Friday, June 29, 2012

Count your blessings/SWF

If one could only learn to appreciate the little things...A song that takes you away, for there are those who cannot hear.  The beauty of a sunset, for there are those who cannot see.  The warmth and safety of your home, for there are those who are homeless.  Time spent with good friends for there are those who are lonely.  A walk along the beach for there are those who cannot walk.  The little things are what life is all about.  Search your soul and learn to appreciate.

~ Shadi Souferian

Linking to Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pancit Palabok

A group of friends surprised me at home one Sunday afternoon, and I only had a pint of ice cream and potato chips.  Good thing there are restaurants nearby who deliver.  Called Red Ribbon Bakeshop and got this party tray (serves 12) of Palabok delivered in less than 30 minutes.  And this is yummy, too.  I am not fond of cakes but I often go to Red Ribbon mainly for their Pancit Palabok.

Thin rice noodles (bihon) is used for Pancit Palabok mixed with shrimps, pork, tinapa (smoked fish) flakes fried tofu, scallions and garlic, and topped with chicharon (pork cracklings) bits and boiled eggs.  Flavoring comes from fish sauce and shrimp broth; the yellow-orange sauce is from annatoo, locally known as achuete.

Join foodies @ Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Be gentle with yourself/Watery World-Wednesday

 Speak quietly to yourself and promise there will be better days. Whisper gently to yourself and provide assurance that you really are extending your best effort.  Console your bruised and tender spirit with reminders of many other successes.  Offer comfort in practical and tangible ways--as if you were encouraging your dearest friend.  Recognize that on certain days the greatest grace is that the day is over and you get to close your eyes.  Tomorrow comes more brightly...

~ Mary Ann Radmacher

Monday, June 25, 2012

Parachuting/Blue Monday

Colorful parachutes dazzled shoppers and diners at the Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila.  This was at The Plaza, a charming indoor piazza naturally lit by a glass skylight.  I took my friend Petra here for coffee and some shopping before bringing her to the airport across the street for her flight home to Davao.

Linking to Blue Monday

Friday, June 22, 2012

Burning in the Skies/SWF

I used the deadwood to make the fire rise
The blood of innocence burning in the skies
I filled my cup with the rising of the sea
And poured it out in the ocean of debris...

~ by Linkin Park

Linking to Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stuffed Ham Chicken

A girlfriend had her birthday dinner recently with a bunch of friends at the German Club.  I had smoked salmon salad for starters (which I forgot to take a photo, I was so hungry!:p), and this was my selection from the main course---stuffed ham chicken in concasse sauce served with mashed potato.  I like the sweetness added to the tomato.  It was a great party with old and new friends.

Trivia:  Concasse, from the French "concasser", means to crush or grind.  This term is most specifically applied to tomatoes, with tomato concasse being a tomato that has been peeled, seeded and chopped to specified dimensions.

Join foodies at Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Driftwood/Water World - Wednesday

Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of  life. ~  George Arliss

Monday, June 18, 2012

My poison/Blue Monday

Tanduay Ice, my favorite alcoholic drink nowadays---it has the right sweetness and alcohol content is only 5% by volume.  Gave the Blue Illusion to my brother---and he finds it too sweet, he's sticking to San Miguel beer.  I took a sip and didn't like the Blue Illusion, either.  It tasted like cough syrup!  I prefer the original alcomix.
How about you, what's your poison?

Linking to Blue Monday

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cooking & Ripples/Photo-Hunt

Not the usual cooking method we normally see nowadays.  I was in Midnight Mercato and spotted these vendors cooking bibingka and puto bumbong---types of rice cakes, the traditional way.  Bibingka is a mixture of rice flour, sugar and coconut milk---other ingredients vary from each region.  The bibingka I grew up with has strips of young coconut meat and top is brushed with margarine.  

Puto bumbong is steamed rice cake made from a variety of glutinous rice which has a distinctly purple color, soaked in salted water and dried overnight and poured into bamboo tubes and then steamed until done.  Now, fabricated tin steamer with tubes is used.  Muslin cloth is used to cover the tube opening. 

Puto Bumbong
Traditional cooking of bibingka is time-consuming.  The mixture of rice batter is poured into terra cotta container lined with banana leaf.  The terra cotta container is placed on a charcoal stove, then a tin container with pre-heated coals is placed on top of the terra cotta container.  In short, bibingka is cooked with coal embers from the top and bottom.

Cooking bibingka is a common Filipino metaphor to describe life's difficult situations.

I love the distinctive smoky smell of charcoal and banana leaf.
Wanna share these bibingka with me?  They're perfect with coffee.


Sand ripples at low tide.

Linking with Gattina's Saturday Photo-Hunt
and Sandi's Photo Hunt

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sailing at sunset/SWF

We are all inventors, each sailing on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate.  The world is all gates, all opportunities.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Subic Bay, Philippines

Join us at Sky-Watch Friday

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bare tree/Watery World Wednesday & NF Waters

like an old woman's boney fingers
the tree's bare branches stretch out
in gnarled twists
swollen and knotty with time...

~ by Hank Kalet


Today, June 12th, is the Araw ng Kalayaan or Independence Day, celebrated throughout  the Philippines--our 114th independence from Spain's colonial rule.  On this day, in 1898, General Aguinaldo proclaimed the freedom of the Filipino people.  The culmination of the hundreds of armed uprising launched by the Filipinos from 1571 to 1896 to recover their right to be free.

From Lapu-Lapu of Mactan to modern-day heroes, our history is replete with names of men and women who readily gave up their lives for the sake of freedom.

We celebrate Independence Day to remind our people of the blood and sacrifices that nourished our freedom.

But even after we have reclaimed our freedom from Spain, time and again our freedom has been threatened.

"I will never bow my head before any foreign invader, " Rajah Kalipulaku of Mactan declared in 1521.

Gabriela Silang, a 17th century revolutionary led 2,000 Filipinos in battle against the Spanish Army.  She was a heroine, the first Filipina to lead an uprising against a foreign power.

"Freedom or Death!" cried Andres Bonifacio when he launched the Philippine Revolution in 1896.

"The natives of the Philippines," wrote the friar-chronicler Pedro Murillo Velarde, "were fierce defenders of freedom and enemies to subjection."

 Let us protect this precious right.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mayan's cake/Blue Monday

My friend Mayan's birthday cake---a gift from her husband.  This was a lovely dessert after the scrumptious dinner.

Linking to Sally's Blue Monday

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Graveyard and Clean/Saturday Photo-Hunt

Did I tell you that I love graveyards (but hate funerals)?  It's not because they're spooky, or I am morbid.  I guess it's my latent sentimentality.  Graveyards are more interesting and telling than museums...graveyards also give me a sense of peace.

And one of the cleanest and greenest graveyards I have ever been to is the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Global City.  The lawns are perpetually manicured, the trees are trimmed--a beautiful resting place, a perfect place to reflect and breath in clean air.

This cemetery occupies 152 acres on a prominent plateau.  It contains the largest number of graves of US military who died in World War II, a total of 17,201.

 Clean energy @ Bangui Wind Farm

Linking to Sandi's Saturday Photo Hunt and Gattina's Saturday Photo-Hunting

Friday, June 8, 2012

Amber sky/SWF

We ask God to forgive us for our evil thoughts and evil temper, but rarely, if ever ask Him to forgive us for our sadness. ~ R.W. Dale

Linking to Sky-Watch Friday