Friday, May 28, 2010

Comics and Pasta for Lunch

Yesterday, I had a very late lunch as I had to finish some important things. At 3 p.m., I was able to complete all the transactions that I needed to do, and at last, food! My stomach was shouting at me since 2 p.m., “Food! Food! Food!”.

As I was walking around searching for some place to eat, a small café caught my attention. I walked inside and there was no customer around. I was thinking twice whether to eat there since my husband taught me that if there is not customer then the food must be bad. But since my stomach was already protesting, I decided to sit and looked for the menu. Like in any other café, this café offers sandwich, hot and cold coffee, fruit shakes, pasta, and small meals. I opted for Pasta Alfredo and Blue Slush.  While waiting for the food to be served, I noticed a shelf full of some reading materials, I went to check it out and I saw lots of comics! From Marvel, DC, Peanuts, Agatha Christie, Garfield, and a lot more, I took several Snoopy comics book and one from Marvel.

I finished reading the Marvel comic when my order arrived. The pasta smelled delicious and looked yummy too. The drink which is the Blue Slush is colored blue as I expected. I sipped on my drink and its taste passed on my taste buds. The sweetness and citrus-like taste with added coldness from the crushed ice were just perfect to my dry throat as the temperature outside was so high. I immediately dug in my pasta. It tasted good, the pasta which is penne is al-dente, and the sauce is creamy with herbs and chicken. After several bites of my pasta and slurps of my cold drink, I felt that my stomach had been pacified, so I switched my attention to Snoopy and at the same time hitting my penne with fork.

 The Marvel comics I first read was about Namod, the prince of Atlantis who fell in love with a girl in the land who has a father that owns a business that drills oil in the Atlantis. While eating, I also started the first Snoopy comic book I took. It was funny as the comic strip was about Snoopy’s experiences on tennis. As I finished half of the pasta, I also finished reading the first Snoopy comic book, so I opened the second book, this time it was Snoopy’s experiences on being healthy. I could not help myself but life while reading the comics strips but I tried to control myself since I was alone and the waiter might think that I was not in the right mind, but I still let out some laughs when I was not able to hold them.

As I took the last bite of pasta, I also closed the cover of the comic book. It was a good experience to have a good food, good laugh, and good old comics. I will come back, that’s for sure.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Hate Exercise But Want to Lose Weight

I have my static cycling machine sitting in my house for more than six months now that should be fulfilling its purpose of assisting me losing my weight through exercise, but instead it is filled with dust as a sign that it has not been used for long time. My husband bought it for me when I convinced him that my clothes were getting tight, and it was not cheap. So after several months, I planned of going back to my old form and lose weight by devoting myself in exercise with the help of that exercise cycling machine, but to no avail, I just hate exercise now though I want to love it.

One of the reasons why I hate exercise is that it is so boring. Walking and running in that cycling machine for even 15 minutes is killing me. Aside from the cycling machine, I also have exercise videos, not only one but three! But they are all useless! I only try following them for a week and after that I feel bored with the same routines. So what should I do to lose weight without exercising?

I found 5 simple ways to burn calories without stepping into the machine or watching the exercise guru. You would not even notice that you are burning fats!

1. Use staircase instead of elevator. If your floor is too high, get off from the elevator at least 2 floors before your floor.

2. Wake up early in the morning and walk to the nearest market to buy your fresh produce. You will have the greens and burn calories at the same time.

3. Dance! Even when you are cooking, brushing your teeth, or combing your hair, turn on the music and sway your hips.

4. Walk back and forth when you talk on your mobile phone. The longer conversation you have on the phone, the more calories you lose.

5. Play sports. Right now I play badminton with my husband every time he gets home early from work, and during weekend. It is an opportunity to bond with your love ones and enjoy time together and at the same time, reach your weight goal.

With those simple tasks you do every day and a balanced diet, you will definitely shed off those extra fats.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Trip to Jollibee

After the busy days of fiesta and election, I finally got the chance to breathe out and think of nothing. And since there were three qualified voters in my house, that means three people also who had received “gifts” from politicians who ran in the previous Philippine election. My eldest son voted for the first time. He was so happy, not because he is finally a voting citizen, but because his pocket has finally gotten fat. With this, he volunteered to take us out for a treat. And what else is the perfect place to eat out with 5 kids in hand? It’s JOLLIBEE!

Jollibee has been around for long time. It started as a local restaurant competing with internationally-known McDonalds and Burger King. Right now, it has several chains outside the countries too.

Among the patrons of Jollibee are the children. Kids love the red bee mascot of Jollibee. I remember my granddaughter saying her first word as Jabee, it is the short name for Jollibee as that time my granddaughter could not speak fully yet.

The food is also great. Jollibee captured the Filipino tastes, so there’s no wonder why it is always a favorite. With the sweet-style spaghetti, fried chicken, burger, and fries everybody leave the store with a smile in their faces.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Boxing Champ Manny Pacquiao Adds New Title

Seven-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has won a new title, this time not in the ring but in politics. The boxing champ has won as a representatives in the lone district of Saranggani Province in Southern Philippines, although not yet officially proclaimed but his opponent has conceded already, in the recent Philippine election.

Does this mean that world boxing champ Manny Pacquiao will not enter the ring anymore? How about his much anticipated bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

Seven-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has won a new title, this time not in the ring but in politics. The boxing champ has won as a representatives in the lone district of Saranggani Province in Southern Philippines, although not yet officially proclaimed but his opponent has conceded already, in the recent Philippine election. 

According to the boxing champ itself, he is not yet decided whether to retire on boxing and concentrate on being a congressmen or to step on the ring one more time. However, in his interview, he said that his mother, who was vocal on the request of retiring, has given him a "go" signal for one more fight. This is the fight against Mayweather. Pacquiao mused that the said fight has not yet been finalized as his promoter, Bob Arum, is still in talks with Mayweather's camp.

While waiting for the finality of the bout, the boxing champ and congressman-elect, Manny Pacquiao, will focus on public service at the moment.

Photo sources:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Philippine Election Update: Villar concedes to Aquino

Presidential candidate Senator Manny Villar admits his defeat to Noynoy Aquino. In his press conference which was held at the headquarters of the Nacionalista Party at Starmall, EDSA, Villar congratulated front runner Aquino and was the first candidate to concede. The incumbent senator is expected to return to the Senate until his term ends in 2013, has thanked his supporters and the media, saying that he will continue his work of public service.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) national chairperson Tita de Villa said other presidential candidates would follow Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar in bowing out of the presidential race.

She also lauded Villar for giving up in the presidential race after consistently placing third in the ongoing count by the PPCRV and the Commission on Elections. "I would like to congratulate him. It was a nice thing to do. That’s the beauty of automation. There’s no room for cheating," she said.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Aquino and Binay leading the Election Race

As the poll centers closed and lines perished, the most-awaited counting of votes are now anticipated by millions of Filipinos around the world.

As of 7:51 p.m. Monday, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has tallied 2 million votes. In the partial result, Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino vice-presidential candidate Jejomar Binay lead the races.

According to ABS-CBN News, Aquino led the presidential race with 111,191 votes, followed by Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino's Joseph Estrada with 85,756 votes, Nacionalista Party bet Manny Villar with 69,756, Lakas-Kampi CMD bet Gilbert Teodoro 35,909, Bro. Eddie Villanueva 9,809, Vetellano Acosta 2,011, Richard Gordon 1,303, Nicanor Perlas 491 and Jamby Madrigal 418 votes.

In the vice-presidential  race, Binay led with 118,092 votes, followed by Mar Roxas 91,991, Loren Legarda 66,061, Edu Manzano 10,490, Bayani Fernando 5,575, Perfecto Yasay Jr. 2,602, Jun Chipeco 591, and Jay Sonza 513.

Official results of election can be viewed online here.

Election Time.... and Fiesta too!

I live in a place where election and fiesta (a patron saint celebration) dates are coincidentally the same. As far as I can remember, almost 80 percent of my time spent there have the same date for election, may it be national or local election, and fiesta celebration.

Men in this place do not like this because they will not be able to drink alcoholic drinks, especially gin, since the Commission on Election (COMELEC) bans drinking alcoholic drinks during election day. However, they sometimes do not mind this too as this is the time that they will receive some money from the candidates. Well, do not be surprised if I say this, as vote-buying here in the Philippines, especially in the place where I live is not remote at all. This is a natural phenomenon :-)

Yes, as I said, election time is also the day when common people will receive money and other goods from the candidates. I remember when I was young, I asked my mom if she will vote the candidate I liked, she said that she will wait till last minute, if her list (candidates who give money) will be completed, then my bet will not have any place in her ballot, since my bet did not have money to buy votes. I was disappointed and sad that time. I was too young to lecture my mom, so I promised myself that I will never accept money from candidates when time comes that I can vote. But that was changed. Yes, I was changed, but not these politicians. They still continue to give money during election. Still continue spending tons and tons of money just to ensure that they will hold office for the next three years. In these years, I learned to be practical. Accept the money and put it in your pocket, but pen the name of the candidates based on what your heart and mind tells you. This is the principle I now follow every time I vote. I know that some will not accept my principle at all, why accept the money? It is still corruption, right? Yeah, it is, but it was foolish to refuse the money as this money will just go to other people's pocket, like the leaders and campaign managers. It will not be returned to the politician, as he already put it in his budget to buy you (voters). Well, as election time again, no voter is left without a peso in his/her pocket, not a bad election, right?

As for the fiesta, I am happy that it is celebrated here in the same day as election. That means, less people will come to our house as voters will go to politicians' houses after they vote. So, I do not need to prepare lots of food, and sometimes, these candidates send food ingredient to us too. What a great day for us! < Anyways, still vote wisely!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Keeping Lettuce Fresh for Long Time

Whenever I watch Jamie Oliver’s show, I envy his garden. In his cooking show, he would just harvest the vegetables and herbs from his backyard (or side yard or front yard, I don’t know) and cook them immediately. They look so fresh and nutritious!

Even for a food and cooking lover like me, I am not lucky to have a spare land to plant these veggies, though I tried to plant on some pots but to no avail.  So for most of us, the easiest way to get those fresh produce is a trip to the market. However, even we get the freshest of the day’s produce from the shelf; we do not consume them immediately. We stick them inside the fridge and leave them there till they become soggy. This was my major problem in buying green leafy vegetables specially the lettuce.  Now, I solved that problem by doing some research and watching Jamie Oliver’s cooking show. He sometimes gives tips on keeping and storing ingredients aside from cooking yummy food.

Here are the tips on how to keep your green leafy vegetables fresh for days:

1. When buying at the market, check the leaves for rots and tears. Most of the greens have moisture in it and you don’t want to shake it off, so take a plastic bag and put your hand inside them then grab the veggie with it and pull the plastic up. If the veggie is prepackaged, choose one which is in a clam-type plastic container. This type of container keeps the leaves in form.  After buying your green veggies, head back home as soon as possible.

2.  In storing your prepackaged veggies, remove the veggies from the container then put a paper towel at the bottom of the clam-type plastic container, wash your veggies and shake some excess water, put them back, place another paper towel on top of the veggies, close it and put in the refrigerator (vegetable crisper). 

In keeping your loose green veggies like lettuce, remove the leaves from the stalk and wash them. Shake off some water and put them on a towel. The towel will absorb the remaining water in the leaves and make it damp. Wrap the leaves loosely with the same towel and put it inside a plastic or glass container and place inside the fridge. This will last for a week or more than that.

The dampness of the towel and the cold temperature keep the leaves fresh. Use the greens in your salads or as wraps. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pacquiao, Mayweather Fight, Still Possible

Manny Pacquaio

Boxing fans are again back to their old chanting – the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. After Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Shane Mosley last Saturday, and Paquiao dominated Joshua Clottey on March 13, both fighters have proved that they are both top fighters. So, fans are eager to know now who the king in the boxing world is.

After the impending fight that should have happened sometime in December or January and totally called off due to the drug testing conditions Mayweather imposed on Pacquiao, who in turn made some restrictions, now Pacquiao has showed interest in the mega fight with Mayweather. He is seemed ready to compromise with the drug testing conditions that Mayweather demanded.

In his official website, Pacquaio post, "I am willing to help the sport for the future of the sport. I do not want to see anyone cheat or cheat this sport. For that reason I am willing to consider taking blood [tests] as close as 14 days prior to the fight, as long as my opponent does the same, and it is not a lot of blood, just enough to test,"

It seems that the anticipated mega fight is still on. Cross your fingers, boxing fans!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Indian Spices

As promised, here are the pictures of Indian spices my friend gave me a week ago.

These are the powdered spices, starting from the red one (clockwise): chili powder, jeera seeds, fennel, mustard seeds, cumin powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder (center).


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