Sep 13

Wendy’s Spicy Smackdown Burger: Smackdown’s a bit “raw”

Despite the influx of new, we could say cooler, hipper, more-social-networking-sites-worthy and perhaps, really good burger joints out there, my heart and so as the next-door cardiologist’s sphygmomanometer still belongs to the usual — the burger chains associated with a happy bee with information technology problems from time to time, a clown, an overweight king, a little redhead girl and the like. You can include Bart of Burger Machine.

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Out of the ‘usual’ burger joints that I mentioned, my favorite is the one whose advocate is the little redhead girl. Yes, Wendy’s. I am a big fan of their Baconators, their Bacon Mushroom Melt and even their frosty. I have yet to try the variants with pretzel buns but I think that those are excellent just by looking at Heart Evangelista — Chizburger. Anyway, they have this new product called “The Spicy Smackdown Burger.” And just by its name, I know that I have to try it. I know I have to wrestle my way to the nearest Wendy’s because, yeah, Smackdown!

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And so I did. I ordered the combo with fries and cola. The Spicy Smackdown Burger with the infamous Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and actual Tostitos as advertised is in my hands. I am a big fan of spicy things so therefore, I am excited to take a bite. However, I don’t know if it’s supposed to be like that or it’s just in Glorietta but the burger was served to me cold. Like you prematurely released a food from the microwave oven because an officemate that you’re not really close with is waiting behind you. Maybe it’s a way to offset the killer that is Sriracha but I know that it is wrong. But still, I just continue digging in. I am searching for the heat but I can’t seem to find it. I may sound like a douchebag, a smegma, a trying hard but the spiciness is really bearable. As for the Tostitos part, I feel like it’s more of an inconvenience rather than an added kick. Back when I was a kid, I thought that putting chips in a sandwich was a sign of lunacy. Good thing there is Wendy’s signature square hamburger patties to save the day.

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All in all, the burger is good. It is delicious. The signature patty as well as their usual bun plus the fries will always be a hit. But as for its Spicy Smackdown repute, KFC’s Zinger is hotter. Robinsons’ Supermarket Oriental Wings are hotter. The spiciness is indeed very manageable. Smackdown? No. Wendy’s should be ashamed of Funaki. It’s a bit “raw.”

Sorry for the professional wrestling terms, though.

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Sep 06

PUSO! Dahil Mahal Nating Mga Pinoy Ang Basketbol

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Let me begin this post by describing to you my new impossible crush. Yes, impossible crush. Yung crush na malabo maging syota according to Ramon Bautista and the gang.

Si impossible crush, she has those deep captivating eyes to the point that you will melt once she stares at you. Slightly hawig ni Amy Austria. She’s cool. She’s kakaiba. She’s not into those “She’s Dating A Gangster,” “Talk Back and You’re Gay” shit. Galing! She is not that cute though. In fact, she’s taller than me. Ang laki ng hands. She’s even wider I guess.

Siya yung tipong magkakagusto lang sa mga 5’7 pataas na nag-gi-gym kahit walang sports, yung masarap sapakin sa mukha. I’m 5’2 and something based on my last Annual Physical Examination. Na-checkan pa ng doctor na may history ako ng Tubercolosis kahit wala naman. And since hindi ako active sa sports at hindi ako model ng brief at sandong baduy, hindi ako nag-gi-gym.

Kumbaga, si impossible crush, pangmatangkad lang siya.

Now let’s move on. Let’s talk about basketball. My favorite sport. Hindi man ako active maglaro, big time fan ako. It is well-documented na fan ako ng Grand Slam winning San Mig Super Coffee Mixers, ng 16-time NBA World Champions Los Angeles Lakers at naging fan din naman ako ng Laguna Lakers. Biboy Simon represent.

I spend my free time watching basketball. About 80% nang araw na walang pasok, basketball on TV ang aking peg. The other 20% is allotted to eating, taking a bath, eating vegetables, saying po and opo to elders and other more important things than watching stuff related to the game of basketball.

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So the past few days have been very big for me as a basketball fan. In fact, di lang sa akin. For us mga pinoy. After about four decades, nakasali rin ang Pilipinas sa Basketball World Cup. Big deal yun mga ‘tol. And because I believe I am pragmatic, masaya na ako na nakasali ang Pinas in this tournament. The fact that they’re in the same tournament kung saan kasali rin sila James Harden, Luis Scola, Pau Gasol at iba pang makakalaban mo lang kapag nag-create player ka sa NBA 2K gives me this nakakakilig feeling. However, syempre, parang si impossible crush, hindi ka aasa. Gilas have the shortest line-up sa tournament. We have no chance in hell. Masaya na ako basta hindi hihigit sa bente ang lamang.

