Turmeric Fried Rice Recipe

Turmeric Fried Rice with Fresh Curry Leaves and Prawns

Watching the segment of BBC Food UK’s video of Hersha Patel cooking Egg Fried Rice left me speechless! My initial reaction was…is she really serious? Is this recipe prepared by BBC Food? Anyway I thought, to each its own, that’s how they cook rice, it worked for them; although of course it made me laugh 🙂

So after a week of watching different reactions on that video, including the most famous review of Uncle Roger (Nigel Ng), I decided to cook my version of fried rice.

For most Filipinos we cook fried rice for breakfast because we have a lot of left over rice from previous evening’s dinner. Also, while growing up we were taught not to waste a single grain of rice as farmers labored hard to grow and produce this precious crop, thus cook the left overs 🙂 This thought may not be shared by some of my countrymen but in our family, that’s one reason why we cook fried rice.

Going back to my story, I love fried rice and have tasted different versions from different countries, I’ve visited, and so I came up with my own “fried rice fusion” recipe. I kinda love Indian spices especially fresh Curry leaves and Turmeric Powder, I think I was influenced when I stayed both in north and south India for almost a month, thus I created my own TURMERIC FRIED RICE Recipe.

How to cook Turmeric Fried Rice:

To prepare you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of left over rice (as long as it is not freshly cooked)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup of cooked, deshelled prawns cut into small pieces ( you may replace prawn with Bacon, Sausage or Egg)
  • 1 stalk of fresh curry leaves
  • 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of canola oil
  • a pinch of kosher salt

Cooking is quite simple, just follow these steps:

  1. Heat Canola oil on pan (please use stainless steel or cast iron pan it is a healthier option)
  2. Sautee garlic until medium brown or depends on how you like it
  3. Add rice and prawns, mix for a minute and then add Turmeric powder, Kosher salt and curry leaves
  4. Mix and fry for 5mins or longer
  5. Since I like my fried rice a little bit crunchy, I mix and fry it longer, you may decide on the consistency of your fried rice, so you may fry it shorter or longer than 5mins
  6. Serve while hot and top with fresh Curry leaves.

My finish product; apologies guys, I was in a hurry while cooking this, so you may notice that the prawn wasn’t completely deshelled LOL!! If you prefer a spicier fried rice you may adjust the measurement of Turmeric powder.

Six months ago I launched an online store and our products are all locally produced and healthy options like Turmeric Powder. So I used my Pure Turmeric Powder product for my Turmeric Fried Rice! Turmeric powder is available at groceries and spice shops; or you can contact me to purchase 🙂 As for the fresh Curry leaves, I planted a Curry tree in our garden and that’s where I get my supply, it is always fresh and 100% organic 🙂

I hope you find my fusion Turmeric Fried Rice interesting and you’ll try it very soon. If you happen to cook this please let me know if you like the recipe. Would love to hear from you, thank you!

Cheers!

-Arlyn

A Good Grill Cafe and Restaurant Along Tagaytay-Batangas Road

A quiet place offering a lovely view of nature and delicious food is my ideal stress buster. The pandemic has prevented me from going out for several months and it affected me somehow. I have been overloaded with work lately and need some time to destress, relax and connect with nature. The same goes with my bestfriend, thus we decided to go on a joyride in Tagaytay. Initially I plan to go to the beach but with quarantine strictly implemented in nearby provinces, it’s a futile goal.

I’m a typical Sagittarian, thus I love adventure and there are times that I don’t really plan my activity, and this is one of those times. My friend rely on me entirely, so off we go to a quiet place. Unfortunately Tagaytay City isn’t really quiet despite the quarantine.

The restaurants and parks are crowded! We can’t even find a place to park the car. We are near disappointment, but I decided to just drive and rely on my luck! So I kept on driving until we reach Tagaytay-Batangas road and took the way towards Laurel (R. Diokno Highway). The breeze is so cool that we forgot about our objective, instead we are enjoying the view and the fresh air.

Won’t you forget all your worries in life if you’re looking at this view, while enjoying the cool Tagaytay breeze? I’m very sure you will 🙂

The view at Tagaytay-Batangas Road, this area is in Laurel.

I checked Google Maps and this is the area where we stop and found a restaurant overlooking Taal Lake and Volcano. It is in the municipality of Laurel, Batangas. This place isn’t crowded and very few tourist (I hope ) would go here since it is quite far from Tagaytay City. The best thing about the resto is, it is perched on the mountain and along the hi-way which is very accessible yet it offers the view and ambience that we’re after. As for the food… hmmmmm……

The restaurant is called Golden View Grill Cafe and Restaurant. The signage looks decent and the place itself looks comfortable. It has several parking spaces, probably it can cater to maximum 8 cars, luckily the place is almost empty. I like the facade, it is simple and the country vibe… yes.

The restaurant has enough spaces not too spacious but still offers privacy as the tables are well distanced from another. The crew are very polite and greet us warmly. We noticed that the restaurant has a second floor and it offers a very good view of Taal and the surrounding mountain range, however we decided to stay downstairs since the air is so cold and I can’t tolerate cold breeze and rain, altogether.

The restaurant is high ceilinged, with wide glass windows and takes advantage of the fresh air, so even without air-conditioning system it is very comfy especially during cool months from October to January.

Now about the food… they offer mostly Filipino cuisine but there’s few selection of Italian pasta for those who don’t eat Filipino food. Check the photos for the menu and prices. You’ll be surprise to find out that the food are reasonably priced and the serving is good for 1-2 persons.

Because we are craving for Lomi and Batangas Goto (good for cold weather), we ordered both! The serving size is perfect. A warning though, you have to eat the hot dish right after it is served. we also ordered Kapeng Barako after and was surprised that it comes with Batangas Suman for only Php90 !!! Yep it’s correct! Php90 !! For me it is a steal… Their Suman is so delicious that we order 10pcs each to take home. I enjoyed their Goto, Lomi though is so-so probably because they used a different noodle.

As I’ve stated earlier, each table is properly distanced, and not to mention that there are only 4 customers during our visit, I decided to even do tarot reading for my bestfriend while sipping freshly brewed Kapeng Barako. I love the ambience of these restaurant, my energy is at its peak and I am able to channel all the messages that my friend has to hear.

We are very satisfied to find this place, we are able to relax, enjoy good food while communing with nature. Thanks to my lucky stars, our visit is very quiet, few people and the place is ours for over 4-hours. I am able to read tarot properly without any distrcation.

This place is busy on weekends and especially during tourist season I bet, so I suggest to drop by on a weekday day and non-peak hours.

If you would like to know more about this place visit their Facebook page and follow this link —>https://web.facebook.com/goldenviewgrill/?_rdc=1&_rdr

Hope you enjoyed my story guys! Now that you already know that I do tarot reading (intuitive).. would you like me to write a story about it? Let me know!

Cheers!
-Arlyn

Where To Buy Avanza Tires In Metro Manila

To own a car in the Philippines used to be a status symbol. I suppose until now it may still be a status symbol for some. For me however, having my own car is a necessity.

Living in a place where public transport is so bad, my definition of bad; is when most of the public transport like UV express (point-to-point van) is illegal/ collurum, I have no choice but buy a car, so I may reach my office on time and safe. This is one of my reasons aside from being able to transport my huge dog, a Labrador from home and any place I want to bring him.

