Food Trip: Charlie’s Grind & Grill (Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City)

November 8, 2010

Welcome to the first entry of my Food Trip blog! Today, I am very honored to kick this off by reviewing what could be the best tasting burger joint I’ve ever come upon since Hotshots: Charlie’s Grind & Grill.

The first thing I noticed when I saw the well-lit white orange sign of Charlie’s while walking home from work was the tagline “Hand-Crafted Burgers”. Hmm, now that was one unique way of describing your burgers, but hey, it might be just like a normal burger joint with fancy names and mediocre-tasting grub with a fancy name to boot. However, the “Hand-Crafted Burgers” sign along with the words “Philly Cheesteak, Fresh Fries, Shakes, etc.” made me curious enough and I decided to try it out with my cousins and uncle. It turns out my cousins already ate there before, and they could not help but rave about the experience and the quality of the famous Charlie’s burger, further increasing my urge to take a bite into it as soon as possible.

Glancing at the menu, I immediately knew this place was no joke. They take their burgers and other food with a bright, cheery aura and seriously enough to make you not forget about your dining experience with them in a positive light. They always go back to square one when cooking and preparing their burgers, grinding the beef and forming it into patties once an order has been made, this is actually the secret to their great-tasting burgers. I ordered their famous Black Angus Burger with Fresh Fries (P150 for the burger alone; with fries P175) coupled with a Vanilla Milkshake (P150). My uncle ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wings with Bleu Cheese Dip (P150 for a half-dozen, P290 for a dozen; level spiciness can either be Sweet, Spicy, or Nuclear) for everyone. There was a wait time of around 10 minutes, but it was worth it! The Black Angus was perfectly done and is sinfully succulent it didn’t even need any mayo or ketchup to add taste to it. Anyone would be a fool not to break their diet upon taking a bite of this burger.  The buffalo wings we got was the Nuclear-level spiciness, which were paired with veggie sticks and a generous amount of bleu cheese for dipping. The spiciness of the wings were well-complemented by the tangy dip and veggie sticks, turning this into a must-try dish.

Portion-wise, the burger was huge! Being a hearty eater, it was definitely worth my 180 pesos. Charlie’s also has a selection of the finest beers, both local and foreign, in their fridges. Word going around is that they will be serving wine by the glass soon. Among other selections to try in their menu would be the Snap Dawgs Chili and Cheese Dawg, Fish and Chips, Philly Cheese Steak, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Panko Crusted Deep Fried Cheese Stuffed Portabello Mushroom (which can be added to the Black Angus for a total of P350), and Meatballs Marinara on Pasta.

They also recently introduced their new trademark: Burger Sauces. You can choose from Horsey Wasabi, American, Russian, and Aioli. Plus, they’re free!

Charlie’s is located in Barrio Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Contact number 02-501-01-37. They accept pick-up orders only.

 

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Hostage Crisis in Manila ends in tragedy

August 24, 2010

I seriously don’t know what to do to alleviate the mixed emotions I’m feeling right now.

The Philippine police needs some serious revamping of their strategies of hostage situations in my opinion. Last night, before I headed off to my office (I work in a callcenter), I had a glimpse of the headlines on TV and saw that the negotiations seemed to be coming into fruition. It seemed that everything was going in the right direction and that the long night of the hostages were going to come to a peaceful end soon.

When I took my first break from calls at around 11:30PM, my officemate (who had a later shift than mine and came to work at that very moment) told me that almost everyone had died in the bus, including that bastard hostage taker Rolando Mendoza.

Heavy dismay fell over me.

And here I thought that no blood would be spilled, that no lives would be snuffed out. What the hell just happened?

When I got home, I updated myself, reading the headlines and articles on the internet. What I found out was downright humiliating. From what I’ve discovered, Mendoza was fired and denied benefits from his duty as a police back in 2008 when he was discovered to be involved in a drug heist and extortion cases. His hatred boiling over, Mendoza hijacked a bus full of Hong Kong tourists and some Filipinos. He cuffed the bus driver to the steering wheel and demanded the ombudsman to reopen his case and clear his name from the shabu heist. Isko Moreno, the head negotiator, along with Mendoza’s brother, entered the bus to negotiate with the hostage taker.

Rolando trashed the letter of the Ombudsman, for some unknown reason. In an act of vile support, his brother egged him into not surrendering unless he will be granted reinstation as a police officer. This simply aggravated Mendoza, firming his grip on the hostages’ lives. Round 1 of negotiations had failed, all thanks to Mendoza’s Cain-like brother. As a result, the brother was tagged as a co-conspirator and apprehended. When the bro saw the media recording EVERYTHING (which was another major blunder), he suddenly made a break for it, shouting he was being arrested, all this while the world was watching the drama, including Rolando in the bus!

The provocation caused Rolando to finally snap, killing around 8 hostages with his M-16 assault rifle. The bus driver was able to escape, and alert the authorities that ALL had died on the bus. This moved the SWAT to action, moving in a uniformed pace towards the tour bus and smashing the windows with a sledgehammer and struggling to open the front door and escape hatch. Mendoza let out a barrage of gunfire blindly through the bus window, realizing his end was near. The SWAT returned fire with a hail of bullets, shells jumping through the smoke. Aimed at practically nothing, risking hitting the tourists with their gunfire. A sniper finally nailed Mendoza on the head, killing him and ending the. crisis.

But it was all with a price.

The result was a carnage. 8 tourists dead, a crippled tourism (we have officially been blacklisted by the HK Security Bureau as a country NOT to be travelled on by ALL tourists. Yes, it’s true, and utterly humiliating. See it here), and public backlash of outrage and disappointment. It all could have ended peacefully, it could have been prevented HOURS before its actual bloody conclusion. Deaths could have been avoided.

This has been the second time the PNP failed miserably in a hostage situation. The last one was around 5 years ago when a crazed man held a small boy captive in a bus terminal for hours, with the police doing absolutely nothing. When the man saw no progress, he stabbed the boy. Then and ONLY then, did the police move into action, shooting the man AND the boy by accident, botching the operation.

If anyone from the PNP is reading my blog, I flip my middle finger to you with utmost gusto. You all lack professionalism and the power to end a hostage crisis. You have humiliated our people and our country with your lack of judgment and insolence. I’m not even surprised China is now seething and is banning us from entering their territories. I worry over the safety of our OFWs in China and HK. This cannot be left alone. Something has to be done about this, retrain these bastards if you must. Fire whoever trained these losers for being such pansies in a real situation, because this will happen again.

To the media, I also flip my middle finger to you. Why would you broadcast this crisis for the world to see? Are you all after attention that even our darkest moments must be witnessed? BBC has criticized us for not instigating a media blackout. If not for your hunger for attention, Mendoza might not have seen his brother being apprehended and he wouldn’t have gone trigger happy inside that damn bus. To hell with you.

Please, please make the caranges stop. This is just… too.. inhuman.

Will a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight ever be made?

August 15, 2010

Not in the near future.

That’s what I honestly think about this potential matchup.  For the second time, boxing fans lost a surefire classic fight. One that would have been as great as Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran, Ali vs. Foreman, and Mike Tyson vs. Holyfield. And there are, in my opinion, two factors to blame here…

1. Bob Arum’s deadline

Quite honestly, I sort of felt like my hopes, along with the hopes of boxing fans, have been falsely lifted by Top Rank’s head honcho. Bob Arum, along with Richard Schaefer and Golden Boy Promotions have all agreed to keep mum on their reopened negotiations to make the potential megafight of Pacquiao and Mayweather happen. Arum just couldn’t keep his mouth shut and kept sending small signals to the media that all is going well with the promotion, saying that both camps are reaching the final stages of negotiations and that the purse shares and most importantly, the blood test issue has already been resolved. He even went so far as to impose a countdown on Mayweather’s decision on Top Rank’s website. He must have forgotten that Floyd’s ego dictates that he won’t allow himself to be dictated upon, so obviously, no word came out of the Mayweather camp.

To be fair, the Mayweather camp did the right thing of keeping its silence, that alone would have kept the fans’ anticipation on stagnant grounds and not give us false hopes. Although it does prove what Mayweather’s real color is: Yellow. Which leads us to the second factor that also did not make the fight happen…

2. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is scared to lose.

There’s no other rational explanation as to why Floyd is still not keen on facing off against Pacquaio in the ring. Before his fight with Mosley and Manny’s fight with Clottey, he had valid reasons to back up his claim on why he doesn’t want to fight the Pacman through the blood tests. Manny, being superstitious, thumbed down the Olympic style blood testing because he believes if his blood is drawn mere days or even the night before the fight, it will render him weak, stating that this happened during his first encounter with Erik Morales (which Manny lost). Seeing an opportunity not to make the fight happen, the Mayweathers even attempted to taint Pacquiao’s demigod abilities in boxing by claiming that he was on the juice, that’s why he was not agreeing to the blood test and what could be the reason why he was not just beating his opponents, but destroying them, the recent ones in the form of Oscar Dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto being naturally bigger than Manny. This led to Pacquaio filing a defamation suit against the Mayweathers, Oscar Dela Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions, making the fight possibility bleaker and further complicating the situation. Naturally, the fight negotiations died a horrible, horrible death and Pacquia0-Mayweather was shelved… for now.

