Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Here Comes the Milkfish: IHOP Adds Filipino Breakfast Items

The Breakfast Bangus is pan fried milkfish served with a side of garlic rice and eggs (P295)
Filipino favorite fried bangus or milkfish is one of three new Filipino breakfast dishes now offered at IHOP (International House of Pancakes). The United States-grown, all-day breakfast restaurant, which is known for its pancakes, waffles and French toasts, is endearing itself more to Filipino consumers as it expands its Filipino line.
“We currently have five Filipino breakfast offerings on the menu and are excited to be offering more. It just goes to show how IHOP has made an impact on our local customers. These are distinctly Filipino dishes with IHOP-sized servings and IHOP quality,” said Archie Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of Global Restaurant Concepts Inc., the local franchise owner of IHOP. “In addition to our Filipino Breakfast lineup, which is now part of our core menu, these three new, limited edition items are about raising the bar and showing what IHOP Philippines can do in terms of innovation in respect to both IHOP International Culinary Team’s standards and our local research and development team’s creativity.”
“These items are both classic Filipino favorites, thus the name, and are very familiar to Filipino diners, but, at the same time, have the signature IHOP stamp on it,” he added.
Prominent among the new additions is the Breakfast Bangus (P295), which is the all-time favorite boneless bangus or milkfish pan-fried. It is served with garlic rice and sunny-side-up eggs. The rice servings are in IHOP proportions—satisfyingly hefty—and these Filipino dishes have linings on fresh banana leaves on the plates, an amusing touch of local color.
Another breakfast favorite is corned beef, and IHOP has Corned Beef Hash (P275), which is corned beef mixed with IHOP’s own hash browns. This is also served with garlic rice and eggs. And lastly, the Longganisa Scrambler (P250) combines the favorite local sausage, the longganisa, and a favorite way of cooking eggs — scrambled with chopped tomatoes and onions. In this scrambled egg dish, the sautéed chopped longganisa is mixed with green bell peppers and onions.
These new items beef up the restaurant’s Filipino Classics line, which was introduced last year and includes the beef tapa, which is the top-seller in this range; chicken and pork tocino; longganisa; and chicken sausage.
“These dishes were developed by IHOP Philippines’ research and development team, and our principals approved and supported them prior to launch. It’s IHOP’s commitment to innovation, to keeping things fresh, current and relevant to the market that really inspires us to push the envelope and come up with product lines that we are sure the Filipinos will love,” Rodriguez beamed.
IHOP Philippines hopes that the Filipino breakfast items will be picked by IHOP in the United States and offer in stores located in communities with a sizable Filipino population.
Meanwhile, the three new items will be available only in the Philippines and for a limited period starting today, March 31. Also being offered together with the new Filipino breakfast items are the summer treats, which are culled from IHOP’s American menu.
The Summer Treats line is offered in partnership with Nestle Philippines and Pepsi, and includes the Ice Cream Waffle Sandwich (P245), or waffles with fillings of vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips and mango ice cream mixed with cheesecake cubes, served on streaks of chocolate and vanilla sauce; Funnel Cake a la Mode (P175), six pieces of small funnel cakes topped with vanilla ice cream, and a choice of cinnamon apple compote, blueberries, or glazed strawberries, whipped cream and powdered sugar; Banana Split Sundae (P225), chocolate, vanilla and mango ice cream balls, candied pecans, and glazed strawberries in a goblet, with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and sliced bananas; and soda floats (P145), soda with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce and served on a beer mug.
These new dishes mark IHOP’s second year in the Philippines, and this milestone comes with several developments.
“We’ve been doing very well and steadily growing in the Philippines. Since IHOP’s arrival in the local dining scene, I think we can be credited with changing the way people think of their comfort food. IHOP has shown that we can enjoy this concept, that special IHOP dining experience, anytime of the day whether for breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dinner,” Rodriguez related. “To date, we now have six branches in Metro Manila, with the seventh branch soon to open at Ayala Fairview Terraces. We’ve also begun to offer in-house and on-site catering services across these branches.”
“The IHOP experience can be in homes, offices, and venues for parties or get-togethers with the menu personalized for the client. We can work with them based on their need and budget with a professional team managing the spread,” he added.
Additionally, IHOP will also be delivering food starting April 25. It has partnered with Food Panda, which operates food delivery service via a mobile phone app.
“With the launch of our delivery service, we are happy to announce that IHOP’s Fried Chicken Dinner will be available for dine in, take out and delivery in six pieces, eight pieces and 12 pieces starting May 1. This is our answer to the clamor of our guests who love our fried chicken,” Rodriguez declared.

IHOP Philippines has branches in Bonifacio Global City, UP Town Center in Katipunan, SM Mall of Asia, Century City Mall, Filinvest City in Alabang, and Araneta Center. It will be opening its seventh store in Ayala Fairview Terraces soon. Follow their social media spaces on Facebook via IHOP Philippines and Twitter and Instagram at @ihop_ph.
Corned beef sautéed with hash browns served with garlic rice and eggs (P275)
Longganisa Scrambler has scrambled eggs mixed with sautéed chopped longganisa, green bell peppers, and onions. It is served with garlic rice. (P250)
Six pieces of mini funnel cakes topped with creamy vanilla ice cream; crowned with a choice of cinnamon apple compote, blueberries, or glazed strawberries; and garnished with whipped cream and powdered sugar (P175)

Vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips and mango ice cream mixed with cheesecake cubes in between freshly made waffles. It is served on a bed of chocolate and vanilla sauce

The banana split sundae is a goblet full of chocolate, vanilla, mango ice cream balls, candied pecans, and glazed strawberries. It is drizzled with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, and garnished with sliced bananas with a cherry on top (P225).

Soda Float is soda topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. It is served on a beer mug (P145)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let the Light of Literature Shine: Philippine Literature Month to be Celebrated for the First Time

The uses and roles of literature are multitudinous and multifarious. One universally accepted attribute of literature is its ability to offer elevating and edifying experiences which enlarge our horizons and enhance us as people.
In the Philippines, as in numerous countries in the world, literature also has a vital role in turning the course of history and shaping society. According to poet and officer in charge of the Sangay ng Edukasyon at Networking of Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) John Enrico Torralba: “Sa kasaysayan, naging kasangkapan ang panitikan sa pagsulong at pagpapalaganap ng mga adhikain ng mga dakilang tao at karaniwang masa, lalo na ang dalumat ng pagkabansa. Mula noon hanggang kasalukuyan, ang panitikan ang isa sa mga pangunahing sanggunian ng pagkatao ng mga Filipino, ng pagiging tao ng mga Filipino. Sumasalamin at naglalatag ang panitikan ng kung ano tayo at kung ang maaari nating kahantungan.” (In history, literature has been instrumental in the flourishing and promulgation of the goals of great persons as well as of the ordinary masses, especially on the concept of nationhood. From the olden times until now, literature is one of the primary guides in shaping Filipino identity and humanity. Literature mirrors and illustrates what we are and where we are going.)
Malawak at malayo na din ang naabot ng ating panitikan. May pagtanggap at pagkilala na sa iba’t ibang antas ang lipunan—mula sa mga internasyonal na larang hanggang sa mga karaniwang sulok ng mga tahanan, mula sa maseselang panlasa hanggang sa simpleng pagkalibang,” (Our literature has gone a long way. It has garnered reception and recognition in different levels of society—from the international field to the ordinary corners of the home, from critics with the most discerning tastes to the ones who just want diversion) he further explained. “Ang kapangyarihan at kabuluhang ito ng panitikan ng mga Filipino ang siyang dahilan, sa tingin ko, kung bakit may Buwan ng Panitikang Filipino. Dagdag pa, may sakit na pagkalito at pagkalimot ang maraming Filipino kung kaya’t kailangang ipaalam at ipaalala sa kanila ang kapangyarihan at kabuluhang ito, na tayo ay may panitikan, na tayo ay Filipinong may maipagmamalaking panitikan.” (The power and significance of Philippine literature are reasons, in my opinion, why there is a Philippine Literature Month. Additionally, many Filipinos are afflicted with confusion and forgetfulness, and there is need to remind them of literature’s power and significance, that we have a literature we can be proud of.)
National Artist for literature Virgilio Almario, who is currently chairman of KWF, pushed for the institutionalization of a celebration that highlights the nation’s literature. This year, that came into fruition. President Aquino signed Proclamation No. 968 on February 10, 2015, which declares the month of April as Buwan ng Panitikang Filipino or National Literature Month.
The proclamation states that “Philippine literature, written in different Philippine languages, is associated with the history and cultural legacy of the State, and must be promoted among Filipinos,” and that “national literature plays an important role in preserving and inspiring the literature of today and in introducing to future generations the Filipino values that we have inherited from our ancestors.”
The government agency on the national language and other Philippine languages, with support from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the government’s overall agency on arts and culture, is spearheading the first ever celebration of Philippine Literature Month
April was chosen because many literature-related events fall under this month such as the birth and death anniversaries of literary icons Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar, Emilio Jacinto, Paciano Rizal, Nick Joaquin, Edith Tiempo and Bienvenido Lumbera, and international literary celebrations including International Children’s Book Day, International Day of the Book or World Book Day, and World Intellectual Property Rights Day. The lineup of activities and events this April consisted of established regular endeavors as well as new ones.
For the celebration, KWF has chosen the theme “Alab Panitikan,” literally “fire of literature,” which is also a play on the phrase “I love panitikan.” The theme also encapsulates the goals of the celebration.
Nag-aalab ang panitikang Filipino,” (Philippine literature is burning) Torralba said. “Isang layunin ng pagdiriwang ay ipaalala na may mahabang kasaysayan, kung kaya’t may malalim at malawak na lawas ng mga akda ang Filipinas; at ipakilala na patuloy na nabubuhay ang ating panitikan.” (One objective of the celebration is to remind people of the long history of Philippine literature—thus, it has a deep and wide body of works— and that it continues to be alive.)
Pag-alabin ang panitikang Filipino,” (To kindle Philippine literature further) he continued. “Isa pang layunin ay hikayatin ang mga Filipino, mga propesyonal , di-propesyonal, mag-aaral, guro, at iba pa na makibahagi sa pagpapanatili, pagpapalaganap, at pagpapalawak ng pagkamalikhain ng mga Filipino sa pamamagitan ng tuloy-tuloy na produksiyon at promosyon.” (Another objective is to encourage Filipinos, the professionals, the nonprofessionals, students, teachers and others to take part in sustaining, popularizing and disseminating Filipino creativity through continuous production and promotion.)
He concluded: “Ay lab panitikan. Sa kabuuan, ang nais na maabot ng selebrasyon ay mas malalim na pagpapahalaga sa ating panitikan, at higit sa lahat, ipakita na mahal natin ang ating panitikan.” (I love literature. Overall, the celebration hopes to foment a deeper appreciation for our literature and to show that we love our literature.)
The Philippine Literature Month will kick off with a youth camp and the unveiling of a new monument of the 19th century poet Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar, widely considered the greatest of poets in Filipino, in the coastal barangay of Wawa in Orion, Bataan, on March 30. Hardin ni Balagtas, or the Garden of Balagtas will be opened to serve as a “cultural park” with native plants and trees.
The town of Orion, then called Udyong, is said to be close to Balagtas’s heart. Here, he wrote some of his masterpieces and died on February 20, 1862. The new bronze monument depicts the poet seated and looking at the sea. It is created by prominent sculptor Julie Lluch, who also did the monuments of Apolinario Mabini for the 150th birth anniversary celebration, which is now in Tanauan, Batangas; Carlos P. Romulo along United Nations Avenue, Manila; Jose Abad-Santos and Cayetano Arellano on Padre Faura Street, Manila; and President Manuel L. Quezon in the province of Quezon.
Simultaneously, Kampo Balagtas will be held from March 30 to 31 at the Orion Elementary School. The youth camp is expected to gather around 500 Grade 8 students in the Central Luzon region and delegations from different indigenous groups of the country. With the theme “Si Balagtas at ang Kabataan” (Balagtas and the youth), the camp will feature cultural presentations and discussions on the importance of Balagtas’s life and legacy.
Also, the winners of the Talaang Ginto: Makata ng Taon 2015 and the Gawad Dangal ni Balagtas 2015 will be honored.
April 2 is the 227 birth anniversary of Balagtas. Simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies will be held at Balagtas monuments in Pandacan, Manila; in Balagtas, Bulacan, where he was born in 1788; and in Orion, Bataan.
On April 6, the first session of Tertulya sa Tula: Isang Hapon ng mga Makata ng Taon will be held at the KWF, where audience will have the opportunity to interact with the Makata ng Taon winners. Subsequent events will be held on April 13, 20 and 27.
From April 9 to 11, Lingayen, Pangasinan, will host the first Baybayin Summit to be in participated in by teachers, scholars, researchers and students. They will tackle the issue of introducing the Old Tagalog script into the school curriculum.
On April 11, Ateneo de Manila University’s Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices will be holding the High Fantasy and Young Adult Writing Workshop. It will be held every Saturday of the month (April 11, 18 and 25). From April 13 to 15, Uswag Filipino!, an annual seminar-workshop on language and literature for teachers, will be held at the Bulacan State University. This year, it will tackle Ortograpiyang Pambansa, KWF Manwal sa Masinop na Pagsulat, and Korespondensiya Opisyal.
