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Puto Bumbong

In the past, the only time that you can get Puto Bumbong is during the dawn masses for Christmas.  Today, you can get it all year round.  IMO - the best puto bumbong are still the ones that are available at Christmas time.  They are typically made via traditional family recipes that are not written but passed on from one generation to the next via oral tradition.  Yes - like folklore. 

I had puto bumbong at the food court in SM Hypermart.  It was ok - but it did not meet up to my expectations of puto bumbong.  The good thing is - it's the last day of August today and tomorrow is September.  You know what that means - it's the start of the Christmas season in the Philippines.  Pretty soon - there will be puto bumbong stalls around the churches.  

No Plastic in Pasig

SM Hypermart at South Super Highway still lacks the Royal Breed Dog Food.  We thought it might be good to go to their outlet at C5.  We were ecstatic to find stocks there.  I'm sure Char Siew and Midori are happy that they will now be served the fine cuisine of odd animal parts ( beaks, feet, and other tasty parts ).

Upon checkout we found a sign indicating that the city of Pasig has a ban on Styrofoam and Plastic.  This means that they will pack your groceries in paper bags of cardboard boxes.  If you want to use bags - you are of course welcome to bring enviro-sacks.  I hope that all cities and towns in the Philippines start passing the same ordinance.

I am now wondering if the styrofoam ban is also implemented in Fast Foods like Jollibee and McDonald's.

News Flush

On my visit to one of our business partner's office - my interest was piqued by the following sign on top of the men's urinal.  They feature company news and informational bulletin.  I thought it totally made sense.  In fact in the malls around the metro - that spot above the urinals are utilized as advertising space.

A Day with Typhoon Mina

Typhoon Mina is in the Philippines.  It has brought strong winds close to its eye and as much as Metro Manila is far away from the eye of the storm - it is still feeling the brunt of the storm with inches and inches of rain.  I like rain however - it does hamper plans for this weekend - which includes long walks with the two dogs.   I did take them out for a walk when it was just raining kittens and puppies.  Char Siew doesn't like water - but he knows that I am relentless when it comes to our daily walks.  So if I say we walk - even if he doesn't want to get wet --- he just follows me.

On this day - I got a new haircut.  I went to the Fix Salon at Greenbelt five.  After that - I had dinner at Relish.  I am really happy that we have a restaurant very close to our house.  While at the restaurant we saw one of the maids of the residents of the condo building of Ponte Salcedo come in ordering food.  It seems like the resident gave instructions that instead of being served on styrofoam - they requested for the food to be properly plated and brought up to their unit.  That totally makes sense.

Times like this - I want to have my comfort food.  So I had mushroom soup and macaroni and cheese.  I also had sparkling wine - it was 650 pesos ( 12 US Dollars ) for a bottle - so I thought might as well load up on alcohol if it's going to be that cheap.

My dear readers - what are you doing on this stormy day/night ( I know the the east coast of the United States is bracing for it's own version of Typhoon Mina --- and there she is called Hurricane Irene ).

Long Weekend - Time to Chill

It's a four day weekend in the Philippines.  Monday (August 29) and Tuesday (August 30) are holidays.  I am planning to take advantage of these four days and get some rest and recreation.  I'm actually planning to get a lot more rest than recreation.

Bella Notte

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Bella Notte 8
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What's For Dinner?

Hmmmm .... I wonder what we have for dinner?

This smells good.  It's the Cesar dog food which tastes like Liver Pate.

What?  We still don't have Super Bites dog food?  Why?  Why is it out of stock?  

Should I call a hunger strike?

Blogger's Note:  A guest post of Char Siew the Shar Pei.

When I was an Only Child

My father posted this picture on his Facebook profile.  It was our family picture when I was a toddler.  I am not sure how old I was in this picture - but it's definitely between the age of 1 and 2.  At three years old - my being an only child seized when my mother gave birth to my sister.

Eat Your Vegetables

I was a very skinny kid.  I was never very athletic.  I didn't like playing tag because when I'm it - I end up being IT till the sun sets and my playmates and I are called back to our homes.  You see - I didn't run very fast.   Moreover - I wore eye glasses which were thick and heavy.  When they're new they fit my head perfectly - but as months pass - they wear out and I always have to push it up my nose so it doesn't fall off.   When I run in games -- I can't pay attention to my glasses - and one too many times - they fall and break.

Being a weakling and having poor eyesight - my aunts and uncles would always tell me that I am like who I am because I didn't eat vegetables.  I didn't like eating vegetables.  I loved eating fruits - but not vegetables.   I loved eating fish and chicken and mung beans.  When I ate Sinigang ( or tamarind soup ) - I will just pick the meat and remove the vegetables.  I didn't like salads.   I prefer the Lumpiang Shanghai - over Lumpiang Sariwa.  The former had ground beef or pork wrapped in the spring roll wrapper.   The latter is made of vegetables.   I always argued with the adults who made me eat vegetables that I didn't need to eat veggies because I got all the essential Vitamins and Minerals from my daily dose of multivitamins.  My father worked for a Pharmaceutical company so we had these for free.

I hated vegetables and I hated being told to eat my vegetables.

But this changed.

I am now an Omnivore - I can eat both meat based food and plant based food products.  It all changed one day when I ate in one of my friends' house and we were served a salad as part of the meal.  I remember almost choking on those leaves but I wanted to look cool and did not want my friends to know that I was not sophisticated enough to eat salads.

From then on I told myself that I had to train my tummy for vegetables.   I started eating Lumpiang Sariwa.  It wasn't too bad especially when I drowned the Lumpia with the sweet peanut sauce.   I also started eating Salads - first it was just Ranch dressing - then I moved on to Ceasar Salad - then onto vinaigrette.  Today - I switch between any of these dressings but I prefer vinaigrette.  I also started eating the vegetables in dishes like Sinigang, Kare-kare, even Mungo.  In fact for Kare-Kare I don't eat the meat.  I only eat the Vegetables.

I started loving vegetables so much that at one point of my life I decided to go vegetarian.  I was actually vegetarian for two years.  I am no longer vegetarian because I was actually fattest when I was vegetarian ( instead of eating meat - I ate a lot of pastries ).

What I do not understand now is - how can it be that some of the adults that I meet today - do not eat vegetables?   Don't they know it's good for them?   Moreover - they have children --- how can they make their children eat healthily if they themselves won't eat vegetables?

Staying in Daddy's Bedroom

Char Siew and I love the time we spend inside Daddy's bedroom.  It's really comfortable inside this room.  I also love the fact that I can smell him really near.  My favorite spot is at the foot of his bed - with him scratching my belly while we both fall asleep.

Blogger's Note: A guest post by Midori the Beagle

The Five Layer Nacho Dip from Mr. Rockefeller

We have a great new discovery.  It's the Five Layer Nacho Dip from Mr. Rockefeller.  To be honest - I don't know what makes the five layers - I can only recognize the salsa, the cream cheese, and the chill-con-carne.  So I'm trying to decipher what the the third and fourth layers are.  I guess it doesn't matter what I could not recognize - since all that matters when you eat is the taste.   I am telling you - when I first grabbed a spoonful of the dip, placed it on top of the Nachos - and swallowed the Nacho whole --- the burst of all the flavors in my mouth was unbelievable.

Drive through Starbucks

Drive Through Starbucks has been introduced in the Philippines via one of it's outlets at Fort Bonifacio Global City.  It actually makes sense - and I remember in 2003 - I stayed at a hotel in the US which was close to a Drive Through Starbucks.  I guess it took almost a decade for that concept to be implemented in our country.

Bagwang from Mercato Centrale

It's no secret to regular readers of the House of Queens that I love pork.  So I don't think you will be surprised if I rave about the Bagwang that you can find at Mercato Centrale.  It's crispy pork - bagnet style.  They serve it with Rice and Fried Egg.  Love it. Love it. Love it.

Apart from the Bagwang we also tried another dish at Mercato Centrale.  This is potato cooked in Cheese and Garlic.  There are actually a number of stalls which serve French fries in Mercato - and I guess if you prefer to try a different way of cooking your potato,  this is a must try.  How can you go wrong with Cheese and Garlic right?

Playing Newspaper Sit

Daddy and I went back to the Doggie Love event of Mercato Centrale last weekend.   Char Siew had to stay at home since in our previous visit,   Daddy realized it's hard to take care of two dogs and eat at the same time.

For this event - they invited the Sibe Tribe - which is a group of people and Siberian Huskies.   I am not a Siberian Husky - but I do have friends who are Siberian Huskies.  They had contests for dogs - and in one of them Daddy volunteered to be one of the participants.

The contest we joined was called - Newspaper Sit.  The rule of the game is to basically make us dogs sit on a newspaper when the music stops.  The last dog caught not sitting on the newspaper is eliminated.

