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PHNO SCIENCE & INFOTECH NEWS
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports)

SOL JOSE VANZI's  TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE PAGE THIS WEEK

FEATURING HER 'TIMPLA'T TIKIM' (Manila Bulletin)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

A STAR IS BORN
[New kitchen darling shows off her cheese recipes and charming personality]


MAY 26 -Whole tilapia stuffed with Eden cheese -
Get ready to be disarmed by a bubbly, chatty, hyperactive single mom whose infectious smile will soon grace tarpaulins, TV screens, newspaper, magazine ads, and supermarket aisles. Her name is Mommy Star, and her friendly face could remind you of a neighbor, a cousin, an aunt. The launch of her TV ad as the new endorser of Eden cheese was held at the clubhouse of one of the most exclusive high end Star and her winning smile Star and her winning smile subdivisions in Metro Manila. The audience of nannies, cooks, and household employees were better dressed than I was, and they all loved Mommy Star. “She’s so natural, hindi peke gaya ng marami sa TV,” gushed a 30-something beauty shop assistant while taking selfies with Mommy Star to show off to her friends and relatives. Cheese on Everything The new media darling spent the morning regaling the audience with stories of her adventures and misadventures, both in and out of the kitchen. Each narrative endeared her even more to the all-female crowd. “Don’t just sprinkle salt on the tilapia. Rub it in well to flavor every bit,” she admonishes while pushing salt grains lovingly into all the nooks and crannies of the whole fish. The attentive audience collectively nodded in approval. READ MORE...

ALSO: Davao City - From mountain to sea, for body and soul


DAVAO CITY'S MT. APO
This summer, Davao City is well known for one thing, Rodrigo Duterte, its iron-fisted and foul-mouthed mayor, who would win the presidential elections last May 9. The commercial and industrial hub of southern Mindanao, which stretches up to 2,444 square kilometers to be the biggest city in land area in the Philippines, trumpeted itself to be Duterte country. The often controversial mayor is a hero and icon here, credited for the orderliness and safety of the city, leading to its progress. So much so that Davao’s summer tourism campaign and promotion, the Visit Davao Fun Sale, teetered into becoming an election campaign and victory party. The tour guide opened the tour with a greeting and a hope that visitors would vote for Duterte. Hosts of events were lavish with praises for Duterte. The cityscape was riddled with Duterte campaign posters, billboards and even standees of his figure. If you are a Duterte fan, the trip would be a happy union with kindred spirits, but if you’re not, it could be a tad uncomfortable. Nevertheless, Davao City and its surrounding areas have so much to offer the tourists, several of which are icons themselves. Take for example, the country’s national bird, the Philippine eagle. Davao City is the only place where one can see and get close to the critically endangered bird. The Philippine Eagle Center Endemic to the Philippines, the Philippine eagle is one of the largest and most powerful birds in the world. Called banoy in Tagalog and Filipino, mamboogook and malamboogook in Mandaya and Manobo, and tipule in Subanon, it was declared the country’s national bird in 1995 through Proclamation No. 615, saying that the eagle’s “uniqueness, strength, power, and love for freedom exemplifies the Filipino people.” READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

A Star is born
[New kitchen darling shows off her cheese recipes and charming personality]

 Images by Noel B. Pabalate


Whole tilapia stuffed with Eden cheese

MANILA, MAY 30, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi May 26, 2016 - Get ready to be disarmed by a bubbly, chatty, hyperactive single mom whose infectious smile will soon grace tarpaulins, TV screens, newspaper, magazine ads, and supermarket aisles.

Her name is Mommy Star, and her friendly face could remind you of a neighbor, a cousin, an aunt.

The launch of her TV ad as the new endorser of Eden cheese was held at the clubhouse of one of the most exclusive high end

Star and her winning smile subdivisions in Metro Manila. The audience of nannies, cooks, and household employees were better dressed than I was, and they all loved Mommy Star.

“She’s so natural, hindi peke gaya ng marami sa TV,” gushed a 30-something beauty shop assistant while taking selfies with Mommy Star to show off to her friends and relatives.

Cheese on Everything


Mommy Star and her winning smile

The new media darling spent the morning regaling the audience with stories of her adventures and misadventures, both in and out of the kitchen.

Each narrative endeared her even more to the all-female crowd. “Don’t just sprinkle salt on the tilapia. Rub it in well to flavor every bit,” she admonishes while pushing salt grains lovingly into all the nooks and crannies of the whole fish. The attentive audience collectively nodded in approval.

READ MORE...

Slices of regular Eden cheese were inserted into the tilapia’s stomach cavity before it was pan-fried over high heat for five minutes, then over medium heat until both sides were crisp. Quick melt cheese would have oozed out of control all over the pan, she warned. While many took notes, she recommended adding Eden cheese to adobo, menudo, turon, and salads because Filipinos are such big cheese lovers. “You can use cheese on everything: puto, pan de sal, ensaymada, hot cake, omelet, scrambled eggs, soup, sandwiches, cakes, pies, noodles, and stews.

