At the Fort

14 03 2013
Avant_at_The_Fort_00_Facade

AVANT AT THE FORT. I’m really lovin’ this Lacoste Flag Shirt, Korea edition. Of course I also have it in Italia.

I KNEW I was really sick when I couldn’t care less about the inflight cuisine.  I couldn’t be bothered by the flight attendant to respond with my choice of meal.  Instead, I ended up snacking on antipyretics while ensconced beneath a blanket.  The very first time I have ever done so on a flight.

I spent the first three days of my most recent vacation just trying to convalesce.  By the time I was up and about, I knew no better way to spend my time than tag along with my brother when he went inspecting his latest projects.  He’s currently working on a couple of units at some of the more covetable addresses in the metro.

When he was done talking to his teams – the foreman, contractors, laborers, electricians – we went to lunch at UCC, with the rest of the family.  But not before first making a walking tour of Burgos Circle at Forbes Town Center, with the requisite stop at the MINI COOPER dealership on Fifth Avenue.  At UCC, he introduced me to his favorite coffee concoction – the Kori Kohi Coffee – as he lunched on Seafood Risotto.

Kori Kohi Coffee is simply coffee “ice cubes” in a tall glass, on which you pour warm milk until the cubes melt.  A little stir turns this confection into a freezing frenzy that could make you ditch your usual latte at the more popular coffee chains.

I did.

Avant_at_The_Fort_01_Ceiling

Our first stop was AVANT at the Fort. Upon entering the lobby, my sight got transfixed on to this “ceiling treatment” of a chandelier. I was told that it was inspired by actual Swarovski crystal-studded dangling earrings.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_15_Lobby

Another view of the chandelier over the lobby.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_02_Lobby

I was told that the lobby was designed by the country’s top interior design firm. I actually liked the cathedral ceiling and the furnishings. Spare and minimalist.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_03_Elevator

Then it was time to hit the elevator. Of course, when surrounded by mirrored walls, I couldn’t help cam-whoring.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_04_Elevator

A parting shot at the elevator landing.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_05_Elevator

I lug along a number of my wristwatches when I travel. For this day out, I decided to strap on a Philip Stein Signature Large and a Tissot Heritage Prince I.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_07_View

The view from one of the windows of the “huge” unit – the first of a couple of my brother’s projects in this high rise.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_08_View

I love this other view for how the golden arches stand out!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_09_Elevator

Then it was time to hit the elevators again to go to the other unit several floors down.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_10_Elevator

Cam-whoring!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_11_View

This unit has floor-to-ceiling glass windows on one side.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_12_View_4

I just had to snap this photo of this window because of the number “4”. It happends to be an important number to me.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_13_Level4

See, I snap anything that says number “4”!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_14_Elevator

I saw my reflection on the elevator panel and I felt like a Fernando Botero.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_17_Lobby

I had to wait in the lobby as my brother went on with his official business. I like waiting in lobbies.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_20_Table

See, I had time to admire the appointments. I particularly liked this glass table top supported by this “wavy” or “wrought” metal.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_18_Lobby

Of course, I had to pose by that Swarovski crystal chandelier.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_20_One_McKinley

ONE McKINLEY Place is nearby.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_21_One_McKinley

At ONE McKINLEY Place

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_22_Building

I love the look of this building. It’s like one big gift with silver ribbons swirled all around it.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_23_Mini_Cooper

Yehey! It’s the MINI Store!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_24_Mini_Cooper

By the MINI COOPER in silver.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_25_Mini_Cooper

Red is always auspicious!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_26_Mini_Cooper

Tickled pink. Mama loves this one.

 

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_27_Mini_Cooper

At MINI GLOBAL CITY on Fifth Avenue

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_28_I_Heart_Taguig

I heart Taguig!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_29_Wrong_Ramen

“WRONG RAMEN”. This restaurant was still on soft opening. The name caught my attention. The personnel at the door was kind enough to engage me into a discussion about the place’s name. It is ramen so good that it is “wrong” for you.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_30_Wrong_Ramen

“The last guy who ate here left screaming in pure ecstasy.”

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_31_Wrong_Ramen

Whoever did the branding for WRONG RAMEN got it all right! The “X” could mean “wrong” or the chopsticks that you eat ramen with!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_32_Wrong_Ramen

I already have a favorite from this list!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_33_Wrong_Ramen

I find that the soft opening menu was quite pretty in its stark simplicity.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_34_Gelato

My heart skips a beat over anything gelato.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_35_Gelato

Here’s looking at you, Kuya Michele. Hahaha!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_36_Sculpture

This sculpture at the “park” piqued my interest.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_37_Sculpture

Gotta have a photo!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_38_Cucina_Italiana

Pasta! Pizza! Steaks! Count me in!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_39_Forbes

It’s all about living the good life!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_40_Forbes

…Which to me means lots of sleep! Hahaha!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_42_Mama

After all the walking, it was time for lunch! Mama and I on our way to UCC at Burgos Circle.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_43_Cath_Kidston

Mama brought along one of her Cath Kidstons, among her many bags.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_44_Kopi

The Kori Kohi Coffee is served! We went over my blog on my brother’s Google Nexus 7.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_45_Kopi

The Italians are quite the consummate coffee connoisseurs. So my photo with Kuya Michele and the “third” Michele by good Kori Kohi Cofee is quite fitting.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_48_Kopi

Kori Kohi Coffee is simply coffee “ice cubes” in a tall glass, on which you pour warm milk until the cubes melt. A little stir turns this confection into a freezing frenzy that could make you ditch your usual latte at the more popular coffee chains.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_46_Seafood_Rissoto

UCC’s Seafood Risotto hits the table! It’s my brother’s favorite.

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_47_Seafood_Rissoto

This is a winner!

 

Avant_at_The_Fort_49_Afternoon_Sun

The afternoon sun and the clear blue sky made the day perfect. On a clear day, you can see forever!

 

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





To the flagship!

12 02 2013
020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_05

On my first visit to the Philip Stein Singapore Flagship Store on the third level, ION Orchard, Singapore.

AT 84 SQM. it is the biggest of its kind in Asia.  The Philip Stein Flagship Store that opened on the third level of ION Orchard in late January 2013 proves that sometimes, size does matter.

I paid it a visit for the first time in early February and marveled at the extent of merchandise on offer.  It is the flagship after all.  Framed by the entrance and bathed in warm lights, the vitrine that houses the brand’s automatic timepieces lured me in.  I quickly inspected the lineup, in search of the then “very first and only one of its kind” automatic movement Philip Stein that I had purchased from The Hour Glass at Takashimaya over a year ago.

IMG_3848

Wearing the then “first ever and one and only” automatic movement Philip Stein in Singapore, purchased at The Hour Glass, Takashimaya, Orchard Road, Singapore.

 

020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_07

The Entrance, Philip Stein Flagship Store, ION Orchard, Singapore

 

020513_Philip_Stein_Titanium_08

The vitrine of automatic movement timepieces

I found it.  But my attention was soon snatched by this handsome beauty that is the All–Titanium Chronograph (13TI–WCG–TSS) from the Prestige Collection.  I held it in my hand and was right there and then ready to plead guilty to the charge of lust.  And David Guetta and Sia starting to play incessantly in my head didn’t help to appease the brewing, simmering passion for the tick-tocker that had since stapped itself on to my left wrist.

020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_00

The All–Titanium Chronograph (13TI–WCG–TSS) from the Prestige Collection

 

020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_01

The titanium timepiece is humongous beside my Signature Large!

 

020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_02

The thing about titanium timepieces is that even with their heft, they are surprisingly lightweight!

While I waited for my beating heart to be still, I glanced around me and found that the store offers the brands other well-being products, like the sleep bracelet and the wine wand.  And to my right, it didn’t escape me that they have expanded to include more jewelry pieces.

020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_03

I just had to admire this beauty against the backdrop of Philip Stein’s new jewelry line.

 

020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_04

If you look closely, you shall see that the automatic timepieces boast Swiss Made movements!

 

020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_12

On my second visit to the store

 

020513_Philip_Stein_Titanium_10

Philip Stein has excellent customer service! I feel like a special guest at someone’s house.

 

020413_Philip_Stein_Titanium_06

Their paper bag is in pristine white.

 

020513_Philip_Stein_Titanium_11

Which is a sharp contrast to the Hublot paper bag!

I initially went there to have a couple of wristwatches serviced.  (Their customer service has always been excellent, even in the Philippines where I purchased the very first one I’ve ever owned.)  But I ended up leaving with a holistic experience that can only come from the promise of an overall ENHANCED QUALITY OF LIFE – something that has been shared with my family and with some of my closest friends who I have influenced to give Philip Stein a try.

020513_Philip_Stein_Titanium_14

Two Philip Stein Signature Large timepieces

 

Meaningful Wristwatches - Philip Stein 00

The very first Philip Stein I ever did buy!

 

Meaningful Wristwatches - Philip Stein & Technomarine 00

“Arms raised in a V!” – a Philip Stein and a Technomarine!

 

Wristwatches - Philip Stein & TW Steel 00

“Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect harmony…” – a Philip Stein and a TW Steel!

 

Adora - Philip Stein Signature Black Rubber Strap 09

Green with envy – a Philip Stein and a Nixon.

 

Wristwatches - Philip Stein & Morellato 00

One from Italia, one from Chicago – a Philip Stein and a Morellato!

 

Wristwatches - Philip Stein Morellato

Three time zones on my wrist. Or are they? One for the Philippines, one for Singapore, and one for Shanghai.

 

Philip Stein 2GCBSS 01

One Signature Large ready to be packed to go!

 

Philip Stein - Oversized Signature Chrono 02

An Oversized Signature Chronograph. This one is Brother’s.

 

Philip Stein - Yellow Lizard Strap 00

Philip Stein has a unique quick strap release mechanism that allows for the immediate interchangeability of straps without the need for any tools.

 

Philip Stein - Oversized Signature Chrono 03

Mine and Brother’s

 

SONY DSC

The Limited Edition Oprah 25th Anniversary Wristwatch!

 

Philip Stein 01

The Oprah and the eNTeNG on our coffee table with the stone inlay.

 

Wristwatch - Philip Stein + Yellow Bracelet 02

Worn with a yellow string bracelet

 

Tagaytay Weekend - Philip Stein 02

Worn with a stainless steel bracelet

 

Stave Philip Stein Rubber Strap - Adora & eNTeNG 00

In the Philippines, one of the authorized agents for Philip Stein is Adora in Greenbelt 5. I’ve bought a number of straps from them.

 

SQ - Wristwatches 00

My Signature Large has the Art Deco feel that I’ve always loved. It’s right at home with my Tissot Heritage Prince I’s.

 

Philip Stein Signature Large IMG_4080

I purchased the stainless steel bracelet separately for when I want to go with an all-metal look.

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





SQ918

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





In effect

12 12 2012

SEVERAL OF my timepieces have a very Art Deco feel, often characterized by exploding elongated exaggerated numbers on the dial.  Exploding?  Elongated?  Exaggerated?  Well, enough about me.  Haha!

Kiddo has an application on her iPhone5 that creates effects on photos.  She recently took a photo of everything I had strapped on to my left wrist, applied the effects, and sent me the ones I loved the most.

Here they are.

Wrist Candy by Kiddo 00

This one has a feel of being set against a backdrop of votive candles.

 

Wrist Candy by Kiddo 01

I like this one the most for the sheer festive feel the many colors bring to the wristwatch-and-bracelets ensemble.

 

Wrist Candy by Kiddo 02

Kiddo favors this one for its simplicity. And I think, for the way the grays blend seamlessly, from the shade of the watch and the bracelets, to the “doodlings on paper”.

 

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





On one of 105

7 11 2011

A can of Campbell's Tomato Juice all to myself.

I WAS so well taken care of by the ground and inflight crews of Singapore Airlines on my last flight back that I swear, I did feel staring at the precipice of falling in love.  One slight further nudge could have done me in.

When my agent made the internet check-in for me, they weren’t able to secure the seat I had been eyeing.  But I had them put a comment in.  And as it is always with “comments” or “special instructions,” nobody really cares about them.  So I had totally dismissed it from the get-go.

