Why Filipinos have two kitchens

The kitchen is the central part of some homes where family congregates. In a traditional home in the western world, the wife usually does the cooking with few exceptions. She spends much time in the kitchen so the kitchen flows into the breakfast nook or the more casual dining room/family room combo. Filipinos on the other hand, especially the middle class and the rich, have a cook in residence and the kitchen in the main part of the house is seldom used. Filipino kitchens are not well ventilated and cheerfully curtained. Most of them do not have all the amenities that modern kitchens in the United States have so most cooking is done in the back of the house where the ‘dirty kitchen’ is located.

Many Filipino houses, especially those owned by the wealthy have two kitchens; one for show which is located in the main house and a small no-nonsense kitchen area with cylinder gas-fuelled burner or fire wood stove used for day to day cooking. The so-called ‘dirty kitchen’ is located in an unobtrusive back part of the house used by the hired cook in residence who does most of the cooking. It could also be outdoor to ward off the stinking smell of greasy and fishy odor from permeating the house. For those who can afford modern appliances, the lady of the house sometime ventures to do some special cooking using her modern gadgets. The cylinder gas-fuelled burner or firewood stove is useful during periodic ‘brownouts’ when the electric oven and range become useless. As a practical alternative during frequent ‘brownouts’, the ‘dirty kitchen’ relies on less sophisticated appliances because a hired cook does not really require time and labor-saving gadgets but most likely did not know how to operate the new gadgets and will result in damaging the modern appliances.

Copyright © 2014. By Rosalinda Morgan, Author. All rights reserved. *Why Filipinos have two kitchen*

BAHALA NA – KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEALS

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Kindle Countdown Deals for BAHALA NA (COME WHAT MAY) is set to begin today, November 26, 2013 at 8:00:00 AM PST.

You can buy your Kindle copy of my book, “Bahala Na (Come What May)” at a discount price of $.99 today,Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. The best deal!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 27, the price goes up to $1.99.

On Thursday, Nov. 28, the price will be $2.99.

On Friday, Nov. 29, the price goes up to $3.99, still a dollar off the regular price.

On Saturday, Nov. 30, the price goes back to the regular price of $4.99.

Take advantage of the discounted price at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

Learn about the Philippines and the Filipino people and how their faith helps them in their struggle through life. “Bahala Na”, “Leave it to God” is their motto when they are in trouble.

Rosalinda Morgan,author

“BAHALA NA (Come What May)”.

 

Joining the National Novel Writing Month Challenge

I joined the throng of writers for the National Novel Writing Month competition for November 2013. I heard of it last year late in November but it was too late to do the challenge. This time, I was determined to challenge myself.

This challenge is a way of making you stay focused on writing. You have to write, write, write, every day until you reach your goal of 50,000 words at the end of November. When I have a certain goal staring at me every day, I am forced to do something about it. The challenge is to finish a 50,000-word novel in a month. That means you have to write an average of 1,667 words a day. 50,000 words is no small feat but if you break it down to a daily count, it is quite attainable. I have written essays of 1,667 words or more but a story of 50,000 words is a bit of a challenge in a month’s time and you have to write daily. This is where I have to stay focused on my story. My brain has to work constantly on my story but I’ll still have to try to blog also when I have a free time. The reason for this exercise is to get you in the habit of writing every day. 

I had an idea on what to write before the clock rolled in on the night of Oct. 31 at 12:01 AM. Putting it on paper was another matter and 50,000 words were a lot of words in a month. I started writing on Nov. 1st when I woke up. Early morning is the best time of writing for me when the house is very quiet and I am all alone with my thoughts.  So on Day 1, I typed in 1,742 words. Not a bad start. Yesterday I put in 1,983 words for a total of 3,725 so far. We’ll see what happens next.

So cheer me on. I need some encouragement from my friends.

Copyright © 2013. By Rosalinda R Morgan, author of “BAHALA NA (Come What May”.

All rights reserved.  Joining the National Novel Writing Month Challenge 

If you missed the free promotion of my book on Oct. 20, 2013, you can still borrow “BAHALA NA (Come What May)” at Kindle Lending Library anytime.

BATTLE OF LEYTE GULF AND THE KAMIKAZE

After landing in Leyte on Oct. 20, 1944, General Douglas MacArthur’s troops started the drive to retake the Philippine Islands. When Gen. MacArthur returned, the guerillas were in good number. Some Filipinos went underground and joined the guerilla movement. Some joined the American troops.

A few days after the landing, one of the greatest naval battles in history began on October 23, 1944 when 64 Japanese warships engaged 216 American warships in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Fighting took place simultaneously in three areas: off Cape Engaño, off Samar, and in the Surigao Strait (south of Samar). This three-day battle, Oct. 23-25, 1944 marked the last use of battle-line formation, in which giant battleships faced and fired on each other at point-blank range.

The first and coordinated kamikaze suicide units were used by the Japanese forces on Oct. 25, 1944. Out of desperation, the Japanese pilots employed kamikaze tactics – the suicidal method of dive-bombing their enemies at the Battle at Leyte Gulf. Hoping to win the war in their favor, the Japanese planned to blow away the Allied Forces by loading planes with bombs and extra gasoline. The kamikaze planes were flown deliberately to crash into their targets. Inspite of the kamikaze tactics, the Japanese fleet was decimated at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Kamikaze means “divine wind”. The word was used for the new Japanese suicide pilots of World War II. It recalled the legend of Ise, the wind god who had saved Japan from an enemy invasion in ancient times. This legend was based on an event that happened on Aug. 14 and 15, 1281 when Japan was saved by a famous typhoon that blew away a Sino-Mongol invasion of 3,500 ships with more than 100,000 warriors under the command of the great Kublai Khan of China to invade Japan.

 

 

Oct. 20, 1944 – Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines

When General Douglas MacArthur left the Philippines in March 1942, he promised “I shall return”. It was 69 years ago today that he made good his promise by returning with an invasion force. The landing, which took place at four spots along a 30-km stretch of coastline on Leyte, involved 700 vessels and 174,000 U.S. servicemen. On October 20, 1944, MacArthur landed in Leyte, fulfilling his promise to the Filipino people by wading ashore at Leyte, but the evening before the Leyte landing, MacArthur spoke through a radio transmitter announcing. . .

“People of the Philippines, I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil… Rally to me! Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead… The guidance of divine God points the way. Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”

Gen. MacArthur, wearing his field marshal’s cap, sunglasses and freshly pressed khakis wanted to land on the beach but ran aground in the shallows while still 100 yards from the beach. The commander of the craft could not bring the landing craft in any closer and so an irritated MacArthur accompanied by President Osmeña and their staffs had to wade ashore. It became one of the most famous images of World War II. Upon seeing the newsreels of his landing, MacArthur was so stirred by the picture that he ordered his staffs to arrange for all subsequent island landings to begin offshore so he could walk through knee-deep water onto the beach.

In honor of Gen. MacArthur’s return, I’m giving a FREE DOWNLOAD of “BAHALA NA (Come What May) at Kindle Lending Library on Oct. 20.

Copyright © 2013. By Rosalinda R Morgan, author of “BAHALA NA (Come What May”.

All rights reserved. Oct. 20, 1944 – Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines

BAUAN CATHEDRAL IN BAUAN, BATANGAS

During the Spanish regime, the Spaniards tried to Christianize the Filipinos and they built great churches during their more than three hundred years regime in thePhilippines. The church in Bauan, Batangas has a long history.

The first church of Bauan was not located at the present site. Since the Mission of Bauan was a visita of Taal, the first church was built along the southern shores of Taal Lake in a place called Tambo. Bauan Parish was founded on May 17, 1590 as Luman Bauang and became an independent parish on May 12, 1596.

Since its foundation, the Bauan Parish has been relocated three times. To escape the violent eruptions of Taal Volcano, another church was built in 1667 by Fr. Jose Rodriguez in a place called Durungao, then relocated later to Loual in 1671 by Fr. Nicolas de Rivera. Another church was built in 1692 near the sea during the administration of Fr. Simon Martinez but was damaged during the typhoon of 1694. It was rebuilt from 1695 to 1697 by Fr. Ignacio Mercado. The church was damaged again. Fr. Blas Vidal built a stone structure from 1700 to 1710.

 Fr. Jose Victoria started building the present church in 1762 and construction continued for years. Fr. Jose Trevino added the convent in 1762 and also the magnificent, hexagonal domed bell tower in 1772. Fr. Alberto Tabores installed a huge bell in the tower in 1788. The present church was built in 1848 by Fr. Manuel del Arco who put the stone fence of the atrium with wrought iron columns. The tower and the choir loft were destroyed in 1870 and were repaired in 1874 and a clock was also installed. Its façade was completed by Fr. Hipolito Huerta who also worked on the transept and was completed by Fr. Felipe Bravo in 1881. Final decorations were applied starting in 1881 under the direction of Fr. Moises Santos and continued until 1894 under Fr. Felipe Garcia.  The Bauan Cathedral was the most artistically built church in Batangas at that time. However, the church burned down during the Philippine revolution against Spain in 1898 and then completely rebuilt. However, it was destroyed by fire again in 1938. Then it was restored again.

The church houses the Holy Cross of Bauan, the patron saint of the town. The cross was found in 1595 by local natives in a place called Dingin, near Alitagtag and installed later in Bauan Cathedral.

 

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In the book “BAHALA NA (Come What May)”, this is the place where Benjamin and Adelaide were married in 1943.

 

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This is the back where the Japanese stored all the cotton harvested by the townspeople and later shipped to Japan. Sources said that the Japanese built a tunnel from the church to nearby towns.

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This is the convent and the school attached to the church mentioned in the “BAHALA NA (Come What May)” where Adelaide and her sister used to help the nuns.

 

Copyright © 2013. By Rosalinda R Morgan, author of “BAHALA NA (Come What May”.

All rights reserved. BAUAN CATHEDRAL IN BAUAN BATANGAS

BAHALA NA (Come What May) FREE Download at KINDLE LENDING LIBRARY on 9-29-2013

ImageTo honor the Gold Star Mothers and in observance of the Gold Star Mother’s Day on Sunday, Sept. 29, you can download FREE “BAHALA NA (Come What May): A WWII Story of Faith, Love, Courage, Determination and Survival” on 9/29/13 at Kindle Lending Library starting at approximately 12 AM Pacific Standard Time to approximately 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.

When World War II starts, Benjamin is caught in a place 465 kilometers away from home as the Japanese are landing everywhere. How will he get home? What happens if he encounters the Japanese on the way? Will he see his family again? How about the girl he cares deeply? These are questions looming in his head as he starts his long journey back home.

“Bahala Na (Come What May)” is a fresh look at the traditions and social mores of the era just before and during World War II. It also describes eyewitness accounts of World War II events that were never written before.  “Bahala Na (Come What May)” is a WWII novel, full of human drama, suspense and action and dedicated to WWII veterans.

Please leave a review at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan after you finish reading the book. Thank you.

Copyright © 2013. By Rosalinda R Morgan, author of BAHALA NA (Come What May.

All rights reserved. BAHALA NA (Come What May) FREE Download at KINDLE LENDING LIBRARY on 9-29-2013.

SAMPAGUITA, The Philippine’s National Flower

Image Countries have adopted flowers as national cultural symbols. The United States has the rose; the Netherlands, the tulip; Japan, the chrysanthemum; Austria, the edelweiss and Ireland the shamrock. The Philippines have several national symbols: the carabao (water buffalo), the narra tree and sampaguita. Sampaguita or kampupot was adopted by the Philippine government as its national flower in 1934 by the then American Governor General of the Philippines, Frank Murphy, through Proclamation No. 652. Filipinos string the flowers into leis, corsages, and crowns. In warm climates, the flowers bloom all throughout the year and are produced in clusters of 3 to 12 blooms at the ends of the branches. The species name “sambac” seems to derive from “zanbaq,” the Arabic word for jasmine. The name sampaguita evolved in turn from “sambac” through the Spanish colonizers of the Philippines, where this name was common.

 Below is a conversation between Benjamin and a florist that appeared in “BAHALA NA (Come What May)” about sampaguita:

 “What a lovely scent!” Benjamin muttered. “Is that sampaguita?”\

“Yes, it is,” the florist said.

“I thought they only have one row of petals. This almost looks like a rose.”

“The plant bears either a single flower, a row of petals, or flowers with doubled petals, bundled at the top of the branches and look like small white roses and are exceptionally fragrant.”

Benjamin put his nose again on the bloom and asked, “Do they bloom year round?”

The single flower of sampaguita blooms year round, has white, small, dainty, star-shaped blossoms, which open at night and wilt in less than a day and has a distinct sweet fragrance. It does not bear seed, so it is propagated through cuttings. The Philippines have different domestic species of jasmine growing wildly.”

“How long have they been around? I always remember seeing them everywhere I go.”

“Sampaguita was believed to have come from the Himalayan region during the 17th century. Sampaguita has taken root in the Philippine folklore and religious rites.”

Sampaguita or jasminum sambac, the Philippine’s national flower, is a subtropical evergreen creeping vine reaching up to 2 to 10 ft tall and very fragrant and is used extensively at Flores de Mayo as a garland and in arrangement. It is mentioned in many legends, stories and songs. It symbolizes a whole series of virtues: fidelity, purity, devotion, strength and dedication.

Benjamin looked around, seeing there were no customers around, put on his beguiling smile and asked, “Isn’t there a legend about sampaguita?”

“Yes, there is and it is fascinating.”

“Tell me. I would love to hear it.” He looked around again and still there was no customers yet except him.

“Gladly. Since we are not busy yet, why not.”

The florist began…

There was this young beautiful princess called Lakambini and after her wise father died, she had to take over his kingdom. But she did not know how to govern and there was a danger that the kingdom would be invaded by the neighboring rulers. She fell in love with a young unselfish prince, Lakan Galing, from another kingdom who was ready to defend her kingdom against the invaders. On a hill above the sea when the moon was bright and full, they both embraced each other and promised to love thru eternity. “Sumpa kita.” I promise you.

Lakan Galing was not satisfied with just watching and guarding the kingdom of the princess. He wanted to pursue the enemies. “If the enemy does not come, then I will seek them.” He left with his men on his ships and looked for the enemies. Lakambini was anxious for his return. Every day she went to the hill looking out to sea to find if her love was coming back. However, she waited and waited in vain. Lakan Galing never returned.

A short time later, she died of a broken heart. On her deathbed, she asked to be buried on the top of the hill where she always waited for him. Shortly thereafter, a vine with small white, pearl-like blossoms grew on her grave with a very sweet fragrance. When the moon was full, the leaves rustling in the wind echoed the word of the princess, “Sumpa kita.” The flower was then called sampaguita. This is what the people saw ever after during the month of May.

“That was very sad but totally romantic. I love it. Thank you for telling me about the legend.” Benjamin sighed and bent his head and smelled the flower one more time. He thought of the lady in his wallet.

“You’re welcome. Maybe you might want to buy your girlfriend a plant.”

“I wish I can. I’m sorry. I have no girlfriend. None yet anyway.”

“I can’t believe it. You better get to work on that one.”

Benjamin smiled and waved goodbye.

Copyright © 2013. By Rosalinda R Morgan, author of “BAHALA NA (Come What May”.

All rights reserved.   SAMPAGUITA, The Philippine’s national flower

 

 

Excerpts from BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Here is an excerpt from BAHALA NA (Come What May), a WWII novel of faith and survival:

On the evening of December 22, they made it to Paniqui, Tarlac on the way to the provincial capital of Tarlac. It was a good decision that they did not take the road to Lingayen. Delfin had the right instinct to avoid the area. They could be right in the face of danger. They were extremely lucky because that day, Dec. 22 at 2:00 A.M., General Masaharu Homma, Commander-in-chief of the Japanese forces in the Philippines, with his large fleet of warships and 43,000 soldiers landed on the palm-lined shores of the Lingayen Gulf, 120 miles north of Manila. There was heavy fighting but in the end, the American and Filipino troops were outnumbered and overpowered by the Japanese. Some of the Filipino scouts retreated to the mountains.

By this time, Benjamin and his group were already way ahead of the Japanese. But the Japanese were advancing toward Manila.

At 4:30 PM the same day, Dec. 22, Gen. Douglas MacArthur decided to declare Manila, an Open City in a futile attempt to save it. He ordered all supply depots and storage tanks razed. Manila was known as the Pearl of the Orient because of its majestic buildings and palm-lined boulevards. To be an open city, it meant it would not be defended and hopefully could be saved. In the meantime, stores were being looted of everything. Manila was in total chaos.

On December 23 Gen. MacArthur finally decided to implement War Plan Orange that called for withdrawal of his forces to the Bataan Peninsula where they would wait until help from America arrived. He didn’t like the idea but he had no choice. He had to abandon Manila so thus began the withdrawal as lines of trucks and troops moved along the dust covered roads leading to Bataan.

