a market-to-plate cooking day using organic food!

My friend Jhoey Hernandez of PinoyOrganics.com is holding a unique culinary tour in Alabang on Saturday, May 22, for sustainable cooking! Hope you and your green-minded friends can support her project:

Are you a cooking mama, a foodie, an urban gardener wannabe or simply love learning new things? Dust off your basket and join us as Pinoy Organics launch its Market-to-Plate Tours in the South!

Pinoy Organics in partnership with Feed 5000


Market-to-Plate Tour Launch

MAY 22, 2010, SATURDAY

8AM – 2PM

  • Know your local producers in nearby weekend markets
    • Help us purchase our ingredients for our cooking demo
    • Meet the only certified organic local produce seller in the South
    • Meet a 70 year old woman who sells local produce from Batangas on weekends only
    • Know where to buy organic brown rice at market price in the South
    • Enjoy a local drink with more electrolytes than commercial sports drink
    • Visit Mom-Turn-Farmer who sells her sustainable foods from Cavite
    • and more!

  • Learn “How To Grow Your Own Herbs”
    • Kitchen Herbs 101
    • Growing Herbs
    • Propagation
    • And more practical tips about herbs!
  • Watch and learn from Chef Len Santos of Feed 5000 as she shows us how to use herbs via Cooking Demo, “Cooking with Herbs”. Bonus treat: we get to taste everything she’ll cook!
  1. Watermelon, Mint and Kesong Puti Salad
  2. Penne Vongole (with Flat Parsley and Dill)
  3. Grilled Chicken and Mushroom Bruschetta
  4. Pineapple Basil Shake
  5. Lavender Flan
FEE: P 1,000/person only (inclusive of all materials and light lunch)


8:00 – 10:00   Market Tour
10:00 – 1:00   “Cooking with Herbs”, a cooking demo cum lunch by Chef Len of Feed 5000
1:00 – 2:00   “How to Grow Your Own Herbs”, an urban gardening workshop
The cooking demo and gardening workshop will be held at Feed 5000 Studio, 186 Luzon Drive, Ayala Alabang Village
To book your reservations, call +632 347 3975, text +63922 895 3975

or email us at pinoyorganics@gmail.com.


green and politics– what’s the latest?

I’ve made no secret about my support for Nicanor Perlas, who is neither my relative, family friend, nor ninong.

Glad to see others are recognizing the same:

Perlas best bet to solve water woes, survey shows (Inquirer, 23 March 2010) — Environmental groups EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace show the results of their “Green Electoral Initiative” (GEI) survey, which ranks the presidential candidates’ green value based on their platforms on clean water.  Highest mark of  8.7 points (out of 10) goes to Nick Perlas.  Sen. Jamby Madrigal is second with 7.8 points, followed by Gordon with 7.2 points.

P30,000 water system solution–Perlas (Inquirer Visayas, 16 March 2010) — Nick Perlas gives a solution to water problem for farms that costs P30,000, can be set up in three days, and can irrigate three to five hectares of farms.

Other news on politics and the green agenda:

Madrigal is ‘greenest’ presidential bet (Inquirer, 22 March 2010)  — another question-based ranking of the presidential candidates, conducted by Agham-Youth, Earth Island Institute, Takder, Katribu, Lakbay-Cagayan Valley, and Computer Professionals Union.  Basis for the rankings: green beans cadre or how pro-people and pro-environment their answers are to questions such as the re-commissioning of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, commercial logging, Mining Act of 1995, coal power plant, Visiting Forces Agreement, Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, cleanup of toxic wastes, and commercialization of genetically modified organisms.


Long before I knew of his decision to run for president, I’ve heard stellar things about Nick from my friend Jason Gonzales, who knows Nicky personally and who is also running for a government position in Iloilo City.  Nicky, says Jason, is a renaissance man (who never sleeps because of everything he’s busy with!), brilliant at everything he does, which include farming, microfinance, meeting with global leaders and thinktanks, etc.. His website is www.nicanorperlas.com.  Also visit Nick’s facebook page.  Medyo mabigat, and you need to set aside time for the long texts, but well-worth the read. I’m sure you’ll find his writings engaging, or inspiring at the very least. He won an Alternative Nobel in 2003.

Last June, I met him for the first time during the Pag-asa workshop on creativity and love of country, and I decided right then and there that wow, I want him as my president, and not just that–I want to help campaign for him.  I’ve always wanted to do something good for the Philippines, but Nicky and this window we’ve been given to help him have made me want to do not just good but GREAT things! He’s such a capable man– finally we have someone with real qualifications running for office!


Everyone on Nick’s team is a volunteer! Just volunteer!  Or spread the word about this brilliant and growing pulse among Pinoys called New Politics.

Nick is also raising funds, here’s a message from Gil Alonzo, a volunteer fundraiser:

Dear All,

We are happy to inform you that we have been steadily gathering funds to match the P500T Challenge Donation that would, in total, raise P1M in campaign funds.

As a result of all our efforts, we now have P128,039.10 Just today, we added P20T by selling a rundown car to the junk shop. If you have any old car beyond repair, or any other major recyclable/saleable items that you would like to donate, please do so. Nothing is so small that we wouldn’t accept. Remember 3-year old Lareessa, who was our first donor of a 1-peso donation!

New Politics is about new approaches to getting the best candidate into power. Although we de-emphasize money in our campaign to have Nick Perlas elected, we also need minimal resources for operations, rentals, food, transportation, communication and production of campaign materials.

If we raise the P500T, we will will be able to get the other P500T challenge donation. This might be so small compared to the campaign funds of other presidential candidates, but this will go a long way for us, as this will add more mobile ads, more tarps, more flyers in recycled paper using soya ink, and another month of electric jeepney rental.

