Monday, November 24, 2014

Beeffalo: Marikina’s hidden gastronomical delight…

It’s in the middle of nowhere, the location is out of place, there are no directions and when you can finally get there, there are no visible signage, as if the management intentionally wants to keep the restaurant elusive to people. But when we arrived, it was exactly the opposite of what we thought. Cars were piled up along the highway because the parking provision could no longer accommodate them. 

The Beeffalo by HotRocks is cozy and very homey; the grillers are stationed outdoors along with the tables for people who wish to dine outside. The signage was kind of “un-noticeable” but what captures may attention were the vintage memorabilia that were on display all around the restaurant. Then we were greeted with warm welcome by the owners, Louie Abad, Girlie Cosio-Abad and Caren Diaz.

American-style outdoor grilling

"Out of service since 1965"

Louie Abad, Girlie Cosio-Abad and Caren Diaz

 Brewed by more than twenty years of friendship, the three started venturing into the food industry way back 2004 with their first restaurant business – HotRocks in Libis, Quezon City. HotRocks was a sensational hit and just about when the restaurant was at its peak, the business was forced to closed down to give way for a major infrastructure development in the area. But after eight years of hibernation, the three decided to put up Beeffalo by Hotrocks at the far edge of Gil Fernando Avenue, Sto. Nino, Marikina City. 

Retired at TGIF, now at Beefalo

Lambretta Special 150cc...still in good working condition

Beeffalo is a typical American-style Backyard grilling experience where they specialize in Steak, Barbeque and Ribs. Last week, I just had the opportunity to visit the place and had the first hand taste of the house specialties. I was able to try the Roasted Pumpkin Soup which is a thick soup, and for those who prefer thin, they also served Seafood food corn chowder.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup at P65

Seafood and Corn Chowder at P90

Beeffalo serves two variations of Buffalo wings, the milder type and the original which is hot (really hot)are served in one order. These two variants are served with blue cheese dip and sweet chili sauce. After finishing off the chicken wings, we went straight to the Porterhouse steak and T-bone steak. These steaks were served in a medium-rare level. On the side trivia, if you want to taste the true flavor of a steak, take it on a medium-rare. Those flavors tend to dry-up if it’s well-done. 

Sweeter chix on the right...hotter chix on the left

Porterhouse (250gms) at P340

Soon after we had that scrumptious steak, We were indulged by another house specialty, the Baby-back ribs which were grilled to perfection, the meat literally fall-off from the bones. The meat dishes were served with home-made sauces specially concocted by its resident chef, Girlie Abad. In fact, most of the dishes served were signature dishes of Ms. Girlie, who despite the lack of formal training in culinary arts, has the culinary talent to transform simple “isaw” into a gourmet, fitting to be served in fine dining.

Baby back ribs (full-serving) at P740. 

Baby back Ribs (Solo-serving) at P270

"Isaw"...local street food made classy

After the sample of Beeffalo’s pastas and pizzas, our capacity to take in another dish has come to a halt. But who would turn away to dessert? Most especially if it involves cheese cake! For the last dish, Beefalo served their most sought after desserts; Dolce de Leche Cheese Cake and Brazo de Mercedes. After those grand finale sweets, what better way to wrap up the evening but with a chilled Red Wine. 

Margherita biscuit Pizza at P145

Seafood Carbonara at P165

Our Beeffalo’s gastronomical experience is surely bound to be spread around. We were surprised that many Marikina residents don’t know about it because many of Beffalo’s guests came from far off places and they have only come to know about the place via word of mouth. I wouldn’t agree more, because food as good as this one certainly deserved to be talked about.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake at P165

Brazo de Mercedez at P125

So where exactly is Beeffalo? I’m not sure. All I know is it’s somewhere within the vast stretch of tall grasses along Gil Fernando Avenue. I don’t really know exactly. But hey, if you yearn for good tasting grilled food hub in Marikina, you have to seek it out yourself. and when you get there, you will certianly know that its worth the find.   

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Now, it’s simply GERRY’S…

With over seventy branches worldwide, the house-hold name Gerry’s grill Bar and Restaurant finally drops the “grill” from the brand name. For many brands which are trying to make a mark in the market today, re-branding a popular name can be a risky move. But for a name like Gerry’s, the restaurant synonymous to perfectly grilled dishes, the re-branding move is simply a re-birth of something much better for everyone to experience at Gerry’s.

One exciting new hub to visit is Gerry’s new found sibling, Sweet Chili, the hottest Thai-resto that hits Fisher mall and its being the talk of the town by many food and resto junkies. With seventy branches, Gerry’s is not slowing down in its opening of its branches not just here in the Philippines but in some parts of the globe as well.

A few days ago, Gerry’s launches another restaurant at the second floor of SM Sta. Mesa. The event was hosted by the owner himself Mr. Gerry Apolinario. The opening was graced by friends from the media and of course some of Gerry’s loyal patrons and partners.

The dinner was celebrated by some of Gerry’s top selling and signature dishes where you cannot find it in any other Bar and Grill. Although I’m sure others have their own version of “sisig”, but only Gerry’s can make it far different and much more delicious than any other place. The marinate mix of the grilled chicken is something that is so mysterious; I’ve tried duplicating it at home but failed. I guess that’s one of Gerry’ top secret recipes that keep people coming back for more.

Here are some of Gerry’s best selling items in their menu: Special Bulalo, Kare-kare, Lumpiang Shanghai and of course the world famous Crispy Pata. 

Other than SM Sta. Mesa, Gerry’s is also opening branches in SM Malolos, Bulacan, Ayala Terraces, Fairview, Naga, Iligan, Cauayan in Isabela, Tuguegarao, and at the new Fishermall along Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. Gerry’s is not only opening new branches, but also reopening old one as well. So if happen to be in Cubao, you might want to drop by Ali Mall and try visiting a re-opened branch there. And If you’re visiting the US, Singapore or Quatar, you might want to visit them there too.

while other similar restos keep the "grill" attached to their name to capture the grilled-food lover market, Gerry's is dropping it because everyone kows that nobody can grill it better it better than Gerry's. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

ALTERG: A Revolutionary Approach in Sports Recovery and Training…

Whether you are a competitive athlete or a health and fitness enthusiast like me, one common anxiety we share is the dilemma of how soon we can recover from an injury and how fast we can get back to the saddle to achieve that performance level again. Among runners, those sprained-ankles, ITBS, or some other recurring joint pains we experience every now and then tend to beat down our momentum. And oftentimes, if we get anxious and push ourselves during the recovery period, we ended up relapsing, which takes us back even further away to full recovery. Cross training sometimes works but not quite the ideal because it focuses on a different set of muscle groups. 

Finally, those sports and injury issues can be addressed by an indoor treadmill which is so advanced that it actually allows you to workout with much less pressure and impact to the injured body part you wish to isolate.Kinetics Advance Physiotherapy Center introduces a revolutionary treadmill, the technology of which came directly from NASA, very much the same what astronauts use to train themselvesfor an anti-gravity environment.

ALTERG has a special bubble chamber that will be filled with compressed air. The athlete positionshimself on the treadmill wearing special shortswith zippers that snuggly fits to the air chamber. This will be filled with air to calibrate the runner’s current weight, then adding more pressure will make your body be lifted just a bit to make yourself a little lighter. The pressure can be adjusted according to your preference or the percentage of body weight you wish to carry as you run on the treadmill. More pressure will make you lighter; depending on the amount of weight you want to take away.

Last October 6 at RUPM, I finished my seventh full-marathon on barefoot. My time was decent but not as fast as I expected it to be. At the 27th kilometer mark, I felt a sudden sharp pain on the top of my right ankle. At first, I thought it was negligible so I continued with my pace. But in the last four kilometers of the race, the pain was almost unbearable so I had to limp-walk. It was frustrating because it was my first time to experience it, but I pushed myself to finish the race. After that, my recovery was longer than expected. I didn’t expect that my injury would be that “severe”. Nonetheless, I made all the necessary recovery and healing protocols, enough to prepare me for the Rexona Run scheduled on October 26th.

In my personal assessment, I thought that I’m okay to go for a half-marathon. I made good time after crossing the finish line but with a consequence. My ankle sprain returned with a vengeance to further my present injuries. With that, healing and recovery became a much longer path. I feltlethargic most of the time and, as a result, I gained weight. I found it difficult to do even indoor callisthenic exercises that don’t involve putting pressure on my right foot. Simple squats and lunges, even jumping jacks, were impossible.

Last week, I visited Kinetics AdvancePhysiotherapy Center in BGC and I was introduced to the ALTERG, Anti-Gravity Treadmill. At first, I felt a little awkward running on a treadmill with half of my body inside a chamber filled with air. But as soon as it lifted me up, I started to run comfortably on the treadmill without any feeling of shock-load impact on my right foot. The therapist added more air pressure to create more lift thereby reducing my weight to almost half. At that point, I askedfor the speed to be increased to 20 kilometers per hour at almost sprint pace. I almost could not believe I was able to run a much further distance with much longer time at that pace! After 10 minutes, I was able to run more than three kilometers with no pain felt on my injured foot. One great thing about it was I reached the same heart pumping cardio workout burning almost seven hundred calories in 10 minutes.

I also felt the expected muscle strain on my legs and calves, which is good because I was able to get the usual workout on those muscle groupswithout my right ankle hurting. The treadmill can also work on reverse thereby working on the hamstrings. The machine can also be tilted up to a 20-degree incline to simulate a steep uphill climb. Soon, the machine may allow an athlete to run sideways to work on the side lateral movements needed for sports like basketball or football.

Currently, the therapy center also offers the ALTERG machine for people who suffered strokes or for children with cerebral palsy. This machine is far better than having these patients walk on a pathway with hand-railings to support them. The machine even has cameras on three sides so the workout could be viewed on the monitor screens in front of you. This way, you can view your own gait and the way you are running allowing you to subsequently correct them as you move.

I think ALTERG is the most comprehensive treadmill not just for athletes recovering from injuries but also for fitness-conscious people who wish to improve their physique in a much slower pace without carrying the shock-load impact of their own body weight. The ALTERG can be found only in Kinetics Advance Physiotherapy Center, located at Unit 1102 20th Drive Corporate Center, Bonifacio Global City.

For more information on their programs, you may log onto their Facebook page , or call Tel. 887-1409, 09154260680,

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Community welcomes arrival of clean toilets in “Fiesta” video

It’s a scene typically played out during fiestas: People rushing to the streets, drawn to the sound of a marching band. Everyone is smiling, eager to see the “star” of the celebration. But instead of showing the face of a movie celebrity, a beauty queen or a politician, the video reveals an unlikely, yet welcome sight—a new, clean toilet facility.

Aptly titled “Fiesta”, the Domex video, produced by Unilever Philippines, is available on Youtube and shows how underprivileged Filipinos welcome the “arrival” of clean toilet facilities in their communities. “The video aims to make people realize the value of a toilet which most of us, unfortunately, take for granted,” said Dennis Chua, Domex Brand Manager.

The “Fiesta” video contributes to the efforts of Domex’s One Million Clean Toilets Movement. Each unique view translates into a pledge for the advocacy campaign which collects pledges from households to conscientiously maintain their own hygienic bathrooms. For every pledge received, Domex will donate P5 to UNICEF’s sanitation program, towards improving access to basic sanitation in deprived areas around the world, including the Philippines.

“By watching the ‘Fiesta’ video and asking our friends to watch it, we are not only raising awareness for toilet appreciation and sanitation, more importantly, we are helping less privileged communities gain access to clean toilet facilities,” said Benjie Yap, Unilever Foods and Home Care Vice President.

Clean toilets, germ-free communities:

All over the country, people are welcoming the construction of new toilet facilities and the repair of dilapidated ones, since becoming aware of its role in disease prevention, especially among children.

According to the Department of Health, of the estimated 3,420 diarrhea-related deaths among Filipino children under 5 every year, around 2,000 could have been prevented by access to safe water, improved toilet sanitation and personal hygiene.

“This video should serve as a wake-up call for most of us. The little things we take for granted, like having a clean toilet, could mean the world to others and could definitely help save lives,” Chua said.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tactics: The Practical All-weather Tactical Gear

I’ve been into serious running for almost five years now.  I am so into it; I even get excited to take long trips out of town just to participate in running events, no matter what the weather is. On many occasions, most especially in trail running events where ordinary monsoon or tropical storms have never been causes of cancellation, going to the venue and securing my stuff under drizzling rain can be an issue. Most baggage depository areas are just open tents and the bags of runners most often are exposed to the rain.

my wife and her blue Tactics bag
Tactics Water Gear all-weather bags are just the answer to these issues because they are one tough mudder. The shell is made of highly durable rubberized tarp and the construction uses a vulcanized adhesion;the same construction used in base-camp tents, which are watertight. 

