Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ube Jelaya: This one’s fried!

Ube Jelaya. What’s the fuzz, I asked myself when offered a serving at the Star Café of Kabayan Hotel Pasay.

Fried and wrapped it came on the table! And like with any other food offered to me, this fried ube jelaya (jam) may be worth the experience.

One spoonful of this vibrant purple jam that landed on my excited taste buds was enough to evoke thoughts on how this yam that thrives across Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, was cooked. Jane Andres of Kabayan Hotel Pasay ( my host) and I started recalling in a jiffy how town and barrio folks cooked it over medium-low flame with constant “arm-numbing stirring.” Family members would even take turns stirring the cooked ube mixture and the smell of firewood, that made it exotic, used to be evident in the jelaya. With all the cups of milk and sugar that are blended with the cooked ube, it is certainly a NO-NO food to diet conscious denizens. Surely, a spoonful wouldn’t hurt but with macapuno, it’s another story. And these were not among our meeting’s real agenda!

Anyway, there may be myriad ways, based on one’s culture, on how to deal with the manner of cooking or preparing this ube jelaya. What touched my palate is a recipe from Quezon province. Fried or simply painstakingly stirred for an hour or more until the pasty consistency is achieved, the ube jelaya is meant to be a star among our own Pinoy desserts.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

First Wagayway (Flag) Festival Kicks Off

The First Wagayway Festival kicked off last May 24, 2008 amidst jovial spirit of town folks and guests. Gracing the opening activitiy of the 5-day festival were Congressman Pidi Brazaga and his wife Dasmariñas Mayor Jenny Barzaga. The kick off parade was participated in by senior citizens groups, socio-civic groups like IBAC, Lions Club and Bankers Association of Imus, teachers and administrators of public and private schools of Imus, municipal employees, youth and cultural orgs,Toyota Alabang Inc. and the Pagsanjan cultural group, bands, drum and lyre, and rondalla from the Philippine Marines, FEU and PNU.

The event derived its title "Wagayway" from the fact that the first Philippine flag which was sewn by Marcela Agoncillo in Hongkong was first unfurled in Imus on May 28, 1898 following a victory by local revolutionaries against the Spanish forces at what is now known as "Battle of Alapan".

The holding of the annual festival is aimed at reclaiming the Philippine town of Imus' rightful place in the country’s history even as it also seeks to make itself known as the nation’s flag capital.

See pics...

Sunday, May 11, 2008 a bite idea

It all began with the experience of three Asian Institute of Management students. Nelson Dinio, Bernalette Ramos-Santiago and Christopher Ferareza, senior managers/directors of two premier Philippine accounting firms, who conducted the Leadership Walkabout Process project “The Best of Imus Kakanin Atbp”, tasted the sumptuous “kutsinta” (red rice cake).

They found out that the “kutsinta” has been produced by an entrepreneur for over 40 years now in her backyard using a traditional grinding stone or “gilingan”. Inspired by such discovery, Dinio, Santiago, and Ferareza thought of starting a central outlet that will market the delicious “kutsinta” to a wider market. They call it the “bite idea” because a bite paved the way to the concept.

Complimenting the existing Kakaninderia as distribution and retail establishment that sells “kakanin” and other local products, the online version was put up by the three excited graduate students to expand the market reach of these products.

Though the products offered are limited to the best from small “kakanin” producers of Imus, Cavite, they are all under the brand name PATIKIM or “Produkto at Ipinagmamalaking Kakanin ng Imus.” As such, clients are assured of excellent quality.

The “kakanin” includes “kutsinta” (red rice cake), “pitchi-pitchi” (ground cassava cake), “sapin-sapin” (three-layered rice cake), “pinipig pitchi-pitchi”, “empanada”, and Don Roberto’s Mango Wine. Orders are currently limited to customers within Cavite, Makati, Pasay, Manila, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa.

Those toying on the idea of ordering and tasting these “kakanin” are in for a gastronomic surprise for they are to have a share of this “bite idea.”

Friday, May 9, 2008

Come Home To Kabayan Hotel

Be a VIP, a Very Important Pinoy, that is, at Kabayan Hotel.

