Thursday, September 29, 2005


Sweet Anchovies is a delicacy in Korea, Japan and China. In the Philippines, what I can remember is our anchovies, even though they are sweet, they're coated with I believe sugar and flour and deep fried.

The anchovies I used here were imported from Malaysia. I saw it already cooked at the Korean Store near our place. It reminded me of what Japan Airlines serve to their passengers on long trips. I don't have a fixed measurement guides here as I was only experimenting.


2 tbsp of cooking oil
1 100 gms bag of anchovies
2 tbsp of honey
1 tsp of dried chili powder
2 tbsp of vinegared chili paste (or more if you want it spicy hot)

Fry anchovies in oil for about 5 minutes. Set aside. On the same pan, combine honey, chili powder and vinegard chili paste. Bring to a rolling boil. Add the fried anchovies making sure that the anchovies are coated well with the honey mixture.

Enjoy it as a "pulutan" or an appetizer.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Lasang Pinoy Round 2: Daing na Bangus and Tuyo

Celiak is the host of Lasang Pinoy (Round 2) and wants us to fascinate the world with tales of how we survive every storm that visits our beloved country, the Philippines. From what I know, Philippines suffers from 10 to 30 storms of varying strenght every year. Sometimes, they're devastating, sometimes they're not.

Typhoon season in the Philippines is a mixture of welcome and unwelcome feelings from me. In Baguio where I grew up, it means being isolated from the rest of the Philippines. It also meant that our food supplies coming from the lowlands would possibly be cut off brought about by landslides making our roads impassable. Out of desperation, sometimes farmers try to risk their lives to transport their goods to at least recover some of their farming costs.

It's not altogether bad when news of typhoons reach us. Why? Usually, the news would either be a hit or miss, what with the outdated weather radar our government had at that time? Typhoons are categorized I believe in four signals: 1) Signal number 1 meant that the force of the wind and rain was not truly devastating. Elementary students are still required to attend their classes; 2) Signal number 2 meant that classes in high school are cancelled and chances are, the winds and rain will be quite destructive; 3) Signal number 3 meant classes in colleges and universities are cancelled. You'll have to brace up because the strength of this typhoon is ravaging; 4) It's devastating and deadly.

There were times that PAG-ASA, our weather bureau would announce that the forthcoming storm is categorized as signal number three. Well, that meant all schools were cancelled only to find out that students are having a good time in movie houses because the weather is not that threatening at all. It's shining brightly outside.

There were instances where the storm was categorized as signal number 1 and yet it's raining cats and dogs and you could hardly stay dry and cover the rain with your umbrella.

Now, every time there is news of a strong typhoon hitting our city, milk fishes from fishponds in Pangasinan are often harvested prematurely because chances are these fish pens are going to be flooded anyways and the fishes washed away by the rain. Owners usually harvest them and bring them to Baguio and sell them for a bargain. It won't be any help for us to stock pile them in our freezers because there's a big chance that our power will be out anyway because of strong winds.

Mother always had a brilliant idea of buying them and filleting them while they're still cheap. She would then marinate them in lots of vinegar, garlic, pepper and soy sauce and fry them. When marinated, these bangus would last for a few days. In fact, the taste gets better if marinated for a few days. She would make sure that she bought enough to last us a few days days before the storm calms down and market stalls open again. We call it daing na bangus.

We would usually have sinigang na bangus on the first day of the storm. The next day, we would have fried bangus and the third day, daing na bangus. Better enjoy them while they last because once business is back, their prices would skyrocket.

What about the monsoon rain? It's not definitely a welcome one for me. First of all, the rain never stops for weeks. I remember when I was young; it would rain continuously for over a month. Of course because it's only a monsoon rain, classes are not cancelled. As soon as you get out of the house, your pants and runners are already soaked. Drying your clothes takes forever. Because we don't have dryers in Baguio, sometimes-even electricity, we hang our clothes to dry. It takes about 3 days to dry them and the smell is always unwanted. Well, it would be a mixture of a rotten smell with food that you've cooked for the past few days. Because prices of goods during this time is really high or sometimes because we're isolated, supplies of vegetables from the lowlands is scarce, we depend on canned goods and dried fish for sustenance. Cooking dried fish inside the house when all windows are shut will make you think twice before cooking dried fish. For some reason though, it is when the weather is cold that dried fish taste so good.

There is this part of the city that gets flooded everytime our city gets hit by a storm. It's literally a hole with no drainage. The water level sometimes gets to their rooftop and it takes days for the water to subside. But Baguio City is above sea level, you might say? Rescue operations are often focused on this part of the city. I have reached a point in my life where I basically lost sympathy for the people who lived there. They seem to not have learned their lessons but who are we to judge them. A friend told me that it's the only property they have and their only way of staying in the city.Well, when the storm calms and we're ready to pick up the pieces, sometimes mother prepares arroz caldo for us. She however makes sure that the chicken she buys from the market are not "double-dead".

Friday, September 23, 2005


I am sure this is a common recipe in the Philippines but not everyone know how it's called other than "giniling". Even in our Filipino Restaurant here, the cook still calls it "giniling". Giniling in Pilipino is ground.

1 lb of ground pork or beef
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 large potato, cubed
1 medium carrot, cubed
1 medium red and greenpeppers, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/4 cup of water
salt to season
1 tbsp of sugar (optional)

Cook ground meat in a saucepan until brown and dry. Add cooking oil. Add onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add the sliced potato and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots and the raisins. Cook for another 3 minutes. Once potato and carrot are cooked, add the tomato sauce and water and cover pan and let boil. Bring heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add peas and peppers. Cook for another 1 minute. Season to taste.


You can add paprika and cumin for color. Some add liver. Others add catsup. Be bold and try anything. Others call it picadillo, others call it picadillos. Hey, you're more than welcome to say it the way you want to say it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Pancakes with Sausages and Eggs

So what are pancakes, sausages and eggs doing in this row of sand sculpture pictures? We planned for a weekend trip to Harrison Hot Springs where the World Sand Sculpture Competition happens every year. The judging has happened already a week ago but they keep these sculptures for exhibition for a month. The organizers must be praying for just a bit of rain now to keep the sculptures intact and minimal sunshine to keep the sand from drying and being blown away by the wind.

Again, why the pancakes, sausages and eggs? Well, we meant to stay at the resort overnight. Our place is about 2 hours drive to the resrot and so we decided to stay in a hotel so we can pass by this school to visit a friend's son who just entered the seminary the next day. He was a friend of my kids byt the way. It was quite an adventure right from the start. My kids have other plans for the weekend with some friends but already, during the week I was keen on going to see the sculptures before the weather starts changing so they weren't happy.

We started late with a busy Friday night, we slept in and travelled late. Kids were of course disappointed with my plans so they weren't looking forward to this trip. We bought a dozen corn on the way from a place known for its corn mazes. The lake was not difficult to find. Check in time at the hotel was at 3:00 pm and so we decided to walk around the area first. We had a favorite Japanese Restaurant where we live and apparently the owner of this restaurant moved to the Lake to start his business so we started looking for him, starved and tired. We did not find him but we decided to eat at a Japanese Restaurant near our hotel.

We further decided to try checking in earlier so we can enjoy going around with no more luggages in tow. For some reason, I happened to mention to the receptionist about our search for this Japanese Cook and found out that he was in fact living in the same complex, at the back apartments of the hotel. Apparently, he owned the restaurant where we ate but did not stay long in that business and sold it to someone else.

Anyway, when we got into the hotel, it did not smell good. Son said it smelled like a hospital. Already, the kids with heavy hearts were not happy with the smell. Add to that the weather condition. It was not sunny, nor was it raining. It was just cloudy and the place was cold. We decided to just head home and we got home late. Daughter thought that pancakes, sausages and eggs would make-up for that trip and so she cooked some this morning, at home.

Well, here are a few of the pictures I took. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

The sand sculptures from the viewing stage
An entry from a chinese delegation
chinese sculpture

Arabian Nights

Campfire Tales. This is my favorite. I failed to take a picture of the kids listening to the storyteller.

Seeing Through My Hands

Japanese Sculture

Castles in the Sand

unicorn heads

Friday, September 16, 2005

Something I shouldn't be proud about..Alfredo's Sauce in jars. But I was really busy the past few days and it's a good thing I had some smoked ham in the freezer, a spare jar of Alfredo's sauce in the cupboard and my ever stack of spgahetti noodles.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Plums and Nectarines

Just a few more signs that summer is over on this other side of the world. Today, when I went to the store to buy some fruits, the apples, plums, peaches and nectarines dominated the stalls. I got a little curios of something new in the market, the dinosaur plum. Out of you may call it ignorance, I bought one to taste. And then I started to think how each of the other varieties compared as far as taste go.

I liked them all but I loved the dinosaur plums best. I prefer the nectarines over peaches as well but I want my nectarines firm, juicy and sweet. For the prune plums, I prefer them a bit over riped otherwise, I'd eat them as dried prunes instead. These are good laxatives. When I gave birth, i had dried prunes to ease me from all the hassles of you know what.

They don't stay very long in the market. Peaches especially get rotten easily. I also found out that the quality of peaches depend very much on the weather. The hotter the summer is, the sweeter they are. They could flood the market but that doesn't mean that they're sweet. I haven't any peaches yet this year. I had a bad experience last year when they were so grainy.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Nilagang Manok

Ready or not, here I am again presenting to you this time an all-time family favorite, nilagang manok. Baguio is known for having a very temperate climate in the Philippines and this is what we usually have when the rainy season strikes. Now, don't say brr..

2 tbsp of oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
about 2 lbs of chicken, chopped into small piesces
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
6 cups of water
1/2 lb of green beans
5 pcs of potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 lb of cabbage
salt to taste

In a sauce pan, heat oil. Saute garlic until lightly brown. Add Etag and chicken and cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken becomes dry. Add onions and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes. Add water and let boil. Add potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes depending on how tender the chicken is. Add the vegetables and season to taste. Make sure that the vegetables are not overcooked. Serve hot.

The etag really adds flavor to the soup. You should really try making this and store the meat in a plastic wrap in the freezer once the meat is cured.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tagged again

Tagged one more time by JMom, now I am supposed to tell more about my life. Bear with me.

20 Years ago

I was chasing this guy inside our campus. Cute, chinese looking guy. He was a neighbor and a friend's friend but I guess he's never set eyes on me. Not true! He actually did too but he never was a gutsy man.

At the same time, I had a barkada who people thought was my boyfriend but never was. Never had the nerve either. Girls were head over heels with this barkada of mine but I guess he liked me better than them. The truth is, he never had the nerve to tell me how he felt towards me because he knew I was head over heels with the guy I was chasin' around. 'confused yet?

Menu of the year? Chicken mami.

15 years ago

My husband and I moved to our newly built house built out of our own sweat. No financial help from our parents. Yipee, I am so proud of ourselves. Mortgages suck though.

My son was born 2 days prior to the killer quake that hit Baguio City. Daughter had a scar on her forehead as a result of her running out of the house when she felt the earthquake. She was only one year old.

10 years ago

Instead of going home to the Philippines for Christmas, I opted to spend Christmas with my brother in the States. My first time. A few cousins I grew up with in the Philippines were also with us. It was like being in Baguio City again except that there was snow all over the place. Despite the weather, cousins and I went shopping at the nearby outlet. Reality bites. Christmas sucks if not celebrated in the Philippines.

The Twin Towers were still standing then. I have not realized that I had a picture with the towers as my background until my children pointed it out to me.

5 years ago

We had to leave the Philippines on December 31 because there was a change in our flight schedule. Kids packed their stuff up with heavy hearts and left Lolo with new year goodies he was meaning to serve us on New Years Eve. As a result, i had a big fight with the person who was in charge of letting people go inside the airport terminal. He wouldn't let us in because our flight was supposed to be on the 3rd of January. In order for me to have our flight fixed, he wanted me to leave my kids outside with no guarantee that my kids will still be there when I got back.

We celebrated New Year at home in our pajamas and kept on swearing at how our city sucked. It was the only city I guess which did not participate in the celebration of the New Millenium with fireworks. Our city officials were too afraid of bomb threats and lawsuits.

1 year ago

'started planning for a very special occasion comin' up this Christmas.


Ironed out all the kinks for this upcoming event. Philippines, here we come.

Last night

Boo hoo. 'slept early. 'had a headache.


'finished all the things that kept bugging me for the last three months. Woohoo!!

Next Year

'will start to save up for a new car.

5-10 years from now

I am hoping that my daughter will be a doctor and my son an engineer. Crossing my fingers.

I am tagging Sari, Bugsy and the Ca T

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Childhood Food Memories Meme

Tagged by Obachan and Kai this time, I am supposed to talk about the 5 childhood food memories that I miss. I am going to modify this meme of course so that I can talk about 5 food that reminds me of my childhood. Not food that I miss necessarily, but they simply remind me of my childhood.

1. Abal-abal

When I was a kid, my siblings and I would alternate in spending summer with my maternal grandparents in the province. It is the time when all of our cousins from urban places spend time and have fun together. It is also the season when abal-abal are in abundance. We would go to a place near this river where trees abound and where these abal-abal thrive at night. Abal-abal are beetles living in burrowed ground and come out at night and stay on trees. We would shake the trees vigorously so that these beetles will fall off the ground. We'd have to move as fast as we can to pick these beetles up and put them in covered containers or else they will go back to the ground. My grandpapers would roast them in a pan. Crunchy and creamy but I don't think it was really something I enjoyed eating. I enjoyed going with my cousins at night that made this food memorable to me.

2. Simut-simot

My mother was stationed in a place about half an hour from the city when I was young. The place was not so remote but for some reason there was no electricity yet. Mother was entitled to a supply of power from the mining company but she opted to live the way the people in the community lived. It meant us using Petromax (gas lamp). There is a certain month during the year that these simut-simot would come out. They are termites living off rotten trees. Father would bring the lighted lamp out and put it on top of a big basin filled with water. These termites would be attracted to the light and when they start going near the lamp we would try to drive them towards the basin full of water. Father would then roast them and try to get rid of their wings. Like the abal-abal, it's also creamy. Again, it's the fact that we get to play in the dark and do away with our homeworks that made it fun.

3. Chicharon (Kropec)

Nothing extra-ordinary about this one. It's made of flour, shaped in a rectangular form, and deep fried. We would buy a bagful or more of this and me and my siblings would go to our balcon to eat these. My brother will appear with a bowl of vinegar and hot pepper and we would all race to dip our chicharon in the bowl. By the time we're done, our lips would all be white. We introduced this idea to our "city cousins" and my paternal grandmother would always tell us to stop eating them because they're made of "tsinelas ti intsik"(chinese slippers). I still do not get it up to this day why she didn't want us to have some

4. Adobong Palaka

Okey, palaka is frog. Adobo is a way of cooking a meat with vinegar, garlic, soy and pepper. My father's eldest brother has left for the US at a tender age of 21 or younger. The first to join the US Navy in our clan actually and he is about 80 now. He lived his most productive life in the US and as far as I can remember has only gone back to the Philippines 4 or 5 times. During those times, we either visited him in Subic because the ship he was on was enroute somewhere else or he would come up to Baguio for 1 or 2 days. With such a tight schedule, he would request that we cook pinakbet for him and adobong palaka. I was quite amazed because mother or father would scour the market for palaka just for him. It has puzzled me what is in a Palaka that makes him request for this evertime he comes home. No, I am not complaining. 'just wondering.

5. Dinengdeng

Does this surprise you? Well, when I was little, my parents were given a very huge property by a wealthy Igorot. It was free as long as mother served his community. Disgressing a bit, I wouldn't mind going back to that place again but it's a lot different now, I heard. It was massive, really massive. Mother and father were able to raise pigs for Christmas and special occasions. The food to feed these pigs were taken from their garden. Name all the vegetables you can find in the market and mother had them all growing in her garden. Bananas, Guyabano, Calamansi, Avocadoes, oh we had them in our backyard. My parents gave these all up when we started going to school and my parents believed that we needed better education than what the community had. The property was still ours but when my mother died, there was just no reason for us to go back to that place anymore. At that time, city-living was a lot convenient for us.

Anyway, because our house was next to the school, teachers coming from the city would bribe my mother with fried bangus(milkfish) so she can cook fresh dinengdeng for them. The teachers would send a few students to pick the vegetables from my mother's garden. Mother would then cook these vegetables for lunch. Our house would be like a party house all the time. Ah, I miss those teachers very much.

Phew, that was such a mouthful. Now my turn to tag. I am tagging all those readers whose names start with C. No hiding now.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Promoting Filipino Cuisine

Promoting Filipino Cuisine is our topic for the month at Blogkadahan. See what I have to serve to my international audience

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Sockeye Salmon

It's salmon harvest season and I was lucky to get a freshly caught sockeye piece for a good deal. I had to roll my eyes when I heard that it was $10.00 a piece, about 6 lbs. I wanted to buy some more but I always fall into this trap of storing so much in my freezer and the whole family gets overwhelmed everytime they search for something else inside the freezer or they want to put something in.

Well, the fish was not dressed and gutted so I had to do it myself. If you bought them from the store dressed and gutted, they would have cost me $5.99/lb. Putting a price on my catch, I would have paid between $25 and $36.

I must be the last person in my family who loves to gut the fish. Everybody thinks it's gross. I am also good at filleting. My daughter was just having fun watching me not wasting any part of the fish.

Really, nothing gets wasted if I do it. I had fillets for baked salmon, steaks, bones for chowder and other soups and my infamous sinigang and adobo.