Thursday, December 30, 2010

Espasol by Lorrie's Sweets

My mother-in-law (Nanay Lorrie) creates the best Espasol I've ever tasted. It is no wonder that our friends, relatives, officemates, and even complete strangers order it for pasalubong not only in the provinces, but also to other countries. 

A friend's Japanese boss would always ask her to buy some, while a hospitalized aunt of a lady senator would not eat anything on the hospital except my Nanay's espasol. One time, she even sent her driver to get the espasol from San Ildefonso, Bulacan to be brought to Manila!

Made from only three simple ingredients -- glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar -- it is so popular for those who have tried it. Even those who do not eat espasol easily became converts. To skeptic buyers, I always tell them to try a box first, then I don't oblige them to pay if they are not satisfied. Well, I have yet to encounter one who will refuse to pay or would not place another order, hehe.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

La Mesa Ecopark

Last Sunday, we had a chance to experience the La Mesa Ecopark with 2 other family friends. The ecopark is situated near Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, hence QC residents pay lower than the Php 50 entrance fee. Kids below 3 feet can enter the park free. 

The forest park is being maintained by ABS-CBN Foundation since 2004 through Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch) in partnership with MWSS and other private donors. Its an offshoot of their reforestation program to protect the La Mesa watershed, which supplies potable water to more than 12 million Metro Manila and nearby residents.

The park has many picnic areas with free concrete table and chairs, like the one below. Those who want to use portable table and 4 plastic chairs may rent one set at Php 120 per set.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Pastillas de Leche by Lorrie's Sweets

My mother-in-law Nanay Lorrie has been making pastillas (dulce) for many years now. Unlike the moist, sugar-covered pastillas of San Miguel, Bulacan from carabao’s milk, Nanay produce the drier version from cow’s milk, making it less vulnerable to molds and therefore can have 3 weeks of shelf life. 

Her pastillas is sold under the brand name Lorrie’s Sweets, and has been featured many times in early morning TV shows, documentaries, and  in some magazines. She does not advertise her products, and she do not have a retail or distribution outlet, but her regular clients who flock to their home in San Ildefonso, Bulacan do the word-of-mouth promotion for her.

Despite the increasing demand especially during holiday seasons, Nanay maintains the same homemade-level of production. I think her reason is to maintain the consistency of quality through the same 2-3 trained workers doing the tedious handmixing of the pastillas paste. Let me walk you through the making of her unique, pure, and all natural pastillas.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pagadian Food Options & Hotel Camila

While in Pagadian City for 3 days, we stayed at Hotel Camila along Ariosa St. near Rizal and Fajares avenues. For a room rate of Php 699/night without breakfast, its very reasonable. Rubylyn, Emil, and their colleagues at front desk are all very helpful, and would always assist guests on their queries. The rooms are quite old but clean, while some bed linens need replacement due to thinning thread count. Water pressure needs more strength to ensure consistency of hot shower to work. Still, I wouldn't mind staying back at this hotel for their location, rate, and warmth of customer service.

Their Sunburst restaurant is one of the few air conditioned and "upscale" restaurants in the city. The quality of food is good enough during our room service experiences, although it takes more than 30 minutes before they are served, whether inside the guestrooms or on their dining area. 

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Friday, December 3, 2010

BPI - Jollibee Promo Dec. 2010 to Jan. 2011

After the not-so popular BPI-Goldilocks promo here that ended last month, BPI Credit Cards this time did not took a rest, with their BPI-Jollibee promo I received by SMS message the other day. Verifying with their 89-100 hotline, the promo period is from 01 December 2010 until 31 January 2011. Redemption period is until 31 March 2011. See the product entitlements below.


For every single charge BPI credit card receipt of:

P 2,000  -  1-pc of either Jollibee Chickenjoy or Chicken BBQ with rice
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Pagadian Sights

Availing a 3-day vacation leave from work, we set off to Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur last week, accompanied by Wife and our 3-year old Son. Its a city on a hillside, bounded by the Illana Bay on the south, and referred to as the little Hong Kong of Mindanao. Its like Baguio City minus the pine trees and cold climate, plus the seas nearby.

With CebuPac's total promo round trip airfare of only P776 for the three of us, we were able to set foot on the island of Mindanao for the first time. I was surprised on the "mob" of people at the airport to welcome their friends or relatives who came from their Muslim pilgrimage at Mecca.

The highlight of our trip is the Manga Waterfalls above, which we visited on our second day. Although it was a 1-km. tiring hike to and from the waterfalls (especially as I have to carry my son most of the time), it was all worth it once you see and hear the volume of water surging down the deep pool of water. 

I have no plans to swim, but I wasn't able to resist taking a dip on its inviting cool and clear waters. Since I did not bring extra clothes, I was only able to rinse and change into dry clothing only when we got back to the hotel, less than 10 km. away.
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