Manila

Manila, Philippines

A walk down Main Avenue

It was a chance to go back to the Manila North Cemetery. After getting reprimanded for taking pictures without getting a permit last time, I was eager to have not just a reason to go back, but to take photos as well. We were there for the 110th anniversary of the arrival of the Thomasites in the Philippines.

110th Anniversary of the Thomasites
US Ambassador Harry J. Thomas and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim in front of the Thomasite’s plot

Named after the USS Thomas, the vessel which took them to Manila, 530 American teachers were stationed in the Philippines to “establish a new public school system, to teach basic education and to train Filipino teachers, with English as the medium of instruction.” [Source: Wikipedia]
read more

Manila, Philippines

Map of Little Tokyo

I haven’t been traveling lately and won’t be traveling anytime soon. I’m at my wit’s end, counting down the months until the next trip. The self-imposed travel ban was due to me trying my hand at being responsible, putting my money into grown up expenses like insurance, business registrations and an accountant, instead of squandering it on impulsively planned booked trips. The farthest I’ve been traveling lately is to Makati, where I get to experience the closest I’ll probably ever get to Japan: Little Tokyo.

Just Wandering Little Tokyo Map
Amazing map by the designer/photographer/calligrapher extraordinaire, Cla :D
(Click on the image to see the bigger version)

Little Tokyo is actually a compound where you can eat the best and most authentic Japanese meals in Manila. Many of these restaurants are own by Japanese, with a Japanese chef manning the kitchen, preparing and cooking ingredients imported from Japan and served to Japanese nationals.
read more

Manila, Philippines

Food discoveries that are Sooo Pinoy

What is Filipino cuisine? The people behind the movement Sooo Pinoy took us to around Metro Manila to taste the best of Pinoy food.

Adarna Food and Culture 02
Adarna’s Bicol Express

Sooo Pinoy feeds your national pride through the appreciation of Filipino cuisine. Thru Sooo Pinoy, you will learn more about the history of Pinoy food and discover where to find the best Filipino restaurants for these dishes. Ang sarap maging Pinoy!

Sooo Pinoy’s purpose is to feed every Pinoy’s love for Filipino food by providing information about the most popular Pinoy dishes and helping diners identify the top Filipino restaurants in the country.

Source: Sooo Pinoy Facebook page

read more

Manila, Philippines

Varekai in Manila

It was an invite that was very hard to turn down. Nevermind that there was a typhoon, nevermind that it would make me late for work, I will not pass up the chance to watch Varekai. Of course, getting to watch it for free, bring along two friends and get to take pictures of the performers (a big no-no in any Cirque du Soleil show), sealed the deal.

Varekai in Manila 06
Fall of Icarus

Varekai is just one of 19 Cirque du Soleil shows in 2011. Premiered in 2002, it has since toured around the world to more than 15 different countries and 60 cities to an audience of over 6 million. The show is currently touring Asia, with Manila as one of its stop.
read more

Manila, Philippines

UST and Lumina Pandit

I can count the number of times I went to UST. My first memory of UST was of one of my brothers studying there. It was followed by a sadder one — an uncle confined for several months, and eventually dying in the university hospital. There was also the memory of me taking the college entrance exam, then later on chickening out of the interview. Though I have these memories of UST, I never really explored the campus nor delved into the university’s history.

UST Entrance arch
Through the Arch of the Centuries

read more

Manila, Philippines

Pasalubong shopping: Kape de Mutit and Bench Pinoy Labs

I’m flying out to visit family, so that means buying gifts and Pinoy stuff they can’t easily get overseas. One of my brother’s bilin is cafe Alamid. Cafe Alamid, also known as kopi luwak in Indonesia is one of the most expensive coffee in the world, also said to be the best.

Civet Cat Coffee
Kape de Mutit from Kalinga Brew

So what makes Café Alamid so special? “It starts off with the alamids picking the ripest and finest berries to eat, by smell. The animals stuff themselves with it and excrete them all in the morning as the beans cannot be digested.”
read more

Manila, Philippines

Binondo Food Wok Map

Finally, a comprehensive map of Manila’s Chinatown! I remember my first trip to Binondo (the one that I can remember anyway). It was late at night and we were driving around this strange new place, guided by friend’s boyfriend who live in the neighborhood. I have absolutely no idea where we are, except that we were in Chinatown. The second time I went to Chinatown was when I joined Ivan Man Dy’s Big Binondo Food Wok tour.

Binondo Food Wok Map
The Big Binondo Food Wok Map and Ang Tunay Beefhouse’s mixed beef soup

He led us through Ongpin, Binondo’s main street, and down other smaller streets like Nueva and Salazar. He took us to the best places to dine in Chinatown, but I wasn’t really familiar enough with the place to remember where most of the places are.
read more