Category Archives: I Heart RP

If You Can’t Stand the Heat–Build Your Own Kitchen

If you’re wondering why I haven’t purchased a ticket to fly somewhere and get on my Cole Walks action, don’t worry, I’m not suffering from any serious illness of some sort: 1) Since I arrived from Singapore, I was hunting here, there and everywhere for a job; 2) If I’m not showing up at interviews, I’m at home completing my courses–oh, my academic life; and 3) I’m trying to learn the basics of one aspect of my life that I haven’t really cultivated, that is cooking.

Yes, who would have thought, right? Princess Cole, can’t do the dishes, can’t do her own laundry, can’t cook to save her life, is now her household’s Pasta Chef, or at least because her family has no choice but to eat what their Princess has prepared for them–whether it’s relatively edible or utterly repulsive. But I have to say, I’m not that prissy. I can handle things on my own, only that I haven’t mastered the chores part yet. Although, when I moved to Laos and had acquired my own place for a while, I was the one cleaning my flat even if I lived in a guesthouse. I managed my own finances, and above all, I looked after my own health and safety.

Things had leveled up though, when I got domesticated while in-between jobs here in my hometown. I started doing my own laundry (my parents drop off theirs at a shop somewhere), and that was also my first time to use the washer. My good friend for a decade now was shocked about this tidbit. Poor her, she’s friends with a priss. I didn’t exactly plan on messing with our kitchen because I really wanted to get back to playing the piano. Plus, I seriously thought I won’t be able to do anything right in the kitchen because I am a firm believer that there are some things one just can’t do. The thought of slicing, dicing, mincing, sautéing, burning/slicing my finger just freaked me out. I keep hearing my mom’s shrieks when she accidentally cuts her finger whenever I see our knives. But as it turns out, my hand-eye-coordination worked better in the kitchen than tapping the keys of our old piano. I got hungry one afternoon, spotted some cheap-az pasta sitting in the cupboard, and leftover ready-made pesto sauce in the fridge. What else am I supposed to do?

My first try was, of course, a tragedy. Pasta was overcooked. The whole thing upset me that I just had to accept the challenge of the culinary arts. In the following weeks: 1) My mom shared some secrets of the trade; 2) I studied Giada de Laurentiis’ and Rachael Ray’s recipes on Food Network; and 3) Forced my family to be my guinea pigs for my cooking HAH! And well, whaddyaknow, one Sunday morning (or okay that was almost noon, I slept real late–insomnia attacks), my brother was kicking my foot saying “Hoy, Pigrolac, gumising ka na!” (Hey, Pigrolac, get up!) If you’re wondering what Pigrolac is, it’s a brand of pig feeds. I know, I have the sweetest brothers in the whole friggin world. So I got up, my mom was in the kitchen, I asked her why all of a sudden my brother was so eager to wake me up because the last time that that happened was back when we were in college–and that was a loooong time ago. My mom just answered “Magluto ka na daw,” (It’s time for you to cook). I didn’t know if I was going to be pissed off with the Pigrolac comment or actually be proud that, at least, my brother requested for me to cook. For real or not, I was happy.

And so, there goes my story, enjoy my pasta creations. Hit me up for some collaborations HAH!

So what’s next–Filipino food? Mexican? Lao? 😉

All photos were taken using Hipstamatic for iPhone.

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Filed under Food and Dining, I Heart RP

Destination: Palawan

Filipino by blood and by heart, but haven’t even been around the beautiful provinces her country can offer. After my Palawan-Halloween-Weekend, I promised myself that as much as I love crossing borders, island-hopping in the Philippines should be part of my itinerary in my quest of exploring culture, one country at a time. And BECAUSE it is just as fun –and hurts my wallet less.

A random night-out with my friends, Kamille and Angela, gave me another reason to be impulsive. Gela booked me a ticket to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, under five minutes. What can I say, it was one of the best (impulsive) decisions I’ve ever made.

It was Todos Los Santos weekend, which means everyone will be battling it out to vacation spots and cemeteries. I never been a fan of Halloween or going out-of-town during this time of the year but since I put up this site, I figured it’s time for  a change and embrace every opportunity to travel.  It was given that traveling during the weekend would entail heavy traffic. So, if you want to avoid the excruciating traffic jam, you can stay at home and watch what’s scary on TV. Otherwise, you can beat cars (or not) with your patience. Gela and I left Los Banos at 1PM, and uhh, our flight was at 5.35PM. Paranoid much?

Hello, Puerto Princesa City (PPS)

The capital of Palawan, PPS is home to various tourist attractions and protected areas. Does Underground River ring a bell? Although we didn’t visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, we explored Honda Bay aka Island-Hopping and an emerging tourist destination, Brgy Simpocan. Out of the ordinary? Oh yeah.

We arrived at PPS around 7PM and the first thing we did was to have a nice Filipino dinner with Gela’s good friends from the United States, who are in PPS for their internship. And what’s a weekend without nightlife? After dinner, we chilled at a reggae bar called Katabom. If you’re looking for laidback environment but all alcohol requisites are met, Katabom is the place to be. PPS has a long strip of bars and restaurants with live bands and good food –the nights are never boring in PPS.

The next day was dedicated to Honda Bay, famous for its island-hopping and activities such as snorkelling. Five islands in a day? That can be pretty tiring, but it was all good. Jumped, floated, burnt our skin, picture-taking with a bunch of starfish, became beach bums, spent less than PHP1500… it’s the perfect weekend getaway.

I can’t swim but after our island-hopping madness and I got home in one piece, breathing normally, I was up for anything. For our last two days in PPS, we had a camping trip by the beach in Brgy Simpocan. It’s around a 2-hour rough-road ride up and down the mountains, so a 4×4 vehicle is crucial. Serene, peaceful and relaxing –you literally own the beach. Brgy Capt Boy Macasaet expresses his plans of developing this area into one tourist attraction. By the beach and hidden, hmm, anyone who’s into camping and soul-searching together with the sound of the big waves will definitely fall in love with Simpocan.

Enough of the chit-chat… Here’s Palawan for your eyes only!

 

So you see, this is my first Philippine entry. I’ve been to provinces but my blogging life hasn’t even started back then. I would love to explore more and perhaps revisit some of my favorite places like Sagada up North and Cebu City down south and Camiguin in Mindanao. The thing with traveling within the country that I appreciate is  we discover more of our own roots –with friends to find the coolest places and getting lost in the way and ultimately, helping the country’s tourism business. Oh well, in time. My career as a travel writer has just begun.

PS A big THANK YOU to Matt, Justin, Ginelle, Billy, Cory, Elyse, Kat and Ray for an adventure-filled weekend! 🙂

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Filed under I Heart RP, Snappies, Walk and Talk