Valentine’s Day in Philippines

Valentine’s Day is considered as one of the most popular holidays in the world although it seems to become a much commercialized occasion these days. Many business owners take advantage of this special celebration of hearts since a lot of people look forward to it to take time in expressing the love and care they offer to the special people around them. Such way of expressing is by buying and sending chocolates with flowers particularly red roses. Some companies make Valentine goods like stuffed Teddy bears, Valentine’s cards; couple T-shirts for lovers, couple watches, jewelries, heart-shaped candies and cakes, and the like. So obviously, this is a special day for mainly lovers.

Valentine Recipe
Valentine’s Day Recipe

When did Valentine’s Day began? 

Historically and originally, this occasion wasn’t about love or romance at all. It was in fact quite confusing because there have been different stories of where and when Valentine’s Day started. Some historians wrote it started on the 3rd century A.D. when Emperor Claudius II executed a martyr priest named Valentine on February 14.

Ancient Christians honored his martyrdom and began the liturgical celebration named after St. Valentine. Another martyrdom story was about St. Valentine of Rome which was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were not allowed to marry since it was then believed that married soldiers didn’t perform well in the battles compared to unmarried soldiers. In the prison, Valentine had healed a blind girl named Julia, the daughter of his prison officer. Finally, before he got executed, Valentine wrote Julia a letter and he signed, “Your Valentine” as a farewell; which may have been the origin of today’s Valentine’s cards. However, the celebration of Valentine didn’t have any romantic implications until Chaucer’s poetry about Valentine’s Day in 14th Century. 

Chaucer's Valentine Poem
Chaucer’s Valentine’s Poem

Married couples, boyfriends-girlfriends, live-in partners, and even people who has their secret crushes, feel very much excited on Valentine’s Day. It is their chance and might be their only chance to express their intimate feelings to someone they love. In fact, they don’t just celebrate it on the 14th since many people celebrate the occasion on other days of the love month.

Below are the things that Filipinos do on Valentine’s Day:

 

  • Dinner date – couples save this date for a special dinner. Of course, restaurants usually offer discounts or promos for this special occasion like ‘Dinner for two, for the price of 1’ and they make sure they have prepared a very romantic ambiance for their in-love diners. And they are of course served sweet desserts like heart-shaped cakes and candies! 

    Valentine's Dinner
    Valentine’s Day Dinner
  • Valentine’s concerts and gigs – Filipinos are known to have a lot of talented singers and almost all Filipinos are undeniably music lovers. Many couples spend this day by watching concerts especially inspired by love stories.
  • Sharing the love to children – Although, Valentine’s isn’t only for lovers. In elementary and high-schools, students are taught to make Valentine’s cards in their Art subjects and finished projects are to be given to their parents and guardians. This is one way of teaching the Filipino children express their love for their parents by writing love letters in their very own handmade Valentine greeting cards. Sweet! 

    children holding their Valentine cards
    children holding their Valentine cards
  • Giving Valentine’s goodies – Usually, boyfriends and husbands give something to their girlfriends and wives. As mentioned earlier in this post, things like red roses, chocolates, Valentine’s cards, stuffed Teddy bears, heart-shaped balloons, anything that’s for couple – shirts, watches, pillows, coffee mugs, and more, these are very common to give as a present for the day of Hearts. 

    Valentine's goodies
    Valentine’s Day goodies

Breakfast around the World

Breakfast is considered as the most essential meal of the day. It’s the meal that fuels you the energy you need and helps you kick off your active day. Apart from that, foods for breakfast contain important nutrients such as Calcium, Iron, Protein, Fiber, and lots of Vitamins. These are the most important nutrients our body needs and influences a lot on how we carry out tasks physically and mentally.

However, some people don’t feel like eating their breakfast for some reasons. Might be that they’re too busy or they just don’t feel hungry until 10am. But not me! Oh how I love this meal. If only I could, I’d like to have pancakes, cereal, hard-boiled eggs, sausages, and cheese every morning! Are you salivating yet? On the other hand, you need to keep in mind that a balanced diet is still your priority. So eating sausages everyday may not sound so good too.

