Kuya is back!

30 01 2013
Chantilly Milazzo Panettone 03

The ribbon on the cake announces the provenance of this one–of–a–kind Christmas cake – Chantilly in Milazzo!

I SPENT the most of December 2012 bidding friends farewell.  One was punctuated with the gift of panettone, the traditional Italian Christmas cake.  This confection, made rich and fluffy with eggs and butter, has come to be a reminder not only of the most joyous of seasons, but also of a really good friend – Kuya Michele.

Today, I received another panettone.  And this one traveled all of about 10,275 kilometers to find its way to my hands.  It comes from Chantilly in Milazzo, which I first wrote about here.  (Visit their site at http://www.chantilly.sicilia.it/.)

And just like that, Kuya Michele is back.

Chantilly Milazzo Panettone 01

I don’t speak an iota of Italian but reading everything on the box is like music to my ears.


Paolo Michele eNTeNG

Paolo, Kuya Michele, and eNTeNG

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

How do I love thee? Let me count the bites!

30 01 2013
SQ918 15 Two-Bite Brownies

A pack of ORIGINAL two–bite brownies®, bathed in the afternoon Singaporean sun piercing through the window of my Singapore Airlines flight.

I WAS told that the Philippines’ Presidential Sister and Queen of All–Media, Ms. Kris Aquino, “instagrammed” about this.  But it was my good friend Loradel who clued me in on it.

All that you need to know about the ORIGINAL two–bite brownies® is on the packaging.  It’s moist.  It’s fudgy.  It’s made with Belgian chocolate.  It’s all natural.  It has 0g Trans Fat.

And you can savor it in at most two bites.  Or, if you want to cut to the chase, you can, just as easily, pop one whole thing into your mouth.

Undeniably, this is my current food fixation.  And as it is with anything edible and wonderful, it is meant to be shared with friends.

So whatever I find on display at Cold Storage or at the 7–11 nearest my place, I hoard to share with my best friends.  Fortunately, there’s always enough for one pack for each.

SQ918 16 Two-Bite Brownies

A peak into what lie inside the bag! Yummy! Scrumptiously delicious.


SQ918 17 Two-Bite Brownies

Each pack contains four cute brownies!


two-bite brownies 01

One hoard!

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

The beauty of the Philippines comes shining through

30 01 2013
PR501 06 Foil

The beauty of the Philippines, embossed on gold foil.

I’M ONE of those who have Philippine Airlines as a backup.  Only as a backup.  For when Singapore Airlines could really not accommodate me.

On my last trip back home, I just couldn’t get a seat on Singapore Airlines back to the Lion City.  So I had no choice but to turn to my court of last resort – Philippines Airlines.

PR501 00 Terminal 2

One nice thing about the Philippine Airlines is that it still has Terminal 2 all to its own.


PR501 01 Time Zones

Anything that tells time captures my attention.


PR501 02 Plane

The plane is ready for boarding!


PR501 03 Passport

My Singapore Airlines-clad Philippine passport doesn’t have any problems cozying up to Mabuhay and Fiesta Boutique magazines.


PR501 04 Departure

My flight left on-the-dot!


PR501 05 Meal

The food has arrived!


PR501 07 Tomato Juice

I may have changed airlines but my drink of choice remains the same – tomato juice! Though they serve different brands.


PR501 08 Beef with Soy Sauce

This is really delicious beef in soy sauce. Yummy!


PR501 09 Salad

This salad is one of the simplest – yet most satisfying – that I have ever had! I want to recreate it in my kitchen!


PR501 10 Coffee Time

It’s coffee time! But for me it also means having a full glass of tomato juice on standby.

I haven’t flown on my nation’s flag carrier for the longest time that I have forgotten how nice an experience it could be.  It reduced me to wanting to write in cursive – turbulence be damned – and write I did.

My appreciation for the service I was provided at more than 30,000 feet up in the air ended up filling four pages torn from one of my best friends’ notebook (Bin’s).

For me, whatever magic I’ve got in me is best expressed when pen hits paper.

PR501 11 Letter 1 of 4

Page 1 of 4


PR501 11 Letter 2 of 4

Page 2 of 4


PR501 11 Letter 3 of 4

Page 3 of 4


PR501 11 Letter 4 of 4

Page 4 of 4


PR501 15 Arrival

We’ve arrived!


PR501 16 Arrival

The chin has landed! Haha!

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

The best “heat and eat”

28 01 2013
The Farm Organics - Store 02

Finally, I have it in my hands – The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef!

MY LAST vacation back home was totally devoted to staying home and catching up with my family.  The only things that I had managed to squeeze into this tight schedule was a trip to Bonifacio High Street and another to The Landmark Supermarket to pick up a few packs of The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef.

I first read about this on Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez’s blog.  The combination of the photos and the words whet my appetite into overdrive that I just had to text one of my brothers to go get it and have it ready and waiting for me for when I would’ve finally come home.

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 10 SMS

I read about The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef on Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez’s blog and that very moment, I had to ask home to get it for me. Haha!


The Farm Organics - Store 00

The Farm Organics counter at The Landmark boasts a host of many products that include beef jerky…


The Farm Organics - Store 01

…and meats in various cuts for various purposes. What I wouldn’t give for pots and pans and stovetops at that very moment!

I got a text back that it was sold out, hoarded by “society’s doyennes” in time for New Year’s.  Haha!

So when I finally got home, I just had to have it.  They promised that the supply would be replenished by January, and it was.

It was everything I expected it to be – so flavorful and oh so tender!  With just a couple of slices, I finished one rice cooker’s worth of steamed white jasmine rice.

The Farm Organics is now on my own favorites list and I can’t wait to try my family recipes using their “free-range, no antibiotics, no added hormones” beef.

It’s another reason to get me excited to come home.

The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 00

My very first pack of The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef! I was so excited for all the scrumptioud promises it holds!


The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 01

Each pack comes with mushroom gravy for free! On it are the really easy-to-follow instructions. I opted for the stove-top.


The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 02

As instructed, I places the roast beef slices neatly on a pan.


The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 06

Three to five minutes after, I have the most perfect meal of flavorful, tender beef slices, smothered in delicious mushroom gravy and served with perfectly cooked, steamed plump grains of white jasmine rice.


The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 09

I started with a modest portion of rice. But I ended up finishing one rice cooker’s worth. Haha!


The Farm Organics - Roast Beef 08

This has got to be one of the best meals I have had in years. The meat, aside from the flavor and the texture, had the best marbling, owing to its provenance. Organic. Free-range, No antibiotics. No added hormones. I shall recommend this to my best friends. Brother (Edu) and Mark are on the top of that list!


Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved


28 01 2013
SQ918 13 Wing

Just took off from Changi International Airport. I just always have to have a snap of the airplane’s wing against the land, the sea, and the sky.

IF YOU care for someone, it’s important to remember why they are in your life.

And everytime I’m up in the air that is exactly what I do.

I may have time for a movie – or a part of it (“Pitch Perfect” is on the cover of KrisWorld and “the perks of being a wallflower” and “Arbitrage” are also on the list!) – and most likely all the broadsheets on offer and a couple of magazines I’d pick up at times travel or any other book shop I pass by on the way to the gate.

SQ918 01 KrisWorld

Fat Amy is in the house!

But still, a lot of the three and a half hours I spend airborne is devoted to being breathless in anticipation of yet another homecoming.  And this feeling of being at home starts the very moment I get on board my Singapore Airlines flight.  Sweet.

SQ918 00 Panettone

On this trip, the Panettone was the most precious cargo.


SQ918 02 Longchamp Adidas

Before take-off, all carry-on luggage has to be stowed under the seat in front of you. I looked at my two bags and realized that I was traveling with a French and an Italian!


SQ918 05 Take-off and Wing

See you again soon, Lion City! … Before long, it was time to take off. I’ve always found my Singapore Airlines flights to keep their schedules really well.


SQ918 10 Wing

One of the views I love is when the sun breaks free from the clouds. So a photo is always requisite.


SQ918 03 KrisWorld Movies

The New Releases line-up has some of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I didn’t know which to start with.


SQ918 14 Fast Facts

The Philippines is featured on the latest issue of KrisFlyer. I love this boxed feature on my country’s “fast facts”.


SQ918 18 Passport

Before the food arrives, I make sure that I fill out all the disembakation forms required at the NAIA.


SQ918 19 Passport

I love my complimentary Singapore Airlines leather passport holder!


SQ918 20 Food

Yehey! The food arrives. That happens to be my third can of Campbell’s Tomato Juice! I always love it when they say, “Would you like the whole can?”


SQ918 21 Food

I asked for the fish with vegetables! Delish!


SQ918 25 Tissot

I wore one of my Tissots on this trip. And yes, a Charriol.


SQ918 26 Tissot

Right on time, we’re taxiing down the runway at the NAIA.


SQ918 28 NAIA Arrival

I’m home!


Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Cupcakes by Paul Frank for Sonja

21 01 2013
Cupcakes_eNTeNG Solo 00

eNTeNG and the Red Velvet Vixen, Cupcakes by Sonja, The Serendra Piazza, circa 2009

I REALIZED that, for some reason, Paul Frank has always had cupcake–themed merchandise every season.  The first time I saw their “Will Work For Cupcakes” T-shirt, I knew exactly who to get it for.

Amidst the frantic festive feeling that defined my few days in the Philippines, I resolved to squeeze a few hours’ worth of trip back on that strip called Bonifacio High Street.  And of course, to pay my favorite cupcakes place a visit.

I did intend to sink my teeth into one of my all-time favorites, the Red Velvet Vixen, but more importantly, I went there to drop off my present for my favorite pastry chef, hailed by a top magazine as the Creative Cupcake Queen, Sonja Ocampo.

Cupcakes by Sonja IMG_7564

Sonja on the pages of one of the Philippines’s top magazines, September 2010

She was out on her own vacation at the time of my visit.  But the moment she got hold of her Paul Frank loot, she sent me a text message that was just as sweet as her own confections.  See you soon, Sonja!

Cupcakes by Sonja Note IMG_2130

I left a note with my present.


Cupcakes by Sonja IMG_3373

One of the send-off presents I received before moving to Singapore was a box of my favorite cupcakes from Cupcakes by Sonja.


Cupcakes by Sonja - Peanut Butter Nutella & Red Velvet Vixen 00

Peanut Butter Nutella cupcake, which Sonja made especially for the Virlanie Foundation, and my favorite, the Red Velvet Vixen.


Cupcakes by Sonja - Peanut Butter Nutella 02

A box of four Peanut Butter Nutella cupcakes


Cupcakes by Sonja - Peanut Butter Nutella 05

A tight shot of arguably one of the prettiest cupcakes I have ever seen and had. Clearly, no scrimping on the frosting here!


Cupcakes by Sonja - Red Velvet Vixen 01

The cream cheese frosting alone on the Red Velvet Vixen can send shivers down my spine. This is that good.


Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Miss list

21 01 2013

FOOD is one of the ties that bind me to home.  So a few days before my last homecoming, I just had to send a text message to enumerate all the dishes that I just had to have.  Food is an expression of love and the fact that home will never just be a place but a reflection of people who love each other – wherever that could be geographically.


Filipino Food Wish List Part 1



Filipino Food Wish List Part 2


Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved


21 01 2013
Tre Marie Panettone 02

TRE MARIE PANETTONE MILANESE SENZA CANDITI, on a seat beside me on board SQ918, departing for Manila. It shared space with my lambskin Longchamp.

MAKING FRIENDS with people from different cultures opens you up to learn about traditions outside your own.  They may be totally different on face value but, for all intents and purposes, quite the familiar.

One of the best gifts I got over the past holidays was TRE MARIE PANETTONE MILANESE SENZA CANDITI. Kuya Michele, who gave me the gift before his months–long assignment had ended, wanted me to have it with my family for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner.  He said that an Italian family Christmas dinner would not be complete without panettone.

So this premise meant I had to exercise all the self-control I could muster even when the pints of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer had been calling out to me, asking to cozy up to wedges of this Italian Christmas cake, rich and fluffy with eggs and butter, made with sultana raisins, and as brandished on the box, made in the traditional Milanese way.

On my last flight home, I made it a point to handle this cake with utmost care, almost giving it its own seat on my Singapore Airlines flight.

True to expectations, it was devoured by my whole family on our much–delayed holiday dinner the very evening I arrived.  We had it with either regular ice cream or sugar–free frozen yogurt for my mom, together with excellent coffee.

Tre Marie Panettone 01

Taking good care of the cake meant resting it on a pillow. I did try to fit the seat belt around it. Hahaha!


Tre Marie Panettone 00

The day I picked up the panettone. Here it is, awash in sunlight at dusk.


Italian Lunch - Food 09 Panettone

The panettone at our Italian Christmas lunch at Claudio’s place on Orchard Turn.


Italian Lunch - Food 10 Panettone with Gelato

I’ve come to love panettone the way I first served it, with ice cream. Or in this case, with gelato.


Italian Lunch - Food 11 Panettone with Gelato

A tight shot of scrumptious panettone with vanilla bean and chocolate gelato.



Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

21 minutes

10 01 2013
Changi Airport - eNTeNG's MunchTime

Call me conceited. But the first page I browse at airport internet stations is my blog. Haha!

JUST CHECKED in, cleared immigration, and now awaiting boarding.  I guess whatever little charm I have still worked with the ground staff at the check-in counter.  I wasn’t charged at all for 15kg of EXCESS baggage!

Hahaha!  I can’t wait to make some people even happier.

Today is a good day.  I get to go home and have a belated holiday celebration with my family.  And just before leaving my desk at work, I received some good news.

Life is hard.  Work is hard.  But from time to time we get to allow ourselves some space to breathe.

And I look forward to more in the next three and a half hours.  They gave me a row all to myself.

I shall see you next week.  I miss “A” and “R” already.

Changi Airport - iStudio

A couple of weeks prior leaving, I was running around Singapore, going to every Apple seller and looking for one last thing on my list that was always “out of stock” and for which my name was put on a wait list. Lo and behold, right after clearing immigration, I saw this iStudio I don’t remember noticing ever – all I ever did care about there was the Tiffany & Co. – and in a matter of minutes, my errand list was done!


Changi Airport - Departure Board

I always just have to have a photo of the flight information board. Found my SQ flight!


Changi Airport - Boarding Gate

With all my errands done and my list completely checked off, it was time to walk to my boarding gate.

Review in SMS – Les Miserables

6 01 2013
RIS - Les Miserables 00

Up to now, this draft of my original review is still being attempted to be successfully sent by my phone. Hahaha!

WHILE THE celluloid version remained faithful to the original material – which on its own was based on the 1862 French novel of the same title by Victor Hugo – it must’ve have been a monumental task for those locked up in the editing room to squeeze that many stories, that much detail in two and a half hours.

With the reprise of “Do You Hear The People Sing?” still playing in my head, five minutes through my cab ride, just when we were making the bend on Orchard Turn, I found myself struggling with the length of my review–in–SMS on Les Miserables.  I felt like Tom Hooper deciding which song to cut or which song to revise to a shorter version.  Writing my review seemed like I needed “One Day More”.

Even switching to MMS mode – a charge I was willing to shoulder for a message to be sent to exactly 66 recipients in three continents – didn’t allow for my review to make it out Singapore’s communications door.

I had to edit.  And edit.  And edit.

Until I was able to send out an abridged version 47 minutes past midnight, the one that appears below.


27 MINUTES through “Les Miserables”, Anne Hathaway as Fantine gives a stirring rendition of “I Dreamed The Dream” and I found myself singing along in my head.

I guess that’s why I survived 2 and a half hours of Tom Hooper’s adaptation, not directly of the Victor Hugo novel, but more so of the stage musical.  I’m familiar with the novel, and ALL the songs.

The movie is about personal redemption, filial love and romantic love, set against the backdrop if a revolution.  The dramatization is powerful.  The cinematography captivating.

Hathaway deserves the Oscar for the 4 minutes she sang.  Hugh Jackman can be nominated.  Russell Crowe was flat – on the high notes mostly.  Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers stole every scene.  Eddie Redmayne as Marius was sympathetic.

I shed a tear at 3 scenes.  But I was never more moved that when I first saw Cosette.  She was exactly how she was illustrated in the first publication.

And the singing?  They were recorded live on set – not in the studio then digitally mastered into the film.  Amazing.

RIS - Les Miserables 01

The poster outside the cinemas at Shaw Lido on Orchard. I saw the movie here twice. On the second time, they had moved it to their biggest cinema. Both screenings were packed. I saw Les Miserables a couple more times. I love it but I was surprised that it continued to grow on me as I watched it more.



Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved