Next Generation Kiampung you will surely drool on

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Kiampung, Kiampeng or Kiampong which literally means “salty rice” was derived from Hokkien language of Amoy or Fujian province in China. The southern- style rice casserole is a staple in almost all of Filipino-Chinese communities. In fact,Chinese communities around the world had their own version of kiampung.

Culinary Experts and Historians

Culinary experts and historians would sometimes compare this rice dish as Chinese- style paella because of the amount of ingredients added into this meal. Some fancy restaurants would have pork belly, chicken, rabbit meat,chorizo,shitake mushroom, minced garlic, crushed ginger, leeks, kangkong stalks, diced taro rhizome, sliced carrots, mustard, chestnuts, meat balls, hard-boiled eggs, bokchoy etc.. added unto the rice casserole dish.

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Toppings would include any of the following: spring onion leaves, ma-hu ( pork or chicken floss), pickled radish, seaweeds, pickled cucumber, sliced century egg, dried shrimp and roasted peanuts.

In principle, Kiampung / Kiampeng /Kiampong is just a simple soy sauce rice casserole dish, with a bits of pork meat and small amount of vegetables added into the dish.

We live in Binondo –Manila Chinatown, Santa Mesa, Santa Cruz, Sampaloc districts for several years and tasted at least a dozen variants of kiampung. But all the variations were salty and greasy.

Healthy Kiampung from Ama’s Recipe

Ama is a Hokkien word for grandmother on the paternal ( father’s)side. Ama’s Recipe is a start-up home-based enterprise which started their operations few weeks ago during the height of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.

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The kiampung/ kiampong/ kiampeng recipe was handed down from Ama Diana to her granddaughters Ms. Alexis Nicole Sze and Ms. Abigail Sofia Sze (tandem of two sisters) in which they specialize in serving a healthy version of kiampung throughout her growing years.

Ama’s Recipe tagline” a recipe that warms the soul“. captured the heart warming love, affection and care that she had experienced from her grandmother. As a 3rd generation family member,  the dynamic duo wanted to share their family’s affection thru their recipes.

Ama’s Recipe has a limited menu, They focus on their signature family heirloom kiampung/ kiampong/kiampeng, hard boiled tea eggs and adobo peanuts.

The usual “KKKK” Kamag-Anak,Kaibigan,Kapitbahay, Klasmeyt system were use to promote their signature family heirloom meal. The public reception of their dishes had been phenomenal in just a matter of few weeks!

Ama’s Kiampung (P250) is soy based rice dish, cubed tofu, grated carrots, marinated pork meat topped with chopped spring onions, grated ginger, sauteed shallots and adobo peanuts!

This is considered as a full meal complete with go, grow and glow element. Ideal for all ages. Ama’s kiampung is good for sharing between for 2-3 persons. For those maintaining a low sodium diet or with underlying health condition. There pose no problem, since they are not using the commercial soy sauce brands with high sodium and preservatives.

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Boiled Tea Eggs (Php 150 for 6 pieces) This is best paired with kiampung/ kiampong/ kiampeng. The tea eggs recipe have originated from Zhejiang province but quickly spread in different provinces of China. Eventually some regional variation and distinct flavors were developed to suit the local taste buds.

The process is that chicken or duck eggs are gently cracked all over and simmered in a flavorful broth of tea leaves, soy sauce, spices for several hours until the black liquid seeps in along the cracks. The eggs end up with a rich flavor and an intricate, delicate spider-webbed pattern emerged.

Eating tea eggs also had some medicinal and therapeutic effects too! The tea egg can be eaten anytime of the day, hot or cold.

It is quite popular in Taiwan (ROC) and there were restaurants in 168 Mall, Divisoria,Guillermo Masangkay street, Ongpin street within Manila Chinatown which sells these eggs. But Ama’s Recipe would win hands-down since they use quality ingredients.

Adobo Peanuts are sold separately if you want to add more toppings to the kiampung / kiampong/ kiampeng. (Php200 per 300 grams). What is different from their adobo peanuts from the rest of the pack is that they are not greasy and are only roasted upon order. So it does not have a soggy or rancid after taste.

The Kiampung was delivered thru Grab delivery within 45 minutes from the place of origin to the northern outskirt of Quezon City. We will surely order again and highly recommend their short list of menu. We think that there are still more hidden recipes by their ama, still waiting to be shared by Ms. Alexsis Nicole and Ms. Abigail Sze in the near future.

