Feel the Cuban and Latin Vibes at La Bodeguita del Medio Havana Club in Las Piñas

La Bodeguita del Medio -Havana club is a bar , restaurant and event place at the 2nd level Villar Sipag in C5 Extension road Las Piñas City. The bar and restaurant had a soft opening few days ago.The restaurant had a distinct vibe of Havana which is the capital city of Cuba.


The bar and restaurant had several painting bought by the family of Senator Cynthia A Villar few years ago during a trip to the streets of the city from painters. They were hung prominently at the walls of the place.


The interior decoration reflect a gentle era for the this Caribbean country. The lovely neon street lights and decoration are perfect match . The bar and restaurant can comfortably seat between 140 to 160 people at any given occasions and perfect hang-out place for parties, date or even a mini press conference.


There is also a stage area for nightly performance with music and dance. Since the soft opening, countless of office employees, residents of nearby villages and subdivisions have been their clientele.



the nachos are crunchy and moderately spiced with generous toppings of meat, chopped olives,  chili pepper, corn and with dipping sauces.


Baked mussels with melted cheese topping 


seafood paella – with mussels , string beans, shrimps and generous toppings of hard boiled eggs.


fried calamares with french fries in dipping sauces


deep fried buttered chicken in special gravy with deep fried saba banana, vegetables and corn cobs.


 crispy fried lumpia rolls is one of its specialties with dipping sauce


The restaurant had also a good selection of shooters, mocktails and juices

group photo.jpg

group photo with Senator Cynthia A. Villar with group journalists, media, bloggers

*Prices quoted are subject to change without prior notice.

Address: La Bodeguita del Medio -Havana club, 2nd level Villar Sipag in C5 Extension road Pulanglupa Uno, Las Piñas City

Operational Hours : Everyday from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am 



Orchid fantasies and bonsai grandeur at the 72nd Philippine Orchid Society show

Orchid and bonsai lovers will be very happy to know that there are a lot to see at the ongoing Philippine Orchid Society show at the Hardin ng mga Bulaklak ( Flower Garden) within Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

The show is in partnership with the Quezon City government and with generous sponsors Del Monte- Philippines   , Villar Sipag Foundation 


bonsai and plant enthusiasts from Republic of China ( ROC/ Taiwan) which were invited by Mr. Manuel and Susan Lee.


A colorful cultural dance presentation by the students of San Vicente Elementary School of Quezon City. This is a precursor for the upcoming Flora Filipina International Show in 2019.


L-R Mrs. Norma Villanueva ( PHSI president) and Mrs. Gloria Angara ( wife of Senator Edgardo Angara )

The show started with a colorful lion dance past 4:00 pm last March 8 with hundreds of invited guests from different organizations, international bonsai masters from Republic of China, Mrs. Gloria Angara, Dr. Preciosa Soliven, Mr. Joselito ” Butch” Campos Jr., Dir. Mundita Lim, Ms. Camille Villar and members of the organization.


bonsai and cacti on display

There are also about 130 bonsai trees and cacti in decorative ceramic pots on display- Mostly from the personal collection of Mr. Manuel and Susan Lee and the late Modesto Manglicmot Jr. There were about 2 dozen suiseiki ( art of stone appreciation and collecting ) too.


Allied Botanical Corporation booth

Try to visit about 70 commercial stalls from different parts of the country selling different items from plastic pots, bonsai, native orchids, fertilizers, seeds, cacti , succulents , fruit trees , ornamental plants, ferns and even pitcher plants.

Manila Bulletin is among the news print media partner of the show.

There are daily lectures, workshops and seminars which starts at 2:00 pm. There is a minimal entrance fees of Php 30 for general public and Php 20 for senior citizens and students with valid Id’s. The show is until March 19, 2018.




Collecting kokeshi wood dolls for friends

My first encounter with the kokeshi wooden doll was in the late 1980’s when an aunt who traveled to Japan gave a wooden doll to my younger sibling.

We just refer them as Japanese dolls. These were made of wood and painted in red and black. It was simple and unlike the barbie or rag dolls which was popular kind of dolls in the country before.

I remembered that the wooden doll is just kept in a container. It would take more than a decade or so before we would encounter these types of wooden dolls during a doll festival hosted by the Japanese embassy. I again encountered these doll few years later in Museo Pambata.

An in depth documentary posted in youtube channel by Mr. Travis Wall – This was aired by NHK (Japanology) few years ago.

Early History

We learned that these dolls have originated from Japan in the middle part of Edo period (1600–1868) maybe around late 1700 or possibly early 1800 and the first recorded wooden dolls were made within the Tohoku region . Some historians would say that these may also influence the development of matryoshka doll .

The first kokeshi dolls were made from discarded wood and are primary targeted the children and parents . These often bought as souvenirs after families would take a dip at the hot spring resorts within the northern regions.

After the second world war , collecting kokeshi dolls became more popular as more people could travel across the country. Even foreign tourists would bring these wooden dolls for souvenir items.

The fad for collecting these wooden dolls eventually started to peak by the 1950’s to late 1970’s. Thus almost every known prefecture in Japan would boast several designs. craftsmen and artisans would eventually have their own different interpretation, thus adding more creative styles.

The fad seem to wane down by mid- 1970’s up until early this millennium when newer kokeshi doll designs began to solicit more interested in the traditional dolls. The rise of the social media would add to the fever of collecting these kawai items, as collectors would post interesting finds in their social media accounts.

A minor drawback for these dolls was some people believes that it harbors evil spirits or spirits of babies.

Collector Friends

I have at least 3 friends who collects kokeshi dolls. One who started collecting them few years ago while she was attending high school . Another friend started collecting just a few months ago which were bought mostly from Japanese surplus stores found in Metro Manila. While another friend started collecting just this year.

The phenomenal growth of kokeshi doll collecting in the country was due to the influx of Japanese surplus stores which carry some of these wooden dolls. Some are also brought home by OFW’s from Japan as gifts or display items in their homes.

Although this is not my cup of tea , I manage to collect about 15 items bought from Ms. Lexa Lo , She is an online seller of kokeshi dolls and other items from Japan.

It took over 1 month filling up the orders and the transaction went on smoothly. The items were shipped via local courier The Express Guy  and took just 1 day before we got the items.

These kokeshi doll have find their way to collectors which collects and treasure them. Happy collecting.





Boy Kanin partners with Ronda Pilipinas 2018 organizers

The highly anticipated LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2018 had started the kickoff ceremonies with the partnership of Boy Kanin together with other sponsors of the annual race.  The big annual race will commence at the Filinvest ,Alabang in Muntinlupa City this coming March 18 as part of the extensive network of racing competition by at least 96 participants from all walks of life will be racing.

Ronda Pilipinas 2018
Ronda Pilipinas 2018

L-R Ms.Lorraine Batas, franchise owner of Boy Kanin Cabuyao branch, Mr. Ronald Allan Callao, President and CEO MB Flavored Rice Corp., Bernadette Guerrero, Admin Head LBC Sports Development and Ariel Batas, properietor of Boy Kanin branch Cabuyao, Laguna province.

Race Stages Across Luzon

Stage One of the race offering a top prize of P1 million is a 40-kilometer criterium followed by a 155.4-km race from Vigan, Ilocos Sur to Pagudpud the next day.

The third stage is a 223.5-km Pagudpud to Tuguegarao race on March 5 followed by the 135.2-km Tuguegarao-Isabela Stage Four on March 6.

The 179.4-km Isabela-Nueva Ecija Stage Five is set on March 8, followed by the 111.8-km Nueva Ecija-Tarlac stage on March 9.

Tarlac hosts the 31.5-km Individual Time Trial on March 10 and the 42.14-km Team Time Trial the next day.

Stage Nine is a 207.2km Silang-Tagaytay race on March 15, with the 147.8-km Tagaytay-Calaca race set the next day followed by the 92.72-km Calaca-Calaca Stage 11.

Mr. Ronald Allan Callao, President and CEO MB Flavored Rice Corp. together with Mr. Snow Badua ( Spin.ph) news correspondence.

The contract signing ceremonies happened last February 15,2018 at the Cabuyao branch of Boy Kanin. Aside from getting the elusive chance to win the title. This year’s big winner will also get a Boy Kanin franchise worth a cool 1 million pesos.

Boy Kanin got a lot of tasty value meals like tocino with rice, longganisa with rice and Filipino style burritos.  Not all branches of Boy Kanin have their ( crispy pork pata) deep fried pork knuckles with condiments of soy sauce, vinegar with chopped chilies, onions and garlic.

One must also try their pork sisig with red chilies and calamansi.

salabat tea

One also try their ginger drink ( salabat tea) the ginger does not have an after taste compared to other ginger teas in the local market.  It was home-brewed by the proprietor. The sarsa meals like bikstek, adobo, teriyaki and boy pares meal are worth tasting.  All time favorite meal combination like Tapsilog, Tocilog, Longsilog and Liemposilog are a sure treat to all lovers of rice and combo meals.

My favorite will be their tocino and longganisa. Not too sweet.

The company is open to franchise and one can reach the  them at their official FB page: https://www.facebook.com/tropangboykanin/

landline : (02) 352 8130









Meet-Up with the Travelling Clatt

It was a hot sunny sunday afternoon past 1:00pm when i arrived at the historic Luneta Park to meet a youtuber and traveler. I have subscribed to his channel last year and when he decided to have a short Luneta meet-up, I decided to meet and learn a few information about his stay in the country.


His had been travelling around the world for the past 3 years and He had been in the country since late November 2017.

He had traveled several provinces and islands. During the meet-up/ eyeball there were about 20 people who came from different parts of Metro Manila.


Chinese garden 

We toured the Chinese garden and parts of the Rizal Park , after the short video taping. PAG-ASA had announce thru their social media accounts that the summer season had officially begun.  There was a lantern festival exhibit at the Chinese garden.


Japanese garden

This was also a nice opportunity to visit these places since they waived the entrance fees.


National Museum of Natural History ( used to be called Department of Tourism building from 1973 to early 2010 and Agriculture Building from the late 1930’s to early 1970’s) soon to be open to the general public by April 2018. 

We also toured the National Museum of Anthropology ( housed at the former Finance building)  and took the respite from the blazing afternoon sun and heat. It was a good idea, since the museum was air-conditioned and some of the participants first time to the visit the place.


 travelling clatt interviews some of the participants

The national museum complex used to charge an entrance fee for the general public before 2016 except during sundays ( it was free).  Since few people would visit the place ( except on field trip or mandatory school assignments ).

There was a survey few years ago by a popular survey firm that there were more people who would visit malls amusement parks than visiting museums all over the country.  The museum board of directors decided to waive the entrance fees so that more people can enjoy the country’s rich history , heritage and culture.

This is quite alarming, with a lot of museums and exhibition places in the country that the general public must visit to learn more about their country’s history and heritage.

Unlike some Asian countries which would charge a higher entrance fees to foreigners and expats, All the museums in the country would charge flat rates.

We end the meet-up with group photo, a short video of the participants with travelling clatt and he even treated some of the participants to a refreshing buko ( coconut juice) . Try to watch and subscribe to his youtube channel and know his travel around the world.

As a postcard collector/ postcrosser , i took time to let them write their names at a piece of postcard which features Manila cityhall and will be mailing them with the latest stamps issued by PHLPOST.

If you like to have a postcards with signed autograph by travelling clatt and the participants, just send me an email with your home address or office address. However i only have few postcards.



Schedule of Seminars, Lectures and Workshop at the 72nd Annual Orchid and Bonsai Show

The Philippine Orchid Society in partnership with Quezon City government, Quezon City Memorial Circle administration, Villar Sipag Foundation, Manila Bulletin presents to the visiting public the 72nd annual orchid and bonsai show daily lectures.  Aside from the landscape exhibits, individual ornamental plant, orchid and bonsai plant in competition, There will be more than 60 plant commercial stalls and daily lectures, talks and workshop for those interested to learn new growing techniques.

Schedule of Daily Lectures, Workshop and Talks starts at 2:00 pm

March 9- Uncovering Juniper Mysteries – Master Ho Jan Lee

March 10 -New Trends in Flower Arrangements – Floral Designer’s Circle of the Philippines

March 11- Basic Orchid Care under Tropical Condition- Mr. Vicente Chin Jr.

March 12- Growing Phalaenopsis Orchid -Mrs.Corazon Purificacion

March 13- Growing Cattleya Orchids- Dr. Raymundo W. Lo

March 14- Growing Dendrobium Orchids- Mr. J.M. Lacandula

March 15- Urban Gardening -Allied Botanical Corporation

March 16- Art of Growing Bonsai -Mr. Romy Diño 

March 17-Growing Vandas and Selected Philippine Orchid Species- Ms. Evangeline ” Vangie” Go

March 18- Popular Orchids for Orchid Enthusiasts- Mr. Andres Golamco Jr.

March 19- Challenges Encountered by Cactus and Succulents Hobbyists – Mr.Lino Rom

  • Note there are minimal entrance fees of Php 30 general public and Php 20 students and senior citizens with valid Id’s , Lecture , talks and workshop is part of the show.
  • Philippine Orchid Society Secretariat -Ms. Jenny F. Rivera ( Office Secretary ) 0917-848-54-69 and 957-35-24 ( Mondays to Saturdays 8:00 am to 5:00 pm)
  • Exhibit and Commercial booths opens at 8:00 am to 6:00pm

Daily Lectures.jpg

List of Big Winners at HortiKultura Filipina 2018 Show

Philippine Horticultural Society in partnership with Quezon City government , Quezon City Memorial Circle administration , Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture with sponsors like Del Monte Philippines, MDS Godspeed Exhibit Company, Uratex , Manila Bulletin, San Miguel , NutriAsia, King Louis , East West Seed Company, Allied Botanical Corporation, Harbest Agriculture Company among others had extended the exhibit and trade fair for a few more days.

There will be a few days extension for those planning buy plants for valentine’s day and chinese new year like cacti, succulents, flowering orchids , green foliage plants which are auspicious during this season.

Here are the list of the potted plant winners

1. Best in Aroids – Variegated
Anthurium “White & Green”
by Kenneth Cruz;

2. Best in Cycads – Dioon Edule by
Prof. Serapion Metilla

variegated ananas.jpg

3. Best in Bromeliads – Bromeliad
Species by Mac Pagsolingan;

4. Best in Ferns & Fern Allies –
Asplenium Nidus by Lardy Abundo;


5. Best in Orchids – Bulbophyllum by
Ruth Conde


Schefflera tupidanthus “variegated” 

6. Best in Variegated and Mutants –
Schefflera Tupidanthus by Dankin’s

7. Best in Foliage – Ginger Alpinia
Regosa by Yuyung La’O

8. Best in Phil. Native Species –
Coelogyne Pandurata by Ruth Conde

9. Best in Cacti – Mamillaria Bocasana
cv “Fred” by Boyet Ganigan;

10. Best in Succulents – Adenia
Venenata by Lily Ann Tan


“CSSPI Pres. Emeritus Adoracion
Bernabe Cup”
Winner: Lily Ann Tan

*BEST PLANT IN SHOW – Schefflera
Tupidanthus by Dankin’s Garden

Credit- List of plant posted from Philippine Horticultural Society FB page.

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