Archive for January 4th, 2012

I am tempted to take up the challenge of Project 365  but I guess that would be an ambitious pursuit looking for somebody to photograph everyday and doing interviews in between. I did that two days ago on our trip to Tanay. I talked to their gardener and asked him how they grow the different veggies in their garden. I talked to one of the helpers of the place while taking shots of the flowers in the garden. I asked her if I could take her photo and she shyly smiled at me. She was washing bed sheets at the back of one of the Bahay Kubos lining the place and I asked her if she knew the names of the flowers around. That started our conversation. She asked where we came from and how we learned about Regina RICA so I told her that I longed to see the place since it opened to the public . She casually told me about a cousin who is a cancer patient when I mentioned that I am a survivor.  She was smiling when I left, no longer a shy smile but a smile of  a new-found friend.

A smile can change the world. Today, give a stranger one of your smiles, it might make her day and may be the only sunshine she sees all day 🙂


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Looking at the fruits which resemble blackberries, I was fascinated. I was looking for some subjects to practice my macro shots on early this morning when I noticed these dark purple fruits hanging in a trellis which hubby made a few months ago. I don’t eat alugbati, preferring the more popular camote tops  and the fresh young leaves of chayote.  Lots of persuasions from hubby to try it, steamed  and squeezed with kalamansi or mixed with mongo didn’t induce me  to even taste it, but he eats it like he is eating  camote tops that I like.

Known as Malabar spinach, Indian spinach or  climbing spinach, luo kui shu( in Chinese), is one of the most popular indigenous leafy vegetables in the Philippines. Originally from India, it is usually found in hedges and cultivated areas and is extensively grown in market gardens and home gardens.

Its leaves are somewhat fleshy, ovate or heart-shaped. The fruit is fleshy  and turns purple when it matures. The young stems, leaves and shoots are blanched. One of the reasons why I get turned-off is because the flavor is a little earthy and the texture when cooked is slimy. I later learned that it has lots of uses and nutritional values. The purplish dye from the ripe fruit is used as food color while the cooked roots are used for treating diarrhea. The cooked stems and leaves are good laxative and the flowers are used as antidote for poison. A paste of the leaves is applied  to treat  boils while a paste of the root is  good for swelling.

Alugbati grows well under full sunlight in hot, humid climate like ours. It may take sometime before I’ll learn to eat this nutritional vegetable but until then, I’ll just watch hubby enjoy his plate of steamed alugbati and fried fish to go with it.

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