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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.