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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Earth Hour Founder Andy Ridley to celebrate 2012 in Makati

A  three-time Earth Hour champion since 2009 , the Philippines has earned the title official Earth Hour ‘Hero Country’ having the most number of  cities and municipalities actively participating in this environment-awareness event. In 2009, the Philippines became the top Earth Hour country in terms of town and city participation, with 647 Philippine towns and cities joining in. Ten million Filipinos saved at least 611 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in 2009 – equivalent to a temporary shutdown of a dozen coal-fired power plants.
In 2010, 1076 Philippine towns and cities participated – more than enough to retain the title. A record-breaking 1661 Philippine cities and municipalities switched off their lights for Earth Hour in 2011 – making the country a three-time Earth Hour champion and an official Earth Hour ‘Hero Country’. For the honor, Earth Hour Founder and Executive Director Andy Ridley is slated to celebrate this year’s event in the Philippines.
Since its inception, Earth Hour has grown to a 5251-city-strong global movement, reaching 1.8 billion people in 135 countries and territories in across all seven continents. It is now the largest annually-recurring environmental event on Earth.

WWF Pres. Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan
The global 60-minute switch-off will extend to the International Space Station, where Earth Hour Astronaut-Ambassador Andre Kuipers shall stand vigil over our imperiled planet as the lights switch off on 31 March and share live photos with commentary.
Kuipers says he is thrilled to participate in Earth Hour and literally take the globally-significant movement to new heights. “There’s no better way to raise awareness for the future of the most beautiful planet in the whole universe!”

Back on Earth, preparations are frenetic. From Angola to Zimbabwe, organizing teams from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and its growing roster of allies are preparing for what is hoped to be the largest environmental celebration in human history. 

Earth Hour founder and Executive Director Andy Ridley says everyone from citizens to businesses, school children to world leaders, need to believe they can make a difference. 

“The state of our planet affects each and every one of us,” says Ridley. “Last year Earth Hour reached 1.8 billion people across the planet. This year through digital media we are offering a greater opportunity to connect people with the desire to take much needed action for the environment."

Hosts Marc Nelson (R) and Rovilson
Makati, Cebu, and Davao are the official Philippine Switch-off Sites
WWF-led switch-off ceremonies will be held simultaneously in the cities of Makati, Cebu and Davao - though other cities and towns are expected to hold well-organized events to observe the switch-off. 

Makati City’s Ayala Triangle Gardens shall be the central hub for Luzon. At 6:30 PM on 31 March, glow-in-the-dark dance troupe Bailes de Luces and the Caracol dancers shall form the vanguard of an Earth-themed parade which starts at the Makati fire station and ends at Ayala Tower One - where WWF-Philippines National Ambassador Rovilson Fernandez shall host a programme with performances from El Gamma Penumbra, Brigada and other groups. No less than Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley shall lead the country’s main switch-off event, hosted by WWF with the help of Ayala Land and the Makati City Government. 

Cebu City’s Plaza Independencia shall be the chief switch-off site for the Visayas. A festive street parade led by local Sinulog Dancers shall start from Fuente Osmeña Circle from 5:30 PM onwards. The Cebu switch-off further features a candle lighting ceremony capped off by the release of biodegradable sky lanterns. Cebu’s event is in cooperation with the Aboitiz Group and the Cebu City Government.

SM Davao shall be the main switch-off site for Mindanao. WWF-Philippines National Ambassador Marc Nelson shall host the switch-off, which features a tribal-themed parade around SM Davao at 6:30 PM. Black-light and fire-dancers shall woo the crowd with specialized routines once the city plunges into darkness. The Davao event is in collaboration with SM Supermalls, the Green Alliance and the Davao City Government.

Presscon at the Manila Peninsula
Earth Hour Philippines National Director Atty. Gia Ibay shares, “We’re extremely excited for this year’s switch-off ceremonies. Though the Visayas and Mindanao have always observed their own unique switch-off ceremonies, WWF has traditionally celebrated Earth Hour from Manila. To commemorate our country’s fifth Earth Hour, we thought it high time for WWF to observe the movement across the archipelago - which has always been what we’ve aimed for."

Famous faces around the world are speaking out to encourage participation and support for Earth Hour. Environmental activist and former US Vice-President Al Gore urged people to join the switch-off from a video message recorded from Antarctica. Pledges are coming in from a plethora of groups - ranging from top band Coldplay to global supermodel Miranda Kerr. As an open-sourced campaign, Earth Hour uses social media to connect a global community of people inspired to change the world we live in.

 “More than anything, Earth Hour is a celebration of hope. When our planet plunges into darkness, we can look to the stars and dream of what can be. When the lights switch back on though - our real work begins.” concludes Ibay. 

Earth Hour 2012 is set for 8:30pm on Saturday, 31 March, whether you’re on planet Earth - or orbiting it. 

Earth Hour at a Glance
Earth Hour began as a single-city initiative in 2007. From 7:30 to 8:30pm on 31 March, 2.2 million people switched off their lights to celebrate Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia. The power saved during the 60-minute switch-off was equivalent to removing 48,613 cars off Sydney roads for an hour.

Earth Hour became a global movement in 2008. The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian nation to pledge full support. Its flagship cities of Pasay, Manila, Parañaque and Makati observed a switch-off ceremony from 8:00 to 9:00pm on 28 March 2008 at the CCP grounds. For more information, log on to: wwf.org.ph.
Check out the cool Earth Hour shirts
 Gotta have one too . . . for the sake of Mother Earth :)



Friday, March 23, 2012

WWF Phil. Event Highlights Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins of Palawan

Makati City, Philippines--- The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines held its first Mural Painting Marathon on February 18, 2012 at the Glorietta Dolphin Park where participants pledged in support of the environment and had their chance to make a bold and colorful mark.  They registered as an environment supporter, assigned a number then started painting an image of one of the many dolphins outlined by mural artist and dolphin crusader, AG Saño, as an expression of their concern. These four walled paintings of dolphins, about 200 feet in length, will be auctioned after wherein  the proceeds will go to the WWF Palawan project.

The event was another effort of WWF-Philippines to provide creative ways for everyonefamilies, youngsters and peersto demonstrate their support for a living planet and at the same time raise awareness about local endangered species.

The Mural Painting Marathon was staged for the benefit of WWF-Philippines’ Adoption Program. For a one time donation of P3,000, you can symbolically adopt a panda or a dolphin stuffed toy that comes with a species information card and an adoption certificate.

The panda was picked to represent WWF’s logo and spread the knowledge that it is among the world’s most threatened animals, while the dolphin was chosen to highlight conservation work in the Philippines, specifically in Malampaya in Palawan. The Malampaya Sound hosts the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins.

The funds raised from the organization’s Adoption Program will help protect local endangered animals and their habitats.

A WWF Adoption Center was set up for the Adoption Program, along with other booths for face painting, henna tattooing, anime painting and other surprises from event sponsors like Drypers Wee Wee DRY Diapers, Big Chill, Tully’s Coffee, Healthway, 2GO, Virtuoso by Boysen, The Fortnightly, BC Magazine, Spark and Glorietta Ayala Center all gathered together in one venue to make an artistic statement for mother nature.

While the mural painters were busy designing their designated dolphin, a program hosted by WWF Ambassadors Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez was running simultaneously to entertain them and the guests.

AG Sano (L) mural artist and dolphin crusader
The program featured musical and spoken word performances from Bigkas Pilipinas’ Kooky Tuason, Marty Tengco, Rommel Pidazo of Ilaya, Opaline Santos and live acoustic sessions with Charms Tianzon, Lee Grane, Swissy and Maegan Aguilar.

The mural painting participants likewise took their advocacy a step further by signing the Commitment Wall panel at the right end of the mural. Signing the wall is a pledge to minimize carbon footprint, and to not patronize activities that harm nature and its inhabitants, or cause ecological imbalance.

The mural wall will continue to be exhibited at Glorietta Dolphin Park until February 26, 2012 and will be auctioned off for a minimal starting bid of P1,000.

This event was co-sponsored by: Drypers Wee Wee Dry Diapers of SCA Hygiene, Big Chill, Tully’s Coffee, 2GO, Virtuoso by Boysen, The Fortnightly, BC Magazine, Spark and Glorietta Ayala Center, Shutterhedge Eco Bags, Right Click Photobooth, Healthway Medical Philippines, Silverworks, EastWest Bank – Fort Branch, Plato Wraps, and Farmer John Premium Potato Chips.

Host WWWRolvilson Fernandez
About WWF-Philippines
WWF-Philippines has been working as a national organization of the WWF network since 1997. It began as an organization focused almost entirely on species work and conservation science. Today, WWF-Philippines has 13 project sites across the country and is at the cutting edge of an expanding spectrum which includes climate change policy, adaptation and mitigation drives; water and coastal resource management for sustainable food security; renewable energy technologies, and environmental education.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lorenzo’s Way: A Tribute to Larry J. Cruz


“Style” and “Taste” are the two words that come to mind when the name of Larry J. Cruz is mentioned. He is the man responsible for transforming the ho-hum Philippine dining scene into the classy, popular places-to-be-seen-in today. The many restaurants he opened during his illustrious career as a restaurateur epitomized the good life that he espoused.

When he opened Café Adriatico at Remedios Circle, Malate in 1979, Larry set in motion the country’s burgeoning café society. Manila’s bright minds, celebrities, politicians and socialites had a place where they can meet and dine in stylish comfort.

“A good meal is one that satisfies all the senses. Meals are about good food. More than just looking good, it has to taste good. Whether I’m emptying my wallet in an expensive restaurant, slumming in a coolie joint, or out on a picnic, I could have a really good meal. The food must match the setting. More important for me, it should be enjoyed with someone.”—Lorenzo J. Cruz, founder LJC Group of Restaurants

Larry was a journalist and publisher first, and a restaurateur second. He acquired his love for food and the good life from his father, the esteemed writer, editor, painter and bon vivant Emilio “Abé” Aguilar Cruz. Indeed, at all LJC restaurants, diners are assured of experiencing his legacy of good food, great service and old-world charm.

From that initial venture, he pressed on, opening one restaurant after another that offered his vision of the good life. Bistro Burgos, Bistro Lorenzo and Bistro Remedios offered local foodies a chance to experience the bistro way of life. Ang Hang introduced Oriental cookery with an emphasis on the spicy hot. Larry’s Bar gave Makati and Ortigas yuppies a venue where they can unwind with a drink at the end of the busy day. Camp Gourmet brought memories of the Forties and World War II with its menu of comfort food and staff dressed in khakis and camouflage. There were also ventures, which were considered ahead of their time: Prego was an Art Deco Italian restaurant, while Paper Moon was revamped into In The Mood Dance Bar when the disco fad ended. Today, the LJC Group includes Café Adriatico, Bistro Remedios, Café Havana, Larry’s Bar & Café, Mojito Bay, Abé, and Fely J’s Kitchen.

Throughout the years, the LJC restaurants concocted numerous signature dishes that became popular. Café Adriatico became known for its chocolate eh, offering diners a chance to savor chocolate, a favorite of Spanish friars, as described in Rizal’s “Noli.” Bistro Burgos became known for its Kare-Kare Klab, oxtail and tripe stewed in a rich peanut sauce, as well as its Stewed Oxtails Akuw’a, a Yemeni-style dish of oxtails cooked with Middle Eastern spices.

Now, you can enjoy la bon vivant the way Larry experienced it at Lorenzo’s Way at Bonifacio High Street Central at the Bonifacio Global City. The new outlet opens two years after the first Lorenzo’s Way was started in Greenbelt 5 to bring diners the best of the LJC Group of Restaurants.

Conceptualized to honor Larry’s memory, Lorenzo’s Way serves the dishes that have become known in such popular LJC restaurants as Café Adriatico, Bistro Remedios, Abé, and Fely J’s Kitchen. Other dishes come from LJC restaurants of old, such as Bistro Burgos, Camp Gourmet, and Ang Hang.

Lorenzo’s Way at Bonifacio High Street Central is an enhanced version of its Greenbelt 5 counterpart .with its a spacious dining area that can seat 80 guests. It has three function rooms, each good for 10 guests; but when taken together, the function rooms can accommodate as many as 36 guests.

Guests who prefer to dine al fresco may do so at the terrace dining area, which can seat 64 guests. The terrace overlooks a central garden amphitheater that has a dancing fountain illuminated by colored lights at night.

Some of the dishes foodies young and old could try at Lorenzo’s Way include Costillas de Ternera Guisada, braised beef short ribs in wine sauce; Spanish Garlic Chicken, deboned chicken baked with a marinade of garlic cloves and olive oil; Braised Lamb Shank with Cranberries, Honey and Onions, a whole lamb shank braised till tender in a wine sauce; and Seafood Couscous, couscous served with clams, mussels, squid and fish fillet cooked in a seafood saffron broth.

strawberry shortcake
The restaurant has become a popular destination among foodies, because it offered a chance to sample the best dishes from different LJC restaurants then and now. In fact, it has been nominated twice to the Miele Guide, which ranks the 20 best restaurants in Asia.

Gigil Tart


To date, LJC restaurants include Café Adriatico, Bistro Remedios, Café Havana, Larry’s Bar and Café, Abé, Fely J’s Kitchen, and Abé’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga. Lorenzo’s Way is at Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center and Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. For inquiries, please call 09274769460 or 5220403.
Baby Squid
clams malaguena
Beef Salpicao



King Prawn Creole Hollandaise

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