Sylvannas in New York. Check! 

I got a jar of Sylvannas of New York from Jessie, the pastry expert behind the brand Uncle JJ’s Desserts. As a big fan of sylvannas, it brought nostalgic feels as I smelled, took a bite, and savored each piece (and eventually consumed the entire jar). Oh, how I’ve longed for that delicious blend of the meringue and buttercream that melts in the mouth. The kind of goodness that makes your shoulders move towards the center of your body and then your head spins.

Sylvannas of New York
There are sylvannas that you can get in Dumaguete or those you can shop at the boarding areas of Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City or Silay-Bacolod International Airport but Sylvannas of New York has its own distinct feature. Perhaps it’s the meringue or the utter preparation process–there’s just a certain sophisticated flair to it. It’s going to hit it big, not just with Filipino-American customers but with every New Yorker.

While different brands of sylvannas are getting more and more popular and being distributed at shopping malls, airports, and seaports in the Philippines, it is quite rare to have this homey grub here in New York. Not anymore. They are specially handmade here in the Big Apple and delivery is made available for Long Island and Queens customers.

DumaguetMe
Every bite of Uncle JJ’s Sylvannas has taken me back to the scenic view of the Bohol Sea while sitting or taking a stroll along Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City. That is the kind of dessert that one should have—the one that brings joy and happy memories of a certain place. This time, it’s the beautiful sunset at the breakwater along the boulevard and the warmth of the people of Dumaguete.

More Uncle JJ’s Desserts
Lengua de Gato
Macaroons (Coco Custard)
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Ube Cookies

Sylvannas of New York in Classic, Oreo, Biscoff, and Matcha.

Accepting preorders via @unclejjsdesserts.

Himig ng Pag-ibig: Sharing through Music

On what was headlined to be a Cabaret-style New Year’s Eve concert series entitled, “Short Stories” An evening with Carla Mongado (Song of Solomon, Platinum Girls, Goodbye New York), the event had to be cancelled at the last minute because of the threat of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. The sold-out shows scheduled to run at Melodiya Music ‘n Stage Theater in Raleigh, North Carolina, to benefit Small Hands Big Hearts United, were supposed to also feature guest performances by sisters Treana and Theya Havranek, Kayla Childers, Andrew Nemchik, and Devin Hunter.

The Show Must Go On

In the spirit of the holiday season, the company headed by Melodiya Music n’ Stage owner, Treana Havranek, pursued to go on with a benefit concert live-streamed for audiences to enjoy at the comfort of their homes instead. “Himig ng Pag-ibig” (The Sound of Love or Songs of Love) as the virtual show title suggests, maintained its original concept of giving back to the community through music; and this time to benefit the victims of Supertyphoon Rai (Odette) which hit the Philippines, causing massive wreckage to southern islands, including Dinagat Islands, Butuan, Dumaguete, Cebu, and many other towns and cities.

Carla Mongado, the show’s headliner, said: “It is only appropriate that we go on with the virtual benefit show—it’s been two years since the pandemic hit and then a supertyphoon happens before the New Year in our home country. We need to do something to help those affected back home. We do what we can and the best way we know how is through music.”

Himig ng Pag-ibig

The virtual show was put together at the very last minute after the original show got cancelled. It featured Carla Mongado, Treana Havranek, and Theya Havranek—they call themselves the “Babaje” (Woman). It tastefully combined English and Filipino songs with a repertoire of classics by a wide range of musicians including: “Human Heart” by Stephen Flaherty, “Everybody Says Don’t” by Stephen Sondheim, “Himig Ng Pag-ibig” by Lolita Carbon, “Breathe” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hold On” by Chynna Phillips and Glen Ballard, and “Babae Ka” by Ananias Montano; Arrangement by Jem Talaroc, among others.

“The gift of music is our instrument for us to be able to help others and this gift, I believe, is magnified even more during a time of crisis.”, Mongado added.

This fund-raising concert to benefit victims of Supertyphoon Rai (Bagyong Odette) in the Philippines is extended for those who still wanted to show support. For more information kindly email melodiyamusic@gmail.com.

Melodiya Music n’ Stage
1901 NW Cary Parkway Ste.105, Morrisville, Raleigh, North Carolina
For individual beginner piano lessons, voice lessons, or for little theater rental, please visit: www.melodiyamusic.com

The Pandemic Formed This Barkada In New York City

What does “Barkada” mean? It means your group of friends, your gang, peers, or homies. For these individuals and small businesses, it means family–kapatid (sibling), kapamilya (family member) here in New York City. It started with friends, Deirdre Levy and Lugao Kasberg, who were delivering PPE’s, through Mask Our Heroes, a non-profit organization dedicated to help and protect those in the front lines at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the risk is high of contracting the virus, these guys braved the streets of New York and even discussed feeding the homeless while doing the deliveries. Together with Joey Golja and through AJ Lavilla’s push that they should all collaborate, the three musketeers, Deirdre, Lugao, and Joey started “Project Barkada.”

While the pandemic has become more and more disastrous, the barkada on the other hand grew in number. They’ve grown even stronger with the community’s participation and overflowing support.

According to Deirdre Levy, “It originally started just helping those in need and doing so by working with Filipino businesses who were trying to keep afloat.” Through collaboration and ‘Bayanihan‘, the barkada became one big familia amidst the pandemic and it continues to multiply with proverbial Pinoy speed.

“And that’s how we collaborated with Augee of Kabisera Café too. She was doing her deliveries and there were times when we delivered together. Kabisera was a center in most things and how so many people blew up.” Levy added.

Here are some of the amazing Barkadas and personalities to note, so please continue to support them in any way you can. Start by following them and get updates on events and other happenings.

The Project Barkada continues to grow (expanding in other states, too)–getting more creative, doing more help to the community (often in their own wonderful, generous way), and helping each other–like a family. The love, support, and respect for each other will always be there but the heart for those who most needed help will always be its foundation.

It is such a joy and inspiration to see events by our Barkadas that has an element of activism, volunteerism, social impact, or charitable cause incorporated into it. Let’s wish and pray for these guys to keep doing well by doing good.

7 Wines That’ll Awaken Your Palate This Summer

Featuring curated bottles you need to cool down in style before summer ends. 

It’s easy to get a bottle of wine at the nearest corner deli here in New York City and it’s a swift click to add bottles to your online cart, but to know which one suits you or your guests’ palate can be a bit of a dilemma—perhaps you’re craving for a Sauvignon Blanc but it doesn’t go with the dinner menu you’ve planned out or you’re trying to impress a partner with pasta from your family’s old recipe but it isn’t quite apt for the Pinot Noir you have at home.

So what grape variety and vintage should you get that suit you or your guests? What bottles would you open for your friends who are visiting from California? What’s best to pair with the dinner you’ve personally prepared for your date? One might say, “I don’t want to be too philosophical about what type of wine to get.” This is just against the manifesto of all fine winemakers, living or dead. When it comes to wine, one must be really discerning. 

Here, we have curated a list from PW Distributors NY, wine importer and distributor of the finest wines from acclaimed wineries in Tuscany, Sicily, Piedmont, Campania, Veneto, and many more.

1. HOSTING A ROMANTIC DINNER IN YOUR APARTMENT

Italo Cescon Pinot Grigio 2020 (Veneto)

This beauty is light-bodied and dry with hints of orange zest. Best enjoyed with shellfish, seafood, and salads. It recently won a Bronze Medal at the recently held Decanter World Wine Awards 2021. For more information on its flavor and aroma as well as other Italo Cescon wines, check out cesconitalo.com.

2. ME TIME BY THE POOL 

Ciani Wishing Angel Sparkling Rosé (Campania)

This pride of Campania region has a nose of wild strawberry and a minor note of cyclamen. Like other extra dry Rosés, it’s best paired with white meat but the epicurean Ciani family recommends pairing it with Duck a l’Orange.

3. BARBECUE AT THE GARDEN

Borgo Maragliano La Caliera Moscato D’Asti 2016 (Piedmont)

Is a full-bodied Moscato with a wild bouquet of candied fruit and acacia blossom. La Caliera is made from 100% Moscato Bianco di Canelli. This pairs well with most cheeses, sweets, and antipasto.

4. SUNDOWNERS AT THE ROOFTOP

Marchesi Incisa Della Rochetta Barbera D’Asti Superiore 2015 (Piedmont)

In its early stages of ageing, its profile has notes of violet, cherry, and plum, while it develops tertiary notes of tobacco, cocoa, leather, and licorice. It is owned by one of the oldest families in Piedmont, the Incisa Della Rochetta family, whose wine-making dates back to the 11th century. This bottle matches very well with roasted red meats and various aged cheeses.

5. LAZING BY THE BEACH WITH A GOOD BOOK

Tonnino Mediterraneo Chenin Blanc 2018 (Sicily)

From Tonnino Winery, a family of winemakers who takes pride in creating wines that are farmed and produced naturally—from grape to bottle. This Sicilian charmer has an intense shining yellow color with rich floral notes laced with peaches and honey. This 100% Chenin Blanc is recommended to pair with fish-based dishes, lobster, crab, and white meats.

6. SPENDING AN AFTERNOON JUST WINE-ING

Bounamico Dea Rosa 2020 (Tuscany)

This multi-awarded Rosé wine may be the freshest aperitif you’ll ever discover. It is an excellent pair for your charcuterie and appetizers. The dominant notes of cherries blend perfectly well with fish mains and beans or lentil soups.

7. TAKING A BOOZE CRUISE

Gavi del Comune di Gavi DOCG (Piedmont)

This delicate straw-yellow Gavi di Gavi has an edge of orange blossom that is dry yet with a fresh mouthfeel that leaves a subtle bitterness in the back. It pairs well with appetizers, fish and white meat dishes. It’s a supple white that’s suitable for all occasions. We recommend this to best match with Linguine Alle Vongole.

Saluti to drinking in style again!

PW Distributors NY supplies to bars, restaurants, and liquor stores all over New York City. Connecting the gap between the world’s best vineyards and the world’s best people (New Yorkers, of course) for about two decades now. They maintain a well-curated roster of wines from different wine regions in Italy, Oregon (United States), South Africa, South America, among others.

Contact them below for more information about the complete wine selection, request an appointment, or schedule a tasting.

PW Distributors NY
1813 42nd St., Astoria, Queens, New York, NY
Phone: 718 7846016
Email: orders@pwdistributorsny.com

Photo credits: Italo Cescon, Tonnino, Pexels.com, Ciani

Historic Olympic Gold

Hidilyn Diaz wins first Gold Olympic gong for the Philippines. A woman weightlifter gave the country its first Olympic Gold (Tokyo 2020) medal. She’s won an Olympic Silver medal for the sport in Rio 2016. Despite the lack of athletic funding and support from the government, Diaz triumphed to become a pillar of strength, hope, and inspiration. Such a great Olympic moment.

#LakasAtTapang #LabanBabae #Olympics2020

Photo credit: Olympics.com