A Star from Birth

Her 57-year-old Mommy Erlie was understandably beaming while watching her daughter get practically mobbed by instant fans. She


Beaming with happiness and pride, (from left) Mommy Star

Beaming with happiness and pride, (from left) Mommy Star revealed seeing the potential of her daughter early and thus named her Star. “She’s a loving daughter, with a very positive disposition. She makes me cry sometimes when she hugs and kisses me for no reason.”

Mommy Star claims happy cooks make tasty dishes. Thus, she always tries to calm herself and think good thoughts.

“When I cook with love, everything tastes fantastic. When I am sad, no ingredient can make the meal good.”

Mommy Star’s folksy charm stood out when asked what to do with a convection oven. She may have misheard the question because of the din from the crowd. Her reply was so natural it could not have been written better by a stand-up comic.

“Conviction oven? Ano ‘yun? Bakit nakulong?”

The next question from the audience was: “Is there a difference between how your mother raised you and how you brought up your daughter Marian?”

“No difference. I ‘grow’ my daughter the way my mother ‘grow’ [sic] me.”

The applause that met her last answer was deafening.

A star was born.


FROM THE TRIBUNE LIFESTYLE

Davao City From mountain to sea, for body and soul Written by Roel Hoang Manipon Assistant Editor Monday, 30 May 2016 00:00


DAVAO CITY'S MT. APO

This summer, Davao City is well known for one thing, Rodrigo Duterte, its iron-fisted and foul-mouthed mayor, who would win the presidential elections last May 9. The commercial and industrial hub of southern Mindanao, which stretches up to 2,444 square kilometers to be the biggest city in land area in the Philippines, trumpeted itself to be Duterte country.

The often controversial mayor is a hero and icon here, credited for the orderliness and safety of the city, leading to its progress. So much so that Davao’s summer tourism campaign and promotion, the Visit Davao Fun Sale, teetered into becoming an election campaign and victory party. The tour guide opened the tour with a greeting and a hope that visitors would vote for Duterte. Hosts of events were lavish with praises for Duterte.

The cityscape was riddled with Duterte campaign posters, billboards and even standees of his figure. If you are a Duterte fan, the trip would be a happy union with kindred spirits, but if you’re not, it could be a tad uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, Davao City and its surrounding areas have so much to offer the tourists, several of which are icons themselves. Take for example, the country’s national bird, the Philippine eagle. Davao City is the only place where one can see and get close to the critically endangered bird.

The Philippine Eagle Center


Philippine eagle center pond Davao

Endemic to the Philippines, the Philippine eagle is one of the largest and most powerful birds in the world. Called banoy in Tagalog and Filipino, mamboogook and malamboogook in Mandaya and Manobo, and tipule in Subanon, it was declared the country’s national bird in 1995 through Proclamation No. 615, saying that the eagle’s “uniqueness, strength, power, and love for freedom exemplifies the Filipino people.”

READ MORE...

The Philippine eagle’s home stretches from eastern Luzon, Samar and Leyte islands in the Visayas, to the island of Mindanao. Because of habitat loss, their population drastically dwindled, and the largest concentration of eagles left can be found in Mindanao. Thirty-four Philippine eagles can be found at the Philippine Eagle Center, an 8.7-hectare sanctuary at the foot of Mount Apo, the highest peak in the country, inside the Malagos Watershed Area in the district of Baguio, about 27 kilometers from the city proper of Davao.

The center is run by the private, non-stock and non-profit organization Philippine Eagle Foundation, which traces its roots to the Monkey-Eating Eagle Conservation Program, established in 1969 through the efforts of Filipino scientist Dr. Dioscoro Rabor and famous American aviator Charles Lindbergh and sustained through the efforts of Peace Corps volunteers with the Parks and Wildlife Office of the Philippine government. The present foundation was organized in 1987, dedicated to the research, rehabilitation and captive breeding of Philippine eagles.

A milestone of the foundation is the first breeding in captivity of the eagle in 1992. The birth of Pag-asa (literally means “hope”) and Pagkakaisa (“unity”) was big and joyful news then. Pag-asa is among the attractions of the Philippine Eagle Center, which has been a top destination in Davao City.

Visitors regularly trooped to the center, which aims to educate people not only about the Philippine eagle but on the importance of environmental conservation. They are provided with a guide who will accompany them to the gardens allowed to visitors. They can see a few of the center’s Philippine eagles. The captive-bred ones now number 18. Some were rescued. The center also houses 10 other species of birds such as the brahminy kite and serpent eagle. Flying lemurs and Philippine sailfin lizards are occasionally spotted.

Cheeses, chocolates and wine

In the same upland barangay, in Purok 2, one finds the Malagos Garden Resort, an expansive theme park of 12 hectares planted with different plants and trees that includes the orchid waling-waling (Vanda sanderiana), an endemic Davao icon for which many people lobby to be declared the national flower to replace the Indian jasmine or sampagita.


