Monday, November 19, 2007


Whenever I suffered from severe coughing and sore throat when I was a child, my mother used to cut in half a couple of kalamansi to rub on my throat. Afterwards, she would wrap a handkerchief around my neck. An ample supply of kalamansi juice would also be made avaialable for me to drink the whole day.

These days, as an option, I also go for a mug of hot ginger brew or salabat. This can be made from scratch, or you can buy a bottle of its powderized form from the grocery and just mix a teaspoonful with a mug of piping hot water.

By the way, I might have already mentioned this once before: my brother Napoleon used salabat as an effective cure against vertigo. He suffered from which for many years, including bouts with blackout episodes. With the medical community unable to help him, he took the initiative to seek for alternative cures, which led led him to salabat. And ever since making it his primary beverage, he never again suffered from vertigo.


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:10 AM


Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

I never knew you could use kalamansi juice as an alternative to Vicks. Pwede pala. Kami kasi whenever we would have a cold it was kalamansi juice with honey. It always did the trick.

My lola naman used to drink salabat right before a speaking engagement. And whenever she was pressed for time, she would just chew on a sliver of ginger. Anghang!!

November 19, 2007 11:36 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

i also drink salabat for my sore throat. i prefer making it from scratch and then add some honey. =)

November 19, 2007 11:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I must have drank five mugfuls since this morning, Carla. You see, I'm nursing a nasty sore throat which I probably gor from a severe coughing I've had since yesterday.

I only drink the commercial kind available at grocery stores - Judy's.

November 19, 2007 2:25 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That was how my mom used to do it. By the way, easy on the Vicks -- can be addicting. My brother James is one :(

Salabat is highly recommended to professional singers, too, Scrooch :) But first heard of it as a child during the Holy Week. All those old women who sang the "pasyon" would always have them available as if they were professional singers ... hehehe.

November 19, 2007 2:27 PM  

Blogger mgaputonimimi said...

vitamin c!

kelangan ng mga tao yan ngayon. dahil sa kakaibang climate natin..nagkakasakit ang ilan.. ^_^

November 19, 2007 3:54 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Tama ka nga, Mimi ... dami may masamang nararamdaman sa ngayon. Madami din akong prutas na kinakain dahilan sa Vitamin C na nakukuha ko doon.


November 19, 2007 4:23 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Purchased the Manila Bulletin first thing in the morning.
Great article about you and your blog!
Learned new things about you ! ;-)
Congrats! You are now part of the "hall of fame" of Filipino bloggers!
Keep up the good work !

November 19, 2007 7:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is salabat?!

In Chinese medicine, kalamansi is used to cure coughs and sore throats too. What they'd do is they will have an ample of kalamansi soaked in a jar of salted water. It'll become pickled kalamansi and they would then use it to make into piping hot drinks or one can just suck it if they can take the saltiness.


November 19, 2007 11:12 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Nice composition of the kalamansi shot.

I second the motion on your brother's Salabat cure for vertigo. Although I never suffered from it, as a young man island hopping in the Philippines, a small bag of luya was always handy. Bite a small piece and chew it to tame my stomach and from being seasick as well during choppy sea crossings from island to island. Another way I used luya when I was in grade school was to mash the luya tuber and put it under my armpit for a long while and then go to the school linic at UST and complain about having a fever. The heat of the luya on my armpit brings up my body temp., hence the high oral thermometer reading the nurse gets from me gets me a pass to go home and the closest double feature .25 centavo movie house around the Sampaloc/Santa Cruz district.

Hot Salabat was also a choice beverage among band members then in Olongapo and Angeles City to ease the strain on the vocal chords as a result of the nightly gigs and "lagare" from club to club to make as much money in the Phils. before going overseas to Taipei or Japan.

November 20, 2007 12:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

medyo masama ang karanasan ko dyan sa kalamnsi eh, nung pinainom ak ng nanay ko nyan, lalu akong dinalahit ng ubo... di umubra sa kin, hehehe...

btw, have you checked my blog, i have a good news there, sa wakas nakasungkit din ako, hehehe... :)

November 20, 2007 12:16 AM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

picture is beautiful eric. they have the calamansi concentrate nowadays and i have yet tried that. tis the season of sniffles, luckily havent caught the bug yet. i am a vicks person myself, and i dont like the taste of salabat.

November 20, 2007 2:16 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

kyels said...
What is salabat?!

(Salabat is a traditional drink by boiling chopped ginger and adding sugar. Some people don't add sugar, they just drink it straight in the morning with their breakfast.

I love calamansi juice, but with salabat, I usually add lemon or lime plus lots of sugar. During my younger years, we always add Gin(cuatro-cantos) on those.
It will surely get rid of your colds and cough, but will pay a lot due to hangover and drowsiness.
*hik* Cheers!

November 20, 2007 5:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It is an acquired taste, Photo Cache. Didn't like it at first but was later on inspired by my brother. It then became my beverage of choice during the the cold winter months in NYC.

The calamansi concentrate is too sweet, but good enough for those without access to the fresh ones. I think they have this concentrate all over the workld now.

November 20, 2007 5:21 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Congratulations, Lino!

Naku, simula na 'yan ng marami pang darating na pagkapanalo! Ang ganda at nakakatuwa ang kuha mo kaya nanalo :)

Salabat ka na lang kung walang ubra kalamansi sa iyo ... hehehe.

November 20, 2007 5:24 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... thank God minors don't come around to check out this site, Pete; otherwise we've just given them a fine idea with staying away from school.

My older cousins in Subic had a band during the sixties in played nightly gigs in Olongapo clubs. At one point, they also got engagements in Japan. I'm sure they drank salabat ... hehehe.

November 20, 2007 5:27 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Salabat is basically ginger brew, Kyels.

Hmmm ... that's an intriguing use of kalamansi. Is that a strighforward recipe? Nothing else is added to it other than salt? I might try that.

Thanks, Kyels!

November 20, 2007 5:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hall of Fame? Now, you're making me feel like a dinosaur, Sidney ... hehehe.

Many many thanks, again.

By the way, I've also update that entry and included the URL to the online version of the interview.

November 20, 2007 5:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Reyd!

Many thanks for sharing the recipe with us :)

That calamansi juice with gin you drank to stave off your cold and coughing, somewhat reminds me of what we sometimes drank in NYC against the same malady -- hot rum toddy!

November 20, 2007 5:58 AM  

Blogger Liza on Maui said...

Kalamansi and Salabat - they are the best! Thanks for the reminder :)

November 22, 2007 12:23 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Aren't they, Liza? Sometimes the best cures are the simplest :)

My pleasure!

November 22, 2007 4:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a calamansi tree back home when I was a little kid and boy, all it took was a couple of ice cubes on a glass of water and sugar and we quenched our thirst after a ball game minus the heavy, full feeling of a carbonated drink like Coke or Pepsi. It is very refreshing and nutritious drink :)

November 22, 2007 11:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Smart choice, BW! Nothing beats a tall glass of chilled calamansi juice :)

November 22, 2007 5:50 PM  

Blogger Heart of Rachel said...

Hi. I came here from Cookie's (ScroochChronicles) site.

I love calamansi juice. It's good source of Vit C. My mom is fond of salabat. I remember we always had salabat poweder at home. Funny, now that I think of it, I've never tried it before.

November 22, 2007 8:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hello Rachel! Welcome to Wish you Were Here :)

I love both. The salabat takes some getting used to, but it does have its curative effects... and we have the bottled powder, too.

November 23, 2007 5:23 AM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

I try to stop colds by battling the onset of a sore throat. Salabat is effective in easing the symptoms, so is calamansi juice. I also gargle a salt solution but recently I resort to mouthwash.

I've tried the powdered version of salabat too. I think that was the time my salabat drinking became more frequent. We even mix powdered milk to it, just as we mix milk to orange juice :D

November 25, 2007 3:23 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Milk with orange juice, Dave? Whoa! I've done it with vodka (screw driver) and champagne (mimosa), but not with milk.

I only drink the commercial kind -- Judy's powder salabat -- which are readily available at all supermarkets. The home-brewed with honey I am yet to try.

November 26, 2007 5:09 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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