Eversince Typhoon Yolanda ravaged and destroyed our beach house in Cambalading, Albuera, Leyte and was restored to it’a former glory almost a year after, I always spend my Sundays there. We would come late in the afternoon, go to the mercado at Albuera town proper. Albuera is quite a sleepy coastal town mostly comprised of fishing villages like Brgy. Balugo.
I was cleaning my email inbox checking old emails from as far back as 2008. I chanced upon an email back in 2011 in an attempt to gain access to this blog…I guess it was unsuccesful back in 2011. A few clicks here and there and a new password and voila! I’m back! So expect some more food adventures, and anything and everything about this quaint little city that I just love – 3 years after my last entry.
And so I decided to activate this blog. Again!
I just got home from General Santos City. I went there to attend the Aquilino & Gregoria Manansala Grand Reunion,it was the second reunion after 7 long years. It was such a big hit, despite the really hot and humid weather. Goodbye 10 boxes worth of Glutathion IV LOL!So, yes we had a great time in Magandang Gensan. It was just myself, dad, Arianne and her son Kirk plus the yaya. That was the first time we went there sans mother dear (she’s the one from Gensan). Suffice it so say – the stay was short but sweet! We had to squeeze in a lot of invitations from lots of relatives.
My Aunt Baby left us a few days ago. She was battling lung cancer. I know she is in a better place now…free from pain and health difficulties…
View her online obituary here
She died in New Jersey, USA. So we are still waiting for her remains to arrive in Ormoc. So before the regular novena, which were putting on hold until she arrives, we are holding praying of the rosary every night…friends and relatives come to the house to participate…and as tradition, we serve food after the prayer…so, I’m always tasked to prepare for the night snacks…my own way of saying thanks my Tita Baby.
So, I decided to go back to blogging again.
Let’s see if I’ll be diligent enough to post regularly.
You see, I live a pretty die cast, routine kinda life. Home-Bar-Home. So there’s not much to talk about. I mean I see the same faces, drink the same beer, hear the same songs all the time. I do not want to bore you with the details. An ant would have a much better daily life story than myself. LOL
So, my day started pretty early. I woke up with a slight hangover from last night’s Red Horse, last night was pretty boring, except for a brawl involving kids. So, yes I ran errands for this new company that I am a part of. It’s part managerial, part consultancy work.
My first stop was the Ormocnet at IAL Lodge, 2 blocks from where I live. I know window shopping and comparing prices and computer specs can be mind boggling – but thanks to the helpful staff at Ormocnet, they customized a pckage for several sets of PC for me. It was a breeze. Tomorrow, I hope we get to purchase those PCs already. I’ve always loved Ormocnet because of their after sales service, which is unheard of from most PC stores in the city. Once you’ve purchased the thing, then you’re on your own.
Next pit stop was at the Ortelco and Bayantel offices. Getting a line and a DSL connection was such a breeze too. While my co-workers where inside filling out the form, I had a quick lunch – I forgot I skipped lunch until my stomach grumbled. So, I had some squid balls, ngo-hiong and fried chops at the JCS food store right beside Ortelco. I figured, today was pretty hot – then I realized that it’s seldom that I’m out of the house at this time of the day. So, off I went home, before the panic sets in — the heat was a little too unbearable for me my nape started to hurt…maybe my BP spiked or it was just all in my mind. Nevertheless, I was lying in my bed with the A/C in full blast.
I spent the rest afternoon with good friend Gilbert at the brand new city hall. It was my 3rd or 4th time, and everytime I go there, I get mesmerized by the sheer size of our city hall…corridors as wide as that of malls in Cebu, central airconditioning, very high ceiling volume, and office that you can see through, a good testament of the government’s effort for transparency in governance. Anyway, I was there to claim my DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) business name registration certificate – a pre requisite before one can apply for a mayor’s permit. I applied for that last Thursday and they said it’ll take a week and comeback the next Thursday which is today. You see, for a city as big as Ormoc, we only have a satellite office here that’s at the city licensing office. They only open Tuesdays and Thursdays. Can you believe that? So, I went there at around 3pm…there was a long queue…so Gilbert and I made a beeline. Horrors! there was just one manong doing everything – from accepting application, double checking that everything in the application form is correct, releasing the business name certs, and he was the cashier too…so I made a calculation – there were around 16 in that line, I was the 17th…at the average handling time of 15 mins or even more per client…I should reach his table just before dinner…which of course is not possible because the thing closes at 5pm!!!! and I have to wait several more days because they open back next Tuesday! Totally unacceptable.
Furious, we decided we get a foot massage at the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Foot Reflexology Center at the side of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church. We frequent the place because the therapists there are good and strong…unlike in the
spas where we feel like they were just tickling our feet. This is not for the faint hearted. It is painful at first, but it’s that kind of pain that you look for after. Eventually, you’ll get used to the pain and then you feel pleasure and you feel light. The therapists there know the pressure points…so if a pressure point is painful when they apply pressure – they’ll tell you it’s your head, or you lack sleep, or your spleen or your liver etc. It was such a relief. I recommend you go visit one of these days.
We were famished after our relaxing foot reflex – so we jumped at the first food we saw:
Then it was Fra Lippo Lippi after. That will be in another post.
a warm and humid summer afternoon.
not much money to spend.
three empty stomachs.
no time to change clothes. come as you are.
so, off we go to the tight streets of ormoc city.
it opened floodgates of warm and toasty memories of childhood summers in this city.
first stop was at city central school along carlos tan st.
to spear on some freshly made, fried on the spot fish ball from one of our suki since, hmmm, elementary?
Each ball costs Php0.50 cents only! it used to be just Php0.25 cents, but i guess borge (the vendor) got affected with the increasing prices of the ingredients.
So after making tusok2x the fish balls, we headed to Carmel’s bakeshoppe, an institution in itself — they’re more popularly known as “ila ka paca” since it is owned by the Paca family, also well known cooks/bakers in the city. we went to get a few pieces of meat bread or pan con carne and cheese bread. it is actually made of very soft sweet bread dough. the taste of these baked goodies tastes exactly the same back in highschool. so you will know that the same recipe was used ever since. they’re located just at the back of our school in Arradaza St. in high school we would jump over the fence to buy their bread and their fresh lumpia, risking being caught by mrs. cortes, then our highschool principal.
Then we went to the crossing of Arradaza and Cata-ag St. There we found the usual student’s merienda fare of caramelized bananas and camote (sweet potato) on a stick, turron, hot cake smothered with margarine and roll many times in white sugar, steamed/fried native chicken egg, and ice cold buko/pineapple juice.
we also got some indian mango and spicybagoong/hipon/uyap (fermented and salted shrimp fry)
right beside we saw a cart selling freshly sliced queen pineapple.
then, we went to the city plaza to buy some siomai and eat our loot there…on our way, we saw this manong selling fried peanuts, either regular, hot and spicy or sugar coated.
Then we had siomai. Php 20-30 pesos for a serving consisting of 3 pieces of these yummy dumplings. i’m so fascinated that this revered dimsum fare have made it’s way into the philippine streets, thus becoming a street food. it is gaining much popularity. and of late, they have the fried variety. i want my siomai
served with the chili sauce, soy sauce and a squeeze of calamansi – then eaten with the toothpick. on a hungry day – i can cinsume up to twelve dumplings with lots of puso (hanging rice). and for some reason, street food is best eaten with sparkle – either because it is the only available soft-drink most of the time or because sparkle is much cheaper. but they’re a perfect pair, really.
at the imelda blvd/inaki larrazabal ave/the city plaza promenade covet a wide array of street food, ready to feed any hungry person making llamerda. you get to eat while enjoying the panoramic view of ormoc bay or while people watching . we chanced up on a lady balut vendor, you don’t get to see one often. we asked if she had “likos” or 17-18 days balut, but she only had the 16 days balut. it was joel’s favorite. although balut is best eaten during nighttime, joel insisted he wanted to try one since it was fresh and still very hot.
balut is a fertilized duck egg, so it has a duck embryo inside it. It is commonly eaten with salt with spicy native vinegar. traditionally it is usually sold and best eaten after dark, maybe so you can’t see how “luod” or gross it is. but to the expert, any time is a good time!
then right next to the siomai cart we saw another manong selling boiled peanuts. we wanted to buy, but we might look for beer! and it was just 4:00 PM. Beer + boiled peanuts, they’re yet another great love team.
then we also chanced up on this lady selling grilled/broiled bananas on a stick. they call it nilangkay. back in a day, good friend angelo kangleon and i would comb the streets looking for nilangkay, this was one of his favorite.
So for less than Php 150.00 we were able to enjoy and took care of of hunger. if we opted to go to a fast food, we could have blown Php 500 easy…plus it was a great bonding experience.
There are tons of philippine street food that i have yet to feature – i haven’t scratched the surface yet. there’s the isaw, barbecue sa eskina, salvaro, bibingka, dirty ice cream, ice drop, kab kab, a plethora of native delicacies and a whole lot more — they should be in my next subsequent entries about pinoy street food.
food is the unifying factor of the philippines. it is our common denominator. we love to eat when we’re happy, sad, angry, bored and even on the rare occasions that we’re hungry. and part of that is pinoy street food.
pinoy street food reflects the filipino culture of ingenuity – to create something special, edible, delicious, nutritious and cost-effective out of something that is seemingly useless, plain or mediocre. that is why when americans get the hunger pangs, they rush to the nearest fastfood, while pinoys rush to the street to eat their favorite street food that is enough to satisfy one’s hunger and soul. philippine street food is soul food. it feeds the masses. Readily available, good tasting and cheap and not to mention the seemingly endless choices.
although street foods have gone to the malls too, to satiate the cravings of the well-heeled who are also into this kind of food. Even 5-star hotels feature street food in their menus once in a while (here), a testament that indeed philippine street food is a big part of philippine culture. it is always a part of the urban landscape. also, if you get to explore pinoy street food, then you will understand why we have high levels of sugar, salt and cholesterol.
We love street food, probably of the total experience in itself. The joy that goes with getting cheap, quick, tasty and delicious food all at the same time. And It doesn’t get any better than that, because when I say cheap, it has got to be really cheap, and tasty and delicious.
the locations where these street food carts are located is a microcosm of a typical philippine community. it is here that you see the natural convergence of people from all walks of life.
although normally viewed as dirty. times have changed now, the government has even stepped in and regulated this trade to make sure proper hygiene is followed. but as they say, once you get to build relationship to your suki – you are sure that they serve you clean food, they treat you like family, and of course they don’t want family to get sick.
now if you’ll excuse me. after eating all those street food for research purposes (to photograph them), now i really need to go to the: