Measuring it by eye

Listing and writing down recipes… That is something I am yet to practice religiously. It’s not really because I don’t want to share or it’s just me being lazy (Err, this part is partly true. lol). It’s more because I have acquired the treasured and passed down tradition among Asian generations of “measuring it by eye.”😂

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Dark chocolate, rosemary and olive oil cake

The #StruggleIsReal with getting some baking ingredients this lockdown period. One of the items I’ve had a hard time finding the most is unsalted butter. So, if you are like me who have struggled with that during this lockdown period… here’s a chocolate cake recipe that don’t need it!

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Witch Kitchen

Hi! I am Zay, your resident foodie.

I love cooking, eating, and feeding people, hence the avalanche of content for this food blog. Preparing a meal from scratch is a magical opportunity; cooking in itself is a ritual. They are also chances to bring vibrancy and richness to someone’s existence, or even just your own.
I’m Filipino-British, so expect content from the two countries I call home. I will be posting pictures of bakes and dishes usually cooked, styled, and (of course) eaten by myself. I’ll also recommend past and present restaurant haunts.
There’s something about food that brings levity and soul to your day. You can also count on them to lift your mood and spirit. Whatever goes on in the kitchen isn’t then… a wonderful kind of witchery?
I hope you join me on this journey of trying to paint life with flavours. And, let’s always try to eat and live magically! ✨

P.S. Not an actual witch! Or am I? 😉

Isang Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan

This government is trying to urgently enact an Anti-Terrorism Bill – right now, in a time of crisis – as if this country does not have a history of immense injustices against the common people; constant abuse of power; rampant corruption; threats to freedom of expression; and, egregious human rights violations. As if the harmful rhetoric currently permeating our society paired with various problems and barriers in the judicial system do not continue to nurture a hostile environment, which allows for prevalent impunity. The very culture of impunity that further helps in ushering the critics and the marginalised to their graves, without justice nor consequence.

Contention about the bill is brought about by the erosion of trust in our state institutions to provide adequate protection and lay out safeguards from possible intimidations.

A new report by the UN Human Rights Office highlights Filipino citizens’ “fears over their safety and a sense of powerlessness in the search for justice.” Among other human rights concerns, it also raises anxiety over the institutionalisation and normalisation of the “vilification of dissent” in the country. Challenging policies and bringing issues up for debate are constantly being maligned – at the expense of human rights, due process, and state accountability.

Nonetheless, the report also mentions that the “Philippines has a long-standing and robust tradition of human rights advocacy and activism.” Whenever there is a threat to curtail our liberty, we fought back. Our hope is rooted in the faith that this is not going to change. Hindi tayo pasisiil.

The future is full of worries even on the eve of our Independence Day anniversary. I wish that today we can contemplate on our strengths, as a country of the people, as well as our abilities to still reach our full potential. And tomorrow, may we have renewed aspirations in greeting each other a Happy Independence Day. 🇵🇭

Read the UNCHR here:

Tagalog summary:

Paint me red. Paint me brave. Colour me hopeful.

I started this decade with a move to England. I am ending it with a year back in homeland.

“You already live and work in London? Then, what are you doing back here?!” I was often at the end of this kind of query for the last year. People are baffled. They wonder why I came back, especially in a country where it seems that one of the biggest achievement you can do is to leave.

I have been here in the Philippines for a year now, when most people thought I wouldn’t last for long.
“You’re too sheltered.”
“You’ve already enjoyed a certain kind of lifestyle.”
“You are not cut out for the grind here.”
“This would not suit you. At all!“
“You have no idea how tough it is.“
“You. Cannot. Possibly. Last.”
Everyone must have thought that I have glazed over eyes coming back. Most would have thought it idealistic, even unrealistic, when I said I am here to pursue my passion.

And for the most part, I believed that maybe they are right. Perhaps this was just me looking to confront a challenge. An exercise of free will in seeking a great perhaps, at best. Or wishful folly, at worst. This might become nothing more than a failed experiment of a privileged petulant young adult in her pursuit for something more. Nevertheless, I also took those wanton remarks on my stride.

So, here I stand. Constantly anxious? Absolutely. Still high-strung? Very much so! But never tired of proving myself – for the things that matter. At the danger of sounding too clichéd… Follow your dreams. Be steadfast in your passion. Know your goals. You might not know if it’s worth it – I’m still not quite sure myself – but you can have tons of pleasures and experiences finding out.

Don’t let the metaphorical ropes hold you. Work those frays instead of letting them scare you. You are always bigger than your doubts. It just takes one to embrace the immensity and all the colours of possibilities.

Paint me red. Paint me brave. Colour me hopeful. I am ready for this decade. Bring it the hell on!

Filipina designer finds her own skin on London catwalk

Ecdysis Collection on London College of Fashion Degree show 2019 catwalk

Filipina-British fashion designer Faye Arguelles debuts her collection at #LCF19 Degree Show on 18 July 2019. ‘Ecdysis’ showcases a collection of couture pieces underlying the present need for humans to wear masks as protection from pollution, while also drawing inspiration from nature itself.

Screenshot 2019-09-02 at 18.12.32
Faye Arguelles read Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Textiles majoring in Embroidery at LCF

Stirred by her birth country’s nature and landscape imageries, Arguelles contrasts heritage lands like the rice terraces – carved into the mountains by the hands of Filipino ancestors and indigenous people – with mining sites caused by urbanisation.

“Ecdysis means shedding the old skin. I wish for it to express the constantly changing ways of our earth caused by nature and the civilisations in it. There is always a layer of new skin to find,” Arguelles said.

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