Monday, October 22, 2012

 The Outer Banks is a 320-kilometer strip of  narrow barrier islands located  off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia.  The strip of islands is fondly called the OBX and is definitely a top tourist destination in the U.S.A. The temperate climate in OBX is ideal that the area has its share of  thriving  communities and towns up and down the coastline. I have always taken an interest in the Outer Banks as it was here that the Wright bothers first flight took off. Yup! - the town of Kitty Hawk. It is also the home of  the legendary (almost)  banker ponies. Are there homes for sale in Outer Banks NC? Of course! I wonder how much they cost.
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/22/2012 09:46:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST
Cameron Mckintosh's Miss Saigon is set for another run in London's West End in 2013. And guess what? (What?!) Auditions in Manila is from November 19-22, 2012! Hello? Calling all Kims!

Leah Salonga was only 17-years old when she auditioned for the role of Kim for the world premiere of  Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's Miss Saigon. Leah's singing and acting career started when at the age of  7, she was casted as one of the children in Repertory  Philippine's production of The King and I. Her star shone a little bit brighter when she was chosen as the lead in the local production of the  musical Annie. Her career in the legitimate theater blossomed as she joined other Repertory productions. Leah was "seriously" talented. She recorded her first solo album at the age of 10 but from then on,  she spent the next 7 years doing B movies and TV shows. Her career in the legitimate stage was slowly (but surely) being forgotten.

Leah Salonga at her 1988 Miss Saigon auditions
In 1988, unable to find a London-based talent to play the role of Kim, the producers of Miss Saigon scoured Asia "in search"  of a "Kim". Leah Salonga auditioned for the role, and the rest was history!  

Before Miss Saigon's final curtain call in 1999 (West End) and  2001 (Broadway), there were other Filipinas who played the role of Kim. They were Monique Wilson, Jamie Rivera, Joanna Ampil and Ima Castro. Though these "Kims" were of international caliber, my opinion is that they all paled in comparison with Leah. No one was able to exude the youthful innocence and tragedy of Kim  as well as Leah. Voice-quality wise, Leah Salonga is still the best Kim.

Local contenders for the West End edition of Miss Saigon in 2013 are said to be Rachel Ann Go, Karylle, Angeline Quinto and Denise Laurel.. There are talks that Charice Pempengco and even Jessica Sanchez are being eyed to play Kim. Among these talents, Jessica Sanchez is the only teen at 17 years old. Charice is 20, Denise is 25, Rachel Ann is 26, Angeline is 23 while Karylle is 31!  Jessica has the pipes and the innocence but she does not look Asian and her voice is not really angelic. The rest are just too jaded and experienced to exude the innocence and fierceness of Kim!  Ummm.. I wonder who'll cut it as Kim. Wouldn't it be great if  some unknown stage wannabe makes it as Kim?


Posted by desperateblogger On 10/22/2012 09:25:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My kids grew up eating one local hotdog brand which is peputedly said to be the Philippine's number 1 hotdog, I prefer the same hotdog brand and for close to 25 years, it was the only brand of local hotdog I served my family.

I came upon a new local brand of hotdog. Well, the brand Frabelle is not actually "new" as this company has been making waves in the fishing industry since the early 1960s. The company started out as a one-trawler fishing venture that eventually grew into a massive enterprise that supplies fresh and frozen seafood products in the local and international market,  real estate and processed food to name a few. In my supermarket trips I seen Frabelle processed fish products and even tried the Cream Dory. Yummy! Not bad at all! Would Frabelle's processes meat products have the same high quality? There's only one way to find out. I bought several kinds of Frabelle meat products for a taste test.

Frabelle's Longganiza
The first product that I panfried was Frabelle's Longganiza Recado. D4 was home for lunch that day and between the two of us, we almost finished the 500 g package. It was deliciously garlicky,  spicy and sweet! The consistency of the longganiza was "all meat".  I dipped mine in vinegar and my mouth almost exploded with flavor. Frabelle's :Longganiza Hamonado was also delicious with that distinctive smokey flavor.

