Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In Reminiscent of Gat Jose Rizal at Crisostomo

   May has ended and June is here.   A lot has happened in May, and with that the sun shone brighter and hotter.  ( Now I need to buy gluthathione for me to get my fair skin color back).    The last days of May ushered in the season of rains, with frequent sky showers but never left me thinking of having a cold treat for the day.   This month alone I had tried different kinds of gelato, frozen yogurts and of course the Philippines' Halo-Halo.   I had about two reviews so far of my halo-halo encounters, the one at Digman Street, Bacoor, Cavite - D' Original Digman Halo-halo  and at the main street of Malibay- Kanto Sinco
   After a short visit at Calamba for my husband's work, we headed on to Nuvali at Sta.Rosa, to look for Crisostomo of Chef Florabelle Co-Yatco.  I've read a review of the restaurant and the menu, and it got me so interested.  Why?  Many restaurants are now into themes that works with the menu and the whole ambiance.   But none like Crisostomo's.   Derived from Noli Me Tangere's Crisostomo Ibarra.   The place has some of  our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal's images.   The place may not look colonial but is classy and comforting.  
   But what really amazed me is how Chef Florabelle have used the novel (which was a cumbersome but enlighting subject in my high-school times) to bring out the goodness of Filipino dishes to work so well in this times were diners look for different grub on their plate.
    A date at Nuvali may ease some stress and aches away as a man-made lagoon opens  up for boat-riding and Koi fish-feeding.   We've caught up with  Bobby Yan shooting for a morning show.  Kids and adults alike would really enjoy the school of fish, I mean thousands of them, big and golden orange.  

   June, just in time for the celebration of the Sesquicentennial birth anniversary of Dr Jose P. Rizal.  And here at Crisostomo, one can't help but remember how the all-time hero sparked patriotism and courage amongst the Filipino in the Spanish Era, through his writings such as El Filibusterismo and Noli Me Tangere and a lot more.
    Fittingly, Rizal found it a timely and effective gesture to dedicate his novel to the country of his people whose experiences and sufferings he wrote about, sufferings which he brought to light in an effort to awaken his countrymen to the truths that had long remained unspoken, although not totally unheard of. 
   The writer (Jose Rizal) did not make a hero of either Crisostomo Ibarra, Maria Clara or Elias. They were all victims and met a tragic end. The were mere characters in a story that meant to expose the backwardness and medieval thinking of Philippine society.
  Having said these,  Jose Rizal's target seems to be Philippine society itself and how pathetically it has dwelled in the Medieval age, As Rizal hopes to awaken the Filipino through the words and thus liberate the Filipinos to the standard of what Spain and Americans have assigned us.

   Going back to the present era,  as I was saying, the characters in Rizal's novel was used to name the typical Filipino home-dishes.  But transforming each into an unusual dining comforts.   Having to see  Crispin at Basilio, Padre Damaso, Sisa and more.  Crispin at Basilio is Tokwat Baboy with vinegar sauce.  Whilst Noli Me Talong, is a Tortang talong Pie, topped with kesong Puti.  This one is amusing, Atchara ni  Ibarra, four different types of atchara, ubod, papaya, sili and mango.
Halo-Halo ni Crisostomo

   We were there when the sun is about to go down but we still doesn't have the appetite to eat dinner so we got these.  
   Of course I had Halo-halo, but what so different about this halo-halo is that it has cheese topped together with ube halaya ( ube jam) and leche flan (egg custard).

Platano Dulce

    However, Bhogs didn't like what he had, its caramelized saba bananas with shaved ice and milk.   Not too sweet, which we both like but the bananas are rock hard, maybe it was frozen for a long time and re-heated when ordered.   We were actually disappointed.

More on Noli Me Tangere in light of Crisostomo
    Don Juan Crisostomo Ibarra is the son of Don Rafael Ibarra - a landlord in the town of San Diego, member of colonial Philippines' high society and a Creole (Insulares). His father - Don Saturnino Ibarra, was also a Creole and was the one to purchase the Ibarra estate in San Diego. Natives say that the estate's forest is enchanted. Don Saturnino's father is Don Pedro Eibarramendia (Eibarramendia shortened to Ibarra) who was a Peninsulares and towards the end of the novel turned out to be the root of Elias' misfortunes. Elias had saved Crisostomo from the arresting authorities.

Maria Clara

   This is Crisostomo's rendition of Sans Rival.    Doesn't look like Maria Clara at all even the feel of it, with all its sweetness.  Maria Clara is  the sweetheart of Crisostomo Ibarra, said to be demure and religious who in the end became a nun after finding out the death of her lover.  Maria Clara can be a white velvet cake, soft and just the right amount of sweetness.   Consequently, the Sans Rival that we had was crunchy with all the nuts, and chewy on the inside.   We couldn't finish the whole slice due to its extreme sugary.  People with cavities would hate this cake.
   Hmmm, I wonder was there an electric fan during Rizal's time, hahaha, stupid me, there ain't electricity then, but the antique-looking electric fan here seems to bring the design into a tie.

   Even though we were not so delighted with the snack we had, I'd still recommend this place, and I would definitely bring my relatives who will be visiting the Philippines soon here.


  1. Wow, sarap ng foods! Too bad I haven't tried that. The next time I visit Nuvali,I'll definitely eat at Crisostomo. Enjoyed feeding the fish there..

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