Kiko’s Kitchen is now open…

Wow, another post before 2009 comes to an end..Well, what a great way to start the New Year with the opening of Kiko’s Kitchen my 2nd blog which is basically a food blog. Lately, I’ve been trying to prepare foods I’ve never cooked before be it Pinoy recipe or even Thai foods. With the opening of Kiko’s Kitchen, I will be able to share it with you through my blog posts.

Have you seen the logo of Kiko’s Kitchen? Cool isn’t it? I’m proud to create it myself..I have not used Photoshop for such a long time and I think whatever skills I have (if there is!) is almost rusting now…so it’s about time to refresh my photoshop

In Kiko’s Kitchen, you will be virtually served foods I personally prepare which sometime I may be able to share with my friends for Lunch or Dinner. Moreover, suggestions are welcome as to what foods you, my good (and considerate) readers would like to see and i’ll try my very best to prepare it as soon as I can. Better yet, generosity is always welcome if someone can send ingredients to the food I’m about to cook. He he he!

The good thing about Kiko’s Kitchen is that it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The bad side is that you are not able to taste it for real but just salivate seeing the pictures..(am I being rude here?). LOL. But seriously, if you happen to be in Bangkok, I’d be glad to offer you a serving or two. ūüôā

So all you food lovers out there, please take a chance to visit Kiko’s Kitchen. Surely, I will always have a seat available for you!

Merry Christmas to all!

Yesterday, the world celebrated Christmas Day- Christiamdom’s biggest and happiest celebration of all. Filipinos traditionally celebrate it the longest, generally starting when the calendar announced the coming of the BER month (September, October, November then finally December).¬† Many houses starts putting decor like Christmas Tree, Lanterns and Christmas lights as early as September. Kids starts singing Christmas carols in the street when December comes. Truly, it is such a joyous season.

It is just too bad that I am unable to attend the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day mass here in Bangkok because the English mass is too limited and the timing doesn’t match. You see, I had to work on Christmas Day because it is not considered a holiday in Thailand.

Last Christmas Eve, we trooped to one of my friends’ Condo to celebrate the day and have Noche Buena with friends. We decided to do pot-luck instead of just one or two persons cooking the food. I think it is better since we are able to taste the specialty recipe of each. I decided to share Spaghetti and Beef steak. We prepared our favorite foods like Kare-Kare, Adobo, Grilled Pork, Grilled Squid, Fried Chicken, Macaroni Salad and a secret recipe of spicy squid from one of them.

We started dinner early, around 8:30 PM then we had Karaoke and sang to our heart’s content while sharing a glass of liquor.

It was a truly enjoyable night….

When the clock ticked midnight, we greeted each other Merry Christmas and exchanged gifts then continued eating, singing, drinking and chatting..the party lasted till the wee hours of the morning.

Finally, I arrived home quarter before 6AM. After 2 hours of sleep, rushed to work. What a memorable day it really was! Surely, I missed home cos this is the 2nd year I am celebrating Christmas and New Year away from them but I was able to call them early on before the network gets busy that day so it’s good enough for now.

We haven’t finalized our New Year’s Eve plans as there are many propositions. Hopefully soon we are able to decide the right venue and activity for that day.

I am sharing the pictures of our food taken during Christmas Eve. Sorry, I had to skip our own face pictures cos it will be very evident that we eat a lot! Ha ha ha! I think I am able to post our latest pictures after the holidays when the big eating is over..LOL.

A Blessed Christmas and bountiful New Year to all. May the season bring us peace, good health and contentment. Let us not forget the reason for the season..our Lord Almighty!

Simbang Gabi, a unique Philippine Christmas Tradition.

