found his novel, "A Death in Vienna" on sale for P50.00 (That's good news, Daniel. If the book was not on sale, then I will not discover Gabriel Allon and buy more of your novels). After reading this novel, I learned more about the Holocaust. His narration is like non-fiction. Daniel Silva's novel is about Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy, painter and art restorer who is a friend of the Roman Catholic pope. Daniel Silva is described as "finest writer of international intrigue and one of the greatest American spy novelists ever." After that first book of Daniel Silva, I make it a point to buy all his books and every year he releases an Allon novel which I purchase and upload on Kindle. There are talks in the internet on a movie or TV series under MGM TV about Garbiel Allon and there are already suggestions on actors  who should be in the series. If you want international espionage, read Daniel Silva!
What is nice about Daniel Silva's novels about Gabriel Allon is that his characters evolve - they get old,some get married and  and some retires. It's like  Harry Potter who started as a child and ended as an adult.
2. JOHN GRISHAM. I think I started reading Grisham novels after watching several movies based on his books like The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker and A Time to Kill . Grisham is popular for legal thrillers but I also love his novels about football like Playing for Pizza and Bleachers. Grisham's characters are interesting and when he describes a place, a picture of the place is captured in your memory and there is a feeling that you want to visit that place. If you love legal thrillers, John Grisham is it!
Reading Grisham repeatedly is not boring.
3. LEE CHILD. The novels of Lee Child are centered on Jack Reacher, a former major of the US Army police corps who roams the US and always get entangled and investigates suspicious and dangerous situations. He is actually a big guy not like Tom Cruise who played Jack Reacher in several  Lee Child-based movies. A Jack Reacher book is action-packed and full of violence - it's usually a good "cop" versus corrupt and violent characters. My collection of Lee Child books are more e-copies downloaded on Kindle.  :-) If you want action and suspense, Lee Child will entertain you.
I have almost a complete set of Lee Child's books on my Kindle - downloaded for free!
4. DANIELLE STEEL. I am a late fan reader of Danielle Steel. While looking for a novel to read on Kindle, I found  Danielle Steel's "Big Girl" on my Kindle and started reading. After the first chapter, I never stopped reading her books. I finished  four more Kindle books - Legacy, Family Ties, Hotel Vendome and Dangerous Games ( I purchased at Amazon). Then I bought more books from Book Sale and I now have 6 more to read. Danielle Steel's books are more on relationships and conflicts. She has colorful and interesting characters and whenever I read her book, there are instances where I feel emotional and a tear drops from my eyes. Steel is predictable and her novels usually have happy endings. And that's great!
Steel's list of novels is long!
My runner-ups. I read them when they are available but sometimes I don't finish the book because I loose interest due to various reasons like the book is too long, predictable or dragging - DAVID BALDACCI, MICHAEL CRICHTON, KEN FOLLET and HARUKI MURAKAMI.

Books that I find very trivial: James Patterson. He will give you a ride of suspense, horror and violence but no redeeming value!

What about you, who are your favorite fiction writers?