SumoSam brings the taste of Japan to General Santos City

Gensan, being the hub of SocSkSargen, takes pride in being home to great restaurants and stores. In SM City Gensan, there is a restaurant that brings the Taste of Japan to Generals and that is SumoSam.

Opened in 2013, SumoSam takes pride in serving only authentic Japanese dishes which have fortunately delighted Filipinos as well. The effort of cooking up good Japanese food is evident in the taste of the broth of their ramen and in the rice of their maki.

20140714_182208

Vegetable Ramen

20140714_185222

Chicken Teriyaki (ala carte) and Japanese Fried Rice

The tenderness of the chicken and coleslaw with a tangy mustard dressing was great with the “dish-by-itself” deliciousness of the Japanese Fried Rice. It was a great pair. 

20140714_184423

Sukiyaki cooked tableside

My favorite for the dinner, however, would be the Sukiyaki which use Wagyu beef. The goodness of the beef, the sweet flavor of the quickly sauteed onions and the perfect broth was an absolute winner for me.

Other dishes we tried were their Dynamite Roll (dynamite because it was spicy-good) and Beef Niki Udon. 

SumoSam is located at the ground floor, near exit to Fountain Area of SM City General Santos City. They also accept delivery and catering service.

Why the Farmers’ Market is such a hit

On May 25, 2014, a new Sunday habit was started in General Santos. It is the Sunday Farmers’ Market. 

The Farmers’ Market was a wonderful idea by Ms. Rue Ramas, owner of Seed World, lead marketing advocate of Corn Husk craft makers and overall gardening and agriculture enthusiast. Every Sunday, from 7am to 12nn, farmers and sellers of various food products, cooked and uncooked, fill their space with wonderful, fresh products that shoppers couldn’t resist buying.

What has become a simple selling opportunity has become a hit in the city and here are the reasons why.

# 1 Everything is fresh and beautiful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

Most, if not all the fruits and vegetables specially, are in their just-picked state. I personally tasted the difference when I started cooking using the ingredients I purchased from the Farmers’ Market. The vegetables stay longer fresher. Some of the vegetables are even organic. 

Recently, shrimps, live lapu-lapu and free-range organic chicken have been available as well.

# 2  The great food finds

There is a delicious range of Filipino delicacies and processed food that my friends, family and I have found to be great food finds. There’s suman, palitaw, espasol, chorizo, tocino, sikwate, homemade bacon and embotido, binignit, cookies, batchoy, dinuguan, coco sugar, alamang, chocolate moron and many, many more! 

It is always a “comfort food” binge everytime we go to Farmers’ Market. Tables and chairs are placed in the garden where we feast on our food finds.

# 3 The atmosphere of friendship and wellness

Sunday vegetable shoppers

Sunday vegetable shoppers

Primarily because there are beautiful displays of vegetables and shoppers. That they purchase these fresh goods mean that they value their health and, consequently, give livelihood to farmers. Personally, I am happy when I see my friends and acquaintances at the Farmers’ Market. People who wake up early to sell or buy vegetables are, for me, people with discipline and eagerness for life. There is also an ambient glee on these mornings in Tita Rue’s garden.

So if you haven’t gone there yet or if you happen to be in Gensan on a Sunday, please visit Farmers’ Market. It’s every Sunday, 7am to 12nn, Tiongson Extension, Lagao, Gen. Santos City. in front of Notre Dame IBED.

A beautiful discovery: The Farm at Carpenter Hill Koronadal

I have been to The Farm at Carpenter Hill several times and have already declared it one of my favorite getaways in Socsargen. During those times, I would just stay for one or two hours, dine and walk around but not stay overnight. At that time, I already enjoyed the place.

Came back recently to stay overnight, spend time with my husband and to have a “calm before the storm” weekend before my crazy month starts. It is only around 45 minutes from Gensan (depends on how fast or slow you go) so travel was most convenient too.

Our room was a spacious room in the courtyard complex. They do have separate Villas just in front of the hotel complex which would be what we’d try next time.

What is very different about The Farm is the expanse of space and how it’s practically covered with plants obviously tended to very well. The structures also obviously have Japanese influences. The design of the individual buildings is very cohesive, simple, practical and in my opinion, energy-efficient becase they are almost covered by trees which makes the building easier to cool and almost glass-covered to optimize the sunlight which we practically have everyday. They have so many function halls too. I think I counted eight.

The resort is super quiet except for crickets and birds and when there’s a party in one of their halls. Luckily, the noise does not get to the rooms which was a relief.

I want to go back there alone to finish a book or just to stare at the grasses. Or my coffee cup.

The Farm’s food is delicious! Sticking to what locals like best, their food has the rich flavors of Asian cuisine. It’s unpretentiously good. It’s the kind of food that, well, still considred restaurant food but the kind that is still familiar to most Filipino palates.

I rave about their Cream Dory Burger. Crispy and soft (how odd of me) cream dory patty with what I would guess would be teriyaki sauce instead of your usual catsup-mayo-mustard combi. I didn’t care much for the fries but we ate them anyway. *smile* Their coffee is great too. The measure of a wonderful coffee is if the plain brewed makes your heart sigh. Yes, it’s two thumbs up.

Our dinner was a supposedly “diet” dinner with Sweet and Spicy Shrimps, Kani Salad and Garlic bread. The quantity was good for three but my husband and I ate everything up. So much for dieting.

I would say, though, that while the service for our snack and dinner at their restaurants have been superb, it was a little lacking for breakfast. The staff came across a little grumpy and unwelcoming and the breakfast items on the buffet were not kept warm. The coffee was not as good as our order the previous day too.

Going back. Our room is meticulously clean and big enough for my family, four kids and all. The bathroom is also spacious with the usual toiletries provided. They also have soft, thick towels of three sizes. I am glad they have a bath mat because, of their tad-short wall from the shower, the water splashes to the lavatory area. They obviously spent well for their bed linen. The pillows are of great quality and the duvet has the institutional cover of sorts. And yes, they have two pillows per person. The room also has complimentary bottled water and coffee. Great setup and very comfortable.

All in all, it was the kind of short holiday that can reenergize you. You’ve had those vacations that left you tired and upset more of the time. It was not one like that time.

Most of The Farm’s staff were very helpful and sincere in being nice to you. You can see they like what they are doing. There’s one thing: I have really poor eyesight so I think I would prefer better lighting in the grounds. Also, I would be glad if there was an in-room fact sheet or list of resort features for guest’s to read. I also wish they have an in-house spa and other wellness facilities because those would be most suitable for their place.

The Farm at Carpenter Hill is located in Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City right along the highway. Their website is farmatcarpenterhill.com. Numbers 09228489098, 0832281888.

All photos from this blogpost are properties of Cathy and Milper Bolodo. 

Music lessons for kids this summer

If you have young kids like me, you might already be thinking of how the kids are going to spend their summer break. Usually this is the time to take arts and skills classes.

For my two girls, we are planning to enrol them in piano, dance or voice lessons this summer. Check out these two centers that offer music lessons.

MUSIKAHAN BOL

They offer courses in keyboard, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, voice, painting and sculpture. Classes start on April 11, 2011. For inquiries, you can call JR de Guzman at  09236941286

 

MR AND MRS RAY BONILLA

This is a new music center. The owners, Mr. Ray and Mr. Grace Bonilla are music graduates of Silliman and UP College of Music respectively.  Mr. Bonilla is currently the consultant of the Centerpoint Band and provides voice training for its lead singer.

They are located beside Hope Christian School in Block 8.

Recital Fees and schedule to be announced at a later date. 

Time schedules are still open.

Contact Number:  0910-9039125  Tel No 554-4002

 

As my kids’ story says, summertime is fun time! Make the most out of this summer for the kids and let them have fun.

