The above photo was taken in Ferdinand Marcos’s Batac ancestral house. It was used when he was obviously younger as the mortar shows sign of erosion or depreciation.
Having lived in a farming community when I was a young girl, this life-size mortar and pestle is a familiar sight.
It was used in many things that needed pulping like my favourite sweet rice dessert called nilupak or dehusking palay, especially when going to a rice mill is a bit of a hustle.
The term used by Ilocanos, people of Northern Luzon, is agbayo, which means to pound.
Rice comes from palay grains, and if you only wanted a chupa or a ganta of rice, most Ilocanos would probably use a pestle and mortar to pound the palay to dehusk and turn into rice which then ready to cook.
Pounding rice is sometimes more than just a chore. It can be a way of bonding with friends and family.
I used to help my cousins when they were pounding in the mortar. Usually there are extra pestles around and two or three people can pound together but take turn. It is a matter of timing. It was a lot of fun though can be hard work. Having someone to help makes this arduous repetitive task less of a chore.
Cultural Center of the Philippines Ladies, Photo by JMorton
Toilet Queueing – Filipino Style
We were shopping at Tutuban Centre and Divisoria today, when we had to use the toilet. Toilet in the Philippines is more popularly known as CR, short for Comfort Room.
Though there were plenty of women waiting for a vacant cubicle, like everyday anywhere else in the world, I noticed the queuing system is different from the process practised by the queue-loving people of the United Kingdom 🙂 , who hate queue jumpers and disorderly lines.
In the Philippines, the queue is not a single line like in the UK, where you don’t get to choose which toilet to go to but what is available after those ahead of you are finished.
Today, I noticed that you form a line in front of the toilet of your choice.
Without knowing this at first, I almost blurted out that I was there first and not to queue-jump. Thankfully, I noticed what was happening immediately, otherwise I may have been lynched by bladder-bursting compatriots 🙂 🙂 🙂
Toilets at the Cultural Center of the Philippines was the most beautiful and cleanest I have been to in the Manila.
A Harvard study suggests coffee could halve risk of suicide
Every morning in the UK caffeine lovers across the nation consume a staggering 70 million cups of coffee.
But aside from providing the oft needed early morning boost, the type of coffee a person likes to drink can also reveal a lot about their personality, according to a new study.
Clinical psychologist Dr Ramani Durvasula analysed 1,000 coffee lovers and examined common personality styles and psychological traits, looking specifically at introversion and extroversion, patience, perfectionism, warmth, vigilance, sensitivity and social boldness.
In her results, Dr Durvasula found that those with a penchant for black coffee are typically purist, no-nonsense individuals with a tendency to prefer the simple life, although they could also be abrupt, impatient and even averse to change.
In contrast, latte drinkers tended to be intent on pleasing others, but could also show slightly more neurotic attributes.
‘Perfectionist’ cappuccino drinkers are perhaps the most high-demand personality, with Dr Durvasula’s research finding them to be obsessive and controlling, overly sensitive, and health-conscious.
Instant coffee drinkers seemed to display more laid-back characteristics in the findings of her study however. Personality traits associated with this group included a predisposition to procrastinate and put off things that need doing.
Finally, those who preferred their coffee fix cold and sweet were considered socially bold ‘trend-setters’ who could be reckless on occasion.
Did you know?
Cafe au lait (coffee with milk) was a favourite of Marie Antoinette.
Honore Balzac would drink copious amount of coffee (about 34 cups) while on a 9 hours writing duty. He preferred his coffee black, claiming that the addition of milk saddened the soul and weakened the nervous system.