this is just one of the best moments of my unexpected trip to Manila, one i will always relish fondly, because, although it took place on one of the hottest days ever, around 98F, my adventure to Manila Chinatown with my good friend Boots diverted the mournful thoughts for a good few hours….
our “charioteer” was this very slim but powerful young lad with a homemade motorized pedicab–you know, the kind of motor with a pull-out string used for out-rigger boats and bangka?…and boy did he give us the ride of a lifetime.
he zoomed in–he zoomed out–he dove into traffic head-on…
it surely made our appetite sharp! and we were so relieved to make it to our destination:
for their very famous fried chicken–so crispy and light. although it is breaded and deep-fried there is not a trace of greasiness.
i am still dreaming of their oyster omelette…aaah! if only i can recreate this at home, someone please point me in the right direction for a recipe?
this one i might be able to make–chop suey which we ordered to balance out the deep-fried-goodness/badness of our meal. :fryingpan
they’re also famous for their pata tim (comes with steamed buns), which i ordered to take home to my brothers and ma.
go go go!
497 Nueva St., Binondo
Manila, Metro Manila
(tinadtad na manggang hilaw) finely grated green mango, ready to be embellished with tomatoes, onions, bagoong, patis, chicharon, chilies…but i love it just the way it is.
i wasn’t able to compose a travelogue, or a collage of photos even. sorry, my state of mind is not quite there yet–it makes me inconsolably sad to even have a glimpse of what i miss. so spoiled! i was…thanks to my brothers, the bookend boys (oldest and youngest). :chat
i’ve got some of the food photos on my flickr, and the photo above is the #1 item i labadabdab and miss most of all, food-wise…
i had so many memorable treats and meals in Manila and Tagaytay, Cavite…so many that i’m quite overwhelmed with how to describe them here.
i’ll sift through the photos some more…
in all the “cocooning” we did as a family i was not able to spend much time with old friends and new blogmates, regrettably. i will just have to daydream of a return visit, with my kids and husband, under happier circumstances.
now, back in my habitat once more, i am seeking comfort and solace by looking at the photos and videos taken of our “family reunion”… and by cooking pork binagoongan(–pork belly stewed in fermented shrimp paste, vinegar and sugar). i have a stash of pickled green mangoes, that’s why.
my sister cooked this dish for me when we were in LA, and she in turn got the recipe from a sympathetic friend. there are probably hundreds of versions out there, but i liked her recipe because it wasn’t too salty. it also comes with a warning: will make you eat too much rice.
(you don’t necessarily have to serve with pickled green mangoes of course. i think pickled hot peppers or pepperoncini, or cucumber salad, would be groovy too.)
“arduous but delicious” as my Auntie would say (when she shared the family bunos recipe)–the recipe involves some advanced prepping.
other porky-salty-spicy combinations…
pork kim chee
….that about sums up my Dad.
if i could pick one image that sums up the essence of my Dad, whom we lost at the age of 74, i would pick the one of him smiling holding a six-pack of Heineken, when he visited his old friend in Queens.
or maybe the one of him trying to make my baby #1son smile when he was visiting his 3rd grandchild.
or maybe the one of him grinning ear to ear on his wedding day 54 years ago…the day he won the hand of the girl he loved…
we are grieving, we are missing him, but as we held his wake and burial we always had in mind that he would have wanted us to throw a party, complete with a buffet, a sing-along and an open bar….
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me:
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.
- from “Song,” Christina Rossetti.
i relied on the loving support of my mother and siblings and flew halfway around the world and back, to and from my place of birth, for the saddest possible reason imaginable.
i marvel at how time just keeps ticking on.
it is like falling off a cliff.
it feels like something very heavy is enveloping me and pulling me downwards, a vertical vertigo i can’t shake off. not yet.
but i am back to my life as a mother and wife now, and the daily routine will save me.