Archives For Cooking Lessons

Bar by Blacksheep

Bar by Blacksheep

It is rarely that I write a blog about a restaurant.  I often write about places I have visited, occasionally mentioning a restaurant, but not writing a whole blog about it.  But the dining experience which I experienced here is incomprehensible, which dictates that I write a blog about it.



Bar by Blacksheep is located at 32nd Street and 5th Avenue, at the Penthouse of the W Fifth Avenue, in Bonifacio Global City.  It is open Monday to Saturday from 7:00 pm until late, they accept guest until 10:00 pm or 10:30 pm.  They are only open for dinner.  I have been at the W before for a Globe Community event at the Skye Bar about a year ago.  The lobby is simple yet elegant, which does not prepare you, once you step out the lift, and enter Bar by Blacksheep.

Black Sheep Dining Area

Black Sheep Dining Area

The dining area is opulent, and welcoming.  It also exudes class and sophistication.  It also provides you an ample view of the BGC skyline, perfect for dates especially this coming Father’s Day.  The restaurant floor is spacious, and the design is contemporary.  The lighting is perfect, making the room not too bright, and not too dark, offering a perfect ambiance for casual get togethers, romantic dinners, and hang out with the boys!

Black Sheep 100 Single Malts

Black Sheep 100 Single Malts

And if you are like me, who loves to collect whiskies, and other spirits, the sight of their 100 Single Malts Selection simply makes you feel like a child, who happens to stumble upon a room full of his favorite toys.  I was in awe of the various selection of single malt whiskies they had, some of which I have not even heard or tasted before.

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche

Bar by Blacksheep does not offer a la carte, they have but a single menu, thereby not offering any choices for the diners, but their menu offers an adventurous experience, especially for the first time diners.  We were first treated to Amuse Bouche, which simply looks like an egg in a bowl, but as they say looks can be deceiving.  This dish offers an explosion of flavours in your mouth.  This dish will surely make a lasting impression.

Kitayama Wagyu Striploin

Kitayama Wagyu Striploin

Their Kitayama Wagyu Striploin is simply delicious.  It is succulent, juicy, and cooked just right.  It may seem that they have a small serving, but the small serving is enough to whet your appetite for more.  The experience was simply Amazing! Plus you get to choose a whisky of your fancy.  What else can you ask for? Nada!

I made my reservation through the ResDiary Philippines (, the latest in online  restaurant reservation and table management system.  It was a breeze in choosing where I wanted to eat.  You only but need to register once.  You can also download the app through iTunes for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices.  Once downloaded in your devices, it makes reservation/booking a breeze, with a few clicks and you’re done.  You will also get an e-mail confirmation or SMS confirmation, regarding your reservation/booking.

Also you can check out the reviews in a variety of restaurants in Book To Eat Philippines.  It shows the reviews and number of stars a restaurant has garnered from its customers.



Starting Monday (May 12), throw away all the negatives vibes as GMA Life TV, the Philippines’ first international lifestyle channel, makes happiness contagious with its newest talk/variety program Basta Every Day Happy.


Alessandra De Rossi, Gladys Reyes, Chef Boy Logro, and Donita Rose

Alessandra De Rossi, Gladys Reyes, Chef Boy Logro, and Donita Rose

The show brings Donita Rose, Gladys Reyes, Alessandra De Rossi, and Chef Boy Logro together for the first time on television, creating a vibrant atmosphere through a mixture of their witty personalities. They will share their happy experiences in various fun segments, projects, and challenges that will certainly draw smiles and laughter from the viewers.


In its desire to make more Filipinos joyful and inspired every day, this show will encourage everyone to take an active step in making one’s self happy through the simple pleasures in life, such as stumbling upon a hilarious social media post, an amazing food discovery, completing one’s wish list, or a deed of paying it forward, which consequently affects someone else’s happiness.


Alessandra De Rossi, Gladys Reyes, Chef Boy Logro, and Donita Rose

Alessandra De Rossi, Gladys Reyes, Chef Boy Logro, and Donita Rose

Knowing that Filipinos possess the unique characteristic of being naturally cheerful despite adversities, Basta Every Day Happy will feature guest celebrities and even ordinary people who will share fun-filled conversations with the hosts.


