FamilyMart now serving customers inside BF Homes subdivision

FamilyMart, a chain of convenience stores with presence in strategic locations in Metro Manila and some provinces, recently opened a brand-new branch inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City. The new store is located just steps away from the corner of Aguirre Avenue and Gonzales street. Very near FamilyMart BF Homes (which is not located along Aguirre Avenue) are Vapor and the closed gate of the nearest enclave.

This is FamilyMart BF Homes.

On the Facebook page of FamilyMart BF Homes, a picture was posted showing the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on the afternoon of September 28. On that same picture post, it was announced that the convenience store will operate daily from 9AM to 7PM.

Having seen that social media post, I took the opportunity to go there, see the new store and buy myself a drink. Having visited the past FamilyMart branch (opened in 2013 outside of the subdivision but still part of Barangay BF Homes) that once operated along Presidents Avenue years prior, I wondered how much interior space the new store has for its customers.

After parking my vehicle, I paid attention to the signs on the entrance. I could not just go in because I had to complete an online registration form (for COVID-19 contact tracing and referencing) in order to enter (note: it would be great if the store starts using the StaySafe.ph system as an additional contact tracing option). After submitting my details online, a store employee opened the door and near him were the temperature scanner and the sanitizer.

Family Mart BF Homes has an interior set-up that resembles a local community pharmacy. There is a counter with the store employees behind it waiting to serve customers. On the other side of the counter, there was limited space for customers to move with and there were shelves of varied products (mostly consumable goods), a freezer containing ice cream products, as well as refrigerators containing drinks and a few ready-to-cook food items. Ultimately, I bought a Milo shake from them.

While driving along Aguirre Avenue, watch out for this corner sign to find FamilyMart BF Homes.

Having visited FamilyMart branches in Parañaque City (two), Muntinlupa City (two) and Makati City (two), I can say that FamilyMart BF Homes is easily the smallest branch I ever visited. Not a bad thing but notable. The store is ideal if you want to stop by, buy something to enjoy and move on to your next destination.

Regardless, FamilyMart BF Homes still has a lot to offer that other convenient stores cannot. If you love chicken, FamilyMart has FamiChicky and ChickyPops. If you want something unique to eat, try their pizza bar. If you can’t afford ramen at the restaurants, FamilyMart offers ramen that is friendly to your budget. For the beverage enthusiasts, the Iced Caramel Macchiato, Sakura Ichigo, Signature Hot Matcha and Iced Creamy Matcha should be tried.    

To know more about FamilyMart BF Homes (address: 75 Aguirre Avenue), visit their official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fmbfhomes

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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A good time at Coffee Syndicate in Alabang

While hiking around Filinvest City here in Alabang this past weekend, I decided to visit Coffee Syndicate, a nice coffee shop located at the ground floor of Commercenter mall. Apart from the fact that it has been quite a long time since my previous visit there, I also went there to avail of the 10% discount for customers who have been vaccinated already for COVID-19. I recently got vaccinated with a 2nd dose.

As soon as it opened, I entered and checked the menu carefully. Then I went to the counter to order one cold white choco mocha drink, gave my vaccination card (issued to me by Muntinlupa City and MunCoVac), and paid the discounted rate (and got my card back).

So I took my time browsing the web with my smartphone and my pocket WiFi which had a pretty strong signal received from my seat by the window (near the road) indoors. Once my white choco mocha drink was served, I slowly consumed it to make sure I tasted it and gradually stirred the coffee and its creamy top together.

The cold white choco mocha drink from Coffee Syndicate.

I find Coffee Syndicate’s white choco mocha blended drink taste mildly sweet, creamy and most notably, the tastes of the white choco and mocha were really felt. I can say I really liked it and I would not hesitate to order it again.

Coffee Syndicate also has a nice interior design (with Marlon Brando’s Vito Corleone image on a wall) and their menu has a nice variety of hot coffee, cold brew, white brew, non-coffee drinks, sandwiches and even Italian soda to name some. They also offer coffee beans.

To all those who love drinking coffee and looking for a new place in Alabang to have coffee at, I recommend Coffee Syndicate.

To all those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 (be it one dose or two doses) and looking for good coffee in Alabang, Coffee Syndicate’s 10% discount is very helpful and you can avail of it by showing to them your vaccination record card. As stated in Coffee Syndicate’s May 29, 2021 Facebook page post, the discount for vaccinated consumers is valid until December 31, 2021.

The view from my seat.

My return to Coffee Syndicate was indeed a good time. I encourage you to visit their coffee shop at Commercenter (which has a lower-level parking area). I also encourage you to visit their website at https://www.coffeesyndicateph.com/

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City lifts liquor ban with some restrictions amid MECQ, other less stringent quarantine status

The liquor ban in Muntinlupa City is has officially been lifted but with restrictions for the duration of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and other less stringent community quarantines as may be declared by the national government.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi approved City Ordinance No. 2021-232 lifting the liquor ban in the city with provisions on regulation and limitations for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Under the local ordinance, city residents can only consume alcoholic beverages within their private residence. Social drinking involving individuals not living in the same residence shall still be strictly prohibited.

The sale of liquor and other intoxicating beverages shall only be during 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and will only be limited to Muntinlupa residents.

Consumption or drinking liquor in public places such as restaurants and other commercial establishments permitted to operate by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) shall be regulated: beer – maximum of 2 bottles, hard drinks – maximum of 2 glasses, and for wine and whiskey – maximum of two glasses.

Business establishments who will violate the ordinance shall be meted with the following penalties: closure of one week for first offense and revocation of business permit for second offense.

Further, violating persons who are sellers shall receive P2,000 penalty for first offense and P5,000 for second offense, while those who are buyers will be penalized with P2,500 for their first offense and P5,000 for second offense.

Members of the Muntinlupa City Police Station, Public Order and Safety Office, City Security Office, Muntinlupa Traffic and Management Bureau, Business Permit and Licensing Office, Barangay Chairpersons and their personnel, and other deputized individuals will conduct inspections in commercial establishments to ensure that the local ordinance is followed.

The City Government warns beneficiaries of the emergency assistance from the DSWD that they are prohibited to use their cash aid to purchase liquor or any alcoholic beverage. The public is encouraged to report violators for proper action.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi reminds city residents that the lifting of liquor ban is for economic reasons and that the health and safety of the public should not be compromised.

“COVID-19 is still an imminent threat so I urge everyone to be responsible and to continue observing health protocols even as quarantine measures and the liquor ban are relaxed in the implementation of MECQ,” Fresnedi said.

As of May 5, Muntinlupa City has 11,585 confirmed cases with 10,127 recoveries, 1,154 active cases, 304 reported deaths, 168 suspect cases, and 988 probable cases.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: DTI says restaurants in MECQ areas are allowed to have outdoor dining

In what is clearly a move with economic recovery in mind, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez declared that restaurants (located in places under MECQ or modified enhanced community quarantine status) with outdoor dining services and set-ups are allowed to resume but with certain limitations.

To make things clear, below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article which was published just yesterday. For greater emphasis, some parts are in bold.

In a text message to reporters Sunday night, Lopez said food establishments with alfresco dining services are only allowed up to 50 percent capacity, with diagonal seating arrangement and acrylic dividers on tables.

He added that indoor dine-in services are still not allowed in areas under MECQ, but food establishments can continue to operate with their take-out and delivery services.

From April 12 to 30, the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal or the NCR Plus as well as Santiago City in Isabela, and the provinces of Quirino and Abra were also placed under MECQ.

Earlier, the DTI chief said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) might be sensitive in allowing indoor dine-in due to the highly contagious new variants of Covid-19.

“The IATF recommended to the President to shift to MECQ after two weeks of ECQ to restore more jobs and livelihood for the people,” Lopez said.

Clearly the local authorities are trying hard to balance themselves between economics and public health as new cases of COVID-19 (China Virus) continue to be counted in very high numbers on a daily basis in recent times. On April 2, the count of infections reached over 15,000.

Going back to the issue of allowing restaurants with outdoor dining (AKA alfresco) within the MECQ areas, it is good news that they are allowed to resume operations. It will still be a challenge for food establishments to attract enough paying customers and make their business’ financial ends meet.

On a personal experience, I love eating ramen and Tsukemen at Sigekiya Ramen in Alabang. I prefer that such meals would be cooked by the restaurant and be served to me at a table at their place. The alternative of taking the cooked ramen out and consume it at home is just not a convincing option for me because ramen is meant to be consumed quickly while it is hot. The alternative of taking home ingredients and noodles, and have them cooked at home does not appeal to me as I prefer Sigekiya’s cooks make the meal I paid for.

A delicious meal like this one is best to be eaten at the restaurant, even outdoors.

Also located in Alabang is the local branch of Akrotiri, a really fine restaurant that serves authentic Greek meals that my family and friends enjoyed. They also have meals that, in my opinion, are best consumed at their place and their Alabang branch (Commercenter to be precise) has space for outdoor dining. It was at Akrotiri Alabang where I treated 2019 SEA Games gold medalist Kim Mangrobang to a meal and organized an exclusive interview with her. They really have a fine-looking place. Visit their website at https://akrotiri.ph/

It is important to keep in mind that restaurants around the nation have struggled a lot since the pandemic started last year. These business establishments are also struggling with retaining their respective employees, notably their cooks, the baristas, waiters and waitresses. Remember that the meals and drinks you enjoy would not be the same when the people who prepared them get laid off.

With the DTI’s declaration of allowing food establishments with outdoor dining setups and services to resume, I encourage you my readers to consider supporting these businesses for your food and beverage needs. If you can’t have a meal with the family outdoors, perhaps you can push through with a business meeting with a corporate associate or reunite with your friend or relative with the outdoor setting of a restaurant while adhering to health protocols (wearing face masks, face shields, sanitizing yourselves, etc.). 

Now, let’s observe how the mayors, the barangay captains and other local authorities in MECQ areas will react to DTI’s declaration. You also might want to check with the local restaurants and coffee shops if they allow outdoor dining. Consider taking time out to call them or verify on their respective social media channels/accounts to see if outdoor dining is allowed.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Ordering from Pepsi-Cola Philippines online makes sense

Before I talk about Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI), have you heard the disappointing news lately? For those who missed out, the National Capital Region (NCR) and the bordering provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan (note: these form the so-called NCR Plus region) is now under extended ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) until April 11, 2021. The extension was recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in relation to the ongoing spikes in counted new cases of COVID-19 (China Virus) which reached as high as 15,310.

Going back to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) report, it was written that OCTA Research released its own report that the average of new daily cases of COVID-19 in NCR Plus dropped as a result of the return to ECQ. While there is no lockdown, the ECQ is bad for the economy due to reduced business activities (which affects employees and their income negatively).

Under ECQ, shopping malls here in South Metro Manila can only allow the so-called essentials to remain open. Essentials refer to groceries, banks, pharmacies, hardware stores and restaurants (which in turn are limited to processing take-out and delivery orders of customers).

When it comes to the local communities, fear about the rate of COVID-19 infection sparked authorities to discourage people from traveling around and that it is best for people to stay at home until the current bad situation improves. Some have encouraged people to order products they want or need online and have it delivered to their homes.

This brings me to the topic of this piece…why it makes more sense to order products from Pepsi Philippines via their online store and have such products delivered to the home.

To put things in perspective, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines launched their online store at www.pepsiproducts.ph for home deliveries last October. What the company stated back then is still relevant with the current ECQ situation. Below is an excerpt from the PNA report for your reference…

PCPPI said its e-commerce website pepsiproducts.ph started to receive online orders from customers on October 5 and also providing in-home deliveries.

“With mobility restrictions brought about by varying phases of lockdown, we have decided to adopt e-commerce to our overall operations to heed the call of our customers who wish to have more access to our product while they are at home,” PCPPI president and chief executive officer Frederick Ong said.

Ong added that going online allows the company to counter business disruptions due to the limited foot traffic to physical stores.

“Pepsiproducts.ph is another way to make our products more accessible to entrepreneurs who want to venture into the distribution business. We are positive that this new revenue stream can boost PCPPI’s sales outlook in the months ahead,” he said.

Ong said the company has hired separate administrative and delivery personnel that will focus on the online venture.

The beverage firm is piloting its e-commerce business in the south part of Metro Manila — Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and Parañaque as well as in San Pedro and Biñan in Laguna, and Carmona, Cavite.

