Omeprazole. Not a Pokemon. Not a French pastry.

If you know what this is, you and I probably underwent a similar gastronomic Calvary. But alas, thanks to Omeprazole, my stomach was back after three months. I thank God for my doctor who guided me through that difficult period.

So what is Omeprazole? Well, basically it is medication used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (Gerd). In 2019, I had a bout with bacteria in my stomach—which wasn’t really a case of Gerd—and it severely kept me from eating or drinking anything.

Not a spoonful of rice. Not a millimeter of pork. Not a forkful of cake. Nothing. I wish I were exaggerating but I’m calling it as it was. My best meal would consist of a lean chicken breast, straight from the fridge and on to the counter top sandwich grill. No rice. Just a handful of lifeless chicken strips for survival.

It was a practice of primitivity in the 21st century. It was how I lived, until months of medication, and a slow rehab got me back to a normal diet.

All of these memories came rushing back while taking sips of single malt whisky during The Singleton Masterclass with Rian Asiddao, hosted by Diageo Prestige and Sugbo Wine Online Liquor Store, held at 1521 Bistro + Bar in October.

Ever since that health speed bump, I’ve had a more profound appreciation for food and drink. Three years ago, I couldn’t even take a sip of iced tea. Now, here I was, trying out three kinds of whisky (The Singleton of Dufftown 15 Year Old, The Singleton of Dufftown 18 Year Old and The Singleton of Dufftown 21 Year Old) paired respectively with a finely curated dinner menu (Salmon Tartare with Grilled Indonesian Chicken Satay, Beef Tenderloin Salpicao with Garlic Rice and Blueberry Cheesecake).

The thing is, I’ve never been a drinker. I don’t think that will ever change. I am a willing learner and eager beaver, though. So I gamely learned the basics of enjoying single malt Scotch whisky during the masterclass, going over my notes in my head, narrated in the voice of Sir Sean Connery.

Taking it slow and enjoying it neat was the way to go. A few drops of water totally opened up the different aromas. I picked the 18 Year Old as my favorite that night, finding the perfect balance between smooth and rich.

Is this pick indicative of my being a single malt Scotch whisky novice? Well, it was a masterclass after all, and I was a student; all ears.

Cheers to a journey of more dining discoveries in Cebu.

The Singleton is available via