Kinalas Chronicles

Fourth year high school came and the teachers were announcing that all senior students were to create a research-type video blog as a project for two different subjects. My group of five decided to research and blog about the 300 Years of Devotion to Our Lady of Penafrancia. Lucky us, it was announced in August so resources were plenty. This was when I discovered a hidden gem in Naga City – Museo de Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia. Located on the corner of Magsaysay-San Felipe intersection, beside Naga River. Here is where the centuries old manto, rosaries, amulets and statues of Ina were displayed. At that time the entrance fee was just five pesos for students and ten pesos for others, so it’s totally worth visiting. The guide was so friendly, explaining the history of each artifact as well as sharing her experience of the miracles of Ina.

Sidenote, those who know Our Lady of Penafrancia know the countless miracles that happened with her help. One that I can never forget was about the sacrifice of the white dog. The carpenter who created the first statue of Penafrancia in Naga used wood and upon its completion, thought that the blood of a dog would be used to paint/color the statue. (shaking my head) So off he went and brought back a white dog, which was killed and whose blood was sacrificed to color the statue. The dog, dead of course, was disposed of in Naga River. Lo and behold however when the dog suddenly swam to land and was wagging its tail, alive and well. That was one of the miracles. The others can be read in the comics, I brought mine at the souvenir shop beside Naga Metropolitan Cathedral for 20 pesos. Buy it and read it if you have time. I wager that if you ask 5 people in Naga about Ina, 2-3 would have their own stories to tell on how Ina has touched their lives.

Going back, we traced the path of the Fluvial and Traslacion Procession by travelling from Basilica to Cathedral. We met a man along the way, a taho vendor, who apparently was also a voyadores! Amazing right? He himself has his own story to tell about the miracle of Ina. And with him, our research was complete.

You can actually view our blog here: Three Centuries of Devotion

Anyway, that project was given a high grade but the topic was not chosen to represent for the national competition. Another group was scouted to become the entry group for the DPSA contest. The DPSA or Doon Po Sa Amin Contest is a nationwide competition hosted by Smart Communications Inc. which encourages students from elementary to high school to represent a certain theme be it a place, cuisine, or products from their respective regions. From a large pool of entries, those who passed the initial screening will be given an invitation to set up a booth in the Mall of Asia Covention Hall where they will be given a chance to show/present their themes. Each award won has a corresponding cash prize and plaque with the grand prize for the grand champion of 30,000.00 pesos.  The members were handpicked by the teachers and I was chosen to be one of the technical directors. Here was where it became serious.

After many nights of pondering and brainstorming for a topic, the group, with our mentors eventually came to an agreement on a theme. We chose the humble Kinalas, and thus, Team Kinalas was born. Team Kinalas was led by Vernon, the over-all director, scripts and hosting were officiated by Janica and Cledz, photos, background and web design were handled by Madel, research and presentation was handled by Mayen and video and music directing was handled by Biboy and I.

At that time, the schedule for the group was to proceed to the Computer Laboratory after classes so as class ended at 5pm, we went to the lab and stayed until 8pm. The first problem was to determine the tagline for the website and thus, “Kinalas na Kakaiba: Orgulyo kan Naga”(A Unique Kinalas: The Pride of Naga) was formed. And so, we began our foodtrip/roadtrip/research.

74402_141260759254985_4710124_nIn Naga City, the street known for its Kinalas Eateries was Dayangdang. We asked around and most of the people stated that the Kinalas by Tiya Kamot was the best. However, finding Tiya Kamot was quite the challenge itself. Dayandang is a street full of corners and twists that finding the place took a while. Thank God that the driver of the tricycle we hired asked around and eventually, we found the place. No wonder it was hard to find. The place looked like an ordinary bahay kubo, it had no sign at that time that indicated it was an eatery, you cross a wooden plank to enter the yard where wooden tables and chairs were scattered. The first thing you will notice upon entering is the kitchen which was fully exposed where the customers can view the process of making kinalas. On once corner, a large pot over a charcoal stove was boiling away while the noodles were in a large basin alongside the toppings. Guess why Tiya Kamot was nicknamed so. Come on guess. Apparently it was a literal translation. Kamot meaning hand in Bicol was the term which stuck to this eatery because the noodles were handplucked by Tiya Kamot and thrown to the boiling broth. The elders say that this barehanded process added ooomph to the kinalas which was why patrons keep coming back. Anyway, for the sake for the sake of research the boys sampled the kinalas. However, the owner did not want to answer our questions so we moved on.

Try walking in Dayangdang and you’ll be surprised that in almost every corner and twist you take you’ll come upon another kinalas eatery. Each has its own pakulo – kinalas with beef, kinalas with rabut(ox skin), kinalas pork, and such.Finally through our walking, we finally came upon the coziest kinalas eatery ever.

33448_142199342494460_6185976_nKinalas Twin is located along the busy road connecting Dayangdang to Magsaysay. At first glance, it looks like a garage turned eatery. Tables and chairs were place row by row, the walls and floors were tiled, the kitchen as usual was exposed. Instead of charcoal however, they were using an LPG tank where a large pots of broth were boiling, alongside the noodles in a large basin, the special brown sauce in another pot and the toppings beside them. Here was where we were amazed. It was so clean, and the way that the noodles were served was like watching a show. The cook would get noodles using a long ladle, dip it in the boiling broth, place it in the bowl, add the broth, add the sauce, place the toppings and done. Yes, this is what is done in every other kinalas eateries but here is where you can appreciate the process fully. In less than 2 minutes, he was done and was already serving. See? Fast service. Fortunately, the owner himself was in charge of the cash register at that time, so upon paying, we asked if we can come another time for an interview and if he was willing to be featured as our main source of information for our blog. Thank God, after spending a whole afternoon looking for the perfect spot, we finally got a yes.

Our research did not end there however, near downtown Naga, there is a famous kinalas eatery. Aling Cely’s Kinalas was featured in a GMA show before. And so we went there, simply to taste and compare their kinalas from the others. However, since the eatery already had media exposure, we felt that it would be good to have another perspective from another eatery which was not yet known. And so, the group focused on Kinalas Twin.

Now, after several days of researching, we finally got enough data to put in our blog and so the blogging process commences. For the background of the site, we asked volunteer batchmates to pose as if in a food war with each other. Videos centered  on exposing not just kinalas, but also the landmarks of Naga, the process of Kinalas making, the team profile, and the interviews.

With all these, and with the website in finished, we finally clicked Enter. And so off our entry went to the DPSA website.

Days passed before we received that news that we were among those who passed the screening and was going to MOA. Apparently, that was not the end. The next task was to think of a theme for the booth. Since we were focused on kinlas eateries, we decided to create a sort of kinalas eatery in MOA. A talented teacher from Sabang High School was recruited to create the giant boy eating a bowl of kinalas as well as the background depicting a bahay kubo style eatery. And so, the booth was completed. Also, during this time, we were practically excused from most of the subjects and were instructed to finish this project first. Alongside us, our mentors were also busy, finding hotels to stay in, flight schedules and others.

189240_173739442673783_5233665_nAnd so the came to go, thankfully, another group also from our batch were picked. One of the member’s family were going with us, however, they travelled by land and they had a private car, so the props were brought by them. Upon leaving the airport, 3 hours later, we arrived in Mall of Asia.

189984_173739909340403_4435513_nThere was no time to spare, the moment we put down our bags, we picked up packing tapes, scissors, glue and glue guns and started putting up our booth. By dinnertime, we were finished and we were famished. And so, dinner was eaten at Chowking and we proceeded to the hotel.

The next day was the presentation day. Mayen, our representative, spent the night being questioned by our mentors for the next day’s event. We were all dressed in a business attire and when the judges passed, we were all smiles. All the while, giving silent encouragement to Mayen. We also visited the other booths from different schools. There was an entry from Naga Central School with the 300 Years of Ina as their theme! Hahaha, good thing we didn’t pursue it didn’t we? It would have been a Naga vs Naga battle then. Anyway, by lunchtime, the judges were done and we were given the free time to explore PROVIDED that we do not leave the MOA grounds itself. We went back to the hotel to change clothes for the awarding ceremony that afternoon.

The hosts were now awarding the high school entries. Hurrah hurrah! We won all the awards, including the Grand Champion award! Yeah! All hard work paid off! When we returned to the booth, we were met by the Naga City Councillors who apparently had a convention in the next hall. Congratulations were spread all around and so we went home victorious. 196989_173745589339835_7020360_n.jpg

When we went back to school, we immediately were summoned tothe principal’s office and were accompanied to City Hall where we presented the trophies to Mayor John Bongat, who immediately approved a donation of two basketball rings to NCSHS Covered Court, thus, our legacy was left.

Oh! I almost forgot, here’s the link to our blog: Orgulyo kan Naga, Kinalas na Kakaiba.

Happy viewing! 😉

On Geometry, Qing Dynasty & Noli

As mentioned before, I don’t really recall my very first video project. What I do recall were the projects that entailed such effort to edit. During my high school years, the most popular video editing software was -surprise, surprise- Windows Movie Maker.🎉🎉🎉
Now at that time, I’ve been forced to learn the software since of my classmates  convinced me to go from music editing to video editing. The very first video I remember making, and it was quite a memorable one, was for a class project in Geometry, 2-Timberwolf. Now that class was composed of a great mix of people. We had the athletes, the leaders, the models, actors and stylists. You can just imagine how competitive we became when it comes to class projects. The project was about presenting the different shapes in an entertaining and educational manner. The class chose to represent the shapes through a Gay Pageant. Our “matons” were chosen to dress up in whatever dress my stylist classmates could come up with showing the shapes they were representing. It was a project wherein the class gave it all, booking a park for a photoshoot, closing all doors and windows in the classrooms to avoid the other sections from finding out our theme, booking the AVR just to crown the winner, and travelling to a member’s house just for the intermission number of the shapes to the tune of “Don’t Cha”. Take note ha, all 30+ students could fit in their house so you can just imagine how big their sala is. Why 30+? Well the remaining boys were needed to become instant back up dancers for the contestants, then there were the scriptwriters, the director, the cameraman/woman and the lighting directors. We didn’t recycle them too, mind you, another set of boys were present as the propsmen, inserting and removing chairs or adjusting lights as needed. The girls, of course,were present to assist in costume changes, make-ups and wigs. Yes, it was that much effort just for 2 minutes in the video. I mean, someone even brought a disco light for added flair! As for the photoshoot, everything that can fit the contestants were made to wear. Myself, at that time, I was wearing a Palos type cap and a headband underneath. Those were taken from me for the detective/mysterious type contestant and the girly, cutesy contestant as props, mainly to keep their wig in place hahaha. For the Grand Coronation Day however, the winner picked by the judges was the one who wasn’t even present during the photoshoot! Hahaha, I don’t know if certain envelopes were passed to the judges, if you know what I mean. ($$$) Nah, just joking, actually he was picked because the director said so. That’s it. Anyway, that was the summary of the video. Too bad I couldn’t retrieve the files from anywhere.

Moving back to the Qing Dynasty, a project for my Araling Panlipunan subject. Here the class was grouped into 4. It was also one project that we put so much effort into. First thing we did was to hire a tailor to make our costumes. Then we went to the pambansang venue ng lahat-Ecopark, to shoot the fighting scenes. A few months ago, while browsing my CDs, I found the video.


Aren’t we cute? Hahaha at that time of making that video, a teleserye was being aired. If any of you remember Kung-Fu Kids, we based some of the scenes from there.

My techie skill was challenged during my 3rd year in high school when I created an hour long video of Noli Me Tangere, casted by the class, as the final project for our Filipino subject. Once again, this was one wherein the class, a new mix of students, gave it their all. The Filipinas rented Filipinianas, and the Filipinos rented Barong Tagalogs. The Spanish rented tuxedos and the priars were left using a white blanket and a beard. This was one of the most memorable projects I’ve created. Why? Because for the first time in the history of my life, I finally get to experience a sleepover. Note: We were sleeping in a classmate’s ancestral home located in another municipality. Which was why #strictparents and I argued for quite a while before they finally gave me permission PROVIDED that I text them the address, who I’m with, which relatives are with us, their relation to the host, and where I am every 2 hours. Amazing right?
Anyway to get to the house, we rode skates, a vehicle I’m faimiliar with being the main form of transportation in my Lola’s town. However, this was differently styled. In comparison with the one I’m used to, this was somewhat hazardous. There was only one bench good for 4-5 people in the middle of the skates. Behind the bench is the motor which controls the vehicle. Then there was a horizontal wooden bar behind the bench where the other passengers were advised to hold as soon as they vehicle moves. That’s it. Agaw buhay kumbaga.

