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It’s been a solid year since that last post and all I can say for now is I had an amazing Christmas (typing this in Lent, awkward) where I had the chance to do a road trip (ROAD TRIP!) of the American Southwest to visit my parents in Los Angeles. That adds four more states to my current list so here’s another lame picture to a lame post.Visited States Tracker

I think — and I’m positive this time — by the time I celebrate my second anniversary in Texas, I will be mentally and emotionally ready to blog about those two cross-country trips I’ve had thus far. Maybe I’ll even have a third one (and five more states?) done by the time my mom makes her reunion here with the Lone Star State in April.

For now just some few glimpses of how that Southwest road trip has showed me:

  1. NEVER REALLY MESS WITH TEXAS. Man, Texas is really HUGE (seriously, what were they thinking when they made Rhode Island a state?).
  2. New Mexico is actually pretty, or at least the upper slice by I-40 is. Breaking Bad had me think of the Land of Enchantment as the Land of Entrapment.
  3. The Grand Canyon is more than just a pretty fridge magnet. And I think I met my soulmate in Arizona! ❤
  4. Life is surprisingly cheap in Las Vegas. It still makes me wonder why old people are driven to give away those escort calling cards to married men in broad daylight though.
  5. The Beehive State is as pretty as that section in I-15 N/S which cuts through the mountains. Too bad we were not able to go north to Salt Lake City as my parents are too old for the cold (yes I said it!).
  6. I think I like the Oakland Bay Bridge more than the Golden Gate, to be honest. But then again, I’ve been reggae and calypso too, so please save me, San Francisco.
  7. After two weeks of being away, there’s still no place like Texas. The feeling of hearing country music again in Amarillo is actually refreshing. (Someone bribed me to add this last item, I swear.)

That’s it for now.

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Apparently a whole year has flown by at Mach-5,000,000 speed and I haven’t put in anything here. Wow.

So I guess, howdy, y’all, greetings from Texas! 2014 was a wild one but I got to visit a lot of states. Here’s my colonial map so far.

Visited States Tracker

24 down, 26 to go.

The goal in 2015: conquer my research. And my fears. And my anxiety. But most of all, my research.

Maybe I’ll share about my 2,000-mile journey from the Empire State to the Lone Star state sometime. So I guess, never.

Five Authentic Pinoy Foods I Simply Can’t Resist [Eating]

After a solid month, I’m finally back home at Malolos City and this can only mean one thing — REAL FOOD AT LAST. Life for us totally independent adults living in rental houses can be rough to the point that we resort to canned goods and fast-food meals in times of financial crises. This long weekend (at least for us Quezon City work force) was thus a perfect opportunity for me to go back home. And my mom did not disappoint, a feast was served in our dining table for my solo late lunch earlier. Praise God.

With that in mind, I’m making here a top five list of my most favorite Filipino foods. I am limiting them to only five as not to make this blog entry long and boring. I am limiting the selection to Philippine cuisine to be more specific and uhm, nationalistic? Hahaha.

5. Giniling guisado

Or ground beef (pork would also do) with bell peppers. I grew up with an ultra-fast metabolism so this was the food mom cooked for me a lot during my childhood days, in the hopes that I gain weight. The idea behind this is that just a few servings is actually a heavy meal already for a “normal” person.  At dahil hindi ako nabubusog sa akala ko ay kaunti lang, ayun napaparami ang kain. I actually can eat two platefuls of giniling guisado and still feel hungry. And yes, I still won’t gain weight. Mom would sometimes wrap it in an omelette-fashion. I prefer this as well as adding lots of bell pepper, to heighten up the spice factor. I looooove spicy foods. (Yaya is a Bicolana so there.)

4. Chicken sinampalukan

If you are one of my friends, you already know that I actually don’t eat vegetables as I reason out, hello hindi ako kabayo! hahaha. Kidding. Well, but if you are one of my CLOSEST friends, you already know that I am actually attempting to start eating vegetables, in the hopes to extend my life. (You see, I am a chemist by profession. Go figure.) Green leafy vegetables which used to taste freaky to me now actually have a delectable touch with them (I can’t believe I’m saying this haha), so yeah I’ve been practicing munching on them. (Thank you to my Gatmaitan clan family members at La Vista for helping me!) Now, chicken sinampalukan has been my first attempt. It started during my freshman year at high school, when I first thought to start eating veggies already. Okay, fine well sampaloc may strictly not be veggies, but at least they’re green and leafy, right? Haha. As for sinampalukang manok, the more sour, the better for me. Duh.

3. Pork adobo

Yes, you saw that right, not CPA (chicken-pork adobo) but just pork adobo. Well I dunno, it’s just a me thing. Anyway, please adobo is authentic Pinoy. What the hell with those other versions! The ones which are sweet, the ones which lack vinegar, etc. Adobo can’t be adobo without vinegar for me. Its soy sauce must also maintain that saltiness every true Filipinos love. Anyway, who doesn’t love adobo? Ipa-firing squad na ‘yan!

2. Pork binagoongan

THANKS MOM FOR THIS WONDERFUL DINNER! Again, if you are a close friend you know that I eat only a few seafood. But if you are one of my closest friends, you’ll also know that I’ve been attempting to expand my seafood vocabulary lately. One of the unhealthy options yeah (hello, shrimp paste = kidney suffering in pain) but oh, just deal with it. Again, the spicier the better. The more “orangey” the better too. Now, I really don’t like those which still show bagoong in their “purple color.” Shows substandard cooking, yuck.

1. EXTRA SPICY PORK SISIG

The ultimate nirvana of my stomach — anywhere with good sisig. Make it pork and super spicy please. Now, there are actually two types of pork sisig as I’ve heard — northern or southern. Correct me if I’m wrong — I believe the southern sisig is the one which is crunchier while the northern counterpart is a little creamier (quote-unquote). Anyway, I don’t really fancy eating liver, so for sisig I prefer those with smaller chunks of liver just for the extra spice (up to the nano-scale, if possible haha). I’ve eaten lots of sisig with LARGE UNGODLY chunks of liver and oh dear Lord, please forgive their respective cooks for they do not know what they are doing. (One of this at Ateneo actually. :() As for me, both northern and southern sisig are good. Heck, sisig is good, period. Some people say that there’s a limit to sisig eating per year, but urgh I don’t buy that. Live life and live happy, moral lesson from our sisig friends. 🙂

So there, you are what you eat right? I may actually have a pretty unhealthy choice of food but oh well. I’d rather live a short life eating the food I like rather than spend a long cruel life forcing my stomach to devour on things I don’t really like. For us Filipinos, eating is something sacred so I’ll say munching on something you’re happy with adds up to the spice of your life.

Tara, kain! 🙂

Sweetest Song for Mary So Far

So last August 13, Ateneo made its best come-from-behind victory (so far) against FEU by grinding the latter into a double-dead Tamaraw meat (don’t take this too seriously PETA, okay) in overtime. I took this video after the match which I first thought was a goner after the first three quarters. The black magic has manifested itself in the final minute of the fourth quarter and the Blue Eagles have evolved into phoenixes. Okay that sounds so lame.

Anyway, presenting the sweetest Song for Mary so far this season 74 of the UAAP. The sweetest for this year of course is when Ateneo wins its four-peat championship. 🙂

But no more scary games like that please!

PS: This is the second Tamaraw murder the Blue Eagles left in Araneta. God save us from the wrath of Shiva and India. 😛