An Article by Julie Yap-Daza

Julie Yap-Daza wrote an article in Panorama about my dad and my cousin's resto-bar, Guilbert's Place Restobar. For those who haven't been there and haven't tried the food, you don't know what you're missing! The article also has pictures of the place and the food, so better buy the magazine na lang instead of reading it online. I even asked my mom to send me a copy here in Singapore.

Salad days, summer nights

IN the heat of summer, at the height of the mercury’s goal to break records at 38 Celsius (Tuesday, April 8, ‘08), I found it!

I found a restaurant that’s not part of a chain, not a fastfood joint, not an expensive ambience-conscious five-star location for four-star wallets. Just a friendly place with a menu of the usual dishes with unusual twists, a place where you can eat under the stars and be away from the gridlock of Metro Manila.

The food may not be strictly gourmet quality, but read on. The tofu with kinchay is not extraordinary; it comes with ordinary tausi (black soy beans) and an uncommon touch, in the form of button mushrooms and, surprise, squid.

The secret of their pomelo salad is not in the required ingredients of chunks of pink pomelo, curlicues of boiled pink shrimp, a sprinkling of chopped green and red pepper and slices of cucumber. The secret is in the celery — cool, crunchy, as crisp as it is freshly green.

Every Filipino who loves green mango and brown bagoong will like the way that combination is served here. The mango is halfway between ripe (yellow) and unripe (green); the bagoong is homemade; the unexpected touch is a drizzle of crispy hito flakes. Sounds Thai? Maybe, but this version comes without the mandatory spiciness.

If the foregoing list of aperitifs and salads has whetted your appetite, blame it on George and Guilbert Vistan, uncle and nephew, whose restaurant, called Guilbert’s Place, is one summery excuse to drive out at sunset without encountering traffic jams and be back in Manila on time to catch your favorite prime-time show on cable TV.

The restaurant is simple in its intentions, a place for families to eat out, and pleasant in its design — trees and flowering shrubs surround the three ex-container vans that are now connected into a U shape, a series of bahay kubo carries a roof garden on top for sunset-viewing, moon-gazing or star-counting, or all of the above, depending on how much time you have.

If you have time to go over the menu, it’s got plenty of curious items for which there is not enough space here. But as a lady doctor from Pampanga who is a return customer put it, there’s always a next time to try another set of dishes, with another set of cousins, friends, balikbayans, expats, future in-laws, etc.

Guilbert’s place is a few minutes from the Sta. Rita, Bulacan exit from the North Luzon Expressway. Don’t let that address intimidate you. Believe me, it’s easier and faster to get there — 38 km. after the Balintawak entry point — than driving through exasperating traffic to Makati from Quezon City, 15 km.

And by the way, the restaurant is open only at 4 p.m., closing at midnight. If ever there’s a summer place, this is it.

Chocolate Crinkles

I tried baking chocolate crinkles a few weeks ago, but it was a disaster! It was too watery and too sugary! I was so depressed with the outcome, I threw the baked cookies and the remaining batter!

I found a different recipe for chocolate crinkles and it was a success! This time it came out perfect! Not flat, enough sweetness. And just as I imagined it to be... a bit crunchy on the outside and just enough softness inside.


  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. I like to use a number 50 size scoop. Coat each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Recipe taken from Allrecipes

Emergency Check-up

12 weeks 3 days

I woke up early today to cook champorado, since we've been having cereals and bread for the past few days. :)

After Lloyd left for work, I went to the toilet and saw that I had some spotting. It wasn't fresh (red) blood, instead it was a bit brown. I immediately called up Lloyd and told him about it and I'll drop by my OB's clinic. I was thinking of observing it for a while if it will continue or not, coz I'm not feeling any pain. So after we talked, I took a bath and rest for a while.

I called up the clinic. The assistant told me that the doctor will be leaving by 10am, and it was already 9:15! I guess Inna (my sister who's here for a vacation) heard me talking on the phone, and she said "we're going to the hospital?!". While Inna was taking a bath, I called up the clinic again and asked if the doctor can wait a bit longer coz I can't make it by 10. The assistant told me that the doctor can wait until 10:30.

So I called for a cab, but all cabs are fully booked! So we went outside and tried to hail a cab. It was already 10 and we still can't find an available cab! So I called up the clinic and told them I won't make it by 10:30. They told me to just drop by to get my medicines and go to a different OB for the meantime (my OB will be back Monday next week). After that call, we got a cab! Thank God! I told the driver where to go, then I called up the clinic again and told them I'm on the way. While in the taxi, I realized I don't have any money! I think I only have $20 in my wallet, and the clinic only accepts cash or checks. Good thing Inna had some money exchanged yesterday. hahaha!

When we got to the hospital it was exactly 10:30! So I called up the clinic again and told them I'm already downstairs, on my way to the clinic.

When I got in, the doctor asked me what happened. I said I don't know... :( She asked if I was feeling some abdominal pains... I said no. So she did an ultrasound. The baby's doing great! We can see his/her spinal column and ribs! And of course the little flutter of heartbeat. :) When the ultrasound started, we can see the baby's back. Then a few seconds later, the baby moved! He/she was now lying on his/her back and moving his/her arms! I was so happy and relieved to see everything's fine. :) Doctor advised to relax and rest.

Before we left, the doctor injected medicine on me, to help stop the bleeding (I think). Then the assistants gave me medicines to help stop the bleeding, and vitamins (calcium and iron). Then the bill came... by the time we left the clinic, Inna's wallet as well as mine are completely empty! hihihihi!
What triggered this: I guess the house-hunting. hahaha! yeah... we're looking for another apartment coz the current condo we're staying at had a price increase which is way out of our budget! And yesterday was a busy day for me....
  • I had lunch with my high school friend Chale (she's leaving Singapore!).
  • After lunch, Inna and I went to Lucky Plaza to buy pickle relish, and Inna exchanged some money.
  • Since we're already in Orchard Road, we went to HMV, Inna went shopping for CDs and DVDs
  • Went home and rest for a while
  • 5pm apartment viewing at Punggol

Not so busy, right? hehehe... yeah yeah, I know... I should take it easy and just rest. So now, Other than the hospital visit, Inna and I just stayed at home. :)

Next appointment: 3rd of May

Last Day of Work, First Day of Break

Thursday: Last Day of Work

My official last day at work was 22nd of March. But it's a Saturday, then the 21st of March was Good Friday, so no work! So my real last day at work was Thursday, 20th of March. hihihi!

My day wasn't busy at all. I spent the day checking emails, cleaning up files and softwares from my laptop, doing backups. I said my good-byes to the team around 4pm, left the office around 4:30pm and arrived in HQ a few minutes past 5.

When I got to HQ, I went straight to the HR, but I can't find the people I'm looking for! Hay stress! Eventually I saw my HR rep, so I passed all I need to return to her (laptop, ID, etc.). After that, I went home. :)

Friday: First Day of Break

First day without work... I got sick! As in complete with coughs, colds and slight fever! And this was my first morning sickness! Hay...

I went to the doctor (not my OB, just a GP) the next week. The doctor gave me meds which are safe to take during pregnancy. The cough syrup tastes like honey! hihi!

A week after, I felt better. :)

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