Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Photoblog: Cooking with Chaeyeon

Kimchi Fried Rice

This dish is fairly easy. Chaeyeon showed me how. The things that you would need are:
  •  ripe kimchi (or any Kimchi I suppose would do)
  • white onion, chopped
  • green onion, chopped
  • garlic, finely chopped
  • hot dog, sliced
  • rice (can be new or left over) 
  • butter, a tbsp. or more 
First, saute kimchi until the cabbage are a little bit translucent then add in the onions (both white and green). Add in the rice, hot dog, bacon and butter. Stir them all in for about 5 minutes and presto you are done! You can finish it up by putting fried egg on top or just go without.


My Oriental Treatment Experience

 Do your shoulders hurt while using your computer? Is your neck tight not only from stress but doing office work? Well, say no more. There's Oriental Hospital to the rescue. lol

I've been guilty to both pains myself for the past few days and they've been terribly quite a bother. The pain was largely due to my wrong sitting posture while using my laptop. I would usually sit sideways with my left arm would resting on the desk and right leg perched up on a small stool lol. Most of computer use would be done by my right hand like punching keys, hover the mouse, etc. By the time I've done most of my paper or art works,  my neck and shoulder would throb in pain. I'd have to drag myself away from the lappy and stretch out on the ondol heated floor.

I told this to my friend Chaeyeon in one of my visits and asked her if she knew any Oriental doctor that could help me out with my situation. As it turned out, she knew an excellent acupuncturist in her town. We made arrangements to go to that place on Wednesday afternoon, a day before the Solal New Year here in Korea.

BTW, I've never had acupuncture before, not even while I was still in the Philippines. The thought of poking needles to my skin ... intimidates me. 

Come hitherto Wednesday.

The clinic, small and dainty, was a little bit packed. And it wasn't just senior citizens that we've caught up going there but teenagers as well. The clinic had that odd.. musky.. sort of coconut oil being cooked over the stove smell.. which wasn't really that bad. We were greeted by the receptionist who only spoke in Korean. Since it was my first time, I had to fill out a registration form and show my ARC card as well. I think insurance picks up even the oriental treatment cost (cool isn't it?)

 We were ushered to the waiting lounge which had a lot of pretty cool massaging devices. There was a hand reflexology kit that looks like the one below. The adjuma who sat next to Chaeyeon showed us how to use it. You simply set the timer, insert your hands and let the device do its work lol. Sounds easy doesn't it? The adjuma showed us the end product which was palms with plenty of dotted marks. I wasn't feeling adventurous at that time but Chaeyeon was all too curious so she tried it herself. She was quite silent the whole time her hands were being massaged. The machine too much of noise, I guess while it was pounding her palms lol. When Chaeyeon pulled out her hands, she was sort.. of surprised too herself that she got dotted marks on her palms. I asked her if it felt good to which she shook her head. I made a mental note to myself not to use it next time we visit the clinic. 

The other devices in the clinic were for feet, back, lap and yes, they even had lazy boy (which I really wanted to try but a teenager was hogging it all to himself). As for older generation who weren't feeling too excited with modernity, there were manual arm massagers fixed on the tables like the one below. All you have to do is rest which ever arm, grab hold of the handle and rotate it. It's that easy.

Since the clinic was packed, we had to wait for some time. Finally, it was our turn to see the doctor. Chaeyeon told him about my condition. The doctor stretched out my right arm then put it behind my back and I winced in pain. He did the same with my other shoulder which didn't hurt as much. He advised me to sleep without pillows to correct my shoulder and neck (which I did that night..and it wasn't comfortable to be honest) and refrain myself from doing my poor sitting habit.(I am trying lol.)

After the consultation, we went to another room for the treatment. I was told to put on the patient wardrobe and lay down on the bed. The matting for my back was warm and very soothing. My feet on the other hand was warmed up by the stand alone heater which literally lighted the whole small room. I laid down there for some minutes then the nurse showed up. She put a small squared massaging pads on the back of my shoulders. They felt good and relaxing. Afterwards, the doctor came in and poked needles on me- one on my right arm and hand, one on the side of my left foot and hand. It wasn't painful as expected.. but I absolutely felt the presence of needles on my left hand and foot lol. Did that make sense?

After 20 minutes, the pads and needles were removed and I was asked to sit up with my back towards the nurse. She moved the heater facing the back of my left shoulder. She then dappled liniment and massaged my shoulders for 5 minutes tops. It was..heaven lol and I wouldn't mind doing it again.

The final part of my treatment involved the use of suction cups and laceration needles.. yes.. laceration. I was told that it helps correct the blood circulation in the body and removes pain as well..I think. Anyways,after the hurt area was cleaned and disinfected, the doctor began lacerating my shoulder down towards right portion of my back. He did it very fast and precision wise (areas where the suction cups would be placed). He then applied the suction cups and let them sit there for about 5 minutes or so. Afterwards, the cups were removed and the nurse diligently cleaned the lacerated area and then applied liniment gauze. Presto.. I was done. The whole process lasted nearly an hour rather too long but it was nonetheless worth it. My right shoulder felt much, much better indeed and I hope it would stay that way.

The regular fee for treatment I think was 5000-6000 won but since I was a newbie I had to pay 7500 won, not really bad.

Would I come back for more treatment?

Sure, why not? :P


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Derm Experience in Korea: Moving towards a healthy skin

Snippet of me in the Philippines. 

Zits, back in the day, was a sign that somebody loves you. I had my first share in my 6th grade (I think) or first year in high school. It multiplied to a dozen when I started in college and it had gotten little bit too worse when I moved into the next stage of my life. At that point, my colleague and most especially my husband encouraged me to see a doctor. And I did.

Dr. Gilbert Yang (he was my first and rest assured my only skin doctor when I get back to the Philippines) treated my skin condition. He didn't use any scalpels, no under the knife or what have you. He treated my problem with great care and prescribed excellent medications. In less than a month of my first year with Dr. Yang, my face cleared up tremendously! Ang galing! Salamat doc!

Fast forward: All for Skin in Korea

The prescriptions I brought with me didn't last long. I only had few small bottles of my regular medicine. My good ol friends started to re-appear and the weather didn't help my condition (lol). Added to that, I failed to see any doctors and do my monthly routine as I did back then in the Philippines.My 'friends' seemed to enjoy their camp out on my cheeks and chin.. and found their way to some of the places they've been before.
Selfie during treatment
tee hee

Finally, after too much egging from my hubby, I checked online derm clinics listed online. There were plenty to chose from but only a handful that caters to foreigners (as they don't speak much English). The one that I found - All for Skin- had some pretty good reviews so I decided to call them. I was greeted by Kang Ho Lee, the medical tour coordinator. He spoke perfect English and helped me booked my appointment.

The All for Skin clinic was fairly easy to find. It took us about 20 minutes less by bus. We were received by Lee at the same time welcomed by an awesome ambiance of the clinic. Without batting an eyelash, he lead us to his small office and briefly explained how zits were formed, their types as well as the kind of treatments to choose from. After which, he ushered me to one of their dermatologists. The doctor (I forgot to get his name) examined my face and prescribed the right treatment for my condition.

And so it began... my journey towards a healthy skin.

To cut the long story short, my skin dramatically improved. The sessions (I think they were called Solar and MPDT plus CO2 scaling) were efficient and pretty much painless.  The fee wasn't that exorbitant plus, you get to enjoy the clinic's ambiance.

And yes.. my husband had to remind me..  they also have a superb Espresso Coffee Machine (my hubby loves their coffee lol) and a special waiting lounge area with huge baseball collections for customers to see. :D

I am one happy customer indeed <3

Ps: For more information, you can check out this link  or you visit their FB page

Pss: Special thanks to my husband who has been absolutely supportive and....yes, generous to me. lol. XOXOTTT

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cooking with Chaeyeon: Kimchi chige

Today I learned how to make a very simple yet tasty Korean dish called Kimchi chige. Chaeyeon, a very good friend of mine showed me how.  Trust me, it's really easy to make.

kimchi, chopped (naturally!) - Chaeyeon makes her own Kimchi and by far, it's one of the best I've ever had (I am not being biased here).
about 1/2 cup or so of Kimchi sauce, depending on your taste
a can of Mackerel
a tablespoon (or more) of garlic
1 cup of water 

Heat the pan over medium fire
Put the Mackerel and chopped Kimchi and its sauce into the pan. Fry it up for a minute or so. Then add a cup of water, garlic, onions and chives. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Presto, you are done!
You can partner it up with rice and sauteed cabbage and spinach. Yum yum, bon appetite!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

History: Memories of the Forgotten

Video directed by Carlo Marco Cruz, in cooperation with Philippine Embassy in Seoul. credits not mine.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Random Shots

I love taking pictures and what a better way of telling some stories is by posting some pictures. These were some of the shots I've taken from the places I've gone to or sometimes while in transit.

Meet The Duck Duck

Regular 2-seater duck duck for anyone who wants to level up their romance (hehe).
There's also rides for groups (4 persons).
 The duck ducks are leisurely boats docked alongside of the river. I guess you can say that these are already part of "traditional" Korean scenery. They can be found in almost all parts of Daegu as well where in South Korea. They are environment friendly (I think... I've yet to try riding one of these babies myself lol) and affordable.

 I call this.. "The Royal Ride." Isn't it cute? 

Starbucks move out: Coffee shops abound in SK

 The length of my stay here confirms my observation that Koreans truly love their coffee. They don't limit themselves with just one shop like the (infamous) Starbucks. There's Holly's Coffee, Sleepless in Seattle (yes, like the picture above), Da Vinci Coffee, Coffee and Waffle (which is pretty much everywhere) and more (some in Konglish or movie namesakes). All shops have standard menu like expresso, Americano, latte etc. Their taste are.. quite the same and at par with Starbucks (if not more). If you ever have a hankering for some joes and cakes, limit yourself no more with Starbucks unless you want to get a 'free' planner.

Pray here.. or there. 

 I came across with these two women in one of my early morning walks by the river. They were caught up with praying and chanting.. unfazed by odd stares (mostly coming from me lol). The woman on the left lit some candles and led the prayers. They then placed their offerings (mostly fruits and soju) beside a gaped portion of the ramp. I've no idea if what's in that area. Maybe that's where their loved ones perished.. or it could be part of their tradition.

Four is their Thirteenth

Elevator buttons
Something is missing in this picture? Yes. You are right. Most Koreans living in villas (mid rise buildings) consider the number a bad luck. Thus, they skip the number as shown in the picture.

more to come....