Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Philippine CPA Board Examination of October, 2014


The results for the October 2014 CPA Board Examination have been released, and as usual, we have the losers and the winners from among the takers.I feel bad for those who did not make it, since time and money were spent in the 5 month review.

"A journey to hell," are apt words to describe it. Those who survived may have used all survival skills and a streak of luck to go with it.

I took the same exam decades ago, and to tell you frankly, I don't know how I even made it. It just happened and bazoom! I am a CPA.

It is nice signing your name with that 3 letter tag; but, it doesn't really make you a better person than the next fellow. It is just a tag, and what you make of it, would depend on you entirely.

For heaven's sake, I have seen some very rich folks with no college education and still make a good living, despite this handicap.

The bruohaha will die down after a couple of days, until the next CPA Board Examination again. The saga continues, from one batch to another ad infinitum. It's a never ending cycle.

* CPA-Board-Exam
+Certified Public Accountants Examination

Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
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Fruit Slush Drinks-Healthy Eating Habits

Fruit Sluch - Green Mango with Nestle yoghurt (raspberry and apple)

Fruit slush drink, anyone?

I have been doing combinations of fruits for my daily intake of fruit slush drinks. This has become habitual that whenever I go out, I buy fruits that would go into my slush drink whenever I reach home.

However, I noticed that the shelf life of fruits is just around two days. After that, it discolors and the taste is affected. The kiwi fruit can get mushy after two days. Green mango would lose its tang and crispiness after two to three days. Grapes (seedless variety) will hold in the fridge for around five days. Guayabano would have to be eaten within two days of being cut.Apples, papaya, and dragon fruit can hold up to three days.

After several days of mixing my fruit juice, I conclude that any fruit can go well together. It becomes a nice slush drink after mixing it with non-fat milk and a pinch of muscovado sugar. I sometimes have a fruit mixture without ice and drink it straight from out of the blender.It's swell and I get my kick out of it!

My meal at home - Pineapple Juice, Nestle Fruit Yoghurt, and fruits

Really delicious!

Today, I tried green mangoes with Nestle Yogurt (raspberry and apple), without sugar. Wowee! It's sour but yummy! It feels good in the tummy right after gulping a cup of the slush.This I may say, is real food! It's filling and your body doesn't hate it. It's so good that I may try several yoghurt flavors in the next few days in lieu of the non-fat milk.


I hope to be able to get the right combination of fruits--- and who knows, I might be able to come up with a franchise of  nutritious fruit slush drinks! I'll see if there are still available stalls in Southmall. I might do a test run first, to know what's saleable and voila! I am in business! :D

I'll have a doable project by next year, God willing. Who knows I might be the Fruit Slush Queen, before you know it!  Lololol!

It's a fun, fun day while drinking my favorite slush drink.


Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Eating Healthy by Using Food Blenders

Blender with fruits
I saw a recent advertisement about food blenders and it gave me an idea about my style of eating. As I am always online and hardly has the time to eat, I planned to do a short-cut of my eating habits.

What seems to be the problem?

I always get sleepy right after eating; most especially, if I have an enormous intake of carbohydrates. Before I knew it, my eyelids droop, then I see my body hit the sack, and before the count of three---I  am oft to dreamland.

This tendency to fall asleep at a drop of a hat, is horribly annoying. I have to pump so much coffee into my bloodstream to waken me up. I have to do something to keep me awake, and at the same time address my hunger pangs.

Guyabano with grapes ---delicious!
What to do?

I have to eat food that will fill me up and not make me sleepy. I can do that by eating fruits. But, eating fruits per se is messy. I end up messing my work and getting my computers and tech paraphernalia dirtied--- by having morsels of food into the word processor.

That's a disaster, and I never like disasters. The saving grace is the blender. What I can do is peel my choice of fruits, and put it in an osterizer or blender. I can then add a little muscovado sugar and low fat milk, and I'm oft to a good start.

My first taste test

I tried mixing a few seedless grapes with green apple, a pinch of sugar and non fat milk. Wow! That's good! I did away with the hunger pangs and was wide awake for a few hours.

What I did next was mix a few seedless grapes with guyabano.Oh boy, superb! It is like tasting a few drops of heaven!

I am going to try to mix dragon fruit with a ripe mango in a little while, and put crushed ice like a slush. I hope the grinder blades don't break since it is not an expensive variety. I only bought the unit for P500 at Southmall the other day.

Grapes and Guyabano inside the blender

Bottom Line

As I am getting picky with my food, I better create the kind of food that suits my lifestyle ---healthy, easy to prepare, fast to eat, and cheap. I am thinking of cooking crispy kankong one of these days as snack alternative.

I have been longing for bulanglang (leafy greens with a dash of fish bagoong) for sometime now, that I may ask the old woman in the barrio, to cook for me this coming weekend on my way to the farm.

Ah, food! Glorious food!  :D

Fruits that I bought for slush juice drink

Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
CSMiravite Copyright 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mr. Kimbob of Southmall, Las Pinas City - A Food Review

Mr. Kimbob at Southmall, Las Pinas City

A friend inquired why I did a nasty review of this iconic Korean fast food chain, Mr. Kimbob, a few weeks ago.

