Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chennai at night

Tonight we wanted to see Chennai. We decided to head to the beach. The best option to get there was the rickshaw.

And I thought our tricycle was exciting

Manong and his Indian passenger =P

The rickshaw is like our tricycle in so many ways, except that it is symmetrical in structure. However, it runs like 3 times faster than our tricycle – but that, I guess, is just manong driver having the need for speed… like bigtime speed, hehe.


“I feel people here do not have sense of road safety” I told Prabha. “No, no, they really know no road safety here” she responded. She even added that lives are lost every second because of road accidents.

Come one, come all… let’s rock n’ roll =)


Yes, it’s a beach. It is, however, different from the beach I know from back home… this has much more life. A lot of snack bars in the middle of the shore. There are even mini rides for kids run manually by hand. It’s like a mini-carnival. =)

Go Valencia! Go!


There are also peddlers of all sorts of stuff.

Fried Tapioca, Grilled sweet corn, or rice snacks?

The glass bangles caught my colleagues’ attention. Tradition, culture, beliefs - a lot of them revolve around these glass bangles - some worn in sets of 6 (to mean something), some of 8 and more (to mean a another thing). Prabha and Valencia also talked about some of the reasons on why, and methods on how, the bangles should be broken. Interesting! Too bad though, I didn’t pay much attention. In my defense, one can hardly focus on just one thing, in the sea of interesting items to buy and activities to do in this beach!

Bangles, anyone?


What’s for dinner?

Idli and Gosa

Indian pancake and puto-like bread (in texture and taste), eaten on plantain leaf with 4 different sauces. My favorite was chutney– that’s the white one.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's for lunch?


2 Chat Puri and 2 Pana puri

Chat puri has a lot of texture – crunchy shreds of potatoes, with smooth yoghurt covering the tomatoes and onions which are spiced to perfection, on top of crunchy bread.

Pana puri is refreshing. That leaf like bowl is filled with water with lemon juice and some other spices. Inside the cracker-like shell is roughly mashed potato with herbs (I tasted thyme) and spices. You dip the whole stuff in the lemon water, before you munch on it in one go!

Yum yum!

Main Course

Clockwise from left: Mukkal masala – Murgh Dum biryani – Sheikh kabab

The masala has a hint of sweetness, which is complemented well by the chili powder. Slightly nutty, slightly turmeric-ky, extremely tasty!

The biryani is light to the palate. The yellow color and that distinct flavor make me think there’s saffron in it. Chicken was a bit too dry though (in their defense, I had the breast part, which is almost always dry when overcooked).

Sheikh Kabab – mongo sprout, hint of curry, ground lamb meat – a bit too salty for my taste, too much extender (must be flour), and the lamb meat was too grounded.


Raso Gulla and Badam Burti

Raso Gulla is milk + flour, resembling an uber-dry bread texture, which is countered by the light syrup in which it is dipped. It’s a Calcutta specialty. Not for me – too sweet and I didn’t like the texture.

Badam Buri, on the other hand, has a smooth and creamy texture. Though not too sweet, it has pastillas-like taste (even the hint of lemon zest). It’s covered with silver leaf, and topped with almond for that nutty complement to the milky base. Now this I like!

Monday, September 28, 2009

India... Incredible India


1st module of the Greenbelt training; Chennai, India. Few months back, I took what I thought would be my last international flight – no more trainings or assignments abroad. I thought my career was short-ended. For this 2nd shot at the corporate life, Thank you, Lord.

It was only last Saturday when Manila was hit by the worst storm in 40 years. Ketsana, or “Ondoy” when it entered Philippines, poured the equivalent of a month’s rainfall in just 1 day – make that 5 hours, only. So yesterday, NAIA airport apparently ran on generator power. Conveyor belts at the check-in area were not working. Boarding time was 2:00pm, flight’s at 2:25pm. However, it was already 4:00pm and yet we were still waiting for the completion of our aircraft’s maintenance.

At about 5pm, we were able to board the plane. But just when we thought we’d be taking-off soon, we had to wait for an hour more inside the plane. It was already around 6:00pm when the plane finally took-off. Not a good sign. I uttered a prayer – please, let there be no more surprises.

Flight attendants were busy hearing out the complaints of some passengers who missed their connecting flights in Bangkok. I was suddenly reminded of one of my flights to Denmark which was via Bangkok too. I got out of the plane to find a man holding a paper with my name on it – I had to be fetched and driven directly to the boarding gate where the BKK-DK plane was waiting for me and 2 other passengers. I arrived in Copenhagen as planned, but my luggage didn’t.

Anyways, it’s already 2:00am here in India, but my biological clock says it’s already 4:30am. So before my head self-detaches itself from my body – Thank you Lord for keeping me safe all throughout my flight…

Goodnight, sweet dreams.

Friday, January 16, 2009

kaya ayokong nalulungkot eh

returning my coco crunch back to its place in the cabinet, i took notice of the pile of chocolates at the lower section. i was trying to rationalize its presence. what made me buy this much? i drag myself to hit 5 more minutes of cardio everytime i'm in the gym, i thought, and now i am face-to-face with the eternal fountain of calories and carbs. ironic. and then i remembered why...

serotonin. it gives that sense of well-being. makes you feel happy. in the movie "down with love", it was even portrayed as something which gives equivalent pleasure to the ecstasy we get from that thing we do when we have nothing else to do...

ayun yun eh...hehe

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

...and I thought I was self-sufficient

in china, it did not matter if i had a good set of friends to go out with on weekends or have a good dinner and chat with at the very least. i was happy and contented with my 2 - 42"TVs showing all my fave stuffs from channels back home. it felt as if i were still in Phils..just in a different house few blocks away from my family. i never needed any constant company, cause anyway during weekends i see my fellows at church.

homesickness... that was virtually non-existent in my vocabulary - not at least from being alone. i was bored from work, and that's where most of the issues rooted from.

now that i am far away from home in its truest sense, and freezing in Amman for that matter, I have never felt so alone. don't get me wrong... i am making things happen for myself this time around. i won't give in to my childish ways of dealing with my emotions. i guess it's just funny to find that now when i am ready to build friendships with locals and expats alike, even making a connection proves to be really tough.

it has come to a point when i dread the work hours coming to an end, because by then if i am not heading to the gym, i would have to think of how i'd buy time till it's time to lay meself to sleep. i am no longer self-sufficient, my gadgets won't speak to me. even my small tv won't speak in my language anymore.

somebody help me... i am going crazy... hehe.

Monday, December 15, 2008


looking at this sunset, i started to realize how alone i am... how far i am from you... i can only wish you are with me while watching something so breathtaking as this view.

dreaming of you locked in my arms - that's how i get by. i constantly dream of us waking up together again, walking at the beach holding hands and all carefree... i dream of all the beautiful memories we have made... and then i am resuscitated.

i can never be thankful enough for having met a person like you - humble yet so unique... subtle yet so intoxicating... you have completety blown me away... words are never enough to appreciate such a beautiful person...

there are reasons to say goodbye... reasons to let go... but if were strong enough, if i were courageous enough, believe me i shall stand by your side. because i know that as long as i am with you, i am unharmed. i can never know any fear.

as i lay my head tonight, i shall once again imagine you beside me. i shall animate the scene by caressing my pillow so carefully, as if it were your face. i shall turn off the lights with wishful thinking that tomorrow, when the sun shines, i will not wake up alone anymore... instead, i will have you beside me for eternity...

- graham in a letter to katherine

Friday, December 5, 2008

cooking adobo

uhm... boil the chicken in white vinegar, garlic, blackpeppercorns and bay leaves.... then simmer.... then add soy sauce... then simmer again.... and then add salt and sugar (i recommend thai sweet soy sauce, instead of sugar, to those who are into slightly sweet adobos). remove chicken and sautee for few minutes till you see a good brown. Reduce the sauce hanggang gusto mo..hehe... then pour sauce on the chicken.. yan na yan...

you can also add boiled eggs. as for me, potato wedges would complete this dish.