Saturday, August 23, 2014

Garlic Shrimp


It’s been so long since I posted a recipe! There is a very good reason for it. :) With the support of my wife and family, I had been busy setting our dream enterprise. It had indeed been a very challenging but meaningful time.

Anyway, for this post, I decided that it’s better to share a recipe that you can also cook up in a very short time (especially when you’re busy!). It’s a simple shrimp dish (again, another favorite of my wife!) and I suppose many of you have your own versions of doing it. Here is mine then!

Just remember to cook it with LOVE!

Garlic Shrimp

Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes

½ kilo shrimp, deveined
2 tbsps., olive oil
1 head of garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Enough parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp. of lemon juice


1.     Season the shrimps with salt and pepper. Let it marinate for 3 to 5 minutes.
2.     Heat the cooking oil. Add the garlic and fry until golden brown. Set aside.
3.     Cook the deveined shrimp with the same oil for 4 to 5 minutes.
4.     Add the parsley and lemon juice.
5.     Take the dish off from the heat and then add the golden brown garlic that you have set aside.


P.s. If you have the time, please drop by our website through this link.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ginataang Pusit (Squid in Coconut Milk)

It's Holy Week so it's time to cut down on the meat! :) Let me then share with you another simple squid dish that will surely be enjoyed by everyone who wants to do some sacrifices by refraining from meat dishes this season of fasting and penitence. The main ingredient is pusit (squid) and this dish is easily cooked in less than 30 minutes.


1 kg squid (it's better to get the young ones)
1 medium-sized grated coconut meat for gata
1 small-sized ginger cut into thin strips
2 cloves of garlic, pounded
3 pcs green chili pepper
A pinch of salt

1. Clean the squids and remove the plastic-like cartilage from the body. Open the tentacles to expose the beak and throw it away.
2. Put the thin coconut milk in a casserole. Add the squid, ginger, green chili pepper, garlic, and salt.
3. Boil until the squids are tender or the milk is almost dry.
4. Add the thick coconut milk and let the dish boil for 5 minutes.
5. Serve hot.

Note: The thick coconut is what we often call as "kakang gata" in Filipino or the first pressing/extraction of the coconut milk/creme.

I hope you and your loved ones will enjoy this dish! Have a blessed and prayerful Holy Week!

Humba (Braised Pork)

This recipe, humba, is one of my favorite dishes that originate from Cebu. I grew up knowing Humba as a favorite family dish, particularly for special occasions. I remember how my Mom lovingly prepares the dish especially when one of us is celebrating a birthday. I like this dish because of the mixture of the salty and sweet tastes, and the tenderness of the pork meat. This Cebuano dish has even become among the favorite dishes of my wife even if she doesn't eat pork that much. :)

So, here goes! Happy cooking!


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 kilo pork with a little fat(cut into bite size)
500 ml - 1 liter of Sprite (enough to cover the ingredients)
1 medium onion (diced)
2 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped)
20-30 pieces of banana blossoms
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp vinegar
3 Tbsp fermented black beans
1 bunch of spring onions(chopped)
Sugar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat oil in a pan. Fry the pork until golden brown. Season with salt. Set aside.
2. In a casserole, mix pork with soy sauce and vinegar. Add garlic and onions.
3. Pour Sprite in the casserole, enough to cover the pork and the ingredients.
4. Let it boil. Adjust setting to low fire. After 10 minutes, add fermented black beans.
5. Add banana blossoms after 10 minutes. Simmer until the meat becomes tender.
6. When the meat is done, add spring onions. Add sugar if you want it sweeter. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with love! Happy eating! :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Recipe Series: Tinolang Manok (Cebuano Twist)

Hi all! I have been "coerced" by my No. 1 Fan (my beautiful wife) to share the Cebuano version of Tinolang Manok. She really loves it and she thinks it must be enjoyed by all. So here goes! May your attempts be successful and bring so much pleasure to your loved ones.


1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
Small size ginger, crushed and sliced
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 small green papaya, cut into bite sizes
1 small Sayote, cut into bite sizes
3 pieces ripe Saba bananas, cut diagonally
4 tbsp cooking oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
3-4 cups of chicken broth
Malunggay (Moringa) leaves


1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in frying pan. Brown the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat the remaining oil. Saute the garlic and onion. Add ginger and continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute again for another 3 minutes.
3. Add the browned chicken, broth, and allow to boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
4. Add Papaya and Sayote, simmer for 15-20 minutes and add the bananas. Simmer for another 7 minutes. Add the Malunggay.
5. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with love! :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

When boredom hits, think of Shrek

The movie reminds us about one thing: in life and love, there would always be boring moments but that everything else just keeps on getting better.

The movie definitely gave what is expected of it – colors, fun, excitement, and laughter. The fat “Puss-in-Boots” is totally hilarious and endearing. I am not a cat lover but I’d willingly bring him home if I’d ever see him on the street (I just hope my wife will feel the same way!).

The movie’s charms are really on the characters and how they managed to endear themselves to the audience. Shrek and Fiona are cute. They don’t have the stereotype “beauty” but amazingly, their good hearts and fierce bond make us forget that they are actually ogres. Donkey is also exceptionally effective in his role and delivery of lines. The voice behind him (Eddie Murphy’s) matches perfectly with his personality.

The only downside I have observed was on the musical scoring. The songs are good for the most parts but I think that they could have done better by injecting wittier ones particularly in the part where the ogres were “hypnotized” to dance their way to the castle. A better song could have made the scene more hilarious.

Over-all, the movie is a must-see, particularly for family outings when the kids are in tow. It teaches about the values of love, loyalty, friendships and courage. Most importantly, perhaps, it reminds us that life is not all fun and rosy. There can really be boring and even bad times but hey, we should not complain.

As what Shrek did, it took a bad contract to remind him that everything that truly matters are already with him: love and family, camaraderie and friends.

(This review is written during SM Baliwag's free wi-fi access launch. Thanks, SM, for the great movie treat!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Friendships, Magic, and Angkor Wat

Last November, there was a long holiday here in Cambodia. Before this holiday, I and my very gorgeous friend, Mei, were discussing where to go to since most here were going home to their hometowns to celebrate the holiday with their families. At first, we thought of going to the beautiful beaches of Sihanoukville to enjoy the sea and the sun. But then, since we have yet to visit Angkor Wat – one of the must-see wonders of the world—we decided to see this ancient temple. It is also one of Mei’s dreams to take pictures of this beautiful creation.

It would be the longest trip for me as we were told that the trip to Siem Reap would take all of six hours. We chose to travel early so we chose the 7:30 A.M. departure time. The start of the journey was slow because traffic was bad. Almost everybody was going home to his hometown. So when we began to see the countryside, we both began to enjoy the trip tremendously because of the view being offered outside our windows. We arrived one-hour later because of the terrible traffic. But I didn’t mind because I was too excited to see Angkor Wat.

And then tomorrow finally came; the time to visit Angkor Wat and the other temples! We got ready and excitedly ate our breakfast. We met our tutktuk driver and began the journey towards Angkor. We stopped by the entrance to the temples and purchased 1-Day Pass. When we passed by the immense expanse of the Angkor Wat grounds, I was instantly amazed. I was almost brought to tears because of what I see. I could not fully describe how I felt at that time. It was like my spirit was being lifted. While passing by the Angkor Temple, our tuktuk driver told us that it is better to visit it around 2 P.M. because there are more people inside the temple at that time. As the holiday has a religious significance, people are there in the Temple to offer prayers to God and their ancestors.

He then drove us to the Bayon Temple were there was also three other smaller temples. When we saw the Bayon Temple, I could only sigh and express astonishment and wonder. I wondered about the hard labor spent by those who built it. The way they built the Temple was simply incomprehensible. There were so much details on the walls of the Temple. I am a little lost for words on how to describe this magical place. We were not yet in Angkor Wat but we were already so overwhelmed by the beauty of this place. We wandered around the temple and took many pictures. We spent around two hours just going around the temple. Mei said that we were only here in Bayon Temple and yet, we were already so amazed…how much more if we are already in Angkor Wat?

We visited the other smaller temples after having lunch. I was just a bit sad to observe that most of the temples are already in some state of neglect and deterioration. The government seems not able to preserve well the beauty of these magnificent structures. With very stiff entrance fees, one cannot help but surmise that perhaps some of the money goes to the pockets of some politicians here. But before I get distracted, it was time to move on to Angkor Wat; the main reason for this trip to Siem Reap.

When we were finally by the entrance to the Angkor Wat, I suddenly developed goose bumps. The place is huge and magical. I could not wait to enter the temple – to see the beauty inside and around it. Even if we had been walking for hours already, we could not feel being exhausted. Maybe because we were both very excited (excited to take pictures again? Hehehe). We crisscrossed inside the temple grounds and its mysterious halls, making sure that we are able to see the whole of it. I said to myself “I am indeed very lucky to see this place.” We took pictures in every possible corner and Mei also keeps on clicking her camera on every possible angle that her eyes can see. By the way, I must say this: she seems like a professional photographer! I think that the pictures she took are all beautiful. That is why it as somewhat easy to pose when she is the one taking my pictures.

We explored the place further and then once rested on a cold stone-step, feeling the energy that the place gives us, looking at every detail that was carved beautifully on the walls. We have observed that some parts of the temple are already being restored and this is a nice thing to know. After roaming around, we then went outside the temple and waited for sunset by the small lake beneath. Mei took pictures of Angkor Wat with its reflection on the surface of the water.

When finally sunset came, we noticed that the temple is changing color depending on the time of the day. The temple suddenly became golden in color. We were both really beautifully surprised. We checked the earlier photos and saw how the colors really changed! Waiting for the sunset was really worth it.

We came to realize that three hours were not enough to cover the whole complex and breathe in the magic of the place. I think spending one day in Angkor Wat only would be better. It was just a little sad that we were not able to visit all of the temples because we did not have enough time. That is why we planned to be back again soon and hopefully, with a one-week pass so we can visit all of the temples and have enough time to linger around more. I also want to see the temple where some parts of the movie, Tomb Raider, were filmed!

I think that the people of Cambodia are so lucky to have all these temples. They are heritage from the past as well as meeting grounds of tourists from all over the world. I just hope that they will succeed in protecting and preserving the beauty of these magnificent temples.

I end this with prayers of gratitude because this journey made me realize once more that this world offers so many gifts: friendships and magical places that bring us to higher places and make us fuller and richer.

P.s. To someone reading this right now: Thank you so much for everything. You know who you are. God bless and more blessings!

(This is a repost of my Friendster blog dated January 13, 2008)

Little, big steps

Six months ago, I never imagined that I’d be somewhere else but Cebu. I grew up in Cebu and although I had dreams of living and working abroad, I never imagined that this dream will start to become a reality this soon and in these circumstances.

Last April, I met a very kind woman whom I never thought will be instrumental to this sudden change in my life’s course. We have met in a van going to Balamban. During this trip, we talked and talked, exchanging stories of our lives until we arrived in our destination. It was so amazing, how we’ve met, and I’m very thankful to whomever “set that up”. At the time we met, she was already scheduled to leave the country for a very personal reason. Since that time, we kept on communicating with each other – updating each other about what is happening in each other’s life.

Then the time came for her to leave the country. I felt very sad during that time because I was already beginning to miss her. I felt that we have already developed a certain closeness and I would certainly miss her texts messages, her voice and especially her whole person. However, we were still able to keep in touch through Yahoo Messenger and emails when she was away already. Thank God that we already have all of these “high-technology” modes of communication these days. They really bridge the gap that distance puts between people.

Days and weeks passed and one day, I decided to follow her. This was a very big decision, perhaps the biggest in my life. I felt I was ready to risk everything. To start a new life and a new career (as a chef), hopefully with her. So I resigned from work and waited for one month to be with her again. As I said above, it has always been my dream to go abroad to help my family and to save for my future. But this dream took on a different path because of her.

When the day of my flight came closer, I felt sad because I will be leaving my family, relatives, and close friends behind. Actually, it’s a mix of emotions – sadness and excitement. Sadness because I will leave people close to my heart behind and excited because I will be with her again.

The night before my flight, I packed everything that I would need for my trip. Later I just found myself crying because it dawned on me again that it will be a long time before I will be with my family, relatives, and close friends again. Realizing that I’ll be leaving very good persons behind who are my inspirations in life. I said to myself, “This is not just for myself but for them as well.” I wasn’t able to sleep well that night because I was sad and excited.

Then the day came for me to leave. My family brought me to the airport and when my departure time came closer, we all ended up crying. We hugged like it would be the last time that we will be with each other. Then I said my good bye to my family and thanked them for everything. And then I started my long journey.

When I got to my destination, I felt so happy and excited to see her again. I thanked God for a safe trip. And then when I saw her, I hugged her very tightly and gave her a kiss on the cheeks (hehe). I told her, “Thank you for waiting! Finally I am with you.” We went to her flat and she showed me to my room. Afterwards we ate “brunch” in a nearby restaurant because I was very hungry already by then. We went back home and then I took a rest from my very long trip (three changes of planes!).

I’m so happy to be with her. Knowing each other more everyday and swapping stories. Understanding our differences. Knowing the people and country more. Learning some of their language. What I also like about being with her is that we both like food trips. We both enjoy eating. We laugh all the time and I enjoy her company so much. We experience a lot of funny moments everyday as we explore the country and inter-act with the local people. She is very kind and accommodating. A down-to-earth woman despite everything she has already accomplished in life. Very sweet and caring, too.

I am so happy with this decision that I made. I don’t know what the future brings but I am happy with how things are right now in my life. She taught me about enjoying my present more and I guess this is one of the more profound lessons I have learned so far from her. We both hope that this friendship will eventually reach a deeper level but even if it doesn’t, I would forever be grateful that I have her as a friend.

Yes, I am a little sad also because I am away from the people I hold dear in my heart but I know I will get through this phase beautifully. I just say to myself that, “I can do this! God is with me.”

Six months ago, I never dreamt this far. But there is a certain gratitude that despite this sudden change in my life’s course, I am in a place where I am discovering new things about myself.

(This is a repost of my Friendster blog dated September 8th, 2007)