Posts Tagged ‘Filipino food’

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 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baluuuuut ! ! and Champorado

Hi, Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

 

I just put my email folder on sweep- to- zero mode once a day, at exactly 12 midnight.  I just don’t have  time to read blogs anymore.  At most , I can read 20 a day, and that’s it. I work from 12:30 PM to 9 PM, sometimes beyond that, and that’s okay because I get paid double an hour.  I once called myself the Goddess of Insomnia.  Cassie, my blog buddy, can attest to that.  It’d be 6 AM at Harrisburg, and 3 AM here in California, but we  always got to chat at that unholy hour,  and that was almost everyday.  Three hours of sleep was enough for me. But then, real time in my real life  has   abruptly changed my biological ‘clock.  Nowadays,  I can barely open my eyes at 10 PM.  Drinking a cup of strong coffee doesn’t work on me anymore.  To make the  story short,  I’m sorry if I don’t get to read your posts . I try to catch up on my off days (  Tuesday and Saturday, or any scheduled days in a week…. they vary ) .

 

With that off my chest…….

 

I promised I’d talk about a Filipino delicacy called Balut  and chocolate rice  called Champorado.

 

Balut is a delicacy in the Philippines. According to Wiki, it is a partially fertilized duck embryo, incubated for 14 to 21 days , boiled or steamed , and eaten from the shell, like  hard boiled egg.  It does taste like hard – boiled egg, except that,  we get to see the duck embryo , the beak, eyes, etc.  I know, it’s gross.  My Mom and I had eaten it once when we were there in 2014, out of curiosity. My dad said he had eaten  it maybe 6 times, and only when he was drunk. ^_^   Balut eggs are usually sold at night, and I can understand why.  But, contrary to what is bandied around , i.e., that it is a Filipino  staple food……. well, it isn’t.  Only few Filipinos like  to eat balut, (usually the menfolks), and they  are actually hard to find.   The only source of this delicacy is a place near Manila (the capital city )  called Pateros ( I assume from the Filipino term for duck, which is ” pato” , and pateros  means  duck raisers. ) Balut became infamous when it was used as a scary thing on the TV show Fear Factor.  I’m a bit annoyed at that. I mean, the contestants dealt with snakes, cockroaches,   etc,  and then , balut was lumped together with these agrhcjkf ! ( I have snake phobia, and I’m not saying this lightly ) .  I mean, really ?????  Balut is that scary ?  *  Help me out here, Andy ! ! !  *   Andy is another blogger  who visited the Philippines  2 months ago, and had eaten lots of baluts ,  and liked them , too. * Tell them, Andy. *  It just tastes like hard-boiled egg, but with natural broth inside.  Okay, the problem is , I don’t like to eat it, either. The sensation of eating a duck fetus  kind of grosses me out.  I salute you, Andy.

 

Oy ! !  ” runs off ”

 

About Champorado…….

 

It’s just rice cooked with chocolate.  It’s a very hearty Philippine snack, and breakfast food.  Hey, what can go wrong with chocolate, yeah ?  Have you eaten chocolate rice cereals ?   Champorado tastes something like chocolate rice cereals with milk.   I eat this at breakfast , like , 3x a week.

 

I’ll just give you the recipe.  Guys, try this, specially at winter time.  Hot champorado is  delicious, and so easy to make ! !

 

You can use sweet sticky rice ( or if not available, regular rice ).  Cook the rice normally. Water is added , and amount depends on how you like the champorado,  very liquidy or a bit thick. Normal    water/rice proportion is 1 is to 1, right ? In Champorado, add about 4 or 5 cups of water,  boil , them simmer, then , when the rice is almost cooked, add cocoa powder ( Nestle or whatever …… in the Philippines, pure , unprocessed  cocoa they call tablea, which is in solid form , is very much preferred ), then cook some more while stirring.  Then add sugar, to taste. Or, you can add sugar in your  bowl.  Note : Never add sugar before the rice is fully cooked.   In your bowl of champorado, add sugar to taste and MILK ! ! !  (   Evaporated milk is preferred, or Half and Half )   Kids will like this, I hope.

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Pure, unprocessed  cocoa in the Philippines is called  tablea .  I saw this product at the Filipino store …….expensive , so Nestle is fine.  But this tablea is the preferred chocolate for Filipino traditional hot chocolate beverage drink………. superior taste than regular hot chocolate drink. I had this  in the Philippines… it is thick, and has that smoky flavor, and Filipinos in olden times drink this with churros, or pan de sal (  like mini French bread ,which is dunked into the hot cocoa drink..)

 

 

800 words……. This is all for now.  Thank you for reading.

 

Check out my anime/manga/video games blogsite at  http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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.

 

 

Holiday Musings, 2013

Hi  ! ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here again ! ! !

I’ve been busy  ( as usual ). Next week is exam week, my finals, and also the last week of  my school semester.

So, okay, I know I’m late for the party, Thanksgiving party, that’s what, but I ‘ve had this post written just after Thanksgiving, and kept on my folder, and I know it’s now stale and lame,  but  I’m  posting it, just the same.  Well,  mainly  pictures, anyway,  so  I hope you don’t get too bored.

To start off…….  look closely at the pic below. There’s a baby turkey  up there . It was taken about 3 months ago at our frontyard. Can you see it? It’s a little above center.

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Well, here they are again, just a few days before Thanksgiving Day.  My, how they’ve grown.

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On Thanksgiving day…… RIP Turkey

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We didn’t have guests on Thanksgiving Day. Just family, all  6 of us,  so we didn’t cook much. In fact, the roast turkey pic was last year’s. We had decided not to have turkey this year. We had ham , though. I cooked my specialty, Paella, pic below.

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I also cooked  vegetable wrapped in eggroll wrapper, with brown sauce.   Sooo delicious.

DSCN2357.Below are barbecued ribs and roast pork with liver sauce. ( liver sauce in the bottle )

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Shown below is Kare-kare,  baby back ribs , stewed in peanut sauce. Peanut sauce ?  It’s actually very delicious.   Well, I guess it’s an acquired taste.  But, believe me, it’s good.

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Below  is cassava cake.

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There’s also turrones  ( banana wrapped in lumpia wrapper )  The banana  Filipinos use is not the common banana, nor plantain. We use  Saba.  Below is a pic of saba.

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.Chicken macaroni salad and fruit salad.

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.Above is almond jelly and lychees.

That’s it. Our Thanksgiving spread. Oh, there’s pumpkin pie too.  Our dishes were purely Philippine, though.  No turkey, no mashed potato, no green bean casserole.

After dinner, I went to work for this  Black Friday madness.. 10 PM  on Thanksgiving Day up to 7 AM Friday.  There was already a long line of shoppers  at the store when I arrived.   Crazy. I guess I was just as crazy. I shopped  after work. I  had been  eyeing a few items at our store but couldn’t buy them. There were only 6 of each item so  I was happy there was one left for me.  It’s a $400 coat  but because employees get 75 % discount….. *wink *

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.Then I went to the next door store to purchase this nice Bebe sweater, then off  I went to Nine West to buy this pair of leather boots.’

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.I also bought  a few toastie scarves. I came home  exhausted, sleepy, but  a  happy , contented cow.

Then, on Dec. 6, my parents and I went to see  the Fab Four concert.  This  is a Beatles look-alike, sound -alike band.   Oh. my. gosh,  they do look and sound like the Beatles.  My Mom sparkled !  And sang. And clapped  * Hold me, clap, clap, love me, clap, clap…. lol * and swayed . Mom?  . LOL !

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.I wonder, how and where did  they find a guy who looks and sounds exactly like Paul McCartney ( or John Lennon), plays the piano, harmonica, drums, bass guitar, and LEFT HANDED, to boot. ! ! !

My Mom did  watch a real Beatles concert when she was in  Grade 6. She also knows and can sing all the Beatles songs ( we have an Anthology,  a complete collection of Beatles songs), and in high school , was  obssesed with Paul McCartney. She had a shrine of Paul McCartney in her room.   Maybe  with candles, too ? Now , that’s creepy.

Three  years ago, I watched an Eric Clapton concert with my parents.  Great guitar playing ! !  I love classic rock !

This is all for now.  Happy Holidays, folks ! Be good, be nice, and Peace to all !

My European Travel Pt. 17, Madrid, Spain

Hola ! Como estas ?