Owning a car is no bed of roses though. In fact, I find it a huge responsibility and quite expensive. Why did I say so? Well, let me itemize why;
1. It requires yearly registration which means, fees and taxes
2. Need to maintain a comprehensive and third party liability insurance yearly
3. Regular maintenance is required, at least every 5,000kms mileage
4. Change or replace parts especially those that needs regular replacement like break pads
5. Replacement of tires every after 6 years or once the thread are worn

Tire replacement I found out, is quite expensive and there’s no point of replacing just one tire if all four units are expired and worn. For my Avanza 2014 car model the tire size is 180/70R14. It is very vital that you know your car’s tire size before buying a new set. Anyway I decided to replace the existing Dunlop tires and I started canvassing for the same brand in Bacoor, Cavite (where I live)! Apparently this brand is not that popular to tire dealers and has limited stocks! I found 2 dealers but they only have 1 tire available 😅

I was tired of looking for same brand and quite frustrated so asked my friends and researched on what are the best tire brands that are suitable for Philippine weather and road condition. Finally, I decided to purchase Yokohama tires, this is a Japanese brand, now locally manufactured in the Philippines yet using Japanese technology which I believe is reliable and high quality (I should know, has been working for a Japanese company)

Yokohama isn’t cheap, though not as expensive like those high-end brands, still I find it a bit pricey. I canvassed from local dealers in Bacoor, 1 pc of. 180/70R14 would cost between Ph3,650-P3,950 that means I have to shell maximum Php15,900 for 4units 😭 I searched and searched on where to buy this brand at a lower cost until our company driver advised me to buy from Yokohama dealer; Tyretown Corp. in Tramo, Pasay. The store is located in Aurora Boulevard, Pasay.

Yokohama Pasay
2315 Aurora Blvd, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila
(02) 8852 2798
https://goo.gl/maps/QLe222d1gML3VEUe6

I contacted the store first, I was told that labor is free if I purchase 4 sets, I can have the wheels aligned for free too, if no parts are to be replaced. As for payments they accept cash or credit card, sorry guys no debit cards tho.

Ok, I know you’re quite excited on how much I paid, would you believe, 1 tire is Ph3,250 only? Since I bought four, I paid Php13,000 and saved Php2,900!! That’s a huge amount of savings right? Glad I was referred to this dealer. When I came there were several customers so I had to wait at their receiving area.

It only took 30 minutes to have the tires replaced and wheel aligned. I was watching them work from the reception, so I can attest that the quality of work is very good.

Watching from the reception while my car is being attended
And because I had this replacement done during GCQ, social distancing is reinforced! I have no choice but to stay and wait at this specific spot! 😂
Wheel alignment area
I can’t really stay put and sit in a corner, need to know and understand how wheel alignment is being done 😂

With the quality of work, customer service level, price and brands they sell, I give this dealer 5 stars out of 5. I am so satisfied and happy. Well freebies like 2 pieces of Yokohama souvenir umbrella made me happier 😂 Who wouldn’t right?

I hope my story will be a great help to those who are looking for tire dealers that offers quality products and services at a reasonable price! Up next would be my story about the performance of Yokohama tires 😊

Cheers and keep safe guys!

DOG QUOTES and LIFE LESSONS

I was 9 when I had my first dog- she was a gift from my Godfather. She was an adorable and the most beautiful dog and I named her Chiqui. Chiqui have lived and loved her 11-years with me, I was already 21 when she left for Rainbow Bridge. I have had a number of beautiful, cuddly and adorable dogs after Chiqui.

My dogs are my best friends, my protector, my baby, my family and is also me. At present, my baby is a yellow Labrador Retriever, I named Callen, after the t.v. series character, G.Callen in NCIS: Los Angeles…you might be smiling now.. yes I admit, I love Chris O’Donnell 🙂

Before Callen, my first yellow lab was Mango he was 7 years old when he left for the Rainbow Bridge. His passing was so painful because I was traveling for work back then and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to him. It took me a year to accept and move on.. moving on means getting another yellow labrador- and that’s how I had Callen.

Being a fur mom since I was 9, taught me so many lessons in life. I believe that taking care of pets (yes, i do have cats and fish too) has impact on how a person becomes. Some of these life lessons I have summed through selected dog quotes, which are quite profound.

Since I love photography, I have taken thousand of photos of Callen. These photos are really amazing and speak for itself, so I came up with this quote posters. I hope some of these quotes resonates with you and may these photos put a smile on your face and heart.

Cheers!

-Arlyn

SUNFLOWER POEMS

Sunflowers start to blossom in our garden and the neighbor’s front yard. They dance with the wind and follow the sun, oblivious of bees visiting them nor of my presence 🙂 I usually sit on a a cement block situated near these flowers every morning, while I sip my freshly brewed coffee and play fetch with my dog. One morning instead of sitting on my usual spot, I chose to take several photos of these lovelies while admiring them. Their images are so beautiful, I feel that I will not give them justice if I just keep it in my phone memory…what to do with them, I don’t have an idea yet.. until…

I read several poems about Sunflowers from hellopoetry.com .. This website is one of my go to site, if I would like to connect to someone else’s world- and read about life lessons and more. There are poems about Sunflowers that resonated with me.. So I decided to share them here together with my Sunflower photos 🙂 Hope you like them..

Cheers!

-Arlyn

How To Cook Spicy Tofu with Curry Leaves

I like Korean dishes and lately have been learning to cook them. Recently I googled Spicy Tofu recipe and found a lot !!! Since we are still in quarantine, I decided to check and follow the simplest recipe (when I say simplest it means the ingredients are readily available and easy to find).

The simplest recipe I found tho has meat in it, however I am vegetarian. Thus I made a slight modification on the recipe, considering that some of the fresh spices needed are not available. With limited ingredients I opted to replace some of the spices with curry leaves (yup fresh ones, we have couple of Curry tree in the garden) and powdered chili.

To start with you will need the following:

  • 2-3 cups medium sized cut Tofu
  • 1 piece large onion
  • 1 small ginger
  • 3 pieces free-range organic eggs, beaten
  • Light Soy sauce
  • Sugar Cane vinegar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cornstarch
  • Chili Powder ( supposedly fresh red chili but I don’t have stock)
  • Sugar
  • Olive Oil … and…
  • Fresh Curry Leaves for that twist in aroma and flavor

How to cook? Simple… all you need to do is first prepare and fry the Tofu until a little bit brown ( do not overcook unless you want it crispy).

I prefer mine tender and juicy so I didn’t over fry it, set aside. Prepare the sauce while frying Tofu , by mixing the light soy sauce, sugar cane vinegar, powdered chili, a dash of Kosher salt, sugar and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside. If you notice I didn’t specify the measurements, its something that one should learn by heart without really being boxed on commercial recipe measurement. So go ahead, create your own ratio and proportion, by then you are also developing your cooking style. Next steps are:

  • Saute ginger and onion in heated Olive Oil
  • Add Tofu and mix
  • Add beaten egg, saute and while the egg is being cooked add the sauce mixture
  • Add several pieces of fresh curry leaves, mix so that the cornstarch sauce consistency is even, let it simmer for few minutes or until the sauce mixture is cooked
  • Serve while hot, and top it with fresh curry leaves

My end product doesn’t look appetizing, but believe me it really is flavorful and good. I didn’t intend to write about this, but I realize why not share my spicy Tofu recipe, it is quite good and I am sure those who are into vegetarian meals would love this. I hope this inspires you to create your own meals without being too hard on yourself by following the recipe to the T. Try to reinvent and create your own, that’s the best way to develop your own cooking style and discover something magnificent.

Thank you guys for reading and I hope you like my twisted Spicy Korean Tofu recipe 🙂
Cheers!

-Arlyn

7 Ways To Make Yogurt Taste Better

Yogurt is a staple and has been existing for over 5000 BC and may have originated from Mesopotamia. There are a lot of resources explaining its history and origin but guys, I’m not talking about it today 🙂 Yogurt by the way has many health benefits and these include but not limited to:

  • Provides most nutrients that our body needs like Calcium, Vitamin B and trace minerals
  • It is very high in protein (Greek variety) which helps in appetite and weight control
  • Boost digestive health as some Yogurt contains Probiotics
  • Strengthens the immune system and prevent certain illness due to its high vitamins, minerals and Probiotics content
  • May also reduce risk of Osteoporosis if consumed regularly
  • May benefit heart health by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and reducing blood pressure.

If you would like to learn more about the scientific basis of the claims above please click this link                    ——->https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-yogurt#section5

Yogurt has many culinary uses and other non-culinary applications too. For person like me who is practicing healthy lifestyle and always on the go, Yogurt is my life saver. How? Well, since I am too busy and I wake-up very early and leave home early for work, to beat the traffic, I can no longer cook healthy breakfast. I can purchase on the go and ready to eat breakfast from convenience stores and fast food but I am sorry to say but I despise them.

So what could be the easiest breakfast to prepare that is healthy? How about a bowl of Yogurt? Yes, I eat Yogurt daily but it became boring eventually. Imagine eating same thing for 7 days! Breakfast became dull, however I will not sacrifice my health for some excitement tho…

I thought why not add some color on my dull Yogurt breakfast by adding something on it without spending too much time. I came up with my usual Yogurt and fruit mix pre-quarantine however when the country was on lock down and I’m stuck I home, I came up with my 7-days Yogurt mixtures.

DAY 1: Simply Awesome – simple yet packed with health benefits. This is my whatever-is-available in the fridge and pantry mixture: Greek Yogurt, Ponkan, Mango and Raisin… simple yet awesome 🙂

Day 2: Asian Delight – like Asia it’s unique and fresh. Yep, both Kiwi and Apple are native of Central Asia and was introduced to Europe and America. So my Asian delight is a mix of Greek Yogurt, Kiwi, Apple and Raisin for the uniquely fresh flavor. It will surely wake you up in the morning. Looks a bit weird but I consume it with freshly brewed Barako Coffee from Batangas 🙂

 

Day 3: Seed It Up- why not level up your Yogurt mix with seeds? To make it extra exciting and healthy I mixed Greek Yogurt with Mango, Kiwi, Chia Seeds and Flax Meal. They not only add texture but also more added health benefits for you. What’s more? I sprinkled my brewed coffee with Flax meal too…

 

Day 4: Tropical Mix- a sweet and creamy mix of Philippine fruits and seeds. This time of the year, Avocado and Mango are abundant. So this mixture I added the two fruits and of course the all year round Banana, with Raisin,Chia Seeds and Flax Meal.  One of my favorite among my seven mixes 🙂

Day 5: New Super Mix- purple colored fruits and vegetables are the new super foods. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals. My day five is mixture of Greek Yogurt, Cranberry, Dragon Fruits, Chia Seeds, Flax Meal, Raisins and my all time favorite fruit, the Philippine Mango!!!!

 

Day 6: Healthy Pastel- ran out of Greek Yogurt so I used naturally flavored Strawberry Yogurt produced by a local food manufacturer in Bulacan. For my healthy pastel colored mix I combine Strawberry Yogurt with Kiwi, Banana and Chia Seeds paired with brewed coffee. Simple yet vitamins and minerals rich 🙂

 

Day 7: Immunity Boost- a mixture of fruits that boosts the immune system. So on the seventh day I put together naturally flavored Strawberry Yogurt, Dragon fruit, Philippine Mango, Raisin and again Chis Seeds!! 

If you notice I prefer to use Greek Yogurt except on the last two days since the grocery ran out of supply but I shifted to naturally flavored one. Greek Yogurt is better than the regular one in terms of consistency at the same time it allows better absorption of nutrients by the body.

If you would like to learn more about Greek Yogurt and its health benefits read this article https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/greek-yogurt-benefits#substitution

I hope you get inspired with my 7 exciting Yogurt mixes. You can be more adventurous and add different kinds of fruits and seeds. The key here is that you like what you mix, and of course always bear in mind that they should be packed with nutrients. In times like this wherein COVID-19 is prevalent, we all should stay healthy by boosting our immune system. With a strong immune system we are protected from the virus 🙂

Stay healthy and safe guys!

Cheers!

-Arlyn

DESIDERATA BY MAX EHRMANN

“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Recently I was rereading DESIDERATA by Max Ehrmann, an inspiring poem reminding us to strive and live a happy life by accepting who we are, keeping peace with our soul, be kind and compassionate to others and be one with the universe….. amidst all the challenges like this COVID19 pandemic that we are facing.

The poem’s history itself is very colorful and interesting, from when it was written and how it became popular to how different versions were made. Anyway this is the original prose poem:

 

DESIDERATA

 

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

While reading more about the the original poem, I came across this YouTube Channel, RedFrost Motivation. They had posted their recited version of Desiderata. The poem was recited gently yet meaningfully. I cannot help but listen over and over again, it resonated on me, I was deeply touched and I felt joy while listening. Should you wish to watch and listen click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaVaF6TkSUU

If you are asking yourself about the purpose of your existence and what happiness is all about, read this poem, and you’ll find the answers that you have been looking for.

I pray that something within you sparked after reading this! Cheers!

Arlyn.

Photo is not mine and borrowed from https://allpoetry.com/Max-Ehrmann

HEALTH BENEFITS OF OKRA TEA

Okra also referred to as Lady’s Finger, Gumbo or Bhindi is biologically categorized as a fruit although popularly utilized as vegetable. It is a flowering plant with edible seed pods and usually cultivated in warm and tropical climates, in countries like the Philippines. The most popular variety in this country is the green colored compared to the red one.

The fruit when cooked has a slimy texture, which makes it unpopular to most people, I however love Okra regardless if it is slimy. Okra is one of the ingredients in Filipino dishes like Pinakbet, Diningding or Sinigang although the simplest way to consume it is to steam the fruit and dip in shrimp paste. Aside form Filipino cuisine, I also like to cook Bhindi Masala which is an Indian dish.

In spite of the fact that Okra can be unappealing, its is packed with nutrition according this article posted on Healthline https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/okra-health-benefits I have listed below the most important health benefits of Okra but I also suggest that you read the full article because it has references to prove the claims.

Okra is very rich in nutrients, a very good source vitamins C and K1, one cup of raw Okra contains the following:

  • Calories: 33
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Magnesium: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Folate: 15% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 26% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 26% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 14% of the DV

Okra is rich in antioxidants; polyphenols, flavonoids and isoquercetin, as well as vitamins that may reduce risk of serious diseases, prevent inflammation, and contribute to overall health.

Okra may also lower risk on heart diseases because it contains a thick gel-like substance called mucilage, which can bind to cholesterol during digestion, causing it to be excreted with stools rather than absorbed into your body.

So, if Okra is used in many dishes, you might be wondering why make tea out of it? The answer is one cup of fresh Okra would give me those vitamins and minerals that my body needed compared to cooked fruit. Furthermore, I noticed that the skin of a relative I haven’t seen for several years have improved. His skin used to be dry and dull and he looked old for his age due to stress, but it became more supple, plump and healthy looking. He also became active and alert physically and mentally as compared before, simply because he has been drinking fresh Okra tea every morning as alternative to coffee.

I was impressed with the effects of fresh Okra tea in him that I decided to try it, well alright, my other “excuse” why I am preparing fresh tea is because, lately I’m too busy to cook yet I need my regualr intake of Okra. How to prepare? It’s quite simple;

  • Wash two pieces, medium size and young Okra.
  • Cut in half
  • Slice into small pieces
  • Place in a mug or cup
  • Add freshly boiled water
  • Drink the tea while lukewarm

Because I like Okra, I also ate the sliced fiber… kinda slimy though! Remember that slimy thick gel-like substance called mucilage when taken can bind to cholesterol during digestion and lowers blood cholesterol! Isn’t that more than enough motivation 😉 ?

