[FOOD] Herbed Chicken with Blue Cheese Wasabi Twist

Gather these:

- chicken breast -- choose Magnolia!
- dried rosemary, basil and chives 
- DariCreme butter
- light soy sauce
- mayonnaise
- all purpose cream.. try Wandah powder mix - a - Magnolia product that gives wandahful taste
- wasabi paste
- blue cheese
- salt and pepper, for seasoning
- olive oil 
- garlic
- cayenne and paprika
- veggies for the sides -- baby potato, green beans, red bell pepper, corn

Unleash the chef in you:

- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Tip: Fresh ground pepper gives better aroma. For greater flavor, crack it yourself instead of buying the ready ones.

- In a bowl, pour about 2-3 tbsp of light soy sauce, just enough to coat the chicken breast so it would not end up too salty. Mix in pinches of dried rosemary, basil and chives. Stir well and put the chicken to absorb the flavor. Set aside. 

- Prep your veggies. Boil the potatoes until half-cooked. Remove from heat, add the green beans and bell pepper to blanch. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and retain a vibrant color and crisp.

- For the dip, combine mayo and cream. Adjust the taste depending on how you want it to be creamy. Put in 1/2 tsp wasabi (or more if you want that extra kick). Stir in a small block of blue cheese, 1/4 tsp is enough. Sprinkle a pinch of cayenne and paprika powder. Stir well to avoid lumps.

- Heat your frying now, drizzle with olive oil. Once ready, lay down the chicken breast. Drop a slice of butter and let it melt while the chicken is cooking, throw in garlic. Flip the other side and baste. When ready, remove from heat and rest to keep moist.

- In the same pan, toss the veggies a bit.

- Get the chicken and slice. Lay on your plate, put a side of colorful veggies and enjoy with your wasabi dip.

To be a great cook, choose the right ingredients in creating the right dish. And choosing the right ingredients means choosing a trusted name -- Magnolia. It ensures to give the perfect flavor for every meal, be it on big occasions or just a simple gathering. 

Make your taste buds crave for more and never worry because with Magnolia, every dish you make is masarap, masustansya at kayang-kaya!

[FOOD] Real Fast Food: ChickeNut Pasta with Veggie Noodles

Great food does not always come with complex cooking and expensive ingredients. Magnolia makes it easy to make and perfect in taste. Here is a simple protein-rich dish ideal for TV dinners - masarap, masustansya at kayang-kaya!

 What you need:
- Pasta
- Magnolia chicken breast fillets
- Light soy sauce
- Peanut butter
- Chili powder
- Slice of lemon or kalamansi
- Garlic
- Magnolia DariCreme buttermilk
- Carrots, green beans, red bell pepper, corn kernels (or any veggies you like. Cucumbers and zucchini are great too!)
- salt and pepper

What to do:
- Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve some pasta water for the peanut sauce. Drain and set aside.
- For the pasta sauce, combine peanut butter and pasta water, approx 1:1 ratio. Adjust water to get a creamy consistency, don't make it too thick. Season with salt to balance the taste.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Squeeze in kalamansi, drop a couple of teaspoons of light soy sauce and a dash of chili powder. Marinate while prepping the veggies.
- Make thin strips of carrots, red bell pepper and green beans. Grab as much as you want :)
- Heat the frying pan and put in butter. Fry the chicken fillets. Once golden brown, throw in minced garlic and veggies, add the kernels. Stir fry but do not overcook to retain that crisp. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a separate pan, pour in the peanut butter sauce and add the pasta. Mix to even out.
- For the fun part: grab a plate, lay down a veggie base, twirl on the pasta and top with chicken tenders.

[FOOD] Seared Chicken Crunch with Sweet Chili Sauce

Thinking of easy healthy 'baon' meal has always been my everyday battle. So here's a quick delicious recipe perfect for people on-the-go!


2 pcs Magnolia chicken breast, approx 250 grams
olive oil, for frying
salt and pepper

For the crunchy coat:
1/4 cup peanuts, medium crushed
1 tsp dried chili flakes

For the sauce:
2 pcs red chilies, finely chopped (keep the seeds for extra heat)
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 tsp sugar (adjust according to your sweetness preference)
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 spring onion, chopped
salt, to taste

1. For the chili sauce, combine fresh chilies, garlic and sugar in a mortar, pound a bit to release the flavor. Add in vinegar and olive oil, mix well with a spoon. Stir in the spring onion. Put a pinch of salt to taste, adjust the seasoning, add sugar if necessary. Set aside.

2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine crushed peanuts and dried chili flakes. Coat the chicken breast with the peanut mix.

3. Add a little olive oil to a hot frying pan. Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes until the crust is golden. Flip and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes, baste for better cooking. Remove from heat and rest for a while.

4. To serve, spoon the chili sauce over. 

To get that extraordinary flavor, trust only one name that guarantees freshness everyday - fast, healthy and delightful meal made easy with Magnolia - masarap, masustansya at kayang-kaya!

[FOOD] Healthy Eating @ Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar

When I started training for a long distance run, healthy eating came in. And along with this lifestyle shift is roaming around the metro to look for a healthier place to eat. And voila! -- The Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar.

Chicken Parmigiana on Zucchini Pasta

This resto is known for their delicious meals and smoothies made from all natural produce and proudly local-sourced. Their menu gives a lot of healthy choices from superfoods to wellness shots and sandwiches and pastas and more. And oh, they serve fresh pressed juices, too! This is the perfect place for people who loves to eat without the guilt. Because the foods are organic, they are more flavorful and healthier that you need not to worry feeding your tummy with junks.

