Block lunch at Tagaytay

Some of my blockmates and I wanted to make most out of the last few days of the sembreak before the second semester starts so we decided to plan a trip to Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa, Laguna yesterday, November 4.

Unfortunately, we did not foresee that the theme park was closed from Mondays to Wednesdays. We did not allow it to defeat our objective for the day, however. We spontaneously decided to drive to Tagaytay and then back to Manila to spend the rest of the night at Star City. It turned out to be a great spontaneous plan, definitely satisfying.

We left Diliman just before noon and arrived at Tagaytay around half-past one. On the way to Tagaytay, just to complete our frustration with Enchanted Kingdom, we had to pass by the place to really see for ourselves that it was indeed closed for the day. Anyway, when we got to Tagaytay, some of my blockmates were looking for bulalo, so for lunch we settled at this bulalo restaurant along the highway with a great view of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.

We had a very satisfying lunch of bulalo, lutong macao (chopsuey of sorts with lots of meat and seafood) and sizzling chicken. We were so full on the way back to Manila. Despite that, we stopped by Rowena’s along the highway to Sta. Rosa to buy some pastries and other pasalubong. Before anything else, many thanks to Rex, from block A, who we tagged along and went with us. It was his van that we rode all throughout.

I shall write about our Star City adventure in another blog entry. My block is unbelievable sometimes, I’m off to a swimming party and lunch with my blockmates, again. Talagang nilulubos ang liwaliw bago ang buwan-buwang pag-aaral na magsisimula bukas. I don’t remember having this much wholesome fun in months.

Less time at the cemeteries

We went to Amadeo, Cavite for our departed paternal grandparents and other relatives last October 31, then to Sta. Maria, Bulacan for our maternal ones last November 1. We didn’t do much at the cemetery. It would seem to me that we’ve been spending less time at the cemeteries the past few years. It’s not like the way it used to when aunts, cousins and relatives from all over spend an entire afternoon together at the family mausoleums for Undas. The atmosphere around the cemetery, especially in Sta. Maria, is as festive as usual. Undas always feels like one big fiesta at the cemeteries, with food stalls and marching bands roving around playing religious music.

I killed time by reading a book and taking photos of Tisay, who at one point, just suddenly began posing in different manners, without coaching, much to our amusement.

May ganoon pala roon

Last Sunday some brods and I were asked to go to Cavite to offer assistance to an alumni brod, Boying Remulla, in his congressional re-election bid. Though there are some issues wherein I don’t agree with Mr. Remulla, helping him was perfectly fine for me. Especially when his opponent is one of the President’s men, and that this opponent’s propaganda have saturated the entire district. It felt quite tokenistic, though, since I doubt our giving out flyers to a handful of baranggays will have an impact. I found it quite sad that a majority of the people whom we were handing flyers to always asked for something–cigarettes, candies, food, anything, when we didn’t have anything to give aside from the pieces of flyers. I guess people really have gotten so used to being given tokens and other such material and financial gifts during campaigns.

Amadeo, my father’s family’s hometown is part of Boying Remulla’s district. Though we skipped Amadeo, we did get to go around Maragondon, Silang, Indang, and Tagaytay. We spent some time at a forest resort with springs, pools and waterfalls in Indang that night. Then we had dinner and we stayed overnight in Tagaytay.

Barako coffee from Amadeo

Cappucino made from Barako coffee from Amadeo, Cavite

October 29, 2006. The coffee that will be served in our soon-to-open restaurant is sourced from my father’s homewtown, Amadeo, Cavite. This cup of cappucino is made with pure Barako coffee from Amadeo. It will cost someone 30 pesos.

Save the Barako! websiteAmadeo is the Philippine’s self-proclaimed coffee capital. My grandfather’s farm, aside from papayas, pineapple and cocoa, is planted mainly with coffee. As young children, much to the annoyance of our elders, my cousins and I would play on heaps of fresh and colorful coffee beans being sun-dried in the backyard.

There are, however, no more heaps of colorful coffee beans in lolo’s backyard today. For the longest time, coffee farming in the small Cavite town was dying. It was only until recently when it has started recovering with the initiatives of the local government and some private institutions. It gladdens me to think that we are helping this recovery by serving our own Cavite coffee in our restaurant in Bulacan. Aside from coffee, we will also be getting most of our fruits (for the fresh fruit shakes) from Amadeo.

Magbabad sa putik

UP CAST on location at Silang, Cavite

July 25, 2006. I spent almost the entire weekend with my orgmates from UP CAST (UP Cinema Arts Society) for the shoot of a short film project.

We shot on location at some remote farm in Silang, Cavite. As always, shoots are stressful and tiring but really fun. Despite the bad weather and other unfavorable circumstances, we were able to pull it off.

Mud, mud, mud, mud, more mud! I refuse to imagine what sort of organic matter compose the mud we were walking on all day. What were we expecting anyway, we were in a farm and it was raining all day. I pity my friends who were wearing Havaianas that day. ‘Yan kasi eh. Alam namang bukid ang location, nagha-Havaianas pa. Haha.

Kid on top of a tree UP Cinema Arts Society on location at Silang, Cavite