Alex The White

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I know, I know it sounds like Gandalf the Wizard, but to me, he is. Show him the kitchen and the magic just flows.

This culinary meister loves travel and adventure. His exploits can be tracked by the stuff he brings home with him, ethnic crafts and native trinkest and baubles, among other things. A big man with a penchant for the outdoors, long bicycle rides, challenging climbs. You can tell by the truck that he drives – he doesn’t believe in flashy decals and frills, just something that can take a load, go through the miles and keep up with the hectic schedule, both personal and business.

He is into photography, too! If it’s not a soup ladle or knife in his hand, it must be a camera. Or nowadays, a phone camera. It all fits, cooking, photography, the outdoors. And a lot of adventures.

18057058_10212393454057463_4742664929053737371_nBut first and foremost, is food, of course. Alex grew up in a big ,extended family that food is often a celebration, a gathering and a staple to kindling family ties. His love for our own local delicacies can only be matched with his passion for trying new recipes, combining influences and making them consumer ready without sacrificing taste. Also, our wine and liquor stock is his brainchild, promoting locally made craft beer, discovering new ones, making the choices for our customers wider than usual. It got so passionate that we have our own signature drinks – Bambutini, Jones Bridge – just a couple to tease the taste buds. His travels led to creating an ambience and feel for Bambu Intramuros and Bamboo Giant Malate, and the rest of the sibling restaurants he built. A chef that has been around for quite sometime, Alex loves putting together teams that is bred for only one thing – creating a menu worth going through each time you come by our place.

13769509_10205940910313152_3814421903488285516_nHe has worked in Singapore, and elsewhere around the world, but his heart stays planted, firmly on local soil. Well, if he is not driving around his sturdy truck, doing business stuff and discovering other restos and nighspots around the metro that is. Not one to just sit around after the work is done, he also helps people as a consultant for their own businesses, always with the emphasis on taste and presentation, and everything else comes naturally – the styling and look – that makes people come again and again. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able chance upon us with Alex creating new delights on one of his food tasting treats.

Most of the time, the man is driving off to somewhere, makes me think he hardly ever sleeps! But that only shows he really enjoys what he does. maybe you can spot him on his grey pickup loaded with goods on the busy streets of Manila.

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Good Food, Art, Rhythm and Booze

More than a decade now, there is one quaint place built from an idea that good food need not be expensive, and that there should be lush foliage and live music with the gastronomic pleasures being served. True enough, there is this small corner of Manila, snugly blooming in the middle of three busy streets, Bamboo Giant Malate, as versatile and resilient as its namesake.

Komradze At Bamboo Giant Malate

Pepe and Jerome dishing out music from the 80s

With art at its heart, and music as its soul, Bamboo Giant is not just a restaurant with an extensive menu, and a roster of seasoned musicians dishing out well loved tunes as regulars and newcomers enjoy the camaraderie, savor the dishes, or just pass the night from a busy day with a brew or two. At thirteen years old, a milestone in itself, Bamboo Giant Malate has become an institution of sorts, a habit worth keeping or a new discovery that keeps them coming back for more. I’d love tell you all about it, but that would spoil the experience, rather, this is an open invitation for you to come and visit, sit down and talk,and let Bamboo Giant Malate speak in rhythms and beats.

The name is so appropriate, it sprouted siblings, each with it’s own character, but a common theme – Bamboo Grande, Patio Papa, Ka Boy Grill – and the youngest shoot to come up, Bamboo Intramuros, a somewhat refined version with a mass appeal, a bigger floor area, yet still rooted in the same fertile soil of art, good food, rhythm and booze, all in the name of fun, relaxation and good conversations. Bamboo Intramuros has taken the step toward growth as it celebrated its first year of existence, keeping that inherent trait but evolving its own uniqueness. Although I should inform you first hand, if you have to come, come early, as the place, like its older kin, seem to throb and buzz as the sun sets. People come back not as customers, but as family and friends, most of them want to enjoy a good meal before going home, others drink to celebrate, ease the day down, and then there are those who want to entertain their own guest, and with the nightly live music, who could argue?

As it gets dark, the place is ablaze with music.

Bamboo Giant Malate

On a regular busy night

And not just any kind of music, mind you. Not the videoke kind. No, the place is unapologetic when it comes to entertainment, but would give you choice musicians, veterans of the circuit, real artists who sing and play well loved tunes in their own stripped-down sets of classic rock, country, folk, transcending genres, not just pop, but would even perform songs you hardly ever hear on radio nowadays. Oh, they do love to rock once in a while. Actually, it’s what makes the nightly entertainment worth waiting for. I have seen and heard the lineup for a whole week and I could not be more pleased.

Bamboo Giant Malate Noy & Cezar

Fretboard mastery and extensive song lineup

Bamboo Giant Malate and Bambu Intramuros are the same with its consumer friendly entrees and drinks. We also take pride in creating art out of discarded stuff people just throw away. Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose anything that could be turned into beautiful decors, light covers and whatever it is that could erstwhile be just another piece of junk littering the streets.

But don’t take my word for it. Do drop by sometime, if your itinerary has Manila in it, they would be delighted to to have you.

 

Give It Away, Now

“Wow! You did this? Can I have it? What? You’re selling this for a hundred bucks? But you did it in just 15 mins! How about I pay you 25 pesos?”

Just recently, I told people in the interwebs that I am giving away my illustrations for free. And I did. It was a collection of old works redone with a few enhancements, and some new drawings meant to be patterns for coloring.

The obvious question was “Why?”.

And I could answer “Just because.”. But I didn’t. There is a long explanation involved, and so I just shrugged off the question.

Come to think of it, I have always given away my drawings. It started the day someone asked me to draw VoltesV. Or maybe It was because most of my childhood friends know how to draw and it has always been a challenge to one-up the other guy. But I do give away drawings. In high school, classmates often asked me to draw something for them, help out with a project, or a friend who wants to impress a girl.

In college, people offered to pay for my drawings. And I did earn from it.

Most of the time.

People would pay me Php50 to Php150 per piece, depending on what they want me to draw – visual aids for areport, feline anatomy, something for a t-shirt, college stuff. But mostly I get paid peanuts. Specially when it was a beautiful girl.

So I am always giving away my artwork for free.

Even recently, at a mall, I do ink drawings for change. And the guy I’m with insists he is promoting the “industry”, whatever he thinks what industry it is. Turns out that guy’s just living off other artists and surrounding himself with young girls, the perv.

And so I gave away my drawings for free.

Which is the only logical thing to do, since I can dish out new work any time I want. And I want to start fresh. Been giving away stuff as far as I can remember. Heck, I even gave away money to a brother who’s so thick, he thinks I owe him an apology for being pissed off at his non-communicative behavior. My brother and that guy Kit, they are the same kind of leech. And I’m tired of leaving messages and calling numbers that are never available.

I gave away these coloring book illustrations, because they are fit to be given away. And because I am doing something new, more elaborate and worthy of framing, not something cheap like that dreadful noontime show fan art. Or a pattern that people dismiss as secondary to their choise of coloring materials.

My friends may not understand it, but they will, in time. I’m going to register this venture as a business name and I want to start right, by creating new and beautiful illustrations that will go into print and sell so I can earn a living from it. These works will be well researched, better illustrated and well worth the money spent.