Thursday, June 24, 2021

Roberto's SIOPAO at Iloilo's Calle Real


Filled with exotic pork adobo, egg ad ham chinese sausage, Roberto's King siopao is something not to miss when you visit Iloilo city

Infront of Roberto's at Calle Real

I am sure everyone has his/her favorite siopao. During my younger years when my Dad was still with us, we were exposed to Mamonluk siopao. During my college years, our favorite was Kowloon's siopao - jumbo, asado, pork, longaniza and more. Of course, there are varieties of siopao from other restos like Chowking, Ling Nam, Causeway and more. 

When I visited Iloilo city's Calle Real - the CBD Heritage zone of Iloilo for our CHERISH Project, our host, Dr. Bimbo Ibabao of UPV, made sure that we pass by at Roberto's so that we can taste the special siopao. We (from Metro Manila) are not aware of Roberto's so we are not excited. But Dr. Bimbo, lined-up and bought the siopao for take-out and we were returning to Manila so we were able to taste Roberto's siopao only at the airport. SURPRISE! Roberto's siopao is indeed very good. It has tasty fillings and the size is generous and the price is reasonable. So whenever, I visit Iloilo City, I made sure that I have a take home of Roberto's Siopao. 

Roberto's siopao comes in four varieties - each variety has a unique or extra filling like longaniza, egg.  The varieties are Pork Adobo with egg, Jumbo is a pork adobo with egg plus  Chinese sausage chicken, Queen (Pork Chinese Adobo with egg plus bacon) and King (Pork Chinese adobo with egg plus Ham-Chinese sausage). And which variety is my favorite among the four? I like them all. Roberto's siopao is one of a kind. Roberto's siopao beats the other siopao's that I know.  Roberto's siopao is part of the culture of Iloilo and I hope the owners will continue to serve the same quality of siopao for the future generations.

Another secret of Iloilo Calle Real Heritage zone is the Buho Bakery. "Buho" means hole in the wall. Indeed the bakery has a hole in the wall to serve customers during the night since it is open 24 hours. 

The Hole in the Wall of Buho Bakery

Sample pastry from Buho - tasty and affordable

When in Iloilo City, make sure you visit Calle Real Heritage Zone and you will see the heritage buildings of Iloilo. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Geof's "A Travelogue of Modern Architecture"

Jan Geoffrey aka "GEOF" for short, our son will graduate at Ateneo de Manila University with a degree on Bachelor of Fine Arts Major in Information Design this year 2021. "Information Design roots its relevance in problem solving through the effective presentation of relevant information so that it can best be received, understood, and utilized by a target audience. The program provides its students with opportunities to develop their own skills in design which they are tasked to use in attaining specific goals that can aid personal growth, growth in industry, and change in society." 

Geof has a very imaginative and creative mind even when he was a child. He designed the logo or banner  for their Grade 1 class at Ateneo. Recently, I just found out his work posted at, website where artists and digital designers exhibit their works. One of his exhibits is "A Travelogue of Modern Architecture" and in this set of digital designs, he presented landmarks he had visited during our out-of-the country vacation trips. 

Exhibit 1 - Atomium 

The Atomium is a landmark building in Brussels, (Belgium), originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair Expo '58. "It stands 102 metres (335 ft) tall. Its nine 18-metre-diameter (59 ft) stainless steel clad spheres are connected in the shape of a unit cell that could represent an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Tubes connecting the spheres enclose stairs, escalators and an elevator (in the central, vertical tube) to allow access to the five habitable spheres, which contain exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere includes a restaurant which has a panoramic view of Brussels." - Wikipedia

 It was 2017, when our family travelled to Belgium and our friends, Art and Gina Fabia toured us around Brussels and the Atomium was one of the landmarks that we visited. Nearby, we also visited the Mini-Europe museum.

The Atomium

With Art Fabia
Atomium, Brussels, Belgium (June 2017)

Exhibit 2 - Berlin Tower

“Soaring 368 metres into the sky, Berlin's TV Tower is the city's most visible landmark. But the tower on Alexanderplatz is not just literally a must-see sight, it is also the highest building in Europe open to the general public. The Berlin TV Tower was inaugurated on 3 October 1969 – shortly before East Germany held its twentieth anniversary celebrations. In 1979, during the days of East Germany, the TV Tower was already classified as a heritage building. Today, it welcomes over one million visitors annually from 86 countries. The viewing platform, over 200 metres up, offers spectacular views of this bustling city with its heady mix of history, cutting edge modernity and change. The TV Tower’s aptly named Panorama Bar and revolving Sphere Restaurant are also ideal places to linger over drinks and refreshments and enjoy the breathtaking views.” -

In our EU trip in 2017, Berlin, Germany was one of our itinerary. We just had a photo opportunity with the Berlin Tower at the background. Berlin has interesting tourist attractions including the Checkpoint Charlie where the Berlin wall used to divide East and West Germany. 

Berlin Tower 

Exhibit 3 - Fukuoka Tower 

Fukuoka Tower is “a 234-metre (768 ft) tall tower located in the Momochihama area of Fukuoka, Japan. It is the tallest seaside tower in Japan. The highest observation deck at 123m has a 360 degree view of the surrounding area, the most popular time to visit is at sunset.” - Wikipedia

Incidentally, it was also in 2017, this time July, when I stayed for about two weeks at Kyushu University for the AUN/SEED-Net visiting researcher grant. My family joined me in the last five days. One of the landmarks we visited was the Fukuoka Tower. In the vicinity, is the Fukuoka Citizens' Disaster Prevention Center where we experienced virtual simulations of fire, wind and earthquake hazards. Awesome!

Fukuoka Tower

Fukuoka Tower (2017)