Visayan food festival at the Mandarin Oriental’s Paseo Uno
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The Visayan region’s delicacies take center stage at the Mandarin Oriental, Manila’s Paseo Uno from May 6-12, 2013.
Chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing, renowned for representing Iloilo’s famous culinary scene, will prepare signature dishes in the lunch and dinner buffets, such as Kadios, Baboy at Langka—more popularly known as KBL (a tangy soup made with kadios beans, pork and jackfruit, soured with batuan seeds)

Kadios, Baboy at Langka

Chicken pancit molo

Chicken Pancit Molo

Lukon na may Aligue kag Paho, or fresh Aklan prawns with crab fat in garlic and scallions

Lukon na may Aligue kag Paho

Chicken Inasal—Iloilo’s most popular chicken dish, made even more special with Chef Pauline’s basting sauce, and a Batchoy station where guests can add their favorite ingredients to suit their taste.
A spread of traditional Ilonggo desserts and beverages are included in the daily buffet price of PHP 1,990+ or PHP2,450+ for the Luxury buffet—available for dinner on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday lunch.

Chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing

Chef Pauline trained at the Culinary Institute of America, New York, and the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump’s New York). In Iloilo, she operates four popular food establishments and a successful catering business.

For inquiries or reservations, call Paseo Uno at 750-8888 or email

How to get Slim at Home
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“Only in the Philippines” used to be a term of ridicule. But nowadays, it can be a good a thing. A very good thing.
Last night this house manager was treated to a Lipo-Cavitation and Radio Frequency session care of Slim At Home.
Here’s what I walked into last night at 8 PM—my study room had been transformed into a spa with candle and funky iPod music.

Slim at Home

Wow. I’ve always wanted to do this, but find it too expensive, even with those online deals.
I once tried a similar service at home, but found it too messy and sticky with the plastic cover they put on my bed. Plus the technician kept scorching me. I just wanted each session to end.

Slim at Home was great! With aircon and darkened the room, I laid down on a massage bed with my tummy on top of a small metal plate, and slipped into pampering relaxation.
The initial noise doesn’t bother me. The whole session took about two hours. I didn’t sleep but checked my phone, read for a little bit, closed my eyes and thought how lucky I am.

lipocav for thighs

The first procedure was Lipo-Cavitation—a non-invasive method that directs high-energy ultrasound waves to fat cells beneath the skin. The ultrasound waves cause microbubbles in and around the fat cell, eventually causing the cells to rupture, release, and be expelled through the body naturally.

Lipo cavitation machine

This was followed by RF or Radio Frequency waves, which produce heat to rearrange and stimulate the formation of collagen fibers to tighten and renew the skin.

RF machine

Check out before and after pictures (obviously this is not me or my underwear)

Before and After our Advance Lipocavitation and Thermaslim P

Got back fat? Say goodbye after many treatments, improved diet, and exercise.

patient results waistline

After doing my thighs, we did my face—however I do not recommend this to anyone.
The treatment was brief (about four minutes) but the sound was too much to endure. I felt like I was going to be deaf or blind. I wanted it to end! But I also wanted to see if it would work.
After the treatment it felt like I had bionic ears! I could actually hear the crumpling of tissue paper—who the hell hears that? I was so freaked out.
Today my hearing is not yet 100% but getting there. Not sure if this is due to my cough, but I really don’t want to go through it again.

Overall, I love the whole idea of Slim At Home and highly recommend it. It will take time before I see results because you’re not supposed to do it everyday. Every four days is recommended.

Different treatments and packages can be customized according to your needs and budget, along with easy and convenient modes of payment.
Customers can also request an initial visit from Slim At Home doctor who will make sure you’re fit for treatments.
For questions, contact Slim At Home owner Happy Ongpauco-Tiu at (0917) 890-1225. Or book through Aileen at 0917-885-SLIM (7546).
To know more about the complete range of treatments, go to or like them on Facebook.

