26 April 2014

My Recipe: Pinakbet ILOKANO

As our folks always say, you are not a certified Ilocano if you do not know how to cook our famous delicacy: Pinakbet or Pakbet. So here is my share, which I cooked last Good Friday.


15 pieces native eggplant 
15 pieces okra
a cup of winged bean (sigarilyas)
3 medium sized ripe tomatoes (cut into 4)
5-8 pieces native bitter melon (native bitter melon are round in shape) (cut into two)
3 native onions (cut into two)
3-4 finger chilis (siling mahaba)
half a bowl of fermented fish (bagoong isda: preferably Lingayen fermented fish)


1. Place all the vegetable ingredients in the cooking pan.
2. Mix about a cup of water with the half bowl of bagoong isda then pour it in (except for the fish itself) the cooking pan with all the ingredients. Do this twice with the same set of bagoong isda used. The first mixture is more concentrated than the second one. The second mixture will prevent the vegetable and the recipe itself to become too much salty.
3. Light up the stove then let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. You may add up grilled fish on top of the vegetables once it is half-cooked already then it is ready to serve.

The catch in Pinakbet Ilocano is that you just place all the ingredients and let it cooked by itself. Maybe you will see some sautéing the vegetable first but in a typical and native Ilocano way, we just do the above-mentioned procedure, which is actually more healthy since no cooking oil is needed.

This recipe I made is good for 3-4 persons. It also costs roughly Php 50-60 only.

24 April 2014

4th Leg Philippine Navy Governance Forum Series 2014

Yesterday, 231300H April 2014, the Philippine Navy hosted by the Philippine Fleet conducted the 4th Leg Philippine Navy Governence Forum Series 2014 entitled "Ethics in the Military Service." 

The speaker was no less than Honorable Antonio Trillanes F Trillanes IV, Senator of the Republic of the Philippines. The forum was held at the Fleet Training Center where men and women in the Philippine Navy were all enjoined to listen. The forum even reached the several Naval Forces via Video Tele-Conferencing.

The Chief of Staff, Philippine Fleet
The programme started at exactly 1330H (1:30 P.M.) with an invocation followed by the singing of our National Anthem. Meantime, the Chief of Staff, Philippine Fleet, CAPT GAUDENCIO C COLLADO JR PN(GSC) delivered his welcome remarks and subsequently introduced the Guest Speaker.

Disclaimer: The information indicated in the next section came from the mini lecture of the speaker. No opinion or other information came from the blog owner.


Senator Trillanes may be remembered as the brains behind the Oakwood Mutiny. But since 2007, he started serving the country as a legislator. And since he began his fight against corruption, as part of his advocacy, he gave us a mini lecture of what he has supposedly researched before as a young naval officer in connection with the alleged corrupt practices prior the Oakwood Mutiny transpired. His topic was subdivided into three:
  • Types of Corruption 
According to Sen Trillanes, corruption in the Navy is divided into two: first, is the shore-based corruption, which includes conversions, commission on infrastructure projects, over declaration of soldiers and ghost payroll. Meanwhile, the second type is the ship-based corruption such as pilferage, repairing of ships that doesn't need the same to gain savings, extortion, smuggling, protection "rakets", and "placement fee" for those who would like to go aboard ship the easier way.
  • Motivations for Corruption
As per stated by Sen Trillanes, there are several reasons behind why corruption is being committed (at least according to what he have researched as emphasized):
  1. Vices.
  2. Low Salary.
  3. It is easy to do.
  4. The Commanding Officer is part of it or he allows it.
  5. Nobody checks.
  6. Nobody gets caught.
  • Policy Proposal 
Senator Trillanes as a former part of the Philippine Navy, understands clearly what the sailors and marines and the whole AFP personnel for that matter really needs in order to stop and alleviate the root causes of why corruption exist/ed. Hereunder are the initiatives and updates of the policies proposed for the benefit of the men in uniform.
  1. Increase salary and benefits. The Senator reiterated the update on Subsistence Allowance which will be implemented by the end of the year. All members of the AFP will be able to receive subsistence allowance of Php 150/day. In connection with this, an increase in quarters allowance is also to be implemented, which will be rank-based. Better Medical Benefits are also on its way for passing. This is very important for us soldiers since being in the military equates to having our one foot automatically buried in the ground. Salaries later on will also be positional-based. Lastly, (according to my notes) a representation and service allowance proposal is also proposed. 
  2. Inspector General to be transferred under the supervision of the Office of the President.
  3. Mandatory regular drug testing.
  4. Prohibit gambling.
  5. Fixed term in positions.
  6. Pick a Flag-Officer-In-Command who is NOT CORRUPT.
  7. Once the allowances proposal will be fully implemented, APPLYING FOR LOAN WILL BE DISCHARGEABLE.
At the end of the lecture, a forum was conducted. Due to time constraint, only two questions were entertained which were answered in details by the Senator. The Commander, Philippine Fleet on the other hand gave his Closing Remarks emphasizing that THE CURRENT NAVY IS DOING ITS BEST TO PREVENT THE CONDUCT OF CORRUPT DEEDS through the efforts of the Flag Officer In Command, Philippine Navy.  

Looking forward for the next PN Governance Forum. I hope that this post has given you a handful of information. For further questions, you may email me or send a pm in my FB and Twitter Account. I've be more than willing to answer in all my capacity in connection with Senator Trillanes' talk.

23 April 2014

Giving Birth With Needles: Tribute to Mothers Who Gave Birth via Caesarian Section

I dedicate this post for the women who have undergone extra pain in giving birth and going under the needles in order to ensure their child's safety.

Photo Courtesy
Every woman's dream is to bear and have a child. But sometimes, we are so overwhelmed with the fact of the giving birth process itself. July 2011, my friend Moomy Musings and I became walking mates at the AFP Medical Center, preparing for the day we both will give birth to now brat mates Echo and Noa. Compared to Mommy G, I will assess that I was really more patient in walking (our friend and attending OB Cpt Adesita Binalay-Sagario ordered us maximize walking for us not to have a difficulty in giving birth). Mommy G gave birth via normal delivery last July 4, 2011. Four days after, I also gave birth...guess what...via CAESARIAN SECTION. 

Eight months later, I got pregnant with my little girl Alfa/Army and gave birth last January 2013...again via CAESARIAN SECTION. 

On The First

If i were to choose, I would prefer giving birth via normal delivery. But in Echo's case whose from cephalic became footling breech on the 38th week, this is quite impossible. Besides, I guess the procedure is secondary only to the safety of your child, don't you agree?

When Cpt Sagario conducted IE in the morning of July 8, 2011, she felt something different saying: Sis, we will have an ultrasound ok? I just have to check on something." And so I followed. Her team then saw that my little acrobat inside my tummy then turned around and from cephalic position, he became footling breech. They then decided to conduct C-section in the afternoon. 

At exactly 1930H (7 P.M.) that night, I heard Echo's first cry. 

Though the after operation was painful that I even caught fever, it was all worth it knowing that Echo was delivered safely.

The Girl

Maybe you will ask, second baby? Why so soon knowing that as OB suggests, a two to three year gap  is the best time to have a second child especially when the mother have undergone C-section. Well, a baby is a blessing whether it is by surprise. 

Unlike with Echo, my pregnancy with Army came more smooth-sailing. I was a happy feet going here and there. Come last quarter while our family was having a vacation in Davao, the dilemma came: Placenta Previa. (For further information you may review my post entitled "Placenta Previa: Alfa/Army's Early Arrival").

Endpoint: Pre-mature delivery via C-Section at the Pangasinan Medical Center.

Whatever type of child-giving birth delivery you will undergo, only one thing is common: the pain is immaterial for as long as your child and your health as a mother is ensured.

Likewise, be sure to always have a good professional relationship with your doctor. Always be informed. Have a happy pregnancy and childbirth experience mommies...


06 April 2014

NASOCLEAR: Kissing Allergic Rhinitis Goodbye

Photo Source

Allergic rhinitis according to MedScape and Medline Plus is an inflammation of the nasal membranes that is characterized by sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal itching, and rhinorrhea, or in any combination.  These symptoms usually occur when one person inflicted with allergic rhinitis breathe in dust, animal dundee, pollen or even eat food that he/she may be allergic too as well. Apparently, while allergic rhinitis itself is non-life threatening, morbidity from the condition is significant. It is important to note that for some instances it may be accompanied with severe asthma or anaphylaxis.


Nasoclear (0.65 percent Saline Solution Nasal Spray) is a clear, colourless solution, free from foreign matter, supplied in plastic bottle with plastic cap (nasal atomiser)  that contains 6.5 mg Sodium Chloride and 0.02 percent Benzalkonium chloride (as preservative) for each ml. Nasoclear helps ease and cure the above mentioned condition of nasal congestion; cold or flu symptom; nasal irritation due to pollen, dust mites, mild, and pollution; nasal allergies and, upper airway cough syndrome (postnasal drip).

It helps add moisture inside the nose to dissolve and soften thick or crusty mucus and provide relief for dry, crusted, irritated and inflamed nasal membranes.

Unlike other nasal spray, Nasoclear maybe used for infants and young children who cannot blow their noses. Moreover, it doesn't need any prescription and can be bought over-the-counter (OTC).


Being born in the highlands of Baguio City, allergic rhinitis has been part of my growing up years. Even when I became a cadet, it has always been my  agony. I have tried the old ways of "pausok" and even the extreme thing: eating cat meat (ulk!). I have also tried about two (2) kinds of nasal spray (which I prefer not to expose what brand) but still a failure. Since then, I became reluctant in trying other nasal spray because it was already instilled in my mind that all nasal sprays are just the same.

Until I met Nasoclear. This product was so timely I was able to use it already! With the cold drinks and a lot of ice cream I had last Friday (04 April) since it was my dear friend's birthday, I did catch A.R. once again. So there goes my clogged nose again. As per given in its dosage administration, I applied 2-4 sprays. Unlike other nasal spray, I did not feel any pain nor uncomfortable feeling. Surprisingly, I was able to sleep soundly during that night.

For further details about Nasoclear, here is a video: