Posted on | October 18, 2014 | 1 Comment
Hainanese chicken is a Singaporean dish that is also popular in the Philippines because of its delicate savoury flavour. The idea of rice steamed in the flavourful cooking broth of the chicken itself also makes your average Asian postgrad student easily hungry. Recipes for Hainanese chicken usually involve multi-step and alternating hot-and-cold “shocking” baths for the chicken to get its silky smooth texture just like the ones sold at the hawker centres.
On a Friday afternoon, with my courses done for the day, I realised that I had a lot of time on my hands. Meanwhile, the Crock Pot™ slow cooker that my sister sent over was waiting to be put through its paces. I tried searching for Hainanese chicken recipes designed specifically for a slow cooker, but couldn’t find any. So I decided to adapt one from the recipe Singaporean Hainanese Chicken Rice by Pat on Allrecipes.com.au. Read more
Posted on | October 6, 2014 | 1 Comment
IT WAS DURING one light moment at work that a question popped into my head: what should be the next step in my career path? Almost five years after I graduated from medical school, I found myself neither practicing in a hospital nor running my own clinic. My doctor classmates were already finishing their specialisations one by one. I am thankful for my very fulfilling and fruitful engagements with the Philippine Department of Health as a consultant in USAID’s Health Policy Development Project, but I could no longer put the “next step” questions off.
Would it be worth the time and effort to study another degree? I thought, yes – because health policy is not exactly part of the medical curriculum. Where shall I study? I have always been a student of the national university – the University of the Philippines. But maybe it is time to go global. And then the most crucial of all items on the checklist: will I be able to leave family and friends for a prolonged period? It will definitely not be easy, but for any change to occur some unsettling will have to happen.
I was looking for opportunities to study abroad that are both economical and prestigious. I hoped for a scholarship that would cover most (if not all) expenses – tuition, travel, and costs of living. I would not be able to work while in full time study, and I also had my old parents to help support. Many scholarships would often disqualify me because of income status; but I definitely did not belong to a socioeconomic class who could pay for their own international studies. I also wanted to be recognised on the basis of hard-earned merit, a good reputation, and most importantly, my slightly jaded but still standing dreams of fixing the mess that my country is in.
I found a great package offered by the British; I chose to become a Filipino Chevening Scholar. I applied around the fourth quarter of 2013. By June of this year, I got in. Read more
Posted on | September 21, 2014 | No Comments
On this day of remembering the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines, I usually avoid commenting. “Edralin” being my middle name, I usually get a few puns at the least and backbiting flak at the most. But please indulge me this time.
I find that the misplaced reminiscing for an allegedly better Marcos era due to “discipline” is a product of frustration over today’s abuse of the freedoms we Filipinos enjoy. Certain freedoms are availed of using double standards, as in the recent case of harassment perpetrated upon the DBM Secretary which it seems is being wrongly cloaked under the “freedom of expression.” Then there is the very much abused “freedom of the press,” where our media institutions are either lobotomising the population by showing senseless or mundane material (think the latest brawls by showbiz) or wantonly manipulating people for a particular political interest. Many shady deals or even crimes are also perpetrated in the name of the “right to privacy” which is a freedom in itself – as when unscrupulous government officials hide their wealth under bank secrecy laws and the like.
We should understand that the interpretation and use of “freedom” need not be in the extreme. There are many variants in between maximum discipline (as during Martial Law), and maximum freedom – aka, anarchy. I hope for that understanding to come soon, and for the abuses of freedom to cease.
But going back to the occasion which is 21 September, and with both familial and fraternal (we are Brods in the Upsilon Sigma Phi, as with Ninoy) respect for Ferdinand E. Marcos, I still maintain that #NeverAgain should that dark era of Martial Law be repeated.