J.Co Donuts giveaway is on – 5 winners! #annalyn10years

This blog’s 10th year anniversary last July went by in a whirl. Now it’s August and the celebration continues. We’re glad and honored to have the phenomenal J.Co Donuts sponsoring this month’s giveaway as this brand is close to my heart. We were there when they opened their first store in Megamall in 2012 and now their stores all over the country have ballooned to 24 or so. That’s simply amazing!

(image courtesy of J.Co Donuts Philippines)

We want you to be able to share the happiness with your family and friends. This is why am giving away five (5) J.Co Donuts gift certificates worth P1000 each. This should be good enough to buy boxes of their divine donuts plus some more to spare for their other treats like the J.Cool, the J.Pops, coffees and blended drinks.

To join this giveaway, just spread the word and follow our mechanics via Rafflecopter. Winners will be randomly chosen (by Rafflecopter too) and should ideally be located in Metro Manila. Provincial winners must shoulder their own shipping for sending the GCs.

Full mechanics after the jump…

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Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014!

Running bores me. But there’s something about an organized run that motivates you, and to run along with the crowd. My officemates and I certainly had fun joining yesterday’s Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014. We were there on behalf of our company (PAGCOR) which was one of the event sponsors :)


Overheard as we raced through the finish line: “O ayan, 1 kilometer na lang. Kelangan nang mag retouch para maganda sa picture.” LOL.

I realized it’s been three years since Rexona Run 2011. I looked at my before and after photos and happy to feel fitter and leaner now.No, I didn’t go on a crazy diet and will NOT give up rice. But I certainly put an effort in going to the gym (albeit irregularly) and practicing portion control (when not food blogging).

at Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014

Anyway, the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014 was for a good cause since the funds raised will benefit the street children under the care of the Virlanie Foundation.

Virlanie kids

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#SamsungCookOff : superb dishes you can make at home!

The Samsung Cook Off was one fun and educational event I attended in the past week. This was the culminating activity of a recipe challenge I launched in this blog a weeks ago. My winner and two other winners of the Samsung Smart Oven from other blogs met at the GalaStars Culinary School in Pasig for the final countdown.

Here’s my contestant, editor Lorraine Lorenzo. I chose her recipe for Thai Chicken Nuggets in Red Curry Sauce because it looked delish and she used all natural ingredients, no shortcuts in making the dish.

with Lorraine

Lorraine’s also a mom and it’s worth noting that she adopted the recipe as an alternative for her school-age son who normally goes for fried chicken. This was yummy…the only thing missing was the rice…and some red hot chili peppers! :)

Thai chicken nuggets in curry sauce

The participants were given one hour max to prepare their dishes under the watchful eye of the board of judges led by Chef Ernest Reynoso Gala.

Samsung CookOff

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Epic selfie with Manny Pacquiao at #RexonaTrainingCamp

It was my second opportunity to have my photo taken with Manny Pacquiao , the greatest Filipino boxer of our time, but it was only last night – at the launch of the Rexona Training Camp – that I discovered how cool and down-to-earth he can be.

Me: Can I have a picture please?

Pacman: Mag-selfie na lang tayo! (after which he grabs by Samsung phone and raises it in the air for our selfie pose)


Selfie with Manny

Take 2, distort the face. LOL.

Selfie with Manny

One thing I discovered: Manny loves to selfie! And the first and only eight-division world boxing champion is a man in touch with this generation, he’s so charismatic. ’twas nice to see him be so accommodating (and selfie-ing!) with his fans.

Here’s another pic Pacman took of him & Team Unilever – PR manager Apples Aberin, Brand Manager Mar Corazo and our good friend Franco of Bridges PR (photo courtesy of Instagram @applesaberin)


Anyway, congrats Manny on being the newest brand ambassador of Rexona. We believe there’s no one else like him who embodies the Rexona Do More philosophy; being not only a boxer but also a legislator, family man, businessman, singer (??) and coming soon- a professional basketball player and coach!

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Shopping finds at Robinsons Malls’ Red Hot Sale!

There’s a lot of negative stories floating around about August being a Ghost Month, but for shopaholics like you and me, there’s nothing negative at all about our favorite Robinsons Malls throughout the country going on a RED HOT SALE for the whole month of August! In my own opinion, this is the best time of the year to go on a shopping spree because some of our favorite items are discounted at as much as 70% off!

red hot sale

My friends are gushing about this once-a-year event so I decided to check it out for myself in Robinsons Galleria. You might ask: what can P1000 pesos buy you in the Robinsons Malls Red Hot Sale? If your discount shopping instinct is primed to the max, you can take home a lot of quality items actually, and some by world-class designer brands. Find out as I go about this post.

Being a mom, my feet first led me to Toys R Us because am always on a lookout for stuff to bring home to my little one. It wasn’t as easy as I thought because this store is huge! But the huge Sale signs showed me the way.

Look at that, as much as 70% off on VTech Educational Toys!

Toys r Us

Original Frozen dolls are not on sale, but they’re out of stock everywhere so I was happy to find some at Toys r Us selling for less than a thousand. Aye!

Frozen doll

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Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza in Salcedo Village Makati

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza so we decided to give the place a visit after dropping by the Salcedo Weekend Market. What a coincidence, Gino’s is located in a building I used to work in though I couldn’t seem to recognize any trace of the the old place now. Changes, changes….

For a 2pm late lunch, Gino’s was still quite packed. They need a bigger space.


The interiors are simple, easy on the eye, and stay true to the brick oven theme.


The menu at Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza is relatively short, and as you can see in the board above, they only list the desserts. So I’ll mention what I tried as a meal ender because it was my first time to try this: the chocolate chicharon! (or pork rind dipped in choco). Not bad and definitely a must-try. I just wished there was more saltiness coming from the chicharon to add zing to the richness of the dip. And P.S. I hope this doesn’t become a food trend soon :)


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Teddy’s Bigger Burgers of Hawaii to open in Greenbelt 3!

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, Hawaii’s number one burger, is the latest foreign food chain to enter the Philippines as it opens its maiden store at Level 3 of Greenbelt 3, Makati City (in front of Nanbantei of Tokyo) on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

I’ve been loving burgers lately and am excited with this development. We’ve been told that Teddy’s Bigger Burgers takes pride in its super thick milkshakes and signature made-to-order burger consisting of 100% cornfed ground chuck.Other must-tries are its buffalo wings,Teri Burger (with teriyaki sauce) and Bacado Burger (with cheese, bacon & avocado).

TBB Win 1 year

To attract customers during its August 23 opening day, Teddy’s is offering something irresistible -

The first five to fall in line will receive one year supply of burgers (one burger a week, for 52 weeks!)…

The 6th to 10th in line will get six months supply of burgers (one burger a week, for 26 weeks!)…

and 11th to 20th in line will receive three months supply of free burgers (one burger a week for 13 weeks!)

Among Nos. 21 to 80 in line, five lucky winners will be drawn via raffle to win a weekly supply of burgers for one month (one burger a week for 5 weeks!)

All right..pandemonium na to! :) That’s not all because

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Zark’s Burger happiness!

It is truly epic to eat a filling meal for 4 people, have chicken wings, have dessert and have your bill running to less than a thousand pesos. Isn’t that happiness? :)


But I guess this is what Zark’s Burgers is all about, and what makes them popular with the college and office crowd. We ate in Zark’s Burgers BF Homes which is in the 2nd floor of a nondescript building along President Avenue, but still full of people that Sunday.


Of course, most people would come here for the burger which I would describe as very decent and tasty for the price. Here is what our seatmate had… The Tombstone, a 500-peso, two-pound cheeseburger served with 300 grams of fries. The come-on: finish it in 10-minutes and you get a free t-shirt and a spot in the Wall of Fame


Thanks for the t-shirt offer, but I’d rather have their Honey Glazed Krispy Kreme Donut a la Mode (P100). It came with an extra order of candied bacon since I wanted to try that too. I truly felt that life’s Top 3 sinful things (donut + ice cream + bacon) conspired to tease my taste buds that night!

Donut + candied bacon

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LTO ban on license plate covers… is unbelievable!

We all know what this country needs aren’t more laws and stupid regulations coming from the bureaucracy. What we need is strict enforcement about policies that make sense to the public, not formulated depending on the whim of those in power.

Anyway, I was in a state of exasperation last week when I was flagged down by a traffic officer for a ‘traffic violation’. I said “what?” I was in the right lane, wasn’t driving on my coding day, and wasn’t beating the yellow light the way I sometimes do (LOL).

The officer told me that I was in violation of something that I didn’t know about: the new Land Transportation Office (LTO) order banning license plate covers, holders and third party accessories from all kinds o vehicles, including motorcycles… both old and new!

He was referring to LTO’s Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01 which prohibits the attachment of the covers etc…. the main reason being that it might block the visibility of the license plate or vehicle sticker.

I was about to say to him that as a car owner, protection is of greater importance to me than visibility, but held my peace. A smile and protracted diplomacy prevented my license plate from being confiscated that day, and being fined P5,000 for violating the order.

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Cantino in Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City

I love Pasong Tamo Extension because it doesn’t remind me of the rest of the business jungle that’s Makati with its high-rises, traffic, buses, vehicles, crowds etc. It’s quiet in here, the buildings are preserved. It’s mostly filled with car dealerships, studios, ad & media agencies, and cozy little restaurants from where you can enjoy your food while relishing some privacy.

Cantino is one such secret spot. Can’t help but check out the place after some business found me at Ace Saatchi House that day. There are no signs anywhere pointing to this little canteen, you just have to negotiate a long alley.

Way to Cantino

The interiors immediately warmed up to me, and the menu written on the board is most attractive..


It’s quite strange that the place connects to the service center of European Motors Philippines Corporation (think about those luxury cars!) and this is the view you get from the second floor of the resto ..

View of the garage

Nothing special about the food served at Cantino but one thing I noticed, it’s quite cheap for this part of Makati with prices randing from P35 to P120. They offer good ol’ Filipino comfort food with a twist, although there seems to be a predominance of dishes from the North like Ilocos empanada and Isabela longanisa.

I ordered the Chori Pasta (P120) composed of crumbled Batak chorizo with kesong puti (white cottage cheese). It was my first time to pour Sukang Iloko (native vinegar) on pasta and it was suprisingly good!

Chori pasta

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