#7,079: Pinipig (Immature rice) Popsicle and Ice Drop!

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Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s, and Magnum?

So for the past few weeks, I have been seeing a lot of posts on facebook of my friends in the Philippines sharing photos of them with a “Magnum” Ice cream! When Selecta (International brand name: Wall’s ; When Philippines’ RFM Corp., partnered with FMCG World Giant Unilever) introduced this Ice cream Popsicle to the Philippine Market, it suddenly became a hit, seems like everybody’s into it. Believe me, my news feed on facebook has been showing up photos and statuses about Magnum.

It’s like a requirement for every Filipino to taste one, and ensure that, yeah it’s documented on facebook or any other social media tool. Which somehow puts a smile on my face, I can say that Filipino race gets to enjoy and appreciate life even with the simple things, the simple pleasures, like getting to taste this Magnum may complete a day already, and probably give that person a sense of accomplishment for finally having to taste it. And it does really taste good. I tried it here in SG months before the hype in the Philippines. But then, with all these statuses and photos about Magnum, I was suddenly reminded by this self-effacing local ice cream which I used to buy back when I was younger. Oh well, sort of a bonding moment as well while on the street, be it together with my playmates or cousins or my family.

The Simple Joys of Pinipig and Ice drop…

This ice cream at doesn’t hurt much one’s wallet.

Pinipig and Pinoy Drop are brought to you by a dear hardworking peddler. One who randomly appears on the street, just in time when kids want to have something to eat after some hours of playing around.

Size isn’t as big as Magnum or other commercialized ice cream popsicles, which somehow makes you crave for another one, or at least for you to be able to taste all the flavors without being so full.

It comes in different flavors too: Plain Chocolate, Mungo (Red bean), Chocolate with Pinipig, Ube (Purple Yam), Mango and Buko (Coconut).

You don’t have to worry that it might be out of stock in 7-11, trust that when you just look around, you’ll find a hardworking peddler or probably  Sari-Sari (Variety) Stores around you that sell Pinipig and Ice drop =)

Doesn’t need a great advertisement but Pinipig and Ice drop have been around even before I was born, or you were born. Timeless so to speak. Probably because of it’s humbling way of selling it around to loyal random filipino customers who find it really delicious.

#7,079: Pinipig Popsicle and Ice Drop – one simple joy of being a Filipino.

#7,080: Tagaytay!

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Accessibility from Manila City, the awesome cool breeze, the road trip, the bulalo (beef, bone marrow and vegetable soup), the mushroom burger, the pink sisters, Starbucks with the best ambience, horseback riding and more! The list just goes on and on!

In a congested area like Manila, there is the urge and desire to have a break from such fast-paced city life, a place where one can find tranquility, even just for a while, a recharging platform so to speak. That awesome getaway.

Tagaytay definitely takes out such burn-out feeling.

One of my favorite places in the Philippines! This place is and will always be special for so many reasons:

My very first experience when it comes to horseback riding, Tagaytay is really well known for a filipino kid’s horseback riding experience and expect the Filipino parents having this as part of their itinerary for the love of their kids.

When I was a kid and when my parents were still together, Tagaytay has been our family summer getaway, Taal Vista has been our regular place there, yeah, the cold weather didn’t stop my sister and I from swimming. When I was a kid, I loved taal vista more than tagaytay itself because of the swimming pool haha.

The awesome Taal Volcano (Wont elaborate much because I’ll have a separate entry for this).

The road trip with my dear friends (Insert the craziest stuffs here that happens along the way! Oh well, the joy of road trip and randomness).

The steady moment when all of you are together, having a spectacular view of the taal volcano, holding your cup of cappuccino or bottle of beer. Good times.

Truth is, we all need a break from the crowd, and whether you want to take this break all by yourself, or with your dear family and friends – it’s great to know that there’s this place not too far from Manila where one can find a sweet escape.

Tagaytay – one simple joy of being a Filipino.

#7,081: The Red Horse “Happy Horse” Bottle!

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Give way to the happiest horse in the world!

Like some other countries, Philippines has a good set of local beers, internationally recognized, exported in all parts of the world, loved by foreigners who visited the country and abroad. But one of our beers got a very intriguing story behind. A story that amazes each Filipino, or probably just anyone who gets to hear this myth.

Once upon a time, in a far far away land called the Philippines…

Amid those Red Horse Bottles, there’s this one horse out there that looks a bit different, because when every horse shows a poker face, one random horse seems to be getting a lot of fortune, probably this horse has attained the highest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, this horse is smiling!

And while everybody in the Philippines knows that the Red Horse beer has an extra strong kick of alcohol, The Red Horse Happy Horse is believed to have a much stronger kick than the rest of its fellas.

Some people say that the manufacturer has a different mix for these selected happy horse bottles, they say the beer inside these red horse bottles are more concentrated. But of course, there is no empirical data presented about this. Only affirmations by the lucky ones who enjoyed the “unique” experience with this Happy Horse.

I personally tried the Happy Horse bottle before, somehow it tasted the same as the rest. Did I feel the stronger kick? Yeah right.

But wait, there’s more….

Around the table with your friends, you can raise your bottle as high as you wanted to boast that you are drinking the most elite horse of them all.

Probably it’s psychological also, the power of the mind, when you’re thinking that such is a very strong beer compared to the rest of its kind, your mind dictates it to your body, hence, making you believe and feel that it really is stronger than the rest.

Whether the beer inside a Happy Horse Bottle is chemically different from the rest, or just an intriguing story that has been going around for like.. forever, screw it and just enjoy  the myth you’ve heard about it, savor this special bottle found only in the Philippines. Aren’t you glad that you are in a country where even a beer icon shows that yes, it’s more fun in the Philippines.

The simple joy of being with your friends while chilling out, becomes even much happier, because there’s this myth and there’s this horse you get to see smiling, should you be the lucky one to get a hold of it.

The Red Horse – Happy Horse Bottle – one simple joy of being a Filipino.

#7,082: Tapsilog Stalls!

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One of the best food combinations in the world! A Filipino all-time favorite that truly conquers time, literally.

Much has to be said about food combinations in the Philippines. So let us talk about the very famous one, and the stall where it is proudly being sold.

TAPa (Dried Beef strips) + SInangag (fried rice) + itLOG (sunny side up egg) = TAPSILOG!

(Note: Dearest international readers, TAPSILOG is just one of the many combinations/trio found all together in one stall: Tosilog, Bangsilog, Chicksilog, etc.). All will soon be featured here)

Filipinos’ favorite. Be it for breakfast, for lunch, for afternoon snacks, for dinner, for middle snack, and for the Filipino youth… this is on top of their list whenever they want to eat out with friends after a tiring yet happy chill out or party. Such a flexible food indeed.

The simple joy it brings…

Tapsilog food stalls are just everywhere – from commercialized concepts like Tapa King and S.EX (Sinangag Express) to Hole in the Wall 24 hour-stalls, Tapsilog never fails to amaze one’s appetite. The people in the south of the metro (Paranaque City) knows that aside from Sinangag Express, Don Galo’s is such a famous tapsilog stall. I guess it’s safe to assume that each city in the Philippines has a well-known Tapsilog-an (A filipinos’ way of calling a tapsilog stall) to call their own.

Each Filipino, more or less, has craved for a Tapsilog, once in his or her life. And such craving varies as well. Whether you are a fun a of sweet tapa, a spicy one, or even the unexplainable tapa recipe of your favorite stall. Filipinos play around with the “Sawsawan (Dip)” as well. From ketchup to vinegar with soy sauce to combination of the three to the weirdest dip combination one could create.

What’s good about a Tapsilog stall is you would be able to know the reasons why these customers are eating out there, without even asking:

It probably could be a perfect attendance family that didn’t have a cooked food in their house, hence, the nearest Tapsilog stall saves the day.

In the middle of the afternoon, you might see a group of people wearing corporate attires – then you know they are out for lunch, craving for tapsilog so they decided to run to the nearest tapsilog-an.

12 midnight onwards, it could be a group of friends having a post-party bonding, or cousins who decided to eat out after a house chill, the list goes on.

From Tapsilog concepts found inside the malls or Makati Buildings’ cafeterias to humbling small but terrible tapsilog stalls, this food concept entices Filipinos from all walks of life, for whatever reason that made them crave for it, anytime of the day and night.

Tapsilog stalls – One simple joy of being Filipino.

#7,083: It’s more fun in the Philippines!

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Philippines’ top grossing film is a comedy film. The longest running noontime show in the country is all about bringing happiness and having fun. Philippines’ famous chicken proudly proclaims to be the happiest: Chickenjoy. Stand-up comedy bars are just everywhere.  Go to public places and you would witness bunch of friends or families laughing and having fun together. For you to hear random laughs anywhere in public is something really common, and the long list just goes on. One great reason why the Philippines is extra special.

A singaporean taxi driver randomly asked me before, in a very light, curious and kind manner: “Why are you Filipinos always laughing and laughing and smiling? Crazy lah. hehe” (Version: Singaporean accent and way of speaking! hoho). Oh well, in spite of the fact that the country has alot of challenges – striving to resolve, there’s this part of each Filipino that has never been broken: the ability to still be happy, to laugh their hearts out, to smile, to have fun – and hey, mind you: Spontaneously and Effortless.

I’ve always been a believer of my country’s awesomeness, so when I came across the video of Secretary Ramon “Mon” Jimenez (Head of the Philippines’ Department of Tourism) few months back about the new campaign that they’re cooking up, I really got so excited and awaited the launching. The long wait’s over, the very pristine tourism slogan was officially launched earlier today. And it says a lot about the Filipinos, it says a lot about how Filipinos handle things, it says a lot about how Filipinos interact, and it says a lot about the 7,107 islands of the country.

So what simple joy the new slogan brings?

It’s just so natural. It makes you think and pause for a while – why is it more fun in the Philippines? It makes you gather your thoughts for you to be able to share the best reply. And truly, you can own it. Every Filipino for sure gets to share thousands of reasons why it’s more fun in the Philippines.

Fellow Filipino readers, yes you! – the least thing you can do for your country is to be proud of it. Talk and share why it’s more fun in the Philippines. Dear readers from other countries, the Philippines’ new slogan says it all – It’s more fun in the Philippines. See it for yourself, trust me – you’ll thank me afterwards🙂

7, 107 islands. Breathtaking natural resources, awesome culture and festivals and considered to have the happiest, friendliest and the most hospitable people in the world.

Philippines’ new tourism campaign – one simple joy of being a Filipino…

Because IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES🙂

 

#7,084: The Filipinos’ way of New Year’s Eve Celebration!

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For 24 years, it’s my first time to wake up this morning without hearing any sound I used to hear and somehow expect during the last day of each year. Ooopppsss, Oh well, I woke up in the Lion City where Fireworks are prohibited, where you’re not allowed to just light up that five star anywhere in the street, where there are no busy and noisy neighbors preparing for the new year’s eve with all their torotots, videoke, soundsystem and anything Pinoy. So much as there are 200,000 OFWs here in Singapore, we really had no choice but to visit the areas intended for New Year’s Eve if we really wanted to watch some fireworks and get a feel of how it’s supposed to be and how it is being celebrated in the Philippines.

But it’s not just about the freewill to light up your own fireworks; welcoming a Brand New Year in the Philippines is really irreplaceable because of other simple joys…

In the Philippines, you get to hear different kinds of sounds that are, for some, quite disturbing, but nonetheless, waking up every single cell in your body, reminding you that you are just few hours away from saying goodbye to a year it was and a Hello to an awesome coming new year.

The tradition of having round-shaped fruits, and then there goes our moms, scolding us whenever they see us trying to steal and eat some grapes or oranges, reminding us not to eat it until it’s midnight…

And then there are our grandmothers who are really excited to wear their polka-dots dusters…

There are the coins ready for scattering around the house…

The fountain, the Kwitis, the five star, the bin laden, the sinturon ni hudas (Satan’s belt), bawang (Garlic bomb) and during my time- the watusi, haha!

Then there is SM Mall of Asia’s annual countdown, East Wood, Luneta Park and other recreational areas where you can safely welcome a brand new year.

And for a safer way of celebration at your house – the ever reliable Torotot!

Then you have your neighbors setting up massive sound systems in front of their houses, the videoke, the drinks, the party til down!

The essence of a Family is really felt, that no matter how easy or hard the year it was, you still look forward to a coming year with high hopes and great faith- as a Family and as Filipinos.

I don’t see anything wrong with these practices because it makes the Filipinos’ way of a New Year’s Eve countdown really unique, more fun and crazier than the rest of the world. In a lot ways; I see this as a tradition, a culture, a preservation of our own way of welcoming the New Year, one of kind and really irreplaceable. If you were to ask me, I would say it doesn’t make you less of a person when you exercise these practices, because at the end of the day, what is important is your faith that as you welcome a brand new year with these practices, you welcome this year with so much faith, that it’s going to be another year that you’ll be blessed, loved and guided by our Lord Jesus Christ and awesome God.

The Filipinos’ way of  New Year’s Eve Celebration! – one simple joy of being a Filipino.

#7,085: The 24th of December, for the Filipinos!

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24th of December, few hours left and it’s Noche Buena time!

A very special feast for the Filipinos, one best way to conclude a year “it was,”  celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with your loved ones, 6 days before a brand new year comes.

If you were to ask me, I probably would say that the 24th marks the busiest day ever during December, the last day of “pre-Christmas,” this is when all Filipinos are really wrapping up everything:

Breaking dawn, Filipino parents would wake up, running towards the nearest wet market in the community, getting the ingredients needed for a wonderful Pinoy Noche Buena.

The Filipino Kids are very much excited as they are just few hours away from unwrapping their Christmas gifts… (though a lot of Filipino Kids have already opened their gifts even before Christmas Eve, including the not-so-young too, hoho).

In the morning of the 24th, you get to hear your neighbors playing Christmas Songs, loud and proud. And for your other neighbors, Videoke is up and running too!

For some Filipinos, it’s time to do your very last minute shopping. Take note, you don’t have much time so hurry up, we all know that malls in the Philippines would close earlier than their regular closing time during the 24th.

Food? Whether a Filipino Family has different dishes served on the table, or just a simple set of meals, what is more important for the Filipinos is they celebrate the real spirit of Christmas as a Family.

And since there are a lot of Filipinos around the globe, for some reasons wont be able to go home, we still give thanks because there’s technology to keep us connected with our loved ones.

Much has to be said about a Pinoy Noche Buena, and generally speaking, Christmas in the Philippines. So I’m going to limit what to share, with hopes that by the next coming Christmases, you are still with me reading this blog, as  we celebrate the goodness of Jesus Christ, the greatness of the Philippines as a country, and the Filipinos as a race. And anything and everything in between the Philippines and the Filipinos.

So for now, Happy Christmas everyone, share whatever you have – love, time, hugs, tangible or intangible- we celebrate Christmas because we celebrate the goodness of Jesus Christ, as we should, day by day. And by the goodness of Christ, one thing we can do is to share. In the Philippines, and for the Filipinos, Christ is really remembered, and love is really shared and felt.

The 24th of December, for the Filipinos!  – one simple joy of being a FIlipino