food trip

trip to lunch 2: khas food house

had a blast yesterday eating out at UP. carlo and i met up with jopay my wardrobe mistress over at her place behind the university hotel. before that we decided to eat lunch at khas food house, persian food specialty resto.

keema with squid.JPG

back when i was at the height of my involvement with the church, we (the upcym) frequented khas and i had my hearty fill of either keema with squid (sweet-spicy ground beef with squid) or beef garlic (sauteed spicy beef with garlic and shredded cabbage over rice). on occasion i would order ox-brain with ground beef, llong dan mong (sinigang style spicy soup with seafood), zetheska (pita bread wrapped ground beef with curry) or “that-is-not-what-you-think” (which delivers the unexpected, but with great results). as a student my budget for lunch would only allow me a p50 meal with a glass of water. if we got too lazy to go to rodics for my indulgence of baconsi (special order super crispy bacon with 2-3 cups of rice), we headed for khas.

khas food house menu.JPG

so yesterday we invaded khas and despite a few additions (like clear plastic rainproofing and tiled tables with lazy susans), the place practically stayed the same, from the cartolina marker-lettered menu wrapped in clear plastic, the flies in the area, the “off-the-menu” chalk board down to the wonderful waitresses and cook. it’s been years since i greeted the waitresses a cheery “good afternoon, beautiful” in bisaya, and this time was no exception.

impressed by the new full-color menu with photographs, we first called for samosas (stuffed pastry of baked potatoes, curry and other spices, served with a garlic dip) for appetizer. i then proceeded to order the classic keema with squid. carlo ordered the jambalaya (surprisingly a huge serving of spicy rice with veggies, squid and chicken, served with pureed tomatoes and spices, a serving of curry paste, token slice of cucumber and tomato, and a bowl of minty soup). i then had a nice glass of carrot shake, carlo got the fresh yoghurt chiller.


the jambalaya was a real revelation for us both, with carlo sweating like mad because of all the chili. the keema used to be served with chopped chili. now they prepare it with ground sili and made it so much better. i dont think ive really experienced khas until now. i feel like ive missed out on the greater food experience they had to offer mainly due to my previous student budget limitation. there are other wonderful items on the menu i havent explored. that means i have to come back for more!

it took us a while to recover from the heady encounter. good thing we ordered the blended ice drinks as not only did they cool down our tongues, but both the carrot and yoghurt neutralized the spice in our tastebuds. i stopped to ask myself why i dont sweat when eating chili compared to carlo. me thinks there is more to my almost persian looks than i know. hehe


i had to text some of my upcym barkada that i had trekked back to one of our eating places in UP, and that i missed their company as well. before carlo and i left we posed to have our pictures taken with the long-time waitress and cook of khas. as always, with any place it’s not only the food that makes the resto but also its people. this nostalgic journey did not disappoint, and has only opened more opportunities to seek and enjoy a more colorful, spicy life with food and people. cheers!


ka-inis 1: kwento at work

it’s been a few weeks since i started work with the new movie and we’ve so far only shot 2 days. the grueling task of casting the last main lead has been daunting for the rest of the staff, catching up on last minute decisions on whether to shoot or not and if the production fund would be released with enough time to prepare for props before we are called to the set. and to top it all off, because of such reasons we all havent been given our downpayment.

in the meantime the children have been starving. the system and policies of the production company hasnt been much of help in the way that they tell me my request for fund has been denied days after i submitted it because it was supposedly in the wrong format. and hey, theyve already approved it the first time they received it!

exactly my reasons for submitting it early so they could look over it and tell me if something was wrong. in the first place, they havent been transparent on certain standards and rules on requesting, reimbursement, and even in what to purchase or not. one time during the previous long night shoot, they told me my request didnt pull through for the next day’s shoot and i got really furious that i started cursing in the queen mother’s tongue. it wasnt the first time they did that to me and evidently, i thought we already had an agreement on imaginary terms and policies on format and other bureaucratic bullshit.

they also informed us that i couldnt do any purchases for costume. everything should come from the actors and other talents (and they mean everything), or is acquired through x-deals from companies and clothing shops. that’s really no problem with me, i can work with that. however, ive already spent a few thousands on costume for the 1st day shoot because nobody warned us before hand (i come from an advertising world where we practically dont curtail on expenses for costume and props). the field cashier, who was supposed to know all these things, allowed us these actions and got berated for doing so (again, the rules should have been made clear to all, if such rules existed). she then spent the next few weeks lamenting and whining about it. and we had to keep up with it. help.

i am a reasonable man. i believe i can work with systems and rules and redtape but if these are tailored to the fickle decision-making of the superior officer, then they are not rules but merely suggestions. my stint as designer for this film has become a lot trickier and challenging everyday. that includes giving a list of props requirements to the supervising producer and letting her do my proppings for me, because they have to get all these for free. good enough for me, that means less legwork for my staff and me. unfortunately, how long will it take before they tell me they did most of the work and i dont deserve what i was paid for?

ill slap them silly. that’s why they hired me as designer in the first place. i do the design –and the producer is supposed to produce. haha! 2 days down, 28 to go. rak en roll.




art & design, filmmaking, movies

official news i guess

it’s official and im gonna write about it.

was offered to work as PD for chito roño’s new horror film.  that got me scared shit.  direk chito is one of the industry’s biggest directors, and the most demanding.  i wouldnt know if i could handle the stress!  but i realized this would be the 3rd time a chito film offer passed through my hands.  ive been asked to work with him before (one film for london, another for something else).  feelings of inadequacy or just being plain terrified to be berated on set would have to be conquered. opportunity is not a lazy visitor (so says cinderella from “into the woods”).  so i accepted the project  🙂

i did survive our first day of shoot though. yey! shoot was just 1 scene, 4 shots, 1 location and featured assunta making her architectural and fengshui presentation.  1 down, 29 shooting days to go.

artdept staff on first day high: deans, carlo, ben, lola fer and jopay.

the Lord is my shepherd; though i cross through the shadows of the valley of death i will fear no evil.  after the movie i hope i wont be reduced to a sliver of a soul, an imprint of digital shit. haha.

one day at a time please ! yey

food trip, musings

trip to lunch 1

because we’re both so busy working on costumes for univ of makati’s kahapon ngayon at bukas, the idea of cooking is taxing enough and a waste of precious time from crocheting yards of straw into collar pieces and grass skirts. so normally carlo and i would frequent outdoor katipunan (as suppose to eating in) in search of glorious food.

the default choices for places to eat is a categorized lot. you want japanese? kitaro is the place to be. how about meat ergo sisig? rice trucks at the overpass area in between miriam and ateneo. dessert? xocolat. caffeine fix? seattle’s best. go cheap? buy from the eatery next door and eat in.

kitaro katipunan has become a favorite tho, more than teriyaki boy which locates itself right outside the row apartments we live in. the usual order would be chicken teriyaki for me and mixed tempura for carlo. on occasion we order sashimi. service is good and food is more than ok. it’s become home. haha

rice trucks is also another favorite sisig place. the generous share of chicaron does make their dish more than ordinary. and the lady behind the counter is bisaya. she knows my rice is served separately from the hot plate. and the c2 must have ice.

the neighboring sisig house is fantastic, great sisig there but afterwards you get a head trip from too much cholesterol. their sisig is pretty rich, chopped skin, ears and stuff, globs of liver and brain, real skin chicaron and a whole lot of other fatty oily food matter! masarap pero mamamatay ka ! bakit nga ba lahat ng bawal masarap?

xocolat’s homey ambience is a real come-on for us. and their dessert (brownies original sin, adult, peanut butter chuvas) is to die for! tried the hot chocolate drink and it seemed i had to spoon the drink instead of drink it because it was so rich.

im a sucker for cheesecakes now but good ones are hard to find in katipunan tho. so far there’s only bo’s coffee house (red ribbon cheesecakes isnt all that great and ive yet to try sweet inspi’s offer). and theyre pretty good but p125 is pretty steep even for its big slice.

more on katipunan fare when i get hungry again. time to get back to work. cheers and bon appetit!

art & design, filmmaking

urian 2007. guess what?

