I'm just a small fish in a small corner of this big Laguna, and this is how I've been swimming it

29 April, 2012

annyeonghaseyo Sunday!

     See what I mean?  She came over with her son (the translator) in time for breakfast. It will be kimchi for breakfast,  lunch,  dinner, and the doughnuts (mashed monggo inside, something like buchi?) were gone in thirty minutes.

Thank you, neighbor!

28 April, 2012

buko and the wet market

     This is going to be redundant, I know.  I can't help it.

     It was early evening and I had just walked over to a Korean neighbor's to gift her with some sweets. She spoke no English but was quite grateful. I hope she understood I wanted to BUY her kimchi and korean doughnuts.  Now I'm embarrassed she might have thought I only gave her something expecting kimchi in return. My face is red. I hope she knows I mean to pay for it.  But you know the neighbors, they've been sharing food, right. (see past posts!)

    So anyway, I was walking back home, when a car stopped in front of me--it was another friend, the amazing Nigella baker one.  "I have to go to the wet market to buy more bukoh. I ran out of coconut meat" she said.  Whoa! What are you making now? I asked.  "...bukoh crumble, sort of like bukoh pie".

    See? Amazing, right? She's only been here a year. She prefers baking her own from scratch. Why line up at Collette's, Rowenna's, or all the other buko pie stores in Tagaytay, Silang, Los Banos...

    Here's the redundant part. My heart just bursting with the simple joys of--just having twisted off ripe golden coconuts again, for the sweet juice, a friend dashing off to the wet market. Our ability to just dash off to the market at any time, a chore from the makati cbd at 7pm. The wet market itself!  My child ewwing yet staring at "Suso" or those black shells with their black slimy insides sliding and slipping on a tray in the supermarket, and just the laid back atmosphere here.

   I haven't even started on the fresh carabao (water buffalo) milk my child has discovered she loves for breakfast.

   World-class city, technoparks, nuvali...they're all icing on this sweet suburban cake. 

   Sadly, we may have to leave this place soon.


from Cake to Sweet Avenue

   In our Makati area, the neighborhood cake supplier was "Cake Avenue".  Here, it was...well...none really, except Goldilocks, Red Ribbon, Babycakes (which has shut down and is now only in Festival Mall), and recently Sugarhouse.  There have been cupcakes from the area with the classic cardboard taste and texture, I hear.  Many residents are, I know, really good bakers.  And so rather than another cake shop, a smart mother has set up "Sweet Avenue", a baking supplies shop.  I don't know her but I can say she has savvy marketing skills.  She left a business card on my table where I sold desserts. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet her.  She spoke to my friends, the foreign friends who just two days before, had driven by themselves for the first time to Carla's Confectionery and Baking Supplies in Sucat. 

   My friend who drove was so determined, she overcame her fear of the slex.  My instructions were to look for the huge Bakemasters Inc. sign on the right side of Sucat if they missed the U-Turn slot to Carla's (which is across Shopwise).  They did end up at Bakemasters which I'd never been to, and were happy to find a shop with aisles so they could touch items. They had things Carla's didnt, and generally found prices to be cheaper.  The trip to Sucat isn't too bad, but Sweet Avenue is one of those shops that make you think, why didn't I think of this?  With no scientific research, I have a gut feeling it could really work.

   I know cupcakes were so trendy from a couple years ago.  It just amazes me how many mothers in this town are really into baking. I even asked a friend who used to bake birthday cakes in Manila whether she was planning on going into it when she moves to Nuvali.  She said she had actually given up taking orders in MM due to the saturated market.  If even I have been trying to bake, I guess the 'growing' atmosphere in this town (city) just produces confidence in most of us.

   Sweet Avenue is in the building housing Rustan's Express, across Don Bosco Church.  It seems this building is now an Avida property...I wonder if they will finally renovate it. It needs a facelift, but I was glad to have experienced a clean and dry restroom upstairs! 

   Anyway, back to Sweet Avenue...they have many things Carla's has...nuts, bread baking ingredients, sprinkles chocolate bars, tools.  There are currently summer workshops for kids.  I really love that the owner's children were minding the store by themselves while mom was at the school conducting workshops.  I wish I took photos of my kid doing the transacting with them. I will say again:  I wish this aspect of this place remains the same, though as it 'develops' things will change.


    In the years to come, this city will develop its own roster of sweet providers akin to Becky's, Vargas kitchen, Miss Desserts,  Polly's, Purple Oven, Estrell's, Costa Brava...let's make this a game, please add to the list!

07 April, 2012


yet another sky-over-solenad2-photo. can you blame me? I spent 6 years in Makati wishing I could see more blue sky and less wires, concrete and gray haze.

Also, I grew up practically living in the QUAD and the glorietta when it had no roof over it.  We saw shows and movies in Rizal Theater, where the Shangri-la hotel now stands.  SM was a small one floor Shoemart, and we ate burgers at the Automat.  Oh and let's not forget the Happy Feet bakya store in the same "arcade" as the suki film developer/print shop.
That area, by Makati Supermarket, or was it Rustan's, had water fountains and open-air parking spaces.

The above Solenad is my child's "Quad" now.  She just may end up reminiscing about the sol and sky here, Bgy. Sto. Domingo, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, like I am about Makati, Metro Manila.   

at Ming's Garden in Silang-Tagaytay along the national road.
tres marias with paperback, cellphone, tablet

croc at Ming's Garden