April 30, 2013

Low smog

view of Pasig City from a room in The Medical City This was the view from my room during my first-ever overnight stay in a hospital in mid-April, in The Medical City. We are looking southeast over Pasig City, and in the foreground is Valle Verde, a gated residential community. I love the fact that you can hardly see the houses because of the trees, but I think it's only because I was just on the fifth floor.

April 29, 2013

Drumming up support

I heard drums and a lot of noise out in our street yesterday afternoon, so I grabbed my camera and ran outside to take photos of whatever it was. Turns out, it was a group of candidates for district councilor and their supporters making the rounds of the barangays.
  campaigning for Quezon City councillors
There were even utility vehicles equipped with speakers blaring out the campaign songs of the candidates.
 campaigning for Quezon City councillors
The candidates themselves were walking along with their people, and I ended up being introduced to and having to shake the hands of three of them. The worst part was, I had to let go of my camera to do so, so these were the clearest shots I got of the sortie and I wasn't able to take photos of the candidates (who all looked exhausted after walking around all afternoon in our summer heat—one lady told me ours was their fifth barangay).

The Philippines will have its midterm general elections—national and local—on May 13.

April 28, 2013


Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness The small and unassuming Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in our neighborhood is a renovated house. I've only seen it full of people during Sundays.

April 27, 2013


sari-sari store Ever since I can remember, there's been a sari-sari (variety) store in this corner in our neighborhood. The glass cases and steel shutters date back to my childhood too. About the only thing different about it is all the banners advertising prepaid cellphone load. The store used to be called Junior's. I don't know if that is still its name or if it's owned by the same family, but I still refer to it as Junior's until now.

April 26, 2013

The Diliman Jungle

broken concrete animals When these concrete animals appeared in front of a house in our neighborhood back in 1974, all the children—me included—were absolutely delighted. None of us thought they were kitschy at all. Almost 40 years later, they're still around, but the elephant has lost its trunk, the horse has a damaged tummy, and the lion's mane has started falling off. The poor things.

April 25, 2013

Whaddyu lookin' at??

Like many cities all over the world, Manila—and my own neighborhood—has its share of street cats.
 street cat street cat 
These two seem to be part of the same gang; they were hanging out on the same strip of sidewalk. There was a third, but it ran away the second I pointed my camera at it.

April 23, 2013

Gray hulk

Philippine Heart Center I think that the well-designed logo of the Philippine Heart Center (see yesterday's post) will remain timeless, but the building itself is showing its age. This is just the view of its side, unfortunately, but it is still easily recognizable as an architectural style popular in Manila in the 1970s. The architect of the Heart Center is Jorge Y. Ramos, now 76, who designed other government buildings during the time of Marcos.

April 22, 2013

Four chambers

logo of the Philippine Heart Center The Philippine Heart Center is a government hospital which specializes in cardiology and other medical branches related to it. It was established by presidential decree in 1975, during the time of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, though, apparently, it was one of the projects of his wife Imelda. I've always loved its logo.

April 19, 2013

Musical heritage

portraits of Ramon Corpus at the entrance to the Ramon Corpus Hall of Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales Portraits of violinist Ramon Corpus hang at the entrance to the music hall (see yesterday's post) in Casa San Miguel in Zambales which is named after him. Aside from Alfonso Bolipata, who started the school and foundation, Ramon Corpus has two other grandsons—brothers of Alfonso—who are musicians: Jaime is a pianist, and Ramon (obviously named after the grandfather) is a cellist.

April 18, 2013

Bamboo and wood

the Ramon Corpus Hall of Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales Since music was the inspiration of the Casa San Miguel in Zambales, it is to be expected that the place has a concert hall, no matter how small, no matter how simple. White cloth stretched between two bamboo poles allows video screenings in the Ramon Corpus Hall. The hall is named after Alfonso Bolipata's maternal grandfather, who was also a violinist. Ramon Corpus was one of the first Filipino musicians to study abroad, completing a solo violin course at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1919, and one of the pioneer musicians of the Manila Symphony Orchestra.

My prayers for all those who were killed and hurt during the Boston Marathon explosions, their families and friends, and the many men and women who have given their help.

April 17, 2013

Taste, look, listen

The cafe of Casa San Miguel in Zambales can be accessed from the garden.  The garden has a simple stage (not in the photo, however) for outdoor performances. I love what they did with the garden lights strung between the trees—they're just bare bulbs covered with brown paper bags.
 entrance to the cafe of Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales 

Everything that we ordered from their menu was delicious, especially since they use fresh, local ingredients. And as can be expected from a foundation that focuses on music and the arts, the interior is also a feast for the eyes.
 cafe of Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales mural at the cafe of Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales large painting in the cafe of Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales 

The cafe even has a piano nook. It was just too bad that there was no pianist in residence when we visited.
 piano nook in the cafe of Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales

April 16, 2013

An artsy R&R

Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales Aside from the school (see yesterday's post), Casa San Miguel in Zambales also has a theater, an art gallery, a museum, a café, and a bed and breakfast.

April 15, 2013

A beautiful thing

Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales When you put a civic-minded violinist in a province devastated by the eruption of a volcano, you get something like Casa San Miguel in the province of Zambales. In 1993, violinist Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata merely wanted to uplift the spirits of his province mates—still reeling from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991—by bringing art, music, theater, dance and film to town plazas, orphanages and hospitals. In 1996, a dozen young local children began learning how to draw and play the violin under one of the mango trees in the Bolipata compound. Now, Casa San Miguel has more than a hundred students in music, drawing, painting, photography, film, and creative writing.

April 14, 2013

Balloon lady

lady selling balloons at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish church The lady selling balloons just outside the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish church was nice enough to pose for me when she saw me trying to take her photo. Business must be good during Sundays, when entire families attend Masses at the church, but I hope she also does well during weekdays.

I apologize for my sudden disappearance again. We had internet connection problems the entire week! Everything's okay now, thank goodness.

April 7, 2013


'statue of Mary and the child Jesus According to the plaque beside it, this statue of Mary and the child Jesus in front of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish church in Quezon City is dedicated to the Dignity of Life—the unborn, babies and children.

April 6, 2013

Perfect for a hot day

'McDonald's ice cream kiosk The soft-serve ice cream of McDonald's—cones, sundaes and floats—are so popular here, they're sold in their own kiosks. Do you have them in your city?

April 5, 2013


'Clean and Green' sign with garbage around it "Clean and Green, let's do it in this barangay." I think that Quezon City Councilor Vincent Belmonte should have made provisions for an eco-aide to clean the area around his sign regularly.

April 4, 2013

Congratulations, graduates!

KFC sign congratulating 2013 graduates KFC gets into the act of congratulating our new graduates. The academic year in the Philippines begins in June and ends in March. This sign was hanging on a window of Claret School of Quezon City.

April 3, 2013

Games (street) children play

board game on the sidewalk using bottle caps What looks like a checkers-like game with the board marked on the sidewalk and bottle caps as playing pieces. It was beside a restaurant, so it is probably played by watch-your-car-boys. Unfortunately, there is a big possibility that gambling is involved. Smoking definitely is.

April 2, 2013


Puregold Jr.Back in 2010, I posted a photo of our little neighborhood grocery, named Eunilaine. It closed in December, ostensibly for renovations, and announced that it would reopen on January 15. That date came and went, but the grocery didn't open. It finally did last month, but under a completely different name. Puregold is one of the Philippines' largest grocery chains, with 156 stores under three names. It bought all 15 Eunilaine and Grocer-E stores, closing the deal on January 15.

April 1, 2013

At your own risk

pedestrian crossing at Buendia corner Taft Avenues CITY DAILY PHOTO THEME DAY: PEDESTRIANS CROSSING • A few people use the pedestrian crossing on Buendia Avenue near the corner of Taft Avenue (both major roads in the City of Manila and the site of two light rail stations), but they are more the exception than the rule. Most drivers don't mind the crossing either.