Friday, October 30, 2009

Ampalaya con Carne

Believe it or not, up to this day, my mother has not given up trying to feed me vegetables. She ordered Ampalaya (bitter gourd) con Carne when we had dinner on Saturday. Sure, the dish looks attractive---love the way slices of ampalaya were arranged around the plate. She assured me while they were munching ampalaya that it's not as bitter I think it is, and it's stir-fried, not raw. I obliged by taking a bite but I couldn't swallow it. I know it's a good source of vitamins A, B and C, iron, folic acid and calcium but I just can't take the revolting acrid flavor. Sorry, mother, I'm a lost cause.:p

The beef tasted good though, and tender, without the bitter after-taste of ampalaya.

Ampalaya has been a folkloric cure for generations but has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many ailments---most significant of which is diabetes.
Ampalaya contains a mixture of flavanoids and alkaloids that make the pancreas produce more insulin that controls the blood sugar in diabetics. It's also one of the best herbal medicines for it's ability to help with liver problems and HIV. It is also used in the treatment of skin diseases, sterility in women, as a parasiticide, as an antipyretic, and as a purgative.

Too bad, my taste buds were probably traumatized by its unpleasant flavor---when I was a kid, my grandmother used to give us pureed ampalaya leaves to cure our coughs. I cringe just thinking about it.:p

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I smell [amoy]...Litratong Pinoy

Hindi ko alam kung nakikiliti o nakasimangot si Tisoy habang inaamoy ang kanyang likuran.:p Hindi tulad ng kanyang itim at masipag na kalahi, ang "kanobaw" (kanong kalabaw) o albinong kalabaw ay laging nasa lilim kasi madaling masunog sa araw ang kanilang balat. Kaya hindi amoy-araw si Tisoy---parang may smelling session lang talaga sila...ano sa tingin mo?

I wasn't sure if Tisoy was ticklish or scowling while he was being sniffed at from behind. Unlike the hard-working black carabao, albino carabaos (white water buffalo) usually stay in the shade because they get sunburned easily. It looks like they were having a sniffing session...did you get a noseful? :p

Itong spotted deer naman, ano kaya ang natapakan---sana hindi mabaho! "World's rarest deer" pala ito at dito lang sa Pilipinas matatagpuan.

This spotted deer stepped on something---I hope it's not stinky! The Philippine spotted deer is the "world's rarest deer" and can only be found in parts of the Visayas.

Posted for Litratong Pinoy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Let's stop and talk awhile... [WW and OW]

One hot and humid Saturday night, this fountain at Piazza Serendra was a refreshing sight. Even Fritz decided to park himself under the bench to cool off and enjoy the gargling sound of water.

I've been often told our world's growing old
And that friends are harder to find
Do tell me more about yourself
We could share a thought or two, now who would mind...

~ Jose Mari Chan

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tied [PH and CC]

"Humanity is a knot, a web, a mesh into which relationships are tied."

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Posted for Photo-Hunt and Color Carnival

"Beauty, like people, comes in all colors."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sky-Watching over Seoul

Flying over Seoul, South Korea on my way to America in August.

These were taken about thirty minutes after take off from Incheon International Airport while the guy beside me was slurping over his noodle soup. The spicy aroma filled the cabin that made my mouth water, but listening to the slurps, I focused my attention outside the window instead. And wondered which direction North Korea was.:p

“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” ~ Dagobert D. Runes

Posted for Sky-watch Friday

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Better than Ice Cream

Mango, Pistachio and Lemoncello from Gelatone

I am sharing these tasty flavors with you before they melt! Yes, I am back to my ice cream-eating days. Like any woman of substance, I resisted the call of ice cream for so long. But when I started exercising, I realize that "everything in moderation" is actually working for me. No more binge eating of ice cream and chocolates at 2 am.

I read that ice cream, when eaten as part of a healthy diet, may actually melt fat, helping you lose extra pounds faster than you have abstained. The secret is the calcium. Experts say calcium helps people lose weight because when your body doesn't get enough calcium, it triggers fat cells to store fat and get bigger.

After "inspecting" the scene of the crime in Greenbelt 5 on early Sunday evening, we walked to Greenbelt 3 and passed by Gelatone. Naturally, I didn't resist. Gelatone's heavenly gelato is pricey at P100 per scoop---and a scoop wouldn't do it for me. After trying their Mascarpone and Panna Cotta, my sister and I decided to bring home 1/2 kilo (P550) with 3 flavors---mango, pistachio and lemoncello. Gosh, I've never tasted ice cream this good!

Gelatone's gelati are made with healthy skimmed milk imported from Australia and the flavors are all imported from Italy.

Pistachio from Fruits in Ice Cream

Another favorite ice cream stand that I usually go to after exercising is Fruits in Ice Cream at The Fort Strip. I love their Mangoes and Cream and French Vanilla flavors from the FIC Lite line (P55 a scoop). FIC Lite ice cream has no added sugar and only 50% of the fat content in regular ice cream. Yes, FIC Lite is diet ice cream, and it's delicious!

And when I need some energy-giving calorie, I go for their gourmet ice cream---an avalanche of chopped, toasted pistachio in rich pistachio ice cream base. And I'm on cloud 9!

All along, I thought that gelato is simply ice cream in Italian. I was wrong. Gelato is made with some of the same ingredients as most ice-creams around the world---milk (and cream), sugar (and other sweeteners), flavorings (fruits, nuts, essences, etc.) and air are the main ingredients. But unlike many types of ice cream, gelato often does not contain eggs. And like high-end ice cream, gelato generally has less than 55% air, resulting in a denser product.

So don't despair, diet ice cream does exist.

Life is short, let's eat lots of ice cream!


Most people are on the world, not in it—have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them—undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Masinop ka ba? [Litratong Pinoy]

Natanggap ko na hindi ako yayaman. Di bale, maganda naman ako, at matalino, magaling magluto, masayahin, mabait at di mayabang! O-hah, bakit tumataas ang kilay mo?! H'wag seryosohin!:p

Sabi ng nanay ko, galit daw ako sa pera at hindi
masinop kaya kahit gaano pa daw kalaki ang sweldo ko, di ako yayaman.
Lagi nya sinasabi sa kanyang mga anak na ang pagtitipid, pagiging masinop at simpleng pamumuhay ang matatag na kapitan sa oras ng pangangailangan. Kahit pa daw may minana kang hacienda kung maluho ang iyong pamumuhay, gastador at maaksaya ka, hindi rin magtatagal ang iyong fortune.

Gusto ko na nga magbago, 'Nay...kaso, wala naman tayong hacienda. Kasalanan ito ng mga malls, lagi silang sale!:p

Kahanga-hanga talaga ang mga taong masinop---pwede silang utangan (hehehe). Pinaghahandaan nila ang rainy days pati na rin ang baha, lindol, sunog, pagkakasakit at ibang calamities na di pa nangyayari. Pero minsan mahirap din ang sobrang masinop...lalo na kung laging nasa safe side na lang, ayaw lumabas sa cocoon, laging nag-aatubili gumawa ng kahit anong hakbang na sa tingin ay mapanganib. Nagiging bisyo din kasi ang kahinaan ng loob.

Basta ako, ang motto ko ay---Don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have it's own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6:34

Ang kaperahan sa litrato ay laman ng wallet ko...di ko alam kung papano ko pagkakasyahin hanggang sa susunod na pay day. :p

Posted for Litratong Pinoy

"Prudence is an attitude that keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy."

~ Samuel Johnson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Waterfront Fountain [WW and OW]

"Life is water dancing to the tune of solids."

Another fountain I chanced upon while walking along Seattle's Waterfront Park beside Eliott Bay. This waterfront fountain is made of cast and welded bronze shaped in cubical structures.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ruby Tuesday: Captivating capiz

Everything in this photo is made from capiz shell---from the chandelier, to the vases and bowls, the plates at the background to the pedestal where the red vase and bowls are displayed. Capiz or windowpane oyster is a bivalve shell of a mollusk with smooth translucent and shiny interior. The meat is eaten and the shells are turned into these captivating pieces of home accessories.

Posted for Ruby Tuesday

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Daig ng maagap... [Litratong Pinoy]

Na-inspire ako sa bagong salawikain na tinext sa akin---"daig ng maagap ang tulog".

Maagap ang magdyowang suso (maragsa ang bigkas ha?!) na ito, slow motion na nagligawan at gumapang hanggang mamulupot sa baging na hinahangaan. Kahit nakalambitin, ayos lang, basta nakakapit sa narating na katayugan. Malamang nakarami na sila. Samantalang itong musang (o alamid, Asian palm civet) sa panaginip lang malayo ang narating...gabi na kasi kung gumising.


Isa pang bagong salawikain..."aanhin pa ang kabayo, marami ng motorsiklo." Yan, malungkot tuloy ang mga kabayo. Wala bang konek sa maagap? Meron daw...sabi ng naka-imbento ng motorsiklo. Pero dahil pamahal ng pamahal ang gasolina, balang araw, baka tayo'y balik-karetela. Kaya ngayon pa lang, magtanim na ng damo. Di ba maagap pa rin yon?

Ang hirap ng theme this week, whew!

Wala na muna translation, di kaya ng powers ko. Marami na ang nag-attempt i-translate sa English ang "daig ng maagap ang tulog" pero parang weird e. Ano nga ba ang English translation nito?

Check out Litratong Pinoy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cascadia: Garden of Vessels

Cascadia is a sculptural interpretation of the Basaltic Lava flows

I noticed this watery sculpture in a park at Seattle's International District. There was steam on the water that I thought this was a natural hot spring. The etched metal plate nearby describes this stone fountain as "Cascadia: Garden of Vessels"---a sculptural interpretation of the basaltic lava flows by Seattle artist, John Hoge. This sculpture references the cataclysmic events that shaped the stark landscape of central and southeastern Washington. The basalt formations in this region date to the Miocene Period, beginning about 17 million years ago and continuing over the period of 11 million years. During this time, about 300 lava flows blanketed the region, emerging from giant fissures near the Idaho/Washington border. At the end of the last Pleistocene glacial advance---17 thousand years ago---a monumental ice dam in Montana failed, unleashing a series of floods that scoured the landscape until only basalt formations remain. For Cascadia, the artist selected massive, four-to-six-sided columns as well as smaller "pillow" basalts. Leaving their shapes largely intact, Hoge emphasized the intrinsic beauty of the rocks by polishing selected planes. Cascadia captures the energy and form of the region's beautiful volcanic past.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nostalgia [OWM & WS]

There is nothing special about this beach, in fact, I've never been here for almost two decades. But that weekend after we buried our grandmother, my siblings, cousins and I, had a sentimental yearning to see the beach of our childhood. This is where we frolicked during summer vacations, learned how to swim, chased hermit crabs, watched sunsets and dreamed of the world beyond Guimaras Strait. This stretch of seashore was our playground, from the Kissing Rocks to this rustic resort. Nothing has changed around here except for a wider beach erosion, and the owner as well as the nipa huts got older. The simplicity of life here is achingly sweet and familiar.

stroll to Kissing Rocks

the old Talisay is still standing

my cousins talking about the good ol' days