Food Finds in Meralco Village, Marilao

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It’s less than two weeks to Christmas and time seems to be hurtling at breakneck speed except when one is stuck in horrendous traffic brought on by the season. A lot of people take joy in cooking for their loved ones but what if you’re too busy with work, shopping and other things that you don’t have time to cook? Or you’re not sure you have enough food to serve your guests? What if you can’t cook?

If you live within or near Meralco Village, Marilao Bulacan, then you’re in luck. Here are a few places where you can get food for potluck, to serve your guests and loved ones.

Nelia’s Pancit Malabon

Location and Direction: Network Ave. From SM Marilao, take Lias Road then turn right at the first street (Network Ave.) after Villa Filomena Resort. Keep going ’til you reach the Meralco playground next to the Our Lady of Fatima Parish. It’s the three storey house.

nelia's pancit malabon
Nelia’s has been around for years and people from the neighboring areas, may have had their Pancit Malabon during a party, one time or another. Their Pancit Malabon uses thick rice noodles and is topped with halved shrimps, hard-boiled eggs, boiled pork and shredded Chinese cabbage. No need for calamansi. The noodles already has a twinge of acid.  A single serving in a styrofoam container will set you back by P40. Larger orders are in foil-lined bilaos.

nelia's pichi pichi grated coconut

nelia's pichi pichi cheese

They also offer kakanin (native delicacies) which should go well with your pancit. There’s puto, biko, sapin-sapin, pichi-pichi and cassava cake. Go for a box of big bite-size pieces of pichi-pichi (gelatinous cassava dessert) topped with grated coconut or grated cheese. They’re soft and gooey and addicting. I think they make their own pichi-pichi while the rest of the kakanin are supplied to them.

nelia's cassava cake

Thumbs up also for the cassava cake (their cassava cakes have a firmer consistency than their pichi-pichi) they sell. The leche flan (milk custard) on top of each makes all the happy difference.

nelia's sapin-sapin

They look like parols (Christmas lanterns) from Pampanga, don’t they? Instead of plied on top of each other, the layers of their sapin-sapin (gelatinous dessert made of rice flour and coconut milk) converge around sweet sticky rice centers known locally as biko. The different colors correspond to different flavors: the violet, purple yam; white is coconut milk; yellow orange is jackfruit; red is anise; yellow is flan, brown is brown sugar. Their sapin-sapin comes with a packet of toasted desiccated coconut. Between you and me, I can’t get enough of the biko’s latik (coconut curd topping).

Aling Cora’s Pancit Malabon

Location and Directions: Lamp St. From Nelia’s Pancit Malabon, continue along Network Ave. until the second street that branches to the right. Take that street until you reach again the second street to your right. It’s the third house to your left.

cora's lumpia

Haven’t tried their Pancit Malabon but we highly recommend their lumpiang sariwa / lumpiang ubod. Aling Cora’s lumpiang sariwa / ubod has ubod, tofu, carrots, lettuce and I think a bit of pandan? all tucked into a crepe-like blanket topped with crushed peanuts. Orders come with a savory-sweet sauce sauce. A steal at P35 a piece.

The crepe is just the right ratio to the filling and you can tell the ingredients are really fresh. Friends who have tried this were pleased that they were eating healthy stuff that tastes good. A break from the usual sugar and fat laden treats on the dining table.

Bombing’s Crispy Pata

Location and Directions: Lamp St. Right across Aling Cora’s Pancit Malabon

bombings

Still if it’s a heart attack you want, there’s Bombing’s Crispy Pata. The meat falls right off the bone. However, it should be consumed quickly since the skin loses it’s crispiness fast. That shouldn’t be any problem at all as evidenced by the pic above. This crispy pata comes with a sweet-sour tomato-based dipping sauce. Wallet damage is around P400+. Arteries, good luck. But your taste buds and tummy will thank you.

It’s best to allow a day lead time when ordering. More during days leading to fiesta and Christmas.

If you know any food finds in Meycauayan or Marilao, I’d love to know what and where they are. Hopefully we’d have them on our table this coming holidays.

Flipping for Penguins of Madagascar Pics and Merchandise

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penguins of madagascar universal studios singapore

As a fan of those crazy penguins, I went bonkers like them in that Penguins of Madagascar episode Lost Treasure of the Golden Squirrel that time I learned we were going to USS. That’s Universal Studios Singapore and not the ship in the first Madagascar movie. That would be S. S. Act II. Anyways, I was determined to get pictures of and with the Penguins of Madagascar mascots and some penguins merchandise. Having confirmed from a leaflet that the mascots only make limited appearances, we planned our day on when the Madagascar characters will be performing their dance routine. That caper to get pics and vids went pretty well.

penguins of madagascar merchandise

Next stop then was the Penguins Mercantile, the souvenir shop at USS devoted to Madagascar merchandise. Penguins of Madagascar-themed items included kiddie outfits, mugs (no tin mug with fish sticking out that Skipper uses), pins, drinking straws, keychains, picture frames and ref magnets. The limited design options were what held me back from parting away with my cash. I could recall only two (and I have a fairly good memory), one wherein the penguins were balancing on top of each other and the other being the design on the mug and keychain in the photo above. On hindsight, I should have gotten something else other than the mug since I could very well have my preferred picture of the penguins printed on a mug at our local mall. But I’m happy with the keychain and pin since it would be hard to reproduce those or find similar items should the local character shops start rolling out Penguins of Madagascar merchandise now that the movie is out.

The 10 inch tall Rico stuffed toy / plushie, who obviously couldn’t be fitted into a manila envelope, is from a store in a mall in Manila. Check out the mohawk and scar! He’s a steal at just P150 (around $4).Yes. I have a Rico doll, I mean, stuffed toy / plushie. That does not make me Miss Perky. I think I’m more Zookeeper Alice with a Feral!Marlene side. Rico stuffed toy ain’t from USS. When we were there, save for Skipper plushies and pillows in the shape of Skipper’s and Private’s head, most of the penguin stuffed toys / plushies at USS gift shops looked suspiciously like Happy Feet characters and ordinary penguins.  But Rico is my fave penguin. penguins of madagascar pillows

Obviously I will be hitting the local theater this coming weekend for the Penguins of Madagascar movie and scoping out the character shops afterwards. I hope the local McDonald’s follows the US and starts offering movie tie-in Happy Meals. And Nickelodeon Asia gets its act together and shows the whole season three. And Dreamworks comes up with season four. Will settle with one of four for now.

Food Loot from Baguio

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My sister’s friend has recently been to Baguio, considered the Philippines’ summer capital because the temperature there remains bearable during summer, and has brought home a couple of food pasalubongs for us to enjoy.

strawberry jam1

My favorite among the bunch happens to be the strawberry jam, well, strawberry preserves. The sugar drowns out whatever strawberry flavor there is in the syrup but the whole pieces of the strawberries make up for that. I’d have it with bread or hotcakes but sometimes I would sneak a spoon to the bottle and savor just the sweet fruit. We don’t get enough strawberries here in Bulacan, not as much as mangoes and other fruits anyway. The few that tend to end up in the market are quite costly, fruit and jam alike. Although during the cold months of January and February, strawberries from Baguio do tend to trickle down where we are.

peanut brittle1

One could get different kinds of peanut brittle in Baguio. Some with whole nuts, some chopped. Some with butter, others just the brown sugar. They come in discs wrapped in plastic or lodged in plastic containers. I prefer the buttery ones with chopped nuts. Primarily because we can easily get the disc-shaped ones that only have brown sugar and whole peanuts from the market.

ube lengua degato

Now this is a new one for me: ube flavored lengua de gato. I am an absolute fan of plain lengua de gato (See? my love for cats even extends to food. ) that it’s one of the food items I would purchase when I was in grade/high school even if just a small packet would eat up my allowance for the day. I love how it would melt in my mouth and leave behind sweet buttery goodness. Since Baguio is also known for its ube (purple yam) jams and halaya, it’s not surprising they now have ube flavored lengua de gato. Sadly the one we received was not melt-in-your-mouth nor buttery enough for me. The ube taste is there, if just a smidgen.

If you’re planning to get food pasalubongs  from Baguio, make sure to check your purchases carefully.  Once, we ourselves, were able to purchase a bottle of strawberry preserves with no pieces of strawberries in them. Just strawberry seeds and syrup. Another time, the container we got only had peanut brittle on the sides and bottom. It was hollow. No peanut brittle in the center. The sad part is that there’s no manufacturer’s name and contact details on the labels. Sometimes there’s no list of ingredients used in the products nor expiration date on the label as well. Attention DTI Baguio!