Three things 10 – 1 March 2012

I had to correct a recent “Three things” post which only had 2 things. Oops.

1. If there is a go-to place in the Diliman/Katipunan area for more than decent food and desserts that are a comfort, I will nominate the Chocolate Kiss Cafe. Since 1997, when I entered university, I have been to their two branches at the UP Diliman’s Bahay ng Alumni building for times of celebration, calm, and conversation. In fact, it played a role in my Ondoy/Ketsana experience back in 2009, because my mother and I had lunch there before braving floods in search of a place to stay. (We ended up in the Sulo hotel near Quezon City Hall, but that’s for another time to write about.) So when a friend posted the link to the “Kissed!” 15th anniversary event, I did not hesitate to postpone the one event I was supposed to attend (you’ll find out about it a week from now), and I jumped at the chance to enjoy good food and good company. And of course, good dessert.

While I especially enjoyed the hickory-smoked spareribs (my mom’s favorite) and a downscaled version of the seafood pomodoro pasta that often gets ordered at family dinners there, I realized one problem with a buffet set-up–unless certain foods are kept warm, they would become troublesome. This was true with an old standby, chicken fingers, which are often served (with fries) as their “chicken in a basket.” I realized why these had to be served and eaten hot. It just was not the same.

But the dessert was the highlight. My dinner companion will be posting her pictures of their dessert table set-up sometime soon, but I can say that anyone familiar with the cafe’s offerings will be glad to know that all of them were there. Especially the cheesecake.

Dessert selection from Chocolate Kiss. From top clockwise: sans rival, dayap chiffon cake, sour cream cheesecake, and blueberry cheesecake. Photo by Ren Aguila

It took a while to go through the dessert while the performances were going on. My companion explained that the ensemble playing then, Da Capo, often played late at night on Tuesdays at the second-floor cafe, and we noted their performances of standards like “Moon River” and “A Kiss To Build A Dream On,” sometimes with singers joining them. And these days a cover of this Adele hit seems to be the in thing, but my friend put it best: “Only Adele can sing Adele.”

2. Yesterday was Rossini’s birthday, a fact the latest Google Doodle acknowledged, so the time was right for playing his two greatest contributions to popular culture: the final two sections of his William Tell Overture and the aria “Largo al factotum” from The Barber of Seville. (That’s the one with “Figaro! Figaro!”)

However, the leap day ended on a sad note. My father used to listen to a radio station that played nothing but oldies and muzak, and one of these songs that periodically made it to the playlist was the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer.” I found out today that Davy Jones, the lead singer, died of a heart attack. For those who watched the first Shrek film, the band also originated the final song there, “I’m A Believer.” So yesterday was also a day of appreciating popular music of all sorts.

3. Finally, I was brought to mind of a post from 2010 about the closing of NU 107, when Rock Drilon posted this video of a BBC performance of John Cage’s “4’33”” at the Barbican Centre in London. Now that I’ve actually seen it being performed, I’ll be covering it with a stopwatch and a piano. My challenge is for any local rock band to cover it too!

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the need for silence. I would have wanted to say something more, but…I think I’ll play the song now.

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