2016 Apples & Lemons Awards

2016 Apples & Lemons Awards

This year was exceptionally busy for Davao with our Mayor winning the presidential bid. Fortunate for Davao and Mindanao because it will finally receive the care it deserves and unfortunate because heavy traffic is getting to be a way of life. It’s the price of progress, but I hope the latter can be addressed soon.

Yes, progress has its apples and its share of lemons, so does the rest of Davao.

Here are the 2016 winners and losers.



Best desserts.

Bistro Rosario’s Mango Pavlova. It made its debut at the Christmas Afternoon of Carols event and it was the star on the spread.


2016 Apples & Lemons Awards best dessert is Mango Pavlova

Mango Pavlova of Bistro Rosario is a major dessert discovery


In contrast to other merengue taste, sugar only lends a hint of sweetness to the white layers that make up the cake. The cream sandwiched in its layers is treated the same way.

On this “sugar–controlled” dessert, the sweet and distinct taste of the golden globes of fresh, ripe mangoes are highlighted and complement the goodness of the dessert.

(Order two days in advance. P900/cake).


Tiny Kitchen’s Ube Cake. If you want your dessert in this place on the not so sweet side, light yet rich in taste, then go for the ube cake.


2016 Apples & Lemons Awards best dessert is Ube Cake by Tiny Kitchen

Delicious. Tiny Kitchen’s Ube Cake


It’s a layering of ube on this one: two layers of ube chiffon cake with layers, light ube flavored whipped cream with ube grits goes in between the layers and all over the cake. Whipped cream tops the cake to provide color contrast and a generous amount of ube grits is sprinkled to finish. (Whole cake at P or P120/slice).


Basti’s Brew’s Banana Mackintosh. It rarely appears on the coffee shops’ chiller and if it does, it disappears quickly. Yes, it’s that good.

The recipe to a Banana Mackintosh pie is “googable” but it’s the tweak on the recipe that makes Basti’s version covetable.

Basti’s’ pie is on the right level of sweetness, like the way I prefer my desserts. It uses a lavish amount of caramelized fresh, perfectly ripened bananas laid over a bed of dark chocolate ganache and caramel syrup (made in-house from scratch) and graham cracker crust. Whipped cream tops the pie. The pie can be addicting. (Whole pie P720. P 129/slice)


Best hotel food: Seda Abreeza

For consistency in flavor and presentation, Seda Abreeza Hotel takes the crown this year.


2016 Apples & Lemons Awards best hotel food is Seda Abreeza

Dreamy holiday set-up. Seda Abreeza’s presentation & food flavors are consistently good


On food tasting days, the venue’s ambience is set up to complement the cuisine’s theme. On the spread, there is always something new to make the menu exciting.

The food’s good flavor follows through the actual days of the promotion giving the published PRs justice.

Congratulations Seda Abreeza Hotel. Take 4/5 apples.


Best dressed: Nicole Hao Bian.

Inheriting her mother’s genes, Nicole Hao Bian’s fashion sense gets a high mark. She is consistent in showing this strength 365 days this 2016.


2016 Apples & Lemons Awards best-dressed

Nicole Hao Bian is always well dressed to any occasion


Like a movie star owing fame to fans, she never steps out unless she’s properly groomed and dressed to the occasion. From her work spaces (she’s handling the different sectors of the company) to evening affairs, expect this young lady to be a head turner in every good way.

Her fashion choices are impeccable, simple yet sleek, and always becoming of the charming and amiable person that she is.

Take 5/5 apples, please.




Taste matters. When given the chance to showcase talent—in a posh address no less, it is expected of the artists to give it their best. In this year’s themed exhibition, only a minute few deserved the space they were offered. Their companions, sorry to say, didn’t live up to their trumpeted expertise.

Talent can be honed through years in one’s field, but unfortunately it doesn’t work as fast on taste, or don’t happen at all.

Maybe the taste of lemons will grow on you?


See the big picture? It can put individuals in a bad light when imposing themselves on an affair not invited to, worse, throw a tantrum in public prior to a request still up for approval, and at what cost?

Step back and look at the bigger picture. Isn’t the sphere, which your clique is a dot in, stands to gain with the planned affair?

What’s the real reason for the lobbying? As I see it, the affair will showcase the real winners, no matter who interprets it and wherever it is presented. Why was there no fuss in the other affairs that came to town? Perhaps the water’s glow this time is just too mesmerizing not to dip the fingers in it?

The lemons are glowing. Tempting? Take a couple each.


Emulating a fast food chain? When writers trumpet your promotion, make sure you deliver. Unfortunately, this fancy food joint fell on expectations.

When foodies’ appetites were stimulated by the PR and promos and trooped to the venue, they saw red. The unanimous comment was: “It was just like eating in that fast food joint in the malls. It was disappointing. The saving grace was the dessert.”

Inconsistency can lead to a downfall. 3/5 lemons.


Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com. For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.com & www.jeepneyjinggoy.com

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.