Sunday Ride

O and me in our 1200 together with Benj in his 800 did a short ride to the mountains of Don Salvador Benedicto yesterday. We left early at 7am. We enjoy the roads here. The town has great twisties (some almost 180degrees in different levels) and good roads and few traffic. And somewhere up in the mountains is a regular roadside haunt; Virgie’s. Because the owner’s name is Virgie.

ImageThe view from Virgie’s.

We had breakfast up in the cool air at 8:30am. The food is really good and inexpensive. Very rustic. Both guys had local coffee and “ibos” – a sweet sticky rice dessert that one pairs with brown sugar. We got hard boiled eggs too and chicken soup and “adobo” – braised meat in soy sauce. It was a good morning. Very relaxing.

Image Adobo.




Very simple breakfast in rustic surroundings.  Ibos is the one wrapped in banana leaves.


We bought two bunches of Señorita bananas from Virgie’s.  About 65cents US dollars per bunch.  Everything is inexpensive in the mountains.  We did not haggle and even paid extra.  


And the local transport passes us by as we were getting ready to go back to the city after breakfast.  The water buffalo was too quick for my camera.  I wanted to take his photo as he passed by our motorcycles.



Once in a while I will post photos of our local fruits as they come in season.

Two days ago, we harvested santol from our backyard tree.  In english it is also known as a sour apple.  It is very sweet but what I don’t like about this fruit is that its fibers get stuck to my teeth.


Travel Souvenirs

Not keychains, nor building replicas, nor bells or spoons. Usually I buy from among their home products.

In Seville, it was a Lladro flamenco dancer. In Copenhagen it was a Royal Copenhagen ceramic mother and child figure in honor of our firstborn then. In Uppsala it was a ceramic jar that was handcrafted by a local artisan. In Munich, a music box. In Paris, a Goyard tote. A music cd of a guitarist in Salzburg.

Lately though, I have veered more towards food. It started 2 years ago when I bought cheese and mustard from a local house in the outskirts of Paris. That was a very good souvenir of our travel. The happy memories from our travel was extended every time we ate the cheese. And it lasted us almost a week. We followed it up with Japanese tea from a local grower in Kagoshima as well as barbecue seasoning from another Kagoshima grower. I realized that I rather prefer these kinds of souvenirs than the ones that went on my display cabinet.

So last year, we consciously leaned towards food as remembrances. Spec from Milan. Vietnamese coffee. Dulce de leche from Sao Paulo and Preserved goose from Esquel. And ice wine from Toronto.

Ice wine with cheese and apple tonight. As delicious as when I first tried it in Toronto.




Guava from Taiwan, similar to the guava of my youth

Cousin shared his loot of guava from Taiwan.  It was reddish inside and soft.  Sweet too.  Like the guava of my youth.  The guava proliferating now has crisper flesh and seeds and is whitish.  The guava now is actually a guapple, a cross between a guava and an apple.  As O would derisively say:  an apple with a weird taste.

Cousin ate two slices and gave the rest to me.  Told him I couldn’t finish that much.  Just take it he says.

And what do you know.  Despite my tender lower teeth, I finished the whole bunch albeit gingerly.  Sweet.  It certainly was a fruity weekend.


halfway done

Civet Coffee

Civet Coffee

Husband bought a bottle at the Crocodile Farm in Davao City, Philippines at PHP1000/100g. I’m no coffee drinker so I have no idea if this is expensive or not.

He says it is similar to the lavazza in taste. There is no bitter aftertaste and it makes him want to drink more.  He says it is smooth and sophisticated.

The aroma is not very strong. It smells suave. <- That’s me talking.

Coconut Wine

ImageWe tried coconut wine the other day.  I was intrigued by the label.  Made from young coconut water in cooperation with a Champagne institute in Epernay.

It was a bit pricey at PHP750 since we bought it from a resort but the bottle it came in (a real coconut) was unique and well, it makes me feel good to support local products.

It was good.  I liked it.  It was semi-sweet, actually like a toned down sweet tasting sake.  Good.