The smoothie bowl comes to Ilocos

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We like to Instagram everything, and the so-called breakfast photographers are now the influencers of the world. Yassss, bowls are the new plates! Next to rice, what about spooning our smoothies from a bowl?

According to Earth Bowls, set to launch a pop-up stall at the iconic La Paz Sand Dunes, in Laoag, at the start of summer, this coming March 30-31, a healthy eating lifestyle change should be fun and delicious. Barely out of college, Laoagueños Modesty Eugenio and Brandon Tan have partnered to introduce the smoothie bowl as well as promote nutrient-dense eating.

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Q&A WITH MODESTY AND BRANDON

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BlauEarth: I know you two are foodies, like always in the kitchen, or eating out, and now, you yourselves are making food a business. What made you fix on smoothie bowls?

Modesty: Bran and I always love eating, but for the past year, we started to eat clean as frequently as we can, and smoothie bowls are yummy healthy snack that we think everyone can actually enjoy.

Natural and/or organic are on average costly. Will an earth bowl be affordable?

M: Healthy eating has always been perceived as costly, but with great effort, we managed to source locally made ingredients to make every earth bowl affordable and healthy because we believe that these two can go hand in hand.

Brandon, were you also part of recipe development?

B: Yes, Modesty and I both gave our own list of recipes. We made a total of 12 recipes and cut it down to 5 with the help of family and friends. We spent two straight days tasting every recipe and there was no guilt eating through all those bowls of fruits.

What is your favorite earth bowl?

B: My favorite earth bowl would be the one with mango, spinach and strawberry (there’s no name yet). I never knew these three could go well together. Definitely, love at first taste.

Food preparation as a business can be very demanding, it is also an art that requires skills, how prepared are you trying your hand at something new?

B: I’m the type of person who loves trying new things. Being the first to introduce smoothie bowls in Ilocos is exciting, and to sustain the trend is challenging.

I see it’s a pop-up stall, do you imagine it as a brick-and-mortar business soon?

M: Yes, definitely, the original plan was a cafe-like establishment but we didn’t have much time to plan due to conflicting schedules. We are planning to launch it before the month of August. And once it’s put up, we have our fingers crossed that it’s going to be the go-to snack stop in Ilocos.

(Follow earthbowlsph on Instagram and Facebook)

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Chevylle V. Fariñas: Tailor-made for public service

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Chevylle sounds like Chevy Chevelle, the car of choice of Baby Boomers, somewhat hinting at the age of the first woman mayor of the city of Laoag. The only daughter among the two children of Baby and the late Rudy Villanueva (not originally from Ilocos), Chevylle spent her formative years in Laoag. An honor student at the Holy Spirit Academy of Laoag, she had that kind of beauty that made the boys swoon. Her college years were at the Maryknoll (now Miriam College). As cupid would have it, Michael Fariñas, the first grandchild of the late Fariñas Trans patriarch, Don Federico, and nephew of then Laoag mayor Rudy, never let her go, and they tied the knot and had children. Michael worked in the family business while Chevylle was full-time mom, yet helped manage their own retail store, and later on they dabbled in politics (Chevylle always supported Michael, who was tasked to organize and manage his uncles’ election campaigns). When it was Michael’s turn to win the mayoralty in Laoag, Chevylle assumed the other essential posts like the barangay heads association chair.

Fellow-barangay heads helped her “walk” for the mayoralty post, with last-termer mayor Michael defying family wishes, which caused a split-up in the Fariñas family and supporters (the first time it happened to the close-knit family), and indeed she eventually won by more than 21K votes over reelectionist uncle, Roger. But that’s all water under the bridge. The passing away of cousin JR ( Rudy’s son) made Laoag’s most prominent political family whole again.

More low-key than the average Ilocano politician, her strength lies in her diligence and organizational skills. And I see that feisty streak in her, exactly what a woman leader should be born with.

Under her leadership, Laoag continues to reap awards, awards such as most livable and most business-friendly city, notwithstanding the controversial disappearance of former City Treasurer Elena V. Asuncion and 85 million from the coffers of the city, which political opponents of the Fariñases are trying to link to both the mayor and vice-mayor (husband Michael).

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Fun Facts about Laoag City Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas

•  She sings very well. Very well means like a professional singer.

•  She’s a hands on mom, albeit her other duties. Now that her two older children, Jami and Mikee, are able to help serve her constituents, we can see how she has influenced them in their career paths — Jami is the City Administrator, after Perry Martinez vacated the post, and Mikee has followed her parents’ footsteps into politics.

•  Creativity is her middle name. She likes arts and crafts, she’s her own stylist, she loves makeup (like you and me, darling), and dressing up as seen in her fashion choices (well, her mom owns a clothing store). Her personal strong liking for happy colors extends to her office like Barbie pink and apple green are the official colors of her administration.

•  She drives like a man. She will drive to Manila alone if she has to. What are the Sampaloc and Divisoria streets to her?

• A city hall employee will attest to her exemplary work ethic. One more employee says she pushes them to think out of the box, and likes to hear innovations.

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•  It is hard to imagine her in a different hairstyle. It might be a politician thing like Imelda has had that bouffant since time immemorial.

• Basically, between Michael and Chevylle, she is the more approachable one.

• As city mayor, despite her busy schedule, she has time for everyone, (this I experienced three times, to be precise, no cordon sanitaire).

All photos lifted from the Agserbi 24/7 Facebook page.