“The clinical definition of gratitude is the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation.” (sourced via NCBI)
I published this post NOT as a shameless self-promotion but to cultivate gratitude in more people.
Archive for June, 2012
Tags: a guide to tourists in penang, ais kachang, armenian project, armenian street, armenian street george town penang, buddhism, buddhist temples, cendol, chicken rice, doc gelo, docgelo, durian, ernest zacharevic, food, food blog, food in penang, george town festival, george town festival 2012, george town penang, george town penang malaysia, goddess of mercy temple, indian, indian malaysian, joe sidek, kapitan keling mosque, life in malaysia, lifestyle blog, malaysia, malaysian cuisines, malaysian food, murals in george town penang, muslim mosque, must visit places in penang, nasi lemak, old town, pavaani thannimalai, penang, penang assam laksa, penang malaysia, photography, photos, pulau pinang, purefoods corned beef, religions, Sasana Vamsa Shima Shrine Hall & International Standing Buddhas, sleeping buddha penang, standing buddha temple penang, temple of reclining buddha penang, tourism malaysia, tourist attractions in george town, tourist attractions in penang, travel blog, traveling, travelling, trishaw, trishaw in penang, unesco world heritage site, wat chaiyamangalaram, water lily
23 June 2012, Saturday. How do you introduce a place that needs no elaborate introduction? As one of the Filipino expatriates in Penang, Malaysia for almost two years now, I oftenly state that I still consider myself a traveler and a tourist despite I frequent George Town almost every weekend for the reason that this island has so much to offer. Every visit to this cultural melting pot in Southeast Asia is such a SENSORY FEAST!
I had a first-time opportunity to casually showcase George Town, Penang to two fellow Filipino bloggers when I accompanied them in touring a few must-visit-sites in Pulau Pinang as they arrived from Kuala Lumpur via bus. The challenge : They’ll only spend several hours in Penang and head back to Malaysia’s capital city after.
Without any hardcore plans in mind, I brought 2 of the Philippines’ youngest bloggers, Lloyd (of his travel blog, The Lost Boy) and Dan (of his travel blog,The Wandering Wonder ) in tow to Penang Island after meeting them in Penang Sentral bus station in Butterworth and together we explored George Town via ferry, Rapid Penang buses, taxi cabs and of course by foot. I personally define this utterly quaint island in three words : DIVERSITIES, HERITAGE and FOOD, hence my few-hour-introductory-tour of this UNESCO’s World Heritage Site to my Filipino blog buddies simply revolved on those.
*All photos on this blog entry are captured on June 23, 2012 therefore I have not published them yet prior to this posting. However, some subjects were already featured on this site thus, I intently inserted URLs of my previous blog posts for your reference. ENJOY!
D I V E R S I T I E S
Lorong Burma or Burma Lane, accessible via Rapid Penang Buses # 101 or 103 from Pengkalan Weld (or Weld Quay/Jetty in George Town) or by cars and taxi cabs, features two Buddhist temples. Firstly, the Thai Buddhist Temple or Wat Chaiyamangalaram; the shrine of the Reclining Buddha (also known as Sleeping Buddha). This shrine to me, provides a feel of somehow being in Thailand and Malaysia at the same time.
And just across the street is the equally stunning, Burmese Buddhist Temple, the Sasana Vamsa Shima Shrine Hall & International Standing Buddhas. Burma and Malaysia conquered by few steps! How’s that?
I never feel tired of going back to these temples, not only because they’re picturesque but the atmosphere’s always serene and tranquil. Every visit calms and recharges my mind.
Due to limited time of my guests, I opted to highlight only two Buddhist Temples that are located across each other. As I wanted to maximize the ticking of the clock, I suggested for us to take a taxi cab instead of riding the bus in going back to the laterals of Lebuh Chulia. In that busy Chulia street where foreign backpackers spring everyday like mushrooms, tangible proofs of religious diversities in this Northwestern Malaysian state can be found. Harmony among religions reign supreme in different places of worships that are only a stone’s throw away from each other. Conflicts don’t exist or if there are, at least discreetly. Few steps from Goddess of Mercy Temple are the mostly flocked by tourists, Kapitan Keling Mosque for Muslims and a Hindu temple of the Indian-Malaysian community (View previous blog HERE).
H E R I T A G E
Besides Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion also known as the Blue Mansion (View previous blog post HERE), another personal favorite heritage site is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion (View previous blog post HERE). Because of the unique charm of this magnificent mansion-turned-museum, it’s one of the most preferred venues for prenuptial photoshoots. We chanced upon one and I captured the next photo on a whim ala-paparazzo. Lovely, is it not?
I like Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and truly enjoyed my tour there with my family before but its restriction on taking photos inside its beautifully restored heritage house makes it second best in my humble opinion to Pinang Peranakan Mansion where unlimited photo-opportunity awaits.
We strolled our way from the site of Pinang Peranakan Mansion in Lebuh Gereja or Church Street to Kapitan Keling Street and headed straight to Armenian and Cannon Streets.
The majestic Khoo Kongsi should never be missed when visiting George Town, Penang (Visit my previous blog post HERE). I have toured this gorgeous clan house with temple, stage for Chinese opera and other performances and its very own museum a few times too including during the 2012 Chinese New Year celebration (View previous blog post HERE). Every visit is an unforgettable experience!
One need not google Wikipedia for George Town heritage and history anymore for it is gloriously illustrated in its streets and alleys. I so appreciate how creatively executed the bits and pieces of this place’s character and colorful past with art installations that are difficult to ignore. Case in point are the many murals and wrought-iron caricatures plastered on walls of shophouses scattered in various streets of George Town. They’re absolutely informative and fantastic! Where else can you find heritage data that are never boring and so creatively done that could enticed ages across the life span? I wish this could also be possible in the streets of Manila or some provinces in the Philippines.
As we reached Armenian Street by foot, we spent few minutes inside a souvenir shop called, 14 Living Story (View previous blog post HERE). It’s located immediatley beside Cheah Kongsi and a hole-in-the-wall-favorite-restaurant by tourists, Amelie Cafe (View previous blog post HERE). Inside 14 Living Story, was a Chinese-Malaysian man who played an interestingly uncommon musical instrument.
We then trooped to the tail end of Armenian Street that’s Pengakalan Weld and headed directly to another must-visit-UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in this part of Malaysia. I brought my-2-first-time-Penang-visitors to one of the waterfront settlements of Chinese clans, The Chew Jetty (View previous post HERE).
The sights in Chew Jetty when I visited it for the second time made me miss my family instantly (who chose to stay in our Butterworth appartment). How I wish I could bring Gabby and Tina here one day and spend a lazy afternoon like what the families in photos did.
Confession : Tina and I have not yet tasted durian in our almost 36 years of existence. It’s something we should do soon before durian season in Penang ends.
Still at Chew Jetty, I was silently jumping for joy like a kid when I saw another Ernest Zacharevic‘s mural masterpiece…
Must have detail shot…
Ernest Zacharevic is a Lithuanian artist commissioned to do these murals on the streets of George Town just in time for 2012 festival. His works depict the seemingly ordinary but joyous lifestyle of children living in Penang. Most people describe his paintings realistic but larger than life. I myself got hooked to follow his masterpieces one after the other after I saw his very first in Armenian Street (View previous blog HERE).
Like many people who stop by for a photo-op with Ernest’s murals, Filipino travel bloggers, Lloyd and Dan also tried capturing these street art pieces on photos. You can’t blame them; the paintings are really awesome!
Another Ernest Zacharevic mural is installed in Ah Quee Street. How do you like this?
Rugged, rustic and restless…
Despite I got hold of Armenian Project schedule for that day as part of GTF2012 celebration, I didn’t expect to catch the main man behind these wonderful murals in action working on his current art work a few steps from the gates of Khoo Kongsi in Cannon Street. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ernest Zacharevic…
Everything’s a part of George Town Festival 2012 that runs June 15 – July 15, 2012. The main holiday and celebration of entire Penang for the anniversary of the inscription of George Town as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites is on July 7, 2012. Now, that’s a reason to pack your bags and visit Pulau Pinang!
And because of Armenian Project that day, a lot of enticing programs were there to stimulate the interest of everyone. I randomly met, Joe Sidek, one of the men behind these festivities; however my one-shot-photo with him was too blurred hence I chose not to post here. I introduced myself and then he asked me why I know his name and he smiled when I told him, “Of course, Sir, who doesn’t know you? You’re famous for this GTF!”
A little while later, I met Pavaani Thannimalai, the Indian solo-dancer of the night. She graciously agreed to be photographed just before she strut her stint so passionately right in front of the Yap Kongsi…
After that exotic and dramatic performance that was well received by everyone, we entered the Handmade Bazaar held inside Yap Konsgi. Everything being sold was handicrafted of course, so prices were expectedly a bit steep. Nevertheless, these are the few things that caught my eyes…
I could have bought Tina and my mom a bouquet of lemon grass for 2 ringgit each but thought I’ll just bring them to this street on the 7th of July for the GTF2012 grand celebration.
I smiled when I saw thsese baby girls’ shoes and suddenly hoped that Tina and I could give Gabby a baby sister whenever God allows.
The mood in the streets and inside the bazaar was festive and happy; the crowd was well controlled definitely.
F O O D
A trip to Penang is never complete without sampling the local dishes that this Malaysian gastronomic paradise is known for. Here’s a run down of what we savored…
Lunch was at Old Town, First Avenue Mall. Barbecue Chicken Rice, Crusty Fried Chicken, Nasi Lemak (the Malaysian staple food served with sotong or squid and not with the usual chicken), and Penang Assam Laksa, 2012 CNN Go’s Top 7 Most Delicious Food in the World (Visit previous blog post HERE).
For dinner, I suggested to Lloyd and Dan early on that I would bring them to one of the most frequented Penang hawkers; the hawkers in Gurney Drive and I’m glad they liked it. We feasted on Chicken Rice, Oyster Omelette, Claypot Chicken Rice, Char Koay Teow and Cendol and Ais Kacang for desserts.
I had to profess my LOVE for Char Koay Teow and needed to infect my blogger-friends. Here’s my plate of Nirvana!
Before that CKT reached our table, I had to wait on a long queue while Lloyd and Dan scouted for other foods that satisfied our cravings. It was no hassle for me to fall in line for this heavenly noodle dish; long queue certainly affirmed that this CKT is perhaps, the best in this side of Penang. Here’s the process how my favorite Char Koay Teow was prepared. Sublime digestive goodness for only 5 ringgit (USD 1.56).
Et voila! Here’s a memento of that evening feast of 3 Filipino bloggers in Penang… Tadaaaaaaaaa Delicious! Sarap! Sedap!
And to perfectly cap that Penangite dinner, we enjoyed Malaysian desserts, Cendol and Ais Kacang at 2.50 ringgit each.
From lunch time to half hour past 8 in the evening, I tried my best to feature the places where I mostly spend my weekends after a tiring and productive week at work. I know my efforts were not enough as I did not keep a plan in mind on where to bring my guests; nonetheless luck was on my side because we witnessed some parts of the celebration of the 2012 George Town Festival. I believe it’s already an amazing treat for all of us!
And at the end of a tiring but FUN-filled day, GRATITUDE remains PRICELESS.
This blog is the recipient of 2012 BEST EXPAT BLOG AWARD by MINISTRY OF TOURISM MALAYSIA
PS : Maraming salamat, Lloyd and Dan sa pasalubong niyo na anim na lata ng Purefoods Corned Beef na pinakapaborito kong carne norte sa balat ng lupa! Naway naging masaya ang inyong pagbisita dito sa Pulau Pinang!
Tags: ben 10, ben 10 echo echo, chatime, docgelo, expat life, family blog, family bonding, filipinos in malaysia, food blog, foodie, fun, Japanese food, lifestyle blog, overseas pinoy, pinoy abroad, sakae sushi, sukiyaki, sunday, toys, toys R us, weekend
As I wanted to seize the day with my family after we had lunch buffet at Flamingo Hotel last weekend, we gave in to my son’s request to finally conquer Toys R Us at Gurney Plaza Mall…
Exhibit A : Ben 10 Ultimate Echo Echo
If you must know, Gabby has monthly earnings. Since we don’t have a car and our 11th-floor-seaview-appartment here in Penang comes with a car port, we’re having it leased by our neighbor for RM50 or almost PhP700 (USD 15.66) per month and the rental fee goes directly to Gabby’s
toy fund personal savings. Whenever needed, I borrow money from Gabby too, so it becomes an emergency fund, hahaha! (yes, the world revolves clockwise sometimes!) :) But last weekend, opportunity presented itself when we found our feet inside Toys R Us and Gabby got hold of that Ben 10 Ultimate Echo Echo action figure for 70 ringgit (Too expensive if you ask me, but it has been a while since Gabby had a new toy so Tina and I allowed the boy to be happy, he saved the money anyway). He walked away from Toys R Us with Ultimate Echo Echo despite Tina and I were eyeing on those Avengers plushies at the backdrop, hahaha!
Exhibit B : Gabby in long pants
Yes, our soon-to-be-8-year-old-kiddo bid temporary goodbye to his cropped pants (puruntongs) for denim long pants and corduroys. He’s no longer a baby! *cue in crocodile tears*
Exhibit C : Mangoes and Strawberries
We had afternoon coolers from Chatime; took some photos of course….And I believe my family can pass as Chatime’s ambassadors, don’t you think? hahaha!
Exhibit D : Eating Japanese favorites for FREE!
We had our early dinner at Sakae Sushi in Gurney Mall and used our 50 ringgit (PhP 700) vouchers which I got when Tina and I attended the invitational Bloggers’ Event at Sakae Sushi First Avenue Mall (view blog post HERE).
Since Tina and I had already tasted Sakae Sushi’s 2012 newest menu during the Bloggers’ Event weeks ago, our choices for this early dinner were our personal favorites. My wife had Chicken Teriyaki which according to her was tender enough and tasteful however could have been better if they added more sauce on the rice toppings. Our wonder boy, Gabby had his default order of Ebi Tempura and had him smiled ear to ear. My mom savored grilled salmon with mentaiko mayo; the dish is called Salmon Mentaiyaki. And I opted for my favorite Japanese noodle dish, Sukiyaki. I liked it but sadly not as close as the authentic ones I’ve tasted in Tokyo back in 2010 (view blog post HERE get ready to drool, hehehe!)
Apparently, our family life isn’t perfect and challenges come and go. But come hell or high water, Tina and Gabby remain my life till I breathe my last.
*When did you last experienced moments you wanted to freeze?
Carpe Diem, everyone!
Tags: beach, beach in penang, blog about family, bridging course ireland, buffet, buffet in penang, dato chan kok ewe, dato dr chan kok ewe, doc gelo, docgelo, Eat all you can, Eat all you want, education, expat, family, family and living, flaming hotel buffet, flamingo hotel, flamingo hotel by the beach, flamingo hotel penang, food, food blog, food in penang, foodie, gastronomic delights, girls' generation, hotels in george town penang, hotels in malaysia, hotels in penang, learning, malaysian dishes, malaysian food, malaysian scholars, malaysian students, medical lecturer, medical program, medicine, overseas blog, resorts in penang, tajung bungah, tajung bungah beach, teaching, traveling, vacation
16th June 2012, Saturday. My family and I took the bus-ferry-bus-rides from Butterworth to Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang (Penang Island) at around 10AM to just before lunch time to grace the exclusive invitation of our students who will be studying Medicine in either Galway or Cork in Ireland beginning this September as Malaysian scholars (read : everything’s FREE!). I believe this was their generous way of saying ‘THANK YOU’ to our humble efforts. Trust me, there was No-Grades or No-Marks-Attached to this occasion; it was purely a very warm and friendly get-together-party. FYI, I was a part of their Pre-Med studies and currently the soon-to-end, Bridging Course-Ireland program.
From the first set of photos on this post, one might think that we went to a park, a zoo or an aviary. Actually, the venue of our eat-all-you-want-lunch was at The Flamingo Hotel by the beach. I confess, I underestimated this hotel upon the sight of its modest lobby but when I saw the gorgeous beach, I immediately thought otherwise.
How lucky I am that my students invited even my family…
About the next photo : With me were the English lecturers from London who are now based in Penang, Esther and Phil, they’re great friends of Prof. Dato’ Dr. Chan Kok Ewe (or simply, Dato’ Chan for us) who’s seated next to them. It has been a pleasure for me and one of my best learning and humbling experiences as Dato’ Chan shared the lectures of Bridging Course-Ireland to me 2 days a week from October 2011-June 2012. Prof. Dato’ Dr. Chan happens to be our school’s Pro Chancellor too and the Director of Island Hospital, Penang and not to forget that he’s the Chairman of Penang Hospice Society among the long list of his worthwhile contributions.
That’s me beside Esther and Phil with the one and only, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Chan
Must-Read-About-Dato’-Chan : As Esther, Phil and I conversed, we all agreed that Dato Chan is one of the most noble & humble men we’ve ever met. His feet remain planted on the ground despite his humongous achievements (read : he’s one of the few Malaysian MD-pillars of Medical Research). Whenever I go and see him at his office to get the materials (which include powerpoint slides that he makes and videos related to our lectures that he personally handpicks), he never fails to amuse and motivate me even without trying. He’s a man beyond his titles. I would not know about the Korean Singing Pop-Group, Girls’ Generation if not for him (Do you know Girls’ Generation? If not, google them on youtube like what I did when Dato Chan made me watch one of their MTVs. When I told him that I was surprise that a guy his age can appreciate contemporary music that even I was not aware of, I noted from his reply that his age does not impose any limitations)!
