Month: May 2014

The Unique Charm of the Hundred Islands

hundred islands, a totally different adventure
hundred islands, a totally different adventure

Having close encounters with the Taklobo or Giant Clams, colorful corrals and vibrant schools of fish are the highlights of my recent journey to the Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan (a calm and peaceful province north of Metro Manila).  I was so glad to have the opportunity to snorkel in the deep blue waters (of the Coral Island) in this portion of the Lingayen Gulf.  I have been a couple of times to this gorgeous protected national park and I am glad that the islands were still jarringly beautiful.

I really like the fact that it would be very difficult for people to stay overnight in the islands because there are no luxurious room facilities available in these islands which would tend to spoil, destruct and deteriorate the natural splendor of the place.

Among the more than 120 islands of the park I think only four are allowed for tourists to stay overnight.  People who would want to stay overnight would only have to settle on pitching their own tent/s and pray that unforgiving heavy rain won’t fall and gust of viscous wind won’t blow during the night.  Otherwise, it would be some messy, muddled and shambolic escapade.

with lambert, jun and willie
with lambert, jun and willie
now, how can you construct toilets on those islands? aber!
now, how can you construct toilets on those islands? aber!
my magic shot of jb...
my magic shot of jb…
those rickety pump boats are not for the fainthearted
those rickety pump boats are not for the fainthearted

Some two-legged squeamish finicky creatures may actually say and declare that they hate the park due to its inadequate or lacking in facilities – like drinking fountains, toilets, luxurious restaurants, air conditioned huts, high-class smooth sailing speedboats, etc. – in the islands.

But for me these add up to the unique charm and appeal of this Philippine tourist spot.  It totes up to the rugged virginity of the place.  This makes you feel that these harsh islands remains to be untouched, unexplored, undamaged and indeed intact.  That the environment and its ecosystem is nothing but ‘natural’.  So when you’re in the Hundred Islands, simply embrace nature’s beauty and expect the unexpected!  Besides, that’s what fun is about!!!

Hundred Islands is not a fluid, easy and relaxing type of an escapade.  It is for the rough, tough and jagged type of an adventurer.  This distinct characters of the Hundred Islands makes me love and fancy this erstwhile Philippine tourist destination.

Kakaibang adbentyur… di pwede sa lelembot-lembot…


Super Love Super Love

The mighty Dami Army must be very happy today.  This is because today is the day the fresh new single of Dami Im has been released entitled Super Love.  Being a self-confessed member of the Dami Army (I follow her in Facebook), I myself has excitedly been looking forward to this new super upbeat of a song.

The message is positive, the tune is catchy, the singer is remarkably charming and talented.  What I particularly like about the fun and fabulous video was the diversity of human race that was featured being touched by a super hero played by Dami who chants “nothing can bring us down, we got the super love”.  While my favorite line of the song would be, “I wanna breathe you in and never breathe you out”.  That is just boom brilliant!!!

This song will definitely be the constant tune inside my house for the next several days! Super Love it!

Katulad ng palaman lang sa tinapay, Spred da Super Lab!

A Painting In Corregidor

the guns... one of the popular fixtures in corregidor
the guns… one of the popular fixtures in corregidor

About two weeks ago while having a quiet weekend breakfast with Nengkoy, I learned that my family have close affiliation to that of the historic Island of Corregidor.  During this peaceful breakfast, Nengkoy told me that her mother (Lola Teray) actually lived and inhabited the island of Corregidor for a considerable amount of time.

Nengkoy told me that Lola Teray (though was born in Naic, Cavite) lived with the rest of her family in Corregidor when the island was still under the control of the Americans.  In fact, Nengkoy’s eldest sister (Aunt Lydia, who is now based in Canada) was born there.  She also told me that Lola Teray and the rest of her family was living at the Bottomside of the island where Barrio San Jose was located.

Three Sundays ago, I got the pleasant chance to again visit Corregidor.  It has again been an enlightening tour and visit.  I learned from the tour guide that since the island was controlled by the Americans, Filipinos born in Corregidor in the past are given the option of either being an American or a Filipino citizen.  How cool is that!

The competent tour guide however raised that at present the island is no longer inhabited by anyone and is already preserved because it has been declared a National Shrine.  Thus, there is no longer called a newly born Corregidor-ian.

But what truly moved and startled me was when I saw a rather small framed painting hanged on the wall of the Pacific War Museum (the last stop of the tour before heading back to Manila).  Surprisingly, the prolific piece of art which I never noticed during my first visit was actually painted by no less than my late Uncle Dante.  The younger brother of Nengkoy.  This further confirmed that indeed, somewhere in the marrow of my bones can be found my affiliation to the Island of Corregidor.

a street in early corregidor by dante romasanta
a street in early corregidor by dante romasanta

Painted in 1960, the painting depicts the life of ordinary citizens of Corregidor and the usual dealings of the locals with the Americans prior to the horrific World War II.  It’s a representation of a social drama which imbibes a superlative story telling skill through the usage of oil pigments and genius strokes of the brush.

At first sight the painting may seem chaotic.  But at a longer glance, it actually presents a mantra of noisy energy contained by discipline, freedom and order that is miraculously held together.  This I suppose is the glory of this painting.

super proud!
super proud!

I thought I would surprise Nengkoy about this immense discovery during that breakfast.  So when I told her about my finding Uncle Dante’s painting, she simply told me that she has known about it all along.  And that she has long been immensely proud by this artistic feat achieved by his beloved brother.

Super prawd pamangkin hir!!!

A Fierce Little Woman: A Mother’s Day 2014 Special

We don’t get to pick our mother, but if we did, I still would have chosen Nengkoy.

My spirit of self-sufficiency has come largely from my mother.  Her generosity, resilience and sense of humor got my siblings and me easily passed through from bad times when we were kids.  And now these are the qualities I try to offer my own nephews and nieces.

happy mother's day nanay...
donya lang ang peg mo dito

I have always believe that Nengkoy has the sweetness and chicness of Barbie yet possess the heart and strong-mindedness of Joan of Arc.  This Mother’s Day, let me honor Nengkoy for being such a fierce little woman!

O, taray diba?! Happy Mother’s Day Nanay…

Osaka Food Porn & My First Sazae Experience

Call if favoritism, but I would like to believe that Osaka Prefecture is the culinary capital of Japan.  This is the main reason why I gained so much weight!  When in comes to food,  Osaka has yet to fail me.

With my limited exposure to the dashing and colorful culinary world of Japan, I have been so fascinated by the colors and taste of lovely Osaka.

To prove my point, here are some awesome photos of food taken right at the streets of Osaka.  The mere stunning looks of these digestibles already produces mild sense of euphoria.

IMG_5296 (1350x1800)

IMG_5301 (1800x1350)

IMG_5304 (1800x1350)

IMG_5306 (1800x1350)

IMG_5309 (1800x1350)

IMG_5317 (2000x1500)

IMG_5318 (1350x1800)

IMG_5303 (1800x1350)

IMG_5315 (1800x1350)

To add up to such already fascinating feast for the visual sense, I went further by becoming more adventurous.  This is because I tried for the very first time a Japanese delicacy called Sazae or the Turbo Shell.  At first, I was just fascinated on how plenty it was being sold on the side streets, until I set aside the wussy in me and urge my niece Erika to try it for ourselves.

step aside escargot... sazae is here...
step aside escargot… sazae is here…

Sazae is a big sea snail (as big as that of Dyesabel’s “kabibe”) cooked by directly grilling the shell with its meat inside.  A little amount of liquid is poured inside the shell that is why it boils the meat while being grilled.  Sazae is totally different from the usual French escargot, the latter are land snails while the former are deep sea snails.

otosan plating our order
otosan plating our order
sazae... a palatal encounter!
sazae… a palatal encounter!
IMG_5337 (1350x1800)
my first sazae…

When I picked the meat out from the shell, I must admit that it was pretty gross looking.  Upon seeing it, I thought of eating and swallowing it quick the Fear Factor way, but I gave Sazae a chance since I planned to blog about it.  I chewed on it and try to savor the palatal treat.

My first Sazae experience  was not something like reaching the pinnacle of pleasure.  It is because its taste was something to be used to.  It is of the salty-bitter kind.  It would be more of an acquired taste that would eventually grow in you.  I guess it would be best if guzzled and washed down with a sparkling wine or an ice cold beer!

Ang kabibe kaya ni Dyesebel kapag ginataan, masarap?