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Monday, June 28, 2010

Bibingka (Cassava) Recipe

One of the Filipino foods I missed the most was the "Bibingka".

I made some research on how to make one and here's the recipe I found from Ex-Designz:

Bibingka Cassava (Photo Courtesy of Filipino Desserts)
Ingredients:
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup evaporated milk (fresh milk can be substituted)
7 cups raw cassava, grated (or frozen) - cassava are now available in most groceries in cities with a large Latin American or Asian population.
1/4 cup butter, melted
banana leaves (available frozen in Philippine stores; or use cookie sheet or something)
For the topping
1 cup thick coconut milk (available in Asian stores)
2 tablespoon flour
1 can condensed milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese 

Instruction:
1. Beat eggs and sugar till lemon colored. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a greased 9x9 in pan lined with banana leaves (or cookie sheet).
2. Mix coconut milk with the flour. Add condensed milk and cook over medium heat till thick. Add eggyolks and mix well. Return to heat and cook 5 minutes more. Pour over baked bibingka. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and broil till golden brown. 



P.S. The recipe above is not mine.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Today, June 20, 2010, fifty-seven countries around the world celebrate "Father's Day". Today is also the 13th death anniversary of my late father Marcelino Pineda Sr. Most people would greet their dads "Happy Father's Day" but I want to share to you a story of little Franco in the Philippines (quite similar tragic story as that of Neda). It was one of the saddest stories I ever read and since I cannot post the story here (due to copyright infringement) then here is the link of that story: "Franco's War" ... Please follow and read that link. Thanks!

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there!

Picture: My Dad, then Technical Sergeant Marcelino Pineda (PC-SAF) receiving the Philippine Military Merit Medal in Camp Tomas Cabili (Iligan City, Philippines).



Her Name Was Neda

Last year, June 20, 2009, while the world watch, the United Nations and the West lazily (or pretending) condemning the election result. The Iranian people marched in the streets to protest the result of the presidential election. On that fateful day, Neda died of a gun shot while in the streets watching history unfold. She would become the symbol of the revolution that yet to succeed over authoritarianism in one of the oldest countries in the world.
"Her Name Was Neda"
 On the streets of Tehran
On a warm summers day
A beautiful life
Was taken away

She stood with her father
Looking out on the crowd
A scene of destruction
And outrage surrounds

The victory stolen
From under their feet
A courageous people
Take to the street

A burning desire
For freedom and justice
Breaking the bonds
Of oppressions cruel clutches

She feels the excitement
As her people march on
Feeling the hope
Of a countries new dawn

She turns to her father
A smile brightens her face
She kisses his cheek
Their hands each embrace

A sharp pain in her chest
She falls to the ground
She lays there unblinking
As people surround

Her father is crying
He looks into her eyes
He sees his sweet daughter
His life's dearest prize

"Neda, please stay!"
He calls to her now
As tears of great sadness
Fall to the ground

She looks back on life's journey
She feels so at peace
Content she lets go
And her soul is released

Her name was Neda
Which means voice or call
Her life not forgotten
She'll be remembered by all

A brave young girl
Now returned to the earth
A symbol of freedom
In a country's rebirth

~ A poem by Crystal Busenbark~

[This is a poem that Crystal Busenbark wrote about the young girl name Neda Agha Soltan (ندا آقا سلطان) who was shot by the Basiji in Tehran. Also check out link. It is my deepest desire to get this poem into the hands of the Iranian people, and most especially her father. Please help post this poem anywhere that you feel might spread the circulation of it to the people of Iran. Thank you.]

(Warning: The video is disturbing/shocking/inappropriate for some people)


Friday, June 11, 2010

Dealing with Backstabbers!

There are different forms of backstabbing, biggest and familiar form is called “tsismis” or gossips. I was born in a country with a "tsismis" culture where a simple rumour such as the "7'6 Mount Apo guy who plays basketball on his barefoot using a coconut as a ball" becomes believable to everyone. As a Filipino, I witnessed a lot of backstabbing in any form. Heck, I'm sure a group of drunken unpatriotic idiots with no future are backstabbing me right now. But who cares!!!!

Anyway, people have to move on and ignore backstabbing. I'll tell you the story of Stephen, the second Christian martyr after John the Baptist. Stephen was preaching (Acts 7: 1-60) the "Words of God" and the people cannot accept his teachings. The people throw him out of the city while yelling and throwing stones at him. During the stoning, he did not listen to what people were saying and shouting at him. Instead, he prayed to God and ignored the people that were about to murder him (or while murdering him). He died after that but he died ignoring what the people were saying at him. So the lesson of the story is no matter what people say at you, just ignore them. Who cares about them. Your life is about you, not about them.

A friend of mine once posted this in her facebook profile: "Its great to know that people talk about you knowing their sources are wrong coz that simply means that you have made an impression. It doesn't matter if its good or bad, just knowing I have affected someones pathetic little life makes me proud!"

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The “Freedom of Information” Bill

Just recently, the 14th Congress of the Philippines ignored the “Freedom of Information” Bill (FOI Bill) simply because legislators are afraid that the people will have the right to demand the government or public officials how much money they are spending and what are they spending it for.

Here in New Zealand, the public have the right to know what the expenditures of government bureaucrats and even of the legislators. For the last two years, a lot of MPs (Members of Parliament) were caught overspending and using taxpayers' money for their personal interests.

If the “Freedom of Information” Bill passes, there is a big chance that corrupt bureaucrats and corrupt politicians in the Philippines being caught by the public.

Some Congressmen intentionally avoided attendance in the last session of the Lower House simply because they are not the main beneficiaries of the bill. Once it turn into law, over spenders and corrupt officials will be under scrutiny. Since theres a lot of them in our already corrupt bureaucracy and over-chaotic Congress, then we will not be able to. They intentionally took that right from the Filipino people.

Anyway, the 14th Congress has failed to pass the FOI Bill but in my opinion, no matter how many times they postpone or avoid it… It will keep coming back to haunt them. We want that right to know… The right to know what they are up to… The right to know taxpayers’ money were not spent on somebody else’s pocket…


Check Out: 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mango Chicken Recipe

One of my favourite foods ever is the "Mango Chicken". My addiction to it started about two years ago while studying a summer course. At that time, the place that sells Chinese food was close or should I say, I thought they were close during summer. Anyway, I searched the internet and there's a lot of Mango Chicken version and took me hours to find the closest thing. As it turns out, the first website I found has the closest thing to it.

So here is the "Mango Chicken" recipe. Enjoy! Courtesy from the Simply Recipes website.

Mango Chicken
Mango Chicken Curry Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp (or more) of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 mangos, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can substitute all or partially with coconut milk)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro for garnish
 Method
 1 Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and another tablespoon of oil, cook for a couple more minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin, cook for a few more minutes. The spices will absorb some of the oil, so if anything begins to stick too much to the bottom of the pan, add a little more oil to the pan. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for one minute more.

 2 Add the vinegar, water, and a 1/2 of the chopped mango to the pan. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Scoop the sauce into a blender. Purée the sauce, pulsing until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan.
  
3 Add chicken pieces and raisins to the pan. Return to a low simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Chicken should be just cooked through. Use a knife to cut open the largest piece to check. 

4 Add remaining mango pieces to the pan. Stir in the cream. Let cook at a very low temperature for another minute or two, uncovered. Do not let boil! Or the cream may curdle. Adjust seasonings. If a little too sweet, add a little more vinegar. If not sweet enough, you can add a dash of sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 4.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Failing a "Final" Class Test

Today, I had my "Final" Class test for one of my Political Science classes… I have done all the proper preparation from avoiding drinking coffee (for the last two days) to eating my brunch before the test. I even braved the rain that keeps reminding everyone that winter is HERE already!

Despite all that, my performance in that test turned out to be one of my worst ever in my university studies. I only managed to answer 2 of the 3 questions that I'm suppose to answer and even the 2 questions I wrote an essay about were not properly written or arranged. I had a mental blockade and I did not know what to do. I was stuck and usually, if I'm in that situation, I review the other essays to ensure it was ok. But when I checked it, I could not believe that I wrote such horrible essays and it somehow too late for me to change.

Anyway, I have this little fright that I’m slowly losing my memories and during the test, I just throw-in and wrote anything I could remember about the topic. As a result, whenever I want to add something and the essay is already finished… then it will just ruin everything and ruining it, I did.

I'll be lucky to get the "mercy" pass on that one. Very poor performance and I have myself to blame for it. The only upside is that it only worth 30% of the final grade. Tsk. tsk. tsk!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

ICNHS III-Dao Class of 2000-2001 - 10th Year Anniversary

About ten years ago (June 2000), the III-Dao Class of 2000-2001 met for the first time in Iligan City National High School (ICNHS). I have some of my most memorable moments in high school while at III-Dao, from Counter-Strike to Mount Agad-Agad… from the Folk Dance thingy to being one of the noisiest classes, I ever had. I lost contact with most of my III-Dao classmates since I left the Philippines but thanks to "friendster" and "facebook", I was able to keep in touch with some of them. 


Happy 10th Year Class Anniversary!

The photos below taken last March 2001:

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