Beef Steak, Filipino-Style

1/2 kilo beef sirloin, thinly sliced

2 tbs calamasi or lemon juice

1 big onion, sliced into rings

3 tbs soysauce

1 tsp ground black pepper

4 tbs vegetable oil

Marinate the beef in soysauce, lemon juice and pepper for 15 minutes. Then heat oil, pan fry the beef until medium rare. Move in to a platter. In the remaining oil, sautee the onion rings until half cooked and garnish the beef with it.

Pansit Canton

1 pack of dried egg noodles, available in any asian store

1/8 kilo chicken breast, sliced into strips

1/8 kilo chicken liver, boiled and sliced

1/8 kilo shrimps, peeled and deveined

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 onion, sliced

3 tbs vegetable oil

2 pcs tofu

1 1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup dried mushroom, boiled

1 big carrot, sliced into rounds

1 celery, sliced into diagonal strips

Calamansi, cut into halves

Heat oil in pan, fry tofu, when golden brown, take it out. In the same oil, sautee garlic and onion, then add shrimps and chicken. Stir fry for a few minutes, season with soy sauce and taste. Add the liver. A minute after, add celerry, carrot and boiled dried mushroom. Continue stir frying until the vegetables are half cooked (still crispy). Set aside.

In the same pan, heat chicken stock, upon boiling, pour in the noodles. Cook until stock is dry, then top it with cooked meat, tofu, and vegetables. Stir the mixture and sprinkle with ground pepper. Serve in a platter surrounded with calamansi or lemon halves.

Paksiw Na Pata

1 large pork knuckle (about 1 kilo)
cut into serving pieces

1 cup dried banana blossoms

½ cup oregano, washed

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 cups water

1/2 cup vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sugar

3 large bay leaves

Place the banana flower and oregano at the bottom of the pot and top it with the pork. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper and garlic all over. Pour in vinegar, water, soy sauce. Cover and bring to a boil.

When mixing, be careful not to touch the bottom where the banana blossoms and oregano were placed. This is to avoid the meat from sticking on the pot. If in case the mixture dries up without having the meat cooked yet, add more water. When meat is cooked, add bay leaves. Taste the sauce and make sure the sweet and sour taste comes out evenly. Neutralize the taste by adding sugar.

The Sights And Flavors Of Sorsogon

Often called the Switzerland of the East, this small town at the end tip of the southern coast of Bicol Peninsula has rolling hills and valleys that are carpeted with varying foliage of mostly untracked tropical soil. Seen as a humble town but with affluent myriad of natural sights and man-made places to explore. These are the unbounded strips of beaches along its coasts, lakes, falls, thickly forested mountains and hotspring resorts comprised together as an ultimate destination for both leisure and adventure tourism. municipal building of Sorsogon

The domineering view of Bulusan Volcano in the middle of a forest land is considered Sorsogon’s best touring adventure for either sightseeing and hard-hitting trips. Its emerald-green lake by the peripheral crater offers a refreshing sight of a well preserved natural park. The hike to the main crater, once experienced, undeniably turns out a real encounter with the wilds. Down by the mountains of Bulusan there is a town named Irosin that is catering hot spring resorts with man-made pools of curative effects. It is an ideal place to rest after a long day walk.

Bacon Beach although incomparably far from other beaches, has shores best for picking shells and corals. And despite of its remoteness, Sta. Magdalena has strips of white sand beaches overlooking the neighboring islands of Samar and Leyte. Bulusan Lake

Sorsogon is a town famous for coconut based Bicol cuisine. Laing or Gulay Na Gabi in its dialect, is a famous dish that have delighted Filipinos and foreigners to the extent of their Bicol dining experience. It is a kind of vegetable called Taro leaves cooked in coconut-cream and mixed with variety of chillies. Another popular dish immensely flavored with chilli and cooked in coconut milk is called Bicol express. It is present in most restaurants of Bicol but for Sorsogenos, it is just a daily energizing food. Other dishes are Langka or jackfruit, a local fruit called Santol, or even the banana blossoms are simple ingredients usually prepared in coconut cream but when cooked the Bicolano way, turns out an exciting tasteful cuisine. Such richness any visitor in Sorsogon should never miss to
experience. Paguriran lagoon, sawanga

To get there by land, all buses bound for Visayas pass by Sorsogon; the most known are Philtranco buses. They have routes straight to Sorsogon. By air, PAL and Air Philippines have flights from Manila to Legazpi City and 1 hour by bus from Legazpi to Sorsogon. Buses from Legazpi are located near the City Public Market.

