Love Matters at the ABSCBN Vertis Tent

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The love month is just around the corner and for those who are still finding the perfect event to go to for a date that's not far, well I've got news for you.
You see that tent right in front of Ayala Malls Vertis North with the huge ABSCBN logo on it? That's the location, now think about the good music and romance you'll get if you have the prince of RnB Kris Lawrence, Pop Diva Ms. Kuh Ledesma, the forever young Gabbi Concepcion and Kuh's daughter Isabella Gonzales, wouldn't that be unbelievable? Exactly, that's why they call this LOVE MATTERS... a concert that will happen at the ABSCBN Vertis North Tent on February 13 at 8PM.

Kris takes this concert as an honor to be able to perform with some of the country's icons in music and showbusiness. Ms. Kuh on the other hand has had the pleasure to stay with Mr. Gabbi Concepcion and their friends a couple of months ago in the US and is excited to perform with the 80's hearthrob on stage. She also is in the works to also do a birthday concert in March and says this may serve as a teaser for what's coming on those dates. She also knows how talented Kris is and she's excited how to mix things with him and daughter Isabella. This will be a fun evening for all four.

The LOVE MATTERS concert is produced by ALV Events International in partnership with ABSCBN Vertis Tent management. This isn't going to be the only thing happening at Ayala Malls Vertis North as they have a lot lined up for 2018. If you want to purchase tickets to the event, you may purchase them through Ticketworld at 899-9999 or the Ayala Malls Concierge area (I saw one in Trinoma earlier 901-5700, UP Town Center 621-3275 and Ayala Malls Vertis North at 718-5000 local 6366.

I'm sure you can't wait to see them on stage in this pre-valentines day offering at the Ayala Malls Vertis North. It'll surely be a fun and romantic night for you and your loved ones!

Fresh Blogs Fast!

KDrama Fans Must Watch ALONG WITH THE GODS: The Two Worlds

I seem to be in a roll with movies these days and one of them is ALONG WITH THE GODS: The Two Worlds. I watched at the advanced screening in Ayala Malls Vertis North this morning and I couldn't keep my excitement over it. You see, the trailer alone had me wanting to watch this because it's all over Facebook, aside from that I love watching one of the main actors named Cha Tae-hyun in 2days 1 Night, My Sassy Girl, The Producers (and I'm not even a fan in this state lol). This Korean flick though was released last December in the US already, and I'm sure pinoys have been eagerly awaiting it's showing here.

It's a fantasy drama flick, so you get a lot of advanced techinal computer graphics done by pretty excellent people from Korea, and a combination of pretty good actors in the mix. The story delves on their belief that in the afterlife, a person's soul is judged 7 times in a span of 49 days. Tae-hyun plays Kim Ja-Hong, a firefighter who's destiny starts an honorable death, one that impressed people in the afterlife as he saves a person from a burning buiilding. He died saving a young girl and got a rank of honorable paragon. He has to go through all those judgements first in order to go and be reincarnated. The judges are different gods which have tasks for him to continue to the other, he has 3 guardians who will act as his counsel, and that's where the adventure begins.

Watch his story unfold as he gets the chance to be reincarnated and get the chance to fulfill his last wish to finally meet his mother in her dreams. That's the only way he could see and communicate with her for one last time. 

If you want to watch this movie, it's showing in major malls nationwide and is distributed locally by Viva Films. Trust me, if you love Korean movies... you'll add this on your list after you watch it. It's that goof!

Rating this 4/5 cows 🐮🐮🐮🐮. Oh and YOU WILL CRY. :)

Fresh Blogs Fast!

The SM Store Now Accepts Paymaya Cashless Payments

I believe in the Paymaya brand.

A few days ago I was doing work in a coffee shop at a mall in Quezon City and consequently, I didn't have cash handy. I knew I had Paymaya credits in my old card because I got to reload it via the supermarket kiosk in my neighborhood, which I did a few weeks ago. I did the standard procedure as with any transaction, I lined up, they took my order then I gave them my card so I could settle payments. They accepted it right away but I saw the teller swipe the card twice at the cashier and true enough I got two transactions happen in 1 minute. I received two text confirmations that indicate I was charged twice and the balance I got said that too. I immediately told the person and he admitted it, he said he'll ask for it to be refunded but paid me in cash just in case he wouldn't be able to which I found reassuring so I went about having my large cup of latte. Then after a short while I received another text that one of my transactions have been reversed, so I went back to the counter and returned that money he gave me. These happened in a span of a few minutes, I wouldn't find out about it if that were a bank. People don't understand the convenience of digital, they think these are small things but any small amount if done with thousands of people means it could amount to a lot of money. It's hard earned, that's why one should take care of it.

