Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Beef Tapa and Maddie's Visit to the Philippines Part 2

Beef Tapa

Filipinos sometimes like to start their day with a hearty breakfast of leftover rice sometimes fried in garlic, fried egg and some kind of meat. Filipino sausage called longaniza, tocino and tapa come to mind as some of the meat that we eat for breakfast.  When I stayed at my brother's house during my recent visit to the Philippines Pinky, my brother Benjie's wife, served tapa prepared by her mother, Angie Singson, for some of my breakfasts.  I loved it and I was surprised at how simple it was to prepare.  Just three ingredients!  The beef, sugar and salt.  She gave me the right proportion of these last two ingredients which I am sharing with you in the recipe at the end of this post. Other recipes online add other ingredients like garlic, soy sauce and calamansi, a Filipino citrus.  For me I did not miss any of these in the tapa I ate at my brother's house.  

The picture above shows the breakfast of beef  tapa served at the Pancake House we ate at on our way to Cavite and Tagaytay when Maddie, Matt and Wendy visited the Philippines.  Below are my accounts of their visit to the Philippines which include their trip to Cavite and Tagaytay on Day 2 plus their trip to Villa Escudero Plantation on Day 3.  

Day 2 Cavite and Tagaytay


When my brother Benjie asked Matt, my son-on-law, what he wanted to see or do in the Philippines, at the top of his list was to play golf.  My brother happened to have an office mate, Alex, whose wife was a member of Orchard Country Club and Golf Course.  We went there on the second day of Matt, Wendy and Maddie's visit to the Philippines.  Below are the pictures taken of the trip to Cavite where the Orchard Gold Course was located.

We stopped at the Pancake House on the way to Cavite.  Clockwise from left bottom, Benjie, Matt, Maddie, Wendy, Roxanne, Pinky and Alex.

The waiter at the Pancake House posing with his cool mohawk.

Roxanne and Maddie

Wendy, Matt and Maddie in front of the Orchard gold course.

Maddie at the minnie house at the play ground at the Orchard Club House.

Maddie so happy.

Wendy and Maddie
We had halo halo inside a buco for dessert at the clubhouse.  The halo halo is topped with ube ice cream.  Heavenly.  Halo halo became the unforgettable dessert of Matt, Wendy and Maddie while in the Philippines.  It has all kinds of goodies in it like sweetened red beans, sweetened coconut, pinipig or crispy rice, leche flan all mixed together with grated ice doused with evaporated milk.  I need to post a recipe of this in the future.


While Matt played golf with Alex and Alex's friend,  Benjie took us to Tagaytay to eat at Pamana Restaurant owned by the Ongpauco's of the Barrio Fiesta Restaurant fame.  The restaurant is housed in an old Spanish type house. The Filipino food served was amazing.  I have previously blogged about the experience we had at Pamana in a past post.  I also have posted about Tagaytay a favorite tourist destination in the Philippines and an area where some Filipinos choose to build weekend homes.  The location of Tagaytay offers the visitors or residents a beautiful view of nature including the world famous Taal Volcano.  The weather at Tagaytay is much cooler than the adjoining cities of Manila and its suburbs which are 2 hours away thus its reputation for a great get away for some folks from the city.

Taal Volcano 
I, Wendy and Maddie pose for a photo with the Taal Volcano at the background.  This was taken at the top floor of the Pamana Restaurant.

The Pamana Restaurant, Tagaytay city.  

Maddie sitting like a queen in this comfy native chair.

Maddie and her mom, Wendy

The sumptuous array of food including bulalo, crispy pata and Bicol Express vegetables, a spicy dish.

Clockwise from bottom left:  Roxanne, Pinky, me, Wendy with Maddie and Benjie.

Maddie poses in a frame at the restaurant.

Another look at the halo halo. 

Day 3 Villa Escudero Plantations

I wanted Matt, Wendy and Maddie to experience the Philippine culture in a beautiful rural setting so I decided that they visit the Villa Escudero Plantations.  It is a 2000 ares working coconut plantation and hacienda located in San Pablo, Laguna province on the border of Quezon province.  The plantation is also a resort that offers village tours, museum tour, food and accommodations.  We did a day trip and it took us more than two hours from where we were staying in Quezon City to get there.  

On our way to the plantation, we had a snack break at Chow King fast food place.  I love this place which offers Chinese dumplings, soup and other dishes plus halo halo.

Matt with Maddie at Chow King.

The entrance to Villa Escudero.  At the background is the museum which features collections of ornate carosas or floats with life sized religioius statues.  The cultural collections are eclectic featuring Filipino attires by the owners of the plantation and also famous people in the Philippines as well as artifacts collected by the Escudero family.

One of the highlights of the visit at this beautiful plantation was the ride on a carabao drawn buggy complete with a person serenading you with Filipino music during the tour of the village.  

The plantation had a swimming pool where Maddie made friends with another child.

My favorite activity at Villa Escudero when I visit there is the lunch offered at the waterfall restaurant. Guests plod through calf deep water coming from a waterfall to get to their table where they eat the delicious lunch consisting of Filipino food. All the while their feet are soaked in water during lunch.  Lovely!

We went home tired but happy.  We did have buco on the way home which I did not have a picture of.  Plus we bought buco pie which is a famous take home food souvenir from the area.

Here is the recipe of Filipino Beef Tapa which I could not help salivating over every time I looked at the photo of the breakfast we had on the way to Cavite and Tagaytay.  You will like this Filipino version of Beef Jerky.

Filipino Beef Tapa 


  • 3 parts sugar
  • 1 part salt
  • beef sirloin, thinly cut 
  • oil for frying
Mix the first three ingredients in a ziplock plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for 30  minutes or longer. You can also store the mixture in the freezer until ready to fry.  Fry in oil heated to medium heat till cooked. You can serve with rice, fried egg and a side of chopped tomatoes and cucumber.  You can dip the beef tapa also in vinegar with fresh chili pepper.

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