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Welcome to Manila Food Finds!

This blog was made to cater to the basic need of human beings.

Eating - which we all love to do!

There are hundreds of food establishments up and about that serves fine meals. But what happens if you get tired of the same old taste you eat day in and day out?

Just like the rest of you, I'm looking for new and exciting places to eat and have some fun at the same time, which is why this blog was created - to share with you the adventures (and hassles) that a food lover has to endure in search of a good find.

We're not picky eaters and we'll try everything and anything as long as it's edible!

Manila Food Finds!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pagsanjan Bangkero Festival 2009

The Pagsanjan Bangkero Festival would be held on March 31 to April 4, 2009. Pagsanjan is a town located on the southern part of Laguna right after the province's capital, Sta. Cruz, when travelling from Manila. This is a place very special to me since this is where we spend most of our summers when we were little children. We spent the weekend there and I just found out that the festival would be held this week, if I knew sooner I could've posted it earlier.

For more info on the town's history see the wiki page here.

Here's the schedule of activities if you would like to visit and grace the events.

Day 1 - March 31

6:00 am - Marathon Assembly
7:00 am - Marathon (Labanan ng Takbuhan)
8:00 am - Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe
9:00 am - Street Dancing Assembly at the Plaza
10:00 am - Opening Progam and Street Dance Exhibition (Yugyugan sa Plaza)
12 noon - Lunch time at the Municipal Government Building
1:30 pm - Cookfest (Lutung Pagsanjan Pagkain Festival) and Pagsanjan Original Delicacies
8:00 pm - Search for Lakan and Binibining Pagsanjan 2009

Day 2 - April 1

7:30 am - Brass Band Parade
6:30 pm - Bayanihan Philippines National Dance Company (Cultural dance show @ the Plaza)
8:00 pm - Modern dance contest (Paligsahan sa sayawan)

Day 3 - April 2

8:00 am - Drum and Lyre Band Showdown
6:30 pm - Douglas Nierras Powerdance Inc (Contemporary dance show @ the Plaza)
8:00 pm - BANDigmaan (Battle of the Bands)

Day 4 - April 3

7:00 am - Brass Band Parade
8:00 am - Boat Racing Elimination (Karera ng mga Bangka)
- Free medical and dental mission @ the plaza
6:30 pm - Shirley Halili Cruz Ballet Dance Company
8:00 pm - Search for Lakan and Binibining Pagsanjan 2009 (Coronation Night)

Day 5 - April 4

8:00 am - Final Judging of:
Best Gantungan (boat garage) and Best Bantilan (picnic sheds)
9:00 am - Program at the town plaza
12 noon - Lunch time
1:00 pm - Boat Racing Final Showdown
3:00 pm - Fluvial Parade Competition
6:00 pm - San Miguel Beer Night and Awarding or Prizes
8:00 pm - Search for Ginoong Bangkero 2009 and Fireworks

There's a lot of places to visit here in Pagsanjan like the Pagsanjan Falls where the biggest fun is the boat travel going to the falls itself. From Pagsanjan you can visit Caliraya Lake and Lucban, Quezon where you can find the makers of Pancit Habhab (Pancit Lucban) and Lucban Longganisa or go shop for a new barong at the next town after Pagsanjan which is Lumban.

Here's a post detailing our weekend here which includes great food finds found in this town.

Weekend at Pagsanjan, Laguna.

Weekend at Pagsanjan, Laguna

We spent the weekend at Pagsanjan, Laguna where my dad hailed from. This is where our ancestral house is found and where I spent most of my childhood summers together with my brothers. Fond memories float in the back of my head whenever we visit - playing at fields, fishing by the river, learning how to swim. One thing that I look forward to whenever we go visit is the different and tasty treats we find there. I also apply the same thing whenever we travel or visit some far-off towns or provinces. For me, you’ve never really gone there unless you tried the local delicacies and what other food secrets the place has to offer.

Here are some food finds I’d like to share with you which you can easily find here in Pagsanjan.

First is one of my favorite childhood snacks. This is called “minaneng kamoteng kahoy” or simply “minane.” This is kamoteng kahoy (cassava) sliced into cubes and fried just like french fries. After frying it’s lightly seasoned with salt and it’s good to go. Unlike french fries where you dip it in ketchup, you sprinkle “minane” with some vinegar. This snack is perfect to munch up while strolling around the Plaza and the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Summer is never really complete without Halo-halo. When you’re stuck in a hole and you just came out, you’ll immediately know it’s summer when you see halo-halo stands around every corner. One place to visit in Pagsanjan for awesome halo-halo is Aling Taleng’s. It’s located on the first street on the right after passing the bridge if you’re from the Town Hall or Munisipyo, you won’t miss it.

