Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fruti di Mare - Panini

Fruti di Mare means Fruit of the Sea.  I got a panini of warm ciabatta (Italian white bread) with mozzarella, white cheese, tomato, anchovies and basil served with potato chips, or shall I say, patatine fritte (forgive my trying-hard Italian accent!:p).  This was my lunch-cum-snack at Cibo in Greenbelt 5 one Wednesday afternoon.  I was rushing from one meeting to the next that I skipped lunch.  When I got to Cibo, I was ready to chew on the paper placemat!  Good thing the service was prompt.

I've always enjoyed food at Cibo.  Love their antipasti, salads, meat, salmon and vegetarian dishes. I usually bring diet-conscious friends and clients here. 

LP: Manipis [thin]

 Manipis--hindi makapal.  Katatapos lang ng hostage crisis noon sa Luneta nang nagawi ako dito sa Fort Ilocandia.  Kwento ng staff, marami ang nag-cancel ng booking at malamang mga tatlong buwan pa daw babalik ang mga turista galing HK at Taiwan dito.  Sa pag-ikot-ikot ko, napansin ko ang manipis na damo, mukhang bagong tabas lang ito.  Manipis din ang patak ng tubig sa fountain, manipis na ulap sa papawirin.  Parang ang lungkot nga sa Fort Ilocandia noong araw na yon.  Wala kasi gaanong tao.

 This post is linked to Litratong Pinoy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rocks at Blue Lagoon [Watery & Outdoor Wednesday]

Blue Lagoon is not all fine white sand and turquoise water.  The southern tip of Malingay Cove, just below the Nacatnagan Cliff, is dotted with sharp rocks.  This jagged and rocky part of Blue Lagoon make the landscape more interesting, and worth exploring.  Just make sure your feet are well-protected.

This post is linked to Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rizal Park by day [My World-Tuesday]

Last month, I showed you  Luneta by Night.  I went back to see Luneta (or Rizal Park) at daylight on August 21st, two days before the ill-fated hostage crisis just across the Rizal monument on August 23rd.  I wanted to post these photos right after the tragic event but it was too painful and humiliating.  

The dismissed police officer who hijacked the tourist bus full of Hong Kong tourists probably thought of the symbolism of this park to our history when he asked the bus driver to stop at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.  Or he was just crazy and desperate and the open grounds of the park was convenient for his evil plan.

This place was once called Bagumbayan, a marshy land facing the beach which is now Roxas Boulevard.  Bagumbayan Park gracefully hosted flirtations among the Manila elite as well as witnessed the deaths of its disloyal citizenry with indifference. For 74 years, the Spanish used this park as an execution ground for "rebels and mutineers". Between 1823 and 1897,  158 patriots and martyrs were felled on the square by Spanish infantrymen, including the 3 priests, Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora.  Jose Rizal was executed here by firing squad on 1896, and it is said that the blood they shed served as a "spiritual fertilizer which invigorated the Filipino people's yearning for liberty". (Source:  National Parks Development Committee)

It was the Americans who set the motions of building a memorial to honor Dr. Rizal.  The bronze figure is the work of Swiss sculptor Richard Kissling.  It was completed in 1913 and thereafter, Rizal's bones from the Paco Cemetery, where he was secretly buried right after his execution, were transferred to this monument.  Inscribed on Rizal monument:   
"I want to show to those who deprive people the right to love of country, that when we know how to sacrifice ourselves for our duties and convictions, death does not matter if one dies for those one loves – for his country and for others dear to him." 
The Rizal Diorama (or the Light & Sound Tableau on the Life and Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal) was one of the highlights of my last visit to the park.  More about the diorama here.

There is a motorized train for those who are not fond of walking.  It's a 48-hectare park, if you're determined to walk, wear comfortable shoes.

There are a lot to see and experience here.  This the entrance to the Chinese Garden.  There is also a Japanese Garden, the National Historical Institute, National Library, Planetarium, Central Lagoon, Orchidarium (it was under renovation), Butterfly Pavilion, National Museum, a chess plaza, and a lot more.  There are concerts and performances at the open-air auditorium.

Ordinary folks with their families on a picnic, couples (young and old), students, vendors, tourists, photographers, joggers, Tai-Chi practitioners are the people one usually sees at Luneta.   It's an oasis in the middle of an urban jungle.

Sleep in the shadows of nothingness
Redeemer of an enslaved land---
Don't weep in the mystery of the tomb
Nor grieve the momentary triumph of the Spaniard;
For if the bullet ravaged your skull
Your idea vanquished an empire!

~ Cecilio Apostol, Filipino poet,
on Rizal's 2nd death anniversary, 1898

Rizal Park, Kilometer 0
Manila,  Philippines

This post is linked to My World-Tuesday

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Greenbelt foot bridge [Sunday Bridges]

A foot bridge at Greenbelt over a man-made lagoon that leads to the Greenbelt Chapel to the right and  Greenbelt 5 when you go straight.  Greenbelt is a three-hectare park with high-end malls punctuated by cascading landscapes and water features.  It is located in the middle of the bustling Makati Business Center.

