Saturday, August 15, 2020

Cat Chronicles: Spreading a Bit of Kindness and Finding New Life in the Middle of the Pandemic

BonBon sitting on my lap after feeding
Cats, it seems, are everywhere but they seem to be more visible during the lockdown and quarantine.  The few times I venture outside to buy necessities like food and medicine, I spot them congregating (even seemingly anti-social creatures seem to like meeting together and bonding, too) in spots along the way to the supermarket or pharmacy.  I'm a dog person but as a self-confessed empath, I draw other animals into my sphere of influence.

The Yodas of LOA thinking as well as the philosophical types are not averse to admitting that even for pets, humans do not really choose their animal companions.  Rather, animals, especially the street cats, choose their humans.  In the case of my street foster cat, BonBon, she chose me.  Just the other day, she was hiding inside a long fallen pipe/post under the Buendia-South Superhighway flyover, exhausted from giving birth.  But she came out to drink the milk I offered her when I called her.  Today, she's back to her gregarious self, lying on my lap after feeding on Whiskas catfood and drinking milk.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Birding in the City: Black Crowned Night Heron and other Makati Birds

Black Crowned Night Heron visiting Greenbelt Park
It's almost four months since Metro Manila was put into quarantine mode, moving from ECQ to GCQ, GCQ to MGCQ, and maybe a return to MECQ if the number of Covid 19 cases would stay in the thousands for the remainder of July.  I honestly been very diligent in staying home as much as I can the whole time, only going out to do essential business, get food and medicines, procure and send out deliveries whether personal orders or for my food delivery enterprise.  With the relaxing of the quarantine, I still try to stay home but welcome the prospect of stepping out, not to visit the mall (hardly miss them) but the Makati parks.

The quarantine have kept the economy stagnant admittedly.  Nature, however, moves on.  It may even seem wildlife thrived in the interim.  We keep reading and hearing in the news about various wild animals being spotted in areas where they used to be absent -- turtles on deserted beaches in the south; sea otters going inland from the Singapore quay; a Brahminy Kite getting more comfortable soaring over parts of Metro Manila far from the mountains.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Pandemic Journals: Joining the Online Selling Brigade

BulgOggie House Korean Beef Stew
Almost four months of different stages of quarantine and being locked down at home most of the time have forced most of us, Pinoys, into doing all sorts of things just to pay the rent and put food on the table.  I'm no exception -- a mobile phone glitch took away the chance of getting even a centavo from the Makati P5,000 one-time ayuda two months ago.  A promising full-time online writing/reviewing job turned into a payola/scam-mish/image-theft job I didn't have the stomach to keep barely a month and a half into the probation period.

I knew I had to do something apart from keeping borrowing from my cards to keep me afloat so I sold some of my photography gear (no prospects of assignments in the near future anyway) and decided to gamble and go into food selling online.  It took awhile to figure out what I will cook, and I'm still learning the ropes.  I'm not saying reselling stuff is easy or easier but cooking up the product is hard work.  When you do the canvassing, the supermarketing for supplies, the calculations, the cooking, the washing, the purchase of additional logistics (pots, pans, even small containers for organizing the kitchen workspace), the selling, the booking for deliveries, the billing -- it's a heck of a one-man behemoth job.

WHY BEEF STEW?  With the surfeit of online food available, my chosen product(s) take awhile to prepare: mainly old-style Korean beef stew.  For a market used to fastfood (literally order it now and have it in less than an hour or 30 minutes), this is food that uses a rather expensive cut of beef (brisket) and takes up to three hours to prepare. But I decided on this because this is something that lazier foodies would just want to order instead of cook.  I can whip up a mean peperoncino or spaghetti aglio olio but it's so easy, IMHO anyone who can buy the ingredients can attempt to cook it. 


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