Manila’s cheapest: Erra’s $1 ramen in Malate

I’ve turned my back on Malate (also known as Manila’s tourist belt) a long time ago because it’s dirty, crowded, decaying and full of petty thieves. It’s still dirty, decaying, crowded and full of petty thieves but since am based here for work again now, I have to psyche myself up to appreciate its ‘character’ :)

For instance, I vowed to myself to explore Malate before more of its old spots are torn down to give way boring malls and real estate developments. Only in Manila will they demolish valuable pre-War buildings like the Army & Navy Club, Admiral Hotel, Michel Apartments and soon, the Philamlife Auditorium. It is just condemnable!!!

Anyway, what I like about this area is the food. The restos are far from fancy but they’re superb. One of these places, Erra’s Ramen in Malate, is becoming legendary for its piping hot bowls of ramen which are affordable for every Juan.Just look at the menu…

menu

It’s not even a restaurant per se but a cart within a roadside eatery that also serves tapsilog and assorted beer chow. The place is open round-the-clock and is crowded on most nights.

Malate al fresco

malate

I would not have taken Erra’s seriously if I had not known that it’s owned by a Japanese. They even have noodle-making machines at the back.

noodle making machine

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EverydayMe : beauty freebies, health tips & more!

Procter & Gamble (P&G) Philippines recently held a launch for its latest project EverydayMe.com.ph which is envisioned to be an online community of women. It is designed to give tips and information on how to survive a multi-tasking, multi-faceted life as a modern Filipino woman. You know the drill: we aren’t just moms or wives these days, we also double, triple (or even quadruple!) as corporate slaves, entrepreneurs, community organizers, bloggers or whatever you can think of.

Actually, I was thinking to myself: “oh no, not another website!” But since it’s backed up by a giant multinational company like P&G, expect to get MORE, not just tons of informative materials about how to come up with the best costume ideas for Halloween or massage your face to prevent ageing. By more, we mean freebies and giveaways. For instance, newly-registered users of the site can get as much as P900 discount on P&G products just by signing up.

EverydayMe

Here were some of the beautiful people we saw at the launch held at the Conservatory of the Peninsula Manila. Dainty dresses are very much in!

Model Kim Jones(also known as Mrs. Jericho Rosales) looked elegant in an off-shoulder floral design.

Kim Jones in her nook

Stylist and blogger Jenni Epperson opted for a more casual look. We love how this shade of green (and the unexpected pairing with blue flats) is so cool on the eye.

jenni in her nook 2

P&G brand communications manager Anna Legarda Locsin …

Anna Locsin

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Kidz Gear wired headphone for the little ones!

The ‘ber months are here and during this time, mothers like me are already training our eyes on the best gifts to give the young ones. Christmas is for them after all, they’re the ones most excited about those colorfully-wrapped boxes under the Xmas tree.

Toys, clothes and gadgets easily top the list of most-desired items year after year. If the gadgets are there, could the accessories that enhance their enjoyment be not far behind?

I don’t know why I was thinking of the merry holiday season when I got the Kidz Gear headphone over the mail recently. Last Saturday, I was giddy with excitement when I gave it as a present to my four-year old daughter Lucia, albeit prematurely. Christmas Eve feels like an eternity away. But happiness can’t wait, and I saw it etched on her face as she road-tested the thing.For the record, this was her first headphone :)

Lucy & headphone

Being tailor-made for the young ones, Kidz Gear can be adjusted to fit little heads perfectly as early as two years old.

Kidzgear

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#TeenWeekPH2014 makes kids future-ready

Now on its second year, Teen Week PH 2014 had a fun launch recently and I do like the whole concept of empowering teens to be ‘future-ready.’ SM Aura’s SMX Convention Center Hall 2 was jampacked with students from different schools in Metro Manila who excitedly joined activity booths and hobnobbed with today’s most famous influencers.

TeenWeekPH

TeenWeekPH

“Because we wanted to truly make the campaign for teens and by teens, this year’s activities were developed with the help of the teens through a crowd sourcing method done on the #TeenWeekPH Facebook page,” shared Mar Corazo, Project Head and Rexona Brand Manager. “Through this, we gave teens the opportunity to have a say and choose what activities they would like to happen in this year’s #TeenWeekPH.”

The booths had different topics for each day of the week such as #MoveUpMonday, #TransformTuesday, #WorkItWednesday, #TransformThursday and #FutureFriday.

There were oodles of celebrities at the TeenWeekPH launch and here were just some of those we spotted:

Unilever Teenfluencers Laureen Uy, Elmo Magalona, Slater Young, Nicole Andersson and Verniece Enciso

KRV_5220

PBB Teens Fourth Pagotan, Mariz Stella, Fifth Pagotan,Vickie Rushton and Axel Torres

PBBteens

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Celebrities flock to H&M Philippines opening preview!

The maiden H&M Philippines flagship store is opening tomorrow, October 17 in SM Megamall and so far it’s the year’s most awaited event among Manila’s fashionistas! In fact, a lot of people were already lined up at the Mega Fashion Hall as early as today. We were able to attend the exclusive VIP party last night where Manila’s socialites and celebrities paid homage to Sweden’s much-loved fashion brand.

Here’s a photo spread of the beautiful people we saw at the red carpet.

