Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lia's Food Journey Is 6 Years Old

Wow! I have been writing my blog for the past 6 years! I never imagined that I would last this long because I have a short attention span.

To date, I have posted 1,249 blog entries, almost 600,000 page views and over 300 recipes!

Thank you dear readers!

When I first started writing, I did not want to post pictures of myself but then I figured, my followers would be able to relate more if I did... if I put a face behind the story teller.

I have shared everything with all of you .... Told you funny and sad stories... But those were just snippets.... There is more ....

I want you to take a peek into my life when I was growing up... I want you to imagine how my passion for food inspired me to learn how to cook and eventually, share my recipes with all of you.

It makes my heart swell when friends and readers send me messages that their experiment was a success! I try so hard to keep a record of every measurement so people who try my recipes will not fail.

Aside from cooking, I have other talents as well which helped me become the person I am today.

The Story of my Life

I was such a cute little baby!

Hahahaha Well.... In my opinion, beauty or rather cuteness is in the eye of the beholder.

I took up Hawaiian lessons when I was 3 years old.

I had a "portfolio" which was submitted to an ad agency.

Auditioned for a champorado commercial! I remember they took shots and vtr of me while eating champorado.

I used to "cut classes" when I was nursery.  Hahahahahaha. I would bring out my "hat box" and eat my baon in the waiting area without asking permission from the teacher.

I taught myself how to play the piano.  

At that time, there were only 2 Chickering pianos in the Philippines.  One was with my family and the other one was with Mona's cousin.  Such a small world.

My formative years were spent at St. Theresa's College, QC.  The girl walking in front of me bullied me when I was in Prep! 

We shared a table in class and she drew an imaginary line in the middle.  She said, if my things go to her side of the table, then it was hers.  Chances of that happening were very high because I have always kept a messy desk.

I remember the beautiful rose shaped eraser that PD gave me from Hawaii was sequestered by her.

As early as 7 years old, I already loved wearing heels and bikini top!  

Can you see the corn dog the little boy was eating? Our cook used the empty Del Monte juice can to deep fry the corn dogs!

I have always been interested in how the food was cooked. My favorite hang out place was the kitchen.

When I was in Grade 3, I loved the pork bbq which was sold at the College Department.  

During recess, I would run all the way to the College Cafeteria just to eat bbq and run back to my classroom.  That started my habit of traveling for food.

I was such a fan of Princess Diana! I copied her hairstyle and clothing.

Fast forward.... I took up Elementary Education in College with specialization in Early Childhood Education.

It is a fact that I don't like children.  I tolerate them but I really don't want to be in the same room with them, if I can help it.  If not.... Then I have to endure being with them.

It did not matter what course in college I took as long as I graduate.  

I chose my course simply because it was the easiest! Our final exams were either a cross stitch exhibit, or I had to draw and color a story book for kids. I still remember laboring over Billy the Goat.  The goat was so greedy that he ate all the stones and he fell into a pond because he wanted to eat more.  

Hahahahaha relate much, Lia?

My practicum final exam, I had to teach 3-4 year old kids the concept of subtraction.  I brought Knick Knack chocolate biscuits to ELC.  I put 5 pieces of the chocolate covered biscuits on a plate. 

5 take away 1 (I ate 1 biscuit).  How many biscuits are left on the plate?

4 take away 1? And so on and so forth until I ate all the biscuits! Ahahahahahahahahahaha!

I took up violin lessons.  Even the dogs cry when I play.  The only piece I can remember is the different variations of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars.

Acrylic painting was another course I studied.  My Mom and I loved decorating during the holiday season.

I painted the backdrop of our Christmas decor on top of our roof in 1998.

I actually won First Prize in 1997!

Then in 1996, I just won 3rd place.

A baker always dreams of opening her own Pastry Shop. 

The name of mine as Puffery Pastry Shop.

I baked different variants of cream puffs.

Remember my short attention span? It lasted for 3 years.  

Sewing is another talent of mine.  I can sew curtains, table clothes, pillow cases, skirts, simple dresses and tops, costumes for halloween.... Sophie was a fairy and Gilly was Princess Aurora.

I know how to change a faucet's washer or change the socket of a lamp shade.

Jack of all trades!

I was applying for a clerk position at the Ateneo Law School several decades ago.  The interviewer asked me what am I good at and I enumerated all the things I know.

I felt that I had a well rounded education but her way of thinking was totally so different from mine.  She did not see it my way.

Even if a person takes up all the academic courses in life, it is not a guarantee that one would be successful and happy.

We all have different definitions of success, it just so happen, my definition is quite unusual from most people.

Life is an experience... It is a journey.... Meant to be enjoyed.... Meant to be shared... 

Lia's Food Journey is my greatest accomplishment.  

It is my legacy. 

I may be gone already from this Earth but my recipes will be handed down from generation to generation.

I was not created by God just to cook and eat but to give a piece of myself everytime a follower reads my post and tries out my recipes!

I think I might have found my purpose in life!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Who Is Jing To Me?

I met Jing in June of 1987, our freshmen year in AC and my life has never been the same again.

It is more colorful because she is in my world.

She is such a funny and witty person.  Never a dull moment.  I love the jokes we share with each other, jokes that only the two of us would understand.

I love her sense of humor... Bordering on dark and sick... In an amusing quirky way.

The sample of her sick sense of humor.....

Hahahahahaha.... Only Jing would think of something like this!

Then one time, she said, she will cure me of my diabetes.  And I asked her, How!?!

An inexpensive treatment, she said!  Something she could patent to help people save millions of pesos in maintenance medicine.


"Lia, if I could just put masking tape on your mouth, you will be healed in no time!"

Her quips never fail to make me laugh out loud until my stomach hurts.

Another of her diet strategy for me... Such a great nutritionist!

If I use small cups, plates, fork and spoon.... She said, I will lose weight!

We have so much in common and yet we do not clash, knock on wood.

You cannot open our closets! No way! Open at your own peril or else, things will fall on you!

We both love to read books.  We never travel light.

We went on a camping trip one time.  We were given a tent for 3 people but we could hardly move because all of our things were inside! 

It was just an overnight trip, mind you!

On the same trip, the "bathroom" was about half a kilometer away from the camp site.  

"Jing! Please come with me to the bathroom! It is late and dark already!"

So, she woke up and went with me to the "shed".  But when we got there..... I lost my momentum!

"Ooooppps! Sorry, Jing... I don't have the urge to use the bathroom anymore."

We trekked back to our tent, a flash light guiding us.

And then.......  Hahahahahahaha guess what happened?!?

"Jing! I have to go back to the bathroom! You have to come with me! Again!"

And so.... In the middle of the night, half a kilometer away, she accompanied me.

That's how much she loves me.

And I love her equally, as well.  

In one of her birthdays, I gave a surprise al fresco candle light dinner for her in my house with some of our friends.  Hahahahaha! I'm sorry, I just realized the color theme I used was ube! Jing hates anything ube.

We were having the time of our lives! We always had sleepover activites at her house or her family's house in Tagaytay! We would meet up in the mall to go shopping and watch a movie.  Life was exciting back then for us until.....

Sherman, her husband now, started courting her.

I thought I was going to lose her but I did not.  I loved it whenever Sherman would send her chocolates with liquor from Japan, she would give it to me.

Then, Sherman would always ask if she liked it.  "I don't know! Ask Lia!" Hahahahahahaha!

They are one of my favorite couples.  

I love Sherman because Jing loves him.

Jing is a SUPERMOM! 

Her boys are so lucky to have her! And they know it, appreciate it and show their mother how much they love her.

One of the reasons why I started writing a blog was because Jing and her family lived in UK for a few years.  

My other friend, Celine, was in another part of the world at that time, as well.  So instead of writing to them separately, I would just post in my blog what happened to me and what I cooked and ate for the day.

Even if Jing is so busy with her wifely and motherly duties, she still finds time to come and see me.  

She even helped me decorate my house the day before my Mexican-inspired birthday party.

So..... Back to my question.....

Who is Jing to me?

No need to embellish my answer....

Jing is a true and real friend.

It is hard to find one like her. And I will treasure the friendship that we have.

We were teen agers when we met each other....

But look at us now.... 

We have weathered so many difficulties together and separately... 

We are a bit wiser and older...

But we still have that same naughty "sparkol" in our eyes.

Happy birthday, Jing.

I love you until we are old and cranky and borrowing diapers from each other.

And until we are both ghosts and scaring our friends who are not yet dead and share that same smirk and snicker!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Celebrations

The lenten season ended when I attended the Easter Vigil at the Powerplant Chapel!  The venue was overflowing. It was a little hot because of the number of people. Midway through the celebration, I stepped out and stood on the corridor near the escalators. 

I could not understand the priest quite well plus I was distracted by the smell of the pizza coming from Cibo.

The only thing I heard, or maybe chose to hear was the priest saying, Happy Easter!

I could not contain my smile! I probably looked so crazy because I had this secret smile on my face!

Happy Easter?!? The priest said, Happy Easter?!?!?

My lenten sacrifice was not to eat ice for whole season of Lent.  I made a deal with God that I will not eat ice cream so I will not get sick when I go on vacation.

Back to the Happy Easter...... The only thing that came to my mind was.....


I could eat  the Klondike I bought which I hid in the freezer so nobody could see!

Since I attended the vigil, the breaking of my ice cream lenten sacrifice would be the night before easter!

My very first ice cream in 40 days!

After the vigil, PD and I had a snack at Solstice, 8 Rockwell.

Aligue Pasta

Pizza Margherita

Easter lunch with my family at home.

Lechon Kawali

Boiled Shrimps

Szechuan Shrimps

Taosi Clams - Kuya asked me to buy in Mann Hann

Vegetables with my sweet bagoong.

Molo Soup

Easter ice cream at the Farmacy with PD. 

Then I went to Ortigas to visit Pinky at Astoria Plaza where she is billeted for a few days of R&R.  We had dinner at Tim Ho Wan, Megamall.

Baked Buns and Congee

Vermicelli with Pork BBQ

Vermicelli with Sesame and Peanuts

Post Easter date with FGM at Jasmine, New World Hotel.

Indeed a Happy Easter!

It was my first time to do a Lenten sacrifice and I loved the feeling of getting excited over the breaking of the fast.

I did not do it solely for the deal with God but to offer the sacrifice to him, as well.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Hopia Of My Dreams

Oh, Hopia! I've been searching for you high and low! I finally found the hopia of my dreams!

Thanks to the post of Arnel, I found my favorite Hopia Baboy w Condol!

I used to buy from Echague but it doesn't taste that good anymore!

 Wan Kee Bakery is the answer to my prayer! It's on Benavidez St. in Binindo.

I love the hopia because it is flaky! You can see the flakes on the plate! 

Plus the filling?!? It's exactly what I want! 

Condol with pork lard and spring onions! Freshly baked! When you eat it, your fingers will become oily!

I also bought Bola Bola Roll.

And pan de sal! 

Another favorite of mine! So light and airy that when you flatten it with your hand, it is almost paper thin!

I love Binondo! I was whining the whole day in social media that the Uber surge was too high.  After writing my blog post this afternoon, I checked the app again and there was no surge! I immediately ordered for a car! Ding! Oh, no! It was already in Shell near the village gate! I only had time to dress up quickly and I dashed out of the house.

My merienda was at Wai Ying! Look at the stomach of the Buddha! That's how my tummy looks like! Hahahaha I'm serious!

Freshly steamed shrimp siomai.

Shrimp cheong fan.

Chicken feet.


Kuya wanted to go with me to Chinatown but he did not have enough time to dress up.  He just asked me to buy assorted dimsum.

I went to Bee Tin grocery and bought some cooking ingredients.... Pickled mustard for cua pao, Taiwan Fish Balls, Dried Chinese Mushrooms, Chinese sausage from Bacolod, Sung Song peanuts for Kuya and I bought corn from the street vendor.

It was my lucky day. I did not know how I was going home.  I thought there would be no Uber....  But.... Luck was on my side! There was an available car nearby and there was no surge!

That was probably my prize from God because I dropped by San Lorenzo Ruiz Church to say a prayer of thanksgiving.

I always pray to God and say, Thank you! I'm not asking for anything but I just want to say, thank you.