Archive for Journal
Last Saturday I spent the entire day hiking one of New York's best hiking trails, the Breakneck Ridge mountain. After a 5-hour long trek, my group went to nearby Little Stony Point where there is a hidden beach with fantastic views of the Hudson River and its surrounding mountains. I have been coming back to this trail for the past 3 years and I plan to return for as long as time and my physical condition will allow me.
This year I didn't go home unscathed. My legs have a lot of bruises and scratches. Yet despite my aches, my spirit is refreshed and I came home renewed.
My Breakneck Ridge annual hike is now my favorite metaphor for life. While scaling boulders with daunting cliffs behind me, I was reminded how gripping fear worsens an already difficult situation. Watching my friends ramble through gorges showed me how a right attitude / approach defeat all other obstacles and limitations. And as I look at a heavier friend successfully climb; I again saw how confidence can be the best tool in carrying one's entire weight in one haul. Until next time!
To those interested, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to join my u[coming 2013 Fall Hike.
One of my favorite Ilocano specialties is the binubudan or tapuy. Binubudan is a wine porridge that is a favorite northern Philippine delicacy usually eaten as a snack or breakfast item. It has a soupy rice consistency and with a sweet juice that tastes a lot like sake. The key ingredient is the 'budbud' or live yeast balls available in the Philippine north. Once I tried using the yeast balls available I found in oriental stores in New York, the finished product did not quite come close to the kind we eat back home. (Maybe in the microbiological level there are also ethnic differences) In my part of the US, the perfect timing is during summer, June to August, when the hot weather is most ideal for fermenting binubudan.
Preparing binududan is fairly easy. The hardest part is waiting 3-9 days before the delicacy can be enjoyed.
INGREDIENTS1) Sweet sticky rice (for stronger wine taste) or red rice (for sweeter binubudan) 2) Budbod, usually imported from the Philippines 3) PATIENCE! - Fermentation can take 3-9 days. WHAT TO EXPECT 3 days: it starts smelling like alcohol. 5 days: my favorite when I can taste the alcohol, but the rice remains sweet. 9 days: results to a very intoxicating binubudan and bittersweet taste. 10 days or more: Expect some kind of hard liquor. Rice will disappear. PROCEDURE 1) Steam cook the rice. (Like you always do) Let it cool.
2) In a clean (must be very sterile) container, terracotta or steel, sprinkle the powdered budbod evenly on cooked rice. For one cup of rice, I usually use half of the budbod cake. I arrived at this preference by trial and error.
3) Cover the container with a clean cotton cloth. This allows the fermentation agents to breathe and do their work well.4) Keep and place in a cool dry place away from sunlight and movement. Do not disturb until its ready.
5) Once the binubudan is ready it will smell sweet and with soup that tastes a lot like alcohol. No need to add anything. I like serving it cold though so I put it in the fridge to cool before enjoying.
Like any alcoholic beverage and food, it can be intoxicating so eat moderately.
hi, handsome bird.
your eye is filled with meaning that I cannot yet understand. your feathers of blue make me want to look at the sky and the sea more than i should have been through these years.
i very much admire how you proudly stand guard by your nest that you built prodigiously and patiently. i wish i can do the same for my future home ...
i wish i can tell you how you make me smile every day i look at you ...
and i wish you know how you remind me of how beautiful that mind is of whoever created you.
The frightening thought that age is catching up with me worries me every time I fall into the habit of comparing my generation to the youngsters now. It was the same way my Mom or Lola would elevate their times by discrediting ours. They would say:
"Kami noon pandesal lang at mga prutas ang baon okay na. Kayo paresto-restoran pa! Para namang kumikita na kayo ng pera. "
" Noong bata kami palaging may chaperone sa sayawan, ngayon kayo ang gagaling tumakas."
"Sa paaralan namin noon walang calculator pero ang bibilis naming magcompute. Kayo may computer na pero ang bobobo nyo pa rin sa Math!"
I'm starting to sound like my Mom. I would tell my panganay:
"Kami noon walang facetime pero mas masaya kasi face-to-face interaction".
"Noon malandi ka kung may boyfriend o girlfriend ka sa high school, ngayon kayo naglalambutsingan pa daw sa classroom sabi ng Madam mo."
"Bastos na mga bata ngayon. Di na nagmamano at di marunong gumalang sa matatanda. Noon kabataan ko tatayo ako sa bus pag may matandang sasakay."
The whole point is to prove that the past -- the subjective past -- is much better than the present, an aging ego's favorite past time.
Tonight what triggered yet another sickening comparison was when I listened to 'Himala' by Rivermaya. Why Rivermaya, of all the 90s band? Not that I am a fan. They were just the first thing that crossed my mind because I keep seeing event posters of another contemporary band from the 90s -- Side A -- on my Facebook newsfeed. The band will have a reunion concert in New York soon. (I am not too fond of Side A Band so I contented myself with a Rivermaya song instead as a representative of that era.)
Twenty years back I was singing popular love songs that mentioned conservative and religious notions such as 'langit', 'himala' (from Himala by Rivermaya), 'Diyos' (from Gary Valenciano's Natutulog Pa ang Diyos) and even the phrase, "O, Dios ko!" (from Eraserhead's Pare Ko). Eraserheads and Rivermaya are popular alternative rock bands in the 90s that were supposed to be satanic (backmasking scandal) and supposedly rakistas that are substance addicts as were de riguer for most band members then. And yet their songwriting is still deeply influenced by religion. That's how spiritual we were then that even love songs were peppered with religious elements.
Last year my public schooled binata whom I see as the typical lad of their generation, cluelessly asked me this while pointing at the picture of Virgin Mary with a toddler baby: "Sino yang batang buhat-buhat ni Mama Mary?" Duh! Naloka ako!
This is a true story that I keep on repeating to my contemporaries. At the very end of each kwento, I would blurt out with matching dramatic hand gestures, "Ano na ang nangyayari sa mga bata ngayon?" That said with the air of arrogance based on the biased notion that our generation is better.
In conclusion, given those songs as examples and even before I cared to listen to what the kids in the Philippines are listening to right now, I just feel like my time were much better than theirs.
Parang noong sa nanay ko lang. Tumatanda na talaga. Matigas pa ang ulo.