Saturday, March 28, 2015

YummY! - Halo-Halo @ Philippines

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           Jotaro's Food Review          
Basco, Batanes & Manila, Philippines - March 2015
Halo-Halo is a favourite dessert in the Philippines, it is found almost anywhere in the Philippines. It is to the Filipinos what Ais Kacang is to the Malaysians.

Walking down a Manila street during a debut visit to the Philippines, I came upon this signage.
"Hello.... what is this thing called Halo-Halo?"
We were on a trip to cycle to at the Batanes, and only stayed on night in Manila and thus I did not have the time to try this Halo-Halo thing. It was only when we were at Batanes that I did get to savour it.
So what is it?

This is the Halo-Halo we had in Batanes. My cycling buddy Ong liked it very much and after the first taste, would almost everyday asked us to go visit the shop again; after all it IS a good, refreshing thirst-quencher after a good cycling ride.
Batanes is a iced dessert of mixed tropical fruits with coconut water and some evaporated milk. Fruits that are used are pineapples, papayas, bananas, sweet potato, coconut shaving, jack-fruit, some sago beads. It is topped up with sprinkling of deep-fried rice and a thick molasses.

The types of fruits used differs from stall to stall but the rice is a must. Also using finely shaved ice makes the dessert smoother and more enjoyable.

This stall also sells Maruya, Filipino-style banana fritters. These are half-sliced bananas deep-fried with a thin layer of batter and served with a sprinkling of sugar while it is still hot.

The shop at Batanes sells their Halo-Halo at 45PHP for the "Special" which has more fruits.
It is located at Basco town on the National road and sits opposite the Ivatan Lodge.

This Halo-Halo from the Raku Hokkaido Ramen shop looks better and tastes better too as they used fresh milk and more finely shaved ice.
The pricing is "better" to at 135PHP each, three times that of the 
Basco one. The shop is situated at the food court of the Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Top view of Raku's Halo-Halo shows the deep-fried white rice. I especially like this as the are very crispy and crunchy.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Philippines 2015 Batanes - Marfel Lodge

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                Footsteps - Jotaro's Travels                   
Philippines 2015 Batanes - Marfel Lodge
While on a cycling adventure in Batanes, we stayed at Marfel's Lodge located in Basco, Batan Island. This is a homestay where patrons have free use of the kitchen and laundry.

Marfel's have bedrooms of several sizes from single bedders to three bedders. Room charges varies; we stayed at this three bedder for 1800PHP per night.
Marfel is frequently full during the peak visiting period to Batanes from March to May. There is an extension at the back with more bedrooms and a laundry equipped with a washing and drying machine.

Entry to the lodge is up some steps to this porch/lounge where a reception is located.
Here there are armchairs and and a sofa for patrons to relax. A work table sometime stand in as a dining table.
To one side of this lounge is the living room and to the other side the kitchen/dining room, bathrooms and toilets.

The living room had more formal chairs than the lounge and comes with a television.

The kitchen is of moderate size with a central sink, on one side of which is a stove. Pots, pans, china-ware and cutlery are available for patrons to cook and dine with. Patrons are expected to wash and clean up after using the kitchen facilities. A fridge is available for all to share.
On the fare end is a corridor that leads to the bathrooms and toilets with one each for males and females.

On shelves in the kitchen, canned food are displayed for sale.

And in another cupboard are snacks, instant noodles, instant tea & coffee.
Like anywhere in Batanes, honesty plays an important part here; one need to just take the required goods, register in a log book....

... and drop your payment into this basket. Neat isn't it, just be honest.

Maps for your use:
(Click on maps for enlarged view)
Batan Island Map
(courtesy of Ong Kay Swee)

Itbayat Island & Sabtang Maps
(courtesy of Ong Kay Swee)

Basco Town Map

Reyes Street, Barangkay Kayvaluganan, Basco, Batanes, Philippines.
Tel: +63-908 893 1475
Smart Mobile: +63-0908 8931 475, +63-0920 9764 966
Globe Mobile: +63-0917 8574 493, +63-0917 8833 249

GPS: 20.448704, 121.973626

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / Footsteps / Philippines 2015 Batanes / Marfel Lodge
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via Facebook or Twitter)