The following day, my son was home early. Since I did not prepare anything for lunch, I decided to cook Frabelle's Pork Ham Tocino. I decided to pair the Tocino with sunny side egg and garlic fried rice. This is the first time that I opened up a pack of  Tocino sans the fat! The Tocino was all meat, tender tasty and perfect to the bite.
Frabelle's Pork Ham Tocino
 The following Saturday, I decided to cook carbonara for dinner. I decided to use Frabelle's Hickory Smoked Bacon. I sliced the bacon, fried them to a crisp then added the fettucini and carbonara sauce. After arranging the pasta in the serving dish I added parmesan and grated cheddar on the pasta. Was it good? Well,  I guess it was as there was nothing left of the pasta.  D3 said, the bacon bits was interesting as it added a smokey hickory flavor on the pasta dish. 

Frabelle's Hickory Smoked Bacon
The following day, I decided to cook some Frabelle Yummy Hotdog and Cheesedog for snacks. The kids were all home, so was Ethan. My grandson is what I'd call a hotdog connoisseur. He will not eat any hotdog that does not meet his standards and believe me when I say that. D2 and Ethan are such picky eaters that it irritates me to a point. The two won't eat any hotdog except for the leading brand. If these two will eat Frabelle's Yummy hotdog and Cheesedog, that would be an exceptional event. Let's see. 

Frabelle's Yummy Hotdog

Frabelle's Cheesedogs
I panfried the hotdog and cheesedog in a Teflon pan. I toasted some wheat bread to go with the hotdogs.  I called D2 and Ethan to eat the hotdogs without telling them that it's a different brand. Oh well, there was no need to tell them that it wasn't their favorite brand as they were able to tell right off the bat! Of course they refused to eat the hotdogs! I asked them ever so kindly to "please just taste the hotdog and cheesedog". D2 and Ethan grudgingly agreed. I had to cross my fingers for the tensed moment before and after the first bite. I was so relief when the two picky eaters actually loved Frabelle hotdog and cheesedog. D2 said the hotdog was meaty and has none of that funny consistency that other hotdogs have. She said it's not salty and has a slight smokey taste that she likes. Ethan said "It's delicious mom! I  love it!" Ever notice how hotdogs generally get wrinkled when exposed to air, well not Frabelle's hotdogs.


All of Frabelle's processed meat products are made from quality meat cuts, blended with just the right amount of spices, and cured and smoked with imported woodchips. All products are blast-frozen to keep the them fresh and preserve the taste.

At a price several notches below its competitors, Frabelle processed food products are a bargain. Need I say more? 
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/17/2012 02:04:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Located in one corner of the church are some amplifiers and speakers that are ready for the junk yard. I asked the church custodian why those broken amplifiers and speakers are still sitting near one of the church's entrances blocking traffic. He said one of the assistant pastors plan on working on them when he finds the time. Well, I don't think the assistant pastor will find the time to fix those amplifiers and speakers anytime soon as he is so loaded with work. Meanwhile, I suggested that it is time the church buy some amazing Amplifiers in time for the church anniversary.
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/13/2012 09:14:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST
Rummaging through my bag after a delectable dinner, look what I found! A nerf gun bullet! My son and Ethan are nerf gun nemesis and on the weekends that these two meet, it's nerf gun battle. This lone bullet must have landed inside my bag during one of their encounters.
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/13/2012 09:07:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST
Yamaha is a revered brand when it comes to musical instruments. Owning a "Yamaha" be it a grand or upright piano, guitar, flute, clarinet, saxophone, cornet or trumpet, is a status symbol. It could mean that "you are a superb musician who can afford to buy a Yamaha!" True, a Yamaha is not exactly cheap but if you are a serious musician, Yamaha is a good brand choice. My son plays an Alto Sax. I bought it second hand from a musician. He said he wants to learn how to play a trumpet too as his teacher is able to play almost all kinds of brass and wind instrument. His teacher is a professional musician. His primary brass instrument is a trumpet and the one he uses for his gigs is from the Yamaha Professional series Xeno. Interested to see why this instrument is special? Check out a  Yamaha xeno trumpet at wwbw.
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/13/2012 12:21:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST
Tired baby girl after grocery shopping
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Posted by desperateblogger On 10/13/2012 12:00:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Friday, October 12, 2012

The price of diesel gas might be stable but it's still quite steep. At 43 Php per liter, it's 3 times the price 10 years ago. In the last 5 days, my total diesel gas bill is 1,800 Php. Now that's too much for me! It try to save on gas by filling the tank early in the morning and asking the gasoline boy to manually fill up the gas tank so as to avoid bubbles. I sometimes do away with air-conditioning when I'm driving alone. A lot of  motorists are opting to drive motorcycles and scooters this day. Hubby used to have a Harley and a BMW but he eventually sold them as it was hard to procure Motorcycle Accessories and parts. My father used to buy him parts in the U.S. It is now a lot easier to order parts online.If only hubby hang-on the bikes for a bit longer....
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/12/2012 11:30:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST
We watched The Phantom of the Opera at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last week. D4 was actually the first one to see the musical and since she was all praises on the show, she took it upon herself to scour for  discounted tickets. The first time D4 watched Phantom, her ticket cost 7,500 php. The second time around, she was able to get 40%  off on the tickets as she bought them 2 days before the show. Yes! D2, D3, D4 and I felt good with our discounted tickets.

Was The Phantom of the Opera worth it? Oh definitely. The musicality of the cast, the superb orchestration and direction, the magnificent stage props and costumes all contributed to the excellence of the presentation. Bravo! Jonathan Roxmouth. 

See the pictures on the left? That's D4 in her "Phantom" mode.
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/12/2012 11:07:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A cousin of mine is all praises for the wonderful 5-day vacation she and her whole family enjoyed in Holden Beach, North Carolina before school started. The vacation was "spur of the moment" as her hubby's business trip to Canada was indefinitely postponed. Since her kids are ages 14 and 16, a trip to the beach days before school starts was perfect!  What made this impromptu vacay at Holden beach special? For one, Holden Beach is not just a "beach" it's actually an island located off south of North Carolina. Life in the island is relaxed and still has a small-town appeal. My cousin and her hubby are considering purchasing a property in the island. They are pretty serious about it that as of last week, they have talked to several Holden Beach Real Estate agents about possible acquisition. 
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/09/2012 10:40:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I have always been a fan of Nestle products. When I was a kid, delicious PX (post-exchange) chocolates were made by Nestle. My all-time Nestle chocolate is Butterfinger! I just can't seem to get enough of this delicious peanut/chocolate candy bar. I used to frequent the PX store at the corner of C.M. Recto and Ylaya Streets in Divisoria. At 30 centavos each back in the days, I was able to buy 3 bars of Butterfingers with a peso. Nestle, for me, is a trusted brand synonymous to quality, so when I received an invitation to attend a Nestle Wellness Event, I cannot (and will not) say no.

On September 26, 2012, 6:00 pm, "motivated" by the thought of an interactive cooking demonstration using Nestle products and the promise of a "sumptuous" dinner, I dropped by the Julius Maggi Kitchen at the Nestle Center in Rockwell, Makati. The thrust of the cooking demo was to prepare great-tasting, nutritious and healthy meals and snacks for the family. I have always been a low-fat milk drinker and the only way I "do" my Nestle low-fat milk is to pour it in a tall glass and chug it down. Well, not anymore. Here's one way of enjoying Nestle low-fat milk, thanks to the cooking demo.

 Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie 

Ingredients:
2 pieces ripe banana lacatan
2 T peanut butter
2 T sugar or to taste
1 cup Nestle Low Fat Milk
2 cups shaved ice

Procedure: Combine all ingredients in a blender jar. Blend for 30 seconds or until mixture is fully incorporated. Serve immediately. This is good for 1-2 servings. The recipe is so simple, even Ethan could do it.

The cooking demo was very enlightening. To cap the demo, a cooking book titled Celebrating 100 Years of Cooking with Nestle was given to each attendee. I have yet to sample the recipes but based on the pictures alone, they all look delicious! I am a passionate cook. This cookbook is precious!


Of course there's the usual raffle in the event. I am not really keen on raffles per se since I never seem to win. However, not this time as I won big time with this super duper  Nescafe Dolce Gusto! We tried it the other day and wow! Even Ethan loved the mocca coffee but, I had to modify the cream content so as to lessen the percentage of coffee in the mix.

The Nestle Wellness Event was relevant. In this day and age, consumers must be aware that there are plenty of junk food out there that are detrimental to our health. Processed food with high salt, sugar and fat content could very well contribute (or cause) to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and even obesity. Note that a lot of processed food are highly acidic which is not good for the body. In essence, Nestle is an advocate of healthy, nutritious, delicious and affordable food. Yey! Go Nestle!

                                                   and thank you for the 1,001 give-aways!
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/04/2012 09:33:00 PM 1 comment READ FULL POST

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Posted by desperateblogger On 10/03/2012 10:08:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In recent years, the quest for "natural" food and ingredients in health and beauty products has been on the rise. Majority of consumers are now well-aware of the harmful effects of synthetic and man-made materials found in food, health, beauty and other household products. The absorption of harmful chemicals  in the body is toxic. Over the years, the build-up of toxins could harm the body big time. 

Aside from mouthwash and toothpaste, all other personal and household products are not swallowed but there are other means to absorb toxins. The skin, being the biggest organ, accounts for your daily dose of toxin absorption. You pick these toxins from products that you rub or come in contact with your skin!. The toxins may build up in the blood, then the liver and could stay in your body for years causing a myriad of diseases.

There are now special stores that sell all-natural products. I for one, have started to veer towards "green" products. On the rare occasions that I fed Tabby bottled food, I bought them in this special chain store that sells natural products at exorbitant prices. A small jar of baby food cost around 80 Php. If Tabby consumes 2 jars a day, that's 160 Php per day! There are plenty of  100% natural health and bath products for sale too but they cost too much! There are now specialty food stores that sell free-range chickens, beef cuts from grass-fed cows, gluten-free products, organic veggies and more at really prices way above standard market prices.  It seems like, to be able to eat and use all-natural products, you have to shell-out a lot of moolah! 

Well, I can justify the high prices of all-natural products by saying it's better to spend money on food than on medical bills. Right? Right! In connection, I found  100% all-natural hand sanitizer and dishwashing liquid  by Drops of Nature, at really affordable prices. Note of caution. Be wary of supposedly all-natural products that are way too cheap. They are probably "fakes".

Now why the heck should I go for 100% natural hand sanitizer when I could just use 70% ethyl alcohol. Well yes, I still have my "stash" of ethyl alcohol but as I tend to spray my hands with hand sanitizer many times a day, my hands become dry and flaky. Also, I would not want to sanitize Tabby's hands with ethyl alcohol.  Droplets of Nature Hand Sanitizer is the product for me, Tabby, Ethan and the rest of the family. This hand sanitizer is from fruit-based alcohol. and plant-based lactic acid as the anti-bacterial ingredient. The essential oils in the formula act as natural moisturizers. This product is safe even for babies. They come in two scents : baby powder and mint. I like them  both but I prefer the baby powder scent for Tabby.

The other eco-friendly and 100% all-natural dishwashing product is the Droplets of Nature Dishwashing Liquid. Think carefully now. How many times in a day do you find yourself hunched-over the kitchen sink, washing the seemingly endless line of kitchen utensils daily? Right! Between ethyl alcohol and dishwashing detergents, your hand are bound to be shriveled by the ripe-old-age of 30! Yup! This dishwashing liquid is eco-friendly, cost-efficient and a moisturizer. 

* Eco-friendly - as its surfactant (the substance that stabilizes the mixture of oil and water ) is potato/corn-based. It is free from phosphate, paraben, sodium lauryl ether sulfate(SLES) and other synthetic chemicals harmful to humans. 

 * Cost-efficient -  as a drop of Drop of Nature dishwashing liquid is enough to clean 4 to 6 pieces of plates.  

* Skin and Ware-Friendly - great moisturizer for the hands and conditions extends the life of kitchenware as it's loaded with essential oils.

I have my stash of these two Droplets of Nature products. You can buy yours online at Drops of  Nature at Shopinas. For more information and updated on their products, check them out in Droplets of Nature FaceBook Page. 





Posted by desperateblogger On 10/02/2012 11:33:00 AM 4 comments READ FULL POST
Tabby donned her cheering skirt and grabbed her home-made pompoms as she watched and cheered for Kuya Ethan at the recently concluded grade school intrams in Ethan's school. She really enjoyed watching the cheer dancers. She moved to the groove making me think of a cheer-dancer-in-the making. Gooo Tabby!
Posted by desperateblogger On 10/02/2012 09:13:00 AM 1 comment READ FULL POST
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