Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ati-atihan in kalibo 2012, part 3

The Infant Jesus is the central figure of the Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo, and some folks go all out in showing their devotion.

Monday, January 30, 2012

ati-atihan in kalibo 2012, part 2

The Ati-atihan Festival lasts for a week. This year, it started on Monday, 9 January 2012 and culminated on Sunday, 16 January 2012. My favorite portion is always Saturday morning, after all the tribes go through the judges' station and then literally flood the streets with color.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

ati-atihan in kalibo 2012

Kalibo's Ati-atihan Festival: Often imitated, but never equaled.

But what is it, exactly? Well, first and foremost, it is a pilgrimage. Although Ati-atihan (literally, pretending to be ati, a Negrito ethnic group of Panay Island, hence the blackface make-up) dates back to pre-Hispanic times, when the Holy Roman Catholic Church invaded the Philippines in 1521, the Spanish friars took over our existing feast days and that's how these pagan-Christian festivals came about.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012




Happy birthday, Hot Tuna!

the other side

A few years ago, I thought about taking up kiteboarding because it looked so cool. But I keep putting it off because it looks like hard work to me. Or is it? My former diving friends are now kiteboarding friends, and they seem to be addicted to it.

When old scuba diving instructors retire, they take up kiteboarding.

Diablo flies a kite.

And away we go!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

book two

I just finished reading my second book this year, The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory. This is the third Gregory novel I've read-- first was The Red Queen followed by The Other Boleyn Girl-- and by happy coincidence, the events in the books are chronological in the order that I read them. I mainly chose them because of the pictures on the covers. What can I say, I'm a sucker for pretty colors.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

shocking asia

Dinner at Nomama last December was a very pleasant surprise shock.

At first, I wasn't sure that I wanted to eat there. In August of last year, it seemed like all the food bloggers in Manila had been to its soft opening. Everyone and his high school classmate's third cousin's sister-in-law were talking about it. 

Him Uy de Baron in his open kitchen. It's nice to have so many friends.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

assorted edibles 2

Before we go to Kalibo a few days from now, hopefully to take lots and lots of pictures of the Ati-atihan Festival, I thought I'd organise my 2011 photo files. So here's some more stuff that I put in my mouth last year.

1. It's the best reason to eat at Spiral. Where else in the country, or even the world, can you get all-you-can-eat foie gras? The quality was not top notch of course, but it was adequate. This is a clear case of quantity winning over quality. The foie was a little veiny but still creamy, and it had that slightly gamey flavor that I love. And being sliced in bite-sized pieces meant that there were more seared surfaces.

Foie gras and apricot compote at Spiral concept restaurant at Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. 4/5

2. Why are the desserts at Spiral always so horribly, disappointingly bad? The chocolate soufflé thingy looked promising, but it was dry, tasteless and dense as a rock, and that orange syrup was a big joke. After taking a bite, I returned it to the dessert counter and hung around warning complete strangers not to eat those monstrosities. They really pissed me off.

Chocolate horror at Spiral concept restaurant at Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. 0/5

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

book one

I first encountered Ian McEwan when I saw the 2007 film adaptation of his book Atonement starring Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan and the talented James McAvoy who gave a poignantly gripping performance. (Sadly, I lost respect for him after his subsequent movie, Wanted).

I was captivated by the story and mood of Atonement, and I promised myself that I would read McEwan's books. So when I chanced upon the beautiful and haunting cover of The Innocent at the bookstore, I figured why not start with this one?