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There’s No Place Like Home


By: Sarah


My praise to the LORD, Almighty! I had to do an emergency trip back home after so many years (it was a long wait, and elders always say, it is going to happen in God’s time) to attend to family affairs. I checked Lenten Season flights and was shocked at air fares, $ 5 K a passenger, at the minimum, if flying out the next day…what!!! I couldn’t do it on my own as I was wanting to book a multi-city with final destination in Iloilo City. Is it via Cebu or NAIA? I sought the help of ASAP tickets agent. Research. Nope, exorbitant plane fare. Research more. Using ANA (All Nippon Airways) flying home and United Airlines coming back, 2 great airlines, was the cheapest fare. The catch: 10 long layovers in Tokyo and San Francisco. I just wanted to be home, it involved almost 2 days of travel. Flights booked, yes, it was time to pack up bags. ANA is a wonderful experience…the cute flight attendants are absolute rock stars, huge Boeing 787, comfortable seats layout and generous legroom, clean, better-quality food. You have got to try it! About the 10 hour layovers, please don’t ever say yes to it. It’s both physical and mental torture, yes it’s cheap flight, but boy, I’d rather pay the high price than subject myself to this most uncomfortable experience, nope, not anymore. Finally made it home and it’s soooo good to be home.

I just tried to remain calm in the middle of family drama, of course, there will always be drama. But that’s not what I’m sharing here with you. Dealt with it, sometimes do the maritess/showbiz approach, or just completely ignore and pretend you didn’t hear the conversations at all. On the best parts of my trip. Meetups with high school classmates (3 years in University of the Philippines Iloilo and completed senior year at Central Philippine University/CPU), my going on 19 nephew Emman, loving relatives. So much fun, so much creating memories/selfies/snapshots, so much lafang (food trips), and trips to SM City (but of course). Glenn and I stayed in 2 Iloilo Hotels, Smallville 21 and SEDA. Due to observance of Panay Liberation Day, first hotel completely booked, so we moved to SEDA. I later found out that hotels with 21 attached to name, like Diversion 21 and District 21, etc, are more budget hotel types. I’d book again in those hotels, but next trip, if you’re like me that almost everyday hanging out in SM City, book with Zuri Hotel, no more cabs, merely few minutes walk is what it takes.

In all my travels, I post a lot of pictures in my Facebook account, so I could just scroll through. SEDA includes buffet breakfast, and please, please, when in Iloilo, stay at SEDA. Let me share some of my posts.

— A Ponsyon resto experience with classmates Grace Marie and Severa (our first sit down restaurant, great food!)

— Gotta have Halo halo n bibingka!! (Skip this: halo halo didn’t have enough traditional ingredients, it was more like leche con hielo and the bibingka-mamon was a bit dry)

— 1st time, EVER, LASWA in the morning, included in breakfast buffet at SEDA HOTEL. Sooo good, with pandesal too. Omg, ibang klase Ang lasa (Vero Leighton asks “Ano ang lasa?” My reply: super Tita….ibang klase, I can eat the whole container lol)

— The CPU reunion at Punot…lovely company, yummy lunch. And the turon served with mango sauce, omg!!! (Direk Gerry Rebello says: Thank you for sharing this! Gusto ko lutuin mo yan dito at ipatikim mo sa akin yan!!! YUMMY at DELICIOUS!!!)

— Another awesome buffet breakfast at SEDA: danggit, corned beef, ensaladang ampalaya, ensaladang talong, guisado ampalaya, fresh watermelon juice, etc etc (Ching Caray Mercado approves: Yummy on my tummy)

— It’s Palm Sunday. In addition to champorado, enjoyed the pinakas, adobong kangkong, adobo baboy, coconut roll, ibos, suman malagkit n fresh papaya, among many others. No worries, tikim tikim only lol. (Gallofin- Ocampo Ed mentions: Tikim-tikim, puno ang plato. Hehe)

— Bonding with UP HS mates, kasadya. Thank you Grace Marie, Des, Lea, Rose, Luzette. Hagikhik and lafang to the max…omg, banana q, and siakoy. (Rose Molina says: It seemed like we haven’t lost contact for years. Kasadya man gihapon. and Lea Gonzales comments: Thanks a lot Sarah!! Lots of laughter, reminiscing the days at UP Iloilo with lots of calorie intake too!! Next time kami naman)

— Thank you so much Grace Marie…bibingka, my favorite… can’t wait….meds first hehe. (Pahabol in Grace: this is the original bibingka in Iloilo…so huwag isnabin!)

— Dinner with Nong ‘Fonso, Nang ‘Velyn, Emman and Glenn at Punot…I just love this resto…came back to try crispy karekare and Halo halo. Muy bueno!

— Today’s breakfast treats: meatloaf, dilis, guinisang ampalaya, sotanghon guisado, paksiw na isda, sauteed beans, tortang baboy.

— The escapades continued from Jaro Church to Sta Barbara to Megaworld…with Palangging and Kaylin

— A family affair (Emman, Mike, Nong Alfonso, Nang Velyn) at the Summer House: with Patatim, crab and corn soup, ampalaya with shrimps, bihon guisado, lumpia Shanghai and yang chow fried rice (Marijoe Conlu Yu comments” Baw kanamit)

— With Maridot and sister Diday at Emilion…yummy lunch with kalamansi cake (Christine Gimotea remarks: Ay, ginutom tuloy ako)

— Enjoying camoncil (camachile) moments….thank you Nang Belen!

— Barquillos n cold water… Panyaga (lunch) lol Kay grabeeee the heat!!!! — Ube leche flan cake for breakfast at NAIA…why not, yummm! (Really good)

— Glenn made Emman a big spender at Shoemart, Iloilo


It is a Filipino shaved or crushed ice dessert that’s topped with homemade flan, ube haleya and ube ice cream. Fill serving wide mouth tall glasses with crushed/shaved ice. Ingredients: Fully customizable, you want more of it, then go for it

Sweet chickpeas

Sweet red mung beans

Nata de Coco


Sago or tapioca pearls in syrup

Jackfruit slices

Coconut meat Sweetened plantains and camote (sweet potatoes)

Sweet corn (kernels or cream style) native jello or pinoy gulaman squares

Simply pour milk over, a little bit sugar to taste. Sprinkle Corn flakes or puffed rice, for topping. Mix, mix, and enjoy! Of course you can drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.

LAST WORDS: “I take the opportunities each day offers: if it is snowing, I work with snow. At leaf-fall it will be with leaves.” So what are you doing this summer?

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