Mar 23, 2009

Pan de Amerikana, So Much More Than A Bakery

When you hear of "Pan de Amerikana", you'll guess that it's a bakery.  Well that's true.  But their main branch in Marikina is so much more than just a bakery.  It's a cozy restaurant too.  My high school classmate's brother is one of the owners of this unique establishment.

First off, the pandesal alone is one big reason why people buy here on a daily basis.  They tag their pandesal as 1950's pandesal.  They bake their own wheat pandesal and the size is enormous for it's very affordable price of P4.00 per piece.   It's best eaten hot which they always have a fresh new batch newly baked from their chimney-like cement oven... just the way bread was baked in the olden days.

I'd suggest you'd buy your take-out pandesal after dining for a whole Pan de Amerikana experience.   The restaurant is semi self-service.   You order your food at the entrance where the counter is, proceed inside and find a place to seat, and they'll serve it in a few minutes.

While you're waiting, you can play.  Yes , play!  The uniqueness of this restaurant is that chess enthusiasts will go gaga over this restaurant.  All the tables have chessboards imprinted and embedded on every table and chess pieces are available at the front where you can play a friendly game of chess at the convenience in your own table.   Would you like to add difficulty to your game ?  A lifesize chess board can be found at the far end of the restaurant.    These huge pieces require you to physically pick each one up when moving them.  There's a huge stop clock at the side too.  If you want a wider perspective, there's an elevated platform you could get up on to see the entire chess board.    They also have some wooden sungka gamesets and darts if you'd like to play alone.

The place is also reminiscent of a tranquil sanctuary with a pond full of fishes, a bridge, memorabilia, a gorgeous landscape, lots of beautiful and hanging plants, miniature windmills, a transparent waterfall wall and a balcony for children to play and see the exterior as if the restaurant were a fortress.   There's also a stage with a huge flatscreen TV and extra huge high-powered fans for proper ventilation.   The entire restaurant also offers free wifi.

On one side of the main interior are pictures of Filipino celebrities of the '60's and '70's with some "then and now" pictures of them side by side.    A display board at the entrance shows pictures of several famous people who have visited Pan de Amerikana.  There are also a lot of vintage statues and antiques scattered throughout the restaurant.   

The food on their menu is mostly Filipino with the myriad variations of the "log" family (tapsilog, longsilog etc).  They also have eat all you can buffets during certain days of the week.   Of course, you can order fresh pandesal with filling straight from their oven.   They also offer some "kakanins" like palitao and kutsinta.

Overall, this place is a must see and visit Marikina attraction.   The ambiance is one that will take your mind off the busy metro and relax and unwind feeling the calmness of the restaurants surroundings.   

You can have breakfast as early as 6am.  As for dinner though, you better go early since they close at 6pm.    Pan de Amerikana is located at 92 Ordonez St.  You can reach them at 475-2398 or 0917 530-8824 or visit their website at
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X Men Origins Pre-Screening at SM City Marikina

A block screening of the movie X Men Origins: Wolverine, sponsored by the Parish Finance Council (PFC), will be shown on April 29, 2009 at SM City Marikina Cinema 5, 7:00pm and Cinema 6 at 7:30pm.  

This is a fund raising project of PFC for the major renovation of the 2nd floor of the St Paul of the Cross Parish Pastoral Center.  Tickets are avaialble at the parish office.   For inquiries, please call 490-7973.
Mar 21, 2009

Delicious Puto And Kutsinta

I've heard about Rocha's delicious puto and kutsinta from my tita who has been ordering from them for years.   My tita said that I'd be lucky if I passed by their store and they were open.  Reason is that they close store when all their puto and kutsinta are sold out.  And take note, these tasty goodies get sold out as early as mid- afternoon.

It was only this morning that I got to taste it and I have to say their tagline is true.  It is delicious !

Their puto at first looks like kutsinta because of the color.  But even if it doesn't look like the standard white-colored puto, it really is puto with cheese on top sporting a different shade of color.

They sell a box of puto for P99. and each box contains 48 pieces.   The best thing I like about their puto is that it's very soft and chewy.   Unlike some brands of puto I've tasted which are hard and lumpy, this kind can melt in your mouth (if you can resist not chewing it up at first bite).

The Original Rocha's Delicious Puto and Kutsinta accepts made to order for all occasions.  
You can reach them at 941-1519 for reservations.  Their locatedacross the Children's Clinic along E. Mendoza street in Sto. Nino around the paliparan area.
Mar 18, 2009

Manila Doctors Hospital Now Open in Marikina

To add to the myriad of hospitals in Marikina City is the Manila Doctors Hospital.  They have branches scattered around the metro and are usually found inside malls for patient's convenience.

Their newest branch is located at the 2nd floor of the Blue Wave Mall, Marquinton Place called the Manila Doctors Hospital Ambulatory and Diagnostic Clinic.

They offer labaratory services (CBC, urinalysis, stool examination, FBS, BUN, creatinine, pregnancy test and gram stain), heart care services (ECG, 2d Echo, Holter, Stress Test, abmulatory BP Monitoring) and X-ray services (General ultrasound and chest x-ray).

With more than 50 years of experience in providing excellent and affordable health care service, Manila Doctors Hospital stands proud of being a premiere healthcare institution providing comprehensive and holistic patient care and development.

Their clinic hours are 11:00am to 9:00pm on mondays to thursdays and 10:10am to 10:00pm from friday to sunday.  You can reach them at 369-3976 or email at
Mar 10, 2009

Francis Magalona To Be Buried at Loyola Marikina

Francis Magalona, who recently died of leukemia, is a deep loss to the Filipino nation.  A rap artist, actor, director, producer, composer and photographer among others, he always instilled and portrayed nationalism in his works.

He is survived by his wife Pia and 8 children.

His remains are currently at the Christ The King church in Green Meadows, Quezon City.  He will be brought to Loyola Memorial in Marikina City for his final burial on March 11, 2009.

May Francis' soul rest in peace.

SM City Marikina 3 Day Sale

SM City Marikina will be holing a 3-day mall-wide sale on March 13, 14 and 15, 2009. Up to 50% discounts on selected items will be up for grabs.

Too bad I'll be out of town during the sale. Hope you get a good bargain and happy shopping !

Mar 9, 2009

Ice Cream On a Hot Sunny Day

I remember that when I was in high school, there was a Magnolia ice cream parlor along Shoe Avenue adjacent to the Marikina Sports Center.  They served all kinds of ice cream, popsicles and frozen desserts.  Their banana split was one of my favorites.  I've never seen another ice cream parlor in Marikina ever since.

That's why I was surprised to discover an ice cream parlor across the Riverbanks mall called "Ice Cream House - Sa Riverbanks".

I haven't tried it yet but it any store dedicated to desserts like these is already tempting and favorable in my book.   In addition to ice cream, they also serve pizza and coffee.  With summer now here and each day is a hot and sunny day, this is a cool way to relieve yourself of the weather.

"Ice Cream House - Sa Riverbanks" is located across Country Style at the Riverbanks Mall.   It's at the ground floor of the call center building and along RCBC and the Security Bank ATM.

Mar 8, 2009

Biksa Coffee

I discovered this coffee shop in a strange way.  I was having my car fixed at Rey's Electric Automotive Shop at the corner of Gil Fernando.   While I was waiting for the car to be serviced, I walked around the corner and was surprised to see a coffee shop.  The exterior looked like it was a coffee shop of a hotel but in the heart of a residential area.   And it was a break too from the busy streets of Gil Fernando Ave.

I finally got to try them out a month later with my blogger friends.   The inside is cozy.  The interiors are so well decorated like an elegant sala of a modern day mansion, that you'll forget that this is just behind a bank, a school, a car repair shop and the houses surrounding the area.   There are pieces of furniture like comfty sofas,  elegant lights and lamps, high-dangling curtains, artistic wall-mounted frames and their unique love seat with matching pillows perfectly fit for two.   Lighting is just right to relax the eyes.  This is all what you'll see the moment you step in.  And we haven't yet talked about their food and drinks.

I ordered a cafe mocha.  They call their servings "Executive" and "Tycoon", representing "Medium" and "Large" respectively.  In a way, it's like a self-gratifying notion of whether you want to be an executive or tycoon for the day.   Their tycoon serving is huge.  I was served a big mug of cafe mocha with a generous topping of whipped cream and a dash of chocolate that entirely covered my drink.  I have to say it was a tasty mix.   My girlfriend ordered mint tea and we were both surprised that instead of given a cup of hot water and tea bag, she was served an entire teapot of Moroccan Mint green tea.   That was a delightful surprise since it was obviously more than a regular cup of tea.

Aside from cold and hot variations of tea and coffee blends, they also offer desserts like slices of cakes and pastries.

Did I mention that they have free WIFI and it's really fast ?   It's another reason to stay and enjoy your drink and food.

The first time I saw their name, I was thinking what heritage or culture does the name "Biksa" come from.  I learned through a TV feature that they're called Biksa Coffee, so when someone asks you where you are in Tagalog, you'd reply "Sa Biksa Coffee ako", which when heard in another manner can translate to "sabik sa coffee ako" (I am fond of coffee).

If you do pass by the area, I suggest you try them out.   I heard that they're open till 1 or 2 am.

Biksa Coffee is located at 18 Gil Fernando Avenue corder Dragon Street (just behind BDO). 
For more information, visit their website at

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Mar 7, 2009

Be a Blood Donor

On Palm Sunday, April 5, 2009 from 8am till 12 noon, the Sacred Heart Room at the St. Paul of the Cross Parish in SSS Village will be accepting blood donors. This is a joint project by the Parish Pastoral Council and its satellite ministries and organizations, spearheaded by the Social Services Ministry with the Gabay Aral Committee as point person. The have a target of 175 donors on that day as to support the "save lives" mission.
Any male of female aged 16 to 60 (donors below 18 need parental permission), with weight of at least 110lbs, regular pulse between 60-100/min, blood pressure between 90/60 to 140/100 and hemoglobin not less than 125g/100ml are eligible to participate in the blood-letting event.

Individuals with active pulmonary tuberculosis, diabetes under insulin and oral hypoglycemic drugs, rheumatic fever, asthma within two months of last attack, chronic eczema, dermatitis or recurring boils, cardiovascular diseases, convulsions, epilepsy or other mental diseases, acute gastric ulcer within the past two years, current allergic reaction, cancer, filariasis, yaws and other long-standing skin diseases, hepatitis B, liver disease, syphilis and other sexually transmitted disease, HIV infection or anyone who had a serious illness within the past 3 months are not eligible to donate blood.

For more details, please call the parish office at 490-7973.
Mar 6, 2009

Marikina Transformed into a Robot City

If you're in Marikina, you'll see traces of this everywhere... 10 feet high scrap-metal robots.

It's part of what our Marikina Mayor, Marides Fernando described as the city marked its 11th cityhood anniversary in December 8, 2007. The transformation from a town of Rizal to a munincipality of Metro Manila to what it is today as Marikina City is what is being celebrated.

The local government in coordination with the Engineering Office placed 56 life-size robots scattered through key and major thoroughfares to symbolize the city's transformation. Aside from this, you'll see some posters and billboards of Marikina City officials' heads being placed on top of the same robotic bodies used in the "Transformers" movie.

It's kinda cool and worth taking pics of.  The newly constructed Marikina Convention Center has a scorpion-like robot in front.  One of the robots along the side of Dutch Marikina seems to be shooting your way. And if you drive fast enough, you just might move your head by reflex to avoid the robot's gun pointing your way.
Mar 4, 2009

Krung Thai - Thai Cuisine in Marikina

I didn't know there was a Thai restraurant in Marikina till some friends told me about it.  What's even worse is that I've been passing through the street where it's located for the past 13 years whenever I get down from a jeep and walk towards the tricycle stands heading home.  So, me together with my blogger friends finally got to try it out. 

Krung Thai is a small Thai restaurant located in the heart of Bayan, Sta Elena in Marikina City.  It's at the corner of a building where part of the palengke meat and fruit section is but it does not in any way look like it's beside a market.   They recently celebrated their 13th anniversary last Feb 19, 2009.  How could I have lived in Marikina and not known this place for 13 years ?

We went there in the evening to have dinner.  While we were there, families came in to dine and suddenly filled the place.  

Despite its small area, the interior is decorated reminiscent of Thai culture from the paintings on the walls and lamps to the tablecloth.  Their menu is a combination of Thai and mixed foods.  Most of their dishes include combination of vegetables like beef in oyster sauce, sweet and sour fish, catfish with mango salad, Thai Panang chicken curry, spicy squid salad, and fried mixed vegetables with pork or bagoong rice.  We had spring rolls as our appetizer then proceeded to order pork satay and pad thai.   Pork satay was served in a set of 5 sticks while pad thai was a huge serving of noodles with shrimps.  We also tried their Thai style iced tea which was a very tall glass which contents may had been equivalent to 2 regular glasses.  Our friends ordered a heap of crab rice and soup which was good for sharing.  

I'm not into Thai nor spicy food but it was worth trying out something that escaped my eyes all these years.

Their generous servings are moderately priced so spending much is not a problem.  If you'd like to sample Thai food at an afforable price, try Krung Thai.  

Krung Thai is open from 9am-9pm daily and is located at the Marikina Public Market M Cruz corner W.C. Paz, Sta Elena Marikina City.  You can also reach them at telephone numbers 646-2005 or 681-7696 and mobile at 0927 792-0587.

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Mar 3, 2009

Gil Fernando Ave Undergoing Repairs

Gil Fernando Ave. is currently undergoing road repairs.  Several sections of the road's stretch is being blocked off.  The sections blocked off are the road sections in front of Pot of Gold and Marikina High School.   They are currently being drilled and dug up for a fresh pour of cement to be laid.

Gil Fernando Ave is one of the most passed through roads in Marikina City.  It's the route of buses and jeeps heading to San Mateo and Montalban coming from Marcos Highway and one of the alternate routes of Marikina residents going out of the city.   Numerous trucks including those coming from Fortune Tobaco pass by this busy road several times a day.
Mar 1, 2009

SM City Marikina WIFI Stress Test Event

Last Feb. 28, 2009, SM City Marikina soft launched their new service, mall-wide free WIFI.   
Being the newest SM Mall having opened its doors to the public last September 2008, 
SM City Marikina is the first on the list of SM malls for deploying WIFI and they invited bloggers for an afternoon WIFI stress-testing session.   

After registration, bloggers scattered around differents parts of the mall to try out the free WIFI.   Bloggers were equipped with laptops, wifi-enabled mobile phones, PSP's and PDA's.  

Several bloggers reported that WIFI signals were detected from the basement up to the top floor and were able to conduct live blogging during the event.  I was able to stream some youtube videos from my laptop and download updates for my anti-virus program.

By 5pm, all bloggers proceeded to the Cyberzone area where SM officials raffled off some prizes.  I won a Microsoft cap.  Sha, my blogger friend won the grand prize, an ASUS laptop.  Incidentally, that day was her birthday so it was a great surprise and gift for her.

Personally, I's say that SM City Marikina is stepping up to the plate in terms of offering WIFI.   The other malls within the vicinity, Robinsons Metro East and Sta Lucia East have been offering WIFI for a while too.   SM City Marikina can now compete head on with the WIFI-enabled malls.

The city will also benefit from this as one of the biggest mall chains now offers free WIFI in the city of Marikina.

Here are some other blogger posts about the event: