Search and You Shall Find in My World

29 December 2010

“This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!” ~D.M. Dellinger

Photo grabbed from Lisa Bettany thru Flickr 

28 December 2010

Little piggy's life story ends on Christmas

Honestly, I do not like lechon (roasted pig). 

Maybe because during our childhood we were so attached to our pigs we almost always cry when they were murdered for a celebration. Celebrations, by the way, were very rare happenings in a family that raised pigs to be sold to butchers in the market. Just like eclipses. We do not even count birthdays as rare events. A wedding or death in the family is sadly, a feast day for us children.  

To this day I have never been a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) or a humane society member and have not eaten pork for quite a time now but I always have a soft heart for animals being killed even for food. Give me fried chicken but do not show me how the chicken is being killed.

But being a member of a pork-eating family, I could not help but witness my family slaughter or devour whole pigs in a day. This year's Christmas and perhaps the coming New Year would be one of those days.

As if to torture me and to make matters worst, I was tasked to get the lechon ordered from Magnolia's Lechon in Manga District of Tagbilaran City. 

And I cringed at this sight.

Several lechonable pigs were waiting for their turn-

at the slaughter table where after slashing their throats, they were immersed in a boiling vat of water to get rid of hairs.

When clean, slaughtered pigs were given a combination of salt, spices and secret ingredients inside their stomach and sealed for the roasters.

The pigs were roasted in a very hot grilling station.

When done, they were left out to cool down-

to be wrapped for eager customers to take out,

and consumed for the holidays.

21 December 2010

Christmas in my heart

Just like any other people of my age, I tend to look back and compare everything the younger generation is doing with that of my past experience. Many of you might say that past is past and it is now time to move on. Yes, it is true, indeed, but we can never move on if we won't learn from the lessons of the past. To be mean about it, from the old folks like me.

Christmas for example.

Way back when I was younger, Christmas celebrations started only in December and lasted on February 2nd. We did not hear Christmas songs until December. Nobody decorated his/her house on September or November but only on December. Christmas and December would always go together. 

Christmas almost always started at the first Misa de gallo, on the 16th of December every year, signifying the start of the holiday period. Carolers big and small, young and old would sing Christmas carols in the dialect, in our case, Bisaya. We heard the English versions much later. The Bisaya carols have a deeper impact on us because we could relate ourselves with what we were singing or heard from other people sing because of the use of our language. Only later we could hear carolers shouting jimgom bills, jimgom bills jimgol all da whey. We traversed rice fields and creeks just to sing our carols even to the remotest of places, earning a few cents we divided after our parents would command us to go home.

On Christmas, the only light we consider as Christmas lights were the big parol hanging from the windows of the houses. They glittered extra bright at night because power supply in our time consisted only of gas and paper in a bottle we called lamp.

On the eve of Christmas, we would be sent early to bed with the expectation that Santa Claus would visit our house and fill in the socks we hung in our Christmas trees decorated with fake snow made from soap. This was also done by parents so no children would ran amok during the Misa aguinaldo which was said at midnight on the 24th.

Suman, bibingka, sikwate, biko, kapeng mais and so many other native kakanin would complete the celebration of Christmas. Spaghetti was nowhere in the menu.

Whenever parties were done, they were almost always a community undertaking. Some group would take charge of the food, others the drinks, and some for the sound system and physical arrangement. Parties were always done in a public place and people would flock to the site to choose whom to take as fodder for gossip in the morning after. Really a family affair!

The true spirit of Christmas before was always with family, first and for all. Even the community celebration was done because the community itself was part of the family.

Everything done now to celebrate Christmas is always about money. You would always hear from people that their Christmas is sad and bleak because they have no money.

And that is the saddest Christmas excuse ever.

Kakanin pic grabbed from 
Lantern pic from 
Mananaygon pic from Craig in the Philippines 

20 December 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I could not help but appreciate this artwork from sent through my email from Site Pro News. The design is clean and crisp and pleasant to the eyes. So in this gist that I wish everyone a peaceful and pleasant holiday celebrations all over the world.

Like a Miss Universe candidate I also wish for world peace.

18 December 2010

MO2: The restobar that doesn't know what to do

There is a new restobar somewhere in the north reclamation area of Mandaue City that doesn't seem to know what to do with its clients. It is called MO2, whatever that means.

We checked that place last night for an advance birthday celebration of a good friend. At 9 in the evening the place was already somewhat full, the umbrellas with tables within were basically occupied we were standing on the sides waiting for vacant ones. 

When we were seated, we ordered our food and drinks. After already consuming several bottles of Red Horse, we wondered what happened to our food. We asked the passing waiter to follow up on our order. It took awhile for the food to arrive and they were not even exceptional. Aside from a pathetic serving, you speculate on why the food was cold in the center and hot on the sides when they were served on a sizzling plate. They were not even sizzling when served! I would not make so much fuzz if they made a try on the presentation side but there was nothing. It was like the cook (I would not dare call her/him chef) slapped the kare kare de pata (120 pesos) and the oxtongue shuffle (120 pesos) on the plate.

But one disgusting part at the MO2 restobar was it took us several calls to several waiters for us to be served. We were not even far from the main restaurant where a band was singing mushy songs. With this kind of service we knew we would be having a long night and predicted that this place would not last long. Maybe just a few days more after Sinulog. So we asked for our bill so we could transfer to the East West at The Walk in the IT Park where a better service awaited us.

A waiter, when asked for our bill, asked us who served us. We told him there were several of them. Another waiter took a list of what we ordered and brought it to the cashier. We waited for several minutes. Another visit from another waiter but still we were not able to get our bill. Our friend who knew the manager there went to the cashier to ask the bill himself but the cashier asked him again what our orders were. Another list. He came back to our table and waited. But waiting in vain is not a good idea especially if your clients meant to pay you.

Another waiter. Another list. Another waiting. We still waited in vain.

Irritated, we walked out from the place not paying.

Nobody called after us. Nobody stopped us.

Maybe this was the reason why the place was full.

15 December 2010

Interesting happenings at Philippine courts

Sometimes, you could not believe your senses when upon waking up you are greeted by news like these:

Lauro Vizconde pleads to the whole nation to help him find the real killers after the acquittal of Webb and six others.

Supreme Court clears Webb, 6 others in Vizconde massacre.  After 15 years of serving sentence at the National Bilibid Prison, Hubert Webb, a son of a former senator, was released because the Supreme Court found the evidence insufficient, for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Webb and others were proven guilty by the lower courts of murdering the Vizcondes: Estrellita, the mother; Carmela, 18 who was raped before being killed; and Jennifer, 7.

Imelda Marcos gets back Leyte mansion, thanks to SC.  The Supreme Court returns to Imelda a beachfront mansion in Leyte which is believed to be part of the Marcos loot and was seized after the popular revolt. The property has 17-room mansion, a golf course, swimming pool, cottages and a pavilion. Moreover, the Sandiganbayan also rejected the government's ownership of a 25-hectare lot and mansion of the Marcoses in Cabuyao, Laguna.

The comfort women during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines still waiting for justice

Impeach raps filed vs SC justive over 'plagiarism'.  A Supreme Court justice, Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo, is accused of plagiarizing his ruling on the case of comfort women. An Akbayan representative to the Congress said- This plagiarism is a very clear example of dishonesty as a system that is being tolerated by the SC.

Miriam: PNoy's legal team inadequate in legal education.  The frank Senator Miriam Santiago again questions the competence of the legal team of President Aquino after Malacanang's EO 1 was rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. 

The infamous Hayden camera

Court dismisses case vs Kho.  Hayden Kho was accused of violating RA 9262 (Anti-Violence against Women and Children Law) after his steamy sex videos with several women went viral on the internet. The case was dismissed because the mere act of videotaping their sex act—even without the actress’ knowledge and consent—could not be considered a violation of R. A. 9262.


Meanwhile, another fugitive of the law in the Philippines who could not be found and remains very elusive is Senator Panfilo Lacson


Comfort women pic grabbed from Ellen Tordesillas website
Vizconde supporters pic from FTP-Yahoo!
Ping Lason pic from

14 December 2010

Analysis destroys wholes. Some things, magic things, are meant to stay whole. If you look at their pieces, they go away. ~Robert Kincaid, The Bridges of Madison County written by Robert James Waller

What a wonderful world


Bigby's: A pleasant surprise

If it was opened tonight, I would have another dinner at Spice Fusion in SM City Cebu, my fourth in a month's time and probably I would still be mumbling about their service. I am so glad they were closed for their Christmas party.

Actually, I was quite surprised because the girls (Glocel and Leslie) promised to close the restaurant and have it all to ourselves whenever they get their separation pay. I thought this was the night.

So the girls decided to go up the second floor and try Bigby's Cafe and Restaurant. I would not have recommended Bigby's if I was asked, but the girls were already seated when I arrived. I was able to avail Bigby's lunch buffet sometime last year in Ayala Center Cebu but was not amazed with their food. They were all plain and very commercially done. Maybe because it was a buffet for only 250 pesos per pax.

But when our ordered food arrived I was quite impressed. The Boomerang Shrimp with garlic dip and pilaf rice was delicious to say the least. The shrimp was grilled just right, crisp to the bite and spicy from the Cajun style grilling. It goes well with the pilaf rice. Gilda and I ordered the same dish.

Boomerang Shrimp. Cajun-spiced grilled shrimp skewers with rice pilaf and garlic dip.*

Leslie ordered Chix Ahoy, a sizzling boneless chicken with garlic flavors. Looked yummy too but was already too full to try. I am planning to order it next time.

Chix Ahoy. It sizzles and its hot! This boneless chicken dish unravels a distinct garlicky flavor that will keep you coming back for more.*

Glocel has her Pasta Daviola and was tempted to taste it despite the Hungarian sausage. If not of those, I would love to devour the whole plate because of its spiciness.

Pasta Daviola. Hungarian sausage, shrimps and chili flavors this garlic-and-oil pasta dish.*

The Basket of Chips we ordered was almost untouched because it came with our meals even if we requested that it be served first. Anyway, the chips were interesting. Aside from the colors of yellow, orange and brown chips, a coat of salsa fresca made it more palatable.

Basket of Chips. A basket of nachos served with your choice of garlic dip or salsa fresca.*

We downed our food with green mango shakes and a can of Coke Zero.

I am still patting my stomach until now.

(*Description of all the dish pictured above was taken from Bigby's website.)

12 December 2010

"You gonna love it"

Someone gave me a box of cream puffs from Chewy Junior because an admirer also gave him those. To deter probable cause of getting attracted too soon, he gave me the whole box. Like I was the experiment. 

At first I thought it was just some donuts but when I tasted them they were different. More like bread with something creamy inside. I hate the sweetness of donuts but the dough made by Chewy Junior is, yes, chewy but not too sweet. The cream inside and the fruit jelly toppings make it a luscious breakfast. With coffee of course!

You may say I am a virgin, and this is my first and I love them! I wish I could have such an admirer.


10 December 2010

Quote of the day

Whenever someone who knows you disappears, you lose one version of yourself. Yourself as you were seen, as you were judged to be. Lover or enemy, mother or friend, those who know us construct us, and their several knowings slant the different facets of our characters like diamond-cutter’s tools. Each such loss is a step leading to the grave, where all versions blend and end. ~Salman Rushdie

The prize for peace: Philippines is anti human rights after all

"And before I end, may I just reiterate something I learned from my father: Human rights has to be universal, has to be for everyone. When one’s rights are violated, you set the groundwork for violating everybody’s rights—so all includes our security forces, our peasantry, those below the poverty line, those who have more in this life." - Noynoy Aquino's speech on the 62nd Anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights

Photo grabbed from The Washington Post

Just in case you were just out living in a cave, the Nobel Peace prize for 2010 was awarded to Liu Xiaobo (Xiaobo Liu) of China. Mr Liu was declared a dissident because he wanted democratic reforms in his homeland China. Liu has been fighting for in behalf of the Chinese people who have been deprived of their basic human rights. For years he is under arrest and will serve 11 long years for inciting to subvert state power.

Remember Tienanmen Square? He was one of the organizers there.

The Chinese government reacted badly to the news and sending feelers around the globe that they were not happy with a jailed dissident winning the prestigious peace award. They hastily setup a peace award of their own  to coincide with the Nobel awarding, with an awardee not in attendance. Their awardee was not informed earlier.

Our very own Scenes of Crimes Operatives (SOCO) go for a pose

In a bid to regain China's confidence after the bungled hostage taking of Chinese tourists in the country that killed eight, the Philippines scrapped its attendance to the awarding ceremonies, a confirmation that the Philippine government is after all, anti-human rights. That despite being a vocal supporter against Burma's military rule.

