Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Blooming of the Lotus Flower Tea (As Featured in Boys Over Flowers)

To be honest, I'm really fond of teas, most especially herbal ones without a tinge of caffeine. But during the day, I turn to caffeinated herbal variants to perk me up a bit.





I still remember that when I saw Geum Jandi drank this very interesting lotus flower tea in Episode 14 of the Korean hit drama Boys over Flowers, I told myself that I should get a similar one during a visit to Hong Kong and Macau


I tried hard looking for this particular tea despite the language barrier; but sadly, I wasn't able to find one. 



Imagine my surprise when my dear friend Momsie Ruthie offered this tea during our much anticipated fellowship with Twinnie Corex and Triplet Botski.



I got so excited when she put one into the cup of hot water to begin the 3 minute steeping process.



As you can see from my friends' facial expressions that we were all anticipating the tea's blooming!



Slowly, the tea started to open up a bit.



We simply couldn't take our eyes off the cups lest we miss the whole thing.



And then, it began to unfold right before our very eyes!



Until the flower tea revealed itself in all its splendor after 3 minutes or so. This particular tea has a light hue, delicate fragrance and pleasant taste. It is worth noting that many cultures believe that the lotus tea could soothe certain ailments, lower blood pressure, reduce stress and promote general health and well-being. I've always known that witnessing the lotus flower tea's blooming will be truly worthwhile. What made it really memorable was when I shared this special time with my BFFs! 

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Amazing Thailand Travel Fair and Jatujak SM The Block

Two weeks ago, we decided to go to a travel fair at SM The Block hoping to get good deals for our pending trip to Singapore & Malaysia. What welcomed us was the Amazing Thailand Fair! 




My disappointment quickly vanished when I entered this rather interesting event.



A colorful tarp teased me of several awesome offerings to come.



Videos showcasing an array of beautiful spots in Thailand played non-stop.



Without a doubt, they truly provided the perfect backdrop to those who were interested to know more about Thailand.





What is a travel fair without a host of travel agents, right? Several of them were quick to give free brochures and pamphlets to interested visitors.



What made this fair really amazing was that they flew in Thais, experts in several fields, to colorfully display  Thai culture at its very best. For instance, this lovely lady showed us the intrinsic beauty found in the Traditional Umbrella Painting of Chang Mai.



This talented guy seemed to be the brains behind all the wonderful floral arrangements at the fair.



Simplicity in nature. Effortless beauty. I felt these two idyllic concepts rallying behind all the spectacle around me.





This artist was totally unaware of the buzz he generated because he was so engulfed with creating his own obra maestra. However, when he finished, he gave us a sincere smile and showed us his beautiful work.




If not for the long queue, I would have treated myself to this refreshing Thai massage. Truth is, I favor this technique over the other types, because it is the only one that truly takes all my stress away.



To be honest, I haven't really thought of visiting Thailand before. Although I have loved ones and friends who have been there, I wasn't particularly lured to pay a visit.



But that all changed during the fair and after reading these brochures. It was as if the country itself became alive in front of me. Thailand is starting to get into me. And who wouldn't be captivated by the country's charm and exotic elegance? Just look at the following photos taken from the Amazing Thailand Travel Guide and you will surely understand my sentiments. 
 
Elephant Trekking.



Phra Nakhon Si Ayatthaya Historical Park.



Bamboo Rafting.



Sumptuous Thai Cuisine.



Khon or Thai Classical Masked Dance.



Thai Boxing (Muai Thai).



Thakha Floating Market, Samut Songkhram.



I have to say that these attractions are truly worth considering. And for that, Thailand has definitely climbed up to my Top Five List of Dream Destinations. For now, I just have to settle for some Thai cuisine here in the metro to satisfy my travel craving. Good thing, Jatujak was just two levels away from the fair. A late lunch sounded divine to Bala, Tutapel and myself. There, I satiated my craving for Thailand.


Thai Iced Coffee (Php 70). Flavorful and sweet. Coffee just the way I like it. Although Tutapel was asking for a sip, we used all our might to distract him. After all, he's just 2 years and 10 months! He should strictly be caffeine-free for a long while, if you ask me. But the adults surely indulged in this caffeine-boost of a drink as much as we wanted.



Fried Rice with Pineapple and Curry (around Php 160). Quite spicy, sour and sweet at the same time because of the pineapples yet transcending that distinct curry flavor all the same. It creates a symphony of flavors in your mouth, so interesting that it urges you to have more. Make sure though that you bring your appetite with you because of the rather ample serving.




Gai Hor Bai Toey (Php 240). For me, Thai meal won't really be complete without chicken in pandan leaves. Although the Jatujak version didn't really stand out from the other ones I've had before, eating this dish is always a welcome reprieve from the mundane, daily eating routine. The process of unwrapping the chicken, is in itself a test of patience; but, in the end it has proven itself to be worth all the energy and the wait.



Kao Niew Mauang (PHP 85). Sticky rice with mango. I think that if the sticky rice was served a little warmer and with a little more sauce than usual, it exhibited the potential of making it into my all-time favorite desserts list.



Jatujak
Level 4, The Block
SM North Edsa
Phone 442-03-54

For more information about Thailand, just "like" Amazing Thailand on Facebook.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Published Article: Pretty Pregnant

You can be pregnant and stay pretty at the same time. Whoever said that you have to pick one is seriously mistaken. I learned that while writing this article for Moms & Babies (now called Moms Today), sister publication of Health Today. I do hope that you'll enjoy reading it as much as I had fun writing it. 





Hugs and kisses to my dear friend Mars Cel! Stay as pretty pregnant as you already are!

Happy reading!

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