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The Healthy Choice with Raw Food

>> Thursday, June 21, 2012

When I was a kid, I was a picky eater. Actually, more like a no-eater. I remember when I was a kid, I would sit on the dining table in the morning and be served with breakfast. Lunch came and I would still be staring at the breakfast food. My parents had tried everything -- from the choo-choo-here-comes-the-train spoon trick, to letting me watch tv while sneaking in a spoon in my mouth, to begging 'come on, just one bite,' to bribing me with hotdog and ice cream.

Believe me, I was a stubborn eater.

I can't remember when the transformation came. Now, I'm the person who'd fuss over food. Where will we eat? What do you want to eat? I want to try this, this, and this dish. Will there be something to eat in that place?

I remember Josh Groban's answer in one interview when he was asked about food. "I'll eat anything, at least once." Heeeeey, that's me too! I'm willing to taste anything, especially when travelling. Eating the local dishes is part of learning about the culture of that place. I always make it a point to choose the bestsellers or something that I haven't tried.

I don't need to be tied to a chair anymore and be force fed. Place any kind of dish in front of me and I'll try it. Before, I was a no-eater. Now, I'm an all-eater.

But I also try to moderate my intake of food and the kind of food that enters my tummy. My parents have trained me well in eating my veggies (I never had those pouty and crossed-arms moments when being fed with veggies. I welcomed veggies with a smile... except for ampalaya) and I love veggies as much as I love meat. When we go to the province, we always eat in Costales Farm, where everything is organic. We eat brown rice everyday (I get to eat white rice during lunch because I need the carbs for work. heh.) My mom delivers tofu and chilled taho in the QC area.

So when we were invited to the soft opening of a cafe that serves raw and organic food, my tummy was so game.

RawMatters Cafe is a small restaurant-slash-cafe located along West Avenue in Quezon City. All the food served there is either raw or organic, perfect for those who are health-conscious.

We were served a full-course meal. Hear my tummy doing a hip-hip-horrah!

Too bad that I didn't bring a camera with me. I only had to make do with my phone to take photos of the food that we ate.

The soup was interesting. It was not hot because everything was raw, meaning it's not cooked. It had a rich taste with a creamy texture. The moment I got a spoonful in, it was like kapoooof! I could taste all the herbs in it. I could only recognize one ingredient: corn. I think the garnish was parsley. hahaha I can never be a chef.

The appetizer was also made of raw ingredients -- cucumber, kimchi, and celery wrapped in Nori. A veggie sushi. Dad enjoyed the Kimchi very much. He's a Kimchi addict.

We had three Filipino dishes for the main course. The first was Kilawin, raw fish meat (blue marlin) swimming in vinegar. This is the only kind of raw fish meat that I like to eat. No matter how many times I've tried eating Sushi, I could not really go nutters about it. I'm all for Kilawin.

I can't remember how the eggplant was prepared. It had some white sauce and some other stuff in it. All I know that the main veggie was the eggplant. Whatever, it still tasted good.

The third is my all time favorite beef dish, caldereta. But instead of using beef, they used kambing or goat's meat. Apparently goat's meat is healthier than pork or beef. I'm not sure though if the meat served is organic. All I know that even if you eat the fatty stuff, it's still healthy. Whatever, I'm eating everything.

All dishes were served with brown rice. Oh nom nom nom.

Just when we thought we were all full from the food, we were served with dessert and coffee. Ah! Now I can mention more than one ingredient in the slice of cake: chocolate and coconut. There was no need for my tonsilitis to have a temper tantrum because it wasn't sweet. It just had the right combination of coconut and chocolate.

Forget about drinking coffee at night. We just had to have coffee with the cake. Screw caffeine, I'll worry about sleep when I get home. Cake + coffee = smiling and happy me.

We had a lovely meal. The cafe's location is very nice because it's along a major street. It's still in its developmental stage. We were shown the plans for the decorations and the interiors and it looked very promising. I also love how the people are dedicated with their job. Everyone's fired up with their passion to serve good food -- from those who conceptualized the cafe, to the barista, to the kitchen people and the office staff.

If I could offer anything, I would like to fix the wall installation and change the font used. Probably do a little tweaking with the photo by adding more color and patterns. I'd also like to see the photos of the food in frames then hung from the ceiling because laminating them isn't exactly classy. I hope they could fill the bookshelf with books -- both for kids and adults. I'm sure there are books in the market for kids on eating healthy.

Thanks to Coach Marlon for inviting us. I can't wait to see the cafe when it's really finished. Thank you too for the opportunity to be part of it; I'm glad to explore the possibilities on how I could help with the developments.

Go check out RawMatters Cafe. You can also visit their website at rawmatterscafe.com.


I Am Free

>> Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today, the Philippines is celebrating its 114th Independence Day. The internet has its share of celebrations -- with the "Happy Independence Day" and "Philippine Independence Day" on the worldwide trending topics for Twitter, and the lovely watercolor doodle on the Google search homepage. 114 years ago, the Philippines formally decided to rule their own country and break free from the reigns of the Spaniards.

While the country did not really have full reign because of the American and Japanese invasions, it was on that fateful day of 1898 that the Filipinos knew that they had a country to defend. It wasn't anymore about defending tribes or cities, but the whole of the Philippines with 7107 islands. Even the name Philippines reminds us of our history -- that we were handed a country scarred by the Spanish colonization. But it also a reminder that our ancestors worked hard for our freedom, that something good happened 114 years ago.

Now, we are running our own country. Sure we do have help from other countries, but that's the effect of globalization and changing times. Our independence gave us freedom to choose for the sake of the country and its people. And because of the efforts done by our heroes, I can say that I am a Filipino and I am free.

What does independence mean to me?

Freedom to "do." It's a free country so I have the freedom to do anything. No one can stop me from choosing the course I want to take, the job that I want to accept, the land I want to build my house on. However, along with the freedom is the responsibility to follow rules. It will be chaotic if there are no rules to govern. I think people should learn to see that rules are not meant to hinder activity. Rules are meant to keep things in order, to remind people to be responsible for their actions. Rules check if the members of a community do not violate common values. I can do what I want, as long as it benefits the country.

Freedom to "be." I think the Philippines is still trying to find its true identity. We have lived so long under different colonies and we have adapted to every one of them. Our national language is heavily influenced by the Spanish colonization. There are words that are similar to the Spaniards. Majority of the Filipinos are bilingual (English and a Filipino language) or trilingual (English, Tagalog and another Filipino language) probably because of the American era. I don't know what we got from the Japanese (probably the strictness and rigidness?) But isn't that who we are -- the adaptation and the culmination of the various countries who colonized us? I think we could be that kind of Filipino -- the discipline of the East and the views of the West.

Freedom to influence. Each of us is destined to influence others. We have Filipinos in the other countries who can be good influences to other races. We need to keep up with the great work ethics and show their foreign employers that Filipinos can actually excel in something, given the right opportunity and time. I know Filipinos are hard working. I think they just need to find their gift and what they are really good at.

Freedom to worship. I can pray anytime and anywhere. I have the freedom to choose my faith. I have the freedom to share it. I have the freedom to show how God has blessed me, my family, my work and my country. I have the freedom to use work and school as my form of worship. The government may deal with the rules, but my relationship with God deals with my values.

So on this special holiday, the people in my history books do not just remain as words that we need to memorize. I am thanking them for giving me freedom. I thank God for giving them lives who were willing to die for the country's independence and the freedom of the generations to come. If it weren't for their lives, I would not be free today. July 12, 1898 is more than a day of independence. It is a day of thanksgiving for the heroes who dreamed of a better Philippines. Now it is my turn to fight my own battles so that the next generation will remain free.

[Also seen on Tumblr.]


100 Wishes (part 2)

>> Saturday, June 02, 2012

I already had the list typed down, but because of school work and actual work, I wasn't able to find the time to do the doodles. But now... I have! Squeeee!

(Click on the photo for a bigger view)

[Numbers 1-20]

21. To get into the book selling business with the blockmates. It's a collective dream and we're determined to make it happen sometime in the future.
22. To be a published writer.
23. To have a writing mentor.
24. To write something worthy of a Palanca award.
25. To be a musical arranger for a song/album.
26. To be part of the production team of a big musical (Stage manager puhleeze)
27. That I could learn a Filipino language. Bisaya would be cool, so I can move to Davao and learn how to eat durian.
28. To get an MFA in creative writing. Or any kind of education to improve my pathetic writing skills.
29. To have the time to write the play I've been wanting to write.
30. To watch Broadway or West End musicals. Note: musicalSSSS (Yes, I'm a loser and I haven't been to London or New York)

31. To experience zero gravity in space
32. To be a Disney Imagineer. I know you have to be some sort of engineer for that, but probably they'll take someone creative. heh.
33. To work for Disney as a scriptwriter!
34. To learn how to weave.
35. To go back to Taiji training. I don't think Lao Shi is coming back any time soon. :(
36. To learn how to wear heels. Wearing one-inch heels is already deadly for me. Wedges, pumps, stilettos -- name any shoe with any form of heel, and I'll trip over my own two feet. So to get my wish and be comfortable in wearing heels would really mean everything to me. haha
37. To learn how to teach. I like talking to kids. But when a teaching job is handed to me, I get all stressed. It's worse than having stage fright (which I also have).
38. To walk from Taft avenue to North Avenue, basically the whole stretch of EDSA. Let's see how far it'll take me before I give up.
39. To dance in the rain again.
40. To ride first-class in a plane. Or better yet, ride a private plane.

See also:
[Chino's hundred wishes]


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