Archive for the ‘ travel ’ Category

Tiangge of Cars!

I was checking all my posts and saw this draft which I haven’t posted yet.  It’s another stop we had last June when I had a vacation in the North.

Santa Ana, Cagayan is located at the farthest tip of Luzon in the northern part of the Philippines.  Today, it is now  known for imported cars just like Subic Bay in Olongapo was before.  The travel from Isabela where we stayed was about 3 to 4 hours.


It was hot when we went there and our patience was slowly dying.  But when we saw these vehicles including my favorite green Volkswagen and Hummer, we were all in Cloud 9!  The trip wasn’t bad after all and my aunt was able to buy one with a plate number of BEDxxx.

I find it interesting  to see on the road beautiful, imported cars.  After catching one, I would check for their plate numbers and if I see that it starts with “B”, I know it comes from Cagayan. Hehe!


I wanted to travel…

I was surfing some places a while ago and thought I would blog this.

Ever since I became interested in maps which was during my high school years, I told myself, I will travel the Philippines and the world.  A dreamer! Hahaha!

I became more interested in geography that I would always check each country’s information and calculate the distances from each other.   Well, not all countries though.   I was more interested  with the countries in Western Europe. I want to go there not just to meet the people and to check places but to sample  authentic food as well.  I want to go to Italy for its pasta, pizza and gelato, Switzerland for its chocolates, Spain for its paella and tapas and France for its foie gras, crepes and macarons to name a few.

Recently, there’s one country I have been dreaming to see.  Well, I haven’t tasted any of its food yet but this picture is enough for me to visit it.    Guess, where it is.  🙂

(Photo from


Calling my friend, Jay!  Please bring me here.  Hehehe!!!

Some delicacies and sweets of the North

Food has always been my company especially when I travel.  I am an adventurous eater so I love varieties.  During my travel to the north, I sampled different native delicacies though some of them I have already tasted before.

Tupig is very famous in the North. I first tasted this when a friend who came from Pangasinan years back brought some as pasalubong.  I loved it instantly!

Inatata – Ilagan’s version of our “suman” though this one is somewhat similar with “inangit”.

I wasn’t able to get the name of this delicacy as my aunt kept on laughing on what the saleslady told her when she asked for its name.  I guess it’s the way the lady pronounced it.

Bibingka from Claveria, Cagayan.  Claveria is the last municipality in Cagayan going to Ilocos Norte.   Bibingka of the North has a big difference on the bibingka I grew up with.  Theirs is very sticky while ours is somewhat spongy.  Both bibingka are delicious though I prefer the bibingka of Vigan over the one in Cagayan.
The “STARS” of the Northen delicacies…
G & B Buko Pie of Nueva Vizcaya.  This is not the usual Southern buko pie of Laguna for the pie is thin as compared to Laguna’s thick filling.  I prefer this over Laguna’s because even if the pie and filling is thin, it is loaded with shaved coconut as compared to Laguna’s where you can only eat a few shaved ones.
Alcala from Alcala, Cagayan. This candy is their version of “pastillas”.   I love this soooo much!!!  I suggest though that you eat it right away on the day you bought it or a day after, otherwise it loses its freshness.  It can be frozen for days but the taste is as not as delicious as the day it was bought.  This can be comparable with Bulacan’s pastillas that also uses carabao’s milk.

Pancit of the North

Last June 4 , my family and I traveled from Pampanga to Cauayan, Isabela to attend my niece’s 7th birthday party on June 6.  I took time off from work for more than a week and it was food tripping for me again as travel for me always equate food trips.

In this trip we sampled the two famous “pancit” of the North, Pancit Cabagan of Isabela and Pancit   Batil Patung of Cagayan.

I’ve been to Isabela for about 6 to 7 times and have always looked  forward to ordering the Pancit Cabagan.  This time is no exemption.  It is my first time though to sample the one in Hi-way kitchenette.

The famous Pancit Cabagan at P65.  Cabagan is a place in Isabela  where this pancit is famours for.   A very delicious dish. The signature pancit with chopped “lechon kawali-like” topping and vegetables and egg makes this distinct with all other pancit.  Just like Pancit Batil Patung, Pancit Cabagan is also served with chopped onions to add to the dish.

My Aunt Melda’s family sampling the pancit.

We went to Sta. Ana’s free port (post about that soon) too when we traveled to the North.  Sta. Ana is in Cagayan and Cagayan is famous for its Pancit Batil Patung. So while in Cagayan, specifically Tuguegarao, we had to make room for their Pancit.  My brother-in-law, Mon grew in Isabela and Cagayan and he knows places where to find the best food.  He brought us at Gretchen’s, unfortunately it was already closed as it was already past 9 PM that time.

So we just checked on other opened restaurants serving such.  Eyyahyyo (wondering where the name came from…sound Japanese to me. LOL) is the one that caught our attention which is located along the hi-way.

We were first served this dish at  P50 only! I couldn’t imagine how they profit from this as the pancit is loaded with toppings – chicken liver, meat, chicharon, vegetables and egg.  Note that fried egg is on top of this dish.

We were also served this that goes with the pancit.  Unlike Pancit Cabagan, the onions given to us are the red ones. I am not sure if this is really a difference but I prefer this over the white onions for both pancit. I love how the onion’s distinct flavor complements it.

Finally, we get to eat our Pancit Batil Patung as “Batil” was already served.  It was called Batil Patung because of the egg.  The dish is served with a “binatil na itlog” which is the picture you see below and “patung” because the egg is put on top of the pancit.  Interesting, huh?

Now? How do we eat it?  You put the onions and calamansi together.  You could even add soy sauce and spices if you want to that mixture and then add it to the pancit.   The soup is eaten  with it.  We mistakenly thought we will pour it over the pancit though. Hahah!  Eating should be fast so food is still hot until the last bite.

