Wednesday, August 31, 2011


It has been a long, productive and fun day for me today. Apart from rolling out the Master Chef in me in the kitchen this morning, I've finally finished the book (not school related) that I've been enjoying for the past days, and I have fun at Pangsa Mar'azmala, courtesy of Ma'am Betsy.

As you all know, Brunei is celebrating its first day of Hari Raya today. With that, the whole country is set in a festive holiday. And for foreigners like us, this day doesn't only mark the festive season. It is also a special day to unwind and relax for it's a non-working holiday, which is set in two days.

Wanna know more about my first day Hari Raya adventures? Read on.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Sa panulat ni Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto

Balot na ng dilim ang kapaligiran ngunit sinliwanag ng kinakalawang na poste ang pangarap ni Miguel na makakita ng bulalakaw. Habang nakahiga ito sa bubungan ng kanilang bubong na gawa sa mga tirang bakal, kampanteng naghihintay si Miguel sa pagbagsak ng isang malusog na bulalakaw. Hindi alintana ang ingay ng kalsada at ang pangungulit ng pusang paslit sa kanyang paanan, minamasdan ni Miguel ang kalangitan na para bang anu mang oras ay magsasabog na ng biyaya ang kalangitan.

Pasado alas-otso na rin noon. Ngunit sa kabila ng paglalim ng gabi, ganoon din naman ang pagtaas ng enerhiya ng mga naninirahan sa pook na kinatitirikan ng bahay nina Miguel. May sumisigaw ng balot. Panay panay ang takatak ng tindero ng yosi. Halos makabasag pinggan ang halakhak ng naglalasingang kapitbahay at ang talak ng tindera ng gulay dahil sa pagkalugi sa maghapong pagkalugi. Sa mga ganitong eksena, ang pananahimik sa ibabaw ng bubong ang tampulan ng kapayapaan ng diwa ni Miguel. Sa ibabaw ng buong, siya ang hari; malayo sa kaguluhan ng kapaligirang halos walang taon din niyang pinakikisamahan.

“Migueeeeeeeeeeeeel! Bumaba ka na ngang bata ka. Tulungan mo ako at isarado na natin itong tindahan.” Sigaw ng garalgal na boses ng ina ni Miguel. Sinabayan pa ito ng pag-ubo na animo’y isang may isang malaking tambol ang dinadagundong.

Retiradong guro ang ina ni Miguel. Ngayon ay abala na sa pagaasikaso ng ulingan.

“Opo. Pababa napo,” sagot ng labinisang taong gulang na bata.

Bago bumaba si Miguel, muli siyang tumitig sa kalangitan. Nagbabakasali siyang babagsak ang isang bulalakaw. Gusto niya sanang humiling. Ito na lang naman kasi ang maari niyang makuha ng walang perang kapalit. Ngunit, ipinagkibit balikat na lamang ng bata ang kanyang nais dahil sa pagaapura ng di matigil na sigaw ng ina. Maya maya lamang ay bumangon si Miguel sa pagkakahiga nito at isuot ang pudpod na tsinelas. Humakbang ng ilang sandali.  At sa kanyang likuran ay may isang nilalang na nagpakita.

Friday, August 26, 2011


When I had my vacation in the Philippines last July to conduct my MA Thesis research, one of the gastronomic adventures I had was a stop over at Mr. 8 Burger after a whole day of mind-cracking research at UP Diliman.  Opened in 2010, Mr. 8 Burger is located at 88 Maginhawa Street Teachers Village, Quezon City.

It was sunny afternoon when I decided to stop by and meet my college friends at Mr. 8 burger. Good thing, it was very accessible. With just one ride of the ever popular tricycle  at Philcoa, I reached the cozy place in 15 minutes.

So wanna know more about The Tastiest Burger in Town? Read on

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Back in 2000, I used to watch an information program in cable. The title of the show was "Oh Tokyo!" It's a Japanese-Filipino produced show that was aired by WINS cable television show at skycable. Interestingly, little did I know, the anchor of the show is known as Ellen Legasto Nishuimi.

Honestly, there is something about Ellen Legasto Nishumi which really glued me on television. It's not her smooth accent or the way she dressed. Perhaps, it's her pagka-Pinay that I liked the most. Plus, I felt that anytime, parang madadapa o maghaharass si Ellen dahil sa kanyang pagkapayat.

Here's more. Apart from Ellen Legasto Nishumi, while I was checking some videos in youtube, an interesting video popped out. Guess what, it's a video of a Filipino child star turned singer. I know you know him. Let me reveal it here.

Wanna know all about my chika? Read on.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I was browsing at some of my pictures in my multiply account when I saw some travel photos that I had back in 2007 and in 2008 in the Philippines. My travels back then were sponsored by Asian Center for Foreign Languages as part of the cultural immersions which is required among foreigners who want to learn the Filipino language and get a better understanding of Filipino culture and traditions. I was a lecturer in Filipino in Asian Center for Foreign Languages in 2007.

Apart from travels with Asian Center for Foreign Language, our family had our share of tours in Palawan and Baguio.  Interestingly, it was in 2007 and 2008 that I wore a slender or a minimal-fat packed body.

Join me as we travel back in time and lay our eyes on the beauty of Philippines' sights!

Friday, August 19, 2011



Thursday, August 18, 2011


 It has been a tiring holiday for me. You know what's the reason. I don't have to mention it. Yes. You're right. Thanks to Graduate school, my holiday is sometimes turned into HELLiday. On a bright side, I'm done with my first draft. Meaning to say, I can now submit it for my thesis adviser's critique. Lo and behold, I am hoping that revisions would be minimal.

