Dohtonbori, SM City North Edsa: Oishii!

Intrigued by the number of people we always see when we pass by Dohtonbori while in search for a new place to eat, we finally agreed to try their authentic Japanese dishes even though we had to wait to be seated. And would you guess how their food fared? I encourage you to read until the end to find out.


Their sukiyaki was unlike the typical bowl commonly served in other Japanese restaurants with much stew and noodles. There were no noodles and very little stew! It was just enough to cook all the ingredients found in the ceramic bowl placed on a griddle. A whole egg was then added before it was served. The presentation was unique and it captured my interest!

Yakiniku: pork & kimchi (above)
 and pork (below)

Cooked Pork & Kimchi Yakiniku

Cooked Yakiniku

"Yakiniku" is a Japanese term for grilled meat. Each platter of thinly sliced meat is 200 grams. 

The pork yakiniku was quite salty. If you plan to order this, you can suggest to use lesser sauce and butter. The taste though was neutralized if you eat rice with it.

The pork and kimchi yakiniku tasted better. The flavor was just right for our taste buds. My nephew O had so much fun with their condiments. He added kewpie (Japanese mayo) and chili flakes to the meat. It was wonderful! We also ordered their rice set that comes with miso soup. Next time, we all agreed to try their onigiri.

Mixed okonomiyaki

while being cooked on the griddle...

The final product!

Their mixed okonomiyaki  (or Japanese pancake) was the very reason we dined here. We were curious to find out its taste and we were certainly delighted to witness how it was cooked.

The ingredients were flour, cabbage, octopus, squid, pork, tempura bits, egg, red pickled ginger, spring onion topped with Japanese mayo. Before serving it to us, barbecue sauce was brushed on top, drizzled with Japanese mayo, and sprinkled with fish powder and Nori (seaweed) bits. Eating it right from the griddle was amazing, bursting with so much flavor!

1. If you are famished and impatient, then this is not the place for you. The food enlisted above were cooked right in front of us on a griddle incorporated in every table. A staff will personally assist you and explain the process.

2. Wait time for the food to be cooked may be long but you're sure of the freshest ingredients. Similarly, the excitement of seeing how the food was prepared and cooked while you salivate and hear your tummy growl was something!

3. The staff were extremely polite, a distinct Japanese trait which makes the experience of dining at Dohtonbori also memorable and remarkable.

So, have you guessed if we were pleased with the food and satisfied with the overall experience despite the wait? Yes, but perhaps we'll exclude pork yakiniku from our favorites . And we will surely go back to try their other house specialties and bestsellers soon!

Dohtonbori SM City
Address: Upper Ground Floor, Main Building
Phone numbers: 372457, 3724579


Philippines Business Tycoons' Admirable Traits

Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, Jr., Lucio Tan (from L-F) Photo from Forbes

Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, Jr., and Lucio Tan are some of the wealthiest individuals in the Philippines whom I admire because of their humble beginnings. Their story is worth reading and contemplating on because of their outstanding and remarkable traits that enabled them to achieve the ladder of success today.

Henry Sy is the owner of the largest retailer in the country and has invested in the banking and property industries. John Gokongwei’s businesses include air transportation, banking, food, hotels, power, chemicals, real estate and communication. Lucio Tan on the other hand, deals with tobacco, spirits, banking, property management and air transportation. 

Are you dying to find out how they’ve made it this far and how they continue to make their empires huge? Let me share with you the common traits I have learned while reading about their life stories:

1. They are hard-working. Lucio Tan for instance worked as a janitor so he could pursue the degree in chemical engineering. Similarly, after John Gokongwei, Jr.’s father died, they were left with nothing due to their debts. At 15 years old, he dropped out of school to work by selling tires and soaps in the market. Comparably, Henry Sy started his entrepreneur skills at a very young age by opening a sari-sari store business to help his family with their day-to-day life.

2. They have the drive to succeed. Despite the daunting situation and the hardships they had in the past to survive and to make ends meet, they continued on with their lives with so much enthusiasm, hope and the desire to alleviate the lives of their families.

3. They are frugal. John Gokongwei, Jr. and his family did not instantly own a humongous and lavish house. He admired the Japanese who lived in tiny homes but invested much on their state-of-the-art factories which are their cash cows.

4. They are disciplined in all aspects of their lives and have good habits.

It is certainly wise to imitate the good habits of these wealthy people. And who knows, you and I can someday be outstanding in our expertise as we continue to desire and strive for excellence. What trait do you find worth emulating from  the list?


Today I Am Dumbfounded...

Today I am dumbfounded... to witness firsthand how the equation: planning + working hard + persevering = reaping of harvest.

My brother B has lofty dreams. But when his profession as a radiologist started, he had second thoughts of whether becoming a doctor was a good choice or not. Money was not easily obtained in the beginning of his career. He also experienced the stigma from others that being in the medical field will make you richer, yet he wasn't. There was also pressure to give his two growing sons a good education by sending them to reputable schools.

After many years of study to earn a diplomate in medicine and fellow, as well as to establish a career in his field by buying shares from hospitals and clinics plus the trust he obtained from his patients and colleagues, his profession thrived. He was obsessed and passionate with what he did. Days off were never part of his vocabulary because he grabbed every work opportunity offered to him. He mused that he was tired. Yet he continued to be focused and constantly envisioned his goals. 

Some of his friends had to work abroad and be away from their families. He was thankful he didn't have the need to tread the same path because work was available here. His other allies migrated to the other parts of the country where competition is not as stiff. Again, he was thankful he need not go to a foreign place to establish his career. 

To date, he is reaping and harvesting the rewards of his hard work. He now owns a house and recently purchased an FJ Cruiser for his wife without having to loan from a bank. He can also afford to give lavish gifts during special occasions to my parents to requite the goodness and sacrifices they have previously done for him. 

There are definitely no shortcuts to having a good life unless you were born with a silver spoon and I am continuously in awe of how our Father blesses those who work hard, has the right mental attitude and the desire to serve! 

The photo my brother B shared over FB private message


The Beauty of the Philippine Islands

With 7,107 islands all over the Philippines, it is no surprise that our country boasts of abundant resources we consider our gem and wealth. In Palawan alone, two sites were recognized by the UNESCO under the natural world heritage category: The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park or Underground River and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

The video  by the Portuguese travel blogger João Cajuda showcases some of the islands situated in Luzon and Visayas regions: Palawan, Bohol, Antique and Cebu - all with stunning beauty. Of course there are so many places that were not captured like the breathtaking Batanes, Ilocos, Siargao, Davao, Bicol, to name a few.

Video from João Cajuda posted on January 7, 2017


Ending The Year Right

2017 is several winks away from now. While many are busy shopping for Christmas presents and rendering over time work to finish a project, some continue dwelling on what is ugly while complaining about every situation they're in. Please read through to kick start a new year.

Photo from The Love Compass

1. Let go of unpleasant memories, emotions and even relationships that may hamper your growth. Choose to forgive and move forward but always remember the lessons learned after going through a challenging situation to avoid being in the same dilemma. You will not only be freer and happier but there will be a sense of peace in your lives.

Photo from Lucy Lews

2. Maintain a grateful heart. Say thank you not only when someone helps but whenever you find the opportunity and smile. Spread the sparkle and the positivity around you. Remember people on their birthdays and anniversaries. Email someone who played a significant role or motivated you to do more and be better. Similarly always give thanks and praises to the Heaven for everything.

Photo from iStock

3. Never stop learning. Be as curious as a child to widen your horizons. Be adventurous and immerse yourself to a new culture. Embrace change. Do not compete with anyone but be more than you were yesterday. Avoid multi-tasking but rather focus on one thing at a time to avoid mediocrity. Ask questions. Enroll in a course to better your craft, google and read more.

I bet you have many more ideas to end the year right. What matters is you do it now until it becomes a good habit. And as we look forward to a brighter tomorrow, may we always remember to be thankful, to let go and to strive for excellence! Happy holidays!