Sunday, November 13, 2016

TASTE CAVITE: Homegrown dishes from Cavite that you don't know

Cavite is known for coffee not because it has much coffee farms and has a center for coffee research and study in a known university. But it also known for its fishing industry Cavite also has a coastline meaning Cavite is bountiful with seafood. But have you ever tried their dishes?

Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park gathered all these dishes all over Cavite. The vastness of Cavite area shows that there is still diversity especially in the local dishes. Island Cove executive chef and resident Caviteno Mr. Vill Purificacion and his culinary team is responsible for recreating and cooking these dishes because these are the dishes only the Cavite locals are familiar with and enjoy.

Island Cove managing director Mr. Gilbert Remulla, who hails from Imus, said that “everyone should know how rich the Cavite cuisine is. Since Island Cove is now considered a gateway of all things Cavite (and) these dishes is from our childhood.”

Upon arrival, we were serenaded by a group of minstrels to welcome us and were treated with a welcome drink of fresh coconut.  While waiting for the second batch to arrive, we tried to see if we can catch tilapia in the coastline since we are standing on it literally. The bamboo huts elevated above the coastline which is also part of the Manila Bay so you can have that feel of dining on fresh catch. Speaking of catch, only one of us caught a tilapia but since it is too young, we had to let it go back to the water.

For appetizers, we ate Tahong (mussels) Chips originally from Bacoor and Fried Lawlaw from Cavite City. Lawlaw is the kind of fish that is small and hard to fry that because of its size. Who would have thought that mussels and fish fillet can be a snack? I already tried tahong chips before but it was already a packed product but this tahong chips are fresh when deep fried.

From this point, get ready to crave hungry because I am now going to show you the all the mouth-watering dishes I tasted.  First, the Adobong Imus. Chef Vill is also from Imus and he prides himself because the recipe comes from his grandmother. Imus is a big area in Cavite but is far from the coastline so they also have a variation of the Filipino adobo. Instead of the usual soy sauce, the Adobo Imus used annatto oil, vinegar, bay leaves, salt and pepper. This will be the adobo that is a little spicy because of the pepper.

If you fancy a soup dish, you must try the Calandracas from Cavite City. It may appear like a typical sopas but it has slices of sausages to add to its creamy soup. But what really caught my taste buds was the Mutya ng Cavite. It consists of mussels, clams, crab and shrimps. The rich creamy soup just reminds me of clam chowder. The dish originates from an old restaurant 7 Sisters in Marulas, Kawit and was owned by the Sabater family. I can see why it is Mr. Remulla's favorite and it is also my new favorite.

Taste Cavite dishes will be served every weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) starting November 18 and will be served daily starting December 22. More dishes will be featured in my next post. Just follow this blog and like .

Friday, October 28, 2016

Check out the Nikki Valdez's Cakes at Circuit Makati's Christmas Bazaar

Local actress Nikki Valdez has been participating in holiday bazaars for years now but it this year, she is going to sell cakes for the first time. She said that it is her new passion and she wanted to promote it starting with the Christmas Bazaar of Circuit Makati. She is preparing to flavors: Classic Butter and Red Velvet. The Classic Butter is an old favorite and the Red Velvet is for younger people.

Check out her booth and meet more celebrity sellers at Christmas Bazaar Star Avenue area at Circuit Makati Globe Activity Grounds from November 18 to 20. For more foodie and gastronomic adventures, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

TLC Festival 2016 Brings The World To The Philippines

Press release

-       Visit the festival’s global village for a unique travel, lifestyle and culinary experience
-       Meet Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, Fun Taiwan’s Janet Hsieh and Surfing The Menu: Next Generation’s Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn

October 2016 – Are you ready? Southeast Asia’s leading travel and lifestyle channel is bringing back the much-anticipated TLC Festival to the Philippines on Saturday, November 5! Attended by thousands of Filipino fans in 2015, this year’s TLC Festival boasts an exciting Global Village, where TLC will bring the world to you.

