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23 December 2019

Ways to improve English speaking skills.

Common challenges among students of other languages is when they start feeling self-conscious and embarrassed because they focus too much on producing an outcome right away, and they instead retreat whenever asked to participate in class. It is just natural to feel this way because even I would still commit mistakes with my subject-verb agreement, present perfect tenses, and I teach the subject!

As non-native speakers of the English language, students of other languages are not expected to learn everything in one go and magically speak the vernacular. There’s a process of learning, practicing in order to achieve proficiency. It takes time and the best way to handle the dilemma is to be patient with yourself and take one-step-at-a-time.

There is more than one method to improve one’s English speaking skills, you can:
  • Read books & magazines
  • Watch movies
  • Listen to music
  • Or you can join forums specifically for this subject and find people who you can practice conversation with.
You can pick up any of these ideas, using extensive English materials that you’re comfortable with, and another good way to improve your English memory is to practice writing it. What’s important is taking the first step to reaching your goal to learn and be proficient in speaking the English language, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Another method I practice myself to keep my English memory is I constantly think in English language. How you say? At any time I think of doing something, like a chore or as simple as making myself coffee, instead of telling myself “Makapag-timpla nga ng kape.”in Tagalog, I restate them like this: “I’m making myself coffee.” Now, I would just like to point out that thinking in my first language whilst mentally translating my every word in English is not exactly useful to me because my statement may lose its sense. Also, writing in English helps your memory muscle to retain foreign words and practice your linguistic skill.

This is also why Comprehension is part of learning to speak English, to fully understand the value, or the meaning of the full sentence written or spoken in English, to properly respond to it and avoid misinterpretation or misunderstanding of what you’re trying to say.

This has been a constant dilemma for me in the past, working as a customer service representative for Western clients. I deal with native English speakers daily, and I always have to be at my best whenever I respond to each query; to produce a clear and coherent statement as possible as I can. Being that my consciousness is naturally in my first language, there were times when I struggled to express myself because I still default to my first language. It doesn’t happen as much now because I’ve gotten very used to it in the process.

In conclusion: Finding where you’re comfortable on how you can learn to master English proficiency is up to you; you can bombard yourself with extensive or heavy English language materials, or you can start from the basics and work your way up. The feelings of frustration and discouragement are a natural occurrence in learning another language than your own. But you need to work at your own pace. Learning languages, just like life to me, is not a competition, unless in the literal sense of academic requirement and you are anticipated to do so. The process is still the same, there are no shortcuts.

26 November 2019

ESL Approaches and Methodologies; my strategy.

As an experienced ESL teacher, I have always found the combination of tailored teaching of Direct and Reading Method to work effectively in my class, regardless of their learning category. There's always the advantage of practical approach to teaching other languages. The visual and verbal method makes it easy for me to guide my students, because apart from the vocabulary, there's also something appealing to the eyes that juggles the memories and leads to a more definite interpretation of what is being taught. For example, all around the world, we have fathers and mothers. Different cultures have their own word specific to how they address their parents, and this is no brainer: Ama and Ina in Tagalog is Father and Mother in the English language. While, Lola in Tagalog or Grandmother in English, is Abuelita to the Spanish. With direct and reading methods, my student recognizes the topic that is familiar with them and discovers another way of interpreting them, here, through a different language.

The conversational approach allows the student to learn everyday English in a manner that is appropriate or applicable for every situation. For example with Business English, they learn the practical approach of response to a particular or specific question and how to respond to a given instruction: how to introduce themselves to people, how to ask for directions, how to make requests, how to give directions and so forth.

With the infusion of Reading Method, where comprehension and fluency is learned, I find that my students gets to retain and practice the word/s or phrases they have read and are delighted to form their own sentences as we go along the lesson. The combination of both teaching method empowers them to be creative and motivated.

Admittedly, I myself, still am a student of the English language. More and more as I progress in my teaching profession, I acquire more methods and strategies that help me make it easier for my students to understand the language at a pace they are comfortable with by finding more ways to develop my lessons using Direct and Reading method.

3 August 2019

Exploring Cavite: Big Ben of Imus

One of the things I like about Cavite is the heirloom cuisine. Apart from the provincial vibe, the beautiful golden rice fields, and the abundance of seafood and nicest coastlines, the province of Cavite boasts comfort food that's unique to this province. I'm no stranger to the region as I would spend most of my summer vacations at my late aunt's in Silang. Admittedly, there are still a lot of interesting areas of Cavite I haven't ventured and was delighted to discover Big Ben's at the successful Cavite Food and Culinary Expo 2019 that concluded last Sunday at the Isla Events in Imus.

My friends and I decided to give this family restaurant a try. It was a rainy afternoon and we were really hungry for a warm meal. We almost couldn't get up the table afterwards. Each serving boasts sizeable amount of food platter that you and your family & friends can share. Not only that, Big Ben's menu speaks of Filipino heritage too.

Perfect for a cold rainy afternoon, Pancit Langlang is our national hero Dr. Jose P Rizal's comfort food. As simple and as practical the food is, you can still find Pancit Langlang served at Big Ben's.

The classic sotanghon, another common gastronomic staple for a Pinoy cold and rainy day. All I can say about the sotanghon soup is that it will definitely remind you of home.

I highly recommend Big Ben's Kare-Kare. The sauce is made of rich peanut that you'll really appreciate. Sauce pa lang solved ka na. I didn't even bothered for the fish paste anymore because the sauce and ingredients were enough to compliment my steamed garlic rice.

I will say, at Big Ben's, malalasahan mo ang pagkain dahil hindi sya overcooked or under for that matter and hindi tinipid sa ingredients. If you're looking for value for money while enjoying the company of friends and family sharing a hearty meal of authentic Pinoy food, this is the place to go.

Chips with longanisa dip.

French fries with longanisa dip.

Did you know that Big Ben innovated the classic longanisa that we all love? Tań∑ing to mind our fellow Pinoys abroad, they created longanisa in a jar, the Gourmet Imus Longanisa.

I had some of my friends in Manila taste Big Ben's longanisa and they were all impressed with the texture and taste. It is flavorful and you could almost tell that it's almost without pork fats.

Other products available that's Big Ben's are their Pure Honey, Sukang Sasa and jarred Longanisa in Adobong Tagalog recipe.

29 July 2019

At the Cavite Food and Culinary Expo 2019

Hey everyone! I had an eventful day visiting the different booths at the Cavite Food and Culinary Expo held at the Isla Events in Imus and it didn't mattered if it was a cold rainy afternoon, we still had fun and enjoyed our time and visit there.

The Isla Events hall is a newly built air-conditioned showroom located at Tamsui Avenue
Barangay Bayan Luma II Imus City, Cavite. The place is clean with ample lighting, and it's huge enough for a showcases and extravaganzas like this event that just made it's successful conclusion.

At the event were:

Big Ben of Imus Cavite and their famous family heirloom recipe Chorizo de Ymus and longanisa.

Mama Sita's products that we all knew and love. I personally use Mama Sita's for all my cooking since I discovered it and my pantry is not without this product.

Photo credits to Rence of Collector's Connection
Jacobina and Cafe Amadeo. A great afternoon snack after a refreshing siesta.

Aling Norma’s Suman and Sweet Delicacies of Kawit. This is not just a must-try product, but a highly recommended one. You will find that they have retained the old technique of making native suman.

Delfa’s Food Products. I specifically like their ginger and turmeric tea. Since acquiring bladder infection, this tea helped me keep occasional pain at bay. 

Stevia and Glorious Blend products.
Fantastic sausages by Windmill gourmet
Address: Molino 4, Bacoor, Cavite province
Contact persons: Ms. Aiza 09159031301 or Mr. Rozel Salazar 0956-3856184


21 July 2019

Beyond the Kitchen: Cavite Food and Culinary Expo 2019

Following the success of Cavite Travel and Tours Expo (CTTE), Isla Events is launching another exciting happening that would surely delight every Caviteno taste buds; the Cavite Food and Culinary Expo 2019 that will showcase the different Cavite dishes and food products happening from 26 to 28 July 2019 at the Isla Events Center in Imus.

The event aims to promote Cavite as one of the most promising region and be widely known for its delightful culinary art & heritage, and to help the participants gain a wider consumer reach.

“We will showcase popular food businesses, as well as the start-ups, small enterprises for a healthy collaboration.” said Project Director Jonalyn Agrazada.

Since living here in Cavite, I have had my own share of food exploration with two of the oldest and popular restaurants that is also near my area, Calle Real that serve my favorite Seafood Paella and Lolo Claros with my all-time favoriteorder, Lumpiang Sariwa. There are still other great restaurants and food places here in Cavite that I haven’t tried yet, and this event is a good opportunity for people like me who enjoys discovering more of Cavite’s finest.

“The event will serve as a venue where they can reach out to their target publics, avail of various skills re-tooling and upgrade training, network with other businesses, and get to know the various programs offered by financial institutions as well as concerned government agencies.” she added.

It will be an exciting event for sure because not only you get to taste Cavite’s fine dishes, you also get to learn something from the cooking experts by sharing their know-how with the attendees.

The event is happening at the Isla Events Center, Tamsui Avenue, Bayan Luma II, Imus, Cavite.
For more inquiries, call or text (046)458-4595/09778201028/091730058990

16 July 2019

Turning Japanese; Hodai Japanese-Korean fusion Restaurant and Eigasai at the EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Mall

I had a rather thematic day last Saturday and it was an eventful weekend for me that I immediately related the song Turning Japanese by The Vapors with the moment and had it playing in my head!

First on my plate was a food trip invite from one of my blogger friends. We had our lunch date at the Hodai Infused Japanese-Korean Restaurant located at Examiner St., followed by a back-to-back movie happening at the EDSA Shang-ri La Red Carpet, the Japanese Film Festival Eigasai (Eiga or film and sai for festival).

Hodai is steadily gaining popularity among food enthusiast, and it didn’t surprise me because the Tempura alone is nothing like the ones I’ve tasted from the other Japanese themed restaurant I’ve dined with my family before. I could make out the difference with the taste because it’s not starchy and the shrimp is juicy.

Hodai which means "all you can" in Nihongo is basically an eat-all-you can Asian food, specifically Japanese & Korean cuisine.

They served us a generous and unlimited serving of each of their current offerings and I was about to burst! I basically focused my taste buds on their Tempura, Pork Tonkatsu and Sushi rolls!

I liked that the ambience is clean, with sufficient lighting and good amount of leg room. For me it’s important that the restaurant gives me that laidback atmosphere because it induces my appetite, and I get to enjoy not only the food, more importantly the company of my friends. This is of course, a no surprise because the restaurant used to be a residence that’s converted into this casual dining venue. They also have great wait staff, polite and they are attentive to the customers which I really appreciated. They know when to approach and ask if there’s anything else we need.

Great food and delightful company, is something that I always remember. It was an overall pleasant experience having our tea time at Hodai's. Will definitely return for more!

Trivia: The cat on Hodai's signage is strategically placed there because in Japan, they believe that cats (neko) bring good luck. Very similar to China's custom. Very interesting that as Asians we have that something that's only unique to us that we identify with. 

Promo: Weekday
1+1 Gold set Php 599.00 (for 2 pax)

Weekend and Holidays
Silver set Php349.00 and Gold set Php 419.00

Gold Set:
Japchea or Rose Cream Pasta (Spicy)
Roll Tower
Korean Fried Chicken
Kani Salad
Kimchi Gyoza
Cheese Cream Spicy BBQ Bowl

Important Note: Now, I’m no way a food critic, though I have a bit of knowledge about food handling as I studied commercial cooking through TESDA, the theme of my blog is nothing about strict food rating. I only want to experience different cuisines and enjoy that gastronomic adventure with family & friends.

Eigasai at the EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Mall

At the EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Mall Red Carpet cinema was the Japanese Film Festival Eigasa. We saw two movies that are very witty and creative. It was dystopian at its best, I swear if there was twilight zones or alternate worlds, Japan seem to be a portal!

Kakegurui (Compulsive Gambler) is not your typical gambling story because the characters involved are high school students studying in an exclusive school for rich kids. If you're familiar or like to watch Manga like moi, you'll know the gist of this movie. The second movie was titled One Cut of The Dead. A horror-comedy film that enlightens viewers about the things involved in doing a horror movie.

With one of my favorite people in the world, Vance of Purple Plum Fairy (who coincidentally and cunningly wore purple on our movie date, LOL!)