This convenience I experienced made me believe in the Paymaya Philippines brand. Now, it will encompass my own story and start with the number one department store in the country, The SM Store. You see, it's the eve of changing payment systems of cash into online payments and it should always be secured as what I have experienced. This partnership from the biggest mall in the country came at the most opportune time where convenience is a priority. Have you always been afraid of carrying out thousands of pesos because you're afraid to lose it? But what if you really need to but don't have a credit card? That's where Paymaya comes in, you can simply get a card and fund your purchases over counters across the country including special QR stops in SM Malls. Aside from that, The SM Store now accepts Paymaya to make your ordinary shopping experience and make it into an extraordinary one by getting convenience for payments via the Paymaya App which you can download off the App Store and Google Play. Here's a short video I made during the launch of Paymaya QR and The SM Store's partnership. See how convenient it is to shop now at the biggest mall in the Philippines!

For those who don't have a Paymaya Card yet, download the app and get physical cards delivered to your doorstep. Or apply via the special Paymaya QR loading stations which will be found in SM Malls too. 

Your shopping convenience will double with Paymaya. I love how you won't have to have chump change everytime you run out of coins or money - and those instances where the cashier doesn't have change at all. 

Those small things matter.

Fresh Blogs Fast!  


Just saw Changing Partners today and boy was I impressed. The hit cinemaone originals entry that talks about LOVE got it's needed commercial run tomorrow and a premiere night with the four artists Jojit Lorenzo, Agot Isidro, Sandino Martin and Anna Luna.

Now the good thing is I'm looking at this movie like a regular spectator, as I havent watched the PETA production or when they showed this at the CinemaOne originals festival last year. The reason I said this needed a commercial run is because this is one spectacular representation of a world class production. Albeit casting lesser commercial appeal stars, it has greatly been able to tell the story of 4 relationships. All along I thought the narrative might have been given away at the trailer already but no, you need to see it on screen how they meticulously tied these gay, lesbian and May December affairs. The obvious message they would want to send is that love knows no gender, but really I think it's more than that. They treated each persona differently, and each individual may or may not ne affected by what the partner is doing. I am most impressed on how the material basically has said bluntly what a person should say in a situation, like if it does happen in real life it would have meant relationships would all go to shambles.

As writer Vincent De Jesus puts it, “Love can be overrated, the story is about my personality with humor, I am weird that way. It’s about relationships, friendships, how complete strangers become complete. We try to tell the story with truths and see how it plays there. We hope people would watch this film for just the mere goodness of the material, we are nervous but excited for everyone to see it!”

Here’s a video of our interview with the writer and some of the stars of the movie.

CHANGING PARTNERS will be shown to the public tomorrow at leading cinemas including SM. Check out and see why it’s the most talked about film and why it won awards at the CinemaOne Originals festival last year. It definitely is worth every minute. If there would be some improvements I'd like to happen, it's those dizzying camera shots during the first few miniutes of the movie, aside from that I loved it. I'd give it 4/5 cows.

Hurry and watch it before you get old like a banana.

Fresh Blogs Fast!

Philippine Edition of and ESPN Player Launched

Big news seem to come easy these days as newest sports channel player ESPN5 launch local branded editions of and subscription services from ESPN Player which will now be accessed by sports fans in the Philippines. These assets can be accessed starting January 31 (today) and will now serve traffic coming from the Philippines when it comes to scores, the latest news and videos from the Philippines and around the world via desktop or mobile.

With the thirst of Filipinos regarding these topics, ESPN5 promises the most comprehensive digital sports coverage in the Philippines and their partner ESPN, the world leader in sports. They have a lot of things in the pipeline and this is just one of them. Joyee Biswas the head of ESPN for Southeast Asia says "We are fans ourselves and this is why ESPN has a very strong connection with people around the world. These co branded sports products will reach Philippine fans that will complement what ESPN5 has to offer including game analysis and the recently launched SportsCenter Philippines.