From the airport, checking in to Kabayan Hotel is hassle-free since at the NAIA Terminal since representatives from the Legend Hotels International Corporation facilitate the guest’s transfer to the hotel through its 24-hour “meet and greet” program.
Stepping in the hotel premises, one begins to feel at home and enjoy authentic Pinoy hospitality that he longed for while away from home.
As the sun is up, a Kabayan VIP may enjoy breakfast he craves for – tocino, tapa, daing na bangus and more. Blend in some freshly brewed Kapeng Barako or local hot chocolate for the complete pambahay breakfast.
Then go on with the great Pinoy experience and indulge with more good food prepared for that Pinoy appetite at Kabayan’s Pinoy Star Café.
How does sizzling sisig from Pampanga sound? Crispy pata? Laswa? Pochero, anyone? Don’t forget to end your meal with sweet notes- ube jaleya, creamy leche flan, sago’t gulaman or halo-halo.
It’s not only food that Kabayan Hotel offers to honor the all-important guest. Kabayan Hotel has rooms that fit one’s budget and taste- from Premium Rooms to Pads.
For the premium rooms, each air-conditioned room is designed with bedside control panel, cable TV, telephone, internet connection, private toilet and bath.
The budget conscious may enjoy Kabayan’s Pads, a single occupancy room with set breakfast at PhP 800 net.
For the whole family, be at home with spacious and furnished family rooms that come in unique designs and functionality at reasonable rates.
The list does not end here. For the VIP, hotel staff goes an extra mile to assure comfortable, safe, clean, and secured accommodations. They are always ready to welcome the VIP with sunny smiles into the lobby and Bayanihan lounges, function/meeting rooms, internet ready business centers, prayer room, and well-guarded parking lots.
Kabayan has safety deposit boxes, closed circuit cameras, secured luggage room, room service for coffee shop, on-call masseurs, and a 24-hour car rental for the VIP’s convenience.
The VIP is certain to find refuge in “there-is’no-place-like-home” atmosphere of Kabayan Hotel. So find out how it is to be a Very Important Pinoy, the VIP. Come home to Kabayan Hotel Pasay at 2878 Zamora Street corner EDSA/Pasay Rotonda ( near MRT/LRT Stations).
For reservations and inquiries, call 7022700 to 04 or visit .
Kabayan shall welcome you home!

Imus gears up for Wagayway Festival

IMUS, Cavite, Philippines- This bustling municipality is gearing up for a series of festive activities aimed at reclaiming its rightful place in the country's history even as it also seeks to make itself known as the nation's flag capital.

Organizers of the project dubbed "Wagayway Festival 2008" led by Mayor Manny Maliksi and Vice Mayor Mandy Ilano have expressed optimism that this year's activities will finally usher in a new era and create a new identity for their municipality.

Wagayway means to wave, display or unfurl something that is folded such as in the case of a flag or a banner. The event derived its title from the fact that the first Philippine flag which was sewn by Marcela Agoncillo in Hongkong was first unfurled in Imus on May 28, 1898 following a victory by local revolutionaries against the Spanish forces at what is now known as "Battle of Alapan".

In an interview, Mayor Maliksi pointed out that the five day festival which will begin May 24 and culminate on May 28 will jumpstart what they envision will be an annual activity comparable in magnitude and influence to such famous festivals in the country.

"However, unlike other festivals which are religious in nature, this is a festival with historical and nationalistic theme. It will be celebrated highlighting the bravery and patriotism of the revolutionaries who won the Battle of Alapan in Imus, Cavite despite tremendous odds "he said.

"It is guaranteed to become even more colorful than other festivals because we will fill almost every area of our town with Philippine flags to dramatize our claim to being the country's flag capital while also highlighting the bravery of our ancestors who fought against the Spaniards" Ilano elaborated.

That victory battle paved the way for the eventual birth of the First Philippine Republic and the declaration of the Philippine Independence on June 12 of the same year by President Emilio Aguinaldo where he also unfurled the same flag in the nearby Kawit town. That single act of Aguinaldo led to the common notion among many ordinary Filipinos that it was in Kawit where the country's flag was first unfurled.

However, both Mayor Maliksi and Vice Mayor Ilano are confident that the activities they lined up will establish Imus as a historic town as it will also make a name as one of the top tourist and investment destinations in the country. Aside from an array of festive activities, they also invited several well-known TV and movie personalities to liven up the event and attract more visitors.

The festival shall commence with the colorful Flag Parade, giving a deeper respect to the icon of nationhood. Festivities shall include a game show, the “Lutrina” Sagala, motorcycle show, on-the-spot mural making contest, “Talakayang Kasaysayan” public forum, “Galing-Kalye” hip-hop showdown, “Kasaysayawan” ballroom dance olympics, “Birit Hear-It!” singing contest, “Concierto 110: Rock the Flag” concert. The festival will be capped by the re-enactment of the "Battle of Alapan" and the momentous Flag Raising Ceremony on May 28.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tamondong's Zoo La La: Homage to Animalandia

Zoo La La, Tamondong’s ninth one-man show last March, 2008 paid tribute to common animals in colorful menageries.

With inspiration drawn from a 6-week holiday in Thailiand, his show reflected the desire to "start a move whereby people treat animals with more love and respect." Back in Thailand, Tamondong noticed how well the Thais "took care, not just their pets, but animals in general." So he translated this high regard for these creatures on canvas in whimsical strokes and shapes.

In this exhibit at the Gallery Art Verite, Serendra, The Fort, Tamondong consistently conveyed his love for playfulness, humor, vibrant colors, and enchantment.

More of his ideas on canvas will be treated as treasures in his site which is currently under construction by Kaizen Internetworking.