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Filipino Food Dish: Sinigang

After a round of golf, the Pinoy Golfer would order something to eat from the waiter of the Clubhouse and he needs something, a dish that has soup that could replenish his perspiration. In most cases, the Pinoy Golfer would order “Sinigang”. This is a food dish which has a sour soup with a fish or meat and vegetables in it.

When I was in Grade School, this was the first food dish my mother would teach me to cook. Depending on the number of people who would share the dish, consider the amount of water to be placed on the cooking pan and the amount of fish or meat to be cooked with it.

Cooking a Sinigang dish is very simple. Boil at least 3-4 cups of water in a cooking pot; put chopped ripe tomatoes, at least 3-4 medium size; 2 pieces of ginger as big as the thumb, pressed and chopped; any sour fruit that is chopped (peeled ripe guava without the seeds or fresh green tamarind); half-kilo of fish, bangus/milkfish or lapu-lapu/maya-maya or salmon’s head are the prefered ones or half-kilo of meat, pork neck bones or pork meat from the belly; green leafy vegetables like pechay leaves or kangkong/camote leaves; and salt to taste. Once the water is boiling, place the tomatoes, ginger, and the sour fruit and let the flavor from these ingredients mixed with the water. Taste the water if it has the sour taste already and simmer the pot. Slowly, put the fish or meat at the pot. When the meat or fish is cooked, mix the vegetables and salt. Once the vegetables are blanched and slightly cooked, remove the pot from the stove and the sinigang dish is ready to be served.

In the absence of sour tasting fruits, a lot of fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped and cooked-well, with the boiling water would be enough to make the soup sour. Adding some spoonful of vinegar would be the last resort to make the fish/meat stew sour. To give a better taste to the meat or fish, the Pinoy Golfer could ask some spoonful of “patis” or salted fish sauce which could be added or used as a “dip” or mixed with the soup. 

Today, it is easier to cook sinigang because there are “sinigang broth mix” packs available at the grocery stores. This broth packs are mixed with the boiling waiter and just place the meat or fish with it and mix it with any available green leafy vegetables and you have already a hot sour stew.

Aside from my Pinoy golf buddies, most of my friends from other countries who regularly play in the military golf courses in Metro Manila attest to their preference to eat Singang after a game of golf. Their wives are requested to cook Sinigang for lunch at home when these foreigners play golf or even practice in the golf driving range.

My favorite dish is the Sinigang Salmon’s Head at the Camp Aguinaldo Golf Course which is available all-year round. If you have the chance to play in this golf course, try it!

 

My Golf Swing

 The Backswing

At the top

 The Downswing

And…the Follow-Through!

Singapore: The Most Honest & Disciplined Country In The World

Sometime in November 1999, Ernie B, Jun, E and I had a chance to visit Brunei and Singapore on official capacity. We were part of an Official Delegation of the Philippine Army to attend the ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet in Brunei. On our way back to Manila, we dropped by Singapore for two days on the invitation of one of our classmates who was then the Defense Attache of the Philippines to Singapore.

On our second day, our host invited us to play a round of golf at the Sembawang Golf Course which is a military golf course run by the Singapore Air Force. The golf course is very accessible from the city and main thoroughfares. We were in one golf flight and started playing after lunch. I can still recall that the golf course was clean and well-maintained. After playing five holes, the siren or horn sounded off at the golf course which served as warning that plays should be stopped due to thunderstorm and lightning. It started to rain and we had to go immediately to the clubhouse.

At that time, we were using golf carts and we did not had any caddies. We had to carry our selected clubs in approaching the putting green. On the last hole that we played before the rain and thunsderstorm, I carried my putter and my pitching wedge towards the green. I just finished putting my ball to the hole when the horn/siren sounded. I immediately ran towards the golf cart as the rainfall became stronger. We proceeded to the Clubhouse to wait for the rain to stop.

For almost one hour, the rains and lightning did not stop and we just waited and spent time at the clubhouse resting and talking with one another over a glass of beer. We finally decided not to pursue with our game and went back to our hotel. On the following day, we were on our way back to Manila.

After a few days in Manila, I played a round of golf with Ernie E and to my surprise my pitching wedge was missing from my golf bag. I immediately tried to recall the last time I used my golf set and it came to my mind that I left my pitching wedge at the fifth hole at Sembawang Golf Course in Singapore.

With the hope of recovering my Hirohomna Pitching Wege from Singapore, I called my classmate in Singapore telling him that I left my pitching wedge at the golf course where we played when we were there. After a day, he gave me a positive feedback that he was able to recover my “lost” pitching wedge.

I finally got back my pitching wedge when the Commanding General of the Phlippine Army and his Party visited Singapore in an official visit three months after I played golf in Singapore. The Aide-de-Camp of the Commanding General hand-carried my pitching wedge during the plane flight from Singapore to Manila.

This is an experience to prove that the Singaporean are the most honest people in the world. I was very thankful to my classmate who was then the Defense Attache in Singapore. Military officers who were assigned and took their military “schooling” in Singapore would attest to the honesty and discipline of the Singaporeans. How I wish Filipinos are as disciplined and honest as the Singaporeans.

 

 

This is Hole # 16, the Signature Hole, of the Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country Club in Boracay Island. It is Par 3. 143 yards at the Yellow Tee/131 yards at the Blue Tee. It has a Handicap of 18.

Raffle Prizes

Almost every week, there are golf tournaments that the Pinoy Golfer could join and compete, most especially in the military golf courses in Metro Manila. In my experience of more than one year assignment in Camp Aguinaldo (seat of the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Phlipines), the Camp Aguinaldo Golf Course caters to at least 35 Golf Clubs whose members are being spread out from the different professionals, businessmen, doctors, politicians, actors, active & retired military personnel, and other groups of individuals. Most of these Golf Clubs conduct monthly tournaments.

The centerpoint of these tournaments are the raffle prizes that the lucky Pinoy Golfer/s could bring home to make his wife happy as these raffles prizes serve as “gifts” to the woman in the house. These tournaments have a corresponding ticket which amounts to two thousand to two thousand five hundred pesos per piece (P2,000-P2,500). In each ticket, it has a stub for the raffle prizes, a stub for the green fee & caddy fee, and a stub for the snacks & meals at designated snack bars along the golf course. The most important stub in one’s ticket is the raffle prize. The Pinoy Golfer would personally place his stub at the raffle bin/”tambiolo” just to be sure that he is included in the raffle.

I know of so many golfers who have completed their house appliances in their homes, from electric fans to flat irons to refrigirators and TV and air-conditoners. Most of the time for an ordinary tournament, the major prizes would be a 20-inch TV, a 10-cubic inch refrigirator, or an air-con unit (1.5 HP). Sometimes, there are also some minor prizes. In bigger and more prestigious tournaments supported and financed by well-known corporate sponsors, the prize for the “Hole-In-One”, if not taken by a lucky golfer who makes a “hole-in-one” in a designated hole, becomes a Raffle Prize! Most of the prizes in this category are brand-new cars!

I know of so many Pinoy Golfers who would join golf tournaments with the sole purpose of hoping to bring home one of the major raffle prizes.

I will never forget my experiences in so many tournaments where so many times I won Hair Dryer/Blower. It was really funny to be bringing home such items which I can not use because I am bald.

The truth is, raffle prizes in tournaments, is becoming the reason of a golfer-husband to have a valid reason to be out of the house during weekends and free from the guarding eyes of the wife. With a cheap stand electric fan or a flat iron or an oven toaster brought home by the husband could be a satisfaction from the eyes of the wife that her husband really participated in a tournament, it could be otherwise, as the husband could have bought the said item in one of the appliance stores and “wandered around” in other places except at the golf course.

But this “raffle prize” thing is no longer effective “alibi” for the golfer-husband to be away from the wife. My golf friend made a mistake on this. He did not know that his wife removed the Sand Wedge from his Golf Bag before he left for the golf tournament. When my friend returned home with an Oven Toaster as the item he won in the “golf tournament”, the wife asked him how many times did his ball landed on the Sand Trap. Of course, my friend proudly said that he almost landed in all the Sand Traps in the golf course but he luckily managed to bring his ball to the green and was able to save more strokes on his score. Well, my friend was immediately attacked by his wife with his Sand Wedge on her hands.

Moral lesson of the story? Play a legitimate golf tournament and hope to win a raffle prize and never use the tournament as an “alibi”. Be sure to physically check the contents of your golf bag and see if one of your golf clubs is missing.

More golf tournaments to join means more home appliances for the house…and the other houses.

This is Hole # 5, Par 4 with the Parade Ground of the Philippine Army as “Out of Bounds” (OB) and on the right from the tee-off is the famous Philippine Army Wall Mural where the history of the Philippine Army is depicted on a cement wall.

This is Hole # 1, Par 4 with the left over the fence as “Out of Bounds” (OB) and the right as one-stroke penalty if the ball lands at the driving range (right side) and passing over the trees. There is a lake at a distance of 185 yards from the tee-off area. 

This is Hole # 8, Par 3 with the left side over the fence as “Out of Bounds”. The hole has two small lakes before the green. This is the “signature” hole of the Philippine Army Executive Golf Course.

Lacoste Shirts

When I visited Bangkok, Thailand for an educational tour in 1997, the tourist guide would tell us that Filipinos are fond of the Lacoste T-shirt. We just laughed because we knew that the fake Lacoste T-shirts being sold at Greenhills came from Bangkok, Thailand.

In golf, the Pinoy Golfer would be proud to wear his Lacoste shirt, not a fake one, even if it is already old and faded. He wants to wear the loose golf shirts from Lacoste because it an expensive shirt and he looks “cool” and fresh wearing the bright and pastel colors of the shirt. The Pinoy Golfer is not only satisfied to wear a Golf Shirt but he tries also to pair it with a Lacoste Golf Pants and Lacoste Golf Shoes.

I like also to wear the Lacoste shirt, not because it’s the status symbol among golfers, but I like the stiffness of the collar. I am fond of having a “standing collar” with my Cotton Pique Lacoste shirt while playing golf. The collar does not bend or fall as compared to other expensive Golf Shirts. Playing with a standing collar would protect the nape from the heat of the sun when you tend to bend when putting your ball on the green. Sporting a standing collar would also give you a “mean-look” to your opponent of which you are much better looking if you are also wearing a nice sports sunglasses.

It is advisable not to wear “fake” Lacoste apparel in the golf course with your golfmates because it is sending a message that you are also a “fake”. The Pinoy Golfer being fond of Lacoste could determine a real from a fake one at a distance.

Seldom you could see Sports Lacoste Cotton Long-Sleeved T-shirts in Lacoste outlets because they are being bought immediately by Pinoy Golfers. This is the most sought after Golf Shirt by the Pinoy Golfer because it covers the whole length of the arms as it protects the player from the heat of the sun and it has a good selection of colors with it. 

For you want to look good and feel good in the golf course, wear a “real” Lacoste shirt during your golf game. Get the pastel colored ones. If you have a nice body and flat stomach, buy and wear the latest stretchable cotton pique Lacoste shirts.

Lastly, don’t forget to sport a “standing collar” look with your Lacoste shirt.