Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pochero (Pork) Recipe

Do you also love Pochero as much as I do? It’s a perfect dish for me every time my father would cook this recipe. This is actually one of his expertise in home food cooking. Sunday is always a (pork/beef) meat day at home as my parents liked fish and veges during weekdays.

Pochero is a term derived from Spanish word “Puchero” or in English term “Stewpot” and this is popular in Pinoys. Pochero has a lot to offer, because aside from meat, it also have vegetables and soup at the same time, you only need to pair it with a white rice. One thing that makes this recipe more delicious is a touch of a little sweet coming from a “Saba” (Banana).

Let’s prepare our ingredients and start our cooking:

Pochero Ingredients  
400 gram - Saba banana, sliced
¾ kilo Pork, cut into pieces
1 medium Onion, chopped
6 clove (30 gm) Garlic, minced
1 medium Potato, cubed
2 medium Tomatoes, sliced
220 gram Tomato puree/Store-bought regular pasta sauce
200 gram Bok choy (Chinese leafy cabbage) or simply cabbage
100 gram Baguio Beans, sliced
2 Tablespoon Cooking oil
220 Gram Canned chickpeas/Chickpea, drained
1.5 liter water
1 Tablespoon Peppercorn
1 Tablespoon Salt (to taste)

How to Cook Pochero:
1) In a cooking pan heat the oil. Saute garlic and onion until golden brown.
2) Put the pork and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes then saute for 5 minutes. Set aside.
3) In a separate casserole fill all the water. Add the sautéed meat and salt. Let it boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until meat softens.
4) Add the potatoes, cook for 3 minutes.
5) Add the banana, chick peas, tomato puree and whole kernel peppercorn. Cook for 5 minutes. Add extra salt or ground pepper as needed.
5) Put the bok choy (cabbage), baguio beans, and simmer for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
6) Serve while hot with white rice.  Enjoy!

NOTE: If using dried chickpeas, then soak it in water overnight before use.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Beef Afritada recipe

Beef Afritada is one of the known Filipino recipes and mostly cooked during special occasions. There are varieties of ingredients used by many for interesting blend of taste. It is similar to other Filipino dish such as Kaldereta and Menudo as they are all using a tomato paste as a base.

Basic ingredients involve Potato, carrot, and tomato. But Bay leaf is the added ingredient that differs from Menudo and Kaldereta. The only drawback about using beef is the time preparation, basically beef is harder to tender than chicken and pork. So most of the time, after sauté, the meat should be continuously cooked in medium heat until it becomes tender. If you have a pressure cooker and you want to decrease the time of cooking, you can get a help from them.

Okay, so let’s prepare the basic ingredients and we will go to our cooking procedure.

Beef Afritada Ingredients
2 lbs Beef, chopped
1 big carrot, cut into wedges
1 big potato, cut into wedges
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 cup bell pepper, diced
3 pieces dried bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 big onion, chopped
2 tbsp cooking oil (vegetable or sunflower)
salt to taste

Beef Afritada Cooking Procedure
1) In a pan, heat the cooking oil and sauté the garlic and onions
2) Add the beef and sauté until the outer parts are cooked (approximately 7 minutes).  You can decrease the time specified here if you cooked the beef in pressure cooker.
3) Add the tomato sauce, the bay leaves, and then simmer for 5 minutes.
4) Add the ground black pepper then pour-in the broth and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes (or until the meat is tender). You can decrease the time specified here if you cooked the beef in pressure cooker.
5) Put-in the potato and carrots then simmer for 5 to 7 minutes
6) Add the bell pepper and simmer for 3 another minutes
7) Add salt to taste
8) Serve hot with steamed white rice. Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pawid - What is a Pawid?

“Pawid” is a term used to call a roof cover used in old houses (Bahay Kubo) by Filipinos.  Pawid is manually made and composed of basic materials coming from Coconut leaves, Kawayan (bamboo), and rattan string.

Making Pawid is very hard to think of, its maker must be expert enough to make them extra strong when used in roofs considering an average of 20 typhoons are striking the Philippine Island all year round.

Pawid symbolizes the early innovations of ancient Pinoys. You can see almost every house is using Pawid as their roofs and some of them would put nets over the Pawid to protect them from damages when strong winds strike.

Some Bahay Kubo(s) also use Pawid in their walls, after putting bamboo structures they would arrange a number of Pawid to cover all the walls.  It’s a bit expensive that time to do this, but the main purpose was to improve the room temperature.

What are the good things about the Pawid?

As Philippines is a tropical country, during summer season you can really feel the heat and a bit humidity. Pawid makes inside temperature in houses extra cool as it blocks the heat from entering the house. Even during rainy season, Pawid can survive from heavy rainfall.

Pawid is so cheap and environmental friendly. You will not worry about disposing them because it will eventually decay for a short period of time and won’t harm our environment.

What are disadvantages using Pawid?

- Well of course, when it comes to fire, Pawid is a fuel (meaning it easily gets burned).
- Since they are only made out of coconut leaves, Pawid is easily get damage compared to traditional metal roofing nowadays.

How they are made? 
1) Well, maker of these products would gather a piece of Kawayan in a specified length and prepare a bamboo rod having an estimated dimension of 2x1.5x120 centimeter (LxWxH).
2) Then they would collect fallen leaves of coconut tree and would detach each piece of leaf from its branch. Each leaf will be carefully aligned in a bamboo stick where the base part of the leaf will be folded on the bamboo stick attaching them one by one and over the other.  Each time a leaf is inserted, the maker would stitch them using the rattan string. Attaching leaves and Stitching will be continued until all the parts of the bamboo stick are fully covered.

Did you born in early Pawid years, Did you experience living in a house using Pawid roofs? What are your experiences? You may leave your comments here:

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chicken Tocino Recipe

Do you want some easy cooking recipe for Tocino? We know that commercially made Tocino which can be found in markets are full of ingredients, very delicious, and of course part of it are preservatives.  If you want to avoid preservatives and looking for healthier than commercially made products, you can use a chicken breast and some five more ingredients to make tocino.

This recipe can be easily prepared and ingredients are available in your kitchen, hope this will help you a lot.  But remember since this recipe doesn’t have any preservatives, you should consume them in a day.

What do you need? Write down these ingredients and let’s prepare the recipe.

1 lb chicken breast fillet (slice into about half-cm thickness)
For Marinade:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp banana ketchup
1/2 tsp iodized salt
1/8 tsp pepper
cooking oil for frying

1) Pound chicken with a meat mallet until flat and set aside.
2) In a bowl combine the marinade ingredients. Stir well to maximize the taste.
3) Marinade chicken in the marinade mixture.
4) Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate overnight. Turn at least once to have full absorption.
5) To cook the tocino, put the fire in medium heat, Pan-fry in cooking oil.  
6) Serve with sunny side up eggs and plain rice or garli rice.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chocnut or Choconut (a delicious Pinoy delicacy)

Do you like to eat "Choconut", a deliciously flavored mixed of cocoa, milk, sugar, and peanut...we Pinoys call it a "Choconut" or "Chocnut".

I know most of our kababayans working abroad and those who permanently migrated in other parts of the world are likely missing this amazing blend of cocoa and peanut. I guess nowadays this product is already exported and so Filipino supermarkets have this available in their stores.

This is one of my favorite candies when I was in elementary because it's like a slightly hardened pulvoron. My sister and I would always have a stock of this in our bag (hehehe) just to make sure that we would not get hungry. Recess time was so always interesting, thinking that chocnut would always be part of my snack.

The texture of chocNut is not dense nor sticky like most chocolate candy bars. It doesn't melt, not greasy, and it will never get hard when put in a refrigirator. It is delicate and it crumbles easily once you opened its packaging. But of course it won't break apart easily like a powdered choco because it's slightly hard (by manufacturing process, it runs into a press machine). This is truly a pinoy delicacy that became part of Filipino food culture.

