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Every time someone celebrates a birthday, we eat at Buffet 101.  Here’s my dessert plate.  I was amazed by the carp-shaped coconut jelly.

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So my brother got the Big Breakfast at McDonald’s yesterday (which wasn’t big at all), and McDonald’s had the funniest design on the styrofoam. I don’t know if they’re trying to be more Asian, but there is a paper chicken instead of a paper crane, a bowl of rice, a gravy boat, and Ronald McDonald slam-dunking some trash into a wastebasket. Endless amusement.

SM’s dimsum section is drool-worthy.  I wonder how each one will taste like.

Btw, those crab roe buns look like little white porings, don’t they?

This, my friends, is a June beetle, otherwise known as a salagubang.  Present during the rainy seasons of May and June.  Maybe some of you have played with one of these before, with a piece of string tied to one of its legs so that it could buzz above your head like a living, miniature balloon. 

My earliest memory of these insects was with my grandfather, who had a habit of catching one every time it rained.  He would tell me to hold my hand open for a gift (which I always expected to be something like candy or chocolate, but no!) and he’d drop the beetle right there on my palm.  That usually led to me freezing on the spot and yelling for him to take it away before I gave in to panic.  I’m not a big fan of bugs.  I’d rather they leave me alone.  I’d do the same for them if they did.

Okay, why am I talking about the salagubangWala lang.  I recently watched a TV special about it by Jessica Soho.  In some parts of the Philippines, they are considered a delicacy, cooked in different ways and served in some restaurants and eateries.  Adobong salagubang, crispy fried salagubang, sinampalukang salagubang, oh yeah, you name it. 

I’ve never tried it, but I hope it tastes better than fried crickets (I’ve eaten crickets at Cabalen on a stupid whim, and they are umm.. too juicy and just too insect-y for my taste).  I’ve sworn myself off insects forever, not because of the taste but because of the way they cook the bugs.  First they take their wings and the legs off, then they fry them while they’re still alive.  They showed those poor, poor bugs, breathing, wriggling in pain on a pan.  I don’t think I could eat anything that had to suffer like that.

By the way, this is a salaginto (green june beetle), its shinier and arguably cuter little bug brother.

I’m hungry and bored and that makes MS Paint my best friend.  I want dumplings and a steaming hot bun of siopao right now!

This is called chami, a noodle dish which is the specialty of my dad’s hometown, Lucena.  It’s made of those yummy fat egg noodles (which I absolutely love), sauteed with pork and/or chicken, shrimp, veggies.  It traditionally tastes sweet and spicy with just the right amount of salt.  Chami is, by far, my favorite kind of pansit.  I could eat it all day, everyday.  

The picture above doesn’t do justice though.  It’s hard to find places that sell chami in Manila, and this one comes from a small food stall beside my workplace.  Not authentic, but good nevertheless!  

There’s also Buddy’s Pizza (oh, you guys should try it there).  Their Timog branch feels like home.  They have the same sunflower chairs and pahiyas motif that they do in the original branch in Lucena.  Although nothing beats traditional home cooked Lucena chami.  Any day.

Quality food takes a little longer to prepare than fastfood.