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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chilli Cheese Fries - Carl's Comfort Food

What do you do with leftover food?

 I had some mechado and some beef from my beef taco in the refrigerator.  Obviously, I didn't want to eat any more of those but I didn't want to throw them away ("there are millions in the world who go hungry" as my mom would always say).  So, as my friend Carl had mentioned, I turned them into Chili Cheese Fries. I combined the two dishes, chopped the big chunk of beef from the mechado, added some chopped tomatoes, cumin, and bell peppers.  Then I simmered the dish until all the fresh ingredients became tender.  Anyway, here's how:


Chili Beef
Salt and pepper
1 tsp Vegetable oil
Cheese Sauce


Julienne some potatoes by cutting them into 1/2 inch thick strips. sprinkle some salt and pepper and add the oil.  Toss the potatoes.  Take a baking sheet or baking pan and line with a wax paper.  lay the potatoes on this sheet in a single layer and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Turn over and bake for another 10 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. 

Pile the potatoes on a heat proof plate and top with Chili beef and Cheese Sauce (or plain quickmelt cheese) and bake for another 5 mins.

Turned out to be sooo good.  Thanks Carl.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Celebration of Friendship – USC Barkada Reunion Day 2 at the Plantation Bay

 August 19, 2011

The phone rang.  It was 6:00 in the morning and we had a late night prior.  I and Jasmin were at Radisson Blu Hotel where she was checked in and where I had spent most of my time too.  She was in a deep slumber like a baby while Paolo, her nephew, was silently snoring on the couch.  I had wanted to ignore the sound but it just kept bugging me.  Plus, the sound was all too familiar.  It was my phone.  I picked it up and on the other end, a male voice in a high tone said “Gising na kayo?” 
Grrrrrrr!  It was my cousin Bong who was flying in from Manila.  I had wanted to put down the thing and go back to dreamland but he was persistent.  He said “you guys will have to talk to me.”

I said “why? It’s too early.”

“Exactly.  I might fall asleep and if I do, I’ll miss my plane.  If I miss my plane, it will be your fault and I won’t be able to go there for the reunion.”

I wanted to throw a fit because I was dizzy from lack of sleep but I chuckled heartily. How on earth can you get mad at someone who’s just so excited and ecstatic at seeing you?  So, what happened in the next 5 hours was that we had to bear with Bong by almost throwing the phone at each one.  I talked to him till about 8 am.  When Jasmin woke up, I gave her the phone to talk to the poor guy while I took a bath.  Then, the phone was back to me because Jasmin had to go to the bathroom too to prepare.  We dressed up, did our hair, put on our make up and he was just there chatting.  And yes, you read it right, 5 long hours.  Actually more but there were a few minutes break in between.  He was at the airport at 6 but his flight didn’t leave till 1 pm and he had nothing else to do but sit or sulk.  Not a good idea to sulk on a good day.  

Tata arrived.  Divine and Joy had joined us while Bong was still on the phone. He had purchased an unlimited phone call service and he planned on using it all up on us.  Unlimited!  He had 2 phones I guess and charged one while he used the other. It was clever.  We, on the other hand, had to take turns charging our phones as he would call another phone when one died out on him.  Pathetic and funny altogether – something only Bong could muster. 
Breakfast for Jasmin, Tata and myself was at the buffet in the hotel.  Divine and Joy were to pick us up and go to the resort together.  We checked out of the Radisson at 11 am since we were booked at the Plantation Bay Resort on Mactan Island. It was just about 45 minutes away from the City.  However, we were not allowed to go to our room right away as check in time was really at 2 pm anyway.  We So, we just brought in our bags, waited for Bong to arrive and took off to a nearby resto to have lunch.  Finally, our ordeal with Bong ended.  Ha ha!  You know, it was such a joyful and hair-raising sight to see how exuberant we all were to be together.  There were hugs and unending laughter, tearful recounts of past events, and unlimited stories told.  25 years could not have been enough to tell in 3 days!  But, we were all happy. 
In the afternoon, we were joined at Plantation Bay by Limuel and his family.  The boys were the group’s funny bones and just as before, we were laughed hard such that I had to constantly remind ourselves that we would had to tone down our voices lest we be told by the front office to do so.  We were in our mid 40’s and such an act would be degrading but we felt like we were in our 20’s that time because we were in that age where we left off.  At maybe 8 pm, we decided to go out to dinner.  First we decided to eat at a resto inside the hotel where they served the food al fresco with an Arabian nights show.  However, it was too expensive and there were over 20 of us that time.  Also, most of us wanted food that was Cebuano so we decided to go to another place.  I told Joy I would go to the powder room but when I went out they had gone off.  Apparently, Joy forgot about what I said since they were preoccupied when her sister joined us and boarded the tram that took them to the front office. Tata soon looked for me and they had realized I was left at the resto that she came to fetch me.  All of them tried to call me – Bong, Joy, Jasmin, Divine and Limuel.  We all laughed at that.  Some comic moment was bound to happen and that was it.  LOL
After dinner, we drove back to the hotel, passing by for some balut and penoy and, over a couple of drinks, told stories of each one’s own life the past decades.  We thank facebook and Tata for bringing us together -  Tata who diligently and persistently searched for all of us and brought us all back together.  It was a pity that some of our friends were not able to join then – Boy Beduya, Jun Pascua, Onie Torres.   Anyway, there’s always a next time. 



Day 3
Day 4

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Celebration of Friendship - USC Barkada Reunion Day 1

 It had been over 20 years since our barkada last got together.  After a year of planning, this year we went back to Cebu to get together.  My friends Joy, Jasmin and Divine had come home for the reunion. Jasmin came from Japan and Divine came all the way from from L.A.  Joy, however, was here a month prior.  She had come home from Austria where she and her family now resides and had extended her stay to join us.  The rest of us had come from different parts of the country - Tata, my bff, came from Dumaguete, Limuel from Surigao,while I and Bong from Manila.

 On our first day, however, there were only the girls and some of the young ones my friends are related to - Joy's children, Divine's son and 2 of her siblings, and Jasmin's nephew.  I took an early flight while Tata was there early too.  We both went straight to the Radisson Blu Hotel where the rest of the pack was waiting for us.  As expected, the ladies were almost hysterical to see each other after such a long while.  Some of us, yes us, grew bigger (sideways) while the others had maintained their built.  Nonetheless, despite the years, the wrinkles and the inches, the friendship had never been  stronger as the bond that tie us is rather long and deep. 

We had originally planned to go to Bohol but, because of the weather, opted not to go.  Instead we went to Simala where we had visited a famous church on a hill.  It is said that the place was miraculous and thus a church was built on the very ground where the miracles happened.  It was Divine's idea to go and thank the Good Lord for the time we had together. Everyone else just had to agree with her.  It took about 3 hours to get there. 

 On our way back from Simala, we stopped by a store in Carcar to buy some chicharon which the place is known for.  I had bought a few packs to bring home to Manila.  A pack of about 200 grams cost 50 pesos.  Of course we had a few pieces to eat inside the van. Sssshhh.  That's supposed to be a secret because we are now in our mid 40's and chicharon should not be on our list of things to eat. For those who do not know what the chicharon of Carcar is, it is pork crackling made of skin and fat.  Anyway, a few pieces wouldn't really hurt, right Vine?

While there, we saw a girl vendor who had some banana que with her.  Of course our friends who live abroad couldn't resist the temptation of buying some.  We all had a stick of the sugar-coated plaintain banans and a can of soft drink.  Whew!  talk about rising blood sugar.  Tata, though, had a coke zero because she's diabetic.  The rest of us, well, had a high glucose tolerance.

After the pitstop at Carcar, we went on our way but stopped once more in Carcar to buy some slippers and shoes.  It turned out that the place is also known for footwear and there's a place there where they sell them cheap.  The ladies bought an average of 2 pairs.  Jasmin had about half a dozen more. Cheaper by the dozen so it seems.

We went on our way after that back to the Radisson where Joy had her pretty daughters swim at the pool.  Jasmin had gone off to a business meeting, while we went to SM to eat dinner. For a night cap, we went to a videoke bar and sang our hearts out till about 3 am.  Boy, that day was tiresome, exhausting but very well spent.


Day 2
Day 3

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Choose A Good Dorm - It's A Parent's Responsibility

Beware of the thieves!

I actually mean those people who run a dorm and promise something without fulfilling them or who charge rates that you did not agree on.  Yesterday my daughter and I along with my mother-in-law transferred her stuff from her old dorm to the new one.  It was time to move to a new place because the old dorm near the raymundo gate is dirty, noisy and is run by a woman who gives false promises and charges exorbitant rates for nil or poor service.  The one thing I hate the most is how she expects the occupants of the dorm to clean the common area.  The reason it is a dorm and not an apartment is so that people will only want to occupy a room - actually, a space in a room for those who stay in those rooms for 2 or more people.  Thus, they should be responsible for the area that they are occupying.  Nothing else.  The kitchen, dining room, toilet, sala and even the ref should be cleaned and maintained by the owners or the caretakers.  