Gensan View Resort: This place is ready for summer

I have not visited any new place recently so on one hot day in Gensan, my whole family decided to check out Gensan View Resort.

We have not driven or passed through Nursery Road ever so we are glad of the signage to the resort from Lagao market and just before the resort at 200meters. Very helpful indeed. Here is what will welcome you inside the resort.

The resort is a pretty and, thank God, quiet place tucked away in off-downtown Lagao. We were there early so we had a chance to really enjoy the peace of early mornings. There were no other guests except one small group of kids in the kiddie pool and their guardian.

We occupied one of their small huts. It is clean, properly wired (the electricity) and is big enough for a group of 10, I would say. Notice also the loft or overhead shelf of some sort. I think it’s a good idea for putting away clean and dry clothes, other personal belongings and things you would not need for eating. I noticed garbage bins between cottages so that is good. The small hut rents out for P 200.

Their toilet and changing room is mighty clean. (I snooped around in the men’s room and, yes, the room is clean too and smells good as well. If a place can keep the men’s room, smelling clean, they sure know what they are doing.) I do find a striking semblance to Sarangani Highlands’ CR.

They also have a common area if you wish not to occupy the cottages. A table is at P100 only so if there’s just a few of you, you’ll be comfortable in there too. They have a common grilling and wash area for those who just can’t go on a swimming trip without grilled fish or barbecue. You can bring your own food, they won’t charge you corkage and their beverages are very affordable.

Near the pool area is the shower. They do emphasize taking a shower before getting into the pool. I do wish, though, that they would be strict on the swimming attire as it is our dream for this to be really implemented in pools here in Gensan. For me, it’s more of the concern for the owners who have to spend more to keep the water clean and clear. (That sounded like a facial wash.)

We did not get to see the rest of the resort. We did see the hawks and lots of other birds in their boating area. Whoa! My husband wished he had a better lens but he still got good shots.

What is outstanding about the place is that it is clean and yes, they have a guy, I assume a lifeguard, who just oversees the people in the pool. Of course, it’s a new resort so I hope to see that the cleanliness and orderliness of the resort are maintained till years after. I also have to note that theere was no videoke or any loud music so that is a major thumbs-up for me.

For P 50, it sure is a bargain.

Gensan View Resort is located along Nursery Road, Lagao, General Santos City. Tel. 302 8237.

Why I prefer to shop at Robinsons Supermarket now

Robinsons Place Gensan

Ever since Robinsons Supermarket opened last October 2009, I have done my grocery shopping there for a lot of reasons.

My number one reason is convenience. The supermarket is located close to the parking area and if you’re commuting, to where you can hail a jeep or tricycle. I buy groceries every two weeks so it’s usually at least seven bags or one big box when I don’t feel like accumulating more plastic bags. The short distance is great especially when the kids go with me to the grocery. The supermarket, though packed, is not sprawling which makes it easier to go from one aisle to the other. If you have been to KCC and you forget something that is located on the other end of the store, you have to walk quite a distance since the place is loooong with counters and aisles far apart.

I have to admit that price does not really play a major role although some items, I have learned, mostly national brands and imported items, are cheaper at Robinsons. I find all that I usually buy at KCC supermarket in Robinsons now. Robinsons also has a good selection of pasta and deli.

I do know, though, that a lot of people still shop at KCC. Their bonus card is a great encouraging factor really. I have one but, obviously I’m not using it now because I don’t shop at KCC anymore for personal and business reasons. (They caused me and a lot of people a lot of inconvenience last year so I don’t want to do or give them any business anymore.)

Robinsons reminds me of home (for those of you who are from Manila, you know what I mean). It’s spacious, orderly and the merchandise is to my liking. When I first did my grocery shopping at Robinsons, I was happy to see they have Marca Pina soy sauce. This may sound really petty and unusual but it’s the soy sauce that my mommy uses until now. For years, I have used Silver Swan which is not bad either. But now that Marca Pina is here, it is what I buy.

These are our great finds at Robinsons: Spam at only P 96 (yup!), Healthy You Trail Mix (our new favorite), Refresh juices (for our kids’ baon), kitchen towels (we had to buy these from Davao or Manila before), Wishy-Washy hand sanitizers and liquid soap and, of course, Marca Pina soy sauce.

If there is anything that needs to be improved at Robinsons, it would be vegetable section. Probably because there are still not a lot of people going there. I also wish that the RDEX store was inside the grocery area. I like RDEX’ peeled, deveined and tail-on shrimps.

Let me clarify that this is not a paid or sponsored review. Just a homemaker’s thoughts. Happy shopping!

Christmas quake?

Before anything else, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas! I hope you are having a blast of a Christmas day with your family or friends or even without anyone.

Well, it was a most unusual Christmas day in Gensan today. An earthquake hit Gensan somewhere around 12nn. According to IRIS Seismic Monitor, it recorded a magnitude of 6.2. I felt a strong jolt that felt like a sudden brake on a mobile car and followed by a lingering swaying that made me dizzy. I thought the oil bottle would fall on my head!

Thank God it did not cause any mishap  in my house. And I wish that it did not cause any damage to Gensan either.

Finally here!

I have given birth last week to our little Cedric at Mindanao Medical Center. He was 6 lbs and 15 ounces at birth. Sadly, he had to stay for a week in the hospital for anitibiotics. But now, he is home with us and are we happy!

My thanks to my doctors Dr. Calderon and Dr. Agad (Dr. Calderon was out during the week I was to give birth so had to see another doctor), Dr. Abella for referring me to Dr. Agad, Dr. Nicolas for being so nice and comforting and Dr. Reyes, our pediatrician. so far, as I have given birth at Doctors, Elizabeth and MMC, service has been best at MMC though Elizabeth did give good service too as far as I can remember.

Thank you for continuing to visit this blog and I got great posts for you in the coming weeks!

What happened to Socoteco?

If you have seen the news on TV Patrol Socsksargen about two days ago, you would know that Socoteco might not be able to read our meters and bill us for electricity anytime soon. If you didn’t, well, now, you know!

For most households, it might be disastrous! Why? Because by now that your electricity bill is not yet in, it just might be 25% now than your usual bill. For the area I live in, the bill is already delayed by 4 days. It might be adding aboiut 300 to 500 pesos on my usual bill.

The question is: Will socoteco be a little bit lenient as to the payment of this period’s bill? Some might have difficulty paying a higher bill. It surely wreck’s a budget.

Anyway, I hope they could bill us soon.

Figueroa Highlands in Marbel

Happy first day of July to you!

Last weekend, my family went to Marbel to accompany our mommy. She attended Dr. Gary Sy’s seminar in Notre Dame of Marbel University. So while, waiting for her, we had coffee in a coffee shop in Fitmart (well, I would have wanted McGregor but the cafe had a play area right beside it so it was ideal for the kids). After a couple of hours sitting there, we trooped to Alunan. My husband decided to check out Figueroa Highlands.

I told him about it a couple of months ago since it was similar to Sarangani Highlands‘ name. I am glad we made the trip.

Photos by Milper Bolodo.

First of all, let me say that I cannot help comparing with Sarangani Highlands, it being my baby. I think it’s because they had to name it highlands as well. Well, the highlands is right for them too since it was on a hillside.

Right now, Figueroa Highlands is on a hillside just a couple of meters from Alunan Avenue in Koronadal. It has a wide parking area and a covered space for about 25 people.

The view is great. It reminds me of Baguio City. It must be a sight at night. It is functioning as a restaurant right now and maybe, function venue. Their menu is not a spectacle. It had the usual barbecue and beverages but nothing different. The garden is landscaped and very neat. According to the staff, they opened in January this year and that they get a lot of guests for dinner.

So that’s another discovery for us. If you’re in Marbel, you should go see it. For my family, it was another happy mini-road trip.