Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Filipino Way of Noche Buena

thepinoywarrior noche buena

Noche Buena is a Spanish word referring to the night of Christmas eve. It is usually celebrated in evening consists of a traditional dinner with family in Spain, Puerto Rico, Latin America and also the Philippines. Filipinos usually do the Noche Buena at midnight after the family has attended the late evening Christmas Eve Mass or Misa de Gallo. Relatives are also reunited in their Ancestral House to celebrate Christmas together by having this Noche Buena added with fun singing of christmas carols, exuberant dancing, and persistent storytelling. Listed below are some of the popular dishes served on the dining table during Noche Buena.

1. LECHON

filipino_lechon

Lechon is a Spanish word meaning “suckling pig”. In the Philippines, Lechon always means a whole roasted pig commonly known as Lechon Baboy. The lechon is a popular dish in any of the festivities in the Philippines such as fiestas, holiday seasons, and special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and other family gatherings. It is said that celebrations are not complete without the lechon as the table’s centerpiece. It is always served with a liver-based sauce making it more tasteful and delicious.

2. HAMON

ham

In the Philippines, ham, or hamon as it is called (from the Spanish jamón), is normally associated with the Yuletide season. There are local variants of Jamón Serrano, and there is Hamon de Bola, which is a ball-shaped wet cured ham, among other varieties. There is also tinned processed ham—the type in cans—available year round in groceries. The main Christmas ham, similar to a Chinese ham and served on some Noche Buenas, is similar to a dry cured one, and it has to be cooked in a special sweet broth after being soaked to reduce the salt. Then the ham is scored and glazed, and roasted. Hamon de Bola, produced by the major Philippine food manufacturers, is usually offered as gifts to employees in most companies and government offices during the Yuletide season. This can be either baked or fried. As with the other dishes “localized” from foreign sources, the Philippine palate favors the sweeter variety of ham.

3. QUESO DE BOLA

queso-de-bola

Queso de Bola is the Filipino term, from Spanish, for Edam cheese. The term literally translates to “ball cheese”. It is a Dutch cheese in a spherical shape (usually slightly flattened at the top and bottom) and coated with red wax. With its festive appearance, it is a favorite at Christmas time especially as part of Noche Buena.

4. BIBINGKA

bibingka-making1

Bibingka, above, is a rice cake similar to the Western pancake in appearance. In taste, texture and way of cooking, however, they are very much different from each other. Bibingka is made from galapong, baked in a special clay pot, lined with a piece of banana leaf, with live coals on top and underneath. It is topped with slices of kesong puti (white cheese) and itlog na maalat (salted duck eggs). The newly-cooked bibingka is spread with butter and sometimes sprinkled with sugar then served with niyog (grated coconut). Galapong is glutinous rice soaked in water then ground with the water to form either a batter or a dough, depending on what the cooked dish is supposed to be.

5. PUTO BUMBONG

puto-bumbong

Puto bumbong is a dish made from purpled-colored ground rice cooked in bamboo tubes that are placed on a special steamer-cooker. Then, they are removed from the bamboo tubes, spread with butter and sprinkled with sugar and niyog (grated coconut). They are then wrapped in wilted banana leaves which will keep them warm and moist until ready to be eaten.

6. LECHE FLAN

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Because filipinos are also fan of sweets, this leche flan above is also served in the dining table during Noche Buena. It is a custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top, as opposed to crème brûlée, which is custard with a hard caramel top. It also symbolizes for a sweet relationship between the members of the family.

7. PANCIT

pancit

Pancit or pansit is the term for noodles in Filipino cuisine. Noodles were introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese and have since been adopted into local cuisine. Its long strand serve as a symbol of long life and prosperity.

SOURCES: wikipilipinas.com and casaveneracion.com

Filipino People: A World Class Beauty

The year 2012 is such a successful year for the Philippines in the field of beauty pageants.

Before the end of the year, Another Filipina have brought honor and pride to our country in the recent Miss Universe 2012 Pageant. After magna cum laude graduate and Architecture board exam topnotcher Shamcey Supsup last year, we now have the stunning Janine Tugonon as she closely get the crown for being the 1st-runner up. Despite from all the comments that she was robbed by Ms. USA, we are still happy and proud for what she did for the country. This is a wonderful Christmas Gift for all of the Filipinos.

ms

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But let us also salute these fellow Filipinos who also give an achievement in different Pageants  in the Year 2012

WINNERS :

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Manhunt International – winner June Macasaet
Miss International Queen – winner Kevin Balot
Miss Model of the World Asia – winner Joy Marie Ganga

RUNNER UPs :

Miss Supranational 3rd Runner-up Elaine Kay Moll
Miss Earth – 1st runner up Stephany Dianne Stefanowitz
Miss Teen Universe – 1st Runner up Clarise Marie Obvio
Mr. World – 1st runner up Andrew Wolff
Miss Humanity International – 2nd runner up Ayelee Dasalla

SEMIFINALISTS :

Miss International – top 15 Nicole Schmitz
Miss World – 8th place Queenirich Rehman
Miss Scuba International – Top 5 Janicel Lubina
Miss Supermodel International – top 10 Angelee Claudette Delos Reyes
Miss Tourism Queen of the Year – top 10 Bea Rose Santiago
Miss Asia Pacific World – Top 15 Grendel Alvarado

MABUHAY PILIPINAS!!

