Ludong: The Most Expensive Fish in the Philippines

Ludong or Banak, also known as Lobed River Mullet or Pacific Salmon (scientifically named Cestraeus plicatilis)  is categorized as one of the endangered fish species in the Philippines. This freshwater mullet can be found in Cagayan River and Santa-Abra River System of Ilocos Sur and Abra. Due to its rapid extinction, the price of Ludong fish is P5000 per kilogram, thus, making Ludong as the most expensive fish in the Philippines.

This freshwater mullet is also known as "The President's Fish" because it has been the favorite fish of the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos during his term, since it has a unique taste and aroma. Boxes of Ludong are said to be transported directly to Malacanang via the C - 130 cargo plane of the PAF. Because of the extraordinary taste of its meat, Ludong has been the the top choice by the elite society, as well as politicians and celebrities.

Ludong is actually a catadromous fish, which means that it thrives in freshwater but migrates to seawater during October to November or the spawning season. The extinction of this specie is mainly due to uncontrolled fishing practices and the pollution of the river. That is why, a 3-month ban to catch, purchase, sell, transport or export of Ludong is imposed during spawning season. 

According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Order No.31, violators will face a jail term of 6 months to 8 years and a fine of P6,000 to P80,000. 


Princess Tarhata Kiram of Sulu

(Philippine Stamp Issued in 1984)

My grandfather (father side) told me a lot of stories when I was a child. He told me that my grandmother was from a royal family in Sulu, Mindanao because she was the daughter of Princess Tarhata Kiram. My grandma ran away with my grandpa Juan Coz and left her family in Mindanao just to be with him in Mindoro. She then converted from Muslim to Roman Catholic. She even changed her name from Darrah Kiram to Lourdes Kiram. 

I know that my father and his siblings right now, wanted to know and to meet their relatives in Mindanao, but unfortunately they didn't have the chance to do it. Both of their parents are now dead and the real identity of Darrah Kiram is still unknown. 

As the grandchild, I myself, is also puzzled by the real identity of my grandma. I tried to search but unfortuantely there are no records showing that Princess Tarhata had a daughter. Who she is? Who are her family? Is she really the "daughter" of the famous Princess of Sulu, Princess Tarhata Kiram or just her relative?

I would love to know who my ancestors are and to learn more about our family history. 

More related histories of Princess Tarhata Kiram;



Simple Quotes for today

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
- Alexander Pope

For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, "It might have been".
- John Greenleaf Whittier

Speak when you are angry - and you will make the best speech you'll ever regret.
- Laurence J. Pete

I have often regretted my speech, but never my silence.
- Publilius Syrus

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
- Helen Keller

Rodrigo Duterte for President

We wholeheartedly support Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the next President of the Philippines - 2016

No to Martial Law

No. Duterte is only against those who do not obey the rules. He wants peace and order for the Philippines. But it doesn't mean that it will be such Martial Law. No. He is respected and loved by the people of Davao for his good governance (in more than 20 years). He transformed chaos into a safe haven. He touches so many lives and protects children. He curses and utter bad words in public, but that's him and that what makes him so peculiar. His choice of words ALONE cannot be the basis of believing that he will become a dictator.

Unending controversies

Duterte did a mistake in uttering a vile joke/remark, but are we PERFECT to condemn him for that? People, do not be hyprocrites! We are just human beings. We all do mistakes, we have flaws, we say nasty words, we are not perfect in all aspects, we have our own beliefs and we have our differences. That alone should not be the basis of your rage. Where is the freedom of speech?

Condemn the REAL culprits out there, those who sexually/physically abused children, elderly and women, who caused violence, chaos and criminalities, who deprive the poor and uneducated, who steal the money and use it for their own benifits and those who propagate drugs. Focus on serious matters and show justice. 

Duterte already apologized, so WHO ARE WE not to forgive him?

The Real Duterte

Do not forget his sacrificies, how he turned Davao as one of the safest cities in the world, how his Central 911 serves the needy Davaenos 24/7, how he gives home to street children and homeless, how he protects the women and LGBT, how he wipes drugs and crimes, how he gives hope to the youth and how he unites muslims and christians and how he restrains from using the money of this people for his own benefits. Do not forget all his efforts and good deeds.

Change is coming!!

Fun Baking For Loved Ones

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Baking is time-consuming, but it has never been boring. It requires time, effort, patience and a lot of practice. The more you practice, the easier it will be.
I love to eat cakes, sweets and desserts, but honestly, I haven't even baked a single cake back in Philippines. The truth is that we didn't have an oven, or else, baking would have been my great passion since then.
Likewise, I never attended a proper training or a culinary course, but through internet and social media networks like youtube and facebook, I’m proud that I have created some delicious desserts and cakes. 
So far, the difficult part of baking is reading the instructions over and over again, and yet, you're still in doubt of doing the right thing.
If you feel that way, think about Cilla Black saying, "My idea of baking is buying a ready-make cake mix and throwing in an egg." 
And while you're still thinking, you might consider watching a video of my simple baking creations. These are the ones that I dedicated to my loved ones on their special day. Enjoy watching! 

The Biggest Shopping Mall in Scandinavia

Welcome to Mall of Scandinavia in Sweden!

Mall of Scandinavia (MOS) in Solna opened its doors to public on Nov. 12, 2015 showcasing 230 different stores in its 101 048sqm, thus, making it the biggest shopping galleria in Sweden and in other Scandinavian countries.

Mall of Scandinavia (MOS) is owned by Unibail-Rodamco, a France-based commercial property investment company and the European leader in shopping centers. It is built by PEAB AB, which began in 2010, giving its contruction a total of 5 years time completion.

This shopping center is located in the northern suburb of Solna, beside Friends Arena - Sweden's national stadium for football. And together with 1500 residential units, the location comprises the new city district called "Arenastaden".

Regarding transportation, Solna's commuter rail station "pendeltåg" is just beside the galleria. It takes approximately 7 minutes from Stockholm city center or Central station. MOS has also 3700 parking spaces, but prior to its opening and holidays, jam-packed highways and roadworks and contructions can cause traffic delays. 

Shoppers' budget zone, on the other hand, are in extremely high alert. Watch out for those 230 stores, including some of our favorite international brands like Michael Kors, Victoria Secrets, Mango, Disney Stores, Dunkin' Donuts & Starbucks, and some favorite Swedish brands like H&M, KappAhl, Guld Fynd, Lindex and Max. The first IMAX theater in the Nordic region is also built inside this galleria.

Below are the complete listings of stores in Mall of Scandinavia.

A Day’s March
Apples & Berries
Albrekts Guld
American Vintage
Bik Bok
Björn Borg
Booster Pro
Clas Ohlson
Day Birger et Mikkelsen
Din Sko
Disney Store
Enklare Liv
Filippa K
Foot Locker
Fuji Fotocenter
Gerry Weber
Gina Tricot
Hallbergs Guld
Hampton Republic 27
Happy Plugs
Hemtex Sovrum
Holland & Barrett
Hugo Boss
Illums Bolighus
JC Jeans Company
JD Sports
Jack & Jones
Jam Jam
John Henric
Kiko Milano
Kjell & Company
LEGO Store
Le Creuset
Levi’s Store
Lycka Juveler
Make Up Store
Massimo Dutti
Michael Kors
Nilson Shoes
Odd Molly
Oscar Jacobson
Oscar of Sweden
Panduro Hobby
Peak Performance
Polarn O. Pyret
Pull & Bear
River Island
Rut & Circle
Saint Tropez
Salt Stockholm
Spirit of Flower
The Body Shop
Thomas Sabo
Tiger of Sweden
Tommy Hilfiger
Vero Moda
Victoria’s secret
Zara Home

Restauranger och nöje
Amazing Wok
Balders Bröd och Vin
Bar Burger Café
Budda Kahn Teppanyaki
Choco Mania
Dunkin’ Donuts
Espresso House
Fresh & Fancy
Green & Yellow
Honeycomb Frozen Yoghurt Shop
Icha Icha
Il Bicchiere
Indian Garden
Joe & the Juice
Klang Market
La Pasta Veloce
Le Croissant
Naked Juicebar
Panini Internazionale
Raw Sallad
Restaurang Drama
Simit Sarayi
Starbucks Coffee
Swedish Diner by Basilica
Tea Story
The Original Swedish Frozen Yogurt Factory


12 Round Fruits and other Filipino Traditions on New Year's Eve

Filipinos are known to be superstitious believers. When celebrating New Year's Eve, part of our tradition is to prepare 12 round fruits, each to signify a month in the incoming year. These round fruits are believed to bring good health and happiness and will attract good luck and prosperity for the coming year. 

Some of the lucky fruits are apple, orange, pineapple, grapes, watermelon, pear, pomelo, avocado, lychee, kiwi, mango, lemon and banana. 

Aside from fruits, a cup full of rice means a bountiful year ahead, a cup full of coins means wealth and a cup full of cotton signifies a happy and prosperous incoming year. 

Filipinos also believe that wearing polka dots clothes on New Year's eve brings prosperity. Pockets are filled with coins to attract wealth. As well as children are urged to jump as high as they can (three times), because they believe that this will make them taller. 

Cleanliness and neatness is also practiced. The last days of the year are spent on cleaning everything. However, the first day of the new year should be spent without cleaning - to avoid sweeping away the good luck, but rather, welcoming a clean, happy and healthy year ahead. 

It is believed that everything you do on the first day of the year reflects your whole year. So do not start the year by spending money. Better be frugal, be kind and be happy. 

Happy 2016!!

The Controversial Miss Universe 2015

The ackward moment when host Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner of Miss Universe on live tv. 

Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was stripped of the chance to savor her winning moment as Miss Universe on stage because of the incident, so as Miss Colombia Adriana Gutierrez Arevalo for being humiliated in front of millions of viewers around the world. 

But, Mr. Harvey made an honest mistake, as we all have done. He was very honest, brave and forthcoming in his apology. Clap clap for him. Let's just forgive, forget and move on. 

And no doubt. Miss Philippines is the legitimate winner of Miss Universe 2015. Hats off! She was able to provide a meaningful role of a Miss Universe – to reach out for those who are in need with a heart that is confidently beautiful. 

Once again, the crown landed to Philippines after 4 decades. 

Question: Why should you be the next Miss Universe?

Answer from Miss USA: I should be the next universe because I’m so passionate and so driven. I want to work to bring equality towards men and women and it’s time to step to empower women all over the world.

Answer from Miss Colombia: I’m positive that I should be the 3rd Miss Universe from my country because I have attributes of a Latin woman, a woman from Colombia should have, and a Miss Universe.

Answer from Miss Philippines: To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and a responsibility. I will use my voice to raise awareness and shed light in causes like HIV. Show the world that I am confidently beautiful with a heart.

The true essence of Miss Universe and the definition of beauty with wisdom is a combination of elegance, poise, intelligence, with heart and confidence! 

Congratulations to our very own Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach,  the epitome of beauty and brain with a heart. Miss Universe 2015!

My Favorite Banoffee Pie

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Have you heard about Banoffee Pie?

Perhaps not or you might just can't remember its name - just like me. I honestly did spend a couple of minutes searching for the name of this incredible and irresistible dessert. And thanks God! The search is over, my efforts have finally paid off! I finally found you - Banoffee Pie!

The first time I tasted this delicious dessert gave me a "wow" reaction and since then, I decided to add this to my 

Banoffee Pie is actually one of the easiest, yet the best dessert I have ever made. It is the combination of bananas, whipped cream, toffee (boiled or caramelized condensed milk), crushed biscuits and grated chocolate.

By the way, this is my banoffee pie experiment. I'll take a better photo next time. It only looks bad in the picture, but it tastes so good. 

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And if you want to try, here's my Banoffee Pie recipe.

(Easy and 20 mins. preparation time)

400g Digestive biscuits, crushed
175g melted butter
2 tins condensed milk (caramelized or boiled in 4 hrs)
3 big bananas (ripe)
400ml whipped cream 
Chocolate, grated for decoration

25 cm loose-bottomed cake form, greased

1. Mix crushed biscuits and melted butter. 

2. Press the crumbs to bottom and the sides of the cake form using spoon.

3. Chill for 10 minutes.

4. Add and spread the caramelized condensed milk.

5. Add the sliced bananas and scatter over the top. 

6. Add the lightly whipped cream, spread over the top.

7. Decorate with grated chocolate.

Chill and ready to serve. Enjoy!!

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