Sunday, November 14, 2010

Paving Paradise

Repost from my cousin dearie who is visiting from Manila...

when all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The 3rd FLOW Surf Yoga Samba Weekend Retreat

 Sorry guys. Been extremely busy as usual. But here's the poster for my latest event! Come join and learn how to surf, yoga & samba!
I promise to post more stories soon ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clayton Horton in Palawan!

I am deeply honored to have Clayton Horton as my special guest for my 1st Inner Dance, Yoga & Raw Food Retreat here in Palawan.

For those of you who don't know him, he was the amazing teacher that certified me to teach yoga back in 2008 when I decided to go for my dreams!


I hope that you could join me and Clayton on celebrating our birthday month in a wonderful 'Flow with Nature' retreat on Inner Dance, Yoga, and Raw Food on Sept 17-19, 2010. Clayton will be conducting workshops in kirtan and meditation. He rocks!


Retreat package is P7,000 inclusive of all activities, live food meals, room sharing in Bahay Kalipay plus beach and hot spring tour in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Airfare is not included.

For more information you may check my facebook album posters or email me at monica.eleazar@gmail.com

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Frank Chester in Manila

Thanks to Waldorf Mom, who just e-mailed me about this very interesting event by Frank Chester. At first, I declined because I thought I wasn't going to be in Manila. Then the universe paved some ways for me! A series of (un)fortunate events led me to fly in that very week.

 Click here for more info if the text of this poster is not visible.

God truly provides if intentions are good. I feel a wave of gratefulness :)

Earthly Pleasures

I am grounded.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seedy Surprise!

I received a huge package today in the mail. I felt giddy, like a child opening a present from Santa Claus on Christmas day. But instead of getting toys...


...I get packets of seeds! Oh, what joy! Thanks to my new friend Beth who was generous enough to send them in from Manila for the Bahay Kalipay community and myself.



How I met Beth is an interesting story in itself. One weekend, I received a text from someone who wasn't registered in my phone's memory. She introduced herself to me, saying the following things:

A. She is a fan of my blog
B. She has a daughter about the same age as Santi
C. Is really stressed and needs a weekend getaway
D. Is on the airport en route to Puerto Princesa in an hour and hopes to meet me and my family

I thought to myself..."WHAT THE ?!"

Letter 'D' got me nervous because I'll have to meet a complete stranger. I wasn't even sure about this person's identity...was she for real? Is this a joke? A male stalker pretending to be a female?

After minutes of getting sucked in paranoia, I pushed all my worries aside and just went with the flow. Later that day, we met in Bahay Kalipay and I found out that she was a genuine person after all! Although we didn't grow up in the same social circles, we exchanged stories about our lives and saw that we had a lot in common. What I found most interesting is that she actually works for a seed company! Just when I decide to move to Palawan in pursuit of a greener life, I meet someone who actually deals with seeds for a living. Talk about the law of attraction!

Beth--Thanks again, sweetie! I promise to plant all the seeds in the farm with love and take pictures of the organic produce for you. Why, you can even have the fresh crops when you come over! ;) Here's a photo of us having lunch after our yoga class when you came to visit. I hope to see you in September for our birthday retreat!

XOXO,
Monica

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Inner Dance Yoga Retreat

Inviting you all to come celebrate my birthday weekend with me in Palawan!

A three-day Raw Food Yoga Retreat with Monica Eleazar-Manzano and Inner Dance Healing with Pi Villaraza on September 17-19, 2010. Find the union between sacred movement, stillness and your mind-body-spirit connection, Bahay Kalipay Retreat Center, and journeys to the beaches, mountains and hot springs of Palawan

For inquiries contact Monica at 0915.294.3441 monica.eleazar@gmail.com
Limited room, first-come, first-served basis.

click each page to enlarge :)


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Becoming a Raw Foodie

Since I moved to Puerto Princesa a few months back, I have been properly introduced to Raw Food by Pi & Daniw of Bahay Kalipay.

 Breakfast from BK: Avocado-Mango-Banana with honey + coco milk + cacao bits

I have read about this diet years ago but found it quite drastic since I couldn't fathom eating anything that was un-cooked all day. Yes, I have been pork & beef free (and at times happy with a pure vegetarian diet) for so long but the thought of having to eat ONLY fruits and salads was just out of this world. To me, salads were always for starters and fruits were commonly just for snacks or dessert. I also grew up eating all kinds of food and delicacies..most of which are, sadly, not healthy for you.

