Simplify and breathe…dig into your childhood treats….”
When we were growing up, my sister and I tagged along with our father to his office in Makati when school was out. The day was long, but we kept ourselves busy by reading – our bags were crammed with books, coloring books and crayons. At the end of day, my father would treat us to ice cream before picking up our mother from her office. Depending on where we were at that time, the choice for ice cream treats was a tossup between Coney Island and Magnolia. Then when Dairy Queen entered the Philippines, it was an indulgence I looked forward to. We’d always go to the big one at Fiesta Carnival in Cubao and plough into the chocolate soft-serve sundae.
Jollibee and McDonald’s became special childhood treat venues when Dairy Queen suddenly disappeared. It wasn’t so much for the burgers that we went to the local (Jollibee) and foreign (McDonald’s) fast food joints, but more for the soft-serve chocolate sundae, milkshakes and, at times, the fries. Red Ribbon, the rival pastry shop of the ubiquitous Goldilocks, was added to our venue list, which we frequented for chocolate cake, ube cake, the soft, buttery and sugary taisan and empanada. Naturally, despite the pastry rivalry, Goldilocks was also part of the list especially for its brazo de mercedes, mamon and ensaymada.
Although now way into adulthood, I still go back to my childhood treats whenever I’m in the Philippines. They bring me back to a place where all the problems and worries of the world are stopped by an invisible shield, and I can freely indulge in my thoughts and my treat. Digging into my childhood treat is almost as good as taking a leave of absence from the chaos of the world, the sadness of the past, frustration of the present and the uncertainty of the future. I step back in a world where hope springs eternal and jadedness is completely unheard of.
I’ve discovered new childhood treat venues that approximate the taste and feeling of the old ones back in the Philippines. Cold Stone Ice Creamery at Plaza Senayan in Jakarta was a place I savored a cup of vanilla ice cream drizzled with gooey caramel sauce and spruced up by slices of banana. Back in Singapore, it was a serendipitous find when a friend and I stumbled upon Marble Slab Creamery one Sunday afternoon.
Kiddie, Big Dipper or Original – those were choices of cup sizes at Marble Slab Creamery, an ice cream franchise that, said the pink-brown brochure, had its beginnings in Houston, Texas in 1983. I settled for a kiddie S’more – a delectable serving of chocolate Swiss ice cream with chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham biscuit. My gal pal went for a kiddie waffle cup of Smooth Mint Masterpiece or cool mint ice cream with chocolate sprinkles, mint candy and fudge.
Hello ice cream! Hola joy! Goodbye melancholy! Adios ghost of the Moor!
Marble Slab Creamery
201 Victoria Street #04-01
Iluma, Singapore 188067
Tel: +65 6884 5933