Monday, April 30, 2012

Sconces/Blue Monday

A Venetian mirror and a set of wall sconces at an antique shop.  Share something blue with Sally @ Blue Monday.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sun-kissed Banca/SWF

A lone banca basking in the golden sunset.

The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.  But still there is much that is fair.  And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Join sky-watchers from around the world at Sky-Watch Friday

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Steep/Water World Wednesday

The greatest danger for most is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it. ~ Michelangelo

A small uninhabited island in Cauayan, Negros Occidental, that locals call Pulo-Gamay (or small island).  It has precipices but has a few meters of white sanded beach on the other side.  A pity we weren't able to check out the beach---a lunch of grilled fish was waiting in the next island.:p

Thursday, April 19, 2012


 Then followed that beautiful season...Summer
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new, created in all the freshness of childhood.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Beautiful skies at Sky-Watch Friday

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Follow your Bliss/Water World Wednesday

 This is your LIFE.
Do what you love and do it often.
If you don't like something, change it.
If you don't like your job, quit.
If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, STOP;
they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you LOVE.
Stop over-analyzing, all emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people, we are united in our difference.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is,
and share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often;
getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come only once, seize them.
Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them,
so go out and start creating.
Live your dream and share your passion.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Patchwork Chair/Blue Monday

 I'd love to have this set in my living room.  Found this patchwork-covered chair and footstool set in one of the booths at the Manila F.A.M.E.  Some blues to share with Sally  at Blue Monday.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A summer sunset/SWF

I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.  My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music.  It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.  
~ Violette Leduc

Join sky-watchers from around the world at Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, April 12, 2012

King Dao Spareribs

Did you stick to your no-meat diet during Lent?  If you did, like any serious carnivore, I'm sure you've been craving for meat.  This  week alone, I've been wallowing in pork dishes (sorry, vegans)---like this King Dao Spareribs at Kirin's that U and I devoured breathlessly.  This was simply delicious with garlic fried rice!

Linking to Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fountain by the Bay/Water World Wednesday

This past week was a scorcher.  I didn't go out of town for the 4-day holiday to avoid traffic, crowded terminals, ports and airports.  The Mall of Asia reopened on Black Saturday and we decided to have dinner there after I bought plane tickets for a late April trip.  Behind the mall, SM By the Bay was very crowded.  People were catching breezes from Manila Bay, dining at seafood restaurants, watching street performers, enjoying the rides, binging on junk food or just hanging out by the seawall. 

Fritz enjoyed all the attention as he strutted around the park.  By 9 o'clock, both Fritz and my mother were exhausted.

As always, I gravitated towards the fountain---it's a popular spot to cool off on hot and humid nights.  And as usual, I forgot to check my camera settings.:p

Linking to Water World Wednesday hosted by Kim

Monday, April 9, 2012

San Agustin Church/OWT

I was in San Augustin Church last month to accompany balikbayan (Filipinos who live abroad) friends.  My friends who live in London were here for 2 weeks to attend a relative's wedding.  This church is one of the most popular wedding churches in Manila.  In fact, my best-friend wanted to get married here almost a decade ago, but they were fully booked for over a year when we inquired.

Originally known as "Iglesia de San Pablo", San Agustin Church was founded by the Augustinians in 1571, built in 1589 and completed in 1607.  It is the oldest stone church in the Philippines, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the Baroque Churches in the Philippines in 1993.  

During the Seven Years' War in 1762, San Agustin Church was looted by the British forces who occupied Manila.  It was renovated in 1854.  The church was also the site where the Spanish Governor prepared the terms of the surrender of Manila to the United States of America in 1898. 

In World War II, the Japanese turned San Agustin Church into a concentration camp for prisoners.  Hundreds of Intramuros residents and priests died here during the final days of the war.  Among the seven churches in the walled city, San Agustin Church was the only building left intact after the destruction of Intramuros during the Battle of Manila (1945).  The  present structure is actually the third  to stand on the site and has survived 7 major earthquakes.

San Agustin Church has 14 side chapels and a magnificent trompe l'oeil mural on its ceiling and walls.  Trompe l'oeil is French for fools the eye,  an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create an optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions.  The nave art was painted by two Italian scenographers Giovanni Dibella and Cesare Alberoni in 1875--scenegraphers are artists who paint backdrops for operas.

It was practiced in the last centuries for prominent persons to be buried inside this church---the painter Juan Luna, Spanish Governors, statesmen and archbishops.  El Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, founder of the city of Manila who died in 1572 was entombed in one of the chapels while wealthy patrons of the church paid for their final resting place here.

San Agustin Church
General Luna Street
Intramuros, Manila

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mall of Asia Eye/Blue Monday

The Mall of Asia Eye as colors changed to blue on Saturday night.  This 55-meter (180 feet) tall Ferris Wheel was opened to the public in December 2011.  It's the tallest Ferris Wheel in the Philippines, with 36 air-conditioned gondolas, each able to carry up to 6 persons.  I haven't tried it yet.:p

Linking to Blue Monday

Asters for Easter

Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals. ~ Charles Crowe

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dolce far niente/SWF

 We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with.  Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do.  We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them. ~ Seneca

Linking to Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, April 5, 2012

See-food diet

 Mango with bagoong (shrimp paste)

I had a quick trip to Bacolod recently and had a catch-up dinner with two high school buddies.  I was asked what kind of food I would like to have for dinner, and I jokingly replied that I'm on a "see-food" diet.  My old friends took it "phonetically" and brought me to Imay's, a seafood bar (the reason for dimmed lighting) and  restaurant in 6th Street.  As you know, I love seafood so I was happy to be here.  

It's rare that we get really fresh Tanigue in Metro Manila. Here, fresh catch is delivered to restaurants.  I ordered Kinilaw na Tanigue (Spanish Mackerel) for appetizer to complement the Mangga with Bagoong.  And it was the right choice--the fish was succulent and sweet.  Raw chunks of Tanigue relished in onions, ginger, coconut cream, and vinegar, topped with salted egg.  It was mildly spiced with green chili peppers.

Kinilaw na Tanigue

Red tide is always a concern when we're buying mussels and clams in Metro Manila.  In Bacolod, you know where these shellfishes come from.  A happy coincidence, one of my high school buddies was infancipating, and we were joking around that this soup was for lactating mothers.  She countered that we needed this soup, too, for our weakening bones.:p

Mussels and Clams Tinola

Spicy Shrimp Gambas---you guessed it right, this was my choice.  I can live on shrimps alone.

Served on a hot plate was a mixture of shrimps, fish, squid, mussels and clams drowned in butter.  More shrimps!  I was in shrimp heaven!   (Note to self:  check BP after dinner).:p

We had grilled fish but it was served late---too late to take a photo.  We had steamed rice and fresh fruit shakes, and believe it or not, the total bill was less than P1,000!  It was a scrumptious dinner with lots of chika and happy news. Looking forward to seeing the girls again soon!

Kaon ta!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Coron Island: Lush/Water World Wednesday

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature  and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable,  Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend  is my religion.  To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious. ~ Albert Einstein

Coron Island, Calamianes, northen Palawan

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Semana Santa/OWT

For Christians around the world, today is Holy Tuesday.  The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic nation, celebrates Semana Santa (Holy Week) this week.  Semana Santa is a significant religious festival here, most businesses either shut down operations or have later opening and earlier closing times.  Local TV networks and radio stations have limited broadcasting hours or show religious programs only. No rock music over the airwaves during Holy Week.:p

I grew up watching these processions every year on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.   The processions were major events that we looked forward to when we were kids.  Floats with life-size statues representing the Passion of Christ are paraded all over town with accompanying music.  Devotees walking all the way from the church, across town and back.

Prominent families usually own a float which was handed down from generations, some of the antique statues were sculpted in Spain.  A relative on my mother's side of the family owns one of these floats---a parcel of rice field is farmed to finance the expenses of the statue---flowers, decorations, robe/fabric, gas to power up the lights, food to feed those who prepares the statue every year and for the family and friends who walk beside the float.

I had a personal favorite when I was a kid---a statue of the Mater Dolorosa.  She was beautiful, her eyes were so sad, her robe was always stunning, and she left a scent of perfume.  I didn't see her during this procession though--or I missed her because of the crowd.  I hope the owner has not retired her yet.

I am not a Catholic and my Semana Santa pilgrimage is more of nostalgia, of returning to my roots, of reliving my childhood---to hold hands with cousins and aunts while watching the procession passing by our street, to see familiar smiles and faces.

 The Santo Entiero, (the image of a dead Christ) encased in a glass casket is usually the last float in the procession.  The glass casket is guarded towards the end of the procession as people tend to grab the flowers---devotees believe that flowers from the Santo Entiero float bring good luck to fishermen.

This year, I am not going home for the Semana Santa but will visit nearby towns to watch the processions.  I am still thinking if I'd like to see some self-flagellation or crucifixion on Good Friday.  Let's see where my feet would take me.:p

These photos were taken last year on Good Friday in my mother's hometown of Valladolid in Negros Occidental.