Thursday, November 24, 2011

Spinaci Zola

An antipasti U and I shared at Cibo---Spinaci Zola, or spinach and gorgonzola (Italian blue cheese) dip with warm crostini (small toasted bread).

Join us at Food Trip Friday

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Coron Island: Mangroves

I have posted about mangrove forests before.  I find mangrove trees beautiful, the roots sculptural.  The Philippines has around 47 "true mangrove" out of 54 species around the world.  Mangroves are salt-tolerant trees that have adapted to living in salt and brackish water conditions. Mangroves are extraordinary rich habitats that serve as life support system to fish, shrimps and other marine life, birds, reptiles, and some species of mammals (monkeys, rats, etc.).  They also protect the coastline from onslaught of storms and wave surges. 

Coron Island has a healthy mangrove forests---it's one of the remaining old growth forests in the country.  The province of Palawan where Coron Island is located has the longest coastline with the largest remaining stand of mangrove forest (40,000 hectares approximately).  Source
The most dominant mangrove trees here are the Rhizophora species locally known as "Bacauan".  

Get virtually wet at Watery Wednesday

Monday, November 21, 2011

Glory flower [Blue Monday]

Glory flower, Tibouchina urvilleana

God waits to win back his own flowers as gifts from man's hands. 

~ Rabindranath Tagore

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Under an atomic sky [SWF]

Been listening to Johnny Cash lately, hence, the title.:p
My sunset sky on Wednesday, viewed from the roof deck. 

If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one...

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. ~ Albert Einstein

Beautiful skies from around the world at Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shrimp Pasta

An outlaw's favorite---Billy the Kid's Shrimp Pasta at Texas Roadhouse Grill in High Street.

Linking to Food Trip Friday

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Calamianes: Cagbatan Island

Cagbatan Island in the Calamianes, also known as Coron Youth Club (CYC)---is a tiny uninhabited island ideal for swimming, snorkeling and camping.  Diving beginners also train here.

The optimist lives on the peninsula of infinite possibilities; the pessimist is stranded on the island of perpetual indecision. ~ William Arthur Ward

Linking to Watery Wednesday

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two [Photo Hunt]

Two islands at the background, two kids on the foreground and too many good memories of this place by the beach.  

It takes two to put this boat in the water.

And two makes a good team.

Taken in early March during a family vacation.

Join us at Photo Hunt

Friday, November 11, 2011

Still hour [SWF]

Twilight:  A time of pause when nature changes her guard.  All living things would fade and die from too much light or too much dark, if twilight were not.  ~ Howard Thurman

...dusk is the time when men whisper of matters about  which they remain silent in the full light of the sun.  ~ Simon Raven

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nanking Beef and Tendon

My favorite hot pot dish at North Park---Nanking beef and tendon with radish.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Emerald sky [Watery Wednesday]

My soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One of the many islands we passed by on our way to Culion Island.

This post is linked to Watery Wednesday

Monday, November 7, 2011

Culion Island [Our World-Tuesday]

Culion Island was not a part of our itinerary but I asked our guide to arrange a visit to this island.   My mother told me that her father who died during WW II, taught English in this remote, sleepy seaside town in the 1920's.  We chartered a banca and started early on our hour and a half journey to Culion.   

Culion is one of the bigger islands in the Calamianes group--it's a historic island where the Spanish built strategic fortifications to protect the island from Moro raiders.  It is also a place wrought in pain and despair. This island once housed the world's largest leper colony established by the Americans in 1901.

Agila View Deck - approaching the island, we were greeted by a huge image of an eagle set in stone at the top of the mountain.  I later learned that it is a testament to the resilience and gratitude of the island's patients, who made the giant replica of the Philippine Health Service seal in 1929.  There is also a Christ the Redeemer statue near the seal.

Culion was called an "island of no return", and home to thousands of Filipinos segregated and isolated in one of the country's most remote islands due to leprosy.  Leprosy has affected humanity for over 4,000 years, and was once believed to be highly contagious.  It is primarily characterized by skin lesions; left untreated, it can be progressive, causing permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes.  An effective treatment for leprosy was finally introduced in the early 1980's.  Now, Culion is leprosy-free.

Aside from its poignant past, Culion Island has an unassuming beauty.  It is blessed with warm, gentle people, pristine marine treasures, a beautiful church, a fascinating museum and captivating scenery.

The red-roofed church is one of the island's attractions.  

We docked near this house and walked the streets of Culion.  We would soon discover how the original settlers overcame their darkest years and built the foundation of this community.  

To reach Culion island, you can charter an outrigger boat at Coron harbor.  Average boat rental is P2,500 (about $60.00) for 6-8 persons; P1,500 (about $35.00) to 2-4 persons (smaller boat).  There are commuter boats available from 12 noon to 2 pm at P180 (about $5.00) per person.  There is also a passenger ship from Manila that docks in Culion Island once a week.

Share your world at Our World - Tuesday and NF Waters

A boat on the sea [Blue Monday]

A small outrigger boat cruising in Coron Bay--the usual means of transportation from island to island in the Calamianes.

You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. 
~ Rabindranath Tagore

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Sky-watching: On the road

Driving in Manila can drive you crazy.  But instead of getting impatient at the slow moving traffic, look at the bright side.  Here, I had more time to enjoy the dusky skies while on the road.:p

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it. ~ William Feather

See more beautiful skies from around the world at Sky-Watch Friday

Guilt-free Lechon Kawali

An innovative way of serving Lechon Kawali---as a topping, underneath is Adobong Kangkong.  But don't indulge too much in this seemingly "balanced" serving...despite the veggie, it's still a heart-attack waiting to happen.:p

Join us at Food Trip Friday

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Coron Island: Sculptures

The alluring natural beauty of Coron Island beckons everywhere you look. In the midst of this wilderness, one can sense the miracle of life---smell the green, taste the air, feel the love.  

Nature is man's teacher.  She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence.  ~ Alfred Billings Street

Join us at Watery Wednesday