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Monday, October 23, 2017

Cabalen opens store in SM Puerto Princesa, 1st in Palawan.

Cabalen's very own Dinuguan. 
Armed with passionate will to serve excellence on every plate, strong sense of community and a burning desire to showcase the underrated greatness that lies within the colorful and vibrant tastes and flavors of Philippine cuisine, Cabalen marks its legacy as it finally opens in Palawan at SM City Puerto Princesa on October 19, 2017.

Cabalen champions Kapampangan dishes as it reaches distinctive areas and is now on its 33rd branch – with one international branch at San Bruno, California. Cabalen continues to be the frontrunner in the country’s restaurant industry for more than three decades.

Tagged as the Home of the Best Kare-kare and known for their sumptuous dishes like Caldereta, fresh and flavorful Beringhe, crispy Pritchon, and sweet and unique Tibok-tibok, Cabalen provides a premium line – value buffet that never fails Filipino food cravings.
Remaining true to its mission in bringing Filipino families closer together by offering functions where families could celebrate momentous occasions like no other, Cabalen has proved its position as the standard of excellent Filipino cuisine with its freshest ingredients and the most stringent quality control.

Taste the goodness of Filipino cuisine on the best-valued price at Cabalen: the family’s all-time and leading buffet favorite.
Visit and dine on their newly opened store at the upper ground level of SM City Puerto Princesa. For more information, visit their Facebook Page: CabalenRestaurant or email them at (PR)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Kuya J opens 100 stores in SM Puerto Princesa.

Actor Jericho Rosales opens Kuya J resto in SM Puerto Princesa.
 Kuya J Restaurant, the once hole-in-the-wall in Cebu and now one of the fastest growing casual dining restaurants in the country, has done no other Filipino restaurant has achieved – to open 100 stores in just 2 years after its launch.

The restaurant celebrated its huge milestone #CheersTo100 at the Event Center of the recently opened SM City Puerto Princesa in Palawan, together with its one and only blockbuster bida, Jericho Rosales.

“We wanted the 100th store to be significant. We chose Puerto Princesa City to house our 100th store because the City plays a vital role in tourism and community development,” answered Winglip Chang, President and Chief Executive Officer of iKitchen, the company behind Kuya J, when asked about the reason for placing Kuya J’s restaurant in SM City Puerto Princesa.
Hundreds of fans and Kuya J lovers gathered to take part in the celebration with Echo serenading them with a medley of his top hits.

“Our 100th store is not only a result of the hardwork and passion of the entire Kuya J family. It’s actually more of the overwhelming love and support of Filipino families all over the country,” shared Mr. Danny Pumarega, Chief Operating Officer of Kuya J.

Most guests of Kuya J during the event were first-time to visit the restaurant complimenting the interiors, which are clean and homey with relaxing furniture that makes you enjoy the food even more.

Mr. Chang also said, “We are not going to stop at 100 stores. We want to continue building as many stores as possible together with continuous improvement.”

Looks like Kuya J is showing no signs of slowing down in letting Filipinos get a taste of its delicious dishes and the heartwarming experience that goes with it. Now, if Kuya J has done what seemed impossible possible, just imagine what it can do in the next year or two.
Who is Kuya J?
Kuya J Restaurant, formerly known as “Ang Kan-anan ni Kuya J,” started as a humble eatery along the streets of Cebu. But with Kuya J’s undeniably delicious dishes, mouthwatering words of recommendation quickly spread into every Cebuanos’ palate. With that, Kuya J instantly became one of the well-loved restaurants in Cebu.

But who is Kuya J? There were a lot of curiosity among locals about who is referred to in Kuya J’s name.

The President of iKitchen answered that the restaurant’s name refers to no particular person, but a brand that symbolizes the Filipino family where there are a lot of names starting with J like Jose, John, Joseph, and Jericho.

To this day, the restaurant continues to satisfy every Filipino family’s appetite nationwide. Using only the freshest ingredients available, Kuya J cooks up a storm of delicious Pinoy food in every corner of the Philippines.

Does Jericho own Kuya J?
“In a way, yes,” said Jericho Rosales in front of the media, who got a chance to have an intimate moment with the bida and Kuya J’s top management talking about the monumental feat and the exciting future of the restaurant.

The blockbuster bida added that Kuya J became a part of him as he took pride in the brand that truly embodies the Filipino culture that is family-oriented.

Echo is actually the perfect endorser for Kuya J. He is one of the award-winning drama actors in the country and the best Kuya to his family. Kuya J finds him very inspiring with his trait of always putting his heart into everything that he does, especially when touching people’s lives.
Kuya J Favorites
After trying the food at Kuya J Restaurant, one could not be surprised how much people love their interpretations of Filipino favorites, which are very reasonably priced. Some of the local favorites so far are the following:

The Grilled Scallops (P230) is a fresh reminder of Cebu because every restaurant there has some version of this dish. Each scallop shell is covered in a generous amount of cheese and garlic that enhances the umami flavor of the seafood.

The Chorizo Dinamitas (P170) might be thought to be super spicy, but an initial bite could lead anyone to eating more. Chopped Cebu chorizo and cheddar cheese make it a salty-sweet appetizer with a nice crunch and mild spiciness.

The star of the feast at Kuya J is their Kuya J’s Crispy Pata (P490/regular, P695/family). Served on a wooden board with a serving ready to cut up the crispy pork trotter into easy to eat pieces. The skin is satisfyingly crispy with tender, juicy and flavorful meat inside. The fat is also just a thin layer between the skin and the meat, perfect.

Another dish they are proud of is the Kare-Kare (P399). The sauce goes really well with rice while the ox tail has been cooked fork tender. This will really make you eat more rice than you intend.

Be sure to save room for dessert like the showstopping Mango Pandan (P80). You’d hardly expect a glass of mango and pandan jelly cubes with condensed milk to be topped with beautiful spun sugar. Or you might want to try their very Espesyal Halo-Halo treat. A sweet ending to a Filipino feast.

#Cheersto100 Treat
In addition to its 100th store celebration, Kuya J has prepared an espesyal treat for its customers. From October 7 to 31, 2017, 2PM to 5PM, the Kuya J Original and Ube Halo-Halo Espesyal will be available at 50% off. So that means everyone can enjoy the uniquely delicious dessert for only P55 at any Kuya J Restaurant branches nationwide.

Kuya J Restaurant is a Filipino casual dining restaurant that offers quality dishes such as Crispy Pata, Grilled Scallops, Bulalo, Sisig, Roast Chicken, and more. Visit their website at to know more about Kuya J. (PR)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Two Is Bitter Than One, The Ampalaya Monologues Year 2.

To celebrate two years of artistic bitterness, the team from Ampalaya Monologues have decided to double up the bitterness with a one-night only anniversary show “Ampalaya Dialogues #TwoIsBitterThanOne” on October 14 – Saturday from 7 pm – 10 pm at the PETA Theater Center located at Eymard Road, E. Rodriguez Q.C.

Ampalaya Dialogues #TwoIsBitterThanOne will showcase six short one-act plays that will feature two characters in each story. All of which are written by Mark Ghosn and will be performed by actors of Theatre in Alternative Platforms (TAP).

Known for being the country’s most popular venue for ‘hugot’ artistry, Team Ampalaya promises that this year’s feels-fest will still have those witty and relatable punchlines that are combined with unique, heart wrenching, yet entertaining stories. A formula that we’ve all been a fan of and has served as their trademark throughout the years.
The 6 One-Act Plays.

Tayo, Sa Pagitan Ng Mga Salita
Starring: Thalia Nicole and Kenneth Monserrate
Drei and Alex are bandmates who are working on a spoken word and music collaboration for their upcoming gig. But what started as a collaboration session is slowly turning into confessions of hidden feelings that they can only express through poems and songs. Will they finally put a label on their relationship or will words get in the way?
Mga Naiwang Tanong sa Huli Nating Tag-araw
Starring: Mark Ghosn and Alvin Nakassi
College classmates Arman and Drew accidentally meet again 7 years after they last saw each other. They decide to reminisce about their friendship over wine and pasta. As they do so, untold stories from the past emerge, forcing them to face the feelings that they’ve been trying to forget since their last summer together. As the night goes by, will one unasked question finally get its long awaited answer?

Huling Kuha
Starring: Berna Manipon and FJ Gonzales
On the day of their pre-nup shoot, law students Arthur and Dawn find their relationship in the middle of a trial. As evidences emerge and allegations are thrown at each other, will they be able to save their wedding or do they have to decide on a much harsher verdict? When is love more important than the truth?

Kung Paano Tayo Tinalo ng Pag-ibig
Starring: Yan-yan Gervero and Hogi Cadlum
Angie contemplates on whether or not to continue her marriage with Darwin/Dara, her cross-dressing husband who is about to give birth to her new identity. As Dara convinces Angie to take the risk, they are both faced with questions about what love really is and how they have the chance to change its meaning. Are you willing to lose yourself to let love win?
Beauty and the Bes
Starring: Janine Lloce and Emman Jimenez
This kilig-comedy features the well-loved ampalaya character, Bes. Fresh from a not-so-successful tinder date, Bes decides to go at it again, this time, on a blind date. But on her way to, she got trapped in an elevator with a perfectly looking, super handsome, drool-worthy gentleman. Is this the chance encounter she’s been waiting for? But wait, why does he look so familiar?

