Saturday, August 24, 2013

Household Thrift Tips

   Filipinas are known for being thrifty.  Below are some household thrift tips.
  •    If a jar of banana peppers runs empty use the juice to marinade.  Drain a can of button mushroom and marinade overnight in the banana pepper juice with some salt to taste.  Then drain the mushroom again and fry in small amount of butter.  Stick wooden picks in the mushroom and serve as appetizer.  
  •    Left over gravy or beef steak sauce can be used to flavor fried rice.
  •    Peanut butter can be used to flavor Kare-kare instead of packet flavoring.
  •    Japanese/Asian stores have a variety of salad dressings that cost less and offer a novel taste to your lettuce/vegies such as Miso Dressing and Roasted Sesame Dressing.
  •    Japanese stores in the malls such as Daiso or Ichiban Kan have fabulous dollar items that can’t be found in the regular dollar stores.
  •    Open the blinds to let sunshine in rather than turning the light on.  Sunshine is better for the health and cost nothing.
  •    Lint roller works just as well on furniture with fabric cushion cover.  If buying used furniture use the lint roller to detail clean it then spray soaked the fabric with fabric freshener.  The lint roller will remove dust, pet hair, etc.  The fabric freshener will chemically clean the fabric making it good as new.
  •    Boxed hair dyes have instruction not to store after mixing the two components.  If only a small amount is needed for root coloring mix small amounts from both components in a plastic dye saucer and use hair dye brush to apply.  The unmixed left over in the bottles can be used for the next root covering.  Beauty product stores carry plastic dye saucer and hair dye brush at a small cost and can be used forever.  Just wash after using.
  •    Old salad bacon crumbs or other salad flavoring can be used to flavor fried rice, pasta sauce and sautéed dishes.  The heat would refresh the bacon and/or salad flavoring.  
  •    Wiping with liquid car wax takes off set grime/dust from car paint which drive-through car wash leave behind.  Keep a spray bottle and disposable paper wipes in the trunk and use waiting time to wipe the car one section at a time.  You would be surprised to find there’s a different brighter color behind all the dirt that would come off.
“She also gets up while it is still night and gives food to her household…” (Proverbs 31:15-19)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Where is the American Midwest

   Based on the map above the American West in 1789 would be Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.  Those states were not named in the map but as comparison with the next map would show those four states were the wild west of 1789.  A Kentucky born and bred said “Kentucky was the beginning of the west”. 

   In 1845-1846 America expanded making Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana the new West.  This was the era we see in the movies where cowboys and outlaws start their trail from Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, shoot at each other then run off to Mexico via Texas to avoid the Sheriff. 

   The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) pushed American west farther.  By 1884 to 1889 the America we now know has shaped up to make Oregon, California and Nevada as the West.  Texas and Florida and Louisiana became south.  

   In 1890 Americans gave up the horseback and arrived in the West by automobile.  Later representatives from all the western states built the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center to showcase western culture. 

   When a new immigrant Filipina was asked where is America's Midwest she said "The west is in the West Coast, the east is in the East Coast. The Midwest is everything in between." 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

DNA, Wine and Injustice

   Below are some fine points plucked from the Bible:

  “Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10) Abel’s blood that was spilled retained his identity so that it speaks for him.  Only in recent years did scientists discover that blood retains the owner’s identity, his DNA long after the person has died.

  •   “Because sentence against a bad work has not been executed speedily, that is why the heart of the sons of men has become fully set in them to do bad.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11) For every crime that goes unpunished more criminals are encouraged.

  •   “Now Noah started off as a farmer and proceeded to plant a vineyard.  And he began drinking of the wine…” (Genesis 9:20-21)  Noah was the first to make wine.  God did not reprimand him.  He was not a drunk as the movie portrayed.  “He is making …vegetation for …mankind and wine that makes the heart of mortal man rejoice...” (Psalm 104:14-15)  God made wine for mankind to enjoy.  If God did not want man to drink wine he could have altered the grapes so that it would spoil instead of age.  

  •   “…keep these things without prejudgment, doing nothing according to a biased leaning” (1 Timothy 5:21)  Prejudging a person or treating anyone based on bias is not pleasing to God.  It is currently called racial profiling, prejudice or discrimination.

  “At length Jehu came to Jezreel and Jezebel herself heard of it.  And she proceeded to paint her eyes with black paint …” (2 Kings 9:30)  This shows women used eye makeup in 580 BC. 

 “…you have been weighed in the balances and have been found deficient” (Daniel 5:25-28)  This was used in the title of a Lino Broka movie Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang which had nothing to do with the Bible.  The movie won 6 major FAMAS Awards in 1974: Best Picture, Best Actor (Christopher De Leon), Best Actress (Lolita Rodriguez), Best Director (Lino Brocka), Best Musical Score (Lutgardo Labad), Best Theme Song (Emmanuel Lacaba for Awit ni Koala).

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Laundry Day Scare

   When Vicky was at her neighborhood Laundromat she agonized about the coin operated machine she picked.  To be sure that the clothes were being cleaned she sat in front of the washer and watched the soap bubbles through the glass door.  Then she worried that the bubbles were not enough.  The dryers are typically one on top of another.  Until her dryer started turning Vicky worried the coins would feed someone else’s dryer. 

   A big burly man with shaved head took the washer next to hers and put three items of clothing.  It was noticeable because most of the people there had bags and hampers full.  The guy had only three pieces.  Vicky observed that the guy put too much detergent so that his bubbles were ten times hers.  When the man’s laundry was done he moved the clothes to a dryer and Vicky saw him inspect the clothes for any remaining stain and was satisfied with the spotless white items.  Vicky deduced that the man was washing some crime evidence off.  Why else would he put too much detergent and who drives to the Laundromat for only three pieces? 

   Vicky came home and found her slippers missing.  She always took off her shoes and put on her slippers behind the front door.  Today she did not find her slippers there.  She went into the bedroom and the slippers were not there either.  She went into the bathroom although she would never leave her slippers there and come out barefoot.  She went into the kitchen thinking she might have put on her shoes there.  The slippers are nowhere.  Fear was beginning to build up in her.  She thought someone might have broken into her home to steal.  She went for her jewelries.  Nothing was missing.  Fear turned to panic.  If someone came in to steal only the slippers then the purpose was to show her that he can break in anytime to hurt her.  She ran back to the door to check if the lock had been tampered.  Then she noticed she was wearing the slippers all along.

   In this era of sex offenders, identity theft and cyber bullying there are so many scary scenarios that were unheard of some 30 years ago.  Vicky’s fears may sound ridiculous to other people but they are very real to her.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Email Hoax?

   Clarita received an email supposedly from a relative of her American ex-husband.  An image of the email is pasted below.

     The email sounds credible because police in the third world countries are deemed as incompetent and petty crimes are rampant.  

   What is wrong with this picture? 

   The list of recipients is hidden.  Clarita will not have grounds for any complaint since she will not be able to prove the email was meant for her. 

   The email does not say how much is needed, which hotel needs to be paid nor does it have an instruction on how the money should be sent. 

   The choice of the Philippines as vacation location was meant to elicit a guilt feeling that the crime was committed by a fellow Filipino hence another Filipino should want to pay for the damage. 

   The stolen credit card is another red flag.  Credit cards are swiped as soon as you check in.  When you check out all they need is your signature.  Besides credit cards have a toll free number that one could call to settle the hotel payment even without a card to swipe.  All it would take is to properly identify yourself by answering your security questions then speak with a bank manager.  Emailing people for money to settle the hotel bill would not be necessary.

   An entire family to be all mugged “at the park of the hotel” is not plausible.  Hotels in Manila and their perimeter are guarded by armed private security guards and may have priority with police response due to the international repercussion.  Tourists in Manila are almost never victimized by petty crimes.  There seems to be an unwritten law that criminals would get a tougher treatment if the victim were a foreigner.  Even the dumbest criminal knows anything that touches the economy or the country’s image abroad could get him killed as a warning to others.  It is the same for most countries where tourism is encouraged. 

   So what was the purpose of the email?  Since there was no instruction about sending money it left Clarita only one move and that would be to reply to the email.  Apparently the objective was for her to send communication which would lead her to a bigger fraud, her ex-husband.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Overseas Filipina Wife, the New OFW

   In this era of globalization more and more Filipinas are finding their way to other countries through marriage to a groom of another race or nationality.  Some dating sites say the Filipina is the best wife in the world to encourage interracial marriage.  

   There is nothing wrong with interracial marriage.  After all we are one nation under God.  However the Filipina if truly in love or in legal term marrying in good faith would still not tolerate abuse of any kind.  She will run or fight back.  In which case the husband might wish she runs instead.  As an Australian who married a Filipina says “Don’t expect a docile little wife who will sit around watching her family deteriorate because you’re a bad provider or make bad decisions.  If you don’t “wear the trousers”, she will!  Someone has to!  Respect must be earned and it must be deserved.  Don’t think you may act like a tyrant or a Sultan in his palace and get away with it.  These are generally strong and very capable women.” (

   This is not to say the Filipina is a disrespectful wife.  She probably will not get dragged into screaming bouts out of respect but her silence means more than words.  It could mean loss of love.  What is there to say when love dies?  A woman of a few words, goodbye could be the only one that comes to mind.

   Like her OFW male counterpart (Overseas Filipino Worker) the Filipina would have to send money to her kin.  She would gladly get a job and work for the money she will be sending home.  She would feel it a great injustice if she were to be forbidden to send a part of her hard earned money after contributions to the marital budget.  Some cultures would insist that the Filipina wife hand over all her pay to the husband.  This would reduce the marriage to slavery.  After centuries of fighting against colonization in her native land, a Filipina would not accept it in any form.  

   If loved, respected and cherished the Filipina wife would stay and support her husband of any nationality for better or worse, a pledge that has been taken lightly by many women around the globe.