Burgers have long been popular here in the Philippines and they can be bought from several makers like the fast food joints which are quite numerous.
At the expanded area of Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Union Jack Tavern has been selling and serving burgers to customers. Just open the menu when you visit them and then you will find the UJT Burger.
Sold for less than P300 as of this writing, the UJT Burger comes with a large plate filled with fries (which are thicker and less greasy compared to the fries sold by others) and the open sandwich with one half of the bun with the vegetables on top and the other half with the onions and beef covered with melted cheese.
In my recent stop at Union Jack Tavern, I had the UJT Burger and I started first with the fries which are quite filling and I like the fact that they are not too greasy to handle.
With the burger itself, considering the size, I took me a little effort to put the two buns (with their respective toppings) on top of each other to form the burger.
Then I took a bite on what parts are suitable for biting because this one is not the usual burger. The burger patty itself is quite thick and certainly not flat. After biting down the bread with the vegetables, I finally got to bite the cheese-covered burger patty. The result? The burger patty was quite tasty on its own and definitely worth going for. Then there is also that nice taste when biting the bread, the burger patty, the cheese and the vegetables altogether.
It may not be too visible for those who like burgers but failed to check Union Jack Tavern’s menu, but there is no doubt that the UJT Burger is a delicious and filling burger meal just waiting to be discovered.
The UJT Burger is highly recommended and I encourage you visit Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall.
On August 6, Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque II declared a National Dengue Epidemic in relation to the 146,062 cases recorded (January to July 20) this year here in the Philippines.
Duque revealed that the reported cases are almost 100% higher than compared to the same period in 2018. The total number of deaths recorded this year is now at 622.
The declaration was the result of a full council meeting at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that took place at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
In South Metro Manila, the City Government of Las Piñas responded to the declaration by informing their constituents to be prepared and vigilant of dengue. Mayor Imelda Aguilar and her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery called on all city residents to be careful and strive to clean up their homes and spots of their local areas. The City Government confirmed that all health centers around the city have dengue testing kits and the testing itself will be done for free.
Now that a national dengue crisis has been confirmed, now is the time for people living and working here in the Philippines to find not only the most effective methods to protect themselves from the disease but also to help cure the people already suffering from it.
To put things in perspective, the term dengue refers to both the virus and the fever. Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus.
Dengue fever is a harsh condition that includes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, pains on the muscle and joints, headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue and skin rash. The time it takes for a sufferer to recover from it is two to seven days. However, there have been a small number of cases in which dengue fever becomes severe (referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever). The symptoms for severe dengue include low blood platelets, bleeding and blood plasma leakage. There is also dengue shock syndrome which includes low blood pressure.
How to cure dengue? A scientist I met in Makati City told me it was papaya leaf juice.
For the newcomers reading this, the use of papaya leaf juice in treating dengue is not new. Rather it has been used for a long time in some areas of India and Southeast Asia. As dengue continues to spread and affect new victims around the world, it is expected that papaya leaf juice will grow in terms of demand.
To put things perspective, let’s start with the health benefits that papaya leaves carry. The leaf of the papaya contains a large amount of enzymes that include papain and chymopapain. These aid digestion and prevent bloating as well as digestive disorders. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, papaya leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and B while the specific minerals are iron, sodium magnesium, calcium and magnesium. The papaya leaf juice also comes with a compound that help with blood clotting and restricting internal bleeding.
Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, a nutritionist based in Bangalore, stated that certain studies “have shown that papaya leaf juice contributes significantly in the production of platelets.”
According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, 30 ml of fresh papaya leaf juice helps in increasing the blood platelet count which is crucial in treating dengue.
A team of chemical engineers in the Food and Pharmaceutical Engineering Group at the university are working on extracting carpaine (a bioactive compound) for use in the form of a pill. Because dengue is a huge health problem as the Aedes mosquito population grows, Associate Professor Dr. Ching Lik Hii (who leads the research at UNMC) got inspired to come up with methods to make the herbal remedy easier to process and consume.
Even as there are skeptics about papaya leaf juice as a cure for dengue, the confirmed results so far showed signs of effectiveness on the blood platelet count which itself is an important indicator on the patient’s health status while suffering dengue fever. In addition, papaya leaves
For the meantime, it would be helpful to convince local authorities (especially those who work in health and in government) to at least take a look at research of papaya leaf juice as an option for curing dengue. It is also timely right now that we should examine our nation’s harvest of the papaya trees with stronger focus on growing the leaves.
Do you see a papaya tree near you? Do NOT burn it and do NOT cut it down. Its leaves can be crucial to helping your nation deal with the ongoing dengue crisis. If you know someone who is suffering from dengue fever, then it is crucial to buy many papaya leaves and convert them into liquid form for drinking!
As the Philippines has a dengue crisis to deal, now is the time to contact your barangay (community government) officials, the city government officials, the provincial government officials (for those living in the provinces), the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators to encourage them to explore (if not utilize) papaya leaf juice as an option to treat dengue sufferers.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Members Networking Night
Let me share to you all that I had a grand time meeting with varied business people and professionals. On the evening of July 29 at Manila Elks Club in Makati City, I attended the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Members Networking Night organized by the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. The result was a lot of enlightenment on my part and satisfaction now that I have brand new connections with many professionals.
I also had a grand experience learning about the strengthening ties between the Philippines and Israel. Since a miracle happened to me last year, I moved forward personally, socially and professionally. Along the way, I gained tremendous interest on Israel which I hope to visit someday.
As a nation, Israel is highly significant. It is one of the most innovative nations in the whole world as confirmed by a recent study. In addition to establishing ties with other professionals, my passion for Israel was a key factor behind my participation in the Networking Night event.
During the event, there was a program with a nice presentation to the members and the guests. Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad warmly welcomed us with his remarks followed by a short speech delivered by Ms. Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov who is the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Israel.
The Deputy Chief of Mission confirmed that bilateral ties between the Philippines and Israel are indeed getting stronger.
“The job that Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has been doing is very much appreciated by the embassy. It is a great contribution to our bilateral relations,” said Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov. “I am very pleased to mention that we have very positive developments in the relations between Israel and the Philippines recently.”
While emphasizing the positive developments, she mentioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to Israel in 2018 which is a milestone as it marked the first time a Philippine President visited the country. Duterte had a big delegation with him to Israel and a lot of agreements were signed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Duterte.
The Deputy Chief of Mission mentioned that one of the signed agreements was related to the employment of caregivers and that fees on them would be reduced. Already there are 35,000 Filipino caregivers working in Israel who contributed a lot to the local society. The other agreement mentioned was about the employment of Filipino workers in the tourism industry of Israel. As a nation, Israel has a population of nine million and attracts four million tourists yearly. The Philippines was the first nation approached by Israel for its tourism needs.
After the update about Philippines-Israel relations, networking followed and it was during this time I met with varied professionals and business executives. We introduced ourselves, exchanged business cards and talked business. Along the way, I learned a lot from the professionals I met whose expertise include marketing, logistics, tax law, travel, sales, the airline industry, business solution development, events organizing, fruit processing, career development, real estate, etc.
As the event went on, some prizes were raffled off to very lucky winners (including myself).
By the end of the Networking Night, I went home very enlightened, delighted and satisfied. There is nothing like making a whole lot of connections with varied professionals in just a few hours’ time. In the world of business, having connections is essential and they can add a lot to your business performance as well as its development.
Lastly, I should say that during my previous career as a community newspaper reporter, I attended and reported about the activities of the Parañaque City chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI). Privately I also attended some conferences that attracted varied industry professionals. The Chamber’s Networking Night is the most significant corporate event I attended yet. Now that I’m working in industry and attended this memorable July 29 event, I certainly will watch out for the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ next event and eventually learn more about Israel and its ties with the Philippines.
What is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines?
