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Ice Candy
Monday, March 26, 2007
Summertime is here again and this time the summer heat seem to be unbeatable. Regular classes from my kids' school are over but they still go to school everyday for rehearsals in preparation for their recognition day. Everytime they arrive home after rehearsals they look for cold drinks, ice cream, popsicle, or anything which may sooth them from the hotness of the surroundings. So the other day while in the supermarket, I came across these ice candies (photo on the right). They look so good...very colorful. I bought 2 packs and my kids' were very eager to try them.

It was just this afternoon when we remembered to try them. Their looks are very deceiving because they tasted so bland. Whatever color you pick they tasted all the same. They were just nothing but water and food coloring. My kids' were disappointed as much as I am so I promised to make homemade ice candies one of these days. They just can't believe that I can do it but I assured them that it is very easy.

When I was a kid my mom and I used to make ice candies. Since mangoes abound during summer, we used to make them as ice candies aside from making mango shakes. We mix them with sugar and milk, put them in small plastic bags especially designed for making ice candies, then put them in the freezer. That's it.... in a few hours you have your ice candy.

Any fruit in season can be used. One of the most popular is buko (coconut). Just scrape the coconut meat (the ones used for salads are the best), combine the juice, sugar, and milk.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 4:26 PM   0 comments
PAFP Annual Convention
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The first week of March had been a very hectic week for me and my husband. It was the 46th Annual Convention of the Philippine Academy of Family Physician (PAFP). Being the President of the Pangasinan chapter, my husband had to attend to a series of activities in preparation for the said occasion. For one, our chapter had been assigned to sing the PAFP Hymn (photo on the right) during the opening ceremonies. This alone made the one week preparation before the occasion a very busy one. My husband was not contented with "pwede na". He wanted it perfect. So the group had to practice until wee hours of the morning just to make everything as prefect as possible. And the result? We were able to prove to the audience that Pangasinenses are really good singers.

Several pre-convention activities were scheduled a day before the 3-day convention at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Among them was the poster making contest where our group was a contestant. It was just so bad I failed to get a picture of our entree. It was a picture of 2 bangus swimming upward under the water. At the center of the 2 fishes is the PAFP logo. We placed the pictures taken during all the chapter's activities inside the bubbles produced by the 2 bangus. It was really nice!

The 3-day convention was filled with comprehensive lectures from notable physicians all over the country. The knowledge we gained out of these lectures was incomparable. We may have lost some income from being away from our clinics for a few days but we were able to arm ourselves and gain more knowledge as we go back and face our patients.

The closing ceremony and induction of the chapter presidents (photo below) concluded the 3-day event. It was held in Sofitel Philippine Plaza on the evening of March 3. This year is my husband's second term as the president of Pangasinan chapter. Though most of our colleagues had gone home and we also were very eager to home by then, we were left with no choice but to attend the ceremony.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 3:08 PM   0 comments
MTG, Philippines
Friday, March 16, 2007
My eldest son, Raymund, has been a very diligent child ever since he was a toddler. He just loves to learn at a very early age. Being an only son then, his play centered on learning. I think that at his age he associated learning as play. Earlier on, I already noted his love for numbers. As he moved on from preschool to grade school at La Marea Academy, his intelligence sharpened.

When I received a form asking for enrollees for Math teachers' Guild (MTG), Philippines early this shool year, I immediately enrolled him. He attended it 2x a month on Saturdays and they ended it February 27, 2007 (photo below). I can say that MTG has honed his skills even more. He finished the training as one of the top scorers. I'm proud to say that my son is a math wizard.

Being one of the top scorers made him to qualify for the 2007 Young Mathematicians' In-House Intensive Training Program to be held on March 31 to April 3, 2007 at Legenda Hotel - Grand Seasons/Legenda Suites, Subic Bay Freeport, Zambales. Unfortunately, because of some very personal reasons he cannot make it to the intensive training. I'm very hopeful that next school year he can have again the opportunity to join the intensive training and hopefully to be able to advance to the MTG Mathematical Summer Program. To all the math wizards out there.....Congratulations!
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 9:48 AM   0 comments
Tibicos
Friday, March 09, 2007

In the photo are live grains called Tibicos. They are Chinese mushrooms given to us by one patient. According to her, it was given to her by a nun who claimed that the syrup if taken regularly can heal arthritis, diabetes, and other kinds of diseases. She instructed us on how to take care of the Tibicos and make them multiply and when and how to gather the syrup to be used as medicine. It is our first time to see Tibicos. We don't know if her claims are true or if they really are effective. We were curious so we gave it a try.

After 24 hours of the Tibicos in the small bottle, we strained the mushrooms and the filtrate is now ready for consumption as herbal medicine or probiotics for those who want to try it. It has to be taken 1/2 cup in the morning and another 1/2 cup in the evening daily until improvement from the condition is noted, according to our source.

The strained mushroom is then transferred to a bigger container (photo below). The amount is noted by counting the number of teaspoons. It is specified that a plastic spoon should be used in doing this procedure in order to prevent reaction of the mushroom when a stainless spoon is used. Once in the new container, clean water is added using a 1:1 proportion (1 tsp mushroom to 1 cup water). Sugar is then added,one teaspoonful of sugar to 3 teaspoonfuls of Tibicos. We used muscovado sugar because according to our source, it is the one which Tibicos love. We then covered the container with a clean cloth and secured the cover with a rubber band. After 24 hours, it is expected that the Tibicos will grow in number. They have to be transferred again to another container. I'll tell you next time what happens.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 9:59 AM   26 comments
Malunggay
Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Malunggay is a very diverse plant in terms of its medicinal characteristics. It is universally known as Moringga. It is a rich source of vitamins, amino acids, and various nutrients which provides the needed energy to the body.

Its pods (photo on the right) are edible. Here in Pangasinan, malunggay is mostly grown in the backyard. You can ask for them from a neighbor and they are given for free. They are cooked together with eggplant, ampalaya, tomatoes, and sitaw in a dish called pinakbet.

Its leaves (photo below) are also incorporated in various dishes such as tinola, monggo and other kinds of meat dishes. They are used mostly by postpartum mothers in order to produce breast milk for the baby. These leaves are added to soups which the mother drinks in large amount. Nowadays, malunggay leaves are already available in capsule form and can be bought as over the counter drugs for breastfeeding women.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 2:47 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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