April 30, 2014


The Medical City "When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied."
~Herophilus (335–280 BC), Alexandrian physician

When I need tests or specialists not available in my primary care clinic, I go to The Medical City. Mainly because they're covered by our medical insurance and it's not too far from where I live and work. Thankfully, all my experiences with their doctors, and hospital and laboratory staff have all been good. But then, I haven't had anything serious and I've only had to stay overnight once.

Knock on wood.

April 29, 2014


Niccolo Jose's 'Blue Eagle's Nest' "There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man
than the way in which they can build
and yet leave a landscape as it was before."
~Robert Lynd (1879–1949), Irish writer

A new building will be constructed in the Loyola Heights Campus of Ateneo de Manila University and, it being a Catholic university, a ground blessing was held last week. For the occasion, young sculptor and furniture maker Niccolo Jose created "Blue Eagle's Nest" using the soil and wood found on the site. The nest with its two eggs will remain on the site until the groundbreaking or until the next season's rains wash them away, whichever comes first.

April 28, 2014


sign nailed to a tree "Shit happens. Doesn't mean you have to step in it.
But if you do I would buy a new pair of shoes."
~Kilburn Hall, American author

While he was in Manila, my cousin (see yesterday's post) stayed with us and spent some time walking up and down the main street of our neighborhood checking out its myriad small restaurants and shops. When he saw this sign, he had to take a photo just to prove that it really exists. It's in Tagalog/Filipino and says, "Throwing shit here is not allowed." Why the sign is necessary, I don't think I want to know.

The smaller green and blue sign lists the phone number of a tubero (plumber) named Rey. Someone told me that these tubero aren't really plumbers, though. They supposedly provide a wholly different kind of service—which I am not willing to describe here. Whether that's true or not, I will never find out. Even if they were real plumbers, I wouldn't call someone who advertises by nailing an ugly handpainted sign on a tree.  • PHOTO BY JOSE

April 27, 2014

Soul patch

my cousin with Nonito Donaire "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand.
I beat people up."
~Muhammad Ali 

My Filipino-American cousin really got around during his three weeks here. Look who he bumped into at Café Havana in Makati City—fellow Filipino-American Nonito Donaire, the boxer known as "The Filipino Flash." Of course he had to take a selfie!

In case you're wondering what the title is all about, I just discovered that the little patch of facial hair under the lower lip is called a soul patch. • PHOTO BY JOSE

April 26, 2014


cross, dragon and rose tattoo "My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story."
~Johnny Depp, American actor

A cousin whose family moved to the U.S. when he was only four years old came to the Philippines for a visit recently. On his last night here, he got this pretty awesome cross, dragon and rose tattoo. The tat was less than 24 hours old when I took this photo, the day of my cousin's departure. I think he had to go through the long flight home—more than 19 hours—with his shirt sleeve rolled up.

April 18, 2014

Sunset colors

two buildings in Bonifacio Global City "We expect too much of new buildings, and too little of ourselves."
~Jane Jacobs (1916–2006), The Death and Life of Great American Cities

I am not an habitue of Bonifacio Global City so I don't know what these two buildings are, but I found both striking. The top section of the one on the right looks like it can be a museum or a ballroom. But I especially like the one on the left because of the trees on every balcony.

April 17, 2014

Leg godt

Lego Darth Vader "As long as Lego bricks have been in existence,
the soles of fathers' feet have been in danger."
~Jonathan Bender, author of LEGO: A Love Story

Darth Vader welcomes customers to the Lego® store in Bonifacio High Street. Unfortunately, it was difficult taking his photo because everything was reflecting off his dark suit. I didn't realize he got photobombed by the lady beside me until I downloaded the photo.

And just a random thought: It must be awesome to be able to write down one's job as "Lego Master Model Builder."

April 15, 2014


children's train at Bonifacio High Street "People used to play with toys.
Now the toys play with them."
~Idries Shah (1924–1996), Reflections

A colorful train that doesn't need tracks and which goes round and round a small plaza keeps young children entertained while their parents eat or shop at Bonifacio High Street.

April 14, 2014


mosaic mural at Bonifacio High Street "Men do not quit playing because they grow old;
they grow old because they quit playing."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841–1935)

Part of Arts BGC 2014, this mosaic mural and sculpture installation is in Bonifacio High Street, a high-end retail center in Bonifacio Global City in the City of Taguig. Created by the Mighty Bhutens, a group of artists based in Baguio City, the artwork is titled "Araw + Ulap + Laro = Saya" (Sun + Clouds + Play = Happiness).

In case you were thinking of asking, I have no idea what the group's name means.

See murals from around the world in Monday Mural.

April 13, 2014


Machuca tiles at San Beda Chapel "What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized.
What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher."
~Chuck Palahniuk, American novelist

The "Machuca tiles" in the previous post require sixteen tiles for each pattern. However, they also have patterns which require only four tiles, and that's what we saw on the floor of the 1925 Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, the chapel of San Beda College.

April 11, 2014

Mosaic tiles

wall of patterned tiles "Pay attention to the intricate patterns of your existence
that you take for granted."
~Doug Dillon, American author

Machuca Tile Inc. has been making Mediterranean-patterned cement tiles, called baldozas mosaicos, since the American colonial period in the early 1900s. The company founded by Don Jose Machuca y Romeo was a pioneer in the industry, and patterned tiles—no matter the manufacturer—are generically called "machuca tiles" by Manileños. This is the wall outside their showroom in the district of San Miguel in the City of Manila.

April 10, 2014

Trunk warmers

“rag” "Things don't have to be extraordinary to be beautiful;
even the ordinary can be beautiful."
~Matthew in Wicker Park (2004)

As part of Bonifacio Global City's Art BGC 2014, Rags2Riches "rag-bombed" (from yarn bombing) trees all over the development and placed wind chimes on some of them.

Rags2Riches is a social enterprise composed of (mostly) women in poor communities who weave scrap cloth, organic materials and indigenous fabrics into some very lovely and unique bags, pillows and rugs.

April 9, 2014


W Fifth Avenue "In the kingdom of glass everything is transparent,
and there is no place to hide a dark heart."
~Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

The W Fifth Avenue is an office building in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City built by the W Group and designed by Arquitechtonica.

April 8, 2014

Cake topper

The French Sole window display "Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"
~George Gobel (1919–1991), American comedian

Cakes decorated with French macarons—very original, I thought. Then I noticed the shoe cake toppers and realized I wasn't looking at the display of a bakeshop at all. It's a shoe store called the French Sole by Jane Winkworth.

April 7, 2014

Book art

book mural at Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

The mural inside Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street is painted on a stack of books two stories high.

See murals from around the world in Monday Mural.

April 6, 2014

Pointing to the heavens

Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat "A real building is one on which the eye can light and stay lit."
~Ezra Pound (1885–1972), American poet

Just as its doors surprised me for their lack of religious iconography (see previous two posts), the exterior of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat also surprised me for its lack of a cross. I wouldn't have known this was a church if it weren't for our guide, but its lovely neo-Gothic architecture would have caught my eye nevertheless. I especially love the arched rooftop patio.

April 5, 2014


stained glass doors of San Beda Chapel "Love was a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other."
~Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist

The interior side of the bronze doors of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat (see yesterday's post) are made of panels of stained glass which glow brightly during the day. They kind of look messy and incomplete without the bronze, though. I would love to see the doors from outside at night when the lights of the church are on.

April 4, 2014


“door” "Most of the time, doors remain closed simply because they have not been tried to be opened!"
~Mehmet Murat ildan, Turkish novelist and playwright

The bronze doors of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat (also known as the San Beda Chapel) in San Miguel, Manila surprised me for not having any religious iconography on them. I really like them, though, and I regret not asking who the artist was.

April 3, 2014


a wooden wall at The Breakfast Table "He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."
~Francis of Assisi

Natural, stained, and white and blue washed wood scraps make for a unique and fun wall at The Breakfast Table.

April 1, 2014

Grass triangles

Sofitel Manila's Sunset Bar "The Bermuda Triangle got tired of warm weather. It moved to Alaska. Now Santa Claus is missing."
~Steven Wright, American comedian

CITY DAILY PHOTO THEME DAY: TRIANGLES • Four triangles of nipa palm leaves make up the roof of Sofitel Manila's Sunset Bar.

Tag-init, the hot season—also known as "summer" even though we don't have the other three seasons—arrived in the Philippines last week and our temperatures in Metro Manila are already hitting 32˚C/90˚F. I want to go to the beach!!!