Coach Chot Reyes adds "We will continue to feature the best sports news for all Filipinos, the greatest stories of leagues from PBA, PSL, GILAS and tons of other events we are hosting and give it where they want it, whenever they want it. We are launching more stuff later this year including the ESPN App so you can go anywhere without feeling you're missing out. You'll love our coverages of NBA, NFL, Volleyball, Soccer, Tennis, eSports because ESPN5 tops that. For now, you can be assured updates through our newly launched localized and ESPN Player for live sports streaming on demand. The website and the ESPN app will bring more advertising solutions to our partners across all devices in a universal ad package which they can take advantage of. You'll be surely excited for what we have in store for you."

Why Modafinil is called a Smart Drug?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Wondering Mind

Many people out there, who have heard the name of Modafinilfor the first time are thinking that why it seems to be called asmart drug. It is true that Modafinil is indeed a smart drugbecause of the purpose it serves. This drug is also called nootropic because it has the capability to enhance the cognitive function in many ways, and this is done just in seconds. It is true that there are also many other smart drugs in the market, but some of the fundamental features make Modafinil stand out on its own for instance:


1. Not a Stimulant

It is believed that Modafinil is a stimulant but it is not so. It acts like this one while it has eugeroic which is an agent that helps to promote wakefulness. Modafinil also does not result in making the person jittery or speedy just like other stimulants but instead it does not even have the withdrawal. So, this smart drug is really not an addictive component that bounds the patient for regular intake. People can easily use it as per choice and need without worrying much about the side effects it may cause.

2. Few Side Effects

There are many stimulants which have plenty of side effects while Modafinil in this regard is really very safe.Other stimulants often cause the brain to have long term negative effects but Modafinil does not makes any such issues for which it stands out from many other smart drugs in the market. Its regular and seldom users have reported the drug to be safest for use without causing any severe side effects. Many people over the regular Modafiniluser’s blogs have reported its safe use for up to 20 plus years without any specific side effects observed.

3. It Really Works

Many people might think that it is just a hype around Modafinil. The reality is that it actually works. The movie called Limitless is based on the medicine Modafinil, and this is evident from the superhuman mental processing power which one has after using the Modafinil drug. It has even few to no significant kind of side effects. Functionality of this drug is just not bound to regular intakes or seldom intakes. Whenever one wants to well deal with the sleep related issues and is sleep deprived this drug facilitates the maximum utility for patients.

4. Not even Addictive

The very first thing which comes in the mind of people is that whether such drugs are addictive or not. The reality is that many other stimulants are addictive but Modafinil is not. It is even designed in a way that it helps to eliminate the issue of addiction. Unlike many other drugs that cause severe addiction and even lead to several health issues when their intake is stopped. 


In order to have sound benefits from Modafinil, the dosage of this smart drug should be given keen importance. This is based on the fact that its dosage depends on the person and his or her physical and mental health. 

• For a healthy person, the dosage of Modafinil is estimated to be as 30 to 50 mg and it will be sufficient enough to have the needed benefits from Modafinil.
• The effects of Modafinil also last for around 6 to 8 hours and thus it should be taken in the morning either with or without food.

The dosage condition must be specifically consultedwith doctors or by guides provided at the Internet in order to use the drug to its safe levels. As the dosage conditions vary from one age group to another so special care is must to be taken in order to get fully facilitated with its potential advantages. The dosage intakes vary from kids to teens and vary more with people of greater ages. The dosage conditions vary for several compound combinations too for which care is crucial to be taken. Modafinilis combination with other compounds leads to varying reaction and results that are not same for everyone. So cautions must be taken before its use for maximal utility under prevailing circumstances. 

IMPORTANT: It is important to note that Modafinil is a prescription drug and it should not be taken without the prescription because talking to your doctor about its dosage is the most important key point when making use of Modafinil and purchasing it. It is also available on many of the online stores out there.

How Modafinil got this popularity

Modafinil was first used back in 1980’s. People initially used it for first time with great care of precautionary measures and tried to use it to minimum extent considering that this drug could have several side effects or addictive health issues that may affect their health in longer run. With its intake and awareness spread for the utility of smart drugs and with doctors owned trust over Modafinil, the usage trends of this smart drug greatly increased specifically among the professionals whose job commitments require longer duty hours. The full edge benefits of Modafinil lead to enhanced cognitive abilities and effective working mentalities that excite a human brains performance. People from other professional recommendations started its use and took the advantage of of pricing and bought Modafinil for sale to save the money and used in both professional and non-professional niches of their lives. Winning people heart with the issue solving in such an effective manner and getting their trust over this drug lead them to practice Modafinil with other issues and people of other aged groups as well. Soon with its minimal side effects noticing people started to spread awareness on its effective use and a lot more potential benefits were observed for teenagers by Modafinil use as well. Now today even without doctor’s recommendation people do prefer its intake in tough exam hours and academic commitments that require more focus towards curricular activities. People who are active is physical sports also started its intake for effective performance measures.

OneUp Releases Smile on Digital Stores

Monday, January 29, 2018

Maybe, just maybe, you’ll love these guys even more.
If you’ve loved how GMA’s premier boyband OneUp has shown over the past year, they’ve just released their first single called this month called “SMILE” on digital stores worldwide. 10 guys from different walks of life, different talent shows from the Kapuso network went together and formed a group to the delight of their fans and made covers, spectacular shows and now is whipping up their own music. OneUp is composed of Jay Arcilla, Nikki Co, Brent Valdez, Joe Marie Nielsen, Arjan Jimenez, Kevin Sagra, Ralf King, Dave Bornea and Yasser Marta.

During a blog conference a few days ago, they were proudly wearing their badges as they see this as an accomplishment. They have been working hard performing in shows in and outside Manila, rehearsed for hours and tried to find the best song that would represent their group as they knew their debut was eagerly coming.

Yasser says “We focused on bonding first and did the work on our stage performance before we released this. We knew we had to work on our material. While we were a little not too busy we did that first, then some side projects so we really didn’t run out of work. We have songs that we do on gigs and we all work on it.”

Dave Bornea adds “Our single is composed by Kiko Salazar. It’s about someome reminiscing their loved one, the one that makes them smile. It was launched during the New Year’s celebration, and we’re about to also release the music video for it this month and we hope you would get it in music stores, digital sites worldwide.

Jay Arcilla says “Smile is intended for teens who are experiencing their first love. Our music video is also directed by Miggy Tanchangco, which will be released by the end of this month.”
Again, this is under GMA Records and if you want to download it now, it's accessible in Spotify, iTunes and other online music stores worldwide. Click it while it's hot and see if you will SMILE when you hear from them.
They didn't even lipsync during their performance, just so you know. :)

Fresh Blogs Fast!

The 60th Grammy Awards on JackTV

Sunday, January 28, 2018

If you haven't slept yet, well here's more reason to wake up early. Tomorrow January 29 at 8:30AM in the Philippines, the 60th Grammy Awards is going to be broadcasted via sattelite at everybody's favorite crazy network, JackTV. 

Hosting the show is crazy person, James Corden and I think he'll be doing some carpool karaoke. Though I'm excited to see who will win in some of the categories. As we know, we'll probably see some bits of Despacito, Jay-Z, Lorde, Bruno Mars and a lot of others. If they perform though that will be another story, because I heard Kesha, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Sam Smith, and the whole parade of artists that would really be nice to see on this Cable channel. 

It starts 4:30PM Pacific so that's 8:30AM Manila time with all the red carpet premieres in between that will probably shock you because it's their 60th of course. 

Fresh Blogs Fast!

Jodi, Robin, Richard in New Afternoon Show Before Showtime

Leo, Martin, Mona and Lisa. These are just names to you now but as soon as it airs on ABSCBN this coming Monday, you’ll love each of their characters as portrayed by Robin Padilla, Richard Yap and Jodi Sta. Maria. This is called SANA DALAWA ANG PUSO (I wish I had 2 hearts) and will be the afternoon offering right before Showtime on the kapamilya channel.

Robin plays Leo, a man who takes odd jobs for a living. Although poor, falls madly in love with rich beauty diva Lisa of the Loriano Group of Companies (played by Jodi)... who was in a supposed arranged marriage with Martin Co who later finds himself a poor barrio girl who looks exactly like Lisa but is named Mona, a chicken farmer. Will their lives intertwine? Will love be good for these four people? How are they related? You have to watch the first episode tomorrow on ABSCBN.

Jodi says “I am personally very excited to see this, this is fun, you’ll learn a lot of things, sometimes very romantic and I hope you get to watch it. The postponement had nothing to do with Robin but our creative team had to do revisions with the script and characters. We were not ready yet last August but this is good now. There will be 4 characters tomorrow and I believe they will be in love with Martin and Leo, you can’t compare then because they have different stories that should be appreciated by people.”

Richard Yap adds “We have been gone for a while but I hope people would go back to this time slot, hopefully the same people who watched us will get to see us again. My character is different now, I had to reinvent myself to be this character, I have long lines and I should have asked something like a man of few words like Robin.”

Robin says “To belong here is really but an honor for me, I am a fan of their show in the past and now I’m with them in the series. ABSCBN was a bit behind schedule and our schedules got mixed up between this and a movie we tried to make in between. They are bringing in a show about love, so it’s light and very Filipino. It was just a matter of timing I guess. My two movies were postponed (by Vidanes) and we did this instead. I asked ABSCBN to just make my character to be as close as possible with me, they agreed.”

The show also stars Christopher De Leon, Bobot Mortiz, Alma Moreno, Nikki Valdez, Bayani Agbayani, Ryan Bang, Ylona Garcia, Buboy Garrovillo, Kitkat Favia, and a whole lot more. Again it starts tomorrow January 29 after showtime!

Fresh Blogs Fast!

The PSI Lifestyle Hub in Quezon City

Got invited to the PSI Lifestyle Hub in Quezon City. It's pretty near my place and it sits right across my old school Trinity University of Asia at the ground floor of The Garden Heights Condominium. I'm pretty familiar with this area because I spent all of my highschool years here. It's bustling with SME's, hospitals, new restaurants, malls but I think it's a pretty nice place to put up a business that would cater to a niche market. It's me and you, the millenials, the xennials, Gen X and Y who by stroke of luck will get to see the new PSI Lifestyle Hub. Here's a short tour :)

I enjoyed knowing that there’s now a store that would cater to big men like me and sell them at a fair price.

If you’ve got a craving for Montaño Sardines, or a health freak looking for Benevita Coconut products, or finding a big guy’s outfit at Perfect 10, finding the best London and Korean made stuff from London Cosmetics Manila, or school/office supplies from Chubby Bunny, PSI Lifestyle Hub would be your destination of choice.

Congratulations and again, for those who would want to see the products personally or talk business, please visit them at PSI Lifestyle Hub. It is right across Trinity University of Asia and St. Lukes Hospital.

You may also send your inquiries at Facebook page because they’re ready to answer if you have questions about the products they offer. I’ll be back there to shop for clothes soon, I found a long sleeved shirt that I like.

Big boys don’t worry, they have huge sizes up until 7XL.

Fresh Blogs Fast!

Full Screen But Cheaper OPPO A83

Friday, January 26, 2018

Had a wonderful evening with bloggers and online media at Yes Please jn BGC. Oppo Philippines has just come out with their current red version OPPO F5 but also acknowledged the need for high performance phones that wouldn't break the bank so during the party, they also released the OPPO A83.

They remarked that they changed the selfie centric market a few years ago and felt it needed a new upgrade so with the OPPO A83 you still would be able to take great selfies with the help of the AI technology in it. It takes more realistic shots now so you wouldn't look over processed or remove those things that makes you unique, the natural marks.

Aside from that, they got the improved COLOR OS 3.2 loaded on Android 7.1. They also have equipped it with a 5.7 inch 720 x 1440 display, a 2.5GHz octa core processor, plus 3GB of RAM so you get sufficient computing power on your handset anytime of the day. There's also the 13 megapixel rear camera so if you're taking shots of something else aside from your face, it can still perform at par, or even better than phones in this price range. It's Php 9,990.00.

