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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

City of Dreams Manila Grand Opening (February 2, 2015)

It's official, February 2, 2015 is the day of City of Dreams Manila's grand opening. And they couldn't have teased it in a bigger way.

City of Dreams Manila has launched "The Audition", a multi part campaign for the integrated resort rumored to be one of the most expensive ads in history. It features Hollywood a-listers, Robert De Niro (part owner of Nobu - one of the hotels in City of Dream Manila) and Leonardo DiCaprio. Both actors vie for a role in an epic Martin Scorsese production set in the gaming complex in this teaser.

For the opening, City of Dreams is set to have the Concert of Dreams which features local artists including Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Kyla and Jed Madela and yet to be named international artists. You can play your way to win tickets or join their facebook raffle: Click here

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Resorts World Bayshore (Opening 4Q of 2018)

Is it just me or did Alliance Global and Genting just recycle the Resorts World Manila Newport City blueprint and add more curtail wall to the new Resorts World Bayshore in Pagcor's Entertainment City?

Travellers International the joint venture between the aforementioned two will be the last licensee to open as of date (phase 1 scheduled for 4Q of 2018). It will include 2 hotels, a mall, a 3000 seat grand opera, restaurants, bars and a 24-hour casino.

There have been initial rumors of a world class theme park in the project. While that has never materialized, only a fraction of the 30.5 hectares will be developed in phase one so we live and hope.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Healthy Gawker: Microwaved Sweet Potato Chips Recipe

After more that a month long hiatus from my Paleo diet, I'm back on it. And what better way to commemorate the start than to present one of my favorite recipe. Kamote/ Sweet potato chips.

To make this you'll need:

1. Sweet potato
2. Olive oil
3. Salt of other seasoning to taste

1. Peeler
2. A mandolin or serious knife skills
3. Wax paper

1. Wash and peel the sweet potato
2. Cut into chips using a mandolin or thinly with a knife
3. Drizzle cut sweet potato with olive oil and salt to taste
4. Place wax paper on a plate and put the cut potato one by one (making sure they don't overlap)
5. Microwave for 3 - 4 minutes

You should see them dehydrate and crisp before pulling it out of the microwave. Enjoy!

The Best of CES 2015 Tech Talk: The future of cars, drones, hovercarf and the internet of things...

The Consumer Electric Show in Las Vegas (CES) is like Christmas to any geek. Its filled with loads of cool gadgets from hightech washing machines to electronic skateboards. As usual, here are my favorite tech:

1. Mercedes F 015 Luxury in Motion
 Folks it's only been the start of the year and already, we're one step closer to having driverless cars.

2. Onewheel - Part Hoverboard, Part Skateboard
To anyone who has lived in the '80s, Marty McFly's hoverboard will always be cool. While we're not there yet with flying cars (despite it being 2015), at least we kinda have a hoverboard now. 

3. Drones, drones and more drones
Automated delivery is the future of ecommerce. Let's face it, its faster, cheaper and better than having a middle aged man drop your package (no offense to mail men everywhere). With Jeff Bezos leading the revolution, plenty of drones have dropped into CES this year.

4. The Internet of Things
From home kits to robot chefs to wearable devices, the dawn of the internet of things is upon us. Manufactures are striving to bring convenience to everyday mundane things.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Random Post: Pimped out Manila Cop Car?!

This is completely random, but I just have to share...

 A couple of weeks ago I saw the Pinoy version of Dubai's Lamborgini cop car near Manila City Hall. Why YES, its still a Toyota Vios, but check out the body kit and the classic racing stripe. That's not all by the way, this police car is equipped with two cctv cameras. One on top and one in the dashboard. 

I'm not really sure what the purpose of these cameras are for.  Kotong cops could still do shady deals by avoiding the camera and personally I feel that stationary security cameras are still more effective and tamper proof when it comes to monitoring public security.

Foodie Paradise 2: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Remarkable eats on the Cheap )

I'll be honest, the prospect of going to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in Vietnam never really crossed my mind, until a friend bought up an obsession with restaurants in the city. All these years, I had an impression that people in Vietnam just ate spring rolls and pho. Yup! They without a doubt had those and so much more...

