Italian Wine Pairings at Aqua

Last Saturday, after super typhoon Ompong left the Phillipines, life carried on and everyone was grateful that it brought no harm to the country. The disaster preparation and response were remarkable. Despite the ferocity of Ompong, only a few reported unfavorable incidents were reported. The Philippines must have been on its right way to resiliency. While still feeling the tail of the storm, the weather calls for some good wines for thanksgiving and of course, to warm the spirit in air.

Aqua in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa hosted a timely Italian Wine Dinner. It was exquisite. It masterfully curated and paired the lovely dishes prepared by Chef Andrea Burziu of Aqua with the perfect Italian wines from Wine Depot.

We started with a rather unconventional appetizer of deep fried ox tongue, saffron mayonnaise and some greens paired with my favorite wine of the night, the 2015 Col di Sasso from Banfi, Tuscany. The tongue was braised/simmered and deep fried to produce that prized tenderness coated with batter for deeper flavor and crunch. The saffron mayonnaise was a good compliment to the tender-bouncy-textured tongue.

Chef Andrea Burziu told us that for our second dish he has a little surprise for us. On our plate was an oversized Ravioli stuffed with spinach and handmade ricotta giant topped with sweet cheese fondue paired with 2016 Moda from Talamonti, Abruzzo. The surprise was that as soon as we break the ravioli a runny and creamy egg yolk oozes out. It was rich, delicious and crazy beautiful. If chinese dumplings have Xiao Long Bao, this one is for the Raviolis. It got me asking how did they do that?

Our main was a steamed grouper in Potato and Parsley Mousseline crust with Eggplant and sun-dried tomato ratatouille paired with 2016 Trebbiano from Talamonti, Abruzzo. It’s funny how this dish is reminiscent of our well-loved escabeche. I must learn how to cook that ratatoulle. It was divine!

To cap the dinner was a Strawberry Mascarpone Tiramisu it was so gorgeous I didn’t touch it for a long time that I just had to ravel its beauty; that alone, is already enough. But of course, I gave in. I had to eat it paired with 2014 Collepino from Banfi, Tuscany.

That was a lovely dinner with varied table topics from wines, the filipino food on making its way to the world, the hospitality industry and even about wellness in dining.

Thank God, Ompong was already out of the country.

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Kimstaurant is now in Cebu

An irresolute crying clouds covered the whole city but my stomach is firmly convinced by its whining that it is hungry. Rainy days and hungry always get me hound for soulful food which today led me to Seoul. I mean to korean food.

Don’t you just love korean food on rainy days? The samgyupsal and bulgogi combo is a serious rainy day treat. Hot, spicy, filling, and healthy.

In Cebu, more and more Korean restuarants are opening their doors to Cebuanos. The latest I tried is Bacolod’s favorite Kimstaurant located at The Greenery in Pope John Paul II Avenue in Mabolo.

Here are some of my personal favorite arranged in order.

1. The Beef Galbi Jiim — braised beef short ribs — are fall-off-the-bone tender and rich in flavor. It is a stickier version of Korean Beef Stew.

2. Their Bulgogi is one of the best here in Cebu. Serve hot off from the pan, it is sweet, tasty, with hints of spice. The beef is conspicuously fresh.

3. Japchae, a mixed dish at boiled bean threads, stir-tried vegetables, and shredded meat.

4. The double fried soy glazed chicken is divine. I’m definitely sure you will love it.

5. Yakiniku offerings of Samgyupsal and Galbi are of course must.

While at Kimstaurant, I highly recommend that you try the refreshing Aloe Vera Juice. Speaking of fresh, the raw beef meat with egg (Korean Steak Tartare) is also something worth exploring.

Kimstaurant is open from 11:00 am. to 11:00 pm. Make your reservations by by calling +63 945 988 5541.

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Cebu Bloggers Society celebrates 10 years!

Not so long time ago a group of technologically advanced opinionated and young oversharers decided to boost their voice online by singing in choral the beautiful things happening in Cebu. It was February 14, 2008, not to say that nothing beautiful is going on in their lovelife, when they formed an organization of cebuano and cebu based bloggers who have a distinctly beautiful heart for Cebu.

As CBS marked its 10th anniversary last February 14, we will be celebrating such a wonderful feat this Saturday, March 3 at the Cebu Bloggers Society 10th Anniversary Gala Night. The most glamorous event ever hosted by CBS as members will come in their most elegant shining gowns and tuxedos.

CBS for past ten years is nothing short of invincible. There were great hellos as there were heartbreaking goodbyes but what is important are the memories and lessons that will always stay in us, the blossoming that allows us to break glass ceilings, the bond that keeps us get by, the spark that fans the ember of passion of every members.

The Cebu Bloggers Society 10th Anniversary Gala Night is co-presented by Cebu Parklane International Hotel, our official venue partner, AirAsia, our official airline partner, SkyWaterpark Cebu, our official waterpark partner, and Oppo, our official smartphone partner. Have some cravings? You can now order your food and groceries online with https://www.honestbee.ph/en/. Just download the app and have them delivered at your doorstep.

We thank our patron sponsor, BigSEED PR and Events for introducing the Cebu Bloggers Society to their partner brands.

Megaworld, the country’s leading real estate developer and No. 1 business process and outsourcing (BPO) office developer and landlord in the Philippines,

PLDT Home, home’s most powerful broadband,

Ayala Center Cebu, the premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the South.

Silver Sponsors

McDonald’s

Bronze Sponsors

Starbucks

Havaianas

This event is powered by Smart.

For more updates on the CBS 10th Anniversary Gala Night, check out our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , using the official hashtag, #CBSat10.

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Plus63 Music and Arts Festival with Showtek

By now you probably have already planned your great Sinulog Weekend 2018. Looking at the week weather forecast it seems that it will be another wet Sinulog this year.

Anyhow, it’s always fun in Sinulog, rain or shine.

The party with Steve Aoki last year continued, rain or shine!

 

There is one Sinulog Party that has been getting rave reviews from its patrons, that is Plus63 Music & Arts Festival. In fact, I wrote about my anticipation of it (read here) last year. There is one thing very glaring the sets apart Plus63 Music and Arts Festival from the rest of the parties and concerts in Cebu and the City Hall seems to agree with me —The security was tight and very well managed. It was like entering to a themed park. The crowd moved freely and was wild (in a good way).

 

Plus63 Music & Arts Festival 2018 Map

Plus63 is also able to get a prime venue apt for the celebration. Ayala Business Park is in the center of all the festivities with ample parking spaces, huge space where people can move around, and most importantly it is very accessible to everyone. Perfect for fireworks too. Watch for it!

So did you buy your tickets already? Get it before the the day and save stash for your snacks.

They have great food options inside too.  Pina Coolada, Donya Wagyu, and Tipsy Pops are just two of the several local startup food vendors that will be there.

Be ready to party with an eclectic mix of international and local musical acts. Some of the country’s best talents Marc Marasigan, X Factor, Gino V, and Victor Pring on the mic, will be making sure the whole party is lit!

To top it off. Plus63 brought in Steve Angello, and Steve Aoki, in 2016 and 2017, respectively, to headline the event. This year, they are bringing in Showtek!!!

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Spanish Buffet at Montebello Villa Hotel

Spanish cuisine is something that is not very strange to the Filipino palate. Its traces are evident in our feasts on celebrations and special occasions. From tapas to roasted whole pigs, Spanish cuisine is regarded as a luxurious indulgence.

I was curious about the Spanish Night in Montebello Villa Hotel after reading some facebook posts of my friends raving about it. I immediately chatted two friends, Carlo and Ted, who are also aspiring chefs themselves, to accompany me and check on the Spanish buffet. I wanted to learn more about Spanish cuisine, and these two will be able to provide fresh perspectives and inputs about it.

 

Ted, Ethy, and Carlo.

 

Reservation is always appropriate. A call to the hotel to reserve a table for three was in order especially that the Spanish Buffet is only available every Saturday night.

The moment we were seated, we were approached by the waitress in red and black flamenco dress for our drinks. I had Sangria of course. It was served in full glass with a prominent scent of mixed fruits.

Swirl.  Smell. Sip. 

At first sip, I already know that it could be a good contender for the best Sangria in town to date. Sweet, effervescent, and innocuously potent. It was reminiscent of my own Sangria concoction I had during every fiesta. A mix of 3:1:1 red wine, white wine, and Sprite, with slices of my favorite fruits. It was a Spanish Holiday in a wine glass.

It wouldn’t be a Spanish buffet without the staple callos and lengua. I honestly had kept my expectations low considering the price of the buffet at P649.00 per person. Surprisingly, they are sensational! A product of laborious food preparation, the meat is tender and the spices are balanced, nothing overpowers the other. It was very good that I became so curious about the chef behind them. I asked a little background of the chef. I was told from a grapevine that the chef was from a restaurant which used to be on the top spot in Cebu Spanish food dining. No wonder these food do not only taste familiar, they were actually exceptional.

 

This Lengua is TDF!

 

Callos is an acquired taste. Glad, I acquired it.

