Sunday, February 23, 2014

Life is a Metamorphosis



When learning how to drive is knowing the car itself. The interior and the exterior of a simple car. Furthermore, having an expensive car like Ferrari. If the car is is in manual stick-shift, one must know the first gear, second gear, third gear and the fourth gear. Sometimes, knowing if there is another faster gear.Then, the experience of the amazing death race of one's life in driving. From learning how to drive and practicing it almost every day, an individual is ready for a test drive and into the journey of a long road trip both being offensive and defensive driver. The road of dreams to the unknown will be an adventure.

The story above is a related to many stories to us such topics like studying our academic excellence to pursue the dream career, reaching to the corporate ladder to the road of fame and being famous, or until the end of the road which is in reality is just waiting there silently like a thief.

We take our life as baby steps at a time. Finishing one's track in education, having a prestigious career and the world is in your hands. However, you will see that this is not a good life. There is a the not so good at all. Seeing the deception and not knowing anymore what is right and wrong especially in business. The idealism of everything is fine is just an illusion. The fact of reality is that in dealing the only path where everything is for the business without principles.

Some people changed their career but it is not an easy to the transition and to the fear of the unknown is unpredictable. From a well paying job of fame and fortune, to the adjustment of a simple things of having that kind of a career path. Often times, asking the right questions to the elders for their wisdom will provide us the view of living it right, simple and meaningful.

As man's nature is in the destructive side. Still, we have hope for a good challenge of adventure. Require to have all senses in the picture, a dash of emotions and more on the alertness of intellect in analyzing the environment before having that decision. Wishing for a better life and living it to the fullest. 

There is hope for us all. Feelings does not help at all. A need to think is better than reacting to the situation at hand. Therefore, we could take that road trip with a conscience of a simple but more improve life with a purpose. There is a plan for all of us. Have faith and believe that we can make a difference. We only live this life only once, just like a cycle of a butterfly, the journey of flight in life.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nothing is Ever What It Seems



        There was once a woman who loved someone with all her heart and soul. Praying that someday this man of her dreams will also feel the same way. However, one day, the dream came through. This man declared his love to her and woe her. One thing lead to another that they became a couple, even if only for a short while. In time, the true colors of this man that she loved was not meant to be. A broken heart came crashing through to her veins until this dream of love went to the darkness of nightmare. Despair and sadness overwhelmed to the entire being of this woman. Depression that may lead to a tragic ending.


Typical. Life is most of the time is "Nothing is Ever What It Seems." In this short story as an example above, even in work, relationships or the people around us, we could always relate ourselves in this quotation. In reality, it means that we should not take things we see, hear, taste, touch, smell or our senses at face value. We must really know people's actions and their true intentions in our lives for having the essence of evidence that falls flat on our faces. In other words, the explanation that everything can't be absolutely trusted at face value. 

We try to look at things differently. However, people do not trust easily. Maybe because of our nature of being destructive and to destroy whatever is in our path even gravely hurt people in our expense. Lucky, we, the Filipinos, have the sense of values in our hearts and that we fear the consequences of our actions. That is why some people react in what we acted on a particular situation. Sometimes, we have to rely both on our instincts and intuition for the right decision for alertness and never let our guard down. Or else, our weaknesses will lead us in bad judgement. 

In conclusion, "Nothing is Ever What It Seems" in life and that we could always pray for the good things that will happen in the future. There will always be KARMA.

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day




Have you ever heard that the old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Actually, our parents and grandparents are absolutely correct. Scientifically, the food that we eat is the main source of energy or that fuel our bodies and thus, not to have a grumpy bad day in the entire day. Remember that breakfast is defined as breaking the fast from our usual sleeping hours where our whole body needs to rejuvenate from the previous night.   

