A Prayer for the Philippine Independence Day…

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A Prayer for Philippine Independence Day…

May The Lord Grant my fellow Filipinos the Independence they have fought for,

the Independence they truly deserves.

Free from all the Inhuman, Greedy and Corrupt officials,

that are still and will be occupying positions in our government.

Free from all oppressors

that are trying to manipulate our Country’s resources,

and claiming it as their own.

Free from all the mockery and bullying

that makes us believe in ourselves less.

That we may be free from poverty

And work hand in hand to climb the ladder of Greatness.

May we know in our hearts that where ever part of the world we may be,

our Filipino blood will always shine through.

And may we continue to help, inspire, love and support each other

For our Country and for our people.

Amen.

If only…

For the past week I have successfully steer clear of the internet to avoid seeing heart breaking scenes from different parts of the Philippines that has been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan or Typhoon “Yolanda” (Philippine Name).  Unfortunately, watching TV  is hard to elude as it is part of my daily routine to check if there are suspension of Classes.

It really breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes every time I get a glimpse of the videos, news flash and photos taken from Tacloban, Samar and other areas hardly hit by the Typhoon. All I can do is wish that help gets there fast enough specially for the children, the sick and the wounded and a decent burial for the dead.

People stand among debris and ruins of houses destroyed after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines

 

If only I have wings to fly,

I’d soar up high.

And travel as fast as I can

To bring food on your table, water to drink and cure for your sickness.

If only I have the strength to carry heavy loads,

I’ll clear the paths for you

And build bridges and houses too.

If only I can convert my tears into electricity,

So I can give light on your dark nights

And illuminate the streets and airports

So help can get through faster.

All I can do,

Is pray for everybody

To have the strength to carry on all the efforts to help.

And for the victims

To have the courage, patience and hope

It may take a while,

But everything will be OK soon…

And please Lord,

Give our Leaders the heart to exert extra effort and act quicker than quick

to assist and aid our countrymen through this crisis.

Halloween Facts

Trick or Treat

 

Halloween or Hallowe’en also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.

According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other academics maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related “guising” or “trunk-or-treating“), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfiresapple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

Yñigo good devil

Christian influence

Today’s Halloween customs are also thought to have been influenced by Christian dogma and practices derived from it. Halloween falls on the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows’ Day (also known as All Saints’Hallowmas or Hallowtide) on 1 November and All Souls’ Day on 2 November, thus giving the holiday on 31 October the full name of All Hallows’ Eve. Since the time of the primitive Churchmajor feasts in the Christian Church (such asChristmasEaster and Pentecost) had vigils which began the night before, as did the feast of All Hallows’. These three days are collectively referred to as Hallowmas and are a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed souls who have yet to reach Heaven. All Saints was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on 13 May.

In 835, it was switched to 1 November (the same date as Samhain) at the behest of Pope Gregory IV. Some suggest this was due to Celtic influence, while others suggest it was a Germanic idea. It is also suggested that the change was made on the “practical grounds that Rome in summer could not accommodate the great number of pilgrims who flocked to it”, and perhaps because of public healthconsiderations regarding Roman Fever – a disease that claimed a number of lives during the sultry summers of the region.

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, “Trick or treat?” The word “trick” refers to “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. The practice is said to have roots in the medieval practice of mumming, which is closely related to souling (discussed above).  John Pymm writes that “many of the feast days associated with the presentation of mumming plays were celebrated by the Christian Church.”These feast days included All Hallows’ Eve, Christmas, Twelfth Night and Shrove Tuesday. Mumming, practised in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, involved masked persons in fancy dress who “paraded the streets and entered houses to dance or play dice in silence.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org

Fairy Tanya

As for me:

It’s the time of the year where everyone can play around with their imagination and be anything they want to be, to the extent of scaring people. It’s a time for kids and kids at heart to amuse each other as how creative they can be. It’s a celebration of fun, surprises and treats. In line with Halloween, we also celebrate the souls of our dear departed loved ones to let them know that though they are not with us physically, they will always be a part of our lives. 

This day also serves as a family reunion day for us, Filipinos. It’s the day we exert extra effort to be with our family in visiting the graves of our departed ones. 

Whatever personal significance Halloween has for each one of us, this day will always be celebrated with a smile on our face and love on our hearts for the people we once shared our life with.

 

 

Kanin Club at Paseo de Sta. Rosa

kanin

I’ve always been intrigued by this Restaurant until we finally visited their outlet in Paseo de Sta. Rosa. I was excited as to how their food would taste like. Since we brought our kids along, we ordered their Adobo Combo for it is our family’s favorite. We also ordered Chicken Curry, Crispy Liempo, a bowl of their Loaded Fried Rice2 plain rice and 4 glasses of Bottomless Iced Tea.

chicken curry chicken-pork-adobo-adding KL

rice

My husband and I were surprise on how large the serving was and to my calculation we couldn’t consume all of it. And I was right. We were so eager to taste everything so we started eating as soon as everything was served. I took a dip on their Adobo and to my surprise, it was an Adobo I never tasted before. Though it tastes good, it’s kind a different from the Adobo that I am used to eating 😦 it’s a little salty for me. The vinegar and the soy sauce didn’t marry. You can taste them both but in a very odd way. Unfortunately, my kids didn’t like the Adobo too. The Chicken Curry was good and I loved it. The Crispy Liempo wasn’t that crispy :(. The Loaded Fried Rice was surely loaded with lots of things which I enjoyed. You can even eat the Rice just by itself. Prices of their products were reasonably priced since they do have large servings that we even got to take home some of it. The ambiance was nice, it’s like a modern and sophisticated Carinderia type feeling. The service was good. Staffs were friendly and very attentive to their customers needs.

I’d give Kanin Club 3 stars for the single reason that I didn’t fell in love with their Adobo. But I would surely go back to try out more items on their Menu. I do hope that when we come back, they would give me plenty of reason to visit them more often.

To get a glimpse of their Resto visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kanin-Club/9931121198

Alugbati or Red vine spinach

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Freshly picked from backyard vegetable garden

Basella alba, or Malabar spinachMalabar nightshadeAlugbati or Alabati in Philippines, (also Phooi leafRed vine spinachCreeping spinachClimbing spinachIndian spinachPhilippine SpinachAsian Spinach) is a perennial vine found in the tropics where it is widely used as a leaf vegetable.

Description:

Basella alba is a fast-growing, soft-stemmed vine, reaching 10 metres (33 ft) in length. Its thick, semi-succulent, heart-shaped leaves have a mild flavour and mucilaginous texture. The stem of the cultivar Basella alba ‘Rubra’ is reddish-purple.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org

Alugbati is known by many names including malabar, vine spinach, arogbati, dundul and grana. It is a vegetable found in the Philippines, Asia, Africa and Malaya, and has medicinal purposes that includes it being used as treatment for headaches, constipation, inflammation and ulcers. Alugbati also offers many health benefits with the nutrients it contains. Try alugbati in place of traditional spinach in salads or on sandwiches instead of lettuce.

Fat and Calories

Eating foods that are low in fat and calories help you to control your weight; vegetables are a good option because they fill you up, but don’t contain a lot of either. Incorporating vegetables, alugbati included, into your diet can help you lose weight. A cup of alugbati has just 10 calories and less than .5 g of fat.

Vitamin A

The daily intake recommendations for vitamin A are 2,310 IU for women and 3,000 IU for men. With 510 IU per cup, eating alugbati is a good way to reach your RDI. Vitamin A is important for your immune system, creating white blood cells which battle bacteria and viruses. Your reproductive system, vision and bone health also rely on an adequate intake of vitamin A.

Calcium

Many leafy green vegetables contain calcium and make a healthy alternative source of this mineral for people who cannot tolerate dairy products. Alugbati has 55 mg of calcium per cup. Calcium keeps your bones and teeth strong and is involved in muscle, nerve and hormone function. A deficiency increases your risk of developing osteoporosis; most adults should get 1,000 to 1,200 mg per day.

Potassium

The daily intake recommendation for potassium is 2,000 mg. One cup of alugbati contains 113 mg. Potassium helps regulate your blood pressure, aids in muscle and bone contraction and plays a role in digestion. A deficiency can result in muscle cramps, weakness and an irregular heartbeat.

Folic Acid

Folic acid, also called folate, is one of the B vitamins and is critical for women of childbearing age because it helps to prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida. It is also involved in the creation of new cells, heart health and cancer prevention. The daily intake recommendations are 400 mcg for men and women, but many doctors recommend more during pregnancy and breastfeeding. One cup of alugbati contains 50 mcg of folic acid.

Reference: http://www.livestrong.com

Love to put it in Ensaladas. Blanch a batch of Alugbati leaves then drain, dice tomatoes, shallots, chili peppers and toss everything in a bowl. Add in a tablespoon of Apple Cider vinegar and some shrimp paste. Mix it together. You’ve got your Alugbati Ensalada 🙂 it goes well with fried fish. Happy Eating!

alugbati

Thunderbird Resort Rizal

thunder

Late last year, I attended Thunderbird Resort’s bloggers tour with a few of my friends. The tour was comprised of, The Higantes Festival Parade, Balaw Balaw art gallery visit, site tour of the Rizal’s Petroglyphs and lastly the relaxing overnight stay at Thunderbird Resort and Casino.

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Though it was tiring, the Higantes Parade was a lot of fun. To meet the local people of Rizal was a blast for the people are warm and friendly. Higantes Festival, also known as the Feast of San Clemente, is celebrated every November 23 in the town of Angono, Rizal. This is a major festival in honor of San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen. His image is carried by male devotees during a procession accompanied by “pahadores” (devotees dressed in colorful local costumes or fishermen’s clothes, wearing wooden shoes and carrying boat paddles, fish nets, traps, etc.) and “higantes” (paper-mâché giants measuring 10-12 feet in height and 4-5 feet in diameter). This street event ends in a procession to Laguna de Bay until the image is brought back to its sanctuary. (Reference:http://en.wikipilipinas.org)

balaw balaw2 balaw3 balaw4 balaw5 balaw6 cricket frog legs pink yum

The Higantes Parade was followed by a sumptuous meal with a glympse of the Native art of Rizal. The BALAW BALAW Specialty Restaurant is located at 16 Doña Justa Subd. Ph. I Angono, Rizal. Balaw Balaw offers exotic cuisine like Breaded and deep fried frog legs and Crickets as appetizers.

The venue, in itself, is nothing grand. There are numerous subdivisions – the main hall, which can hold approximately 100 diners, a conference center good for 30 people, and another private area for 10 or more. On the tables are miniature versions of the higantes (giants) paraded in town during the “Higantes Festival”, their arms stretched to contain the messages and signatures of past clients; and all around are masks (they are for sale, the smallest ones usually costing P150) also signed by past visitors and then hanged for posterity by the venue’s proprietors.

At the back portion (past a mini-mini-bamboo forest) is a museum, highlighting the works of the owner and the local artists (they aren’t cheap, I tell you). The gathering of artworks continues to the second floor, which houses more artworks (painting, carvings, et cetera) and religious artifacts. This addition to the venue makes waiting for the orders to arrive definitely interesting. (Reference:http://outragemag.com)

petro petro2 petro4 petro5 petroglyphs

The trip to Balaw Balaw was shortly followed by a site seeing stop at Rizal’s Petroglyphs. The Angono Petroglyphs is the oldest known work of art in the Philippines. There are 127 human and animal figures engraved on the rockwall dating back to 3000 BC. These inscriptions clearly show stylized human figures, frogs and lizards along with other designs that may have depicted other interesting figures but erosion may have caused it to become indistinguishable.

Although it sits along the boundaries of AngonoBinangonan and Antipolo of the province of Rizal, this heritage site was discovered by the late National Artist of the Philippines awardee Carlos V. Francisco in 1965.[1] Since then, some rock carvings have been damaged due to neglect and vandalism. In 1973, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 260, it was declared as a national cultural treasure by the Philippine government. During that time, a team led by the National Museum of the Philippines started archaeological site conservation and site development of the petroglyphs in which a mini-museum, viewdeck and stone path among others were constructed. Surveys and a seismographic recording were conducted to assess also the effects of a quarrying operation a few kilometers from the site.

The preservation and development of the Angono Petroglyphs is a collective effort of the National Museum of the Philippines, the Department of Tourism,World Monuments FundAmerican Express and a Philippine real estate company. (Reference:http://en.wikipedia.org)

And finally, our last stop. Thunderbird Resort and Casino.

bike trail facade thunderbird thunderbird2 thunderbird3 thunderbird4 thunderbird5 thunderbird6

We had a special dinner prepared for us by the Pool bar. And before we went to bed a 15 minute complimentary massage was offered to soothe and prepare our body for another busy day. At exactly 8am we had our buffet breakfast at Koi Restaurant (which we enjoyed so much) and later on followed by a short trip around the Ball Room area and the Casino Lounge. After the playing some complimentary games at the Casino we were privileged to take a few hours of rest and Lunch was served, again at Koi Restaurant.

baby back bagnet with tofu coi coi2 cornflaked Hickory pene with salmon pene

The meal was exquisitely prepared. Even though we were still full from our Breakfast Buffet, the food looks so appetizing that we didn’t think twice and took a feast on everything that was served.

Over all the Tour was awesome. A big thanks to the Management and Staff of Thunderbird Resort for giving us a warm welcome and treating us like King and Queens. Food at Koi Restaurant is to die for and staying at the hotel for a night is not enough. I would definitely go back and bring my family along (hopefully, I can get a discount 🙂 ). Make your reservation now.

You may contact them through:

  • RIZAL OFFICE:

    Eastridge Avenue
    Binangonan, Rizal
    Philippines 1940

E: rizalreservations@thunderbird-asia.com
T: (+632) 651.68.88
F: (+632) 651.6893
M: (+63) 917.586.5177