The Filipino poets’ group Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA) will conduct the Lakbay-Panitik para kay Emilio Jacinto in Majayjay, Laguna, on April 16, in celebration of the hero’s death anniversary. On the other hand, Gumil Filipinas (Gunglo dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano iti Filipinas) or Ilokano Writers Association of the Philippines will hold its 47th national conference at the Cubao Expo in Quezon City from April 17 to 19 with the theme “Ang Papel ng Gumiliano sa Lipunang Ilokano.” (The role of a Gumil member in Ilocano society)
The Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center of the De La Salle University will hold the Young Writers Workshop for very young children with literary inclinations. It will be on April 17. Also on the same day, LIRA has a poetry reading program at the Conspiracy Bar in Quezon City. Meanwhile in Davao City, the Davao Writers’ Guild and Young Davao Writers will hold Kumbira! which will include a poetry reading, an exhibit and a book sale.
On April 20, the Manila Times College in Intramuros, Manila, will conduct a literary journalism workshop with veterans that include critic and playwright Dr. Isagani Cruz, while University of Santo Tomas’s Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies will conduct “Tradisyon at Modernidad: Isang Simposyum” on April 21. From April 21 to 23, a translation seminar for teachers will be held at the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City.
On April 23, the National Book Development Board will spearhead the celebration of the National Book and Copyright Day, and on April 24, the Klasrum Adarna session for teachers will tackle “Pagtuturo ng Noli at Fili/ Ibong Adarna” in Makati City.
A Cebuano version of the play The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, called V-Latanay, will be mounted at the University of the Philippines in Mindanao from April 23 to 24.
Folk on Badiw: Ibaloy Legacy to Poetry and Music” will be held at the University of the Philippines in Baguio City from April 24 to 25 with National Artist for music Ramon Santos as guest of honor.
On April 26, FIT n Fun: Fun Run for Writers will be at the UP Academic Oval, organized by the Filipinas Institute of Translation.
From April 26 to 28, the Iyas National Writers Workshop of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod will be held in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, and from April 29 to 30, the Pambansang Kongreso sa Wikang Filipino will be held in Baguio City by the Kapisanan ng mga Superbisor at Guro sa Filipino (Kasugufil).
On April 29, the Pambansang Araw ng Gawad sa KWF Timpalak Uswag Darepdep will be held. Uswag Darepdep is a contest of the KWF for 12 to 17-year-old aspiring writers writing in different Philippine languages. This year, language categories that are open for competition are Ilocano, Cebuano, Bicol and Mëranaw.
On April 30, a poetry reading by the Katig Writers Network will be held at University of the Philippines Tacloban in Leyte and at the Northwestern State University in Calbayog City, Samar.
This summer, the Holy Week is not the only occasion that provides spirituality, reflection and meaningfulness in a season popularly known for excursions and beaches. With the newly declared Buwan ng Panitikang Filipino or National Literature Month, April in the Philippines will be a more enriching and soulful time.
Mas malalaki at bonggang uri ng mga gawain,” (Bigger and spectacular activities) promised Torralba on future celebrations. “Noong huling meeting sa NCCA, nakaiisip na ng ilang malalaking gawain para sa susunod na taong pagdiriwang. Nariyan ang mga pagkakaroon ng mga pambansang timpalak sa mga tradisyonal na anyo ng panitikan ng bansa gaya ng timpalak sa balagtasan, tigsik, ambahan, balitao, etc. Isa ding mungkahi ay ang pagkakaroon ng Gawad Alab Panitikan. Siyempre, ninanais na buong bansa o karamihan ng mga sektor, institusyon, o organisasyong may direkta o di-direktang may kinalaman sa panitikan ay magiging bahagi ng mga susunod pang pagdiriwang. Sa madaling salita, asahang paganda nang paganda at palaki nang palaki ang mga pagdiriwang sa hinaharap. Ano pa ba ang maaasahan natin sa mga taong puro paglikha ang nasa isip at puso?” (In the last meeting at the NCCA, several big events were suggested for the subsequent celebrations. One is a national contest on traditional literary forms such as the balagtasan, tigsik, ambahan, balitao, etc. Another suggestion is having an Alab Panitikan Award. Of course, it is hoped that the whole country or most of the sectors, institutions or organizations directly or indirectly connected with literature will take part in the coming celebrations. In other words, expect that the future celebrations will be bigger and more beautiful. What can we expect from people whose hearts and minds are into creating?”)

Visit www.kwf.gov.ph, or e-mail komfil.gov@gmail.com. Call telephone number 736-2519 for more information.

National Artist for literature  and KWF chairman Virgilio Almario inspects the new statue of Balagtas
The historical marker for  Balagtas, which will be installed with a new monument in Orion, Bataan
Simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies will be held in three locations on Balagtas Day on April 2
The 19th-century Tagalog poet Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar is widely considered the greatest among Filipino writers, whose birth anniversary is being commemmorated in April
The Balagtas’s metrical romance Florante at Laura is one of Philippine literature’s greatest works

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cuisine Clean and Creative: Renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Helms Special Dinner in Manila

On a big, shiny white plate were four smaller plates holding ceviches and appetizers. A marker indicated where to start—the mamakari nanban-zuke, a Japanese dish of marinated cooked fish. The herring-like mamakari was lightly fried and gently doused with vinegar—delectable. The new-style grouper was drizzled with sesame oil, pleasantly aromatic, while the chu toro or medium fatty tuna with wasabi salsa provided the kick. The lobster quinoa ceviche was zesty and refreshing. These four were like the four seasons on a plate, allowing the tongue to experience different little waves of flavors, all not complicated, and exemplified the deliciousness of simplicity and freshness, recreated with twists that do not overwhelm but rather accent the main flavors.
These characterized the other dishes personally overseen by esteemed Japanese chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, popular called Nobu. The founder and owner of the eponymously named resturant flew to helm the kitchen of its Manila branch, the flagship restaurant of Nobu Hotel in City of Dreams Manila, the 6.2-hectare integrated casino resort along Manila Bay, for a special dinner and to meet his admirers last March 18.
The recently opened Nobu Manila is currently the hottest dining spot in Metro Manila, the 32nd in the chain, which has 36 restaurants around the world, and the first in Southeast Asia. Nobu promises the same quality and offerings in all outlets.
The fine-dining restaurant, which sports contemporary Japanese-inspired design, appears dark like a theater with pools of light illuminating the tables, nooks, a sushi bar, two teppanyaki tables and a chef’s table. It can seat 335 people and it has two private dining rooms. Outside, the cabanas are nearly surrounded by water and seem to float on it.
Nobu Manila serves modern Japanese cuisine imbued with influences from Nobu’s travels particularly in North America and South America, where the chef has stayed. The signature dishes include the toro tartar with caviar, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, whitefish tiradito style, salmon new style, creamy and spicy rock shrimp, squid pasta, black cod miso, beef tobanyaki and the bento box dessert.
The multi-course, special omakase or set menu, priced at P7,000, has been so popular that the restaurant had to create three sessions—lunch, dinner and late dinner at 10 p.m. Ours started with the mixed sashimi salad with red and green jalapeño dressing using ocean trout and grouper, placed on top of grilled water convolvulus or kangkong, with greens wrapped in thinly sliced daikon. The crunchiness of the fresh vegetables counterbalanced the delicate fish meats.
The aforementioned four-way tasting of appetizers was followed by a beautiful selection of sushi, which included tuna, shrimp and tamago so fluffy it tasted like mamon or chiffon cake. The sushi came lightly seasoned that a dipping soy sauce was not needed. A dollop of wasabi was placed on the side for those wanting some kick.
The black cod with jalapeño miso was cooked to perfection, the flakes of the fish tasting like clouds and a pickled ginger stalk providing a delightful sharpness of flavor and color. But the wagyu and eringi with red onion-shiso salsa got everybody excited. The beef was so delicate it melted on the tongue. This was contrasted by the chewy and well-seasoned eringi or king trumpet mushroom. The salsa tickled the tongue.
To wash down the flavors, the lightly spicy and sour heart of palm “noodle soup” was offered and, to top the dinner, the simply named shaved ice was served. It was a Japanese version of the Filipino halo-halo, which was lightly sweetened with a gingery syrup. At the bottom were little surprises such as little green tea mochi.
During the dinner, Nobu was amiable, posing for selfies and signing copies of his books, including Nobu: The Cookbook, Nobu Now, and Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook. It is no wonder why actor Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper championed this chef and joined forces to bring his innovative cuisine to the world.

For more information, call City of Dreams Manila’s hotline at +63 (2) 800-8080, or the restaurant’s direct line + 63 (2) 691-2882.

The black cod with jalapeño miso
The mamakari  nanban-zuke; new-style grouper; chu toro with wasabi salsa; and lobster quinoa ceviche
The heart of palm “noodle soup”
The mixed sashimi salad with red and green jalapeño dressing
Shaved ice
A selection of sushi
The wagyu and eringi with red onion-shiso salsa
Nobu Manila can seat about 300 people.
Nobu Manila has outdoor cabanas near the hotel’s pooldeck that seem to float on water
Japanese chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa

Friday, March 20, 2015

Have Jeans, Will Travel on Bike

True to its free and daring spirit that thrives on adventures, iconic American denim brand Wrangler takes its signature denim wear to the Philippines’ wide, open roads as it launches the digital competition True Wanderer
Despite the influx of several popular and big fashion brands to the Philippines, carrying a variety of lines including denim pants, Wrangler seems unfazed by the competition. In fact, the American denim brand remains one of the top choices among Filipinos, revealed Wrangler Philippines president Daisy Go.
She asserts that the Philippines is one of the strongest markets in Asia. Wrangler Philippines is proud to show that it has received four of the seven awards from Wrangler Asia-Pacific in 2014 for being a top performer. In fact, it accumulated 18 awards over the past five years.
The brand’s position is largely attributed to the loyalty of its clientele, which make up people in their early 30s and up. We don’t cater to the teens, said Go. She added that the teens have no brand loyalty and are only into what’s current and hot and not into quality. Wrangler customers go for the brand’s durability, classic styles and perhaps its heritage.
Wrangler has about a century of history starting in North Carolina, United States, and with designs for cowboys and rodeos. It has spread to many countries around the world.
Wrangler has been in the country for many years now. The present franchise owner, who is into textile manufacturing, has been handling Wrangler for six years now and is strengthening and updating the brand.
Under the Wrangler banner, they introduced the non-denim Timbercreek line of outdoor wear and accessories, which is original to the Philippines but approved by the American headquarters. Recently, they launched the underwear for men line. Additionally, Go related that when they acquired the brand, women’s wear was minimal, about eight percent of the entire offerings. Now, about 30 percent comprise the women’s.
Now, to reinforce its identity, Wrangler Philippines launches a competition called True Wanderer, evoking its original free and daring spirit that thrives on adventures.
“Wrangler has always been about going off the beaten paths and conquering new grounds. True Wanderer is our way of communicating our brand’s core as we inspire riders to get out there and discover their free spirits on the open road,” Go explained.
The Asia-Pacific edition of the global competition focuses on the best photos and stories of journeying on a bike. The Philippine edition is open to all Filipinos. The entries must be in the form of previous biking photos with a story on why they should be chosen as a True Wanderer. The venue will be the True Wanderer microsite (www.wranglertruewanderer.com), which will serve as a travel diary of a contestant, recounting experiences in words, photos and videos. The public can read and view the entries, thus becoming a part of the journey.
Would-be contestants need not purchase any Wrangler items, said Go, only he or she must be a real biker with a penchant for travel. Inevitably, it will show that jeans are indispensable wear for these travels, and Wrangler wants to impart that its jeans are well suited for it.
“With jeans that are purposely designed to enhance comfort and style for the open road, Wrangler is the perfect companion of every True Wanderer as he goes off on his explorations,” added Go.
Ten finalists will be picked out from the pool of entries by judges that include photographer and biker Jake Versoza. The finalists will then embark on a five-day journey in selected places in the country on their bikes and wearing Wrangler’s key items. Only one winner will be proclaimed at the end of the contest and he or she will win a motorbike and P100,000 worth of Wrangler products. The sole winner will then become the Philippine representative to the Asia Pacific-wide competition, where he or she will compete with other True Wanderer winners from across the Asia-Pacific region. The contest is now open and closes around April.
“True Wanderer is Wrangler’s way of further strengthening its identity as the denim brand that’s made for action and adventure. Now, we dare riders to join the contest and brave the open roads. We invite them to uncover the most interesting spots in the country armed with their passion for novel encounters and unstoppable spirits,” said Go.

Visit the True Wanderer microsite at www.wranglertruewanderer.com. For more updates, follow Wrangler on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (WranglerPH).
Wrangler is said to be about going off the beaten paths and conquering new grounds

Aside from the Timbercreek non-denim brand, Wrangler Philippines launches the men’s underwear line, which currently has six collections

Wrangler displays during the launch

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pancakes or Fried Bangus for Lent

Garlic bangus
But this kind of abstinence does not mean having "poor" food. One can eat well even without meats, and many restaurants around Metro Manila are offering Lenten specials that are worth a try. One is Slappy Cakes.
Originating from Portland, Oregon, Slappy Cakes is known for its pancakes, as well as the opportunity for diners to be creative with their pancakes by having them cook their own pancakes. Each table is equipped with griddle. After the Portland branch, which opened in 2009, Slappy Cakes was brought to Tokyo, Japan, and then to the Philippines by Mother Spice Food Corp., which also operates other restaurants such as Mango Tree, Mango Tree Bistro, Coca Restaurant and Coca Cafe. Aside from do-it-yourself pancakes, Slappy Cakes also offer American breakfast selections all day long, as well as Filipino breakfast items. Sensitive to local culture, Slappy Cakes respond with delicious offerings.
Pancakes themselves are allowable during Lent, but Slappy Cakes offer a more diverse choices — a selection of international and local dishes.
The new appetizers include cheese sticks, mango ponzu salad, and tomato soup, already tasty and filling. Pasta dishes are safe choice for the Lenten season and Slappy Cakes introduces two kinds-pesto pasta with anchovies and salmon pasta with cream sauce. One may want those with grilled three cheese sandwich and fish bites.
Three breakfast items are given no-meat twists. The favorite Eggs Benedict has salmon or vegetables instead of ham. One local favorite can be ordered at the very American dining outlet-fried, garlicky, boneless bangus (milkfish) which goes with garlic rice.
"Given the timeliness of our offering of these non-meat fare, we believe we are giving our diners more alternatives that are in accordance to their preference," said Karen Caballero, general manager of Slappy Cakes.

Slappy Cakes branches are at Eastwood Mall, open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (9 a.m. to 11 p.m. during Fridays and Saturdays); SM Aura Premier, open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; SM North Edsa The Block, open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. during Fridays and Saturdays); and SM Jazz Mall, open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For the Holy Week, they are open from Palm Sunday until Holy Wednesday and will resume operations on Black Saturday. For more information, visit www.slappycakes.com.ph. Follow Slappy Cakes on Facebook, Instragram and Twitter (@slappycakesPH, SlappyCakesPH and @slappycakesPH)

Grilled three cheese sandwich
Pesto pasta with anchovies
Mango ponzu salad
Salmon Benedict

Salmon pasta with cream sauce
Cheese sticks

Tomato soup

Playing with pancakes during the launch of the Lenten specials.