to test


early trip to Chinatown

It’s almost Chinese New Year, and yesterday, I went there to shoot a signage. The place is already busy in preparation for the upcoming celebration. I’m looking forward to being there and taking part of the event! Meanwhile, here are some pictures I took yesterday, while eating a little at Polland, the famous sweets shop specializing on tikoy and hopia (though I don’t eat those two. I like their peanut bars, their ampao and ku chay, though!):

And my new favorite lumpia! My mom’s, which I was eyeing:

Lumpia is wrapped vegetables, and Polland’s includes chunks of chicken. Not having eaten anything the whole day, this lumpia, still hot, with sweet and hot sauce poured on top, was heaven!

The vast array of tikoy, and its wonderfully weird flavors, such as banana (far right):

This was the sign I was looking for. Some people idling away their time at the billiards place. At the corner of this (right side of the picture but not seen) is Savory restaurant. We ordered food and were waiting for it, hence the stop at Polland. When we got back to Savory, my aunt, the owner, was there. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of Savory restaurant. I love (who doesn’t?!) their chicken!



Literally dwarfed by an advertisement.



Had the chance to visit the Rizal Shrine at Calamba. Went around Rizal’s reconstructed house, and then crossed the street to check out the plaza, which housed a big melting pot.

 You could go near by climbing up the steps, and the place gives you a sweeping view of Rizal’s house and the Church where he was baptized.

I immediately went up, excited to take close shots of the monument. Upon climbing, though, I saw these:
pot 2

 pot 3

It’s sad that we can’t even respect, if not appreciate, the monuments we have, and it is perhaps even sadder that we can do nothing to fix these defaced monuments. Across, a councilor’s name is painted in big, bold letters, to indicate that he built the new structures in the plaza. Again, he couldn’t do anything to restore the monument, and to enforce proper discipline among the people.

When we were about to go home, we decided to stop and visit the Watawat ng Lahi, where a huge monument of Rizal and a tiny Bonifacio monument were placed. While taking sots, several kids ran up to us, asking us to shoot them as well. I asked them questions like “Why is Rizal standing on the bungo (skull)?” The replied, saying things like “Because there are insects which make you itchy inside the globe” and “Because people put it there.” I asked why Bonifacio was considerably smaller, and I got this answer: “Because he was born first and Bonifacio came next.” Funny kids!

rizal big

After that uphill climb to Watawat ng Lahi (a brief, probably less than 5-minute climb) which exhausted us because of its steepness, we walked down, rode another tricycle to the highway and asked him to drop us off at the buko (coconut) pie factory so we could buy some, and then went to the bus terminal to head back to Manila. But there were no aircon buses in queue so we stopped at KFC to freshen up, bought a sandwich and a drink, went out to just try our luck at hailing a bus at the highway, and became successful after around 15 minutes.

Loved the bus trip to and from Calamba; it rained hard. Every time we stepped out of the bus, luckily the rain ceased.

Rizal Shrine

A visit to Fort Santiago to see the paintings of several scenes in Rizal’s novel, Noli Me Tangere proved to b a worthwhile visit, not just for the paintings and the photos I took, but for the many things the place/experience yielded that day.

It was just a bit annoying at first since I went there on my own, and I got several comments from the men along the sidewalk, and even from the security guard at the front gate, whom I asked for directions! He was in complete uniform, garbed in the typical guardia sibil attire, and after giving me the right directions to the Rizal Shrine, sent three words on my way, as my back was turned on him. Really annoying! How do you expect on to take research and field work here in the Philippines seriously?

I can’t give pictures on the paintings as that wasn’t allowed, but I have several shots just outside the hall wherethe paintings are.


A translation of his famous last poem, Mi Ultimo Adios in Korean:
mi ultimo korean

In Chinese:
mi ultimo chinese

And the original:

And did you know this about the monument?

night and day

Last year a friend and I took some pictures of UST:



At night, last December, this is how it looked like:

night top

Beautiful, isn’t it? The quality of the picture isn’t great, I know, but I just love the night and day contrast.

late Chinese New Year post

coloured chicks

Poor little creatures dyed in different colors to attract people. Until now, I don’t know how they’re colored.


These were selling for 35 pesos per cage. Kids were holding these, and even adults, too.

caged 2

The lion dance:

lion dance

And when it was over, here they are, all snug in a pedicab:


The vast array of goods sold:


jade 2


A long line of calesa:


And a gesture of prayer and thanks for the new year: