Corpus Christi Homily of Pope Benedict XVI

Corpus Christi

Dear brothers and sisters!

The feast of Corpus Domini is inseparable from the Holy Thursday Mass of Caena Domini, in which the institution of the Eucharist is also celebrated. While on the evening of Holy Thursday we relive the mystery of Christ who offers himself to us in the bread broken and wine poured out, today, in celebration of Corpus Domini, this same mystery is proposed for the adoration and meditation of God's people, and the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession through the streets of towns and villages, to show that the risen Christ walks among us and guides us toward the kingdom of heaven. Today we openly manifest what Jesus has given us in the intimacy of the Last Supper, because the love of Christ is not confined to the few, but is intended for all. This year during the Mass of Our Lord's Last Supper on Holy Thursday, I pointed out that the Eucharist is the transformation of the gifts of this land -- the bread and wine -- intended to transform our lives and usher in the transformation of the world. Tonight I would like to return to this point of view.

Everything starts, you might say, from the heart of Christ, who at the Last Supper on the eve of his passion, thanked and praised God and, in doing so, with the power of his love transformed the meaning of death, which he was about to encounter. The fact that the sacrament of the altar has taken on the name "Eucharist," "thanksgiving," expresses this: that the change in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is the fruit of the gift that Christ made of himself, a gift of a love stronger than death, divine love that brought him to rise from the dead. That is why the Eucharist is the food of eternal life, the Bread of life. From the heart of Christ, from his "Eucharistic Prayer" on the eve of his passion, flows the dynamism that transforms reality in its cosmic, human and historical dimensions. All proceeds from God, from the omnipotence of his love One and Triune, incarnate in Jesus. The heart of Christ is immersed in this love; because of this he knows how to thank and praise God even in the face of betrayal and violence, and thus changes things, people and the world.

This transformation is possible thanks to a communion stronger than division, the communion of God himself. The word "communion," which we use to designate the Eucharist, sums up the vertical and horizontal dimension of the gift of Christ. The beautiful and eloquent expression "receive communion" refers to the act of eating the bread of the Eucharist. In fact, when we carry out this act, we enter into communion with the very life of Jesus, in the dynamism of this life that is given to us and for us. From God, through Jesus, to us: a unique communion is transmitted in the Holy Eucharist. We have heard as much, in the second reading, from the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians of Corinth: "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ"(1 Corinthians 10:16-17).

St. Augustine helps us to understand the dynamics of holy Communion when referring to a kind of vision he had, in which Jesus said to him: "I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me"(Confessions, VII, 10, 18). Therefore, while the bodily food is assimilated by the body and contributes to sustain it, the Eucharist is a different bread: We do not assimilate it, but it assimilates us to itself, so that we become conformed to Jesus Christ and members of his body, one with him. This is a decisive passage. Indeed, precisely because it is Christ who, in Eucharistic communion, transforms us into him, our individuality, in this encounter, is opened up, freed from its self-centeredness and placed in the Person of Jesus, who in turn is immersed in the Trinitarian communion. Thus, while the Eucharist unites us to Christ, we open ourselves to others making us members one of another: We are no longer divided, but one thing in him. Eucharistic communion unites me to the person next to me, and to the one with whom perhaps I might not even have a good relationship, but also to my brothers and sisters who are far away, in every corner of the world. Thus the deep sense of social presence of the Church is derived from the Eucharist, as evidenced by the great social saints, who have always been great Eucharistic souls. Those who recognize Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, recognize their brother who suffers, who is hungry and thirsty, who is a stranger, naked, sick, imprisoned, and they are attentive to every person, committing themselves, in a concrete way, to those who are in need.

So from the gift of Christ's love comes our special responsibility as Christians in building a cohesive, just and fraternal society. Especially in our time when globalization makes us increasingly dependent upon each other, Christianity can and must ensure that this unity will not be built without God, without true Love. This would give way to confusion and individualism, the oppression of some against others. The Gospel has always aimed at the unity of the human family, a unity not imposed from above, or by ideological or economic interests, but from a sense of responsibility toward each other, because we identify ourselves as members of the same body, the body of Christ, because we have learned and continually learn from the Sacrament of the Altar that communion, love is the path of true justice.

Let us return to Jesus' act in the Last Supper. What happened at that moment? When he said: This is my body which is given to you, this is my blood shed for you and for the multitude, what happened? Jesus in that gesture anticipates the event of Calvary. He accepts his passion out of love, with its trial and its violence, even to death on the cross; by accepting it in this way he transforms it into an act of giving. This is the transformation that the world needs most, because he redeems it from within, he opens it up to the kingdom of heaven. But God always wants to accomplish this renewal of the world through the same path followed by Christ, indeed, the path that is himself. There is nothing magic in Christianity. There are no shortcuts, but everything passes through the patient and humble logic of the grain of wheat that is broken to give life, the logic of faith that moves mountains with the gentle power of God. This is why God wants to continue to renew humanity, history and the cosmos through this chain of transformations, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament. Through the consecrated bread and wine, in which his Body and Blood is truly present, Christ transforms us, assimilating us in him: He involves us in his redeeming work, enabling us, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to live according to his same logic of gift, like grains of wheat united with him and in him. Thus unity and peace, which are the goal for which we strive, are sown and mature in the furrows of history, according to God's plan.

Without illusions, without ideological utopias, we walk the streets of the world, bringing within us the Body of the Lord, like the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Visitation. With the humble awareness that we are simple grains of wheat, we cherish the firm conviction that the love of God, incarnate in Christ, is stronger than evil, violence and death. We know that God is preparing for all people new heavens and new earth where peace and justice prevail -- and by faith we glimpse the new world, that is our true home. Also this evening as the sun sets on our beloved city of Rome, we set out again on this path: With us is Jesus in the Eucharist, the Risen One, who said, "I am with you always, until the end of world "(Mt 28:20). Thank you, Lord Jesus! Thank you for your fidelity, which sustains our hope. Stay with us, because the evening comes. "Jesus, good shepherd and true bread, have mercy on us; feed us and guard us. Grant that we find happiness in the land of the living." Amen.
Image obtained from Arzobispado de Corriente. Homily was copied from Zenit.

Thank You Saint Josemaria Escriva

June 26, 2011 - Today is the feast day of one of my most loved Catholic saints. He is Saint Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. I "met" Saint Josemaria Escriva during my fourth year in college when a friend "introduced" me to him. However, during that time, I am not interested to anything related to my Catholic Faith and so I ignored Saint Josemaria and Opus Dei. Now, I think that God is reaching out for me through Saint Josemaria during those times because I felt so depressed with so many things that were happening to me. Everything is gloom and doom for me back then even though God continue in blessing me with favorable grades in academics thus allowing me to graduate one semester in advance. Also, God instantly gave me a job that is good enough for a fresh graduate like me. My family is complete and we are on the brink of escaping financial difficulties. God gave me all those blessings, yet I still felt depressed.

We human beings can say to God that we surrender and give ourselves to depression. But God is different and He never surrenders because He wanted us to be with Him. Because God can't "go" to me directly, He chose another path and sent Saint Josemaria to my agnostic brother. Through Saint Josemaria, God transformed my brother, God transformed me, and God transformed my family.

That is the reason why I honor Saint Josemaria because through him I appreciated my Catholic Faith more. Saint Josemaria made me open my heart to God.

I know that Saint Josemaria Escriva is continually praying for me and my family. Thank you Josemaria Escriva. May God continue working through you and may more be converted through your prayers and works of Opus Dei.

So, for those who are seeking for help from God, let me share you this Prayer to Saint Josemaria Escriva.

Prayer to Saint Josemaria Escriva

O God, through the mediation of Mary our Mother, you granted your priest St. Josemaría countless graces, choosing him as a most faithful instrument to found Opus Dei, a way of sanctification in daily work and in the fulfillment of the Christian's ordinary duties. Grant that I too may learn to turn all the circumstances and events of my life into occasions of loving You and serving the Church, the Pope and all souls with joy and simplicity, lighting up the pathways of this earth with faith and love. Deign to grant me, through the intercession of St. Josemaría, the favor of ... (make your request). Amen.

