Zombie Voter Ka Ba? Boo!

Make sure your votes won’t fall into graves this Halloween. Have your names registered not on a tombstone but at the nearest COMELEC office until All Hallow’s Eve (October 31, 2012) and make your votes count on 2013… FOR A GHOST PROJECT-FREE COUNTRY. 😐

COMELEC Registration

Info Graph by First Time Voters Network

 

 

 

Ice Kacang

Here in the Philippines, summer means time for halo-halo, mais con yelo, banana con yelo, sherbet, slurpee and dirty ice cream. Traditionally, our bodies crave for this sweet refreshment every time we feel the intense heat of the sun. That’s why when my Singapore days would fall on summertime, I’d usually go out to spot a Wall’s umbrella to buy a dollar-worth of peppermint choc chip ice cream bar, sandwiched between two wafer biscuits. But in case I fail to find one, that means I have to go to the nearest hawker or food junction and order a bowl of Ice Kacang.

ice kacang

The way I’d put it, ice kacang is Halo-halo in SG. Normally, it costs a few cents more than a Wall’s ice cream bar (about $ 1.20) and you can easily spot them on desserts section of almost every food junction in SG. Though ice kacang or ais kacang originally came from Malaysia, it is also a common dessert, a favorite I guess, in Singapore.

Ice kacangs are flavored snow cones in bowls that come with different ingredients at the bottom, poured with milk at the top… much like a halo-halo nga. They usually come in distinguished multi-colored syrup which, for me makes it ‘happy to eat’. 🙂 The shaved ice they serve used to be hand cranked like most halo-halos here in Pinas but nowadays, most ice kacang vendors use motorized or special ice machine for crushing. Most stores serving this dessert offers other varieties of crushed ice combinations–with ice cream, durian, lychee, etc.

As for the ice kacang you see above, it’s the last I’ve tasted before I got back in the Philippines. It’s a regular order–multi-colored shaved ice (resulting from different syrups, red rose syrup, sarsi syrup and another syrup I don’t know but sweet) with black gulaman or cubes of agar agar, red mongo beans, nata de coco, kaong or nipa palm fruit, topped with milk and sweet corn.

By the way, Ais Kacang is pronounced as ice kachang. Ais means ice and kacang is a Malay word for beans. And just like any halo-halo, it’s a good refresher when things heat up… be it physically, mentally or emotionally. :’)

Where Grilling = Chilling — Gerry’s Grill

Sooo… I was lucky enough to make it to the top 20 of Sooo Pinoy’s Search for the Ultimate Food Blogger. But I’d rather say I’m the luckiest to have a Dad who’s willing to treat me for that… A treat to the next round!

Now let me treat you in return. :’) Here’s where we went for my date prize…

Gerry's Grill Singapore menu

Yes, Gerry’s Grill!

Where my Lola treated us when she once won the small town lottery…

Where Tito Lui treated the whole family after his long assignment abroad and…

Where my boyfriend treated me on our 1st monthsary. 😉

I guess that’s my grown-up perception of this resto…

THE ULTIMATE TREAT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

SO going back…

Daddy treated us one noon after Sunday mass. We’re the EARLY BIRDS! Yay! So I took some photos while waiting…

Gerry's Grill at Somerset

This is one of Gerry’s Grill branches here in SG. A little walk from Somerset station and I must say, it’s a bit hard  to find. But that’s what’s surprising. The flow of families coming in would tell you… It’s One Good Find!

Gerry's Grill Somerset

The early bird catches the zero-crowd shot. I like it that the resto managed to retain its trademark ambience — the resort/beach feel for a CHILLaxing dining experience.

After a few minutes of waiting, people started to fill-in. When you have nothing else to do, there’s two ways you can hustle while you wait at the resto. Either get a Pinoy magazine to read or watch the cooks behind the glass grilling your orders.

Gerry's Grill

What a witty way to keep you craving!

12:15 NOONTIME. LUNCHTIME. Orders served!

Sizzling Sisig

The Best Seller SIZZLING SISIG

Bulalo

BULALO to heat our tummies…

Chicken Kebab Barbeque

The brace-friendy (madaling nguyain) CHICKEN KEBAB BARBEQUE… And of course the staple food a Pinoy can’t forget to order…

Bagoong Rice

KANIN! In this case… BAGOONG RICE!

I guess there’s something about craving that keeps you from doing what you’re supposed to do… A shot while dining!

Yay! So just an after-shot for now…

Gerry's Grill

Take a look at this…

Gerry's Grill

There’s something about the barbeque oils that tempts me to take it as it is. I guess it’s the belief that all the savory juice is there. Speaking of juice…

MANGO SHAKE! Thou shall not forget! hehe

A funny pose from Daddy…

I call it “THE PRICE OF THE PRIZE”!

ALL WORTH IT! I guess that’s what makes it a ‘tampulan’ ng mga nakaka-miss ng Pinas. Here you can have a taste of Philippine Cuisine. You can order the lutong bahay you’re craving for, have a complete meal of sabaw, kanin at ulam and feel like home.

I think that’s why Gerry’s Grill is very distinguished. You’ll know it’s very Pinoy from the taste to the kind of service you get.

Actually, I visited another Gerry’s Grill branch yesterday…

It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s Gerry’s Grill’s 15th Anniversary! Years are counting and they keep on expanding worldwide! At Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the Rasapura Masters food court is comprised of 26 restaurants chosen to represent different cuisines around the world…

And yes, in behalf of the Filipino Cuisine…

So why would you find Gerry’s Grill among the list of Sooo Pinoy Restaurants?

Let me restate to you what’s written on the top of Sooo Pinoy’s About Page:

“Sooo Pinoy feeds your national pride through the appreciation of Filipino cuisine.”

Seeing a long line of people (of different races) queuing for a Filipino dish in a foreign country…Need I say more?

Oh yes! A little trivia:

15 years ago, February 14, 1997, the very 1st Gerry’s Grill restaurant opened along Tomas Morato in Quezon City…

And Gerry Apolinario is the man. 😉

Kabayan!

crispy pata

When a Filipino goes to Singapore, be it for a tour, for business or for good, he/she will always be advised to visit Orchard. Why Orchard? They’ll say Lucky Plaza. So when I first came to SG, I was soo excited that I asked my aunt to take me there right away on our first trip.

Ok. So what’s in there?

A mall… Nothing much really. The common air conditioned mall with escalator and stalls. “But why here, Pinoys?” That’s what I asked back then.

Oh, I get it. The remittance centers are there, computer shops offering free Pinoy film viewing, pasalubongs, our grown-up Pinoy brands are there– Safeguard, Colgate, Likas, Cream Silk, Piattos and the likes… Other than that? Oh, well… Tagalog speaking folks calling you “Kabayan! Bili na!” or joking and gossiping around.

Then I discovered a good restaurant. Good as in…a restaurant with karinderya ambience, a flat TV tuned in Pinoy TV and a long line of customers queuing at the classic “stante” for the traditional Pinoy order taking habit… “turo-turo”. And it is called… Kabayan Restaurant.

It’s almost a habit for my aunts and dad to dine here every other weekend…for Crispy Pata and either a Pinoy style vegetable dish–chopsuey, pinakbet, etc. OR a Pinoy style soup dish–sinigang, nilaga, etc. Here, I took a couple of photos the last time we dined…

Pinakbetcrispy pata

Step in and you’ll feel like you’re home. There’s several restos like this in the plaza. Now, I get it. Maybe when a Pinoy is tipped to visit Orchard, it only means “Go there in case you feel homesick”. Or something like , “If you have nothing else to do, go and mingle with the ones who miss Pinas.”

If Ice Creams Can Be Oreo Flavored…

Oreo Ice Cream

Oreos can be ice cream flavored, too…

Oreo Ice Cream

Yes. The best selling cookie of the 20th century (as I’ve read from Wiki)… From being “America’s Favorite Cookie” to being “Milk’s Favorite Cookie”… The cookie that is best experienced when twisted, licked and dunked in milk… now has an Ice Cream Flavor! Weeee! Or maybe I just discovered it now but it existed a long time ago…whatever!

Di pa ako inaalok, kumuha na ako. Yay! Excited!

Tempura Ice Cream

Tempura Ice Cream

I used to believe that this is Tempura…

Prawn Tempura

Which is right. It’s Tempura. The thing is that I was locked in the idea that Tempura is a coated then fried prawn. Until we dined at Men-Ichi. Out of pure curiosity, even if a scoop of ice cream seems odd one evening after bowling, we ordered Tempura Ice Cream. Here it is…

tempura ice cream

It’s vanilla flavored ice cream, coated and fried in a way I still wonder how…

Tempura Ice Cream

What you (I mean people like me) need to know about Tempura, aside from being the dish that originated from Japan, is that (according to dear Wiki) Tempura is a dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered or deep fried. I guess that goes well for ice creams, too. :’)

So don’t rant over an overrated Tempura thinking that you’ve only got 3 prawns with veggies on the side… They, too, are tempuras.

As for this Tempura Ice Cream… it’s worth trying. :’) I just don’t know how they cook it. Anyone???

Six Feet

20111127-012627.jpg

Under the ground my mom lies.

Six feet.

It’s a distance between two worlds.

Six feet.

Far enough for a daughter to miss her mom.

Six feet.

Close enough to whisper.

Six feet.

Not enough to separate us.

Prerequisite

Bago ka magising, nananaginip ka muna.
Bago ka dumilat, nakapikit ka muna.
Bago mo makita ang liwanag, dilim muna.

Kailangan mo lang malaman na nakapikit ka para mamulat ka.
Kailangan mo lang tapusin ang panaginip para magising ka sa katotohanan.
Kailangan mong malaman ang mali…para makagawa ka ng tama.

Pataba

fertilizer

I saw these veggie cuts floating in our fish pond which reminds me…

It’s not poverty that keeps us away from healthy foods. It’s our regards to proper waste management.

We can pay for an elegant dining. We can buy delectable foods. But it’s not always equivalent to the kind of nutrition you get.

Some of us find it hard to buy enough nutritious foods but we can choose to make our own.

Make space for it.

Right wastes in proper places. That’s it.

The Girl Who Broke The Microwave

Caramel cake

I don’t know what it really takes to be a good food blogger. All I know is that I always want to try new sorts of food even if I’m too far from being that “batang napabayaan sa kusina”.

I’m no cooking expert…and I just always wanted to be.

I have a mom who ventured on a small resto, a dad who used to be on a fried chicken business (named after yours truly), a bar tender lolo, uncle chefs, lolas who mastered the term “sangkutsa” and now… a brother who’s on his way to graduating from kitchenette mastery.

And yet…STILL… I am the girl who broke the microwave oven.

So where do I stand?

I stand beside my lolas for the first sips, my brother for the “tasting time”. Basically, all I know is how a good food tastes like. :’)

I enjoy eating out, mostly in affordable restos. Well, I guess it’s quite normal para sa isang batang laki sa karinderya. Wherever I go, especially when out of the country, I always look for that “Mura na, masarap pa, may libreng sabaw at kaning refill pa!”.

And I always hunt for lutong bahay and pagkaing kalye… Kase nga, nasanay ako sa…

Kare-kare pag reunion…

Kare Kare From Barrio Fiesta

Pinakbet pag Semana santa…

Pinakbet from Barrio Fiesta

(Of course, this is not taken on a Holy Week)

Isaw pag breaktime…

Fries Isaw

And the likes… Halo halo on summer, champorado on rainy season, etc…

My first job as a magazine show segment producer for a government program really heightened my love for local foods. I always go to local restaurants for our foodtrip segment and there, I discovered a lot about our cuisine. Culinary tourism to be exact. As a PROMDI girl from a very historic province, Bulacan, values and stories in food really matter to me.

From those people I have talked to from interview to interview… Food depicts our history a lot. And I know, there’s a lot more to discover about our rich variety of foods. Let’s not forget that we live in a land discovered through a search for spice.

Now, even if I don’t really go eating out as much as I did back in my first job, still… I go out to celebrate “The Life” with good food.

Just recently, we dropped by in a local resto, of course here in our province. It’s Hernz Icecream Specialties. Yep. This is a certified Bulakeño owned ice cream shop. Here’s a sneak peak of our date…

Rebel Bar Ice Cream

That’s Rebel Bar Ice Cream for Maiks…

Caramel cake

Caramel Cake For Brei…

Caramel cake

And of course, Very Blueberry Yogurt for me…

Very Blueberry Yogurt

Very Blueberry Yoghurt

I actually wanted to try Turon Ice cream but I worry that my tummy might go crazy from eating yoghurt. So maybe…next time. Hehe

A few more pics…

Hernz Ice cream Specialties

The place is nice and I find their Christmas decors so cool. But this one really caught my attention…

Hernz Ice cream Specialties

So after reading it, I actually tried to peep in the kitchen to find out who’s that staff…hehe

It was a nice ice cream experience indeed…not to forget of course, Manong Guard fetched us from the car with his pink umbrella. Sweet!

Anyway, Bulacan is known for its sweet delicacies. We had the longest pastillas, biggest ensaymada, inipit and a lot more. After roaming over the province for good food… I guess, it’s about time to explore the bigger scope. Sure, there’s a lot more.

I am happy that I grew up with good foods. Sabi nga ng lolo ko, ang bawat gawain ay galling sa utak at ang laman ng utak ay hindi lalabas kung walang laman ang tyan. :’)

At sabi nga ng Red Ribbon box na ‘to…

Red Ribbon

So, cheers for more servings! :’)