How Do You Feel About Living in Space (Reflection)

My topic that I covered for our Astronomy unit is Living in Space. Through the interest of this topic, I created the big question to help guide my research. My question is: What’s it Like Living in Space? I learned that there are similarities and differences living on Earth and in Space. For example, the main differences are in exercising, personal hygiene, and in eating. The similarities are the necessities of sleeping and relaxing. While presenting, I think I did well on knowing my information instead of reading everything word for word on my poster. This is helpful because it shows that I understand and know my information. Also, it makes me comfortable to speak about the research. Something that I found interesting with my research is how food is all compact or in packets if they’re liquid based.

photo credit: BFS Man via photopin cc

Made With A Mother’s Love: Leche Flan

Brown on top, tan in the bottom. The flan all sweet, creamy, and soft. My favorite dessert made by my mom. Leche Flan is a creamy, egg-milk custard that’s so sweet, you can’t skip it if you have a sweet tooth. This brings all kinds of memories because of all the different occasions it’s been made for. Some times when the flan was made were for a gathering, Christmas Eve, or even on my birthday as a special treat. I’ve asked an expert, my mom, about the flan.

How did it become a tradition to always serve it at parties or gatherings? It started as a most requested dish/dessert, hence, they are made on special occasions only.

So why is it important to keep making Leche Flan? So you will not forget on how to make it;  it can be passed on to the next generation and they could have the family’s favorite own leche flan recipe.

Does this dish have anything to do with the Filipino culture? Yes. Leche flan has become a common dessert served in filipino gatherings or special occasions. Filipinos like sweet desserts and leche flan is easy to prepare.

Was it influenced from the Spanish since it has a spanish name? Leche flan is egg-milk custard which takes its name from the language where leche means milk and flan is more or less custard.

Why do you like making leche flan? Family and friends ask for it, it’s easy to make, and the family’s leche flan recipe has been modified, through the years, to perfection and to the preference of the family’s taste; despite that one can easily get the leche flan recipe in websites and in cookbooks.

So in other words, Leche Flan is a well known dessert to the family and our friends which is how it became a tradition. The history of flan in the family started since we’re of Spanish descent, too. Since the Spanish colonized the Filipinos, flan was introduced to us. This is important to keep in the family because it’s like our family’s secret recipe, many people try to duplicate, but my mom is still the only one that does the dessert justice. Also, it’s a great way to continue a family tradition if we continue sharing it to the next generation of the Tarrobal household.

The importance of this dessert for me is huge since it’s a treat for the whole family and it’s one of the only food that’s made as a tradition. Like any other dessert, it’s a part of our dinners that bring us closer because we all enjoy eating it while bonding with each other. Also, tradition is always important. If tradition didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be anything to look forward to in the holidays. So Leche Flan is a great way to continue that.


1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water


For the filling:

6 whole eggs (1-1/2 cups eggs)

1-1/2 cups condensed milk

1-1/2 cups evaporated milk

1 teaspoon dayap, lemon or orange rind, grated, or McCormick ube, langka, or pandan flavor (optional)


1. Prepare a five-cup capacity oval or round metal pan. Spread the granulated sugar at thebottom, and sprinkle with the water.

2. Put on top of a stove. Start on a high fire. When the sugar begins to caramelize, lower fireand tilt the pan with the help of a potholder to even out the caramel. Remove from the fire.

3. Pour the filling over the caramel. Cover tightly with a doubled-up foil with a one-inchoverhang on the sides. Crimp the edges well. Place on a steamer with two-inch-highboiling water. Cover.

4. Steam on medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool. Remove the foil. The center of the flanshould still be soft. Loosen out the sides with a metal spatula. Put a serving plate on top.

5. Invert to take it out of the pan.

For the filling:

Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl and strain.


Seal the foil cover well, so that the steaming water does not enter flan mixture. Otherwise, itwill never get cooked.

