Lunch at the Prestigious Genting Club and an Afternoon with Francis Kong

Nestled in the third floor of the Maxim’s Tower of the Resorts World Complex, the prestigious Genting Club is a place for the country’s elite (which I’m not), which features luxurious sitting areas, decadent wine cellars, and just superbly delicious food, (which I’ll give you a glimpse of later!)

On a more administrative note for this site, you might have noticed that I haven’t been blogging that often for the past few weeks due to schoolwork! But now, I’m here, and back to my blogging streak! Woohoo! Oh yea, just a little announcement! I’ll be shifting my reviews quite a bit from the how many stars review to the general reviews so that it’ll be easier for everyone to read, and it’ll be more “readable”. I hope that’s okay with you guys!

Going back to the topic, we went to the Genting Club, which I just now find out after googling it, actually game from a place called Genting in Malaysia. Interesting. Anyway, here’s the logo from their site, and the description, if you’d like to hear it their way.

The Genting Club Logo from their Website

Hidden right in the heart of Resorts World Manila is the prestigious Genting Club, a members-only lifestyle club designed particularly for Manila’s elite. Home for the creme de la creme, the Genting Club would be the playground for those with discerning taste searching for an escape from the city to relax in exclusivity. It will be an oasis for business leaders and prominent names in society seeking for luxurious premier entertainment with a private gaming area, decadent dining options and other fabulous lifestyle features. Surrounded by the best company, the Genting Club is where you can find the best of what the world can offer.

 

Step into the world of Genting Club here.

-Resorts World Website

So, we had lunch in one of the function rooms in the Genting Club. We were served an array of food from different cuisines, (mostly Filipino, thouugh)! Here’s a glimpse of what we had!
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We had butterfly iced tea to start off! Haven’t had it for a long time, so its was a great way for me to start my meal!
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So there was the customary salad! Green leafy lettuce!
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There was this special dressing of theirs I didn’t know the name of. Nevertheless, I smothered my lettuce with it, dashed my salad with some bacon and lots of cheese!

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There was also this Russian Salad available! It was red (I presume due to the beats), and it contained a mix and match of vegetables, ranging from potatoes to tomatoes. (Wow, that rhymes!)
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Quite interestingly, there was sushi for appetizer! And Californian Maki at that!

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The bigger picture! This time with the Wasabi and the rest of the other condiments!

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So, for the main course, there was garlic rice!

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Sorry for the blurry picture! This is Beef Salpicao! (Which they called something else which I don’t remember!)

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This is Dory with Cream! I think this was my favorite dish for that meal! It was creamy, yet the fish was tender! It really tasted great!
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Again, a blurry picture! My apologies! I shan’t forget my camera next time! I had to use the cellphone camera to take photos! This is Vegan Lumpia with the Mang Tomas sweet and chili sauce.
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This chicken was also very good! It tastes even better when you get a lemon, and squeeze the lemon all over the chicken. You will salivate!

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And now, off to my favorite part of every meal: DESSERT! This cake featured above is Mango Cheescake! It tasted pretty well! The crust could’ve been a little more crunchy, though.
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There were also brownies, which were quite okay, but I guess it lacked sweetness. Maybe a little more sugar will do it good!
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And, of course, no meal will be finished without enzymes to break down our food! (Reminds me of Bio with Mr. Quijano, my 2nd year Bio teacher!)

So, that ends our food trip! In the afternoon, he listened to a talk by te very famous and highly acclaimed inspirational speaker, Francis Kong! In the talk he gave us, he reminded all of us 3 things.

  1. To have fun!
  2. Do something you really like so you don’t have to work another day of your life.
  3. Follow your mind, then your heart.
Those 3 are just bits and pieces of the whole thing. They were my 3 key takeaways from the session!
During the break in between, I got the special chance to get a photo with him!

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And of course, as like every Filipino, nagpa-autograph ako! I got him to sign a copy of his book, The Early Bird Catches the Worm, but the Second Mouse Gets the Cheese. It won lots of awards, supposedly! I got him to autograph it for me!
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And so, with that, I concluded my afternoon! For the rest of the day, I’ll be blogging about it shortly after this!

