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From culinary desert to paradise


When I was a student in Maryknoll College (now Miriam) on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, Loyola Heights, as the general area was then known, was kind of a culinary desert. About the only place we could go to when we wanted to meet “boys” or just hang out was the snack bar of Shoppersville, a small supermarket, almost directly across from our school. And we went there not so much to stuff ourselves as to see and be seen. If we wanted to dine out, we would usually have to go all the way to Cubao, and even there the pickings were slim.

Posted: April 20th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Empowered women farmers


Filipinos have a way of using superlatives when they see a how-good-can-it-get situation. So let me say: Women farmers na, empowered pa.

Posted: March 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Art and food in Baguio


There was a time when I thought I was over and done with Baguio. The cool weather was still a draw, but ever since we built a weekend home in Tagaytay, we could find relief from the city heat without having to make the six-hour trek up the mountains. Burnham Park? Wright Park? Mines View Park? The ukay-ukay outlets? Been there—repeatedly, since childhood—done that.

Posted: February 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Michaelangelo’s grocery list


At a recent blockbuster exhibition on Michaelangelo in the Tokyo National Museum of Western Art, I avoided the crowds in front of major works and concentrated on two works dismissed as minor or unimportant: a marble relief depicting the Virgin and the Child Jesus, said to be Michaelangelo’s first work of sculpture; and a piece of paper with what appears to be Michaelangelo’s grocery list. Michaelangelo’s relief sculpture “Madonna of the Steps” reminded me of a copy presently in Manila where it is being passed off as—hold your breath—a work by National Artist Bencab!

Posted: December 11th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Food for Sica detainees ‘inferior’

This refers to the article “Three meals, P50. The Joy of Cooking: Priceless” (Sunday Inquirer Magazine, 11/3/13).

Posted: December 6th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

2013 rice yield to fall short of demand

Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Nov. 8, 2013) and Typhoon “Santi” (Oct. 12-13, 2013) trimmed 15 percent of the estimated 2013 last-quarter palay yield. An estimated 343,103 hectares of paddy were ravaged by Yolanda and Santi. They would have produced more than 1.029 million metric tons (mmt) of palay, which would be equivalent to 669,050 mt of rice [...]

Posted: December 4th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »



CONNECTICUT—While little children are busy counting down to the day Santa visits their houses to deliver gifts, I have my own countdown as well.

Posted: November 11th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

From ‘mi’ to ‘pancit’


I listened to an interview on Internet radio with food writer Jen Lin-Liu about her new book, “On the Noodle Road,” where she describes a six-month journey through China, into central Asia, Turkey, Iran and finally Italy, to see if she could find the origin of noodles, or pasta. For decades now, books have been written, even conferences organized, on the question of whether it was Chinese noodles that led to Italian pasta, or the other way around.

Posted: October 10th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

New flavors


Is there room in the local culinary scene for a “gentrified” Chinese restaurant that appeals to a younger market with a taste for dishes that eschew the familiar salty and oily offerings and opt instead for fresher ingredients and a clean, MSG-free flavor?

Posted: September 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A passion for food and words


If “you are what you eat,” then food writing is as much biography as it is confession. This is true of “Dessert Comes First,” the new book by food blogger Lori Baltazar who collects in this gorgeous tome selected pieces and photographs from her blog of the same name, one of the earliest to appear in the now-crowded field of local food blogs and restaurant reviews. Thrown in are features on her circle of friendly home bakers and chefs and new essays tracing her journey through the world of food and writing.

Posted: September 7th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Raise palay support, MRT fare

The price of NFA (National Food Authority-supplied) rice, the projected increase in the MRT fare and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) are today’s hot issues.

Posted: September 1st, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Economic argument vs vegan life

May I comment on the front-page item titled “Yes, pigs are smart as dogs: Oink, oink,” which appeared in the July 31 issue of the Inquirer.

Posted: August 15th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »



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