Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Titbits from Boracay

What do travellers or tourists buy when they visit Boracay? Of course there are fridge magnets that are found in almost every tourist destination on planet Earth.

Here's a board of fridge magnets from Boracay to feast your eyes on:

I also saw many shops and stalls selling dream catchers but I did not snap any pics.

Now that I've embarked on a minimalist lifestyle, I don't usually buy souvenirs whenever I travel. I prefer to buy stuff that can be used or consumed like dried food, titbits, facial & body care products, cosmetics, etc.

So when I went to Boracay I naturally found two popular titbits, i.e. dried mangoes and banana chips.

1) Dried Mangoes

Dried mangoes are sold almost everywhere in Boracay.

As you can see from this pic, there are green and yellow dried mangoes:

 Jovy's seems to be the a popular brand for dried mangoes.

2) Banana Chips

Banana chips is my favourite titbit from Boracay.

The chips are crispy with just the right amount of sweetness (there goes my no refined sugar diet). I didn't check the ingredients (because I ate it all too quickly) but I think there's something coconut thrown into the ingredients which makes the chips so tasty.

I bought 5 packets (400gm/packet) of these at PHP86.00/packet from one of the shops along the main road in Boracay:

You only see 3 packets in the photo because I had given away 2 packets to family and friend to share the calories.

The chips are so addictive that I can finish a whole packet (400gm) of banana chip goodness in one sitting.

If anyone is going to Boracay, please buy these delicious chips for me and I will be eternally grateful.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

I've Bought My Ticket to Helsinki

My exams are over (which explains why I didn't update this blog for over a month) and I've finally completed Level 2 of my Chartered Bankers programme. Now I'm looking forward to Level 3 where I have to complete another 3 papers.

I've bought a return ticket to Helsinki (travel in September 2018) on British Airways for MYR2,701.38. That's approximately USD692.00.

In comparison, a colleague who's planning a trip to Hiroshima, Japan in May said that a return ticket on All Nippon Airways (ANA) is around MYR2,300. I told her I could fly to Helsinki which is approximately double the distance to Hiroshima by adding only MYR400.00. I guess my MYR2,701.38 tics to Helsinki is considered a huge bargain.

When the original price was a mere MYR2,473.00, I waited a little longer hoping that the price would go down further. But when it went up to MYR2,701.38, I banged balls and quickly bought 'em damn tics. That was a waste of MYR228.00 for being hopeful. Lesson learnt.

I've drawn out a rough itinerary for my travel and it goes like this: 

Home (Kuala Lumpur) - Helsinki - Tallinn - Riga - Vilnius - Warsaw - Krakow - (fly back to Helsinki and take the overnight ferry to Saint Petersburg) - Saint Petersburg - Helsinki - Home

Total days: 21 days

There are so many places I wanna visit including SuomenlinnaWieliczka Salt MineAuschwitz- Birkenau, The State Hermitage Museum and the list goes on. It's going to be an enriching experience which is why I love to travel.

September, please come quickly!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Filipino Food in Boracay

I returned from Boracay last Saturday and it was a lovely trip with gorgeous blue skies, white sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets.

Since it was my first time in the Philippines, I wanted to try Filipino food and here's an account of the food I had on the lovely island.

My first meal in Boracay was Sotanghoon Gusaido: 

Sotanghoon Gusaido is stir fried glass noodle with sardine and vegetables.

Filipino food is simple like Chicksilog:

This dish is also available in pork, beef and other types of meat.

Sisig consists of sizzling pork bits, onions and a raw egg broken over it. The lime juice brings all the flavours together deliciously:

I had the sisig without any rice.

If you want something light, Pinakbet is a good choice:

A tasty salad!

Pork Sinigang is soup made of pork, white radish, long beans, green chilies and onions:

Pork Sinigang can be quite spicy.

Now I would like to share with you two restaurants that we patronised a few times because of its delicious food, friendly staff and economical prices.

1) El Centro Bistro 
(Location: Station 2 beachfront, Boracay Island)

The first restaurant is called El Centro Bistro which serves economical meals like this American breakfast which costs PHP150 nett:

The honey ham was absolutely delicious! I returned another day and had the same American breakfast but replaced the ham with bacon which was equally delicious. 

El Centro Bistro also serves crepes like this one:

Diet Gone Out the Window.
 I chose the crepe with banana, peanut butter and chocolate sauce with vanilla ice cream. There are many other flavours too.

One aspect of El Centro Bistro which I like is the friendliness of the staff.

On my second visit to El Centro, one of the staff remembered what I ordered 2 days before and recommended another dish so that I could widen my choices. Such attention.

2) The Sunny Side Cafe
(Location: Station 3 beachfront, Boracay Island)

The second eatery is called The Sunny Side Cafe.

The first meal I had there was the famous Filipino treat, the Chori Burger:

The burger patty was succulent as it looks and infused with sweet-savoury flavours.

Before leaving for the airport, we went back to Sunny Side Cafe and I had their specialty called The Sunny Side Cafe Roesti for breakfast:

The Sunny Side Cafe Roesti consist of crumbled chorizo, poached eggs, sour cream and aragula on a fried potato fritata. I personally felt there was not enough chorizo and the friend potato fritata was too thick.

I like that The Sunny Side Cafe uses stainless steel straws instead of plastic straws (the video of the struggling turtle with the plastic straw stuck inside its nose is a grim reminder why we should not use plastic straws):

I was adventurous that morning and ordered the Banana and Black Sesame smoothie, with no sugar of course. Look at the shiny stainless steel straw.

Lastly, what would an island holiday be without Filipino beer:

Cheers to San Miguel beer!

There were other Filipino food that I didn't try like abodo and tortang talong (recommended by a friend) because I only have one stomach and limited number of days on Boracay. But the Philippines will always be there and I will be back.

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