Imagine inspite of his status, he managed to make cups of coffee for me and Tina on this lunch.
Not everyone does that to his subordinates.
His humility is so inspirational!
His humor and zest for life, phenomenal!
Meet the Malaysian scholars who are all Ireland-bound this September! *applause*
It’s not because they treated us for this lunch but I have to state, these Malaysian scholars who will be studying Medicine in either NUIG in Galway or UCC in Cork, Ireland starting mid-September 2012 until two and a half years after (then, they’ll go back to Taiping, Malaysia for their Clinicals and housemanship), are the epitome of the cream of the crop. Teaching them the few basics of Medicine has been such a breeze because they’re so responsible and goal-oriented. They attend to our classes with so much enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. Proof to that is their active participation in our lectures (I cannot remember a 2-hour-class with them that was so boring) and mind you, they laugh spontaneously when I crack jokes!
Formal to wacky…
Tina took my photos with them…
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Chan with our Ireland-bound-students
Once more, everyone with Tina this time…
It was so fun talking to Esther and Phil (Afiqah and Aizat helped me and Tina go through it without epistaxis or nosebleeding, hehehe!). We spoke about almost everything from their stay here in Penang for almost 3 years now, their favorite Malaysian dishes; Esther recommended a list of hawker food stalls from various parts of Penang with corresponding specialties! I remember the most interesting part was when Esther shared their experiences with the unforgettable tsunami that hit Penang (and Phuket, remember?) and the recent earthquake + tsunami alert which made us all panic. Tina and I were amazed to learn that Esther and Phil were very cool in dealing with the latter as they even had cups of tea in their balcony while my family and I evacuated and slept the night in a hotel far from our seafront-11th floor-appartment. And of course, we talked about THE PHILIPPINES. Phil and Esther want to visit our country during the Christmas holiday and boy, they were surprised to hear when I said that Filipinos celebrate Christmas season starting SEPTEMBER! Don’t we?
Enough with the photo-ops and those introductions; let’s get down to business. Here’s what we chow down….
I started with this noodle soup that looks like simple mami (mamee) dish for Filipinos, but the red & spicy sauce makes it Malaysian…
The hot & spicy broth did not irritate my taste buds; I actually liked it! Then, there was tempura station near the pool side so I sampled some ebi and veggie tempura and a few fried spring rolls. Sarap! Sedap!
That may have been another shameless display of dietary consumption from this site, but heck, I savored this plate to bits, even made me to want more! That’s how delicious those dishes in this plate were. The omelette, chicken, fish and that lamb were all tender and flavorful! The Briyani rice was tasteful too. I’m lost for superlatives to describe each.
If you’re a Filipino reading this post and viewing those photos, yes, you are absolutely correct in thinking that most Nyonya or Peranakan (Straits/Chinese-Malaysian) delicacies here in Penang look like our very own sweets from the Philippines. The rice cakes we have back home appear like those glutinous treats here; the difference lies on the tastes – ours mostly satisfy sweet tooth, but some Malaysian delicacies have a hint of saltiness infused with sweetness.
At this point, I remember I was already struggling to wish I had more room in my gastric pit but truth didn’t allow me to get some fruits from the spread. Anyway, after this Nyonya delicacies, I had coffee made by Dato Chan himself; now that’s one for the books!
It was a sumptuous lunch! The spread was mostly Malay dishes but they’re not that spicy and I truly liked it and might consider to go back for another Sunday buffet lunch with my family some other time. It’s so relaxing to enjoy a buffet with that priceless view with your love ones.
And to the 14 students (2 were not able to join us for this lunch) of Bridging Course-Ireland 2011-2012, I know I already told you this a countless times in between our classes, but would like to state it here again. Always remember that you are so BLESSED to have such opportunity to study MEDICINE for FREE in EUROPE no less. You’ll gain more than Medical knowledge but an experience to cherish for as long as you live! If you keep in mind that you are blessed and you know how to count your blessings, you will not only become what you dream of but will be an inspiration to others too.
Thank you for bearing with me every Tuesdays and Fridays from October 2011 to end of June 2012 Teaching for your batch taught me so many things beyond books and classrooms; indeed, learning has been mutual. I’ll surely miss doing lectures for you!
To Prof. Dato’ Dr. Chan, my work in AUCMS has been worthwhile because of you, Sir! Words are not enough to express my gratitude to you!
Thank you, Bridging Course-Ireland 2011-2012 students! We had a wonderful time!
Some of the most worthwhile endeavors in life aren’t easy. Whoever said, “Any man can be a father but it takes a ton of efforts to be a Dad” really understood what fatherhood is all about. As Gabby’s Big Daddy for almost 8 years now, each day is a happy one. In fact, life could never be better; however a constant challenge too. It’s not simple to offer quality time and devote your entire life with unconditional love to your kid. To someone who would claim otherwise, I am definite he/she has not yet experienced being one, therefore has no right to make accusations or pass judgment. Waking up every morning to go to work to provide for the family is beyond purposeful. It actually transcends manhood. Being there when your son asks you to be with him, thinking of his condition when he’s sick and you’re at work, listening to every intuitive queries a growing boy has, playing with him when there’s something more to do are very far from being uncomplicated. Things that come with being a parent can certainly take a lot of time to accomplish, even longer time to get things right. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there’s no school that teaches Perfect Parenthood 101, right? You eventually learn it as you become one. Life is somehow fulfilled no matter how imperfect, if you have your own child. No amount of money, recognition or success however you quantify it, can surpass the joys of raising a kid; every minute is a bliss!
And my nose is getting taller each day seeing Gabby grow and spending moments with him is nothing but priceless!
On the other hand, it may not be apparent because we’re not that expressive, I am grateful to my own Daddy. He worked as a (Safeway) Supermarket Manager for nearly 2 decades in most countries in the Middle East (while my mom was working back home as an Accountant/Comptroller) and of course, he’s a big part of whatever we (me & my 3 brothers) have become. Despite his own imperfections as a father to us or at least to me, regardless of whatever we’ve been through as a family, no matter how faulty he is, he remains to be our one and only Daddy. And I remain thankful.
On a lighter note, I snatched this family photo from my paternal clan’s facebook account; the picture was taken some time in the 1960s with my entire paternal family. My Daddy Benruh (reverse nickname of Ruben) seated immediately beside my late grandfather, was noted to be a “pasaway” (insert English translation here) even as early as those days (until now, right Daddy? hehehehe!). Proof to that, according to the comment on this photo by my 3rd brother posted on fb, was the wound on his knee. Although to be honest, I never took any measures to ask him of the cause of that wound he had on this photo, it might be from a pure accident, who knew.
My late paternal grandfather (seated beside my aunt, and my lola or his wife next to my aunt), apparently raised all of his children well (Can you count them all in photo?) and my daddy (and mommy) has reared 4 boys and here I am, I only have one (for now); I can’t help but imagine how more complex fatherhood was for my lolo and my dad.
Fatherhood, obviously like motherhood to women, is a lifelong commitment. I highly consider it as my greatest blessing! It is my pleasure until my last breath and my life’s biggest achievement to be Gabby’s Big Daddy!
Tags: best of penang, best penang food, blog, blogger, CNN, CNN go, doc gelo, docgelo, expat, expat blogger, filipino blogger, filipino blogger abroad, food, food and more food, food blog, food blogger, food blogger in malaysia, foodie, gastronomic delights, george town penang, georgetown, http://docgelo.com/, laksa, malaysian dishes, nyonya, nyonya noodles, old town, penang assam laksa, penang laksa, penang laksa as top 7th in 50 most delicious food in the world, penang malaysia
Finally, Penang Assam Laksa! For almost two years of being a Filipino expatriate in this Northwestern side of Malaysia working as a Medical Lecturer, believe it or not, it was only last weekend that I got to sample this noodle dish that recently ranked 7th among the top 50 most delicious foods in the world; a list released by no less than CNN. I’m thinking that with this confession, most Penangites would react that I was missing the world! So before one could conclude of anything, I’d like to
be defensive emphasize that I didn’t grow an aversion towards laksa, nor Malaysian dishes; in fact I like Nasi Lemak, Chicken Satay, Dim sums, Roti Canai, Chicken Tandoori with Cheese Naan and of course, Char Koay Teow remains to be one of my personal favorites, however, my taste buds usually go easy on the spicy ones.
Meanwhile, my first cousin, Glory Anne who has a fabulous work as an Associate Publicist for Riverbead Books in NYC tweeted this last June 5th :
Since last weekend was packed with Gabby’s field trip at Penang State Museum (View & read blog post here : http://docgelo.com/2012/06/10/a-day-at-the-museum/), I didn’t get a chance to give in to my cousin’s entire request but nonetheless, I wish this short but tasteful post on Penang Assam Laksa would giver her that Laksa-fix; or better, this might convince her to bring her own feet to Penang and try the hawker foods here for herself. How about that, Anne? My family and I will be your personal tour guides, of course!
Tangy. Spicy. Scrumptious!
It’s a completely different laksa dish that the whole world knows (perhaps, even my cousin?). Penang Assam Laksa is NOT the laksa that’s coconut milk-based infused with curry and prawns. This Malaysia’s sole entry to CNN Go’s World’s Most Delicious Foods is poached noodles in spicy and tangy fish broth flavored with ginger, tamarind (assam), chili, lemongrass, onion, pineapple (or in Old Town’s variant, shredded green mangoes), flaked mackerel and mint.
Penang Assam Laksa or Nyonya Hot and Sour Noodles in Fish Soup is indeed something to reckon with! My tongue was, for the lack of better term, devirginized with a rather commercialized version of Penang Laksa from Old Town. I’ve read online that one of the best considered authentic Penang Assam Laksa is sold in the Pasar or Public Market in Air Itam just at the foot of the famous huge and beautiful Buddhist Temple, Kek Lok Si. It takes efforts to get there (heart of the Penang Island) for someone like us who are currently based in Butterworth (Seberang Perai or Mainland Penang) but I know it’s a lame excuse to taste a real-hawker laksa sold out there. Anyway, what’s my verdict with Old Town’s Penang Assam Laksa?
Let’s just say it kept me craving for more heaping bowls!
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9th June 2012, Saturday. If you must know, Gabby already joined an educational trip back home when he’s still in his pre-school years, so this one’s his second but his very first in Penang. Despite the fact that I have already been to the itineraries before, Tina and I made sure that we attend to our son’s because it’s one way of spending quality time with him. It wasn’t only Gabby and his schoolmates, a few parents and teachers who enjoyed their field trip; Tina, my mom and I also had fun! Oh, yes, the entire family was there! It was an absolute breather from our routinary work-home-work-home-life during weekdays and there’s no brighter day than seeing our child happy. Moments like this are non-negotiable.
Everyday, there’s a ton of things to be grateful for. The weather’s fine and we received little acts of generosity from people who have a ready hand even without asking. We didn’t need to call a cab to transport us from our place to Gabby’s school as both his school’s Principal and his service van driver offered to pick us up. The day was too perfect to start by breakfast in one of our favorite food places, Old Town. After filling in our tummies, we took few steps towards Gabby’s school and hopped on the tourist bus.
There were two itineraries for this field trip : The Penang State Museum and Fort Cornwallis. I have been to these places before but not with Tina and Gabby. Going back to places rich in heritage, history and cultures with family and schoolmates is definitely a learning experience. And as for Gabby and the other kids, they were given a task to complete before lunch; answers to the questions on the ”quiz” provided can be all found inside the museum. Hats off to Principal Jasmine for doing such! :D Going through the display in the museum became twice the fun!
A lot of things in this two-level museum can easily fascinate anyone. Although it’s filled with things that Malays, Chinese and Indians of Malaysia’s history used in ages, present generation including our kids can relate to them. Case in point, those luggages and trishaws for traveling, and children realized without saying that their tablets, smart phones and other gadgets would have not been brought to market if these things of the past had not been used.
TYPE ko ito, what about you?
It also houses a modest but beautiful collection of art pieces…
In the Peranakan or Straits Chinese chamber, one of the highlights is an intricately designed Wedding Bed…
And an authentic photo of a Peranakan couple taken on the day they tied the knot…
The Penang State Museum also has interactive sections that Gabby and Tina tried…While watching them play congkak or what we call back home as sungka, it made me wonder how many children nowadays still know how to play or at least, care to learn these games amidst online games and applications available now?
Photo-ops is a must in a field trip…
The group proceeded to Fort Cornwallis, in Esplanade, Penang; it’s the largest standing fort in the entire Malaysia.
If you’re Filipino or someone who has gone to Manila, this would make you feel like it’s Fort Santiago, although I would proudly state that the forts in the Philippines are far better built and preserved.
History and Wikipedia stated that Sir Francis Light initially took possession of Penang Island from Kedah and built the original fort. At present, his monument stands proud near the gates of Fort Cornwallis. The fort is one of the favorite tourist spots in George Town, it’s also used as a venue for cultural shows, and a park where most prenuptial photos here have been taken…
On a much lighter note, Fort Cornwallis became my family’s venue for kulitan (*insert english translation here*…google it if you please)…
When the clock turned into lunch time, we all had to go back to the tourist bus and head back to the mainland to wolf down one of those kiddies’ favorites, McDonald’s…
Because of work (for Tina and me) and school (for Gabby) during weekdays, we only get to spend more quality hours together as a family every weekends, so activities like this that promote family bonding, learning and fun are always welcome! It’s always a priceless treat!
How was your weekend, everyone?
Tags: amateur photography, darul ehsan, doc gelo, docgelo, http://docgelo.com/, kl sentral, kl sentral bus station, kl sentral train station, ktm, ktm commuter train, kuala lumpur, m&s, malaysia, marks and spencer, petronas twin towers, photography, pudu, pudu sentral, pudu sentral bus station, puduraya, selangor, serdang, shopping, suria klcc shopping complex, taxi, teksi in kuala lumpur, train from selangor, train in kuala lumpur, train in selangor, trains, uniqlo, zara, zara men
What do you do in a place that’s new and unfamiliar to you?
How do you kill boredom of waiting and how do you deal with anxiety on a trip?
I shoot photos.
Here are some captures I took aimlessly when I went on a whirlwind trip to Selangor.
Apparently, I chose to ride the KTM commuter train from Serdang, Selangor to KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur. The first and the last I rode this train was when we went to Batu Caves last Chinese New Year holiday with my family. It only took me less than 2 ringgit (<PhP 28) and around 20 minutes to get to my destination. The waiting time was less than half an hour however, since I was not with Tina and Gabby, it seemed like forever. I while away time by shooting photos on a whim.
Thankfully, things went smoothly despite everything’s on a rush. From KL Sentral, I rode a cab to Pudu Sentral to buy bus ticket for my return to Penang. It was almost 3PM when I reached the counter and booked a seat on the bus ride at 5PM that same day. I had not have any lunch yet at 3PM, but I needed to run an errand for my mom in Chinatown, KL. After doing so, I finally grabbed a bite on my sandwich for lunch inside the taxi cab en route to Petronas Twin Towers. I did not wish to waste my time waiting for 5PM bus ride to Penang at Pudu Raya, hence I had to give in to relax and cool down a bit by spending time inside Suria-KLCC Shopping Complex. I went inside boutiques I like – Zara Men, Uniqlo and Marks and Spencer. There was an on going sale at the latter and it’s my favorite brand ever since. I so like their non-iron and easy care long sleeve shirts and I honestly have a collection of M&S silk ties which I brought to Malaysia from home. The purchase was a sweet and reasonable reward that compensated my fatigue.
With only short of an hour stay inside Suria-KLCC Shopping Complex, I headed back to Pudu Sentral to catch my bus to Penang. Lady luck was on my side when I reached the terminal around 4:45PM despite heavy traffic on the streets of Malaysia’s capital.
During this trip, I vividly remember one foreigner who learned that I do medical lectures for a living, asked me randomly, “Do you consider yourself popular?” I was astonished with his query and instantly replied with a smile, “I think it’s inappropriate and unethical to consider myself popular to students because I am really not, however, I’d like to be considered as an effective lecturer rather than famous.”
Tags: 600 cc, chili, chilli, dining, dinner, doc gelo, docgelo, docgelo.com, eating, food, food blog, food blogger, foodie, fried seafood, fried shrimp balls, gurney drive, halal food, http://docgelo.com/, lifestyle blog, malling, restaurants in gurney drive, restaurants in malaysia, sauces, seafoods, spices, spicy sauce dish, taiwan, taiwanese dishes, taiwanese food, taiwanese restaurant
To some extent, I do like Taiwanese foods! I remember during my Med school days, I and my closest friends would go to this ordinary Taiwanese restaurant in front of our school that’s manned by a husband-and-wife-tandem who are both chinky eyed. Must be Taiwanese. I didn’t really care, what mattered most then were the delicious dishes they personally prepare once you order. That restaurant must have been one of our favorites during those days. I used to order a plateful of Shrimp Fried Rice and can finish it to its last bits.
Did the title of this post make you think I brought my feet and my family to a holiday in Taiwan? I wish. Hahaha! I just wanted to post how my taste buds reunited with a remarkable Taiwanese meal last month. I had to go to the island to run an errand for Tina and because I was caught up near dinner time, I decided to eat before heading home. I didn’t rush and had the luxury of choosing a decent dish that fitted my budget and satisfied my cravings.
At the ground floor of one of the premiere malls in the
province state of Penang, I was lured by this hole-in-the-wall-Taiwanese restaurant called, 600cc in Gurney Mall. I could have opted for a big bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle but ended up happily with this combo-meal…
Prosperity Deep Fried Platter Rice + Soup & Red Milk Tea =RM18.90 (USD =5.97 or PhP 264).
After I downed the platter, I remember I’m still in Penang and have not gone to Taiwan. And you?
Tags: amateur photography, beyond toxicity, blogger, doc gelo, docgelo, expat, expat life, filipino in malaysia, filipino overseas, hat yai, hat yai thailand, http://docgelo.com/, lonely planet asia magazine, photography, thailand tourism, tourism, TRAVEL, travel blog, traveling, travelling
Can I just shout out that this email made me so thrilled to look forward to the next issue of Lonely Planet ASIA magazine July/August issue? (click screen capture to enlarge)
I am one of the avid readers of Lonely Planet Asia magazine; in fact, I was just reading their May/June issue that features London, NYC and other best spots in the globe yesterday when I received this email and it certainly put an ear-to-ear smile on my face! And to have one of my non-professional photos to be published soon and to be invited to contribute something to this esteemed travel magazine is such overwhelming!
*My photo that I called, The Floating Duo taken from Hat Yai, Southern Thailand was first posted in this blog entry : http://docgelo.com/2011/08/04/discovering-hat-yai-thailand-crossing-borders-floating-market-more/
Tags: amateur photography, Caesar's salad, cakes, caramel cheesecake, cheesecake, chicken dish, dessert, dining, dinner, dinner date, doc gelo, docgelo, eating, expat, expat life, family, family date, family fun, family life, food, food photography, foodie, fried chicken, grilled chicken, malls in malaysia, nando's, nando's penang, nando's peri peri chicken, nando's restaurant, ocw, ofw, payday, penang malaysia, peri peri chicken, photography, photos, restaurants, restaurants in malaysia, restaurants in penang, sunway, sunway carnival mall, sunway carnival mall malaysia, sunway mall malaysia, sunway mall penang, sunway penang malaysia
It was supposed to be a spur-of-the-moment-dinner date with Tina that she thought of, just after we received our pay last month. It’s a RARE and remarkable moment (she’ll kill me for this!) when my wife asked me via our personal emails (how sweet! hahaha!) if we could go directly after office hours to Sunway Carnival Mall in Seberang Perai, Penang (that’s in main land as she didn’t want to take the ferry ride to the island–worried that she might have another vertigo attack). I am too weak to resist!
Then, her maternal being melted into bits after she received a phone call from Gabby at lunch time. Our kiddo who’s currently enjoying his 2 week-school holiday asked his mom, “Mommy, pwede ba ako sumama sa date nyo ni Daddy?” (“Mommy, can I go with you and Daddy on your date?”) Tell me, how do you say No to such query? So, I was like, “OK, Let’s just ask Mommy (my mom) to bring and accompany Gabby at the bus stop so he can instantly hop on the bus (we’re riding from work as it passes by our place in Butterworth), anyway, I’m planning to go out with Mommy the next day (which never materialized).”
And there you go, we had our Friday-payday-FAMILY dinner DATE at one of our favorites, NANDO’S!
Gabby was only 4 and half months old when we first dined at Nando’s in Botany Mall, Auckland, New Zealand back in 2005. And since our taste buds were accustomed to our local Pinoy love-favorite, MAX’S Fried Chicken and also to one of our default choices, KFC (which Tina and I consider as lifesaver on days when we don’t favor the menu at our present office’s cafeteria and Gabby’s favorite too!), we found this Portugese-South African casual food place, Nando’s as fresh to the palate and uniquely tasteful! Too bad that as of this posting, no one has ever brought Nando’s yet to our beloved, the Philippines. Hypothetically speaking, if money isn’t an issue for Tina and me, we could have pack our bags and luggages and head home to franchise Nando’s or, Old Town Coffee & Restaurant, or Restoran Kapitan or Roti Boy (which deserves a separte post) –those are my family’s favorite food places here in Penang. Oh, well, that’s only me wishing upon a star! But seriously, that’s how we like Nando’s; a bit pricey but money’s worth, definitely!
Caramel Cheesecake was the first to arrive on our table at Nando’s, Sunway Carnival Mall. Oh yes! Without asking us, the wait staff delivered the dessert prior to the entrees. Not a problem to us anyway, but apparently, it may spoil someone else’s appetite. Nonetheless, it wasn’t difficult for Gabby to choose this dessert; the boy, like his parents know his palate so well.
For the nth time dining at Nando’s, Tina, Gabby and I opted for Lemon and Herb rather than braved our tongues at their mild, hot or extra spicy Peri-Peri Chicken; we just had Lemon and Herb chicken even as toppings of our Caesar’s salad. But Tina and I savored their Garlic Peri-Peri sauce to spice up our grilled chicken a little….OK, fine, with only Lemon and Herb, kami na ang duwag!
I’m such a potato-boy! I like potato salad and those baby potatoes! Coleslaw is also a no-brainer order for me, hahaha!
While you can obviously tell who chose corn on the cob and fries, his mom went for grilled veggies and some humongous fries too.
At Nando’s or wherever we dine and the food on our plates are all just secondary. What matters most is the moment spent with the family. Now that’s cheesy!
*BEHIND THE SCENES : Tina made another video and pressed FFW to make it chipmunkie; you may want to peek at what actually happened on this dinner. Watch and see how Gabby struggled with his chicken, hahaha!
