Food Recipe

Homemade Tocino Recipe Your Kids Will Love

Tocino Recipe

Filipinos love tocino. It’s a breakfast staple for most of us, which we often eat with scrambled egg and fried rice. (The tosilog meal, we often call it.) Pork tocino is a salt-cured meat popular in the Philippines. The way it’s prepared is the same to bacon. While pork is most commonly used, beef and chicken make pretty good alternatives.

Now though most households rely on store-bought tocino, which can be less savory and not that tender. But truth be told, you don’t have to always just buy tocino. Preparing it is pretty easy. Let us walk you through the process of preparing it in this easy tocino recipe.

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Homemade Tocino

Tocino Recipe for the Whole Family

Here are the ingredients you need to prepare

1 kg pork pigue (back leg area) or kasim (shoulder and butt)
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp rhum
5 to 8 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp prague powder
1/2 tablet of ascorbic acid

Here are the steps you need to follow. (Don’t forget to prepare a mixing bowl, measuring spoons, knife, chopping board, and weighing scale.)

1. Slice pork to 1/4 in thick.
2. Mix the salt, sugar, prague powder, ascorbic acid, and the rhum (gin is another option).
3. Rub the mixture on the sides of the sliced pork pigue.
4. Place the slices on a bowl.
5. To cure, keep the pork still at room temperature for 10 to 12 hours. You can also refrigerate it for three days.

And there you have it! You now have a tender and savory tocino you can cook for your family and make every morning meal worth waking up early for.

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Travel & Culture

The Town of Banaue and the Treasure It Hides

Tourist Attractions in Banaue

We’re almost through August. The -ber months, as we Filipinos want to call it, will soon start to roll. Not only does this mean Christmas is just around the corner, it also means students get to enjoy a much-deserved break before school starts again. Although AccuWeather says that September is going to be a little stormy, that doesn’t mean we can’t go on a trip, does it?

If your family is planning to go on a little adventure, here’s a place in the North you wouldn’t want to overlook.

Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Banaue

Banaue, Ifugao, is a real paradise on earth. And there’s a lot more to it than the famous rice terraces. Here are five tourist attractions in Banaue you should stop by.

1. Banaue Rice Terraces

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Banaue Rice Terraces

Undoubtedly one of the most famous tourist attractions in Banaue and even in the whole Luzon island, Banaue Rice Terraces was, for some time, the image that represents the whole country, a form of art seemingly created by nature itself but actually the work of Ifugao people who shed blood, sweat, and tears to perfect it some two centuries ago.

Described by the UNESCO a “living cultural landscape of unparalleled beauty,” the site serves as home to Ifugao farmers who live off the rice and vegetable produce they can sell throughout the year.

A visit to the terraces allows you to go on a traditional sightseeing. Now guests are also treated to a more immersive trip, as they can now visit the tribes at the foot of the terraces.

2. The Banaue Museum

Banaue Museum

Now if it’s an educational trip you’re up for, the town has a museum you can visit too.

Just a short walk away from the town center, the Banaue Museum is home to Cordilleran artifacts collected by American anthropologist H. Otley Beyer, the father of Philippine anthropology.

3. Batad Rice Terraces

Batad Rice Terraces

It’s almost unheard of, considering it has a counterpart that is getting all the attention it equally deserves. But Batad Rice Terraces is still very much there and just waiting for people to pay it some attention.

A rather small village in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Batad boasts what can be considered the most well-reserved terraces in the Ifugao province. In fact, it was also given the UNESCO World Heritage Site accolade. The trip to the terraces only takes fifteen minutes, a rather short one compared to the more than an hour long hike people had to endure before vehicles were accessible in the area.

4. Tappiya Falls

Tappiya Falls

The Batad Rice Terraces isn’t the only wonder you can visit in the village. It has a good number of equally picturesque attractions, one of which is the Tappiya Falls.

It will need you to take a two- to three-hour trek, but when you get there, you will know it’s all worth it. Located at the bottom of the terraces, Tappiya Falls is the place to be for those who want a good swim after a long day of exploring Banaue.

5. Awan-Igid-Pula-Cambulo

Awan-Igid-Pula-Cambulo

Ifugao isn’t the Philippines’s largest province, but it sure is one of the most-packed when it comes to tourist destinations. It’s like a whole different world.

Every corner of this landlocked province is filled with attractions you wouldn’t want to miss. To be able to marvel at all these, you might want to go on an all-day hike. Which is possible, if you follow the Awan-Igid-Pula-Cambulo hiking trail.

