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Candidly

Oh my gulay, ang bilis nila!

Filed under: Features — admin at 1:39 am on Sunday, October 19, 2008

I hosted an interschool cooking competition among high school students last Saturday, October 11, at the World Trade Center. It was spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture.

Present din yung secretary of Agriculture na si Atty. Arthur Yap. Bagets! He is an on-the-go person. Hindi mahaba mag-speech, unlike other government officials na parang may exam ang audience after the speech.

During the “briefing,” I was told about the reasons why they had such event. Ang una ay para ma-promote yung mga crops ng bansa, at pangalawa, to uplift the Filipino farmers, who are considered the backbone, the heart, and the soul of our country. Nakalagay yun sa cue cards, and I just thought that the way they described the farmers ay parang human anatomy.

Hindi ako trying to be pa-bright girl or pa-makabayan, pero talagang malaki ang role ng mga magsasaka sa ating bansa, bilang tayo ay isang agricultural country, kung saan ay biniyayaan tayo ng matatanimang lupa, saktong klima, mayamang tubig-dagat. At kung maayos lang sana ang ating government, ang yaman natin! History recorded that Philippines back then was one of the major exporter of crops worldwide. Anong nangyari mga friends?

TRIVIA: Philippines was the first and used to be one of the major exporters of sugar during the 18th century, where gold coins was used as the currency for barter. This is the reason why the first bank in Southeast Asia was founded in our country, the “EL BANCO ESPANOL FILIPINO DE ISABEL 2,” presently known as Bank of the Philippine Islands. Laban kayo?!

Nag-show ako for them at naloka ako sa banking history ng Pilipinas. Siyempre, may I research ako nang bonggang bongga para may alam ako tungkol sa company na pupuntahan ko. After my research, iba ang naging effect sa akin ng pagpunta ko sa BPI Building. Pakiramdam ko tuloy ay papasok ako ng National Museum. Kakaloka! Back to my topic…

Six student teams were selected from over 57 schools which tried their luck to take part in this cooking contest. The challenge was to develop gulay recipes that are easy to prepare, nutritious, affordable and, most of all, masarap. Take note, gulay should be the main attraction. Yun na! Ang sarap ng mga dishes na ten pesos per serving lang ang amount. Hihingin ko ang recipe at ipo-post ko dito next time. Sa pagkakaalala ko, mataray ang malunggay dahil grand champion ito. Karamihan sa mga entries ay may malunggay na involved. Ang malunggay…bow! Wala lang…

Sumakit ang right membrane ko sa pinaka-best awards. OA ba ako? Nakaka-OA naman talaga, kasi hindi ko alam na merong ganito sa bansa natin. Bakit parang secret lang? Let me tell yo so that you would understand where I am coming from.

“Pinaka-best agricultural harvest” contest is the search for outstanding agricultural and fishery products. Entries were judged by weight, size, and appearance. Fruits and vegetables were measured from base of the stalk to the tip, while fishery products are measured from the tip of the mouth to the end of its caudal fin. Gusto ko lang banggitin yung caudal kasi ang sosyal, pero ang ibig sabihin lang ay buntot ng isda.

The Best Banana was from Region III, Mexico, Pampanga. It weighed 0.37 kg. The Best Papaya came from Region X, Valencia, Bukidnon. It weighed 7.25kg. Ang laki kaya nun! SAGING!!! At marami pang BIG FRUITS!

Heto naman, ang akala ko nung una ay mga props lang sila dahil ang lalaki, pero totoo pala. Pinaka-best bangus from Dagupan City had a total weight of 6.70kg! The best lapu-lapu was caught in Mauban, Quezon, and the entry had a total weight of 6.30kg! Yung Carp fish na nanalo, nakakatakot, parang ako ang kakainin sa laki. Ang weight niya ay 8.02kg! At dilat na dilat pa ang mga mata na parang nakatitig sa akin. SUGPO! HIPON! KAIN NA!

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The Philippines is very rich in natural resources. Oo nga pala. My teachers taught me that in grade school.The most nutritious veggies are the ones that are planted in our backyard, namely, talbos ng kamote, kangkong, and so forth…

Tuwing nag-sho-show ako ay nag-reresearch talaga ako about the event or what the company offers. Naloka na naman ako sa mga pinaalala sa akin na nutritional value ng gulay sa katawan natin. Dati, parang pakiramdam ko ay holy week kapag gulay ang nakahanda sa mesa. Mali yun…I have to share it with you friends para lahat tayo ay maganda and healthy. Five years old pa lang si Quentin kaya kailangan mag-shift ako ng diet. Ilang taon na ba ang mga loved-ones niyo? O heto na. From my research, na ang source ko ay ang LINK na ito, CLICK niyo lang para maniwala kayo.

Green Foods: broccoli, kale, leaf and romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Green foods are especially good for the circulatory system. They contain many minerals and B-complex vitamins. Some phytochemicals found in green foods are sulforaphane and indoles that are very powerful anti-cancer compounds.

Hindi ko alam kung ano yung sulforaphane, phytochemicals, and indoles. Kayo na mag-research, pwede?

Red Foods: tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbage.

Red foods reduce free radical damage. The phytochemical, lycopene, is especially helpful to prevent prostate problems, and reduce the effects of sun damage on the skin.

Ang alam ko, yung Lycopene ay sikat sa catsup at tomato sauce.

Orange Foods: carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, apricots, cantaloupe.

They have the carotenoids; help prevent cancer by repairing the DNA. Carrots are good for our eyes, and help with night vision. The deep orange foods help our bodies get the vitamin A we need, without getting excess that can lead to osteoporosis.

Green/Yellow Foods: yellow corn, green peas, collard greens, avocado, and honeydew melon.

These foods are also helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Orange /Yellow Foods: oranges, pineapple, tangerines, peaches, papaya, nectarines

These foods are high in antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, and help to improve the health of the mucus membranes and connective tissue. They prevent heart disease by improving circulation and preventing inflammation.

White/Green Foods: onions, garlic, celery, pears, chives

White and green combination foods contain a variety of phytochemicals. Garlic and onions contain allicin, the anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, and they can act as a poor man’s antibiotic. Add garlic and onions in your meals to reduce the effects of potential toxicity of high fat meats. Celery has many minerals, especially organic sodium that keeps the fluid in the joints healthy.

In other words, tanggal kati.

Red/Blue/Purple Foods: red apples, beets, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, prunes, concord grapes, blackberries.

These foods are very rich in powerful antioxidants that protect again heart disease by improving circulation and preventing blood clots. They have many anti-aging phytochemicals.

In fairness, talagang naapektuhan ako sa “O my gulay” event na ito.

At naapektuhan na rin ako sa talak, sermon, banggit, kulit ng mommy ko tungkol sa expired license ko. Wala kasi akong oras. Excuses! Excuses! Na-expire ang license ko…basta! Nakakahiya aminin. Take this as my public confession. Basta not more than six months. Hindi tuloy ako makapag-drive mag-isa, always ka-join ang driver, kasi ang ingay ng mommy ko. Hindi naman sa hindi ako takot sa huli ng pulis pero mas takot ako sa talak ng nanay ko. Cut to, pack up taping ko at gising na ako nang maaga. Kaya niyaya ako ng mommy ko sa “mall.”

“Mall” sa Cubao Farmers ang pinuntahan namin. Bakit? Anong Gagawin natin dito? “Get ka ng license,” say ni mother na iika-ika sa paglakad pero mataray.

Sa isip-isip ko, this is a trap. I am a victim. I am not prepared to wait patiently, line up endlessly for my license. Merong office ang LTO sa Farmers at air-conditioned ito. May I approach na ako sa window kung saan may taong nakatayo sa labas. Surprisingly, yung nakatayo sa labas ng window ay hindi pala nakapila kung hindi nagbibigay ng renewal forms at advice kung ano ang gagawin.

