singapore marketLet me share with you a glimpse of how a typical Singapore market would look like on a bustling Sunday. This image was taken using my phone camera from the the second storey of the market while my wife haggles with the pork seller.

You might consider it an irony that Singapore is importing most of its pork products from the biggest Islamic country, which is Indonesia. Oh well, this “little red dot one degree north of equator” is getting most of its veggies, seafoods, and meat products from other countries for that matter.

Before, we had a carinderia that my mother tended to help support the family. We had it then as far back as I can remember. My filial love for her obliged me to accompany her to the market even at young age so I’m basically at ease with the sights, sounds and smells of a marché .

By way, pasar (market for malay)  practically operates half a day and close on Mondays. And pssst, my wife is preparing to host a dinner to close family and friends tonight to celebrate her lifetime lover’s birthday.


merrell shoesI was about to indulge on one of my guilty pleasures in life when my wife called and budged me to see the warehouse sale of a sports shop near her workplace. She knows how I look forward to my siesta fix during the weekends so it must really be something.

Apparently, she sneaked out while balancing some numbers and got herself few pairs of those Ipanema flip flops for a song. Okay, for S$3! Knowing her, i thought she would probably go for the “kill” after work.

And since my natal day is fast approaching, she impressed that I should really come down to help her carry her loot and pamper myself . MOS burgerI ended up buying the merrell shoes that she knows I’ve been eyeing for quite sometime for half the price, and some sports apparel.

Not bad indeed, considering that we ended up filling our tummy with the mouth-watering teriyaki beef burger at  MOS burger.

I went out earlier than usual during lunchtime to pay some bills. Most of them are almost due and it’s not really smart missing the deadline specially for credit cards where you need to pay a hefty penalty in case.

It’s been quite sometime that I’ve eyeing and pestering my wife to try out Indian food at Clover and Curry. The place is quite near the bank and since Sallie is not around to say no, I decided that now is the time.

cloves and curry Their nasi (rice) briyani is great, the best that I’ve tasted so far. I also ordered mutton mysore and sambal chicken which were considerably praiseworthy as well. The keropok (crackers), vegetable salad, mostly cucumber, and the curry sauce is sort of complimentary add-ons. If you think, by looking at the picture, that it looks exciting, wait till you tasted the real thing. It’s worth the sweat (imagine eating spicy food in a humid place like Singapore) and the $8 which is twice the amount of my usual lunch. I’m expecting my wife to give me a good “tongue-lashing” for it. In jest, that is.

With all its spices, Indian food is exotically tasty and, my-oh-my, very aromatic. Be prepared to have the smell of food (mangangamoy Indian ka talaga, literally) stick to you for the rest of the day. Here’s a very good advice to those not used to eating spicy stuffs: be sure you know where to run in case your stomach starts to act up.

svādiṣṭ khānā (happy eating)!

All-time fave
Originally uploaded by plpandaan


Ginataang pagi na may malunggay (stingray in coconut milk with….ano nga bang English translation ng malunggay?)

Just the mention of this food would trigger my salivary glands, the smell of which would make me drool. Okay, the last one was an exaggeration. But I kid you not when I say that this would be it if I would be in a deathrow and given a choice of my last meal.

This food which I prefer spiced up is a dead give away that I’m a Bicolano. A true-blue at that since my Tatay and Nanay were originally from the Bicol region. This is actually a family favourite. A dish I usually requested my Nanay to cook whenever I visit Pinas. My wife, Sallie, naturally learnt the dish. An act of her undying love which I’m really very grateful. She cooked this one, btw.

bon appetit!

Mee Rebus

Literally means boiled noodles. Which is of course misleading given the fact that this egg noodles, sold decades ago by itinerant hawkers, is generously in a thick, spicy and slightly sweet gravy, garnished elaborately with boiled eggs, dried garlic, sliced fresh green chillies, bean curd cubes added with a dash of dark soy sauce and fresh calamansi.

To “liven” up the taste even more, you could add sambal blacan (chilli paste). But if you are not really into spicy stuff and don’t intend to visit the loo as often, I suggest you add as little as possible initially and gradually increase to suit your taste bud.

At first glance it might remind you of our very own palabok, but parekoy, this tastes definitely more “exciting”. It’s a fusion of Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine but in most likelihood, you will find it in Malay stalls.

balut at bud

Teka, ilang taon na nga ba ang nakallilipas mula ng kumain ako ng balut? Hindi ko na yata matandaan, pero sigurado akong lampas na ng sampung taon na s’yang inilagi ko dito.

Mas masarap pa rin s’yang kainin habang nakatuntong ang paa mo sa lupang tinubuan at ang panulak mo ay malamig na San Miguel beer.

Ngapala, pasalamat ako sa Auntie Jess na tiyahin ni esmi na nagpadala neto. Taga Taguig si Auntie kay naturalmente na may kasamang sangkatutak na itlog na maalat. Pasalamat na rin kami kay MeAi na asawa ng pinsan ni misis na si Robert na nagawi dito para sa isang seminar.

They come in all shapes and sizes, filling up almost every available space. Almost every domestic helper here in Singapore is expected to pay homage to Lucky Plaza during Sunday. That is if they’re lucky enough to be given an off day. Most would probably hang around the place. A spillover crowd would be seen along the stretch of Orchard road. Others are probably having tryst at some place or another, most of which would probably illicit.

The whole place is a perfect pandemonium. The neverending stream of chattering blends into the air like the humming of the bees.

Everytime I visit the place at this particular day, I can’t help but scan the faces. I can’t help but think how they or their loveones are coping up with the distance. These are the mothers, wives, sisters or what-have-you of someone back home. This is their supreme sacrifice.

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