book love, food, Philippines

Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter

To me, Philippine Cookery From Heart to Platter is a cross between a humble coffee table book and an elevated cookbook. The book begins with telling us chef and author Tatung Sarthou’s personal experience and views on food. There is a page that outlines his 5 laws of cooking. Despite the typical nature of rules, these five laws felt more encouraging rather than prescriptive. The contents and recipes that follow are organized not by ingredients but by cooking method. Historical and cultural notes are found in between recipes and instructions.


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food, places, travel

Full and Happy in Davao City

This was not intended to be a food entry but a general sharing of what I did in Davao. It seems though that nothing else comes to mind when I try recalling my Davao adventure but those of food and eating.


A trip to a Philippine city is never complete without sampling local street food. Coconut water with evaporated milk was my favorite thirst quencher. I’m quite a fan as it was only singko per cup! I had proben or fried gizzard on sticks and crispy fried chicken skin. They were delicious with chili sauce. There were also healthy options– sliced fruits such as papaya, mangoes, guavas and the refreshing root crop singkamas. M, one of my amazing friends and a most gracious host, took us to an unassuming kebab place in one of our dinners. It had an open air layout and plastic tables and chairs. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to worry about my money when ordering Persian food.


Being a most hospitable/bordering on OCness friend, M also had her bedrooms all prepped with beautiful floral curtains and pristine white sheets. She had us munch on amazing durian pie which she bought from Koronadal. With durian, one can never be a fence sitter. It’s either you love it or you’re disgusted by it. I absolutely love the scent and taste of durian. I was in durian land! The pie was so rich. The filling probably consisted more of the fruit instead of the usual fluff: cream and sugar. Her mom cooked  pancit and I loved it with the squeezed calamansi and fresh celery. It was also my first time to taste durian flavored coffee. Really, I was in durian land. 


The next day, the whole barkada went to an old house turned fine dining restaurant  upstairs (Claude’s) and casual dining downstairs (Cellar de Oboza).  We ordered Filipino comfort food kare-kare, beef salpicao and the house pancit. We also had shrimps in crab fat. Mr. Leading Man* was a little disappointed when the iced tea he ordered turned out to be bottled Nestea. Of course we expected it in a glass at least. I tasted better rice too. I mean who goes wrong with rice? I did like how the kare-kare was presented and the fact that it had puso ng saging with the usual vegetables.

photo by E Sena

photo by ESena

We didn’t have enough time (and honestly no car and diminishing funds!) to go wakeboarding so we decided on going to the beach instead. Sam’s quick call to her cousin got us to a humble but very sufficient cottage in Kaputian, Samal Island. The caretaker made sure we had that videoke on and the refrigerator working. Of course, we made sure he had his favorite drink too. We had a great time singing our hearts out, night swimming and talking about all sorts of things. We slept soundly and comfortably in the cottage’s “attic”. Before our bus left Kaputian, we had buko and nangka iced candy.

photo by ESena

We were famished upon our return to Davao City so we headed off to Hukad and had comfort food again but I really only appreciated the crispy pata. When it was time to order dessert, everyone opted to share a serving of halo-halo except of course Mr. Leading Man and I. It wasn’t surprising that we were both the only ones to finish our halo-halo either. We love halo-halo. Yes we do.

I know I barely scratched the surface of what Davao City had to offer. Good. A lot of my friends seem to be moving there so I have even more reasons to return. Until the next adventure!

*so i finally settled with this “screen name” for the boyfriend. haha. and he found out that im blogging. grrr. hehe.hi.