As of writing, I would like to share to you my very "CHEFish" day. It's a word I coined from the word "chef" and  the add on "-ish." I am just happy because today, despite my busy schedule, I put my hands on cooking pans and spices to concoct a delish and healthy meal. With experimentation in mind, I came up with a bittergourd meal (yes, ampalaya) and a dessert made of carrots. Isn't I'm uber healthy right now? 

When I woke this morning, my intention was to proceed with my research work. I wanted to patch some ideas and edit some texts. Apparently, there's something about the weather that tickled my interest to go to the kitchen and cook. With a rainy day, I pulled out the pans, prepared the ingredients and started peppering magic in the kitchen.

So wanna get a glimpse of what I cooked? The word "Delish"  to describe my cuisine is an understatement. Perhaps, it's more of "Muy Delicioso!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


It's been two weeks now since Ramadhan or the Holy Month of Fasting began. In the Sultanate, which is predominantly comprised of Muslims, most people have started to fast. In our office alone, my Muslim officemates don't eat during lunch or even drink for the whole day. Interestingly, Muslims wake up as early as 3 in the morning to pray and break their fast. Then, at night, Muslims would pray at 6 in the evening and eat right after.

Fasting or Ramadhan is a very interesting religious practice among Muslims. The way I see it, it really takes a lot of commitment and sacrifice to undergo the ritual. By merely imagining that absence of food and water intake from 6 in the morning until 6 in the evening, you may get to understand how you could look up on the tradition. 

In observance of the fasting month, it is important that non-Muslims should comply accordingly. Especially for foreigners like me, being sensitive and respectful to the practices and the people are significant. In this time of Ramadhan, there are social guidelines that a non-Muslim must at least follow. Read on.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I've always been fascinated with the beauty of places in my home country, the Philippines; the pristine beaches are just jaw-dropping; a wide-array of restaurants have been mushrooming in an unstoppable phase; gargantuan malls are left and right; and the artistry and cultural bounty which are reflected in various historical heritages are at truly world class. Just recently, I had a "wall-smashing" experience in the Philippines!

Last July, apart from taking a visit at Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine, my family and I celebrated the birthday of my youngest brother at one of Tarlac's popular eating hub, Isdaan. Isdaan is easy to find because it is on the right side of the road, if you're on the way back to Manila.

Wanna find out more? Read on!

Monday, August 8, 2011


The past weeks have been very life changing for me. Apart from the piling of readings to finish, the synthesis to incorporate in my MA thesis and all the theorizing and analysis, I've also been adjusting on living alone on weekends in our staff house here in Brunei; While Cecil, my best buddy in Brunei, left last week to stay for good in the Philippines, my housemates go back to their hometown on weekends. So, I'm left alone on weekends.

Living alone has its pros and cons. Apart from the goosebumps which I normally get on paranoia, living alone makes me enjoy "me" time; I can freely move in the staff house without hesitations on who is to use the kitchen or who is gonna use the toilet anytime of the day. On one hand, living alone sometimes, and most of the times, gives me the eerie feeling especially if I hear troublesome noise. Thanks to playing a loud music or watching a video at its full volume, I am able to escape the terrors of unexpected and ghoulish sounds.

The past days have been hectic for me; not because of work, but because of meeting a deadline on the submission of my MA Thesis first draft. As of writing, it is due on 15 August. Thankfully, barely breathing, I'm still on track with the research time line.

In a way, being busy makes me cope up with a life inside a metaphorical cave. I feel that living in a staff house on weekends is just someone who is thrown in an island. What's more, apart from the fact that I have no one to talk to, except on chatting with my family which happens on Sunday night, I don't have a car to use at the moment; the company car is "rosak" or in Filipino, "sira." So as much as I want to go out to buy some grocery or simply go "Jalan Jalan" or Lamierda, I just can't. On a bright side, I am able to pay a Filipino guy named Kuya Joe, who has been servicing a vehicle-deprived person like me, to bring me to places such as in the mall to do my grocery and in the church on Sundays. From the staff house to Gadong or to the church, it costs me BND3.00 or 90 pesos. I suppose it's really cheap compared to the legal taxi who may charge you with BND20.00 in one go.

As I was reflecting on living alone, the deprivation of transportation and the colossal work to finish in my MA thesis, I wandered back on the day that I made a wish in the Philippines. On the birthday of my youngest brother last 7 July, my family and I celebrated a special day at the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag. Known for it's miraculous and wish-granting imagery, the Our Lady of Manaoag has uplifted a flickering hope upon us.

Guess what's my wish on that day? Read on.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


When I had my vacation-cum-research leave last July in the Philippines, I bought a very interesting piece at UP Diliman Shopping Centre. Placed on a shelf, together with all knick knacks, I found the slumbook entitled " The akala mo lang wala nang Slumbook pero meron,meron, meron!" With a captivating title, I immediately asked the girl in the counter about the price. Soon, I was already leafing through the pages of the quirky item, which is priced at 300 pesos.

Truth is, I already knew about the slumbook since last year. I've seen it in a blog by Yoshke, which I visit whenever I'm free. Unfortunately, when I searched for it last year in the Philippines, I couldn't find one. It was only this year, with a pocket of fortune and serendipity, that I am able to find and own a copy.

Wanna know more about "The akala mo lang wala nang slumbook, pero, meron, meron, meron?" Read on!