PHNO SOL VANZI TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

SOL VANZI's TIMPLA'T  TIKIM THIS PAST WEEKS...     
  

BITTERSWEET SUMMER
Salisalida or papait --For only P10 per bundle, this rare, wild plant is a gastronomic and medicinal marvel. While chefs and well-travelled gourmands welcome the local cultivation of heretofore rare salad greens and vegetables, many others mourn the disappearance of wild plants that used to be regular ingredients of summer meals in the provinces.

ALSO: About my delightful friend Sol ......
Wherever Sol Vanzi is, she is happiest in the kitchen and dining area, cooking and eating with everybody. Cooking is Sol's greatest passion in her busy life. During one of our PHNO meets in Manila, she took me with her to a National Press Club dinner event and true to form, Sol had many things to do with the food we were all gleefully devouring....sumptuous and original. And the full house thanking her all around.

ALSO: Mrs. Marcos’ media liaison -- at an Imelda Marcos interview by Alex Vidal
When former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos returned in the country in 1991 five years after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, we were among the few journalists from outside Metro Manila who were given the chance to visit her for interview at the Manila Peninsula Hotel. I was with freelance broadcaster Louie Vivar, Arsenio “Kamlon” Ang of DYRI “Radyo Agong”, and Mario Jara of the defunct DYRP “Radyo Tagring.”  We went to the hotel with a police escort provided by then Western Police District director, Chief Supt. Ernesto Diokno. Our entry in the tightly secured five-star hotel was facilitated by Mrs. Marcos’ media liaison, Sol Vanzi, who herded us like VIPs to the waiting area on the 9th floor. READ ON....


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

Bittersweet summer


Salisalida or papait is also used to cure different ailments

MANILA, MARCH 23, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi - While chefs and well-travelled gourmands welcome the local cultivation of heretofore rare salad greens and vegetables, many others mourn the disappearance of wild plants that used to be regular ingredients of summer meals in the provinces.

Foremost among these are plants whose leaves and stems today’s youth may find too bitter for comfort: 'dampalit', 'alusiman', and 'salisalida'.

While the first two still grow profusely around fishponds in Malabon, Bulacan, and Pampanga, 'salisalida' is now so rare it is difficult to even find information on the internet.


An Ilocano favorite, 'papait' is a known ingredient of 'dinengdeng' and omelet

But much to my surprise, I found this rare leafy vegetable being sold by vendors in Quiapo, along R. Hidalgo and Villalobos streets.

The same stalls also offer rare, heritage tomatoes, the kind shaped like small pumpkins, with very thin skin that break out when the fruits ripen.

'Salisalida' is harvested by pulling the entire plant from the soil. The plants are sold whole, roots and all. Leaves and tender stems are cooked while the rest can be dried and brewed into a soothing tea.

ILOCANO FAVORITE

Called by Ilocanos as 'papaet' or 'papait', 'salisalida' is known scientifically as Glinus oppositifolius and is much sought after as an ingredient in 'dinengdeng', salad, 'torta' (omelet), and other simple dishes. My protein-rich breakfast favorite is to sauté garlic, sliced onions, and tomatoes and mix everything with beaten eggs for a quick omelet or soft scramble. To increase the volume and serve two, I add a can of sardines to the sautéed onions and tomatoes.

AMPALAYA SUBSTITUTE

'Papait' is a perfect substitute for ampalaya fruits and leaves. In Ilocos, young papait tips are added raw to sliced tomatoes and native onions called lasona for an all-day salad seasoned with fish bagoong and calamansi.

For Lent, papait is perfect when making ginisang monggo. Boil the mung beans until bursting and add to sautéed garlic, onions, and tomatoes. Season with dried shrimps (hebi) or flaked smoked fish (tinapa). Add the papait, cover, and turn off the heat to prevent overcooking.


'Papait' can be a substitute to ampalaya

CURES EVERYTHING

'Papait' is used in many countries to cure different ailments. For earaches, it is applied warm, moistened with a little castor oil.

The juice is applied to itches and other skin diseases.

In India, tribal people use it for liver diseases while in Tamil Nadu, the leaves are used to counteract animal bite poisons.

Natives of Mali use the plant for malaria, joint pains, inflammation, intestinal parasites, furuncles, and wounds.

Aerial parts are used for abdominal pains and jaundice, while fresh leaves are used to relieve dizziness and to stimulate appetite. It is also pounded and mixed with oil or water to heal wounds.

In Bangladesh, 'papait' is used for joint pains, inflammation, diarrhea, fever, boils, and skin disorders while in Thailand, leaves are used as expectorant and antipyretic.

The plant is considered generally as a stomachic, appetizer, aperient, antiseptic, and uterine stimulant.

Not bad for a vegetable that sells for only P10 per bundle.


About Sol ....... my delightful friend

Wherever Sol Vanzi is, she is happiest in her most comfortable zones; the kitchen and dining rooms where she is always cooking and eating with everybody.

In one of our PHNO meets in Manila, Sol took me with her to the National Press Club for a dinner party and true to form, Sol had many things to do about the food we were all gleefully devouring....sumptuous and original. And the full house thanking her all around.

Sol at the Oarhouse one Thanksgiving day

The OARHOUSE: Stories, images, and news of events of this landmark Manila bar and restaurant, founded in 1977 by retired U.S. Navy pilot Charles "Chuck" Monroe, in the city's bohemian district of Malate. Visiting this establishment's virtual site is good, but being at the actual place is much better. We are located at 1688-B, Jorge Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila, 1004 Philippines


SOL carving the turkey for the Oarhouse Thanks giving line


While the turkey did not last very lon, the line kept coming


One topic that Sol rarely talked about was her time as the Media liaison of First Lady Imelda Marcos during the Marcos administration (before the Martial Law, during and after, is another big story).

From the Internet 'archives' found nowadays in many online blogs, here is one from Alex Vidal's blog site.

INTERVIEW WITH FIRST LADY IMELDA MARCOS; PLAZA MIRANDA BOMBING  

By Alex P. Vidal

When former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos returned in the country in 1991 five years after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, we were among the few journalists from outside Metro Manila who were given the chance to visit her for interview at the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

I was with freelance broadcaster Louie Vivar, Arsenio “Kamlon” Ang of DYRI “Radyo Agong”, and Mario Jara of the defunct DYRP “Radyo Tagring.”

We went to the hotel with a police escort provided by then Western Police District director, Chief Supt. Ernesto Diokno. Our entry in the tightly secured five-star hotel was facilitated by Mrs. Marcos’ media liaison, Sol Vanzi, who herded us like VIPs to the waiting area on the 9th floor.

SUITE

Upon entering in a suite on the 9th floor, we were surprised to find out we were not the early birds, after all: fellow Ilonggo and Prensa Libre publisher Vicente “El Cid” Nava was already inside and about to finish his first cup of coffee.

“Welcome, my fellow Invaders of the Lost Ark,” Nava, a poet and literary writer, greeted us smiling. “Your arrival has completed the outcast!”

”Well, I was told that Madame First Lady Marcos might or might not show up due to security reasons, among other alibis, perhaps,” Nava quipped, avoiding an eye to eye contact with Vanzi, who apparently was peeved by his –and our — presence, as well as Nava’s snide remark.

GREET

“We are here to greet the First Lady because we missed her. It’s been a long time since we last heard from her and the Marcos family; and we want to know from the horse’s mouth how is President Marcos doing now in Hawaii,” sighed Vivar, then a blocktimer of Manila-based DYWB and a “sweet talk” specialist.

“I thought you came her to interview the First Lady?” Vanzi retorted, raising her eyebrows to stress a point.

“That’s exactly the reason why we came here all the way from Iloilo City,” I volunteered. “We want to have not only an exclusive interview with First Lady Marcos, but also to be part of history — as among the first media people to have interaction with the most famous woman in the Philippines since the EDSA Revolution.” “At handang handa na po kami (And we are very much ready),” Ang, holding his cassette tape-recorder, chipped in.

UPSTAIRS

“OK, just wait. I will check upstairs (12th floor) if the First Lady is now available,” Vanzi said.

Several minutes later, Vanzi returned and produced Atty. Dean Antonio Coronel, the Marcos family’s combative and fire-spewing lawyer. There was no Imelda R. Marcos.

”I would like to introduce to you Atty. Dean Antonio Coronel. He will answer all your questions concerning the First Lady. He has been authorized to answer all your questions,” Vanzi stressed.

”Where is the First Lady?,” Nava and Vivar chorused.

”She is not feeling well. You know, she just arrived a few days ago and has been busy meeting important people, friends and relatives she haven’t seen for a long time; she badly needs some rest,” Vanzi explained.

CHOICE

No choice, the “invaders” settled for the swashbuckling lawyer known for his goatee and acerbic voice.

“They can’t arrest the First Lady because there have been no formal charges filed against her; and if there is any, she is entitled to due process which is a sacred right of any individual regardless of status,” Coronel remarked.

Since it was near the 20th year anniversary of the Plaza Miranda bombing on August 21, 1971, I asked Coronel about Mrs. Marcos’ stand on the issue.

”Mrs. Marcos has maintained that it was the handiwork of the Communist Party of the Philippines (founded by Jose Ma. Sison),” Coronel said.

But the CPP blamed President Marcos, whose rival, Liberal Party stalwart, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., who was assassinated on August 21, 1983 at the airport tarmac, was linked to the CPP, by virtue of his “curious” absence from the Liberal Party rally.

CONFIRM

The lawyer confirmed that some of those Mrs. Marcos (she was very much involved in the political affairs of the state especially during the Martial Law) had ordered arrested in relation to the political party bombing that killed nine people and wounded more than 30, were members of the media who went underground after their names had been linked to the blast.

He confirmed among those arrested earlier was radio commentator Roger “Bomba” Arrienda.

The bombing happened a few minutes before 9 p.m., the official proclamation program for the Liberal Party’s senatorial slate.Manila Mayor Ramon Bagatsing lost one of his legs; scores were wounded, including former Speaker Ramon Mitra, then Rep. John Osmena, the late senators Eva Estrada Kalaw and Jovito Salonga, who lost his eyesight.

PRESIDENT

In 1992, when Mrs. Marcos ran for president, she recruited the late comedians Chiquito and Johnny Wilson to run for senator under the KBL party and brought them to Iloilo City.

They hired my services and for four nights and five days, I accompanied Mrs. Marcos in her Western Visayas sorties. Although they all lost miserably, at least I was able to rub elbows and exchange tete-a-tete with my favorite childhood comedian, the late Chiquito, one of the worst senators we never had.


Alex P. Vidal
Alex P. Vidal is a Filipino journalist who travels to chronicle international events about sports, environment, politics, media, health, government, among other interesting subject matters.


From an interview I maybe able to post here later, Sol was asked.......

So, are you pro-Marcos or pro-Cory?
A. I like Imelda. As a person, I like Imelda more than I like Cory. Imelda is nice. Imelda is nice to the people around her. She doesn't treat anybody like a servant. Kung ano lulutuin ng kusinero, kakainin ng lahat ng tao pati siya tsaka sa kanilang dalawa, mas religious si Mam tsaka mas totoo.

Q. How about Cory?
A. Si Cory? Asim daw ang ugali niyan.

Culled for PHNO by Lee Quesada/Webmaster




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