Battle of the Pork Buns: Tim Ho Wan versus TuanTuan

Tim Ho Wan's Char Siew Bao
Tim Ho Wan’s Char Siew Bao

Tim Ho Wan’s opening in Manila created a big buzz online and the hype is still very much visible with the long lines in both of their branches — SM Megamall Fashion Hall and Glorietta (beside the Globe store). People wanted to have a taste of their famour Char Siew Bao, or Pork Buns.

The Megamall branch was already open when my family went back to Hong Kong. I decided to try one of the Hong Kong branches, after reading online that waiting was only around 15-30 minutes. That’s very short comparing to the one hour (at least) waiting time at the Megamall branch.

Anyway, another restaurant opened its doors in Megamall and also boasts of their famous pork buns — TuanTuan.

TuanTuan's Pork Snow Bun
TuanTuan’s Pork Snow Bun

One order of pork buns will give you 3 pieces for both restaurants (Tim Ho Wan: PhP145, TuanTuan: PhP128).

Visually, TuanTuan’s look more appealing because of its even color. Tim Ho Wan’s, on the other hand, looks more toasted (which I personally prefer).

Both versions of the bun have pork filling. The main difference is the taste. Tim Ho Wan’s filling is more savory and salty, compared to Tuan Tuan’s sweeter version. Tim Ho Wan’s buns are also filled with more filling than TuanTuan’s.

But probably the best selling point of both of these buns are the bread and coating. Other’s opinion is correct in that TuanTuan’s bread is crunchier, thanks to the pineapple icing that covers it, but it also tends to crumble easier. Taste-wise, both are sweet, but not too much to the point of being cloying.

When it comes to the balance of taste, I preferred Tim Ho Wan’s because the saltiness of the filling was balanced out by the sweetness of the bread. TuanTuan’s however was just sweet with not enough saltiness to even it out.

Tim Ho Wan’s Char Siew Bao
– Better balance of flavor
– Good proportion of bread to filling
– More expensive
– Long queue for seats

TuanTuan’s Pork Snow Bun
– Cheaper
– Shorting line for seats
– No flavor variety
– Bad bread:filling ratio

With only a few peso difference, I personally recommend that you try Tim Ho Wan’s first. I don’t know if you’ll find it worth the long waiting time. But they also offer a lot of other items that you can try.

As for TuanTuan, they also offer a Pineapple Snow Bun, sort of a dessert version of their Pork Snow Bun.

Sam Smith releases version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” then the whole world cried

What’s not to love about Sam Smith’s version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas?”

His version is so sad, I love it! I love him!

For the Cinema One Originals Virgin: Esprit de Corps


This is my first time to watch a Cinema One Originals entry (the festival is on its 10th year)

The movie is directed by Kanakan Balintagos (also known as Aureus Solito of ‘Maximo Oliveros’ fame) and stars Sandino Martin and JC Santos.

I hope it’s a good one.

Why I’m Not Totally Happy About Toy Story 4

Late last week, it was officially announced that Disney and Pixar will be making a fourth installment to the Toy Story series.

Anyone who knows me know that I am obsessed with the franchise, especially with its cowboy protagonist Sheriff Woody.

I didn’t react immediately when a friend tagged me on Facebook about the news. Mainly because I was not sure how I felt about it.

I watched Toy Story 3 in IMAX at SM Mall of Asia wearing a Sheriff Woody shirt, a cowboy hat, with a Sheriff Woody figurine at hand.

I was prepared for it to end.

And the end (apparently not) was perfect. I let go of Andy, Sheriff Woody and the gang after I left the cinema.

Toy Story left me in tears. It was realistic. I watched the first Toy Story movie when I was still a child. I grew with Andy. And somehow I think the movies contributed to my love for toys (and the reason why I still have most of them at home).

Sure, there were short films after. Mind you, I was not completely happy about that as well. But I let it go thinking that they were not really full stories, just snippets of what happened to them after Andy left for college.

I am scared, to be honest. I have this strong feeling that Disney and Pixar will just ruin the whole thing. And the last Pixar films are not helping me think otherwise. I never watched Cars (and Cars 2), Brave lacked heart, and so did Monsters University. Their teaser for their upcoming film “Inside Out” is not tht appealing as well, just using their hay day films as to get the viewers attention.

Something’s missing in their previous films. And I’m afraid that will continue to Toy Story 4.

Oh well, I guess I have to wait until June 16, 2017 to see if Pixar actually ruined my childhood.

Starbucks Sorcery

This Christmas season, Starbucks Philippines decided to whip up some magic and actually sell this:


Chocolate chip cookie stuffed with Oreo!

Will probably try this one of these days, just out of curiosity (and my love of sweets).

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out as Gay

Tim Cook Speaks Up
Photo from (

Apple CEO Tim Cook finally acknowledges that he is gay in a personal essay he wrote for Bloomberg’s Businessweek.

Here’s the full text of Cook’s essay from Businessweek. I’ve highlighted parts of the article that struck me the most.

“Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.

At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.

For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

I’ll admit that this wasn’t an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I’d like to hold on to a small amount of it. I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That’s what our employees deserve—and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender. I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I’m best suited for and the work that brings me joy.

The company I am so fortunate to lead has long advocated for human rights and equality for all. We’ve taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California. And we spoke up in Arizona when that state’s legislature passed a discriminatory bill targeting the gay community. We’ll continue to fight for our values, and I believe that any CEO of this incredible company, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, would do the same. And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.

When I arrive in my office each morning, I’m greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don’t pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.

For this year’s Pride Month last June, Apple actively participated in the celebration of the LGBT community by joining the San Francisco Pride Parade.

What can you say about Cook’s coming out?

“My Husband’s Lover” Nominated at International Emmy Awards!

GMA Network’s groundbreaking drama “My Husband’s Lover” earned a nod from the Academy and is nominated in the Best Telenovela Category at the 42nd International Emmy Awards. (See full list of nominees on their website)

“My Husband’s Lover,” which aired June to October 2013 and starred Tom Rodriguez, Dennis Trillo and Carla Abellana, told the story of a woman (Abellana) finding out this her husband (Rodriguez) is gay and has a male lover (Trillo).

The series generated buzz for bringing the spotlight to homosexual relationships and issues, which was unusual for the local TV landscape. It also had its fair share of criticisms including those from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)

Other series competing for the category are:

  • 30 Lives: Maxim Bouchard (30 Vies)
  • Belmonte
  • Precious Pearl

Awarding will be held on November 24, 2014 at New York City’s Hilton Hotel.

BONUS: My Husband’s Lover is included in the list of “12 Kabugan Teleserye Confrontation Scenes” by Tit for Tat and got a whopping 4.75 slap rating! Go check it out!

Featured photo from