But no.  This dorm has dirty white tiles in the toilet – it used to be white but is now very dirty – plus the toilet bowl is  a mixture of brown and dirty white because of the grime.  The ref was never cleaned for the whole time my daughter was there and there was a time that it smelled like poop in the whole house when the ice melted during a black out.  Until yesterday the sink still had that turbid filthy brownish water near the wall just under the faucet which.  I dread to think what microorganisms can be cultured there.  Salmonella, pseudomonas?  Gosh!  Those can cause disease or even death to the kids.  So, be careful when you choose your child’s dorm especially for the first time.  

Here’re some tips to keep away from those types of dorms (a lesson I should have learned beforehand):
  1. Check with the local government. At UPLB, you can actually just go to the Batong Malake Barangay hall and check with them whether the dorm in has incidents or cases filed against them.  
  2. Check for recommendations over the internet.  I’m not saying that you believe everything on the net.  But if there are a lot of people saying that one place is good, then it probably is.  
  3. Check for recommendations from the college or university.  
  4. Of course if you have friends or relatives, ask them too for recommendations or suggestions.  

The following are recommended dorms at the UPLB area:

For the area near the Math Building:

  1. St. Therese Parish
  2. Ilag Dorm
  3. One Silangan

For the area near the BioSci building:
  Raymundo Gate dorms – butterfly ladies’ dorm, Lola, and a pink dorm at Pearl St., near F.O. Santos.  I will post a phone number soon.  Just please check back again.  The Westbrook dorm is a very nice, clean and well-kept dorm. However, the area going there gets really dark at night. 

For the area near the forestry, try the dorms of UP.  For the VetBuilding and CEAT areas, the YMCA or the dorms at the Silangan are probably the nearest ones.  

UPLB conducts a freshman orientation.  You can inquire then which dorms are recommended.  

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Dukan Diet with Tips for Filipinos

If you’re Filipino and you’re into the Dukan Diet, chances are that you would be scrambling about town to find the food that you can eat.  Here is how to do the Dukan Diet and the places to get the ingredients and food that you can consume while you’re on it. 

Dukan Diet Attack Phase (Phase 1)  

The Dukan diet Attack Phase is the most simple to remember but it is also the most difficult to adhere to.  However, it is in this phase that the most rapid weight loss occurs.  It is done anywhere from 2 to 10 days.  Dieters lose 5 to 7 pounds in 5 days.  Someone I know (Doc Mercy, this is you!) lost 10 lbs in 7 days.  Just don’t overdo it.  It is not a balanced diet and most dieters tend to become constipated.  It’s good that fat-free yogurt is allowed during this phase and will help address the problem of constipation.  Milk Kefir is also allowed as long as it is fat free.  I would suggest you take both.  Personally, I have lost weight just taking these two products with my regular meals.  In the Philippines, you can buy fat free, sugar free natural yogurt from Yoggie’s Yogurt Station.  Our yogurt do not have any emulsifier or other known stabilizers so you get a product that is purely made from milk and milk solids. 
The daily intake for this phase recommends the unlimited consumption of only lean protein from pork, beef, fish and eggs along with 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran and 1.5 liters of water daily.  However, in the US, tenderloin pork is allowed.

Attack Phase Food List
These are mostly what you can eat during this phase:
•    Seafood – any as long as it does not have carbs (e.g. breadcrumbs, flour, etc), or oil or in a sauce that has oil or fat.

•    Meat lean cuts of beef, veal or venison, low fat slices of ham with all rind and fat removed, lean bacon, calves  liver and kidneys, rabbit or hare.  The US version of the Diet also allows pork tenderloin.   Lean cuts of chicken, turkey, ostrich and other birds  without any limitations as long as they are devoid of all fat including the skin.  You are also allowed to eat chicken livers.  I found some ostrich meat at Rustan’s Grocery.

•    Dairy Products and Eggs – virtually any fat-free, sugar-free dairy products such as skim milk, quark, fromage frais, kefir or yoghurt can be eaten.  Yogurt is specially important to prevent constipation which is the usual complaints of Dukan dieters.  If you can find fat free ricotta and cream cheese, those are allowable too.  At Yoggie’s Yogurt Station, you can buy your yogurt, kefir, ricotta. 
Sugars from fruits are not allowed.  The consumption of up to 2 eggs a day in the attack phase.  I suggest you get the organic eggs which has very little cholesterol.  I found some cheap organic eggs are available at the organic stall at the fresh produce at Market Market.  Tofu and soy products are allowed. 

•    Herbs and Spices - You can use any herb or spice in any phase of the diet. However, they should be used sparingly – only to give some flavour to your food.  There ’s a wide selection that I found at the SM Megamall grocery.  Also, there’s a store at Market Market that sells unusual herbs and spices.  It is located across serendra right beside Fiorgelato.  The name eludes me this time. 
Even salt is allowed.  Just try not to be tempted to put too much of it as the proteins will be taxing on the kidneys already. 

•    Vinegar - All vinegars are allowed in all phases.  Some lemons can be used too for flavouring.

•    Sweeteners - Aspartame, Stevia, Splenda(sucralose) and Xylitol are allowed. I suggest you go for stevia instead.  You can buy the plant and use the leaves.  They’re available at the Manila Seedling Bank.  However, if you prefer the dried and readymade ones, I believe they’re available at the AANI stalls at Quezon City Memorial Circle.  Healthy Options has them too but those are a bit pricey.
Chewing gum can be used to freshen your breath.  It also helps you get rid of the hunger pangs. 

•    Drinks - You can drink skim milk, coffee, diet soda (as long as it is under 1 calorie per glass), green tea or fruit teas.   

•    Goji Berries - A tolerated item according to the official site.  Yoggie’s has this too. 

•    Brewer’s Yeast and Multivitamin Supplements
I will write about these in another blog tomorrow:
Dukan diet Cruise Phase (Phase 2)
Dukan diet Consolidation Phase (Phase 3)
Dukan diet Stabilization Phase (Phase 4)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The No Poo Shampoo Method - A Natural Way to Clean Hair

Commercial shampoos have chemicals that may cause cancer.  This is according to what I have found over the internet.  So, the herbalist, naturalist and "organicist" (???) that I am, I tried to search for an alternative to it.  I found the "no poo" method which are now being sold.  However, why buy when I can actually make it at home with very little cost.  Here's how I do it:

Mix 1 tbsp baking soda in 1 cup of water in a dipper.  In another dipper, mix the juice of1/4 dalandan or navel orange with 1 cup of water.  Wet hair thoroughly.  Pour the soda water solution through out the hair and scalp.  Massage scalp for a few seconds.  Rinse with tap water.  Pour in and massage through your hair the orange-water mixture.  leave on for about 5 minutes.  The longer it stays on hair, the softer the hair is. The nice
At the start, my hair became greasy but as it went on, I find that it smelled good and is really cleaner.  The orange was also good for my tresses as it became softer and more manageable.  plus my locks smell refreshingly nice with  the essence of orange.  I used GIGA's Scalp Treatment which is made from virgin coconut oil and ginger to stop my falling hair.  It seems like the regimen is working for me.  It's cheap and it really works.  Why don't you try it and find out? 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Yogurt and the Dukan Diet

I had a lady doctor come over today to buy some fat-free natural yogurt.  In the Philippines, there are but a few who make yogurt and most are either whole milk or low-fat.  Thus far, this lady said I'm the only yogurt maker with fat free yogurt that she found on the internet. 

Anyway, it turned out that she is on the attack phase (the very first phase) of the dukan diet and had very little choices for food variety that she wants to add yogurt or fat free dairy to her list. So, she tried to ask me and while I do not have fat free yogurt in my product list, I do give in to some client requests such as this.  She contacted me yesterday, and today, she came over to pick it up. 

So what's the Dukan Diet all about?  As I understand it, it is a diet formulated by a certain Dr. Pierre Dukan who is a French medical doctor.  The diet has 4 phases and the very first one, the attack phase, involves ingesting only protein.  Some people claim to have lost 10 pounds in 3 days.  This lady doctor said she has so far lost 10 pounds in 7 days.  Not bad.  perhaps I'll give it a shot.  Anyone care to try? 

For fresh yogurt in manila and other dairy and probiotic needs, visit  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Metrosouth Executive Village Cavite

Here are the pictures of the Metrosouth lot we are selling:

This is the entrance to the village.

The two pools - adult and kiddie.

 Another view of the entrance.  This is the same entrance to Eagle Ridge.

The lot - it is by a curb of the road.

There are houses nearby already. 

The view across the lot. 

The village is a project of Sta. Lucia Realty, one of the Philippines' trusted owner/developers of subdivisions. It has guards at every village and the overhead watertanks are interconnected so that when one is down, the others can still supply water to the village whose tank is not working.   There is a commercial area about 500 meters away from the village's entrance.  There, one can find department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and others.  There are universities, colleges and schools within a kilometer or two away the nearest of which are the Lyceum of the Philippines and the De La Salle Health Science School.  There are hospitals and churches and a market nearby.

Our lot is 153 square meters and is located right beside an open space intended as a park. It is elevated thus making it flood free. For details and a map, please see my advertisement

Thursday, September 08, 2011

More Greenwoods Phase 8D Lot Pictures

here're more pictures: (check my sulit account for details)

These are pics of the clubhouse and some amenities.  

Greenwoods Executive Village Lot

I would like to share these photos for my customers. Here's the property in Greenwoods Pasig. (for details, please check my sulit account and this post for other pics)

Here's the road from the entrance gate, Taytay side.  The gate is about 1 minute to C6 highway that runs all the way to Bicutan. 

This photo is at the corner of the street, 3 lots away from ours.

These are among the houses near the lot.

There you go.  hope you like it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tell Them You Love Them

Sometimes it's hard to imagine that you can actually lose someone you hold dear.

I was at a wake 2 nights ago. It was Mama Beth's. She was a widow, a woman in her late 60's who suffered from a stroke and had cerebral hemorrhage in the process. Her daughter works for me and has been doing so for the past 8 years. Before she came, it was her sister who was with us. Thus, the whole family has become so close and familiar to us that we had established close ties with them and even treated them as members of our own family. We gather every Christmas eve at my house to party - their family and mine.

Lately, though, their family have been having some trouble. Some of Mama Beth's children had marital problems while others lost their jobs. As a mother, she felt their pain - the pain of not being able to feed your family, the pain of leaving home and losing a partner, the pain of not seeing one's children - all these piled up on Mama Beth's shoulders as she went from one home to the other to counsel and console her children. Needless to say, she did all those without expecting anything in return. She told me all those too so I know how she felt.

The one thing that struck me so much was that one of her daughters cried while telling me about how she suffered at the hospital. But she cried the hardest when I asked if she had told her how much she loved her mother. She said "No, Ate, I did not. I was not even able to thank her for her love too.". It all happened so fast.

When someone dies or is dying, there's nothing much that we can do for them. Not us nurses, not the doctors. Noone can really help. But, the best thing that we can do for them is to assure them of how much we love them and that we would be in good hands when they finally leave us.

Rest in peace Mama Beth. I shall forever cherish your friendship and your love.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Yummy Mayo - DIY

I had earlier made some sardine out of the barracuda that my dad brought from Palawan. One of the many ways I enjoy it is making gourmet sandwiches out of the fresh sardine dish. However, I realized I had run out of mayonnaise because I made some dip for my duaghter to bring to her boarding house. So, because I still wanted to have my sandwich, I got out some fresh organic eggs and made mayo myself. It turned out that the one I made is close to the taste of the commercial brand I normally buy. You may want to try it too. Here's my recipe:

1 organic egg
half a calamansi (I usually use lemon but ran out of it too)
1/4 teaspoon salt
some freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 cup virgin coconut oil

In a blender, put in the egg, calamansi, salt, pepper and sugar. Switch on the blender to the fastest setting. Add in half of all the oils a drop per minute starting with the sesame oil. Then add in the rest of the canola oil in a thin steady stream.

Note that some oil maybe left because the amount of oil depends on how large the egg is. Also, once you have started to put in the oils, do not stop until you feel the solution can no longer take in any more oil.

Eggs can be sources of salmonella so I use organic eggs. Not that it is a sure way to avoid the bacteria but there's a lesser chance of those eggs being contaminated. If you can get hold of pasteurized eggs, those will be better. We don't have them in the Philippines. Too bad.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Everyday Items Cause Cancer - Going Green

I'm back with a vengeance! LOL
Been busy with my daughter's transfer to the university and her moving out of the house too. But that will be for another blog. I have so much to write about.

Anyway, on days when I was rather lonely at home, I do some research on cancer and guess what I found - even baby shampoos contain chemicals that cause the ailment. Shampoos, soaps, hair dye, baby wash, processed food, etc. all contribute to the risk of having the disease. Here are some things you can use instead of these items:

No poo instead of shampoo - Baking Soda and Lemon

Dissolve about half teaspoon of Baking Soda in half cup of water. Apply to wet hair and scalp as you would your shampoo. Rinse and condition with freshly squeezed Lemon (or orange for dry hair). Your hair will be rid of smell from chemical build up and will be smooth too.

Henna and Chamomile For Hair Dye

Henna is the most natural way to dye your hair. My daughter lightened her black hair with chamomile tea before she used red henna.

To use chamomile tea, simply take about 3 to 4 bags of chamomile and steep in 1 cup of boiling water. Do this at least 3 times then dye your hair with henna.

To prepare henna, simply make a thick paste with your henna powder and add some lemon to it. Then apply to hair. Leave on till it dries. That should take about half a day. Leaving henna on your hair makes it soft and manageable anyway.

Apple cider vinegar for Female Vaginal Wash
add about half tsp of apple cider vinegar about a liter of water and use it to wash vaginal area.

Fruits to lighten the skin
Use fresh papaya, lemon, or calamansi, directly onto skin. Leave for about 5 minutes and rinse. Using these twice a day is good but once will be enough too.

Parsley for Mouthwash
Make a tea by steeping parsley in hot water to make mouth wash. Simply boil some water. When in a rolling boil, turn off heat and quickly add to a glass with a handful of parsley and cover for 5 minutes.

Vinegar for Underarm deodorant
Just dab some vinegar directly to underarm and dry it first before wearing any clothes. The smell of vinegar will go away when it dries.

So there your are. All of the above tips have been tried and tested (by me and my family of course) to be safe for us. However, if you are allergic to any of the components, do not try to use it. It's better safe than sorry.

Let's be green and healthy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Want a new IPAD? Join EastWest Bank's promo

Ever dream of having a techie gadget without spending? Here's your chance. The East West Bank now gives out IPADs and Ipods. Promo is open only to those who have no EastWest Bank Credit Cardholders yet but who will directly apply with EastWest Bank for Credit Card (“EWBC Card”) as Principal Cardholders and then also apply for a Balance Transfer within the Promo Period. The redemption period is from May 16 to October 15, 2011. However, applications for both EWBC Card and Balance Transfer must be approved.

Please check out the promotion here. I want one!

Friday, May 13, 2011

UPCAT 2012 Application Forms Are Out

For those who wish to apply for the UPCAT, please check and download from It is better for you to apply now. Bring some of the forms to your school and have them fill the necessary ones out right away. Filing will start on May 25, 2011. Deadline for submission for Manila residents is on June 17 2011 while June 24, 2011 for provincial applicants.

Do remember the following before you apply:
1. Read my tips.
2. Visit the UPLB first because you might just like it there. If you don't pass the UPCAT, it is easier to make an appeal at UPLB if you choose them as one of the two priority campuses.
3. Prepare all the documents while you wait for your school to prepare the forms you need to submit to prevent any delays later on. It is best to file your application as early as possible.

Use a pencil first so you can erase your mistakes. Remember to proofread before you finalize your application.

God Bless.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mothers' Day and Pacquiao

Happy Mothers' Day to all mothers.

Today is mothers' day here in the Philippines. Today, in the USA, Manny Pacquiao fights Mosley. He won of course. There really is no doubt he'd win. But as a mother, I thought "what is going on in his mom's mind at every fight?". I mean sure he wins and brings back millions. But then, all the pain that he has to bear, all the cuts and bruises he suffers?

It is no wonder that Mommy D prays on bended knees at every fight her son has. There was 1 fight that she was able to watch personally but that was it. I'd suggest for him to retire now so that the world remembers him as the greatest boxer the world has ever known. After all, he's got fame and lots of money. There's nothing else for him that he hasn't gotten yet.

What do you think?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Cereal Prawn - A well-loved Singaporean Dish

For those who love to go to Singapore or Malaysia for this dish, fret no more. Here's a recipe that is very similar to those that you will find in those places. Enjoy! (Sorry, I don't have a better pic as I remembered to take this shot after we had eaten. hahaha)

1 lb large shrimps or prawns
300 grams Instant Cereal (I used Nesvita)
1 tbsps sugar
3 tbsps flour
1 eggyolk
60g butter
3 dried or fresh chillies, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves (more if you want it to be more fragrant)
salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking oil

1) Wash shrimps. remove the rostrum (the hard pointed part of the head), antennas and the larger legs. Add some salt and ground pepper.
2) Mix the cereal, flour and sugar. Add salt and pepper.
3) Heat oil until it is very hot. Fry prawns in wok a few pieces at a time until it turns red and the shell looks crisp. This should not take you more than 20 seconds per batch of 5 pieces. Set aside.
4) Remove oil from the wok and melt butter in it.
5) Add chillies and curry leaves. Give it a quick stir.
6) Beat the eggyolk lightly and add to the cereal mix. Add this mixture to the chilli-curry mixture and toss until cereal turns brown and crunchy.
7) Add in the fried shrimps. Stir for about 20 seconds. Serve with hot rice.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Spanish Sardines Sandwich

Tonight we had sandwich for dinner. We had planned to eat some noodles (pancit bato) which our homemaker brought from Bicol. I made some spanish sardines in extra virgin olive oil earlier as our help went to the market and saw some really fresh tawilis (small freshwater fish). She forgot to buy the celery which I like adding to the pancit. So, because I didn't want to cook the noodles without the celery, we opted to eat the sardines instead. I sliced some rye bread which I bought from the grocery and kept in the freezer to keep it fresh. We had some romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and mayo in the refrigerator. With all those at hand, we made our sandwiches with the freshly cooked sardines. Yum!

Here's a recipe of the sardines:

1 kilo Tawilis
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water
1 tsp pickle relish
chilli peppers
bay leaf

Clean the tawilis. Cut off its head and tails. Put in a pressure cooker. add in all the rest of the ingredients and seal the pressure cooker. Cook over high heat and when the cooker starts to whistle, start timing for 1 hour. After 1 hour, test the sardines for softness. If the bones are not soft enough to be eaten, cook in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes more. Start timing when the cooker starts to whistle. Transfer the sardines to a container with a cover and cool. It will keep for a few days inside the ref. If frozen, it keeps for about a month or so.

Note: Check your instruction manual on how to operate your pressure cooker. It is dangerous to operate it without first reading the guide.

Preparing for the UPCAT Exam


I'm at it again. The same mistake I did many, many years ago. Geez, I feel old with that. hahaha. Anyway, I did the same mistake as I did many years ago because I didn't ask my child to choose a so-called "non-quota" course in UP. These days, each course has a quota. Some accept more students than others. Those are what had been known as "quota" courses. However, they accept more but there is a lesser chance to get in because there are more people who want to get in. It's just like comparing 50 persons out of a thousand and 10 out of a hundred. 50/1000 equals .05% chance and 10/100 equals .1 chance. She took the courses that had a higher quota so we had to make an appeal to get her in. Thank the Good Lord she did. Anyway, just so you know, here are my tips for taking the UPCAT Exam (and hopefully get into UP):

1. Take an UPCAT review. I suggest you get into one of those review centers. This is one mistake we made too. Ikee didn't go into review during the summer before taking the UPCAT. Thus, she didn't know that there would be Filipino in the exam. of course, I forgot that part too.
In a review center, they will tell you what to expect, how to fill out your application, and most questions you have will be answered by a qualified reviewer. But do your part. Study further. As in any major exam, do not rely on what you hear.

2. Check out the quota of each course. I don't think UP will release this data to you or anyone else. You can base in on the previous year's quota which will give you a better chance at estimating it. Google for it. The technique is to take a course that has neither a very high nor very low quota. Go for the ones in the middle. But if there is none, choose the lower quota.

3. Determine the campus that has the course that you want. It is best to stay away from the Diliman Campus unless you are very very certain of your grades, your test-taking ability, your financial status, and the course you have chosen. You will be asked to choose 2 campuses. If you prefer UP Diliman, don't choose UP Manila for the other campus and vice versa.

4. If you have skills or talents such as singing, dancing, art, writing, swimming, basketball, etc. you'll have a better chance at applying at the college of music, architecture and fine arts, physical education, etc.

If you have done these and still didn't make it, here's what you should do:

1. Wait for your grade. There is really nothing you can do unless you have that piece of information.

2. When you finally get your UPG, determine which campus can accept you. The UPG means university percentile grade and is your actual UPCAT score. There are campuses who put on waitlist those people who are within an acceptable grade. Each campus has a pre-determined acceptable grade for their waitlist criteria. Diliman has the highest. UP Manila's cut off came next with a grade cut-off of 2.5 while UPLB's cut-off is 2.8. Each campus has its own criteria so better call them. The phone numbers are at the back of the letter sent to you.

3. If you have the skills I mentioned above, go to the college where those are taught and ask for the UPG cut-off score for waitlisted applicants. You just might fit into their requirement. But, be sure you are exceptionally good in the skill or talent.

4. In case you do have a grade within the cut-off of a particular campus, go there and file for an appeal. Some, like UPLB, has the waitlist form posted online. However, the Manila campus required the applicant to secure the form personally. Some colleges will require an interview. After filing your appeal, check with the campus when they will release the results. If you need to undergo an interview, here are suggestions to prepare for it.

5. If your grade is below 3.0 (e.g. 3.1, 3.02, etc), dont' bother to make an appeal. Instead, study elsewhere and get your self an General weighted Average grade (GWA) of at least 2.0. Then apply for transfer into UP.

Preparing for UP requires studying well from your first year of your high school. Couple it with determination and perseverance your dream of getting into the best university in the Philippines just may come true.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Teaching Her To Cook

My daughter is nearly entering her freshman year in tertiary education. We live over an hour away from the university she will attend and we've been thinking of letting her rent an apartment or condo unit nearby. She needs to have her space when she studies and needs to learn independence too. She's the type who gets dizzy when travelling let alone in a public transport. Furthermore, she needs to have a place to stay near the campus so that when it rains, she doesn't have to fend her way through the crowd just to get home.

The downside of this is she needs to do house chores. I thought of asking our help to go visit her once or twice a week. That would be the easiest part. But what about her food? I want her to eat healthy food which is not readily available in the area. Also, she has food allergies. Although somehow we've managed to bring her allergens to a minimum and despite the fact that she had no reactions whatsoever while we were in Singapore (which she attributes to her intake of Kefir), I still think that one way she can survive this is to learn to cook. This summer I've started to teach her. Here are some of the food that she has managed to cook (a few with my supervision, other her alone). You may click on the titles to find their recipes, if available (if not available yet, please come back and check for the link soon):

Bruschetta with Spinach and Banana Blossom Dip

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Fish Fillet (she cooks this without any help now)

It's fun to teach your teen to do things for themselves specially when you know it will be a life lesson.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dating Daughter - Will You Say No?

The scenario is that your daughter is asking your permission to go on a date for the first time. She's 17. Will you allow her?

I will.

Let me qualify my answer. I firmly believe children should be given freedom to make decisions and choices. However, that should not prevent us parents from giving them advices. If you don't allow them, you also curtail your chance to guide them.

Chances are, when teens are not permitted to do something, they hide their activities from their parents. When they hide things from us, we can't tell them what to do nor how to react. But when they do tell us because we have allowed them, then we are able to give them their limitations.

I think many people find our style of discipline to be odd. However, when it comes to our children, I guess I have a better relationship with mine - we about a lot of things even about her crushes and all, we enjoy each other's company, I know her friends, and my daughter does know how to handle situations quite maturely than most of her peers. Even her friends' parents trust her. They normally allow their children to leave when she's in the group.

She's 17 and according to Freud, Piaget and some other psychologists, they will be attracted to the opposite sex at this stage. Thus, it is for us parents to know how to guide and regulate their activities. Better to say yes and put limitations than to say no and be cheated by them, right?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For Men Only: How to do a Testicular Self Examination

Well, I guess the title is misleading. Everyone should be concerned about testicular health. Why? primarily because we all are related to a male - a father, a brother, a cousin, a friend, an associate, a co-worker, etc, etc, etc. How hard it would be for us to see someone succumb to cancer when it could be cured with early detection. So much for the ranting, I'm quoting the following from Teenshealth:

"Here's what to do:

* It's best to do a TSE during or right after a hot shower or bath. The scrotum (skin that covers the testicles) is most relaxed then, which makes it easier to examine the testicles.
* Examine one testicle at a time. Use both hands to gently roll each testicle (with slight pressure) between your fingers. Place your thumbs over the top of your testicle, with the index and middle fingers of each hand behind the testicle, and then roll it between your fingers.
* You should be able to feel the epididymis (the sperm-carrying tube), which feels soft, rope-like, and slightly tender to pressure, and is located at the top of the back part of each testicle. This is a normal lump.
* Remember that one testicle (usually the right one) is slightly larger than the other for most guys — this is also normal.
* When examining each testicle, feel for any lumps or bumps along the front or sides. Lumps may be as small as a piece of rice or a pea.
* If you notice any swelling, lumps, or changes in the size or color of a testicle, or if you have any pain or achy areas in your groin, let your doctor know right away.

Lumps or swelling may not be cancer, but they should be checked by your doctor as soon as possible. Testicular cancer is almost always curable if it is caught and treated early."

Additionally, you can check for excess fluid in the testicles. Use a flashlight and try to illuminate at the back of the "balls". If it becomes luminous (or light passes) there's fluid. See your physician right away.

You can drink kefir to boost your immune system and prevent certain penile and testicular conditions. I let my dad drink it because he's over 60 and so far it is working quite well for him.

It's not easy to find kefir in the Philippines because it is of foreign origin. However, you can got to the website of Yoggie's Yogurt Station at where kefir is sold at a lower price than other brands.

Stay healthy.