Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Larry & Mau Dinner: Reinventing the fast-food style of dinning

Mr. Larry Cortez and Chef Mauro Arjona Jr., noted for their fine dining continental cuisine being served in their a much familiar restaurant brands such as Uncle Cheffy, Old Vine Grille, Chef’s Quarter Restaurant and Wine Bar, Kuse Traditional Filipino Cuisine and Beurre Blanc French-Mediterranean Restaurant have cooked up something easy and yet quite exceptional.

Exceptional, because for the first time Mr. Larry Cortez and Chef Mauro Arjona have finally put up a restaurant which after their names. LARRY & MAU Dinner, is simply different from the Full-service fine dining chain of restos they have put up before. They have adapted the fast food style of dinning where one can get their orders straight from the counter.

Fast food as it may seem, Larry & Mau Dinner offers more than just hamburgers and chickens. They brought in the same quality food that you see in the chain of resto brands like Uncle Chefy and others but in more affordable rates – fast food rates that is.

To name some of their regular favorites are the Pork Afritada pegged at P89 per serving, Buffalo Wings at P130 and of course, the dish that every Larry & Mau’s first timers shouldn’t miss ordering, the Boiled Bacon in cabbage and potatoes (Linagang Bacon) which is Larry’s personal favorite and mine as well, a dish that is something to look forward to.

For the Chefs’ Quarter regulars, they can still get the greens and salads, Beef, pork and Fish Paillard with special dressing. They also have more than one type of Spaghetti, Creamy Carbonara, All Meat Pomodoro and Sea food Marinara.

Another iconic dish that would make a mark in Larry & Mau Dinner is the 1lb burger patty, Supper Burger. With a bun that is almost 10 inches in diameter, this burger is a one big hit for those who wanted “big”, most especially children. The super burger will certainly beat the champions and quarter-pounder sizes of other popular fast foods. This dinning plate size burger is pegged at P395 and can be shared by three to four people.

On top of the regular soda drinks, they also serve alcoholic beverages such as beer, light cocktail mixes like screwdriver, mojito, L&M Sunrise, Sangria and Margarita. And to cap the night off, Larry & Mau covers hot drinks such as Brewed Coffee, Cappuccino, Café Late and Espresso.

Larry & Mau Dinner are located at Two e-Com Center, Mall of Asia Complex and another one is in Eton Centris which a franchise branch. These two branches are open 24 hours a day.

HP Printers: Innovations for the Changing times

20 years ago, GSM cellular phones was said to be the future of telecommunications. Ten years ago, the revolutionary breakthrough of internet technology was the wave of the future, and recently, cloud technology is revered to be as the new cutting edge. In the next 10 or 20 years, we can never really predict what man can accomplish.

In all of these innovations, it seems that more and more are veering away to paper-less out puts. Apparently, as much as lessening the paper as finish print out-put would be more beneficial to the environment, there are still some instances where there is still a need for printing collateral, but there hasn’t been any significant improvement in the printing technology that would increase its output efficiency.

Hewlett-Packard, HP the biggest technology company in the world and leader in home printing industry have finally came up with an innovation that revolutionizes remote printing. HP offers first to the market the wireless direct printing that does not require network and other features that boosts productivity. The HP link advantage is a convenient cost-effective tool to people’s printing requirement.

Last July 13, 2012, HP Philippines launched the new line of Deskjet Ink Advantage to the public which was unveiled to some members of the media at the activity center of SM North Edsa Annex, through a creative amazing race-like activity where each participant got to appreciate the cutting edge technology of HP through games.

Media bloggers were grouped by pairs and was given tasks that require each pair to accomplish it by using mobile smart phones as devices to print assignment outputs. The first teams to finish the task win prizes courtesy of HP and SM. My wife Ruth of mommywrites.blogspot.com and I team up together because she has a better smart phone compared to the one I’m using.

As all of the team go through the tasks, we were amazed on how these HP printers can produce printed out put with just the power of smart phone. Now you can print documents, photos remotely and it doesn’t need a network to do it. As we about to finish the activities, Ruth and I were so confident that we can win the game. However, at the last assignment, another team of bloggers over-took us and grabbed the first place and that made us land on the second place instead. 

Second place wasn’t so bad after all because we got to have prizes as well. And no, it wasn’t one of the printers, sad to say but at least we get to try them first hand and we can certainly vouch for its superb technology. Surprisingly, these new HP printers were not as pricy as we thought it would be. The HP Ink Advantage 4615 All-in-one Printer for instance is pegged at P6,000+ only! A very affordable printer indeed. 

Note: Some photos courtesy of Orange Magazine TV

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sun Life Financial: Experience SUN-Shorts

Sun Life Philippines, a member of Sun Life Financial group of Companies have yet set another innovation in inspiring hope to the lives of Filipino households by bringing indigenous short-films that depicts a much brighter side of adversities of life and how simple individuals can overcome them despite overwhelming challenges.

In order for this project to be monumental, Sun Life gathered some of the country’s best directors and high caliber film makers to create a seven-minute film that carries a high impact and deeply moving stories about people and life itself. Last July 5, 2012, Sun Life finally organized a media launch of the SUN-Short project at the Annabelle Restaurant where the acclaimed directors and some casts of the films was there. Among present were Mr. Jun Reyes, a well noted producer who gave us Last Journey of Ninoy and Crying ladies, have concocted of a vintage story of war entitled “1945”.

Mr. Jolly Feliciano took on a story about a young sick boy whose hopes brightly as the sun even through days seems hopeless in the film “Life in a Day”. Director-playwright Chris Martinez, noted for creations such as Here comes the Bride, Kimi Dora and 100, took on a “gothic” type of story of a young man’s cool confidence in a future well planned in “Oh My Goth”.

A novice in the film industry, Mr. Nick Reyes took on a story of a young man’s free and easy lifestyle and tendencies for “quick-fixes” that lead him to a much deeper troubles in an action-packed film “The Debt”. Multifaceted artist Mr. Jerold Tarog, the same man who brought to the screen films such as Senior Year, Nino, Shake Rattle and Roill and Aswang, pick up the pace with the film “Sun Dance”. It’s about the friendship of three young women trying to tackle the tides of life with their elegance and grace.

And last but not certainly not the least is the film “Araw” by Mr. Jim Libiran of the football film Happyland. “Araw” is based on a true story of a man harness the power of the sun to create beautiful art. This film is quite exceptional because it is included in the SunLife Asia’s Regional Project.

These Sun-Short Stories can be viewed online by simply visiting Sun Life Philippines website. The first film will be uploaded on July 25, 2012 at 6:30am. for your viewing, you can log on to: www.experiencethesun.com.ph

Monday, July 23, 2012

Globe and Amdocs launched global Partnership

The advents of technology in communication through mobile have tremendously improved the lives of many Filipinos over the years, more particularly the impact it creates on how Pinoys now can connect with each other. Twenty years ago, cellular phones were nothing but a novelty only small fraction of the “can-haves” affords to have one. As the costs of these phones have significantly decreases, an ad-on service has likewise improved… or does it?

The text messaging components of these phones have gained access unlimited possibilities on how telecom companies can serve their constituents more effectively. Message alerts of all kinds can be access by any subscriber who wishes to make his or her mobile phone lifestyle more fun and efficient. However, many of these message alerts are now at randomly sent to people whom they find it not only insignificant but also costly and bothersome.

One classic example is the BinBit feature for smart phones for free wap-link which many subscribers like me receive every so often. Apparently, such services have no use for me whatsoever. And to make the matter worse, it constantly charges several pesos to my pre-paid load, even after several replies to stop sending. I’m sure; I’m not the only one who is trapped in this kind of so called “ad-on” service schemes. The only way I was able to finally stop it was through a quick-fix service staff located in telecom service hub in the mall. How inconvenient!

Last July 5, 2012 finally unveiled to the media the formal launch of Globe-Amdocs partnership. Globe Telecom, one of the largest telecom service providers in the country and a subsidiary of the Ayala Corporation have forged partnership with AMDOCS, a leading provider of costumer experience system and services. The business partnership is a seven year contract agreement that will transform, continuously upgrade and improve Globe Telecom’s business support system and data warehouse.

This only mean that Globe can already better manage its customer relationships across various product offerings within its constituents, and provide a personalized costumer experience that current subscribers can now appreciate. Globe further explains that if a subscriber is in the airport in another country, the message alert that he or she can receive are international roaming related services. As soon as these service upgrades will be in place, systems will intelligently analyze subscriber’s whereabouts and even nature of work or businesses, thus only be receiving the product or services that a customer needs in a given time and place. 

Now finally, I’m glad Globe thought of this system and certainly as soon as the system rolls out, costumer relation will also significantly improve over time.



If you want to indulge in your culinary cravings this weekend, you’re in luck! The Mezza Norte night food market opens in Quezon City on Thursday and the Ulimate Taste Test holds its ninth round in Alabang on Sunday!

From the same organizers of the popular Mercato Centrale food market in Bonifacio Global City, Mezza Norte in UP-AyalaLand Technohub along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City brings together the best in home-cooked foods and pastry and dessert finds that the North has to offer, along with your Mercato Centrale favorite food stands! Mezza Norte opens on Thursday (July 26) and will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6:00pm to 3:00am.

Organized by Anton Diaz, the man behind the popular food and travel blog www.OurAwesomePlanet.com, the Ultimate Taste Test 9.0 is an opportunity to try out and personally critique different specialty foods and new or soon-to-be-launched dishes straight from the kitchens of up and coming and popular food entrepreneurs from all over Metro Manila.

Among the winners of the previous Ultimate Taste Tests are Dulcelin Gourmet specialties, Supreme Brazo, Angus Beef Tapa, Risa Chocolates, Carmen’s Best Artisan Ice Cream and Merry Moo Premium Ice Cream. The Ultimate Taste Test Version 9.0 will be on Sunday (July 26) starting 6:00pm at the Soderno Night Food Market in Molito Commercial Center, corners of Madrigal and Commerce (in front of Alabang Town Center), Alabang. 

If you are interested to enter your food and/or drink product/s in the Ultimate Taste Test, please contact rache@diaz.ph or 09175318949.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chefs’ Quarter goes Catering

Chefs’ Quarter Group of Restaurants, a distinct name when it comes to quality fine dining continental cuisine have added another way of serving dishes to its loyal dinners. Early this year, the dynamic food duo, Larry Cortez and Chef Mauro Arjona Jr. , owners of Chef’s Quarter Group of Restos have expanded their catering services from local Pinoy favorites and Asian fare to American and European delis.

 One of the rare occasions where we can see these two together...

An inaugural event was launch last July 5, 2012 to formally introduced to its partners and guests the Chef’s Quarter Catering Service. It was held at the Events Pavilion, 3rd floor 500 Shaw Centrum Building, along Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.

Dubbed as Chefs’ Quarter Grand Food Tasting, this event featured some of the most talked-about menus Chefs’ Quarter have been serving for years. For starters, waiter served some pica-pica like the famous Pannizza with assorted toppings, Assorted Canapes with Liver Pate, Tomato and Salmon. After which, appetizers followed with Fresh Marinated Salmon Carpaccio, Mesclun Salad with roasted mushroom, escargot and calamares in balsamic variation dressing and of course Cesar Salad.

As the guests enjoyed the good food, managing partners Larry Cortez and Mauro Arjona shared to us their humble beginnings many years ago at Le Sufflet then, on how Chefs’ Quarter came to be and how it has grown into a major food industry’s restaurant empire.

As the evening progresses with live band entertainment, the buffet table was opened. The buffet table featured US Beef Short Plate with Pinoy Steak Sauce on the carving station, The main course was lead by Chicken Roulade with Peppercorn Sauce, Roasted Pork loin in Champaign Sauce, Cream Dory Meuniere in Lemon-Butter and Caper Sauce, Baked Lasagna Verde, Saforn Rice Pilaf and Grantinated Potato and leeks.

At the end of the buffet table was an array of Chefs’ Quarter’s signature disserts like, the Mango Brazo, Assorted French Pastries, a selection of Pana cotta with Mango, Ube and Strawberry. All of the dishes that was featured are just some of Chefs’ Quarter’s wide selections menus serve in all of the their restaurants and now can be enjoyed by clients in a catered service approach.

Standard packages for buffet can go as low as P550+ and can go up to P1,800+, while sit down meals range from P750+ to P2,000+. Chefs; Quarter Catering can be arranged in the most simplest presentations or it can be as elaborate and very elegant, depending on the client’s preference and budget. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ClawDaddy brings another creative menu of seafood in a bag

ClawDaddy, known to be the hottest hub when it comes to any food that are best eaten with you bare “claws”, is adding up another delectable way of devouring their all time favorite seafoods and you can get them in the most simplest presentation – in a plastic bag.

It is called ClawDaddy’s Boiled in a Bag. It is a mixture of every seafoods that you enjoy at ClawDaddy like the shrimps, prawns, crabs, clams and they even throw in some Corn on a cob with Andouille sausages. The bag is seasoned with ClawDaddy’ signature recipe that will make you dig in for more with your claws.

At ClawDaddy, eating can be fun and you don’t have to worry on the mess because each dinner is provided with food-bib and every table is equipped with built in buckets that will let you just throw in all the shells and scraps. They also provide hot clean towels to finish off all the remnants that are left on your mouth and hands.

ClawDaddy Boiling Bag comes in five mouthwatering seafood mixes. SHRIMP BOIL IN A BAG which consists of Baby Shrimps and prawns, Andouille Sausage, Corn and potatoes. One bag can be enjoyed by two to three people and is priced at a very affordable P995. 

 The SHELLFISH BOILING BAG, pegged also at P995, is composed of South Pacific Clams, Giant white mussles, Manila Clams, Green mussels, Audouille Sausage with potatoes and corn. All bags are available in two flavors, Mild and Spicy. 

The MARYLAND CRAB BOILING BAG is for the crab fanatics and can eat crabs for the rest of their lives. It consists of huge fresh water crabs as big as a man’s face, Audouille sausage with side dishes of Potatoes and corn. Pegged at P1,495.

LOUISIANA CRABS AND SHRIMPS BOILING BAG is a combination of Fresh water crabs and prawns. Priced at P1,495, this delectable dish will satisfy two to three persons. It also comes with Andoulille sausage, potatoes and corn.

For those who crave for the best of everything, the SEAFOOD BOIL IN A BAG captures the right mix. It is a combination of all shellfish, crabs, shrimps and clams. This bag is priced at P1,495. All boiling bags are cooked with special seafood boil spices, garlic butter, creole Cajun with special flavors and spices only ClawDaddy can give.

Seafood dinners can claw-in to their four branches located at Bonifacio High Streets, BGC, Shangrila Plaza Mall, SM Mall of Asia and Nuvali Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Soon to open is the ClawDaddy Great American Picnic Subic, Harbor Point Subic Bay Free Port Zone. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012



The Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines (BMAP) is staging the first-ever fun run for bankers on July 22 at the Filinvest City in Alaban. Dubbed as “The Great Bank Fun Run,” the race event is expected to bring together more than 2,000 runners from the banking community and will also be open to regular running enthusiasts to promote the habit of saving among Filipino adults and children. 

The run will have 3k, 5k and 10k distance races with PhP500.00 flat registration fee. Proceeds of the race event will fund the various programs and initiatives of BMAP such as the Banking On Your Future-Kiddie Account Program in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, as well as the review of the Banking Code, the BMAP National Convention and other advocacies for the year. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. will lead the gun start and the awarding ceremonies. A special commemorative item will be given to race finishers, as well as exciting prizes will be raffled off such as plane tickets, gift certificates and other freebies and giveaways from sponsors. 

At the finish line, runners will be given commemorative coins as tokens for finishing the race. But wait, there’s more…

Runners and guests are encouraged to stick around for the program because organizers have prepared raffle prizes. Up for grabs are Philippine Air line tickets, Hotel Vouchers, watches, appliances and much more. 

Registrations for the BMAP Run are still open in the following sites: Toby’s branches in Alabang, SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta Mall and Shangrila Mall. You can also get them in Runnr’s store located in Trinoma and Bonifacio High Streets.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Karate Kid kicks in another branch in Cubao

KARATE KID, a very popular Japanese-American which is now winning the hearts of many Filipino food-cravers just added another branch in Farmers, Cubao. Karate-Kid is a quick service restaurant that fuses authentic Japanese cuisine with some All-American dishes in a fast-food style that is quick and easy.

Last July 4, 2012, members of the media and guests were gathered to grace the grand opening of its latest branch in Farmers, Cubao. Farmers plaza, a notable landmark in the heart of Cubao area is the main access route for commuters coming from stations going to Marikina and to the rest of Metro Manila.

The combination of two food-cultures east and west appeals to the constant food preference of the everyday consumers. Karate Kid’s EVP Raymond Yap shares to the media how the restaurant able to cater to dinners discerning taste by offering good quality meals that are freshly-cooked and very affordable to the everyday Filipino commuters. Since pinoys are rice eaters, it also offers rice-all-you-can and bottomless Kido Punch Tea, which is Karate Kid’s signature drink.

Now, Japanese dinners can get authentic Japanese food a lot faster on the table without too much waiting. They offer the usual Japanese fave like, katsudon, ramen, California Maki, Tuna sashimi, Tepanyaki in chicken, beef and seafood variants, takoyaki, gyoza and ebi tempura. You can get them all fresh and hot.

For those who are quite familiar with the dishes of Karate Kid, you can always enjoy their culinary creations the mixes Japanese exotic ingredients and some American elements. The Japanese pasta is of course an all-time favorite; with its oriental makeover of meat sauce spaghetti in combination with mouthwatering Japanese beef patty. The creamy white sauce on the other hand is also underwent a innovative transformation by putting Japanese cream chicken pasta.

For the budget wise dinners, the 99er meals are also Karate Kid’s blockbuster dishes. This also comes with refillable rice. A meal that is truly value-for-money treat. 

After visiting Karate Kid Farmers Plaza, you can also visit their other branches in 22 malls all over the Philippines. And Also, please do watch the opening of another two new branches in Chinatown Plaza in Binondo and one in Bulacan State University. 

Note: First photo courtesy of Juan Manila Express

Monday, July 16, 2012

Race Review: World Vision Run for a cause 2012

In the last 10 years, one phenomenon that has developed in the lives of many Filipinos and subsequently contributed significant revenues to many industries today is running. When it started, many thought that it was just a phase that will soon die down but, apparently, it has become a fast-growing fitness urban culture. Companies with their brands, organizations and even NGOs have jumped into the bandwagon in utilizing running events as part of their campaigns -- may it be for brand awareness or fundraising -- and it has been very effective. Many running organizers even made it a yearly or a seasonal event which eventually gave them many loyal followers.

Last June 24, 2012, World Vision, a familiar NGO name noted for its flagship program, Child Sponsorship, did its first take on its own running event dubbed as World Vision Run for a Cause 2012. It was held at the Bonifacio Global City running circuit which was participated by more than 3,700 runners from different parts of the metro with some even coming all the way from Pangasinan.

Even before I embraced running as part of my personal lifestyle, I have always supported the programs of World Vision. I even had the opportunity to share part of my blessings by sponsoring Marvin Mandawe, a boy from Palawan for 10 years. However, my sponsored child has already reached the maximum period of sponsorship which is 18 years old and he is no longer part of the program. But through the correspondence I received from him via World Vision, it is very reassuring to know that his life and his family’s are far better now because of the help they received from child sponsors of World Vision like me. My help for Marvin may be over but through the World Vision Run, I was still able to help other poor kids like him because the proceeds of the run will go to 8,000 kids more who cannot go to school because of poverty.

One part of World Vision’s advocacy in helping poor kids is to promote and make child sponsorship a part of a family tradition where each member can have a share in helping. That’s why the run was categorized by four running distances in order to cover the running abilities of each member of the family. The 500 meter dash was for the small kids, 3k and 5k are for the beginners, moms, and older siblings and the 10k are for Dads. There was also a category of 21k for the competitive and seasoned runners.

World Vision run is kind of special for me because for the first time, I got to bring along my son Gabriel and he ran his very first 5k race. As for me, I registered in the 21k distance and it was my 4th 21k run on barefoot. With tons of work I had the week before, I was not able to get some decent running prep for the run, but I was excited just the same because I got to run with some of my friends and former colleagues in World Vision.

The gun start for the 21k was at 5:30 and it was a bit late. A few meters from the starting line was a bus blocking a portion of the road that made the runners crowd up. I have run 21k in BGC before and somehow, I was already familiar with most of the turns in the course. As always, the Kalayaan bridge was part of the obstacle for me, but at least I know much better on how to manage my strength in crossing to Gil Puyat Avenue. I maintained an easy pace in the first 10k and I had the opportunity to talk to some of my running friends. I even had the chance to run with Aga the blind barefoot runner as he was being guided by another fellow barefoot runner and World Vision advocate Gerrard Pizarras. Upon seeing Aga, I was humbled down and at the same time encouraged by his dedication. Many runners were amazed with his talent because even in the absence of eyesight, he was not deterred in living his passion for running.

Finally, the U-turn was on sight and I was half way through but I knew crossing the Kalayaan Bridge for the second time can be a challenge. Surprisingly, I made it through without the usual pains. This showed that my two years of barefoot running is slowly paying off. After passing by NET One going towards Serendra, I noticed that this is taking a bit too long or maybe it was just the fatigue I’m experiencing. But later on, a running buddy of mine confirmed that the 21k was a few kilometers longer. It registered in his GPS Watch as 24.6k. So, that explained it.

After crossing the finish line, my gun-time was 2hrs. 6min. which is normal for my usual 21k distance. Nonetheless, I still managed to finish it with no injuries ... or so I thought, because as soon as I got my loot bag, I felt a little dizzy with blurring of vision. So my son guided me to the medic station and made a quick BP check and the shock came not just to me but also to the medic staff when we found out that it was 60/20. Super low blood! The medic team quickly made lie down on a stretcher and gave me a dose of oxygen. After 5 minutes on “emergency” mode, I underwent another BP check and it was back to normal 110/20. I felt ok right after, but that scenario gave my son a short cardiac-moment. After the program ended, a blogger-runner friend invited us over for a nice cool down session in his mom’s posh condo’s swimming pool at Forbes Heights.


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