Additionally, in travelling around the world, one must also know what do the locals in the place you’re travelling to, eat in their meals. Of course, breakfast foods differ widely from place to place. Take a look at different types of foods people from different countries eat for breakfast.

Japan

A traditional Japanese first meal consists of a bowl of Miso soup and steamed rice or rice porridge, and various side dishes like cooked fish and some pickled vegetables, and of course a cup of green tea.

Japanese breakfast
Japanese morning meal

India

A traditional Indian morning meal depends on each region but you might be surprised that they almost eat similar dishes to lunch and dinner. Their breakfast might include roti (flatbread), dosas (thin crepes made of lentils) or idlis (steamed rice-dough pancakes), and different dips and chutneys, as well as spiced potatoes.

Indian breakfast
Indian morning meal

Singapore

Kaya is like a jam made from coconut, egg and Pandan leaves. It is served on toasted bread with a thick layer of margarine. If you like to start the day with a hearty breakfast, a set of Kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and Singapore-style coffee or tea is definitely perfect.

Singaporean breakfast
Singaporean morning meal

Australia

Recently, a new breakfast trend in Australia includes Cereal with veggies. It may sound very unattractive to start your day but it is actually rich in all the nutrients you need especially if milk or yoghurt and top it with nuts or seeds. So that’s calcium, protein, and fiber all in one serving!

Australian breakfast
Australian morning meal

Germany

I love Philippines’ traditional morning meal but this German style breakfast is by far my favorite one. I think it has everything in it that a person wouldn’t say NO for breakfast no matter how busy or lazy he/she might be. A good, traditional breakfast includes bread, toast, and/or rolls, multiple jams and honey, boiled eggs, cold meats, such as ham and salami, lots of different cheeses (which makes it perfect for me!), fruit and vegetables, and smoked fish all washed down with a strong cup or pot of tea or coffee. Aren’t those irresistible? Hmmm….

German breakfast
German morning meal

 

Brazil

Brazillian breakfast consists of a strong coffee or suco (juice), freshly baked bread (usually it is Pão Francês) with butter or margarine, and a Papaya fruit. It’s easy to prepare and very much ideal for those who want to eat light.

 

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Russia

Traditional Russian breakfast is very simple and some people who travel Russia find it unappetizing since it’s just too common. Russian breakfast includes fried eggs, porridge, sandwich with butter or jam, tvorog (similar to cottage cheese), pancakes, some fruits, and/or cereal for breakfast.

Russian breakfast
Russian morning meal

Colombia

A main food for morning meal in Colombia is the Arepa or corn cake topped with butter or fried egg, meat, or jam. Though most of them eat Calentado (which means “heated”), this is a dish made of the night-before’s leftovers which are then reheated the next morning for their breakfast. It is then served with fried egg and a hot chocolate drink.

Colombian morning meal
Colombian morning meal

England

Full English breakfast is a healthy English morning meal that includes eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, mushrooms, and cooked tomato and with of course a cup of coffee or tea especially originated in England. Almost everything in their breakfast is fried, so it’s commonly called as ‘fry-up’.

English morning meal
fry-up

Turkey

Turkish morning meal
Turkish morning meal

A traditional breakfast in Turkey consists of bread, cheese, butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, jam, honey, and kaymak. It can also include sucuk, a spicy Turkish sausage, and Turkish tea. It is often set out as a buffet as you can see in the photo.

Trivia:

  • Kaymak is a creamy dairy product similar to clotted cream, made from the milk of water buffalos, cows, sheep, or goats in Central Asia, some Balkan countries, Turkic regions, Iran and Iraq.  Read more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaymak
  • Sujuk is a dry, spicy sausage which is eaten from the Balkans to the Middle East and Central Asia. Read more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sujuk

South Africa

Putu Pap
Putu Pap

Hot cereal or porridge, often made with corn and called “putu pap,” is a common first meal here. Putu pap is a porridge made from corn meal and is the main food of southern Africa. Putu pap is also known as krummelpap, which means “crumbly porridge”.

