Latest Stories

Word of Mouth

Pigging out in Ilocos–and everywhere else


You can skip all the meals you want so you can control your weight gain, but once you hit the dessert section, your diet is doomed. That, at least, is true in my case. I am a sweet tooth. I love desserts.

Just last week, I was in Ilocos—Norte for a national shooting competition and Sur for a cooking demonstration. At the firing range, I immediately had a Gloris empanada, Batac version. Sarap!

In Laoag, I swooned as I ate Alicia’s Ilocos Empanada at the Dap Ayan Plaza. I had forgotten how this baby tastes like. Fantastic! The orange crust was thin, crunchy and sealed in the surprise  well—finely chopped green papaya, mashed mongo, flaked Laoag longganisa and a malasado cooked egg.

One piece wasn’t enough for me, especially not with spicy Ilocos vinegar around. After my second piece, I drove around the city—and found myself back in the evening, to have my fourth piece of the day.

In my cooking demo at the University of Northern Philippines for the Beta Sigma fraternity, I shared the kind of work I do and my experiences. Truth is, I have never considered it work. I love what I do so much that it is like playing badminton.

In Ilocos Sur, a fellow judge in the cooking competition, Marcha Chua of Marsha’s Delicacies, gave me a box full of her creations. I love her version of hopia—totally different from what we’re used to but good nonetheless. It is like a sweet crunchy taco with a filling spread inside.

Her version of bibingka is also different from what we’re used to. It’s made of sticky rice with a custard coat on top. Very fattening but good.

From former Ateneo basketball standout Ricky Farinas of Laoag, I got delicious Laoag longganisa. This version is not sweet, but is certainly one of the best. He also sells it somewhere in Greenhills (tel. 0917-8108842).

How can one not have fun with perks like these? I love what I do.

12 cakes

One day a few weeks ago, I was also sent 12 different kinds of cake. All I had to do was rate each one, from 1-12. My pleasure! But it’s funny to discover how different our tastes are with those of other people. We were about 10, who were asked to do the cake-rating. My last choice was someone’s first, would you believe?

Even my sisters and I have different tastes. Just a few days ago, Stella told me she tried the cake I highly recommended and said she didn’t like it that much.

I have told my readers about the Valrhona Chocolate Cake of Dolchelatte (tel. 0915-9129038) and a recently discovered another called Blueberry Torte.

Dito, sira ang diet mo but well worth it. Both to-die-for, so do try both! If you like them, you and Stella have different tastes; if you don’t, I will never talk to you again. Kidding!

Well, among the 12 cakes I sampled, there were three I thought long and hard about, and one that really stood out. Plaisir Sucre is a French term that means “sugar pleasure,” and it’s the name of a rich, chocolaty, crunchy, not-too-sweet, moist and mousse-like cake that will give you incredible satisfaction.

The other cake I liked was the Turtle Pie.

With the coming pigging-out season, have all your excuses ready to break that diet. Happy eating!

Visit  www.sandydaza.blogspot.com; follow on Twitter @sandydaza.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: empanada , Food , Ilocos Norte

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. World bids Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Adios’
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  8. Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript
  9. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  10. Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks