Thursday, June 26, 2014

STI College Santa Rosa completes their drive for five

The champions with the Five sign 

A lot of basketball purists say the first title in any basketball tournament is usually the hardest because it is the culmination of many hard decisions, countless sacrifices and remarkable choices that are made to create a winning team. Doing it all over again is quite easier, if you have all the pieces together but doing it all over again with different people is like starting all over again. In a nutshell, that is the story of the STI College Santa Rosa basketball program which, through the years, has metamorphosed into a model of consistency when it comes to basketball. What this team has accomplished will be the benchmark in which all future STI teams will be measured with.  As the 14th STI Basketball tournament comes to an end, the STI College Santa Rosa team added another story to their legendary run as they beat the STI College Global City team 85 - 68 at the fabled Rizal Memorial Coliseum to capture their fifth consecutive crown.

Jan Almoro's undergoal stab

The Global City squad started the game by employing their own suffocating defense to frustrate the Laguna -based Santa Rosa team.  Unlike in Game 1 when their defense was nowhere to be found, and their offensive patterns were in quelled by the Santa Rosa defense, the Taguig-based challengers seem to be more focused and more prepared as they disrupted the Santa Rosa offense that have the defending champions take careless shots that resulted in missed baskets.

Robert Salazar scores on the fastbreak

Unfortunately for the Global City team, their good defense went for naught as the Santa Rosa dribblers got the offensive rebounds from the missed shots they made and more importantly scored on those occasions. Just like in Game 1, the Global City offense got frozen as the Taguig boys missed four straight free throws that gave Santa Rosa an early 6 – 0 lead that made Coach RK Morales call a timeout.  After the timeout STI College Global City finally ran better offensive patterns that resulted in made baskets for them. STI College Santa Rosa then fought back as second year forward Jan Almoro waxed hot to score nine first quarter points to give the defending champions a 25 -12 first quarter lead.

Arjay Napeñas on the drive

The next two quarters were just the same as STI College Santa Rosa went full blast with its high octane offense and stingy defense by outscoring their opponents 40 – 35 in the next two quarters. Although their defense was much more improved, the Global City offense can’t seem to get going as ace gunner Jim Lontoc had a hard time finding his shot which resulted in a 7 point output. Forward Mike Sampurna and Center Arjay Napeñas carried the fight for the Global City team as Sampurna scored 8 points in the second quarter while Napeñas had 11 third quarter points which came mostly on inside plays. 

The tight defense on Jim Lontoc

The team from Taguig came up with good plays but can’t seem to put the Santa Rosa lead down to single digits.  Every time the Global City team would make a run, the Santa Rosa team would eventually answer back with a run of their own.  In the fourth quarter, Jan Almoro dealt the killer blows as he scattered 8 more points enroute to a 23 point game to crush all the rally hopes of the STI College Global City team that ended their amazing run in this year's STI Basketball showdown. With still a minute left and the Santa Rosa team comfortably ahead, the Global City squad threw in the towel by fielding in their third stringers as a sign of respect to the champs. The STI College Santa Rosa basketball team are champions once again for the fifth straight year.

Mike Sampurna scores two

This year’s MVP is STI College Santa Rosa's do-it-all forward Jan  Almoro who had a tournament high of 423.5 statistical points. As if the gods planned it, Almoro saved his best performance in the final game of the season as he added 9 rebounds, an assist and a steal to go along with his 23 points.  Almoro was joined by co-forward Addis Lizen (411.50 SP), guards Norbert Peña (381.00 SP) and Raul Guerrero (372.00 SP), and center Arjay Napeñas (353.00 SP) of Global City in the Mythical 5.  The statistical points came from the points, rebounds, assists, steals and block shots of the players with bonus points on coming from wins.

Dan Mamaed lays it in

In the five years that the STI College Santa Rosa team won their titles they had a total of 41 players playing for them. Twenty went on to witness one title win including 2010 MVP Winston Balmaceda, fourteen played in two title runs that had 2011 MVP Aries Santos playing on both squads, three got to play for a grand slam team which included 2012 MVP Ruzzel Parala, another three played in their four-peat team last year which was the last year of 2013 MVP Mark Arzola and only Reb Dimaunahan played in all five of those title romps.  This just shows the consistency of the Santa Rosa team.

Raul Guerrero scores on this fastbreak

Congratulations to Coach Leo Callado who has recruited quality talent that he molded and motivated in the past five years to come out with the best team in the STI Basketball showdown five years and running. This just shows his dedication to excellence which is an STI trait. Congratulations also to the management of STI College Santa Rosa namely Mr. Tony and Bess del Carmen and Mr. Bien del Carmen. To the Global City squad, all good teams go through what you have gone through and we hope this finals experience will help spark your competitive spirit that will make you aim higher next time around.

The 14th STI Basketball Showdown MVP

In the battle for third place, John Marcelo, Abram Pineda, Sherwin Sayo and Ralph Bonifacio all scored in double figures to lead the STI College Malolos to an 82 – 58 win over the overachieving STI College Fairview team.  The Regalado based cagers were led by their center Renz Galvez who scored 19 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked 2 shots.  This is the second time in three years that STI College Malolos placed third.

The Mythical Five: Jan Almoro, Norbert Peña, 
Raul Guerrero, Addis Lizen, 
Not in picture is Arjay Napeñas

The Scores:

First Game
Marcelo 19,  Pineda 14, Bonifacio 14, Sayo 12, Cruz 7, Jimenez 4, Hernandez 4, Latagan 3, Gatchalian 3, Victoria 2, Panopio 0, Angeles 0, Ecleo 0,

Galvez 19, Eli 11, Arangel 9, Gustilo 4, Brillantes 4, Colcol 4, Inojales 4, Sanggacala 2, Labanon 1, Avenir 0, Esteban 0, Ontal 0

Quarter scores:  19 – 15,  43 – 29, 64 – 40, 82 - 58

Second Game

Almoro 23, Guerrero 14, Salazar 14, Lizen 10, Mamaed 7, Peña 6, Batiquin 4, Aliparo 4, Romero 3, Ursua 0, Sabino 0, Geli 0, Maunahan 0, Fudotan 0, Caraan 0,

Napeñas 17, Sampurna 12, Bernal 8, Lontoc 7, Bungar 6, Carlos 5, Pangilinan 4, Natividad 4, Abuy 3, Gubat 2, Norte 0, Baldoza 0, Delabajan 0, Sultan 0

Quarter scores:  25 - 12, 46 - 29, 65 - 47, 85 - 68

Sunday, June 22, 2014

STI College Santa Rosa draws first blood

The Finals

Relentless - that in a nutshell is how the STI College Santa Rosa's basketball team will be remembered in the 14th STI Basketball Showdown. They actually don't care whether the team they are playing are good or not because whatever team they are facing they will run them over with their unforgiving defense and fierce offense.  That was the case in game 1 of the 14th Season of the STI Basketball showdown as the five-peat seeking Laguna based team ran over the STI College Global City team 92- 53.

Lizen on the defense

Jeremy Bungar opened the scoring for the Global City squad but was immediately shutdown by the Santa Rosa guards as Norbert Peña, Robert Salazar, Kenneth Batiquin,Mike Sabino and Raul Guerrero took turns in scoring all 16 points of the first quarter that saw the Laguna based cagers run some fastbreaks to suddenly give them a whopping 15 - 2 lead. Global City would close the quarter with a 7 - 1 run anchored on Jim Lontoc's 5 points as the quarter closed with them down just 7 points 16 - 9.  

Jim Lontoc led Global City with 17 pts

The second quarter saw the Santa Rosa cagers unleash the full  brunt of their offense as eight players scored with no one scoring more than 5 points.  The Global City version of the Splash Brothers - Jim Lontoc and Mike Sampurna carried the fight for the Global City team but unfortunately it was not enough. STI College Santa Rosa hounded and disrupted the STI College Global City offense relentlessly and then ran the fastbreak and scored on three pointers in a show of balanced scoring.  The first half ended with the four time defending champions on top by 15, 39 - 24.

Kenneth Batiquin scored 8 4th qtr. points

The second half was just as bad for the Global City team as the Santa Rosa cagers hit the throttle as the whole team shifted to overdrive to outscore the Taguig-based cagers 53 - 29 in the next 20 minutes of action.  The Santa Rosa defense was so fine tuned that it produced 17 steals with Mark Caraan leading the way with 5 steals and Robert Salazar chipping in 3. The champs capitalized on these mistakes by scoring mostly on fastbreak opportunities and extending the lead further until all was lost for the Global City team. If the Santa Rosa team had an easier time scoring, the Global City squad had a hard time putting the ball in the basket as they missed lay-ups, jump shots and even free throws thus a convincing win.    

Norbert Peña led Santa Rosa with 17 points

This win puts STI College Santa Rosa one win away from securing their fifth consecutive title.  If they continue their superb relentless defense and unforgiving offense, the Laguna based four-peat champions will be on their way to rewrite STI basketball history. Game 2 is on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum at 3:00 pm just after the 1:30 pm encounter of STI College Malolos and STI College Fairview in the battle for third place. So will it be redemption or repeat. See you on Wednesday.

Bryanth Ursua scores on the drive

The Scores

STI College Santa Rosa (92)
Peña 17, Batiquin 16, Almoro 10, Caraan 9, Sabino 9, Lizen 7, Guerrero 7, Salazar 7, Ursua 4, Fudotan 4, Aliparo 2, Geli 0, Mamaed 0, Romero 0, Maunahan 0

STI College Global City (53)
Lontoc 17, Napeñas 11, Sampurna 8, Pangilinan 5, Bernal 4, Carlos 3, Bungar 2, Gubat 2, Norte 1, Baldoza 0, Abuy 0, Delabajan 0, Natividad 0, Sultan 0, 

Quarter scores:  16 - 9, 39 - 24, 62 - 40, 92 -53

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DYNASTY or DESTINY - The Finals of the 14th STI Basketball Showdown

Jan Almoro's inside presence will be needed by
STI College Santa Rosa

Four time defending champion STI College Santa Rosa is on a mission to snare their fifth straight STI Basketball Showdown crown.  In the history of the 14 year league there has been only four teams that has won the championship and STI College Santa Rosa is on the verge of matching the 5-year romp of DLS-STI from 2005 - 2009.  Trying to stop that from happening is a team which has a date with Destiny.  In fact this is the first time for the STI College Global City team to make it to the finals.  That is why this finals showdown will either solidify STI College Santa Rosa's Dynasty or make STI College Global City fulfill their date with Destiny.

Jim Lontoc's inside and outside scoring
is the key to Global City's offense
The trademark of STI College Santa Rosa has been their relentless and tenacious no-nonsense defense. Coach Leo Callado said that this year is actually a rebuilding year for their school and that they have many new faces and that their former MVPs have since moved on. Unfortunately for the other teams, nothing has changed as Coach Callado shuffled his men like a deck of cards and used his players depending on their defensive tenacity. This produced wonders as the Laguna based cagers won all five elimination games with an average winning margin of 60 points! They produced the highest scoring game (131 points) and the least allowed points (29 points). 

