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IndiaNoy Kitchen

We discovered IndiaNoy kitchen at Midnight Mercato.  They serve Indian food with a bit of flavoring that will appeal to Pinoys.  We ordered the Kathi Roll.  This was delicious.  Imagine having your Paratha dipped in egg then fried.  Place curry flavored meat and vegetables inside - wonderful!



We also had Paneer Kebab - I don't think you can ever go wrong with Paneer.  Three sticks for 100 pesos - that's more than enough to share between two people.




Ping Cha

We discovered that there are actually three Milk Team stalls at Midnight Mercato.   We discovered Ping Cha last weekened.  They are new - and Midnight Mercato is their only outlet.   I ordered my regular drink - which is Milk Tea with Red Bean and Egg Pudding.  I like it - but I wish they serve the tea colder (They need more ice).  They also serve Milk Tea with Rock Salt and Cheese.  We think it can give Happy Lemon competition.

If you are looking for something new to try - grab a glass of Ping Cha.


Regular Milk Tea with Red Bean and Egg Pudding

Good Fortune

I've been blessed with Good Fortune.  Deep in my heart - I know that I've always had good luck.   I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth - but I was born smart and I was born into a good family.  That combination has helped me a lot in my life.

Last weekend - one of the queens' friends gave us the gift of consulting with Mama June.  Most people will call him a Fortune Teller.  I call him - and all the other people like him that I have consulted with in the past - as Oracles.  People with a clearer view of the universe than most of us.

My session with him was similar to what most Oracles tell me - I have a good life - and I have so much to look forward to in my life - because the good fortune will continue.   I guess there's only one thing that I can say for the good things in my life ( past, present, and future ).  I just want to say "Thank You."  I don't know what I did to deserve it - but whatever it is - I really appreciate it.



Beso

New restaurants have opened at the Bonifacio High st. extension.  One of those restaurants is Beso.  It's a Spanish Tapas bar that serves traditional dishes - but with a hint of Mediterranean flavors.  When we were dining - a number of local celebrities were there.  Apparently - it just opened last January - and it seems like it has the makings of Manila's new hotspot.

The Matador Mural at Beso

Espana Blanco ( White Wine Sangria ) - Tasty and Refreshing drink.  Perfect for Manila's Tropical weather.

Jamon Chicken Manchego Croquette.  I love this.

Stuffed Peppers - I didn't like this as much as the other dishes.

Lamb Shank - The queens liked the dish but thought that the cumin in the rice thew off the flavor a bit.

Crispy Pork Belly - you can't go wrong with Pork Belly.  I like it but I wish that it has a little bit more flavor.


Pudding.  I was a bit disappointed with the dessert.  It tastes great but I wish that the texture was a little bit more pudding than chiffon.

Beso is a good restaurant.  It' s been years since a new Tapas restaurant opened in Manila.   I think I'll come back for more Tapas and Sangria.

Temple Run 10 Million Club

I did it! I did it!  I made it to the 10 Million club of Temple Run.




Cambridge Satchel Music Bag

Finally - I got my Cambridge Satchel Music Bag.  It is red - and not the original purple bag that I ordered.   If you can recall - I ordered this bag almost a year ago and every time I check with the Chocholate Schu Bar store at Powerplant mall, they tell me it is not yet available.  I remember tweeting about it last year and Cambridge Satchel said that they didn't have any backlog in orders.  So I guess either Schu bar or Cambridge Satchel was not telling the truth.   Since I didn't know whether they will deliver my purple bag - I just grabbed whatever was available at that time - which is a red one.   I'm happy with the red bag.  I told Schu bar that if the purple one comes - I will get that one as well.

Red Cambridge Satchel Music Bag

Got mine from Chocolate Schu Bar

This is hand crafted leather for under 200 USD 

I love this metallic bar that keeps the lid closed

A view of the bag with the metal bar unhinged

Boracay

The queen visited one of the favorite beach destination of Filipinos: Boracay.  This island has been rapidly gaining popularity worldwide.  It is not difficult to see why - powder-white sand.   Great restaurants.  Beautiful hotels.  It's been two years since anyone in our household has visited Boracay - and it has changed significantly since that last visit.   More people.  More restaurants.  New Caticlan airport. 

If you ever visit our country - I highly recommend getting on a plane from Manila - and checking out the Island of Boracay.  I think as - soon as your feet touch the sand or even before that ( when you see the sea as you land on Caticlan ) - you will understand why this is our favorite Island.




Symbols of Prosperity

According to my Chinese Horoscope for the year - it is wise to have reminders of wealth and great fortune in my office.  So on my desk are these three symbols of prosperity: the Pig, the flaming wheel, and the golden nugget.


Semar and his Sons

We were having lunch at Talking Tongues.  They serve Indonesian food.  It's our go-to restaurant for good home-cooked Indonesian dishes.  We noticed that their dishes are not as hot as they used to be.   I remember eating there one time and there was an Indian national who asked his dish to be very spicy and he was overwhelmed at how hot the dish was.  I guess the owner realized that there's not a lot of people in the Philippines ( Filipinos and other nationalities alike ) who has as much tolerance as they did when it comes to spicy food.

While we were at the restaurant - I noticed that they have four statues that are interesting.  So I took a photo of them.   They are four men dressed in traditional attire.


I didn't know who they were - and the owner was nowhere to be found so I couldn't ask anyone who these men are.  Luckily - I took a close-up photo of one of the men and found a tag on his belly "Gareng".  I goggled who Gareng is and found out he is the son of Semar.  Semar, his son Gareng and his two other sons Petruk and Bagong.  They are characters in Javanese mythology.  If you are familiar with the shadow plays called Wayang - these four men - especially Semar are commonly found in them.


Oh - there's another interesting part in these pictures.  The bottles which contain these leaves have an inscription : "Krysty Nourishing Leaf".  I tried to google for this brand but couldn't find anything.   The bottles are pretty and I must say that they actually fit well with the overall display of the four men.


Chatime

Since I've become a milk tea addict,  I just had to try Chatime.  It's a milk tea outlet that you can find on the bridge way between Landmark and Glorietta.  This location is so good for Chatime's business because it just has a naturally high foot traffic.   In fact - every time I try to buy from Chatime - there's a long queue of people trying to order this milk tea - so I decide not to try it.  Today - I had a little bit of time to spare and I waited for my turn.


Chatime is from Taiwan.  It's tagline is Good Tea Good Time.


To be able to compare it with the other Milk Tea outlets (Serenitea, Happy Lemon, Happy Fanshu, Bumble Tea ) - I ordered my favorite: Roasted Milk Tea with Egg Pudding and Red Bean.


I originally thought that Chatime's price is lower than most of the other outlets.  I was wrong.  It is as expensive as the other Milk Tea stores I tried before.  My order is 120 pesos.  


My verdict - Chatime is delicious.  However - with the same price and with such a long queue --- I will just drive over to Jupiter for Serenitea or to Powerplant mall for Happy Lemon.

Char Siew is Emo

It seems like Char Siew's face is a bit more smooched smooshed nowadays.  Let's find out why.

What is the world coming to?  Can't a proud Shar Pei be recognized for what he is?  I've been called a bulldog, a chow-chow, a mastiff.   But today - do you know what a little kid called me?

He asked daddy if I am a Chihuaha.  How can I be a Chihuahua? 

I think I will hide from the world behind this sofa until Daddy promises I will not be mistaken for another breed.  What will they call me next - a Beagle?  Hmpf.

Ultimate Cheese Steaks

A great discovery at Midnight Mercato: Ultimate Cheese Steaks.  You can have your regular cheese steak in a bun - or you can dress it up.  What I chose - Chili Cheese steak.  It's cheesy and it's hot.  I was being daring so I paired it with Chili Bacon fries.  My mouth was burning like hell from all that chili - but I was in food heaven.



Temple Run - 5 Million Club

The latest craze for iOS users: Temple Run.  This is like Angry Birds for 2012.  Getting to the 1 Million club is not easy - and once you reach it - you just know you have to aim for the 2.5 Million club, the 5 Million club - and the ultimate elite club: 10 Million.  I'm halfway there.  


One Too many at Cav


Cav at Bonifacio High st. is the perfect place to unwind and sip a glass of one or even a dozen wine varieties.   They give you a card - select your wine and decide whether you want to just taste that brand or have a half glass or have a full glass.






You can view the amount you have consumed when you insert your card.  You can choose to have one card for everyone in your party or you can choose to go dutch and have one card each.


I love the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc.   I think I had two glasses of this.  I tried tasting quantities of the other white wine but this was what I loved best.




If you want to have dinner at Cav - you can definitely do that.  They've got a great selection of dishes.  We didn't do that during this visit --- but I did write about our dining experience before.





Cookie the Beagle

We met Cookie - a 10 year old Beagle while we were at the Vet.  Cookie's humans liked me so much because I look like Cookie.  Daddy remarked that Cookie was fit and not a fatty like me ( boo! ).   Apparently - Cookie was overweight before and they just tried to manage his diet.  He is fed frequently but in small servings ( I think I'm ok with that ).



I wish I can be a really healthy and youthful beagle even when I turn 10.  I also wish I can meet Cookie another time.  He is a great beagle.

Blogger's note: A guest post by Midori the Beagle


Muli


"Muli" (english Title - The Affair) is a love story between two men which spans four decades.  They met in their youth and carried on an affair through their adulthood.  One of them is Jun - an ex-seminarian who, like many young people in the 60s, was drawn into the communist movement - but grew up and became a teacher.  The other is Errol - who grew up to be a lawyer.

It is a beautiful story.   It is mostly set in Baguio - and the city of Pines  provided a beautiful backdrop as we catch a glimpse of the lives of these two men.  The Central character is Jun.  To be honest - watching the movie - I wonder if there were gay men like Jun and Errol in the 60s and 70s.  Jun is not effeminate - and apart from his staying unmarried through most of his life --- most people would not think he is gay.  The same is true for his love interest Errol.  In fact - Errol got married and had two sons.   I wonder if they existed because growing up in the 80s - the only gay men that I knew were those characters acted out by Rhoderick Paulate, Bernardo Bernardo, Dolphy and Joey de Leon.  They were flamboyant, obnoxious, funny, and yes - acted out like girls and they wanted to be girls.  It was actually only in the 90s - with the TV show "Will and Grace" did I realize that there are many personalities that a gay man can take. 

The movie explored many conflicts that a gay man can face.  It tackled the position of Catholicism when it comes to homosexuality.  One of the characters - an older woman played by Anita Linda - said that if the Catholic Church was ever going to accept people of Jun's kind - it will never be in his lifetime.   It also tackled the view of the members of the communist party in the 70s with regards to a man having a relationship with another man.   The communist party is progressive - but when it comes to same sex relationships - it was viewed to be a sub-ordinate problem as opposed to the nation's problems.  This is coming from the same set of people who sees that a relationship of a man and a woman is of great importance in their movement.   It also explored the emotions and the psychological torment most gay men face when they try to express their homosexuality covertly --- hiding it from the people they love ( like their family, wife, or children ).

It is definitely a beautiful film - well written, great cinematography, and well cast.  Sid Lucero - as always - does not disappoint.  When he delivers his lines as a "burgis" (bourgeoisie) - or as a revolutionary - or as a gay man - he delivers it with just a smoothness that you just believe what he is saying and who he is in the film.   Cogie Domingo on the other hand has improved since I last watched him - but his performance is overshadowed by Lucero.

If you are looking for a love story worth watching - I totally recommend for you to grab a copy of "Muli".  Please do not download an illegal copy from the internet.  Movies like "Muli" need paying patrons like us - so we can encourage film makers like Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr. to continue making beautiful films.

You're a Good Man Charlie Brown

We watched "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" at the Carlos P. Romulo theater at RCBC Plaza.  I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  It was my first time to see it and to be honest - as much as I read Peanuts when I was growing up - I was not an avid fan.  So seeing the characters played out onstage was a good revelation of who Charlie, Sally, Lucy, Schroeder, and Linus are.  Snoopy is an exception - I actually know who and what Snoopy is because I remember reading Peanuts when it features Snoopy.  I like Snoopy so much that I knew that if I was going to have a dog - it will be a Beagle.

Watching the play - the queen remarked that I sound like Linus - blurting out useless facts.   I guess she's right however - there are moments when I felt that Charlie Brown's character was like me - especially during those moments when he is overcome with self doubt.   Those are the moments that spoke to me loudest.   Granted - I don't feel self-doubt often - and most of the people I know do not even think those moments exists.  However - they are there - and when they come - like Charlie Brown - I feel helpless and I just decide not to act and leave the action for another day.

My favorite actor in the play:  Carla Guevarra-Laforteza who played Lucy.  She made me laugh most.  Her comic timing is impeccable.  My second favorite actor is Lorenz Martinez who plays snoopy.  I can actually see a dog who can speak in his performance.  Moreover - he not only acted well - he also sang and danced very well.   My least favorite are Franco Laurel and Robbie Guevara who played Linus and Charlie Brown respectively.  I think that I was hoping a little bit more child-like qualities in their portrayal.  I know it's not an easy role to portray - most of us cannot act child-like when we grow up --- but it is their job to convince us that they're very young children in the play.

Ooh - I forgot to mention - my favorite part of this whole experience is that of being able to grab a Charlie Brown T-Shirt.  After the play - I immediately wore the T-Shirt and had my pictures taken with a baseball cap and posed with Midori.   Here are pictures of Midori and me as Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

NOTE: "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" is directed by Michael Williams.  They will have another show on March 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM at Carlos P. Romulo Theater.  Follow this link for more information.