My say on Typhoon Haiyan

A month has passed when Typhoon Yolanda/ Typhoon Haiyan struck the central part of the Philippines and the provinces in Visayas were completely devastated leaving the people helpless. Lives lost. Houses completely obliterated. Missing loved ones. No food. No water. No electricity. They’ve got nothing but faith and hope and the whole world felt the sense of yearning philanthropy thus, each and every one tries their best to contribute something and give aid to those in need.

We were focused with the current events and every single day their reports were about the updates on how the people were doing. They were tracking how the government responded on the tragic losses of the people in Visayas. It was sad to hear that despite with what happened, there are still people who take advantage of this devastation, and focus on their personal desires. Some blame the government for their slow response while the president blames the local government, who is also affected by the typhoon. It’s depressing that despite all what’s happened they get to blame each other where in fact they should just give help and encourage everyone to stay strong.

Each and every one find ways on how to help, how to contribute and how to alleviate the sadness and losses of the people. From singers, actors, artists and even regular people who work their asses somewhere out there, still wanted to give help and were struck by the disheartening effect of the typhoon. It’s just sad that SOME from the Philippine government doesn’t give what those people, who were affected, deserve. From what happened, I found hope in our humanity that we still care for each other no matter what. Let’s continue giving and spreading love to each other especially that Christmas is coming. Let’s make every day Christmas time.

 

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.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Below are the rules for accepting this nomination:

1. Thank the super sweet blogger that nominated them

This is my first time to be nominated in the blogging world so I would like to thank theblazingtrail for including me into your nominations. I am very grateful for your recognition. I’m always impressed with your writings. I consider you as one of the brilliant writers I’ve encountered. Thank you.

2. Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers (Click a baker’s dozen to find out more.)

These following blogs have truly inspired me and made me smile every once in a while so I would like to nominate them for the Super Sweet Blogging Award:

  1. http://thebettermanprojects.wordpress.com/
  2. http://patriciaddrury.com/
  3. http://sarahonthego.com/
  4. http://victoriaelizabethann.wordpress.com/
  5. http://abcfeels.wordpress.com/
  6. http://overwhelmedbyjoy.wordpress.com/
  7. http://russelrayphotos2.com/
  8. http://bottledworder.wordpress.com/
  9. http://thumbtravels.wordpress.com/
  10. http://claudiagiulia.wordpress.com/
  11. http://lonelygrl7.wordpress.com/
  12. http://uncertainlyawesome.wordpress.com/
  13. http://everywhereonce.com/
  14. http://simplysolo.wordpress.com/

3. Answer 5 super sweet questions.- I’m done!

4. Add the Super Sweet Blogging Award image to your blog post.- Did it! 🙂

5. Notify your nominees at their blogs.

Questions

1.Cookies or Cake? – Cake 🙂

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? – Vanilla 🙂

3. What is your fave sweet treat? Cakes and pastries baked by my mom. ❤

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Every after a main course meal! 🙂

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? I have never used my second name as my nickname and I find it sweet. Maybe someday I’ll be able to use it. “COLEEN”

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