Food & Dining Others The GOppets

The Balikbayans

Last year, Kap & his sister decided to hold a 90th birthday party for their mom. Unfortunately though, Mama didn’t get to reach this milestone. She passed away from Pneumonia last May of 2017, seven months short of her 90th.

My sister in law booked their round trip, unrefundable tickets, way in advance to avail of PAL’s discount and already arranged their vacation leaves, so they went ahead with the plans anyway & arrived on Philippine soil end of November.

Jackson hasn’t been back to the Philippines since they got married more than 2 decades ago, so he was in for a BIG surprise. Panalo ang traffic! :P

Pasalubong galore just for me, woohoooo! I don’t wanna die yet hehe so I made sure to share some of my loot with friends. <3 Kept my fave turtles & choc-covered almonds for myself though (shhhhh).

Because they won’t be spending time with mother anymore, the Ko family decided to just enjoy the Philippines & visit the neighboring asian countries. They booked themselves silly, really. Ako ang napagod sa 4-week itinerary nila hehe. Just looking at their busy schedule of arrivals & departures, nagha-hyperventilate na ako.

Tignan nyo, kung hindi rin kayo mapagod! :P

After they got married & migrated to Canada for good, Jackson, the husband of Kap’s sister, hadn’t been back to the Philippines for 22 long years. So they really went all out in visiting local places like Taal, Tagaytay, Bataan, Laguna, Cavite, Bohol, Palawan and of course the greater Manila. Apart form Hong Kong & Macao.

While grocery shopping for their needs, we always get 2 carts. One cart for us with imported goods & fattening items, and another cart for them full of local goods & healthy items hahaha. Baliktad! :P They also wanted to eat at all the local joints, so syempre naman, Jollibee & Aristocrat are not far behind. We missed Shakey’s by a hairline, kasi nga panay ang layas nila.

Their first meal request was Jollibee fried chicken! There’s a Jollibee in Canada but not in their area. The first Jollibee branch in Canada is located in Winnipeg, around 22 h 55 min (2,313.7 km) via Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 W from their hometown in Vancouver. So yeah, minabuti nilang sa ‘Pinas nalang mag-Jollibee, lolz.

Next up was Aristocrat. Kap’s family used to be next-door neighbors with the Reyes fam who owns this popular food chain. The kids played together, but then nag-upgrade na sila sa buhay so the Reyes family soon moved out of Malate. To this day, the siblings have fond memories of their playdates.

Aristocrat chicken BBQ with java rice, yuuuuuum. Are you craving yet? ;))

Special thanks nga pala to KIM LAO for sending over these yummy kakanins which we, most especially the Canadians, truly enjoyed. So, so timely for these local treats! <3

These are not the usual suman from my favorite Aling Aging’s kiosk in Pasig. These are SPECIAL PALITAW from MJ! Lhhhav, with yema & ube fillings inside. Kakaiba!

Because it’ll probably be a loooong time before they come back to the PI now that both parentals are gone (baka nga never na), the siblings decided to hold a Christmas get-together in honor of Mama. Inimbitahan ang buong angkan sa munti naming tahanan.

I am soooo loving my floating lotus lights! <3 Our pool looks so bare without the kalat floaters, so these decorative leaves added a festive touch. Changes lights too & solar-powered pa! You can buy yours HERE (costs 700 php each).

Kap is loyal to Elar’s Lechon. Kahit na napakahirap mag-order at napaka-suplada ng mga tao, nothing beats Elar’s Lechon talaga. We placed our order for an XL lechon a week in advance, but the mataray phone operator said medium nalang daw ang available, take it or leave it. TAKE PLS! This baby is 30 kilos (7.5k) Next time, ONE YEAR ADVANCE na kami mag-order ok! @_@

All of their relatives live in downtown Manila. Para sa kanila, probinsya na kami hahaha. So we made sure that their 2.5 hour trek to Alabang was worth it. Nagpa-cater is Kap! ;)) Simple lang naman.

It has been a merry whirlwind of pasyal & eating out. TBH, I will miss these the most hehe. Paguwi nila, sigurado belt-tightening na naman si Kap my Kap & back to lutong bahay uli kami by the sexy chef. :P

Japanese food is expensive in Canada so the guests mostly requested for sushi & sashimi during their stay here. The giblings took their cousins to their fave Japanese resto in the south, Sushi Ninja, known for their toshi -a deep fried ball of sushi with different toppings inspired by the owner’s teacher Chef Toshi Suguira of the California Sushi Academy in LA.

Of course, Kap would never let the opportunity of taking them to chinatown pass. Ling Nam for some noodles & siomai feast.

I on the other hand, wanted someplace posh, lol, so we listened to christmas carols at The Lobby of The Peninsula Hotel while having the Pen Pals, 18 scoops of ice cream for dessert!

More Japanese goodness at Kikufuji in Makati. Oh sinta, hahamakin ang traffic, makain ka lamang! ;P Best to go during lunch time when they serve COMPLIMENTARY salads (see pic on the left) & iced coffee. Unfortunately, we went dinner time so walang compli treats huhu!

Chinese food means Phoenix Court at Bellevue Hotel, the most authentic we can find in the south, hands down.

2 days before Christmas, the Ko’s went back home to Canada after a month’s stay with us, with luggages bulging & double the quantity too. ;))

Kap was sad, kasi his sister is his last link to Mama. Every night he’d come up to our room late na from a long chat & visit with his sister & BIL sa dining room namin. Nakita ko happy sya talaga sa pagbisita nila. I told him we can meet up naman next year when we go to the U.S. for his 50th birthday. That consoled him somewhat.

Thank you too, Ach, for all the pasalubongs & christmas gifts for the kids! <3

So it’s back to empty nesting for us! Minus 4 people in our household and all our kids off somewhere this holiday season, with no cousins to host..

Henyways before I end, here’s a special shout-out to Philip Tan, my SIL’s high school batch mate, for sending over these yummy bottled bangus in EIGHT assorted flavors for us to try & enjoy. Philip is a reader of my blog & works at SEAKING PH. What a small world when we found out that they know each other pala & that we all come from the same school! <3

SeaKing, whose owners are Jennifer AmponNancy Alipio, Jeff Uy and Shirley Ng Cha -4 hard working siblings together with their parents Eugene and Lidia Uy set up Superb catch Inc. almost 17 years ago, is a local brand of frozen fish products which includes Bangus (Unseasoned, Marinated, Marinated Hot, Smoked, Belly, Back Fillet, Head & Tail), Bangus+ (Spring Rolls, Sisig, Relleno, Barbecue, Steak a la Pobre), Galunggong (Marinated, Marinated Hot, Smoked), Tilapia (Fillet Unseasoned, Smoked), Cream Dory aka Pangasius (Unseasoned, with Ponzu Sauce, with Oriental Sauce), and Cream Dory+ (Fish Pops, Fish Nuggets).

You may contact Seaking Ph here: 46 Maria Clara St., Brgy. Acacia Malabon City ; 285-7772 to 75, but all their items are readily available in leading supermarkets nationwide.

Truly a great gift idea this holiday season & beyond! Something for everyone. #ProudlyPinoy #LivingLaVidaLocal

Because the Canadians’ body clocks were still in different time-zones half of their stay with us, these bottled specialty bangus proved useful when they got hungry middle of the night. Soooo yummy when heated & poured over left-over rice. We had many a fun nights whipping up midnight snacks of bangus & more bangus plus of course, kwentuhans. ;)

and speaking of Christmas gifts, today’s THE day!! Here’s wishing you a very..

Merry CHRISTmas!

Ngayong Pasko, matupad sana ang iyong mga hiling. Hindi man ako si Santa na magdadala ng regalong gusto, ako nama’y Anghel na nananalanging sana’y matupad lahat ng hiling mo. Maligayang Pasko! :-*

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