Our Japan Gig


As we wait for the plane to take off, I noticed that there’s a certain pang that I cant seem to shake off. It’s as if I’m leaving behind loved ones whom I will miss dearly. I mean, you would only feel this kind of longing for people you have spent a great deal of time with. We have stayed in Kobe/Osaka for only 7 days and yet it feels like we have known the people we have worked with for decades.


I’ve met the worst kinds of people when I was dragging my ass in call center companies (and Yes, I also met kindred spirits there) and that’s when I became cynical or distrustful to people’s intentions. I got so fed up that I just didn’t bother to bond with colleagues thinking that it would only be a waste of effort… only to lose them in the end. Somehow, I guess I missed missing people. So to help ease it off, let me talk about the people who made our stay an experience we will cherish for the rest of our lives.


The Call


I was in a crossroad dwelling on what path to take when I got a message in my facebook page  from someone working for Department of Tourism asking for my contact details. We were skeptic at first because it all sounded too good to be true. We imagined the whole set up to be one like those junk emails we receive saying we were picked to be a winner of something – a good news out of nowhere.  But as we all know, those spams are nowhere near from being a reality.


Then a call came with +81 area code and it was confirmed – the invitation was legit and they were asking me to be part of a program aimed to promote Filipino cuisine to be held in Kobe. What finally sold me to the idea was this other person’s demeanor. I sensed that he was not just trying to sound nice – for some weird reason, I KNEW that he was really nice. He was very respectful, sincere and humble. He was also very consistent even in our email correspondence as we iron out the logistics and work the other details of our trip. My dealing with Vice Consul Dax  was a very pleasant one, to say the least.

Continue reading

Posted in Food, Personal, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Japan! Japan! How to apply for a Visa?


To step on the land of the rising sun has always been part of our bucket list. There’s something magical and captivating about this place that will attract a wandering soul. Their obvious respect for nature, rich culture and ever famous cuisine (just to name a few) would leave you in a deep awe (Thanks to the PTV4 and RPN 9 shows about ASEAN Countries).


To a Japan-love-stricken couple, the most annoying question is ‘WHEN?’ Well, we only settled for ‘someday’ and swept the longing in a corner – making sure that it’s there but not really trashing the whole idea. Until Tay received a call from Osaka asking him if he wants to fly in to prepare Filipino dishes for the Philippine Independence Day Celebration. Tay, of course was ecstatic! Better part I guess was the fact that he can bring with him associates who will help him feed 300 folks. I did not volunteer, but Tay insisted that I go with him since we are fairly in our comfort zone having numerous caterings together. I, too, was ecstatic!


So now.. the most important question is ‘How to Apply for a Visa?’ Here are the steps…


Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UBER: Everyone’s Personal Driver


I know how to commute using public utility jeepney/bus but I still prefer taking the taxi because it makes my everyday travel easier and faster.  It’s a bit expensive but it’s more convenient than taking a jeepney – especially when you are from Cavite and you are working in Mckinley Area – it takes 3-4 rides before I can get to my destination.


After bumping in to a blog post about UBER yesterday, I immediately downloaded the application, explored it and checked reviews about it.


UBER Application



After my research, I decided on trying it out. 🙂 After work, I launched the app and made a pick up request. Ten minutes after it was confirmed, the driver arrived. Irish was very polite and was always smiling. He also made sure that I was comfortable throughout the trip.


The application shows the name of the driver, type of car, plate number and how long you have to wait for the car/driver to arrive.



I got a new black Toyota Altis. They also have  Ford Focus, Toyota Camry, Mercedes Benz, and BMW.

Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

Continue reading

Posted in Food, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I Would Watch Maxie The Musicale


I’m sure a lot of you heard of an indie film that stirred up some emotions when it invaded the theaters. It was 2005 (supposedly the dawn of the new millennia – when human thinking should have evolved into a more enlightened frequency) and yet the plot proved how immature most Filipinos were when it comes to the topic of homosexuality.  The hypocrites and bigots gasped in unison – shouting blasphemy while the critics hailed Auraeus Solito’s Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros). It was fresh and dare I say an Epic… SUCCESS!


Heck, I’m not a movie critic nor would I claim to be an expert so you won’t hear me complain about the script or the acting. One thing stood out when I finally get to see this classic – for a straight guy to watch a film about a 12-year-old boy who developed a crush on Kuya Victor and not get queasy, awkward or whatever you would feel whenever you witness an inappropriate cheesy scene – then that tells me they already achieved something spectacular. I laughed, got teary-eyed and downright enjoyed the whole ride. My favorite part was when Maxie was shown getting primped for his first day at school. It was an honest scene that will always give me hope. That despite adversities and shortcomings – there will always be happy endings, if only you would work for it.


Just like a normal human being who would try to make good things last – I clamored for more!  The brethren prayed long and hard … then the clouds roared in a drumroll-like symphony – as Bit by Bit Company slowly came down from heaven – bearing the good news.  Finally, an exclusive event last August 23, 2013 at Cultural Center of the Philippines was held to officially launch MAXIE THE MUSICALE: ang pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.


Invitation and Ticket to Patikim ng Shlight


Continue reading

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment