Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Hello to my family, friends and viewers! I am back after a long absence. Since I moved to the city of San Diego, I have not updated my blog. When one is extremely busy moving and then traveling a lot, there is not enough time & energy to blog. I am re-posting something I wrote a year ago and hopefully it's more interesting to read the second time around.
"Christmas is a time of joy, not because of gifts and toys, but because Jesus came ......"-Anonymous

RELIVING CHRISTMAS CHILDHOOD#1 Isn't the best thing about the holiday season reliving our childhood? I first heard the above Christmas song when my first son Rodney was going to elementary school at Faith Baptist School in Canoga Park, California. This son is now in his thirties, but I still remember this simple song vividly. As we count the days to the merriest time of the year, let's remember that Christmas is a time of joy. This song reminds us that Christmas is a joyful time because of Jesus, who's birthday we celebrate.
RELIVING CHRISTMAS CHILDHOOD#2 While growing up in the Philippines I was fascinated with a movie named "White Christmas," a song depicting Christmas in the United States, with lovely white snow scenes and beautiful carols. I was twenty seven years old when I immigrated to the U.S. I live in Southern California most of my life, which do not have four seasons. If we like to see real snow , we take a trip to the mountains. Southern California is a man-made city that dazzles with genuine-fake stuffs, entertainment centers, and amusement parks . With it's proximity to Hollywood and other movie studios this city sizzles with numerous creative and imaginative minds. A trip to Disneyland during Christmas time will fill our imaginations to the fullest. They make incredible snows, more whiter, purer and truer than the real snow, with computerized technology. Many times a trip to Disneyland or Universal Studios are more enjoyable than making a hassled journey to Snowland.
"SNOW AND SHRIMPS SINIGANG" During my recent solo art show, I raffled away the above oil painting. This is the only snow scene I have painted so far. I believed in technology but when it comes to real painting, I am old-fashioned and used oil paint and brushes to create my art works. This window scene with mountains covered with snows was inspired by a past trip to Lake Tahoe in California. In front I painted a simple Filipino dish called "Sinigang." This dish can be cooked using fish, pork or beef but my favorite is the jumbo shrimp. This dish is good to eat when the weather is very cold, gloomy or freezing. The warm dish will comfort and replenish you not only your soul and heart but your tummy too. It's simple to cook. Here's my version in 5 steps:
1. Put about 2 cups water on a medium pot.
2. Add few tablespoons of lemon juice, diced tomatoes and a green chili.
3. Bring to boil and then put about 6 pieces of jumbo shrimps.
4. When the shrimps turn pink add some fresh green beans and bok choy.
5. Don't overcook and serve warm.
TIPS: I like to serve this delicious and piping hot dish on an orange native pot like the one on the painting over a colorful table cloth. I eat it with a bowl of cooked white rice and sprinkle a little patis (fish sauce) on the shrimps for a dazzling taste. I will be cooking this dish many times this cold holiday season. The secret to good cooking, is doing it from your heart.

WINNER OF THE OIL PAINTING The lucky guest during my art show was our next door neighbor, Mary. She and John (her husband) posed for this photo. They loved snow scene and were very happy to win my painting. Mary is an American and probably have never tasted shrimps sinigang. Anyway, she can still enjoy the dish by looking at my painting.