Thursday, June 28, 2012

White & Yellow Hibiscus

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. 
~ Marcel Proust

Hibiscus, Gumamela, Tapolanga

Beautiful flowers at Floral Friday Fotos and Today's Flowers
Join us!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Cafe Republiq at the Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila.
This cafe is facing The Plaza, a Mediterranean-themed indoor piazza naturally lit by a glass skylight.  This complex houses three hotels, a casino, restaurants, cinemas and a theater for live performances, and luxury brands I cannot afford.:p

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

X/ABC Wednesday

X is for Xiphosuran 

Xiphosuran is an anthropod of the order Xiphosura which includes horseshoe crab and other extinct forms.  I found this strange-looking creature at the shores of Snake Island in Palawan---it was the first time that I have seen a horseshoe crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicaudia), I didn't think it was a living creature.  I noticed the metallic look of its shell, thought it was a helmet of some kind.  When it moved, I thought it was sea turtle but when I looked closely, the shell resembles that of a crab.  Nobody can tell me at the time what this was called.  When I came home, I showed this image to my brother and he said it's a mangrove horseshoe crab.

Despite its name, horseshoe crabs are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than to crabs.  They live primarily in and around shallow ocean waters and occasionally come  on shore for mating.  Horseshoe crabs have no hemoglobin in their blood, they have hemocyanin to carry oxygen.  Because of the copper present in hemocyanin, their blood is blue.  Their blue blood is widely used in biomedical sciences for the development of drugs for diseases like mental exhaustion and gastroenteritis.

Considered by biologists as living fossils because they have remained practically unchanged in terms of shape and size for millions of years.  Fossils of horseshoe crab have been dated to roughly 450 million years ago.

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Monday, June 25, 2012

Balcony/Mellow Yellow Monday

From my archives--- at Santiago Bay, Camotes Island, Cebu, Philippines

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Purple Kamantigue

Kamantigue, Impatiens balsamina, Balsam

Clusters of purple Kamantigue after the rain.
Impatiens is a genus of about 850-1,000 species of flowering plants of the Balsaminaceae family; a native of India and now cultivated in all warm countries.  It is propagated through seeds.  Roots, stems, flowers and seeds are used in folk medicine.
  • In the Philippines, pounded leaves used as poultice to dissolve whitlow
  • In Malaysia, leaves used for poulticing broken and torn nails
  • In China, powdered seeds are prescribed for difficult labor
  • Flowers used for snake bites, lumbago and intercostal neuralgia
  • For contusion, painful inflammation, joint paints, carbuncles, dysmenorrhea: use dried flowers, or boil the entire plant and drink
  • Seed is an expectorant, used for cancer treatments
  • For external use on any bruise or painful area, crush fresh plant and poultice the affected parts of the body
  • Leaf juice used for treatment of warts
  • Root and leaves used for various foreign bodies---coins or other metals inadvertently swallowed, as well as thorns or fish splinters
  • In the US, the most common use of jewelweed is to treat poison ivy rashes

Our bodies are our gardens---our wills are our gardeners. ~ William Shakespeare

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fried Ice Cream/Signs

@ mirandablue
 What do you think of "Where Frying is Fun and Freezing"? 
A stall at the mall selling fried ice cream.

Join us at Signs, Signs

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

W/ABC Wednesday

W is for Water Buffalo

Popularly known as carabao or kalabaw (Tagalog), Bubalus bubalis carabanesis is a subspecies of the domesticated water buffalo.  It is one of the most important animals in the Philippines, especially in agriculture, being the farm animal of choice for pulling both a plow and the cart used to haul produce to the market.  For a Filipino farmer, a kalabaw is a faithful partner in life.

The water buffalo is indigenous to Southeast Asia.  Silent and docile, it is strong and a hard-worker.  Without sweat glands, it cools itself by lying in a waterhole or mud during the heat of the day.  Both male and female have massive horns, adults weigh 700 to 800 kilograms.


Until a few years ago, I didn't know there was a white [albino] water buffalo.  The gray/black species is commonly used in farming.  A friend told me that the albino is easily sunburned that they're not used in the fields but as a source of milk.  

It looks like the albino, indeed, has a much easier life.:p

beast of burden
A parade of hundreds of water buffalo in the streets of Pulilan town in Bulacan is held every 14th and 15th of May in honor of the town's patron saint, San Isidro Labrador.  You can see photos here

In the early 90's, the government established the Philippine Carabao Center.  It was created to conserve, propagate and promote the Philippine carabao as a source of draft animal power, meat, milk and hide.  Also to enable small farmers to avail themselves of a good quality carabao; encourage backyard dairy development in rural areas to reduce dependence on imported milk by-products; and increase the annual population growth of Philippine carabaos.

mother and child cooling off

Posted for Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday

Monday, June 18, 2012

Calesa/Mellow Yellow Monday

Calesa is a horse-drawn carriage introduced by the Spanish in the 18th century.  They are rarely seen in the streets nowadays except in tourist sites and some rural areas.  The calesa driver is called a "cochero".  I rode in a calesa twice in my whole life---first in Intramuros and in Vigan.  And I felt bad for the horse on both times!  

This was  taken in Tiendeditas, a shopping complex at Frontera Verde in Pasig City.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Red Pagoda

Clerodendrum paniculatum, Pagoda Flower, Norn Sawan (Thai)

Pagoda flower is an erect, open semi-woody shrub with large evergreen heart-shaped leaves and huge showy clusters of red-orange or scarlet flowers held above the foliage.  This beauty is a native to India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and much of southeastern Asia. 

In Thailand, leaves are used to relieve chest pain; flowers used to treat vaginal bleeding, inflammation from animal and insect bites, infection.  Roots are anti-malarial, carminative, used to treat tuberculosis and fever; stem has anti-inflammatory properties and used to treat centipede and scorpion bites.

Found this at the roadside in Culion Island.

Linking to Today's Flowers

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.  These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathways, the good they do is inconceivable. ~ Joseph Addison

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

sauteed corned beef with potatoes

I don't know about you but I am always hungry when I'm on vacation, especially at the beach.  I have always been a late riser that breakfast is either rushed or skipped.  But when I'm on vacation, I look forward to late, slow and heavy breakfast to get me going.

This was our breakfast when my friends and I were in Subic recently.  We had a 7-year old bodyguard---the corned beef omelet and Spam were prepared for her.  The fried tuyo was a special request by yours truly. Since mom's elevated BP in December, there has been a total ban on all kinds of dried fish at home as well as bagoong, and fish sauce---my mom's favorite side dishes.  

These were the answers to my salt craving.


Still smacking my lips thinking about fried tuyo dipped in spicy vinegar, fried rice and brewed coffee.  I know I should stay away from salty foods, and I am really trying.:p

the main attraction!

Linking to Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Singapore Daisy

Singapore Daisy, Sphagneticola trilobata, Wedelia lobata

Found this plant/flower growing wildly at the beach in Negros.  I didn't know the name until recently when I saw it as a ground-cover at a riverbank park.  The park caretaker told me it's called Singapore Daisy, and it is considered a weed.  A South American native,  it is now common in the tropical and sub-tropical areas.  Singapore Daisy is deliberately planted as roadside and embankment stabilizer.  It forms dense infestations along undisturbed edges of rainforests and coastal areas.

Linking to Floral Friday Foto

A weed is but an unloved flower. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox


 A bird sanctuary with special focus on conservation, research, protection and public education in the preservation of the Philippine eagle and its habitat.  

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is a giant forest raptor endemic to the Philippines---considered one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world.  Sadly, it is also one of the rarest and among the most critical endangered species.

 Linking to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

V/ABC Wednesday

Taal Volcano in Lake Taal
 V is for Volcano

Taal Volcano viewed from Tagaytay Ridge.  
Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located in Volcano Island in the middle of Lake Taal,  about 31 miles south of Manila.  Lake Taal, a freshwater lake, lies within the 25-30-kilometer caldera formed by very large explosions between 500,000 to 100,000 years ago.  Since the formation of the caldera, subsequent eruptions have created a volcanic island, within the caldera, known as the Volcano Island.  This island covers an area of about 9 square miles, and consists of cones and craters. Forty-seven different cones and craters have been identified on the island---one is Crater Lake, the world's largest lake on an island in a lake on an island, and it has its own small island, Vulcan Point.

Taal Volcano is one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines and part of the Pacific ring of fire.  Regular tours of the lake and Volcano Island are available to tourists.

 Linking to ABC Wednesday

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Yellow Walking Iris

This yellow beauty is Neomarica, a genus of 16 species of plants in family Iridaceae, native to tropical regions of Africa, Central and South America.  The genus  name is derived from the Greek words neo, meaning "new", and Marica, the Roman nymph.  The flowers emerge from what appears to be just another leaf, but it is really a flower stalk structured to look like the other leaves, and somewhat resembles Iris flowers.   It flowers all-year-round and the leaves stay green.  The flower is very fragrant but lasts for only 18 hours.
Yellow Walking Iris, Apostle Plant, Neomarica longifolia, Trimezia martinicensis

The yellow Walking Iris is a common ornamental plant here that is easily cultivated in the garden and as a houseplant.  In a natural environment, the plants will root into the ground and start a new plant.  In time, large clumps will spread in every direction, and the plant has literally "walked" its way into a new existence.

"We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we're not extending in the present." ~ Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blues bar/Signs

Signs on the walls of The Roadhouse Manila Bay, a blues bar beside the bay, where we accidentally walked in after dinner one Saturday night.  We were actually following where the music was coming from.  The live band played beautifully that we decided to stay.  My 21-year old nephew who plays guitar in a rock band was captivated.

Aside from wide-screen TV's, the walls were decorated with memorabilia.  This framed guitar is my favorite.

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

U/ABC Wednesday

Kulapnit Cave in Caramoan

U is for Underground

Exploring the underground is one of the activities I do with my friends when we're on vacation.  Caving or spelunking is often undertaken for recreation, which to my mom, is insane! Caves  are one of the last unexplored places on earth,  and some of the environments are very fragile.  I don't normally like enclosed spaces but spelunking is one activity where I conquer my fear.  Sure, I think about earthquakes and cave-in all the time when I'm underground but it's a small price I have to pay for an innate need to explore.  Living a relatively safe life, I guess I enjoy the element of danger exploring the underground---climbing or crawling is often necessary, squeezing through chasms and low tunnels, rappelling, swimming, negotiating steep or slippery passages make spelunking an exciting sport and physical activity.

Kwebang Lampas in Pagbilao
Spelunking is not necessarily a high-risk sport---as in all physical sports, knowing one's limitations is key.  Safe caving tips here.
our "lightman" in Kulapnit Cave
Linking to ABC Wednesday