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Friday, February 29, 2008

AWARDS

Thanks jana for tagging me this one.





DARE TO EAT BALUT?

Balut is a popular Filipino street snack and is essentially a duck egg with a fetus inside, typically between sixteen to twenty days in gestation. In the Philippines balut is so very popular. There are balut vendors who ride on bicycles that have a basin full of fetal treats and bark their wares in a sing-song chant of “baluuuut, baluuuut!”

I did not grow up eating balut. My first exposure to balut was when I’m in college when one of my board mates let me sample one of these eccentric eggs. She bought two balut eggs – one was for me. She explained to me that balut is a boiled duck’s egg with a fetus inside. She continued on to illustrate that when I chew on the egg I may come across feathers, a beak, bones and other bonus treats that aren’t included in your standard hard-boiled egg. Intellectually, I understood what she was telling me. Realistically, I could not have been more unprepared. But before I was to breach the balut’s shell, my friend instructed me on the basics of eating balut. First, I had to tap the pointy tip of the egg’s shell and make an opening large enough only for the broth to trickle into my mouth. Next, I needed to remove the shell and season the egg with salt and vinegar. Lastly, I had to decide whether to wolf down the balut in just two bites or less, so as not to visually encounter the fetus, or to nibble on the egg and eat it section by section, being extra cozy with the partially formed duck. She told me also to ate the balut in a dark place so that can’t see what inside…hmmm, I’m curious what it taste! So I went ahead and tapped the tip of the egg, created a tiny hole and took a quick swig of the soup. It was nice. Light and subtly sweet. The next thing that happened is a lot like what happens when you crank the handle of a jack in the box. You know something is going to pop out and you know it is going to startle you, but just because something is predictable doesn’t make it less shocking. It came time to open the balut. I peeled off a sizeable swath of shell. Put a little salt and vinegar to taste. Suddenly and without any warning, I sip the fluids, removed the remaining shell patch by patch until the balut was completely exposed and I ate it! Hmmm, taste not bad! After that, I have fun of eating it! It’s really delicious.

Now, I missed the taste of it. It’s been a year that I never eat it. I told my husband about that. He said "I'm weird", how can I dare to eat dead duck inside the egg? I don't care what he say, for me, its taste good! How I wish, I can go back in Philippines and experience again the taste of balut! When it happen? I don’t know…only God knows.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

CASSAVA CAKE

Cassava cake is common dessert and one of the festive treat in Philippines. Occasionally, I loved making this stuff especially on birthdays or holidays. Here are the things you needed:
· 2 lbs grated cassava (available in Asian Stores)
· 14 oz can coconut milk
· 13 oz can coconut cream
· 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
· 12 oz can evaporated milk
· 1 cup grated coconut
· ¾ sugar
· 3 eggs
· 3 egg whites


For toppings:
· Sweetened condensed milk
· 3 egg yolks
· Vanilla and lemon flavoring to taste


HOW TO COOK?

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. In large bowl, combine the cake ingredients, reserving 1/3 of the condensed milk for topping. Mix well.
3. Pour equally into two large greased pans.
4. Bake until firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Mix topping ingredients and spread evenly on the two cakes.
6. Bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Cool cakes completely and cut each cake into squares.

Cassava is also known as yucca. We named it balanghoy in our place. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C. Once boiled, especially if you put coconut milk and sugar, this root has a delicate flavor. You can also use this one to replace boiled potatoes in many dishes.
Try to cook cassava cake for your dessert and I assure you, you gonna like it. It is delicious and yummy!!!

PORK ADOBO

This is one of those Filipino delights that really you well enjoy. You just need the following:
2 lbs. pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt, black pepper to taste


1. Combine pork, vinegar, water, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and black pepper in a saucepan.
2. Cover and cook over low heat until all the liquid evaporates.
3. Add oil. Brown the meat slightly.

I raved this one when my sister in-law made. Great recipe. She served it with rice. I really loved it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MY LIFE QUIZ

Jana2 tagged me on this, salamat!

