It's Still More Fun in the Philippines

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It's Still More Fun in the Philippines

It's More Fun In the Philippines

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Filipino Food Will Be The Next Big Thing - Bourdain and Zimmern

Posted By: Tech Support - November 28, 2017
Celebrated chefs cum food critics Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain are in perfect alignment on the thought that Filipino food is definitely the way to go.  In separate interviews the two had one train of thought in terms of the next big thing in the culinary world.

A video interview with Business Insider showed Andrew Zimmern, the host of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" on the Travel Channel, talking about the next food trend in America. In the video, Zimmern said:

I think Filipino food is… you know, I've been calling it for 5 years. It's just going to keep getting more and more popular.

Andrew Zimmern of "Bizarre Foods..."

"We've been obsessed over the last 3 or 4 decades in America with appropriating foods of different ethnicities. Chinese food had its explosive moment in the sun when we discovered regional Chinese cooking in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Thai food … you know, Japanese food.

People forget that in early 1970s there were 3 sushi bars in New York City. Three. Three. Think about that. Now, there is sushi in... I've eaten it — there is sushi at gas stations in Middle America. All of that in the last 40 years —  that's incredible.


I think Filipino food is … you know, I've been calling it for 5 years. It's just going to keep getting more and more popular simply because of the variety of ingredients and European techniques that are found in that food.

Their use of acidity, the quality of their food has the best of Asian cuisine and the best of sort of what happens when really good Asian food ... island Asian food brushes up against Spanish culture. The Spanish had colonized the Philippines for almost 500 years at one point. So, the influences are heartfelt.

I think people are going to get into pre-colonial foods. We're in love with pre-colonial foods from Mexico right now. It’s a huge trend. And I think all of that stuff is going to dribble down, and I think it's going to help re-establish some diversity in our food system and hopefully get us out of the supermarket a couple times a week."

In an interview with CNN, Top Chef Anthony Bourdain, likewise predicted that the next big food trend is : Filipino.
Bourdain believes Filipino food is “underrated,” “ascendant” and a “work in progress.”

And he thinks western palates are ready for it: “I think certain Filipino dishes are more likely to take root and take hold more quickly than others,” he told CNN.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Philippines' New Paradise featured in PAL's Mabuhay Magazine

Posted By: Tech Support - November 26, 2017
MANILA, Philippines - While most beach lovers and sun worshipers make a mad dash for the usual routes of Boracay and Palawan, the more discerning ones make a discreet run to the hideaway located in the south of Negros Island known as Sipalay.

In the issue of Mabuhay, the route described to access this sweet paradise would be through the usual portal consisting of a flight to Bacolod (New Bacolod-Silay Airport) and travel by land for a few hours all the way to Sipalay.

Sipalay and the southern Negros strip of beaches which include Hinoba-an have lately become the hush-hush go to for discerning travelers.  The location was highlighted in the July issue of Philippine Airline's Mabuhay Magazine.  On the cover was a breathtaking shot of talented travel photographer, RJ Lacson, himself a son of Negros Island.

The General Aniceto Lacson House : The First Presidential House of the Philippines

Posted By: Tech Support - November 26, 2017
While the famous Malacañang Palace is easily referred to as the Presidential Residence in the Philippines, many do not know that the title as Residence of the President of the Philippines came upon Malacañang only upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines on November 15, 1935.

Also not known to many is that before the first Philippine Republic was established in January 23, 1899, there already existed the República Cantonal de Negros or the República Cantonal de Negros or the Cantonal Republic of Negros which came about in November 5, 1898. This makes the Ancestral House built by General Aniceto Lacson in Talisay City, the first Presidential house in the Philippines. Last September 23, 2014, the descendants of General Aniceto Lacson, who are now the co-owners of the ancestral house, released this statement for the public to know (via the local Negros daily, the Visayan Daily Star):

The Ancestral House built by General Aniceto Lacson in the 1880’s is a fine example of a 19th century Philippine Architecture known as “Bahay na Bato” or House of Stone. 

Uniquely, it has a balcony that surrounds the entire 2nd floor giving a panoramic view of its surroundings has its own chapel at ground level.

