Thursday, August 30, 2012

Desert Rose

Desert Rose, Adenium obesum

The Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) is a striking plant with swollen succulent stems and deep red flowers. The plant is deciduous in cooler winters, but it can be kept in leaf provided there is sufficient warmth and light water. There is no part of these plants that doesn't command interest, from the dramatically swollen stems on older plants to the bright flowers to the tight clusters of narrow, green leaves. Beware, though, the sap of the Desert Rose is poisonous and should never come into contact with children or pets. If you get sap on yourself while handling the plant, wash your hands immediately.

Adenium belongs to the genera Apocynaceae, which is native to Africa, the Middle East and Madagascar. The Desert Rose (A. obesum) is the only Adenium found in wide cultivation, although it has been hybridized extensively to obtain different flower colors, including orange, white, striped and the traditional red. 

 Risk-taking, trust, and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. Without risk, nothing new ever happens. Without trust, fear creeps in. Without serendipity, there are no surprises. ~ Rita Golden Gelman

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Signs @ Intramuros

"The Crazy Nun"

Old and new store signs I spotted along Plaza San Luis across the San Agustin Church in Intramuros.  

La Monja Loca (The Crazy Nun) is a few years old,  a store "dedicated to the promotion of all things good and all things Filipino, from vintage postcards and traditional handicrafts", according to its website.  They also sell rare books, traditionally-woven fabrics, paintings of local artists and a bunch of quirky things.

Next door is The Papier Tole Shop---one of the oldest shops in Intramuros selling recycled paper products from dolls to 3-D paintings.

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

G/ABC Wednesday

@ Fontana Leisure Park

G is for Grotto

In a predominantly Catholic country like the Philippines, a grotto is a pretty common outdoor garden feature in residences, resorts, parks and even caves.  Many Filipinos are Marian devotees and most of the grottoes here have the statue of the Blessed Virgin.

@ Mambucal Hot Spring

A grotto (Italian grotta, French "grotte") is a type of natural or artificial cave that is associated with modern, historic or prehistoric use by humans (Source).  It is often a small cave near the water and often flooded or liable to flood at high tide. 

Many grottoes around the Philippines are believed to be miraculous.  Devotees and the curious travel to visit grottoes especially during Lent.
behind the Salawag Parish Church
True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself. ~ Henry Miller

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Monday, August 27, 2012

Yellow boat/Mellow Yellow Monday

A yellow outrigger at the Coron Youth Club (CYC) Island.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pink Dwarf Poinciana

Caesalpinia pulcherrima (thanks, Andrea, for identifying this flower), 
Dwarf Poinciana, Flame Tree

I have posted the red-orange Flame Tree here, and was delighted to see the pink variety at the park last weekend.  Red-orange, yellow and pink flowers adorned the hedges and were swaying gently with the breeze.  These vibrant blooms brightened my day!

" Everything you need is already within you.  The beauty of life is that your destiny lies always in your hands.  The time has come for you to step up and be great!" ~ Pablo Valle

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Eid'l Fit'r/Signs

August 20th was declared a regular non-working holiday in the Philippines in celebration of the Muslim holiday Eid'l Fit'r (Feast of Ramadhan). The Muslim population in the Philippines is between 5% to 9%, mostly concentrated in the Islamic provinces of Mindanao, southern Philippines.  Saw this tarp mounted near the Quirino Grandstand in Manila last Saturday. 

Linking to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

F/ABC Wednesday

This is my 12-year old niece, Jaysel, framed in forked branches at the beach of the famed Punta Bulata.  This fledgling model lost her footing and almost fell into the water.  Clearly, the stub of the coconut tree was not a favorable stage to strike a pose. :p

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Misquoted/Mellow Yellow Monday

 Yellow banners along Roxas Boulevard to commemorate Ninoy Aquino's assassination on August 21st.  Printed on these banners is "Filipinos are worth dying for" but what Ninoy Aquino actually said was "The Filipino is worth dying for."

Inspired by the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree", allies of Ninoy Aquino tied yellow ribbons around Metro Manila in August 1983 when the former senator was returning home to the Philippines from the US after years of exile.  The gesture was to show support, and as a sign that they still believed in him as a leader to oppose the Marcos dictatorship.  After Ninoy's assassination on August 21, yellow was adopted by the opposition as their color.

 Linking to Mellow Yellow Monday

Friday, August 17, 2012

Exotic Enchanter

It's not that you should never love something so much that it can control you.
It's that you need to love something that much so you can never be controlled.
It's not a weakness.
It's your best strength. 
~ Patrick Ness

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kilawin na Isaw

Another one of  my cousin Mark's pulutan specialties---Kilawin na Isaw (pork intestines).  An uncle butchered a pig during a family reunion, and Mark was assigned to take care of the pulutan.  I never had Kilawin na Isaw in a long, long time.  For obvious reasons, I prefer not to eat this dish when I don't know who prepared it.  What my brother said years ago is forever etched in my mind---baka galing sa Araneta Avenue yan! (LOL)  

This was a hit to all beer drinkers in the family including yours truly.  My mom and an aunt needed to be reminded of their uric acid levels.

For the adventurous, here's how Mark prepared this kilawin:
  • Pork large intestines were cleaned with lime and salt to eliminate odor and thoroughly washed
  • Then boiled in ginger and lemongrass for 10-15 minutes, drained and washed in cold water
  • Boiled again with ginger, salt and pepper until pork intestines were tender
  • Sliced (bite-size) and mixed with onions, ginger, unripe tomatoes, coconut cream and coconut vinegar (black beans, pineapple chunks are optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Hot chili peppers (optional)
  • Garnished with crushed salted peanuts and raisins (adding raisins was my idea :p)
  • Chilled
If you're not into pork intestines, you can use pig's ears and cheeks.:p


Join foodies @ Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Neon Sign

A bar and billiard hall near my old office.  They serve yummy pizza and ice-cold beer, and you can also sing on stage!  My co-workers and I had lots of fun in this place after work.

Linking to Signs, Signs

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sailing/Mellow Yellow Monday

On a day
when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a

~ Rumi

More yellows to cheer you up @ Mellow Yellow Monday

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tecoma capensis

Cape Honeysuckle, Tecoma capensis

Taken one late afternoon when this fiery beauty was beginning to fade.

"It's sad to grow old, but nice to ripen." ~ Brigitte Bardot

Vacant business/Signs

A sign of bad economy?
I haven't seen "Disco Pub" signs since the 80's.
@ Culion Island, Calamianes

Linking to Lesley's Signs, Signs

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

D/ABC Wednesday

D is for Durian

No visit to Davao is complete without eating this famous fruit, Durian.  Visitors often eat it on a dare.  The odor can be overwhelming---I had an urge to puke as the aroma hit my nose.  But the rich, sweet flavor, silky texture and consistency are unforgettable, even indescribable. 

Durian is eaten by hand, like jackfruit and marang.  Fresh durian is available in the markets all over Davao City, and it is widely known in Southeast Asia as the "king of fruits".  The edible flesh emits a distinctive odor, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact.  This is one fruit that you cannot eat in secret because the whole neighborhood would know if you're eating durian---they can definitely  smell it! Some people, like my mother, find durian fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting.

Durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio and the Malvaceae family.  It contains high amount of sugar, Vitamin C, potassium, a good source of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

British novelist Anthony Burgess writes that eating durian is "like eating raspberry blancmange in the lavatory".  While Anthony Bourdain, a lover of durian, describes his encounter with the fruit---"Its taste can only be described as...indescribable, something you will either love or despise.  Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother."

Pregnant women and people with high blood pressure are traditionally advised not to eat durian.

a vendor preparing our Durian
 I eat durian every chance I get.  I have also tried durian candy and durian ice cream.  Durian season in Davao starts in August until October. 

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Monday, August 6, 2012

Multicolored bancas/MYM and BM

Multicolored bancas and a hut in Coron Island.