Monday, November 23, 2009

Ongpin Street

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This busy street was named after Don Roman Ongpin, a Chinese businessman who staunchly helped the katipuneros fight the Spanish. He continued his support to our freedom fighters even until the Americans have arrived in our shore and displaced our former enemy.

Today, people from all over the metro brave the traffic and flock to this place to have a taste of what is considered the best and most authentic Chinese cuisine in the country. Those who are into glitz and glamour will not be disappointed with the wide selection of gold jewelries this commercial district has to offer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

La Loma Lechon

Touted as the lechon capital of the Philippines (this will surely warrant a lot of comments from our Cebuano friends), La Loma is a district in Quezon City where they prepare all these mouth-watering lechon (spit-roated pig). Mila's, Mang Tomas, Ping-Ping - some of the popular names when it comes to lechon baboy (and baka, manok.)

It's said that it was Mang Tomas who started this industry way back in the early '50s. At that time, Mang Tomas was only selling pork around his neighborhood. His house was in front of the La Loma Cockpit Arena. After a day's worth of betting, some of the cockpit fanatics would buy pork from him and ask for it to be roasted to serve as their pulutan (finger food that usually accompanies beer drinking). In the long run, he decided to just sell roasted pork. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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This photo was taken last month when my T and I went "touristy" in our own city. It was fun, you should try it. Anyway, I'm posting it today because the holidays are coming and maybe some of you are looking for a place to buy lechon or even a place where you can bring your balikbayan friends/family members. Trust me, its a very interesting place. Full of good food and rich history.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Xie-xie

Been a while since I last posted here. Somewhere along the way, real life (moved house, got married, et cetera, et cetera) caught up with me. Am just happy that things are slowly returning to its old way.
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Alrighty then, last Saturday my T and I decided to take advantage of the calm before the storm (Typhoon Ramil expecting to hit the northern part of country this midweek) and headed off to the Manila Chinese Cemetery. One bus ride and two train transfers after we finally reached our destination. We used the south gate as the one in the north is almost always close. We were greeted by two guards who, in a way, insisted that we use the services of a tour guide which was not really a bad thing considering the cemetery is about 60 hectares and the chances of missing the really interesting places was pretty high should we decide to wander on our own. Our guide was also a caretaker of the mausoleums inside. He's 62 years old and he (claims that he) was born in the cemetery (that totally freaked me out!)

Now for a little background: The Manila Chinese Cemetery is the second oldest in Manila and was the resting place of the Chinese citizens who were denied burial by the Catholic church during the Spanish occupation. It is considered the City of the Dead. Its mausoleums are lavish and come with almost all creature comforts that we know of (home furnishings, A/C, etc.).

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One thing I found weird was the altar of Buddha, the Virgin Mary, Confucius and other famous religious leaders. Some practitioners may find that juxtaposition a little strange but I think the subliminal message there was that there is no need for religious wars. (My apologies for the blurred image below. It was almost sunset and we were losing good light.)

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Admission fee: Free
Tour guide fee: Negotiable

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy 2009!

Wow. I can't even remember the last time I posted in here. Short of making excuses, allow me to say that I have been working on some "serious" project which took most of my time. One of my 2009 resolutions is to post more photos (at least before I leave for Europe on February).

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Most of the time I am out of town with only my camera to keep me company. Good thing the view is excellent and the weather (and lighting) is perfect most of the time. The photo above was taken from the Aeta village. It shows the first leg of the 4x4 drive en route to the jump-off of the mountain.

A little background: Mount Pinatubo exploded on 1991 - it was considered as one of the most violent explosions of the 21st century. It also made the Americans (finally) leave their military bases. Several years after, the Philippine tourism initiated a program to help the local community. They opened Mount Pinatubo for tourists - both local and foreigners. Today, tourism is one of the major industry in the Tarlac area (second only to producing sugar from sugar cane).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Childhood

Last time I posted here was some weeks ago. I hardly have the time to pick up my camera and capture images. I guess that's the reason why I'm posting these photos. I miss my childhood. The time when all I cared for was play. All I want was to have fun. Twenty eight years of existence may seem not too long but it can be tiring. And stressful.

I was checking my photo archive and the first image that I saw was this.

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A beaming little boy who was so happy because it was his time to be "up" -a time to fly.

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For some, it was a chance to see things from a different angle, another perspective.

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And for the rest, to just take it easy and smile. For the camera. And for life.

*all photos were taken at Krus na Ligas Park. Ann Pablo copyright, 2007*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Starting early

I took this photo while I was walking along Timog Avenue where some road constructions were being done. The little boy was trying to salvage the plastic pipes from the pile of debris so he can sell it later and buy today's meal.

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of my pet peeves. Missed chances in childhood are rarely regained later in their lives - childhood is that sole window of opportunity and development. Childhood poverty, even for a brief period of time, can greatly affect how they will live their lives. Studies indicate that poor health and life-long learning difficulties are strongly correlated with malnutrition in early childhood.

It will not come as a surprise if we see some of today's poor children as tomorrow's poor parents. Poverty can be passed on from generation to generation. Addressing childhood poverty is therefore essential for ending poverty and injustice around the world.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's a pet's world after all...

Halloween always bring out the inner child on most people. Now if those people have pets in their keeping, then one can expect a herd of well-garbed animals come this season. Yesterday, PAWS in cooperation with Eastwood City organized a grand Halloween costume party for children and their furry friends. It was a fundraiser which they called "Scaredy Cats and Dogs: Year 4". Proceeds is for the benefit of the PAWS Animal Shelter.

I actually wanted to bring my Patric (a Siamese cat) but we both realized that it will be much better for mankind if I just go by myself while he spoil himself silly in my bed. You know how cats are - you don't realy own them; they own you.

The event was well-attended by cute little tots and their four-legged pets all dressed up and made-up to impress. This photo is of one of the participants. Check out the sign she's holding. I thought it was really cool.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Food Fair

Saturday evening was spent at Eastwood City for QTV's Tara Let's Eat! Food Fair. As expected, there were scrumptious food everywhere with hundreds of buzzing people around wolfing them down in no time. I saw familiar food shops which I've been frequenting since I was in college like Green's Cafe (vegetarian and vegan food)and Friuli Trattoria (classical Italian cuisine). There were also stalls that I'm unfamiliar with like Kublai Rock (Mongolian Restaurant), Tofurrific (soy milk and other soy products), Tsoko.nut Batirol (local tablea chocolates), Delimondo and other cuisines both local and international. I was surprised to see The Artist Chef (Joan Manalang) in the event. She's an art director for a local advertising company, a painter and a cook as well and she does a perfect job of fusing art with good food to create an intimate dining experience in her small but cozy place in Makati.

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All in all, I'd say that the event was a success. I think it was nice that admission at the food fair was free and they threw in lots of freebies (an apron, two free bottles of flavored sparkling water, have your photo digitally printed at the YKL booth for free) and a raffle stub for their hourly draw. I was lucky enough to have my number drawn and so I now have a red (!) shawl in my closet:D

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Plus

The very few times that I take a taxi cab, I almost always end up having a verbal clash with the driver. At the height of the oil crisis mid-2008, the LTFRB had this "brilliant" idea of legalizing the act of some taxi drivers on asking for more money from their passengers especially during rush hour and heavy traffic.

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As indicated in the sticker, a passenger needs to pay 10 pesos more on top of what is indicated on the meter to "augment" the cab driver's "suffering" caused by the petrol problem. They are allegedly no longer earning anything because 1) they are stuck on traffic limiting the number of passengers they can pick-up, and 2) the price of gasoline was skyrocketing.

I was okay with the fare add-on at that time. I somehow understand where they're coming from, I think. What I can't fathom is the reason why these stickers are still on display and the drivers are still asking for more when in fact the price of gasoline has dropped. Will these stickers ever be removed? Shall I hold my breath?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No!

One of life's mysteries for me is that some things are not allowed to be captured in a camera. As an (amateur) photographer, nothing makes me more happy than to take a photo of a sweeping landscape, a majestic building, a macro shot of a flower, a candid smile from a friend or a stranger and share it to the rest of the viewing world. Whenever I go to Makati, I have to resort to using my point and shoot camera as its less visible to the evil eyes of the guards. Even here in Quezon City I always get a not-so friendly reprimand from the watchdogs the moment I lift my camera to take a snap shot of something interesting. What's up with that? Can somebody help me understand?

Anyway, I took this photo at the La Mesa Eco Park (where its obviously fobidden to do so) in the spirit of defiance.

How about you? Did you ever take a "forbidden shot"?

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Seeing double

I love my glass window. It always provide me with visually stimulating images such as this. This was taken just after a brief downpour. At first I thought it was your regular rainbow, with the regular set of colors. But as I focused my viewfinder more closely, I noticed on the left a second, dimmer, and thicker secondary rainbow. It was caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops. Notice that the colors of the secondary rainbow is reverse that of the primary one. It lasted only for a minute or two but it was unforgettable.

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Its times like these that I am reminded how beautiful life is.
Its images like this which make me grateful for being alive.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Santa baby

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Here in the Philippines, Christmas (un)officially starts on the 1st day of September. Absurd as it may sound, it is common to see houses now being adorned with parol (christmas lanterns), wreaths and christmas lights. Major establishments and malls start playing christmas carols and one's own village start posting ads for their own christmas bazaars. The Philippines, arguably, have the longest Christmas celebration ending up until the Feast of the Epiphany on the first Sunday of the following year (!).

And as if that's not enough, this little shop I found has all the christmas decors you can think of on display with the obligatory christmas jingles playing on the background (which plays ALL YEAR ROUND, by the way). Whoa! When I visited the shop, there were several people purchasing fake snow(?) and some reindeers for their garden. I will never understand that, but hey, if it floats their boat, right? By the way, the shop is called Lane Crawford and they're located at Timog Avenue cor. EDSA.

Have a great Monday everyone :D

Saturday, October 11, 2008

And so it is: Adidas King of the Road 2008

Posting this an hour and a half after I crossed the finish line. Yes, I survived :) With a pace of 9:30, I'd say its not bad for someone who's nursing a bad knee.

The event was very much well-attended with over 5, 000 runners from all shapes and sizes proudly donning their race bib and out to test their limit. There were very young sprinters and there were some senior racers. The tough ones joined the 21km race. Weekend warriors like me opted for the tamer 10km. The rest went for the 5km.

Anyway, I took this photo a few minutes just before the race gun was fired. Geez. These men have hairy legs :D

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Enjoy your Saturday, people.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Carbo-loading


I usually blame my active lifestyle for my insane consumption of everything starchy. Especially now that I have several races to finish this year, it is common to see me glut on bread, noodles and all the carbohydrate staple you can find in the food chain. As I am writing this post, I am halfway through my second bowl of pesto pasta. And yes, its my breakfast.

Tomorrow will be the Adidas King of the Road. I will run and finish it and then dash off to the closest bakeshop and buy myself some bread, just like those cute little pastries in the photo. By the way, those were from Bread Talk - one of my favorite haunts in the baking universe. They serve delightful goodies for all.

Anyway, I wish for a good weather tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll make it to the finish line without passing out. Cheers!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Krus na Ligas

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Being a former resident of Krus na Ligas, I find it appropriate to give a little information on this popular area around the UP campus. Legend has it that during the occupation, a Spanish soldier passing by the village asked one of its inhabitants for the name of the place. Since the soldier was gesturing towards a poison ivy tree (locally called ligas) where an old chapel stood (and still stands 200 years after), the local thought that the Spaniard was asking for the name of the tree. He answered Krus na Ligas and the name stuck on to this day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

All in a day's work

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Posting late today. I just got discharged from the hospital due to severe abdominal pains. Anyway, I saw this while I was on my way home. I can only imagine what the owner of the bike does with all the curious things attached to his two-wheeled companion. That's all for now. Cheers!

