Author Archives: Red Lemon Digital Media

Bad Burgers CDO Dishes Out an Early Holiday Treat

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Burgers are a type of food that does not always scream Christmas. For most of us, Christmas food is all about the ham, the spaghetti, the queso de bola, the pancit, the sweet desserts, and the lechon.

Nevertheless, having a burger that’s made the right way is always a welcome delight that will satisfy any craving, especially for those who love burgers. With that said, Bad Burgers has something in store for all food lovers this holiday season.

From December 19 to 22, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Bad Burgers will hold a special sale where you can enjoy your favorite burgers for only PHP 100 each. This is an early Christmas treat for Kagay-anons. For this very affordable price, you can enjoy Bad Burgers’ classic burger with friends and family. So have a memorable afternoon with the people you love and grab a Bad Burger now.

You can visit any of Bad Burgers’ two branches at Center Point or Uptown Pueblo. Business hours are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Don’t ignore your cravings ever again. If you want a bite of delicious mouthwatering Bad Burgers, visit a branch near you today and enjoy their latest offerings. Call up your friends, your burger buddies, and satisfy your cravings. It’s an early Christmas treat for everyone, and Saint Nick has given us Bad Burgers to enjoy all season long.

For more details about Bad Burgers, you can reach them at the following portals:

  • Their official Bad Burgers Facebook page
  • @badburgersofficial and leave a message
  • Or call them at 0917 708 3729

What are you waiting for? Grab a classic burger at Bad Burgers, now!

 

Optimizing the Lechon Experience

Whole roasted pig, known in the Philippines as lechon, is one of the favorite dishes of Filipinos. During fiestas, birthdays, weddings, Christmas parties, or any other celebration, it is common to see this dish. It is, in fact, the highlight of most celebrations. There are even times when we crave lechon on ordinary days.

 

In Cagayan de Oro, which is known to be where some of the country’s best lechon are found, there is good news. The city’s first and currently only restaurant that offers eat-all-you-can lechon buffet (with other delicious Pinoy dishes)—the House of Native Lechon—is now open. Before you head off to enjoy their buffet, you may want to check out some tips on how you can best enjoy the lechon experience.

 

Most Flavorful Parts

 

Many people would agree that the most flavorful parts of a lechon are the skin, the ribs, and the belly. Here are the reasons most commonly given on why people love these three parts of a lechon:

 

  1. Skin – People love the crunchy goodness of lechon skin, and it helps that the layer of fat that typically clings to the skin adds to its flavor. The skin is especially good when the pig that is roasted is just a few months old (about four to six months) and has just a thin layer of fat. Sometimes there are even strips of meat that get roasted onto the skin, and these are very flavorful as well; these strips of meat make you enjoy lechon skin even more.

 

  1. Ribs – Among the things that make CDO lechon one of the best in the country (in the world, even) are the spices used by CDO lechoneros. These spices are typically stuffed inside the pig’s belly prior to cooking, which is why the rib area is one of the best parts of a lechon; it has soaked up all the flavors and is therefore mouthwateringly good. And nibbling the meat from the bone is also a fun experience!

 

  1. Belly – Just like the ribs, the lechon belly part right next to it is also full of delicious flavors, having soaked up the goodness of the spices stuffed into the pig prior to roasting. Plus, the fact that the belly is all meat and no bone makes it the best part of a lechon for those who do not care much for nibbling on bones. Yes, you’ll have to wait a while to get to that part, but it sure is worth the wait.

 

Enjoying Lechon

 

Lechon is enjoyable enough as it is, but there are ways for you to maximize your enjoyment of this all-time favorite Pinoy dish. Of course, each person has a different take on how one can best enjoy a serving of lechon, but where we are concerned, here are the best ways to optimize the lechon-eating experience:

 

  1. Eat with your bare hands. Yes, indeed. Kamayan is the way to go when you’re eating lechon. Sure, it will taste just as delicious when you eat it using utensils, but the experience of going kamayan when you’re eating lechon is unbeatable!

 

  1. Eat it with plain steamed rice. When there’s lechon, it definitely is NOT the time to go on a no-rice diet. There’s just something about the lechon-steamed rice combo that makes it oh-so-good. Try pairing lechon with any other food—fried rice, pasta, egg noodles—and you’ll be sure to agree that plain steamed rice is the way to go.

 

  1. If you’re one of those who love lechon skin, here’s a tip: Look for the parts with the bubbles; these are usually the crispiest parts. Its crispiness is one of the reasons why people love lechon skin, so it’s only logical for you to choose the crispiest part.

 

  1. If the layer of fat clinging to the skin is a bit thick, scrape it off. Yes, it adds to the skin’s flavorful goodness, but it can also cause umay (nausea), which destroys the whole lechon experience. Give yourself the chance to eat more of your favorite lechon skin by doing away with the excess fat.

 

  1. Get the ice-cold cola out. Yes, you can eat lechon with any other drink, cold or otherwise. But once you try it with ice-cold soda, you probably won’t want any other combo in the future. There are few things more satisfying than that burp you make after enjoying a lechon/steamed rice/ice-cold cola experience.

 

Are you ready for some lechon? We know we are. Let’s go!

 

Ororama Run for Rewards 2016

Ororama is one of the oldest and most well-known department stores in Cagayan de Oro. They are known not only for offering an excellent array of products at reasonable prices, but also for always looking after their customers and for giving back to the community in any way they can. This year, they once again held their annual Run for Rewards, which is currently on its 5th year.

Ororama run for rewards

As indicated by the event name, this run was purely for fun. It was Ororama’s way of saying thank you to their customers. They made it very easy to join the fun run and gave away so many freebies that encouraged people to join. In fact, many of those who joined the run weren’t really there to win; they were just there to have fun and, of course, to enjoy the freebies! Continue reading

Bad Burgers: The Newest Burger Joint in CDO!

Bad burger banner

Bad Burgers is the newest go-to place in Cagayan de Oro if you want mouthwatering burgers of any kind. Yes, “of any kind,” because they serve different varieties of burgers. So, there’s something for every kind of burger lover.

If you haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing a lot. For starters, they serve thick, juicy, no-frills burgers. Second, since they offer different types of burgers, you can have fun trying out all the burgers that catches your fancy. In other words, you can have a burger party! Wouldn’t that be fun?

Seriously, though, you should really try them out, especially if you are a burger lover. Our sesame seed-covered buns are perfect for the juicy burgers; and this is true whether you choose the simple Classic Cheese Burger or the more adventurous Wasabi with Cheese. It’s the taste that makes these Bad Burgers stand out.

The Bad Burgers Experience

The Classic Cheese Burger is perfect for people who do not want a lot of stuffing in their burgers. But, if you want to try something that’s out-of-the-box, your first choice should always be the Donut Burger. Yes, a donut that’s also a burger! Interesting, don’t you think so? The Donut Burger is a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut with mouthwatering burger patty. It’s the perfect combination of sweetness and the unique meaty taste of burgers. You won’t find this anywhere else in CDO but only at Bad Burgers.

cheesy mushroom burger

Of course, you can also choose to enjoy the usual favorites like the Cheesy Mushroom Burger, the Hawaiian with Cheese Burger, and the Coleslaw with Cheese Burger. But, if you want a different kind of burger experience, the kind that only Bad Burgers can give, go for the Pepper Coulis (for that peppery spice taste), or the Pesto with Cheese Burger (for those who love to-die-for pesto!).

Go All Out!Triple_Threat_Burger

If you’re up for a little challenge, try The Dominator Burger. It’s the only one of its kind in CDO. It’s actually an 8-inch cheese burger sliced into four parts. Just imagine all the juicy goodness you’ll get out of that Bad Burgers treat!

For a double patty experience, go for the Double Foul. If you can’t get enough of burgers, try the Triple Threat (with triple patties). And, if you want something that’s totally unexpected, go for the unique look and taste of our Black Burger. Yes, it’s black, but it doesn’t taste bland. In fact, it’s uber juicy and delicious. Your first bite will give you all the juicy goodness you need. You won’t be saying too much because you’ll find yourself fixated on your tempting and delicious burger. So much so that one order won’t be enough for your hard-to-please palate!

If you want to pair your burger with something appetizing, you’ll have a field day choosing from our list. You can go for the beef nachos or the Buffalo wings. Or maybe you prefer good ol’ French fries? Other choices are beef quesadillas, cheese sticks, meat balls, beef taco, and popcorn.

Not Just Burgers

Not a burger lover but you still want to hang out at Bad Burgers? Worry not, because the best all-day breakfast meals are yours to savor! Pancakes and omelets cooked our way are sure to keep you on your toes the whole day!

And, of course, there will be times when one or two burgers won’t be enough for you. This is when you’ll want to try our grilled favorite, the baby back ribs. These are ribs grilled to culinary perfection; you won’t find anything that tastes like these ribs. Fall-off-the-bones softness, and a taste that pleases your senses… an all-time grilled goodness that only Bad Burgers can give you!

Finally, as they’re sure you’ll want to cap off your meal with something delightfully refreshing, they made sure that our list of thirst-quenching drinks is close to perfection: pitchers of iced tea, sodas, juice, and beers. Lots and lots of beer. From Stella Artois to Hoegaarden, to Budweiser and Becks, to Tsingtao and Corona, to San Miguel Beer, you’ll have plenty of beers to choose from here at Bad Burgers. All the better for you as you get to try one every time you visit for your burger fix!

Topping It All Off

For the perfect nightcap, Bad Burgers also serves hard drinks like Johnny Walker, Jose Cuervo, Fundador, and Captain Morgan. Non-alcoholic drinkers will also love the fact that they serve brewed coffee and hot choco.

Bad Burgers has practically everything you would look for to have a delicious, satisfying meal. And that’s one of the things that sets them apart from the other burger joints in the city. But, really, the best thing about Bad Burgers is the texture, taste, and flavor of their patties. It’s definitely a game-changer in our burger-crazed world!

The Rising Trend of Pop-Up Restaurants in the Philippines

Is It Really Just a Trend or Is It Here to Stay?

Underground supper clubs, pop-up diners, guerilla cheffing, pop-up restaurants; this growing trend of fine dining experience has been called many names over the recent years. Typically, pop-up restaurants operate from private homes, abandoned factories and office spaces, closed parking lots, and other similar locations, and only during festivals and special events. The recent global economic recession gave rise to a dining experience that has become a worldwide trend.

What are Pop-Up Restaurants?

This phenomenon is not really a new thing. During the noughties (2000s), both in Australia and Britain, pop-up restaurants became very popular among food enthusiasts seeking new dining experiences. Similar concepts existed in the US and Cuba during this time period, with social media playing a major role in providing information and boosting awareness.

pop-up diners in Cagayan de Oro

Pop-up restaurants are not all about fine dining experience. Food trucks, for instance, is just one form of pop-up dining. These pop-up diners are common in Metro Manila, Makati, Cebu, Davao, and even here in Cagayan de Oro. If you’re familiar with the Hawaii Five-0 TV show reboot, then you’ve probably noticed one of the characters, Kamekona, who owns Kamekona’s Shrimp Truck. This is a type of pop-up restaurant that offers good food (different variants of shrimp delicacy, actually), great ambiance (oceanside view), and opportunities to meet new friends and fellow food lovers.

Pop-up restaurants like food trucks are a good way for freshmen restaurateurs, green chefs, and young professionals to stretch their wings and gain more experience in the food service industry. Young chefs and entrepreneurs can hone their business and food preparation skills, experiment with new dishes without the risk of losing huge capital. Pop-up restaurants help show what chefs with great potential can do and what they can offer in terms of providing a good dining experience, all the while trying to look for potential investors willing to provide financial backing for their next big culinary idea.

Young chefs and restaurateurs

Young chefs and restaurateurs running their own small pop-up restaurants have the freedom to do whatever they want and move their concept to whichever direction they deem appropriate. The temporary restaurant concept, which is what pop-up restaurants actually are, can easily adapt to what customers want and what the chef thinks is the next frontier in food service. It’s easier for chefs to play around with ideas and menus to see which ones work and which ones don’t. This is almost impossible to do in a traditional restaurant setting.

Pop-up restaurants are not confined to a single culinary genre. They could be serving all Japanese delicacies one night and serve an entirely different cuisine on the next. In many ways, this is what is so appealing about the temporary restaurant concept, for both the chefs and the eager customers looking for a new dining experience.

The Pop-Up Experience in Cagayan de Oro

In Cagayan de Oro, malls are the favorite location of all kinds of pop-up restaurants, whether in parking lots, activity centers, or even in outdoor recreational areas. These temporary dining stands are usually open only for several nights—usually on the weekends, and are typically hosted by already existing restaurants looking for more exposure. Barbecue and grilling seems to be the popular theme in many of the pop-up restaurants here in CDO. To be fair, though, there are others that try to provide truly unique dishes and dining experiences.

Vjandep restaurant cuisine

Take Vjandep, for instance. This family-owned business runs and operates a restaurant in the island of Camiguin called Samuel by Vjandep. Originally, the restaurant was known as Kan-anan sa Parola, which the locals and tourists alike have grown to love and appreciate. A lot of people were saddened to learn about the establishment’s permanent closing. With the restaurant’s re-opening in Camiguin, the people behind Samuel decided to bring their dishes to Cagayan de Oro by hosting a pop-up dinner in the city. Guests were treated to an actual fine dining experience under the night sky of CDO. Diners enjoyed a feast of truly delectable dishes prepared by the hardworking Samuel culinary geniuses.

So, if you believe that pop-up dining is merely a trend, think again, because people seem to enjoy it and more and more restaurateurs are jumping on the bandwagon. And if I were a betting man, I would bet that pop-up restaurants are definitely here to stay.

Health and Safety Tips for Having Fun in a Swimming Pool

The first and currently only hotel near Laguindingan Airport—LOHAS Hotel—has recently opened their swimming pool. Hotel guests may now enjoy the overlooking view from the pool for free, and walk-in guests can relax in the beautifully-designed swimming pool for PHP 150. Children two years old and below are free of charge.

lohas-swimming-pool-

With summer almost upon us, it’s understandable that a refreshing dip in the pool will soon be on every person’s to-do list. Before you rush to LOHAS or anywhere else that has a swimming pool though, you’d do well to review a few swimming pool safety tips, especially if you plan to go swimming with kids.

Swimming Lessons

Many people who do not know how to swim choose to take a dip in a swimming pool, thinking it is a lot safer than natural bodies of water because it has limited amount of space, so one can’t really go anywhere. Even so, there are still many incidences of drowning in swimming pools, even ones that aren’t really that deep, so it would be best if everyone who plans to come with you learns how to swim first. Do not hesitate to invest in swimming lessons; it can be a life-saving investment.

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Swim in Pairs

Whether you’re all adults or you have children with you, no one should swim alone. You never know when an emergency will occur; it’s best to have someone who can immediately call for help in case something happens to the other. Now, what if you are having a little “me time” and are therefore going to the swimming pool alone? In that case, make sure a lifeguard is on duty while you take a dip. Don’t be shy; approach the lifeguard and tell him you’re swimming alone and would appreciate his supervision. Better safe than sorry, right?

Supervise Children at All Times

The advice to swim in pairs does not mean you should allow an older child to supervise a younger one. Rather, a child should always have an adult supervising him/her. Did you know that children can drown even in two inches of water? So remind every adult supervising a child to never get distracted and to never take their eyes away from the child, even for a second.

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No Alcoholic Drinks

Sometimes it can be tempting to down a few bottles of beer while swimming, especially if the water’s a bit cold. But that is never a good idea. Being under the influence of alcohol, even if you’re not drunk, can seriously impair your judgment and coordination, thereby increasing your risk of injury and/or drowning. And take note: You may be a strong swimmer, but that won’t do you any good when alcohol has taken effect in your body.

No Diving and Horseplay

This is an especially important advice to keep in mind if you’re swimming with kids. When you dive headfirst into the pool, the kids will likely think it’s okay to do that, and start diving headfirst as well. This can be very dangerous, considering how shallow the water is in a children’s pool. You should also remind everyone in your group to refrain from horseplay of any kind—dunking, hanging on to each other, pushing each other into the water, etc.—as that can lead to injury and increase the risk of someone drowning.

Protect Your Skin

Wherever possible, do not swim in an outdoor pool between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. But if it cannot be avoided, then at least limit the amount of time that you spend under direct sunlight and always remember to apply sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor). And remember that the sunscreen could wash off in the water, so you need to reapply from time to time. Remember to buy specially-formulated sunscreen for the kids as well.

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Drink Plenty of Water

You may not sweat the way you would when engaged in other sports, but swimming can also be physically taxing. And if you’re swimming under the heat of the sun, you can easily get dehydrated, which is why you need to drink water regularly, whether you’re feeling thirsty or not. Of course, you should make sure the children are drinking plenty of water as well.

drink-water-regularly

Swimming is indeed a fun and relaxing activity, but not if you end up compromising your health and safety. So, the next time you go for a swim—alone or with family and friends—keep the above pieces of advice in mind. Enjoy!

