MINISO Opens in General Santos City

ptember 8, 2017 was an exciting day for the people of General Santos City as we witnessed the grand opening of the popular Japanese fast fashion designer brand store, MINISO, in SM City Gensan ground level.

Excited shoppers eagerly checked on the things that they want to buy.  MINISO products are known for its quality and affordability which are in line with fashion and leisure.

MINISO’s budget-friendly products include creative home necessities, fashion accessories, health and beauty products, office supplies, stationery gifts, seasonal products and a whole lot more.  The store also updates their products every seven days.  Shop now at MINISO!

Chef Donita Rose’s Ginataang Tuna with Luyang Dilaw

General Santos City, the country’s Tuna Capital, just celebrated the much-anticipated 19th Tuna Festival (September 1-5, 2017).  It is an annual celebration that features different events and activities focusing on the tuna industry of the city as well as the promotion of peace in Mindanao.  One of the highlights of the festival is the different tuna dishes being prepared for everyone to enjoy.  Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil ambassador celebrity chef Donita Rose shared a heart-healthy recipe to the Generals last September 2 at KCC Mall Convention Center.

Chef Donita Rose’s Ginataang Tuna with Luyang Dilaw (servings: 6)

2 tbsp. salt in 2 cups of water

2 tbsp. Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil

1/2 kg Tuna Fillet, boneless

4 bay leaves

2 medium white onion, chopped

4 medium shallots, chopped

2 tbsp. garlic, minced

4 tbsp. ginger, grated

4 tbsp. turmeric, grated

2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, divided

4 tablespoons honey, divided in two portions

6 Green Chili Fingers, whole

Leeks, long strips for serving (soak in ice water to make it curl)

Cilantro for serving

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooked rice for serving


  1. Soak the tuna fillet in the brine solution for 10 minutes then drain on paper towels.
  2. Season tuna with a little salt and pepper then in a grill pan over high heat.
  3. Add 1 tbsp. Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil. Make sure to cook the fillet to medium rare only or until the center is still red. Set aside.
  4. In another large pan over medium heat, add another tbsp. of Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil.
  5. Sauté onions, shallots, garlic and ginger and cook. Stir often until golden brown and very fragrant.
  6. Add the turmeric and vinegar before throwing in the chili fingers and the bay leaves.
  7. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by about one-third.
  8. Add the coconut milk and stir a little before adding the tuna to the sauce. Reduce the sauce again to a thick consistency.
  9. Mix in 2 tbsp. of honey to balance acidity and more salt and pepper as needed. Transfer onto a serving plate then drizzle with the remaining honey.
  10. Top with a lot of leeks and cilantro bunched together and serve with hot rice! Adobo can be made 3 days ahead and can also be put in the freezer.
Everyone loved the delicious tuna dish that Chef Donita prepared and what I really liked is that it is a healthy meal.  She used Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil which contains Vitamin A and is packed with good fats like Omega 3 and 6 (I learned that compared to other brands, the Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil has the lowest amount of saturated fats). It is an oil that is highly versatile and imparts a neutral taste to almost all types of dishes.  Aside from being heart-healthy, Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil is also budget-friendly (perfect for moms like me). You can purchase it at a very affordable price and is available at different supermarkets.
Chef Donita will be touring around the country to promote more heart-healthy cooking ideas. Her next stop this October will be in Vigan for the Raniag Festival.  Watch out for her!
(Chef Donita with the SOX Bloggers)

Biko in Kiwi Land

Last school break, our family went to New Zealand to spend our summer vacation there.  It was our third time in this country and we are very grateful for the wonderful opportunity given to us to enjoy the beauty of Kiwi land.  We stayed for 3 months and we had the best vacation ever.

We spent most of our time in the South Island particularly in Nelson City.  There are few Filipinos living in this place. Sadly there is no Filipino restaurant in Nelson so if you crave for Filipino food, either you attend Pinoy parties or you cook. My daughter, Cache, loves Biko (a Filipino sticky rice cake) and she asked me make one for her.

I know how to bake cakes, cupcakes and cookies but I have not tried making “kakanin” desserts.  Here in the Philippines, if you crave for any local delicacies it is available everywhere and is very affordable.  So if we want to eat any kakanin, instead of cooking for hours I just go to my favorite native delicacy store and buy.  No sweat at all.

But it’s a different story when you are in a foreign land.  I had no choice but to cook Biko for my beloved daughter. Since it was my first time to make this sticky rice cake, I asked Google for help. I checked on several websites/blogs about biko recipes and I liked the one in Panlasang Pinoy.  I immediately purchased the needed ingredients from a nearby store and started cooking.


  • 2 cups glutinous rice (aka sticky rice or malagkit)
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • ½ tsp salt

First, I washed the glutinous rice and then let it soaked in water for 30 minutes. Then I cooked it using the rice cooker.

Second, I combined the coconut milk with brown sugar and salt in a big pan and cooked in low heat until the texture became thick. I guess this was the most tiring part because you have to stir the mixture constantly. Hello muscles. 🙂

Third, I added the cooked rice in the coconut milk and sugar mixture.  Be sure to mix it well. I continued cooking it until all the liquid evaporated.

I transferred the cooked biko in a glass baking sheet and then flattened the surface. After letting it cool for several minutes, I served it to my husband and daughter.  Thank God they liked it.  They said it was delicious and not too sweet.  The only comment they made was that the biko was a little overcooked.

I’m glad I took the challenge of making this special sticky rice cake to my family because they loved it and it made them happy.  I can say it was a successful cooking adventure for me.  I thought it was hard but making Biko was really easy except that it’s quite tiring from the constant stirring. Will I cook kakanin again? Yes but I guess not while I’m here (I’ll just buy from my suking tindahan of local delicacies).  I’ll make one when I’m in another country again. 🙂