Monday, December 4, 2017

Spread Smiles this Holiday Season

Press release

Smile Train Ambassador, Danica Sotto-Pingris, shares holiday recipes with supporters during culinary fundraiser

MANILA – With lanterns of different shapes and sizes beginning to light up the streets of Manila, and Christmas carols starting to play, one could say that the Yuletide season is just around the corner. While the upcoming holiday is usually associated by breaks in both school and at work, it is also known as the season for festive dining and giving.

In celebration of the season of giving, Smile Train Philippines took the opportunity to marry the joy of feasting with the spirit of giving as the world’s leading cleft charity hosted a culinary class with their Ambassador, Danica Sotto-Pingris.

Dubbed “Spread Smiles This Holiday”, the afternoon cooking affair sought to teach the participants fun and exciting dishes they could easily prepare for their different reunions with their loved ones. Proceeds from the class will benefit Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines. Apart from the monetary donation, participants were able to interact with some of Smile Train’s former cleft patients, as they learned more about the organization and its vision.

“We know that the holidays are all about giving and enjoying good food with friends and family. And we thought what better way to bring people together other than a cooking class. We were so honored to have one of our celebrity ambassadors, Danica Sotto-Pingris lead the culinary class. In doing so, we were able to raise funds and awareness for Smile Train and children living with untreated clefts,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Country Director for Smile Train Philippines. She adds, “This was a remarkable event where participants could share the dishes they learned how to make and live out the spirit of giving.”

Sotto-Pingris hosted the culinary class and taught participants how to make four full dishes: mixed greens with candied walnuts, tortilla crisps with avocado mango salsa, chicken parmigiana, and chocolate peppermint panna cotta.

The class took place at Back of the House in Xavierville Avenue, Quezon City and was sponsored by Glad. This project is a part of Glad’s corporate social responsibility program, Glad-To-Give. Now on its second year, Glad-To-Give Smiles aims to raise awareness about Smile Train and generate support for its programs in the country. 

To learn more about Smile Train, please follow them on Facebook (, and on Instagram @SmileTrainPH (


About Smile Train
Smile Train provides free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in developing countries. Through training local doctors and empowering partner hospitals around the world, we advance a sustainable solution and scalable model to treat clefts, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, and speak over time. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit For more information about Smile Train’s work in the Philippines, please contact

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Go loco over Coco Strips and Coco Ube

Press release

Manila, Philippines – Young, adventurous individuals want more than just a drink that can keep them hydrated. What they want is a tasty yet healthy refreshment that can quench their thirst and give them energy for the day.

And when it comes to keeping the body properly hydrated, buko juice has been a classic favorite for being a natural source of electrolytes. Thanks to Buko Loco of the Fruitas Group of Companies for making buko juice available in a bottle to suit the lifestyle of on-the-go young professionals or yuppies.

Now, Buko Loco is diversifying its famous bottled buko juice with a twist by introducing new flavors of coconut goodness, which are tasty, healthy and exciting. The Coco Strips and Coco Ube offer new buko juice experiences to meet the varied preferences of the Filipino youth.

“At Buko Loco, we recognize that active and on-the-go yuppies do not settle for only one taste. They are adventurous with their choices and in need of diversity just like how they venture into a variety of outdoor activities. We want to complement this with a wider selection of flavors,” says Peter Carrillo, Marketing Manager of Fruitas Group of Companies.

The first new offering is the Coco Strips, which adds fresh buko meat strips to the classic Buko Loco juice, making it tastier and even healthier. As the coconut water keeps the body hydrated and help nerves function well, the coconut meat helps restore oxidative tissue damage and is a great source of healthy fats, proteins and various vitamins and minerals.

Meanwhile, Coco Ube makes flavored buko juices more appealing to those craving for a more adventurous local taste with its ube twist. The fresh and pure coconut juice is infused with creamy ube flavor, with nata crystals added to make the drink more enjoyable. It's not only tasty; it’s also good for the body as ube has antibacterial properties and is known to be a good source of carbohydrates. This drink can give adventurous souls more energy to keep them active throughout the day.

“Buko Loco does not shy away from introducing twists to our buko juices. As the leading fresh buko juice player in the industry, we have introduced other flavor combinations such as Coco Milko with Nata Crystals, and Coco Pandan with Green Jello. With the addition of Coco Strips and Coco Ube, we are further diversifying our selection to further suit our products to the lifestyle of young Filipinos,” says Carrillo.

Buko Loco’s Coco Strips is available in 330mL for only P 45.00 and in 500mL for P 55.00, while you can get Coco Ube in 330mL for only P49.00 and the 500mL for P 59.00. You can enjoy the coconut goodness of these new variants in all Buko Loco branches nationwide.

The launch of Buko Loco’s Coco Strips and Coco Ube is made possible by the Fruitas Group of Companies, a leader in the food cart industry in the Philippines known for delivering fresh beverages, sweet fruit desserts and tasty snacks.  For more updates on Buko Loco, you may follow them on Facebook (

For more information, you may visit:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Celebrate National Lemonade Day with Johnn Lemon

Press release

Take part by enjoying an all-day free upsize on best-selling flavors

MANILA, Philippines – What does one do when life gives him lemons? For some, it would be to serve themselves lemonades to quench their thirst. There are others, however, who would see the opportunity to put up lemonade stands to profit, and serve the community. This widespread practice has been going on for over a century, and has gained recognition through an annual celebration in the USA—the “National Lemonade Day”.

Founded in Houston Texas in 2007, National Lemonade Day was established as an opportunity to instill the entrepreneurial spirit among children through encouraging them to get a hand into setting up their own community lemonade stands. While not everybody has a knack to run a business, it doesn’t prevent people from taking part in the annual celebration.

This coming August 20, 2017, Johnn Lemon by Fruitas Group of Companies, the country’s well-loved lemonade stand, will herald the Philippines’ first National Lemonade Day as the brand will be offering an all-day, thirst-quenching promotion across all of its stands across the country. A free upsize will be served, on the brand’s best-selling flavors: pure lemonade, lemon + kalamansi and lemon + ginger. For the same price of P49.00, consumers will be able to have an option to get more value for their buck, as they enjoy the free upsize for that day only.

Johnn Lemon, established just in 2016, has been serving thousands of Filipinos with lemonade made fresh with all-natural ingredients. The country’s fastest-growing lemon juice bar offers a new twist on the traditional lemonade by incorporating ingredients such as ginger and kalamansi, and for more experimental flavors with green tea, cola and watermelon.

“As the leading lemonade brand in the country, we wish to make a tradition of celebrating National Lemonade Day in the Philippines. Offering this promotion is our way of rewarding our loyal customers, and at the same time, encourage more people to give our different flavors a try,” says Peter Carrillo, Marketing Manager of Fruitas Group of Companies.

The National Lemonade Day is first to be celebrated by Johnn Lemon in the Philippines. Customers interested to avail of the promotion could go to all Johnn Lemon outlets, namely: Alabang Town Center, Fairview Center Mall, Fairview Terraces, Fishermall, House of Fruitas (Cordillera St., Quezon City), Isetann Recto, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Marquee Mall, Robinsons Balagtas Supermarket, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Iligan, Robinsons Jaro Iloilo, Robinsons Pioneer, Robinsons Town Mall Malabon, Rustan’s Makati, SM CDO Downtown Premier, SM City Bacolod, SM City Baguio, SM City Calamba, SM City Dasmariñas, SM City Lucena, SM City Manila, SM City Naga, SM City North EDSA, SM City San Lazaro, SM City San Pablo, SM City Sucat Bridgeway, SM City Tarlac Terminal, SM Hypermarket Pasig, SM Megamall, SM MOA by the Bay, Tower One and Exchange Plaza, Timesquare Chinese General Hospital, Trinoma Foodchoices, Trinoma Terminal, Tutuban Center Mall.

To get more updates on National Lemonade Day celebration of Johnn Lemon, follow the brand on Facebook ( and Instagram (

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Press release

MANILA, PH --- Still can’t get over the recent blockbuster superhero flicks or already missing your favorite series on VOD? Call up your friends and loved ones because this calls for binge watching! Fluff your pillows, turn on the AC and prepare blankets and tissues. Bring out the stacks of awesome movies and TV series that will have everyone laughing, crying, or leaving them in shock and get your phones ready to snap, post and share every fun moment.

But wait a minute, you must never forget the highlight of your screentime - the SNACKS! Not satisfied with a simple batch of buttered popcorn? Open up a bag of fun with M&M’S®, the perfect screentime graze-snack companion!

M&M’S® is once again bringing you spontaneous fun through the M&M’S® Screenbite Awards! Share your screentime moments, fun time with M&M’S® and get a chance to win a trip for two (2) to Universal Studios Japan, a lot of M&M’S® chocolates, movie tickets or exclusive M&M’S® merchandise!

All you need to do is to visit the Screenbite Awards website Take a photo or video of you and your friends’ reactions while watching a TV series, movie, or any video on any screen (e.g. TV, Mobile, Laptop) and snacking on M&M’S®.

There are three categories you can choose from. M&M’S® Red, the leader of the gang, strong-willed, fierce and daring represents all the ACTION. One of Red’s mottos is, “Never underestimate the power of chocolate and M&M’S®!”  

M&M’S® Yellow, the friendliest and funniest of them all, loves Comedy and enjoys seeing his friends laughing like crazy. Yellow says, “Life is better when you’re laughing…and eating M&M’S®!”  And finally, it’s no surprise that the beautiful and passionate M&M’S® Green, represents ROMANCE. This confident gal also has an emotional side that can get teary-eyed while watching a good love story. Ms. Green affirms, “All you need is love. But a little M&M’S® now and then won’t hurt!”

The biggest treat is for the lucky grand winner who will win a trip for two (2) to Universal Studios Japan. “No guts no glory! Let’s get this show on the road!”, says Red.

Be sure to capture your or your group’s reaction while watching videos and consuming M&M’S® – after all, sharing the screentime experience makes it even more fun. Multiple entries are allowed so keep on posting to get more chances of winning! Promo will run for 7 weeks starting on August 1, 2017 at 12:00AM until September 21, 2017 at 11:59 AM. For full contest details, visit

So what are you waiting for? Sit down, watch, enjoy M&M’S® and join the M&M’S® Screenbite Awards 2017 because screentime is now more fun with M&M’S®!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Streetfood Day For A Cause

World Vision is not just about sponsoring a child’s education. Student recipients also need their basic school kits to be educated. Most of the students recipients can’t afford to buy for the needs of their schooling requirements because of their economic status.

This is where you come in. On May 25, Makasuntra, a food establishment in SM Megamall, will be having a great deal from 10AM to 1PM. If you buy lunch deal worth P199 and donate any amount for World Vision, you get a free meal. Yes, you read right, a free meal.

There are many employees within the Ortigas commercial district which in not far from Megamall. All you need to do is to encourage your colleagues to have this lunch one time.

With this cause, World Vision targets to raise P20,000 for every 30 students this coming school year. For more food updates, follow this blog and like Walang Hiyaan Ang Takaw (W.H.A.T.) Food Blog on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Press release


April 6-8, 2017 was a busy day for all foodies and food entrepreneur as Madrid Fusion 2017 took place at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.  The whole place was like a hive, buzzing with activities and people.

Part of the Region 10 contingent was the product from Clarin, Misamis Occidental – the various sticky rice cakes or suman ng Clarin.  Nearly all 17 flavors were displayed for tasting and sold in the 3-day event.  ASEC Fredrick Alegre, along with some visitors, was wowed with the number of flavors that Clarin was able to showcase during Madrid Fusion, knowing that this is the first time that the said municipality has joined in this kind of event.  The flavors of Clarin’s suman were as follow:

  • Mango – sticky rice with ripe mango slices, cooked in coconut milk and sugar.
  • Pinya – sticky rice with ripe pineapple slices, cooked in coconut milk and sugar.
  • Durian – sticky rice with durian slivers, cooked in coconut milk and sugar.  The durian’s strong scent is not present, making this a delightful way of enjoying the fruit.
  • Tsokalate – sticky rice with tablea made into a spread, cooked with coconut milk and sugar; making this rich in local flavors.
  • Tsokolate with Mani – similar to tsokolate with added with peanut flavor coming from processed peanut spread.  Also cooked in coconut milk and sugar.
  • Moron – a classic suman in the Visayan region. 
  • Balintawak – created in honor of a place where it was made, this sticky rice goodness is with coconut meat made sweet by cooked coconut milk/oil (latik).
  • Classic – this is your standard sticky rice, wrapped in leaves and cooked using coconut milk and sugar.
  • Carrot – with shredded carrots made into a slightly sweet paste, this is mixed into the sticky rice and then wrapped in leaves before being cooked in coconut milk and sugar.
  • Ube – another root crop common in the area, the purple yam is made into a semi-sweet paste that is mixed with the sticky rice before being wrapped in leaves.  Cooked with coconut milk and sugar.
  • Keso/Queso – slices of cheese are added into the sticky rice mix and then cooked with coconut milk and sugar.  The cheese melts into the sticky rice making it more creamier in each bite.
  • Choco Moron – the classic suman of the Visayas region with chocolate jame added into it.  Cooked in coconut milk and sugar mixture.
  • Buko –  sticky rice with strings of young coconut meat added into the mixture.  It is also cooked with coconut milk and sugar, making it slightly sweet and delicate.
  • Peanut – this is your locally processed peanuts, finely grounded and made into a near paste in texture then added into the sticky rice mixture before being wrapped in fresh banana leaves.  Cooked with coconut milk and sugar, this suman creation is both delicate and with a crunch.
  • Latik -  the sweetened form of the coconut milk, cooked till dark in color and then added into the sticky rice mixture before being cooked in coconut milk and sugar.
  • Adlai – two types of rice mixture was used in this suman.  One is your standard sticky rice and another is one that is high in fiber.  This suman creation can be considered  healthy because of the high fiber content that helps in the digestion of food.
  • Langka/Nangka – slivers of ripe langka (visayan: nangka), is place into the sticky rice and then wrapped in fresh banana leaves before being cook in their standard coconut milk-sugar mixture. 

People can’t have enough of this sticky rice mixture that some even came back to buy more of it.  They can’t believe that you can have that many variations of sticky rice creations and still be delicious and true to the nature of suman.   Such were the feedback given especially during the 3rd-day Regional Lunch, which was attended by all the delegates present in the event.

As of the moment, this sticky rice cake creation can be bought in the House of Suman in Clarin, Misamis Occidental.  For further inquiries regarding the product, you can reach the PR/Social Media team of TBDC thru 09778400606 (Kezia Noblia – Account Director).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Wild Juan's Chef Thomas Murillo

Press Release

April is a busy month for a good number of people in the food service industry as Madrid Fusion 2017 takes place.  From April 6 – 8, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, people from near and far places come together to share their passion for food.  Part of the delegation representing Calabarzon is the chef behind the placed tagged as “definitely not your ordinary food find among the rising places at Tagaytay Ridge”; this is Chef Thomas Murillo of Wild Juan.

His love for food started young and he took his first step towards it during his sophomore year as a Consular and Diplomatic Affairs student at the College of Saint Benilde.  He decided to take commercial cooking and culinary arts at First Gourmet Academy and had his apprenticeship at 2nds after.  This lead him further by becoming one of the pioneering member behind Paprika PH and years later his own restaurant at a family-owned place at Tagaytay Ridge.  Wild Juan is born.

Wild Juan bears the concept of East meets West and is delivered with the hospitality of Filipinos in the Southern part of Luzon.   His food creations are something that we are all familiar with but are delivered with a twist and flair.  Perfect sample are the Sisig Paksiw, Krispy Kasoy Kare-Kare (KKK) and Gumbulalo.  Three common dishes but comes with a new level of flavor and goodness due to techniques and passion.

Learning never ends for Chef Thomas as he earns his NCII Commercial Cooking and ServSafe:  Food Safety & Sanitation certificates.  He pushes himself to be the best and at par to the world, thus making his quality for food high and passion much higher.  He doesn’t stop there as he then shares his knowledge and passion this coming Madrid Fusion 2017 to foreign delegates and proudly represent Calabarzon.

Chef Thomas Murillo, stays humble yet proud of his craft thus from love of food it now is a burning passion.  Come at the biggest food event this season at the SMX in Pasay or visit Wild Juan located at KM 68 Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway and experience the comfort and passion that he shares at every plate served.

The Wild Juan is located at KM 68 Pinesville, Tagaytay- Nasugbu(National) Highway, Tagaytay City, 4120, Philippines

For Inquiries/reservation: +63 9154324196    +63 9178404211

Monday, April 17, 2017


Press release

By: Arnold A. Alesna

Madrid Fusion 2017, the biggest food event of the year, went into a spin as Region 10 brought in the best of the province in a variety of kakanin.  With Regional Director Marie Elaine S. Unchuan of the Department of Tourism (DOT) leading the way, Region 10 aimed to win the heart and stomach of all attendees of the event, local and foreigner alike.

With this year’s delivery of the best delicacies from the region, RD Unchuan aimed to let people knew that there is truly more than what is known about Region 10.  From point to point of the region, the whole Region 10 DOT was ready to wow those in the event with what they were presenting in the 3-days event.  From Bukidnon to Misamis Occidental, a good selection of delicacies was presented as part of the gastronomic wonder of the region.  The delegations are as follow:  RD Marie Elaine S. Unchuan - DOT10, Josephine H. Roque – DOT 10 Focal Person, Leonila S. Arguelles – Kitchen Focal Person, Chef Benzar Aradani , Camille Ambalario – Chef’s Assistant , Nelia B. Lee (Food Sponsor), Agnes Garcia Sue (Food Sponsor – Clarin, Misamis Occidental), Mayor Clive Quino and Mrs. Rina Quino (Food Sponsor -Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon) with other DOT 10 personnel.  

People were won over by the delicious suman from Clarin, Misamis Occidental, the crunchy peanut brittle, the delicate pastel by Vjandep from Camiguin, that grated young corn delicacy called binaki  and chicharon from CDO, the peanut goodness of Cheding’s from Iligan City and the sweet pineapples of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.  Paired off with it were the various coffee goodness of the region.  Not only are delicacies featured but also the Humba de Oro and Ostrich Salpicao; two dishes displayed during the regional lunch last April 8 under the careful hands of Chef Benzar Aradani.

A good number of gastronomic wonders are to be expected and seen at this year’s Madrid Fusion.  Region 10 was all set to give and serve their own tongue-wonder creations and win the hearts of people to come and explore and taste what they have to offer as a region, as a province and as Mindanao.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Bar Crawl in the Afternoon

After seeing the Liquido Maestro in action during the Dine Philippines in Ozamiz, I got to join the Liquid Chef Kalel Demetrio in a bar hop. The aim of this “Bar Crawl” is to see Chef Kalel do his mixes again just like what he did in Ozamiz. We used the term crawl because we are going to try cocktail mixes Kalel is going to make and we might not walk upright afterwards.
The Querida
I arrived at the Big Bad Wolf to try out the first mix. Chef Kalel introduced a new way to appreciate Basi. Basi is a strong ginger drink which is popular in the provinces. It was customary in the province that in order to be a real man, you must drink basi.

Chef Kalel gave each of us a shot of Basi Spritz. Since basi is a strong ginger drink, you can still feel how hot the drink is when it goes down the throat. But it can be also be refreshing because it is also topped with orange and cucumber.

Our next stop is Gorda’s.  It has a Latin American touch and I was given a shot of Horchatta Morena which is now one of my favorites. Despite the Old Captain Rum taste, it was delicious and refreshing and it’s really delicious. I find it also creamy as it also affects other senses as well since it is also aromatic.
El Ecuador de Margarita

After the Horchatta Morena, I am now introduced to the El Ecuador de Margarita. It is quite unique since it uses a half watermelon.  It is intended to be shared by using straws which is also fun to drink and it is very refreshing not only because of the watermelon but also with lots of ice.