Tags: amateur photography, baskin robbins, beyond toxicity, blog review, blogger in asia, blogger in malaysia, blogger in southeast asia, buffet, cakes, chocoholics, chocolate, chocolate bars, chocolate buffet, chocolate fondue, desserts, dining, doc gelo, docgelo, docgelo.com, Eat all you can, Eat all you want, expat, expat in malaysia, filipino expat in malaysia, filipino expat in penang, fondue, food, food blog, food photography, foodie, fruits, g hotel, g hotel malaysia, g hotel penang, gastronomic adventures, gurney drive penang, gurney drive penang malaysia, hotels, hotels in malaysia, hotels in penang, http://docgelo.com/, ice cream flavors, indulgence, Life, life abroad, life is good, lifestyle blog, malaysia, mint chocolate ice cream, must do in penang, must try in penang, nikon, nikon D7000, penang malaysia, photography, photos taken using nikon D7000, restaurant review, restraurants in malaysia, sinful, soy restaurant, soy sesame restaurant, TRAVEL, travel blog
No, I am not diabetic yet, neither I have pancreatic insufficiency. Don’t fret; continue reading! Either you’ll learn a bit from the next few phrases or you’ll find this post
visually gastromically stimulating. To simply put, hyperglycemia is descibed as elevated sugar level that occurs whenever we have excess carbohydrate intake, or when the hormone, insulin secreted by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans of the endocrine pancreas becomes inadequate to catabolize carbohydrates into glucose for it to be deposited in the cells of the liver and muscles as glycogen that may be transformed into glucose again in times of stress and as the need arises. Persistence of uncontrolled hyperglycemia leads to diabetes. Enough of the rambling, you might be having epistaxis (nosebleeding); kidding! This post is all about the CHOCOLATE BUFFET at Soy Restaurant in G Hotel, the most stylish luxurious hotel in Gurney Drive, Penang, Malaysia.
Let’s begin this sinful but delicious blog entry with Baskin Robbins’ Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream…
One of the strongest reasons why anyone interested from Penang should troop to this chocolate buffet is the bottomless scoops of luscious Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. That alone made this sweet dining experience heavenly; its cost so sulit (value for money). I consider it a steal and extraordinary for we don’t have Baskin Robbins experience on a daily basis.
The chocolate buffet isn’t complete without a fondue. And having both white and dark chocolate fountains provides sufficient logic when one isn’t enough…
Of course, I tried dipping some mallows and tropical fruits from the spread onto these chocolatey goodness but in between indulgence, I had savored these fibrous fruits in their purest forms; they aid well in digestion.
At one point, this Soy’s Chocolate Buffet is deliciously challenging. Resistance to be overwhelmed is a must.
Another commendable thing is their provision of free-flowing tea in different variants (I opted for Jasmine Green Tea) to make every intake nice and easy. Thank God for Lipton!
One soothing sip and you’re on your toes again towards the spread.
Yes, it’s Chocolate Buffet so everything in there are chocolates, chocolates and more chocolates!
When I was asked to fill out the comment card by the wait staff, I cannot agree but to tick “excellent” in service, ambience, cleanliness, etc. However, those glorious cakes could have been presented better on top of handsome cake stands. Other than that, Soy’s Chocolate Buffet earns my two-thumbs-up!
Soy’s Chocolate Buffet is such a reason to head to this G Hotel. As they claim to have the most stylish adress in Penang; I cannot agree more.
Meanwhile, here’s a proof that my family and I are such a chocoholics. Tina and Gabby whipped up another no-bake-chocolate cake at home.
Tina’s not only a lovely wife and a caring mom, she also has this love affair with her gadget that she wanted to document some of Gabby’s wonderful antics. If I am into blogging, Tina enjoys capturing special fun moments on video. WATCH THIS chipmunkie-ala-charlie-chaplin-short-film on how the Chef Gabby made that moist cake… ENJOY! Let me know what you think.
Do you think our son has future in becoming a chef, a hotelier and a restaurateur? Only time will tell.
Enjoy Penang’s only all you can eat chocolate buffet of various delectable offerings of scrumptious chocolate desserts. Available every Saturday,8pm-12am, priced at RM45++ per person (USD 14++ or PhP 612++) at Soy Restaurant, G Hotel, Gurney Drive, Penang, Malaysia.
*Although the blogger and his blog are open for advertisements, sponsorships, invitations and blog reviews, this isn’t a sponsored post.
Tags: blogger in malaysia, bloggers in penang, doc gelo, docgelo.com, dreams, eat play love, eat pray love, expat, expat blogger, family, filipino blogger, hope, http://docgelo.com/, Life, life abroad, malaysian based blogger, ocw, ofw, penang malaysia, personal blog, photography, rambling, random thoughts, rapid penang bus, straits quay
En route to one part of the island, I captured this advertisement mounted on grab handles in a commuter bus that Tina and I ride daily, the Rapid Penang Bus. It says EAT. PLAY. LOVE. For a moment, it made me wonder whatever happend to PRAY? I answered my own query in thinking that Straits Quay is one of those premiere residences in Penang with luxurious restaurants fronting the sea and not a place of worship. Although, for most of us, we can pray regardless where we are, still it’s a mall and hangout place. We’ve been there once; savored coffee and pastries at Charlie Brown Cafe and we wish to go back whenever we find a chance. I digress. The tagline of the ad (as well as the title of the movie-novel where it was inspired) made me think if anyone could still complain of a routinary life when all you do is EAT PLAY PRAY LOVE? One must be so content with life with such limited verbs to do and must be so happy to forget about WORK, PAY BILLS, WORK.
As a young family man in the middle of his 30s, I want to devote more quality time with my family, I still need to do more things, I aspire to go to places I’ve never been to, I need to find a more fertile ground where I and my family could grow best and where better opportunity awaits.
When I’m not satisfied with how things are, it doesn’t follow that I am ungrateful to whatever blessings I receive. It only means I yearn for better things.
When I don’t want to settle for something mediocre, it doesn’t follow that I am arrogant and hard to please. It only means I understand that quality should never be compromised at all times.
Whenever I am anticipating something that’s life-changing and the opposite happens, I remind myself not to dwell in despair.
Now that there are chances to improve life again, I’m constantly keeping my spirit up and hopes high.
My family and I lift everything to the Lord! He knows best for all of us.
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” ~Romans 5:5.
deserve need something greater.
And I know best things happen in His time.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.