What are you waiting for, try this at home if you are looking for a less expensive but more effective alternative sources of vitamins and minerals. And, if you did try. please let me know in the comment section about your experience…. I’m quite sure it’s going to be exciting 🙂

Cheers!

Arlyn

Batanes’ San Carlos Borromeo Church and Blank Book Archives

I’m both a spontaneous and organised traveller… but experience had taught me that “some of the most thrilling things in life are done on impulse”, if  I may quote Syrie James.

And so on a rainy month of August, more out of whim than thrill,  I decided to travel in Batanes with a friend.

My plan was to explore the island unplanned and  just go with the flow. Enjoy what the moment will bring us. Isn’t that a very cool idea?

On our first day we decided to explore the the municipality of Basco, talk to the locals, eat local delicacies and immerse ourselves on Ivatan culture. Second day we spent the night in Sabtang Island. We came back to Batan on the third day and hired a tricycle to go around South Batan, which we heard is a must go destination for first timers in the island.

Off we went, the tour guide/ tricycle driver asked us what we’d like to see first.. my answer was…”let’s cruise around and stop when something catches my attention or when we pass by a church” 😊

I must say the island is so beautiful and breathtaking. I can’t stop from mumbling ”ohhhs” and “wow” every time we stop to feast on the beauty in front of us.. ok, honestly,  another reason is to take Instagrammable photos of the landscapes and some selfies lol..

Unfortunately I will not talk about the lovely views and landscapes that  we saw but I’d like to share this photo of Mahatao Boat Shelter Dock to give you an idea.

I was smiling during the trip because our guide followed my instruction to the T !

When we reached Mahatao, he immediately stopped in front of this old yet marvelous church called San Carlos Borromeo Church, popularly known as Mahatao Church. The white Baroque facade is an attention grabber, aside from the very spacious front lawn lined with blooming Santan.

Before entering the church, saw this signage. I was impressed that this church is an NCCA designated National Cultural Heritage Treasure.

And an NHI  (National Historical Institute) signage is also visible at the entrance. The church was built in 1787 with Saint Charles Borromeo as its patron saint and protector. It was damaged by a typhoon in 1872 and was rebuilt in 1873 by then Vicar Fr. Crescencio Polo. On September 19, 1898, the Katipunan revolutionaries raised their flag at the belfry.

What I like about this church is that it is well taken care of and the idea of surrounding the lawn with red Santan flowers. 

 

Somehow I noticed that churches in this island are mostly made of stone and lime. The belfry is located on top of the facade and can be seen from afar, on of the bells is dated back in 1874.

Upon entry, if you’re into old churches you will notice that the interior is decorated in Baroque style. Walking towards the altar, thr image of of Saint Charles Borromeo, the patron saint on the center and surrounded by  Saint Joseph, Saint Dominic de Guzman and Saint Rose of Lima. There are two minor altars with image of the  Our Lady of the Rosary on the right and of the Holy Child on the left,

On the right side of the church is the convent, where the Souvenir Store is… did I say souvenir? I will be lying if I tell you that I am not interested in souvenir shops 🙂 Because I am.. I like to take home something to remind me of my visit in certain places.

Unfortunately the souvenir items were limited, although I didn’t go disappointed. I realized the convent also houses the BATANES BLANK BOOK ARCHIVE.

I was a curious why were the books blank??  Why keep blank books? What for??

I have so many questions and I was looking for my guide to explain this weird idea but I cannot find him, instead I asked one of the caretakers…

I decided to look around and saw these shelves of hardbound books with an image or Virgin Mary at the center of the room. She is smiling and seems like she is inviting all guests to go inside take a look on one of the hardbound books… 

It was explained to me that the Blank Book Archives documents the history and experiences of Batanes’ visitors. The hardbound books are numbered and are literally blank. The visitors are  encouraged to choose any numbered book with blank pages.

On the blank pages guests can freely write their thoughts and heart’s desire. One may write about his/her experience while visiting Batanes, wishes and even prayers. After writing the book must be returned on the shelves and donations are encouraged to help maintain the place.

While carefully studying the numbered books, I can’t help but feel dismayed because some of the guests aren’t really mindful. They are supposed to write on the blank pages and not on the cover! So I kept looking for that one book that will connect with me…

Found it! Book 487… it connected with me and I decided to write on one of the blank pages…

I looked for a quiet corner, and wrote on the book… the kind lady who’s taking care of the place volunteered to take photos (yep… several shots lol) of me while writing.

I only consumed one page but it meant a lot to me. I asked the lady what will happen after all books were used. She told me that once the books  are filled these are kept in the archives and  replaced with new numbered blank books.  If I decide to go back in the future I can request for the number of the book I wrote something on should I wish to read and see what I have written.

My visit to Mahatao church and the blank book archives I must say is one of my most memorable experience in Batanes. The Blank Book Archives is an ingenious idea and makes this island more special and unique.  I was so satisfied and my heart is filled with joy 🙂 

That’s me in front of the church and I assure you, I was so happy 🙂  Batanes surpassed my travel expectations and became one of my favorite destination in the country. If you are thinking of visiting this island, I suggest that please do and don’t think twice. You will surely love this place.

Cheers!

 

-Arlyn

Open Sky by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

Woke up with a full heart, can’t contain my happiness. Grateful for the gift of life and everything that comes with it! 

I love to share this wonderful gift today and I feel that this poem by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater perfectly describe how amazing life is. 

Recently discovered Ms Vanderwater’s poems… love her work. It resonated with me thus will post some more 🙂

Love you all   Cheers and have an amazing wonderful week! Happy Monday 🙂 

NOL 1

BIKO: A Long Shelf Life Recipe

BIKO is a sweet rice cake that is very popular in this country. It is made of  glutinous rice, brown sugar and coconut milk. This rice cake is often topped with either latik (coconut curds) or the syrupy caramel-like variant toppings.

I am not really a huge fan of Biko and I don’t eat this rice cake variant. One reason that I don’t like it, is probably the way it was cooked.  One time, my best friend cooked and prepared BIKO. As I don’t want to offend her, I did try the BIKO she cooked and I was amazed! I liked it, in fact I ate a lot. From then on, I learnt to like BIKO only if it was cooked and prepared by her. 

Few weeks ago, I was craving for BIKO, I asked my friend to cook for me but I ended up asking her to teach me how to cook it myself. So, off we go to the public market to buy the following ingredients:

Good for 2 kilos Rice Cake and can feed 20 or more people:

  • 2 kilos Glutinous Rice (premium grade)
  • 1 kilo brown  sugar
  • 3 pieces coconut (medium size), milked
  • Banana Leaf for packaging
  • Bilao (basket) for packaging

HOW TO PREPARE:

So we went to the public market, my friend who is very good at this stuff, chose 3 pieces medium size coconuts which look matured (she said it has more milk). The store can squeeze the milk from coconut so we don’t have to do it at home. It’s more convenient and saves time not to mention they can completely squeeze the milk. Ok guys, you can only use fresh coconut milk ! Do not use canned or powdered (processed coconut milk)

This is the premium grade glutinous rice, it is stickier and smells really good when cooked.

We bought brown sugar, yep brown raw sugar gives more flavor than the washed or white variant. It doesn’t have significant vitamins and minerals but it sure does add  character on the finished product.

Once the ingredients are ready and available, you should  first wash the Glutinous rice and cook it. Use a rice cooker if you aren’t an expert in cooking rice, yay 🙂 ! So here’s a photo of my cooked glutinous rice, set it aside let it cool a bit and prepare the coconut milk.

Since I was preparing 2 kilograms of Biko, I need a big pan that can accommodate it. Pour the coconut milk in a pan, let it boil but on a low fire! Do not rush things! Anyway, once the milk start boiling, mix it regularly so it doesn’t get burnt.

Stirring the boiling coconut milk constantly is important to prevent it from burning

Keep mixing … yep you need to mix non-stop until the milk curds and it will look like this …

Keep on mixing again mix it, ha ha ha I know it’s tough,  once the curd looks like golden brown, separate it from the oil and strain it. Set aside the curd and let it cool.

Next step, retain the coconut oil in the pan, you will use this to carmelize the sugar

 

Add the sugar with coconut oil, keep the fire low and mix until it caramelize.. prepare the cooked glutinous rice

Once the sugar completely caramelized, add the cooked glutinous rice and mix !!!!! This is the toughest part LOL… and I spent a lot of energy mixing this sticky stuff 🙂

Keep on mixing until the rice and caramel mixture is consistent, it might take awhile ! I assure you! My arm was tired mixing after 15 mins or so!!!! Cooking Biko is a labor of love, I must say cause you really have to stir and mix it constantly and you can’t leave it on the stove else it will get burnt! Once you are satisfied with the consistency and stickiness… set it aside and keep it a little bit cool

Prepare the Banana leaves, pass it on fire so make it a bit softer and pliable.. if you use it fresh the leaves will crack! arrange on the basket..make sure that the entire basket is covered with Banana leaves

Transfer your Biko in the basket using a wooden spatula. Flatten it a little bit. Then sprinkle the coconut curd on top… like this … forsome people like me… I like my Biko fully covered with coconut curd… it enhances the flavor of the rice cake as well as it provides texture to that sticky consistency..

Tadahhhhh…. this is the finished product! It was my first time to cook and it was a success! Yey!!! My friend tasted it and gave me a thumbs up, she said I did very well for a first timer. I also brought this basket at the office (it was actually my birthday treat) and they all love it 🙂 Yey! What makes this recipe unique from others? It is a no fridge, longer shelf life recipe Biko! Yep you read it right no need to refrigerate unlike others that your tried 🙂

I was inspired with all the comments and positive feedback, and honestly I don’t mind the pain n my arms (due to mixing) it was worth it! Everybody loves it and it was a huge accomplishment on my part! If you will ask me if I will cook again? Of course I will… I am beginning to love it 🙂

I hope this story will inspire you try and cook Biko. This recipe actually is the best version (in my opinion) compared to other Biko recipes. The Rice cake will last to 5 days even if you don’t refrigerate it 🙂

Thanks for reading!

 

Cheers!

_Arlyn

Taal Volcano Eruption x IPhone 11 Pro

The phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano took everyone by surprise. Although it has always been monitored and an alert level warning is announced, the explosion was unanticipated. What everyone expects to be a normal behavior of the Volcano was in fact an imminent danger. After just few hours of amazing display of smoke it erupted affecting thousands of people who weren’t prepared for such.

We live 45kms away from Taal Volcano, about 25-minutes drive, yet we felt the impact immediately. Our area was reeking of Sulfur, it was difficult to breath and there was ashfall. It was so heavy that the streets are covered and made it a a bit difficult to drive.

We monitored the news, I felt guilty to sleep because I feel for those who are fleeing the danger zone even at night. The next day, I surveyed our place, my car was heavily covered with ash which looks like a fine sand but if you look closely and magnify it is silica, abrasive and hazardous to health.

So I took photos of our plants in the garden using IPhone 11 Pro and these are how they look like:

Eggplant leaf covered with Silica

Feels and looks like we live by the beach

The roof of our house

More …

Sweeping and cleaning the garden

A closer look at silica/ ashfall . Even the smallest leaves are coated

These photos looks creatively made but reflecting on these, I feel the fear, sadness and worries of those affected. I send them my prayers and also help on my own little way.

This is by the way the second volcanic eruption I have experienced in my life which I felt the impact, first was Mount Pinatubo in 1990s when I was in high school and now Taal.

If you are reading this, please offer prayers to all affected, that is one huge help. Thank you 😊

-Arlyn

My Books of 2019 Recommended for you this 2020

I have been decluttering my social media accounts including Instagram and realised I have used  IG to journal some of the books I have read this 2019.  Certain books had great impact on me and some really are simply for entertainment. Anyhow, the photos of books I am sharing today is a partial list of what I have read since I didn’t really take photos every  time I read 😉

1. 2019 DIDACHE                                    A gift from my sister friend on my birthday, end of 2018. Proved to be an apt tool to keep me grounded all throughout the year. I am thinking of getting a 2020 copy.

2. JOURNEY TO THE HEART by Melody Beattie                                      This book I got from a BOOKSALE (sort of a thrift shop for books in the Philippines) for only Php130.00.  I so love Ms Beattie’s daily meditation insights. It helped me to stop, keep still and reflect on my purpose in life. I recommend this to anyone who is too busy and cannot seem to sit still and calm their minds. I actually download most of her books  on Kindle, her works resonated on me.

Sharing here December 29 reading going towards end of the year. I wouldn’t really mind rereading this book in 2020.

3. THE POWER OF YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS by  Joseph Murray, Ph.D, D.D                              I am hooked to this one. According to Dr. Murray, “This book is designed to teach you that your habitual thinking and imagery mold, fashion and create your destiny. For as a person thinks in his subconscious mind, so he is.” I so personally agree on this, I believe in MIRACLES and we create them by beginning and tapping the power of our subconscious mind. I have been practicing this and believe me it works. One proof is when I had an accident and I wrote about it in my previous post. The power of my subconscious made my healing miraculously fast.

4. THE STUPIDEST ANGEL by Christopher Moore                              I have this book for years, it isn’t really like 5-star type, however it is a funny Christmas book at least for me 🙂 So I reread it this December to keep my spirit light. Who wouldn’t laugh if you encounter an angel who only wanted to help the world yet unfortunately he isn’t the brightest one? I am glad my Guardian Angel is a sharp one, she’s a compassionate and bright one. Read this if you want to laugh.

5. EAT TO BEAT DISEASE by William W. Li, MD                                 I have written previously about my major accident and its set back. I developed an auto-immune disease called Vitiligo after two major operations. My body was physically stressed and that caused my AI to wreck havoc on my skin. There’s no cure for that although I tried homeopathy coupled with good diet and it works on me. So I decided to read more about food that can help the body heal itself. This book tackles both and this became my guide ever since. If you wanted to start a healthy lifestyle and eating habit, I strongly suggest that you read this in 2020!

Here’s a peek on the writing style of Dr. Li. The analogies are so entertaining that you wouldn’t even feel and think that a medical doctor have written this. The words are simple, written in a very flawless and smooth way, that made me feel like I am savoring a very creamy hot dark coco drink while reading it 🙂

6. MATING IN CAPTIVITY (Unlocking the Erotic Intelligence) by Esther Perel                  Heard her interview on Oprah Winfrey podcast and a friend recommended her. My interest was also piqued by her concept of EROTIC INTELLIGENCE that I got a copy of this from Amazon Books. If you are into a relationship and its a roller coaster ride, I suggest that you read this. Does this mean that my relationship is also a roller coaster ride? Not anymore, I took control of it 🙂

7.  THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle and other Spiritual Enlightening books         Yep, I went into a book shopping spree at FULLYBOOKED in BGC. I have finished reading Tolle’s and it made me understand fully being at the moment, being now.  This book helped me a lot to appreciate my daily grind without stressing about it. THE TEACHINGS OF BUDDHA powers my soul and its like my refuge every time I felt that my NOW is taking control of me and not me in-charge of it. If you want to steer your boat and become the captain of your life please read this… I haven’t started Deepak Chopra’s and Malcolm Gladwell yet. I know…. they are now in my 2020 list… 🙂

8.  WRITING MY LIFE by Alison Bing                                                          When I was in my grade and high school, I used to be a features editor in our school paper. I love to write essays, short stories, poems and was hoping that someday I get to write my autobiography. So one day while killing time at this thrift bookstore (again? yes… this is like my cave when I need to relax)  I saw this book. I immediately bought it and now I am journaling everything. What I realise while writing on this book/journal is that writing about the past may it good or bad is liberating and a journey that makes me appreciate who I become now. I recommend this even if you aren’t an aspiring writer, instead if you wish to reflect on your life and find out the lessons it brought.

Here’s why you should get this 🙂

9. THE ART OF THINKING CLEARLY by Rolf Dobelli                    First the reason why I bought this book is because of the  ART, literally and figuratively ha ha ha…. this book intrigued me… This book itemized cognitive biases but with no clear cut explanations or arguments… thus will make you think creatively rather than clearly..  well anyway creativity is clarity for me.. nonetheless I didn’t get what I wanted from this… but hey it is still entertaining and informative. If you aren’t familiar with different  cognitive biases, this is a good start. It is easy reading and entertaining. Obviously I was entertained cause I spent my early morning at Starbucks to splurge on coffee!

10.  C.S. LEWIS A Life by Alister E. McGrath                                                  Obviously I am a C.S. Lewis fan! Again I got this book from the BOOKSALE for only Php150 and it is brand new.  As I am a Lewis fan, I appreciate the well researched information about his personal life which I am not aware of. This made me ponder about the author and the inspirations behind his work. I would prefer not to be influenced by McGrath’s opinion about Lewis.  I recommend this to Narnia fans (which means you are a Lewis fan ) but if your purpose is to read and find our more about the author through the point of view of McGrath…. hmmmmmm….. you can take the dive  LOL..

11. THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO by Mitch Albom  I love music although music sometimes doesn’t love me (  huh.. should I really explain this ?) .. Anyway, what I love about this book is that MUSIC is the story teller, which makes the book is an eye candy… I love reading it at a coffee shop… no pressure at all to delved deeper to understand the points.. am not a music expert so the analogies aren’t really a big deal for me..

12. THE NEXT PERSON YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom              Okay, okay… he is also my favorite after I first encountered, Tuesdays with Morrie way back in college.  Just want to stress this quote form the book “All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”  This sums up my recommendation 🙂

 

13. MEN WITHOUT WOMEN by Haruki Murakami                                Murakami’s melancholic, surreal and mind boggling writing  style had me attracted.. especially when I first read IQ84 ! It’s like boom… I’m lost for awhile until I  figured out and got my bearing. After that experience I always buy new releases by Murakami. This book as the title implies will give you an idea what it is all about. It is melancholic and kind of heavy though this book is short! As an optimistic person, I sometimes wonder why the characters cannot move on… until a personal encounter.. now I understand.. people does move on superficially but subconsciously they cannot.. Don’t  get me wrong guys, I am not talking about me ha ha ha  .. Recommended if you wanted to get deeper insights into a man’s heart.

I just wanted to share this line because it made me chuckle for a while… “she sounded like a staunch vegetarian who have been asked if she ate lettuce”  … it sounded like me hahahaha (yes am a vegetarian)

14. THE ART OF WAR and Other Classics Of Eastern Philosophy        I am a huge fan of everything classical not to mention my line of work involves a lot of negotiations. To win those negotiations one has to read Sun Tzu’s military strategy and tactics. It is not only applicable on warfare but can be also applied on our day to day war 🙂  Do I have to say more? Just get a copy of this book and dive in! 

15. FACTFULNESS by Hans Rosling  I first encountered Hans Rosling at TED X. I was so fascinated by this physician/ academician/ public speaker!!! He is so brilliant!  This book was recommended by someone to me and I immediately got a copy. After reading few pages.. I felt vindicated.. why? Because I always say and tell my friends that things are better than how we think and see it.. and I was always told “you’re too optimistic, get real”.  Thanks to Mr. Rosling for explaining “why we’re wrong about the world and why things are better than you think” . His claims are backed with data and scientifically explained and I simply love it. Please get a copy of this one, it will change how you perceive the world 🙂

So these are some of the books I’ve read in 2019, if I have more time I shall write part 2 as I have read more than these top 15 which I posted on my 2019 Instagram.  If you you’ve seen this books before in a shop, I hope my thoughts can help you decided if you’ll buy  and read it or not at all.

I learnt a lot by reading the works of great minds and with this I leave you with something to ponder on:

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” – Socrates

Happy reading this 2020 guys!

Cheers!

-Arlyn

 

MUSHROOM BURGER IN TAGAYTAY

One Sunday I went to Tagaytay to attend a kiddie birthday party. I left our place as  early as 9:30 A.M. although the party was scheduled at 1:00 P.M.  It’s not because I was excited to attend a party but for the reason that I don’t want to be stuck in traffic, although Tagaytay is just 15-mins drive from where I live.

Traffic was miraculously light, I was in the area after 45-mins. , normally, on a weekend it takes 1-1.5 hours drive. Was about to stay at  Bag of Beans to work (yep I brought my laptop) but it was full .. full of guests who were just there to pose and take photos for social media. So I decided to drive at Mushroom Burger instead since I haven’t been there for ages, I think the last time I came here was 20 years ago?!  LOL… i’m not kidding.

After 20-yrs, to my amazement the property didn’t change! The building, signage and parking are still looks the same, well as I recall.. though there might be some improvements78928742_2678642259050421_8789982610890686464_n

The interior still looks familiar though it is more breezy. I love the cafeteria concept, reminiscent of campus life, it’s simply casual and unpretentious. 78680021_2944742468870202_6030563580313600000_n

Read this poster while waiting for my order to be prepared. This material is very informative and kept me entertained while waiting.80344373_1015606112134519_3585939938564112384_n

Because I am too lazy to list all their meal offerings, I instead snapped a photo of their burger meals for you to check on. The meals are very affordable as compared to the most famous burger chain that I don’t wanna name here ha ! ha ! ha !78388633_1389242717923878_6803603916308086784_n

This is their souvenir shop that almost emptied my wallet…I know its not their fault if I bought a lot..I took home fresh mushrooms 1 kilo and its so affordable, I paid Php180.00 only ! Yep you read it right! 1 kilo mushroom costs a fortune if bought from big supermarkets.

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Bought half kilo of this mushroom… please don’t ask me what it’s called because I cannot name this! LOL ! Yay it’s called Oyster mushroom…79262170_2201657600136910_6748118857308700672_n

And… surprise!!! I bought this starter pack and am now growing them at home 🙂 Will share photos soon..78834034_691445571383840_4953147532050956288_n

I took home one of these.. apparently this is the starter pack !79363357_2174426362657492_7726181037725712384_n

I also bought a pack of dried Oyster mushroom for only Php100.00 🙂 78698679_838220469928888_2308503986266701824_n

This type cannot be eaten, instead I was told to boil 3-pcs in 1-cup of water to make a tea. The tea is a very powerful anti-oxidant which I badly needed for my AI issue.79524749_2374208129558490_9213867952833560576_n

After waiting for almost 30-minutes, my orders were prepared. I order  Mushroom Ramen, Regular Mushroom Burger, Mushroom Fries and Sago’t Gulaman (a traditional Filipino drink)78954673_664122311084364_4164861389300563968_n

OMG….this Mushroom fries is so heavenly! I can’t get enough of this!79420012_817041178735507_8520624376872173568_n

Mushroom filled burger, it doesn’t look appetizing but I promise you.. this is better than any other fast food burger 🙂79804231_968126376901516_5095912189135421440_n

So my plan originally was work on my laptop and while eating at Mushroom Burger, instead I spent my almost 1.5 hours waiting for my order, buy take home goodies and eat! I wasn’t able to open my laptop and work on something. I am not complaining though because I had a great time.

Mushroomburger had evolved by offering more food choices, even came up with an idea of Mushroom Ramen. This place is recommended for vegetarian like me but not for strict vegan people. The dining area had improved and expanded although it still have this old ambiance which I like.. reminds me of my younger years.

If one of these days you’d like to check this place out click the link to Google Maps below.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mushroomburger/@14.0970497,120.929515,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x33bd77a4ffffffff:0xd9113dff2e0b6d52!8m2!3d14.0970497!4d120.9317037

It is unfortunate that their website isn’t functional https://www.mushroomburger.com.ph/

Well I hope you find today’s story interesting guys.. I you need more information please do not hesitate to ask me through the comment box 🙂

 

Cheers!

-Arlyn

 

PYRITE; A FOOL’S GOLD

Giving gifts is one of the things I enjoyed doing most. I’m that type of person who really spend time to think of a gift to give someone and I love to make personalize presents if I have the luxury of time. Since it’s Christmas season, I am again excited to buy presents however with my very tight schedule, I’m afraid I haven’t really completed my shopping lists.

 

Introduction to the Meaning and Uses of Pyrite
Pyrite is often called “Fool’s Gold,” though there is nothing foolish about this mineral. Within its gleaming beauty is a stone of hidden fire, one that can be sparked to life by striking it against metal or stone. An Earth element, it also resonates with Fire energy, symbolizing the warmth and lasting presence of the sun and the ability to generate wealth by one’s own power. It is masculine in nature, a stone of action, vitality and will, and taps into one’s abilities and potential, stimulating the flow of ideas. It brings confidence and the persistence to carry things through to completion. [Eason, 180][Megemont, 150][Melody, 498][Simmons, 314-315][Ahsian, 315]

As a talisman, Pyrite is a unique protector, drawing energy from the Earth through the physical body and into the aura creating a defensive shield against negative energies, environmental pollutants, emotional attack and physical harm. It also supports one with a spirit of boldness and assertive action when protecting others, the planet, or in standing up for important issues of community. It stimulates the Second and Third Chakras, enhancing will power and the ability to see behind facades to what is real. [Melody, 497][Hall, 149][Simmons, 315][Ahsian, 315]

An iron sulfide mineral, Pyrite is commonly found around the world in a variety of geological formations, from sedimentary deposits to hydrothermal veins, and as a constituent of metamorphic rocks. It forms in masses, stalactites, grains, globes, striated cubes or twelve-sided pentagonal dodecahedral crystals. It also forms as flat, radial disks called “suns” or “dollars.” It is usually pale brassy-yellow in color, opaque, with a strong gold-like metallic luster, though some forms oxidize in moist environments and may be a darker brownish-gold. The name Pyrite derives from the Greek pyr or pyros, meaning “fire” for its ability to emit sparks when pieces are struck together or against a hard surface. [www.mindat.org][Simmons, 314][Melody, 497][Megemont, 150]

Pyrite is most noted for its nickname, “Fool’s Gold,” the glittering rock notoriously mistaken by naïve prospectors as real gold. It was also used by dishonest mine owners to salt their mines for the purpose of convincing people they were still gold-producers. Although similar in hue, Pyrite is lighter in color than Gold, and is harder and more brittle. It can’t be scratched with a fingernail or knife. Pyrite is also referred to as Iron Pyrite, and in Germany, “Cat’s Gold.” [Megemont, 151][www.mindat.org][Eason, 180]

Pyrite was highly prized by the native Indian tribes of the Americas as a healing stone of magic, and was polished into mirrors for gazing and divination. Before the 1800’s, it was favored as a decorative stone, carved into rosettes, shoe buckles, rings, snuff boxes and other ornaments, and was extremely popular in England during the Victorian Age for its use in jewelry. Pyrite’s biggest use occurred during World War II when it was mined as a source of Sulfur for producing sulfuric acid used in industry. [glimmerdream.com][www.ross-simmons.com][www.controverscial.com]

 

Marketing, Commute and Traffic in the Philippines all go together

I am not really a fan of billboards on expressways because it is a distraction for drivers, although I am a marketing professional myself and managing an international men’s cosmetic brand. However with the current situation in South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) going towards SKYWAY wherein traffic is horrible, from heavy to standstill…billboards are becoming an eye candy😉 My standpoint on this, is slowly changing, thanks to the management of the expressway system.

I was stuck for 3-hours in a 2-km stretch of road and within that period I was able to read, memorize the copies and analyze the contents and graphic designs of these billboards 😂 Here are some photos of billboards (okay guys, just to let you know, traffic was on standstill while I took these shots)

So far this is my favorite ad! This is a very good reflection of Filipino character😉 FUSO (which by the way sound like PUSO in English Heart) connected with me the most.

“Sa negosyo, isip at Fuso ang ginagamit”! Makes sense right?😂👍😉😊

If  I own a business, I wouldn’t think twice to buy a delivery truck from this company simply because of the emotional connection!

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But of course hunk Piolo Pascual’s ( a very famous Filipino actor) billboard is my second in the line.

He is actually almost successful in convincing me to eat his sardine brand although I am vegan, quite compelling! Who wouldn’t??  It is delicious, fresh and EXTRA HOT…. now I’m confused,  if I am even talking about the sardine or Piolo ha! ha! ha!

Finally actress Liza Soberano reminding me to take care my skin! Yeah it is timely, traffic really has an impact on our skin, it makes us dry, old and even causes wrinkles (wink, wink)… and she is the skin goals barometer !

Well to achieve these skin goals… I might need tons and tons of anti-oxidants, face masks, moisturizers and more…… or probably I just spend thousand of pesos in that beauty company she’s endorsing to keep my skin young and fresh! What do you think?

The bottom line here, which me write about it is that,  marketing, commute and traffic in the Philippines all go together! It’s a huge business, an industry that has both an advantage and disadvantage 😂 Reading this, I leave it to you to decide which is true, the previous or the latter!

I hope you like the photos though. Have a great Monday guys!
Cheers!

-Arlyn

How to Process Death Certificate and Burial Permit in the Philippines

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”- J.K. Rowling

There are so many quotes about death and life but this, by J.K. Rowling is one that I can relate most. Few days ago our family had to say goodbye to my aunt. She was 80-yrs old and had been bed ridden and suffering from Alzheimer’s. She fought throughout and yet we all must accept the reality of life. So my aunt passed-away last Wednesday at our home. Her sister was with her and she informed me of the unexpected event..

I must say that her death was an adventure for me particularly. My aunt (her sister) is a senior citizen and she’s a bit physically weak to go process the death certificate and burial permit. In short, I had to take on the responsibility as I live with them.

Processing the documents was a challenge because my aunt had no birth certificate and our family work on the late registration last July 19 only.

So how to go about with this if the birth certificate is not available? What I did is contact the Philippine Statistics Authority and asked for their advice on how to go about while waiting for the PSA certified birth certificate which is a requirement for death certificate.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure on how to secure a death certificate and burial permit if the dead, died of natural cause and in the house.

1. If you have a death care provider contact them immediately to process and prepare the body. The death care provider will supply the death certificate form.

2. Complete the death certificate form. Have it signed by a doctor to confirm death and it’s cause.

3. Since my aunt died of natural cause and at home, we were advised to go to the nearest municipal health center. Present documents like medical consultations and previous doctor’s prescriptions, these will be used by the municipal health center doctor as basis of confirming and certifying cause of death. Securing the doctor’s certification is free.

4. Once the death certificate had been signed and certified by the doctor, go to the city’s municipal office to register the death. Attach a copy of the Certificate of Live Birth and Paternity Certificate if the PSA sealed birth certificate is not yet available.

5. We live in Bacoor, Cavite so we registered our dead at Bacoor and paid Php250.00 inclusive of transfer certificate.

6. The transfer certificate is a document issued by the municipal health office to confirm that the dead has no communicable disease and can be transported from one city to another

7. Our dead was buried at Manila Memorial in Sucat, Paranaque that is why we are required the transfer certificate.

8. The burial permit must be secured from the city where the dead will be buried therefore I had to go to Paranaque City hall to secure the burial permit.

9. For the burial permit, present a copy of the death certificate and transfer permit, pay Php200 fee. It was actually fast and easy.

10. Last step, we went to Manila Memorial to schedule the burial and pay the fee which varies I think based on the policy of the owner. I am glad they have a partner priest whom I contacted to offer the final rites and blessing.

It took two days for me to process all documents and schedule my aunt’s final rites. Everything went well and smooth. It was an adventure on my part because I do not have an idea how to go about but I did it properly and smoothly. I think my aunt was happy with it and probably smiling at us wherever she is at the moment.

This is the court of eternal love inside The Manila Memorial where my aunt was laid in rest.

The final resting place of my aunt

Our family gathered after the service at a restaurant inside the memorial park.

My aunt’s death wasn’t really sad, instead it’s a celebration of life, in fact during the burial rites we were even smiling and remembering happy memories. My key take away – do not be afraid of death, instead prepare for it as much as possible. If one is prepared, the event will be stress free and smooth.

I hope my experience is informative enough and you can use as a reference should you also encounter such. Thank you for reading and cheers!

-Arlyn

Where to find Vegan Food in Makati City Part 1

In my previous post I remarked that being a vegan working in the central business district of Metro Manila like Makati City is a bit challenging. At the beginning I really had a hard time to look for my food preference hence I opted to bring my packed lunch instead. I can cook so cooking my meal is easy, what make it difficult sometimes is that I had to wake up early or stay up a little bit late when I reached home just to prepare.

During those times that I do not have a packed lunch, I resorted to buying my lunch from a canteen or cafeteria within or near our office building. The food choices aren’t appetizing, although vegetables are sold it is still mixed with meat. Since I cannot tolerate the “vegan/vegetarian” food sold in canteen or nearby resto’s I have decided to look for vegand restaurant through Food Panda, also when I am and about I try my best to scope for restaurants offering vegan meals.

With that in mind I have compiled a list of restaurants offering vegan menu and also has delivery through Food Panda. These are some of my fave food providers which you might want to try as well:

1. COSMIC -Vegetarian & Vegan Cafe Bistro                                             2/F 5057 P. Burgos, Cor General Luna, Makati City                                   

What I like about this cafe is that they gave our favorite regular food like bagnet, longganisa, tempura and more a vegan twist! So the menus are your usually fave but 100% vegan.

The other day I had my lunch delivered and I ordered this Miso Mushroom Sinigang, well no need to elaborate this is your vegan miso sinigang twist with mushroom replacing the meat or fish! I must admit this is soooooooo appetizing !!! I love hot soup it warms my heart, thus I fell in-love with this dish 🙂 This cost me Php120 only.

I was curious with their Tofu Skin tempura so I ordered this as well with sweet chili sauce on the side. This was delivered at around 10:30 a.m. and ate it at 12:00 p.m. and I was amazed because it was still crispy!! This vegan tempura is cost me Php60.00 only!!! Can you imagine that??? My vegan meal was only Php180.00 …. right I know plus the Php35.00 Food Panda delivery charge… but common this is still reasonbale compared with other food provider 🙂

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Where to schedule your next vehicle preventive maintenance in Bacoor

My 5-yr old company issued car Avanza, always gets complimented for looking and performing like a new one. The reason for such is because it has always been maintained by its dealer Toyota Pasongtamo branch. Being a chemist , I am quite meticulous and usually discuss issues I encounter with the unit with my service advisor thus the car is really in good shape.

Now 5 years after, the unit was sold to me and because it’s now mine, I have to schedule the preventive maintenance by myself unlike before wherein it is taken care by the company.

This time I decided to have it maintained by another service provider. I have asked around and my friends recommended a certain shop near our place whereas our company driver recommend Shell service center. Be reminded though that if your car is new and under warranty it is best to have the preventive maintenance done by the dealer.

My experience as a marketing professional wherein I create products and determine its price kicked-in and I felt that I have to canvass the service fee first before I choose the provider. Most of the service providers I’ve enquired with uses Shell Engine Oil, so I thought why not go direct to the supplier and avail of the service there.

I decided to have my car’s PMS done at Shell Station in Molino Boulevard, Bacoor, Cavite. This branch is a franchise and has 3 branches within the area, one being near our subdivision and this is where I’ve enquired and they recommended Molino Boulevard branch (the station near my place has no service center).

I was amazed that for change oil with 14-pt check up, it only cost me Php1,699 using a semi-synthetic oil. I wanted synthetic however they are out of stock so I opted for the semi instead. If I had the change oil and check-up in one of the service centres near my place using the same oil I could have been charged Php4,000+.

Still these fees are way way below what my dealer charge which is around Php8,000+. I will breakdown the cost of the maintenance below for your reference.

A day before I had the service, I was advised to go as early as 7am because this station is very busy, they’ve got a lot of customers! Which is true at 7:30am there are cars already availing of the service, glad I came first!

This is the station, looking from the inside, unfortunately I wasn’t able to take photo of the service bay, but I must say it’s squeaky-clean!

The lounge area is also inside the convenience store, it is small yet very cool and there is a TV provided to entertain you while waiting.

What surprised me is that this branch offers free snacks and I must say it is filling, you can choose from the meals on this menus card. You can choose from coffee or water for beverage and for meals either you pick Siopao, Pizza, Siomai, hotdog sandwich or mister donuts! Isn’t that great? I must commend this branch for taking the extra mile to wow their customer.

I even like their fabric flower on the table, such a refreshing thing in an early morning errand.

I know by now you are curious on the rates so I decide to take a photo of the product menu, this is the rate of change oil depending on your choice of oil and size of vehicle.

To give you a better picture I’ve broken down my expenses below which actually is a package worth Php1,699 inclusive of: 3 liters semi-synthetic engine oil, oil filter, flushing, labor and the standard 14-pt performance check.

I also had the tires rotated and the fan belt replaced as it needs replacement, the fan belt is quite expensive, anyhow it’s better spending more on maintenance rather than waste my monies on huge repair due to lack of maintenance.

Below are the service fee just in case you would need it.

The service lasted for an hour including the replacement of the fan belt.

After which I passed by an electrical shop because the car charger malfunctioned. The electrician had it checked apparently the fuse is busted, so he showed and thought me how to check all electrical fuses, where to get the reserve and how to replace the busted part. It was actually easy and I can do it myself next time. I paid Php 150 for the labour and the brief tutorial hahaha 😊

So in general I was satisfied with Shell’s service and am also delighted with the electrical tutorial. The lesson here is that being a female driver doesn’t exempt us from not learning the basics of car maintenance. On my part I do have knowledge on car maintenance because of my previous work and also am interested on stuffs like these. I hope the information I share are helpful and beneficial.

Thank you for reading and cheers!

Arlyn