Food

Aloha Hawaii: A mini-guide on where to eat

It was a toss-up between Sydney and Hawaii and on the last moment my sister asked: “So where do we go?” I guess we were both exasperated already and pre-occupied with work that at the last possible minute, I answered: “Let’s just go to Hawaii.” We had the US Visa already, that meant less work and less preparation.

It’s been a tradition of sorts to pick one major destination every December for our family vacation, the time when everyone can unplug and not think about work. Plus, we were to celebrate my sister’s birthday and last year as a single person, haha. So this had to be special and memorable.

Sunset at Waikiki Beach

Sunset at Waikiki Beach

We booked our tickets 4 days before Christmas Eve, booked the hotel and tours 2-3 days before. We didn’t think much of Hawaii even when tons of people were telling us it was their dream destination. You could say, we all went there with zero expectations which is really the best way to travel — to keep an open-minded and just enjoy the flow.

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The Sama Tribe teaches us to make Amik

On this particular sunny October day, the community was buzzing with activity. The Sama Tribe in Bgy. Tagbaobo, Samal Island were preparing for the death anniversary of one of their tribe members, and we were smack in the middle of it.

The tribe knew that I was coming to visit, I was housed next door and had previously spoken to Ms. Zenaida, their Community President. I approached the busy group awkwardly that morning, and it was then I was greeted with a local dance and then offered amik (local rice snack) and coffee (ground with corn).

The story goes, amik is what the Sama Tribe will offer guests and family members during the death anniversary celebration itself. The actual anniversary date is November 11 and since they need to produce at least 200 pieces, the whole barangay is up to their elbows in work. And thankfully, they were willing to let me pitch in.

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My Gastronomic Davao Experience with Etours.ph

Davao is synonymous with good, affordable, inventive food and on my second visit, I was invited to try out a new food tour conceptualized by Etours.ph along with accredited DOT guide Samuel Libre, Jr. I’ve met Sam before, he was our assigned tour guide during Kadayawan last August . He did such an exceptional job that I got in touch with him right away when I planned my return to this busy city.

So here’s a peek at the different Food Tours you can choose from:

Organic Food & Urban Farming

Features a roster of farm-to-table establishments that offer delicious organic food. Our first stop is Echostore, a popular haven for all-natural products and healthy living. We tried the Father Franco’s Pizza All Meat (ham, bacon, smoked chorizo). Fr. Franco is a priest residing in Bukidnon who has built his brand called “Parde Ninno,” known for his bottled delicacies, pizza dough, and duck pate.

Compared to the Manila branches Echostore Davao City has a more homey feel with a larger floor space, the menu is different, and it has a varied selection of skin care products, drinks, and local chocolates exclusively available here.

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My Top 8 eats in Davao City

Let’s steer away from Durian for a bit and explore what else Davao City has to offer. Davao City has been so controversial as of late most especially because of our current President Digong, but this didn’t stop us from visiting this wonderful city during Kadayawan Festival at the height of Martial Law. If you’re wondering how the province is doing during Martial Law, it’s business as usual for everyone. While we were initially anxious about the military presence and constant helicopter rounds, eventually we felt safe and enjoyed the festivities.

Kadayawan is a Bagobo word that means happiness, and this annual festival celebrates Davao’s bountiful harvest through songs, dances, local tribal games, and lots of eating. Here are couple of my favorite eats that you should definitely check out when you visit:

Kaondayawan Food Festival

A new addition to the roster of Kadayawan activities, Kaondayawan (kaon in Visayan means “eat”) features hawker food stalls and unique drink concoctions. Think of it as a food park of sorts, installed at Palma Gil Street specifically for the festival.

Kadayawan 2017_Elegantly Wasted

I zeroed in on the lechon and wagyu stalls while my fellow tourists/traveling companions, Phil and Princess, ordered Lechon Shawarma and the evergreen isaw (chicken intestines). Read More

Love, Z Bakery & Patisserie

Being a creature of habit, I usually stay true to my tried and tested food places. But once in a while when I’m feeling adventurous (ha!) I go out of my way and try new things. In this case, a new patisserie. Venture a little bit north and you’ll find the lovely Love, Z Bakery & Patisserie outside Filinvest Gate 1, stop number 2 on our Manila Food Trip 2017.

Love, Z is the brainchild of a group of friends brought together by their love for food and good conversation. Having spent so much time in restaurants, cafes, and other establishments, they eventually decided to create a place of their own and thus Love, Z bakery was born.

Love Z_Elegantly Wasted 1

We welcomed their freshly baked pastries, cakes, breads, and our beverage of choice (I had coffee, of course). Having had our fill of rice and heavy servings of chicken from the previous food crawl, it was nice to just sit down, chill for a bit, and catch up. I was seated with Rocky and Gellie, fellow coffee lovers and dessert aficionados.

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Poultry Stack

I am a homegrown Quezon City girl so it’s pretty obvious that our default for easy eats would be the Banawe, Tomas Morato or the Scout area. Just when I thought I’ve seen and tried all the places within the vicinity, another quirky restaurant opens up and it’s called Poultry Stack.

This was the first stop of the day of the Manila Food Trip 2017 event organized by Ms. Aileen Octaviano of the Pampanga Bloggers’ Society where I was invited by my fellow beauty blogger and Kapampangan, Gellie Abogado. This was also the first food crawl I participated in.

Manila Food Trip 2017_Poultry Stack_Elegantly Wasted 1

Early birds: With Rocky Gonzales discussing food, travel, and politics

Poultry Stack is a hip restaurant developed by renowned chefs Chef Gene and Chef Gino Gonzalez, serving distinct local and international cuisines revolving around its main ingredient: chicken.

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