Monday, January 23, 2012

SumoSam Now Opened It's First Non-Mall Branch

SumoSam is a Japanese restaurant owned and operated by Marvin Agustin. Last January 21, I got invited for the media lunch held at Greenhills Town Center along Gilmore. I rarely go to these parts of Quezon City so it would be nice to change scenery once in a while.

We were served with red ice teas and anchovies for appetizers. The main course came in a bento box that we jokingly called laptops because of it's identical size. We were served with the Samurai's Choice which is made up of chicken teriyaki, beef misono(US beef knuckle), dory tepan, tuna and salmon sashimi, kani stick, bean sprout, yasai itame, gohan and anchovies. It is really a hearty meal and for only 448 Pesos, you will get your money's worth. There are 4 other choices like Matsuya Katsu, Osaka Tempura, Chicken Teriyaki, Tsukiji Tonkatsu and it also vary in price. The Bento Boxes are only available from 11:00AM-2:00PM.

SumoSam owner Marvin Agustin said it was his passion that made him start this business. Mr. Agustin also said that SumoSam is authentic Japan restaurant up even up to the bento box is what the Japanese would use. The chef is also Filipino but he is trained for the Japanese cuisine. This is also the first franchise that is located in a non-mall area.

After the hearty meal at SumoSam, we chilled out at Seattle's Best for a Mocha Javakula. The Seattle's Best in Greenhills Town Center is not crowded as other branches. It would be a good place to hang out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

WFP and Julie's Bakeshop Joins Fight Against Hunger

Cebu is know for it's danggit and historical landmarks like the Magellan's Cross. It is also known as the place of origin of Julie's Bakery, which has many store franchises nationwide.During the Sinulog 2012, Julie's Bakeshop and the World Food Programme joins the parade with their own float that shows their partnership in battling hunger. Also riding the float was WFP Country Director Stephen Anderson and Julie's CEO Joseph Gandionco. Julie's is having it's own fundraising drive called "Bayan Bread", were proceeds goes to help feeding school children in conflict and in Sendong-affected areas.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

OFF TOPIC: Update On My Friend's Hold Up Incident

I wish this were untrue, and I wish I could undo this, but it needs to be shared. 

At around 7:00 pm I withdrew money from Security Bank Annapolis GH branch, near my office. At 7:30-ish pm, I was hailing a cab. I only remember the cab being a beat-up white four-door sedan car with plate number TYL 409.

I can't recall who the driver was at the time and the name of the cab as written on the cab body outside sadly. I do now recall the locks were faulty, that the front windshield had the "cleanfuel" sticker (signifying it's using LPG gas power instead of gasoline), and black rubber at the back windows. The seats were all black leather and had the taxi information, which should be printed legibly, all blurry/erased. 

We made the turn from Annapolis, to EDSA, and then the U-turn under Ortigas flyover. We entered corner to White Plains, at Temple Drive, past People Power Monument. At a vacant lot nearby (before Meralco), and ironically while I was in the middle of texting my family my whereabouts, four men came in and they kicked him out of the cab.

A short description of the four (images here):

  • Man 1 (guy by my right, "Badong"): Crew cut, chiseled face, somewhat pointy chin, small eyes, muscular build but slightly big stomach, with stubble, dark-skinned
  • Man 2 (guy by my left): Dark-skinned, round face, chubby cheeks, bulging eyes, no beard/moustache, short hair parted at the middle, wearing blue long-sleeved Adidas sweater with white stripes at shoulders and sleeves, had a baseball cap that looked a lot like the red Air Asia cap with white text, pudgy arms and legs
  • Man 3/”Boss”: Square face, flat cheeks, moustached stereotypical bad guy minus the big beard, dark-skinned, far-set bulging eyes, light moustache, beard, wearing blue long-sleeved Adidas sweater with white stripes at shoulders and sleeves, parang may white shirt sa loob, with grey beanie hat, had tubo, gravelly voice, muscular arms, pudgy legs 
  • Man 4/Driver ("Bobot"): White cap, white shirt, circular glasses, features remind me of Brod Pete (a local comedian), thin, dark-skinned

I heard someone say “pasensya na (I’m sorry)” but I don’t recall who it is. I do recall the perpetrators drove me around EDSA from Ortigas Avenue to Quezon City, as far as the U-turn right before SM North. They kept threatening to bring me to Bulacan and rape me especially when I initially refused to give them my belongings. They took my ATM cards (Security Bank, BPI Express Teller), my Metrobank credit card, my black BlackBerry Torch 9800 with black Otter protective case, my personal Nokia phones (one is a pink 6020, the other is a black 2700 Classic), my Sony Cyber-shot silver T-100 digital camera, and my black Sony Vaio laptop. After “Boss” made some calls via mobile (they were very clever at keeping the numbers hidden), the gang dropped “Boss” off at Cubao walkway underpass, EDSA southbound at around 9:00 pm so he could withdraw money. He came back and tried to strangle, punch, slap, throw shoes/slippers at me when he couldn't get my credit card PIN out of me (it's fairly new and I don't memorize the PIN at all). They took turns trying to beat me up at some point, except for Driver because he was driving. I fought back, and they told me they would rape me because I wouldn't give them enough money (they needed PhP20,000 and even used Typhoon Sendong as a reason to hold me up). At around 10:00 pm they turned into NIA Road near BIR/PDEA in QC, and threw me out the cab. When Boss tried to hit me with a pipe/tubo, I vaguely remember clawing and kicking back, taking whatever was left of my things, and ran. I found myself at the QC Post Office security guard house (at the gate), and made phone calls to the QC PD, my mother's office, and my best friend's house as those were the only numbers I could contact. 

