did having fun and being entertained drastically move from plain, holistic, and
organic (like tumbang preso using
slippers and an empty sardines can and making bubbles using gumamela flowers) to lazy,
one-dimensional, patience-reducing technology such as Playstations and
smartphone app games? Toys of today are
colourful, yes, but made of plastic. I
love fabric and wooden toys. They are,
yes, organic and natural. In all my
years of teaching preschool, people have made the assumption that I probably owned
a lot of toys. But because of the way
toys today are made, I sadly admit I do not.
Plastic just does not do it for me.
That is why I make my own teaching materials as much as I can help
it. Anyway, just last week, during play
time, I watched my students engage in a delightful game of Chinese garter. My co-teacher and I watched with delight and
listened as they chanted “10, 20, 30, 40...” and wondered how they learned to
play the game. Wouldn’t it be nice if
kids today took a break from their game consoles and engaged in real play?
is why Balik Bukid could not have happened at a better time. When one is used to the city rush, there is
nothing like going back to the basics and breathing fresh air, wearing a hat
not because it’s fashionable but for protection, feeding rabbits, playing in
tire swings, rowing a boat in small lake, patting a pony and riding a horse,
playing mud races, laying a blanket on the ground and having a picnic, and
eating organically grown produce. Pure
wrote about my first Balik Bukid here.
Two years and four Balik Bukid Fairs later, my mom, dad, and I, along
with my cousins and newest niece, trooped back to the farm to witness it all
over again on its fifth run!
Bukid is located at Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate in Laguna. It’s so close to Manila and yet it feels like
a world away. Shopping and dining
options abound along with get-down-and-dirty entertainment options such as a
mud race, horse and carabao rides, sprinkler playgrounds, obstacle courses,
arts and crafts, and a Waldorf play pen.
My mom and I breathed in fresh air despite the sweltering heat as we
strolled around the farm which was peppered with inspirational quotes painted
on wooden tablets.
Watching the play pen for kids was heartwarming. My late baby brother was a Waldorf student.
That doll's hammock!
Check out the lovely birdcage chandelier in the Pavilion.
Outdoor eating area
lot of the items sold in the bazaar were homegrown products, handmade lovelies,
and organic items. Lovely children’s
dresses and women’s apparels, bags, home sprays and bug sprays, wooden serving
platters, shoes, leather goods, and – my favourite – handmade toys! I was so excited and enamored by them that I
forgot to take pictures. What I did take
home with me, though, was two tubs of Happy Bubbles and a bubblemaker fashioned
from two sticks and cheesecloth to make giant bubbles with! Can’t wait to let my students play with them
during outdoor play! Real play, y’all!
will never feel guilty about devouring the food offered in the fair because
they were all healthy and organic. My
mom and I shared a brick-oven Margerita pizza and fresh apple juice. I also took home a box of Bocaditos from
Baked by Anita. The Wild Mushroom with
Gruyere &Truffle Oil and Spinach with Goat Cheese & Pine Nuts varieties
were wonderful company when I had dinner that night.
fun was all that? I was born and bred in
the city but my husband, my family, and my friends know that I will always be a
provincial lass at heart. I like the
conveniences city life provides but it can never give the joy farm living
gives. And even though Balik Bukid
happens only twice a year, it’s nice to know that there is such a pleasant and
peaceful haven to go to to make my provincial heart sing.
P.S. If you want to see more Balik Bukid pics from
other people, check out Instagram using #balikbukid. I swear, I’m missing it all the more because
of other people’s happy pictures!
and I love Chinese cuisine. On days that
permit us to do so, we love waking up early in the morning and driving to
Binondo to have breakfast. There, we
would have more than our fill of authentic Chinese fare. In fact, our trips to
Hong Kong almost always highlight the food, not the scenery nor the crazy
Chinese cooking is my Achilles' heel.
Even after many attempts, I never get it authentically right. Sure, my Yang Chow fried rice is good
enough...but it’s not authentic. For some
reason, online recipes I have found have yielded lackluster results.
25 Mushrooms Kitchen came to the rescue!
25 Mushrooms Kitchen initially offered their cooking classes to
household helpers to improve their cooking repertoire, much to the happiness of
the employers who have graciously enrolled them in a class or two...or
more. Happily, they also accommodate
non-household helpers like newlyweds or anyone who’s itching to perfect a
particular recipe or cuisine. Their
lineup of classes have always piqued my cooking diva interest but when they
opened a Chinese Dimsum and Dumpling class, I knew I had to enroll. Right.
right away I went! About seven recipes
were taught via demonstrations and – if you volunteer – hands-on experience. The instructors were very generous in sharing
what they knew about dimsum and dumplings – precise ingredients and where to
get them, exact measurements, recommended brands of specific ingredients that
yield the best dimsum.
one day, I had my fill of the following Chinese fare...
Ma Gai or Machang (sans the wrapping)
Seafood Cabbage Roll
At one point, I got tired from taking pictures and just wanted to munch away but we also made buchi and steamed spareribs.
super enjoyed my cooking class and felt that the P1,100 that I invested for
learning that day was well-spent! Will write
a blog post again once I make that trek to the Chinese grocery and churn out
lovely dimsum beauties of my own!