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 Presidential and Philip

30 09 2012

The Limited Edition Philip Stein “Oprah 25th Anniversary” wristwatch

WHILE I was making the purchase of a new Tissot, the lady of amiable nature a.k.a. the sales associate eyed the Philip Stein Large Signature wristwatch I had on and said, “That brand is quite popular with you Filipinos.  You’re Filipino, right?”

She went on, “I think (it) is because the endorser is the daughter of the President.”

I lifted my head up and before I could process which between her political commentary and her big hair is really more trapped in the 80’s, she made a comeback befitting of only a has–been politician or a washed–up superstar buoyed by the resurgence of career anchored on a spot on Dancing with the Stars.

“(She) is the sister of the President now, right?

And just like that, all is well in Wristwatch Land.

Whenever I arrange my watches to form this, I’m reminded of that line from the Pearl Jam song, delivered only by the legendary vocal growl that is Eddie Vedder’s, “…arms raised in a ‘V’…”


Four-year-old Philip Stein Signature Large


One-year-old Philip Stein Signature Large, Limited Edition. The watches are set against the beautiful stone inlay work on one of our solid wood coffee tables. This one was something I bought at a garage sale in the States, nine years ago, for $8.00! So shabby chic. Rachel Ashwell will be proud.


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

Celebrity moments while in SG

23 03 2011

Ion on Orchard at night

THE LONG escalator ride at Ion on Orchard allowed me just enough time to foist upon Friendship a pressing question I’ve had in mind, “Which Filipino celebrity will make you stop on your tracks (here in Singapore) and go full-on jologs – photos, autograph and all?”

The answer was exactly what I expected:  Kris Aquino.  It’s one of those things I share in common with Friendship.

But unlike Friendship, my list is quite longer.  Actually, unlike her, I have a list.  (I think her consideration stops at Kris Aquino.)

And by today, my eleventh day here, I’ve chalked up a couple of celebrity moments already.  I rarely use the expression “thrilled beyond words” because I do have my way with words.  But these couple of instances?  Words (almost) fail me.

The first one is actually not the photo op-and-autograph kind.  It happened by way of an e-Mail I sent.  March 15 marks the birthday of one of my most admired personalities, the Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez.  A few days later, I e-Mailed my belated greetings which were accompanied by a few photos I took especially for her.  I didn’t expect her to be thrilled enough to post it on her blog.  Now, I think I’m thrilled even more.

The second one happened at the Food Hall of Ion on Orchard.  Whenever I’m there for all the noodles my heart, soul and tummy can handle, the world around me melts into a series of chiaroscuros.  I couldn’t care less about the people I’m sharing breathing space with.  But as it is the case with personalities larger-than-life, their mere presence could permeate whatever force field my being immersed in my gastronomic adventure had surrounded me with.  Last Monday, for some reason, I had to lift my head up from being slumped into my huge bowl of beef noodle soup.  And within arm’s length was the force – the Maria Ressa!  I couldn’t help it that I had to stand up, disturb her peaceful meal, and introduce myself.  And oh, rave about her work and how much I’ve admired her.  She gave me her card.  Gosh, I’m so thrilled.

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Up in the air

17 03 2011

The view is perfect at 33,000 feet up in the air.

TRAVEL AFFORDS me a couple of things – the chance to enjoy God’s creation in a totally different place, and the opportunity to not back off from any culinary adventure.  But lest my second declaration comes back biting me from behind, I will say that that one’s dependent on the destination.

And where I was headed to last Sunday morning – where I am for a couple of weeks – is nothing short of the mecca of good food.

Ready to go!

I arrived at the NAIA a good three hours before my flight schedule but the line was already quite long.  Of box office-hit proportions, I texted my family and friends.  At the check-in counter, my luggage tipped the scale at 34.5 kilos, about 50% more than my limit.  I didn’t make a sound as I let the officer spend all the time she needed squinting her eyes and furrowing her brows at the display that was screaming, “excess baggage!”

“Sige Sir, ok lang yan!  (Ok Sir, it’s fine!)“

Wow.  And she even got me my favorite seat, the window seat right beside the airplane’s right wing.  I don’t know if it was the new perfume I had on or the red shorts I decided to wear but I also breezed through Immigration.  Unlike in the case of Brother, there wasn’t a Korean boyband nearby that threatened to steal my spotlight in front of the Immigration Officer who asked nothing but this lone question, “How long?”

I stood aghast!  How dare he ask me about my chin.  Oh, he meant my stay at my destination.  Hahaha!

All my bags were packed. And this plane was waiting for me.


Ready to board!


My carry-on luggage


I could go a thousand miles on these shoes! I hope my great friend Michael agrees!


Beginning to taxi on the runway


5... 4... 3... 2... 1... and...


And we're off!


Time of takeoff. Singapore Airlines has never failed me. They always leave on time!


Bye Manila!


See you again in a couple of weeks!


The flight wasn't turbulent at all that I decided to make one trip to the restroom. On flights, I ALWAYS have my seatbelt on.


One of the wing's flaps begin to open up and extend as we approach Singapore and prepare for landing.


I see land!


The flaps fully extended to prepare for landing


So many trees!


Kudos to the pilot for such a smooth landing!


Our President on front page news in the Straits Times. They're all over the airport.


My welcome party! My Singapore-based friends shown here, each volunteered to pick me up. I'm so happy they're around. My very own "porter", the Boy Wonder, took this shot.


The Boy Wonder is the epitome of service. No tip needed! Hahaha!


Thank you my dear friends!


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Conversations that leave me scratching my head and looking up in the sky

13 01 2011

MY ELDEST brother, his wife, and three kids just flew in from the States for a much-deserved month-long vacation.  They’re staying at the house for a week.  Then at my youngest brother’s for another.

On their first night home, wondering about what to have for midnight snacks led to an impromptu dinner out at the newly opened Chinese Restaurant nearby.  It was past 11:00 PM and my youngest brother just arrived (from work).  Good thing that the resto is open until 2:00 AM on weeknights.

My three nephews, though all raised in the States, are practically still very Filipino.  Though they can’t speak the language.  But the eldest understands.  I turn into the proud uncle whenever I remember that the eldest – the 14-year-old – is a Spelling Bee champ, refused to join the Math Quiz Bee so as not to become a full-time nerd (Haha!), plays the drums in the school band, plays the guitar and the piano, sings, plays basketball, and looks after his two younger brothers whenever his parents are away.  The 10-year-old also plays the drums, and sings.  The youngest, at six years old, loves to sing too, tells animated stories, and happens to be the most “malambing” to his parents.  All of them love to read.

I gave them my room while they’re with us.  And when I got home last night, I was pleasantly surprised that each of them has his own laptop!  The eldest brandishes two actually – the high end one is what he uses for research, writing, and school work while the other one is “just for games.”

This post won’t be about the food, but rather a couple of anecdotes that just couldn’t keep me from laughing up to now.

eNTeNG:  “Did you know that Uncle Youngest here finished The Sea of Monsters in one sitting?  From New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day.  It’s the Percy Jackson book.”

Nephew 2:  “I read that too.”

Uncle Youngest:  (Turning to eNTeNG) “I just finished the first book too.  The first one in the Olympians series.”

eNTeNG:  “Oh, that one…  It’s…  it’s…”

Nephew 2:  “The Lightning Thief!”

Uncle Youngest:  “Yup!”

Nephew 1 & Nephew 2:  “We’ve finished all those books.”

eNTeNG:  “But Uncle Youngest here did The Sea of Monsters in one sitting!”

Nephew 2:  (Turning to Uncle eNTeNG, brows a little furrowed…)  “But Uncle, Percy Jackson is light reading!”

eNTeNG:  “Here, try some of this.  It’s one of my favorites.”  (eNTeNG reaches for the Taiwan Pechay in Oyster Sauce and offers it to the kids.  Hahaha!)


(The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and related topics continue to be discussed.  Uncle Youngest, Nephew 1 and Nephew 2 are talking about Greek and Roman gods and goddesses.  eNTeNG chimes in.)

eNTeNG:  “I think that some of the gods and goddesses carry dual titles.”

Nephew 2:  “I’m not sure about that.”

Uncle Youngest:  “You know which goddess your Uncle eNTeNG is an expert on?  Here…  (turning to eNTeNG)  Who is the ‘Goddess of Talk’?”

eNTeNG:  “Kris Aquino!”

Uncle Youngest:  “Who is the Queen of All Media?”

eNTeNG:  “Kris Aquino!”


Taiwan Pechay with Oyster Sauce


Stir-fried Rice Noodles with Meat and Vegetables


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

A thing that makes me happy

17 08 2010

Part of my collection of Teodoro "Teddyboy" L. Locsin, Jr.'s "Free Fire" in TODAY

I AM A COMPLETE NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS junkie.  In this day and age when information travels through optical cables underground and underwater, beamed through satellites in dizzying speed, I still crave for the feel of paper between my fingers, not the click of a mouse, when I wake up in the morning.

