Wednesday, July 29, 2009


They don't make songs like these anymore... and Barbra's interpretation is solidly untouchable

Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered
by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
from Pal Joey
recorded by Frank Sinatra 1963

She's a fool and don't I know it?
But a fool can have her charms
I'm in love and don't I show it?
Like a babe in arms

Love's the same old sad sensation
Lately, I've not slept a wink
Since this silly situation
Has me on the blink

I'm wild again, beguiled again
A simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered ... am I

Couldn't sleep, wouldn't sleep
Then love came and told me I shouldn't sleep
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I

Lost my heart, but what of it?
She is cold, I agree
She might laugh, but I love it
Although the laugh's on me

I'll sing to her, bring spring to her
And long for the day when I'll cling to her
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Version of Sinigang na Porky

(photos to follow...)
Sinigang (Tamarind based Stew/Soup) is one of the pillars of Filipino cuisine and yet it is one of the simplest and easiest recipes in the Filipino menu. It's hard to go wrong when cooking this. But mishaps are not totally absent. Frequent mistakes stem from:
  1. Meat is still not tender
  2. Vegetables too soggy (although some people want that... i don't understand why hahaha)
  3. Too salty
  4. Too sour
  5. Too little soup (in Filipino, a dishwhen called "Sigang" implies it has a lot of soup)
I said one of the easiest. My opinion of course. Why? Because you just have to throw everything in a pot. Wait. Check. Throw something in again, wait, then it's done. Nice :-) especially for multitasking mothers/house-bands.


What do we need?

Meat. I'm using pork but a lot of other things can be turned into a Sinigang. Beef, Shrimp, and Fish.

River Spinach (Kangkong), String Beans (Sitaw), Tomatoes, Green Pepper (Siling Pansigang), Okra (I don't like Okra, so no Okra for me), and Onion/s (Native ones are more tasty).

Taro (Gabi) - my favorite ingredient. I love to overcook it to the point it makes the Sinigang very turbid. Yum yum yum... I squish it with the steamed rice so it looks like mashed baby food hahahaha. I'm getting hungry.

Tamarind. or Tamarind flavor mix.

Wash and peel things that needed to be peeled. Cut the string beans into 1 1/2 inch sticks. Don't throw the stems of the River spinach, I like them so I place them separately with the leaves. I am talking about the real stem not the stem of the leaf ok? I'm weird I know, just like what the rabbit eats, I like them...

Slice the tomatoes whatever way you like, they'll just end up unrecognizable. Quarter the onion. Slice the okra into 1/2 inch sticks.

Tips : When using tamarind, you don't peel them ok? Just wash them well. When using kamias, just wash well too. When using Bayabas, was well and remove the ugly things at the ends (same as kamias too).

Get a thick pot or if you have big enough earthenware that would really be great. When my mom cooks Sinigang, Nilaga, or her famous Beef Pares, she cooks it on charcoal. It has an effect, the slow even heat of the charcoal coupled that it adds a sort of smoky flavor is really superb, and couple that with using earthenware *droools yum yum really. But I use a big thick pot because I want to put a lot of sabaw (soup).

Oh before I forget, people also put Labanos (radish). More often than not, it is ignored by people because it is sort of bitter, I sort of have a love-hate relationship with it and did not use it. I only put all the ingredients when I'm cooking it for a guest, or party but for myself I only put what I want which is right, right?

So put your pork in the pot, onions, tomatoes, and tamarind (you don't see tamarind here, I used artifical flavoring). Put water and make sure everything is submerged. Now a secret ingredient (yum yum)... put Patis (fish sauce) hahaha. Some don't do this anymore (health issues) but the flavor of the dish after is oh......

Boil. Boil. Boil. Check from time to time it may spill over. Some like to remove the "dirty" fat that floats. When no one's looking I don't remove it LOL. That's the LOVE! When the tamarind is cooked(soft/really soft), remove them and keep them first. So when your meat is nearly soft, put in the taro. I usually put it in way earlier because I want it to be really squishy. When both the meat and taro are cooked, mash the tamarind in a little of the broth and put the extract in the soup, use a strainer and bathe the seeds and the rind with broth from the pot until you feel all the flavor has dropped in. Mix and try tasting if the sourness is just right. Remember that the heat tends to numb the flavors so if anything you are cooking tastes just right, it's alright don't add any more!!!

After the tamarind flavoring, put in the radish, okra and the string beans, after a few mintues then put salt to taste, mix, then turn it off and put the veggies in mix quickly and cover. The remaining heat will cook the River Spinach leaves. You don't want them super soggy.

When using Kamias or Bayabas (Guava), after getting them out when they're soft, mash them and return everything in, no filtering required.

When using fish (I love Sinigang na Bangus!), note that they cook fast so be very very careful.

How do I know when my fish is cooked? -- look at their eyes. If they're opaque white. They're done.

Whew... this is longer than I expected and took two efforts to type. LOL.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bewildering Patients

We were trying to recall weird and bewildering experiences @ the ER, in the ward or on the news. Here are some of my more interesting patients.... LOL
  • LRT 1 Expansion Guard inside his guard house. Guard house smacked by cab with sleepy cab driver. Guard arrives at East Ave with altered sensorium and lots of injuries. I think we were able to do a CT scan and it showed intracranial bleed can't remember where. Anyway... Lesson: You get a job, you die. Stay at home. LOL
  • Priest from seminary changing water from dispenser. New and full water gallon apparently slips and falls ... wait for it ... on his big toe. Toe avulsed... We try to reattach. Whole convent must pray it does not necrose. Lesson: The more faith you have. The more you will get tested.
  • 50-ish woman wonders why there is nothing coming out of almost new tube of mighty bond. Looks closely and squeezes forcefully. Squirts her eye ... and in surprise .... holds her eye .... (nope... fingers and eye didn't stick LOL) Fingers are stuck together. Eye stuck closed. We tell her "Heto po lalagyan natin ng anesthesia bago buksan (We're going to put anesthesia before we try to open it.)" but we drop it outside (of course it's shut closed LOL) so no effect. Then... we force it OPEN!!! LOL No other way sorry... Lesson: You can learn something useful from watching screwball comedies...
  • Patient brought in the ER screaming, rolling on the floor, looking funny while doing it. Problem: cockroach in ear. One of the most painful things I've seen. And I don't doubt it. It IS really painful when the roach tries to fight back when you "kill" it. Lesson: Wash your hands after eating. Some of that mango flavor you ate might just end up in your ear and attract some nice pets...
More to come...

These are true stories. I'm trying to be funny but they are serious and these patients were hurt!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Version of Chicken Curry

Today, I cooked again after a loooong time...Ingredients for the my version of chicken curry: Potatoes, Tomatoes, Garlic, Onion, Ginger, Coconut Milk, Tomato Sauce, Oil, Salt, and Pepper...
Of course... the most important ingredient, the CURRY powder!
Chicken. I prefer meaty parts. I don't like to wrestle with my food. I just want to taste it mmm mmm...
Wash the things that needs washing. Peel everything that needs to be peeled. Crush and chop the garlic. Chop the onion and tomatoes. Slice the ginger into thin pieces. I put a lot of tomatoes because I love 'em. I don't saute without tomatoes and anyway it adds to the flavor in this particular recipe. Don't throw away the tomato extract "katas."
Wash, peel, eye and chop the potatoes. Submerge them in water while you are doing other stuff so they won't blacken. I prefer to chop them into around an inch X half-an-inch big so that they'll cook faster.
Ok. Get a Kawali (Skillet). Canola oil (or whatever you want).
Saute the garlic and onions. What goes in first? Really doesn't matter. Skill dependent. You might burn the onions if you wait too long before putting in the onions. Know thyself. The size of garlic and onions? Depends on you too. If you don't want to accidentally bite garlic or onion pieces, chop(mince) them into microscopic pieces. Again, cooking is an art. Recipes are guides.

Free tip
: How do you remove garlic smell from your fingers?? rub your fingers and nails into a stainless steel smooth surface under the faucet (not the sharp edge LOL). It will magically remove the smell. Trust me.
Put in the ginger.
Then tomatoes. Don't overcook them...
I prefer to put in the potatoes first. Why? The chicken cooks faster compared to them so toss them around a bit before...
putting in the chicken. Mix a little until the chicken whitens a little.
Turn down the stove. Slow medium to low heat. Cover it. You may put a little little amount of water but you don't need to actually. The water in the chicken and potatoes will come out and that'll cook them both. Thus, the need for the cover, so the moisture won't evaporate. To contain the heat inside.

Check from time to time if they are soft. Check the potatoes. If the potatoes are cooked, the chicken is cooked too. Unless you have very big pieces of chicken in which case you MUST check the chicken too.
If you feel they are almost almost cooked. Remove the cover and LET the water evaporate but don't let it dry, leave a little amount of water. If too much water came out you may increase the heat temporarily to hasten evaporation but don't forget to mix, the chicken might get burned.
Now put in the coconut milk.

Free Tip:
You can now buy pressed coconut milk from the wet market, just ask. You don't have to squeeze it yourself anymore, it is a little more expensive but is worth it, and it is PURE coconut milk, they don't add water. A machine squeezes the juice out of the coconut meat. You can also buy packed coconut milk (with a little preservative) in the groceries. This is what I used today. I didn't want to go to the market.
Let it boil then put in the tomato sauce. Amount? I don't measure sorry... This will make the recipe your own LOL.
Right after putting the tomato sauce, put in curry powder. Again, I can't say how much curry powder you should put. It will depend on how you want your curry to taste. Really spicy. Little kick. Horse kick. Ticklish? I think this time I used a tablespoonful of curry and little more for luck.

Salt and pepper to your liking. I like a LOT of pepper. I use freshly crushed peppercorn. Always gives more flavor. Mix. Let boil. Taste. Serve.

Keeping Tips: Don't leave out when it's hot. If it has coconut milk it will spoil easily. I used to cook a lot of this and then divide it before freezing so I can have it whenever I want. You can keep it frozen until a month or so (not sure here).

Do you want me to teach you to cook anything? I hope I know how to though HAHAHA. Carienderia food is my specialty LOL...

Monday, July 20, 2009


I rarely appreciate forwarded text messages. But minutes ago, my friend Kaye sent me this and I loved it :

One day, the villagers decided to pray for rain.
On the day of prayer everyone gathered,
but only one boy came with an umbrella.
That is FAITH

When you throw a baby in the air,
he laughs
because he knows you will catch him.
That is TRUST.

Every night we go to bed,
we are not sure that we will awaken in the morning
but we still have many plans for the coming day
That is HOPE

Have Faith.
Trust in God
and never lose hope.

It's lovely. Right?!

Friday, July 17, 2009

HP & the Half Blood Prince (Spoiler Alert!!!)

I thought that a very long time spent waiting for the sixth HP installment will ensure very satisfied HP fans both read and non-readers. I hate the fact that the movie dwell too much on adolescence, hormone surge and flirting and totally left out the fact that the sixth book is very pivotal in explaining a lot of things and setting-up the scene for the end of the series.

Important scenes that were left out from the book / unfaithful scenes :

The Room of Requirement - Harry was supposed to accidentally see Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem when he hides the Half-blood Prince's book.

Harry and Ginny's first kiss was totally different from how it happened in the book. Not that this is important but it is rather annoying and could have been omitted altogether actually.

The absence of the great battle scene at the end. The Order vs. Death Eaters inside Hogwarts. Epic. But amazingly absent from the movie. It would have been a great great scene something that could have rivaled Voldemort vs. Dumbledore although I think that scene from the HP5 also detracted too much from canon.

The most important thing to me was the fact though that Dumbledore did not freeze Harry at that encounter before his demise. I do not think the REAL Harry, and by that the character conceived by Ms. Rowling would have just stood there and did nothing while Dumbledore was wandless and his life threatened. No amount of promise would have stopped Harry from helping.

I think the ending was ok. I'm guessing they will start the next movie showing a short scene of Dumbledore's funeral and that's fine with me. I hated the rock concert sort of tribute at the end of HP6 though. Raising their wands sheeesh....

It was a good movie. Yes. A good movie by itself but an unfitting tribute to the book. Much like the first movie of the twilight saga...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Posting on YouTube

I just uploaded few more liturgical music to my youtube channel. I've already convinced myself not to upload anymore since last time but it's always nagging me that this is the only tribute I can give to God.

Whenever I put a comment on another channel praising other people's talent and telling them "May God continue to bless you...," or "God has given you such a wonderful gift..." there are always people (I presume mostly young people) that can't help but poop on you ... "God has nothing to do with why he's/she's great... tons of practice dude..." blah blah blah.... It really gets to me... these people... blind... and deaf... sigh... no faith at all... I pity them...

I know I'm not at all at league with the youtube legends (hahaha dream on LZ...) but the videos are my contribution. I hope people see the wonder of God in their talents. I won't be discouraged commenting how the Holy Spirit lives on these wonderful talented people by a few devils... bite me.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Our Lady of Piat Visits Sto. Domingo Church

An awesome backdrop

Ang mga manang na punas ng punas.

I asked the Bishop of Tuguegarao to please bless my pencils in Our Lady of Piat's name for the boards. I almost brokedown again haha. And then I touched the pencils to Mama Mary's Image.

A Morning of Epiphany

God just threw them all over me... I guess these things were milling in my mind lately that I was just like slapped by His messages for me. I smiled and looked at the amazing Graciano Nepumuceno crucifix and silently gave thanks for the gift of faith.

Faith makes our lives simple. It makes us understand the mysteries of the universe. Those who chose not to accept this gift think of it as foolishness, a lack of common sense and logic. But nothing makes anything more clearer. Nothing makes the complex so simple. Everything is possible.

The bishop of Tuguegarao in his homily said that one of the problems of youth today is lack of commitment. I thought he was going to blabber about marriage and prepared myself to ignore him. He did not realize as simple as he spoke that he had just converted one of the most determined enemies of that institution. It's not that I'm revolted of the fact, but just that I don't see its purpose. He did not speak of marriage specifically though. People saying 'yes' and then going back on their word. People saying 'yes' just to get things over with, gain advantage and favors, and to hear what they want to and not make it hurt that much. It used to be that the world had so much commitment and honor that mere words were as good as chisel to stone.

Commitment in way you choose to live your life. I realized after which that I can't complain how life was so complicated when I made it so. How many social network size does each of us maintain? I have my flickr page, multiply, Facebook, Blogger, Myspace, Twitter, Youtube... this list goes on and on for other people. I complain I had no time when I created the mess myself. It was a simple message to me from a smiling God, "See, you knew the answers... you just needed Me to remind you what it was." What are these things for anyway? Do they substitute for actual interaction?

It was one more thing I was revolted too. Social interaction. I get weary of facing people. I'm too weird for most people. I know that. Others read me as snobbish and focus only on a few people but I really can't handle parties, mingling and such. It's a good thing though I can act when needed. Not at the Marlon Brando level but a put on a mask is relatively a regular routine. Sigh... a way to defend the me that no one but a few people have seen.

A commitment to myself and the people I love. Can someone be a recluse in this time of history? Again, the choice is ours and it goes back to commitment as I see it. :-) I guess it's called a lot of words but I'll call it 'Absolute Commitment.' It involves no one else but you and the one you choose. I mocked books and movies that tell of people who can just be with each other forever oblivious to everything else. They need not do anything, just be. Existing for each other brings simple happiness.

Let it all hang out now... a time for change has come. The gift of faith gives us the answers. I choose to go about life in a more simple manner. I choose not to keep relationships for a matter of social convinience. I choose to accept that someone out there exists for me and will love me and we will have absolute commitment. I just have to wait forever for that... hahaha!