Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A croc's life


If you'd like to have a cup of coffee with a view of a pit with over 200 crocodiles, check out Croco Cafe at the Zoobic Safari in Subic. Watch the lethargic crocodiles snap away a dressed chicken from a fishing pole.  There is a water-level glass observation area where you can see the crocs eye-to-eye.

These are Philippine crocodiles, also known as the Mindoro crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), a freshwater crocodile  endemic to the Philippines.   Philippine crocodiles are small, growing no more than 3 meters.  And they say this species is not aggressive---would  you wade in the water and bond with these reptiles?  Not me.

This species is critically endangered  due to exploitation and loss of habitat.  Conservation methods are being undertaken and it is now illegal to kill a crocodile.

glass observation area

Posted for Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Exotic Cafe Juanita

Cafe Juanita is definitely overwhelming.  The eclectic decor, vivid colors and gypsyish feel were a bit too much to take in for the first few minutes.  But as I sat down and surveyed the place, I started to like its exotic, baroque interiors.  Pardon my ignorance but I never heard of Cafe Juanita until Franzia mentioned it when we were at Starbucks on Monday afternoon.  It's a Filipino, Asian, fusion restaurant in Brgy. Kapitolyo in Pasig, a short drive from my office.

 Looking at the collections of china, ceramics, dolls, and curios full of knick-knacks, I would imagine the owner of Cafe Juanita is quite a collector.  A myriad of textures  fill  this restaurant---from lace to gingham, shantung to brocade; crocheted chair covers, beaded curtains, overhead lighting draped with beaded fabrics, Indian shawl on the wall, embroidered curtains, capiz and colored glass windows.   The chandeliers were  bold and elaborate, they reminded me of Tessa Prieto's flamboyant head-dresses.

Franzia and I agreed that Cafe Juanita is a perfect place for a romantic date.  The intimate ambiance and stimulating interiors would definitely set the mood.    And the food?  Ah,  we have sampled four dishes [including dessert] from their menu that I will post on Friday, and I will definitely come back to try some more.

Reds...and some blues as well.

Posted for Ruby Tuesday

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend in Subic

These photos are the opposite of the scene outside.  It's still raining and many parts of Metro Manila are still submerged from last Saturday's onslaught of tropical storm "Ondoy" (international codename: Ketsana).

These were taken from the deck of Mirage Hotel in Subic two weekends ago.  It was my second stay in this hotel--it's a small hotel, nothing fancy, they have free wi-fi and rates are affordable.  I like the location because the beach is right at  the doorstep, and it's a short drive to the Subic Bay Freeport.  We had breakfast at the patio and enjoyed the sunshine.  The afternoon was wet and we stayed in and chilled.  Right next door is a 7-Eleven where we got our overdose of coffee, and next to 7-Eleven is a Mexican cantina where we had lunch.  The food was unexciting and pricey.  It was the most boring Mexican food I ever had!

From the hotel's patio, you can see the Subic Bay Port across the bay and the nearby coves.  It was a stress-free weekend with a bit of adventure at the Zoobic Safari, lots of shopping at the duty-free shops and factory outlets, and food overload.  What more could I ask for?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Photo-Hunt: twisted

A snake twisted around a tree branch at the Georgia Aquarium.

In the West, snakes are perceived to be deceitful, crafty and evil creatures.  After all, the Biblical story of the fall of man was caused by a snake.  In some cultures, snakes are fertility symbols, they symbolize the umbilical cord joining all humans to Mother Earth, while some worshiped this reptile as guardians of mysteries of birth and regeneration.  Snakes are also associated with wisdom, perhaps due to their behavior and facial features (e.g. unblinking, lidless eyes) that seemed to imply that they are intelligent, that they plan their actions as they prepare to strike, and that they live by reason and not by instinct.

Posted for Photo Hunt

Friday, September 25, 2009

Meatless Pasta

A meatless concoction at Cafe Georg---Mushroom Asparagus Pasta.  No, I'm not  going vegetarian, but with  only a few kinds of greens that I like, I always try to find ways to eat vegetables.   Fresh straw mushrooms, green asparagus and garlic olive oil with a hint of chili made this pasta hearty and healthy.  The pasta and vegetables were all cooked al dente---I loved the tender crispiness of asparagus and the mushrooms added a whole new dimension of flavor.  The dish was sprinkled with parmesan.

Posted for Food Trip Friday and Food Friday

Subic Bay sunset - Sky-watch Friday

It was raining the whole Sunday afternoon when we were in Subic.  We holed up in our hotel room, watched old Tagalog movies at Cinema One, downloaded music (yes, the hotel has free wi-fi), ate junk food and just vegetated.  Sally, Gladys, Zhallyn and myself were all in heaven!:P 

It was too late to do the Zoobic Safari or jungle trek so we just drove around SBF (Subic Bay Freeport) and enjoyed the scenery, then hit the Nike factory outlet, liquor and duty-free shops.  Driving along the Port of Subic, I noticed this  gleaming sunset across the bay.  It was  cloudy but the sun peeked at us through the clouds.
 Subic Bay, and the port areas have experienced many events in Philippine history.  This maybe contributed to the fact that the Subic Bay Port area and the general areas of the Subic Bay Freeport was once a US Naval Base and Spanish Naval base.  Subic Bay port areas took part in the Spanish-American war, World War I and II and the Vietnam war until Subic Bay was handed back to the Philippines, and the port was developed into what it is today. (Source:  Wikipedia)

 Posted for Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Arrows and Curves - TWTW

Arrows and curves along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).  SCTEx is, currently,  the Philippines' longest toll expressway at 94 kilometers (58.4 miles).  This expressway opened in early 2008, and shortened the travel time from Manila to Subic to almost 2 hours.

Posted for This Way Thurs-way

Pike Place Market [Palengke for Litratong Pinoy]



Sosy ang palengke ko ngayong linggo.  Isa sa pinakalumang palengke ito sa Amerika na nagbukas noong 1907 pa, at dinadayo ng mga turista.  Ang Pike Place Market sa Seattle, isang pampublikong palengke sa tabi ng Elliott Bay.  Hindi lang isda ang mabibili dito kundi  pati mga sariwang gulay at prutas, crafts ng mga local artists,  fresh flowers, may antique shops at tindahan ng comic books.  Maraming restaurants at dito rin matatagpuan ang pinakaunang Starbucks sa kasaysayan ng kape.

 Medyo nagulat ako nang sinabi ng aking kaibigan na pupunta kami sa palengke.  Feeling turista ako e, bakit sa palengke?  Ang pinagkakaguluhan pala dito ay ang pagbili ng salmon.  Kapag may bumili ng isda, dadamputin ng tindero ang 3-foot salmon at ihahagis nya sa isa pang tindero, at ihahagis naman uli hanggang masalo ng  kahero ang isda.  O di ba kakaiba?  Nagulat ako nang maghagisan sila ng isda, di ako nakakuha ng litrato!

Di pa nagsawa, bumalik pa kami sa gabi para magkape at mag-pose sa tabi ni Rachel, ang bronze cast piggy bank at unofficial mascot ng Pike Place Market.  Sa isang taon, umaabot daw sa $9,000 ang nilalaman ng liempo ni Rachel na  hinuhulog ng mga turista galing sa iba't-ibang bansa.

Sino ang mas sexy sa amin ni Rachel, aber?

Check out the markets at Litratong Pinoy

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Take me fishing

I wondered if this man was fishing for fish or just wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet at the Kissing Rocks on Monday morning. I've always admired the patience of fishermen, although I still haven't fully appreciated the joys of fishing. I understand the bonding opportunities fishing present, especially between father and son. Children, I believe, who love to fish would develop a lifelong love for the outdoors, not to mention acquiring the virtue of patience---a necessity for a happy existence.

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~ John Buchan

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A boy in red - Ruby Tuesday

A boy in red and his comrades hanging out at the Kissing Rocks, a rocky tip of a cove in my hometown.

Posted for Ruby Tuesday

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moon-gazing at dusk

I'll be seeing you
In every lovely summer's day;
In every thing that's light and gay.
I'll always think of you that way.
I'll find you
In the morning sun
And when the night is new.
I'll be looking at the moon,
But I'll be seeing you.

In loving memory of Lola Fanny.

Posted for Sky-watch, Friday