All Souls Day.

All Souls Day

Full moon on All Souls Day.

Last night, I spent an hour-and-a-half in a cemetery celebrating All Souls Day.

That’s right, celebrating. Vincentians all around me were drinking, lighting candles, taking pictures, and shooting off fireworks, honoring the memories of their deceased loved ones.

Raymond, another bakery employee, urged me to visit the grave of his wife who passed away from cancer. He didn’t mourn his wife’s death. We sat and talked about what made her laugh; Raymond reminisced about how happy they were together.

I couldn’t help but appreciate this positive perspective that everyone seemed to share on this festive day.

I trekked back to the house where everyone (myself, Ate Jhoanape, Kuya Randy, JirahMae, Auntie Eppie, Uncle Fidel, and Auntie Alice) sat down around the table for a feast.

Here’s a little history: According to Western Christian Theology, All Souls Day is celebrated on the 2nd of November after All Saints Day. All Saints Day recognizes beatified and unknown saints while All Souls Day remembers the faithful departed – those who have not entered the gates of Heaven.


Apex of Fort Charlotte.

Here is a non-food historical tid-bit. Fort Charlotte was built by the British in 1806. It was constructed to defend against the French. As you can tell from the video, I was totally freaked out by the ascent. Ate Jhoanape, Kuya Randy, Auntie Eppie, JirahMae, and Uncle Fidel were all present.

Lunch, yet again.

Macaroni casserole, plaintains, dumplings, corn, fried chicken, BBQ beef.

Macaroni casserole, plaintains, dumplings, corn, fried chicken, BBQ beef.

Ambassador Letters and Omelettes.

I went out last night. Vids on YouTube.Yum fish

Didn’t get too many pictures of the pre-anniversary celebrations and street parties since it was dark and I didn’t want to draw too many weird looks to yours truly, the wide-eyed tourist.

I need to learn how to crunk!

Yays. Just finished up on Uncle Fidel’s letter to H.E. (his excellency) Dr. Bienvenido Tejano, bestowed with the ambassadorship to New Zealand, representing The Philippines.

I’m repeating myself.

This was lunch.

Golden Apple Chutney.

Golden apple chutney.

Golden apple chutney.

Right now, it’s 4:23am back in Seattle. The folks here are busy frying up breakfast and getting the kids in uniform for school.

I’m feeling super-lazy today.

Fourteen hours later…

Back. Didn’t go anywhere or visit any sites. Just chilled on the balcony and read JirahMae some kiddie stories. Heh, talk about laid-back. I nearly fell asleep twice. Should have. But instead, buzz-cut my hair and started revising and typing up the letter Uncle Fidel is sending to Dr. Bienvenido V. Tejano, the Philippines ambassador to New Zealand and a relative of his…

…which in effect, makes Dr. Tejano a relative (if not by blood) of mine. Sweet.

Back to the foodstuffs. Chutney, it’s awesome. The island variety. From Trinidad and Tobago. Buy, buy buy.

The hot sauce here is AWESOME. I can’t specify all of the peppers that are crushed and bottled (I know there are habaneros and jalapenos in there, extra ripe) but dannnnggggg, I started twitching massively after a good dose.

My jaws were trembling and my brain basically went blank. I was running laps in the house until Ate Jhoanape gave me some brown sugar, melting ice, and yogurt to cool off.

I think I’m going to sleep outside on the swing tonight.


Birthday Wishes.

Cake timeToday is Kuya (older brother) Randy’s birthday.

I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying how old he is (49) seeing that he looks about 10-15 years younger than his age.

I took some pix of food everybody was preparing for a short lunch celebration.

We wished him a Happy Birthday and said a prayer before he headed out to take JirahMae (Jhoanape and Randy’s five-year-old daughter) to school.

I’m expecting cake today!

And I got it 😉 . We’ll be heading off to Fort Charlotte soon. You can check those pictures here:

Pecan Tarts and Coconut Macaroon Cupcakes…and Pizza.

Pile on the pecan tarts.

Pile on the pecan tarts.

Freaking delicious! Today, which was actually the 21st, Ate Jhoanape (Ate means “older sister” in Tagalog, the predominant dialect in the Philippines; it is usually said with respect to one’s age) concocted some scrumptious sweets: pecan tarts and coconut macaroon cupcakes.

Spent hours at the bakery switching from bread to cakes and eventually pizza! This explains my reason for posting so late.

I managed to pull together my own brand of pizza with sprinkles of 4 different cheeses, traditional tomato sauce, pepperoni, ham, bell pepper and chunks of young green habanero peppers.

Ate Jhoanape, of course, had her own version which wasn’t as spicy and a little bit more circular than mine.

At Last…

Pictures speak louder than words and videos take the cake. I’ll let the images tell the story…for the

Loaf love.

Loaf love.

most part.

As for those secret recipe previews, I’m not too sure that I’ll be able to make good on that promise.

Uncle Fidel insisted that the family recipe be kept a secret.

What he said made sense. I actually found out that the bakery is struggling to keep up with demand.

So much for me promoting the goodies; just kidding. 😉

Oh yeah, I’ve been struggling to keep up with names so forgive me if I fail to mention who’s who in each photograph, for the moment.

Heading Back to the Bakery.

I certainly have my work cut out for me in the next few days. I should be heading back down to the bakery in a few hours to help out.

Uncle Fidel and Joanna roll some dough.

Uncle Fidel and Ate Jhoanape roll some dough.

I’ll definitely have to get the names of each product written correctly. Posting a preview of each recipe is another goal I’m trying to achieve.

Today feels like it’s going to be a scorcher. I certainly hope it rains at least twice. And call me crazy, but I’m itching for a hurricane. It’s been years since I’ve survived one. 😉

More coming up…

…it rained once, so far.

Kneading dough on the table.

Kneading dough on the table.

Beautiful Day.

A cruise ship sailed into the bay today. My Uncle Fidel and I took some pictures. I wanted to share them along with some photos of the countryside.

A cruise ship in the bay.

A cruise ship in the bay.

I’ll post a slide show of the ship gradually making its way in.

Breakfast was awesome. We had fresh bread sprinkled with cane sugar and butter.

I washed it all down with a cup of cocoa and sat out on the balcony watching the sun rise.

I love this place.

There’s a lot that I need to back track on, so keep your eyes peeled for some sweet delectable treats.

As for this morning, being one of the best ever, I have never seen the sun shine so brightly. Maybe because everything the sun touched gave away an elegant glow, albeit, this only being the early hours of the day.

Each rooftop, whether it’s orange, green, white, or red, reflects the light perfectly. Okay, I’ll quit being such a cornball. Come and visit already.

For more pix, check out the slide show in the upcoming post.

Munching on ensaymada for breakfast.

Munching on ensaymada for breakfast.