My Guilty Pleasures

Perfect we may aim to be, we still find ourselves tempted to simple pleasures that we somehow feel guilty about, such as listening to cheeky rock ballads, indulging in rich desserts, eating unhealthy but flavorful food, smoking, and drinking soft drinks.  It’s normal to enjoy our chosen objects of pleasure and healthy for our soul once in a while if we know what’s good for us.

So, here are the pleasures I’ve found myself guilty of devouring in Boracay Island.

Chocolate Sin by Zuzuni, Station 1, White Beach

 

As the name connotes, Zuzuni’s Mati Chocolate Sin is by no means a blessing from hell.  This tempting piece of immorality is like a firm chocolate volcano oozing with molten dark chocolate lava topped with a snowy scoop of vanilla ice cream.  A spoonful of this wicked ensemble indulges the palette in perfect harmony of chilled vanilla cream, merging with the warmth of thick chocolate.  This sinful dessert is downright delicious that to deprive oneself of it for salvation’s sake is a pitiful sacrifice in one’s normal and happy life.

 Gelato Spaghetti by Aria Gelato, D’Mall

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Summer lovin’ inspires ice cream slurping, especially the Gelato Spaghetti of Aria Gelato.  Slivered like a spaghetti, the 150-gram authentic Italian homemade ice cream heightened with rich chocolate syrup, cherry and chocolate wafer sticks is the ultimate pleasure fare for cooling off this summer.  Choose from freshly-made flavors, such as Fragula (strawberry), Nutella,

Calamansi, Espresso, Pistacchio, Bacio Nero (dark chocolate with hazelnut), Stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate strips), Cocco (coconut), Melon, Mango, Nocciola (hazelnut), Biscotto (biscuit), Vanilla, Cioccolata (chocolate), Cioccolata Menta (choco), Tiramisu, Caramello (caramel), Pesca (peach), Panna Cotta, and Amarena (cherry), exactly the flavor shown on the picture. So, try this unique creation and follow it up with a good sweat on the beach.

Tocino for Breakfast

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A favorite Filipino breakfast food, Tocino is a sweet pork delicacy commonly paired with a cup of fried garlic rice and sunny-side-up egg, otherwise known as Tocilog (Tocino, Sinangag at Itlog).  The kids love this because of its sweet flavor, however it is not really healthy as a regular viand to meals.  The commercial ones, which are sold in the supermarkets are actually stripped pork fatback cured in Anise wine, annatto, water, salt, sugar, and saltpeter.  Saltpeter is a disguised term for Sodium Nitrate, a food preservative that is also used in chemical fertilizers, pyrotechnics, smoke bombs, and glass enamels.  As unhealthy as it sounds, it is nonetheless bad for one’s health when consumed daily and it can lead to a number of diseases, including cancer.  Start your day with high fiber foods instead or ask your mom to make her own tocino for you without the preservative.  But if you happen to have breakfast in a carinderia with friends, then have a serving of this only as a rare treat.  It may make you feel guilty, but it sure won’t kill you instantly.

Mud Pie at Bistro Valhalla, D’Mall

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At least every restaurant in the world includes a chocolate dessert, yet the Mud Pie at Bistro Valhalla in D’Mall stands as one of Boracay’s best.  The combination of frozen coffee crumble ice cream filled with melted chocolate and butter, topped with toasted almonds, chocolate crumbles and some more wicked chocolate makes a perfect dessert for a scorching sunny day on the island.  A serving of this well-balanced concoction can engulf the senses to desiring more.  Though as mouthwatering as it is, this muddy dessert or any dessert for that matter, is wonderful only in moderation, for the simple reason that it is extremely fattening.

Chippy by Jack n’ Jill

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The Filipinos’ all-time favorite junk food, Chippy Barbecue Flavored Corn Chips remains the most patronized and ever present accompaniment to all kinds of social gatherings.  The crunchy sound of teeth gnashing into its crispy bits is a comforting soundtrack at impromptu parties, beach picnics, long road trips, make-outs inside the car, and at sunset cocktails. It’s cheap, easily obtainable, and highly enticing – mostly due to the artificial flavor enhancers, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other ingredients that sound unthinkable in food like hydrolyzed soy, acidity regulator, maltodextrin, and silicon dioxide, which altogether lead to dreadful complications, such as skin irritation kidney damage, slowed body growth, anemia, constipation, difficulty sleeping, headaches, irritability, low appetite and energy, chronic fatigue syndrome and even fibromyalgia (webmd.com).  But go ahead and grab one from the nearest sari-sari store, just don’t overdose from it.

Crab Fat

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Taba ng Talangka, as it is known here in the Philippines, is the most flavorful part inside small crabs.  This orange paste of fat is salty and very filling that it actually makes a fantastic condiment to dishes like seafood pasta, meat or vegetable stew with coconut milk, grilled seafood with a squirt of lemon or calamansi juice, dumplings as filling, or the Pinoy cowboy style of simply making it as an ulam (viand) to steamed white rice. It is so handy in quick meals that there is already a preserved version of it in jars, which is available in supermarkets like Budget Mart.  The guilt-feeling of eating this is the abundance of cholesterol it contains.  Eating crab fat daily not only increases the risk of clogged arteries, diabetes and high blood pressure, but it can also make you fat.  So, add it on your pasta once in awhile and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Brazo de Mercedes by Café Del Sol, D’Mall

 

“Sweet, sweet, sweet, taste it!”  Every time I hear this INXS song, I think about Brazo de Mercedes.  Brazo, in short, is a very sweet roulade cake made with several ounces of condensed milk, a few cups of sugar, butter, vanilla extract, at least eight egg yolks and ten egg whites.  Sweet-toothed Filipinos just love to dig their forks into its sugar-coated fluffy meringue all the way to its rich and thick golden core.  As a matter of fact, no festive occasion is held without it.  When it comes to desserts, there has to be a roll of Brazo on the buffet table or the festive mood could turn sour.

Soft Drinks

During this hot and humid weather, the first beverage we usually think of drinking is an ice cold soda (aside from ice cold beer).  Thirst quenching it is, soft drinks is the Filipinos’ favorite accompaniment to daily meals, family feasts, snacks and cocktail drinks.  Like majority of our new-age habits, we blame our soft drink gobbling on the North Americans for introducing this sweet and artificially-flavored fizzy drink to their little brown siblings, meaning us Filipinos.  Whilst having the easily-amazed colonial mentality within us, we succumbed to such influence and enjoy it every chance we get.  We drink it with so much gusto that we neglect our burgeoning bellies, failing liver, increasing cavities, and increasing blood sugar levels.  Anyway, a little bit of this will not give you diabetes; however a taste of this delightful drink could tempt our weakened spirits to have more.

Chicharron

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Come sunset time, you hear vendors walking along the beach and calling out “Balut!”.  Though the duck embryo is a good pulutan (finger food), it is not the only good one that those vendors sell.  They also sell a deep-fried pork rind delicacy, called Chicharron.  A traditional Filipino appetizer derived from Spain, this salty and crunchy deep-fried munchy is typically eaten with a mix of vinegar and chili or just plain, with a matching cold soft drink or beer on the side.  It sells quick in the night when Filipinos are at the peak of tagayan (alcohol drinking spree), especially since it is only 10 Php per bag.  The reason why it is cheap is because there’s nothing much to it except for the pork rind seasoned in salt and MSG (monosodium glutamate) and deep fried in oil, which also calls for a high fat, high sodium but tasty appetizer.  Yet something so good and so cheap does not go without a high price – a high price for cholesterol medications.

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