Saturday, April 23, 2011

coz we live in a beautiful world...

It's sooo beautiful that it's almost hypnotic....

I am blown away.

 My only wish is for people to realize what a beautiful world we're living in. I just hope that every human being would just take great care of it, coz clearly there's no other planet like ours. And this is the only place in the universe we can truly call our home. 

It's a beautiful world, just care for it. 
If you already do, thank you, but please let others know.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

the perfect excuse...

 Because it's a no meat week.


Tuna and cucumber sushi, prawn and vegetable tempura, sauteed bean sprouts and tuna sashimi..

I can never complain. 

I just loooove Japanese cuisine so much that if I ever go to Japan I'll surely die of gluttony and I'll die a happy sinner smiling through the different levels of hell. bwhahaha.

This is the nth time I've made sushi, tempura the 2nd, and bean sprout the 1st. I haven't mastered the sushi yet, but it's satisfactory, I guess (considering that it's one my dad's frequent request). I'm still frustrated with the tempura batter, it's still not crispy ala restaurants, but it's improving at least. Note to self, experiment more. As for the bean sprout, I'm very pleased. It's not over cooked nor is it under cooked,  just perfect!   

 No meat week is LOVE!


blog track:
Oh it is love by hellogoodbye

Thursday, April 14, 2011

words of the apple man...

Just what quarter life needs... 


"Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart."

"You've got to find what you love."

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

(Stumbling on Steve Jobs at Stanford. A big T.Y. to Daphne O.).

Saturday, April 9, 2011

el Susan's dish....

On tonight's house menu....


El Susan's dish
Pork chop ala Susan y sidings ala El ...

First time in the history of this household wherein my mom and I collaborated on a dish. And take note! NO BICKERING AT ALL! I'm so proud of my mom. hahaha.

There's actually a million and one reasons to take pride in being a daughter of my mom. Aside from the fact that she's a SuperMom, who has mastered the art of being jack of all trades, she's just naturally amazing at anything she does considering that she doesn't have any formal training on anything. Take for example that pork chop. She just whipped it out from scratch, no recipe, no guide, and not even measurements. Somehow it all just sprouted out of her imagination and boy! is the result of her imagination deliciously good. Seriously who could have thought that COKE as in Coca cola could be used as a gravy?! See?! how amazing can she possibly be?! While I on the other hand, is just a little-kitchen-mommy-wannabe who religiously does her research on this and that recipe. 

But the mere fact that I am inclined and fascinated in the ways of the kitchen along with the whole lot of other things she's interested in, should be more than enough common ground for HER not to bicker me. Though as much as I hate to admit this, in the end she always has a point. Oh mothers! 

Well Mommy, no matter how wrong you might think I am and how right I still think I may be, you'll always be one of the greatest pride in my life. Looking forward to more kitchen collaborations with you minus the bickering. But if you can't help it, I'll gladly participate in a heated exchange of ideas with you, coz that's how much I love you.   ;)

Pork chop topped with Susan's very own homemade gravy. 
With my very own stir fried mixed veggies in olive oil and french fried sweet potatoes errr camote.


blog track:
Rule my world by Kings of Convenience


Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing TRAVELER...

You know how it is when once your life you encounter random people who leaves distinct impressions on you? An impression that could either vary from "hmmm... he's cool" or to "ugh! what a bozo!" That's why when it comes to impressions and memories there's no such thing as "he's okay..." for what it really means is "which one was he again?." So there it is, of the billions of people in this world, thousands of people you encounter and a handful of people you chose to surround yourself with, there will always be that passerby in your life who will leave you amazed and inspired even for just a minute or two.

You must be wondering where this sentimentality is leading to, well, it leads to the start of the spicing up of this blog. Every now and then I will be featuring random strangers who I think leads an amazing life or are just simply naturally born amazing (if that is even possible, we'll find out). Appropriately, I shall name this feature the AMAZING ____________ feature. 

As I'm doing an imaginary ribbon cutting, I formally welcome you all to the beginning of my Amazing _______ feature (applause for myself and by myself.. hahaha)


Remember when we went to Cambodia and met this group of foreigners who requested for a jumping shot at Angkor Wat?  Well let me refresh your memory with this.

Meet Gilad Bonfil, 
Amazing Traveler.

I never really got to talk to him except for the usual chit chat of "where are you from yada2x". But from then on I knew that he totally belong to that "hmmm... he's cool" impression. Thank God for Mark Zuckenberg and his invention of Facebook because my impression sealed the deal that I definitely, was right!

Gilad is an Israeli who is currently on pilgrimage to the here and there of the world. He has trekked in the beautiful mountains of Nepal, dinned with a village chief in Laos, toured around Mongolia, fell in love with the country of Thailand and etc. etc. An amazing traveler who has taken the off beaten trails and embraced every experience offered . A man wizened by experience and travel is yes, younger than me. Read on his answers to my questions and get to know WHY he's an Amazing traveler.

1.) What made you decide to embark on this very long journey?

emmm. that's a good question. I think one of the reason is the lack of freedom I felt during my military service. After 3 years in the army, I felt I want to escape, to explore the world, to see different and interesting things I've never seen before. After 3 years of people tell me what to do , I felt I want to be the king of myself, do what my heart tell me to do, whenever and wherever. 
another reason for going traveling: We're young and we should have fun now and get to know about ourselves more and more. Don't be in rush. First experience and then make your life serious. I wanted to go traveling because I felt I haven't known myself very good and I need something that would open my mind. So I said "why not go traveling?"

2.) What are the 3 things great things about traveling?

1. get to know the most unusual people. During my travel I met really great and interesting people from all over the world. sharing stories with them and experience traveling together was good to me. Also, I met friends for life.
2. to see things that you've never seen before. You have the chance to see different lifestyle, different culture, different nature. But the most good experiences are when you dom't plan them. John Lennon said once: "'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." I really believe in that. For example: in Nepal, I went trekking with 3 other Israeli guys. One day, It was too late to continue the hike so we stay overnight in a random village. it was amazing. They were dancing for us and put flowers in our necks. and we even didn't plan to stay in the village.
3. the last thing great about travel is that you realize there is entire world out there. Traveling defenietly open your mind and you realize our world isn't just black and white. The whole my way of thinking has been changed because of traveling. Before, I felt rage and hate about people, especially muslims because of the terrorists. But now, I understand not all the muslims are terrorists and want to kill. Thay just want to live. Also, traveling made me hate polititians cause they don't want peace. They just want power and money. I fucking hate them.

3.) What are your 3 do's and don'ts when traveling?

*open your mind to experience new things that you didn't plan to experience. Be spontenian. You may have your great experience while you don't think of them.
*when traveling, you'll found yourself most of the time with people, especially other travellers. I think it's great to find a partner and travel together. Be patient. Listen to the other person. Share your ideas and ask what his ideas. Trust him. You're not alone in this boat.
*be independed. You can only help to yourself. traveling is kind of surviving. If you experience bad times, don't let it low your morale.
now for the don'ts:
*your bagback is your home. Don't take more than you need. during my travel, I sent many things back home cause I realize I don't need them. Bfore you start traveling, you should think for a moment what kind of traveling. When you figure it out, suitable the things you bring to your traveling. For example: if you know you don't want to plan everything and just want to see what's happend, bring a tent with you so you won't stuck in the middle of a cold night without a place to sleep.
*don't go trekking alone. It's dangerous and you noght get lost of injured. Find partners.
*and the most important thing: YOU ARE A GUEST. don't judge the culture of the country you visit. Be polite. Have a respect. Have the willing to ask questions. Be curious. The locals would only respect you more.

4.) If you have 1 best song to describe your experience what would it be and why?

Can I change from song to a movie? "Into the wild"!

5.) What is the great thing you've learned about yourself during this period of travel in your life?

the great thing I learned about myself: I learned to be independed. I learn how to survive. I learn that I can only help to myself. I learn how to know in a short time if this person is suitable for me or not. If not, I say politely "good bye" and walk to my way. I learn to open my mind, to try new things and I fucking live it.

Need I say more?...

Gilad, as my honorary Amazing feature, I will be selfless and give you this track that I have been saving for myself for future use. No one deserves this more than you.... 

blog track:
Universal Traveler by Air

Sunday, April 3, 2011

ola Macau!

 Rising early and braving the cold while getting lost in the directions to the terminal station bound for Macau. 

Dear friends, this is HK in the early morn...
 No other way to describe it than foggy and freezing ...

Getting to Macau, you'll have to number #1 ask CLEARLY for directions, and number #2 NEVER ASSUME that  their pier station looks like our pier station because trust me, you'll end up dragging your freezing ass further and further till you realize that their station is located inside a Mall. Like you'll have to enter this building, take an elevator, then DING! there it is the sparkling shops of consumerism. Buy the tickets, pass through the immigration, ride the travellator and then wait till some F.A. looking personnel signals you to board. So sossy! that even their fast crafts don't seem to land on water. My third world brain was in awe!

Welcome to the pebbled streets of Macau.

The great thing about arriving in Macau is that if you're clueless where to go like uhmmm, us, there is that tourist booth that gives out free maps and how to get there brochures. So where are we headed? Ruinas de San Paulo errr The Ruins of St. Paul.

The moment we got out of the station, we were immediately greeted by a group of Filipinos who kept on convincing us to take their services as our tour guide, and to sweeten the deal they even gave us a for-fellow-Filipinos-only rate. I can't speak much tagalog but I somehow made sure that my facial expression spoke "hindi, pero salamat po" or in english No, thank you. My sister almost got convinced with their let's help each other kababayan speech, but considering our budget I had to be firm and besides I'll like the spontaneity of doing it our own. Kaya pasensya na kababayan dahil sa likod pa coat2x at pa scarf2x namin wala  talaga kaming pera. Lol.

Centro de Senado

Let it be known that in this side of the world spoken English is near to nil. So if that language is among or the only proud skill you have, then might as well shove it down your throat coz it's pretty useless. Just expect that you will be communicating with grand hand gestures with a lot hand waving which means No English. If it weren't for that Portuguese girl who helped us with the directions to the Centro then we'd probably  have wasted most of our limited time on a joy ride inside that bus. It was even funny how the Portuguese girl kept on apologizing for her poor English when in fact it should be us apologizing for giving her a hard time. Encounters like these makes me regret not taking up a third language, Portuguese. Ok fine, Spanish. hehe. 

The moment we got off the bus and stepped on their pebbled sidewalks, I was on air floating with energy. I loved everything about Macau right away. The European architecture, the colors, the vibe, the smell, the air, the everything, it's like walking inside the travel magazines. Even the weather was perfect. The coolness just added to that Europa effect! Loved it to the highest level!

Ruinas de San Paulo

Macau is a pretty small place that you can just walk around it's important landmarks. From Centro to this first known western university in Southeast Asia before it got caught on fire in the 1800 is just a few minutes walk. Being the iconic landmark of Macau, St. Paul's Ruins as expected is a very crowded place. But with it's 360 degree view of architectural beauty it's understood why people linger. My Mom would love this place, no doubt!

Front left right up down back...

When I say 360 degrees of view it's really 360 degrees of view. Front you see the crowded pebbled steps and the majesty of the ruins. Left is some secluded tower park. Right is a small Chinese temple or altar, I think. Up is the birds eye view of clustered buildings both new and old. And back is a museo and cripta where all the historical facts and figures are kept.

the best picture goes to..... ate and kuya... I contest!

Macau is soooo picturesque that you can't help but bring out your inner mowwwdel. Trust me when I say that behind these effort-full model-esque poses is not mere vanity, but a pragmatic approach to making the most out the scenic view. By scenic I mean every type of walls, every corners of the street and everything that looks pictorial worthy. But just when we thought we had it all down to the T, here comes ate in her white wedding gown, kuya in his tux along with the photographer and assistants. They may had us at their production number, but we simply had them at our projection. 

Remember... it all boils down to capital E for E-ffort.

getting lost in the nameless corners and streets...

When you are not the sharpest crayon in the box in terms of directions, reading a map can be pretty much a lot of work, and who the hell wants to work on vacations? Apparently not us, coz we pretty much dispensed it and went with our guts. From following the crowds till there were crowds no more .

waddup homies?!

The highlight of our trip, stumbling upon this colorful coolness on this side of town's playground. Situated in between dilapidated buildings and beautified by street arts in all corners, amazing! Kids were playin', grannies were chillin' and I'm singin'...
Ghetto supastar that is what you are
Comin from afar reachin for the stars
Run away with me to another place
We can rely on each other uh huh
From one corner to another uh huh 

Sorry it's Jenny from block wannabe in me.
Seriously though, this just made me wish for us to have an artistic venue for the angst-y youth who has so much creativity to express. Better this than than tolerating vandalism on private gates and properties. Besides, we have a lot of dilapidated buildings and areas downtown and like badly we do need recreational parks.

you'll never go hungry in Macau

Why? because even if you don't have money you'll still be able to fill your tummy with all the free tastings around. The street going to the ruins is lined up with Macau's best delicacies, from pastillas to beef jerkies, and despite the language barrier they are very friendly. So friendly that they really stop you in your tracks just to let you taste their food, and how can you not stop in your tracks when its food and for free?! They also don't force you to buy, so the more it's okay. Now you know where to go ;)

Here's a tip. If you go to Macau, just also in the same street corner, there's a pork chop looking sandwich store, trust me it's a must taste. I've never tasted anything like it. The meat is so tender and juicy (not oily) also kinda sweet it's heavenly. Their street foods is pretty much like those in HK, but the vendors are nicer. Then there's also this store the pretty much lets you see how they make their cookies from scratch, it taste like rosquillos but the texture and taste is smoother. It's pretty easy to locate since it's always surrounded by  tourist and locals. But I think it's really the old man multi-tasking from molding and baking cookies to selling them that's drawing the attention. You can't help it, he's really fascinating that he's like a tourist attraction. There's even a paper posted in front of his glass window with the camera flash off sign, and a reminder that there's a break every 30 mins. I know... wala yan sa lolo nyo!

 gambling and casinos are not for us.

We didn't roll like high rollers in Macau therefore my apologize if there's nothing for me to share, except maybe their casinos looks bongga from the outside. That's all thank you, bow.

Macau how do I conclude thee?...

I'll conclude by saying that I was completely enamored by the historical charm of Macau. Their pebbled streets and distinctly colonial architecture are such a statement that it made me wish at one point that we were colonized by the Portuguese instead of the Spanish. But hey that's history and there's not much we could do about it. Besides, the Spanish left us their DNAs that, you have to admit, mixed well with our morena beauties. 

Enough of wishful thinking. All in all, Macau is a really pretty place and the visible contribution of the Portuguese colony just made it even more charming. I haven't been to Europe but I believe when they say that it is the Europe of Asia. The point in the map where the east meets west. Figuratively speaking.

Ergo, if you go to HK might as well drop by Macau, it's a totally different vibe, and who knows you might enjoy it more like I did.