5th Annual Convention, Barrio Lieutenant Association of the Philippines, Eligio Wamil, 5th from left second row. the woman is Armi Kuusela
Barangay Election – Philippines
I thought I should post this Wamil Family memorabilia to honour the current barangay election that is gripping the Philippines.
As per above photo, my father was a former barrio captain or barrio lieutenant. The photo was taken with Armi Kuusela, who was of course the very first MISS UNIVERSE!
She had to give up the crown in the middle of her reign to marry a very rich Filipino, Virgilio Hilario, after a very whirlwind courtship. I think the one sitting on her right is Armi’s husband.
Anyway, looking at the above photo, my father was fifth from the left, second row, standing up. Well just look for the most handsome man, that is my father! LOL 🙂
My father was the barrio captain of a paradise-like village of Marag.
What is a barangay in terms of a barrio?
A barangay was formerly known as a barrio. And it is the smallest administrative unit or district in the Philippines.
These villages or barrios or barangays are headed by cabeza del barrio also known as kapitan del barrio, barrio captain, also called as barrio lieutenant, teniente del barrio or the more modern Punong Barangay/ Barangay chairperson.
Barangay came from the word balangay, which is coined from the boat used by Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) people to migrate to the Philippines.
I have to say that these Austonesian people look so much like the Igorots of Mountain Province.
Anyway, please remember to vote wisely. Elect those who are able, capable, and not prone to corruption.
Our fruit bowl is getting more adventures. Early this new year, we have custard apple, passion fruit, mangoes, kiwi, several types of citrus fruits such as lemon, lime orange, grapefruit and nectarine.
We also have persimmon, which is apparently also called Sharon fruit. Its scientific name is Diospyros Kaki. This fruit is often seedless and sweet. It can be eaten as a whole fruit; there is no need to peel it (but you can of course, if you wanted to.)
Sharon fruit can be eaten fresh, or cooked (in a pie) and even preserved.
Its orange colouring shouts richness in beta carotene and it is actually is a good source.
To be truthful, I have not really tasted chicken feet before but Peter had. He said it was taste but rather rubbery. I’ll take his word for it. 🙂
1-2 lbs chicken feet, cleaned thoroughly
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
½ teaspoon whole peppercorn
3 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon sugar
5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried chilli
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
1½ cups water
Method of Preparation:
Clean the chicken feet thoroughly and trim all claws. Butchers usually would have trimmed the scary claws already. 🙂
Heat a large saucepan or a wok and add the chicken feet with the soy sauce, vinegar and water.
Also add the bay leaves, peppercorn, sugar and half of the crushed garlic. Do not stir. Bring this to a boil and then lower down the heat and leave to simmer for three quarters of an hour. (45 minutes)
Remove the chicken feet from the remaining liquid. Drain and then set aside the stewed feet. Do not discard the liquid sauce from the wok. Pour in a container and set aside.
Clean the wok and heat.
Add the oil. Stir in the remaining garlic and fry until fragrant.
Add the dried chilli.
Stir in the fried chicken feet and fry until sizzling hot.
Pour in the liquid sauce and heat for a minute or two.
Transfer into a serving bowl and enjoy with a few beers.
I often see in Korean dramas that they eat their barbecued thin pork or beef slices wrapped in the same leaves as above. Of course they also use the standard lettuce leaf.
Anyway, Peter and I fancied a bit of change for the new year so we decided to create our on table-top barbecue dinner a la Korean. and also a delicious warming hotpot.
But first off, we went shopping for the ingredients. We went to Seoul Plaza in Golders Green, North London. I happened to see these leaves amidst the ready made Korean side dishes. It was about £1.99 for a packet of 20 leaves.
We did our barbecue and duly wrapped pieces of meat with kimchi, radish and sauces into a perilla leaf. It tasted really good. The leaf has an aromatic minty scent with a herby taste. I actually preferred it to the crisp iceberg lettuce. Peter also love the perilla leaves. I think we would use more of it in the future.
Perilla apparently is a member of the mint family. It grows from seed and very easy to cultivate. But where can you get the seeds?!!! If you are from the UK and know where to get them in London, please kindly let us know!!!
bbq pork wrapped in perilla leaf, photo by PH Morton
I used to be obsessed with this board game when I was a little girl.
For whatever reason my mother used to discourage us playing sungka. She was really adamant that we should not play it. I think I heard her say that it was a game of the dead or something. She made it sound like there was something sinister about it.
But I’ve always had a mind of my own, and the more I was told ‘NO’ the more I had to do it; it was like a red rag to a bull to me, a fascination of the forbidden. 🙂 I was a tad naughty! LOL
Probably that was the reason I loved playing sungka. I used to ask a neighbour, Lagring, who was a year or two younger than me to play sungka. We did not bother with the wooden board; at my instigation we would just dig little holes similar to those in the wooden board on the ground under our mango tree. We would then gather little stones and away we play for what seems like hours. 🙂
My mother always knew what I was up to as I would come home with dirty hands and even dirtier finger nails. And of course those little holes which suddenly appeared all over our backyard! 🙂
In the end, knowing that I would not really listen, she just gave up on her embargo against sungka. Funnily enough as soon as the ban was lifted I moved on to another obsession, Jack’s Stone! 🙂
By the way the photo above was taken at late president Ferdinand Marcos childhood residence in Batac, Ilocos Norte. It seemed President Marcos used to play sungka as well. 🙂
Our good friend and close neighbour Mick regularly supplies us with fresh vegetables grown on his allotment located across the road from us.
Mick has had his allotment for over fifty years, planting vegetables and even fruit trees.
One of my favourite vegetables he grows for harvesting each autumn time are beetroots. Mick grows a popular type called ‘Boltardty AGM’. Boltardy seeds can be sown at various times during the growing year and in most types of soil. It does not have excessive ‘bolting, a gardening term, which means premature sprouting of stalks flowering stem(s). Excessive bolting can divert resources & nutriment from the beetroot and reduce it’s quality.
All Photos By PH Morton
After harvesting, Mick then produces jars of delicious slightly sweet pickled beetroot for his family and us. We save a jar for Christmas time. Beetroot is perfect to accompany Christmas meals. This year, Mick invited me to harvest some of his beetroot. He then showed us how to make his ‘signature’ pickled beetroot. I took various photos from harvesting to our jars filled with delicious picked beetroot. Under Mick’s tutelage and help, Jean & I enjoyed producing our own jars of this delicious vegetable. Making pickled beetroot is quite simple & straightforward. 🙂
If using home grown beetroots from garden or allotment etc., a good time to harvest is from 50 to 70 days after planting. Avoid letting the beetroot get too big. A hand or tennis ball size is ideal. Do not let the stalks/stems bolt or grow above 6 inches (15cms). Dig around the beetroot and pick up avoiding breaking the stalk/greens from the beetroot.
Thoroughly clean & wash the dirt off and trim the stalks/stems short. Again do not pull out the stems, as water can get into the beetroot and damage it when boiling prior to pickling.
Harvested fresh beetroot can be stored in a refrigerator for about seven days.
Depending how many beetroots you are pickling, you will require:-
Pickling /preserve jars with airtight lids. The normal size is around 500ml, or as large as you want. Most hardware stores will supply.
Pickling vinegar, which comes in 1.4 litre size. Most larger supermarkets etc supply.
Brown or white sugar granules to sweeten the vinegar taste to your choice.
Place the beetroots in a suitable sized saucepan(s) and cover with water.
Boil for two hours.
Carefully strain off the water and either allow air cooling or running cold water over the beetroots then dry.
Completely remove remaining stalks/roots etc.
The boiled soft skin of the beetroot does not need to be peeled with a knife as can be easily removed by hand.
Cut or slice the beetroot to whatever size you prefer.
Pour in small amount sugar, then add a small measure of the pickling vinegar, enough to cover the first layer of the slices of beetroot into the bottom of the jar. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar (to taste) then add another layer, pour pickling vinegar, then another layer, sugar, pickling vinegar until it reaches the top of the jar.
Close the jar, gently shake it then turn it upside down and leave for about 30 minutes. This will allow the vinegar and sugar to seep through the beetroot. Top up with the pickling vinegar if needed to completely cover the sliced beetroot in the jar.
If you want you can label the jar with day & month of pickling.
Home made pickled beetroot can be kept for 6 weeks to 3 months, refrigerated. In practice, it can be longer.
But if you store them beyond 3 months and you’re worried, check for signs of spoilage (rising bubbles, cloudy liquid, unnatural colour) and don’t eat or taste.