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law of attraction and the universe

Ways To Make The Law of Attraction Work For You

You have probably seen the documentary about the Law of Attraction called “The Secret” or might have read the book itself. Men and women talk about the secret and their words inspire you to follow.

If you are reading this because you’re still struggling to apply the principles of the Law of Attraction, you’re not alone.

This is not a coincidence. This is one of the signs that you’re on the right track.

THE UNIVERSE WE LIVE IN

We live in a universe that operates by the same natural laws. These laws are so precise that mathematicians can calculate the when, the where, the why, and the how of things around us.

Just look at the Law of Gravity. It is so precise that we have a numerical constant for it and can be applied to all. So anything up in the air will go down at a specific velocity because the law says so.

How about the Law of Attraction? If we live in the universe and the Law of Attraction applies to all, then why do people complain of not being successful or rich?

The answer lies on each one of us. Here are some things that you need to understand in order for you to make the Law of Attraction work.

IT STARTS WITH YOU

First, you have to know your own mind. Knowing your mind means knowing yourself. Don’t allow outside influences pressure you to follow the bandwagon. You don’t need to be in the crowd when you can excel and stand out.

Knowing yourself includes accepting your own strengths and weaknesses. And once you have accepted your weaknesses, you’ll be able to accept the challenge to become a better you.

Once you know yourself, you’ll understand how to treat and love yourself as well. Eventually, this will emanate into the Golden Rule: “Do not do unto others what you don’t want other people do unto you.”

“Know your mind — live your own life.”Napoleon Hill

THE LAW OF ATTRACTION WORKS

The Law of Attraction states that we have the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. It can be summed up with three words: “Thoughts become things.”

What most people don’t realize is that in order for us to understand the law, we have to accept that we ALWAYS attract the people, the things, the resources, the events, and the ideas that are in harmony with our constant thoughts that are running in our minds.

Take for example you’re thinking of a dream house. You’ve been thinking about it for quite some time now and after a few days, you’ll see a model house that may not be the same as what you’re thinking. And every time you look around, something will remind you of your dream house.

Isn’t it a coincidence? Well, we’d better refer it as a “sign” from the Universe.

The Universe acts on speed. Once the opportunity is there and there’s an intuitive nudge from your gut feel, don’t delay, don’t second guess, don’t doubt, and act!

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase just take the first step.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

IT’S THE PERSPECTIVE

If you look at the window and see dark clouds, you’ll say that it will rain and it’s too gloomy. Someone also looked at the same window and saw the same dark clouds and say it’s romantic because of the rain and the wind that it will bring.

You see, we may be looking at the same thing but we differ on what we perceive. Taking a different perspective to anything may help you understand how the Law of Attraction works.

It just shows that it is not the world outside of you that dictates the circumstances in your life. Instead, it is the world inside of you that creates the conditions of your life.

Everybody experienced adversity in different forms. Probably one of them is being fired from a job. You go home and complain to everyone. You start giving out negative energy around you that they become annoyed and fight you back.

But you can choose between making an adversity a blessing in disguise or giving an adversity fuel it doesn’t deserve.

We have the power to choose. We can choose what we want to give attention to. Therefore, give positive energy instead. Try to see a silver lining in every adversity you encounter by changing your perspective.

“Use wisely your power of choice.”Og Mandino

OUR MINDS HAVE FILTERS

We seek information that confirms our beliefs. Truth is relative. What may be true to you may not be true with other people. That’s why we only appreciate the things that jive to what we want.

Let’s look at how our social media works. We tend to like content that we feel good about because those are the things that confirm our wants, our needs, or our beliefs. If we don’t like it, we ignore it.

Our minds have filters. We sort out the thoughts that come into our mind and store them as memories or what we think are useful and make us feel good. And if we don’t like it, we fight against it.

The Universe has created Nature to perfection that it grows on its own. Compare your mind to a plant. If you don’t take care of the plant, weeds grow. If you don’t feed the mind with positive confirmations, inspirations, or something that would move you closer to your goals, negativity could grow.

Also, you need to protect your mind filter. The Law of Attraction works 24/7 and you cannot stop it even if you want to. So you’re bombarded with both good and bad news. But you can choose what information you consume every day.

It is okay to watch the news and notice what you don’t want like drugs, cancer, war, politics, etc. The problems around the world and around you provide you the contrast of what you really want. But sadly, the more you talk about the things you don’t want or about how bad it is, you are giving the bad news more energy to go on.

