Piso Day Sale at Arid and Aroids Farm

It is a rare opportunity to know that one can still buy something out of One Peso (Php 1.00). This was proven at the Piso Day Sale and Great Discount Sale at the Arid and Aroid’s farm in San Rafael, Bulacan province.

Arid and Aroids farm entrance

One Peso Sale

portion of the farm

A last minute decision made past 9:00 pm on April 30 while chatting with an online friend who will be visiting the farm. I manage to wake -up by 3:30 am and left our home by 4:00am.

long lines of buyers

It was early dawn when people began to arrive at the Arid and Aroids farm located in San Rafael in Bulacan province.

Hundreds of people have flocked from different areas  and provinces to buy rare and hard to find plants and cacti. Some arrived before 5:00 am.

variegated sanseviera

dykia hybrids for sale

buyers at plant area ( photo courtesy of Mr. Marlon Valdellon)

There are several buyers which went to the Php 1.00 , Php 2.00 and Php 3.00 area.  Most of the plants were sold out even before noontime !

all smiles from Mr. Joshoua Banzuela ( photo courtesy of Mr. Marlon Valdellon)

different types of grafted cacti for sale

We were able to arrive around past 8:00 am and registered at the booth. We were given a haworthia cutting upon registration and some stubs which can be use to purchase some 1 and 2 PESO worth of potted plants like cacti, aglaonema, episcia, rhipsalis, sansevierra, tillandsias, adenium and among others.

Rhipsalis cacti

Aglaonema hybrids

variegated pineapples

I cannot help but to splurge in buying episcias, rhipsalis, aglaonema and cacti for token gifts (pasalubong) to some of our neighbors. They would give us some of their vegetables produce and would lend their 7 feet ladder whenever we needed them.

variegated sansevieras

BIG SALE

Some of the much rarer plant varieties like variegated cacti, succulents and foliage plants were sold between 30 to 70% discount.

different tillandsia

Just like any event, there were on the spot raffles, short talk on cacti grafting, chit-chat with fellow plant lovers and pocket meetings.

resource speaker

The generous host also fed all the visitors with pancit, banana cue, sandwich for mid-day snack. While they also prepared a lunch which consisted of mix vegetables, pork and beef barbecue, lumpiang shanghai and softdrinks.

blooming aloe hybrid

Plant enthusiasts from Taytay, Cainta, San Mateo in Rizal province even brought some foods and juice which they shared with participants.

( Photo courtesy of Mr. Timothy Laurie Ang -The Haworthia Guys)

There were several plant and cacti groups from Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and even from Laguna and Quezon provinces.

Another hot item for sale was the A&A magic drops . This is a type of hormone can induce growth for cacti, succulents and other plants.

lucky visitor winning a variegated sanseviera

Those who does not have time to visit the farm got hooked over the FB page of the farm, since online discount selling happened several times a day.

online selling

Everyone was happy and glad to have went to the big sale.  For those who were not able to come at the great big sale, There will be another round of PISO Sale and Great Discount Sale at their Silang farm sometime September 2019.

group photo

Try to save money, time and save the date for the great big sale and PISO sale.

Great Dishes at Arki’s Grill

Arki’s Grill specializes in different dishes, some of them are locally sourced from the market and what is in season.
pechay-wrap
pechay wrap with tinapa and ginataan
The leaves pechay is used in a different way, it is use for wrapping flaked tinapa fish topped with finely chopped carrots with gata. The coconut milk is thick and the pechay leaves is still crunchy.
dinuguan
dinuguan
Arki’s version of pork dinuguan is different, it is thick with crispy pork liempo and banana chilies added as topping.
sinampalukang-manok
sinampalukang manok
Sinampalukang manok or tamarind chicken soup use tamarind leaves, chicken meat.  There are plenty of tamarind leaves used in this soup. ( hindi tinipid sa rekado).
This goes well with white rice. The soup is not that sour, the banana chilies add some right kick to this soup.
It is also surprising that this soup would only cost Php 160 per order ( for sharing between 3 to 4 people).
shrimp
sauteed garlic with shrimps
This is another perfect dish with generous amount of garlic topped the sauteed shrimps.
balalo-soup
bulalo soup
Bulalo soup is big with fresh young corn, vegetables at Php 295 per order ( for sharing between 2 to 4 people). This goes well in cool weather and rainy days with white rice.
arkisgrill
Arki’s Grill
Arki’s Grill accepts reservations for events, parties, debuts, wedding and offers catering services.
The restaurant had a sitting capacity of between 90 to 100 people at any given time.
arkis-grill
Arki’s Grill signage
Note: Menus prices posted are subject to change without prior notice, Please visit their FB page for latest updates and promos.
Address: Arki’s Grill- Salangan Highway , San Miguel, Bulacan ( (Fronting ICBT, besides Olive Lechon Manok)
Contact Persons: Architect Ervin and Mrs. Kat Garcia
Contact : 0935- 889- 1003
Operations: Mondays-Sundays
Operational Hours: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

Amazing Array of Mushroom Products at Buenas Diaz Mushroom Farm

Buenas Diaz Mushroom Farm used to be a poultry farm then converted into a mushroom production farm early part of this year.

buenas-diaz-mushroom-farm3

Buenas Diaz Farm

“Buenos dias” is Good Morning in Spanish,  The proprietor use this wonderful greeting and play of words then incorporated their surname “Diaz” and not “Dias” and that “Buenas” would refer to the evolved Tagalog word for good luck.

buenas-diaz-farm

tarpaulin poster

They get the technical training including the sourcing of spawns and mushroom production and processing know-how from the Central Luzon State University. DTI and TESDA Bulacan is also helping them thru their trade bazaars and shows.

buenas-diaz-mushroom-farm-5

oyster mushroom production area

Majority of the of their production were oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) in fruiting bags and their by-products. The production area also includes misting system, which help regulates the temperature and humidity inside.

buenas-diaz-mushroom-farm-01

out of youth children earn part time at this farm

Buenas Diaz farm produce is worth patronizing aside from  of their various food preparations is their contribution to providing livelihood opportunities to local residents either as hired labor or as contract growers.

oyster-mushroom

oyster mushroom

They also hired some out of school teenagers which the parents cannot afford to send them to school. The farm is slowly increasing their output and joining the bandwagon of farm tourism.

buenas-diaz-mushroom-farm6

chocolate cake, puto, baked lasagna, pancit malabon

buenas-diaz-mushroom-fam-7

chocolate cake

The mushroom farm offers the local farmers off-season labor opportunities in the preparation of fruiting bags which is quite labor intensive.

mushroom-chicharon

mushroom chicharon in different flavors

This farm came up with various mushroom products. like the crispy mushroom “chicharon”, it came in various tastes – the plain, cheese, garlic, spicy barbecue, salted eggs, sour and cream. There were few combinations like spicy garlic and cheese barbecue.

mushroom-sisig

mushroom sisig

The group also enjoyed first hand the culinary skills as the host prepared dishes using oyster mushroom that are freshly gathered from their farm.

mushroom-tempura

fried mushroom

This is everyone’s favorite, their version of fried mushroom ala chicharon style. These are freshly prepared with the use of fresh oyster mushroom, batter mixture  and other ingredients.

mushroom-patty

mushroom patty

The dehydrated products could be ground, converted to powder can be used in soups and even medicine.

They are also joining other local bazaars and trade show in order to further promote their products.

buenas-diaz-mushroom-farm02

group photo ( photo courtesy of Buenas Diaz farm)

Note: We visited the farm upon the special arrangement made by Mr. Ervin Garcia, Diaz family and local government.  We are also careful by not entering the production area to avoid contamination.

Buenas Diaz Mushroom Farm

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Buenas-Diaz-Farm-1055535507929760/

Address: 797 Magdangal,  Camias, San Miguel, Bulacan province
Contact : 0917-136-9075/ 0977-825-5899/ 0936-168-8857

Tita Thess Home Made Delicacies

Tita Thess or Aunt Thess Felix is not your typical house wife, She started her online business at home about 3 years ago selling tibok-tibok, sapin-sapin and other well-loved delicacies thru Facebook and via word of mouth.

tita-thess-5

Tita Thess pours freshly made tibok-tibok in plastic containers

She was born in the province of Pampanga and learned the art of making delicious rice based delicacies.

tita-thess-signage1

stylish wooden frame greets visitors

Her loyal band of customers would keep Tita Thess busy for much of the day and sometimes through the night. The group had a privilege to be able to visit her home and see a demonstration of her famous “tibok-tibok” and “sapin-sapin”. But these two “kakanins” are not the only native delicacies that her loyal clients keep coming back for. Aside from these mouthwatering delicacies, she also makes “pichi-pichi”, “palitaw”, “puto flan” (rice cake) with custard, “pansit” (noodles), “kalamay”, “biko”, “maja blanca”, fish “lumpia”. As the holiday season nears, she only accepts an advance order. generous with the quantity and quality of the ingredients, her products are truly worth a repeat order.

tita-thess-tibo-and-sapinsapin-sa-bilao

tibok-tibok and sapin-sapin

Customers can also pre-order- her well known tibok-tibok and sapin-sapin in 1 bilao. One can also request that 1 bilao have 50% tibok-tibok and 50% sapin-sapin.

Some of the orders are from the parents and teachers at the nearby school and government offices.

tibok-tibok

tibok-tibok

“Tibok-tibok” is also called carabao milk pudding which originated from Pampanga.  It is the Kampampangan’s version of “maja blanca”.

tibok-tibok-making

preparation of tibok-tibok

“Tibok” refers to the heartbeat and as Tita Thess demonstrated to us, we can tell the “tibok-tibok” is cooked when the little bubbles on top start to pulsate slowly and makes little sounds like the beating of the heart.

tita-thess1

Tita Thess showed the group on how she put latik over the tibok-tibok

She purchases about 20 to 30 bottles of fresh carabao milk in the market in the morning to fulfill her orders for the day.

latik

latik

She would also order 30 to 35 coconuts (niyog ) in order to make toasted coconut meat, toasting the gata as early as 4:00 am and would take about 2 hours to made it reduce consistency called “latik”.

tita-thess-making-sapin-sapin

Tita Thess pours glutinous rice mixture

She uses commercially available glutinous rice powder mixed with non-glutinous in a fix proportion.

tita-thess-3

 sapin-sapin in steamer

sapin-sapin

sapin-sapin with jackfruit and latik as toppings

“Sapin-sapin” is another native kakanin she demonstrated to us, is a layered glutinous rice ( ube and green)  The colors have corresponding taste and Ate Thess’ version has no red because she doesn’t know what flavor to give it. She also does not have a yellow colored layer which is traditionally a jackfruit flavor.

Tita Thess’ white layer is coconut milk, the blue layer is ube, and the green layer is pandan. Unlike “tibok-tibok”, The sapn-sapin is soft and chewy. Her sapin-sapin version is topped with latik and sweetened jackfruit.

tita-thess-and-the-group

Tita Thess and Mr. Ervin Garcia together with industry practitioners, bloggers, media

Most of her products can be pre-ordered via their FB page and for pick-up.

tita-thess

Special mention : Sir Ervin Garcia and Tita Thess Felix for the warm accommodation.

Tita Thess Espesyal Kakanin atpb.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/titathesskakaninatbp/

Contact : 0917 540 3188

Tales from La Sampaguita Mansion

La Sampaguita Mansion is another ancestral house that is located within in poblacion area. It had a strategic location which is near the Saint Micheal of Archangel church and few meters away from the municipal town hall.

la-samapaguita-mansion1

La Sampaguita mansion

 The original owner is Dr. Mendoza around 1908. The current mansion had several commercial stalls located in front of the old house. One cannot clearly see the details of the house unless one enters the premises.

bb-lydia-paulino

Photo courtesy of Mr. Gilbert Diño

It was in 1925 when Ms. Lydia Paulino opened the famous Sampaguita Bakery was named after her favorite flower and she had several planted at her properties in Barangay Salangan. Another feature of the house were the sampaguita designs at the eves of the house.

manila-carnival

Certificate of award from Manila Carnival 1930

Another piece of document of the Philippine Food (Bread) History – a diploma of award of the Manila Carnival of 1930 from the Philippine Carnival Association conferred to E. Paulino for the SINAMPALOK BREAD as grand prize winner. SINAMPALOK BREAD is a cylindrical log about 6 inch that reveals a yum-like sweet tamarind filling. On the otherhand, Sampaguita Bakery was named by the owner after its famous and best selling biscuit SAMPAGUITA – a white six-sided, flower-shaped biscuit from the same family as the uraro cookies. It has a firm and creamy texture that crumbles in one bite….well, those were the days for San Miguelenyo. -Jimmy Corpus-

newspaper-article-bb-lydia-paulino

Mrs. Lydia Paulino viyuda Del Rosario ( courtesy of Sir Gilbert Diño)

Old magazines and newspaper clippings would show that she is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, devoted mother and greatly loved by the community.

la-sampaguita-store

commercial stalls in front of  La Sampaguita mansion

She use to be Propagation of Faith ( president) which sponsors free communion services to children.

la-sampaguita-door

door leading to the grand staircase

The architectural styles and furniture inside the ancestral house is a combination of bahay na bato, neo classical, art deco and modern elements. The most notable are the iron grill works, wooden calado, altar pieces and period furnitures inside.

mini-altar-1

mini altar

We were greeted by the current owner upon entering the house, despite last minute arrangement. Although this is my 5th time entering the ancestral mansion.

la-sampaguita-staircase

grand staircase

la-sampaguita-4

old photos with wooden calado

la-sampaguita-altar

Christ the King inside urna

la-sampaguita-light

art deco style lighting fixture inside the main living room

la-sampaguita-living-room

sala set and colored windows

dsc_0033

Saint Micheal of Archangel church

The window also overlooks the historic Saint Micheal of Archangel church and other ancestral houses within the town.

la-sampaguita-3

painting and plateria cabinet

Mrs. Lydia Paulino died in 1996 leaving the old La Sampaguita bakery without anyone to manage. The ancestral house and some of her properties were assigned to her caretakers.

la-sampaguita-room7

old bedroom with furniture and fixtures

la-sampaguita-6

wooden calado allows the circulation of air inside the house

la-sampaguita-mansion-5

a side room where old photos, certificate and period religious statues were kept.

la-sampaguita-altar-2

religious statues

la-sampaguita-certificate

certificate of recognition

There are many juicy stories and tales behind the four corners of this ancestral house. The ancestral house is well kept by the current owners.

The current owner of the ancestral house is the family of Mr. Mark Adduru

Note: We would like to “Thank” Mr. Ervin Garcia, Adduru family and San Miguel municipal town tourism officers for arrangement and facilitating the tour inside the ancestral house.

References and Sources:

Personal interview with Mr. Gilbert Diño, Mr. Ervin Garcia, San Miguel municipal hall employees and current owner of the ancestral house.

SMDMKATKKK : https://smdmkatkkk.wordpress.com/