Sunday, 30 March 2014

Southeast Asia Day in Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum

"Die Philippinen - eine faszinierende und touristisch nahezu unbekannte Inselwelt - stehen im Fokus des Thementages Südostasien. Kulturen mit ihren schwimmenden Märkten, einzigartigen Tempelanlagen und pulsierenden Städten warten auf die Besucher. Traditionelle Tänze und Märchen, philippinische Kampfkunst und Gongklänge bezeugen die Vielfalt der Region. Grenzgang Live-Reportagen entführen das Publikum zudem nach Kambodscha, Burma and Bali." So, 16. März 2014. (Taken from the leaflet from Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Kulturen der Welt)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

March 27, 2014, Historical Date: Peace Agreement Between GRP and MILF

Editorial Cartoon from

MANILA, Philippines – Peace, at last. After 17 years of peace talks between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) was signed at the Malacañang Palace on Thursday. More than a thousand people filled the expansive tent set up on Malacañang grounds while hundreds of Muslim groups gathered in Quiapo in anticipation of the historic event. The signing of the CAB marks the culmination of the 17 years of peace negotiations between the two parties and the supposed end to decades of armed conflict in Mindanao. It will pave the way for a new Bangsamoro autonomous political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and will address various issues in the area such as poverty. President Benigno Aquino III and Muslim leaders witnessed the signing Thursday in the presidential palace. Earlier in the ceremony, Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, declared that there would be “no more war” with the signing of the deal. “No more war, no more children scampering for safety, no more evacuees…no more poverty, no more fear…Tama na (Enough), we are all tired of them,” she said during her speech at the Malacañang grounds. Deles said the “new dawn” after the signing of the historic agreement would ensure that “no family will be forced to drive their children away for fear of being maimed or wounded by conflict.” During the event, attended by foreign dignitaries, the Secretary thanked all those who made the signing possible, especially President Benigno Aquino III. “Our common intentions will drive us forward,” she told the audience that included almost 500 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Talks on the deal began in 2001 and a cease-fire has been in place since 1997. The agreement will create an autonomous Muslim region in a large part of the southern Mindanao region. The signing is a major political victory for Aquino midway into his six-year term, but much work remains to ensure the accord’s full implementation. Mindanao is home to other insurgent groups, at least one of which has vowed to keep fighting. – With a report from Associated Press (Source:

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cassava Crossing

Cassava Crossing

Nagsimula sa isang pirasong cassava 'tong estorya.
Wala kasing magawa isang araw ng Miyerkoles
maaraw pero malamig din
para sa labas magkape at tumambay
At magmasid sa mga taong nagdaraan.

Kaya binalatan ang cassava o balinghoy
At naghanap ng mga tirang dahon ng saging sa balkon
Ginadgad at nag-google kung paano gumawa ng maruya
Para maalis ang pangungulila.

Kalahating tasang arina ng bigas
Kalahating tasang tubig
Asukal ayon sa gustong tamis
Paghaluhaluin ‘tong mga sangkap
At idagdag ang ginadgad na balinghoy
Magpainit ng mantika
At ilagay ang cassava sa dahon ng saging
Parang bangka.

Ay susmaryosep!
Ang ingay pala nito pagpiniprito
Naeskandalo ang irog na
Nagsusulat ng kanyang mga kwento
Ano yan ginagawa mo?
Ang kanyang commento
Nagtalsikan daw ang mantika
Hanggang duon sa kwarto!

To make the story short,
I made the maruya
And gave three pieces to my dear kapitbahay
Hoping she would eat it later and not too soon
At kung hindi, sunog ang kanyang dila.

Anong gagawin sa natirang cassava?
Naghanap ulit ng recipeng pangmeryenda
Aha…suman naman Ang susubukin
Magandang 'tong pangposting!

2 tasang grated cassava
Kalahating tasang asukal
Kalahating tasang gata ng niyog
Isa at kalahating tasang tubig (talaga?)
Talaga bang isasama yun tubig duon
Sa mga tuyong sangkap
Tanong ko sa aking sarile
Pero yan ang nakasulat sa recipe
Bago to bilutin sa dahon ng saging
At 20 minutong pakukuluin.

Sa madali’t salita
Inabot ng katam
At wala na rin palang mga dahong pangsuman
Kaya’t ang cassava mixture
Ay di binalot sa saging
Kung di sa isang container Ibinuhos
at isang oras at kalahating Naka steam.

May natirang coconut milk
Na ginawa kong latik
O anong tawag ba ninyo duon
Sa ganong concoction
Matamis na bao, Kalamay o tireret
Pangibabaw sa cassava
Na gusto lang maging maruya
Ay naging steamed pudding.

Hindi pa nakontento
At inilagay ko ang steamed pudding
Sa hurno
Baka sakaling maging Bibingka
Ang all-around cassava.

Ay! ang naging itsura
Tikoy gawa sa Alemanya
Tinikman ko ulit
malinamnam, aba, hoy
Hindi nasayang
Ang Odyssey ng humble na balinghoy!

Eh kung iprito ko kaya
At balutin parang lumpia?

Cassava with green bananas

Grated cassava deep-fried with banana leaf

It will make such a noise when frying due to the moist banana leaf.

Cassava fried with banana leaves and the rest normal frying

Deep-fried with leaves smells more delicious

Steamed Cassava

Cassava topped with caramelized coconut milk

Finally, a baked cassava topped with coconut milk

Just experimenting what to do with a piece of cassava one afternoon. Maruya like the German version of Reibekuchen (grated Cassava and deep-fried); Suman Cassava, grated cassava mixed with coconut milk, sugar and then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked or steamed; Bibingka Cassava, grated cassava mixed with coconut milk, topped with caramelized coconut milk and baked.  One doesn't normally cook cassava like I did...but as you may too cute to cook! It works for me this way.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Pass me the Pastrami Please

One perk in (power)walking with someone is not just keeping fit but keeping updated with just everything happening not only in our own families but in the immediate neighborhood as well. Lately, my dear neighbor U. mentioned that she would be going extra to the city to fetch Pastrami as a birthday gift to her son-in-law. Pastrami, I said, "I've heard that before. Italian?" Neighbor continued her Pastrami-related updating with the scene of Meg Ryan's fake orgasm in this comedy When Harry Met Sally scene in Katz's Delicatessen. Alright, that convinced me to say,"I'll have what she's having", and requested my dear neighbor to bring some slices of Pastrami for me. She not only brought me back some slices of Pastrami but also coleslaw made by her daughter and some pieces of Graubrot (rhy bread) to complete the sandwich and with brief instruction how to prepare Pastrami sandwich. Graubrot or rhy bread to smear with Senf/Mustard More on Pastrami: Wikipedia gives this brief information: Pastrami (Romanian: pastramă, Yiddish: פּאַסטראָמע pastróme) is a popular delicatessen meat usually made from beef, and sometimes from pork, mutton or turkey. The raw meat is brined, partially dried, seasoned with various herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed. If you can't find any meat shop selling Pastrami in your city, roastbeef is another option. Be very careful with the spreading of mustard on the bread unless you want to scream ala Sally in that film while eating your Pastrami sandwich.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

International Women's Day, 2014

(Photo: Shared from Facebook) "One's own thought is one's world. What a person thinks is what he/she becomes - That is the eternal mystery. If the mind dwells within the supreme Self, One enjoys undying happiness." Happy International Women's Day. Cheers to all beautiful women who make our world and our lives wonderful!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Rose Monday in Cologna

It rains chocolates and roses in this stronghold of Carnival celebration on Rosenmontag or Rose Monday. Millions of visitors flock to the city waiting for the huge parade and floats while native onlookers scream for Kamelle (sweets) and Strüssje (flowers). All over in Viva Cologna, one hears Alaaf and not Helau. Alaaf traces it origin to Fürst Metternich in his letter saying Cölle al aff meaning Köln über alles (Köln above all). Rosenmontag is the biggest day of the so-called Tolle Tage (crazy days)for merrymaking before the seasons ends on Ash Wednesday but the jecken (clowns) will come back to life on November 11, at 11.11am. Hope you get the mood by watching the video and looking at some of the photos from the Rosenmontag parade.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Schull-und Veedelszöch in Köln Karneval

One of the so-called Tolle Tage (crazy days) during Carnival season in Cologne. This Sunday Parade is participated by the different schools and districts of the city of Cologne. Selected groups from this Schull-und Veedelszöch parade particpate in the biggest street celebration on Rosenmontag attracting millions of guests to this stronghold of Carnival celebration, to the city of Cologna. Kölle Alaaaf or what they say now, Kölle Alove! Rose Monday