Monday, May 30, 2011

What's Cooking: Hainanese Chicken

The Hainanese Chicken Rice is originally a Chinese dish from the Hainan province, it was made of a whole chicken simmered in chicken or pork stock that they reuse multiple times, adding water only when needed. The chicken is paired off with flavorful, oily rice cooked in chicken stock. The dish was later on brought to Malaysia and Singapore where it was given new twists. 

I first got a taste of the Hainanese Chicken Rice at the Marriott Hotel in Cebu when I was in college. My sister introduced me to this gingery delight she first tasted in Singapore. I am not a big fan of ginger but when I tasted the juicy chicken meat, the plump, jellied chicken-skin  and the gingery soup, I was hooked. As with first kisses, it was the dish that I would judge every Hainanese Chicken Rice against.  

I have been trying to imitate the taste and used my husband-then-boyfriend as my test subject until it became one of his favorite dishes. He actually became quite the expert in tasting the "perfect" Hainanese although he enjoys his rice plain and unflavored. For this recipe I will only be cooking the chicken in Singaporean style, because honestly I do not know how to cook rice without a rice cooker. (Yes, I'm a bad, bad Asian).  

The closest I have come to imitating the "Marriott Hainanese" was last night, I changed up some of the ingredients a bit and here's What's Cooking


1 (about 1kg) whole fat chicken 
1/2 cup rock salt (for cleaning)
6 inch ginger, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 stalk leeks cut in long strips 
2-3 liters of water
2 tbsp sesame oil
5 tbsp fish sauce
crushed pepper corns
salt to taste
1 tbsp sesame oil for brushing
kinchay or Chinese parsley for garnishing

Large bowl of iced water


1. The trick to a really good Hainanese is to have a really fat, flavorful and clean chicken. Wash the chicken properly and take a handful of rock salt and rub it all over the chicken. Give the chicken a "mini-facial" and scrub it gently with the salt to "exfoliate" the gunk away. Wash the chicken again and pat dry to reveal the tight, clean, nice pores. Be careful not to tear the skin or bruise the skin, with a small sharp knife, cut away the excess fat and set aside.

2. Rub the chicken with a tablespoon of rock salt both inside the cavity and on the skin. Stuff the garlic, half of the ginger and leeks inside the chicken. Some use scallions or spring onions but I find that leeks have a milder, sweeter flavor so I am going with my gut, since . . . well, it's my kitchen. 

3.Place the "stuffed" chicken inside a pot, toss in the rest of the aromatics as well as the fish sauce, pepper corns and excess chicken fat. Fill the pot with water, it  should be covering the entire chicken. Put the pot in medium heat until the water begins to boil, then turn down the heat to bring it to a simmer. The chicken needs to simmer for about 30 minutes, partially covered. Never at any point should it be allowed to boil, boiling will cause the bones to darken and overcook the chicken. So NOT cool!

4.Remove the scum that float to the surface as the pot simmers. Resist the urge to constantly poke or stir the pot, this will result in a cloudy stock. Be patient. I am not THAT patient and I couldn't stand still in the kitchen for 30 minutes to save my life BUT, for the perfect white chicken. . . BE PATIENT, you pot-stirrer you!

5. After about 25 minutes, use a tooth pick and prick the inside part of the chicken leg, if the water runs clear then you are good to go. Remove the chicken from heat and allow to sit in a covered pot for about 5 to 10 minutes. 

6. Using 2 big ladles or slotted spoons , lift the chicken from the pot and drop it on your ice bath to stop the cooking process, this will also give the chicken skin that nice, jelly like consistency. Note that I mentioned using a ladle. Using thongs, forks or even lifting the chicken by the legs won't work, they just tear the skin and can even cause your chicken to take a dive in the ice bath giving you an unnecessary bath. 

