Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The (Smiling) Happy Horse of Red Horse Beer!

I thought it was all wild talk when I first heard about it: the smiling/happy horse of the local Red Horse beer. But I encountered David, a tourist from Germany who I met in Manila telling me about that particular happy horse again, which he said he saw in Palawan during his visit there. That encounter was in August 2008.

Then in October (2008), two months after, I visited the Callao cave in PeƱablanca, Cagayan for the second time. We stayed at the government-run Callao Resort. We ordered beer, and lo and behold, there it was: the red horse beer bottle with the smiling horse on it! We all quickly took turns inspecting it and found that the red horse bottle with the happy horse image had a red print for its text. And instead of the words "Experience that distinctive full-flavored taste and extra satisfying strength of a world-class premium strong beer," it merely states "FOR THAT DISTINCT FULL-FLAVORED TASTE" written in all capital texts. And where the regular Red Horse image had sharper features, the happy Red Horse image is plumpier, and its mane, a mere series of lines. I was told by my beer buddies that night that there is one such bottle of happy horse for every dozen of such beers. They said the bottle with the smiling red horse image also has the strongest brew, hence it makes you happier, too, at the quickest time. Hmm. I drank it but I did not experience any difference in both taste and effect. Oh well, at least I have photos here as proof of that encounter with the Happy Horse. Yes, it is not a story full of horsesh_t, after all. Hehe :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shaira Luna, the PROMIL gifted child

It was one of those blast-from-your-childhood-days moments. Together with my journalist friend Roel Hoang Manipon, I was able to attend the re-activation of the 90-year old milk brand Milkmaid at the fab resto Felix in Greenbelt 5 (Nov. 12, 2008). Imagine that--a brand from way waaay back! There, I was also able to meet anew Chef Florabel Co, who I initially came to know in 2004 at Le Souffle in Top of the Citi when they participated in the lamb food fest challenge organized by the Meat and Livestock Australia. I distinctly remembered eating and writing about the Seared Australian Lamb Loin in fig sauce. The sweetness of the fig sauce was rightfully complemented by the Rose Mount Shiraz that Chef Co personally recommended.

But what highlighted the event for me was seeing Shaira Luna herself carrying a Canon camera. Shaira, for those not familiar to her, was one of the original Promil Gifted Children, age eight, and titled junior anatomist in that 1995 TV commercial where she uttered the now famous lines "Heart. It is a hollow muscular organ located between the lungs..." I think, because of that TV commercial, every Filipino couple had since fancied about having a genius child in the family. And I do remember uttering those same lines as a comic relief around my friends just when everyone had run out of things to talk about. Shaira was a chubby child then, of course. Now she has prettily thinned out (it must be the heavy camera, hehe) but she retained the dimples and her beautiful eyes. She was baffled that I looked so familiar and was trying to remember where we've crossed paths before (I definitely must be getting oh so famous, haha). I told her that the first time I saw her all grown up was during the fiesta in my hometown province in Gumaca, Quezon two or three years ago, and I very much doubt that she had even seen a shadow of my hair at that time. And so there, happy that we've finally met, we exchanged contact numbers, and now, I'm waiting for her approval in facebook (nope, I have not turned hetero people). Googling her later that afternoon, I found out that she nearly became the youngest doctor at age 19 (taking up B.S. Human Biology at the DLSU Manila when she was 13) before she decided to call it quits to pursue a career in photography. Online info shows that she even hosted a segment in ABS-CBN’s Alas Singko Y Media and produced her own segments for Maganda Umaga Bayan until 2003. Well, the brain knows no bounds, but I'm happy for Shaira that she has, at least, found the center of her heart.

Check Shaira's works at or

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Imelda Marcos Portrait by Basuki Abdullah

Finally! Here is my photo with the famous portrait of Imelda Marcos, done in 1977 by Basuki Abdullah (Indonesian painter). This is a huge painting (288.53 cm X 171.45 cm) and is on display at the National Museum of the Filipino People, Philippines (until January 15, 2009). This was one of the paintings that was almost destroyed at the height of the EDSA Revolution in 1986. The painting is on exhibit as part of the exhibit "Days of Drawing, Portraits of Passage." Hurry, run, take a glider, and take a closer look! :)

The National Museum of the Filipino People is located at the Executive House Bldg., P. Burgos st. cor. Taft Ave., Ermita Manila,1000. Call 527-12-15 / 527-0278 / 528-4912. ENTRANCE FEES: Adults - P100.00 each, Students - P 30.00 each upon presentation of ID(For students enrolled in Philippine schools only); Open daily except Mondays and Tuesdays; MUSEUM HOURS:10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (NO NOON BREAK); FREE ADMISSION: Sundays (Walk-ins only; No Group Tours)