Saturday, 17 June 2017

Philippine Snacks: Pilit Nga Turon!

The Philippine delicacy 'turon' is a popular snack among pinoys. Thinly sliced bananas sprinkled with brown sugar are placed inside the spring roll wrapper à la The Mummy, and then deep fried with more brown sugar. During the jackfruit season, slices of jackfruit, or langka, are wrapped with the bananas to add flavor.

But one morning, as I craved for some turon for merienda, I was surprised that the vendor had another turon variety, other than the usual banana turon

She offered me pilit nga turon

'Pilit' means sticky rice in Hiligaynon, and instead of the sweet banana inside the turon, she put in sticky rice! How creative!

On each bite, the bland taste and sticky texture of the filling complimented the sweet, crunchy wrap of the fried turon!

                   (Bananacue on one tray and 
                       pilit turon on the other)

So, does your neighborhood turon vendor have the turon nga pilit, too?

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A Pinoy @ The Movies: Wonder Woman

In the closing credits of Wonder Woman, the film thanks Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman of the 1970s. 

Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the TV series, had the most beautiful face that ever graced the 70's television. She also probably had the tiniest waist line, too. Here's Lynda Carter's official Facebook page where you can see how gorgeous the 1970's Wonder Woman was. 

But this time, in 2017, Wonder Woman twirls out from television and into the theaters, and along with its millions of fans, I was impressed as well!

The movie began by telling the story on how Themyscira, or Paradise Island, Wonder Woman's home, and the amazon population came about. And as it turned out, just like Perseus from Clash of the Titans, Diana is also Zeus' kid from a human mother, which made me ask, 'Are there other demigods living among us who resulted from Zeus' habit of sleeping around?' Hmm.

Going back to Wonder Woman.

She's now played by Gal Gadot, who's tall and got black hair as well. But compared to Lynda Carter's Diana who was charming and was relegated to secretary work, Gal Gadot's seemed more aggressive and outspoken, a very 21st century woman who wasn't going to be pushed around by Chris Pine or any other male chauvinist. 

But the big difference this time is the action scenes, stunts and effects. This was more enjoyable compared to the TV series, as this one is made during the time when we have better technology to create the fantasy, and a bigger budget to realize the imaginary!

And wasn't there any other actor who could play Steve Trevor? Was Chris Pine the only one who auditioned? I was expecting a fresher face.

And as to the final battle between Wonder Woman and Ares, I was a bit disappointed. I have seen those laser-like beams of fire power before. It would have been more exciting if Wonder Woman just wrestled with Ares in a hand-to-hand combat: a battle of the sexes of sorts! 

In Man of Steel movie, Superman and General Zod practically destroyed the whole downtown Metropolis by slamming each other into buildings. But if DC Comics was into body slamming, why not raise the level and had the whole final battle on that German airport à la WWE?

Just like most moviegoers this week, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is more entertaining and more fun than Tom Cruise's The Mummy

And if you're a Lynda Carter fan, you'll also like Gal Gadot, her new costume, her stand against gender discrimination, and her family of highly skilled amazons and their home, Themyscira, which could probably use a resort with all of its white sand beaches!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

A Pinoy @ The Movies: The Mummy (2017)

The trailer was interesting with superb special effects and CGIs. It was action-packed as well! After all, it is a Tom Cruise movie.

At first, I wondered why would The Mummy series have another remake with Tom Cruise this time?

I thought it was, until the trailer showed that it wasn't certainly set in the 1920's just like Brendan Fraser's The Mummy was. Brendan's original was fun, entertaining, and had all the fascinating details of ancient Egypt: the costumes, make-up, pharoahs, and Old World supernatural powers.

This time, in the present day 21st century, Tom Cruise gets awkward trying to be the lover boy of Ahmanet, a Egyptian princess who, three thousand years before, killed her father the pharoah, his heir, and then sold her soul to Set, the Egyptian god of death. Well, that all made sense during the first 25 minutes. The film's stupidity started when Tom Cruise and his posse discovered Ahmanet's sarcophagus in Iraq.

Fantasy films play on our unbounded imagination, which we all enjoy, but I wished the writers and directors would have thrown in some sense into their fantasy. After the first 25 minutes, things went a little bit silly.

And if there was an Egyptian god of common sense, I wished it was there to enlighten me on my questions:

1. After Tom Cruise shot and cut the wire that held Ahmanet's sarcophagus down deep in mercury and came face-to-face with the coffin, he became 'the chosen' because he was the one who brought it up. How on the dessert sands could Ahmanet tell that it was a white American boy who shot the wire when she was down there trapped down in mercury with all her evil powers? 

2. How could a US military cargo train fly from Iraq to England, and crash land in the middle of Surrey without having been intercepted by the Royal Air Force? 

3. How did Tom Cruise survive the crash without any bruise, cuts, or even scratches? Even if he was 'the chosen one', how did he become one?

4. And Tom Cruise could see ghosts?

5. Russel Crowe shows up as Dr. Jekyll, but forgot to sing 'This is the moment' when he turned into Mr. Hyde.

6. If Ahmanet was resurrected as the evil pharoah and wreaked havoc in London, how could she have held court in England when we all know Queen Elizabeth II and Buckingham Palace would have never allowed it?

7. As Ahmanet, with her evil powers, turned the dead knights into her zombies, how could they have learned how to gracefully swim underwater with all their bandages and rotten limbs?

8. And for crying out loud, Ahmanet, from the start only spoke an old Egyptian language, but in the end, she was already speaking American English and was even using contractions! Impressive!

9. I still have a few more silly questions, and I'm worried they are planning a sequel as Tom Cruise becomes immortal as the Egyptian god of death, although he's American! Ha-ha-ha!

A few plots were obviously borrowed from the 1999 The Mummy, but if they knew they couldn't match the first, they should not have made this film with all the corny jokes. Tom Cruise trying to be cute wasn't funny at all.

I think the real mummies in Egypt are now turning in their sarcophagi. :-)

So save your money and time, and just watch Wonder Woman!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

From The South Pacific To My Plate: Sweetened Breadfruit!

At the local fruit market, I stumbled upon this ten-peso kolo, and I remember eating this fruit after being candied. I had to buy two!
Our neighbor, who is very good in turning simple recipes into yummy delights, volunteered to cook this kolo, or known in English as breadfruit.

She boiled the fruit, cut it into small pieces, and cooked it in coconut milk mixed with white and brown sugar. Each bite is rough, but sweet and has a creamy flavor because of the coconut milk.
(Very cheap fruits and root crops at the local market)

Kolo, or breadfruit, originated in the South Pacific, and its seeds spread around the tropics by the navigators of the 18th century.  
              (Boiled, cooked and sweetened!

I was just happy (and thankful!) and they helped bring it to the Philippine islands because after 200 years, it reached my plate!
Now, for one more bite!