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Showing posts from February, 2015

What Course Should You Take in College?

As early as second year high school, I knew what profession I was going to be in--a seaman. I was excited about life at sea and traveling the world. But then, when I was in fourth year high school, I took a weird interest in Math (of all subjects). So I decided I'd be in the military--either in the navy or army scout rangers. So I prepared myself for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

My mom, however, didn't like the idea of me being in the military--she knew my temper well and my inordinate love for guns--so she refused to let me go to Baguio. After a few months of deciding other alternative courses, I decided I was going to be an architect. I don't know what would've happened if I pursued my PMA dream--probably I'd be dead by now or I'd be a general of the army or a commander in the navy--but it's quite important that you pursue your dreams.

You should have 3 options. In case your first option isn't possible, you're ready with 2 more alternat…

Why I'm Excited When Summer's Coming!

When February's halfway done, I get so, so excited because summer's coming! Summer's my favorite time of the year because of the adventures and mystery it brings. It's when I and my family are free to venture out to the countryside, find something different to do, and hear interesting stories of rustic mysteries.

Well, as early as this February, my dear wife and I already started our life adventure series when we went to Tagaytay with a couple who were my clients. We were treated to special lunch somewhere overlooking the Taal Lake (we missed finding out the name of the place, but their Kare-Kare and Bulalo were in generous servings and extra delicious as well), and to some delicacies at the new Good Shepherd site.

And even without any trip to the province, I still find summer exciting. Our neighborhood and the entire city, in fact, looks different in summer. Aside from being hotter so that people here often wipe off perspiration from their faces (that happens only in…

I was Food Fest Judge Yesterday at Bresee Nazarene School

Yesterday, February 25, 2015, was Bresee Nazarene School Foundation cultural show, food fest, and awarding ceremony at the Parkway Village Clubhouse in Quezon City. They held a week long program of various special school activities and yesterday was the grande finale. I was invited over as a judge for their food fest which featured Philippine regional native food recipes. Mostly were Muslim dances and recipes, though. 
I was looking for Ilocano, Ifugao, Kapampangan and Tagalog recipes but all I found was Vigan Langgonisa. I was also hoping to watch Ifugao and Ilocano dances but didn't see any. Anyway, here are some pictures:

My son also played had a lot of roles in the program. I actually thought he'd do an arnis-eskrima number--finally developing a taste for sticks martial arts--but then it turned out to be something completely different--stick dance. 

The food fest was a different experience. I enjoyed my first tastes of Muslim chicken and other recipes plus unique gelatin …

Foods You Think are "Healthy" but are Really Killing You Softly

Almost everything has antioxidants these days, so I won't be surprised if one day even our plastic combs would be antioxidant-rich with Vitamin C! They put some bits of moringa leaves into a product and it becomes "fortified with vitamins and minerals!"

Even products dangerous to your health (and could destroy your kidneys or give you diabetes) are promoted as "healthy" just because they put in a pinch of ascorbic acid and blew in some multivitamin powder. Then, they advertise on TV how your kids should have them each breakfast!

So, what foods flaunted around as "healthy" are really dangerous for you?

Microwave popcorn: These popcorns are sold in bags and all you have to do is place them in your microwave for a healthy fiber-rich snack. Well, they're actually also rich in carcinogenic chemicals, says a medical health article in Vital-C Blog magazine, and the artificial butter flavor also exposes you to harmful chemicals. So, why not just cook popc…

2014 MMFF Made P854M: Why Filipinos Actually Have Lots of Money to Spare

It's incredible. In just 11 days, the 2014 Metro Manila Film Fest made a whopping P854 M, just like that. And before that, the 2013 MMFF made no less than P934 M in 12 days! If 10 movie companies participated and had equal portions of the pie, that's P93, 400,000 each! Well, it took months to shoot the movies, of course, but we all know what qualities most of them have (most, not all). They never change. All they come up with is trash. But they make hundreds of millions, nonetheless.

The point is, Filipinos have money and they buy even trash with their hard-earned cash. Let's help them use money more wisely by providing them quality. This should signal health supplement marketers (those with quality products) to re-educate Pinoys on how to spend money on the right products--what they really need. They can do without trash movies but not without good health.

Pinoys are also not into investments. They do not know that even ordinary folks can now invest on the stock market. …

How to Cook My Steamed Fish in Oil and Sauce: How About My Sauteed Aubergine?

I like to cook and believe me I can cook a lot of delicious Pinoy food dishes like sinigang, adobo, mitsado, almon bigas, and tinola, to name a few--and of course, rice. But often, what I cook for lunch or dinner is my expertise--what I call steamed fish in oil and sauce--which sounds complicated but is actually a dish anyone can cook, even folks who hate cooking.

How? You simply open a can of Ligo sardines in oil and tomato sauce and put that on top of your stove. You may want to close the lead a little bit to make it steam. And there you have your steamed fish in oil and sauce. It's delicious but easy to cook and prepare (preparation is simply getting a can opener and open the lead--but wash it first with soap and water).

I like topping it with thinly sliced fresh onion rings and maybe put a teaspoon of soy. This is specially appetizing when you top it on steaming hot rice--steamed fish on steamed rice. Perfect, isn't it? And how do you steam rice? I do it simply--whisk eno…

Do You Know How to Make an Effective Business Presentation?

The first time I did a sales presentation in 1992 it was more a blunder than a presentation. I attended a sales and marketing seminar sponsored by a big-time real estate company in Greenhills, but I guess it wasn't enough. So I practiced. I believed in the saying that practice makes perfect.

Then I applied as an advertising sales executive with a top outdoor advertising company. The manager asked me to do a sales presentation to him on the spot (I didn't see it coming) so I did my best to sell him real estate. I noticed that what he checked on was my product knowledge and how I closed the sale. He asked me questions in those areas and played hard to get during the closing.

But I did manage to close the sale. He bought! I mean, he hired me. "Okay, report on Monday! Congratulations!" he said.

What did I say during the closing? I simply said, "So, how would you want the payment, sir? Cash or check?" I guess he liked the aggressive but polite closing that I di…

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Why I Can't Forget that Cavite Trip in 1993 [3]

"You see the church?" he asked pointing to the roof of the old Catholic church which was partly visible in the dark. "Old folks say there's a tunnel there built by priests to escape from the Japanese army."
Carlo confirmed it. "Yes, and in fact, I've seen the entry to the tunnel. Some of my friends told me they tried going down there and saw how it led to the river!"
I suggested we check it out, and Eddie said yes, one day when we re-visit Indang and have more free time.
Then Eddie and Carlo told me that sometimes, at 12 midnight, the ghost of a lady in all white appeared at the foot of the stairs of their ancestral home, right below the veranda. Eddie pointed to the exact spot. "They say the mysterious white lady is guarding a buried treasure at the foot of this stairs, buried there by the some folks in the 1600s," Eddie said.
Carlo agreed. "Grampa had been telling that story when I was a kid!"
After some more stories and laughter,…

Why I Can't Forget that Cavite Trip in 1993 [2]

In February 1993, we were back to Indang, Cavite. This time we were armed with the makeshift surveying equipment Eddie, the engineer, made using a compass and chart of angles and degrees on an illustration board plus a long line and measuring tape in meters. We hoped it'd work and we were all excited to find out.

We left Project 8 early in the morning with Carlo, Eddie's nephew, and arrived there at almost lunch time. But we had stopped by barangay Talaba in Bacoor to buy some talaba (oysters) and tahong (shells). In the afternoon, we mixed some cement and sand to make our own mortar markers or muhon to mark boundaries with as we subdivide the property. Carlo and I did this the whole afternoon with Eddie as supervisor. Of course, with a lot of laughter.

About late in the afternoon, Eddie and I visited the community market where fresh fish and beef were sold, as well as a lot of farming implements, like bolos. I sampled some of the bolos and sickles and pondered about buying s…

How to Make God's Promises Work for You

Face it--a lot of times God's promises don't seem to work for you when you claim it in prayer. Be honest--how many times have you prayed to God and got nothing from it? Compare that from how many times you got answered prayers. Can you honestly say it's 100-100, or 100 requests to 100 answered prayers?

Often, we justify our powerless prayers by saying God answers prayers in 3 ways:
YesNoLater Well, does he? How often do we get "no" and how often do we get "yes"? Most times we get "later" almost a hundred percent of the time--or we'd like to think so. We think the times God is silent with our prayers means we'd get the answer later. And later eventually becomes forgotten to oblivion. Are you comfortable with that? 
But if we go back to the bible, we see something different altogether. When Jesus prayed, he didn't get "no" or "later" for an answer. It was always a "yes" with him. And he got them right on…