Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Barber's Tales: Mga Kuwentong Barbero

Barber's Tales (Mga Kuwentong Barbero) is a 2013 film starring Eugene Domingo, written and directed by Jun Lana (of Bwakaw), and is currently enjoying a commercial release just this August 2014. It runs for 2 hours and is being showcased at select cinemas particularly at Ayala Cinemas.

Patriarchal Society, Gender Roles, Politics, and Freedom

It was set during the Martial Law era, so the crew had to be smart and gather memorabilia and props that are well-thought of. There should be no slips of anything modern (just like the more recent Downtown Abbey failed promotional teaser). The film was shot tastefully, it shows how women were treated both in their familial roles and by society, how men look down on women both explicitly and implicitly with hints that no one would have his hair cut by a female barber, and that women should take care and concede to their husbands' needs and desires.
grabbed from http://www.fareastfilm.com
In spite of all the gender role tones, the film showed that women in their own ways (if they want to) can challenge the notion that men and the society have on them. they can fight back their libido-filled husbands, they can prove that they can cut hair as good as their male counterparts, and that they can make a change on their own - whether through a societal or political rebellion.

Eugene Domingo has really established herself on being a very versatile and effective actress. Hands down, she can bring out different emotions and pass them to the audience without difficulty. She is that good and is always a delight to watch whether in a comedy or drama environment.
grabbed from http://thepoc.net
Barber's Tales is not a comedy. The title might mislead you into thinking it's a funny movie (Mga Kuwentong Barbero - who won't think it's not a comedy??) with Eugene Domingo (yes, Kimmy Dora?) billing it, but it's not. It's an irony. It is a sad story of a compelling truth beautifully told by classic performances of artists and talented filmmakers.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Sariling Sikap Hakaw - Shrimp Dumplings

Hakaw or shrimp dumpling is an all-time classic favorite by everyone with or without allergies from seafood. What's that on your hand? Anti-histamine?! Drop it, lady!

What is hakaw or shrimp dumplings?
Minced shrimp with other ingredients put in the middle of a wrapper, formed to perfection and then steamed on bamboo for your pleasure.
Best paired with chili garlic.
And lots of steamed rice.

So. My dear friend, Kathy, who believes we should all learn to cook (she says we can start by watching Cooking with Dog in YouTube) has embarked on this journey of making hakaws. Hakaws from scratch. Yes. She wants to make everything herself. I was fine with being the audience but I realized there is audience participation required that is not just taste testing. :( 

Ingredients for Wrapper:
- Tapioca Starch (note that after research, we found out that it's the same as tapioca flour)
- Wheat Flour (if you only found whole wheat flour, your hakaw is going to be brown and that's weird)
- All Purpose Flour (we used this instead because whole wheat flour made our hakaw brown :( duh )
- oil
- sweat salt
Healthy Options is dang expensive.
Go to Ongpin instead!
Ingredients for Filling:
- minced shrimp
- other additives, we used turnips because it's the only one we got our hands to
- sesame oil
- salt

Filling - chop everything and mix it well. Tadah! Haha. 
Wrapper - mix the starch and flour and add boiling water. Put oil and salt and start kneading like your life depended on it. 
Bamboo steamers available at Gourdo's for the feeling-sashall.
We also bought a bamboo steamer to make life so much cuter. So after flattening the dough and spreading it out, look at that beautiful thing!
Prettiest hakaw I have ever seen. Don't you dare tell me I'm biased.
I am clearly not.
When we got tired doing the tiny round dumplings, we decided to go machine-like and be dumpling queens. We purchased gyoza makers and used our cutesy tiny rolling pin (it's also available at Gourdo's masking under the name "fondant rolling pin") to form uniform flat dough to put in the plastic molder. In no time we were dehumanized and made 2 dozens dumplings without noticing. 
Making this removed the fun. And the hunger as well.
Yeah? Proof that bamboo steamers are better? Look how "cold-looking" the steamer below is:
Bamboo steamers win.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Your Own Roasted Tomatoes with Basil Pesto and Mozzarella Cheese

How about Starbucks' Roasted Tomatoes with Basil Pesto and Mozzarella Cheese on Warm Italian Bread? What about it?
One focaccia serving can have 3 slices. Just to fool yourself that you're
eating small pieces but you're really on the way to being fat. Nyuknyuknyuk.
It's the only thing I can eat at Starbucks. Sweet sugary drinks are not real food. They are not real coffee either. They are sweet treats with forgettable espresso. Okay? Anyway, here in the Philippines, the roasted tomatoes with basil pesto bread costs Php115. I love it. I'm poor. I don't love being poor. So what do you do? You try to make your own version of it!

What to do? Prepare basil, dried oregano, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, blender, and a few garlic, salt, and oil to saute your basil. Saute them and then dump into the blender. Whirrr whirrrrr. Blend blend. Chop chop smash smash kapow! Slice your mom's ciabatta or focaccia then spread lots of pesto on one side. Place sliced tomatoes on top and then murder it with mozzarella cheese. Be generous. The world is your oyster. And theeeeen, offer them inside the oven toaster and then when cheese already melted, "close" your sandwich and there you go!!!!

The only problem here is that when you're in Starbucks, you're contented in buying just one order. However, when you're the one making this one, you'll be eating 2 servings easily. Pair it up with your hand-brewed coffee and then laugh at Starbucks. Or you can forget about the laughing part so people won't think you're crazy. Obese is fine, crazy is not.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Coffee Ain't Dead, Electricity Is!

