Saturday, May 30, 2009

Snackaroo's Salted Beef Rice

If you've never heard of Snackaroo, this is the joint that arguably started the whole cheap-steak craze that's created numerous copycats. I had lunch there earlier today and I didn't order steak (since their steak really isn't that much different from the copycats except for the more inflated price tag of P130/order). Instead I ordered this intriguing dish.

Salted beef rice for only P95.

What exactly is it? It's seems to be a combination of the favorite breakfast fare "tapa" or cured beef except in bacon form. Don't ask me what that means, I can only tell you that the similarities are uncanny. It's actually quite good--not too salty, and gives enough bite to give you that satisfying munching without tiring you out. And it's perfect with succulent tomatoes! In fact I asked for more slices of tomatoes to go with 'em. (And they didn't charge me a single cent more!).

What would've put this dish over the top in my opinion would be these 3 things:
  1. more reasonable price tag... maybe P75?
  2. garlic rice instead of plain rice
  3. and sunny side up eggs to complete the ensemble
Man oh man! Now that would be something, wouldn't it?

Friday, May 29, 2009

What is sandbox?

sandbox [sand-boks] –noun

a box or receptacle for holding sand, esp. one large enough for children to play in.

If you're from the Philippines like I am, it's entirely possible you missed out on the whole sandbox thing. We have the streets where we play tumbang preso and such, but that's for when you already are friends. A sandbox is literally a box full of sands where your parents would leave you to play, dig around, and discover stuff for yourself. Discover what exactly? Friendships for one, some that quite possibly will last your whole life.

How exactly does the sandbox exprience create lasting bonds? Frankly, I don't know. I imagine it could be because in the sandbox, we allow people to touch and see us unadorned--relaxed and carefree--something we wouldn't normally allow them to in another setting. Maybe its the feeling of being co-discoverer of the seemingly new world around you that caused that bond to be formed. Or perhaps its the exclusive yet open nature of the sandbox that gives one that combined feeling of safety and freedom.

I don't know, perhaps I'm merely spinning words here. I never really had that as a kid. Do I wish I did? Hmm... maybe. I'm not sure. I know I'd want a grownup version of that though. And guess what? I just might have found one. just launched last Saturday. Is it anything like I described up there? That and more!

Sure it's not a perfect product yet, but which sandbox ever is? It's the presence of us kids that gives us that unique sandbox experience. Mine's not really complete yet, so please join me and sign up. And make sure to let me know of your sandbox experience. ...oh, and please look me up when you do, the name's KingArthur.

Click the image to sign up!

NB By the way, you get a doughnut and coffee at Krispy Kreme just for signing up! Now isn't that a cool welcome gift to play in the sandbox? Let me know if you need company!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tea Blends!

I don't know if you've encountered this particular kiosk before.

I just "discovered" it last Saturday when my friend Stephen opened one at Ongpin. Truth be told, I probably wouldn't have tried it if my first drink wasn't free. At least not unless it was a really warm day, even then, I might've gone for a fruit shake. Yet, now that I've tried it, I find that it's really quite good. Sure it's not cheap, but it's not exactly expensive either especially since they serving size is actually quite generous.

Got myself an extra-large Nai Cha for just P45. (The first one was free, but I sneaked back in the afternoon to get another one hehe)

My favorite is the Nai Cha, but I hear that Strawberry and Green Apple Green Tea is really quite good too! And cheaper at only P35 for the extra large and P30 for large.

Here's Lester and Kat volunteering to be their model hehe

So if you ever find yourself in the Binondo area, do drop by Shoppers Mart and check out this Tea Blends kiosk and let me know what you think.

Revisiting my childhood at the Philippine Science Centrum

Ok, so that's not exactly true because I've never visited the PSC before so I didn't exactly revisit it. I must clarify that this is not for lack of want though, I just didn't realize that they existed. In fact if not for this event, I wouldn't have known that they've been in existence for almost 20 years now! And to think I was envious of Singapore's Science Museum when I went there a few years ago! No matter, I think there's time enough to make up for it.

Yep, it's true. Not a mirage (just bad photography). We actually have one these babies right here.

Of course, the PSC isn't Singapore Science Centre. It's not exactly a large outfit. They're not government funded. They don't have many private sponsors. And they're probably not as sophisticated. Their facilities isn't even air-conditioned. Yet, despite all their limitations, they provide one of the best venue to appreciate applied science in our country. They boast of over 100 interactive exhibits and 9 galleries (and counting).

Here are just some of the stuff we enjoyed trying:

Ok, so this one's quite obvious, but only because I forgot to turn the flash off.

This one uses your body as a circuit and produces fun sounds as well.

What has 2 heads and 3 legs and rants all the time? Why a joyfulchicken of course!

What can I say, it sure was a hair raising experience!

Now, inasmuch as we were bubbling with fun. It's not all funs and games.

You have to pull your weight too!

Support your Science Centrum!

Like all non-profit organizations, the Philippine Science Centrum needs sufficient funding to operate and fulfill its vision, mission, and objectives...
How? If you have a business, maybe you can enter the Corporate Support Program! If you feel that you have extra time and love the sciences, maybe you can volunteer your time and talents to this worthwhile cause! Or if you really don't think you can help in this way, then just go ahead and pay visit. Not only will you have a great time, you'd be helping them too!

And don't forget to bring your friends and family!

N.B. The Philippine Science Centrum is located at the E-Com Bldg, Riverbanks Center, Marikina and they're open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm. Regular rates are P90/head good for an hour and a half , but it's 50% off until May 31. You may call them at 9455136 for booking or reservations. Oh, and feel free to leave a comment if you have questions about my visit or just go ahead and visit their site.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reflections: The day this was

I've really nothing much to say. Birthday was fun in a very understated way. I guess it has something to do with getting old, I turned 28 in case you wondered (yeah, just crossed the threshold of my midlife). It was fun and boring at the same time. I worried about the same things--food and money to pay for the food--all for nothing really as God has always provided for me. Hey, don't get the wrong idea, I don't worry about my daily bread, I meant food for birthday celebrations hehe... yeah yeah, I guess my problems are problems some people would love to have.

A lot of friends greeted me. I didn't realize they did thought until I logged on to , YM, Facebook and Friendster (oh, and also a couple here). I still prefer the old way of receiving calls, birthday cards (and gifts? :p) or even the text. Those I can respond to in kind right away. Still, I appreciate each and every one of those greetings. I suppose not all of them carry the same warmth I'd like to think they do, but I don't care. In my mind, a greeting is taking the time to make somebody else feel good for the day--that right there is plenty warm enough for me.

So why do we celebrate birthdays anyway? All we did was not die for a year. I'd like to think it's because we are given another year to hope and to love. Celebrate not merely to revel, but to reflect. Establish new game plans and redraw old strategies. Mark a day in our life each year to check under the hood and see if we're alright. And maybe, just maybe, to celebrate and give thanks to Him to whom our lives we owe.

Lord, I thank you for all your love and blessings... for the last year and my entire life. I may not yet be the son you want me to be, but I pray that in time you will mold me to be the Christian worthy of bearing that name. Thank you for the gift of seeing another year, grant me the strenght and wisdom to make full use of the time you give me. Thank you for the gift of friends and loved ones, and thank you for the gift of opportunities and experiences. Forgive my selfishness and pride, my actions and inactions, and may I somehow, in my own feeble way, give glory to your name. Amen.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My birthday wish list

Ok, I'll be 28 soon. And while I don't think wish lists are generally useful for getting what you want (as evidenced by the failure of this list), its useful to at least keep a list of things I might consider getting myself. That's primarily why I'm updating this list. So here it is, my official birthday wish list.

Material stuff:
1. Books almost always work for me... This list turned out to be a fiasco when I received Book 9 and it turned out that I actually have read it. I still haven't read Books 10 and 11 of Wheel of Time Series though. I already have both Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, and Blink, but I want his new one The Outliers. To anyone who's considering giving me a book as a gift? It doesn't even have to be new! I'm of the philosophy that it's the content of the book that matters, not the cover. Oh, and I'd been wishing I could get a hold of a copy of Freakonomics too hehe... I like Yancy's stuff too, but I already have Soul Survivor and The Bible Jesus Read.

2. Practical stuff works too... I don't like buying clothes, so if your fashionable and think you can rub some of your fashion sense on me, feel free to try. A portable hard drive is pretty practical too you must admit.

3. I've been meaning to get a foldable bike. Or even a nice summer chair that could comfortably sit me outside in the warm summer months (or generally warm climate of our country).

"Big" stuff:
1. Gift of your time and your ears. I'd like to share someone really important to you. He's someone who gives me hope and assurance and I I'd like you to meet Him too. It's the perfect season too, after all it's His my birthday.

