Mga Pahina

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Toast To Sec. Jesse Robredo

There's a difference between making a furniture as a hobby and making a furniture for 50 pesos a day when you're ten years old. Poverty in our country have no substantial change since the start of the millennium, according to National Statistical Coordination Board. The late Sec. Jesse Robredo intended to make a change thus the shift from corporate world to public service and governance, and he did.

What's more, having achieved this, he turned around and offered hope for people who work to live rather than living to work, for those who are trying to get out of work just to be able to live life just a little bit.

My point being that the late secretary blended his work and identity as a form of philosophy.

Having your work make up who you are isn't optional, in some sense, but the question is whether you want the identity you end up with. I remember in particular a job I had for a while in one BPO company (no offense meant) though enjoyable, however it seemed dividing me up. Bringing my head up in the skies while my hands are on the earth.

If I may quote Vince Lombardi, "I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious." Though his death was unexpected but he was indeed victorious.

I've never met the late secretary, but my father did, and to hear him talk about Sec. Robredo seemed to me like he was describing a one of a kind vintage wine. Devotion, passion, pure and full-body embedded in one.

A good man was laid at rest today and deserves a toast.


Sunday, March 18, 2012


Wine Tasting with Gordon Alan Joseph.

Feel like a wine connoisseur this Saturday, 4pm, March 24, 2012. At D+B Wine - Crossroads Mall, Banilad Cebu City.

Because wine tasting and its appreciation is an important part of fine dining and etiquette.

For more information, contact 09321912588.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The "I Love To Read Project"

Montecristo is one of the famous and finest premium cigars in the world. It is said that if you smoke Cuban cigars, it is impossible that you haven't smoked a Montecristo. I haven't smoke one but what pique my interest in these cigars is the story behind the brandname.

Back when YouTube and AM radio were not yet invented. Cigar factory owners would hire lectors (readers) to entertain the torcedores (cigar rollers) while at work. These lectors would sat beside with torcedores and read aloud poems, interesting stories, and news or articles from newspapers. Thru this way it would keep the torcedores from getting bored and lighten them up from their tedious task.

Among the stories heard, the torcedores loved Alexander Dumas novel - The Count of Monte Cristo the most. Perhaps they were enchanted with the protagonist Edmund Dantes' love and revenge tale, bringing out their passion for work and hope for their day-to-day lives. And yes, thus the brandname Montecristo surface.

Last week, I stumbled upon an article from a local newspaper about these dynamic young Cebuano professionals - The Basadours. A group of ambassadors for reading and storytelling. Their advocacy; literacy development. Their aim; to promote the love of reading through alternative and non-formal strategies like storytelling, role playing, puppet shows, read along and read aloud.

Unlike the lectors that were paid, The Basadours are commited volunteers and seeks to collaborate with government, private organizations and other community partners and stakeholders in pursuit of literacy development. Eventhough both lectors and The Basadours may differ on that point but both share a common experience, I suppose.  That is devoting time and talent so that others may realize their full potentials - "Montecristo" and also to address the fundamental challenges of literacy development in the city.

Through The Basadours volunteerism and the cooperation of Cebu City Public Library is a movement dubbed " I LOVE TO READ PROJECT" and will be launch this Saturday, February 25, 2012. A project (I believe) the city needs. It will be graced by Cebu City officials to be led by Mayor Michael L. Rama.

I haven't meet the group yet but I plan to join them in their advocay. For those who wanted to join as well you may contact Mrs. Rosario Chua at 412-4460 or you email her at

Once again, this Saturday, I LOVE TO READ PROJECT at Cebu City Public Library. See you there!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Late Afternoon Delight

I never thought I would get the chance to meet someone with so much passion and enthusiasm when it comes to wine. Indeed last Monday afternoon, I've had such a late afternoon delight.

Mr. Gordon Alan "Dondi" Joseph - wine connoisseur and owner of D+B Wines located at the Crossroads Mall, Banilad, Cebu City, warmly welcomed me with a bottle of Castello D'Alba Douro '09, a Portuguese medium-bodied red, in his cozy bar last Monday afternoon.

Me with Mr. Gordon "Dondi" Joseph holding a Fat Bastard - Merlot (which he gave to me afterwards).

Without exaggeration, I was overwhelmed at first. Simply because in front of me was a real oenophile, of which there are only 4 or 5 in the city by the way. So I rattled and my agenda of questions faded somewhere between the beginning and right before the middle of the conversation. But his very pleasant attitude removed all feelings of intimidation and thus made the conversation went as casual as I hoped it would be.

Straightforward yet not snobbish. A charming and sophisticated man who likes to eat toasted bread dipped in red wine. If I were to put his appreciation for wines in two words, based on our two-hour conversation. Starting from Boones and Cold Duck wines during family gatherings in Clark Air Base to wine tastings in South Africa and France. Including the 300-plus labels of wine distributed by Darras + Bowler. Also to specially mention his wife, Ms. Corrine Darras Joseph, whom he said is more expert in wines than him. It will be Time and Passion.

I do feel oblige to share his "chronicle" about wines and clearly our conversation wouldn't just fit in one blog. Thus I will be writing a sort of episodes then. I will write one for his most favorite wine, that according to him he will choose if he were to be stuck in an island. Then there will be also one for his food and wine pairing preference.

Being grateful for that opportunity, I plan to share my time and passion to others as well and hopefully bring it to his level. So folks, expect postings of schedules for wine tasting, food and wine pairing in my blog soon. With wine connoisseurs present like Mr. Gordon Joseph himself, it would be a pleasurable and learning experience then.

So see you guys soon.


P.S. You can check out Darras + Bowler on Facebook, just go to

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Bead On Philippine's Necklace

I was supposed to keep my blog from political views, I have my Facebook and Twitter for these issues. But this one I think will be an exemption simply because it is an Impeachment Trial, of the Supreme Court Justice, IN MY OWN COUNTRY. If I were to use Paul Rusesabagina's word, then I'll say outright that the Impeachment Trial of CJ Corona will be a "bead on our national necklace".

Our Constitution though patterned from the US Constitution is still somehow politically immature. If you had witnessed the first 2-3 days of the Impeachment Trial, I guess you'll agree with my thoughts. Also if you had notice along the impeachment process some Senator-Judge would refer to "Impeachment, A Handbook" by Charles Black Jr., a Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale Law School. Not someone from Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda College or from University of the Philippines. My apologies if I may sound a downer, but I do believe I have a point. On a brighter side, good thing though with this affair is it resembles a milestone of our nation's maturity. So, we're growing up or old?

Clearly, with this chain of events, most of us wanted to have a role in this impeachment process. Opinions from the public and those in media are sprouting up. Some act or even to the point would look like Former Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas being vocal about their support or citing disappointments from court proceedings. Yet some citizens though are fed up with the Impeachment Trial and just wanted to watch Ms. Kris Aquino's latest showbiz update. And this is what saddens me. Because for me as a citizen, with the impeachment trial at hand, we should support the process set out by our constitution. Be vigilant from personal or political leanings and guard the process against possible abuses.

Lastly, I really don't care if who's going to win, will it be the Prosecutors or the Defense team. All I care is for the Senator-Judges to exhaust all resources, just for the process to be done fairly, free from personal relations' and political affiliations. Why? Cause few years from now this Impeachment Trial will be part of our history. It will be a bead on our country's necklace of history.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ode to Wine for 2012

"Wine color of day
wine color of night
wine with your feet of purple or Topaz blood
wine, starry child of the earth
wine, smooth as a golden sword..."

The year 2012 really started with a bang! From the DOT campaign slogan - It's More Fun In The Philippines to the impeachment trial of CJ Corona. Also to mention Carcar City winning Best in Costume and 3rd in Sinulog-Base Category in Sinulog 2012.

" spiral-shelled and suspended
loving, of the sea,
you've never been contained in one glass,
in one song, in one man,
choral, you are gregarious and at least, mutual."

Pablo Neruda's passion for life constantly entrance me. That is why I started the year with his "Ode to Wine". Now I'm not promoting alcoholism here, it's just simply about enjoying a wine's quality than quantity.

"Wine stirs the spring,
joy grows like a plant,
walls, large rock falls,
abysses close up, song is born."

In the country, even if its still in infancy, wine drinking will seem to have a better year this year. The health and wellness trend last year will certainly continue and more will get into it. Because of internet and social media, wine suggestions will be easily available. And lastly, "wine sales will continue to grow among 20 to 40 years old patrons" according to wine enthusiast Loren Sonkin.

"My love, suddenly your hip
is the curve of the wineglass filled to the brim,
your breast is the cluster
your hair the light of alcohol
your nipples, the grapes
your navel pure seal..."

Aside from sharing verses of Pablo Neruda's ode, I'd like also to share some pronunciation guide of wine types (by Brad Prescott) and here it is.

Cabernet Sauvignon - CAB-er-nay SAW-vin-YAWN

Blanc de Pinot Noir - BLAHNK duh PEA-know NWAHR

Pinot Noir - PEA-no NWAHR

Fumé Blanc - FOO-may BLAHNK

Burgundy - BURR-gun-dee

Merlot - Mer-LOW

Semillon - SEM-ee-yawn

Chardonnay - SHAR-duh-nay

Carignane - KARE-in-yawn

Petite Sirah - Puh-TEET Ser-AH

Chablis - Shuh-BLEE

Chenin Blanc - SHEN-in BLAHNK

"But not only love, burning kiss,
or ignited heart - vino de vida,
you are also fellowship, transparency,
chorus of discipline,
abundance of flowers.
I love the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine upon a table
when people are talking,
that they drink it,
that in each drop of gold
or ladle of purple, they remember that autumn worked
until the barrels were filled with wine
and let the obscure man learn,
in the ceremony of his business,
to remember the earth and his duties,
to propagate the canticle of the fruit.

Cheers 2011, hello 2012!! May this year bring forth new opportunities, good health and blessings in each one of us.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Red wine and the holidays.

It's the Holidays! A period of gifts, parties, homecomings and poinsettias. In a country known for celebrating the longest Christmas season, there's something more than the cold breeze and mall wide sales that I looked for in this part of the year, that is having a dinner with a bottle of red wine with family and/or friends.

My appreciation for these blissful moments started in one of the family gatherings (my father's birthday) when I discreetly opened a bottle of red wine from one of his presents. Thinking that I don't have the luxury of opening another bottle without being reprimanded, cause it was one of those from Tinderbox, I slowed down after my second glass and enjoyed every sip until the bottle was done.(We Filipinos are mild drinkers indeed.)

Maybe it was from the aroma or the woody taste of the wine, blended with the nostalgia shared by my relatives on the table at that time. Or maybe, it was the alcohol content that enhanced my deeper enjoyment to our passage of lifetime that from there on drinking red wine with my family and/or friends was brought in a sort of different level.

That experienced didn't made me a wine connoisseur though but it somehow widened my understanding about red wines along the way. Like it helped me to determined a good wine from a better one. I noticed that an expensive wine doesn't mean its always better - specially in our country wherein good red wines are a bit pricy. Also, I gained some personal thoughts on food and wine pairing as well.

Here's a sample of my food and wine pairing for this Christmas by the way:

1. For a lechon, I'll go for "Gold Label Pinot Noir" from Marks and Spencer.
2. Beef steak or brisket will be nice with "Bibulus" from Manny O Wines.
3. For hams, a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon from Carlo Rossi will do just fine.
4. A Chianti (there's a good one from Tinderbox) will best match Spaghetti and Carbonara.

So in one of your gatherings this Christmas, it maybe of friends or family, bring in a bottle of red wine. Keep the atmosphere in nostalgia. Share stories in the past and stuff like how things come and go as the year ends. This simple pleasures keep us somehow "centered in life" as they said and prepare us for the next year to come.