Friday, March 15, 2024

Made in Valenzuela: Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates

 #BeyondValenzuela: Ugali ko na talagang icheck ang label kung saan gawa ung binibili ko - literal na binabasa ang ingredients at location kung saan nanggagaling.

Happy to know that Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates is doing really good! These chocolates are manufactured in our home city - Valenzuela. Do support them by buying chocolate bars and more!
Being a chocolate lover (marupok talaga hehe), I would say Theo & Philo has really excellent taste when it comes to chocolate combinations. Their products also come in giftable packaging.

Theo and Philo in SM North EDSA
Very nice packaging! This combination of dark chocolate and calamansi is really good and is a must try.

Check the label, honey: It is made from my home city - Valenzuela.

Theo and Philo has gift sets to choose from.
Will try these ones next time. 

Other than these items on the photo, they also have chocolate barks and other chocolate products.

Always eat local, support local, ka-Valenzuelano!

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Valenzuelano Reads "Wild Song" by Candy Gourlay

Read Wild Song by Candy Gourlay

Reading has always been a part of my daily life. With a filled up schedule, I usually bring a book or two wherever I go so just in case there is some idle time (i.e. falling in line at South Supermarket or at the ATM), I can easily flip open a book. 

Thus, I am truly thrilled to be part of a book blog tour hosted by Ms. Zarah Gagatiga. The book sent to me all the way from Laguna was Candy Gourlay's Wild Song. I have read Candy Gourlay's previous books, Tall Story and Shine, which I enjoyed. The said titles are also part of the recommended title pool in our LIS 114 and 115 classes at the University of the Philippines School of Library and Information Studies.

Wild Song shares with us the fictional story of the Bontok community set during the Philippine colonial period. It centers on Luki, who is described as a fierce Bontok teen who is  not your stereotypical village girl and Samkad, a young village warrior. It talks about their travel from Bontok to the United States, their stay and experiences at the Saint Louis World Trade Fair, and then their trip back home.  

Let me share with you three realizations that I had while reading Wild Song:

Be proud of your roots. "It's our way of life. I am proud of it!", Samkad said. An argument between Samkad, the young warrior who loves Luki, and Kinyo, who has been working with the American Mr. Jenks, was on. Kinyo described the Bontok life as a tiny life but Samkad views it the other way around. As I was reading this part, I have to say that I am leaning towards Samkad's side. Yes, I believe that each one of us  must develop and improve ourselves but we should also think about the community which raised us as we try to achieve our own personal advancement. 

Mothers are our anchor. "...Mother, I was so tired..."."It was incredible, Mother". All throughout the book, one can read how Luki narrated her daily life to her dead mother. It showed how close she is to her mom. Close family ties has been known to be a Filipino trait thus the personal conversations that Luki has in every chapter made it more evident.

Home is where the heart is. The last chapter entitled "Home" struck me to the core.  The journey back home of Luki, Samkad, Sidong, and Tilin resonated deeply in me. I asked myself - why am I so affected? 

We lost our father to COVID. Tatay was living in the United States then and has expressed that he wants to go home for good. Valenzuela, for us, is home. But then the pandemic came and hit the family badly. It was truly difficult for us not to be physically there for him. Bringing Tatay home was a challenge. I had to stop reading and wipe off tears when Sidong said "We didn't leave Tilin behind." - Tilin who passed away while at the United States too. We bring our kin home no matter how difficult it might be.    

Wild Song is a sequel of Bone Talk, a book focusing more about Samkad. I haven't read this one yet thus after enjoying Wild Song, I knew that I got to read the other book too. For now, I hum the story of this Bontok girl - powerful, brilliant, and brave.   


My sincerest thank you to Candy Gourlay for this book and Zarah Gagatiga for the opportunity to be part of a Book Blog Tour. Such a great a read!

Monday, September 18, 2023

Carnivorous Plants in Your Science Classroom: Fyukinta's Flants x Monster Mama PH

Fyukinta's Flants and Monster Mama PH are partnering in time for Science Month. We're bringing live carnivorous plants in one (1) Science Classroom!

One (1) science class will be given a FREE set of carnivorous plants with a grow light and care sheets so you can take care, observe them grow, and write down your learnings.