With my family finally arriving around 11:30 pm to almost midnight, I went to the QC Police Department at Kamuning/EDSA. We waited for a graying-haired 40-ish cop in a white undershirt and police uniform pants named SPO4 Patricio Sanoza (Sanyosa)  to whom I gave my statement, which is attached. I told him about what I recall about the cab, but he did not ask at all  about identifying the criminals.

My SIMs have all been blocked/disabled, as have my ATM and credit cards. Unfortunately they have switched off all phones so I am not sure if they can be traced at this point.  They are able to trace the ATM withdrawal transactions at Metrobank Valencia Hills though. I am cooperating with QCPD in catching the perpetrators.
The following day, a friend gave this information about the cab that held me up: 

Plate Number: TYL 409 / E#: 2E-3254892 / C#: EE110-8009918 / MV#: 138000000225318 / Col: Freedom White / Sticker#: 2011122773755 / MVType: Car / TradeName: / Make: Toyota/ Series: COROLLA XL M/T / YRModel: 2001 / MVClass: FOR - HIRE / Org: MARVIN SANTOS.. / OR#: 000201111852482 / CR#: 000000005541645 / BType:sEDAN - 4-DOOR / FRegDate: 09-25-2001 / LRegDate: 09-30-2011 / Fuel: GAS / Route: MARIKINA ANY PT TO LUZON / Franchise#: 96-945 / FEDate: 12-31-2007 / Total Apps: 0 /Total Alarms: 0 / Customer ID CO1378000031312 / Add: 10 MAYSAN ST. VALENZUELA 
Separately, I dropped by the QCPD Kamuning once more to get the official, correct copy of the police report I originally filed. There I met a woman named Donna Araujo who was held up on Christmas Day from Main Avenue in Cubao and dropped off at Balete Drive which is very similar to what happened to me. I am trying to get her assistance as she saw the name of the car, which is made purely of consonant letters.

Please stay safe everyone. Hope your Christmas is better than mine. I've seen posts where people blame me for not being vigilant -- excuse me, but I was held up right in the middle of sending my parents an SMS where I was riding, the point here is not whether or not I should've been vigilant but that they still ambushed me anyway even after acting towards my own self-preservation! 

And to these motherfuckers who hurt me and others like me, I hope and pray you lose everything you hold dear -- every body part, every item, every person, every business, every bit of cash, and every generation of your beloved families and clans -- as befits the punishment you have long tried to avoid. 


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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Press Release: Tea your blues away with Figaro's Herbal Blends!

Last year, I was able to say my thoughts about the product. Here's the press release to promote it for this year.

Introducing Figaro Herbal Blends! More than just coffee, Figaro Coffee Company now offers a variety of herbal blends infused with herbs and fruits to soothe your senses this season. If the extreme weather conditions these days make it easy for you to catch a cold and other diseases and your usual coffee beverage just won't suit your needs to be rejuvenated, Figaro introduces four indigenous and original herbal blends: Sambong, Lagundi, Banaba and Pito Pito with distinct characteristics to relieve you from all the stress and diseases.

Figaro Sambong Blend is a hot cup of tea infused with basil and lemon believed to be a diuretic agent effective in dissolving kidney stones. Sambong leaves and roots when dried and made into tea is popular among elders who seek for herbal medicines to treat colds, sinuses and migraines. The aroma of Sambong Blend infused with the fragrant basil and the tanginess of lemon creates a relaxing and soothing experience with a distinct common juice taste you'd surely enjoy.

Figaro Lagundi Blend is a cup of hot tea infused with mint and orange believed to be an effective treatment for common cough, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and pharyngitis. The mix of orange and mint to the dried lagundi leaves creates a refreshing and comforting experience from any person who need healing from cough after that rough day at the office. 'Don't let that cough make you rough. The minty and fruity taste of Lagundi will give you that extra energy to accomplish your tasks for the day.  

Figaro Banaba Blend is a hot cup of tea infused with tarragon, anise and grapes believed to have cleansing abilities that aides in lowering the blood and sugar level of people with diabetes. The dried leaves and roots of Banaba are also used by our elders in treating kidney stones and wounds especially those who have gone surgery. Tarragon has an aroma relatively similar to anise popular in French cooking and proven to have the presence of estragole, a known carcinogen beneficial to a recuperating body. The sweet spice of Tarragon and anise with the fruity grapes in dried Banaba leaves create a perfect taste to cap off that exhausting day.

Figaro Pito Pito Blend is a hot cup of tea infused with Dill and Mango believed to be a cure for almost all ailments after it was invented in the Philppines by the late Ernie Baron. The combination of seven dried herbs and plants: alagaw, banaba, bayabas, pandan, and mangga with half a teaspoon each of anise and cilantro became a distinct popular Filipino herbal medicine claimed by Ernie Baron and his followers to be a great aide for metabolism and a cure for almost all common diseases. With no documented major side effects of the said herbal blend, Pito Pito had become a homegrown remedy of the old and the young to all types of diseases. The blend of dill, a popular spice similar to caraway and believed to soothe the stomach after meals with the sweetness of Mango creates an explosion of flavors to heal and comfort you this season. 

Try the new herbal blends at Figaro Coffee Company now serving you more than just coffee! Have a sip of Sambong, Lagundi, Banaba and Pito Pito Blends at your nearest Figaro branch today because Figaro, the first Filipino coffee company knows what you need this season. At Figaro, we know what the rough weather can do for you and we're proud as a Filipino to patronize herbal teas truly made by the Filipino for the Filipino. Tea your blues away with Figaro's Herbal Blends today!