Sunday, July 31, 2011

Philippine Star Kitchen Spy: Albert Martinez

MANILA, November 24, 2005 (STAR) KITCHEN SPY By Heidi Ng - Hey, I like this! I can get used to this! This is a scene straight out of Wish Ko Lang," says Albert Martinez as he dons an Edsa Shangri-La chef’s jacket and apron. "I have always dreamed of trying to be a chef, even for a day, and now I am here at the Edsa Shangri-La kitchen," he adds, as he gets ready to cook for our shoot. The other hotel cooks are keeping an eye on him, as Edsa Shangri-La executive chef Timothy James Stanhope assists in preparing the ingredients Albert needs for this cookout for the Philippine STAR, just another day in his hectic schedule.
Albert Martinez is one busy man nowadays. He runs his own events, advertising, production, and marketing firm. He was behind the much talked about Luna Awards this year at the Westin Philippine Plaza, where celebrities were driven to the events in BMWs before they walked down the red carpet. Gifts, such as Bulgari watches and bags from Yves Saint Laurent, were given away to the stars, who toasted on Moet et Chandon by the Westin poolside as fireworks lit the sky. The awards night certainly brought glitz and glamour to local show business.
He is also producing the Winner’s Ball, which brings together in one event all the award-giving bodies, from the Famas, Urian, Cinemanila, Film Academy Awards to Cinemabuhay.
Cinemabuhay is a digital film showcase. "We are producing five digital films through the generosity of Manny Pangilinan. They will be shown at the SM malls. The eliminations are ongoing. We start shooting by January, deliver by April, and we are hoping to have them shown by July 14," he says with precision. They are giving P1 million to have each of the films produced. Although they want to sponsor more upcoming talents this year, they can only produce five.
Aside from Cinemabuhay, he is also doing a Bodyshots contest and a celebrity Olympics on Boracay Island.
As an actor, he is busy taping for the soap, "Sa Piling Mo," which stars Piolo Pascual, Judy Ann Santos, and Rica Peralejo. The soap is an adaptation of the Robert Redford, Demi Moore, and Woody Harrelson starrer Indecent Proposal. While taping for the soap, he is also starting to shoot a politically themed movie slated for the Metro Manila Film Festival. He will be with veteran actors Eddie Garcia, Christopher de Leon, and Cindy Kurleto.
However, the role he cherishes most is being father to his grown-up kids Alfonso, Alyanna, and 13-year-old Alissandra. Alyanna, his oldest, is an Ateneo de Manila third year high college student, while Alfonso is on his first year at the same school.
"When you don’t cook every day, you want quality over quantity. So, we have seafood galore days, barbecue days," Albert says. " I am more of a weekend cook. I cook Pinoy, Italian or barbecue after watching movies with my family."
Everybody knows that he and his wife Liezl eloped and lived in the United States for years. Albert recalls, "I learned how to cook in the States… well, I was forced to learn. So, I would watch Bobby Flay, Mario Batali’s cooking show, and Wok with Yan. We had to go through the experience. And then you learn to appreciate little things in life because you are not sheltered. It was very hard."
When the Martinezes came home to the Philippines, their experience abroad and the housekeeping skills they learned were not forgotten. Cooking was definitely one of those skills. Albert is proud of the time he surprised Liezl by cooking a meal of seven dishes for her birthday and inviting over her cousins Aga and Charlene Muhlach and their other friends. He prepared everything, from the appetizers to decorating the house with candles, and picking the right wine to pair with the dishes. He is very particular about how he serves his dishes, from plating the food to choosing the right wine to complement it. He invites his friends to dinner occasionally.
The dishes he cooked for us were simple seafood dishes, yet they were really delicious. And once you prepare it in your own home, be prepared to be called a chef for a day, too.
Grilled Salmon On A Bed Of Spinach Pasta With White Sauce And Mushroom 200 g. salmon
1/2 lemon wedge
pepper to taste
pinch of salt
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
Season the salmon with the lemon, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Grill to desired doneness. Serve on a bed of cooked spinach pasta and top with the white sauce.
If you have more time to cook, you can do the white sauce from scratch instead of using the cream of mushroom soup. Edsa Shangri-La executive chef Timothy James Stanhope shares this recipe for white sauce.
White Sauce 50 ml. cream
3 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 whole onion
Sauté the garlic and onion. Add white wine. Reduce to half. Add chicken stock and cream. Reduce again to half. Pour through a strainer. Reduce for the last time.
Seared Tuna Wrapped In Wasabi 1 tuna loin
soya oil
With your hands, spread the wasabi on the tuna loin. When the tuna is fully wrapped with wasabi, sear the outer layer of the fish, one side at a time, in a pan filled with soya oil. After all the sides have been seared so that the outer layer looks white while it still is red on the inside, take the tuna out of the pan. Place on a chopping board and slice sashimi-style.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

how facebook saved a child's life!

story from shine yahoo

How Facebook saved a child's life (and could save many more)

The initial photo Kogan shared with her Facebook friends, who helped save her son's life. (Photo via
The initial photo Kogan shared with her Facebook friends, who helped save her son's life. (Photo via
Facebook saves lives. Or more to the point, good Facebook friends save lives.

Slate writer and novelist Deborah Copaken Kogan credits her community on the social networking site for helping diagnose her son’s mystery illness in time. Kogan woke up on Mother’s Day to find her 4-year-old son Leo with a rash and a fever.

                                                 Related: How virtual friends can save lives

In the pediatrician’s office, she updated her Facebook status with a photo of her son’s reddened face and the comment: “Nothing says Happy Mother's Day quite like a Sunday morning at the pediatrician's." As his symptoms worsened—high fever, swollen face—she continued sharing photos and concerns to a growing community of friends and ‘friends’.

"Baby getting sicker. Eyes swollen shut. Fever rising. Penicillin not working. Might be scarlet fever. Or roseola. Or...???? Sigh,” she wrote. Ten minutes later she got a call from a friend who saw the update and offered some sage advice: get to the hospital. Kogan’s friend had seen these symptoms before when her own son had Kawasaki disease, a rare and potentially fatal illness that accelerates in days and may lead to a dangerous heart condition.

Two other Facebook friends, both pediatricians, also saw her status update and sent the same diagnostic warning. “As much as I wanted to be my usual mellow self, the immediacy of the Facebook feedback was enough to push me out the door,” writes Kogan on

It wasn’t long before their feedback was confirmed: Leo had Kawasaki disease. Two months later, he is still recovering from the disease that wreaked havoc on his heart and liver. But the outcome could have been much worse and Kogan is grateful for the instant ‘in-network’ advice and support.

Her story is unique but not the first of its kind.  Last year, a pediatric nurse spotted cancer on her friend's child after scrolling through her Facebook photos, effectively saving her life. And when a 56-year-old woman slipped into a coma, doctors turned to her detailed Facebook status updates on her health for an outline of her symptoms and medical history.

All three are stark examples of how this new-found and sometimes odd lack of privacy can be a saving grace. Could our culture of over-sharing actually be leading us down a road to improved healthcare? Is friending a doctor on Facebook a shortcut to a faster diagnosis?

Not if the British Medical Association has anything to say about it. They recently released new guidelines for members, urging them not to blur the lines between work and play by accepting Facebook requests from patients. Lack of privacy and liability fears are just part of the trade-off for instant, free health advice between ‘friends’.

But the model of instant patient-to-provider and patient-to-patient advice is in place thanks to the Mark Zuckerberg model. Now the Mayo Clinic is jumping on the trend with a new Facebook-esque social networking site for their own hospital patients and providers to communicate freely. “We want to provide the latest technology and enable the community to evolve in the directions it wants to go,” says the clinic’s social media director Lee Aase. Their goal is to let “the community define what is useful.”

For now, it seems, what’s most useful is having friends who care, even if you've only met on Facebook.

mega magazine pinoy pride comes out in wander woman, sun star newspaper

IT ALL started last year at the historic Manila Hotel. Mega Publishing group held the first ever Pinoy Pride at the fabled Champagne Room and guests were encouraged to come in their best Filipino terno. This year, Mega once again pulled off an event to remember showcasing Filipino talent, homegrown cuisine, and enchanting original Pilipino Music in a night of Filipino revelry.
The country’s crème de la crème got together at the chi chi Makati Shangri-la Rizal ballroom in their best garb hobnobbing with world class Pinoy fashion designers, businessmen, and well dressed showbiz personalities. There was an overflowing of Moet champagne, one of my personal favorites, and hors d’oeuvres with tinges of Filipino flavors.
Sari Yap, Tim Yap and Angel Aquino
Pinay supermodels welcomed the guests in their Frederick Peralta ternos. Frederick has an immense talent and has one of the nicest personalities in the fashion circle.
Models also worn our country’s unofficial national gem — south sea pearls from Jewelmer. One part of the grand ballroom was lined with timeless ternos by designers such as Eric delos Santos, Paul Cabral, young, vivacious and my current favorite Veejay Floresca, THE Inno Sotto, Russel Villafuerte, Pepito Albert and uber talented and another favorite, Rajo Laurel.
Senators Pia Cayetano, philanthropist Kaye Tinga, and Senator Zubiri’s wife Audrey lent their very dresses for the exhibit.
Actress Angel Aquino, in her luminous morena skin, shone that night as she hosted the event with Tim Yap. It was the ultimate Shangri-La touch in the five course meal created by Chef Gene del Prado that sent ooohs and ahhhs around the ballroom with his creation of a five-course meal inspired by the rich heritage of our cuisine. It was a modern version of the French’s degustacion – a tasting of cornucopia of flavors from kesong puti, kangkong, lapulapu.
The kare-kare that Chef Gene served was with sweet potato mash and caramelized pumpkin. Dessert was a platter of sweet Philippine mango pudding, ube macaroon and kasuy sans rival.
The guests were serenaded by the Musikito String Orchestra with a medley of Original Pilipino Music, a group of young musicians very close to Mega president Sari Yap’s heart.
Pinay supermodels
Young heartthrob Dingdong Dantes went up the stage to lead the Panatang Makabago, a pledge to modern nationalism, which was led last year by actor Cesar Montano.
Mega Publishing continues to be a staunch avenue of Filipino talent as they search for talented Filipino photographers, designers, writers to showcase the best of Philippine fashion.
It was so nice to see everyone donning the Philippine terno, or their own version of Philippine design. It is time to be proud to be Pinoy!
Alyssa, Albert and Alyanna Martinez
Angel Aquino
Bella Padilla and Alex Gonzaga
Dingdong Dantes
Bianca Gonzales
Phoemela Baranda
Pops Fernandez
Ricky Davao
Tessa Prieto-Valdez
Follow me on twitter imwanderwoman and you can email me at for feedback. Talk to you soon!
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  • joseph ty
    does wander woman come out every sunday? she is cute and good writer. She is always in some parties or in society pages in manila.
  • micah
    very nice!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Youngest Son of the former Shah of Iran commits suicide. This is a really sad story..

Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi Suicide: Tragic End to Iran's Dynasty

The suicide of the shah's son is the latest tragedy for a dynasty drenched in blood. Stephen Kinzer on the death of a prince.

The suicide of the shah’s son is the latest tragedy for a dynasty drenched in blood. Stephen Kinzer on the death of a prince. Plus, more on Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi's life.
Down the street from my apartment in Boston's South End, a single gunshot shattered the pre-dawn darkness Tuesday. Police arrived to find a suicide. This doesn't happen any more often in the South End than anywhere else, and passers-by like me were left to imagine what tragedy lay behind it. Then came news of the man's identity. He was Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi, son of the late shah of Iran.
The Shah of Iran and family on vacation in Switzerland, 1972. Credit: Sipa
This shocking act of self-slaughter was the latest violent tragedy in the long history of a family drenched in blood—first that of the Iranians it tortured and killed, then its own. It is a drama of Shakespearean dimensions. The shah once ruled Iran with an iron fist, but his family later paid dearly for his sins, echoing Hamlet's judgment that royal crime “cannot come to good.”
Prince Ali Reza's father died in humiliating exile barely a year after being chased from his homeland in one of the 20th century's most spectacular revolutions. His aunt, Princess Ashraf, the shah's twin sister, a once-sinister figure known as Iran's “black panther,” has suffered through depressions and addictions, three failed marriages, and the assassination of one of her sons. His sister, Leila, was found dead in a London hotel room in 2001 after taking an overdose of barbiturates.
“Like millions of young Iranians, he too was deeply disturbed by all the ills fallen upon his beloved homeland, as well as carrying the burden of losing a father and a sister in his young life,” the Pahlavi family said in a brief statement on Tuesday. “Although he struggled for years to overcome his sorrow, he finally succumbed.”
Iran has also succumbed over the course of a cruel century, in large part because of the depredations of the Pahlavi dynasty. Yet this was a dynasty that set out to modernize and strengthen a nation that was prostrate and on the brink of extinction when it seized power. Prince Ali Reza's tragedy mirrored that of his long-suffering land.
The founder of the dynasty, Reza Shah, Prince Ali Reza's grandfather, was a titanic figure, a brutal tyrant but also a visionary reformer. He was an illiterate soldier who came to power in a coup and made himself shah in 1926. The main reason he refused to lead his country toward democracy was that he wished his son to be shah after he was gone.
That came to pass with Mohammad Reza Shah's ascension in 1941, but the son turned out to be a cowardly wimp, completely unlike his commanding father. He hated the democracy that emerged in Iran after World War II—personified by its most formidable leader, Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh—but could do nothing to crush it. Then, like a gift from God, the CIA and British MI-6 arrived to overthrow Mossadegh in 1953, angered by his attempt to nationalize Iran's oil industry. That allowed Mohammad Reza Shah to take absolute power.
The Pahlavi dynasty was one of the few facts of 20th-century geopolitical life that nearly everyone considered permanent and unalterable. Its collapse in 1979 stunned the world no less than the collapse of the Soviet Union a decade later.
He died in the manner of a soldier who cannot bear dishonor and disgrace, of a single shot to the head.
Prince Ali Reza spent his childhood in royal luxury. He was the second son of an absolute monarch who held the fate of 30 million people in his hands, became America's chief ally in the Middle East, and lost himself in such deep megalomania that he came to consider himself one of the greatest kings of all time, rightful successor to Persian titans like Cyrus, Darius and Xerxes.
The prince was not yet 13 when his family's world collapsed in 1979. Rarely in human history has a nation risen up so unanimously against a tyrant. Cataloging the Pahlavi dynasty's sins would be an exhausting task, but perhaps its greatest was driving Iranians to launch the revolution that brought brutal mullahs to power. Much as Prince Ali Reza detested their violently repressive regime, he cannot have failed to recognize the role his own family played in creating the conditions that allowed it to seize power.
He moved to the United States after his father's ignominious and lonely death in Egypt, attended prep school in the Berkshires, graduated from Princeton, and went on to study Middle Eastern and Persian history, as well as philology and ethnomusicology. He enrolled in a doctoral program at Harvard but did not complete it.
Once named as one of the world's most eligible bachelors, he was engaged to be married in 2001, but the engagement lasted for a reported eight years and then fell apart. His neighbors on West Newton Street say he never spoke to them; he would pull up in his Porsche, often wearing jeans and a nappy blazer, then disappear behind the walls of his brownstone, its bay windows permanently blocked by wooden shutters.
The prince's older brother, Crown Prince Reza, lives near Washington and periodically offers himself as a future shah of Iran. Prince Ali Reza never indulged in this fantasy, at least not in public, but he once said that bringing “freedom and democracy” to Iran was his “unique mission in life.”
Yet although some might say that fate has justly punished the Pahlavi family for its great crimes, the reality is that Prince Ali Reza was no more of a criminal than any of my other neighbors. If sons are guilty for their fathers' transgressions, he was surely covered with guilt, but if each individual is responsible for his own actions and nothing else, he was innocent. He never ordered an execution, dispatched anyone to a torture chamber, or prostrated himself before foreign power. He could honestly hold his head high. Yet the weight of his family history was evidently too heavy for him to bear.
One can only imagine the demons that tormented this exiled prince while he was cloistered in his darkened South End townhouse before taking his own life at the age of 44. He died in the manner of a soldier who cannot bear dishonor and disgrace, of a single shot to the head.
“Within the hollow crown that rounds the mortal temples of a king,” Shakespeare explained, “keeps death his court.”
Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent. His new book isReset: Iran, Turkey and America's Future.