But still, I am wonderfully amazed at Philippines' indecision to opt out the Nobel invitation. Ill-advised president again?

The Nobel Peace Prize was the fifth final prize mentioned by Nobel in his will. This maybe to appease all governments for using his inventions to engage in warfare and assassinations.

He said: The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

More readings:
Nobel Prize: The Nobel Peace Prize 

08 December 2010

At the night market in Colon Street

Every Christmas season, Colon, the Philippines' oldest street is closed to vehicle traffic during the night to make way for the so-called night market, a fun way of legalizing pirated merchandise, from DVDs to wearables. And then there is street food. 

We went there last night to have a barbecue dinner. I tell you, that place is not the cleanest of all streets in Cebu, so be careful. I requested the Manang who was holding my chicken not to dab it with their secret marinade. I want it plain and real was my pakulo no matter how secret their recipe be.

As to dinnerware, the plates were wrapped in plastic (heavens be praised) adding another non-biodegradables to the environment. But we were there to eat and people watch not to lecture about the effects of plastic on the environment. You have no choice, actually. Worst, you have to wear another plastic with your hands because you have seen how they wash their spoon and fork on the sides. Well, as a precaution to the ignorant among us, eating on the side streets should be done by hand, just like anywhere and everywhere in the country. Unless of course if you ordered soup.

So there, we ate our food and downed it with soda hoping our stomachs would be okay. We were okay!

One thing for sure, and the fun thing to do was watching people wandering around like lost sheep. Some are chatter-sheep, some meek as lambs, buying things or just roaming about the night market, all of them the curious kind. I am sure someone was also watching us.

Go try.

(The night market opens at 6 in the evening until the wee hours of the morning from December to the Sinulog Festival.)

06 December 2010

The Barbra Streisand effect makes Wikileaks alive

While several sectors accused Wikileaks of damaging diplomatic ties, but diplomats and governments have not seen the damage they have done as Wikileaks exposed them. I believe Washington has manipulated every one like web hosts and Paypal to stop the existence of Wikileaks. But the Barbra Streisand effect is more volatile. Personally I don't care about the existence of Assange's pet project. Not until now.

Wikileaks could be accessed through its new Swiss home: 

"[Wikileaks] Could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act." - Time Magazine

Photo source:

04 December 2010

Too old for these

Nah! I hate this, but somewhere I read a woman nagging about how do men of my age should wear this and that. Honestly, I do still wear what the younger generations wear. And that article got me to think.

Transformed tees. I used to cut the sleeves off my shirts not to brag my tats and skinny arms but because of the humidity of the Philippines. But Catherine Couretas is against them. They should be used only when you are painting the house or doing some other dirty jobs, she said. Those tees should be trashed, she added. Noooo! She suggested solid and simple t-shirts would give a nicer impression. Not bad, anyway.

Anything with holes in it. Yes, I still wear my t-shirts with holes in them because they are my faves. But Couretas said the plain ones are better and won't give a bad impression on you. So goes with jeans. Those tattered or distressed ones should be used sparingly and only in the house. Well-

Cheap and worn out sandals. Familiarity breeds contempt and I agree with this one. I rarely use worn out sandals. The market offers exciting choices of slippers and sandals and they are cheap. Why suffer public humiliation?

Obnoxious branded clothing. Well I have them too, but rarely wears them because of peer pressure. Most of my officemates and friends would say I don't wear no-brand shirts. The fact is, those shirts are gifts and I could not return them. Sayang. But still those shirts and other items with big brands larger than the item would look like you are bragging them.

Photo grabbed from

01 December 2010

Stop AIDS: Today is World AIDS Day

The surest way to avoid transmission of HIV is to abstain from sexual intercourse or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected. ~Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


International Statistics
  • HIV is increasing in every region of the world.
People living with HIV globally
  • 33.4 million people living with HIV worldwide
  • 31.3 million adults
  • 15.7 women
  • 2.1 million children under 15
New HIV cases in 2007
  • 2.7 million people
  • 2.3 million adults
  • 430,000 children under 15
  • HIV-related deaths in 2007: 2 million total deaths

If you want more information of HIV-AIDS by country, please visit the UNAIDS Global Report site.