Sam Pinto –

Sam Pinto

Bela Padilla

Bela Padilla

Ruffa Gutierrez and daughters Lorin and Venice –

Ruffa and kids

Tim Yap and Sophie Sumner of Britain’s (and America’s) Next Top Model

Tim & Sophie

The good-looking siblings Frank, Saab and Maxene Magalona –

the Magalonas

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Search for Ten Outstanding Young Mathematicians is on!

The Philippines lags behind other Asian countries when it comes to the perceived quality of Math and Science Education. In the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-2014, the Philippines was ranked 96th out of 142 countries. This is far behind the ranking of Indonesia (No. 35), Japan (No. 34), Malaysia (No. 27) and Taiwan (No. 11). Hong Kong and Singapore have better rankings too.

To motivate the new generation to seek excellence in math skills, Sharp Calculators has banded together with the Department of Education-National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR),Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), Mathematics Trainers’ Guild Philippines (MTG), Mathematical Society of the Philippines (MSP), and Philippine Council of Mathematics Educators, Inc. (MathTEd) to launch the very first search for the Ten Outstanding Youth Mathematicians (TOYM) in the National Capital Region.

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Outstanding youth who will get the TOYM award will be the first batch of Sharp Calculators’ Youth Ambassadors who will spearhead school tours and math symposia Winners will receive plaques of excellence, cash prizes and gifts from Sharp Calculators.

Seen during the launch of the competition were: (from left) Lucero Ong, AVP of Sharp Calculators; Dr. Jose Balmaceda, president of the Math Society of the Philippines and Julie Lim, VP- Sharp Calculators.

Sharp

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Valerie Weigmann poised to win Miss World Philippines 2014?

The ceremonies for Miss World Philippines 2014 are going on at the MOA Arena as we speak. Though we never get to cover this event like we do the annual Bb. Pilipinas, our bets are on that Candidate No. 19 Valerie Weigmann will win the crown that will be left vacant by Megan Young tonight. (Although it’s tough shoes to fill since tonight’s winner will also have to bag the Miss World title bagged by Megan in Bali, Indonesia last year)

Like Megan, the 24-year old Valerie has showbiz roots, being known for her participation in Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition Plus. Her biography also lists her as a model, host for the noontime show Eat Bulaga and an owner of a German-Turkish restaurant in Makati known as baam.

This photo of Valerie in her official Facebook page –

Valerie Weigmann

Update: the 5’8″ stunner Valerie was named Best in Swimsuit, Best in Long Gown and Miss Fashion Runway in the ongoing ceremonies: Photo via @joryrivera on Instagram

Valerie swimsuit

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Beef stroganoff recipe + Maya Kitchen giveaway!

I had fun attending a cooking class at Enderun Extension last month and having a hands-on experience cooking Beef Tenderloin Rossini with Pan Seared Foie Gras on a bed of risotto.

Last September 27, Chef Martin Kaspar, one of the owners of L’Entrecote in Burgos Circle and also an instructor in Enderun, staged a cooking demo at The Maya Kitchen in Makati.It was very interesting since the students learned how to cook restaurant-quality food and it’s not so difficult after all. The chef’s recipe for Beef Stroganoff has cognac and it adds a unique twist to the dish.

Beef Stroganoff

Read the recipe after the jump and find out how you can be one of 3 winners of our giveaway of a cooking class at The Maya Kitchen (P1,500 value each).

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Glad PH Design Your Kid’s Baon promo

Preparing a child’s baon (or lunchbox in common parlance) is undoubtedly a part of parenthood. Sometimes we get up in the wee hours of the morning just to get things ready. It is a manifestation of love and a showcase of one’s creativity. What every mom wants in a lunchbox is of course healthy food, variety of choices and maybe a burst of colors to make the food more attractive for kids to eat.

And now, lunchbox preparation has entered the mainstream with Glad Kitchen’s Design Your Kid’s Baon – a creative competition that’s sure to elevate food preparation into an art. Just follow these simple rules in the poster, the official FB page is at http://www.facebook.com/GladKitchen/

DYKB invitation

DYKB mechanics

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Wagyu dinner at Akira teppanyaki resto

It was that weekend we were checked in Astoria Plaza and nothing seemed to go well. The wifi was (forever) not working in the hotel and our Kapitolyo food trip went sour as there appeared to be coordinated bad service in that dingy place called Three Sisters and Charlie’s Grind & Grill next door. A trip to the civilized confines of Shangri-La Mall was definitely in order.

This mall has one of the best curation of restos in the metro, so if you want to play safe with your hard-earned moolah, dine here! The Shang’s East Wing has gotten so much buzz because of the excellent food choices. We decided to train our tastebuds on the menu of Akira which is the newest teppanyaki restaurant in town.

Akira

Akira is part of the growing chain of dining places owned by actor Marvin Agustin and his business partners (which also includes Banzai in MOA ). The complete name is: Akira The Art of Sushi and Teppanyaki. The sushi part escaped me, but I don’t mind coz we were going to have Wagyu for dinner!

All that beef, majestic glorious beef that melts in the mouth and makes you feel you’re in heaven….my oh my!

wagyu

But that’s getting ahead of the story. Watching the chef doing a teppanyaki show where he performs with knives, like they do in Benihana, is one of the attractions at Akira. I made sure I filmed it for posterity:

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