Please pray one Our Father. one Hail Mary. and one Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.


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Happy 440th Anniversary City of Manila

440 years ago, the Spaniard conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi led a a force of about 280 Spanish soldiers and 600 allies from the kingdoms in the Visayas to invade the the Kingdom of Maynila. During that time, Maynila is a prosperous kingdom having trade connections with China. The Kingdom of Maynila is under the leadership of Rajah Sulayman, who is the crown prince of the Kingdom. Allied to the Kingdom of Maynila are Rajah Matanda of Sapa and Rajah Lakandula of Tondo.

When Legazpi came with his forces, Rajah Sulayman and his men burned Maynila to the ground and fled. The Spaniards then rebuilt Maynila and made it the capital of the Philippine Colonial Government for more than 300 years. The City of Manila continue to serve as the capital of the whole Philippine nation as of this day.*

Manila is my second home since I spend five days of my week here because of work. Also, this my most traveled place. It seems like that most of my travels where spent traveling the nook and crannies of Manila.

But how do I view this old and at the same time great City? My thoughts are actually mixed. I could say that I am awed but at the same time disappointed by the City of Manila. I am awed because Manila is filled to the brim with history. Manila can be considered as the center of Philippine History because the City experienced all the the stages of our country's history. The City of Manila served a as a glorious pre-colonial kingdom made rich by trade. It then served as the center of Spanish authority and the center of my mother  the Holy Catholic Church not only in the Philippines but also in the whole Asia. Then the City became the center of the Philippine revolution by serving as the birth place of the KKK and notable Filipinos like Andres Bonifacio. American and Japanese invaders respectively used Manila as the capital of their colonies.

It is easy to see the oozing smorgasbord of history and culture as you walk the streets of Manila. The first historical place I visited in Manila is the Paco Park, which is a semi-circular cemetery that was established during the Spanish Era. An American visitor once called Paco Cemetery as the place where “we pigeonhole our dead.”
Fort Santiago, Intramuros
Entrance to Fort Santiago, Intramuros

Then who would miss the walled city of Intramuros? The once beautiful Escolta? The beautiful Manila Cathedral? The grand churches of Binondo or Santa Cruz? The always-full-with-devotees Quiapo Church? The Pontifical University of Santo Tomas? The always-busy Binondo Chinatown? The oh-so-popular Luneta Park? Yes, I visited them all yet I know that I am still missing many historical places around Manila.
Rizal Monument, Luneta Park
Jose Rizal Monument, Luneta Park

Being the center of government, culture and history made the City of Manila to conveniently serve as summary of the disappointments of the Philippine nation. The Filipino people does not care about the environment and this fact shows on the depressing state of City of Manila. The City has smoky air that is too visible when you look at Manila skyline from the sea. The destruction of Philippine rivers and aquatic resources around the country can be mirrored in the filthy state of the Pasig River, the Manila Bay and the numerous esteros inside the City. The old people in my office told me that during their youth, people can still fish and harvest shellfish within Manila Harbor. Fishing is still being done in Manila Bay but the fish that the fishermen are getting are barely enough to feed their families.
fishing for lunch in Manila Bay
A kid fishing for lunch in Manila Bay.

The Philippine government has no concrete plan and development have been haphazard and chaotic. This fact is mirrored by the seeming chaos in the City of Manila. The nation's capital has no comprehensive development plan. Shanties sprouted everywhere. City streets are flooded even after moderate rains. Chaos reign in the streets where jeepneys, buses, private vehicles fight each other to avoid being left behind in the traffic with the uncanny kuligligs (motorized pedicabs) counterflowing and breaking all traffic regulations. Trashes are everywhere making the City look bleak and filthy.
Kawayan Musika or Bamboo Musicians in Manila
Kawayan Musika (Bamboo Music) on Plaza Lacson beside Sta Cruz Church.

I love the City of Manila for its history and its important place in the government. The people in this City is the people who are the people who are similar to me, looking for a living to keep our alive. City of Manila is a great city. It 440 years of existence is a testament to that. My only hope is that the City return to its former glory. I want to see a cleaner and better Manila. I want to see Manileños who are proud of their heritage and the rich culture of their City.

Today, the country celebrates the 440th year of Manila. May this day be start of true reconstruction of this City.


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*Information on the history of Manila was obtained from Wikipedia.

A Little Visit to Ramon Magsaysay Park

One of the place that I visited in Davao City is the Ramon Magsaysay Park, which is just beside the fruit stores that I talked about in a previous post. As the name implies, Ramon Magsaysay Park was named after the Ramon Magsaysay, who is the third president of the Third Republic. Ramon Magsaysay is hailed as the “Idol of the Masses” because of he is known to open the gates of Malacañang Palace to the common Filipinos. President Magsaysay died when his plane crashed on Mount Manunggal located on Cebu Island.

In the middle of Ramon Magsaysay Park is a white obelisk-like tower that contains the statue of President Magsaysay.
Ramon Magsaysay monument

The monument was built through the efforts of the Davao Chapter of the Philippine Veterans Legion and was turned over to the City Government of Davao on July 31, 1960.
Ramon Magsaysay statue
Ramon Magsaysay

The statue of Ramon Magsaysay located inside the park is the second statue I saw of the former president. The other one I saw is located in front of Ramon Magsaysay Center that houses the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation.

The Ramon Magsaysay Park is a place to go to by Dabaweños for family picnic or for a date like the couple below:
Ramon Magsaysay Park date
Ramon Magsaysay Park grounds
Ramon Magsaysay Park grounds.
Ramon Magsaysay Park has a wide ground, souvenir stalls and amphitheater. Government offices like the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Tourism Authority and OWWA. The park is located beside the historical Santa Ana Pier. According to a historical marker inside the park, Santa Ana Pier is the place where the first Japanese workers landed on May 1903 to serve as agricultural workers in Davao. Those Japanese workers became instrumental in developing the abaca industry in Davao.

Ramon Magsaysay Park  is not that excellent as compared to the other parks that I already visited. However, if you are in Davao City and is looking for a place to relax for free, then I suggest that you drop by the Ramon Magsaysay Park.


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The Unfathomable Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity

Saint Augustine on Holy Trinity

One day as Saint Augustine was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on nature of the Holy Trinity, he suddenly saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a hole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup, came and poured it into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and came and poured it into the hole. Augustine went up to her and said, “Little child, what are you doing?” and she replied, “I am trying to empty the sea into this hole.” “How do you think,” Augustine asked her, “that you can empty this immense sea into this tiny hole and with this tiny cup?” To which she replied, ” And you, how do you suppose that with this your small head you can comprehend the immensity of God?” With that the child disappeared.

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Sino nga ba si Jose Rizal para sa Akin?

Authors note: To my non-Filipino speaking friends and readers, the Philippines is celebrating the 150th birthday of one of a great man in Philippine history. This person is none other than the Filipino hero Jose Rizal. Because of this, I decided to write a piece to commemorate this great Filipino. Please pardon with me if I decided to write in the Filipino language.


Habang binabagtas ng aming sasakyan ang kahabaan ng Quirino Avenue ay napansin ko ang mga naglalakihang tarpaulin na may malaking pagmumukha ng sikat na bayaning si Jose Rizal. Nakasabit ang mga tarpaulin posters na iyon sa mga poste sa kahabaan ng kalsada sa Metro Manila upang ipaalala na ang pinakasikat na bayani sa balat ng Pilipinas ay magdiriwang na ng kanyang ika-150 kaarawan. Mukhang engrande ang gagawing pagdiriwang sa birthday ng tinaguriang the “Great Malayan” dahil napansin ko rin na abala ang mga trabahador sa paggawa ng mosaic art sa mga pader sa Rizal Park.
Jose Rizal 150 Anniversary Poster
Rizal Poster in front of Post Office building.

Sa kabila ng mga pagdiriwang na ito, sino nga ba si Jose Rizal para sa akin? Sa totoo lang hindi ko paborito si Jose Rizal sa lahat ng mga bayani na meron ang Pilipinas. Masyado nang maraming alamat at imbentong kwento ang ginawa para kay Jose Rizal na naging dahilan upang mabura kung ano ang  totoo niyang pagkatao at kung ano talaga ang naganap sa buhay niya.
Jose Protacio Rizal
(Source: Wiki Commons)

Para sa iba, si Jose Rizal ay para bagang naging superhero na. Siya na ang super-bait, super-gwapo, super-talino, super-tao na wala ka nang maipipintas sa kanya. Yung iba ay ginawa pang mas malala ang paghanga kay Jose Rizal at ginawa na siyang isang diyos na sinasamba ng ilan. Para naman sa iba, si Jose Rizal ang ginawa nilang kampeon sa pagiging kontra sa Simbahan na hindi nila naiintindihan na si Rizal ay nanumbalik sa kanyang Inang Simbahan bago pa man siya masawi sa Luneta. Ang mga taong ito ay gamit nang gamit kay Jose Rizal na hindi nila naiintidihan na mataas din ang paggalang ni Jose Rizal sa mga pari kaya nga hindi lahat ng pari sa kanyang mga akda ay mga kontrabida.

Una kong nakilala si Jose Rizal sa barya na kung tawagin ay “piso.” Sikat na sikat siya sa aming mga bata noon dahil siya ang aming daan upang mabili namin ang aming mga paboritong chicheria na “Araw-araw,” “Pinoy,” “Corn Bits” at kung anu-ano pang usong tinda sa mga sari-sari store. Ok na Ok din na pambala si Jose Rizal sa tatsing at siya ang daan upang dumami pa ang mga “Jose Rizal” ko sa aking bulsa.

Noong pumasok na ako sa paaralan. Napag-alaman ko na yung tao sa paborito kong barya ay sikat pala na tao. Aba, paano ko hindi maituturing na sikat si Jose Rizal eh lahat ng klasrum ay nandoon ang poster niya with matching kasabihan “Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay mas malansa pa sa isda na na-fishkill.”

Si Jose Rizal para sa akin noon ay isa lamang tao na itunuturing na “Pambansang Bayani.” Isa siyang superhuman dahil isa daw siyang genius noong bata. Pinakyaw na rin niya ang mga propesyon dahil siya ay naging doktor sa mata, manunulat, agremensor o taga-sukat ng lupa, scientist, inhinyero, at mananaya sa sugal.

Sa kolehiyo ko na lang nalaman na si Jose Rizal ay chickboy din pala. At salamat sa propesor ko sa mandatory na Rizal Studies o PI 100 sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas ay mas naintindihan ko pa kung sino talaga si Jose Rizal. Si Jose Rizal pala ay HINDI yung tao na ipinangangalandakan sa TV, radyo at dyaryo. Si Jose Rizal pala ay ginawan ng mga alamat at kwento ng mismong mga nag-akda ng mga kilalang alagad ng kasaysayan. Si Jose Rizal pala ay PINILI ng mga Amerikano bilang kanilang poster boy noong sinakop nila tayo dahil sa tingin nila ay mas safe na gamitin si Rizal kesa sa rebolusyonaryong si Andres Bonifacio.
Jose Rizal at Fort Santiago
Replica ni Jose Rizal sa Fort Santiago.

Marami ang hindi nakakaintindi kay Jose Rizal dahil nabubulag sila sa mga gawa-gawang imahe na namamayani pa rin hanggang ngayon. Marami sa mga tao ang gamit nang gamit kay Jose Rizal ay umaasa lamang sa mga imbentong imahe niya. DAPAT nang WASAKIN ang mga imbentong imahen ni Jose Rizal. ORAS nang ilabas ang KATOTOHANAN ng ating KASAYSAYAN. Gaya nga ng sinabi ng isang kasabihan, “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa katotohanan.” Hanggang hindi natin nakikita kung ano talaga ang KATOTOHANAN sa ating kasaysayan at lagi na lang tayong umaasa sa mga imbentong kwento at imahe ay siguradong hindi uusad ang ating bansa dahil hindi natin nakikita kung ano ang ating totoong sarili.

Sana, ngayong ika-150 taon ni Jose Rizal ay simulan ang muling pagsasaliksik sa buhay ng pambansang bayani nang walang kinikilingan at walang interes na gawin siyang super-tao. Ang pagkilala natin kay Jose Rizal at gayun sa ating kasaysayan ay isang paraan sa pagkilala sa ating mga sarili. Hangga't hindi natin kilala ang ating mga sarili bilang mga Pilipino ay hindi tayo uusad bilang isang bansa.

Kung nagtatanong kayo kung ano ang sagot ko sa tanong sa pamagat ng akdang ito, heto iyon: para sa akin, si Jose Rizal ay simpleng tao lamang na minulat ang mata niya sa nangyayari sa bansa niya at handang tanggapin ang kanyang mga naging pagkakamali. At dahil siya ay simpleng tao lang ay ibig sabihin na tayo rin ay pwedeng gawin ang nagawa niyang pagmamahal sa bansa at ating kababayan. At dahil siya ay simpleng tao ay siya rin ay nagkakamali at ito ay taliwas sa mga mala-superhuman na imahen niya. Sa mga huling oras ng kanyang buhay, pinili ni Jose Rizal ang manumbalik sa kung ano ang tama at ito ang isa sa pinakamabuting ginawa ni Jose Rizal hindi lang para sa kanyang bayan kundi para na rin sa kanyang sarili.

Kaya mga kababayan ko, ating tingnan si Jose Rizal bilang isang simpleng tao. Wasakin na natin ang mga imbentong imahen ni Rizal at tanggapin natin ang katotohanan na tayo rin ay pwedeng maging katulad niya na isang Pilipino na mulat ang mga mata pero handang magpakumbaba.

RH Bill will Make Condom Manufacturers Happy

So, if the RH Bill becomes law, where will the government pour our money? The answer is this:
Condoms and RH Bill

Pouring money on artificial contraceptive tools like condom will just waste our money. Why? Because the money that should have been used for important things like education, farm-to-market roads, tourist infrastructures will be given to manufacturers of condoms.

In the end, we will are still stuck in the same problem of poverty while condom manufacturers are happy with the sudden increase of their income because the government purchased all of their wares.

Watch the "How RH Bill will Waste Our Money" video for more information.

Visit Filipinos for Life and I Oppose the RH Bill Facebook Page for more information about the RH Bill.

Buying Fruits at Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Stand

In the previous posts, I talked about yummy treats made from durian fruits. If you are wondering where did I bought all of those treats then wonder no more because I will tell you where I got the yema tower, durian tart, durian candy and durian polvoron.

If you visited Davao City, then more often than not, you had visited the Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Stand that is located beside the Ramon Magsaysay Park.
Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Store
Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Store

Davao City is famous for its fruits like durian, pomelo and lanzones. When we visited Davao three years ago, we are fortunate because we are just in time for the late fruit season. We ate tons of durian, pomelo and lanzones for just a low price. During the fruit season, Davao is flooded with fruits. My favorite is lanzones, which I never stopped gobbling.

Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Stand is the place to go to if you are looking for a place to buy fruits and yummy pasalubong in Davao. I suggest that you visit the Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Stand if you are about to leave Davao so that you will not be burdened with heavy loads of fruits while you are touring Davao.
durians shop
Durian fruits and pomelo for sale.

It is quite convenient to buy durian fruit at Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Stand because they will give you the option to pack durian in a Styrofoam container or in plastic container. You need to pack fresh durian fruit because airport officials will not allow you to bring durian on the plane because of its smell. Fresh durian fruits should be packed and sealed. So, if you are at Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Stand buying durian fruits then you  can ask the fruit vendor to pack and seal it. There is an additional fee for the packing of durian fruit because you will pay for the container used.
Durians sweets

Aside from fruits, you can also buy pasalubong items at Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Stand. You can buy sweets like the one had listed above. There are other things that I failed to mention but if you are looking for food pasalubongs then I believe that you will see them at Ramon Magsaysay Fruit Stand.


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Pass Your Driver’s License Written Exams Easily

I had a friend who shared me his experiences when he took the exam for his driver’s license. According to my friend, the driver’s license exam is generally divided into to parts. The first part of the exam is the written examination and the second part is the hands-on exam where the examinee will drive a vehicle while being monitored by an examiner from the Land Transportation Agency. My friend said that the hands-on training is easy because driving a car around is easy because he already learned it well during his training in a driving school. The difficult part, according to my friend, is the written exams. He told me that he is not good on memorizing test and the fact that the driver’s license manual or the DMV Handbook is very thick. He also that he has other commitments like his work and his family that is why he can’t fully focus on reading the DMV Handbook.

My friend said that he passed the DMV written test because of “some help.” He said that there is a sort of a “cheat” that he used to pass the written exam. Actually, the “cheat” is not a really a “cheat” but a simple thing that he got from a program that helped him pass his DMV written text. He told me that he will tell what that “help” once decided to get my own driver’s license.


Yummy Treats from Durians – Part 2

Last time I talked about the yummy durian yema tower. As I had said, there are many treats made from durians and you will see lots of those treats if you visit Davao City. Here are the other yummy treats from durians:
Durian Pasalubong

The durian treats on the above photo are the popular durian candy, durian polvoron and durian tart. People visiting Davao City usually go to the stalls beside the Magsaysay Park just to buy these treats as their pasalubong when they go home.

The most popular of the treats made from durians is the durian candy. As the name suggest, this candy made of durian. The durian smell is not that strong in durian candy that is why people who can’t eat durian because of the smell choose to eat durian candy instead.

Another treat made from durians is the durian polvoron. For those who don’t know what polvoron or pulburon is, please visit my article about polvoron. Durian polvoron is the same as the regular polvoron but was made special because of the durian ingredient. Just like in durian candy, the smell is not that strong in durian polvoron.

My least favorite is treat made from durians is the durian tart. I don’t like it much because the breading of the tart is thick as compared to the durian placed in this durian treat. Because of this, I taste the breading more instead of the durian. Of all the pasalubong items, the tart is my least favorite. I have the same complaint with pili tart.

Only my father and I eat fresh durian fruit. My mother, my brothers and my sister are not fans of durians because they don’t like the smell. They prefer treats made from durians like the yema tower, durian candy, durian polvoron and the durian tart. When I brought those durian treats home, they gobbled them up in no time.


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Yummy Treats from Durians - Part 1

One night, while I was browsing the photos inside my external hard drive, I happened to see this:
Durians and Pomelo Fruits for sale.

The picture above is the photo taken the last time I visited Davao City. The fruits in the picture are pomelo and durians that were being sold on fruit stalls beside the Magsaysay Park in Davao City. Another photo that I saw is this:

Yummy! That's a durian that was being opened by the store owner to allow us to taste it before we decide if we will buy it or not. I know that some of you will recoil from tasting durian because of the smell. Well, at first I don't like eating durian because of the smell. But I learned to eat it and once you realize how delicious durians are then the smell will be pleasant to your nose.

Those who can't take the smell and taste of durians have the alternative and those are the yummy durian treats. The most popular of these durian treats is the durian candy. Other available treats made form durians are the durian tart and the durian polvoron. However, my favorite of all of the durian treats is the yema tower.
Yema Tower

Yema are custard candies that was brought by the Spaniards during their colonization of the Philipines.* It is a sweet that has milk as the main ingredient. The Yema Tower is like the normal yema but it was infused with the taste of durians. The result is a sweet and chewy treat that have the taste of durian. It became my favorite because of its durian taste and its sweetness.

However, those who don't like the smell of durian may also dislike the Yema Tower power the smell of durian is still there.

The smell of durian may be too much to bear but for those who don't want to taste the yema tower doesn’t know what they are missing. As for me, I will eat another yema tower if I got a chance.
Oops...the yema tower is almost gone


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*Information about Yema came from Filipino Food Recipe.