There were four contestants.  And as you can see - none of us are Huskies.

That's Daddy trying to concentrate on preparing the newspaper.   Note - I love eating newspapers - so I wasn't sure how this will go.  What will happen first?  Will I sit on the newspaper?  Or will I chew on the newspaper.

Saying hi to my co-competitor.   As you know - I'm one friendly Beagle.

This handsome dude is one of the contestants.  I'm not sure what his breed is.  Can someone help with that?

Round one.  That's simple.  Daddy says sit. and I sit.

I got a lot of treats from Daddy in this contest.  Hurray!

Yummy!  Yummy treats!

See how good I am with this game?

This was the last round.  You will notice that three of my paws were on the paper.  But my Royal Behind was not.   So ... 

This cutie won the contest.  He sat later than I did - but his behind was right on target.   

The Siberian Huskies seem to agree - that even if I lost the contest --- I deserve a treat.   So the contest organizers gave all of us contestants yummy Liver Treats.

Blogger's Note:  A guest post from Midori the Beagle

Porky Chop at Stock Market

Stock Market is one of our favorite restaurants at Bonifacio High St.  This restaurant has undergone some changes this year ( because of a change of ownership ).  This weekend - when we visited - it seems like they have a new menu again.  For those who are fans - no need to panic because from what we experienced - they still serve the good food that we are accustomed to.

This Salad has Vinaigrette Dressing, Candied Walnuts and Cottage Cheese.  When you order - tell your server to remove the shrimp from the stick.  It makes for easier consumption of the salad.

Porky Chop is what we had for our main course.  Definitely a must try for pork lovers like me.  It's a big serving.  Can be shared by two people.

I was torn between the Apple Torte and the English Pudding.  I decided to get the Apple Torte.  Good choice.  

Char Siew and Midori at Better Dog

Daddy booked an appointment with Jojo Isorena of Betterdog Canine Behavior Center.  We decided to consult with him after an accident that Char Siew had been in a couple of weeks ago.  You see,   Char Siew had always been anti-social.  We've heard that Shar Pei can be aggressive towards other dogs.  Char Siew is not necessarily aggressive but he does express his dissatisfaction of other dogs by growling.  In the incident that we are speaking of,  he growled at another dog - as if taunting him in a fight.  The other dog responded to his taunt and Char Siew got bit.

During the consultation with Jojo,  he interviewed us on what happened.  He also observed the interaction between Daddy and Char Siew.  Char Siew and I have been to obedience school previously - so we do understand basic commands like sit, heel, stay.  So what was Jojo's assessment?   Char Siew is acting out what is natural to a Shar Pei.  However - upon his observation Jojo thinks that Char Siew has a lot more tolerance with other dogs than most Shar Pei.  Moreover - Char Siew also follows the basic commands - so he really doesn't have issues.  We just need to make sure that he can understand and he will promptly obey the commands given by Daddy - especially when Daddy says "Leave it".  That should keep Char Siew out of trouble.

So what was prescribed by Jojo? He recommended that Daddy goes through the  Family Dog training.  This will allow Dad to go through exercises that transfers the obedience commands to him.  Right now - Char Siew and I follow daddy when our training collars are on.  Without it - his leadership is only moderately effective.  If and when Daddy strengthens his leadership over us - he will be able to manage situations when Char Siew is around other dogs - and command him to stay cool and not pick fights.

From what I read about Jojo and his training sessions - this might mean fun exercises for Char Siew and me.  This also means more quality time with Dad.  I'm definitely looking forward to it. 

Char Siew says - do I look like a dog who needs therapy?

Jojo Isorena and Char Siew

Char Siew stands when he sees a dog outside of the office.

Blogger's Note: A post by Midori the Beagle.

I am not a Hush Puppy

People often call me a cute Hush Puppy.  Unbeknownst to these nitwits who are actually referring to the Shoe brand Hush Puppies - the dog they are referring to in those posters are actually Basset Hounds.   Basset Hounds and Beagles look alike - and like us Beagles - Basset Hounds are --- you guessed it hounds.   Since I am often mistaken for a Basset Hound - I convinced daddy to take this picture of me.   Anipals - what do you think?  Can I be a good Shoe Model?  By the way - the shoe - like me is not Hush Puppies.  It is from Pedro.  When they are not being worn by daddy - I occasionally convert them to Chew toys.