You must be wondering – what exactly is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and how significant are they? Let me explain.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines was established with a purpose to foster, enable, facilitate and ensure the success of its members’ businesses while promoting business-to-business networking between Israel and the Philippines. The Chamber aims to collaborate with Philippine government officials, agencies and bureaus, as well as business and community leaders in dealing with important and critical issues affecting business and industries in both countries, while contributing to their civic, social and economic development.
With regards to the benefits of being a member of the Chamber, the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines represents and further the interests of each member. Through General Membership meetings, Business Forums and other events, Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines members receive assistance in promoting their companies and individual interests, keeping them abreast and ahead of business trends both in the country and in Israel.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has a well established network with varied foreign and local chambers. They have ties with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), other industry group-focused trade and business organizations as well. The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines constantly strives to be the premiere comprehensive resource and vehicle for the achievement of a strong and meaningful bilateral trade relationship between Israel and the Philippines that would be mutually beneficial to both countries.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is currently open for local businesses who wish to join them as a member.
If you wish to learn more about the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, visit their website at ICCP.ph and follow their official Facebook page.
Sorry for this late feature but I wish to share to you geeks and hobbyists that during the 2019 edition of the Toycon held this past June at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, I spotted the display of Macross.
I’m a Macross fan and I always make it a point to find stuff related to my favorite anime franchise whenever a convention happens. Here are some that I spotted during the Toycon.
At the 2nd level of the convention center was a function hall which has a large display of collected items of varied entertainment franchises. The one showcasing Macross had toys, action figures, plastic models, video games, music CDs and some printed materials.
What caught my attention was the display of the YF-19 from Macross Plus complete with its weapons in full view.
Also seeing an original copy of the 1990s Sega Saturn video game adaptation of Macross: Do You Remember Love? instantly made me remember playing and enjoying the PlayStation version of that game. The Sega Saturn game can be seen in the picture below.
As much as I enjoyed the display of Macross memorabilia, I regret to say that I was unable to find any more related collectibles or products for sale among the many vendors at the lower level during the Toycon. I searched for whatever Macross stuff I could find (t-shirts, comic books, action figures, models, cards and others) but ended up with nothing.
Then again, it should be surprising at all. Macross as an entertainment franchise is not exactly popular here in the Philippines and Macross Mania in the country has ended long ago. To say the least, the popularity of Macross here in the Philippines is limited to older fans and collectors. Anime is a lot more popular among Filipinos in this modern age but that does not mean Macross found a new nor large audience.
If ever the legendary Shoji Kawamori (whom I met at AsiaPOP Comicon Manila in 2017) or any notable Macross-related talent comes here in the Philippines, only then will the Macross brand gain attention.
If you love anime or Macross, then I invite you to read my retro movie review of Macross: Do You Remember Love? right here. I also wrote about the famous Lynn Minmay here.
Yet another coffee shop of Starbucks opened in the Alabang area in Muntinlupa City very recently. Specifically, this is about the one that opened at the ground floor of One Griffinstone located along Commerce Avenue corner Spectrum Midway in Filinvest City.
Very recently, out of curiosity, I visited to take a close look.
Like the other new Starbucks coffee shops I visited recently, the One Griffinstone branch has a nice interior and more notably, it’s got views of the immediate surroundings.
When it comes to seating capacity, I counted fifty-one seats, including the stools. For the use of the common rest room, a code is required to be able to use it. The code is printed on the receipt of the Starbucks drink/food customers buy. If you need to use the toilet during your time at Starbucks One Griffinstone, do not throw away the receipt fast.
After receiving my drink, I sat down facing one side of the place looking at the Festival Mall in the distance. Then I realizing something…Commerce Avenue literally connects with four different Starbucks branches in Alabang.
Along Commerce Avenue (note: distances between the coffeeshops and the said road) are the Alabang Town Center branch, the One Griffinstone branch and Starbucks Reserve (part of Westgate) branch.
In a way, Commerce Avenue leads to the old Starbucks branch at Festival Mall. Coming from the direction of Ayala Alabang, one can drive to the said branch by reaching the end of the road entering the area of mall, turn right on a short road going to the open-air parking area (where the old Starbucks and Robinsons department store are).
Are these enough Starbucks branches in the Alabang area as a whole? That’s hard to figure out at this point in time but what is clear is that Alabang is a hot spot for the world’s largest coffee chain. Previously I visited another new Alabang branch of the coffee chain at Madison Galeries.
Check out and visit the Starbucks One Griffinstone branch if you have time.
On July 19 at a commercial space (right beside Krispy Kreme and steps away from Fully Booked) at the area of Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa City, the newest branch of Popeyes Philippines opened and right from the start it drew a long line of curious and hungry customers.
I personally witnessed many people waiting in line seated as many chairs were provided for their comfort. Once inside, they joined the line at the counters to make their orders and then wait to be served.
As there were so many people, I decided to skip the weekend and try one of Popeyes’ meals on a weekday. Fortunately, yesterday, I found an opportunity to visit the Popeyes ATC branch and the line outside was much shorter. When I sat in line, there were less than ten people ahead of me.
The wait on line at the counters inside the restaurant took longer. I noticed that the Popeyes personnel receiving orders had to answer the many questions asked by the customers who had their turns. During that time, I carefully examined the meals, side dishes and drinks displayed. By the time I got my chance to order at the counter, I quickly ordered a 2-piece fried chicken meal with single rice (and drink included) and their Cajun Fries.
So here is my meal.
To make things clear, I did NOT use any condiments as I really wanted to determine if the food cooked by Popeyes were really tasty on their own.
When I started with the fried chicken, I opened the meat to see if it was well cooked. They did their job.
The result? For the fried chicken, they were tasty on their own. While Popeyes constantly emphasized their “Louisiana taste” a lot, I did not find the flavor of their fried chicken special. When it comes to taste, Popeyes fried chicken is tasty enough to enjoy without any condiments. However, if I may compare, I find the fried chicken of Mini-Stop (under their Uncle John’s sub-brand) clearly tastier than Popeyes. At the same time, I noticed Popeyes fried chicken pieces were slightly smaller compared to what was served at Mini-Stop, 7-Eleven, Jollibee, SNR and FamilyMart. Lastly, I noticed Popeyes’ fried chicken is not too greasy and that’s a good thing.
For what I paid (P167 or more than US$3), the 2-piece fried chicken meal at Popeyes Alabang was filling enough but it could have been better. If you want fried chicken meals that are more flavorful and more filling for less cost, you are better off with Mini-Stop, 7-Eleven and others.
As for the Cajun Fries, they are tasty enough to be enjoyed without condiments. The texture and taste remind me somewhat of McDonald’s twisted fries I tasted long ago. In a way, the Cajun Fries are more enjoyable than the standalone fries of other fast food restaurants that need condiments to be flavorful. The medium-sized Cajun Fries cost me P57.
I don’t know when to return to Popeyes at ATC but if I revisit, perhaps I’ll try out one of their burger meals.
For the newcomers reading this, Madison Galeries is a nice, open-air shopping mall located along Don Jesus Boulevard. It is located between Alabang Hills Village and the West Service Road.
During my recent stop at the mall, I visited, for the first time, the brand new Starbucks coffee shop at the ground floor which occupies the commercial space previously occupied by Manila’s Best Coffee plus even more space going inside.
The result? Starbucks Madison Galeries has LOTS of space where customers can come in, buy drinks or food, sit down comfortably and enjoy.
After that, I went upstairs to check on the Village Food Fair which was a one-day event. There I looked around at the varied food and drinks prepared for customers. Shawarma, cakes, fruits, sodas, pies, snacks, fruit juices, sushi and maki, imported cheese, rice meals of chicken, beef, pork and fish, shakes and dessert were offered. Among the many vendors selling there, what caught my attention was one selling organic pasta (to be cooked).
Check out these pics I posted. Just click to enlarge.
I hope that the Village Food Fair will be held again at Madison Galeries.