2. If you want to give me a gift that's really a gift for you, just go ahead and sponsor a kid at World Vision. (If you're interested and want to ask questions, feel free to contact me.)

3. Discipline and drive. Honestly, if you have a suggestion as to how I'll manage to get these 2 things, I'll appreciate it.


1. Hmm... something really helpful like inside information. If you have any tips to give me, say real secrets to losing weight, maybe a certain stock will hit the roof, or whatever... that would be most welcome.

2. Hard cash!

3. If you still can't choose from those listed above, easy choices include a new phone, a laptop (or a mini notebook hehe), a car, Wii, a job that pays 7 digits/annum (ok, so this one is pretty serious--if you want to pirate me, please, I'm willing.)

Super wishes:
1. Ability to fly (if you can grant this, forget the car but I still want the bike).

2. Ability to read minds (not hear them like in What Women Wants mind you--that would be maddening).

3. Charm... oh wait, I already have that, except I'm somehow only able to charm the young ones and the young once... can't figure out the ones in the middle.

Oh, and if your planning to get me something that's not on this list, just go ahead and surprise me. (WARNING: Pens, towels and mugs are not considered surprises.)

Or forget everything I wrote and just give me a reason to smile or better yet laugh.

This one sure made me laugh!1

1By the way, I regret to say that I won't be attending IBlog 5 dahil di ako na LBC... hehe... corny! Anyway, due to a number of unavoidable circumstances, schedule conflicts, birthday weekend, etc... I won't be able to make it. Sure sucks because I found IBlog 4 really cool! (If this is the first time you've heard of IBlog and wish to know more, go ahead, click the link and have the fun I'm sure I'll miss this weekend.)


NB If you don't know me and came across this list and somehow think, "My, how cheeky! Maybe I should grant a wish or 2 (or 3)..." You're more then welcome to do so.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Some thoughts on the Pacquiao vs Hatton coverage

I'm sure a lot of us here took the time to watch this fight. It's probably going down the books as one of the biggest win by our very own Pacman over a fighter who's rightfully hailed as one of the best in his division.

However short it was, I can very well say that I enjoyed listening to the fight. I would've loved to have listened and watched, but alas, I didn't want to shell out P500 (for what turned out to be a mere 359 sec. of boxing time) to watch at SM, and GMA 7 took too long to show it. Too long in fact that it was in youtube long before it was ever on my TV screen.

I know I already criticized GMA on one of my last entries, and while I'm not singling them out, they were after all responsible for the airing of Manny's last 2 fights (and doing the exact same things) that I couldn't help but call them out.

My problem? The commercials.

I know those ads are necessary, important even in keeping TV free. I understand that there's a price to pay for exclusivity. I get all that, but this is getting ridiculous! There were more commercials than the number of times I actually saw Pacquiao and Hatton!

They even took to breaking apart it in silly segments:
Hatton's entry. Commercial break (hereon referred to as CB). Pacquiao's entry. CB. Pacquiao getting to the ring and praying. CB. The referee giving instructions. CB... you get the point.

And not just the Pacman vs Hitman fight too! Even the undercard matches between whatshisname and whathisface whose outcome we couldn't care less about were given the same royal treatment! Further pushing back the main event!

I'm pretty sure that somewhere there's a law that states the proportion of commercial per actual programming. And I'm pretty sure it's not 1:1 (or in this case 2:1). Can't they think of a way to still credit their sponsors without messing up the program? Like have the commentators mention them casually every now and then. Or have their logos appear on screen. Anything but being left to the mercy of those texters who can't hold off knowing the results of the fight.

And really, does anybody even watch those commercials? I know I don't. Are they bombarding us with that many with the hopes that they can luck out on us accidentally seeing some of them? Won't it be better if they just show 2 or 3 short ads good for maybe a minute or a minute and half in between, thus encouraging us to watch them lest we miss the start of the next round. They can then charge a premium for those air time because those would be special. Something people actually watched.

Of course, its entirely possible that they don't care what we think. For now, I've decided that I won't be watching any of their future coverages until they sort this thing out.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Pacman vs the Hitman: What a fight! What a fight!

Nothing like the epic match up that is the Bulls vs Celtics that ended in an almost anti-climatic 109-99 victory by the Celts in Game 7, the Pacquiao vs Hatton match up, though full of punch right from the start, was punctuated with early knockouts that ended it prematurely.