Saturday, November 29, 2008

My precioussssss.......

Garando: "....???!.... Since when did you start wearing a ring on your toe?"

Garandee: " ...... "

Garando: "wait a minute, is that my wedding ring?"

Garandee: " ...... "

Garando: "IT IS my wedding ring! How did that end up there? That's so YAK!!"

Garandee: "You left it in the toilet... again!"

Garando: "Oh! yeah, I keep forgetting... that's because I always take it off before using the tabo."

Garandee: "Excuse again!"

Garando: "Ok, hand it over please..."

Garandee: "Alright... don't lose it, OK?"

Garando: "Shempre! it's my precioussssssssssss.......*slither* *slither*"

Garandee: "You're so YAK...."

Garando mode:
Another long weekend! Read More......

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Terror Attacks

I woke up this morning to find the horrific situation in Mumbai all over the top news channels. Coordinated terror attacks have targeted up to 6 sites, possibly more. 87 dead, hundreds wounded. OMG....

I have friends & colleagues there, dear ones. I am now waiting to hear if they are alright. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to the people of Mumbai.

Here are the first pictures of the terror attacks from Vinukumar Ranganathan's flickr site

*photo of the Taj hotel taken from the BBC In Pictures: Mumbai Attacks

Garando mode:
This is terrible... Read More......

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Viva Bohol!

Viva Bohol

Do & Dee's Honeymoon? Not likely because I was with the in-laws the whole time. This is the first time Garandee's family has ever been to the Philippines, so we had to make a good impression to encourage them to visit more often. She thought Bohol will definitely make a good first impression, and boy was she right!

Garandee's Mom and brother have never experienced a beach in their whole lives so you can just imagine how amazed they were when we arrived at the Bohol Beach Club in Panglao Island. Read on for the photos!

Garandee family beach
Not wasting precious time, Garandee and the in-laws hit the beach pronto!

okasan starfish
Garandee's Mom was overjoyed upon finding so many starfish. They were all over the place! Those hairy legs aren't Garandee's by the way... that's her brother.

otosan beach
Garandee's Papa hastily rolled up his cargo shorts eager to join the fun...

...only to be attacked by a raving, rabid starfish soon as he got to the water!

otosan coconuts
So he just went back to the resort and played with his coconuts... literally.

Bohol Tour!
Besides the beach, the infamous Bohol day tour is perfect for newlywed couples with senior tourists. Too bad it was raining all day...

choco hills
First stop, Chocolate Hills of course! Garandee's Papa wasn't that interested since he said he had been to the Himalayas during his prime years... asus!

river cruise
The Loboc River cruise. The buffet was awful, but at least the floating cultural show made up for it. Garandee got to dance "Ocho-ocho" and the "Tinikling" while her Mom got to play Bohol's version of the ukelele. Garandee's brother just got his sneakers wet on the balsa (raft)

Old Church
The Baclayon Church. Erected in the 1590's, it's likely one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. I'm terrible with history so when her brother asked me what the church was all about, I just said "Ano hito wa okama desu, kyokai..."

blood compact
Blood Compact Monument. This probably started the whole idea of "dinugu-an" (Philippines' famous pork blood stew delicacy) least that's what I told her brother. We were'nt really that interested, we just went there to use the restrooms.

Wet Tarsier
And finally, a Bohol tour wouldn't be complete without experiencing the adorable Tarsiers! Since it rained cats & dogs the whole time we were on the tour, the tarsiers were all wet & soggy. We didn't mind, it kinda made them look funky! Gone was the "emo" image, as you can see, "punk" is in!

Tarsier: "PUNK IS NOT DEAD!"
Garando: "Rock on!"

Our last night at the beach...

I love spending evenings at the beach! The sound of waves are so relaxing, so serene... besides the fact that Garandee's Mom got trapped in the toilet because of a faulty doorknob and me getting bitten by huge beach ants hiding under our toilet seat, it was a relatively peaceful night.

Our last day in Bohol...
Garando: "Okay, in-laws! This is your last day in Bohol, go and make the most of it!!"
...and they sure did!

hammock mitsu
Garandee's brother spent the final moments relaxing on a hammock, I guess he can't imagine leaving this paradise for the dense concrete jungle called "Tokyo".

okasan starfishagain
Garandee's Mom hunted for more starfish.

otosan coconuts
Garandee's Papa played with his coconuts... literally.

and Garandee hit the beach again!

going home
Finally it's time to bid Bohol farewell... thank you for the coconuts.
Her Papa proudly brought a piece back to Japan, that explains that huge bulge on his bag. Her brother also has a better understanding of Bohol history, thanks to moi.

Garandee mode:
I miss Bohol!!

Read More......

Saturday, November 22, 2008



This date marks a milestone in Balut & Natto: Garandee is now a Mrs.

Yes, we finally tied the knot two weeks ago! This is also my best excuse for not being able to update my blog, it has been a very very busy two weeks!

I guess we were an unusual couple wanting a very unique wedding. We only started working on our wedding 3 months before 11/11/08, so I'm really pleased we managed to pull it off!

Here are some highlights:

Besides our couture, we didn't get anybody else to fix us up for the wedding. I ended doing my bride's hairsetting to get the flowers to stick properly, while she did all the make-up on her own.

DSC_0208 (426 x 600)
Our wedding photojournalist is pure AWESOMENESS!
He was in on the action as well!

I soon returned the favor and helped out on some of the photo sessions.

Garandee's all set to walk the aisle...

then the ceremony begins...

No entourage...

No choir or wedding divas singing "The Prayer" (again)...

No coordinators...

Just a brief and simple 30 minute ceremony with 18 dear folks and a Jim Chappell CD.

Garando & Garandee walked out of that chapel ready to face a new life...

Every wedding should have a kilig shot

The flowers at the chapel were so gorgeous we couldn't let it go to waste!
Good thing Grandma was around...

Next stop: Garando takes the in-laws to Bohol!

Garando mode:

Read More......

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Manila Cashiers & Star Wars

Garandee: "Garando, why do the cashiers in Manila always ask me for more money even if I gave them more than enough cash??"

Garando: "You'd better give them what their asking for dear, or you'll regret it. They're actually doing you a favor."

Garandee: "I already gave them more than enough and they ask me for 3 Pesos more."

Garando: "I was asked for 1 Peso once, because the chocolates cost Php 51. Sucks for me because I didn't have a single coin in my pocket. When I told her I didn't have any, she put her P50 bill back in the register and gave me 8 pcs of 5 Peso coins and 9 Pcs of 1 peso coins.

Can you imagine how heavy that is?? Being stuck with those coins for the entire day was agonizing... what made it worse is that it was one of those days when I forgot to use a belt. I had to balance the coins on each pocket because if I put them all in one pocket my trousers would droop so low on one leg it looked like I had polio!"

Garandee: "I see... Japan is more simple."

Garando: "By the way, did you also notice that cashiers around here are big fans of Star Wars?"

Garandee: "Star Wars?"

Garando: "They do Yoda talk:

Garandee: "Who's Yoda?"

Garando: "Never mind...."

Garando mode:
Just had a nice Shiatsu massage! Read More......

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Farm: Health & Spa Resort in San Benito, Batangas


Garandee always bugged me about this spa resort called "The Farm". She probably heard a lot of good things about it from blogs and friends, but it took a lot of persuasion (and sometimes blackmail) to get me to agree to accompany her on this one.

After my buddies told me that their spa package is inclusive of enemas, that unconventional way of quenching my thirst from the back-end is already a hard sell! I'd rather watch "Tyra" for one straight week than have my behind plugged with a hose. I even had nightmares that my ear drums popped and water came bursting out like a busted fire hydrant.

But Garandee got me to agree eventually. Apparently there was a package fit for me, I just pay for the room, all services are charged on a "per use" basis. Sounds good. She won't allow me to bring my PURE FOODS corned beef though, so I guess I'll have to deal with two days of vegan.




flower 01


The ambiance was enough to detoxify me, so no need for the enemas really.

food 02


food 03

If that's not enough, the vegan food was out of this world because it didn't taste... vegan. Prepared by their in-house German chef, the quality and taste was top-notch.


The poor thing hid behind a rock after it noticed me staring at it funny. After two days of vegan diet, she sure looked tasty...


Garandee and I loved taking photos of this peacock that was set free to roam around the spa bullying the ducks. I'm particularly proud of this shot: based from the broken feathers looks like it was roughed up pretty bad. I guess enemas aren't exclusive for humans after all.

Garando mode:
super tired...

Read More......

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Garandee's Kawawang T-Shirt - Epilogue

read part one
read part two

I don't give up that easily! When I found the time, I triple soaked and triple washed Garandee's green shirt using only the finest detergent I could find under our kitchen sink (it had "with OXY-BLEACH!" on the label so that's probably a good thing, whatever that is).

Garandee is the laundry expert around the house but I had no choice because she wouldn't even touch the thing. Can't blame her, you can't imagine how much two days of outdoor exposure can do to stink up a shirt. I think I used a quarter of a bottle of Downy fabric freshener to make the smell go away.

Then with a lot of persuasion, she finally agreed to use it again. Yey!

Ironic, isn't it?

Good thing she thought the "worn-out look" was pretty cool.

Garando mode:
If I wear my worn-out sando we'd look cool together!
Read More......

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wagyu: The real deal

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the real deal.

steak 01

Authentic Wagyu Beef (a.k.a. Kobe Beef / Matsuzaka Beef). Not the kind you get to order in the restaurants around Manila, they may say it's Wagyu, but the texture remains different, and it just doesn't taste like the ones you get in Japan.

steak 02

The Good: Look at that marbling! It has just the right amount of fat evenly distributed across the meat, making it literally melt in your mouth! And it doesn't have that stringy texture you get from Black Angus. Great for Sukiyaki or Nikujaga, but I get to enjoy it most as Yakiniku (grilled on a pan or fire then dipped in yakiniku or Japanese steak sauce)

The Bad: This photo is over 2 years old, and I've never had it since. sigh....

I think most of the Wagyu beef served here are from the local Wagyu breed bred in Luzon. What makes it taste different if it's exactly the same breed? I have no idea. Probably the feeds, or the "massage" the cows are given? ...or maybe because the farmers speak to them in Tagalog.

But I did find beef that is almost as close in terms of taste and quality! If you're interested check out New Hatchin grocery at:
7602 Sacred Heart St. cor Metropolitan Ave
San Antonio village Makati City
8977207/ 8905038/ 8901648
store hours 8 am - 7 pm

Look for "US Calbi", but be prepared... it's at P2,300/kilo if I remember right. yikes! Expensive, yes, but seeing your darling's eyes roll back in ecstacy as they chew on the best Wagyu in Manila is priceless right? uhhh.. at least that's what I always tell Garandee but it never seems to work. sigh...

Garando mode:
I haven't had a steak in months... getting weak... losing my powers...

Read More......