Thursday, February 28, 2013

The 2013 MFWF Food Truck War

One time when we were driving, yes, for a dinner somewhere, we heard over the radio some chefs inviting listeners to the Manila Food & Wine Festival (MFWF), which was supported by the Department of Tourism, heldlast  from Feb. 22 to 25 at the grounds of SM Mall of Asia complex, Pasay City.   So, when we came home,  I immediately checked MFWF online and bought myself one voucher.
It happened to be a four-day spectacular event for foodies, culinary fans and chefs.   I was so tempted even to buy tickets for their gala dinner (the last pit of the event), just happened that we were still at Las Casas on the same day so I had to say no to it.
Now, talking about the voucher I bought,
It was hard to choose among the five trucks/chefs, because I know each one have already proven their marks as the country's top chefs, though evidently, their culinary skills are unique in every ways.
Below are the different food trucks present that night.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Strawberry and Cream Trifle

Now that strawberries are in season, and access to it is much easier, since a lot of people had gone up to Baguio for the recently concluded Panagbenga festivities, preparing one easy dessert is a delight.    A friend of mine started selling these bright red patches by the kilos.   So when she texted me if I want to order, well, of course I did and not just a kilo, and the rest was a culinary history.
Before I share one of the things I was able to make out those succulent berries, I do want to stress out some of the health benefits which I shamefully took in the net (credit to, and just some of the reasons why I love them, raw and fresh.

Here are 10 Health benefits of strawberries:
1.   Boost immunity
      Here is a trivia, eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange, that's 140% of our daily    recommended amount.
2.   Promote eye health
     The antioxidant properties in strawberries may also help to prevent cataracts—the clouding over of the eye lens—which can lead to blindness in older age.
3.   Fight cancer
      Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants that can help with cancer prevention, since a healthy immune system is the body’s best defense. A phytochemical called ellagic acid—also found in strawberries—is another. Ellagic acid has been shown to yield anti-cancer properties like suppressing cancer cell growth

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Murray's New Orleans Bourbon Street Ribs, Steaks and Oysters Now Making Splurges at Subic

Subic Bay is the Philippine's paradise for sports and extreme adventures.  With its diversity in culture, the different cuisines have paved way in making every experience more stirring.   Added to the growing foodie and party trend is the opening of the Murray's New Orleans Bourbon Street Ribs, Steaks and Oysters.
Murray's New Orleans Bourbon Street Ribs, Steaks and Oysters is now creating the ultimate bar experience in the heart of Subic Freeport Zone, within Ayala Mall's latest project, Harbor Point.
Murray's New Orleans, reflects the old Bourbon Street fare for the new and upbeat crowd.   Magnified in the colorful interiors.  The rustic and textured effect of a brick wall against the bright yellow wall which glorifies what New Orleans dining and partying is all about.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gastro Chef: The Best of Danish Design and Filipino Craftsmanship

     Cooking without the proper kitchen tools or the practical kitchen accessory is a chore,  but cooking with the proper tools is a pleasure.  I am not a chef but I love to cook and bake,  and most often I would play around in the kitchen and look for better ways to use with what's left  over in the pantry or in  the fridge.   My kids would be so giddy hearing kitchen noises as I make a way  for  healthy snacks and yummy grubs for our meals.   Most often than not, I would waste time, energy and  yes ingredients, all because I am using the wrong gadget.   

     I almost have it all, even those mechanical thingies that promised to make chopping and slicing oh so easy.  But, still, call me old-school, nothing beats a good quality chopping board and really sharp knives.  I'm sure many chefs would attest to that.
     You see, with the right tools you will be able to complete your cooking  process sooner and can use the time you've saved doing what you really wish: spending time with family, awaiting for the next thrilling moment of your fave tele-novela  or catching up on the latest updates in Facebook.
      I quickly learned that I had been using the wrong cutting boards for years.   I always thought that plastic cutting boards were the way to go because they cleaned up easily and were less porous.  To add to the boring collections are  non-processed woods and those faux wood that you can buy cheap at the mall. To be honest, I have dumped dozens of them year after year.
     I couldn't be more happier now for having discovered Gastro Chef's cutting board.   After attending the launching of Gastro Chef's new shop located at Chef Gusto’s Pizza, Pasta, and more in Legazpi Village Makati, I went home with one, and a chef's knife with it.    
After a sumptuous dinner tastefully prepared by Chef Panos Georgopoulos, media guests were introduced to Gastro Chef.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dark Chocolate Cupcake and Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

 I stumbled upon a website known as "How to Reboot your Life."    The author talked about how he  or she have been mentally stressed and felt unhealthy.   With it, he also mentioned several tips on how one can fix all the unhealthy holes contributing to declining health, he called the process as "life reboot."
I'm sure everyone had those moments when we could just simply click on the button "Restart" or "Reboot" when things aren't happening the way we expect them to be.    But there isn't, we simply go on with our lives, either focused on the future or being held up with our past, which includes all the mistakes we did.
You can of course follow Thought Catalog and some other self help books that are widely available.  But have you considered counting your blessings instead and taking time to thank God, that you still have it, the life, where you can decide right now and right here whether to take the next best steps or to still soak on negativism, never knowing when it will it end.
Gastronomy by Joy isn't all food and happiness, it was brought about by certain areas in the author's life that pushed life away from hell and started to accept that life is tough and you just got to learn how to live it.
From pains and struggles, celebrations follows, inspirations came and bounty overflows.
Aside from faith and love, we overcome and thus we celebrate.   Also, in times when we need to get our hopes high, I cook, I bake, we eat, we take pleasure by reveling with it. 

Last December, we almost had our Christmas at the hospital.   My daughter who has Diabetes had been stricken with Dengue.   We could not blame anyone for this.   I guess we just needed to find another good reason why it had to happen to us and to her.
But, God is miraculous!  He comes most often, on the right timing and though the purpose of it all is still unanswered, we just gave it all to Him.   And indeed, He overcame, as always.  Proving that He loves my daughter so much that she needed to offer a trickle of blood in return for Jesus' life and our faith to blossom some more.

So you see we celebrated even in simple ways.   And one of those simple ways is through my baking.  Thus, I share with you this easy-peasy  recipe that I always use, but made finer tweaks just so my DM daughter and in-laws could also take pleasure with it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chocolate Carving Exhibit at Marriott Hotel

 "A little chocolate is like a love affair - an occasional sweet release that lightens the spirit. A lot of chocolate is like marriage - it seems so good at first but before you know it you've got chunky hips and a waddle-walk." - Linda Solegato
 I'm pretty sure, you still can't get enough of the Valentine's season and of course the chocolates.   We still have a couple of days to savor the love month.
If you are a guy and still haven't impressed your girl yet,  Marriott Hotel Manila has something for you.   Take her to a nice dinner, buy her some heart-shaped cheesecake, and bring her to the Great Room and show her the Chocolate Carving Exhibit, or better yet buy her one of the chocolatey artistry displayed there.
I'm sure your loved one will get caught in awe as she marvels how "The Kiss" was portrayed with imported chocolates as it's only material.
And for the man of your life, a chocolate miniature Ducati motorcycle, to inspire him more.
 Why not express your deep love and astonish her beauty with "Aphrodite" -the a statuette of the Greek godess of beauty, love and eternal youth.
 If she loves shoes and chocolates, then this is perfect!
Oh yes, "Cupid" was also there!
These chocolate carvings were passionately made by Marriott's Sous Chef Chris Balane.
All these are waiting to be taken home and consumed (or not!).
See them all before they get to be taken home at Marriott Hotel's grand lobby, The Great Room.   They will be there until February 28!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Precious Moments Cupcake Theme Soothes the Savage Soul

Remember drawing with pastels as a child? Those chalk-like crayons could always be counted on to lend a soft and diffuse effect to whatever you drew, from a dreamy landscape to a pint-sized portrait of the family dog.
An interior designed with pastel colors can impart that same ethereal quality -- and work wonders for soothing the savage soul. When you've had one of those days at work that's left you in a state bordering on the indignant, returning to a home dressed in softer, paler shades can bring you back down from the brink.
There is a tendency to regard pastels essentially as "feminine" shades more suited to bedrooms, bathrooms and dressing rooms.
So if it happens that your house isn't designed in such a theme, you can opt to lounge in a restaurant or cafe that uses that design principle.  Even in more formal places, these colors can work magic when used as a complete color scheme, rather than simply employed as accent colors.
While these delicate tones lend themselves wonderfully to period room settings, they can work well in more contemporary spaces, too. A case in point: The new 'sweet cupcake' theme of Precious Moments Restaurant and Gift-shop.

From the elegantly dressed up Christmas theme, they trimmed it down to a charming and cozy laid-back set-up, but still kept that original Sam Butcher-hued inspiration.  You can read about my previous posts on theme on the links below.
Treats Instead of Tricks, Precious Moments Experience

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bacon 'Kesong Puti' Truffles with Roasted Bell Peppers

I'm such a nutcase and a terrible writer.  At first I was too hesitant to change the post title, which initially was "Bacon Goat Cheese Truffles with Roasted Bell Peppers.  This was our Christmas appetizer which I reinvented  but not that successful, or was it?
Truffles? Cheese Truffles?
I know, whenever we hear of truffles, the first thing that comes to mind is chocolate, or for the real gourmands, the 'fruiting body of mushrooms' which are rare and expensive ingredients for gourmet recipes.
Well, to tell you a little something about the post title, I actually first did the recipe using goat cheese which we got from Mr. Moo's (in Tagaytay), since we celebrated our Christmas and New Year at Tagaytay.  But then since it really looked appetizing all of us got so excited and immediately ate it enveloping each ball with crispy romaine lettuce, I forgot to take pictures of them.
So, on our way down back to Manila, after New Year's Day, we went back to Mr. Moo's, but apparently they run out of goat cheese, so I got instead Kesong Puti, also known as white carabao's milk cheese.

 I didn't actually thought whether it would turn out the same.  When you actually look at each kind they look the same, but if you go deeper to the details, such as the texture, taste and the science behind it, it is very different.
Goat cheese, sometimes called chevre, is a cheese product made from the milk of goats.  It is distinctive due to the tangy flavor of goat milk, as compared to 'farmer's cheese' ("kesong puti")which is soaked in brine and thus salty.  Goat cheese are leaner than carabao's and are more gooey when cooked or heated.  Kesong Puti, is like local Italian Mozzarella but saltier.
 What I found wrong about using Kesong Puti for my second try of the same recipe, is that it is not as compact as it was when I used goat cheese.  Thus it was way too hard to make it into a ball. Another thing is  I used way too many bacon bits which my bosses requested.
But as you can see, I somehow managed to make a few.  Which everyone actually enjoyed, without having to compare with the first try, which for me was better.  It did turned out to be quite delicious.

Bacon 'Kesong Puti' Truffles with Roasted Bell Peppers



8 ounces plain goat cheese, softened (or 'kesong puti')
1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper
3 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup pistachios, chopped and crushed


In a large bowl, combine softened goat cheese with peppers, bacon, garlic salt and pepper. Using a large spoon, spatula or even your hands, mix and stir until combined well and everything seems equally distributed through the goat cheese.
Roll the goat cheese into 1/2-1 inch balls (or smaller or larger, depending on your preference), then roll through the pistachios to coat. Set on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. These can be made well ahead of time - I'd say at least about 3 days.
Store in the fridge!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Goodbye Maali

Last January 30, "the House Committee on Natural Resources adopted several resolutions filed at the Lower House allowing the transfer of 38-year-old Mali, the elephant cooped up at the Manila Zoo, to Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand" so reported.

The report also noted:   "The committee led by Rep. Rodel Batocabe passed House Resolutions 2530, 2885 and 2937 authored, respectively, by Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. of Bacolod City, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, and Gabriela Reps. Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus. The resolutions stress that there is no sanctuary in the Philippines that can take care of an elephant."

The report explained that "the People for the Ethical Treatment of  Animals (PETA) has offered to pay for the transfer of Mali to the sanctuary in Thailand, where she can have adequate care from elephant experts."

According to PETA, they have secured a place for Mali at a sanctuary in Thailand, where she could have acres to roam, rivers to bathe in, fresh vegetation to eat, foraging opportunities, the company of many other elephants, and, of course, the care of elephant experts 24 hours a day.

So, with these we brought  the kids to Manila Zoo to have them wave their last farewell to the ailing elephant.

The Lost Luster

 Early February, Bhogs and I had finally agreed upon dining out.  It had been quite a while since we last went out, only the two of us and enjoy a night and play romantics and of course be carefree with our choice of meal.  It had been a quite engaging January with two wedding projects on our sleeves, family celebrations and bills up to our necks, but eventually God has been magnificently taking care of us and our family so I guess that would be more than an excuse to eat out.
So out we go to Burgos Circle, though it took us hours to look for a parking site on the first Friday of Feb, it didn't fret us enough to go to Chef's Lab, and hey wouldn't you believe that, I finally found  Kitchen's Best.
 The air was chilly and the walk to Forbes Town was far and all I could think of is how the dinner would be amazing.
After being seated inside the resto, near the service area you could immediately see and expect the place to be filled with amazing kitchen aroma, and from where we were seated I can hear the sizzling action in their quaint kitchen.
The dinner began with Grilled Corn Chowder, and boy, what a way to start the table running.  Cobs of corns were grilled and grounded to a puree, thickened and flavored with bacon.   The chowder was hot enough to ease the uncomfortably cool weather.   But as I got to savor more spoons of it, I tasted something that was not quite right, thus we proceeded with the salad leaving our bowl half empty.
The Vegetables and Greek Salad was good but typical.
 My hope was still high though, after all, this joint is owned by my favorite chef, Chef Bruce Lim.
I was deeply saddened when I found out that Chef's Table closed down, and I've been dying to try again his Calamansi Tuyo Pasta, which I tried from their other resto, Hyphy's, well which also disappointingly closed down.   And finding out that it was not in the menu of Chef's Lab, this really put me down.
Eagerly waiting for our main dish, I had ordered a glass of Mango and Black gulaman concoction, which would be a must when visiting here.    It's a slush of perfectly blended and creamed mango, sweetened more with luscious pandan-flavored black gulaman.
For our main, we had a plate of tender and succulent Honey Glazed Salmon and robustly-flavored Bistro Steak.  The Honey Glazed Salmon would be a trade-mark of Chef Bruce' cooking,  I suppose, were he literately use fruit compotes or syrups and honey to put more flavor in to the meat, in this case the fish.  The steak slices were laid on a bed of crunchy veggie nibs.   We had the two with plain rice.  
But nothing spectacular yet though.   
 Then there's dessert.   We had a sizable serving of the decadent Chocolate Mousse and a delightful Fruit Tart.

 The Chocolate Mouse was okay, with every spoon as silky and chocolatey as could be, but what I really like about the it is the crunchy topping, a number of  what looked like sticks on top of shaved milk chocolate were put as adornment but to me was simply fantastic, making me want to make a batch of it at home.  What they are really, are just candied orange peel which was crispy with every bit of that citrusy orange aroma.
I really can't say much about the other dessert.  It is actually a tweak on the regular fruit cocktail though made more syrupy and set on a hard pastry shell.
So, what happened here?  Where were those dishes that I've dreamed of, which actually defined what fusion is for me.   
Wishing still that  I can glint the luster which was previously there when I chanced upon the glorious creations that was, from a good celebrity Chef.

From Chateau 1771 with Love

For something to be defined as “signature dishes” it’s already successful. But for a restaurant with a solid fan base says that there’s something for a limited time only, it should capture anyone’s attention. And for the first time in twenty five years, Chateau 1771’s executive chef Vicky Rose Pacheco introduces her top picks for lunch and dinner set menus for the Valentine’s Day: a feast of light, fresh and festive for lunch while dinner features the rare French classics.

