Shop for less at Dapitan Arcade

Dapitan Arcade, QC

Soul and character is the drawing power of the unobtrusive Dapitan Arcade, tucked in an area in Quezon City (within eyeshot from the peopled streets of Manila). The swift travel through a Roxas-Dapitan jeepney from Malate was painless. I walked a few meters to the corner, leaving me more opportunities for street photos.


The window shopping was supposed to be a date with my friend Alma, but time was not on her side. Characterized by a tiangge-type of setup, Dapitan Arcade has everything under one roof, making it much more conducive for busy housewives and budget-conscious decorators and event stylists. The variety of wares is amazing. I caught sight of chic decor like fabric lanterns and votive lamps, and recognized similar colorful Byzantine-inspired lamps I photographed at Greeka Kouzina recently. Christmas adornments and props made me maniacal. Santa comes in every imaginable expression. Organizers, candelabrums, jars of all sizes, indigenous art, Filipiniana accents, local materials (like jute fabric and ropes), one of a kind pieces, wedding ornaments, artsy ceramic figurines, tableware, kitschy clocks, among others, will satiate the The Selby kind of artist in you. Prices are insanely low as compared to those in malls. Most of the items at handicraft stalls are made by the artisan owners themselves.

Byzantine-Inspired LampsDapitan ShoppingParolParol star lanterns are ubiquitous in the country, signalling the Christmas season — to Filipinos as early as September to January the next year.Christmas DecorationsPeaceThanksgivingChristmas Decorations 2RedsDapitan ArcadeSanta ClausDapitan ArcadeHomelanternsManggang HilawFish StandChicksDyed in the wool live chicksDapitan ArcadeDapitanParolChristmas BallsSurfer SantaSurfer Santa

Stall # 29-31
Mylene for lighting fixtures and home decor
0919 9439330

Stall # 59
For made-to-order lampshades
Lito 0927 3991588
Jhing 0915 1308944

Stall # 10
Joyce Saraos
Specialty home decor
9048379 / 0998 3925408

Dapitan Arcade
39 Dapitan cor. Kanlaon Sts., Brgy, Sta. Teresita, Quezon City, Philippines

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

Reminiscing the good old Magnolia days


Back in high school, as a student of St. Joseph’s College, (Q.C,) I was able to tour the Aurora Boulevard Magnolia dairy plant. The entire class ogled the mounds of butter, saw how ice cream was made, after which Twin Popsies and Drumstick by the boxes were distributed for us to enjoy,. The huge ice cream parlor on the other end was so popular to bring the kids for a happy time with an Ernie and Bert or a peach Melba, and a jar of barquillos to take out. I always had my favorite Lover’s Delight or strawberry parfait.

Magnolia House

The ice cream place soon faded away. In 2012, however, the new owners of the huge property (which is now a Robinsons mall) brought back the Magnolia ice cream parlor as a fitting tribute to Magnolia House. Now known as the Magnolia Flavor House, it doesn’t look quite the same, but the same old fresh ice cream flavors delight the kid in us all. I’ve never had it that good! My ice kacang aka halo-halo was exquisite. The vanilla ice cream in Brandon’s Red Velvet was just so perfect. There must be that certain temperature that keeps Magnolia Ice Cream faultless, as it is BEST enjoyed at its own parlor.

Magnolia House 2Lolo and Apo

Grandpas and grandmas are loving the nostalgia. Beyond ice cream sundaes and shakes, Magnolia Flavor House is also a restaurant for kids’ favorites such as clubhouse sandwich, nachos, pastas, etc..

Cones and TopingsMagnolia Peach MelbaStill a bestseller, Peach Melba with the best mango, ube and strawberry ice creams by Magnolia..Magnolia Red Velvet and Ice KacangMagnolia Red VelvetColorsMAgnolia House 3

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

The Legendary Smokin’ Pig Out


I can’t bow out of food blogging just yet. As they say, live a little. My foodie best friend Alma took me for lunch at Smokin’ Pig in a refreshingly green and muted area in Quezon City. The rib joint is at the back part of an arcade called Capitol GreenStreet. It overlooks Marikina and other neighboring cities. So fine, the kind weather complimented outdoor BBQ food.

Chef Jo-An Raagas (in photo below) runs the 3-month old joint that specializes in American down-home Southern comfort food. The full menu consists of slow-smoked meat, served wet with barbeque sauce or dry-rubbed with the signature rub finished on the grill, sandwiches, salads and a lot more food for the soul.

Chef Jo-AnSmokin' PigSmokin' Pig Dry and Wet Baby Back Ribs

Just look at those beautifully cooked baby back ribs. Utterly fall off the bone! Between the wet ribs slathered in BBQ sauce and the dry-rubbed ribs, I died straightaway from the crusty, herby ribs. I prefer my meat without abundant sauce. Btw, I like crusty steaks too, so it must be me.

Sampled some fixin’s and dirty rice. The creamed spinach, mac ‘n cheese and coleslaw were all nice, but it was the creamed spinach that stood out.

Smokin' Pig Side DishesDirty RiceMeat Platter

The Smokin’ Pig meat platter was suggested by Chef Jo-An. It’s a medley of melt in your mouth beef brisket that tasted so much like bone marrow (yum!), grilled chicken, two kinds of sausages and fries. One of the sausages was savory with just the right amount of piquant spices, reminding  me of Spanish chorizo.

Though everything was indeed good, the grilled beef belly was all a different level! If you love marbled beef, you can’t go wrong with this — there’s a lot of sweet, melty fat layers, omg!

Melt in your mouth beef bellyPicture 321

Julia arrived just in time for the lunch. We all loved the (pretty huge serving of) almond almond. The cake was warm, so in the photo you will notice the melting ice cream.

Service was nice. Better to make reservations early ‘coz I heard the legendary rib joint has reached far and wide.

AlmaAlma and JuliaCapitol GreenstreetDay OutBesties. Thanks, dear!

Smokin’ Pig Unit 1G & 1H, Upper G/F,Capitol GreenStreet, Capitol Hills Drive, Old Balara 1662 Quezon City, Philippines Tel. No.:  & 029043148 CP No.: 0939 592 8118

Photographed by Julia, Alma and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Finally, an Estrel’s Caramel Cake!

Estrel's Caramel Cakes

Friday was a break from the FoodPrints shoot. The whole day was spent with very good friends. It was not a break in the true sense of the word. I overate from morning til evening, capping the night with Hatch 22’s pan de month (some kind of stylized Filipino bread you’ll see in a future post, heheh).

First stop was Estrel’s Caramel Cakes. I’ve been running after the much talked about caramel cake for exactly one year. Through friend Alma’s powers, I was able to land my hands on an elusive cake.

Estrel's Caramel Cake

Chiffon cakes are covered in silky caramel frosting and decorated with buttercream flowers.

The caramel cake is an original recipe of Estrella Ylagan, hence the name. Today, her nieces, the Navarro siblings, continue the 68 year-old tradition.

My cake was from the extra cakes they make daily I think. The flowers were dainty sampaguitas.

At last!My Cake

I was imagining a toffee kind of caramel, but it was better. Light with subdued sweetness. The buttercream just melts in the mouth, also not too sweet. I  can probably eat the whole cake, but I didn’t ‘coz I shared it with my sis-in-law who was just as thrilled as any fan of Estrel’s caramel cake.

As for me, as of now, the final word on made-to-order all-occasion cakes. I can’t compare it to anything ‘coz the others I’ve tried are, on average, the same.


I was also tempted to buy a box of food for the gods. Like the name suggests, they are buttery, rich and divine.

Estrel’s Caramel Cakes 54 Sct. Tobias, Quezon City Tel No.: (02) 372 2965

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