Monthly Archives: August 2011

Food blog: Divisoria and Binondo

Divisoria, Manila’s ultimate flea market and Binondo, Manila’s chinatown for today’s road trip. My dad just decided after lunch that we go. So then I thought, some of the best food I’ve tasted are here. So here goes the Blackberry sticking out to take pictures in the middle of a chaotic crowd finding their way to their whereabouts. It’s only here that I see streets filled not by cars but by people, squeezed further in by bangketa vendors selling some of the cheapest stuff you can’t even find within your budget in the best and biggest malls around Manila. So here goes:

First for the food trip is a very delicious Korean bottled drink that me and my dad bought in a stall in a ‘mall’ called 999 mall. It tastes like grape juice that’s not purple, and it has aloe vera bits that you can liken to buko bits. 50php for a bottle.

On the road, while finding our way through the chaotic crowd, we came across a food shop that sells fried siopao. Yes! FRIED! The problem is, this is not usually the shop where we really get our fried siopao. So, not really the best I’ve eaten. 16php for one. (I’ll have the real deal later)

So we got what we went for outside Divisoria mall (which are the cheapest. Yes, the stores outside sell the cheapest stuff, but of course, at your own risk!), we even saw a couple literally trying to kill each other (not a really good sight!). In the foodcourt of 999 mall, 3F level, I tried this small pastry shop’s Macapuno Pie and Chicken Pot Pie. Really good!!! It’s Simple Bread by Chef Andrew. The Macapuno pie is not that sweet. It has the softness that you would get when you eat an egg pie with Macapuno on top that is so good! The Chicken pot pie is also the same. It is really soft. It has corn and carrots and some cream which adds to its softness. Crispy outside and soft and creamy inside. 22php each.

After Divisoria, we opted to pass by Ongpin where we get our favorite snacks when we go to this side of Manila. Near the corner of Tomas Mapua and Ongpin is an age-old store that you wouldn’t recognize just by looking at the signs (they just pasted the store’s name below a sign the reads ‘Fujifilm’. Resourceful!). They sell the perfectly tasting sugar cane juice and the best-tasting fried siopao. Yes! 2 different fried siopaos in a day. But, I tell you, this is way way better. It has a meatball with chives and subtle onions inside. The meat tastes good, lightly salted. And because it is freshly cooked, the steam just goes up after the first bite. Even though it is a store of discrete measures, people know what this store is all about even though there are no tables to accomodate diners. I tell you, the best tasting fried siopao in town! 15php for the sioapo and 12php for a glass of sugarcane juice.

The day’s not done. For dinner, we head to a vegan resto that I discovered online.

the Korean drink that tastes like grape juice with aloe vera bits 50php

the Korean drink that tastes like grape juice with aloe vera bits 50php

the first fried siopao store where we were at

the first fried siopao store where we were at

where they 'fry' the siopao 16php

where they ‘fry’ the siopao 16php

macapuno pie 22php

macapuno pie 22php

chicken pot pie 22php

chicken pot pie 22php

best fried siopao! Ongpin cor. Tomas Mapua

best fried siopao! Ongpin cor. Tomas Mapua

sugar cane juice 12php

sugar cane juice 12php

best fried siopao 15php

best fried siopao 15php

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry

Food blog: Bugong Roast Chicken, Market Market

Market! Market!

Image via Wikipedia

delicious Bugong's Chicken

delicious Bugong Roast Chicken

Sunday is always a day for the family. And Market Market in Taguig is one of the best places were we do it. It’s a smorgasboard of different Filipino delicacies from different regions of the country.

It’s also where one of my favorite chicken places are–BUGONG ROAST CHICKEN!

It is usually packed with people waiting for their turn to savor that juicy, soft chicken that people learned to love.

It’s really really good! It’s roasted so I would compare the flavor to Kenny Roger’s minus the tang plus more juice.

Add that all up with good company…perfect dinner just with plain rice and pakbet bought from another store. It’s like having picnic in this very joyful place. There’s even live music!

pakbet

pakbet

choices,choices

choices,choices

more choices in Market Market, Taguig

more choices in Market Market, Taguig

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry

Life thoughts: a day with my parents

Back at June, I was being restless with the fact that I just had 12 units required this term, that I had nothing else to do at home, and that I am getting old not to help my parents with house expenses. So I applied for a job…got accepted. But I’m still not satisfied. I only teach on a Saturday which would also mean less pay. I never really realized that it was God’s way of telling me, spend more time with your parents. You’ll never know when you’ll be leaving.

True enough. These past few months were a witness to how much closer my relationship with my parents was more developed. Since I’m the only child still living with them (my eldest bro is married and has a son; my sis is living in Paranaque and is getting married on October), I might as well do them all the love that my other siblings couldn’t give at the moment of their absence.

