Sunday, April 27, 2014

That thing that made female police officers cry

For so long the reputation of law enforcement in the country have consistently declined over the years brought about by countless crimes and corruption involving not just the ordinary police on the streets getting bribes from motorists but it also includes high ranking ones involving in large scale crimes. That is why we can not blame the public if they no longer put their trust in people in uniforms. 

While it is true that many cops now a days can not be trusted, there are a few rare breeds who took the oath of serve and protect to heart. These are the four female law police officers who responded in the recent SM "Martilyo" gang siege in SM.  

They put their lives on the line, setting aside all personal concerns when duty calls. They are as tough as any of their male counterparts. But when the management of SM pledged to give them free groceries every month for one year, they couldn’t contain their emotions and broke down in front of several people, including fellow officers, mall executives and some members of the media.

All four recipients – PO1 Juliet Macababbad, PO1 Delia Langpawen, PO1 Maricel Rueco, and PO1 Mercelina Bantiyag – were the brave women who were the first to respond when the Martilyo Gang hit SM Mall of Asia recently. The most senior of the group, Macababbad, was the one who exchanged shots with one of the gangmen. Langpawen served as backup, while Rueco and Bantiyag made sure civilians were brought to safety.

It was the first encounter for all four lady officers after being in the service for only a little over two years. Days after the incident, they admitted to still feeling the heebie-jeebies. Who would not? Aside from their own lives, hundreds of innocent lives were also in danger at that time. Sometimes, they would find themselves staring blankly during meals.

Would they do it again? Yes, they said, without thinking twice. These are the types of public servants we want protecting us in times of danger.

That’s probably why the SM management felt they needed to give them more than just certificates of recognition. These lady officers need a break from the regular routine of doing their personal groceries, and SM’s yearlong gift is definitely a welcome one.

Some of you may say, “groceries lang?” But for these modern heroes, the groceries will come a long way. They were not expecting this kind of display of gratitude from anyone anyway as they were just doing their duty. Be that as it may, gestures of gratitude that private companies like SM give can definitely help boost the morale of uniformed men and women.
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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Who are the Pharmaton Life Chargers?

Working in an NGO requires a lot of time visiting the communities in remote areas in the country. These communities are sometimes situated in areas where transportation can be difficult. As an NGO worker, I visit those remote communities by long rides in a motorcycle along with several others trekking mountains of rough and uneven terrain. In many cases, I also go there by foot, requiring me to walk long hours just to reach my destination. 

As a long distance marathon runner and trail-blazer, this type of work is always an adventure for me. As enjoyable as it may seem, physical fatigue can eventually slow me down in this type of work. That is why I never fail to prepare all the necessities I need so that I will stay fit and effective in the work I do. One item I always bring are meds and multi-vitamins, Pharmaton. In a place where pharmacy or even a convenient stores are far from the communities I visit, acquiring basic commodities can be a challenge. 

Pharmaton definitely recharges me in my every day activity. May it be in the nature of my NGO work, or on a scheduled marathon, Pharmaton multi-vitamins extends my energy further so that I can withstand physical fatigue.

Of course one may not be an athlete or a on-the-ground NGO field worker to enjoy all the benefits of Pharmaton. Hindy Weber Tantoco, on the other hand grinds a different kind of physical fatigue. She has been an icon in the fashion industry, a mother of four, and acknowledged for promoting a holistic way of life through Holy Carabao Farms and Balik Bukid in Sta. Elena, Laguna where she is in-charge of Creative Direction and Marketing.

She has been a member of the Fashion Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) since 2003 and is currently a board member of the country’s preeminent fashion group. Over the years, she has been featured on daily publications, magazines and TV programs for her work in and out of fashion. She has also given fashion lectures at various schools and professional organizations, as well as collaborated with other designers for various projects. With all these responsibilities, Pharmaton is what’s keeping her always grounded and stay sharp in all her undertakings. 

So who are the Pharmaton Life Chargers?

They are men and women who are committed to a vision. They are driven by the desire for a quality of life for themselves and for others. More importantly, they have the sustained energy to live out their passions and thereby, create positive change.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Peppermill Restaurant and Mixology Bar: Catering to discriminating palates

It has been more than two years since I visited one of Chef Vince’s food creative hubs. Last 2011, I was still starting my food blogs, I was so fortunate to be one of the few invited blogger guest to get the first taste of RED GARLIC’s Menu. This was  at the time when RED Garlic Restaurant was about to open the first branch in Katipunan. 

The second one was in CRAVE Bistro at Rada Street in Makati. The thing a bout tasting good dishes created by master chefs like Chef Vince Rodriguez, is you unconsciously elevate your tasting preference to a much higher standard and anything less, becomes unacceptable. Somehow, these dishes become the new standard of taste. 

After several reviews of other food creations of respectable chefs, I was again fortunate to be included to get to taste the food of PEPPER MILL, the newest of Chef Vince food sanctuary located at katipunan. 