Maybe you need to be informed but you don’t need to be inundated with negative news. Remember, energy flows where attention the goes.

“What you resist, persist.”Carl Jung

WHAT YOU SAY TO YOURSELF BECOMES YOUR PROPHECY

The Universe can be compared to the Genie of the lamp in Aladdin. It keeps on saying, “Your wish is my command.”

However, most people say “I wish I have a big house.” or “I want to be successful.” and the Universe acts generally on that. But you notice that nothing is happening.

Why? Because you were not specific enough to describe what you really want.

Wishing doesn’t work well in the Law of Attraction. Why not change your vocabulary? Instead of saying, “I wish I have…” or “I want to be…”, say “I am a millionaire.” or “I have a mansion.” Also, learn to remove the word “just” in presenting yourself. The sentence “I am just a farmer” sounds limiting. Take pride in your work and say, “I am a farmer.” If you are limiting yourself, you are also limiting the Universe.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t either way you are right.”Henry Ford

YOUR HABITS SHOULD BE CONGRUENT TO WHAT YOU WANT

If you want to be successful, then act the part. Dress up and look like a successful businessman. Visualize the things you want to happen. You need to see yourself being that person before you get the results. That’s how the Law of Attraction works.

One of the simplest habits that you can do is to make a vision board. Cut and paste or draw pictures of what you desire on a board. Put it on the wall or on your table where you can see it every day. Seeing the picture will help you fuel your desire. And the more feelings you put into the desire, the Universe will most likely give it.

Remember, if you believe something in your mind but you have no corresponding feelings to support that belief, then there’s no power to manifest. Practicing the Law of Attraction is figuring out what would you do to generate the feelings of having your dreams now.

And to make the Law of Attraction work for you, always follow the cycle: ask the Universe, believe that it will come, claim it even if it’s not yet there, and give thanks to the Universe.

“What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists.”Alexander Graham Bell

These are just a few tips that will make the Law of Attraction works for you. Also, study the lives of the successful people you admire most and you’ll notice one common thing among them: they know the secrets to the Law of Attraction.

female hips in blue jeans

Hips Liposuction by Nazih M. Haddad, M.D.

Hips liposuction is a surgical procedure that gets rid of isolated and stubborn fat deposits which cannot be solved by healthy diet and exercise.

Can’t fit your jeans at the hips? Are your flabs extending from the waist down to the hips and thighs? Or does your lower body too curvy?

Liposuction is now the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the United States. It has been a mainstay in cosmetic surgery for its aesthetic value. The practice has been with us for decades due to its simple and safe procedure. 

However, the hips are one of the hardest places to lose fat. But hips liposuction can be done to help lose those unwanted inches dramatically. Once done, the hips will show the most visible improvement after a successful procedure. With hips liposuction, not only you will improve your curves but also it will help you regain your self-confidence.

Liposuction of the Hips and Thighs

In the last three decades, the liposuction technique has evolved. A three-dimensional approach that includes not only the abdomen but also the hips and thighs has become a reliable method with successful and proven results. Liposuction of the hips and thighs should be done simultaneously for a better body shape and contour.

The procedure is safe. It takes between one to two hours depending on each client’s needs and physique. Remarkable recovery is achieved within two to three weeks with high success rates. Just look at what our patients have reported:

    • Reduced localized fat in and near the hip area — Notice a dramatic change in those problematic areas.
    • Enhanced body curves — You’ll see the big difference either in inches or centimeters as you measure them.
    • Improved body proportion — No more worrying about disproportionate body size.
    • Fits in smaller pants or dress sizes — You can now wear the clothes that you have been longing for.

Dr. Nazih M. Haddad

A careful application of the liposuction technique combined with accurate surgical planning, a thorough preoperative explanation of realistic expectations and monitored postoperative care is crucial.

That is why Nazih M. Haddad, M.D. has honed his knowledge and skills in cosmetic surgery for the last forty years together with his well-trained medical team.

Dr. Haddad’s professional track record includes being a lecturer in Harvard, New York University, and Columbia University. Plus, he’s a member of several distinguished medical societies including Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). 

No wonder, he is a sought-after cosmetic surgeon not only in Newport Beach but also in the Southern California area.

Hips Liposuction Cosmetic Surgery

While hips liposuction is not a permanent and long-term solution to weigh loss, this procedure can be a good step towards starting and maintaining a health regimen.

