Announcement from the Phil. Embassy in PP


The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Phnom Penh regrets to inform the Filipino Community in the Kingdom of Cambodia that H.E. CORAZON C. AQUINO, former President of the Republic of the Philippines, passed away on 01 August 2009.

In this regard, please note the following:

01. A Condolence Book will be opened from 03-07 August 2009 during office hours.

02. The Samahan ng Mga Pilipino sa Cambodia (SAMAPI) will also offer a mass for the late President Aquino on Wednesday, 05 August 2009 at 06:00 p.m. at the Embassy. Those who wish to attend are requested to wear a yellow shirt or dress.

A period of national mourning for ten (10) days has been declared in the Philippines. During this period the Philippine flag will be flown at half-mast.

For information and clarification, please call the EMBASSY at Tel. No.
+855.23.215.145 or +855.23.222.304.

** Photo Credit: Originally uploaded by my dear friend Seralulalu’s On My Palette.

Viva, Pacquiao!

Filipino boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao sent Mexican Oscar de la Hoya to retirement after a one-sided match at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden. Pacman’s latest feat ultimately establishes him as the world’s finest fighter.

Kevin Lole of Yahoo Sports wrote:

De La Hoya, who was taken to a local hospital for a precautionary examination, never in his illustrious career had absorbed such a beating. Pacquiao’s hands were far too quick and, despite the fact that he was moving up from lightweight, his punches were much too hard for the Golden Boy to handle.

It was clear by the third round that De La Hoya was going to need a miracle to reverse the pummeling he was taking.

Pacquiao displayed every punch in the arsenal, raking the Golden Boy with straight lefts that nearly closed De La Hoya’s left eye and stunning him with hooks, jabs and uppercuts.

Congratulations, Manny!

Photo from Yahoo Sports. Read the full story here.

Litratong Pinoy #16: Kinagisnan

Ang sineguelas… bow!

Scientific name: Spondias purpurea. Kilala ito sa iba’t-ibang pangalan: Jocote, o ciruela, sa Central America; Hog plum, red mombin, purple mombin sa wikang Ingles; sineguelas, o sinegwelas, sa wikang Tagalog. Pero para sa aming mga Ilonggo, sargwelas ang tawag namin dito.


Kung sa Amerika at Canada ay kinagawian na ang apple-picking, sa amin naman sa Roxas City ay pinanabikan namin ang pagdating ng summer dahil nakagisnan na namin ang mag-sargwelas picking! Tuwing sasapit ang summer, kami ay nagbabakasyon sa Mambusao sa mga kamag-anak ng tatay ko. Marami kaming kamag-anak doon subalit sa isang paborito naming Tiyo kami palagi pumupunta. Ang bahay niya ay luma na at gawa sa bato at ito ay napapaligiran ng iba’t-ibang fruit trees. May langka, balimbing, abokado, mangga, star apple, kamyas, papaya, sargwelas, lansones at iba pa.

Hindi naman matataas ang puno ng sargwelas kaya hinahayaan kaming akyatin ito upang mapitas ang bunga. Subalit ang puno ng sargwelas ay may kakaibang katangian. Kapag ito ay namumunga na, nalalagas ang dahon at nagmumukhang tuyot na para bang patay na ang puno. Kaya minsan natatakot din kaming umakyat sa puno kaya gumagamit na lang kami ng singit* para makuha ang bunga.


Karaniwang kinakain kung manibalang na ang sargwelas na sinasawsaw sa asin. Matamis, malutong kung kagatin at may woody flavor ito. Pero para sa amin, ito ay parang mansanas na rin. Ako naman, dahil may ka-weirduhan, sinasawsaw ko ito sa sukang may toyo. Hmmm, kanamit!

*Oist, bago kayo mag-isip ng hindi tama, let me explain. Singit (mabilis ang pagbikas) ang tawag naming mga Ilonggo sa sungkit!

Photo Hunt #22: Candy

Photo borrowed from my other blog.

This is my favorite childhood treat, ampao, or rice crispies, in the Philippines. When I was a kid in the province, we seldom eat chocolates (they are expensive). Chocolates and other candies were a rare treat, and we usually had them only on Christmas, birthdays and other special occassions. Rice crispies, however,were our everyday treat. They are sweet and crunchy, sometimes sprinkled with peanuts and most of all, very affordable. It is rectangular in shape and because it is quite thick, one has to open its mouth wider than usual to have a bite of it.

Noypi, Ikaw Ba ‘To?*

A good friend of mine, Maya, sent me the following and since I have no interesting kwento to post yet, I am sharing this to everyone as well.

Be Pinoy

MANILA, Philippines — Pinoy is what Filipinos call each other, a term of endearment. You’re Pinoy from Pilipino just like you’re tisoy from mestizo or chinoy from chino. It’s a nickname just as Minoy is from Maximo, Ninoy from Benigno, Tinay from Florentina and Kikay from Francisca.

But now they’re Maxi and Ben and Tintin and Cheska. You’ve been called indio, goo-goo, Negro, flip, noypits. Or Filipino,a Spanish biscuit that is brown outside and white inside, or a word stricken from the dictionary which means domestic. Ay, lintik!

You’re Juan de la Cruz or Mang Pandoy. You’re common tao, masa, urban poor but also Cecile Licad and Don Jaime, Jose Rizal and Tony Meloto, Shawie and Pacquiao and Nick Joaquin, galing galing.

Born June 12, 1896, the Republic of the RP is a Gemini, good at connecting, good at loving-loving, good at texting and interpersonal skills. Filipinos like to yakap, akbay, hawak, kalong, kalabit. We sleep side by side, siping-siping, we go out kabit kabit.

There’s lots of us to go around. Someone always to listen to a sob story, even in a jeepney, to share-aload or to share a TV.

Everyone’s tito, tita. Who has a hipag, a bayaw, a bilas, a balae, a kinakapatid? Who has an ate, dete, diche, kuya, diko? The maids call her ate, the driver calls him kuya and everybody is tito or tita.

Who has a Lola Baby, a Tito Totoy, a bosing called Sir Peewee, his wife Ma’am Lovely and their kids Cla Cla and Kring Kring?

The Pinoy lives in a condo, a mansion, an apartment, a bahay na bato, ilalim ng tulay, Luneta, Forbes Park, and Paris too! He’s a citizen of the world, he’s in all the villages and capitals, colonizing the West, bringing his guitar and his bagoong, his walis na tingting, his tabo, his lolo and lola.

Where there’s a beat, there’s a Pinoy. You’ll find her singing in a nightclub in Tokyo, a musical in London, the Opera House in Sydney. Sure, they’ve got the infrastructure, the theaters and architecture. Who but Pinoys direct their plays, or trains their company managers, and imports our teachers, by the way?

Look at that baggage – all pasalubong, none for herself. From bedsheet to hair color, Toblerone to carpet, Viagra to paella pan, Victoria’s Secret to microwave.

Hey, Joe, don’t envy me ’cause I’m brown, you’ll get ultra violet from that sun and turn red not brown. Just lucky, I guess. God put us all in the oven, but some were uncooked and some were burned, but me, I came out golden brown!

Hey, Kristoff! Hey David and Ann! Your Pinoy yaya makes your kids gentler, more obedient, she teaches them how to pray. Hey Big Brother! Hey Grandma Moses! Who but Pinoy nurses make your sick days easier all the way?

We made the jeepney, the karaoke, the fluorescent bulb, the moon buggy. We invented People Power and crispy pata; popularized virgin coconut oil, scaled Mount Everest and made it with Cebu furniture abroad among the best.

Ever trying for the Guinness World Record-with the longest swim of a child, the longest kiss, the longest longanisa.

The Pinoy is a linguist. As in. As if. For a while. Open the light. Close the light. Paki ganyan naman ang kuwan sa ano. Tuck in. Tuck out. Don’t be high blood. If you’re ready na, I’ll pass for you.

Hayop; Hanep! Bongga ka ‘day, feel na feel kita, kilig to the bones ako. Don’t make wala, don’t make tampo. Taralets na, babes, let’s go, nababato na ang syota mo.

I’m inviting you to my party, please RSVP.
Oo means “yes” or “maybe,” or “yes if you insist,” or “maybe if it doesn’t rain.” “Yes” is also a nice way of saying “no.” Yes, hindi kita sisiputin. “No,” eto na ako at ang barkada ko. Please don’t ask a Pinoy a question like that!

The Pinoy finds time to be nice, to be kind, to apologize, to be there when you’re depressed, to help you with your utang and your wedding dress.

The Filipino is a giver, never mind what it does to his liver, never mind what it takes. Hardships of the Third World don’t dry up his blood, they just make him more compassionate, more feeling, of the other guy’s lot. Note that the maid sends all her wages home to ailing daddy. She is the OCW whose labor of loneliness created the original katas ng Saudi.

Bahala na!
The Filipino is fearless, bahala na si Batman, which actually means Bathala na or “leave all to God.” Okay lang if I die by bitay, okay lang if I live, okay lang if I survive by the skin of my teeth.

Saway ni Inay: Di ka naman Bill Gates, di ka naman French, mahirap nang magbuhat ng sarili mong bench.

Be Pinoy! Enjoy!


phil flag

Nope, it’s not my identification number. It stands for Independence Day 2006.

Today is the Philippine Independence Day, and we are celebrating 108 years of freedom from our colonial masters. The Philippines has a long and rich history of struggle for independence, and of bravery and courage of men and women fighting for freedom.

The Philippine flag represents the many facets of the Filipino people and unites our nation, scattered through various seas, as one country, with common history, dreams, and (a vision of) a better future.

Every year, Filipinos here in Cambodia celebrate this most important day in Philippine history with a flag-raising ceremony at the Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh, and a sumptuous Pinoy breakfast on the embassy’s rooftop following the ceremony. It was a well-attended ceremony. Most of my kababayans, coming from different parts of Cambodia, came in wearing nice Filipiniana. It was such a friendly atmosphere having breakfast together with old friends, and some people I met there for the first time. (Nice to have met you, Toe!) Breakfast was an array of Filipino fares – sinangag (fried rice), pork tocino, bistek (beef steak Pinoy-style), scrambled eggs, daing (dried fish), and many others – catered by Ate Helen.

The email from the embassy required us to be there at 6:45am.


Houston, we have a problem! Yan na ang problema ko. Waking up early in the morning is one of the most difficult things for me to do, but since I have been absenting myself from Filipino gatherings for the longest time now I was compelled to change my waking habit just this once. After all, I am proud to be a Filipino despite and inspite of what’s happening these days and I thought what better way to show this pride than to attend the ceremony. No. Actually, it was more about the guilt factor because I have been avoiding Filipino gatherings, and not to mention na safeguard na ang sabon ko ngayon. May konsensya na ako. Haha. Oops, to my non-Filipino readers, my apologies. I could not translate this without losing the humor. Just ignore it.

phil embassy choirme and the phil flagR was also game enough to go with me, his first time to attend a Filipino gathering of sorts here in Cambodia. R gladly took on the photograhper role and happily snapped pictures as usual. I demanded he produce good pictures to post in this blog. He told me he couldn’t get a good pic of the flag being raised because it was done so very fast. Oo nga naman, I also noticed that. Mabilis pa sa alas cuatro. Sana dinahan-dahan para tumayming sa national anthem. Pero di bale na, wala naman sigurong nakapansin kasi ang center of attention ay ang Philippine Embassy choir. Mahusay daw ang choir, sang-ayon ni R. If I am not mistaken, most of them are also in the church choir. Bukod pa dun, the newly-appointed Ambassador to Cambodia, Lourdes G. Morales, addressed the Filipino community for the first time. She also read the speech of the Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In the Ambassador’s speech she mentioned the “eternal greatness” of the Filipinos and took this opportunity to congratulate everybody for the contributions the Filipinos and the Filipino community have made in and for Cambodia. Mga Bisaya, Tagalog, Kapampangan, Ilokano, Ilonggo, etc. – everyone was beaming, listening to her speech. Nakaka-lapad ng tenga. Kaya hayan, lampas tenga ang ngiti ko ng umagang yun.

Ang tilapya… bow!

