I am @keto_sa_kanto

Reason behind my not being too active in this blog is because I recently launched a new Instagram account. Since it is basically been a challenge on keeping in ketosis and determining what acceptable meal to eat is such a chore and undertaking, I decided to stylize, beautify and might as well take photos of these eats and post it on Instagram.

Let me then reveal that I am @keto_sa_kanto!

keto_sa_kanto if translated in english is “keto at the corner”

my recent instagram post!

What is so amazing about this new Instagram account is that it is slowly gaining popularity.  My 7-year old personal Instagram account that chronicles a cornucopia of stuffs, from travels, to food to friends and other highlights of my being a being, has only so far garnered 301 followers.  But my 1-week old @keto_sa_kanto account has already 125 followers as of this writing!

give me flowers! cauliflowers!!!

Follow me at @keto_sa_kanto and see what I have been eating!

Cloying Made Me Do An Exciting Keto Meal

Cloying is a word.  The arrogant in me thinks that only few Filipinos know this word.  If translated in Filipino it is “nauuta”.  It is the sickening feeling you have when you already consumed large doses of super rich eats (like belly fat meats, heavy cake icings or crazy butter-laced sweets).   It is so nauseating, you feel like your head is growing and it will just burst anytime!

At this stage of my being on ketogenic diet, I think I am in the cloying period.  I am starting to get so gutted out by the limited food selections that I have to make.  But the irony and dilemma is that I don’t want to be kicked out of ketosis.   

Espousing on the basic thought of finding a silver lining in the midst of a difficulty, I decided to make my keto meal today a very exciting one!  I instead took time to stylize its plating and took tons of photos of it.

Let me start with my lunch today.  It’s my recipe but it’s Nengkoy who did the heavenly-delicious pickled shallots…

Grilled Rosemary-Marinated Pork with Spicy Mustard, Fresh Cucumber Slices and Nengkoy’s Pickled Shallots

My afternoon snack (and my final meal today) is even more exciting.  Thanks to Joe Duff, the Diet Chef for the Choco-Coffee Mud Cake recipe…

yum!

Choco-Coffee Mud Cake topped with Choco-Peanut Butter and Sweet Fresh Strawberries (Who doesn’t love the mix of strawberries & chocolate inside the mouth? huh!)

I totally enjoyed stylizing these! If not for my crazy cloying, I would have not done this.  Expect more of stylized keto meals in the future…

‘Yan ang mga nagagawa ng mga taong, NAUUTA!

Flat Iron Soul and My Nutty Imagination

I purposely went to the Flat Iron when I revisited NYC.  Luckily, the hotel I stayed at after my Washington DC adventure was within the Union Square area which was a short walk to the Flat Iron.  While walking my way there, I promised and have set my loony mind that I will write an inspiring blog post about how I felt and how I experienced seeing the iconic building.

But upon reaching the area and seeing again the celebrated building after 4 years, I could not think of something awesome to say about how I was feeling.  Maybe it was because I was too overwhelmed that I start imagining things.  One thing that I stupidly expected while gazing into the beauty of the superstar structure was the sudden appearance of Spider-Man at the side of the building sprouting out his web and would sway out to a nearby building.

can’t believe i shot this!

emote…

love this shot!

Since I could not seem to shift my brain to such a silly thinking, I instead took photos of the Flat Iron and just simply promised myself that I will post my photos in black and white.  Now, I am doing that, I am expecting to somehow unleash the deep character of the building.  

Besides, most people now take photos in color to show the beauty and aesthetics of their subject, but few would photograph their subject in black and white so as to show and feature how the soul and spirit of their subject would look like.   I hope I achieved that though these photos.

posing with the plantsa! 🙂

Akalain mo, may kaluluwa pala ang plantsa!

Took 2 Days to Cross the Brooklyn Bridge

I wonder if all people who crossed the iconic Brooklyn Bridge timed on how long it took them to do it.  Did they took them only a couple of minutes because they were riding a bicycle or was too anxious and scared about the old bridge’s integrity and wooden floor planks  above the roaring traffic below that they walked and crossed it too fast? Or did it took them an hour or more because they want to relish and savor the moment and took so much photos of the star structure that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan?

