Monday, February 25, 2013

"This Drink Doesn't Wear Mom Jeans" Cocktail

I had this refreshingly delicious cocktail at Genji on our wedding anniversary.
And I thought why not make it for last night's Academy Awards.
A Perfect drink to toast the Oscar winners.

This cocktail was refreshingly good but it needed a little help from The Red Apron to make it GREAT.
I decided to add more vodka, the one I had at Genji needed a bit more of it, I also added more blackberries to enhance the flavor. 

This is a perfect cocktail for a hot summer day too.
Even the kids can share this drink just don't add the vodka of course.
We all know they want what the adults are always having especially if its a pretty drink like this.


11/2 - 2 parts Grey Goose (depending on how strong you want it)
1 part Blackberry Simple Syrup (see below for recipe)
5 blackberries
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice


  • In a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle the 5 blackberries and blackberry simple syrup.
  • Fill the rest of the glass with the tonic water.
  • Add vodka and the freshly squeezed orange juice.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Garnish with blackberries and a thinly sliced orange.

Blackberry Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 pint blackberries

  • In a saucepan, stir together all ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil on medium heat.
  • Simmer until sugar has dissolved and blackberries are soft.
  • Let Cool.
  • Strain into a jar, pressing as much juice out as you can from the blackberries.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ROXAS CITY "Seafood Capital of the Philippines", the Beautiful Island I grew up in

Let me share with you my beautiful hometown.
The following beautiful pictures
are from very talented photographers of Capiz and Manila.
I will let the photos tell you more
about this beautiful place I grew up in.
Roxas City, Capiz,
 is located at the Northeastern tip of the beautiful Island called Panay.
Panay Island is in the Western Visayas Region of the Philippines.
It is a city by the beach.
Unlike any other city, we don't have high rise buildings.
It looks more like a suburb by the sea.

Roxas City at night

Roxas City is known to be the Seafood Capital of the Philippines, because of the abundance of marine life.
And the home to the Last President of the Commonwealth, and First President of the Republic of the Philippines,  Manuel A. Roxas.
Whose house is just across the street from the house I grew up in.

President Manuel A. Roxas

Besides the abundance of seafood, Roxas is also known for export quality rice, corn, prawns (tiger shrimps), and milkfish (National Fish of the Philippines).
Roxas City, Capiz is world-known, especially to the design industry,
because of the CAPIZ Shells  (windowpane oyster), which chandeliers, other light fixtures, photo frames, windows, doors, christmas lanterns, and other decorative accessories for interiors are made from.

Early morning catch.

Rice Farm

Capiz Shells Chandelier at the lobby of Kapis Mansion Hotel
Roxas City has come very far from the laid back lifestyle I use to know.
The city is now a very busy center trade for commerce in the Province.
Gone are the days where you can leisurely walk in empty streets.

Despite that, Roxas has maintained it's beauty, the people are still friendly,
and they always greet you with a smile.
It still has a feel of a quiet rural life compared to the big cities in the Philippines.
People still enjoy their siestas in the afternoon.

Capitol of the Province of Capiz
City Fountain covered and transformed into a Large Christmas tree for the Holidays.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

The bandstand I sang at with the Famous Filipino Artists
Kuh Ledesma, Ivy Violan and Jet Montilibano.
We entertained the people for the political campaign of the late Congressman Gerardo Roxas Jr.,
grandson of the late President Manuel A. Roxas.
Beautiful fountain at the center of the city at night.

The array of seafood in Roxas is endless.
I grew up eating grilled fish, shrimps, pitik pitik (slipper lobsters) for breakfast.
That's just how we islanders roll.
Before sunrise,
we would go to the beach and see what the fishermen's catch of the day,
or my grandmother would drop off whatever fish 
her fishing boats had caught that morning to all of her children.
My grandparents built their Fishing Corporation from just buying fish
in large banyeras (large tin tubs use to as a container for fish) at the fishing port,
 and taking it to the public market and reselling it retail.
They soon were able to have enough money to build one fishing troll,
then another, and another until they had named each fishing boat after their 12 children.
Yes, they had 12 children.
They later bought fishing farms in which we call "Fishponds".
The business of fish farming are mainly fishponds filled with Milkfish,
the Philippines national fish, or Prawns, also known as Tiger shrimps.
In which, is being exported mostly to Japan.

  Beautiful sunset at Baybay Beach, Roxas City                                                                 photo credit: Krishna Yu


Raking Cagaygay Clams for dinner

This is what was just raked.  Cagaycay clams in a ginger spiced broth.

Mantalinga Island just a few swim strokes away from BayBay Beach

Enjoy Freshly harvested Oysters.
A bucket full will cost you about P75- P100 ($2.00 US Dollars)
at any restaurant at Baybay Beach.

"Diwal" aka Angel Wings Clams
white razor blade shape clams only found in Roxas
"Litob"  a delicious sweet clam
Beautiful Sunset Everyday

On the 1st week of December,
Roxas celebrates Sinadya sa Halaran Festival.
It is a commemoration of the founding of our city, and thanksgiving feast for a great harvest.
Sinadya sa Halaran literally means Joy, and Offering for thanksgiving.
The festival features street dancing with very colorful costumes, trade fairs,
lighted river floaters at night, fireworks, the Fluvial Parade
and of course,
an abundance of delicious dishes and seafood.
This is when you can hardly find "Diwal "in the market.

Street Dancer at Sinadya sa Halaran


Street Dancers in crab costumes -
a dance of  offering for thanksgiving for a great harvest


Fireworks at the Sinadya sa Halaran

 Things to do in Roxas City:
Skimboarding at Baybay beach or at Olotayan Beach

Wakeboarding at Baybay, Beach



A private river and beach hopping tour from Panay River tours.
A must do in Roxas City.

Lounging, enjoying a drink, and massage aboard the Panay River Tour boat.

Flatrock Beach Resort

Swim and go boating at the clean and calm aquamarine waters of Flatrock Beach Resort.
                                                                                                              photo credit: Maria "Matz" Baguio

Enjoy swimming, diving off this bamboo raft with a table and bench called "Balsa".
You can carry aboard a picnic basket or a cooler full of food and drinks and enjoy
 having lunch on one of the Floating "Balsa" at
  Flatrock Beach Resort
Culasi, Roxas City owned by my Uncle.


Enjoy a day of swimming at a Flatrock's beach which is nestled in a cove at Culasi, Roxas City.

When staying at Flatrock, wake up at the break of dawn and welcome the local fishermen
or join them in pulling their fishnets ashore for their catch of the day.

Go and see the Philippine Eagle and the Philippine Monkey
at Talon Adventure Park.
The park offers a zoo, and you can rent out and trek the hills with ATV's,
zipline, Zorb downhill, go Mountain biking or just leisurely relax at the beach.


A beach hut available for rent for a day of picnic at Talon Adventure Park.

For the Night Owls, they flock to Soul Super Club.

 Other delicious food I enjoy and crave:

Fresh Seaweed Salad

Pork Bbq

Grilled Bread from a local Bakery

Baye-Baye or Inday Inday a steamed riced dessert with candied coconut on top.

Santol a mouthwatering, very sour juicy fruit.

Banana Q

Another place we never fail to visit everytime we come home is the Sta. Monica Church in Pan-ay, Capiz.
It is one of the oldest church in the Philippines, built in 1774.
Just a few minutes drive outside of Roxas, and where you can find the Largest Bell in Asia.


  Yup! That's how large it is.                                       photo credit:Nancy Mae

Another must see is Christ the Redeemer Shrine at Ivisan, Capiz. A smaller replica of Rio de Janiero's famous statue.

So, if you're looking to find a new destination on your next vacation,
come visit Roxas City.
Bask in the sunshine, enjoy a drink while lounging 
at one of our charcoal colored sand beaches,
 enjoy the beautiful sunset while eating your hearts out with inexpensive fresh seafood,
visit the neighboring islands, learn skimboarding,
and just enjoy the hospitality of the Capizenos, and what nature has to offer.

I would like to thank my very talented photographer friends who unselfishly shared their beautiful photos with me.
  1. Bordoy Viterbo - Bordoy Photography
  2. Carl Tinsay
  3. Jun Berjamin     - Jun Berjamin Photography
  4. Krishna Yu
  5. Mon Corpuz      - Mon Corpuz Photography
  6. Nancy Mae
  7. Rhap Distajo     - Rhap Distajo Photography

To contact these talented friends of mine just click on their links.

"Carag"  tropical fire ant

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