Christmas Salu-salo at Arid and Aroids Farm in Silang, Cavite

It is the season for fun, shopping, outing, What a great way to explore a beautiful farm located within Silang, Cavite province.

collection of several cycad from all all over the world

This is not my first time to visit this farm, It was part of the several horticultural tours and farm tour organized by different plant societies and organization. The last tour that we have participated was organized in 2015 by Hortikultura Extravaganza by the Philippine Horticulture Society Incorporated.

Arid and Aroids also have farm located in San Rafael, Bulacan and in Quezon provinces.

Christmas Salu-Salo at Arid and Aroids Farm 2019

The Christmas salu-salo was a simple get together with friends and buyers of the farm. The meals, desserts, fruits, drinks are brought in by those people who are invited.

visitors are delighted with buffet meal

Mr.Njah Alvarez brought some banana cakes for sharing, while some brought buko pie ( coconut pie), lechon manok, pancit , sushi, espasol, chicken binakol and Chef Marlon and wife gave us some of their home made ham. They also find time to cook their own version of shawarma.

Tillandsia capitata and other varieties are also grown

The 1 hectare farm is a treasure trove of variegated plants, cacti, succulents, philodendron, ferns and mutant plants not just in the Philippines but the rest of the world.

It was a Christmas get together by friends, relatives and buyers of the farm. The food was delicious and the roasted pig (lechon) was a delight to behold.

The owners are planning big for the 3 known farms of Arid and Aroids. For more update, they have several known social media accounts.

Those who wanted to visit the farm, is by special appointment.

Arid and Aroid Farm

Location: Barangay Tartaria, Silang, Cavite

Historical Christmas Celebration Jump Start in Kawit, Cavite

Kawit is a historical town in Cavite province which is very near Metro Manila. Despite the hustle and bustle of the busy and traffic streets and establishments, everyone busy getting their Christmas shopping done.

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Christmas tree lighting ceremonies held at the Aguinaldo Shrine and Freedom Park

There are a few sights and sounds in nearby areas where we can feel the true spirit of a Filipino Christmas, especially with our loved ones.

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The Christmas lighting event was held last December 14, 2019, and a number of distinguished guests and celebrities joined in the celebration of the event.

Historical Christmas Celebration and Culinary Heritage

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Puto Bumbong

Puto Bumbong or a rice cake with shaved coconut and muscovado sugar is a staple food trip stop that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Kawit.

Aling Norma’s Suman – a tour in the town is incomplete without buying the famous suman made from Toclong, Kawit. I have written an article about the delicacies from the town.

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Aguinaldo Shrine

Aguinaldo Shrine is situated wherein the Philippine flag that we know of today was first waved publicly announcing our Independence by none other than the first Filipino President Emilio Aguinaldo. There’s also a lot to learn about our first president and how he has lived his life and times during the revolution era.

Museo ni Baldomero Aguinaldo hailed towards the cousin of Emilio Aguinaldo and grandfather of Cesar Virata who as a prime minister in the 1980s.

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Kawit Church or Saint Magdalene Church was built around 1737 and Emilio Aguinaldo was baptized in this church. His birth certificate is kept on the left side of the altar.

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 Pandayan or the local blacksmithing shops which is an endangered craft that needs to be promoted and preserved. The local Pandayan is still active and you can still buy handcrafted knives and bolos made the same way during the Revolutionary era.

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Kawit celebrates the Christmas season through a spectacular display of lights at the Aguinaldo Shrine and Freedom Park.

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A fireworks display and lighting of the Christmas lights at the Freedom Park was also held. Make sure to v isit Kawit Cavite this Christmas Season and enjoy the season filled with pride in our own heritage and historical sites in Kawit.

The Municipality of Kawit welcomes everyone who wishes to visit Kawit during the Christmas season.

 

Savoring the Heirloom Dishes of Aling Ika’s Carinderia

A trip to Cavite City is incomplete without a stopover at Aling Ika’s Carinderia sometimes called Aling Ica Carihan which is located within Pamilihang Bayan ng Lunsod ng Cavite ( Cavite City Public Market).

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left to right- lumpiang shanghai, tortang alimasag, pancit puso ng saging, lumpiang sariwa

They would start the day at around 6:00 am and would remain open until past 2:00 pm. Most of the well-loved dishes and desserts would run out by 10:00 am.

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Cavite City Public Market ( Pamilihang Bayan ng Lunsod ng Cavite) early dawn

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Pamilihang Bayan ng Lunsod ng Cavite

I took a chance to travel and waited for at least 10 minutes at the Plaza Lawton Ferry Terminal in order to take the first ferry ride to Cavite City but unfortunately DOTR schedule had changed few days ago, the security guard manning the terminal told me that the first ferry ride to the city would be past 6:45 am, instead of what was originally posted ( 5:15 am).