As most Negrenses would know, General Aniceto Lacson was among those who successfully led a province-wide Katipunero revolt against the Spanish garrison in Bacolod City on November 5, 1898. When the Spanish forces surrendered, he was chosen as President of the short-lived Cantonal Republic of Negros. Today, Negros Island celibrates as an official holiday, “Cinco de Novembre” on November 5 to commemorate the surrender.


During his tenure as President of the Cantonal Republic of Negros, General Aniceto held office in this ancestral house. During those years, he was visited by General Emilio Aguinaldo, Andres Bonifacio, Antonio Luna, Emilio Jacinto, Claro M. Recto, President Manuel Quezon, President Sergio Osmeña, among other dignitaries. It is no wonder that in March 13, 2002, the National Historical Institute (NHI), thru Board Resolution No. 2, 5. 2002 declared the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House as a NATIONAL HISTORICAL LANDMARK, as provided for by a Presidential Decree. 


The Ancestral House has been occupied by the succession of General Aniceto’s children and grandchildren. It is at present, owned-in-common by its co-owners, the Claparols, Rossello, and Balcells families, descendants of his daughter Carmen Lacson
married to Ricardo Claparols.

In the early 1970’s, a strong typhoon damaged the entire roof and since then has been left unoccupied up to this day. The descendant co-owners have tried to maintain it but could not cope with the scale and magnitude of the repairs. Sadly, the
ancestral house went through an accelerated process of deterioration, as portions of the ceiling crumbled down and worse, a part of the second floor, including the staircase began to sag.

It was for this reason that we, the undersigned, aware of our responsibilities as co-owners, looked into how we could restore and preserve the ancestral house.

Therefore, in 2002, we decided to form a foundation so that it would serve as an avenue to formally solicit and generate the much-needed funds for its restoration. Due to limited funds, the restoration is being done in phase prioritizing on the more critical areas, primarily in restoring structural stability. Donations received from individuals, corporate and government institutions are properly documented and accounted for.  

All descendant co-owners were invited to participate in the foundation, however only seventy percent (70%) responded favorably. We then pooled in our personal financial contributions to establish the General Aniceto L. Lacson Ancestral House
Foundation,Inc. ( GALAH). Registered on May 7, 2002 as a non-stock non-profit corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission with Company Registration No. E200200273, the foundation was established with the sole purpose to fully restore,
repair, maintain and preserve the ancestral house.


When GALAH Foundation hired the services of both local and national level architects to inspect the ancestral house, they discovered that the main cause as to why the house was deteriorating rapidly was due to termite infestation. After further ocular inspection of the premises, from inside the ceiling and around the flooring area, it revealed the extent of the damage caused by the termite infestation, which was not limited to the wooden columns that support the structure of the ancestral house but has damaged as well the ceiling girts and the joists and the flooring girts and joists.
Photo by Dennis John Reyes
They advised us to immediately install (coconut lumber) scaffoldings on the affected area of the 2nd floor, including the staircase, in as much as its elevation has already sagged at about 8 inches. The architects warned us that if we did not support a part of the 2nd floor with scaffoldings that it was a matter of time that it would collapse and cause greater damage to the ancestral house.

Restoration architects such as Architect Augusto “Toti” Villalon ( Architect and Cultural Heritage Planner) together with Architect Melvin Patawaran (Principal Architect of Tropiks Design Studio) in coordination of Architect Jude Tipon ( Past
President, United Architects of the Philippines (UAP)) have been working together to supervise the restoration.  

Ocular inspections were conducted by Architect Augusto P. Rustia, the Cultural Properties and Conservation Division Chief of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Executive Director Ludovico D. Badoy, Mr. Reynaldo A. Inovero, and Engineer Candido H. Castro from NHI Historic Preservation Division and Architect Norman H. Campos. NCCA and NHI prepared their own respective project studies and program of works and have been submitted to GALAH foundation.

The restoration started in February 2013 and as of December 2013, the following have been accomplished;

Note: Only Mahogany (hardwood) lumber has been used. All undamaged ceiling and flooring panels have been catalogued to ensure that they well be placed back in its original position.

- the 10 inch x 10 inch x 40 feet wooden column that was the main cause for the flooring to sag has already been replaced. About 3 more damaged wooden columns need to be replaced while those columns that are undamaged have not been touched. 