My crossing the bridge actually took me two days!  It is so weird because I was never lost and went adrift when I was in more complicated routes around the world like the El-fna medina in Marrakesh, the Old City of Jerusalem and even going around the Uchisar settlements in Cappadocia.  But identifying where the entrance and starting point of the Brooklyn Bridge promenade strangely became a frustrating challenge and struggle. 

It is so exasperating because I basically went around the whole Brooklyn downtown area the whole morning from Brooklyn Heights Promenade in the south to walking the whole stretch of Furman Street in the east to reaching Dumbo area in the north and walking again the whole stretch of Jay Street in the west.  Yet, still the starting point of the promenade seem to conceal itself or veiled its appearance for me not to uncover.  It felt like I walked all throughout the whole Brooklyn yet the promenade entrance was no where to be found.  I actually started wondering if the entrance has already transferred to faraway Queens! And by late lunch time, feeling so hungry, so tired and frustrated, I saw York Street Subway station and decided to go down it and head back to my hotel located at the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  It was in other words a failed attempt.

But on the second day of my bid, I carried with me an enough amount of fortitude and determination and left behind in my hotel tons of stupidity which I seem to have brought so much during my first and initial attempt.  And to quote the great Margaret Thatcher, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it”, I spotted with so much ease the entry point of the Brooklyn Bridge promenade on my second venture!

And since it took me more than the usual to step into and walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, I spent the whole morning there doing nothing but taking photos of the bridge, the people and the nearby sites while savoring the little success and victory that I just had!  And because of such an experience, Brooklyn Bridge for me is more beautiful as compared to how others would see and perceive it.

Iniiwan talaga dapat ang ka-shungahan sa bahay!

An NYC Revisit

I don’t know, but having to travel out of my country makes me feel like I won a prize.  Do you? And one of the best prizes a traveler could get is a trip to vibrant New York.  This is my second time in this city.  Yet, the feeling of exuberance, enthusiasm and delight is so the same.

And though I have been to numerous spots of NYC during my first stay, I again revisited these hip and beautiful sites!  I return because it would feel like you would not completely gone to NY without revisiting these spots again. 

And from my not-so-humble assessment, these sites remained to absolutely be so fascinating.  The thing I felt when I returned did not changed when I compare it during the first time I visited.  It is still absorbing, enthralling and appealing.  My return reaffirmed and reinforced the feeling I had during the first time I visited.  Thus, those feelings were never a fluke and were simply validated. 

Now I wonder how New Yorkers feel when they go out of their city and visit a different spot on the planet.  New York is so vibrant and beautiful, it raises a question in me if they can feel the same way I am feeling when they go out of their city?

Are they already so hard to please? Or since the threshold of their feelings of awesomeness is already so high, do they always feel bland, shortchanged and blunt about the boredom they bear towards a different place they visit?  Or do they have to go out of Earth and visit a different planet for them to feel what I am feeling?

While contemplating on these puzzling questions, here are a couple of photos I took during my revisit to these amazing NY spots…

inside the federal hall

rockefeller center

ny stock exchange

charging bull

central park…

the grand… grand central

me and the flatiron

Ang pagbabalik!

Castillo De Chapultepec

A castle is the last thing I am expecting to find when I decided to tour and visit Mexico City.  But expect the unexpected because I found Chapultepec Castle or Castillo De Chapultepec which is also unexpectedly located in the middle of a very huge park, the Chapultepec Park.  This park is so big, it is even bigger than the famous Central Park of New York City.    

The funny thing is, while roaming around the castle area, I am reminded by a number of things and I am telling myself that I have seen such place in the past.  And then I realized that this was the place where some scenes were shot in the 1996 movie Romeo & Juliet starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes.  It was the set of the Capulet Mansion in that movie! 

The castle has been home for different purposes throughout its long history.  It has been a military academy, a presidential home, of course the royal residence, as well as an observatory.  Now it houses Mexico’s National Museum of History.      

It is the only castle in North America ever actually used as a royal home.  It was the residence of Emperor Maximilian I and his wife Empress Carlota.  And during such time, it was still considered to be in the outskirts of Mexico City.  This emperor then wanted to connect his castle to the main city.  He then ordered the construction of a road so as to link it to the energetic city.  That road now is known as the bustling and affluent Paseo Dela Reforma. 

paseo dela reforma

 The construction of the castle started in 1775 and in 1806 it was purchased by Mexico City’s municipal government.  It was mostly abandoned during the Mexican War of Independence.  But it rose to prominence again with the story that is probably the most famous event that has taken place in that castle, the Niños Heroes (or Hero Children). 

Niños Heroes are six Mexican boys who defended the castle against the U.S. soldiers invasion of the castles in September 13, 1847 during the bloody Mexican-American War.  These boys are now permanently honored throughout the grounds of the castle through massive sculptures, artifact exhibits and a commemorative mural painting.  

Besides the beauty of the castle itself, there are lovely gardens and grounds.  You also got fantastic view of the city and the park’s surroundings.  And since it is now the National Museum of History, there are also historical artifacts, exhibits and furnishings that I really enjoyed seeing.

Chapultepec Castle caught me in such a big surprise, that it is one site that I would recommend seeing when in Mexico City.  It was one lovely and surprisingly enriching visit.

Mapapa-biba Meksiko ka sa ganda!

The Spectacular Teotihuacan

One of the beautiful highlights of my recent trip to Mexico was my visit at the magnificent ruins of Teotihuacan.  It is about an hour bus ride from the modern-day Mexico City.  And because there are massive information available online on how to get to these ruins by commute, I decided to do the adventure by following the instructions indicated on various blogs and web write-ups.  I could have simply joined a tour group but as usual, I challenged myself. 

courageously doing a commute at the bus station armed with a lot of things

I learned from my first few days that majority of Mexicans do not really speak English.  Thus, before I left for this ancient city, I armed myself with adequate internet data, the proficient Google Maps and reminded myself the simple steps to communicate, i.e. (i) speak English slowly; (ii) drop the articles as they only cause confusion; (iii) repeat the main concept two or three time; (iv) gesticulate; and, (v) smile a lot.

Teotihuacan was really overwhelming!  And based on various write-ups, no one knows who built this humongous ancient city.  It was so old that it was already in ruins before the ancient Aztecs were able to discover this old puzzling metropolis.  In 1987 this ancient city was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.  And since it is so close to the modern-day Mexico City, Teotihuacan has been the most visited archeological site in Mexico. 

on my way to the pyramids via calle de los muertos

pyramid of the sun

strike a pose! it’s one of the largest pyramids!

unbelievable! I had to pinch myself!

cleverly called… the avenue of the dead

mysterious!

i need to have a selfie! on top of the pyramid of the moon!

photo taken from the pyramid of the moon

i love this shot!

What for me is so cool about Teotihuacan is how spots in this ancient city were named and labelled.  Mexicans’ naming of the interesting places of Teotihuacan gave it more appeal and character.  Whoever tagged or named the places inside Teotihuacan are so smart and imaginative.

And since the term “Teotihuacan” meant as “the birth place of the gods” or “the place where men turns into gods”, it is but fitting that this ancient city has the Pyramid of the Sun (the third largest pyramid in the world) and the more gracious-looking Pyramid of the Moon.  There was even a location that is sensationally called the “Temple of the Feathered Serpent”! 

feeling happy & feeling blessed! pyramid of the moon at the background…

will definitely not forget this adventure

The coolest actually was how the main road leading to the pyramids was called.  The central 2.4-kilometer main road is called Calle de los Muertos or “the Avenue of the Dead”.  So when I was walking on this runway, it felt dramatic! I felt like I was being transformed by some creative spirit from being a human being to some sort of a god!  It was really amazing! 

Teotihuacan, built hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, will remain a mystery.  Little is known about its first inhabitants and why this magnificent place was later abandoned.  Whatever is the mystery behind the ruins of Teotihuacan, it remain to be something so pleasing and imaginative.  Its mystery definitely adds up to its awesome charm. 

Ispektakular! Ang galing!