Going Nuts

Go Nuts

Do you like snacking on nuts? Nuts are known to provide vitamins and minerals essential in organ function. They are also a good source of protein and fiber.

Found nuts from Bicol at Marsha’s Delicacies, the famous pasalubong center of Marsha Navarro-Chua along the national highway in the Vigan area. They are made by her sister Vicky’s growing food processing company in their home province of Bicol. Vicky’s Pili and Food Products, currently under the helm of daughter Zandra, make traditional honeyed crispy pili and mazapan, but I got more interested in trying the lightly salted pili and savory adobo cashew nuts. Whatever special quality Himalayan salt imparts, I find salted pili can be as irresistible as other salted nuts. I was stuck on thinking pili can only be good when combined with something sugary. On the other hand, adobo flavor gives an interesting twist to the more common plainly roasted cashew nuts. The nuts were fresh tasting and good quality, an important thing to remember when eating nuts as rancid nuts can be dangerous to health.

Find Vicky’s Pili and Food Products next to Ilocano chichacorn and Marsha’s famous native cakes at Marsha’s Delicacies in Ilocos Sur.

Photographed by BlauEarth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

What is the MAMMOvan?


Have you seen this van going around town?

Recent studies by the Department of Health show that breast cancer has become the most common cancer in the Philippines. The incidence rate of breast cancer in the country is also the highest in Asia and the 9th highest in the world, according to reports.

Besides heredity, there are other risk factors linked to breast cancer like exposure to hormones and lifestyle.

MAMMOvan (3)

According to Ilocos-based Breast Cancer Imperative (BRCAI) Inc, a non-government volunteer organization, founded by Delia Cachola Baquiran, “Early detection is the cornerstone of cancer control and offers the greatest promise of survival, thus reducing the mortality from breast cancer. ‘Downstaging’ of breast cancer which occurs with early diagnosis has shown a higher potential for cure because more curative treatment options can be offered at the early stages of the disease than at its advanced stage which is happening now among Filipino women.”

It is for this reason that BRCAI, in partnership with the Timoteo and Luisa Cachola Fund, Toyota Motors Philippines Foundation, the Philippine Foundation for Breast Care, Inc., the Philippine College of Surgeons-Northern Luzon Chapter and other kind donors, has initiated the MAMMOvan, the Philippines’ first, providing free or subsidized accessible mammogram services for disadvantaged women.

MAMMOvan (2)

Designed for detection and screening cancer at different stages, the MAMMOvan, in close coordination with the local DSWD Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, goes around the Ilocos provinces on schedule. DSWD-certified women can avail the services of qualified radiologists operating the portable mammography machine (inside the van).

BRCAI will assist qualified patients from start to finish, meaning detection to referrals and chemotherapy.

Aimed at reducing late cancer detection,  they also conduct breast cancer education.

MAMMOvan (4)

Breast Cancer Imperative, Inc., 187 JP Rizal Avenue, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines Tel Nos.: 077 770 2162 (Philippines) / +63 077 770 2162 (International) Website: bcimperative.org Email: info@bcimperative.org

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Holistic Healing with Crystals

In many different cultures, crystals and stones have been used as an alternative form of medicine dating back to the prehistoric years. These natural solids made up of minerals  and formed in the earth’s surface have always been highly regarded for their healing, magical and mystical qualities. It is believed that the healing effect of crystals involves heat, electricity and focusing of light energy.

In New Age parlance, holistic healing with crystals works directly on the chakra, the seven centers of spiritual energy in the human body. When there are blockages in the major chakras, the aura or the invisible radiation that surrounds a human body maybe seen by an intuitive eye. Cleansing and realigning  the chakras and removing negative karma to achieve a free flow of energy through the body can be done by placing the appropriate crystals directly on the chakras, on the front or back of the body, for 10-15 minutes.

Locating The Chakra and Using A Suitable Stone

Base chakra (at the coccyx or base of the spine) – associated with survival, health, abundance, connection to the earth and moving forward in life. Use Red Jasper, Carnelian, Smoky Quartz, Citrine, Yellow Topaz, Chrysocolia, Black Tourmaline or Bloodstone.

Sacral chakra (just below your belly button) — associated with connection with other people, creativity and energy storage. Use Blue Jasper, Orange Carnelian, Topaz, Orange Calcite or Citrine.

Solar plexus chakra (behind the soft cartilage at the bottom of the breast bone) — associated with personal power, emotional control and physical center. Use Malachite, Jasper, Tiger’s Eye, Citrine, Yellow Tourmaline, Golden Beryl or Rhodochrosite.

Heart chakra (in the center of the chest) — associated with safety, trust, risk-taking and love. Use Rose Quartz, Aventurine, Red Calcite, Watermelon Tourmaline, Pink Tourmaline, Peridot, Ruby, Green Sapphire, Chrysocolia, Rodonite, Malachite, Muscovite, Morganite or Green Quartz.

Throat chakra (in the center of the throat) — associated with communication. Use Turquoise, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Blue Obsidian, Azurite or Blue Lace Agate.

Brow chakra, aka the third eye chakra (in the center of the forehead, above the eyebrows) — associated with mind, ideas, thoughts, dreams and psychic abilities. Use Diamond, Lapis Lazuli, Electric Blue Obsidian, Sodalite, Royal Sapphire, Azurite and Moldavite.

Crown chakra (on top of the head) — associated with spirituality, connection, imagination and awareness. Use Amethyst, Quartz, Purple Jasper, Clear Tourmaline, Purple Sapphire or Lepidolite.

New Age Stones

When used as decor in the home or office, crystal pieces  are  renowned to enhance the environment and sense of well-being. They help clear and cleanse energies and they provide protection.

Quartz and Amethyst bring peace and harmony. Opal promotes a better work environment and is helpful in the study area. Moonstone and Onyx create a happy home. Sulfur removes negativity. Rose Quartz and Chrysocolia keep the romance alive.

Mentioned in the book, The Crystal Healer, authored by Philip Permutt, are the following home tips: Quartz is known to soften hard water, so putting a piece inside a water tank seems to be a convenient idea. For the gardeners, placing a piece of  Sphene or Titanite in the patio or in the pots promotes plant growth.

Ammonite or fossil shell, believed to be a in the ocean many million years ago brings luck.

Crystal Jewelry

The placebo effect of crystals on believers make crystals and stones increasingly popular. Wearing them next to the skin has become universal.

Crystals in photos by Lee Hua Crystals, Level 1, Robinsons Ilocos Norte, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte
Credits: chakra illustration by Gil Dekkel via wikipedia.org


Mind and Spirit

My own quartz pendant I bought online several years back.

I have always been fascinated with the beauty of crystals. A trip to the Bohdi Tree Bookstore in LA got  me wanting to know more about the beneficial qualities of crystals. On  many occasions, crystals have helped me ward off “demons”. I do believe in them the way I believe in angels and dolphins. As Buddha said, “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED