Saturday, September 24, 2005

AVENIDA c. 2005

Avenida and C.M.Recto are very busy streets even at 6.30 AM! *yawns* So I whipped out my camera and started shooting :-)

This one's C.M. Recto Avenue. The lights are still on below the LRT Line 2 (Purple Line) tracks. Yonder beyond is the Recto station. The LRT Line 1 crosses the Purple Line at this point (see another overhead track on the top of the photo).

Peaceful Avenida Rizal. Even the vagrants are still asleep on the benches. You can see the rusting signage of AVENUE Theater. The color scheme of the buildings in this area are coordinated. It's a choice between blue, cream, and red. Alternately or something.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Manila is wallpaper* magazine's Travel Feature for October!

Thanks to Carlos Celdran for this happy news.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Fort Santiago's main entrance with the bas relief of Spanish patron Saint James (Santiago Matamoros) in wood

Paid the Walled City a quick visit yesterday to do business with BPI Muralla. Since I had to make the cab fly me from Las Pinas to Manila in an hour to catch the 3PM closing time(given Roxas Boulevard's monstrous traffic stops), I thought I needed a place to sit down and catch my breath.

There seems to be something new to see every time i visit this old place. This time, it's the burgeoning community of settlers lining the streets of Cabildo up to Calle Real. Signs of community activity are everywhere: sari sari stores selling cooked food, clothes hanging out to dry in gray decaying buildings, and tons of children on the streets!

Without the new street lamps (which are so out of sync with the poverty in this area), one actually has the feeling that you'd get mugged when you walk here at night.

The illustrious Ilustrado on Calle Real de Palacio

Nevertheless, I decided to meet up with very good friend Jerome of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (yes, the same guy who glares at me all the time from his blogspot) and we chatted over mocha coffee and sugar doughnuts (I declare, this has to be far better than Gonuts Donuts, the Philippines' version of Krispy Kreme. This, after all, is the doughnut of our childhood!) in Ilustrado.

What capped that afternoon escape was the puto bumbong, truly worthy of an Oprah Moment (gasps, hands on mouth, like how my girlfriends do it). Dipped in melted butter, fresh grated coconut and muscovado, it was heaven on earth!

The negative points for Ilustrado were the ensaymadas. While the cheese and ham was good (even better then the pre-war Dizon's in Ermita), the ube version was an abomination - it was like biting into a chunk of pen ink smothered in cheese. Never again but at Ps 15 apiece, why am I complaining?!

T'was a good Friday afternoon. Looking forward to my next visit.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Puerto Galera from the air

I've noticed that those who visit this blog are mostly kababayans who haven't been home for the longest time. Glad to know you still have the yearning to know more about the Motherland. I'm dedicating this official tourism jingle to all our kababayans abroad. Listen to the jingle here.

For the WOW Philippines website, visit here.

For video teasers of the Philippines, visit here. The Regine Velasquez video is also here, with a quick look at the new and very young Tourism Secretary from Cebu, Ace Durano.

Ikaw ba'y nalulungkot
Naiinip, nababagot?
Ikaw ba'y napapagod
Araw gabi'y puro kayod?

Buhay mo ba'y walang saysay
Walang sigla, walang kulay?
Bawa't araw ba'y pareho
Parang walang pagbabago?

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Kasama ang pamilya
Barkada at buong grupo
Para mag-enjoy nang todo.

Halika, biyahe tayo,
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

Napasyal ka na ba
Sa Intramuros at Luneta
Palawan, Vigan at Batanes
Subic, Baguio at Rice Terraces?

Namasdan mo na ba
Ang mga vinta ng Zamboanga
Bulkang Taal, Bulkang Mayon
Beach ng Boracay at La Union?

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Mula Basco hanggang Jolo
Nang makilala ng husto
Ang ating kapwa-Pilipino.

Halika, biyahe tayo,
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

From city to city,
Seven thousand and a hundred plus islas
Sa mahal kong Pilipinas
Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao ating puntahan.
Huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan!

Nasubukan mo na bang
Mag-rapids sa Pagsanjan
Mag-diving sa Anilao
Mag-surfing sa Siargao?

Natikman mo na ba
Ang sisig ng Pampanga
Duriang Davao, Bangus Dagupan
Bicol Express at Lechong Balayan?

Tara na, biyahe tayo,
Nang makatulong kahit pano
Sa pag-unlad ng kabuhayan
Ng ating mga kababayan.

Halika, biyahe tayo,
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

Nakisaya ka na ba
Sa Pahiyas at Masskara
Moriones at Ati-Atihan
Sinulog at Kadayawan?

Namiesta ka na ba
Sa Peñafrancia sa Naga
Umakyat sa Antipolo
Nagsayaw sa Obando?

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Upang ating matamo
Ligaya at pagkakaibigan
Kaunlaran, kapayapaan.

Halika, biyahe tayo,
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

Tara na, biyahe tayo
Upang ating matamo
Ligaya at pagkakaibigan
Kaunlaran, kapayapaan.

Halika, biyahe tayo
Nang ating makita
Ang ganda ng Pilipinas
Ang galing ng Pilipino.

Halika, biyahe tayo...
WOW Philippines...

LYRICS: Rene Nieva
ARTISTS: Lea Salonga, Sharon Cuneta, Freddie Aguilar, Rey Valera, Rico Puno, Joey Ayala, Apo Hiking Society, Ogie Alcasid, Janno Gibbs, Jolina Magdangal, April Boy Regino, Jessa Zaragoza, Paolo Santos, Nina and Rico Blanco of Rivermaya, John Lesaca, and Jong Cuenco

Saturday, September 10, 2005


At last, rest! To best appreciate the photos, you can click on each to see them in their largest size because the details are so much better that way. The challenge today was to make use of very few stuff as possible in order to come up with something functional, lovely, and cost effecient. I hope I made it to meeting the requirements! *crosses fingers*

The horse familiar to you? Yes, the famous horses that adorned hoods of Sarao jeepneys, which used to run on our roads. Sadly, Sarao Motors is no more, but the horses continue to be sought-after mementos by collectors. I already have 3 which I got in Sto Domingo, Pampanga. I'm still looking for more. Some of these will be converted into lamps soon.

Wonderfun sunlight through the misters.

I'm spending the weekend at The Mango Farm. We were in Dangwa last night to get flowers we needed to do centerpieces for some clients, whose weddings will happen in December and January.

I find this as fun because this is something very relaxing although the truth is, you'd feel the pain after. My poor soles are sore at the moment and I don't have Arcoxia with me. Sigh.

When the sun was setting, I caught the sun's soft yellow on some of the setups we made. I'm posting them here. All the rest were taken by M.S.

I'm also happy about how the centerpieces came out. I have to admit they do not look like wedding centerpieces, but how exactly are wedding centerpieces supposed to look like anyway?

Right now, typhoon Kiko is wreaking havoc on the farm but the lights are really wonderful tonight.


At The Mango Farm
September 10, 2005

Friday, September 02, 2005


Basilica Minore de San Sebastian: A gem of gothic architecture - Asia's first and only all-steel church

The Philippines may not have the ancient temples and palaces like those of its Asian neighbors, but it does have most of the oldest structures ever built in the name of Christianity in this part of the world.

Manila alone is host to dozens of churches earning for itself the title of CITY OF GOD. Travel with me as we visit these marvelous works of man built in the service of God.

Location: Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila

Description: This small, jewelbox church is the first all-steel church in the Philippines and in Asia; and the second in the world. Design for the church was finished in 1883 and was prefabricated in Belgium. the completely knocked-down church was shipped backed to the Philippines in 6 ships. It weighed closed to 50,000 tons while its stained-glass windows which are intact until now were done in France. The best time to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the church, its towering spires and stained-glass windows, is at dusk.

How to get there?: From T.M. Kalaw St., hail a PUJ bound for Quiapo and take another PUJ going to San Miguel. Get off right after the PUJ has come down from Ayala Bridge. A 10-minute walk going to the church.

Travel Time: Approximately 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Welcome to Intramuros' Fort Santiago!