So here’s today:

We went to SM because I was insiting to. It can get really boring at home sometimes. We used a discount voucher that I bought 2 weeks back that would allow us to consume 200php worth of taho and ‘soy-moothies’. We actually had some bit of difficulty consuming the 200phps. Then we watched Cars 2 in these posh recliners that were so comfortable my folks slept on them when we watched Captain America 2 weeks ago! We really enjoyed the movie.

After dinner back home, walked out to the grocery store (Puregold) nearby and bought yogurt and an ice cream cone for dessert.

Twas just fun to be with them. I really would never know if I could still do this with them next year (if God would allow me to study abroad).

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry

Food Blog: Healthy Veggie Burgers

along Maginhawa, Teacher's Village

along Maginhawa, Teacher’s Village

Sick today, but nonetheless went to school but wasn’t able to go to me afternoon classes. For some reason, Ara and I wanted to be a little bit healthy. So for lunch, we opted to eat in one of my favorite burger places–GOOD BURGER in Maginhawa, Teacher’s Village.

We’ve been eating here for as long as I’ve discovered the goodness of eating guilt-free burgers. Just to explain that more, they serve healthy burgers, veggie burgers and chicken burgers. But being ‘partly’ vegetarian (that means being a vegetarian whenever I remember haha), Ara and I chose veggie patties.

The food is cheap. I ordered a BLT sandwich which is 120php for 3 patties. It has bacon bits, a big tomato slice, onions, lettuce, mayo and 3 VEGGIE PATTIES! Ara ordered the Margherita burger that has mozzarella cheese, tomato, basil leaves, mayo, and 3 VEGGIE PATTIES for only 125php. Pretty cheap!

The burgers are grilled, and knowing that they are veggie patties makes all cholesterol worries go away. Plus, their buns are made from whole wheat, making it more healthy. They have at least 10 other varieties ranging from just mayo to 3 different cheeses.

The place is small and not air-conditioned, which is a downside, but still a lot of people go here to savor their healthy burgers. It’s a good place for barkadas and foodies who also have a chance to glimpse on the other restos around the place.

I just know of two branches: Maginhawa, Teacher’s Village and C5 in front of Tiendesitas.

So if you’re health-conscious yet you miss those times when you get to eat beef burgers from popular fastfood chains all the time, this place is perfect for you.

BlT sandwich (L), Margherita (R)

BlT sandwich (L), Margherita (R)

BLT (L) Margherita (R)

BLT (L) Margherita (R)

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry

Life thoughts: hope in Jesus

I’ve been very very anxious–disheartened–lately. I’ve been looking for answers left and right, asking counsel from people I look up to, trying to squeeze God for any sign of where He wants me to go after I graduate college. I have plans already of going out of the country and earning my masters degree, but so far, I have found no scholarships. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know this.

I almost thought that everything was in place til this week when I received a couple of emails from people I inquired to about the scholarships. My mom was already asking me about any plan if ever I don’t get one. Well, there’s no other plan! I’ve been imagining this since before I went to college. And now…nothing!

Tonight, I was studying our material for church tomorrow, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus by Max Lucado. The title of the lesson was Experiencing Hope in Jesus.

2 things really spoke to me:

1. He has ample space for me

If in this world, we experience a lot of rejection, a lot of “WE HAVE NO ROOM FOR YOU”, well, God has! If He has some space for me, this means that I am part of the journey–I am part of the family–I am a child–He has a plan! It’s really difficult to say that I trust God COMPLETELY, but…I guess I have to. He already has things planned out for me. All I have to do is either wait, or ask what He has in store for me.

He doesn’t just have some space, but
2. He already prepared a place, a MANSION for me

If I have a mansion, that means that what He plans is good…GRAND! Although I see things in the perspective of the here and now, God understands not just that but the perspective of YET TO COME.

Jer. 29:11
I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you…

Although I still don’t understand everything, like Abraham, I should take a leap of faith and trust that someday I can be a Joseph who didn’t understand everything, yet he obeyed, and became mighty.

If it is God’s will, He will give me a scholarship, if not, He has better plans. My hope is in God, He holds my future.

If you’re reading this, pray for me. God bless you!

by Max Lucado

by Max Lucado

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry

some of my music

For all who are reading this, I want you to know that I am a musician by heart. I am studying composition in the Philippines. I and my family have high dreams for myself. Music is my first and forever love.

Food just comes second. I search for the best restaurants and food stalls here in Manila, and I tell you what I think about it. It’s fun after all! Like any Asian country, Manila is a food Mecca–a place where food is part of tradition, rituals, and everyday life. I will blog things about that, don’t worry!

But for the mean time, I give you some of my music that I chose to love.

This is me conducting!

Ace Water Spa Buffet

This gallery contains 7 photos.

My family likes going to Ace Water spa. It’s a spa that uses jet water to massage through bubble beds, bubble pools, rain fall accupuncture, mint, jasmine and lavender heated pools and more. This new branch opened in Pasig a few months ago but we never got the chance to visit it. So we visited […]