Anyway we first arrived in the ancestral home of another classmate to shoot one scene when Ibarra first arrived in the Philippines and was welcomed by a party. Then moved to the near church for the mass scene. However, the priest who welcomed us did not give us permission to actually shoot inside because of some of the subjects/text in Noli Me Tangere which placed the Churh in a bad light. He, however, allowed us to shoot in the nearby hall inside the vicinity of the church. The priest was kind enough to lend us the white cloth to be placed on the table as well as a small crucifix and monoblock chairs, though I don’t think that monoblock chairs were invented then, but what can we do? Lemonade out of lemons eh? After shooting one final scene with Ibarra, whom I was starting to pity now, wearing a tuxedo in high noon, we were finally headed to the main base.

Wow. That was how impressed I was with the ancestral home of my classmate. It had a wide, green lawn, chicken wire fence surrounded by rice fields. It was a bungalow type house with coconut trees surrounding the vicinity. It was huge. We were allowed to rest and the family provided us with dinner and sleeping tools. Girls in the master bedroom and the boys in the sala. Sleep was by rotation. I think some even slept on the yard, but, as the night deepened, reentered the house due to mosquitoes. I don’t know who was in charge of the time but soon after, they were waking us all up for the wedding scene. We were to be the audience. Simply put, they woke us up to clap. Period. Haha. Meanwhile, on the other side of the yard, Ibarra and Maria were shooting the elopement-fail scene. And finally, by the time the sun rose, we were done shooting! Together with the sun, we were welcomed to a bright new day by fresh buko provided by the family. Here is where I say Thank You to the Bulao & Tipones Family for extending their warm welcome to us and treating us like family. This is forever saved as a fond memory.


Little did I know that that project would give me the ticket to go places. Literally.

Foodie’s First Bae

Guess who?

I’ll give you some clues. He’s black, short, and hot. Also, he’s not a he.

Ok, ok, before you get any other ideas, my first bae was my LG gas oven. Yes, an oven I can call my own. Finally I can bake to my heart’s content.


Photo grabbed from the net


The oven was similar to what my sister-in-law has, actually it was literally the same model, just in a different color. It came with 3 gas burners, an electric plate, 2 baking pans and a grill as well as a rotassiere. It was the complete package. Unfortunately one thing I hated was that my parents preferred using our separate LG gas range, and since I only bake on the weekends, the oven and the range shared only one Shellane gas tank therefore, to use the oven I needed to call upon my parents to transfer the tubing from the connection of the range to the tubing for the oven. It was not until 2 years earlier that they finally trusted me enough to teach me how to transfer the tubings and I cannot believe how simple it is. #strictparents.

I think they were traumatized when my father transferred the tubings and switched on the knob for the oven thinking that it would automatically ignite. Little did he know that this oven was not similar to the oven we have today. To light this oven you need to place a lighted match or use a lighter gun on the holes at the bottom of the oven where the gas exits as you turn on the knob. Okay going back, he left it on for about 3 minutes with the oven door closed and left. When I opened it holding the lighter gun, whooosh, flames erupted towards me, right towards my face. Haaaaaay. Thank the Lord I was quick in my actions as I quickly moved away from the flame. I quickly washed my face and my arms thinking that I got burnt. Thankfully  only the hairs on my arms my eyelash were all curled up and dissipared upon contact with water. To be honest, I did not bear hate towards my father for that incident. I was actually angry at the oven! Haha childish I know (#transference) so much that I didn’t use it for several weeks. As for the batter mixture, my mom was the one who baked it.

That oven was my companion in the kitchen for several years, thus the many pounds and inches hahaha😂. I even remember selling my baked goods to my classmates in high school which actually continued on until college.

Anyway, as things go, there came the time that we must part. Third year college came and with it came more chapters to read, leaving little time to bake. Sadly, I gave up my hobby of baking. Fourth year was especially daunting, when even the weekends where taken up by the PNLE review, thus, baking was totally off the list.

Came November 2015, my mom decided to sell the oven. It was very rarely used then, and rather than reducing it to rust, I posted an ad on to sell the oven. Hurrah hurrah, not long after, a woman from Michigan saw my ad and requested her daughter to purchase it. She seemed very eager to purchase the oven so I had no doubt in my mind that it would be well taken care of. By December, the new owners came for Bae and I said goodbye for the last time. 💔


Meet The Dok

Okay, here’s how it all started…

June 23, 2015 7:00 p.m.

Finally I’ve downloaded the list. My hands are shaking. My heart’s all ba-dum ba-dum. My breathing’s heavier.

Scroll down. Scroll down 


I read it again


I did it! I was among the 9,707 newly registered nurses who passed the nursing board exam last May 30-31, 2015.

Quickly I scrolled down to look for my batchmates.

Wow! Out of those who took the boards, only 2 didn’t make the cut. BSN Batch 2015 lifted the passing rate of USI to a 96.55% standpoint, a first after more than two decades. This also lifted the rank of USI to the 9th place among the Top 10 Performing Nursing Schools in the Philipines. 👏👏👏👏👏

Soon after passing the boards, I go back to the books. Reviewing for the October 2015 NMAT. Hay buhay. 

Fast forward to 2016.

By the end of January, I’ve received an e-mail from the only medical school I’ve applied to stating that I’ve qualified for the June 2016 enrollment.

My new adventure begins in less than 2 months. Wish me luck!



Meet The Techie

The techie was born alongside the foodie. I remember walking to school during summer just to spend 1 hour playing computer games in an airconditioned room as one of the summer programs my mother enrolled me in. Then came the Microsoft office programs during elementary and soon I drifted to music remixes and video editing. I really had no exact memory on how I started editing videos. I remember that I was always in charge of music and remixes during projects but in terms of video editing, I don’t remember whst my very first video was about. What I remember as the first video I’ve created was the project for Geometry and it was also one that I greatly regret. Soon after passing the project, my desktop’s CPU died and needed to be reformatted, thus no trace of the video can ever be found, except for the one in the CD passed to our teachef but I’d wager that too is gone.  Anyway, I’ll write another blog post for that.

Upon graduating high school, I was once again tasked with the creation of videos. This time during the general assemblies of the CHEd department. That task continued until I graduated college but another skill was developed alongside it.

Second year college = The Capping and Pinning Ceremony

Unlike the year before us, we, the students, were the ones tasked to arrange the ceremony from the invitations to the reservation of the venue. I don’t really know the reason, maybe because the faculty lacked the motivation to put on a grand ceremony as there were only 70 of us compared to the 100+ of the year before us, or some other thing. Anyway, that was when I was pulled in to create the invitation design by my classmate Nicole. Both of us were newbies to the program and depended on Youtube videos, asking older students and luck. That was when I was challenged to learn. Seriously. I even called upon the help of my high school classmate Madel(more on another post) just to fix the nose of Nightingale! 😂😂😂

Anyway, this post is getting far too long. I’ll upload the links and videos of everything I’ve mentioned on a later date. Cheers!

Meet The Foodie

Let’s begin.

Many inches and pounds ago I rolled out my very first pie crust on top of our chopping board alongside my mother who was cutting up apples. It was Christmastime and we were making my all time favorite dessert – Apple Pie! I placed the dough in the pie tin and attacked it with a fork(my favorite part) to allow steam to flow. My mom then started mixing the filling of apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and lemon juice and filled the tin with it. Her traditional way of making the pie was with a lattice crust on top, one she learned while she was still working in Saudi. She brushed the top of the crust with egg white and sprinkled some sugar on top. Now during that time, our household didn’t have a regular gas oven. Instead, what we had was a turbo oven which required a change of bulb each time it was used because of a difference in wattage. She placed the pie on the oven and it was my job to watch the pie to keep from overflowing and splattering all the glass wall. It was a task I’ve always enjoyed as I love seeing the pie rotate and the juices inside get bubbly and soon, the mixed scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and apples wafts all throughout the house. Sigh.


The pie is finally done and guess who gets to have the first bite?