Just Thai: A Thai Restaurant at the Heart of Burgos Circle

Just Thai facade

Most Filipinos have some misconception about Thai foods; some would shy away from eating for they are considered spicy.

The owners like to eat Thai food and would crave for authentic foods; they had to travel several times in Thailand just to sample foods for the country.

The restaurant had an appealing ambiance; one had a feeling of being transported to Bangkok or Chiang Mai in a simple Thai inspired interior decoration.

The restaurant had a total sitting capacity of between 80 to 85 people at any given time. It is divided into several sections.

For outdoor- The restaurant can sit between 30 to 35 people. One can enjoy the outdoor ambiance and see the other buildings and colorful street lights .

ground floor

Ground Floor– The ground floor area can accommodate about 20 people .Second Floor – Had a sitting capacity of between 30 to 35 people.


Thai style- Tamarind Juice

Ice Tamarind is another MUST, The ingredients are sweet tamarind from Thailand.

Unlike other teas, the restaurant use fresh tea leaves from Thailand. It is refreshing taste and not too sweet.

Poh Piah Tod

Poh Piah Tod or Thai Spring Rolls– deep fried with vegetables, pork and mushroom. It is crunchy on the outside but soft inside, It is best accompanied with fresh side garnish of coriander leaves and finely chopped vegetables like carrots and cabbage  and a sweet chili sauce dip! Php 260 per order . MUST TRY !

This is perfect for 2 to 3 people sharing.

Yum Pla Dook Foo

Crispy Catfish with Sliced Green Mangoes – What I liked about this dish is that the catfish bones removed, then deep fried . It is flaky substance similar to floss and very easy to eat, no hassle to de-bone the fish. It goes perfect with finely sliced Thai guapple mangoes, chopped fresh chilies and chopped onions and a dip. Php 300 per order. It is prefect meal to be shared with 2 to 3 people. Highly Recommended !

 Som Tam

Som Tam is Green Papaya Salad which is similar in texture with our own achara minus the heavy marination of vinegar . It is freshly made  from shredded green unripe papaya , papaya has a slightly tangy flavor. The texture is crisp and firm, sometimes to the point of crunchiness. It  allows the fruit to withstand being beaten in the mortar , then topped with crushed peanuts , dried shrimps , tomatoes, thinly sliced carrots, lettuce leaves, with young long beans. Php 210 per order

The green papaya salad is an appetizer and can be shared with 3 to 4 people. MUST TRY!

Khai Luuk Khoei

Kahi Luuk Khoei or Crispy Hard Boiled Egg – The egg was boiled then coated with some batter then deep fried to perfection. crispy hard boil egg encased in a batter similar to our queck-queck but less in food color and less crusty. It goes perfect with chopped fresh vegetables, caramelized chopped onions, coriander leaves and a sweet fish sauce ( patis) Thai style. Php 170 per order

The dish can be shared with 3 to 4 people.

Bplah Pla Menk Kratien

Bplah Pla Menk Kratien or Squid with Garlic and Pepper in Soup-

The squid is cooked just right with chilies , coriander leaves, chopped lemon grass and in heavy broth.  One can add freshly chopped chili pepper to adjust the spiciness. Php 190 per serving

This yummy squid soup can be shared with 2 to 3 people.

Tom Kha Gai

Tom  Kha Gai is Chicken Soup in Coconut broth with Galangal

It is a chicken soup with coconut milk ( gata ng niyog ) and galangal ( luyang dilaw) which add kick, and straw mushrooms .  I have tasted some Tom Kha Gai but this version is somewhat watered down  . Galangals have a stronger taste than common ginger which brings out the taste of the soup . Topped with chopped coriander .  Php 190 per order

This soup can be shared with 2 to 4 people.

Gai Ob Bai Toey

 Gai Ob Bai Toey is Fried Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaves – The chicken is marinated with special Thai sauce and then wrapped with pandan leaves , the aroma of the pandan leaves were caught by the chicken and its taste very savory . You can smell the aromatic leaves . This dish is complimented with side garnish of chopped fresh cabbage and two kinds of condiments the sweet dark soy-sesame sauce and sweet chili sauce. MUST TRY

Php 290 per order. Good for 2 to 4 people.

Tom Yum

Tom Yum or Tom Yam  is a Lao and Thai hot and sour soup. Indeed, tom yum is characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass ( tanglad) , Kaffir lime leaves – is locally called kabuyao or cabuyao ,  Galangal ( luyang dilaw) , coconut milk ( gata ng niyog), lime juice, fish sauce , crushed chili , fragrant herbs , pepper , tiger prawn, topped with chopped coriander leaves  . Some considered this as a national soup whenever you go to Thailand or Laos. A food journey is incomplete without an order of the soup! What nice about eating in Just Thai Restaurants is one can adjust the order according to one’s palate, one may request additional kaffir lime leaves or additional chillies to suit one’s palate. Php 190 per order.

