PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

Month: July 2018

Sweet Sunday Treat – Beautiful Sunday

Sweet Sunday Treat – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 The weather has been weird lately, the rain comes and goes. From one area the sun is up and shining but on another place the sky is dark and raining. Well I hoped that it does not rain when we go […]

Ghosts from Atrocities

Ghosts from Atrocities

WARNING: Some of the artworks contains graphic images Images that some may find disturbing and upsetting Please do not proceed if you do not want to see art depictions war atrocities and suffering.   Gallery VIII of the Philippine National Musuem called Silvina and Juan […]

Breakfast at the Market

Breakfast at the Market

It has been a rainy week and a typhoon has left some areas un accessible due to severe flooding. A dark rainy morning we still decided and have some breakfast in one of the oldest food stall in our area. These food stalls are called carinderia some call it turo turo which means point out. A cheap and convenient way to get your fill and also a part of the Philippine culture. If you are not a picky eater grab a seat with me today as I take you out to eat.

Breakfast at the Market

This is Aling Ika’s carinderia located at our public market. The word aling is used before the name of a woman, normally older women as a sign of respect. The carinderia is a place popular for take outs in case you do not want to worry about what to cook for lunch. If you want to truly experience Philippine food culture the carinderia is the place to be. Here you could find a lot of authentic Philippine dishes.

As for this establishment this is the oldest according to my aunt. Although it is not the original location as renovations has been done to the market, it still has the same food and taste. This business has been operating since before World War 2 and is run by aling Ika’s daughter named Lolita who is in her 70’s now. The establishment has been featured in many television shows which made it more popular. Some people even travel from different locations to taste their food.

 

After shopping from the market place people line up to have a snack, buy lunch and even have breakfast here just like what we intended to do.

What is popular here are the rice cakes and noodles. A special treat called bibingkoy is the best seller and I could still remember how my grandma always takes home bibingkoy after a trip from the market.

BIBINGKOY

Ground glutinous rice and filled with mongo beans. This is then roasted over coals and served with a special sauce, and I was told that the process in making it is still the same since the late 1920’s.

The local dishes are on display and there are a lot to choose from. They open around 7 am and most of the food on the menu are all gone after lunch time.

Fish, shrimp, pork, vegetables and there is always something for everyone.

As the carinderia is also known as turo turo which means to point out. Just point out the dish that you want and just let them know if it is for dine in or take out. As for me I wanted some fried rice and a popular dish here called Tortang Alimasag.

TORTANG ALIMASAG

The tortang alimasag is a crab omelette mixed with vegetables like green peas and bell peppers. Making this omelette is a bit tedious which makes it a bit pricey. Imagine de shelling crabs and you would only get few meat from one crab. They are quite generous with the crab meat on the omelette. This small piece cost 50 pesos which is around $1.00 and it is not bad as every bite is very flavorful.

FRIED RICE

A bit similar to the fried rice that my aunt makes during new year called Arroz Valenciana. This fried rice cointains green peas, hotdogs and Chinese sausage. With the color I would say it has been cooked with annatto oil.

PANCIT MALABON

A popular noodle dish in our country made from thick rice noodles. Topped with toasted garlic, pork cracklings, cabbage and sliced eggs. The orange sauce has a shrimp flavor and the process of making it varies in different locations. Don’t forget to squeeze in calamansi which is our local lime. If you would be taking it out they would wrap it in banana leaves and newspaper in a triangular shape. It is how they have been preparing take out ever since.

PANCIT PUSO

Pancit means noodles and puso means heart. You might think this is a noodle made from heart but in fact the heart being referred to is banana blossom. Here we called them puso ng saging or heart of the banana as it somehow resembles a heart. The banana blossom is chopped up, mixed with vinegar and used as a souring ingredient for the noodles. As far as I know this noodle dish was invented in our city but could not find more details who invented it.

BIBINGKOY

This is the sticky rice treat that I told you about earlier. The sauce is made up of cooked coconut milk mixed with jack fruit, and sago which is like tapioca.

Inside you would see the munggo or mung beans. The combination with the coconut milk is amazing that has a unique cultural flavor. You got to try this desert and I think it is something everyone would love.

Time to eat and every meal comes with a free soup. As for me it is important to have free soup in carinderias and it should be tasty. That is one factor that contributes to a complete carinderia experience.

My breakfast is the crab omelette and fried rice.

My wife ordered the noodles and you might ask why two. The pancit malabon she wanted to try and asked me to share it with her. Well I also love pancit malabon so might as well eat up.

Well enough talk for now time to eat our breakfast. The crab omelette was a bit small so I had to take small portions of it with my rice. But every small piece was very tasty, and you could taste the crab flavor in each spoonful with rice.

My wife started out with the pancit malabon and I ended up eating the pancit puso. I should have ordered take out of the pancit malabon as she said it was really good.

After a few minutes the result was a very satisfying breakfast on rainy morning. The cost of this breakfast for two is 170 pesos which is around $3.20. The place was not pretty nor the presentation, unlike in fancy restaurants where everything looks so good. But this is a part of our culture that adds color and makes our country unique. The culture, people, history all plays a part in our cuisine.

Thanks for joining us for breakfast and I hope you enjoyed the experience with us. Please do leave some comments and let me know what you think.

Are you willing to try and eat at the carinderia?

Hope to see you again and have a good evening or morning.

 

Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 and 12-32 mm

Bamboo Rafting – Beautiful Sunday

Bamboo Rafting – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 A peaceful, quiet cruise along Bulakin river with my daughter @bearkid. These are one of those priceless moments that makes family bonds stronger. An exciting and playful journey on this river. Come with us today as I share with you our […]

A Pink Church in a Plantation Resort

A Pink Church in a Plantation Resort

Some things are not what they appear to be. In this case a pink church in the plantation resort in Villa Escudero, Philippines. A resort that has a lot to offer, whether you are looking for a place to relax, chill down on a pool, […]

The Yard Food Park – Beautiful Sunday

The Yard Food Park – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

A  food park that just opened June 30 that has been causing a buzz around our area. My friends and office mates has been talking about it for days. Word has been spreading around social media about this new hang out place. Live band music, a lot of food options, cool ambiance and a good place to spend with the family.  Come with me today as I share with you the newest hang out place in our town.

 

The Yard Food Park

It was raining a bit but we still wanted to to push thru our visit to the food park. I was confident that the place would have a way to keep their customers dry. We have been yearning to visit since it opened to see what the fuzz was all about. On our way I didn’t really know yet what to eat. I was expecting something different aside from the usual burgers, grilled barbecues and local dishes.

Since we took public transportation we encountered a bit of heavy traffic since it was the usual route of the buses here. Having your own vehicle is ideal since there are a lot of alternate routes going to this place. As we reached the venue we could already see the place lit up like a fair. Bright lights which is very inviting the moment you see it. Vehicles were parked all over the place and looks like it covers the whole block.

The main entrance had a big green neon sign and people were crowding at the entrance. Taking photos and selfies at the big sign of The Yard to remind them of their experience with this place. As for us we wanted to go in right away as we were starving.

The Yard has several branches in the Philippines but this is the first time we have heard about it. We really had to  check it out due to the proximity.

We went inside and the place was all lighted up with food stalls lined up. I still did not know what to eat and looks like there are so many options to choose from. I felt another challenge for us is getting a table as the place was fully loaded.

In the center of the yard they have set up a tent to keep the customers dry from the drizzle of the rain.

The place was so alive and the band was already playing. Music from the 80’s and early 90’s it gave that retro vibe yet it sounded fresh. Easy listening which is a break from the millennial tunes that we hear everyday. I listen to all sorts of music but the music this night has set the mood for everyone.

I went up the second floor and wanted to scan each stall before deciding what to eat. Different aromas filled the place and each one invites you to have  a taste of what they have to offer.

 

There was a stall called the Black Sails that offered sea foods. I liked the theme that they had going, in the form of a hull of a ship. Looks like a good spot and not crowded but didn’t have any craving for seafood tonight. Also it was away from the stage of the live music.

 

 

Now every other table had some chicken wings from this stall called Chick List. I would say it is quite  popular as there were a lot of people lined up. We tried to order but we were told that it would take more than 30 minutes as still had to get more chicken. We wanted to taste their chicken but didn’t want to wait so we had to move along and check another stall. Maybe next time we will try their wings.

 

Lighting and presentation does attract customers. This stall called Flame and Ramen had flames burning up in front of it. They offered Japanese food and ramen sandwiches. A ramen bun with options of pork, pulled pork, burger and you could even have add ons of cheese or egg.

 

On the menu we ended up with chicken Karaage for my son. That is the only thing that we ordered here as we wanted to taste the food from the other stalls.

 

I loved how they decorated their stall with firewood gives it some sort of a rustic feel.

As we strolled along we saw a cloud coming from this location. A place called Ice Cream Lab that offered nitrogen infused treats. Three tanks of liquid nitrogen and the cloud attracted more people. This is something different and the kids including me was so curious about it. We ended up ordering our dessert first.

I think it is not a good idea to sit near the tanks. Everytime someone orders you would get a blast of a cold cloud from the liquid nitrogen. We I guess they wanted to sit there.

A great way to attract customers is to make the cloud as big as possible. Well I guess it works as people were lining up to get a frozen cold treat. I still would not want to sit there though.

On the menu they had their ice cream creations and the frozen treats.

We were told that the only dessert they had infused with the liquid nitrogen was Dragons Ball which are frozen cheese balls and Dragons Breath which is a frozen chiffon cake. My son wanted to go for the Dragon’s Breath and we couldn’t wait to taste it.

The guy came over to our table with the Dragon’s Breath. Poured the liquid nitrogen on the dessert and mist covered our table. Before leaving he told us not to leave the treat on our tongues too long as it may tend to stick. I’ve seen videos of liquid nitrogen freezing stuff and having it shattered like glass or porcelain. I think it also has an effect to break even metal. Well is it safe? I guess they would not be serving it if it wasn’t.

 

The question is who will be trying it first?

The kids didn’t think twice and wanted to try it right away.

Aside from that we also ordered an ice cream called Smores. Made up of three scoops of vanilla ice cream, graham, whipped cream, toasted marshmallows and a syringe with caramel.

The chiffon cake was hard like a popsicle but dry. You could bite into it and you could feel it stick a little bit in your mouth. It’s pretty cold and mist comes out of your nose and mouth once you eat it. We really enjoyed this treat and I feel we would come back again to try it once more.

With so many options it was very hard to choose what to eat. They had Malaysian, Korean, Mexican, Japanese and it would really be a great idea to order a little something from the ones that catches your craving. Would have ordered more but we were on a tight budget. If we had some funds I would go crazy ordering a lot and have it showcased. Well for now just to have a taste and experience will do.

 

 

 

 

 

I saw some pork belly being grilled on some of the tables and found the stall called Yeonin where it came from.  They offered Korean food and we ordered the Samgyupsal which is good for 2-3 people. Including lettuce, rice, ssamjang and kimchi. It cost 345 pesos or around $6.45 which I think is not bad.

The menu some I have never heard of as I am not that familiar with Korean food.

 

Another food that caught my eye is the fried squid on sticks. I also noticed them on a few of the tables and looked for the stall where it was sold. We found it and it was called Abandon Ship with a logo of a kraken  attacking a pirate ship.

 

We bought the smallest one costing 189 pesos or $3.53 but the Colossal one costs 499 pesos or $9.33. I love how they have it presented as it attracted me to buy one. Pretty effective marketing strategy if I may say.

 

We wanted more desserts and this stall was an eye candy.

All sorts of sweets, cakes, muffins that could satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

The price was 100 pesos or $1.87 for any three of the treats.

 

 

 

 

Now it was time to get back on our seat. This glowing cube is the marker from the squid stall to easily locate their customers and it changes colors too.

The chicken karaage arrived and the kids didn’t like the taste. So I ended up eating it so it won’t go to waste. Well there was some sort of weird after taste and could have been made better. Maybe we should have gone for the ramen bun instead.

The grill and the pork belly arrived from the Korean stall. I wanted the kids do all the cooking and I would just sit back and relax.

My wife ordered some Gimbap which is seaweed and rice roll. I would not know the difference with the Japanese maki roll. Looks the same to me but my wife loves it and I think she finished it all.

Here are the ingredients.

The pork belly

Lettuce

Kimchi

Korean eggplant

Turnip

Some sort of vinegar with onions

As my wife told me the process is wrapping up all the ingredients along with lettuce. It was interesting and I should try more Korean food in the future.

Cooking the pork belly with sesame seeds already sprinkled on the meat.

The kids were enjoying themselves and kept on arguing which ones were already cooked. Well I just left it with them to deal with.

Our ship has arrived and along with it is our fried squid.

It came with soy sauce and vinegar in separate cups.

The squid was cooked right as the meat was tender. Over cooking squid tends to give it a rubbery texture and hard to eat.

As we dined the night away the band continued to serenade us thru the night. Changing the mood now with Maroon 5 singing a cover of She will be loved. I really love eating out and listening to live bands. Just a relaxing atmosphere with nothing too heavy just easy listening. But don’t get me wrong I rock preferably from the grunge era. These days some how I feel age is catching up with me and got a little mellow but deep inside it is still there.

I guess this is it for now. I hope you enjoyed our little visit to The Yard. There are so many restaurants and food stalls all over some of them doesn’t last long, some are underrated but something I learned from this place. Banding together creates an amazing attraction that give attention and a chance for success for everyone.

Thanks for joining me and have a good rainy evening here from the Philippines.

 

 

Official Page

The Yard Centennial

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 14.427053 lat 120.892117 long The Yard Food Park d3scr)

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All photos are original and taken with

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Year One of Watersnake101

Year One of Watersnake101

The sands of time flows by so fast. It has been a year and I did not even notice. A very productive year and made us see life in a different way. Looking at the world in a special kind of way and more dreams […]

Clay Pot Cooking “Tinolang Halaan (Clam Soup)”

Clay Pot Cooking “Tinolang Halaan (Clam Soup)”

Tinola is a native Philippine dish and its history dates back from the 19th century. Although it is not know who invented the recipe, the dish has become a popular meal in every Philippine household. During the rainy season the Tinola is the best companion […]

Waterfall Buffet – Beautiful Sunday

Waterfall Buffet – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Are you tired of the same dining experience? With the same repetitive ambiance indoors. How would you like to dine outdoors for a change? Dine around nature as water from a falls flows on your feet. An experience which is unique and showcases Philippine culture. Come with me today as I take you with me to Villa Escudero Plantation and Resort.

 

Waterfall Buffet

Located at Tiaong,Quezon in the Philippines it was a four hour travel from our location. Leaving home around 5 am and without sleep yet due to night out we had was a challenge. I planned to sleep thru the travel on the way to the resort. It has been a while since we last time we had a family excursion. In this occasion it was my aunt’s 81st birthday celebration and she wanted to experience this restaurant. The travel is long but the excitement is building up as it is a well known place and it is our first time to experience this type of dining. My daughter @bearkid kept herself busy with her phone and listening to her favorite music. I on the other hand occupied the last row of the van and tried to make up for lost sleep hoping to get a couple of hours sleep before we reach our destination. Unfortunately our driver does not know where the place and is not quite familiar is using navigational apps. I had to set the location on a mobile app called Waze and guided him which way to turn on intersections.

At least I got almost two hours of sleep and I think got a little charge from it. After the long travel we finally reached our destination at around 9:00 am. In front of the reception you could already have a feel of the cultural theme of the resort.

Upon entering the reception you would be greeted with welcome drinks made up of sweet brown sugar with shreds of melon served in a plastic cup. They offered my aunt a seat right away and even assisted her as she sat down.The crew wearing traditional local attire were very welcoming and friendly. Inside the reception hall there were already a lot of people waiting in line.

The place was made from local materials like bamboo, nipa and coconut lumber. The lighting caught my attention with warm light and shade made from weaved materials. We have not gotten to the restaurant yet but from here you could already tell that is a wonderful place.

The entrance fee day tour package:

  • Mon to Wed – 1,450 pesos ($27.22)
  • Thurs to Sun and Holiday – 1,650 pesos ($30.00)
  • Overnight Unit rental – 5,500 pesos ($103.25)

The day tour includes:

Museum Tour

Carabao Cart Ride

Use of the infinity pool and Jacuzzi

Bamboo Rafting

Lunch buffet at the Waterfalls

Philippine Cultural Show

At the center of the reception area is a map showing the points of interest. In case you would want to roam around this 800 hectares property.

To get to the restaurant you would need to take a short ride on a Carabao cart. My aunt had a hard time coming up the steps of the cart instead they called a service which is a motorized vehicle to take her to the location. From there I already commended the service from their staff. They watch out carefully for the needs of their customers especially the elderly.

As for the rest of us off we went to the Carabao ride to get to the restaurant. As for me “Shotgun!” I get to ride beside the driver.

Here is the rest of the family enjoying the ride and not only that. We were serenaded by the staff with acoustic cultural songs as we headed to the restaurant.

Sitting beside the driver you get the best view which is the behind of the Carabao. I was just hopeful that the Carabao does not pass gas. Fortunately it was a pleasant ride with no unexpected odor mishap.

We got to the entrance of the restaurant and the crew bid us and enjoyable experience.

Near the entrance there was a souvenir shop offering native delicacies and hand made bags, keychains and accessories. At the corner there is a small snack bar offering coffee, espresso and fruit juices.

Hand made earnings and my niece seems to fancy the designs.

At the restaurant a lush greenery and a cool forest air would greet you. You could already hear the sound of the waterfall and a scent of freshness with a feeling of calmness would surround you.

Tables are organized in rows and we got there early. Being early has its benefits you get the best seat in the house which is in front of the falls.

The Labasin waterfall is man made flowing from the Bulakin River. At the top is a Hydroelectric Power plant used to power the plantation.

The view is surreal seeing a restaurant with water running thru it. It is an absolute must to visit if you are in the Philippines. I myself was taken away by its charm.

The seats are still empty but soon enough people would start pouring in.

The table that we got was on the front left. I was hoping to get the center table but it was already occupied.

We were one of the first to get in line at the buffet table and we were starving so let’s not spend more time lingering.

At the buffet table local dishes are served. You would need to give your stub from the reception area. The attendant would hand you a small bilao which is a plate made from woven material and covered with a banana leaf.

The popular local side dishes served from clay pots.

From top left to right

  • Steamed Egg plant
  • Sliced boiled eggs
  • Sliced tomatoes and onions
  • In the middle Bagoong (fermented krill in salt) Krill which is a species of tiny shrimps.
  • Steamed Okra best consumed with the Bagoong
  • Fermented white radish

 

The food are warmed by charcoal stoves which adds a traditional touch. There are five main dishes on the menu and they all looks so delicious and should satisfy anyone.

From right to left

  • Grilled Tilapa ( A fresh water native fish from the cichlid family)
  • Grilled pork belly
  • Pork Kalderata
  • On the end in a large clay pot is Sinigang soup

 

 

  • Roasted Chicken
  • Pumpkin and string beans in coconut milk

  • Slices of juicy red watermelons
  • Calamansi which is local native lime which you could use on the fish

Those coconut shells are used as soup bowls and also to put your vinegar on.

Native water cooler called the Tapayan. Water stored in this vessel is cooler even on a hot day.

Since the resort is also a coconut plantation. Plenty of coconuts for everyone and they charge 40 pesos or $.75 for each coconut.

The meat is already separated from the shell for easy consumption.

Here’s my plate with a little bit of everything. The rice is wrapped in paper with the name of the resort.

They can provide plastic utensils but to experience the Filipino traditional way. It is best to eat with your hands.

Bearkid enjoying a refreshing red watermelon with water rushing behind her.

After around 20 minutes people started to pour in and all the tables slowly begins to get occupied.

The lines begins to get longer but they have another food station to accommodate the number of customers.

 

As we asked the staff how many visitors they get everyday. They said that they get a number of visitors that reaches up to 1000 per day. I am amazed how everything is well maintained ever since they opened to public in 1981. They have very good management and the staff are top notch in service.

Normally the ground would grow moss in the long run submerged in water but they are scrubbed everyday. There are some spots that are still slippery and warnings are posted to walk carefully.

Group activities are often held here and today there were two groups wearing green and blue.

A beautiful place to spend time with friends and family. A unique and unforgettable experience for everyone.

After having lunch it is time to take photos and enjoy the waterfall.

My daughter loved every moment of it as it is not everyday you get to eat beside a waterfall. Too bad she was not dressed up yet for swimming to soak up in the running water.

Throw away your worries behind and live by the moment. Capture sweet memories for something to look back and remind us of an unforgettable dining experience.

The place and service was excellent. I failed to mention earlier that you would need to take the stairs going down to the restaurant. My aunt was assisted by a staff and they even provided a wheelchair for her. The facility has a wheelchair ramp access area going down. A beautiful place made more gorgeous by the amazing staff greeting you with smiles and always attentive to all your needs. If I could give 6 stars to this place I would.

The price is a bit expensive for everyone but to our experience I can absolutely say that it is worth every cent.

The best memories in life are created with people that you love.

Thank you once again for joining me in this #beautifulsunday and have a good morning or evening everyone.

Please let me know what you think and feel free to leave some comments. Cheers!

 

Resource

Villa Escudero Plantaions and Resort

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.995017 lat 121.343582 long Villa Escudero d3scr)

 

 

Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

Discovering exceptional content in the community follow @curie and vote as witness

To have a glimpse of awesome content from the Philippines check out @bayanihan

 

All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 Sigma 50mm 1.4 and 12-32 mm

Trees of Stone – Colors of the Minerals

Trees of Stone – Colors of the Minerals

  Buried for millions of years and exposed to ground water embedded with minerals creates petrified trees. Creating something magnificent like an artwork created by nature. These are some of the fossilized trees recovered from all over the world.   Colors of the Minerals   […]