Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This morning while I was walking the short distance from MESCO to the office, thoughts of food were occupying my mind. I realized that I was craving for favorite foods from my childhood and Filipino heritage:

Soft tofu sweetend by brown sugar syrup with pearl sago.
When we were kids, we'd always wait for manong magtataho to pass by our house to buy taho. A magtataho generally carries 2 large buckets hanging from a yoke which he carries over his shoulder. One bucket contains the tofu while the other, the sugar syrup or arnibal and the sago. I don't remember how much a small plastic cup was then, but nowadays, the small sized cup is Php5 while the bigger one is Php10. Some malls also sell taho in stalls but of course, at a higher cost and in my opinion, not as tasty as the traditional ones.

Corn kernells sprinkled with grated coconut and sugar
A binatog vendor rides in a bicycle with a bucket tied at the back of his bike containing the corn kernels and coconut and sugar mixture and he sounds his bell while driving around. I don't know if they have a uniform kind of bell but they all sound alike and you'd know once you hear the tinkle that it's manong binatog. They're a little less common nowadays, unlike the magtataho. Sometimes, I believe they're becoming extinct.
Banana, gabi (a tropical tuber), sago and rice flour shaped into balls cooked in coconut milk and sugar.
Unlike the binatog and taho, it's not usually sold around by a vendor. Well, I preferred it cooked at home anyway, and I'm proud to say that we have plenty of relatives who could make this delectable dish really well from my lola Maring (sad she's gone 4 years ago) down to my titas (aunts) and even my brother or cousins. When I was a lot younger, I willingly took part in the preparation of the "bilo-bilo" or the rice flour balls. Indeed, this recipe requires great amount of preparation.

Cooked cassava garnished with grated coconut
Mom used to bring this home from the market when we were kids so I guess that's where you could buy it then. This snack has just enough sweetness and the texture is really light but ironically quite heavy in the stomach. I remember getting stuffed after eating this and though my mouth yearns for more, the stomach threatens to throw up. Nowadays, there are high-class restaurants including this in their desserts menu.

Steamed brown rice cake sprinkled with grated coconut.
This is another variety of kakanin along with the pichi-pichi that mom used to bring home from the market when we were kids. Some vendors sold this from house to house though, carried in buckets much like the taho. The tricky part is, not all kutsinta tastes alike. I think (and observed) that the more translucent the texture is, the better. This is Demi's favourite by the way. :)

Right now, I just have to satisfy myself with the cheese sandwich I prepared for breakfast and other snacks are almost always instantly prepared. Not that I'm complaining, it's just that I still believe that some things, like making food, still get better results when enough time is put into it. Or maybe I'm just missing my childhood days and getting appreciative of my cultural heritage. For whatever reasons, hmmm... I don't know yet. Let's blame it on the food thoughts that invaded my mind this morning. :)


  1. Hi Jenn,

    All the dishes seem real yummy :) Food does represent some aspects of a countries culture. After having read about Jollibee earlier I have now come to know more of your delectable cuisine. Please do read -

    Lovely post. Thanks.

    1. Hello Mr. Dilipnaidu,

      Thanks for accepting my invitation. :) Indeed, these foods are really tasty and because of their natural ingredients, they are also healthy. Plus, these dishes are very affordable too.

      Your post about Jollibee was very a very informative one. I was aware that it had humble beginnings and that it grew strong over the years but your post made me realize the reason behind this success. It stuck me most about Jollibee's family culture and belongingness. That is so Filipino! :) Thanks for sharing this.

  2. i love all these food! my mom cooks the best ginatang halo-halo. Your photos made me crave for all of these food.

    1. Hi Pearl... I know what you mean. Sometimes I wish for the good old times when it's raining, no school, and all you get to do at home is eat ginatan, sleep, read and watch TV. ;)

  3. Hmm. I remember I had a comment to this entry. Anywayy... I love taho! Especially in this weather! haha. Have you ever tried the strawberry taho in Baguio?:)

    1. Hi DC! There must have been a glitch in the connection 'cause I wasn't notified *head-scratch*

      *pouting* no... My friends at the office asked me the same thing but I've never been to Baguio for leisure yet. Which do you prefer though?


Your thoughts are welcome :)