Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pako (Vegetable Fern)

“What is that?” I asked my then boyfriend (now my husband =) as I saw him gathering some fern along the river banks. “Pako” he said. “What will you do with that?, was my next question. He told me we are going to eat them together with the fish that we caught. Eat them? That’s just for decoration! Or so I thought. I watched them ate and thought to myself, okay they’ve been eating pako ever since and they’re still alive so maybe it is really edible. =) That was the first time I ever tasted that fiddlehead fern or pako/vegetable fern (scientfific name: Athyrium Esculentum) as we call it here in the Philippines. And mind you it tasted really good!

Pako is mostly found in some countries in Asia like Philippines, India, Indonesia, China, Japan and also in Hawaii and in North America. They are found and typically grow near banks of running water like rivers, streams and in swampy areas. They grow in abundance during the rainy season. And that is one reason why I can smile during the rainy days. We do have some pako plants in our backyard. We got it from my husband’s hometown in Kalinga. They grow fast as long as you water them especially if you planted them during the dry season. Since we are living in the city we only gather as much stalks during the rainy days and colder months.

So maybe you are thinking, how to eat pako? I use them almost in everything and literally everything. I put them in my tinola, in my sinigang, in adobong squid and in chopsuey. I use them when I don’t have any vegetable in the fridge. I especially love using pako with kiniing (smoked meat). Just saute garlic, onion, smoked meat and put pako when the meat is already tender. Hmmm… so good.

            But most people love to use pako as a side dish. It is best for Ensalada or salad. Others eat pako salad raw style or just blanch it but since I have quite a sensitive tummy I prefer cooking it. Here is a simple salad recipe you can try.

1.     Cooked pako for five minutes.
2.   Take it out of the pot and immediately pour out cold water onto it. Ice cold water is best to maintain the beautiful green color of the pako stalks and its crispness.
3.  In a bowl mix together sliced onion, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add a drop of olive oil if you have. (I know olive oil is expensive especially in this side of the world. I am just glad my mother left her bottle of olive oil in the house =)
So if you don’t have olive oil, that’s just fine.
5.      Put the pako and mix well. There you go! Enjoy your pako salad.
·         I did not put any measurement since we have different preference when it comes to the taste of some dish. Adjust ingredients according to your taste.

          I researched some of the benefits of this edible fern and here's what I have found.
1.    Fiber - Accordingly Pako leaves is rich in fiber which plays an important role in digestion. Fiber also helps in blood sugar control, weight loss and management, heart problem, stroke, skin health, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones and kidney stones.
2.   Calcium – it is a mineral that is necessary to build and maintain strong bones and healthy communication between the brain and various parts of the body.
3.     Iron – it is an important mineral with an essential role in the body. Lack of it, your body cannot make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A lack of these cells is called iron deficiency anemia.
4.     Phosphorus – it is a mineral that works with calcium to help build bones.
5.    Vitamin B or Thiamine. This vitamin plays an important role in our bodies together with the other B vitamins. They help convert our food into fuel that allows us to stay energized throughout the day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Glorify God in the Fire

"Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit!" John 15:2 
"I have refined you in the furnace of suffering!" Isaiah 48:10 
Fire not only burns and purges, but it separates one thing from another.

God Almighty knows that we are often purged more in one hour by a good sound trial — than by a "thousand manifestations of His love. It is a fine thing to come purified, to come pardoned out of the furnace of affliction. The furnace is intended to purge us to separate the precious from the vile, the chaff from the wheat. And God, in order to do this, is pleased to put us into one fire after another.

There are some roads which are finely paved and smooth — but the King's road to Heaven is strewed with crosses and afflictions!

My brethren, we need to be purged! How apt are we to want to go to Heaven upon a featherbed. But many go lying upon beds of pain and languishing, which is the King's highway there.

God will not put us into the fire — if there was not something to be purged away. The grand thing, is to learn to glorify God in the fire.

We glorify God in the fire, when we quietly endure it as a chastisement, and when we bear it patiently. It is a dreadful thing when we are saying with Cain, "My punishment is greater than I can bear!" But the language of a soul that glorifies God in the fire is this, "Shall I, Lord, shall I a sinful man, complain for the punishment of my sins?"

We glorify God in the fire, when, though we feel pain and anguish, we at the same time say, "Lord, we deserve this and ten thousands times more!" 

We glorify God in the fire also, when we are really and fully persuaded that God will put us in the furnace only for our good, and His own glory. 

We glorify God in the fire when we say, "Lord don't let the fire go out until it has purged away all my dross!" 

We glorify God in the fire when the soul can say, "Here I am, my God, do with me as seems good in Your sight! I know that I shall not have one unnecessary stroke!"

We glorify God in the fire when we are not grumbling, but humbly submitting to His will. When that awful message was brought to Eli, what does he say? "It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him." Let my children be killed, whatever is done, it is the Lord's doing! 

We glorify God in the fire when we rejoice in Him — when we can thank God for striking us — when we can thank Him for whipping us!

Happy are you who have got into Christ's fire!
-George Whitefield

Friday, October 9, 2015

Rejoicing in Suffering

 Rejoicing in Suffering

A little reminder for the day:
“ And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” Romans 5:3-4

"At first we would say that a home into which no sorrow had ever come, is the happiest home. It has had only prosperity. It is a Christian home, too, and has all the blessings of true religion. It is a home of love, ideal in its fellowship. But it has never known a sorrow. The circle is unbroken. No tears have been shed in it. We would say that this is the happiest home we know.

But it takes sorrow to perfect 'love's happiness'. There is little doubt that the sweetest home, is one in which there has been grief. We do not find the richest things in the Bible, until we pass into shadows. We do not see the stars, until night comes. There is no rainbow, except when there are clouds. We do not find out the richest love, even of our human friends, while we are strong and well and prosperous; it is only when we are in some grief or trouble, that we discover how much they love us. And we do not get the best of God's grace—until we are in sorrow.

Besides, grief softens our hearts, makes us capable of deeper affection and sympathy, and draws us nearer to each other. After a household has stood together around the coffin of one of its own—it is a new tenderness that unites the members. Suffering together, brings a new closeness in loving. Thus, even sorrow may be put among the elements of home happiness."
-          (JR Miller - Miller's Year Book)

Suffering is one thing that all Christians experience but the blessing of it all is that as a believer we have the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability to rejoice in the midst of suffering. Others may not understand this especially the non-believers but the way we, believers weather the hard times in our lives can become a wonderful testimony to others.
There is pain, that one cannot be denied, we can be honest about it but it is still possible to experience genuine rejoicing. We can have peace and joy in spite of our circumstances. As for me when I am going through one of these experiences, I reflect on it, I try by God’s grace to listen to the truths and see the lesson that He want to teach me. Suffering is a good thing because they produce a fruit of righteousness in my life. God is using life’s difficulties to build my character. As the verse say: it produces patience which in turn strengthens my character, deepen my trust in God and give me confidence about the future: that is hope =) Sufferings should draw us closer to God. 

Help me Lord, to rejoice in sufferings knowing that you are working something in my life. Help me not to panic but have a steady and stronger faith in You.

Friday, September 25, 2015


Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

Are you a procrastinator? I have to admit that at times am really I a procrastinator. I thought of doing things but when the time comes I put it aside for some reasons. More often than not I just don’t have the rush to do it. Maybe you can count me in that group of “adrenaline people”. I do not know; but I can put more focus and words just pour in when I am betting the deadline. I know this is not healthy and it can affect my life in the long run. And as a Christian this should not be the case.

I made this article as a sample for an online writing job I applied before and was gladly take in by the admin of the site. Ever since I always use this article everytime a client ask for a work sample before awarding a writing project. And I want to post this now here in my blog because I have been procrastinating too long… procrastinating in posting some articles. I have been meaning to update my blog but I just cannot do it for so many reasons. Now that at least I found some time to really update this, I am hoping that I can do it regularly. Many things happened to me and my family these past months that I believe is worth sharing for to my readers and followers. Many things I have learned and want to share it with you my dear readers. But I will do it one at a time. For now, I want to post this article which I wanted to do so for some time now. I hope you can learn from it and may even have some insights on how to stop procrastinating. Here we go: =)

"People have their own reasons why they usually put things off. To some, it is because they have many things on their hands, to some just the plain reason of “they don’t want to do them for now”, to some because they are afraid to do things, the task is boring, difficult and to most because it became a habit and it works for them. They love the adrenaline of doing things in haste and with the clock ticking. (that last one works for me)

Procrastination has been around for a long time and the truth is everyone does it. But it became a bad habit. (which I want to change) Procrastination might stop us from achieving the goals we have set for ourselves. (true) Getting better with your goals means you should stop procrastinating now. It can be a reason for our failures. Time is a very costly resource since we are only allocated limited fraction of it. We are not going to live forever and as the verse says above we do not know what tomorrow will bring, we do not even know if we are still alive comes morning. So what better things to do than doing it now and doing it well? Once time has passed we can never get it back.  That’s the danger of procrastination.

Unrewarding lifestyle is one result of delaying things needlessly. It also shows that we do not have discipline and are poor time managers and sometimes shows our disobedience. (ouch! This one hurts) So how can we prevail over it?

Later is not always better so let us take a few steps each day that will help us stop procrastination. We have many excuses when it comes to putting things off but we can overcome it if we really want to. We should take a few small steps each day to becoming more diligent in our tasks. When setting goals, make sure it is realistic and attainable. Make sure to follow the steps you set for your goals and as you work ahead that goal avoid making excuses along the way. Finally pray for strength and persistence for we can not do things apart from the grace of God.

Let us take every minute counts by changing the way we think. Let us enjoy and love the things we do. Make certain to lessen interruption when you are set to doing a task at hand. Time Management is very important when it comes to working toward stopping procrastination. Make sure to prepare a to-do-list and prioritize your duties by ranking them accordingly. Put on top the task that needs to be done right away, then the once that require to be done soon and so on and so forth.  

Time is moving fast so let us not waste our lives and instead use the short time lent to us to make ourselves useful for today. Never let yourself fall into the trap of putting off things tomorrow what can be done today. By changing our attitude towards our duties and responsibilities we will find joy in seeing our tasks get accomplished. For one day we may find that tomorrow may not come."

Indeed, I want to reiterate that last line, One day we may find that tomorrow may not come at all. This life has been given to us by Almighty God. Only one life and soon it will pass. I want to make the most of it. I want to live a life pleasing to God, a life that will give glory to His name. I am praying that as I live my life people will see Jesus Christ in me.  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Time Will Come...

 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Since I resign from my work and became a stay-at-home mom, I have been very busy with all the things inside the house that making a new post here in my blog becomes a struggle. Oh, but how I miss reading posts from both my followers and those I am following. So here I am again=) At least my younger son now had some kind of sleeping schedule that I can fit some of my time blogging. Thank God! For the past months my schedule is compose mainly of doing all the stuff a homemaker is supposed to do. I am happy doing them. I am still adjusting maybe that my adrenaline pumps up almost all the time and I get stressed keeping up with my schedule as if I am still at the office doing the things an office worker normally do. You know betting the deadlines, before the deadlines and the likes. Then I remember I am not working for anybody anymore and that I have to relax just a little bit =) 

A friend of mine asked me one time if I miss working at the office and I told her almost in an instant without even thinking: NO! =) Not that I was surprise at the question and give an impulsive answer but that was really what's in my heart at that time and until this time. I don't miss getting up early in the morning, getting ready for the office and have my breakfast at the office because I might be late if I eat at home. I don't miss all the office stuffs at all. I enjoy and love waking in the morning now. I love it when my little one makes such cute noise when he's already awake and trying to shout to the world: hey Mom, I'm awake! =) and when I turn to look at him, oh boy, the smile on his face can remove all the "sleepyheadedness" (if there's such a word, hahahah!!) in me. Such sweet smile, telling me that he is ready to begin his day. I love waking in the morning listening to my older son say "Good Morning Mommy! =)

Of course I would be lying if I say there are no days where I am not overwhelmed with the tasks and responsibilities at hand. There were such days and I cried at those days. I even feel that I am failing as a wife and as a mother when at the end of the day I did some things wrong. My older son wants to play with me and told him I just can’t because I have to tend to his little brother or that I have still have to do this and to do that. Then he will cry trying to get some of my attention. I look at him when he is sleeping and say I am sorry my son, I will do better tomorrow. And I will because there might be a time when I can no longer play with him. It might be the last time. I want to grab every chance I've got. Time flies they say and it really is. My kids are growing up so fast I may not notice that time will come when I can no longer carry them in my arms. There will come a time when they don't want me to hold their hands anymore while walking or crossing the road because they can manage to do it on their own. Time will come I won't be scrubbing their hair and feet in the bath because they want to bathe alone. Time will come I won't be singing lullabies and telling them stories at bedtime or there will be no more goodnight kisses. There will come a time when it will be the last time and time will come when there's no more time left to do it.

It seems so overwhelming doing the same things day in and day out but I ask the good Lord to give me grace to do them. I want to cherish every moment because I don't want to have regrets. Motherhood is a blessing and so is being a wife.