Christmas Crowds, Rain, Bargains and Strange Food

With much trepidation, we went yesterday to Divisoria again with friends. I’ve heard horror stories of how jam-packed the place gets starting the ‘-ber’ months due to the nearing Christmas season. It’s December. But I really needed to get some supplies for a collection of headpieces I will be making for a fashion show for class in January.

Roxas Boulevard was devastated by the scary storm surges during the recent typhoon Pedring. We passed through it going to Divisoria. It is still being rebuilt, you can see the stacks of bricks but people are back strolling and running along the boulevard. It looks good already in some parts, though so that’s good.

imageDue to the mind-numbing traffic and long drive, we were famished by the time we got to park at the new 999 Mall. Saw this place called Hong Kong Dessert and they have interesting things! Tried this Thousand Floating Eye Soup. Just kidding, the official name is Black Bean Sago in Red Bean Soup.

There’s something so sinister with the way it looks. And it’s dessert! I never thought I’d ever describe dessert as sinister.


*after a taste*

Me: Ew.
Kai: I like it!!
Li-j: It’s ok!
Vinx: I don’t know…
Kai: Try this weird black flap of thing floating in the soup! it’s so citrusy!
Lij: *tries black thing, drinks water* Gaah!
Lij & Kai: Try it crisel! try it!!
Me: *with water in hand, eating ant-sized piece of black thing* EWW!
Kai: I think it’s dalandan peel!
Me/Li-j: Dalandan is green! why is this black?!
*All sorts of gross disgusting theories about how a dalandan peel can turn black and be included in this soup.*

-all of us

This sticky sweet dumpling dish is very very yummy! It has a ‘sand’ on the side that you roll the sticky balls in if you like. The ‘sand’ consists of coconut, sesame seeds and I think muscovado (some sort of molasses-y unrefined sugar).


After the meal, we made our rounds and got what we needed. It was rainy and the streets were muckier than usual. The crowd was surprisingly not as bad as I imagined. But it’s still pretty crowded! We were tired again after a few hours or walking and haggling. We also passed by this little snack bar called Belly Bell. They have amazingly cheap refreshments and Korean noodles. This red iced tea is just P10. Their black gulaman is also very good!




And yet another place was selling Korean snacks and junk food. They have this Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich that was really subtle and delicate in flavour but refreshing!

imageOn the way home, it was getting dark and everywhere and everything was starting to look better. I wonder why everything looks better in the sunset.. The lights are turning on and the gross things seem to disappear. I mean, I know they’re still there, you just can’t see them as well.


Passed by the winding roads of Malate and the heart of Manila.. Poor Vinx was driving while we slept. I kept waking up to take photos. Lol.. But yes, everything considered, it was a successful day.


The author: Crisel Eslao

Nose in book, bow in hair, pen in hand.