Christmas is right around the corner, and thankfully, you've learned your lessons from holidays past and started Christmas shopping early. Or not. If you're like us, you're probably still just counting those freshly withdrawn bills from your 13th month bonus.
Well, we've got news for you buddy: that ain't going to make you happy. Our advice: spend it. Get yourself something really nice, get your girlfriend that bag she's always wanted, and get your parents something other than a Christmas card.
To help you sort things out, we present you our annual gift guides! Dubbed "All The Things Bros Want 2014," we've hunted down all the things we'd pony up for without hesitation, organized according to the type of guy you are. So whether you're a PlayStation addict, a hardcore fan of retro Jordans, or the type of guy that checks Lookbook on a daily basis, we've got something for you. #GetClickingAndGetGifting
To hell with “budget Noche Buenas.”
You’ve penny-pinched your way to fork over your girlfriend’s Prada (that you really bought in Greenhills) and half starve every stretch of the week before payday just so you could ride a taxi home and not the MRT's commute-from-hell. You deserve to skip the be-kuripot talk and splurge this year end.
After all, Noche Buena means “good night.” And won’t your stomach have a good night after having a fill of this…
Image via Philstar.com
Considered as the Rolls Royce of hams. It's made from pata of black Iberian pigs originally from Spain that before slaughter were fed with grass and none of the synthetic stuff. This version of jamon is cured and smoked with the bone still on meat, so that the strips fall off tenderly once you decide to lay waste on it.
Get it: P4,600/kilo, Rustan’s Fresh Supermarket
FOREST GLAZED HAM
Image via Santis Delicatessen Facebook page
Not patient with buto? This forest-glazed ham from Santi’s has a combination of fat and lean whole pig meat minus the bones, smoked and baked to a glistening brown, then glazed with honey and pineapple sauce for that familiar Christmas-fat taste.
Get it: P750/kilo, Santis Delicatessen
ABUB’S CEBUANA NATIVE LECHON
Image via chuvaness.com
A 12-year-old establishment that flies in live pigs from Cebu daily. Lechons are roasted in a cemented charcoal pit, and seasoned with a Cebuano recipe of herbs and spices. Crisp, tasty, and ships six hours after order.
Get it: P5,300 - P7,300 (6 - 20 kilos), 11 Elisco Road, Kalawaan, Pasig City
ROAST TURKEY WITH STUFFING AND GRAVY
Image via Rustan's Supermarket's Facebook page
If you’re tired of having the same bird on the table, turkey has about the same cholesterol as chicken (meaning just as tasty), but with lesser calories (diet points).
You can get the frozen butterball-turkey version in the supermarket, but at the delicatessen (with three days advance order) you can pick it up already roasted, stuffed with vegetables, and aromatic spices that seeps up the bird’s glistening balat. With gravy on the side. Feeds 10 people—five if you’re really hungry.
Get it: P4,500, Rustan’s Fresh Supermarket
AETA HOT SAUCE
Image via Aeta Organics Facebook page
If there’s a condiment worthy of a special mention on the Noche Buena table, it’s heat. And this hot sauce—made by (duh) Aeta tribal communities from pesticide-free labuyo farms. Pick it up in generous-sized bottles that should heat up everything from the lechon to that lull in your mouth before that next glug of beer. Too bad we can’t put it on the buko salad.
Get it: P295, Aeta Organics (0917-5328304, Facebook.com/aetaorganics)
Image via agricoltura.regione.campania.it
Full-flavored aged cheese that can substitute for the usual queso de bola. Except sometimes they’re shaped spherical/oval as in an itlog. Caciobariccato is cow’s milk curdled in oak barrels of Italy, dipped in grapes, which explains why it smells a bit like wine. Best paired with a full-bodied bottle of red wine, and your pinkie finger sticking out.
Get it: P290/100g (whole: about 2kg, P4,000), Santis Delicatessen
Image via itsberrylicious.com
And now for dessert. It’s like a fruitcake, except not. Mont Blanc is pureed castanas, Chantilly (sweetened, whipped) cream, almond tarts, and prunes soaked in dark rum so it cuts out the sweetness to a tamang tamis lang.
Get it: P1,500 (whole) P250 (mini), The Cake Club, Upper Ground Floor, NE Building, Bonifacio High Street, BGC
LECHE FLAN CAKE
Image via promomanila.com
Jiggly and caramelized eggy on top, cake-y at the bottom. The perfect blend of anti-umay in desserts if you ever saw one. Plus it’s leche flan, so what couldn’t be more festive and familiar?
Get it: Price depends on bulk of request, Patisserie Caroline, #17 M. Paterno St. Pasadena, San Juan (722-6839)
MOET & CHANDON ROSE IMPERIAL
Image via galleryhip.com
Set aside that undying iced tea for a bit and get a li'l classy, will you? Here's a crisp not too dry, not too sweet champagne, with strawberry tones that could appeal to the misis, but full-bodied and textured enough that you won’t gag drinking it. You better not, for what you’re forking out for it.
Get it: P3,799, Rustan’s Fresh Supermarket
CALAMANSI LIQUEUR DE MANILLE
Image via inquirer.net
Not a calamansi juice, but a 55-proof liquor that tastes of clean, strong vodka, with bitter, citrusy calamansi aftertaste. A nice clean kick to wash off all that heavy Noche Buena eating.
Get it: P440 (480ml), Destileria Limtuaco
Image via Katipunan Craft's Facebook page
A cold full-flavored brew that tastes slightly sweet, slightly burnt, and slightly aromatic (yes, mabango ang beer). Far from that last light beer that you keep lying to yourself will keep the beer belly off, but tastes like carbonated wiwi. Doesn’t everyone deserve at least this on Christmas?
Get it: P160 (330ml), Katipunan Craft Ale
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