Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. In the Philippines it is still Christmas till the Feast of Three Kings, although they have been removed officially from the roster of saints along with Saint Christopher, the guy who carried the baby Jesus across the river of Jordan (?). Above you will see a picture of Sisig Pizza from Greenwich. Similar to my feelings with the Sisig bread aka the Pig Bread to my nephews I still feel that there is only one and proper way to serve sisig - on a hot plate. Its nearly six in the evening in Cubao, Quezon City and in a few hours most of the shops will be closed. People around the Philippines will be starting to celebrate for the New Year, with Media Noche, 12 round shape fruits at the center table for luck, drinking, spreading cheer and some will celebrate with assorted pyrotechnics (including and unfortunately guns). There does not seem to be much noise this year but we shall see. Today in Tondo they will be celebrating with a costume parties around the neighborhood. Small and short children will jump at the stroke of twelve in order to gain the proverbial increasre in their height. Some people will make sure they have money in all their wallets. And I am quite sure the mobile network will be bombarded by greetings via sms, mms and other assorted ssss. Happy New Year to All! Here is toast I discovered years ago and might be of use. An Old Scottish Toast - Here's to you as good as you are Here's to me as bad as I am But as good as you are As bad as I am I am as good as you are As bad as I am Happy New Year to All! Additional podcasts Tanungan: Fare is fare The Christmas and the New Year Report

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All! Sorry for the belated greetings. I have just finished setting up the newest member of the Harvard Street Cubao family a podcast called Radio Free Harvard Cubao. And its all about -
Podcasting about Harvard Street, Cubao, Filipinos, Quezon City, the Republic of the Philippines, the Known Universe. Includes everything and nothing - Kasama na ang iba-ibang bagay at ang wala.
Podcasting is said to be the word of the year, check this link. Well, I might as well try it. So how was your Christmas? Did the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future visit you? Joyous Noel! or Joyoux Noel! Additional Posts Library Thing and book finds Star Trek and A little bit of Mulawin Happy Christmas Fish and of Tours Podcast: A Christmas Interview

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Enchanted Kingdom (EK)

Enchanted Kingdom1 Members of the family who went to EK Instead of the traditional Children's Christmas Party the company I worked for opted to treat our families to a day at Enchanted Kingdom in Santa Rosa, Laguna.  Enchanted Kingdom 2 My Dad & nephew Unfortunately, the weekend we went was also the week that a cold front had developed. Besieging the whole of Luzon with rainfall. Fortunately, through out the day there were reprieves from the rain. Although since it was a weekend there was no reprieve from the rest of the punters, the amusement park was packed. One had to wait for thirty minutes before getting on a ride. So we had to be selective. Considering the age and the height of my nephews the options were limited to the different types of Ferris wheel, the carousel, the human powered swan shaped boats and the ride at the Rialto. Did I mention it rained from time to time? Despite the rain everyone seemed to enjoy the trip. There were of course instances when trouble arose - like when my sister and nephew fighting over who controlled the stirring of the Swan Ship, which resulted into the lack of propulsion of said ship.  Enchanted Kingdom 3 My other nephew End of the day everybody was tired. And then it began to really rain - a heavy downpour. Luckily, we were on our way home and only got wet as we climbed on the family automobile. I cannot help thinking what happened to those left lining up on the rides or those on the rides themselves. Enchanted Kingdom must have made a killing for umbrellas, caps and shirts that day.  Enchanted Kingdom 4 View from the Wheel of Fate Things to remember when going to Enchanted Kingdom: Go during the weekday, Go when it is sunny, Just to make sure donate an egg at the Monastery of Santa Clara in Quezon City (To make sure the sky will be blue, cloudless and bright), and bring hats and extra clothes. PS If you want to save money on food ... bring packed lunches and eat it at the parking lot. An Additional Post for Today Sta Rosa, Laguna

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Of Pink Shirts and the Digital Players Race

Christmas Day is just a few days away and each day it seems getting up early for work is getting difficult. The trains seem a little bit more crowded than usual and traffic seem to get congested within and just outside the malls. Even the lines and queues leading up to the cashier counter keep getting longer and longer. Two things I did notice, Metro Manila seems to be flooded these past few weeks by pink shirts and digital players. In the mall, in the train, in food court, along the road it would be impossible not to encounter a man or a woman wearing the colour sons and daughters of red and white. They even have pink Christmas Caps called Pink Panthers. Red and Green seem to have been displaced as the colour of this Holiday Season. Another ubiquitous object today seems to be the digital audio player - whether it is the ipod or any player that is used to listen to mp3, wma and even ogg. The Digital Player seems to be gift of the season. And there seems to be a race to get the players with the most advance features. I too have a digital music player. It is a small item from Samsung. The player fits my needs - be able to record, listen to a number of music (or audio files) and FM radio stations - and is easy to carry, it is around the size of my thumb. Quite practical when riding the shuttle service to Makati, especially when you do not want to hear the daily tirade of AM Radio commentators. It is also handy when one is waiting for someone inside a coffee shop. Or to pacify a child who is getting impatient. I had already justified my purchase of the digital player and was quite happy. Until, only briefly though, I saw a more advance model - the techno lust had set in. The new ones even had viewers for video, pictures and e-books. Although in the end, I reasoned I still bought what fit my needs and I did not see the wisdom in getting a player with a screen smaller than the standard Peso bill. No need really. I think its practical to be a monogamist when it comes to gadgets. Only a few days to go before Christmas... hopefully less pink shirts. An Additional Post Jackson's King Kong