Today, December 16 marks the start of Simbang Gabi or Mass at Dawn. This is the longest and arguably most popular Philippine tradition and held nationwide and in other places worldwide wherein a good number of Filipinos are living or working. This unique Philippine tradition traces its roots in Mexico in 1587 when the Pope granted the petition of Fray Diego de Soria to hold Christmas mass outdoors because the Church could not accommodate the huge number of people attending the evening mass. What makes Simbang Gabi a very significant tradition for Catholics is that it not only builds stronger bonds between family members because in most cases every member of the family go to mass altogether to experience the Dawn mass. Moreover, the faithful feels the presence of the Lord even stronger because it is our preparation for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas carols are sang before, during and after the mass to celebrate this season. Everyone is in a jolly mood even though they have to wake up early so as not to be late for the mass. Many people believe that if you are able to complete the 9 days of Simbang Gabi, your wish no matter how difficult- will come true.

After mass, most of the church goer will partake various local delicacies like Puto Bumbong, Bibingka, Salabat and many others. This is a most enjoyable activity because these foods are usually served or sold during the Christmas season and very rare to be found during a normal day.

It is so fortunate for me to be able to experience Simbang Gabi even when I’m overseas. Filipinos in Bangkok are not as many as other countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi or even the US but luckily the tradition of Simbang Gabi remains. What made me even luckier is that the Holy Redeemer Church which is one of the biggest Catholic Church in Bangkok (and there are not too many Catholic Churches here being a predominantly Buddhist nation) is very accessible from my place (around 5 mins. drive in the early morning). Thus, it will not be difficult for me to celebrate this tradition.

I attended the mass today with few of my friends and approximately over 90% of the church goers are Filipinos. Surprisingly, there are some westerners and I saw an Indian Family attending the mass too. After the celebration, the popular Christmas Carol “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” (Christmas has arrived) was sung. In addition, free breakfast is served at the back of the Church sponsored by various Philippine Groups or Organizations in Thailand which is really an enjoyable sight as you get to mingle with your fellow Filipinos while enjoying a sumptuous food and a cup of hot coffee.

Indeed it is such a good feeling to at least have a share of sacrifice during this time of the year by making an effort to wake up very early to attend the mass. Moreover, it is a time to remember and Celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the reason why we are called Christians.

The start of Simbang Gabi signals a bigger celebration as part of the annual Christmas festivities.

Bangkok is an Expat’s Paradise…

Compared to many world capitals, Bangkok is one of the cheapest in terms of cost of living. When I say cheap, it doesn’t mean the quality is compromised because most of the time, I find the quality of food and products in Bangkok (or Thailand) to be acceptable. In fact, I consider Bangkok to be an Expat’s paradise. Of course, being an expat entails a lot of responsibilities or expectations. Otherwise, why will your company hire you if you cannot deliver. So this makes stress and time for relaxation and all those related activities a must in an Expat’s schedule.

In Bangkok, you can enjoy branded (or copy) designer labels at highly discounted price. Malls are literally on sale year-round. You just have to be patient and have a keen eye in finding the best bargain or sale price all over town. Copy goods are also A quality that’s why a lot of foreign tourists troop to Bangkok to buy these goods.

Last Saturday, my friends and I trooped to the annual ICC Fair. This fair has been attracting hundreds if not thousands of Thais for quite sometime because in here, you can buy hugely discounted designer brands like Lacoste, Nike, Adidas, Guy Laroche among others. Of course the most visited area is the Lacoste sale wherein discounts of up to 70% can be availed. Since this is my fave brand, I wasted no time to go to the venue and I was able to buy a pair of shoes, a bag and 2 caps. Unfortunately, the shirts left when we arrived are all L or XL American Sizes so I wasn’t able to buy 1 for me. Only thing when going thru this kind of fair compared to the usual Mall sale is that it is doubly hard for me cos not only should I brave the battalions of shoppers to get to the counter and ask for my size but also I had to attempt speaking in Thai so the sellers can understand me..It was a bit frustrating that after finally reaching the counter after “wrestling” it out with fellow shoppers is that the size I want is already “No Have” or they cannot understand what I’m trying to say…Damn, I really have to improve my Thai language skills. Please allow me to brag about my shoe in this blog..hehehe.

Another factor why I consider Bangkok to be a paradise for an Expat like me is because you can enjoy a wide variety of food at a cheap price. Take for instance a set of meal in popular Japanese Restaurant like Fuji or Zen. A normal bento set range approx. 150-250 per set which includes Soup and Salad. During lunch, the set includes hot coffee or tea even! In Manila, if you eat in similar restaurant, you probably would pay min. 250 Pesos to almost 400 Pesos per set. That is precisely the reason why I can only often eat in Komorosoba (SM Megamall) or Tokyo Tokyo and rarely in Saisaki. LOL.

I also find Apartment or Condo rental cheaper if compared to Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and other cities. A normal studio type apartment would cost between 5,000-8,000 baht and would slightly go higher if the condo has swimming pool or other facilities. Of course it depends on the location. A typical apartment in Sukhumvit or Silom area would be much more expensive but still cheaper if compared to other cities I previously mentioned. I heard that if you rent apartment near the outskirts of Bangkok, studio units would even be less than 3,000 baht. Only thing is that you have to travel farther going to and from the office. It can even be less if you share the room with another person. All Filipinos that I know who are working in Bangkok are either staying alone or sharing with 1 or 2 (maybe max. 3 persons) per unit. This is definitely better than fellow Filipinos working in Singapore or Middle East wherein they have to share the flat with up to 10 persons.

Domestic travel is also not a pain in one’s budget. Few months ago, me and a few of my colleagues went to Cha-Am and Hua Hin which is a popular weekend destination for Bangkokians due to its proximity to the city (approx. 2 hours from Bangkok). We actually maximized that 2 Days/1 Night trip. We left Bangkok very early in the morning, went to a local market to buy food and dessert, eat Buffet lunch then head to the Resort. At night, we went to Hua Hin market for some more shopping and eating. The following day, after checking out of the hotel, we had a very big Buffet Seafood lunch then do some more shopping of sweets and some souvenir along the way. In total since we shared cost, I only spend not more than 2,000 Baht including all the food, sweets, transportation and hotel accommodation. This is similar to other cities the reason why many backpackers from Europe or US just fly to Thailand without any pre-arranged tours or accommodation and they just stay in guest houses, ride local transport and eat local food in the roadside.

There are definitely more factors why Bangkok is an Expat’s paradise over the examples I’ve written above. This could be the reason why the number of Expatriates in Thailand is increasing year by year. Of course the number is not as high as that of Singapore or Dubai wherein a big chunk of their workforce are foreigners. However, I’ll not be surprised if soon more and more Expatriates will consider working here…

My Lopburi Monkey Festival, Thailand experience

Last Sunday, November 29, me and a bunch of friends went to Lopburi, a province in Central Thailand located 150 km. Northeast of Bangkok to experience the annual Monkey Festival, a unique event especially created for the Macaque monkeys held every November. It is believed by local folks that if they feed the monkeys, it will give them good luck throughout the year. Apparently, for one of my friends, her luck is not present that day because just minutes since we arrived in the area, she sprained her ankle in an uneven road pavement so throughout the festival and in other places that we visited, she was in pain and can barely walk.

The festivity of the Monkey Festival is concentrated in an old Khmer temple, Prang Sam Yot. In here, hundreds of monkeys young and old alike wander around the area which is surrounded by a steel fence. Locals say the fence is actually like a border delineating the territory between the “good monkeys” and the “bad monkeys”. They say those outsiders (bad monkeys) try to steal food from inside the temple grounds but many of the so-called monkey guards from the inside try to protect their territory from the “invaders”. While we happily take pictures with the now hyper-active monkeys because they eat a lot of sweets and colas, we heard two monkey’s squeal. When we look further, we found out that these 2 monkeys are actually in a fighting mode. The guard monkey tries to prevent the invader from getting any food inside or even step within their territory. At the end he was successful.

Along the street and some short distance from the temple you can see monkeys in the electric post climbing, crossing the road through the electric or telephone lines, or trying to grab food or drinks from unwary tourist or pedestrian. We wonder how often the telephone or electric companies replace their lines because of this.

Since we arrived in the area around 10 am and after watching the monkeys eat the food being served and taking a lot of pictures, we decided to head for lunch. We went to Big-C Supercentre and eat a tasty and spicy chicken meal in KFC. After lunch, we wonder where our next stop is. Since the sun is shining intensely, we almost hesitate to go somewhere riding at the back of the pick-up but at the end, we decided to move. We went to another old temple ruins but decided not to enter because there is an entrance fee of Baht 150 per person. However, the scenery is almost the same as outside so we just spend sometime outside the temple grounds and drink a refreshing iced coffee while taking random pictures.

After that, we headed to a Sunflower farm in Saraburi Province which is almost an hour ride on the way back to Bangkok. The sunflowers are so beautiful in full bloom. Since we arrived in the area almost at dusk so many of the flowers seem bowing down as expected. Still, we managed to take excellent pictures and bought pure Honey for only Baht 100 for a tall long neck bottle.

Next, we decided to go to Pasak Jolasit Dam also in Lopburi Province. This dam is smaller than the previous one that we visited in Nakhon Nayok Province but is also an ideal place for relaxation and recreation. We see many families do picnic or engage in many recreational activities along the dam. The dam is teeming with live fish. Moreover, the landscape is very nice for picture-taking because of the good cloud formation and very calm looking backdrop.

After the visit to the dam, we decided to call it a day and head back to Bangkok since we have work the following day. Along the road within the Bangkapi area of Bangkok, we saw the local Thai Buffet style BBQ restaurant called Mukata. Price per person is only Bath 109 excluding drinks which is actually value for money if you love eating. There is a wide selection of raw food you can cook in a charcoal heated Barbecue dish. You can pick Barbecue pork or chicken, prawns, squid, chicken or fish balls, fresh vegetable and noodles and a variety of finger foods, appetizer and desserts. It was such a big big dinner that we finished after 2 hours of non-stop eating.
Finally, I arrived in my room around 11:30. It was a very tiring day but definitely worth it. At first, I am quite hesitant since it is a Sunday and next day we have to work. Moreover, I’m not a big fan of monkeys because I know that at times they get so unruly and try to grab anything that caught their fancy. However, I decided to go cos it’s a new experience for me. Luckily, I joined and definitely not regret doing so. It was such a fun traveling with lots of friends and we are in fact discussing when and where will our next trip be.

My very first Thai Cooking

I have been living and working in Thailand for over a year now and while staying here, I learned to love Thai food. For one, it is tasty and flavourful cos they used many herbs and spices in their food. Of course the most common ingredient in Thai food is the Chili. This ubiquitous red or green vegetable has been a recognized staple in Thai cooking (27 herbs and spices in total) together with basil, mint, pepper, garlic, onions, spring onions, lemon grass, coriander, lime and many others. Another reason why I love Thai food is because it is very cheap. Cheap means a meal consisting of rice and a viand costs around 30-60 Baht if you are eating on local food court or road side restaurant. Actually, eating in a “real” restaurant is also not too expensive. A dish would normally cost around 90-150 Baht. A seafood dish is cheaper as well (if I compare to Philippines).¬† A dish made of Crab or prawns would cost around 200-400 Baht while in Manila, it may cost double. Of course the prices may vary depending on the category of the restaurant or if it is located in a Tourist area but I still find it cheaper. Moreover, Thai food is basically healthy cos there are a lot of vegetables and herbs in it and they tend not to overcook the vegetables so it remains crispy and the nutrients not lost. Thais can even eat String Beans, eggplant and some vegetables raw which is a first time for me to do as normally either we cook the vegetable or boil it in water.¬† One thing that I noticed though is that many foods are oily. Also, I realized sugar is added into most dishes so have to caution my cholesterol and sugar level. Good thing though, I regularly exercise nowadays which I tend to neglect back home and on my last check-up my cholesterol level and blood pressure is normal, thank God!

Near my place there are many food kiosks and local shops selling noodles, duck, chicken or barbecue however living here for a year, I get bored of the usual food I can buy along the street. Fortunately, I found a good restaurant just within my apartment complex. The food is good and cheap (price ranging from 30-90 Baht)¬† as well. What’s more important is that one of the waiter can speak English well so I don’t have any difficulty ordering or them serving the wrong food. My favorite in that shop is their Pad Thai (Thai noodle very similar to our own Pancit Palabok) as well as Chicken with Basil Leaves though sometimes it tends to be too spicy for me the waiter had to place the Electric Fan in front of my face to avoid sweating too much and give me an extra glass of water.

I have been reading and researching on how to cook Thai Food which actually is almost the same as cooking Filipino food. I even planned to enroll in a short Thai Cooking course for the basic fact that I still dream becoming a chef someday (still possible I think).

Yesterday, I researched for a simple Thai recipe (Spicy Salad and a simple pork dish first). I went to the supermarket and bought the ingredients afterwards.

This morning when I woke up, I tried preparing the 2 dishes for my brunch. First, I prepared Phat Phet Thua Fak Yao Mu Sab or Ground Pork with String Beans. It is very easy to cook, just stir fry the ground pork in garlic, onion, chili then add the seasoning (soya sauce or fish sauce, oyster sauce and some sugar). Once the pork is tender, just add the String Beans until it’s a little bit soft.¬† After I finished cooking the dish, I placed in a bowl and whoa, it looked like the actual recipe I saw in the website. ūüôā

The next recipe is a Spicy Salad made of Chinese Sausage and Cucumber. Actually, Thai food has some influences of Chinese cooking like the method of stir frying or deep frying. So if you noticed, even their salad have Chinese Sausage. To prepare this dish, you have to fry the Chinese Sausage then cut into small diagonal strips. Then slice the cucumber in small portions as well as Onions. On a separate bowl, prepare the dressing made of Soya Sauce, Fresh Chili, sugar. I added some vinegar to balance the taste since vinegar is also very good dressing for cucumber and onions. Then pour the dressing to the Chinese Sausage and cucumber.

The recipe is so easy isn’t it? But why am I sharing these to all of you considering it’s actually not a major feat? For me it’s a personal achievement actually…

It was really a shame that when I went back home last May, I didn’t even had a chance to prepare some Thai Food for my family so they can taste some “authentic” Thai recipe which is totally different than the food being sold in Thai Restaurants in Manila which tends to be too commercialized. My cousin Rona when she had a training in Japan can cook some Japanese food when she returned home. Pity me!

Another thing is that I have been cooking Filipino foods since I learned to cook (growing up in a family wherein all family members and most of our relatives can cook) and being able to cook a foreign dish adds up to my so-called “qualification”.

So much for that long story..I would like to share with you through pictures the 2 dishes I prepared this morning which I have been eating for Brunch and now Dinner (while I am writing this blog post and Facebook-ing). If you noticed, the chili is not as much as those being served in Thai Restaurants. Of course I had to suit it to my spice level so at the moment I just put about 3 pcs of chili for each dish. Maybe soon, I can put 1 chili garden in my dish. Ha ha ha! Next time, I will attempt to prepare another personal favorite, Tom Yum Goong (similar to Sinigang) and Som Tam (Papaya Pok pok salad as what they call locally). Sounds funny and naughty isn’t it? I am not too sure why they call it Pok Pok as well but the salad is actually prepared by pounding all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle so the same in Tagalog which pounding means “pukpok”. I dunno but I think maybe some Filipinos travelling to Thailand during the early days actually gave a tag for the Som Tam to be called Pok Pok salad. How naughty can the food be sounding right?

Happy eating!

Phat Phet Thua Fak Yao Mu Sab

Spicy Chinese Sausage with Cucumber Salad

Charming Cha-Am

Last weekend, I went to Cha Am Beach, Thailand with few of my colleagues and some of their family members. This trip was actually planned over 5 months ago but due to our very busy work schedule and since I also asked to delay the trip as I intend to bring along someone but it never happened so we finally planned 3rd week of September. Fortunately the weekend we went to the beach, the sun is very bright which actually lately we have been missing  the sun especially with torrential rains and thunderstorms especially in the afternoon.

We went first to Don Wai Market, a popular riverside market in the suburban town of Nakhon Pathom. Hundreds of tasty desserts and foods can be bought in this market gaining huge popularity to Bangkokians due to its proximity to the capital. We went there very early in the morning. Fortunately, the weather is not too warm and the crowd is not as much. They say in the afternoon or Sundays, the corridors of the market is so full you can barely walk. Many stalls sell the very sumptuous boiled duck. Really, while writing this piece, I am salivating just imagining back the palatable ducks we saw in the shops!
After buying some foods, we headed to a Sukiyaki Restaurant in Ban Pong near Nakhon Pathom. The Eat-all-you-can Sukiyaki (similar to what you see in MK Restaurants) costs only 99 Baht per person including refillable drinks. Of course there is not as many selection as that of MK Restaurant but for 99 Baht, how can you complain. You need to finish within the allotted time of 90 minutes otherwise, all the foods left will be charged at 20 Baht per 100 grams. It is actually an ample time to finish the lunch. My group consumed all the food in our table including dessert for only 1 hour sharp!
Then we headed off to Cha-Am Beach.
We stayed at the Grand Pacific Sovereign Resort and Spa, a 5 Star Resort offering a stunning view of the sea and has 3 level swimming pool. With the promotional rate they are offering right now, it is indeed value for money. The Coffee shop has a wide range of Breakfast item including crispy bacon (my favorite!) and a big salad bar.

Grand Pacific Sovereign

Grand Pacific Sovereign

Grand Pacific Sovereign

The Hotel room is spacious with full amenities like own private balcony, a day bed, separate shower area and bath tub.

Grand Pacific Sovereign

Grand Pacific Sovereign

We had our dinner in the Hotel’s Italian Restaurant– Celestino and the food is visually appealing as well as appetizing. A perfect match over a glass or two of their Italian Red wine.

Grand Pacific Sovereign

Grand Pacific Sovereign
Grand Pacific Sovereign

After dinner, we headed to the famous Hua Hin Market which is less than 20 minutes away by car. Wide range of Thai desserts and various delicacies are available and not to mention seafood restaurants. Since we are still full right after dinner, I only bought a cup of ice cream worth 25 Baht for 3 scoops with many toppings to choose from. This ice cream kiosk is really so popular that you have to go through a long queue before reaching the counter.

Equally mouth-watering are the dried barbecued squid with spicy dipping, boiled sweet corn, roasted duck or chicken. Also popular is the rotee bread with either banana, egg or banana and egg filling. The best part is the foods being sold are very cheap!

Hua Hin Market

Hua Hin Market

After we checked out of the hotel, we had our lunch in “Dang Seafood Restaurant” located in Samut Songkran on the way back to Bangkok. This restaurant started with just few tables in its dining area and has expanded many times since then.

You can view the kitchen from the dining area which is quite big. My colleague said one cook will only prepare 1 or 2 kinds of dishes so they can prepare it very fast. True enough, less than 10 minutes after we ordered, all the foods were served in our tables. The best dish for me is the deep fried fish which is very crispy and tasty and the steamed prawns.

My spice level is not same as Thai but the dipping sauce full of chilli is really very nice and not to mention sweat-provoking. LOL. I was joking them my tissue consumption is more than the shells or fish bones in my plate as I had to wipe my sweat a lot after eating the spicy food.
This was my 2nd time in Hua Hin/Cha-Am. Last year was with some of my Filipino friends. I would love to go back to this place soon which is much more quiet and family-friendly than Pattaya.

Making the most out of adversities…


Last night, I write in my blog that I had a full drink of Iced Tea and ironed my clothes for a week’s work. Unfortunately, I woke up this morning having fever and runny nose so I am unable to go to work. Actually, I feel I’m going to have fever since yesterday morning when I woke up. But towards lunchtime, I feel a bit better so I did my usual routine without bothering my impending flu.

Surely, independence have its own advantages and disadvantages. However, living in a foreign city with no family to take care and just few friends which have a life and work of their own as well, you will realize living alone is not totally appealing as it looks.

I checked my handphone to find the phone number of the restaurant downstairs so I can just order some decent food for breakfast, and perhaps lunch. Sadly, I cannot find it. I thought I stored it earlier and now the small paper where I wrote down the phone number is gone. Damn..

Since I have no energy to cook a full meal plus the fact that I have no food stock (which I mentioned in my post yesterday), I had no other choice¬†but to open a can of sardines (totally unappealing and unappetizing for someone who is on the verge of catching a flu). Well, I don’t have a choice.

I opened my notebook to check e-mails and try to open Facebook for entertainment. Unfortunately (again) my internet connection is not cooperating. I tried calling the supposed call center but no answer. Well, actually even if I call I will surely get the same answer– that is their server says my connection is working well and I just need to restart my computer. If this is the standard answer they reply to all customers, I suppose they don’t need to hire a person to answer the call but just play an answering machine over and over again. Damm (again).

Seems I am really having a bad day today. Well, not for long. As I plan to have lunch, I realized I still had some okra (lady finger) in my vegetable bin which I used when I prepared pinakbet last week. What I did was boil water and pour into the thin vegetable..and walah..I got a superb lunch.

I had not eaten boiled okra dipped with shrimp paste locally known as “alamang”¬†for I think centuries now and this is such a great way to actually enjoy lunch even when you have no appetite for food. I finished my dish full and satisfied. Indeed I am making the most out of today’s adversities.

Only thing is, I have to think (again) of a good food for dinner..damn. I hate thinking.

The best roasted pig in the World…the Philippine Lechon

The wi-fi connection in my room is perpetually against the connection is very slow.  Well, maybe one factor is that it is a Saturday today and internet traffic is usually bad during weekends. Another thing is that a heavy downpour has just finished which I noticed makes every internet connection (whether at home or in the office) and even cable tv reception intermittent if not bad.

So I headed to the internet shop downstairs. Luckily it was half empty. Maybe the kids who usually play computer games during this time just headed off home during the heavy rain. How lucky can I get..and so I thought.

The moment I opened my Facebook account, I realized it is not a good idea to rent in the Internet shop. Facebook took ages to open. Then when it opened, Farm Town is the first app that I opened (naturally). After waiting for I guess 10 minutes,¬†it still is not opening…then I tried Restaurant City…same result. I tried all the other applications in Facebook I am using¬† and it’s all the same story. Really bad…

Then I remembered to open Youtube. At first I tried looking for recent Filipino Comedy films but I guess no one has uploaded the film in Youtube yet. Until I came across 1 link that states: No Reservations: Philippines Part 1 of 5..I clicked the linked and I saw a Travel show in the US hosted by Anthony Bourdain. This particular episode is about the contest they had wherein the viewers must convince Anthony to visit their Country/City to be featured in the next show.  The lucky guy who had the opportunity to be able to convince the host to visit his native cuntry is a Filipino American named Augusto who comes from Cebu but has lived most of his life in New York.

As I watched the video, I can’t really help but to salivate with all those tasty and gastronomically appealing Filipino foods featured.¬† All my favorite foods were featured from Sinigang, Kare-Kare, Adobo, Sisig, Pinakbet, Bulalo..I just had my dinenr but the food being featured really made me so hungry and terribly miss home especially home-cooked meals by my mom which is actually a Pampanguena, arguably the best chefs in the Philippines, Pampanga being considered as the Culinary Capital of the country.

The best part of this show is when they featured the actual roasting of the pig to become the world-famous Lechon. It really looks so good with the even-colored roasting of the pork in charcoal. When Anthony sliced a piece of the skin, you can hear the uber-crispiness of the skin. YUMMY!

As I am writing this blog post, my mouth is still watering (pun intended…LOL) I think comparable to the heavy rains that just passed.¬† I am supposed to watch my diet since I’ve been visitng my gym regularly these days in preparation for 2 forthcoming beach trips in the next month but probably tomorrow, I may troop to the nearest grocery store and buy some ingredients to cook my favorite Filipino food.

I guess eating my favorite Philippine delicacy¬†is the next best thing to being close to home….

P.S. Here are the links to the Travel show..test yourself if you will not salivate just looking at these glorious foods….

Food for the Rainy Days…

It has been raining cats and dogs for the past few days and with the dreaded A H1N1 virus still a global health threat, it is best to have extra protection during rainy days. Pocket rain coats, umbrellas, sweaters and jackets is a necessity during this wet months not to mention ointments, cold rubs and paracetamol comes in handy.

Rainy season brings cold weather and temperatures tend to drop especially on elevated places. The best way to enjoy this season is to eat our favorite foods for the rainy days. Here are my personal favorites:

1.) Goto + Tokwa’t Baboy-

Luckily, the threat of the dreaded Hepatitis B virus is no longer a main concern for me since I can enjoy a bowl of this delicious porridge from Goto King which is relatively clean and great tasting. Goto will never be complete without Tokwa’t Baboy. The crispy fried tofu dipped in a sauce made of soy sauce and vinegar adds up to the mouth-watering experience of eating Goto.


2.) Chicken Mami-Tasty chicken bits…fresh vegetable blanched in boiling water to maintain its crispness. Egg noodle cooked perfectly. Then hot chicken stock is poured. Nothing tastes better than a hot bowl of our favorite Chicken Mami..truly mouthwatering! Chicken Mami in Chowking is ok but you have to try my very own chicken mami..:)

chicken mami

3.) Chicken Sopas- If there is one food fit for the rainy days that is soo tasty and equally nutritious, it is definitely the Chicken Sopas. With all the vegetables, protein from chicken and calcium from milk, it is definitely a power soup.¬† I love eating it either boiling hot or just lukewarm. Of course, nothing beats my mom’s Sopas which is the best tasting Sopas for me, btw. He he.


4.) La Paz Batchoy- When I went to Iloilo few years back, I really find time to taste their very famous La Paz Batchoy. I did not regret it at all. First, the price of a bowl of La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo is relatively cheaper than in Manila and there are several selections from Special, Super Special, Extra Super, etc. Definitely this dish is SPECIAL what with all the mix of ingredients, you will not ask for more.

The best tasting La Paz Batchoy I tried is Ted’s Old Timer La Paz Batchoy. Try it and judge for yourself. They have many branches in the Metro. I hope the owner give’s me a free bowl of Batchoy when I return home because of this free advertisement in my blog. Lol.¬† Indeed this is a great Rainy Day comfort food.

la paz batchoy

5.) Champorado’t Tuyo- The list of Rainy Day comfort food will not be complete without the ever so popular Champorado with Tuyo.¬† Rich cocoa powder makes this food have the characteristic bittersweet taste that is why this dish is not complete without fried tuyo which is a little bit salty to complement the overall taste.

champorado and tuyo

Take your pick and grab a steaming bowl of these HOT noodle or rice soup now.