Kondol or Wintermelon Candies

Kundol/kondol! When I was young I thought these were pure sugar crystals. I loved the feeling of biting into them and chewing on them. Then I found the same sensation in “hopia baboy” and realized that they were not pure sugar crystals. I then started thinking they were pork fat soaked in sugar and was a kind of chicharon.

Then those milk tea shops became famous and I stumbled on wintermelon tea (it might have been because of grass jelly) and I realized… This is Kondol!

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Just Because I Don’t Sweat Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Tired

I got annoyed at someone the other day. I got home and jumped on IRC like usual, and this old man (60+ years old) who I’ve known for sometime asked me how I was. So I said I was tired. And he said he had been awake while I slept. So I corrected him that I’ve been at work since 7 pm the night before (that was around 9 am already). His Reply was, well get back to work.

So again I said, in jest, that I’m freakin’ tired. And he said, you don’t even know what work is.

I seriously got pissed. Each and every working individual might have different kinds of work and surely even though one may enjoy what they are doing, work would still be work in the end and there may be some difficulties that one encounters.

It is unfair to call my job “not work ” just because I am sitting down most of the time. I can get exhausted mentally and staying up night’s is physically challenging too. I do like what I do, in a way. Although it’s true it could be better, or I might be able to something else, but I take pride in my work and my results.

Just because I don’t sweat doesn’t mean I am not “working.” Just because my muscles do not ache from exertion at the end of the day doesn’t mean I am not in pain.

I don’t have time for people like that. Such narrowmindedness is unacceptable even if he’s an old man and supposedly knows better. To hell with that.

LSS: Let It Go

Ever since I saw a video on YouTube of Disney’s Frozen’s Let It Go in multiple languages, I’ve been addicted to the song. I saw that one before I heard the actual song and I fell in love with it. So began the search for different versions of it. The next one I heard was the Korean version by Hyorin, and then the Japanese version by MayJ.

And then I watched the movie and heard the English version. lol.

 

My favorites are Takako Matsu’s version (Japanese movie version) and a lot of the Vocaloid versions (also in Japanese)

 

 

and for covers, it’s this bearded guy – Caleb Hyles.

This is the best cover by far that I have listened. I can imagine a prince doing the Elsa thing but in a very manly manner.

Waiting for The Sunset

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I went home late today because I had breakfast with colleagues. Seeing this view made me sit on the bench by the pool and watch the sky rapidly change colors for a bit. The cool wind was gently blowing.

It was nice and peaceful. If only I didn’t need to go home. If only that setting and weather would be staying that way forever. I might have gotten stuck on that bench.

Banking and Being an OFW

OFW means Overseas Filipino Worker.

Yes, that’s what I am. In the Philippines, they fondly call it as the New Heroes (Bagong Bayani). Why? Because a big chunk of the country’s economy comes from the remittances of us Filipinos working abroad. We send money to our family at home, they have spending money, there’s taxes to what they buy, country continues to earn, in a way. It’s a cycle.

Yet, why do they make it so difficult for OFW’s to make transactions in the Philippines? They encourage you to continue to open bank accounts yet they make ridiculous requirements like you need to collect your ATM Card in Person (if applying for a new account under your own name) or other stuff.

My credit card with BPI has expired this month and mid last month I have been trying to get them to deliver the cards to my home address in Manila. Last Friday, my mom told me that she was contacted by BPI that they had tried to delivered the cards three times and no one was answering the gate. They had also been trying to contact me and I was not answering. So they were going to make arranges to send it to my home branch. Continue reading

My First Real Red Packet

Red PacketI am not Chinese and although the Philippines has a lot of Chinese people and I did have some friends and relatives who are Chinese, I’ve never received a red packet from anyone except maybe as a promo item from something or somewhere that I can’t even remember.

This year, our landlord had advised that he will be dropping by sometime in the afternoon to pick up the tenancy contract that they didn’t have yet. I waited all morning for a text to advise the time but I only got a message around 1pm saying that they will be arriving in 30 minutes.

An hour later, they arrived and to my surprise, they came with a small box of mandarin oranges and Mrs Landlord also gave me four red money packets — one for each of us tenants. I thought it was really sweet and yes there was money inside the red packet. $_$ Money is always good.

I thought it was really nice of them to drop by although I think they had originally intended to collect rent yesterday. But I had already transferred the money via online banking the day before so I can’t give them any money.

I’m not used to having visitors. I don’t know how to be really hospitable. They came in, took the contract, gave me the angpaos and left. I wish I had slept in the morning and just woke up for a bit for their visit. They looked around the house and made no comment about anything. Maybe I looked sleepy.

 

The “Less Carb Diet”

You read that right — “Less Carb Diet” — not Low Carb, just Less Carb. Less consumption of carbs.

I’m from the Philippines. I grew up eating rice for breakfast, rice for lunch, rice for dinner. I’d bring packed lunchboxes with rice and viands. When I’m at home, rice is pretty much all-you-can-eat-as-long-as-there’s-rice. Not to mention I am an instant-noodle addict. I like trying out different kinds of instant noodles and all varieties and Malaysia has so much delicious instant noodle types to offer.

Before I arrived in Malaysia in December 2012, we had to do a health screening and my weight at that time was 92kg (~202lbs). I didn’t bring a lot of food from home when I first came here and I had even binged on the local instant noodles–different brands like IndoMi, Mi Sedaap, and so on.  We somehow continued to make Filipino food here like Chicken Adobo and Beef Sinigang. I did miss some Filipino food like tinapa and corned beef, but it was not enough for me to lose my appetite. I still ate a lot.

Around the start of March last year, I started a “less carb diet.” I did not remove carbs from my diet nor did I make an effort to make low-carb meals. I just tried not to eat rice often (about once every 1-2 weeks) and I stuck to 1 packet of instant noodles if I had any. To justify my instant noodles, I throw in shredded cabbages and carrots in so it has vegetables. I ate a lot of meat and vegetables–mostly pan-fried steak (beef), vegetables I cooked in the same pan or steamed vegetables (broccoli). I had some soups (like instant miso, yeah) and porridge (instant rice porridge, oatmeal). By the first week of April I had lost 2kg.  Continue reading

Malaysian Tikoy Adventure

2014-02-01 09.26.17  So Chinese new year came and passed. I had bought this New Year Cake from the groceries because I was suspecting it is the familiar tikoy that we have in the Philippines. I had originally intended to cook it how I’m used t0 — sliced, dipped in egg, fried in oil.

But when I asked my local Malaysian Chinese friend how to cook it, she said it’s best steamed. Since I’m in Malaysia, I figured I should cook it her way. So I steamed it.

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I’m not really sure how it’s supposed to be like. It doesn’t look very pretty or tasty and it didn’t taste like tikoy to me. I should have used my GoogleFu skills and looked it up but I was feeling adventurous.

 

I ended up binning it. I felt bad doing that since it’s food and I bought it but I also imagined I would feel bad if I continued forcing myself to eat it. Besides, I ate almost half of it before I gave up. I think I will have my share of luck for this year.

 

Happy year of the Horse!