Wake Up, Philippines!

Treat your whole family and friends to hearty meals from well-loved restos

Posted in Hotels/Restaurants/Bars by Erineus on February 15, 2009

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Super Sampler with Tia Maria’s favorites in one huge platter (good for four to five people), P580

You don’t need lots of cash to spread the love on Valentine’s Day. Well-loved establishments offer fare just as special as their higher end counterparts but at much friendlier prices. You can share the day with the entire family or barkada over a pizza or some big time burgers. Because love means never having to say, “I don’t have enough money to treat you.”

Greenwich: All-time sweetheart

It’s an old favorite, made even better. As Greenwich takes new strides with its hipper interiors, its menu continues to offer time-tested pizza and pasta bestsellers, with new desserts added in to sweeten the deal. Share the special overload pizza and its more than 10 toppings with your special someone then follow it up with the creamy lasagna guaranteed to give you the carb fix that no summer fling ever can. Cap off your meal with coffee and a slice of the choco mango ganache or the choco fudge, and enjoy as you fall in love all over again.

Greenwich is at the 4/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 633-6467.

Tia Maria’s: A toast to Mexico

A zombie (P96/glass) or a margarita (P115/glass) should sound pretty good come Friday if you’re one of the many singles unattached on a day as auspicious as Feb. 14. But the joys of singlehood can be celebrated just as well with a platter of fried foods like nachos, cheese sticks, buffalo wings and tacos with friends who know how to party. Tia Maria’s super sampler and flautaladas make for some excellent celebratory fare on Valentine’s.

Call Tia Maria’s, located at 4/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 635-2326.

Teriyaki Boy: Bright-eyed delights

Its cheery yellow-dominated interiors are the perfect setting for a coosome twosome’s fun date, but what makes Teriyaki Boy a favorite among the foodie crowd are its Japanese dishes that have been suited to the Filipino taste buds. Select from an array of pork-, chicken-, and seafood-based main courses, then top off the meal with the healthy Tea Frappé, a smooth and creamy concoction that serves as a refreshing dessert that is neither too sweet nor too bland, but just delightfully right.

Teriyaki Boy is at 4/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 637-0623 to 24.

Brothers Burgers: Big love

Satiate your big appetites with Brothers Burgers’ juicy flame-broiled pure beef burgers, and take advantage of the restaurant’s proffered customer carte blanche with their toppings selection to customize your big burger experience. Have a side of french fries and onion rings, as well, and take a plunge at the sweet side with the Brothers’ Shakes, with its chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors. Undoubtedly, bigger is better when it comes to food and love.

Brothers Burgers is at 4/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 891-1781 to 86.
View previous articles from this author.

By Bea Ledesma
Updated February 09, 2009 12:00 AM

A matter of view?

THE World Bank (WB) is a specialized agency of the UN system, established in 1944. It encompasses two development institutions and three affiliates focused on worldwide poverty reduction.

Helping poor nations

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is WB’s main component that provides loans and technical assistance for projects in developing – poor – member countries, like RP, and encourages co-financing for projects from other countries or a syndication of dozens of giant commercial banks in the US and Europe.

Huge loans

Most big infrastructures in RP are funded with loans by the billions of pesos from IBRD, that in turn urges big commercial banks in Europe by the dozens to invest here.

One bridge or highway project here costing R500M needs a long-term loan of .52 million. The World Bank will then encourage other giant banks in Switzerland, Paris, London, Berlin, New York, etc. to share in meeting the loan and its terms.

One or two banks may not loan more than R500M to RP.


Disclosures of IBRD that some Filipino contractors and politicians connive or help each other to “corner” contracts via acts amounting to fraud, conflict of interest, influence peddling and other fraudulent means serve as notice/revelation to the lending banks.

The above places RP on the banks’ blacklist of nations notoriously engaged in making net loans result in inferior bridge or road called by honest builders as “matapang sa buhangin.” The same notice or knowledge is not forgotten for years by nations that apply their IBRD loans with unassailable honesty.

Just an image

This was probably the start of RP’s unkind image of having corrupt high officials, national and local, and of wasting loans from IBRD and other sources encouraged by the World Bank Group.

Our high officials and politicians were “splendidly quick” in denying allegations of contract “rigging, fixing and spinning yarns or wizardry.” They – officials and contractors – angrily disputed the lending bank’s official list of shadowy contractors and questioned results of a long investigation by independent experts.


