I just have to chronicle this delightful experience! Me, Nengkoy and a couple of my beautiful relatives were treated to a delightful movie all paid for by my nephew Luis. I just have to blog post this event because this is actually the first time that Luis paid for all our movie tickets. And the treat was not just in any other ordinary movie house it was in an affluent and more luxurious venue, the Director’s Club in SM Aura Premier Mall.
The comfortable mechanized la-z-boy seat and the complimentary bowl of buttery popcorn added up to the pleasurable delight of the movie we chose to watch. It was the Mama Mia 2. Like the first version, Mama Mia 2 again made me tap my feet and sing along with the popular tunes of Abba. Some of the songs included in the movie were semi-hit in the Philippines yet I felt silly that I was able to sing along when these semi-popular songs reached the chorus.
Delightful would be the best word to describe Mama Mia 2: Here We Go Again. Though the movie was not as fun and as merry if compared to the first version, which included more popular tunes and more comical scenes, the treat by that of my nephew Luis made this movie unforgettable!
My palatal experience and taste for the Classic Pudding has come a long way. It progressed from being derisory to being lavish. My lunch today with Nengkoy and a few of my relatives at Medley Buffet in first-class hotel Okada Manila made me realize this.
When my sister Joie took a heap of the Classic Pudding as her dessert, I told aloud that Nengkoy (my mother) at one occasion made a Classic Pudding when we were still very small. Nengkoy upon hearing this smiled and nodded her head. But what is so memorable with Nengkoy’s Classic Pudding I told Joie is that it was made from left over breads most especially from the staple of the Marcos regime’s feeding program in the ‘70s called Nutribun.
I can still recall that Nutibun given to us students in the 70’s were so big, so dense and were so filling. It was so compact, that if you fail to consume it and let it stand for a day it will turn so hard, eating it would be next to impossible. I remember not eating those bulky Nutribuns and instead bring those home. This kindled the parsimony and thriftiness in Nengkoy. Instead of throwing away those rock hard Nutribuns, I remember she turned it into a hot delicious Classic Pudding.
After telling that story, I excused myself, went to the abundant and over-the-top buffet area of Medley Buffet. I also took a big bowl of their Classic Pudding for my dessert. While enjoying my dessert and washed it down with champagne, I silently reminisced about the taste of the pudding Nengkoy prepared for us when we were still kids in the seventies.
Parang walang pinagkaiba anf pudding ng Okada at ng Nutribun. Yummy! Hahaha!
I grew up in a Catholic family. My father was Catholic when he converted to being a Born Again Christian back in the late 80s. Ironically, his conversion happened in the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia where he was based as an overseas worker.
When my father retired and decided to stay for good in the Philippines with my family, he was one active member of his church. He even attempted to convert every one of us in the family.
Too bad for him, he started with me. I actually commend my father for trying. His strategy to start with me was so genius. He knew that if I will be converted, it would be very easy for the rest of the members of my family to become Born Again Christians.
Up until the last days of my father, he never stopped in convincing and converting me. I guess he knew that I am really the one who needs to be saved from the fires of hell. Hahaha! I can still remember the funny and humorous intellectual debate we had about how to be a true Christian while he was in the hospital.
It has been years and my father has gone to heaven. He may have failed to convert me, yet I am pretty sure that in spirit, he still looks after me, Nengkoy and the rest of my growing family. He has always been my Christian Warrior.
I guess my father’s failure to convert me is really not a failure after all. Because a true Christian Warrior will simply let you be the seeker of your own Truth. And that is one of the multitude of impacts and contributions of my father to me.
Happy Father’s Day Tatay! You got one proud son here…
A friend learned that I dined at Apartment 1B of The Henry Hotel and suspected that the food must have been no good that is why I did not write or post about it in this blog. But since now that I am writing about it, it only means that I indeed enjoyed the food that they served us.
The selfish in me actually wanted the restaurant of The Henry Hotel to be a secret, but since friends learned that I dined there with Nengkoy and family, might as well spill the sumptuous beans!
I have nothing bad to say about the warm service, the appealing food and the relaxing ambiance. The food at Henry Hotel actually was a big positive surprise! I never expected it to be so good. Their well-presented dishes were amazingly fine and delicious.
I have nothing but alluring and charming praises for the food served at Apartment 1B. I will surely be back!
I grew up in one of the most notorious and crime infested cities of the world, Pasay City. The gang-infested town of New York, the dynamic human trafficking in Belize and the exploits of crime at the favelas of Brazil seem all so tame and subdued if to be compared to the felonies and transgressions that occur in my home city.
