Friday, September 28, 2012

Joy/Sky-Watch Friday

Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy. ~ Abraham Maslow

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~ Howard Thurman

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. ~ Karl Barth

More amazing skies from around the planet @ Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tuna Maki

One of my favorites at Rai Rai Ken---Tuna Maki.  A snack while waiting for my mom's dental appointment.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Girlfriends/Water World-Wednesday

Two girlfriends dancing in the pond at the Paradiso Terrestre.

Monday, September 24, 2012

US warship visit/Our World-Tuesday

We have nothing but gray skies and bland sunsets since the monsoon season arrived.  I played around with textures and overlays to transform my boring photos. 

These were taken from the Manila Ocean Park overlooking the Port of Manila in mid-August.  The ship is USS Milius, a US Navy Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, docked at the Port of Manila for a 4-day routine port call.  

I wondered if this was United States' show of support to the Philippines amid rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). While the Communist Party of the Philippines criticized this visit as another "arrogant display of contempt of Philippine sovereignty."

Be prepared.  It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. 
~ Elizabeth Ann Nolan

Linking to Our World-Tuesday

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blue sky/Blue Monday

In the midst of monsoon rains and tropical storms, I chanced upon some blue sky at the Mall of Asia one afternoon.

More blues @ Blue Monday

Friday, September 21, 2012

No last word.../SWF

Doubt requires more courage
than conviction does,
because conviction is a resting place
and doubt is infinite;
it is a passionate exercise.
We've got to learn to live
with a full measure of uncertainty.
There is no last word.
That is the silence under
the chatter of our time.

~ John Patrick Shanley

Linking to Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Garlic & Rosemary Chicken

Another one of my "pacham" dishes---garlic & rosemary chicken.  Instead of baking the marinated chicken, I slow-cooked it until tender.

How-to:  Marinate chicken breast in minced garlic, salt & pepper, pinch of sugar, soy sauce and fresh rosemary. Stir-fry chicken, add water and bring to boil.  Add marinade when chicken is tender and cook until marinade is reduced.

I wanted to add white wine but my mother stopped me.:p

Verdict:  My mom and nephew liked it.

P.S.:  "pacham" = pa-tsamba :p

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Plaza San Luis/Our World-Tuesday

Named after one of the old barrios of the walled city of Intramuros, Plaza San Luis is a cultural-cum-commercial complex currently composed of five houses---Casa Manila, Casa Urdaneta, Casa Blanca, Los Hidalgos and El Hogar Filipino.  Above is the facade of Casa Manila along the cobblestone street of Calle Real del Palacio (also known as General Luna Street) and across San Agustin Church.

Casa Manila is a museum showcasing a typical upper-class colonial Intramuros home. The interiors are filled with late 19th century and early 20th century furniture, artwork, and other artifacts from the Spanish era, all carefully arranged to illustrate what life was like for wealthy families of that period.  Below is a fountain at the courtyard.

Next to Casa Manila is this white-painted building that houses a mid-range hotel and a fine-dining restaurant, Barbara's.  Barbara's serves traditional Filipino and Spanish fares in an old world setting.

At the end of the block, at the corner of Calle Real and Urdaneta is this beautiful neoclassic house [that was newly painted]---a typical home of a Filipino illustrado or the privileged class in the late 19th century.
Intramuros is a 0.26-square mile fortress built in the 16th century, a city within the city of Manila, and its oldest district.

Linking to Our World Tuesday

Monday, September 17, 2012

Vendor's cart/Blue Monday

A vendor's cart displaying balls, kites, and other toys for sale at the open field near the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.  The open field at the Quirino Grandstand is usually used as a venue for cultural, political, religious, and sports events;  people also come here to enjoy the open space, and possibly escape the dingy confines of their crowded homes and neighborhoods.  We definitely need more parks in Metro Manila.

Join us @ Blue Monday

Friday, September 14, 2012


Morning at the beach after a stormy night.

Linking to Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Linguine alle Vongole

Baba Ghanoush
I was in the mall again a couple of weeks ago for some errands and was in the look out for an ink-efficient printer.  I noticed Stavros, a Mediterranean bistro, and made a mental note to have dinner there after I finished my errands.  

I was the only customer when I got here around 7 pm, and the kitchen crew seemed happy to see me.   I was focused on hummus for my pita but they were fresh out of stock.  The lady at the counter suggested Baba Ghanoush instead---a Levantine dip of eggplant and tahini, mashed and mixed with olive oil and garlic.  I remember the eggplant dip/appetizer at Chateau 1778 that I have been trying to make at home but was never successful.

Anyway, I still prefer the eggplant appetizer at Chateau 1778 but this Baba Ghanoush was also tasty.  Eggplant is one of my least favorite vegetables that I'm always delighted when I encounter an interesting and flavorful eggplant dish.

I wanted something light for the main course, and decided on Linguine alle Vongole--a lighter pasta made with fresh clams, garlic, wine, parsley and olive oil.  This was scrumptious! 

Linguine alle Vongole
Footnote:  I returned to Stavros recently but it was no longer there.:(

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sorbetero/Our World Tuesday

Childhood memories rushed in when I saw this sorbetero near Quirino Grandstand a few weeks ago.  A sorbetero was a street fixture of my childhood, a street vendor who sold home-made ice cream we call sorbetes.  He would announce his presence by ringing a handheld bell that usually roused us from our afternoon siesta.   We rushed to the ice cream cart like children from the desert.

Sorbetes is a traditional variation of ice cream in the Philippines.  It is now more popularly known as "dirty ice cream".  Peddled by street hawkers (or sorbeteros), it is usually served with small wafer or sugar cones, and more recently, bread buns.  Sorbetes is uniquely made from coconut milk and cassava flour.  Flavors vary from the usual natural fruits such as mango, jack fruit, avocado, melon, coconut and strawberry to flavors imitating commercial ice cream such as chocolate, cheese, vanilla, mocha and ube (purple yam).  Source: Wiki

My mother predicted trips to the emergency room every time my siblings and I ate dirty ice cream.  It was frowned upon by our elders as the sorbetero was himself purportedly not exactly a model of hygiene.  What water was used?  And why did he not wash his hands after he handled our peso coins?  I even taunted my little sister that the sorbetero didn't wash his hands after using the bathroom---it was after she ate the sugar cone!  Sorbetes became a guilty pleasure  we devoured behind our mother's back.

Sorbetes is peddled in colorful carts which usually can accommodate three flavors, each in large tin canisters.  The cart is stuffed with crushed ice sprinkled with salt to produce a lower temperature around the tin canisters and keep the ice cream frozen.  

Sorbeteros walk the streets the whole day, or they're parked near schools, parks and churches, calling customers by ringing a small handheld bell.  Children gathered around the ice cream cart in the middle of the street is  a common sight especially in the summer.

The sorbetes industry competes with commercially available ice cream from giant companies such as Nestle, Magnolia and Selecta which have also started peddling their frozen products in the streets in more sanitized carts.

Dirty or not, ice cream remains my ultimate comfort food.

Linking to Our World-Tuesday

Stars & Stripes/Blue Monday

A horse-drawn carriage at the Rizal Park.

More blues @ Blue Monday

Friday, September 7, 2012

Downcast sky/SWF

It's not always sunny...monsoon rain and thunderstorms have potentially vacation-ruining effect but we pushed with our road trip anyway.  We braced ourselves when we laid eyes on the downcast sky along SCTex.  Scattered rain accompanied us the rest of the trip, we even stopped a few times in Zambales due to the road's zero visibility.  We were cocooned inside the car for 4 hours, eating potato chips, drinking beer and playing word games.:p

"Sometimes I wish that I was the weather, you'd bring me up in conversation forever.  And when it rained, I'd be the talk of the day."  ~ John Mayer

Linking to Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Honey Roast Pork

@ The French Baker
Lunch at The French Baker a week ago---Honey Roast Pork Al'Orange.  It's supposedly slow roasted slices of pork roulade in a reduction of honey and fresh orange sauce. Apparently, the cook was in a rush and burned it.  Served with buttered corn and carrots, and instead of rice, I opted for bread.  

If I wasn't too hungry, I would have asked them to replace the burned roulade.  Good thing it didn't have an acrid taste, and I finished it off without trouble.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Stop over/Water World Wednesday

A lagoon beside a 7-Eleven and gas station in Subic where we stopped for gas.  Because SBMA is an economic zone, fuel sold here is not taxed so it's a bit cheaper.  While Pikoy was gassing up, and girlfriends were shopping in 7-Eleven, I was busy shooting.  The boardwalk leads to a restaurant.