So you see, I love newspapers.  I still belong to the old school – okay, ancient – people who prefer to pay for the content that they read.  Not that there’s anything wrong about totally relying on what’s made available free on the net.

For a couple of weekends now, I’ve devoted a huge chunk of my weekends to preserving my more-than-a-decade-old stash of newspaper clippings.  By preserving, I don’t really mean slipping each clipping in a polyester-film folder with a sheet of alkaline-buffered paper as the backing.  No.

I simply mean cutting each article to size – or cutting them into two to three parts – then pasting them on white bond paper.  My specifics are quite simply sourced – legal sized (8½” x 13”) “substance 24” bond paper, and a heavy-duty glue stick that glides on smooth.  Of course there’s the trusty cutter, and a lot of plastic rulers (I end up cutting their edges so I go through them quite fast).

My newspaper clippings run a gamut of feature subjects – wristwatches, wristwatch stores, restaurants, recipes, food, Teodoro “Teddyboy” L. Locsin, Jr., interviews, the “Playtime” features in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Margarita Araneta Fores, and Kris Aquino.  Yes, Kris Aquino.  But only her broadsheet interviews and stories about her advocacies – not the sleazy showbiz gossip people make up about her.

Some of my favorites

"What's respect got to do with newspapers?"

My all-time favorite from his "Free Fire" column... "Really something about Mary."

As for columnists, I’ve collected and continue to collect the works of Teodoro “Teddyboy” L. Locsin, Jr. (his “Free Fire” in TODAY), Kris Aquino (her “Kris & Tell” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in the early 2000s), Celine R. Lopez (“From Coffee To Cocktails” – the one with the really nice essays), Winnie Collas Monsod, and Jessica Zafra (from “Twisted” in TODAY to “Emotional Weather Report” in the Philippine Star).  For a while, I followed Scott R. Garceau.  But not anymore.

"Kris and Tell" from a decade ago!

One clipping that made mention of the late former president's fresh corned beef. Just reading about it whets my appetite!

So far, I’ve finished working on Mr. Locsin’s.  I’m contemplating on starting Jessica Zafra’s.  But that’s quite a lot.  I’m daunted to say the least.

Jessica Zafra from over a decade ago!

That's the look of a writer who seriously means business.

Part of my Jessica Zafra collection is this thick! Though, I want to clarify that I still buy the books.

Working with newspaper clippings can be a dirty job. Hehehe.

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Of icons and heroes

29 07 2010

Twenty-four years of The Philippine Star

THINKING OF what-might-have-beens is a bitch.  And it doesn’t help that I have Lou Pardini on heavy rotation in my head, provoking me with the line that says I could very well be the “fool wondering what might have been.”

In early April, I seriously considered joining The Philippine Star’s “Star Lifestyle Journalism Contest 2010” with the theme:  My Icon, My Hero.  It was a no-brainer who I wanted to write about – Mr. Teodoro “Teddyboy” L. Locsin, Jr.

Mechanics to the Star Lifestyle Journalism Contest 2010


Not only have I admired the man for so many years now.  Not only did his then column “Free Fire” serve as a formative influence to my own principles.  Not only do I unequivocally declare his “Assignment” to have given us some of the finest hours on Philippine television.

I have actually written about him here already, that I felt I had a good start for a contest piece.  But I had a swamped schedule (right now, I’m culling from memory a defining moment that happened to me last June 12.  It was punctuated by the line, “But Tim, he has a full-time job!”).  And I eventually yielded to self-doubt.

Finally, the 10 winning pieces were published in yesterday’s 24th anniversary edition, easily The Philippine Star’s thickest ever, together with features on 24 luminaries from diverse fields of specialization or calling.  I believe it’s going to be a collector’s item so my propensity for contingencies kicked in – I asked my brother to get me another copy.  Besides, I’m so looking forward to the weekend to work on clipping my favorites and putting them in an album.  (I have a modest collection of clippings of Mr. Locsin, Jr.’s “Free Fire” from over a decade ago.)

From the 24 icons and heroes written about by 24 of the paper’s columnists, I have two favorites – Erwin Romulo’s piece on Kris Aquino, and Jessica Zafra’s on the Roger Federer.

Erwin Romulo wrote about Kris Aquino.


Jessica Zafra on Roger Federer.


Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.