Friday, August 31, 2007

What's Fer Lunch? Part 1

Abe at Serendra.

I finally had my first taste of Kare-Kare after (at least) a year! And let me just tell you it was great! Wish you were here!

Vic and I went to Abe (pronounced Abbey) at Serendra. It's a nice place owned by Larry Cruz (Cafe Adriatico). This was our second attempt to have lunch here and it was still crowded. To their credit, they did try to set up a 2-top table right by the reception area, which only made us look like your poor unwanted relatives you still have to feed but don't necessarily want to see. After two minutes of blocking the foot traffic and dealing with an overzealous air conditioner, we thought it best to just dine "al fresco".

Now let me just tell you, al fresco dining in the Philippines is less than romantic and atmospheric as you are probably used to. As soon as the food sets down, it's between you and the flies in 100 degree weather.

Along with the kare-kare we also had fried tilapia and lumpiang ubod. I've had better lumpia ubod, but overall a great meal.

And yes, I ate the fish head, eyeballs and all, and it was spectacular!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Crescent Moon Cafe

We visited the Crescent Moon Cafe nestled in the Hills of Antipolo which houses a restaurant and the pottery studio of Lanelle Abueva-Fernando.

It has a huge koi pond and lovely Flora and Fauna. We arrived in the afternoon just in time for some merienda, which, being in Antipolo, meant "suman" (sweet rice wrapped in banana leaf).

Antipolo is famously the home of the Church of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. If you were a good Catholic Filipino worth your salt, you would brave the traffic and winding roads up to the hills of Antipolo and visit this church before you went on big important trips (like shopping in Hong Kong). Story goes that the statue of the Virgin Mary was originally housed in another church down the hills but it kept disappearing and every time they would recover it nestled among the "tipolo" trees in Antipolo. So the villagers construed this as a message that they should build a church there. Or maybe they just got tired of the daily drama, search and recovery. (And to Neil, I say - no, this is not a case of a gay monkey who wanted a divine barbie to play with).

But I digress. The Crescent Moon Cafe was started by Lanelle's late husband. She also sells some of her pottery there including bowl sinks, teapots, countless plates and other tableware. Incidentally she's having a sale this weekend. Her sister, Wendy, an artist/architect lives next door in an equally interesting house with even more interesting plants and flowers.

The photo above shows the koi pond and a huge rambutan tree on Wendy's property.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Inflight Odors

Vancouver to Manila, Philippine Airlines PR107.

The final passenger count was 101. Which means a lot of empty seats. My sister recommended getting an exit row seat, which I did - #62H. This was fine until you realize that exit row seats are also next to the bathrooms which meant that you had a steady stream of people answering nature's call at 30,000 feet.

I switched to an empty 2-top (2 seats together) and was just settling in when a minty-medicinal odor came back from my past. I was trying to figure it out and it finally hit me - aceite de manzanilla (manzanilla oil)! I wonder which rheumatic manang unleashed this atrocious odor upon an unsuspecting public.

Aceite De Manzanilla, to the uninitiated, is an old homeopathic pharmaceutical that my yaya used to rub on my belly for tummy aches or on my forehead for headaches, or pretty much anywhere you get aches and pains. It's slightly more vile than it's pepperminty cousin - Tintura Arnica (Tincture of Arnica - go look it up).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's Today!!!

Macarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Light the candles, strike the band up!"

So I'm starting a blog about the rest of my life.
I turned a certain age and quit my job and now travelling and
trying to re-define myself.

This should be interesting. Abangan! (Stay tuned!)