“It is an acquired taste for meat lovers,” the manager warned. I dipped the goi cuon (summer rolls) into hoisin sauce. Surprisingly, it tasted good even without the shrimp. Richly flavored dippings waltz with other ingredients in Viet and Thai food culture. Lemongrass picks the best of these two culinary worlds and make them available in Cebu. “The element of spiciness is always present,” I commented after nibbling the rolls dipped into a peanut-tinged sauce. It is an even strip of radish, carrots, cucumber, and lettuce wrapped in rice paper. The original menu included a shrimp in it, but since I specifically […]
It is the colors, schemes, and textures that make Japanese food deliciously beautiful. Its hues picture happiness: the greenness of spinach, the whiteness of daikon, the orangeness of sliced carrots and pepper, the pinkness of salmon, the yellowness of potatoes, and the redness of cherry tomatoes. Take Joed’s Lutong Hapon’s spicy tofu teppanyaki as an example. The cubed golden brown tofu contrasts the slanting parsley, red chili, and sliced green onions. And the blend of sweet, briny, spicy taste overrides tofu’s blandness. If all tofu tastes like this, I can devour a plate.
There is nothing more honest than a map. It shows the shapes and sizes of the islands of this archipelagic country. It shows that some provinces are landlocked, while some are coastal. There is nothing more deceiving than a map. What looks small can actually take two days or even a week to navigate. On the map, there are only few islands that look like long strips of bacon: Zamboanga, Palawan, and, yes, Cebu: purportedly my home. With their elongated shape, their roads sporadically—if not constantly—hug the coastline. In Cebu, I travel north to go home and south to remember […]
Back in high school, notes were checked for clearance purposes. I was never the type who wrote everything written on the board. But my mother did it for me, copying my best friend’s notes. When my classmates inspected my notes, they were surprised with the neat cursive. She is one of the few whose handwriting is admirable and elegant. But I was not close to my mother—I was not the type who shared secrets, crushes and asked for advice—I’m too independent and arrogant for that. But she thinks that education is necessary. She bribed us countless times when that lunatic […]