surprises, music, books and survival

A place as orderly as Sydney and a people like the Aussies whom I perceive rightly or wrongly to be quite straight-laced compared to us Pinoys have just managed to pull off a rather odd surprise as far as I’m concerned.

I was with my son lined up in a government office a few days ago. When it was our turn to be served, we approached a counter and a man in spiked mohawk hairdo, facial piercings, and an arm completely covered with bright colored tattoos was there to help us with the papers that needed to be filled up. I tried hard NOT to stare at his very interesting tattoos and his carefully coiffured hair while I asked him all the questions I needed answered.

Cool. What can I say. It’s just not something I would expect from a government official! It’s nice to be reminded that everything straight, prim and proper and appearing to be two dimensional has a wild, dark, interesting and redeeming side. Ha ha.


Been listening to the sequel of the mega hit album KaminAPOmuna ULIT since last night. No, it’s not out yet. I am enjoying the privilege of being able to listen to it before its official release since it’s a tribute to APO after all. I know I should not preempt my record company by talking about this but let me just say one thing about it: MAKE SURE YOU GO OUT AND BUY IT. It is very interesting!!

Oops. I better stop before I spill the beans. STOP JIM!!!!!!

To all those who have invited me to join their Multiply circle, and have wondered why I have not accepted their requests, I have to explain something. If it seems to you that I have been snubbing you, please forgive me. I have not. I have close to 500 invites and I am really sorry I cannot say yes to everyone. As of now, it’s just taking quite long to read everyone’s updates in my approved circle. I will probably not approve most of the 500 for the simple reason of practicality.

Sorry po!!

I don’t get it. I announced that I have copies of my new book with me through this blog and I got lots of calls and emails. What I don’t understand is the book has been available online for the last three months now. I guess people still do hesitate to order online. To those brave souls who did, I thank you. And if you wish to write a review or anything about the book, please post it at I will be happy to read a review or a reco.

To the others who are interested, I am down to my last two copies of the new book (As Is Where Is) but have a few more of the first three (Humming In My Universe, Between Blinks, Writing On Water). Just write me so I can arrange to send it, or if you are in Sydney and wish to pick it up at my house, feel free to email at for details. The new book is 20$ AUD while the three other books are 15$ AUD each.

Mio and I watched Transformers a few days ago. What a blast! Don’t miss it. You’ll be a kid again for the duration of the movie.

I was happy that Spielberg has once again come up with a great one. I hated the War of the Worlds. I thought that Spielberg had become a spent force after I saw it. But with Transformers, he has redeemed himself.

I have learned the past two weeks to fend for myself in the kitchen since it’s only been Mio and I who have been inhabiting our Sydney home. The girls are all on vacation although they should be joining us again shortly. I have surprised myself by actually cooking. Yes, that’s right. And not just fried egg or heating things from canned goods but stuff like baked chicken, steak, fried lumpia, and a few more. OK, I’ll admit my repertoire of food I can prepare from scratch is not that varied yet.

That’s why I am appealing to you, dear readers. If you feel moved enough to send me easy recipes to cook for the survival of this FOB father and son tandem undergoing this awful winter in OZ, it will be greatly appreciated.

A few guidelines:

1) send a recipe that is easy to execute
2) that can be made just for two or at most, 6 people
3) that is delicious.
4) dessert suggestions welcome as well

Thank you and I look forward to reading the wondrous suggestions that you may send our way.


23 thoughts on “surprises, music, books and survival”

  1. hi, sir jim. nice blog. i was really amazed you’re also in the blogosphere! expect a nice_and_smiling_girl regularly visiting ur blog, ok? oh, before i forget, i am one of ur avid fans.

  2. Hi Nicely

    Feel free to drop by anytime and engage me with your comments or just quietly enjoy the entries. YOu can also check out my site. It has pics and music and videos.


  3. Hi Jim,

    My daughter is very much looking forward to her first guitar lesson with you tomorrow. She’s actually playing with her 3/4 guitar right now as I type this comment. Yes, I bought her a guitar as soon as we left your house last Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚ She doesn’t have a guitar pick yet (I forgot to get her one when I bought the guitar) so my stepson suggested she use one of those bread ties that has the “use by date” stamped on it & it works well! ๐Ÿ™‚ Instant guitar pick!

    Anyway, I’m forgetting why I’m posting a comment here… I read your latest blog entry and it just made me smile… Its amazing how anyone with tattoos and all sorts of body piercings can have a proper job here huh, and more so work for the government. ๐Ÿ™‚ And can I take a guess as to which hardware store you went to? Is it the Bunnings at Norwest? ๐Ÿ™‚ Coz its our local hardware store too and I do find the service pretty slow there… ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Marlene–Yes, it was the one in Norwest. ha ha.

    Don’t bother getting your daughter a pick. It’s better not to use one. See you tomorrow. I’m excited to teach her too.

  5. Mang Jim,

    regarding your request for some simple recipes, here’s one:

    Baked Salmon with Asparagus

    1 lb Salmon filet ( your local grocery should have one)

    1/2 packet sinigang (knorr) mix or whatever you have.

    1/2 cup mayonnaise


    Spread sinigang mix on the salmon, bake in 375 degrees oven, for 20 -30 minutes. Or till the meat turns pink. Test with fork

    Take out from the oven (salmon) spread mayo on top, broil for 15 minutes or until the top browns. Watch so it does not burn

    Lastly, steam asparagus spears.

    Eat with steamed rice.

  6. APO Jim…truly enjoyed this “just stuff” blog…I am cleaning out my schedule so I can have time to read and actually absorb your “AS IS” book which I will buy online soon…

    Also, I have a ton of quick and easy recipes that I can send (being a working mom and all) I’ll email na lang sa yahoo address…ginagamit mo pa ‘yon ‘di ba? Maraming ring “tasty” Weight Watchers recipes kasi my hubby is a WW fanatic…he lost 60 lbs in 1 year doing it…and has been able to maintain it…even with my Pinoy cooking.

    Lastly, I almost went to your writing workshop sa Ateneo this past June…I was actually home to take care of family matters, problema it was on the week I left to return to the States. Sayang…have you considered doing your workshop online? I’d pay to take it there, my writing bug has definitely made an appearance like the 16-year cicadas in Chicago ๐Ÿ™‚ Can you teach guitar online na rin? siguro if you have a voice/guitar workshop sa Pilipinas for the AMERICAN SUMMER (June-August), Fil-Ams who send their kids home for the summer might consider it…oh ano say mo?

    K – let me know kung the yahoo address is still good, I’ll send the recipes there.

  7. Dear Jim:

    What type of food do you like? Mahirap magbigay ng recipe not knowing what you like. Are you concern about your cholesterol? any form of heart disease, diabetes? I’m not in the medical field, however, my mom is and those are your main concern. Di ba?

    As we approach our golden years, we need to be more cognizant of our intake, di ba?

    Thanks. I must admit you have an interesting entries here.


  8. anonymous–salamat

    j gray–yes, my Yahoo still works. It’s too bad you couldn’t attend the creativity (not writing) workshop. It’s hard to offer it online since the interaction going on between participants and facilitator is key.

    One of these days, you and the workshop wil find each other if it is meant to be.

    Regina–I have no prob about weight. I can basically eat anything. I just saw my doctor annd all my numbers are great. BUt still, I do try to avoid food that can increase uric acid, cholesterol and all that. I eat moderately the stuff that’s not too healthy.

    Simple recipes arre best for me. Thanks.

  9. If all else fails go for that hard to beat garlic sinangag and throw in:

    2 beaten eggs
    slices of cooked longganisa or hotdog and tinapa flakes
    2 tbsp of soy sauce

    * you may also add a bit of salad on the side which is – itlog na pula (maalat) with slices of tomatoes

    It’s a breakfast meal that you and Mio can eat anytime.

  10. hi jim, try carbonara. just boil the spaghetti noodles, rinse. for the sauce, sautee plain tuna chunks (i used the ones in can)onion, garlic, pour 1-2 cans of campbell’s mushroom sauce, little water, little pepper, little salt and little sugar. then add cheese to your pasta. Enjoy your meal.

  11. You might be interested in some of the food I cook for myself. These are my winter comfort food. They’re pretty healthy so I don’t feel so bad eating them.

    Asparagus & spinach risotto is a recipe for 2 (pretty hungry) people and takes about 35-40 mins to prepare & cook. You can add 1 diced chicken breast if you like which you have to cook in the oil before the leek.

    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 leek chopped
    1 cup arborio rice
    500 mls vegetable stock
    10 button mushrooms (sliced)
    1 bunch asparagus cut into 2cm pieces (make sure to take off hard bits – bottom part)
    handful of baby spinach leaves
    1/2 cup milk
    parmesan cheese
    salt & pepper

    1. Heat oil in saucepan (non-stick is best). Chuck in leek. Swirl around for 3 mins.
    2. Add rice. Cook 3 mins.
    3. Add 1/2 of stock. Let cook on moderate heat for 10-15 mins. Keep adding stock while simmering. Stir once in a while. Taste rice to see if nearly cooked. Add a bit of water if getting too dry.
    4. If rice almost cooked add asparagus & mushrooms. Cook for 2 mins. Season to taste then turn heat off.
    5. Chuck in the spinach and milk and mix it about until spinach is wilted.
    6. Serve hot with parmesan cheese on top.

    Another of my fav winter comfort food is homemade potato and leek soup. This will serve 2 (cold & shivering) people.

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small onion (finely chopped)
    2 leeks chopped
    2 potatoes peeled & chopped
    750 mls vegetable stock (or 2 veg cubes in 750 mls water)
    salt & pepper
    1 cup milk
    finely chopped parsley or chives
    french bread stick

    1. Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion. Cook until transparent.
    2. Chuck in leeks and cook for 5 mins.
    3. Chuck in potatoes and cook for 3 mins.
    4. Add stock and turn heat up until boiling. When it boils turn heat down and simmer for 15 mins.
    5. Add milk and season to taste. Turn heat off.
    6. If you have a potato masher, mash the potato in the saucepan. Or you can just leave it chunky.
    7. Serve with parsley or chives on top and some crusty bread. Enjoy.

  12. Wow. I’m deluged with recipes even on my privtae email. I still have to truy them out.

    Daghang salamat sa inyong lahat!!

  13. Hi sir looking forward to that new album of kami nAPO muna ULIT.I cried a lot when the kami nAPO muna album got out of stock in the music store.I want it so badly, I bought the album which has the original version of your songs.I hope that it the new album will be out in the market soon. I also watched you perform live at metro bar last Christmas season,that was the first time I saw you perform live.I really like your music. I always listen to it every now and then. I love the 3 of you. I’ve been watching you since ‘sang linggo nAPO sila.Your noontime show in ch.2.I always visit your blog and I really want to leave a comment, but im hesitant coz im shy. . . .and at the same time afraid that you’ll just ignore my message.I’m a big fan of yours and im 18yrs.old. I’ve watched transformers too and it’s a nice movie.Have a good life sir jim.I hope you can do more projects here in the Philippines. God Bless you and your family.

  14. Hi Jim. This is a very easy recipe and does not require a lot of ingredients.

    1 lb. ground beef
    1 8 oz. tomato sauce (small can)
    potatoes or carrots cut in small cubes

    Gisa onion. Add ground beef and cook til brown. Remove some of the fat. Add vegetables. Cook until almost done. Add tomato sauce and raisins.Salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Simmer a little bit until sauce is thick.

    Eat with rice.

    This is our favorite weekday staple since this is soo easy to make and very delish!

  15. cindy–Nice that you dropped by. I guarrantee you you will enjoy this new album. Na-aliw ako nung pinakinggan ko and I jhave been listening to it the whole week.

    Yes, I remember Metro Bar. Where you an APO virgin then? ha ha.

    anonymous–salamat sa recipe- mukhang kaya ko yan. Will try it this week.

  16. two words for you: instant noodles. but not the two-minute types you buy from the supermarkets (maggie). go to an asian shop and they have a variety of packs from thailand, japan, korea, china, etc. they’re quick and easy. now, to make it even more interesting, just add in your favourite “nuked” vegies, frozen meatballs, canned tuna or sliced sausages… anything you fancy. and voila! it’s gourmet instant noodles (at least that’s what i call it). you can’t go wrong. best of all, it’s dirt cheap. now i’m hungry.

  17. Hello Jim
    Here is a simple dish I like to make especially when i cant think of anything better.

    I use chicken leg quarters and cut them up into serving pieces. Season with salt and pepper and brown in some oil. Drain the chicken and place in a baking dish (preferrably a shallow dish so that the chicken is immersed in the soup/sauce). Prepare a can of cream of mushroom soup following soup instructions, you can lessen the liquid so that the sauce will be thicker. Pour over the chicken. Top it of with a layer of bacon, covering the chicken. Bake in about 350 or until bacon is crunchy and soup/gravy is bubbling. Enjoy

  18. Hi Jim!
    When is the next Tribute CD out?? I was in the Philippines when the first one came out and I loved it!!! I bought all my relos in the Phils a copy.

    Can’t wait to hear it!

  19. Ha ha. Yes I’m an apo virgin that time. I was lucky to have your autograph that time. You’re in a rush, so you just sign the paper without writing any message. But I’m very happy coz I was able to see you very close. Are the songs in the album are revival again of the different bands? I can’t wait to have one. Hope to see you on television again. God Bless you and your family. =)

  20. “โ€ฆAussies whom I perceive rightly or wrongly to be quite straight-laced compared to us Pinoysโ€ฆ”
    you obviously haven’t spent that much time in oz, never been out of the house, or still been following what’s happening in america, mr jim.
    just a thought.

  21. not sure if you’re still looking for recipes, but here’s a quick one for pasta:
    saute 1/4 diced onion and 2 tsp minced garlic in olive oil. When onion is translucent (but not mushy), add 1 small can of sliced mushroom pieces (button is fine, portabella is great, or shiitake–you can use fresh ones too, tastes even better) and small can of sliced black olives. Saute for another 3 mins. Add 1 can of stewed tomatoes. Mash tomatoes with a fork. Bring to a simmer–toss with favorite pasta. Top with favorite cheese (of course parmesan reggiano would be best, but try mizithra , manchego, or shaved gouda if you’re feeling adventurous)

  22. Hello i was wondering how much you would to set your blog graphics up on my blog for me, because i truly like the look of your website but i don’t know how to make such a well looking theme.

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