The Hillside Cafe is located along Mother Ignacia Street in Quezon City. They share a space with a plant shop which adds to its fresher ambiance. Truly one of the best places to find joy in eating while relaxing!

Know more about Hillside Cafe through their Facebook or Instagram accounts.

For more restaurants and food finds, download OpenSnap app from App Store or Google Play.

Calaguas Through The Years

I must admit I'm not an inborn traveler, I do not go outdoors nor do adventures. But as time passed by, things has changed and here I am now, wanting to set foot on all of the best destinations we have. And if given the chance soon, not just the best but the entire Philippines :)

The beauty of the island is not a question why it was tattooed in my memories. Calaguas is more than just a place, more than just a must-see destination - it is a life everyone must experience. My first travel to Calaguas gave birth to the wanderer in me. And from then on, I keep on coming back to the island, this time not anymore a tourist but a traveler who wanted to share the dose of adventure it gives.

Through the years of several come backs, I have seen the developments in the island, how it was transformed to what it is now. 

I just had my recent trip last April. Of course, Calaguas is still as amazing as before, the clear water, the fresh air, the white sand. But I'm slowly missing the old Calaguas -- a few campers, a couple of tents, a silent sanctuary, an unspoiled beauty, a virgin island. Today, Calaguas is a mini-Boracay -- jam-packed with visitors, tents setup everywhere, new resort, electricity, loud music that you can hardly hear the waves crashing on the shore! 

I am not against development, I am okay with changes, I have no problem with innovation. But these should not change why we named it unspoiled Calaguas. 

May 2011

Sep 2011

May 2012 [photo credit: AndyMedrano]

Apr 2013

May 2013

SIARGAO: Surfing Paradise

Siargao is every surfer's dream. From the time I started my life on board, I promised one day I'm gonna surf Siargao. 

Dreams really do come true :).. And so this is it.. The wish I had before is now just a paddle away.

I am just a beginner surfer. I have surfed many times but I don''t surf all the time (if only I could...). I have read many travel mags featuring how waves are going in Siargao, I have watched many videos and seen a lot of pictures as well. But there is a big difference between how they describe it vs you yourself doing it. 

The moment I touched down Siargao, I was more than excited to surf Cloud 9 at last. But as they say, you cannot have both worlds at the same time. Because of some wave analysis by our surf partners, we had no chance to surf Cloud 9 and diverted to Daku instead. 

Daku is one of the surf breaks in Siargao. Surfers line up in the middle of the water unlike other surf spots I've been to where the waves break near the shore. At first I was really hesitant to jump off our boat and paddle to the line up. I am not a good swimmer and even if I am already used to surfing, I'm still afraid especially if the waves are too big for me. 

One by one the surfboards were thrown into the water and my surfmates dived too, paddled into the line up and started to play. My instructor was already waiting for me in his board, giving a lot of encouragement for me to jump in. I put my leash on but still my knees were trembling in fear and cannot push my body to dive into the 50-meter deep (or more I think). Yes, I swim. Yes, I surf. But that moment, I doubted I can. That was my first time to surf in the middle of the sea, that was my first time to ride a wave bigger than me. 

Those already in the water waiting for me kept on saying I can and I should jump now because the waves are so good to play with. They said no surfer is afraid of deep water, no surfer is feared of big waves. And so I had this make or break, my deep breath made me realize I wont know unless I try. My first fear of drowning is gone. We paddled into the line up and my second doubt came in - the waves of Daku are really "daku". I saw a lot being wiped out and their board rolled up with the waves as if they were clothes inside a washing machine. But I had no choice, I had to try this or else I'm gonna miss half of my being a surfer. 

While waiting the wave for me, my instructor had these words to boost my confidence: "Ang gaganda ng alon ngayon, tamang tama pang beginner". I know he's kidding because the waves are breaking horribly! But I kept that in mind to drive my fear away, forget the panic and get a perfect ride. 

And I did...

The instance I was riding those waves at first I doubted I can was the moment I felt as if my life turned slo-mo, the moment I had more than being stoked.

I had bruises, I had cuts, I had several wipe outs. But those pains kept me want for more. Surfing is not just about riding waves. It is more of a fun-filled experience, the kind of happiness it gives no matter how big or small the waves are or even if there are no waves at all and just sitting on your board having the intimate moment with nature.

Baler = Stoked

Surfing is not a new word to me. I remember when I was a kid where I always scan TV channels and stop a while in ESPN if there was a surfing competition. I was amazed of how they do tricks in the air as they dance with the waves. But that's all. I never thought of wanting to be one of them or even just trying to ride a board someday.

Time changes anything, everything. I can't even remember why I was addicted to surfing. All I know is this is what I want now, contrary to what I thought of before. 

Why Baler? 

It is where I first defined stoked.

The moment I had the first glance at Baler, I got the answer why surfers flock to this spot. Since the Philippines is surrounded by water, it is not anymore a question why we have a number of beautiful beaches. And Baler, being at the east coast, is endowed with a perfect blend of terrains and currents producing waves suitable from starter to professional surfers.

Years back, Aurora's surftown is an extremely tiring 9-hour drive from Manila. Today, surfing Baler is just a step away, cutting the travel time to an easy 5 hours drive. Baler is now transforming its name from once an unknown community to a popular surfing mecca in the country.

Sabang Beach is the town's most visited spot. I call it the beginners' haven. Along the seaside, there are many stalls offering surf lessons. For a cost of P350 per hour, you can have a surfboard and an instructor to teach you the basics of surfing. By the end of the session, you can cross out 'ride a wave' or 'stand on a surfboard' in your bucket list. I'm sure you would want another one despite those aching shoulders, bruises and cuts. And before you know it, that is what surfers call stoked :)