Love and light in a ‘happiness’ farm

Puerto Princesa City—I went all the way to Palawan just to renew my passport. Anyone who had a hard time getting a passport here in Manila would probably understand why I had to resort to this. The extra expense and the inconvenience annoyed me. That was my initial reaction. But I refused to let this inconvenience control my mood. So, instead of whining about this “injustice,” I reframed my mindset, and transformed this “enforced” vacation into an opportunity to visit Bahay Kalipay.

We need a food revolution to change our unhealthy diets

Call me dilawan, but I still believe in celebrating the 1986 Edsa Revolution if only because it shows how Filipinos have the capacity to demand for change and oust a despotic leader. I have other reasons, too, but that is more suitable for another (and more political) column. What I want to focus on is the need for another revolution—a food revolution that can change our eating habits and how we view individual diet, health and the environme

We are all stakeholders in our local farming systems

I first learned about Peranakan cuisine while living in Singapore more than a decade ago, and where I had my first taste of mee siam. It reminded me of palabok as it has vermicelli noodles soaked in a shrimp-based gravy, topped with tofu and shrimp. But mee siam was a bit sweet, spicy and soupy. Later, when I visited Penang for a personal food trip, I managed to have for a tour guide a true-blue Peranakan who introduced me to other Peranakan delights as assam laksa.

Can a plant-based diet save the planet?

My answer is “yes.” This, even if I’m happily (and guiltlessly) snacking on Greek yogurt and cheese and pepperoni pizza while writing this column. But I will qualify that answer by saying that one doesn’t have to be vegan/vegetarian to enjoy a more environment-friendly diet.  What we can do instead is to eat more vegetables—preferably seasonal, local and organic vegetables—and reduce meat and dairy consumption.

Rebuilding Marawi one dish at a time

Food is memory. That’s why we consider as our comfort food is usually the food that we ate when we were growing up. We wanted to savor again the happiness and contentment that we felt while eating this comfort food with our family and old friends.  Researchers said we are also biologically wired to have a sense of food nostalgia as flavor and aroma are processed by our olfactory bulb, which is linked to the hippocampus and amygdala—the part of the brain associated with memory and experiences.
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