Saturday, November 7, 2009


I have been here a few months now and very happy actually. The original intent of this blog was to point to the positives of this country, the people and share it. I had planned on not making any negative post at all but I decided that sometimes, its not a bad thing to be a positive critic.

So my first gripe is: BREAKAST!!

One of my favourite thing to do is early exercise and early breakfast on the weekend. There is nothing I love to do than to wake up to great weather which they have now, go jog for a while and a long leisurely breakfast with my newspaper. Its something I started to do while in New York long time ago.

I come from a country that you can get a good meal 24-hours. In Singapore or Malaysia, I can actually walk somewhere near my homes and get a good bite anytime of the day. Its something I really missed while living in US and Europe. But even while living in NY, I could get a great bagel at the neigbourhood diner early in the morning.

Here in Manila, the only thing open at 7am is McDonalds/Jollibee and a chain belonging to my friend call Pancake House. Even Starbucks don't open until 8am and the bagel at Starbucks here is a poor poor distant relative to even in Singapore and a shame to its parentage in New York!

Seriously, I am not that demanding - a bagel, a croissant or Chee Cheung Fun, noodle, decent pao will do and most important - a decent cup of coffee!

For country strongly influence by coffee-loving Spanish and Americans, I can't understand why coffee drinking is not BIG here for the everyday man. We from Malaysia and Singapore were influenced by tea-drinking British and yet our kopitiam coffee is so ubiquitous and such a great deal! Furthermore, they actually have great coffee here. A significant portion of the supply of natural Luwak (they have faked ones from Vietnam ones now!), the most expensive coffee in the world, comes from here!

But back to breakfast, why is breakfast places not as ubiqutous? I noticed that a traditional breakfast here is rice and meat/fish. Traditional breakfast does not seem any different from lunch/dinner. Things like 'kuih' or cakes and 'noodles/beenhoon' is not part of breakfast although its part of their cuisine. They do have some good 'kuih' like cheese bun or ensaymada and rice-cake or bibingka which I like. BUT the only place you can get these early in the morning is of all places, STARBUCKS!! I would actually like their most famous noodle dish, pancit, in the morning but you can't find that in the morning in most places!!

I have to confess one thing, in keeping to the positive theme of the original intent of this blog, I just went to my first Saturday open market at Salcedo Village in Makati. It does offer the best place to get good breakfast at 7am in the morning on a weekened beside getting some other good stuff. You can even get Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai although it would be best to bring your own coffee!

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