It is a fact and not a fiction that we encounter sometimes or most of the time, having a bad day if we did not have sufficient breakfast in our bodies. The fact that breakfast has an effect on the metabolism rate in burning our calories especially in the morning which provides us of having a good or even a great day ahead of us. However, if we skip breakfast, our body tells us in the next meal which is a snack or lunch time will try to process the food consumption longer onto those nutrients like calories where they will not burn right away. That is why, either a person will get sick such as ulcer or the feeling of laziness that will tend to slow down your mind and body. Also, studies shown that skipping breakfast will gain more in the the body weight because the consumption of food will increase to suffice the hunger. Likewise, in knowing this, it will lead to having a bad day especially for a woman.

So when you wake up, listen to your body. You will always have time to eat breakfast. It does not hurt that much. All in all, remind yourself to eat breakfast because breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca


Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is literally "whore's style spaghetti" in Italian. However, they want to eat this dish because it is inexpensive to cook Puttanesca. Somehow, this Italian pasta dish is a tangy, somewhat salty in taste. This dish is invented in the mid-20th century in South Italy. Basically, the ingredients are spaghetti, anchovies, tomatoes, olive oil, olives, capers and garlic as you can see in the picture above.

This weekend, I cooked Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. I cannot go out due to the continuous heavy rains. Thanks to Typhoon Odette.

This Southern Italian cuisine, Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is typical to eat with white or red wine. If you desire having to have a light cheese afterwards to finish the wine. Buon appetito or bon app├ętit and in otherwords in English "have a good appetite" everyone.

Ciao!

Friday, August 30, 2013

I AM PROUD TO BE A MARTIAL LAW BABY


In 1972, I was still in my mother's womb when that happened. Almost three months then that I will face the world with unknown experiences to come. When I was growing up, my parents told me that we are under Martial Law. I thought at that moment that everywhere is Martial Law. It is equals to curfew hours at night and that I have to sleep early. Can you blame me for thinking that way? They didn't explain the entire picture to me of what was happening around. They tried to sheltered me as a child growing up that everything is normal and I have to follow the rules and regulations all the time. 

The only thing that I am anger with President Marcos was he cancelled Voltes V. Voltes V was a Japanese cartoon anime popular to my generation. He thought that it inflicting a revolution to the minds of the children. The innocence of childhood remains.

In 1986, my batch and I will graduate in Grade 7 in St. Scholastica's College, Manila. We were known as "the Notorious Batch" due to the mass cheating incident. A re-section in the entire Grade 7. The Grade School Department thought that it will be a good thing to do that. Unfortunately, it was a totally not a good thing. As a Batch, we became united and known to be infamous. Our High School batch of 1990, we will be hosting our "St. Scho HS 1990 Silver Jubilee" in 2015, after 25 years since high school graduation.

At that time of the 1986, in St. Scholastica's College, they invited Cory Aquino (grade school Alumna) and there were forums almost everyday about the issues before and after the EDSA Revolution. The Dictatorship will fall under the Marcos regime.

In 2001, my mother and I went to EDSA II. Also, Scholastica's College,Manila participated there. At that time, I was studying my second college major course, Bachelor in Music, Music Education with Piano Principal there and I went with the Benedictine Nuns and Kulasas. You could feel the same grievances of the people at EDSA.

In 2013, My mother, my husband, Raffy and I went to Luneta to count our signature votes in petition to the ABOLISHED OF THE PORK BARREL at the Million People March held in August 26, 2013 celebrating National Heroes Day. . It was a festive mode and everyone is there. You could feel the sense of anger of the people. As a tax payer, I am disappointed with the Philippine government of how they are fooling us, the taxpayers, the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) and the People Filipino  in spending the money for their own personal expenses. What a P10 Billion Pork Barrel Scam! This is just one of the scams reported in the media.

I am proud to be a Martial Law Baby and proud of my generation because we are still here in our 40's and trying to make a difference. We observed of what is happening around us. When we are needed to make a stand of what is right, we are there to support and be counted especially change for the better good. That is why, I am proud to be a Martial Law Baby!!!

