Anilao- A diver’s Paradise

anilao_sunset_view.1.jpgThis remote area of rich underwater assets is only 3 hours drive from Manila. It is the closest weekend paradise for divers based in the city. Located in the southeast tip of Batangas and nestled in the midst of the quiet town of Mabini, Anilao possess no presence of powdery sand beaches but the ocean facing it promises a tantalizing life of sea water creatures.

There is about 35 dive sites around Anilao. Some of the most popular are Sombrero island, Bonito island and Maricaban. Sombrero island is a marine sanctuary preserved to protect aquatic animals. Another spectacular site is Mapating Rock- a drop off to about 130 ft. Sharks and pelagic fishes, Damselfish, groupers and blennes are common inhabitants of the area.

Due to Anilao’s steep location, resorts are built mostly along the hillsides of the mountains overlooking the sea. Steep roads, and vertical steps inside the resorts can bring exciting health benefits to weight watchers but quite dangerous for children. Thus precaution should be maintained.

To get there, from Batangas, take a jeepney ride from P. Burgos St. to the little town of Mabini. From Mabini, take another jeepney ride to Anilao which takes about 20 mins.

Activities:

Diving, water skiing, windsurfing, jet skiing, island hopping

Picture Gallery

Escabeche

1 whole big Red Snapper or Blue fish, cleaned

2 red bell pepper, julliened

1 big carrot, julliened

1 pc ginger, julliened

1/4 cup vinegar

1 cup water

1/4 cup flour

1 tbs brown sugar

2 onions, sliced

3 tbs minced garlic

oil

Mixture: Dissolve flour in water then add in vinegar and sugar. Set aside.

Sprinkle all over fish with salt. Heat oil in a medium pan and fry fish until both sides are brown. Set aside.

In a different pan, pour around 4 tbs of oil then sautee garlic, onion, and ginger until slightly cooked. Add mixture. When the mixture has thickened, add carrots and red bell pepper. Simmer for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

On a wide platter, top the fish with the hot sweet and sour mixture. Serve hot with rice.

Lumpiang Shanghai

1 package egg roll wrappers (available in any asian store)

250 g minced pork

250 g prawn, finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped spring onions

1 beaten egg

oil for deep-frying

1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper

Mix all the ingredients except the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place a tablespoon of mixture on the corner of each wrapper, fold, seal the sides and roll up sealing it with few drops of water. Continue until filling is finished. Deep fry in hot oil until golden-brown. Drain and serve with catsup or sweet and sour dip (available in most Asian stores).

Most Visited Festivals In September

September 1-8 Sarakiki Festival
A cockfighting festival in Calbayog City, Samar

1st Week
Kaamulan-(meaning festival) is celebrated in Malaybalay, Bukidnon with abundance of cultural shows featuring their folksongs and native dances.

2nd week
Maradjao-Karadjao Festival– Surigao City’s famous festival of their ancient ritual dances.

3rd Saturday of September

“Our Lady of Penafrancia Procession” Naga City- People from all over the country flock this town to participate a week long festival in honor of the town’s religious icon. The highlight is the loading of the virgin of Penafrancia onto a gaily decorated barge and carefully paraded along the Naga River.

3rd week
T’boli Festival In Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, natives believe that there is a golden era locally called Lem-lunay. The festival is an inspiration to work hard for them to achieve the golden years.

November Fiestas

November 1 All Saint’s Day A nationwide holiday honoring the dead. The celebration is held with gatherings of parties and a whole day feasting in the cemetery.

November 5- 13 Kansilay Festival A festival named after a tree with purple pink flower and at the same time commemorating the peaceful revolution in Silay called ‘cinco de Noviembre”

November 13, Reviving “Sarswela” Negros Occidental- This town’s fiesta recently revived its traditional sarswela, a musical comedy featuring customs of farmers & urban folks, into a more colorful presentation where most barangays present their own interpretations, in a competition as a part of their feast for St. Didacus.

2nd week Helubong Festival A colorful and truly traditional festival celebrated by two ethnic groups, T’boli and B’Laan held in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

November 23 Feast of San Clemente Angono, Rizal- Its town fiesta honoring their patron saint where its images are brought down the river. One highlight is a fair of huge papier-mache effigies in traditional attires.

Last Week Grand Cordillera Festival Festival of the Cordillera regions’s traditional dances, music, arts and crafts, to introduce the tribes’ ancient traditions. These shows are mostly held in Baguio City’s Burham Park.

November 30 Bonifacio Day A nationwide holiday commemorating the heroic deeds of Andres bonifacio, the hero of first Philippine revolution during the Spanish regime.

Tinolang Manok

1/2 kilo chicken, cut into serving pieces

4 cups chicken stock

2 cloves garlic, crashed

1 tbs crushed ginger

2 tbs sliced onion

1 medium green papaya or sayote, peeled, cut into diagonal thick slices

3 cups chilli leaves; or spinach; or pechay

Sautee garlic, onion, ginger. Add chicken and stir until partly cooked. Pour in chicken stock. Boil until meat is completely cooked. Add papaya and toss in spinach . Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve in a soup bowl.

This dish is perfect with rice.

Menudo

1/2 kilo pork meat, diced

1/4 kilo pork liver, diced

1 cup water

2 onions, sliced

5 tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup cooked chick-peas

1 carrot, diced

1 pc, red bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 pcs chillies, sliced

1 pc big potato, diced

1 tbs minced garlic

3 pcs bay leaves

salt and pepper

Sautee garlic, onions and tomatoes. Add pork meat and liver, sautee until brown. Add in 1 cup of water, simmer until meat is tender (don’t hesitate to add more water if necessary). Pour in potatoes and carrots. Cook until tender, then add cooked chick-peas and all the remaining ingredients. simmer for few more minutes, season and serve hot with rice.

Kinilaw Na Tanigue

1 kilo skinned fresh sea bass

2 tbs finely minced garlic

1 cup white vinegar

6 tbs calamansi or lemon juice

5 diced tomatoes

1 cup finely minced onion

3 tbs finely minced ginger

1 red capsicum, diced

1 green capsicum, diced

1/4 cup spring onions, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Marinate fish in vinegar for an hour. Drain and mix with lemon juice and all other ingredients. Let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.

Chicken & Pork Adobo

1 kilo Pork cubes

3 cloves garlic (crashed)

1/4 cup soysauce

1/4 cup vinegar

4 tbs oil

1 tbs crashed pepper

2 white onions (chopped)

3 pcs bay leaves

1 cup water

Sautee garlic and onion into oil. When brown, toss in pork cubes, brown all sides for 5 minutes then add chicken. When slightly brown, add remaning water, soysauce, vinegar, cloves, bay leaves and pepper. In low heat, bring to a boil until meat is tender. Simmer for few more minutes then add a tsp of sugar to even sour taste.