The Science class will receive the following:
1. 2 pitchers plants
2. 2 sundew pots
3. 1 grow kit
4. 1 small grow light
5. Care sheets

1. Recipient Science class must be:
- Grade 4 and up (Private or Public)
- Within the Northern Area of Metro Manila (Quezon City, Marikina, CAMANAVA)
- Be able to provide brief group observations and photos of the plants in a simple log at least thrice (3x) in a period of 2 months (Upon receipt, Middle, Last week of the 2nd month).
2. Interested teachers must answer this Google Form:

Basic details will be asked including the question: What would you like to learn about Carnivorous Plants? Why? (Ano ang nais mong malaman sa mga carnivorous plants? Bakit?)
3. Students are encouraged to make content (photos. videos, journals) about the plants and attach these to the logs. You may go beyond the 3 minimum logs mentioned in No.1.
4 . Shipping / delivery will be handled by us.
5. The chosen teacher and class must send their weekly log to us via email.
6. The teacher and class will allow permission for the logs to be shared on both Fyukinta's Flants and Monster Mama PH social media accounts.
7. The Google form will close by September 30, 2023, Saturday. The Recipient Science class will be announced on the first week of October 2023.
Sundews from Monster Mama PH, Valenzuela City

Pitcher Plant from Monster Mama PH

Sundews from Fyukinta's Flants, Marikina City

Pitcher Plant from Fyukinta's Flants, Marikina City

We are excited to share the world of carnivorous plants to a class this Science Month! We'll be waiting for your entries!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Reading the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter's 50th Anniversary Issue

After a number of years growing carnivorous plants, I have eventually decided to finally become a formal member of the International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS) rather than just being a member of several carnivorous plant Facebook groups. I believe that my interest into these plants have grown from simply being curious to becoming more passionate about it. 

Within the first few months that I have been an ICPS member, I have attended webinars which discussed (1) carnivorous plant care and pest management as well as (2) a good presentation on Byblis (rainbow plants). I look forward to participating into future activities and interacting with ICPS members from all over as well - sharing best practices, overcoming cultivation challenges, and just having a good time growing carnivorous plants together.

Carnivorous Plant Diseases, Pests, and Cures with Damon Collingsworth

Growing Byblis Successfully with John Ende, February 22, 2022, 8pm-9pm EST

Today, I just received the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter's 50th Anniversary Issue which has Allen Lowrie (1948-2021) on its front cover. Drosera lowriei can also be seen at the back cover. Being a landmark issue (50th!), the initial pages featured the brief history of the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter which shares the hard work placed to produce the newsletter continuously until today. 
Carnivorous Plant Newsletter: Journal of the International Carnivorous Plant Society Volume 51, No.1 (March 2022)
Allen Lowrie (1948-2021) is on the front cover - taking a close up photo of a Drosera.

As can be read in the Table of Contents of the newsletter, the quarterly also focused on Allen Lowrie's immeasurable scientific contribution to the field of carnivorous plants. It can be seen that he was awarded with the Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award which is a well deserved recognition. One can read more about it in the following pages of the newsletter. His work was described as "enormous...unparalleled" (Nunn, p.15), and "...will continue to be a vital resource for researchers and hobbyists for generations to come..." (Bourke, p.19).
The contents of this landmark issue. 

Being into Utricularia recently, I love the close up photos which can be found on pages 52-69. Moreover, one can read about a father's experiences on growing carnivorous plants together with his son in the article "Cultivating Kids: A Passion for Carnivorous Plants".
The newsletter ended with three new cultivars for Sarracenia and Dionaea - Sarracenia x moorei 'Prof. Goetghebeur', Dionaea 'CCCP Sea Scallop', and Sarracenia 'Mocha Dick'. Setting a number of goals such as making hybrids and becoming a better grower, being able to register at least one new cultivar has now been added to my carnivorous plant bucket list. 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

2021 UP SLIS Freshman Welcome Assembly

Nung isang araw, nung pauwi ako mula sa SM North EDSA, napabili kasi ako ng laptop ng bata, sumakay ako ng Grab car. At karaniwan, para pamatay buryo sa mabagal na traffic, nakikipagkwentuhan ako sa driver. Buhay pamilya, kumusta sa trabaho, may love life ka ba o wala. Nung malapit-lapit na sa bahay, nabanggit ni Kuya, “Nakakatuwang makipagkwentuhan habang nagraride, ano? Nasasabi natin yung gusto nating ikwento hanggang matapos ang byahe.” Sa dulo ng biyahe, karaniwan nasasabi ko “Kuys, salamat sa pagshare ng kwento mo sa akin ha.

Minsan pa nga, may show and tell. May manong na nagpakita ng picture sa wallet niya, nakatoga ung babae sa lumang picture – proud na proud siya na nasa Bangko Sentral na ang anak niya, nagtatrabaho. Kaya napaisip ako – sa loob ng labinglimang minuto na pwede akong magbahagi sa inyo, na parang maikling Grab ride mula UP Diliman papuntang Trinoma kapag hindi rush hour, ano ang pwede kong ishare sa inyo?

