Lunch with a halo halo (mix mix) for dessert. Every place makes them a little different. Filipinos are quite familiar with this treat, but for the Americanos that reading, here we go. This time I finally remembered to take a photo of this little work of art before I dove in. Finally.
Praxy ordered spaghetti and I ordered a double burger and a “Rich man’s” halo halo. Philippine spaghetti is very sweet, almost like a dessert. But a burger is a burger and I wanted another go at one of “Mama’s” halo halos.
Lemme think, this one had….ummm….crushed ice (always crushed ice) banana, canned corn, sweet beans, a spoon full of ube (sweet potato), mango, brown sugar, coconut strips, red and green jello cubes, little red tapioca pearls, heavy cream, palm fruit ovals, green coconut gel ovals, crushed pineapple, leche flan (sweet egg custard), a scoop of ube ice cream, a scoop of strawberry ice cream, puffed rice on top, and an inedible umbrella. Man these are good! I almost ate the umbrella and the bowl, but fortunately Praxy was there to stop me. Cost? 50 pesos. $1.15 USD. (A big thanks to Praxy and Susan for deciphering some of the ingredients)
Sigh. I’m at Dick and Susan’s house or I’d be eating another one right now.
We had gone to Guihulngan to pick up dinner for ourselves. Dick and Susan were on their way back from Cebu and Praxy and I had to hit the market. Now sounds like a good time to hit a Philippine market experience.
Into a tricycle
and off to town we go. Public markets are in nearly every town. This is a sample of something you might experience.
It’s not hard to find the local market. Every local knows where it is. But a foreigner gets the idea when they are close to one. The smell can be overwhelming. Freshly butchered pig and chicken, freshly caught fish, over ripe fruit, dried fish, dirty wash water (the worst), smoke, cooking food, motorcycle exhaust fumes, BO, dust; all roll together in an aroma you will never forget. Later in the day, the stench can be rather cloying. I couldn’t eat anywhere close to the average market. That is I couldn’t eat and keep it down.
But you’ve got to eat, so you close your nose and mind and…SHOP!
For the most part, everything is totally fresh. It HAS to be. There is little or no refrigeration except for things like ice cream or soda pop and bottled water. Oh yeah, and BEER. So just dive in and see what looks good.
An assortment of melons and squash in Dumaguete.
A vendor weighs mangos.
Jack fruit. They have a sweet and attractive smell. Very very tasty for breakfast.
Eggs sold by the piece. The dyed ones are duck I believe. They might be headed towards being made into balut. Don’t know what balut is? If you don’t know, ignorance might be bliss.
Sometimes the market comes to you in the form of a mobile vendor. I see at least three types of bananas here.
Whew, hold your nose big time. Dried fish. Smells very dead. I’ve been told that the fish are dried out in the open on the beaches with no cover. Huge dark clouds of flies fan the fish and aid in the drying process. I certainly, certainly believe that story.
Tobacco. The old lady in the middle was not shy when she took a hit on her cigar.
Freshly cooked lechon. Tastes and smells wonderful. Bits and pieces fly everywhere as they chop chop chop. Stand back, or you’ll get covered with bone, sinew, skin, and/or meat. This stand does five pigs worth of business every Sunday, so far they are two pigs in.
Live clams and snails. The snails were busy trying to get away and the pile had to be restored constantly.
This stinks bad, too. Fish paste.
Another fish market, this one in Altares, Cebu. The little boy is checking out the offal bins. Again, hold your nose!
Not much beef is sold in the Philippines. The cows are skinny as rails. Chicken is common and much better than chicken in the US. The markets also have a lot of dry goods and clothing nearby. One stop catches a person up with most of the basics.
I also got a haircut while I was in town for 30 pesos. I tipped the guy 20 more for a job well done.
The guy on the right was carefully picking his beard hairs out, one by one. I was the only “strait” man in the place. I chuckled to myself, electrolysis is the only way to permanently remove facial hair. But, the haircut reminded me of another hair cut from the previous trip. Into the photo archives and…Done by Raquel on Mactan in 2005.
Looks like the bald patch isn’t any bigger. Yay!
Next up, we take off for Manila via Dumaguete.