I said to her that I have been a long-time customer of the now defunct, Kimchi Restaurant and that this stall pales in comparison with Kimchi.

Kimchi did not have many cuisines on its lineup. They have barbeques - chicken, pork, beef, and squid that were cooked in a hot circular iron plate. They have beef kalbichin that I ordered once in a while, and they were great!

Mr. Kimbob has many loyal customers and there is hardly any time of the day when people do not flock to their stall in Southmall. This is confusing to me, as I cannot understand why lots of people would like something that I find ordinary.

I first had their Chicken Mix a few weeks ago, and it tasted like any sweet and sour pork that anyone can buy in Chinese Restaurants.

Mr. KIMBOB Food Stall-Southmall, Las Pinas

The friend told me to try their bestseller, Bibimbop. Who knows, I may turn out to be a convert and change my initial negative review.

Well, that's what I did today- I gave it a second chance. I ordered Beef Bibimbop and paid P99 for the meal.

The result? I still don't like it. It looks like a Chinese fried rice with vegetables and meat. I could have cooked a better version of this meal at half the price.

What is wrong?

Most Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Restaurants have their own spices and condiments, so the taste would mostly differ from one venue to another.

Filipino entrepreneurs, come up with these same names, but do not bother to use those special spices/condiments, thinking that people will not notice it . Well, I did --- and I feel disappointed.

What they did come up with was their own version of these dishes, made a nice presentation of the  meal, and that's just about it!

Bottom Line

If I have to try new kinds of food, I better try it in localized places like those found in `the Ayala-Alabang area. I can never find the right mix and taste by going to fast food stalls like those in Southmall.

Beef Bibimbap at Mr. Kimbob
Probably, I need to check out North Park for Chinese dishes, a Vietnamese Resto along the same route, and Barrio Fiesta for original Filipino cuisine!

It may be more expensive, but I am assured that I will get the pleasure of enjoying my meal.

Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
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The Pizza Hut-Almanza, Las Pinas City

Outside of the subdivision where the family lives, is a Pizza Hut outlet, which has for customers mostly residents of the nearby subdivisions.

As I am not fond of pasta dishes, I was at first hesitant of going to the place. However, the daughter and I took the bait of the large advertisement that was placed prominently along the entryway.

It says, that you get a fully loaded meal for only P549 pesos. So, without much ado and prodding, we went there and ordered the big box to try it out.

It was nothing fancy, just a collection of the  store favorites in small portions --- small pizza, chicken wings, buttered toast, lasagna, and spaghetti.

The order can serve from two to five people, depending on your appetite. In our case, it was good for the two of us, with a little something left for a sister.

If you are in a group, and would want something filling, this can be the order for you. But if you are meticulous with what you eat, then better order something else.

Since we were both hungry, we had our fill, eating all that was served. I like the buttered toast and the cheese spread. All the rest, seemed like ordinary fare to me.

Meaning, that they can still improve on the product. The pizza could have more filling, the lasagna would have been better if there is more bacon/ham, and the spaghetti could have more fillings too and a spicier sauce.

The spicy chicken is tops---just the right mix and spiciness.

It is a good buy for P549 and filling too, if you're hungry and on the run.

Photo credit: Owned by author

Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
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Friday, October 3, 2014

From Australia with Love: The Lure of the Balikbayan Boxes

Balikbayan boxes
One of the occasions that Filipino families look forward to, is the arrival of balikbayan boxes. These are boxes of around 3 x 3 x 3 feet and includes anything that anyone can ever imagine. When we were still kids, living in Southern Philippines, our mother was given a study grant to the University of Hawaii; and that's where I came to know about these boxes.

That was during the early 60's and the boxes were not yet called balikbayan boxes. Those were just boxes that came from abroad where we get to find toys, clothes, Avon soaps shaped like a baseball with an accompanying bat, bath oils, milk, spam, chocolates, books, and knickknacks that I no longer remember.

Those were the good old days, and we looked forward to getting those gifts. But what I remember, is that those boxes, can never replace the absence of our mother. Nonetheless, those were the fun stuff, and we enjoyed playing with the different scented soaps, and drinking the chocos and milk that came in big containers.

More recently, two of the siblings migrated abroad. The youngest is with her Canadian hubby, Gregory; and the only living brother stay in Australia with his Filipino wife, Julia. Both of the siblings send balikbayan boxes regularly, especially around Christmas time.

Flat screen television set

Our brother, Boyong, sent two boxes which arrived the other day--- one was filled with goodies, and the other one is a big television set (3 feet x 4 feet) for a sister and our mom. The television is a flat screen and is good for viewing CD tapes. Mom had the idea of dimming the dining area so we can convert it into a movie house. I said to her, that we should position ourselves far from the screen, so we don't get crossed eyed watching the films.

Kikay set for the 79 year old mother

The other box contained tons of chocolates. By the looks of it, it will take me a year to consume my share of the loot. Two laptops were given - one for me and the other one was for a sister. A samsung android cell phone was for my daughter; and three pairs of sturdy rubber shoes were again given to the sister. Mom got a nice looking jewelry kit consisting of a bracelet, watch, and a necklace. She also got a digital blood pressure machine that she can used by herself.

Tape deck and radio

Our sister was happy to get another Sony tape recorder and radio. Other knick knacks included: watches for the sister, daughter and myself; and several linens that were used to wrap all the things that were sent. I guessed the sister-in-law, may have done the packing since I don't remember my brother being that meticulous since time immemorial.

I got a Fuji digital camera that I can use for my journalistic endeavors. My daughter was happy with her new android cell phone, since the cp that she has now, was on the brink of splitting in the middle. We share this same predicament, having our techie stuffs splitting up --- just like that.

rubber shoes

As most Filipinos, we are happy to get gifts every once in a while from our siblings abroad. The sister is happy tinkering with the television set, dvd, tape recorder, and  new laptop. I am happy too tinkering with my new laptop and digicam. The daughter is arriving tomorrow to get her share of the loot.We cannot thank the brother enough who gave us an early Christmas gift. Nothing can be happier than us, the recipient of the mannah from the country down under.

Samsung phone

three sets of watches
Digital blood pressure monitor

Rubber shoes

DVD unit for the tv

Another laptop for a sister

Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Food Trek at Maginhawa Street, UP-Diliman

Hamburgers at Big Burger in Maginhawa Street

The eating places on Maginhawa Street in UP Diliman have been written about so many times, that people often wonder if there is still anthing new to discover in the nooks and cranny of the place. For somebody who lives south of Manila, my interest gets pique whenever I read about bloggers' food trips in Maginhawa Street, with their down to earth ambiance at half the price, compared to the nearby Makati City.

As my daughter lives near the place, I have no problem discovering these interesting places. The street is easy to find and you can commute by way of a tricycle ride from Philcoa to Maginhawa Street. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the place, depending on which part of the street you want to go. We have started our own food trek previous to this, and I have written an article about it...

Food Trek at Maginhawa Street of UP-Diliman

The daughter and I decided to have another go and try out three other places that we have read about in various reviews. It was another one fabulous dining-out experience for both of us.

Big Burger Logo at store frontage

Big Burgers

This place has been written  in several publications, like in the Rappler and the Inquirer. I insisted that we go to this place first. It is another hole-in-the-wall dine-in area with no other amenities except chairs and tables (3 tables) and no air-conditioning unit. We tried the Big Burger special for P90 plus pesos and their fruit juice for P45.

Big burgers with a generous heaping of mayo and tomato sauce

The burger had a hefty serving of mayo, bacon, and spices. The meat is just the right size as compared to other burger joints. Eating the burger can be messy, as the mayo had the tendency to squeeze out of the bun as you take a bite of it. But the taste is different, and it's good! It has a unique taste that is a far cry from the customary burgers that you buy from either Jollibee, McDo, or Cindys.

The fruit juice is alright, but nothing special. I guess a soda would be the apt partner for the burger as it takes out the spicy taste that lingers long after you've been through eating. There is no ambiance whatsoever, except partaking of a good meal that goes well with your soda.

Empanda Avenue at Maginhawa Street

Empanada Avenue

A stone's throw away from the Big Burger is this small place that sells empanadas with different fillings. As most Filipinos are used to this snack food, I bought two pieces to try it out. It comes cheap at P16 each. It is good, but it tastes just like any other empanadas that you can buy around the metro.

Empanada Avenue Store at Maginhawa Street

Probably, there is a need to differentiate itself from the rest, by coming up with an improvement, like the Vigan empanada that sells for P50 plus in the Ayala-Alabang Malls.They can do it by making the crust crispier, the filling tastier, and improving on the product mix to make it different from the others.

Snow Creme Company Logo

Snow Creme

The daughter wanted something sweet, and Korean. So, oft we went to Snow Creme to taste their Mango Snow. We paid P160 for one big bowl that was presented ingenuously. It looked like an ice cream in a bowl, with mangoes on the sides. However, it tasted differently. It was like a bowl of finely crushed ice with a slight tinge of milk in mango flavor. It was different, but awfully good!

Mango creme

The ambiance of the place is nice with small rounded chairs for ease of conversation. It is suited for those who are out on a date, or students who may need a place to study or do their work.

Parillada Grill at Maginhawa Street

Parillada Grill

This place is found on the ground floor of the Snow Cream outlet. It has a nice arrangement of iconic tables and chairs that can serve as a conversation piece. We expected it to be Mexican, but was surprised that what they serve is a variety of Filipino food.
Cream of mussels

We ordered Pancit Molo and mussels with two cans of diet coke. Both dishes taste good, except that the mussels are too sweet for comfort. The Pancit Molo, is ok --- nothing extraordinary. Ordering soda to go with these spicy dishes is not advisable. It is best to order mineral water to wash away the lingering spiciness of the dishes.

Pancit Molo at Parillada


It is nice to have bonding moments with your friends and family on iconic places that you can find around the metro. Tasting the different types of food from these sites can be a rewarding experience that you can cherish for a long time. They say that visiting places soothes the soul. What can be better than trying the things that you find in your own neighborhood.  :D

Parillada Grill at Maginhawa Street

Photo credit: Owned by author

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