Huwebes, Hulyo 12, 2012

Weird Post

I stumbled upon this interesting article on a leading daily here in the Philippines so I thought I might as well blog it since it kind of challenges  the credence of science or shall I say blurs the usually bold line between science and pseudoscience. Hashtag #truth_is_stranger _than_fiction.

By: Jaime Licauco
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Have you ever noticed the  instant attraction and rapport you feel with people you meet for the first time? How about the  instant repulsion between you and someone you just met?
This is due to soul memory of past life encounters with that person, which your mind cannot understand but which your soul never forgets. The soul retains the memory of every significant event that happened to it in previous lives.

Although Christianity rejects the concept of reincarnation, that a person can have multiple rebirths on the earth plane, it is an accepted fact by such older religions as Hinduism and Buddhism. In fact, the very core of their belief revolves around reincarnation and its companion concept of karma.
The idea that people have lived previous lives is rejected by many in this country not only because of the Christian religion but also because of the seemingly strong argument that no one has ever recalled his past lives and verified them.
This is not true at all. There are fully documented and verified recollections of past life by people of varied social, economic and academic backgrounds.
The late Dr. Ian Stevenson, head of the Psychiatry Department at the University of Virginia, investigated and documented at least 2,000 cases of spontaneous recall of past lives by children ages 3-12. He systematically followed each child’s soul memory through several lifetimes and verified them.
If a child says he/she was named such and such, lived and died in a particular country, Dr. Stevenson would trace that child’s life in that country and often he would find them to be true and accurate, although the child had never set foot in that country in this present  life.
Dr. Stevenson chose to study children who have had spontaneous recall of their past lives, rather than adults, because he said  children are more truthful about what they have seen and felt and they have not traveled much and read so many books to be influenced by them. Of course, this was at a time  the Internet was not yet pervasive.
Shanti Devi
One of the most extraordinary cases Dr. Ian Stevenson investigated and documented was that of an Indian child,  Shanti Devi.
When she was only 5, she told her mother that her name was not Shanti Devi but Lugdi Devi and that she died giving birth to her second child. Her mother dismissed Shanti’s story as a product of a child’s imagination.
When she was 9, Shanti insisted on going back to Mathura, the village where she had lived as Lugdi Devi. It was more than 50 miles away from where she lived in her present life.
One day, a man from the village where Lugdi Devi lived came to the town of Shanti  and met her mother. When her mother inquired if there was indeed a lady named Lugdi Devi who lived in that town and who died giving birth to a child, the man said “yes” and that he knew the family very well.
It was at this point that Dr. Stevenson was informed about this case and decided to verify the child’s story by accompanying her to Mathura.
To cut the story short, every detail of what Shanti Devi had told her was confirmed to be true, including such intimate details as how her husband made love to Lugdi Devi.
Rev. Emery
Another documented story is the case of a Protestant minister, Rev. Emery, who did not believe in reincarnation, being a Christian pastor. Rev. Emery was with friends touring the ancient sites in Egypt.
While the group was climbing the Great Pyramid at Giza, Rev. Emery stopped at the middle; he was perspiring profusely and had a terrified look.
Unknown to the group, what Rev. Emery was seeing was himself, as one of the slaves building the pyramid. At the exact spot where he stood, he saw a stone they were pulling up turn loose, landing on him and killing him on the spot.
The fact that he was at the very spot where he died in a previous life brought back the soul memory of his past life as a slave in ancient Egypt.
From that point on, Rev. Emery recalled every place they went to  and would even tell his companions what they would find or see, and he was never wrong. From that time on, Rev. Emery, a Christian minister, changed his view about reincarnation and became a firm believer.
Jaime T. Licauco, is a parapsychologist, author, and management practitioner in the Philippines. He is the Founder and President of the Inner Mind Development Institute, a training center for parapsychologyphilosophy, psychic investigation, andmetaphysics.

