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What's Keeping Pinoys From Chasing Their Dreams?

Sunday, June 19, 2016


No one is coming to save you. Only "you" can save you. Take full responsibility for your life. Plan on how you intend to achieve success. Some Filipinos "play victim" all the time. Most of the time blaming the government for their situation in life.

Having kids you can't afford

Guess what? The government is not responsible for your choices in life. Is it the government's fault that you got 5 or more kids to feed? If you were thinking clearly, you won't even consider having kids when you have no stable job or no job at all. If you can't feed yourself, how can you feed your kids?

It's hard to focus on your dreams when you have kids to feed. That's the reality. How about take time for yourself before having kids? Work hard and dream big.

Bahala Na Attitude

Bahala na or whatever will be will be. This phrase is commonly heard among Filipinos. It is more than just a phrase. It is a way of life for some and is deeply ingrained in their attitude. How about change that way of thinking and start planning ahead? 

Taking a Shortcut

Dreams cannot be achieved that easy. Many of you have probably been a victim of "pyramiding scam" because you were lured into the thought of "easy money". Well guess what? If it's too good to be true, then it probably isn't.

Afraid to Grow Up 

You can only become an "authentic" adult if you start taking responsibility for your own life. Get out of your comfort zone and start planning your future. So many pinoys operate as children emotionally and refuse to grow up. How many of you still lives with your parents even after graduating college? I understand it may be more convenient for you to stay home, but are you saving up for your future home? 

We can all achieve our dreams if we practice the right attitude. Find what motivates you and get rid of people around you that are constantly dragging you down. Surround yourself with successful people so that you can emulate their habits and way of life. 

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

Happy Father's Day!

Photo by:  Nic O'reilly

Being a father is totally different from being a dad. A father can be anyone who donated his sperm and created a life. A dad is someone who gets up everyday and does whatever he can to support his kids. Someone who's there for the kids whenever they need him. Someone who guides the kids as they grew older. Someone who loves the kids unconditionally. 

My father had many hits and misses in life. But he was a DAD. Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad. Happy Father's Day to all the "Dads" out there! 

Ginataang Kalabasa with Hipon (Veggies and Shrimp in Coco Cream)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

It's now 3:00 in the morning and I couldn't sleep. I was watching some cooking show and suddenly had this craving for anything with "gata" or coconut cream. The problem is I only have veggies in the fridge. I need some freshly grated coconut for the gata but it's quite early to go to the wet market.
So I headed down to the 24/7 Mart and looked for canned coconut cream and some garlic. Lucky I found these!


Kalabasa, sitaw, talong, coconut cream, and peeled shrimp make a yummy combination. Add in some grated ginger too. Season with salt and pepper. You can also add some chili if you want this dish spicy. Yum! 


Best served with steamed rice and of course fried bangus belly marinated in vinegar and garlic!


Kain na tayo!😀

P.S. On a side note; nothing beats the coconut cream from freshly grated coconut.

Why Some Filipinos End Up With No Savings

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Photo source: Graphicstock.com
Retired and no savings? We're all too familiar with this scenario, it could be a relative, a neighbor, or a family friend. Why does it happen all the time? Here are some of my observations:

Ginawang Palabigasan ng Pamilya (Family Cash Cow)


Some Filipino parents are good at investing. They use their child/children as an investment! The more the merrier! How so? They use their kids to support them. Just look at the kids begging out there in the streets of the Metro. You think they are orphans? Nope. Their parents are busy gambling or drinking at home (or worse making more babies!) 
Here's a typical story you'll hear from an average Filipino:

Sabrina (Call Center Agent)

Sabrina is the eldest in the family of 6 kids. She worked two jobs to go to college. She was also helping her 5 siblings with some expenses. As soon as she graduated, she got a job at a call center. Her starting salary is 14,000 (around 12,000 after taxes). 

Her mother asked her to contribute around 6,000 pesos for their household expenses (50% of her salary). Since Sabrina's job is far from home, she really didn't have to contribute because she is living at a dorm near her workplace. But what can she do? Her mother will get really mad if she doesn't do it. Not wanting to ruin her relationship with her mom, she gave in to her demands. Sabrina is left with 6,000 a month to budget for her own expenses. With 2,000 pesos for the rent, there's only 4,000 pesos left for food, transportation, and other extra expenses. This amount made it quite impossible to save some money. 

10 years later, her siblings are all married with kids. Sabrina is now a team leader and with a higher income bracket, but this cycle of giving is still going on. It even extended to her nieces and nephews. It even became impossible for Sabrina to get married and start her own family. 


Supporting the Whole Clan

Arthur (OFW in Saudi Arabia)

Arthur is an only child. He worked as an engineer for 30 years. All throughout his stint in Saudi, he was helping his parents and his cousin's family. Arthur never married and has no kids. 

Aside from the monetary help he gives them, he also spoils them with the latest gadgets and clothes. Ever since he got a Facebook account, he got bombarded with sob stories from distant relatives asking him for handouts. 

"Kesyo may sakit ang anak ko, magka-college na si ano, etc."

Arthur being generous and kind, never think twice about sending money to members of his clan. Now that he is nearing 65, he is worried about retiring. With no savings in hand, no properties back home, he is seriously concerned about his future. With his help, his relatives got a very comfortable life. Some even managed to have a decent house of their own. Will these same relatives help him in case he needs it? Arthur doubts it. They don't even greet him on his birthday.

Advice to Filipino Parents


Let us stop this vicious cycle. Parents are supposed to help guide their kids towards a better future and not use them as cash cows. Here are some things you should remember:

1. Gumawa ka ng bata dahil gusto mo at hindi para gamitin mo sa sariling kapakanan.

2. I-base mo ang bilang ng anak mo sa kakayanan mong buhayin sila. Tanungin mo ang sarili mo; kaya ko ba silang pag-aralin hanggang kolehiyo? Ilang anak ba ang kaya kong bigyan ng magandang kinabukasan?

3. Bago ka mag-anak, siguraduhin mo na may ipon ka para sa mga emergency para naman di ka na umutang sa kamag-anak mo. 

4. Mag-ipon ka para sa retirement mo para naman di ka umasa sa tulong ng anak mo. Tandaan mo, ang anak mo ay magkakaroon din ng sariling pamilya. Para mapaghandaan nya ang kinabukasan ng pamilya nya, kelangan nya mag-ipon. Kung aasa ka sa sweldo nya, wala na sya maiipon para sa kinabukasan nya.

5. Life is supposed to be fun. Make sound decisions in life and you and the people around you will never suffer. At the end of the day, use common sense.

This is a timeline that I teach my Nephew (Only 6 yrs old). Better start them young.

Photo source: www.graphicstock.com


Age 16 -21 ~ Get a part time job (summer job whatever). Save 50% of your earnings (If your parents are helping you with college). The rest you can spend on whatever you want. Kids, you should never be ashamed of working part time. Don't copy your pa-cool friends who ask their parents for money. Working part time will also teach you things that will prepare you for your life ahead.

If you don't want to work at a fast food company, you can always start a small business. You can also look out for certain niches that you can do (blogging, vlogging, creating Youtube content, etc.) 

Age 21-23 ~ By this time, you are already done with college (depends on the course you took). My advice is, start looking for a full time job the minute you graduated. This is the fun age, so while allotting some money for savings, you should also spare some money for fun and travel. You're young, have fun! (But do not overspend and go beyond your budget. Borrowing money should never ever be an option)

Age 23-25 ~ Start taking life a bit more serious. Do not get contented with your current life situation. Start grinding and climb that corporate ladder or dream higher! It is also about time to look for a house/condo to buy. Since you've been saving since you are 16, you can probably already afford the downpayment.


Age 25-30 ~ Save for your future family (If ever you want one). How awesome would it be if you won't have to worry about hospital bills (for your firstborn). Let's say you've saved like 250,000 pesos, and you/your wife are also covered by your insurance for maternity expenses, then your savings would be more than enough to buy baby clothes, vaccines, baby formulas, crib, and other baby accessories.

Age 30-31 ~ Settle down. Who says you have to get married early? It's plain idiotic to get married at an early age. You have to be mentally and financially prepared for family life. At this age, you've already traveled, had fun, saved money, experienced a lot, and the only thing missing is a family of your own!

Some advice: You don't have to spend a ton of money on your wedding. Why waste over a hundred thousand pesos just to show people you got married? Fancy wedding is just a scam to get people to spend their money for one freaking day. Go to the city hall and get married. If you want you can have a simple reception at a local restaurant with people that matters most to you (Ex. your siblings, parents, grandparents, and close friends).

Age 31 and beyond ~ Save and invest. Never ever stop saving. Get an advice from financial experts on how to invest your money wisely. Do not fall for a scam. Avoid pyramiding or if the ROI is too good to be true, then it's a scam. 

Disclaimer: My advice may or may not work for you. I'm just sharing what I teach my nephew. Let's change our bad habits for a better Philippines. Change should start within us.Teach our youth how to be responsible and prepare them for adulthood. We can have "Superman" as president but even his superpowers won't be enough to make a better Philippines.













Why Filipinos Eat With a Spoon and Fork

Monday, June 13, 2016



Before the Spaniards came to conquer the Philippines, the natives used their hands to eat. The natives scoop up food using the fingers of their right hand. When Spaniards came, they brought their culinary traditions and our dishes evolved. Using hands to eat were then frowned upon since they introduced the use of utensils. The spoon and fork became the primary choice. 

(Nah, who are we kidding? We still love to use our hands from time to time!)

How to Use It

The spoon is held with the right hand and the fork in the left. Use the fork to spear and hold down a piece of food while the spoon is used to cut or tear off small pieces. The spoon also comes handy when eating rice and soup. 
As a typical Pinay, I love to eat sinigang together with the rice. Can you imagine eating this with fork and knife? Spoon and chopsticks? Or just the spoon? It would be weird wouldn't it? Filipinos love to combine pieces of meat, veggie, rice, and the "sabaw" together in one subo (spoonful). Using spoon and fork together makes perfect sense.

Photo source: http://www.goonswithspoons.com/

It's All About the Rice

Filipino food (just like any Asian country) is never complete without the rice. Can you imagine eating plain Adobo? Afritada? Sisig? Que horror! Spoon and fork compliments our way of eating. It's very practical. It's just weird to use knife and fork when eating our rice meals. 

#1. It's hard to scoop up rice with just fork. It just keeps falling (unless it's a very sticky rice). 
#2. Imagine using knife and fork when eating Afritada and rice:
     You cut the meat with the knife then you spear it with the fork sabay subo, then you scoop up rice using the fork, rice kept falling, so you do it again. Not fun for me! I love eating a spoonful of rice, meat, Afritada sauce, and some potato cubes. 

When Eating Western Food 


Not all foods can be eaten with spoon and fork. When I'm eating steak and mashed potatoes, I use steak knife and fork, it makes more sense this way. Using spoon to cut the steak isn't practical. And using the fork to scoop up mashed potatoes are totally fine. 

Photo source: recipeshubs.com

Living Abroad

When you are outside the Philippines, it is advisable to practice the customs of your host country. You don't wanna stick out like a sore thumb. Would you eat with spoon and fork when dining at a fine dining restaurant? Eat lobster thermidor with spoon and fork? I know you'll say "kanya kanyang trip lang yan", but it wouldn't hurt to practice dining etiquette of the place you are currently in. Learning to use the proper utensils of your host country can be beneficial for your social life.



"When in Rome, live as the Romans do; when elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere."
~Saint Ambrose


Regional Filipino Food from My Childhood

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Growing up down South, I was exposed to several regional cuisines namely from Bicol, Quezon, and Batangas. I was born and raised in Quezon province but my dad was originally from Batangas and my mom's parents were from Bicol.
Food was great and I certainly miss them. Here are the not so common regional Filipino cuisines from my childhood:

1. Sinaing na dulong sa Gata

Dulong. Photo source: Flickr
It is basically stewed silverfish wrapped in banana leaves. The trick is to slowly stew it with "dried kamias", salt, pepper, and coconut cream. My dad used to cook it in a "Palayok" (clay pot) for a better taste. Yum!

2. Ginataang Santol

Photo source: gutomna.com
This dish is unforgettable! My grandma used to cook this all the time! Grated santol meat cooked in coconut cream and siling labuyo!

3. Adobo sa Dilaw

Photo source: kawalingpinoy.com

My dad's favorite! Batangas version of Adobo. Turmeric is used in this dish. It is also advisable to use palayok and cook it in firewood.

4. Pinangat na Gabi

Photo source: spoonfulrecipe.wordpress.com

Another specialty of my grandma! Just thinking of it makes me drool! She would wrap lechon and shrimp in gabi leaves, tie it up and then stew it in coconut cream. Yummmm!

5. Pancit Hab-hab

Pancit hab-hab/Lucban

This is a Quezon Province original dish. Pancit Lucban/hab-hab may look like Pancit Canton but it has a totally different taste. Pancit Lucban uses dried flour noodles. It is best served on a piece of banana leaf and sprinkled with vinegar as a condiment.

What regional food did you grow up with? Please share in the comments section!😀


Lunch and Tsismis at Classic Savory

Classic Savory is one of my favorite Tsinoy restaurant. It is very affordable and the food is just great.
They opened a branch in Waltermart last year and it has since become my go-to restaurant before I do my grocery shopping.
Special Kikiam
My favorite is their special Kikiam. Que-kiam in Chinese, Kikiam is the Filipino version of it. Classic Savory's Kikiam is to die for! Made with ground pork and vegetables, it is then wrapped up in bean curd sheets and deep-fried to perfection. Price: Php 235

Chopsuey con Lechon
Who doesn't love Chopsuey and Lechon? For only Php 235, you can have this succulent dish. Best paired with Savory fried rice, Php 215.

Savory Fried Rice
Classic Savory branch in Waltermart is pretty small and you are actually just a few inches away from the people sitting at the other table. I overheard their conversation. The tsismosa in me came out so here you go:

Girl 1: Di ko na talaga sya ma-gits..lagi patay ang cel nya pag kasama ang misis nya.

Girl 2: Syempre kasama nga nya misis nya eh..

Girl 1: Akina ang celpun mo day, tingnan ko lang Pesbuk nya baka nag-aplod ng piktyur nila mag-asawa.

Girl 2: Wag na uy, baka lalo ka lang maloka.

Girl 1: Oks lang ko day, gusto ko lang makita

Girl 2: Cge bahala ka. (*gives her the phone)

Girl 1: Sabi ko na nga ba magkasama sila! Pigilan moko day, baka sugurin ko sila!

Girl 2: Bakit ka susugud? Dili man kaw ang asawa uy!

Girl 1: Ah basta susugurin ko sila.

Girl 2: Ikain mo nalang yan, mamaya ok ka na. 

Girl 1: Cge na nga, basta libre mo to ha?

Sorry for eavesdropping, I just got a kick out of them lol. Reminds me of the movie Etiquette for Mistresses.

Online Pet Food Delivery in the Metro

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Metromart.com

I was shopping for pet food at Pet Express when I saw a flyer for Metromart. Going to Pet Express here in Makati can be a pain in the ass for me since it's along Osmena Highway. It is just a few blocks away from me and I should be able to walk there but crossing Osmena Highway is kinda tricky and scary. Taking a cab is really not an option for that would be a waste of money.

Thank God I found out about Metromart! Now I don't have to cross the highway just to buy cat litter and pet food! For just 40 pesos, I can have it all delivered to me. I have ordered at www.metromart.com twice already and it was very convenient. They even delivered it in less than 90 minutes. 

For those who are too lazy to go grocery shopping, Metromart also delivers products from SM Supermarket, Harvester's, DELI, and etc. They offer same-store prices and if your orders are above Php 1,000, delivery is free of charge. 

Matandang Manyakis atbp.

Growing up here in the Philippines, I've had my fair share of weird encounters with different kinds of "manyakis". Here are the list:

1. The tambays in your neighborhood.
Photo source: movie.lifestyle-luxury.com
These guys are usually out drinking or just chillin' at the neighborhood sari-sari store. They were the first to ogle and whistle at any female passing by. "Psssst...Miss Sexy ngiti ka naman jan!"
They are usually harmless and they just find humor in annoying every female that passes by.

2. Manyakis sa Jeep

Photo source: Pinterest
I'm sure every Pinoy has taken a jeepney ride a few times in their lives. When I was a kid, I used to take jeepney rides to and from school. I've seen manyakis guys staring at women's legs or cleavage all the time. When I moved to Manila, my first jeepney ride was pretty traumatic. I was 16 and this guy sitting across from me whipped out his "p***s" and started stroking it!
That was the last time I took a jeepney ride. Thank God there's Grab taxi now and hailing a cab is not so difficult anymore.

3. Manyakis sa Sinehan

Photo source: pruhealth.co.uk

I used to watch movies alone. One time there was this guy who sat beside me even though there were dozens of vacant seats nearby. I immediately moved and he still followed me. Feeling annoyed, I decided to just leave. He got up and followed me outside too.
He began asking me questions like "where I live etc." I politely told him its none of his business. Good thing my cab came. Bye bye Mr. Creep!

4. Pedophile sa Condo

My office building used to be in Malate. It's a mix of residential and office units. There's this old foreigner who would bring street kids to his unit "supposedly" to feed them. I would often see him and the kids in the elevator. At first I was like "Awww how nice of him!"
Then a few months later, he was arrested. It turns out he is a pedophile and was in and out of jail in his country.
My heart sank and immediately thought of the street kids he used to bring to his unit! OMG

5.  Playmate's Grandpa

Photo source: Youtube
Parents, look out for this type! As Filipinos, we were taught to respect the elders. Kids are taught at an early age to do the "mano, po at opo" and to talk to elderly people with utmost respect.
I have a friend(Annie) who has a kid and her kid(Molly) used to hang out with her bestie (Rose). Rose is being raised by her grandparents coz the parents are busy at work. Everyday Molly and Rose would go out and play. Rose's grandpa would supervise them. He got close to Molly and he would even drop by her house to give her some goodies. 
Nothing out of the ordinary, right? He looks like an average old Filipino man..religious and family oriented. Anyone who knows him won't suspect him of anything. 
He got super close with Molly who is just 11 at the time. He would walk her home (even though her house was just in the same compound). He downloaded the app "Line Play" and posed as a 15 yr old boy. There he would message Molly all the time and other underage girls. The mom didn't think much of it and just thought he wants to bond with his grandkid by playing in that avatar world with Molly and Rose.
But one time while walking Molly home, he asked her for a kiss on the lips. Like what the heck?? A dirty old man asking an 11 yr old girl for a kiss? He would also hug her whenever he can, write her letters, etc. All this time they thought he was just a nice old man and was treating Molly like his own apo.
Molly told her mom about him asking for a kiss and she totally freaked out! It finally dawned on her that he's probably a pedophile and was "grooming" her child. Annie did more investigation and found out from Molly that he would often take photos of her whenever she was playing with Rose. His phone has lots of photos of Molly and only a few photos of his grandkid Rose. Creepy isn't it?
So parents, please be careful! Do not let your kids get too close to other people (even if you know them). Its hard to trust others nowadays! 

Do you have any "manyakis" stories to share?

 

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Certified foodie. Crazy cat lady in training.

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