Check-in at the NAIA was a breeze.  And quite pleasantly full of surprises.  They let me go over my check-in baggage allowance.  That was not a first, though it was definitely something I would look forward to with breath that is bated and with fingers that are crossed.  But what was even more surprising was that they totally allowed, with a smile, my packed 12 boxes of honeyed banana chips and my couple of Starbucks paper bags full of Manila demitasse souvenir cups to be part of my carry-on.

At the boarding gate, I was greeted by someone with the line, “Are you Mr. eNTeNG™©’s MunchTime™©?  We got you your preferred seat.  Let me change your boarding pass, Sir.”  And by the time he said, “This way, Sir.  Let me accompany you,” to walk me to the front of the boarding area, I knew there was a point to taking all those SQ flights in the past.

On board the plane, the ultimate affirmation of Singapore Airlines’ excellent service took the best form that appeals to me – FOOD.  I had the most sumptuous Chicken with herb cream sauce, seasonal vegetables and potatoes and Chicken adobo Sa Gata (chicken braised in coconut cream) with yellow rice and vegetables.

I love it everytime the meal arrives! This is the dinner on my flight from Singapore to Manila.

 

Chicken with herb cream sauce, seasonal vegetables and potatoes

 

This piece of boneless, herbed chicken was so flavorful and tender!

 

Roasted herbed potatoes

 

Roasted vegetables – carrots, baby bok choy, and young corn.

 

Marinated Chinese seafood salad

 

The light meal on the Manila-to-Singapore flight finally lands on my tray.

 

I've started to ask for a second roll on my flights!

 

I love French butter!

 

I would tear the roll into pieces, each of which I smother with lots of the French butter.

 

Chicken adobo sa gata becomes fancy, served with fragrant yellow rice and vegetables.

 

This chicken dish was just so scrumptious!

 

Tomato and eggplant on the side

 

Chicken and pineapple salad

 

Chocolate truffle gateau for dessert

And between flying to Manila and back, a total of eight cans of Campbell’s Tomato Juice.

“Would you like apple juice or wine, Sir?”

“Do you have tomato juice?”

“Would you like a whole can to yourself?”  S–W–E–E–T.

There was Bloody Mary on the cocktail list. But I'd rather have just Campbell's Tomato Juice every single time!

 

It's time for dinner!

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





Two princes and a pauper

16 10 2011

Two Princes! The TISSOT Heritage Prince I – the "Swirl" and the "Classic".

FROM THE moment I first laid eyes upon its face, I knew all my defenses had melted.  All it took was love at first sight, a one-stop train ride, and an overnight shipment to Eastern Watch at 313@somerset, for me to get my hands on the Tissot Heritage Prince I.

Tissot Heritage Prince I, the first dial design that I fell in love with.

Since then, whenever I would find myself in front of a Tissot counter at fine wristwatch stores, I would ask if I could look at the Heritage Prince I, coy about my intentions to buy.  I knew I wouldn’t end up in a compromising situation (wherein I would have to buy) because the watch model is not one that distributors have put on display.  It’s not one of their more popular styles.  But me, I love the curved body and the bold numbers on the dial.

I love the curved body and the bold numerals!

So when one finally did turn up to be “in store,” I had to tell my beating heart to be still.  One look at the face – this one has the numbers all in a “swirl” – and I knew I would lose sleep over making the decision to buy or not to buy.

The second dial design that I saw... and yes, loved too!

 

Lean on me...

I took my sweet time thinking.  But fascination and infatuation did win in the end.  If I had even the slightest iota of indecision – or the portent of the faintest hint of regret looming in the horizon – I would’ve surely pulled back my outstretched card-bearing hand.  I searched deep inside me for the words, “Sorry, but I changed my mind,” and the mortification that never came.

This wristwatch was first released in 1916.  In 1991, it was issued as a “re-edition” and called Tissot Classic Prince.  Now, it has incarnated to be the Tissot Heritage Prince I.

I'm definitely stacking these two on my wrist.

 

...And I did! My new Tissot Heritage Prince I debuted today.

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