Tuesday, December 30, 2008

my son's quotable quotes

on his food : "ayoko ng masarap, gusto ko yung pinaka-masarap..." Ganun?

on asking him to speak in english :
"ba't ako mag-e-english, wala naman tayo sa America..." oo nga naman, makakarating din tayo dun anak...

on wearing seatbelt :
"mommy wag na ko mag seatbelt kasi naka belt na ako..." hmm pilosopo...

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Piolo, burnay, empanada, pizza and JAVA

What do you think they have in common? Well, I happen to experience them all in Ilocandia some weeks ago.

Here's Piolo, our calesa. Going to Vigan would not be complete without having a calesa ride, with your friendly mamang kutsero who’s willing to show you places in and out of their heritage village. You would see ancestral homes of famous people during the Spanish era, like Padre Burgos. The house of the Crisologo’s and of course Chavit’s Baluarte. It was also my first time to see how a burnay jars is being done. Burnay jars, locally known as tapayan or banga, was used for storage of water, rice grains, basi (their local wine made of sugarcane) and condiments like salt and bagoong (fish paste). It is also used in the fermentation of vinegar (their sukang Iloco or suka Baket), perfect sawsawan for their empanada and ukoy. Yum!

If you happen to crave Italian food while in Ilocos, you can spot this quaint café located just in front Paoay Church, the Herencia Café. They serve local varieties of pizza like pinakbet, dinardaraan (dinuguan), bagnet etc. The pizza tastes ok, it doesn’t really taste like pinakbet or dinuguan but rather it is like a vegetable or meat lover pizza from a famous pizza brand. I’m just intrigued.

While in Laoag city, Java hotel is the place to stay to be, this Balinese type hotel is just simply great. The whole structure
reminds me of a big bahay kubo, the hotel reception and lobby is open air, hotel amenities like swimming pool and gym is also available plus it has wi-fi connection everywhere.

This is not my first time to travel in Ilocandia, but I got to experience new stuffs what this region has to offer. Try it too!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Elsa's miracles

Finally, I got to watch the classic film Himala (on cable TV), by Ishmael Bernal which stars Nora Aunor, Pen Medina, Vangie Labalan and other artist whom i only recognize their faces but not their names. Funny thing is, I am here in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte right now and the film was shot entirely here and other nearby towns, especially in the sand dunes in Batac.

I got interested in this film not because I'm a Noranian but because it was in the news recently, it was awarded by CNN APSA Viewers Choice Award for Best Asia-Pacific Film of all Time. How’s that, huh?!? I'm not really a film critic and watching it for the first time, there was no WOW feeling for me. Maybe because I have already encountered real life stories like Elsa's story in the film, stories like those already happened in real life, maybe Judiel was inspired by this film. But I must say the actors' performances in this film were effective, they portrayed their roles well especially Nora Aunor who plays the lead. One particular scene that leaves a mark on my mind was the tight shot of Nora when they were having their funeral march, parang totoo. And of course, the part wherein she was delivering her speech to her town people, saying she was a fake, that there was no miracle and that we make our own miracles and those miracles happen inside us.

We often hear that famous line nowadays, as part of joke, or from stand-up comedians from TV or at comedy bars. I think why it won its recent award is because of the films simple message about life's miracles, it has a universal appeal. And that yes, miracles do happen.

Blogger out!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tita Roset

As my son fondly call her, is coming to our house for dinner. Together with her family, they will be travelling all the way from Manila. A Manilenia, she used to work here also in Pangasinan, a former job counterpart of my wife, then later on she was transferred to Manila due to their company re-alignment. And it's quite a while since the last time my son got to kulit her.

They will also be going on a road trip. From Manila, they will go straight to Manaoag, to the famous and miraculous Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine. Another tourist destination here in Pangasinan, it's a place where you can commune with your sprituality. From there they'll be going to Baguio. A doctor/friend of mine intoduced me to this Organic restaurant in Baguio, they only serve organic food, which i think its healthier, their fresh garden salads is a must try, brown rice, fresh lemon grass tea etc... everything is yummy! It is located along marcos hi-way in front of BGH, if you are coming from Manila you can spot it to your left just before going up in their newly built flyover. By the way, the restaurants name is Honey in the Rock, now i've found another reason for me to climb up to Baguio. :)

My wife and I went to market this morning to buy the stuffs needed for the dinner. We were planning to cook native chicken tinola for our soup menu, but sadly we couldn't find a live native chicken in the market, my aunt says the vendors (of the chicken) were not around, because they usually post just in front of her store. So we decided to replace the tinola with nilagang pata ng baboy, meat lovers would love this hmmmm... sabaw! Other menu on our list were inihaw na tilapia, ensaladang mangga with red eggs and pinakbet, and for dessert, we'll be serving buko pandan, which i am an expert in preparing it. hehe... writing this blogs' making me feel hungry.

And so they came, they ate and they left. It was nice seeing Tita Roset's family again. Thanks for the visit and see you in Manila when we get there! Sana nabusog kayo.

Blogger out!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

i'm going home...

How about a 3 hour zigzag road trip going to Baguio?

We left Isabela at exactly 9:30am the following day after our mascot's birthday bash. Me, together with my other three counterparts will travel back to Pangasinan, La Union and Baguio. The rest of the group is going back to Manila. This time we will be travelling on a different route, from Aritao town in Nueva Viscaya to Baguio City. The road sign says: 107kms to Baguio City. On a normal road condition, if you are travelling at a speed of 80-100km/h it would take at least an hour and a half travel. But in this case its a zigzag road from start to finish, all 107kms of it, not even a kilometer of a straight road, literally an S or even a SSS road, going up and down through mountain ranges. Travel time: more than 3 hours, and guess who's driving... yes, it's me.

It's an adventure, that's how I describe our road trip. The view was simply amazing, as if we we're in a different country already. Imagine this, layers and layers of mountain ranges covered with pine trees, and lush greens. Of course, we managed to pull over and took some snapshots. Pinoy eh mahilig sa picturan hehe. Too bad I don't have my digital camera with me :( camera ng cell phone na lang pwede na... and the strong odor of pine trees is a delight to our olfactories too! Oh, we also passed by the Ambuklao Dam, considered as one of the biggest dams in Southeast Asia. How's that for road trip, ei?

Arrived home at 5:15pm on that day. Nakakapagod, but definitely worth it, my eyes was simply delighted with great scenic views on that part of Luzon. Tara na, byahe tayo!

Blogger out!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I love my job, almost.

My job sometimes permit me to go places I've never been to, and yes it's free. Just recently we travelled to the province of Isabela (part of Region 2) for a product special event. A mascot having his(?) 2nd birthday bash, yes a mascot, a whale, a purple whale mascot. Take note its already his secondth, he was also baptized, he has godparents, and also celebrated his 1st birthday, yes it's true... but it's an effective way of marketing the product and attracting clients as well.

Getting there was an endless road trip. Good thing i'm just a back seat passenger this time, didn't volunteer to drive because i know its going to be a long trip, didn't sleep though, dyahe sa mga kasama sa car, especially to the driver who is also my job counterpart. Our road trip began in San Fernando City, La union wherein the our mascot also had his birthday bash the night before. Previous birthdays was also held in Metro Manila, Baguio and in Dagupan City. What a lucky mascot, all in all he's going to celebrate 23 times in all of other parts of the country, talo si Kuya Germs month long lang ang kanyang birthday celebration sa tv. :) Going back with the trip, we had a quick lunch stop in Urdaneta City, at our house, our food of course, was prepared by my wife and our house cook. Preparing for a group of 11 pips is a big task and fortunately they handled it well, we had the sumptuous lutong bahay meal ever. Not knowing, our next food stop will be 4 and a half hours after.

Pancit bagabag (kinda like the pancit hab-hab in Lucban, Quezon, nothing fancy), siomai, fresh baked buko pie and buko juice, was our next meal, this time the group was already somewhere in Nueva Viscaya, 2 hours drive more to Isabela. Suddenly I am now tired of looking at the mountains, I am now having a... haay when will this road end feeling. That needed break was a re-charger. Their version of buko pie was different from the buko pies of Laguna, it's thinner, smaller, but creamier and a lot tastier. It's somehow their specialty in that part of the region, a must try, pwedeng pam-pasalubong. Look for the G&B brand.

Finally, after almost 10 hours of road trip we reached our destination, Villa Diana Hotel & Cafe in Cordon, Isabela (you can check out their blogspot also). Along the way, we were thinking of having a dip in their swimming pool, to relax after that very long trip, but to our surprise, they don't have it yet! Under construction pa lang :( A hotel staff told us that what they have a river creek at the back of the hotel, which we can enjoy, upon checking the next morning, it was not inviting at all... murky waters, kiti-kiti, buwaya (joke!) etc. Yes, we're all tired (who's not?) Time to doze off after a bottle of San Mig light and a refreshing shower. Another birthday bash awaits the group the following day, pahinga muna.

Nairaos din, another successful birthday bash for the mascot. Kudos to the group, the next birthday schedule was in Lucena City in Quezon. Di na kami kasali dun, bahala na ibang grupo...

Blogger out!