- the entire ceiling girts and ceiling joists have been repaired, replacing only the damaged sections of the wood frames, either by cross-sectional repair if the remaining portion of the wood frames are still in good condition or if not, replace the entire wood frame. The undamaged ceiling panels will be placed back once the flooring alignment is completed including the neo gothic arch traceries.

- the replacement of the entire roof of the main area of the ancestral house with new 0.24 mm gauge Galvanized Iron (GI) sheets were very corroded. In time, the roof will be painted with anti-corrosion metal primer and roofing paint.

This year 2014, the restoration continues, focusing on the re alignment of the 2nd floor. It is a slow tedious process of removing the flooring panels and the floor joists so as to expose and to replace the damaged floor girts and joists. As of today, three sections of the 2nd floor have already been aligned and its flooring panels have been placed back to its original position.

We, the members of GALAH foundation and as a co-owner descendant are fully committed to restore and preserve the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House. We are inviting all patriotic Filipino to support our cause in restoring the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House to its historical grandeur as a fitting symbol of our country and its people. We are also inviting you to visit the ancestral house and see for your self.

The goal is to restore and preserve the ancestral house and unselfishly shares the historical glory not only to the people of Negros but to the whole country as well. As such, the concerned co-owner descendants and members of the GALAH foundation are doing everything possible to achieve this purpose.

           The 70% descendant co-owners and members of GALAH Foundation

                      Rosario Claparols      

                      Patricia Claparols
                      Victoria Claparols  

                      Alxandra Claparols
                      Michael Claparols  

                      Francisco Rosello
                      Carmen Rosello    
                      Miguel Rosello
                      Teresa Rosello       
                      Eduardo Balcells 
                      Anna Balcells        
                      Alfonso Balcells 
                      Carlos Balcells

Related Post :

Negros Island History : Why People of Negros Celebrate on Cinco de Noviembre (Nov. 5)

The 5th of November is a special day in Negros Island.  The Negros Revolution, now commemorated and popularly known as Al Cinco de Noviembre or Negros Day, was a political movement that in 1898 created a government in Negros Island in the Philippines, informally ending Spanish control of the island and resulting in a government run by the Negrense natives......Read More


Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.

Malcolm Conlan : A British Guy with a Pinoy Heart

Posted By: Tech Support - November 26, 2017
Recently fronting for his short video documentary entitled ‘A Small Gesture Can Lead To A Big Change,’ which can be accessed via YouTube, this British man with a Pinoy heart inspires us with a love for the Philippines which rivals that of homegrown Filipinos. 

Malcolm Conlan is from London and we were enthusiastic to learn about what inspired him to create a quick video and be an advocate to the Filipino “street kids.”   To this present day an image that has remained prominent in Malcolm’s mind is of “children running in and out of the traffic selling bulaklak.” With his empathising attitude he has always felt as if it was necessary to step in and provide help in some way.

“I personally hope that the passion we have for the Philippines could maybe inspire others.”

Malcolm’s strong presence within the Filipino community in London and in the UK in general, for the last twenty years can be demonstrated by his dignified response in his ‘Letter to Devina’. Malcolm comments “I have always felt some kind of burden to comment on the social issues affecting the Filipino people. This relates to the incident in which a racist blogger from Singapore wrote an illiterate and derogatory letter about the 2013 Miss World winner Filipina Megan Young, referring to Filipinos as “maids who are not to be looked upon.” Malcolm composed an open letter to Devina that went viral and was shared all around the world with over 16,000 views on YouTube.

“I will always stand up for what I believe in and will not stop defending the people I love and care for.”

Malcolm Conlan is often seen mingling with famous Filipinos and he is a big fan of the ABS-CBN Kapamilya artists. “I have had the pleasure of meeting many of them over the years. I’ve met Piolo Pascual several times; he always calls me Mal and just chats to me as a friend. Malcolm is also followed on Instagram by Enchong Dee, Shaina Magdayao and Bea Alonzo.

Asking Malcolm of his further aspirations for his businesses, the Filipino community, and his charitable work in the Philippines Malcolm is still “looking for direction in life and till this day does not really know where his passion and love of the Philippines will lead to. Through prayer he hopes that he will find his direction and when he does I’m sure the Filipino community will benefit from it.

We were intrigued to ask Malcolm, what is it that makes you “Pinoy at Heart.” To this he responded “love” for the country and its people because they are caring, loyal, passionate and resourceful. Malcolm has managed to create a family with his Filipina wife and they have been happily married for nineteen years with two grown up children.

“When I travel back to the Philippines, I do truly feel at home. When I leave the country each time, I feel a part of me remains in the Philippines, that feeling will never change.”

Maraming Salamat po at Mabuhay, More power to you guys.


Posted By: Tech Support - November 26, 2017

Astoria Current, unveiling style in Station 3 Boracay this 2015
WHEN IT OPENED ITS DOORS BACK IN 2001, Astoria Plaza Full Service Residential Suites was one of the pioneers in offering the unique concept of having privately owned residences (condominiums) located within a deluxe hotel and operate under one property name. This business model proved to be a huge success in the hospitality industry and now, 15 years later, there are a multitude of other hotel brands / chains with the exact residential / hotel combination of services that also operate within the Ortigas Business District and in new bustling areas such as the Makati CBD and The Fort.

In 2010, after nearly 10 years of mastering the rendering of exceptional hospitality services and experiences to its hotel guests and residents, the company made the bold move by opening Astoria Boracay, the company’s first foray into the resort development and operations. Armed with two (2) properties under its stewardship, it was then that Astoria Hotels and Resorts (AHR) was formed.

In 2012, after gaining 2 solid years of resort operations and expertise in the country’s top tourist destination, AHR opened Astoria Bohol, one of the most unique of its portfolio of properties in Baclayon. On December 2013, Astoria once again went out of its comfort zone and opened Chardonnay by Astoria, a visionary events centre located off Capitol Commons in Ortigas.

In 2014, AHR opened the 5th and 6th addition to its growing portfolio of chic, stylish and design driven properties with Astoria Palawan in San Rafael, Puerto Princesa and the traditional Japanese Restaurant called Minami Saki by Astoria. The Astoria brand chooses to open in tried and tested cities / destinations that already have a market demand, minimizing the gamble of opening in new developing destinations and not capturing the market arrivals and meeting forecasted revenues.

This 2015, the 7th and 8th additions to the brand are set to open in March and May respectively: Astoria Greenbelt and Astoria Current. Astoria Greenbelt offers 48 newly renovated rooms at the heart of the Makati Central Business District while Current offers 156 plus rooms in the action packed activity center of the island of Boracay: Station 3.

Jeffrey and Vivian Ng, President and COO of Astoria
Hotels and Resorts
All the 8 properties and establishments of Astoria work with Atelier Almario and Gallego & Associates for its interior and architectural design, making the brand distinct and cohesive in what they promise their valued clients from all over the world.
All 8 establishments are also managed by Asian Grand Legacy, a company headed by top hotelier for decades, Miguel Cerqueda. Astoria Hotels and Resorts is headed by its President Jeffrey Ng and its Chief Operating Officer Vivian S. Ng.

The taglines for Astoria Hotels and Resorts encapsulate what the home-grown Philippine brand and each of the properties is now known for: Luxe retreats. Incomparable hospitality. Spectacular destinations.

Visit and view the virtual tours of each of the properties to get a feel of the ambience of what Astoria offers its guests.

By John Tanjangco l Photography by Raymund Isaac & Steve Fortaleza

Philippines. Discover. Experience. Share.

Posted By: Tech Support - November 26, 2017
Choose Philippines recently launched its redesigned website just in time for Choose Philippines Awards.

The website was originally created 5 years ago and it was initially for posting articles and photos. According to Donald Lim, ABS-CBN's Chief Digital Officer, they reinvented the website because of one mission and vision and that is their belief that the job of marketing is not confined to the Department of Tourism or other LGUs but the job of every Filipino.

Lim's team ensured that the website they created is something that is very friendly and at the same time, everyone can use it to market the Philippines.

The reinvented Choose Philippines website is now an interactive platform where users can engage into. Its new features include:

1. Predictive Search Function

2. #ChoosePhilippines Instagram Aggregator

3. Locations Directory

4. Livestreaming

5. Travelers' Market

6. User Dashboard

7. User Profile


*Done That List

You can check their redesigned website here: or watch this video:

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