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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Loving Pinoy Food and Proud of It!

When I was still working in a five star hotel in Ortigas, cocktails for various hotel activities were pretty often. I've had a chance to sample different hors d'oeuvres (pronounced as ôr dûrvz), canapé, and cheeses. These small one-bite finger food and appetizers are appealing to the eyes and more to the taste buds, although ones tongue may need a few twist and turns before it can pronounce any of this cocktail staples.

When I moved to another job (my current one) which requires a lot of overseas travel, my food horizon got even broader and I tremendously enjoyed sampling dishes of various coutries - - chilli crab and kaya toasts in Singapore, laksa in Malaysia, tom yum in Thailand and the uncomparable ramen of Japan to name a few.

However, and maybe not a lot of people know that even if I've been exposed to foreign dishes, I remain loyal to Filipino food and delicacies. I am someone who would happily trade a quarter pound burger with fried rice and danggit without second thoughts.

I remember during one trip to Sydney where I met a Filipino family who have just recently migrated there. I was told they hardly cook their own native food anymore but instead go for burgers, fish and chips and pasta like any other Aussie. I was secretly disappointed learning this as oftentimes, someone's native dishes are the only evidence of a person's culture and roots after one migrates to another country.

Most of our dishes are actually influenced by the nations and cultures that onced ruled the Philippines. We were a colony of Spain for 400 years so naturally a lot of our dishes have a tinge of Spanish into it. Our most popular dish, the Adobo, although the cooking process or method is indigent to the Philippines, is actually Spanish (adobo means seasoning or marinade).

One observartion though of a foriegner friend is our appetite for meat and I have to agree. If one is attend a town fiesta, the staples would be menudo, embutido, caldereta, lumpiang shanghai and maybe lechon. Ha! Look at all those meat!

For dessert, the Filipino table has a very extensive variety. Aside from our wide array of rice-based desserts or kakanin, we have Halo-Halo, a drink-dessert made with sweetened banana, sweet potato, beans, macapuno, nata de coco and many more topped with shaved ice and milk which is similar to Iced Kachang of Malaysia. There is a coconut milk-based soupy version which is Ginataang Halo-Halo (seems like we have knack for mixed ingredients).

my home-cooked ginataang halo-halo
I adore Filipino food and I am proud of it. I do miss it a lot when I travel and sometimes when I've been away for weeks, I'll ask our yaya to cook my favorite Pinoy fare for my first meal back home. And how I love the taste of Sinigang after days of Filipino food abstinence.

So, what's your favorite Filipino dish?

Monday, October 12, 2015

I love you

Sometimes all I can do is write...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Turning Jurassic at Dinosaurs Island Clarkfield

The Hubby and I decided not to throw a party for Enoe's 5th birthday apart from the small party he will have in school and instead just take the kids to a leisure or theme park.

Luckily I came across a sale at MetroDeal for tickets to Dinosaurs Island which offered the entrance fee only at Php198 instead of the regular Php350. I've seen a few posts about the theme park which opened in 2012 and I wonder why it's not too popular among netizens yet. Is it the location perhaps which is almost 100kms from Manila?

The main entrance to the theme park (after clearing with ticket checkers) is a giant door reminiscent of the movie Jurassic Park. Even before coming in, we can already hear the "roar" of the dinosaurs inside. 

Tagged as the "first ever animatronics theme park in the country that features life-sized dinosaur", the park really did not disappoint. My kids were scared to walk past the gate as they saw the huge Brachiosaurus waiting for a photo-op.

The dinosaurs move and roar as visitors approach unaware, creating a "gulat" factor, a very clever idea made possible by motion sensors placed in strategic spots near each replicas. Even adults sometimes shriek and shout in surprise.

There are about 30 plus almost-real life-sized dinosaurs in the Dino Trail, the main attraction of the park, each one scary and amazing at the same time.

Towards the end of the trail, just when the kids are no longer scared of the dinosaurs, we met the walking and interactive dinos at Dino World of Fun. They danced and tried to scare those who are obviously frightened (like my daughter).

Other attractions in the park (separate fees apply) are the Dino Ride (Php50), Safari Ride (Php150) and 7D Ride (Php150)

Dinosaurs Island 
Clark Picnic Grounds, 
Gil Puyat Ave, Mabalacat City, 
2023 Pampanga

09052616521 / 09159433689 (GLOBE) / 
09327449783 / 09239077342 (SUN) / 
02 2930531 (LANDLINE) look for Joel / Giselle

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Churros con Chocolate by Churreria La Lola

There's an ongoing craze at Rockwell's Power Plant Mall that is causing people to fall in line all day, any day of the week. It's not another ramen joint or pork bun joint, this time it's for those caring for their sweet tooth!

It's easy to spot where the commotion is for what is now dubbed as "best churros in Manila". Just follow the long line at the ground floor and you will find Chucherria La Lola.

They cook their precious churros while customers watch which builds the anticipation even more. Served fresh from the frying bin, it's perfect especially when dipped in chocolate which you can order separately. Churros dipped in hot Belgian chocolate, how's that for dessert?

The little nook opened in December 2014 and quickly got popular with their crispy (but a wee bit oily) churros, I also think the churros are too thick (compared to Dulcinea's slim version) hence it holds more oil.

Churros Classicos (just the plain churros) sell at Php110 for 6 pieces, Php195 for 12 pieces, and Php275 for 18 pieces. The Belgian chocolate dip can be had at Php60 for medium, Php100 for large cup and Php135 for an XL cup.

They also serve stuffed churros called Xuxo with fillings choices such as nutella, strawberry, peanut butter and chocolate.

Churreria La Lola, 
B1 Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati;
+63 915 4129468. 
Open daily from 11am to 9pm

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