Robert Guerrero's fastbreak plays will definitely
give Global City guards a hard time
Leading the way are the two center forwards Addis Lizen and Jan Almoro. Lizen is averaging 8.0 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, 2.3 steals per game and 1 block shot per game. Almoro on the other hand is averaging 11.6 ppg,  4.8 rpg and 1.3 spg.  The Santa Rosa guards on the other hand are led by Norbert Peña (10.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2 apg, 2.1 spg) Robert Salazar (9.3 ppg, 1 apg, 2.0 spg) Raul Guerrero (8.8 ppg.,2.5 rpg, 2 apg., 1.6 spg.) Michael Sabino (8.8 ppg, 2.0 apg, 2.67 spg.) and veteran Reb Maunahan (9.0 ppg, 2.67 apg.). Steady players from the bench include big men Dan Mamaed, Vincent Romero and John Geli while the heady guards that combine for steals are Kenneth Batiquin, June Aliparo, Bryan Ursau, Mark Caraan and Dean Fudotan.  Expect the 13-15 man rotation of Coach Callado to come in and out of the game to make them always fresh in defending their opponents.

King Carlos and the Global City guards
can also run the fastbreak efficiently
The Global City squad has always been a contender but unfortunately always fell short during the semifinals. This is the first time that this team has won in the final four and the new leaders of the team are reaping the dividends of the years of experience endured during those unfruitful runs.  Coached by former STI College Olympians RK Morales, the Global City team was unbeaten in the eliminations and took the top spot by beating last year's runner-up STI College Malolos in their Group B meeting. Coach RK employs a good solid defense complemented by a sound offense that utilizes the strengths of their inside men and shooters as well.

Dan Mamaed's defense, rebounding and scoring
will help STI College Santa Rosa's Bigs 
get the job done
Leading the pack are the shooting tandem of Mike Sampurna (15 ppg.) and Jim Patrick Lontoc (12.8 ppg). You can liken the two to the Splash Brothers (Steph Curry and Clay Thompson) of the Golden State Warriors. If the Sampurna and Lontoc are the outside gunners, Jeanssen Pangilinan (10.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Arjay Napeñas (8.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg) are the inside presence of the Global City team.  Manning the point are crack guards King Carlos (8.0 ppg, 2.0 apg), Jeremy Bungar (6.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg., 3.0 apg.) and Junard Gubat (4.0 ppg., 2.2 rpg., 2.7 apg.,). Other notable contributors are Jeric Bernal (5.0 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 1.7 spg.) and Micko Abuy (2.3 ppg.).  Michael Norte, Jejomar Baldoza, Vince Delabajan, Medardo Sultan  and Jumel Natividad complete their team of 14.
Arjay Napeñas will have to make his presence felt
inside the paint

Game 1 of the finals starts on June 20, 2014 at the STI College Global City gym at 2:00 pm.  Game 2 will be played at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on June 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm while Game 3 if necessary will be once again at the STI College Global City Gym. Will it be Dynasty or Destiny, take your pick, watch the games and cheer for your team.

STI College Santa Rosa & Global City forge title showdown

Norbert Peña contests Sherwin Sayo's shot

STI College Santa Rosa and STI College Global City set up a finals date to determine if this year’s 14th STI Basketball Showdown will be the continuation of a dynasty or the culminating event of a team of destiny.  First to secure the finals is STI College Santa Rosa which mustered all the experience they have to dispose last year’s finalist STI College Malolos in a tightly fought game  80 – 77.  STI College Global City on the other hand mustered enough intensity in the second half to come from behind amidst a gallant stand by STI College Fairview to get a 68 – 64 win.
Raul Guerrero scores on the fastbreak
STI College Santa Rosa and STI College Malolos engaged in a shoot out at the start of the first quarter as Norbert Pena and Michael Sabino sank 3 and 2 three pointers respectively between them while Levi Pineda on the other hand had 2 during the first quarter.  STI College Santa Rosa would threaten to break away but every time they try that STI College Malolos would counter back. The first half ended with both teams back to square one with a 40 – all tie.

 Levi Pineda for three

Both teams employed great defense and no team led by as much as five points. It was only in the last three minutes that the four time defending champions took control as their three guards, Norbert Peña, Michael Sabino and Robert Salazar each sank a three-pointer to give the Laguna based cagers a 77 – 70 lead with a minute and a half to go.  John Marcelo and Sherwin Sayo would help the Malolos team heave one final run to cut the lead to three until Addis Lizen and Michael Sabino each sank one free throw each to put the game away. 
Jim Lontoc sinks a three pointer

STI College Global City on the other hand took the harder road to the finals as the upset conscious STI College Fairview started like a house on fire but lost steam in the end. The backcourt tandem of Jeff Gustilo and Aldrin Eli ran rings around their defenders to score 19 of the 24 first quarter points of the Fairview squad.  The two kept the Regalado based cagers ahead as they scored 16 and 14 pointers respectively to take a 39 – 31 lead at the half as the Global City squad put the cuffs on STI College Fairview center Renz Galvez as he scored only 2 first half points.

John Inojales scores on a jumper

After the first half, the Global City cagers woke up, tightened their defense and eventually caught up with the Fairview squad as King Carlos scored six 3rd quarter points to lead the charge that had Jeanssen Pangilinan, Jim Lontoc and Mike Sampurna limit their opponents to just 13 third quarter points.  Galvez eventually caught fire in the second half by scoring 12 points but Lontoc and Nappy Napeñas led the charge for the Taguig based cagers to give them a hard earned 68 -64 win and send them to their first finals appearance in this yearly basketball competition.

Jeannsen Pangilinan on an "And One Play"

JUNE 16, 2014
GAME 1: Group A #1 (Santa Rosa) vs. Group B #2 (Malolos)
Sabino 15, Peña 14, Salazar 12, Guerrero 10, Lizen 10, Almoro 9, Mamaed 6, Geli 2, Caraan 2, Maunahan 0, Batiquin 0,

Pineda 21, Marcelo 17, Jimenez 11, Sayo 11, Victoria 10, Cruz 5, Latagan 2, Gatchalian 0, Hernandez 0, Bonifacio 0,

Quarter Scores: 22 – 18, 40 – 40, 64 – 59, 80 - 77

GAME 2: Group B #1 (Global City) vs. Group A #2 (Fairview)
Pangilinan 17, Lontoc 12, Sampurna 12, Carlos 10, Napeñas 7, Bernal 4, Sultan 2, Bungar 2, Abuy 2, Baldoza 0, Gubat 0,

Eli 18, Gustilo 16, Galvez 14, Ontal 8,  Inojales 4, Esteban 2, Arangel 2, Labanon 0, Sanggacala 0, Brillantes 0, Colcol 0, Avenir 0, Sales 0,

Quarter Scores:  16 – 24, 31 – 39, 51 – 52, 68 - 64

Saturday, June 14, 2014

10 Reasons why an F1 Hotel Staycation is enjoyable

Staycation is a term popularized by the Americans and during the past years have been gaining popularity in the country. I don't know if it's because the vacation spots are too crowdy, too far or too uncomfortable to stay in that's why staycations came to be. One of the very convenient Staycations is getting your family or some friends to a nice hotel in the city. F1 Hotel Manila is a one of the hotels that prides itself with giving great experiences and staycations that are definitely worth experiencing. Here are my 10 reasons why an F1 Hotel Manila staycation is quite enjoyable.

FIRST: ACCESSIBILITY.  F1 Hotel Manila is at the heart of Bonifacio Global City. The hotel is in front of S&R and St. Lukes Hospital and just a stone's throw away from Starbucks and Bonifacio High street. So what more can you ask for. Everything you need you can get, buy or do because the Hotel is accessible to almost anything you need. 

SECOND - PARKING: Of course parking is an important ingredient for a Staycation. Hotel guests need not pay any parking fee for their stay. In this day and age, its so hard to find a place where parking is not a problem.

THIRD: FREE WIFI! This was the post i placed in my Instagram account when we started our afternoon at the hotel. I did not have any problem posting this picture because the FREE WIFI in the whole hotel is so strong. (with emphasis on the FREE) I honestly pity those hotels that use WIFI to generate added income. They don't know that sometimes people like me would pick a hotel because of the Free Wifi. 

FOURTH: SPACIOUS ROOMS: Its best to get their Fort Suite which has a master's bedroom and a living room. The sofa shown here is a sofa bed so that means you can actually have more people with you. Depending on who you will be with, family or friends, the great space can be handy in doing many things.

FIFTH: COOL AIR CONDITIONING: For me, one of the most if not the most important thing in a Hotel room is that is should have a very cool air conditioner. I have been to other hotels that needed reconditioning of their air condition and honestly the moment I checked in I already wanted to check out. Good Air conditioning means great staycationing.

SIXTH: COMFORTABLE BEDS: King sized beds are always a thing of beauty. These beds can have three comfortable people sleeping on it like we did and the bed can still squeeze up to 4 if you have kids. As mentioned, the couch outside the room has a pull-out bed that can easily have two more people sleeping. More people means more fun.

SEVENTH: COMPLETE BATHROOM AMENITIES - I am always amazed with the sight of robes in hotel rooms. It is a sign that the hotel wants its guests to relax in their comfortable undergarments. Aside from the strong shower, the bathroom amenities can be part of what you can include in your hotel collections. Yeah yeah, guys please don't be a hypocrite, all of us enjoy taking home the soap, shampoo and all other amenities that every hotel gives us. But please do leave the robes behind.

EIGHTH: SWIMMING POOL - Remember, a Staycation is incomplete without a dip in the pool.  The hotel has three pools, a lap pool for people who are on the go and enjoy swimming as a form of their exercise and two other pools. The other pools are for someone like me who just wants to take a dip, hang around and just enjoy getting wet and take pictures.

NINTH: ADDED AMENITIES - the IPOD/IPHONE PLAYER. Not your usual Ipod player, it is complete with speakers so party time can be done and if you want to relax to beautiful music, there is no need for head phones, you can listen to nice music as always.

TENTH: ALL DAY BUFFET:  Most of the famous hotels have their own signature restaurants and the F All day Dining restaurant is also something one can enjoy all day buffet.  All day buffet alone says it all, as they say save the best for last which is their food.

There are other amenities readily available like the Gym and the Wellness Spa which I unfortunately skipped. The heck I didn't even mention the two television sets our room has since I am not a television person or the ready broadband cable for your laptop. These other things can be an added bonus to the ten I mentioned in this blog.  There are actually a hundred and one reasons to enjoy your staycation at F1 Hotel Manila, but for me the 10 that I mentioned are more than enough.

Again many thanks to F1 Hotel Manila and to my good friend Spanky Enriquez for this wonderful opportunity for an unforgettable Independence day Staycation. As I mentioned, me and my friends had a great staycation and I will definitely remember this hotel for as they say F1 Hotel Manila is the home of happy experiences.

F1 Hotel Manila
32nd Street
Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, 1634

Thursday, June 12, 2014

LuzViMinda a celebration of the Filipino Cuisine

The Executive Chief Eater & The Executive Chef 

Filipino Cuisine has a very rich history and the beauty of it is that is has so many influences and so many variations that has come to the more than 7000 islands in our country.  I myself, am a witness how my favorite Sisig is prepared and done differently in Pampanga, in Cebu and in Gen. San.  There are times when I crave to go to Cebu to get a taste of the famous Cebu Lechon, at the same time I want to go back to Gen San to taste the freshest Tuna Sashimi I’ve ever tasted.

The Gigantic Yellowfin Tuna guards the food 

Fortunately, F1 Hotel Manila started LuzViMinda to promote our rich Filipino Cuisine.  Now on its second year, LuzViMinda – Ikalawang Serye gathers together different Chefs from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to showcase their talents in whipping up the best of the best of what their islands have to offer.  Led by F1 Hotel's Executive Chef Sau del Rosario, I must admit I learned a lot from him and from other Chefs about Filipino cuisine which made my eating much more appreciated. Lets take a look at what they have prepared for our Filipino people.

We all know that the Maki is of Japanese descent. This time around, the Luzon Chefs created the Bagnet Dinuguan Maki a fusion of the Japanese dish with Filipino creativity. Obviously the Dinuguan created the coloring of the Maki which adds curiosity to how it was done. On the other hand the Bagnet , an Ilocano delicacy, is partnered with the mango to give this new concoction a very sumptuous taste.

If the Luzon Chefs created the Bagnet Dinuguan Maki, the Visayan chefs on the other hand came out with their own version with the Tinapa and Salted Egg Maki. This is a personal favorite of mine and I liked the combination of the Tinapa and Salted Egg which made me get more since i enjoyed its heavenly taste.  

Mindanao Chefs on the other hand made use of a famous Gen. San resource as the Seared Tuna and Mangosteen reduction was a thing of beauty. Imagine putting the Tuna at the middle of two watermelons, marvel at the imagination of the Chefs.

As far as I know there is scarcity of seafoods in Luzon but that does not deter Luzon Chefs from creating a masterpiece. Here is the "Kinunot na Pagi" which as a kid I loved eating in the streets. I must admit, Hotel food tastes really better and it leaves a lasting impression on you. As they say there is always a sting when you eat a stingray!

I don't know where i got the idea that the Visayan dish Balbacua is a fish dish. I might have confused it with something else. Chef Editha Singian explained to me that the Balbacua actually comes from the Oxtail. She also added that sometimes a lot of budget conscious Filipinos use boiled pig knuckles as an alternative. 

Another one of the inventive recipes of the Chefs from Mindanao is the Crispy Catfish salad.  When they say crispy it really is and it really makes you want to come back for more.

This was the dish I was dying to taste but for uric acid purposes, my inner self took the best in me and told me not to do so.  Just look at it, the assortment of the way these oysters were done. Luzonians did the "Pako" version while the "Inasal" version which is distinctively Visayan is how our southern brothers made them while the "Pineapple salsa" version is how they do it in Mindanao.

This is another exciting dish and as my friends say, my favorite. Ceviche or "Kinilaw" as we know it is highlighted through three different versions depending on which island you come from. The "Bicolano Kinilaw", the Visayan "Nilagpang Tuna" and the Mindanao's "Dabaw Kinilaw." If you were to ask me what my favorite is, I would say ALL!

Here is another popular dish done in three ways - the Sisig. The first sisig featured here is how the Kapampangans do their popular dish - the Pork Sisig. The picture in the middle is the Visayan's Chicken Inasal Sisig. Lastly, the Gen. Santos City version of Tuna Sisig is the picture  to the right. As I mentioned, one dish three versions.

A lot of desserts were on hand but I started out with one of my all time favorites - the Puto at kutsinta. As you can see there is no more need to partner it with Dinuguan since in itself the puto was so tasty and the violet color makes you wonder if Barny also likes to eat this.

Now this is just showing how Visayans mix and match food.  The result of their experiment is the Ube Otap Tiramisu. Otap,  is the most popular  pasalubong when someone comes home  from Cebu while Tiramisu is a famous Italian dessert. If you mix the two then here is the result - a very yummy dessert.

As Chef Victor Barangan said, the most pictured food is Mindanao's crowning glory - the Durian Panna cotta.  Another ingenious dish which is a masterpiece as the Chef used the young durian as a vessel of the panna cotta. I must admit I am quite amazed by it.

Now if you want to try this buffet and celebrate our Independence with a hearty meal, then go to F1 Hotel Manila at the Fort. The hotel is located at the 32nd St. just in front of S & R and St. Luke's Hospital. The restaurant is at the third floor of the F1 Hotel Manila. LuzViMinda 2  a celebration of Filipino Cuisine will run from June 12 - 26, 2014 so lets go back to trace our Filipino roots by going to the F All day dining restaurant to let your native tongue feast on the best of Filipino cuisine.