7. The chicken should cool in about 3 minutes, remove it from the iced water, cut in half and slice across the breast. You can remove the rib cage if you are up to it, Chinese chef's chop them up bones and all. Plate your dish, brush the chicken with sesame oil, top with parsley and serve with steamed rice and 3 Hainanese Chicken sauces 

Ooops: Don't forget about your stock, serve it together with the Hainanese Chicken. I like to drizzle some of the soup on top of steamed rice for more flavor. 

Now what shall I cook next, any suggestions?! Let me know in the comments sections. 


3 Sauces for Hainanese Chicken Rice

In this week's What's Cooking Series, I made some real mean Hainanese Chicken Rice. Something I rarely cook since it takes a bit of work compared to the usual stir fry. For a more restaurant-feel experience, whip up these easy dipping sauces to pair with your Hainanese Chicken Rice. It will seem like you have been slaving for hours ;-)

For the Sweet Soy Sauce (yields 1 cup)
1/2 cup regular soy sauce
5 tbsp of brown sugar

In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the brown sugar in half a cup of soy sauce. Bring to a boil and let the sugar caramelize. This will take about 7 minutes until you have a slightly thicker consistency. Once cooled it will turn into this salty-sweet syrup that can be paired with Hainanese Chicken or different kinds of satay.

For the Ginger Sauce(yields 1 1/2 cup)
1 cup grated ginger
2 cloves grated garlic
2-3 drops of sesame oil
1 1/2 cup canola oil

Simply take some ginger, peel off the bark and use a cheese or vegetable grater to produce about a cup, add 2 cloves of garlic, also grated. In a small saucepan over medium fire, heat some canola oil, add the ginger and the garlic. Do not allow the aromatics to brown, turn the heat low, simmer for 2 minutes and store in a bottle. This will keep for about 3 weeks and can also be used for stir-fries or ginger substitute. 

For the Chilli Sauce
10 red hot siling labuyo or Bird's Eye chilli peppers
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp calamansi or lime juice
3-4 tbsp stock from the chicken (can be substituted with bullion stock)
pinch of salt

All you need for this is a trusty blender. Simply put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, zap it a couple of time until everything is blended together and forms a sauce. If you want it oily like me, cook the chilli sauce in some canola oil until brown. Be warned that this is not for the faint of heart  or for the house without an exhaust. Chilli fume is a killer!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5 Tips to Building Toddler Self-Esteem


Being a parent is like being a potter, you can not just expect the clay to form itself  into a piece of art. You have to throw, jigger, jolley and fire up the pot in a kiln before it can come out strong and beautiful. Before, I talked about giving my daughter a "voice" and how important it is for the child to be recognized. Another thing that I want to give my child is self-esteem. It seems that it is not so important, as let's say a good education, food and shelter, but for me it is every bit important that she learns at an early age that she has worth. 
I am currently re-reading one of my favorite parenting books, "What to Expect the Toddler Years" and found a piece about toddler self-esteem. It says that kids who have high self-esteem are less likely to give in to peer pressure, drugs and other self-destructive behaviors. They are also able to handle themselves well in tough situations and build meaningful relationships with others. Here are some tips I've picked up to help build toddler self-esteem.

Love and Attention 

Hearing the words "I love you" is one of the most important things for a child. People generally feel good about themselves if they know that they are loved. Aside from showing and telling your child that you love him/her, paying attention to what he/she does is also important, this tells your kid that he is important. The next time your child runs to you to show you a drawing, a tower of block or even a frog pay attention to what he is showing and saying. It's not enough to just say "wow!" and then look away, pay genuine attention. Sure, you'll have to stop what you are doing, sure you have a deadline, sure the mommy blog ain't gonna write itself, but for your kid he/she is showing something important to the most important person in his/her life. Besides a few minutes away from whatever it is making you busy won't kill you. 

Don't Hover

Being a WAHM, I'm with my kid all the time, always within view or earshot just in case she needs help or gets into trouble. Although, it is a good set up in keeping my girl safe I realized that my constant hovering is not good for her because it made her too dependent on me. Always being there to give assistance  before it is asked for can hamper self-motivation. The child is no longer motivated to do anything such packing away toys, finishing a drawing or building blocks because he/she knows that mommy is always there to do it for him/her. Along with self-motivation, the feeling of satisfaction and confidence that goes with achieving something also flies out the window. Let your child do things on his/her own, make a mess and make mistakes because its the way they learn. It can be quite a challenge for a new mom with an only child, but if I want my daughter to learn that she can do things and achieve something I have to give her space too. 

Don't Compare

If you grew up being compared to a sibling or to other people, you know how bad that feels. Imagine what that feeling would do to a toddler. Saying things like, "Why can't you behave like your classmates?" or "Look, that is finished his vegetables, why can't you" hurts your toddlers pride and it's not fair because each person is different and there is no point in doing it. Often times comparing your kid to other people's kids is a mommy-envy issue and not really your kid's problem. So, grow up mom!

Put Your Expectations in Check

Every parent thinks that his child is gifted, the smartest kid on the block. Often this leads to unbalanced expectations and frustration when the child is not able to speak, recognize letters and numbers, write or even go to the potty. Your frustration is very obvious to your child and it makes him/her feel like a failure and that does not make him achieve things any faster.Remember that your kid is a toddler and can not be expected to do things at your pace. On the other hand being too forgiving in your expectations can also prevent your kid from trying hard and giving his best. The trick is to find the balance and recognize what skills does a kid at his age often posses and what skills does he currently have. Keeping this things in mind, provide challenges that are realistically attainable, be consistent about rules and limits,  this will help boost self-esteem and help your child achieve and sometimes even exceed his goals. 

Criticize Behavior
This is often easier said than done, especially when you get angry but saying the wrong thing can often do permanent damage to your toddler's confidence. When a child hits a playmate or throws a toy, do not say "You're a bad girl" or God forbid "Your a pain in the ass!" this does NOT help at all. Say something that addresses the situation like "It is not nice to hit people" or "I'm surprised you threw your toy, it's not like you to do that". In building toddler self-esteem it is important for the child to know that the parent's love will not decrease because he misbehaved and that it is the "act" that you did not approve of and not the child.  

It's not easy to build self-esteem, it is fleeting and sometimes even adults struggle with it. There are days when you simply feel bad about yourself but the trick is being resilient and bouncing back. Showing your child that your love is unconditional and that you appreciate him/her will go a long way in building toddler self-esteem and help your child grow up to be a confident, self-respecting individual.  

What other parenting topics do you want to read about? Let me know in the comments section ;-)

Reference: Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff and SSandee E. Hathaway,  What to Expect the Toddler Years (New York: New York, 1994) 292 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dimsum Overload at Wai Ying Fast Food

A few weeks ago hubby decided to give me the "Grand Manila Tour" and  showed me around Intramuros and Fort Santiago for my mommy's-day-out. In the spirit of immersing ourselves in the feel of downtown Manila, hubby and I decided to look for something to eat in the area. Since our ultimate comfort food is always dim sum, we decided to check out this much talked about Chinese fast food, Wai Ying in Binondo. We didn't know how to get there, so we rang up our friend and Binondo map to give us instructions. We took a cab and after a couple turns and pointless weaving in and out of street corners, we decided to go on foot and ask the locals. 

We found Wai Ying Fastfood at the corner of Benavidez and Salazar streets in Ongpin, it was a nondescript hole in the wall with a bunch of umbrella fruit carts parked in front. The place was a bit narrow but it had 2 floors and smelled like the stuff foodie legends are made of. There was brewing coffee and tea, the smell of roasting duck and steam coming from a collection of bamboo steamers. It was actually a bit dirty, the floor was a bit sticky and there were no signs of a high-chair. It did not seem like a kid-friendly restaurant and looked more like an air- conditioned canteen, but it was packed with people, some were even standing while waiting for other patrons to finish.  Plus, we were hungry and there was the unmistakable scent of yummy dim sum in the air.  

As soon as we got seated, the server a.k.a "Ate" (older sister) gave us our chopsticks, plates, bowls, other utensils and two steaming glasses of their service tea, probably Oolong but it was so diluted, I couldn't tell anymore. Their menu is incredibly cheap with dumplings starting at Php55, mami at Php 95 and rice toppings at Php 140. Patrons can even buy frozen dumplings to bring and cook at home.

The first thing we ordered was the White Chicken Mami, it had the thin Hong Kong noodles that I really like and at first I thought there was just one piece of chicken but as we dug deep in the bowl, there were actually about 6-8 very tender pieces. The soup was very comforting, just the right amount of seasoning, we did not need to put any patis  or pepper.  
White Chicken Mami @ Php 95.00
The Siomai had chunks of pork and whole shrimps and compared to others I've tasted this one is probably one of the best. 

Siomai @ Php 60.00
The Hakaw was absolutely divine, the wrapper was paper thin but still strong enough to hold the lightly flavored soft-egg dough and several pieces of  sweet whole shrimps. I can eat maybe 2 or three orders on my own if I unbuttoned my pants. 
Hakaw @ Php 65.00
The meal would not be complete without hubby's favorite, Steamed Spareribs. It was good, tasted like the usual steamed spareribs, but this one had more meat in it and at Php 55.00 I am not complaining. 
Steamed Spareribs @ Php 55.00
We also tried the Chiu Chiao Dumpling that neither of us have ever tried before. It had peanuts, pork, ginger and scallions wrapped in a  slightly thick but translucent sticky rice case. The dumpling was huge, I had to eat it in several bites, it was juicy with a hint of sesame, it was so good that i did not even use the dipping sauces because I didn't want to spoil the flavor. 
Chiu Chao Dumpling @ Php 55.00

Of course a meal is never complete without rice so we got  Fried Rice, one order was enough for two people and it was served in a cute wok. It sort of tasted like Yang Chow Fried Rice but the flavor was  mild that it did not interfere with the rest of our food. 
Fried Rice @ Php 70.00
It was one of those meals that Hubby and I rarely spoke to each other, if we did the most we said was "mmmmm"!We paid only a total of Php 460.00 and we were stuffed, happy and definitely coming back sans the toddler.  

Mom Foodie Verdict:

Food - 5/5
Service - 3/5
Ambiance - 2/5
Value - 4/5
Kid Friendly- 2/5 
Average Price/Meal per person -  Php 150.00

Wai Ying Tea HouseSta. Cruz
927 Benavidez St., Sta. Cruz
Manila, Metro Manila
(02) 254-3326
Open Daily 10:30 am-2:00 am


Monday, May 23, 2011

My Yummy Adventure at YUMMYEats!

An ingenious culinary adventure! That's how I would describe YUMMYeats, the first ever cooking and eating fair by YUMMY Magazine, held last Saturday, May 21 at the NBC Tent at The Fort. The event featured cooking demos, a cook-off and THE most amazing array of sweet and savory treats from the best concessionaires especially chosen by Yummy magazine. 

Photos courtesy of BisayainManila
I already had a good feeling going to the event, since it was my mommy's-day-out and I also won free tickets from Yummy's FB page. I took my friend, BisayainManila and we could already feel the excitement in the air as we saw the FIC(Fruits in Ice Cream) truck outside the NBC tent, greeted by Yummy staff and met Ms. Minnete Aquino of Yummy as she handed us our tickets. 

From outside the exhibit area, my nose already got a whiff of something good and at the risk of sounding PG (patay-gutom)  I have to say that after all the free food, I had no more room left in my tummy to spare and my palms were numb from clapping. Yes, I make strange noises and clap when I eat something yummy. Get your mind out of the gutter and take a look at my mouthwatering picks. 

Before anything else, let me say that I am a certified carnivore but when I got to taste of Pipino Vegetarian Food's Mac n' Cheeze and Tofu Lasagne I am willing to convert and forget all about meat. The Mac n' Cheeze was absolutely cheesy, it had just the right amount of saltiness with a hint of cream and butter. I thought it was loaded with cheddar but I was surprised to learn that it was actually flavored with yeast and that it did not contain any animal products. The tofu lasagna was light with a burst of fresh basil and the tofu was very soft and mildly flavored, even non-tofu lovers will like this dish. Their restaurant is located at 39 Malingap St., Teachers Village, QC. For reservations you can call  4411773 and they are open from 11am-2pm and 5pm onwards everyday. My carnivore husband will take some convincing but I plan to bring him there for a full-on review. 

Tina's is a well known stop for Mercato enthusiasts for their savory and frozen meringue pies. When I got a taste of their Mangoes and Roasted Macadamia Nuts Frozen Meringue I understood what the buzz was all about. The meringue was light, fluffy and not too sweet with the delicate flavor of mangoes, the crunch from the roasted macadamia completes the dessert. Since it is not too sweet, I love that I can eat a lot without feeling guilty. For more info on these yummy treats, you can check them out on Facebook

I have often seen their stall in Greenhills Theater Mall but it's the first time I've tried their famous crispy chicken chops. The breading was really crispy and not too thick and the chicken breast itself  was really well seasoned, you get all the flavor without the fat and there's no need for gravy.

Divine Desserts

If somebody offers you a Wasabi Kitkat Mousse, can you really say NO? Absolutely NOT! At first I thought I'd dread it, but it was actually very sweet with a slight wasabi nudge as opposed to a kick. What I would come back for though is the Double Fudge Cake, the chocolate just melts in your mouth but it doesn't overpower making you want more. For a taste of their delectable desserts, you can visit their store at 148 Katipunan Ave. or give them a call at 9139875 for deliveries. 

I always reserve the best for last and my absolute favorite is Chef Bruce Lim's deconstructed Buko(Coconut) Pie Margarita. It's not an alcoholic drink but a classic buko pie with a modern day twist. I absolutely love it and would never look at buko pie the same way again. The top layer of the dessert  is a velvety smooth mix of buko and cream that tasted almost like macapuno. At the bottom you get the crumbled cookie dough crust, the flavors swirled around my mouth and I was 6 again. It was absolutely to die for, I am not a big buko pie fan but if the Buko Pie Margarita was a man and I was single, I'd marry it! 

Some more Yummy eats!

Mochiko Ice Cream Filled Mochi @ Php 70
A Selection of Cheese from President

WhaPAO Crafty Oven-Baked Meat Buns

Calamansi Squares and Sugar Cookies from Classic Confections and Frozen Caramel from Amaya

From Top Left: The Great Adobo Open by Pinoy Eats World, Jamon de Trevelles by Kusina Teatro, General's Lechon and Assortment of Savory Treats from Divine Desserts

From Top Left: Merry Moo featured Earl Grey and Salt&Caramel Ice Cream, The Fruit Garden, Simply Pie

An inviting fondant cake from Little Miss OC

The cutest little cupcakes form Little Miss OC

Till' next YUMMY adventure!

*For a full list of participants click here.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Be Quiet! Tell Me What You Want! Right Now!

I love my mom, God rest her soul, but she was one confusing lady. She raised me in the traditional Filipino sense she got from her parents. She grew up in the age where children "obey" their parents and do as they are told without complains or they'd get whipped, made to kneel in a bed of mung beans or sent to the convent. When I was a kid and I misbehaved, she would often give me the evil look that would signal the end of days and it meant I should stop what ever it was I was doing. If that did not work, she would reprimand me. 

Mom: Stop that! Be quiet! (Tumigil ka! Wag ma-ingay!)
Me: . . .
Mom: You are so naughty! Do you want to get hurt? (Ang likot-likot mo! Gusto mong masaktan?)
Me: . . .
Mom: Why are you not talking? Explain yourself! ( Bakit di ka nagsasalita? Sagot!

I was always confused by her and what she wanted, did she really want me to obey and shut up or did she really want me to say something?! One good thing about her was that she never hit me or made me kneel on mung beans. However, when she gave me the evil look, I did not really understand what it was, I was doing wrong and I guess she really did not understand WHY I did what I did. As a result I was a timid child, always did what I was told, often quiet and even bullied at times. When I reached puberty, rebellion kicked in, I was surprised to find I had a voice and I used it brutally. 

A voice, this is what I want to give my child, the most basic of children's rights. The right to have a voice in the things that affect her. I want her to know that her ideas, feelings and opinions matter , and that she can come to me and know that I will acknowledge her. The other day I told my husband something I realized, a child who is heard and acknowledged is less likely to rebel because they know that they can come to you with anything.  

Does this mean I will sacrifice discipline just so she can speak up and do whatever she wants? Heck no! I'm a mother, not a saint! The trick that I am still trying to learn and practice is explaining the rules to her and getting her to understand why they are important. Of course, I do not expect her to follow them perfectly 100% of the time, or how else will she learn, right? 

Everyday, for my daughter, I try to be a better version of my mother and myself and its a hard battle. Richard Grossman, Ph.D author of The Three  Rules of Parenting, says parents sometimes compare themselves favorably to their own parents, and indeed they often do a better job. But what is often necessary is not just doing a better job, but stepping out of the box and seeing the parenting role in a completely different way. Parents often learn that their voice was not heard, and they are struggling to regain agency by having their children listen to them. Tragically, this "backwards parenting" can be passed on from generation to generation.

Whenever I find it difficult to listen to my child, I try to follow The Three  Rules of Parenting:
  • Assume that what my child has to say about the world is just as important as what I have to say.
  • Assume that I can learn as much from her as she can from me.
  • Enter her world through play, activities, discussions: don't require her to enter mine in order to make contact.

As a mom, I'm still a work in progress and that's okay, some of the most interesting pieces of art simply are. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Manila Mommy Lost in Manila

I am a certified Manila  mommy, born and raised in the metro but for some reason I get lost in Manila. If  by some bad luck I get left in the middle of Divisoria or Quiapo and there are no cabs, I'm totally done for. Expect my stupid face plastered all over next morning's tabloid. So, for what feels like a month-long Mother's Day celeb, my amazing, one-of-a-kind hubby decided to give me the grand Manila tour reserved mostly for tourists. FYI my husband was born and raised in Cebu, spent part of his childhood in Negros and Germany and only came here when we got married.

First stop: Casa Manila in Intramuros

We took a cab from our place to Intramuros (walled city) and the cab driver a.k.a "Manong" gave us a brief history lesson as we passed by the streets of Avenida. Apparently Manong was the former President of PASANG MASDA during Martial Law and he had loads to tell about picket lines, protests and pill boxes. The cab fare reached about Php 160 but when hubby handed Php200 Manong simply said "Thank You". Yeah, Php40 for the tip. I feel like a tourist already! 

We decided to walk it out instead of getting the usual "tourist tour". A tour around Intramuros would cost around Php150 on a pedicab (a bicycle with a covered sidecar) and a whopping Php700 if you want to ride a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage), or you can opt for a discounted rate of Php350 for 30 minutes. There are also guided tours, the most famous of which is done by Carlos Celdran

When we went inside Casa Manila I remembered being in this place as a kid to watch my sister's play, way back in the early 90's. The entire upper floor was turned into a museum that showcased colonial life, entrance for the museum was Php50 for students/kids and Php75 for adults. We spent most of our time walking around the courtyard of the casa. I had fun taking pictures with my new toy, hubby's Mother's day gift, an Olympus SP-800 Semi-pro digicam ;-)

Second Stop: Fort Santiago

After a few minutes walking around Intramuros and taking a bunch of practice shots, our tummies began begging for food. Hubby suggested we go to Fort Santiago first before we eat since I have'nt been there before. Again, you might be thinking that I should have been there during my grade school field trip but nope, never been there before, ever! The sun was already scorching mad at about 10:30 am so we decided to take a pedicab to Fort Santiago which cost about Php30 for two people. The entrance for Fort Santiago was again Php75 for adults and Php50 for kids. 

Fort Santiago was a defense fortress built for Spanish conquistadors, this was also the place where Jose Rizal waited for his execution. Walking around and knowing that so much history happened on that place made me proud of my heritage. I was also amazed by the fact that there were actually a lot of trees, right smack in the middle of Manila. 

Last Stop Before Lunch: Manila Cathedral 

In my thirty something years, I have never been to a wedding at Manila Cathedral. For some reason my friends often opt to get married elsewhere, mostly in Cebu one was even in Tagaytay but never at the Manila Cathedral. I am not Catholic either so I have never been, but since we were already there, we figured we'd take a look. I didn't really go further in but from what I saw outside and the Pieta reproduction, the church was indeed magnificent. The photos do not really do it justice. 

Hunger Strikes: Wai Ying

It was almost noon and our tummies were already begging for some dimsum. After all that walking and flirting with each other like co-eds hubby and I finally started to look for something to eat. I remembered that my foodie friend BisayainManila keeps mentioning this authentic Chinese restaurant in Binondo but we had no idea what the place was called and how to get there. We called her en route and she was able to give us super precise instructions of how to go around Binondo and grab some good eats. I will give a review of Wai ying on the next post. 

So there I was, a Manila mommy lost in Manila with a Cebuano hubby leading the way and a Bisaya friend who became my instant Google Map of Binondo. I am most definitely a tourist no more. If I were to rate the day as well as my tour guide, I'd give it five stars!!! Not so much for the tour or food but mostly for the flirting. Yeah, definitely liked the flirting!


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Monday, May 16, 2011

'Tsek' for Exclusive Breastfeeding

Mommy bloggers with ASEC Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial of the Department of Health and Dr. Anthony Calibo, Supervising Officer of Essential Newborn Care, Family Health Office (DOH) and Vicki Pastoriza and her team from Campaigns Cebu
Breastfeeding is a milestone event for every new mom and her child. Knowing that there is a life depending on you for love, affection, nutrition and survival is a badge that moms proudly wear. However, one of the most challenging moments for a new mother is being able to breastfeed successfully and exclusively. Recognizing this the Department of Health (DOH) launched  Breastfeeding TSEK: Tama, Sapat, Eksklusibo Campaign to address the needs of the breastfeeding mom and create awareness in the family, society and business sector.
The campaign aims to educate everyone about the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding and the right way to go about it. TSEK stands for:

Tama - immediately and appropriately breastfeed within one hour of birth
Sapat - mother's milk is sufficient in nutrients and quantity for the baby up to six months
Eksklusibo - exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life,not giving baby anything, not even water.

ASEC Paulyn Jean Rossel-Ubial of DOH made a call of support to parent bloggers to spread the word and help empower parents through a Bloggers Engagement at the Alejandra Hotel in Makati, last Saturday, May 14, 2011. Dr. Anthony Calibo of EINC explained the program in detail, including the harsh side effects of formula feeding that milk companies are not telling mothers.

Exclusive breastfeeding’ means that mothers feed the baby nothing else but breast milk-no water, other liquid, infant formula, or food for the first six months of life. When they said that breastmilk is still best for babies, nothing could be more true! Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients needed by babies to develop and be protected from illness.

Here in the Philippines, even though mothers are well aware of breastfeeding benefits, only one of every six infants are exclusively breastfed for first six months of life and although about 85 percent of newborns undergo breastfeeding, only half of them continued to be breastfed exclusively. 

One of the main reasons is that young mothers do not have the support that they need from day one of giving birth up to the time that they go back to work. Hospitals and birthing facilities that should be the first ones to promote this are not doing enough to help mommies and babies get a good start at breast feeding. My sister who lives in the U.S. told me that when she had her kids, the hospital gave her breastfeeding lessons, before and after giving birth. When her babies were born, they were immediately brought to her to latch on. ASEC Ubial's sister who also gave birth in the U.S had her baby brought to her every two hours, as she was assisted to breastfeed.

Here in the Philippines, although hospitals are now promoting rooming in and they say that they are a breastfeeding hospital, you would be so lucky to get a pamphlet about breastfeeding. Some hospitals even feed newborns formula, while mommy is out at the recovery area. Tsk tsk tsk! (Yup! Happened to me and Sofie!)

For the working mom, aside from the silly fact that maternity leave is just for 2-3 months for mom and 7 days for dads, not all establishments are equipped with a breastfeeding room. If you need to express milk, the options can be narrowed down to the rest room, an empty office cubicle if you're lucky or more often, moms just let them flow and give their babies formula at home.

The DOH Breastfeeding TSEK campaign is not just for mothers, it is for every body else who should be helping the moms out and empowering them, instead of helping the infant milk companies.It also aims to revive the Milk Code (EO 51) or the National Code of Marketing of breastmilk substitutes, breastmilk supplements and related products that was signed into law by then President Corazon Aquino.

Milk companies market their product by saying that their milk contains DHA, ARA, Taurine and other what not that's supposed to help your child become a "gifted" child or a "batang may laban", the fact is all of these things are present in moms breastmilk and its free. Formula milk also causes a strain in the babie's livers and kidneys.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Must See Event: YummyEATS

As I said before I am a crazy Yummy magazine reader, foodie, chef-wanna-be, and I'd be nuts if I let May 21, 2011 pass by without attending YummyEATS. It is the biggest food event of the year complete with good eats, a cook-off and  various cooking demos. The best thing about it, I just won free tickets for me and a friend!!! I'll be taking my gorgeous foodie friend BisayaInManila

To get in enthusiast only need to pay P150 and if you bring a copy of the May issue of YUMMY are entitled to a discounted entrance fee of P100. Everything is happening on May 21 at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City. Mangia bene!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Job Has the Greatest Perks!

When I decided to quit my career and be a work-at-home mommy, I took a big leap and met a lot of apprehensions both from myself and other people. Some think that staying-at-home is a death sentence, that I could die of boredom, some may have even thought that giving up my job was a crazy cop out.  And there I was only thinking about my shoes and how I don't have anywhere to wear them anymore, I can't very well play tag with my kid in 3-inch stilettos. Only Victoria Beckham does that and live to tell about it.

Whatever the misconceptions are about stay-at-home moms and work-at-home moms, I really do not care about it anymore. Yes, I am not paid by the hour and yes, I traded my nice spacious cubicle for a laptop and computer table laden with my kids toys (sometimes even my kid) but this job has the greatest perks. 
  • I do not have overtime pay, but I have time to be a mom and a wife. 
  • I do not have an octel, but I get to be there to kiss away every booboo 
  • I do not have a fancy Makati office address or a fancy title, but somehow potty training triumphs seem far more important.   
  • I am not paid in money but in kisses and warm words of  I love you. 
  • At the end of the day, nothing beats "Oh Mommy, you're a queen" from my kid and "Thanks, lab" from hubby. 
  My Mother's Day Perks

Chillin' at Subic Bay 
Zoobic Safari Adventure with my family
Trying my hand at baking
A cupcake monster who eats everything!

mommy moments


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