After the Mosley fight, Pacquiao has already agreed to random blood tests, biting the bullet to finally get a chance to shut Floyd and his dad and uncle Roger’s mouths for good. Floyd, sensing himself being backed against the wall, told sports media that he now wants 60% of the purse and an overnight blood test. Again, Pacquiao agreed. As a desperation move, when Mayweather attended a charity event, he told media that he’d be taking at least a year off from boxing AGAIN. Nobody bought it of course, it was all drama. So Floyd used his last ace: Silence.

Simply put, Mayweather is a coward. When you claim to be the best in the sport, you have to back it up by fighting the best as well. This guy acts like he invented the sport, dictating rules after rules after rules of what should be done before anyone can fight him, and claims he is bigger than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. Mayweather is indeed bigger than these legendary fighters, in trash talking. He worships his undefeated record too much and wouldn’t allow anyone to put a blemish on his immaculate W-L status. Now Pacquaio enters the picture and is labeled as the fighter with the greatest chance to shatter that undefeated record, the only warrior left for Mayweather to possibly beat and cement his self-proclaimed status as the number 1 pound-for-pound boxer in history. It could have been an epic battle, a clash of two distinctive styles, one wherein fans would be going all-out and screaming at the top of their lungs for their favorite boxer as he pummels his rival. But Floyd won’t have any of it. He’s scared, that’s all there is to it.

To top it all off, don’t expect to see this fight happen at all. Manny’s last fight is most likely going to be with that cheater Antonio Margarito (who doesn’t even deserve a fight with Pacquiao, they are aeons apart. That old fart Bob Arum is only after the green devil). When Manny retires and Floyd calls him out, then he has cemented his status not as the greatest fighter ever, but the greatest ducker and coward in the face of boxing.

UPDATE: As of press time, Floyd Mayweather has reportedly been seen hanging out with legendary boxing promoter Don King. Now, King is not role model material, but he makes fights happen. Could he be the missing key to making Pacquiao-Mayweather a reality in the near future??? Make this happen please!

The summer that got away

August 4, 2010

It’s been officially more than a year since I graduated from college, and this is the first time that I realized something at last…

I’m an adult now.

Why? Because I rarely have time to go out and have quality time with my friends and family, whenever a trip is being cooked up, I’m always unavailable. This could be easy if my work wasn’t in the night shifts, then maybe I could still make it to the night-outs and partying my normal, day-working friends come up with. Oh, the joys of working in a call center. Pun intended.

And since I man the night shift, that leaves me no time to enjoy the daylight, particularly last summer.  Everyone that I see on Facebook are happily frolicking along the white sands of Boracay, Puerto Galera or wherever. Instead, I was at work, and my only trips outside work are in malls and cinemas. Man, I missed my chance to go to the beach and gawk at ladies in 2-piece bikinis! (just kidding, or am I? ;D)

I was also deprived of the opportunity to return to my lovely home down South, in Los Banos. I don’t really have any idea where I’m getting the drive to work right now. I’m not even close to losing my sanity. There is one thing I am continuously losing though, and that’s sleep. I even sleep at the office after shift, since it’s too hot at home for me to get any real much-needed rest. La Nina? What La Nina?

If I had the chance, I would still go to the beach today despite the rain, to make up for lost opportunities. It’s been 2 years from what I remember, since my last trip to the beach. So here I am, praying for a chance to get surfing,whoever it may be with as long as it takes me to the seas.

Why should we not support piracy? Here’s an example…

August 3, 2010

 

So my mother bought this Koreanovela DVD entitled Queen Seon-Duk.  I actually had no idea my mother was into koreanovelas, so this caught me by surprise. The picture cover of the DVD looks like a Jewel in the Palace rip-off, but that’s not the funny part. What really gotme was the synopsis written at the back in all its piracy-laden, grammar-and-spelling-raped glory. Here it is, I left it the way it is with no corrections. A bit of a warning though: Just read the synopsis, don’t even try to absorb or understand it, you just might kill 200 million of your brain cells, I almost did.

In the harem America Room (Ko Hyun Jung decoration) Mastery of palace power situation, the real life Moye Fu WANG, and down the twin girls. But Wang, the birth of twins is a big no-chi has a “sacred bone man to do,” the signs. Zhen-ping WANG desperation Goldman had sent smoeone to the second daughter away, but  the U.S. has sent people to secretly kill room. Goldman close brush with death has been Hwarang legend – Nu Man rescued by stratagemm to the maid really WANG Zhao fire support. Zhao burning Goldman desert area to China, grew up in a small hotel in the upbringing. Goldman princess bigest enemy the Untied States room to superior beauty as a weapon to be true Xing Wang’s flavor and the possesion of the power of the palace, and the ambitious Jinheung her backers, the young King’s death, Chen Ping and WANG Ji-bit, true-ping WANG his wife gave birth to twin girls,and the U.S. office also intends  to use the real WANG twin daughters to threaten the lives of him, and direct controi kingship. Unexpectedly, Nu, and Chao-wen  fire rescued Goldman, undermining her plan. The beauty of enormous power of the throne room and did not give up the fight, conspiracy to make their own spouses to the throune and, therefore, Goldman’s twin sister, Princess Tianming.

I did notice one thing though, whoever wrote this used the word WANG a number of times, all in uppercase letters. For the innocent, Wang is the American slang for a guy’s private organ. An affinity for wangs, perhaps? *X-Files theme music playing in the background*

Still alive and kicking, ladies!

July 31, 2010

Hey everyone! It’s been eight months since my last post, my apologies, I’ve been lazy. :/ But anyway, I’m back now, and I’ve got a lot to fill you guys in. 🙂

I’m proud to say that I now have a new band, and it looks like we’re going to go the distance this time. I’m still on vocals and I dropped the guitar role, my new band mate, Rein, is going to take the helm of that part from now on, and I have faith in this guy because he’s really REALLY good. A Teddy Diaz-ish character. 😀 Our drummer, David, is an old school heavy rock influenced one, he listens to The Pixies, The Smiths, The Misfits and Pale Saints, to name a few. He’s still got a whole lot of gas left in him and he’s ready to give more. Our other guitarist, Eric, is more into the acoustic and blues side,  he listens to John Mayer and is a very talented rhythm guitarist. Our bassist, Adrian, is the most diverse member among the five of us, listening to R&B, Jazz, Blues, Rock, etc. and he’s the only one with another band that is currently active in the music scene (his band’s name is Layag, look them up!)

So that’s my band, and before I forget, we are called WARSAW, named after that city that the Nazis conquered in 1939 that ignited WWII. We still do covers from old songs, but we’ll be writing new material very soon. Please do view the videos of our jamming sessions here, much thanks and all! 🙂

So, what else? Oh yeah, I just watched The Last Airbender yesterday with a date. I wasn’t really impressed with the movie, it kind of reminded me of Harry Potter, Yin-Yang Version. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch the cartoon version on TV that’s why I couldn’t enjoy the show. Oh well, I’ll wait until Thor and Captain America comes next year, that will be a surefire ass-kicker!

So that’s it for now, I will be back to update you guys on whatever. God Bless! 🙂

The One I Love

November 30, 2009

In case anyone asks, the title for this post is actually the title of that song popularized by REM. As of this typing, the acoustic-driven song softly yet emphatically plays in the background. Given my current emotional situation right now, I should be listening to Splender’s I Think God Can Explain instead, but here I am, bobbing my head to the tune of  Peter Beck’s guitar and Michael Stipe’s soothing voice. *sings* this one goes out to the one I love….. this one goes out to the one I’ve left behind…. a simple prop, to occupy my time…. this one goes out to the one I love…

I am on the verge of tapping out. I’m currently at a loss, and I have absolutely no idea on what to do, or to say about my situation. I’ve been on this scenario so many times, and I never enjoyed any of it…  I never liked the feeling of emotional pain, yet it has always returned to haunt me.

She confuses me, so much. And it has already started to affect me again, that same familiar, unwelcome feeling is manifesting itself to me once more.. catching me at a loss again.

I’ve had enough of this crap. I will not allow myself to be defeated once more. Risks are made to be taken, and I will take mine once again, to silence my already tormented being.

God help me…

Painkiller…

November 13, 2009

Many people find me weird, many people find the way my mind works as unusual and unpredictable. Even I cannot understand myself at times…

But when I am hurt, when I feel a different kind of pain, I understand myself well, and the hardest part is that there is nothing I can do to try to alleviate the pain. As of this moment, I can only let it linger and suffer through it, no matter how small or excruciating it can be.

I wish there is something I can do, I know her inside and out, but why do I feel like my back is up against the wall? For the first time in a very long time, this creeping, painful stab in the chest is making its presence felt yet again, and it is getting a little hard to breathe.

To her: I miss you. You know that. I always let you know how much I miss you. You are special to me, I’m sure you are aware of that, even if I don’t say it. Whenever we are together, all my problems disappear. That’s why, I try everything I can to make you happy and to make you laugh every time we are together. You, in your little efforts, overwhelm my heart with happiness and I long for you each and every day. After that August day, I may not have shown you, but leaving you slowly tore me apart. You made each challenge for me worth taking. Yes, you inspired me. Before I knew it, I was already being drawn to you…

You, my dear, are a diamond in the rough, and you have completely captivated me. I am your best friend… I want to tell you how much I care for you, that I will never allow anything or anybody to hurt you. Yes, you are a tough one, and I know you can handle things on your own, but I want you to know, that I am always here for you, even if I am not the one you need. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. There is nothing I won’t do that will hurt you. But right now, my mind is in a state of complete confusion, and I am powerless to tell you how I truly, genuinely and unconditionally feel for you. This is not the right time, for I am afraid that we may drift apart, and to lose you is my greatest fear of all… 😦

I will always love you… more than you can ever imagine.

Ondoy (A late post)

October 12, 2009

Words cannot even begin to describe what befell Metro Manila on the night of September 26. Everyone expected a storm, but not with a magnitude as bad as this.

It’s like The Day After Tomorrow, the Philippines Edition.

cars relaxing in jacuzzi

Ondoy came and ripped through the entire NCR with no mercy and no signs of letting up at all. No city was spared. The cities that absorbed the most punishment were Pasig (where I reside), Marikina, Cainta, Antipolo, Caloocan, basically all cities that were close to the rivers. The situation was so bad that all surrounding dams had to be opened since the risk of the dam breaking has been raised to red-alert level. Both the NLEX and SLEX were closed, leaving many people stranded and the lucky ones being forced to spend the night in buses and their vehicles. I call them lucky because at the least, they were able to seek temporary shelter from the furious assault of Ondoy.

Here’s a personal account:

We live in an area in Pasig that has a high terrain, so we were spared from the floods and power blackouts. However, the same could not be said for the areas Pinagbuhatan, Mercedes and Rosario. My aunt’s 80-year mother and aunt lives in Parkwood Subdivision in Mercedes, and thanks to the fury of this storm, she got trapped in her own home, surrounded by chest-deep water that has flowed into her home.

Naturally, we were worried sick. Mercedes was already inaccessible to all vehicles, including trucks and buses. But we couldn’t let my aunt’s mom stay trapped there, she’s already 80 years old, and we had to get her out of that hell-hole, no matter what. Together with my aunt, cousin and our burly manang, we braved the treacherous flood that reeked to high heavens and was afloat with all kinds of crap that you could ever imagine.

My uncle drove us to Pasig-Rotonda. He could have taken us further, had the roads been still passable. But Rotonda was the end of the line for my uncle’s pick-up truck. My uncle lent me his waterproof flashlight and we continued on foot to Parkwood subdivision, a good 20 minutes away (without the flood).

As we neared Mercedes, the waters were slowly and disturbingly becoming deeper. All sources of electricity were absent. An above-chest level of flood water and pitch black darkness stood in our way to my aunt’s mother’s house. There was a possibility that the waters were infested with snakes and frogs (which happen to be my ultimate phobia). But right now, the lives of my aunt’s mom and auntie were more important than my fears. We trudged on through the long stretch of flood and darkness for about an hour. The waters did not even subside, but it was better that way, rather than to let it grow deeper.

When we got to my aunt’s home, they were in such a sorry state that we felt that we needed to get them out right then and there, even if it means carrying them on our backs and going back to that awfully long road in Mercedes. Fortunately for us, a group of good Samaritans in the form of street children helped us carry my aunt’s mom and auntie with the use of an inflatable bed. We took the road to Stella Maris instead, we didn’t want to go back to Mercedes.

After the rescue operation, my tita bought Andoks liempo and chicken as a reward for all of us. We ate like we just came out from a major workout at the gym, that’s how much the effort took its toll on us.

After God flooded the Earth and saved Noah’s family, He promised that he would never flood the earth again. After recalling that bible story, I realized that the devastating aftermath of Ondoy was not an act of God.

It was our own.

Something to laugh at….

September 19, 2009

Some pics I grabbed from the net that are certified stress busters…

Okray mode activated..

Enjoy! 🙂

gays in secret

malalanding mga bata...

Masakerista ng... TUNDO?! Did I read that right?!

The names are the best here...

My favorite picture! =))))

there's a hidden message, read it.. =))