Babies and the Bridges They Burn
Starring: Gracia Paterno and Ysai Cajilig
How do you burn a bridge? In the case of frenemies Ara and Ally, it takes a lot of manipulation, brainwashing, backstabbing, blackmailing and name calling to do so. But what’s a baby got to do with it? Let’s just say it holds the match to light up the fire. Get ready for a sassy war. Watching bridges burn hasn’t been this enjoyable.

What’s a Team Ampalaya show without the monologues? The show will also feature new Ampalaya Monologues as performed by Dave Ramones, Pat Sy, Ristichen and Abe Herma. As well as performances from some of today's best spoken word artists: Louise Meets, Jihad Mambuay and Zuela Herrera of Words Anonymous; Jerome Cleofas and Sofia Medina of Collaboratory PH; Rommel Pamaos, Ansherina Jazul and Angela Pamaos of LAPIS; Carlo Hornilla of Karibok Collective; Leandro Reyes and Mark Dimaisip of Loudmouth Collective.

Limited tickets for this one night only event is P500 only and is available at Ampalaya Monologues facebook page Please note that video taking will be prohibited during performances.

Limited tickets for this one night only event is P500 only and is available at Ampalaya Monologues Facebook page Please note that video taking will be prohibited during performances. Don't miss this rare event! See you there! (PR)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Peacock (Tandikan) Models, Costumes highlight Puerto Princesa Festival at SM.

With teal, black, gold, and various shades of blue, Tandikan (Palawan Peacock) has inspired the true color of Puerto Princesa’s celebration of its ecological grandeur and tourism development.  An endemic of the City and Palawan, Tandikan has been both a symbol and a reflection of a flourishing urban city in the middle of a lush landscape and crystal-clear waters.

Puerto Princesa City celebrates and honors this symbol of its pride this September through the Tandikan Festival in line with the Tourism Month celebration. To highlight the said festivity, a parade of locally designed and crafted Tandikan costumes is showcased at the 2nd Floor of the newest lifestyle destination in the City and an additional landmark to the Best Island in the World, SM City Puerto Princesa.
The ingenuity and meticulous craftsmanship of all Tandikan costume designs not only presents the talent and creativity of locals but also the amount of cultural-regard and pride in being a Puerto Princesan. For several years, a Tandikan costume competition is being held as part of the said celebration. Most often, this is worn by Miss Tandikan candidates in one of the pageant’s major segments.
When the festival started, several costumes were also worn by tourist guides, students, and other representatives of tourism stakeholders in the City during the Tandikan parade.To cap the display of costumes at SM City Puerto Princesa, there was a live-mannequin exhibition of the dresses by local models on Sept. 29 and a fashion show on Sept. 30. (PR)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Leony Lampitoc, Bandillo Ng Palawan, May 20-26, 2002.

 We will never forget our first time, I am talking about my first coverage as a media practitioner that cover a national pageant, its because a Palawenya is representing our place. The candidate is no less than the exotic Emarivy Leony Lampitoc, whom I witness her journey as muse of her school, to a provincial meet and up to Miss Philippines.
Leony is now married and base abroad, she still misses her Beauty Queen days and competing with other girls, Leony along with Apple Fernando are the two Palawenya who compete for Miss Philippines-Earth, where the winners became the county's representative to Miss Earth pageant.

here is the story in my column about the said coverage.

Monday, September 25, 2017

239 local farmers complete ‘Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan’ program

After six months of training at the Palawan Agricultural Experiment Station (PAES) in Bgy. Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City, 239 program beneficiaries graduated as part of the 139th Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) Rural Farmers’ Training Program held at SM City Puerto Princesa Event Center, September 22, 2017.

The graduates are composed of traditional farmers, members of 4Ps, and college students from 29 barangays in Puerto Princesa City as well as from the Municipalities of Aborlan and Roxas.

“Huminto na ako dati sa pagtatanim. Pero dahil sa KSK, gusto ko na muling magsimula at gamitin ‘yong mga natutunan ko,” shared Mr. Godofredo Morales during the KSK graduation ceremony. (I already stopped farming. But because of the KSK Program, I would like to start again and use what I learned there.)
KSK is a nationwide livelihood project of SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI) that aims to empower local community members through proper training and guidance on handling and growing crops and other agricultural techniques applied to high-valued fruits and vegetables.

“This is a ‘win-win’ situation for the Foundation and the farmers as well as it creates a new breed of suppliers straight from their farms”, SMFI Assistant Vice President for Outreach Program Ms. Cristie Angeles said.

The activity enabled farmers and other participants to be equipped with knowledge and skills on the latest technologies in farming and network their products to the SM Supermarket in the city.

Miss Angeles further said that farmer empowerment is key to uplifting communities and the lives of the people through this income opportunity and “to keep the farming industry in Palawan lucrative”.

The said program further provides assistance in turning the knowledge and skills of the participants into a profitable and sustainable livelihood activity with the participation of Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the City Government of Puerto Princesa through the City Agriculturists Office.

The training program culminated with a 2-day closing ceremony. The first was held in the Demo Farm in PAES where participants and partner agencies celebrated the Harvest Festival with a farm yield mini-market, a showcase of talents in singing and dancing, a cook-off among participants, and some fun games. The next day was the graduation rites for the participants who completed the program.

Immediately after the graduation ceremonies, KSK graduates organized themselves to form their farmers’ association that will represent and lead their batch in creating a cooperative for farmers.
The initiative to form an association gained support from SM Foundation and other partner agencies. In turn, the DSWD offered starting capital fund for them with no interest. The Department of Agriculture further offered sustaining support on needs in facilities, equipment, and other input materials. (PR)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Si Janus Silang book 2 to open on stage this Sept 20.

Carlo Vergara, Jenny Jamora and Earvin Estioco.
Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest-running theater company of the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo de Manila University, opens its 39th Season: Performing Change with Guelan Varela-Luarca’s adaptation of Edgar Calabia Samar’s award-winning Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal-Mambabarang.

The Janus Silang series is critically acclaimed with the first book, Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tábon, winning the 2016 National Book Awards’ Juan C. Laya Prize for Best Novel in a Philippine Language and the 2016 National Children’s Book Award for Best Read for Kids. The second book, Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal-Mambabarang, also won the 2017 National Book Awards’ Best Novel in Filipino early this year.

Aside from adapting the book into a play, two-time Palanca First Prize winner Guelan Varela-Luarca is also tasked to bring it to life at the Ateneo de Manila’s Black Box Theater starting Wednesday next week. Theater veterans Jenny Jamora, Carlo Vergara, Renante Bustamante, and Xander Soriano act alongside Tanghalang Ateneo’s promising stable of actors.

Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Mananaggal-Mambabarang follows the titular character, Janus Silang, as he continues his search for Tala to defeat the threat of the Tiyanak to humanity. Revisiting old friends and getting to know new ones, Janus dives further into the realm of the unknown through the mysterious ability of the twins Miro and Mira who can traverse from the human plane Daigdig to the supernatural plane Kalibutan. As his allies grow, so too do Janus’ foes as both enemies old and new appear from both his and his caretakers’ pasts. Facing danger on both planes, time is running out for him to truly understand his role in putting a stop to the Tiyanak’s reign.

Tanghalang Ateneo’s Earvin Estioco returns to play the title role of Janus Silang, a teenager who unravels his hidden destiny amidst the death of his parents and the dangers of both the past and the future.

Carlo Vergara alternates with Renante Bustamante as Mang Joey, a bagani (protector of the Pusong bloodline) who becomes Janus’ protective yet doubtful mentor.

Jenny Jamora alternates with Bina Basilio, as Manananggal, a being whose motives and history intertwine not just with Janus’ but with his caretakers’ as well.

Xander Soriano is Mang Isyo, Mang Joey’s brother who must decide to either face or evade the demons of his past.

Jacob Whittaker and Quiel Quiwa alternately play Renzo, Janus’ closest companion in facing the dangers surrounding his destiny.

AJ Umali alternates with MJ Vitug as Mira, a bagani with the ability to travel from the mortal plane Daigdig to the supernatural plane Kalibutan.

Shawn Landayan alternates with Lucas Abaya as Miro, Mira’s twin brother who has yet to discover his own part to play in the coming war.

Tanghalang Ateneo’s ensemble of promising actors complete the cast.

The artistic team of Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tábon is composed of Tanghalang Ateneo Artistic Director and Moderator Glenn Sevilla Mas, Guelan Varela-Luarca (Direction and Adaptation), Gentle Mapagu (Assistant Director), Delphine Buencamino (Choreography), Gwyn Guanzon (Set Design), Bonsai Cielo (Costume Design), D Cortezano (Lights Design), Arvy Dimaculangan (Sound and Music Design), Sig Pecho (Puppet Design), and Zoe de Ocampo (Graphics Design).

The playdates of Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal-Mambabarang are September 20-23, 26-30, October 3-7, 10-14, and 17-21. Performances start at 7:30PM while Saturday matinee shows start at 2:30PM. Performance venue is the Ateneo de Manila’s Black Box Theater at the university’s Fine Arts Annex Building.
For questions and additional details about the show, please contact Chloe Fabul (09989843127).
Connect with Tanghalang Ateneo online through the following social media networks:
Instagram: (PR)