Take a jeepney to the Awan-Igid dropoff then proceed to the village of Pula, from where you will be taken to Cambulo. You can expect that this is going to be quite a long journey, but you can trust it’s an experience you won’t ever trade for anything—just like your whole experience in Ifugao, to be honest.

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Home Designs Modern Home Designs

Bathroom Design Trends to Try at Home This 2018

Top Bathroom Design Trends to Follow This 2018

When it comes to designing a house, we all assume that the bathroom is the space that needs the least attention or that it’s the last area one pays attention to. But truth be told, it is just as important as any other room in the house.

The bathroom is where we spend the first hour of our day and the last few minutes of it. It’s where we try to wash our body clean of toxins or any element we might have gotten when we were at work, in school, or wherever the last 24 hours took us. And if we want to have some alone time, the bathroom is one of the places we end up locking ourselves in.

So it is only right that we take the time to make this area of the house just as cozy and calming. To help you with that, here are the top bathroom design trends that are expected to take over 2018.

Bathroom Design Trends for 2018

Turn your bathroom into the relaxing haven it should be with these bathroom design trends.

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1. Go for brass and gold

Bathroom Trends 2018

If you think brass and gold touch on bathroom designs is something so 1980s, then think again because this 2018, these tone fixtures are making a huge comeback.

Most metals don’t work well in wet environments, and that’s probably the main reason people don’t really settle for such design when it comes to designing a bathroom. But when they’re used on faucets and other smaller places, it is more than enough to set a specific tone and actually easy to maintain.

The presence of brass and gold in a bathroom makes the space look luxurious and elegant, making you feel as if you were a royal as you take your nightly dip in the tub.

2. Adopt a neutral style

Small Bathroom Ideas

Most homeowners think that gray, white, and other warm colors are hard to work with, which can be true, but with a few mix-and-match tricks, these neutral colors might just be what you need to give your bathroom the change it deserves.

Ever heard of the greige trend? Greige is basically just beige and gray. Sounds boring, but when you add gray to beige, you’ll get a much richer color that will help create a warm and cozy atmosphere. It also makes the space look modern and elegant.

It’s worth noting that 2018 also means welcoming the more organic colors to create a neutral vibe. And by organic colors, we mean warm browns, greens, and blues. Some would even place plants and flowers in the bathroom for that perfect, one-with-nature look.

3. Use unique tiles

Hexagon Tiles Design Bathroom

Gone are the days when traditional plain tiles are the thing. With the advances in technology, we are now able to make tiles with designs that are far from what we’re used to seeing on the floor. Even the shape has changed!

So it does not come as a surprise that one of the top bathroom design trends right now is using unique tiles because seriously, it’s advancement too good not to be taken advantage of. To make your area for personal hygiene look unconventionally elegant, look for hexagonal diamond-shaped tiles with eye-catching prints. And don’t forget to use the same for the bathroom walls.

4. Be high-tech

Bathroom Design Trends

Speaking of technology, high-tech toilets have become a huge trend, especially this 2018. Automatic lid openers and seat warmers can be seen in more bathrooms now than ever.

American manufacturing company Kohler is now selling toilets that have features like integrated bidet, an air dryer, and deodorizer. There are also toilet bowls that are LED-packed that automatically illuminate in weak light condition. It emits different colors, sometimes more than one at once. And some are equipped with wireless system that plays music when the lid is up and stops when it’s down.

There are a lot of options laid down for you, you just have to decide which of these amazing features you want to see in your own bathroom. Just be prepared to spend extra bucks, though.

5. Go for a bold accent walls

Trends in Bathroom Design

Just because it’s the room that your guests would want to visit last does not mean your bathroom does not need a design that reflects your personality. Another one of the best bathroom design trends now is using accent wall that defines one’s personal style and character, and it is something you can follow if you want to make a statement too.

Accent walls have been forgotten by some, but this year, it’s making a huge comeback and is expected to take over the industry. One way to do it is to use ceramic tiles. Make sure to choose ones that have bold patterns and colors. Remember the same tip when deciding what to use for the wall.

A dramatic accent wall is widely used this year too, making it another trend that’s worth checking out. If you’re not up for the idea of using heavily designed wall, you can hang paintings instead to prevent it from looking very plain and boring. Choose works that you’re drawn to, ones that scream you.

Our bathroom is more than just an area for early-morning and late-night showers. If there’s any room in the house that can be considered a personal space other than the bedroom, it’s that. So get rid of the belief that it’s okay for it to be boring and not perfectly designed. Keep these bathroom design trends in mind and give your own the upgrade it needs.

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Food Recipe

Beef Pares Recipe Perfect for Any Occasion

Beef Pares

Ready to jump in on some meat madness? This beef pares recipe is here to satisfy your cravings for a hearty soup.

