Archive for the ‘Filipino food’ Category

Something Light-hearted From Me

 

Hi, hello, Renxkyoko Iglesias here

 

I was in the Philippines in 2014, with my cousin and  Mom, and stayed there for one month. So it was kind of strange that I did only 3 posts on my one – month vacation in the Philippines. I think I was side-tracked by politics………..

 

Well, never mind . Better late then never, right ?

 

So, okay, we had lunch at this restaurant that was  so popular for its jaw-dropping  tacky decorations.  It is located in the province of  Laguna, about a 2 – hour drive from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.

 

I was at a  loss for words as soon as I got off our vehicle and saw these humungous statues…. well, just look at the pictures and be amazed.  LOL !  By the way, don’t get me wrong….. my cousin and I loved,  loved, loved the place ! ! ! And please, have mercy on me… it took me 4 hours to finish this post.

The restaurant’s frontage

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The entrance

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LOL ! A calculator was actually provided by the waiter.

 

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Yours truly and my cousin in the pic

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Cozying up to former Philippine President Corazon Aquino. * Oooh , I love my tan *

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Having a tete -a – tete with President Obama and Michelle. * How’s it goin’, Mr. President .  *

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The sign on the wall says ,” For 25 pesos,  ( about US 50 cents ) you can throw a plate against the wall, but please  refrain from using vulgar words. ” Ha ha ha !

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Can you see the huge white statue of  Buddha in the distance ?

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Even Superman and Mickey Mouse weren”t spared.

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There’s some serenading going on here….. oh, and those are the hands of KingKong\ It’s a full statue. You can just imagine how big that is..

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” Native ” plates covered with banana leaves. And that’s a pitcher of so delicious and refreshing ice cold coconut juice….. unbeatable ! !

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Rice, roast chicken, grilled pork ribs, fish in miso soup

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That brown blob is laing ( lah- ing )…. it doesn’t look appetizing, but that’s one of my most favorite Filipino dish. It’s taro leaves and shrimp cooked  in coconut cream. I wish I could cook that here in the US, but taro leaves are not sold here.

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I wonder who did those huge statues , and how much it cost to build this restaurant.

 

It was jampacked with tourists when we were there.  It really pays to be different and unique. And the foods were delicious !

 

Okay, this is all for now. Thank you for reading . Bye !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2015, better late than never

Hi !  RenxKyoko Iglesias is here again ..

Before anything else, please check out  my anime /manga  blog  HERE.  I already have 3 posts over there, but there’s no FOLLOW feature on that blog, so if you’re interested , just click the link  HERE….

I piled on about  7 lbs. of  body fat  during the holiday season.  The perpetrators  were these nasties below…. mango cake and Brazo de Mercedes being the masterminds.

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.Caldereta ( stewed beef  with liver spread ), paella, barbecued spare ribs, fried pork eggrolls ( lumpia ) ,  fresh vegetable  lumpia, turrones ( fried  wrapped  saba bananas ), ham, ube  ( purple yam ) jam, fruit salad, mango cake, cassava cake, Brazo de Mercedes (  it’s the rolled cake in the pic )…. oh, I see a tin of Danish cookies!  I’m sure there’s chocolate pastry  somewhere there. I’m sure of this because I baked it.  Oh, my sister is in the pic, too ! Do you see her ? ” What’s with the pose, Sis ?”

Brazo de Mercedes  (  arm of Mercedes ) and mango cake are very popular cakes in the Philippines. We bought these two from Red Ribbon Bakery, a franchise of this popular bakery from the Philippines.  Brazo de M  is rolled cake with egg custard filling. Super yummy and mango cake is Red Ribbon’s  specialty.  And yours truly cooked the paella, my own specialty.

We heard the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve ( 10 PM , Dec.24 ).  * ponders *  I wonder why Catholics say ” hear Mass ” instead of “attend Mass.”

The Christmas gifts I received  in 2015 were a bit modest compared to 2014.  Well, it’s not about the presents, anyway.  I also know that 2015 wasn’t a great year for  my family, as far as finances were concerned.  We do  have our ups and downs, and last year happens to be a downer. I hope and pray 2016 will be a good year for everyone….. peaceful, productive and prosperous.  * sigh *  I bought 15 Power Ball lotto tickets, then I prayed to all the saints in heaven and promised that if I won, I’d donate one half to charity.  lol   Oh, well, better luck next time, eh ?

This is all for now. Be good. Be nice. Be happy. Peace.

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Merry Christmas !

Hello !  Renxkyoko  Iglesias here.

I’ve finally created a new blogsite, as promised,  where I can write about mangas , animes, and video games to my heart’s content !  HERE it is.

I was supposed to post pictures of our Thanksgiving Day  fare , but it was a big FAIL.  My Mom volunteered to do it using her digital camera , but, guess what, there was no SD card in it. lol  It doesn’t matter, though, because the dishes are the same as last year’s, anyways ( there are pics of it somewhere here )…. paella ( I cooked that ) pork eggroll, caldereta, pork bbq,  chicken loaf, ham, sautéed veggies, and roast chicken, instead of roast turkey.

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Wow. I can’t believe we’re already in the middle of Christmas holidays.  * shakes head *  Here comes again this feeling of nostalgia for  Christmases past.  Is that a sign  I’m  getting old, or what ?  Please don’t answer that.

Anyway,  I was watching the APEC summit meeting that was held in Manila, Philippines , late November,  attended by 22 heads of state of countries that touch the Pacific Ocean rim ( that means the USA, too ). Pres. Obama was in the Philippines for 3 days. The Philippines has the longest  holiday celebration in the world ( starts in September, all through the ” er ” months ), so I’m sure the Philippines  had pulled out all the stops  to show off  how the country celebrates Christmas. Unfortunately, no one has uploaded on YouTube this year’s Philippine Christmas celebration. I did find an older video ( 2011 ) , but WP notified me that it couldn’t support the file type.  ( Seriously, what’s going on with WordPress? This has never happened before. )  Fyi,  the country’s population of 100 million is 90% Christian, more than 80% of whom are Catholics. It is a Catholic country. Don’t think Christmas is highly commercialized in the Philippines. It isn’t.  It is , in fact,  authentic , genuine,and religious in nature. I read an article by a CNN reporter entitled ” Why the Philippines leads the world in celebrating Christmas.” The article says, to quote , ”   it is the longest and the most lavish,  and  if a global competition were to be held for a country with the most Christmas spirit, the Philippines would have an excellent shot at winning.  While other countries ( even non-Christian countries ) focus on the commercial side of Christmas,  the Philippines’ Christmas is very religious in nature, as it should be.  Like,  for  10 days before Christmas Day, Filipinos go to Mass  everyday at 4: 30 AM. They call this Misa de Gallo ,  ( Mass at cock’s crow ) . I actually remember this. How can I forget ? A marching band  ” marches” up and down the roads, playing Christmas music to wake the people up at 4 AM ! On Christmas Eve, Filipinos go to Midnight mass they call Misa de Aguinaldo, after which, they go home to eat midnight dinner they call Noche Buena. Also, each house is decorated with traditional Christmas lantern they call Parol  ( or Star of Bethlehem. )

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I wish I could show you guys the amazingly beautiful lanterns and the twinkling colorful lights, but again, WP couldn’t support the file type.  I have only 3% storage left , so do you guys think it’s time to buy the Premium ?

Also, I feel WP is not blogger -friendly anymore. It was easier to post before. Now, it took me a while to post this.  This got lost in the muck several times before I finally got this published/

This is all for now.  Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Be good and peace to all.

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Our Christmas Fare, 2014

Hi ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here !

Let me  first greet you  a happy, productive, prosperous, and peaceful 2015 ! !

As for me, I think 2015  is the year my life changes, for the better, I hope.  I am a Microbiology   graduate, minor in Chemistry, and this spring, I’ll be graduating in Forensics Science.  2 majors, 1 minor. I’ve already found my mojo, so I think  that’s enough studying. I’ve had it. I’ve covered all the bases. I’m ready to face the world ! ! ! Or not. :/    But then, this post is not about  my future….. it’s about food, and my family’s Christmas celebration.

By the way, I’m sure you’ve all received WordPress’s Annual Report. Oh, my, my total number of posts in 2014 is, ta- da !  13  .  XD   This post makes it my 14th post……. which is a good thing , because , to me, 13 is an unlucky number. Superstitious crap, I know.  But, do you know that in the Philippines, no building has a 13th Floor.  If the building has 13 or more floors, the actual 13th floor is  designated as the 14th. Also, when they erect the stairs , they have this ritual of counting , from the lowest rung,  Oro, Plata, Mata ( which means, Gold, Silver, Death ), and the topmost rung should not end with Mata. ( Death ) The 13th stair  is Mata.   There you go… a useless trivia from me. *chants*  Oro, Plata, Mata, Oro, Plata, Mata, Oro, Plata, Ma….. Noooooo ! !

So, 2 days before Christmas, my Mom and I went grocery shopping  at the Filipino supermarket.  .  We saw Queso de Bola, a standard  Filipino food item  and lots of chestnuts… we bought a few pounds of chestnuts , but not  the cheese.

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On Christmas Eve, we went to Mass at 10 PM,  temperature was 33 F (~0C ).  Darn, it was cold !

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Those are  my folks in the picture. I had to walk back to take the pic.

I practically did all the cooking .,  the sweets the day before, and  I prepared the main dishes for our Christmas lunch. While  off  the family  went to bed  after  church, I was  alone in the kitchen rolling the pork ( lumpia) chopping onions, etc. etc., etc. At 2 AM, I decided to call it a night, I mean, to  take a nap for an hour or so…. but I overslept, and woke up at 9. .I had a meltdown.  Just because I volunteered to do the cooking ( as  as my Christmas gift to Mom who does the cooking all year round ) , it didn’t mean they wouldn’t lift a finger to help me.  I was the Drama Queen for an hour or so. ” Is it done yet ? What ? So what time do we eat ? ” That was when I blew my top. My brother and sister really annoyed me. But it was Christmas. So, I just gritted my teeth and calmly told them, ” You get to eat at 3  ! ”

All’s well that ends well.  So, here are the photos of our Christmas spread.

DSCN2420DSCN2425DSCN2421From right to left….. roast pork pork roll ( lumpia ), leche flan ( custard ) chicken macaroni salad, red velvet cake, buckeye, cheesecake, and refrigerator cake.

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.Above photo is Caldereta ( beef stew in tomato sauce and liver spread. Don’t think the liver spread makes the taste weird. It’s delicious. ) The roast pork goes with liver sauce, too. ( and I love liver spread sandwich )

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I wrote on my previous post that I’d cook my specialty, Paella. Well, I didn’t. We forgot to buy a major ingredient. Instead , I cooked Pancit a la Malabon ( noodles ) and fried rice. I didn’t bake fruit cake , either, a staple at any Filipino Christmas fare.

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By the way, the second photo of the spread has the pictures of ube jam ( purple yam ) and pie on a cloud ( the one with white whipped  topping  )

.DSCN2426That’s embutido… just pork loaf, and oh, yeah, you can see the ube jam.

DSCN2437 That one above are  lychees and almond gelatin.

DSCN2433Cheesecake, buckeye ( just peanut butter, powdered sugar, dipped in choco dipping )…. and you can see the refrigerator cake, and red velvet cake, and the leche flan.

And lastly, the wine.

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Okay, a few more pictures…. the opening of gifts. My annoyance at my sister disappeared when I opened her gift… a Kindle ! And dad gave me a new laptop ! !

DSCN2447DSCN2454So, I didn’t want to show myself because I was wearing pyjamas. I was so exhausted that I didn’t bother to dress up for lunch. I know. I ‘m a slob. Ha ha ha

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Oh, that’s my Mom’s photo when she was young, it’s random, but I thought I’d just post it here.

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And a Christmas pic of yours truly from 2 years ago… dressed up , you know. 001

So, that’s it…. my last post for 2014…. my 14th post. WordPress should take note of that.

 

Happy New Year to all ! PEACE ! !.

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My family’s holiday food fare

Hi there !

Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

It’s Christmas time, my most favorite time of the year.  ( If you’re not a Christian, it’s alright, you can roll your eyes.  ❤   )

But, before I talk about  Christmas, let me show you what we had for Thanksgiving Day. Yeah, it’s foodie time.

Actually, there wasn’t much food, compared to last year’s. It seems we’re getting less and less food  every year, but it’s okay, we do throw away so much , especially the turkey. That’s why we don’t do turkey anymore.

By the way, I cooked most of the food. Not bragging, though. Just sayin’.

Oh, wait, before I forget…. can someone please translate this? It’s Japanese. I want the exact translation, please.  You’ll help me win an argument.  🙂  Thank you.

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He he. I know it’s juvenile.

Anyway,  the food.

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Roast pork ( lechon),, with liver  gravy, ham,  kare-kare (  beef stew in peanut sauce,) there’s noodles ( pancit ala Malabon ) , fruit salad, potato salad, lumpia ( pork eggroll with sweet – sour sauce), and various cakes.

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DSCN2392Pancit a la malabon. Malabon is a place in the Philippines. I think this is Malabon’s  specialty.  I cooked that.  Do you know what’s in there ? Shrimps, flaked smoked fish, pounded chicharrones ( pork cracklings ) Napa cabbage, and the juice of pounded shrimp heads.

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This is Renxkyoko’s specialty……. Lumpia ( ground pork eggroll. ) I stayed up the whole night ( and morning ) rolling the darn things. I made a lot, for us, and for our Forensic class’s  assistant teacher.

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Huge pastry with Bavarian Cream filling, Double chocolate cake, cheesecake, and brownies.  We baked the pastry. We bought the rest at Costco.

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we call the above dish Ginatan. It’s made of sweet potato, cooking banana ( saba ), taro root, rice balls, and coconut milk.  And sugar, of course.

So, that’s it, our Thanksgiving Day meal.

We already have a menu planned for our Christmas meal. I am definitely going to cook my other specialty….. Paella.

And I’m looking forward to a family Christmas tradition……….. the whole family going to Chrismas Eve Midnight Mass. Here in the US, it’s at 10 PM…… in the Philippines, it’s at 12 midnight.  We used to have our Christmas meal right after the Mass,  but we had discarded that. My mother said it was stressful.   But we do open the gifts as soon as we arrive from the church.  In the Philippines, the midnight meal is called Noche Buena. So, what ‘s a typical Filipino  Noche Buena ?  Bread , ( pan de sal, bite-sized French bread ) with Queso de Bola ( Edam Cheese ). Jamon ( ham , glazed with pineapple and sugar, ), castanas, ( chestnuts) noodles, ( at home, it’s baked macaroni ), leche flan, ube jam, ( purple  yam ) and yes, fruit cake !  These are the icons of Filipino Noche Buena. I’m going to bake fruit cake, that’s for sure. And it isn’;t like the fruit cakes that are sold here in the US.  They ‘re nasty. No wonder Americans make fun of them.  My recipe is delicious. Lots of rhum in it !

I actually want to have  a food blog . But, I don’t think it will happen. I don’t even have time to post here. Don’t be surprised why I’m interested in food. My mother had a successful catering business in the Philippines, and if we didn’t come here to the US, she would be holding a Dunkin’ Donut francise.

Oh. 550 words, already. Time to to say bye for now. Thank you for reading and PEACE !

Happy Holidays !

 

 

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Fun vacation in the Philippines, Part 3

Hello ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here  ! ❤

Wow. My last post was Oct. 24.  I know, I’m a lazy blogger.  I’m suppose  to post  Part 3 of my fun vacation in the Philippines, but, I feel it’s gone  stale already.  It’s  still okay, I guess.

Oh, wait…. remember my Cringe- worthy  Forensic Science project ?  I  was told  not  to talk about it. Now you’re telling me. I just did. And I’m not going to delete that post.  I mean, Forensic  shows are all over cable, so there’s really nothing  federal  about it.   Oh, and before I forget, we made 6 trials, and that means, we asked for 5 more of  THAT.  THAT is semen.  I don’t have to  act coy anymore.  I’m past that.  Here’s another jar, pal. And put it in the freezer immediately.  * ponders*  Actually, I’m sensitive and fragile so please take care of me.

The US  Congress is planning to pass a law  that will allow the government to get the DNA profiles   of all Americans and store them at  the  DNA Data Base  center.  This way, it will be easier for law enforcement agencies to catch the criminals.  That’s a good thing,  right ? Wrong.  Even  Forensic Analysts  do not agree.   Criminals are smart now, especially those who commit  premeditated murders.  The bad guy can just pick up any  cigarette butt or  beer and soda cans, and plant  them at the scene of crime.   Even if  the innocent guy has a solid alibi, he still has to explain the presence of his DNA  at the scene..  Even if the prosecutor cannot find  any motive, you can bet that the sun is up there the prosecutor will find one.  The innocent is totally screwed.  He’ll be looking at a life sentence without the possibilty of parole, or worse, death penalty. That’s what happens if all our DNA profiles are in the DataBase.  Well, you know what they say… it’s preferable to free 100 guilty men over incarcerating  one innocent man, or something like that.  In fact, this happened already. The bad guy planted a random cigarette butt……. good thing the DNA  profile found on the cigarette did not have a match  at the National DNA  DataBase.

Enough of chatting.

Here’s Part 3 of my fun vacation in the Philippines.

So, off we went to see Taal Volcano, the smallest volcano in the world.DSCN0045

.Can you see the volcano ? It’s right there in the middle of the picture. You can see the mouth of the volcano, right ? It was misty  around the area of the volcano , even though the temperature was like, 100 F  ( 38 C ), and very, very humid.

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Facing the picture, the volcano ‘s  to the right of me.

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We went up there to have lunch at that restaurant in the photo, but it was closed for renovation.   Good thing there was a Chinese restaurant  nearby, with a nice view too.

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DSCN0059.Photo below is the view from the restaurant .

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The first thing that I ordered was real coconut juice, straight from the fruit. By the way, coconut is not a nut. It’s a fruit. Oh, my gosh, it tasted sooo good.

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After drinking the juice, we scraped off the white meat with a spoon. Delicious.

This is all for now.  Oh, before I forget,  on my Part 2 Philippine post, there was this singer whose  song was played over and over  on our  trip to Taal Volcano.  Well, he was Rick Astley, and the songs were Never Give You Up and Together Forever. :/

And the owner of the car is a relative who is also a Prosecutor.  That car plate  was a souvenir  given  during a Prosecutors’ Conference  held a month ago before I took that picture. She said she wasn’t supposed to make that a permanent fixture 😮  It’s  dangerous.  I talked about her on my Part 2 Philippine post.  She received death threats a few years ago.

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She’s okay now. The bad guys are in jail. Still….. announcing you’re a Prosecutor is a bad idea. Try doing that in Mexico, and see what happens.
Oh, well, what do I know .

This is all for now, and thank you for reading.  PEACE !

 

 

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Woohoo ! I’m in the Philippines ! !

Oh , my gosh ! !  Renxkyoko Iglesias here !

I’m in the Philippines !   We left good ol’ USA on June 21 , 10:30 PM, and arrived in the Philippines 0n June 23 at 4:30 AM. It was a 14 hour flight. It wasn’t a smooth ride, there was too much turbulence from get go,  and I was so scared I almost cried.  It didn’t help that I actually have plane phobia. I didn’t get to sleep at all. Instead I watched  5  movies. (  Frozen, Transfomers, X-Men, The Hobbit,  The Conjuring. ) The only good thing about the flight was the food. Philippine Airlines was quite generous . Dinner was delicious, we had sandwiches and muffins and juice/coffee in between , then breakfast.  I’m sorry I can’t post any pictures as yet because I’m using a teeny weeny notebook, and it isn’t mine.

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Today is July 25. I’m back home, yay, California ! !  We left the Philippines on July 21, 10:30 PM and  arrived here in California , also  on July 21 , 8 P.M.

It’s been a week since then, but I have not done anything  here, no reading, no writing. I’ve been busy at work.  I’m even afraid to check out my emails.  I’m sure I already have thousands of thousands of unread emails.

Oh, well, I have to start writing , anyway, so here I am. Bear with me, please. I think I left my enthusiasm in the Philippines.  So, where do I begin?

Do you guys remember this picture? I posted this in Novemeber. That’s how our vacation house in Boracay, Island in the Philippines looked in November last year, 2013.

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Here is how it looks now. It’s 99% finished, except for a few paintings here and there…. and the house is empty, no furniture, and just 2 beds.

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DSCN0084.It looks like it has 3 floors, but actually, there’s a 4th floor , which is the rooftop.  I love the view from the rooftop.

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It was such a hectic and busy one month vacation in the Philippines.   The bulk of our vacation was spent  checking out the  huge shopping malls in the city. Do you know 3 of the top 10 biggest malls in the world are in Manila, Philippines?  Mall of Asia, North EDSA/Trinoma, and EDSAMegaMall. . They  were so huge that  just walking around and window shopping  at these places  overwhelmed and exhausted us.   And then there are smaller ones, but still  3x bigger than the shopping mall here in our city in the US..  Even  the friendly neighborhood mall at the subdivision where we live in the Philippines is 2x bigger… 4 floors and 2 buildings connected by a bridge.  It’s insane. The Philippines is supposed to be a Thirld World country,  but shopping malls are full, people are actually shopping and  we always have to wait a bit at restaurants to be seated.

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Above pic is one 0f a smaller malls. I like the interior architecture of this one.

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Our vacation was mostly   food  tripping, too. The price of food over there is ridiculously low.
For example, the takoyaki is $0.50 and  shawarma  is $1.50. Takoyaki is Japanese octopus balls.

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We arrived at 4 AM at the airport. By 12 noon, we were already at the neighborhood mall , shopping for walking shoes and flipflops. We sure didn’t waste any time.

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.That’s yours truly in the photo.

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The next day, it was again another shopping spree, this time for real pearls. There’s a mall there ( Greehhills ) with seemingly endless stalls of pearls. It was a sight to behold.

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DSCN0019Eh. I’ve been found out. I’m the one wearing  white shirt, and wearing glasses ! He he. he. I’m near  sighted.

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That’s the food court at nearby mall ( SM MegaMall ) where we had lunch after the pearl shopping.  SM MegaMall is one of the largest in the world.

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Different kinds of food from different countries to choose from.

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Check out the prices. At Philippine peso 43.50 to a dollar, that PhP 87 on the menu board is only $ 2.00.

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My $2 lunch…. fried rice, pork bbq, chowmein, and fruit dessert. I bought the cheapest.

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That’s Korean rice. Yep, it was hot.

It was raining heavily when we came home. Traffic was horrendous.

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On the way home, I saw these  showrooms.

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I don’t know if you can read what’s in that building. Well, it’s Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Audi.

About the photo below, what the heck does that mean ? LOL

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So, this is it…. 2 days into my one month vacation in the Philippines.

Good day and PEACE.