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Pig Bread

The family celebrated my nephew's birthday a couple of weeks ago. And on the way home we stopped by the bakery, BreadTalk, at the Mall. There were a few interesting food items. But what caught my eye was this bread called the Pig Bread. Pig Bread Its a bun filled with sisig. Sisig is a popular dish here. It is a favourite dish when people eat and drink out. It is made of assorted pig parts, predominantly crispy cheeks of the Pig. Greenwich ,local pizza restaurant, even came out with sisig pizza a couple of weeks ago. Pig Bread Additional Posts for today: The Old Coming Down ... The Silly Season

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christmas Carols and Politics

Despite the approach of the Christmas Season our politicians seem to see it fit to provide us entertainment in aid of legislation. Sit back and enjoy as our politicians parade before witnesses and counter-witnesses to prove or disapprove a case before the public eye. An exercise in futility, whose only value is that of entertainment. I found this parody of Deck the Halls while surfing the web. Enjoy. :) Deck the malls this Christmas season, fa la la la la, la la la la Blow your cash for no good reason, fa la la la la, la la la la Push your credit card to it's limit fa la la, la la la, la la la Your check book now has nothing in it. fa la la la la, la la la la. Additional Posts for Today: Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros Animal Farms and Other Writings by Eric Blair

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Of Garci, Hats and Mattanza

Garcillano is finally appearing at Congress. Before this much "awaited" appearance we were treated to a display of the former comelec commissioner's hat fashion. Each time he appeared on TV he wore a distinct hat. The first time it was a muslim scarf, then it was, a tubao-cap, then it was some sort of fishing hat, and come Wednesday what will it be a ten-gallon hat? A buri hat? Maybe its a signalling system of sorts. Who knows. What to expect from tomorrow's hearing? I figure nothing really. Maybe its going to be a Mattanza. This is Robert Gangi's definition of a Mattanza here is a link to the article.
For hundreds of years, fishermen in Sicily and Sardinia have used dense nets to capture the Mediterranean bluefin tuna (thunnus thinnus) in a quasi-spiritual procedure known as the mattanza. This takes place in May and June, when the giant fish swim past the coasts. In Sicily, the few remaining mattanzas take place off the island's western point among the Egadi Islands. The term "mattanza" comes to us from an old Spanish word, matar, meaning "to kill." Many terms, such as rais (head fisherman of the mattanza), are actually Arabic in origin, introduced in the ninth century when, during the Arab domination of Sicily, the technique became popular. There are indications, however, that it is much older, possibly originating, in some form, in the Phoenician or Carthaginian era...The keys to a successful mattanza, apart from the obvious questions of supply (overfishing has reduced the number of larger tuna in recent years) and weather, are organisation and technique. A series of vast nets are lowered into the water. The tuna are captured in successive nets which are gradually restricted in size and raised toward the surface, where the fish are attacked with what might be described as large spears in a sophisticated trap system.
Gangi discusses further...
The network of net chambers is called an isola (island). One of the interesting things about the mattanza is the team effort of the numerous fishermen involved in each catch. From his boat, the rais directs the work of the men in the other small boats. Because a mattanza is the catch of an entire school of fish, dozens of tuna may be captured. The ambience of bloody water and particularly large fish, which may be compared to cattle or large game, leaves one with a singular impression. There's nothing like watching the fish struggle as they are herded into ever smaller, shallower net chambers (the final one is called the "chamber of death") and finally lifted onto the boats. Indeed, the term mattanza has found its way into the Italian vernacular as a synonym for "massacre."
So who is going to be part of the mattanza? Who will be the hunter and who will be the prey? Will it be the political leaders or political followers? At this point this excercise seem futile and will probably result in a political mattanza that will greatly affect people who have based their stand on OPO (Other People's Opinion) and who have placed their salvation in political leaders. I would not rally behind political strawmen nor political straw causes. It would be as useful as cupping a corpse. An Additional Post For Today Cubao: The Sun Setting

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cubao Sunset

100-0004_IMG While seating at a restaurant the Sun began to set. I liked this shot. Here is the link to a bigger version of this picture.