Because I know that 16-year old me will not appreciate a narrative advice from a 23-year old,
I wrote a poem that she’ll most likely pretend to brush off (but go back to when the lights are off).
While having lunch, I heard my uncle’s fiance say there has been an earthquake in Visayas (that’s a group of islands south from where I live, Luzon). I couldn’t process it at first thinking we couldn’t be going through another calamity right after the series of typhoons and landslides in the past weeks. But then she started saying how she needed to call some of her relatives just to make sure they’re okay. That made it very real for me. We didn’t feel it from here in Manila but I was extremely scared for those who were there, my friends and their families.
According to the news, the intensity 7.2 earthquake that was greatly felt by majority of the Visayas provinces left many structures destroyed and has so far claimed 85 lives. It has greatly damaged few of the oldest churches in the Philippines like the Basilica Del Sto. Nino in Cebu and the Church of San Pedro in Bohol. Malls, bridges, homes and other buildings were also damaged.
It’s terrifying to keep watching these videos while knowing full well how scared the people in the area still are because of the aftershocks, the fear of not knowing which areas are safe evacuation centers and the all around brownouts that disallow them from contacting their families and friends.
Living in the Philippines my whole life, I’ve experienced a couple earthquakes myself- none as bad as this one, thank God. That feeling of being helpless, even if we’ve gone through dozen of drills, still shakes you and keeps you paranoid for some time. Although the government has made plans already on how to handle this, the civil society’s help and prayers will still be much needed and appreciated.
I have the sweetest little sister anyone could ever ask for. She’s a diligent straight A student who hates confrontations and shies away from compliments so imagine my surprise when we had this conversation last night.
HER: Maybe I should be tougher, meaner.
ME: Why? What’s up with you?
HER: I just think that people always expect me to do everything because I’m too nice. I don’t scream when I ask them and don’t make scene when they don’t do anything.
ME: Never stop being nice to accommodate people being rude. People will always try to corrupt the good that you have; don’t ever give in to that.
Being tough and strong is different from being mean and rude. You don’t measure strength by the decibels of her yelling in an argument nor do you see it when he seemingly doesn’t care about anyone else. In fact, I think you’re stronger when you have enough courage to retain a good attitude and continue to care even in the worst possible circumstances, even when people take advantage of it.
Anger every once in while is not a bad thing but allowing it to take over you so people would listen or do what you ask of them isn’t healthy. If you allow people to bully you into changing, even if that’s to becoming a bigger bully than the other person is, that becomes your default. Your go-to is giving in and being mean to people when you’re stressed.
You thought you solved the problem by elbowing someone into submission, what you don’t realize is there are bigger bullies out there just waiting for the their next target. If you grow into a louder, angrier, meaner person every time you encounter someone abrasive or uncaring, you’ll grow callous and probably so much worse than every bully you’ve ever encountered.
In the short run, you may have gotten what you want but in the long run, you will have lost an amazing outlook in life and attitude towards people. You lost out because you changed the good in you to respond to the bad others show you.
My little sister and I love taking pictures especially when we’re together. These are some of the photos we took while having this conversation.
Originally I was gonna call this post ‘HUNGER GAMES’. It’s an inside joke my sister and I came up with when we know we PIGGED OUT BIG TIME or when we’re planning on it. While I was taking pictures, my little sister devoured 3 servings of this. She cautiously filled her plate with more food without us noticing. When we realized she ate almost a third of the food, we all started laughing. Had we been busier, we wouldn’t have had anything for lunch.
Pork Asado is a very common dish among Philippine households but like many of our national dishes, its recipe always varies from family to family. Basically, it’s tenderized pork marinated overnight in soy sauce, lemon or lime, tons of onion and pepper. Fry the pork then add the sauce made of pineapple juice, soy sauce and sugar. Simmer and wait for it to thicken and then serve with rice.
Because my sister and I are not big fans of sweet dishes, (I know, I know. It’s weird that we hate sweet food and are not big dessert people.) our recipe is low on sugar and pineapple and high on lemon and onion. And to add that extra kick, we throw in some lightly charred chili. YUM! Makes me hungry just writing about it.
A while back, hypersensationalism asked me to post a family recipe for a Filipino cuisine. I was originally planning to make a video of me cooking Adobo or Sinigang but the lighting in our kitchen is just not conducive for it. For now, I’ll be posting this one but I promise to really try and work on that lighting so I can show you how we make Filipino home-cooked meals. *excited*
A fellow blogger, who also happens to be a really good friend of mine, shared this on Facebook a few minutes ago. I thought it was a story worth telling so here I am on my blog, writing about it.
Meet 98 year old Dobri Dobrev, a man who lost his hearing in the second world war. Every day he walks 10 kilometers from his village in his homemade clothes and leather shoes to the city of Sofia, where he spends the day begging for money.
Though a well known fixture around several of the city’s churches, known for his prostrations of thanks to all donors, it was only recently discovered that he has donated every penny he has collected — over 40,000 euros — towards the restoration of decaying Bulgarian monasteries and the utility bills of orphanages, living instead off his monthly state pension of 80 euros.
Because we live in a world where meritocracy is the rule of thumb, we forget the greatest contributions that we make to society, to people we hardly know are the things we do out of selflessness and utter disregard for social image. Here is a man who may have little financially and in material possessions but he chose to live a life that still cares about others. I’m not encouraging the rest of the world to crowd the streets and beg for money they can donate rather I’m hoping I can convince you to care.
Our gestures don’t have to be big. They don’t have to change the world. We at least have to care enough to move towards a gesture, an action, a vision that involves making other people’s lives easier than they are now. This has a very special place in my heart because I’ve done humanitarian work since I was 13 and I’ve loved every minute of it. Because I love it so much, I thought it would be fun to celebrate my birthday, the 18th of this month, with my dad on a gift giving mission. It will be my little contribution to world.
I hope one day helping others out will be a part of everyone’s habit, something they do not as a burden but a vocation even when there are no cameras snapping, no cover stories and no obvious reciprocity other than fulfillment.
For those new to my blog, I’d have to confess how big a foodie I am. I enjoy food, from all parts of the world, and I’m willing to try even the strangest, spiciest and most unorthodox food there is. It comes from a long fascination for the art of cooking which I developed from years of living with my grandparent’s rustic, very homey dishes. Waking up to the smell of fried rice, one of my grandfather’s specialty, is always a welcome start to my day.
To my older subscribers, this doesn’t come as a surprise anymore. I’ve been posting tidbits of my humble attempts in the kitchen hoping other lost souls out there would take inspiration from my chutzpah. I’m nowhere near amazing but I thought chronicling my small victories would help me see how much I’ve improved and would either push you to the kitchen to try or have something good to laugh about.
It’s a family favorite, something we usually order in Chinese restaurants- abundant in our side of the city. There’s not much to it. I used pork loin, no fat. The upside is it’s a healthier option but it also dries out quickly so I’m always extra careful not to overcook it . Then I added dried herbs and powdered spices to the flour I was gonna use to coat the chunks of pork. On a small wok, I sauteed garlic, shallots, ginger and spring onion in sesame oil, dropped the pre-fried meat then added around 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce, same amount of hoisin sauce and about 3 to 4 chopped chili picante. Just added salt and pepper to taste.
It’s always fulfilling putting something you’re proud of on a plate but it’s 10 times better that after a long prep, I can finally eat. YUM!