Our next stop is the organic café Green Pastures. This is where Chef Kalel was last employed before he became a consultant. He recalls that he scouts farms to make sure they are using organic method in their products. This discipline stayed with Chef Kalel as he scouts ingredients for mixes. In Green Pastures, Chef Kalel created an original drink Gayuma which is a Tagalog term for love potion. Although it won’t make the drinker bewitched, don’t be fooled with the presentation because it has lambanog or coconut wine which is another strong drink in the province. I am glad I am not tipsy yet.
Torching the cinammon bark

In our last stop, we went to 2020/XXXX which is my new favorite bar establishment. The bar’s atmosphere followed its pattern to the days of Penguin Café where journalists, writers and theater actors used to hang out. The place also showcased artwork which is also for sale to support the artists. 2020 promotes locally produced drinks like the Barik lambanog which Chef Kalel also developed.

After having a shot of Barik on the rocks, we ended the night with another creation of Chef Kalel: The Querida. In Spain, the term querida is referred to the one you love, but in this country; it diverted and became synonymous to extramarital affair.

Chef Kalel uses named it querida for its original meaning. The love of a querida is also sexy and in drinking lambanog can also be sexy because it is the base alcohol of the mix. After Chef Kalel is finishing the mixes with the presentation, he torched the basil leaf on top. The drink is indeed sexy and it also compliments with the pomelo.

I am glad I am still on my feet after these drinks because I am on my way to watch a movie afterwards.  Catch the Liquido Maestro does his magic with his cocktail drinks at Madrid Fusion this Saturday the April 8th at SMX Convention Center in Mall Of Asia Complex. Most of the alcohol content and mixes used by Chef Kalel are from Distillera and Locally not because he is their brand endorser but this is part of Chef Kalel's advocacy to support locally produced products by our own farmers.

For more gastronomic and gulping adventures, follow this blog and like W.H.A.T. food blogs on Facebook.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Orman Bag-ao will "RAIN OR SHINE" Berlin for the international Bacardi Legacy

Although I have a favorite among the five Bacardi Legacy entries, it’s hard for me to distinguish who we will send for the international leg of the competition. All five mixers have their own style and unique flair to make it for Berlin, Germany in May.

I have to agree with the Liquido Maestro Kalel Demetrio when he told me that each one is capable and ready in case one of them got chosen and he meant it not because they are his friends but because he is an expert mixer himself.

My favorite Bacardi Legacy entry during the bar tour is Rain Or Shine by Orman Bag-ao. A native of Davao, he applied fruit ingredients and flavors to his mix which I find refreshing. Just before the program, I got to meet Richie Cruz, the first Philippine bet for the international Bacardi Legacy. I asked him what he expects from the finalists when one of them won. He said, he already told them his experiences and gave tips. They already know what to do and they are prepared whoever wins.
The five Bacardi Legacy mixers
Once again, the five finalists, namely Alliuss Abrazado, Larry Guevarra, Orman Bag-ao, Kenneth Bandivas and Ralph Allen Santos once again prepared their entries and this time, in front of the judges. These mixers are not only the best, they are also representing the best bar establishment the country has to offer and each have their own support group from their bar patrons. I happen to sit with Alliuss’ group and we had good conversations about the event.

I was glad when finally Orman Bag-ao was selected for to be sent to Berlin on May 17 to 24. After being proclaimed, I saw Richie Cruz and Orman are having a short talk. Cheers to Orman and I will surely have a toast for his success with a Cuba Libre on May the 24th.

For more bar hopping adventures, follow this blog and like Walang-Hiyaan-Ang-Takaw-Facebook Page.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dine Philippines in Ozamiz coverage

Whenever we travel to other parts of the country or the world, the sights are not the only sense that matters in a tourist experience. There is also taste. Part of being a tourist is to experience food that is not common in one location because it also represents a heritage.

Whenever we go to different regions, we usually associate the food with the province. For example, it is common knowledge that dishes in the Bicol Region are mostly spicy. I went to Ozamiz City to attend Dine Philippines. It’s a food and beverage fair and most of the attendees are students who are taking up Hotel and Restaurant Management in college.

Since I am blogging about food, I also find it as a refresher course since I also want to hear the insights in the food industry.  The venue, The Promenade, also provides catering by Johann's Cuisine for the event.

Most of the time, what you studied in college may not be enough because the subjects we took does not show us the current situation in the work place. That is why learning is an ongoing process. Experience is the best source of learning and these students are fortunate that they are able to be given a glimpse of the working class.

