Friday, April 30, 2010

Caramoan: Sky-watching at Basud [SWF]

Lahuy Island was our last stop on our island-hopping tour of the Caramoan Peninsula. We reached the island around 5 pm and dropped anchor by the beach of Hda. Basud to wait for the sunset. I was dreading the little flashing red light on my camera and I did my best to extend my battery life for these last photos.

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~e.e. cummings

the four sky-watchers (from April's camera)

Posted for Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, April 29, 2010

To Burgoo or not to go--that is the question

Shrimp Popcorn Caesar

It's been a while since I dined at Burgoo. There's a branch near my office but there's another American chain that I prefer. A friend gifted me with a Burgoo discount card last Christmas and I forgot about it until last week. Using the discount card, I am entitled to a 50% discount for every P1000 food purchase, but only for dine-in, no take outs.:p

I enjoyed the Shrimp Popcorn Caesar--the lettuce was crisp but it's a bit short on shrimps. They should call it Caesar with shrimp popcorn. The Shrimp Arrabiata (yes, I was on a shrimp trip that day) is supposed to be one of their best-sellers but it was bland and uninspired. My taste buds were looking for the vodka sauce, the flavor of basil and chili--nada.

Maybe I should go back.:p

Shrimp Arrabiata

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Caramoan: Candy-colored boats [Watery/Outdoor Wednesday]

These candy-colored outrigger boats bedecked Paniman Bay at Tabgon where we stayed during the Lenten holiday. One of Caramoan peninsula's cruising grounds, this bay is sheltered with mangrove forests, mountains, islets and warm, turquoise water. These excursion boats ply across and around the peninsula, bringing tourists to pristine islands with enchanting lakes, caves, rocks and majestic mountain ranges; and also serve as regular ferries to Guijalo port providing connections to the outside world.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Addiction [Photo-Hunt]

Hello, my name is Luna, my blood type is coffee, I was bottle-fed with coffee when I was a baby, and I am a recovering coffee addict. It's been 1 hour, 14 minutes and 43 seconds since my last cup.

Enjoying a cup of coffee is one of my life's pleasures, but people who live with caffeine addiction are not able to appreciate this in the same fashion that a non-addict can. Instead of savoring the aroma, sight and taste of coffee, coffee addicts have coffee jitters, a nervous condition resulting from too much caffeine.

Coffee produces a caffeine high, usually combined with sugar for an even greater high. Like any high, the resulting lows are present and cause depressions and mood swings. Depressions associated with coffee addictions are often misdiagnosed and simply add medications to the addict's life.

Coffee has health risks and benefits. Research suggests that coffee consumption can reduce the chance of acquiring liver cirrhosis, a reduced risk of oral, esophageal and pharyngeal cancer. But it can also damage the lining of gastrointestinal organs, causing gastritis and ulcers. Some studies say that coffee reduces the incidence of dying from heart disease but caffeine as a mild addictive stimulant has modest cardiovascular effects such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and occasional irregular heartbeat. It reduces the risks of Alzheimer's Disease, dementia and Parkinson's Disease; it's also anti-diabetic.

According to Wiki, caffeine does not act as a diuretic when consumed in moderation, contrary to popular belief. Current evidence suggests that caffeinated beverages contribute to the body's daily fluid requirements no differently from pure water.

I am a coffee-lover, and for the past 3 years or so, I've been doing my best not to exceed 2 cups of coffee a day. A huge improvement from my usual 6-8 cups a day. My mantra these days is--moderation is the key.

Posted for Photo Hunt

Friday, April 23, 2010

A scoop of salmon

From all the food we consumed that night at Abaca, this is the only photo I was able to manage. And I can't remember what it's called---too much wine, I s'pose.

But I remember this was my appetizer--smoked salmon with a delicious potato salad underneath and garnished with sun-dried tomatoes. Everybody at the table agreed that it's too pretty to eat but I demolished it anyway.

It was my second time at Abaca, an ultra-chic boutique resort and restaurant at Punta Engano in Mactan, Cebu, just a few meters away from the Mactan Shangri-la. If you don't mind the exorbitant prices (prices are + 10% service charge and 12% VAT), you would feel pampered at this restaurant. The waiter assigned to our table was very attentive, and he even gave us a tour of the resort (at my request) after dinner. Abaca Restaurant has been a toast of food lovers since its opening a few years ago. Yes, this place is a gourmet oasis and they serve great-tasting food.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pink sunset [SWF]

In the sky an infinitude of hope, a canvas of glory all possibilities mine. ~Neroli Lambent

sunset at Hacienda Basud in Lahuy Island, Caramoan Peninsula April 3, 2010

Posted for Sky-Watch Friday

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Caramoan: Tinago Cove [Watery/Outdoor Wednesday]

Tinago, which means "hidden", is a hidden cove at the Caramoan Peninsula. Boatmen seldom bring tourists in this cove because of its location. The narrow gap between two limestone mountains is the gateway to Tinago, and many boatmen find it difficult to maneuver the outrigger boat due to strong current. Good thing we had an expert team--2 brothers and their young nephew, who took us to Tinago for lunch on Black Saturday. This cove is deserted, no hut and fresh water so you have to bring everything.

The unpredictable waves between the islands cause the surface waters to be choppy. But as soon as we get past the narrow passage, the lagoon was very calm.

a tranquil lagoon
Tinago has a narrow stretch of fine white sandy beach, surrounded by limestone rocks. We grilled fish and had lunch under the trees, soaked up the sun and fun, and let the breathtaking, serene beauty of Tinago renew our spirits.

I'd like to get stranded here--with George Clooney.:p
It would be great to put up a tent here and stay overnight--oh well, that's for another trip.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A foggy day in Sabang [Ruby Tuesday & My World Tuesday]

A foggy day at Sabang port in Camarines Sur while we were waiting for our ride to Caramoan two weeks ago. It was a hot and humid morning that turned into a cloudy and drizzling afternoon. We are in the middle of summer and the rain was unexpected.

click on photos to enlarge

When the gentle rain stopped, these children started exploring the rocks along the beach. I spotted some reds here for Ruby Tuesday.

Posted for My World-Tuesday

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Covered [Photo-Hunt]

Caffeine deprivation, the sea breezes and the sun made me drowsy while waiting for high tide at Sabitang Laya, one of the islands in the Caramoan Peninsula. I looked for some shade to take a quick shut-eye while my friends were perfecting their jump shots, and found a huge and hollow rock by the shore. It was a cool place and I took a nap covered by a rock, with cracks!

passengers covered under the yellow vinyl tent to avoid getting soaked from the rain
grass-covered hills on the way to Guijalo port
fog and rain covered the mountains as we approached the port

Posted for Photo Hunt

Friday, April 16, 2010

Crispy Pata

On Easter Sunday, after visiting the Naga Cathedral with my friends, we went to a restaurant and grill along Magsaysay Avenue called Bob Marlin---plucked from the reggae artist Bob Marley and the pelagic blue marlin. Conspicuous Bob Marley' music was playing non-stop.

We were actually looking for authentic Bicol cuisine so aside from grilled blue marlin, we ordered Bicol Express and other Bicol favorites. But when a bucket of SMB was brought to our table, I asked the waiter to bring us some deadly, artery-clogging crispy pata for pulutan.

We were on seafood diet for the past few days in Caramoan that I thought we deserve a cholesterol kick. So here it is...crispy pata ala Bob Marlin with dip and pickled singkamas on the side. It was scrumptious!

Crispy pata is deep-fried pork knuckles

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Daybreak at Caramoan [SWF]

Hey, but it's daybreak If you wanna believe, it can be daybreak Ain't no time to grieve Said it's daybreak, if you'll only believe And let it shine, shine, shine All around the world...            
- Daybreak, by Barry Manilow

  In memory of Erick Gomez, a friend and colleague My contribution to Sky-Watch Friday