by Sally Cristobal-Takashima
Handa na ba kayo sa hamon ng tag-init? Your check list will probably include swim suits, sunglasses, reef shoes for walking along the coast to protect your feet as you might step on sharp corals and shells and perhaps end up with skin cuts on the soles of your feet. That will not be pretty. No need to buy expensive beach sandals. The pair of sandals I bought in Yes Landmark Makati was made in Cebu but a top quality product. Puede natin ipagmalaki ang sariling atin. Marami din mga tao na naghahanda ng mga kagamitan para mag picnic. So make sure you brush your barbeque grill to be sure it is safe and clean. I don’t know about you, but most people I know prefer a well done barbeque which reminds me of a couple of people who ate raw meat at a Toyonaka chain resto and they all rested in peace. A product one couldn’t do without is skin cream for insect bites, as well as insect repellent. A home made insect repellent can be made by mixing 1 tablespoon of lavender oil and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil but don’t use this mixture around the eyes. Alam ninyo ba na ang matagal na paggamit ng mosquito coils or Katol ay hindi nakakabuti sa katawan dahil sa maaaring makalanghap ng usok na may “carcinogen” na maaaring maging dahilan pagkakaroon ng cancer. Ang pagsindi ng citronella candles or incense naman ay nakakatulong sa pag-iwas ng kagat ng lamok.
Gaano kaya ka “Cool Biz” ang Japan sa taong ito. Kung natatandaan ninyo na ang cool Biz Campaign ay sinimulan ng taong 2005 ng kapanahunan ng dating Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The Japan Ministry of Environment wanted to raise public awareness to save electricity and prevent energy shortages. Now barely 2 months after the nuclear crisis, the Cool Biz Campaign will start and take into effect very soon. The MOE, Ministry of Environment hopes that this awareness to save electricity will catch up with the private sector. Marami din mga tao sa Japan na nagpapalipas ng oras sa Beer Garden pagkatapos ng trabaho. It is not really a garden but beer bars to relax and talk while drinking beer and eating salt boiled green beans in pods or edamame. The beans are squeezed out of the pods with the fingers. Low in calories, too.
Hindi lamang sa tamang pananamit na tayo ay makapagpaparaos ng tag-init ngunit sa pagkain din ng mga iba’t ibang pagkain na nakakabawas ng init ng katawan kagaya ng Hiyashi Chuka Noodles. It is essentially a bowl of chilled noodle salad, broth eggs and veggies. A popular and easy to prepare summer appetizer is Hiyayakko which is a block of chilled silken (Kinu) type tofu topped with sesame seed, scallions, bonito shavings (katsuo) and soy sauce. Each serving has only about 200 calories. Do you know that the Kinu type Japanese tofu is ideal for making taho and even taste better because of the high quality of the beans used. All you have to do is warm the block of Kinu tofu and make taho type slices sideways into a bowl. Pour the syrup and top with sago.
Then we have yummy Unagi Don or Eel Rice Bowl. This is my favorite and assures one to fight the Summer heat plus it generates stamina. Most unagi used in Unagi Don are now farm bred in China as they are more profitable and tastes just as good as eels farmed in Japan. So, that’s grilled unagi on white rice and with a brushing of kabayaki sauce. A real traditional Japanese Summer delicacy treat.
Summer Shabu Shabu is called Rei Shabu which is thinly sliced pork loin quickly dipped in boiling water then dipped-chilled in a bowl of ice water. It is served on lettuce leaves with boiled green beans, slivered carrots and goma (sesame) sauce.
Another summer favorite is a regional specialty from Okinawa called Goya (ampalaya) Chanpuru. This is a high protein dish which means you are less likely to get hungy soon because protein stays longer in the stomach than any other food. Goya Chanpuru is stir fried bitter gourd with pork, eggs, crushed tofu and flavored with soy sauce and sake.
Moving on to Japan’s favorite Summer desato (dessert), I will put Mizu Yokan on the top list being a favorite crossing all age barriers. Mizu Yokan is simply mashed red beans (pulang monggo) and set in agar agar (fine gulaman), chilled and served with cold tea. Can joy be any simplier than this lovely dessert.
Who likes Macha Ice Cream? I do, I do. Of all the 31 flavors in Baskin Robbins here in Japan, 95% of the time you’ll find me happy and content with 2 scoops of Macha (Green Tea) Ice Cream. That’s how faithful I am with this ice cream flavor.
If you like the bola bola in guinataan or palitaw, then I guess you will easily become a fan of Azuki Shiratama which is cold malagkit na bola bola with minatamis na monggo.
And now, our news from Kansai. The annual Flag Raising Ceremony to mark the 113th Philippine Independence Day Celebration was held on the grounds of the Twin Tower in Chuo ku, Osaka where the Philipppine Consulate General office is located. A Holy Mass was officiated by Fr. Mario Colina, CM. Breakfast was served to guests provided by the hospitable staff of our Consulate General as well as the Philippine Department of Tourism. The Welcome Remarks and reading of the Independence Day Message of President Benigno S. Aquino III was given by our Consul General Maria Lourdes V. Ramiro Lopez while Consul Jerome John Castro read the message of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario. The Panunumpa sa Watawat or Oath of Allegiance to the Flag was lead by Vice Consul Xavier Imperial. Among the guests present who braved the morning rush hour to arrive at the venue at 8:00 a.m. were Arcie Soriano who represented the Department of Tourism in Osaka, Zafrullah Masahud of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry. Joseph Pelaez, Manager of Metro Bank, Osaka Branch, Malou Sato, Chairperson of the Philippine Community Coordinating Council, Jovy Ferrer, Financial Officer of the Philippine Consulate General, Liberty Suzuki, Nina Barranta, Jojo Santos, Marnie Mangila, Joy Yoshitomi, Luz Teranishi, Delia Nakashima, Bernard Latoja, Amy Ooi, Bessie Vicente, Gloria Completo, Nina Carillo, and Margie Sarmiento.
The Oath Taking of the Newly Elected Officers (2011-2013) of the Philippine Community Council was held in May 28th at the Four Seasons Sky Lounge of the Osaka, New Otani Hotel. The newly elected officers are Maria Lourdes V. Sato, Chairperson; Joy Yoshitomi, Vice Chairperson for Social and Cultural Affairs; Rose Kasai, Vice Chairperson for Public Relations; Sally C. Takashima, Secretary; Luz Teranishi, Treasurer; Jorge Takara, Auditor. Appointed officers are Eunice Hashizuka, Assistant Secretary and Susan Fuchizaki, Assistant Treasurer. The Oath of Office was administered by Consul General Maria Lourdes V. Ramiro Lopez. Group Prayer was lead by Sr. Altagracia Miguel, SPIC. Welcome Remarks given by Yoriko Hayashi of Kansai Tomo no Kai. A musical rendition of “Tagumpay” was performed by Ellen Takeuchi and the Closing Remarks given by Jun Silva, past Chairperson of PCCC and Commander of the Knights of Rizal. Among those present in this event were Aya Hongo, Carisa Patrimonio, Daisy Kojo, Mirasol Furuya, Marjorie Oyama, Marietta Gejima, Giovanni Belgira, Katrina Fujikawa, Analyn Yano, Myrna Ito, Mavie Yasunishi. Melvie Miyazaki, Tess Dimalanta, Sonny Ferrer, Tess Kita, Julima Lomocso, Tess Takara, Ver Nakao, Jun Mashiro, Sheena Tatezaki, Nixon Cacao, Dory Takamine, Olive Kawaida, Rose Kasai, Joy Yoshitomi, Koji Ueno, Vicky Wakiyama, Delia Nakashima and Ryan C. Pondoc, Vice Consul of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo. Advisers of PCCC are Neriza Saito, Sally C. Takashima, Noemi Itsukage and Jun Silva. Sa lahat ng nahirang na officers ng PCCC, may you all do your best to live up to everybody’s expectation. Kampai and all the best to all of you.
Being the July–August edition of Jeepney Press, let me briefly mention the various Fireworks Festival especially in Hyogo Prefecture which yearly attracts thousands of visitors. The Uchiage (fireworks for launching) mesmerizes everyone most especially the children. Some fireworks create shapes of cartoon characters in the sky. There will be a display of 10,000 fireworks launched from a boat in August 6th from 7-9 pm. The venue is a 5 minute walk from JR Motomachi station. It will be a historical celebration at the Awaji Island Festival in August 7th at the Sumoto Park in Awaji Island, If it’s a beach resort and marine sports you are after, try the Suma Beach Resort which is only a 40 minute train ride from JR Osaka Stati, not to mention the Aqualife Park and other historical attractions depicting samurai warriors in action during the Gentei War.
So enjoy Summer 2011. For all the viajeras, be wise spenders as it is easier to spend than to save money but just the same. Vaya con Dios. We, here at JP await
your safe return.