For lunch, worth the highlight is the watercress soup with lavash bread and its relieving, sophisticated texture. A natural super food, it’s heartwarming and oozing with revitalizing nutrients. While the main course, it will give you two options, but since grilling steak is a serious business at Chateau 1771, the seared U.S. beef tenderloin with blue cheese stuffing (P1, 300+) is a hefty reward for any meat lover. Made visually appetizing with grilled eggplant, zucchini, broccoli drizzled with roasted potatoes and fragrant roasted potatoes in olive oil, rosemary, and thyme, the 200 grams of pan seared beef laced with roasted garlic bacon sauce is brimming with juices and stuffing in every slice. If a version of this kind of flavor is what you’re rooting for but shying away from meat, go for the baked fish of the day (P1, 100+)—grilled and made tender with lemon, capers, thyme, and almonds. Judging from the risotto’s heavily-packed add-ons such as squid, shrimps made tasty in chicken and fish stock then topped with butter and parmigiano reggiano as a tasty finish, the risotto is the only fitting pair for a delicately cooked main course.

Dessert is as special as it features the melon’s juicy sweetness. Called the white cloud melon sabayon, it’s a refreshing dessert, lightly sweetened with poached meringue on whisked custard with melon and amaretto.

If planning for a romantic date, fork it out with a hot French dinner affair. Inventive and made from the freshest raw ingredients, Chateau 1771’s French-themed dinner focuses on the tasty yet uncomplicated classic dishes that are hard to find. For the soup, give the Swiss brown mushroom vol-au-vent with greens, edible flowers and pomegranate dressing a try. Delicately baked and in-house made, the French puff pastry round shell is filled with a creamy mixture smacked with garlic and thyme then deglazed with wine.  With Swiss browns or the baby Portobello as the star in this soup, it results to an intriguing and heartwarming full-bodied taste.

Using a prime steak cut, the U.S. Angus bone-in rib steak with café de Paris butter (P2,600+), Duchess potatoes, and grilled ratatouille is every inch an irresistible meat from its cut to flavor. A ¾ inch thick slab of meat with the bone-in, it’s meant to be smothered with café de Paris butter spiced up with tarragon, rosemary, basil, and thyme with a spike of cognac.

If in the mood to try something exotic but not exactly like it, go for the French countryside comfort--the Rougie duck leg confit (P2, 400+). Another rare find, the duck meat is cured with salt, cooked in a special Dutch oven with the most-prized duck fat giving the flavor more depth and producing a velvety piece of meat. The result? A super tender meat that almost falls off the bones!

Good meal deserves a happy ending, so try the chocolate valrhona ganache tart with gorgonzola crème brulee on the side. Marrying the slightly salty flavor of Italian blue cheese and exuberant characteristics of chocolate valrhona plus the creamy and rich crème brulee, this dessert promises a palate-tickling cross between salty-sweet.

Capturing the unique beauty of her thirty years of professional cooking expertise that extends right into her kitchen, executive chef Vicky transforms raw ingredients into straightforward yet elegant four-course meals for the Valentine’s Day. So this February, let Chateau 1771 guide you with the ultimate way to love with her limited time offer meals.

Chateau 1771 – Greenbelt 5 is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every Sunday to Thursday and 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 m.n. for Friday to Saturday. For reservations, banquets and catering services, please call 729-9760 to 61 or (0917) 8626467.

 Chateau 1771 is a member of the Chateau 1771 Group of Restaurants that include Sentro 1771 in Greenbelt 3, Sentro 1771 in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City and Café 1771 in El Pueblo Real de Manila, ADB Avenue cor. Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The First Yakapalooza at The Park on the Day of Hearts

The National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) is inviting everyone with their loved ones and friends to take part in the first-ever “Yakapalooza at the Park” on Valentine's, Feb. 14, at the Rizal Park that will be celebrated via free concert.

NPDC spokesperson Kenneth Montegrande said the event will be staged by Blitz Communications Philippines (BlitzCom) in cooperation with Unisilver TIME, Mario D’ Boro, Coca-Cola, FEMSA Philippines, PLDT, Stage Crafts and Department of Public Works and Highways.

“Yakapalooza at the Park” will start at 6 p.m. near the Musical Dancing Fountain after the free “concert at the park.” The event will be graced by some of the country's fast rising stars, bands and singers such as Bea Binene, Barbie Forteza, Julie Anne San Jose, Joshua Dionisio, Derick Monasterio, Enzo Pineda, DJ Joker, all members of the group Jeepney Music led by Allan Pineda.

Also gracing the event are DCOY, Ikee, Jash Bagabaldo and jazz performers Jive Disciples. Top radio jocks DJ Rico Panyero and Lala Banderas of 101.1 Yes FM will serve as hosts.

Montegrande said the event, set at 9 p.m., is perfect time for loved ones, friends and family members to show the true meanig of love. He said NPDC will declare 9 p.m. of Feb. 14 as “love hour” to give emphasis on “Yakapalooza at the Park.”

Prior to the love hour, there will be a countdown a minute before to be led by NPDC executive director Dr. Juliet Villegas and other top ranking officials of NPDC.

Montegrande said it's a noble aim of BlitzCom and NPDC to give the public a meaningful way to celebrate the day of the hearts where everyone can show to their loved ones and friends that Valentine's is for everyone who knows the true meaning of love.

“Valentine’s Day is one of the most important ocassions where you can show to your loved one how he or she means to you without spending a single centavo. Love knows no boundaries even in this very empirical world that we live at. We want to prove that and Rizal Park will be the mute witness for that meaningful moment,” the spokesperson said.

The official shared what he read from The Daily Mail, a leading tabloid in UK. According to studies commissioned by the University of Vienna, a 20-second passionate hug increases humans' memory level, lowers stress level and normalizes blood pressure.

The effects are contrary if the hug is un-passionate, especially if any of the parties involve is coerced, according to the study.

“…Scientist found that a hormone – oxytocin – is released into the blood stream when you hold or hug a friend close. This lowers blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety and can even improve your memory.”

“…According to a research from the University of Vienna, you have to be, however, selective over who you hug. Giving a polite embrace to someone we don’t know well can have the opposite effect,” the official report said.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Valentine Season at the Century Park Hotel

Welcome the Year of the Water Snake this Chinese New Year at the Century Park Hotel from February 8 to 17 and bring many possibilities for prosperity. Join the merriment as we witness the kick-off on February 9, starting at 7 pm with a lively lion and dragon dance and the eye-dotting ceremony on February 10 at 12 high noon for luck and abundance.  

Drop by the Deli booth from February 8 to 12 and bring home gift choices from hampers, wines to rice cakes, your delightful Chinese New Year all-time-favorite.
Take a feast at the Café in the Park and experience the indulging flavors of China as you savor our appetizing buffet specially prepared for the Chinese New Year. Dinner buffet on February 9 and lunch and dinner buffet on February 10 and 11 is only P 1,475+.

Only the finest entertainment is at stake at the Atrium Lounge from February 10 to 17,
5 pm to 9 pm. Be serenaded by the melodies and songs courtesy of our pianists Bobby Cabral and Bobby Espiritu on February 10, 11, 12 & 17 and enjoy the live performance of the Century Trio February 13 to 16 as they provide great music from the recent past.

Toast the most romantic day of the year at the Century Park Hotel, where you can find all Valentine’s Day essentials that will surely make your celebrations memorable.

Start the evening with a memorable dinner that will set the mood. Take your date or even the whole family at the Café in the Park and be treated to a sumptuous dinner buffet created by our culinary team for only P 1,475+ per adult, 50% off for children, 6 to 10 years old and free for children 5 years old and below. Anniversary discount of 50% is given for couples married on this day provided proof of marriage and ID are presented. Anniversary cake will also be given if with prior reservation.

You may want to have a great meal in one of Asia’s finest restaurants of 2012.  Century Tsukiji, the hotel’s banner Japanese Restaurant offers a delectable passion-inspired set menu for two persons that will surely romance your sweetheart and your taste buds for only
P 1,895 net.

Greater Opportunities for Education in the Philippines

   Education is progressing and the future is looking great. After less than two years since the Aquino Administration started, significant battles have been won and paths have been paved by the Department of Education.  
   Greater Opportunities! Education, or more widely known as GO! Education, had its first exhibit in July 2012 at SM North Edsa. Since then, the exhibit has traveled to SM Davao, SM Cebu, SM Manila, SM Pampanga, and SM Bacoor. This weekend, the GO! Education Exhibit culminates in SM Mall of Asia with a VIP event for education’s biggest supporters, a RockEd Concert, various programs, and of course, the full exhibit highlighting the GO! Education Program reforms. 

   GO! Education is a program to bring the advocacy of education reform closer to every Filipino. The Department of Education and its various supporters continue to address the need to inform and engage the general public and its internal stakeholders in its mission to provide Education for All in the Philippines. It focuses on the three primary components towards improving access and quality of basic education: (1) Curriculum Enhancements through the K to 12 Basic Education Program, (2) Provision of Sufficient Resources to Eliminate Basic Education Input Gaps, and (3) Improvements to Quality of Teachers and Teaching.  
    Last February 9 and 10, 2013, the last leg of the exhibit culminated at the Music Hall  of SM Mall of Asia.
   In July 2012, the Department of Education, together with Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) through the support of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the US Agency for International Development, launched the GO! Education campaign to the public, with the aim of garnering massive support from the Filipino people for programs addressing teacher quality and welfare, gaps in the curriculum through the K to 12 system and provide for much needed resources.

   “Because of the overwhelming support for the GO Education program from various sectors and you, our partners, we are closer to bridging the gaps in education before the end of this year: we have more classrooms, more competent teachers, more seats, more textbooks, and more sanitation facilities,” according to Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC, in his message to DepEd’s supporters.

   He also mentioned milestones such as the recent ratification of the Enhanced Education Act of 2013 or more widely known as the K to 12 Law, a 23% increase in the DepEd 2013 budget to reach P293 billion, Public-Private Partnerships, and other external initiatives for education.

   “While we have made significant inroads, much work is left undone. Lasting basic education reforms will take more years and decades to fully implement and realize,” said Luistro. 

   More than a celebration of accomplishments so far, the GO! Education event last weekend hoped to inspire continued support with even more vigor as DepEd continues pushing for its holistic reform agenda. It is a long and difficult road for education but with the support of various sectors, success is within reach.
Towards the end of the program, a symbolic kite flight was done showing how DepEd is progressing   through the unified cooperation from various sectors, with it is the timely Firework display form SM.
    If you missed the event, let me share one of DepEd's video for public awareness about how
Go! Education would help students, teachers and parents.

   To know more about education reform and DepEd’s programs, visit DepEd Philippines on Facebook (www. or the official DepEd website (

FOODGASM II, Unleashed!

The UP Economics Society (UP ECOSOC), a non-stock, non-profit, socio-civic organization anchored on the provision of free education of its scholars is said to host another event dubbed as the second season of FOODGASM.

FOODGASM II is  a one day food tasting competition which aims to showcase the up and coming food establishments in Metro Manila.  
So, are you a certified foodie, or a gourmand who is always on a hunt for new food creations?  If you answered yes, then be ready for a treat and  watch out for the yummiest event in the metro this March 9, 2013.

Interested yet?
Now if you think you have it to be one of the participants who owns  an aspiring food business , I dare you to join the yummiest event in the metro this March 9, 2013 at Mercato Centrale.   Wouldn't you want to win 10,000 pesos, a free space in Mercato, online promotions by 25 famous bloggers and many more!
Just provide 800 bite-size sample of your favorite best-seller.
For more information, visit their  FB page:  FOODGASM or email them at
You can also SMS them at their cp number:  0917 5980777

Do check this blog from time to time for more updates.

See you at the next exciting food trip in town come March!