Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2009

Rochie vs the pancit

I had pancit for lunch today, and I felt weird as if I was on the brink of an allergic reaction (my throat was slowly getting itchy, and I wanted to gag). Since I couldn't see a trace of seafood, I continued eating, all the while observing if the itchiness would worsen. Then i saw it, the source of my allergic reaction:  a huge shrimp was sitting under the pile of noodles! 

Because I don't want to spend a night attached to an intravenous drip due to this bout with the shrimp, I hurriedly looked for an antihistamine. I think I ran out of Celestamine (R) tablets... and had to take Iterax (R) tablets instead. Annapet warned me that Iterax would make me dizzy and sleepy. True enough, barely an hour after talking with my parents, and up to now, I'm groggy and not fit to drive. 
Oh well, this beats sleeping in hospital anytime!

raindrops keep falling on my head...

My brain switched songs, it seems, as soon as I heard the rain beat down on the roof this morning. 
Raindrops keep falling on my head... 
The rain is indeed a welcome change to the heat of summer... but not on UPLB's graduation day! I have never heard of rain falling on a commencement exercise in UPLB; this is probably a first. Tents were being set up on the campus' Freedom Park yesterday in anticipation of the downpour. Aside from the heat, the graduates need to last the humidity under the tents. 
The weather this "summer" feels like the weather in July. PAGASA announced that the the tail-end of a cold front is affecting the weather in Luzon.

This joke made my day... Thursday

At lunch time, John, the lab's visiting scientist, cracked a joke while everyone else (sans Ana) was at the table having a meal:
What's the most effective means of transmitting information? One: Telephone Two: Telegram Three: Tell Ana <-- the lab's secretary
Napatawa lang po. :)

Rochie's Graduation Party (hosted by Dr Fitzgerald)

April 3, 2009.

My supervisor, Melissa, hosted the party in her house, and was attended by ALMOST everyone in the lab. The food was delicious! And Melissa's poem was an apt summary of the last three years of my PhD scholarship in IRRI (I don't have a copy of the poem yet... coming soon).
Thank you so much to the people of the Grain Quality, Nutrition, and Postharvest Centre for the camaraderie and the assistance that helped me finish the course. :D

Healing stone...

Up in Monte Maria, Batangas City, there is a huge stone near the chapel. Pilgrims came and rubbed smaller stones onto this huge stone. Curious, I thought... so I walked to the crowd gathering near the stone and interviewed one of the men fervently rubbing a small rock onto the stone. 

Naturally, the conversation was in Filipino; an English translation follows (in grey)

Rochie: Bakit niyo po kinikiskis ang maliit na bato sa malaki?  Why are you rubbing the small stone on the large one? Man: Makapangyarihan ang malaking bato na ito. Sa pagkikiskis ng maliit na bato sasanib ang kapangyarihan mula rito papunta sa maliit na bato. The large stone is powerful. Rubbing the small one onto it, I allow the powers of the large stone transfer to the small one.
Now that sounded like a script from an old Filipino movie! I had to stop myself from laughing, and started walking a few steps away, just in case the man realised that I wasn't convinced.
Rochie: Tapos po? And then? Man: Ilalapat ang bato sa masa…

Simbahan ng Santissima Trinidad

A pit stop on the way to Monte Maria. A church right beside SM Batangas City. The architecture is less intimidating than the baroques of Batangas province. Instead, it's charm is in the simplicity of the design, the stained glass works, and the light-coloured interiors.

Pilgrimage to Monte Maria 06apr09

Holy Monday 2009. A trip to a mountain named after the Virgin Mary. A spot in Batangas City selected by a healing priest to be the location of the largest statue of the Virgin in the world, rivaling the statues of Christ in Rio de Janeiro and of Liberty in New York.

The pilgrimage area was barren, since the sanctuary's development started only in January. Nevertheless, it's seems to be popular, as a lot of other pilgrims on their visita iglesia and for the stations of the cross arrived just as we arrived.

"Healing stones" are believed to dot the area, and some priests have been promoting this idea among their parishioners. Do these stones really heal? They don't look like special rocks... they're stones used in construction sites (a lot of structures are being built in the area, hence the stones).

25 random things about me

Note: I got this quiz from my cousin Joycelyn and a few others. The instructions are unexpectedly challenging. I'm putting my answers here because it's a fun quiz to take. :)
Rules: Write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. (It's really not as hard as it sounds).

1. I want to visit Ushuaia.
2. I have to eat four types of fruit to call the year complete: mango, lanzones, pomelo, and santol; miss one fruit's season, and my year is not as good.
3. I have always wanted to take pictures of a volcanic eruption; this, after seeing a coffee table book about Mount Pinatubo. Too bad the conference I had attended in Hawaii was on the wrong island!
4. I am not a coffee drinker. The only time I drank coffee was during sensory evaluations of coffee mixes (a duty in my previous job) and the last few days before the deadline of my thesis manuscript in 2008.
5. I enjoy being lost and meeting new people along the way. 
6. I love maps. I've got a book of road ma…

Palm Sunday in Victoria

Nope, not Victoria in Australia.
I was over in Victoria, Laguna on April 5, 2009 and took photos during the Palm Sunday festivities, just like a typical tourist... after being lost by following the arrows round and round the town. :)

Did the wet season come too early?

Barely two weeks ago, I finally embraced the fact that summer has arrived. The sunny days and the heat suggested that it's time to hit the resorts and the beach once again. However, rains have fallen everyday for the last two weeks, and they weren't the occasional drizzle that barely touched the pavement. These were really heavy downpours, typically welcomed in June and July. If it's not raining, clouds cover the sky as if we are under the lid of a steaming cauldron. 
I don't know if these rains are just isolated, since the region I live in is surrounded by mountains. For all I know, other parts of the country are in drought while we are enjoying the cool rains. I've even heard people remark that even the weather has gone berserk on us. 
Is this climate change in action?

Dona-Dona Korea BBQ

I haven't ventured into Korean cuisine beyond the ubiquitous kim-chi, and I have always been intrigued by the Korean barbecue restaurant I see along Makati Ave. cor. Eduque St. Dona-DonaKorea BBQ is located on the ground level of the Millennium Plaza Hotel. 

Shelling out a ridiculous Php400 for breakfast in a hotel a few years back (because I haven't paid that much for a cup of fried rice, scrambled eggs, bacon, and orange juice before), I was wary about eating in Dona-Dona. However, curiousity drove me to try it out. A waitress came over and started putting metal chopsticks and a spoon on my table as she took note of my food selections.
I pointedly did not order kim-chi because I've had that several times. That was a good thing because it turned out that kim-chi was one of the complementary dishes... and the bowl can be refilled too! Boiled potatoes, mustard greens, eggplant, and caramelised string beans complete the appetiser set. The serving size of kim-chi was so big f…

The Chip Tsao controversy

A controversial Chinese writer, Chip Tsao wrote the article "War at Home," (please click the title to read it) which was supposedly a satirical look at the Spratly Islands issue. He mentioned that the Chinese didn't mind that the Russians sank a Chinese boat because the former leaders of Russia were the ideological models of the Chinese government; the Chinese didn't mind the Japanese claim on one of their islands because they love Hello Kitty. However, they would not tolerate a claim on the Spratlys from the Philippines, a nation of servants. And that is because a substantial percentage of Hong Kong household help are Filipinos.
No wonder the Filipino blood is boiling once again. True, a lot of Filipinos working abroad do the "demeaning" jobs to feed their families. It is also correct that most of these overseas Filipino workers are in the home management profession. Otherwise, they are in the medical field, which also takes CARE of other people. However, t…

youtube down under

Google has announced a new way of viewing YouTube. Here:
To view this conveniently, Google has issued some easy-to-follow instructions:
how to view YouTube
Get it yet?

Where in the world is San Serriffe?

A tropical paradise. Home to the kwote bird. A melting pot of foreign cultures (Europeans, Creoles, Malaysians, Arabs, and Chinese) blending seamlessly with the inhabitants of the islands, the Flongs. 
San Serriffe is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, somewhere close to the Seychelles Islands. There are two main islands: Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. The nation was first featured in 1977 by The Guardian, a British newspaper, which is quite fitting because the island nation resembles a semi-colon. In that year, San Serriffe was celebrating its 10th year anniversary, and was inviting investors and visitors from the UK.
The main exports of the island nation are steel, phosphate, and oil, with tourism contributing also to the economy. And the plus side is that there is no risk of being kidnapped because terrorism is said to be eliminated in the islands. Pristine beaches and air-conditioned hotels dot the coastline while modern highways make travel across the islands a breeze.
Going there …