Overall, the Genting Club may be really extraordinarily expensive. I heard it costs $$$ to even just enter, (and actually wonder how I was able in there), but given the great service they have there, the super clean restrooms equipped with mouthwash, hand lotion, cotton buds and a shaving kit, I guess it’s worth it. No wonder the elite go there. It’s a really good experience for anyone.

However, if you’re looking though for something worth every cent of your money and sulit, this place might not be such a suitable place for you to visit. You may want to try the restaurants in Maxim’s such as The Terrace or Impressions. They’re a lot more affordable, and I have to say, the food there is equally delicious, if not, has a better variety than that inside Genting! So, it’s just a matter of choosing correctly! For that, I wish you good luck!

 

 

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Judgment Day: Top 4 Must-Watch Metro Manila Film Festival Movies 2011

It is, as is everyone else’s pleasure in the Philippines, my pleasure to watch the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). It may seem like serendipity, but the MMFF is actually conducted yearly by the MMDA, somewhat weird of an organization to take care of this, given that moderate the roads, but nevertheless, one capable of taking the responsibilities.

Anyway, as Christmas break strolled by, I took the days off by watching MMFF Movies with my family. We started with My Househusband in SM Laguna, then Enteng ng Ina Mo in SM Manila, then, Shake, Rattle and Roll in SM Clark, and then, finally, Segunda Mano in another mall I can’t remember anymore.

For these blogs, what I’ll be doing, is to do a shortened form of a review with the pertinent details one has to know about the movie, the characters, and the the star table, as always. The movies are rated in ascending order, with the last one as the best!

Oh yea, before I forget, so that you could read the whole article and appreciate it, I dropped some hints on the movies, but made sure that the more interesting parts were not typed down- so you could go see it in a cinema!

And so, here we shall begin!

ENTENG NG INA MO

Third Place

This poster hints about Tanging Ina and Enteng Kabisote!

Alright! Of all the movies, this is the one I least had any reaction to. It was just going around the bush, beating around the bush, then, burning the bush. (I hope you get why after watching the movie! :D) Anyway, in essence, the movie is just a mix of Enteng Kabisote and the Ang Tanging Ina series (which were the best Filipino movies I’ve seen so far.)

So, what does this movie bring. Well, let’s say that the actors were very good, and the settings were okay, but there was no point in the movie. It was just there to make people laugh, and the sad thing about it is, people weren’t laughing. In total, there were only 4 times people laughed, really. Given that this is supposed to be a humor movie, people should be laughing their shoes off with Ai Ai delas Alas, marrying Vic Sotto, but no. I think the problem here may be the story itself. It starts out as an adventure, then romance, then back to adventure theme, with mediocre animation. The monsters were literally, blobs that were floating in the screen. Maybe its because of budget constraints, and we just have to understand that. (Though making it unenchanted would have been a whole lot better.)

Though overall, I have to commend the artists for acting so well. In truth, the movie grossed the most this MMFF, and the actors were perfect, but maybe a tweak of the story line and a fix in the animation, could have improved the movie experience.

THE TABLE OF STARS

CRITERION STARS (OUT OF ★★★★★)
Storyboard  ★★★Improvements could have been made.
Stage and Sets  ★★★ 

The sets were okay, but the animations needed improvement.

Actors and Performance  ★★★★No questions asked. The actors were brilliant.
Price and Value for Money  ★★★Still okay.

Overall Rating: 3.5/ ★★★★★ (Good!)

 

SEGUNDA MANO

SECOND Place

Not to mention, their poster is appealing.

To be serious, this movie could have been a first place movie, no questions asked, but due to the predictability of the plot, the un-horrorness of the movie, some complications came about.

Once more, no questions asked about the actors. They were very good, perfect even. Kris Aquino always does well, and Ding Dong Dantes also played his role very well, but here is the problem.

The movie, instead of being horror, became one about an abusive man/husband. (I mean, the Commission on Human Rights could use this video to show how human rights are violated), but it didn’t showcase that much fright in people, which is the reason why they actually entered in the first place. It was only two or three times people actually were screaming because they were afraid, and the thing about this is, they weren’t afraid of ghosts, they were afraid of the guy in the story!

