This is so tasty Indian/Pakistani dessert… Lauki Ka Halwa. Lauki is a Hindi word for bottle gourd or upo in Tagalog. It was something strange for me at the start because I used to eat bottle gourd as a vegetable dish. It’s so easy to make this sweet dish. Squeeze out water from the grated bottle gourd. Saute’ it in butter or oil. Add condensed milk, simmer until milk is absorbed. Top with raisins, almonds and pistachios if desired. The same recipe with Gajar Ka Halwa. Use grated carrots in place of bottle gourd.







1/4 c. corn oil

5 tbsp. butter

1 kg. carrots, peeled and grated

1 c. evaporated milk

6 tbsp. powdered milk

1 tsp. vanilla essence

3/4 c. sugar

1 tbsp. raisins

1 tbsp. chopped cashew nuts


1.  Saute’ grated carrots in hot oil for 5 minutes.

2.  Add milk and vanilla. Simmer until milk absorbed into the carrots. Stir occasionally.

3.  Add sugar, butter and raisins, continue stirring until liquid absorbed.

4.  Garnish with cashew nuts.

***You may use 1 cup condensed milk in place of evaporated and powdered milk. Omit sugar.





She earned her degrees (BSC-BA, MBA) at the University of Santo Tomas, Espana, Manila, Philippines. During her school days, she took Journalism, spent writing articles and became school News Writer and Science Page Editor.  Her maternal aunt, Dr. Anacleta Villacorta Agoncillo (medical doctor and author), wife of the late Prof. Teodoro A. Agoncillo (author of “History of the Filipino People”, essayist and poet), great Filipino historian, inspired her to pursue writing.

She got 99% in the government exams after high school as a requirement before entering college or university and afterwards passed the Civil Service Eligibility. Her banking career at the Equitable Banking Corporation, Manila, Philippines, ceased after traveling and settling in different countries which gave her opportunities to venture in different professions like teaching in International School in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Cambridge School in Karachi, Pakistan.

She continued writing in spite of her tight schedule. She has written 99% successful UK appeals. Cooking is one of her passions. Writing her own recipes is her hobby. She learned different foreign cuisines from Far East to Middle East which paved the way to  the making of English grammar book (Basic English Grammar Guide) and cookbooks (Asian & Middle Eastern Cuisines and Foreign Cuisines From Far East To Middle East).

She was awarded as the ‘Most Talented Teacher’ in O’Level at the Aisha Bawany Academy, Sharah-e-Faisal, Karachi. Pakistan. Her recipe, Lipardo’s Puto Seco, is on Top 20 Best Asian Cookie Recipes as rated and reviewed by millions of home cooks. Being a Featured Author, she maintains a blog site at the, Mlvla65’s Blogs. She has also an Author Page on Facebook. Maria Lourdes is a recipe contributor to and

To date, she is a Free-lance Writer and Proprietor of Civic Solution, Building Construction – Civil & ID Works in Karachi, Pakistan.



CIVIC SOLUTION (Building Construction – Civil & ID Works)

The Complete Solution for your Construction Business


CIVIC Solution

Suite 421, 4th Floor. Anum Blessings, KCHSU, Block 7/8, Sharah-e-Faisal, Karachi

Phone No.  +9221-34325933    Mobile No.  +92-3212491628



SHE… Cover Version by John Luis Miguel Madrigal

Maria Lourdes V. Lipardo

Maria Lourdes V. Lipardo


I’m rich in true friends, not in money. My life is incomplete without them. I have few selected close friends who I know for ages and will always be there through thick and thin.


I remember my High School buddy who was crying on the day of our National College Entrance Exams (NCEE) because her father passed away early morning due to vehicle accident. I thought she couldn’t make it but surprisingly she got 98%. Yes, she’s a consistent honor student and our HS newspaper Editor. When I visited the Philippines in December 2010, she shouldered our High School Mini-Reunion and she’s willing to give more…


God blessed her with a kind husband and two beautiful daughters. MA. ELENA CERDON-CABANES is holding a high post in the government (Asst. Director of Department of Agrarian Reform – DAR) but she’s still humble like a bamboo – the taller the bamboo grows, the lower it bends. She balanced a professional life with domestic efficiency. Len is a true friend, a loving daughter, a caring sister, an ideal wife and mother of her kids. Her life is truly exceptional. We’re so proud of you!




She will remain a constant source of inspiration to me. No matter how many miles lie between us, you will be my best friend forever. You’re such a God’s blessing!





I’m writing this blog in honor of my beloved Auntie Lily who passed away last January 2013 after a battle with cancer in New York.

 Losing your loved one is one of the hardest things in life. It’s incredibly devastating. There are some people who have influenced my life but my aunt is the person who influenced me the most. She had been an important person in my life since birth. My aunt helped many people including my family in rough times especially in education. She was a wonderful aunt and achieved so much in life.

Auntie Lily graduated Magna Cum Laude at the University of the East with the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She worked for William Golangco Construction Corporation (WGCC) while studying college at night. In 1979, she immigrated in the US and worked for the United Nations Development Programme and retired in 1996.



She lost her mother (my maternal grandmother) at a young age. Then the huge fire in Binondo, Manila turned their house into ashes. She surpassed all the trials and barriers for success and created a life she desired by working in the day and studying at night. Auntie Lily lived with faith, confidence and perseverance. Her husband, Engr. Romulo Quesada, and 3 sons, Renwick, John Radford and Russwyn, served as her driving forces. She struggled to achieve parity between her job and personal life.

One thing I greatly admire about her, she lived a meaningful life. She taught us that poverty is not a hindrance to success and education can change your life. Being a devout Christian, she spread love and helped countless of people. I came to realize how she changed my life along with the lives she had touched. Hope I could influence someone as much as my aunt influenced me and other people. By being my role model, she helped me to become a person I wanted to be and make a difference. Auntie Lily was the person I looked up with great pride. Her loss is felt by many. She lived a great life and she will always be remembered for that! Let her legacy be passed on…


Lipardo’s Puto Seco

Lipardo’s Puto Seco is a Philippine butter cookie made of cornstarch, all-purpose flour, baking powder, white sugar, powdered milk, egg and butter. The recipe creator, Maria Lourdes V. Lipardo-Ayub a.k.a. Mariam Ayub, named her puto seco recipe using her maiden surname Lipardo. Maria Lourdes V. Lipardo-Ayub is a Filipino author. Lipardo’s Puto Seco is a popular recipe online from
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