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Oh, that reminds me that in the Philippines where I came from, the common greeting is Comusta.  I can’t help but talk about the Philippines, too, when it comes to Spain.  Much of  the Philippines’ written history is closely intertwined with Spain, almost 400 years , that is,  and in fact, the country was named  after King Philip II. Oh, and while I’m at it,  do you know that the Philippines  was the only ” colony” the US ever had? American historians so far have refused to refer to it as  ” colonized ” , and they weren’t wrong because the US  that time did not use that term either. They were more comfortable using ” annexed”, and the “war” that  lasted 2 years  and left hundeds of thousands of Filipinos dead  was ironically called Pacification Campaign. ” Pacification” didn’t have anything to do with Pacific Ocean where Las Islas Filipinas are located.  Well, this is just a bit of historical trivia for the benefit of  us  American insulares.

Moving on…..

Madrid, Spain……..  I assume everyone knows about Madrid.  There’s really nothing  I can add that you cannot find on Google.  There’s just one  thing  for you to ponder….. have you ever wondered how the history of the world would have  turned out if  the King or Queen of Spain didn’t finance  the explorations  of Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, and Ferdinand  Magellan ?

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain, la di da …. ”  Spain is second to Switzerland as far as land  elevation is concerned.  The plain in the song from the musical My fair Lady is incorrect. The rain in Spain falls mainly in the northern mountains. Most of the plain in Spain   are, in fact,  elevated , some of which are, surprisingly,  almost desert- like. They call it Black Desert … the land is not colored black, but the vegetation is sparse and looks dark, not green. I’m mentioning this boring topography because Spain’s  scenery  is in stark contrast to , let’s say Switzerland’s, which is mountaineous ,green, and idyllic. We travelled thru such scenery  in Spain for hours.

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Outside of central Madrid is the area with modern buildings.

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565.566.Actually, very little of medieval structures in Madrid survived.  That is quite surprising because Spain was an imperial power since  the 1400’s.  The reason  could be because the Moslems ruled most of Spain for 800 years, (  thus, no medieval structures ) until they were driven out by the Crusaders and small Christian communities in Spain that were spared of Muslim domination.  The Reconquista  ( Reconquest )  of Muslim strongholds in Andalucia, Granada , and Cordoba in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Spain. As an aside, the world famous Flamenco dance is of Moorish origin.

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A walking tour of Madrid

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.Above is the area where Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived in harmony. It was  like a Jewish / Muslim Quarter .

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Above is the pedestrian shopping area.

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.The pictures below is the center of Madrid.  It;s called  Plaza de la Puerta del Sol.  Gateway of the Sun..  This is the place where Madrilenos congregate  on any occasion.  The statue of the man on the horse is Tio Pepe. Uncle Pepe.  Funny that I actually have a Tio Pepe. Tio Pepe  is Spain’s version of U. S. ‘s Uncle Sam, or maybe Uncle John? 598

Below picture is just across from the picture above.

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.599.Above is a stone slab, in the center of  the   plaza, supposedly ” the point where all distances are measured.” This is the center of Spain. All roads radiate from this point. It’s Km. Zero

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Europeans are so passionate about soccer.  We were actually in Spain during the Championship game between Spain and Italy.  Our driver, Torino, was Italian, and our tour manager, Ruben, was a Spaniard.  They had a heated argument on our way to Madrid, then did not speak to each other  the whole day. Torino abandoned us the next day, and Ruben franrically looked for another driver. Torino came back  the next day. How childish, those two. Oh, Spain won.

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Below is the Plaza Mayor, courtesy of Wikipedia.

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In case you haven’t noticed, the paintings in the building below are of naked people.

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There;s a person in there… must be a little kid.

Below is Madrid’s City Hall.

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.After  our tour of madrid, we had  dinner  near Plaza Mayor (  Optional dinner at $35 each ). Below is the place where we had dinner of tapa, etc. and bottomless Sangria. ( drink all you can ) Sangria is a wine punch , and is named after  blood, or sangre, due to its dark red color. The place is like a dungeon, dark, and cramped, but the ambiance is nice.

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..There’s the tapa and some cheese on the table. Tapa means to cover, but tapa as food means appetizers or snacks.  In other words, the cheese is also a tapa.  At first, Mom and I  got a little confused.  You see, tapa in the Philippines is a common dish for breakfast , but it is solely  thinly sliced beef, and eaten with fried rice and fried egg. The beef is marinated in vinegar or lemon juice  and spices, then air dried.  Here in the US, we can buy already thinly sliced beef from groceries selling Philippine stuff, and the beef is called tapadera.  The tapa is  also an appetizer  in the Philippines.

