National Swap Meet at SM Aura, Taguig

Collectors in different fields there will be a 3-day swap and eyeball meet from August 25 to 27, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway, BGC, The Fort, Taguig City.

Among the activities includes auction, booths, features, display, talks, games and raffles.

There will be more than 100 toy collecting groups that will be at the ” National Swap Meet”

Toys For Marawi -Donation for Marawi

The 1st National Swap Meet exercises social responsibility through “Toys For Marawi”, an initiative of the Philippine Toy Groups Association that will donate toys for the children of Marawi. This activity aims to address the pressing need for mental stimulation and psychological healing for the children traumatized by the ongoing conflict in Marawi.

The 1st National Swap Meet is produced and organized by ArtisteSpace in collaboration with Philippine Toy Groups Association and the invaluable support of its partners – The Dark Knight PH, Toy Collector’s Lounge, SHFiguarts Philippines,Southside Transformers, Robot Pilipinas, The Mighty CollecTHORS PH, Red Toys, P.D.O.S., Digimon PH Collectors Club, TS 118, PH Star Wars Empire,Playmobil Collectors Philippines, Southern Dollies, Doll Collectors Swap & Sell,Dollvisoria, Barbie Filipino Friends, From Famous to Forgotten Super Robot,Vintage Voltes V DX Collection, Monogatari Series Philippines, MUSICars,PinoyLUG, Toy Collectors of Cavite United, Macross PH, KeithG Bricks, Voltes V Int’l Fan Page, SICness PH, DC Collectors Philippines, Pinoy Batman Kolektors,Gunpla Chuva, POSK & Juansix+ Let’s Volt In Group, DCPH, Comic Artists,Robot Collectors Haven, 3A Manila, Pinoy MInimates and sponsors – GSM, San Jose Builders, Taters and Chimara.

 

 

 

Bloggers’ Night Tagged hosted by FAME in Taguig

 Taguig City

 Friendly Alliances and Media Expression (FAME), Inc. will host another one-night fellowship for renowned bloggers from food, lifestyle, entertainment, health and wellness, fashion, photography industries on March 19, 2014, 6 p.m. at the Megaworld Showroom, McKinley Hill in Taguig City.

Dubbed as Bloggers’ Night Tagged!, the event will feature FAME brands alongside with its other corporate partners and supporters.

FAME has gone a long way from having only a doctor’s passion to write – a passion that turned to a vision of spreading a word on health and wellness in the country.

Abiding by its mission to promote good health, a healthy lifestyle, sound Christian values, and professional excellence, FAME has become a trusted brand in creating quality publications and providing other services in the country.

Owned by its very own Editor-In-Chief and Publisher Dr. Rafael R. Castillo, a renowned cardiologist, FAME started by giving its doctor-readers the Health and Lifestyle (H&L) magazine, the quintessential guide for the modern-day doctor, which is FAME’s flagship publication.

Two years later, FAME expanded its publication and ventured into commercial publications. DiabetEASE magazine was launched to empower patients and their families with diabetes.

From feature and in-depth stories on medicine, FAME ventured into promoting the Philippine and international tourism and empowering women with its Travel Plus and Zen Health magazines, respectively.

For more than two years now, Vital Signs, one of the latest FAME publications in an eight-page newsletter format, is seen to become the leader in medical news as it synthesizes the most recent scientific and healthcare news taken from notable sources in the field of healthcare, medicine, public health administration read by doctors, healthcare professionals, and even legislators.

So what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars, come along, and tag your blogger-friend! You surely don’t want to miss this year’s Bloggers’ Night event as exciting prizes await all attendees courtesy of FAME’s major sponsors and surprise guest appearances and performances.

We hope to see you there in our best event ever!

5 Flowering Trees in Bloom within the Neighborhood

There are 5 tree species which are currently in bloom in many parts of the country. The blooming season coincide with the intense heat of the dry season, which is common in western parts of the country and in Metro Manila.

While walking within the immediate vicinity, i was able to take photos of some trees in bloom.

5 Trees in Blooming Season

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5.) Narra scientifically called ( Pterocarpus indicus) apalit,asana, agsana padauk, mukwa, Burmese rosewood, Andaman redwood, Philippine mahogany.

This tree species is found over wide range in Asia from India, Sri Lanka, Indo-China, Indonesia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Ryukyu islands, Solomon islands and the Philippines.

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This tree species was declared the national tree of the Philippines in 1934 by Governor Frank Murphy. The blooming season of this tree species is between late February to early June.

It is quite hard to find old narra trees suitable for furniture and wooden floors. It is also expensive. People should plant more narra trees, since they are slow grower.

4.) Banaba – scientifically called ( Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.) This flowering tree is locally called banaba, bugarom, bugarum, duguam, mitla, nabulong, pride of India, Queen’s flower among others. The tree grows between 5 to 20 meters in height.

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Found in wide range of location from India, Bangladesh, Indo-China, Malaya, Taiwan, southern Japan and Philippines.

The young leaves are used as purugative and sometimes used in making local tea. Older tree can be used for timber.

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3.) Royal Poinciana ( Delonix regia) – locally called flame tree, fire tree, flamboyant tree, peacock tree, caballero. The tree was introduced to the country via Mexico from Madagascar probably in the late 17th up to the early part of the 19th century. It is now considered common, pan-tropical and found in many parts of the globe. This had different blooming season in various countries where it was introduced.  The blooming season is from early March to mid-June in the Philippines. Urban myths and local folklore that flowering signals the imminent arrival of the monsoon season.

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Plaza Roma and Manila Cathedral Basilica days before the enhanced community quarantine

Old photos in the 19th century showed flame tree planted in Plaza Mayor in present day Plaza Roma in front of the Manila Cathedral. In 2008, former Intramuros administrator Ms. Anna Marie “Bambi”  Harper gave permission the cutting of 29 narra, mahogany, ficus trees within Plaza Roma and then replanted some flame trees within the plaza. As reported by ABS-CBN channel 2.

This sparked some outrage in local plant conservation societies, since the tree is non-indigenous/ native. Its shallow root system is prone to toppling off during heavy rains or during typhoon.

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2.) Acacia( Samanea saman/Albizia saman ( Jacq) F. Muell) known locally as acacia, akasya, monkey pod tree, cow tamarind, rain tree, false power puff tree which originated from tropical America. In Indonesia it is called meh, trembesi. it is called pukul lima, pokok hujan (“rain tree”), ampil barang in Malaysia.

Acacia/ Akasya found its way to the country during the late 16th to early part of the 19th century via famed Manila-Acapulco galleon trade.  The tree species can grow between 30 to 60 meters in height and can be spectacular sight.

Now, this tree is found in many parts of the world and is considered pan-tropical.  It is  is widely planted as shade trees in parks, boulevards, churches, plazas, cemeteries and large estates.

The wood is beautiful is used in wood craft, cutting board and in planting denuded forest areas.

There are also many folkloric tales, urban legends which surround old acacia trees throughout its pan-tropical and sub-tropical range.

There were several centuries-old acacia trees found in many parts of the country. Paco Park boast of several trees which had witness the death of Dr. Jose Rizal and burial of prominent personalities within the park. Saint Anne Church in Taguig also a mute witness to the Philippine revolution, second world war and new millennium.

Far Eastern University’s in Manila campus also boast of an acacia tree which was planted and nurtured by the founder Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr.

While the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus boasted of century-old fertility tree. I had a privilege to join a heritage tree walk in 2012 conduced by the Late Dr. Roberto E. Coronel  when he was still alive.

The sad part was i also seen the dying acacia tree along Padre Faura street and a well-known fast food restaurant nearby.

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Acacia tree is also host to different eipiphtyes such as ferns, orchids and hoyas in Nagcarlan, Laguna province.

Older tree can host several species of epiphtyes like Drynaria quercifolia, Asplenium nidus, hoya, Dendrobium crumenatum ( dove orchid), Luisia teretifolia ( bee or fly orchid )among others.

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seed pods are also used as maracas by some musicians

1.) Golden Shower Tree- ( Cassia fistula) This is called under many names such as April shower tree, golden shower, purging cassia, Indian laburnum, pudding-pipe, kanya pistula, amaltaas, lapad-lapad, bistula, ibabau, lombayong or Royal Ratchaphruek tree in Thailand.

I have written an article about the folkloric uses, urban legend which surround the blooming cycle of this flowering tree species in the country.

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Local botanists and horticulturists agree that the flowering tree was introduced into the country long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Might have been brought by sea traders from other southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand or Indian traders.

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golden shower or april shower flowers

This blooming season for this flowering tree is between late February to late May depending on the region and provinces in the country. Now this tree species is found in sub-tropical to tropical areas all over the globe.

Bibliography, Sources and References:

Personal interviews

Hargreaves, Dorothy and Bob: Tropical Trees: Found in the Carribean, South America, Mexico: ISBN-13: 978-0910690058/ ISBN-10: 0910690057

Heuzé V., Thiollet H., Tran G., Hassoun P., Lebas F., 2018. Golden tree (Cassia fistula). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO.

Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 3: 10.

Madulid , Domingo Dr. (2000) The BookMark Philippines Inc., Makati A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants. ISBN: 971-569-367-9

Meninger Edwin Arnold. ( January 1962) Flowering Trees of the World for Tropics and Warm Climate,  Heartwind Pubns; 1st Edition. edition, ISBN-10: 0820800392/ Isbn-13:978-0820800394

Philippine Native Trees 101, Philippine Native Trees 303 book

M.S. Swaminathan, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, India and S.L.Kochhar, University of Delhi ( 2019) Major Flowering Trees of Tropical Gardens. ISBN 9781108481953

Merrill, E.D. (1916) Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 6: 47

Tanaka, Yoshitaka; Van Ke, Nguyen (2007). Edible Wild Plants of Vietnam: The Bountiful Garden. Thailand: Orchid Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-9745240896.

 

Aling Norma’s Suman and Sweet Delicacies of Kawit

Aling Norma’s Suman and Sweet Delicacies is one of the pride of Toclong, Kawit, Cavite province.

Toclong or Lupang Kawit had several large tracts of rice fields, which explained that the area produce some of the best rice base delicacies of the town and the entire province.

suman lihia

Suman Lihia

I have tasted several suman before when we visited the town of Kawit, but have no idea that those came from Toclong, Kawit.  The rice is wrapped in banana leaves ( which infuse some flavors), then cooked in large tin cans slowly cooked over firewood.

Heirloom Recipe

Suman ( steam glutinous rice ) wrapped in banana leaves is the special pride of Aling Norma. The recipe had been part of their family and was handed down for several generations. The grandchildren said that it was a local favorite and some families in Kawit would order in advance. Their suman had reached many places like Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig, Valenzuela, Manila and even abroad.

A friend who hails from Antipolo also told us that some of the suman sold in their place were also sourced from Kawit.

Suman Moron

Suman Moron ( malagkit na bigas chocolate with mani ) glutinous rice with chocolate and peanuts. One of their best selling suman

Aling Norma’s suman can last for at least a day without spoiling. The secret is the use of pure glutinous or sticky rice in their suman. They would stick on the traditional recipe and would not scrimp on the ingredients.  Other suman makers would use the non-sticky rice varieties mix with glutinous rice in order to lower the cost. Hence one reason “why” it easily get spoiled.

Balinghoy

suman sa balinghoy with langka

Aling Norma specializes on antala (suman malagkit sa gata), suman sa balinghoy with langka ( cassava) or kamoteng kahoy, suman sa lihia, suman moron ( which is a combination of glutinous rice, chocolate with mani ( the most popular) malagkit with pinipig, pichi-pichi are just some of their well-loved delicacies.

pichi-pichi

pichi -pichi

The best way to eat their suman is serve hot with shredded coconut, traditional brown sugar called “paldo” or coconut jam. This is also best paired with hot chocolate or coffee from Amadeo.

antala

antala

One of the grandchildren have asked me if i am from the town of Imus or Kawit, since they have a suki ( regular customer) which looked similar. I hailed from Metro Manila.

Bought several suman before we left the Cavite Food and Culinary Expo 2019 site at Isla Events Place in Imus, Cavite province. After almost 8 hours of event and travel from Cavite, Aling Norma’s suman is still fresh and almost immediately eaten by immediate family members and relatives who would swear that it was one of the best suman they have tasted.

Note: Aling Norma’s Suman and Sweet Delicacies accepts bulk order, but must be ordered in advance.

Aling Norma’s Suman and Sweet Delicacies

Address; Toclong , Kawit, Cavite

Contact Person: Ms. Gerlie (0935-4939544)

Filipino and Asian Home Style Dishes at Fely J’s Kitchen in Uptown Mall

 The group were hungry after an event at the Grand Hyatt hotel.  It was past 12:30 pm when we went to the Uptown mall within Bonifacio Global City or simply called (BCG) in Taguig.
Fely J’s Kitchen restaurant

We were craving for something Filipino and home cooked dishes. Fely J’s Kitchen is just located near the escalator of the mall. We decided to eat at the restaurant without thinking of other restaurants within the mall.

Fely J’s Kitchen menu board ( set meals for group )

Some of the bloggers/ vloggers are in such a hurry covering another event that they wanted to eat. Mommy Lariza lost no time in ordering set meals ( Set C) which we saw at the menu board.

Fely J’s Kitchen

Fely J’s Kitchen menu board

Fely J’s Kitchen is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Felicidad de Jesus-Cruz, mother of LJC Group founder Larry J. Cruz, features Fely J’s treasured recipes. This is the second restaurant which opened within Metro Manila, the first one was in Greenbelt 5, Makati.

interiors

The restaurant had quite a big sitting capacity ( indoor had about 100 ) while outdoor patio area had another ( 50  patio area) with total sitting capacity of about 150 at any given time.

figurines on display

The place had a homey ambiance with several old photographs of old Manila like Binondo church, treasured family photos, books and figurines are found within the restaurant.

Our group only waited for just few minutes, the first to be serve was the ice tea followed by tokwa at baboy ( fried tofu with pork, chop onions, chop banana chilies with soy sauce and vinegar).

tokwa at baboy

Tokwa at Baboy is just like the same as those cooked in other popular Filipino restaurants. They should have added bits of fresh cilantro leaves, Nothing fancy.

seafood kare-kare

crispy pata with fried garlic as toppings , atchara and soy sauce

grilled chicken inasal with soy sauce, calamansi, fresh chilies and radish

pork sinigang

One of the first dishes to be serve is the Crispy pata with atchara and dipping sauce. This is followed with white rice, pancit canton, pork and bangus sinigang, grilled chicken inasal , seafood kare-kare with bagoong and gising gising.

sinigang na bangus

gising gising

I liked all of their dishes particularly the gising-gising which had a balance of spice, sweetness ,nicely chopped kangkong stems and bits of pork meat.  However the coconut milk ( gata ) is a bit watered down for my taste.
turon with langka and ube

We also ordered fried turon with langka and ube for dessert.group photo

40th Anniversary

LJC group  of companies which also included Abe’s Farm in Pampanga, Lorenzo’s Way, Bistro Remedios, Cafe Adriatico, Cafe Havana, and Polka Dot Bakeshop to name a few celebrates their 40th anniversary.

set meal C

The staff were quite attentive, friendly,courteous when some of us, ask them for a quick group shots from our cameras.

I will surely come back to eat their other specialties, One of my friend told me that their temple crab, braised short ribs, lumpiang sariwa, lechon kawali, binagoongang baboy are worth ordering.

Address: 2nd Floor, Uptown Mall, 9th Avenue corner 36th Street, Bonifacio Global City , Taguig City

Contact Details : 802-53-54 / 946-3676 / 0995-6539039

Operational Hours: Everyday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm,  During Friday, Saturday and Sunday-operation can be up to 12:00 midnight