Thursday, April 25, 2013


I typically don't post food pictures online, but lately I've been loving to cook and eat a native dish, called law-uy.  What makes this simple soup (or sabaw) is its signature taste of the dark, leafy green plant rich in vitamins and minerals, called Malunggay (or Kalamunggay in Visayan).  Malunggay, is also known as the "miracle" tree because it has so many medicinal benefits including; anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and reproductive health.  The tree grows in tropical climates and has been used for thousands of years all across Asia and India.  The immediate benefits after eating law-uy are feeling relaxed, light and fulfilled and not overly stuffed, especially when eaten for dinner, which allows for a restorative night's sleep.

Here's a simple recipe for cooking law-uy using malunggay leaves.

(4) cups of water
1/4 kilo of fresh fish, like tuna steak, cut into 3 inch chunks
(3) cloves of garlic smashed and diced
(1) golf ball size chunk of ginger peeled and diced
(2) whole green thai chili peppers washed and slit length-wise with a knife
1/8 slice of fresh kalabasa (or orange squash), washed and cut into 1 inch chunks
(1) clump of fresh green onions washed; cut and discard roots and tips
      cut the remained stem into 4 inch pieces
(2+) cups of malunggay leaves washed and pulled from the stems
      salt and pepper to taste

Serves 2-4

Bring water to boil, add the fresh fish, garlic, ginger, pepper, kalabasa, salt and pepper. Cook ingredients for five minutes or until the kalabasa is tender.  Add the green onion and malunggay and boil for one minute.  Turn off the heat and simmer the sabaw mixture until ready to serve.  Serve with your favorite grain of cooked rice on the side.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Flat Stella Visits Dumaguete

Every year, when my sister's children turn age 7 and enter second grade they read the story, Flat Stanley.  The character in the story travels all around the world.  As part of the story's teaching, the children are required to draw and color their own versions of a Flat Stanley or Stella and mail it to a distant relative or friend who will take pictures with the paper character in that new place.  After, Flat Stanley or Stella is returned to the owner along with the pictures for the child to present to the class.  It's been a fun assignment. This is my third time receiving a Flat Stanley/Stella, and this time I was able to tour Dumaguete City.  The best part about the assignment is that I feel like I'm hanging out with my niece for a couple of days.  The following images are what I sent back to my niece for her assignment.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Estudio Damgo Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - Week 19

On Monday, March 25 Estudio Damgo presented the newly constructed Dungga Daycare to the Baranguay captain and community of Malaunay.  There were nearly 100 guests who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Speeches by the Dean of Department of Architecture and fifth year students, Rick and Von, opened the ceremony, followed by an introductory speech by instructor Ray Villanueva.  The building was blessed by the Baranguay priest and a prayer procession through the daycare.  After, everyone enjoyed a feast of lechon, pancit, and rice.

 Ribbon tied and ready for cutting.

 Sir Dean Sinco, Dean of the Department of Architecture stands outside looking into admire the interior finishes.

Fifth year thesis student, Rick, shares his experience working on the first design/build program.  Half of his speech is in English and the other (more emotional half) is in Basayan, his native language.

Sir Dean commemorates the project.

Baranguay priest prepares for the ribbon cutting.

Instructor Ray Villanueva giving an emotional speech.

The road to the daycare is remote, bumpy, narrow, and steep because it's located in the mountains.  This left a lasting impression for artist, Hersley-Ven Casero, to paint the experience of riding in the dump truck up to the site.  At the event, Hersley encouraged the children of Malaunay to draw pictures over the painting with crayons, illustrating their dreams.  He then presented this painting to Ray and Amy Villanueva as a gift for establishing the Estudio Damgo design/build studio.
Even the president of Foundation University, Mira Sinco, drew a picture of a daisy to add to the "dreams" on the painting.

 Hersley presents the painting to Ray and Amy.

Fourth year students gather to share funny stories in their native language.  For all those who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony it goes to show how many people it takes to build a small building, but at the same time it shows how many this small building impacts.  This was a great pilot project for the inauguration of the design/build studio in the Philippines.  This day marks a close to this project, yet it also marks the beginning of my new role as the lead instructor for the next design/build studio.  Progress is underway to procuring the next project.