Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pasalubong Options: Tagaytay, Cagayan de Oro, and Dipolog

Back in college, I love bringing as pasalubong (homecoming gifts) to my Manila-based friends the best that my province has to offer--puto, cassava cake, fish bagoong, and locally-grown vegetables that make up for flavor what they lack in bulk. Not only do I promote goodwill, I also get a kick promoting Pangasinan's best. Now that I travel for a living, I get to share parts of the places I go to with my Manila-bound colleagues.

This is the first of a series of pasalubong recommendations. For this post, I'll zero in on options from a favorite get-away place two hours from Manila, as well as two from cities down south in Mindanao.

1. Amira's Sylvannas

Sylvannas, sometimes silvanas, is a frozen cookie, usually rounded, made of buttercream sandwiched by cashew-meringue wafers. I prefer their buco tarts. These were a hit when I brought a box to the office after a visit to Tagaytay. For more of Amira's and the latter, go here.

2. Slers Longganisa and Bacon

Any of these two is a good bet for pasalubong from Cagayan de Oro City. The meats are lean and flavorful.

3. Montano Spanish Sardines

The common thread from this post, aside from these being pasalubog best bets, is that of promoting local manufacturers. I fell in love with this brand of Spanish sardines from Dipolog. It helps that I have a liking for this product. This is one of my comfort foods--Spanish sardines and mound sof warm rice is always a treat.

Watch out for the next post. There will be more in the coming weeks.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Talisay City's The Ruins--Night and Day

The Ruins, located at Talisay City, is formerly a mansion built early last century by sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. The construction was supervised meticulously, using quality materials. This helped the structure survive the razing by guerrilla fighters to prevent the Japanese from using the mansion as headquarters. 

I first visited The Ruins in 2008. It was night time and the whole structure was dramatically lit--it was gothic and appeared a tad eerie, as if ghouls were prowling just behind the shadows. I used my old camera phone to take the following pictures, and the graininess added further to the structure's mystique. 

Fast forward to last month. Mid-day highlighted another facet of the structure--a venue for weddings and dates. I felt like a character from a Henry James novel while walking through the compound.

Open everyday, from 8:30 am to 8 pm. The restaurant is open from 11 am to 8 pm.