Oceana Contest Winners!

Thank you all very much for joining my Oceana GC contest. To recap, I am giving five Oceana gift certificates each to three people who commented on my Oceana post about what their favorite cuisine is. Now since there were duplicate entries, the real total number of people who joined the contest is 78. I used Random.org‘s list randomizer three times; the people whose names appeared first each time I randomized the list of names are the winners.

So, with no further ado, congratulations go to the following people:

  • Kate: “My fave cuisine would have to be Thai 🙂 I love how each dish is a blend of so many flavors. I also like the spices that they use.”
  • Arthur: “I love Mexican cuisine! The spicy food really sticks to my palate and makes me dance salsa all the time!”
  • Jayson R. Biadog: “I like Filipino, Western, Chinese, Italian and Japanese Cuisine!”

To you three, please leave a comment in this post with your email address so I can get in touch with you about mailing your GCs.

Thanks again!

Trippin’: Surfing CME

Every so often, my friends from the Philippine Surfing Academy text me about their packages for surf trips (“surfari”) to Quezon or Zambales. I’m always very tempted to go, but their schedules never quite fit with my free time. So, last Saturday I moved heaven and earth just so I could surf at Club Manila East’s wave pool, where the PSA hold surfing lessons.

Surfing CME: waiting for the next set
waiting for the “surf treadmill”

I first visited this wave pool last June during a shoot for a (now-defunct) web TV show. A few weeks later I took some friends there. Unfortunately, that was the last time I was there. But you know what? Surfing is just like riding a bicycle. You never forget.

Since this was my third time there and I already knew how to get up on my board and ride a wave, coach Ejay Ventura began teaching me how to catch my own wave. Beginners get their boards pushed by the coach. I had to learn when to begin paddling hard so I could pick up enough speed to be in front of a wave when it breaks. Oh wow, was it hard on the arms! But the rush I got from catching my own wave was so worth it.

Surfing CME: stoked!
catching a wave

My appetite has been whetted. Next time, I’m going on surfari!

Surfing lessons at CME by the Philippine Surfing Academy are P1,500 for a 2-hour lesson, board rental, and whole-day use of other CME facilities.

Oceana: A World of Flavors

I have to admit, I’m not particularly adventurous when it comes to cuisine — my palate reacts too strongly to spices, and if I’m hungry I’d rather eat something I’m familiar with. Still, from time to time I can be persuaded to try something new.

Last Friday my family and I were invited to Oceana’s first anniversary-slash-restaurant launch at San Miguel by the Bay, Mall of Asia complex. Although Oceana itself has been there for a while now (it occupies one whole building near MOA’s IMAX wing), it was primarily a school kitchen for the Center for Culinary Arts, and an events place. This year, they decided to go full steam ahead with the restaurant, offering plated selections from around the world.

Oceana Anniversary: Tasting Manila
a dish called “Tasting Manila”

The CCA is also behind restaurant concepts such as Cravings and C2 Classic Cuisine. However, Oceana restaurant’s focus is on offering tastes from cities ranging from Sao Paolo to Hanoi. It’s world cuisine with a twist, just like the bibingka souffle we ordered to cap off our dinner. Wait, a bibingka souffle?!

Oceana Anniversary: Bibingka Souffle
cheesy, salted-eggy, custardy goodness topped with a fluffy souffle

Although the plated dishes range around 500 pesos or more each, the servings are for sharing. There are also some more affordable selections on the menu. I would actually want to be taken to Oceana on a date; but of course, the gentleman always pays. *wink*

I have a number of gift certificates from Oceana I’d like to give away, but of course I’d rather have a contest. So, here are the rules. Leave a comment below answering the following question: “What is your favorite cuisine and why?” I will use a randomizer to pick three winners, who will get a bundle of five (5) gift certificates each from Oceana. I will shoulder postage, so all you have to do is comment away!

Oceana Anniversary: Taste the World
Taste the World

UPDATE (05/17/10): Contest winners!

Where Did April Go?

Summer is usually a whirlwind season for me. What with Marielle and Michael’s wedding, two trips to Boracay (you might have read about it on KIKAYRUNNER), and trying to catch up with work in between, I haven’t been able to update here as much as I want to. But that doesn’t mean I no longer have stories to tell.

What’s up for this month? Well, I’m going to begin the process of re-merging Trippin’ with Noelle De Guzman back into this blog. I’ve realized I don’t travel as much as I should to maintain a separate travel blog. The old site will still be up, but no longer updated. I’d love to consolidate everything I write that’s lifestyle-related into one place. Besides, Blogger is far easier to work with than the blog engine on i.ph (sorry Ade).

I’ll be writing about my TV and modeling work here, as well as restaurants I’ve been to and new things I’ve tried. I’ve got a huge blogging backlog and now’s as good a time as any to start chipping away at it.

I’m simplifying a lot of things not just here on this blog, but in my life as well. I’m juggling a lot of things and until it’s all settled down into a routine I’m comfortable with. Whew! April’s gone by in a blur; I hope May will be time well-spent.