Julie’s Bakeshop: Cebu’s Food Tradition

(My) first bakeshop opened on January 6, 1981, a day for gift-giving. I asked God to give me this, to make it work, to make it succeed. I asked God for only one but He gave me more than I ever dreamed of.

–Mrs. Julie Gandioco

The matriarch of Julie’s Bakeshop is right. The brand has spread across the country, with over 100 franchises, making it the biggest bakeshop chain to date.

Julie’s Bakeshop actually started as an offshoot of the founder’s canteen business. She believed her customers needed breads, but rather than outsourcing them, she opted to make her own. The first bakeshop opened in Wireless, Mandaue City, on January 6, 1981.

She didn’t leave anything unturned. She hired the best people to work with her and, most importantly, she learned everything there is about the business. She kneaded, tasted, and experimented.

She labored for hours, generated ideas, came up with her own creations, and worked hard to develop cost-effective processes–she worked that mother’s touch.

Thus, it didn’t come as a surprise that only after 7 years, it already had its first branch outside Cebu, in Ilo-ilo, and 10 years forward, it’s a full-fledged ready-for-franchise brand.

Indeed, Julie’s Bakeshop is more than its freshly baked breads every day or its wide range of products, from cakes and rolls to the classic pan de sal. It’s even beyond reachability and affordable price. It defines great love, passion, and commitment of everyone that makes up the business.

Julie’s always has you in its mind. Visit its official Facebook Fan page or its website for the brand’s newest offers and promos.

What’s Up: September 28-30, 2012

This week, expect a lot of food, party, shopping and social good!

September 28, Friday

Tomorrow is your last chance to shop till you drop and enjoy fabulous prizes. There’s no way you can’t miss it since, hey, it’s payday and it all starts at 8:00 p.m., when you’re completely (hopefully) done with work.

Who will say no to good food? Better yet, you’ll surely give this Chinese feast a huge nod of approval. Dine on the sumptuous Chinese buffet prepared by no other than culinary geniuses Chefs Gene and Gino Gonzales.

Want unlimited roasted calf, lechon, and drinks the entire day? Then don’t miss the relaunching of Port Restaurant, one of the best buffet restaurants in the metro. Lunch (11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) is Php 229+, dinner (6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) is Php 299+, and late-night fare (10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.) is Php 149+.


September 29, Saturday

Be a “professional chef” for a day. Attend the Open house of American International Culinary and Hospitality Institute this Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Make your Saturday night one that you’ll never forget. Party like it’s now or never with the hottest tunes, awesome DJs, and cool people. This is open to all BBM, Android, and iPhone users.

SM Consolacion will make your one-hour trip all worth it. Win the latest gadgets, be treated by awesome entertainment, and enjoy up to 50 percent off when you shop.


September 30, Sunday


All the ladies out there, learn how to love yourself more through early detection of breast cancer. Usher Pink October by having your breasts checked for free.


RAFI, DOH Urge Observance of Healthy Lifestyle during the Holidays

Past records of the Department of Health show an increase of the number of patients at the local hospitals after a long Christmas vacation.

This prompted Dave Bargamento, National Nutrition Council 7 nutrition officer, and Ronald delos Reyes, program coordinator of the Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center, to urge the public to observe a healthy lifestyle during the holidays.

During the Dec. 17 episode of Pagtuki, the weekly radio program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. aired every Saturday morning over dyLA, Bargamento and delos Reyes shared tips on how to stay healthy this yuletide season.

“People, especially those who are always attending parties, should eat moderately. They should avoid eating high fat and salt content foods. Too much of fat and salt will always have a negative effect on one’s body,” Bargamento explained.

Both Pagtuki guests promoted the eating of fruits and vegetables and lessening the use of seasonings.

“Since it would be a long holiday for everyone, it would be better to give time to exercising. Exercise would help burn excess calories. The sweat would help release toxins from our body,” delos Reyes said.

“Intake of water would also be helpful, especially when you drink alcoholic beverages. Water can help dilute alcoholic drinks,” Bargamento added.

They also advised partygoers to eat food that are rich in protein before going to their parties, saying that being very hungry before an event would trigger them to eat a lot.

“Eating ham on noche buena should also be minimized. Ham is processed meat and is high on salt. One or two slices of it would be enough,” Bargamento said.

