Thursday, May 31, 2012

Peach Hibiscus

Hibiscus, Gumamela, Tapolanga

A rain-kissed hibiscus at a garden in Quezon.
With hundreds of hybrids, I have no idea what this peach Hibiscus is called. 

Linking to Nick's Floral Friday Foto

" A flower must remain with the sun and the rain or its lovely promise won't come true."
~ Ray Evans

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


While looking for a place to have lunch at the BHS Central last week, this menuboard caught my attention.  I have heard good things about Nolita's pizza...unfortunately, we were not in the mood for American food that day.  But I like this old-fashioned menuboard, anyway.

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

T/ABC Wednesday

T is for Tunnel

Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.
~ Martin Luther King , Jr.

Linking to Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday

Monday, May 28, 2012

Valenciana/Mellow Yellow Monday

A bowl of Arroz ala Valenciana  my brother cooked.   The glutinous rice turned yellow from turmeric.  Looks good, right?  It tasted even better.:p

Arroz ala Valenciana is a Spanish dish popular in the Philippines.  The dish consists of glutinous rice cooked in turmeric; the rest of the ingredients such as chicken, Chorizo de Bilbao, pork, chicken liver, green peas or garbanzos are sauteed in garlic and onion.  Garnish with bell pepper and raisins.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yellow Buttercup

Turnera ulmifolia, Yellow Buttercup, Yellow Alder

This yellow flower glows against the plant’s deep green foliage.  This beauty lasts for only a day but blooms sporadically all year long.  Turnera ulmifolia is a native to the West Indies and Mexico;  a perennial, dense, compact shrub that reaches 2 1/2 feet in height.   Grows well in containers and can be brought indoors for the winter in cold climates.

Beautiful flowers from around the world at Floral Friday Fotos and Today's Flowers

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This is my favorite cafe at Tiendesitas, a shopping complex housed in a 12 Maranao architecture-inspired pavilions.  Tita Lynn's ("Tita" means aunt) serves the best flavored suman (rice cake made from glutinous rice, cooked in coconut milk and steamed in banana leaves) in town.  They also serve hot chocolate, brewed coffee and the expensive kape alamid (or civet coffee), made from the beans of coffee berries obtained from the droppings of the civet cat, said to be one of the most coveted and most expensive coffee in the world.

 suman and hot choco---we didn't order kape alamid, too expensive!

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

S/ABC Wednesday

S is for silhouettes and a shimmer of colors at sunset.  A serene moment at the beach at twilight when the light becomes a soft glow and the sky is dappled with shadows.  When everything is silent as if nature is holding its breath just as I hold mine.  And the only sound is the gentle lapping of the waves that blends into the stillness inside me.   I cherish moments of solitude---its soothing silence is my refuge and source of strength.

"Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal.  If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others.  If I am estranged from myself, I am likewise a stranger to others." ~ Brennan Manning

Linking to Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday

Monday, May 21, 2012

A night at the CCP/MYM

Outside the CCP one Saturday night...admiring the fountain and lights.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, was created in 1966, and was formally inaugurated on September 8, 1969.  It has 4 resident dance companies including the Ballet Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, the resident theater company, while music is represented by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the UST  Symphony Orchestra, the Philippine Madrigal Singers and the National Music Competitions for Young Artists Foundation.  The building was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin.

 Join the fun @ Mellow Yellow Monday

Thursday, May 17, 2012


A South American native, the first recorded in the Philippines was Bougainvillea spectabilis.  The other species were introduced much later.  The genus derived its name from Antoine de Bougainville, the first Frenchman who crossed the Pacific.

Bougainvillea flowers all year-round here, but they're more prolific in the summer.  It is a woody climber that can grow to a height of more than 10 meters, with large thorny stems and long drooping branches.  Flowers are in group of threes, forming clusters.  Currently,  there are over 300 varieties of Bougainvillea around the world.   Numerous cultivars are cultivated in the Philippines, with single of multiple bracts, in varied colors of red, purple, pink, yellow, orange and white.

Leaves are used in folkloric medicine to treat a variety of disorders---from diarrhea, to reduce stomach acidity, cough and sore throat.  In Panama, an infusion of flowers is used as treatment for low blood pressure; crude extract of leaves is used in Niger for diabetes.  A decoction of dried stems is said to treat hepatitis.

Bougainvillea, Paper Flower, Bongabilya, Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd.
"The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it it shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly and struggles to the light amid the thorns." ~ George Santayana

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grandpa's Inn/Signs

An old mansion converted into an inn at the Heritage Village in Vigan City.  It's affordable and cozy, filled with antique furniture and vintage memorabilia.

