Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pinoy street foods

Coming to the Philippines is fun when you are ready to experience everything. We have fine beaches, warm and hospitable people, scenic spots, crazy night-out hubs and of course yummy delicacies. But I am not going to give you a round of what you can order in any of our fine dining restaurants. That for me is a little bit high-end and boring. What follows is an enumeration of street foods I grew up enjoying. How I love street food if only for their taste and affordable price. They are value meals that give everyone more for less. Trust me, they are worth the try.

Fishballs and kikiam
Fishball, like what the name suggests is a ball made from fish meat. It’s about an inch in diameter and it doesn’t exactly look like a ball. It is colored white and tends to be brownish when fried. It is usually dipped, using bamboo sticks, in homemade sauces which flavour ranges from sweet, spicy or both.

Kikiam is the better half of fishball. No vendor in his right mind would sell one and not the other. This delicacy, a personal favourite, is another Chinese dish adopted by Pinoy. It is made of ground pork and vegetables wrapped together then deep-fried until golden. It is also dipped in homemade sauces as well as with commercially made condiments.

Fish ball and kikiam are very accessible and inexpensive. They are both sold through rolling stalls and costs 0.50 and Php 1.00 each respectively. Now you can enjoy more than just fishballs from vendors. Choices now have included squidballs, chicken balls and hotdog on sticks. Want to enjoy these? Just go to the park park or market nearest you and you’ll see a battery of fishball kiosks. Just prevent yourself from double dipping (dipping the sticks multiple times in the sauce’s container) for hygienic purposes.

Also called tukneneng, this ball made of quail eggs and some orange batter is best eaten with lots of vinegar. Larger version of this, made of the not-so-ordinary chicken egg, is more popularly known as tuknanay.[pinoyrecipe.net]

Tukneneng costs Php 2.00 each while the bigger tuknanay is sold at Php 8.00-10.00 each.

Street calamares

Calamares is made from squid meat wrapped with salted and peppered flour then deep fried. In the Philippines it is served as viand or pulutan [any dish that’s served when consuming any alcoholic beverage].

I personally haven’t tried this dish but one good thing about it is that it smells really yummy. If that’s any indication, might as well enjoy it.
Isaw, etc.
Another everyday fare is known as isaw. It is made from barbecued pig or chicken intestines. The intestines are cleaned, turned inside out, and cleaned again, repeating the process several times. They are then either boiled, then grilled, or immediately grilled on sticks. [dreamwalkersworld.com]

I grew up eating isaw either with bread or rice. It’s really the poorman’s barbeque because it costs Php 3.00-15.00 only per stick.

Other treats associated with isaw are dugo [hardened and grilled chicken/pig blood], balat [grilled pig skin], adidas [grilled chicken feet] and ulo [grilled chicken head].

Sure they sound weird and but sound and looks could be very deceiving. There’s no problem eating street food so long as the preparations are proven to be clean and hygienic. What’s good about Pinoy food is that you know that we love to eat that’s why we always make sure that our serving is really delicious. I will have to say that our homemade condiments would have to be the best in the world. Together with the main course gives everyone a taste of heaven.

Now go ahead and try. I won’t mind hearing you burp.

Tip: If you want to enjoy these delicacies and yet are too conscious about your health and hygiene, remember that some of the main ingredients here can be purchased from the supermarket. Just ask any of your Filipino friends to prepare the dish for you. As for the isaw, you can ask them to marinate the intestines ala-adobo style to spank up flavor.

Special thanks to: tsibog.com / bikoy.net / lugawrepublic.com.ph / pinoyrecipe.net / larsian fuente for the pictures.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A day at the Enchanted Kingdom

One of the biggest dreams a kid could probably have is to spend a whole day at Disneyland. Well, I did have that kind of dream. But considering the circumstances, I wouldn’t be able to do that as we speak. But that doesn’t mean that “adult kids” like me should sulk and wallow for not having to mingle with Donald and Mickey. Besides, here in the Philippines we also have theme parks and carnivals that I can say are just perfect to cater to every kid’s dreams as far as being in fantasyland is concerned.

For today, I’m going to share to you my experiences in one of the country’s most popular carnivals, the Enchanted Kingdom!