Actually, PEPPER MILL. For those who knows Chef Vince is not as new because it is also the name of his Catering food service that brought Chef Vince food masterpieces in the top of mind when it comes to food catering. As usual, the food that were served was brought out one at a time, to make sure that all of us were able to get good photos and savored its flavorful taste. Some of the food were chef vince’s signature. 

For starters, we were served with the Shrimp Popcorn. Served in a cocktail glass, the Shrimp Popcorn in soaked in Chef’s signature marinate sauce fried to tender crisp. You might want to order a second serving because this one really tastes very good. 

Another good starters would be the Chili Taco Poppers. It’s a kind of a taco roll with Ilocos chili pepper mixed with Mexican spiced beef with Jabanero dough soaked in a garlic sauce dip. For some who are not used to hot dishes, I think this one can be negligible. I like hot spicy foods but sometimes, too hot spoils the taste and flavor of the dish. But this one is okay. 

For people who like to start with greens and veggies, you might want to try the Hanoi Salad. It is normally presented in a very creative plating with Ice lettuce on the first level then Lolo Rosa on the second then followed by layer of Pomelo chunk-bits and crispy adobo flakes on top. Around it are bits of chopped onions, Saigon sweet chili battered with a special mix of vinaigrette. 

Before getting into the main course, I was able to get the privilege of ordering one of the newest drink collection of chef Vince. The Mixology. These are mix of cocktail drinks with a fusion of greens and healthy herbs juices and a bit of kick of booze to add character to the mix. 

After the salad, one can go straight to Japanese inspired rice-rolls. Two popular dishes are the Rainbow and Fire Crackers. The first is a smoked salmon fish tempura with cream cheese and mango salsa cucumber. The second one is your typical California roll with US scallops shrimp and kani. 

Next is a pasta that is quite exceptional, because it happens to be Kris Aquino’s favorite dish in the house. It’s the Vigan pasta. A composition of which are Vigan longganisa with Sundried Tomato, Artichoke, (it was the first time I tasted one) sprinkled with olives and Spaghettini sauced in Olive oil. 

Of course, good pasta is better partnered with a good pizza. Chef Vince made a special treat for us to have a one serving of pizza of the best three flavors. These are Cinco de Mayo, a cheese over load of Mozzarella, cheddar, Fontina and Cream Cheese with Padano. The second one is an Ilocos Bagnet inspired mix that includes Eggplant Casserole, Bagoong Relish, Scarmbled Egg and Mozzarella Cheese. The third type is practically the green pizza. It is called Torre del Greco. Ingredients are: Arrabiata, Rock Shrimp, Sundried Tomato, Arugula, Mozzarella Cheese and Anchovies.

The next serving was course for the meat lovers. To start off, our dear chef served the Steak Roulade. It’s a mouth watering dish of Angus Rib-Eye Steak, rolled to strips of fresh asparagus sauté in butter, with Peppermill Mashed potato in Red Wine sauce.

For those who love fish, Salomon in particular, you might want to try the Norway dish. It is an Encrusted Norwegian Salmon, Sprinkled with Sesame and Nori on Unagi Sauce. On the side is a scoop of Mango Salsa and Steamed Rice. 

The Black Sea is a Halibut Fish dish. Halibut is the largest flatfish which can be found in North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean. Not a rare fish but definitely delicious, most especially if this cooked in Corn Tortilla, Tomato Relish, Olives, Capers and Mashed Potato. 

Ilocos is actually an authentic Vigan Bagnet. A pork dish deep fried in three different temperatures for long hours which makes it so special. The Bagnet is cloupled with steamed rice and of course a special Bagoong relish. 

The Thailand dish is Thai’s version of Bagoong Rice. The rice is marbled with sweet pork ( at first I thought its Tocino but its not), with toppings of shredded green mango, crushed peanut and scrambled egg. 

The Monte Carlo is not the typical Lechon Manok because its not grilled but baked. This special chicken dish is coupled with sundried tomato, Italian Herbs and on the side is mashed potato. 

Saving the best for last. Agave-Passion Fruits BBQ Beef Ribs is definitely special. The beef ribs is blanched then baked for four hours in a very regulated temperature, just enough for the meet and cartilages are detached from the bone, without loosing the flavors. It’s served with grilled corn-cob, French fries and passion fruit sauce, although the passion fruit was not as noticeable but I definitely tasted the wine mix. 

Make sure to leave more space for the desserts. Chef Vince signature recipe, Bread Pudding 

The Mango Cheese cake is to die for...

The Hush Puppies is something very exceptional...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pro Earth Run 2014 focuses on Climate Change

Pro Earth Run 2014 is the signature event of Earth Day Network Philippines now focuses on protecting mother earth from the adverse effect of Climate Change. EDNPI doubles the celebration of Earth Day with its 15th year anniversary of advocating and protecting the environment. 