Philippine Orchid, Vanda Sanderiana, commonly referred to as the Waling Waling,

Owned and established in 1987 by the Puentespina family, the Malagos Garden Resort has been a favorite destination among locals as well as tourists. A chief draw is the cooler temperature, being at 375 meters above sea level at the foot of Mount Talomo, Davao’s second highest mountain.

Thus, the name of the district, Baguio, inspired by the country’s Summer Capital in northern Luzon. But Malagos also offers a host of touristic and recreational activities. Primary of these is the garden and park, lush with trees and plants, both native and ornamental, as well as some local wildlife. It is known for the waling-waling.

Malagos credits the family matriarch, Charita Puentespina, in pioneering the culturing of the endemic orchid as well as establishing a garden dedicated to it. The family owns a flower farm, Puentespina Orchid Gardens, near the park, which sells cut flowers as well as offers tours.

Inside the park, strewn with several sculptures of National Artist Napoleon Abueva, there is a butterfly garden with different butterfly species including the country’s largest, the Triodes radamanthus and Triodes megallanus. A petting zoo has donkeys, miniature horses, goats, sheeps and other farm animals, while the bird park have lorikeets, peacocks, ostrich, pheasants, kingfishers and wandering whistling ducks. Malagos Garden Resort started in 2005 a successful interactive bird show, one of the several shows and tours the park conducts. It has cottages for stays as well as function rooms for corporate activities and venues for weddings.

Malagos Garden Resort has three restaurants — the Koi Restaurant, the Garden Restaurant and the View Deck Café — which serve international and Filipino dishes. Interestingly, we came here for the food one rainy afternoon — artisanal cheeses, chocolates and bignay (salamander tree fruit) wine, made by the park’s farms.

The platter had several kinds of cheese including mango chevre or cheese made from goat’s milk with mangoes, Blue Pepato and ricotta made from cow’s milk with dried pineapples, some of the 16 cheeses that Malagos manufactures through local cheese-maker, Olive Puentespina, Charito’s daughter-in-law.

Olive’s idea of making cheese sparked in 2004 when her husband Roberto Puentespina Jr. was taking care of the farm’s goats (the farm has about 200 dairy goats and 20 dairy cows) and she was thinking of things to make out of their milk. For several years, she experimented in churning out artisanal and flavored cheeses. Now, her cheeses are being sold under the brand name, Malagos Cheese.

Chocolate making is an earlier venture, now led by Charito’s son Rex Puentespina, who heads Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp., established in 2012. He related that when his parents leased additional tracts of land, there were already cacao trees growing on them. Charita rehabilitated the trees, which then bore cacao fruits. She harvested the seeds and made callets, locally called tablea, by hand. Malagos started making single-origin cocoa liquor and then chocolate bars and other chocolate products. Malagos Chocolate was launched in June 2013.


The bignay wine, on the other hand, is one of the several fruit wines made with fruits harvested from trees growing inside the park.

Malagos Garden Resort also offers tours to the production facilities that make these delights.


MALAGOS GARDEN RESORT – DAVAO CITY

Up in the air

A similar mountain retreat and recreation facility is the Eden Nature Park and Resort at the foot of Mount Talomo in Toril. At 2,650 feet above sea level, the theme park is best known for a panoramic view of Davao City and the Davao Gulf.
The property, owned by the Ayala family, is about 80 hectares and half of it developed with attractions and amenities. It was acquired by Jesus Ayala in 1971, a piece of mountain slope depleted by loggers and overgrown with wild grass. The new owners planted it with pine trees, which now thrive in the park.



Eden offers a 45-minute guided tour in a shuttle that brings one to different gardens, adventure trails, tree orchards, playgrounds and vegetable and herb farms. Trekkers are offered a four-kilometer mountain trail though forested areas and creeks.
There are room accommodations as well as facilities for team building and other corporate activities, and venues for wedding pictorials. The fresh produce of the park are used in its Vista Restaurant and Café Vista.

An interesting feature is the Tinubdan, a 5,000-square-meter outdoor museum and cultural park with its different traditional houses of the different indigenous groups in Mindanao. Plots are planted with native herbs used in traditional healing practices. Through statues and murals, the Bagobo creation story is told.

For adrenaline junkies, the park’s new adventure rides — the Skycycle, bikes on cables; Skyrider, a 200-meter zipline; and the Skyswing, a large swing that takes riders up 95 feet in the air — will engender excitement.


SOL JOSE VANZI's PHNO PAGE


Photo from Kyle Victor Jose's iPAD
Lifestyle/Food and Arts & Culture columnist of the Manila Daily Bulletin.
Signature title "Timpla't Tikim" EVERY THURSDAY OF THE WEEK.
http://www.mb.com.ph/lifestyle/


Sol in 1997 Photo: PHNO Editor/Travel & Leisure page
http://www.newsflash.org/staff/solvanzi.htm


Photo of Sol and young Kyle Victor Jose in March 2005 at PHNO/QCNet
office in Levitown, Paranaque. Photoshot by Leo Q. Carolino.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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