Who’s Bogart the Explorer?

When my friend Lia visited this morning, she asked if I had seen Bogart the Explorer on YouTube.
“Is that a dog?” I asked her. The only Bogart I know (besides Humphrey) is Carlos Celdran’s dog.
Bogart the Explorer, says Lia, is the Filipino Crocodile Dundee from Davao who makes videos about all kinds of Filipino species—from the taong grasa to the coño kid.

The first video I saw was too corny for words, about the coño kid. The coño was miscast—doesn’t Bogart know any tisoys? The faux designer bag/prop looked like it was purchased in Quiapo, not Greenhills. The coño forgot to pop his collar, etc.
After watching a couple more videos, about the Philippine Epaloid and the Taong Grasa, I started cracking up with my two sons. I was literally crying with tears, laughing.
I was amazed at Bogart’s Aussie accent, grossed out with his jiggly torso, and wishing he would make an episode about the Philippine Fashion Blogger.
When my Dutch husband came home, I showed him the videos which did not amuse him, so I realized maybe they are funny only for Filipinos. Jeroen thinks they are funny for kids, just like the Annoying Orange videos, which my son loves.
Watch and tell me what you think.
P.S. Please don’t mention the other YouTube “sensation” who makes fun of Filipino accents. I had a Twitter fight with him last week and would rather not discuss. Thank you :)

Message from Ms. Gina Lopez

Haven’t been able to get online this entire day as I had a visit from Lia in the morning, lipo-cavitation and RF after lunch, meeting with Yodel in the afternoon, plus dinner and exercise with Grace in the evening.
This afternoon I received a friendly call from Ms. Gina Lopez, whom I blogged about after the #WhyMining forum at the InterContinental Manila last week.
After hearing each other’s sides, I asked her if she would like me to take the post down, which I did this afternoon.
Following is her email to me, which I also promised to publish.
Comments will be closed for this entry. Thank you :)

Gina Lopez
Photo: BBC World Service

Dear Cecile,

The videos you have on your blog are snippets of me talking about eco tourism.
I have five eco tourism projects in Puerto Princessa—one of which is offering sashimi to the tourists that go see the dolphins. Dolphins eat the same food as tuna—so when one views the dophins one can also eat sashimi on board.
The Glamping—Glamour Camping is one of our eco tourism tools we will be using in Brookespoint. This means camping at the foot of the mountains, enjoying the splendour of nature and paying a good amount of money which will all go to the community. Glamping is done in Africa and it is very popular.
All efforts are meant to benefit the community. It is totally unethical to take snippets of me talking, edit it and distort it to mean something else.
If the mining industry does not agree with my views on conserving the beauty of nature, they should stick to the issues – and not hit below the belt.
Cecile because the videos are a very unfair distortion of the Truth – I would very much appreciate it if you take it out of your blog. Thank you for your understanding.

Gina Lopez

Lucy Hale’s Manila diary

I first heard about Pretty Little Liars on Twitter, when one of the American celebs I was following mentioned it (can’t remember which one). I got hooked on Season 1.
Season 2, I started getting exasperated from all the stress going on with that show (who the hell is A??). And then the last few episodes, I started to get hooked again.

Pretty Little liars

The mystery/thriller stars four of today’s prettiest stars: Troian Bellisario (the chicest one, at left), Ashley Benson (the blonde), Shay Mitchell (at right, who is half Filipino), and Lucy Hale, who also happens to be the newest Bench girl.

Lucy Hale for Bench

Lucy was in town last month as a special guest of BENCH CEO, Ben Chan. She flew in with celebrity hairstylist, Scott Cunha, who has also styled the likes of Miley Cyrus, Nicole Richie, Emma Roberts and Diane Kruger.
It was her first time in Asia, confessed the 22-year-old star, who flew in via Hong Kong from Los Angeles.

Lucy Hale and Scott Cunha
Lucy instagrammed on the plane with Scott Cunha

Lucy Hale
Arriving at our beloved NAIA

During her three days here, Lucy toured and shopped at several Bench-owned stores (including Aldo), sampled Filipino, Chinese and Thai food, enjoyed fresh mango shake, and tasted ube for the first time.
She bought Ilog Maria lotion at the Echostore, plus pearls and trinkets in Greenhills, along with makeup artist Chechel Joson.

mango juice
Trying mango juice for the first time

Scott Cunha and Lucy Hale at Bonifacio High Street
Strolling at Serendra

She marveled at her giant billboard and tweeted, “This is crazy!” after seeing her likeness on a massive Bench window.

Lucy Hale

this is crazy

On her first night, she popped in at the Secret Fresh x Bench T-shirt launch at Greenbelt 5.

Lucy Hale
L-R: Egg Fiasco, Lucy Hale, JJ Zamoranos

Friday night, Ben Chan hosted an intimate dinner at home where Lucy and Scott met Bench friends and family: Liz Uy, Georgina Wilson, Paula Taylor, Isabelle Daza (Photo: Raymond Gutierrez)


She was introduced to American Idol’s David Archuleta, who is also the newest face of BENCH.

L-R: David Archuleta, Ben Chan, Lucy Hale

On Saturday afternoon, Lucy got to meet and greet her fans in a special event at SMX where I got to sit down with her for a brief interview.
I carefully selected my outfit for the day knowing the petite actress and I are the same height (we are both 5’2”). I was excited to meet the star of the show I’ve been following up-to-date for the last two seasons.
My friend Kevin and I arrived an hour early for our 4 p.m. time slot and killed the time sipping Haagen-Dazs milkshakes at nearby SM Mall of Asia. At 4 p.m. we were back at SMX just in time for to meet the young star in a private room.
At the scene were familiar faces such as Bench’s Lawrence Cua and Jojo Liamzon, photographer Patrick Uy, makeup artist Chechel Joson, and reporter Gretchen Fullido. Also present were her manager Strand and hairstylist Scott.
Lucy wore a Bench T-shirt and jeans matched with Aldo shoes and accessories to the interview.

Lucy Hale and Kevin Ching
Lucy and Kevin at SMX

Me: Ben Chan called you the sweetest, most down-to-earth celebrity he’s ever met. Can you tell us why you call him Daddy Warbucks?

LUCY HALE: He’s given me a lot of things; he’s been so kind to me. We had lunch at Peking Garden and one of his friends was wearing this gorgeous bracelet that I liked and he tracked it down and gave it to me at a dinner he hosted for me.

What made you say yes to Bench when they asked you to be an endorser?

I love the whole international aspect of it, it was overseas, and then I saw the clothes and then it was a no-brainer because they’re so affordable and yet they’re really cute.

I saw you went shopping with Scott at Bench the other day. What did you guys get?

You mean, what did I not get? I got swimsuits, underwear, bras, jeans, shirts, hats, skirts, and this jumper thing. And Scott got all the men’s underwear, every single pair — maybe 20 pairs of underwear (laughs). He seriously needs to be the next endorser for Bench Body.

Your beauty is much appreciated in the Philippines because you’re a brunette and petite. What fashion and beauty tips can you give to a petite girl?

I know for me, I can’t wear certain lengths because of proportions, like I can’t wear over-the-knee boots cause I want to appear taller. So I guess it’s all about finding what works for your body but at the same time — and it all sounds contradictory — but don’t be afraid to take risks, don’t be afraid to try new things. That’s sort of like my motto.

What’s the real score between you and Ian Harding and who is your closest friend on the show?

Ian in real life is a goofball, he’s extremely sweet and a dear, dear friend and we are definitely just friends. He’s one of the people I’m closest to and like the most genuine person you’ll ever meet. He’s such a nice guy… My closest friend is Keegan Allen, who plays Toby on the show. His body is ridiculous, too. He can do Bench Body, I should tell Ben!


Bayo’s summer vibe

BAYO reveals their summer 2012 ad campaign starring KC Concepcion in a “vintage road trip” a la Thelma and Louise.
Brand endorser KC wears pieces from the collection that is retro inspired, in hand-printed fabrics florals, stripes, geometric pointelle, and crochet cottons.
Candy-colored pantone hues like Hot Coral, Chalk Pink and Fandango Pink create a fantasy lifestyle inspired by the late 50’s and early 60’s California glamour.