From 11am onwards, festival-goers can globetrot across the world with us at Bonifacio High Street, and enjoy good food, great entertainment and an even more dazzling celebrity line-up! Rub shoulders with your favourite TLC personalities – bubbly travel host Janet Hsieh from Fun Taiwan, the charming Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn from Surfing The Menu: Next Generation and America’s all-time favourite baker… ‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro!

Learn new gourmet and craft skills at the TLC Kitchen, and Japan’s Origami Workshops and Japanese Calligraphy studio. Art jam at the TLC Gallery, sing your hearts out at Japan’s Karaoke Booth and indulge in our very own Filipino food fair and Larong Pinoy. Step right into New York’s Times Square, soak in its hustle and bustle, and grab a bite from the USA Food Trucks. Don’t miss the entertainment on the main stage by Filipino band Apartel of rock icon Ely Buendia, as well as cooking demos, talent appearances and stage games led by comedian and host, Eri Neeman.

Always wanted to show off your baking skills? Here’s your chance! Get up close with Buddy Valastro­­­­ and have a shot at impressing him with your masterpiece at the cupcake decorating workshop. It’s his very first time in the Philippines, and Buddy can’t wait to meet his Filipino fans. The Cake Boss might just be making surprise visits to the TLC Bakeshop, so do drop by and try the yummy treats on sale! Episodes of the latest season of Cake Boss will premiere on November 9, Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. on TLC.

Coming back to the Philippines for the second time will be Fun Taiwan’s bubbly host Janet Hsieh, who will share her latest travel escapades from Fun Taiwan Adventures, airing every Saturday at 10:50pm till November 5. What’s more - look out for surfer chefs Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn of Surfing the Menu: Next Generation as they prepare beach-perfect meals in an Australian beach barbecue cook-off! Catch new episodes of Surfing the Menu: Next Generation returns on November 7, Monday, at 9:00 p.m.

Admission is free, and we have an exciting line-up of activities for everyone in the family and barkada. What’s more, the first 100 participants who show up at each of the three registration booths on the event day will stand a chance to win a TLC Gift Bag, whilst stocks last.

 See you there, rain or shine, and remember to hashtag #TLCfest16 online!

For updates on the TLC Festival, visit

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Press release

Much has been said regarding the impact of an acidic body ph to one’s health particularly its connection with various diseases.

The body naturally creates acids as part of the digestive system or as a by-product of various metabolic processes. However, one’s body may experience over acidity due to factors like a diet rich in processed foods, stress, and other lifestyle factors. Chronic over acidity affects all the body’s cellular functions and is seen to contribute to cancer, heart disease, obesity, weight problems, allergies, fatigue and premature aging as well as problems with our nervous system, cardiovascular system and muscles.
To counteract the negative effects of over acidity, it is recommended that people adopt an alkaline diet and drink alkaline water.  Alkaline foods are foods that create an alkaline effect in the body regardless of their actual ph levels. This means that even food like lemons and limes actually have an alkaline effect on the body. Additionally, the alkaline diet involves limited consumption of meats, dairy products, white flour and white sugar which are very acidic. Instead, one should eat large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and soy products.
Apart from eating alkaline foods, drinking alkaline water can also play a major role in balancing one’s body ph. However, most conventional alkaline water is produced using electrolysis and ionizer based technology which involves passing electric current through water laced with chemical catalyst submerged with titanium or platinum plates. This process can create trace amounts of chemicals from the breakdown of the catalyst as well as trace amounts of metals from the plates.
At the same time, alkaline water produced using this artificial method has very short shelf lives. This is because the artificially induced alkaline effect wears off in a matter of days. At the same time, the alkaline water produced using electrolysis is also very sensitive to temperature fluctuations which makes storage difficult.
An alternative to this process is naturally infusing alkalinity into the water to mimic the same properties found in spring or pristine river water. Thanks to advances technology it is now possible to replicate this using nano-technology to infuse nano minerals into regular water to turn it alkaline. And it is this latest technological advance that is being used in Livingstream Nano Alkaline Water.
Livingstream is the latest concept by GQWEST Inc. the company behind the Aquabest water franchise. By looking back to nature and harnessing the latest in technology, the company envisions the concept as the future in drinking water. Utilizing cutting edge South Korean nanotechnology, Livingstream aims to provide everyone with safe, healthy, and life-changing water.
To produce alkaline water the natural way, Livingstream utilizes filters that contain alkaline nano minerals derived from seashells. When water passes through these filters these nano minerals are infused into the water. Since the nano minerals are derived from biological sources and are integrated into the water there is no risk of any contaminants and the ph level remains constant over long periods of time and regardless of temperature.
To ensure that the water is safe to drink, Livingstream also utilize nano silver to eliminate bacterial and viral contaminants in water. Silver has been used for centuries as an anti-bacterial and antiviral due to its ability to disrupt the cellular process of the contaminants thus killing them.
To introduce the concept to the public the company intends to unveil Livingstream for franchising at the 15th Franchise & Business Expo on October 14-16 at World Trade Center, Pasay City.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Food Exploration on Earth and the Outer Space on TLC

