Thursday, April 30, 2009

STI Education For Real Life

STI, Education for Real Life! 
Come June 2009 our STI Academic Center 
will be fully operational 
So if your friends want real quality education
Let them enroll in STI.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Carlito's Way

Carlito Ortega is an electrical engineer by profession and got sick and tired of working. When he was 42 he was unemployed and he decided to re-educate himself in what he thinks a passion that has been wanting to come out of himself -his passion for the arts.  He was kind enough to give us a lecture on the arts and how he works. He got this place for a cool P 1.5 million 10 years ago and transformed it into his home and workshop.

His love for the arts made him become a Brass Sculptor. Hmmm I've heard of painters and other artists but this is the first time I've met a brass sculptor. He said that he chose brass because of its maleability and its like commanding the brass to follow what you want. Once brass is heated it easily follows what the sculptor wants it to become. 

Carlito was kind enough to do a demonstration by casually creating a "tikbalang" which of course was somewhat in abstract form. His demo showed that he really knows his craft since he mentioned parts of the human body that he usually defines when he does one and other things that he has learned while doing his craft. His most important weapon is his welding machine. He said that the blue flame is enough to heat up the brass and make it follow your wish.  

Carlito asked us if we would want to try to demonstrate how is it to "paste" together the brass. Angelica started it, Louise followed, I got curious and tried also and last to try was Tito Luis.  When I got to hold the torch it was not easy as it looked, later on Carlito said that he purposely gave me the torch that had the flames on high mode which is harder to control. He said the secret is also how to control the flames so that the brass would stick to each other rightaway.

After that fitting lecture Carlito prepared merienda and coffee and a lot of stories were exchanged in that 30 minute coffee break. His art is really one of a kind and the way he works is quite inspiring and that is Carlito's Way.

Kusina Salud

Earth Day buffet was what greeted us at Kusina Salud in San Pablo City.  Kusina Salud is located at around Kilometer 80 going south and it is all about authentic Filipino food.  This restaurant opened in 2004 and its exciting ambience was created by non other than noted Filipino Fashion designer Patis Tesoro.  Well his named alone connotes that he should be in the food business instead of fashion designing.

What I noticed with the food here in the south is that they are very fond of vegateable greens that are quite not what you normally serve when you have lunch or dinner at home. The vegetables were called Baradibud (where the hell did they get this name). It was so good that I think I got three to four plates of greens which I really loved.  

Our meal was actually a buffet and it was a fitting recap to our Food Trip, Road trip. For the price of P399 + 10% VAT you can feast on their buffet which consists of the following: Kapampangan Pako at Keso Freska - Fettlehead Fern Salad with Crumbled Fresh White Cheese,   Lumpiang Gulay - Crisp Spring Rolls of Traditional Vegetables with a Vinegar Dipping Sauce, Baked Tahong - Oven-Baked Mussels topped with Garlic and Cheddar Cheese,  Baradibud - Traditional Vegetables in a Light Sweet Potato Broth,  Chicken and Coconut Curry -  Infused with Yellow Ginger from Our Backyard,  Humba Liempo - with Peanuts and Cocoa, Inihaw na Tilapia - Fresh Grilled Tilapia with Assorted Dipping Sauces, Organic Rice - from Quezon, Maja Blanca - Traditional Corn and Coconut Cream Pudding.

Well, need you ask the result. The result was a full stomach and droopy eyes that wanted to sleep. Unfortunately we were one stop away before going back to Manila. As we found our way out of Kusina, our cameras clicked away since there was a mini-aviary in the place and it was a welcome delight taking pictures of all the those birds! As I said to Louise " Mahilig ka pala sa Bird!" Well even me I enjoyed taking pictures of the birds!

A Glimpse at Sulyap Gallery Cafe

Located at San pablo City this restaurant used to be the South Luzon College back in the 60's. It later on became a hotel, now it is a restaurant and they are planning to make it a hotel once again.  What was exciting about our trip was that it made me see other places I have never been to. I have been to a lot of cities in the country but all the places we went to were new which made it all the more exciting.

The restaurant has lots of old stuff which became its decorations. In front of the restaurant is another building that used to be the college and hotel. Inside that building is like a museum that has lots of paintings and other old stuff. The waiters said that the owner of the place is tinkering on the idea of making it a hotel once again. Just wait for it.

The food that Sulyap Gallery offers is more on Filipino Food. We were so stuffed with the late lunch we had that we just ordered a few servings and imagine we didn't even finish it.  But the food and place is great we just didnt have enough energy to eat again!

Rockpoint Hotel

Harvard enjoying the pool

Along Kilometer 91 after San Pablo City town is another great place to stay for the evening.  ROckpoint hotel is a place that wants to be known as a place for small or big planned  events. May that be meetings, weddings, conventions or whatever, they can accommodate the place.  The hotel has a nice swimming pool, a spa, salon, big function rooms and an area where team buidlngs can also be done.

Mhel G. playing some music at the cafe

We were 8 in the group and to make things easier we took the family room that can house around 9 people. The only thing I told them was that if we were to stay in one room then they would all have to sleep ahead of me.  If they won't sleep ahead of me then they won't be able to sleep at all. Hahaha

Group Jump

In the morning we had a little time to swim and enjoyed hanging around the pool playing some games and just fooled around. It was nice to note that we actually practiced some synchronized swimming moves hahaha until the Arvin, Harvard and Louise saw the "Balyena!"

Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden

Ugu Bigyan is a Potter from Tiaong QUezon and his workshop has become a restaurant with lots of people learning how to do pottery and for other guys just passing around the food was great.  When we arrived I noticed that there was a group of people doing some pottery stuff and making the most out of their time making lots of pots.  The place was big and when we parked it was picture taking time once again since the house alone was mexican inspired and made of red bricks. 

The place was designed and built by the owner himself. They actually come from a family of artists that is why the artistry on how the place was built was the least of their problems. If you got to this place without a camera then it would be the worst mistake you made. There are lots of things to photograph and lots of backgrounds to have a picture with. 

As we went in to see the wonder of the place we were all happy with what we saw specially when the food arrived. It was around 3 pm and we just had our brunch but since we already pre - ordered and paid the food even before the trip we had to have lunch there.  The shrimps, inihaw na baboy, fish, tahong, halaan and their specialty banana heart were all great! I can just imagine how lucky I am to be in places like this and eat this kind of food.

If I would be in a similar road trip in the future I will defintely go back to this place, get better pictures, make a pot and eat the good food they have. Its definitely 5 stars for me! 

Dealo Koffee Klatch

The town of Lukban in QUezon rings a bell. It is not only famous for its Pahiyas festival which is the town's way of asking the almighty for a good harvest but for me it is the home of the famous Lukban Longanniza. Eversince I was a kid I have liked eating longaniza and my personal favorites are the Vigan and Lukban longaniza for their distinct flavor.

Our first stop took us to the Dealo Koffee Klatch for our breakfast which is the house of the famous Lukban Longaniza. After much asking, I discovered that there is really no special house that sells it, in fact all stores in Lukban sells their famous longaniza.

We were all starving to death since we took the longer route to Lukban Quezon. It was already 11:30 am and we decided not to stop anymore but go on straight to Dealo Koffe Klatch. The brunch consisted of longaniza, eggs and pancit hab-hab. I have already heard of Pancit hab-hab in my previous visits to Quezon but it was the only time I asked why it had such a name and according to the helper there it was because when they ask to eat it they put it in their palms and eat it there.. a must have this pancit hab-hab.

In this picture is Harvard, Arvin and yours truly. One thing I loved in this trip was that we all had our own DSLR cameras and finally I had pictures taken unlike before in which I was just content taking pictures of the people I am with. This time I was part of the action. Here is one of the pix taken by Angelica. The fun part that we did in Dealo Koffee Klacth was the demonstration of how a Lukban Longaniza is done plus how a Kiping is done.

Tita Julie here demonstrates how the Longaniza is done. Also shown is the one kilo of pork that is being diced together with the garlic, oregano juice and other ingredients that makes the Lukban longaniza distinct from other longanizas. To me it is similar to the Vigan longaniza.  

Louise on the other hand demonstrates how the Kiping, a local version of rice wafer, is done.  The Kiping has dual roles, it can be a decoration depending on what colors you want to incorporate or it can also be a dessert since it is a rice wafer. During the Pahiyas, the Kiping keeps the festival very festive with its vibrant colors and other designs.

Here as usual, I demonstrate my best move so far and I was quite engrossed with the nice taste of this rice wafer they call Kiping. That is why I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can taste it again next time, specially the grilled one. On to the next part of our journey.

Road Trip, Food Trip!

When I was a kid, the only thing we look forward to is our usual trip to the beach or swimming outing. Our trips were frequently going to the North more particularly Dagupan and Candon Ilocos Sur since my parents were both Ilocanos and had properties from the area I just mentioned.  Besides those northern exposures we usually go to somewhere near for our annual family outing. It was either a private pool together with the friends of my dad or the whole family going to the urine friendly & crap infested Lido beach in Cavite.

Then came the news that my bestfriend Louise's sister, Angelica and his husband Jeff will go to manila on a vacation which got us all excited. Louise then researched on a great southern trip that I believe would make Angelica's stay here all the more exciting. She even made a blog about it and our email exchanges listed the event as Food Trip.  Later on I learned that that trip is waht southerners call Viaje del Sol which brings tour enthusiasts to various nice scenic spots, tourist attractions and restaurants in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon or simply the Calabarzon Area.

On a road trip like this, you dont care how long it takes to drive or ride as long as the people you are with are the people you enjoy a lot.  Bottomline there was a plan but sometimes even the best of plans doesn't really come out as planned. First we thought we were around 15 but unfortunately 4 people backed out which made it less happy but still manageably okay. I barely slep since i got home at around 12 am since I had a lot to do in the office. I slept at 1 am and woke up at 5:15 am and went off to the races. Eventually we were 11. Me, Louise, Arvin, Harvard, Gel, Jeff, Ana,Tin,Jojit plus Tita Julie and Tito Luis.

Our plan was to have breakfast at Lukban, Quezon, visit the Kamay ni Hesus shrine, then its off to more picture taking at the nearby old churches in the Quezon Province then have lunch at Ugo Potter's Garden Restaurant in Tiaong, Quezon. After Lunch the plan was to see one of the Lakes in San Pablo City. As we all know San Pablo is the land of seven lakes and seeing one is enough. Dinner is at the Sulyap Gallery and we can retire at the Casa San Pablo hotel. The next day if free time in the morning, lunch at the Sulyap Garden and finally a trip to Carlito's Workshop which is also in  San Pablo. Quite a nice and detailed itinerary to have fun.

We eventually left Manila at 7:30 am and had a stop over at the Peteron Gas Station. The south super highway wasy so traffic and got to Lukban Quezon at 11:30 Am. That basically scrapped the whole morning itinerary. But that's okay we still had fun on our Road Trip, Food Trip!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jobapalooza in Malabon City

A sight to behold, the Malabon City Hall

Maunlad na Malabon..Kaya naTIn iTO! Thus is the battle cry of the City of Malabon that gathered more than 200 applicants for the JOBAPALOOZA 2009 job fair.  This is my first time to see the City Hall of Malabon and my first impression is that I thought I was in a Hotel. The City Hall is so neat, clean and has a bubble elevator that has a transparent window in which you can see part of the City.  The proceedings were very orderly since City Officials were are hand to greet us and see to it that their constituents are  ready to face the challenges by providing seats, numbers and procedures on how they can pre register.

The Pogi Conquers Malabon City

We were very lucky because Malabon City Mayor , the Honorable Canuto “Tito” Oreta  was at hand to oversee the proceedings.  The Mayor received us at his office, I was with Jobapalooza “punong abala” LItes VIloria who is form DOLE and my former staff Kim de Leon who is now with STI College Caloocan.

Courtesy call with Mayor Tito Oreta

The Mayor said that he believes that there are many jobs available unfortunately a lot of Filipinos lack the necessary qualifications to be able to get the jobs that they like. The Mayor also discussed his projects in the City that made his constituents land jobs and is happy that the DOLE is spearheading this project to be able to give our displaced and disgraced countrymen an opportunity to be able to know the latest trends in job hunting and more importantly land a job.

 Fun time with Councilor Len Oreta

Funny thing though, one of the councilors, Councilor Len Oreta,  apparently is a schoolmate and even jokingly said that I was a funny guy in College and how the hell would people take me seriously with our projects.  We just laughed and talked about a lot of things with regards to the Ateneo and the City of Malabon. Len is one of the sons of former Senator and now Congesswoman Tessie Aquino-Oreta. 

Inside the STI Mobile school

There were many people in the City Hall and we hope that by bringing the registration to the jobseekers of Malabon City we hope we helped them in their first step to get jobs.

 Pang dyaryo

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The NBA Playoffs- Game 2 East



When Dwight Howard was selected number 1 in the 2004 NBA draft a lot of people were surprised that the Magic did not get now Bobcat Center Emeka Okafor.  In the NBA Howard has been lording it over the opposition and Okafor has been a silent contributor to the Bobcats cause.  Howard will need his other team mates to light up the scoreboard as Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu are still recuperating from their injuries which was a factor why the Magic faded in the latter part of the season. 

 They had a chance to get the second seed in the East but got beat because of those injuries.  Howard will face a troika of long and lean defenders in Samuel Dalembert, Marreese Speights and Theo Rattlif.  The Sixers love to run and at the forefront of that run and gun offense is AI, Andre Igoudala.  He is now the lead sixer and is tasked to carry the brunt of the offense with Andre Miller providing veteran point guard skills and leadership.  IF the Magic can contain the running game of the Sixers and keep the scores low then they have an inside track to make it past the second round. The sixers on the other hand should just play Howard straight up with no double team and run as often as possible.  But in the end I believe Orlando will weave their  Magic in this series in 5 games. 

ATLANTA (4) vs. MIAMI (5)

In the first round of the playoffs the most exciting games usually come from the teams seeded number 4 and 5. That is because most of the time these teams are evenly matched and are aching to prove that they deserve more than their regular season fluke.  The Miami Heat are now led by the resurgent NBA scoring champ Dwayne Wade who lights up the scoring sheets night in and night out. Wade is also and MVP candidate and is the X-factor of the Heat.  Rookies Michael Beasley and  Mario Chalmers provide good back up minutes to go with the veteran smarts of newly acquired center Jermaine O’Neal and Udonis Haslem. The Heat are a solid basketball team and is poised to give the Cavaliers a run for their money. 

Not to be left out are the Atlanta Hawks who almost eliminated the No.1 Celtics last year in their 1 vs. 8 battle. The Hawks have climbed 4 notches this year and their only advantage against Miami is that they are hard to beat at home.  Sweet shooting Joe Johnson leads this team together with the high flying Dominique Wilkins clone Josh Smith and Mike Bibby. Together the troika concoct good music and can give the heat problems if they start the game with their hot shooting. For the Hawks to win they have to stay close to Wade and limit his penetrations and free throws. Easier said than done, this is an exciting matchup that I expect to go the full 7 games with the Heat coming up on top. 

NBA Playoffs 2009 -The West Game 2


LA LAKERS (1) vs. UTAH (8)

Been there, done that. But that was seven years ago when the Lakers were still led by the unstoppable Shaquille O’Neal. Now it is Kobe Bryant’s time to be unstoppable.  The Lakers are favored again to take the West and in the process win their 15th NBA Title. Gaining a year of experience playing under Phil Jackson, expect Pau Gasol to Lord it over his counterparts as the Lakers number 2 guy will be a big factor in the paint. A big factor in the rise of the Lakers is a healthy Andrew Bynum who is also counted on to provide muscle and heft inside the paint.   The Utah Jazz, although they are a formidable team with Carlos Boozer, Derron Williams and Memo Okur coming together, I believe they wont pose a problem for the offensive onslaught that the Lakers will give them. There won’t be enough discussion here, Lakers in 5.





Just one major addition and the Nuggets suddenly become contenders. The arrival of Chauncy Billups has literally given this team the direction they need and the veteran leadership that its young guns are aching to have. Remember, Billups was the finals MVP of the 2005 NBA Finals when the Detroit Pistons shocked the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games. Carmelo Anthony has gone 4-20 in his past five playoff series appearances which all resulted in first round exits. This year, for the first time in his career his team has the home court advantage which went 33-8 and his supporting cast shows that the mile high team does not only have a well oiled offensive machine but has renewed their commitment to defense. The Nuggets are second in the NBA for blocks per game and third in steals per game which gives you and idea on how to attack them.

 The exciting match up here is the Chauncey Billups vs. Chris Paul match up which promises to be a great one.  The one thing going for the Nuggets is that they are healthy and ready to bring it on while the Hornets are quite coming back form injuries specially with Peja Stojakovic. I believe for the first time in 6 years the Nuggets will experience how it is to play in the second round.