Category: GEOGRAPHY & HISTORY

[caption id="attachment_51661" align="alignnone" width="600"] Boadicea, photo by PH Morton[/caption]

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
– Edmund Burke (1729 – 97)


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Vice Presidency of the Philippines – Latest

Robredo Vs Marcos, the Recount (ABS CBN photo composite)

Vice Presidency of the Philippines – Latest

The 2016 election for President and Vice President in the Philippines is a worthy saga on par with the adventures of the classic Beowulf.

In fact it is more exacting in parts as it has given not only the Philippines but the world Duterte, a charismatic man, though not to everyone’s cup of tea, someone who cannot be ignored.

This election had made famous Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines as its duly elect president and rather infamous with the rest of the world  🙂 because of his bloody war on drugs.

The lesser role of vice president, though Leni Robredo was duly sworn as the winner, is still being contested due to alleged ballots tampering and cheating.

Bongbong Marcos had continually opined that there was a massive anomaly during the election.  His complaint had been finally heard by the Supreme Court and had started a recount in the last couple of days.

This new recount, which is done manually, had apparently not started well as four of the psychologically tested number crunchers have resigned.

Perhaps they have to look into the psychological form of testing as well.  🙂

I told you, it is all exciting.

Will Leni be able to stay?

Watch this space.

 

Pangat Na Sapsap (Recipe 2)

Pangat na Sapsap, photo by Ruben Ortega

Sapsap is widely available in the Philippines.  It is as popular fish in the Philippines.
They are not much bigger than the palm of your hand but they are surprisingly fleshy.
Pangat is the most popular way to cook sapsap which is delicious served with freshly boiled rice or fried rice, Filipino style.

Pangat Na Sapsap (Recipe 2)

Ingredients:
2½ lbs fresh sapsap, gutted and cleaned
2 lemons, juiced or 10 large calamansi, juiced
Salt, according to taste but perhaps with a teaspoonful
3 tbsp cooking oil
Method of Preparation
1. Prepare the fish and then drain off excess water.
2. Arrange the fish on a cooking pot or casserole pan.
3. Sprinkle the salt and then pour in the juice all over the fish.
4. Cover the pan and cook for 7-10 minutes until the fish have tuned whitely opaque.
5,  Serve immediately with freshly boiled rice and some tomato and shallot salad.
Enjoy
PS For the tomato-based pangat recipe please click here.

Beef Goulash Recipe

Beef Goulash, photo by JMorton

I think the best way to eat beef is by slow cooking it in stew or casserole to make every sinew mouth-wateringly soft especially when using cheep cuts of meat.

Goulash is a Hungarian national dish. This dish is a history in itself.

During the 9th century, goulash or rather gulyas was a staple of Hungarian herdsmen, looking after the cattle.  They used to eat cuts of beef boiled with vegetables.  The word gulyas actually means herdsmen.

Then came the 15th century and the invasion of the Ottoman Turks.  The Turks introduced paprika to Hungary.

Hungary loved paprika.

They embraced paprika into their cuisine in such a big way.   Gulyas got the paprika treatment, which we know now as goulash.

To cook an authentic goulash, be generous with the paprika.

Recipe to follow and the postulant cook is experimenting!

 

 

 

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 *****

Cast

  • 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.

Nostalgia

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.

 

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Following Shrove Tuesday yesterday, today is Ash Wednesday, the official first day of Lent during the Christian year and the prelude to Easter.  Lent represents the 40 days that Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness, fasting and contemplating his mission on earth. Known as the ‘Day of Ashes’ because of the practice of having ash rubbed &  drawn on the forehead in the shape of a cross (representing Christ’s crucifixion), by a priest at the  dedicated Ash Wednesday church service. The priest and participants from the church congregation intone the phrase either the words:-

“Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or  the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”       

Anglican,Catholic and most Protestant and Christians hold Ash Wednesday services around the world. Following the service, participants observe some sort of fasting,abstinence and spiritual contemplation for 40 Days, ending on Maundy Thursday in 2018.

The practice of using  ash comes from the 11th Century and is taken from the Biblical Book of Daniel, where ashes are regarded as a sign of Penance & fasting. The ashes are normally made by the burning of palm crosses. These palm crosses were  handed out to  church congregations during the previous year’s Palm Sunday service (commemorating Christ’s entry into Jerusalem to crowds waving palm leaves in celebration) and given back to the priest shortly before Ash Wednesday. The priest will then burn the crosses and mix the ash normally with Holy Oil to sanctify and make a ‘paste’ with which to rub on the participant’s forehead.

Shrove Tuesday

shrove-tuesday1Today is shrove Tuesday, which has now become better known as Pancake Day.

What is Shrove Tuesday about?  Has it become just a day of cooking and tossing pancakes?

Shrove Tuesday is the last day of merriment and feasting before Lent begins in earnest.

But in truth and in its history, today is about penitence.  Shrove Tuesday got its name from the ritual of shriving, which early Christians used to do.

The act of shriving meant that Christians would confess their sins and their shortcomings and in so doing will receive absolutions.

Absolution means the person will be forgiven of his sins and released from his guilt and pain that he had caused.

This tradition is very old.

Shrove Tuesday

It was a custom and tradition of the early Christians to confess their sins a week before the start of Lent to their priest/confessor, who shall so shrive them.

Today is not only about pancake but a time to think about the wrong deeds that we have done or have continued  doing.  We must be penitent of them.

On the happier side, Shrove Tuesday is also about partying and feasting.  Time to cook and serve all the foods that may have to be given up for the sober Lent to come. Barbecue the meat and fish and make pastas so no food are wasted for the coming Lent.  Today is like a Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday.

Pancake became the ideal food for Tuesday because it uses up all the fats, milk and eggs with the addition of flour.

Source:  BBC.co.uk

 

 

 

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.

Ingredients

 

  • 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. 😉

 

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