Marikina Delights -- Macky's


Anyone who knows me would tell you how in love I am with Marikina. I have witnessed how this town has transformed from the rape capital of the Philippines to the thriving and bustling little town that it is now.
I love the cleanliness, the order and the friendliness of the people in this town. I would be a liar if I would not admit that the main thing which draws me to this town would be my food finds. One such food find would be Macky's.

To be honest, I have a bit of a complex when it comes to eating places. I am a bit afraid of eating in Carenderia's or Turo Turos...which I know is a loss of mine but I'm just generally uncomfortable in them. Luckily, I got to taste Macky's before seeing the place otherwise I wouldn't have dared go inside.
Macky's offers a variety of merienda fares but it's most famous for it's goto and tokwa't baboy. I have yet to taste it's goto but it's tokwa't baboy is to die for! The tofu used is always fresh, this could be due to the fact that this dish is always sold out before the day ends. The pork is replaced with Lechon Kawali which adds another dimension of texture and flavor to the dish. The sauce is addictive with it's wonderful mix of sour and slightly sweet. Those who, like Ruy and myself, fall in love with the crisp yet tender Lechon Kawali can order a separate order of it for 45 pesos, meanwhile an order of Tokwa't Baboy costs 25 pesos.
Macky's is found in San Roque and Concepcion Uno in Marikina City.


Isabela's Ramos Cafe


Finally I get to post my favorite restaurant in Isabela!

A little place in a residential neighborhood in quaint little Echague Isabela. A town which is small even by country/province standards. Surrounded by ricefields all over and serviced by (my observation) a gasoline station (that regularly has rice drying in its service bays), a school, a cemetery, a number of carabaos, a rice mill, one church that I know of and the best pizza place in Isabela.

Ramos Cafe aka Cafe By The Park

Introduced to me when I first started going to Isabela for work, it has been a favorite ever since.

Imagine being in the middle of a burning desert at high noon and suddenly bumping into a Fruitas stall or maybe finding a spa on top of Mt. Everest with a hot spring bath.
That is sort of the feeling.

At that time I was a stranger to the province and the only food options I had then were McDonald's, Jollibee, Chowking, Felicita's Pancit Cabagan and lechon manok in the evenings.

Situated in a residential neighborhood, this sign marks the spot.

Cozy interiors really make you feel that you're someplace unique to everything else in the immediate vicinity.

A menu of homemade stuffed crust pizzas, pastas and dishes like surf and turf, roastbeef, seafood thermidore and a lot of other stuff you'd never expect to find in well... Echague.

Fresh flowers on the tables.

Salad and iced tea. I love their waldorf for less than a hundred. Although tweaked to fit local taste, I love the nuts and apples which cleanse my palate and refresh my mind.

The Italian favorite has beef, italian sausage, mushrooms, basil, pomodoro sauce, soft cheese and mozarella I believe.

Chef's Choice (my favorite) has ham, onions, bell peppers, young corn, pineapples which I was able to take a picture of as it baked in their oven with the fire burning on top of the pizza.

Oh, and I always request for a special twist to my cheese stuffed crust pizza which isn't on the menu. Bacon.=)

Price would be around the Greewich Pizza range.

Other favorites of mine would be their canneloni and shawarma with super yummy garlic sauce.

The chef/owner I heard worked in Mandarin hotel and Paris before retiring to establish this wonderful manna from heaven.

If you're ever in the area, Cafe By The Park/Ramos' Cafe now has a branch along Villasis Highway in Santiago Isabela which is smaller and not as secluded but definitely more accessible. But, if you want to experience the real deal, the Echague branch (which is also the owner's house) is just around 20 mins away. Take the Cauayan Isabela bound highway until you reach a fork in the road. Take the right prong which veers off the main highway and leads into a small town. Go straight (around a kilometer) till you reach a small intersection with an equally small Shell gas station. Turn left and go straight a few meters till you see the sign.


Seafood Challenge


Recently, we got a nice haul of prawns brought over from Leyte courtesy of my vacationing parents. They came in various sizes which included some that were so huge they were bordering on "mutant-ish"! They were so big in fact, that I got restless, hesitant and doubtful if they were edible to me at all... Do I dare eat these huge creatures hauled fresh from the sea?
Guided of course by my trusty tummy's sagely wisdom, I was instantly filled by the presence of these huge sea beasts not with hesitation nor doubt, but rather, with great joy.
An opportunity for a feast of fresh sea treasures.

Appreciating the wonderful bounty we had, I was left with the daunting task of figuring out what to do in order to capture the sweet experience of the gastronomic moment.


The usual course prawns took in our household on the way to our bellies was either via the steamed route or via the curry route. This time however, I figured that the opportunity would be wasted on cooking what was to us, a common dish already. It was time to explore other options. A quest that led me from website to website to a Yummy Magazine Liv bought a couple of months prior, where I found a recipe for what seemed to be the perfect dish for the occassion. Prawn Thermidor (the mag is currently missing right now so till I find it, let me just recount the experience and skim over the details).

The Prawn Thermidore Experience:

I cleaned the prawns and cut half of the bunch vertically in the middle so that they opened up like butterflies. The other half was chopped into bits.

Then I sauteed the chopped prawns with mushrooms, veggies etc.

After adding some cream and seasoning to finish the filling, I proceeded to stuff it into the butterfly-cut prawns' open middle.

And topped everything with grated cheese as the final touch before putting them in the oven to cook..

The result:

Man was it good! The sweet flesh of fresh prawns stuffed with the creamy mixture of prawn bits, fresh vegetables and mushrooms meshed perfectly with the rich melted cheese. I followed the recipe faithfully and got rewarded in the end.

The result was a big wipe out of every last morsel of the mighty prawns, leaving only hollowed husks and carapaces as evidence of the feast.


My Personality


Got tagged by Oggi to take this personality test. Here it is.:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

ISTJ - The "Examiner"

ISTJs are responsible, loyal and hard working. They have an acute sense of right and wrong and work hard at preserving established norms and traditions. Because of their deep sense of duty they are dedicated to everything they do and are very dependable. ISTJs care deeply for those closest to them.

"ISTJs are very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are "good citizens" who can be depended on to do the right thing for their families and communities. While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun - especially at family or work-related gatherings."
- Portrait of an ISTJ

Famous ISTJsReal ISTJ People
Andrew Johnson - American President
Benjamin Harrison - American President
Elizabeth II - Queen of England
Evander Holyfield - boxer
George H. W. Bush - American President
George Washington - American President
Harry Truman - American President
Herbert Hoover - American President
Jack Webb - actor, producer
Jackie Joyner-Kersee - athlete (heptathlon)
Thomas - Christ's Apostle
Warren Buffet - investor, businessman

Fictional ISTJs (Characters)
Angel Eyes - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Bruce Wayne - Batman Begins
Cliff Clavin - Cheers
Dallas - Alien
Darth Vader - Star Wars
Eeyore - Winnie the Pooh
Evelyn Cross Mulwray - Chinatown
Frankie Dunn - Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby
Fred Mertz - I Love Lucy
Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago - Doctor Zhivago
Jet Black - Cowboy Bebop
Joe Friday - Dragnet
Julia - Cowboy Bebop
Lornette 'Mace' Mason - Strange Days
Mama Montana - Scarface
Mr. Martin - Sitting in the Catbird Seat
Puddleglum - Chronicles of Narnia

I'm boring and I have the same personality type as Darth Vader. Waaaa... Good thing there's Warren Buffet to keep me optimistic.=)


Shameless Plug


Do you know anyone who might be qualified? Send an email to with their resume. =) The working environment is wonderful and the compensation is very competitive.


Chickpeas Crazy


What should a man do to get his peace?

For a month I kept going back to this question as a murmur at the back of my head haunted me, constantly whispering two maddening syllables.

"Hummus, hummus, hummussss...."

It was like a rythmic chant that would send forth an accompanying gurgle from my treacherous acidic stomach.

"Pita, pita, pita...."

It was driving me crazy...

Thats me craving.

For a month I schemed, I dropped hints, I enticed and did practically everything I could to coax my sweet dearie Liv into singing the same mediterranean melody. Alas, it was not to be. Weekend after weekend of eating out everywhere (good places) passed but unfortunately, they just weren't the solution to my dilemma.

"hummus, Hummus, HUMMUSSS...."

The chant was getting louder and realizing that I was about to go more insane than I already am, I took the only option available.

I made it of course.;p

I never thought I'd ever make my own hummus (one of the things I just got used to eating out of restos), I never thought it was possible for mere mortals... As it turns out, it's quite easy.=)

Hummus was sesame seeds, olive oil, lime, salt and water blended together (which makes the tahini) that's then blended with garbanzos, garlic, lemon juice, garlic more water and more olive oil (the more the merrier!), salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

Pita was more difficult and scary as doughs intimidate me but using some flour (I wanted to use wheat flour but I had none available), yeast, warm water, olive oil, sugar and curry powder which I kneaded, rolled, flattened and baked, I came out ok.

The result was homemade hummus partnered with homemade pita (tweaked a bit to add a mild curry flavor).

I loved how it turned out. It was a medley of the wonderful flavors of tangy lime and lemon, garlic, rich chickpeas and olive oil slathered over bites of hot, chewy curry pita.

Aaahhh... Contentment.

No more noises, no more voices. Just peace.


New Junk Food Favorites


These things are Liv's newest succcessful finds in Robinson's Supermarket.
Friday's junk food!
The four flavors we've tried (lranked from 1st to last accdg to my taste) are:

1)Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Skins - My favorite! Each bite is flavor packed. Oh and aren't potato skins healthy?
2)Cheese Pizza Chips -Yum yum! Coming from a dismal bag of pizza flavored Combos with suspiciously small holes in the middle which resulted in worm sized filling (I seriously think the bag must have been part of a production batch error), this was definitely appreciated. Almost as flavorful as the Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Skins.

3) Cheddar & Bacon Potato Skins - So far this would be my least favorite simply because it takes me around 5 bites to appreciate the flavor. What can I say, I'm impatient. Hehe...

The Quesadilla is still awaiting its verdict. Maybe later?=)


Ruy Online


I know, I know! Its been a couple of months since I suddenly disappeared into the deepest sanctums of my hermit cave... Actually its more like the biggest challenge I've ever had at work. I got reassigned into a battlefield so to speak. So after securing a beachhead, fortifying my position and surviving the first quarter performance review pretty decently, I regroup and go back to manning our abandoned fortress. Our teeniee weenie blog.=)

Hello world! I'm sorry for vanishing, I'm sorry for my feeble corpus callosum which prevents me from multi-tasking, I'm sorry for missing out on so much from my old favorite blogs and new ones as well (Brian Gorrel's!)...

We're back. =)

So to begin, I will be posting about new eating places I've come across and enjoyed in the not too distant province of Bulacan. Home of many a Filipino hero and artist most important of whom would be Regine Velasquez. LOL.
Seriously, a few months of getting familiar with Bulacan and my tummy and tastebuds have fallen in love. No nonsensense, excellent food served turo-turo style is just the thing for a food soldier like me...
First among my new eating faves is Lutong Bahay ni Ka Damian in Plaridel Bulacan (which I learned about eavesdropping on two people talking about "the best ribs " they've ever had in their lives). Who could resist getting interested by such a bold statement? I had to find out for myself.
Now, I wouldn't say its the best I've ever had but it's definitely one of the most appreciated and enjoyed. A province-style grill that offers excellent barbecued ribs. Smokey on the outside, tender on the inside, this very affordable (price varies according to the size of the slab you get but a good size costs around P100) specialty treats its diners to what could well be the Bulacan version of Racks (with the added charm of the dahon ng saging food presentation and constant fanning of the ihaw-ihaw grill).
The sauce if I were to describe it would be a cross between a barbecue sauce and Mang Tomas (but not as sweet).

They also offer other grilled food such as liempo, pusit and skewered barbecue.

Just take the Sta Rita exit from the NLEX and turn right. You will see a Ka Damian branch not a kilometer away on your left side. I have to warn though that the branch is a pretty small place that seats around 5-8 I think. Keep going straight and much farther (around 2-3km) however and you will find a two story branch on your right. It seats more and offers an airy, outdoorsy feel.



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