Kumbaga, ang basketball, pangmatangkad lang siya.

But as we all know by now, iba ang mga nangyari. Hindi iba ang nangyari dahil nasakop natin ang Spain. Hindi iba ang nangyari dahil tayo ang tumambak sa mga kalaban. Iba ang nangyari dahil yung wish kong huwag lang lumampas ng bente ang lamang ay natupad. In five games, 12 lang ang pinakamalaking lamang sa atin ng mga kalaban. 9 lang talaga yun kung hindi kups yung isang Griyego. Mga 3 seconds na lang nagthreepoints pa para hindi single digit ang lamang. Because of that, hindi na ako kakain ng Gyros.

We exceeded the expectations of everyone. We fought tooth by tooth, inch by inch, toe to toe and cheeks to cheeks against our bigger counterparts. I am not really sure about the cheeks to cheeks part pero talagang lumaban tayo. True to that “Laban Pilipinas!” mantra. For days, naging parte ng bokabularyo ng bawat isang tunay na Pilipino ang mga salitang “Laban,” “Puso,” and unfortunately pati “singhutin mo beybeh.” We were glued to our television sets whether if it’s in your living room, inside the bus or on your handheld Made in China devices.

Grabe nga yung antok ko sa opisina noong Lunes at Martes. Yung game against Greece, 2:00 a.m. Ganoon pala ang feeling manood ng WOWOW dati. Sayang wala pa kaming cable noon. Yung laban naman against Argentina, 11:30 p.m. nagsimula na natapos ng around 1:30-ish ng madaling araw na natapos na malungkot tayo. We lost only by four points against the third ranked basketball team in the world. Ready na sana ako ipost ang “DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA! #PUSO” or “MAS MASARAP ANG BUKAYO KAYSA SA ALFAJOR #PUSO” sa Facebook but all to no avail. At least nadakdakan ni Gabe Norwood si Luis Scola.

After the tournament, the Philippines only managed to win one game. Against the tall and lanky Senegal team no less. Sayang talaga yung Puerto Rico eh. Out of all five games, yung game against Puerto Rico lang ang hindi ko nasimulan. 7:30 kasi yun ng gabi magsisimula di ba? 5:30 ang uwian ko. Sa hindi mapaliwanag na dahilan, medyo pinag-stay ako ng boss ko. Mga 15 to 20 minutes din yun. Tapos umulan. Walang bus. Naglakad ako mula Valero Street sa Makati hanggang Guadalupe, oo yung bandang istasyon ng MRT para makahanap ng bus papuntang Pacita. Naglakad na nga ako nang mahaba, mas mahal pa ang binayad kong pamasahe. Nakarating ako mga 8:15 na sa bahay. Patapos na ang first half. Lima na lang ang Pilipinas from a high of 14 daw. Kaya pa ‘to. But we all know what happened. JJ Barea killed us that night. Gusto ko siyang i-Bynum that time if you know what I mean.

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The next night, honestly, hindi na ako ganoon ka-excited manood. Of course, I still planned to watch the game pero hindi na tutok. With social networking sites na on the side. Dikit pa rin ang laban sa huli. Pina-OT pa rin tayo ng Senegal. That made that lone Pilipinas victory even sweeter. Jimmy Alapag and the whole Gilas team epitomized what “Puso” is all about. The game ended fittingly, without Andray Blatche who graduated with 5 fouls. All-Pinoy. Laban Pilipinas and we won. Everyone, from our kapitabahay, perhaps pati mga terminal ng tricycle and the whole internet exploded. Masaya lahat. Except sa isang nabasa ko sa Facebook na pumusta raw siya sa Senegal. Papatulan ko sana pero pinagbigyan ko na, mukha naman talaga siyang Senegalese. No offense meant. But all in all, ang saya.

Sobrang saya.