This years Pro-Earth Run is co-presented by an equally environmental-friendly enterprise, the Manila nature’s Link Corporation. The Pharmaceutical Company is responsible of brining the very first food supplement Malungay-leaf extract backed up by clinical study done by Johns Hopkins University. The Malungay life Oil is a product developed in pure Moringa Oilefera’s seeds and leaves. The company applies a process which is purely organic. 

The Pro-Earth Run 2014 is also supported by United Parcel Service – UPS, First Gen, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes, Merrell and Sta. Lukes Medical Center. Other sponsors are: Globe, Holcim, The Body Shop, Coco Dulce, Business Mirror, The Manila Times, Malaya Business insights, Business World, Circuit Magazine, 106.7 Energy FM, 107.5 Win Radio, SM Ticket Net, SM Cinema and BGC. 

After the run at BGC, the celebration is extended to the Quezon Memorial Circle, where the network will look back on its achievement over the past 15 years. It is also where the DENR Secretary will present the Philippines Environment Address. The main event will also co-inside with SANDIWANG: Isang Diwa sa Pagdiriwang ng Kalikasan. This event is an interfaith celebration of Earth Day participated by different faith-based organization who’s mission is to protect and be a better stewards of God’s creation. 

National Geographic Channel runs strong with Earth Day Run 5th year…

Last year, the National Geographic Channel staged an unprecedented running event that participated by more than 12,000 runners, 2,000 more on its original goal. It was held in one of the most popular racing routes in the metro, the Bonifacio Global City. This phenomenal event paved a more driven advocacy for people to take care of the environment. And there is no other day to celebrate it than having it on the Earth Day season which starts at April 22. 

This year, NGC and its participating partners pushed on further by targeting 12,000 runners and because of the phenomenal improvements of many runners, they added up another category which is the 42k full marathon. However, due to its logistical constraints, the organizers limits the registration to 500 runners only. Now that the running community has improved so much over the course of time, the 500 slots were gone in the just two weeks of registration. 

Even now that the running event is still three weeks from now, slots in all categories are almost gone. Appeals of the running community are very evident in the social media to add more slots, but organizers are not showing any signs that they will add more. None the less, I was still glad to get the 5k category slot. 

The Nat Geo Earth Day Run last year was able to plant more than 1 million worth of fruit baring trees in the abuan watershed in Isabela, in the Sierra Madre Region. This year, because of the result of the last year’s calamity, this event would hope to build fiber glass boats to the fishing folk communities in the costal areas in the Visayas. This project is in partnership with World Wild Fund WWF. These boats are designed to withstand rough seas and typhoons and building them will no longer require cutting down trees. 

The Nat Geo Earth Day Run will be on April 27, 2014, Sunday and it will be held oncwe more at the Bonifacio Global City. Categories includes 3k, 5k, 10k, 21k and 42k. The 42k and 21k finishers will get medals and finishers shirts. 

MANHUNT: Discovery Channel’s newest reality TV adventure series

When television became popular during the early 50’s, many thought that radio broadcasting will disappear in the public preference. But some how, radio was able to find its niche amongst distinct audiences. Same goes to the TV industry. After the arrival of the internet technology and the phenomenal growth of people in the social media platforms, many thought that it will overshadow TV. But that was not the case. TV still holds the most number of viewership compared to internet. 

Somehow, TV was able to consistently re-invent itself so that it will conform to the ever changing preferences of its loyal viewership. From the news, sports to entertainment, TV remains to be the most informative and got most ‘life-like” experience. Speaking of “life-like”, another innovation in TV programming is capturing the public’s attention, and that is Reality TV. And every network channels in the world today has one or two reality programs tucked in their weekly line ups. Since everyone are in the reality TV band wagon, the competition now is how real Reality TV can get. 

Discovery Channel, one of the few networks that offers shows which I consider relevant, has created another reality TV show that defies the physical limitations of man under severe rugged conditions. I’m talking about Discovery Channel’s new reality-adventure TV series MANHUNT, starring Joel Lambert. 

The concept is a real life test of the world’s toughest, meanest, hardcore military tracking units if they can hunt down and capture Joel Lambert. Lambert on the other hand is no average-Joe. He is an ex-NAVY SEAL, with expertise in special weapons, covert intel-operation, Expert in survival, evasion, resistance and escape tactics, and who has been in 20 combat missions all over the world. So this reality TV series is high-level “hide and seek” show that will feature some of the best intel and tracking units from across the globe. 

This will also highlights various difficulties of topographic terrain and extreme climate conditions from freezing cold weather in Europe to the heat in Africa and the thick jungle and humidity of South East Asia. 

Last week I had the opportunity to watch an episode where our very own tough thugs, the Scout Ranger of the Philippine Army was put to the test on how well they can track and hunt down Lambert in the thick jungle of Santa Rita, Zambales.

Discovery Channel MANHUNT with JOEL LAMBERT will kick-off tomorrow April 7, 2014.


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