Hindi ko malaman kung saan magsisimula pero susubukan kong tahiin ang mga kwento.

Simulan natin sa pinaka-basic. Anak ako ng isang masipag na taxi driver, hindi siya college graduate. Si nanay naman ang siyang nakatapos ng kolehiyo – isang med tech. Magkatulong nila kaming itinaguyod na magkakapatid. Sabi nga sa biruan noon, nagsimula lang daw na eskinita ang noo ni tatay. Nung naging tatlo na kami, abay level up na sa Paliparan ng eroplano. They tried all they can to provide the best educational opportunity for us three.  Noong fourth year high school ako, nastroke ang tatay habang bumibyahe, buti nalang pauwi na sila noon nina Nanay. Isa yun sa mga naging dahilan para ilagay ko bilang first choice na kurso ang Occupational Therapy sa UP Manila– para makatulong kay Tatay. Sumunod ang Veterinary Medicine dahil sa likas na hilig ko sa pag-aalaga ng hayop, bagamat ayaw ni Nanay ito dahil sa Los Banos pa, mapapalayo ako sa pamilya.  Sa awa ng Diyos, nakapasok ako sa UP sa aking first choice na isang quota course. Pero sa unang sem palang, ramdam ko na na hindi laan para sa akin ang daang tatahakin ko, kaya sa ikalawang semester ay naghanda na ako sa paglipat. Geology o Library Science? Ung pag-iisip na mapapalibutan ako ng libro at mga kwento ay pasok na sa banga. Tsaka simple lang naman akong estudyante noon. Tahimik lang. Medyo di aprub noong una si Nanay sa kinuha kong kurso noon dahil hindi niya pa ito masyadong alam. 2001 was among the years kung saan unti-unti palang na nakikilala ang Library Science. Library Science? Ano yun? Ahhh, okay. Mga ganyang gaming na Q and A ang madalas kong sagutin kumpara ngayon. Noong ininterview ako ni Mam Faderon, malamang nasabi ko rin, in one way or another, I love books. Pero that very interview, noong nameet ko ang isa sa mga hinahangaan kong tao hanggang ngayon sa larangan ng library science, I knew it sealed the deal. This is where I belong.

Isa sa mga di ko rin malilimutan ay ang makaubos hiningang hagdan paakyat sa SLIS, sa Main Library. Matinding cardio performance sa tuwing aakyat para sa mga klase, kapag kakain bababa ka papuntang canteen o kaya sa Beach House (kung saan masarap kumain noon ng barbecue) tapos aakyat ka ulit para sa susunod mong klase. Kapag malelate ka na para sa susunod mong klase dagdag na calories burned dahil sa pagmamadali. Maattribute ko ang pagiging fit and fab ng batch namin noon at kahit papaano’y maayos kong creative shot noong pagraduate na ako dahil sa apat na taong staircase training na ito. Kahit sino siguro sa mga prof ninyo ngayon sa SLIS would agree to that.

At lahat tayo magkakaroon ng kanya-kanyang kwento sa mga subjects natin sa LIS. Isa sa mga pinakaunang subjects (malamang) na kukunin ninyo ay ang LIS 51. Nagkaroon kami ng assignment noon na magdala ng bagay o simbolo na related sa library science. Noong sumunod na klase, nagdala ako ng logo ng FILA shoes na ginupit ko mula sa pares ng lumang sapatos. Nashook ang prof ko dito. Gusto ko nalang lumubog sa silya na kinuupuan ko noon haha – IFLA pala, hindi FILA ang sinabi sa klase. Kung sa online class pwede tayong mag-off cam saglit, haha, ito live and alive. Isa ito sa mga di ko malilimutang epic fails na nagawa ko noong nasa kolehiyo pa ko na wag na nating alalahanin dahil mahaba-habang ang listahan. Mga bagay na na nakakahiya noon pero pinagtatawanan ko nalang ngayon. At kinukwento pa. Ayun, kahit papano sumabit sa dulo na may bling-bling, cum laude po.

Sa bawat Librarian Licensure Exam Review naman sa PATLS hindi nawawala ang kwento ko tungkol kay Nanay. Nadiagnose po kasi siya na may cancer noong panahon na malapit na ang exams. Sa mga araw mismo ng exam ang Philippine General Hospital ang nagsilbing hotel ko noon. Nabutasan pa ng gulong si Tatay noong hinatid niya ako sa MLQU. Pagod ka na mentally, emotionally drained pa. I think I was experiencing my first super lowest point during this time.  Isa lang naman ang wish ko noon, gusto ko lang talagang pumasa. One take lang. Wala ng iba. Noong nirelease ang results ng exam, binigyan ako ng cake pero di ko akalaing may icing on top pa. Sa isip ko noon, kahit papaano naging masaya si Nanay.

Eventually, ayun, nagtake rin ako ng MLIS. Gabi ang mga klase at sadyang nakakapagod ang biyahe mula Valenzuela paQC at pauwi pabalik. Nakikipagbunuan para makasakay ng bus kaya minsan, o madalas, feeling ko amoy mandirigma na ako pagdating ng bahay. Ilang taon din bago dumating sa puntong nagiisip ako ng  thesis topic. Hindi ko akalain na sa isa sa mga simpleng pagpasok ko sa klase noon ang magiging susi para magkaroon ako ng isusulat. Literal na pagpasok sa mga pintong dilaw noon sa SLIS kung saan nakakita ako ng papel, isang ad, na may guhit ng isang bumbilya sa gitna. Sa isip ko, may gumagamit pa ba ng bumbilya sa mga library? Kumusta ang kuryente? Kumakaway rin ba ang Meralco? At mula doon, naisulat ko ang thesis ko tungkol sa library sustainability at greening na hindi pa masyadong napag-uusapan noon. Kaya kung sino mang org yun o estudyante during that time. Salamat at nakagraduate na best thesis.

Bitbit kong lahat ng natutunan kong ito sa trabaho bilang head librarian sa aming local na pamantasan hanggang sa personal kong buhay. Hahasain kayo sa maraming bagay ng bawat klase na kukunin ninyo sa SLIS. Namulat ako sa blogging sa huling sem ko sa MLIS noon – assignment na pinagawa sa amin sa klase ni Mam Sharon Esposo na isa sa mga lodi sa larangan ng Library Science na sadyang hahangaan ninyo rin. Effort ito para sa akin kasi wala pa namang maayos na internet connection sa amin sa bahay. Noong mga panahong din yun sinimulan ko ang pagsusulat ko online patungkol sa Valenzuela, bilang isang Valenzuelanong walang alam sa kanyang siyudad. May isang dekada ang lumipas, kinilala ng lungsod ang blog na One Valenzuela at pinarangalan po ng Gawad Dr. Pio Valenzuela para sa Social Media. Ang nasabing award po ay siyang pinakamataas na iginagawad sa isang Valenzuelano para sa kanyang ambag sa lungsod.

Magulo ba ang mga kwento ko? Doesn’t makes sense po ano? Dahil ganun naman talaga ang kwentuhan sa Grab car – patsi-patsi. Talun-talon hanggang makarating ka sa destinasyon mo.

Pero sa totoo lang, sa dulo lang natin madudugtung-dugtong lahat kapag nadaanan mo na ang mga highlights at lowlights ng adventure mo. Sa dulo mo lang malalaman at masasabi na, “Ay, kaya pala”.

Kaya ung mga assignments at projects ng mga prof ninyo? Gawin nyo lang ng maigi – madalas obvious kung bakit pinagagawa, pero minsan hindi. Sa case ko, naging mas obvious lang siya at tumatak higit sampung taon matapos kong makuha ang aking diploma.

Ung kwento tungkol sa bumbilya na ad  sa pinto na naging bright idea sa thesis ko noon? Doon ko narealize na, ung mga simpleng bagay sa paligi natin, sa buhay natin, ay nagtataglay ng halaga na di mo lubos akalain. Hindi lang natin madalas napapansin.

Ung kwentong ospitel namin nina Nanay ay mananatiling istorya ng pag-ibig at determinasyon. May mga pangyayari sa buhay na di natin hawak pero dapat daanan. Palalakasin ka ng panahon na inilagak mo sa UP, magtiwala ka lang.

Ung kwento ng FILA na IFLA pala? Ang mga pagkakamali na gaya nito ay ebidensya na sinusubukan mo, hindi ka naggive-up. Ang mga pagkakamali ay mayroong kapangyarihan para gawin kang mas maigi at mas mabuting tao.

Ung staircase training paakyat ng SLIS? Isa lang ang masasabi ko rito. Walang easy access na elevator para mareach natin ang goals natin sa buhay. Kailangan nating umakyat ng hagdan. At habang umaakyat ka ng hagdan, masayang may kasama. Chika-chika lang paakyat, di ninyo pansin sablay time na.

At ung pagpasok ko bilang isang estudyante noon sa SLIS? Pinakikita nito na ang buhay ay hindi isang diretsong linya. Minsan kailangan mong lumiko pakanan o pakaliwa upang makita ang daang sadyang para sa iyo.

You might sometimes feel lost at some point during your travel. But do know that it will all make sense in the end.

