Vacation Bits 07: Sweets from the Philippines!

March 31, 2013 at 10:57 am | Posted in FOOD TALK | 3 Comments
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Here are some of the unique foods I got to try when I was in the Philippines!

2013-02-27 11.33.312013-02-27 11.33.00YEMA is a type of custard candy made from eggyolks, condensed milk, and crushed peanuts cooked to form a firm custard, shaped in a pyramid or sperical manner, then wrapped in colorful cellophane. Think of it as like a creme caramel or creme brulee candy.

2013-03-04 10.13.04PASTILLAS DE LECHE, if directly translated from Spanish means “milk tablets” or “milk pills” which basically describes this Filipino sweet delicacy. Pastillas de leche are sweet milk candies are made out of carabao (water buffalo) milk shaped into small cylinders, it is hardened by evaporation and addition of sugar during the cooking process. (

2013-03-03 08.25.35KAIMITO is a round fruit with a unique and delicious flavor. Filipinos usually translate its name into English as star apple. Its other names in English are cainito, caimito, abiaba, pomme du lait, estrella, milk fruit and aguay. The plant is sometimes called golden leaf tree; its genus name is Chrysophyllum, which is Greek for “golden leaf”. The flesh of the kaimito is white.

2013-03-03 10.09.20PUTO-BUMBONG is a type of puto or rice cake named after the bamboo tube in which it is steamed. It is unusual among puto, being sticky and having a long thin shape and purple color. The elongated shape results from the method of cooking while its color comes from the violet pirurutong rice it is made of. It is served with grated coconut and brown sugar. Along with bibingka, it is often served outside churches around Christmas time.

2013-03-03 08.31.50SUNDOT KULANGOT (literally “poke the snot”) is a bizarre but funny name for a simple Philippine candy that is packaged in small, nutty shells. Patience is needed to coax the enjoyment out of this rather esoteric candy. This candy is uniquely made in Baguio City.

The taste and texture of sundot kulangot is similar to the more popular matamis na bao or coconut jam. Sticky and sweet (like the coco jam), the rather absurd name ‘sundot kulangot’ obviously refers to the tedious way one has to open and eat (or sample) this candy. Sample or sampling  since the nutty shell only contains a teeny-weeny bit or less than a thumb size portion of the coco-jammy substance. One has to literally poke the sticky stuff out of the unusual packaging, similar to poking one’s nose for … you-know-what! (

2013-02-28 10.25.20SUMAN and RIPE MANGOES is a great combo. SUMAN is a rice cake  made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, and often steamed wrapped in buli or buri palm (Corypha) leaves. It is usually eaten sprinkled with sugar. (wikipedia).

Nothing can be sweeter than fresh Philippine MANGOES. Our national fruit has made its mark in the world with its unique sweetness, fruity aroma and buttery flesh fit to call ‘a food for the gods’. (


I’ll always come back for more of all these!

Vacation Bits 06: The Coolest Bee in Town

March 27, 2013 at 12:14 am | Posted in FOOD TALK, PLACES I'VE BEEN TO | 4 Comments
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My favorite fastfood restaurant in the Philippines is Jollibee.

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I have lost tracks on how many branches I visited during my 3-week stay in the Philippines. But I made sure I get to pose with the coolest bee in town, on each of my visits.

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2013-03-10 11.24.33My favorite is the Jollibee Crisscut fries zesty cheese flavor – a unique fries snack that is big on crisp potato goodness and flavor.

2013-03-10 11.18.03And I also love their cheesy spaghetti with the sweet tomato sauce, with meat and cut up sausage and hotdog pieces.

I love it here!

Vacation Bits 05: Antipolo City Churches

March 26, 2013 at 12:26 am | Posted in PLACES I'VE BEEN TO | 2 Comments
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Antipolo City is a city located in the mountainous province of Rizal, and is the next province east to Manila. It is 7th largest city in the Philippines.  Its name was derived from the word “Ang Tipolo” (The Tipolo). Tipolo is a tree that was once abundant in this component city (wikimapia).

This city is close to my family’s heart because my parents once lived here. After getting married, they moved in to a house in the hilly Woodrow Hills and enjoyed the cool winds and peaceful place.

Everytime we visit the Philippines, we always visit our house here. We also don’t forget to visit the churches that were once frequented by my parents.

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That is Mom and I (pulling a bag) walking towards the church.

This one is the Antipolo Church, also known as the “National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage” and was first built in 1578 by Franciscan missionaries who arrived in the place during that Spanisih era. The church have undergone lots of renovations since then.

Because of this church, the city became known as a pilgrimage site. The Marian image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage or the Virgin of Antipolo, which was brought in from Mexico in 1626, and enshrined in the Antipolo Cathedral has a continuous following among Filipino Catholics since the Spanish era.

A popular custom of pilgrims to the Virgin of Antipolo is the trek going to its shrine on the eves of Good Friday and May 1, from various locations in Rizal Province and Metro Manila. Some pilgrims would begin the trek from Quiapo Church in Downtown Manila following the procession of the image.There is also an existing custom to have new cars blessed at the church in the belief that this will ensure the safety of the car and its passengers (wikipedia).

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This is the interiors of the church. There was an ongoing wedding ceremonies when we visited.

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Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage on the altar


After visiting a centuries-old church, we moved in to a rather new church – Piazza Della Trasfigurazione (The Transfiguration of Christ Parish).

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During the times when Mom and Dad still lived here in Antipolo City, this church was still being constructed. The funds for the construction came from the people who live around the area. The church officially finished by last year only.

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The interiors of the church


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My parents were surprised to see the great improvements of the church. They used to attend holy masses here during the time when this church was still without walls, and people would bring their own chairs because there were not enough benches for the churchgoers. Mom was still pregnant with me that time 🙂

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These places of worship are close to my parents’ hearts, so they always try to come back here everytime our family is here in the country. Our way of expressing our gratitude for the blessings that come our simple life.





Vacation Bits 04: People Around Food

March 25, 2013 at 12:03 am | Posted in IMPORTANT PEOPLE, PLACES I'VE BEEN TO | 7 Comments
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With the Bautista family.


With the Gregorio family.


With my parents’ friends.

Vacation Bits 03: An Afternoon of Fun with Cousins

March 24, 2013 at 12:42 am | Posted in IMPORTANT PEOPLE, PLACES I'VE BEEN TO | 2 Comments
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My cousins, Ate Nicole and Kuya Franz accompanied me to Robinson’s Mall in San Fernando City.



Ate Nicole is the daughter of my dad’s sister. Kuya Franz is the son of my mom’s brother.


We had lots of fun at FUNHOUSE – an arcade inside the mall.










We had lots of laughs.


We had lots of stories to tell.


We look at the bright future ahead.


I love these times.

I love my cousins.

Weekly Photo Challenge: FUTURE TENSE

March 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Posted in PLACES I'VE BEEN TO, WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE | 18 Comments
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(Vacation Bits 02: The Trip Home)

This week’s photo challenge theme at WordPress is “FUTURE TENSE”.

I am sharing with you some snaps on board Etihad Airways, on our way to my home country, the Philippines.

The trip was a 9-hour flight.


It’s my 18th airplane ride!


I was so excited about our vacation.


I missed my grannies, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. I’d love to see them again.


Airplane food is not that great, but better than none 🙂



Dosing off.


Destination reached! Finally home!


Check out other photographs on “Future Tense.”

Vacation Bits 01: Great Image Photography

March 19, 2013 at 10:11 am | Posted in PHOTOSHOOTS OF A STAR | 12 Comments
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Hi guys! I’m back in Abu Dhabi from a 3-week vacation to the Philippines!

Our vacation was a blast! I played a lot with my cousins, ate a lot of native foods and visited different places. I’m sure you are all waiting for the pictures I promised. I’ll be posting them really soon.

For the meantime, allow me to share you my photographs taken from Great Image Studios, SM North EDSA Quezon City Philippines.





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