One of the insights of I got are from resource speaker Mr. Adolf Aran, Jr. about situation of restaurant business in the Philippines. There are comparisons of lifestyle from the past to present. Because of the BPO industry boost in the country, the customer service representatives are in a time-shift event though they are still here in the Philippines because most of their inquiries are from another time zone. Their meal times are now different and when their shift ends which is usually in the morning, it is the only time they can enjoy drinking. One question was raised. Do we have food establishments that can cater to this need?
Chef Jam Melchor with volunteers.

Ozamiz City will soon have a BPO company but there are no convenience stores yet because the city is still living a provincial life. I was told the cinemas here close early compared to Manila. I love the transitions of the topics in the plenary sessions. One of the resource persons is a consultant Jai Ferrer. He specializes in farming and encourages going organic.

I got to talk to one of the attendees present during the first day. Misamis University student Roian Puckering enjoyed the topics and looks forward to learn from Liquido Maestro Kalel Demetrio because he wants to follow the example of his father who does different coffee drinks.
Liquido Maestro Kalel gives instructions for the AweZamiz mix

Speaking of the Liquido Maestro, Mr. Kalel Demetrio got the audience impressed when he created drinks using local ingredients in Ozamiz as if he was performing magic with his cocktail mixes and gave the liberty to the students to name the original drink. Chef Kalel encourages everyone to maximize the ingredients of what the province or city has to offer and experiment. This will also help promote local products that our own farmers produced. Chef Kalel himself is an advocate of locally produced ingredients and uses it in his endorsements in Distileria like the Barik lambanog he used.

But the best part of the event besides the insights from the resource persons is the food of course. Why would there not be Dine Philippines without the food.  I got to try out the food catered and provided by Johann’s Event Place which is the first events place in Ozamiz City.
Dragonfruit ice cream

On the first day, I got to try their Dragon fruit ice cream which is homemade originally at Johann’s. At the trade area outside the plenary, there are different food stalls that got me craving. I got to try out the suman from Klarin. What makes these Suman unique it has different flavors. There is also one booth the offers ube turon. It is smaller than the regular banana turon but quite heavy even though it is bite size.

The chefs have substance in their topics and they have rock-star status because they are entertaining and good with their craft. I cannot blame the attendees if they ask them for selfies. The plenary topics is also participatory. Chef Jam Melchor and the Liquid Chef Kalel Demetrio even ask some volunteers to help them. At the end of Dine Philippines, I asked another student from Misamis University, Donna Kris Eltagon what she taught about event. She told me she learned a lot from this event and she looks forward to attend Dine Philippines again for new insights.
AweZaMiz: an original drink created by the Liquido Maestro during Dine Philippines.

Ozamiz City has many unique food trips but there are more gastronomic adventures in Misamis Occidental which I will continue in my next posts.  Follow this blog and like W.H.A.T. Food Blogs on Facebook for more indulging food trips.
With Donna Eltagon whom I interviewed and the rest of the students of Misamis University who attended Dine Philippines.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Hunt for the Next Bacardi Legacy

I’ve been to bars but I never tried bar hopping till now. I am going to five bars to try out five Bacardi Legacy cocktail drinks from five finalists. I got to attend last year’s finals night but this is the first time I got to talk to the creators of the new original cocktail drinks.
Alliuss Abrazado prepares his "Rosa de Ron"

