Mindanao Times » Jesse Pizarro Boga http://mindanaotimes.net Fri, 21 Sep 2018 02:22:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 WRITING DETOURS | 3 things to keep in check if you work out regularly http://mindanaotimes.net/writing-detours-3-things-to-keep-in-check-if-you-work-out-regularly1/ http://mindanaotimes.net/writing-detours-3-things-to-keep-in-check-if-you-work-out-regularly1/#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 11:26:24 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53545 ]]> Whenever I travel I always make sure that I pack a set of gym clothes so that I can squeeze a workout anytime. 

Sometimes, I get so obsessed with the idea of working out while traveling that it becomes one of the highlights of my trip—this is especially true when I attend boutique classes that aren’t available in Davao yet. I know, it’s ridiculous—and I never stop.

It is during these “traveling” workouts that I get to take a break from my regular exercise routines and have a check at my body and how it reacts to the things that I do with it.

While catching my breath in the middle of a Barre3 (ballet/yoga/Pilates) class in The Fort in Manila, I reflected on a few things that I constantly need to keep in check.

Sleep

I was doing a 7:30 a.m. class and had a noon flight to catch and had a full day ahead. That meant waking up extra early to do morning preps and to checkout of my hotel (in QC!). It also meant waking up extra extra early to beat the EDSA traffic.

Here’s the problem: I ignored the fact that I went to sleep at 11:59 the night before.

The result? I was exhausted halfway through the workout. I swear I almost fell asleep after doing core workouts on the floor. Lesson learned: don’t force it. The next time I plan a workout, I will make sure that I am well rested and well nourished. Sleep, undeniably, is part of the workout and I have obviously been missing on that.

Sleep, according to experts, is a pillar of wellness that is vital to our physical, mental, and social well-being. Sleep, according to me, doesn’t take a science degree to understand: it’s an important time to recharge and recover to keep me from being groggy and whiny the entire day.

Modification

I was long taught by Yoga and Pilates classes that I shouldn’t force a pose or a movement if my body isn’t ready for it yet.

I was reminded by this when I heard Barre3 instructor Colleen say something like “Strength looks different on anyone.” While we were doing bird-dog exercises on the floor, she invited students to “take this to the barre” for modifications.

What she meant is simple: people have the option to make exercises their own.

“No pain, no gain” should have long been dead—and if this motto is still elsewhere, I brush it off. Modifications, I learned, allow me to progress to better forms and alignments. It also guides me to intended movement benefits and keeps injury at bay.

There is no need to suffer through an exercise that doesn’t feel right. If my knees feel funny, I don’t force a squat that’s too low. If I’m feeling a tad energetic, I add knee taps to my elbow planks. If there’s discomfort in my lower back during lunges, I hinge forward. I own these workouts. They don’t own me.

Patience

My capacity to tolerate any kind of discomfort over a period of time also needs to be in check every so often and a simple squat did that for me.

As I felt my leg muscles heat up like they used to while in the middle of a yoga chair pose, I reflected on how unusually long (it seemed) I was already holding it. The instructor wasn’t counting and all I could hear was the music and my deep breaths.

The challenge wasn’t entirely physical. What I noticed was how I reacted to where I was at the moment: my quads were starting to fatigue and I will never know how long we’ll be holding that chair. The workout became a mental challenge where I am helplessly waiting for the instructor to cue “last 10 counts.”

I held on and embraced the idea that I won’t be holding it forever. It’s not so bad. Patience—when working out or when adulting in general—keeps my head up high no matter the circumstance.

(What else should I keep in check? Share your thoughts with me on social media @jesiramoun)

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Creating small ripples in community nutrition http://mindanaotimes.net/creating-small-ripples-in-community-nutrition/ http://mindanaotimes.net/creating-small-ripples-in-community-nutrition/#comments Sun, 29 Oct 2017 01:42:40 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=49639 ]]> MALNUTRITION remains an important concern in various communities in Davao City and efforts to address this must remain consistent.

MEMBERS of the Global Shapers Davao Hub

MEMBERS of the Global Shapers Davao Hub

This is according to Marlinda Sacay, barangay nutrition scholar and president of the Talomo Central District of the nutrition division of the Davao City Health Office.

Sacay, who has worked for almost two decades in her community, said that while the number of malnourished kids have decreased over the years, her health team in the barangay can never be too complacent.

She said that they always have to be on their toes because the while the numbers are low, health conditions of kids can never be underestimated. She said that of the estimated 5,000 kids in barangay 75-a, Matina Aplaya, 200 are stunted and some 82 kids are malnourished. The population of the barangay is currently at 34,693.

MARLINDA Sacay (center) and her team of barangay health officers

MARLINDA Sacay (center) and her team of barangay health officers

Her team push for efforts on educating parents to opt for breastfeeding and preparing healthy meals for their kids. The barangay is also supporting initiatives like deworming and giving of vitamins on regular schedules, monitoring kids’ weights and conditions around the clock.

Every week, pregnant women in the community are also given consultations.

In an effort to contribute to efforts on health in the community, the Davao hub of the Global Shapers Community held a nutrition workshop for mothers a children last October 21 in the Matina Aplaya Gym.

During the activity, a popup nutrition clinic was mounted that provided nutrition assessment by registered dietitians and doctors. An interactive activity with the kids from the barangay was also held to make them familiar with the Pinggang Pinoy, which details recommended food intake, and the the go, grow, and glow foods. The kids were also treated to an afternoon of games and nutritious food.

AN INTERACTIVE activity on nutrition and food with the barangay 75-a kids

AN INTERACTIVE activity on nutrition and food with the barangay 75-a kids

“The objective of this activity is to promote healthy food choices and practices to the community,” said Dianna Marisse Santiago, Global Shapers Davao hub curator. Community partners Lara Mia Café & Bistro, Infosoft Studio, Gourmet Tuyo ni GUS, and Olivia & Diego supported the event.

In line with World Food Day last October 16, Santiago’s group is also running a social media campaign called #FlatlaysThatMatter. The campaign, which encourages smartphone users to take photos of empty plates—showing fully consumed meals with no food left–aims to raise awareness about wasted food and how this can be reduced.

“Simple changes such as getting enough food for yourself or eating everything on your plate can avoid unnecessary food waste,” Santiago said. Follow the conversation in the Global Shapers Davao Hub Facebook Page.

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WRITING DETOURS| 10 stages of eating a Korean spicy noodle pack http://mindanaotimes.net/writing-detours-10-stages-of-eating-a-korean-spicy-noodle-pack/ http://mindanaotimes.net/writing-detours-10-stages-of-eating-a-korean-spicy-noodle-pack/#comments Sat, 28 Oct 2017 02:03:08 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=49563 ]]> 1. Curiosity

What is the buzz all about? It’s just instant noodles. This fire noodle challenge in social media seems ridiculous. Really? This Samyang noodle brand is the spiciest in the world? What do you mean it has close to 9,000 Scoville heat units? What’s that like?

2. Giving in

Fine, I’ll buy one to try. It’s convenient that it is being sold online and in pop-up bazaars. This better give me joie de vivre.

3. Overconfidence

Oh please, I lit up my insides with the noodles that I ate in Thailand in 2013. This should be nothing.

4. Bruteness

I’m getting my money’s worth. These are some quality noodles–firm and holds the sauce well. I just had five forkfulls and I’m still fine. Totally fine. It’s spicy but it’s not so bad.

5. Resilience

I’m getting the heat now. But my milk is in the other side of the house. I’ll drink it later. I’ll persevere!

6. Suffering

I can feel my torso tingling. My mouth feels like it is being pierced by billions of needles. My face is numb. I’m sweating. I should consider getting milk.

7. Submission

It buuuuurrrrns!!! Where’s my milk? I’m gulping a liter now. I’m gargling some milk, too.

8. Recovery

I can do one more forkful. Maybe a few noodle strands. Ouch, ouch. It still burns. What sorcery is this?

9. Regret

Samyang left my tongue in embers. It’s ridiculously spicy. I couldn’t taste any chicken. Who invented this insane thing?

10. Determination

I’ll try again next time. I’ll finish an entire pack. Or not.

(How’s your Samyang spicy noodle experience? Share your stories and buzz me in social media @jesiramoun)

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WRITING DETOURS| How to quit fast food http://mindanaotimes.net/writing-detours-how-to-quit-fast-food/ http://mindanaotimes.net/writing-detours-how-to-quit-fast-food/#comments Sat, 02 Sep 2017 01:31:04 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=47214 ]]> FAST FOOD  intake among busy people has long been so common that many forget (or ignore) the detriments of these to the human body in the long run.

Fast food is dangerously convenient for two main reasons: food is cheap and food is accessible.

With fast food joints sprouting like mushrooms in every corner, making wiser and “healthier” food choices become challenging.

“The danger in fast food lies in the idea of not knowing exactly what we’re putting in our mouths,” said Rolando Llido III, a chef who runs a restaurant in Matina. He said the ingredients and preservatives that make up burgers, fries and whatnot are not the same kind that we see in a normal home kitchen where we enjoy our mama’s slow cooked food.

Apple Micah Ampit, registered nutritionist-dietitian, said that it’s okay to resort to fast food sometimes, but making it a habit is very detrimental to one’s health.

“Fast food technically means pre-processed food that is mass-produced and served quickly in food chains to ensure prompt service. Processing strips off the nutrients originally found in food. The more processed the food is and the more additives there are, [the more] food becomes “unhealthy,” she said.

Fast food, Ampit said, are considered junk because they have little or no nutritional value. “They have plenty of calories, salt, and fats, which are the culprits in the rise of non-communicable diseases.”

Fast food, when consumed in habit, becomes bad for your health because of a number of things: bad fat (saturated, hydrogenated, and trans) that are carcinogenic or raise blood cholesterol levels; carbohydrates that have little to no fiber that become a major risk factor for obesity; sodium that elevate blood pressure; and meat injected and fed with growth hormones that pose cancer risks.

Gracielle Enobio, registered nutritionist-dietitian, said that fast food is high in sodium, high in cholesterol, and high in triglycerides (which increases risk for cardiovascular diseases).

She added that people who are exposed to fast food acquire increased tolerance for salty and sugary foods, causing cravings and preference to these over naturally flavored foods.

To have better food habits, Ampit recommends a practice of Balance, Moderation, and Variety (BMV).

“To have balance, one must be able to know how much is too much or too little. For basic help, we have the Pinggang Pinoy (from the National Nutrition Council), which shows how much of every food group we should have in a plate, and the Filipino Food Pyramid that can help you understand how much from each group should one consume,” she said.

Moderation is eating the right portion size for daily recommended needs and variety is being able to consume needed nutrients from a range of fruits, vegetables, meat.

But what if we can’t avoid fast food?

Enobio shares some food hacks and the least “unhealthy” fast food items that people can bite into when there’s just no way of avoiding McJolliKFC.

Enobio and her colleagues recommend the following menu items should fast food trips become inevitable: Wraps and salads in KFC, the Caesar salad in S&R, pancakes in McDo and Jollibee (“an alternative to rice as source of carbohydrate”), freshly brewed coffee (black) in Starbucks, Chowking’s wonton soup (“can be a recovery meal”), and 7 Eleven’s tuna or chicken sandwiches with fresh milk.

She said that it’s best to veer away from fast food and to decide for a lifestyle change with these baby steps.

Opt for water over carbonated drinks. If soda can’t be avoided, request for more ice so that these fill your glass more instead of the actual drink.

Turn down upgrades. Don’t say yes to large fries and large drinks and double burger patties.

Stick to plain rice instead of garlic rice.

Avoid excessive dressings, ketchup and other sauces.

Choose leaner cuts for chicken meat: thigh, breast, and leg.

“If you must eat, consider sharing food with a friend. When you do this you eat less and instead share the calories, sodium, and fats inherent to fast food,” Enobio said.

Whenever possible, forget fast food and dine in your good ol’ carinderia or canteen instead.

“Look one with varied food choices and an interesting menu,” she said. “When eating out, consider restaurants and grilling places.”

(Can we really avoid fast food forever? What are your thoughts? Buzz me in social media @jesiramoun)

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WATERBREAK| Strong by Zumba is not a dance workout http://mindanaotimes.net/waterbreak-strong-by-zumba-is-not-a-dance-workout/ http://mindanaotimes.net/waterbreak-strong-by-zumba-is-not-a-dance-workout/#comments Mon, 05 Jun 2017 06:15:29 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=43581 ]]> THE NOVELTY in Strong by Zumba–the music-led high intensity interval training (HIIT) brand by Zumba–lies in how sets are designed around music instead of the other way around.

Music is a primary element in the bodyweight workout–the brand refers to this kind of system as Synced Music Motivation.

“In every class, music and moves sync in a way that pushes you past your perceived limits, to reach your fitness goals faster,” the Strong website said.

At a glance, I thought this feature of Strong may easily be dismissed. All the work put in by Strong to “reverse engineer” a playlist to a workout seems unnecessary because anyone can manually sync movements to whatever song is playing in the background when working out.

But then again, not all HIIT classes have great playlists. I once went to a HIIT class playing OPM the entire time.

This is where Strong comes in as an intervention. No more Roselle Nava in the gym please!

Workout playlists and tracks in Strong are created by producers like Timbaland solely for the workout. This creates a more immersive workout environment that literally connects movements with music and heart thumping bass. Planting your hands on the floor when doing burpees will never be the same again. Just don’t forget to sync your breath, too!

Strong can be challenging depending on the effort you put in it. My first class had lots of squats and lunges and variations and combinations of both. Some sets involved doing explosive, high impact movements.

It is best to have basic knowledge on proper form and execution when joining Strong because, based on my experience, the music might get too loud and instructors might not be able to correct your form or give you alignment cues.

There will be lots of leg work throughout the class so it’s important to know your leg movements by heart–and to modify accordingly when exercises become too much to handle. (Check the Strong Facebook Page for a breakdown of the staple movements.)

Some sets in the class are fast paced and might make it difficult for students to stay in their best form. Even I always have to look in the mirror to check my knee positions during my lunges, which falter often. Bad form makes a bad workout.

At some point, I felt the rigidity of Strong: once I got in the groove with the workout, it seemed disorienting to be left out and not sync movements with music. It’s a HIIT class, so there were times when I had to pause, just stand there and try to catch my breath.

The good thing is that recovery in between sprints and cardio sets (curse you, jumping jacks!) are made fun: there are lateral shuffles, wide stance plies to toe taps, and Capoeira ginga. So cool.

Strong exudes minimal Zumba identity. Instructors would often be heard saying that dance comprises only one percent of the entire workout. I guess they were referring to recovery sets.

At another time, I joined a Strong class in Matina Town Square. Everything went well until we had to do floor work. Strong isn’t a class I’d recommend doing with a large group of people outdoors because it will be difficult to hear or see instructors when your back is on the floor or when you’re doing push-ups.

Strong is a welcome addition to indoor group classes in gyms in the city. I like how it instantly popularizes HIIT to the public through the already big Zumba crowd. Those doing Zumba regularly might even instantly like the workout consider adding strength training to their regular routines.

Watch out, with Strong by Zumba, the Zumba mom crowd might be the next beasts in the gym.

(What workout should I try next? Buzz me on Instagram or Twitter @jesiramoun)

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WATER BREAK| I tried Piloxing and I’m ready to fight Pacquiao http://mindanaotimes.net/water-break-i-tried-piloxing-and-im-ready-to-fight-pacquiao/ http://mindanaotimes.net/water-break-i-tried-piloxing-and-im-ready-to-fight-pacquiao/#comments Mon, 15 May 2017 06:08:59 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=42765 ]]> HOLIDAY Gym Davao has been offering Piloxing in one of its group classes in the past months now but I never really got to try it because I just wasn’t interested. I love Pilates (and Pilates-inspired bodyweight exercises that require no props) but I just don’t see how it can sit well with boxing. It seem a little too tacky. April, my friend who agreed to workout with me that night, was game for any workout. I told her about Piloxing and she seemed interested. I wasn’t.

“Mangaon na lang ta (Let’s just eat instead),” I joked. She was unfazed by my invitation—her dedication is admirable. She wanted a workout and there’s no turning back.

Fritz Freire, whose fantastic yoga and Pilates classes I’ve attended, led Piloxing that night. I never doubt his instruction—he communicates to students well (“look at my hips,” “great form,” “this is your last sprint,”) and creates a fun workout environment.

Piloxing had its way of immediately turning my switch on from “I’m not interested,” to “wow, this seems fun.”

His workout playlist was upbeat and set the mood for some high energy sets. There were lots of heart thumping bass beats and, to me, that’s all that matters for dance-based workouts.

I didn’t think we were going to be working on our legs (because I was promised that the workout is going to be centered around boxing) but then I forgot that Piloxing is Pilates, too.

Ballet movements are also incorporated into Piloxing because the founder of the workout, Viveca Jensen, is a dancer.

We did plies, arabesques, and battements, holding these while making arm movements that were big and small. The same movements progressed to other workout sets that involved the upper body: bicep curls, tricep extensions, and scapular retractions.

The workout wouldn’t make sense without Fritz telling us to engage our core. Doing this makes the explosive arm workouts seem better.

He introduced the punching movements by making us do it slow first. “Don’t punch, just reach—fists clenched like you’re holding an ice cream cone,” he said when the class was starting. We picked up pace and eventually did jabs, upper cuts and Shoryukens. (Just kidding. There were no Street Fighter-like Shoryukens, although that would have been fun.)

I would also like to share that I’ve never punched anyone in my entire life. Punching is not a natural movement for me. Strangling is.

I tried boxing before but I didn’t find it super fun. Piloxing empowered me to take on life challenges—not! But it made me think I could take on opponents. You know, like the air.

Fritz also squeezed in other dancing movements as we recovered in between sprints.

Piloxing is also heavy on cardio and it’s challenging especially if you do every set in the right form.

Halfway through the class, I heard Fritz say something about elevating the heart rate. I paused and hand an OMG moment: I had no sense of time and couldn’t tell whether 10 or 40 minutes have elapsed. Surely my heart rate should have already been up? I was already panting and trying to catch my breath.

April would occasionally glance at me and say we should have just eaten instead of working out. We laugh it off.

Before the class ended, we went on all fours to do bird-dog sets as additional arms and core workouts. We continued the floor work to hit our glutes with rear leg extensions and our abdominals with crunches and planks.

Did I enjoy the class? Yes! Will I do it again? Yes. Do I like the portmanteau “Piloxing”? No (it’s has good recall but takes some time to get used to). Is it a great workout? Yes—Piloxing strikes a good bodyweight cardio exercise that peppers strength sets along the way.

I have tried Piloxing in Fitness Squad Davao (Facebook.com/fitnesssquaddavao) and in Holiday Gym Davao (Facebook.com/holidaygymdavao).

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When digital art comes to life http://mindanaotimes.net/when-digital-art-comes-to-life/ http://mindanaotimes.net/when-digital-art-comes-to-life/#comments Sat, 06 May 2017 05:56:41 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=42440 ]]> DIGITAL art in Davao City flourishes even in the offline world by means of independently held events and gatherings that spur growth among artists.

These sporadic events have become the backbone of the profession of artists, giving platform to showcase and sell their works. Coupled with diligence and passion that fuels movement of carefully produced goods and pieces, a market among popular art lovers is created. This segment becomes an important component in the art ecosystem that supports young and professional artists with their livelihood, stimulating production and inspiration.

Graphic art by Redentor Sandino Genotiva (@red.genotiva)

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DGDC founder Marx Consuegra

Such is the case with the Davao Graphic Designers Community (DGDC) and its energy to that keeps its members moving forward one art event after another.

A notable gathering of DGDC is Art Attack, an annual group art exhibition that melds art with local music, and merchandise selling. All these are from and by young entrepreneurs, artists, and local/independent retail brands.

Art Attack popularizes art among the young crowd, literally taking art into the streets and into the everyday. And the best part? It empowers each artist in the group.

“Art Attack is a platform for emerging artists and designers to showcase their meticulously created digital artworks. It is also a good venue for designers to meet and connect with each other,” said DGDC founder Marx Consuegra.

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THE Davao Graphic Designers Community is a growing community of creatives who share the same interest in the field of graphic design, digital art, and everything in between.

Art Attack started in September 2012, back when his group was still starting. It has then had seen successful runs, proving that artists don’t need to be confined in traditional exhibition spaces to experience progress in their crafts.

This pop-up kind of event helps make digital art make its mark in Davao’s art scene that is often centered around traditional media like painting. Most of the artists in DGDC work with computers and softwares to produce masterpieces.

“We hope that Davao will recognize digital art and see for themselves how talented and passionate young people are with their craft,” Consuegra said. “Through this event we hope to inspire fellow artists and get the needed support from our local government and private sectors to proliferate the awareness of graphic design and arts.”

Consuegra added that DGDC, Inc. is a SEC. registered non-profit organization in Davao City.

“We are a growing community of creatives who share the same interest in the field of graphic design and art in general. We are an open community of some 4,200+ designers and artists based in Davao and neighboring Mindanao municipalities,” he said.

With every run of Art Attack, Consuegra said DGDC always puts its best foot forward.

“Now on its sixth year, we decided to have pop culture as our theme which depicts and voices-out our modern views and ways of living while conveying profound personal statements,” he said.

The enthusiasm of DGDC artists is reflected in this year’s poster done by DGDC member Redentor Sandino S. Genotiva (IG: @red.genotiva).

“We are estimating around 30 members who will showcase one to two artworks each during the one-night exhibition,” Consuegra said.

The event welcomes anyone with an interest in the arts.

“You can expect a lot from Art Attack 6. Apart from seeing original artworks from DGDC, visitors can also get to know the art scene in Davao. They can also enjoy shopping local merchandise: from paper goods, stickers, posters, t-shirts and art-related products. There will also be games, and music from local bands for a lively night,” Paolo Ramirez, pioneering DGDC member said.

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In this month’s art talk, young artists from Ingenuity and DGDC join the art discussions with veterans in the field: Tabula Rasa artists and Origane Films’ Bagane Fiola

In past Art Attack runs, brands to be remembered include Seven Seas and Nine Signs, Knob Clothing, Velvet, Rounded Squaric, Revere, and Nine Nails. Each showcased t-shirt collections worthy of #OOTD snaps of art and fashion enthusiasts.

Many talents are also recognized by from their illustrations and colorful graphics published from their computers and into various media. Each distinct work celebrates rare creativity like no other. This already spells triumph and recognition for the group.

“With such an abundance of talented people, we can only go up! We envision DGDC grow by continuing to support our local talents through group-initiated projects and events such as this, and also our other gatherings like Graphicon, Designer’s Meetup and workshops and seminars. We also see our group having a meaningful partnership with our local government and creative industry,” Ramirez said.

In the past years of regularly holding this event, Consuegra said that he has seen members of his group grow and become better as a community. The independently sustained startups (from animation or design studios to printing and craft shops) that members operate humbly root each of their self-produced artworks and merchandise to a Davaoeno identity.

“We’ve seen participating artists improve in their craft overtime and earn accolades. The event been a confidence builder—one that empowers them to rise above their doubts on themselves. Events such as this really make a big difference not only on an artist’s life but also in creating a tight-knit community,” said Consuegra.

(Art Attack 6 happens on May 20, 6 PM at the Morning Light Art Gallery & Shop in Quirino Avenue near Davao Doctors Hospital. Event is open to the public; entrance fee with light snacks and refreshments is at P100. For more information, visit Facebook.com/DGDCommunity.)

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Your Singapore food trip -undiscovered food concepts in the Lion City mean more reasons to visit and come back http://mindanaotimes.net/your-singapore-food-trip-undiscovered-food-concepts-in-the-lion-city-mean-more-reasons-to-visit-and-come-back/ http://mindanaotimes.net/your-singapore-food-trip-undiscovered-food-concepts-in-the-lion-city-mean-more-reasons-to-visit-and-come-back/#comments Thu, 27 Apr 2017 06:22:01 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=42105 ]]> THE CREATIVITY involved in giving live to Singapore’s culinary scene is a wonder in itself: it sheds an enticing light on restaurants, bars, cafes, and hawkers stalls, shaping unique gustatoru experience that gives tourists more reasons to visit the city.

Thousands of food concepts transform the city into a food destination, creating itineraries that digress from the usual entertainment and recreation routes. This is an admirable feat considering that most of Singapore’s raw materials are imported—but the geniuses of the chefs from kitchens work their magic to circumvent limitations on resources.

Aside from trips to Sentosa Island for museum and theme park fun, visitors can stroll Singapore’s thoroughfares to indulge in myriad treats. Every drink and dish is satisfying—even for Instagram feeds.

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SINGAPORE Squad (L-R): Deni Rose Afinidad-Bernardo, Alexis Yap, Ailene Dela Rosa, Jesse Pizarro Boga, Therese Aseoche, Erika Dizon, and Naseem Huseni

During a recent trip courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board, I was happy to catch a glance of the ever busy food scene in the Lion City.

Our first food stop immediately set the bar high for food that is remarkably simple and familiar yet satisfying: Tai Hwa Pork Noodle in 466 Crawford Lane. This hawker stall, owned and run by Tang Chay Seng, is one of the first two street food locations in the world to be awarded a star in the Michelin Guide in 2016.

Uncle warmly welcomed us with generous servings of his award-winning pork noodles for lunch. It was easy to see why he deserved the Michelin recognition: every bowl packs flavor, texture, and aroma that ultimately defines what a good bowl of noodles is. What I had wasn’t just ordinary pancit topped with pork meat—what I had was the holy grail of pancit.

One of the highlights of our trip was the opening of the World Gourmet Summit—Asia’s premier food and wine festival.

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AN AWARD-winning bowl from Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

The big event gave me a closer look (and taste) at the pleasantly complicated culinary creations conjured by local and international celebrity chefs.

I sampled entirely foreign yet exciting dishes that included slow cooked lobster with flower jelly (what), Greater Omaha beef tenderloin (basically meat from the other side of the globe) covered with bamboo ash and served with mashed potatoes, Wagyu beef with cilantro quinoa and chimichurri, Char Siu…angus striploin (surprise, it’s not pork) buns, and chilled avocado soup.

I spent the entire night wolfing samplers and thinking that there is truly so much food to discover in the city—and a week-long trip isn’t enough time to taste all of them.

Even a small coffee shop is a thing to marvel at. 40 Hands Coffee in 78 Yong Siak Street is a must visit for coffee lovers. I appreciate the idea highlighted by the coffee concept: that it takes 40 hands to produce a single cup of coffee from bean to cup. Coffee lovers will find comfort in their usual cups, while sweet tooths like me can indulge in their range of cake slices.

Patara Fine Thai Cuisine, located in Tanglin Mall in 163 Tanglin Road, took me by surprise at how it has established Thai cuisine to be highly desirable in Singapore. The restaurant melds tradition and innovation to come up with dishes that please even the most discriminating diners.

During our lunch, we were served Instagram worthy plates that not only looked good, but also tasted better. Patara’s Goong Sarong (deep fried prawns wrapped in crispy phyllo pastry), Yum Nua Wagyu (seared Wagyu beef with Thai aubergine, chili and lime dressing), and Grilled Lamb Rack with Thai herbs became instant favorites.

Lunch was sealed with a sweet delight: coconut sticky rice with mango. #burp

During a quick stroll in the city’s hip Haji Lane, a refreshing ice cold milk tea to go instantly keeps the heat at bay. There are more quirky food specialty stores in the area that should be on anyone’s itinerary—these include a selfie coffee shop (where they print your face in your coffee because why not), an indulgent cookie shop, a juice “clinic,” and more.

A visit to Candlenut, located in 17A Dempsey Road, was a dinner to remember: it was when I was introduced to Peranakan cuisine, one of Singapore’s oldest fusion cuisines that incorporate Chinese, Malay and Indonesian influences. Candlenut is the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant. One of the noteworthy dishes served in the restaurant are those that have been cooked with Buah Keluak (black nut; more commonly known as the Asian truffle).

This gives some entrées to have a delightful bitter-ey sour-ey, and smoky taste that subtly graces the palate. Flavors of a simple braised local chicken, for example, is amplified by the black nut.

The muted essence of the black nut can also work with desserts—like the Buah Keluak ice cream served to me. My scoop was served with some French chocolate, chili and chocolate whip. I didn’t have the judgment to discern the black nut’s presence in every spoonful but I was sure I wasn’t just having normal ice cream. There was something that made my eyeballs turn into hearts—and that’s a good thing, always.

More Instagram-worthy plates were served in Fratelli – Trattoria and Pizzeria in Resorts World Sentosa. Fratelli, which means brothers in Italian, brings two dining experiences in one location: an all-day dining pizzeria and a dinner-service-only trattoria. A gratifying dinner set in this authentic Italian restaurant was comprised by pan-seared foie gras with red wine sauce, mushroom cappuccino soup, linguine pasta with white wine sauce and white clams, and sea salt chocolate fondant tart with vanilla ice cream that I didn’t share.

To rediscover Singapore as a food destination requires an adventurous palate, a big stomach, some patience (for queues), and a lot of enthusiasm. I am coming back for that pork noodle bowl.

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Caring for cats http://mindanaotimes.net/caring-for-cats/ http://mindanaotimes.net/caring-for-cats/#comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:40:33 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=42015 ]]> NON-PROFIT group theKATcloset (TKC) held a special spay and neuter event with hopes to promote the well-being of rescued cats.

About 50 cats were given health services by volunteer doctors for Feline the Heat of Summer 2017 held at Pets First Veterinary Clinic in Cabaguio Avenue last April 23.

Anti-rabies and deworming services were also provided to some cats and kittens.

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COMMUNITY nonprofit group theKATcloset (TKC) holds a special spay and neuter event with hopes to promote the well-being of rescued cats

“Since our first successful Happy Meowlidays 2014, TKC events have spayed and neutered around 335 cats (pusang pinoy)! We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the expertise and dedication of our doctors,” said Katrina Carriedo, founder of TKC.

Dr. Bayani Vandenbroeck (Doc Bayani’s Animal Wellness Clinic), Dr. Joanna Mercader and Ms. Cory Diosma (Pets First Veterinary Clinic), Dr. Hyacinth May Pugoy (Paws Palace), and Dr. Eloisa Calub (Davao Veterinary Executives Animal Clinic and Surgery) rendered their services during this recent event.

Carriedo said fixing pets gives owners a peace of mind.

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VOLUNTEER doctors from various veterinary clinics render services during the event called Feline the Heat of Summer 2017

Spay/neuter services help keeps cats be resistant to some illnesses and avoid unwanted pregnancies.

Neutering of male cats can also prevent certain undesirable sexual behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression and the urge to roam.

Carriedo said TKC started out from designing and selling cat shirts to rescue and groom cats for adoption. Since then, TKC grew into a community, linking vets to pet owners.

“Albeit small, it has helped a lot of ‘purrents’ and furry kids to cut down on their animal healthcare cost and to have better wellness for rescued Pusang Pinoys. I am so proud of theKATcloset project and proud to have discovered that there are a lot more cat lovers in Davao City,” said Carriedo.

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NYC aims to create more educated voters http://mindanaotimes.net/nyc-aims-to-create-more-educated-voters/ http://mindanaotimes.net/nyc-aims-to-create-more-educated-voters/#comments Fri, 21 Apr 2017 02:16:15 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=41872 ]]> THE NATIONAL Youth Commission here in Davao wants young people to KEBS—to know the elections better!

NYC, which is collaborating with the Commission on Elections, will be be conducting a voter education seminar called KEBS: Know Elections Better, Superfriends!

This effort is in line with the local preparation for the October 23 Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.

“The main focus of the event is to engage young people to participate and take part in the electoral process through discussing matters such as the importance of voting and the processes of electoral participation,” said Julius Gutierrez, NYC Davao Region officer.

Gutierrez added that the event will be a soft launch of a bigger campaign that calls for meaningful involvement of the youth in elections and hopes to touch its different phases—from registration, to education, and participation.

To launch this campaign, Gutierrez said Comelec will be setting up a education booths and biometric machines in key areas in the city.

Potential voters aged 15 to 30 years old are encouraged to attend, register and participate during the half day event on April 25, 2017. NYC will announce the venue through their Facebook Page. Youth individuals and groups interested to attend may also call (082) 305-7957 or email: nycdavao@yahoo.com. (JPB)

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