Tag Archives: food

Eating in Kota Kinabalu (Part 1): Cultures Crashing

The food of Kota Kinabalu has elements of the familiar mixed in with the novelty of new flavors. Perhaps this is so because our similar roots, and that the climate and topography is also quite like ours, their ingredients are quite like the ones we use ourselves.

Kota Kinabalu has a strong Chinese community, with many restaurants carrying Chinese dishes alongside the Malay and Indian ones. They have European influences too, particularly British, as the Malaysia was a colony of the United Kingdom for a long time.

Food was not something Shabby and I planned for on this trip (then again, not a lot of it was really planned). Like our activities, where and what we eat was done on the fly, and was mostly based on the recommendations of our hosts. We went to places that the locals particularly liked, and more often than not, it was almost always packed.

Day 1
Our first meal in Kota Kinabalu was at this small kedai kopi (which I believe translates to “coffee shop”) place near our hotel. It was open 24 hours, so it was a good spot for us to grab something to eat when hunger pangs striked. The food was laid out carinderia style, but you can always order rice meals off the menu on the wall.

First meal in KK

I don’t remember the names of the dishes that we ate. We had noodles, hainanese chicken, some cold cuts, and a dish of pork innards that went really well with the noodles. For drinks, we immediately got teh tarik, the famous pulled tea that Malaysian food is well known for. Over ice, it was refreshing.

First meal in KK

Of course, no one really told us that the area we were stayingin had a somewhat seedy reputation, which was probably why some people looked at us funny when we went there for a midnight snack. Anyway…

Tanjung Aru Beach
According to our friend and erstwhile guide, Tanjung Aru Beach is the to-go place for everyone who grew up in KK. Think of it as that resort everyone has to go to at least once in their lives. We went there to complete a mission for Ingress, but as it began to rain we decided to hang out for a while and let it pass.

Tanjung Aru Beach 1

Continue reading

Exploring my options

It’s now a week in to 2012, and I have yet to take time to really think about what I want to do in the immediate future. I now have the most free time I’ve ever had in years since I left school, and I have enough finances to keep me afloat for a month or two. I don’t really have any responsibilities: no work to get up for, not much bills to pay (aside from the electric and DSL bill, I’m practically debt free) and no pressure to take care of anyone but myself. It’s quite refreshing, actually — even though for the first few days I was really bored.

I have decided to truly take a break and enjoy this time that I have. I’ve signed up for Japanese classes in UP, and I am also contemplating on applying for an internship with a photography group (need a bit more confidence on that one hehe).

Still, I’ve thought about a few things I could do to earn some money while enjoying “bumhood”. Here are a few ideas that I’ve been playing around with:

  • Barista – There’s something about working in a coffee shop that piques my interest (even though said coffee shop will mostly likely be a brand chain one). While I’m not a coffee drinker connoisseur, I am fascinated by the process that coffee goes through for us to enjoy a cup.
  • Creative writer – Maybe this time I could finally finish a story and sell it. Then again, I have a feeling I’ll be enduring more pain with this than trying to be a barista.
  • Sell my artwork – Not that I have much now, but probably do something commission based?
  • Make stuff. A few days back I broached the idea of making clay stuff for Geevie’s accessory business. Another idea was to make miniature rooms and furniture for dolls.
  • Continue on my freelance work as an article writer (most feasible).

As for activities, I’ve got two trips already lined up (Coron and Tacloban), with two out-of-the-country trips being planned. Two concerts here (Hanson and Jason Mraz, though the latter has no set date yet) — and whatever other stuff I want to do.

Aside from that, my goal is to start living a healthier life: eat better, move more and make wiser choices when it comes to what I put/use on my body. Lofty goals? I think not. Expressing myself creatively more this year is also one of the things that I will fulfill this year. I feel like I’m starting all over again with art/drawing, but it feels like a good thing.

So, 2012. Let’s do this!

Hello, Summer

As a kid, Holy Week is the part of my summer that I look forward to the most. While every year I spent summer in my grandparents’ home in Candelaria, Zambales, Holy Week is especially fun because it’s when my cousins (of varying degrees) would come from all over. We’d have a few days of going to the beach, eating like there’s no tomorrow and playing in the fields all day long. It’s never boring in the province.

However, Good Friday is always the pits. Our grandparents would put a stop to everything fun. No going to the beach (or at least, no swimming). No playing in the fields. We’d ask why and we were told it’s because Jesus died and we should mourn. The more outspoken cousins would say “Eh bakit pa kasi namatay?” while the meeker ones would just follow what Lolo and Lola said.

It’s doubly bad when my birthday falls on Good Friday. My cousins would get their thrills by teasing me about my “bad” birthday. Being “pikon”, I’d easily get mad. However, my parents and grandparents would try to make up for it the next day. One of my titos, who also has the same birthday would join me in my misery.

Holy Week also counts as a reunion week. We usually have two major reunions: One for the Ebalo family, and one for the De La Llana family. Countless reunions were held here at home, with our branch of the family would be the host. My sister and I are usually delegated to man the registration table. Sad to say, I don’t recognize the people I meet, but it’s a pretty good way to get to know them for a bit.

Holy Week in the city
Since my summer is spent in the province, I grew up thinking that the traditions we’d do here were only for the province. It wasn’t until I started spending time in Manila during the Holy Week did I realize that it was also present. I’d see snatches of it in Manila, in Pasig, in Quezon City.

Wednesday night I got to see how Santolan celebrates. A long procession of statues of saints stopped traffic for a good hour or so. There were about thirty four or thirty five of them, each pulled by their respective devotees. The last of which was the local chapter of the Black Nazarene. The statue is carried by the male devotees, all of who were barefoot.
[singlepic id=236 w=320 h=240 float=center] [singlepic id=237 w=320 h=240 float=center] [singlepic id=238 w=320 h=240 float=center]

I am actually quite scared of these statues.

Going home
[singlepic id=239 w=320 h=240 float=center]
As expected the bus station was crowded. Thankfully, even though we had to wait a bit before we could get our tickets, it was organized. The trip took a while though, due to the traffic along NLEX. I slept most of the trip, waking up only to eat.

This cute baby entertained us during the whole trip. He was a smiling, good-natured little boy.
[singlepic id=240 w=320 h=240 float=center]

And my self-imposed Internet exile is a bust, because I needed to be online to work.

Random stuff
Good Friday procession here at home.
[singlepic id=244 w=320 h=240 float=center]

Tomatoes that my Lolo planted.
[singlepic id=241 w=320 h=240 float=center]

My carrot and banana cakes.
[singlepic id=242 w=320 h=240 float=none] [singlepic id=243 w=320 h=240 float=center]

Tomorrow, reunion.