The bank officials did not answer the rage/anger of blacklisted contractors and their protectors. Neither did it refer to blacklisted contractors considered by DPWH officials/engineers as truly friendly and kind and thoughtful and honest – of all things – all the time.

Unkind words

And all 91.8M of us don’t know what epithets and unkind words are being thrown by lending banks in our way for years.

Let’s not forget that a syndication of banks is like a club and can influence other banks in Europe and in the US not to give RP loans of any kind in years.

But let’s not be too harsh on DoJ investigators and the NBI if they call World Bank investigations without basis or based on unreliable evidence like the findings favorable to dirty little crooks selling drugs.

Lacks ‘audacity’

The two agencies combined, including other good agencies, cannot summon Obama’s audacity to take a closer look at disbursements called pork or view a few bottles of liquid fertilizer (replaced by deepwell water) but commanded a price amounting to 1000 percent (or 10 times) of the normal price tag.

Lender’s view

DoJ and NBI conclusions with respect to PDEA’s arrests of drug traders they considered innocent are now under review by a commission headed by a retired and distinguished Supreme Court justice. (Comments are welcome at roming@pefianco.com)

Author: Atty. Romeo V. Pefianco

Unprepared for crisis

Posted in Calamity and Disaster by Erineus on February 3, 2009

“The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe that they can fool all of the people all of the time.”
– Franklin Adams

UNLIKE in a parliamentary form of government where elections, since there are no fixed term limits, can be called at anytime and at short notice whenever a government in power falls into disrepute, and suffers defeat and disgrace from “a vote of no confidence,” we here in the Philippines have been preparing for the 2010 presidential elections since 2008 to an obsessive degree, and unmindful of the enveloping global economic crisis.

This country seems unprepared for any kind of crisis from economic to natural disasters either because of excessive preoccupation with the 2010 elections, or “last-two-minutes,” scramble, as it were, for deal-making, or project initiation, or presidential appointments, dollar salting, commission-taking, or self-serving legislative fiats, in view of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s imminent exit from office in just over a year’s time, notwithstanding desperate efforts to ram through Constitutional changes to coincide with the 2010 elections that would provide an excuse to postpone elections, and extend elected officials’ tenure of office, including the President’s, until further notice, so to speak, albeit now unacceptable and too late in the day.

First, nobody seems to be minding the “company store” either because our political leaders are too busy preparing for the obscenely expensive forthcoming elections, or the beneficial recipients of presidential blessings and patronage are also busy feathering their nests for the “political winter” when they will be the ones outside looking in.

In the meantime, for example, the Department of Labor and Employment seems ineptly unprepared to quantitatively forecast the spiraling unemployment trends that will follow the global banking industry meltdown and industrial and international trade shrinkage worldwide.

The 50,000 job vacancies that the DoLE is drooling about are unrealistic to say the least not only because the most needy of Filipinos do not qualify for these jobs but also because the openings are mismatched jobs of tailor-made specifications.

In short, there are no intelligent contingency plans for the increasing numbers of laid-off workers on the domestic front from industries to service to agriculture, and no contingencies for the redeployment and relocation of returning OFWs whose contracts may not be renewed that fast.

Second, what plans do we have to arrest the depreciation of the peso against other foreign currencies when remittances from OFWs and export shortfalls start impacting on our Gross International Reserves (GIR), savings from OFWs turn into dissavings, and the OFWs come marching home?

What measure are there to further curb smuggling, and improve collections from the BIR and the Bureau of Customs?

Third, while President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is on the right track by pursuing high-level infrastructure spending; generating jobs; encouraging consumption spending; and continuing social reform benefits, it is important to guard against wastage and corruption.

The methodology of dispensing the goodies, and attempts at stimulus initiatives leave much to be desired the way public works are undertaken and parceled out to contractors with local political patronage which, in the end, will only benefit the few, and widen further the gap between the sated few and the hungry many.

Where are the plans of action?

When all is said and done, while President Gloria Arroyo is doing the right thing by focusing on the economy, she cannot do much in her remaining watch as the global economic crisis, principally in banking and finance, deepens and lengthens not of our own making.

It follows that the burden of recovery and riding out the global economic storm will fall on the next Philippine President.

For these reasons, the next Chief Executive should not only be carefully selected but he should tower above ordinary mortals like us.

You be the judge. (For comments and views, please e-mail: chaff_fromthegrain@yahoo.com.ph)

Former Press Secretary