What do you remember eating "chocnut", please share your experiences here.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Itlog na Maalat Recipe

“Itlog na Maalat” is one of pinoys pride. From a word “Itlog” (tagalog) which means Egg, and “Maalat” (tagalog) which means salty, so “Itlog na Maalat” is a salted egg.  

I have a bit experience when it comes to eggs.  When I was in high school, my mother had an investment (shares) to a local farmer who used to raise ducks (“itik”, are ducks who usually live in agricultural lands like rice fields) and would sell eggs.  These “itiks” are eating “kohol”. Since a share of my mom is only 50% of the total investment, I need to get only 40% of the total harvested eggs, because the 10% of it would be collected by the farmer as his rights for taking care of the “itik”. Hehehe… that sounds funny but it was the contract they had for that small business.

Anyway, after school, using my bike, I need to rush to the farm to collect the newly harvested eggs of the day.  I would put them in a basket (made of “bayong”) and when I reached home; my mom would segregate them according to their size.  Bigger eggs will be sold to her friends (hehehe… my mom is a wise businesswoman), while medium to small sized eggs would be set aside for making “Itlog na Maalat”.

She is usually making salted eggs differently from the usual process of cooking them.  I heard that some experts would cook the eggs first before making them salty.  My mom would make them salty first before making them hard-boiled. Well, both of these processes work best but I want to share my mom’s way of doing this.  By the way, another thing, my mom is not putting any color on eggs anymore unlike the regularly sold “Itlog na Maalat” in the market which is colored-red (such as the picture shown)

Here is the recipe in making “Itlog na Maalat”:

You will need:

6 pcs eggs (itik, you can also substitute it with chicken eggs) thoroughly washed
1 to 1-1/2 cups of rock salt
4 cups warm water

Process in making “Itlog na Maalat”:

Dissolve salt in warm water in a large glass or plastic pitcher. Add more salt until it no longer dissolves, and instead, settles to the bottom. Allow the brine to cool. Place the eggs in a wide-mouth glass jar or bowl and pour the brine over the eggs. To keep the eggs immersed in the brine, place a plate or a plastic bag filled with water on top of the eggs.  Cover the jar or bowl and keep at room temperature for at least 21 days.  Turn the eggs every few days.

Before boiling the whole batch, try boiling just one egg first and taste if it is salty enough.  If the egg white does not taste salty, soak for at least another week.

Place washed eggs in a large pot, cover with water, and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil the eggs until they are fully cooked, about twenty to thirty minutes.  Run the eggs under cold water and store in the refrigerator, preferably in an egg crate or bowl with a lid.  Do not forget to mark the eggs to distinguish them from those that are not salted.  The salted eggs will keep for a month.

Happy eating, it’s best to be paired with sliced fresh tomatoes, and steamed white rice. Sarap!

Share your pinoy recipes here that you love to eat.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bangkang Papel

Bangkang Papel, If you are a pinoy I’m sure you can relate to what I wrote. Yes, “Bangkang Papel” is a tagalog term of “Paper Boat”.  Bangka which means Boat and Papel is a paper. (Photo:siamea)

As you know, Philippines comprises thousands of islands and several places are near the river.  When it rains so tough (in places near the river, especially in provinces) there are times where these rivers overflow.  In 1990s we are not afraid even waters would come inside our house because we knew in several minutes it would subside. Back in those days, we still have plenty of tress all around the town that would sip the waters and prevent the land from causing landslide.

Here I come again, being so environmentally inclined, but hewhhh… I really like to go back to those times where we had plenty of fresh air to breath and rivers were so clean.  I am not saying that our rivers are not anymore clean, what I mean is that you cannot compare anymore the way we had enjoyed the environment back in that time than today.

Anyway, back to our discussion about the Bangkang Papel, the reason why I included that second paragraph because without water we could not play a Bangkang Papel and also I just want to reminisce my childhood experiences about our town.  Since we are just near the river (not so deep river) we used to play our Bangka there.

My friends and I were using a plain paper and would fold them until we got the shape of the Bangka (of course we would make it sure that the paper would float).  Sometimes, we would write a message on a paper before making them a bangka (something like, if someone reads it, it’s his/her destiny to know whatever we wish on that bangka’s journey).

It was very relaxing while the “Bankang Papel” is travelling following the force of the water. Some of the Bangka(s) would submerge easily as soon as we put them in the water, but some are so strong that won’t get easily wet and would survive its journey.  It was so fun having such kind of time playing a non-expensive game and a day would pass so peacefully.

You can leave your comments here, Do you also have some experiences playing the Bangkang Papel?

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Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Play a Holen?

I miss playing “Holen”, back in elementary (during school break) playing “holen” is one of our favorite games of my best-friend.  

But what is a “Holen”? Well it’s a tagalog term for a Marble, sometimes we used to call this as “Jolen”.  There are plenty of colors you can choose if you want to buy a “Holen”.  Some are plain colors, but most of the time they are designed using multiple colors in stripes pattern.  

In early 90s, backyards in our town are purely sand, you could only see concrete roads when you reach the national highway that connects the nearby cities.  Playing holen needs at least 4 base holes (slightly bigger than the size of the holen) , and so we need to play them in a flat sand.

Nowadays, sands are topped with concrete roads for community development that’s why this game is not anymore famous in newer generations. And also I think due to advancement of technology, younger ones favorably play computer games than old traditional games of Pinoys.

Photo: Playing Holen - Pinoy Tumblr

How to Play: 

1. Since its a race to the finish line where each player gets a turn to play one after the other, the players are allowed to knock off the opponents marble as they progress through out the game to level the playing field. You either have the skills in rolling the marble into the hole or hitting/shooting an opponents marble to get to the finish line.

2. If you decide to roll the marble you must not come up short or allow your marble to become a target. On the other hand, before deciding to shoot an opponents marble you must be good at hitting the target/marble otherwise your marble will be shot too far from the playing ground and you will have a hard time inching your way back at every turn to roll your marble in the hole.

3. If a player decides to shoot an opponents marble, his hand must rest on the ground or be lifted at a height of 1 "dangkal". When shooting, the shooter must not thrust his hand forward to gain advantage and draw him closer to the target. If this is not followed the hit will not count. Since the jerking action when shooting is unavoidable, a line must be drawn by the shooter and the shooter moves back an inch or two to compensate for the jerking action.

4. If an opponents marble is hit, the opponent goes back to the starting line on his turn and loses all progress gained and starts from scratch.

5. Going back the same way after reaching the last hole in the line is a tricky part in the game since you will be heading towards the players who are behind you and leaving you open as a target to beat you to the finish. In most cases, throwing or placing your marble away from the opponents line is the smartest move and allow them to move forward and not give them a chance to shoot your marble. If you are a good shot, the easiest way is to just shoot them and clear your path straight to the finish.

6. The fastest way to win the game is called "Kulto Finish". Its not common but it does happen where a shooter accidentally hits an opponents marble and the opponents marble goes into the hole.

What kind of game do you play using a hole?  Leave your comment below:

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

What is a Bakya?

When you say “Bakya” to a pinoy, first thing that would come out in our mind is a kind slipper (footwear) and that is correct.  Because “Bakya” is a hand-made wooden clogs commonly used by Filipinos back in 1950s and even in 1990s.  The production of “Bakya” degraded when the rubber-made slippers were introduced in the market.

My grandmother used to have this “Bakya” as her footwear fashion, because the good thing with its design, Bakya could be used in all kinds of events whether you would attend a party or any cultural presentations that time.

You could know from far distant that someone is wearing a “Bakya” because of its sound.  The way it hits the ground, a sound coming from the toe area would create an echo so it’s obvious that someone is coming near you.

One of the good qualities of “Bakya” aside from its use is its make.  Since this footwear is made of a wood, it is environmental friendly; if someone throws it away it will decay without harming our planet.

How Bakya is made?
This footwear is made from local light wood like santol and laniti. It is cut to the desired foot size before being shaven until smooth. The side of the bakyâ is thick enough to be carved with floral, geometric or landscape designs. Afterwards, the bakyâ could then be painted or varnished. Uppers of plastic or rubber will then be fastened using clavitos (tiny nails) and the bakyâ is now ready to wear.

Don’t be confused!
Someone (a pinoy) would also think different if he/she hears a word “Bakya”.  Because sometimes this word is used by Filipinos to denote something that is of "low-class", "unsophisticated" or "cheap".

What do you remember about Bakya?  Leave us your comments about your experiences using this footwear.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

What is a Taho?

TAHOOOOOO… This is the usual word that you could hear every morning from a man selling “TAHO”.  He is shouting the word TAHO with prolong “O” sound at the end to attract common customer’s attention.  A man is carrying on his shoulder a wooden (made from bamboo) thick stick where its two ends has a hanged large container made of aluminum material.  The containers are different in size and are designed to fit the basic ingredients of TAHO such as Sago, Caramelized Sugar (arnibal), Taho, plastic caps, and two types of spoons for scooping Taho and its ingredients.

Where is really TAHO made from? Well, if you know a TUFO which is made from ground bean, TAHO can be considered as the softer version of TUFO.  The Vendor would process making Taho early in the morning before sunrise.  The process involves cooking the Taho to obtain the right consistency of its flesh until it turns out like custard.  Then making arnibal will be also processed, as well as boiling pearl sago.  After cooking, the vendor could now sell his product to local neighborhood shouting again the most recognized word in the morning “TAHOOOOOO”.

Taho actually is a comfort food that can be found all over the Philippines.  Taho is traditionally served warm and a customer it is enjoyed either with a spoon, sipping it with a straw, or by simply slurping it straight from the cup.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

What is a Kaimito?

This is a fruit we call “Kaimito” in tagalog, when it is raw the color of its fruit is green and when it turns dark violet or purple you could tell that its fruit is already ripe. When you break its fruit into pieces, the fruit has a sticky liquid (colored white and it’s kind of fresh rubber) but its juice is sweet and delicious and its flesh is white.

I used to eat this kind of fruit when I was a kid because it is available in our backyard. But right now, this fruit is hard to find even in the market because of increased logging of its tree. My father would tell me that its tree especially its branches are weak or frail so it is not advisable for me to climb its trunk and harvest the fruits but rather we use a long stick with a bent metal piece (claw) at the end to get its fruits.

Old stories would tell that whenever you find a Kaimito Tree, there would be always some kind of dark spirit residing in the tree (such as aswang, tikbalang, kapre, etc) but they were just myths. Some Children nowadays could not tell their stories about Kaimito in the future because of its declining existence.

According to history this fruit was introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period. (Photo credit to respective owner).

What do you call this fruit in your province?
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

What is a Sinulog Festival?

It’s new year, It’s January, It’s Sinulog Festival Time again. Every year Cebu City and Maasin City Sauthern Leyte Philippines celebrate the Sinulog Festival which is held every third Sunday of January. They said, the Sinulog started during the Spaniards time. 

Sinulog Festival (Cebu City | Mandaue City | Photo: Everythingcebu
Sinulog Festival is one of the distinguished festivals in the Philippines and recently it was promoted as a tourist attraction. It commemorates the Bisayan People’s pagan origin and their acceptance of Roman Catholicism and to honor the Santo Nino who used to be the patron saint of the whole province of Cebu. Participants are gathered in street parade wearing colorful costumes while dancing to the rhythm of drums and trumpets. 

The festival celebration usually lasts for 9 days and on the final day of the festival is the Sinulog Grand Parade. A day before the Grand Parade is a Fluvial Procession of the Santo Nino which is carried by pump boat starting from Mandaue City to Cebu City that ends at the Basilica where a re-enactment of the Christianizing (that is, the acceptance of Roman Catholicism) of Cebu is performed., the usual time of procession is held at dawn.

Many foreign and local visitors loved to watch the festival because of its grandest beauty that’s why during the parade thousands of people are meeting at the streets to celebrate this annual tradition. 

Share your experiences here, leave your comments.
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Monday, January 7, 2013

What is a Sukang Paombong?

“Suka” is a tagalong term for vinegar and “Paombong” is a term used to call a place in Bulacan where earlier Spaniards named their town because of its huge area planted with bamboo.  Actually the Paumbong word was derived from bumbong (a container made of bamboo). The old way of fermenting the vinegar (suka) was through this container.

Sukang Paombong is a well-known locally made vinegar in the Philippines where its liquid is naturally came from coconut water. Philippines is a known country of huge Coconut plantation in Asia that’s why making “Suka” made from coconut is one of major jobs of local people in Bulacan. Province of Bulacan is situated in northern Luzon, a place where Sukang Paombong was born.  Bulacan is just an hour away from the main capital Manila, they are also considered as a vinegar capital of the Philippines.

If you happen to go to Nueva Ecija provinces, surely you will pass by Bulacan before you reach your destination. I remember one time when we went to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, I saw many stores at the side of the main highway selling “Sukang Paumbong”.  You can notice them side by side of the road catering different sourness of their “Suka”. 

The good thing with this Sukang Paumbong is that it is natural, cheap, and has good taste when used in foods such as “Paksiw na Isda”. As long as it is stored untouched, it will continue on its fermentation process that makes “Suka” (its sour) stronger.  Some of them use Fast methods of fermentation by adding mother of vinegar in newly harvested coconut water before it is stored for fermentation.

What are the uses of Sukang Paombong? 

1) Well, we pinoys usually enjoy “Suka” as a “Sawsawan”, (dip/sauce) especially for fried fish, chicharon, daing, tuyo. You can add a pinch of salt, chopped onions and garlic, and chili on a “Sawsawan”.
2) Sukang Paombong is used in cooking paksiw such as “Paksiw na Isda”, “Lechon Paksiw”, or even salads such as “Pepino” (cucumber)
3) We use this Sukang Paombong in making “Achara” (pickle) made from grated young papaya fruit and mixed with small amount of salt, sugar, and black pepper.

What are other uses of Suka do you know, please leave your comments here.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

What is a Kamias?

I am sure you guys nowadays still see Kamias in local markets. This is one of the natural ingredients used in cooking “paksiw” by most pinoys. It is mostly used in foods such as relish and pickled foods. It can be substituted for vinegar, used in juices like lemonade, or even combined with large amounts of sugar to make jams.

Well we (Filipinos) call it Kamias. In English, it is known as the cucumber or sorrel tree. This tropical tree is found naturally in Asia, and its fruit is used both for cooking and traditional medicine by others due to its acidity in its content. It belongs to a family of a Starfruit which is sweeter than Kamias, so it also provides certain amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Back when I was teen and living in our province, we have its tree in our backyard. We would even harvest its fruits and would sell them in nearby markets for (P2) Two Pesos a basket (around 5 kg). It’s hard but it was enjoying to have some sorts of income in addition to my “baon”.

One thing that I remembered for its use was, whenever you find any stain in your clothes, this fruit is one of the best stain-remover because of its acidity. Just rub it on a stained area and leave the cloth unwashed for a certain period of time and rinse afterwards, then viola! You had just naturally removed the stain. Though its strength is not comparable to commercially available stain remover, but it’s kind of helpful during urgent times.

What are other uses of Kamias do you know? If you have some ideas on its use, we are grateful to hear them from you, please leave your comments below.
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