The place has a cozy and earthy feel to it. I asked the waiter what else they have aside from the famous halo-halo and she answered pancit and cheeseburger. They sell it a wee bit high for a small town at 50 bucks each considering other halo-halo joints around that sells theirs for around 20-30 bucks, but I tell you, it’s well worth it. Aling Taleng’s halo-halo doesn’t look and taste cheap like the ones we’re used to. It’s also not so sweet as not to overpower the various ingredients in it. Try it out for yourself to experience halo-halo that’s been made the same way since 1933.

A favorite dish in this town is “tulingan” or mackarel tuna as described in this marketmanila link (click here) called “sinaing na tulingan.” This is slow cooked tulingan with seasonings, kamias, and a little amount of pork fat. The flavor of the seasonings seep deep within the meat of the fish. You’ll also notice the bones to be soft thus making it edible (like canned sardines). This dish is very tasty and can either be served as it is or lightly fried to concentrate the flavor and the juices.

Some other food finds worth mentioning includes “Bibingkang Bugok” and “Snowball.” I warn you that “Bibingkang Bugok” is not for everyone. This is rotting duck eggs mixed with flour and seasonings cooked like bibingka. Yes you can even mistake it for the real bibingka which we are all used to but upon approaching it, you’ll notice that distinct foul stench (for most it smells foul, yet for me I find it appetizing). Unfortunately, during the weekend we we’re not able to chance upon the lady going around the town to sell these yummy treats. “Snowball” is shaved ice with syrup made up of from a concoction of brown sugar and pandan leaves with sago. Another perfect cheap treat for summer.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A big thanks to our readers

I'd like to share a feat or should we say a milestone that ManilaFoodFinds got recently. Well for most you guys out there this must be something very trivial, but for us here in ManilaFoodFinds it's something to celebrate about. I just found out that our blog got a PageRank 2 from google.

A big thanks goes to our readers. We very much appreciate your comments, e-mails and invitations. This is what motivates us to do better with our endeavor of bringing you good reviews on where to dine-out and have a great foodxperience.

It's also the first anniversary of ManilaFoodFinds! Our first post was made February 25, 2008. It seemed like only yesterday when I clicked my first Publish Post button.

Keep the comments and e-mails coming guys. We really love to hear from you - either if it's a rant, a rave, a thought, or what not - however small a gesture it is, it really does make our day.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Krispy Kreme doughnut + coffee = free

I love Krispy Kreme.

Way before the Krispy Kreme fever came here in the Philippines, I always make it a point to ask my relatives who visits from the US to bring a box or two for pasalubong. Even day-old Krispy Kreme doughnuts from states tasted helluva lot better than fresh ones offered locally. A local competitor was making great raves during that time and for most people, that was the next best thing.

Fast forward a few years, several Krispy Kreme stores started popping out, sharing to the Filipinos their own take on what doughnuts is all about, and we're greatly thankful for that. The local competitor is still there yet personnaly, either their doughnuts doesn't taste as good as before when they're just starting out or it taste just the same as before and we have simply compared it to something new.

Last week I received a newsletter from Krispy Kreme promoting their new line of doughnuts. They're also treating us a cup of their Signature Coffee and a Krispy Kreme Chocolate Glazed Doughnut. Simply fill out the form on the link below so you can treat yourself, your friends and everyone! We claimed ours last night at their branch in Mall of Asia after a dinner at Pho Hao and it served as a perfect dessert.

Claim your treat here:


Thursday, March 26, 2009

A friendly reminder to dampa-goers...

A post was made by alfred1311 of tipidpc.com complaining about over-charging at a paluto restaurant at the Baywalk of Mall of Asia. The said establishment is called Aling Marsha's. Paluto restaurants are very popular nowadays where you get to pick and choose for yourself the ingredients for the dish you want cooked direct from the market or talipapa. This way you are sure that the fish and/or meat used in the dish is very fresh, including other ingredients. Usual rates are 150-200 pesos of cooking charge for every kilo of meat/fish.

