Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Livestock: A Haven For Carnivores!

What happens when you put together two highly skilled CCA chefs under one roof?

The Culinary Couple Kristoffer Uy and Ching Uy are really passionate on their quest to serve cultural comfort food with a twist that the couple quickly managed to turn their dreams into reality last September 2013 and Livestock was born!

According to Mrs. Ching, Livestock is a pork specialty restaurant inspired by the family's hog farm. This restaurant is a testament of the family's love for pork. Emphasizing on snout to tail cooking, serving their collection of their own renditions of the most loved pork dishes pulled from multicultural cuisines.

Luckily, we got to visit their place last week. Going there was not difficult, Livestock is located inside Jardin de Zenaida Compound at 34 Sgt. Esguerra Ave. Barangay. South Triangle QC. If you're quite "navigationally-challenged" like me, you might want to check this out: Bing Maps

Since this is a restaurant at the morning and a bar at night, the ambiance of the place in the morning is very cozy, the contemporary Zen-inspired interior design is quite lovely and the natural light is not too harsh on the eyes. I think this is a perfect place to relax or catch up with your friends.

The place is really huge that this is just the second floor of Livestock. They have a third floor and terrace upstairs. Sadly, we didn't get to visit the terrace due to the bad weather conditions.

I have no idea what this place looks like at night, but Mrs. Ching told us that they like to change it up by adding live band performances to cater people in different age groups. Maybe I should revisit this at night, soon!

If you guys saw the entire shelf and the wine cellar, I think you'll be convinced to do the same thing!

Photo from Dennison Uy

Ever wondered why I described Livestock as a haven for carnivores? Here's why, check this out.. They have EVERYTHING! Not sure if they have ox brain but still, they have everything pretty much covered from pork, beef, chicken and even seafood! Here's another fun fact, they even have a separate menu for vegetarians! So your health conscious friends doesn't have any excuses not to dine here too!

From L-R: Watermelon Shake (P150), Dalandan Juice (P90), Red Grape Shake (P150) and Pineapple Juice (P85). My personal favorite of the four would be the Red Grape Shake but that's just me. Some might find it a little too sweet for their taste. Don't worry, you won't get drunk on that stuff.

Adobo and Kesong Puti Pizza (P395)
This one is a thin crust pizza topped with garden fresh arugula, black olives and cherry tomatoes along with our favorite Pinoy dish, Adobo. Partnered along with Kesong Puti as it's base is just so perfect since the sourness of the creamy mozzarella cheese and bitter roasted garlic puree perfectly compliments the saltyness of the Adobo.

Bacon and Egg Pizza (P420)
This really reminds me of another restaurant's Good Morning Pizza except this one has BACONS which totally wins on my book. Plus points that they have shitake and button mushrooms on these. If you're wondering why the eggs are so tiny, they're not the usual chicken eggs they use. Those are quail eggs. Cool right? Unlike the Adobo and Kesong Puti Pizza, this one uses tomato sauce as it's base and parmesan cheese instead of Kesong Puti.

Seafood Laksa Soup (P290)
This Singaporean inspired dish is a fragrant and spicy broth soup filled with beans sprouts along with my favorite seafood toppings like prawns and mussels. One serving of this is good for sharing as it is already good for 2-3 people.

Kangkong Sambal with Lechon (P260)
Inspired by a Malaysian dish, Kangkong Sambal with Lechon is an interesting mix of Kangkong in a sauce of coconut milk and homemade hot sambal paste topped with Livestock crackling pork belly.

Salted Egg Shrimps (P430)
These are plump shrimps in rich, buttery salted egg sauce. I don't like overcooked shrimps that it would be a little hard for me to sink my teeth on. Then again, I like raw stuff so it's not really a surprise. Don't let the "salted egg sauce" put you off since the sauce is quite delicate and not too salty for my taste.

Livestock Crackling Pork Belly (P490 per 500g)
THIS IS MY FAVORITE DISH OF ALLLLLLLL! I don't think words could ever describe such a perfect piece of meat! Of all the restaurants that I had visited up to this point, this is hands down "The Most Tender Pork Belly" I ever had. Stuffed with fresh herbs and roasted until crispy, this dish will make you seriously reconsider your diet. I even joked on Facebook that I'd walk home just to burn off the calories I had from pigging out from this... which I actually did. Lol. I don't care. It's worth it.

Melts-in-your-mouth Crispy Pata (P890)
Last but not the least, Livestock's specialty dish. I'm not exaggerating but the name really speaks for itself. I don't know how they managed to make something so tender, be as crispy at the same time. Think I'm kidding with the name? Check out my video below...

It's THAT tender! Take note that they just used a regular popsicle stick to chop it up. It's insane!

I'm just paranoid with the whole cholesterol situation going on so it couldn't be helped that I had a hot cup of coffee on my way home. I've read somewhere that hot beverages during and immediately after a meal could improve your digestion. Yes, the Livestock Crackling Pork Belly is THAT sinfully good!

Apologies for the haggard look. That's the Salted Egg Shrimp on my spoon over there. It's really a mouthful that the spoon could barely even support it. Lol

Photo from Astig.PH

If you're planning to make the most out of your cheat day or just want to treat yourself after a long stressful weekend, I suggest going to Livestock. I also suggest you'd drop by around the month of September since it's their anniversary and they're planning to spice up things by adding new dishes to their menu.
Better watch out for that!

To know more about Livestock, check out their social media accounts
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/LivestockMics

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Friday Night at the Haunted Mansion

If you knew me long enough you'd know that I have never ever seen ghosts in my entire life. 
Not that I'm really anticipating to see one or anything. 
So you might be wondering what led me into this Haunted Mansion in the first place.

One of the taxidermy best works I've ever seen in a while. PETA might hate me for saying that.

Mainly, I did it for the experience. I figured I had a lot of things I'd like to do before I get busy with my thesis so when my very close friend Alice told us that Sir Ross of Wazzup Pilipinas invited us to check out this Ghost Tour at the Haunted Mansion which was located at the Greenmeadows Subdivision. I wasn't hesitant going in even though I just came out from the office (which was at Laguna) that time. 

Anyway, about the address.. Sorry, I cannot disclose the exact location because the owner wishes to keep the place a secret. However, if you're into these things you may find this place a little familiar because it has been featured a dozen of times at the newspaper and even recently, at the show "Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho".

Along to guide us during our stay were well-experienced and skilled paranormal investigators from the Profilers of the Unknown where their tech person demonstrated to us how the EMF reader works. They told us that they check out low frequency electromagnetic activities in different places to tell if there's a presence of ghosts or demons in the area.

Throughout the tour I've learned a lot of interesting words from Ms. Jade Martin here are some that I've remembered:
  • Cold Spots - It is a stage where ghosts are believed to absorb heat on a certain spot. Witching hour was "believed" by many as the hour where spirits are more active.
  • Residual and Intelligent Hauntings - residual hauntings don't interact with people while intelligent hauntings do interact.
  • Witching Hour - the time when spirits are more active, though not yet proven to be true.

Basic night photography on camera phones sucks.. I wish my photos did more justice. This was one of the many beautiful pieces of furniture that you could see there. The entire room looked like as if it was a scene from Game of Thrones. Particularly those of the House Lannister.

Photo from Profilers of the Unknown

Everything was just too regal. The walls were made with granite. They even have 4 huge attics where one is too big enough for a basketball court. You'd never imagine that the interior of the house pretty much looks like an old castle. You'd really appreciate it more in person, trust me.

The owner of the house Sir JR kept telling us how stuff kept rearranging itself in the house to the extent that they don't have maids there that last very long. It is even said that the hauntings are so frequent that it doesn't bother Sir JR anymore. For the past few years, they even have a "spring cleaning" where it was common for their ordained Catholic priest, Fr. Ricky to perform exorcisms every week. So strange.

All in all. As much as it was a new experience for me, I can't recommend this tour to everybody. Alice was truly entertained throughout because she could sense paranormal activities. Seriously, on our way home she can't stop raving on how freaky fun the tour was. Me on the other hand, not so much. I'm not trying to act macho, close minded, KJ or anything... I just can't sense those things. Maybe I just don't have "the gift". Even before when we're at GK Enchanted Farm everyone was freaking out because they were hearing things and I was just happily sleeping. Lol. Plus, not everyone might enjoy the idea of being around with ghosts and other paranormal creatures due to their belief in religion and such.

A ghost tour though is just a visit to a haunted location. It's not really for sensing things or catching ghosts so if you want to give it a shot, give Ms. Jade Martin a call at 09168915529.
To learn more about their other Ghost Tours, you may visit their website at: http://profilersoftheunknown.webs.com

Saturday, August 9, 2014

C.N.A. Opens in SM City Novaliches!

C.N.A., Korea’s No. 1 accessory shop finally opened its eight
Philippine branch– SM City Novaliches! This is the first branch in SM Malls and so we are all excited about it.

Thanks to the SM City Novaliches staff especially to Mr. Joseph Benitez, Tenant Relations Officer, Ms. Carmela Therese Doria and Ms. Karmina San Miguel, Marketing Officers, lastly, even Mr. Jay AraƱas, Group Marketing Manager, who enthusiastically encouraged and promoted CNA Philippines.

On July 20, three weeks prior to their Grand Opening Celebration, CNA Philippines also participated in the “Denim Daze Fashion Show” of SM City Novaliches as part of promotional activity.

Glasses and Bracelet of CNA

CNA pouch
(All Photos courtesy of SM City Novaliches Facebook) 

CNA had a lot of "firsts" during this Grand Opening Celebration. 

  • The first time for them to hold the Celebration in a Mall Atrium.
  • The first time for CNA to have a photo booth.
  •   The first time to participate in a fashion show barely 3 weeks before a Grand Opening.

For those who haven't seen my blog post about CNA. C.N.A., which stands for “Culture, Nature, Art” is a concept store that sells fancy jewelries such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets, hair ornaments, trinkets and other fashion accessories and beauty essentials and even albums of K-pop idols! All of the products are made in and imported from Korea.

C.N.A. has been around since 1991 in Korea. Since opening in the Philippines last 2012, it has been received very well by many Filipinos, not only those who are fascinated with the Korean culture.C.N.A. has also earned many loyal followers since its operation in the year 2012.

If you want to check out their stylish and inexpensive items that are perfect for gifts or for everyday use, you may visit the latest C.N.A. branch at the 2nd floor of SM City Novaliches.

You can check the Grand Opening Celebration photos by visiting their
Facebook page: http://facebook.com/cnaphils, follow them on twitter:http://twitter.com/cnaphils or email them at cnaphils@gmail.com.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

GK Enchanted Farm Weekend

 If you're into organic stuff you've probably heard about GK Enchanted Farm from Human Nature.
GK Enchanted Farm is founded by Gawad Kalinga in 2003 as a platform to raise social entrepreneurs and help our local farmers create wealth using our abundant resources.

Since it's a 34-hectare land at Angat, Bulacan and I haven't slept for 31 hours, the chances of me being lost are high. I'm glad Ms. Clementine Turgeon along with other French volunteers are willing to assist us bloggers throughout the 2 day tour.

Here are some of the things they have to offer...
 From L-R: Golden Duck Salted Duck Eggs, Theo and Philo Chocolates, Harlika Honey, First Harvest Peanut Spread and Cafe de Sug Sulu Coffee

Golden Duck

Founded by Alvi Benitez at 2011, Golden Duck is a business merged with NGO that aims to "Make Ducks Sexy" by producing Duck Burger which is a high value food product compared to duck eggs like balut which we usually associate as cheap. Unlike the chicken industry with a net value of 2 billion, the duck industry has only has a net value 400 million which is not most breeders would prefer due to the low ROI.

Here I've learned that not all ducks are the same.. 

There are 3 kinds of ducks:
Pato - The ones they usually use for Peking Duck. It's quite meaty.
Itik - The ones that lay quality eggs.
Bibe - The duck that looks like it has a mask. Lol

Enchanted Farm Cafe / Grassroots Kitchen

 Here are some of the meals I had there. If you're getting sick of your typical fastfood or watching your weight, this is a great place to have lunch. 

However, I don't advise these to the impatient ones because they have this "slow food" advocacy wherein its raw ingredients are sourced locally to ensure that the food are fresher and healthier.

Gourmet Keso

Aldrin, Maricel along with French intern Matilda and Japanese intern Kanako gave us a quick demonstration on how to make your own kesong puti with goat's milk, salt solution and coco vinegar. Gourmet Keso has gained quite a following of cheese enthusiasts, even supported by the Ultimate Taste Test as the best cheese product in the market.

Pioneer Centers / Accomodations

From L-R: Inside Hyundai Center for Green Innovation, Green Museum, Driftwood Fish Sculptures outside the center and "Fluidic Sculpture" design philosophy on the staircase.

From L-R: Outside Hyundai Center for Green Innovation, Inside Bamboo Palace for Development Design, Inside LifeBank Center for Bayanihan Economics and their *drenched* Zen Garden.

Farm Terraces Family

A glimpse of their infinity pool and the exterior of some of their villas.


Being a mushroom fan, I really found this so cool! I've always wondered how mushroom farms look like up close! The area is quite damp and cool. Most of the mushrooms there are oyster mushrooms which tastes great when deep fried. Ugh.

Vermi Composting

Those are not earthworms. Jun's Agricool project involves lots of African Nightcrawlers that produces expensive but high quality fertilizer.

Bayani Brew

 I couldn't forget how my friend loves to boil lemongrass and create her own concoctions. It's no surprise why, I tried out their Purple Leaf Bayani Brew and I really found it refreshing. Here we planted some lemongrass for their Bayani Brew. It's named as such because they produce proudly Filipino agri-based beverages that advocate the use of healthy indigenous ingredients that would help support scholarship for farmers.

Plush and Play

80% of the toys found in the Philippines are imported from a single country. 
Plush and Play addresses this by producing hand-stitched stuffed toys and showcasing the undervalued sewing skills of women living in Gawad Kalinga communities.

 I personally think all of them looks cute except for the corn. It looks freaky sometimes.

All in all, I think it's quite nice to see a new breed of social entrepreneurs. Businesses who care for the country. By supporting locally made products and going global this helps us our nation to improve the use of our own resources. I hope someday these would help us in taking a step to more industrialized nation. 
Baby steps. Baby steps.

To know more about the farm and their advocacies, 
do visit their official website at http://gk1world.com/ or contact them at info@gawadkalinga.com
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