Portland Food Trip

wpid-20150801_145742.jpgThe Oregon coast is a beautiful drive. We were coming from California while my brother drove down from Canada. Portland  is midway and the shopping is tax-free!!wpid-20150801_114629.jpg

It’s really the many bridges that welcome you to the city. We rented a quaint wooden summer cottage across the river. The Californians were happy to get drive-thru coffee at Dutch Brothers, it was the indicator (according to Waze) that we reached our destination.
Microbreweries are everywhere in Portland. The place is known as the craft beer brewing capital of America; even the groceries offer a wide selection of homemade flavors.  As for wine, Oregon is known for cool climate Pinot Noir!!

wpid-20150801_130203.jpgThe street or food cart culture is also very strong. We got to explore the Portland Saturday Market located downtown. The summer heat was unbearable so instead of trying a food truck I escaped to a rated restaurant called Sube Sushi. I sat by the sushi bar, relished my food and enjoyed the AC.

Later I explored the riverbank and someone tried to offer me weed! Oh my! Cannabis is legal here!

I regrouped with my family and found our youngsters with a box of Voodoo doughnuts. They told me it’s one of those things you must try in Oregon.

Portland for me is an oxymoron. It has a strong hipster culture with health buffs patronizing “farm to table” restaurants, vegetarian, organic and healthy food.  Ironically it also has a strong hippie culture of long bearded men smoking marijuana.  Over craft beer I pondered if this place is more hippie or hipster??

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Chef Pam Obieta’s Chicken Adobo

Thank you Spicebox Travels !

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Rainbow pepper

Here is a “celebrate pride” pepper!


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Cebu’s Tabo-an Market

Tabo-an is a famous public market located in Cebu. This place was featured by Chef Anthony Bourdain during his trip to the Philippines. Tabo-an market sells dried fish and seafood sourced from the nearby islands. The most popular fish identified with Cebu is danggit (rabbit fish) and is sold here at wholesale prices. The vendors neatly arrange and seal your purchase in plastic to contain the odor. You might pick up that stinky scent of fish in your hair and clothes as you wander around the stalls.  That smell is part and so worth the adventure 🙂wpid-20150606_141802.jpg

Different kinds of dried fish or seafood in Tabo-an:

Dulong (baudnon)
Fish Tapa
Fish Tocino
Pusit (squid)
Shredded squid
Tarorot (squid)
Tocino bones


wpid-20150606_141935.jpgOther Cebu items available:
Cebu chorizo
Dried mangoes
Little Guitars


How to get to the market:
Taxis are safe and cheap in Cebu. It is for me the best way to get around.fish market

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Dumaguete to Apo Island

The dive boat docks at sea near Apo Island. We swim to shore and later snorkel with the giant turtles that nest in shallow waters. The turtles are huge, old and are larger than me!!! I counted five big ones!   Around lunch time we are hungry and find the sandwiches on the boat insufficient. We need a rice dish because we are Filipino. We swim back  and search for food among the natives in this little remote island.

Me: “We would like to order fish or seafood for our lunch.”
Local lady : “No fish available”
Me: “But we are on an island!”
Local lady: “This is a marine sanctuary, no fishing allowed, chicken only.”
Me: “Okay, chicken for four people with rice. How much would it cost?”
Local lady: “I don’t know. First I will catch the chicken. Then weigh it after it is killed and the feathers are removed. Then add the cost of the other ingredients”
Me: “Oh so you need to catch a chicken first ?!??? Alright let me know how much. Can we eat in that little hut by the beach?”
Local lady: “I have to rent place from friend, not mine. Also need to borrow plates and utensils.” Then she starts computing.
Me: “Can you just give me a price? How about P200 (4 Euros) per person for everything?”
Local lady:  “ Okay I catch chicken now. Come back in 2 hours”

I was expecting simple food but she served us a perfectly cooked chicken stew with paprika and bell peppers using wood fire. Where she got the other ingredients I still wonder. It was nourishing and pleasantly delicious!

