Crispy Kare-Kare At Hukad sa Golden Cowrie

Yesterday was the 4th day of my training and it was horridly stressful. A lot of tools and details were introduced to us and I can truly say that it’s a day of pure information overload. The 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift isn’t easy you know. Anyway, I was so tired and felt like my head’s having an internal hemorrhage, so I call it quits at exactly 7:00 a.m. and sleep. [As I mentioned before in my previous article, I’m working at home so there’s no problem for me to sleep in a snap]

I wasn’t able to sleep 6-8 hours straight due of multiple errands I need to finish throughout the very limited time of my day, so I said, I have to pay myself a good meal simply because I deserve it.

My partner and I were strolling in SM City Bacolod, looking for a good place to have lunch, when we saw a new restaurant which we haven’t tried yet. The place is called Hukad sa Golden Cowrie. We got in there and checked their menu. Basically, they’re serving native Filipino foods typically served during fiesta.

There’s a lot of dishes to choose from! Since it’s our first time to try their dish, we asked the waiter for their specialty, best seller, or the most interesting food they have on the menu. Typically the waiters will say that their specialty is ‘crispy pata’ but of course we don’t believe that ‘coz we all know that they’re just saying since it’s one of the most expensive dishes in the house, in general. Moving forward, the waiter suggested a lot of dishes but what really intrigued us were their Crispy Dinuguan and their Crispy Kare-Kare [as shown in image b. below]. I’ve never tried and never heard before, so we ordered both.

When we got our order, I gotta say I’m not a big fan of their Crispy Dinuguan. It’s outside the ordinary, however, it wasn’t extraordinary. But I also gotta say that I’m impressed with their Crispy Kare-Kare. The traditional Kare-Kare looks like this:

a. Traditional Kare-Kare with Oxtail and Beef Tripe

But look at what we’ve ordered:

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b. Crispy Kare-Kare at Hukad

See the difference? So what they did was, they replaced oxtail and beef tripe with fried pork belly, and then, they deconstructed the whole idea of Kare-kare. Instead of having the veggies, meat, and the sauce altogether, they put it in a platter separately. As you can see, there’s fried pork and blanched veggies on the side, plus the undying presence of Bagoong [fermented shrimp in this case].

Was I surprised? Not really. I’ve seen this idea on TV years ago actually. I’ve seen deconstructed Kare-Kare and Sinigang na Baboy [Pork in Tamarind Based Soup] prepared by one of the celebrity Filipino chefs on TV. The idea wasn’t new but it’s cute. For the taste, I’ll give it an 8 out of 10, ‘coz I’ll give my mom’s recipe a 9 and mine’s a 10! Hah! Just kidding. But yes, I’ll give it a decent 8.5 score, just because I’m still hooked up with the traditional way of cooking it, and I love beef tripe which was actually missing in action in this case. Plus, I would like to have more crushed peanuts on the sauce. But in general, it’s really a good food and I recommend it especially to the tourist visiting Philippines. It’s not traditional but it’s good.

So my day ended up yesterday even if I wasn’t able to buy a Christmas tree, although I was suppose to. I was full and and satisfied with the good food we had. By the way, I also have to mention that their crew is very friendly and accommodating. Those guys deserve commendation. 🙂

How about you? Do you wanna try this out, too?

Create Something Every Day Challenge: Day 7

What if you have your very own, customized, tailor-fitted life manual made especially for you, by YOU!


Me too!

Can you imagine how fantastic that idea is? Thanks to Kara Gott Warner, I got a light bulb moment about this when I read the last principle of her 7-day journal challenge. Today is the last day, and I was so excited to read all about the principle for today. Basically it talks about creating a new habit. Since it’s the last day, I was already expecting that I’ll bring home something great and fruitful from Kara, and she didn’t fail me.

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So what’s my light bulb moment all about?

It’s about having your very own life manual. Kara is right. A lot of us here keeps on writing and writing and writing… but what do we do to them afterwards? What do we do to our notebooks, papers, blog sites, etc.? How many of us here get to review their write ups after a week, a month, or a year? Where’s the last diary or journal you’ve ever written on? Can you still find it? If you can’t find it, I don’t expect you to find your first diary or journal either. Get the idea?

So what am I pointing out? My friends, what’s the very reason why you’re keeping a journal, a diary, or a blog site? Is it just to express your thoughts and feelings? Do they only serve as emotional sponge? What happens after that? How many of us here gets the change to re-read our beautiful insights after it has been written or posted? If you believe that, what you’ve written is something meaningful, insightful, and worth reading, then why not read it AGAIN?

What we’re writing at this very moment is very crucial? Why? Because it is a figment of our own thoughts. It freshly came from our ideas. It’s raw. The ideas are creating new neuro-pathways (ooops that’s a big word) whenever we are imagining things or we are creating something new. Because of that, I believe those outputs need to be revisited to be rejuvenated again and be remembered of who we truly are. Besides, like what Kara said on the challenge:

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You’re the only one who knows who you are! The best advise you can get is can be provided by none other than the voice of your inner self (that is if you’re sane… if you get what I mean 😉 )

So my challenge for everyone who’s keeping a journal, a diary, or a blog site is; try to go back to the old pages and re-read what you’ve written in the past and see if you’ll have any new realizations from those outputs. I bet you’ll have one for sure. Write about those new realizations and share your new outputs if you want to. That way, we can all learn and relearn, and that will help us in the process of making ourselves a better person. But of course, we don’t only have to read and re-read our outputs; we also have to apply them. Remember,

Knowledge turned action is wisdom.

Create that habit of revisiting your work and relearn from it.

Have a pleasant weekend everyone!

With love and respect,

Ms. Rai

Create Something Every Day Challenge: Day 2

Why do you think most people are afraid to start what they wanted to do in their life? Why is it that it’s easy to dream, it’s easy to visualize what success is like, it’s too easy to fantasize how to live life with all the positive results around you. If it feels good to dream, visualize, and fantasize success, what’s stopping them? What’s stopping you? What’s stopping us?

At some point in our lives, we can’t take a step forward to something new… something that feels good because it brings happiness. We can’t push forward because we are all afraid of one thing, and I tell you, it’s a hypocrisy to deny it, because we all feel this. We are all afraid of the ultimate F word, and we all choose to runaway from it at all cost. What is that F word by the way? Can you guess it? Hmmm… According to Gordon Ramsay, the word is:

It’ not rude; it’s FOOD

Well, sorry Gordon, we’re not going to talk about your version of the F word. We’re talking about


We all want to be accepted. We all want to belong. We all want to succeed. We all want to achieve whatever our goals may be. But every one is afraid to FAIL. Just the mere thought of failure already causes our stomach and our chess to churn. We avoid that kind of feeling, or anything close to it because it doesn’t make us feel good. Failure creates the feeling of helplessness that leads to anxiety and depression. We keep on running away from it because we fear it. But is it healthy to keep on running away from it?

What if conquering your fear can lead you to your breakthrough for success? What if setting aside the thought of failure can lead to a great start to a whole new you? The successful you?

Because of fear of failure, we have formulated  lot of defense mechanisms to avoid starting something that looks greater than us. We either think it’s not meant for us, it’s too good for us, we are not capable of doing it, etc. name it! I bet you’re thinking about your own line of excuses right now just by reading it.

What we don’t realize is, the more we fear failure, the more we runaway from it; the more we attract it. The more we fear failure, the more we manifest it in our lives. The more we think about it, the more we become IT.

You are what you think about most of the time.

So with that said, what kind of thoughts would you like to feed your mind starting right now? Think about something that you would like to do right now. Think about it. And while you’re thinking about it, think about success. Think about how you will feel once you have achieved it. As for me, I would love to start writing again. I would like to have my own books published in the near future. I would like to inspire people through my realizations, thoughts, and experiences. Because those are the things I wanted to achieve for myself, I will start creating in my mind the pathways I have to take to achieve my goals without thinking that it’s impossible. I will start where I’m at. Right now, all I have are pieces of papers and a pen (or in this case, I’m jotting all my thoughts in my laptop ‘coz I’m transferring what I wrote on my pads earlier), and from these, I can already start creating something beautiful. Something worthwhile. Something worth sharing, and hopefully, something worth your time.

If we aim to be great. If we aim to be successful, all we have to do is to start where we’re at. We’re only beginning our journey. No one is expecting our first baby steps to be step 24. You get what I mean? No one is expecting that. You’re being too unrealistic if you’re expecting that. But by starting somewhere, at least we’ve made a move to make a difference in our lives. Fear of failure? Yes. It’s there. It’s existing. But don’t take fear on a negative perspective. Make it an encouragement. Every failure is just a sign that we are trying. Trying is way better than not doing anything at all. Failure is just a way to show us different ways on how ‘not to do things’ for us to succeed. Failure is an essential part of life. If there’s no failure, there’s definitely no success.

Before I started creating this blog site, I fear that I won’t get any audience. I fear no one will read my blogs, and all my works will be put to waste. I fear I won’t have ample time to write about anything because I’m a busy person. I fear that there will come a time wherein, I have nothing to post because I have nothing else to say. I fear that I won’t be able to have much success in blogging, and there are people who will reject my articles. I fear. I fear. I fear.

Well,  those thoughts are b***s***. Why? Because why would I fear something that hasn’t happen to me yet? Those thoughts are not yet existing. I’m creating a thought pattern that makes my fears exist and that’s a bad thing. Good thing I found a way to break that unwanted chain of thoughts of disbelief in myself, and I decided to move on.

So what if no one’s going to read my blogs? So what if people will reject my works? Who cares?! What’s important is, I was able to start on something I would like to do and I always go back to no matter what my emotional, physical, and mental condition is. I am so happy expressing myself through writing. I haven’t extended my efforts to monetize my works, and I’m writing most of the time for FREE and I don’t mind it, so why would I think about not having a success in writing? Not all great writers started out GREAT… All of the greatest writers started out as a beginner, and I’m starting like them. This is my starting point. So what if there will come a time wherein I can’t write for a day or two? Who cares?! We can all slow down and take a  break to rejuvenate, right? And why would I fear for not having anything to say? There are times that it’s better to pause for awhile and listen to the voices of other people.

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So, should I still be bothered by failure? Heck no?! We can’t wait for the perfect time to start doing something because that perfect time will never come, only the right time, and the right time to start is NOW! Act on it! And don’t start creating excuses for yourself to prevent yourself for doing something AWESOME!

How about you? What would you like to do if you were to set aside failure? What are the things that you would like to achieve? Share your thoughts below. I’m so excited to know them all. 🙂

With love and respect,

Your Pen Guardian