I Missed My Locale

This morning while the tropical sun is still mild, I dragged myself out of bed and decided to step out to give myself some pretty good cardio drill.  And while taking a break to catch my breath every so often (no thanks to the pandemic) only then did I realize that it has been a year that I have gone outside within the local vicinity where I live.

So in between the fast walks and jogs, I would stop and take a number of photos of the area.  It was the morning that I got to appreciate the aesthetic attractiveness of the spots and places where I live.  It felt like I missed my locale!

manila morning

fresh!

quiet…

i love this minute jungle in this part of the city

In the past, I have always been the kind of person who would rather chuckle and laugh at strangers (visitors and tourists alike) who would marvel, appreciate and take photos of the areas near my place.  I have been so used to how my nearby vicinity looks like that I find it weird for strangers to admire and gape at the charm and appeal of the area.

a cool morning in manila

And when the morning started to get too hot and while I walked my way back to my unit, I realized that people need to leave in order to miss their place and had to travel so as to realize how precious and beloved one’s starting point was.

Have a beautiful day everyone!

Me, Anthony B. and the Vicious Sisig

A couple of years ago while on a 6-hour pit stop at Incheon International Airport on my way to San Francisco for some exciting solo adventure, I can clearly recall that I chose to sit at a very quiet portion of the airport and a tall white curly-haired gentleman sat across from where I was.  He too was quiet and seem so engrossed with his mobile phone.  My hazy brain tells me that the guy looks like Anthony Bourdain.  When the guy looked at me and realized that I was staring at him and seem to have noticed that I know who he was, he stood up took his leather bag and silently left.

I recalled this vivid experience because of my recent visit in an eatery at the culinary capital of my country where the late Anthony Bourdain once dined. I was at Aling Lucing’s, a humble eatery in Angeles City, in the province of Pampanga. A two-and-a-half-hour ride from Manila.

anthony bourdain with the sisig queen during his visit (framed memory posted on the wall of the eatery)

I chose to dine in this modest eating place for its original dish called “Sisig”.  This too was the same dish that drove Mr. Bourdain to dine in this eatery because the tasty Sisig has been established to be one original Filipino food. 

I consider Sisig to be in the same league of other scary savage Filipino dishes like the Dinuguan (black-colored pork blood stew); the petrifying Balut (steamed fertilized duck egg); Betamax & Helmet (grilled coagulated pork blood and grilled chicken head respectively); Tuyo (the dreadfully stinky dried fish); and, the lewd Soup No. 5 (soup made from bull’s balls & wiener) to name a few. 

sisig!

these other food selections clearly complements the ferocious sisig! steamed tilapia, grilled eggplant, salad with pink shrimp paste, balo-balo dip (another savage dish made of fermented rice sauteed in shrimp & tomatoes)

a collage of photos i took during my visit

Sisig for me is vicious and ferocious because it is the ears, the face and sometimes the brain of the pig that is the main ingredient – grilled, chopped into pieces and served on a hot sizzling plate!

Sisig has gone a long way since the time this has been created by the Sisig Queen herself, Aling Lucing.  In fact, during that solo trip in San Francisco, I had the chance to eat Filipino Sisig in burrito form! Click here to learn about it: Sisig Burrito.

According to Mr. Bourdain “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park.  Enjoy the ride.”  And one unique culinary ride that one must take is by trying the vicious, un-elegant yet very tasty Sisig.

Hug A Tree

In today’s chaotic world, everybody seems to have lost connection to Mother Earth.  Everybody seems so preoccupied, so anxious, so tired and so unsteady.  Here’s one beautiful tip for you to supercharge and achieve reconnection to the planet. 

tree hugger!

Breathe deeply, close your eyes and hug a tree.

Leron Leron Ea

Leron Leron Sinta is an old Filipino folk song I learned to sing when I was in elementary school.  This fun cheery old tune is a basic song every Filipino child learned during the time when gentle cows and mild water buffalos has started to diminish its presence in the streets of the city. 

I actually wonder what songs does young tots has to learn in preschool nowadays.  I won’t be surprised if teachers nowadays would coach their students Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Haha!  Good thing I am not a preschool teacher because I would definitely teach my young innocent pupils the classic Sophie B. Hawkins song entitled “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover!

Regressing a little and in reference to Leron Leron Sinta, here’s one new cool version I discovered and have been listening to in the past seven mornings.  The Hawaiian version!

Aloha! How cool is that!

The UK Variant & Being Back to the Dark Ages

just a thought

I read somewhere in the world “wild” web that calling the now-named novel coronavirus as the Wuhan Virus or the China Virus is unfair, uncivilized and xenophobic.  Lots of articles and write-ups raised that this naming of the new virus from its place of origin is inhumane and no longer acceptable since year 2015 by the World Health Organization.  Articles explained that such should be named differently because the world is no longer in its Dark Ages and that the old practice has caused violent anger and physical danger towards the citizens or ethnicities where the disease originated.

But I got sets of disturbing questions now.  If WHO has new sets of best practices in naming viruses and diseases, how come the now-mutated and highly contagious variant of novel coronavirus is commonly called The UK Variant, the place on earth where it was first detected?  And why are the British people not reacting the way Chinese folks reacted when novel coronavirus was named after their country?

I don’t have a relative living in UK now but I know lots of people there, from Boris to Elizabeth to cute little George, Charlotte and Louis.  Why is my godmother who is British whom I last met when I was 3 years old is not hurt, not offended and not even reacting?

Answers to these troubling questions I guess is because British folks nowadays have gone too docile to react and have been too busy trying to improve their sad and alarming Covid19 status.  Or maybe, we are back in the Dark Ages.

Get well UK!

Winter Feels???

