Mike knows that mangoes tame my inner monsters, so since the onset of summer he’s been buying me kilos of yellow mangoes that exude that familiar smell of ripeness.
One second, I could be a complete worrywart, the next minute, I am Zenlike, eating bite after bite of mangoes divine. On Sundays outside the streets of stinky Manila, all he would say is “mangga?” and I would smile sheepishly and nod, and he would walk to the nearest cariton of those sweet smelling summer fruit, choose the fat ones, and show me the plastic bag full of happiness.
He once stared at me, looking at the way I ate mangoes – I don’t chew them, he thought out loud. I chuckled, eating some more.
It’s not only Mike who supports my addiction. My mother climbed a tree (which, I just learned, my father planted at an emptied lot), picked and plucked more than a dozen, and brought me bags of green indian mangoes, the shape and size of a human heart.
The fruit is a national favorite. Our memories of summer would always have that one time we were climbing mango trees, or eating indian mangoes with salt or bagoong or alamang or sukang iloko.
When I was in Singapore, I witnessed how Filipinos go crazy over indian mangoes – pasalubong from the Philippines – and munch on them in no time. Even I myself missed it a lot when I was abroad, so I had to settle for mangoes from Thailand or Vietnam, but I found them less sweet than ours. I wondered why.
You know the best mangoes I’ve tasted so far were from the Visayas. Holy tropical miracles, those mangoes from Cebu and Bohol are so juicy and packed, they’re like the fuji apple of mangoes (if that makes sense).
If at this point, you still aren’t craving for mangoes, let me tell you their health and beauty benefits.
Mangoes may help prevent cancer, help lower cholesterol, promote eye health, help normalize insulin levels, help improve digestion, and boost immune system, and that’s because these fruits can supply us our needed vitamin C (very good for the skin), vitamin A (good for your eyes), and daily fiber (good for your diet).
Most important of all, you help mango farmers all over the Philippines earn their living whenever you eat mangoes. I know the Philippines is already big in exporting mangoes to countries all over the world (you can check out the Philippine mango ad at the MRT Edsa station), but we can support the local mango industry more by buying those ripe mangoes from Pangasinan or Zambales.
I say this with a heart for mango ‘farmers’ because my father once planted hundreds of mango trees in Mindoro when I was younger, in a time when all I had to worry about was how to finish eating all those baskets of harvested mangoes.
Planting mangoes (the carabao variety in particular) and taking them to the market is not easy.
My father said the soil has to be well-fertilized, with moderate irrigation, and void of weeds which could suck out the macro and micronutrients of the soil. Pests can destroy the trees while they’re growing so years of care have to be dedicated to it. And come harvest time, perfect ripening has techniques.
Maybe that’s why I eat my mangoes with such relish – because I am aware how so much love and care can go into producing the golden ripe tropical goodness that is the mango.Read More
Australian sleep expert Prof. D Hillman said sleep, like diet and exercise, is key to healthy living.
One who lacks sleep experiences quality problems in thought processing, decision making, vigilance, reaction times and mood.
Lack of sleep lets all ingredients in a happy, healthy life slip away. “Productivity, safety and wellbeing suffer as do other aspects of quality of life,” Hillman said.
“Apart from its restorative function, sleep is a time where there is a lot of information processing going on: memories are consolidated, lessons drawn from the day’s experiences and redundant material edited out. Problems are worked on. Hence, the brain is busy in ways that are different to wakefulness but essential to optimal wakeful function.”
Having a kid at home sends waves of energy and love. Hope to crush this boy with hugs and kisses again, probably on the long weekend.
And now, I go back to sleep.
But very quickly, speaking of sleep, I wrote an interesting news piece the other day about it. I’ll blog the details tomorrow, but what I found interesting in the statements of a sleep expert is that much thought process is still going on when one sleeps. No wonder, sometimes, when I wake up, some decisions have been made up in my head, as if I’ve been thinking about stuff all night long.
The article I wrote, thus emphasized the importance of an 8-hour sleep for adults and at least 9 hours for kids like Marcus.Read More
Our fingers, our toes – they register our hardships or lack of such. “Nail experts” can read how and how often we use them. A professor of literature once observed that social classes can be read in one’s toes. Ginger toes for the working class, silky white for the well-scrubbed.
Few months ago, I was having a foot spa and pedicure, the lady doing my nails said she wants to do my fingernails too. I said no, thank you, my fingers are sensitive, I bleed easily, she said she’ll be gentle (and she looked like a relative anyway so I gave in).
The lady must’ve cleaned and painted a thousand nails already for she knows how I (don’t) take care of my cuticles. She knows I always trim my thumbnails, but never the rest of them. She knows I’m lazy in using the nailcutter.
