Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Take on Veganism Part II: Why NOT do it?

In the first part of this series, I tackled what veganism is about and the good reasons for practicing it. 
The next question that needs to be explored is...

Why not go vegan?

I have considered this through every angle I can think of so far, as well as every angle critics use that I have seen. This list also goes through the different challenges that may come up in your head in considering the merit of this lifestyle. Let me take you through them one by one and assess them analytically.

Challenge # 1: The Circle of Life

Image from here.
Under 'Personal Health' in the previous post, I have cited that we are biologically herbivores. Behaviorally though, that is up to us. Practically since birth, we have been taught that humans are at the top of the food chain, since we have no predators. While that is true, we also have the capacity to choose whether we are behaviorally herbivores or omnivores. Since we are not biologically meant to eat meat, it is not true that cows, pigs, and chickens exist simply to be our food. They exist for themselves, and they supposedly have their natural place within the food chain as well. If through domestication, they no longer have their own predators as well (we may have killed off all the other possible predators to protect our food), I believe we can care for a sustainable population of them the same way we care for other domesticated animals, the dog and the cat.

Yes, this was all taught to us in school, by our parents, and may have been done by humans for thousands of years, but these are not reasons for us not to question the practice and make the choice for ourselves. The times are ever changing. The entire world once believed the earth was flat. In school, they taught us that Agapito Flores invented the fluorescent light (I googled this recently and my life has been a lie! Haha). Our reality now is what we will make it to be.

Challenge # 2: Christianity

Ah, religion. Seems we can't avoid the topic. There are two reasons for this, the question of the soul, and the actions of Jesus.

On animals not having souls like humans - I'd like to think that if humans did have souls, animals would also have souls that may not be equal to those of humans, but equally deserving of respect. Let's assume though that they do not have any sort of souls nor afterlife at all, which is more realistic. We are still taught to be compassionate, and that is not limited to humans. In biblical times, animals were eaten as a social norm that science at that time hadn't questioned yet. They had much less information and science to work with. With the minimal population of humans, the impact on the planet was not severe either. If we treat animals with cruelty and unnecessarily use them for food we do not need and any other use that we have alternatives for, what can then be said about our souls?

On Jesus eating meat - Jesus acted in accordance with the times that he lived in. Back then, eating animals was generally the only diet they were aware of in society. They did not have access to the science and the food that we have. Knowing the horrors that go in to an animal-based diet nowadays, as well as the relative ease of living on a plant-based diet, I find it hard to believe that God would not support a diet based on less cruelty and more compassion. There is certainly nothing in the bible against not eating meat, but there is plenty about care and compassion for animals and fellow humans.

If you'd like a scripture-based approach on this topic, here's a good article:

We should ask ourselves, though. Do we really need a bible verse to tell us what we should feel is the right thing to do?  Let's remember that the bible was written almost two millenia ago, so their morals and beliefs will not always reflect our own. For instance, during that time it was generally believed that the sun revolved around the earth. With recent scientific discoveries, we are learning how much other animals are so similar to us, especially in that they are sentient.

All things considered, with the values I have grown up with as a Catholic, I believe going vegan is the right thing to do. I'll also leave this tweet right here for you to think about...
Challenge # 3: Them Sensitive Plants

Image from here.
The usual quick counter to veganism is that plants have feelings too. Veganism generally values sentience, which is the capacity to think and feel, and in this case, the capacity to suffer. Plants simply do not have the nervous systems required in order to feel pain. Sure, they have receptors that aid them in particular reflexes, like our own makahiya. This does not however, translate to pain, and they do not have brains to process the supposed pain as well. In fact, some plants are dependent on animals for reproduction by being food for them in the first place. They depend on natural herbivores, like us.

On top of this, due to the sheer amount of plants needed to sustain and manufacture meat through farm animals, if we chose to live on a plant-based diet, we would still be killing vastly less plants than through eating meat.

Challenge # 4: Caring for Animals is Naive

Understandably, people have the predisposition to dismiss such ideologies as naive, especially since the choice of not wanting to harm animals is a decision an innocent 5 year old kid is more likely to make than an adult. It is assumed that those who believe in veganism have a naive outlook on life and are too "soft" to fully accept the notion that we are on top of the food chain and that animals have to die so that others can live.

Image from here.
Quite the contrary, however, those who choose to become vegans are very morally strong. It takes a lot of discipline and moral fiber to choose not to just 'go with the flow' or have a diet that society expects you to have. It seems naive because that is how children think, but vegans accept that there is a circle of life and death does have to naturally occur in nature. I am of the belief though that the way we humans live now, the way we utilize other animals, the way we breed and eat them to our own ends is anything but 'natural'. I am no saintly saint either. It's not that I don't want any animal to ever die. It's just that
  • Animals do not need to die for us. Whether or not you believe we are natural herbivores, we can definitely live off of a plant-based diet, and these days it is becoming more and more possible to do so. Veganism advocate Gary Yourofsky has said that we only still eat animals for four reasons: Habit, Tradition, Convenience, and Taste.
  • I respect and value innocent sentient life. I want to protect those without malice in their hearts and minds that are incapable of protecting themselves, and I think it would be selfish to limit that to just humans. It is our responsibility to make sure that they not only survive, but truly live. This, I believe, is why we have something in common with children. Children have an instinctive bond with animals before habit and society overwrite what we naturally tend to feel, and compassion gives way to culture once we become adults.
Isn't not rethinking our own habits and beliefs infinitely more naive than simply caring for animals?

Challenge # 5: If cows are bad for the environment, I should eat more beef!

The world doesn't work that way. The meat industry will not just let that happen. We cannot eat the cows or any other animal into extinction if they are already part of the meat industry. Eating more of them will lead to more of them to be killed, which will mean demand has increased, and more and more supply will be created. It may seem counter-intuitive, but killing and eating more cows will lead to more cows being artificially bred for the exact same purpose, destroying more of our environment. Let's remember that it is not the cows' fault for existing. Their number wouldn't reach unnatural highs at 1.4 billion in the world if we did not make it to be due to the business need.

The best thing to do for the environment is not to eat their meat. We do not need to worry about cows overpopulating the earth, so eating meat is no social service to the world.

Challenge # 6: Complete Nutrients

Protein is readily available through many foods like grains, green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and other legumes. There are also some nutrients like B12 not available in our modern vegan diet, because herbivores get this from the soil that is on the plants eaten. If we prefer not to go full-natural and eat soil (which is my personal choice too!), supplements are very easy to come by. Some would say supplements are unnatural, but if you really think about it, it's not more unnatural than humans cooking and eating meat.

Challenge # 7: Livelihood

Yes, if we all turn vegan overnight, fishermen and butchers and meat and dairy farmers will all be out of jobs. It could never happen overnight. If the vegan way is shared and taken in, then the demand for animal-based food will be at a slow decline instead of disappearing instantaneously. This will give people a chance to find alternative livelihoods, which will be more difficult, but not impossible. It won't be easy, but if we do not make a change, we will be robbing our future descendants of livelihood as well, and a decent world to live in.

The biggest opponent of veganism will not be the innocent people whose livelihoods depend on animals. The biggest opponents will be the businessmen and the leaders of the meat, dairy, and egg industries worldwide. You can imagine how they will try to obscure this from the public through lies, and it has been done for years already. They will not benefit from this change unless they evolve out of the animal industry into something else that is profitable (risky option) or fight back against the vegan ideals either directly, or indirectly through spreading misinformation about the plant-based diet. This post of mine and all similar articles in the net will be most unwelcome to them.

Challenge # 8: Culture

Culture is a very difficult thing to change. I'm finding out our cuisine is very, very non-vegan. Our vegetable dishes also have either butter, shreds of meat/fish/shrimp, or patis. Who hasn't grown up eating hotdogs or tapsilog for breakfast? Who doesn't love going to Tagaytay for bulalo? Who doesn't celebrate small special moments with pizza, or having burgers with friends?

It has not just been a choice we have been making. It has been our way of life. In some ways, culture defines our very lives. We have all also been raised to be good, compassionate people who care for our family, who care for our country, and who care for the world. A lot of us are fierce dog-lovers or any sort of animal-lovers. Many of us strive to be good people with our own sense of right and wrong. We choose to do the right things, even if they are difficult or seemingly impossible.

With this information now at hand, it is time for us to open our eyes and realize that at this point, we have to define our culture through the choices we make. We can no longer truly be both meat-eaters and animal-lovers or a truly compassionate society, now that our ignorance is gone and we know the truth about what goes into our plates. From now on, once we know all this, we decide: are we a culture that has compassion for others and does the right thing, or are we a culture that simply enjoys a good sinigang? We choose, we define our culture.

This does not apply, of course, to the less fortunate who do not have the means to change their diet at all. If we do have the means though, we have the responsibility.

Challenge # 9: Money, money

It isn't necessarily more expensive to go vegan. I've actually spent less on food since changing my diet. There will be instances where I would have to turn down free food, and that's a shame, but eating mostly vegetables, beans, fruits, rice and nuts hasn't been as expensive as eating meat, dairy, and fish. I have been eating simpler though, and there is naturally less variety compared to when I ate everything. I also do not search out vegan restaurants, and I haven't tried any yet, actually. They seem more expensive than other restaurants right now since they are so rare. When eating out, I usually search out the vegan option in normal restaurants, like pasta (oil or tomato-based), salad, or veggies and rice. These are also usually cheaper than meat dishes.

Let's not expect everyone to go vegan though. Of course those who are less fortunate should not have to turn down free or cheaper/more readily available non-vegan food. We can just say that financially, if we can live on a plant-based diet, we should. If we financially can't, then we need not right now. With power, comes responsibility.

Challenge # 10: It will mean admitting I am wrong.

This will probably be an unspoken difficulty for most. The toughest part in entertaining the thought that veganism might be the right thing to do, is that it will mean that we have been doing something wrong all our lives. Even more than that, we will be admitting that what our parents taught us is wrong, and what our entire clan has been doing for the past hundreds of years is wrong. That is not easy to accept.

I personally regret being a very carnivorous person for the first 30 years of my life. I also regret the damage that has been done from what the whole human race has been doing. However I feel, I do not condemn nor blame my parents for how they or I have been living. Humanity is constantly evolving and as we gain wisdom and advance in the realm of science, we are learning new things every day. We cannot blame the actions of the past if it was done out of habit without knowing or really thinking about the moral and environmental impact of our actions.

Today, we know more than we ever have, and there are good people out there who are spreading the idea of this new way of living. If this is something we find ourselves believing, then we just need to accept that we believe our old habits in food are wrong. There's no shame in that, and there's no blame that needs to be thrown to those in the past. We simply move forward, because that is what matters.

Challenge # 11: Sarap eh!

There really is no denying how difficult the switch to plant-based food is. People have been saying that I got to switch easily because I don't love food as much as they do. That couldn't be further from the truth. I just get to follow through on my difficult choice because of the reasons I have for doing it. Truth be told, my own health wasn't as strong a reason for me in the past. When my only dietary goal was staying healthy, I would mostly cut down on quantity but still occasionally eat 10 slices of pizza (not an exaggeration) or come back from Vikings or Saisaki at least 5 pounds heavier. Hell, this very blog is a testament to a mere fraction of how much I have eaten in the past.

I only truly found the will to do this for good (though it's only been a month and a half) once my reason became compassion. Once I realized what was really going on, I decided I no longer wanted to be a part of that, even if it meant I would end up with less variety in my diet or less delicious food. Sadly my favourite food ever used to be sashimi, pizza, and steak. I absolutely loved anything with cheese on it. Knowing the truth changed all that. I couldn't enjoy my food anymore knowing it comes at the expense of another. The environment also something I consider, but I already had the reason I needed in animal equality and compassion.

It doesn't have to be just salad!
Image from here.
Going vegan is not the equivalent of amputating your tastebuds, not nearly. It just entails saying goodbye to all or most of the delicious food you know and love and getting introduced to all new favourite food in your new diet to take their place. It's only been a short while, but there are several snacks and dishes I have really enjoyed, like vegetable curry, hummus, beans and rice, Vitamilk and Starbucks' soy latte. I know there is so much more out there that I cannot wait to try. A lot of junkfood, like Oreos, is actually vegan, but I stay away for health reasons. Being a junkfood vegan isn't sustainable either!

Challenge # 12: It won't make a difference.

Undertaking the lifestyle change of going vegan while the rest of the world stays the same might naturally feel futile. Rather than focusing on how much you won't affect the world, you can focus on how much you will. Sure, your own consumption will not matter greatly to the world, but will it not mean the world to your own health, your own conscience, and every innocent animal that does not have to be raised and killed in suffering as a result?

Your decision will sure matter to this guy.
Image from here.
You will not be able to change the world directly, but you will be part of a grander revolution in humans rethinking the way we eat. Your decision could easily inspire others and cause more good than you can imagine. You have the potential to teach your kids to value compassion in everything they do, and to know the cost of what goes into the food we eat. There are so many possibilities. You have the power to leave the world a better place than it would have been.

Challenge # 13: I can't go all the way!

Let's say you appreciate what vegans try to do, but can't quite imagine yourself doing it. Don't worry. We shouldn't think in extremes. While every step you take towards veganism will be better for the animals, the planet and yourself, the moment of weakness where you slip back into old habits does not undo all the good you have done. If you believe in it, then aim to do as much as reasonably possible for yourself. If you can remove just meat, then do that. If you feel you can't let go of fish, then try to let go of everything else first. It is better to try and fail than to give up before you begin. You can always try again. Try it out for a week, a month, a year, and if it feels good, a lifetime.

Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can.

Challenge # 14: I don't care.

If you do not care about animals, yourself, your family, the world and its future, the world your grandchildren will live in, then there's nothing anyone can say or do to get you to consider veganism.

I just pose one question though, if the previous sentence applies to you: What do you live for? You probably live for pleasure or success or live in apathy (as I have before), or many different possible things. You might want to rethink that. It's possible that living for something bigger than yourself, living for the world and those who live in it with us might be a bit more fulfilling.

In summary...

That is everything I have encountered so far. Are there other challenges or counter-arguments you've heard or felt about veganism? Let me know by commenting below, e-mailing me at, or tweeting me!

In the last part, I talk about how one would begin transitioning into veganism.

PART III - How would I begin?

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Take on Veganism Part I: Why do it?

Let's take a look at veganism, which I only truly understood a couple of months ago. Admittedly, whenever I heard the term vegan in the past, I just thought it was the fancy new way of saying vegetarian. Boy, was I wrong. As it turns out, veganism is more than just a fad or a trendy new diet. It is a way of life.

What is veganism?
Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of all animal products, most especially for food. A hell of a lot easier said than done in our society.

...and so I researched on, and lost myself deep in thought on this subject, because I was suddenly faced with a choice of whether or not to consider this for myself, and I know that inaction is a choice and an action in itself.

Why go vegan?
I tried going vegan from the first day I learned about the philosophy, but continued to research and see if this is something worth doing for good. Many things that I learned shocked me. Some of these things, I have known all along but I was so used to them as part of our society, culture, and upbringing that I never really stepped back to think about them intently. As you go down this list, I ask that you keep an open, objective mind as I have, because there is no point in reading on otherwise. Let's thoroughly analyze this way of life.

Reason # 1: Animal Equality

Image from here.
Personally having respect and compassion for all life, this is the most important one for me and on this alone, I am sold on the principle of veganism. While you might think I have gone batshit insane, let me explain.

I believe that every person should think about what matters to them and what is right for them individually, and that involves unlearning everything we know now, and then thinking for ourselves. This should apply to culture, habits, and even religion. We cannot simply move forward believing and practicing certain ideals because that is what we grew up with. It has to be our own choice and our own moral responsibility. It is the only way to fully steer and live one's own life.

This speech by the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida goes through the ideas logically, challenging what we know to be true in our culture, and how different lies have become truths over hundreds of years. The speaker gives a lot of great points, and it is a good perspective to consider around the vegan way of life.

I also recommend watching the documentary Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, which focuses on five ways that we humans utilize other animals, our fellow earthlings. Fair warning though, the video is very graphic and quite depressing, as you will find out the truth behind what you eat and what is going on behind the scenes of the meat industry. I found a link to the first 10 minutes of the video, but I hope you can get your hands on the entire documentary.

These videos will do most of the talking for me. Here are a few of my realizations, though.

  • Speciesism may sound weird and not necessarily wrong for us, having grown up in a society where this is as normal as sliced bread. We generally only value human life and disregard the cruelty we cause to the rest. This is compared to racism and slavery in that we think others are lesser than us.
  • Yes, we can scientifically say we are extremely more intelligent than the next creature, but I feel that only gives us the responsibility to care for our more innocent neighbors, rather than an entitlement to own and use other animals as we please.
  • Intellect is the ONLY thing that makes us "better" than our fellow animals. Humans and other animals are all sentient. Sentience is the ability to perceive and to feel. Most importantly, animals have the ability to feel pain and suffering in the exact way that we do. The only difference is in how pain and anguish is expressed. Studies show that there is a high likelihood fish feel pain too.
  • "But only humans have souls" is something I do not necessarily believe in, though that is a whole other topic altogether. Even if we do have souls though, I do not feel it is justification for not having compassion towards those who we think do not.
  • It is all rooted in our culture. Why do we look at a rat or snake and see a pest, look at a pig and see bacon, look at a chicken and see nuggets, but look at dogs and see poor defenseless creatures that we should protect? How come when dogs are eaten in China or dolphins are eaten in Japan, we all get angry and depressed, when that is what every child in that area has grown up with, and they do not know any better? It is so ingrained in what we, and I have grown up with, but should we not start rethinking whether eating a pig and eating a dog isn't equally wrong?
Image from here
  • Lastly, I had no idea how bad the meat, milk, and egg industry was. I had a romanticized notion that these animals get to live out their lives happily before getting sent into slaughter, which is also done humanely. That bubble burst quite abruptly.
Reason # 2: Sustainability and the Environment

This was another shocker for me. It is so well-conveyed in the documentary COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret. I unfortunately do not have a viewing link I can share with you but it is available on Netflix. If you're not a subscriber, you can watch the film through the free one-month trial. Here's a link to the facts presented in the documentary, as well as references.

I was expecting another full documentary on torture and slaughter of cows and other farm animals, but surprisingly, this one is all about the impact of animal agriculture on our environment. A couple of revelations for me here are:
  • Global warming is something threatening the existence of the world as we know it. The usual suspects are the transportation industry and coal energy. The big surprise here is that animal agriculture, which we sustain by living on animal-based diets, is the absolute biggest cause for global warming on our planet.
This isn't even the biggest enemy.
Image from here.
  • You might be thinking "How in the blue hell?" because if that were true, shouldn't that fact have been published and shared with the entire world by now, especially with all the active environmental organizations operating globally? Well, the sad fact is that most organizations do not want to identify meat, dairy, and egg consumption as the top cause of global warming (even if facts support it) because it is an unpopular concept, and they will risk losing support from society. It is the inconvenient truth within the inconvenient truth.
  • In some cases, it has been discovered that some organizations have been accepting large donations from the meat industry itself. Talk about a conflict of interest.
  • The harm comes from methane, which is a byproduct of digestion in cows and other farm animals. This is released into the environment through their farts (okay, you can giggle a bit) and the gas is much more harmful than Carbon Dioxide.
There are roughly 1.4 billion cows in the world today, mostly for food.
Image from here.
  • The meat industry unnaturally breeds an extremely excessive number of cows (and the like) to meet the demand throughout the earth. The farm animals' population then needs an exorbitant amount of grain and water, which takes its toll on the planet. Forests and many animal species' homes are torn down to meet the constantly increasing demand. This is the leading cause of animal species extinction.
  • We are taught to save the earth's water by taking quick showers and closing the faucet while we brush our teeth. The water needed to manufacture the meat in a quarter-pounder burger is, on average, 660 gallons.
  • 3/4 of the world's fisheries are now exploited or depleted.
  • At least half of all the grain grown in the world is used to feed livestock. This means that if the world decided to shift into a plant-based diet, we would easily have enough food to end world hunger.
  • Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal's life. Considering our Filipino cuisine of dilis and bagoong, I'd guess our vegans save significantly more than one animal's life per day. Haha.
We humans have overcrowded the earth, and our actions are quickly destroying the planet we live in and those who live here with us. A plant-based diet is the only way our species can sustain ourselves and the world we live in.

Reason # 3: Personal Health

We are always learning that the science of health is not nearly developed enough for us to know the answers to all questions. Our best recourse in this regard is to analyze our biology and what our bodies scientifically need. Here is a video I found with a good, clear analysis of whether humans are carnivores, omnivores, or herbivores. We know we are behaviorally omnivores, but is that what our bodies need to function effectively?

SPOILER ALERT: the assessment is that we are herbivores. It is established as well, that the best diet for any given species, is the diet that the body is naturally designed to receive. Without delving into the science of it, you can have a quick summary of health benefits here:

True biological omnivores and carnivores do not suffer the same ill effects we have from consuming meat. Through our advanced intellect, we learned to go against our biological nature by using tools to hunt animals we wouldn't otherwise be able to catch, and fire to cook animals we wouldn't otherwise be able to safely eat. Now, thousands of years into the future, our scientific knowledge has leaped yet again and we are discovering not how to best eat animals but rather whether we should.

We have a good documentary for this, too. Forks Over Knives takes us through the benefits of a plant-based diet and shares some great stories and a lot of good facts.

That's every main reason there is to switch to veganism. In the next part, I'll talk about the reasons not to go vegan and the different challenges there are against veganism, and there's a lot of them!

I'll leave you with one more great speech which helps explain the perspective of veganism.

PART II  - Why NOT do it?
PART III - coming soon!Anything you want to ta

Anything you want to talk about? Comment below, e-mail me at or tweet me!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pink Panda: A Zesty New Menu

Pink Panda has always been one of my favourite restaurants, being one of the few that offer a cool mix of different interesting South East Asian cuisines. Invited over to try out the new menu, we were looking forward to trying out what I was expecting to be new, delicious, innovative dishes.

pink panda

If I judged this book by its cover, I'd say this menu exudes the fun, quirky personality of Pink Panda. Short and sweet, it offers an appropriate number of dishes. Not too many to get your head spinning, though numerous enough to be exciting.

pink panda
Gising Gising Gyoza, P240.00
coconut stewed pork, winged bean, garlic aligue sauce
We started this fine lunch with a Bicol-Japan hybrid! Beneath the crunchy exterior is a splendid mix of veggies which tasted a lot like laing, complete with the strong coconut milk flavor. Doused in the spicy aligue sauce, it made for a fine, zesty experience.

pink panda
Asian Peri Chicken Thighs, P380.00
banana heart and black vinegar vermicelli toss, harissa sauce
Speaking of which, this chicken is the king of zesty! The finely prepared chicken thighs burst with tangy flavor with every bite. Easily the most flavorful Peri style chicken I've ever tried! This made a nice contrast against the vermicelli noodles, which had a much more delicate taste.

pink panda
Mixed Seafood Sambal, P550.00
curried tomato and chickpea, fried prawn toasties
The rich curry-ish sauce was really good, and the added chickpeas provided a bit of a hummus-like quality to the dish. It went quite well with the prawn infused toasted bread, seafood and cherry tomatoes within. There was a lot of it, more than enough for two to share. For added spice, you can infuse your bites with the chili sauce on the side.

pink panda
Sisig Siopao, P250.00
crispy pork mask, egg, caramelized soy onions, atchuete aioli
Ain't this a sight? I think I've seen sisig siopao somewhere before, perhaps 7-11, but it never looked as enticing as this, egg and all. For what it's worth, the sisig inside was actually good and legit, and paired nicely with the bun. The caramelized onions made for a nice palate cleanser, tasting slightly like candied yams, but what really improved this dish, was the aioli, giving a mayonnaisse-ish charm that also usually goes great with your standard sisig.

pink panda
Chai Iced Tea, P100.00
Kopi Panda, P110.00
These were our drinks for the meal. The chai iced tea was very tasty, sweet with a strong citrusy sour taste. The kopi panda is just like the usual Malaysian coffee, with a thick layer of condensed milk, to be mixed together for a deliciously bittersweet cool drink.

A fine meal! We look forward to coming back for more Pink Panda meals, or even trying out their sister restaurants, Hawk, Baits, Sprout and Sabao!

Noodles & Broth, Sides, Mains
Small Bites, Rolls/Wraps/Bao & Pao, Salads, Dimsum & Dumplings
Dessert, Drinks, Alcoholic Drinks

Love Pink Panda? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

Previous Panda visits:
Pink Panda South East Asian Diner
Pink Panda: Rendang, that's good!

Hatch 22 (sister restaurant) visits:
Hatch 22: Birth of a New Cafe
Hearty New Dishes at the Hatch 22
Hatch 22: No Ordinary Benedicts

G/F Y2 Residence Hotel,
4687 Santiago St. corner B. Valdez & Singian Sts., Makati City
(0906) 205-3898 / (02) 224-3000 loc. 3057
Operating Hours: 11:00 am - 12:00 mn
Facebook: Pink Panda Southeast Asian Diner
Twitter: @PinkPandaManila

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

El Pollo Loco: Childhood Chicken

I'm back from my writing hiatus! I think. Things have gotten hella busy in my life with work, exercise, catching up on my PS4, watching movies and the infinite number of TV series I am catching up on, reading comics, reading books, singing with my new band STAREtheSUNSET, and after writing a few articles I wrote for Breakfast Mag, I felt I needed to step back for a while. While I'm still as busy doing both the important and the unimportant, I'll try to get some writing in every now and then. I am hopeful that I can somewhat keep Savvy about Nothing, which just recently hit 2 years (last 18th, as Timehop reminded me), ALIVE!

Starting off slow, this is one of my pending posts from the past. I don't even remember when Alvie and I ate here, but we did because this place is a childhood favorite of mine! Now, I think MOA has the only remaining branch, but the branch my family frequented the most long ago was the one in Megamall. Does that place still exist??
el pollo loco
Pollo Lovers Meal, P510.00
4 pc. Chicken
2 Large Sidedish (Spanish Beans and Spanish Rice)
4 Tortillas
2 Salsas (hot/mild)
2 Desserts (Ube Halaya and Leche Flan)
2 Regular Drinks

One very strong aspect of the Pollo Loco experience is the aroma of the place. As soon as I stepped in, I recognised that same ol' scent that kept us coming back in the past. Being that this is kind of a fast food place, it was a bit more expensive than I expected, but it was worth the trip down memory lane.

el pollo loco

Good, good. The food was good as I remember. Is it just the nostalgia though, or is it genuinely something I'll enjoy eating for the first time at this age? I guess I'll never know. Alvie didn't like it much, but I refuse to believe that the food here is bad. Haha. I enjoy eating the chicken and rice on the tortilla with salsa on it. Delicious.

el pollo loco

Dessert wasn't that impressive, but it was worth eating, at least.

Pollo Lovers Meal
Main Menu

Did you love El Pollo Loco? Why not go and see if it's as good as remember, before it inevitably vanishes from our lives entirely?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Crisp on 28th: A Slab of Bacon and More

I enjoy dining in Erwan Heussaff's restaurants, distant as some of them may be from my work and residence. I was very happy to hear of Crisp on the 28th which is now conveniently located in the Fort.

crisp on 28th
Courtyard Salad, P280.00
add 150g grilled hanger steak, P275.00
Mixed salad greens / cucumber / French beans / walnuts / broccoli / roasted beets / quail egg / herbed croutons / country dressing
Upon hearing the word Crisp, I actually thought this place's specialty would be pork-themed deep-fried food. I could not have been more wrong. I should have known it would be much better than that, considering the people behind this place. Crisp here refers more to the crispness of their food, speaking to how healthy and fresh their offerings are. Case in point, this salad was the first thing we were given.
I can't say I'm much of a salad-lover (apart from health reasons), but I can totally enjoy any salad that is decorated with walnuts and broccoli, not to mention, steak!!! This beauty of a dish is a pleasure both to your taste and your body.

crisp on 28th
Cucumber, Apple & Mint Cold Pressed Juice, P155.00
Orange & Carrot Cold Pressed Juice, P155.00

They also serve cold pressed juices among other drinks. I much preferred the Cucumber, Apple & Mint one only because it tasted much more interesting.

crisp on 28th
MMMBOP, P390.00
sliced pork / carrots / spinach / mushroom / kimchi brown rice / bean sprouts
Not prepared by the Hanson trio, but more of a reference to the Korean bibimbap. I can't say I'm too familiar with this dish in general, but I really enjoyed it. Keeping with the healthy theme, the rice was brown and the veggie-laced ensemble was quite delicious.

crisp on 28th
Bacon and Eggs, P290.00
(will take 15 mins to make)
Sunny side souffle / slab of smoke bacon / onion and potato hash / mixed salad greens / grilled honey lemon dressing
We can't always be healthy now can we? How about cheating with just one piece of bacon? An extremely large one! It tastes as good as it looks, with a bit of a ham quality to it. The souffled eggs were a treat to eat as well with their interesting texture.

crisp on 28th
Crisp Cake, P160.00
Our signature cake: Calamansi Cake
perfect combination of tart and sweetness. Layers of Calamansi Sponge Cake, Calamansi Curd and Almond Meringue
A cake which carries the name of the restaurant is surely good, right? In this case, it was. The calamansi cake reminded me of those famous calamansi cupcakes from Boracay. It ain't too sweet and tastes just right.

crisp on 28th
Tres Leches Rum Cake, P150.00
Sponge cake with a small dose of rum, soaked in a 3-milk sauce overnight. Tres Leches is served warm with a hot shot of chocolate milk.
I'm usually a fan of Tres Leches (at home, mostly) so I wanted to give this version a shot. The rumcakeyness was much more prominent, with the tres leches aspect of it being more evident in the texture and the milk sauce. Not bad at all!

crisp on 28th
Cafe Latte, P110.00
This is a fine place to grab coffee as well. Their latte was good, and fairly priced.

crisp on 28th

Sight. Smell. Taste. These all come together quite nicely in the experience of Crisp. It's not just good food. It's refreshing to take in the art that tastefully clothes the place. The wall murals are partly done by Solenn Heussaff too.

crisp on 28th

Slightly hidden to the side is this neat al fresco section where you can enjoy the BGC breeze.

crisp on 28th

Early Start, Open Toast
Salads, Sandwiches, Entrees

Glad to have an addition to the already large number of good dining and hangout options around the Fort. Check 'em out!

Love Crisp on 28th? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

G/F, Alveo Corporate Center, 28th Street Near 9th Avenue,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(0917) 584 6883
Operating Hours: 8:00 am - 12:00 mn
Facebook: Crisp on 28th