Since they kept the processor like what they have with the F5, you can be sure it could take you to a major gaming experience without any problems. They did this so you could enjoy the same gaming feels at a fraction of a cost. Here's their head of PR Eason De Guzman who talked about the phone earlier.

Ms Jane Wan, Country Manager for OPPO Philippines

Eason De Guzman, PR Head of OPPO Philippines

They plan to do more things this 2018 and promised a crazier smartphone market, let's see if they cause a ripple or a wave. 

Fresh Blogs fast!

Sherlock Jr. Starts January 29

GMA is putting a paw on the table as it ramps up the primetime slot via GMA Telebabad. Popular loveteam GabRu aka Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid will be making their world a little more fun with Siri (original name Serena) as they go about solving mysteries and crimes with the new show Sherlock Jr. as GMA Drama's first offering. With a viral project in the past, Siri won't be just your regular pet dog but will be part of the whole story, also aiding her masters in invesigating each case as it goes.

For those who don't know, Serena was just a golden retriever which was gifted to a trainer. Early on, she was already seen very active and they didn't hesitate to cast her because she was smart, talented and very expressive on screen.

Janine Gutierrez's character is pivotal as she will start the story of this dog and how it will end up with Ruru's character. From sit down, stay, pickung things up and carrying bags, she can do it on command. She does have her off days, as her trainer describes she gets bored just like any kid.

We met some of the cast members during a blog conference organized by GMA’s Digital Team. Together with Fans and Kapuso Teams, they played games with Sofia Pablo, Kate Valdez and Yanna Asistio. We also watched the first episode which partly had us look at the show’s characters and how the fesity Gabbi Garcia started her relationship with Ruru Madrid in the show. Aside from that, we had a glimpse on how close Siri was with Janine Gutierrez’s character and why IT all happened, we’re not divulging that part as it may spoil the show!
Serena aka Siri for Sherlock Jr.
Serena aka Siri for Sherlock Jr.

Again, this show is going to start on January 29 which falls on Monday. Don’t miss the first episode because as cliche as that sounds it’s important you know the story behind each character. The show also includes Roi Vinzon, Aiai Delas Alas, Tontin Gutierrez, Sharmaine Arnaiz, Rochelle Barrameda, Andre Paras and Matt Evans. You will love Jack and Lily I’m sure.

Fresh Blogs Fast!

Ex Battalion, Piolo Pascual in Ai❤️U, Aiai Delas Alas' Concert atthePalacio De Maynila

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ms. Aiai has already cemented her title as the Concert Comedy Queen and she's not about to stop anytime soon. The last time she was on stage was ages ago (headlining with no less than Asia's Nightingale Ms. Lani Misalucha) and I'm sure people must have really missed her. She knows so she's ruffling all the feathers, taking out her glitters and promising that you will have a good time. This would be perfect for expats and couples who don't want much of those mushy songs and concerts, those who just want to have a good time for a day that should be a bit more celebratory. Singles too!

She told us "I have only celebrated Valentines day once and I really felt so good about it. My husband prepared well, I on the other hand had to fit in a tight dress, so right after dinner I told him I'm going to wear this the whole night... but we got bored and just played slots downstairs since we were in Solaire. It was my first time to play but the man sitting beside me told me I WON! Beginners luck or not, it was my first time to actually win 65K while I was just sitting there. It was so exciting! But you'll be even more excited if you watch my concert as I'll be rapping with Ex Battalion and singing cute things with Piolo Pascual. You'll love how high tech we'll be this time because I have never seen this done in a concert before!"

Here's our video interview with her at her Ai Sarap Express Store.

By the way, this concert is sponsored by Pitalicious Shawarma and produced by Palacio De Maynila Events and Exhibit Center. You may purchase tickets at and SM Ticket outlets or just be there on February 14, at 7PM. There are no dress codes but it would be nice to be a little casual right?

I can't wait to see this fun show. 

Fresh Blogs Fast!

The First BENCH CAFE Opens Today!

The BENCH Flagship Store in BGC

My love for world renowned brand BENCH encompasses the celebrities in their roster, the fragrances I love and fashion they put out on the runway. They’re practically everywhere now and it’s a good thing. Just a couple weeks ago, they’ve gone and got good looking Brooklyn Beckham in the country for a couple days so he could meet and greet his fans plus a book signing event where thousands of people actually attended.