I have long learned from grade school that Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system.  And when I grew up, living in one of the hottest nations where the fiery hot sun is up every day, there are boiling moments that I would start believing that my muggy sweaty beach-weather country is not on Earth but in burning Venus!

winter cold: the tropical country version! hahaha!

But not today!  At a temperate 24 degrees Celsius, my country now must be in a winter season status! Haha!  And it actually takes a cold snap in Korea, Japan and India before my country experience such a clement kind of temperature.  

gone crazy!

We don’t have winter but now that it is a little cold, I should pull out my winter gears! I don’t wanna experience frostbite!  And yeah, I am happy and gone nuts because of this beautiful weather!

A Non-American and the Un-American at the US Capitol

If it would be inevitable to change my citizenship, one of the nationalities I would prefer would be to be an American.  Sad, crazy and outrageous as it may sound but who would not want to be part of the populace who has the strongest economy, the richest opportunities, a very hip civilization, beautiful people and a super power status as a nation?

It is therefore not surprising that setting my foot on USA soil (at least being a tourist) was on top of my bucket list.  Luckily by some grace and blessings from the heavens, this entry on my long and arduous bucket list has long been done and accomplished.

majestic yet a tranquil visit

I, a non-American have been to USA a couple of times already.  And in my last visit, I found myself at the capital state of Washington DC touring the insides of the US Capitol.  I can clearly recall that the outdoor grounds as well as inside of the Capitol Building gave me some incalculable sense of calmness and security.  It was majestic, it was peaceful, it was secured.  I can also recall my regret of not bringing my favorite pillow then.  Reason behind this is that being inside that most secured building on the planet gave me immense feelings of security and comfort.  The building made me feel so at ease, dreamy and relax I wanted to take a nap.  Haha!

loved it!

But these personal experiences in and out of the Capitol Building was a total opposite of what I saw and read on the news when Americans themselves consecrated the dignity of that honored spot of their country.  For me, the reckless and unwise siege done last January 06, 2021 at the Capitol Building was so sad and very un-American.  From my personal view point, the January 6 incident did not in any way made Americans great again!

Though some peace has been restored, I was in fact quite glad that on the day of the humiliating siege I was not an American.  I just hope that every American would realize how lucky, how fortunate and how free they are being citizens of the strongest and most democratic nation on the planet.  They should not let these valuable benefits slip from their hands because of some rash, thoughtless and heedless revolts and rebellions.

If some un-Americans are tired of being American, a lot of deprived and underprivileged gasping human beings here at a third world far east are willing to swap with them.  I guess, only when they become non-Americans would they realize how precious it is to be one. 

Unsexy

During your active breathing adult life, what are the common adjectives that you would get from strangers or people you know?  Which among the complimenting and unflattering words on the English dictionary do you receive or are usually associated with?

Like everyone else, I’ve heard and received countless adjectives both appealing and unbecoming.  But there is one elusive English word that I have yet to hear that would describe or associate me with. 

The word is Sexy.

People say that being sexy requires nothing.  It is a natural element that effortlessly flows out of a person’s aura.  I have been called evocative, indelicate, spicy and suggestive but never sexy.  I have been described as racy, shocking and delicious but never sexy.  I have been considered tempting, yummy and palatable yet never sexy.

too pleasant, too neat, so unsexy!

Now, to those who bumped unto this post and reached this point of the article, you can either call me one at the comments section below or tell me where is the nearest store where I can buy a bottle of this elusive impression called “sexy”! 

Please excuse this unsexy narcissistic episode! Hahaha!

This View Made Me Hum

Last night while seated and sipping tea at my balcony with this view…

dreamy…

I started humming an old song sang by Drew Barrymore in her movie with the lines that goes something like this…

                I’ve been watching but the stars refuse to shine

                I’ve been searching but I just don’t see the signs

                I know that it’s out there

                There’s got to be something for my soul somewhere

I guess I should stop sitting out in my balcony at dusk, this awesome view is making me mushy, sappy and crazy. Haha!

A Swanky Kakanin

In my country, there is a ton of silly cultural and superstitious beliefs that needs to be kept and observed during the New Year.  From wearing polka dots, to ensuring 12 types of fruits on the dining table, to jumping when midnight strikes and to making sure all lights are on inside the house, all these and other insane beliefs are observed by Filipinos when New Year happens.  Failure to do so would result to some wicked curse, a good amount of misfortune and a handful of bad lucks the whole year.

Two of the silly beliefs my family did last New Year’s Eve was the tossing of heaps of coins inside the house (for prosperous fortune) plus the serving of classic “kakanin”.  From the amalgamation of two Tagalog root words kain meaning “to eat” and kanin meaning “cooked rice”, kakanin are varieties of sticky and glutinous Filipino delicacies whose main ingredient is rice.

It is an inane Filipino belief that eating something glutinous and sticky during the New Year like kakanin will bring good vibes in terms of relationships within the family.  Reason for eating something sticky will result to a greater bond, affirmative ties and optimistic connection among members of the family which for my family is very important and essential.

My family settled for having the “biko” as this new year’s kakaninBiko is a classic kakanin made of glutinous rice cooked for hours with fresh coconut milk and brown sugar usually sprinkled on top with brown coconut curds! And since I am pretentious, nitpicky and ostentatious, I pushed on levelling up this new year’s family Biko or Kakanin

I had our classic biko topped with dark brown coconut curds, drizzled with rich coconut-cinnamon caramel syrup served with slices of ripe and succulent peaches! Yum!

our swanky kakanin! yum!

Aside from hoping for a continuous upbeat sticky bond with my family, with this swanky kakanin, my hopes are high for a chic, swish and affluent New Year ahead!