Some people are experts in astrophysics or theology; some people specialize in nails.
New year, new job, new home, new cut.
Getting haircut is something I never did for three years until 2013 when I felt I need a big change in myself to signify the latest turns in my career. Cutting my almost waist-length messy, curly hair was a big decision any girl would encounter, but since I’m bidding goodbye to my relaxed lifestyle of beach bumming and escapades, I thought a nice crisp short cut would go along with my change of environment: the office.
Shampooing, conditioning, drying, and styling my long tresses have become time-consuming activities, too, and this won’t be practical if I need to rush to the office. Hairstyles should match lifestyles.Read More
Not so many people know that I spend my salary on my family, especially my brothers’ education, so before I resigned from work, I splurged on things I never bought for myself. It was my last shot at a premium-rate wage, and I wanted to try some brands of make-up from primer to powder.
I’ll be stating here the brands not to advertise them but to give an honest feedback on their quality. The prices–you’ll have to research yourself.
In addition to the simple set of make-up I already have (liquid foundation, pressed powder, liquid eyeliner, lipstick, lip gloss), I bought a dual wand ArtDeco mascara from Beauty Bar, The Body Shop smokey eye palette, and a pink MAC prolongwear lip creme.Read More
Little girls love all the small things in her momma’s drawer of make-up and trinkets.
A pair of pearl earrings, long golden necklaces, tiny bottles of perfume, empty vials from hotels, head band, endless loops of bracelets and necklaces in a complicated tangle, boxes of sequins, a mat of needles with rolls of thread in party colors, a brooch with gems and stones, and of course, that flaming red lipstick.
Every little girl (or boy who feels like a girl) tries on her mother’s lipstick whenever she’s not around. There, in front of the dresser or the mirror, the girl would pretend to be a princess or a queen or a grown-up woman with sense and class. The red lipstick is the magic wand that transforms her fragility into boldness in the kingdom of make-believe.
Playing is when her imagination starts to expand the world she wants to create for herself. In other words, dreaming is the first step to becoming.
Some people may see make-up as mere vanity, or a way to attract the opposite sex, but for the girls who grew up tinkering with their mothers’ drawers and chest of treasures, the thought of wearing lipstick for others may be an incomprehensible judgment that lacks prudence.
The lipstick could be the girl’s tool to call attention, not only for matters of sexuality/sensuality, but also for the people around her to read her lips and listen to that important thing she has to say. Sometimes, the mouth made pretty by lipstick has this additional power of confidence.
Sometimes, the lipstick also completes the package of a warm smile that can make anyone’s day.
This post is for all the women who were once the little girls who played in front of the mirror with their momma’s lipstick, and whose imagination and creativity and self-empowerment haven’t worn out since.Read More
It’s sweet that my brother Maeng asks how I’m doing in Singapore (I haven’t posted any photos/status of my whereabouts for weeks now, so to prove I’m not yet dead or rotting in a cabinet, I’ll start a series of Singapore posts).
Aside from Kinokuniya Bookstore, another place I frequent in Takashimaya (at Orchard) is… Sephora!
Sephora is a French brand and chain of cosmetics stores founded in Paris in 1970, and acquired by Frenchconglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy) in 1997. The Sephora chain includes more than 750 stores in 17 countries. Carrying over 250 brands, along with their own private label, Sephora offers beauty products including makeup, skincare, fragrance, haircare, bath and body products, and hair and make-up tools. (wiki)
Mike, like other men, has no patience in waiting for their ladies while shopping or “malling,” but like other men, he can be bribed with tweetums, hugs, kisses, and smiles. (If this doesn’t work, a straight face eye-to-eye contact will do.)Read More
To dress up is to communicate. One doesn’t need an expensive wardrobe collection to flaunt one’s style. Imagination should be good enough.
Coming to Bangkok in April, however, is a bit of a challenge to one’s creativity in mixing up dresses and accessories because this month is the hottest ever. (Try to focus a blow dryer on your face and you get the idea.) All you’d want to wear is nothing, but with holy temples on your places-to-visit, that’d be impossible. Even a sleeveless dress is probihited.
The tip here is to wear cotton. And it better be white not to attract more heat, since as we all know, dark colored clothes absorb more heat than light colored ones do. When going to the temples, wearing sleeveless and shorts on your way there is a good idea as long as you have a spare sarong or change of clothes with you. It is best to bring your own sarong rather than rent one in the temples to avoid long ques of people renting them.Read More
A good morning exercise is stretching every part of your body, lifting things, and walking.
This will flex the muscles so they won’t be shocked if you do something heavy later in the day. Stress and fatigue can take its toll on the skin and well-being, so it’s best to be prepared for a long day and week ahead.Read More