Pasalubong Shopping in Northern Mindanao

Picture 217

You don’t leave a place without bringing home something for friends and loved ones. Food, for me, is the most appreciated representation of the culture of a place.

Cagayan de Oro is the hub for everything in Northern Mindanao, making it so convenient to choose from among the best pasalubong around CDO, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Iligan and other neighboring places.

A wonderful discovery is Joji’s Delights peanut butter by Joji Ferrer. She makes them in Bukidnon. What led me to her creations was the malunggay (moringa) peanut butter. I like the unexpected added flavor which doesn’t rob out the character of quality peanut butter. Really nice, love it in pan de sal. I also bought the creamy variation which the family tried with kare-kare last night.

If you live in Manila, you can also find them at health and specialty shops such as Connie’s Kitchen, Healthy Choice and The Green Grocer.

Joji FerrerJoji's Delights Peanut ButterJoji's Delight's Chunky Peanut ButterPicture 215

Biscochos in the south are so much different from those that we have in Ilocos. Theirs are the sweet and creamy kind. The muron (in photo below) is a cross between buchi and suman. A filling made with chocolate and peanuts makes it unique.

MuronCamiguin PastelVjandep Pastel

Pasalubong places such as Vjandep along the highway going to the airport houses the best food products of the region. They offer a wide selection of Camiguin pastel. You’d be surprised to see buns filled with durian, langka, apple and so much more. I like the yema kind, though buko is also nice.

BanadasVjandep Cheese StickVjandep, CDO

I got bañadas, a specialty of Bukidnon, which are like broas, but with a thicker layer of frosting. The house cheese sticks are milky and chewy, lovely with a cup of coffee.

Not to mention the Iligan peanuts, which come in different kinds. Toasted cashew nuts are also abundant in CDO.

Something I failed to bring home is the hamon specialty of Cagayan de Oro. They make them real good.

But what I regret not being able buy more of is the seaweed shing-a-ling by Libertad Coast. It’s distinct.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Discovering Banna Otap


True serendipity. If not for my uncle JBoy Abadilla, I wouldn’t have known Banna makes very good otap, a flaky sugared pastry.  He served it at his home when we visited him today and I couldn’t wait to check out the source, right in his own backyard.

A few houses away is Monette’s Bakery which is your typical corner bakery that makes tinapay. You wouldn’t normally find the otap on the shelves but in an “orocan.” Mrs. Imelda Marcos and many Bataquenos are good customers, the owner says.

Banna Otap

The Banna otap is made of crispy thin phyllo, which resembles the delicate quality of arguellanas. We all loved the lightness of this otap. Bought an “exagge” of 50 packs . When you head east, try visiting Monette’s Bakery on Zamora Street.

Banna OtapMonette's BakeryBanna Otap
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

I Heart Ilocos from Islands Souvenirs

Islands Souvenirs Sand Bashing

Souvenirs are more than the kitschy stuff that they really are. If I like a place, I bring home something to remind me of the awesomeness that is difficult to part with. Just like on my first trip to Cebu in the 90s, I bought a Cebu t-shirt from Islands Souvenirs. It was novel back then ‘coz they had the brand only in Cebu.

Fast forward to the present, the Islands Souvenirs at Robinsons Ilocos in San Nicolas beams at me. They’re still cool! Could you guess what I just bought?

Islands Souvenirs 3Islands SouvenirsIslands Souvenirs 2I Heart IlocosSouvenirs
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014