My apologies to Ayeza, this was due on the 15th but failed to post. I was finishing office (paper) works before the holiday – Khmer New Year – started. Over at Bisaya Bloggers, the topic for the month of April is food.

So Inday Yez, ari akon contribution bisan late na. Presenting… tilapia… bow!
Because of Roxas City’s geography, inland aquaculture or inland ponds (punong) has been practiced for a long time. It mostly consists of bangrus (bangus or milkfish), pasayan (shrimps), lukon (prawns),alimango (king crabs), tilapya, kag madamo pa.

Born to an Ilonggo father and Bikolana mother, we children enjoyed the bountiful seafood from Roxas City’s waters cooked in Ilonggo-Bikolano style. Tilapya, or tilapia, is common in the Ilonggo and Bikolano’s tables. There are many ways to enjoy it – fried, grilled, pinaisan, inadobo. But there’s one particular dish that is enjoyed at home, it’s called (I hope I remember this right) picadillo, a burning and sweat-inducing blend of the Ilonggos love for gata (coconut milk) and the Bikolanos’ penchant for red-hot sili. Matulo gid imo sip-on sa kakahang kag kanamit!

Living here in Cambodia always makes me yearn for home-cooked food. Eversince having our (Rob and I) own place, I’d started experimenting in the kitchen, cooking from memory or asking Papa for recipes. Kung indi ko magluto, indi gid ko katilaw sang sud-an na akon nahidlawan. Luckily for me, tilapias are available here in Phnom Penh markets.

To cook picadillo, you will need:
One medium or large size tilapia, guts taken out
Freshly-ground black pepper
Finely diced ginger, tomato, and onion
A cup of gata (coconut milk)
Chopped fresh chili (siling pula)
Pechay leaves
Salt to taste

ginataang tilapyaClean the tilapia very well, taking out the scales, gills and guts. Set aside. Except for the gata and pechay, blend the remaining ingredients and stuff it (in the empty space where the guts were taken) inside the tilapia. Wrap the whole tilapya in pechay leaves and place it in a pan. Pour the gata over and sprinkle the remaining mixture of ginger, pepper, tomato and onion, plus the chili. Add salt to taste. Cook over slow fire for 10-15minutes, or, until the fish is done. Voila! In an instant, the hot and spicy picadillo is done. Serve with steamed rice. Haay kanamit, daw ara lang ko sa balay sa Roxas! Feels (or tastes?) like home gid =).

P.S. Everyone’s overjoyed back home. Guess who has just arrived?!?

Mining alert…!

Was talking this morning to a Canadian volunteer, Keith Jones, when I heard the familiar sound of my phone… ahh, text message, and it read:

Gobyerno at industriya nagkakaisa sa pagmimina, taongbayan may magagawa pa ba? pag-usapan natin agad bago mahuli ang lahat sa isang emergency meeting ng taong-bayan at mga organisasyong kumikilos laban sa pagmimina, bukas, martes, october 5 ganap na alas 2 ng hapon sa wwf training room, 57 kalayaan ave, QC

There’s this familiar urgency sa tono ng message ni Mum. Nakow! Para na namang sinisilihan ang mga puwit nila sa ganitong sitwasyon. Aba e, nakasama pa nga ako a dialog lately at kaka-blog ko pa lang na maganda ang feedback galing kay Sec. Defensor tungkol sa mining ay biglang binulagta na lang kami ng ganito. Shempre, hindi na ko makaka-attend ng meeting, pero in thoughts, suportado ko sila. Di pa ba sapat yung nangyari sa Marinduque, sa Benguet at sa iba pang parte ng ating bansa? O talagang pabagsak na ang ekonomiya natin at kapit na lang ang gobyerno sa patalim, at kaya they can’t wait to sell off our mountains to foreign mining companies? Magbubulag-bulagan sa maaaring epekto nito sa taong-bayan at sa kalikasan? Sana naman ay pakinggan ng gobyerno ang hinaing ng taong-bayan at iba’t ibang organisasyong pangkalikasan. Paano na lang ang sinabi sa Constitution na nagmamando sa gobyerno “…to protect and advance the right of people to a balanced ecology in accordance with rhythm and harmony of nature”…?

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata…