Tag Archives: ice cream

Bohol: where to go

My husband and I dream of travelling the world. But since we need to dedicate more time to raising our kids for now, we’ll start by exploring our beautiful country.

My favorite local destination by far is Bohol. The people are warm and friendly, the province hasn’t (yet?) been commercialized. We love the shores of Panglao because unlike Boracay, it’s not crowded. It’s just pure waves and peace.

To make sure we go to the best places, we hired a tourist guide/driver named Mang Henry who was highly recommended by a friend. We went to a lot of beautiful places which we all loved. But there were five exceptional ones that I would like to share:

1. Bee Farm

Yes, you got that right. It’s a farm full of bees! But don’t worry, the bees are housed in boxes. During the tour though, the lady took out a wooden sheet full of bees. I learned that there’s always only one queen bee per box. The rest are what they call “workers”, i.e. the ones responsible for making honey. If you’re not scared of bees, they will allow you take photos with them for free. However, if a bee stings you, you have to pay a particular fee because bee stings, apparently, relieve various ailments.

This “farm” does not only house honey bees. They also have a variety of plants and flowers, a restaurant and an ice cream shop! More than seeing the bees, eating their Malunggay flavored ice cream is the better part of the trip. It’s delicious and not to mention very healthy.

2. Dolphin Watching

We rented a boat (with a boatman of course!) who picked us up very early in the morning to spot some Dolphins in the middle of Panglao’s sea. We met up with a other boats in the middle of the sea to wait for dolphins. After a short wait, there were dolphins everywhere! They jumped so quickly so it’s hard to get a good picture if your camera is low-tech like mine. However, I was lucky enough to take one good photo (below). I was so happy because it was my first time to see dolphins in their natural habitat, and here in the Philippines! 🙂

3. Snorkeling in Balicasag Island

My husband and I were thinking twice about going snorkeling, which is part of the “sea tour”, together with the Dolphin-sight seeing. We were hesitant because we had to pay extra for the use of snorkeling gear. However, the boatman encouraged us to try it out so we gave in, thinking that this may be a once in a lifetime experience. And boy were we MESMERIZED! The view of the corals and fishes from the boat did not compare when we actually dove in the shallow part of the ocean. We had a very good view of the beautiful sea creatures (some fishes were already touching my skin)! I wish I had an underwater camera to capture the colorful world underwater! Like what the boatman said to us, “highly ricomended po talaga!”.

4. Tarsiers

We wouldn’t miss seeing Tarsiers in their home land. I saw a Tarsier once in a zoo but it was in a cage and I didn’t see much movement. In the tarsier spot that we visited, we were allowed go near them. I thought they were like babies: quiet, mild and gentle. But I was shocked when I was about to take a picture with one. It suddenly jumped and skipped around like a hyper toddler! Despite my fear, I still find them cute. 🙂

Just a note, please be careful when taking photos. Tarsiers are very sensitive that camera flashes can scare, or worse, kill them.

5. Chocolate Hills

I remember my SIBIKA book dubbed this place, together with Mayon Volcano and Rice Terraces, as one of the magagandang tanawin sa Pilipinas. And, seeing it for the first time, I could say that it’s a beautiful place indeed! It’s so amazing how the hills are formed and how they cover a vast area of Bohol. The only thing I did not like about seeing the place is the many steps we had to climb to get a good view of the hills.

with Mang Henry (middle)

If you need a Bohol tourist guide, feel free to call Mang Henry at 0921 476 9771. 🙂

This post was written by Maan Bello-de los Reyes.

Snacks and childhood memories

When I was I kid, I loved going to church because after that, my mom would treat us to our favorite ice cream parlor (typical kid! :P).  We wouldn’t eat anything out of the ordinary, just vanilla for my sister and banana split for me and my mom.

In high school, I would watch what I spent from Mondays to Thursdays because every Friday, my service mates and I will eat at our favorite fast food joint.  Again, nothing expensive: just fries and a sundae.

My childhood is peppered with happy memories. And, as you may have already guessed, most of them include food.  This isn’t to say that I’m a glutton for food. It’s just that whenever I think of a specific food or restaurant, some memory from my life pops up.  And sometimes, I eat a certain dish not because it’s delicious, but because it reminds me of someone or something in my life.

Now that I’m a working girl and that my taste buds have become more mature, I still occasionally crave for some of the fun food I had when I was younger.  Well, now I get to eat them without my mom scolding me to brush my teeth afterwards. Or her telling me to drink lots of water after eating ice cream.

Yan Yan

I love this cracker that you dip in chocolate.  I know that there are better-tasting brands than this, but there’s something about Yan Yan that reminds me of my childhood.  It’s like all of us ate and enjoyed this snack when we were little.  I don’t know anybody who didn’t like Yan Yan.


My family is not Chinese, but we never ran out of hopia in our household when we were kids.  I particularly like the ones that my mom bought at the market, though my younger sister insists that those are dirty.  Oh well, we call the ice cream being sold in the streets as dirty ice cream and yet we still eat it, so I guess it’s the same thing with the hopia.

I like monggo hopia.  I don’t really like the newer flavors because I’m too content with the monggo.  I feel like my ube belongs to my halo-halo or with some crackers, but as a flavor for hopia… Well, to each its own.

Durian chips

I’m not sure if they sell this certain brand everywhere, but I really love durian chips.  Actually, I like durian.  Even with its foul smell, I’m down with it.  The first time I ate a durian I was in Singapore.  I wanted to scream my lungs out when they offered me the fruit.  But I couldn’t refuse because that would be very rude of me.  So I closed my eyes and prepared for the worst, but I really ended up liking it.

So when I chanced upon the durian chips, I just had to taste them.  They’re now in my top 10 favorite junk food of all time.  They’re a little bit expensive, so I don’t really eat them often, unless my sister or my mom buy them for me.

These are just some of my favorite snacks.  I haven’t even made my list of my favorite dishes—maybe next time.  And please do share with me your favorite snacks too.  I’m sure I’m not the only one here who tries to reminisce their childhood with food.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.

Current status: I’m in a food-state of mind

Next week is Holy Week, and for Catholics, it’s the climax of religious worship. But because most of us aren’t at work, we’d usually go home to our provinces or go out of town. Either way, Holy Week is not only a matter of worship, but also a time to be with family.

I used to remember when we’re little kids Good Friday is about food and new clothes. Because my mom would often say that you’re attending the funeral of Jesus, wear something decent. And all our relatives will be coming home for vacation therefore we always prepare delicious food for them.

Ever since I started cooking, I’ve been planning our Holy Week menu. We’ve managed to veer away from meat—anyway, it’s only on Good Friday that there’s fasting and abstinence—but still couldn’t avoid but to over-cook, just in case an unannounced visitor suddenly comes to our house.

Here are some suggestions for your Holy Week Menu… and some great finds that you could try for the first time… (These are not just exclusive to Catholics only)

  1. Fresh Lumpia – If I have time, I make my own “pabalat”-it’s just a mixture of corn starch, egg and water- but “hubad na lumpia” is also acceptable. Try doing a shrimp and fillet of fish version instead of the usual ground pork or chicken. In Pampanga, we accompany our fresh lumpias with osyo. It’s a brown sauce made of flour, soy sauce, water and a lot of fresh garlic.
  2. Kare-Kare – I love this dish. For ordinary Kare-Kare, we use pata ng baboy. It’s soft and chewy. But on big occasions, I prefer using oxtail instead of ox tripe. It takes awhile for the oxtail to become tender, but if you have a pressure cooker, then you can use that too. Invest in a good brand of peanut butter because if it’s good, a little goes a long way. Don’t forget the bagoong. I have Spanish friends who eat Kare-Kare with fish sauce. It’s just not the same! I sauté the bagoong in lots of garlic and oil, I sometimes put a teaspoon of sugar, cayenne pepper or siling labuyo just liven its taste.
  3. Salted Egg flavored Ice Cream – Yes, it exists and it tastes darn good. It’s not too salty, actually it tastes a lot cheese, but the texture is different. It’s made to order, if you want I can recommend someone who makes it, just in case you’re interested in tasting it.
  4. Bringhe – It’s like the Filipino take on Paella. But instead of a tomato sauce, we use turmeric, that’s why we end up with yellowish colored rice. My mom taught me to put in the liver when it’s about to be fully cooked, or else it’ll just melt the liver instead of biting chunks of it.
  5. Ginilo – Our grandmothers have their own takes on this old Filipino drink. In our family, we’re used to sago, gulaman, fresh coconut milk with sugar then top it off with pinipig crunch.
  6. Dinuguan and puto/ kutsinta – My heritage on my mom’s side is all about food. I was exposed to Kutsinta, Tamales, Puto, halo-halo at a young age. No matter how good the Dinuguan is, we always look forward to pairing it with Puto. For beginners, use spare ribs. Cut them into small pieces.

No matter what you serve your family this coming week, make sure you don’t so stressed in the kitchen. It will reflect on the food you cook. Believe me, a happy cook serves great dishes.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.