The soup can be shared with 2 to 4 people.

Khao Krok Kopi

Kaho Krok Kopi or Thai Bagoong / Shrimpaste  Rice –  Thai bagoong rice  with sliced green guapple mangoes ( manibalang ) , scrambled eggs, sweet pork topped with chopped fresh chillies ,  chopped  coriander leaves as toppings .  Unlike other Thai Bagoong Rice ( shrimp paste rice) I tasted before, This rice is not salty and mildly flavored. This is a complete meal and can be shared with 2 to 4 people.  . Php 250 per serving .

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is considered as one of the national dish of Thailand . The rice noodles is stir fried with eggs, tamarind juice, chopped chilies , crushed peanuts, lime , and topped with fresh coriander leaves. I like the texture of the rice noodles and the group can enjoy mixing all the ingredients , like playing with palabok or any pancit .  Php 280  per serving . Pad Thai can be enjoyed by a group of 3 to 5 people. MUST ORDER !!!!

Gaeng Lenang

Gaeng Lenang  or Vegetable Tofu in Yellow Curry-  Tofu lovers must try this dish, It had bits of  diced carrots, eggplant, broccoli . The dish somewhat lacked the taste of curry and a bit water-down . This is a healthy dish and health conscious people must try this. Php 260 per serving . Good for 2 to 4 people.

Gai Pad Met Ma Maling

Gai Pad Met Ma Maling or Chicken with Cashew –  chicken meat with bell pepper, onion , cashew topped with chopped coriander leaves . Perfect combination, You can taste the crunchiness of the cashew and the tenderness of the chicken .  You can order with chopped chillies.

Moo Sam Cham Yary

Moo Sam Cham Yary is Grilled Pork with Tamarind Sauce. The pork is marinated in special sauce and grilled to perfection . The meat is tender and due to the nature of the tamarind paste , it enhances flavor. Php 290 per serving . Ideal for 2 to 3 people.

Crab Meat Fried Rice

Crab Meat Fried Rice is a complete meal . Crab meat with rice, vegetables , topped with fresh chopped coriander leaves. It is not salty and i like the way they cook the rice.  Php 220 per serving . Good for 2 to 4 people

Khao Niaow Ma Muang

Thai dessert made up of sticky rice topped with sweet mango slices and sesame seeds then served with coconut sauce. I prefer this Thai rendition more. It is similar with our own biko and mango or suman and mango combination. The sticky rice is cooked in coconut milk, and eating a spoonful with the sweet ripe mango slices is just heavenly, more so when you add a dollop of the coconut sauce.

The mangoes slices were presented as a kind of lotus flower. Php 260

Can be shared with 2 to 4people.

Tha Khao

Tha Khoa or Coconut Pudding wrapped in Pandan Leaves is similar to Philippine version of Maja Blanca but with a different twist . It is wrapped in pandan leaves which add more flavor to the pudding. It is soft with some corn bits . Php 140 per order

Can be shared with 3 to 5 people.

Hot Thai Brew Coffee  Every sip was a smooth, silky and creamy coffee experience.  the brewed coffee was definitely mixed with several spices like cardamom and probably cinnamon. It also has either condensed milk or heavy cream at the bottom which blends nicely and adds some sweetness to the whole concoction upon stirring. I also like the cup , it is imported from Thailand and you can see right in front when they pour the hot water and coffee . Php 120 per serving , Ideal  for 1 or 2 persons.

 Note : The Restaurant opened its doors to the public last June 2012 and its Molito – Alabang branch last October 2012.

I must give 8.75 out of total of 10 points, This is for the ambiance, food, preparation, accessibility of the restaurant. As they say ” JUST THAI ” eating the place !!!!!

I would like to ” Thank” Ms. Kathy Kenny Ngo, Ms. Alma Carvajal Concepcion , Mr. French Kim , Mr. Enzo Luna for the great time !!!!

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Thai/194210380589164

Life is Kulayfu.coml:http://www.lifeiskulayful.com/

How to Get There:

Take the BGC hybrid bus from bus station located near McKinley Road and near MRT- Ayala station ( Upper West Route) . The bus had designated bus stop and take -off at the second bus stop which is at the back of the MIND Museum. A short walk toward Forbes Town Road, Burgos Circle, Global City.  Transportation fee is just Php 12.00 from the bus station.

Elabram Systems participates in the LTE World Summit set in June 2014

Project Manager Engr. Arnel Castaneda, Project Director  Engr. Jimmy Loh, Business Administration Manager Anna Liza Valdez, CEO Mikel Yaw, Marketing & Branding Manager Engr. Grace Bondad Nicolas and Associate Director Engr. Joel Nuesca.

Mikel Yaw, CEO of Elabram Systems Group will be speaking in a panel about “Achieving a smooth migration from WIMAX to TD” with the following points; Overcoming the key challenges when migrating from WIMAX to TD- LTE, Assessing the device transition challenges, Updating Base stations for TD LTE?, Mitigating the impacts from split spectrum on network speeds, Maintaining the customer experience throughout migration and Opportunities for reusing network infrastructure.

Elabram Systems Group, the preferred partner of different global telecommunication companies worldwide, will be participating on June 23- 25, 2014 as speaker and exhibitor at Amsterdam for LTE World Summit which is the biggest 4G event in the world and the biggest gathering of Telecommunication companies globally.

The LTE World Summit celebrates its 10th year and will be represented by 125 countries. Some 3600 participants are expected to attend while 150 exhibitors with the likes of Huawei, Alcatel Lucent, Samsung, Juniper, Ericsson among the few big wigs in the industry are coming.

Elabram Systems Group is already 15 years globally with 3300 strong manpower. The four solutions it offers are Network Planning and Optimization (NPO), Talent Acquisition and Deployment (TAD), Business Process Outsourcing and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO). Recently, ESG Engineers were praised by Ericsson and Huawei for the job well done on their projects in the Philippines.

Website : http://elabram.com/

 

 

Cosmic Con 2014

3rd Floor Festival Mall, Alabang , Muntinlupa City -Philippines

crowd

 Cosmic convention 2014 was held at the 3rd Floor Filinvest Mall in Alabang , Metro Manila. In fact the entrance fee is just Php 20 per head.

Filbar’s 50% off on books and comics

There were about 25 commercial booths selling toys, comics , pet supplies , pet accessories , foods, mugs and books.

Toys

There were on the spot raffles, some talks, cosplays, auction, comic illustrators and other contests. However the bulk of the participants and activities were held on May 10, 2014 .

t-shirts

cos-players

This is a unique way for these cos- players to help a lost dog !

free hug

This cos-player had a unique way to catch attention. FREE hugs and a ” Mother’s Day ”  greeting delighted every visitors at the convention site.

Pet Starz

Pet Starz is one of the sponsors of the event, The pet store is said to be owned by Mr. Richard Yap ( Sir Chief ) of the popular late morning series “Be Careful with My Heart “

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pet-Starz/291477994340690

cosplay event

Hopefully , There will be a much bigger event and participants  in the future .

Note : I would like to ” Thank” Mr. John Paraiso for his photos

 

Sarcophyton pachyphyllus : Sungay Kalabaw an endemic orchid from the Philippines !

orchid in bloom ( Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental Farm )

Sarcophyton pachyphyllus’ (Ames) Garay 1972 is a part the subtribe Aeridinae. The name refers to Pachy meaning “thick” and Phyllum “leaf” the fleshy nature of the plants.

The Philippines is the only place where the genus can be found and there are only two or possibly three species that are known.

This orchid species used to be described as Sarcanthus pachyphyllus in the first printing 1952 and second printing 1982 Philippine Orchid by Ms. Mona Liza Steiner. Apparently, No correction was made in the second printing of the book which almost all Philippine Orchid collector’s “Must” Handbook.  The change happened in 1972 but local orchidists still refer them to the old name even until middle of 1990’s .  This book was the cheapest book that anyone who is interested in growing orchids. Until Mr. Andres Golamco’s book came out in 1991 and Mr. Jim Cootes in 2001.  Orchidiana Philipiniana book is very bulky and heavy that one cannot carry them and it was quite expensive for ordinary hobbyists to acquire.

This orchid species is infrequently seen among backyard orchid growers, Very few orchid growers grow this type of orchid . Some are dismayed over the miniscule flower size that this orchid species carry.

S. pachyphyllus grown in nursery

Cultural and Ethno-Botanical Importance:

This orchid species are called Robust Orchid, Carabao Horn Orchid, Sungay Kalabaw by backyard growers. The term was coined because of the nature of the leaves which looked like a curve horn of a carabao. Sometimes, backyard growers may even refer this to Vanda orchid.

Some would grow them not for their miniscule flowers but the ability of this orchid species to ward -off evil spirits or  black dwarfs ( itim na duwende )  and create good feng shui in their families. Some of them grow them in large trees within their property .

I have seen some Sarcophyton pachyphyllus  grown by 3 orchid backyard growers in Novaliches, Tandang Sora Avenue and Fairview area. The first grower was a neighbor who had some collection of native orchids.  According to her, she bought them in Baclaran . Another orchid collector who lives in Tandang Sora also happened to sell some native orchids. According to this grower, The sizeable clump that was growing attached to an Acacia tree or Rain Tree ( Saman samanea ) had been there for at least a decade, We were able to buy 1 orchid offset from this seller way back in 1992. My mom was able to bought 1 or 2 more specimen from ambulant orchid seller in 1993 “ thinking those were Vandas or Waling –waling !!!! LOL  ”. We mounted the orchids in our Duhat tree (Syzygium cumini ) where it stayed there for a couple of years until children climbing getting fruits also took away our precious orchids!

S.pachyphyllus almost withered blooms

Another grower in Fairview had some specimen -sized orchids attached them to a Bunga China – Manila Palm , According to her, It was more of a sentimental “thing” rather than superstitious beliefs or feng shui that she grows them. According to her story, It was his late father who first attached the orchid to the host palm . It was pre-internet era and pre-digital camera age , so i was unfortunate not able take photos of the orchid species. My only recollection of this species was , We were able to grow them in our backyard for sometime.

close-up view of the inflorescence and hundreds of  flowers

It will take at least a decade or so before i encountered a blooming specimen of the Carabao horn orchid at the orchid show in Quezon City. I think it was Purificacion Orchids which exhibited the orchid species in 2008 ( it won an award then) . One of the topic at the orchid show lectures about native orchid species ( 2008 )  , The lecture speakers were  Mr. Andres ” Jun”  Golamco and Mr. Kelvin Neil Manubay  tandem talked about the need to preserve and conserve Philippine orchid species and the urgent need propagate them.

several mature specimen orchid with flowers

A few months after the lecture , I was able to buy a single specimen of this orchid species from the Lung Center Sunday Market . I was a little but late when i arrived at the sunday market ,   i saw several dozens were sold to an unknown orchid collector.  BUT , I was fortunate enough to buy the smallest plant ( left- over ) from the ones that was bought by the customer.  We visited Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental Farm in Alfonso , Cavite last week and were fortunate to witness some blooming specimens of this species .

Habitat and Range:

According to literature and orchid books, It is found in the provinces of  Albay,  Ilocos, Benguet , Rizal at elevations up to 500 meters as a medium to just large sized, hot growing monopodial epiphyte with an erect stem carrying a few, 2 ranked, thick, fleshy, leathery, sickle-shaped leaves that blooms in the spring on an erect, several branched, 16″ [40 cm] long, rigid, many [to 500] flowered inflorescence.

But personal conversation with some orchid collectors and orchid sellers may add some provinces like Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Bulacan , Zambales and Rizal as possible areas. I have a friend from Bulacan province and he said that he also used to encounter them in some private homes and native orchid peddlers selling them

Its flowering season may vary from one province to another, In the western part of the country where there is a distinct dry season and temperature fluctuations. Flowering season may start as early as February until Mid-May .

Sarcophyton pachyphyllus grown in backyard

Water and Fertilization:

Based on several years of growing this orchid species, We grew them attached to our Duhat tree ( 1992 to 1995) and Manila Palm ( 2009 till today ) . I water them almost daily during summer season and fertilize them at 20N-20-P-20-K dilute them at 1/4 of the recommended dosage almost every other day or 3 times a week ! I would also recommend to water them with rice washings ( hugas bigas) .

During rainy season , I would put 15 to 20 pieces of slow release fertilizer ( put them in a tea- bag like cloth) . Once in a while ( around once a month)  i would also fertilize my Sungay Kalabaw with 10N-30-P30-K . preferably early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  This would make the leaves more shinny and thick!

We experienced our first orchid bloomed during late February or early March in 1993 , but not from this batch of orchid which i purchased as small offset ( tira-tira – leftovers ) from Lung Center Sunday Market . The orchid can grow in partial shade or at least 50 to 60% lighting conditions. This orchid prefers to be undisturbed and thus growing them on live trees , palms or kakawate trunk seems to be perfect.

The orchid that i bought at the Lung Center is already fully matured and maybe in a year or so with careful fertilization and care , It will  bloom .  The Lung Center Sunday market had moved to Centris and I hope would be able to buy Sungay Kalabaw orchid.

I am encouraging all orchid hobbyists especially those living in the Philippines to grow and propagate them no matter how small their flowers , It is part of our natural heritage and pride of the country !

Note: All photos were taken by the author , please cite this blog site as link

References and Bibliography:
Synonyms Acampe pachyphylla (Ames) Szlach. 2003; *Sarcanthus pachyphyllus Ames 1915;

Cootes, Jim. “THE ORCHIDS OF THE PHILIPPINES.” Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 2001.
“Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia” :http://www.orchidspecies.com/indexqrsel.htm

Orchidiana Philipiniana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984

Davis S. Reg and Steiner, Mona Liza, Philippine Orchids, M&L Licudine Enterprises , Second Printing 1982, Manila Page 200 to 203

 

Grand Picnic Day with Big Celebrities at Jollibee Family Bee Day Celebrations

Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park , Manila-Philippines

a family enjoyed a grand picnic day celebrations at luneta park

Thousands of families converged in 5 different venues across the country and enjoyed a fun- filled afternoon during Jollibee’s Family Bee Day , dubbed as the grandest picnic ever!

 Twirlie mascot with some participants

The event is held simultaneously at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, Bayanihan Park in Pampanga ,  Nuvali footall field in Laguna , Plaza Independencia in Cebu and Crocodile Park in Davao.

Jollibee Family Bee Day welcome arch

The event started at around past 1:00PM with people from all walks of life enjoyed the entire afternoon walking , enjoying fun filled games , live musical presentations, family bonding , free foods,  freebies and on- the spot raffle contests where lucky individual or family can win gift certificates and party packages courtesy of Jollibee Food Corporation and its sister companies .

Mr. Champ together with a group of children

Mr. Chris Urbano – social networking website sensation ( Maputing Cooking )

Mr. Chris Urbano is an Australian foreigner who orders Kaligayahang Manok (Chicken Joy) at Jollibee store using straight Tagalog words, video became viral and hot online. He  was trending in social networking websites and earned positive feed backs from netizens.

stilt walkers

Celebrities includes Ms. Marian Rivera , Mr. Erik Santos and Moonstar88 trooped to Nuvali football grounds, Yum endorser Ms. Julie Barretto , Ms. Shaina Magdayao , Mr. Rayver Cruz and 6Cyclemind wowed audiences at the Bayanihan Park .  Mr. Gerald Anderson, Ms. Julie Ann San Jose and Sponge Cola thrilled families and friends at Plaza Independencia while Ms. Maja Salvador , Mr. Slater Young and Imago entertained picnic goers at the Crocodile Park in Davao .

crowd

The crowd is quite impressive at the Quirino grandstand area, There were at least 3,500 to 5,000 people . Top billed performers includes Mr. Martin Nievera, Ms. Klarisse de Guzman and Callalily top-billed the list of performers who entertained families at the Quirino grandstand.

Jollibee employees and crews happily gave away food packages to the participants of the event.

employees and staffs

Red Ribbon booth also sells a lot of delicious snacks  from its mamon to cakes

Mr. Harvey Ong and Mr. Joseph Tambuntiong

Mr. Harvey T. Ong is the vice president of  marketing -Jollibee Food Corporation and Mr. Joseph Tambuntiong -President of Jollibee Philippines ,graciously “welcomed” all the participants and invited media . ” We are very excited to mount an event of this magnitude that celebrates the Filipinos’ love for bonding over good food . We are very happy with the turnout and pleased to see everyone enjoying the company of other people who they treat like family . Talagang dito sa Jollibee , ang sarap maging pamilya “, said Jollibee vice president for marketing Mr. Harvey T. Ong.

L-R Mr. Zoren Legaspi, Maverick Peter , Maria Cassandra and Ms. Carmina Villaroel

After a short but meaningful press-conference and a short question and answer portion, the family graciously pose for a souvenir shot along with Jollibee executives .

family group photo

Ordinary hot summer afternoon into fun-filled celebration with exciting entertainment for some of the country’s leading celebrities and bands, outdoor fun and games , and great foods . The country’s number #1 family fast-food chain truly enabled thousands of families to celebrate the grandest picnic ever!  We hope that the company organize again an event like this one next year 2015! Beeda ang Saya to Everyone !!!

Note: I would like to ” Thank” Mr. Niel Mugas for extending the invitation .and the rest of Stratworks Inc. for the warm hospitality extended .

Website links:

Jollibee Food Corporation: http://www.jollibee.com.ph/

Greenwich : http://www.greenwich.com.ph/

Red Ribbon : http://www.redribbonbakeshop.com.ph/

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