Press release

This September stay tuned to TLC for a one of a kind food exploration on Earth and the Outer Space as Chef Heston Blumenthal and Anthony Bourdain take us to a different food adventure.

The unique programme Heston’s Dinner in Space follows the adventures of Chef Heston Blumenthal and his team as they work closely with the UK Space Agency, ESA and NASA, attempting to revolutionize the previously limited world of space food. Follow Heston's trials and tribulations behind creating meals that can be consumed outside of the Earth's atmosphere, culminating in an out-of-this-world dining experience where his creations are eaten live on the International Space Station. Heston’s Dinner in Space premieres September 5Monday, at 8:05pm on TLC.

Also set to feature on TLC this month is Parts Unknown Season 6.  The one-hour weekend lifestyle series follows world-renowned chef, writer and broadcaster Anthony Bourdain as he travels the across the globe to uncover little-known areas of the world and celebrate diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals. It’s a whole new series of the same good food and lifestyle finds onAnthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown 6 premieres September 6, Tuesday, at 9pm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Electrolux Ideas Lab: Let’s bring healthy, home-cooked food to every dinner table

Press release

Global eating habits are changing as our passion for food is booming. What you eat can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases and promote your overall wellbeing. In a new global competition, Electrolux seeks innovative ideas to inspire healthier, tastier and more sustainable home cooking through Ideas Lab.

Filipino consumers today search to source organic produce, share meals on social media, travel to the far reach of the Philippine islands for new flavors and tastes. Butat the same time, food is increasingly recognized as a sustainability challenge in terms of food waste, CO2 emissions, and health issues such as obesity, diabetes and under-nutrition.Simply put, the appetite for great food is growing but consumers are also hungry for change.With Ideas Lab, Electrolux is taking innovation further and providing food for thought among consumers around the globe. Today’s passion for food is a key ingredient for a healthier, more sustainable tomorrow and it all starts in the heart of any home – the kitchen. This competition offers an opportunity for Filipinos to cook up creative ideas that inspire people around the world to enjoy tastier, healthier and more sustainable home cooking.

Competition Mechanics

Electrolux Ideas Lab is calling everyone over the age of 18 to conceptualize innovative cooking ideas and upload a 30-second video entry to www.electroluxideaslab.comfrom August 15 - October 3. Submissions can be submitted by an individual or a two-person team.  Consumers are encouraged to be as creative as they can be with their video submission. Still, there’s no need to be a video expert – entries could also take a simpler approach using a smartphone.

Winning Entry

The final winner will be selected by a jury of Electrolux experts on November 28, 2016 and will receive€10,000(over PhP 50,000.00) in cash prize plus an invitation to spend a week in Stockholm, the start-up capital of the world, to enable the winner to develop, realize and launch the idea further. Throughout this unique experience, the winner(s) will meet with leaders and experts from Electrolux and network with some of the most successful Scandinavian start-ups to shape their idea and receive inspiring insights into launching it in the market.

“With Electrolux Ideas Lab, we are aiming to trigger creativity and out-of-the-box thinking around matters relating to the home and everyday life. The competition celebrates the creative minds of participants and enables them to take their ideas even further. says Jonas Samuelson, Electrolux President and CEO.

The recipe for success is limitless; Electrolux Ideas Lab welcomes creativeinnovations -whether it’s from smartphone apps, food-sharing programs, innovative recipe collections, kitchen tools and life hacks, to full-fledged business models. So do you have a brilliant idea?

For more information, please visit, and follow and

Vince Nunez
Blogger/content writer
Popular culture/Geek stuff
Movie reviews

Thursday, August 18, 2016

LUKE NGUYEN: Exploring Malaysia one dish at a time

Press release

Planning to take your gastronomic experience to another level? Why not try these food trails in Malaysia and get to taste the best of Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta?

(Luke Nguyen’s Culinary Trip in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Check on the best gastronomic stops in Malaysia and satisfy your Malaysian cuisine craving through this food trails.)


Multi-hyphenate Luke Nguyen of Street Food Asia is giving you a quick and easy tour on the food stops in Malaysia. Luke continues his street food journey venturing into multicultural Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Luke meets his friend, Tana, in Brickfields which is filled with a variety of different Indian dishes. Tana escorts Luke to his favorite street food stalls where Luke tastes delicious sweet and savory treats, including the curry puffs said to provide the consumer with prosperity and happiness.
Luke then meets the famous Mr. Hung with a reputation for flying instant noodles nearly two stories high. Luke then heads to Ramal Food Junction where he visits Willy's Satay Stall, considered to be the best satay in Kuala Lumpur.


Luke continues unearthing different street foods in Kuala Lumpur starting at the central JalanImbi market. With the market already busy at 7:30am, Luke is lucky to meet a friend with a table where he's able to taste different dishes walking past him. Having reserved the table, Luke heads off to talk to some local stall-holders and fills his plate high with different tasty treats. Luke then meets Mr.Sou who has been cooking a hearty Pork Bone Soup with medicinal herbal properties for over 20 years. Luke learns from Grandma Lim who's perfected her noodle making skills for 40 years to the most delicious fresh Chinese-Malay dish.

Luke continues his street food adventure exploring Jakarta, Indonesia. Meeting up with his old friend, Derice, Luke unearths the delicious delicacies of Chinatown, finding the experience a melting pot of diverse cultural cuisines. Luke joins the locals beneath the tall city skyscrapers and uncovers a truly authentic Indonesian stall which serves every part of a chicken. During the busy lunch break, Luke joins the hustle and bustle, meeting local Hadi, and dines on a diverse range of dishes. Moving onto dessert, Luke visits a vendor selling a sweet snack that resembles his grandmother's hair.

Luke completes his street food journey in Jakarta, Indonesia where he visits a busy stall that's been serving a traditional Indonesian salad since 1961. Luke indulges in an Indonesian dessert, the sweet Martabak, known as the 'King of Street Food'. After exploring the streets of Jakarta for the best Nasi Goreng, Luke is put to work helping to cook and serve the largest 'wokful' of Nasi Goreng he's ever seen.

Learn more about Luke Nguyen’s culinary trip in Malaysia on Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Asia airing this Monday, August 25 at 9:25pm on TLC.

Channel 62 (Skycable), channel 53 (Destiny Cable), channel 29 (Cignal), channel 26 (Dream Sattelite TV), channel 32 (Sky Direct).

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Vegan Dining At Live Life

We all eat different types of meat from pork, chicken, beef and fish and most of the times, we left out vegetables. We need to rotate these choices because all of it has nutrients that we all need. You can choose to have vegetables as side dishes.

Good thing there are restaurants like Live Life that offers vegan dishes only. These are dishes that are presentable enough to make any meat lover eat vegetables. Who are the target customers of Live Life? First, those who are conscious about nutrients. Live Life also have vegetarian meat is a substitute for real meat.

Second target customers are the seasonal vegetarians. These are mostly Roman Catholics who do not eat meat on Holy Week as part of their religious practice. Third are the vegetarians, Buddhist and vegans.  Buddhist does not eat any meat because of their belief in reincarnation and karma.

What is the difference between vegetarians and vegans? What makes vegans different is the lifestyle. Vegans don’t eat what comes from the dairy like milk and eggs and they don’t buy leather products because of the source material.

If you choose to be either a vegan or vegetarian, you must first consult a doctor if your body can adjust. Otherwise, you might only endanger your health is why we should eat in moderation. Live Life is located along Chino Roces in Makati near the Phil. School Of Interior Design.

For more foodie adventures, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Monday, July 4, 2016

My Makati Block Party Experience

Despite the heavy rains, it doesn't seem to stop people from walking the tent area along Paseo de Roxas beside Ayala Triangle for the Makati Block Party organized the same people who organized the Legaspi Sunday Market.

Despite the rains, I still had craving for ice cream that I had to try out the home made ice cream there. They may be more expensive than the mainstream brand but it is delicious. Before I went home, I also bought a burger for dinner.

But this is not just about food. Since this is a party on a Sunday, it is also about spending time with families together. There are also activities in some booths. You can make your own instruments from any material like plastic bottles and jam with a band. There are handcrafted made toys and accessories for events and parties.

I look forward for the next Block Party. For more foodie adventures, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Makati closes off Paseo de Roxas for a culinary Block Party

Press release

Mouth-watering gastronomic delights, a kiddie fun fair, and great entertainment await everyone at the Makati Block Party, which promises to delight everyone on Sunday, July 3, 2016.

Capitalizing on the distinct Makati vibe and community spirit, the business district’s iconic avenues will be transformed into a culinary street party that will feature some of the most well-loved vendors of the famed Salcedo weekend market, a revered Makati tradition, and benchmark of all weekend markets around the country. Over the years, Salcedo Market has become the melting pot of Makati residents and guests who come over each weekend to relax and come together as a community.

The Makati Block Party recreates this community spirit, and takes it several notches higher with the partial road closure of Paseo de Roxas, a major city thoroughfare, for this culinary street experience.  For one afternoon, the city’s pedestrian-friendly streets will come alive with friendly banter and the street vibe that is distinctly, uniquely Makati’s. With the party happening footsteps away from famous Ayala Avenue landmarks, people can simply walk to take part in the community festivities.

The Makati Block Party promises something for everybody, from 4PM until 10PM, Paseo de Roxas, the stretch between Ayala Avenue to Makati Avenue adjacent to the Ayala Triangle Gardens, will be transformed into a gastronomic festival centered on Salcedo Market, with lots of exciting activities synonymous to Makati’s hip lifestyle. A curated selection of Salcedo Market vendors will be on hand for a culinary street extravaganza as they serve up their signature offerings that people from all over Metro Manila come for every weekend – baked goods, artisanal delights, hometown favorites, and the most luscious concoctions whipped up by homegrown chefs and foodies.

“We aim to create communal spaces where residents and friends can converge, so that we can bring the community closer together. Over the years, the Salcedo Market has served this purpose.  The Makati Block Party builds on this tradition and takes it to the streets, with the hope to get the Makati community to use the streets more for activities and things that they love to do,” said Shiella Aguilar, Project Development Manager of Makati.

Kids who tag along with their parents can look forward to fun-filled activities at Kids on the Block by Hunt & Gather. Let the kids discover their inner artist with art and crown-making sessions, or play to their heart’s content with interactive fun.

