Thursday, December 14

Around The World Without Leaving Your Laptop: A Taste of The Philippines – A Recipe For Puto (Rice Muffins)

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The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia. It is surrounded by water comprising 7,107 islands and islets. Its official name is Republic of the Philippines. The lands area is about 116,000 square miles. The total land are of the Philippines is comparable to that of Italy. Although the land area of the Philippines is roughly 1/30th of the United States, The Philippines has a total coastline of 36,289 kilometers while the U.S. coastline is a modest 19,924 kilometers.

The reason I chose the Philippines is because my Grandmother, my dad’s mom, was born and raised in Manila. Which is a city in the Philippines. She migrated over here with basically nothing. She now lives in Daytona Beach, Fl. When I visit she always makes different Philippino dishes and desserts. Puto, a rice muffin, is a very popular dish they served for breakfast. My grandmother always made it into a dessert by adding frosting. It’s a little different then your regular cupcake, but different isn’t always a bad thing.

Country Information

Here are three geographic facts about the Philippines:

  1. The Philippine island consists of over 7,000 islands. The overall land area is comparable to that of Arizona.

  1. Only about 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only 1/3 of the islands have names.

  1. The islands are of volcanic origin, with the larger ones crossed by mountain ranges. The highest peak is Mount Apo on Mindanao.

Here are three serious facts about the Philippines:

  1. The Philippines’ aboriginal inhabitants arrived from the Asian mainland around 25,000 BC.

  1. The Philippines were ceded to the U.S. in 1899 by the Treaty of Paris after the Spanish-American War.

  1. The population of the Philippines is 99,900,177 with a growth rate of 1.9%.

Here are three fun facts about the Philippines:

  1. With a population of about 90 millions people, the Philippines is the 12th most populous country in the world. Manila’s population currently sits at around 12 million.

  1. The Philippine flag is the only flag in the world, which is, hoisted upside-down when the country is in war.

  1. The current President is female, her name is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Here is an unusual fact about the Philippines:

            There are more than 200 volcanoes, though onlya few are currently active. In 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted killing 900 civilians. Earthquakes are also common as well as 30 typhoons that pass through the country between May and December each year.

3 pieces of Travel Information:

  1. Inland, the rich history and culture of the Filipino people definitely a sight to see, the dramatic landscapes and thriving cities fascinate the visitor. Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is also its heart and soul. It sets the rhythm of life in this archipelago and is a pulsating hub that blends the Oriental with the Occidental, the traditional with modern, the mundane with the extraordinary.

  2. The islands were occupied by the Japanese between 1942 and 1945, during WWII, only achieving independence in 1946. Poverty and the country’s debt burden are also very high, explaining the high numbers is nothing compared to a view first hand.

  3. Another sight to see is infrastructure projects involving airports, expressways, inter-island transport and even the currently almost non-existent railway system part of a 10-point development agenda until 2011.

Food Information


The recipe for Puto consists of only a few simple ingredients; rice flour, salt, baking powder, coconut milk, sugar, and coconut flakes. Materials needed were a spoon, bowl, muffin pan, muffin cups, icing, and an oven. Fairly simple to make, as well as easy to clean up. I got my recipe from Reynaldo Alejandro’s excellent: The Philippine Cookbook.

~My Kitchen Story

Not a true cook nor baker, I attempted to make a first batch as a sample for my roommates and boyfriend. Not realizing how much flour actually rises, the burning smell became obnoxious as the muffins began exploding in the oven. After trial one and clean up complete, I proceeded to attempt again filling the muffin cups us less then before. The outcome was definitely better than before but still a little messy. With a topping of chocolate icing and coconut things are looking up. In conclusion, I didn’t have that rough of a time preparing and baking this dessert. Hope you enjoy!

Contact Information

To contact the author of “A Taste of the Philippines: A Recipe for Puto,” please email


David C. Wyld ( is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (, a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of works he has helped his students to turn into editorially-reviewed publications at the following sites:


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