Dinuguan: our Good Friday tradition

dinuguanLast week, I entertained the thought of posting a list of meatless recipes for Lent. I’ve done it a few times in the past but I haven’t done so in the last four or five years. I couldn’t anymore. It feels too hypocritical. We’ve never practiced the meatless Fridays and meatless Lents that Catholics are so fond of. And while I am all for live and let live, I cannot be a part of a propaganda movement for a belief that I find ridiculous.

For the past so many years, as a family tradition, we cook and eat dinuguan on Good Friday. Yes, it is an act of defiance to the practice of not eating meat during Lent. While I respect the right of other people to abstain from meat during Lent, I don’t have to pretend to agree and I especially don’t have to pretend to believe that there is something inherently good in the practice. In fact, I liken the practice to that call not to post food photos on the internet in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda which I openly questioned — how can not posting food photos help the typhoon victims at all? In the same manner, how can the abstinence from meat make one a better person? Continue Reading

seisha

Had to register a business name at the local DTI office. There was a queue so we decided to kill time at the cafe on the ground floor of the building. Continue Reading

Don’t forget to pinch the flowers

Don’t forget to pinch the flowers

The moment I saw the flowers, I had to take photos. And I knew I was taking photos so I could post them on my blog. But which one? And what should be the context?

The most obvious choice was to post them in the home and garden blog. After all, there is a home gardening section there. Plus, there is a post on how to grow and propagate mint where it says pinch the flowers to encourage the plant to grow more leaves. Photos of the flowers of the mint would have been a great addendum, but… Why repeat what I’ve already said in a previous post? The web is already too full of shares, retweets, reblogs and aggregated content.

If urban centers are congested, so is the web. And just like polluted cities with the gaya-gaya stores and eateries, over ninety per cent of web content is just rehashed stuff. In fact, I was just reading an article in Salon not too long ago about how meme sites like Upworthy, Viralnova and Buzzfeed have skyrocketed to popularity by rehashing content, repackaging them into lists with catchy headlines. Yes, they are meme sites but most people haven’t figured that out.

So, the photo of the mint flowers goes here as a reminder to myself of the most important reason why I blog — to create an outlet for my creative juices. Writing and taking photos make me feel good, and I do churn out original content in my blogs.

Yesterday was about clothes and food

First, shopping. Vida Doria. Love her stuff. Timeless.

Traffic was so bad on the way home and I was so hungry I felt a bad headache coming.

We stopped and ate. A lot. At Yang Chow Teahouse. Clam and tofu soup, yang chow rice and sweet and sour pork. My tummy was happy.

We went home.

On Twitter, Instagram and hashtags

I’m no fan of Twitter. I don’t like Twitter for the same reason I couldn’t swallow the Tumblr culture — I don’t like regurgitated content. I’ve always seen Twitter and Tumblr as playgrounds for people with no original ideas, incapable of publishing original content and they’re only good at repeating what they have seen and read.

Repetition, the embryo of virality. I know. But the power of viral content is its downfall too. Viral is not equal to valid; popularity is not the same as substance. Most people who share links, for instance, don’t even bother checking the truthfulness of the content in the linked articles. Some of the most shared articles in 2013 were, in fact, hoaxes. But that didn’t prevent them from being passed around, with matching wide eyes, bated breath and sense of urgency, as though they really happened.

Laziness? Stupidity? Both? Doesn’t matter. The end result is the same. Pathetic.

Sigh.

And hashtags? I cringe at tweets with a gazillion hashtags appended to it.

The hashtag-happy people are all over Instagram too. Twenty hashtags for a selfie? Unbelievable. Hashtags were invented to organize web content, not turn the web into a slum.

Does that make me a snob? Maybe. But it could be worse. I could be a nasty snob.