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Archive for June, 2010


I’ve been blogging about Pres. Noynoy since yesterday, and these are  just tidbits I saw while watching the inauguration:

- Ninoy left Times St. at 9:45am on the dot and I admire that.

-According to the news anchors of ABS-CBN, he had burger patties and fried rice for breakfast, a simple fare for the next president. I saw VP Binay’s house earlier and breakfast was catered….haha!

- Stopping on red lights. Truly admirable and he is showing that discipline comes into play even through  a simple act as obeying traffic lights. setting an example is the best way to start a good governance.

-The historic walk to Malacanang at 10:25am with the two presidents,  shaking hands and smiling at the press people around. What could they be thinking?

-Riding together going to Luneta at the Presidential car.  I wonder what they talked about.

-The last farewell of outgoing  Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Although she is considered as the most unpopular president, I felt kind of  sad that she was saying goodbye.

-VP Jejomay Binay riding on his E-jeep.  Truly Filipino!

-It’s a virtual sea of yellow, the yellow color being the trademark of the Aquino family from the time Ninoy died until now.

-Charise Pempengco, our international celebrity singing the National anthem Lupang Hinirang, makes you proud to be Pinoy!

-Baby James waving at  the crowd.  Showbiz talaga ang dating :)

-The mini-concert led by the Apo Hiking Society, Ogie  Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Gary Valenciano, Christian Bautista , Noel Cabangon and the UP   Madrigal singers.

-Enrile reading  Proclamation of Aquino-Binay Victory at around 11:16am.  Pres. Noynoy ‘s parents must be smiling in their graves.

-DFA said that there were about 100 foreign dignitaries who attended the inauguration

-The  actual oath-taking done by the VP and the president, it’s the highlight of the event.

-The Inaugural  Speech –  I had goosebumps listening to Pres. Noynoy deliver it.

-The  trip back to  Malacanang, this time as the new President of the Philippines.

-Pres. Noynoy briefly stopping by the large portrait of his late mother, Pres. Cory Aquino.  I shed a tear or two watching that scene.

Bravo Pres. Noynoy!

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I have been glued to the TV screen since yesterday when Pres. Noynoy held a press conference  to announce  the new members of his cabinet.  Like every Filipino, who is aspiring for change, I am also very hopeful of the future.   I must admit that  I didn’t vote for Noynoy during the election. Like the rest of the voting populace, I felt that many of us were just riding on the popularity of his parents and that Noynoy would not be good enough to become the next president.   And I don’t really care about writing a political blog because I am not that interested in politics.  You have to get your facts right  to be credible.  But time and again, I write about the Aquino family,  I  am a fan, you see and I greatly admire the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino and  the late Pres. Cory Aquino.  For me, they are the embodiment of a what we call “true Filipinos” because of their unselfish love for our country.

Today  marks another event that is very significant to our country, the inaugural of a new president.  I was greatly touched by  Pres. Noynoy’s inaugural speech.  Delivered mostly in Pilipino, it makes me really proud to be Pinoy.  It was sincere, direct to the point and easy to grasp.  I believe that he spoke from the heart.  The thing is, we must not expect too much on what he can do to our country but rather, we must ask ourselves what we can do and contribute to help build a nation which we can truly be proud of.

There is this  campaign by ABS-CBN called Ako Ang Simula.  I like the concept and it is true that positive change could be achieved if we take it upon ourselves to start within and not rely on other people to do it for us.  It is always easy to blame the government when things fail, but are we doing our share?  As they say, “walk the talk”.

Congratulations Pres. Noynoy, I will be praying for you. I sincerely believe that you have a good heart to lead the nation to a greater height.

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Nissa came home carrying two large paper bags of  Girbaud and I was curious what she bought this time.  Girbaud is one of her favorite shopping stores at Robinsons’ Galleria.  One was a  pair of shoes for Josef, a late  birthday gift.   Then she said that the other one is supposed to be a surprise gift for me so I asked her, “then why are you showing it to me?”. Then she said, “nosey, nosey si Mama”, and she assured me that I will surely appreciate it.   She bought me a bag,  in the same color as my newly-bought pair  of Skecher’s Tone-ups slippers.  How nice!  And the bag is big enough to fit  my camera, journal and  small make-up bag. 

It’s supposed to be a birthday gift for me but  my birthday is still  four months away. I told her, by the time you give me that, my slippers would look old and worn, as in “hindi na bagay”. She smiled and gave me the bag, reminding me to remind her  that she already bought a gift for  my next birthday.  We had a good laugh over this…haha!

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And here is the very touching inaugural speech of our new president, Pres. Benigno Aquino III:

His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta, Former President Fidel V. Ramos, Former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and members of the Senate, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and members of the House, members of the Supreme Court, members of the foreign delegations,Your Excellencies of the diplomatic corps, fellow colleagues in government, aking mga kababayan.

Ang pagtayo ko dito ngayon ay patunay na kayo ang aking tunay na lakas. Hindi ko inakala na darating tayo sa puntong ito, na ako’y manunumpa sa harap ninyo bilang inyong Pangulo. Hindi ko pinangarap maging tagapagtaguyod ng pag-asa at tagapagmana ng mga suliranin ng ating bayan.

Ang layunin ko sa buhay ay simple lang: maging tapat sa aking mga magulang at sa bayan bilang isang marangal na anak, mabait na kuya, at mabuting mamamayan.

Nilabanan ng aking ama ang diktadurya at ibinuwis niya ang kanyang buhay para tubusin ang ating demokrasya. Inalay ng aking ina ang kanyang buhay upang pangalagaan ang demokrasyang ito. Ilalaan ko ang aking buhay para siguraduhin na ang ating demokrasya ay kapaki-pakinabang sa bawat isa. Namuhunan na po kami ng dugo at handa kong gawin ito kung muling kinakailangan.

Tanyag man ang aking mga magulang at ang kanilang mga nagawa, alam ko rin ang problema ng ordinaryong mamamayan. Alam nating lahat ang pakiramdam na magkaroon ng pamahalaang bulag at bingi. Alam natin ang pakiramdam na mapagkaitan ng hustisya, na mabalewala ng mga taong pinagkatiwalaan at inatasan nating maging ating tagapagtanggol.

Kayo ba ay minsan ring nalimutan ng pamahalaang inyong iniluklok sa puwesto? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay nagtiis na sa trapiko para lamang masingitan ng isang naghahari-hariang de-wangwang sa kalsada? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay sawang-sawa na sa pamahalaang sa halip na magsilbi sa taumbayan ay kailangan pa nila itong pagpasensiyahan at tiisin? Ako rin.

Katulad ninyo ako. Marami na sa atin ang bumoto gamit ang kanilang paa – nilisan na nila ang ating bansa sa kanilang paghahanap ng pagbabago at katahimikan. Tiniis nila ang hirap, sinugod ang panganib sa ibang bansa dahil doon may pag-asa kahit kaunti na dito sa atin ay hindi nila nakikita. Sa iilang sandali na sarili ko lang ang aking inaalala, pati ako ay napag-isip din – talaga bang hindi na mababago ang pamamahala natin dito? Hindi kaya nasa ibang bansa ang katahimikang hinahanap ko? Saan ba nakasulat na kailangang puro pagtitiis ang tadhana ng Pilipino?

Ngayon, sa araw na ito – dito magwawakas ang pamumunong manhid sa mga daing ng taumbayan. Hindi si Noynoy ang gumawa ng paraan, kayo ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon, magtatapos na ang pagtitiis ng sambayanan. Ito naman po ang umpisa ng kalbaryo ko, ngunit kung marami tayong magpapasan ng krus ay kakayanin natin ito, gaano man kabigat.

Sa tulong ng wastong pamamahala sa mga darating na taon, maiibsan din ang marami nating problema. Ang tadhana ng Pilipino ay babalik sa tamang kalagayan, na sa bawat taon pabawas ng pabawas ang problema ng Pinoy na nagsusumikap at may kasiguruhan sila na magiging tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbuti ng kanilang sitwasyon.

Kami ay narito para magsilbi at hindi para maghari. Ang mandato ninyo sa amin ay pagbabago – isang malinaw na utos para ayusin ang gobyerno at lipunan mula sa pamahalaang iilan lamang ang nakikinabang tungo sa isang pamahalaang kabutihan ng mamamayan ang pinangangalagaan.

Ang mandatong ito ay isa kung saan kayo at ang inyong pangulo ay nagkasundo para sa pagbabago – isang paninindigan na ipinangako ko noong kampanya at tinanggap ninyo noong araw ng halalan.

Sigaw natin noong kampanya: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Hindi lamang ito pang slogan o pang poster – ito ang mga prinsipyong tinatayuan at nagsisilbing batayan ng ating administrasyon.

Ang ating pangunahing tungkulin ay ang magsikap na maiangat ang bansa mula sa kahirapan, sa pamamagitan ng pagpapairal ng katapatan at mabuting pamamalakad sa pamahalaan.

Ang unang hakbang ay ang pagkakaroon ng tuwid at tapat na hanay ng mga pinuno. Magsisimula ito sa akin. Sisikapin kong maging isang mabuting ehemplo. Hinding hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin. Sisiguraduhin ko na ganito rin ang adhikain ng aking Gabinete at ng mga magiging kasama sa ating pamahalaan.

Naniniwala akong hindi lahat ng nagsisilbi sa gobyerno ay corrupt. Sa katunayan, mas marami sa kanila ay tapat. Pinili nilang maglingkod sa gobyerno upang gumawa ng kabutihan. Ngayon, magkakaroon na sila ng pagkakataong magpakitang-gilas. Inaasahan natin sila sa pagsupil ng korapsyon sa loob mismo ng burukrasya.

Sa mga itinalaga sa paraang labag sa batas, ito ang aking babala: sisimulan natin ang pagbabalik ng tiwala sa pamamagitan ng pag-usisa sa mga “midnight appointments.” Sana ay magsilbi itong babala sa mga nag-iisip na ipagpatuloy ang baluktot na kalakarang nakasanayan na ng marami.

Sa mga kapuspalad nating mga kababayan, ngayon, ang pamahalaan ang inyong kampeon.

Hindi natin ipagpapaliban ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga estudyante, kaya’t sisikapin nating punan ang kakulangan sa ating mga silid-aralan.

Unti-unti din nating babawasan ang mga kakulangan sa imprastraktura para sa transportasyon, turismo at pangangalakal. Mula ngayon, hindi na puwede ang “puwede na” pagdating sa mga kalye, tulay at gusali dahil magiging responsibilidad ng mga kontratista ang panatilihing nasa mabuting kalagayan ang mga proyekto nila.

Bubuhayin natin ang programang “emergency employment” ng dating pangulong Corazon Aquino sa pagtatayo ng mga bagong imprastraktura na ito. Ito ay magbibigay ng trabaho sa mga local na komunidad at makakatulong sa pagpapalago ng kanila at ng ating ekonomiya.

Hindi kami magiging sanhi ng inyong pasakit at perwisyo. Palalakasin natin ang koleksyon at pupuksain natin ang korapsyon sa Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas at Bureau of Customs para mapondohan natin ang ating mga hinahangad para sa lahat, tulad ng:

· dekalidad na edukasyon, kabilang ang edukasyong bokasyonal para makapaghanap ng marangal na trabaho ang hindi makapag-kolehiyo;
· serbisyong pangkalusugan, tulad ng Philhealth para sa lahat sa loob ng tatlong taon;
· tirahan sa loob ng mga ligtas na komunidad.

Palalakasin at palalaguin natin ang bilang ng ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan, hindi para tugunan ang interes ng mga naghahari-harian, ngunit para proteksyunan ang mamamayan. Itinataya nila ang kanilang buhay para mayroong pagkakataon sa katahimikan at kapayapaan sa sambayanan. Dumoble na ang populasyong kanilang binabantayan, nanatili naman sila sa bilang. Hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa.

Kung dati ay may fertilizer scam, ngayon ay may kalinga ng tunay para sa mga magsasaka. Tutulungan natin sila sa irigasyon, extension services, at sa pagbenta ng kanilang produkto sa pinakamataas na presyong maaari.

Inaatasan natin na ang papasok na Secretary Alcala ay magtayo ng mga trading centers kung saan diretso na ang magsasaka sa mamimili – lalaktawan natin ang gitna, kasama na ang kotong cop. Sa ganitong paraan, ang dating napupunta sa gitna ay maari nang paghatian ng magsasaka at mamimili.

Gagawin nating kaaya-aya sa negosyante ang ating bansa. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance, to business. Sa ganitong paraan lamang natin mapupunan ang kakulangan ng trabaho para sa ating mga mamamayan.

Layunin nating paramihin ang trabaho dito sa ating bansa upang hindi na kailanganin ang mangibang-bansa para makahanap lamang ng trabaho. Ngunit habang ito ay hindi pa natin naaabot, inaatasan ko ang mga kawani ng DFA, POEA at ng OWWA at iba pang mga kinauukulang ahensiya na mas lalo pang paigtingin ang pagtugon sa mga hinaing at pangangailangan ng ating mga overseas Filipino workers.

Papaigtingin namin ang proceso ng konsultasyon at pag-uulat sa taumbayan. Sisikapin naming isakatuparan ang nakasaad sa ating Konstitusiyon na kinikilala ang karapatan ng mamamayaan na magkaroon ng kaalaman ukol sa mga pampublikong alintana.

Binuhay natin ang diwa ng people power noong kampanya. Ipagpatuloy natin ito tungo sa tuwid at tapat na pamamahala. Ang naniniwala sa people power ay nakatuon sa kapwa at hindi sa sarili.

Sa mga nang-api sa akin, kaya ko kayong patawarin at pinapatawad ko na kayo. Sa mga nang-api sa sambayanan, wala akong karapatan na limutin ang inyong mga kasalanan.

To those who are talking about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. Sa paglimot ng pagkakasala, sinisigurado mong maulit muli ang mga pagkakasalang ito. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

Ikinagagalak din naming ibahagi sa inyo ang pagtanggap ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. sa hamon ng pagtatatag at pamumuno sa isang Truth Commission na magbibigay linaw sa maraming kahinahinalang isyu na hanggang ngayon ay walang kasagutan at resolusyon.

Ang sinumang nagkamali ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya. Hindi maaaring patuloy ang kalakaran ng walang pananagutan at tuloy na pang-aapi.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflicts, inclusive of the interests of all – may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shall defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. Sa tamang pamamahala gaganda ang buhay ng lahat, at sa buhay na maganda, sino pa ang gugustuhing bumalik sa panahon ng pang-aapi?

Kung kasama ko kayo, maitataguyod natin ang isang bayan kung saan pantay-pantay ang pagkakataon, dahil pantay-pantay nating ginagampanan ang ating mga pananagutan.

Kamakailan lamang, ang bawat isa sa atin ay nanindigan sa presinto. Bumoto tayo ayon sa ating karapatan at konsensiya. Hindi tayo umatras sa tungkulin nating ipaglaban ang karapatan na ito.

Pagkatapos ng bilangan, pinatunayan ninyo na ang tao ang tunay na lakas ng bayan.

Ito ang kahalagahan ng ating demokrasya. Ito ang pundasyon ng ating pagkakaisa. Nangampanya tayo para sa pagbabago. Dahil dito taas-noo muli ang Pilipino. Tayong lahat ay kabilang sa isang bansa kung saan maaari nang mangarap muli.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Inaanyayahan ko kayo ngayon na manumpa sa ating mga sarili, sa sambayanan, WALANG MAIIWAN.

Walang pangingibang-bayan at gastusan na walang wastong dahilan. Walang pagtalikod sa mga salitang binitawan noong kampanya, ngayon at hanggang sa mga susunod pang pagsubok na pagdadaanan sa loob ng anim na taon.

Walang lamangan, walang padrino at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawanggawa.

Nandito tayo ngayon dahil sama-sama tayong nanindigan at nagtiwala na may pag-asa.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. Sa inyong mga nag-iisip pa kung tutulong kayo sa pagpasan ng ating krus, isa lang ang aking tanong – kung kailan tayo nanalo, saka pa ba kayo susuko?

Kayo ang boss ko, kaya’t hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to the people’s needs and aspirations.

Kayo ang nagdala sa akin sa puntong ito – ang ating mga volunteers – matanda, bata, celebrity, ordinaryong tao, na umikot sa Pilipinas para ikampanya ang pagbabago; ang aking mga kasambahay, na nag-asikaso ng lahat ng aking mga personal na pangangailangan; ang aking pamilya, kaibigan at katrabaho, na dumamay, nag-alaga at nagbigay ng suporta sa akin; ang ating mga abogado, na nagpuyat para bantayan ang ating mga boto at siguraduhing mabilang ang bawat isa; ang aking mga kapartido at kaalyado na kasama kong nangahas mangarap; at ang milyun-milyong Pilipinong nagkaisa, nagtiwala at hindi nawalan ng pag-asa – nasa inyo ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat.

Hindi ko makakayang harapin ang aking mga magulang, at kayong mga nagdala sa akin sa yugto ng buhay kong ito, kung hindi ko maisasakatuparan ang aking mga binitawang salita sa araw na ito.

My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

Layunin ko na sa pagbaba ko sa katungkulan, masasabi ng lahat na malayo na ang narating natin sa pagtahak ng tuwid na landas at mas maganda na ang kinabukasang ipapamana natin sa susunod na henerasyon. Samahan ninyo ako sa pagtatapos ng laban na ito. Tayo na sa tuwid na landas.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!

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Tomorrow would be another milestone in Philippine history. It’s the inauguration of our 15th President Benigno Aquino III. He will take his oath under Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.  And here’s the list of the cabinet positions under the Aquino administration.

Gregorio Domingo – Department of Trade and Industry

Rogelio Singson – Public Works and Highways

Alberto Lim – Department of  Tourism

Rene Almendras  – Department of Energy

Edwin Lacierda – Presidential  Spokeman

Ping de Jesus – Transportation and Communication

Enrique Ona – Department of   Health

Rosalinda Baldoz – Labor Secretary

Proceso  Alcala – Department of Agriculture

Ramon Paje – Environment

Dr. Mario Montejo – Science and Technology

Alberto Romulo –  Department of Foreign Affairs

Ed de Mesa – Presidential Legal Counsel

Jing Deles – Peace Adviser

Cayetano  Paderanga – NEDA

Maj. Gen. Ric David – AFP Chief of Staff

Patricia Licuanan – CHED Chair

Dinky Soliman – DSWD Chief

Armin Luistro – Department of Education

Jojo Ochoa – Executive Secretary

Voltaire Gazmin – Secretary of Defense

Leila de Lima – Department  of Justice

Ramon Dizon – PSG  Chief

Butch Abad – Budget and Management

Julia Abad – Presidential Management Staff

Cesar Purisima – Secretary of Finance

Kim Henarez – BIR

Jesus Verozosa – PNP  Chief

Ramon Dizon – Presidential Security Group

Pres. Aquino will take the DILG post temporarily and the  head of Media and Communications group is still to be named.

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Just spent the past three days  going to the diagnostic center, undergoing a series of laboratory tests, KUB (Kidney Urinary Bladder ultrasound),  CEA (cancer marker testing) and visiting my two doctors, Dr. Samuel Ang, my surgical oncologist  at the Chinese General Hospital and Dr. Jeff  Peter Jubilado, my new  urologist at Mission Hospital.  Every three months, I have to report back to either one of my medical oncologist, Dr. Priscilla Caguioa at the UST Hospital or to Dr. Ang for consultation.

Of all the laboratory tests that I’ve been through, there are really one or two things I hate most – that of having a KUB and undergoing colonoscopy.  It’s almost a year now since I had major surgery at the Chinese General Hospital and it’s almost a year too since my life has turned upside down, not knowing what the future holds.  Being diagnosed with colon cancer or any cancer for that matter is really a nightmare.  A month ago, I was again hospitalized for a kidney bypass, they inserted a DJ stent  which will  stay inside  for three months, hence this KUB ultrasound which I really abhor.  Imagine yourself almost bursting at the seams,  but you are not allowed to use the ladies’ room because you have to be on a full bladder before they would start on the ultrasound.  It is so inconvenient, but again necessary for your well-being.   I am not against colonoscopy per se but what I hate is the preparation prior to the procedure.  I have resigned myself that this would be a yearly ritual from now on.

When you are sick, you always look at life with renewed faith, trusting  and leaving everything in God’s hands.  It  is quite scary though to anticipate the results of the laboratory tests.  And you can only utter, ‘thank God, thank you Lord” once you see that your CEA marker is still within the normal limits.  Yes, Lord, thank you!  My  cancer marker test was at 1.8 from the normal limit of  0 to 5.0, something I am grateful and thankful for.  My SGPT and SGOT results were so high.  My liver is probably tired of all those medications that I take everyday or  maybe, the high  values  are still the effect of my six cycles of chemotherapy.

I brought along my Thai Cuisine cookbook for something to read while waiting for Dr. Ang.  Some patients of his were discussing about their ailments and I was unashamedly eavesdropping,  hiding behind a face mask.  I still wear one for hospital visits, being afraid to go out in crowded places  until now.  One patient who has a  big lump in her breast said,  “I will never undergo chemotherapy, if this turn out to be malignant, mamatay na kung mamatay”. I was amused at the look on her face.  Then she said, “I don’t have that much money to spend on chemo anyway”. Then she turned to me, our eyes met and she asked, “Bakit po kayo naka face mask?”. They were in rapt attention when I told them what I went through. And their never-ending questions saved  an otherwise boring wait.  It is always easy to say that you don’t want to undergo such drastic measures like chemo or surgery but when you are in that crossroad, the choice is always hard to do.

And do you know  what happiness meant for me  now?  It’s being told by my doctor that I don’t have to undergo colonoscopy  at this time.  He said, “Enjoy the rest of the year Arlene, we will schedule it by January next year“.  Wow, those words were music to my ears.   And he kept saying “Very good, very good,  you are okay”. I told him about my new urologist and when he heard that it was Dr. Jubilado, he told me to stick to the latter because he is a very good doctor.  It turned out that Dr. Samuel Ang was Dr. Jubilado’s mentor.  What a small world!

“The time to be happy is now.

And the place to be happy is here.

And the way to be happy is to make others happy

and we’ll have a little Heaven right here.”- anonymous


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I was plain excited when my daughter came home from a five-day trip to Bangkok, Thailand.  She was in the company of some friends and she was so enthusiastic in sharing her experience touring the place and absorbing  the culture.  Five days would not be  enough to see all there is to see  about the place but they went there for the food tour, they enrolled in a Thai cooking school to learn authentic Thai recipes.  More than  anything , I was elated when she brought home several ingredients for Thai cooking.

Two months ago, I bought a cookbook on Thai Cuisine and both of us planned of trying some of the recipes there.  Thai cuisine has a lot of similarities to some Filipino food so it is not so hard to find fresh ingredients in the wet market.  I just told her to source for dry ingredients  which are difficult to buy here. And she came home with several packets of Coriander seeds, dried Kaffir lime leaves, red curry paste, chilli powder, whole white pepper, instant Phad-kapraow paste and hot and sour curry paste, good enough for several experiments in the kitchen.

The richness of Thai cooking is more pronounced through its skillful use of wealthy colors, tastes, textures and smell wonderfully incorporated in every recipe that they use.  Many people think that Thai cooking is a complex process since they use a lot of ingredients and spices.   It is said that  “much of the heat of the  spicy dishes comes from red and green peppers” which we commonly know as chillies. The Thai call it Phrik. Thai food comes in varied forms like soups, fresh vegetable salads, dips, grilled meat, fish or chicken but the most popular   is the use of curry paste.  I’ve been accustomed to using the yellow curry powder so I was surprised that there is a red one too.

Here’s one recipe which is the whole family’s favorite when we eat at a Thai restaurant.  It’s called Chicken Wrapped in Pandanus Leaves.

Chicken Wrapped in Pandanus Leaves (Kai Hor Bai Toey)

You would need:

2 cups of boneless chicken meat

10 pandanus leaves (Pandan  in Tagalog)

Oil for deep frying

Pound Marinade together into a paste:

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp. oyster sauce

1 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sesame oil

1-2 tsp. pepper corn

3 garlic cloves

2 coriander roots

And the ingredients for the sauce:

1 tsp. white sesame seeds

1/2 cup ( 250 ml.) distilled white vinegar

1 cup (100 grams) sugar

1 tbsp. black soy sauce

1 tsp. salt

Cut chicken meat into bite-sized pieces.  Mix the marinade with the chicken.  Set aside in the refrigerator for three hours. To prepare the sauce, cook the same seeds in a skillet for 2 minutes without oil or until lightly browned. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix white vinegar, sugar, black soy sauce and salt.  Add the sesame seeds and set aside.

Wrap two or three pieces of chicken in each pandanus leaf to form a knot.  Alternatively, wrap each pandanus leaf around the chicken to form a bundle and secure with a toothpick.

Heat oil in a wok or small frying pan.  Deep fry until fragrant.  (about 5 minutes).  Serve with sauce and steamed rice.

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