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Mr. Crisanto Laurente of Grab holding the kiampung meal pack

How to Place an Order

For weekdays- Mondays to Fridays – They are open for a minimum order of at least 3 Kiampung / Kiampong meals.

Saturdays and Sundays- No minimum order for their Kiampung/ Kiampong meals.

They also accepts bulk orders at least 2 to 3 days advance notice and are subject to the availability of the menu.

One can contact them on Facebook and Instagram for deliveries which can be done through Grab, Lalamove,  Mr Speedy, R&R express and will be charged to the buyer.

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Ama’s Recipe

Contact Persons: Ms. Alexis Nicole Sze and Ms. Abigail Sofia Sze

Contact : 0917-5765855

Facebook: Ama’s Recipe

Instagram: @amas_recipe

Shisa: Tales of Stone Dog Guardians

Shisa, Shiisa or Shizi are an ordinary feature when one visit the island of Okinawa and southern prefecture of Japan. The creature looks like hybrid of pekingese dog, lion and cat.

Introduction and Origin

There are many stories which surround the origin of the introduction of Buddhism having been introduced to Japan from Korea in 552 CE. It was during Nara period (710-794), lion guardians was popularized in the country and are found in temples and shrines. These might have come from China and Korea.

Some of the original guard dogs are made of wood and originally placed indoor. It was only between 14th and 15th century that stone dogs are created for outdoor and the horn was gradually replace with the current version.

There are a variation of the guardian lions found in many other parts of Asia, including mainland Japan and Korea where they are called Komainu. Which are mostly found in Buddhist temples and shrines.

As more pottery kiln rose the popularity of shisa within the region. It was also the time that shisa sitting on a red tile roof of buildings or as guard dogs in entrance of one’s abode. Some buildings like schools, hospitals, enterprises, airports and even malls have shisa guarding their entrances.

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Shisha guardian dogs made from ceramic ( circa 1980’s)

Folktales and Legends

There are several folk tales which may have started from the Tomimori Village in the late 16th century near Kochinda Town in southern part of Okinawa.

Villagers of that area sought out Saiouzui, a Feng Shui master, to ask him why there were so many fires around the area. He believed they were because of the power of the nearby Mt. Yaese. Hence Shisa dogs were places facing the mountain to ward of the negative elements and fire.

Since placing shisa at the entrance to the village, there hasn’t been a single fire in the village.

Another popular tale originates in the 17th century surrounding the village of Madanbashi south of Naha the capital city.

A visiting Chinese envoy at the Shuri court gave the king of Ryukyu (now Okinawa) a necklace decorated with a figurine of a shisa-dog (locally called Iri-nu). The king found it as nice present and wore it underneath his clothes. This serves as a good luck charm and amulet.

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Shisha dogs with bell

According to this legend, Madanbashi village were regularly attacked by a giant fire dragon.

A local priestesses (noro) recalled a dream. She inform the visiting king to stand on the beach with the Shisa figure held high towards the dragon. She gave this information to a young local boy, Chiga, who delivered the message to the king.

She gave this information to a young boy, Chiga, who delivered the message to the king. From there the king went to face the dragon and performed the actions as told by Chiga.

As the dragon was ready to attack, the priestess told the king to hold up the necklace to the monster. There rose a thundering roar and the Shisa came to life, three large boulders fell from the sky pinning the monster and crushing its tail.

Unable to move around, the creature eventually died and was later overgrown with foliage, trees and vegetation. It is later known as Gana-Mui forest near Naha- Ohashi bridge. People have erected large stone shisa to protect the place from evil spirits.

Since then, the inhabitants of Madanbashi continue to gather every year, on August 15th lunar calendar to offer prayers and offerings (mainly fruits , steam buns and foods) to protect the people of the village.

During the closing months of the second world war, Some shisa dogs found in the island were used by some local as shield against gunfire by the allied forces.

The guardian dogs as a talisman against evil spirits and good luck. These are an indispensable element in the lives of Okinawans.

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pair of shisa in different posture

Male and Female

There are many beliefs on the gender of these guardian dogs, Some believe that male shisa had a wide an open mouth to wards off evil spirits, and the one with a closed mouth, a female, keeps good spirits in.

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a pair of shisa dog -one close mouth and one with open mouth

Depending on who you ask, which one is which might differ. Some believe that the one with an open mouth is male and he is scaring the evil away, but others say that he has the mouth closed to keep evil out of the home. The female with an open mouth is sharing good luck with others, while the one with closed mouth keeps the luck inside the house.

Popular Culture

The popularity of these arouse after the end of the second world war, Shisa were popular souvenir items which range from small figurines, t-shirts, toys, clock, paper weights, bells, sharpener, terracotta pots among others.

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shisa figurine is a popular souvenir item from Okinawa

Shisa Collection

She started collecting the items 5 years ago, when her immediate relative gave her a pair of shisa figurine upon visit to the island. She then fell in love with these items and started buying them in Japanese thrift stores within Fairview or Lagro area.

The collector had over 3 dozen Shisa figurines in different sizes. Sometimes, shisa figurine would not come in pair and some items would have missing tails or broken head.

References:

Adopted from Legends of Okinawa by Chizue Sesoko

Arroyo, Kelly : Shisa dogs of Okinawa

Mariko Uehara Roland, Kijimuna and Shisa ( Bilingual ), October 21, 2011

Personal interview with a shisa collector

Okinawa Prefectural Government. Archived from the original on 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2010-08-09.

Shisa : Mythical creature of Okinawa

Tales of Matryoshka Dolls

Tales of Matryoshka dolls started when i was a teenager, I have a distant aunt ( on the maternal side) who just collected a couple of sets of the famed Matryoshka dolls. It was part of a few items displayed at the second floor of apartment and commercial stall somewhere along Salazar street within Binondo district, Manila.

According to her , the dolls were bought sometime in the early 1980’s from a Russian who sold some Matryoshka dolls during a bazaar in Makati.

It was selling like pancakes since there were few items sold in the country during the early part of the Russian- Philippines diplomatic relations. Being a license jewelry appraiser and Chinese plaque maker was the key in meeting some foreign dignitaries or joining a bazaar.

It was late 2005, when i saw again the dolls at the display cabinet. I felt like those dolls are quite eerie since they were facing the sala set near her room, They were like those  voodoo dolls. They have large eyes!

She asked me if i have some friends or relatives who would love to buy the set including an old vintage cabinet made from narra ( a hardwood variety ) art deco era around 1940’s and a Fuk Luk Su figurine set . She badly needed the money , But i have no friends who would collect those nesting dolls , Fu Luk Su and even the narra cabinet could not be sold immediately.

Business is getting bad and eventually there were a lot of bad credits and paying off her debts is the priority. Her father ( technically i called him great grandfather ( tai kung kung  ) because he is over 90 years old ! was the original owner of the cabinet.

Eventually, great grandfather or tai kung kung died a year after and they were evicted by the association who owns the unit that they were renting since the 1940’s . They are not able to settle the rentals for more than a year. Most of the items were used as payment to settle some of her bad debts. This it was not enough, since outstanding debts runs into millions of pesos ! According to her story, there were 2 old time regular ” suki ” jeweler from the province who borrowed some jewelries ( in millions ) paid in half  , since the jewelries would be shown to her buyer. Eventually, the bank cheque issued bounced and jeweler could not be found.

It was the same story of a Cebu based fashion accessory owner who also owe her about Php 450,000 worth of real jewelries and only paid her in fraction , Mostly useless fashion accessories which was never sold.

Her health failed and she died last year.

History

  The Chinese crafted nesting boxes , gift boxes or surprise boxes that date back to the Song Dynasty, around 1000 AD or a little bit earlier sometime around 950 AD  These boxes were both functional and decorative. Sometime during the 1700s they applied this concept to a set of dolls and the first nesting doll was born.

Chinese nesting dolls are similar to the nesting dolls that are common today.  In the original Chinese sets the smallest doll held a single grain of rice normally or  prosperity or fruitful. There were a lot of meaning an symbolism behind the rice.

Due to trade relations between China and Japan. Some of the nesting boxes or surprise boxes were adopted by the Japanese and new dolls were created sometime around the 17th century .

The outer most doll was Fukurokuju the Japanese god of happiness and longevity. Daruma dolls originated in the city of Takasaki, around the mid- 1760s.  They are a hollow Papier-mâché doll and often have a wooden mold to create their shape.

How did it Come to Russia

Some historians and dolls collector would trace their roots around 1880s to 1890’s when Savva Mamontov discovered a set maybe from Japan.  Mamontov was a wealthy supporter of the arts and wanted to revive Russian folk art.   One of his artists, Sergei Maliutin created the first Russian set with the help of Vassily Zviozdochkin.

Eventually it became a fad and it became a popular gifts . Some Eastern European countries also adopted the nesting dolls and there are clubs and associations which collects and exhibits the dolls.