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 8.2
Mind: 7.5
Body: 8.4
Spirit: 7.2
Friends/Family: 8.5
Love: 10
Finance: 7.5
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Life Analysis:


Life: Your life rating is a score of the sum total of your life, and accounts for how satisfied, successful, balanced, capable, valuable, and happy you are. The quiz attempts to put a number on the summation of all of these things, based on your answers. Your life score is reasonably high. This means that you are on a good path. Continue doing what is working and set about to improve in areas which continue to lag. Do this starting today and you will begin to reap the benefits immediately.

Mind: Your mind rating is a score of your mind's clarity, ability, and health. Higher scores indicate an advancement in knowledge, clear and capable thinking, high mental health, and pure thought free of interference. Your mind score is within a healthy zone. This means you have achieved a level of mental balance and harmony consistent with living a healthy, happy life. Continue doing what works, and keep your focus. In our fast-paced world, mental clutter is all too common. Be vigilant in maintaining healthy mental function.

Body: Your body rating measures your body's health, fitness, and general wellness. A healthy body contributes to a happy life, however many of us are lacking in this area. You have an excellent body score, which means you are incredibly focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Continue in that focus, and your body will remain healthy and strong.

Spirit: Your spirit rating seeks to capture in a number that elusive quality which is found in your faith, your attitude, and your philosophy on life. A higher score indicates a greater sense of inner peace and balance. Your spirit score is relatively high, which means you are rewarded by your beliefs. Spirituality is clearly important to do. Never let it slip, and continue to learn and grow.

Friends/Family: Your friends and family rating measures your relationships with those around you, and is based on how large, healthy, and dependable your social network is. Your friends and family score is high, so you are doing all the right things in this area. Continue to maintain your social connections and reap the rewards.


Love: Your love rating is a measure of your current romantic situation. Sharing your heart with another person is one of life's most glorious, terrifying, rewarding experiences. Your love score is very high, which means you are in a very happy situation right now. Do all you can to keep it strong.

Finance: Your finance rating is a score that rates your current financial health and stability. You have a rather good financial score, which is not all that common these days. Keep doing what works. Avoid common pitfalls and save for the future. You will be glad you did.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY



Before you study for your next exam, you might want to use a few strategies to boost your memory of important information. There are a number of tried and tested techniques for improving memory. These strategies have been established within cognitive psychology literature and offer a number of great ways to improve memory, enhance recall, and increase retention of information. Here are the ten tips on how to improve your memory:



1. Focus your attention on the materials you are studying.
Attention is one of the major components of memory. In order for information to move from short-term memory into long-term memory, you need to actively attend to this information. Try to study in a place free of distractions such as television, music, and other diversions.

2. Avoid cramming by establishing regular study sessions.
According to Bjork (2001), studying materials over a number of session’s gives you the time you need to adequately process the information. Research has shown that students who study regularly remember the material far better that those did all of their studying in one marathon session.

3. Structure and organize the information you are studying.
Researchers have found that information is organized in memory in related clusters. You can take advantage of this by structuring and organizing the materials you are studying. Try grouping similar concepts and terms together, or make an outline of your notes and textbook readings to help group related concepts.

4. Utilize mnemonic devices to remember information.
Mnemonic devices are a technique often used by students to aid in recall. A mnemonic is simply a way to remember information. For example, you might associate a term you need to remember with a common item that you are very familiar with. The best mnemonics are those that utilize positive imagery, humor, or novelty. You might come up with a rhyme, song, or joke to help remember a specific segment of information.

5. Elaborate and rehearse the information you are studying.
In order to recall information, you need to encode what you are studying into long-term memory. One of the most effective encoding techniques is known as elaborative rehearsal. An example of this technique would be to read the definition of a key term, study the definition of that term, and then read a more detailed description of what that term means. After repeating this process a few times, your recall of the information will be far better.