 

Celebrating New Year the Chinese Way

Even before the Spaniards came and colonized our country for three decades, the Filipinos were already interacting closely with the Chinese. Today, there are over four million Filipinos of Chinese descent, and they are fondly called “Tsinoys.”

But our long history with the Chinese isn’t just manifested in the huge number of Filipino-Chinese in the country. It also shows in our traditions and celebrations, which includes several practices that are originally Chinese. One of the most significant of these celebrations and traditions is the Lunar New Year, which is celebrated in several major cities across the country, although it isn’t an official Philippine holiday.

If you’ve never witnessed or participated in a Lunar New Year celebration in the Philippines before, here are some of the things you are likely to see or experience:

1.Dragon/Lion Dance

Chinese New Year Dragon/Lion Dance

Wherever there is a Lunar New Year celebration, you are likely to see a colorful parade with dancing lions or a dragon as the highlight. You can tell whether the dancers are performing a lion or a dragon dance because the lion typically has four legs and the dragon has a long body. The lion is controlled by only two dancers, while the dragon is controlled by eight or more dancers.

Those who perform in a dragon or lion dance are very strong and skillful in manipulating the “animal,” particularly the head, which can be quite heavy. Homeowners not only watch the parade, but also participate in it by hanging ang pao by their main door or at the top of their entrance gates. The dancer holding the head will then pick up the ang pao as they pass.

2.Red Envelopes

Chinese New Year Red Envelopes

You may have noticed how fond the Chinese are of the color red. They consider this color as the luckiest and make sure not only to dress in it during the New Year celebration, but also to decorate their homes and places of business in red. It is also a tradition to give away fresh peso bills placed in red envelopes known as ang pao.

3.Tikoy

Chinese New Year Cake

A Chinese New Year cake is a must; but there’s one other dessert-slash-snack that people look for in this celebration. It’s tikoy! This sweet treat made from sticky rice is a traditional food served during this particular celebration and is now sold in most malls around the country. But it’s only sold during the New Year celebration, so don’t miss out!

If you really want to participate in the festivities of the Lunar New Year, you should, of course, learn how to greet people properly. In Cantonese, which is the dominant language in Hong Kong, you say, “Kung Hei Fat Choi.” In Hokkien, which is what most Tsinoys speak, you say, “Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!” Happy New Year, everyone!

 

LOHAS: The First and Only Hotel in Laguindingan

One of the biggest complaints of commuters when the Lumbia Airport was shut down and operations transferred to Laguindingan Airport was that it was quite a distance from the two nearest cities—Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. This meant that if you had an early flight or are coming in from a late one, you’d still have to travel about an hour. Early travelers are worried about being late for their flight, while late arrivals complain about being exhausted upon arriving at home or at the hotel where they choose to spend the night.

Lohas-Hotel-view-at-night

The good news is that there is now a hotel in Laguindingan that can take your worries away. If you want to make sure you won’t miss an early morning flight, you can travel to Laguindingan the day before and spend the night at the hotel, which is just five minutes away from the airport. If you get in on a late night flight and are too tired to take the trip to CDO or Iligan, get some much-needed rest at the hotel to regain your energy and be fresh for the rest of your trip the following day.

Getting to Know LOHAS Hotel

The hotel we’re talking about is none other than LOHAS   Airport Hotel. Not only is the hotel nearest to Laguindingan Airport, but it is also the ONLY hotel near the airport at this time. The owners of LOHAS are indeed trailblazers, recognizing a need other hoteliers are yet to address. It is located along the national highway and has 16 comfortably spacious rooms where you can relax right before or after your flight. These rooms are available at the following rates:

  • Standard Single – PHP2200 (The room has one double bed and is sometimes offered at a discounted rate of PHP1590)
  • Standard Twin – PHP2200 (The room has two single beds and is sometimes offered at a discounted rate of PHP1590)
  • Classic De Luxe – PHP2500 (The room has one double bed and one single bed and is sometimes offered at a discounted rate of PHP1960)
  • Grand Superior – PHP2800 (The room has one queen bed and a balcony and is sometimes offered at a discounted rate of PHP1960)
  • Grand De Luxe  – PHP3500 (The room has one queen bed and one single bed and is sometimes offered at a discounted rate of PHP2450)
  • Executive – PHP3500 (The room has one king bed and a balcony and is sometimes offered at a discounted rate of PHP2450)

Lohas-Hotel-Accommodation

All rooms at LOHAS are air conditioned and equipped with a flat-screen TV that has international channels. The rooms also have free WiFi as well as hot and cold shower. All hotel rooms are also non-smoking rooms.