PCPPI also targets to expand its e-commerce service in different parts of the country.

As you can see above, the company went the extra mile to make their products more accessible to customers backed with delivery services of their own. A month ago, I opened up an account with their online store, ordered a bunch of drinks that met their minimum requirement of P300, and in a little over 24 hours after posting my order, they delivered to our home. I received the drinks I ordered and paid them in cash (note: cash on delivery is the current method of payment). That being said, I really like Pepsi Philippines’ online store and delivery service not only for the user friendliness but also the fact that it spares me from having to go out to a nearby store to buy their drinks.

As such, this lessens the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 while being away from home. Again, it makes sense to order Pepsi beverages online during this time of pandemic and the company’s e-commerce effort deserves admiration.

To be clear, Pepsi Philippines is offering more than just soft drinks (Pepsi Cola, Pepsi Max, 7-Up, Mountain Dew, Mug root beer and Mirinda) on their online store. They are also offering such drinks like Gatorade, G-Active, Tropicana (orange juice and coconut juice), Sting energy drink, Premier water, Milkis, Lipton iced tea and more! I should also state that there also these temporary but really attractive online promos that will offer you a good return for your money.

Whether you like soft drinks or iced tea or milk or fruit juices, Pepsi Philippines has it all for you to choose from at their online store and they can deliver it to you if you meet the P300 minimum requirement and if your residence is located within their delivery coverage (South Metro Manila cities of Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Parañaque plus Laguna cities San Pedro and Biñan, plus Carmona in Cavite province).

In ending this, I encourage readers who want or need drinks from Pepsi to visit their online store at https://pepsiproducts.ph/

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: National Capital Region (NCR) and 4 nearby provinces now under GCQ until April 4, 2021

It is all over the news and already a lot of people got affected specifically in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. This past Sunday, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) issued a new resolution (Resolution #104) in response to the spike of COVID-19 cases in the country. There was a single-day high of 7,999 new COVID-19 cases reported recently followed by blaming the government and economic managers.

Firstly, there is no lockdown which is good news. This is about retaining the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status for NCR while the four nearby provinces have fallen under the same status.

To put things in perspective, posted below are excerpts from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) report…

Excerpt 1

Under IATF Resolution No. 104, he said only essential travel into and out of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal will be allowed.

Excerpt 2

Traveling into and out of Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal will be prohibited. We will have a sort of bubble in NCR, and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal,” he said.

Travel of authorized persons outside their residences (APORs) such as essential workers, health and emergency frontline services personnel; government officials and government frontline personnel; duly-authorized humanitarian assistance actors; persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons; persons going to the airport for travel abroad, returning overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be unimpeded for as long as they show their respective work identification cards.

Individuals crossing zones for work or business and going back home will also be allowed to travel to and from the said areas.

“Kung kayo ay uuwi, essential travel po ‘yun. Kailangan lang magpakita ng ID kung saan ka talaga nakatira (If you’re going back home that’s essential travel. All you need to do is show your ID to prove that you live there),” he said.

Excerpt 3

Public gatherings limited

All public gatherings, including religious gatherings, will be prohibited but weddings, baptism, and funerals will be allowed but must observe a 10-person venue capacity.

Current operational capacities of essential and non-essential services and industries will remain.

However, face-to-face meetings, group meals in workplaces will be prohibited. Instead, work-from-home and virtual meetings are encouraged.

Roque said the IATF resolution also enjoins the private sector to adopt similar alternative working arrangements as those in place in the executive branch of government such as operating on a 30 to 50 capacity.

Only outdoor dining allowed

As for dining, Roque said only outdoor dining will be allowed in areas under GCQ while indoor dining will be strictly prohibited.

“Pagdating po sa mga restaurants, ang papayagan lang po yung mga outdoor dining (When it comes to restaurants, we will only allow those with outdoor dining),” he said.

Outdoor dining must observe a maximum of 50 percent venue capacity.

Take out and delivery is encouraged, he added.

Wear masks at home

Although the economy will stay open, Roque said the IATF resolution will require persons below 18-years-old and above 65-years-old, those with comorbidities, and pregnant women to remain inside their residences at all times.

