I wrote this in 2009, as a reflection on my mother’s experiences with tech and culture. It was originally on Multiply, which has now closed down, so I am missing the comments of my friends who know my mother and love her. I mentioned in one comment that she would be the Scully to my dad’s Mulder (gosh, how I loved watching The X-Files!).  I just wanted to share this with all of you, in case you could relate.

Personal Geographic

My mom was sitting on the sofa reading the current issue of Newsweek.  Inside were several letters to the editor from readers who felt that Michael Jackson was not treated with the respect that someone whose contribution to music was that significant.  One letter-writer admitted that he was a fan until the sordidness of the child molestation charge severely tainted his admiration of the singer.

Nanay:  What did Michael Jackson sing?  I might know it?

This was tough, because she had no personal reference to any of the songs I knew.

Me:  Er, it’s hard to pick something you’d know, because you never really listened to the radio.  I just realized now that you know absolutely nothing of rock and roll…

We try to explain to other people that my mom “was born in the 40s, lived twice through the ’50s, totally skipped the 60s, and went straight to the…

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The mass exodus to the beach began during the Holy Week.  We decided to wait until after Easter, when there wouldn’t be such a big crowd.  We went to our favorite resort, Anvaya Cove, in Morong, Bataan.  We’ve been going there since 2011, as guests of a family friend who’s a member.  I wrote about our first trip here (with some nice photos).


We stayed two nights, three days.  Whereas before we spent most of our time at the beach or at the swimming pools, this time we decided to explore the rest of the resort.  On our second day we took an afternoon walk, and met a flock of ducks that lived near the resort’s man-made lake.

2013-04-03-226xduckhunting DSCN4501x

2013-04-03-222xThe ducks were quite friendly and were probably used to being fed by visitors.  My 7-year-old niece tried to get as close as she could for this photo:

duckhunting DSCN4491xWe crossed a bridge and walked towards a lawn with small mango trees, and the ducks swam across the lake and followed us!  When they realized we weren’t going to feed them (we didn’t think to ask the Anvaya Cove staff what the rules were about feeding the ducks), they walked off to the clubhouse to importune some sympathetic visitors.

2013-04-03-223duckhunting DSCN4510xduckhunting DSCN4518xIt was quite funny to see the ducks all in a row 🙂  We walked back to our room in one of the casitas as the sun went down.

sunset DSCN4521x


I guess you can tell how well-managed a place is by its happy ducks! My sister, brother-in-law, niece and I had a grand time.



Manila’s Chinatown dates back to 1594, and is the oldest Chinatown in the world. The area is called Binondo, and I’ve only been there exactly four times in the past.  All four times involved visits to restaurants and delis.  Each time I discovered something delightful and new.  This weekend’s trip was no different.


My brother-in-law Tristan has a favorite pay parking area near Binondo Church (the Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz).  When we got there at around 10:30am, nearly every parking slot was already taken.  Our friend Elma had Ivan Dy’s Binondo Food Wok map from when she went on the tour.  We only had until 2pm to walk around and eat, so it was great to have someone lead us who’d done it before.


Our first stop was Dong Bei Dumplings (624 Yuchengco St., behind the church), home of the best steamed dumplings in town.  When we got there, the place was already full!  Ivan Dy had a walking tour group already booked, and they took up all five tables.  Elma and my sister Joy ordered packs of dumplings to bring home, since they sold out pretty quickly.  We said we’d return when Ivan’s group was done.

We thought we’d have coffee and snacks at Cafe Mezzanine, the Volunteer Firemen’s Cafe.  Chinatown’s brave Filipino-Chinese firemen are usually the first to arrive at any fire in the city (yes, ahead of the neighborhood firemen, sometimes).  The cafe supports all of their activities.  It’s located above the Eng Bee Tin deli along Ongpin St., next to Binondo Church.  Their eye-catching purple fire truck is usually parked alongside, colored after the deli’s famous ube hopia (pastry filled with mashed purple yam).


Firemen’s hats and other gear decorate the cafe.  We ordered espressos and a variety of savory snacks, among them kiampong (fried rice topped with sauteed peanuts), machang (glutinous rice filled with stewed pork and wrapped in a banana leaf), fried radish cake, and crab cake (actually crab balls, served with sweet and sour sauce).  People who try only the kiampong are sometimes not impressed; they just do not realize that it is probably meant to be eaten with another viand for a contrast of textures and flavors.



Yes, it looks like a light lunch, but these are actually small servings shared by the four of us.  The coffee was quite good.  Our bill came to a total of P550 (about USD 13.50).  One added plus for us girls was that the cafe had a very clean toilet.

We walked back to Dong Bei, and ordered a plate of steamed pork and kuchay (chive) dumplings, and a plate of fried pancakes stuffed with the same mixture.  Wanting more, we later ordered another plate of steamed kuchay-only dumplings.  Each plate was P100 (just over USD 2) – there were 14 steamed dumplings per order, and four fried pancakes the size of coasters, sliced into quarters.




These were the absolute freshest dumplings I’ve ever had in my entire life.  The dough was soft, yet strong enough to hold the tasty filling either while being steamed or fried.  They were served with Chinese black vinegar.

Both the steamed dumplings and the fried stuffed pancakes were made right in front of us, at the next table.



The packs of frozen dumplings we ordered each contained 31 dumplings at P200 (roughly USD 5) each.  We bought 3 packs and received one pack free!  The instructions were to boil five minutes or steam seven minutes directly from the freezer.  We also received small containers of the black vinegar to go with our order.  The very kind owner agreed to keep them in her freezer until we were finished with our walk.

We went to Bee Tin, a traditional Chinese grocery on 735 Ongpin St.  We bought two kinds of kiamoy (salty red, or sweet black preserved plums), preserved sweet olives (P75) and 250g of Tie GuanYin Oolong loose leaf tea (P150).  Elma was looking for White Rabbit milk candies, but there were none to be had.


We moved to another grocery down the road, Shin Tai-Shang, which specialized in Taiwanese food products and assorted dry goods.  We bought fruit tarts with salted egg yolk inside them (green tea and plum, red bean, pineapple, and lotus – P40 each).  The owner described the filling as somewhat similar in consistency to that of moon cake.  We also bought a couple of curried chicken turnovers (P45 each, quite good).



After North Ongpin bridge we came across Salazar Bakery, where we bought fortune cookies (P78).



We then went looking for the corner of Ongpin and Bahama St, where the Shanghai Fried Siopao stall is.  They sell steamed pork buns (P16 each) browned on a griddle, among other food items.  As soon as we got there a line began to form.  We bought some to take home with us for Sunday breakfast (delicious!).  As we were waiting for our change, I saw a pedicab pass by with a barking chihuahua in it, riding like a queen.  I wish I had taken a photo, but I didn’t want to get accidentally knocked down by a car.



By that time it was just around 1pm and we needed a pick-me-up.  In front of us was Sa Lido restaurant (839 Ongpin St.), which was famous for its siphon coffee and roast pork asado.  We walked into the place, and saw from an autographed photo that it was a favorite hangout of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.  There were groups of old men relaxing and chatting, and ladies enjoying noodles.  Since we were still full from the dumplings, we opted for iced coffee (P80; a happier price than at Starbucks).  They also had a nice clean toilet.



We started walking back towards Yuchengco St., and passed by a sugarcane vendor.  We bought one pack (P60) for my 7-year-old niece to chew on.  Along with the sugarcane he sold cogon grass roots, which are apparently made into a medicinal juice.


We finally claimed our frozen dumplings and walked back to the car.  We spent only P320 each (not including tips and other take-home food), although you could easily spend less than that and still be quite satisfied.

In case you’re planning on a Binondo food trip this summer, please wear light clothing and comfortable shoes, wear lots of sunblock, and bring reusable shopping bags, your camera, and cash in small bills with you.  You can buy your mineral water along the way.

There’s still so much of that food map to cover!  We’re planning to return very soon.  One day I’ll take Ivan Dy’s tour, to be able to appreciate not only the food, but Chinatown’s history and culture as well.



It was 1957.  The acacia trees lining the avenues at the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman were not as tall and leafy as they are now.   He saw her walking to class one day.  She walked with a certain spring in her step, clutching her books.  “Magarput” is his word.  It’s an Ilocano word that’s hard to translate, but it connotes a certain kind of vivacious girliness.  He kept an eye out for this “magarput” little Chinese girl from the sugar lands of the South, who mostly spoke English because she didn’t know much Tagalog, the lingua franca of Manila.  She graduated class salutatorian from Negros Occidental High School.  In those days being an honors graduate automatically granted young students admission to UP Diliman.

She had no idea he was interested, until much later.  He was a good-looking Northern boy from the summer capital, Baguio City, and he was in UP to study mining engineering.  With other Ilocano boys he roomed at Narra Residence Hall and spent some of his free time with his fraternity brothers, or riding around in his friend’s Volkswagen Beetle serenading young ladies at the nearby dormitories.  She stayed at the YWCA dormitory across the street, where, every Sunday, they served the best fried chicken on campus.  All the Narra boys dreamed of being invited to dine at the YWCA on Sundays!

My dad learned she was secretary of the youth organization at the UP Protestant Chapel, the Church of the Risen Lord.  Naturally he joined, too. She had two other suitors, one of which became a top volcanologist, and the other, a prominent judge.  But she only had eyes for my dad.

One fateful day he was returning to Narra Residence Hall from one of their dates, and came upon two fraternities fighting violently nearby.  In the ensuing melee one boy stabbed him in the side!  My mother brought him to the hospital, where she met my paternal grandmother for the very first time.   When the boy who stabbed him found out that it was a case of mistaken identity, he was mortified.  He apologized, and they later decided not to file charges against him. Oddly, a few years later, when my parents got married, he sent them a nice set of placemats.

My dad later joined an equipment firm, while my mom taught high school Biology at UP. They continued to see each other.  On Valentine’s Day in 1967 he went over to her faculty room and said, “Let’s get married!”  So off they went to Quezon City Hall.  The two witnesses were my dad’s best friend and the judge’s secretary.  They didn’t have much money, so they went to Little Quiapo nearby and had a crushed ice dessert, halo-halo, to celebrate.   It was many years later that my mother was finally able to introduce my father to her mother.  My maternal grandma was fond of saying, “You know, I never met your father until after they got married, but he turned out to be my favorite son-in-law!”

Twenty-five years later they renewed their vows in church.  They’ve been together 46 years now, best friends and lovers and parents.   They are in their seventies.  My dad jokes that their marriage has survived this long because he is deaf in one ear.  My mom says it’s because they each maintain their individual interests and yet support each other’s pursuits.

But I think it’s the romance, which is still quite strong.  My friend Ana called me on the phone one night.  The phone reception was very clear and she could hear everything going on in the living room, and even heard the doorbell ring.  She heard the clattering of my mom’s shoes on the marble.  “Who’s that? ” she said.  “It’s my mom,” I explained.  “My dad just arrived.”  Suddenly it was quiet.  “What’s happening?  Why is it quiet?”  I laughed and said, “They’re kissing!”

There are pink tulips in a little pot on the table tonight.  It reminds me of the time he first gave her tulips many years ago.  They were the exotic and fashionable imported flowers to give on Valentine’s Day back then.  We were all stuck in traffic on our way to their wedding anniversary dinner.  After sniffing the tulips, she said with surprise, “But they don’t smell of anything!”  So he jumped out of the car and ran after a vendor selling sampaguita (jasmine) leis, and ran back.  “Here!” he said, panting, giving my mother a lei.  “Here’s the scent!”

Ain’t love grand.


When I was a little girl I was bookish and not the least bit sporty.  I did, however, love swimming, climbing trees, running with the dogs and playing games the neighborhood children played. I even endured hula dancing class.  It wasn’t until high school PE that I became one of the goalies of the girls’ soccer team.  I sometimes walked home all covered in mud.  The only time I was goalie and we played against another school, it was a long, hard match that ended in a draw.  No big deal – we had sandwiches and we had our stories, and we enjoyed ourselves.

I had a place in the team, a role and a goal, and I tried as much as possible to achieve it.  The sense of belonging and pride in the team was exhilarating.  For once I was the doer, not the watcher.  Many people prefer to just watch, and never give themselves a chance to do.

Many years later, I watched my goddaughter Jassie play girls’ Little League Softball.  Their team won the right to represent the Philippines at the International Little League World Series that year.  I cheered myself hoarse that day, and was so proud of my friends’ little girl.  I remembered thinking that when I was a little girl I could never hit anything on cue even if I tried.  I was hopeless at shooting a basketball or returning a volleyball serve.   The only thing I knew how to do was kick a ball in certain directions and block it with my body.  I thought it was great that kids nowadays had all these organized activities that gave them opportunities to discover physical and social skills, activities that weren’t available or fashionable when I was small.  All we had then was a choice of learning dance, or a musical instrument, or art, or kiddie cooking class.  Very few little girls then participated in team sports, unless you counted school patintero and Chinese garter games at recess.

Last Saturday I watched my niece Lilo play Little League T-ball.  It was a very hot and humid day, but families gathered around the El Circulo Verde field, cheering on their kids.  There’s something so appealing about watching 6-year-olds running around a diamond trying to catch a ball.  Each of them had a job to do.  Lilo batted twice; later she had to exit the game due to heat exhaustion.  They only played for an hour in the sweltering heat, but they all got their exercise, which is one thing kids always need enough of.

When Lilo started out with the International Little League Association of Manila‘s Major Holdings team, she was the smallest girl (and one of the youngest) in the group.  They practiced once a week on a weekday and played virtually every Saturday in the school year.  In the beginning she didn’t understand the game rules.  She cried whenever she was tagged out.  Eventually she learned to hit a ball on a tee strongly, even hit a coach’s pitch, and to catch a ball. And she learned to run as fast as she could.  There were days she didn’t feel like playing, but she played anyway.  There were days she was more interested in daydreaming while in the outfield. But she played anyway.  Her teammates didn’t all go to the same school, but they all became friends.

A year later, some teammates moved into the next age group.  Some stopped playing in favor of other pursuits.  This year Lilo plays in a mixed boys and girls group.  (More new friends!)

t-ball-01t-ball-02t-ball-03This sort of experience is so important.  It’s not about dressing up to look sporty, or so you have something to brag about (although some people do that).  It’s about learning to work with others, and to do your job the best way you can so you can contribute to the team’s success.  For most little girls, it’s trying out what you initially think you’re not inclined to do, with the hope of finding out that you really like what you’re doing.  And becoming the better person for it.

The last time I participated in a team sport, it was in Philippine airsoft, from 2001-2003.  I was a member of the PPG, an all-girl assault squad of Team Wyvern.  We participated in the first Kalis competition, where we had to successfully complete an assault module, a defense module and a hostage rescue module.  We held a respectable middle place in the competition, not bad for first-timers.  Here’s a couple of photos from those days when I was 20lbs lighter and had sharper cheekbones:

That’s Ria Miranda-Regis and me clearing out the first room of the FTI warehouse in Taguig.  (Thanks to Mike Wu for these photos!)

The PPG disbanded at a time when some of us became wives and mothers.  Those are important roles, too – except your team is your family this time.  As for me, I passed my airsoft gear on to my godson Raffi, who uses it mostly for cosplay.

Those with young children should take advantage of opportunities for team sport.  If you’re thinking about things like the expense and the time it takes up, believe me, it’s worth it.  Let your children join something, have fun and learn to play well with others.  There are many, many lessons to learn from experiences like this, but playing well with others is one of those skills that you may not realize means a lot when it comes to living well in this world.


medusa-01My 6yo niece has a very vivid imagination.  She’s wanted to be Medusa  for the longest time.  Last October 22 she had her fantasy realized – thanks to Mommy Joy’s crochet skills.  Joy found the free crocheted yarn snakes pattern by Lucy Ravenscar at

medusa-02The 14 snakes are made up of combinations of yarn colors, crocheted over four days.  The eyes and tongue are sewn on.  They are attached to a plastic headband, along with black yarn “hair”.  The “black” lipstick is eyebrow pencil rubbed over lip gloss.  The rest of the costume was a black sleeveless dress.

Lilo was even more thrilled when she won a special award for her costume!  Even now she’s thinking of a new costume for next year…



This is my mother’s EPP herbal balcony garden:  organic sweet basil, bok choy, Himalayan spinach, tarragon, rosemary and chives.  Yes, the planters are converted plastic Coca-cola liter bottles.

EPP stands for Enriched Potting Preparation, which uses a “nutrient-rich compost soil extract, in a watering and aeration-efficient container”.  It’s award-winning urban garden technology developed by Dr. Eduardo P. Paningbatan, a professor of soil science at the University of the Philippines in Los Banos.

My mom attended one of his seminars and decided to start her own garden.  She even organized a seminar at our Metro Manila condo complex so that other unit owners could grow their own organic and pesticide-free herbs and vegetables, even ornamental plants.

EPP is distributed by:

Makiling Plant and Products Exchange (MPPI)
10001 Mt. Halcon St., Umali Subd., Los Banos, Laguna
Tel No. +6349-536-0054
Fax No. +6349-536-5536
Mobile +63919-804-7169



mercatohaulWhile the world was supposed to be ending, Joy, Tristan and I were out hunting for organic and fair trade products at Cocowonder and the Mercato Centrale weekend market.

Cocowonder is an exporter of virgin coconut oil based in Makati.  Joy was researching on VCO in an attempt to find cost-effective organic local or fair trade products for cosmetic and internal use (hair, face and body).  She bought culinary grade and raw VCO (both cold-pressed), VCO hair conditioner and body wash, amino seasoning, nectar and cocoa tablea.  Local sellers at various trade fairs don’t label their products very carefully, and oftentimes can’t answer detailed questions, so she found the Cocowonder site very useful.

I’ve tried VCO massage oils in the past, but this time I finally tried the culinary grade VCO as a facial night moisturizer (a tiny amount goes a long way) .  It’s only been a couple of days, but I notice it’s absorbed quickly by my skin and it seems to be successful on my dry problem areas (more on this in a future blog entry).  It doesn’t have that off-putting bukayo smell, just an initial faint scent of nutty baked goods, which eventually fades.  As a family we’re trying to use more natural products, so this is right up our alley.

We arrived at Mercato just before noon, and decided to have lunch at the al fresco dining area.  It’s fun to walk around before deciding what to eat – there were so many yummy choices!  We shared a quarter-pound burger from Monster Burger, delicious grilled sausages, some very tasty prawn-bacon and kani-bacon skewers, cheesy baby potatoes and stuffed tomatoes, washed down with icy cold cantaloupe juice.  I don’t have any pictures since we were so hungry we ate it all.  Only then were we fortified enough to browse in the market.

Since our last visit was only 2 Saturdays ago, we didn’t really buy a lot this time.  I bought more different brands/varieties of whole coffee beans from the National Coffee Board stall.  One was from the Mt. Apo area (Altura Blend, a Dizon Farms coffee).  Continental Coffee is a CAFEX brand, which is a local coffee they serve at McCafe’s nationwide.  I was curious about Culinary Exchange’s Embarcadero Blend, which has beans from Northern Luzon and the Visayas. There’s coffee from Mt. Kanlaon which I mean to buy next time (I didn’t get it because it was already ground) – I tried the coffee sample they served me and it was very good.  Joy bought Ifugao Heirloom brown rice, and wasabi vinaigrette from Comida Rica.  One day we’ll go on a Sunday morning instead of a Saturday, bring our parents and have lunch.

“Fate could not harm us, for we have dined today.” – Sidney Smith (1855)



Occasional thunderstorms reminded us that the summer wouldn’t last forever.  Going to the beach was my five-year-old niece Lilo’s nightly prayer.  Thanks to the kind sponsorship of a family friend who was a member, we were able to visit Anvaya Cove in Bataan, some 30 minutes’ drive past Subic.


We arrived just before lunch.  We were ferried to our rooms via the scenic route in an electric golf cart.  Because of the electric transportation, there was little pollution near the living areas.  Ayala Land did an outstanding job with the landscaping – shady mango trees, beautiful bamboo stands and variegated bushes lined the paths.  There were even several ponds along the route, supporting flocks of geese.  My brother-in-law Tristan was also pleased to note that all the public buildings offered free wi-fi.  Each bedroom was even equipped with a LAN cable, cable tv, and a dvd player.  We went off to lunch in their airconditioned restaurant.  Food prices were competitive and food quality was quite good, although we weren’t impressed by the buffet selections.  Every comfort room was spotless, offering lotion, hand sanitizer, and powder apart from the soap.  The level of comfort and customer service was consistently high all throughout.


There was a bath house with lockers near the multi-level swimming pools and the beach, where you could rent your towel and change into your swimsuit.  As we walked to the beach we noticed there were little “bird houses” around which were actually disguised cold-water dispensers!  In the heat, this was a major plus.


The sand was light grey, and we were very happy to see that the water was very clean and clear.  There were lots of small fish and shells, and a few harmless jellyfish.  High tide was in the mornings.  We all had a grand time beachcombing.



When we arrived there were lots of people at the swimming pools (many were day trippers), but few at the beach itself.  It was like we had the whole cove to ourselves.  The following morning a number of young families joined us.  There was a section of cove reserved for a team-building group, where the noise of the activities couldn’t disturb the other guests.  We swam all day.  We had to check out of our rooms at 12 noon in deference to other guests, but we didn’t have to settle our bill until 330pm!


On our way home we were greeted by another thunderstorm on NLEX.  We wished we could have stayed at Anvaya Cove longer, but then we were actively making plans to plan for another sponsored visit again one day.


mercato-01My sister and brother-in-law were going to the Mercato Centrale weekend market at Bonifacio Global City, and invited me to join them.  It was my first time to visit Mercato, I heard it was similar to the Salcedo and Legaspi markets, only in tents.  We were very excited.

mercato-02Joy found some organic sweet corn that she wanted to try.  At the same stall a guy was selling a gigantic sunflower head full of seeds.  I had never seen one before up close.  The heads were going for PhP500 each, and he’d sold 3 heads already.  We were looking for fresh mint for tabbouleh, a Lebanese bulghur wheat salad, but there wasn’t any available.  A few tables further down I found some fair trade coffee beans, a “Red Cherry Blend” from Mt. Apo, and got some of that (the name refers to coffee beans picked at the height of ripeness).  I’ve been trying different coffees from all over the country for some time now, so I couldn’t resist.    Next was a table selling bangus pate in different versions – Asian, Mediterranean and Pinoy.  Joy got a pack of 3 to give as a birthday gift.  Then we met Vicky of Comida Rica, who sold melba toast, salad dressings and dips.  I got a spinach cheese dip to go with the crusty No Knead Bread we bake every other week.  When we mentioned we baked our own bread, Vicky said she wanted to try it at home, and exchanged emails with Joy.  From her we got a tip that we could get different kinds of flour wholesale at Sweetcraft in Mandaluyong.  We decided we’d go there after shopping.

At the next tent Tristan decided to buy a pair of buy one-take one sausage sandwiches.  He had the Schublig and special hotdog sandwiches, which he claimed were the best he’s had in a long time.  Joy met a Moroccan lady selling tagine clay cookware and various Moroccan dishes.  She bought zalouk, a spicy eggplant salad flavored with paprika and other spices.  Next to that table there was an importer of nuts – walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, even dried fruits.  Joy bought a package of assorted nuts, and I found myself a pack of lavender tea.  I use lavender tea for relaxation and to help me sleep when I’m under the weather.  The last place I was able to find lavender tea was at Bizu in Greenhills, and since I ran out I haven’t had a chance to buy some more, until now.  As we walked along we came across a frozen yoghurt seller, who urged us to try their mango, black sesame and green tea flavors.  We discovered their office was near our house, and thought we’d order from them the next time we have a children’s party.  Their frozen yoghurt still had that tangy tartness I love so much and which seems to be missing from some over-processed brands in the malls.  On our way out of the tent I paused to buy some tinapa (smoked fish) and Vigan longganisa (Ilocano sausages) for next week’s breakfasts.  Then we discovered some absolutely delicious spinach and cheese empanadas!  We bought enough for the entire family’s merienda.

mercato-03There were tables for cooked food, organic grains and vegetables, baked goods, organic body care and household cleaning products.  We were a bit disappointed that our chef friend Elena wasn’t around selling her artisanal breads, but we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.  Having blowers fanning air all around us in the tents made the experience a pleasure.  (In this heat I can’t imagine going to Salcedo market, which is open air.)  On Sundays and during the night markets there is a different set of vendors.  One day we will return and have lunch at the “food court” area, where the stalls were groaning with delicious food, some of which were exotic or were international dishes.  These weekend markets aren’t really places for bargains, but rather  places to find new and interesting (and mostly organic) products, for which a certain premium must be paid.  Visiting Mercato is a treat, as opposed to going to the way less expensive fresh market weekly.  Of course we’re going back, there’s always something new to try another time.

Once we got back to the car, we immediately called Sweetcraft for directions to their outlet along Boni Ave. in Mandaluyong.  It is across the street from Rizal Technological University.  The wholesale prices of their flours saved us money and parking fees.  They carry everything from flours to baking chocolate to whipping cream to nuts to every baking/confectionery ingredient you can think of.  We were lucky to have been referred by Vicky, who claimed that Sweetcraft ingredients were at a lower price than at Baker’s Depot and similar baking supply shops.  We’re excited to be baking again middle of this week.  Sweetcraft is at 373 Boni Ave., Mandaluyong City, tel nos. 532-1595, 532-6289, 571-8008, 571-7858, email