Into the great unknown
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Pawikan Conservation

For the month of February, my friends and I decided to spread the love by joining Route +63 on an eco-voluntourism trip to the Pawikan Conservation Center at Morong, Bataan. Once again, I am blown away by the Earth, its people, and our amazing country.

Reasons why I loved this trip [and why I think all of you will love it too]:

3 hours away from Metro Manila:

Can you believe it? That’s the same amount of time I spend commuting to and from work! We left Mindanao Ave. at around 7 AM and it took us 2 hours (again, wow) to get to Mt. Samat, and about another hour to get to the Pawikan Conservation Center.

I was asleep for most of the ride [and even if I were awake I’m always lost] so you can’t really count on me or this post for directions. Hehe.

Clean beaches:

The sand is grayish brown, but really fine. It isn’t glamorous, but props to the center for keeping it really clean. My favorite part about the beach, however, is the not-so-salty salt water. I am the biggest wuss about having salt water in my eyes, but I was actually able to go goggle-less and it didn’t hurt at all. #achievement

Mama Turtles:

Pawikan

At around 9-12 mn, you can patrol the beach to look out for the Pawikan hens [or Mama Turtles as I like to call them] visiting the beach to lay their eggs. Note that the night patrol must be done with the volunteers from the center so you don’t scare away the Mama turtles.

Sky full of stars:

Can I just say, I LOVE STARS. So even if you don’t actually see a Mama Turtle [like us], the night patrol is still such a beautiful experience because you get to see this:

My shaky camera definitely did not do this one justice.

My shaky camera definitely did not do this one justice.

WOW RIGHT? I can’t even explain how absolutely awesome it was to just chill under all of those stars.

Trivia: Pawikan hatchlings find their way to the sea because the reflection of the moonlight on the water makes the sea twinkle. If that isn’t the most magical first memory of the world, I don’t know what is.

BABY PAWIKANS:

NEED I SAY MORE?

No, but I will anyway. IF there are hatchlings, the volunteers will get to [give them a name] and release them on the beach. Watching them walk/waddle/whatever on the sand is one of the cutest things ever. When you see them finally hit the water, it will be a mix of #ProudParentMoment and thinking about Crush from Finding Nemo.

NOTE: Flash photography should not be used on the Pawikans (both the mother and the hatchlings) as this may temporarily “blind” them.

Trivia: Once they hit the water, baby pawikans go on a swimming frenzy (non-stop swimming) that can last for several days. Yup. Cute. I know.

Photo by Lourdes Tan

Click the photo for the full video by Lourdes Tan

NOTE: Swimming with the baby Pawikans is highly discouraged unless you are experienced in dealing with wildlife. Your movements may startle them and cause them to drown. Lulu (Lourdes Tan) asked permission from our guides before taking this video and she made sure to keep a safe distance from the Pawikan’s path. Enjoy responsibly, people!🙂

Last, but not the least, my lovely travel buddies:

Thanks for the Turtle-y awesome weekend!🙂
Photo by Kat Boado

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Ecological Agriculture: The Key to Sustainable Food Production

MUNI

#MUNIonThis:

Many of us aim to be more conscious of the consumption and investment decisions we make, and how these decisions affect others and the earth. Some opt to use less plastic, conserve electricity, or buy locally, just to name a few. And while often overlooked, things as basic as the grains and produce we eat everyday matter too.

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Most, if not all, people know about the concept of organic food. The go-to definition is food grown without the use of artificial chemicals. As consumers, many of us will think that the concept of organic food is great, but not many have made it a point to consistently buy organic food.

Why choose organic?

We may think that agriculture, whether conventional or ecological, would be beneficial to the earth. However, due to the heavy pesticide and energy use of conventional farming practices, agriculture is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. During a visit to Good Food…

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Conscious Christmas Shopping for the Traveller

MUNI

[Part 1 of our 3-part Conscious Christmas Shopping series for the traveller, the fashionista, and the urban dweller; also check out Conscious Christmas Celebrations: Mindful Foodie Feasts and Conscious Christmas Being: A Holiday Self-Check]

#MUNIonThis:

When Christmas time comes around, many of us run around like headless chickens to cross everyone off our Christmas list, as if in an Amazing Race to get everyone that matters (and even those that really don’t) something (anything) for the age-old holiday habit or perceived (and poorly conceived) social responsibility of gift-giving, while braving through traffic and mall queues in the least amount of time.

Gift-giving is not among my strong love languages, and I believe that gift-giving should come from a place of gratitude and sincerity, and from a place of understanding what really matters to a person and what can really make their day.

I don’t believe that gift-giving in itself is always a bad thing, but…

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Easy Hummus
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Smooth & Easy Hummus

So someone has been asking me to make hummus for months now. I finally gave in and tried it out earlier today!

Basic Ingredients: (AKA what you really need)
1 can (400g) of chickpeas
1/4 cup water
1 & 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

I am aware that hummus is commonly made with lemon juice and tahini. However, these ingredients are not as easy to come-by. So yay for tahini-free hummus!

Easy Hummus

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Kodanda Archery
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Kodanda Archery Range

I believe that new experiences make wonderful gifts. As with our previous birthdays, we decided to celebrate by doing something we’ve both never done before. So for Joel’s birthday this year, we became archers for a day! #SurpriseBirthdates

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos of the place. We were running low on battery. Hehe.

Kodanda Archery

Happy campers

The Kodanda Archery Experience: Continue reading

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Veg Finds II: Greens Restaurant & Cafe

So I’ve decided to turn my vegetarian restaurant finds into a series of posts. Part I was Agico Vegetarian Cafe. In addition to Maginhawa & Marikina, we will now try to discover all of the Sam-friendly restaurants @ Tomas Morato & the rest of New Manila! Our new find this week is Greens Vegetarian Restaurant & Cafe at Scout Castor St., near Tomas Morato, Quezon City. My main reason for paying a visit to this restaurant was the Vegan BBQ meal. For P100 you get two sticks of juicy vegan barbecue, java rice, and atchara. It definitely did not disappoint. I can’t be too sure because it’s been 4 years since my last pork barbecue but I think it tasted pretty legit.

Vegan BBQ meal

Vegan BBQ meal (P100)

Aside from the barbeque, I also ordered the sisig. This was one of their bestsellers so I had to give it a try. Contrary to popular opinion, Continue reading

DIY Watercolor Phone Case
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DIY Watercolor Phone Case

Anybody who owns an older iPhone model or an uncommon Android phone knows how hard it is to find a case that fits your phone, budget, and taste. We started making watercolor art recently so I thought about using watercolor to DIY a case for my phone.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Clear phone case
  2. Watercolor
  3. Paper
  4. Scissors
  5. Pencil

DIY Watercolor Phone Case

This is how to make it:

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Mogu Tree Noodle House

It’s my first holiday since I started working! The start of the rainy season was not going to keep me from enjoying this day. So we had a mini adventure at one of my favorite cities ever. Yup, Marikina! Woot.

After visiting the kids at CRIBS we took a cab to Lilac Street, Marikina. The cab ride was awful but that’s not what this post is about so I’ll save that for later.

For those of you who are in to the make-your-own dish restaurants, this is a definite must-try! You get to pick your soup base, type of noodles, and toppings.

 

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Microwave Eggs: Sunny side up

What you’ll need:

  1. Egg
  2. Small microwavable bowl
  3. Sharp knife
  4. Oil (optional)
  5. Salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Add oil to the bowl (this is optional but the egg will turn out better with the oil)
  2. Crack the egg into the bowl & add salt
  3. Puncture the yolk with a sharp knife (to prevent it from exploding in the microwave)
  4. Place bowl in microwave, nuke for 45 seconds on high
  5. Continue to cook for 10-15 seconds if the yolk is too runny

Check out how to make poached eggs (with photos) & scrambled eggs using a microwave.

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Office Hacks: Microwave Poached Eggs

I leave way too early to prepare and eat breakfast at home, so I’m usually stuck eating oatmeal at the office pantry. However, there are days when I just want to have a hot plate of eggs and toast. Eating out is not an option for me because I’m cheap and the eggs served in restaurants are way too oily. Needless to say, we do not have a stove at the office. So microwave eggs were the perfect solution!

Microwave Poached Eggs

I actually made this in our office pantry lol

Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Egg
2. Water
3. Vinegar (optional)
4. Microwavable mug (better if you use a regular mug, not an oversized mug/bowl like mine)
5. Microwavable plate/cover
6. 3 minutes tops Continue reading