Today, I receive all God’s love for me. Today, I open myself to the unbounded, limitless, overflowing abundance of God’s Universe. Today, I open myself to your Blessings, healing and miracles.Today, I open myself to God’s Word so that I become more like Jesus Everyday. Today, I proclaim that I’m God’s Beloved, I’m God’s Servant, I’m God’s powerful champion, And because I am blessed, I will bless the world, In Jesus Name, Amen.

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RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain

RUPTURED BRAIN ANEURYSM: Living with a Broken Brain. A unique insight into the fragility of the extraordinary human brain. A true st...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CHEZ KARINE: Opens Branch at SM Megamall D

CHEZ KARINE: Opens Branch at SM Megamall
CHEZ KARINE (pronounced as shey-karin) is French for "At Karen's Place". 

Upon the invitation of Ms. Aya, my blogger friends and I decided to try the newly opened Chez Karine Megamall branch on the first day of the wooden horse. Chez Karine's newest branch is conveniently located at the upper ground floor of SM Megamall Building D. Yes, that's the newly opened section in front of SM Megamall Bldg. B which they labeled as Mega Fashion Hall. Chez Karine Bakery officially opened its door last January 28, 2014. 

There we met the owner of the place, Pastry Chef Karen Yang-Tiang,  the daughter of the Filipino-Chinese tycoon Mr. George Yang. What's interesting about Chef Karen, other than her family background, is her journey to her current career. Unlike other people who did not discover their real passion in life until they die, Chef Karen, a Stanford graduate found hers. Chef Karen has worked with computer systems for years before she discovered her passion for pastries and baking.

What she did first is to study with the La Corden Bleu in Paris to acquire a Diplome de Pattisserie (pastry diploma). Afterwards, she had a stint with the Marriot Hotel at Champ Elysées as an assistant to the pastry chef, followed by another internship, but this time around, with the famous Pierre Hermé Paris! Omg! She worked in Pierre Hermé's boutique in Rue Bonaparte as well as in his commissary in Rue Vaugirard. Chef Karen was mainly involved with the making of macarons, a typical French favorite.

Not someone who rest on her laurels, she continued to improve her craft, concentrating mainly on pastries. Chef Karen had even ventured into a catering business when she was in San Francisco.  Eventually, she came back to Manila and decided to put up a shop in BGC in order for her to share her creations.

Love at First Bite

Please note that  four of us shared each cake so it is really bitin. Ha ha ha! Each cake and macarons are super duper yummy! Yes, you can take my word for it. 


Layers of rich chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla cake, layered with homemade strawberry jam. The color is so dainty! The Napoleon is a pastry made of many layers of puff pastry with filling alternating the layers. It can be eaten as a dessert, or even as a decadent meal.

As a French pastry it is called mille-feuilles, or thousand leaves, and it is usually filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, and fruit preserves - most often raspberry jam. The topping may be simply powdered sugar, or a layer of fondant, often with strings of chocolate drawn into a chevron design.

In Italy, where the pastry is thought to have originated in Naples, it is called mille foglie (again, thousand leaves), and contains a similar layering like the mille-feuilles of cream, pastry cream, and fruit preserves.

A traditional napoleon is filled with plain pastry cream but if desired you may add a thin layer of fruit preserves such as seedless raspberry or strawberry jam or preserves to the filling.

The Neapolitan Cake has layers of rich chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla cake, layered with homemade strawberry jam. The flavours really work so well together. I personally find it really unique and quite appealing, if not striking, once sliced.

I’m always secretly (or not so secretly) excited and eager to slice it and see what it looks like inside–particularly with it’s a multi-colored appearance. 

Strawberry Shortcake

Delicious strawberry flavored cake that is neither too sweet nor creamy. Saktong sakto lang ang tamis.  For me, Chef Karen perfected the exact science of cake making.

Classic Chocolate Cake

It only took one bite for me to be a Chez Karine convert! I love how their chocolate cake melt on my tongue. It is not too sweet. That's why I love it!

Cotton Soft Cheesecake. 

This cake earned my respect for Chef Karen. Sakto sa lasa. It doesn't overwhelm. It taste just right.

#‎chezkarine‬ #megamall #chezkarine #megafashionhall

'Macaron' and 'Macaroons' are entirely different. Macaron is a dome-shaped biscuit with a shell often made with egg whites and filled with chewy ganache filling, whereas a Macaroon is a small meringue cake, typically made of coconut.

Macarons are best eaten within one week. 

I got to try the salted caramel flavor of macaron. One word: Bitin! Joke! It is perfect! Chef Karen's version is not too sweet unlike the macarons I've tried in the past. It has adequate filling that soothes the senses.  No wonder, Chez Karine landed the number one spot at spot dot ph top ten macarons in Metro Manila.

Macaron shells don't have much of a flavor since they're all made from the same ingredients: but the rest of the flavor greatly relies on the filling. Gladly enough, Chez Karine got the flavor just about right.

Vanilla Royal Pudding

And the last but not the least was their panna cotta packed in a small and nifty glass bottles custom-made in Taiwan.
I got to taste the Vanilla Royal Pudding.  The texture was very smooth, creamy and light to the taste. It is absolutely fresh and delicious.

Hot Chocolate with marshmallows.

I love how "sakto" the flavor is! Not so sweet. The marshmallows melt on your mouth.


Chez Karine bakery has a minimalist theme. 
The cute wall.
They plan to put more table and chairs outside the store.
Glass decor at Chez Karine
Chez Karine Dainty take out boxes. The boxes are so cute that I almost ordered them for take out lol.
Box of 14 and Box of 21.
The menu.
Hot and cold drinks

Overall rating:

4 Fingers

Tuesday, February 4, 2014



Binondo Church,  officially known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, is located in the District of Binondo, Manila fronting Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz, in the Philippines.

My blogger friends and I had a chance to visit Binondo last January 30, 2014.

Binondo Church
Address: Plaza L.Ruiz, Binondo 1006,Manila

Monday, February 3, 2014

For A Healthy New You: Eat Your Peas, Love Your Lentils!

For A Healthy New You: Eat Your Peas, Love Your Lentils!

Aloha! Happy New Year!

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai! We just celebrated Chinese New Year's Day the other week. New Year means new beginning. Thus, it is just right that we should start eating healthy in the Year of the Wooden Horse. I was having various health problems before the Chinese New Year. It prohibited me from eating my favorite adobo, lechon kawali and other "sinful" dishes that are part of my regular diet. I am aware that in order for my state of health to improve I must change my diet fast. It is a good thing that my friend Marlon and Reggie invited me to an event themed "Peas Be Unto You and Lentils, Too!"

The event is an eye-opener for me. I learned that Peas and Lentils are among the greatest additions to any diet, especially for those who are diabetic, those who have heart problems, and those who are trying to lose weight. When a person tries to lose weight, a lot of fiber is needed. And among the good sources of fiber and which are safe for your health are beans and lentils.

Legume is a class of vegetables that include beans, peas and lentils. They are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes have these distinct characteristics:

  • typically low in fat 
  • contain no cholesterol 
  • high in folate 
  • potassium 
  • iron 
  • magnesium. 
  • They also contain beneficial fats 
  • soluble fiber 
  • insoluble fiber.
A good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat which has more fat and cholesterol. I became an instant fan of these versatile, economical and convenient legumes.

Filipino master chef Ojie Reloj, showcased recipes that highlighted peas and lentils. Lentils are so easy to throw into a pot. With two minutes’ effort, you got something simmering and ready to eat in about 30 minutes.

Jenny Dacasin and Charisse Galvez, product managers of the company that distributes Easycook peas and lentils and other legumes, Ideal Macaroni and Spaghetti Factory, Inc., gave an overview of the company and its products.

According to the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council of the USDA, pulses are everything on one plate: they deliver great flavor that's not only nutrient-dense, but also gluten-free with low allergen and low glycemic responses.

Legumes use nitrogen from the atmosphere to make protein. They are a valuable equivalent to animal protein but have the added benefit of being low in fat and less in calories. In comparison, a six-ounce cut of steak provides 40 grams of protein, but also 38 grams of fat (14 gram saturated fat) while a cup of cooked lentils gives 18 grams of protein and only one gram of fat. This is not surprising, considering lentils are the third highest source of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut (next only to soybeans and hemp).

Protein is an important cell builder of the body. It is crucial in building muscles and tissues, the parts of your body you need to move and lead an active lifestyle. When choosing sources of protein, it is essential to select lean, nutrient-dense food like beans, nuts and whole grains. Dried peas and lentils are available everywhere, any time of the year, and so offer one of the most inexpensive sources of protein.

Fiber is important because it helps clean out one's digestive system. Along with an adequate intake of liquids, fiber flushes out unwanted toxins from the body. Soluble or dietary fiber reduces the risk of developing many diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and constipation. And because fiber-rich foods fill one up quickly, there are less calories consumed.

Fiber is found mainly in legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The more you eat and the more active you are, the more you need fiber. 

Peas and lentils provide one of the highest amounts of fiber. A cup of cooked split peas gives 16.3 grams of fiber, while a cup of cooked lentils has 15.6 grams of fiber. To compare, the traditional source of fiber, cooked oatmeal, contains four grams of fiber.

Peas and lentils like beans and other legumes are rich in phytochemicals. These antioxidants help in defending the body against the effects of free radicals, and slow down aging and breakdown of body processes. Studies show that a diet high in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables is linked to a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Peas are round. Peas are used in side dishes, salads, casseroles, and soups

• Black-eyed peas

• Whole peas

• Split peas are whole peas split in half

Lentils are flat disks. Lentils are used in soups

• Green

• Red

• Yellow

• Black

Some of the recipes Reloj made are the following:
  • lentils a la mongo (prepared the same way as mongo)
  • lentils or yellow split peas empanaditas
  • and lentils and pesto macaroni soup. 
Easycook peas, lentils, and beans are distributed in the Philippines by Ideal Macaroni and Spaghetti Factory Inc. For more information, go to their Web site

Sunday, February 2, 2014

HONG KONG: Suspends Visa-Free Travel for Filipino Diplomats and Officials

HONG KONG: Suspends Visa-Free Travel for Filipino Diplomats and Officials

The current visa-free arrangement for visiting Philippine diplomats and officials will be suspended starting on February 5, 2014 onwards according to Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in a press conference the other day.

Currently they are able to stay 14 days without a visa.

My neighbor Arch. Joyce asked me about it last night so I decided to blog about it to shed some light on the issue. I wish to clarify that the suspension of the 14-day visa free arrangement by the Hong Kong SAR Government effective 5 February 2014 will only be applicable to diplomatic (blue passport) or official (red passport) Philippine passport holders. Regular passport holders (green and maroon) are not affected. Mga kababayan, HINDI po kayo apektado sa policy na ito kung ang passport ninyo ay green o maroon.

Hong Kong is imposing sanctions on the Philippines because of its "unacceptable" failure to apologize for a deadly hostage crisis more than three years ago.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Philippines has already expressed its deepest regret and condolences over the incident and made a "generous offer" of payments to the victims and their families to resolve the issue.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

MANILA HOTEL: Joseph Chau's Feng Shui Predictions for 2014

MANILA HOTEL: Joseph Chau's Feng Shui Predictions for 2014
We had lunch with renowned geomancer Joseph Chau yesterday at the Mabuhay Lounge of Manila Hotel. Master Chau shared his predictions for the Year of the Wooden Horse that officially started yesterday, January 31, 2014.

Watch our video below for your fortune in the year of the wooden horse.

#ManilaHotel #MabuhayLounge #FengShui #CNY2014 #ChineseNewYear #2014 #Horse #Manila #Hotel

BINONDO: Manila's Biggest Tikoy

BINONDO: Manila's Biggest Tikoy
On the eve of the Chinese New Year 2014, my blogger friends and I trooped to the oldest Chinatown in the World-Binondo. 
Our goal is to take a photo of the giant tikoy specially made by Eng Bee Tin for the Chinese New Year.
I could not simply pass the chance to have a selfie in front of the "biggest tikoy"
Jeric Chua, son of Mr. Gerry Chua, owner of Eng Bee Tin explained to us that Eng Bee Tin has been in business since 1912.

Biggest Tikoy
  •  264 lbs 
  •  36 inches in diameter

Tikoy is a traditional Chinese delicacies ever present during Chinese celebration. I bought my favorite hopia, tikoy and glutinous balls.

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!


Friday, January 31, 2014

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

Kiong hee huat tsai! (pronounced as ki-yong hi hu-wat chay in Hokkien). Happy Chinese New Year 2014 everyone.

A lot of my pure breed Pinoy friends keeps on asking me the difference between the commercial greetings we all hear and see on print, radio, online media and television,

Here are the greetings and their meanings:
  • Kung Hei Fat Choi or Gong Hey Fat Choy  (Cantonese for ''Congratulations and wishing you prosperity'' / a New Year greeting meaning, "May you become prosperous) - Probably the most famous phrase worldwide.
  • Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) 
Hookien- Sun nien fai lok ( meaning, "Happy new year")
Mandarin-  Xin nian yu kuai

Tsinoys will appreciate to hear the greeting in the dialect they understand. So, greet them based on what language they use.

Cantonese is one of the 9 other groups of dialects in China and is most commonly spoken in Hong Kong, Guangdong, and Macau.

Hokkien is the dialect spoken in Fujian province where most of the Chinese-Filipinos came from.

Good luck and have a happy life! Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

VIDEO: CCTV Footage in Vhong Navarro's Case

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday released the footage taken from closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) of Forbeswood Heights Condominium in Taguig City where Vhong Navarro was beaten up by a group of men led by businessman Cedric Lee.
The NBI presented the footage taken from the CCTV cameras at the condominium's main gate, lobby and elevator.

