Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Small Steps

"Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and you'll feed him for a lifetime."
I'm a big believer of this saying because it is more worthwhile to teach someone to do something than to do it for them. I wish I knew this when I was in grade school and I was tutoring my little brothers =)). I was eager to finish my big sister task and I would often end up solving their assignments! Now that I'm older and hopefully wiser, whenever there is an opportunity to teach and help someone, I'm all for it.

One Saturday morning, I volunteered to be a part of a program wherein we'll assess a pool of out of school youth in terms of their motivation and capabilities to see if they are fit to be trained and eventually be employed. It was a whole day event, I was part of the first phase where we're tasked to evaluate if they have enough drive to finish the entire program. The organizers provided us guide questions that were focused on getting to know their family background, work experience along with their short and long term goals. We're not limited to those questions, I even expanded on the getting to know you section so that the applicants can be more comfortable with me. The second phase is with the HR representatives and their assessment is geared towards the specific skills and work experience needed for the positions that the potential pool will be trained for.

The first phase is really essential because there were situations where they wouldn't push through with their applications because the work place is too far, or some just wont show up without any explanation. Since money and time will be invested on their training, it is really important to shortlist those who doesn't only show potential but has strong will as well.

I was able to interview two applicants, both young girls who only reached 1st year in college because of financial issue. The first girl worked as a saleslady a year ago, she's now unemployed and with a three month old baby. The second girl comes from a big family of 12, currently his eldest brother, who works in Saudi, is the sole provider. Based on my conversation with both of them, I found out that they have different motivations but they know that the program is a great opportunity for them. Both expressed their strong desire to be shortlisted on the pool, trained and eventually hired for the job openings.

After the first phase, I was able to mingle with my co-volunteers and sadly some had a not so fulfilling experience compared to mine. They were assigned to applicants who was just pulled to join and some doesn't even have a clue or maybe they're just too shy or even overwhelmed by this chance? Either way, it made me sad:(

On a lighter note, one of my goals this year is to continue rendering hours to programs where I can share my time and skills to other people and continue paying it forward.

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Search for Bingsu

Generally, my sister and I's Seoul itinerary can be summarized as sightseeing and eating. One of the most memorable food that we ate was "bingsu". It's a Korean dessert, made of shaved ice and topped with sweet fruit of your choice, condensed milk and red bean paste. 
Sulbing <3
Truth be told, we got curious about patbingsu because CNBLUE's guitarist, Lee JongHyun, opened a franchise of Sulbing, a Korean dessert cafe. It is a popular snack during summer months but we couldn't resist trying it even on 1 degree Celsius weather.

While sorting the photos for my photobook project, we can't help but reminisce on how good this dessert is. We're craving so bad that we had our bingsu saga. 

Unit 12, 2/F One Archers Place Building, Castro, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
spacious and well lit

Cafe de Seoul * our first stop is this cafe located near DLSU. Our first attempt is on a Sunday afternoon but the staff was already closing the cafe when we arrived. There were only 2 customers so they decided to close early even though they're supposed to be open until 10pm :(. Three days after, we dropped by again but they're not serving bingsu because they're still waiting for their ice delivery.
Strawberry fix
I ended up buying a Strawberry Shortcake instead. I'm really interested on their bingsu but its too complicated or I'm just unlucky =))

Emerald Ave, 118 Grand Emerald Tower, Emerald Ave, Ortigas, Pasig
Cafe Flafe * We already learned our lesson from Cafe de Seoul so when we decided to try this cafe in Ortigas, I texted the owner  if they are open on Saturdays and if they serve bingsu. She replied "Yes, we're open. Always." She might be wondering why I have to ask that when they have bingsu on their menu so when we arrived there, she asked if I was the one who texted her. I explained what happened on our bingsu saga. She joked that we should always choose Cafe Flafe =))

Cafe Flafe
The place looks like a typical, homey Korean cafe. They really have a thing in leaving post it messages for friends or lovers.
Aside from coffee,  bingsu & dessert, they have Korean meals

Steamed Mandu
We haven't eaten lunch so we ordered Korean comfort foods, bibimbap and mandu.
Finally, we can satisfy our bingsu craving! My sister ordered "Injeolmi" bingsu, it has soft served ice cream and the square toppings are rice cakes. Beneath it is the thin shaved ice, milk and red beans.
Melon bingsu
shaved ice, milk and red beans inside
 So, I ate 1 whole melon! I was actually wondering why they don't have a small size option for Melon and I realized its because they use the entire Melon for the family size. They even serve the remaining Melon bits that wont fit on a separate cup. I was on food coma after finishing this healthy dessert.

Bingsu is very similar to our very own Halo Halo but there's something wonderful about the uber thin ice , milk and red beans that they use.