A few hours from now, it will be September.  That means Buwan ng Wika (month-long celebration of Filipino Languages) will be over.  For the past two weeks, I wanted to write a post in honor of Buwan Ng Wika or Linggo Ng Wika (depending on how long you want to celebrate it) but I have been too busy finishing up all my trimester requirements for grad school, i just couldn’t find the time for it.  Nevertheless, as they say… huli man at magaling ay magaling pa rin… um, that’s not right …ano nga ba yon? …huli man ang matsing ay magaling pa rin? or huli man at magaling ay matsing pa rin? …oh, heck, di bale na…ingglisin ko na lang: Better on the last day than never!

(AFTER TWO HOURS OF THINKING…)

As it turned out, I have nothing to say pala!  Haha!  So I will just do what all bloggers do when suffering from ‘writer’s block‘ (or so they claim, hehe)—pose pictures instead!

Here’s to all things Filipino:

In schools, Buwan ng Wika is celebrated with programs, contests, fiestas, etc.  It is an occasion to mainly celebrate Filipino languages but as it turned out, we celebrate anything that is traditionally Filipino. Students and teachers are tasked to wear Filipiniana costumes, too.  Over the years, the only costume i can come up with during occasions like these was a malong draped over black t-shirt and jeans.  Not very imaginative, I know but if I were to wear a Filipino costume for Buwan ng Wika, I would wear this:

filipino tribal costume

…But not this:

If I were to eat a Filipino snack right now, I would like to snack on this great combo of crispy-thin ukoy (shrimp fritters) dipped in spicy vinegar and puto biñan:

puto ukoy binan laguna

…But not this (I haven’t tried balut or duck embryo and probably never will):

balut duck egg embryo

If I would want to see a Filipino movie right now, I would choose this (classic suspense 1971 film noir, Lilet by Gerardo De Leon-remake! remake!):

lilet gerardo de leon movie

And this, too… 1961 ensemble fun movie, Beatnik (feeling nostalgic):

Before: At TLC eleven years ago, I was usually tasked to make stage decors and props for Linggo ng Wika (and sometimes, to host as well):

Now: Still doing it, a prop (100 peso bill painting on a 20″ x 60″ illustration board) that I made for Linggo ng Wika stage program at my practicum school eleven years later:

And lastly, if I were to try out a Filipino ride, I would try this (but not when I’m in a hurry, of course):

Pinoy funny picture photoshopped

Sakay na!

Maligayang Pagtatapos ng Buwan Ng Wika!

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…we may not be able to afford to do so anymore.

That is my new take on that old saying.  It apparently dawned on me when I wrote my post last July 17, that since prices here keep going up, I might as well indulge and enjoy everything while I still can afford them.

So armed with this new somewhat hedonistic yet a truly ‘hell-yeah!’ philosophy, Sis and I decided to hold a Margarita party one Saturday night at their home for no reason in particular. Well, I wanted to try making margarita for the longest time because it is in one of dear Martha’s Things Anyone Should Know list (another one is how to make a home emergency kit).

I bought the margarita glasses while Sis got the rest of the necessary items-inexpensive tequila and triple sec.

I know, I know…Martha’s advice was to get the best quality ingredients like cuervo gold and cointreau or something…but-hey, we’re on a tight budget-and besides, if we didn’t get the mixing right, at least we didn’t blow our money away (or in other words, we-simply-just-wanted-to-get-wasted-on-a-Saturday-night, ok?).

Doc made his own recipe for his margarita.  It doesn’t only taste good, it’s loaded with vitamin C–just like what the doctor ordered! 😀 The recipe is what we christened as Doc’s Calamansi Margarita.  See the recipe below:

Doc’s Calamansi Margarita

3 parts Tequila

2 parts Triple Sec

1 part Limeade

1 Tbs concentrated calamansi juice

1 tsp fresh dayap (native sour lime) juice

ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Then serve in salt-rimmed glasses garnished with lime wedges.

It was fun to mix your own margarita.  If you’re willing to experiment (better to use inexpensive tequila so you can afford to hit and miss), you can try mixing with other ingredients-banana, orange, mango-but for this one, calamansi (lemoncito in Spanish or calamondin in English) is the primary ingredient, making it a truly pinoy original. By the way, the exact amounts of the ingredients Doc put in were sketchy since he was just experimenting with it.  If you want to try it, don’t sweat–just gauge the amount based on your own taste and liking (maybe add sugar if you want it sweet and sour), and have fun.

Green-minded…Loaded with Vitamin C goodness…

Due to the wake of the ferry oil spill disaster, we decided to forgo with the planned hors doeuvre of fresh oysters and baked mussels to go along with our margaritas.  Sis, of course, came out with her classic nacho tuna tomato dip instead. It was perfect nevertheless (recipe soon to follow).

Sis’ Tuna Tomato Dip and Nachos complemented our margaritas.

“Maasim na may guhit…” Ate Joy drops by and approves Doc’s concoction (left).

And with that I will end this post with a Bible quote from Luke 12:19 (King James): “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”

Ah, yes…I’ll drink to that.

Salud!

As of July 14, 2008 6:30:22 PM, according to DOST-PAGASA:

At 2:00 p.m. today, Tropical Storm “HELEN” (right) was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 330 kms east southeast of Basco, Batanes (19.4ºN 125.2ºE) with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center with gustiness of up to 80 kph. Forecast to move west slowly.

Slowwwlyyy…

Yeah, that seemed like it. This day happened like in slow motion…with ceaseless rain and turtle-paced traffic. And like in an ultimate true slow motion scene, I stepped out of the jeepney, when suddenly this happened to me:

I screamed “Nnnnooooooo!!!” as I looked down at my right sandal (left photo; technically it isn’t mine–I borrowed it from Sis–Lagot ako!)

I still had to walk a couple of blocks towards my practicum site (a SPED preschool) in the rain with a broken, worthless piece of sandal. Oh, what, oh, what should a girl do?

I was ready to hop all the way (and to swallow my sense of dignity) when, thankfully, a pedicab came along and I immediately got on. Sheepishly, I showed the driver my broken sandal, pouting like a little girl, hoping he’ll grant me a discounted fare since “Manong, dyaan lang naman ako sa may kanto (it’s just around the corner).”

Did it work? Of course not, mahirap na ang pera ngayon. Anyway, I got to my practicum site and apologized to them for being late (bad, seralu, bad!). Being an Asian school, it allowed us teachers and the kids to walk barefoot on the carpet of the classrooms. At lunch though, I had to ask the school owner (who is a real nice lady) if I could borrow some flip-flops so that I could go and buy a new pair in the nearest mall (sige-kapalan na ang mukha).

Good thing, in the Philippines, everywhere you look, there is a stall or booth somewhere selling an abundant array of sandals and flip-flops.

So it is considered a no problemo if one day you have a footwear malfunction on a street–just laugh, pick the pair up, throw them in the nearest trash bin, and get yourself a new one. And they are all inexpensive. But then, that’s the catch. Being so inexpensive, a pair of flip-flops or sandals that is less than 200 pesos or 4 dollars can have an expiration date of two to three months, depending on how often you use them. Being nice to look at but of low-quality, they either soon lose their once-vibrant colors and shimmer or just break apart in no time.

And pretty soon, you’ll have a graveyard pile of pathetic-looking sandals and flip-flops in your shoe closet…

Rest in Pieces. Uugh! They had short lives, I know, but they served me well up to the bitter, bitter end…

Anyway, back to the shoe stalls…

When picking the right pair, I had to check the bottom. I choose only the ones with rubber soles on the bottom because a lot of these cheap footwear do not have rubber soles on them. Although really nice to look at, these frictionless bastards can be quite dangerous when you’re using them on slippery grounds, especially during rainy days like today.

There were so many to choose from…Oh, which, oh, which should a girl choose?

Finally, after trying on five pairs, I got me these black sandals that cost only 150 pesos. And yes, the rubber soles were intact.

And to perk up this slow, soggy day, I bought one of the Pinaka-Patok na Pinoy Merienda (highly-recommended afternoon snack) according to a TV show here (left photo).

Get me a fork, please! I rushed home in my new sandals and treated myself with green tea and peachy-peachy topped with melted cheese. Perfect merienda for a rainy day. I guess, the cheese is the one that seals the deal. It doesn’t taste like any of the ones you buy from the grocery…I wonder where they get it? Hmm…

I clean up my closet, throwing away the old shoes to make way for the new. I relax, sip my tea and contemplate about going back and buying the pair of sandals with black shiny sequins next or the one with the golden tassels or the one with…

So goes another rainy Monday…