These were taken a few minutes before midnight one Saturday after dinner and coffee at Greenbelt 3.

watching the ducks

Posted for Sunday Bridges

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kapurpurawan rock [Photo Hunt: Natural]

According to my Ilocano friend, "Kapurpurawan" means "white" when loosely translated.  The rock formations here are all natural---formed, washed and shaped by nature.  A hill of white limestone (or sandstone), a sedimentary rock that seems out of place in this blackish rocky coast facing the South China Sea.  The rock surface felt like fine grit sandpaper, and it's not dusty.
We were the last people who arrived here that late Sunday afternoon.  According to a tricycle driver whom we met along the way, Kapurpurawan is about 3 kilometers from the highway.  But with the very rough terrain, it felt like 10 agonizing kilometers.  I wish we had a 4 x 4!

Afraid that the car would give out, we decided to park on the side of the dirt road and walk the rest of the way.  The place was isolated---no houses in sight, tall grasses and trees on both sides of the road, we were virtually in the middle of nowhere!  We eventually caught up with 2 guys, who like us, looked lost even with the tricycle driver as their guide.  At the end of the dirt road is a tidal marsh and towards the coast is Kapurpurawan. 
This place is amazing. We expected to see the sunset here but the weather suddenly changed and before we knew it, clouds turned dark and rain started to fall.  Worried to get stranded here in a rain storm without shelter, we ran all the way to the dirt road, across the marsh, and climbed the 18 or so steps to a makeshift hut.  I wish I got a video of the running! We ran like crazy---Sally was so pale and couldn't speak, I thought she was having a heart-attack;  Franzia was screaming like a banshee; I could hear Zhallyn giggling and running like I've never seen before. I was out of breath (from running and laughing at the same time) and felt the jiggling all over!  I am in stitches just thinking about it!

Oh, what an experience.  Definitely the best part of our Ilocos trip.

  Sally, Franzia and Zhallyn--before the 100-meter dash

Kapurpurawan rock formation is located in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, 536 kilometers north of Manila.
view from Kapurpurawan

This post is linked to Photo Hunt

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bangui windmills [SWF]

My first reaction when I saw these windmills was:  Whoa, these were built by aliens!  Then I kept thinking about Transformers (the movie). :p 
Bangui windmills, the first power-generating windmill farm in the Philippines---a must-see when you're in Ilocos Norte.  These gigantic wind turbines along the shores of Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte, face the South China Sea and are considered the biggest in Southeast Asia.  The turbines hub height is 70 meters, each blade is 41 meters long, and the base of a turbine is 6 meters in diameter.

"...As yet, the wind is an untamed,an unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming, and harnessing of it."

                   - Abraham Lincoln, 1860

Bangui is 553 kilometers north of Manila, and 66 kilometers from Laoag City, the provincial capital.

This post is linked to Sky-Watch, Friday

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dinner at MoMo Cafe

@ mirandablue
The MoMo! Gourmet

My mother had her 67th birthday last week and we had dinner at MoMo Cafe in Eastwood together with my 2 siblings.  We don't usually make a fuss about birthdays but my sister was also leaving in a few days so we decided to go out for dinner.  Of course, Fritz was also there---he loves walking around the air-conditioned mall.  
@ mirandablue
I shared the MoMo! Gourmet with my sister.  It's a bowl of Arugula mixed greens with roasted garlic shiitake mushrooms, candied walnuts, fresh white cheese with raspberry-balsamic vinaigrette dressing and garnished with sliced oranges and hard-boiled eggs.

Most of the dishes are for sharing so we didn't order much.  I ordered my favorite appetizer---the melted crab and spinach 3 cheese dip.  It is served with garlic Parmesan toast, tortilla chips and veggie sticks.  And because of the wait, the waiter served us some garlic bread with spread, on the house.  My mother loves meat.  She had the sweet & smoky Hickory BBQ riblets---it's fork tender and off the bone, with party rice, topped with onion rings.  The meat was moist and juicy.

My brother preferred fish so we got the pan-roasted and walnut-crusted cream dory served with spinach cream risotto and lemon anchovy hollandaise sauce.  We had MoMo's own frozen iced tea in dalandan and blueberry in tall glasses.  It was a great meal altogether.

@ mirandablue
Sweet & Smoky Hickory BBQ Riblets

@ mirandablue
Pan-roasted and Walnut-crusted Cream Dory

This post is linked to Food Trip Friday and Food Friday

LP: Makapal [Thick]

Sana di ka mahihilo habang tinititigan mo ang litratong ito.  Ito ang makapal na mga tukod (buttresses) sa dingding ng Santa Maria Church  sa Ilocos Sur.  Gawa sa tisa, ang mga buttresses ay nagbibigay suporta at nagpapatibay sa istruktura laban sa lindol.  Kadalasan, ito ay nakikita sa mga simbahang gothic ang disenyo.  Ang simbahan ng Santa Maria ay nasa listahan ng UNESCO bilang isang World Heritage site.  

This post is linked to Litratong Pinoy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Burgos tidal marsh [Watery and Outdoor Wednesday]

@ mirandablue
We walked through this tidal marsh in Burgos, Ilocos Norte to get to the white rock formations.  This area is near the coast so I would assume this is seawater.  The water here is determined by tidal movement.  Marshes are critically important wildlife habitat, often serving as breeding grounds for a wide variety of animal life.

@ mirandablue
Burgos, Ilocos Norte

This post is linked to Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday