Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Night Breather In Nuvali


The end of a semester of work can be celebrated with a respite. We found it in Nuvali in Santa Rosa, Laguna. It's not really about the structures and establishments or about all the branded food found there. It's more on the sceneries - seeing the sun set on the west and the expanse of the night sky which reminds me of UPLB grounds. It's a fond recollection, that Nuvali visit. Good foos. Coll night wind. And a recent work accomplishment. A cheers to ends.

Free Admission to the National Museum for the Whole Month of October

As part of its celebration of the Museums and Galleries Month, the National Museum has declared free admission to its various galleries for the whole month of October 2012. I will be sharing here soon my experience of the National Museum since my elementary school days.

Food for the Trails: Chef Mau Restaurant in Liliw, Laguna

  * Chef Mau Restaurant, Liliw, Laguna

* plates at the ready!

A fine eat in a fine town. There were just few cases when I was so starving that my next eat proved to be more than satisfying. That was the case when we visited Chef Mau Restaurant and Catering Services in Liliw, Laguna, famished after two days of work in Magdalena, Laguna.

 * designs inside Chef Mau Restaurant

Chef Mau Restaurant may be situated in a rural place but their menu is superb. No rural scene can hide that. The place is conducive for small or larger groups. But for a big company, one may opt to make reservation first (see contact details below). The restaurant itself is native in style, built mainly from of wood and decorated with native arts and designs. Cozy I may say.

  * dishes to look forward to in Chef Mau

Their menu includes specialties on pasta, pizza, sandwiches, cakes for the common stomach. For those who are in for finer eats you’ll have seafood selection, chicken and fowl, salad and vegetable dishes, pork and beef, among others. But as have been suggested to us, we requested for the stuffed eggplant with pork sausage. Man, it was terrific to taste. I just hope I got the name right as I have missed taking note of it. In any case, you’ll see the photo of the dish accompanying this post.
 * the gang after an hour (or more) of feasting

[How to go to Chef Mau Restaurant: For this who are now interested to try it out, Chef Mau Restaurant and Catering Services is found along the road leading to the town of Magdalena, Laguna. If you board a jeep in Liliw town proper bound to Santa Cruz via Magdalena, just ask the driver to drop you off at Chef Mau. For inquiries you may call and/or text these numbers: (049) 573-6290, 0915-9267824, 0917-5071798, 0921-4948226.]

An Afternoon Walk in Liliw, Laguna

* the Liliw Coliseum; where cocks go to fight
* a statue of San Sebastian (was he being executed in this scene? I wonder),
one of the many statues of saints found along the streets of Liliw and Magdalena
* the street leading to Liliw town proper

After the weekly activities we once had in Magdalena, Laguna (will post about them soon) the neighboring town of Liliw was our usual stopover to take a breather and replenish our bodies lacking in sleep. 
* the (once?) building of the Rural Bank of Liliw (or Lilio), Inc.
 * the seal of the rural bank: Rural Bank of Lilio, Inc. 1953

 * capiz and more capiz windows

* a statue inside a gazebo-like structure inside the ground of Liliw Church

But, as always been the case, walks enable longer time to see most of a place which could not have been possible when one is inside a vehicle. It also helped me to know that there are still more old houses and structures I am yet to document in this town. I have seen most of them, particularly along the more prominent Gat Tayaw Street, but I learned that there are others, tucked in narrow streets that form most of the town proper. The result of our walk is not in any way exhaustive. A revisit is in order. But when is yet to be determined.

An Afternoon Walk in Candelaria, Quezon

Candelaria, Quezon is an inexhaustible source of historical and cultural treasures. Such treasures do not need to be found in history books, but the town itself speaks of its past.

 * the ever resilient capiz windows

 * afternoon shadow: Pransisem walking through
a narrow street in Candelaria town proper

* Candelaria Public Market
* a Church of Christ building

* a house found along the highway; I am yet to figure out the origin/s
of the design you see in the photo;
it is basically the same design found in the old San Pablo City Hall,
an old house in Gil Puyat, Manila; among other places;
I strongly suspect that this is from the American Period

The houses of the town are my constant joy and so one summer afternoon I found it pleasant and conducive to talk a short walk and see again those beautiful houses. But besides them, the more recent fixtures are also testament to the changes that the town has undergone in the past years. The market, the road, all these form part of the town, its character and past. This may be a random post but as I have realized (again) just recently, travels (in this case walk) are infinite source of new information and experience.
 * a relatively old house in the town proper
 * a kid flying his kite near beside a river
 * a gathering darkness in the highway
* antennas and antennas

Still, what remains to be seen in this town is its old Valle Tower. If any chance reader knows it, kindly send in a message about it. I’d be more than grateful for your help.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ernesto ‘Ché’ Guevara on Travel

In rereading again Jon Lee Anderson’s “Ché: A Revolutionary Life”, it brought back again an unsettling awareness on the concept of travel. At the close of what Ché called as his Argentine “raid” – which was a short tour on some of the towns in Argentina – he reflected:
“In truth, what do I see?”...“At least I am not nourished in the same ways as the tourists, and I find it strange to find, on the tourist brochures...the Altar of the Fatherland, the cathedral where the national ensign was blessed, the jewel of the pulpit and the miraculous little virgin of Río Blanco and Pompeii. ...

No, one doesn’t come to know a country or find an interpretation of life in this way. That is a luxurious façade, while its true soul is reflected in the sick of the hospitals, the detainees in the police stations or the anxious passersby one gets to know, as the Río Grande shows the turbulence of its swollen level from underneath.”

And such reflection still holds until today, when the words ‘tour’ or ‘travel’ would only denote luxurious vacation resorts or pompous shrines. Travel, in my view, must involve the whole anatomy of a place – from the high-rising cathedrals to the people who make their living on the streets. Together they form a compact soul (as Ché have termed it) for a visitor to know and understand.

We must no longer be confined to the sanitized views of tourist shades.

Photo Credit / Reference: Jon Lee Anderson. “Ché: A Revolutionary Life” Revised Edition. New York: Grove Press, 2010.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Century Park Hotel, Manila

Not that I actually checked-in in this particular hotel. But ever since I was able to attend different conferences it has always been a pleasure to roam the lobby areas (I usually call them “free areas”) of different hotels. And Century Park Hotel was no different. My visit was in connection with a conference organized by the institution where I currently work.
I am no expert when it comes to these kinds of establishments. But what has always attracted me is the cozy atmosphere that these lobbies create. The woodworks always do their job. Add to that the restaurants that occupy most of the lobbies (read: good food). 


And as I was not really focused on getting details about the hotel (but merely on admiring the different fixtures), you can go to the hotel’s website by clicking here.


[How to go Century Park Hotel, Manila: From the Gil Puyat LRT Station, you can either 1) board the LRT and drop off at Vito Cruz LRT Station; the hotel is just a few streets away from the Rizal Memorial Stadium or 2) hail a taxi at Gil Puyat LRT Station; fee will range from 30 pesos to 100 pesos.]