Saturday, September 16, 2017

Antonio's Tagaytay Restaurant 2017

We chose to dine at Antonio's for our couple's anniversary. Right off the bat, we were welcomed into a driveway that revealed a modest-sized manor. Instantly, I figured that the experience would be a warm and hospitable one, as if visiting a gracious host's house.

Now, I would like to get this out of the way before anything else, as this was sort of a pet peeve with any other restaurant who does this. I am to admit that this was my first time at Antonio's and like a lamb left unattended in the fields, we were there to enjoy the evening and run with it, i.e., whatever was to be found on the menu. That also meant we were quite agreeable to suggestions. While the menu was pricey, it was a trivial matter since we were there ready to spend anyway. After a brief orientation from a server, we explored the menu, during which we were suggested to have some "house juice", i.e. some special dalandan juice with exquisite pulp frozen in the ice cubes. We said yes to that, but eventually when the bill got to us, it was then that we realized how naive it was for us to expect the item to be free or at least priced sensibly to our expectations. I mean, it was for a pitcher of native lime juice after all. So for anyone planning to dine, beware of suggestions and make sure you're ordering what you expect to pay for. The pitcher of juice was about $20 by the way 800 to 1000 Php from what I recall. That's all I'm saying.


On to the experience; I would say that the service was superb. All servers were trained to know how the dishes are cooked and prepared. They were attentive, at least when they were looking at our table's direction, as it seemed that there were a lot of shuffling and movement for servers on the floor. They kept tabs on the progress of our dining to know if it was time to serve the next part of the course. They would pleasantly ask how the food was, eager for feedback as it was probably for protocols' sake as well. 

We had a soufflé for our appetizer, the gruyere and portobello soufflé. It was an excellent start as it had that "meaty" taste and texture simulated by the mushrooms and of course the thick cheese that made it all the more tasty.

As we had ordered an entree designed to be served as a course, we were served a house salad next. It was all right, although I had dreaded they would put arugula in it as the menu seemed to show that they had a penchant for serving arugula in their ala carte salads; I was right. And so I ate less those leaves, as there was no love lost.

There was some soup, too, but regrettably forgettable.

We ordered the Grilled Dry Aged Angus Prime Rib Eye Steak for our entree and I can absolutely say that this was an excellent dish. In fact, once we began eating, I found it hard to recall the last best steak I had; and trying to remember now, it's maybe a bit better if not as good as the steak from the timed-buffet we had in Rokkasen in Tokyo, Japan. Tender, tasty, and juicy, the flavors were enhanced with how they pre-prepared the beef. No condiments were needed, but they had 6 beside the platter just in case. It had horse radish, chili, mustard, a special sauce, salt, and garlic cloves.

As for the desserts, the course meal allowed us to choose whatever we wanted and so we ordered the dark chocolate soufflé and paired it with a scoop of amadeo coffee ice cream. The combination was definitely meant to be.

The venue's ambience was tranquil and the pace was calm. No one was rushing anyone and the word I would use to describe the atmosphere is "pleasant". The seats were comfortable and the table size was appropriately generous. The washrooms were decorated and maintained well and every other customer seemed to genuinely have a very good time. Antonio's is a must-experience restaurant.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Thursday, August 24, 2017
When everything seems to have been lost in the frantic hunt for a Nintendo SNES Classic, one online retailer,, comes along to save all nostalgic Gen-X and Gen-Y gamers. Click on these links and find success! 😎

As a matter worth sharing and to spread the word, Gen-X and Gen-Y people are absolutely distinguishable in personality, approach, and perception in life. We are not millennials. Credit to Patrick Hipp for putting into words the alienation of the 80's and 90's kids; our distinct pre-Internet/dawn-of-the-dial-up-Internet-age group that disappeared and got conveniently lumped together with these millennial-kids, as labeled by some egghead who made a (FIELD OF HUMANITIES NOT HARD SCIENCE) journal article out of this oversight.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dismantling the Nature of Racism

The imperialist-colonial history of the world has made certain groups of people believe that they are entitled dominion over lands and other groups of people. This collective belief of supremacy now extends to racism, fascism, and Nazism. It's a socio-economic disease of the mind and of perception that they are born better.

And if not blessed by society with any degree of wealth or power when born to this world, right wing extremists blame the "unfairness" (despite today's world being built mostly on slavery and imperialism, anyway) and congregate as a group based on "genetic homogeneity" (regardless of what race or nationality is grouping-up, insert supremacy) to launch attacks on those who fight for equality if not practical equity and sprinkles of charity. It's racial/tribal competitiveness at the heart of this social issue, fueled mostly by competitive people who were born believing they deserve to have dominion over lands and resources based on lineage and history (if not alarmingly based on Divine Right) and plot to do so by rallying people through hate and rationalizing everything else when conducive.



So what IS the bottom line of this post? How does one shield one's self from the lures of racist sentiments and tainted supremacy inspiration? I don't claim to have the cure to this psycho-social virus, nor do I think I'm enlightened enough to say these are absolute truths, but my belief is it's a matter of conditioning one's mind, body, and perception.

Yes, it does seem odd that the possible solution to this sounds like some dietary program. You can watch the videos below, but you can Google these ideas as well. In my mind, these important philosophies and activities to be reinforced in one's life experiences are:

The Middle Way of Buddhism

OR You can read a blog post I made in the past:

The Golden Rule

Understand Paired Humility and Confidence

I've actually written a blog post on this topic many many years back, entitled:

Here's a video I found on Youtube, but it's most likely a concept based on how the guy below understands it. There may be nuances, but the general tenets are the same:

Train One's Perception by Embracing The Inevitable Truth of Imbalance in Life:

Once more, I refer to a blog post I made many years back. Imbalance and struggle in life cannot be shut out. It is the nature of the beast:


I cannot emphasize this enough. The true experience of knowing that most people, as we do, try their best based on the merits of what gift and limitations they were born with. Some get an advantage with luck or social connections and affiliations (which really dilutes any realistic lesson on how to appreciate hard work, perseverance, and mindset in my opinion).

When you go to the gym and push yourself, perhaps bench pressing 250 LBS, you become aware of your physical exertion and your will power. You may think you trying to engage in a pissing contest with the next random guy at the gym, but truthfully, you aren't even calling out any competition. You are constrained by what your body and mind's physical limits are (no steroids please). It is no one else' problem or fault at the gym that you can't do 300 LBS. All these feats of carrying weights and performing athletic moments are solely on yourself and what you have built on through commitment and hard work at the gym.

Again, the realization cannot start by me telling people to go to the gym. They must be fully willing to understand the mindset of embracing the truth...that one's self is one's only true competition. You may try to compare how heavy the other guy can handle, sure that can be some competitive motivation for one's mindset, but at the heart of it, it's still a battle of your willpower to overreach what you think your body has done and can do.


It's been almost a decade since I stumbled upon this manga by Slam Dunk manga/anime creator Takehiko Inoue. It's the rise, fall, and enlightenment of the Japanese samurai legend Miyamoto Musashi. His obsession to becoming the greatest swordsman eventually leads him to realize that his pursuit was empty and fleeting.

It's an absolute recommendation and a good read. Nothing fancy or magical in this genre, just a good story of a man and his inner peace.


All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Net Neutrality Day

As I've already given a piece of my mind many many years ago on efforts to "regulate" or exercise some degree of dominion-based control over the Internet with the SOPA and PIPA agenda:

It's long been predicted that it would eventually come down to ISP-based discretion and control with regard to packet traffic. It's like putting toll gates on "private" roads. July 12, 2017 marks the day for anyone who has some grain of understanding of the fundamentals and principles at stake to take a stand and air his or her support for net neutrality.

Here's a primer on what Net Neutrality is:

So what can be done? The decision is really out of most people's hands as those in power technically have so many ways to make excuses for their all-encompassing edict on this matter.

The best way is to put it out there. To air the sentiment and maybe influence or inspire people to take a stand. These gestures might as well be trivial, but let it be said that we didn't take this sitting down doing nothing.

Say something, put it on:

It's given me the world and has expanded my consciousness to concepts and ideas that would otherwise be inexistent. The Internet is the greatest democratizing tool that propagates education and awareness to humanity, more so as it pushes American liberal democracy that is meant to stomp out ignorance and opaque multi-partisan philosophies and beliefs that merely divide humanity instead of establishing a realistic spectrum of idealist polarities that people can work their differences with.
Our socio-political perspective from left-wing to right-wing requires structure and it is through a medium like the Internet that people are enabled to work and "argue" within a framework and not outside of it, which typically involves anarchist tendencies to tear everything down and prefer chaos over logical form.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nintendo SNES Classic Is Ready for PREORDER

Finally! Everyone was anticipating its arrival. It was inevitable. And it's almost here!


September 29, 2017

*Image from

*Image from

*Image from

The preorders will be up for grabs soon and Nintendo just announced they'll be pumping out more, but will cease production by the end of the year.

Honestly, the only real threat here is the army of scalpers who don't really want the unit but will have no problem quadrupling the price of this classic console that has bought joy to the pre-"millennial" generation, i.e. Gen X and Gen Y, and has inspired a movement in video game development through the decades.

There are absolutely so many great titles and it's a shame they will only put in 20 games + a 21st unreleased title in Starfox 2. Rumor has it that there will be less storage capacity for this retro unit to discourage modders and hackers from mashing in tons of SNES titles.


For now, retro gaming fans are anxiously waiting to grab their units before profiteers do.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back to Hunting: Sega's Valkyria Revolution Vanargand Edition

So after miles of driving and collecting names and numbers of store supervisors and electronics section staff, my hunt for an NES Classic and a Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Edition ended in futility. I was so close to nabbing one when I visited one Target store (late by a few days after someone drove about 80 miles to get an LoZ BoTW Master Edition).

I didn't stand a chance when they were up for pre-order months back and I wasn't about to fork out money on eBay to the benefit of scalpers, so on I went scouring stores hoping to get them at retail price. In hindsight, the extra effort cost me more in time, gas, and car mileage than what I might have paid for on eBay; or maybe not since the mark-ups aren't exactly wallet friendly for limited edition Nintendo stuff.

Even on Amazon's Marketplace, the prices are ridiculous.

So after the Holiday bank account drain, I'm back to searching titles worth adding to my library. I lost out when I bet against Nier: Automata and cancelled my Collector's Edition Preorder. The reviews have been up there and people are saying the visuals and gameplay have been surprisingly superb.

The latest installment to Sega's Valkyria Chronicles franchise is on top of my list: Valkyria Revolution. I almost missed out on this deal, too. Apparently, retailers are listing this as standard, but there's a kink to the pre-order deal, because they're actually going to be Valkyria Revolution Vanargand Editions for the first batch.


A Soundtrack CD and a variant of the box art won't hype up the excitement to be honest, but I think this could be a start for the next round of collectibles this year for me. It also doesn't hurt that the gameplay of Valkyria titles are as entertaining as the top titles out there.



All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2017. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.