For those who are just lounging around, musical performances by Vince Lahorra’s Quartet and Johnoy Danao will keep everyone entertained throughout the evening.  As an added treat, Snoopy and The Lorax will be ready to meet and greet all the kids and young at heart.
Wellness buffs and strained souls can find some relaxation with free yoga sessions at the Ayala Triangle Gardens with a Vinyasa Music Night Class by Urban Ashram Manila.

The Makati Block Party once again showcases Makati as the go-to destination for the best food, entertainment and lifestyle offerings as it imprints a great community vibe. It also captures the city’s efforts to increase walkability in the area by providing activities that encourage people to actively use its streets.

“The Makati Block Party gives residents and visitors something fun and relaxing to do, right in their own community, on a weekend. It’s our way of bringing activities and treats that residents love and enjoy, just a few steps away from where they live. We want people to discover that there’s lots to do and enjoy just by walking and exploring the streets of the city,” said Aguilar.

Participating food vendors are Down to Earth, Uncle George Gourmet, Plaza Ilocandia, Sabor. Bun Appetit, Dela Rosa's Deli, La Cuisine, Real Girl Toy Kitchen, Connie's Kitchen, al halabi, Jiro's Lechon, Delicane, Authentic House of Curry, Mgourmet, Merry Moo, Johanna's House Of Lumpia, All best Organic Juices, Gostoso Piri Piri, THC, Don Churro, Michelle's homemade putong ube atbp.,Grace Pate, Rita's Kitchen, Bersi Gyros Shawarma, Tuna Town seafood place, Stanford Shaw Brew, Cheryl's Cuisine, Antipolo Delicacies, Bats Tilapia, MCV Trading, and Haici Food Services.

Kids On The Block activities by Hunt and Gather include Painting with Learning on the Gogh, Crown Making with Little Luli, Decoupage and Upcycling Activities with La Pomme Home, Free Play and Active Fun by Playworks ECC, and Science, Art and Music with Hedcen.

The Makati Block Party is supported by Alveo, Magnavision, Urban Ashram Manila, Hunt & Gather.

Admission to all Makati Block Party activities is FREE on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED basis. For more information about the city that makes it happen, visit or like and follow Make It Makati on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Monday, May 30, 2016

A glimpse of Richie Cruz’ El Tindero drink

Press release

 The journey of the first Philippine representative in the Bacardi Legacy Global

 Cocktail Competition

Catching up with friends while enjoying a glass of your favorite cocktail has been the usual practice almost everywhere, it made each and every conversation a lot enjoyable. Knowing the story behind each cocktail drink might sound boring but to bartenders like Richie Cruz, the first Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition Philippine representative, it’s something that people should know.

“Creating a cocktail drink is not just about mixing different ingredients with alcohol, you will need to get the right amount of alcohol, spirits and flavor to get that unique taste that you want for your cocktail drink” said Cruz.

Since 2008, bartenders from different parts of the world are gathered together in one mixology competition called Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition (BLCC) – a global competition that challenge bartenders to build their own cocktail legacy by creating and promoting a new generation of refreshing and easily replicable rum cocktails that will endure to become the classics of the future.

The competition deemed as the Oscar’s for bartenders from across the globe. All champions were given the opportunity to a year-long support to further their careers by creating experiences tailored to meet their goals. Bacardi gave them opportunities to travel, work with the industry’s best of the best and serve their very own ‘Legacy’ cocktail at some of the finest bars around the world.

Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition

April 20-25,2016 – The Bacardi Legacy Cocktail competition was held in San Francisco, California. A total of 35 participants from different parts of the world competed head-to-head as they demonstrate their skills in creating unique tasting rum cocktail drinks. One of the participants is our very own kababayan, John Richelieu “Richie” Cruz, the 2015 Barcardi Legacy Cocktail Competition Champion from CafĂ© Enye in Quezon City.

The Starter

Richie Cruz, the man behind the cocktail coined “El Tindero” was a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Administration in UP Diliman. After getting his degree, he worked as a bartender for different bars, hotels and cruise ships, where he developed his skills in mixology.

