terre verte


I had been absent from the blogosphere for sometime now. I chose to break free albeit temporarily from my self-imposed exile in order to say I was able to watch and enjoy the delightful musical, CATS at the CCP last weekend.

Though I am undergoing circumstances wherein it is not really possible to gift myself such a luxurious treat (I did miss out on Ms. Saigon and Les Miserables when they were shown years before in Manila, and I thought I’d miss out on this one, too. But….), I was nevertheless able to fulfill my wish to see this show with the help of some kind friends.   Gracias, mi amigas!!!

CATS CCP MANILA 2010

I haz teh tickets: Yay! CATS at last… here we go!

CATS was fantabulous… I really enjoyed myself watching a world-class musical, with all the costumes and sets.  I did hear negative comments about the show, saying that it was boring and can make you sleep (I’m guessing because it’s ‘too English’ for them).  I also think that majority of Pinoys are not really used to hearing such musicals wherein there are no regular dialogues and that the characters were mostly reciting poetry (kasi naman it WAS based on TS Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems about cats *rollseyes*).  And yes, the musical had been around since the early 80’s and I did feel that parts of it have become outdated and has lost its ‘wow’ factor (with today’s generation of audiences, shows have to find new ways to keep up with their tastes by coming up with creative gimmicks, ingenious effects and hi-tech sets).

Cats, CCP, Manila 2010

Souvenir programs cost Php500

With the musical’s run ending this Sunday, I’d like to offer tips for those who are still going to see the remaining shows:

  • Read about the musical first.  And if it’s possible, get a hold of a copy of TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and read some of the poems so you come prepared.
  • CCP security does not allow cameras inside the premises.  But they do allow cellphone cameras inside the theatre – just don’t use flash if your phone has one. It could distract the performers.
  • Some of the characters in their feline costumes pass along the aisles in the audience and even up the balconies during the show and during the intermission.  Get ready with your cell cam (set it to ‘night-mode’) when they do so you can have great souvenir shots.
  • If you’re seated far from the stage (in the balconies and boxes), better bring a pair of binoculars or you can buy one (for Php50 only) from the CCP staff.
  • If you want to live, please do not sing-along with Lea when she sings “Memory.” Someone might clunk you on the head if you do.
  • We all know Lea Salonga plays “Grizabella” which was a short role, does not dance much and gets to sing only 2 songs. But what many people do NOT know is – she is also a part of the opening scene wherein all the performers come out to dance and sing “Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats.” One can’t easily recognize her because of her make-up and costume.  You got to have a good set of eyes (and ears) to spot her and her voice among the equally talented cast of Australian and UK-based performers.
  • Lastly, ARRIVE EARLY. 30 minutes early if possible. It’s common theatre etiquette that should be strictly followed regardless who you are. They won’t let you in once the show starts and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

CATS CCP 2010 Manila

Anak ng Pusa… ang galeng: Thanks to the organizers for bringing CATS here (and for the super-discounted prices which we happily availed)…  it was absolutely puurrrfect! ‘Til the next musical…

The FooDorama Challenge: I Watch It, I Try It!

アリガトーフ♪≡c⌒っ´・∀・)っ□

Jdorama Challenge: JIN

JIN is an 11 episode sci-fi/medical drama shown from Oct. to Dec. of 2009 on TBS.  The story centers around a brain surgeon, Dr. Minakata Jin, who got mysteriously transported back in time – around 1860’s or a few years prior to Japan’s historic period, the Meiji Restoration.  The doctor in his quest to find a way to go back to his own time had suddenly found himself involved and interacting with people of that era – both ordinary and prominent figures – thereby, inevitably altering the course of history – not just of Japan, but of the whole world as well.  This drama bagged the top awards in the 63rd Japan Drama Academy Awards including best drama and best lead actor for Osawa Takao (as Jin).

JIN is an interesting drama that is definitely “edutaining” – (educational and entertaining).  The viewer can learn about Japan’s history as well as a bit about science and medicine. Though i am no expert, I am sure the drama is not historically accurate.  However, its absorbing story-line, the mysteries behind his time travel that have yet to be solved, and the consequences and morality of his actions are thought-provoking and can surely hook a viewer like me til the end.  I am sure there will be a second season… and I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next!

Jdorama Food: Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi tofu (also known as agedashidofu or age tofu) is basically deep-fried tofu served with a dipping sauce called tentsuyu (made of mirin, dashi, and soy sauce).  It is eaten as a side dish or appetizer.

FooDorama Connection: In Episode 10, before leaving the Tachibana family (who had “adopted” him ever since he got transported back into the past), Dr. Minakata (Osawa) receives a bento box from Tachibana Miki (played by Ayase Haruka) as she bids him farewell.

In this drama: I learned that prior to the Meiji Restoration (pre-1868), the Japanese were forbidden to eat meat from four-legged animals due to their strict Buddhist beliefs.  Therefore, Dr. Minakata had been eating a lot of vegetarian meals (which he considers plain side dishes in his own time) that were always prepared by Miki.  Above shows Jin looking at the last bento food she prepared for him and realizes he’s going to miss her cooking especially her deep-fried tofu.

Jin’s favorite: agedashi tofu in tentsuyu sauce – “unusually” served in a bento box by Miki.

The FooDorama Challenge: Making Agedashi Tofu

A typical middle class Pinoy family meal do not include side dishes much – especially if one is on a budget or too busy to cook extra dishes.  A meal of around one or two ulam (main dish) and rice is our everyday fare along with condiments and fruits. When we do serve a side dish – it’s most probably something simple and store-bought than home-made (to save time) like atsara or achara (pickled papaya strips) and salted red duck eggs.

Well, this  side dish is a centuries-old recipe in Japan.  Tofu does not really have much taste so I assumed that the dipping sauce is the one that’s important.

What you need: silken tofu, corn starch, granulated dashi, mirin and soy sauce.

Cut the tofu into smaller cubes and coat each one with corn starch: this was a bit tricky since the tofu was too delicate and breaks up easily while doing so.

Frying them all up in vegetable oil.

Agedashi Tofu for FDC#10 is done: garnished with chopped spring onions and katsuboshi flakes and dipped in tentsuyu sauce (boil the following: 2/3 cup water, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 3 tablespoon mirin, 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated dashi).

Crispy fried and up close: Many Pinoys may find it a bit too mild-tasting even with the dipping sauce (we would more likely modify it by using more soy sauce, and add garlic and/or pepper to jazz it up).  And there are still too many steps to make it just for a simple side dish (if we get to deep-fry anything – then it should be something for a main dish).  But other than that, it was ok… I conclude that it would be something I would serve guests or order in a resto rather than be a part of an ordinary meal. (^_^) v

NEXT: For my 11th FooDorama Challenge, I’ll take a short break from Japanese dishes and go Korean once again so I could pay tribute to my most favorite Kdrama of all time! Heehee!

My FooDorama Challenge Links:
FDC#11: Bibimbap (Kdrama Inspiration: Full House)
FDC#9: Sekihan (Jdorama Inspiration: Hotaru no Haka)
FDC#8: Kareh Raisu (Jdorama Inspiration: Kaibutsu-kun)

————————————- fodocha

Dish info source: wikipedia
Recipe source: mamaloli
Japan's meat history info source: luciesfarm
Jdorama info source: dramawiki
Jdorama photo credits: TBS

For my 8th Sunday Lunch Project, I chose to prepare a special meal which we call Boodle Fight.

What is a Boodle Fight? The Philippine Military coined this term, calling their traditional way of eating with their bare hands while the freshly-cooked food is served on a long table, piled on top of a tray or banana leaves.  It signifies brotherhood and fraternity.  “Boodle” by the way, is an American slang word that means a pack or a small crowd.  And boodle fight is in a way considered a “fight” since eating with a bunch of hungry army men means the food is consumed in an instant so one has to grab whatever he can get and eat fast, too. And when one is in a hurry, it would be better to do this standing up.

Well, not only are they the ones who do this. Pinoys and a lot of our South East Asian brothers are familiar with this type of communal meal, and eating with our hands. We usually do this outdoors when we go to the beach, especially in the summer and fiestas (summer festivals).  We would gather around a long table in a beach hut without using plates, serving dishes and utensils.  It may look uncivilized to some but it is actually practical and convenient.  And not to mention, FUN!

I also remember my days living in Cebu – we would eat this way in my uncle’s house during the heat of the summer.  And during my years as a fine arts student, I and my comrades would gather in the college basement, and partake of a meal of canned tuna or sardines on bed of hot rice.  This SLP post on Boodle Fighting is my tribute for those good times! 🙂

There are theme restaurants that offer this kind of meal but why go out when you can do it at home? So for today’s Easter celebration (and after going thru a no-meat diet for a week) I decided to have an indoor Boodle Fight. (Note: thanx to Pch for some of the pix here)…

Risa, my kitchen assistant, helps me gather banana leaves from a tree in a nearby vacant lot.  Paalam muna shempre…lol When getting the leaves, make sure you keep them away from yourself since the juice from the cut stalks can stain your clothes and shoes (which I found out rather too late). And better get the ones that are not torn as much as possible.

In the meantime, tilapia fish and eggplants were grilling away. Food grilled over hot charcoal is the usual fare for a boodle fight.

The banana leaves were wiped with a clean rag, and laid out (shiny side up) on the table, seeing to it that I have enough leaves to cover all the surface space of the table.  No one wants the food to spill out on the bare table but I nevertheless made sure to clean and disinfect the table beforehand.

Grilled pork liempo (belly meat marinated in soy sauce and calamansi), tilapia, peeled eggplants and salted eggs are placed and arranged on the banana leaves.

This meal is ideally served along with the classic Pinoy salad of chopped green mango, tomatoes, and onions with shrimp paste. I also made a condiment of chopped onions and tomatoes with soy sauce and calamansi to be mixed with the grilled pork and fish when eating.

We also had another condiment, fermented mudfish (burong dalag) that has a strong smell. You can mix it with your food, making it taste better and can make you want to eat more!

At last, my usual bunch of Sunday lunch guests (Sis et al) arrived in time just as I was done laying out the food and hot rice.

Let the Boodle Fight begin! No need to hurry here… just take your time. But don’t forget to wash your hands first! 🙂

And a perfect way to end this summer meal is with a cold dessert of Pinoy sherbet made of lychee and coconut from Arce Dairy (courtesy of Sis and Doc)!

Happy Meal!: Boodle Fight is not just an exotic form of eating but it’s an informal and relaxed way of celebrating Pinoy family ties, strengthening camaraderie and making more happy memories together.

And on this note, OMP wishes the whole Christendom…

_____()”””()______
_____( .’o’.)______
===(,,)(✿)(,,)===
═╬╬═♥╬╬♥═╬╬═

.•*”˜˜”*°•. ˜”*°•♥•°*”˜ .•°*”˜˜”*°•.
**♥** HAPPY EASTER!!!! **♥**
.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜♥ ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.

My Sunday Lunch Project Links:
SLP#7: Samgyeopsal
SLP#6: Goi Buoi (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad)
SLP#5: Hainanese Chicken Rice

——————————— sunlupro

Reference links: 
dictionary.reference
answers.yahoo

The days have been so mercilessly hot and humid. Living in a tropical climate all my life would make me think that I could take this summer beating but this is somewhat too plain much!  After going through all those rains and floods last year, now this?

The unbearable heat leaves you drained of energy – move an inch, and you’re already shedding buckets of sweat! ハッ!(`ロ´ ; )  Sure there is an AC at my place of work, but it’s the Holy Week break (yahoo!) so I’m at home now.  My unreliable AC can’t fight off the heat in my room. During the hottest part of the day (10 am to 4 pm) I can’t help but lie down and sleep off the heat.  Ugh! huhuhu!

But summer has its perks: fruits like mangoes, melons, avocado, and watermelons are cheaper and abundant; tropical flowers like our fiery fuchsia bougainvillea seem to be thriving in this unusual dry spell; since school is out, there’s less traffic jams, and of course, summer means BEACH OUTINGS!

Last Sunday, we had our company outing at Laiya, Batangas.  I brought along my best bud, Levlev.  I’ve been going to Laiya every summer since 2004  (except last year though 😦 ). It’s my most favorite beach (even topping Boracay in my list) so far…

Located in San Juan in Batangas, Laiya is a three hour drive from Manila.  The beach is clean, and has no dangerous waves… great for kayaking.

Casa Remo was where we stayed.  It is reasonably priced and has small apartelles and one big house (above) with plenty of rooms.  It is not beside the beach though, so you have to walk a short distance to get to it.

Palm Sunday 2010: we celebrated mass at White Cove Resort.

Early Monday morning, we woke up to make use of the time left… swim to our hearts’ content!

Watcha waitin’ for? Ligo naaaah! Woo-hoo!

I♡♡♡  Laiya, forevah! \(♡´∀`♡ )/ If only this is the view that greets me when I look outside my house.  Sighs.

if not, then, i’m praying for the rains to come soon…*fingerscrossed*

~pls Lord umulan na sana~ (^人^ ) 雨乞いをする

Note: This is a continuation of Part 4 - Daybreak at White Island.

We left Camiguin today for CDO. We were off to have an afternoon of white water river rafting adventure

CDO, here we go! We reached CDO’s Balingoan Port at 9:20 am, and took a comfortable airconditioned bus ride to CDO City (Fare = Php135).

After checking in at a small hotel in CDO, we were fetched by the Kagay river guides who took us to the starting point somewhere in Bukidnon. We received some briefing and undertook a practice run first before we started with the actual rafting.

In nervous anticipation (left). Our group got divided into two teams for all of us will not fit in one raft.

A Kagay photographer took hundreds of pix during the rafting using a waterproof Pentax Vios W60.  Here are Jonjon’s sample action shots:

No more practice… this is it!

Oh, no… step on the brakes!?!

Waaaaah!

Glug…glug…glug!

Still alive… High Five!

Pausing to admire the beautiful CDO River…

Oh, no…here we go again! Weeeh!

It was a thrill! Despite the current El Niño phenomenon, the river didn’t disappoint us. And we were lucky the water looked clean and clear (and wasn’t ‘brownish’) on this day. Thanks to the Kagay people for making this possible… it was truly worth it…

By the end of our little rafting adventure, we were already tired and hungry. Time was short so we had to make use of what little was left…

Up next: Going Home…

For more information on CDO's White Water River Rafting,
you can click on Kagay's website here. :)
Note: This is a continuation of Part 2 - Enchanting Camiguin...

No time to waste!…We arrived in Camiguin at almost noon on this day and immediately embarked on a tour of this enchanting, serene island…

Our second stop was the Walkway at the Old Volcano site. One gets to walk up the Old Volcano using these steps to visit the 12 Stations of the Cross….

…but the First Station is all we can manage to reach…

Several souvenir stores are also located here.

Third Stop: The Cross at the Sunken Cemetery… You can reach the Cross via a rented boat for Php15 to 20 per head (um, it actually depends on which boatman you talk to).

The Cross up close… We had lots of fun photos taken here, pretending we were having a photo shoot in Santorini. lol

View from the Cross at Sunken Cemetery: This monument has several broken guard rails that need fixing. Someone could have an accident and might fall if he or she is not careful.

Fourth Stop: These old Church ruins were what remained from the devastation caused by the Old Volcano when it erupted in 1871. There is no entrance fee but you could give a monetary donation and tip to the caretaker who can assist in taking souvenir group pictures.

The Belfry of the Old Church ruins…

Yes, the Lanzones of Camiguin: they were selling lanzones at Php35 per kilo only! However, now is not really the time for lanzones (regular harvest for this local fruit is during October) and so these tasted a bit sour. But we bought some anyway!

Last Stop: Ardent Hot Springs is where we capped off our little island adventure with a relaxing dip in the naturally warm waters. Entrance fee = Php30.

We wanted to watch the sunset at the sand bar or White Island but the Coast Guard issued a tsunami warning (from the earthquake in Chile) this afternoon and prevented small boats from traveling. So we postponed the trip to next morning instead…

Next Post: Part 4 – White Island, Camiguin

If you wish to visit Camiguin, Adarna Travel and Tours can help you with your bookings. Their tel. nos. are (02) 9344632 and (02) 5717739.

I have passed the Quezon City Memorial Circle probably a hundred times but never had a chance to stop by and to have a look around. So today, I was glad to have a chance to finally visit it since Lev’s martial arts tournament was being held there.

Crossing is a cinch: In order for a commuter (like me) to reach the Circle, he or she can cross the road using the new and improved underpass (above) near Philippine Coconut Authority.

What’s in the Circle? Joggers and exercise buffs make the Circle their fitness venue.  There were families who come for picnics or stroll around.  I saw pet owners walking their dogs. Students or barkadas converge to practice their dance routines or play basketball, volleyball and badminton.

The Quezon City Memorial: Took decades to build, it was finished in 1978. It was based on a design by architect, Federico Ilustre.

Some of the bas reliefs adorning the Memorial. I was happy to see they were all intact -so far- for I have heard of stories that bas reliefs here have been stolen (along with the imported Carrara marble and memorial funds) through the years.  Nakakahiya at nakakalungkot talaga.

The entrance to the museum. You can make any monetary donation if you want to see the inside.

On display at the museum: Quezon’s presidential memorabilia and some of his and his family’s personal items.

Quezon’s tomb is located at the base of the monument.

Other parts of the Circle that is of interest was the colorful Peace Wall…

…and the World Peace Bell.

To be continued in Part 2

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