It’s a big serving and we all didn’t finish it as we were still full from our late lunch.  Had not been the case, I know we would have enjoyed this pancit much.  Below is my cousin’s John who’s excited to eat all of it!

Aunt Melda who paid for all it.  It’s a very cheap food. The one that were were served is even the special one.  People from Cagayan are very lucky to have this dish.

It’s sad that I didn’t enjoy mine even if there was enough chicken liver for me to eat as I was still full (next post will tell you why).  The next time I set foot in Tuguegarao, I’ll make sure I have an empty stomach to enjoy this.  My parents below liked it but didn’t finish the big servings.  By the way, we were surprised that the owner told us other would even get a second to third serving of this dish! I wonder how big their tummies are.  Hahah!

Region 2

Finally after 4 days, I am now able to connect to the Internet.  Thanks to e’ Place, one of the high-end restaurants in Cauayan, Isabela. 

I’ve been out of contact so to speak since Saturday, June 5 because  my family and I had to travel to Cauayan, Isabela to attend my niece’s 7th birthday party. In the hotel that I am staying, there’s no Wi-Fi! It saddens me that I can’t connect to the Internet at night before I go to sleep and access my blog to document my day’s activities. Such bad experience makes me buy Globe Tattoo or Smart Broadband just to be online whenever and wherever I am in any part of world. LOL. It’s as if I  am traveling  often.

Anyway, this post is about some funny lines that caught our attention and put smile on our faces  on our way to  Sta. Ana, Cagayan. 

Posted at Jotay Resort & Restaurant in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.


Found on the entrance of one of the sellers of imported cars in Sta. Ana still.

Blurred shot but if we have cd-r-king here, they have dvd-r-king  in Cagayan.

Fire Trees = Flame Trees

Even if the sun’s heat is deeply hurting  our skin these days,  there are still a lot of things to enjoy during summer days.  I know that beach and swimming  are the first few things that come to our to mind since summer will not be complete without having a trip to the best beaches in our county. 

Oh! I am getting off-topic. LOL.  Actually, not really since I’ve been meaning to post these beautiful trees with flowers covering their branches as they make my summer days refreshing. 

I’ve been working in Clark  Field, Pampanga for almost 11 years now and these trees never cease to impress me.  Just looking at them while I travel daily, 5 days a week on a very hot afternoon shift,  brightens my day.  They remind me of a folklore on the evolution of the these trees that I read in a Reading textbook in Grade 4.  It was a love story that  at a  young age taught me about loving and losing.  Hahah! 

Look at how high the sun is from this picture.   It was almost 2 PM when I took this picture.  Can you see the leaves and the flowers? 

I remember these trees were named as Fire Trees in the book . Until today, I use that term when I refer to them.   But now, while searching for that folklore I read, I discovered on different sites that they are called FLAME  TREES and not fire trees.   Whenever I share to my friends what their names are, they would just say, “OH or Really?”!  I guess they really never catch their attention. 

Let me tour you to the beautiful roads on my way to work where the flame trees make my trip shorter and enjoyable.

The first set of trees welcoming you on the not-so-busy and clean roads of Clark. 

Getting closer….

And closer…

Yay! I was able to capture one that was a little bit close-up.  Don’t they just look like cherry blossoms in a different color?  😉

 Oh! Here’s another close-up pic that is located at the entrance of Philexcel.


 Btw, the flowers are not just red-orange in colors.  The picture below shows a different variety –  a yellow one but of a same specie.  The picture was taken in Minalin, Pampanga.  I have observed yesterday that Clark also has a few of them but the flowers are not as vibrant yet as the one below. 


Flame trees are actually Delonix regiao.  They are also known to some as arbol de fuego.  Wikipedia says that “Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant from the Fabaceae family, noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. Often grown as an ornamental tree and given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant, it is also known as Gulmohar (Hindi and Urdu), KrishnachuRa (Bengali), Malinche, and Tabachine[1], and one of several named the Flame tree. The species was previously placed in a genus Poinciana, named for Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy who is credited with introducing the plant to the Americas.”

So, if you weren’t able to have a beach outing, don’t despair for there are ways to do it.  Enjoy the beauty of our nature! 

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) aka Saigon

When I informed my colleagues and some friends that I will be going on a short trip in Vietnam last February, most were surprised and thought on what the hell am I thinking. They told me it’s not a safe place to visit and Vietnamese are not nice people to deal with. Maybe, they still have in their minds the wars that left that country. Hehehe! 


On one site I read, it says that it’s better to visit Vietnam now before it becomes very industrialized. And it’s indeed true. Seeing Ho Chi Minh’s very laid back atmosphere is like being in the Philippines years back which I actually miss. Although this city has de luxe hotels and expensive shops, most of its streets display the unhurried lives of Vietnamese people.
Here are some pictures of Ho Chi Minh taken last February 2009.
Vietnam Dong – value was 1 peso is about 367 dongs w/c made me and my friend feel crazy getting our Peso value when we had to eat and shop. I became a millionaire in this country!
Notre Dame Cathedral
Vietnam’s famous bags and shoes in Ben Thanh market
cute Vietnamese girl and her father
Eels and frogs (like our version of poison frogs) are famous among hawker’s display of live food to be ordered for cooking.
enticing food inside the Ben Thanh market
mamang sorbetero (dirty ice cream)
Motorcycle craziness – even those on formal dresses are up to be on back seats of this vehicle. We witnessed them attending functions in some hotels.


Hawkers at night in Ben Thanh market – taken on Valentine’s day where a number of couples were out to celebrate the event
Other side of Ho Chi Minh where the deluxe hotels and expensive boutiques are located
They have LV! 😉