“Mixing and bartending has always been my passion, I always enjoy creating a different twists to every drink I create because for me, whenever you serve your drink to your customer, you also give yourself to that customer since you created that drink with love and passion” said Cruz.

Cruz also got a career in academe, he is currently a bar trainer in Holland America Line Training Center in Antipolo. Being passionate in his field, he organized different bartending competitions from 2000 to 2006.

“I believe that in our country, we lack playgrounds for bartenders who has love for the craft, we have lots of talented bartenders that are not being recognized because we have a very few competitions wherein they can showcase their talent in bartending or creating their own drink” adds Cruz.

The Legacy of El Tindero

From organizing different bartending competition, Richie took his passion to the next level. He tried joining the first BLCC here in the Philippines with his “El Tindero” drink – a cocktail drink composed of Coconut water, Muscovado, local beer, apple cider vinegar, Angostura aromatic bitters and Bacardi Carta Oro, Cruz and the his cocktail drink luckily got the spot in final round of Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition in the Philippines.

Cruz competed against Manila’s Top-notch bartenders with his signature drink “El Tindero”, in which he considered as the perfect drink to describe Filipinos.

“Every Filipino is like a Salesman or the ultimate Tindero, we are all passionate about our jobs, committed to every task, dedicated to our clients and most of all we value our families, that’s the reason we all sell ourselves to prove that we are good in our chosen field,” says Cruz

March 10, 2016 -- it was Richie’s shining moment, he was proclaimed as the first champion of the BLCC Philippines and he became the first representative of the country in the Global BLCC last April 2016.

Global Competition came and Cruz was very confident that he’s cocktail, El Tindero, has every potential to win. Unfortunately, it was GN Chan of Angel’s Share, New York, who got lucky this year. Chan’s drink, the “Venceremos” is a combination of Bacardi Carta Blanca, coconut liqueur, pineapple juice, cucumber juice, lime juice and a dash of sesame oil, Chan was also mentored by the 2012 Global BLCC Champion Shingo Gokan.

“Competing against 35 different bartenders with different nationalities made me value my craft more, it’s disappointing of course, but it didn’t discourage me to try again. My experience in BLCC made me stronger and more eager to win the global BLCC title next time I compete” concludes Cruz.

Cruz and his El Tindero may not be successful in owning the Global Bacardi Legacy title but he definitely made a legacy to the Philippine Bartending industry and to the Filipinos.

“The El tindero drink was very popular to everyone in the competition, it might not get the judges’ taste palette to win the award, we still think that it’s something that people will like to drink while having fun, we’re very happy to support Richie in his journey to perfecting his cocktail drink and also, looking forward to see him compete again.” Concludes Au Aguilar, Trade Marketing Manager of Bacardi Philippines.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Don't Drive Hungry. Get a Snickers

For the working class Pinoy, we spend most of our daily time in the workplace. Second to that is our homes and third in the roads or the vehicles. Because we are already overcrowded here in the Metro, we cannot avoid the slow, heavy traffic during rush hours.

Most stress are triggered when we lack something in our system. The slow, heavy traffic can drain us dry especially in this hot season. The slow traffic can leave us thirsty or even hungry. That is why Snickers drove a campaign, "Don't Drive Hungry."

Last April 23 at Capitol Commons, Snickers customized 400 temporary licensed plates written Don't Drive Hungry and it will be placed at the rear end. It is a good advice since it may help lessen tempers because people might get hungry along the way.

These are just one of the stressful conditions that we need to attend to. Because going through the slow, heavy traffic is like survival and you a chocolate bar can get rid of hunger for a longer duration of time. It can even do that for days.

Before driving, don't get hungry. Get Snickers. For more foodie posts, follow this blog and like

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cross-Cultural and Authentic Japanese Dining Experience at Sekitori

When I was invited to a food tasting at Sekitori, I was wondering where did I first heard it. Then I recall later that they have a branch in Little Tokyo, Makati. Sekitori is a title for a starting sumo wrestler.

The owner is Seto Masakazu. He used to be a sumo wrestler but he quit because he does not able to continue due to the pressures of the work. Instead, he succeeded in something else. He wanted to be a teacher but he end up operating a Japanese restaurant in the Philippines. Sekitori is located along Pasong Tamo since 2005.

For Seto-san, it was not an easy. It has a series of ups-and-downs before he settles down. You may compare his story to a known biographical TV series. Seto-San arranged that most of his ingredients are from the best of Japan has to offer. This is how authentic Japanese dining Sekitori is.

The difference in this new branch in Ortigas, Sekitori dishes is presented like art while in the original branch is presented like served in a typical Japanese home. The only ingredient that is local is the calamansi. Japan does not the same fruit that the Japanese also like.

Probably the most impressive dish to me was the Gokai Sashimi no Tairyou Funamori or Premium Sashimi displayed on a wooden boat bowl. What makes it impressive for me was the boat is designed as a Japanese fishing boat and was assort beautifully that not only the sense of taste is satisfied but also the sense of sight. The tuna used was the blue finned tuna that is brought fresh from Japan.

The artist and genius behind the Japanese dishes is Chef Kamimoto. For three decades, he already traveled around the world to introduce new dishes which is why he is called the Evangelist of Japanese Cuisine. Chef Kamimoto made these dishes I tasted exclusively for Sekitori in Ortigas only.  The Evangelist travels back and to Manila from Japan to ensure that most his dishes are served in his proper way. The Japanese are also meticulous about details. If you really wanted to be oriented with the proper way to eat Japanese dishes, Sekitori is the best cuisine to go to. Sekitori also serve the imported saki.

I will feature more of Sekitori dishes in my next posts, To get more updates on my Sekitori posts, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. Sekitori's second branch is located in Jollibee bldg. along San Miguel avenue, Ortigas Center. If you see a giant Sumo wrestler behind the glass entrance is your landmark.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Holy Week Suggestions From GStuff

Press release

After your week-long Lenten retreat, hop in the Easter feast as you indulge with three guilt-free food from GStuff – Duck Eggs, Chewy Cashew Oatmeal Cookies, and Coco Natura Coco Jam. The perfect trio for your Lenten Season.        

Deck Your Easter with Duck Eggs! 
Usher your morning with an appetizing and filling breakfast this Easter! Serve yourself and your loved ones with delicious, healthy duck egg dishes.

Fresh from our farm, our duck eggs have more healthy benefits --- six times the Vitamin D and 2 times the Vitamin A compared to the usual chicken eggs. Also, our duck eggs have more Omega 3 fatty acids that further boost the brain cells and can improve a person’s skin complexion.

Cashew Oatmeal Cookies
Indulgently Chewy and carefully baked in pugon for their big and fragile flatness and circular shape to remain perfect, our Cashew Oatmeal Cookies are big! Making each a filling treat without the artificial flavours, no white sugar and no white flour! They only have organic Coco flour, cashew nuts, Himalayan untreated salt, butter and duck eggs as main ingredients. Very tasty and a perfect treat for camping, trekking, picnic and swimming!

Coco Natura Coco Jam
Devoid of artificial flavours, has no preservatives and additives and with low glycemic (low blood sugar), this is a spread to consider this Lent. In lieu of white rice and meat, this Coco Jam can be glazed on your breads and pastries. You can also just spoon it to enjoy without worrying about added weight you dread because it has only the real coco syrup and the fresh coconut milk

Enjoy this healthy trio, Duck Eggs, Oatmeal Cookies and Coco Natura Coco Jam, and satisfy your cravings for real food goodness this coming Easter!

G Stuff Healthy Store at Alabang Town Center, Rockwell Poweplant Mall and Trinoma has all your needs for a healthy Lent. Visit our website at, like us on Facebook at and Instagram at @gstuffph.  Call 09175864530, 5005623, 5005587, 5005604, 4161828 for your orders.