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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Arts and crafts at 34th Pasalamat Festival

These are some of the arts and crafts found at the Pasalamat Fair, from paintings to miniature train made by local artists... These are sold at varied prices... The festival runs until tomorrow, sunday, april 28.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cooking with Pacquiao-look alike in Vietnam

Here are our photos of our half day cooking class at the Saigon Culinary Art Center. And yes, the chef looks like Pacquaio, just a little handsomer. We passed with certificates of recognition. In some photos, we were with a small lady. She is the interpreter who speaks English well but still with the accent and speed of the Vietnamese. We just have to listen intently to her as we had a skill test afterwards...

So cute photo op corner...

I am guarded by Ms. Intepreter and Mr. Chef.
We are cooking up a fish sour soup using starfruit.


lotus salad

lotus salad on top of chicharon

he's steaming rice instead of boiling

My saigon-based friend, Ann with the Chef.


Friday, April 19, 2013

A Day in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

We had our first bowl of beef soup called Pho Bo in a shop fronting a highway. We were busy eating, counting our millions, and taking photos of motorcycles rushing in the highway like swarm of black ants. The highway of HCMC is vibrant and dangerous. One can see women wearing the traditional dress and miniskirts driving the motorcycle while the bus is following. On the highway, there are a few bicycles competing with the motorcycles. On our first day, I was like on the brink of traffic accident for three times. First, we were afraid to cross the street because of the rushing motorcycles. Second thing, motorcycles pass through the sidewalk meant to be the footwalk so that pedestrians cannot just dilly dally in nooks and corners of the street. On our second day, we know what to do: run in crossing the highway and just walk straight with no hesitation as the motorcycle driver will just be the one to find his way. On the first day, I was forced by no choice to take a ride in the motorbike on our way to the cooking school and it was such a twister ride to pass through the traffic jam, being just a centimetre away from the bumbers and other vehicles, and hitting footwalks and road bumps and considering I am no fan of motorbikes, I’m dead or I think I was.

  On our first day, we stopped at the opera house and walked through the impressively clean streets going to the Independence Palace which tired us and left us little energy to go to the helicopter after taking photos together with the armor tank. We then passed through a cozy park with many tourist police around and headed to the Post Office and the Cathedral. Entering the post office, I thought I was in a wrong place as all I can see were rows of money changers and souvenir shops inside. While surveying the souvenirs at the shop, I noticed that my two galpals are missing. I peeked outside and I saw someone gesturing that I should hurry towards the other end. And there was the photoshoot of some contestants for Miss Earth, an international beauty pageant founded by Filipinos. There we learned that the 2010 Miss Earth Pageant will be held in Vietnam and the other contestants including the Philippine contestant are shooting films in other locations.  

   The Cathedral is just across the post office. We were able to take a few minutes inside before it was closed by noon, and so we were able to see various cemented markers with “Thank You” in various languages written on them. The little park in front of the cathedral was entertaining with its small birds, jasmine blooms and that ornamental plant with deep purple leaves and red tinge on its top leaves. On our way from the cathedral going to the small library where we bought some watercolour painting, we saw two wedding photoshoots, one bride was in white while the other was in the traditional Vietnamese dress.

                And since it was noontime, our friend brought us to the famous noodle soup house where then US President Bill Clinton ate when he first visited HCMC. Pho 2000 is located at Ben Thanh Market. I ordered the large bowl of chicken noodle soup, Pho Ga, and yes, it was quite larger than what I had imagined and I can’t wipe the bowl clean.

                We surveyed the Ben Thanh market and my galpals were to go shopping while I and my friend would go and learn some viet cooking the whole afternoon. Most shops in the Ben Thanh market closed at the early time of 7pm but there were  some night shops that mushroomed right on the streets while some shops along the road are open. We bought bags and lots of tshirts, ate on the make-shift restaurant pitched on the road among the night shops. From there, we entered the Saigon Tax Mall where we bought many goodies from Vietnamese lacquerware to Vietnamese rice papers. And from there, we realized how we splurged at least a million just in one day!

Stationeries and cards

When texts and emails were not yet here and there, I was, and have known some, hooked with stationeries, scented and unscented, pink, purple or light green, with complimentary stickers or bookmarks... Oh gone were the days.

Or so i thought. Recently, i got some personalized pretty cards from my old roommate Omela. It sure brought joy to me. Aptly, Cicero is quoted in the card addresed to me saying, "Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things." This friend has not gotten over her flair for the pretty papers.

It is great to travel, once in a while, in the memory lane.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pang us tubo! (munching sugarcane)

One of the best sugarcane strain is called la carlota... It is robust with purplish green peeling. Pang us is a hiligaynon term for eating or chewing sugarcane and extracting its juice while it is still in the mouth! Munching is not an exact translation because pang us is exclusively used to describe in eating

Pang us is a hiligaynon term used to describe eating sugarcane. It can be described as munching or chewing while extracting the juice of the cane and spitting the fibers. One of the best sugarcane strains is called la carlota, it is a robust, purplish and greenish in color and of course, sweet. Every one who came to live and had his/her childhood in Negros understands the pleasure of munching tubo or sugarcane... It is great to travel to memory lane once in a while.

Monday, April 15, 2013

In honor of my siblings

This is a national sibling's month, they say. In honor of my four siblings, I am posting our photos here. Although life has been noisy and tumbling here and there, I still cannot imagine a worrld without them. A part of each of them is always a definition of what I am as their eldest sister! Cheers to my siblings and God bless our paths....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Panaad sa Negros 2013

Panaad sa Negros, an annual showcase of agricultural produce and tourism of every municipality and city in Negros Occidental, still runs until April 14. One can find booths filled with fruits, crops and pasalubong as well as plants, arts and crafts. Aside from that, there are different activities slated each night in the Paglaum Stadium. Here are some photos of the food and booths I was able to take...

The Ruins of Talisay, Negros Occidental

These are some of the sceneries at the The Ruins, dubbed as the Taj Mahal of the Philippines. This majestic mansion stands amidst the sugarcane plantation free from the urban wires and distractions. This ruin, located at Talisay City, Negros Occidental, is what remains of the mansion of the Braga-Lacson clan when it was decidedly put on fire to keep it from being transformed into a Japanese hideout during the war. Now, with its additions from the resto, pAsalubong center, mini golf and garden, it is a serene place to spend an afternoon.