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

R/ABC Wednesday

R is for a run-down hut in the middle of a rice field.  A rural scene captured on the way to visit relatives in Valladolid.  I imagine a farmer eating his lunch in this hut, relaxing with a mug of coffee after a grueling day, and resting his eyes on fields of green and gold, anticipating a good harvest.   I sometimes long for the rustic tranquility of a simple country life, away from the noise and haste of city life.  To be surrounded by nature's bounty and kind, simple folks is absolutely Arcadian to me---it rejuvenates the spirit.

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Monday, May 14, 2012


One of those rushed lunches again---I had a vegetarian panini with potato chips on the side at Icing's. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Red and Pink Hibiscus

Each day, awakening, are we asked  to paint the sky blue?  Need we coax the sun to rise or flowers to bloom?  Need we teach birds to sing, or children to laugh, or lovers to kiss?  No, though we think the world imperfect, it surrounds us each day with its perfections.  We are asked only to appreciate them, and to show appreciation by living in peaceful harmony amidst them.  The Creator does not ask that we create a perfect world; He asks that we celebrate it.  ~ Robert Brault

Hibiscus, Gumamela, Tapolanga


Wednesday, May 9, 2012


A drive-by shot on a Sunday morning---with the ubiquitous king of the road in the middle of an intersection.  Metro Manila is not Metro Manila without the jeepney.  Unsightly cables, a dilapidated building covered with all kinds of signs are perfect examples of an urban eyesore.  I wonder where the free parking was---I hope not on the roof top.:p

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Q/ABC Wednesday

Q is for Quesadilla

This was an afternoon snack I shared with a girlfriend at  Agave, a Mexican cantina,  a couple of weeks ago.  Quesadilla was first concocted in Mexico, and the name was derived from the Spanish word queso (cheese).  It is made of flour or corn tortilla filled with savory mixture containing cheese and other ingredients such as cooked meat, refried beans, avocado,  other vegetables may be added.  The filled tortilla is then toasted or fried, usually until the cheese is melted, folded in half to form a half-moon shape.   Crisp on the outside, stuffed on the inside with Mexican cheese and Ranchero sauce.  Served with sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo.  Yummy!

 Linking to ABC Wednesday

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fruits in season/MYM

It's amazing how many delicious fruits are in season on this very hot and humid weather.  It is the genius of nature that summer brings  us lots of fruits to keep us hydrated.  Fruits are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the skin from harmful, oxidating effects of the sun.  Sineguelas (Spanish plum), watermelon, macopa, duhat (black plum), Indian mango, durian are abundant in the market, but these two are my favorite---mango and pineapple.  Mango is a mainstay in my fruit tray.  Bought some sweet pineapple, green and ripe mangoes a few days ago...the green ones are now perfect with bagoong (shrimp paste); the ripe ones were eaten fresh, made into a smoothie and ice candy.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thai Gardenia

 Thai Gardenia, Gardenia gjellerupii, Gardenia tubifera

A rare Thai endemic plant, Gardenia gjellerupii has an erect yellow/golden fragrant flowers, never pendulous, the leaves are slightly velvetish. 

 The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself.  It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.  
~ Orison Swett Marden

 Enjoy beautiful flowers from 
around the world @ Floral Friday Fotos and Today's Flowers

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In this corner.../Signs

A drive-by shot last week in the Makati Avenue bar district.  Midget boxing in a strip club?  It's something I haven't seen yet!:p   

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

P/ABC Wednesday

P is for Papaya

The papaya (also known as melon tree, papaw, pawpaw) is a fruit of the plant Carica Papaya.  It is found throughout the Philippines but a native to the tropics of the Americas, and was first cultivated in Mexico.  It is a small, erect, usually unbranched, fast-growing tree growing 3 to 6 meters high.

Ripe papaya is a popular Filipino breakfast fruit; lemon juice is often squeezed over the flesh.  It also makes an excellent ingredient for fruit salad.  The fruit is crunchy when still not fully ripe---I dip it in either salt or vinegar, one of my favorite snacks.  Green fruit is used in making Achara (pickles), and an essential ingredient in Tinola, a Filipino chicken soup.  Green papaya fruit  and the tree's latex are rich in papain, a protease used in tenderizing meat.  Its ability to break down tough meat fibers was used for thousand of years by indigenous Americans.  It is now included as a component in powdered meat tenderizers.

papaya flowers
Papaya fruit has a laxative effect and a rich source of nutrients such as calcium, iron, Vitamins A, B and C and dietary fiber.  It has also many uses in folk medicine---from rheumatism to warts, dyspepsia, bronchitis, centipede bites to asthma.  Preliminary medical research has confirmed the potential contraceptive and abortifacient capability of papaya; seeds might contain antibacterial properties and may have effects  in toxicity-induced kidney failure and liver cancer cells. Papaya is also used in cosmetics and a popular whitening, anti-acne soap and shampoo.

Linking to ABC Wednesday