The stage, the sets, the stunts, they were all beautifully carries out. A shift in the plot could have improved this story greatly. (Though it is, in itself, already an excellent movie.)

Added to that, this movie, also attempts to change people’s mindsets about ghosts, that they can be very nice supernatural beings that help people. (Though I don’t thing this was achieved.) But what I admire about this is the courage to take new challenges, and try out something new, and as such, it places second, together with the movie presented above.

THE TABLE OF STARS

CRITERION STARS (OUT OF ★★★★★)
Storyboard  ★★★Improving it to add more scary parts would make it better.
Stage and Sets  ★★★ 

Sets were well-chosen and paired up properly with the movie.

Actors and Performance  ★★★★No questions asked. The actors were brilliant.
Price and Value for Money  ★★★Good movie.

Overall Rating: 4/ ★★★★★ (Good!)

 

 

To be Continued Tomorrow!

(I actually finished it already, but when I clicked Save Draft, it apparently didn’t save. So, forgive me. I shall finish it tomorrow! Thank you very much!)

Hainanese Delights: Affordable Mouth-watering Singpore Cuisine with Unlimited Rice (Review)

A few days before this, I was missing Singapore so much that on the day we went out, I decided to bring my whole family to eat something Singaporean. Singapore, even though I’ve just been there twice holds great meaning in life. It brings together the beauty of the past with the advancements of the future, but best of all, the food was totally mouth-watering, jaw-dropping, eye-poppingly good. (I’m drooling for Lakhsa now!)

So just before the Christmas Break ended, we finally, for the last time, until after three months, delightfully spent a whole day at the mall, and luckily, this time, we went to Robinsons Galleria, which is very accessible and, from previous experience, has a Singapore food-serving place!

The place I was mentioning about is called Hainanese Delights. It’s a fast-food, rice-all-you-can restaurant. The food there is great, and the prices very affordable. Plus, there’s unlimited rice. Worth a visit for everyone.

The store is also very accessible. For the store I visited, it was located on the first floor of the mall, just across the supermarket, and behind the big stage/fountain (before). Anyway, here’s what we got for lunch!

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The signage welcomes you already! (For those who understand Chinese, the second character is missing a line, right? Hahaha.)

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Prices are affordable. Imagine, for just 90 pesos, you could have unlimited Hainanese rice, and also get pork dumplings!

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This is a new creation from the store. Haven’t tried them, but some of my friends have said that they were good!

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Here it is: Rice all-you-can!

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Oh yea, did I mention? They have the ginger sauce, and a special soy sauce!

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I’ve always wanted to know how to make Ginger this small, and up until now, I don’t know! Ahhh!

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Chili Sauce!

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Their soy sauce is different, a little bit, because it’s a little bit sweet!

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Waiting! To be fair about it, the service was relatively fast. For about 5 people, the time it took for them to serve the dishes were about 5-8 minutes. Since its all-you-can rice and there were really lots of people, you may have to wait a minute or so to get your rice refilled, but given the price, it’s worth-it!

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The sauces I chose to have!

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Oh yea, it also comes with free soup!

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And here comes the Hainanese Chicken, which is actually Hainanese Delights in the menu above.

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And here it is: The Hainanese Rice part of the package! And its unlimited!

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This meal only costs 120 pesos. Good if you really need something to fill you up!

After this meal, I really felt awesome because I felt the Singapore I wanted to see and feel somehow. I hope I get the chance to go there soon and fulfill my hunger for its mouth-watering dishes!

Contact Information

Ground Floor, Robinsons Galleria

No Telephone, Apparently

RESTAURANT RATING

CRITERION STARS (OUT OF ★★★★★)
Food Quality and Presentation  ★★★★
Very Good! They may improve a little bit on presentation.
Service (Speed, Level and Friendliness)  ★★★★
Good, but due to the amount of people, it may take some time to get what you need.
Place (Cleanliness, Ambience, Atmosphere)  ★★★★
Due to the limited space, you could be sitting outside the store, and the ambiance and cleanliness may be a problem.
Price and Value for Money  ★★★★★
Great price for the whole. No questions asked.

Overall Rating: 4.25/ ★★★★★ (Very Good!)

Meralco Lights Up Filipino Hearts in the Free Admission Meralco Liwanag Park

Before we went home on New Year’s day, we decided to drop by a place one of our friends told us to check out. The Liwanag Park! This park is located in its main office in Ortigas, right beside Corinthian Gardens. Here, lined up through the islands of the roads are colorful Christmas decors in Christmas lights.

Not only that, it also features a free train ride which is pictured below. It will be open until January 6, 2011 from 6 pm to 11 pm, and admission is free.

PhotobucketAngels like these greet those who enter the park. There is free parking, and you just simply have to tell the guards when entering that you are going to visit the Liwanag Park.

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Huts like these with Christmas lights glowing them line the facade of the Meralco Building. Here featured is a Filipino bahay-kubo-like structure.

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There are also others like this Church! If you look closely, inside the church doors, they even tried to place a picture in an effort to make it look “real.”

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Star hanging over the road.

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The Meralco building lit up at night! Beautiful!

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Christmas balls, as they are called there, also line the main facade of the building.

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There were lots of people present! Swarms came through L300s and the streets were filled with people!

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Colored ceiling and shed where people wait and line-up to get a free train ride!

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This is the train you could ride for free! It makes a circular route around a Christmas tree!

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It’s complete with even this!

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Miniature houses are also displayed, complete with stairs! Propping up some tables and chairs, my sister could already play life-sized bahay-bahayan! (Play House)

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Here’s the inside! Complete with ceiling high windows!

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The front side image of the train! Didn’t get to ride due to the extremely long lines!

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This is the waiting shed for people who want to ride. This actually extends until the place with the lighted ceiling.

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The centerpiece of the whole park: the belen with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, along with sheep, lit up amidst a night sky! Spectacular.

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A bigger image appears here!

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As I turned to look at the other things in the park, I came to see this rosary made up of lights strung together in a building.

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Another one of the houses.

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And the other centerpiece or obra of the park, the giant Christmas tree, where the train circles.

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Took this final picture before we left the place. It was truly worthwhile, and given that its free of charge, you may want to give this a try.

To get there, you may want to check this: http://wikimapia.org/#lat=14.5901611&lon=121.0645026&z=16&l=0&m=b

Happy visiting!

A Trip to LTO: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Student Driver’s License

As this year ends and new one begins, it is once more, a time of challenges and opportunities. For me, I wanted to secure a Student’s Driver’s License so that I could try driving (legally). (By the way, sorry for no pictures in this post! There shall be my pictures next post!)

At first, I thought the whole process would be simple and easy, given the advancement of technology. Well, I have to say that even with it, lots of effort and time is needed to get things done especially with things like this. (Their website wasn’t working!)

The good is, though, you can get your chance to drive, and learn the mechanisms behind driving, which is already something essential in today’s fast-paced and globally-intertwined world.

Alright. So, do you want to get your Student’s Driver’s License? Here are the qualifications and requirements for both Foreigners and Filipinos. Take a look at them, and I’ll run you though all the steps needed to get your license. I italicized my comments, which contain the shortcuts and tips. I also included a .pdf file you could download below for the pertinent documents. 

I. Student Permit for Filipinos:

Qualifications

  1. Must be at least sixteen (16) years old
    (They’ll check this, so make sure you are old enough. No maximum age to get a license.) 
  2. Must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle
  3. Must be able to read and write the local dialect, Filipino or English.

Requirements

  1. Original and photocopy of birth certificate. In the absence thereof, any of the following:
    • Joint Affidavit of two (2) disinterested persons who know the applicant and who can attest to his/her age and identity accompanied by non-availability of record from NSO or the local civil registry office
    • Any legal document to prove his/her age and identity such as GSIS, SSS, passport or any government issued documents.
      (You have to bring the original and photocopy of your passport, etc. School ID is not a government ID, so please refrain from bringing that.) 
  2. For applicants below 18 years old, parent’s or guardian’s written consent with photocopy of ID card to prove his identity.
    (This is tricky. If one of your parents is going with you to get your license or just show up to submit the application form, (as with my case), just bring the written consent and photocopy of a legal document.  If none of your parents is going with you to get your license, you have to get a notarized letter of consent, which your parents need to get so that they have legal proof that they’re allowing you. This step is essential else they would not know whether its authentic or not.)
  3. Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
    (No need if student.) 
  4. Duly accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL) form
    (You’ll can get this in the LTO Office. )

Fees

  • You need to bring at least 317.63 pesos. P150 for Student Permit fee, P100 for Application fee and P67.63 for computer fee.

II. Student Permit for Foreigners:

Qualifications

  1. Must be at least 16 years old (16 – 17 years old, requires parent’s or guardian’s consent)
  2. Must know how to read and write in English or Filipino
  3. Must have arrived in the Philippines for at least one (1) month prior to the date of application with LTO and can show evidence from BID/DFA that he will stay in the country for at least five (5) months from the date of application

Requirements

  1. Original and photocopy of passport with visa duration of at least five (5) months from date of application and any of the following:
    • Valid Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)
    • If born in the Philippines, original and photocopy of birth certificate
    • If student, original and photocopy of school ID
    • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
  2. Duly accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL) form LTO Regional Offices and/or Any Designated District Office

Fees

  • You need to bring at least 317.63 pesos. P150 for Student Permit fee, P100 for Application fee and P67.63 for computer fee.

Alright, so with that settled, you know what to bring already. I prepared a checklist which you can download in the .pdf below.

My Experience with the LTO

Anyway, so moving back to the topic, I’ll discuss my experience in the LTO so that you can get a glimpse of the whole thing. Personally, I was shocked due to the requirements needed, and the time of wait required from the applications. In total, I spent about two and a half hours waiting for my license, and now I have it. Yehey!

Anyway, I travelled though jeep to the LTO Office in San Juan. Do note that not all offices have Application processes. I actually visited Galleria first, only disappointed to find out it was actually only for renewals. So, from Robinsons, I took a jeep to the LTO Office which is right across the San Juan City Hall, and is near Jollibee, BDO, UCPB, and just right beside Puregold Market and the San Juan Market.

Fast forward. When I got the form, I quickly filled it up, and submitted it to the Officer. (Heck, they ask your weight and height!) He suddenly told me that I either needed a notarized letter of consent, or my mother’s presence. When I asked where to get the thing I had notarized, he pointed across the street to the City Hall. When I got there, I went to the City Legal Office to get it notarized, only discovering that my mom had to be there to get the document notarized.

So, I phoned my mom, and decided instead, to proceed to the LTO, and just make my mom present herself there. When she did, they accepted my papers. This fiasco took about two hours, and this wasn’t even part of the two and a half hours of waiting.

After accepting my papers, I took a seat, and waited. I was already waiting for nearly 45 minutes when I decided to do a “follow-up”. Just a tip, this may help you get your license approved faster. After waiting for just another 10-15 minutes, my name was finally called to the photo/webcam picturing area and signature. They took my picture, let me sign, and told me to sit and wait.

I waited for about 45 minutes before they called me to pay for the license which amounted to 317.63 pesos. After that the lady asked me to sit and wait for my name to be called. After 45 minutes, I was about to follow-up when suddenly, my name was called. (Oh yea, each of these processes begin with your name being called in a megaphone!)

I finally got my license, and trooped back home, and here I am typing away, exactly 5 hours after the whole ordeal. When I got home, I was exhausted, and I really felt awful because of the amount of time I had to wait for the license. Now that I have it, yehey!

Overall Experience

To be constructive about this, I waited a lot lot lot longer when I tried to get my passport renewed after it was expired last August. Heck. We started at 8 and got home at about 2. (6 Hours!) At least, the customer service here was quite friendly together with the guy who assisted me in Counter 2. Whoever they were, they made this experience a little more worthwhile.

Share your experience and tips!

Do you have some tips for other people as well? Please post them below so that we can all help each other in this endeavor!

DISCLAIMER
I am not in any way related to the Land Transportation Office, or any of its subsidiaries. The tips I offered were from my personal experience, and not from the LTO. Use these at your own risk.I shall not be held liable for anything that happens to you. These tips were made just out of goodwill!

Download!

To open the .pdf file, please follow this website (on the right hand side), and the password will be sent to your e-mail. Thank you!

Information Package for the Application of Student’s Permit in the Philippine Land Transportation Office

Chinatown Foodtrip: Crown Prince Seafood Restaurant Review

A few days ago, I was lucky to be able to visit my grandparents and take a food trip down Chinatown here in Manila. I wasn’t raised in the Chinatown area, as my parents were, but we were all, ever since our childhood, told and even “trained” to eat Chinese food. But when I dined in this special restaurant, eating wasn’t much of anything I remember from back then. It was elegant. It was well-prepared, but most of all, it was delicious.

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As you enter, and take your seat, a plethora of both Chinese and Western eating instruments await you, and very pleasing staff listen to pretty much anything you may need.  (The silvery thing on the right side is my Sun Broadband! Haha.)

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Upon ordering, the server offered us some very unique culinary delight- ox tail, chinese style lamb, sharks fin, among others. They also have the regular oriental staples- sweet and sour pork, birthday noodles, etc. They also serve fine wines, vodka, brandy, upon request. It could be considered a food paradise of sorts.

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While waiting, as in any chinese restaurant, free tea is served. In normal Chinese restaurants, Oolong Tea is served. It is a pseudo-bitter type of tea, which is very very brownish in color. But, when I visited this restaurant, it offered Jasmine tea (I tried to verify but they weren’t sure as well, but based on my knowledge, it is Jasmine Tea, anyway), one other variant, but it really tasted good. So if you go there, better try this thing out. Other beverages are available. Coke, soft drinks the regular.

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Oh yea, and roasted peanuts are available as well. (Wait, why is this picture even here?!)

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What I found cool, though about this restaurant, is that the food that they cook is actually fresh from their aquarium. The fish and crab that we ordered actually came from this tank. So, you’re really going to get value for your money since your aquatic orders will always be fresh.

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Yummy lobsters!

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This is the first page of their menu, and as you can see, there are great things to eat here including seamantises, lobsters and the like.

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A meal can’t be complete without YangChow Fried Rice. The nice thing about their fried rice is that they added this sweet kind of meat which gave contrast to flavors, thus heightening the taste of the Fried Rice.

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Beef with Broccoli. Deliciously tender beef slices topped on Freshly boiled Broccoli. A staple vegetable in our cuisine.

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Suahe! Shrimp, which was tender and juicy. You could actually taste the freshness when you sink your teeth into it. Just perfect!

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This came to our table steaming hot in a ceramic pot. (Wow, that rhymes!) Anyway, it’s actually Fish Tofu.

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And the star of the meal: Sotanghon (which turns out to be called Cellophane Noodles) Crab! The crab is actually good, but I had a gut feeling that it was somewhat overcooked, because the meat became a little bit tender. Nevertheless, it still tasted awesome.

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Another picture of the gastronomic delight!

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The inner part of the crab which I shared with my younger brother is completely amazing! It feels like someone’s dancing inside your mouth with all the luscious flavors.

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My serving! The sotanghon also tasted very well!

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In terms of clealiness, the place has no problems at all. It is clean and presentable. In fact, if you make a reservation, they can get you private rooms in the restaurant, which are equipped which Kareokes for free. The rooms, though, may have just been built instead of just placing dividers, or they may add some designs to the walls to make them not so bare, but given the fact that they don’t charge a service fee for all of this, it is quite amazing.

Another improvement could be playing Chinese songs in the background. Or if there was, increasing the volume. This would improve the ambience of the place.

Our bill totalled 2630 pesos, which is already very good given the quality of service and the food that was offered. Just to add, there were actually two waitresses at our side while we were eating, and given that we were a relatively small party, 6 people, it was great service with the ratio 1 waiter: 3 customers. (beats Manila Hotel! Joke.)

So, all in all, with our four criterion. This is how I could rate this restaurant.

RESTAURANT RATING

CRITERION STARS (OUT OF ★★★★★)
Food Quality and Presentation  ★★★★
Great food in general. The crab could have been a little bit better.
Service (Speed, Level and Friendliness)  ★★★★★
Great service. No questions asked.
Place (Cleanliness, Ambience, Atmosphere)  ★★★★
Better ambience. Maybe, play some music, and
Price and Value for Money  ★★★★★
Great price for the whole.

Overall Rating: 4.5/ ★★★★★ (Outstanding)

 

 

Resorts World’s Sound of Music Astounds the Filipino: A Review

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things!

-Maria, in The Sound of Music 

It is with these enchanting words that I went home, half singing, half dancing, in the tune of the Sound of Music. The fact it, it wasn’t just me doing it, people young and old, boy or girl,  were all doing the same. The room was filled with sounds, rhythms. It was filled with the Sound of Music.

An adaptation of The Sound of Music, performed in Resorts World Manila, was conducted with Joana Ampil as Maria and Audie Gemora as Captain Von Trappe. It has been running since October, and due to insistent public demand, it will show until February 12, 2012. Details about watching the show are below!

Now, I shall be giving you some thought about the play, and an overall review of the show.

THE TABLE OF STARS

CRITERION STARS (OUT OF ★★★★★)
Storyboard  ★★★★★
Need I say why?
Stage and Sets  ★★★★★
Spectacular and ornate; gives you the “I feel I’m part of the story” feeling.
Actors and Performance  ★★★★
Very very good. Just missed a tinge of something.
Price and Value for Money  ★★★★★
5 Stars. No questions asked.

Overall Rating: 4.75/ ★★★★★ (Outstanding)


Storyboard and Background

As many know, this production came from a 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews as Maria, but did you know that this actually was first a Broadway musical with songs by Richard Rogers and company?

Anyway, the story in one paragraph!

The story revolves about a supposed-to-be-nun who finds true love as she is given the time to think about her devotion and vocation to God. She is sent, by the Mother of the Abbey to the House of the Von Trappes who just recently left the Von Trappe Family. When she arrives, she finds a disciplinarian father, with children Greek to music. She then finds a way to bring music back into the house, and  brings love back to Captain Von Trappe. This is amidst the Second World War wherein the Germans, having occupied Austria, was vying for the help of Captain Von Trappe (who loved Austria, and never wanted to side with the Germans). Since Captain Von Trappe did not want to leave his family behind and help the Germans, they found a way to Switzerland through first, staying with the nuns, and then, finding a way out though the mountains Maria loves, to find freedom in Switzerland. (This is the shortest way I can put this story!)

Alright, so back to the storyline! In the musical, this was perfectly done. With all substantial and memorable parts from the movie inside. The nice thing about this also, is that, it able to appeal to Filipinos, even if the play was talking about people from the Second World War, which is just a distant image in the minds of today’s Filipinos, and few plays or movies could stand that test of time, and I’m proud to say that this was able to do so.

So if you ask me: Was it good, not really. Was it very good, yes. Was it excellent, definitely.

Stage and Sets

They were fantastic! I’ve seen other great plays, but the set here was just magnificent. They had a total of about 5 different settings, and they were able to use technology to bring people to see and imagine the place through it.

The set of the church, the garden of the Von-Trappe, the Living Room of the Von Trappe, the room of Maria (in the Von Trappe Family), among other were spectacular! They were very ornate, and careful attention to detail was given. It was top-notch, and I’d have to say that this production’s set and stage are actually better than some other international plays I’ve seen. It was really wondrous and captivating. Kaya ng pi

Actors and Performance


This play did not have a shortage of great actors and actresses. In fact, it was star-studded. Not with the “conventional” stars, but with stars that were really “stars” (okay, too much stars), in the sense that they were able to bring the people watching the play into the picture, and show them the world they were in.

These include the 7 Von Trappe Family Kids, the Froids, the Captain, obviously, and Maria.  The Captain was played by Audie Gemora, (along with Ed Feist and Jon Joven). A description of the character, as well as the people who play this role is shown below.

Reliving the character of Austrian Navy Captain Georg von Trapp will be the “King of Philippine Theater.” Audie Gemora is currently the head of talent management of ABC channel 5. He will grace the stage as the unaffectionate widower and father of seven children, eventually falling in love with Maria.

Taking a breather from the corporate world to alternate for the male lead role will be Ed Feist, and Broadway actor and World Champion of Performing Arts 2006 Jon Joven.

-Resorts World Manila Sound of Music Page

With a great Captain Von Trappe also comes a great Maria! Maria, who, apparently, sings 75% of all songs, is played by Joana Ampil (together with Cris Villonco). A description of the character, as well as the people who play this role is shown below.

London’s West End actress Joanna Ampil will lead the roster of characters to play the vibrant and impressionable postulant, Maria Rainer, who will change the lives of the Trapp Family Singers. Having made countless international appearances in film and television, including Miss Saigon, Hair, and Les Miserables, Joanna’s performance as the new Maria is certainly something to look forward to.

Playing as Joanna Ampil’s alternate is Cris Villonco. Fresh from her portrayal as Maria Clara of Noli Me Tangere, we will witness her talent as she transforms from being the shy Maria Clara to the free-spirited Maria Rainer.

-Resorts World Manila Sound of Music Page

The Von Trappe Children were also excellent, as well as the maid, the butler and the supposed wife-to-be of Captain Von Trappe whose name just slipped through my mind just now. Their names were not mentioned, but really did a great job.

In terms of performance, I have to say that it was very properly done, and really offers a homage to the original movie. It was able to bring forth the same emotions the original movie was able to give to its watchers.

With that, there may be some improvements that could be done in some parts, in the sense, that I was somewhat left hanging, but not in a good way. Not to say that this is bad, but this disrupted the flow of the whole thing. It’s like up and down and up and down. It’s like one minute there’s lots and lots of emotion, then the next second, I seem to just feel a tinge. So, if that gets improved, the overall performance would have been improved greatly.

PhotobucketI have to say, though, that one of the best played characters for me, is actually one of supposedly minor importance. This character is none other but… wait for it…, the Maid! Why is it so? The maid starts as a very regular and minor character, but as time passes, she becomes someone you look forward to seeing because of the comedic aire you can find in her. In her own way, she was able to bring the best the spirit of The Sound of Music, through the way she acted. Each time she strides through the stage, there is anticipation, and with this, comes the greatness that exuded from her.

So for this movie, best artist goes to the Maid!

Price and Value for Money

Given that this was shown in Resorts World Manila, which is a premiere theatre, the prices are very suitable for the show. We were lucky to be able to get the premiere seats which were really spectacular. We were at the center area, and we had 180 view of the whole stage. Just a tip if you’re going to get the premiere or any kind of seat section, for this matter. Get the thirty something seats because they’re the most center of the theatre.

SEAT SECTION TICKET PRICES
VIP P2,000
Premiere P1,700
Deluxe P1,300
Balcony P1,000

Drawbacks 

I guess, none, really. They may have cut some parts of the original movie, but overall, they’re very minor, and the production was nice.

THE TABLE OF STARS

CRITERION STARS (OUT OF ★★★★★)
Storyboard  ★★★★★
Need I say why?
Stage and Sets  ★★★★★
Spectacular and ornate; gives you the “I feel I’m part of the story” feeling.
Actors and Performance  ★★★★
Very very good. Just missed a tinge of something.
Price and Value for Money  ★★★★★
5 Stars. No questions asked.

Overall Rating: 4.75/ ★★★★★ (Outstanding)

Final Comments

If you really want a great play that’s captivating, then this is your play. It will be something remembered through ages, and truly something worth thinking about, worth watching.

Tickets and Reservations

Tickets are available at the Resorts World Manila Box Office and all TicketWorld outlets.

Call the Resorts World Manila Tourist/Visitor Hotline at 836-6333, 908-8833
or TicketWorld at 811-9999 for more information.

Below is a picture I took of available dates and time! Check it out and see when you’re available!


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