General MacArthur together with President Manuel L. Quezon would later retreat on Christmas Eve to the rock fortress of Corregidor, an island at the entrance of Manila Bay where he would direct his troops. It was a moon-lit balmy evening but Manila was dark and quiet when MacArthur and Quezon sneaked out and headed for the safety compound of Corregidor. It was not a safe haven, they found out later on.

Benjamin and his group walked at a steady pace for another two days. As they were nearing Tarlac, they were hearing explosions close by. There were more explosions it seemed. Looking further out, they could see clouds of black smoke billowing up in the sky, then more explosions. Every so often, they would stop on their trek and waited till the explosion stopped. It just went on forever, it seemed. It could not possibly be too far because it sounded too loud. They were getting very nervous. They knew heavy fighting must be going on somewhere nearby. They could smell the gunpowder. They were hoping they would not encounter the enemy on the road. The road was very busy at certain sections but they had not seen any Japanese troops. They were mostly American soldiers and Filipino soldiers going the other way. At around 4 PM, they hastened their pace before it really got dark. They were determined to reach the provincial capital of Tarlac.

The name Tarlac derived from a tough weed called tanlac or tarlac growing in the wilderness north of San Fernando. Tarlac was founded in 1686 and in 1860, the Spaniards made Tarlac a constabulary zone to protect the settlers from the mountain tribes. However in 1896, Tarlac was one of the eight provinces that revolted against the Spaniards. In October of 1899, General Emilio Aguinaldo, the president of the revolutionary government transferred the seat of government to Tarlac. A year and four months later, the United States took over the province and established a civil government there.

When Benjamin and his group arrived in Tarlac, there had been heavy fighting there for at least two days. That explained the explosions they were hearing before. Over 700 American, Philippine and Japanese soldiers died in that battle.

They were looking for the municipal building where they usually stayed for the night when they heard the roar of army trucks and a band of Japanese soldiers approaching in their direction. There was no time to run away or hide from them. They knew the Japanese soldiers saw them. If they ran, chances were the Japanese would fire their guns. Better to stay calm. Still, there was that fear that they could get shot. Some of the Japanese soldiers got off the trucks and with their bayonet-tipped rifles brandishing away waved at Benjamin and his group and told them to stop.

“Stop.”  Benjamin heard them say.

‘BAHALA NA (Come What May)” is available at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan, http://www.amazon.co.uk in paperback and Kindle.

Did you think your 9-yr old grandchildren would read a WWII novel?

It never occurred to me that my 9-yr old grandchildren would read my historical novel “Bahala Na (Come What May). But surprisingly they did and love it.

I sent a copy of my book (BAHALA NA – Come What May) to my stepdaughter in Connecticut who have three kids: twin girls aged 9 and their sister, aged 11. My stepgrandchildren love reading and they are well ahead of their class in reading. A day after my daughter got the book, she decided to start reading it but she could not find the book where she placed it. She looked all over the house. She then saw one of the twins in the living room, engrossed in reading the book. My granddaughter refused to give it up and carried the book to school. She read the book whenever she could. Her teacher saw her reading it and was shocked to see her reading a historical novel and told her she could not read it. She held the book up and pointed to the author proudly. “My grandma wrote this book and it is very good!” The teacher was dumbfounded. She did not know what to say.

My granddaughter talked to me on the phone and announced, “Grandma, your book is really good.” I was thrilled to hear that and suddenly thought if there was anything in the book that a 9-yr old should not read. Luckily there was none that I could think of. There are lots of educational stuffs that could be very interesting for someone who is thirsting for knowledge. When she finished the book, her older sister read it, then their mother did and now my youngest granddaughter, the younger of the twin is in the middle of reading it. They came to visit this week and she showed me where she was at the book. My grandchildren wants to know when they can visit the Philippines and see all the places mentioned in the book.  

BAHALA NA (Come What May) is written with everyone in mine, young or old. History, romance, legend, travelogue, action and suspense filled the pages. It’s a book for someone who loves to learn something, someone who thirsts for knowledge. I wrote the book with a goal to educate, to teach something. The book is based on historical facts – historical knowledge that seemed to be lacking in people’s mind nowadays. It is an excellent educational tool and I highly recommend it to be included in the school curriculum in history for both American and Filipino students.

Filipinos are a growing population here and abroad. There is so much to know about the Filipino people. If you want to learn about the Filipinos and what make them tick, read BAHALA NA (Come What May). GET YOUR COPY NOW! It is available at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan in paperback and Kindle.