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Filtering by Category: 24 Hours

MARKET DAY: Honey Jars & Jam

The Moringa Kitchen

This is the second year that I hoped The Ranch bee farm would have better stock. Not that I’d be buying a ton of honey, but it’s nice to know that a certain balance had been restored for the bees that are producing more honey this season. Around the same time last year, only a few jars were available. We’ve been collecting some good honey lately, and enforcing some honey ration at home after we discovered one toddler had the penchant for overly lathering the bread, and half the jar was gone in one afternoon. Someone quipped she should stop eating too much honey or else, she will turn into a bee. The poor toddler believed so, I think, in a rather incredulous way. Meanwhile, at The Ranch, they make very nice pottery and each piece is uniquely handcrafted.

Months ago, a friend told me about the “Sampinit” which is an indigenous berry. I’ve never heard of it. A local equivalent to raspberry?! Wow. Getting the Sampinit to land in Mactan, and to the house is another story. This thing is a wild berry that grows abundantly in the outlying hills or mountains in Cagayan Valley and South Luzon.

Four kilos of frozen Sampinit calls for jam or juice. It’s really nice when you jam fruits your way, you can let it macerate, bubble up, thicken nicely with very little sugar, and no need for preservatives. Sometimes when the fruit is already sweet, I don’t add sugar at all. The Sampinit jam has a very nice sweet-tart flavour and the texture is like Millet grains.

Later, I attempted to do the Japanese Furoshiki style of wrapping the jars which I think turned out wrong in all corners and somewhat looked like Totoro, but even Totoro would not approve! The girls did not approve! I can do better next time.

Market Day : Blooms, Organic Supply & A Local Dairy

The Moringa Kitchen

It’s one of those mornings when you go out for fresh picks and everything looks right. 

I’m glad that Cebu is catching up with good looking organic produce. It’s not always this way. I wondered too if it’s our soil that’s not right. Or perhaps we haven’t yet cultivated fully our land to make robust organic crops.

A friend from Iloilo chattered about Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spanish conquistador who ventured away from Cebu to Panay in search of better food. While this story will surely raise the "bisdak" eyebrows, perhaps there is good reason to develop more lands for nourishing crops and specialty foods other than our Lechon.

There is a huge and beautiful food basket South of our island, but still few are practicing organic planting methods. I'm sure there is the desire among farmers & advocates to go all the way for organic farming and we will get there. As of the moment, my country can even hardly rescue our farmers from El Niño.

Meanwhile, it's nice to find vendors who serve organic and unique food items from farms within and near Cebu. I'm really curious about the Goatery in Talay, Dumaguete. It's amazing that these people are making cheese in this crazy hot country.

A note on organic mangoes. Can you believe there are now organic Guimaras mangoes? I cannot imagine how you can grow organic mangoes because to me it's almost impossible! For mango fanatics like me, this is wild.

Have a nice and cheerful day, til the next market visit.

POSTCARD: Flow-Surf-Yoga-Samba & Serena Beach

The Moringa Kitchen

This beachfront is simply breathtaking.

Last April 2014, we joined FLOWSurfYogaSamba here in Club Serena, Moalboal.

So many good things happened while FLOW was here.

First of all, Serena beach was such a pretty venue. When we entered the beachfront, I was dazzled by the sea facing Negros island. I grew up in the Southeast part of Cebu and I've never visited this side before. Beautiful colors everywhere, the water was so clear, the sun was fire-pit hot but the sea water was very cool. The long shoreline with all white and fine sand was unbelievably empty of tourists, and this was at the height of the summer season!

Beach babes, babies and pretty nice mommies were here. The sea was a diver's haven teeming with beautiful fish and coral. I regret that I did not venture to snorkel in Pescador island nearby. The kids tried paddle boarding and inspected the sea urchins. I told them the Uni was right inside the spiky dome shell, and I used to eat it often when I was a kid. It was the first time too that one kid forgot to pack her swimsuit, a mini-chaos ensued because I said she could swim in her undies...but thankfully the crisis was averted, we found a swimsuit for kids on sale at the beach, albeit a 2-piece in a weird color!

The Flow people somehow made everything so pleasant. Everything we did for the day was not rushed. Time slowed down. It was busy but there were down times to nap by the sea, to dive, to breastfeed babies, prepare health foods, take photographs, walk by the beach...the hours seemed to stretch. It was heaven.

Denise & Noelle also made green smoothies, iced teas and colorful fruit bowls with Moringana in it. I'm always thrilled when they make Moringana a part of their green-healthy food served during Flow events.

Moringana has been collaborating with FLOWSurfYogaSamba for the past five years in their wellness retreats all over the country.