South Korea

South Korean typical meal
South Korean typical meal

A Korean morning meal looks noticeably similar to a Korean dinner. There’s rice, soup, the ever-present kimchi, some type of fish or beef, and other leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. But if you ask the locals, their basic breakfast always include the basics – rice, kimchi, and soup.

 

Israel

The Israeli morning meal is a dairy meal, and a variety of cheeses are offered unlike in many countries where there are varieties of meats except fish such as smoked or pickled fish, sardines, and salmon. Just like any other countries, egg dishes are also served in breakfast, fresh vegetables and fruits, coffee, tea, and bread and pastries.

Israeli morning meal
Israeli morning meal

Hawaii

A healthy Hawaiian breakfast – Fruits, fruits, and fruits! Sometimes bagel is included in their menu but forget it, you’ll be fascinated with all the tropical fruits they serve for breakfast.

Hawaiian Fruity morning meal
Hawaiian Fruity morning meal

Philippines

Filipino breakfast
Filipino breakfast

There are a wide variety of traditional breakfast in Philippines depending on regions. Typically in a normal morning it includes white rice or garlic fried rice, fried eggs, pan de sal (small bread rolls with coffee, corned beef, salted fish, and ripe mangoes.

Puto Maya with ripe mango and hot Chocolate
Puto Maya with ripe mango and hot Chocolate

On other days especially on weekends when family members don’t go rushing in the morning, their breakfast would include Puto Maya with native hot chocolate drink. And when we say Philippines breakfast – it’s all about the local fruits here. Mangoes are popular fare to keep you regular.

How about in your country? What is your morning meal like? What did you have for breakfast today? Share it with us in the comments below.

Christmas in Philippines

***HAPPY HOLIDAYS***

Christmas is indeed the happiest time of the year. Many countries celebrate it in different ways. Some are based on their religious beliefs and some are celebrating it for commercial purposes only. Whatever reasons they have, I’d like to share with you this one particular country that celebrates Christmas interestingly and it’s no other than, Philippines!

PHILIPPINES’ CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

***Decorations***

It is believed that Philippines have the longest Christmas season in the world. As early as September, people in their homes and shops can be heard playing the Christmas carols. It marks the start of the long and happy season.  Moreover, Filipinos start to decorate Christmas ornaments and gorgeous lights in their homes and shops. The most popular decoration is the “Parol”. It is made of a colored Japanese paper or cellophane and Bamboo sticks. They are formed together into a big star lantern which is then lighted at the center. The Parol represents the star the guided the three Wise Men to where the baby Jesus was born.

Christmas Parol
Parol

***Longest Celebration***

Formally, 16th of December is the start of celebration. Catholic people go to churches starting on that day to attend the “9 early morning masses” or “Misa de Gallio”; that is from 16th of December until the Christmas Day. 80% of the Philippines’’ population is Catholics so no wonder it is the most important and celebrated holiday. Catholics believe that if they fulfilled the 9 early morning masses, their Christmas wishes will be granted. Outside the church, vendors sell the traditional food especially popular in this holiday season such as “Puto bumbong” and “Tsokolate”. Mind you these foods are sold in no time so you must be in the church early if you like to taste them.

 

Misa de Gallio in Christmas season
Misa de Gallio is one of the popular custom in Philippines.
Puto bumbong
Puto bumbong is  a type of puto or rice cake named after the bamboo tube in which it is steamed. 

Click to learn the recipe of Puto Bumbong.

Tsokolate
Tsokolate is a thick hot chocolate specially made from cacao balls.

***Surely Fun***

On the Christmas Eve, many people stay awake all night and wait for the clock to strike at 12:00. They usually sing Karaoke, play games, cook special desserts, drink alcohol, and/or take each other’s pictures to keep themselves awake. People attend the Christmas Eve mass earlier in the evening. Then they will gather together to eat Noche Buena or midnight feast after going back to their homes they It is a big and special meal joined by all the members of the family and friends. Popular Noche Buena dishes include the Lechon or roasted pig, Ham, Fruit Salad, Puto bumbong, and Coke. Most people have the Exchanging of Presents in which each family members bring gifts and give to other members of the family after eating the Noche Buena. It is the most awaited part of the holiday since everyone get to receive surprising presents.

Noche Buena
Noche Buena

On the other hand, Christmas in Philippines is mixed with Western traditions too, which means that they also have Santa Claus, Christmas trees and cards. The celebrations continue to the First Sunday in January when Epiphany or the Feast of the Three Kings is celebrated. After this day, people start to put away their decorations.

How about in your country? How do you traditionally celebrate Christmas? Feel free to write it down in the Comments section. Happy Holidays!

 

Ideal places to visit in Davao for families

Davao has indeed became so popular not only because of its must-visit sight-seeing places but also for its safe and clean environment.

In fact, Davao has been hailed as the 4th safest city in the World in a survey in 2015.

I, being a Davaoeña is proud to say that because of the ordinances being strictly implemented by our President Rodrigo Duterte who became a Mayor of the city for 20 years.

It’s still safe to visit different places in the city since the President’s daughter and son are now leading the city as a Mayor and Vice-Mayor respectively.

If you are just here want the best hotel deal in Philippines, then click HERE

 

The walk to the Malacañang Palace during the Inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The First Family

Here are Davao City Ordinances a tourist must know before visiting.

  1. Smoking Ordinance. It was first implemented in 2002. Smokers should avoid smoking in public places however, there are designated smoking areas such as resto-bars, beach resorts, and cafes. Violators face penalties based on the frequency of their offense: P1,000 fine or month-long jail time for the first offense, P2,500 or two-month jail time for the second offense, and P5,000 or four-months in jail for the third offense. To learn more about this ordinance, read more here.
  2. Total Fire-cracking ban. Every New Year, Davao has been always recorded with zero casualty since its implementation in 2001. Violators of the firecracker ordinance are fined P1,000 or a month in jail for the first offense, P3,000 or three months in jail for the second offense, and P5,000 or six months in jail for the third offense.
  3. Speed Limit Ordinance. A maximum of 30kph downtown and 40kph within the city, and about 60kph within the city borders.  To learn more about this ordinance, read more here.
  4. Liquor ban. Selling and drinking alcoholic beverages in public places are banned in the city from 1am to 8am. Violators pay a fine of P3,000 for the first offense, P5,000 or a three-month jail time for the second offense, and P5,000 and one year in jail, including the revocation of the establishment’s business permit, for the third offense.

Now that you’ve learned the basics, let’s head to the must-visit places in Davao for families.

  • Davao Crocodile Park.
    A small Gorilla showing her talent.
    A small Orangutan named Carlo in the Animal Talent Show

    If you love animals and travelling in the city with your kids, then Davao Crocodile Park is an ideal place to be. It’s not far from the city center so it’s convenient to visit and kids won’t get tired from transporting or commuting.

  • The place showcases baby Crocs and big, montrous Crocs as well. It features the biggest salwater Crocodile in the Philippines named ‘Pangil” which is 18 ft. long.
    Pangil
    Pangil

    Davao Crocodile Park doesn’t only showcases Crocodiles but also other animals as well. Below is a photo of my family holding together a Burmese Python. Would you dare yourself to hold it too?

    A family holding a Burmese Python
    A family holding a Burmese Python

    Burmese Python is considered as one of the biggest snake in the world. Amazing, right? Well, if you want more of their animals, you can enjoy Fish-feeding, watching the Animal Talent Show,  Animal Petting, Crocodile-feeding, and other various activities in the park.

  • Not to mention the different kinds of animals including the Siberian Tiger and birds including the Philippine Eagle. The whole family gets the best day with the animals at an affordable price, of course.
  • Eden Nature Park Mountain Resort.
    Eden nature Park
    Eden Nature Park Mountain Resort

    If you’re looking for a relaxing place to visit and stay at th same time while seeking for another adventure, then this is the best place for you. Eden Nature Park and Resort is located in the suburb of the city.

    They offer different accommodations such as Holiday Lodge which is ideal for Honeymoon or vacation purposes, Vista Lodge for couples who want to have an intimate time away from the busy city.

    Log Cabin that can accommodate up to 14 persons, Pine lodge that’s ideal for groups having a Team Building, Mountain Villas dor large families, and other types of rooms available for every type of tourists.

    Fishing Village
    Fishing Village
    Sky Cycle at Eden Mountain Resort
    Sky Cycle at Eden Mountain Resort
    Swimming Pool
    Swimming Pool

    There are varius activities to enjoy in the place. Fishing with your kids must be fun for your family. What’s more, Horseriding, swimming, trekking, zip-lining, Sky-riding with a bicycle, and more Amenities to enjoy.

    Zip-line for kids
    Zip-line for kids
  • Philippine Eagle Nature Center. 
    Phil. Eagle Center
    Phil. Eagle Nature Center

    Davao is also known as the home of the world’s largest and most powerful birds of prey, the Philippine Eagle, which is also known as the Philippines’ National bird.

    Families can enjoy not only the eagles, but also the other mammals, reptiles and more birds. The place aims to educate people especially the children about the conservation and propagation of the critically endangered Philippine Eagle.

    Therefore, this is a must visit place for your kids. The place is wide and everything is natural in which you can enjoy the nature well while having a picnic. 

  • Jack’s Ridge.            

This is the place to recommend when you love to hang out at night in the city. The restaurant is situated at the top of the hills so the city’s view is overwhlmingly overlooking while enjoying the fresh air and relaxing ambience.

Not only that, there are many amenities in this place such as Function halls where we held our company’s christmas party last year, swimming pool, restaurants, cottages where you can stay overnight, and more.

Night view of the city at my back
Night view of the city behind 
  • People’s Park 
    A replica of the Philippine Eagle will greet you as you enter the Park.
    A replica of the Philippine Eagle will greet you as you enter the Park.

    People’s Park is a 4-hectare park and comes from the idea of the then City Mayor and current President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte. This park is open for the citizens and tourists for FREE. What I like about this park is that they keep the cleanliness inside and around it’s premises.

    You can enjoy its arrayed tropical rain forest trees, large sculptures, interactive fountains, man-made ponds and waterfalls, a Durian-shaped dome, a shady and open plaza, playground for children, and many more ornaments.

    Both adults and children can enjoy the park. Kids can play in the playground with its own toilet and washroom while the adults can join the Zumba or morning exercises for free during the weekends.

    boys sitting on a planet-shaped creation
    boys sitting on a planet-shaped creation
  • The Gap Farm Orchard Resort. 
    Gap Farm Land of Promise
    Gap Farm Land of Promise

    From the name itself, Gap Farm Orchard Resort is basically a farm rich with fruit-trees, tropical trees, and other various plants.

    The resort has a large swimming pool, horseback riding facilities, convention hall, a small man-made cave, and vast picnic areas.

    Other attractions include the historical and mythical statues , a parade of sculptured animals, a row of all the Philippines’ presidents’ busts, and different tribes of Mindanao.

    Swimming pool - entrance fee of Php100.00
    Swimming pool – entrance fee of Php 100.00
  • Malagos Garden Resort. 
    Malagos Garden ResortMalagos Garden Resort

    Recently, this place has been so popular because it has the first ever Chocolate Museum in Philippines. Everyone has their minds blown when they’ve finally tasted the Malagos chocolate so be sure to try it when you visit there.

    The place has other amazing and desirable places to explore such as the their gardens, butterfly sanctuary, and aviary where you can feed the birds, a restaurant where you can order the Malagos chocolate.

    For adventure geeks, try their Sky-Walker. It’s a carefully designed obstacle course consists of eight (8) stations that will test how far your limits are– mentally and physically.

 

Pool is inviting!
Pool is inviting!

You can learn more about this place here. 

So that’s all folks! Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoy it and I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy more when you visit all the places featured in this blog post. 😉 Ciao!