Kaya, dear freshies, enjoy the ride until you reach the destination. Kwentuhan tayo ulit next time. Warm hugs at welcome to UP SLIS.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Valenzuelano of the Month: Chef Mark Joseph Bartolome of Brgy. Malanday, Valenzuela City

Food is life and One Valenzuela believes that you will also agree with this notion. With that said, isn't it also interesting to know life behind the plate? Today we got the chance to know more about a young and vibrant chef of Valenzuela City who is making waves in TikTok - Chef Mark Joseph "Marky" Bartolome. 

Can you tell us more about your culinary journey?

“I first started when I finish schooling at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde with the course of BS-HRIM majoring in Culinary Arts. Then I got absorb by our school's full operating hotel upon completion of my Internship there. Worked there for a couple years as a full-time, entry-level cook.

Afterward, I applied and got hired as a chef in a 200-seater restaurant in Singapore which specialized in Mediterranean Cuisine. Did my time, and went back home to work at a 5-Star Hotel in Ortigas Center called EDSA Shangri-La Manila.

After some time, I thought about working as a chef on a cruise, so I applied to an Agency called Magsaysay. I did all the necessary requirement process and got accepted in a German-based Cruise company called AIDA Cruises.

From then on I worked my way up and finally went home to settle down and open my own restaurant called 171 Bistro.”

Your videos po on TikTok are really super cool! What made you try the app?

"My TikTok handle is Chef Marky under the link @chefmarkjoseph and my total number of followers as of today is 50.1k with a total of 270.7k likes. My video with the highest views now has a total of 1.53million views.

My videos are all about cooking and being a chef. I do cooking videos, tips in working and applying as a chef on land and sea, and other stuff related to my profession. I strictly stray away from doing Tiktok challenges like dancing and more dancing, simply because I wanted my page to look and feel professional as it is.

The only reason I could really think of on why I started doing videos on TikTok is because of boredom really, boredom brought by the Community Quarantine and the threat of Corona. I never thought about documenting what I cook before, but when I saw some videos made by other chefs I suddenly had the urge to do it as well. It was hard at first, nagkakakanda bulol-bulol ka in uttering words, pero in time talagang masasanay ka.

Honestly I enjoy it really - everyday iba ulam namin. What I actually shoot is our lunch and dinner for the day. 

My goal right now is to inspire younger generations na you can be anything you wish to be as long as you work really hard for it, especially sa mga younger aspiring chefs, I always tell them that you really need to be passionate in order to be great kasi most of the days talaga, love for your craft is the only thing that would get you by."

You own a local restaurant in Valenzuela City. Please share more about it to us.

"The name of the Restaurant is 171 Bistro. We got the name 171 from the address of our establishment. Bistro basically means small-casual dining restaurant in French. We opened our doors way back in July 2018. 

We specialized in Mediterranean Flavors and Pinoy Bar Favorites. Our best selling items are the Seafood Paella, Paella Negra, Beef Tenderloin Salpicao, Grilled Mix Seafood and Grilled Tuna Panga. We also sell beers, liquor and handcrafted cocktails.

Just before the lockdown, we do have an acoustic singer every Friday. Closed on Mondays, we only do dinner service. We also accept functions, Meetings, banquets, weddings, debut, christening, etc.

171 Bistro is located at 171 I-Fernando St. Malanday, Valenzuela City." 

Do you have any favorite food? Comfort food?
"Me and my dad really liked the movie Ratatouille, meron isang scene dun na sobrang natuwa tlga kami because of the reaction of Anton Ego when he ate the Ratatouille dish of Remy. What actually transpires is Anton Ego got a nostalgia about his mom, kasi yun pala niluluto ng Mother he was still young. My Dad actually came up with an idea for me to find out what a person's "Ratatouille dish" is and try to cook it for them.

So because of this, I'll always remember this old restaurant sa may lumang City Hall, I forgot the name pero 7-11 na sya ngayon. Anyway, my mother works at a office just beside it, everyday after school in SLCV, I will walk by the restaurant before going to her office at palagi kong naamoy talaga yung Grilled T-Bone Steak nila, most of the time kakain kami dun, thus, in turn made me love it. Pero what really hits me is the way I always remember those times whenever I'm eating or cooking a steak. Fun childhood memories we all wish to look back.

For the comfort food, I am a Fried Chicken lover. It is a meal I could eat twice in a day, pero different brand naman. The best fried chicken for me is Popeye's, ang saya lang they finally returned in the Philippines. Southern Fried Chickens are really the best, the way they coat and season it is like no other. Plus ang sarap pa ng mashed potatoes nila and the Cajun Rice. Panalo!

Honestly I grew up eating KFC, fam-favorite siya talaga. Word to describe it is unique, sila lang gumagamit talaga ng pressure-fryer kaya soft and juicy on the inside while crispy on the outside."

How does cooking make you feel?

"As written in my social media profile: Cooking is not just my passion, it is also my obsession.

Cooking for me is a way of expressing myself to others. It is actually forming to become a bridge for me to inspire others especially the ones who wish to undertake the same track as mine."

Got a message to fellow Valenzuelanos who are into cooking?
"To those who love to cook and to those who dream of becoming a chef, please keep on pushing the boundaries of cooking, constantly try out new flavor combinations, always aim to innovate. Never stick to a certain recipe, create your own, and build your own. Finally, be curious enough to discover different cuisines because you'll be surprised at how fulfilling it is to learn other cultures."

Follow and watch Chef Marky on TikTok here:
171 Bistro's Facebook page can be seen here.
New Youtube account here.

Thank you very much, Chef Marky for this very engaging discussion on food and life. We are truly grateful as well to be with you as co-admins in the Sarap sa Valenzuela Community. If you would like to be part of this food group that celebrates eating local, supports local food entrepreneurs, and forever curious about places in Valenzuela City, do join us here. Why? Dahil sadyang masarap maging Valenzuelano.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

RAMADAN 2020: Fibering up the Vital Suhoor Meal while Staying at Home

One Valenzuela is glad to have known some Muslim Valenzuelanos by visiting a handful of schools that teach Muslim children. Thus, this particular write up may be of interest to the Muslim community in the city and other places as well. This is written in coordination with Australia Harvest, a food brand that the author has been using for several years now.

Ramadan begins today (April 23) and ends on May 23, a month after. It is during this time that our brothers of the Muslim faith once again pause and focus on prayer and fasting. The latter are two of the five pillars of Islam, of which the other three are faith, charity, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

But with the world being affected by COVID-19 and most countries imposing lock-down or stay-at-home regulations, the 2020 Ramadan scales especially highly on isolation and spirituality - each and everyone yearns for protection and comfort. An end to the pandemic.
The overnight oat bowl is a fitting suhoor meal.
One vital preparation for this significant event amongst Muslims is the quality of suhoor food.  This is the pre-dawn meal that one eats before fasting for the day. Suhoor food must be high in fiber and protein to provide long-lasting energy throughout the fast. Because of this, eggs, oatmeal as well as fruits are some of the favored foods.

Oatmeal is rich in carbohydrates and protein, thus it causes the body to feel satiated longer, preventing hunger pangs. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals that the body needs especially during fasting. A well-prepared suhoor meal will more likely include oats, in different forms and recipes.
Oatmeal porridge as a pre-dawn meal.
With Australia Harvest Oatmeal, one can be nourished by suhoor daily during Ramadan. How about a nice bowl of oatmeal porridge? Overnight oats? Some muesli, perhaps? You can also make plates of oat bran pancakes.
Finding Australia Harvest Oatmeal in the grocery is quite easy even with the given circumstances. One Valenzuela was able to get her Whole Rolled-Oats packs yesterday at a local supermarket without fuzz - a product which is a regular in her grocery list. Australia Harvest also offers Instant Oats, Quick-Cooking Oats, and Oat Bran. 

Australia Harvest Oatmeal products are available in all leading supermarkets nationwide. It is exclusively distributed by Ideal Macaroni & Spaghetti Factory, Inc. For product inquiries, do call (02) 8282-2222 or contact 0925-803-4179. Like Australia Harvest Oatmeal on Facebook: Australia Harvest Oats

Monday, April 13, 2020

What to do, What to do: Life during the Enhanced Community Quarantine

Plans have been laid out, deadlines are all marked on the calendar. Like everyone else, One Valenzuela has been running the rat race early this 2020. Hay, those were the days when you would wish for a long weekend to come to finally have some rest. Or at least, have more time to deal with the pending tasks.

Then all of a sudden, the Taal eruption happened. Then the news on Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread like wildfire on television and in the newspapers. To control the situation, we are made to stay at home and limit our movements in public - specifically avoiding mass gatherings. Only the most essential establishments remained open such as drugstores, groceries, banks, and hospitals. Social distancing and people wearing masks have been the norm. 

The community quarantine placed life on pause. That's wish granted for some relaxed days - but, to be honest, this is really a very long pause.
Or rather: Ano ang pampa-good vibes na ginagawa ninyo ngayong community quarantine?
So, how are you riding the situation? Here are a few things that One Valenzuela has done to keep the boat sailing:

Be updated with the situation. Stay informed with the latest news by following official sources of information (i.e. TV telecasts, official Facebook pages of your local government unit like the Valenzuela City FB page and national departments like DOH). Avoid sending unconfirmed information and forwarding unverified images and chain letters which may cause panic and anxiety to others.

Clean the house. Time to finally help your Nanay do the cleaning. And we mean, General Cleaning - BIG time! 

Cook. One Valenzuela loves cooking - a lot! Since there is so much time available to prepare meals nowadays, it would be great to cook that food which you miss dearly during your toxic workdays. For example, One Valenzuela baked batches of peach mango pie to her heart's content. And if you still do not know how to cook, well it's high time you learn this skill. But to make sure that no precious food ingredient is wasted, it would be better to have a "knowledgeable other" like your Nanay or Tita in the kitchen to help you out. You know what I mean. 
In Photo: Lucky Me Pancit Canton na ni-level up!
Start that passion project. With so much time in your hands, why not start that long overdue passion project? 

Begin reading. By now you have probably read somewhere on Facebook or Twitter that Valenzuela City is mistakenly identified as the country Venezuela and it was really quite amusing to see the reactions of several people (Read More on Inquirer: Valenzuela mayor: ‘Di ko alam ako na din pala ang pinuno ng Venezuela’). With this, it is highly recommended that you try leisurely reading again (in between movie watching), hoping to keep our reading comprehension at par. 
Some of the books that One Valenzuela is reading. These are from Big Bad Wolf 2020.
Connect and have some quality time with your loved ones. The current scenario can cause anxiety for many and so talking with friends and family will help ease the tension and stress. One Valenzuela would check on her family via Facebook messenger since her sister is also a frontliner. Thank God for video calls!  

Attend online seminars and workshops. There are a lot of online workshops which are offered nowadays and you will find a number of them for free! There's photography, drawing, and cooking! Many of the workshops are conducted via Facebook live or via Zoom.

Time out for a movie marathon or Kdramas. No need to elaborate. Netflix has a P149/month plan. Any film recommendations?
Completed: Run with the Wind. Being a running enthusiast, One Valenzuela just loves watching this. 
Take a bath. Ligo check! Taking a good bath will help you relax and have better sleep. 

Open a Gcash or Paymaya account. Yes, Gcash and Paymaya are two popular e-wallet apps that are very handy during these trying times. Rather than lining up to the bank, learn more about these apps to pay for your bills or to send cash to relatives.

Exercise. Magkaka-abs na yata ako sa pisngi kakakain! Yes, we're developing some mean abs on our cheeks as we kept on overstaying in the kitchen and munching on food. Kidding aside, do not forget to do some cardio and stretching exercises to burn some of those calories.
Do home exercises, para galaw-galaw rin pag may time!
Participate in Online Challenges. TikTok has taken over the Facebook feed and many of One Valenzuela's friends have posted their cute acting and dancing videos. If you are not into it, participate in online challenges which will make you exercise (I challenge ___ to do 20 push-ups until April 30!) or post something creative (Like the #LutongBahayChallenge in the One Valenzuela Facebook page. Thank you to all participants in the Breakfast and Merienda challenges!)
The winners of the two #LutongBahayChallenge: Jenna Lhuillier (Sopas) and Toti (Mais Con Yelo)

Listen to music. Relaxing - into Ben and Ben lately. Or ... why not compose a song?

Travel tayo ... using Google Street View. Nakaka-miss gumala! We all have that feels. For people who like to go visit places, One Valenzuela is highly recommending Google Street View. The Google Arts and Culture Facebook page shows a number of great places to visit like museums and other interesting spots all over the world.

Stop and smell the roses. Tend your garden. It is therapeutic to talk to plants. One Valenzuela has been into urban gardening for quite a while now and producing some leafy vegetables and tea leaves for home consumption is very rewarding. Nowadays, she has been into carnivorous plants like Venus Flytraps and Pitcher Plants which are now part of her small scale urban garden.
One Valenzuela was able to get some wild bittergourd fruits (also known as Ampalayang Ligaw) along NLEX Maysan after a running session. She planted it in February 2020 and now it is ready to produce fruits. Grow your own food!
Check out TESDA's online courses. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) reported that almost 20,000 individuals enrolled for free online courses in the last half of March 2020. Registering for online courses makes us more productive while mobility is limited. 

Stargazing. The skies are clear during the summertime. Do you have a balcony? If yes, why not lay out a mat and look for constellations?

Spend some time with your pets. Just recently, One Valenzuela was able to get a betta fish from a pet shop near Malinta Market and having the fish during the ECQ was really engaging. Who would have known that bettas can be trained? Her name is Fishball, by the way. For furparents, it's time to groom, feed, play, and goof around with your furballs!

Be there for others. It is truly heartwarming to see a number of Valenzuelanos preparing food and gathering donations for our fellow Valenzuelanos - specifically our frontliners and the needy. Valenzuelano para sa Valenzuelano. There are many ways to help out. Staying at home is already a good start since you are already making our frontliners' jobs easier.

A post from Twitter where fellow Valenzuelanos help out medical frontliners. Maraming salamat po!
Pray. Do. Wait. And trust. 

One Valenzuela asked friends and they answered these.

Ikaw, what do you plan to do until April 30?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Hinahanap-hanap Kita! Where to Find Your Favorite Food after the Fiesta

Hinahanap-hanap kita! This year's Valenzuela Food Fiesta and Bazaar has come to an end and many of you might be wondering where to find that hot bowl of ramen, juicy grilled burger, super sarap na sisig, and those yummy balls of takoyaki. So, where do you find that favorite food after the fiesta? One Valenzuela went to the last weekend of the Food Fiesta, roamed around, and asked the food booths about their physical stores. Try looking at the list below:

Aki Oishi
Address: 198 Coloong, Valenzuela City (near Malanday)
What to Find: Authentic Japanese Food | Recommended: Ramen, Bento Meals, Maki and Takoyaki!
See Facebook page here

Arch Shawarma Express
Address: McArthur Highway, across Fatima Medical Center | Fatima - Dambana | Karuhatan Market
What to Find? Shawarma

Ate Rica's Bacsilog
Address: 2/F AMS Building, Our Lady of Fatima University (Silangan Park) 
Open Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm
What to Find? Bacsilog meals
Contact Number: 0966-4580054 / 0922-3613374

Address: 7 Legion of Mary, Pag-asa Subdivision, Marulas, Valenzuela City
Open Hours: 7:00am to 9:00pm
What to Find? Tomyam Seafood, Thailand dish, cookies and other bakes

D' Original Smoothie
Address: St. Jude, Malinta, Valenzuela City (near court)
Open Hours: 9:00am - 9:00pm
What to Find? Mango, Avocado, and Melon shake

GoTo Spot
Address: 4119 Camella St., De Castro Subdivision, Mapulang Lupa, Valenzuela City (Now also in Marikina!)
What to Find? Goto, Silog, and more! Recommended - Bern's Bowl, lumpia, and Saba Con Yelo!

Address: 55-D Maysan Road, Maysan, Valenzuela City
Open Hours: 1:00pm onwards, Mon - Sat
What to Find? Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki

Lucky Garage Grilled Burger
Address: 47 Pariancillo Villa, Valenzuela City
Open Hours: 1:30pm-12:00mn, daily
What to Find? Burgers and more! Recommended - Megatron and Cheesy Poppers!

Mango Loco by Jhamae's
Address: There are 2 locations - 
Location 1 - C.J. Santos St., Malinta, Valenzuela City (Jeepney Terminal)
Location 2 - Fatima Dambana, Marulas, Valenzuela City
Open Hours: 1:30pm onwards
What to Find? Mango shake

Pearl & Waffle
Address: Corner Villa Liwayway Subdivision, Maysan, Valenzuela City
Open Hours: 10:00am - 8:00pm
What to Find? Milk tea / Fresh Milk / Brown Sugar-based drinks

Sisig OK
Address: Polo, Valenzuela City (across Pio Valenzuela Elementary School)
Open Hours: 9:00am to 10:00pm
What to Find? Pork sisig

Spoon and Pork
Address: Brgy. Lingunan, Valenzuela City
What to Find? UNLI Wings and more! Customer Recommended - Garlic parmesan flavored wings

Tagpuan Bulalo & Pares
Address: Marulas, Valenzuela City
What to Find? Cardiac Bulalo and Pares
See Facebook page here

Teatas and Teatos Milk Tea House
Address: 60 A. Pablo St., Karuhatan, Valenzuela City (back of New City Hall)
Open Hours: 1:00pm-9:00pm
What to Find? Milk Tea! Recommended - Red Velvet 

The Real Grill Burger
Address: 32 ARCA Strip Commercial Building, McArthur Highway, Dalandanan, Valenzuela City (near Puregold Dalandanan)
Open Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm
What to Find? Burgers and rice meals. Must Try - Inside Out

V Sports Bar
Address: ARCA North Center, McArthur Highway, Karuhatan, Valenzuela City
See Facebook page here

Video: First Weekend at the Valenzuela Food Fiesta and Bazaar 2019

One Valenzuela recommends that you first take a look at their social media accounts (i.e. Facebook) before proceeding to their shops to be updated with their holiday schedule. 

Thank you po everyone for supporting local and eating local here in Valenzuela City! Onwards to a new year eatsploring and experiencing Valenzuela and beyond! 

Not in the list? Any update or correction? Send a private message on One Valenzuela Facebook page - would love to hear from you! 

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