Showing posts from February, 2017

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Food trip: Sinantolan

The sandoricum koetjape or cotton fruit is one of my favorite fruits. This fruit is "lovingly" called santol here in the Philippines. It's perfect with salt with chopped chili or when you dip it in soy sauce. However, I was surprised to discover that the santol is actually used as the main ingredient in a Filipino dish which is obviously named after the said fruit -sinantolan.  
It was during my first day in the Experience Quezon Media Tour event that I got to see and watch the actual preparation of the dish and not to mention taste it for the first time too. Upon doing research about the dish, I discovered that sinantolan is a popular delicacy not only for the province of Quezon but also in the province of Laguna and those provinces in the Bicol Region. 

Looking at the main ingredients of the dish, it clearly shows the richness of the region in terms of products from its fertile lands like coconuts and santols; and its generous sea by means of the shrimps and also crabs. 

Food trip: Sagada Lemon Pie House

Lemons are uncommon in the Philippines. As a matter of fact only a handful of farms with lemon trees exists in the country today. Majority of the lemons sold in the market are imported. Well, it is not a big surprise... The demand for lemon fruits surged only recently after the Filipinos were "awakened" to healthy living.

That is why, it is quite surprising to find a food establishment in the country that is well known for selling lemon pies. What's more surprising is that they are doing this for a decade now... (not to mention, this business is located in the mountainous regions of the Philippines.

Our food trip today, takes us to the Sagada Lemon Pie House in Sagada, Mountain Province. 

Sagada Lemon Pie House
opened in 2008. Sadly, it wasn't much of a success back then. The persevering owners didn't give up though. They diligently brought their lemon pies to the public market of Sagada's poblacion until it got a cult following. From there, just like what they …

Hiking Kawa-Kawa Hill

Located in California Village, Brgy. Tuburan, Ligao City in the province of Albay,Kawa-Kawa Hill is a 236-meter landform (hence a hill) that got its name from its unique features.

The word "kawa" means cauldron in the local dialect. From afar the hill seems like any ordinary hill but when you reach the summit, you'd be amazed to find a six-hectare crater.

What I find interesting in Kawa-Kawa Hill is the Stations of the Cross. Each station has larger than life statues portraying the events leading to Christ's final moments. The Stations are lined up in the 500-meter path to the crater then extends up all the way around the 836-meter rim.

I also like the idea that the local government included recreational facilities on the hill. You'd find horses and ATVs for rent, not only that, but you'd also see eagle aviaries, sunflower gardens and a nice view of Mayon Volcano and Mt. Masaraga. I won't be surprised if one day, they'd include a zip line, anicycle, or e…

Aquino Ancestral House - Tarlac

Located in the town of Concepcion in the province of Tarlac, Aquino Ancestral House is an old Pre-war mansion owned by the (highly political) Aquino clan. 

The Aquino clan, as most of us know, is a political clan known for producing generations of politicians. The most famous (and last occupant of the house) is Benigno Aquino Jr. also called Ninoy by most. He is the senator turned martyr during the Marcos regime. His wife would then become the 11th President of the Philippines after his assassination and the subsequent  EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled Marcos from his seat of power. Several decades later his son Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III would become the 15th President of the Philippines. 

Check out the rooms in the house...

Going back to the Aquino Ancestral House, it was built sometime in the mid-1930s and was completed in 1938. The house was said to be designed by an architect from Laguna but the construction was heavily supervised by Benigno Aquino Sr. (dad of Ni…


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