“Kumpletuhin niyo muna ang requirements,” say ni kuya.

“Aba! Ano ba ang mga iyan at saan ba makukuha iyan?” say ni mother.

“Medical tests po, Lola, sa kabilang pinto lang po,” sagot naman ni kuya na parang slightly na-hurt ang mataba kong nanay na dati ay Ms. Dagupan.

“Maiwan na ako dito at hindi naman ako puwedeng umihi para sa iyo.” Nagpatawa pa ang original na comedienne.

Haaaay!!!! Mataaaagaaaal itooooo! Yun ang pakiramdam ko bago pa ako makapasok sa loob ng accredited lab nila.

Pagpasok ng pinto, go sa window, bigay sila ng form to fill up. Pay ako ‘tapos umupo ako to fill up the form. Hindi pa ako tapos mag-fill up ng form tinatawag na ako para umihi. Sa banyo, may toilet paper, Lysol at merong clean running water. Pagkatapos ko umihi, hindi pa ako ‘tapos maghugas ng kamay ay tinatawag na ako para mag-eye check-up. Mabilis ang eye check-up. They asked me to read the fifth line on the eye chart. Afterwards, I went back to my bench to finish filling up my form, tinawag na naman ako for finger marking. After ko mag-finger marking, parang napapagod na ako. Then they called my name, gave my medical results, and asked me to go to the first room.

Pagbalik ko, say agad ni mother, “babalik na lang ba tayo?”

“Heto na kaya ang medical results ko,” say ko naman.

I went to window 2 gave them my medical results. They politely asked me to wait. Kinabahan na naman ako. Baka heto na yung half-day waiting galore bilang puno yung room. Text-text muna ako sa mga tao, chika kay mother… After 10 minutes, tinawag ako para sa signature sa computer. After three minutes, picture-taking naman, then I paid. ‘Tapos, after a couple of minutes, tinawag ako and they gave me my license.

Napanganga ako sa bilis. Ang bilis! Walang red tape! Walang humingi ng lagay! Walang delay! Pati nga yung pag-ihi ko, binilisan ko. In an hour, meron na akong lisensya.

In fairness naman sa dalawang department ng gobyerno na ito na bonggang-bongga kung ulanan ng batikos, rally, imbot, galit, hinala, pagduda mula sa people of the Philippines ay nag improve din naman nang bonggang-bongga.

Siguro, nabasa nila yung Proverbs 13:18 at dinibdib ito. “If you refuse criticism you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism you are on the road to fame.”

Ang magkaibang karansan ko sa dalawang sangay ng gobyerno have given me pride as a Filipino. Baduy ko ba? Sa totoo lang naman, unexpected kasi, kaya siguro sobra kong na-appreciate ang mga pangyayari. Maybe, nakakatulong din talaga yung pagiging vocal sa opinions natin in improving our system.

I am truly proud of the Filipino farmers. The plight of the farmers is another entry. I am in awe of the Philippine banking history. I am delighted with the new fast, easy, accessible, and clean processing system of LTO. I am kilig to be Pinoy. As in!

Magic of Touch

Filed under: Features — admin at 8:27 pm on Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nag-attend ako ng wake and I met the bereaved family for the first time. I came face-to-face with a dilemma. I know this might sound a bit weird for most of you. You must be wondering why I spend so much time and energy thinking about this. Ano nga ba yung problema ko?

What  do you say to the bereaved family to make them feel better?

What’s the proper greeting to extend your sincere sympathy, na hindi ka tunog hallmark?
Ano ba ang sincere words na hindi ka ma-judge na plastic or standard? Yun bang ‘pag sinabi mo ay nakapagbigay ka ng hope at naipabatid mo na there’s life after death?

Ano ang dapat sabihin na hindi pa-sermon ang effect, or pa-close, or intruding, or abrupt. Hirap, di ba?

Condolences: Very standard sounding ito.

Sympathies: Parang binasa ko sa hallmark card. Hindi bagay sa akin.

I’m sorry: Parang mali ito kasi you want to send a message of hope. The reality is that one can be sad but not neccessarily sorry because death is just a passage way. I know that not everyone can actually think of things that way. It’s really quite hard to be in such situation.

My prayers are with you: Pero gusto ko rin naman ipagdasal yung namatay talaga.

My deepest sympathy: Parang mas sincere siya pero parang kulang.

I know she’s okay: E, kung sagutin ako ng, “How do you know?” Magkaroon pa ng debate sa wake.

Things will get better: How assuming ko naman.

I’m just here: Pag close mo yung namatayan, puwede siguro ito. Pero depende pa rin yun kung sa tingin mo ay makakatulong ang comment na yun. Pag hindi mo naman ka-close, hindi puwedeng sabihin ito. Care naman niya kung nandiyan ako.

He’s/She’s in a better place now: Ang preachy.

“Ganun talaga.” Or, “Realities of life.” Or, “Nauna lang siya, susunod din tayo.” Pangit pakinggan. Parang nagbabanta. Parang hindi ako serious.

Napansin ko, walang masyadong standard na sinasabi sa pakikiramay. This has been my long-time dilemma. Close ko man o hindi ang namatayan, talagang hindi ko alam ang sasabihin ko. I would really like to say that God has great plans for all of us. I just don’t know how to say it without being too pushy or sounding hard sell. In grief, mahirap yata i-comprehend na God has good plans, di ba. ‘Yan ang totoo.

Honestly, most of the time, I end up simply hugging the person to let him/her feel that I understand how he/ she’s feeling. If I’m not that close to them, I give a sincere look and a faint smile, a strong handshake, a pat on the back, or a tight clasp of the hands. Papunta pa lang, practice na ako ng sasabihin pero pag harapan na, wala akong nasasabi. Words are just not appropriate at times.

And there are are times when you don’t need words at all. Just a simple touch.

Touch can heal a person. Totoo nga pala yun. Nabasa ko sa Bible, yung hemorrhaging woman was healed instantly when she touched the cloak of Jesus. Presence is healing for a person in grief. The mere presence can again touch the person. O, di ba, ang term “touch” a person. Ngayon ko lang na-realize kung bakit ang tawag ay “touching,” “nakaka-touch naman,” “touch ako.” Di ko alam kung ano’ng direct translation nito sa Filipino, pero alam ko na iba talaga ang arrive nito.

Pag ang bata ayaw tumahan sa pag-iyak, pabuhat mo sa nanay at titigil ito.
Pag bwisit ka sa tao, wag kang didikit. Or pag dumikit ka, saktan mo nang pisikal. Point taken yun. Sigurado ako.
Pag may sinasagip kang tao, sigurado akong kailangan mong hawakan. Yun pala yun.
Kaya pag may nag-text sa akin na namatayan sila o may sakit, hirap talaga ako sa isasagot ko. Hindi mo naman puwedeng padalhan ng picture ng kamay.

Kaya pag di mo alam ang sasabihin mo, para di ka sumablay, syat ap na lang. Touch mo na lang ang person kasi message sent yun in the end.

PS

Siyanga pala, yung winner sa blog promo ko ay nakaka-touch ang liham para sa kanyang brother. Imagine, ang best friend ni Arlene Palpallatoc ay ang kanyang kapatid na si Argel. Nasa Saipan na ngayon si Arlen, kaya miss na miss na niya si kapatid.

Ang sweet, ang pinili niyang regalo ay Perfume. Amazing!

Puwede namang yung mga mas mahal, di ba? Pero pumatok kay Arlene yung Agua de Cologna, para daw maaalala siya sa tuwing nagpapabango ang kanyang kapatid.

Touch is really impossible for both of them, but still, there are so many ways to touch a person’s heart without having to be physically beside him/ her.

Winner ka!