Cake galore!
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I turned a year older yesterday.
I don’t really like announcing my birthday because I get so tired trying to thank everyone who greets me. But it’s really sweet. I read every message. Some make me cry and some touch me in a warm, fuzzy way.
I feel guilty not answering all of them. Because if I do, I would spend the whole day just thanking people.

Yesterday I had so many cakes!
The first one was given by my son Christian, who came up to my room with his electronic cake that sings. The candles actually “extinguish” when you blow them. He’s so sweet…

Birthday cake

No birthday of mine is complete without a Jollibee cake. I would be really disappointed if this doesn’t come, hehe.

Birthday cake

Some friends from a hotel sent me a cake I didn’t get to eat because it came hot and deconstructed.
At first I thought the hotel had sent me a special cake that looked like ruins, because I like that. Then I realized it really was ruined! So I asked the delivery guy about it. He said he may have encountered a hump along the way.
I felt sorry for him so I didn’t complain. Also because I don’t want them to make him pay for it.
So in this case, it’s really the thought that counts. 🙂


My friend Van sent me the sweetest cake from The Royal Picadilly. Everyone who saw it was simply amazed.

Birthday cake

I loved that the cake had my loved ones on it, plus a cake on top of a cake!

Birthday cake

My friend Grace also gave me a caramel cake from Costa Brava (R), not Estrel’s 🙂

Birthday cake

The caramel cake is still in the chiller thought, because I am eating this cake given by my friend Anthony.
When I first saw the cake, I thought it looked like the ruins. So me!

Birthday cake

My friends and I dug in and guessed correctly—that the coffee crunch cake is by Mrs. Yulo of Forbes Park.
Tons better than Red Ribbon (jeje). Cedric called it the Coachella cake because it reminds him of the dessert.
I was so happy I had four slices last night and three slices today. I’ll work it all out starting tomorrow.

Birthday cake

Finally, Jude and Yodel art directed this cake platter. It is a sight to behold.

Birthday cake

It got me scrambling in the kitchen for the heavy silver tray Jeroen and I received at our wedding more than 12 years ago. I found it in mint condition in our kitchen cupboard.

There were a couple of other cakes that arrived just before I left the house. I wasn’t able to take a picture, but I want to thank you for the cakes, flowers, presents and well wishes. For those of you wondering, yes I share them with the people at home. There are 13 of us here.

Funny how the older I get, the more I like cake.

The sad childhood of Gretchen B
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Before anything, I have nothing against Gretchen Barretto!
I find her highly amusing and entertaining, unlike her sister Claudine, whom I find strangely aggressive.
One thing I’ve always wondered about Gretchen though, is why a pretty woman like her needs to alter her face that much.
Another thing, Gretchen recently found her voice in social media. Through Instagram we can all see her bling


her ride


her gifts


her drinks


her shoes


her bags


her food galore!


But what drives a woman who seems to have everything to show off what she has, when we all know she’s “married” to a very rich man?
The answer finally came when her good friend, former actress and schoolmate, Tania Montenegro, recently spoke to about Gretchen’s sordid childhood.
The idea was not to put down Gretchen, but to discredit Gretchen’s sister Gia, who wrote a letter to discredit brother Jay-Jay (Joaquin), who wrote a statement to discredit their mother Inday, who wrote a letter to discredit Gretchen.

I know, long story.
Tania’s story is quite a read in Tagalog. I thought it would be easier to understand by summarizing and asking my sister Ana Maria Zamora to illustrate them.
Here goes…

Tanya Montenegro
Tania Montenegro

While they were “put in exclusive schools”, Tania says many times during exams, Gretchen would be asked to leave the room because her tuition fee was not paid.
no tuition

“Most of the time, she’d come to school, wala siyang baon. So many countless times, I make her libre for recess,” Tania recalled.

Food galore?
Tania says she used to see Gretchen’s siblings in the canteen, “nagre-recess, nagla-lunch”, while Gretchen only had one meal. “Bakit si Gretchen, it’s either lunch or recess, ganyan? Lagi, lagi ‘yan,” Tania asked.
Gretchen is the fifth of seven children of Miguel at Estrella “Inday” Barretto.
Her elder siblings are Mito, Michi, Jay-Jay, at Gia (non showbiz) while the younger ones—Marjorie and Claudine both joined Gretchen in showbiz.

kapatids eating

“Sometimes, we’d go out as a group, hindi ‘yan oorder kasi she has no money to pay for the food, yung ganun ba.”


“Nakakaawa nga ‘yan, e. There was one time nga, e, dumadalaw ‘yan sa house, mga early 1990s.
We were living in Capitol Hills, and she was within the area lang, kasi she had shooting. She passed by.
So kami naman, unintentionally, we served Spam and California rice. She sat on the table and sabi niya, ‘Ang sarap naman nito! Di bale, I promise, some day I’d be able to buy myself this.’

spam and rice

Yayas and chauffeurs? According to Tania, Gia’s recollection of their lifestyle during the ’80s is “weird”.
The chauffeur was actually Jay-Jay, the brother who drove them to school in a yellow combi!

yellow combi

“And their house, lahat naman yun rented. Rented lang mga houses na yun.
There were times nga, may mga art project kami, may mga project kami for art or for GMRC [Good Manners and Right Conduct], na we’d have to go to the school and bring this. Wala siyang madadala, kasi nga wala…Hindi siya nabigyan ng pambili or ganyan. Kaya nga kami naging close niyan. Kasi ako, madalas, I’d share. I’d share with her.”

friends cos of sharing

“Nagulat lang ako talaga kung bakit kinailangan magsalita pa ni Tita Inday. I don’t know why she had to come up with that statement na parang…parang disown Gretchen. Parang tinatanong ko lang, ‘What has she done to you guys? Kasi, all throughout…ano ‘yan, e, she has a very big heart. So I don’t know.”

big heart

Another thing she can’t understand is Tita Inday’s “hatred kay Gretch.”
“I don’t know why. Hindi ko rin maintindihan na bakit parang through all, ha…seven kasi sila [magkakapatid]. I don’t know why siya [Gretchen] lang, sa nakita ko, sa naririnig kong kuwento from Gretch, sa na-witness ko, I don’t know why merong ganyang hatred si Tita Inday kay Gretch. I don’t know why.

Kasi dati pa sasabihin niya: ‘Si Gretchen ang itim-itim! Ang pangit ni Gretchen!’ Kaya nga si Gretchen, nagkaroon ng kailangan na pumuti siya, kailangan gumanda siya. Kaya naging ganyan ang effect kay Gretch, e. Kasi she hears it from her mom na, ‘Maitim si Gretchen! Maitim si Gretchen. Hindi naman maganda si Gretchen! Maraming gano’n.’”

maitim si gretchen

“And then there was one time, she had a big pasa dito sa may face niya…between her cheek and her neck.
Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘What happened to you? Why do you have a bruise?’
Sabi niya her mom slapped her daw. Sabi niya, ‘She hit me.’
Sabi ko, ‘Why?’ She started to cry.

“I didn’t bother asking her kasi naawa ako because of the bruise on her cheek. Yung malaking bruise.
We were like Grade 6 lang siguro—so, mga 12? There was one time, may pictorial may pictorial kami, na-late siya.
‘Parang you cried,’ sabi ko sa kanya.
‘Yeah,’ sabi niyang ganun.‘Inday pulled my hair.’”
pulling hair

Even though Gretchen now lives the good life, Tania says it’s not so difficult to please Gretchen—it could be as simple as mocha cake and hugs.
“Gretchen is so mababaw. A simple Goldilocks mocha slice or mocha cake will make her so happy.
When we were young, she would have to wait for her birthday para makatikim ng Goldilocks. Kaya if people out there want to make Gretch happy, give her Goldilocks mocha cake or mocha slice!”

mocha cake

“She was deprived kasi of love and affection growing up. That’s why, if you notice, Gretchen is a hugger, she loves to hug her friends, and she always says, ‘I love you.’ Because her mom never said that to her.” (Source)

P.S. Gretchen didn’t pay me to write this!! xo

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