Posts Tagged ‘Ilocos’

This is my way of reminding myself of the little things that recently made me happy as inspired by Helga.

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I almost did not push through with this week’s happy list because the past 5 days has been all sorts of tough. Work is outrageously busy and challenging, it’s sucking the life out of me. I’m also having post-holiday anxiety, and birthday blues, and the weather is so gloomy, and I’m getting my period soon so my emotions are going batshit crazy. I honestly struggled to complete this week’s list but got it done anyway.

  1. My 4-day visit to Bohol last week. It was raining most of our time there due to the major typhoon that passed through our country but we took it as an opportunity to relax and take multiple naps a day.
  2. My parents sent me a care package from Ilocos. The box was full with food that I love – Ilocos garlic longganisa, bagnet, morcon, and a bunch of avocadoes and dragon fruit from our very own backyard.
  3. Grabcar. I never need to worry about my ticking taxi meter in traffic because Grabcar sets a fixed rate for a desired destination immediately upon booking. This means avoiding drivers asking for additional charge on top of meter rate just because there’s traffic jams everywhere.
  4. Colleagues giving me food and coffee. For no apparent reason, people at work has been giving me food and treating me out for coffee runs. Maybe they know that I’m stressed hehe.
  5. Cris buying me food LOL. He always sees to it that he brings me home some food every time he eats out. What a sweetie.
  6. Supportive friends. As I mentioned above, work has really been very challenging and I have been doubting myself lately. But my good friends reminded me to not be too hard on myself. Awwww I love you guys!
  7. Cris buying groceries. I have been working extra late this week, hence I don’t really have time to get some essentials from the supermarket. I’m glad he’s dependable enough to pick up my momentary slack.
  8. Packed lunches for work. My mom sent me lots of ulam from the province so I always have some to bring at work.
  9. Becky Nights public chat on Viber. LOL I just like seeing how the beckies interact with one another.
  10. Soba noodles. Japanese food is life! Today, we had lunch at Nadai Fujisoba and I had my usual hot soba again. Hay naku #thisiswhyimfat.

 

This year’s Holy Week vacation, I brought along Cris and our friends (Tina and Timmy) back to my hometown – Ilocos Norte. I took them to places my family usually visit when I am home or if we have visitors over. Most of the places we visited are at most 10 minutes away from home, including the small mountain/hill that we climbed to get a sweeping view of the newly-erected windmills in our town. I also took them to the infamous Paoay Church and Malacañang of the North. Please watch the video below – though Youtube butchered the video quality. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Have you ever been to Ilocos Norte? What is your favorite tourist spot to visit there?

If there’s only one thing that I would want to eat every time I go home to the province, it would be none other than the infamous Ilocos Longganisa. Nothing makes me feel like home more than those little nuggets of garlicky-porky goodness. The mother recently gave me a bunch and I took advantage of the rare abundance of a taste from home. I played around in the kitchen and came up with this a rather enjoyable dish.

 

PASTA AGLIO OLIO WITH ILOCOS LONGGANISA

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Ingredients:

  • Pasta, around 150 grams
  • Salt and Cooking Oil (for boiling pasta)
  • Ilocos Garlic Longganisa, 3 links, precooked and sliced thinly
  • Olive Oil and a little butter for frying
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Fresh Basil leaves, 1 bunch, roughly chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a small lemon
  • Dried  Chili Flakes, as much as you prefer
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese, 1 tbsp
  • Parmesan Cheese, for topping

 

 

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Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Cook pasta per package instructions.You may use whatever pasta you like – I had leftover wheat fusilli so used that.
  2. Boil a pot of water, put a few drops of oil and salt liberally. Boil pasta until al dente, depending on which pasta you’re using. Mine took around 8-10 minutes.
  3. When the pasta is al dente, turn off heat and drain. Run under cold water to prevent soggy pasta stop the cooking process then set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat around a tablespoon of Virgin Olive Oil and a little butter.
  5. When the butter starts to melt, put in sliced garlic and stir around until they turn slightly brown. Make sure your garlic does not burn.
  6. Put in the Ilocos Longganisa. I was using the precooked ones so it didn’t need a lot of time in the pan. If you’re using the fresh kind, just make sure they are thoroughly cooked before adding in your pasta.
  7. I like my food spicy so I added a sprinkle of dried chili peppers at this point.
  8. Put in your cooked pasta. Toss around so it is properly coated with oil and the sausage slices are properly distributed all throughout the pan.
  9. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.
  10. I had some cheddar cheese in the fridge so I grated it and put it in as well, but this is totally optional.
  11. Squeeze half of a small lemon in. This adds a bit of freshness into the dish.
  12. Turn off heat, throw in your fresh basil and stir to let the leftover heat wilt the basil leaves.
  13. Finally, top with Parmesan cheese and a sprig of basil for garnish.

 

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Lately I’ve noticed that afternoons are a little bit hotter than usual. Armpits get a little more sweaty (hehe) and ice-cold drinks are more than welcome any time of the day. Summer is almost here!

Since moving to Manila, summer for me meant going home to my beloved province and relishing what little time I have left to spend with my family before classes (or work) start again. We would always make time to go to the beach, and a trip to the beach always merits a drive to the famous Patapat Viaduct.

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This long and winding bridge is in the northernmost tip of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. It is the fourth longest bridge in the Philippines and it is awesome! Hahaha

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What we usually do is drive up to the bridge after a day of lounging at a nearby beach. Sunsets are very pretty here especially when spent with family (cue collective awwwwww).

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There’s nothing much to see actually – just what seems to be an endless amount of black rocks and seawater in different shades of blue. Sometimes, a shipwreck might decorate the shores (before the locals butcher the beauty up and sell the spare parts in junk shops).

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If you’re quite lucky, you might chance upon a weirdo in the middle of the road. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite LOL.

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Other places you might wanna check out in Ilocos:

1. Agua Grande

2. Bantay Abot

3. Blue Lagoon

4. Playa Tropical Resort

5. Others

 

 

Happy New Year, everyone! 🙂 I hope you had a grand time during the holiday, however way you spent it. As for me, I went home and spent two full weeks with my family. It was two weeks filled with bonding, movies, and a lot of food.

The new year gives us a chance to start anew. Hence, me trying to revive my blog… AGAIN! LOL

I plan to do weekly recaps by showing you pictures of how my day went. It might get boring when work gets busy but I will try to stick with it as much as I can. So here goes! 🙂

 

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January 1: Welcomed the New Year with a simple feast shared with my family. I spent all day at home playing with the pets, watching movies with my folks and feeding relatives that come over. I also decided to quit soda (yes, again!). And may I just say that all our pets are so lambing! Except for Uno who’s such a total bitch, of course.

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January 2: Decided to finally get a driver’s learner’s permit. I knew I needed some pictures taken so I prettified myself up just to be disappointed with the photo quality LOL. It was so damn low-res haha! Went on a road trip to eat some (or maybe lots) of barbecue and take pictures of the sunset by the beach. Too bad Mama was not able to join us coz she was still stuck at work.

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January 3: My Ilocos trip comes to an end. Before heading back to Manila, I got my nails done because nail art is so damn cheap in the province! And look how pretty my nails are! Never mind the sausage fingers LOL. And a final parting shot of the town welcome sign as I was waiting for my bus to pick me up.

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January 4: Back to Manila. My day was filled with sleep, hair colors and garlic breath LOL. Only shot I got to take was that of Rockwell from the bedroom window. image

 

January 5: Fixed my room and finally got to hang up my fairy lights. So pretty!!! My room smelled so clean and I slept so well that night. image

 

January 6: Back to reality, back to work. Which also means back to taking mirror pictures in the bathroom and elevators. I had to work overtime for a bit and was quite surprised to see the 11th floor hallway to be so empty. Seems like most of the people decided to start their year right and leave early. Good for them! 🙂image

 

January 7: I have a habit of overusing the newest shoes that I have (hence the picture of my feet). When I got to work, I realized that I shouldn’t be using those shoes that much because I initially bought them for choir performance purposes so I then changed into my trusty wedges. Wedges are also much easier to walk on and I needed to run some errands, so good decision after all. Left work early to have dinner with Vlad and Gian at Infinitea (Thanks for the treat Vlad!). And I finally got my pasalubong from Dubai. The stuffed dates and baklava are all so yummy. Thanks Denver! 🙂image

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How did the first week of your 2014 go?

 

I wanted to share with you a few pictures from a very short stopover at Agua Grande on our way to another tourist spot (this is after going to Blue Lagoon and Bantay Abot Cave).

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I have been to Agua Grande a couple of times as a little kid. The oldies would take me with my cousins on a picnic and we could easily spend a day just frolicking around the river. Agua Grande is actually an estuary – a point where the river and sea meets. Cool, right? 🙂

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Agua Grande translates to dakkel a danum in Ilocano. It is actually a mini hydro-electric power plant built during the Marcos regime to supply electricity to the residents of Pagudpud. I am not sure though if it is still fully functional to this day.

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Stay tuned for two more Ilocos Norte tourist spots! 🙂

I just came back to the Metro from attending my sister’s high school graduation in Ilocos. Separation anxiety is hitting me big time so I guess I should just blog about the places I got to visit for the very short time that I had to spend with my family.

I touched down at Laoag International Airport late Saturday afternoon, no thanks to Cebu Pacific Air’s perennial delayed flights. Hay naku, what’s new. That day was put to waste because of a delayed flight. Tsk. So anyway… On Sunday, my mom finally brought out the lobsters that were frozen for a long time (coz they were waiting for me to come home, sweet! ♥♥♥), and decided to go out of the house and spend the day at the beach.

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We drove for more than an hour to get to Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud. I have been to Pagudpud many times over the years but I’ve never really been to Blue Lagoon before. We always used to go to Saud, mainly because it is relatively nearer from where we live. Driving further up north was worth it, though.

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The weather was so nice that day. One thing I love about being in the province is that it was still very breezy despite the sun being all out Mr. Bright. We rented out a small hut where we could feast on our lunch. After filling up on lobster and watermelon (yum yum yum!), the oldies settled down for siesta time. The young ones, including me lol, opted to bake under the sun.

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The best part is that we felt like we had the beach all to ourselves. Apart from our group, there were only a few others who were around that area. I guess most tourists were drawn to the more famous and much more crowded nearby resort – Hannah’s. I especially loved watching those three kids play around the water.

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The water at Blue Lagoon is so mesmerizing. The varying depth of the sea resulted to a beautiful mix of blue hues. The clean, white sand provides a perfect base for all the blue colors. One needs to be wary when getting in the water, though. It might be scary for non-swimmers because the waves could pull you in farther into the sea really fast and this could be disastrous because the sea bed dips low so suddenly.

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The waves are so strong I actually saw this girl lose her bikini top. LOL. And I might have seen a few too many buttcracks that day. O_O

Two other tourist spots to visit will be featured in my next entries. Stay tuned!