6. Relate new information to things you already know.
When you are studying unfamiliar material, take the time to think about how this information relates to things that you already know. By establishing relationships between new ideas and previously existing memories, you can dramatically increase the likelihood of recalling the recently learned information.

7. Visualize concepts to improve memory and recall.
Many people benefit greatly from visualizing the information they study. Pay attention to the photographs, charts, and other graphics in your textbooks. If you don’t have visual cues to help, try creating your own. Draw charts or figures in the margins of your notes or use highlighters or pens in different colors to group related ideas in your written study materials.

8. Teach new concepts to another person.
Research suggests that reading materials out loud significantly improves memory of the material. Educators and psychologists have also discovered that having students actually teach new concepts to others enhances understanding and recall. You can use this approach in your own study by teaching new concepts and information to a friend or study partner.

9. Pay extra attention to difficult information.
Have you ever noticed how it's sometimes easier to remember information at the beginning or end of a chapter? Researchers have found that the position of information can play a role in recall, which is known as the serial position effect. While recalling middle information can be difficult, you can overcome this problem by spending extra time rehearsing this information or try restructuring the information so it will be easier to remember. When you come across an especially difficult concept, devote some extra time to memorizing the information.

10. Vary your study routine.
Another great way to increase your recall is to occasionally change your study routine. If you are accustomed to studying in one specific location, try moving to a different spot to study. If you study in the evening, try to spend a few minutes each morning reviewing the information you studied the previous night. By adding an element of novelty to your study sessions, you can increase the effectiveness of your efforts and significantly improve your long-term recall.

THE CURE

The surprise of life takes you into a creative adventure!!! Everybody’s fighting for survival in this uncertain future… Sometimes you’re on top of the world but oftentimes you find yourself asking,,, Why can’t we just get over with these annoying things??? All the more upsetting when depressions and frustrations comes your way,,, When things aren’t going the way you want or expect it to be!!! Maybe and just maybe…we’re losing our self-control… You bleed and amused by unexpected circumstances… Ridiculous as it may seem but it’s not that ghastly… More experiences means more realizations… Curious of what is more to come? Try to dig for the answers… Learn to isolate yourself… Get in loved with your forlornness… Feel the beauty of being alone… Scream like the screaming guitars…Say what you want to say and do what you want to do… Unleash the power of your being… Go with the beat… your being you!!! Huh! Your being you!!! Display the long been hidden…Take pleasure in the glittering memories that dazzles intrinsically when recalled by the playful mind…Don’t let the world have a chance to take a glimpse of you in that earth-shattering and momentous time ‘coz I don’t think that they’ll care to understand you… Only the surrounding creations could witness your unconventional way of self-expression… There’s joy in doing it… Let the freedom flow through your veins… Experience the thrill it yields… Get rid of disgusting things in the past… You can fight the agony by simply letting the feeling go… They’re extremely dangerous barriers… Don’t get trapped on crossroads otherwise the situation becomes worse… Don’t look back… Unload the anxieties, the pressures, the tensions and the fears… Emotions could kill you remember… Get up! Get up! Regain composure… Establish something different… a sort of determination and confidence will do!!! Got it exactly, these two things could give you new hope for tomorrow’s another day… Hey! It’s not the end of the world, tomorrow’s another day… start a day with a cool refreshing smile in the morning… c’mon give it try------------say YES…!!!
R E A L I T Y B I T E S !

Monday, February 25, 2008

SILENT TEARS




Even though we can't see them, they're still streaming down our faces. We hold back the tears and try to be strong giving the illusion that nothing is wrong. The tears are dry but the pain is real, we keep holding back instead of letting our hearts heal. We're screaming for help but no one can hear because our faces are dry with silent tears. The days go by but the pain is still there: where do we go, does anyone care! We think we are alone as we try to figure out; Is there any hope in sight... I strongly doubt. The pain doesn't go away because we don't know how to let our hearts heal, so we take our own life not thinking how other people will feel. The pain is gone but the tears are still there, they're just for someone else to bare!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

BORACAY



Boracay is a tropical island located approximately 315km (200 miles) south of Manila and 2km off the northwest tip of the island of Panay in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.