Kapuso viewers locally and abroad will certainly have something to look forward to every day as each episode contains a collection of happy moments of everything under the sun, such as parenting, family, relationships, home care, beauty, fashion, technology, travel, among others.


Directed by Louie Ignacio, Basta Every Day Happy is set to change the Filipino viewers’ weekday viewing habits.


Catch your daily dose of happiness in Basta Every Day Happy only on GMA Life TV.


For updates on the Kapuso Network’s programs visit the website, Facebook pages,, and Twitter pages @GMAPinoyTV and @GMA_LifeTV.

GMA Network (GMA) continued to pull away from competition in the viewer-rich areas of Urban Luzon and Mega Manila in April, according to data from the industry’s leading ratings service provider Nielsen TV Audience Measurement.

The Pacquiao-Bradley match (Pacquiao-Bradley II: Vindication), which aired on GMA Channel 7, ruled the charts in NUTAM (National Urban Television Audience Measurement), Urban Luzon and Mega Manila.

For the period April 1 to 30 (April 20 to 30 based on overnight data), GMA recorded a total day audience share of 37 percent, ahead of ABS-CBN’s 32.2 percent by 4.8 points, and ahead of TV5’s 10.5 percent by 26.5 points. Urban Luzon makes up 77 percent of the total urban television households in the country.

Relative to the previous month, GMA’s total day margin over ABS-CBN and TV5 grew from 4 to 4.8 points, and from 24.7 to 26.5 points, respectively.

More Kapuso shows figured in the list of top programs (including specials) in Urban Luzon, totalling 19 out of 30. Joining Pacquiao-Bradley II: Vindication in the top 10 were weekly drama anthology Magpakailanman, multi-awarded news magazine program Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS), Inang Yaya (Holy Week special), weekend game show Celebrity Bluff, and reality sitcom Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kuwento.

Completing the list are Marley & Me (Holy Week special), primetime drama Carmela, Eat Bulaga’s Lenten special Hulog ng Langit, Saturday night comedy Vampire Ang Daddy Ko, Panalangin (Holy Week special), telefantasya Kambal Sirena, GMA’s flagship newscast 24 Oras, hard-hitting investigative program Imbestigador, the country’s longest running gag show Bubble Gang, Kapuso drama Rhodora X, and Holy Week specials A Walk to Remember, KMJS, and Slam Dunk.

In Mega Manila, which accounts for 60 percent of the urban TV household population in the country, GMA registered a 38.5 percent total day household average, up 8.6 points from ABS-CBN’s 29.9 percent, and up 27.1 points from TV5’s 11.4 percent.

GMA’s lead over ABS-CBN and TV5 also increased from 7.8 to 8.6 points, and from 25.2 to 27.1 points, respectively, compared to last month.

Majority (21 out of 30) of the top-rating shows in Mega Manila were from GMA. In the top 10 with the Pacquiao-Bradley match were Magpakailanman, KMJS, Inang Yaya (Holy Week special), Celebrity Bluff, Eat Bulaga’s Lenten special Hulog ng Langit, Carmela, Marley & Me, and Pepito Manaloto Ang Tunay na Kuwento.

Likewise scoring high ratings in Mega Manila were Vampire Ang Daddy Ko, Bubble Gang, Kambal Sirena, Panalangin (Holy Week special), Imbestigador, Rhodora X, 24 Oras, Holy Week specials A Walk to Remember, KMJS, Banal na Paglalakbay, Koreanovela 100-Year Old Legacy, and the country’s longest running noontime show Eat Bulaga.

GMA’s lead in both Urban Luzon and Mega Manila was driven by its strong performance in the morning block. It also continued to dominate rival networks in the afternoon and evening blocks in the said areas.

GMA, meanwhile, closes the gap with ABS-CBN in NUTAM as a result of its significant lead in the morning block, scoring 38.3 percent compared to ABS-CBN’s 27.5 percent and TV5’s 12.3 percent.

GMA and TV5 subscribe to Nielsen TV Audience Measurement while ABS-CBN is the lone local major TV network that reportedly subscribes to Kantar Media, formerly known as TNS.

In Mega Manila, Nielsen TV Audience Measurement gathers data based on a sample size of 1,190 homes as compared to Kantar Media’s 770 homes. Meanwhile, Nielsen has a nationwide urban sample size of 2,000 homes, which is statistically higher than Kantar’s sample size of 1,370.

Kusina Master Chef Boy

Kusina Master Chef Boy



Sinner or Saint Dennis and Bianca

Sinner or Saint Dennis and Bianca

With a rich and vibrant mix of program genres, GMA Life TV continues to celebrate the best in Filipino lifestyle as it unveils its latest lineup for 2014.

Fashion and reality television enthusiasts alike will be delighted as GMA Life TV, in partnership with One Mega Publishing Group, brings the second season of MEGA Young Designers Competition to Filipino homes abroad. The competition heats up as viewers tune in to see which of the country’s talented aspiring fashion designers will make the cut.

GMA Life TV also spices up its culinary offerings with the premiere of the Appetite Wars hosted by Victor Aliwalas and Victor Basa. This cooking competition produced by One Mega Publishing Group features chefs from all walks of life battling in the kitchen to impress their celebrity dinner guests. Furthermore, the channel continues to please its viewers’ palates with the latest episodes of Sarap Diva hosted by Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and the multi-awarded cooking program, Kusina Master hosted by celebrity Chef Pablo “Boy” Logro.

Moreover, the country’s first international lifestyle channel amps up its first quarter with a double serving of drama as it begins airing English-dubbed versions of two well-loved GMA series – Little Star and Sinner or Saint.

Diego, a young singing sensation portrayed by promising child actor Nicky Castro, is the pivotal character in the heartwarming family drama Little Star. This fascinating story focuses on how he touches the lives of the people around him – a famous female singer, her personal assistant, a photographer and an opportunist. It also stars the multi-talented Kapuso artists Mark Anthony Fernandez, Jennylyn Mercado, Paolo Contis and Lovi Poe.

The enthralling series Sinner or Saint is a tale of love, deceit and betrayal featuring award-winning actor Dennis Trillo as Raul, an aspiring law student, and Bianca King as his childhood friend-turned-lover. Things turn awry as a tragic incident drives the two apart, testing their love.

Adding more fun and entertainment to late night viewing is the The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A. hosted by Jojo Alejar. The show is a lively mixture of comedy skits with the addition of live guestings and a performance by an up-and-coming band.

Furthermore, GMA Life TV boosts its weekend movie offerings this February with Indie Fest, showcasing some of the finest local independent films. Airing on February 2, Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, featuring Rocco Nacino and Jean Garcia, combines dance and poetry in a social exploration of feminist and gay issues. Mayohan, a coming of age story set amidst the religious festivities in May starring Lovi Poe, will reach television screens on February 9. In Biyaheng Lupa airing on February 16, Eugene Domingo joins a motley cast of characters on a particularly revealing journey onboard a bus bound for Bicol. And on February 23, I-libings tackles the subject of life and death as it focuses on Isabel, played by Glaiza de Castro, interning as a funeral videographer.

In celebration of International Women’s Month this March, the channel presents five classic films featuring several of Philippine cinema’s premier dramatic actresses – Nora Aunor in Dash A Lotsa Nonsents! on March 2, Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes in Kasal-kasalan… Sakalan on March 9, Vilma Santos in Pakawalan Mo Ako on March 16, Sharon Cuneta, Hilda Koronel and Angel Aquino in Crying Ladies on March 23, and Lorna Tolentino in Gaano Kita Kamahal on March 30.

Completing their first quarter line up, GMA Life TV offers Koreanovela aficionados a chance to watch the tagalog-dubbed series such as Full House and My Rosy Life that were big hits back home.

For more details and program information, visit the GMA International website, Facebook pages,, and,, and Twitter pages @GMAPinoyTV and @GMA_LifeTV.

Kusina Master

Kusina Master

GMA-7’s Kusina Master proves its international caliber once more after winning as Best Lifestyle Program at the prestigious 19th Annual NAMIC Vision Awards. Chef Boy Logro’s well-loved cooking show, which was submitted as an entry for GMA Life TV, the first Filipino lifestyle channel abroad, also makes history as the first ever winner from GMA as well as the Philippines in the said competition.


GMA Pinoy TV’s co-production Pusong Pinoy Sa Amerika, on the other hand, bagged a nomination in the Foreign Language Category.


GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia considers their latest achievement as an important milestone for GMA Life TV, which recently marked its fifth anniversary. “This award is truly an honor for both GMA Life TV and the excellent team behind Kusina Master, confirming its world class standards for the second time this year,” he said.


Kusina Master bested entries from Scripps, one of the biggest TV networks in the US. This award comes right on the heels of the program’s recent victory at the 2013 US International Film and Video Festival, wherein it earned a Certificate for Creative Excellence.


GMA OIC for Entertainment TV Lilybeth G. Rasonable expresses her thanks for all the recognition and praise that Kusina Master has been receiving not only in the Philippines, but also internationally. “We sincerely thank theNAMIC Vision Awards for this honor and we commit to continue delivering superior information and entertainment to our audience here and abroad,” she enthused.


Nicol Turner-Lee, Ph.D, President and CEO of the National Association of Minorities in Communications (NAMIC), informed GMA International of the win and extended her “congratulations on this esteemed honor.”


Representing GMA International at the awarding ceremony held last July 11 at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, California were Jush Andowitt, GMA International Marketing Consultant, and respected immigration lawyer Atty. Lou Tancinco, host and producer of “Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika.”


The NAMIC Vision Awards is dubbed as “a celebration of multicultural contributions in the media industry.” It is “one of the few national (US-wide) competitions that salute original television or digital content that reflects the depth and breadth of experience and contributions of people of color.” The likes of CNN, HBO, Disney, ESPN, Nickelodeon and other mainstream US networks usually dominate the Vision Awards.



GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV along with GMA News TV International can be seen in Canada and the US and in countries in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia Pacific. For more details, visit the GMA International website, Facebook pages,, and,, or Twitter pages@GMAPinoyTV,@GMA_LifeTV and @GMANewsTVIntl.

by: Alice Park (Time Magazine)

The Mediterranean diet is a well-known weapon in the fight against heart disease, but exactly how effective is it?


To find out, researchers led by Dr. Ramón Estruch, from the Department of Internal Medicine at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, put the Mediterranean diet to the test against a low-fat diet. They followed participants to track rates of heart attack, stroke and heart-disease-related death. After nearly five years, the results were so striking for one group that the study was stopped early, according to research published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The group that showed the least heart problems and lowest rate of heart disease deaths? Those who ate a Mediterranean diet high in extra-virgin olive oil. Coming in at a close second were participants who ate a Mediterranean diet high in nuts. Compared with those eating the low-fat diet, the extra-virgin-olive-oil group showed a 30% lower risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying of heart disease after five years, while those consuming the Mediterranean diet with more nuts showed a 28% lower risk of these outcomes.

(MORE: Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Child-Asthma Risk)

“We think the strength of this study comes from the fact that we measured hard outcomes and not just blood pressure or changes in cholesterol levels,” says Estruch. “We really believe the Mediterranean diet lowers incidence of [heart attack], stroke and cardiovascular deaths.”

Previous studies have linked Mediterranean diets to fewer heart attacks and deaths from heart disease, but most of those have correlated people’s recall of their diet with heart-disease outcomes rather than randomly assigning participants to eat specific diets and then following them for heart-disease risk, as Estruch and his colleagues did.