Another favorite that I should mention was the Pescado En Salsa Verde (Hake in Green Sauce). The aroma of the spices and butter not only teased your sense it lingered in your mouth. Although the piece of fish that I had was a bit dry, the sauce still made it noteworthy. It was indeed an unforgettable dish that goes along with the memorable spanish songs like the timeless Bolare played by the band on the background.

 

Pardon me for skipping the dessert. I am not really a dessert kind of eater. I am trying to cut down my sugar intake so that I can still have my coke and favorite coffee. The dessert spread on the buffet were promising though. I saw some churros and flans.

 


Why not have the dinner by the pool?

 

The Spanish Buffet is available every Saturday Night. It opens at 6:00PM. Candle lit dining by the pool with some Spanish vibe on the air could be a very good option. 

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How to join the M&M’S Screenbite Awards?

Movie time is snack time. A movie is always better when paired with a good snack like a bag of M&Ms Chocolates. More often than not, the highlight of your screentime is the SNACKS. Not satisfied with a simple batch of buttered popcorn? Open up a bag of fun with M&M’S®, the perfect screentime graze-snack companion. 

So Bring out the stacks of awesome movies and TV series that will have everyone laughing, crying, or leaving them in shock.

Wait, let’s add more fun to that. What about sharing the moment with a chance to have a grand vacation abroad? 

Get your phones ready to snap, post and share every fun.  


M&M’S® is bringing you spontaneous fun through the M&M’S® Screenbite Awards . Share your screentime moments, fun time with M&M’S® and get a chance to win a trip for two (2) to Universal Studios Japan, a lot of M&M’S® chocolates, movie tickets or exclusive M&M’S® merchandise.

All you need to do is to visit the Screenbite Awards website http://www.screenbiteawards.com. Take a photo or video of you and your friends’ reactions while watching a TV series, movie, or any video on any screen (e.g. TV, Mobile, Laptop) and snacking on M&M’S®.

There are three categories you can choose from. M&M’S® Red, the leader of the gang, strong-willed, fierce and daring represents all the ACTION. One of Red’s mottos is, “Never underestimate the power of chocolate and M&M’S®!”

M&M’S® Yellow, the friendliest and funniest of them all, loves Comedy and enjoys seeing his friends laughing like crazy. Yellow says, “Life is better when you’re laughing…and eating M&M’S®!” And finally, it’s no surprise that the beautiful and passionate M&M’S® Green, represents ROMANCE. This confident gal also has an emotional side that can get teary-eyed while watching a good love story. Ms. Green affirms, “All you need is love. But a little M&M’S® now and then won’t hurt.”



The biggest treat is for the lucky grand winner who will win a trip for two (2) to Universal Studios Japan. “No guts no glory! Let’s get this show on the road!”, says Red.


Be sure to capture your or your group’s reaction while watching videos and consuming M&M’S® – after all, sharing the screentime experience makes it even more fun. Multiple entries are allowed so keep on posting to get more chances of winning! Promo will run for 7 weeks starting on August 1, 2017 at 12:00AM until September 21, 2017 at 11:59 AM. For full contest details, visit http://www.facebook.com/MMsPhilippines.  

Sit down, watch, enjoy M&M’S® and join the M&M’S® Screenbite Awards 2017 because screentime is now more fun with M&M’S®.

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Selina’s Castle of Beauty and Wellness at Parkmall Mandaue

Beauty and Wellness businesses thrive in Cebu. It has permeated to all income levels. It will be wise to always go for the most experienced.  

The partnership of Calayan Medical Group and M. Lhuillier Group that brought to Cebu the ML Calayan Skincare and Aesthetic Center at Oakridge is once again surprising Cebuanos with the opening of its new beauty venture designed for its budget conscious patrons, Selina’s Castle of Beauty and Wellness. It is located at the 2nd floor, West Strip of Parkmall, Mandaue City.

 

By looking at the list of services that they are offering, I can conclude that not only they made them more affordable they also ensure that it can be enjoyed by everyone, men and women, young and old. It can be a family bonding activity. Their services include foot massages and make over for kids and sauna, bath, and massages for men.

The shop also sells premium beauty products. I had been using their matte sunblock and it’s really effect. What I like about is its non greasy feel.


More about their services soon. I will be trying them as I am one massage and wellness addict and it seems they are just reasonably priced at Selina’s Castle of Beauty and Wellness. I can’t wait to try the red wine bath.

For inquiries and reservations you may call 0917-524-8009.

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Seaside Sessions At The SkyPark Schedules

Where else can you find a spectacular view of the sunset but at the Seaside? 
Enjoy the everyday sunset on neon bean bags at SM Seaside. 

Daily free shows schedules: 

Monday Blues – Jazz Music

On Mondays, guests can enjoy the jazzy, soulful sounds of artists belting out the Monday Blues.

 


Standard Tuesdays– Your Favorite Karaoke Hits

Standard Tuesday will have you humming with glee as we listen to live karaoke hits sung by expert crooners on stage.

 

Acoustic Wednesdays – Covers of Billboard Chart-topping Hits

Acoustic Wednesday strips back the layers of musical instruments, giving listeners a more intimate sound with melodies and vocals up front and center with the latest chart-topping hits.

 

VisPop Thursdays – Original Visayan Pop Music

VisPop Thursday celebrates Visayan language through music as our very own local artists belt out songs of love, longing, life’s journey and friendship all written through the unique perspective of a Bisaya.

 

LitFest Fridays – Cebu Literary Festival

LitFest Friday invites performers to the microphone for talks, moderated conversations, book readings, spoken word, theater, music and poetry.

 

Saturdate Movies – Outdoor Cinema Experience

Warm tropical nights spent at The Sky Park with the added perk of watching your favorite movie on giant screens with the night sky as backdrop lit by the constellations. Sit back and relax on beanbags and enjoy SaturDate Movie Sessions.

 

Sunday Funday – Family Fun Activities

Sunday Funday Sessions is for the whole family! Magic and amazing feats for children will set Sundays at The Sky Park apart from the rest as the day showcases an exhilarating blend of whimsy of powerful athleticism from acrobats, inspiring imagery from stilt walkers, balloon twisters and magicians.


Event time daily is at 6:00 PM. Enjoy a variety of entertainment all month long starting July 17, 2017 with Sessions at The Sky Park.

#SeasideSessionsAtTheSkyPark #SeasideSunsetAtTheSkyPark

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MOVIE REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

Hey, do you miss my movie reviews? It’s been awhile.

I thought I will be visiting a house full of cobwebs — old, boring, and with rehashed memories — but surprisingly, it is youthful, vigorous, and sparkling. Suddenly, Spider-Man movies become relevant to the bigger world of superheroes.

While it faithfully adhere to the friendly neighborhood charisma that I used to know, (in fact it’s the most racially friendly superhero movie I’ve ever watched), it also stirs memories of the great coming of age years of self-discovery and unrestrained enthusiasm. The producers can even make a spin-off from here.

Hollywood’s newest Spider Man, Tom Holland, brought all his youth, swag, and gymnastic skills in this movie. These are evident especially when he has the face mask on. It would be easy to identify him as the best Spider Man that the social media savvy millennials can relate. He seems to be the first vlogging superhero.

It’s the perfect movie for the family especially those with teens. It has great insights on the struggle of the youth and how should it be managed.

8.5/10

P.S.

Have you tried the popcorn at The Movie Snack Bar in Ayala Center Cebu? I had sour cream and barbecue yesterday for the first time. They were both way better than that of the most hyped brand. Just give it a chance and be a convert like me.
By the way, there are two post credit scenes. Please be patient. It’s fun!

Thank you, Ayala Center Cebu for the movie treat.

#EthysMovieReview #AyalaCinemas #TheMovieSnackbar #SpiderManHomecomingAtAyala

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Flu Home Remedies (Non-Medical Relief)

Flu is coming. It’s not only Game of Thrones that is upon us but also the common colds and flu in the air. Since Friday I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather. I have doubled the dose of my alkaline Vitamin C and has been religiously taking my multivitamins. However, these are just a little bit too late since I think I already caught the flu.



What to do? 

My nose are not yet clogged but I can already feel that my throat is dry and itchy and occasionally I cough.

At times like this, I usually employ these non-medical flu hacks and intervention. 

1. A serving of a Hot Toddy. Yes, brandy and whisky can alleviate your feeling when you have a flu. It may not kill the virus but its effect is almost instant. A Hot Toddy is 1:8 Whisky and Hot Water mixed together with lemon and other spices. Try it to believe. Be sure you are of age and please don’t consume more than enough alcohol as it may cause dehydration.

2. Speaking of dehydration, most common cold causes dry throat and mouth especially during sleeping. It is therefore logical to increase the moisture content of your room. But how? Use air humidifiers. There are many air humidifiers in the market today, I bought mine from an online store for only 900 pesos. The relief of breathing through a moist air while your throat is dry is immediate.

3. Lastly, don’t forget to gargle with Bactidol. Yes, I need to be very specific with the brand as other may have not the same effect as Bactidol. Gargling with it directing it to the throat as you wake up in the morning and every 4 hours thereafter and before sleeping kills the bacteria in your throat that may have caused the irritation. This helps to prevent loss of voice. Easy on Bactidol, be sure to direct it only to the throat and not the tongue as it may burn it that may result in loss of appetite.

 

I hope this helps. Get well soon!

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