Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Break

Yes it's Halloween Break and it's hot.

This is supposed to be a cool season, but right now it's damn humid.

I'm sure businessmen, except for those in the tourism industry, are battling their eyebrows because of this long no-work week. You see, we've got elections on Monday and All Saints' and Souls' day on Thursday and Friday. So practically we only have 2 days to pretend to be on a work mode.

Anyways to maximize my long weekend I started it off with brunch with my dear friend Tim. As usual meeting with this guy is like a trip to a mind stimulating station. Lots of discoveries and realizations were discussed that may never into this blog. So we decided to meet MCS, wherein anyone could fish for old, rare, new and amazingly wide titles of pirated DVD's. Paranoia struck me at first, but it's okay I was with a soon-to-be-lawyer at my defense anyway (Snicker). That place is like a paradise to some of us who like to watch as many movies as we can without hurting our budget. IN a long break such as this, it's a perfect reason for anyone to go on a movie marathon, but we'd seriously recommend that you prepare a comprehensive list already so as not to get distracted or too overwhelmed with the selection, or else your marathon would be spent choosing or looking and buying something that you'd regret at the end.

After the dust crept into my skin and the impending threat of my Urticaria, we decided to leave and have lunch. We've always relied on Green Belt. Rockwell is off limits, because of Tim's place saturation.

Everything went systematic. We chose the Italian cuisine just because Tim says it makes him feel....clean. Whatever. I'm going to leave the explanation to him. So we went to Carpaccio's on Greenbelt 3.

As we went inside, we realized we were on equal footing cause we haven't eaten there yet. Well the ambiance was nice, even cozy in an early afternoon.The lighting was soft and dim, but not dull. The shades of brown start to envelope you; and I was specifically smitten on the restaurant's chairs. It's clean, simple and modern-minimalist. The chair's color reminds me of a smooth puffy milk chocolate.

As we ordered a recommended seafood pasta and their Carpaccio's pizza, we started talking about his recent trip to Singapore. As usual, we focused on the food topic first and compared it to the Philippine cuisine. Singaporean food, aside from the spice, is more leaning on fusion. Filipino food for him is stronger in taste. There's more distinct taste of it that provides the unique kick. He was kind of amazed of the varieties and strength of the Philippine Panlasa, that we think was greatly influenced by locals, and not influenced by any other nation. Flavors like Sinigang, Adobo, Kare-Kare are so rare, strong and very unpretentious. Just like what I learned in AIM Filipinos are in general great cooks, and they rely on enticing you through smell. Whereas for Japan, they entice you through the visuals and the art. *Panglasang Pinoy (langhap sarap)

As we being to talk we begin to smell this very pinching seafood orchestra. The scent has a life of its own it's like literally trying to pinch you. There's a distinct smell of garlic, spices, tomato sauce and combination of seafoods combined. It was heaven and enough to get us distracted.

The dishes were served in an instant, and we immediately relished it. I tasted the Seafood Pasta (their bestseller) and it was heaven. The amazing part is, the actual taste reminds you of the great scent we smelled earlier. The smell is transformed into a tasting experience. The pizza meanwhile has a sweetness to it, probably because of the peppers, but it was all together fun.

The place is kind of pricey though, but the servings are already adequate. The regular sized pasta (good for 1-2) is at 310 and the pizza is at around 400+. Then the inevitable happens. You have to add the service charge and the tax. But it was definitely worth what you paid for.

After the hearty, cleansing Italian Meal, we headed to get gelatto. After a painstaking moment, I chose the white milk and chocolate chip as Tim chose the chocolate cookie one. For one scoop on a cone, it's a hundred bucks..but hey the excuse's gelatto. It's supposed to be light and exquisite given the process of making it, which is much healthier than your normal ice cream. After that we had the normal discussion on the Goats vs. Cows milk thing, which for the benefit of you, yes you reader, I dare not disclose.

It was around 3:30 when I left, and I got a call from Mitch on the road. Since I was to spend the rest of the afternoon alone because he was still at Fort working, I decided to step on my gas and do the inevitable... CUT MY HAIR.

Gosh, it's been a year and 4 months since I visited the parlor. Abnormal, I tell you. I'm not sentimental about anything. I do not get attached to my hair, but I just dread the process of cutting and blow drying. It really makes me cringe. It's like going to the dentist, but instead of the freaking drill, it's the blow dryer. Abnormal, I tell you again.

But I knew I had to do it after lots of urging from friends and family. My hair already looked loopy and reminiscent of dead. I just decided to make it shorter, like the Cleopatra type. The important thing is, the length would still allow me to tie it up.

So after the excruciating parlor experience, I felt the heat of the dryer enveloping my face and the little bits of hair stuck on my neck, I decided to rush home and prepare for Tracy's birthday party, which falls on a liquor ban night. As if I care, really.

I went there with Mitch and Anton and spent time with Sun Valley people; and most especially with my dearest batchmates (Specifically 3R) from St. Scho! I just realized I really miss them! We've grown so much, but we still enjoy the same humor, the same wavelength, the same company. The feeling was exhilirating and seeing them made me miss them more! To the soon to be brilliant wife Jaime B., to the fun loving and crazy Kat Colobski and to the hilarious Miss Queen Perez, cheers to you guys for marking my Halloween Break with double fun.

So, after enjoying a relatively "liquor ban night," at 2:30 am I arrived home nestled with fond memories of a productive day. I got my ipod and watched Stewie to sleep as I slowly drifted on a very happy and solemn dream.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Recent Study on Alzheimer's Disease

I was on my way to work on this Wednesday when the sun is hardly peeking, when I heard on the AM radio radio about this recent discovery on Alzheimer's. After the weekend focus on the Glorietta 2 bombings, we all seem to have forgotten modern pending diseases like this. Instead of being embraced by the coldness and comfort of sleep, I decided to listen to what they would have to say on its recent developments.

Alzheimer's Disease, according to Wikipedia is a neurodegenerative disease, that is commonly found in people over age 65. Approximately 24 million people worldwide (majority is over 60 years of age) have it, and it's been this modern old age sickness we have come to identify in these times.

AD is a progressive cognitive malfunction or deterioration resulting to psychological/behavioral changes and thinking/critical process. It often leads people to live in their own worlds, unable to understand anything but what their mind allows them to and it often results to permanent memory loss. The person you might once knew as a chemist might proclaim she is a Celebrity superstar, something to that effect. You might call this 'dementia.'

Somehow majority of us have come across this in books and in any types of media, and it's really closely identified with old age. As soon as a new and common disease springs up, we are more concerned on the developments of "who gets it, why he got it, and the cure." AD, as identified is more persistent and common on 60 above. It is identified as an old man's sickness, therefore we can single out that one. The reason why this disease occurs can be broken down to many hypothesis. It could be genetics. It could be the reduced biosynthesis of a certain neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It could be lack of certain protein (which I chose not to discuss in this blog because it's far more technical, and I don't want to attempt to pollute your mind with my very unreliable chemical interpretation).

But unfortunately cure is still unavailable and we've reduced to the just preventing the disease. Not that we can prevent aging, but the usual prevention in DIET, Intake of vitamins B (Folic Acid), Moega 3 fatty acids, Cholesterol lowering drugs etc should be adhered to and being aware of the risk factors like Smoking, poor cardiovascular health and massive head injury should be avoided or eliminated.

Taking you back on the main topic of this blog, it's about a recent scientific findings about AD. Assuming we already know about AD, as mentioned above, there's been a new and very interesting study that Alzheimer's Disease Progresses in Highly Educated People more rapidly. Okay, stop right there.

From this statement we could amazingly come up to our own hypothesis that since AD is a common form of old-age disease, memory loss or dementia, then those brains of people who have had too many neuro-activity and exercise in their lifetime cannot anymore take the pressure and would result to their AUTO-PILOT. Can it be appropriate to use the analogy of Brain to a Tire that Brains like tires wear out? All along, I thought that we should exercise our brain more, educate ourselves more and widen our horizons. Just imagine how I pressured my brain in those countless Math and Geometry exams? I could speed up my mental deterioration if this is the case....Okay, I have to stop right there, as I am being carried away.

So what I did was to research as soon as that information got to me. And it is apparently grounded with study. According to medicalnewstoday "too much educational pursuits can speed up progression of AD once it's developed" this is according to the research of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

According to the findings, they used 312 New Yorkers aged 65 and older, diagnosed with AD and they monitored them in 5 years. The patients had intensive neurological assessments in specified tests in specific brain functions. According to the observation, "overall mental agility declined every year, with every additional year of education equated to an additional 0.3% deterioration. This decline speeds up memory loss as well.

The possible explanation for this, which some non-scientific people, can readily hypothesize, maybe on the lack of memory space, just like your computer. If you're already thinking about this, as I had on my way to work, the study also supports this with their calculated hypothesis.

Also, according to the same study, "the possible explanation of this might be due to the cognitive reserve theory." It explains that people who are more likely to think and exercise their minds in various educational pursuits, develop information hubs and or so called nerve connections. If AD is diagnosed in that patient, most likely the disease would attack more hubs and nerve connections, compared to a less educated person (not totally isolating and discriminating people, it's a factual term for people with 4 years max education). The more connections or hubs it attack, the more accumulated damage it might incur. The theory, I admit is quite logical.

This study is very interesting because it's quite contradicting the attainable goal of intellectual pursuit. Everyone wants to be educated almost about anything. And it doesn't help that we are in a so-called "INFORMATION AGE." The more knowledge you acquire, the better you are competing and living in this world. We love knowledge. We love to educate ourselves in whatever fields lay our interests in. Just walking can supply you with countless ideas and information given the countless access to it. Plus, we need educated people, highly educated people to think of curing up diseases and to do some wide scale study and observations for mankind. It is quite amazing to think that TOO MUCH EDUCATION or thinking can be included in some of the risk factors of AD.

We could just readily dismiss this theory, if the claim is not supported by any study, and if the claim is not logical. But the theory is logical. We really don't need a highly medical brain to understand the theory. The study also speaks a calculated and scientific observation, which really deserves an audience.

Personally, I've always had the knack of wallowing in information, research or any educational pursuits. Even if it's not set in a traditional method, I still find myself feeding information and constant education, especially at work, and frankly I do not intend to stop anytime sooner.

I think, the main concern of the study is to disseminate knowledge that it happens and there are numbers or statistics that explain the ongoing susceptibility on more educated people to AD. It is an interesting information to explain the numbers, but the bottomline still stands that it could be prevented. And to those highly medical educated people, I bid you good luck in finding the cure before AD creeps in! :D

Monday, October 22, 2007

China seeps through

If you've read my previous blog with regards to Luxury, TIME Magazine released the most recent issue of their STYLE magazine and notes China as one of the rising luxury good markets, followed by India and Russia. TIME in fact had an article once about the Chinese wave of 'yuppies' (young professionals) having the time of their lives, in terms of career and financial growth. Hence, it's really not a surprise that luxury good companies choose to ride the China-Economic Boom.

But yes, we all know China's power in terms of number of population, exports and skilled people. They would only have to work on their English, which they are doing right now, and they're all set to take off. Somehow these are indications that signal them to take the reign in a global perspective. They've got the necessary ingredients to make it all happen; and the once 'powerful' countries in the West have started to shift their attention and friendliness to their Eastern links.

But China's power is slowly being felt, if before it was a mere wait-and-see thing, now every effect of this giant whether good or bad is globally felt. The power of this country is so great that everyone's watching, advising and praying we might not fall down on our knees.

Here is one of the articles I've managed to come across. And no, it's not about the bad TOY manufacturing news and recalls. (I tend to keep it happy or neutral in the mornings :D)

China takes over world's most valuable company list

China is now the home of eight of the world's 20 most valuable companies based on market cap. The U.S. is down to seven. The list is made up of all companies with market values in excess of $200 billion.

As The New York Times points out, "The list of the world's most valuable companies in 1989 was dominated by the Japanese banks, whose profits were enhanced by their stakes in many other Japanese companies whose shares were also soaring. After Japan's bubble burst, those banks were brought down by bad loans, leading to mergers and bailouts."

Is the Chinese market going to go the way of Japan's? The answer is probably yes.

The value of some of the current Chinese companies is simply too rich, even if the country's economy is growing at 10% a year. If there is a global recession, the demand for Chinese exports is likely to move down, which could throw the country's entire economy into chaos.

PetroChina Co. (NYSE: PTR), now has a market cap of $429 billion to Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (NYSE: XOM) of $525 billion. Last year, Exxon's revenue was $377 billion. PTR's was $88 billion. Insane? Yes.

Is China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) worth 40% more than AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)? Its $370 billion market cap says so. China Mobile does have more wireless subscribers than AT&T, but it does not have the huge landline and broadband franchises that the U.S. company does.

Japan dominated the list of market cap companies in 1989. Tech dominated the list in 1999. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL), and Lucent were high on the list. The 2000 collapse of the Nasdaq took care of that.

China is next. The valuations are too out of whack.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Reason behind CHILD rape cases: Believe it!

I received an email this morning from my good friend Margie who works in Dubai. Ironically I was texting my friend Bags earlier that I'm suffering from a 'happy-day' syndrome. Apparently everything, I stress only for today, brightens me up. I had a good..wonderful sleep. (Snicker!) I had a good talk with my dad on the way to work and I had basically a hassle free morning. Also I thought absolutely no one or absolutely nothing could rain on my parade, but I spoke too soon.

The topic of this blog is an email I received from Margie, a sort of chain mail for a cause that asks for number of signatures. Usually it's something about a child or a political movement, but I wasn't prepared for this one. Somehow my momentous happy morning shifted gear and turned into a red fiery and rather bitchy one.

The chain email is requesting for a target number of signatures as a form of strong pledge to keep the Child Protection Unit open and show our support in their existence. The next specification is, the reason behind the existence of this Child Protection Unit. The unit aims to protect children from the ongoing violence in Southern Africa, and the type of violence they are prone to are so hideous, so inhumane and so unjust.

Children. Babies. Specifically females are constantly being raped in Southern Africa as young as 9 months old! Living in this tainted world, we are aware of cases of children being raped. But these are often isolated cases, things done by psychologically incapacitated people. But in Southern Africa, now it was made known to me that it's regularly or massively done! It's like how their societal system works. They don't go against it because it is often the norm. 3 yrs old kid being ganged rape. 4 year old girl being raped by father. 14 month old girl being raped by 2 uncles. It's insane!!!

Why? It seems in that place, rape's been turning into a predominant and common activity and the whole thing isn't helped by the fact that in unfortunate places in Africa, or Africa in general, suffer from high percentages of people infected with HIV/AIDS. Why would these men continually rape innocent children...I rephrase...innocent babies for that matter?! One explanation given in the email was that men, who are infected with the virus, believe that having sex with a virgin would cure them. That's stupid.

After reading the mail, I relied on my researching skills to do some work. I wanted to verify. I wanted to know the exact report if there ever is one...and unfortunately....there is.

According to by Eileen Meier, a 20 yrs. nurse professional, lobbyist, US senate staffer, director of a health policy consulting firm and advocacy groups, and a health attorney, this started to be recorded last 2002. Yes, we are aware of the child rape occurring in South Africa but it's different reading the exact facts.

According to the report, Sexual Violence against children, including the raping of infants has increased 400% over the past decade. A female born in South Africa has a great chance of being raped in her lifetime than learning how to read. When South Africa became a democracy in 1994, there were already 18,801 cases of rape per year, but by 2001 ther ewere 24,892.(

he numbers are really alarming. I don't even want to begin to think the real numbers of unfiled rape cases. But the most prolific area of study of this report focused on the HIgh Profile Baby Rapes. There was a record given that in 2001, a 9 month old baby was raped by 6 men aged between 24 to 66, after the infant had been left unattended by her teenage mother.

Violence in these areas are apparently everywhere. Being a gang member translates safety and protetion, but they do not cause any help to alleviate their poor health and education conditions. Schools instead become places of terror and students (girls) are often than not raped inside their classrooms.

Rape through (gang initiations etc.), done in every areas possible (fields, comfort rooms, schools, houses, roads) screams for an explanation. Are the males there naturally retarded and beastly to do this? Hence I present to you reasons behind these rape cases:

Culture- Rapes are not filed or in short, being condoned because their belief is that women CAN'T say NO to sex. Women actually allow their boyfriends or male friends to rape them because culture imposes it as a duty. It's slowly becoming a norm that no one complains about it. Men in result, harbors a supreme ego believing they are godlike descendants and are therefore entitled to sex with anyone. Masochistic as it may, they even believe that women actually enjoy being raped. In that country SAYING NO means SAYING YES.

Survival- Since most of them are uneducated, they believe that raping infants, virgins or children will actually cure AIDS. They even hold VIRGINITY testing in schools wherein they students are one by one being raped. They continue to fuel the insane cycle of this absurd AIDS medication.

It is a sickening story, and unfortunately a sickening fact. Mere counseling is not enough to shield and rebuild those girls' lives. They are innocent, yet violence and injustice continue to plague them. We do live in one world, but it seems the political protocols and ignorance make the solution process slow. People, this is a social RED ALERT.

It is obvious that the world is sick; and to act upon it is duty to ourselves and to one another. We can choose to support and participate or we could either easily ignore and thank god on how lucky we are. But in every choice we make, those kids suffer because we make the wrong choices, slow choices. They are being robbed of anything but hope, a hope that somehow someone outside their tainted lands would make the right moves and choices for them and fast.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Long Weekend 1: Craving for Meatballs

Funny that I am only allowed to eat Meat for the past few weeks, that I would actually have the sanity to crave for meat like I haven't packed half of my system with it already.