 When the water boils, put the fire to medium so that the flan mixture does not boil. This is the secret to smooth, creamy flan.

photo credit: andy liang via photopin cc

Introduction to Winning

This poem is inspired by my highs and lows of the 2012-2013 Athletic Season and the poem “Introduction to Poetry”.

I ask them to learn a few lessons

and read beyond the lines like those

in a secret message


or just enjoy each game’s thrill

in our roller coaster lives.


I say pride and skills

don’t matter if it interferes

with the enjoyment


so run that mile of

hardwork and determination.


I want them to love

the playing before the winning

the way a mother loves her

child before it is born.


But all they think about is how

losers will never be accepted

and they would feel the same loneliness

of red-nosed Rudolph before that foggy eve.


They play only for the fame,

the gold, the temporary happiness that it brings

than to find who they really are

and mold the person they’ll be.

photo credit: Globist via photopin cc

From Built to Rubble Q&A for Bangladesh Factory Collapse

Today a young female has gotten our attention. She and her classmates at SSIS have read about M. T. Anderson’s opinion called, “Clothed in Misery” about the recent Bangladesh factory collapse, which we’ll be talking about with the young female herself, Angela T.

What is this opinion editorial about?
First of all, he starts by stating that so many people are unaware of the fact that there are people who work just to get by. Through their work, they are risking themselves every day especially those who work in international garment industries with “miserable labor conditions”. Then he compared this tragedy to similar past disasters, namingly the Pemberton building. Anderson connotes that he’s frustrated with the repeated results to all the poor accessing of labor buildings. This results to many people in sorrow because of all the deaths and injuries. By they way, this editorial is mainly inspired by the recent tragedy of the Bangladesh Factory Collapse, but he does talk about past apparel factory collapses in the U.S.

What’s M.T. Anderson’s point of view in the matter?
His opinion in this topic is definitely supported. He doesn’t like that there are social class differences because if you’re poor, there is a tiny chance of being able to grab an opportunity for a wealthier life. He thought that it was unfair that those in poverty have to suffer poor labor conditions day in and day out while the consumers (us) don’t have any difficulty buying whatsoever.
Interestingly, I very well know a man who worked his way to the top. He’s my dad! Though he isn’t one of the richest men in the world, he is wealthy enough to give his four kids and wife an amazing life. Before working in a high position of a famous shoe company, he lived with his huge family in a poorer area of Manila. From there, he climbed the ladder of success without looking back.

Is it unfair how there are social divisions?
In my opinion, it isn’t, if there are people who suffer harm. I’ve always wondered what life would be like if everyone was equal. It would definitely be fair, but there wouldn’t be any originality in the world. Living in an completely equal world would be seen as a black, white, and gray all over since, that’s all we see and no color will exist.

How does being born in a social class affect your future?
It probably changes our views the most, because if we are born into the rich level of society we most often take a lot for granted, while someone that’s poor would either feel hopeless or more determined to help their families.

Who’s fault is it for the collapses?
I can’t really say who would take the blame, but it would have to either be the architects, contractors/builders, or the inspectors. It could be the architects because they were the ones in charge of the structure. If it wasn’t the architects’ faults, it could’ve been the contractors who assigned the jobs to the builders, then the builders who take partial blame because they’re the ones actually making the building come to life. Then it’s the inspectors’ turns. Since they are the ones checking the building for safety after it’s built, their jobs need to be done properly. But another factor could come into play. What about the people who invested in the making of the building itself? If all these people have done their jobs in creating, building, and inspecting; but the investors don’t want to spend more money for correction, they must take most of the responsibility for the collapses. All the fingers will be pointed at them for the destruction they have caused for neglecting changes for a safer, environment to work in.

How do you feel about recurrence of the collapses, especially in the clothing industry?
Well, of course, I feel bad. There are a lot of people who died, and more are being pronounced dead each day. It’s the reality coming from inconsiderate people, not saying that I’ve never been inconsiderate because I have. People who don’t really bother about others end up in a situation where they’re going to get blamed and get what’s coming to them. Also, it’s saddening. In my perspective, many people are dead because of their unsafe working conditions, yet they’re the ones who’s still paying not those who made the conditions. The workers’ families have to pay for the funerals to commemorate their loved ones. To be brutally honest, I didn’t know that there was an existing reality like this, and thanks to Ms. Richert and M.T. Anderson for opening my eyes to a greater issue in life.

What can you do as a student to help?
I think everyone can still have a role in this situation no matter how young we are. As a student, we might not think we’re consumers, but we actually are. Just because we don’t pay for most of what we own, it doesn’t mean we don’t consume anything, because – we are. We are consumers because we get toys, clothes, food all coming from other people’s labor. So back to the question, as a student we can help by watching what we buy or as Anderson said in the article, “show enough peer pressure on the apparel industry.” This means to get attention and give our point to help those who do hard labor for what we buy. Since this editorial is about the clothing industry, we need to focus of the clothes. One way to be heard is creating a petition to raise money for the clothes that we buy so that the laborers will earn more money or the extra money will be put into building a safer environment to work in.

Well, thanks for wanting to share what you experienced through this article. Hope that you and everyone else help the workers earn more from their living.

photo credit: Solidarity Center via photopin cc

I Now Declare Siblings Independent

It is a necessity for two people to be separated from each other. This is because they may not be benefiting from their relationship anymore. So it is our obligation to make that separation possible. We are growing up and becoming more independent. We should not be chained down throughout our lives to our guardians. Which is why we have to declare the causes for the required separation.

I believe that we deserve the same rights as any other human being: the right to our life, freedom, and to be able to chase after happiness. As a student, we may not be able to completely live off on our own yet, but we deserve to experience privacy in our own home. This allows us to follow our right to freedom. We need to feel comfort – to feel safe because without it we are unable to chase after our happiness. Living under one roof is enough, but to share a room with an annoyance is more trouble. From all that has been mentioned, we are able to take some charge of our lives, resulting in achieving all three human rights. What has made us frustrated to want our own rooms needs to be specified.


– We are forced to share rooms with siblings, even if they’re of the opposite gender.

At a young age there may not be any problems but as we grow older, we are physically and mentally changing. Theses changes are not meant to be shared. This problem of sharing also occurs when using the same bathroom, girls tend to need the bathroom for a long time so the other sibling might be late to school. Or someone accidentally forgets their clothes or products in their room leading to a long, complicated plan on how to avoid getting seen when retrieving the item.

-We are given no privacy.

Privacy is necessary because though being an open book can be rewarding, there might not always be positive results. For example, you want to talk with friends, but a pest continues to look over your shoulder to see what you’re up to. Also, this will prevent fights from siblings with clashing personalities, for instance, having a sibling who likes heavy metal but is too loud for someone who listens to classical music.

-We are not allowed to enhance the look of our room.

We are being ripped off of our right to freedom. By decorating our room as we want, it will help express myself to all my friends and guests. I will be able to share my personality without telling all, but showing. This also shows our independence because by choosing what our room will look like, it would mark our first steps to making our own decisions. Also, by having our own room, there will be less complications since we don’t have to divide the room to what part one family member can decorate.

All these complaints and attempts for our concern to end on a positive result have been ignored. First and foremost, we asked our guardians to grant us our own room. REJECTED. We asked our grandparents to prove some sense into the matter. REJECTED. Then we asked for our friends to help conquer the situation. REJECTED. What more can we do? We are trying to voice our opinions, but all you think is we are rude and disrespectful for speaking up when you’re reprimanding us. As our parents who want to raise us properly, we should be able to speak our minds as well as listen to all your commands. In order for a relationship to work, there must be a listening and saying from both parties.

You have helped us to continually mature as young adults. This shall be what further helps us grow. So in declaration we, the children with siblings, are getting our own rooms to receive our long, awaited privacy and the right to decorate our rooms as we want. We promise to be more obedient and cause less fights in the house as there will be more relaxation in the house for no constant bickering.

photo credit: pouwerkerk via photopin cc

Amateur Sleuthing to the Rescue?

Has it ever occurred to you how helpful you can be in a crime investigation? Well, I know for a fact, that I wouldn’t be helpful. I’m not ready or equipped to handle a situation like going after murderers. Especially since I’m still enjoying my childhood. The article “F.B.I. Released the Tsarnaevs’ Photos Because of Reddit and the Post” by Connor Simpson shows the pros and cons between help from an average person in a possible death situation. First off, the F.B.I. investigated who the suspects were that planted the Boston Marathon bombs, while tabloids like Reddit and the New York Post falsely accused reoccurring people from all media of the event. This caused mayhem since many were deceived and some even wanted to catch the murderers themselves. Usually the more people involved in the situation the faster it gets resolved, but there were a lot of people who weren’t fit for the job of professionals, so it didn’t make the F.B.I’s jobs easier. In order to keep everyone safe, the F.B.I. decided to release the images of the real suspects. This revelation not only made it harder to catch the two brothers, but there were more people to protect than if we had let the F.B.I. do their job in the first place.

Simpson’s article is here to inform us that the jobs of the F.B.I. are theirs because they are trained professionals. There is no need for “amateur sleuths” to attempt on helping them solve a crime because in reality, all they’re adding is more trouble and more pain for the cops and investigators on the job. These sleuths are all the people who wanted to be involved somehow in helping catch the culprits, but knew too little to actually be able to lend a hand. Overall, this is an important message to tell us that not all situations are to meant to be involved in especially one involving killers on the run.

If I were in the Boston area, I would probably just stay home ask for support from friends, family and pray because I’d be in huge shock. As much as I’m an extrovert and adventurous, I wouldn’t want to risk my life by chasing after hooligans. Like I mentioned above I’m still in my childhood years. There are people like the police, investigators, and F.B.I. who are assigned their jobs to protect citizens like you and me. Something that I found really confusing mentioned in the article was, “‘I’d take thousands of people over a select few very smart investigators any day,’” said by a person on Reddit. The only part that I agree about is the few very smart investigators; she complimented the investigators as the very smart ones. What I don’t understand is why would someone want thousands of people who don’t know what they’re doing when there are people who learned in school to get to where they are – protecting others. Those investigators probably trained most of their lives to get to the bottom of criminal cases like the bombing, but someone has said that they’d rather pick a bunch of uneducated people (in the field) than those who are pros. That’s insane! Another confusing statement added was accusing the F.B.I men as the suspects. They are men who specialize in the field of investigating and protecting. Yes, I do agree it would be unsuspected that they’d be the ones behind the bombing, but it’s quite unlikely because they are trusted to help us; not harm us. In conclusion, many wrongs were made in this issue from untrue news/accusations to the wrong actions, but we should know that we are not in the right position to be meddling with the jobs of pros and protect ourselves from harm instead of getting into them.

photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc

Do the Right or Do the Wrong

Words and phrases were taken from Patrick Henry’s Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech.


For the last ten centuries

Those insidious smiles

Those hands and feet

From opinions of a character very opposite to theirs

Disloyal, deceiving,betraying

This arduous struggle

All this transforms us into beasts

It has darken our land

Like a snare to our feet

It will bind us in chains

Forever remind us the anguish of spirit

All in vain

For i myself is as guilty of treason

As to you are

We must avert this storm

We must fight

We must fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to our country

We are not weak or exhausted

We are the vigilant, the active, the brave

We are invincible by any force

There’s no retreating

It is not impossible

This is a work of love and reconciliation

Raise up as friends

What’s more than to reward ourselves with

Peace so sweet

Win back each other’s love

Treat others humbly with respect

End the bullying

photo credit: Chesi – Fotos CC via photopin cc

Facebook Purposes Taking a Wrong Turn

For some people, Facebook serves as a place to: talk to friends and family, play games; or to just fill their boredom by scrolling on the newsfeed for continuous hours. Research from “Spreading Racism via Facebook” by Tom Jacobs, has shown that everyday users of Facebook tend to be associated with racism. Psychologists Shannon Rauch and Kimberley Schanzwrite organized a study to find out whether people would feel compassionate about a racist post or agree with it. The study also included an “egalitarian message” and a “victim message” along with a “superiority message.” Surprisingly, frequent Facebook users were more positive toward the racist posts especially the superiority message than the equality message. This may be because their mindset is already used to less critical thinking, meaning they take less time to analyze and process information.

“‘Frequent Facebook users are likely susceptible to negative persuasive messages because they critical processing,’” Jacobs quotes the psychologists. The quote basically means that if you are an active Facebook user, you are likely to think less about what you like, post, and share. He must be pointing out that Facebook can change the way we think from critical thinkers to much less analyzers. The comments of Rauch and Schanz are saying that because of how often posts are seen, it has turned into a habit to under analyze posts when scrolling through your newsfeed.

When seeing that we were reading an article about Facebook, I was excited. However, that changed quickly. I found this article surprising because I didn’t know that a social networking website can actually make us approve something negative, which is definitely wrong. Then when reading this post, I felt quite offended since I use the social networking site nearly everyday. My purpose for going on is either to entertain myself with games, get updated with friends around the world, or use it for educational purposes. Also, I feel that this isn’t necessarily true for everyone since I know that I am an analyzer, I’d take more time to read a post and understand the message than to skim through it and share it immediately; especially if it’s a message involving different parties. I would probably pick out the pros and cons from both sides then decide if its cause is right. So, in my case, this article didn’t really do much justice, but it did give some new, interesting information.

photo credit: CoreyHarris via photopin cc

Hope For A Cure

Breaking News! Newborn cured of HIV! In the history of HIV this case is only the second time someone has been cured of the disease, says

Andrew Pollack and Donald G McNeil Jr. in “In Medical First… Baby with H.I.V…. is Cured.” The first person cured being Timothy Brown who got a 2-in-1 solution from a bone marrow transplant. Tests proved that the child had the disease, receiving it from its mother through pregnancy. After 18 months, the mother stopped giving drugs (medication) to the child. Then doctors took tests five months later that stated negative – there were no more signs of the virus living inside of the baby. Since a possible cure for children has been found, it won’t be a waste to get rid of the virus at an earlier age than suffering a long, painful death.

The discovery of a cure for babies can give us hope that HIV can be reduced. For so long, it’s been said that there won’t be a cure that will be able to help save those who are infected with HIV, but that can change now. The authors want us to continue to believe that we can reach a result of curing those patients who received HIV. This article speaks volumes because it can inform doctors and patients around the world that a cure for the young ones is found. There is still time for those at a young age to completely lose the virus so that they can be able to live a more happier and peaceful life.

As of right now, this doesn’t affect me as much just because I don’t know anyone who has HIV and can’t really relate to those in this type of situation. However, I can relate in a different way. Like the child in this article, I’ve been through an experience which most people say should be experienced at a younger age. This experience is having chicken pox. I understand that it’s better to have chicken pox at a younger age because it would be irritating at an older age to see a lot of pink or red bumps all across our bodies. This relates to the child’s story because it could grow up to never knowing it received a virus from its mother, in the same way that I don’t remember anything during the time I got my chicken pox. Something that I found interesting about this article is doctors have found out that the cure used for the baby can’t really work on adults since the HIV on adults could be removed but the virus will come out again because it found a hidden reservoir inside the host. This is interesting, yet saddening because it shows that it’s best to know if you’ve received the virus and get it removed before it’s too late, and if it is too late, there’s no certainty that you’ll be able to live a healthy life again. So it’s time to take advantage of life, be the happiest you can be, and don’t forget to see a doctor.

photo credit: jonrawlinson via photopin cc