Yummy Tummy

This post has been my assignment for more than a week. I’ve been composing this in my head since I’m not sure when and my mind was telling me to start making it but my hand and my body are not cooperating. So just now that I’ve come to my senses, I’m starting to cram (which is my very habit that I wanna change). Well, anyway, since I promised myself that while I’m still breathing, I will never stop being productive and never stop making something new, so for this post, I’m dedicating it to my most favorite thing in the world which  is… (very obvious in my title) FOOD!

I love food! I’m in love with it that if only a man could live with only food, I’d prolly survive. Ha! Well, I grew up in a family who really loves to eat. Unlike my brother, I’m not really picky with food. I eat everything and anything as long as it’s eatable (of course I’m exempting exotic foods). I don’t know how to cook nor bake so my mission: To be able to cook or bake without any help from my mom or from anyone. I was inspired to bake since my mom is very much an expert in cooking AND baking. She is so good in baking, especially Brazo de Mercedes, that every one who tastes it doesn’t want to stop. She also has a colleague who bakes a lot and I mean A LOT! Because of these inspirations, it all became pinspiration and so I starting searching for a good recipe of the food I really wanna try and cook (especially bake) in Pinterest.

At first, I was very hesitant in baking and I’m very afraid that it wouldn’t turn out as to what I’m expecting but I told myself, it’s part of learning, right? Failure is part of learning. Nothing would happened if I don’t make it happen so my journey in baking, and hopefully in cooking, begins now.

So anyway, here are the stuffs which I’ve accomplished within the month:

Apple and Red

Since I have a work in the morning and I feel very tired when I get home, I usually make and bake these foods on weekends. In the first couple of weeks of March, what I have planned to do are the Red Velvet Cupcakes, which I’m very obsessed in perfecting and Apple Fritters, which my parents are very much grateful that I did it.

My Red Velvet Cupcakes are not very successful since it’s not sweet. Although my father liked it since he’s a diabetic, it’s still not acceptable for me so I’m planning to make another batch hopefully on April. After my disappointment on my Red Velvet Cupcakes, I changed my route to Apple Fritters and no disappointments at all! My whole family loved it! If we cannot finish the whole batch in one eating, I usually store the batter, with the apples on it in a sealed container and put it in the refrigerator and whenever we need some dessert, I just pull it out from the fridge and fry it. It’s very easy to make and very delectable. So I give it five stars. 🙂

As for the whole second half of the month of March, what I did was bake Cinnamon rolls because of my craving with Cinnabon. It was majestic! I really enjoyed making this, from the making of the dough and kneading which I think is the best part until the sprinkling of the filling. What I wasn’t able to perfect in these cinnamon rolls are the frosting so apparently, I don’t have pictures of cinnamon rolls with frosting.

pecabon 2

I am hoping as I search more recipes in Pinterest, I would be able to make more delectable foods and be an expert in baking. Thanks to Pinterest and for the people who are sharing their talents. I am so happy that I wouldn’t be able to have the driving force in doing these stuffs without them.

Voicing out my cries

Be aware

More than a couple of months have passed and until now I still  feel threatened and traumatized with what happened to me.

I am dedicating this post for those people who were harassed, abused or taken advantaged of, sexually or not sexually.  I’ve been longing to post this from the moment it happened. I felt really ashamed of what happened and whenever I remember it, it disgust me! I am waiting for the right moment to post this and I felt that the right moment came. I am composed and I am ready to voice out my cries to you or to someone who is concerned.

It was my 2nd month at my first work and I’ve been feeling at ease and adjusted already. I knew the people around me and I’ve been very friendly with all of them especially with the bosses (of course!). Little did I know that my boss has a special interest in me.

One evening, it was past 5 and my colleague and I were talking. He passed by our window and talked with us. He started talking about our tardy co-workers and their warning letters, then suddenly in the middle of his sentence, he stopped. He entered the lab and called my name, so I followed him to his office for I thought it was just a routine work related instruction. He made me sit adjacent to him. At first he complimented and gave me flattering remarks in relation to my work attitude. For all the compliments he said, I only responded a ‘Thank you, Sir’. Then he initiated to shake my hand. TWICE! After that, he asked for my mobile number and also asked who I’m living with which I thought are irrelevant and very personal questions. I responded politely and answered all his questions. Then, he started touching my hands and touching my face and it really made me felt uneasy so after a few seconds I asked if I could leave because I really felt uncomfortable but he didn’t seem to hear me. Then he asked if my ‘Thank You’s’ could be replaced by a hug and a kiss which surprised me. But since I’ve noticed from my past encounters with him, he always jokes around, I thought he was just joking though it felt really uneasy but I didn’t show him. Then suddenly, he opened his arms wide in gesture of asking for a hug, I was caught in between of just shaking his hand and giving him a hug but since I could not refuse (since he’s my boss) I gave-in in a surprised manner and I was really feeling anxious. He gave me a kiss on the cheek while he was hugging me. I was surprised. I immediately moved away. I felt violated with the way he treated me. Before leaving his office he advised me not to mention it to anyone but I couldn’t hold my silence. The moment I stepped out of his office, I was shaking and I was so scared that I didn’t know what to do. When I went back to my post, my colleague was asking me what he told me and I was speechless. I was so scared and I was about to cry but I held it all back. I told her everything! I was asking her opinion if I should tell it to my parents or not. I started asking the opinions of my friends. One of my friends told me not to mention it to my parents but the other one told me to mention it to them so I was undecided.

After 4 days of sleepless nights, I couldn’t take it anymore. I told my mother and she was furious (not the scandalous kind of furious but she really wanted to talk to my boss and I was so scared I just couldn’t let her). We debated what to do but I was really decided to leave and resign. My father was calm about it and talked to me. He explained to me that it was not my fault and I didn’t do anything wrong so, why would I leave my job? He told me to talk to the head of the lab and explain to him everything, and so I did (with the support of my mom). After that, our head told me to go to the Human Resources to report my complaint. The abuser went to my mom’s office to explain his side but my mother didn’t let him. He was like, “I need to talk to you, in front of her (pointing at me)”. THE NERVE!

What I wanted to point out is that from all the trouble, my restlessness, my depression and my anxiety, NOTHING HAPPENED! They didn’t even suspend him! Knowing that this country is very conservative (I MEAN VERY VERY CONSERVATIVE THAT EVEN SHAKING A FEMALE’S HAND IS NOT ALLOWED), we thought they’d work on it. My mother was actually expecting them to fire him out but I told her that it would be grave until when he started asking his staff to lie for him telling the Human Resources people that he was in the office while that incident happened (THE EFF!). So here’s what I’m gonna tell you people who were investigating this case:

To Mr. AB, first of all, you didn’t know how scared I was and you didn’t know what I’ve been through. If you think that it is okay here in this place to hug and kiss a girl then think again! You may not have grown up here and I may be a Christian but I know and I respect the culture and tradition of this place so I hope you do too (especially you who is a native of this place). And if you were thinking that I am making up this story then you’re wrong! Never would I make up a story to destroy someone’s reputation! I know you two were bestest friends so no doubt about it, you’ll never hear me out. YES, I KNOW! Pity your bestest friend is a sex offender. Did you even know that he has also done it to someone other than me? She didn’t complain and I think you know why. I admit, I am a weakling and you were asking why he chose me? Well, ask him! Why ask me? My theory is, I will admit, I am shy, a weakling and a gullible kid. I easily trust people and that is my biggest mistake.

To one mister and two miss, I didn’t know what your opinions were when I explained to you my side but I hope you’ve analyzed the incident. (But I think that you didn’t analyze it well). HA!

What I am only asking is protection people! From what I’ve observed, you didn’t support my side. How about those other women who were abused?!?! How could they ask for your help when you are tolerating these kinds of action?!?!?! Now I am still fighting. If you all know how hard it is for me to see him every single day. It scares me! And at the same time, it disgusts me! My heart leaps out and runs away from my body. Actually, whenever I see him, my tendency is to run away. To leave. To run far away from the lab but I couldn’t. Right now, as long as I don’t see him, I feel better.

To the most disgusting person I’ve known, I wouldn’t stress myself to you. I would continue, live my life and I would just laugh and wait for your karma.

Saudi Arabia: A Revelation of a Secluded Nation

Just like other nations, we all have different cultures and traditions that we follow every now and then. We eat different

Mall in Jeddah and a sample of their lettering

food, we have different ways to live and we all have different beliefs. For more than a decade, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has almost been my home. Since my first grade in primary school until I was in my fourth year high school, I had lived here. For those long years, it took some time to impart something new to the world. It may not be new to some but for a few people (since I have lots of friends in the Philippines asking what it’s like to live here) maybe it is. An idea occurred to me to divulge some insights on how we live here.

I consider myself lucky to acquire an opportunity to live here but not lucky to live that long. Despite the luxuries this country holds, this place is as arid as its deserts. The presence of the huge shopping malls and the city lights are the ones giving life to this place. They have no cinemas, alcoholic drinks are strictly forbidden, no drugs (of course), pork is also strictly prohibited, no nightlife (which includes bars and casinos), and no concerts. Hands down to their low crime rates though. For the reason of preserving their cultures and traditions, and considering that their Holy Place is located here (Mecca/ Makkah), they have secluded their nation to a lot of things. Before the western influences, they had been very stern to the lifestyles of the people living here.

Unmarried men and women are not allowed to date. Unlike in other countries, men and women (even if they are only friends) are no allowed to get together unless they are family. Women are very preserved and very conservative. There are no holding of hands, no public display of affection and no exchanged affections between opposite sex. The schools are also exclusive for boys and for girls. Although that idea is starting to change since they are learning to be receptive, most of them are still implacable regarding this custom. They have exclusive branch of banks for females while restaurants and cafes have family sections and singles section.

Wearing an abaya and a tarha forever.

As aforementioned above, women are very conserved. It is mandatory to wear a long black robe with long sleeves (which are called ‘abaya‘) as well as a veil which covers the whole head and sometimes the face (it is called ‘tarha‘). Women are not allowed to drive and are not allowed to work before(except in a bank and in the hospitals). Can you imagine buying make up or worse, underwear to a store where salesmen are the ones in charge? It may be awkward but that’s how it works here before. There are improvements, at least recently, since they hire salesladies already who are fluently speaking in English. I’m impressed! There are exclusive stores which doesn’t allow males to enter.

The people here are very friendly and they are very fond of long cheek-to-cheek greetings. Sometimes I don’t know when to stop but you’ll usually know, I guess? I was amused when I met one of my mother’s friends. It was my first cheek-to-cheek so I thought it would only be one but when I started pulling away from her, she started pulling me again and gave me 2 or 3 more. Ha! I usually smile and get coy but I got used to it eventually. I still haven’t figured how many cheek-to-cheeks I have to do when I meet them. My friend (Filipino) told me that the number of their cheek-to-cheek greeting is proportionate to how close they are to each other. I haven’t confirmed if it’s true. I think it depends on the person greeting you.

The only religion practiced is Islam. It is highly restricted to practice other religions. Bibles, crucifix, figurines of saints,

A mosque

etc. are prohibited and never to be used nor displayed publicly. The only place for praying is their mosque. Although in other countries, polygamy is taboo, it is practiced here in Saudi Arabia as long as they can support their spouses and their children. As far as I know, they are not allowed to have more than one wife if they can’t support them. It is very prominent to have arranged marriages here and they are allowed to marry their blood lines (unlike in most countries, it is incest, right?).

Regarding the food, since they have no pork, we usually eat chicken or beef or sea foods. Their main food here is chicken which are very piquant in every dish. So far, the best fried chicken I’ve ever ate is made here. It’s called Al Baik. I am also fond of shawarma and kabab. Different indistinguishable spices give delectable delight to their dishes. I am becoming more corpulent and have less resistance to food.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve lived here for so long but I still haven’t learned their language. I am regretting this until now since, even if we have an Arabic subject during my school days, I didn’t take it seriously so I feel so sorry for myself. I just know how to read and how to write but I don’t understand most of it. They read and write from right to left so it’s really different.

I’ve spent half of my life in this country and I’m very lucky to be one of those people to learn their customs and ways on how they live. I hope in the future, I would be able to live in another country as beautiful as Saudi Arabia and to be able to learn their different cultures and traditions.

My mom