Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Manned Enough to Handle Leonardo's Carnivore Lechon and 49-B Heirloom Kitchen


In his grandfather's namesake, this rising star in the foodie-dom, a carnivore in its own right, is making me want to have a family celebration every now and then or having some during fiestas.  Who doesn't like lechon?  I'm not a fiesta-loving person only because I couldn't find myself mingling in a crowded alley or squeezing in a tide of people under scorching heat only to get a glimpse of a parade.  The only thing I like about fiestas is having to savor the unique take on the roast pigs.

Leonardo's Carnivore Lechon instantly won me over upon hearing the word "organic."  according to Leonard Aquino, his grandfather started selling it in 1947 as a home-based business in San juan which eventually became famous and became a big business.  In his story, shared at his cousins' newly opened restaurant - 49 B Heirloom Kitchen, Leonard added, "during the war my grandmother would sell in the palenge (market) and lolo would help, friends would request for them to cook lechon, that's how they started."

The pigs they use are sourced out in Pangasinanas as a social entreprenership for the community that grow pigs as backyard farming.   There are certain breed of pigs hat are grown for them.  Their choice are native pigs, the ones that are colored black, as they maintain a certain fat to meat ratio. 

Do you know that the lechon's skin crispiness comes from the fat of the pig?  Genetically modified pigs are grown to attain a thin layer of fat, for those who want their lechon not too fatty, but this doesn't guarantee a perfect lechon skin, that's crunchy in every bit of a bite.  With Leonardo's the pigs are fed specifically with certain natural and organic feeds fattening the pigs just right, and what you get is a meat that's savory and tender whilst the skin is worth every pounds added to your weight because it's just that insanely crunchy-licious!

The Lechong Tagalog can weigh from 5 to w6 kgs when cooked and are priced from Php 5,000 to Php 10,000.  Their Lechon de Leche howevet is priced at P 4500 and weighs 3 to 4 kgs.

Far more than making everyone's favorite lechon, the new generation of the family have come up with a brilliant idea of stuffing a "native" pig with serious good meaty stuff and called it Carnivore Lechon.  I bet, these are some of the family's favorite.  Aside from the choiced herbs and spices that replaced the innards of the pigs are three kinds of sausages, bacon and roasted garlics.

Carnivore lechon  can weigh from 5 to 6 kgs. when cooked with prices that start from Php 5,800 to Php 10,800.  They have it also in De Leche size with a weight of 3 to 4 kgs.  at Php 5,300.

If you think that's about as special as it could get, think again, they've added extra miles by cooking the innards and blood for you.  Together with your lechon, is a sizeable serving of Dinuguan.

I give them thumbs up for making this cursed black stew as an exotic comfort food and meticulously preparing it to be something I'd have for lunch over and over.  While others would serve it with some sort of stinking odor or with bitter taste, theirs is just a right amount of tang, saltiness and a kick of spice.  I love tasting the ginger in it too.

Of course how can a lechon be complete without its sauce.  They took the liberty of making one of the best lechon sauce there is with a right balance of savory and sweetness, with a consisitency to beat, not too thick nor thin.


Food scouting in Timog and Tomas Morato is becoming to be more of an ardous job, since more and more and have been popping up and it now reaches all the way to Scout Tobias and to every street present in the area.  A lovely addition is 49B Heirloom Kitchen.

Settled in between rows of townhouses along Sct. Tobias, Quezon City, with a house numbered 49B is Heirloom Kitchen.  Here they literally whip up a storm out of the chefs' and owners' recipes handed down from one generation to another. 

Chef Erica gladly shared us stories of how their grandmother would send them lechon and their mom would cook lechon paksiw from it and some other favorite food dishes.

The lovely stories were shared over a lunch composing not only of Leonardo's Carnivore Lechon but some of Heirloom Kitchen's most-ordered. 

While waiting for the lechon to be served, our table graced this simple beauty of plate where some Squash Flower Fritters rested.  It was gone in 60-seconds...The crunchy beer-battered squash blossoms were filled with a mix of different cheeses (only the chef knows...) were such a hit finger foods priced at Php 210 for an order.

Fresh Melon Shake was also something, perfect for the savory afternoon meal.

With the addition of Paella Valencia (P 355 for small/ P 580 for family size), it shows how extensive yet comforting their menu is.  Actually, all the owners' favorite dishes were given spark to fill up their menu.  It's an almost perfect Paella except that the rice at the bottom aren't encrusted.  The saffron infused rice are densed, wet out and rich.

When this plate was placed on our table, I almost squealed, good thing I stayed prim and proper despite the fiesta going on our table. I was able to contain the manly eater in me as I heard Lengua to be served.  You can't easily find a really good Lengua nowadays.  I just found it here at Heirloom's.

What Gerry and Donnie was bragging about them was the Sinigang na Lechon (P42.  With relatives having abundant lechon, they went overboard than just the usual Lechon Paksiw and Lechon Kawali, to deal with lechon left-overs.  The idea of Sinigang na Lechon was totally radical but good in a way.  Imagine the flavor and tender doneness of the lechon meat mingling with the sour tamarind soup and the vegetables incorporated in the dish...need I say more?

Unfortunately, I had to leave ahead than the others to catch another scheduled event so I missed dessert.


Address: 89 J. Basa St.
               San Juan City
Contact Details:  (+63 2) 724 3068, ( +63 2) 726 9828
                            (+63 2) 7445172

Address: 49 B Sct. Tobia cor Sct. Fuentebella,
                Quezon city

Contact Details : 2391637


Friday, September 25, 2015

Mom and Daughter Bonding Over Kundalini Yoga by Rosan Cruz at Discovery Primea

My youngest daughter just became 10 years old three days ago and prior to that I planned a weekend bonding with only her.  I can tell the stress she has living together with her older siblings and vice versa.  As a mom of two teens (who are now in college) and two younger girls, it's difficult to accept the fact that time flies so fast and they too grow up so fast that catching up with their growth is like always catching your breath, and I just thank God I had enough of it to sustain my motherhood. 

My time will never be enough to be the great mom that they need me to be.  Oh, wait, let me rephrase that, 24 hours is not enough to really contribute to all my four kids' daily successes, including the time I need for my husband and myself.  There would be some nights that I check on them in their sleep and wishing they didn't grow up, that they stay the cuddly cutey pie they used to be and that they never question me with my decisions, even with the kind of clothes I would want them to don.

Well, I guess the quote "time flies" is  passe when referring to kids growing up, so it is important to me to spend quality time while they're young and eventually, it made such good impacts in their lives.  With this said, I can see for now how my youngest is budding up to be, but, I'm more interested in basking in life's goodness with her. 

That weekend I brought her to a food fair in Signa Residences.  I was supposed to send her home before I go to my next event, but considering traffic and time, I decided to bring her to the yoga event and she agreed to stay and take photos for me anyway. 

While Yoga is utterly new to her and me, we tried to make the most of it, and how glad I was to have her join the group and try Yoga, since most of us were also yoga virgins.  Not only that, both of us were in awe upon getting inside the newest hotel in Ayala, Discovery Primea. 

The posh and open lobby has that welcoming vibe that made my daughter felt at home, we were then led to the 3rd Floor where 37 Degrees Gym is located, where we will be having our first ever yoga experience.  Seeing some of the other amenities on the same floor, I wondered how their rooms are and Danica even asked about their swimming pool.  The gym has modern equipment, wooden inlaid floors and the area for yoga is encased with floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the Ayala commercial site.

The intimate event was an exciting one, with gifts coming for Frigga by Maritess Allen (yoga top embellished with unique symbols, yoga mats and items from Zen Nutrients as well.

I knew that there are several different practices of Yoga but never have I heard or even read about Kundalini yoga.  Apparently, Kundalini Yoga's pimary objectives are to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual, recognize our awareness, refine that awareness, and expand that awareness to our unlimited Self. 

Perfect for a mom with my concerns.  A bit giffy at first, with Rosan Cruz as our instructor introducing Kundalini to us, it made Yoga more fascinating.   Rosan Cruz is a certified Kundalini teacher and her welcoming aura made all of us participants quite at ease, after all that's what yoga is for, attaining relaxation and over-all renewal.

Rosan, ( led us to release stress, tension, and negative energy through a series of dynamic Kundalini Yoga poses also known as kriyas through a series of movements over an instrumental background.  Kundalini is a dynamic practice which incorporates physical, mental and spiritual aspects of yoga into one cohesive and integrated system. It has a much broader emphasis on breathing, meditation, hand positions or mudras, chanting or mantra, and spirituality.

In Rosan's introduction, the Kundalini consists of a reservoir of untapped basic life energy or prana residing at the base of the spine, often symbolized as a coiled snake or serpent.  This lies dormant in most people. Through the practice of Kundalini Yoga this source can be activated and drawn up through the body, energizing each of the seven energy centers or chakras.

After the one hour of  fire-breathing exercises, chanting and doing poses, I felt instant relief from slight chest pains, but I surely felt my spine stretched and my legs bit tired.  Above all, I was able to free myself once again from all the negativities surrounding my being including my terrible past experiences, and I felt at peace both with myself and with my surrounding.

My daughter, surprisingly joined us from the start until the end, and was quite more limber than her mom.  Though she felt some tingling sensations at her back, probably from the stretching and body arching we have done, she felt good afterwards, and so did I.  As a mom, I can see how such exercises can be very benefiting physically, mentally and spiritually in children.  My daughter is already 10 years old though so I can't really tell if this would give the same benefit to younger kids, though I did hear of some kiddie yogas. 

The yoga practice was followed by excellent and equally beautiful spread of afternoon snacks by Discovery Primea, one of the prime and luxury event venues to date in Makati. The Beef and Mushroom Pie, Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Bagel, Prosciutto and Brie Croissant, and Grilled Balsamic Marinated Vegetable Focaccia Sandwich and the hotel’s luxe ambiance made everyone felt like royalty.

On our snack, we were also encouraged to try samples from Detox in a Bottle.  These healthy drinks are nature's gift for our wellness and said to be great to drink after yoga sessions.  My daughter and I love the green juice which consisted of cucumber, mint and basil. The other bottle is ginger and turmeric based sweetened with stevia is good before every meal which sustains dieting.

It was a fitting experience in that during the ancient times, Kundalini Yoga was kept secret and reserved only for the kings and queens. Today, everyone can benefit from the practice, radiate love, peace, and beauty, and attract only the best that life has to offer.

Interested enough?

Why don't you join us at Rosan's class, below is the schedule and the address:

Mondays from 6:30-8:00 PM
Rosan Kundalini Yoga
Address:   Romulo Center,
                  Century Plaza, 120 Perea St.,
Contact:  0918 888 9198

Valero Eat St. at Signa Residences

Our last weekend could have never been any better.  My youngest daughter and I bechanced this primeval take of street eating, one that is worth earmarking by better foodies, last Saturday.  Thanks btw, to Spanky Enriquez of for inviting me and putting me in the VIP list with my daughter. 

Valero Eat St. was presented by Ampers and Collective, Mothership F&B, The Fat Kid Inside, Robinson’s Signa Designer Residences, and McCormick Philippines with partners Globe Tattoo Platinum and Oh Happy Day. Valero Eat Street’s media partners are ACTIVshow, Appetite Magazine, Manila Eat Up,,, and

Not a moment too soon, my daughter found herself in the midst of good food that are picture perfect and I have to say worth every penny.  Food purveyors, artisans and restaurants collaborated and popped up with all their kitchen wits to serve delectable and above the ordinary food offerings. 
Lobby of Signa Residences Tower 1
 Well. also we are one step closer to deciding whether to get a condo unit in the heart of Makati CBD.  Before we proceeded checking out all booths in the al fresco area of the aforementioned building, we were invited to view the sample units Robinson's Luxuria is offering for Makati dwellers.

I love how they have made the floor plan into a spacious living space best for yuppies working around or for small start up families.  My daughter even recognized Kenneth Cobonpue, Royal Pineda and Budji Layug the poster own in one of the showrooms.  Apparently, these renowned names in arts and architecture have joined forces to design Makati's luxurious residential property as living works of art.

Most of the furniture used in the showrooms are pieces made and design by Kenneth Cobonpue.tall

We didn't spend much time on the rooms as we were there for the food, so off we went down and made the tour from the lobby to the event venue really, really quick as my Danica was insisting to have a tall glass of Starbucks frap.

Our first pit stop was at Cy's cookie-loco table set up.  Cy Ynares is the genius behind The Bald Baker, a pastry home-bakeshop that whipped up crazy yet uber-licious cookie varieties.  I was glad to see him there as I've been meaning to try his banana cake.

A couple of booths away from The Bald Baker's was Manila Eat Up's.  Too bad I wasn't able to meet the "Lady" behind Boqueria, whom I had bought some pieces from.

Manila Eat Up was one of the media partners of the event and they offered intimate workshops for the foodies who might want to enhance their food styling and mobile photography.  Boqueria stuff and linens provided by Townes Fabric were ready to help members of Manila Eat Up do that.

So, I did the honor of taking some photos of the food offered at the Valero Eat Street event.

Below are my entries for the Valero Eat St. x Manila Eat Up contest:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Na-B.I. na Ako! Na-Balai Ilocos ka na ba?

Vigan, Ilocos, said to be the oldest residual Spanish colonial city in the Philippines is still listed in our bucket list.  Though it is just in Luzon, we need to drive  9 hours (that's without traffic) to get there from Manila.  Aside from the heritage houses and historical relevance, its cuisine is one of the highlight of the region. 

Thankfully, a part of Ilocos was brought here in Manila to cater for the foodies longing for authentic Ilocano dishes.  Balai Ilocos answers just that.  According to the managing officer cum chef of the said restaurant, Balai Ilocos is gaining familiarity by the day, since they started last March 16.  It was turned over to Nino Mendoza by his mother last April.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Aristocrat Wedding Showcase

Aristocrat Restaurant have been our go-to place for authentic Filipino taste whenever we would host a dinner for balikbayan relatives, My father's side of the family has another favorite, only because it is buffet style.  When my parents who are residents of Milan, Italy visited us, we had my father's relatives dine with us on this resto but it failed to live up to my parents expectations plus paying too much for the meal.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

TV5's Bilang Pilipino 2016: Fastest, Deepest Election Coverage

It was such an honor to be part of another Philippine history in the making.  At the launch of "Bilang Pilipino 2016" , media personnels gathered to witness TV 5's newest advocacy.  Said to be a promising, unparalleled engagement for Filipino  voters for the coming election coverage campaign.  This is great for today's busy social media users, since this campaign is done trough data-driven  content pushed over broadcast, digital, mobile and social platforms.

Tagged by TV5 Prsident and CEO Noel Lorenzana as a  "360-coverage as only the Kapatid Network can deliver."  The grandiose launch was held last August 8, 2015 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom.  This is in partnership with TV 5 together with its organizations, universities , mobile,  print , digital media , bloggers , PLDT, Cignal cable , SMART, Philippine Star, Business World, Bloomberg Philippines,, and Radyo Singko.

"Bilang"  a Filipino word meaning number, but means more than tha entirely.  To TV5, "Bilang Pilipino" signals three things about their  coverage:

First, it speaks to their content- it will be heavy not just with facts, but with numbers
Second, it speaks to TV5's mission - in an election, every vote, everyvoter, every Filipino counts
Finally, "Bilang Pilipino" is a call to action.  Thus, another meaning for the phrase which is " As Filipinos..."

On that, "Bilang Pilipino, as Filipinos, we are called to be responsible, to take these elections seriously, to think beyond the elections for the betterment of our nation.  "Bilang Pilipino" carries this promise: TV5 will deliver not only as proffessonal jpurnalists, but as proud citizens of a hopeful Philippines.

Seamless  content and the partnership built for this advocacy is their tool to widely reach every one.

Aside from  News5, an election parody was created to show the existing election culture the country has and make Filipinos more wiser in choosing who to vote.  B.A.Y.A.W for President campaign was also re-introduced to us on the event.  B.A.Y.A.W., stands for Bagong Alyansang Ayaw sa Walang Hiya, is a fictitious party list.  Bayaw is actually a character in TV5 played by Jun Sabayton.