Monday, June 30, 2014

Unique Nutrition Week Costumes for Kids

Tomorrow is the start of Nutrition Month Celebrations in Philippine Schools. And I'm sure, many parents are now searching for costumes for their children. A year ago, I posted a blog (Vegetables and Fruits - Homemade Costumes for Nutrition Week Celebration) about homemade nutrition week costumes (click on the link to see it again). Here now are additional tips that you can follow if your kids are asked to wear nutrition week costumes for this month's school programs. Warning: these are not the usual suggestions you'll get. Unique they are, actually.

1. Sir Isaac Newton - let your child wear an Isaac Newton costume. Search on the net for his pictures. There are lots of them. So how do you relate it to nutrition? Easy. Cut out a big illustration of an apple. Then attach it to a stick (or a spring) which in turn is attached to a headband. When your child wears the headband, the apple should look as if it is about to fall on his head.

2. You can also let your child wear a smurfs costume. Nutrition? Let him carry an umbrella designed like a mushroom.

3. Let your child wear a ninja costume. Nutrition? Attach cut outs of fruits on his shirt, pants and on his head. Fruit Ninja!

4. Draw and cutout a big ipad. Actually, you need to make two - front (screen) and back (as in back cover). Then let her hold an illustration of an apple -- of course with a single bite.

I hope these helps.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lumpiang Kalabasa -- Squash Rolls, My Nanay's Recipe

It's supposed to be my Nanay's birthday today but she passed away 22 years ago. But to show my love for her, I will be sharing with you a recipe I learned from her.

Lumpiang Kalabasa (Squash Rolls)

  • 1 medium squash
  • 1 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
  • 1/4 kilo ground pork
  • 3 tbsp. diced garlic
  • 3 tbsp. diced onions
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lumpia wrapper


1. Boil squash in water.
2. When the squash is tender, mash it in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Saute garlic and onion in a pan. Add the meat.
4. After a few minutes add in the mashed squash.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add peanuts. Set aside.
7. Cut lumpia wrapper in half (or 1/4 if you prefer smaller ones).
8. Place squash filling on the lumpia wrapper. Tuck in both ends and roll.
9. Deep fry lumpia until golden brown.
10. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

I don't remember the exact measurements she taught me before but this is how I do it now. I actually do 'tantyahan" (estimate) most of the time.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Coron, Palawan -- a Real Paradise

A month ago, my friends and I went to Coron, Palawan for a short vacation. We stayed there for 4 days and 3 nights. It was a wonderful experience. The place is a proof that our Mother Earth is really a beautiful place to live in. It further proves that the Philippines is generously blessed with natural resources that we should all take care of.

We arrived in Coron on a Saturday afternoon. We couldn't go island hopping anymore so we chose between going to Mt. Tapyas where you can have a view of a big part of Coron or to Maquinit,a famous hot spring believed to have many health benefits. We decided to go to the latter. To get there we had to take a tricycle. There were a lot of people when we arrived but the place was big so that was not a problem. Wow, when they said the waters were hot they really meant it. But it was soothing. It was very relaxing.
Maquinit Hot Springs, Coron, Palawan
 After the trip to Maquinit we went back to Sunrise Inn where we had dinner. The owner of the hotel cooked Lapu-lapu and Tulingan for us. The fish they served were really fresh.

The next day, our tour guide picked us up right at the hotel. It was right next to the port so they could dock the boat so we didn't have to travel downtown where most tourists are usually picked up.

Our first stop for that day was the Siete Pecados or the Seven Sins. There we did some snorkeling. The underwater was breathtaking. Unfortunately we committed the biggest sin a visitor to Coron could ever do -- we did not bring underwater camera. After that, we went to Kayangan Lake. To get to Kayangan Lake you would need to go up and down hill. Don't worry, they now have concrete stairs unlike before when you'd really need to step on rocks and crevices to do it. It was very tiring but the view on top and the lake below is really amazing. We again did snorkeling at the lake but this time the goal is not to see various kinds of fish but to see the rock formations below.
View on top of the hill going to Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake, Coron, Palawan

Approaching Siete Pecados
Our next stop was the Banul Beach where we had our lunch. They have really fine sand at Banul Beach. And it's creamy white too. Anyway, our tour guide and the boatmen were the ones who prepared our lunch (this is the usual thing in Coron). We were very lucky our men were generous. They prepared a feast for us. They grilled this really big fish I am not familiar with. They grilled a smaller one too and it was interesting because they said that fish has horns (which I didn't see though). We also had grilled squid. Yes, they're all grilled because they cooked on the boat while we were having fun at the lake. Wait, there's more haha. We also had crabs, fresh seaweeds and grilled liempo. Since we had a 3 year old boy with us, they also cooked hotdogs for him. Talk about being generous. For dessert we had leche flan which the tour guide himself made the night before.
Banul Beach, Coron Palawan

Say hi to those fishie-fishies

Tell me if this grilled fish isn't BIG

A relatively smaller fish


A different kind of squid

Fresh seaweeds

Grilled liempo

After lunch we went swimming for about an hour. Then we proceeded to our last destination for the day which is the Twin Lagoon. At first I didn't want to go to the inner lagoon. You see you would need to pass through a tunnel  to get there. I was afraid because the lake is so deep it looks black. But the guide was able to convince me because he said it was really nice inside. And besides, there's a life ring to hold on to anyway. I've been holding on to that ring in all the places we've been to so what's the difference here. I'm glad I joined because the mountains surrounding the lagoon looked fantastic.

We were so tired when we got back to the hotel but didn't stop us from going out that night. After changing and freshening up, we took a tricycle to go to the poblacion to have dinner. Power was out when we reached town so we decided to eat in the restaurant which has its own generator. We ate at Big Mamas Hotpot and Grill. We ordered bulalo and sisig which are their best sellers. It was a good thing it was the first restaurant with its own generator we saw. Their bulalo is really great. The meat is tender and the soup is flavorful. The sisig is also one of the best I've tasted.
On our way to Twin Lagoon

One of the few "lighted" places in Coron that night

Big Mama's hotpot

Fruit Station for that hot summer evening

Yumyum Bulalo

Big Mama's Sisig

The following day our guide picked us up again at the hotel. We went straight to the Coral Garden where we did snorkeling again. We saw beautiful coral formations and a wide variety of fishes. Of course the only name I remember is the clown fish. We were supposed to go to the Japanese Shipwreck after but the waves were so big we went straight to Pass Island said to be one of the best beaches in Coron. Pass Island is really a paradise. From afar you can see the island glowing because of the white sand surrounding the entire island. There we had our lunch of Grilled Chicken, Lapu-lapu, Ensaladang talong and salad. Again, our guide and his crew cooked for us. The grilled lapu-lapu was absolutely heavenly.

After lunch we decided to stay on the island to swim and relax instead of going to another place. The water was so clear you would see the fishes while standing. And what's amazing was I saw Nemo (the clown fish haha) and was just about 10 feet away from the shore.

That night we again went to  the poblacion for dinner. I totally forgot the name of the place but they serve meals at very affordable prices. [Edit: It's LoloNonoy's]. They serve various kinds of silog. The place can accommodate a considerable amount of customers. The native design is also very nice.

The 4 days and 3 nights we had were not enough to explore the entire island. I hope I would have another chance to go to Coron again to see the other beautiful places I didn't see.