Bacardi Legacy is a yearly event where the competing mixer creates a drink and a story to back it up. Here’s a trivia. Did you know that the cocktail drink popularly known as the Rum and Coke is a Bacardi Legacy cocktail drink called Cuba Libre? During the time of the Spanish-American War, when the American forces were stationed in Cuba, a Captain Russell ordered Bacardi Gold rum and Coke on ice with a lemon wedge and found the taste pleasurable. It was an instant hit that it became their drink for camaraderie with the Cuban revolutionaries and they toasted “Cuba Libre!” (Free Cuba!) this ignited their thirst for victory and independence.
Larry Guevarra and his "La Mision"
My first stop was Bar Mathilde for Larry Guevarra of Alley for his creation, La Mision. Larry has an interesting story that I can totally relate. Like me, Larry also came from the seminary but didn’t finish it which is why he named the drink La Mision. Yes, priests do drink alcohol. The one they drink in the Communion is real wine. Larry used Bacardi 8 because it looks like infinity which represents the Divine.
Orman Bag-ao's "Rain Or Shine"
The cocktail entry that I really fancied was Rain Or Shine by Orman Bag-ao of Long Bar. I find it refreshing with carrots with it instead of lemon. Orman explained that this unique drink draws his inspiration from his native Davao.
Kenneth Bandivas's Sonreir
The other drinks that was also represented was Sonreir by Kevin Bandivas (Prisma), Rosa de Ron by Alliuss Abrazado (Buddha Bar), and Nos Unimos by Ralph Allen Santos of Bitters. The purpose of this bar tour is to showcase the cocktail drink entries and get feedback from the bar patrons and post online their favorite Bacardi Legacy drink.

 The five cocktail mixers will be gathered in Twelve Monkeys in Makati on March 16 as they will be judged who will be sent to the international leg of Bacardi Legacy will be on May in Berlin, Germany just like last year when Richie Cruz was sent abroad last year for his creation El Tindero. This is the second time the Philippines is sending a representative but most of the entries from different countries are represented by Filipino cocktail mixers.

Besides Mathilde, we also went to The Curator, Penthouse, 8747, OTO Bar and Exit Bar. I am glad I am still walking straight after having eight shots of Bacardi Legacy cocktail entries at five bars. For post event updates, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.
Nos Unimos by Ralph Allen Santos.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Dine Philippines is a seminar series organized by Courage Asia that brings together the expert advice, trending concepts, and inspiring ideas that promote a healthier business atmosphere for the food industry. Set in key provincial venues, it is the largest gathering of its kind, reaching an audience of close to 10,000 stakeholders by each year.

The current foot traffic and tourism initiative of Ozamiz City is a key player in mapping the event in Northern Mindanao, specifically in Ozamiz. The culinary flavors of Ozamiz has already been featured in national TV and magazine making more people in the food industry more curious about what the city can offer to the business atmosphere. That makes Ozamiz City ready for Dine Philippines.

Johann’s Cuisine 3.0 The Promenade located in Barangay Lam-An Hi-way is a proud host of the first and ever Dine Ozamiz from March 2-3, 2017 and you are invited to support a strong educational component with several seminars, cooking expedition and networking dinner. This 2 day celebration will feature a travel fair, hotel and restaurants, a job fair and a launch of the ultimate food fair, The OZAMIZLICIOUS.

Trade Fair
Food Fair

When it comes to a packed lunch, the bento box is one of the most entertaining ways to send kids off to school. It may seems like  it’s all kinds of crazy to spend so much time on a lunch, but as you can see from the following photos, the result is a work of art! At Dine Ozamiz, we will invite different stakeholders to create their own lunchbox masterpiece using San Miguel – Purefoods products & it’ll be super fun!

Open to all culinary and or HRM students

Open to all Moms

·         With a minimum purchase of 500 worth of receipt from any  San Miguel- Purefoods products, anyone can be a contestant
·         Members can be only up to 3
·         Dine Ozamiz will provide ingredients as well as additional tools that can be used for doing the decorations
  • Theme: Let your imagination fly :). Can be anything really, it doesn't have to be Japanese either, rational, modern or whatever kind of style is fine as long as it's a meal in a box/container.

§  Food Balance: We'll not only look at how cute or pretty your bento is, but also if your bento is well balanced. Let's say, a bit of carb, meat, veggies, fruit, etc. instead of just rice with a cute nori face.
§  Colour Balance: People would be more attracted to your bento (including us, judges) if your bento doesn't look too dull.
§  Creativity: Impress us with your creativity

§  Trade Fair
§  Food Fair

CHEF SHOWDOWN – using local ingredients
-          Chef Bruce Lim
-          Chef Dino Datu
-          Chef Datu Pendatun
-          Chef Jam Melchor
-          Johann Dagandara

§  Trade Fair
§  Food Fair
§  Business to business
§  The Promenade Open House

§  Chef’s consultation