Review all those comfort foods we all grew up with - white rice with ulam (dishes), pasta with bread, milk, butter in everything, potatoes in all forms esp the fried ones, fast food joints, oh and don't forget the chocolates, cakes and ice cream. The sweets, I find hardest to remove. Up to this day, I can remove all the others listed above but please don't take away my chocolates :(

So, imagine having to cut off all those deeply ingrained eating habits which you have grown to love all these years? When you are into healing, however, you slowly evolve into this being who resonates towards purity. And for a pure body, mind and soul... you'll need to detox. Remove all junk, toxic wastes from the body to let the light and life force flow within.


The Raw Food Diet is considered super nutrition that immensely adds life force because it's majorly composed of, preferably, organic fruits and green vegetables that provide live enzymes without all the junk. Pi Villaraza has an amazing explanation on this topic and foods that we are addicted to and why we should get off them. He connects this to our life force and spirituality. For those interested, he will be conducting a Raw Spirituality Workshop focusing on Raw Food in Manila on Aug 27, 2010. Limited slots only. Please contact kalimata777@gmail.com or 0999-451-2765 to save your space.


In a nutshell, what I have learned so far from Pi's talk, is that, being on raw would be spending the least amount of energy plus the most nutrition into your body. Having to digest very heavy food like processed carbohydrates disturbs your energy system. In yogic view, this would be likened to 'wasting or dumping all your energy'. After cooked meals, you draw all energies towards your digestive system just to break down all the food you have eaten when you would want energy to rise up to higher chakras instead of down to lower ones. It's basic energy consumption.

The sweetest yellow watermelons from the BK Garden

It's really removing layers of yourself like an onion. Until you get to your raw core to unleash your full potential. So, I'm aiming to slowly ease myself into raw. I've started with green smoothies or basic fruit for breakfast each day and experimented & incorporated some raw food dishes that actually fill the tummy for other meals at home. My days vary between 30% - 50% raw but I am pushing for 70% especially after our farming course! 100% Raw will continue to be a dream for now :)

Here's an interesting recipe taught to me by Bahay Kalipay's raw food goddess, Daniw. Making and tasting this sumptuous dish will surely jumpstart you and your family on your raw food journey.

Raw Pesto Pasta



Ingredients
-shredded fresh coconut meat (this is your noodles substitute!)
-tomatoes
-white or green onions
-pepper
-cayenne
-homemade pesto sauce : a mixture of basil, cashew nuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, Bragg's liquid aminos tossed in food processor or blender.


What I love about raw food preparation is that there is absolutely no cooking involved! So, just toss all ingredients above into a bowl and mix well :)

*Don't ask me about quantity because mine is always different per batch. Just use your instincts :)

Santi loves his raw pesto pasta! Plate is clean and mum is happy :)

Some Starter Tips on Becoming a Raw Foodie
1. Start small. I helped ease myself on all this by introducing green smoothies. If you are not fond of greens, at least it is being masked by the fruit and honey in your shake! Have it all day long if you end up loving it.
2. Since no cooking is involved, you save on a lot of costs on gas or electricity and can invest in a good set of knives, scoopers, and a bamboo chopping board instead.
3. A food processor, powerful juicer, and a really good blender is a MUST! Many raw foodist like Victoria Boutenko swear by VitaMix. It's got a very high price tag so I'm sticking to my trusty Osterizer until it konks out :P
4. Stock up on lots of green vegetables and fruits. Remember that fresh, local and organic is best so source them in your weekly organic markets. In Makati, there is the Salcedo Market every Saturdays, the Legaspi Market on Sundays and the Lung Center in Quezon City on Sundays.
5. Grow your own vegetable patch & herb garden. This is the most ideal situation. Growing your own greens is the most fulfilling for a raw foodie. It helps your kids learn where there food & health comes from! Later on you'll be amazed at how they will learn to respect
6. Have fun in your little dish experiments! The internet is a great source for hundreds of raw recipes by the experts. Here are some links for you:

http://www.rawfamily.com/
http://www.living-foods.com/recipes/
http://www.therawfoodfamily.com/
http://www.aniphyo.com/

Goodluck on your raw endeavors in the kitchen! If you have any interesting recipes to share, please send them in. We'd love to hear from you! :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Crash Course on Soil

Day 1 of our much-awaited course in Natural Farming of Bountiful Harvest is over. Today, Simon Gill focused and lectured on Soil Management which is top priority when starting out on a farm or even a personal vegetable and herb garden. 


We all know that the SOIL cares for PLANT which cares for YOU....But who cares for the SOIL? Aha!

Current soil status all over Palawan (and other parts of the Philippines & the world I can imagine!) is acidic. He explains that people have been mining on the soil, depleting soil of their trace minerals through wrong practices like chemical fertilizers, wrong practices of slash & burn, etc. This results to having mineral deficiency in the crops, the food on our plates. 

 Simon is proud of his healthy organic corn crops

It's simple to remember this...when minerals in the soil goes down, diseases in humans and animals rises. Studies have also been made on nutrient content of our foods today- to get the same nutritional value of an apple back in 1940's, you will need to consume 4-5 apples. Hmm..I would've used a local fruit like saba (banana) or camote (sweet potato) as an example but maybe the study he was referring to was from the US.

Since we are on the topic of food, here's our nutritionally dense food for a day's work- A variety of delicious vegetarian dishes by Jinky Gill, Simon's wife. There was brown rice, a spicy kang kong dish, bean soup, veggie rolls, eggplant and okra. All came with their own yoghurt based dips which were all very tasty and good.

She also served us snacks like fresh coconut, mango shake and fried bananas throughout the day. 
 Mango shake with a lovely edible flower from their garden

Most of the ingredients used in all their home-cooked meals are from their farm, of course! Nothing but fresh produce. I look forward to next week's class because she promised us Indian curry dishes, oooh yummy! :)

Some scenes from the farm---

 One of their local farmers on siesta break from 1pm to 3pm

And we proceed to make the carbonized rice hull for soil conditioner
 
  
And some magic soil mix


I found natural LOVE formations on the soil, too!
M and I have agreed to make this our weekly bonding activity. Something we could do together without Santi. Think of it like a special eco-date :)
 Cheers to the future food farmers!

It's another affirmation and physical manifestation of our green intentions for our family and more importantly the next generation's future. Like Simon says... when the oil, rice and vegetable prices sky-rocket (and you know they eventually will!), you're food farm will be a gold mine!

Now, can you digest that? ;)

Bountiful Harvest
Brgy. Sicsican, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Jinky Gill 0917-8492911

Sunday, July 11, 2010

On Dolphins & The Full Moon

I promised a post on the full moon bathing we did outside our home. Here it is 2 weeks late.

I was down with a bad case of the flu and a Palawan flu is not be taken lightly. It was a head flu and it felt very strange...like there was magnets inside of me. Santi these days has a bad cough. It's the type that doesn't wanna go away. The capricious weather is not helping either. We have been giving him oregano mixed with calamansi and honey juice.  It would break any mother's heart to hear her baby in cough distress :P

On a lighter note, we went dolphin watching yesterday to cheer our spirits! Denise and I agreed to take the kids because this might be the only touristy thing she does while she's here on a 3-week detox retreat at Bahay Kalipay.

Here's the only decent shot of the dolphins nearby. There are some videos which we still have yet to upload on youtube. Will post those too soon, here :)

Of course, Santi is lulled to sleep by the boat's engine. He even got annoyed at me for being so noisy cheering on those sentient dolphins.



Oh, I love them dolphins. You have got to try this amazing tour. Fees P600 per adult and P400 per child 3-12 years old. Text 0928-5021364 to save your slot. They leave 6:30 am from the Puerto Baywalk daily.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Full Moon Nesting

The energy of the full moon tonight is pulling me to make an inspiration board for our future home. As mentioned in a previous post, M and I will be making our biggest investment of our lives by purchasing land property here in Palawan. Finally, huge spaces & fertile soil to cultivate and create into a farm & home. It's nesting time once again!

Here are some images- design pegs & DIY projects that are on my to-do list for this nesting project.

I love these affirmations/inspiration found in Etsy. Hang these notes anywhere in the house or at your work space to gently remind you of what your real priorities are in life.


This is a modern DIY woven lamp from Poppytalk, one of my fave sites ever for all things beautiful & handmade. I've already challenged M to make some because the materials are all very simple and available at the hardware store.

[Going a little offtrack here, but...] Did you know that M makes the yummiest homemade peanut butter? "Better than Skippy!", he says. He's taken a liking into DIY projects too, and I want to package it just like these below for gifts or orders. Imagine all the products we can make from farm produce? Endless possibilities!


It would be nice to have some artworks all over the place. I must convince my older brother- contemporary artist, Gino Tioseco, to make more works for me! He was recently commissioned by the H20 Boutique Hotel to paint 40 pieces adorned all over their walls. Then again, Santi and I can always paint them myself.

I've always wanted a blue-hued spacious bathroom with my most coveted bathtub. So, here's one lovely photo of my dream come alive...


 And tiles made from this healing mandala pattern!

What crazy things do you do when the moon is full?

Tomorrow I shall post about our family's Full Moon Dinner and Moonbathing. For now, I need to sleep :P

Goodnight, Moon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nature's Alarm Clock

Choosing to live amidst a natural setting gives you delightful surprises each day. Here was mine one fine, chirpy morning...



This is the red-tailed squirrel, endemic to Palawan. There are sightings of them everywhere here especially during the early hours of the morning. According to my nanny, this is the female squirrel looking for a mate and communicating by its loud distinctive chirps. I hear that loud and clear!

The bantay (houseguard) of our landlady caught 2 of these creatures and caged them by his little kubo (hut). I take pity in them and a little voice in me wants to set them free. I read, after all, that they are already in the endangered species list. A clearer, close up photo with more info on their species here and here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pinky Promise?


These are some of Santi's favorite reads. I have started collecting Dr. Seuss books for him because the books are quite amusing to read out loud, even for myself. I like how the rhymes roll out of my tongue. Over and over again he asks me to read to him many times during the day. There are times when I get tired and tell him, "OK, this is going to be the last story now, pinky promise?"

I wasn't really sure if he was able to fully understand the concept because I have just introduced it recently. But he would grab my finger with his and comply each time. But today he saw this photo on one of the books...



...and said, "Mom, I want cake!"
I replied, "OK, I will buy you cake tonight."
Santi pulls out his finger and says, "Pinky promise?"

My heart takes a dip and melts! :*

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Living Green

One of the reasons why we moved to Puerto Princesa was so that my family can live healthier, gearing towards a more sustainable life. Quite a goal, but doable if you ask me. So many people have done it. Why can't we? Living away from the city chaos makes it so much easier. No traffic in the city saves you time. Almost no shopping saves you money. We have drastically decreased our shopping here because there really are no malls. Less shopping = less junk = less trash. That is environment-friendly too!

So, by living here in Palawan, we are saving time, money, the earth and our health. We live in one of the greenest places in the world. When it rains here, there is no flooding. All the trees and mangroves help suck the rainwater. Singapore maybe a first-world country but they recently got hit by the floods just like how Manila was when Ondoy happened. Makes you think twice about where to live, doesn't it?

And to make our lives even greener, M and I want to do organic farming. We are in the process of acquiring land in Bacungan which is 25 minutes north of Puerto Princesa city. The plan is to turn that place into our very own farm, eventually live there, eat our own produce and possibly supply neighbors too. But first, we need to educate ourselves and will start a customized 8-week course at Bountiful Harvest soon.


Meet Jinky & Simon Gill of Bountiful Harvest. They are one of the pioneers of organic farming here in Puerto Princesa. Simon of Bountiful Harvest was the consultant of Aloha House when they first started their operations. Both organic farms have been supplying the city (restaurants and individual homes) with their fresh organic produce every week. What I particularly like about Bountiful Harvest is that they deliver if your place is within their route. Another cookie point for the couple is that they are so friendly and very easy to talk to.

M and I are looking forward to get our hands dirty. We will be working on the farm all day from 9 am to 5 pm for 8 consecutive Saturdays. We have requested for a customized schedule because M has work during the week. The course fee is P800 per day per person which includes lunch and 2 snacks. You can imagine the meals to be healthy fresh from their farm. I have requested for raw vegetarian cuisine while M wants that organic pork on his plate! The course fee is very reasonable considering you will be learning survival skills that will be useful for a lifetime (and help the next generations too!)

This is where we will get our hands on training
The organic pigs M is dying to eat!
Goats raised up high so they can collect their manure for fertilizer
Stay tuned for more stories on the farm.

Bountiful Harvest
Brgy. Sicsican, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Jinky Gill 0917-8492911

Saturday, June 19, 2010

On Father's Day

My deepest gratitude and thanks to the amazing fathers in my life...

To my very own Daddy who is ever so patient, generous & loving. Thank you for this lifetime of memories- village motorcycle rides, beach trips, travels & shopping sprees. I am who I am because there will always be you in me.



And to my darling husband who is such a cool Dad to our dear little Santi. His resemblance to you in behavior is uncanny. Santi truly is his father's son. We love you to bits!

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