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.Look, 2 pitchers of Sangria on our table.

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.Happy hour ! Good job, Sangria, good job.

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Wasted ? Nope, it’s a dungeon, so there are iron clamps (?) on the walls. Ahahaha.

By the way,  I’d like to apologize for my flippant  and rather insensitive statement re assault weapons, on my previous post.   ” I need an assault weapon that can fire off 100 rounds of ammunition without reloading, freakin’ zombies.” , was what I wrote .I am for gun control, especially assault weapons.  Assault weapons are used in battlefield, war, and zombie invasion,  otherwise, they should be locked up in the armory.  If you’re an American, you know what I mean.

This is all for now.  Toledo , Spain is next.

Que tengas un buen dia. Have a good day. PEACE !

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Happy 2013 ! Random Thoughts and Foodie

May you all have a prosperous and fruitful 2013 !

Hello ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

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My European tour made 2012  quite an eventful year , and I’m glad I get to share it with you.  It was also quite an experience to be given an opportunity to help re-elect Pres. Obama.  My sister and I and several  thousand  Californians went as far as Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, and Wisconsin  as part of Pres. Obama’ s ground campaign.  ( Just Reno for me, though… specifically Washoe County, the poor part of  Nevada , totally Republican, dirt roads, trailer parks, all white * don’t they know they will be thrown under the bus by Romney, he he he, someone on a truck yelled Eff you at us , it was scary…… Anyway,  it was difficult ,  but we managed to turn  Nevada into a   Blue state.  ) But then, if not for those 2 above, 2012 would be same-o, same-o… school, work, home, study, check out if there are any manga updates of my favorite shojou romance, daydream or rant, sleep, go to school again… yep, story of my life. I must have sinned in my past life.

Well, we all got a love letter from WordPress, right?  My stats are modest, but I ‘m happy . I  get a fair amount of comments, and to me, that’s more important.   To be honest, I don’t know if those who click LIKE  really like my post. He he he…. One time, I was online when I heard a ping on my Messenger.  That means, there was  a reader who just clicked LIKE. But surprise, surprise, I heard 4 pings , one after another,  in 3 seconds duration.  Gotcha ! lol ! !  The blogger couldn’t have read my post in 3 seconds flat, could he/she?   As for me, rest assured I read your post word for word. This is also the reason why I have 5,471 unread emails , to date. I don’t delete. I read all, but……. my fellow bloggers, I cannot cope anymore. I have 50 subscriptions, and each day that I don’t get to open my email folder adds  about 200 emails.  I kid you not.

According to WordPress, I  had 24 posts in 2012.  That’s 2 a month.  And the blogger with the most comments is 35andupcynicismonhold.  What is most interesting  is the post that got the most number of views …… it also  got the most number of comments, 139 I think?  WordPress also says that it has the most ” staying power”.  I posted All About Nothing , as usual in February, 2012, and believe it or not, I still get  at least 10 views a day from that post for almost a year now. WordPress didn’t give the total number of views, but I’m sure it must be in the thousands already. Happy Valentine’s Day comes second.  OMgosh, I was so pathetic here ! !  Well, I’m still pathetic.

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There is one  post in 2011 and one in 2010 that also got tons of views.  I mean, I still get so many views from these old posts.  WordPress suggests I  should consider  writing about these topics again.  Uhm, not really, except  this one….. HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2012 ! ! !  I like the foodie post myself.  When I reread this, I was surprised to see the paella and the empanada that I cooked that year.  Yeah, I cooked those ! Here are  the pictures…..

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Paella

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.Empanada….. by the way, I made a mistake with the dough. I used a fluffy dough.  It was store dough, ready made…. I don’t know how to make a dough, haha. I’m intimidated.

Empanada dough should look like this.

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.I mentioned these two because the best food I had eaten by far  in Europe were Spanish empanadas and the paella in Spain, Both are very common foods in the Philippines.  In the Philippines, Paella is sometimes called Arroz a la Valenciana. Philippine dishes are basically of Spanish origin.  The Philippines was under Spanish rule for almost 400 years, so the similar palate shouldn’t come as a surprise….. for example, Filipinos eat pig’s blood too. In Spain, it’s called Morcilla.  I had Morcilla in Burgos and it was good. The blood sausage in London wasn’t that good though. Well, I love pig’s blood.  It’s one of my favorite Filipino dish.  It’s an acquired taste, so don’t hate, lol.  I’ll talk about this soon. (  Filipino stores here in the US sell pig’s blood  )

Below are some photos of our New Year spread. Not much this year, though. It was just family, all 6 of us.

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Hmmmm, I notice the program on TV… it was The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.  Eh. We were watching  a political talk show  during  New Year’s Day lunch.

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Noodles

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Stewed beef we call Pochero. It’s made of beef, cabbage, garbanzos, long, green beans, potatoes, garlic, onions, tomato sauce.

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Lumpia… just ground pork and shrimps, watercress, carrots, etc, wrapped in egg wrapper, then fried… eaten with sweet – sour sauce.  The one on the right is roast pork dip made up of soy sauce, vinegar and  fried tofu.

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Roasted spare ribs, we call Lechon.  This one will  give us a massive coronary, but it tastes  so good, especially the crunchy skin. Oh, my. . The dip is the one with tofu, but I prefer liver sauce. You can see the liver sauce bottle in the pic.

006The one above is one of my favorite desserts.  It’s  pandan flavoured agar-agar ( similar to Jello) and lychees . Pandan essence comes from the leaves of Pandanus plant, which is very common in SouthEast Asia.  Sometimes, we add pandan leaves when cooking rice to give that great aroma. ( The leaves are sold in Asian stores here in the US. )

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Fruit salad…. A mainstay Philippine dessert.  It’s just a mixture of fruit cocktail,  cream,  nata de coco, and sweetened palm fruits. The last two are  ” must “ingredients  in any Philippine fruit salad. Nata de coco is Spanish for cream of coconut.  According to Wikipedia, nata is a chewy, translucent  jelly-like product produced by fermentation of coconut water by Acetobacter xylinus, a bacteria introduced into coconut water, the fermentation of which produces this jelly -like substance.  The process originated in the Philippines.

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Cubed colored nata gels. The white nata has the original color. Nata  is very, very delicious.  There is also nata de pina….. cream of pineapple.

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Above is fish with sweet sour sauce . We call the dish Escabeche. Escabeche is Spanish for pickled… the fish is not really pickled, just covered with vinegar- sugar sauce and soy sauce.

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We call the juice Sago Cooler. It’s made up of caramel ( boiled brown sugar with banana essence or almond essence ) and sago pearls.

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We use a tall glass with long teaspoon to scoop out the sago pearls. Guys, you should try this. It’s very good, If there’s no sago at the Asian store near you, you can float  gelatin, jello, or whatever. Be sure to add banana or almond essence, that’s all.

By the way, you can see 2 more desserts with the Sago Cooler photos.  The black colored dish is Biko, some sort of rice cake. Mom used deep purple rice, almost black rice. ( we also use white, sweet , glutinous rice, available at Asian stores… it’s different from regular rice). The other dish in the photo , the one in red dish is cassava cake. Cassava or yuca comes from the root and do you know it’s one of the most dangerous food in the world, if not prepared properly?  lol

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UBE,  ( pronounced  oo- beh )or purple yam, one of the Philippines’ favorite dessert. It’s used as ice cream flavor, in cakes, bread fillings, or as is, like the photo above.  It’s a mixture of condensed milk, butter and grated yam.  We use the Philippine variety, because the purple yam grown in other countries does not have the desired taste and consistency. In fact , that ube in the photo isn’t the real thing, and Mom got so pissed that she almost threw it away. It got saved when we added a Philippine variety that we found in the freezer. The store where we bought it ran out of ube and what we found were purple yams from another country, which we suspected were not really purple yam, just ordinary yam with purple food coloring. It was gooey and tasted weird.

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Aaaargh, holiday food ! !  It ‘s always a problem to lose weight after pigging out on all that goodness.

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I definitely won’t fit into my newly acquired  Runway dress shown below.

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I need to exercise again.

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To be honest, I want to make another WP account that will have food and fashion as my theme. Or , another account  where I can write about animes and mangas. (   I know, I know !  I  confess ! I’m an anime manga fan. Don’t hate ! )

So, anyway,  I’m almost done with my European travelogue.  Spain and France  are next.  Paris  was our last stop. From there , we flew back to good ol’ US of A. \

This is all for now. Barcelona and Madrid are next in my travelogue !  Good day to all and Peace ! !

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