Monday, December 26, 2011

Giant Lantern Festival at Pampanga , Huhu, Without the Sisig

 My kids and I were shouting, "sisig, sisig," as hubby was patiently driving  along the friendship highway going to Marquee Mall, which was so heavily lined up with vehicles in slow-pace.     We all were so disappointed seeing all the places we planned to visit were all closed, of course they also need to celebrate  Christmas, DUH!   But I kind of expected it but hope was alive, till we kept on passing by each places, such as Aurely's Bakeshop (for the famous upside-down brazo de mercedez),  Jun Jun's Barbeque,  Razon's and what was worst was we made it to the fork road where it led us to the way going to Marquee Mall without having to spot Mely's Sisig and Everybody's Cafe.   Such places were foodies goes for a Pampanga's food trip and bloggers  brag about how exceptional  Filipino Cuisine is.

Bhogs have been akin to see the big lanterns from San Fernando, ever since we had our Baguio trip last November.   So we talked about going back and see for ourselves the "Ligligan Festival."  It is what they call their "parol" or Christmas lantern competition held every December.   We actually missed the festival though for it was last December 17.   However for public spectacle and tourism drive of Pampanga, they had this year's winners assembled at Marquee Mall.   It was only during the 25th and 26th of December.   We were truly blessed to have witnessed it and  though we got disappointed  not having our what supposedly  a Christmas Food trip, it was worth the travel seeing how Filipinos can be creative and innovative in a the most artistic and amusing way.
Sorry for the short video, it was a sample of how each of the four lanterns performed.   It was as if the lights danced with the music and every blink of the bulb was choreographed.
See how they were all amazed...By the time we got to Marquee Mall, people had stormed the plaza already and awaited the lighting of the winner lanterns.   My son said, "pano na tayo makakakain nyan?"  But not everyone was there to dine so there were ample tables inside restaurants such as Itallianni's, Gerry's Grill, Blackbeard's Seafoods, and NorthPark.   Bon Chon is yet to open though.   We chose t have dinner then at North Park since it is the perfect spot to see all the four lanterns and enjoy them while chowing down.  

 North Park has always been our family's choice next to KFC and Jollibee, well of course it is a pace that every parent have to go through, a suffrage of eating on almost every single "pasyal" with the kids at nonetheless Kiddie meal or Happy Meal.   In my case it has been a dreadful 14 years.   Good thing Jollibee adds up new items on the menu for people who are tired of eating the same chicken and sphag.
North Park always seize my dining moment to amaze my palate.   No strong spices or salty flavor.  Every dish is just properly seasoned and there are a lot of dishes to choose from, from meat to seafood to congee , noodles, and Asian desserts.
If you haven't been to any North Park Diners and would like to try it, make sure you get NP Fried rice with the signature sauce.   For me it is a complete meal in itself.   The staff will ask you if you want the sauce mixed or separately.  We always had it separate not to ruin the taste of the other dishes that we like to also go with the rice.  The Sauce can serve well as a soup or a viand.  It has shrimps, squid, pork cutlets,  tofu and the veggies.
Other best sellers are Lechon Macau.   Fried to crisp just the skin and  have the meat inside perfectly cooked to tender.  We also had the Manchurian Calamare.  Don't expect octopus rings on a heavy batter.  We forgot to take pictures of it, oh, well everyone got a slice right even before we decided to shot it.   My kids love the chewy squid just thinly breaded, very good with the radish salad and dark soy sauce that came with the Lechon Macau.

 This is one good choice my daughter Danielle had.  Lapu-Lapu Fillet with all the trimmings and sauce.  The thickened sauce with hoisin and oyster is just delish.  Other things we tried before were the Crispy Chicken fillet, which were like chicken pop corns, bite-sized fillets in really crispy breading with a hint of cinnamon.    Also try the Jelly Fish Salad and their Crispy Pancit.
So let me see now, are we still up to track the places which the famed Spanky Enriquez and Anton Diaz had made to mark the foodie Pampanga trail?  Of course!  Just don't know when again...And if anyone planned the same trip please be kind enough to tag me along...

A Blessed Christmas friends 
 A Prosperous Greeting and 
Love Beyond Compare for the Upcoming 2012 Year!


  1. hehehe...without sisig? but lots of yummy bites there.

  2. My sister loves their lechon Macau too!! I always go for the noodle soup esp. 3 kinds of mushroom with wholewheat noodles.

  3. A Merry Christmas to you too! I love Crispy Noodles and Salt and Peeper Squid at North Park. Yum! :)


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