salivating on these island food from Gigantes Island

Reminiscing the island food I’ve had at Gigantes island. If you’ve not been there, you better plan that trip. It’s so worth it. Just a heads up, I am not sure these days, but when we visited the island last 2013, they have no signal. I’m sure it’s gotten better now.

Here’s a recipe from Panlasang Pinoy in case you might want to grill stuffed squids.

Grilled Stuffed Squid (inihaw na pusit)

Course Squid Cuisine Filipino Prep Time 15 minutes 
Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 30 minutes 
(by Vanjo Merano)


  • 2 large squid cleaned
  • 2 medium ripe tomato sliced into small cubes
  • 2 medium yellow onion sliced into small cubes
  • 2 thumbs ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons annatto oil
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 lime or 2 pieces calamansi
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Arrange squid in a bowl. Add soy sauce, mirin, and lime. Marinate for 12 minutes.
  • Combine onion, tomato, ginger, salt, and ground black pepper in a bowl.
  • Stuff the marinated squid with scallions and onion mixture. Secure the head of the squid using a toothpick to prevent it from falling off.
  • Heat the grill and start to grill one side of the squid. Brush annatto oil on top of the squid. Continue to grill for 2 minutes.
  • Turn the squid over to grill the opposite side. Brush annatto oil on top. Continue to grill for another 2 minutes. Note: Flip the squid every 2 to 3 minutes until it gets fully cooked. Do not overcook squid as the texture will be tough and rubberlike.
  • Transfer to a serving plate. Serve with a dipping sauce composed of chopped onion, tomato, soy sauce, and vinegar.
  • Share and enjoy!

Baguio Beats

I moved to Baguio.

Currently, I cannot shower without turning the heater on. I brew and drink coffee by the minute to keep warm. I eat fresh produce, take note! fresh and not wilted-leafy-has-beens, from the market + endless supply of Good Shepherd ube jams and matcha filled marshmallows — I’m charmed.

My mom was with us the first two weeks, thus food was great. She had to leave to take Alex back to Davao. We somehow had a deal. I stay put for a while in PH so Alex can finish school. Rest of the kids can homeschool with me.

But no worries, even without my mom, I am quite sure we won’t starve — I found my food lifeline! A quick walk around the neighborhood and you will see that the first floor of our (this is me owning this place already haha) barangay hall building has a cozy unnamed barangay cooperative bakery. It is now one of my favorite places to visit. If you are a cook with skills like mine, having a bakery nearby is a good omen. This one’s being managed by bad-ass manangs, so badass, I dare not haggle for a discount.

What food lifeline, you say? Any close friend of mine knows I am a genius in the kitchen. Two international cooking courses and I still cannot boil that egg without breaking it. But I’m improving! Learning little lessons along the way. Like, if you are frying chicken, no amount of ginger can make stale chicken taste better. I had to thaw the damn thing and then life happened and then I forgot about it. Remembered it after three days. Apparently, you cannot leave uncooked chicken on the counter for three days. So that’s another tip, you cannot leave the damn chicken on the counter for 3 days!

Don’t even ask me about the taste. Noah said it’s bitter.

For what its worth, it looks edible in the photo.

I may be bad in the kitchen but if I am good at anything, it is finding solutions. As predicted, that quaint bakery is a lifesaver.

Lake Sebu Adventure: T’boli Dance


T’boli dancers graced us after dinner.  The costumes as they swirl, the colors they emit—and the ring of bells in their belts and anklets is what I love the most.  Punta Isla Lake Resort does not only boast of good food (their tilapia chicharon is a must try!) but also of great dancing with the young T’boli artists.  Instruments vary from drums to kuluntang to flute.  A solemn prayer is being offered as a sign of permission and thanks to the spirits of instruments are being done everytime they use their preferred musical item.  In every dance, a cultural insight of the T’boli tribe are shared.  Continue reading

at the corner

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Polysemic. Mutable. Contingent.

These three words were the first words I mentally recited in my mind this morning.  I was looking for our broom, you see.

The floor needs sweeping.

I’ve been absent-mindedly looking for it for three days now.  It seems to have vanished.  Not that those three words have anything to do with the missing broom.  But silently humming them while I search every corner of the flat made the chore less annoying.

It doesn’t make sense does it? The words I mean.  Why such strange words would comfort me.  Well so does the missing broom!  It doesn’t make sense for it to hide itself.  If this is a game of hide-and-seek, that plastic thing is winning.

The room feels abandoned without it.


nooks and crannies of Angkor Wat Temple


Mandatory sunrise photo of the Angkor Wat Temple.

A perfect example of Khmer architecture—thus when in Siem Reap, one must always drop by Angkor Wat Temple.   Aside from being the King’s mausoleum, this temple was also constructed for the Hindu God, Vishnu .  I was here in 2010 and was in awe –and even now, years later, Angkor Wat Temple still amazes me.   Continue reading