Monday, November 19, 2007


...Badjao children start attacking jeeps with their drums, dances, and crumpled dirty envelopes with "MAAWAPOKAYO sa mga Badjaos" scrawled in front.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Aircraft models. Photo by Dylan Gozum, 2007

“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Was waiting for a bus home when I noticed the warm lights coming from the Manila Central Post Office's fountain. It changes from green to yellow to hot pink adding life to the stoic facade of the building. This place is always full of people because FX and bus rides to Las Piñas, Sucat, Alabang and other places south of Manila all come from this area.

It is sad, however, to see the squalor that has slowly returned to Liwasang Bonifacio, the park fronting the Post Office. Several of the swings and huts already have entire families living in them. Several parts of the park have lost its grass cover and floods during light rains. Some of the statues of Ifugaos have lost legs and arms. Some are already totally broken. I hope that authorities take a second look at this place because good money was spent in sprucing it up during Atienza's time.

By the way, anybody out there who knows what happened to the original four (4) globes that acted as this place's fountains before?


Finally had the chance to visit this place which my friends have been raving about. SOMS Noodle House is all about Thai food - delicious, fresh, and just like in many places in the kingdom, eaten on the street. The owners have been renting this series of apartments on Alger St. in Makati City and have made the street right in front of it - the sidewalk to be exact - the restaurant. How this was made possible by the city government is beyond me, but that's not what we are here for now, are we?

SOMS' kitchen is a one apartment affair and it looked really crampy and magulo (see photo below), but it seems to work for them. It's a family affair with Ilonggo women acting as manager and servers. SOMS also used to have a branch on N. Garcia, but this has been closed already. They are due to open a new branch somewhere in Katipunan, hopefully a full-service resto already. SOMS is owned by Parinya Pauamadiolok. former chef of Sukothai. His parents used to serve the Royal Family.

Al fresco dining is the order of the day. Some tables have umbrellas and lighted by bulbs like that above. Some are on the street itself.

Thai milk tea. So far so good. They come in these refillable plastic water bottles.

Pad thai! But I think I will just eat this once a year. Too heavy on the tummy but a meal in itself. Anyhow, I really don't know anymore what is a good pad thai. I have tasted many versions already. Sorry, but I have no good photos of the soup, Tom Yam Goong.
I loved this salad. It has huge shrimps in crunchy greens with a delightfully light lemon sauce.

And finally, the traditional Thai dessert: mango and sticky rice. The tartness of the mango (yep, it isn't sweet) goes very well with the sweet sauce of the sticky rice.

HOT TIP: SOMS does not accept reservation so you have to come early, usually before the usual meal times of 12NN or 7PM so you do not have to wait for a seat. Anyway, if you need to wait to be seated, order ahead. Be firm with the server girls. They are too busy to even notice you, but good things come to those who wait. See you there!

5921 A. Alger Street
Poblacion, Makati City

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Was in Tagaytay City many many weekends ago to attend a house blessing. During a lull, I decided to explore the vacant lots around the village and found these pretty little things. It's lovely how even the tiniest of wild flowers can be so beautiful when seen up close. Please forgive my sorry attempts at macro. I'm just starting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Was at the Salcedo Weekend Market last month and I was on the lookout for fresh lumpia to add to my Search for Manila's Best Lumpia. This is the 3rd lumpia to be featured. This particular stall makes them on the spot as you wait (as with the other fresh lumpia shops). The ingredients have been pre-cooked but still warm. This is sold at PHP 35 per. Goes well with fresh buko juice (but don't buy from the stall right across it. Their young bukos are totally tasteless).

There's a mixture of veggies (was that a hint of parsley?), crush nuts, and fried vermicelli to add crunch to what otherwise would be a usual fresh lumpia.

The wrapper is not particularly special. Just your usual mercado or supermarket wrapper.

C'mon, dig in! You know you want to!


The City Hall Clock Tower is Manila's most visible landmark outside of Intramuros. You can see it from miles around, towering over the landscape.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

CAS Bdg., UP Diliman (Photo by Dylan Gozum, 2007)

"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.” - William Allen White

Friday, November 02, 2007


In memory of those who have gone ahead of us.

Note to Estan: This is the Hydrangea sp. It is grown in Tagayatay as well. The really good ones (deeper hue) are imported from Bangkok. In Luzon, they call it the Milflores.