Although I did not just crave on any particular meat, but I craved for authentic MEATBALLS. But first let me redefine the word 'crave' on a personal perspective.

When I say "I crave", it is an occurrence which actually has the power to dictate my plans for the day. It also has the power to set my mood and my ability to repel unnecessary moments that has to happen in a man's life. If I crave for something and I do not get it within a certain time, I get cranky. In short, I result to being primitively irrational. (Now craving sounds like a bad thing for me, right?)

Another thing about 'craving' is when I would release that word, expect to squeeze out every meaning it stands out for. It's the whole production ladies and gentlemen! It's like a constant churning of my stomach mixed with the psychological impulses that drives a man insane. By craving, the initial taste of that particular product is already programmed in my tastebuds, in my senses. The preliminary food tasting already sets in, therefore, sometimes the mind would immediately seek for physical representation.

I was on my way home with Mitch on Wednesday night when the craving for MEATBALLS kicked in. Due to unfortunate events, we had to go home and I had to endure literally endure craving for it overnight. But the assurance that he'd find a way to block off his Thursday night for a Meatball feast is enough for me to hold on and get excited.

Hence the following morning at work, in between work actually, I had to research on where to have a perfect MEATBALL experience. At this rate, I cannot afford to experiment thus singling out Italiannis and Di Marks at Greenbelt as main choices.

On my way to Greenbelt after office, I was transformed into a kid eager to eat MEATBALLS. I immediately found a parking space amidst all the chaos of last work day syndrome! I got a call from my boyfriend and we both decided to meet at Italiannis! Meatballs here I come.:)

When I arrived there he wasn't really sure if I was excited to see him or excited to eat meatballs, but I'm sure that it's a mixture of both...of course!

Need I say the meatballs were huge and the italian flavored tomato sauce embraced it in every area. My mind was racing because it would now reconcile the physical and mental aspects of the meatball. The first bite was heaven, compact premium herbed meat really made my eyes shut and it all went well from there.

Adding to the meatball dish, we ordered for Salmon PIzza and we paid a good price for it. Literally, I could have consumed the whole meatball dish. After we got the check, Mitch told me that "You certainly get what you pay for." Italianni's didn't let me down. The meatballs were exquisite. You can taste the herbs and the fresh meat, influenced by Italian Tomato flavor. Like a soothing balm, my cravings already subsided, hence the satisfaction sinks in.

A good start for the long weekend ahead! Now I wonder what my next craving would be, i'm sure it's going to be a great blog post!

long weekend 1: End of Ramadan

Yes! I am up late and I am actually allowed to because technically we're going to experience a long weekend, thanks to our recognition of Ramadan! :D

This is officially the mark for long strings of vacations brought by Halloween and Christmas! Sweet!

Speaking of Ramadan, I truly celebrate and applaud my Indonesian friends who strictly follow that 'Ramadan' rules. Actually, looking back and having spent time with my Indonesian classmates, I really can say that I'm very proud of them at that aspect. I wouldn't like to say that I'm generalizing, but it seems all of them are pretty much conscious and strict in following the rules of their religion. Whenever lunch was served to us, they're really adhering only to their own batch of HALAL Foods. Obviously they do not eat meat, but it's more of the preparation of the food that they greatly consider. I even asked one of my Indonesian friends one lunch to confirm what I actually watched in Discovery Channel. In that particular segment, they were explaining the process of making HALAL foods. Meat of any kind is butchered in a very honorable way. It sounds kind of absurd right? But yes, there is a very honorable way of butchering your next dinner. They offer a simple prayer before actually killing the life out of your next dinner. It doesn't end there, they put their meat facing the east. How concise and meticulous is that?

I am amazed at the fact of the strictness their religion, and the supreme leniency of ours. Sometimes they would take late lunch just and just prioritize their trip to the Indonesian Embassy in Makati to pray, whereas for the guilty folks like me, attending a 1 hour mass is often seen as burden and annoyance.

What about the lenten season? The only time wherein we could actually have our own 'ramadan' of not eating meat on Fridays, and ideally fasting in every sense of the word seem to be the practice of the few.

Our religion is so forgiving. Yes.
Our religion is also so GENEROUS in GIVING us excuses and leeways to redefine religious practices and creeds on a more personal perspective. If you look at it positively, it gives us a free will to realize, to really follow what we believe in, hence being true to our hearts. But sometimes the act already erases us the basic concept of religion. Our religion has allowed us to customize and adjust it in accordance to our own needs and wants. It is that lenient.

Do I view myself as religious? I have to say I'm not. Brought up in Catholic private schools wherein Christianity is a core, I was exposed to certain Christian practices. I appreciated and instilled in me values that have made me perceive world in a Christian light. But if you would ask me if I could recite the rosary and it's mysteries. I cannot. If you ask if I truly follow the lenten season, I try to, but my cravings for meat sometimes overpower me, and sad to say I falter and just dust it off. Is it an aspect of discipline or lack of strong grounds on which to act my disciplinary measures? Do I honestly listen and internalize the homilies? Even at that aspect, it depends if the priest is a good speaker. Everything has a condition. Everything has an excuse. Everything has to be at our own discretion. That is why I say that our religion is one of the most lenient in the world. That is why I applaud some friends, particularly my Indonesian friends, that do not hold religion as something negotiable. They are not puppets of religion, but they 'live' their religion.

Therefore I celebrate with them. Of their commitment and living the religion they have without seeking and adhering to customization. And most importantly strictly following Fasting, which I would have to admit, only exists on an imaginary plane in my life.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Chicken on my Mind

I was on my way to my Nikkon's house holding a bowl of chicken fillet on my left hand and a bottle of extra virgin olive oil to my right. With the lack of better things to do, I decided to have a chicken feast, since I missed eating anything except pork (allergies lately). As I looked at the slimy flesh of chicken, I've acknowledged that it's practically not the best decision I've made, but I tried to think that it was a decision for my soul. It was not entirely a bad decision actually. It was in a way calculated, which alloted my whole afternoon of talking to my conscience. Besides, my allergy had officially waned down anyways. And just in case my so-called medical speculation fires back, I have a bottle of heavy loratoderm in my pocket.

As I stepped out of the gate and looked at my future dinner, I wondered how many fillet of chicken I got. It was a lot, I tell you. Then a thought came rushing in, the possible scarcity of food. I mean for our country alone, we hold a record of 12th most populous nation scoring 88 million (Almost all trying to camp in Manila) and by combination the world has believed to have reached 6.7 Billion. (Major claps to China, India and the US)

When you're a child you are given liberty to ask stupid questions, I asked if there are so many wet markets, so many groceries, so many restaurants and so many people looking for chicken, fish and meat...would a day come that we won't have enough? Seriously, people say no, of course not. My mother would say, they have engineered food production already...(I don't know if she meant by GMO), the teacher said, it's a balance in ecology, and my dad said "As long as you have money, you won't have a problem with food." (I think he missed the point, but those are still precious words of advice)

So I thought, with all people who butcher two legged to four legged animals, not to mention those fishes and stuff, would there be a time wherein food will be scarce? Just consider what happened when there was SARS. Just like that, in China they've killed 2 million chickens on the spot, even more! What if everything is infected and the infection was far more than fast booted science, we so brag about in this age, could handle. I mean nature like science is currently evolving. Truth is, nature is far still wiser and smarter than science. Because any changes in nature, changes that are new, would always have a greater edge than science or technology. With our ever growing population at 2.2% every year, is it acceptable to think that food production's increased as well? It's unfortunate that people butcher food that can easily be spoiled and not bought by market, but there will ever come a time wherein there's lack in chicken. And what if nature just stops making them? What now? Paranoia 101 here!

I shudder at the thought, which incorporates the novel I'm currently reading about a war of Germany against France. During the war the food was indeed scarce. In the book, a rich family, could be considered lucky if they have meat for supper. They smuggled food from provinces in their car tires. It happened to them, but you say war is done by man. But what if nature takes its turn due to its changes that we inflict on it? What if it attacks the basic food source that we have? What if our technology and science are not sufficient enough to counter it? How would we respond? The memories of food abundance we see would translate to total wasted frustrations.

As I handed the bowl of chicken to my friend for seasoning, I get tranced at the sudden dance and massage that comes with it. I just wish everything's foolproof in the line of food production. For thinking this way, I may sound like a nitwit. But I hope this thought might also have come across influential people to make certain moves or precautions.

As the symphony of oil and animal fat begin to make itself known, if there's a basic prayer I offer the world besides peace, I think it's the continuous food production and accessibility of people to quality food. Aside from the fact that it's one of the basic necessities of living, it is also more realistic and attainable goal than world peace. :p

Even now, I still tend to think about the basics. At the end of the day, no matter how modern we are, we all go back to the basics. Eventually these basics could make and break our lives. At that moment, I thanked God and nature for those chicken fillets and offered them a silent prayer. A prayer for their continuous supply to mankind, and a prayer I won't have to use Loratoderm that night.