Accommodation and best place to stay in Dumaguete:

Chef Gabby del Prado has the best food in town!! He also helped arrange our day trips to Apo Island and Siquijor with his resort as our base.
Gabby’s Bed and Breakfast
Florentina  Homes

Dumaguete to Apo Island:

Harold’s Dive Center – snorkeling P1000 whole day with land arrangements, boat, gear and sandwich on the boat

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The faith healers of the paradise island of Siquijor

IMG_0554Black Saturday on the  eve of the blood moon, we went to Bandilaan to attend a potion brewing festival on top of the mountain. Every Good Friday local and international healers, herbalist, witches and warlocks convene to make concoctions in Siquijor. It is a tiny island located south of the Philippines. 


Minerals, herbs, trees barks, plant roots and “other” ingredients are prepared and gathered together.  Then a base brew for potions and herbal medicine with healing powers is cooked in a gigantic communal wok. This Holy Week tradition started in the 1930’s by the famous faith healers from the villages of Cantabon and San Antonio. Today the Philippine Tourism Department organizes the festival with different food stalls, healing and charms booths.    


IMG_0593When I was younger I was afraid of going to Siquijor.  The urban legend was that it was a mystical place of voodoo magic. I spent Easter break in Dumaguete and from there we Continue reading

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I Am the Boss of Me

bicol express
I retired in my forties. Seriously people like me don’t retire; we just need change and a new challenge. When my last work day came I didn’t have a back-up job ready. My first week away from the institution was a real struggle. I missed my desk, I missed my friends and the community.

Freedom I told myself! Then separation anxiety slowly crept in with the dawn of an empty schedule. The jobs were out there but I was being picky pondering if should be employed or set-up shop. I used to be a ruthless businesswoman but fell into the corporate trap of receiving a salary. A decade of financial security slowly killed my entrepreneurial spirit. Leaving was a leap of faith and the end of my comfort zone, after all Steve Jobs said “stay hungry, stay foolish”.

In my new found solace I discovered a millennial concept called “coworking” spaces. In Continue reading

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Chinese New Year Binondo Food Trip


We spent the eve of Chinese New Year in Manila’s Chinatown called Binondo. The atmosphere was very festive with fireworks, crowded streets and vendors everywhere. First we went to check out the rows of food stalls  beside the creek called “Estero”.  Food looked really sleazy but incredibly tasty. We couldn’t find an empty table so we walked back to Ongpin street.  We wanted to go to Sincerity  Cafe and Restaurant at the Lucky Chinatown building  but traffic was building up.

Our next option Wei Ying Restaurant along Benavidez street was an excellent choice. I ordered my favorite roast duck with white chicken. We also had roast duck mami, asado mami, siomai, shrimp chong fan, spareribs rice, chicken feet, lomaikai, and  linyong pao. Food porn! We only spent P1250 for 4 people !

image wpid-20150218_233945.jpgwpid-20150218_234253.jpgwpid-20150218_215301.jpg

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The Ice Cream Binge

I indulge myself with ice cream after finding out that I lost something valuable. In my frustration I binge on speculoos cookie butter ice cream, with choco lava cake crumble, salted caramel popcorn and cherries in syrup.  Feeling a little better now after creating this delicious concoction.ice cream1

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Exhibit of the Sacristy of the Papal Entourage 2015 of Pope Francis to the Philippines

The exhibit is open to the public until February 6, 2015. Due to popular demand, the Office of the President and Chancellor of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde is happy to announce the extension of the exhibit “Sagrestia: The Sacristy of the Papal Entourage for the 2015 Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines”.

Viewing time:
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
1:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Room 808, 8th floor of the Angelo King International Center (AKIC)

With the blessings of the Vatican and in cooperation with the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, the exhibition features the various vestments, vessels, linens and liturgical books used by the members of the Papal Entourage. The highlights of the exhibit are the skull cap, Book of Ceremonials, and chalice used by Pope Francis during his Holy Mass at Continue reading

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