Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gone fishing - Watery Wednesday

I'll be out of town tomorrow 'till Sunday---I'll do my best to visit your blog. Going to Cebu, but not for pleasure...well, maybe just a little (but don't tell my boss!). So I leave you with these watery photos---just imagine me on a boat, paddling from islet to islet, the sun kisses my face, warm breezes cool my skin, a glass of mojito and a gorgeous masseur waiting for me on the next islet.

Yeah, right! Wake up, Luna! Fasten your seat belt and put your face mask on!:P

Photos taken between Mauban and Cagbalete Island

Get virtually wet at Watery Wednesday

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Life without TV (WS)

My 13-year old TV set "blacked out" just as Frances, Diane Lane's character in "Under the Tuscan Sky", walks away from the gorgeous Marcelo. The black screen roused me from Marcelo's Italian good looks. What the heck happened? The audio is working but there is no picture on screen. Nothing else to do but turn it off. I felt relieved. I've been watching a lot of TV lately, a form of escape? I skipped my Sunday jog to watch a Michael Jackson video marathon all afternoon. I watch CNN, reruns of CSI, and the Food Channel until the wee hours of morning. Sometimes I would doze off and regain consciousness when I hear Sean Connery's unmistakably sexy Scottish brogue narrating the Beatles'---There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed, some forever, not for better, some have gone and some remain...

Our family didn’t own a TV set when I was growing up. The 13-year old TV set is the first TV set I bought as an adult. When we were in grade school, my younger siblings asked our father to buy us a TV set---I guess they were fed up watching TV from a neighbor's window. But Tatay explained the disadvantages of having a TV at home, how it would affect our reading habits, and added that TV makes people less intelligent. I believed him then, and I still do.

I am happy, and yes, relieved that my TV broke. My first love, the radio, keeps me company. And by 11 pm, on a hot Sunday night, I’m in bed with the talented Kazuo Ishiguro. Now I know exactly what Gustav Flaubert was trying to say when he exclaimed, “Read in order to live!” How wonderful to lose oneself into a whole new world.

But tomorrow is another day...and I have to face my mother and explain why the TV broke. And I'm telling you, she wouldn't be happy or relieved.

my night stand

Posted for Weekend Snapshot

Lasang Pinoy : strips

One of my favorite appetizers at Piadina Italiana in Greenbelt is Grissini di Pizza---strips of freshly-baked, crispy garlic bread sprinkled with sesame seeds, served with a special cheese dip.

A number of myths surround the origins of grissini (or breadsticks). Originally thought to have been created in the 14th century, but local traditions confirmed that grissini was invented by a baker in northern Italy in 1679. The original recipe, grissino torninese (as still made in Turin), differs from the modern version that is thicker, longer, hand-made, often twisted and has a more bread-like texture. In all probability, grissini was developed when a baker had leftover pizza dough and decided to experiment with it.

Posted for Lasang Pinoy, Sundays at spiCes

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Photo-Hunt: flags

Philippine flags at the Rizal Shrine, the national hero's ancestral home in Calamba, Laguna.

The modern design of the Philippine flag was conceptualized by Emilio Aguinaldo, a Filipino revolutionary leader, during his exile in Hong Kong in 1897, drawing inspiration from the flags used by the Katipunan, an anti-Spanish revolutionary organization, and the Cuban revolutionaries. The first flag was sewn by Doña Marcela Marino de Agoncillo with the help of her daughter Lorenza and Doña Delfina Herbosa de Natividad (a niece of the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal). It was displayed in battle on May 28, 1898 and was formally unfurled during the proclamation of independence on June 12, 1898.

On June 12, 2009, the Philippines celebrated its 111th Independence.

A horizontal bicolor of blue over red, with a white equilateral triangle at the hoist containing three 5-pointed gold stars at its vertices and an 8-rayed gold sun at its center.

Philippine and American flags at a war memorial marker in Corregidor Island

The American Flag was used from 1901 to 1919 when the Philippines was administered directly from the United States.

