Monday, April 28, 2014

All about Cabanatuan: Food, place and Pasalubong

Cabanatuan City is more that just Farm land and Tricycle. We, CabanatueƱos also takes pride to our delicious food product.We may not have beautiful beaches,water falls and caves but you can certainly enjoy your stay here and  fulfill your gastronomic satisfaction.

Where/What to eat:
N.E 
For me, home will never be complete without visiting N.E branches. I grew up dining here with my family and friends. Whenever there was an occasion be it birthday, graduation or something else, we usually celebrate it with NE.I surely made a lot of wonderful memories here.


N.E has fast food restaurant, bakeshop and they own the biggest mall in town the N.E Pacific Mall. It was indeed a far cry from once a simple store on a wheel business. N.E is now a multi-million food and mall business. A truly Cabanatuan's success story.


Don't forget to try our own version of pinapaitan! It's a s exotic dish made of beef innards, bile, chili and tamarind.  


Soo yummy!


One of my favorite restaurant here in Cabanatuan is Joey's Restaurant Cafe. It already has three branches, two of it was inside the mall (NE pacific mall and Megacenter) I love their food especially the bake macaroni with matching buko juice. Every time  I visit home, we usually eat here. One of their best seller is their version of palabok, where the flavor is rich and so right. I even liked their palabok than of Razon, honest! Other food that you can try is Spaghetti, mami, sandwiches, sisig, lechon paksiw (my favorite) and cakes! The main branch is located in the City proper near the Cathedral.
  


Photos from Joey's Facebook

Lechon Manok



Another must try is our lechon manok (charcoal roasted chicken)  along Burgos avenue. I have tasted chickens from Andok's, Baliwag, chooks to go, Bugong and other famous  Lechon manok brand but for me,  Cabanatuan's version is still the best! Its flavorful not to mention that it's cheap. There are dozens of stalls that you can choose from and one of the popular is the Kalahi. Nonetheless, which ever you choose I assure you, you will not be disappointed.

All year round Bibingka



Bibingka is a type of rice cake made with rice flour  and coconut milk with a mix of red egg. It is traditionally eaten in the Philippines during Christmas season but here in Cabanatuan City it is all year round!

Sweet Treats


Yes, you read it right. Shing Fong bakery was established in 1915 and is the oldest bakery in Town. They baked goodies that is worth a try. My favorite is their brownies and banana bread. Its delicious and cheap. Their brownie cost only 12 pesos! I usually buy 5 to 6 pieces and munch it inside the bus as I leave the City.

Puno's Ice Cream


I already left Cabanatuan when I discovered about Puno's ice cream and sherbet (what a shame!)  coz i love homemade ice cream. So when I went home one summer i made sure to taste all the flavors of Puno's ice cream. I love the mix of cashew because it adds texture to the ice cream. My favorite is the cheese cashew macapuno.

Edna's Cake Land

This bakeshop is one of the most visited place for pasalubong buying or even for someone whose craving for sweet treats. Their cake is also very popular for weddings, debut and even birthdays. Aside from sweets they also offers various meals like spaghetti, bake macaroni and many more.


Cake galore at Edna's Cake Land
 These are some of their products that I bought to taste. The yema cake is a sponge cake that is very soft and creamy. I like the mixture of yema and a bit of lemom making the cake not so "nakakaumay." The brownies are nice but not as good as the one from Shing Fong.  

N.E bakeshop


I grew up having N.E cakes on my birthday, on my sister's birthday, on all of our birthdays:) I love all of their breads and cakes. They also have their version of siopao, empanada and siomai.  I hope and pray that people will continue to patronize this bakeshop no matter what. It saddens me that SM threatens this establishment and I heard they are actually planning to sell it:( 


Other N.E's awesome products!

Puto


Don't ever leave Cabanatuan without trying our Puto (rice cake) I have tasted a lot of puto's but i keep coming back on this one. Its tasty,soft and chewy and smells really good. You can find their stall inside the wet market and please come early coz in the afternoon, all the puto's are already consumed.


Places to visit
Please DO NOT expect a hardcore itinerary when visiting this place. This is a place I called HOME. A place where I can relax, go with my own pace,  no pressure. 



Inside the mall


Mega Center the Mall ( I heard this one was already sold to SM)

The old Capitol
I actually love the design of this old capitol. It reminded me of an old era with the elegance it exudes.


 Freedom Park
Where student usually hangs out, do their homework or date^_^

 General Antonio Luna's Monument
The very spot where the monument stands  is also the spot where the hero was assassinated.

 Cabanatuan's Cathedral

I went home again to celebrate the birthday of my father at the newly open resort- REISHA Resort




We have the resorts to our self and we did enjoy our time there. Reisha resort was cute and child friendly. They also offer air conditioned rooms for anyone who wanted to spend a night.

Pasalubong

Famous Longanisa


Whenever i tell someone I was from Cabanatuan City they usually tells me "Masarap daw ang longanisa dun ah!" Yes, never leave Cabanatuan without buying or tasting our longanisa. When I was little there was only two flavors available, sweet and salty.Now you can find variety of flavors that will suit your taste. You can buy longanisa inside the wet market and N.E branches.

 Sorry to say that we don't have souvenirs like ref.magnet or key chain and shirts but we have cheap and cute accessories that you can buy as a souvenir. My favorite place is  BlasEdward that can be found at the City proper. I also loved to just walk around looking for clothes and 'ukays'. 

 Photo via google
I love to eat butong pakwan and Cabanatuan has the best tasting butong pakwan ever! At hindi siya matigas. I could eat it all day without hurting my teeth. The corn and peanut  are also good especially kapag bagong luto.  I never leave Cabatuan without buying halk kilo of butong pakwan!


People said that we have to get out of our comfort zone and that's a great idea. Going to places you have never been, learning about other people, discovering new things. But there would be a time that you wanted to be comfortable again, to feel safe, peaceful and just simply happy. That place is what i call HOME.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

White Christmas in Boracay

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love

I never thought in my whole life that I will ever experience white Christmas in boracay. Yes, people said that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also the most expensive time of the year to go to Boracay…But since the universe seems to have a different plan for us, we changed our original plans and went to Boracay on Christmas day.



I’m dreaming of a white Christmas….

Hearing that Christmas song on our way to Jetty port made me think about my bucket list. One of the things I must do is to experienced white Christmas with all its glorious snow, cold weather and snow man. Seeing photos like these made me want to experience the white Christmas



But suddenly I remembered that my body is not really good with cold weather. A simple blow from Hanging Amihan can make me sick with cough and flu already so I guess snow will make it worse. So I thought of an alternative way to have white Christmas with my family without getting sick but still white, cold, and christma-sy…



Boracay is known for having the finest white sand in the Philippines and vibrant night life as well. I’ve been dreaming about Boracay since I was in college but then I learned and read about Boracay being “over crowded”, “somewhat damaged” and “over developed” !My interest slowly faded and almost forgotten about it. Heck, Boracay was not even included in my bucket list anymore. Then my 92 years old father finally said yes to come with us for our trip, Boracay came up to my mind. Okey, so maybe it was time to see her, the once called “ the best beach in the world..”


“A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” — Moslih Eddin Saadi

Some people said that don't  believe everything that you read or hear. And they were right. To each their own. It is very important that you go there and experience the place yourself  before your judge. Go there with open heart, curious mind and you will see what you needed to see, feel what you needed to feel. For that, I think I owe Boracay an apology.



Picture perfect Boracay


She was still stunningly beautiful. Super fine white sand, turquoise clear water, picturesque scenery. Whoever said that Boracay is not beautiful anymore must think twice. Yes it was my first time to see her but I have seen beautiful beaches as well, stunning and virgin beaches. But for me the beauty of Boracay is different. Maybe it's the ambiance, the people, I don’t really know.  I cannot really explain, you have to go there and experience it yourself. But now I understand why people kept coming back. It was really a paradise.


My 92 years old father enjoying Boracay. Until now he was still in awe with this paradise. Every time he hears any news about this island, he listen intently.



Crystal Cove

Going here during Christmas season was perfect. The weather was cool, the water seems bluer and there was this happy ambiance everywhere. I finally achieved my white Christmas. But instead of snow, we had white, fine sand. Yes, it was crowded but I think that’s one beauty of the island. Seeing all kinds of people enjoying Boracay made me proud to be a Filipino.


Beautiful Paraw sailing


Calm and serene beach if you wake up early…

I never thought that I will enjoy Boracay this much. But I did, we did. Every morning we will go to the beach and swim, play in the sand.  Eat lunch and had our siesta time. In the afternoon, we will go back to the beach, swim and watch stunning sunset.


Sunset at willy’s rock


My beautiful mom enjoying the sunset of Boracay

At night time, we usually walk around d’mall, watch fire dancers and eat sinigang. I mean Boracay’s version of sinigang was really really yummy. Boracay is also convenient! Everything that you need is already there, from cheap to expensive food, to atm and mall, d'mall.




 

I don't know if its the mystique or charm of Boracay that draws  people in.  Maybe its the sunset, beaches or the thrilling adventure but there is something more than Boracay that make some people i know wanting more. Yes, I do want to comeback, someday..


Boracay is a sweet escape to a whole new world where you can let loose, be someone else and no one will judge you. To each their own, Boracay's charm maybe experience differently by every one- but its there. Just open your heart and let her spell come to you...

I hope you come here and experience it yourself.