We can make this happen. Donate now!

With love and gratitude,

Nick Perlas Volunteer Fundraiser
Meet the Challenge Within: The 500T Challenge Fund


bamboo jeepneys in leyte

NOTE: This site got hacked last month and boo that my back-up didn’t include the latest 4 posts (lesson learned: back-up everyday!).  I’m resurrecting this third of four posts (original publish date: January 2010) from loose emails and saved drafts.

Look at these ingenious jeepneys spotted in Leyte!

Got these pics in the email last January 2010 from Dorothy Llariza, who said they were passed along by an acquaintance from India.  At first glance, friends and I were quick to dismiss these jeepneys as “surface green”–they use bamboo and other indigenous materials, but still have the same constitution as their CO2-guzzling cousin…. or so we thought.

An online search just now led me to the site of TOTI Eco,  which as it turns out is another ingenious project by a local government official (and also the source of the pics doing the email circuit)!

Feeling the need for a low-cost, fuel-efficient, safe, and environmentally-friendly alternative mode of transportation (versus the accident-prone habal-habal, a motorbike usually overloaded with passengers),  Tabontabon mayor Dr. Rustico Balderian created the Tabontabon Organic Transport Industry (TOTI) Eco cars, which proudly claim to be a revolution in transportation:

Important Points to Keep in Mind About a Bamboo Car vs. Vehicles of Steel
-Our bamboo cars run 100% on coco-biodiesel.
-90% made of bamboo.
-Bamboo is indigenous & renewable.
-Bamboo is stronger in tensile strength than steel.
-It takes 5 tons of ore to make 1 ton of steel plate.
-Consider the heat needed to process 5 tons of ore.
-Made by Tabontabon’s Out-of-School Youth

ECO1 can seat 20 people including the driver. It can run on ONE gallon of Biodiesel fuel for 8 hours. It can climb more than 20% grade. It is covered in banig the Filipino woven mat.

ECO2 is made of bamboo, seats 8 passengers, and has a stereo with sound system. It also runs on one gallon of biodiesel fuel for 8 hours.

Future Models
Other models in production include another vehicle made of bamboo…including the chassis.

Estimated cost of Eco1 amounts to P200,000.   Not sure how this compares to the steel Sarao…

Other projects by Mayor Balderian include the production of shredders, boilers and bio-reactors for solid waste management (package cost is at P650,000) and livelihood projects that reuse plastic waste into slippers, bags and bricks.

More pictures can be seen on the TOTI Eco website.

Related reading:

Biodiesel Bamboo Cabs: Philippines Town Turns Taxis Green (March 19, 2010)
Small Leyte town assembles bamboo car (Inquirer, Sept. 2009)
The Bamboo Jeep from Bangued, Abra (featured on Lakbay TV before 2006. NOTE: according to the people at Kawayantech, this bamboo jeepney was built by government worker Chris Adriatico in 1992 ):

Bamboo Bikes by Kawayan Tech (Oct 2009).  Video below shows clips of the bamboo bike building workshop by Craig Calfee held in the Yap Farm, San Jose, Tarlac last July 6-11, 2009:


the secret is to empower people – Nick Perlas

Amazing that while transcribing videos of Nicanor Perlas (global environmentalist and 2010 Presidential aspirant), I came upon one video that had him talking exactly about SMALL FARMER PRODUCTIVITY.

This was just a few days after I chanced upon an article by Jeffrey Sachs in which he says that the world’s top 8 countries (the G8) agreed to give $20B to help small farmers increase productivity.  Seems like a normal aid activity, but Sachs stresses that this “is a potentially historic breakthrough in the fight against hunger and extreme poverty,” adding that combined with other initiatives, it “could be the greatest step so far toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals… to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by half by 2015.

Empowering small farmers to solve world hunger and poverty.  Such a simple idea.  Could this be it? A real answer that is doable NOW?

How does this translate locally in any case?

Nicky Perlas in the video below briefly shares real, applicable solutions to agricultural productivity that have come from 40 years of working with farmers.  He studied, lived, and breathed agriculture–it is his great love.  And the best part is he presents them as a man who’s actually running for the highest office of the land.  Imagine having a president who understands, and one who understands really, and from the ground (he experienced it, still experiences it), that to help is to empower.

Nicky Perlas is the real deal. And this vision of empowering everyone, of including everyone is seen in every aspect of his candidacy– from his platform, to his dialogues with individuals and groups (from the grassroots to the national and even the global levels), and even to his manner of relating to his volunteers.  His slogan says it all–Tayong lahat Perlas.  The solution is in empowering EVERYONE.

Email me or visit nicanorperlas.com if you’d like to help empower others, and in the process empower yourself! :)

*     *     *

Watch all videos of Nicky Perlas during the Mindanao forum held in Davao City last August 27, 2009 here. I included transcriptions of each video/issue for easier viewing. Issues discussed as follows:

1. Six Pillars of his Platform
2. Leadership for Mindanao
3. Economic Development and the Environment
4. Farm Land Conversion and Low Agricultural Productivity
5. Agriculture and Food Security
6. Philippine Education
7. Not Being Corrupt When Elected into Office
8. Indigenous Peoples Act of 1997
9. Indigenous Peoples Education
10. Business Investments in Mindanao
11. Future of the Youth in Mindanao
12. Bangsamoro Juridical Entity
13. Laws to Protect the Environment
14. Three Women’s Rights to Protect and Promote
15. On Another Woman to Become President
16. Peace Agreement with the MILF