Lato at Tatoy’s Manokan

March 26th, 2014

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Hello iloveiloilo.  It’s been a long time.  Perhaps this sea delicacy called Lato will inspire me to write again.

Pan de Manila in Iloilo and Pan de Sal

March 8th, 2014

imagePan de Manila, obviously from Manila has invaded Iloilo.  To date, there are three branches:  at E. Lopez, Jaro, at Robinson’s Mall and at GT Mall.

I observe they are doing good business in Iloilo so far.  We have a number of good bakeries in Iloilo. There’s Iloilo Supermart’s Tinapayan; there’s Tibiao Bakery;  there’s Angelina.

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So the question is, what’s in Pan de Manila that make  picky Ilonggos return?  I am curious myself.  Come to think of it, their breads cost a little more than those in the Ilonggo bakeshops I mentioned above.  Ensaymada for P25?  The Pan de Sals though are priced competitively.

Could it be Pan de Manila’s attractive interiors and packaging?  Well, I do like their Spanish-colonial inspired relaxing  interiors and their brown paper paper bags with that colorful artwork.  (That’s what I return for. <wink>).

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Could it be accessibility?  Their branches at E. Lopez and at GT Mall have parking space–ideal for Ilonggos who want to stop by for bread to take home.

Could it be the novelty of having an “imported” bakeshop in Iloilo?

I wonder what my colleagues think.  You too are welcome to give your take.

Now, speaking of Pan de Sal.  I just finished reading posts in Pepper.ph (interesting and informative essay on popular Filipino breads)  and in my fave Marketmanila blog  re this iconic pan.

Marketman says they don’t make pan de sal like they used to.  I quote:

There are few if any commercial pan de sals that come anywhere close to the pan de sals of the 50s and 60s. Many variations today are too small, too sweet (it’s a salty bread!), too airy, possess no crust, have a strange shape, etc. etc. I am not sure if it the quality of flour, bad yeast, added sugar, lazy bakers, whatever…but this is a national treasure that has been allowed to deteriorate. In France, there are standards around their baguette, here we have price controls that result in size diminution.”

Marketman made this observation in 2005.  I concur.  Nine years later, the pan de sals that are being sold are distant relatives of the real deal , except for one, in inday joy’s opinion of course, as far as Iloilo is concerned.

I’m talking about Pan de Sal ni Pa-a at Pa-a’s Bakery, near Jaro Plaza.  This is what Pan de Sal ought to be.

Read more about this heritage bakery in a coming post.

The fish head curry turned fish head tausi

March 8th, 2014

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The travails of being a working mom…Children need food; mom had no time to market.  Ingredients incomplete.  Work with what’s around.

The result for Saturday brunch:  fish head tausi, as homage to Papa On.  But this one doesn’t get close enough to his version.  I miss him.

Inday joy was saving this for a fish head curry recipe she has tried before.  It was nearing 11 am and the ingredients have not been gathered.  Basic should be coconut milk .  No coconut; Forget the curry.  ” Quick Rad, buy me some black beans from the neighborhood tiangge while I dig up some ginger from our “garden.”"

So here it is.  Very simple to make.

1.  Fry the fish head.  Season first with salt, pepper and calamansi.

2.  Ready your spices for sautéing.  Garlic, onions, ginger, tomatoes.  Green onions, for garnishing later.

3.  Add the black beans (don’t include the water in the can).  Store around.  Add some water.  Taste.

4.  wait to thicken a little, then pour over your fried fish.

5.   Serve.

 

 

 

 

In the mood for some styling with Bugasong patadyong

March 7th, 2014

 

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As the semester draws to a close, it’s hell weeks again and this blog becomes least priority.  ”Gotta have a caffeine fix before facing the busy day,” I told myself.  For a change, I took down from the shelf this blue and white cup with that distinct fish design.  I took down too, the cobalt blue saucer (from one of my downtown china-china sojourns).

Made a fresh brew.

Poured the coffee in (this one is Monk’s Blend).

Brought it to my sigunyati? (will have to check the spelling) dining table for an instant shoot.

Wait!  I need a placemat.

Lying in a corner was  the patadyong I bought from The Bagtason Loom Weavers’ Association in Bugasong, Antique.

Presto!  A very simple shot as per ipad limitations. Wish I had a dlsr or how about a mirrorless(?) Aws, that can wait.  In the meantime, here’s that document.

This blog’s tagline partly says “…the things she loves.”  This Bugasong patadyong is one of these.   I’ll tell you more in a separate post.

For now, come and have coffee.

I LOVE ANTIQUE!

February 28th, 2014

   image Good morning.  Inspite of all the body aches and the groggy feeling, I’m still in euphoria, of the sublime kind.  What a revelation the sleepy proVince of Antique is.

Thank You   Katahum Tours for  creating these tour packages, in cooperation with the LGUs and the Antique Provincial Tourism Office.   Iloilo media and national bloggers + a bella Italian blogger experienced this  Grand Antique Tour.  Lest this sound like a press release, let me just post select photos and share our experiences with you.

This Grand Antique Tour is divided into four tourism packages conceptualized by Katahum Tours. 1.  Manggad Kang Antique (The Antique Heritage Tour) – for Humanities/history/tourism students.

So on Days 1 and 2, the  Humanities students of UPV were the guests.   It was an eye-opener for them and since it was experiential, i believe they had fun.

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You can see more pictures in a separate post and in the students own travelogues in their fb pages.

The second phase of this tour on Day 3 was the Tibiao Eco-Adventure Package, a soft-adventure experience  in the mountains of Tibiao comprising of the Kawa hot bath, the 1 km zipline, relaxing by the river, white water kayaking and the trek to Bugtong Bato Falls.

imageThat’s Lou,  my friend, for an instant photoshoot.   She is obviously relishing the experience.  This was taken at the area where Everland Inn is, the newest of four mountain inns at Tibiao.  The other three are  Kayak Inn, Bugtong-Bato  Inn and, wait..I forgot the other one…

Gotta go for now.  To be continued later.

Hi, I’m back.

Day 4 of The Grand Antique Tour was Malalison (Mararison) Island.  Part of the town of Culasi, Malalison is distinct for its Batanes-like scenery with its low lying grassy mountains,  ideal for trekking.  Here’s lives the pitcher plant!

 

Malalison

Malalison

 

Day 5 was allotted for the PANDAN RIVER EXPERIENCE PACKAGE…sulit na sulit.  it can be divided into four segments:  trekking to the very source of the Bugang River– a mystical headspring beneath which run several underground rivers.

image Explore Iloilo explores the headspring of Bugang River, Pandan, Antique.

After the trek to the headspring,some of us  swam at the “lagoon” into which the Bugang River flows into.   This is the Malumpati Cold Spring.  Extremely satisfying.  No salty sting and no chlorine damage to hair because it’s fresh, fresh water.

Tip:  Don’t pass off the joy of dipping in these refreshing waters.   Take that plunge.

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The thrill doesn’t end with the swim.  No swimming picture, sorry.  Inday joy swam as well.

Stage 3 is bamboo rafting down the Bugang river.  Amazing experience.  We got to see century old trees standing guard on the banks.  The water was crystal clear  though shallow at this time of the year.  Come summer, the water dries up in many sections of Bugang.

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And for the final leg of the river cruise:  paddle boating to the point where Bugang river meets the sea.  Race to the river’s mouth.  Sadya!

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We we ended up at Le Palme Beach Resort where a glass of Buko juice and rice cakes were waiting for us.

This tour package is offered by Katahum Tours in partnership with Pandan Beach Resort. Really great value for money.  The experience is priceless!  Happiness for me, is in Nature, not malls.

 

 

 

 

Where is this?

February 25th, 2014

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The calming seascape of Antique beckons to you…

Experience the sunset at Pandan Beach Resort.  So much awaits.

Pid-Al’s native coffee and puto

February 20th, 2014

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Pid–Al’s is an institution in Molo plaza.  It’s signage says since 1957.  I have yet to chat with the owners about why its Pid-Al’s.  so, if La paz has Madge, Molo has Pid-Al’s.

How to order?  It’s either puro, for black coffee and “May Gatas” obviously, with milk.  Then it has three sizes:  media, intiro and grande.  I suspect the grande is a recent addition, with the influence of starbucks and the like.  My order above is “intiro” or 1 cup (I wish it were bigger.  But hey, it’s just 20 bucks so stop complaining!).                        ” Media”would be half of that amount.

ambiance? Well, I think the place has undergone some renovations.  One thing that makes it different from Madge’s is the wide screen t.v.  That morning, NBA was showing.  the customers were quietly glued to it.  I’d like to think of a  kapihan, as a place for lively discussion of anything under the sun, for interaction among friends, for planning business deals or what have you.  Perhaps, it has been like this at Pid-Al’s or maybe not.

Laswa

February 16th, 2014

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Laswa is like veggie hotpot. this is geography playing a big role in the food culture of a place.  Traditionally, laswa comes together when the cook of the house forages his or her garden for what’s available, what has ripened or matured.  Have balunggay, kapayas, tugabang…make laswa.    Have kalabasa, balunggay, balatong, okra…have laswa.

Chili crabs ni Toto Olie

February 10th, 2014

imageLast Sunday at La Paz market, we were able to buy blue crabs.  It was at P300 a kilo.

Buying crabs can be a tricky business.  It can be a gamble too.  Sometimes you get really lucky and end up with ma–aligue nga kaSag.  At other times, it’s a disappointing sight.

I really don’t give much premium anymore on what some vendors say.  ”Nang, tambok ni ang kasag mu? Basi niwang.” ” ari, pilian ta ka day.”  The verdict…ahay, very little crabmeat inside; mostly carapace.

some say one should press either tip of the shell.  I’ve discovered it’s no guarantee.  Others estimate the weight in the palm of their hand.  It’s no guarantee either.   Others check out that V-shaped flap.  Now,this I have to verify.

Anyway, we were lucky with those crabs above.  I’m happy the vendor was telling the truth.  (How I hate sweet talk).  They were not “ilada” he said.  ”Ilada” is actually the ilonggo version of helada, meaning iced.  They were still alive that morning, he further explained.

True enough, this was a good batch of crabs to turn into chili crabs.  Delish!

 

 

 

Of lost pens and more lost pens

February 6th, 2014

Ballpen I can’t recall the countless times I’ve bought ball pens, marking pens, pencils, gel pens, colored pens only to end up with one lonely pen today.

i wonder if this phenomenon also happens to working moms like me.  ”Did you get my ball pen again,” I ask Roly Polly Olie.  So many things just disappear in our house.  Do the spirits like ball pens?  Hey, this is is the age of computers.  why don’t you just email your friends in the spirit world instead.

Nah, I don’t think it’s the spirits.  its probably a case of chronic carelessness.  Ball pens are cheap.  At China-china, one pen can go as low as P3.00 per piece. but there are expensive pens too. The latest is that Pilot eraseable costing around p75.00!

I’ve stopped buying the expensive ones considering my hide and seek affair with ball pens.  But my latest favorite is the fat stemmed Mongol Ink Joy, I think.  It has a smooth flow and is nice to handle.  I had two of them, a black and a blue, just two days ago.  Today, nada.

 

 

 

 

i can’t recall