I was there as one of the witnessed with the people in protest to Abolish the Pork Barrel.




HISTORY THROUGH EVENTS OF TIME IN THE PHILIPPINES


It was the time of President Marcos declared Martial Law or Proclamation No. 1081, September 21, 1972 midnight, from 1972 to 1981 to suppress increasing civil strife and the threat of communist takeover following a series of bombings in Manila especially from the time of the Plaza Miranda bombing until the said proclamation. 


The Proclamation read in part: (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_law_in_the_Philippines)

" My countrymen, as of the twenty-first of this month, I signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law ..... " - Ferdinand Marcos, September 21, 1921.


In January 17, 1981, President Marcos lifted Martial Law. After two years, in August 21, 1983, Ninoy Aquino as assassinated at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport at that time, now it is known for Ninoy Aquino International Airport. People went out to the streets for constant protest and rallies especially when Aquino's interment going to the Manila Memorial cemetery in Sucat. Those were the days that turned into months and into years with the series of demonstrations in the Philippines.

After three years, Marcos was under pressured and cornered in the international media and broke out the news that there will be a Snap Elections, 1986. Cory Aquino, the wife of Ninoy went against Marcos and both of them won the in the Presidential elections. The people demonstrated rallies especially in Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or commonly known as EDSA from February 22 to 25, 1986. There were over two million Filipino civilian people there  including the military and the religious groups that led by the late Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Archbishop of Manila at that time.Those days were known as the People Power Revolution or the EDSA Revolution in 1986. Marcos flee the country and exiled at Hawaii. Cory Aquino became the first woman president of the Philippines. She became the symbol as "the Mother of Democracy."

The Marcoses family came back in 1991. At present they are in the political scene namely the former First Lady Imelda Marcos is Ilocos Norte's second district congresswoman, Governor Imelda "Imee" Marcos in Ilocos Norte and Senator Ferndinand "Bong Bong " Marcos, Jr.

The EDSA People Power of 2001 or EDSA II was also a four-day political event from January 17-20, 2001. It is also a peaceful revolution ousted President Joseph Estrada. He was sentenced by the Sandiganbayan for plunder. And Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the incumbent Vice President at that time and became the second woman president of the Philippines. 

In October 26, 2007 Joseph Estrada was released after almost seven years of detention. Now, he is the major of Manila. While, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after being the 14th President of the Philippines, she is currently the Congresswoman of the second district of Pampanga. However, she was arrested for criminal charges for electoral fraud or sabotage and presently in hospital's arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.


Million People March, August 26, 2013

Recently, in August 26, 2013, there was a call for Million People March as a protest to the Abolition of the Pork Barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF, political transparency and accountability due to the public anger of the Pork Barrel Scam and political corruption. This event was known in the social media like Facebook and Twitter particularly, in a Facebook page entitled "Abolish Pork Barrel" by Arnold Pedrigal in the Facebook page Power ng Pinoy. One of the organizers is Peachy Rallonza-Bretana, said said that there is no main group coordinating the protest and described it as "snowballing at great speed." People were asked to dress in white as a neutral color that reflected the protest's non-partisan and decentralized nature.(Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million_People_March). 

It was held at Luneta Park or Rizal Park particularly in the Quirino Grand Stand in Manila. Overwhelming, also protests held  in other cities in the Philippines including Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, Dagupan, Digos, Dumaguete, Iligan City, Kidapawan City, Legazpi, Naga City, Puerto Princessa, Tacloban, Tagbilaran City, Zamboanga City and in the province of Negros Occidental.  and Filipinos all over the world or the OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) participated in the Million People March including gatherings held in Dammam and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Geneva, Bangkok, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York in the United States of America, Hongkong SAR, Canada, Taiwan, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates. (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million_People_March).

Archbishop of Manila Luis AntonioCardinal Tagle including other religious groups appeared in the protests. His surprise appearance at the protests and his speech condemning those who ignorant of the poor helped stoke protesters' anger and at the corrupt officials.  (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million_People_March).

File:Million People March in Luneta against Pork Barrel 19 Surprise Appearance of Cardinal Tagle.JPG


Remember, we are 97 million people here in the Philippines alone plus millions of OFWs around the world, the proposed P2.268 Trillion national budget for the next year and the PDAF has an allocation of P25.2 billion alone according to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. (Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/473637/pork-barrel-stays-in-2014-budget-says-abad#ixzz2dVP4qpqi )



Years passed, thinking that the Philippine government will change for the better and hoping for improvements for the people. We have seen the changed of the characters in our leaders but the people will still be people of mass destruction of the which is still in our roots such as corruption, hunger for power and greedy for wealth. Since our ancient history as a Filipino people, we have observed how our leaders lead us to a direction with promises and no where to go but only to survive on our own. 

If you will noticed the ending saga of this story, sometimes you will think that "it is just a script" and people are being fooled by many especially with money and power. The only thing that we can do as a Filipino is to pray and observed of what will happen next. Remember as a Filipino people, we have proven in time and again that we have the power to unite and the government should listen to the people in our democratic ways.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Philippine Street Foods in the City: Balut

Balut

Balut or Penoy Kwek Kwek

One Day Old Chick

Filipinos love to eat. For example, breakfast (6:30 am) , coffee break (10:00 am), lunch (12:00 noon), merienda (4:00 pm),  dinner (7:00 pm) and midnight snack (12:00 midnight). No doubt about it the we really love to eat. Most of the time, we seek for Filipino Street Foods.

The ultimate Filipino street food that is likewise a challenge both for other Filipinos (who does not want to try this) and even foreigners are our famous Balut. Balut is a duck embryo or duck fetus or the unborn duck or even the infamous and one of the most popular "weird" foods in the world.

Nowadays, Balut can be eaten as appetizer or snack food or the most famous one is a night food. I  tried to cook it Adobong Balut.  Balut or Penoy Kwek-Kwek  coated in orange flour fried in oil and we eat it with cucumbers, onions, hot red pepper, salt and vinegar. One Day Old Chick is cook in deep fry oil. Both, Balut or Penoy Kwek Kwek and One Day Old Chick, I eat them in merienda time. Whenever Manong Balut shouts at night in the streets that I want to have Balut with vinegar and salt. Wow!!! I felt energized. There is a Filipino saying that "pagkumain ka ng balut, ito ay nagpapalakas ng tuhod." (If you eat Balut, it strengthens the knees.)

"Balut!!!     Balut!!!    Balut!!!"    Ha?!? What time is it already? Its eating time again.

A FRIENDLY REMIND: Please kindly check your cholesterol if you will eat more than one Balut a day.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Champorado at Tuyo


Champorado at Tuyo is a combination where our foreigner friends cannot comprehend. This is one meal combination where Filipinos likes to eat in breakfast time or especially in this rainy season. 


Champorado is a sweet chocolate rice porridge. Tuyo is dried salty fish. These two are partners in crime..heehee. Well, nothing beats the sweet and salty when they’re eaten together. What you do is put flakes of the fish on top of your Champorado, so that when you eat a spoonful of it, you take a flake of the fish.
Champorado is traditionally made by boiling sticky rice with cocoa powder, milk and of course sugar to make it taste sweeter. It is usually served hot during breakfast but it can be also be served cold. It was like eating dark chocolate porridge….. and with swirls of evaporated milk– it was heaven in a bowl! 


I really enjoy eating this meal combination. At first, I cannot imagine the taste of Champorado with Tuyo or sweet chocolate rice porridge with  evaporated milk and dried salty fish. However, I like to discover the many testimonies of my friends and relatives about it. So, I gave it a try and every time it is rainy particularly in the morning, I request for Champorado and Tuyo.

Really, as the article above says that "it was heaven in a bowl!." Or I will rephrase it, truly this is a food for the anitos  or the ancient Indio or Filipino Gods and Goddesses.

Happy eating every one!!!

Presenting the Filipino National Dish: Is it Sinigang or Adobo?

Sinigang na Baboy

Adobo

Sunday is the time, as far that I could remember that my Grandmother (mother side) or I called her Nanay (means mother in English) told me that Sunday is family day especially at lunch time. Also, she told me that there should be soup aside from the usually meal, side dish, rice and desserts either fruits or delicacies that we have in the dining table. The family should be eating together after having our Sunday Catholic Mass.This is now a tradition with my mother and my husband that Nanay passed on to me.Thinking about her us that I truly missed her. She is the one who taught me how to cook. Maybe it is in my genes to really love to eat any kind of food. Anyway, it is Sunday today and we have my favorite which is Sinigang na Baboy.

Come to think of it, what is the true Filipino cuisine that we are known for? The Japanese have their Sushi.The Koreans are known for Kimchi. The Americans introduced to us sandwiches. The Chinese influenced their Pansit noodles.Last but not the least in my list of international food cuisines, the Italians acquainted us towards Pasta. Of course, the Spanish led us to eat more on the stews and the sauces with oil meats. So, what is the official National Filipino Dish of the Philippines?

They say it is either Sinigang or Adobo? I researched about it and talked to people. It is usually a draw. Some people likes Sinigang and others say Adobo. Likewise, I am now more confused because I really like the two. Besides, I  will just share two articles about Sinigang or Adobo? 


The Philippines has an official 7,107 islands in our three major islands namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Anyhow, we have different styles of cooking Sinigang and Adobo. I traveled around and discovered that Filipinos have different kinds of cooking manner for our Filipino dishes not just for Sinigang or Adobo alone. Maybe because of our different taste for food. However, we really love to eat particularly breakfast, snack, lunch, merienda, dinner and midnight snack. No wonder that eating is the Filipino past time.

Anyway, Sinigang or Adobo is both delicious all I need now is steaming rice to go with it. Happy eating everyone.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Life Of A Flower by Sampy Nepomuceno


        On a hot summer day, there is a flower waking from its pot. The heat of the sun is making the flower weak.

        “Oh, mighty sun, why are you giving me so much heat?” the flower asked.

        The sun replied, “My little flower. I only give you light for energy.”

        “But, mighty sun, my soil in this pot is beginning to dry up.” The flower said.

        The sun did not listen to the flower pleading. It just continues to let its rays into the land. While, the flower is trying to hide from the sun because it feels steaming hot.

        Then, a butterfly went to the flower to taste its sweet nectar and helps the flower collects the pollen to its stigma.

       “Hello, my precious flower. Why do you look so gloomy?” asked the butterfly.

        “Hi, butterfly. The mighty sun did not try to listen to me when it gives energy which is too much for me now. The soil is drying up and I need water to my roots.” the flower replied.

        Suddenly, an ugly worm is eating the roots of the flower. The butterfly tries to scare the worm but it is too strong. Blow after blow between the butterfly and the worm. The sad thing though, the flower is getting weaker every minute. A little carbon dioxide it inhales and oxygen it exhales more. Furthermore, the sun is giving so much heat.

        Then, it started to rain hard, so, the ugly worm began to drown from too much water and washed away from the flower’s roots. The butterfly hides under the flower from the heavy pour of rain. After the rain, the butterfly thanks the flower.

        Afterwards, the butterfly talks to the sun. “Please stop giving extreme heat to the flower. Maybe just moderate temperature.”

        The sun agrees to the suggestion of the butterfly because the sun realizes that the flower almost died for too much light energy.

        After seeing what happened, the butterfly thanks the sun and leave.

        The flower lives and it blossom to become a fruit.

Please NOTE: This is an original short story by Sampy Nepomuceno