I suggest you check out FlowSurfYogaSamba. When you are there, it clears your mind, and your body gets nourished. We don't get this kind of treat everyday. 

Just flow.

Enjoy your summer!





Postcard: Felicity

The Moringa Kitchen

This is my screen saver.

It’s a reminder for me to live with gratitude always.

Somehow we can feel the hand that brought us here, and we are in a good place. Many years ago, our young family was holed up in the big city. My husband and I were among the thousands of corporate rats in the capital who toiled for eight or more hours a day before we embarked on our own venture.

Sometime after the third baby arrived, I reached a difficult junction. I realized that the work-life balance in the work place was a delusion. I'm not very sure if the people who tout the mantra really understand it. While I was confronted with a seemingly difficult choice, I remembered the funny advice of a college professor. He said, "There is nothing more to the glorified corporate rat race. It’s a race that belongs to rats....are you a rat?”

Later, fate would have it that both of us would close our doors to corporate life and nurture a start-up. The days and years of a start-up can be very harrowing. But working for others would have made it impossible for us to have our kind of family life.

I felt too that I’ve become an overstaying selkie in Manila. The harshness of the city, finally caught up with me. I needed to heal.

One day in 2010, our eldest daughter came to me and said, “Why don’t we live in Cebu? We really like it there.” It was like she read my heart. I was dying to go back to the places of my childhood and take in the sea water. The children have not discovered yet my mermaid tendencies. I’ve almost forgotten the seaside life that I grew up with. So we made the big move. Although it was impossible to find a house by the sea to fit the needs of family & work, we are close to it as could be.

What is happiness? 

Is there a genetic disposition for one to possess it?

Is it contentment?

There is a blog called - And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman. I’m such a big fan of her writing and her art. She ponders the question on happiness.

The latest story about understanding happiness is the Harvard study led by Robert Waldinger.

It's one question that bugs the minds of many moms who struggle to achieve balance in a fast-paced modern culture. We sort of coil in grief when we are not truthfully answering the calling of motherhood, when we are not truly present in the lives of our children. Many working moms would give everything to distance themselves from corporate life for family, but not all have the option to walk away freely when they also share the responsibility of bringing home the family income.

At least Kalman has one definite answer on happiness.

“To savor the moment.”

Is it?

Does it constitute happiness?

I think so.

There is a thing too called Divine Providence. You can leave everything there because you cannot have everything all at once. Leave everything there, nothing else matters, and happiness will find you.

I think so.

I believe so, with all my heart.

Favorite Things: Homemade and Easter

The Moringa Kitchen

I am looking forward to this fresh and promising time of the Easter season.

Here's my happy list in the kitchen for the week!


Nane is my aunt from Bohol who gives me a regular supply of home-crafted pure chocolate. Ever since she made me a batch last year, I can't get enough of it. They are soft chocolate chunks. It's not your regular tsokolate tableya. And I can never compare it with many tableyas that are adulterated with ground peanuts or roasted corn. Yup. It’s a travesty.

The world of chocolate making has its secrets, and Nane is not to be outdone. There are good secrets to her chocolate. Maybe it's the beans from Camiguin island or it's Weng - Nane's cheerful kitchen assistant and the master roaster of the beans. While I lament the fate of the “fakes” in the artisan world of chocolate...hello Mast brothers? I am happy we have a jar full of Nane's chocolate. Anytime I can make a cup of hot tsokolate so good, I can take it even without sugar.


Chef Amelia, the sweet mom behind Serendipity Dips & Dessert is a dear friend, and we feel lucky that foods from her kitchen find their way to us occasionally! I am bedazzled by her beautiful kitchen! If I have it my way, I would hang out there all day, learn cookery and bring home a few yummy items. Ha!

This pretty bottle of dried blueberries, chunks of pink salt, and a few herbs, spices make a very sophisticated bottle of vinegar which you can have for a unique vinaigrette. To make the blueberry vinegar, I thought of mixing it with white coconut vinegar, but decided white wine would be good. We received it last Epiphanytide and cured it towards Easter. The liquid turned dark blue to pink. I'm already thinking of other things to use this for.



Oi! My Malunggay Chocolate Chip Cookies! 

It's been in the back burner for sometime. We made this last year and I checked on the recipe again a few days ago.

Somewhere inside there's Moringa Leaves mixed with all good chocolate! The kids and I have hyper-analyzed the right size, chewiness, the top cracks and the kind of salt on top. But none of that matter if the cookie is not yummy. Malunggay & Chocolate should be all good? I hope you agree!

Will tell you more about it next time!

May you have a meaningful and wonderful Easter season!