The Arrival
Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 2:03 pm

The Enchanted Kingdom is located at the prosperous city of Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines. Actually, this was my second time at the park. I was here with my friends about 2-3 years ago. The park has seven (7) zones namely Victoria Park, Portabello, Brooklyn Place, Spaceport, Jungle Outpost, Midway Boardwalk and Boulderville. Each one has its own signature flavor and theme from the Victorian up to the space exploration era, which is quite interesting if you ask me.

When we arrived, there were few people lined up at the ticket booth, about hundreds. I say few because during my first trip there were plenty of excursionists and it took us several minutes to buy tickets. As soon as we got there, my friend pulled out her camera for a snapshot with the Wizard, which was very customary for the visitors. Afterwards, we bought our tickets. We wanted to enjoy unlimited use of the park’s rides so we picked the Regular Day Pass, which costs Php 600.00 on weekends. At last we were already inside the park.

Tip: There are two (2) other tickets that you can avail of. The first one is called Carousel Special Pass worth Php 150 that gives you free admission to the park grounds and unlimited access to the Carousel. The other one is the Child Day Pass worth Php 350 on weekdays and Php 420 on weekends. This is applicable to children between 36" to 47".

The Midway Boardwalk
At 2:09, we took pictures in front of Dodgem that’s located at Midway Boardwalk. Dodgem is that park's bump-car ride. When we arrived, the queue railings were almost filled with young and old people alike hence, we decided to skip the ride for later and headed towards Roller Skater.

Roller Skater is like a mini roller coaster ride without the killer loop. It’s probably intended for the fainted heart like me. At 2:21 pm, the skater made its move. It was cute and fantastic and I loved it because I get to feel my stomach falling without feeling really dizzy. This has been our first ride of the day. If you’ve been to a roller coaster before, the skater is just a walk in the park.

At 2:35 pm, we were deep into Boardwalk and just at the doorsteps of Anchor’s Away. Anchor’s is a ship replica that serves like a huge rocking vessel that swings you back and forth. And this swinging motion is what makes riders go crazy! Nope, we didn't try it as soon as you might expect. Then, at 2:43, we headed towards the Swan Lake and the Wheel of Fate for some pictures. Later that day, at 5:57 pm, we rode the Wheel of Fate, which was pretty nerve-wracking for me because a have a great deal of fear of heights. But it was nice being there at the top because you have a complete visualization of the entire park, which was actually cool.

Tip: At Midway you can also find a Henna Tattoo shop, arcade and a fantasy theater. Clowns also roam this place so make sure your kids don't miss them! Some riders are restricted by height or physical limitations. Refer to Safety Guides at all times.
The 3:00pm lunch

It’s almost an hour since we arrive so literally we got hungry. Then, we went to the food court and order chicken, fries and spaghetti. The food court is not that big and the menus to choose from but the free concert and dessert treats more than made up for it. Nobody visits Enchanted without having tasted the “Treats.” It’s a Sundae that comes in different flavors. I heard it was called “blizzard.” But anyway, our favorite flavors are cookies n cream and of course very rocky road.

In between scoops of ice cream, yours truly took a video of Space Shuttle. This is one of Enchanted’s main attractions if not the “main” attraction. It’s a roller coaster ride with a sci-fi theme located at the Spaceport Zone. This is the country’s first and only triple loop coaster that turns riders upside down 6 times!

Tip: It's kind of weird why they put the foodcourt beside the Shuttle area but anyway don't ride the shuttle when your full so you won't throw up! And when I say full, I also meant "pregnant."
The trip at Brooklyn Place
3:43 pm

After our sumptuous lunch, we strolled along Brooklyn Place. It is the centermost part of the park where you could take a sentimental journey down the streets of Brooklyn as it was in the 1940’s. This is where the Rialto, a motion simulator theater that combines sound, sight and movement is situated. This zone also has souvenir shops, photo shops and a kiosk named Soda Fountain.

At 3:58 pm, we were already inside Rialto. The featured film was Peril on Arkryls.

Tip: Don't cradle your kid on your lap when you ride Rialto because it's prohibited. And please don't cut the line and be respectful of the persons who lined-up earlier than you.

Boulderville: back to being kids
4:16 pm
Our next stop is the Boulderville. This part of the park is a prehistoric zone with dinosaurs all over that makes you want to come back to your toddler days. Obviously, this is where kids hangout. Rides located in this area includes Boulderville Express, Bumbling Boulders, Air Pterodactyl, Stone Eggs and Dinosoarus. There are also play facilities namely Rock Quarry and Petreefied House.

I wanted to ride the Stone Eggs but I knew my friends would tease me so I just passed up on it. Well,
maybe I will on my next visit. I’ll just make sure I’ll bring in my niece.

Tip: What is Wizard Money? Well, these are "gift" certificates that you can give your kids to buy Enchanted Kingdom's tickets, food, drinks and other cool stuffs inside the Park. It's available in denominations of Php 50 and Php 100.
The Portabello and the Flying Fiesta
4:24 pm

Still feeling the rush of the Rialto ride, my pal and I went to Portabello (the Caribbean themed zone) to catch the Flying Fiesta ride. Fiesta is a giant swing ride that gives you the adrenaline rush and the wacky feeling of weightlessness. Also Rio Grande, a wet and wild boat adventure, is located here.

Tip: For your safety, don't hold on to the chains while riding Fiesta. Instead, hold on to the safety metal bar on your lap.

Welcome to the Jungle
6:27 pm

It was already dark when we marched towards the Jungle Outpost. As the name itself implies, this is the part of the park that was inspired by the Amazon Jungle. This is the site for the Jungle Log Jam and the Swan Lake. Afraid to get wet, I managed to elude Log Jam and just settled to take some pictures and joined a target-shooting game, which I lost by the way. (I should’ve won if I wasn’t too cocky!)

Tip: At Jungle you can also find the Amazon Grill, Mexican Tacos Outlet and a photo and souvenir shop. The Park also treats you with an entertaining numbers from these performers (see picture).

Kart racer for a day

If you think going to carnivals is corny, think again! Here at Enchanted they offer a new ride for kart racing enthusiasts. For only Php 210 (single rider) and Php 320 you can enjoy 9 minutes of driving a kart along with other riders. Feel the need for speed? Nice offer, don’t you think? Here’s the picture of my friend who enjoyed being a kart-racer for a day!

Tip: Don't be offended if you're asked to sign on a waiver. Of course, kart racing is a dangerous sport and the Park just wants to make sure that you'll ride on your own risk.

The sultry dance number at Rio
We were walking along Brooklyn when we heard a beautiful song coming from Portabello. Excited, we rushed towards Rio Grande and were pleasantly surprised to catch an entertaining dance number to the tune of No Me Ames and another one, which I wasn’t so familiar about. But anyway, it was fun to see those dancers shaking their booty up. They were very graceful and nice. After the dance, onlookers mobbed and took pictures of them like movie stars!

Tip: I suggest that you ride Grande last because for sure you'll get really wet. You don't want to ride it early and spend the rest of the day with your wet underpants! Also, the line could really get very long so be patient while you wait for your turn.

The Grand Carousel
8:00 pm
Our next stop is the Grand Carousel located at Victoria Park. This is my favorite ride ever since because it’s serene and colorful and elegant. I told myself that there’s no way I’m going home without riding the Carousel. And so I did. Victoria Park by the way has an elegant Victorian era and ala-Queen Elizabeth style prinkled in it. This is where the Wizard mascot and some entertainers with turn-of-the-century costumes hang out.

The stars came down to greet us
9:00 pm

The mother of all highlights came to Enchanted at 9pm by virtue of the fireworks display. For 3 minutes, the sky was filled with colorful lights and firecrackers, which should make you, feel oblivious to the problems of the world. Indeed, the stars came down to greet us! And hopefully, also to you!

The departure
9:30 pm

With a smile plastered in our lips, we bid goodbye to Enchanted Kingdom. We really had a good time. This was far better than my previous visit because I was able to enjoy the rides I wanted to catch from the beginning. I’m sure this won’t be my last. I also hope that you would be able to come and visit this park. I’ve seen some foreigners at the site and just basing on how they looked, they seemed to have enjoyed their time, too.

Somethings you must know

  1. No alcoholic beverages are allowed inside the premises of the park
  2. Drugs, firearms, laser pen lights and other harmful items are also strictly prohibited.
  3. Picknicking is not allowed inside the park.
  4. Breaking of queue lines is a no-no.
  5. Shoes and shirts must be worn at all times.
  6. Seeing eye dogs are the only animals allowed in the park.
  7. Radios, recorders and stereos are not permitted.
  8. No smoking is not permitted in any ride, queue line, attraction and other marked areas.
For more information on how to get to Enchanted Kingdom, visit their official site.
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