In the study, the participants in the Mediterranean diet groups agreed to replace red meat with white meat like chicken and eat three or more servings of fish each week, along with three or more servings of fruit and two or more servings of vegetables a day. The extra-virgin-olive-oil group also consumed more than four tablespoons of the oil a day, replacing regular olive oil with the extra-virgin variety, which contains more potentially heart-healthy compounds like polyphenols and vitamin-E tocopherols — which can lower levels of inflammatory factors that contribute to heart disease — in addition to oleic acids, which are lower in the saturated fat that can build up in blood vessels. The group that consumed more nuts was asked to eat a combination of 30 g of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts every day. These groups were also asked to stay away from sodas and red meats. The participants eating the low-fat diet ate three or more servings of fish or seafood a week and the same amount of fruit and vegetables as the Mediterranean diet groups. They were discouraged from consuming more than two tablespoons of vegetable oils, including olive oil, each day.

(MORE: Can Olive Oil Help Prevent Stroke?)

To ensure that other factors that could affect heart-disease rates were not playing a role, the researchers also adjusted for the total amount of calories the groups were eating, since obesity can be a major contributor to heart attack and stroke. Even after making these adjustments, however, the olive-oil group showed statistically significant drops in heart-disease risk. And because the three groups were randomly assigned to their diets, Estruch says that factors like the amount of exercise the participants did, or the medications they took, would be about the same in all three groups, and thus affect all participants equally.

Estruch says that the study has some limitations, most notably that the low-fat diet group may not have had as intense an intervention during the first part of the study as the Mediterranean groups did, potentially biasing the results in favor of the Mediterranean diet. Some volunteers also dropped out, most of whom had higher body mass index on average, which may also skew the results toward a beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet, since the individuals who remained might have been more motivated to take care of their hearts to begin with.

Still, the findings add to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet can play an important role in protecting the heart, and should guide doctors and patients who want to avoid heart disease toward eating the foods that can help them the most.

Read more:

GMA International celebrates the best in Filipino lifestyle and offers the latest and most relevant local news to more Filipinos in Canada with the upcoming launch of GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International in British Columbia and Alberta via Telus Optik TV recently last November.


GMA Network’s second international channel, GMA Life TV captures the exciting and colorful lifestyle of Filipinos through a wide-range of program genres, while GMA News TV International – powered by most trusted and multi-awarded news organization in the Philippines GMA News and Public Affairs – serves as the ultimate source of local news abroad.


Leading the vibrant mix of TV programs on GMA Life TV is Kusina Master, a 45-minute cooking show hosted by Chef Boy Logro. With his funny antics and excellent kitchen skills, Chef Boy makes way for a fun and enjoyable experience when preparing meals in the kitchen.


Fashionistas are in for a treat as Fashbook hosted by multi-talented singer, actress and host Solenn Heussaff leads an inside and out makeover for her guests and inspires viewers with the help of an A-list makeover team.


MARS gives viewers fresh, fun and intelligent conversations for and by mothers via on a variety of topics concering each member of the family. Dubbed as television’s go-to show for all mommy concerns, MARS is hosted by celebrity moms Suzi Entrata-Abrera and Camille Prats.


Other GMA Life TV programs include Weekend Getaway, a traveler’s guide to the best destinations in the Philippines hosted by Drew Arellano; Let’s Fiesta, which offers highlights of the latest festivals all over the archipelago; and Reel Time, which tackles the lighter side of Pinoy culture via movie-like documentaries, among others.


Meanwhile, bannered by the most respected names in Philippine broadcast journalism today – Jessica Soho, Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco, Arnold Clavio, Vicky Morales, and Howie Severino – GMA News TV International provides the latest, most comprehensive, and most credible news from the country.


The country’s number one local news channel, GMA News TV boasts of a formidable line-up of programs to give Pinoy viewers overseas relevant and credible news reportage all throughout the day.


At the forefront of the list of programs on the channel is the flagship newscast State of the Nation, which delivers in-depth and comprehensive news reporting and anchored by no less than GMA News TV pillar Jessica Soho.


News To Go, meanwhile, gives viewers different news and feature stories hosted by GMA News Online Editor-in-Chief Howie Severino together with Peabody award winner Kara David.