Keep your hips fat-free with balanced diet and regular exercise. But first, experience the reliable liposuction cosmetic surgery that produces proven and successful results.

Call (949) 720-0505 now to set a free consultation today. We’ll be glad to answer your questions and other concerns.

Or contact us with one click of a button.

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8 Reasons Why Our Marriage Would Not Work — And Yet It Does

Voltaire and I usually walk together in the morning after working from home on the graveyard shift for the same company.

On our way home, he put his arm around me, his right hand landing on my shoulder and said, “We’re a miracle, don’t you think so?”

I thought for a second and asked back, “Why?”

“Well, in a normal world probably we wouldn’t be married at all.”

Thinking of that statement, I realized that yes, there are reasons why our marriage would not work BUT IT DOES! Let me count them for you:

  1. He’s not even my type of guy.
    When I was in high school, I prefer guys who wear eyeglasses and behind those are eyes that become slits when they smile or laugh. In other words, I prefer a Chinese-looking guy, a Chinito. And being a Chinito comes being fair-skinned. Voltaire, is dark-skinned, but wears eyeglasses. Not Chinito, though. But just because he’s not my type, doesn’t mean I don’t find him attractive. I do.
  2. We don’t have a lot in common.
    We may share the same values and goals, yes. But we don’t share the same interests and passions. You would see couples do the same thing together, but we’re far from that. He’s into anime, wrestling, and fan fiction. I’m into a lot of crime fiction and a little bit of arts and crafts. We would do things on our own and circle back to each other for a kiss or a chat or when hanging out.
  3. He finds order in chaos and I couldn’t accept that.
    As a woman, and a nurse/medical technologist at that, I prefer things in order and clean. He’s the complete opposite. He wants his space in chaos and he finds organization in that kind of state. You now have an idea what do we usually fight about.
  4. I want to cook but…
    I love preparing pasta dishes. We both prefer lean meat, no fat. However, I eat fruits and vegetables, he doesn’t. And to make matters worse, he’s allergic to onions and garlic.
  5. He reads while eating
    We both love reading. I read when I have the time. He reads most of the time — even while eating or in the toilet, you know what I mean…
  6. We differ in our TV and film preferences
    Seldom do we watch TV or film together. And that only happens if we both like the TV show or film. Come to think of it, we both love comedy, the only genre we share together.
  7. I hate it when he rushes me to finish my grocery or shopping.
    I prefer going to the grocery or shopping alone because I would be able to choose. With him, everything has to be fast. And I ended up forgetting to buy an item or two.
  8. I don’t know how to ride a bike.
    He loves biking. If given the chance, he would go biking to any place. I would rather play chess or badminton.

But how come we lasted 15 years?

Because we decided to love each other for better or worse, through sickness and in health, through sick and sin, err… thick and thin. Even on those days when we truly can’t stand to be in the same room because of his messiness. Even on those days that we face our own computers on two separate tables inside the same room. Even when I spend more than two thousand pesos on groceries on a single purchase.

Happy 15th wedding anniversary, Volts!

5 Reasons Why Small Farmers Can’t Implement Organic Farming Fully

My father was a retired agriculturist. He had served the Department of Agriculture for more than three decades if I’m not mistaken.

Even in his 90’s, his passion for anything agriculture never died. He used to read (without eyeglasses) and collect agriculture magazines, wrote short articles about farming, and distributed them to his audience.

One day, he gave me his handwritten article that he planned to distribute again.

Now that he passed away, I took the creative liberty re-write his article and added a few items as shown below:

I remember the early ’90s when the trend of going “natural” and “organic” started. I just graduated from Nursing then and my first employers were companies that were into “alternative” medicine. My employers were into organic foods and natural-based products. Even their clients were into it, too. Back then, it was these rich people who could afford to buy organic food products every day.

Then, Congress passed R.A. 10068 or what is known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. This law mandates to promote, propagate, develop, and implement the practice of organic agriculture in the country.

Although the Act has been around for years, only a few farmers and agriculturists practice it despite the demands coming from the health-conscious consumers.

Why is this so? A study by Lucille Elna Parreno-de Guzman provided conclusive answers. She studied selected towns in Laguna and La Trinidad, Benguet where organic agriculture is now adopted. Her study found out five reasons why small farmers in the rural areas find it hard to implement organic farming.

KNOWLEDGE-INTENSIVE.

There are still many things to know about organic farming. Not only does it give our farmers information overload, but also allows the farmers to choose the options available for them. It is up to the farmers to select which methods are best for their farms. But it doesn’t end there, the farmers still need to be constantly monitored and assisted just to assure that they remain compliant to the standards and good practices. The question now lies on how educated our local farmers in organic farming and on how are they receptive to the idea.

LABOR-INTENSIVE.

Most farmers got used to the quick fixes provided by chemical fertilizers and pesticides. So converting them to gather raw materials and prepare these into organic fertilizers is laborious and time-consuming.

I was in Moncada, Tarlac back in 1999 and saw that the local government implemented the gathering and making of composts. When I returned last year, I asked my father whatever happened to that project. Surprisingly, the project was a failure.

The failure lay on the method of gathering the raw materials. They failed to remove the roots and seeds from plant wastes before composting. So when the farmers put on these fertilizers on their soil, weeds came out. That failure prompted the farmers to return to chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

REQUIRES CAPITAL EQUIPMENT.

Aside from gathering materials for composting, the process also requires construction of ermin beds and utilization of mechanical shredders. These additional expenses are beyond the reach of small farmers.

INITIAL LOW PRODUCTION.

Again, most farmers got used to high-yield production using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. And when they converted to organic farming, they produced low harvest during the transition period. This is due to the fact that the organic fertilizers are still slow in releasing plant and soil nutrients. It takes time for the soil to heal and the small farmer may not realize this.

COST OF CERTIFICATION.

According to de Guzman, Section 17 of R.A. 10068 states that only third party certification is allowed for any agriculture produce to be labeled as organic or organically-produced. However, the cost of certification ranges from Php 42,000 to Php 150,000. This becomes a stumbling block for farmers and food production and manufacturing companies.

WHAT TO DO

Given these reasons, the government, both national and local, should provide assistance in addressing the five problem points.

The Department of Agriculture should become more active in training and disseminating the information about the Organic Act of 2010. They could partner with the private sector and NGOs just to bring all forms of communication down to the farmers. Not only should they train the farmers about organic farming, but also to convince them that the low production yield during the initial years of the program is just temporary.

Also, the DA could ask help from other departments, agencies, and the private sector in the manufacturing, production, and distribution of organic fertilizers rather than put this labor-intensive task on farmers.

Another suggestion is to have a shared, self-service facility for farmers in each barangay or municipality. So that farmers who could not afford mechanical shredders may be able to produce high-quality composts.

However, not everything should be relied on to the government. The farmers should also do their share. By learning the benefits of organic farming, they should realize that financial gain should be secondary and focus on the primary benefit: healing the Earth.

After all, Earth is the only place we live.

smoothie, shake

Smoothie, Shake, or Juice?

The answer lies on your own health needs and goals as each drink has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Until now, there is an ongoing debate on which is much better: a smoothie, a shake, or a juice? Ask any health professional or enthusiast and you’ll get different answers.

All three of them sound healthy. All three of them seem tasty. All of them could be your next item in your diet. But as in all comparisons, there are pros and cons for each drink.

But before you think of replacing your meal with one of these drinks, it’s better to know the difference between them and how could it help you.

SMOOTHIE

Smoothie is a beverage of blended whole fruits or vegetables, either fresh or frozen, without any milk, yogurt, or dairy product. It may or may not include water or ice to help liquefy the blend.

Since it’s a whole fruit, the peel (if edible), seeds (again, if edible) and fibers are included in the mix. Therefore the nutrients are intact. In fact, a clinical study showed that blending a grapefruit provides more phytochemicals than juicing it.

Smoothie is considered as a good health drink because it provides fiber. Insoluble fibers are known to help in the digestion and clean our intestines. Also, the fibers in a smoothie keeps you feel full or satisfied. This makes smoothie much lighter than other foods that it becomes a quick meal replacement. No wonder, health buffs recommend a glass of smoothie after workout.

However, not everyone like the taste of smoothies because of its thickness. Also, the fibers can cause digestive upsets on others.

Warning: since many people take smoothies every now and then, they don’t realize that they’re consuming more calories than they could burn or consume more servings in a day than they should be.

SHAKE

Shake is similar to smoothie except that it contains dairy products like milk, yogurt, or ice cream. Most of the time, it comes with added syrups, fruits, powders, whipped cream, and toppings. This is what makes a shake unhealthy.

However, some health companies have created shakes that use protein powder as its base. This form has transformed shakes as meal replacements in diets.

Others who suffer from lactose intolerance or milk taste fatigue may not like drinking shakes. Also, for a smoothie to become a shake, one should not overdo the ingredients all together.

JUICE

Juice is a beverage extracted from a fruit or vegetable leaving the peel and pulp behind. It is concentrated that a small amount can provide the required nutrient per serving of some fruits and vegetables. Not only that, the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in the juice can be easily absorbed by the body.

People who hate vegetables may find juicing helpful. It provides an easy way to get the required nutrients without so much fuss.

However, since juice doesn’t contain fibers, it is much lighter than a smoothie or a shake but less filling. Fruit and vegetable juice may contain high amount of sugar which may cause your blood sugar to go up. Juice is not a meal replacement because it lacks protein and fat.

A centrifugal or masticating juicer is needed to obtain juices from fruits or vegetables. This makes juicing expensive. Not only that, you throw away much of the fruit or vegetable.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It is okay for us to occasionally replace a meal with a smoothie, shake, or juice, but not too often. The main difference lies on their ingredients and methods of preparation anyway. And no matter what healthy drink to prepare, the trick is to use the right ingredients in right amounts.

avocado

The Avocado Hand: Who’s to Blame?

The popularity of avocado rose when it was named as one of the super foods due to its high nutrient value. Along with the rise of its popularity comes the rise of the injuries called The Avocado Hand.

Just recently, TV host Joy Behar told viewers that she spent overnight in the hospital after injuring herself while cutting an avocado. In 2012, award-winning actress Meryl Streep suffered the same injury.

You may find it silly, but your orthopedic doctor in Ft. Worth will say it’s true. There is such a thing called “The Avocado Hand”.

DEFINITION

Actually, this is just an accidental, self-inflicted injury to the hand while trying to cut or peel an avocado.

But how come many people injure themselves while cutting this healthy fruit?

Blame the fruit’s structure itself. It has a hard covering, a soft flesh underneath it, and a big seed in the middle. So it’s easy to think that the avocado is sturdy enough to cut through using a knife in one hand and firmly holding it with the other.

CAUSE AND TREATMENT

However, many of us suffer cuts and even serious knife injuries that can send an orthopedic hand doctor in Ft. Worth worrying. It is when the knife slips through the soft fleshy fruit, to the big stone-like seed, to the fingers or palm that causes injuries to the nerves, tendons, and bones.

The treatment may require exploration of the hand under regional or general anesthetic depending on the severity of the injury. The patient may leave the hospital within 24 hours.

STATISTICS

There is just one medical literature available about the Avocado Hand but there are numerous news articles about it online. The New Zealand Herald reported that insurance claims on avocado-related injuries increased from 137 in 2015 to 162 in 2016. In London, a surgeon told The Times that he had four Avocado Hand patients a week. It may sound alarming but the public needs to be educated on this danger and on how to properly cut an avocado.

HOW TO CUT AN AVOCADO

Put the avocado on a chopping board. Gently run the knife through the skin and flesh and around the pit. Open the avocado and carefully remove the pit with a spoon.

SOURCES:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29465848
  2. http://imj.ie/the-avocado-hand/
  3. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11856961

Philippine cuisine traits

11 Traits That Make a Dish Truly Filipino

How will you define Philippine cuisine?

When we say cuisine, it is the manner of food preparation, the dishes itself, and the eating customs of the Filipinos.

But what makes it Filipino?

In no particular order, here are eleven characteristics that make a dish truly Filipino:

FUSION

Due to its geography and its colonizers, Philippine cuisine is a fusion of Polynesian origins mixed with Malaysian, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Spanish, American, and Japanese influences. Even the most original Filipino dish that you could think of has that particular foreign inspiration in it.

HIGH IN ALMOST ALL ASPECTS

If you’re going to observe, the Filipino diet is high-fat, high-protein, and high-carbohydrates. Not healthy if you compare it with Asian diets. But we are living in a tropical, agricultural country. Our race works hard under the sun, thus we need all the nutrition and energy we could get. Our dietary motto is “moderation in all things”.

FLAVORS

The Filipino taste centers on the mixture of sweet (tamis), sour (asim), salty (alat), and spicy (anghang).

However, different regions have different tastes — take for example in Luzon, the biggest and northern island of the Philippines. The Ilocos and Cordillera regions prefer their food salty; Pampanga in Central Luzon is known for its sweet taste in food; and in the Bicol region in Southern Luzon is known for its fondness of all things spicy.

SIMPLICITY

Filipino foods are simple to prepare. Usual food preparations include boiling (kulo), steaming (sinaing), and roasting (inihaw).

Other methods of preparation like saute (ginisa) came from foreigners due to trade and colonization.

COUNTERPOINT

This is the distinctive characteristic that defines Philippine cuisine, the counterpoint. It is the pairing of two tastes resulting to something surprisingly pleasant.

For example, eating something sweet can be paired with a food that is something salty as in champorado (sweet chocolate rice porridge) and tuyo (salted dried fish).

Another pairing is the dinuguan (pork blood stew) and puto (rice flour cupcake).

Some may think this pairing is weird but once you get the taste and hang of it, you’ll get used to it and crave for it.

TROPICAL

Being in a tropical archipelago, it is important to prepare simple food like adobo that can be stored without spoiling. Tinapa (smoke-cured fish) and daing (sun-dried fish) are popular, too, because they can last for weeks without spoiling even without refrigeration.

That’s the reason why locally made suka (vinegar) is a common ingredient. This is where the food’s sourness comes from. Although there are other ingredients that provide sourness, it’s the lowly vinegar that takes center stage. Adobo and sinigang are considered the Philippine’s national food and are good examples of how Filipinos love their food sour.

COMMUNAL

Another distinct characteristic of Filipino cuisine is its being an informal and communal affair, centered around the family, and in the kitchen. If you will notice, most dining tables are in or near the kitchen. Meals are eaten with the whole family and visitors, if there are any.

In fact, one can’t help but invite someone to eat with him/her by asking, “Kumain ka na ba?” (Have you eaten?) or saying, “Kain tayo (Let’s eat.).

Also, the “boodle fight“, a style of dining popularized by the Philippine Army which uses banana leaves spread out on the table as the main serving platter upon which is laid out portions of rice and a variety of Filipino viands, is a good example of brotherly, friendly, filial, and communal feasting.

FREQUENT

Filipinos eat three main meals a day: almusal (breakfast), tanghalian (lunch), and hapunan (dinner) plus merienda (snack) in between.

KAMAYAN OR BY SPOON & FORK

Food is served all at once and not in courses as other foreign cuisines do. The traditional Filipino way of eating is by hand known as kamayan. One has to take a bite of the viand, a bite of rice, then pressed together with fingers.

Food is often eaten using spoon and fork, not knife and fork; and Filipinos don’t usually eat with chopsticks.

CONDIMENTS

Again, if you’ll notice, the Filipino dining table has a small condiment set. It contains a small bottle of each: patis (fish sauce), suka (vinegar), and toyo (soy sauce).  Then you’ll see someone preparing a portion of his own dipping sauce in a small saucer. Filipinos want to prepare their own dipping sauce from different condiment combinations. It’s this idiosyncracy that defines us, too.

NATIVE

Philippine cuisine uses native ingredients like the calamansi (calamondin), sampalok (tamarind), kangkong (water spinach), patis (fish sauce), bagoong (shrimp paste), and other native fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, and root crops.

Some regional dishes use rabong (bamboo shoots), seaweeds, ubod (coconut tree pith), igat (eel), kuhol (snail), kamaro (crickets), palaka (frog) and other rarely seen varieties of animal meat and seafood. You need to travel around the country to experience these exotic, local dishes as they are only available in certain regions.

So there you have it. The eleven characteristics of Filipino cuisine I could think of. And if you think I missed something, let me know.

filipino breakfast blog banner

4 Items in a Typical Filipino Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it break the fasting during sleep, it also nourishes you in the morning.

I grew up having a mandatory breakfast upon waking up and not to skip it for anything else. In fact, I was surprised when I started living with Voltaire in Caloocan in 2003. They only take a cup of coffee for breakfast. So when I started preparing bread or rice meals with coffee, they soon began taking breakfast with me.

My usual breakfast treat is a serving of garlic fried rice with a piece of fried meat or fish plus an egg on the side, either scrambled or the diced salted egg. Plus of course, a hot cup of chocolate or coffee. (When I was pregnant, I stopped taking coffee. Instead, I opted for hot chocolate.)

