Showing posts from October, 2013

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Food Trip: Maja Blanca

Although it is Spanish in origin, the Maja Blanca or coconut pudding/ coconut cake as it is often called is a thick white gelatinous substance with a sweet in flavor and is commonly made from coconut milk and cornstarch. However, if corn kernels are used in preparing the dessert, the dish would be called maja blanca con maiz, maja maiz, or maja blanca maiz.

Tracing back its history, I found out that the Maja Blanca was adapted from the dish called Manjar Blanco which is related to the dessert called Blancmange which is a French word meaning "white delicacy". 

Maja Blanca is prepared during special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, and fiestas. This dessert has since been fossilized into the Filipino culture, tradition, and stomach. So what do we need in order for us to make our own Maja Blanca? 


4 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
14 ounces condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
15 ounces whole sweet kernel corn
5 tbsp toasted grated coconut


Laguna: Jose Rizal Shrine in Calamba

Located in Calamba City in the province of Laguna, Rizal Shrine is the birthplace of Dr. Jose P. Rizal -the National Hero of the Philippines. Rizal Shrine is probably well known as the ancestral house of Rizal's family. The house serves as a museum which contains furniture and items that belongs to the Rizal family.

For those who don't know the house that stood in the lot is actually only a replica of the old ancestral house which was destroyed during the Second World War. The replica was constructed right after the war. The construction was supervised by the late National Artist Juan Nakpil. It was inaugurated in 1950. According to local guides, the only surviving part of the original house is the well, which is now famously referred to as the "wishing well."

During one of my backpacking adventures (actually field trip with my students), I noticed that the house was repainted puke green from the traditional white. Curiosity jumped in and I googled why on earth did…

Manila: Malate Church

Located in Malate, Manila, Malate Church is one of the remaining Spanish Era churches found in the capital of the Philippines. The church also houses the miraculous image of Nuestra Senora de los Remedios. Also known as the Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Malate church was constructed under the supervision of the Augustinians sometime in 1588. It was destroyed in 1661 upon orders of Governor-general Sabiniano Manrique de Lara over fears that the Chinese pirates led by Li Ma Hong might be tempted to plunder the church and the community near it. The church was later rebuilt in 1677 and was finished in 1679. The church was then occupied and used by the invading British forces as headquarters in 1762. The church was destroyed again, this time by The Great Earthquake of 1863 which destroyed most structures in Manila. The church was rebuilt again a year after.
To date, Malate Church has undergone several restorations due to its evident deterioration. It could be clearly seen in its facade whe…

10 Wheeler Truck Mindanao Road Trip: Day 2 and 3

After a semi-sleepless night (Due to the fact that I feel like I was on guard for the group), we packed up at around 5AM then drove a few kilometers to one of the nearest food stalls in Gingoog City for our breakfast. All I can say is - "Nothing beats a warm cup of coffee and a sandwich in a cold morning." Our next stop was in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental were my father-in-law and brother-in-law enjoyed their early morning dip in Talisayan's brown sand beach. I was so engrossed documenting the trip, that I skipped the chance of joining them. Aside from the mentioned reasons, it also dawned on me (just recently) that I had no guts swimming on my undies in front of the local folks. (Yup my father-in-law and brother-in-law swam wearing nothing but undies.) After the side trip in Talisayan, we hopped on our truck and proceeded to head towards Cagayan De Oro City (CDO). However, my father-in-law promised to take us first to one of his usual stop over venues whenever he'…


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