Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘cookies’

​Breathing Adventure: Lost In Cebu (Part 1)

I was exhilarated and nervous at the same time. I gulped my coffee before I boarded on the plane. I felt my first panic check-in attack after a two-year flying hiatus. I had great trouble fixing my luggage one day before take-off. But I was still numb from the fact I was about to head to the far-away island of Cebu.

I thought I was transported back to Recto, Manila when we dropped by Colon in Cebu City. One of the curious little facts of this city.

Cebu is one of the major islands situated in the Visayas region. Travelling there by plane from Manila would take about one and a half hours. Called the Queen of the South, Cebu is the region’s main economic center. It is known for its beaches, dried mangoes, native guitars, otap (flaky biscuit covered in sugar), lechon (roast pig), and its yearly festival called Sinulog (an event dedicated to the island’s major saint). I honestly am not interested in religious festivals. I wanted to tag along with my friends because I wanted to experience the magic this island has to offer. 

Masks being sold at Sinulog Festival.

Curious as a cat, we strolled around the city despite missing the Sinulog parade. Like little kids, we had face paint, bought hats, and looked at what the crowd was looking at. I was surprised when Cebu City appeared to be a prototype of Metro Manila. Colon itself was reminiscent of Recto, scenes around the Church of Sto. Niño was almost identical to that of Quiapo, and the markets looked like Divisoria. I felt like I have been transported back to Manila so we tried to see other spots where we could stroll along.

Rains had spoiled our second day so we ended up in Plaza Independencia and Fort San Pedro. The latter looked like a mini-version of Manila’s Fort Santiago in Intramuros. The reason it is so is because Cebu was one the Spanish conquistadores’ main headquarters before they moved to Manila where they built a similar fortress as Fort San Pedro. Entrance is only at Php30 and it is here where you will get a glimpse of Cebu’s history. 

For those who have studied at schools around Manila’s Intramuros, you might mistaken this as a lane at Intramuros but it’s actually in Cebu’s Fort San Pedro.

A canon overlooking Plaza Independencia. One of the similar sights in Manila’s Intramuros.

One of the galleries that could be found in Fort San Pedro. This one is filled with pictures from this site’s history.

Another gallery featuring portraits of some of Cebu’s founding fathers and historical figures like Ferdinand Magellan and Lapu-Lapu.

Toss a coin to make a wish at this wishing well at Fort San Pedro.

The best part of our initial stroll was the food trip. From street food to mall diners, every meat comes with a serving of pusô (not the heart, but it is rice wrapped in leaves). 

Pusô in a basket.

Ranging from Php3 to Php5, they are being served on baskets along with a viand of siomai, pig’s face (yes! The skin made to be thin and crunchy before your eyes), or spicy lechon (somebody help my diet!!). 

A vendor slashing the pusô in the middle.

These handful of packed rice has been slightly slashed in the middle so you could easily open and eat it. Make sure you’ll count all the pusô you’ll be eating because they’ll charge you for each one you’ll gobble. Just don’t expect to eat with a spoon and fork because you have 

Street food siomai with pusô.

to eat your food by hand. Don’t worry, they will give you clean hand gloves. 

Pusô with, not pork chop, but with pig’s face.

Lechon with pusô.

Larsian is a recommended eatery in the city, especially for all grilled food lovers. They have a variety of meats, chorizos and seafood such as squid and blue marlin which they will grill and serve at your table. Each of them range from Php20 to Php150. And of course they come with pusô

Larsian

Grilled chicken, pork, and fish with pusô only at Larsian

As I’ve mentioned, Cebu is good for their otap so we did not miss dropping by Shamrock which was located along the Rotonda near Larsian. It also has a variety of other goodies like my childhood favorites, ronquillos and torones de mani

Other street food treats to be found in Cebu. This lady is selling baked rice cakes cooked in an oven.

Rice cakes

Corn on a cob sold on the street.

I guess buying pasalubong and souvenirs was the greatest irony on the initial part of our trip. But that does not signal the end of our Cebu trip because we still have more to visit for the next three days.

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The Magic Of Dinner Over Movies (Ninth Bite): Dwelling in Milkshake and Burger Haven at Kitchen Central

Fairview is one of the places I rarely visit because it’s too far from my very familiar domain called EDSA. My feet would only get the chance to touch its ground when I have a date with some of my closest friends who live there. And so, for the sake of friendship (and food), I’m willing to get off the familiar road at times.

 

My friend, a former colleague at a television company I was employed, urged me and another buddy to try Kitchen Central. I would have honestly chosen SM Fairview because it’s a more familiar territory in my radar. But she convinced us this haven of milkshakes and burgers is worth the sacrifice (well, the pictures said so).

 

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Death By Double Choco

 

The Kitchen Central was a little café tucked alongside other eateries in a tranquil subdivision at Lagro in Fairview. It’s actually one of the many branches scattered across emerging food lofts in Manila. Despite its small space and almost unnoticeable sign, a long queue of young foodies would always crowd outside.

 

Everyone can’t help but giggle with excitement when it had opened its doors.

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Coffee Latte

Despite starting operations nearly 30 minutes late than its usual opening time at 3pm that day, it did not stop eager and hungry foodies from filling up every nook and cranny. Besides, I was dying to see if the pictures are more than just eye candy.

 

When the milkshakes came, my eyes nearly popped out. My, my! These sweet and creamy treats would bring the childhood out in us as we pick on the Nips, cookies and colored candies intricately laced on the lid of the mason jars. Childhood favorites like Flat Tops and pretzels sat atop the whip cream. Who would not

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Cocoa Match Madness

have died of sweetness after lavishing Death by Double Choco (Php150) that night? My other friend had chosen Coffee Latte (Php75) as she was being careful in taking in too much sweets. I had fun picking the green candy sprinkles off the lid and soiling my fingers with the Matcha Kit Kat sitting on my Cocoa Matcha Madness (Php150).

 

The star of our meal was the Monster Jograts Burger

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Meaty Fries

(Php330). It’s one humongous burger enough for four people. Even the burger itself was just as fancy because it was not painted in normal bun colors. We watched with amazement as yellow, pink, purple and black burgers were served on other tables. Ours was as red as Planet Mars with edges oozing with streams of yellow, molten cheese. We had the trouble cutting it into smaller pieces because of its size. But we also had the trouble eating it without being messy. Meaty fries (Php80) came last. This time, we had to use forks because it was overflowing with barbeque sauce, crushed beef patties, and more cheese!

 

 

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The real challenge: the Monster Jograts Burger!

 

Although the place lacks the furnishings of homey or hipster restaurants, the food itself was an experience. My friends and I spent hours catching up as we nibbled on the treats and savored the burger. It would not lack flavor, especially giant bottles of Heinz Ketchup and mustard are conveniently waiting on every table. I must admit I was nearly defeated by that burger. Because of its size, I had to debunk plans to consume shawarma later that night.

 

The night was falling. More young, hungry foodies are queuing outside the Kitchen Central. I am convinced that dropping by there was worth the sacrifice. And I’m sure these people in the line would agree with me.

I wonder when would be our next date. Can’t wait to try another milkshake. By that time, I’m sure I’ll be more ready for the burgers at Kitchen Central.

 

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Food would not be memorable with April and Noelle, with little Danilla tagging along

 

 

Sweets For My Christmas Sweet Tooth

As sweet as the brownies and revel bars that Jingky Matienzo bakes, there’s sweetness overload brewing in her little business of selling pastries and cookies. While working as a dietrician in St. Luke’s Hospital, Jingky does well in mixing her love for baking and her ingenuity for business that boosts her profit.

Indeed, this is the good time to take time to have this business for Christmas. Jingky’s pastries, I could say, is a real treat for foodies like me! So, I took the chance to have a bite on her sweet little creations.

Jingky Jane Matienzo gave me a taste of her wonderful baked creations. She had a special touch on each of them, giving them a certain signature taste that only Jingky's :)

Jingky Jane Matienzo gave me a taste of her wonderful baked creations. She had a special touch on each of them, giving them a certain signature taste that only Jingky’s 🙂

During our two hour stay for Jingky’s interview, I learned that it is not only the extra sweet income that motivates her to do this sideline but her passion for baking. Money, after all, is an extra asset to that talent and passion that she got. Besides, she told me, seeing people happily eating her baked creations is the most valuable reward.

Get to know her, as well as business and financial expert John Calub’s tips in having a good business for this Christmas only on Newslight, to be aired December 25, Christmas day, 7:30-8pm (Manila time) on Light Network, channel 33. On cable, channel 5 (Sky analog), 161 (Sky digital), 93 (Cignal).image (4)

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