Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chicken vs Me

And yes, I finally gave it a try.
Pagkatapos ang 3 round ng leg-thigh part ng manok na nakain ko kasabay ang 3 order ng kanin (Yes, you've read it right, 3 order ng kanin! Hahaha. I know, I know. Growing kid ako eh, bakit ba? :P) I ended up sleeping with allergies. Nakalimutan kong allergic pala ako pag nasobrahan sa manok. 

Ang nabayaran ko, Php199 (chicken all you can) + Php28 (botomless drink) + Php32 x 3 = Grand total of Php 323! Disappointed ako dahil wala silang buko pandan. Haha. Hindi pa ako nabusog, gusto ko pang humirit ng dessert. :P

Naumay lang naman ako sa manok. At nangati kinagabihan. Downside lang ng buong Chicken-All-You-Can experience ko is that, nakakaumay yung manok ng Max's. Why? Kasi walang gravy yung chicken nila. Ketchup lang or hot sauce ang katapat. Sa mga tulad ko na di kumakain ng  ketchup, mabilis talagang mauumay. And yung white meat itself ng manoy na walang lasa, instant umay. Best suggestion ko, stick with the leg and thigh part. Mas may flavor kasi yung may buto part, tsaka mas maraming portion ang skin (wooo cholesterol, haha).

Sa mga gustong humabol. Until July 10 pa ang chicken umayan! Daily 6-10PM!

The Hainanese Chicken Craving.

It was past midnight and all I've been thinking about is...Chicken Rice.
Yes I confess that I am a fan ever since I tried Singapore Chicken Rice in Cubao followed by the local chicken rice I tried in Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. It was a combination of everything I liked, chicken and rice.
I've heard about Wee Nam Kee a few months back when it opened in Ayala Triangle Gardens and last Saturday, I finally got to try their version (blame the late night cravings). Accompanied by my good friend Lea (proxied as my date for the night, lol), we opted for a quarter steamed chicken and the rice plus a plate of Fried Noodles (if I remember it correctly).
We got there past 8PM on a Saturday night and thank God the place wasn't swamped anymore, we were immediately seated.

Overall verdict for that experience is it was okay. I expected too much from it though based from other people's review of Wee Nam Kee's Hainanese chicken. The rice was slightly dry. The craving was satisfied but my taste buds disagreed. Parang mas gusto ko pa yung Singapore Chicken Rice sa Cubao.

I guess the quest for the hainanese chicken will go on. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

V is for Vigan.

I seriously can't wait. August, please come soon.

The planning already began since May (while I had too much freetime on my hands) as this trip will be for a celebration for someone dear to me. 2 more months to go!

Any suggestions on Vigan whereabouts/where to eat/where to stay? Thanks!

Adventure & Travel Withdrawal Syndrome

If there is such a thing, I am badly experiencing it lately.

Grand Palace, Bangkok Thailand

Where: Grand Palace, Bangkok Thailand
When: March 8, 2011
Notes: There is an entrance fee of 350 baht to enter the palace. A fellow Filipino tipped us that if you look non-touristy enough, you can actually get in for free (since the looks of Thais and Filipinos are almost the same). But we paid anyway. =P

Pahiyas in Colors.

Every 15th of May, the Pahiyas Festival is celebrated by the townspeople of Lucban, Quezon. It is to honor the patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, in thanksgiving for the town's plentiful harvest and abundance.

Pahiyas features an array of colorful and festive decoration on locals' homes, highlighting the kiping (rice wafers) in leaf-like shapes and in bright colors arranged in layers and chandeliers, patterned into floras together with other ornaments and paper maches.

We left Manila around 6:30AM (original plan was 4:30AM, we woke up late, everything follows) and worked our way to Lucban, Quezon via C6 road. I slept myself on the entire trip due to the very little sleep I had the night beforehand. Woke up when we got to Lumban, I kept making jokes about how close we were getting to Lucban since Lu(m)ban and Lu(c)ban are 9 letters apart. Hehe.

We passed the town of Luisiana, Laguna wherein they had their Pandan Festival last April 1-3, some of the houses still had Pandan decorations on them and it was just until last Sunday that I found such festival exists. I think it's worth a visit (next year!), the decorations were really impressive.

The streets were packed with people already. It was terribly hot and walking under the blazing sun was a killjoy but the fetching banderitas (trimmings) were amusing to watch.

Higantes prep'd up for the procession to be held later that afternoon.

Lucban Church. Click the image to see the larger version. I missed taking panoramics on my travels.

I always liked churches with simple yet nice interiors. It was my first time there, yay for first time wishes! :)

The Pahiyas diorama found inside the church. Dioramas like this are interesting (well, all dioramas are) and fun to observe, especially the minute details that makes the whole picture perfect.

Saw this little girl in the diorama and I claimed that it might be me. Yellow and a camera in hand? Yes, that is definitely me. :)

After a visit to the church, roaming the streets followed! :D It was filled with people and refreshment breaks every now and then was necessary. I had my first encounter with Pancit Habhab and being the person who loves noodles, I got addicted. I had mine from a local home (I decided to keep away from Buddy's :P) and their version was my favorite, peppery and the noodles firm. And not to mention, one serving is only Php7! I was suprised how cheap it is, so I had two! Lol.

Of course, the experience wouldn't be complete if you don't eat it the "habhab" way. Literally just DIG IN!
No worries, they had forks ready just in case. But what made me wonder was that, habhab is a common word in Cebuano, which means to eat eagerly. And it surprised me how it reached Lucban which is a Tagalog domain. A crossover, perhaps?

Photo ops with the Kiping man as I call him..or her(?)

Balloon vendors were all over the place. And the shark balloons caught my eye! I literally went after one vendor to get one. It was expensive though, Php50 for a balloon?! The haggling didn't work but I really wanted my own shark so I gave in. I had a blue one and the litol sister had the pink one.

The sightseeing begins! Homes adorned with bright, colorful decorations! We were only able to browse one long street and the elders got too tired from the heat after (hence I wasn't able to see all the houses).

Why yes, you can actually eat the kiping. No, not straight as raw. Lucban locals recommends grilling it or frying it then powder on some cheese flavor. I am thinking it might taste like tortillas.

Colored rice pops hanged in plants as decoration and the famous Lucban longganisa!

(L-R, clockwise): Adorned pancit habhab carts by local vendors getting ready for the parade; higante paper maches one of which is Dora the Explorer (I should've had a photo with it, to commemorate myself being a wanderlust); a mini kiping chandelier; carabaos paraded the streets of Lucban as they were part of the procession.

What really caught my attention in Lucban was that they are not allowed to use plastic (well, like plastic cups, straws and the like), and when you buy pasalubong, they pack it in brown paper bags or you have to secure your own bayong! Even the stationed Jollibee booth during the festival replaced their styro packaging with the box cartons and no plastic bags, just brown paper bags stamped with the Jollibee seal! 
Seeing brown paper bags around the town made me happy and I bet the mother earth was glad as well.
I found this really inspiring, it is a very bold step and a big help to the environment. And the locals are very disciplined about it (otherwise they'll be fined). Wonder if other towns could implement the same and spread the act to a nationwide level maybe? That would be really wonderful. 
Kudos to Lucban people!

More kiping in various shapes in sizes!

We didn't stay for the parade anymore *sadface* but I was happy enough from the feast of colors under the summer heat and the impressive culture I had from the entire Pahiyas experience. It was worth the shot to annoy my mother for us to give it a visit. Haha! It gave me this ebullience to see more of our local festivals! Eating pancit habhab is now checked in my to-do list. Though I wasn't able to get a taste of fried kiping. Next time, next time. Got inspired by the brown paper bags. Tanned my arms again (hello awkward tanlines!). Took a lot of pictures. Bought home a salakot and a shark balloon.

And I was really happy to be out traveling again! I can't wait to get payslips again and set forth to another destination!
Hm, I wonder where to go next.

The Anawangin Weekend.

Destination: Anawangin Cove via Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
Travel Buddies: The Super Friends
Budget: 1,500 (est)

Who would've thought that a weekend away from the city will be so much fun? Just me, D, my Super Friends, Mt. Pundaquit, Anawangin Cove and just pure nature.

Our timetable didn't go as planned (as expected from the SF, lol) so we arrived late in San Antonio. We have to trek ourselves up Mt. Pundaquit and down at high noon. Oh boy.

You can reach Anawangin Cove via boat in more or less 30 minutes or by trekking across Mt. Pundaquit that can take up to 4-5 hours. Being an adventure seeker, we chose the latter. Hello mountains of Pundaquit!

Beginning of the trail. Energy still full and the adrenaline still high.

Trail path.

Reaching the summit after 2 hours and a half. It was exhausting and dehydrating but seeing the view from the top, it was all worth it.

After another 2 and a half hour descend we finally reached the camp site! (lol, no that's not our tent) No electricity and no coverage area. My legs were not functioning well already, haha, it was in pain from all the walking.

Later that night, we settled on the beachfront and stargazed. It was one of the most amazing view I've seen in my 22 years of existence. ♥ And doing it with the best people in your life makes it priceless.

Good morning to the sea! Time for some island hopping!!

Strong waves greeted us but it didn't stop us from having fun.
My amazing Super Friends.
It's officially summer!! Why not #HelpDOT and travel locally. Take pictures, make memories and share it to the world.

Until our next summer getaway!

Bangkok Misadventures Day 2 -- Wat Maha That

Photos for now. The stories will have to come in later. Come back, okay?

Bangkok Misadventures Day 2 -- Wat Panan Cheong

I am not even bothered to say alot. One of those low days. Maybe when I get all the photos of the Wat (temples) done then I can tell the stories.

Bangkok Misadventures Day 1.5 Part 2

Latter half of our second day was spent in Khao-San Road scouting for a tour to Ayutthaya.
Discovered and tasted Pad Thai (seriously, it is so good and cheap also), fresh orange juice with no additives (even sugar) which I loved to bits even though I am not a fan of fruit juices cept' some. Khao-San road has this Malate equivalent vibe going on, wherein foreigners and backpackers are here and there. Thai massage, bangketa galore, more bangketa of odds and ends, food carts with endless choices, more foreigners, inns, travel agencies and a lively mix of cultures at night. Khao-San Road is a good visit at nighttime, do explore the streets and the undiscovered alleys of Khao-San when you get there! 

Bangkok Misadventures Day 1.5

2nd Day in Bangkok started with another trip to Chatuchak Market, more shopping and my favorite part of all -- FOODTRIP!! I am missing the Hainanese Chicken already. I need my fix very soon.

Sorting out the photos from Bangkok makes me wanna crawl under my sheets and just sleep all day. Zzzzz..
Add to that the fact that my dysmenorrhea is killing me. But i'm doing good with this all-in-one photo gig for my posts, but it takes me forever. Still, all is good. All is good. :)

Bangkok Misadventures Day 0.5 Part 2

After the crazy shopping adventure we had in Chatuchak Market. Time to see another part of the city!
Met-up with a good friend who works in Bangkok so we can go altogether to Siam.
Crossed to the BTS line from the MRT. Did I already say that I really love Bangkok's train system?
Bangkok also has the same hustle bustle of the city. Just like in Manila.
Our first tuk-tuk ride heading to Siam Paragon!!

Too excited already. But quite doubtful that the mother will shell out 900 baht for the entrance, still *fingers-crossed*.
Siam Ocean World has the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia. That got my attention. And also the sharks. Especially the sharks.
We came in just in time around past 7 since they are open until 8 only. I was silently screaming in my head to convince the mother for us to go inside -- and she said YES!!!

Bangkok Misadventures Day 0.5

Why Day 0.5? Because this is only half of our first day in Bangkok.
Good morning susnshine!! Bed hair against nicely-lit room. :) 
Woke up late (since we slept past 3 already) and my first misfortune happened. Yue's camera got fogged because our room was too cold. I almost panicked but deep inside I'm already dying.

One of the world's largest weekend markets covers area of 70 rai (27 Acres) altogether divided into 27 Sections, contains more than 15,000 booths selling goods from every part of Thailand [source.]
I specifically chose a hotel near a subway station so it'll be easy to go around town.
Bangkok's MRT (mass rail transit) system is something we should adopt here in the Philippines -- efficient and on-time. I am honestly missing the "we're arriving at ____ station" voiceover already. :(
Other public means of transportation in BKK includes the tuk-tuk, candy-colored taxis, few buses and motorcycles.
Their MRT use tokens while the BTS line use cards. I love their token vending machine (see above picture)!
You just have to swipe the token over the turnstile and it will open. I enjoyed doing this everyday on our stay there (since we took the trains every single time we went out).

You can go to either Chatuchak Park station or Kamphaeng Phet station in going to Chatuchak market since it is located between the two stations.
Their trains are waaaaay nicer. If trains here are like this, I'd be more than happy to ride the train every single freaking day.
Found out that Mario Maurer is in Chiang Mai for a shoot. How I wish it was closer to the city because I will seriously go to there to see him *wink wink nudge nudge*, but noooo. :(
Obligatory reflection shot.
Welcome to Chatuchak Market! A place where you can find all sorts of odds and ends. I personally think it would take around 4 full days to see everything in Chatuchak (and that 4 days doesn't include stopping at stores and buying, just plain browsing). Crazy right? And the market ain't airconditioned, expect to be drenched in sweat after rummaging through alleys of stores and haggling (they don't really speak english and if they do, you'll still have a hard time figuring it out, so bring a calculator!).

There was too much to see. I seriously want to go back to this place and have a shopping spree (I better get a higher-paying job then). :P There were too many things as well that I wanted to buy but a) I was on a tight budget and b) we're scared of overbaggage. The mother made most of the shopping spree and I became the assistant who carried all the stuff she bought. I was the daughter slave. Haha.

The long-coveted faerie lights. I really wanted to get some of them but feared that it might get squished in the luggage *sadface*, so the mother advised not to buy one anymore.
After a few hours of shopping. We stopped by at one of the food stalls to have our late lunch. The menu was written on thai but the picture showed noodles, so we agreed on it. Our first thai meal -- how was it?
The face after having my first big munch of this...
IT WAS FREAKINGLY SPICY!! asajsfhdgahdgsjklsdha ;A; I almost cried. I regretted that I soaked the noodles well enough in this pool of evil spiciness. The noodles was good and I really liked the eggs but it was really spicy.
See the glory of that red pepper? It stood up to its fierceness. Plus the chili powder and the piquant soup. Every argument is invalid.
I was adoring photos like this on flickr before our BKK trip and I finally had my own shot and a taste of it too. Exactly what I needed after the hot encounter.
It's a popsicle! And it comes in my favorite orange mirinda flavor!! They sell this for 4 baht a piece (if I remember it right) and they come in other soda/fruit juice flavors.

The rest of our 1st day later!! Siam Ocean World!