Suyen Corporation is also bringing in food brands left and right, making this island nation no stranger to international cuisine, world class food on the Filipino table, among of which are Paul (the boulangerie), Pablo Cheesecake, St. Marc Cafe, Maisen (my favorite Katsu place!), even yummy heartwarming Marugame Udon which opened a couple months ago. Now they’re ramping up local brand BENCH in the mix putting up another feather to Ben Chan’s hat with this new brand called BENCH CAFE. This is with partnership to long time restaurateur, mogul and owner of FooDee Global Concepts - COO Eric Dee (who's a very nice chap, so passionate too by the way!). I’ll take you around their flagship store in BGC which I visited ahead of everyone last Sunday, thanks to their lovely people who invited me for dinner. :)

The Bench Flagship Store operates from 10AM-11PM more or less and this is the same schedule which they plan to follow for the store (according to the person waiting tables) but they plan to actually still serve food as long as there's still people who want  their food. The concept is simple, to make Filipino food more upscale (like a glamorized Turo Turo style dining). When I looked at the menu, there wasn't much item on it which cost an arm and a leg, probably so that they can serve food within the Php 250-450 range. That I think would make this a whole lot different from the restaurants in this vicinity, I bet they wanted to change the food landscape in BGC.   

This first BENCH CAFE is located at second floor of the Bench Flagship Store. It's at the corner of Lane O and 9th Avenue in BGC, you won't get lost when you're there. The signage, the Bench store paraphernalia stands out so if you miss this place it's your fault. Yes the store is still open while you plan to dine in so even while you're waiting for your food to arrive you can shop at the store which is connected to this place via a door on the left side or the stairs. I mean who doesn't love shopping? You'll see this and the whole menu downstairs, trust me, you won't get intimidated with the prices.

The menu is pretty varied. It's like your usual favorite Filipino dishes but done with modern techniques. I'll show you later what I'm talking about, but in a nutshell you'll never run out of favorites here because it's like home. Expats or Tourists visiting Manila may have a better way of adapting to food if you take your first shot of Filipino food here. Dishes are done impeccably with European/American/French/Spanish influences but still is first and foremost Filipino.

This is their bar, where most of your coffee and drinks will be prepared.

When you go in the store, just go up the stairs and ask to be seated. As far as service goes, they are still on their toes. There's a person manning reception, they'll tell you if the place is full (I'm sure it will be full once they open their doors).

This is one of the tables at the left side of the bar, this would be good for those who would want a little privacy. The furniture is reminiscent of American 70's design, like pre Motown but with wood all throughout which we would identify as Filipino.

There's a long bunk chair stretched on the right side of the bar and that door on the end connects to the second floor of the Bench Store. This part is very modern art deco.

It's a mix as you can see, but still clean looking. It's not too cluttered, white brick walls and wood trims, you'll feel it's fresh as soon as you step in the cafe.

Printed table mats for dining customers. Please don't stay too long unless you're going to eat.

The Food

This one is served in threes.

To start off things, I had the TINAPA CONE which is a mousse of Tinapang Bangus (Smoked Milkfish) with Filipino Salsa (tomatoes and onions) set in a crunchy lumpia cone (like a super thin flour tortilla wrap). This is a tad salty, but you'll love how you get a crunchy exterior mixed with that salty-fishy cream and fresh tomatoes mixed, like a breakfast item which you can order the whole day. I could imagine this being served like an hors d'oeuvre for a party, it felt like that.

This is the BENCHANTED ICED TEA, who's flavor profile is more on the sweet tangy, but lemon grassy style. Since you are dealing with pretty heavy flavors, this would work well in between bites.

This is their SISIG. On a normal day and restaurant this would be just pork mask, grilled, charred and chopped then served in a sizzling plate. The difference here is that you they do it with pork mask and belly, then topped with the calamansi foam where you get it to be mixed with the whole thing so it turns out to be a little tangy and savory.

It wasn't hot so I made the initiative to chop up the Siling Labuyo and mix it up, but there's a separate mousse on a plate that needed to be also mixed in.

