Category: Geography

Splash Splash Love (KDrama Review)

Splash Splash Love poster

Pongdang Pongdang Love, also known as Splash Splash Love is a web drama which was originally shown as a 10-segment series. The cluster was then put together and shown as an hour of 2 episodes on telly.

Splash Splash Love (KDrama Review)

Love this drama so much

Genre:  Romance *****


  • Kim Seul-gi as Jang Dan-bi / Jang Yeong-sil
  • Yoon Doo-joon as  the King, Yi Do
  • Jin Ki-joo as Dan-bi’s friend So-heon / Queen Soheon of the Cheongsong Shim clan
  • Ahn Hyo-seop as Park Yeon / Che Ah-jin

I cannot recommend this short drama highly enough if you are into cute, sweetest love stories.

This drama gave birth to a longer drama series called Love in the Moonlight (aka MoonLight Drawn by Clouds) which catapulted Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung into mega-stardom.

Honetly though Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung were absolutley adorable as king and Hong Ra On, Kim Seul-gi and Yoon Doo-joon could have perfectly starred in this longer drama.  Their chemistry is sizzling.

The story surrounds a high school senior, Jang Dan-bi, who was so stressed at the thought of sitting her 2016 CSAT that she run out of school into the park in the middle of the rain.  She saw a puddle and decided to jump on to it.

The next time she was conscious, she was in a middle of an offering pot in the front yard of the palace during the Joseon era, which had been suffering from draught for the last three years.

She was about to be executed but she blurted out that she is a math genius.  The king at that time had been trouble by inability to understand and solve the Pythagorean Theorem.  Somehow Dan-Bi knew how, as every modern high student does. 🙂 (I hope)

She told the king that she was a high school senior from the future.  Apparently the term for high school senior has the same sound as that of a eunuch.  Therefore, it was misunderstood that she was a eunuch.

She started teaching the king using her high school knowledge.  She helped created annals for surgery, anatomy, botany and maths. 🙂

Before long, the king started feeling rather fond of her, though he thought she was a castrated young man. 🙂  Love has no bounds.

In the end, she got found out to be a girl.

The king was happy, and his happiness in paramount that the Dowager Queen has made her a Royal Consort.

Though Dan-bi adored the king, she was not prepared to sleep with him in that instant as a concubine.

She was introduced to the Dowager Queen who was the replica of her mother.  She was left sobbing because she missed her mother so much.

She told the king that she wishes to leave soon.  But the king begged her to stay.  He also made it as an official order.  He can’t live without her.

The king took her to his secret writing room, where he has completed his Hangul alphabet.  She was delighted.  She was left in the room admiring it when suddenly she was struck in the head and stab in the back, while the room was set on fire.

Fortunately she was not too harmed as she was carrying her backpack with her thick match book on it.  It took the full force of the sword.

The king realised that as long as she was with him, her life will be in danger.  Finally, he sadly agree that she must return to her time.

They had a lovely time in the seaside, being playful in the rain.  And then she slipped away into the water.

The king said that he will find her no matter how long it takes.  ahhhhh

Present day.

She was just in time to sit in her CSAT.

When she got home from school, she was happy to see her mother.

After her part time job, it was another rainy day.  She noticed a puddle and was rather tempted to jump in but all of a sudden a man was holding a yellow umbrella over her head, sheltering her from the rain.  He looked exactly like the king.  He said they had met a long time ago.

A flashback of him helping her pick up her book that had fallen while inside the bus.  She run out before she remember to take her yellow umbrella.

It is just the sweetest drama.  There are so many cute scenes and funny ones.

There was that time when she was forced to ride a horse and thought it must be easy peasy a la gangham style.

I wish the leads make another longer drama.  They are so cute together.


2018 – Year of The Dog

2018 – Year of The Dog

You belong in the Years of the Dog if you were born in the year: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 and next one will be in 2030.


2018 is a Fire Dog Year.

Lucky numbers are: 3,4 & 9

Lucky flowers:  Rose (you can’t never go wrong with this delicately scented blossom), oncidium, cymbidium, orchids.

Lucky colours are green, red and purple.


Pork Dumplings Recipe

Dumpling, photo by PH Morton

Pork Dumplings Recipe

This is so delicious.  So scrumptious even with the simplest dip.  In fact the simpler the dip, the better as the herbs used in the dumplings enhance the flavour.

The recipe is to follow shortly

Pinakbet with Bagoong Alamang

Pinakbet. photo by Ruben Ortega

Pinakbet with Bagoong Alamang

This version of pinakbet uses bagoong alamang which is a  shrimp paste instead of fermented salted fish bagoong.

This pinakbet is a little milder in taste but it has its own merit all the same.



  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine), sliced
  • 1 large ampalaya (bitter gourd), seeds and pith removed, then sliced
  • 6 pieces okra (ladies’ finger), sliced diagonally in half
  • 4 sigarilyas (winged beans), sliced diagonally
  • 50g string beans, cut into 2 inches lengths.
  • 1/2 medium squash, peeled and sliced (refer to the photo above)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs pork belly, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 4 tablespoons of bagoong alamang (this can be bought at most Oriental food shop)
  • 2 1/2 cups water

 Method of Preparation:


  1. Using a lidded casserole pan, boil the pork with half of the water.
  2. Cook until the water has evaporated and the pork is tender.
  3. Stir fry the pork in its own oil until it has turned golden brown.
  4. Add the ampalaya, squash, okras, tomatoes and onion.
  5. Spoon in the bagoong alamang and stir it in thoroughly with the pork and vegetable.  Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the remaining water, cover the casserole and leave to simmer for 7 minutes.
  7. Add the sigarilyas and string beans.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sigarilyas and string beans tender but it is crispy.  Do not cover the casserole to maintain the beautiufl vivid colouring of the sigarilyas and string beans.

Enjoy with a freshly boiled rice.

Absolutely delicious.

Again, this can be a vegetarian delight by not adding the pork. 😉


Patupat – Ilocano Glutinous Rice Dessert

Patupat, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Patupat – Ilocano Glutinous Rice Dessert

Patupat is a specialty of the Ilocanos.  It is a sweet glutinous rice cake.

Depending on which part of the Ilocos region, patupat can be wrapped in banana leaves or with intricately woven palm or banana leaves.

The photo below shows the specialty of Pangasinan, patupat encased in woven basket of palm leaves.


Pork Leg Asado With Pineapple

Pork Leg Asado, Photo by Ruben Ortega

Pork Leg Asado With Pineapple

This recipe is as good tasting as the photo shows.  The secret to this is marinating the meat in order for the sauce to get into all the crevices of the meat sinews.



  • 2 lbs pork leg, chopped to the bone into manageable pieces
  • 1½ cup water
  • 1/2 tsp whole blackpeppers
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 inch cube butter
  •  1 large white onion, peeled chopped finely
  • 1 lemon or 1½ tbsp of fresh calamansi juice
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 small can of pineapple

 Method of Preparation:


  1. Using a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, blackpeppers and lemon juice (or calamansi juice)
  2. Stir in the sliced pork leg and leave to marinate for an hour (or overnight in the fridge).
  3. Drain the meat but keep the marinade.
  4. Heat a large lidded frying pan or a casserole pan.
  5. Add the oil and then the butter.
  6. Fry the meat and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  7. Pour in the marinade and also the water.
  8. Drop in the bay leaves.
  9. Cover the pan and leave the meat to simmer until the meat is tender.
  10. Add the can of pineapple, including the juice, and cook for another 7 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately with a freshly boiled rice or green salad.




A Tale of Samurai Cooking A True Love Story 2013 (Review & Recap)

A Samurai Wedding

A Tale of Samurai Cooking A True Love Story 2013 (Review & Recap)

I have just watched this 2 hours Japanese film this cold Sunday afternoon/early evening here in London.  I must admit it is a perfect movie for a lazy end of the week.

There are lots of food, some samurai fighting, intrigues in the Edo period and of course a BIT of romance.  I have to point out that it was really tiny, small, minute romance.  Even the ending when they had sorted out their misunderstanding the hug was so sedate.  It was not even a full hug.  It was just a one shoulder hug between Haru and Yasonobu.

The story is that Haru ended up reluctantly marrying Yasonobu who is 4 years younger that her on the behest (pleading of Yasonabu’s father, the master cook from the Funaki Family who serves in the Kaga Domain)

Haru, played by Aya Ueto, is an excellent cook, who was orphaned  at a very early age of 12.  She was then taken in to cook for the concubine of the House of Signoria (whatever?) 🙂  She became a great favourite of the concubine and treated her more like a daughter.

During a gastronomy festival, Funaki Sensei presented the upper class with a mystery dish.  He then asked each of the diners to guess what the dish was,  Only the concubine was able to guess it correctly and she then confessed that Haru told her.

Funaki Sensei was impressed that he beg Haru to marry his son.  Haru said that she was already married though in a process of divorce.  Her husband’s family had to send her back because she was noisy and too assertive.

Funaki Sensei beg and beg and assured Haru that he will sort out the divorce. She had to marry Yasonobu to save the Funaki family.

Yasonobu, played by Kengo Kora, is a second son.  Being not the heir initially, he was more or less free to do what he wanted and he wanted to become a samurai warrior and marry the only daughter, Sayo, of the dojo.

He fell in love at first sight with Saya and hoped of marrying her and be the master of the Samurai dojo.

Unfortunately his elder brother, the heir to the Funaki culinary dynasty died in the plague.  He, therefore, had to forget Saya and continue his father’s legacy.

Saya ended up marrying Yasonobu’s best friend.

Though Yasonobu is now the heir, he was a terrible cook and rather a spoiled brat.

He was also cold to Haru.

Haru was patient and was caring and supportive to her husband.  She taught him the basics of cooking and for all it’s worth Yasonobu was quite an able apprentice.  So much so that he got promoted from the samurai school of cookery, eh???? 🙂

It was quite fraught during that time, uprisings were everywhere.

Yosonobu would have died if Haru did not take it upon herself to sabotage his mission to join a small band of men intent on assassinating the Lord of Kaga.

Yosonobu was so frustrated when he found that his bestfriend died during the failed assassination.  He blamed Haru for preventing him from joining the dead.  He was on the act of beheading Haru when his mother came up and slapped him; telling him that he was a thoughtless idiot.  He was self-centred not thinking that he was her only remaining child.

When everything has quietened a little bit, Haru packed her clothes and went. She left a letter saying that she is releasing Yosonobu from their marriage and now free to marry the woman, who he truly loves.

Haru has opened a little beach cafe (without the coffee – being the Edo period hahaha) and was contented until her next customer happened to be Yosonobu, who said that he had been looking for her and that his father advised him not to come back without her and that his mother wanted a grand-child but only if Haru was the mother.  And that he had no feelings whatsoever for Saya and likes being married to Haru.  Ahhhhhh

Haru run to his right shoulder for half a body hug.  Ahhhhh

And they happily trod on together back to the family house.

It was a cute drama.  The costumes are so lovely.  Aya Ueto was stunning with her geisha like make-up.  Kengo would have been drop-dead gorgeous if did not have that Samurai part shaved head. 🙂

Ogon no Buta – Japanese Drama

The Golden Piggy poster, NTV Japan : L2R: Kenta Kiritani, Masaki Okada, Ryoko Shinohara, Yu Oisumi & Katsuhisa Namase

Ogon no Buta – Japanese Drama

I watched the 10-episode series last night!

It was most interesting.  In fact I would go as far as recommend this to every tax-paying person to watch.

The story has something to do with how taxes are paid and how it should be used but sometimes is mis-used.

How it is being mis-used by various government agencies is what this drama is all about.

Several departments were look at and it would make you think how your own government is really spending your hard earned money you pay in taxes.

In the hospital for instance, why is an administrator is higher than the medical doctor?  It made me recall a rather scandalous instance in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK where there are more administrators than doctors and nurses.

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