Posted for Photo Hunt hosted by TN Chick.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gone Too Soon

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop---singer, songwriter, dancer died from cardiac arrest at 50. A musical genius in his younger days before he succumbed to Hollyweird, Michael Jackson's career reached unprecedented peaks, controversies notwithstanding. I'd like to remember Michael Jackson with this song, Gone Too Soon, a fitting tribute to his great talent and his early and sudden passing. Sleep well, Michael.

Like A Comet
Blazing 'Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Shiny And Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight
On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon

Like A Castle
Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon

Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon

Bon Appetit!

My mother calls in the middle of the day to remind me of her Cheese Pandesal---she seldom does that. So after work, I went straight to French Baker for the Cheese Pandesal and also picked out some of my favorite freshly-baked Cheese Muffins and Cheese Rolls.

By the way, I like French Baker's new store design at the Atrium as well as on the ground floor of SM Megamall but haven't tried their restaurant yet. I checked out the menu and it looks interesting, prices are affordable. Not particularly hungry, but the Chicken Cordon Bleu caught my attention---it made me think of Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) cooking in her 60's kitchen!

So here it is...

French Baker's Chicken Cordon Bleu is a roulade of chicken layered with ham and cheese, rolled in seasoned sourdough bread crumbs and deep-fried, served on a bed of mashed potato with pan-roasted seasonal vegetables. A choice of a second side dish: rice or roll---I had rolls. I don't know if it was because of my cold, but I tasted an overpowering bitter flavor from the creamy topping, probably oregano.

French-inspired Chicken Cordon Bleu was actually developed in the US by chefs imitating other stuffed meat dishes from Europe. Cordon Bleu means “blue ribbon” and in French culinary tradition, the Cordon Bleu is awarded to food or chefs of particularly high quality.

Bon Appetit!

More scrumptious food awaits you at Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Litratong Pinoy: dito lang [only here]

The water buffalo is found throughout Southeast Asia, but our humble, hard-working carabao, a sub-species of the water buffalo, is indigenous to the Philippines. The carabao is normally black, so imagine my surprise and amazement when I saw this albino carabao in Zoobic Safari. The albino carabao is exceptional as a white cow, a "kanobao" as my friend fondly calls it, because it has the same color as a white person. This cute, white carabao is proudly Filipino!

Ang kalabaw ay matatagpuan sa buong Timog-Silangang Asya, ngunit ang ating maamo at masipag na kalabaw ay dito lang makikita sa Pilipinas. Ang kalabaw ay karaniwang itim, kaya akalain mo ang aking pagkamangha nang makita ko ang pambihirang albino na kalabaw sa Zoobic Safari. Kasing tisoy s'ya ng puting baka, kaya tinawag itong "kanobao" ng aking kaibigan, dahil pareho sila ng kulay ng isang kano. Kahit tisoy ito, maipagmamalaki nating Pinoy s'ya!

Nakasakay ka na ba sa kalabaw? Fake na kalabaw pa lang ang nasasakyan ko---sa iskultura ng kalabaw sa Lola's Garden, sa Eden Nature Park sa Davao noong isang taon. Naka-side view pa!:P

Have you ridden a carabao? My first ride was on a carabao sculpture at Lola's Garden in Eden Nature Park, Davao last year.

moi on steroids :D

Posted for Litratong Pinoy

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Driftwood - Watery Wednesday

Driftwood often connotes a negative image---directionless, no plans, floating, and yes, useless. Some would call it marine debris, garbage. And in some coastal areas, driftwood is a major nuisance. But what most of us don't know is that driftwood provides shelter and food for birds, fish and other marine species as it floats in the ocean. Driftwood that has been washed ashore also shelters birds, plants and other species, and can become the foundation for sand dunes. Decomposed driftwood is gradually reintroduced to the food chain.

I personally find driftwood interesting---the shapes crafted by the elements are a natural wonder, they're strange and wonderful. And they certainly enhance the beauty of this beach in Cagbalete Island.

In the Philippines, where artisans are continually in search for sustainable materials for decorative home accessories, furniture and other art forms, driftwood has been crafted into functional tabletops, and sculpted into amazing shapes.

a functional birdhouse
Align Centera life-size horse sculpted out of driftwood

Posted for Watery Wednesday

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ruby Tuesday: red candle

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

~William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice

Posted for Ruby Tuesday

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lasang Pinoy turns ONE!