Here's the link of the tipidpc.com thread: click me

We are also victims of this same modus on two separate accounts. One was at a popular paluto at Macapagal and the other one at a paluto at MOA. On some of these restos the waiters offer to buy the ingredients for you. A big no-no because the waiter may add 10-20 bucks per kilo on the actual cost of the ingredient or this same waiter may be a suki and ask the tindera to alter the receipt. I also heard that once in the kitchen they switch the ingredients you bought with their own stock. One funny thing I read sometime ago is that one time a group went there and bought a kilo of chicken wings and asked it to be cooked, once served they noticed there is this one piece of leg. Chili legs! Haha.

Personally, we shy away from these kind of establishments. Yes the ingredients may be fresh and is hand picked by you yet the premium is too high a price. 150 pesos per kilo is plainly not justified in my book. Yes I'm cheap, yet in this instance I don't consider myself to be cheap but practical. I'd rather go to Gerry's or Dencio's. Dishes from these restos can down you 150-200 bucks an order.

Here's a few reminders to make your experience in these restos worthwile:

1. Buy ingredients yourself. Don't let the waiter do this for you.
2. Before entering the establishment, ask how much is the rate for having your food cooked. Also ask for discounts, they usually give 10-20% discount on the cooking charge.
3. Once cooked and served, check the amount of meat you have on the dishes. If you're OC count the number of shrimp's in that sinigang or tempura.
4. Check the bill thoroughly. Add up everything yourself and check for additional charges like service charge and tax. Don't hesitate to bring out your calculator or phone when you have to.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tres Pares Fastfood

We make it a point that whenever we go to our cousins’ place at Cainta, we travel late at night since the traffic in that area is horrendous especially at peak hours. Last night, we went there to drop-off our mom who manages some business which the family put up there. We still haven’t had dinner and I was not in the mood for some usual fast food so we went to this place called Tres Pares Fastfood which I know we can pass-by. I have been to this place a few times already and I always order the Pares which comes with a serving of garlic fried rice. For those who don’t know, it’s like beef stew with a rather sweet, thick sauce. I do compare it to Chowking’s Braised Beef which is also one of my favorites when I eat there. The beef is so tender, it needs little mastication once the meat lands in your mouth.

We also ordered Tapsilog (you can’t go wrong with tapsi), thin slices of fried marinated beef with fried egg with garlic fried rice. All orders come with free soup. The soup however in this instance tasted a bit funny and we all didn’t touch it after one or two spoonfuls.

I have tried better tapsilog from other resto / fast food which for me is better than the one’s offered here. Clearly their specialty is the Pares which I really do recommend when you find yourself along Amang Rodriguez Ave. starving late at night and need a quick fix.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vibang's Food Delights' @ BF Resort Las Pinas

Nothing beats a good ol home cooked meal. This is what Vibang’s Food Delights’ is known for around our side of the town. It’s conveniently located smack in the middle of BF Resort Village here in Las Pinas City along Abel Nosce Street near STI Elementary School. They offer a wide variety of different dishes, desserts, pasalubongs and drinks. From the humble adobo to the complicated kare-kare, you name it they have it. Once in a while they also serve california maki which is reasonably priced and I make it a point to order or take-out some when we visit. Barbecue’s, inihaw na liempo, bangus, tilapia, talong and soup dishes like bulalo, sinigang, sinampalukang manok and tinola - you’ll have a frenzy choosing what you want. Everything looks and smells extremely delicious so take a grip of yourself not to over order.

There is a also a fruit shake stand so you can order your favorite fruit shake. Want a four season shake? No problem. They can mix you up to 4 fruits for your shake! There’s always lots of fruits to choose from and the owner of the fruit shake stand is very accommodating.

The establishment is reminiscent of a beach kubo. The faint whiff of barbecue smoke makes it a little more appetizing to eat and ups the ambience a bit. There are lots of tables for customers, however this place can easily be jam packed during lunch time. You can park on the side of the road but it can be quite a walk when there are lots of diners. Also, don’t forget to lock your vehicle and bring your valuables with you. I heard there was one incident where a customer’s car was broken into and some stuff were taken.

This time we ordered gindara steak, halaan soup, kinilaw na tanigue, inihaw na liempo and talong (with bagoong) and ginatan na tilapia (which was just cooked and still piping hot). Everything tasted delish with particular applause to the gindara steak. There is also free soup and you can choose from what soup dish they have that day. Halfway through the meal our drinks were served which included watermelon, strawberry and melon shakes and saging con yelo.

We really love going to this place every now and then and with the variety of dishes they serve, you can pick a different one every time you visit. I highly recommend this place.

They're closed on mondays by the way.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy new year food lovers!

A new year means new food adventures and finds!

Thanks for all the readers out there.