NBI assistant regional director Vicente de Guzman, head of the investigating team in the case, said the CCTV videos support the testimony of Navarro, who denied that he attempted to rape Deniece Cornejo inside her unit at the second floor of the building on January 22.

Lee has claimed in several interviews that he saw Navarro on top of Cornejo in her room, prompting him to beat up the TV host-actor and conduct a citizen's arrest.

However, the CCTV footage shows that after Navarro entered the condo, Cornejo quickly left leaving Navarro behind in the unit. Lee and several others then enter the condominium.

"Ang mga ebidensya po natin apart from the testimony of Vhong Navarro, is the video itself. Dito po nagtutugma yung testimony ni Mr. Vhong Navarro with that of what we saw in the CCTV,"de Guzman said.

De Guzman noted that only about a minute after Navarro went inside the condominium building at 10:38 p.m., Cornejo was seen going out, supposedly leaving behind the "It's Showtime" host inside her unit.

It was only after several minutes that Cornejo was seen going back inside the condominium and riding the elevator up to the second floor, where her unit was located.

During that time when Cornejo was outside, Lee and at least five other men were seen entering the building then riding the elevator also up to the second floor.

At 11:12 p.m., Navarro, who was already beaten up and whose hands were tied behind his back, was seen riding the elevator from the second floor of the building along with Lee and the other men as well as Cornejo and Lee's sister, Bernice Lee.


Citing the CCTV footage, the NBI presented a timeline of the circumstances around the time the TV host-actor was mauled inside Cornejo's condominium unit.

Before presenting the CCTV footage taken at the condo's elevator, the NBI noted that the time stamp at the elevator's CCTV was not synchronized with the time at the lobby's CCTV.

The time at the elevator's CCTV was 40 minutes late compared to the real time at the lobby's CCTV.

Footage taken from the CCTV camera at the building's lobby showed Navarro entering the condominium alone at 22:38 p.m. or 10:38 p.m. of January 22.

He entered the elevator and went up to the second floor of the building at 10:39 p.m. (9:59 in elevator's CCTV time).

At 10:40 p.m., Cornejo was seen riding the elevator towards the first floor and leaving the condominium.

At 10:41 p.m., a man identified as Lee entered the building. Lee then rode the elevator and went out also at the second floor at 10:43 p.m. (10:03 in elevator CCTV's time).

At that time, the NBI stressed that Cornejo had already left Navarro inside her unit, which means Lee could not have witnessed Navarro on top of her in her room as the businessman has alleged in several interviews.

"I think it's not possible yung sinasabi nilang attempt to rape Ms. Cornejo... Kasi po very glaring dito sa ating footage na there was no incident na si Deniece was inside that room," de Guzman said.

At 10:43 p.m., just two minutes after Lee arrived, two men, one of them wearing a white shirt and glasses identified as Ferdinand Guerrero, also entered the condo and went up the second floor.

Just seconds after that, Cornejo was seen going back to the building. While she was talking to a security guard, Bernice Lee and another man yet to be identified were seen at the door.

Accompanied by the security guard, Cornejo, Bernice and another man then left the building again.

At 10:48 p.m., a man who Navarro identified only as alias "Mike" entered the condo. He also rode the elevator towards the second floor.

The next person to go inside the building was Bernice at 10:56 p.m. However, she was not seen riding the elevator. The NBI said she might have used the stairs instead when she went up the second floor.

At 10:59 p.m., Lee and his sister Bernice entered the elevator, went down the first floor and left the condo.

Lee and Bernice went back to the condo building at 11:01 p.m., already with Cornejo.

At 11:02 p.m. (10:22 in elevator CCTV's time), the three again went up to the second floor.

At 11:13 p.m. (10:33 in elevator CCTV's time), a tied-up Navarro was seen entering the elevator accosted by two men, who were both not seen in the elevator's CCTV footage earlier.

The NBI suspects these two men, one of them identified as bodybuilder Zimmer Rance, were already inside Cornejo's unit when Navarro arrived.

Navarro, Rance and the other still unidentified man were followed inside the elevator by Lee, Mike and another still unidentified man, then Cornejo, Bernice and Guerrero.

All in all, there were 8 suspects in the case, including Cornejo and Lee, the NBI said.

At 11:13 p.m., Navarro and the eight others were seen walking at the lobby towards the door.

The CCTV at the condo's main gate, meanwhile, showed all of them leaving at 11:14 p.m. After that, the NBI said they rushed to a car and proceeded towards the Southern Police District (SPD) where the suspects filed a blotter against Navarro for allegedly attempting to rape Cornejo.

Navarro, for his part, on Tuesday filed charges of serious physical injuries, grave threat, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, blackmail and serious illegal detention, which is a non-bailable offense, against Lee, Cornejo and his other attackers.




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