For some reasons, hindi mapapaliwanag pero you will really fall in love to someone or something na hindi bagay sa ‘yo. For the Filipino people, it’s basketball. Oo, impossible crush ng mga pinoy ang basketbol. Pang-matangkad siya. Hindi bagay pero gagawa ka talaga ng kaepalan makapagpapansin ka lang. You can kick me in the face pero I don’t think any other sport will reach that level in terms of kasiyahan kapag nanalo. With the exception of course kapag Boxing and Billiards. Yung mga Azkals, archery, dragon boat, sepak takraw, badminton, volleyball mananalo yan, matutuwa tayo at mapaproud nang sobra pero hindi tayo magiging ganito kasaya. Iba ang true love wika nga nila.

For days, the game of basketball had united us. For days, sigaw tayo nang sigaw ng puso at laban. Ito ang tema sa Facebook, Twitter at Instagram. For days, plinano ko ang mga ipambabara ko sa mga kupal na galit sa Gilas. Four days, talo tayo pero yung isang game against Senegal will always be remembered. Tatatak yun for years to come. Ito ay dahil mahal natin ang basketball. Hindi yun mapapaliwanag kahit kalian. True love nga eh.

Mahal kasi talaga nating mga pinoy ang basketbol.

As for my impossible crush, ewan ko. Sana makasigaw din ako ng Puso at Laban Marco Manipon! Pero at least may inspirasyon, parang Gilas Pilipinas.

Kahit pangmatangkad lang siya.

Sana next time, sa Olympics naman ano?

#PUSO

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Photos courtesy of SPIN.ph and InterAksyon / FIBA


Jul 12

YEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! GRAND SLAMMMMM! YEAAAAAAHHHH!

Just like the normal, all I can feel the time Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals had ended until the tip-off of the sudden death game between the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and my San Mig Super Coffee Mixers were restlessness and apprehension. I was really nervous. Of course I am already anticipating a Mixers victory but I am already bracing for the worst. I am so anxious that I really have to step my superstition game up. You know, I did some “kapag na-shoot itong (balat ng candy) sa basurahan, champion ang San Mig” tricks just to console myself. I am an Allan Caidic when it comes to basurahan shooting that is why. (I am also doing this type of [bleep] sa mga crush ko, wala naman nangyayari)

But not like the normal, the stakes for this old Purefoods franchise is much higher. They are not just chasing for a trophy, they are chasing history. They are trying to imprint the San Mig Super Coffee team in the history books along with already mythological teams like Crispa, San Miguel Beer and Alaska that have achieved a rare feat in the league which is winning the grand slam.

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Photo: Yahoo!

I have been a fan of the team for over two decades now. I did not really give a [bleep] about cartoons, comics, anime and the like when I was a kid. Nanonood din naman ako pero hindi ako fan na fan. Because of that, my childhood heroes are not Superman, Batman or even Detective Zenigata. My childhood heroes are Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera and even Roger Yap. Of course, Kobe and MJ are included but let’s talk about them some other time.

So for a, in some way, diehard fan like me, it would be a major blow if the Mixers will not take the fifth and deciding game of their series. That would be more excruciating. I believe that the first three championships prior to this year’s Governors’ Cup will all be forgotten and they will always be remembered as a team that did not complete the grand slam if they will not succeed.

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Photo: Sports5

Luckily, they did. Grand slam achieved. Tim Cone is indeed a coaching deity. Rain or Shine’s Arizona Reid did not put an end to Game 5’s sloppy last one minute and something. The ball he threw to tie the game just touched the rim and did not go in. As a result, Marqus Blakely jumped in the air as if he is Michael Jordan winning his first three-peat with the Chicago Bulls. Fittingly, Marqus also wears the famed #23. But the Michael Jordan of that night was James Yap. No doubt. He hit shots after shots after shots. Forget the missed free throws. He hit shots after shots after shots. While me, I drank water after water after water. My heart was beating as fast as the combination of Mark Barroca and Justin Melton. And then, I shouted after the buzzer sounded like the seldom used Yousef Taha. We are the champions! YEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! GRAND SLAMMMMM! YEAAAAAAHHHH!

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Now what’s next for the team? I hope they win more championships. But I think it is too hard to replicate what this team has done anytime soon. Sobra na yun. Kaya ngayon pa lang, kinocongratulate ko na ang siyam pang ibang team sa susunod na conference. Sobrang unstoppable siguro nila lalo na ang Ginebra! Oh, wait, there will be 12 teams next season. That includes Manny Pacquiao’s Kia Kamao. My goodness. Now, let’s just savor this moment, San Mig Coffee fans. Let’s do it while sipping a cup of hot San Mig Super Coffee.

Laban San Mig!

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Jul 04

Magaaaandang umaaga mga bataaaaa!

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From left to right: Kiko Matsing and Marco Jose M. Manipon

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May 18

Your 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Champions!

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May 13

Classic San Mig Super Coffee vs. Talk ‘N Text Vol. 3 

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May 10

Classic San Mig Super Coffee vs. Talk ‘N Text Vol. 2

Mobiline Phone Pals’ Arthemus McClary vs. San Mig Super Coffee Mixers’ James Mays.

#LabanSanMig


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May 08

Classic San Mig Super Coffee vs. Talk ‘N Text

Pepsi Mega’s Joey Sta. Maria and Eugene Quilban challenging James Yap’s one hander shot.

Laban San Mig!


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May 04

Bangon James Yap

James Yap is not playing the way he used to be. He needs to wake up. He needs to be the same man who has a gazillion moves. Kailangan niyang bumangon.

#BangonJamesYap


Apr 27

Tanking

Perhaps a little late but congratulations San Mig Super Coffee Mixer for winning the 2014 PBA Philippine Cup. Good luck to your semifinals series against the up and coming Air21 Express.

Also, good luck to myself. I know that I will still win in life. <3


Feb 21

The New Security Bank

BetterBanking


Feb 13

Experience Better Banking with Security Bank


Feb 13

The 2014 PBA Philippine Cup Finals!

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Laban San Mig! Overcome kontrapeloness sa Rain or Shine, hehe.

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Feb 07

Perseverance, Study Well and Good Sleeping Habits - Tado (1974 to 2014)

Nakakalungkot. Nalulungkot talaga ako. Kung tutuusin, walang dahilan para malungkot. Ano nga ba naman ako kay Tado? At si Tado ang hindi katutuwaan ng mga matatandang kumbensyonal. Pangalan pa lang, tarantado na.

Pero kung tutuusin uli, si Tado ang kabataan ko. Kung paano ako makipag-usap, magpatawa at magbigay ng payo sa mga kakilala ko, porsyento ng istilo kumbaga ay nanggaling kay Tado. Una kong nakilala si Tado sa palabas na “Strangebrew.” 2nd year high school ako noon na pa-3rd year na rin. 2002. 14 na pa-15 years old ako. Ang episode ay tungkol sa mga hinete at tubero yata. Hindi ko na rin talaga maalala, baka napaghalo ko. Sa isang eksena kung saan kinakapkapan yung bag niya, kung ano-anong gamit ang nakita sa kanya. Akala ko seryoso pa ang palabas na iyon pero nang makitaan siya ng bold na VCD sa bag niya, naisip ko na ayos iyon, ito na ang bagong paboritong palabas ko. Nakakatawa ‘to. Tamang-tama kasi hindi ako mahilig sa cartoons. Ito ang palabas na para sa akin. Cool pa ang Channel 37 noon. Yung UNTV ay Un-TV at hindi YU EN TI BI. TV station ng rock station na NU.

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Nang makilala ko na si Tado, hinanap ko na ang mga ibang raket kung saan siya lumabas. Hinanap ko siya sa mga MTV ng Parokya ni Edgar at ng iba pang banda. Sa music video na Nerbyoso ng Rivermaya makikita siya na maikli pa ang buhok. Dahil na rin siguro na nagkaroon ng cult following ang Strangebrew, naging ekstra siya sa mga baduy na palabas ng ABS-CBN. Yung noontime show nila dati at iba pa gaya ng mga Art Jam, yung sitcom, basta marami. Tuwang-tuwa ako nang makita ko siya sa Epol Apple na nakatali ang mahaba niyang buhok.

Naging parte rin syempre ng buhay natin ang Brewrats. Yung radio show nila nina Angel Rivero na Erning sa Strangebrew, na driver ng beetle niyang si George, at Ramon Bautista. 9 to 12 a.m. yata ang unang timeslot noon at pinagpupuyatan ko. Minsan nagtataka na lang ang mga magulang ko bakit ako tumatawa mag-isa. Nakikinig kasi ako ng programa nila. Isa rin sa mga highlight noon ay nang gumawa sila ng radio drama na parang sa mga AM station. Classic. Siya si Efren Reynes III. Hinding-hindi mapapantayan. Dun lang makikita ang mga listeners na tumatawag para lang bagsakan ng telepono. “Bang the phone!”

Isa sa mga mga pinagsisisihan ko ay nang hindi ako nagpadala ng entry noong time na humihingi si Tado ng parang essay tungkol sa buhay niya sa gagawin niyang pangalawang libro na ang kinalabasan ay  parang eulogy niya. Putsa, naisip niya na yun.

Kaya Tado, ito na yung essay. Ito na ang entry na hindi ko naipadala sa bigtimetado@gmail.com. Tama ba ang e-mail? Sayang hindi mo na masasagot.

Dalawang beses ko lang nakita si Tado. Nakakatuwa na sa dalawang beses na iyon, nakausap ko siya ng parang normal na magkatropa. Una ay nang magpunta ako sa unang pwesto ng sikat na tindahan niya na Limitado sa may N. Roxas sa Marikina. College ako noon. 3rd year yata. Bumili ako ng t-shirt niya na hindi maaaprubahan ng mga matatanda. Yung “Di bale nang tamad hindi naman pagod.” Nang pinili ko iyon, sabi niya, “Yan! Okay na okay yan!” Syempre natuwa ako noon. Naalala ko rin, yung time na yun, yun yung nag-Oakwood Mutiny si Senator Trillanes kaya nang napunta ako sa tindahan niya, sabi niya “buti dito kaya nagpunta sa Oakwood, tama dito ka na lang.” At dahil taga-PLM ako, nakwento niya rin na nag-stay siya sa may Intramuros. Nag-squat din daw siya dati. Isa pa sa mga eksena noon ay nang tawagin niya yung kasambahay niya para magpaload. Akala ko basta nakikita sa TV, nakalinya na. Siya nagpapaload. Natapos ang usapan namin noon sa isang apir. Apir na parang apir na ginagawa niya sa mga nakakasalamuha niya sa Strangebrew. “Apirrrrr!” Ganoon ang ending.

Sa pangalawang punta ko sa Limitado, wala siya pero nabili ko na ang Ninoy Aquino-inspired niya na damit na “Hindi Ka Nag-Iisa.”

Pangalawa ay sa librong “1974 to ?” Nakakalungkot kasi, dalawang taon na lang pala ay masasagot na ang kung ano man ang nasa tandang pananong na iyon. 2014. Buti na lang at nakabili ako noon at napapirma ng may dedikasyon pa. May picture pa kami together. Binili ko rin yung una niyang libro kaya lang hindi ko na makita. Hindi na yata naisoli ng panganay kong kapatid. Sa dedication niya, ang spelling ng Marco ay K imbes na C kaya ang bungad ng message ay “Pd na yan” ang buong message ay:

Marko,
<3

Pd nay an, Read mo to Para Close tyo Ido
Getting to know me more

Pagtapos nun, signature niya na at address ng business niya. Na-Ondoy kasi ang unang site ng Limitado at lumipat na sila. Nandoon din ang mga Facebook page ng negosyo at ng asawa niya na si Leiz. Ang kulit. Tapos yun, yung picture na namin. Napansin niya rin pala ang suot ko nun na Los Angeles Lakers na t-shirt.

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Nitong huli, bihira na makita si Tado. Hindi na ganoon kadalas. Pinafollow ko pa rin siya sa mga social media sites niya at napapangiti pa rin ako. Huli kong nakita ay yung nagjojoke siya na nagpapamake-up siya. Tinanong kung North or South na syempre, patungkol sa sementeryo. Parang pahiwatig na. Pero ayaw kong isipin na pahiwatig yun kasi corny ang dating. Kasing-corny ni Vice Ganda na nakaaway niya sa Showtime. Yun ang tuwirang representasyon ng kaastigan laban sa kabaduyan. Tado laban kay Vice Ganda.

Nang malaman ko na wala na si Tado, nasa jeep ako. Tinext ako ni Eds. Dalawang araw bago mangyari ang hindi katanggap-tanggap, binasa ko pa uli yung Bio-Eulogy niya.

Nung lumipat na ako sa tricycle papunta sa bahay, naluha ako. Aaminin ko, naluha ako. Kahit pa para akong gago o mas bagay, tarantado.

Sayang ka Tado. Sayang. Wala na ang magiging katulad mo.

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Jan 26

Mark and Andy

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