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Aling Vherna busy taking orders and preparing pancit puso

Then rode the Saint Anthony bus bound for Cavite city at around past 5:15 am. I happened to meet a fellow passenger Kagawad Rogelio Cruz of Barangay 471 zone 46 of Sampaloc. He paid Php 50.00 ( senior citizen) and i paid Php 63.00 regular fare which ply the Lawton -Cavite city route. Traffic was surprisingly light and the leisurely ride only took less than 1 hour.

After arriving at the intersection of P. Burgos corner Molina street. We took the Dalahican jeepney, took off near Dizon Bakery then walked a few meters towards the public market. We bid farewell and Kagawad Rogelio Cruz also told me that he had a relative who is also a kagawad of San Antonio.

Aling Ika’s Carinderia Dishes

Aling Teodorica Samson-Bautista more popularly known as Aling Ika was considered as a culinary icon of the city.  She was a pioneer woman during her days. Earn a living by selling lutong ulam/ bahay ( home cooked meal viand) during the early 1920’s. Unlike ordinary housewives who would rely on their husband earning, Aling Ika was a business minded person.

She was resourceful and use the local ingredients or what is available and abundant. The local workers or trabajador would knock at their house would buy the home cooked meals before going to work at the city or at the naval base.

She would wrapped the meals in banana leaves because banana was abundant within the province. The leaves would add additional flavors to the meal.

The family legacy was eventually passed to Mrs. Lolit Alejo, now 84 years-old who learned how to make Bibingkoy and other dishes that you can only find in Cavite City.

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Ms. Vherna B. Alejo a third generation descendant, would supervise the operation of the carinderia.

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Bibingkoy

Bibingkoy is like a combination of Japanese mochi, bibingka and ginataan sa sago. It is filled with sweetened boiled mung beans. The ingredient uses sticky rice.

Instead of being fried like the buchi, it is cooked pugon-style using the traditional charcoal which heat on top and at the bottom, much like a typical bibingka is cooked.

A thick coconut creme made with combination of coconut milk extract, langka/ nangka (jackfruit), and tapioca pearls (sago) is slowly simmered over low heat and is poured over the Bibingkoy before eating.

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Bibingkoy with gintaan

The best way to eat the Bibingkoy is hot with the sauce then best pair with tea, coffee or local chocolate. Php 50.00 per serving while a large bilao cost Php 550.00. 

I remembered that an uncle who used to live in Cavite City would bring Bibingkoy when he would come and visit our home before.

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Lumpiang Sariwa ala Aling Ika

Lumpiang Sariwa– Aling Ika’s version is wrapped with lumpia wrapper with fresh lettuce leaves, mung bean sprouts, carrots, pechay, cabbage,tofu, beans. However the vegetables were a little bit overcooked.

The annato or achuete adds flavor and color to the lumpiang sariwa. It is topped with crushed crushed peanuts, chicharon (crushed pork rinds) and minced garlic. It only cost Php 30.00 per order. Used to be lot cheaper few years back.

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Tortang Alimasag

Tortang Alimasag or Crab Omelette. They sell this at Php 50 per slice and this is best paired with tomato ketchup, vinegar or banana ketchup.

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Lumpiang Shanghai with special sauce

Lumpiang Shanghai – Deep fried spring rolls which is sold at Php 10.00, They also have Lumpiang Frito which spring roll filled in with vegetables then deep fried.

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Pancit Puso ng Saging

Pancit Puso ng Saging or Pancit Puso– This noodle dish combines two types of noodles; miki and bihon. It includes a generous mix of fishball, tofu, kikiam, shrimp, chicken meat, chopped carrots, chopped onion, beans, chorizo, chayote/ sayote, cabbage, coriander and pechay.

It is seasoned with shrimp stock, salt, black pepper and annatto / achuete. Aside from coloring, achuete would also add distinct flavor to the dish.

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miki, bihon and vegetables of lumpiang sariwa

The chopped banana blossom is prepared by boiling it in a combination of vinegar and salt. Banana blossom is cheaper compared to calamansi hence it was used by Aling Ica or Ika. It was used as a souring ingredient in the noodle dish.

The noodle is topped with crushed pork rinds, deep fried garlic and onions. It cost Php 30.00 per serving while a large one (bilao ) good for sharing between 30 to 35 people and cost Php 800.00.

Best way to eat the noodle dish is by mixing the noodles well before eating. It balances the flavors.

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Ube Kalamay

Ube Kalamay – This is another specialty of the carinderia and this is sold per slice. One can pre-order in advance for large orders.

The carinderia had more than two dozen dishes at any given time, worthwhile mention are adobong pusit, pancit pusit/ pancit choco en su tinta ( seasonal), pancit palabok, fried rice, beef kaldereta, pork barbecue among others.

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UNTV channel 37 staff and program producer

Met the staff and producer of UNTV channel 37 while they were filming at the carinderia / eatery. The station will be having a new travel and lifestyle program which will air on the early January of 2020.

Also met Professor Zarny Zarragoza of San Sebastian College -Recoletos de Cavite who hails from Cavite City, He bought some of the well-loved dishes before going to work.

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Those planning to order in bulk their Bibingkoy and other dishes, must order at least 1 to 2 days in advance and do not forget to bring plastic container. Cavite City Public Market had an ordinance of minimizing single use plastics.

Aling Ika’s Carinderia

Stall #9 Pamihilang Bayan ng Lunsod ng Cavite

Contact Person : Ms. Vherna B. Alejo (0916-679-5916)

Operations: Everyday from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm

Stylish and Affordable Shoes at Checkpoint Showroom in Marikina

Stylish, chic and affordable shoes at the Checkpoint showroom and factory within Barangay San Roque in Marikina city.

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We visited the showroom , outlet and factory which is just 1 tricycle ride away from the iconic Marikina Sports Stadium and Marikina Cityhall.

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Marikina Sports Complex bas relief

I think it is a walkable distance from these places. It is between 1. 4 kilometers to 1.5 kilometers from these places.

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checkpoint shoes stall display at the Sapatos festival

Marikina is just between 45 minutes to 1 hour from Katipunan LRT line 2 station or Araneta Center for those living in Quezon City.

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shoes neatly stacked

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shoes which can be worn in formal occasions and office

Family Tradition

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Checkpoint shoes was established more than 45 years ago, A visit to the city is incomplete without buying shoes at their showroom.

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Materials are locally sourced and the family business provide livelihood opportunities to local people living within Marikina.

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The quality of the materials and finished product is world class.  There were combat shoes, nurse shoes, construction boots and casual shoes too.

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shoes – some of the shoes in the rack have sold more than 15,000 pairs.

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stylish, elegant and yet affordable and durable

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Stages of Making Shoes

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cutting -skiving stage

We were also fortunate to experience the several stages of shoe production, cutting -skiving upper making upper stitching, lasting sole attach finishing. It makes me appreciate on how dedicated and passionate the workers on their shoes.

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There are other brands for ladies, teenagers, men and adults like Ferrina, Four Seasons, Felicel tucked under their company.

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Do not forget to visit Checkpoint shoes stall at the ongoing Marikina Sapatos Festival 2019within Marikina Cityhall until December 29, 2019.

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Outlet Stores: Marikina Trade Fair/ Marikina Sports Park, Marikina Shoe Gallery- Marikina Riverbanks, Shoe Center -Greenhills, San Juan City, Parkmall -Mandaue City, Cebu

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Email: checkpointfp@yahoo.com.ph

Address: 325 M.A. Roxas Street, San Roque, Marikina City

Contact: (8) 645-3654

Operations: Mondays to Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

8 Basic Facts and Details on the New 20 Pesos Coin

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas  or BSP had unveils new set of New Generation coin for 2020.

The new set of coins will be available starting first quarter of 2020, Some of the features had improved because of some confusion brought by the new coins in circulation. Some of them were almost the same size with the old coins.

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Basic Facts and Details

1.) The P20 coin takes the place of P10 as the highest denomination in the central bank’s New Generation Currency coin series.

2.) It retains most of the elements from the banknote version, with the face of Commonwealth-era President Manuel L. Quezon on the coin’s front side.

3.) The P20 coin also features the design of the Nilad, (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea) a mangrove tree in which the name of Manila is believed to have come from. This is in accordance with the designs of the coin series that displays native flora on the reverse side.

4.) The reverse side features the logo of the BSP and the Malacañan Palace, the country’s seat of power.

5.) The new coin also has microprint and an identifiable edge that make it difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.

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6.) It would cost Php 10 for BSP to mint for the new Php 20 coin compared to just Php 2.00 for the banknote.

7.) It would take between 10 to 15 years before the Php 20 coin be worn out compared to banknotes, which takes between 3 to 6 months for the banknote to get worn out.

8.) It also cited a research study conducted by the University of the Philippines which revealed that P20 is the “most-used denomination for payments across the country,” according to BSP authority.

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