Friday, May 31, 2013

Bruised sky/Skywatch-Friday

From my archive---sunset from the roof deck of my old apartment.

"Mine is the sultry sunset when the skies
Tremble with strange, intolerable thunder:
And at the dead of a hushed night, these eyes
Draw down the soaring oracles winged with wonder..."
~ Lionel Johnson

Linking to Skywatch Friday

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Big Mao @ Ayala-Cebu

Big Mao is one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in Cebu--it's hip, modern and good value for money.  A Cebuano friend brought me to Big Mao at the Crossroads a couple of years ago and I'm hooked since.  On my recent trip to Cebu, I took two friends to lunch at Big Mao in Ayala.  We got a couple of dishes---my favorite appetizer, cold jellyfish salad, mixed vegetables, yang chow fried rice, a chicken dish and this beef dish.  I tasted oyster sauce, it has strips of beef with cheese and asparagus on top.  The beef was a bit tough, and the cheese didn't blend well with the flavor.  Unfortunately, this was not as delicious as it looks.

Linking to Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Abstract 22/NF Abstract

The heart is forever inexperienced.

Linking to NF Abstract

Unexpected destination/Watery World Wednesday

Expect nothing.
Live frugally on surprise.
~ Alice Walker

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bird cages/Monday Mellow Yellows

Spotted these hanging bird cage flower arrangements near the entrance of the Malolos Cathedral.  I think these are pretty but a bit distracting when the bride was walking down the aisle.:p

Friday, May 24, 2013

True-blue/Skywatch Friday

all this time
the Sun never says to the Earth,
"You owe me."

what happens
with a love like that,
it lights the whole sky.

Linking to Skywatch Friday

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Adobong Kangkong and Baked Boneless Bangus

I was in the vicinity of WTC when I got word that I needed to fly to Cebu, pronto.  So I rushed to the mall to buy plane tickets.  Didn't plan on having dinner but traffic was horrible going out of the area--turned out it was the night Aerosmith had their Manila concert at the MoA-Arena.  I walked towards the bay area and decided to eat dinner while waiting for the traffic to ease.

I wanted fish and the waiter suggested Baked Boneless Bangus, it's new on their menu.  It was flavorful but  the flavors of cheese and butter were too rich and I didn't even finish half of the fish.  Good thing I ordered adobong kangkong---its pleasant tartness countered the strong flavor of cheese.  This adobong kangkong was quite delicious, so different from other adobong kangkong I've tasted before;  even better than my mother's adobong kangkong, or apan-apan as what we call it in Ilonggo.  Just don't tell her.:p

Linking to Food Friday

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Abstract 21/NF Abstract

"The way lies in softness and patience, as the softest water cuts through the hardest rock."  ~ Jonathan Lockwood-Huie

Linking to NF Abstract

Journey/Watery World Wednesday

The best journeys in life are those that answer questions you never thought to ask.  ~ Rich Ridgeway

Monday, May 20, 2013

Barasoain Church/Our World-Tuesday

Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan is one of the historical churches in the Philippines.  My friends and I visited this church one Saturday in early May enroute to Sta. Maria, another town in Bulacan.  Truth be told, I wasn't aware of the church's historical significance until a former President (who, ironically, was later kicked out of office) was inaugurated here in 1998.  It was an unusual venue for a presidential inaugural ceremony.

Also known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Barasoain church is the site of the First Philippine Republic in 1898, and has earned a title as Cradle of Democracy in the East.

This church was founded by Augustinians Missionaries and the original church was constructed in 1630. The first stone structure was built in 1871 but it was burned during the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution. The current church was rebuilt in 1885, the bell tower was constructed in 1889.

The facade has touches of neoclassic architecture.  The interior of the church has wood panels painted in white, with frescoes of flowers, angels and saints; the altar was also painted in white with gold trimmings.  The interior was not as rich and elaborate as the other old churches I have seen but inside has an airy, spacious feel.

There was an on-going wedding ceremony during our visit and I wasn't able to take photos of the interior.

The term "Barasoain" was a place in Spain to which the missionaries found to have similarities to this place in Malolos.  When the Spanish-Filipino revolution broke out, revolutionaries coined the term "baras ng suwail" which means "dungeon of the defiant".

Barasoain Church was a temporary shelter of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippines.  During this time, three important historical events happened in this church:  the convening of the First Philippine Congress in 1898, the drafting of the Malolos Constitution, and the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic in 1899.

During the revolution, this church was the haven of the Congreso Revolucionario with the ilustrados as its delegates and Gen. Aguinaldo as the leader.

I spotted this Pieta sculpture outside the walls of the church beside a small chapel (below).  

Behind the church is a courtyard and the adjoining convent has a museum dedicated to the historical events that took place in the church, a part of the museum is a repository of artifacts found in the province.  There was a Marian exhibit during our visit, in connection with the Flore de Mayo celebrations.

Barasoain Church was declared a National Shrine in 1973, and featured in the New Generation series of the 200 Philippine peso banknotes.

Malolos, Bulacan is 42 kilometers north of Manila.

Linking to Our World-Tuesday

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Brick facade/Mandarin Orange Monday

Brick facade of Liliw Church
Liliw, Laguna

"The full measure of a man is not to be found in the man himself,
but in the colors and textures that come alive
in others because of him."
~ Albert Schweitzer

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blue hour @ Manila Bay/Sky-watch Friday

There is a brief period of twilight of which I am especially fond, little more than a moment, when I see what seems to be color without light, followed by another brief period of light without color.  The earlier period, like a dawn of night, calls up such sights that at all other times are hidden, wistful half-formless presences neither of day nor night, that draw up with them similar presences in the mind. ~ Robert Grudin, Time and the Art of Living

The blue hour--my favorite time of day.
Manila Bay

Linking to Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lunch @ Lugang Cafe

 Taiwanese Crispy Chicken Nuggets

Met a friend at the Mall of Asia on Thursday, the last day of her short Manila vacation.  We decided to meet at MoA because of its proximity to the airport and there are places there to entertain the two boys while we're having girl-talk.  This was a late lunch and as we entered the mall to look for a cool spot, we noticed chefs making dim sum through the glass wall of a restaurant.   It was enough to lure us in to Lugang Cafe.

But as we browsed the extensive menu, we completely forgot about the dimsum!  A plate of crispy chicken nuggets  was ordered for the two boys, but they were engrossed with iPad games and we ended up eating the chicken nuggets.

As expected, I was seduced by oysters and got this Oyster with Black Bean Sauce.  The dish wasn't bad at all except that I realized I still prefer oysters blanched, raw or baked---not in a sauce.  

Instead of vegetables, we opted for Taiwanese Tofu Clay Pot with Pork.  I'm not very fond of tofu but I try to eat it regularly because I know it's healthy and reduces my calorie intake.:p  And I'm glad we ordered this tofu dish---it's quite tasty.  I wish it was a bit more spicy.

Taiwanese Tofu Clay Pot with Pork

Lugang Cafe is famous for their desserts but we had no more space for dessert. I will definitely leave some for dessert next time. The Belagio Breeze looks absolulely divine!

I love the stylish and hip ambiance of this restaurant (not like the usual Chinese restaurants).  The contemporary furnishings, high ceiling and crystal chandeliers give it a feeling of generous spaciousness.

Linking to Food Friday

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Abstract 20/NF Abstract

People are like stained-glass windows,
they sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when darkness sets in, 
their true beauty is revealed 
only if there is a light from within.
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Linking to NF Abstract

Paths of silence/Watery World Wednesday

"When you sit in silence long enough, you learn that silence has a motion.  It glides over you without shape of form, exactly like water.  Its color is silver.  And silence has a sound you hear only after hours of wading inside it.  The sound is soft, like flute notes rising up, like the words of glass speaking.  Then there comes a point when you must shatter the blindness of its words, the blindness of its light." 
~ Anne Spolen, The Shape of Water