Definitely a Filipino dish, beef pares is basically beef briskets simmered in broth mixed with several spices and tenderized to perfection. The broth used in the dish is usually a mixture of water, sugar, soy sauce, and spices including ginger, garlic, onion, and pepper.

If you want to serve this palatable dish in your next meal but don’t quite know how to cook it, here is a beef pares you can easily follow.

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Beef Pares Recipe

Beef Pares Recipe Your Family Will Love

Here are the ingredients to prepare and steps to follow when cooking your own beef pares.

What to prepare

  • 2 lbs beef brisket (this is just the usual cut, you can use flank, boneless beef shank)
  • 2 pc beef (cut in cubes)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp black pepper (ground)
  • 4 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 pc onion (minced)
  • 6 tbsp scallions or green onions (chopped)
  • 4 pc star anise

What to do

  1. Pour water into a pot then boil.
  2. Add the beef and boil for one to two hours or until meat is tender.
  3. Once tender, place the beef in a bowl and let it cool down. (Note: keep the stock used for boiling, as it will be needed in the next step).
  4. Cut the boiled meat in cubes.
  5. Pour cooking oil in a pan then let heat.
  6. In the pan, sauté the garlic, ginger, and onion.
  7. Add the cubed beef brisker and sauté for at most 3 minutes.
  8. Pour in the soy sauce, 2 cups of beef stock (the same stock set aside in step no. 3), beef cubes, and star anise. Stir and boil.
  9. Add the salt as well as the black pepper. Stir and simmer until sauce thickens.
  10. Add the scallions or green onions as garnishment.
  11. Serve.

Beef pares is best consumed with garlic fried rise and another bowl of hot soup. You can trust your family will love this dish and will ask you to prepare it again!

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Travel & Culture

Top Tourist Attractions in Caramoan Islands You Should Visit

Best Places to Visit in Caramoan Islands

The Philippines is a whole paradise of summer destinations. Wherever you go, you can bet there are a white sand beaches and hot springs waiting for you to explore. Its three large islands boast a whole array of tourist spots that are worthy of a spot on every travel buff’s bucket list.

Mindanao has Davao and Surigao, while the Visayas has Cebu and Boracay to take pride in. Luzon, being the largest of the three archipelagos, is expected to have more must-visit tourist destinations, and they’re not really wrong. The 105,000 km² island may be a little more crowded, but it is filled with travel spots that you wouldn’t want to miss.

One of the most famous regions in the area is Bicol. The place is known for so many things, but everybody will agree, when Bicol is talked about, the conversation almost always centers around Albay, as it is home to the famous Mayon Volcano, the stratovolcano famed for its symmetric conical shape.

But there is more to Bicol than Albay or the Mount Mayon or its ever-delicious Bicol Express. There are other places in the region that remain unexplored and unheard of—like the Caramoan Islands.

Located in the eastern part of Camarines Sur, Caramoan Islands is a second-class municipality subdivided into almost fifty barangays, each housing tourist destinations that are just waiting for the other part of the world to walk into.

The island offers a different kind of adventure you will want to take within this lifetime. If you are up for it, here are some of the best places to visit in Caramoan Islands and what makes them worth spending a whole summer in.

 5 Best Places to Visit in Caramoan Islands

1. Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

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Our Lady of Holy Rosary Shrine
One of the best places to visit in Caramoan Islands is not exactly an area where you can lie and bask in the glory of the sun. What most tourists travel to Caramoan for is a shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

You’ll have to take more than 500 steps to reach the 26-foot image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. Sounds exhausting for some, but for believers, every step is worth it. The image can be found Barangay Tabgon, the the Caglago Mountain. It is believed to be the tallest Marian statue in the Philippines and, once you reach the top, offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the islands.

2. Sabitang Laya Island

Sabitang Laya Island

As Carmoan Islands is technically a huge group of numerous islets, a lot of frequently visited spots in the area are its principal islands. One noteworthy example is the Sabitang Laya Island.

Are white sand beaches what you’re after? This triangular-shaped island should be your first stop. It is massive in size and boasts a huge stretch of white sand beach you could spend a whole day walking by and marveling at the beauty nature offers.

3. Hunongan Cove

Hunongan Cove

Hunongan Cove is a secluded beach in Caramoan. Once an untouched haven, it has now been developed into resorts where tourists can spend peaceful nights and enjoy a walk along the heavily forested cliffs during the day. Gota Beach Resort, located beside the cove, is where most tourists stay. Although it will have you paying above the average resorts price, the place offers a luxurious by-the-beach experience you will never trade anything for.

4. Kagbalinad Island

Kagbalinad Island

Facing the Hunongan Cove is another island that is worth paying a visit. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Caramoan Islands, Kagbanilad is the island to be for snorkelers. The reeds you can explore in the area are more than enough for you to learn more about marine life. The island also has crystal-clear waters you can dive in days on end.

5. Tayak Lagoon

Tayak Lagoon In Bicol

Mysteriously elegant is how most guests would describe the Tayak Lagoon in Malarad Island, Caramoan. It is not the largest lagoon in the country, nor is it the most abundant, but it definitely one of the most enchanting there is. Separated from the sea by a barrier, which is worth exploring in itself, the Tayak Lagoon is body of calm water that anyone would want to swim in. Serene and peaceful, it is perfect for those who just want a relaxing dip in the middle of the beautiful island.

No doubt our country is blessed with nature’s beauty, wherever you may be in this archipelago,  there are stunning tourist destinations waiting for you. Check this list of undiscovered tourist destinations around the Philippines you wouldn’t want to miss off your bucket list.

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Blog

7 Hand-Clapping Games That Made Every Filipino’s Childhood Even More Fun

Hand-Clapping Games

Technology has taken over our lives, and at this point, we don’t even have a reason to contest that. Kids as young as 8 already have smartphones, so they end up spending most of their day staring at their devices, playing mobile games or chatting with friends. Of course, that does not apply to everyone, but it can’t be denied that it’s true for the majority. Years ago, a child’s typical day went a different way.

In the Philippines, long before Clash of Clans and Dota 2 hopped into the picture, there were games that helped young boys and girls spend their weekend in a more fun and interactive way. There are  Pinoy street games like sipa, luksong baka, and tumbang preso. But there are also games that don’t require the players to do anything but to sit down facing each other and prepare their hands for the big fight. These are the hand-clapping games, and the Filipinos love them!

Hand-Clapping Games That Helped Shape Our Younger Years

They might not be played as often as they used to be before, maybe kids today haven’t even heard of them. But that does not make them less of a fun way to spend the day. Here are some of the hand-clapping games we will never forget and will always go back to when the digital world seems too much.

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1. I Wanna Be a Tutubi

I Wanna Be a Tutubi

Its name literally translates to “I want to be a dragonfly,” but this game has nothing to do with those insects. In I Wanna Be a Tutubi, while singing the Tutubi song, a pebble is passed around by all players except for one who serves as the taya. The taya will have to guess which player has the pebble at the end of the round.

The song goes, “I wanna be a tutubi na walang tinatagong bato sa aking kamay na nahulog sa lupa tinuka ng manok na nanggaling sa bundok!” (We live for rhymes, so tutubi seems to be the best choice.)

2. Si Ana Ay Bata Pa

Si Ana Ay Bata Pa

“Si Ana ay bata pa kaya ang sabi niya ay um-ah-um-ah-ah. Si Ana ay dalaga na kaya ang sabi niya ay um-ah-um-ah-ah.”

This is how the song for the hand-clapping game Si Ana Ay Bata Pa goes. The title translates to Ana Is Still a Child, and the song—and the game’s main goal, safe to say—tells the story of a kid named Ana from when she was still a kid to her eventual death.

3. We Gonna Beng

We Gonna Beng

We Gonna Beng is way simpler than most hand-clapping games, although you need to have a sharp memory, good enough to memorize the claps and all the gun-hand movements so you won’t get eliminated. This game can be played by two people or more.

The players just need to do the right hand movements as they sing the lines “We gonna beng! Beng! Beng!” Whoever makes a mistake is out.

4. Concentration

Concentration

In Concentration, the game starts by singing the “Concentration” song. Each player then gives a number, which will determine how many times the players will clap.

5. Chimpoy, Champoy

Chimpoy, Champoy

The usual jak-en-poy (rock, paper, scissors) is so mainstream that some came up with a quite similar game but with a twist.

The song that comes with the game goes, “Chimpoy, champoy, jako jako ne. Jako jako oink-oink. Jako jako ne. Jako jako beh beh. Jako jako ne. Jako jako amen. Jako jako ne.”

Both players will sing the song. The “jako jako ne” part is a cue to do the jak-en-poy. After this, each player will have to sing a different line. The winner sings the “jako jako beh beh” and sticks their tongue out, while the loser will say “jako jako oink oink” then point to their nose. “Jako jako amen” is sung if it’s a draw complete with the pray gesture.

The secret to winning the game is to be attentive. You don’t really have to be good at rock, paper, scissors because what matters is you know which line to sing and which gesture to do so you won’t get eliminated.

Our childhood throwback isn’t over yet, check this article about the Filipino favorite childhood snacks. What’s your favorite?

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