December 27, 2015

Honor Thy Father

I was able to watch this movie on Christmas Day. Though I'm not usually a big MMFF fan, this movie caught my eye as a good quality serious film not to be missed as it is not of the usual run-of-the-mill mold typical of Filipino movies.

I was not disappointed. The movie tackles real current issues in a sensible and unsentimental way. The movie demonstrates the unrelenting love and sacrifice of a parent and the strength of familial ties. The movie also touches on religious fanaticism justifying forced tithing, unreal investment returns disguising greed and scams, and the unrestrained cruelty and blatant selfishness that exists in our society.

As I assume many who are reading this may not have seen the movie, I will avoid discussing the plot in detail so as not to be a spoiler. Suffice to say the movie shows how a desperate husband and father will stop at nothing to save his family. The actors in the movie, especially the leads John Lloyd Cruz and Meryll Soriano, are effective without exaggerating. So are the performances of Krystal Brimner, Perla Bautista, Dan Fernandez, and Tirso Cruz III. The conversations in the movie lead you quickly into the heart of its story, and then slowly die down toward its concluding scenes of destruction. And the use of Kankana-ey dialect by the protagonist and his family (who are portrayed to hail from Bontoc) I especially took note of. It projects the closeness of the community and of the family to each other and it displays their oneness with the values inherent in their culture. This, I believe, is central to the story of Honor Thy Father. When pressed into drastic and hopeless situations, we do go back to our roots. 

Although some scenes do drag on at times, I am still proud we have a Filipino-made film that is not empty, not petty, not predictable, and not about far-fetched ideas. It's sad that it seemed like the least-lined-up-for movie that day. It deserves more than that. It is thought-provoking and stirs the soul. Go watch and see for yourselves.

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December 14, 2015

Fun and Mart Korean Grocery

I was so happy discovering this new shop in our neighborhood.  It's called Fun and Mart Korean Grocery.  My mom had been to it first, buying frozen dumplings for my children (which they loved fried or steamed).  The frozen popcorn chicken is easy and good for young and old alike.

I soon visited too, and I unearthed such great finds.

They have great fruit juice drinks.  I especially took a liking to their crushed peach juice. I have been buying them in boxes! It's not too sweet, and the pulp is not too much that it's annoying. It's refreshing and a great pick-me-upper for me.

They have different kinds of soy sauce and salad dressings and soba sauce.  Also bulgogi and kalbi marinades which are very reasonably priced.

They also carry the popular ginseng chicken stew Korea is famous for.  They are packed ready-to-eat. Just heat them. Nutritious and fortifying!

They have all sorts of canned goodies. Even the Korean snack of high-protein silkworm pupa! I hear it's a popular "pulutan".

I found my favorite frozen salted mackerel in Fun and Mart, also very reasonably priced.  We just pan-grill it with olive oil and some garlic.  It's very tasty, doesn't get dry when cooked.  It's very easy to prepare for packed lunch.

They carry premium beef for shabu-shabu hot pot and for bulgogi.  They even have wagyu steaks!

They carry all sorts for the potato-chip lovers out there.  Even the hard-to-find Calbee honey butter chip! My personal favorite is the Crown Gold White Cheddar Cheese which has sweet honey and is low in salt. 

They carry Korean beauty products too, like BB creams and Envisage Collagen Face Cleansing lotion, and Hairfull products.

I also love their home-made yogurt and shakes. They're just the right yummy level of tarty! I am eager to try their snow-flakes next!


Now, this is my treasured find from Fun and Mart-- the Honey Butter Macadamia.  It's my most favorite snack these days.  Great with beer too.  They run out quickly, but you can always give them your name and number.  The staff is very efficient with orders and they send me messages once what I need are back in stock. 

They are open til 11pm in the evenings, so I can easily catch them after work when I want to (which is often). Fun and Mart is at the ground level of the Bellitudo, along Katipunan in White Plains. 

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December 13, 2015

lunch at Tapella

A meal of Spanish cuisine is always something I look forward to, and my recent lunch at Tapella in Greenbelt 5 did not disappoint. The place has such an inviting, comfortable feel to it. It was a great place for business lunches before during my banker days. And it still is an apt choice now for enjoyable meals with colleagues, friends and family.

We started with this generous salad of mixed greens with a tasty tamarind balsamic dressing.  It also has some of my favorite things-- candied walnuts and goat cheese!  The greens and tomatoes are the freshest.  It is an appetizing sweet-sour start to a good meal.

Next on the menu is the refreshing Mango Gazpacho. This is a classic Spanish-style cold soup of tomatoes and olive oil, and Tapella's version has crab meat, salmon roe, and mangoes as a twist!   

The next starter dish is another must-try! This very tasty sisig is made with eggs, morcilla or blood sausages, and pork over shoestring potatoes. It's very special! I can imagine sharing this with some friends over drinks at happy hour!

Truffle-based pastas are popular these days. Tapella's Truffle Cream Pasta, though, is a real feast for the senses.  It reaches you at the table with a heavenly, mouthwatering smell. The use of Spanish jamon as bacon makes it a truly singular experience, delicious yet not overpowering at all.   It is a really delightful dish even my picky children will surely like.

Tapella's Maya-Maya fish recipe is a hit with me too-- it is garnished with lots of my favorite mussels and mushrooms! This is indeed a light and pleasant dish with its white wine parsley sauce.

For dessert, chocolate is always a no-fail choice.  But this Lava Cake turned out to be one of the best I have ever tried.  I love warm chocolate desserts, and this cake is not too sweet, moist and thoroughly warmed just right.

Tapella is offering Christmas set meals til the New Year. Check it out.

Or if your celebrations are at home or in the office, you may call them for catering services. You can choose from set menus or have them customize one for you.

I can't wait to go back for some wine, tapas, paella, and lengua. Here's their menu!

Tapella is at the Ground Floor of Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center in Makati City.
Phone Nos.: (02) 757-2710; Telefax: (02) 757-27-11
Mobile No.: +63917-712-4546
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