Save the Date! 7/8/12 Astig Vegan and kapaMEALya Potluck

Hi everyone!

Our next potluck will be next month on Sunday, July 8 at Golden Gate Park! Hope to see you all there!

PS: It is a vegan-friendly potluck and the best vegan dish gets a prize, but if you are a carnivore/herbivore/LAHATnivore your dish does not have to be vegan.

To sign up and get updates on the event, please email RG (of Astig Vegan/co-host) at

PPS: Ever wonder what “astig” means?

It means BADASS.

Which is what this potluck will be!

See you there!

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Long Time No See!

Oh my gulay!

It’s been a while! Manila Rice Rice and the krew are just catching our breaths. We have been doing tons of traveling and side projects. Our NYC trip a few weeks ago was EPIC!

We got to eat at Maharlika in the East Village, Purple Yam in Brooklyn, and even sipped on Pek Pek Juice at Cafe 81 in the East Village. We are so inspired by the unique interpretations of the Filipino food there and hope to carry that inspiration back to the Westside to create more Filipino food events here.

One awesome couple we met is Amy Besa and Chef Romy at Purple Yam, not only did they talk with us about their food, but they ate the food WITH us! Epic. Just. Epic.

We also talked about the future of Filipino food and what we can do to further promote it. I hope to have another event launched soon!

You can check it out my recap of our excursions by clicking the photo of amazing Filipino-inspired desserts below:

Other goodies:

We, our humble little group, was featured on the Pig Parts & Beer Blog run by the lovely Haydee and Karena. They are food bloggers in SoCal and we hope to meet up soon and collabo on a Filipino food event down there!

Check out the feature on Pig Parts & Beer HERE.

No, kapaMEALya is not patay. Like all things, we have changed as a group and I am hoping to restructure it so that we continue to promote Filipino food again here in the SF Bay Area. Thank you to all our kasamas for your support and friendships!


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Empire State of Mind…and a Few More Changes

Hello all!

Yes, we have been neglecting this website for a little while. I admit, life happens and it’s definitely a learning process! As you probably have read on our Twitter, we (Chris, Lara, and myself) are heading to NYC this weekend!

If you are available for dinner this Sunday, please send us a DM on Twitter or an email! We do have a few spots open, so if you want to join us for good noshing time at Purple Yam, give us the heads up!

In the beginning of the year, the remaining members of the krew agreed to have fewer organized dinners and do more grassroots events like potlucks and charity events. We had a great potluck in February (check out the recap here by the lovely RG of Astig Vegan), great bonding time in Napa, and now heading to NYC to meet more people who are influential in the Filipino food community.

Speaking of the Filipino food community…the climate has changed here in the Bay Area. Two of our beloved restaurants – Mercury Lounge and Intramuros Restaurants both closed in the last few months. It’s heartbreaking because they have been our biggest supporters. Good news is that Chef Dom has found a new gig at Attic Restaurant in San Mateo and the fabulous Chef Cocoy is working his cute tooshie off as a private/event chef. I follow his posts on Facebook and his dishes are amazing!

We also have been considering working for the Filipino food community in ways to help it rather than profit from it. The knowledge and friendships we build is the ultimate prize, so it’s time to give back. I can’t divulge the information right now, but soon enough!

We are also thinking of ways to make this website more of a website than a blog. If you are a website guru, please contact me!

Until next time, friends, mabuhay!


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Yes, We’re Still Here!

We know that it’s been quiet on the kapaMEALya front, but that’s only because great things are going to be happening in the near future.

We have lots of catching up to do!

The last event we did back in December was for Noche Buena.  It was a great dinner held at Intramuros Restaurant with an attendance of 20 hungry guests.  We had everything from pineapple ham, queso de bola, and sopas.  Our friend Kenrick Mercado created a fabulous video of the event, which you can check our here:

You really get a sense of what kapaMEALya is trying to do with Filipino food and connecting with folks who enjoy eating it. In the video are Joanne, Chris, Lara, and Keaton.

Another event that did a great job at promoting Filipino food in SF was the 2nd Annual Kulinarya Filipino Cooking Showdown which was held on January 21st at the Carnelian by the Bay Restaurant right by the Ferry Building. Here is Chef Ron Bilaro’s take on the competition’s amateur division shown on TFC’s Adobo Nation:

Chef Ron and I judged the competition along with three other food advocates. I didn’t get much facetime in this video, but you do get a good at my right side stuffing my face with the delicious dishes that were presented to us! I was so happy to have represented kapaMEALya at the event.

Our next event is this coming Saturday on February 25th at the old Mercury Lounge space. The restaurant is no longer running, Chef Dom was so kind to lend us the space for a little potluck. It is a great opportunity to meet with the community and enjoy food together.