HCMC is a foodie must. The city is just one gastronomical treat (the kind where I feel like I could as the Romans say: "eat, drink and be merry," since food is ridiculously cheap). I would expect to pay double the price of food here in Manila compared to HCMC.

Here's a rundown of some our experiences from the cheap to the still affordable not so cheap:

1. Ben Thanh Foodism

On a typical day, the food section of Ben Thanh market is flooded with a euphoria of vendors selling both classic Vietnamese foods to dry goods such as nuts and coffee and other delicacy.

Seeing as it gets kinda crowded at day, its fun to try food at night when there's an actual dining space to eat more comfortably. Ben Thanh vendors move outside once the market closes at 6pm.

2. Classic Vietnamese Cuisine
Spring rolls are as far as I go when it comes to traditional Vietnamese food. While everything in the picture below looks like a visual feast, there's just too much sticky rice action for my liking.

3. Hipster-Fusion Places
HCMC is packed with affordable hipster cafes which is truly awesome in my opinion. I just love how restauranteurs take their drinks seriously in this part of Asia. They make you feel like the Philippines has a lot of catching up to do in terms of bringing out the crazy in flavor combos.

4. Dining in the Dark
Noir and Blackout are the "it" places for foreigners to eat. These concept restaurants serve about a dozen tiny dishes in pitch black where our other senses are said to heighten due to the lack of visual stimuli. While the concept is perplexing and the food is actually good, this may not be something you want to repeat over and over again unless if you're trying to impress some guests. Its a cool concept for about USD30.

5. Western & European Dining
For a person who has been to Europe and appreciates the thought process and skilled selection and combination ingredients in a dish, you will not be disappointed. The food below is from The Refinery (at the back of the opera house). The food is exceptional and the price at +/- USD10 per dish is very reasonable.


 Foreign market places
There are a bunch of hole in the wall organic grocers in HCMC, but if you're from Europe and you miss a little bit of home then you're going to love Annan market. Annam stocks a lot of favorites including chocolates, pates, pastas, seasonings and sauces and wine from Europe.

Untested Buffets
If you're a heavy eater, head on over to Vincom Center. They have tons of Japanese or Korean buffets on one of the basement levels and they're unbelievably cheap especially at snack or merienda time where it costs less than USD10 per person.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Zucchini Pasta Tutorial

In my mind, pasta is a food group. So I literally had an aha moment when I saw spiralized pastas on pinterest. The advantage of vegetable pasta is you get the satisfaction of eating pasta with less carbs and calories and a fraction of the cook time.

To prepare the zucchini noodles you will need a spiralizer which in principle is a giant sharpener for vegetables. However in the absence of this you can either use a knife and cut the strips yourself, use a julienne peeler or even a buko/ melon scrapper.

1 spiralized/ chopped zucchini per person (portion as a main dish)
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce. zucchini (mine is Kirkland's Marina Sauce from S&R)
1 tbsp italian seasoning

Mushrooms, ground meat, ham and/ or cheese to taste.

How to
combine all ingredients as you would a regular pasta -> noodles, sauce then cheese. Microwave for 3-5 minutes as desired.

*if your used to eating raw, feel free to do so...

Restaurant review: Solaire Skytower Waterside Restobar

Great price, great food!
Waterside Restobar is a hidden gem ensconced in Solaire's newly opened Skytower. The restaurant features a variety of cuisine from Mediterranean specialties, American classics to local Filipino dishes.

If you're looking for a great place to eat on the holidays, Waterside is a must. Their breakfast buffet is only Php500 + around 200 if you want to order a main dish. If you're planning a lunch or dinner, the restaurant favorite is the surf and turf platter approximately Php2000. This includes 4 side dishes and feeds 4-6 people. Super affordable compared to eating in Fresh where the price per head is almost Php3000.

The accidetal game changer: Cauliflower pizza faux mash potato recipe

I'm just gonna flat out say it... Dieting sucks! There's so much food out there to be craved by a pseudo-gourmand's taste buds yet not enough calorie allowed per day to ingest the aforementioned. I've been on paleo (the caveman diet) for a while now (cheating a great bit on the holiday), so I'm happy to share my accidental disaster turned life changing, cauliflower pizza faux mash potato.

This recipe is a hybrid between the cauliflower crust pizza and the cauliflower "mash potato."

1 egg
Cheese (can be omitted since its not paleo)
Italian seasoning (or any preferred herbs/ spices)
Marina sauce 
Cooked ham

*note: there's no fixed formula to this. you do you...

1. Preheat oven (mine was at +/-200 celcius)
2. Put the cauliflower in the masticater or food processor / blender
3. Combine ingredients and bake until its golden brown
4. Mix it around and eat

City of Dreams Manila: First Impression

Happy holidays everyone! I know I haven't updated this blog in awhile, but here's a quick post on my first experience at City of Dreams Manila since I noticed, that there haven't been much going around yet. At the moment, COD has just soft launched, so expect fine tuning everywhere. Establishments such as the Dreamworks' Dream Play indoor amusement park for kids or Pangaea and Chaos for adults have yet to open.

As far as overall impressions go, City of Dreams Manila appears to be going for a broader mass market appeal. It lacks the sophistication and exquisite taste level of Solaire's founder Enrique Razon. Nevertheless, what it lacks in elegance does not diminish the value of the entertainment complex. As an SM property, I have no doubt in my mind that, it will eventually live up to the tagline: we've got it all for you. Here's what's City of Dreams has in store:

Food Establishments Retail Stores Hotel
Apu Art of Scents Crown
Crystal Dragon BCBG Maxazria Hyatt
Ding Xian BDO Nobu
Erwin's Gastrobar Canali
Godiva Cafe Cesare Pacios
Goubuli Linda Farrow Entertainment
Hide Yamamoto Paul & Shark Chaos
Li Ying Lounge Porsche Design DreamPlay
Nobu Tea House Qeelin Pangea
O Kitchen Roberto Cavalli
Prego Rolex
Red Ginger Stuart Weizmann
Steak & Grill

Tasting Room

The Cafe

*Note: Majority of the establishments are still closed.

For our first dining experience at City of Dreams Manila, we tried Hyatt's all day dinning buffet, The Cafe:
To be quite frank, the experience has been quite lackluster. Don't get me wrong, the food was palatable and the staff were very accommodating, but it feels as if they transported the old Hyatt in Malate to a new venue.

It doesn't compete on the same level as Spiral, or Fresh in Solaire. The food was pretty basic for a hotel buffet. Price-wise its a lot cheaper than the aforementioned two. Having said that, Buffet 101. can give this establishment a run for their money.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Episode 77 The Amazing Andrew Tan: How the rich get richer and the rest get screwed!

The Andrew Tan group of companies have always been a huge part of my portfolio through the years. I'm no stranger to other companies and stocks, but at the end of the day, its the stocks in the Alliance Global group which have always been my staple because I fundamentally believe in its growth story.

Andrew Tan is a visionary and a pioneer in the real estate community; building townships that supports foreign investments and create job opportunities and in the gaming industry providing entertainment and leisure.

Enough with the intro, here's where the story begins...

Last July, Andrew Tan's sold an Alliance Global block which made headlines. It was reported that the Php7.87 billion block was sold to Fidelity (a huge investment house the size of $1.3 trillion) which was brokered by UBS and reported in Inquirer's Biz Buzz.

At that time, AGI was seesawing at +- Php30/ share and Fidelity got in at a discounted rate of Php27.3 per share. Fidelity's entry fueled both positive and negative speculation amongst the masses, but in the end foreigners were net sellers for the rest of July dumping Php1.7 billion worth.

With the earnings season coming in, speculation flew the second time around. Foreigners were net buyers for the first week of August.They managed to pump the price up to Php28/share. The not so stellar earnings then started a selling frenzy. Year to date, AGI is 11% down.

Here's how the rich get richer and the rest get screwed:

Remember how Andrew Tan offloaded Php7.87 billion before earnings? Well! He's now buying it back at a 10-12% discount via his rumored broker Aurora Securities or broker 167. This means that he effectively made approximately Php800 million from the Fidelity sale and Fidelity lost that much at current prices assuming he's buying it all back.

But Andrew Tan isn't just buying AGI. He's buying Travellers International (RWM) as well. RWM has gone down 30% since its IPO last year. He's also bought a lot of Megaworld a stock analysts' peg at a target price of higher than Php5/ share.


Investing is a leap of faith. We are willing to pay a huge premium for solid companies with a strong management team and an interesting growth trajectory. Despite AGI's many hurdles: from rising operation cost for Golden Archers, weak sales for Emperador, slow down for Travellers amidst rising competition, the growth story is still there.

MEG is building a hotel monopoly partnering with global brand we love such as Marriott,Westin, Hilton, etc. It's building townships that will lure foreign companies (particularly in the BPO sector) and tourism projects that will lure foreigners to visit the country.

Emperador is entering uncharted territory buying up vineyards in Spain and has recently acquired Whyte and Mackay from Diageo (the world's largest liquor company). This opens doors for Emperador in distribution and brings the company to a global level.

While Mcdonalds is grossly lagging behind homegrown Jollibee, Golden Archers is aggressively expanding and building new stores to rival the later.

Let's not forget Travellers International, who benefits from the move of international carriers to Naia 3 from the old rundown Naia 1. Travellers is expanding Resort World Manila with the addition of Marriott hotel rooms and a grand ballroom, Maxims hotel rooms, a Hilton hotel and a Sheraton hotel. In the entertainment city along Roxas Boulevard, they plan to break ground this year.

Pretty exciting if you ask me....


Share price concerned, it's a goddamn endurance test watching the price descended down a slippery slope. AGI has broken a lot of key supports to get where we're at today and so have MEG and RWM.While there's never a foolproof guarantee when it comes to the equity market, a share price buyback by the head honcho is a positive indicator.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Episode 76 PSE Party!: We're up all night to get lucky?!

You got to admit, the Philippine Stock Exchange is like a roulette table these days. It's not about buying the cheapest stock, because no one gives a fuck about Century Properties' 6x P/E ratio or Ayala Land's 33x P/E ratio. With global geo-political issues front and center and earning coming in for the first half of the year, the PSEi has been bouncing off the walls. Sometimes its up sometimes its down where the stock goes only insiders know...

If you're an average "Juan," there's no way of knowing what will happen to Dow Jones once the trading day begins in the West. Hell! Dow futures hasn't been working well because of the volatility as of late. We also have no clue what the MSCI re-balancing holds or if a listed company will beat analysts' expectations or not until the report comes out.

As of writing,  the market is up by more than 1% thanks to the increased weighing of Ayala Land (ALI) and PLDT (TEL). Combine TEL 32.35 + AC 13.01 + ALI 7.59 = 53pts out of the 88pts already. Out of the 30 stocks in the index and 300+ listed in the market, what are the odds that you'd have these?

And if you were holding on to these three stocks, I'm sure you may not have followed or fully follow the other stocks run up. Because that's the way markets work. You win some, you lose some and you definitely can't have it all. There have even been studies about random selection besting or rivaling professional stock picking. As much as we'd hate to admit it we're all here to get lucky!


Last week, I said on this blog that sooner or later the inevitable would happen and the market will crap out. It hasn't by the way. Heeding my own advice, I sold 30% of my portfolio and I felt like shit immediately one day later. I would have been an even bigger dumbass if I bought back the shares I sold at a higher price.

Today, I feel like I just dodged a god damn bullet. Two of the stocks I sold were Alliance Global (AGI) and Cosco Capital (COSCO). AGI is down 2.5% from my selling price and COSCO is down 8%.

There's no shame in cashing out when the going gets rough. If the market goes up, there's bound to be another opportunity sooner or later. Kevin O Leary from Shark Tank would say "go to bed richer than you woke up," before listening to this, listen to JP Morgan first who said, "Sell down to your sleeping point."

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