MASTERCHEF (Pinoy Edition) – 365 days after


Yesterday was a long day. I was with my cousin, Manang Joan touring Intramuros while waiting for her son, Harley, to finish his medical requirements for his college application. Once all the waiting and walking were done – I brought them to Quiapo Church before they head back to Baguio. It struck me that right about the same hour of last year – I was also there – praying my heart out for the next day’s Finale. I then whispered to Manang Joan: “This is where I asked for the Masterchef title”.
Today, I had to go and get me some strong chemicals to take out the molds that have already taken over the rubber mat I had for my nephew, Michael Dominic, so he wouldnt slip whenever he had to take a leak. While I was dashing in and out of the counters, the “Diba si Masterchef un?” and “Huy, diba ikaw si…” were more frequent than usual. I was like: “Wow! Imagine, a year has passed and yet people would still recognize me”. My wonted shy, weak smile has always been my response to acknowledge the flattery so my cheeks were somewhat stiff when I reached home. Unbeknownst to my awaken state, i slowly cruised to recalling the things that have happened after February 9, 2013.


I often get asked howcome I was not taking advantage of the “fame” – strike while the iron is hot they say. You see, before the finale, I always claim during interviews that becoming the first Pinoy Masterchef is going to be a huge RESPONSIBILITY. That after winning, I would work my ass off to make sure that I give justice to this humbling prestige. I felt that becoming the best home cook in the country will never be enough if I want the Filipino flavors to be recognized globally. I needed to learn Culinary Arts. Like what God has always done for me in the past – he gave me the best! Part of the prize was a scholarship grant in one of the premier culinary schools in the country – the CENTER FOR ASIAN CULINARY STUDIES.

It is with great pride and honor to be taught by the original Rockstar Chef – Eugenio R. Gonzalez! Together with another master – his son, Chef Gino Gonzalez – they make a combination that’s just incomparable in the world of fire and knives. That’s why I felt so bad when a couple of illnesses got me down for weeks knowing that I’m missing a lot of new information. I’m also in the process of fighting for my son’s custody. So those are pretty much the things that kept me occupied.


With Chef Gene (from


I will be forever grateful to all those folks who rendered my catering services despite the challenges I had with equipment, staff, etc (Also an apology goes out to those whom I turned down).


A whole lot of love goes out to Ms. Kris Aquino and the entire crew of KrisTV! You guys are awesome!


A teary-eyed THANK YOU to Direk Lauren’s unit – appreciate all the gigs you have sent my way!


To INANG (Direk Olivia Lamasan) and the entire crew of Starting Over Again – my first ever consultant stint. Giving me the boost I needed to embark on more challenging tasks. Working with Inang showed me how humility gets people’s r-e-s-p-e-c-t.  Such an honor to have worked with you, the cast and your staff!


Inang with Starting Over Again Staff


My Sinigang Risotto for the movie Starting Over Again


To my FAMILY – you guys give me strength to be better! All the love goes out to y’all.


NAY – as the cliche goes… you rock my world!


The Masterfchef experience is definitely unique in every way and will be forever cherished. Expect more creations as I mature in my craft. To all those who watched and supported the show – WE LOVE YOU!


An SMS from Mommy


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