Monday, October 6, 2008

QC Trivia

I know what you're thinking, "That's obviously not taken from Quezon City. That's Taal Volcano for crying out loud!". True. So, what is this image doing in this blog?

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Did you know that sometime in 1936, the Department of Public Works and Communications of the Commonwealth government, under Secretary Mariano Jesus Cuenco, suggested Tagaytay to be the seat of the national government?!? At that time, they felt that Manila as a capital was becoming too congested for administrative functions. So they recommended the transfer of the capital from Manila to Tagaytay(!).

Former President Quezon rejected the idea as he thought that Tagaytay, which he referred to as "the city by the ridge", is a place for tourists and vacationists. He felt that it is more of a weekend spot for public officials, businessmen and the middle class.

In the morning of September 27, 1939, the President with some cabinet members and some assemblymen, visited Diliman. There he underscored the “necessity of early approval of the charter of the proposed city in Diliman site.” Later, Assemblyman Ramon P. Mitra (Mountain Province, 2nd district) would father a bill for the new city's creation. In his bill, the city was called Balintawak City.

More trivias to follow. Enjoy your Monday! :D

Sunday, October 5, 2008

His Art, Our Heart

Quezon City has very good museums. They may not be as enormous as those found on other parts of the world, but they do provide interesting collections. The other day, I visited the Vargas Museum to look at some of the works of the country's first National Artist, Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (1892-1972). The exhibit, entitled Capturing Anxieties: Amorsolo, His Contemporaries and Pictures of the War, is part of a four month, multi venue exposition of his works collectively called His Art, Our Heart.

I must admit that I only think of paintings of idyllic landscapes (just like the photo I posted here - Rice Planting, 1943, oil on canvas) and portraits whenever his name is mentioned, the Vargas Museum exhibit showased his works depicting the Philippines as a wartorn nation, under the Japanese during the second world war.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Muses

Created by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, the Siyam na Diwata ng Sining (Nine Muses of Arts) was to represent the muses of the theatre, literature, architecture, painting, sculpture, dance, music, film and the computer arts. This wonderful piece of work is located at the College of Arts and Letters in the UP Diliman campus. I am posting a photo of it with only five of them. This was taken from just under the shade, right about on the middle to showcase the trees as well as the sky.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

UP Acad Oval

The recently implemented "One way Acad Oval Scheme" has generated mixed reactions from the UP community. According to Dr. Cynthia Gregorio, vice chancellor for community affairs, the one way scheme was the initial phase in the implementation of the UP Traffic Management Plan. Under this plan, the university oval was divided into two lanes: the outer lane for motor vehicles and the inner lane to serve as a bike lane. Its goal is to lessen the volume of vehicles passing through the campus thereby reducing pollution and risks for the students.Most of the jeepney drivers are against it as they need to spend much more gasoline going in circles just so it won't violate the one-way policy. And since the buildings inside the campus are not necessarily close to each other, the passengers (students) end up spending more time before they can reach their next class. On the other hand, some preferred the change as the oval doesn't look like it is in such a mess as when the two-way scheme was still implemented.

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I personally like the new scheme. As a runner, I now feel more comfortable doing my usual rounds under the shade of enormous acacia trees with jeepneys coming only from one direction.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

High Art

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Named Specific Gravity, this huge suspended boulder is sure to make you stop on your track and ponder for a while, circle around it or play with the dripping water from the big rock supported by three metal posts.

Sculptor Reg Yuson (shown in photo: pony-tailed, long hair/white shirt) believes that art is supposed to initiate thought. So when you look at that big rock, it is really more about you (the viewer) than it is the about the boulder (the subject). Its goal is to make the looker think how he is connected to his surroundings through his relation with gravity.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Theme Day: Lines

This photo was taken from the inside of University of the Philippines Ang Bahay ng Alumni. I just like the way the colors of the stained glass provide an attractive and dramatic contrast to the bell tower outside (on the lower left). These colorful windows at the front provide lighting at the assembly hall and main corridors at daytime. At night, they are backlighted by several metal halide lamps making it a beautiful directional sign especially during social affairs.

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By the way, its the monthly theme day. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Almost but not quite

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The boy scout monument that I have blogged here before is almost finished. It is interesting to note that they have added a life sized figure of the city's first mayor, Tomas Morato. Its like he's watching over the diners and on the restaurant district of the city. Very nice touch. I just wish that the entire monument gets done real soon. It will really ease the traffic in the area.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Make her cry with joy

Survey says that women love flowers, probably up there with the shoe addiction. It may not be Valentine's Day nor her birthday, but if you do decide to surprise her with a bunch of lovely flora, please do consider the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation, Inc. Located at the corner of Quezon Avenue and EDSA, it offers a wide array of flowering and fruit bearing plants. Herbs, seeds, pots and other gardening needs are also available should you wish you to cultivate your green thumb.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

You've been warned

When I took this photo, the boy's parents were not with him. He seemed not to care, though -oblivious to the the danger that may happen if he take a few more steps towards the bank. All he wants is his catch for the day.

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I know its raining and that this photo is not exactly about a gloomy, gray day but I was hoping that this will somehow brighten up your day. Anyway, I'm heading to Kawayan Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas for a little education :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Holy!

Here's another Quezon Memorial entry. This one is aptly called the "House of Worship". Its one of the bas reliefs that one can see from the outside of the shrine. It was installed in the 1980's, but with the looks of it, needs some overhauling real soon. When I took this photo, there were several men fixing some of the other broken parts of the monument. I hope they don't forget this one, too.
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Anyway, I am posting this to show that the city is composed of people with different religions. Although the majority of the population is Roman Catholic, the Protestant, Iglesia ni Cristo, Islamic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses faith are well represented here among other religious denominations.
Its a Wednesday and from where I sit, it looks like the rain will not stop. Stay dry :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Slumber Power

Found this one inside the UP campus. It looks like someone's body clock has been messed up with all the schoolwork (or excessive partying, perhaps) that he/she just paint-sprayed his frustration on a wall hoping that it will cure his/her insomnia. Or maybe its intended for another person who is the reason why he/she is still up. Whatever the case may be, I felt a cosmic connection to the poor person who did this. I have been and still is agressively battling the worst jetlag I've ever had in my entire life. They say that recovery time is usually one day per time zone but 10 hours of sleep after a week sounds unhealthy to me. Didn't mean to gripe. Blame it on sleep deprivation. Anyway, I hope all of you are well rested.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Under

Sixty seven years after the cornerstone of the Quezon Memorial Circle was first laid, the first underpath was constructed from the park to the city hall. It was named after the current mayor, Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.

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When I took this photo, there were very few people down there. Maybe its the lack of sufficient lighting that scares them off. Or maybe, they'd still prefer the thrill that is brought to them when they run for their lives when crossing the main highway. Admit it or not, Pinoys are not exactly popular on following traffic and pedestrian rules. Its a Monday and I hope you all stay safe on the road.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Clumsy?

I don't know about you but I always have the inclination to point my camera towards the funny and bizarre. I saw this signage while traversing the inner belly of Quezon City.

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I'm not sure if its the owner's name but I do hope its not a description of how they do things right there.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Quezon Memorial

Back from Paris. Its been a while since I last posted here. Allow me to kickstart my photoblog again with a photo of a water reflection of the Quezon Memorial.

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The late President Sergio OsmeƱa created the Quezon Memorial Committee after the second world war. Its first task was to hold a nationwide contest for architects and artists to submit for a design of monument and resting place for Quezon - the first Commonwealth president and Osmena's predecessor. Federico Ilustre won the competition. The monument- 66 metres high- is located right smack in the center of the park. Its height was chosen to represent the age of late president at the time of his death (of tuberculosis while in exile in the US during the World War II). Looking closely, you can see three mourning angels each holding a sampaguita garland, sitting on top of the big pylons with their parallel wings pointing up. The angels stand for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao - the country's three major group of islands - while the three-sided base was said to represent birth, life, and death. The three angels were made by the Italian sculptor Francesco Ricardo Monti.
Have a good weekend to all. Cheers!