So, typhoon Glenda blew Luzon away and NCR experienced really strong winds. The power was out by 4am and fortunately in our place, it was back by 2pm. However, coffee time can't wait until 2pm. Here's the problem: How can I grind my beans (medium-fine) for my moka pot? :(
I just can't smash them or drive over them. I want coffee. :(
I just can't soak them or chew the beans. I really want my moka pot. :(

Instead of sleeping or crying in the corner, I decided to rummage through my sealed caffeine box and found my brother's unopened Trung Nguyen coffee. Ohmyglob. Vietnamese coffee!! I got one pack that says "2" meaning it's a mix of arabica and robusta beans (my personal favorite is "S"). VN coffee are pre-ground and so I got my filter out and saw we had condensed milk to complete the experience.

Seriously. Buy a clear cup (or a mason jar, whatever floats your boat). It makes you appreciate your drinks so much more. Look at the condensed milk lying so peacefully at the bottom of the cup. 

Nyumnyum. Coffee. Condensed milk. Nyum. 

Side - have you seen my friend try out making foam art? I haven't even tried making latte art but she's proving to no one she can make foam art, too. Not sure though how to put the markings. :|

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cagbalete Island - Quezon

And you thought I have never gone elsewhere. My new friends (from the office haha) managed to sneak in a weekend trip at Quezon. It's called Cagbalete Island.

The water was clear and very swim-friendly but when we got there it was low tide. Kayaking is fine but you can just lounge idly at the sand and let the water calmly bathe you. There is no electricity in the morning and scheduled it from 6pm-6am, just in time for you to get up without feeling all sweaty from the heat yet. 

We brought hammocks (okay, our friend brought 2, set it up, and the girls took turns on it) and lounged lazily. 

How to get to Cagbalete Island?

Ride the JAC Liner bus at Kamuning going to Mauban. It's around Php275 I think and then you ride the trike to the Pantalan, tell the driver you're going to Cagbalete. From there you pay for the environmental fee and the boat rode. Boat ride to Sabang Beach is Php50 one way and the environmental fee is the same. 

The boat ride takes less than an hour and  then depending on the location of your lodging, you can choose to either walk 2kms to get there or ride a boat around the island instead. We chose the trek to Villa Cleofas and just paid the kid-guide. 

The place allows you to set up tents if you prefer and they have a food area, too, if cooking your own meal is not your type. Or basically, if you're not prepared for camping, you glamper. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feeling of wanting to be so mad but you can't because you don't have that authority. You don't have the right because you were not part of the picture yet. 

Sariling Sikap Series Is Back

Have I told you that we were able to recreate Shakey's Mojos? And that we were able to make our own shrimp dumplings aka hakaw (next post)?

I guess not. So let's begin then!

Pepper recently released the secret formula of Shakey's ever-loved mojos. For the longest time, I have contented myself with Crispy Fry breading. And then they gave out the answer key to all the mojo-crazed potato heads. 

So what's the secret? FERNA. IT'S FREAKING FERNA. Ferna is a household name before for breading and flour. Then in the recent times, their breadings are much more difficult to find. This is probably because Shakey's swiped most of the stocks so people would take some time before they can figure out this beautiful secret. 

Of course. I rushed to all the supermarkets I know and it can be found at Unimart where hoarding has ensued. Can't find it at Rustan's or at SM. 
The answer to world domination.
Experimentation has to happen. We tried potatoes dipped in eggs then powdered with breading, also tried water mixed with breading, and water mixed with egg and breading. First approach was perfect but left too much residue in the oil. The second one, wherein you mix the water, eggs, and breading then dip the potatoes proved to be sustainable. 
Ahhhh... Junk food at its best.
Best served with Lady's Choice Ranch and our ultra favorite Vanilla Coke which we hoarded. I'm not telling where we found it. >:]

Eggs Sammy. Eggs Norwegian. Eggs Copenhagen. Well, we were able to do this before but it's just now that we tried to do it at our house! Do you eat breakfast food with wine?

So, when the power is out, all you have to do is... Eat a lot. Really. There's nothing else to do. Aside from sleeping.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Eggs Sammy in the Neighborhood

When I craved for Eggs Benedict (can someone swap bacon with something else?) and saw that all Eggs Ben costs so much, my friend Ketty was challenged to make Eggs Ben like it was as easy as juggling. It was another one of our her sariling sikap attempts in life. She should make Ketty's Kitchen and it would probably be like Van Gogh is Bipolar but this is just because the cook is plain lazy to cook today, but we'll attribute it to being bipolar.
Eggs (duh), salmon, bread, hollandaise sauce, and alfalfa sprouts.
Of course, improvisation is part of her arsenal of tricks. She made really good Eggs Sammy! She used salmon and toasted bread since we were not able to buy bagels. Then added alfalfa sprouts and you could die of cholesterol and goodness right then and there. Sigh, it was a really good day.

How come I can never attempt to do something like this is a life mystery. It's like looking for 300 year old buried treasures at underwater caves. Hopeless. -__-

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Worst Bottle Ever

Omg!! I thought I had some drafts reserved for June! I checked then saw nothing. :(
I haven't posted a single thing for June! Dang it. So what better way than to start it with a hate post. Yep.

Let's start with... Wine. 

Double Bay. Double Bay is the most putrid thing (not worthy to be called wine) I have tasted in so long. 
Photo of a big mistake.

You can't taste any distinct notes or basically you can NOT taste anything. It just had that acidic finish and everything related to wine stops there. It's supposed to be a semillon chardonnay but it forgot about itself. So, better forget this wine, too. Fair enough.