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Archive for September, 2011


My heart goes to those “kababayans” in Bulacan who are affected by the flood reaching as high as their second floor rooftop.

Let us just say a prayer or two for their safety. And I am sorry, I really can’t blog tonight because I am glued to the news on tv.

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I am getting a lot of spam comments lately. And it’s good that WordPress has committed to protect bloggers from spam comments.  I don’t know if I have to hate those spammers or not because sometimes I do read their comments here and they don’t even merit a comment back.  Sometimes I think they have this pro-forma  type of mails that they just send to anyone without even reading the content of one’s blog. And it is so obvious that they are just there to promote their own  site.

Come on people, online marketing is not bad per se because I have a friend who is amassing green bucks because of it.  Having a market list definitely helps but posting your unwanted messages on someone’s site is annoying. There was a time a few years ago that I attended a seminar on marketing online and I met this 15-year old student who was probably  earning more than what  an executive in a private company earns.  But it’s not for me and this blog will remain just a simple platform for my journey as a cancel survivor, as a mother, a wife and a friend.  It would make me happy if by reading it, you could learn a lesson or two or be a little inspired with what I write.

I am giving another go of the book The Constant Gardener. I just wonder why I can’t go beyond the first 20 pages. I wish I could find the movie version of it on cable then I won’t have to read it.

 

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The sun showed its face today and Nissa was happy because it is her birthday. She told us yesterday that two years ago, there was typhoon Ondoy right on our doorstep and she was not able to celebrate her birthday properly.  How time flies, I feel I am really getting old. Gosh, I now have a twenty-nine year old daughter who is getting married in more than a month.

Birthday breakfasts for my two kids are always time for reminiscing. They love to listen to our stories when they were born. Nissa was a premature baby and at eight months, we thought she was too small to survive. God has other plans though, because He gave us an intelligent, smart, caring and loving daughter.

It’s San Lorenzo Ruiz’s Feast Day today, our first Filipino saint and martyr. It is a special day for Filipino Catholics.

We’re planning to prepare something special for dinner tonight. We always celebrate birthdays in the family. It has become some sort of ritual to have Pancit, Pasta, Lumpiang Shanghai and one special dish for the birthday celebrator. Oh, it’s baked spare ribs. And we always blow candles during our birthdays. Nissa ordered White Chocolate Macadamia cake at Secret Recipe.I always equate a birthday being a new year in one’s life. It’s the beginning of another lovely year, full of blessings, full of things to be grateful about.

Here’s my birthday wish for you Nissa:

May this day bring to you all things that make you smile. May this year bring with it all the success and fulfillment your heart desires. May God bless you everyday of your life. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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Typhoon Pedring was definitely stronger than I thought.  It brought strong winds to the island of Luzon and toppled power lines which left close to 2 million households without electricity. Train lines in Metro Manila suspended their operations because of the typhoon.  We were so lucky that our town was spared from the flash flood which affected most areas in Metro Manila. Part of Bulacan and Marikina were submerged in water. And I am grateful that there was no interruption in the power service of Manila Electric Company in our area. Classes were suspended in all levels of Metro Manila. Metro Manila was under typhoon signal number two but it was not spared from heavy rains and gusty winds brought about by typhoon Pedring (international name is Nesat).

The whole day, I alternately listened on our transistor radio and watched the news on TV. One should  always be  alert in times like this.  I remember the time when typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila exactly two years  ago. Our house was submerged in water and we had to renovate and replace most of our furnitures and belongings because they were destroyed by the flood. It makes me feel so insecure every time there is a strong typhoon coming.

Front of U.S. Embassy along Roxas Blvd.

The seawall along Roxas Blvd.

(I don’t own these pictures, they are property of allvoices.com. Photos by Marven Dumaguet)

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Here’s an album of the  pictures I’ve previously taken  months ago and used some of them for the popular quotes from well-known and best-read writers of all time. I enjoyed  adding these lovely quotes and posting them randomly on my networking sites.

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We had this for dinner tonight paired with crispy fried Samaral fish. It was so yummy but the dish required more rice. I occasionally cook Laing  when we have gathered enough taro leaves to dry in the sun. Hubby prefers to have them harvested from our garden and since it does take a while for the leaves to reach the size ideal for drying, it always takes a while before we’re able to serve it on the table.

Laing is a typical Filipino dish mixed with coconut cream (gata) and lots of jalapeno peppers (the hotter, the better). Here are the ingredients of a basic Laing dish.

  • 20 to 25 pcs. gabi or taro leaves, dried and shredded
  • 1/4 kilo pork, diced or ground
  • minced garlic
  • one big red onion, chopped
  • one heaping spoon of diced ginger
  • 5 or 6 pcs. Jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 3 cups coconut cream, reserve one cup until the last-minute of cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of water

Some still saute it on a frying pan, what I usually do is have the ingredients (except the taro leaves)  boiled in the coconut cream and let it simmer for around fifteen minutes. Then add the taro leaves until cooked. Add the last cup of coconut cream last and bring to a boil.  I substituted shrimps which tasted better than ground pork.

Try it, it’s really yummy!

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It simply means “steamed bun” for those who are not familiar with this popular Filipino snack food made from flour and fillings. Take your pick, the fillings may come in the form of chicken chunks and salted eggs and chorizo for that special siopao or as simple as ground pork sautéed in onions and mixed with a little flour for consistency.

Hubby was laughing at me when I suggested that we swing by the Rainforest area in Pasig before going home to buy siopao. I had this sudden craving for this snack so I bought four each of Asado and Bola-bola.  Take your pick, I said. If you don’t want the Bola-Bola, you can have the Asado.  Back when we used to fetch Nissa from work (around 11pm almost every night), we usually passed by the place and siopao has become our midnight snack. I learned how to prepare and cook it years ago via our Culinary club at Bank of the Philippine Islands.  But as they say, it is easier to buy one than make one – ready to eat and I am quite lazy when it comes to elaborate preparations  with only the four of us at home, after all, it is just a snack, right? I had it for merienda today with a hot cup of coffee.

Nissa and Obet’s official invitations for the wedding have just been delivered a few minutes ago. You could clearly see the excitement on Nissa’s face while inspecting the envelopes and adding the location map for the church and the reception venues.  Such a radical change since our day almost thirty years ago. Back then, wedding invites were more elaborate, both in designs and wordings. They were more formal too with the bride’s choice of color for the wedding echoed on the ribbons  attached to the invitation. During my time, you can’t even specify how many persons will attend for one invite because when you issue one, expect that the whole family including the kids will attend. A guest list of 300 persons becomes 500 on the day of the wedding. Nowadays though, you can be specific with your invitations, you can even write on the invite how many seats you have reserved for your guests.  The simpler, the better. Considering the costs of such an occasion nowadays, I think it is just practical to do it that way. I told her to double-check everything on her guest list and prioritize the wedding entourage and sponsors when they finally distribute the invites.

I am looking forward to watching the Pinoy edition of Junior Masterchef.  The whole family loves watching cooking shows on TV  and it is even more enjoyable when there is a bowl of popcorn on the side.  Hmmm…I could almost smell it from here. What? Food again?

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