Salty at HomeTravel

Weekly Highlights

posted by 29/03/2015 3 Comments

Every morning I get woken up by the children. Some mornings, FB looks out of my bedroom window and sees the little dogs that live here, down in the common garden. ‘The Doggies, the Doggies!’she exclaims excitedly. ‘I want to pat the doggies!’ OK, gone are the days of getting up, getting breakfast and waking up still in my jammies. Oh no, now we live in a condo, with windows and a shared garden. So up I get, throw on some clothes, get the kids dressed and out we go. I grab my iPad or phone and I sit on the grass with the residents here who use this cool part of the day to walk the little housebound dogs. Give them a run and some air. To suggest they actually ‘walk’ or ‘run’ is probably a little farfetched. These are pampered pooches, who, aside from one energetic pup that runs around digging in the sand, sit contentedly as their owners groom them, meticulously combing out every matt, trimming the hair between their claws, their ears, around their bottoms, and their eyes. These dogs know what this is about and they love it. The children think they are great – except the one who snapped at BB the other week. That one we aren’t so fond of. The others however, are so cute, friendly and little ‘like babies’ says FB. So we sit out here a while, I sip my coffee and sometimes get to engage with these women. On this day, they have finished grooming and they are looking at recipes. I hear them talking in Tagalog and get the gist that they are discussing how best to cook the recipes they have in front of them. When to add the garlic, when to add the spices how long to simmer for.

Pampered Pooches

These aren’t the only pampered pooches here. On our trip back before Christmas, I saw a little dog wearing a nappy….enough said about that. Just a few weeks back in the MegaMall one night I saw another little pampered pooch wearing socks. The dog’s owner/mother carrying a baby bag with items for this ‘baby’.

This last week has been a little quieter. So I thought I’d share some of the small day to day ‘experiences’ we are having here, that make up our new day-to-day life.

Legazpi Markets

Legazpi Markets

Legazpi Markets

Last weekend we continued our ‘exploring the markets’ adventure, heading off to Legazpi Markets in Makati. These open-air markets compliment the Salcedo Markets. In addition to offering a full range of products from the wet foods and home cooked meals. This place also offers arts, crafts, clothes and nick-knacks for sale. A large open space, it is designed to be a place for small business owners to market their products. Each stall is assessed to ensure it is individual, appealing and that it fits with the local community which is a melting pot of local and expat patrons. This place is jam packed with shoppers, therefore

Legazpi Markets

very noisy. Being a Sunday when they are open, there was a

Legazpi Markets

church service in full swing as well. The word of the Lord echoing out across a loud speaker, adding texture to the natural sounds of a market place. We walked up and down the rows taking in everything on offer, sampling any delights that took our fancy. Macaroons, fruit salad drinks, sticky rice and Japanese Dumplings. This is a good overall market for finding the odd treasure, along with getting access to some fresh fruit and veg.


Honey Joys are Awesome

Monday morning I decided we needed to bake some Honey Joys to put smiles on little faces. The ants here are so tenacious they were climbing up the saucepan while the butter, sugar and honey were bubbling away.

We had lunch one day in the Fort at a place called Olive Tree Kitchen and Bar. This was a nice

Margherita with cream?

trendy place. We were attracted to it as it was listed as one of’stop ten places for the best Margherita pizza in town. So we thought we’d give it a try.  The review said ‘OTKB’s Margherita is highlighted by the milky white patches of buffalo mozzarella…’ mm-hmmm. So the pizza itself was fine, tasty. The milky white patches on our pizza – were cream. Yes, cream. I didn’t send it back, because this is one of those ‘welcome to the Philippines’ moments. It actually didn’t taste that bad. Just clearly not a classic Marghurita.  

Just before we moved here I took BB and myself to see a Dr. who was Filippino. He was born

Banana Catsup

here and his family moved to Australia when he was a child. He told me about their Banana Catsup. He said due to the lack of tomatoes, this product was created using bananas and coloured red to look like Ketchup.This was before American Ketchup was readily available over here (I have not been able to find a source to confirm this story). Well I found it and of course brought a jar. It is sweet and sour in flavour and actually quite tasty. You can taste the banana in it, along with all the artificial yuckies. However for a dip-dip sauce with a difference for your fries or anything else, this has been an interesting discovery.

Tuesday afternoon we had playgroup. It is a difficult time of day, so I nearly passed up on it as we were tired and sleepy. The thing is though, to make new friends, to help us settle in quicker we have got to make the effort to get out and attend these things. It is hard sometimes. When you are already so, exhausted and overwhelmed. The prospect of heading to a stranger’s home, and finding that little bit of space amongst a group who have common history and know each other’s names; so you can start to create your own history with them, is hard. I am an extrovert by nature. I can walk into a group of people and hold my own. Sometimes though, I am tired, worried and I struggle with this. Our last playgroup though was good, and I was glad I forced us out. I got to talk more with other people, even organizing a play date. The hostess also kindly had her driver take us home after the previous week’s nightmare taxi situation.

The Agra-Aqua Network Markets (AANI)

AANI Markets

This Saturday we headed off on week three of our ‘exploring the markets’ adventure. We went to some markets I had been keen to explore from the start.

However they are ‘local’ markets which is code for ‘they lack a lot of the razzle dazzle’ of the other markets. The AANI or Agra-Aqua Network International Market contains a lot of similar products to other markets; however they provide a wider variety of fruit and veg.
This market is out of town a bit and our taxi driver did not know the market or that area of Taguig so we drove around for a fair while with our driver stopping to ask directions every so often.

AANI Markets

As we drove through some extreme poverty I started to get nervous at the isolation of this place, and I wondered how we would get home again. Eventually we found the markets and it was busy. The car park it is situated next to was quite full, and on entry we found long narrow walkways and a market brimming with produce. There was so much to see here. Garden shops where you could buy seed, seedlings and fully matured plants through to pet shops which I have to say, I had a lot of issues with. Roosters were tethered with coconut shells containing water and food. Clothing, jewellery and home wares stores all nestled comfortably

Papaya Pickle – Yum! Perfect with cold meats & in sandwiches. 

alongside each other. All alongside local kitchens cooking their fresh foods. We walked around taking it all in and brought some fruit and veg. I brought so

…it’s everywhere…

me local snacks for the children – banana chips and strawberry lollipops. Finally it was time to leave and this is where the fun started. It took ages to get a taxi due to the lack of internet reception. When we did, the taxi did not know where we were as Google Maps did not even know the area. After feeding the children local ice-cream to keep them calm, and fending off local children trying to sell us food and other children slowly getting closer to us and staring at the strange looking Westerners out in these parts; we decided our best bet was to catch one of the many Tricycles parked near us, and head to the local supermarket. From there the taxi should be able to find us. The four of us squished into the tricycle sidecar. FB on my lap in front, BB with his dad in the back (yes these things can fit all of us in!). Off we went zipping down the street.

Our Tricycle! Awesome Ride!

It was so much fun! The kids thought it was awesome, and I wanted to take this ride all the way home! It was also super cheap too. Once at the supermarket our taxi found us and we headed home for a well deserved swim and rest.

Something funny to finish up with

Here is a snapshot from my Facebook this week. All names have been changed for privacy.





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Muriel 30/03/2015 at 1:10 am

In London too we have similar groomed pooches…That said, the markets seem far more interesting where you are!

SaltyBug 31/03/2015 at 10:13 pm

Thanks Murial, I think the pooches are a universal thing. We have plenty back home too…perhaps not wearing nappies but definitly spoiled 8)

Milea Orchard and Bee Farm - SaltyBug 28/06/2016 at 9:26 pm

[…] A combination of product demand and issues with the quality of ingredients and customs made Rico consider making their own. He took himself off to America to study and become a qualified bee keeper and came back to The Philippines to set up his Bee Farm. The name Milea is a combination of their other two children’s names and this really is a family affair. The two daughters run the market stalls on the weekends at Salcedo and Legazpi. […]


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