Picture Gallery

Sorsogon Map

The Untouched Beauty Of Samar And Leyte

Due to its proximity to the Pacific, these two big islands in the eastern Visayas are known regions most prone to typhoons. While sailing west to Ladrones Islands, Magellan, the portuguese navigator who first set foot in the country, accidentally landed in the southern coast of Samar. Until now no one can explain what exactly caused his landing. His arrival was rather presumed the first trans-pacific voyage in history.

Leyte played an important role during the 2nd world war- witnessing the dramatic return of General Macarthur to fulfill his promise to save the struggling Filipinos from the hands of the Japanese invaders. On the 20th of October 1944, the shore of Leyte witnessed his corps historic landing.

An island filled with natural beauty normally attracts investors on tourism but Samar and Leyte moved far from the list of most visited regions. Sights of potential development were planned but the lack of facilities, technical access and discouraging rumors of rebellion in potential areas prevented these from happening. Only adventure travelers with experiences on remote explorations bravely moved in to the almost inaccessible interiors particularly of Samar. Negative but turned out beneficial for keeping its hidden beauty from being unreasonably exploited.

The massive winds of the Pacific make surfing a worthwhile activity in rugged coastlines of these two islands. Unfortunately, the rumors of military activity and poor transportation have discouraged travelers particularly surfers from exploring more of its surfing sites.

Few years had passed, a few road constructions have been developed and locals have realized the advantage of having tourists around. Visitors were soon accepted and locals have learned the benefits they bring in. The island’s appeal came back and surfers rediscovered the stunning breaks along the coastlines of Samar and Leyte. Some who cannot afford liveaboards get satisfied with hiring boats to transport them from one coast to another. While those who can, take their chances during brighter seasons. Slightly visited until this time, the islands remained untouched and far from being destructed by influx of tourists.

Visiting the interiors of the islands for other adventure trips might discourage inexperienced explorers, however, alternate options vary depending what activities are prefered to do. Samar has less developed infrastractures than Leyte. Thus, be aware of inaccessability in most of its districts.

To get there, buses from Manila such as Philtranco and BLTB have routes bounded for Samar and Leyte. A regular trip passes through Bicol, crossing the sea via ferry from the port of Matnog, Sorsogon, stopping by Allen, Samar and if bounded farther south, it continues through the Scenic San Juanico Bridge to leyte and to its places of destination. Major airlines have regular flights from Manila to Tacloban while Asian Spirit airline flies to Catarman. There are boats operating from Cebu bounded for Calbayog (Samar) and Supercat boats have regular routes to Biliran, Ormoc, and Maasin (Leyte).

Geographic Description: Samar

Samar is the east central part of the Philippines, the third largest (after Luzon and Mindanao). Belonging to the Visayas group, Samar has an area of 13,080 sq/km. It lies between the Samar and Philippine seas and is separated from the Bicol Peninsula (northwest of Luzon) by the San Bernardino Strait. A bridge across San Juanico Strait connects Samar with Leyte to the southwest. Unlike other islands in the Visayas that are characterized with high mountains, Samar’s landforms are low but exceedingly hilly, with heights ranging from 500 to 1000 feet, culminating in Mt. Capotoan, which measures 846 m. Lowlands are restricted to a coastal border and to small rivers running in plain patterns, floodplains and deltas.

Catarman is the chief town on the northern coast, Catbalogan is the island’s commercial center, and the city of Calbayog are important western coastal ports and fishing centers.

Samar Map

Leyte Map