KC Concepcion

KC Concepcion

KC Concepcion

To see more of the collection, go to http://www.bayo.com.ph

Lunch with Chuck Hughes

Being married to a chef means we watch the Asian Food Channel (AFC) a lot. That’s why I when I was invited to have lunch with Chuck Hughes, star of Chuck’s Day Off, I readily accepted and dragged my carcass off my bed.
After all, Edsa Shangri-La’s HEAT is just around the corner.


We come here often, but never had I seen HEAT so filled to the rafters, especially on a Monday lunch.
Turns out they sold many tables to Chuck Hughes fans, waiting to get a glimpse of the Canadian chef.
Lucky for some of us, a select group of media was treated to a cooking demo where chef Hughes used seafood flown in from Canada.


The tall chef arrived wearing a black AFC apron over a black shirt, day-off shorts and sneakers, and immediately spoke nonstop about his love for the Philippines, the people and the food (read: madaldal).
He was introduced by Karra-Lee Gerrits, Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of Canada in Manila.


Chuck went on to cook three dishes, assisted by Chef Trixie Hafalla of HEAT


Being married to a chef also means I get turned on whenever a cute guy can chop, season and fry :)


He made Salt-cured cod and roasted garlic spread crouton

Salt-cured cod and roasted garlic spread crouton

Pan-grilled rock perch fillet with green gazpacho

Pan-grilled rock perch fillet with green gazpacho

and Jerk Dungeness crab with chili and chives

Chuck Hughes crab

These were put aside on a table, while the chef sat down with us for quick lunch.
Luckily the entire buffet spread consisted of seafood, which is in sync with my Lenten sacrifice.
What I really loved were the Oysters Rockefeller and the crab.

Chuck Hughes buffet

In between bites, Chef Hughes talked about his trip to the dampa near Manila Bay, where he sampled fresh seafood cooked by locals, enjoyed with halo-halo and green mango with bagoong.

Chuck Hughes in Manila

Chuck Hughes in Manila

Chuck Hughes in Manila

He spoke excitedly about a Filipino episode he recently taped where he cooks adobo pork shanks and pineapple coconut pie for a Filipino father and son.
Having achieved a lot at the age of 35, he still expressed a desire to have kids—but it’s hard right now with two successful restaurants in Montreal, a TV show and traveling all over the world.
“I’m lucky to have a girlfriend who understands,” said Chuck of Sabrina Bronfen, whom he gets to see maybe six days in a month whenever he’s in Canada. Chuck spoke of her fondly and describes her as a very good cook.
(He forgot to mention, she is gorgeous.)

GILT CITY and FOOD NETWORK COOKING  CHANNEL host the James Beard Foundation Chefs Night Out “Pop Up Party” Hosted by Anne Burrell, host of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and Lee Brian Schrager,Gilt City Chief Lifestyle Advisor

Then Chuck was whisked away to his fans in HEAT (no pun intended) who were waiting for photo ops. He gladly posed for pictures, stopping only briefly for a bathroom break. (Okay ang dami nila….)

Pila balde

All this time, I didn’t want to leave because I was eyeing the Dungeness crab on the table. I gathered enough guts to ask Lesley Tan, Director of Communications at Edsa Shangri-La, if I could take home the crab for dinner.
Imagine my excitement when she said yes!
Then imagine my shock when I saw her taking this to the back

Lesley Tan

Dungeness crab from Canada

No, Lesley, not that crab, the one Chuck cooked! I was so embarrassed. I wanted my husband to try it at home :)
Oh, you mean, this crab.

Chuck Hughes in Manila

Chuck was back, so we made him chika. I asked him to show us his tatts.

Chuck Hughes tattoo

There’s lemon meringue pie

Chuck Hughes tattoo


Chuck Hughes tattoo

and the perfect temperature for baked potato

Chuck Hughes tattoo

Chuck said he loves talangka so much, he’s planning to make it his next tattoo. He is really one of the most pleasant, nicest, down-to-earth celebs I have ever met.
And I came home with the best swag ever—Chuck Hughes Dungeness chili crab in a takeout container.
Special thanks to my 4th grade best friend, Annie Ick, who now works at the Shang!

Annie Ick

That night I sat down for dinner with my husband and kids who luckily are not into crabs.
The cook heated up the crab in our airfryer. My husband had two bites and I had it all to myself.
I can tell you this much: I was in heaven. I’m convinced Chuck Hughes is a wonderful chef!


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