I spent a week in Davao with a simple itinerary: attend the Davao Bloggers Society Christmas Party, co-work, and, most importantly, EAT. We can eat anywhere, of course, but ever since I joined the Davao Food Appreciation Tour in 2010 and 2015, I always want to go back to the city and sample some more. So while is not about an official Davao Food Appreciation Tour, this post is about an almost week-long food trip in Davao. So, close enough.Continue reading
Cebu, Philippines is a place of rich history, beautiful beaches, and wonderful people. One of the capital cities of the Philippines, it is highly significant and one of the most populated in the country.
But, let’s be honest: when I think of anything, I think of food. And Cebu? Cebu is known for its delicious, scrumptious food. Mouthwatering seafood. Sweet, sweet, mangoes. Succulent lechon. Ooh-lala!
This week, my tummy has a date with Cebu. Continue reading
Quinoa has been an extremely popular grain for in the past couple of years. It’s a little expensive for my everyday budget, though, so I don’t get to have it often. But when I do, my taste buds rejoice. Continue reading
Tomorrow is the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence, and to celebrate, I took the Lakbayan Quiz again. When I took it in 2007, I got a D, which means that I’d visited 5-10% of the Philippines. Now, five years later, I’ve visited 16-23% of the country, which gave me a C. Ha! Progress!
On a related note, I wrote a blog post about how many Philippine islands I’ve visited.
The Lakbayan Quiz is a project by Eugene Villar of Vista Pilipinas. It asks you where you’ve been in the Philippines, and how frequently visit each place–just passed by, been there once or twice, visit frequently, or if you’ve lived there. The grading system is discussed in this blog post.
If you like travelling around the Philippines and you haven’t tried the Lakbayan or something similar, I highly recommend taking it. It’s not to brag about how high your score is–or wallow in self-pity when you get a low one. To me, it’s a reminder that there’s still so much of the Philippines waiting for me; a realization that I’ve actually quite forgotten some of the provinces and islands that I’d studied in school before; and a reissued challenge to know my country and visit as much of it as I can.
My Lakbayan grade is C!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.
A layer of vinegar-infused white rice. A sheet of nori. A fresh slice of salmon sashimi. These are some of my favorite things in my favorite cuisine. And when they’re all rolled together with an important addition of cream cheese, it becomes a mouthful of happiness called a Cream Cheese Salmon Maki.
I get giddy just thinking about it.Continue reading
Everybody loves a brownie. I have literally never met someone who didn’t love a brownie unless they were allergic. The way we like our brownies differ, though.
Some like them sweet or dark; with nuts or without. There are light ones, dense ones, and biscuity ones.
We all have our own definition of a perfect brownie. I, for one, love the rich, chocolate-y, melt-in-your-mouth kind, preferably with no nuts. Unless it’s soft walnut mixed in the brownie, or maybe almond slivers on top, just to add a little crunch, in case there aren’t any chocolate chips on it. It’s one or the other. I don’t want no nuts distracting me from my chocolate.
Because of our different preferences, it’s easy to find a brownie that everyone will like, but it’s a little harder to find a one that everyone will love and enjoy and smile like an idiot about.
I found one such brownie in Davao when I went there in May.Continue reading
When a friend visited the Philippines recently, there was a question that people asked him quite a few times.
“Of the 7,107 islands in the Philippines, how many have you visited?”
He just smiled and said: “Two. The island where Manila is, and the island where Davao is.”
During a conversation with him later, he swung the question back at me.
“Definitely more than two,” was my easy answer.
Almost everyone knows that when you go to Davao, you eat durian. But Davao is a land of good food. Really, really, really good food that people who usually take photos of their food before eating might just put their camera aside so they can dig in. I know I did. As evidenced in this post’s photo, I was so excited to eat at Mam Beb’s that I just stuffed my plate—who cares about presentation?
Every year since 2008, the Davao bloggers organize the Davao Food Appreciation Tour so they can, as the event name suggests, tour bloggers around Davao and sample the city’s best food. I joined DFAT 2010, where I learned that Davao eats and eats well in the wide variety of restaurants that they have—I don’t think I ate in two similar restaurants while I was there. I also got to try snacks and desserts in Davao and love, love, loved it! My mouth still waters just thinking about them. Good Davao food isn’t just durian. There’s salad and steak and ribs and pasta and tapsilog and pancit and mango squares and, okay, durian coffee and durian cheesecake.
The Davao Food Appreciation Tour 2014 is happening on May 16-19. If you’re planning to go to Davao someday soon (which you should), or if you’re already in the city and looking for new good food to eat, take notes from the official DFAT FAcebook Page or follow the tumblog.
Unless you’re a marine biologist, or a diving enthusiast like my friend Jayvee Fernandez, or you live in an island full of them, you don’t get to see starfish all that often. I, for one, have only seen live starfish on the beach a handful of times, and usually, I see them hanging out unmoving in the sand.
Except for this one time in Dumaluan Beach in Bohol, when I watched two starfish almost making a head-on collision with each other.
I first noticed the big one, and, being a lover of anything star-shaped, I rushed to take a photo of it… Until I noticed the other one. And then I noticed the tracks they had behind them. And then I noticed that they were moving. They were moving at a slow pace, of course, but it was much faster than I expected.
I have a video of this somewhere…
When people visit the Pahiyas festival in Lucban, Quezon, they always look at the decorated houses. And they should, because that’s really the main attraction of the festival. And of course, there’s the food. I have to talk about the food more at another time.
But aside from enjoying the food and the houses and the festivities, when in the Pahiyas festival, I pay attention to the hats. We’ve seen hats before, but it’s always fun to check out the ones in Pahiyas.
They’re all colorful, but they’ve chosen the colors usually used in the festival decoration. It’s as if there’s an official Pahiyas palette. (Is there? I don’t know.) If you crane your neck enough, or if you climb up one of the houses and look down to the street, it’s nice to see that sea of color below.
There are beach hats, bonnets, cowboy hats (I bought one before!), and fedoras (also bought one on another year), among other things.
Business-minded folks will think that it’s a no-brainer decision to sell hats during a festival that requires you to walk through the streets for a good half a day. What I see, however, is an encouragement to stay under the sun and enjoy the festivities, and not think about holding up a parasol while combing through a crowd.
One last thing I love about the hats: the people who sell them. They don’t pressure you to buy them. They let you sift through them, and take your pick. And they’ll even tell you which one suits you better.