Please RSVP ASAP so we know who is coming with what and who:
Click here to RSVP on our designated Eventbrite page

More news:


It still may be a while’s away, but Kuya Chip, Lara, and I are planning to visit NYC the weekend of April 21st! If you are interested, we are having dinner at Purple Yam in Brooklyn on Sunday, April 22, so if you want to eat and hang out, contact us!

Image courtesy of Purple Yam

Okay, I’m done here! Take care, everyone!

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Want to Kollab with kapaMEALya?!

Hi again,

In the last blog, I wrote that we are brainstorming ways on how to promote Filipino food. I forgot to mention that we are looking for talented folks who are interested in leading their own workshop! This opportunity would be perfect for chefs who don’t have a professional kitchen, yet have the drive to teach others how to make Filipino dishes.

Please refer to this press release I sent in December.

Please email us if you are interested or have any questions!


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Hello 2012

Hello to all our kapaMEALya family!

Jo here!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  I’m Pasko’ed-out!  As you can imagine, the holiday season has been really busy for the team, so I want to apologize for our lack of posts as of late.

The team is taking the opportunity to catch our breaths in January.  2011 was ridiculous!  What we accomplished last year is something to be proud of and we want to do the same in 2012.  Well…kinda…

While we want to bring Filipino food to the masses, we want to in new ways.  The economy (and Christmas shopping) hasn’t been too friendly to our wallets, so we want to host events that are low and/or no-cost.  We will also try to make it out to community events so we can meet you all!

We don’t have anything planned for January as mentioned before, but we will be at the Kulinarya Showdown 2012 on Saturday, 1/21/12 at the Carnelian by the Bay located just behind the Ferry Building.

It will be a treat for me because I was chosen to be a judge!  I went last year and it was a lot of fun.  I’m happy I get to try the competitors’ dishes!  Here is a promo video on the event:

So…will I see you there? Hope so! It’s going to be masarap! Plus, this is a fabulous way to educate and again, promote Filipino food here in San Francisco! If you do make it out, be sure to tweet me…and maybe I’ll save some food for you!


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“The word is Tagalog, literally meaning “[something] meant for you when you welcome me back. -Wikipedia.

It’s a pretty nice gesture when it all comes down to it, since you are welcoming me back from my journey, I got a little something for you. It’s not necessarily a Filipino thing to bring pasalubong, it’s just a really nice Tagalog word, and who doesn’t like receiving something from another place.

My wife’s cousin recently just came back from the Philippines and brought back some pasalubong. A box of “panutsa” (similar to peanut brittle but with less sugar and more peanuts) and a several copies of  Food Tour by Claude Tayag. The “panutsa’ is finished, but I’m not yet done with the book. I however have some extra copies of the Food Tour book. We might have them available at our next kapaMEALya event, so let us know if you’re interested in borrowing or buying one.

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Jo’s Blog – Filipino Christmas Dinner

Hello friends,

Who else was thrilled to see our friends Jun Belen and Gil from Senor Sisig in the San Francisco Chronicle this weekend?

The article, which was in print in today’s paper, was about Filipino Christmas.  It was perfect timing when it came out because our special Noche Buena is coming up this Friday!

Register for Noche Buena - kapaMEALya's LAST Event... in S San Francisco, CA  on Eventbrite

There are just 4 more days to purchase your tickets. Don’t wait! Chef Cocoy Ventura has an amazing dinner menu prepared.

See you there!


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Jo’s Blog – “Kakanin” – Rice Desserts

This evening I had dinner at Gyro King, a Turkish restaurant in SF’s Civic Center Area with Keaton. One of our favorite things to order there is the Sütlaç, or Turkish rice pudding.

It goes from this:

To this in no time!


Then all of a sudden, all of my rice-based desserts came to mind. I love rice. While I try not to eat it ALL the time, I do feel a sense of comfort when I eat it. Take a look at the awesome Filipino desserts I had in the Philippines.

I have grown up eating rice desserts also known as kakanin. So many Filipino desserts are made with rice from polvoron with pinipig (toasted rice), suman (glutinous sweet rice steamed in banana leaves), biko (above - sweet rice cooked in coconut milk and topped with coconut milk crumbs called latik. BTW: Inang and my friend Jun Belen make AWESOME biko). Here are just a few of my favorites…

Read more »

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Fred’s blog: Giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from the Bay Area! For me, the best part of the holidays is when we get to share a meal with family and friends. From traditional dishes to original recipes, the table is always filled with delicious bites to be enjoyed the entire day. I usually have the responsibility of deep frying the turkey. Some believe that it’s dangerous but only if you don’t watch your fryer and let your dog loose in the back yard! If you do decide that deep frying is your route, be safe and keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Enjoy the holidays and make sure to share some food with someone. If you have time, go out and volunteer at a local food bank or soup kitchen. There are a ton of people that aren’t as fortunate as most and could really use your support. Happy holidays.

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