Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hub in Progress

Lamppost banners along Carlos P. Garcia Avenue in Diliman have been nagging me every day to find out what's out there at the U.P. AyalaLand Techno Hub, and so finally last Sunday, I gave in. I had nothing to lose; the place along Commonwealth Avenue, after all, is just a stone's throw from where I live. 

Five months ago, PGMA inaugurated the 20 hectares of land, which the government hopes will help ignite a tech revolution that would upgrade the country's science and technological capability and propel us to the threshold of the First World in 20 years. Fine. But while that's happening, folks at Quezon City can lounge around and enjoy the establishments that have sprouted recently at the hub's circular cove.
The following, in no particular order, are the shops and restos already open for business:
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
The Old Spaghetti House
Red Kimono
Yellow Cab
National Book Store
Time Zone
Switch (an Apple Reseller)
China Bank
Bank of the Philippine Islands
Globe Telecoms
Establishments yet to open include:
Le Ching
Kanin Club
Pizza Hut
Mister Kebab
Seafood Island
Gerry's Grill
Tokyo Tokyo
Bench Fix
Mercury Drug Store
Mini Stop
In all fairness, the U.P. AyalaLand Techno Hub, despite its industrial-sounding name, is spacious, cozy and quiet (unlike nearby Trinoma). But is it because, there are hardly any people here yet--mostly students buried in their medical books? In any case, I can totally see myself hanging out on a Sunday afternoon, toting a book, nursing a latte, and glancing occasionally at the kids weaving through the streams of water gushing upward at the fountain area (like fireworks at dusk).

Too bad that WIFI isn't available yet in most of the establishments; otherwise, my laptop would be a frequent visitor, too. Strange though--one would expect internet connection throughout  a technological hub. First World, indeed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finetti versus Nutella

Why is it that anything slathered with Nutella seems so insanely delicious? Spread it on crusty bread or in folded tortillas cut into triangles. Try it on grilled pineapples or baked bananas. Build it into cookies, muffins and even smoothies--that rich hazelnut creme with a hint of cocoa is the sweet tooth's ultimate friend.  Well, it was mine until I discovered Finetti.

Admittedly, Nutella has become a luxurious snack at P130.10 for a 400g bottle. Maybe because hazelnuts are costly. Or because Italian products are expensive to import. Maybe it's because Nutella is from the mighty confectionery manufacturer, Ferrero.

Whatever the case may be, a trip to the grocery (in this case, Robinsons Supermarket) will reveal alternatives. Compare...

Finetti is a little known brand from Romania. But hey, who says Romanians can't make a tasty product? At 56% the price of the leading brand, you won't know the difference when you bite into that slice of bread. Yum, yum.