Growing Pains, The Process the Philippines Has to Go Through

So many things are going on in the Philippines right now all at the same time.

With one look, one would think that Philippines is in deep crap, that so many bad things are happening.  A new President still in his first 100 days whose actions seem to be severing the ties of the Philippines with the USA; every day, you see in the news people found dead in the street as a result (directly or indirectly) of the new President’s ‘War on Drugs’, hearings and fact finding open sessions left and right, getting the attention of United Nations for supposed human rights violation, politicians and government officials up against one another, alleged riot in the New Bilibid Prison that led to death of a high-profile inmate and injury of 3 others (an incident that I thought only happens in action movies) and the passing of a competent and brave Senator that we have now.

This is not to mention other bad things that we go through on a regular basis that they seemed normal already like traffic, corruption and crimes.

Everything seems to be in chaos.  Every day, you hear something new is happening.  And most of the time, it’s bad news, it’s scary news, it’s alarming news.

With one look, one would think that Philippines is going downhill.  But to me, it’s a process that Philippines has to go through.  It’s a painful and difficult process.  It’s full of struggles.  But I know for sure that this is just the growing pains that Philippines and the Filipino people have to go through so that we may grow stronger as a nation, as people.

It happens even in our personal struggles, we have to be broken to be whole again, remember how a flower has to be crushed so it can produce the most fragrant perfume, remember how an egg needs to be cracked open so a delicious omelette can be served and enjoyed.  I am positive that the same thing is happening in the Philippines, bad things are happening to give way for the good things to happen, maybe not immediately, but our children and the future generation will definitely enjoy the better Philippines.

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Courtship, The Traditional Filipino Way

Courtship is different for each culture and I love how in the Filipino culture, it would require hard work, commitment and perseverance.  The time, the energy, the effort, the thoughts and the commitment will never be matched by a monetary value.  It’s like giving a part of yourself and your life to the person who hasn’t given her sweet yes to you yet.

See what a man has to do to win the heart of his beloved.

Tulay (go-between)

A man, no matter how much she likes the lady, can’t just approach her in the street and ask for her number or address.  He would need to seek the help of a common friend who will act as the bridge or the go-between (similar to a wingman) to ask permission from the lady’s parents to visit her in the house.

Thoughtful Gifts

When a permission to visit is granted, the man is expected to bring thoughtful gifts like flowers, chocolates and love letters.  Visiting the lady’s house will then be more frequent and consistent to show his commitment.


As the courtship advances, the frequent visits and thoughtful gifts will be accompanied by paninilbihan or servitude.  A man’s sincere desire to help in the lady’s house is a way to show his good intentions for her.  The usual act of servitude includes fetching water from the well to the lady’s house, chopping of firewood and pounding of rice.


Harana or serenade is also a big part of the courtship.  The man would sing a love song outside the lady’s house at night and until she opens her window to see and listen to him sing.  After the harana, he is then accommodated inside the house.

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Chaperoned Dates

The courtship progresses and the lady accepts her suitor’s love and they can finally go out on a date but this can’t be done without a chaperon.  Although already in the relationship, t is necessary the couple is not left alone; hence, a chaperon should always be present in the couple’s company when they go out on a date.


When the man feels he is ready to get married, he brings his parents to the lady’s house to formally ask for her hand in marriage.  If both parties agree to the engagement, the parents of the lady and the man will start discussing wedding plans for the couple.

Courting a Filipina in a traditional way is not easy and takes a real man with his true love to endure that long and arduous process of courtship.  But when it comes to true love, it’s all worth it.


Philippine’s Lechon: The Best in the World

“The Best in the World”

That was how TV chef Anthony Bourdain described Lechon in the Philippines in his show No Reservations. Watch the video below.

It was also quoted in Time Magazine where the popular chef declared Philippines Lechon as the the “Best Pig Ever.”

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Coming from TV chef Anthony Bourdain, who must be an authority on pig dishes considering him being famous for his love for all things porcine, this must hold true.  He visited Cebu, Philippines for his show No Reservations and declared that he found the ‘best pig ever!’  That is after having a taste of the Philippine’s Lechon, a slow-roasted suckling pig.

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Those who are not in the Philippines, despair not for the same slow-roasted suckling pig is also available for you.  Adeline’s Catering in Skokie, Illinois serves the traditional Philippine Lechon as its primary dish. And having delicious Pinoy lechon on your table  is just a call away, just dial 1-847-568-1190!Pinoy Lechon



Kadayawan Festival

It’s the time of the year again when one of the most popular fiesta is celebrated in Davao.  Kadayawan Festival is held every third week of August.  Derived from the friendly greeting Madayaw, it means good, valuable, superior or beautiful. Like other Filipino festivals, Kadayawan is a thanksgiving of sort – a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bountiful harvest and the serenity of living.

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Kadayawan Festival has a rich history that can be traced back to Pre-colonial Period when the Davao’s natives gathered at Mount Apo to offer thanksgiving to a diety called Manama (the Supreme Being) and Bulan (a moon deity) during a night of full moon.  The full moon would be greeted by the name ‘dayaw’ as it was so beautiful and recognized as perfect and praiseworthy for its spectacular shape and brilliance.  The natives would offer fresh fruits, vegetables, farm Produce and rice accompanied by loud singing and dancing.

One of the award-winning entries of Pamulak Kadayawan.

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It was in 1988 when the then City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (now the President elect of the Philippines) named the festival as Kadayawan sa Dabaw in celebration and gratitude for the bountiful harvest of fruits, vegetables, flowers and other produce in Davao as well as the richness of the city’s culture.

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To this day, the Kadayawan Festival has kept its tradition, a colourful and lively celebration every year where visitors get the chance to buy fresh and affordable farm Produce of Davao and know more about the unique culture of the city.



Sisig, a Well-Loved Filipino Dish

The first time I’ve known sisig was when it was a popular pulutan for drinking sprees.  The first sight of it didn’t really appeal to me.  It simply looked like a mixture of stuff that I don’t know of.  But I must admit that it smelled delicious.  And so I tried to have a taste of it.  And boy! it was indeed delicious!

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Two years ago, an article from The New York Times was quoted saying ‘This is sisig, the greatest pork hash — arguably greatest pork dish — on earth.’  This article made a buzz knowing how Filipinos take pride whenever something of Filipino origin is praised via international media.

Sisig is served on a hot sizzling plate with raw egg on top of it which eventually gets cooked because the dish is served really hot. It is made of portions of the pig’s head like ears, brains, snout and cheeks (yummy, right!?) and chicken liver and other ingredients to make it even more tasty like onion, pepper, ginger, chili flakes, garlic,salt, raw egg and a pinch of calamansi!  Okay I am salivating now!

Since the popularity of pork sizzling sisig, other variations also surfaced.  there are now chicken sisig, bangus sisig, oyster sisig and even a tofu sisig.  Some likes their sisig with mayonnaise.  However you want it, sizzling sisig will always be a winner.

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Now this used to be a simple pulutan among drinking buddies can now be found being served even in posh restaurants.  Even more so, it is also acknowledged internationally, foreigners trying it and really liking it!



Adobo, That Classic Filipino Food

Considered as a national dish in the Philippines, Adobo is that one particular food that can be so versatile hence it never goes out of style. Ask any Filipino living abroad of what they miss in the Philippines and Adobo is often in the list. When you say Philippines, along with jeepney, balut among others, Adobo will always come to mind.

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Although the name sounds Spanish, Adobo is indigenous to the Philippines. And being a warm country we tried to come up with dishes that would last long and doesn’t get spoiled easily. Adobo is one food that is naturally preserved because of its basic ingredient vinegar.

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The basic recipe is very simple really. All you need would be chicken/pork stewed in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper and bay leaf and you’re good to go! Some like it saucy and some like it a bit dry. Some like it sweet, some like it tangy and salty. Not only is it delicious, it also comes in different flavours to suit your taste, here’s a list of some of them:

1. Pork Adobo

2. Chicken Adobo

3. Adobong Pusit

4. Chicken Liver Adobo

5. Adobo sa Buko

6. Adobo sa Dilaw

7. Adobong Puti

8. Adobo sa Gata

9. Adobong Ilongo

10. Pineapple Chicken Adobo

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Although there’s a basic guide to cooking adobo, one is still free to experiment and come up with his/her own type of adobo.

I remember, whenever we can’t think of anything to cook, we would always decide on having adobo, not because we are settling but because with adobo, one can’t go wrong, it’s very rare you find a person who doesn’t eat this dish, right?

Now, just writing about this dish and looking at the photos make me crave for adobo!


The Panagbenga Festival

Also known as Flower Festival, Panagbenga Festival is an annual celebration in the Philippines every month of February. A famous month-long event in Baguio City, a lot of local and international tourists come to the summer capital of the Philippines to witness the parade of fresh beautiful flowers and street dance in Session Road in Baguio City.

The word “Panagbenga” is from a Kankanaey term which means ‘season of blooming’. This flower festival is supposed to reflect the history, traditions and values of Baguio and of the Cordilleras as a whole which aims to boost the tourism of the region.

While the festival happens in February, people starts to visit Baguio as early January when the flowers starts to bloom. But it’s in the last three days of February where the grand celebration takes place with colorful street dance and parade of floats full of fresh flowers of different designs.

panagbenga festival 2016

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The celebration opens with a parade that signals the start of Panagbenga which is participated by contingent volunteers.  A short opening program follows along with competitions between drum and lyre including street dancing. The street dance is participated by people wearing colorful costumes, some in native clothes which represents the indigents of Cordillera while some are in contemporary clothes made if recycles materials.

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Then there are trade fairs and bazaars at the Burnham Park where you could buy a lot of souvenirs from the event. You will be at awe at the various products that are native to Baguio that are really worth buying and bringing back home.

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The grand float parade comes after which showcases the Filipino ingenuity in designing awesome floats using various colorful fresh flowers. The parade opens with rose petals being showered along Session road while marching bands play lively tunes that set the festive mood of the occasion.

Session Road will be closed to vehicles as flowers and stalls together with side walk cafes and food outlets are set up along the road. Selected areas are going to be venues for street and musical entertainers.

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Panagbenga Festival then shall have the closing ceremonies by featuring field demonstrations and exhibitions and then a spectacular fireworks display in the evening.

There is no doubt Panagbenga festival is one of the most sought after festivals in the Philippines. Personally, witnessing this kind of events brings me an overwhelming feeling of hope and happiness. The sight of so many fresh, beautiful, colorful flowers gives me that feeling. That’s why it was said that it’s best to start your day with a fresh flower in the morning; it starts your day right, happy and hopeful… like a fresh beginning.

Red Rose

If a single rose can make feel good already, imagine what an enormous number of fresh   beautiful flowers of different  kinds and colors all around me can do!


Top 5 Street Foods in Manila

Manila is a much-publicized place because of its crowded places, the famous Luneta Park where the country’s hero monument is being displayed, the Laguna de Bay where you can sit around with your family or loved ones at the seaside while watching the perfect sunset to come down, the bright lights during the night, and of course, Manila will not be Manila if there are no street foods around the corner. As you walked down the streets in Manila you can see a lot of street vendors selling their goodies. Everywhere the smell of smoke coming from various grilled foods will cross your nostrils, thus leaving you drooling for those unique foods. So what are the most famous street foods in Manila? There are a lot of different varieties that we can choose. Here are some of the famous foods you will encounter down the Manila streets.

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Reasons Why Pinoy Lechon is World Class

Lechon Baboy is one of the most popular traditional foods for Filipinos.  It is considered to be the star in the table during fiesta, birthdays or any grand event for Filipino families.  Lechon Baboy is a pork cuisine that originated in Spain; lechon is a pig that is roasted in a low hot fire over a charcoal.  The dish is a popular food in other countries also. For Americans, they have their turkey during their Thanksgiving Day, but for Filipinos, they have the lechon baboy.  Filipinos loves to eat meat, especially pork, it is not surprising that Filipinos has a lot of delicious, tasty, mouthwatering foods that they cook.  Cebu is the most famous province in the Philippines to serve the most delicious lechon baboy.  Now, not only Filipinos can enjoy the famous traditional food, even foreigners are now craving to have a bite from lechon baboy.  So how is it that the famous Philippine Lechon Baboy is considered to be a world class food?  There are a lot reasons why it is considered to be an all-time favorite food not only in the Philippines but also around the world. Here are some reasons why Lechon Baboy is a world class dish.

Pinoy Lechon


The Crispy Skin

The most delicious part of lechon baboy is its crispy skin; with its reddish brown color, you can’t deny that it will really taste good in the palate. People really love eating the crispy skin first before they start eating the meat. Guests would always pick or have some skin part of the lechon baboy first before anything else. Everyone enjoys the taste of the skin and the sound that it makes during the bite because of its crispness.


The Juicy Meat

Another reason why a lot of people are crazy about the lechon is because of its natural juiciness in its taste. Inside the meat of the lechon, some cooks are putting a lot of spices or herbs that will make the aroma of lechon irresistible.  It is perfectly cook that you can see the juiciness of the meat every time you picked on it.  The fat of the dish also contributes to the taste of the food, it’s tasty and you can taste the luscious ingredients that were mixed during the preparation of the meat.


The Sauce

Nowadays a lot of dishes are not complete without its partner to add some more taste.  Lechon Baboy has its own partner in crime and it’s the sauce where people usually dipped the juicy meat in before eating it.  Every restaurant has its own version of sauce to pair with lechon, usually you can smell the tangy aroma of the sauce, and it is a bright orange dip sauce with a sweet and sour taste.  Another sauce is a thick brown gravy like dip sauce, it is usually sweet also that is just too perfect to be paired with Lechon Baboy.

You may think that Lechon Baboy is just another roasted pork dish which we can usually eat anytime we want, but the lechon baboy has its own authentic taste that will stand out against any other pork dish.  Philippine lechon baboy is one of a kind, not only Filipinos are going crazy about this dish but a lot of foreign people love to eat lechon baboy. There are a lot of people who are curious about this dish but once you tried it, it is for sure that it will make you crave for more.

The Filipino People Showed the World How to Live

Anderson Cooper, the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°, witnessed firsthand the true spirit of the Filipino people when he arrived in Tacloban City five days after it was battered by super typhoon Yolanda (International code: Haiyan).  He saw the face of tragedy on every Filipino he met in the now seems to be a wasteland.  But he also saw the true Filipino spirit that never fails to shine whenever a calamity happens, even after the most powerful storm ever recorded in history.  And with that, Anderson Cooper only has this to say:

“When everything else is taken away, broken, battered, soaked, raw, stripped bare, you see things. You see people as they really are. This week in Tacloban, Samar and Cebu, amidst the hunger and thirst, the chaos and confusion, we’ve seen the best in the Filipino people. Their strength, their courage. I can’t get it out of my mind. Imagine the strength it takes for a mother to search alone for her missing kids, the strength to sleep; on the street near the body of her child.

 We’ve seen people with every reason to despair, every right to be angry, instead find ways to laugh, to love, to stand up, to move forward.

A storm breaks wood and bone, brings hurt and heartbreak. In the end, the wind, the water, the horror it brings is not the end of the story.

With aid and assistance, compassion and care, this place, these people…they will make it through. They already survived the worst. They’re bowed, perhaps tired and traumatized, but they are not broken.

Mabuhay Philippines! Maraming salamat for all you’ve shown us. Maraming salamat for showing us all how to live.”