One of the things I am always struggling with since I live here in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan, is bread.
Pinoy bread is sweet and since some time "Pan de Manila" has "sugar free" (white) bread, but it's only edible if you toast it first.
I also have a bread-maker, see this post, but since I used "whole wheat" it is not rising anymore.
If I go to Manila, I usually also visit Mall of Asia (MoA), where they have a French Baker. They make nice French alike bread and Pinoy bread. If you ask one of the shop assistants which bread is sugar free, they don't know. So you have to judge it yourself from the size, shape, smell and color. Usually I am right, I never purchased sweet bread in that shop.
The closest French Baker from our place, according to their website, is in San Fernando, Pampanga. Never been there yet. Even in SM Baguio I couldn't find a non-Pinoy bakery.
Via a doctor I met in San Carlos, Pangasinan, regional hospital, I discovered a small bakery in San Carlos. The owner is from Belgium, and I visited him a few weeks ago to see what he is doing. He is making nice and delicious whole-wheat bread, but only a few a day and on order only. See for contact info the LINKS tab on my site. He seems to have a Facebook page, but I am not a Facebook visitor.
I have ordered already two times two breads. Also my family, who visited us recently, enjoyed this bread. So if you live in Pangasinan, go and visit him, he is looking for more business.
In November this year my mother and son visited us in the Philippines.
For my mother it was the third time to be here. I was happily surprised that she made it again after her unlucky accident during her 2nd visit in 2013. See this post.
For my son it was the first time here in the Philippines. He was really surprised that we have a kind of paradise, where you can relax, swim, eat and drink as long and as much as you like.
Besides relaxing we also made some visits to "must see" locations in the area, such as Baguio, Hundred Islands, Manaoag Church (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag), WWII memorial site in Lingayen, Tondaligan beach and a Thai massage salon, shopping malls and restaurants.
In stead of describing their experiences, I have added a photo album, which is available via this post on the following link.
They stayed for only two weeks, so you cannot do a lot besides relaxing. Just before typhoon Ruby hit Manila, we brought them back to NAIA terminal 3 for their KLM flight to Amsterdam on December 6th.
Comment to this photo: Strong winds and waves brought by Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) pound the seawall in Legazpi City, Albay, on December 7. The powerful typhoon tore through the Visayas on Sunday, bringing howling winds that toppled trees and power and cut off communications in areas where thousands were killed by a massive storm just over a year ago. Reuters
You might think why this post about typhoon Hagupit (Ruby is the local name) is published so late. Well there are several reasons.
Firstly I had my family here in the Philippines for a couple of weeks while this typhoon developed and I promised them not to write any posts at all in this period.
Secondly the typhoon's track is such that we will have no or minimal impact in our province Pangasinan.
My policy was/is to write a typhoon blog only when we (will) have impact in our province. For this reason typhoon Queeny (international name Sinlaku), which made landfall in Mindanao island is not in my typhoon posts for 2014.