Sunday, May 27, 2018

Countdown to the Extinction of Jurassic Park - The Ride!

Universal City, CA, May 10, 2018 – In 2019, colossal, dimensional dinosaurs will once again roam the Earth and astound guests when Universal Studios Hollywood debuts an all-new technologically-advanced epic adventure inspired by Universal Pictures’ blockbuster film franchise: Welcome to the “Jurassic World Ride.”
            Drawing from the favorite elements of the original “Jurassic Park—The Ride,” this next-generation thrill ride will be a fully re-imagined iteration of the ground-breaking adventure, elevating every facet of the experience. With the introduction of never-before-seen dinosaurs, enhanced storytelling, lush scenic design, an entirely new color scheme and uncompromised state-of the art technology, the ride will capture elements never experienced within a theme park.
            To rally fans for the finale of “Jurassic Park—The Ride” on September 3, 2018, Universal Studios Hollywood has launched a “Countdown to the Extinction” campaign—inviting guests from around the world to experience the ride before its transformation into the all-new “Jurassic World Ride” in 2019.
More information is available at Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Pac Arts Spring Showcase: ULAM - Film & Feast featuring San Diego Fil-Am Chefs April 23, 2018!

The 8th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF) Spring Showcase, presented by Pacific Arts Movement (Pac Arts), announced Ulam: Film & Feast​, a special film and food event to be held on April 23 at the Natural History Museum, sold out in just four hours after tickets went on sale.

In partnership with 15 local San Diego chefs, Pac Arts will host the San Diego premiere of Filipino food documentary, “Ulam: Main Dish,” followed by a filmmaker Q&A and post-film kamayan-style feast for 300, showcasing the chefs’ modern, localized and innovative takes on Filipino food followed by a dessert reception.

Patrons will enjoy the culinary talents of:
● Mike Arquines (The LAB Dining Sessions)
● Chris Aure (Zarlito’s)
● Tress Balch (Happy Sushi)
● Jonathan Bautista (George’s at the Cove)
● Evan Cruz (Arterra)
Chef Evan Cruz of Arterra Del Mar (PC: Aleya Zenieris)

Chef Evan's Pork Sarciado (PC: Christine Wu)
● Phillip Esteban (Consortium Holdings)
● Spencer Hunter (Hunter’s Home Kitchen)
Chef Spencer's Turon (PC: Justin Ricafort)

● Craig Jimenez (Nom Nom Bento)
● Leigh Lacap (Campfire)

Bartender Leigh Lacap of Campfire (PC: Breana Parks)
Balisong-Avocado Shake and Punyal-Corn Cocunut Pudding Cocktail (PC: Aleya Zenieris)

● Tara Monsod (Tender Greens)
Chef Tara Monsod of Tender Green Mission Valley
Watch Chef Tara make her Seafood Ginataan!

● Danilo “DJ” Tangalin Jr. (Bivouac Ciderworks)

Chef DJ Tangalin of Bivouac Ciderworks

What's Chef DJ's favorite Filipino dish, find out here!

● Marcus Twilegar (Parq Restaurant)
● Jayrell Ringpis (Snoice)
● Marlaw Seraspi (Open House)
Chef Marlaw Seraspi of Open House Asian Kitchen (PC: Christine Wu)

Chef Seraspi's Kinilaw (PC: Christine Wu)

● Kristianna Zabala (Nomad Donuts)

"Thanks to our partnership with local chefs and sponsors, we are able to bring Ulam: Film & Feast to San Diego in a way that is accessible for more of the local community than food events typically are,” remarks Pac Arts Executive Director Kent Lee. “This unique film and food pairing event not only highlights the growing popularity of Filipino food across the country, but also showcases the talents and ambitions of our local Filipino chefs that are at the forefront of the Filipino food movement here in San Diego.”

"For Pac Arts, this film and feast event is the culmination of years of thinking about what makes the Asian American community in San Diego unique,” says Pac Arts Artistic Director Brian Hu. “As we've done with our Chew the Scene events, we want to tell Asian American stories through food, and ‘Ulam’ reminds us that there's no better way to do so than to bring together artists in the community and have them each bring a dish. This is potluck storytelling."

This is definitely an exciting time for Filipino food and Filipino Chefs in San Diego!

Although currently the event is sold out, all-access passes are still available for the Spring Showcase which includes this event.  There is also another possibility that additional tickets will be released. For more information & tickets, go to

Join the conversation with #UlamSD.

Ulam: Film & Feast is supported in part by the City of San Diego, the Philippine Honorary Consulate of San Diego, House of the Philippines, Snoice, Seafood City, Pacific Shellfish, Specialty Produce, San Diego Seafood, Tanduay Asian Rum and Stella Artois.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The New Willows Hotel and Spa at Viejas!

Have you been to Viejas Casino and Resort lately?  This place has expanded in major ways and they're not done yet! I've always enjoyed the gaming, the buffet and the shopping across the street and when they added a hotel years ago, I thought Viejas was on it's way to becoming a premier casino in San Diego.  Viejas recently opened an ADULTS only tower, complete with it's own pool, fitness area and spa, making it a total vacation destination!

I was offered a complimentary two-night stay at the original hotel and asked what the difference was in booking the new hotel.  I was told it was about a $100 a night more because the new hotel is comprised of all-suite rooms! I think the check-in gal noticed it was my birthday coming up so she said, "Let me see what I can do."  She ended up assigning me a suite and gave me this card! Woo hoo!

Wow, thanks Viejas! I am certainly not a high level player's card member.  I'll get a mere $5 in free play or the occasional free room offer, so I was elated with a complimentary two night stay in a suite! Yes, I'll take it! 

Willows Hotel and Spa is located at the opposite end of the resort from the original hotel with it's own lobby, valet, etc...but either hotel counters can check you in.  Also, both valet areas can get your car when you're ready to leave as well!

The design team has done an absolutely amazing job.  Look at the check in counter and lounge area!  
PC: Willow's Hotel and Spa website. 
PC: Willow Hotel and Spa website.
As an added security measure, the elevator will only engage if you tap your key card to the assigned floor.  As we stepped out of the elevator and entered the suite, look at what we saw!
Gorgeous hallway!
Living room area
Complimentary Keurig drinks and tea!
Beverages nice and cold in the mini-fridge, also free! I drank a mini-diet coke already, lol!
Master bedroom!
It's all in the details-built-in reading light on both sides of the bed!
No clutter side table, flush outlet strip ready for charging your devices!
On to the bathroom!
Forgot something? They got your basic needs covered!
First time for me to see a hair straightener!
Forget the rest of the suite, I'll be hanging out in this awesome shower!
The one thing that really blew my mind was this! Simply amazing!

Guests can also enjoy the outdoors at the pool!
PC: Willows Hotel and Spa website-Adults only pool!
Pool view from our balcony. 
I was totally impressed with the Willows Hotel and Spa! Thank you Viejas for the awesome stay! You are definitely on the top of my San Diego casino resort list!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Aloha from Duke's La Jolla!

ALOHA Duke's La JollaIt's been a few years since they opened and we finally got around to trying this place out!  The restaurant is tastefully modern with wood, surfer decor!  It was interesting reading about the former Olympian turned Sheriff for the city and county of Honolulu, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, on the wall pictures hung around the restauarant.

We valet'd because parking is always challenging in La Jolla, well worth the $11 because you're steps away from the front door! I would valet again in a heartbeat so you can get into this beautiful restaurant as fast as you can! That or rideshare! Lunch time on a weekday was very busy, make reservations! We waited 20-30 minutes. The menu is not large, I was a little worried if I would like the food.  In any case, the location is really what drew us in, to dine alfresco, enjoy the fresh air and soothing ocean scene.  Take a look at this view!
PC: Duke's La Jolla
I could have sat here sipping on some mocktails all day!  We order our lunch and it turned out the food was a major plus! Seasoned well, very tasty, they took a plate lunch to the next level. My hubby like the crisp, moist fish and the fries were awesome too!

Ribs and Chicken skewer were yummy, but the slaw with bits of mac nuts in it was the show stealer!

The plate was lined with a copy of a Honolulu local paper! Nice touch!
Since it was my husband's birthday our server gave us a dessert to share. This doesn't show how tall this ice cream cake was, at least six inches high! 
Huge complimentary hula pie for birthdays, heeeyyyy!    
Overall, we were impressed with our visit to Duke's.  It was casual, but the food was not! Take your visitors here to have a SoCal experience with tropical island flair. We might just join you, hahaha! There is also music on the weekends in the upstairs lounge in the evening which also serves the full menu.  Have you been there?  How was your experience? Please leave a comment below.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Three Reasons Why I Loved Black Panther!

The story (from Marvel Studios Press Release)
Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to take his rightful place as King. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
Reason #1
Marvel does an outstanding job of showcasing women as strong, beautiful, and fierce. They are the warriors of the Wakandan tribe! "Black Panther"'s female characters possess sharp minds AND exceptional skills. General Okoye is the fiercest warrior among them all and Princess Shuri is the brain behind the technological advancements. The film does a nice job of portraying the complexity of nurturing care, brilliant intelligence, and fighting prowess of women.

Reason #2
This Marvel film came from a totally different feel-an indigenous, tribal village vibe. The fight scenes consist of back-to-basics human combat, a refreshing departure from the fiery blasts, explosions, virtual reality, "Matrix"-like visual trickery one finds in a majority of the usual Marvel films.  But of course there are still exciting chase scenes! The Wakandans hold the most advanced technology in the world, however challenge battles for leadership occurs with no armor, superpowers and only hand weapons. Members from each tribe watch, standing mountains high, filling in each hollow of the creviced mountainside as the fights take place in the water below them. The rhythmic chest and shoulder movements of the tribe members, synchronized to the sound of escalating tribal drums, move the audience to the peak of each fight. So dramatic in visual and sound, the effect on the audience is momentous!

Reason #3
This film truly displays the theme of duty vs. honor in various ways. While the film is steadfast in calling on T'challa's father and ancestors to honor their legacy, things are not all rosy as a family secret is revealed. T'challa defies his fate to chastise his father and ancestors on their wrongdoings. As King, he vows to make things right -even if it means outing the secret of his family, battling the monster his family made, and exposing Utopian Wakanda against the desires of dissenters. In another instance, General Okuye, in the heat of battle and face to face with her lover, boldly declares where she stands between loyalty and love. All difficult decisions that make you wonder what you would do in their place.

These are my three reasons why I loved "Black Panther"! I encourage you to watch this film and please let me know what you thought!

“Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman (“Captain America: Civil War,” “Get on Up”), Michael B. Jordan (“Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”), Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “12 Years a Slave”), Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead,” “All Eyez on Me”), Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit” trilogy, “Sherlock”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out,” “Sicario”), Letitia Wright (“Urban Hymn,” “Glasgow Girls”), Winston Duke (“Person of Interest, “Modern Family”), with Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett (“American Horror Story,” “London Has Fallen”), with Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”) and Andy Serkis (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”).
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