Its long white sand beaches rival the best beaches of more popular destinations such as the Caribbean, the South Pacific as well as neighbouring Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Facilities are available to suit different levels of activity. For those wanting to just lounge around and take in some rays, beach-front hotels usually have lounge chairs set up just a few steps away from the hotel entrances. Facilities for the usual water sports activities such as wind surfing, snorkeling, diving and jet skiing are also widely available for those in search of more active pursuits.
The fun in Boracay also doesn't end when the sun sets. Boracay nightlife is pulsating with many bars and restaurants serving food, drink and fun until the very late evening.

Boracay is composed of different beaches. Two primary tourism beaches are White Beach and Bulabog Beach. The island also has several other beaches. White Beach is the main tourism beach. This is what most people are here for. Not only is it a lovely stretch of powdery white sand against azure water, it's also the commercial center of the island. A stretched grove of shady palm trees separates the beach from the line of restaurants, cafes, bars, internet cafes, shops, bakeries, etc. There is lots of room to stretch out on the beach with your sarong or you can rent a reclining chair from one of the vendors where they will be happy to keep you filled with food and drinks. Most people opt for the shade and tend to hang out under the palm trees.

Horse riding, scuba diving, boat tours, kiteboarding and skimboarding are some of the fun activity in boracay.

Hey, what you think? Try visit Boracay now!!!

SPRING IS COMING...



There are different views on when the season starts and finishes.

Spring comprises usually the months of March, April, May, or from March 20 to the June 21. Spring is "the season between winter and summer, when most plants begin to grow. Also other considers that spring consists of the months of March, April and May.

As in summer, the axis of the Earth is tilted toward the Sun, and the length of daylight hours rapidly increases as latitude increases. The hemisphere begins to warm significantly, causing new plant growth to "spring forth", giving the season its name. Snow begins to melt, and streams swell with runoff and spring rains. Most flowering plants bloom this time of year, in a long succession beginning even when snow is still on the ground, and continuing into early summer. In normally snowless areas, "spring" may begin as early as February during warmer years, with subtropical areas having very subtle differences, and tropical ones none at all. Subarctic areas may not experience "spring" at all until May or even June, or December in the outer Antarctic.

Severe weather most often occurs during the spring, when warm air begins to invade from lower latitudes while cold air is still pushing from the polar regions. Flooding is also most common in and near mountainous areas during this time of year because of snowmelt, many times accelerated by warm rains. In the United States, Tornado Alley is most active by far this time of year, especially since the Rocky Mountains prevent the surging hot and cold air masses from spreading eastward and instead force them directly at each other. Even more so than winter, the jet streams play an important role in severe weather in the springtime.

Springtime is seen as a time of growth, renewal, of new life (both plant and animal) being born, and of the cycle of life once again starting. It is also used more generally as the start of better times.

This is the best time for planting plants and raising animals...so start now!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

SUNSET

Sunset, also called sundown is the time at which the sun disappears below the horizon in the west. It should not be confused with dusk, which is the point at which darkness falls, some time after the beginning of twilight when the sun itself sets.

The sunset is often more brightly coloured than the sunrise, with the shades of red and orange being more vibrant. The atmosphere responds in a number of ways to exposure to the sun during daylight hours. In particular, there tends to be more dust in the lower atmosphere at the end of the day than at the beginning. During the day, the sun heats the surface of the Earth, lowering the relative humidity and increasing wind speed and turbulence, which serves to lift dust into the air. However, differences between sunrise and sunset may in some cases depend more on the geographical particulars of the location from which they are viewed. For example, on a west-facing coastline, sunset occurs over water while sunrise occurs over land.

When the sunset comes, darkness covered the earth and only the moon and stars made light in the sky. People peacefully sleep and wake up for another day in life, sun rises that makes the world bright.