Other than these comfortable rooms that are decorated in relaxing and refreshing shades, the hotel also offers such amenities as a swimming pool, a spa, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and a convenience store. They even have a function room if you wish to take care of some business matters not too far from the airport, for your own convenience as well as that of the people you’re doing business with.

If you’re travelling for leisure purposes and don’t really have a fixed itinerary, you may even want to consider staying at the hotel for a couple of days. They have a number of recreational activities to offer their guests, particularly fun aqua sports such as banana boat ride, snorkeling, scuba diving, Jet Ski, fishing, peanut boat ride, and cottage boat ride. Of course, you could simply just enjoy the water and swim with family and friends if you aren’t up for any of the water sports they offer.

Here’s even better news for you: The hotel owners are currently working on a bigger development, which includes a subdivision and a business park! Both of these upcoming developments are located at the back of the hotel, with the high-end subdivision to be named LOHAS Hill Homes.

With the airport hotel and the two other developments, it is only a matter of time before other entrepreneurs invest in the area. Soon enough, the residents of the once sleepy town of Laguindingan will experience economic growth spurred by the tourism industry. Someday other hotels will most likely rise in the area and other restaurants will start serving good food to the public. But while we wait for that to happen, we can only be thankful that right now, there already is a place where we can relax just a stone’s throw away from the Laguindingan Airport.

Ororama: Celebrating Christmas with You

Christmas is one of the (if not THE) most important holidays in the Philippines, and it certainly is the longest, as people start celebrating it or at least looking forward to it as early as September. And by the last quarter of each year, private individuals, government offices, and private institutions are already finding ways to make the Christmas spirit felt. The Ororama chain of stores is no different. They have lined up an array of exciting offerings and activities for the holiday season. Here are some of the most notable ones and a few offerings you can still take advantage of.

Pre-Holiday Sale

It has long been known that Christmas starts early in the Philippines. So at Ororama, the Holiday Sale was held a month before Christmas! Their Pre-holiday Sale on November 27-30 gave people a chance to do some early holiday shopping, if not for things to give their loved ones on Christmas Day, then at least for gifts to give during their office/school/organization Christmas party. There were also those who got the chance to buy new clothes to wear for Christmas and for the endless December parties.

Ororama pre-holiday sale

The Pre-holiday Sale was indeed good news for shoppers, as Ororama offered as much as 70% discount on selected items as well as a 10% discount on regular items. Not only that, they also offered FREE GIFT WRAPPING for the entire duration of the sale, making it truly convenient to shop for gifts at that time. Shoppers only had to present their purchased items with the corresponding receipt at the designated counter, and they leave the store with their gifts ready! Those who are members of their Rewards Club had it even better, because the first day of the sale was exclusively for them.

World AIDS Day Run

Christmas is about giving, and giving goes beyond the exchange of material gifts during the Christmas season. This is something Ororama clearly understands, as they went beyond offering discounts and special promos this December. They also offered much-needed support to the campaign for AIDS awareness by being one of the sponsors of the Kapamilya World AIDS Day Run last December 5. They set up a registration booth at the Ororama Supercenter (Cogon). Proceeds of the activity will go to the HIV/AIDS shelter and help provide support to people living with HIV and AIDS.

 Kapamilya World AIDS Day Run

Misa de Gallo Treat

It has always been part of the Filipino tradition to wake up and hear mass in the early morning hours for 9 days, from December 16-24. The 9 morning masses known as Misa de Gallo because the mass begins at the time when roosters usually start crowing (“Gallo” is Spanish for chicken) have been part of Philippine culture from as far back as we can remember, and most Filipino Catholics most probably grew up attending these masses each year.

Part of this tradition is to have pamainit after mass. Churchgoers share a feast of kakanin—puto-bumbong, suman, bibingka, palitao, biko, etc.—paired with either hot chocolate or coffee. If you’re one of those who regularly attend Misa de Gallo, then you may have noticed that there are vendors selling these pamainit goodies just a few steps from the church gates. Standing around the vendors’ carts, chatting with family and friends as you get your fill of kakanin and hot drinks can be a nice way to cap each Misa de Gallo morning.

If you aren’t too fond of standing while you eat your food, you could always go to the nearest market and have your pamainit at any of the painitan stalls there. These stalls typically have bar stool-type chairs for customers to sit on and a long counter where you can place your food. But why go anywhere to pay for your kakanin and coffee/hot choco when you can actually get them for free? Yes, free!

The Ororama chain of stores also has a tradition of their own: for several years now, they’ve been giving free pamainit for the first morning of Misa de Gallo. You don’t even have to purchase anything, as they won’t be asking for receipts or any proof of purchase. You simply need to approach the staff serving the kakanin and hot drinks, and they’ll offer the food for free. There are tables and chairs provided, so you won’t have to eat standing up.

Ororama is indeed having a very merry Christmas and spreading their joy to their loyal patrons. So the next time you’re anywhere near their stores this December, why not drop by? You just might be in for a pleasant surprise. Happy Holidays!

Christmas at a Condo: Celebrating the Yuletide Season Away from Home

In the Philippines, Christmas isn’t just the merriest, but also the most important holiday each year. It is the time of year when family members who may no longer see each other as often as they want come together for some quality bonding time. It is also the time for friends to catch up on each other’s lives, preferably over a delicious feast. But not everyone gets to celebrate Christmas at home with family and friends.

There are those who work in the country’s metropolis and cannot go home to their respective provinces due to responsibilities at work. If you are one of these people, then you may think you won’t be celebrating Christmas this year. But that doesn’t have to be the case. If you live in a condo unit and have a few officemates who are in the same situation, you can actually get together and celebrate Christmas your own way. Or you could celebrate with the other unit owners in your condominium building.

Christmas at a Condo: Celebrating the Yuletide Season Away from Home

Celebrating with Your Co-Tenants

The easiest way to organize a party without getting stressed is to share the preparation responsibilities with others. Set up a meeting with your co-tenants and suggest a Christmas get-together for everyone who can’t go home for Christmas. Here are a few tips on how to ensure your party’s success:

Potluck for Dinner

Don’t stress anyone out by letting him/her do all the cooking. Instead, ask everyone to contribute by bringing at least one dish to the party. You could have everyone inform you in advance as to what dish they plan to bring to make sure no two people bring the same dish. This gives everyone the chance to sample a variety of cuisine and makes everyone feel truly part of the celebration.

Book the Roof Deck

If your condominium building has a spacious roof deck and the management agrees to let you use it for your party, then do so! Set up tables and chairs there and decorate the area. The view of the city lights from above will be sure to add a certain charm to your venue and to the party itself.

 Secret Santa

An exchange of gifts is one of the most fun things to do as part of a Christmas get-together, and it is even more fun when it follows the secret Santa format. Ask everyone to make a wish list with their name on it. Each of you will then draw a name and buy any of the items on his/her wish list. With none of you knowing who’s giving them a gift, the gift-giving will surely be a lot of fun!

Celebrating with Friends in Your Unit

If you don’t really have a relationship to speak of with the other unit owners in your condo building, you could opt to invite a few friends over and celebrate Christmas in your own unit instead. Here’s how to prepare for your intimate condo Christmas gathering:

Keep It Simple

If you choose to cook and will be doing the cooking on your own, simple yet delicious dishes should do the trick; your guests will enjoy the feast without you getting stressed. If you choose to have food catered but budget is limited, ordering classic Pinoy favorites should ensure that your guests enjoy the food without you exceeding your budget.

 Fun and Activities

A party isn’t just about food, of course. It’s also about the fun activities you share. Prepare at least three fun games and corresponding prizes for the winners. Just make sure the games won’t cause too much noise, which can be an issue for condo dwellers. And if you wish to have a game that requires people to move about, make sure it isn’t too strenuous.

Don’t Forget the Music

Music is an important part of any party. It can help set the right mood for the gathering and get people into the holiday spirit. And just because it’s a Christmas gathering doesn’t mean you should play nothing but Christmas carols. Play music you and your friends all like and give your guests the freedom to change the music or at least suggest a change in the music. You may also want to get some dancing going if there’s enough space for it.

You may be far from home, but you don’t have to be lonely this Christmas. You and your friends could even do a video chat with your respective families as part of your Christmas get-together, so you’ll feel like they’re right there with you. Happy Holidays!