He also urged parents to store the kids’ favorite, spaghetti, properly since it “perishes easily” compared to other food.

Both Pagtuki guests pointed out that excess intake of food would lead to obesity that increases the risk of other possible illnesses, such as colon cancer. (by Hannah Reoma/RAFI intern)

Coffee Dream Company Celebrates 15th Year

Coffee Dream Company, Inc. is celebrating 15 years of living the passion – bringing the ultimate coffee experience to every Filipino.

What started out as a small kiosk operation in 1996 at the 4th Level in Ayala Center Cebu has grown to be one of the country’s leading specialty coffee chain with a total of 36 stores nationwide. It has shops in Cebu, Metro Manila, Cavite, Bohol, Bacolod City, Ilo-ilo City, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City and General Santos City which includes franchised outlets. Coffee Dream ventured into franchising in 2001 and currently has 13 franchised outlets.

President and Founder, Glenn Anthony O. Soco, envisioned a homegrown concept utilizing high-quality locally produced coffee beans. He visualized a place where people converge, hang-out, relax, do business over a cup of coffee. Realizing that there is a growing trend in the coffee drinking lifestyle globally, he created his own concept fervently believing that the market is best served by patronizing its very own.

Coffee Dream is best known for its regular brews like: Café Americano, Cappuccino, Café Latte, Café Mocha, Chilled Blends (frozen blended coffee and non-coffee concoctions), paired with its delectable selection of cakes and pastries. One of its famous drink is the Tsokolate, a traditional local recipe using fresh “tableya” (a term used for local cacao chocolate) from Argao, a town in southern Cebu. Recently, it expanded its menu to include food items such as sandwiches and pastas and the all-day breakfast meals.

Coffee Dream continually served the local market not only by selling its products but also putting a concerted effort in making its coffee shops comfortable and homey to visit and stay. About 3 years ago, it embarked on its new look campaign and shied-away from the conventional specialty coffee shop look. Coffee Dream transformed its stores to modern, hip and fresh with the use of bold colors. It changed its logo design and branding to showcase a uniquely distinctive concept. Employing the services of Industrial Design students mentored by world-renowned furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, they collaborated in creating new and interesting ideas for Coffee Dream giving fullest attention to detail.

On October 24, 2011, Coffee Dream will launch its 15th–year anniversary campaign with several activities:

  1. Pick-a-prize promo – entitles customers to a freebie/privilege for a minimum purchase of 150 pesos. The customer will pick-a-prize and instantly gets a prize.
  2. Capture your dream – an on-line photo contest where entries will be submitted and posted on-line through Coffee Dream’s Facebook fan page. The most creative photo showcasing Coffee Dream will win cash prizes and gift certificates.
  3. Coffee Dream extends a 15% discount on a special featured Chilled Blend of the month.
  4. Free re-fill of freshly brewed coffee from 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. every 15th of every month.

Aside from the activities mentioned above, three (3) short films produced by Coffee Dream will be released to highlight the 15-year anniversary celebration. The films tell 3 different stories that happen inside the coffee shops – presenting how the coffee drinking lifestyle evolved among Filipinos.

Coffee Dream also invited Miss Universe 3rd Runner-up, Ms. Shamcey Supsup, to lead the launching of the 15th–year activities and grace the ceremonial ribbon-cutting of Coffee Dream Arcenas Estate branch in Banawa, Cebu City. The Arcenas Estate branch will be the latest addition to the growing number of stores of Coffee Dream. This branch will feature a different feel using new set of furniture, new colors and an expanded menu. The store will be offering wines and premium beers with additional food items to compliment it. This concept came to mind to enhance the “third place” definition of Filipinos as part of Coffee Dream’s effort to be adaptive to the needs and wants of the community.

Coffee Dream has been active in helping the Micro and Small Enterprises by selling locally-produced products like: Camote Cookies from Aloguinsan and the Ginamos Paste from Pilar, Camotes which are produced by community-based enterprises. Alturra beans made from the foothills of Mt. Apo are being sold and used as well.

“Your Piso, My Dream” campaign will also be launched with the cancer-stricken children as the chosen beneficiaries.

With the continued evolution and pursuit for excellence, Coffee Dream aims to further expand its operations nationwide. By the end of 2011, it has opened and renovated a total of 10 stores. Coffee Dream targets to open a total of 7 new stores next year, 4 of which will be in Metro Manila. It estimates to cost 30 million pesos in additional capital. An upgraded commissary is currently being set-up at the central office and another commissary will be set-up in Metro Manila next year to service its branches in the area. The total capital expenditures for the next 3 years is estimated to be around 100 million pesos.

No-sodium Blue Marlin with Lemon Recipe

Do you know the ideal sodium intake is just a teaspoon? And when I say sodium, I’m not just talking about salt. It includes anything with sodium (or a dash of saltiness) such as cheese, butter, soy sauce, catsup, and all processed food and canned goods.

Ever since I learned about this, as well as the danger of having too much salt in the body, I decided to consume less of it by TRYING (yes, trying! I still need a lot of discipline with regards to food) a low to no-sodium diet.

But how do you do that?

You substitute salt with herbs and spices!

Here’s one recipe I just figured out a couple of hours ago:

  • 1 pc blue marlin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 lemon


1. Squeeze the lemon, making sure both sides of the fish are perfectly covered.

2. Add the herbs and spices.

3. Set the fish aside for at least an hour (I didn’t, though, because I wasn’t that patient, but I definitely feel it will taste a lot better when marinated for a bit).

4. Heat the pan and pour oil.

5. Slowly place the fish, wait for five minutes, and turn the other side. See to it both sides are cooked (it should turn a little brown), but don’t overcook it (or let it sit in the pan for so long). You want to keep the fish’s tenderness.

6. Then serve!

I would have loved to add some tomatoes, but I couldn’t find any.

How does it taste? It tastes good! 🙂 It has its hint of spiciness, the entire dish is fragrant, and the ingredients don’t overpower the real taste of the fish. I had a grand time cooking and eating it. I paired with a bowl of brown rice, and finished my lunch by downing Yakult.

Yup, it’s a healthy, healthy lunch for me.

Bye-bye, October!

A few more days and I’ll be saying good-bye to October. Finally. A lot of good things happened, but over all it was a lousy month. I got sick, I touched my savings, my mental acuity went down the drain for a bit, I almost lost Chuck–it wasn’t just the best.

So November is going to be like turning over a new leaf, seeing things at a much deeper perspective, embracing positive changes, enjoying the new normal, and aspiring for a better me, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I’d said it in my last blog post: I am not getting any younger.

On the other hand, I hope you can take time to visit two posts I made: here and here. And definitely I, and the respective blog owners, would surely love to hear your thoughts about them.

I personally recommend Bob Marlin just in case you find yourself in Park Mall. Until now, I can still remember vividly the crunchy crispy pata and aromatic adobo rice.

My Atopic Dermatitis Protocol

So how’s my skin asthma doing? The rashes have got very small you wouldn’t notice them unless I stay under broad daylight or you stand very close to me and I tell you about it.

It’s itchy, yes, but very tolerable. Thank God, the rashes didn’t spread out too quickly–I only had them in both my arms–and my palms no longer had them. Perhaps it also helped I was so maarte I immediately sought the help of a good dermatologist.

Right now, I’m on Claricort (a kind of anti-allergy steroid, my sinusitis doctor told me). The derma already warned me I should be eating a lot. So far, it hasn’t happened yet, which I think is good.

She also suggested a moisturizing soap, Oilatum, as skin asthma usually worsens with dry skin. Cetaphil was the first option, but I tried it before, and I just developed an acne breakout. I may shift to Baby Blue later once my skin clears up completely. It’s more organic and still unscented.

I also created my own protocol based on what I read online. Based on my reading, they are the ones that offer the highest rate of success:

  • Sleep early for 6 to 8 hours, with lights off.
  • Consume psyllium fiber with Yakult and water every morning.
  • Enjoy sunlight for at least 15 minutes each morning.
  • Avoid consuming meat, wheat, poultry, dairy, and sugar for at least a month.
  • Soak the affected area in apple cider vinegar every night.
  • Take quick baths twice a day.
  • Use Oilatum at least twice a day.
  • Consume Probiotics.
  • Supplement with turmeric capsules.
  • Exercise for at least 15 minutes.
  • Drink 2 cups of oolong tea with honey.
  • Reduce stress.

I haven’t tried any of them yet, so wish me luck.