The rubberized shell is so tough you don’t have to worry about puncturing it even if you haul in pointy gears like tent poles, camera tripods, or trekking poles. It can also carry heavier loads like battery packs, cook set, or even laptops. You can just load anything inside without worrying of getting them wet.

A couple of months ago, I had an out of town project where I had to photograph the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Laguna. I stuffed all my photo gear inside my Tactics bag as we visited all of the lakes where in some occasions, we had to dip into the waters. 

We also did some short trekking and my gears had a few bumps on some rocks and mud. There was also a time where we rode a “balsa” or bamboo raft and I just placed my Tactics on the flat bed, never minding the occasional water that seeped in. All of my stuff inside were kept dry and clean at all times. 

The Tactics is so practical, it’s like a sack where you can top-load everything you want to carry. There are no fancy zippers that might get worn out overtime. You just roll the top into a few folds, clip to seal, and you’re all set to go to whatever adventure you want to take. 

This bag can also be used to carry hot meals because it can act as an insulator that can keep your cooked food warm.

A Tactics bag is one practical tactical gear for those who love the outdoors. Be it for leisure or work, keeping your gears and other stuff dry and safe will be a worry-free issue. Just haul in your stuff, roll, and click, and everything is locked and loaded.

If you want to own a high-quality and waterproof Tactics iPad pouch, you might want to join my wife's blog giveaway here.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Magic Flakes takes the Spotlight with new look, new commercials, and more Magic moments

Jack’n Jill’s Magic Flakes have gone beyond just making great tasting soda crackers to literally bringing “Magic Moments” to ordinary people who needs a little magic in their lives once in a while. 

Last October 29, 2014, Magic Flakes launch several new stuff that will make you love Magic all the more. For starters, Magic is introducing a new sub-brand logos and distinctive packaging. The new colors that were added to the wrappers make the soda crackers more attractive to all ages. The vibrant glossy packages add to the lively personality of the brand. 

In the coming days, you will see new commercials that feature Mr. John Lloyd Cruz in surprising scene. The ads were given a mix of “realty” show type where real Magic consumers will surprised by the appearance of the matinee celebrity idol which are un edited and unscripted. The reactions of the consumers are captured on camera making the ad expresses un- adulterated sincere emotions. 

The Magic Moment project covers Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, invading schools, homes and supermarkets, anywhere where there is someone who will be captured with Magic Flakes along with them. These lucky Magic customers will be given with gifts that will be delivered by no less than JLC himself. Among these costumers, were target special individuals who will be given special Magic bundles and exciting prizes. 

A part from the all the “new” packaging and commercials, Magic moments would not be complete without the new flavors. So make sure to grab a bit of new flavors of Cheese, Chocolate, and Onion Chives. Delight in the reach creamy fillings of Magic Creams Chocolate Cream, Butter Flavored Cream, Peanut Butter Cream, Peanut Butter Cream with Choco Crackers.

At the launch held at the Crown Plaza in Robinson’s Galleria, members of the media and guests were treated to get a first hand taste of these awesome flavors of Magic and even challenge some to re-enact one of Magic’s latest commercial. The host, Ms. Geli Victor invited a few volunteers from the audience and each one took a role to be played including the role of JLC. As the group was about to finish their version of the commercial, to everyone’s surprise, JLC came out and to the role of himself in the scene. That is one Magic moment that everyone didn’t expect. In the raffle, I had a taste of a Magic moment when my name was called and won a very nice prize from Holiday Inn Manila. 

Big flavors come in small sizes with Magic Junior Butter and Berry, Chocolate Cream, and Premium Crackers. The Magic never ends with Magic Choco Coated Crackers Sandwich, and Magic Chip Cheese and Barbeque. 

Check out all the latest goodies of Magic Flakes in the nearest convenient stores and supermarket nationwide. You can the latest adventure of the Magic Man himself, JLC in Magic Cracker You Tube Channel and the Magic FaceBook page at 


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