 

Collector Friend

A friend who will be celebrating her birthday next week ,collects different kind of dolls, one of her bucket list was a Matryoshka dolls. Her passion started when she was a teenager with some barbie dolls she acquired as a birthday present. Her collection quickly expanded into dolls from other countries.

I saw 2 sets posted in a swap and buying site . The item quickly caught my attention. After a few days and a couple of delays ( due to heavy monsoon rains ) I was able to meet the dealer/ collector and paid the stuff. According to the collector, He got the item from Japan few years ago and decided to unload the item.

 

 

 

 

Miss Globe 2015 is Miss Philippines

Miss Philippines together with her court ,1st Runner Up: Albania ,2nd Runner Up:, Macedonia, 3rd Runner Up: China,4th Runner Up: France

Trinidad and Tobago just won National Costume, Miss South Africa wins Miss Friendship, Miss Cuba wins Miss Talent and Miss Korea wins People’s Choice Award.

Official Top 15:
Russia
Albania
Portugal
Brazil
Poland

Canada
Philippines
China
Montenegro
Estonia

Mexico
Korea
France
Macedonia
Lithuania

CHINA Outshines Philippines in HOSTING the 2019 FIBA WORLD Championships

Tokyo , Japan

screen grabs from FIBA livestreaming

China edged Philippines as FIBA board members had chosen the sporting and economic powerhouse . Its presentation which showed that the country that hosted several key important events like Summer 2008 Olympic Games , 2010 Asian Games,  2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics among others .  Among its pitch are the 300 million Chinese basketball fans, over 3,000 basketball schools and at least 100,000 hotel rooms available in 8 major cities which are hosting the event. Plus over 1.3 billion Chinese . With that impressive and mammoth presentation. No country can probably match what CHINA host committee can offer.

screen grabs from presentation

The presentation projecting the success of the country in hosting major world events and how professionally it had shown to the entire world that CHINA can make it BIG TIME and it means Business.

They will also host the upcoming 2015 Fiba Asia Championships. “China never, never lets you down,” said Chinese Basketball Association President Yu Zaiging in the 20-minute presentation

China also boasted of holding the Fiba World Cup, which is held every four years, in eight keys cities which are easily connected by several forms of modern transportation.

The Philippines which banked on the Filipinos’ passion for the sports and reach on social media in its bid for the hosting, with a presentation focusing on its strength in infrastructure, hosting experience, and resources. Plus the fact that the country is becoming an economic powerhouse.

The announcement of the hosting was initially scheduled for 5:25 p.m. Manila time but was moved to 6:15 p.m.

Netizens Reaction

The hastag #PUSO2019 became a hot topic among netizens and twitter followers and the live-streaming site of FIBA was teeming with fans from all over the world.

Mr. Tonyo Cruz twitter

Majority of the Filipino netizens were quite dismayed over the FIBA decision but many say that it is like DAVID vs. Goliath scenario .  David = Philippines , Goliath = CHINA , now had the upper hand with the presentation .

Some people thinks that FIBA has already made their decision on giving CHINA hosting rights after the successful hosting of the country of FIBA Asia Championship several times. It wanted a more concrete plans and of course MONEY in hosting the event. Some netizens said that FIBA is looking for MONEY # PERA rather than # PUSO because pure heart does not translate into cold cash .

# SugatanPUSO2019  soon became a trending topic , In the social media conversations that followed, many made references to actual heartbreaking experiences like when someone gives you false hopes or hurts your feelings.  Mr. Emmanuel De Leon a twitter user said in his tweet that FIBA 2019 is

Ang pag-ibig parang : di pwedeng puro puso, dapat may BUDGET ka rin.

The list goes on and on, BUT i think the country had already proved itself capable in hosting BIG time event like FIBA in 1978 and maybe in the near future. As they always say,- “Back in the Drawing Board” .  I personally think that the country must focus on regional events like SEA Games in 2019 or maybe another shot in hosting ASIAN Games before hosting FIBA or any international events. Hosting an event needed money and it does not guarantee a hefty payback .

  • Note- I have watched the live-stream from FIBA and some news from Tokyo . I think based on the delays on the decision of FIBA board and its members,It must be more on getting an overwhelming majority votes .
  • According to the FIBA website : The FIBA Central Board composed of 21 members voted 14-7 in favor of China Friday, August 7 in Tokyo, Japan for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup hosting, according to a press release from FIBA.
  • As a third world country like the Philippines, hosting a BIG event such as FIBA requires MONEY and infrastructure , in which CHINA is capable of upstaging given to the relatively size of their country and people.