Viewers can also look forward to a most interesting gathering of programs including a modern spin-off of GMA Network’s hugely popular news magazine program in the ‘90s, Brigada Siete, in GMA News TV’s Brigada. In the show, Jessica Soho gives a new generation of reporters the opportunity to present the stories behind the headlines as she mentors each of them to get a deeper understanding of their reports.


Powerhouse is a program hosted by another GMA News TV pillar, Mel Tiangco. Through the program, viewers get a peek into the private homes and lives of Philippines’ most powerful and controversial personalities.


Led by broadcast journalist Arnold Clavio, Tonight with Arnold Clavio treats viewers to a no-holds barred and informative discussion of the hottest issues today, with the most sought after personalities.


GMA News and Public Affairs is the only broadcast news organization in the Philippines that has won the highly prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. The team was also awarded with five citations by the Telly Awards and another one from the US International Film and Video Festival – the only USIFVF award for a Philippine program in 2011.


GMA News and Public Affairs also has the New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards and the Asian TV Awards in its roster of accolades. Just recently,GMA News and Public Affairs was awarded with three Silver World Medals and six Finalist Certificates in the 2012 New York Festivals.


GMA Life TV can be seen on Channel 516 while GMA News TV International can be seen on Channel 511. To subscribe, call 310-MYTV (6988) or visit Channel and program information are also available at and


Both channels are charged separately at only $5.00/month per channel. Subscription to Filipino TV is required.


Full Time Moms

Celebrities and hosts Christine Jacob-Sandejas and Suzi Entrata-Abrera are on to a new and exciting series of talks as they continue to learn more about living as FULL TIME MOMS!

Armed with a fresh look, from the set to its opening billboard, FULL TIME MOMS continues to be the talk-variety show for mothers and about mothers from all walks of life on GMA Life TV.

“We want to let our viewers know that FULL TIME MOMS still carry the same flavor they have come to enjoy so much; only with a bit more zest because of the show’s new look. That’s exactly what they’ll see in our new OBB – Christine and Suzi excited as ever to share their journey with other women,” shares Gigi Lara, Supervising Producer of FULL TIME MOMS.

Suzi and Christine

The new opening billboard shows hosts Christine and Suzi having fun with moms of different professions – a doctor, a cook, and a security personnel to name a few – as they perform their many roles.

Aside from FULL TIME MOMS’ fresh look, viewers also have to watch out for its new episodes which promise to be more exciting and entertaining beginning March 7 on GMA Life TV.

Monday is all about keeping a positive attitude amidst negative circumstances! Celebrities Sheryl Cruz, Angelika Dela Cruz, and JC Tiuseco guest in the episode to share their stories about getting stuck at some point in their lives – bad breakups, careers at a standstill, a tragic event – and how they managed to wriggle free and move forward.

Suzi and Christine then try their knack on dancing as dance divas Ciara Sotto, Geleen Eugenio, and Sexbomb girls Mica and Louise teach them some dance moves which have become popular through the years on Tuesday.

Christine Jacob-Sandejas

Seasoned politicians and government officials, meanwhile, visit the FULL TIME MOMS set on Wednesday to reveal some interesting facts about their personal lives that viewers don’t normally see on TV – MTRCB Chairperson Grace Poe- Llamanzares relates her days with her dad, the late FPJ, and shares how his colorful life had been a big influence to her work and role as a parent; Senator Chiz Escudero cooks up something meaty and sweet which moms would surely love to learn; and finally, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay reveals his soft-spot – his love for his wonderful kids and how he struggles to become a single dad and a city mayor at the same time.

Do Filipinos have a unique way of coping with death? Find out as Suzi, Christine, and guests Ali Sotto, Gina de Venecia, and Mark Herras share their true-to-life experiences, different coping mechanisms, plus some pamahiin they practice on Thursday. Guest experts also share their insights on providing emotional support for the families left by the deceased.

Suzi Entrata-Abrera

FULL TIME MOMS caps off the week on Friday with a visit from showbiz personalities who will share their unforgettable experiences in performing some of today’s most challenging jobs – Love Añover shares her memories as a former Production Assistant; Pekto recalls his dirty adventures in Day Off; while Julio Diaz prove their skills as once construction worker.

