For the Foodies: new exciting Filipino recipes and desserts!
President Noynoy Aquino is on the right track to pursue his main mantra to fight the corruption embedded in every segment of the government. As others commented, PNoy has to continue to clean the government as an answer to some criticism on his mother, Cory Aquino, failure to effect a big change in the government during her term as president. She failed terribly to fight corruption. Yes, in 1986, the end of Marcos era, Filipinos were looking forward to change a complete change in the government. As EDSA I raised Cory Aquino to presidency, every one had hoped for a better government. It was a difficult job for a former housewife to lead the country which was on the brink of financial disaster because of corruptions.And PNoy as the current president, Cory Aquino’s unfinished battle continues.
What a reversal in fate and fortune for the Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who failed to escape from the strength of the law. Before election, she had all the hopes that the appointments to the judiciary would benefit her against possible court cases. In her mind, she forgave her erstwhile opponent former president Joseph Estrada from any court case. Parallel to her action, she thought that the current President Noynoy Aquino would do the same to set her free from the judicial fingerings. And looking forward for freedom after her presidency, she did many midnight appointments to secure her “freedom”. But everything had changed. PNoy Aquino won the presidency and promised to clean the government. GMA is under arrest;lately, his husband, Mike Arroyo; Leandro Mendoza, former DOTC secretary; Ruben Abalos, former Comelec chairman, were arrested and bailed; Corona, a midnight appointee and the current supreme court judge, is now facing impeachment! And more arrests are being planned in the near future. And Filipinos are hoping again for a good government.
Signs of good governance of PNoy are all over the place. For one, the Philippine government has become a financial contributor to help some of the financially unstable countries in Europe. I my memory, I Never did remember that the Philippines participate in this bailout abroad. Added to this is the abundance of agribiz initiatives. Agriculture is now being re-engineered to the country self-sufficient on agricultural products especially rice. In spite of some natural disasters, the output of the rice production is upped and with the forecast in the coming years, the Philippines will not longer import rice: a staple food for Pinoys. Also, Preceso Alcala, secretary of agriculture, has mobilized the small and medium farmers to rally on the production of agricultural and aquaculture products. Now-a-days, many “bagsakan” centres have been established and operated. In my Quezon Province, a big “bagsakan ng gulay at prutas” centre has benefited the small farmers. I visited the “bagsakan site” and talked to the farmers. And I found out that they are happy to market their produce. The governement instituted “micro finance” to help the farmers. Assignment of produce to be harvested is encouraged to avoid duplication and over-supply. Other agricultural industries are being targeted. Hundred of hectares are being planted with arabica coffee, new strain of coconut for copra and young coconut juice productions; herbs and spices are becoming available. Acquaculture is being promoted to push for more seafood production. At last, as we understand, Agriculture is the basic foundation of industrialization. Filipinos can do it!
Inspired by the current surge of agricultural production, my retired brothers, professional nephews and nieces, and myself initiated “balikbukid” in our family farms in Quezon Province. We found the rich potentials to re-engineer our farm activities. I was so inspired by the beauty of the farms. Such view is to satisfy your senses. Green green grass of home; coconut trees with fruits and side by side, the mahogany and the narra trees grow. The palay is heavy with grains. In our other farm, the creek is widened and converted into ponds for the duck and fish farms. And happy to see a sow with more than 13 piglets; and looking forward for another 3 pregnant sows. We have plans to plant more coconut trees, mahogany, arabica coffee and cacao along the mountains; and anahaw for flower accent; sampaguita (jasmine), luyang dilaw (turmeric) and tanglad(lemon grass) for herbal teas. Our “balikbukid” initiative has caught the interest of some neighboring farmers. We encourage them to duplicate our pilot project. And there is plan to set up a “bagsakan” in our area so that farmers can avail to market their products.(Three years ago, most of the vegetable vendors in our town would sell veggies from Pangasinan. Today, they sell veggies and fruits grown and harvested in Quezon. A big leap for the farmers to earn money and for the consumers to spend lesser money for their daily needs.)
Where would the 300,000 umemployed nurses go? This is the predicament of the government for having an over-supply of nurses. Is it back to be a contractual worker in big stores and restaurants? Or at best, to become nannies and caregivers? But some countries have imposed strict requirements for nurses. And due to this problem, some schools suffer less enrollment for nursing courses. Even some schools of nursing are being padlocked because of a poor showing in the licensure examinations. As a matter of fact, the government has been vocal and open to study more on the various skills needed abroad. There is change going on among the young Pinoys: to study welding, auto mechanics, machinist, plumbing, building constructions course and other vocational courses which are in demand abroad. The Philippine educational system needs a major overhaul!
One of the applicants in the Manitoba’s provincial nominee program asked me if Winnipeg is safe. I said yes, very very safe. Why did you ask? She smiled and said: “kasi, sir, doon sa nominee forum sa internet, there is a line which caught me uneasy to move to Winnipeg. It says: Winnipeg is the murder capital of Canada.! So, i won’t be safe in Winnipeg. Biro mo, “murder capital” of Canada. I am leaving the “corrupt capital of the world; and then, I will be moving to the “murder capital” of Canada. Mas gusto ko na dito, corrupt capital rather than living in a “murder capital”. I was dumbfounded! I said: “Listen, crime is everywhere…but Winnipeg is so safe. Yes we have murder cases but every country has this problem too. And we have a big Filipino community and a local government to help you…Canada is safe, and Winnipeg is the best place to raise a family! “Ah, ganoon ba? Uneasy lang ako, kasi, from corrupt capital to murder capital.Ano ba ‘yan?” I said: “Promise, we will have a guided tour when you arrive in Winnipeg, a beautiful quiet city!
Everytime I pass by at some of the condominium projects, i do get a chill in my whole body. I think i do have “terekenitophobia” or “earthquaketophobia”, fear of earthquake. I cannot remove from my mind the experiences i had during two major earthquakes in the Philippines. Remember the Ruby Tower of 1968? and the earthquake of 1973. And the experiences with these two events are vivid in my mind. Nowadays, condo projects are getting higher and higher.Developers are aiming high as if they would the reach for the star. Philippine is a part of the ring of fire and has so much earthquake faults. Even Donald Trump and Paris Hilton (condo names after her) are caught in the frenzy. And some condo projects are being sorethumbs edifices which rise from the desolate and squalor places. Look around Metro Manila and find some unfinished and unpainted structures? Yes, the brochure gives you the best of everything, but visit the place, and some high condos are surrounded by the desolate and crowded residences. Are those condos earthquake proofs and safe from intruders? Records from some building statistics probe otherwise.
And great news for the foodies! We did hop from one resto to another bistro. When you’re going home for a holiday, try these new and deconstructed Pinoy’s cuisines: Crackling or Crispy Dinuguan, Binuskilat na Tilapia, burlesk peanut frolicking in garlic oil, binagoongan friedrice, tinapa friedrice, squid ink friedrice, binaligtad na halu-halo, crispy beef bones, royal turon (banana, halaya, macapuno and red beans rolled into one wrapper) for dessert with ice cream; tinutong tangkay ng kangkong, crispy boneless anchovy, fish stomach chicharon, bagong anyo dried fish, and more. Pinoys are great in naming names! Enjoy until the last bite! I cracked one of my front teeth!
And for the fishing affincionados, there is great place to engage in tilapia fishing! Go to Broadwalk Centre, near the Cultural Centre, at the back of the Philpppine Yatch Club and bring your fishing rod and enjoy tilapia fishing. Early morning, along the seawall, hundreds of kababayans enjoy the tilapia fishing. Yes, a salt water tilapia is the current craze. As the story goes, most of the tilapia in the Manila bay are the result of the sendong flood. The overflow of the many fishponds during the thyphoon Sendong was responsible for the tilapia to migrate to the Manila Bay. Join the crowd while you drink San mig from one of the bars along the seawall! A great escape from the hustle-bustle of Manila and its environs! You can even grill the fish and have a shrimp paste and calamansi to enjoy the day.
Ang sarap mabuhay sa sariling ATIN!
And welcome to the Republic of Adodo!