Monday, January 29, 2018

Mondia automatic watch

I conclude January with another watch feature. Mondia was a Swiss brand and currently an Italian company that sources movements from Switzerland as well as Japan. I got this from my favorite Visayan seller of vintage watches. I'm not sure what year this was produced as internet research has not revealed this to me. I assume though that this is more contemporary and therefore, Italian.

The watch face reminded me of the big TW Steel watches. The red tip of the second hand adds a bit of flair or elegance depending on how you see it.
This one had a date feature.
There's something about the material of the watch face that makes it blue when seen from another angle.
Here's a view of the crown with the Mondia logo and the obvious chip.
The watch had a see-through back that showcased the Swiss automatic movement. I haven't determined what specific movement this is based on the internet research I have done so far but it is likely to be an ETA with perhaps 38 to 42-hour capacity running on at least 21,600 bph.
The watch viewed from another angle shows a very likeable design. The hands and hour markers retained their luminosity.
The leather strap on this watch is of very good quality. Lugs is at 20mm so I have lots of options in case I want to change it.
The watch was out of commission for some time as the movement broke after I shook it to jumpstart the watch. I took it to a trusted watch repair shop near our place where the repairman was able to fix the movement. I had the watch overhauled and cleaned and my repair guy found some screws to be missing or inappropriate for the movement. Apparently, the previous owner or whoever last checked the movement tinkered with it and wasn't able to bring the movement back the right way. The watch is currently working well, keeping time, and I have been comparing it to reliable clocks for accuracy.

Here is another photo of the watch - a wrist shot that I took this evening and which shows the blue hue on the face that I was able to capture with the lighting in our living room.


Friday, January 26, 2018

On hotel breakfasts again

Traveling to Tacloban again last week, we were fortunate to be able to stay at a decent hotel that served breakfast buffets. I took a photo of the relatively good variety of viands we had for breakfasts so you can have a good one before going out to work. In our case, work required a lot of walking and traveling so a good meal was important for us.

Bacon, beef tapa, hotdog, danggit, eggs and rice - the breakfast of champions!

They also had cereals, bread and fruits but these were the usual cornflakes and cocoa puffs as well as the watermelon or bananas. Nothing as fancy or plentiful as those offered in big hotels but the food was good and sustaining. Of course, I would have preferred to have some bircher muesli but this is much better than what other hotels offer for the same price range we got for our stay.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Liv Rebel-A automatic watch

I am not one of those who are overly apprehensive of purchasing things online. In fact, I have done so for a long time via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and more recently the likes of Ebay, Lazada and even Facebook.

I got this one via Kickstarter. I learned about the watch from an ad that appeared on Facebook and I got curious about it. To cut a long story short, I decided to "invest" in this project but also had to be careful so I only chose the option that will lead to a single watch reward. I did choose the middle option by going for the automatic.

The watch was delivered in a box and opening it shows the company tagline.
There's a pouch
And inside is a rather big box - not as large as my Moonwatch's though
My first look at the watch that was made with my support
The simple design makes this one functional but still aesthetically sound.
Side view showing the crown with the distinct Liv logo.
The watch is quite thick and weighs on the heavy side even compared with my larger watches.
Side view showing the crown
Here is the see-through case back featuring a Sellita SW200-1 movement that has a 38-hour power reserve at 28,800 bph. The movement is the same as the one powering my Hampton.
Here it is on my wrist the first time I tried it on.

The Clairvoyant likes the watch but finds it quite heavy. I thought it was a pretty big and hefty watch, too, but it suits me and I wear it more often than I thought I would be given my many other options to wear any given day. Liv is a newby in the world of watchmaking and it is a Miami-based company that complied with the requirements for their watches to be "Swiss Made". So far, I think their watches are really good in terms of functionality and aesthetics, and only time will tell if these will be collectible.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Like a shepherd tending to the flock

The past few Sundays that we heard Mass at the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (PIHM) in Antipolo City, we have been fortunate to have the Bishop of Antipolo presiding the service. These were the Sunday of December 24 and December 31, the eve of Christmas and New Year's. Here are a couple of photos I took as the Mass concluded on the last day of 2017.

It is not often that you have the Bishop preside over a Sunday Mass. Usually, this happens only on very special occasions including Christmas and Easter, and these are usually with some if not much fanfare. In the case of the two Sundays I was referring to, these were simple, straightforward celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. The only noteworthy part was on December 24 when the Bishop invited all children to come in front after Mass as he and staff distributed candies that were his Christmas gifts to children. I hope this becomes a more regular thing as the Bishop gave good, thoughtful, meaningful homilies.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Coming home at last

After a week at the hospital, my mother is finally coming home. Mama had a stroke last Friday and it was a good thing my brother was still home to rightly identify her losing her balance and fall as a stroke. This we confirmed after a battery of tests including an MRI that revealed she had other 'small' strokes before. We thought she was lucky this was also a minor one and that the fall didn't result in any complications that could have made things more difficult (some people hit their head or have other injuries). It could have been a whole different situation that could easily have deteriorated given Mama is also diabetic.

Now, we begin the next chapter with Mama's rehabilitation. She will be doing physical therapy to get the strength back in her legs and the balance she lost due to the stroke. We also noticed that there's some memory loss and some slur in her speech days after the stroke but we believe these will eventually be resolved. For now, she will be using a wheelchair but we believe she will heal by the grace of God.

We are very thankful to people who were there to support us especially relatives and friends who prayed with us and shared positive thoughts and vibes. You know who you are whom we chose to let know about this trying experience. May God bless you for the comfort you brought us.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pasqualino's Ristorante Italiano

A highlight of my recent travel to Tacloban is going to this Italian restaurant located on top of a hill not in Tacloban but in the town of Sta. Rita in the nearby island of Samar. It wasn't difficult to go there as Samar and Leyte are connected by the San Juanico Bridge, and it was just minutes away from where we were already doing fieldwork so we "didn't mind" going out of the way to have a good meal.

Tables are set around the pool and there's a more private area that should be good for meetings or dates.
Restaurant lobby or foyer - this was probably what used to be the receiving or living area for the house. The decor reminds us of the Christmas season that ended last Sunday with the Feast of the Epiphany that is more popularly known as "Three Kings".
An infinity pool and breathtaking views of the San Juanico Strait
Bar and kitchen with the Christmas Tree and reindeer

Entrance to the restaurant - guests may wait here or maybe take some photos of the splendid views including those with the San Juanico Bridge.
Coconut water from the shell
Their version of one of my favorite pastas - prosciutto and porcini mushrooms
Their best-selling pizza is "Everything and Prosciutto" and I must say that it is a "must try"
Fresh salad
Meat platter

Pasqualino's is owned by the same family behind Giuseppe's at the corner of Del Pilar and Veteranos in the Tacloban downtown. The food is great and the prices won't punch a hole in your wallet or pocket. Servings are generous and the service is also good. You just can't go here quite frequently though so perhaps Giuseppe's is the place for you if you're in downtown Tacloban.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Grand Seiko quartz watch strap change

I wrote about my Grand Seiko last month and mentioned my desire to change the blue leather strap it came with when I got it. I got the leather strap I wanted from the Hirsch store at Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons. They have a very nice selection of straps there and it was tough to choose one for this classic watch.

This is my Grand Seiko model 9581-7020, which is a quartz watch.
The GS emblem (its usually a medallion in the automatic GS models) on the case back. Details on the watch can be seen etched below the emblem.
The watch from another angle.
This is a very thin watch as shown in the photo. The lug on this one is 18mm, which is also shown in the photo stamped on the leather strap.
Here is the watch again shown with the new fine leather strap. If anyone is wondering, the wood here is actually a nice cheeseboard a good friend gave us as an anniversary gift.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Another look at the San Juanico Bridge

I was back in Tacloban last week and was able to try out a new restaurant but in the nearby island of Samar. I will post about this dining experience in a future post. Meanwhile, here is a photo of the San Juanico Bridge from the restaurant, which is located at the top of a hill with a great view of the San Juanico Strait dividing Leyte and Samar.

View of the San Juanico Bridge from Pasqualino's, which is in the island of Samar

I was fortunate to be able to take a clear shot of the bridge as the weather was not cooperating last Friday when it was mostly raining and the bridge was usually shrouded by rain or mist.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Rodania Manual Wind Incabloc

Here's something old for the New Year. Another watch in my collection is this manual wind Rodania that I also got online. This is also a Swiss watch and a brand that almost lost it out also during the 1970s with the onslaught of inexpensive but reliable quartz watches. It survived and still produces high quality watches that are said to be very popular in the Benelux countries.

The watch face is simple and accented only by the red second hand. There are no complications like a day or date display.
Watch back has the brand name, logo and specs etched on it.
Crown with the brand logo
Another view of the watch showing the crown and face
This was another good buy and I was lucky to have caught the usual bidders sleeping when I got this from a popular FB page.

There are a couple of links on Rodania watches including the officiate site and the wikipedia entry that I found useful when I decided to get this watch. I use this as one of my back-up watches. It is pretty reliable though I have determined it gains time (maybe +1 minute over 24 hours?) based on my observations and comparison with other watches I deem to be my most accurate ones (including my Seiko watches and my smartphone's clock). To me, this is still pretty good and easily corrected though maybe if I traveled to Japan again, I would likely go with my Seiko's or my Baume, which are quite accurate and suitable for the train and bus schedules.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Chocolate review: Complementary chocolate at the hotel

It's nice to start the year with some chocolates. We did enjoy a new one on New Year's Eve that I will write about soon. Meanwhile, here is a quick one on some complementary chocolates from a recent trip. My wife traveled to London recently via Singapore and on her way back, she stayed overnight in the city state in order to catch up with friends there. We had lived for almost 2 years in Singapore and love to come back once in a while to visit friends and go around our favorite haunts including its national museum. She decided to try out the new Sofitel there as it was also strategically located and allowed her easy transport as she met up with old friends. The hotel had some complementary chocolates at her room when she came back from her meetings.

Sofitel left the chocolate in this simple but elegant-looking box
I took the white chocolate while the wife had the dark
The chocolates were exquisite and if she had tasted it earlier could have been tempted to purchase a box at the lobby shop. There will be a next time so I look forward to that with me, hopefully, also getting to go to Singapore again.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Farewell 2017 and Hello 2018!

With just a few hours until the new year, I looked back at a very blessed 2017. This was a very productive year for me and a momentous one. I turned 45 earlier this year and among the things I wanted to do were to travel to new places. I was able to do these with new places both international and domestic. Among my travels this year were my trips to Australia, Vietnam, and Zamboanga.

The Sydney Opera House
Ho Chi Minh City Hall and statue of the man credited for uniting Vietnam
Zamboanga City airport

I look forward to an even more exciting year ahead with new places to explore and more experiences to live. More importantly, I look forward to spending more time with family, especially our soon to be four-year old daughter who is growing and developing so fast before our eyes. Here's to life and love!

God bless us all this 2018!