Tea Time



Iskina Cebu – Lechon in Singapore

I had this insatiable craving for lechon, or roasted pig.  Lechon is a Filipino dish that came from the Spanish influence in my country.  The pig’s innards are discarded and herbs and spices are placed inside the pig before the entire pig is roasted over an open flame.

I have been looking for a good lechon place here in Singapore and I think I found one that I’ll come back to one of these days.

The place is called Iskina Cebu.  The lechon is of the Cebu style of cooking lechon which is believed to be the best type of lechon in the Philippines.

Iskina Cebu is located at Paya Lebar right across the Paya Lebar MRT.  The exact address is:

Geylang East Industrial Estate, 1016 Geylang East Avenue 3 389731

Unfortunately, when I arrived there around 1pm, they have already ran out of their original Cebu lechon.  Only the spicy kind was left.  Since I didn’t want the day to be a waste I decided to try the spicy Cebu lechon.  It was S$10 worth.

Iskana Cebu Spicy Lechone Meal - S$10

Iskina Cebu Spicy Lechon Meal – S$10

I loved the taste of it.  In fact, I liked it more than the lechon I tasted from Zubuchon and CBT in Cebu.  The pig’s skin was crispy and so tasty.  The serving was also well worth the S$10 I gave for a meal in a hawker.

The only complaint I had was that the part of the pig I got was a bit too fatty.  After a few mins my plate was oily.  If you are watching your weight that is a big NO NO.  But I told myself, sometimes you just have to enjoy life and risk life at the same time – so what the heck I won’t eat it everyday anyway.

I highly recommend Iskina Cebu not only to my fellow countrymen but to Singaporeans and other expats in Singapore who love pork.  It’s cheaper than going back to the Philippines just to get a taste of lechon – one of the Pinoy delicacies that Anthony Bourdain loved.

Typhoon Haiyan and the Outpouring of Help from Different Countries

Over the weekend the Philippines again saw another natural calamity, at least I hope it is (will get there in a few seconds).  Fresh from a 7.3 earthquake, the same general region of the country now experienced the most powerful typhoon ever in recorded history in the form of Typhoon Haiyan, or locally known as Yolanda.  The immense power of the wind that this monster carried dwarfed those of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina that struck the US in the past.

Is it a sign that Mother Nature is now revolting against us humans because of how we have treated planet Earth?  In the same week, it was reported that the Western Black Rhino became extinct.

Or is this man made as per the video below?  This is why I mentioned earlier that “at least I hope it is” a natural calamity.

Take note in the YouTube video above the person mentioned he is expecting an earthquake.  Check this out – a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck Japan.

Regardless if this calamity is man made or still natural I am happy to see that the Philippines is receiving a lot of aid from all over the world, including Singapore.

Singapore is my second home.  I’ve been here for 8 years living among the Singaporeans and other nationalities that live, work and play in this small but great country.  My time here in this great country might be short now but I am truly and ultimately proud to have called it my second home.  This country will have a very special place in my heart.

In the Strait Times article I have linked to, I was saddened to have read that three young Singaporeans were among those who are missing.  I hope that they cannot just be contacted right now much like majority of the entire region affected by this superstorm.  Globe and Smart, mobile companies in the Philippines, have already established temporary cell sites to replace those that were destroyed by the storm.  I hope these girls can somehow find a way to get in touch with their families through these cell sites.  Viber has also made it possible for those in the Philippines to contact their loved ones outside of the country for free.  If these girls have Viber I hope they can contact their relatives here in Singapore.

Last I heard electricity is still an issue (I may be wrong here – I am so far unable to find articles or news that mention this – only from a friend who has family members in the affected zone).  That sucks because even if you have cell sites if your cellphone has no power how will you be able to use it.  I hope Globe and Smart brought with them cellphones for families to use to contact their loved ones inside and outside of the affected areas.

Singapore is lucky to not be in a region of the world that encounters these superstorms.  I hope that this great country will never experience these types of calamities.  I, however, have a bad feeling that someday Singapore will see this type of natural calamities come to her shore.  Normally, the southern part (Mindanao) of the Philippines is free from typhoons but in the recent years more and more typhoons are going nearer to the equator.  My mom, a native of Mindanao, noticed this as well.  I hope we don’t see a time that typhoons are present on the equator.

If this ever happens I will surely return the help that this country gave my countrymen in my country’s time of need.

Again, to Singapore and to the rest of the world, thank you for helping my country!  I may not have any loved ones in the affected areas but as a Filipino in general I say “maraming salamat”!

Esplanade Bridge, Singapore – My Happy Place

The Esplanade Bridge is one of my favorite places in Singapore.  It is actually my happy place.  Every time I am near this bridge I make sure I go and check it out.  It’s my happy place because it brings me back to a time when my life was simpler, basically good memories.

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