Huwebes, Hulyo 5, 2012

ADOBO: A Different side of Asian cuisine

Having the most adventurous taste buds on the planet (in my opinion at least) I have tasted almost the most bizaare of foods in this corner of the world -- South East Asia/East Asia. From the uber mouthwatering durian to the gastronomically stimulating Korean kimchi I've tasted them all (that's a claim haha).
In my native Philippines we do also have a lot of interesting culinary delights at par with the culinary powerhouses of Thailand and Japan -- now you know. Though not as popular as the latter's, it has that distinct character and flavor enough to bring out the culinary zeal in you.

Having been colonized by Spain for more than three centuries, and almost half a century by the United States it is no wonder that ours is a little different and exotic than our neighbors'. Our national dish the 'adobo' is one perfect example of the blending of different tastes, say East meets West perhaps.

"Adobo is the result of the eclectic influences, both regional and historical, that come together in many Filipino dishes. Philippine cooking probably reflects history more than a national cuisine,’’ says Cecilia Florencio, a nutrition professor at the University of the Philippines in Manila.

Even before the Spaniards came, early Filipinos cooked their food minimally by roasting, steaming or boiling. To keep it fresh longer, food was often cooked by immersion in vinegar and salt. Thus, early Filipinos could have been cooking its meat in vinegar, which is the basic process in making adobo.

From the Chinese traders came soy sauce and thus this ingredient found its way into the meat being cooked in vinegar. Salt was slowly taken out from the recipe and replaced with soy sauce. However, there are adobo purists who continue to use salt in their adobo marinade.

The colonization of the Philippines had a big impact on the evolution of Philippine food, and adobo was one of those Spanish-inspired recipes, along with others like morcon, paella, embotido, pochero and caldereta, that have not only survived hundreds of years of popularity but have undergone infusions of other ingredients.

The Spanish influenced our local cooking with their marinades and sauces. Some say that adobo is related, albeit distantly, to adobado, a tasty Spanish concoction that consists of pork loin cured for weeks in olive oil, vinegar and spices and simmered for several hours. But the recipe is quite different.

The Spanish word adobo means seasoning or marinade, according to Wikipedia. The noun form is used to describe the actual marinade or seasoning mix, and the term used for meat or poultry that has been marinated or seasoned with the adobo marinade is referred to as having been adobada. For the grammarians, this is a first-person singular present indicative form of adobar, a verb meaning to marinate.

The old Spanish word adobar could be where the early Filipinos got the word for their most famous dish. In Spanish cuisine, however, adobo refers to a pickling sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, paprika and salt. The word adobo is also used in Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. The Mexican adobo refers to a piquant red sauce made from ground chilies, herbs and vinegar sold canned or jarred. The Caribbean adobo usually refers to a dry rub of garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper.

But the Filipinos’ adobo is the most famous the world over. Filipinos selected their favorite condiments and spices — vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves — used them to stew chicken and/or pork (or mix), and gave it a Spanish name.  

So now you know.

How to Cook Adobo
You'll need:
1 pack chicken (drumsticks- about 12 pieces) or pork tenderloin (cubed about an inch thick)
2 cups lite soy sauce (I used the entire 10 oz. bottle, gave 2 cups)
2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 bulb garlic (10-15 cloves)
Ginger (half the amount of garlic)
4-5 bay leaves
2 tbsps ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola or palm oil
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)

1. Rinse chicken/pork pieces thoroughly.
2. Prepare marinade as follows: Mince/ dice garlic. Mince/dice ginger. Add black pepper. Add bay leaves. Add salt. Add soy sauce. Add vinegar. Stir together thoroughly.
3. Add chicken to marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (I let marinate for 2 hrs or longer).
4. Remove when time is up. Turn heat to medium. Add oil to medium/large pot. Brown chicken pieces on both sides. Once browned, remove and set aside.
5. Mince 5 cloves garlic. Saute in same pot until brown. Add chicken back to pot. Add marinade (you can sieve to remove garlic/ginger bits, but I didn’t). Let cook for an hour till sauce reduces. You can sprinkle a tsp of brown sugar and a pinch of chili powder/ground chilis as it cooks if u want it a little sweet and spicy.
6. Serve on a bed of white rice.