music and more for a cause: projectliftph

When Rudy Boquila isn't busy being a chef,  he makes music with his band, DATU. On Wed, Dec 4th, special guest Scratch – from The Roots (yes!) is performing live with DATU at ProjectLiftPH #Haiyan  #YolandaPH fundraiser event! 

Here's DATU performing this year at The Canadian Philippine Fashion Week

There will be great food from: Lamesa Filipino KitchenPorziaSukho Thai  among others.

For more info on the full line-up of amazing performers and participants on Facebook.

Get your tickets here now: 

Please share and support :) 

mono + mono

It's official, it's all out war in NYC. The battle seems to be on to see who wins the title of 'The Best Korean Fried Chicken.' Over the past few years this has been simmering, from what I could tell, somewhat under the radar. But apparently it's more popular than ever. And everyone is boasting about having THE best fried chicken in town. Including, but not limited to: Momofuku, Bon Chon and a recent discovery: Mono + Mono. During my recent NY trip, my good friend Eric took me there to try it. It's more of a pub/eatery than a traditional restaurant. We were there on the early side – 7:30-8pm. The place didn't get busy until later.

The focal point of this beautiful deco/industrial space (aside from the chicken) and the reason for the name is – get this: the collection of 30,000 vinyl records (vintage soul and jazz). That's right. This amazing collection is displayed in a gigantic built-in wall shelf behind glass that starts at floor level and reaches up to what looks to be 16+ foot high ceilings. There are ever-present DJs that not only spin all these records, the covers of the ones playing on the turntables are displayed between plates of acrylic and attached to a conveyor belt that slowly circulate the perimeter of the space overhead. It's quite amazing. 

Aside from this, the food was great. I loved the grilled edamame (presented in a boat made of grilled corn husk). I loved the (organic) chicken – it was very good. Though I must say I liked Bon Chon's just a little bit more. And nothing has yet to beat Max's chicken, in my humble opinion. My favourite of their tapas had to be the Foie Gras Meat Balls. They were spectacular. I find it difficult to describe them except they were, oddly, both sweet and savoury and nestled in clouds of fluffy mashed potatoes. I'm definitely coming back there next time I'm in the city. 


reckless : a crowd electric

One of my oldest and dearest friends here in New York, Sparrow Hall (right), has added to his list of many talents. This one being one half of A Crowd Electric, a band he started with the talented, David Crabb. They recently released their debut EP entitled Reckless. It's a song about "hot-mess relationships" that we've ALL experienced at one point or another. It can only be described as an epic synth-pop dark dance club anthem – the kind that's meant to be played in a huge club space with high ceilings. I couldn't help thinking of David Byrne's Ted Talk about how architecture helped music evolve. This is a prime example of music that was made to be played for a jam packed, huge dance club. It feels like an entire experience. Perhaps even a memory of a certain time in our lives. 

Have a listen below to the first track and buy it here

<a href="">Reckless (EP Version) by A Crowd Electric</a>

Photo by Megan Faulkner

the girl from ipanema


The Girl From Ipanema is probably my all-time favorite song. I didn't realize it was originally released in 1964! I was born in the 70s and I have distinct memories of this song being played a lot on the radio in Manila well into the early 80s. In fact, I remember first taking a liking to this song while sitting in the back seat of my dad's tricked out, two-door blue Datsun (tricked out meaning he installed eight speakers into it – probably not common then. This was years before surround sound!). We'd typically be driving to one of my grandmothers' houses on a Sunday afternoon. So my love of bossa nova started in the 70s.
Other memories/images conjured up by this song:
1) tropical weather
2) beaches
3) bikinis
4) sexy Brazilians
I found this corny version on youtube (clearly from the 60s). I thought it was season appropriate. The version I love the most is by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz (audio only).




remember the time : off the wall

It must have been around '83, days before our dreaded school quarterly exams in the Philippines and not long before we moved to California. My mom had stepped out for a few hours expecting my sister Caroline and I to study. Instead, I popped the Off the Wall cassette tape into my dad's stereo and set the volume louder than we would ever be allowed to play anything. I'm certain the whole neighbourhood heard. We proceeded to dance all over the house, on the furniture, everywhere — for what felt like hours. We convinced our youngest sister Christine (who was 3 years old at the time) NOT to tell my mom that we were listening to music instead of studying while she was out. She agreed and we thought we were safe.
Of course the second my mom walked into door, Christine says to my mom: "Mama! They weren't listening to music while you were out!" ...I just remember my mom not knowing whether to laugh or get angry. I don't even recall whether we got in too much trouble at the time. She probably found it too humorous an incident to punish us harshly.
As strange as Michael Jackson's personal life turned out to be, he was quite a talent that continues to influence music today. Like most of us born in the 70s to early 80s, MJ's music was undeniably part all our childhood memories. And although most people's favourite MJ album is Thriller (though I do love PYT), mine will always be Off The Wall.
RIP, Michael Jackson.
Here are photos of us around that time...
That's me in the back with Caroline (guess who's big sis?)
Christine and her big mouth