Sikwate {4}


The local drink made from native cacao has many names. I often use sikwate, but you will hear it called native chocolate, tsokolate, tskolate, tabelya, etc. Tableya is really the tablets before the drink is made, but some still refer to the drink in that manner. Regardless of the name used, it’s a treat.

When I first moved here I was making sikwate every morning. I found that to be a little too much, and have since resisted making it at home. I reserve my consumption for when I’m out and about, for the most part. Thankfully I’ve found a few places that make it.

The Moppers {2}

The Moppers

This one I understand. At least I understand the reason they exist. It’s not for cleanliness, as one might assume, it’s the creation of a job.

Moppers are everywhere. They can be incredibly frustrating at times, as they seem to hang out in the same place and can make it extremely difficult to maneuver around. Many times they don’t care. They’ve probably been in that spot for hours, and whether you need to pass isn’t a big concern to them. At least that is the impression I’m left with.

Tableya Granola {3}

Tableya Granola

I didn’t really plan to prepare so much of my food before moving here, but it seems the longer I’m in the Philippines the more I end up making my own. There are a number of reasons for that, the most obvious is that I simply can’t find things here. Even when I do there is no guarantee I’ll be able to find it again once the supply is gone. If it is replenished, there is no way of telling how long I might need to wait.

So, slowly but surely, I’ve had to adapt and make my own concoctions. Some of the things I prepare on regular basis now include salsa, hummus, burritos and granola. Granola is my latest venture, and after a few attempts I feel I’ve gotten it to where I’m pretty happy with it.

Labeling The Philippine People {2}

Labeling The Philippine People

The problem with labels is that they don’t tell the whole story. Anytime you try to put a label on a group of people you are being short-sighted or possibly worse. Unless the label is so broad that it serves no purpose.

I fall into the trap, too. I hear my self saying, “everyone here is …”. It’s a lazy way of trying to get your point across.

Jalapeño Hummus {3}

Jalapeño Hummus

Slighty over a year ago I wrote an article about my attempt to make homemade hummus here in the Philippines. I continued making that in various forms for awhile (American usage of that term), but gave on it up once I got the stomach issues that sidelined me for a couple of months. It took me quite some time after I was feeling better to get back on track.

Of course I had the mysterious death of the Chinese Vitamix Knockoff, so I now resort to using the tired but steady real Vitamix, with a hefty 2000w step down transformer. The transformer weighs a ton, or so, but it’s working out just fine for the intended use. Thankfully I only need to move it around once or twice a week to produce my new and improved hummus.

How To Live Cheaply In The Philippines {6}

How To Live Cheaply In The Philippines

Normally I’d like to give you a little teaser and get you to read the whole article, or at least skim most of it. This time I’m going to spill the beans right off. The secret to living cheaply in the Philippines is the same as anywhere, buy cheap (inexpensive) things – especially those that are local.

Sounds obvious, right? Well it may be a little harder to do so for those of us that have lived our whole lives elsewhere, but with a little effort you can learn to get by with what’s here and not try to buy so many imported items. Some things, like services, you don’t need to consider. You are going to get those here anyways. At least most of the time.

Botika – Philippine Pharmacies {4}

Botika – Philippine Pharmacies

Where I lived in the US we had pharmacies every few blocks in the retail areas. Additionally, most supermarkets had one in the back of the store.

Here in the Philippines you’ll also see a abundance of pharmacies, even more so then back in the US. There are some similarities between the two countries’ pharmacies, but some big differences, too.

Chinese Vitamix Clone Dies A Quick Death {5}

Chinese Vitamix Clone Dies A Quick Death

Don’t you hate it when you think you’ve got it figured out, start tooting the value of something, and then it craps out? I do and to those I led astray, sorry about that.

I’m sure the heat must have something to do with it, that and shoddy materials, but things do not last long here. At least not for me, so far. Yes, that CHEAP, as in inexpensive, as in poorly made, Vitamix knockoff has died.