Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
There it is! Starbucks mirage.
Wonderful blend of the old and new
Looking relieved after a loooong day; Onib's paintings behind me
Such a lovely spot!
One last shot before I go
The former Intendencia building glows eerily in the cold, windy night. Future home of the National Archives.
Goodnight everyone! Until next time!
From UP, I took a jeep to Philcoa where, lucky enough, I was able to get a half-filled FX to Quiapo. Got off at T.M. Kalaw and took a cab to the Manila Cathedral.
A long line was already forming around the Plaza de Roma.
Details of the main entrance of the Cathedral
The cupola of the Cathedral
The nave and main altar bearing the image of the Immaculada Concepcion, after Miguel Lopez de Legaspi dedicated the city to that title of the Virgin
Why they called it Plaze de Roma is beyond me. I only see the monument to King Carlos IV here.
The Cathedral as seen from Plaza de Roma
At any rate, i'm visiting to discuss matters with Chef Carlo at the nice and cozy Chocolate Kiss. Forgot to take a photo of the place though. Silly me. Next time na po!
The UP main entrance as taken from the cab
Chocolate Kiss, a restaurant located at the First and Second floors of the Bahay Alumni, boasts of a wonderful list of new and familiar culinary creations at very, very reasonable prices. It is said that UP students treat their friends here when they pass their exams or something. Sorry for the photos; taken with a Nokia 6260 (Thanks, CC!).
Yummy pizza: Kiss Supreme (Php 160)
Yummy pasta: Hungarian sausages with fresh tomato sauce on penne (Php 160)
It's always a delight to dine here. Looking forward to coming back.
Monday, June 27, 2005
The Santolan Station of LRT 2. The train parks on that ledge (yikes!)
Exit from Gateway Mall towards Farmer's Plaza via the Coliseum (Sorry, I can't take photos inside the mall)
From Araneta Coliseum to Farmer's Plaza
The famous dome, then the largest in the world when it was completed in 1959. It held that title until 1963 but remains to be the largest covered indoor facility in Southeast ASia; taken from the Cubao Station of the MRT 3
Leaving Cubao now on the Blue Line; railway above is that of LRT 2's; Below, a sample of MMDA's version of the pedestrian overpass
Squatter colonies as train approaches North Avenue Station
Oh wow! Orderly cabs! Impossible! *rubs eyes*
FXs have terminals now?! Galing talaga ni Bayani.
The environs of North EDSA Station. Amzingly clean and orderly but hey! It's a Sunday!
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Since taking photos while in the station is not allowed lest I be charged with plans of blowing up the line (looking like a terrorist doesn't help), I took these while nobody was looking (Okay, I actually pretended to be a tourist).
Buendia's first pedestrian overpass, the first of its kind in the entire Metro: all-steel, see-through and probably has the longest span; taken from the Gil Puyat Station of LRT Line 1
The walkway connecting LRT 1's Doroteo Jose to the Carriedo Station of the LRT 2; its modern design clashes easily with its desolate surroundings
The LRT 2 Carriedo Station; I do not really understand why train stations have to be this huge. Takes up so much space.
A view of the Far Eastern University building, one of the last remaining best examples of Art Moderne structures in the Philippines; established in 1928
View of the Marikina River while approaching Santolan Station; a bus terminal is currently being built on this site
Rushing out of the train at Santolan. Despite the sleek design of its stations, this one in particular transforms into a hazardous area when it rains because of its wide-open sides and steep angle of the roof. The train, which is precariously perched on the platform's edge, sways with the strong winds.
More on my return trip to Manila.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
At any rate, my mind wanders back to Cebu again, my home away from home. These are the days when I wish I were just tucked in one of those cozy seats in Postrio with a good book, a slice of their heavenly pecan pie and a cup of Lavazza.
By the way, I recall seeing some really cool posters of Lavazza inside their lavatory (yes, makes for interesting sightseeing while you're at it). The height of cool!
This one reminds me of a Lachapelle. But then again, maybe it is.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Como siempre, I asked for my favorite window seat on the second floor, the one with the magnificent 180-degree view of Remedios Circle (save for one area that is blocked by a wall).
Everything went well until I decided to give in to an age-old pang and ordered blueberry cheesecke. In a restaurant known for good food and nothing but, it surprised us that we had to eat this particular cheesecake by stabbing at it. Yes, s-t-a-b-b-i-n-g, as in stab the fork on the poor cheesecake in order to get a piece of it.
Turns out that it wasn't cheesecake but some sort of vanilla ice cream they freeze-dried and topped with blueberry from the can.
Kudos to Cafe Adriatico for bungling on this one. I am suddenly afraid of the entire menu.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
SALA - Maria Orosa Street (Malate, Manila)
It isn’t every time that you come across a place - say, a restaurant - that has its very own distinct character. Recently, both Manila and nearby Makati have seen the opening of restaurants that were heavy on the interiors but whose menus fall short of expectations. Truly, one can declare that a visit to these places is not worth it. No te compensa.
There are many other restaurants in the metropolis, and then there is SALA. Nestled between established hang-outs in the famous Nakpil strip - the original home of Casa Armas is just a few steps away - SALA, from the outside, appears to hardly fit in the bohemian character of this place. Clean, straight lines of concrete and glass frame the entrance, but those passing by Nakpil are given a peek into it through its huge picture window - soft white lights, cozy seats, crisp linen. There are hints of green, crystal and silver. It’s a world that beckons, almost magical.
Indeed, SALA will surprise the first-timer. The appetizer and main menu is sparse (though this cannot be said of the spirit and wine list) but there is this palpable promise of one exciting dining experience ahead. Once the maitre’d unfolds the napkin on your lap, you’re in for a ride like no other.
The breads are crunchy and tasty, as expected. In fact, there is almost no need for the butter. There are touches of celadon on your table. La Vie en Rose is playing (standards that span the 1920’s to the 40’s are apparently usual here, and lends an air of rightful and appropriate sophistication to the place). The yellow light of the candle lights up the face of your partner. The San Pellegrino and the red wine perks you up.
The dining staff are the only people you notice (everyone else blends into the surroundings). They attend to your every need - promptly, graciously, and with that killer charm that seems to be characteristic of SALA and its sister restaurants (MAMMA on Nakpil, now sadly defunct, and People’s Palace two doors away). These guys were trained to please, yes. They are naturally concerned with you. Unobtrusive, yet they are quick to respond to your every need. They have this air of pride about them that they can sound haughty without even trying but I suppose it comes from that inner pride that arises from being a part of SALA, and everything that has made it what it is today.
With slim silhouettes created by black tight shirts and trendy flat fronts, they seem to be reminders that you’ve lost time in the gym, but heck. I’m here for the food, not on a guilt trip. I will live through this, hah!
To begin with, the tomato basil soup blew my mind away. I just had to keep quiet (I’m usually bubbly) and savor every spoonful of that rich, sinful concoction. My friend had double-baked soufflé - an awesome piece of art work on a plate but subtle flavors of which will make you want to invite everybody to PLEASE take a little bite of this, just to make them feel how it is to feel like swooning in pure pleasure.
The main course consisted of pork tenderloin on a bed of rhubarb and vin de rouge sauce, and duck ragout on homemade pasta, both of which you can always pair with a wine of your choice.
Ending our meal with cheesecake, glace, and fruit, all I can say is that SALA conjures up all forms of clichés - divine, delightful, amazing.
It’s one great experience indeed; something to regale friends with (think jealousy factor) even if you wish you could keep it a secret from everybody. In short, a SALA visit is truly something to always look forward to.