Saturday, December 24, 2005

Leaving TV

Today was my last day as an employed person. I've decided to take a break from TV, and the politics that goes with it. I'm looking forward to what the next year will bring me. I'm now pressured to change my blog name, but for now, I'm stuck. Of anyone has any suggestions, do let me know.

Working in TV has given me a unique perspective on the local showbiz industry. I've been privy to how some of our biggest stars act when the cameras aren't rolling (Alma Moreno Forever! Fans kita, miss Ness!). I've worked under conditions that would have made other people give up (or sue, or complain about human rights violations and/or gender discrimination -- or is it jealousy?). And I loved every minute of it. Well, I love every minute of it only in restrospect.

Having worked in TV has made me not so quick to judge the quality and content of local production. It's also made me more critical of our "star" system. Up to now, I still don't understand how someone who thinks that blood comes in different colors (to tell the types apart, see?) earns more than I do.

Maybe if I lost twenty pounds and a hundred and twenty IQ points...

Be that as it may, I'm going to miss working in TV. I have no idea what's out there for me now, and I can't wait to find out.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Closer To Fine

After a brief hiatus from the foodie scene, Filipino cuisine is back, but without the traditional palayok containers and banana leaf plates. The new Filipino way of dining is sophisticated yet relaxed, and as always, filled with comfort and good taste.

One of the leaders in this flavor revolution is Finio, a simple, elegant restaurant along Tomas Morato, a street already famous for its hip dining spots. Finio calls itself “Modern Pinoy” and prides itself on serving its customers updated versions of fiesta classics that everyone has grown up with.

First-timers entering the restaurant will instantly feel at ease in Finio’s laid back ambiance. Warm lights, streamlined, yet cozy furniture, and inviting booths set the stage for the feast that is yet to come.

Finio’s eclectic menu is the result of careful planning and a taste for adventure. It is this offer of traditional food served in a surprisingly modern way that keeps people as far as Alabang, Rizal, Bulacan and Laguna coming back to Q.C. for.

High on the list of must-trys is the Grilled Chicken Salad, juicy chicken bbq strips served on top of salad veggies and paired with Balayan (fish bagoong) Caesar dressing and Java sauce. Mixed together, the dressing has a honey-mustard taste, and the chicken’s smokey flavor adds another layer to this surprisingly complex salad.

There is also the Sorpresa de Balot, a dish gives the all-time street favorite a makeover. Cooked in a mildly spicy sauce and served covered in a ceramic container, as its name says, this dish is a surprise to the taste buds.

Seafood enthusiasts will love to munch on Tilapia Strips, a dish that achieves a delicate balance of texture. Crispy fried on the outside and light and tasty on the inside, it can be eaten on its own or dipped in its accompanying sauce. Either way, the effect is one of addiction: as fans of this dish know, one serving is never enough.

Folks who want a taste of the traditional will not go wrong with the Boneless Crispy Pata. This party favorite comes already sliced into rounds; the pork skin lightly fried to a crisp, so that the flesh underneath remains tender and easy to pull apart with fork and spoon.

Pancit Finio is another signature dish that is sure to become a family favorite. This noodle delight uses a combination of canton and sotanghon, mixed with a special, sweetish sauce and topped with lechon kawali. A meal unto itself!

Those who want a little more excitement can try some of Finio’s other unique takes on the familiar, which include the Pritson Maki Roll, crispy pork belly served wrapped in tortilla with a dash of lechon sauce to taste; the Lengua ala Finio, thinly sliced ox tongue in a mushroom gravy sauce, and the Adobong Adidas, chicken feet, another street staple, cooked adobo style for a completely different gastronomic experience.

Finio’s merienda menu is equally adventurous. It takes inspiration from Italian and Mexican dishes and combines it with Filipino staples, resulting in a merienda to remember. There’s the Gamberi Pasta, an intriguing mix of gambas and pasta; the Garlic Longganisa Quesadilla, a hot Mexican sandwich with a Filipino filling, and the Quesong-Queso Pizza, a five-cheese pizza that includes, among others, quesong puti and queso de bola.

Customers with a sweet tooth will be delighted with Finio’s Banana Langka Float, crunchy-warm banana-langka turon served in a martini glass with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream – a true celebration of texture and temperature.

Nothing is as it seems in Finio, where Filipino cuisine is taken to new heights, and where customers can expect a different dining experience with each visit. At Finio, Filipino food is closer to fine.

Finio is located at 220 Tomas Morato Avenue cor. Dr. Lascano St., Quezon City. For reservations, inquiries, and catering, call telefax number 4151278.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Things to Do With Craft Foam

Interviewed Mel Silvestre, who teaches in UP College of Fine Arts and who likes making things out of craft foam, this nifty rubbery material used to make shoes and is found in abundance in Marikina.

He started off my using craft foam to make masks for storytelling, later moving on to dioramas, hanging mobiles, and toys for his three sons. Forgive the photos taken with my crummy phone camera (believe me, I love my phone, I just wish it took better pictures), rest assured, they look better in real life. It took a lot of self-restraint to keep from yelling “Oooh, how cute” and running off with his artwork. Okay, maybe I did scream “How cute!” but in a very restrained way. Honest.

People who want to check out clearer photos of his art can beg, borrow, or steal copies of the November 12 edition of the Junior Inquirer, or buy the book Mario’s Special Day, published by Adarna.

Mel has plans to put up a Craft Foam Workshop this summer. Interested parties who want to make their won toys can e-mail him at for details.