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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

MY KITCHEN, MY RECIPE!

Ten years ago I only weighed 40 klgs. with a waistline of 2_ inches. Wish I still was but I will leave it to all of you about the measurement of my waistline. 

I could still vividly remember that I used to buy my clothes, most of the times, at the children's department; which were a lot cheaper. I was that tiny and slender before and knew the meaning of hardship when I was living in the capital city of the Philippines. Literally speaking, it would take me about 3 hours to reach my destination when I used to commute from my sister's house to work and vice versa. I have to say that my physique and most especially my booty benefited from all of the hardship. I commuted for 6 days in a week during which I had different time schedules and used 3 types of self-powered motor vehicles. Imaginatively, I was the walking superwoman version of my favourite fictional character superwoman (Lol!). After all, it was the joyride of my life! 

Those memories are now well kept in the left hemisphere of my brain which I frolickingly treasure: from time to time and will until my last day on Earth. Psychologically, it isn't very good to live in from past recollections and then, as we may just completely abandon how lovely it is to be in the now. After all, who we are today is the by-product of our colourful past?

Inevitably, I missed my waistline more than my weight and its because it was very very small. My love for cooking and eating, in general, supplemented my weight with another 10 klgs. and buttressed my waistline to a grown-up woman. Yes, I do miss my waistline (what a picayune!) but the additional klgs. means, given my height that I belong to 'Healthy/Normal Weight' category as per the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. I am happy to say!

You are what you eat... 

Having my own kitchen with a great selections of ingredients within a hand's reach and then, cooking without restrictions has led me to love the art of preparing food. Which is why, from altering the ingredients, to cooking the dishes in my own ways has become very enjoyable. Undeniably and of course, the eating with their distinctive and delicious flavours. 

Without further ado, here are my versions of Filipino (mainly) dishes as an efficient cook...

(Superfood Shake)

 
(Cassava Cake: Before and After)

   (Coconut Milk Marinated and Oven-Grilled Pork: After and Before)

 (Classic Cascading Beef Lasagne)

  (Coconut Milk Marinated and Oven-Baked Pork: Before and After)

(Pork Adobo and Bicol Express)

(Seafood Paella)

(Pinakbet and Savoury Scones)

  (Chopsuey and Pizza)

(Sweet, Savoury and Meat Muffins)

      

(Meat Siopao)

(Beef Adobo and Garlic Oven-Grilled Chicken Parts) 

  (Garlic Oven-Grilled Pork and Chicken Sopas)


 (Chicken/ Vegetables Steamed and Oven-Baked Muffins)

(Rellenong Oven-Baked Baguette) 

(Pineapple Topped Coconut Macaroons)

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

FILCOM'S BARRIO FIESTA 2017 IN BRISTOL

(Photo Courtesy of Bristol Barrio Fiesta 2017's Facebook Event Account)
The United Kingdom is a home away from home for Filipinos who moved here to work and to integrate as they have been living outside the Republic of the Philippines. The numbers of Filipinos who are continuously uplifting the status quo of our image isn't just in the fields of nursing, health and social care but non-profit communities are amongst them, too. These conceptualised groups bound by common interests, works and goals are formed to offer encouragement, support and help with living in the U.K. to Filipinos who are happily integrating into the society. One of many is the Filipino Community (FilCom) in Bristol which patriotically advertises the culture, delicacies and dishes of the Philippines. They also give considerable assistance to the gifted and talented Filipinos which helps to anchor them. 

Bristol has been regarded as the eighth most populous city in the United Kingdom and the most populous city in Southern England. Facts! It has been gaining recognition too when it comes to their own currency, the Bristol Pound; the majestic human harp landmark, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the music & theatre events at the festival in the summer months. Which is why, the FilCom in this independent city will organise a 1-day spectacular event with the theme, “Hawak Kamay” (Holding Hands/I'm By Your Side). The festival sonorously called Barrio Fiesta 2017 in Bristol will grace its audience with dance and song numbers from their talented participants. They may also astound with an appearance of a guest star fresh from the Republic of the Philippines.

On the 24th of June this year from 08:00 to 18:00, the 1-day Barrio Fiesta 2017 in Bristol will actively exhibit skilled and brilliant talents from youngsters and adults; advertise appetising delicacies & dishes from independent business minded locals and much more. So, don't forget the date which will be held at The Park Local Opportunity Centre on Daventry Road, Knowle, BS4 1DQ Bristol.

If you aren't convinced yet and still would like to know more updates and information, here are the useful links only at your fingertips,



The glorious sunny days are just around the corner and Bristol will definitely delight you with their water and green spaces, too!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

THE MISSING AND EVASIVE DRAWSTRING DUST BAG

by: MisS VictoriA DaviD

Know your RIGHTS as a consumer! 


Communicating directly to the seller or a merchandiser is the straightforward and simplest way of disputing and settling an issue/problem. This can be executed verbally, either in person or over the phone, and/or in writing by sending an email or a private message. I always choose the latter as writing with an explanatory statement means you can set out your arguments in a black & white form. So, which one are you when the goods and services you just received are not as described or haven't met your satisfaction? 

Writing is easy but explaining clearly and plainly your thoughts in a statement can be challenging. Am I right, my dear? I have my own adapted method in order to give my formal letter some clarity and that is, by making a draft on scrap papers about the important bits. This will include the main problem(s), the dates and times of exchanged letters and the names of the correspondents. In this way, you will have a reliable guide on what you will just include in your formal complaint in order to build a strong case against the seller or merchandiser. Most of the times, an ad hoc communication to the seller works fairly well and will always favour the customer's solid arguments. Inevitably, there are instances in which the seller wouldn't like to comprehend what has been written in the complaint; that the buyer received unsatisfactory goods and services. Does it mean, the buyer's money will just go down the drain as well as having to put up with the faulty item? If this happens to you as a consumer, you will think of how one-sided, and unreasonable the seller or merchandiser are apart from provoking your annoyance. 

Cheer up buyers as every cloud has a silver lining... 

The Consumer Rights Act of 2015 aims to protect the buyer's confidence from the wrongful actions of (mostly abusive) sellers. If you think you still don't get a favourable response out of an ad hoc communication from the arrogant and adamant sellers, don't lose hope and belief in yourself. Its because, under the Consumer Rights Act of 2015 if there is a problem with the goods and services bought from the seller or didn't match the description of the item that was advertised, you can ask for a full refund or provide you with a replacement. If you think, you have given sufficient time for the seller to resolve your raised issue and yet still they haven't acted evenhandedly, Citizens Advice Bureau team will impartially guide you. The people behind their team will hear your side of argument first including what you have been doing regarding your complaint before they will finally give you reasonable advice to make a fair dispute with the seller. That is why, it is imperative that you will contact or communicate first directly to the seller or where you bought the item before you will ask the assistance of Citizens Advice Bureau's contingent team. 

A month ago I bought a Celine Multicolour Luggage Calfskin Lather Tote Mini. Actually, I published a written essay about it on here, too, at http://quidnuncqueen.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/the-multicolour-in-me-celine.html. The description of the seller on the legitimate website of second-hand top of the range items, VestiareCollective, was exactly as she outlined on the description box and defined on the website's comment section. Personally, the bag was in a foolproof and splendid condition when I took it out of its personalised plastic carrier bag for the very first time. However, I was taken by surprise that the presence of its drawstring dust bag wasn't included in the box. I had paid the bill in full and was anticipating that after a month of waiting, everything would be included in the sealed box, delivered by their courier man. Actually, they have a unique quality control team who had 2-3 days to carry out a “100%” physical inspection of the bag and check that all accessories are included. Subjectively, I was flabbergasted given the fact that the seller on their website confirmed that there is a dust bag when I verified it on their comment section. Can you believe how thorough they are during physical check and inspection? 

On the day I received the sealed box from them, I sent right away an email to VestiareColletive and even a private message on their Facebook page regarding the missing dust bag. There were monotonic replies in which it implied they haven't read well my raised issue. One of their emails was written with arrogance which 'some' thriving companies have been practising to dismay the confidence of their buyers. Sadly, they barked up the wrong tree! 

I took the dispute personally...

I contacted directly on their website's comment box the main seller of the Celine Bag about the missing dust bag. We exchanged comments for some time and on the 07th of March, she verified again that she sent the dust bag together with the bag to the Head Office of VestiareCollective for “100%” quality control check and inspection. Which is why, on the 08th of March I took it up onto the next level and called the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 for helpful advice. My side of argument was heard by them and subsequently, they shared useful phrases for me to include in my complaint letter. A written statement formulated by myself using one of their template letters on


which beyond any doubt summoned VestiareCollective to take an immediate action. 

On the 08th of March, I finalised my complaint from the Citizens Advice's website and downloaded a copy. I then sent the letter with attachments to VestiareCollective's email address as well as privately messaged them on Facebook. A day after, they replied to my complaint in which they stated in their written statement that their quality control has received the Celine dust bag and even had the bloody cheek to ask me if I would like to have it. What a stupid and ignorant question when the main reason of my complaint was to acquire the dust bag. Which is why when they offered me a voucher gesture of 20 euros on my next order, I DECLINED as all I wanted was the dust bag.

On the 10th of March and after 8 days of battle with VestiareCollective, they finally shipped over from France to the United Kingdom the missing and evasive Celine drawstring dust bag. Which would arrive on Monday as per the shipment's detailed report and a sent text message.

I love writing and that is why I don't feel the apprehension in communicating and explaining to the seller or merchandiser when something fishy has been happening to my purchased item. If I were to brag I would say, it's no longer new to me and winning a dispute objectively makes me ecstatic. Generally speaking, presenting my arguments in a form of letter has been my tenacious weapon, as long as it has the facts and my points of view along with the supplementary proofs and evidence. With this approach, a complaint will have more credence and not just a  vague whim!

*Photo Courtesy of https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/template-letters/letters/

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

THE FINAL CANDIDATES FOR MISS AMAZING MIDLANDS 2017

by: MisS VictoriA DaviD


The candidates have confirmed and sealed their applications for Miss Amazing Midlands 2017. So, who will become the sole successor to claim the crown of Miss Venus Petra Moutney? 
(Photos Courtesy of  Venus Petra Moutney's Facebook Account)

It only took a week for Dayanara Marques de Araneta Productions to search and endorse their 14 confirmed candidates who will fairly soon brandish their elegance and winsomeness on stage. The pageantry for these sophisticated candidates of Miss Amazing Midlands 2017 will grace the crowd with 5 different yet pleasurable categories. Such as, the Philippine traditional dress worn on formal occasions, the FILIPINIANA TERNO, together with the unrestrained and extravagantly imaginative outfit called, FANTASY, as well as their appliqué figure hugging EVENING GOWNS. They will also electrify us with their unknown and unrevealed TALENTS and more importantly, impress us on the hysterically spurring INTERVIEW.

Behold and in no particular order, here are the candidates who will ambitiously win the title of Miss Amazing Midlands 2017.
(Miss Jhexty)

  (Miss AJ)

  (Miss Cassandra)

(Miss Dina)

  (Miss Halina)

(Miss Iwa)

  (Miss Jade Chloe)

(Miss Alicia)

(Miss Sophia)

 (Miss Tamara)

(Miss Estepania/ Yurie)

 (Miss Zowie Kate)


 (Miss Tiana)


 (Miss Agatha)

On the 08th of July, this parade and spectacle of beauty with the sponsorship and cooperation of BFBCV (Birmingham Filipino-British Community Volunteers) will commence at 13:00 and will surely scintillate the Lightwoods Park at Adkins Park Lane Bearwood, Smethwick B67 5DP.

Be there or be square!

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*Photos Courtesy of Dayanara Mesmeize's Facebook Account