Maruya

zOld - Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for "It's Delicious")

Maruya or Banana Fritters are battered bananas deep fried then sprinkled with sugar before serving. A very popular merienda (afternoon tea) in the Philippines, usually cooked at home but it can also be seen sold by street vendors. Like any other cooked banana dishes in the Philippines it calls for a special type of banana called cardaba bananas, nearly similar to plantains but this variant is fleshy, sticky, waxy, sweet and very firm hence its popularly used for cooking.

Ingredients

4 pcs saba (Cardaba banana), sliced into 3 portions lengthwise
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 pc egg
pinch of salt
sugar
oil

Method

1. In a bowl combine together flour, baking powder, milk, salt and egg. Mix well until smooth.
2. Add the sliced bananas.
2. Heat oil in wok then place bananas one slice at a time.
3. Turn heat to…

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Christmas Season, More Fun in the Philippines

Christmas in the Philippines, one of two predominantly Catholic countries in Asia (the other one being East Timor), is one of the biggest holidays in the archipelago. The country has earned the distinction of celebrating the world’s longest Christmas season, with Christmas carols heard as early as September and lasting until Epiphany, the feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9 or the Feast of the Santo Niño de Cebú on the third Sunday of January.

If Mexico has piñatas, the Philippines has its parol. Of course, a parol is not something to hit with a stick. It is a Christmas lantern, most commonly in the shape of a five-pointed star. The bamboo or rattan frame is covered with rice paper, tissue or cellophane. Almost every family either builds or buys one to hang by the window or door. Shopping malls construct giant versions of parol.

Parols_For_Sale

Traditionally, a candle was placed inside for light to shine through; for safety reasons, people now use bulbs or even a flashlight. Families, schools and other places also display a creche or nativity scene called belen. Christmas trees made of plastic are decorated with lights, tinsel and balls.

Belenismo_20120429_18_02_39

The Tagalog word for gift is regalo, but Filipinos have a special word for “Christmas gift” — pamasko. The Filipino version of Secret Santa is called Monito Monita or Kris Kringle. Students in their classes and office workers all hold gift exchanges during the Christmas season. Children receive fresh bills of money called aginaldo, usually when they visit their godparents and elderly relatives on Christmas morning.

Philippine Christmas is not complete without music, and the season is celebrated by Filipinos through caroling.  In most urban centers and rural areas in the Philippines, a group of carolers visit houses to sing Christmas songs. Some of these carolers raise funds for less fortunate families through caroling, while others are simply doing it for the joy of singing.  Some carolers may be a group of friends, or belong to the same community or civic organization.  Others may be family relatives who have made it a tradition to sing together as a family.
thepinoywarrior caroling
In the neighborhood, a group of kids may form together as amateur carolers and visit houses every night.  They will be more than happy to receive coins or candies as reward for singing Christmas songs.  They sing even out of tune, and are creative in using tin cans, plastic containers, and bamboos as their musical instruments.  It is the fun of doing it that matters, out of tune or not!

Mostly Catholics, Filipinos begin a novena (a series of nine masses) on December 16th. The masses are part of the cherished religious tradition of Simbang Gabi, which literally means “Night Worship.” Filipinos go to church at four o’clock in the morning and afterward have breakfast together. A traditional drink during this season is a warm ginger tea called salabat and a traditional treat is a flat but thick yellow rice cake called bibingka.

misa de gallo

What every Filipino looks forward to is Noche Buena, the grand family dinner after the midnight mass. Christmas morning is the time for visiting relatives. Filipinos wear new if not their best clothes. Children do mano, which is kissing or bringing to their forehead the hand of an elderly person. This is when they receive their pamasko, certainly aguinaldo from godfathers and godmothers. Christmas lunch and Christmas dinner are with family.
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MALIGAYANG PASKO!! (Merry Christmas!!)

How to Make Avocado Ice Candy

If the Americans have popsicles, Malaysians have potong then the Filipinos have the ice candy. Since childhood days, its always been one of my favorite desert especially on hot sunny days in our place.  For just a single coin you can bought this frozen treats made out of different varieties of fruits. But actually Ice Candy is easy to do and so I’m gonna share to you this recipe on making of Ice Candy flavored with Avocado Fruit or also known as Alligator Pear. Try this out and if you don’t have the special ice candy bags you can use your Popsicle moulds for this.

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Ingredients

2 large avocadoes
1 large can evaporated milk
1/2 can condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
ice candy plastic bags

Method

1. In a blender place evaporated milk, condensed milk, sugar, water and avocadoes then blend until mixed together.
2. Using a funnel pour the blended mixture into the plastic bags. Tie tightly and do with the remaining mixture.
3. Freeze then serve.

Note: This should be so sweet and it’s meant that way, the freezing process will lessen the sweetness.