That is why I was so surprised to find out that right in the middle of dangerous Pasay, runs a rare and unusual Honesty Shop. Honesty stores and shops (unmanned establishments in which the stores cash sales are relied upon the honesty of its patrons) thrives in some of the most nonviolent, remote and/or progressive spots in the world. In fairness, there are actually 2 stores that I know that runs an honesty shop here in the Philippines, one is at the remote and peaceful province of Batanes while the other one is at the high-end and affluent university here in the Philippines.
Enough with the topic diversion! The store in Pasay that I am talking about is Honest Henry, an honesty shop inside a compound where Henry Hotel is located. I found this place when I and my family was about to have a hearty lunch inside Henry Hotel.
The even rarer fact about this store is that it is not just selling cheap snacks and knickknacks. It is selling locally-made pricey-looking crafts and souvenirs. I was so surprised when I was checking all the merchandise! Those were not cheap, shoddy and substandard!
Honesty Shop at Henry Hotel was something so pleasing and refreshing for Pasay City. It gives me the positive feeling and perspective that there still exists some glimmer of hope to the city where I grew up.
If I am to choose a place where to bring a foreigner-friend so as to fully immerse him to the culture of the Philippines, I would choose Villa Escudero in Tiaong Quezon.
Villa Escudero seem to contain and characterize a wide assortment of a true Filipino culture. Employees from engineering, to servers, to housekeeping and receptionists are all comfortably dressed in the traditional “patadyong” for the ladies and the colorful “camisa de chino” are worn by the guys.
The structures of Villa Escudero room accommodations are all native, characteristic of the traditional Filipino house known as “Bahay Kubo”. Villa Escudero also boasts of a marvelous museum collection, majority of which are about the rich Filipino religion, clothings, history and even fauna.
After a glorious Filipino buffet lunch right in the middle of a river with a man-made waterfalls as a backdrop, guests will get to enjoy and watch a Filipino show inside a humongous pavilion. The show features various uniquely Filipino dances, costumes and customs. I particularly loved the energetic TInikling dance, the funny vignette about Sabong, the robust and brawny Maglalatik and of course the singing of the song Filipinas at the end of the show. The show boasts about its authenticity for it was conceptualized and choreographed by the late Filipino National Artist for Dance, Mr. Ramon Obusan.
Then later in the afternoon, guests would get to enjoy and listen to a “harana” (a serenade). In the old days in the Philippines, a way for a suitor to woo a lady is by having a visit in the lady’s house. But prior to being allowed inside the lady’s abode, the suitor needs to sing by the lady’s window otherwise known as the Harana.
If the young lass showed up through her window, it means that the admirer will be welcomed inside the house after he finish his singing. But if the lady refuse to show up and face the singing dude by her window, it signifies that she is not interested towards the guy singing outside. In Villa Escudero, their male employees get to sing old and traditional Filipino song in front of the houses where guests are billeted as if they are doing a “harana”.
But what I am most impressed about the authentic Filipino element present in Villa Escudero was its excellent food selection during breakfast. Never have I seen a buffet breakfast as Filipino as that of the selection of dishes served in Villa Escudero!
It seem that all remarkable Filipino breakfast dishes are featured in their buffet. Aside from the usual fruits, yogurt, cereals, jams, milk and eggs, there were Filipino breakfast varieties like Champorado, Singangag, Lannganisa, Lugaw, Gatas Ng Calabao, Suman Sa Lihiya, Bibingka, Crispy Danggit, Crispy Dilis, Quesong Puti and of course Kapeng Barako.
Why do I know all these? It is because Villa Escudero was again the chosen venue of Nengkoy for her to celebrate her 81st birthday. Six years ago, this was the same venue for Nengkoy’s 75th birthday. Villa Escudero no matter what year we visit still has the same authentic Filipino elements for everybody to enjoy.
I can no longer count the number of times that I have posted in this blog that my favorite course in an entire meal would be the dessert. The confectionery course has always been my main course!
When I was in Bangkok with my mom and sisters, we of course got to try Thai dishes. I have always revered how uniquely sensual and remarkably palatable Thai dishes are. But still, it is a simple dessert among all the striking Thai dishes that really makes my modest and artless taste buds happy.
I love Khaoniao Mamuang. Don’t be fooled by how the words were spelled and how should it be read. The best Thai dessert for me is simply known as Mango Sticky Rice!
I adore this dessert for it is uncomplicated, simple and straightforward! No lavish implements are needed for its presentation; no rare, pricey and uncommon ingredient is need; no knotty and confusing procedures are required for its preparation; and, no intricate and confusing way of eating and enjoying it. Yet the taste is so heavenly!
It was my fifth time in Bangkok about a week ago. I may have failed to revisit some the beautiful and spectacular tourist spots of the city, but I never failed to eat, savor and enjoy the divine and blissful Khaoniao Mamuang!