The IATF resolution also advises the wearing of face mask at home especially when living with elderly and vulnerable.

Accepting of visitors outside immediate family or household is strongly discouraged.

Operations of driving schools, traditional cinemas and video and interactive game arcades, libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers, limited social events at accredited tourism establishments and limited tourism attractions will be temporarily suspended except open-air tourism attractions.

Before the IATF’s new resolution was issued, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) went ahead in shortening the hours of voter registration as well as suspending the organizing of satellite registration (registration processes held outside of their office) which started yesterday. People around the Philippines have until the end September 2021 to register themselves or adjust their respective voter statuses in preparation of the May 2022 presidential, national and local elections.

For their part, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced yesterday that it would yield to public health concerns in relation to the GCQ status for NCR and the 4 nearby provinces.

With regards to the IATF’s prohibition on indoor dining, already the shopping malls and restaurants here in South Metro Manila have made adjustments and updated their customers. Sigekiya Ramen announced that their restaurant at Commercenter, Filinvest City in Alabang, is still allowed to accommodate paying customers for outdoor dining. Like many others, they also offer takeout and delivery services. Alabang Town Center and Festival Mall in Alabang posted updates about safety protocols in accordance to IATF Resolution #104.

With all these developments in place, people in the NCR and the affected provinces under GCQ will have to adjust. It is okay to keep reporting to work but there is a need to be cautious with regards to personal safety and avoiding COVID-19 infection as much as possible. There is also the need to prioritize where to go and what to do. All of these are in effect until April 4, 2021 and here is hoping that the current situation will improve (that the daily COVID-19 count of new cases will go down) so that the new round of restrictions under GCQ will not be extended.

Better yet, I encourage you all to look up to our Lord Jesus and keep having unwavering faith in Him. I also encourage you all to read chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to our Lord in the privacy in your respective rooms (with the door shut closed). Open your heart to the Lord, always.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Spotlight on BF HomeSarap, The Village Home-Cooked Food Directory

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of interviewing Ditas Antenor. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Spotlight on BF HomeSarap, The Village Home-Cooked Food Directory

BFMSlogo

Do you love home-cooked food? Do you love BF Homes, the very large residential-commercial community that occupies portions of Muntinlupa, Parañaque and Las Piñas? Do you love grouping together on Facebook forming a very lively online community?

If you love all three, then you cannot go wrong with the BF HomeSarap Facebook group!

BF HomeSarap is not just any food-oriented, regional group on the social network. It is one of the fastest growing FB groups that highlights home cooking, good tastes, small enterprise and the BF Homes community members (plus friends).

BF HomeSarap’s growth in terms of membership is truly amazing. The FB group only started on April 2019 and from zero members it attracted to more than eight thousand (8,000+) members as of this writing! By comparison, there are other BF Homes-related (plus Barangay BF Homes-related) FB groups that lasted for years and still their respective memberships were exceeded by BF HomeSarap.

The FB group has described itself to be the resource for delicious home-cooked food (and drinks) right inside the village. As big businesses are prohibited, BF HomeSarap allows foodie sellers to post their specialties by showing pictures of the products, the name of the food or drink, prices and how they are being sold. What is notable about the group is that the people who make food at home are granted valuable opportunities to reach out to other members who might be interested to buy from them. In a business sense, the small food enterprises are able to make themselves known and gain chances to grow not only with selling products but also attracting new customers and establishing new business relationships.

And then something significant happened on December 7 and 8, 2019 – selected BF HomeSarap members came out in full force as sellers in the first-ever BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar which was held at the open-air basketball court and at the nearby covered stretch  inside BF NorthWest, Parañaque City. That community event, which was organized by village governor-at-large Lorea Miren in cooperation with the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association and supported by PARA APP, was a big success as it attracted between 250 to 300 visitors (including Parañaque City Councilors Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza and Wahoo Sotto) and almost all the vendors sold out! Apart from that, a strong spirit of community interaction, business and socializing took place.

20191207_173538.jpg
A look at just one section where the first-ever BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair was held inside BF NorthWest. This one was taken at a covered facility near the open-air basketball court (where the other vendors were present and selling too).

With all of these mentioned, you must be wondering: Who started BF HomeSarap in the first place? Why was it established? How did it happen? Where will BF HomeSarap head to now that its presence online and within the real environment inside BF Homes has been felt?

For all of you, my readers and food enthusiasts, I am happy to present to you my interview with BF HomeSarap founder and food stylist Ditas Antenor.

BFHomeSarapFounderImage

To begin with, Ditas Antenor worked in the corporate world as an advertising executive and worked with her employer’s big-time clients. After more than a decade managing multinational accounts in various multinational ad agencies, she moved on to the production side and there she became a food stylist. She even spent time in the United States to learn about food styling (for print and broadcast).

“I decided back then to take up food styling because I made plans regarding my career ahead of time,” Antenor recalled. “I really planned ahead. I could quit my nine-to-five job and engage in freelancing. So what would be a good, lucrative freelance job that I know I could be good at? That was food styling which is rare (in the Philippines.)”

Back then, food stylists in the Philippines were rare. Antenor became the fifth among the already established food stylists at the time. She eventually got hired by some clients and established herself nicely. Raised as an Alabang Girl, she and her children currently live in the Las Pinas City part of BF Homes subdivision.

BF HomeSarap’s origin and tremendous growth within Facebook

So how did BF HomeSarap start as a group within Facebook? It all started with a trigger on the part of its founder Ditas Antenor.

“There was a trigger. It was related to me and my kids moving into BF Homes subdivision coming from Alabang. Our house here in BF has been around for a very long time,” Antenor said. “My kids grew up with my cooking. Although they enjoy commercial foods like pizza or burgers that can be ordered, they can only eat those sometimes and ultimately they still love home-cooked food.”

Being the highly focused planner she has always been, Antenor had prepared menus for their family up to a few months ahead. She does the home cooking and, from time to time, her children cook adding variety. The love for home cooking, good food and relationships all connected with the beginning of BF HomeSarap.

“Then one day, I said to myself ‘maybe I should form a group’. I’m not an original member of the BF Homes community but still this is our home, even if I still maintain and occasionally stay in our Alabang house” Antenor recalled. “After doing an initial search for food-related FB groups that were related to BF Homes, I formed an FB group for BF by BF focused on home-cooked food.”

Along the way, the founder recalled her efforts on forming a name for the FB group that is unique and would strongly resonate with food enthusiasts and BF Homes residents and stakeholders. The result, clearly, was BF HomeSarap which was a clever combination of the name of the subdivision as well as the Tagalog word “Sarap” (English: Delicious).

“The name BF HomeSarap was formed out of my intention to include the local community’s name while reflecting people’s enjoyment of good home-cooked food. It had to be catchy and relevant at the same time. After searching for possible combinations of words, I came up with ‘sarap’ to partner with BF Homes,” she stated.

BF HomeSarap was created on April 2019 by Antenor reflecting her interest of good, home-cooked food her children would enjoy while establishing ties with the many members of the BF Homes community who share her interest.

The result? The membership of BF HomeSarap on Facebook went from zero to over eight thousand as of this writing. The members were a big mix of food enthusiasts as well as home-based cooks who are quietly selling food or drinks through their respective small-sized businesses. Already several small-time food sellers posted food or beverages for sale complete with contact numbers, prices, ways on how to avail of ordered items and the like. BF HomeSarap excludes the bigger, commercial food sellers giving more space and priority to the small ones. Along the way, there were a lot of buyers who had been searching for tasty home-cooked food. The result is BF HomeSarap establishing itself as a very lively online community whose members are united by home-cooked food and delicacies.

Of course, not just anyone could join the BF HomeSarap FB group. With the help of a few friends (who lived in BF Homes for a long time) and her daughter, Antenor and her co-administrators carefully review the many pending applications of FB users who wanted to join in as well as the many private messages sent.

“The membership of BF HomeSarap just kept on growing fast. Along the way, we made sure it would not become just another buy-and-sell type of Facebook group. I really wanted it to be an online community about good, home-cooked food and BF Homes which will be engaged with good quality content from time to time. I really want community engagement,” she said.

To engage the BF HomeSarap group members, Antenor researched online about the latest food trends, what kind of food people like lately, cooking tips, recipes and the like. The result was her releasing unique content in the form of articles, short videos, special greetings and customized images that get posted in the group occasionally. This approach of hers helped keep BF HomeSarap interesting and engaging, and prevented it from becoming stale or getting too flooded with sales-related posts.

For the future, Antenor stated that she is still striving to come up with ideas to make life better for the sellers and buyers of the group. She is exploring how to establish a dedicated delivery system that will carry BF HomeSarap’s name and cater to the clients’ needs. She and her team are also looking for other enclaves around BF Homes that could possibly host the next edition of the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair this year.

With almost 9,000 members counted (and growing) and continued daily engagement, BF HomeSarap is undoubtedly the premier FB group focused on home-cooked food with the people of BF Homes in mind. Even FB users from the rest of South Metro Manila noticed the group.

“BF Homes is very unique,” Antenor said in relation to the group’s phenomenal growth and influence.

The group is not even a year old, and already it achieved a lot of milestones even spawning three related groups: Merville HomeSarap, Antipolo HomeSarap and MetroEast HomeSarap.

Ditas Antenor’s Message to the Readers

“When I cook, I continue to engage the community. There is, indeed, a wealth of home-cooked food in this community. You just need to look for it. You just need to know who cooked it. Also, level up your food in terms of nutrition and quality. If you want good food for your family, aim for home-cooked. It can be cheaper and yet it can be prepared with the same love and care for the family.”


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Note: Article cover photo contains images from the book “SULÓ: Where Taste Was Style”, written by author/founder Erlinda Panlilio, published in 2015 by Anvil Publishing.

My Observations: Village Food Fair 2 at Madison Galeries

After worshiping the Lord at church this past Sunday in Las Piñas City, I proceeded straight to Madison Galeries in Barangay Cupang, Alabang, Muntinlupa City to attend their special event of the day called Village Food Fair 2.

Months ago, out of curiosity, I attended the first Village Food Fair held at that same open-air shopping mall and I had fun looking around and enjoying some food and beverages. The pleasurable experience I back had then made me wish that the mall would organize another food fair and, as what happened this Sunday, they delivered!

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The food vendors outside the Madison Events Place.

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High-quality beef sold for shawarma.

At Village Food Fair 2, I visited first the food stalls at the 3rd floor just outside of the Madison Events Place (which is a large, air-conditioned hall) where food products like shawarma, rice meals and freshly cooked meat were served. I noticed beef wagyu offered in both packed and in cooked form.

Inside the Madison Events Place was a whole lot of vendors that offered a great variety of beverages and food to choose from. There were packaged sushi rolls, coffee (in powdered form, in beans and in brewed form), organic pasta, noodles, dumplings, pies, nuts, beans, sandwiches, carrot cakes and the like. On keeping the atmosphere lively, the mall operators hired a lady to play the guitar and sing on the spot.

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A customer waiting to be served.

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This lady sang nicely during the food fair.

There was a whole lot to choose from Village Food Fair 2 and I am very glad that Madison Galeries organized this. As a coffee enthusiast, I ordered black coffee mixed with condensed milk. That coffee was prepared for me with the utmost care as two containers were used to pour and mix the coffee and condensed milk together before serving it on a cup. I liked the taste.

I went outside Madison Events Place to try a chicken shawarma. The chicken was really well cooked and the vegetables and pita used made each bite a delight. I got my money’s worth as a result. Before going home, I bought Barako coffee powder from one of the vendors inside Madisons Events Place.

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This looks yummy!

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Coffee, honey, chocolate and other nice stuff for sale.

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Organic pasta for sale. 

In conclusion, I should say that my experience with Village Food Fair 2 was even more pleasurable than the previous time. It sure was nice to see a wide selection of food and beverage products of nice quality along with several customers making transactions with the sellers. I sincerely hope for another Village Food Fair to be organize there at Madison Galeries which is clearly the best open-air shopping mall to be at in South Metro Manila. For Ayala Alabang residents and BF Homes residents (as well as those living in related communities like Tahanan Village) reading this, to visit Madison Galeries without having to travel along the West Service Road from Parañaque, I highly recommend securing a non-resident, passing thru vehicular sticker from Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) so that your access will be better.

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Sushi rolls being sold.

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The other sellers inside the Madison Events Place.

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This one really smelled good as the cooking went on.

My thanks to Madison Galeries and the concessionaires who made Village Food Fair 2 happen. I would love to attend another edition of it in the near future. Village Food Fair is easily a standout among all food fairs in South Metro Manila.

+++++

To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Starbucks Coffee at One Griffinstone in Alabang

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The front of Starbucks One Griffinestone branch.

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.

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From inside facing Commerce Avenue.

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.

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The counter.

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Many places to sit and enjoy.

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.

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Facing the far end of Commerce Avenue heading towards the direction of Festival Mall (hidden by the trees).

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.

Chachago BF Homes Branch at Noah’s Place Inaugurated and Serving Customers

There was an atmosphere of excitement, confidence and enjoyment at the ground floor of the commercial building Noah’s Place along Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City on the morning of Friday (June 7, 2019) as the newest branch of Chachago Philippines (stylized as Chachago 茶茶GO Philippines) had its grand opening complete with a ribbon cutting graced by the directors of the BF Parañaque Entrepreneurs & Business Club, Inc. (BFPE&BCI), some local community stakeholders and the City Government of Parañaque.

 

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The counter and the nice interior of Chachago BF Homes branch.

The ribbon cutting had notable guests such as Quezon Province Board Member Beth Sio, BFPE&BCI president Don Muñoz, Joseph Zamora, Parañaque City’s Social Services Office & Public Information Office OIC Mar Jimenez, Cathy Seguismundo (BDO), Frank Vida, Joseph Noy Patino, Erwin Sio (Chachago BF Homes owner), Aileen Muñoz, Jereny Uy (Chachago Philippines) and Valerie Sio (Chachago BF Homes owner).

What is Chachago? The company describes their was created to raise public awareness of quality beverages; not just on the ingredients but also educating individuals about the way of drinking tea. They added that the love for Taiwan’s food and milk tea was how their business came to be.

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From left to right were: Quezon Province Board Member Beth Sio, BFPE&BCI president Don Muñoz, Joseph Zamora, Parañaque City’s Social Services Office & Public Information Office OIC Mar Jimenez (holding scissor), Frank Vida, Joseph Noy Patino, Erwin Sio (Chachago BF Homes owner), Aileen Muñoz, Jereny Uy (Chachago Philippines) and Valerie Sio (Chachago BF Homes owner).

The place has a nice interior as well as WiFi. The seats are comfortable and there is a lot of space to accommodate families or groups of friends. The place looks also ideal for people who enjoy drinking indoors while spending time browsing on their smartphones or doing work with their laptops. I enjoyed my fresh orange drink as I sat in comfort talking with Mar Jimenez (who represented Mayor Edwin Olivarez), BFPE&BCI president Don Muñoz and vice president Frank Vida.

Chachago has a nice selection of beverages to suit the tastes of customers. I noticed that the large-sized drinks really come with a lot of content and the guests who availed of it clearly enjoyed them.

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Fruit tea, milk tea, lattes, ice cream special, food and more!

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Customers at the other part of the branch. There are even more tables and seats outside (partially seen here). There is also free WiFi.

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Parañaque City’s Social Services Office & Public Information Office OIC Mar Jimenez and BFPE&BCI president Don Muñoz.

To get some insight about the business, I approached Chachago BF Homes branch co-owner Erwin Sio for his opinion and the local community. His wife Val is the other owner.

“Whenever we’re in the south, BF Homes has always been our go to place for food, for its wide selection of restaurants. However our nights usually end early, because after dinner, there are a limited milk tea places to hang out at,” said Erwin Sio, “We want Chachago BF Homes to be a place where friends and families meet and hang out as they enjoy their delicious milk teas.”

Sio added that milk tea places are normally small that only provide customers ample room to buy their drinks, then leave to make way for other customers. He and his wife came up with the idea of establishing a place where people could really hang out. When the ground floor space of Noah’s Place became available, the Sio business couple immediately grabbed it and led to establishing the BF Homes branch of Chachago Philippines.

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Chachago beverages that customers can choose from.

If you are looking for milk tea or other special beverages within BF Homes subdivision, there is Chachago at Noah’s Place along Aguirre Avenue.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com