Originally slated ngayong August, ayon sa Manunuri member na si Mario Hernando, ang Gawad Urian 2007 awrds night ay sa September na itatanghal. Target venue nila ay ang Meralco Theater, produced by APT Entertainment, Inc. nina Tony Tuveria and Malou Choa Fagar…

And the nominees are….

BEST PICTURE: Huling Balyan ng Buhi; Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo; Kaleldo; Kubrador; Manoro; Todos, Todos, Teros; Rome and Juliet

BEST DIRECTOR: Connie Macatuno (Rome and Juliet); Jeffrey Jeturian (Kubrador); Jose Javier Reyes (Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo); Brillante Mendoza (Kaleldo, Manoro); John Torres (Todos, Todos, Teros); Joel Lamangan (Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah); Sherad Anthony Sanchez (Huling Balyan)

BEST ACTRESS: Maricel Soriano (Inang Laya); Judy Ann Santos (Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo); Cherrie Pie Picache (Kaleldo); Angel Aquino (Kaleldo); Gina Pareno (Kubrador); Jonalyn Ablong (Manoro); Mylene Dizon (Rome and Juliet); Andrea del Rosario (Rome and Juliet)

BEST ACTOR: Ryan Agoncillo (Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo); Mark Gil (Rotonda); Rustom Padilla (Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah); Alcris Galura (Batad); Mario Magalona (Rekados); Jett Pangan (Tulad ng Dati); Sid Lucero (Donsol)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Gloria Diaz (Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo); Liza Lorena (Inang Yaya); Tala Santos (Inang Yaya); Tessie Tomas (Rome and Juliet); Agot Isidro (Tulad ng Dati); Gina Pareno (Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo); Pops Fernandez (Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah); Meryll Soriano (Rotonda)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Ping Medina (Tulad ng Dati); Rafael Rosel (Rome and Juliet); Allan Paule, Lauren Novero (Kaleldo); Archie Adamos (Raket ni Nanay); Jeffrey “Eppie” Quizon (Rotonda); Soliman CruZ (Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo); Domingo Landicho (Kubrador)

BEST SOUND: Mike Idioma (Kaleldo); Kubrador, Raket ni Nanay, Tulad ng Dati, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah

BEST MUSICAL SCORE: Huling Balyan ng Buhi, Jerrold Tarog (Kaleldo), Kubrador, Jerrold Tarog (Manoro), Tulad ng Dati, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah

BEST EDITING: Kaleldo, Kasal…, Kubrador, Romeo Candido (Pamana), Rome and Juliet, Rotonda, Todos, Todos, Teros

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Odie Flores (Kaleldo), Kubrador, Huling Balyan…, Manoro, Odie Flores (Pamana), Raket ni Nanay, Rome and Juliet, Rotonda

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Benjamin Padero, KALELDO; Kubrador, Huling Balyan…, Brillante Mendoza (additional design Benjamin Padero) Manoro, Rome and Juliet, Rotonda. Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah

BEST SCREENPLAY: Huling Balyan…; Boots Pastor (Kaleldo); Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo; Kubrador; Ralston Javier (Manoro); Rome and Juliet; Todos, Todos, Teros; Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah


this is fun hehe apparently this is my 2nd nomination from the urian (the first was for masahista last year) and the 3rd nom for my work in kaleldo (was nominated also for the star awards and the famas hehehe).

im connected to three films up for nominations in this year’s urian. the first would be kaleldo where im prod designer. manoro got a lot of nominations as well. prod design was by dante but i did additional design for the film as well as doing the film’s poster so im thrilled it got that far, including getting a nod for aeta actress jonalyn ablong. the third film is pamana (the inheritance), nominated for editing and cinematography, which i also worked on prod designer (with dante as design supervision). coolness ! thank you Lord 😀