Breakfast Twice a Day?

When I came to Bangued, Abra for the first time in 1990, I was surprised to see my relatives taking breakfast twice.

We woke up early, a few minutes or hours before sunrise, like 4:30 to 5:30 am. To warm up, we ate small bread rolls we call pan de sal and had a hot cup of coffee.

Around 6:30 to 7:00 am, we gathered again around the table to eat rice. If I remember right, we had a choice between fried rice and steamed rice, two kinds of meat dishes, and fruits in season for dessert.

Pan de Sal

Pan de sal is an Spanish term for bread with salt because these bread rolls are flavored with it. It can be eaten plain especially while it’s warm. Others prefer their pan de sal dipped in hot coffee which has been a running joke for some time. (Filipinos are so clean that they even rinse their bread in coffee before eating!)

But some Filipinos prefer their pan de sal with filling. This could be anything from cheese (kesong puti [feta cheese] or cheddar), spreads (peanut butter, jelly, marmalade, or mayonnaise-based sandwich spreads), egg (usually scrambled), meats (corned beef, luncheon meat, hotdog, etc.) or fish (usually sardines).

Five pieces of plain bread rolls is equal to 1 cup of rice so that’s good enough to start your morning.

Fried Rice Meals

Filipinos don’t like wasting food. That’s why rice from last night’s dinner becomes the next day’s sinangag (fried rice). Sinangag is simple as compared to the Chinese chow fan, or the Java rice preparations.

Just brown minced garlic on hot oil and put some salt and pepper on the rice while frying, that’s it. Usually, I heat the wok first before putting the oil because if the wok and oil are not hot enough, the rice will stick at the bottom.

Filipinos also made portmanteau words to describe certain breakfast meals. I remember it gained popularity during the 80’s.

It all began with the term tapsilog which means tapa (fried marinated beef) with sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg). The first term pertains to the main viand, usually meat, and the last two silog remains and pertains to the rice and egg portion of the meal. So aside from tapsilog, we also have longsilog (longanisa, a local version of the sausage), tocilog (tocino, sweet cured meat), etc. In fact, local eateries may serve a wide range of silogs for breakfast and even lunch.

I mentioned in another post about counterpoint, the pairing of two tastes resulting to something surprisingly pleasant. In these fried rice meals, there is another element that provides the counterpoint: the atsara.

Atsara or acharra is a pickled condiment made of shredded green papaya with carrots, red bell peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, and raisins soaked in sweet-sour vinegar blend. The bell pepper is used to tone down the sweetness in the mixture. This goes well with the meat portion of the fried meal.

Coffee

A cup of coffee goes well with pan de sal. Kapeng Barako is a coffee variety of the Liberica species. It is found in Batangas and Cavite provinces in Southern Luzon and in the mountain provinces in the north like Benguet. It is not a common coffee variety as compared with Arabica, Robusta, or Excelsa. Although it is abundant in the Philippines and in other Southeast Asian countries.

The term “barako” refers to the wild boar who are fond of chewing on the plant’s leaves and berries. It has a strong taste, flavor, and a distinct pungent aroma. Some claim that Barako tastes superior to Robusta. Most Filipino coffee drinkers prefer Barako over Arabica. Today, Barako-Arabica and Barako-Excelsa blends are becoming popular in local coffee shops.

Also recently, the government is revitalizing the coffee industry here in the Philippines.

Hot Chocolate

Our local version of the hot chocolate is what we call tsokolate. This is the Filipino spelling of chocolate, and it is pronounced as spelled since the earlier Filipino alphabet hadn’t adopted yet the ch into the language. It is made from cocoa powder in tablet form called tablea. It is dissolved in boiling water and mixed with milk and sugar until reaching the desired consistency.

In Jose Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere, there is a chapter where hot chocolate is being differentiated. For the elite, they were served “tsokolate e” or thick hot chocolate drink. The “e” stands for espeso, a Spanish word for thick. The poor are served “tsokolate a” which means aguada, a Spanish term for watery.

Final Thoughts

Filipino breakfast meals are usually hearty. Nowadays, I don’t see anyone eating breakfast twice. But I won’t be surprised if I see one. Come to think of it, digestion in humans takes 2 hours. So it’s but normal to eat. No wonder, after breakfast Filipinos will crave for a snack at around 9:30 to 10:00 am.

How about you, what’s your usual breakfast treat?