Archive for December, 2008

Philippine Sports: Manny Pacquiao TKO’s Oscar De La Hoya

Posted in Duke420 Articles, Philippines Sports with tags , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2008 by JJ Duque
Oscar De La Hoya congratulates Manny Pacquiao

Oscar De La Hoya congratulates Manny Pacquiao

I won’t bother to give an update on the fight as I’m sure every Filipino out there already had the chance to see the fight, or at least the highlights. Or if you didn’t watch the fight, then at least you should know by now that Manny Pacquiao defeated Oscar De La Hoya via TKO at the end of 8 rounds.

I’m pretty certain everyone has their take on what happened about the fight – what went right for Manny Pacquiao and what went wrong for Oscar De La Hoya – and I also have my own opinions. And while I might not be a boxing expert, all I can say is that Manny Pacquiao was just too quick for Oscar De La Hoya. No matter how big you are or how far your reach is, if you can’t tag your opponent with a meaningful punch, then how do you ever expect to even win a boxing match? Well, in the case of Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao was just the faster chicken, and he just couldn’t be touched.

But more than the highlights of the fight and Manny Pacquiao‘s excellent boxing form, what I appreciated most about the outcome of the fight was the end of the fight. When Manny Pacquiao told Oscar De La Hoya, “You’re still my idol.” and Oscar De La Hoya replied, “No, Manny, now you’re my idol.” – that for me was the defining moment which capped off an awesome promotion for the fight. After all was slugged out, that little bit of pride, respect and honor was definitely the icing of the Pacquiao-De La Hoya circus. It sounded like that scene in the movie Top Gun – Iceman says, “Maverick, you could be my wing man anytime.” to which Maverick replies, “Bullshit, you could be mine.”

Of course, I had expected so much from the fight, and was expecting bot fighters to be bloodied up. I didn’t expect it to be the one-sided massacre it turned out to be. I mean – Oscar De La Hoya was a clear favorite, and what took place against Manny Pacquiaob, I didn’t ever think that would happen to someone as talented as Oscar De La Hoya. But then, I guess Freddie Roach was a bit correct in saying that De La Hoya couldn’t pull the trigger. Anyway, there’s more to be said than what wasn’t said, but I leave that up to the real boxing columnists and critics.

On a personal note, I had a ball watching the fight. I watched the fight at noontime in the Philippines, waking up at 7am to make it to Handle Bar Makati early enough to grab our chairs. My huge thanks to Dustin Derkinderen for taking the initiative in reserving a table. I had so much fun just cheering with my 6 year-old son Kaj, shouting at the top of our lungs and banging on the table top. Then, of course, the chance to be with some awesome people like Albert Gaw, Angelo Alvendia and Dustin Derkinderen. Looks like we’re the Handle Bar regulars for fights, whether it be Manny Pacquiao or UFC. Cheers, boys!

Anyway, so now they’re saying Manny Pacquiao vs Ricky Hatton. All I have to say – Did you see what he did to De La Hoya?

Manny, maraming salamat sa maligayang pasko.

Philippine Lifestyle: Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards Night

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine Lifestyle, Philippine News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2008 by JJ Duque

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb shared their passion for good food through a coffee-table book called Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets. The book, of course, was a hit among food-lovers all over. But then the question that most readers kept asking was – “So, what is your favorite restaurant?”

Elian Habayeb and Ines Cabarrus had a difficult time answering the question, and eventually they left the decision to around 80 capable judges that consisted of restaurant owners, top chefs, educators in the hospitality industry, columnists, food critics, magazine editors and food lovers to hand out points on whom they believed were the best restaurants in Manila.

There were 22 award categories all in all with around 4 top restaurants in each category, and all the winners were presented and awarded just recently at the Enderun College campus in Fort Bonifacio with an event aptly titled – the First Annual Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secretes Awards. The MBKRS Awards was billed by Ines Cabarrus as “the Oscars” of Manila’s restaurant industry in terms of the prestige a restaurant would gain from the votes cast by the 80 very capable judges.

Of course, the award itself is a boost to Manila’s restaurant industry, but I personally wouldn’t go so far as calling it “the Oscars.” While it may have been a star-studded cast among the restaurant industry’s finest, there could have been a lot of improvements with the presentation of the awards, which could’ve used a healthy adrenalin boost in the visual area, maybe showing pictures of the restaurants and the concoctions that have made them famous.

Nevertheless, the event had a glorious red carpet that led to a buffet tent that was catered by 10 awesome restaurants, covering every imaginable taste for your palate from Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Asian Fusion, Persian, Filipino and Thai food. There was also an overflow of awesome wines from 3 major wine distributors, and even an after party at the very trendy NUVO right after.

But, of course, the MKBRS Awards are all about the nominees and the awards, and the winners include the following:

  • Best Italian Restaurant – L’Opera
  • Best French Restaurant – Je Suis Gourmand
  • Best Spanish Restaurant – Terry’s Selection
  • Best Continental Cuisine – Lolo Dad’s
  • Best Steak House – Elbert’s Steak Room
  • Best Japanese Restaurant – Sugi
  • Best Filipino Restaurant – Abe
  • Best Thai Restaurant – People’s Palace
  • Best Chinese Restaurant – Zong
  • Best Central European Restaurant – Old Swiss Inn
  • Best Specialty Restaurant – Hussein’s Persian Kebab
  • Best Bistro – Sala Bistro
  • Best Enoteca – Barcino Gourmet
  • Best Fusion Cuisine – M Cafe
  • Best Newcomer – Aubergine
  • Best Restaurant/Bar – NUVO
  • Best Wine List – Cav
  • Best Hotel Restaurant (International Buffet) – Spirals (Sofitel)
  • Best Hotel Restaurant (Fine Dining) – (will update once Ines reminds me who won)
  • Best Hotel Restaurant (Specialty) – (will update once Ines reminds me who won)
  • Best Chef – Ariel Manuel
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Larry Cruz (posthumous)

Philippines Fun Wall will have an exclusive interview with Ines Cabarrus in the very very near future, and we will talk more about the book Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets and other things, so keep a watch for that.

In the meantime, of course you are more than welcome to try out the restaurants that were awarded and see for yourself if these restos do live up to their reputation as being the best. You can also view the other nominees of each category at the Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Multiply site.

To make an online purchase of the coffee-table book Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets, then go here.