No Filipino celebration is complete without pancit (noodles), and to celebrate Lasang Pinoy, Sundays 1st anniversary, I am serving up a plateful of Hong-Kong-style crispy noodles to all LaPiS enthusiasts.

My first LaPiS entry was in July 27th, 2008---this is my 25th entry. This meme has brought lots of fun to my journey in photography. Cheers to tasteful, mouth-watering, lip-smacking food!

Lasang Pinoy, Sundays is a weekly thematic Food Photography meme, Pinoy style, hosted by Ces at spiCes.

Easy like Sunday morning

Easy like Sunday morning - Lionel Richie

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Photo-Hunt: creamy

Nothing else comes to mind to best convey the image of "creamy" but food---creamy pasta alla carbonara and luscious chocolate cake ala mode for dessert (burp!).

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta."

~ Fellini

More creamy treats for you at Photo Hunt.

Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Itadakimasu [Let's eat!]

I've been feeling a bit under the weather since Monday---this endless rain rattles my bones. Even my taste buds are on strike. So I got myself a bowl of hot Miso soup and Gyoza the other night. Low calorie, protein-rich Miso soup is my elixir when I'm not feeling well. I'm not a big fan of tofu but I love Miso soup.

Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called "dashi" into which softened miso paste is mixed. Miso, on the other hand, is a Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and a fungus called kojikin.

My bowl of Miso soup has tofu, spinach leaves, cilantro and spring onions.

pan-fried Gyoza and dipping sauce

Pork-stuffed, garlic-flavored, and pan-fried Gyoza (my friend S calls it Dyosa to annoy me) was my side dish. I was actually hoping the dipping sauce would awaken my sleeping taste buds, and it did!

Manpuku desu.

I'm full.

Posted for Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Litratong Pinoy: Impossible ba ito? [Is this impossible?]

Nakilala ko sa Tayabas ang batang nasa litrato. Nakatira sila sa tabing-ilog sa gilid ng gubat, walang kapitbahay, walang kalaro kundi ang kanyang nanay, walang TV at radyo. Namangha ako sa kanilang isolated na pamumuhay. Makabubuti kaya ang ganitong pagpapalaki sa bata?

Araw-araw, napapansin ko na ang ating lipunan, media at kultura ay nagiging mas kampante na at hindi na pang-pamilya. Kahit ang "GP" rated movies ay naglalaman ng hindi pambatang pagpapatawa at nakakapag-alinlangan na mga mensahe. Ang mga pausong damit sa mga bagets, parang di nababagay sa kanilang edad, slutty ang dating! Sa TV, maraming patalastas na kahina-hinala rin ang pahiwatig sa kabataan. Pati ang mga pambatang magazines, may mga cover na hindi karapat-dapat sa mga bata. Sa pagbaha ng mga materyal na nagse-sexualize sa mga bata,
imposible na bang mapangalagaan ang kanilang kamusmusan?

Hindi ako magulang, pero marami akong pamangkin, inaanak, mga anak ng aking kaibigan, at kapitbahay. Matutugunan kaya ng mga magulang ngayon ang hamon sa pagpapanatili ng kamusmusan ng kanilang mga anak?

I met this boy in Tayabas. He and his family live by the banks of the river, at the edge of a forest. They have no neighbors, no playmate for this boy but his mother, no TV or radio. I was amazed at their way of life, and couldn't help but wonder if this kind of isolation would be beneficial to a child.

If we are paying attention, it's obvious that our society, media and culture are becoming less and less family friendly every day. Even "GP" rated movies are starting to contain more crude humor and questionable moral messages. Slutty teen fashions, suggestive TV commercials and inappropriate magazine covers are trying to sexualize children at younger and younger ages. Is it now becoming impossible for parents to protect their children's innocence?

I am not a parent, but I have nephews and nieces, god-children, children of my friends and neighbors. Would today's parents meet the challenge of preserving their kids' innocence?

Posted for Litratong Pinoy

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cascading water at Forest Camp - Watery Wednesday

Refreshing cascading water in a river at Forest Camp in Valencia, Negros Oriental.

The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.

~Sam Walter Foss

Posted for Watery Wednesday