Have You Taken Chowking’s #BuksanParaMalaman Challenge

Just a few more days until select Chowking branches offer FREE in-store sampling of Chowking Chunky Asado sioplets! They may be mini siopaos but they sure are filled with big chunky and asadong-asado filling.  Mark your calendars and check if your fave Chowking stores have these sioplets on November 28.

Chowking Novaliches and Chowking Glorietta already surprised their customers a few weeks back. Thousands of excited customers lined up at sampling booths for Chowking’s #BuksanParaMalaman challenge, to try out the Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao. They tasted the hot and soft siopao and discovered just how chunky at asadong-asado it truly is.


Chowking Novaliches. Customers were excited to open their Chowking Chunky Asado Siopaos to discover the true taste of a meaty, asadong-asado siopao treat.

Aside from this delicious surprise, a trick art station was set up and customers were able to have their creative and interactive photos taken with the giant Chunky Asado Siopao photo wall.

Chowking Glorietta. Customers playfully posed at the trick art station to capture their delicious encounter with the Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao.

Chowking Glorietta. Customers playfully posed at the trick art station to capture their delicious encounter with the Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao.

Customers were delighted and satisfied with their Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao experience. A customer who sampled the siopao noted how it was, “siksik ang laman, malasa, at masarap.” Another one who lined up at one of the sampling stations said “talagang solved ka, kasi hindi tipid sa laman at malambot pa ‘yung bun,” while someone shared “lasang asado talaga, masarap at malaman kasi Chowking.”

Here’s one who doesn’t need convincing!  My Jakei can eat Chowking Chunky Asado siopao everyday and be completely happy about it.


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How To Eat the Chowking Chunky Asado Siopao

  1. Check out the CHUNKY asado pieces inside the siopao.
  2. Take a big BITE.
  3. Chew and SAVOR the flavorful chunky asado and soft bun.
  4. SMILE and repeat steps. 🙂

Don’t forget to mark your calendars – NOVEMBER 28. Take the Chowking’s #BuksanParaMalaman challenge to see (uhm, taste) for yourself why my little boy loves this siopao. 🙂

Via Mare: 40 Years of Splendid Cuisine and Fond Memories

It has often been said that one of the best ways to know and understand the history and culture of a nation is through its local cuisine.  Food, more than just providing nourishment for the body, can tell you how people have evolved and how a nation has developed through centuries. While there are many restaurants that serve Filipino cuisine, there is none as “historic” as Via Mare.

The past 40 years is not only the story of a restaurant,
it is a story of the Filipino people.
∼ Chef Glenda Barretto ∼

The Living Legacy of Filipino Food

This September, Via Mare is celebrating its 40th year serving our favorite Filipino dishes that always remind us of home. Since the Via Mare Seafood Specialty Restaurant opened its doors on the 5th of September 1975, Via Mare has continued to be the country’s premier restaurant and catering company and has brought global recognition to Filipino cuisine.

For 40 years now, Via Mare has always been the first choice for hosting state dinners for heads of states and dignitaries, high-profile weddings of illustrious families, and gala dinners for famous celebrities and international events. It has had the privilege of serving Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis during their Papal Visits. It was the trusted caterer for the 1996 APEC Summit and the 2007 ASEAN Summit.  The glorious aroma of Via Mare’s dishes has wafted through the dining halls of Malacañang Palace time and again.

For 40 years now, Via Mare has continued to serve us our favorite comfort food that evoke memories of our childhood years. The Via Mare Oyster Bar is where we all go to for the freshest and most succulent oysters.  For our much craved bibingkas, kare-kare, arroz caldo and puto bumbong, we head over to Café Via Mare.

At 40 years, we have shown the world and most especially our fellow Filipinos, what Filipino cuisine is all about – it is about the freshest of ingredients cooked in influences of our ancestors and the rich heritage of the Filipino nation, sprinkled with the love and affection of a Filipino chef.


Comfort Food All Day Long

Although it has evolved through the years to reach a wider clientele, Via Mare continues to serve our family favorites with the same fresh ingredients cooked with love following recipes passed through generations. Café Via Mare, the country’s first authentic Filipino café, offers Filipino breakfast, lunch, dinner, and merienda.

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Filipinos are heavy breakfast eaters.  Our breakfast table would often have big baskets of pan de sals or huge platters of rice with an assortment of ulam (viand).  Everyday, Café Via Mare serves  fresh pan de sal grilled with corned beef, Vigan longganisa, Laguna cheese, or queso de bola. Our favorite breakfast rice meals can be enjoyed any time.  Ask for the Altanghap(ALmusal, TANGhalian, HAPunan) menu when you’re craving for tapa, smoked bangus, tuyo flakes, or tocino.

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My kind of breakfast! Grilled pandesal with kesong puti and a warm cup of Tsokolate. 🙂


For lunch and dinner, Café Via Mare has an array of salads with native greens, our Filipino favorties – crispy binagoongan, kare-kare, sinigang, and comfort food like arroz caldo and tokwa’t baboy.

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Ensaladang Pako , P220
Healthy and fresh bunches of crisp fern leaves with tomatoes, salted egg and shrimps with a simple refreshing vinaigrette

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Pinais na Alimasag, P 380

My new favorite!!! I love crab, I love coconut.  This blue crab shell stuffed with crabmeat and young coconut, cooked in coco cream is definitely something I’d order again and again and again.

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Crispy Binagoonan, P 325

This deconstructed pork binagoonan may not be served the traditional way but all the flavors we love are there.

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Tortang Alimasag, 195

This crabmeat omelet served with fried vegetable eggroll is for you if you love crab but dislike having to flake the meat off the shells. 🙂

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Rellenong Bangus, 560

This stuffed whole milkfish with savory tomato sauce will surely remind many of so many cherished family gatherings.

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Arroz Ala Cubana, P 285

Ground beef cooked in sofrito with raisins and snow peas. Served with fried egg and plantain. Yummy!

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Sinigang na Hipon, P 320

My ultimate comfort food! Fresh shrimps in tamarind broth with vegetables. My tummy would have its fill of this any day of the week.


I do believe that no Filipino has only three meals per day.  We all love having our morning and afternoon meriendas.  At Via Mare, we can have our native puto bumbong, palitaw, and guinataang halo-halo anytime of the day.  When the day gets really hot, we can always cool down with a huge serving of halo-halo and guinomis.

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Two meriendas that remind me so much of childhood afternoons with family and friends. I wish they will soon have a sampler platter like this available soon!



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Via Mare is definitely part of our country’s history and culture.  It has served us for 40 years and I’m sure it will continue to serve for hundreds of years more.  This is our generations legacy to the Filipinos of the next generations.



To find the Via Mare restaurant nearest you and to know more about their menu and products, visit www.viamare.com.ph.  Like ViaMarePH on Facebook  to stay updated on promos and offerings.

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Don’t you just love places with a lot of history? We definitely do! It’s one of the reasons why we took the kids to Cebu and Bohol instead of the happiest place on earth. Here in Manila, we’ve also taken them to Fort Santiago in Intramuros and the Rizal Park. Now, here’s another place we’d like to take them soon – Kamuning Bakery Cafe.

“A bakery?!”, you might ask. Well, this isn’t just any other bakery. Kamuning Bakery has a fascinating story behind it and heavenly breads that take you back in history.

Kamuning Bakery Cafe is more than just a bakery. It is a cherished and well-preserved tradition. It is history made alive with quality products and sincere friendly service.

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Last June 12, we were invited to a delightful lunch hosted by three-time Palanca awardee and distinguished columnist Wilson Lee Flores and organized by Digital Circles. While waiting for lunch to be served, we were enthralled by Wilson Lee Flores’ stories about Kamuning Bakery, the Javier family, and the earliest communities in the city. It was like Kas 1 only so much more interesting to listen to. 🙂

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76 years of Artisan Baking

Late 1939, Atty. Leticia “Letty” Bonifacio Javier and her husband Marcelo Javier Sr. opened the very first bakery in Quezon City upon the invitation of newspaper tycoon Don Alejandro Roces who was also a friend and adviser of President Manuel L. Quezon for whom the city was named. The bakery was opened in the city’s oldest community touted as the Project 1, Barangay Kamuning – aptly named for being once planted with flowering kamuning trees. Letty’s parents, Miguel and Jovita, opened pre-war Manila’s renowned Los Baños Bakery in Singalong. Letty put to good use the fine art of baking she learned from her parents as she started her very own bakery. I know someone who opened their own bakery and registered their own business. If you want to learn more about how to do this, click here.

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During World War II, her father, husband, and brother-in-law died as heroes as they fought Japanese military invaders. Left on her own with three small children to look after, she unweariedly ran the bakery which eventually became famous for its excellent breads and good service. It was through Kamuning Bakery that she was able to successfully raise her three children, now all distinguished professionals in their own fields.

Keeping the Legacy Alive

When Letty passed away two decades ago, her children endeavored to keep the bakery open. However, with families of their own and with no one to manage the bakery, they decided to sell the property but with a condition that the buyer would not close down the bakery and keep their mother’s legacy alive. By happenstance, it was Wilson Lee Flores, being also a realty entrepreneur, whom they asked to help sell the property. He happened to love the pugon-baked, preservative-and-additive-free breads of Kamuning Bakery which is why he decided to invest in and revive the bakery himself in December 2013. Most of 2014 was then spent rehabilitating the bakery. On October 12 of the same year, the revived Kamuning Bakery was given the Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal Award to honor and recognize the achievements and contributions of the bakery as pioneer enterprise in the city.

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Wilson Lee Flores not only kept the bakery open and retained their artisanal pugon-style baking but also re-opened the bakery’s old cafe. On March 20, 2015, the restored Kamuning Bakery Cafe was opened to serve sumptuous food. It’s great to see an old style cafe flourishing in the modern era, despite being rooted in traditional themes. Most bakeries nowadays have so much more to think about than just the food they produce. One of the troubling aspects of running a business like this now is certainly marketing. That is why many now choose to hire an online marketing agency, so they can simply look after the normal day to day operations. The new content from Whitehat is very effective at increasing the visibility of a business to their target market, thus leading to increased prosperity and sales.

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Straight A’s #GetHappy Treats at Pancake House

Woo-hoo! I was finally able to take the kids to Pancake House for their #GetHappy treats! Promo started a couple of months ago but our sched’s been swamped and there just wasn’t any time to swing by PH. Since they were given their Honors Certificates for the Second Quarter last Thursday, we brought those along yesterday.

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Upon ordering, I found out that they were supposed to sign the back of the certificate or test paper.  Our server though was nice enough not to write anything on their certificates since both were printed on parchment paper.   He was also nice enough to tell me that even just quiz papers or test papers with perfect scores could earn the little ones free small soldiers.

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What are you waiting for?  Head on over to your fave Pancake House branch to get your little ones their #GetHappy treats!  Make sure you bring their honors certificates, report cards, aced quizzes/tests, and whatever other awards or recognition they have received in school.  It’s time to Get Happy!



Full promo mechanics taken from the Pancake House Facebook Page:

1. Present any of the following with school emblem or logo:
– Quiz, Test Paper/ Worksheet/ Report cards with excellent grades.
– Recognition, certificate or awards for academic, behavioral, sports and other extracurricular activities.

2. Kids aged 13 and below are qualified for the promo

3. Promo period is until December 31, 2014

4. Child must be accompanied by a paying adult.

5. One FREE item per student/ transaction.

6. Child to present a valid school ID or any proof to validate eligibility.

7. Available in all outlets nationwide. Mondays to Saturdays from 1:00 – 5:00PM

One Busy Saturday

Saturday is laundry day so we usually just stay home. The kids spend time with their Papa or do crafts while I wash our clothes. Last Saturday though was an exception. Right after hanging the last piece of clothing to dry, we all prepped for going out.

First stop was a quick lunch before the kids’ dental appointment. I’ve been encouraging friends in another state to get their children to a Dentist in Louisville early so they can get used to the visits, and to make sure they’re free from any issues. As for mine, the kids now go to My Dentist in SM where a pedia dentist is available on weekdays. It’s also more convenient going there since it’s much closer to our place than PCMC. Both kids had oral prophylaxis and fluoride application. As always, it was fuss-free and cavity-free. Yup! Both kids have stayed cavity-free up to now. Want to know how they’ve managed to have healthy gums and teeth? Click here to read my post from last year.

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Who’s not afraid of the dentist?

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chillin’ coz there’s no drillin’ (still cavity free! woo-hoo!)

Spending time with the kids at the dentist got me thinking about my own teeth too. My best friend who lives in California has recently had some cosmetic dentistry work done at a Dentist in Sacramento and her new smile has got me debating whether or not I should treat myself too. Whitening treatments are very popular at the moment, and so are teeth straightening solutions such as Invisalign, so I am feeling tempted to get something done. Looking after your teeth is so important though which is why if you are considering getting any cosmetic dentistry procedures done, you should always do your research first, whether you are considering going to a Dentist In batavia, or a dentist in Budapest. Nonetheless, with cosmetic dentistry on my mind, after getting their “good patient” stickers from their dentist, we bought a couple of gifts for Jakei’s best friend in school who was celebrating her 6th birthday. Then off we trooped to Antipolo.

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Jakei wouldn’t miss BFF Sam’s birthday party for anything in the world!

The kids had fun playing party games but we had to leave before the magic show started. I had dinner plans with mommy blogger friends and had to be at the train station before 6pm. Instead of going home, Papa Jay took the kids on a movie date. The kids had been waiting for the movie Big Hero 6 to be shown on the big screen so this naturally was the movie of the night. 🙂

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Kids were raving about this movie on the way home!

After the movie, they waited for me halfway to the house so I wouldn’t have to walk home all by myself. We arrived home a little after 10pm with Papa and I exhausted and the kids, as always, still full of energy. It definitely was a long busy Saturday for us, not the typical in-bed-by-seven-o-clock weekday sched. 😀

Care to share how your weekend went? I’d love to hear your stories too. 🙂