Catch all these and more in FULL TIME MOMS, directed by Ms. Bibeth Orteza-Siguon Reyna, Mondays to Fridays, on GMA Life TV! Call your preferred pay TV operator now to subscribe.


Angeli Nicole Sanoy in Magic Palayok

GMA Pinoy TV sprinkles magic into its slate of innovative programs as it serves up another refreshing TV fare adults and kids alike will surely enjoy. Make way for MAGIC PALAYOK, the newest primetime drama that will send thrills and delight to the Kapuso viewers beginning March 2.

This offering captures the interplay of food and love with its creative, amusing, and heartwarming storyline about a magical clay pot (palayok) that makes mouth-watering and sumptuous dishes through the help of its adorable owner Cookie played by the talented child star Angeli Nicole Sanoy. Angeli captured the hearts of many after her endearing portrayal of “Jik-Jik” in the original drama series,Grazilda.

Carla Abellana in Magic Palayok

Geoff Eigenmann in Magic Palayok

Adding star power to this original drama is the participation of real-life sweethearts Geoff Eigenmannand Carla Abellana. Magic Palayok marks the fifth project of the couple after their successful showsRosalindaSRO Cinemaserye presents Carinderia QueenThe Last Prince, and Sinenovela’s Basahang Ginto. This series also reunites Geoff and Carla with award-winning director Joel Lamangan who helmed their top-rating afternoon soap.

Geoff and Carla play the important characters of Jude, the smart and goal-driven bachelor who will fall in love with Pilar, a middle-class carinderia owner who dreams of being a well-known chef.

MAGIC PALAYOK also marks the TV comeback of one of the loveliest faces in Philippine showbiz, Ms. Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, as she plays the coveted role of Isadora, Cookie’s doting mother and the original keeper of the enchanted clay pot.

Cherie Gil in Magic Palayok

Chynna Ortaleza in Magic Palayok

Making this series even grander is the roster of cast headlined by Cherie Gil as Yvonne Ledesma, Isadora’s scheming aunt; Chynna Ortaleza as Natasha, Yvonne’s greedy sister; Manilyn Reyes as theMagic PalayokJay-R as Daryl, Pilar’s ardent suitor; Gino dela Peña as Clifford, Jude’s bestfriend;Frank Garcia as Ricky, Isadora’s friend; Vicky Ortega as Phoebe, Pilar’s bestfriend; Cruzita Salcedoas Suyen, one of Cookie’s friends who bullies her; and Nicky Castro as Macoy, and Bianca Umali asDina, Cookie’s close friends.

Cruzita Salcedo in Magic Palayok

Manilyn Reyes in Magic Palayok

The series begins with Isadora, a lowly peasant who tries to make ends meet for her family due to the dire living conditions in their province. Despite the rough environment, Isadora never fails to share whatever she has to others.

Until one day, while Isadora is praying before Saint Isadore, the stone clay pot on its foot suddenly lights up and floats toward her. Panic-stricken, Isadora brings the clay pot at home and uses it to heat water. Much to her surprise, the water turns into a hot soup and a spirit appears telling her that from now on her family will never starve again.

Gino dela Pena in Magic Palayok

Frank Garcia in Magic Palayok

As years pass by, Isadora single-handedly raises her only daughter Cookie. And through the help of the MAGIC PALAYOK, a reversal of fortune quickly happens in their lives. But their happiness is cut short when Isadora discovers she has a terminal illness. She immediately looks for her cousin Yvonne and asks her to be Cookie’s guardian.

During her final hour, Isadora confesses to Cookie that her father is still alive. Natasha, on the other hand, conspires with Yvonne to convince Cookie that they already found his real father. But Cookie discovers his fake identity.

Jay R in Magic Palayok

Vicky Ortega in Magic Palayok

Cookie runs away to look for her father. Whenever she is down, the spirit of the MAGIC PALAYOK appears and promises to help her. As she goes on her search, Cookie meets Pilar, a kindhearted lady who owns a small carinderia. Cookie offers to help Pilar make delicious dishes only if she lets her stay.

Pilar agrees and soon, Cookie and her MAGIC PALAYOK start creating magnificent meals inside her kitchen. Her carinderia becomes an instant hit and people from all over town would come to try her delectable native dishes.

Nicky Castro in Magic Palayok

Bianca Umali in Magic Palayok

But how long can Pilar and Cookie keep the mysterious powers of the MAGIC PALAYOK under wraps? Will Natasha and Yvonne succeed in their wicked schemes? When will Cookie finally get to meet his father, the real Richard Cruz? How will Pilar and Jude’s path crisscross? And will Pilar and Cookie discover the perfect ingredients to make their lives complete and fulfilling?

Under the helm of Director Joel Lamangan, together with Kit Villanueva-Langit as head writer, MAGIC PALAYOK will not only generate interest among younger viewers but also give a more extensive and fun-loving TV experience to all Filipino viewers abroad. It also boasts of the finest production values with production design created by Egay Littaua and exceptional visual effects by Fahrenheit Inc.

MAGIC PALAYOK premieres in North America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East on March 2 via GMA Pinoy TV. Call your preferred pay TV operator now to subscribe.


Rico Maierhofer, James Yap, and Jonas Villanueva present their Purefoods Fiesta Ham recipes for the yuletide season.
Rico Maierhofer, James Yap, and Jonas Villanueva present their Purefoods Fiesta Ham recipes for the yuletide season.

In the world of professional hoops, “fiesta conference” usually refers to one of the most grueling and competitive basketball seasons in the year.

At the San Miguel Culinary Center in Pasig recently, it meant kitchen duty for three of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)’s most exciting cagers.

James Yap, Jonas Villanueva, and Rico Maierhofer, temporarily traded in their jerseys, sneakers, and basketballs for aprons, kitchen knives, pots, and ladles, to see who could come up with the best Christmas recipe for the no. 1 premium noche buena staple, Purefoods Fiesta Ham.

“Minsan lang ang Pasko, kaya dapat espesyal ang handa.  Ito ang special recipe ko, (Christmas is a special occasion, and this is my special recipe)” said James.

Jonas and Rico, both coming from big families (Jonas has 10 siblings while Rico is the eldest of seven), meanwhile came up with recipes sure to be popular at big gatherings.  The San Miguel Culinary Center gives us the low-down.

1 whole     PUREFOODS FIESTA HAM®, thawed
Brown sugar for coating ham
½ cup Orange marmalade
2 tbsp Prepared mustard
1/3 cup Brown sugar
½ cup Water

Glaze:  Mix all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat until consistency resembles maple syrup.  Set aside. Coat ham with brown sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Brush with glaze occasionally.  Slice ham upon serving. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

400 gm Spaghetti or fettucine
¼ cup Butter
½ cup Chopped onions
½ cup Red bell pepper, sliced (1” x 1”)
¼ kilo PUREFOODS FIESTA HAM®, sliced (1” x 1”)
¼ cup All purpose flour
2 cup Chicken broth
1 cup All purpose cream
1 cup Green peas
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Ground black pepper
½ cup Quezo de Bola grated
¼ cup Chopped parsley

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt butter, sauté onions, red pepper and ham. Blend in flour. Add chicken broth and all purpose cream. Cook over low fire, stirring continuously until sauce is slightly thick. Add green peas and seasoning. Simmer for three minutes. Right before serving, toss pasta, sauce, grated cheese and parsley. Add extra cheese on top. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

4 pcs focaccia
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 pcs tomatoes, sliced
12 slices    queso de bola , thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter, softened

Pan fry ham. Spread mayo on the inside of the bread. Place tomatoes, cheese and ham.  Spread butter on the outsides of the bread.  Repeat to make a total of four sandwiches.
Heat a Teflon pan and pan-grill the sandwiches until outside is crispy, around 1-2 minutes. Makes 4 sandwiches.