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THERE is an unexplainable delight in having your own meal prepared right in front of you when dining out. To season it as it sizzles, steams or grills to your liking, and when you finally take a bite, have that sense of satisfaction knowing you somehow also had a part of its preparation. No wonder shabu-shabu and yakiniku houses never seem to go out of style.
An addition to Cebu’s roster of establishments that offer this kind of novel dining is Amo’s Café, the in-house food and beverage outlet of Alpa City Suites. Since early last year, the café has been offering the stone grill (alternately, stonegrill) experience, an Australian brand and concept that allows diners to “grill” their meal on a heated slab made from volcanic stone.
Grilling meat on stone sounds a lot like what a caveman would do, though apparently this method was recorded to have been around since the time of Vikings. Over the years it has been refined by chefs and foodies to suit the needs of modern-day meat eaters.
Marinade is hardly needed in this setup, said the hotel’s marketing manager Anna Galicia. The stone’s high temperature sears the meat faster and seals in the natural juice and flavor—and on a healthier note, also its nutrients.
Diners have the option of going for prime US Black Angus beef, a set of sea bass and scallops, lamb rack, surf and turf, tiger prawns or Norwegian salmon. Each set typically comes with veggies and French fries siding, plus shitake mushroom soup, focaccia bread and baked Alaska, to which Anna piped in are all “freshly made” in the hotel.
Prior to serving, the slabs are heated in a stone grill oven for eight hours and it is served in a ceramic platter that is able to hold its heat, which goes at 400 degrees centigrade. As safety precautions for this DIY grilling stint, Anna said that utensils have been specially designed for this purpose and were all provided by the brand.
The stone retains its cooking temperature for 30 minutes after it is brought out of the oven—allowing diners to grill and season their meal to their own liking, and more notably, to eat at their own pace and enjoy the same fresh-off-the-grill, juicy taste from the first bite up to the last.
Amo’s Café is located on the ground floor of Alpa City Suites in Hernan Cortes St. corner F. Cabahug St., Cebu City. The café is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
THE Cebu Rock Climbing Community (CRCC) offers something new this summer as they host a month-long rock climbing clinic on April 21 to May 16 at Vertigo Climbing Center inside Metro Sports Center.
CRCC, the sole rock climbing organization in Cebu, and the Southeast Asian Climbing Federation will handle the event.
The group will be teaching climbing techniques such as footwork, endurance and strength training; basic to advance techniques; lead climbing; climbing safety; knots; and equipment familiarization.
As a culmination activity, a fun climb will be held for all participants.
The instructors in the monthlong event include Philippine bouldering team member JJ Suson, national route setter Noel Butil, novice national category champion Ernie “Yahman” Caballero, and outdoor climbing veterans Patrick Costelo and Mervil Patigdas.
Climbing organizer Costelo said the proceeds of this event will go to the Mansorela project.
This project, aimed at developing Mansolera as a climbing destination, is a collaboration among CCRC, Hongkong, and Manila rock climbers.
They plan to develop and renovate the Mansorela crag in Brgy. Tagbao, Cebu City. This project aims to bring more visibility and access to wall climbing to promote Cebu’s eco-tourism and bring livelihood to Mansorela community.
Since this is the first summer rock climbing clinic for more than a decade in Cebu, they except only 30 participants to join the clinic but they can adjust if it exceed to the expected number.
Registration fee is at P2,000, and that is inclusive of a one-month membership at Vertigo Climbing Center.
Anyone above four years old can register at Vertigo Climbing Center inside Metro Sports Center at Salinas Drive, Lahug. (RSC)
“That particular discussion or conversation should take place in the media, within your circle, rather than the government.”
–Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, rejecting the proposal that the Palace engage in a dialogue with the press about media pay-offs
COMMUNICATION specialists of President Noynoy Aquino assumed the “not-our-problem” stance when two former officials of the state-owned National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) alleged in affidavits that two broadcasters received P2 million from pork barrel kickbacks.
It was the prudent thing to do. Palace p.r. people know:
 Journalists are most sensitive to and highly irritable over any charge of being on the take or getting bribes. They bristle over any accusation of graft or unethical conduct. They fume about any suggestion that they who question the honesty of those in government must themselves be questioned.
 Many corruptors of media are public officials, using various forms of undue influence — from “gifts” of junkets, free lunches and second jobs to outright cash-outs and, to media managers, the lure (or threat) of ad revenue.
 Journalists stung by criticism of bribery find ways of hitting back and getting even. Vulnerable public officials can attack once or twice but reporters or editors may unleash a steady stream of adverse news or opinion.
Lacierda concedes though that if the two broadcasters, both news anchorpersons of two different networks, indeed received pork barrel money, it was public fund. And thus within the ambit of the Department of Justice to investigate.
Inquiry, when called for by law, is different from a dialogue with Malacañang.
Besides, what will an academic exchange of two wary camps achieve?
The Palace is right in keeping off any talk with media about the case of the two broadcasters. The proposal, raised at the Malacañang press-con, was a reporter’s off-the-cuff comment and didn’t represent a consensus or intent of the media industry.
But here’s what the Palace can do, on the premise that what was spent was public money. It can prod the DOJ to take its inquiry seriously and not sweep it under the rug.
It’s media itself that should show more interest in an issue affecting integrity of its functions.
But then many journalists won’t like peers outside their respective news organizations to poke into their suspected seamy affairs. Not any press association, not a press council or some other mechanism that media as an industry often uses as argument to resist government regulation.
Media often claims self-regulation by the press. But with what extra-newsroom means, especially when it comes to corruption?
Journalists wouldn’t want to be talked about regarding any alleged misbehavior even in a press forum. Many reporters and some editors protested when a documentary presented by the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) tackled the problem of media corruption a few years ago.
Not from peers
The film made no direct accusation but reported the admission of a number of journalists that indeed some form of corruption existed locally. The opposers said “no journalist has the right to pass judgment on us.”
When the “docu” made no judgment and merely tried to start an internal conversation on an issue that has persistently bugged media. The film was just scratching the surface, yet would’ve served as springboard for professional self-examination.
The “docu” was only a news report in video and sound, not an indictment, and a few journalists, who’re schooled and believers in freedom of information, even wanted the film banned and archived.
Not just ironic but a sad commentary on how journalists view an issue that, like prostitution, has ailed the industry for ages.
‘Within your circle’
Malacañang tells media to discuss the subject “among yourselves, within your circle.”
Self-regulation, “di ba?” as Cardinal Vidal would quip. Amen. Still, among journalists the subject seems to be taboo and any media person would be gagged on the subject unless he’s lily-white and pure.
In deciding the controversy over the film on corruption, CCPC, in an en-banc membership resolution, left it to the different media companies to investigate any accusation of bribery against their personnel.
TV5 and GMA 7 announced they would make their own inquiries if their two broadcasters indeed profited from the pork barrel scam.
Ultimately, each media outlet will heed its own readership or audience in resolving any controversy over corruption. Consumers can assume the news organization wants to protect its credibility and keep the trust of its public.
TO MAKE a positive impact on others is an achievement that one could not attain without enthusiasm, determination, and concern –– it’s living the purpose-driven life.
This is how Captain Ernest Dominguez Carolina, officer of the Public Affairs of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID), defined his achievement in his 12 years of service.
For Carolina, serving the public will always be on top of his priorities aside from his loved ones. To contribute for the common good is a dream come true, he said.
“[As a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines] to create something for the benefit of the greater number of people would mean so much for me. The ties I have built with other people… masasabi ko talagang walang katumbas,” Carolina said.
Being a soldier is not an easy life, yet he never entertained thoughts of quitting. The passion to serve is there, and that is what keeps him going.
Born on March 1, 1983 in Metro Manila, Carolina completed his Bachelor of Science in Management degree from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 2006 with commendations.
After he graduated from PMA, he was assigned as one of the platoon leaders of the Philippine Army’s 25th Infantry Battalion in Monkayo, Compostela Valley from 2006-2010.
From 2010–2012, Carolina served as company commander of the same battalion in Montevista. He was also designated as an officer of Civil Military Operation of 25th Infantry Battalion in Compostela town for one year.
It was in 2013 when Carolina was assigned to the Public Affairs of the 10th Infantry Division.
“I stand by my principle as a person. For me, it is very important to generate good attitude and good heart as much as possible, because it’s through goodness and pure heart that we would able to attain harmony within ourselves and with others,” Carolina said.
Despite his hectic schedule, Carolina said he still finds time to communicate and bond with his loved ones. Despite work load, he makes it a point to manage his time well.
SHOWBIZ couple Melai Cantiveros and Jason Francisco welcomed their first child, a baby girl, on Thursday, April 3.
Hours later, Francisco immediately posted a photo collage of him, Melai, and their daughter on Instagram.
He did not mention the name of the kid but he never failed to mention the people who helped his wife during labor.
He wrote: “Hi Philippines & Universe heres our first family picture #melasonBABY #atlast #ThankGOD #Godbless all babies #SooooooHAPPYnow Thank you to all the doctors, especially Dra. Pinky Layog & Dra. Dazo Dr.Micabalo & nurses & St.Elizabeth Hospital . To God All the Glory.” (Sic)
Francisco and Cantiveros exchanged wedding vows last December in General Santos City, the hometown of the latter. It was attended by their closest friends and family in and out of the entertainment business.
During her pregnancy, Cantiveros also took a leave from showbiz to ensure a safe delivery but promised to return to work as soon as possible. (Sunnex)
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