This creamy concoction might look normal,  but no. I asked and they told me it's UTAK AIOLI. Sisig is usually served with mayo, but in provinces like Nueva Ecija (where I tasted a similar one) they actually have a secret ingredient. As the name suggests, it's actually pork brain, which makes the consistency creamy as you mix it in while it's hot.

They serve it with Pork Crackling on the side.

Then when you mix it all up, you put it on a bed of romaine lettuce and chomp it all up! It's oily, but it's fresh, those contrasts for me makes it even interesting. This would be a perfect beer match. Which reminds me, they have cocktails and wine in the bar which are pretty cheap.

For those who would want to have coffee, theirs is pretty special. This is the PANDAN LATIK. As the name suggests, it's a latte cup of coffee lined with sweet coconut cream syrup which has been dried for an hour making it sweet and sticky on the mouth of your cup. You'll get that combination of flavors as soon as your mouth touches the rim of the cup. I thought it wouldn't work, but honestly it's super good. I'd have seconds if I'm working here.

This is the BENCH/TO which is a play on the Japanese bento. It's a set of well designed meals (there are 12 varieties) which you can order indicated with a number. You just point and choose. Remember the Turo turo concept (point and point)? Among the choices, I opted to try like #12 which they call INASAL NA LIEMPO. Now you can't compare this with the one served in that fast food joint because it ain't chicken. For Keto lovers,this would be a nice plate to have.

They marinated this well, the vinegar permeates inside the pork's skin and meat so when they grill this thing, it becomes a dreamy chunk of fat that you won't be able to put down once you slice into it.

Included in the set is this small bowl of GISING GISING which is the champion of all champions that evening. I love how they didn't hold back on how hot it should be. I love this a lot that I requested it to be served a la carte and in huge batches next time because it deserves it's own spotlight. It's super good!

Two things, the ATCHARA and FILIPINO SALSA (chopped tomatoes, onions, spring onions and cilantro on soy sauce) was the perfect thing to cut the oiliness of the pork dish. Make sure you prepare that perfect bite each time you eat this BENCH/TO!

I couldn't eat the rice because of Keto, but you can opt for the Garlic Rice if you want to indulge with it on your cheat day. Remember to NEVER deprive yourself!

Imagine me drooling while I watched this on my camera LOL. Ooh I can see some of you are drooling!

To end the meal, they suggested two desserts for me to try. This is the UBE HALO HALO but it's done like a Korean Bingsu. The shaved ice was a giveaway, but it's done in an ube base. That purple yam flavor mixed in with slivers of Macapuno, sweetened Garbanzo Beans, Bananas, Leche Flan, more Ube, Nata De Coco and thick Ube Ice Cream. How can you not have one? This is no rocket science, you'll definitely love this.

For those who are watching their sugar intake, take a vacation leave because this is their signature FLAN B. Your old school leche flan just had an upgrade and got filled with strips of yummy macapuno in between. You'll feel a glimpse of coconuts, it becomes part of the mix so you don't feel or taste that it's sweet at all, it's just right.

Oh and this is totally unrelated but I saw famous Youtuber Mikey Bustos. Now thinking about it, taking a photo of him is creepy and a little stalkerish. But honestly, I was just across the table so I snapped LOL! I bet you'll see a LOT of celebrities at the BENCH CAFE pretty soon, and the best thing is they're giving away something special for the first 100 customers today!

Special coupons will be issued to dine in customers who will be the first 10 (1 Year, 1 BENCH/TO per week), next 20 will have (6 Months, 1 BENCH/TO per week), next 30 will have (3 Months worth at 1 BENCH/TO per week), last 40 guests will have 1 complimentary BENCH/TO. Now you know how to get the biggest prize of them all, try the food, be proud it's Filipino, take time to love the cuisine, the coffee because we deserve the small comforts that BENCH CAFE can give. Indulge in what they have to offer at Bench's Flagship Store at BGC. 

It only happens today, January 25. You'll probably have to line up early, but don't worry because the food's not just good... it's divine!

Trust me on the Latik Latte and the BENCH/TO #12. The INASAL NA LIEMPO and that darn heavenly GISING GISING had me still craving for it at this hour. It's 3AM and it still haunts me.  

Thank you Mr. Eric Dee for explaining the dishes, it was awesome to experience BENCH CAFE, I'll be back!