*All figures, taken from wikepedia

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Buying Banana

We hold our own affinities, and normally I don't require myself to explain the choices and decisions I've made. But since most of my friends are curious why the name 'banana' is coined in my official blog, well I would indulge their curiosity as well as I would happily recount the fond facts of what the fruit that contributes a large part in my being.

1. Since we all have our preferences, I like banana the best. Yes, it is my most favorite fruit. I love the taste, that is one. It has a distinct sweet flavor that we can only associate with banana. It's not associated to any citrus or cider flavor. The flavor is distinct. It's sweet, but not overly sweet. Smelling it, like orange soothes the mind, but unlike citrus scents, it doesn't hold any acidity.

The texture is soft. The texture and softness of the fruit is very convenient to babies who are growing teeth, and for those who are losing theirs. I could understand that some might find it like eating shit like what a blogger sited in, but I think that's just an overly active state of mind. I hardly read foods/fruits regarding in the shitty effect.

2. Moving along the, shitty aspect, well bananas are prime movers and shakers of feces. If you get the point already, then move on to number three, but if not, well, graphically speaking, it molds waste in your body in a very solid and ideal form. Since banana is rich source of fiber, which is good for the body in eliminating toxics and waste, then banana is a good agent to flush it out.

3. Aside from the taste, bananas are also convenient. They easily peel like getting candy. It doesn't involve a lot of prerequisite steps to get to the fruit. They can easily be bought per piece or grouped.

4. Bananas are also flexible. It could be eaten raw, fried, baked, steamed, ingredients of a main meal, topping to a dessert and be the desert in itself. They are very versatile yet everything they produce from banana cake, banana chips, to stewed beef with banana, steamed banana, they all have a distinct and soothing flavor. If I might extend, banana leaves are very useful. It could be used as a plate, umbrella for some and a main ingredient in the retail industry. The harvested shoots are suitable for table clothes, kimonos etc. Banana fiber is also used to produce an alternative source of paper, which is plainly called banana paper, according to wikepedia.

5. Bananas are environment friendly. Their convenience to the consumer is also convenient to nature. The peelings are rich in minerals and can be easily disposed as it is biodegradable.

6. Bananas are cheap. Need I say more? Most of the products from bananas are distinct, yet loved by masses like "banana-q" "banana chips" "turon" etc. Like other fruits, banana doesn't need to be refrigerated.

And here are some basic infos about banana (from Wikepedia)

"Ray comfort uses the banana as a proof of the existence of a God. He argues that since it is easily held, has a ripeness indication (colour), is easily peeled, has a biodegradable wrapper and is nutritious must mean that it was designed. Comfort says this designer is the Christian God.[11] However, numerous atheist rebuttals arose explaining the dramatic differences in appearance and nature of the wild variety of the fruit and the domesticated version which has been selectively bred for thousands of years for the characteristics Comfort claimed were divinely created. As a result, Coleman conceded that his argument had no validity in 2006"

"Bananas are also humorously used as a phallic symbol due to similarities in size and shape. This is typified by the artwork of the debut album of The Velvet Underground, which features a banana on the front cover, yet on the original LP version, the design allowed the listener to 'peel' this banana to find a pink, phallic structure on the inside."

Top banana Producing Nations: (In milion Metric Tons)

1. India 16.8
2. Brazil 6.7
3. China 6.4
4. Ecuador 5.9
5. Philippines 5.8
6. Indonesia 4.5
7. Costa Rica 2.2
8. Mexico 2.0
9. Thailand 2.0
10. Colombia 1.6
11. Burundi 1.6
*Source UN food and Agricultural Org

Monday, October 1, 2007


Cuisine: Desserts
Location:Banilad Town Center, Uptown Cebu City
Thou shalt not put God's name in vain.
Thou shalt not swear.
and....thou shalt not get...FAT..

But I'm guilty! I'm freakingly obviously hands-up Guilty!

I started saying from "Oh My god". "Sweet heaven on earth"...and "shit" the moment I enter the very classy, cozy-lit and very inviting Establishment. The cafe has wood and gold interiors with all different types of sophisticated loaves of bread of different kinds, neatly arranged. At the counter, the wonderfully adorned and tempting cakes are gloriously presented.

The space is so inviting for quiet meetings and friend get-togethers. The smell of brewed coffee envelopes the air, but the smell is crisp, classic and very inviting. Senses are put to overdrive like when you smell coffee, when you see numerous loaves, cakes and pastries before you, and the wonderful sense of calmness that the place brings. If I were to group this with its contemporaries, I believe Postrio can be compared Bizu's existence.

As I walked and enjoyed the classy interior and tempting 'sights,' I committed my first sin...

As I chose my afternoon delight, my decision making skills were again put into extreme test. I entered into a trance and suffer from optional paralysis. (THis always happens everytime I go here) Normally I already have something in mind.. I rephrase..I always have something in mind, but it's still hard to decide when you're 'at the moment when thousand desserts seem to talk.'

Finally after roughly 10 minutes, I've made my decision. I got a coffee and my favorite..Banana Crumble Cake...(Banana! Again?!) As I sip and burn my tongue and savor the first bite of Banana Crumble..I start to swear. This is by far the BEST Banana CAKE and most INVENTIVE Banana Cake I've ever tried next to Coffee Bean's Banana Cream Pie. If there's one out there that would test this Banana Crumble Cake of Postrio, I'd have yet to try it.

So I left Postrio again super satisfied, in a glaze and very very impressed.

I liked it even better than Bizu to be honest. Postrio's desserts are not pretentious and speaks to dessert lovers more. Some desserts might not be new to anyone, but definitely it would climb at the top of their lists. Top of all Tiramisus, Top of all those cheesecakes, Top of all concorde cakes, chocolate cakes, strawberry shortcakes and whatever pastry or dessert invention they have..oh...and the best BANANA cake ever! (I think I've mentioned it already). They innovate desserts without sacrificing the taste. It's well thought off and it's well made.

The desserts are excellent! They come in big sizes and servings. The cheesecakes or cakes are moist and supremely creamy, but not overly sickenly sweet like what other desserts suffer from. The sweetness is just perfect and they have the knack of identifying or introducing the core flavors like blueberry, chocolate, strawberry, coffee and banana to their respective desserts. They have a great, soft, creamy texture. You can sense from every bite that the ingredients they used are expensive, top notch and all of which are flawlessly mixed and baked.

(MUST TRYs: The blueberry cheesecake, reinvented (with shaved pristine nuts, which I painstakingly took out just to be able to taste it) It's creamy, rich, moist, comforting and delightful)
Try their Chocolate and Concord cakes designed in such a very intriguing and very creative way. It's not too sweet, but you get to enjoy real moist chocolate of distinctive exotic taste and combinations.
TIRAMISU, great treat for coffee lovers. It's not that bitter, and it's very inventive.
BANANA CRUMBLE (My favorite), which is creamy, almost a cross between cheesecake and normal cake, with intense and natural banana flavor, not too sweet and has a crumbly crust on top.
Their loaves and bread of course! Brownies, custard pies and cakes! Oh my goodness!!!

PRICE: The image of Posterio is very classy, like what you'd find in hotels and can easily give Bizu or other classy cafe and dessert shops a run for their money. Looking at the well presented and extremely yummy desserts, you might assume that the prices are intensely high.

But glad to tell you that the prices are very reasonable and relatively cheap!
The coffee menu doesn't go beyond 100 and they come in MUGS! Not cup...but MUGS, and the coffee is piping hot and has a classic taste.

The Banana Crumble cake is PHP 18 pesos (Can you imagine?) The cake has the almost the same size of Nokia's E61, the cake's taste is original and it's very very delicious..and the best part of it is, it's only for PHP 18, together with the custard pie, the pineapple mini pie etc.

The major desserts or cakes that obviously take time and intense effort to make because of the size and taste, heavenly range from 90-120 PHP, not so freakingly bad, especially once you've tried it. Every cent is worth it, and not to mention comparable or if not...far encompasses the desserts you see in major coffee shops or dessert stations.

The breads and loaves have the same price as with other loaves and bread in the market, but their packaging and looks of it are more sophisticated and fresh, and the taste only justifies and exceeds the whole look.

SERVICE: The servers are very presentable, classy with an all-black look and they serve desserts at your table fast. They automatically even bring you Equal when you order for coffee (no questions asked).

I've said so many things already and I've done so many sinful stuff while I visit Postrio. I tell you it's worth the stop. For those who are planning to go to Cebu, it really wouldn't hurt to visit Postrio and buy dessert to take home to Manila.

I even wonder the time comes wherein they expand to their Manila Clientele because according a manager on their BTC store, they've been receiving personal orders from Manila clients. I firmly believe that having it here would open people up to a new gatro experience that is affordable, sophisticated, unpretentious and innovative.