July 22, 2006

Amici di Estomago

Last tuesday, T and I bumped into an old friend from HS as we traversed the underpass along Paseo de Roxas in Makati. We thought it would be another duo food trip, but luckily, R. was there to liven up the dinner scene. We took a cab and headed towards this non-descript hole-in-a-school restaurant that people tout as Manila's best kept secret, the Amici di Don Bosco.

Amici is simple but people who go there do not mind the kitchy atmosphere and the canteen-like set-up because the main attraction there is the great authentic Italian pizzas and pastas and gelato. Most of its customers, we observed, are well-dressed moneyed citizens of Makati which is ironic because the place is located under the overpass along Arnaiz (Pasay) Avenue. I was expecting the SM food-court crowd but I was wrong, people really go out of their way just to order pizzas to go and gelatos for their hankering brood back home.

When we entered, T was ecstatic (read: jumping up and down)to see the varieties of gelato that she immediately dived into a chocolate scoop. I tried it and the I was blown away with the intensity of the flavor. It was rich, silky and soft, no ice bits clinging to the cream. I then chose mine Cheese flavor and the first scoop reminded me of the milky goodness of cheese with its sweet creamy texture spiked with tart pieces of cheddar cheese. Some might find it wierd to eat fromaggio gelato, but for me, this is the best- and no other ice cream brand can surpass Amici's in terms of quality and pricing. At P35 per scoop of quality gelato, who can resist? For those who have deeper pockets and only eat at Rockwell's Pazzo gelato, this is a great alternative.

We went back to our table and ordered our dinner. We decided on pasta. Not knowing what to get, we asked the cashier/clerk what are the recommended entrees. She ticked the Tagliatelle con Sici(something Sicilian), spaghetti ala don bosco and some other dish. We settled on the first one- home-made tagliatelle cooked in tomatoes, red wine, parmesan, and italian sausage. It was so satisfying that my tongue began to sing O sole mio, not! It was fantastic nevertheless. These are the pastas that are not found in commercialized knock-offs where their basic menu consists only of spaghetti bolognese and carbonara. Amici is the bomb! And the servings are good for two people. T barely finished hers, R was slow in his plate while I was feeling constricted after eating halfway.

We skipped on drinks, as usual, and settled on their fresh and priceless mineral water... yes, price-less meaning free. Because the place has that scholarly feel of being in a high school cafeteria, we were free to enjoy lounging about with nary a care towards our fellow foodlovers. Who cares about slouching in our seats and laughing to our hearts' content about high school faux pas? No ugly heads reared in our direction with their evil eye glaring at us. We had a great time catching up with old times.

After the meal, another round of gelato. T got some flavor which I forgot while I took away some cheese gelato. Just can't get enough. We egged R to try it but he passed saying he was too full to have a scoop of the cold delight. We stayed on for another 30 minutes before venturing out into the hell that is Manila. At least in Amici, the food will always be your friend, and that's their promise. And yes, with such food intake, I promised my porcelain bowl back home to meet another friend from Amici albeit in another form. Hah!

Other sites featuring this terrific discovery (w/ photos):

Molested By An Arab Donkey

No, it's not me. It's my friend R. She seemed to be a magnet for these sexually excited fellows everytime she ventures out at night. I'm not sure, but this time, it seemed serious enough that she pressed charges against this Arab donkey. (Sorry, that undesirable alien has no place in our country, and as such, he does not merit any respect from any Filipino- except from the refuse of society like those money-grubbing prostitutes in the throes of AIDS and naturally corrupt and lazy policemen who'll do anything to avoid doing anything.) There's one thing frustrating to see a foreigner abusing his way through Manila, and it's another to see your own fellowmen fawning over and accommodating this poor Arab-trash cum criminal.
This is his passport photo, so if you know him, please call GMA7 for a live interview.

Click on R's blog and read her harrowing experience of being molested by an Arab donkey (and how the stupid & corrupt police tried to cover it up):

R's Nightmare On Makati Avenue

July 03, 2006

Rizal on Penguin Classics

How cool can this be? Jose Rizal has now joined the pantheon of Classical author thanks to the Penguin Group of Publishers.

Elda Rotor, a Fil-American working at Penguin Books has this to say:

Monday June 19th is the birthday of Jose Rizal and I'm pleased to announce that NOLI ME TANGERE makes its debut as the first work of Filipino literature to be published in Penguin Classics. Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation, wrote this new translation with an introduction and notes.

The book is available at the end of June. It is the 60th anniversary year of Penguin Classics, and I have just started as the new Executive Editor for the imprint. As a Filipino-American, I'm excited about this new publication and wanted to share it with all of you. Look out for the book, check out www.us.penguinclassics.com. Watch out for events in New York and San Francisco this summer and fall.

July 02, 2006

Personification of American Hegemony

Superman going around the globe from Manila to Italy to France saving people reeks of American Hegemony of global security. He is portrayed as the world's policeman, fireman, and one-man security force where everyone is beholden to him and utterly grateful to his Boy Scout acts. But still, it shows that an American Icon like Superman being on top of global affairs where he has influence over other sovereign nations makes me want to puke. Not only is he violating the air spaces of other countries, he is implying that other countries can't take care of themselves and are always in need of Superman.

Now, who the fuck asked Superman to save the world?
Who the fuck asked GWBush to save the planet?

These are the questions Superman must answer:
1. Why is he not classified as a Weapon of Mass Destruction?
2. Why did GWBush not tapped him in the Iraq-Afghanistan War?
3. May passport ba si Superman to go flying into other nations?
4. Why was Iraq or Palestine not mentioned in the areas where help is needed?

An Ubermenchen Review

We saw yesterday the brand new Superman movie at Glorietta 1. The place was packed to the gills with couples and families with restless children. Actually we sneaked into the adjacent cinema sans tickets because the first one was so jampacked and this was 10 minutes before the anointed schedule. So, like evil sneaks that we were, we changed cinemas and ended up with a couple of good positions in the center of the theatre.

The movie was good, the effects were superb, but Routh's acting was terrible to say the least. Strip him of everything that's heroic and you'll get an acting that's wooden and impassive. It was as if his entire face was injected with Botulinum toxin. Even Spacey's acting was disappointing for I was expecting more malevolence but all I saw was another Botulinum injected spiel. Bosworth was passable, wow, she has a large forehead, come to think of it. The only redeeming value of the movie was its deft atypical plot, the 21st century CGI effects and the heart-rending sound track. The music was fantastic, and really played to one's emotions. Acting aside, the whole flick was one hell of a ride!

Was the movie worth the P100 fee? Absolutely yes.
Is it good for repeat viewing? Damn yes.

Rating: 8/10