Saturday, May 26, 2018

St. Eusebius' Church in Arnhem

I was quite excited to go to Arnhem to see the titular "bridge too far" but was not surprised to see a dynamic city that included several landmarks aside from the bridge. One of these landmarks was the St. Eusebius Church, which dominated the cityscape. The church had the tallest structure in the city and this was an even larger building than the old church in Enschede.

It was difficult to get a good shot of the church at close distance. Here is a photo showing the scaffolds they installed for the restoration work.
The perimeter of the church is fenced off.
This is the church across from St. Eusebius, which, I am told is where they hold Masses. St. Eusebius is now more a museum and an architecture school than what it was built for in the first place (i.e., a place for worship).
Antiquated bells adorn the side walls of the church
Another view of the church
People pass by the back of the church where the streets are closed off to vehicular traffic for the outdoor bazaar.
The church is generally not open to the public or at least not for religious purposes. The exception here being the parts that are being exhibited as part of its restoration/preservation. I was able to get a nice souvenir though, which was similar to those I collected in my travels to the US where you press a coin into a machine that you crank, and transforms it to one of various designs featured.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Olma manual wind vintage watch

One of our favorite vintage watch auctions featured a double and a good friend and I decided to share the bid and watches. The two were both manual wind Olma watches, and looked like they were in good condition. My first vintage Swiss watch was an Olma not counting my Swatch collection that has 25-year old models.

Classic watch face featuring lumed hands (they still glow once the lights are off)
Side view
Another side view of the watch
The watch's back showing it to have the following features: anti-magnetic, waterproof, incabloc, stainless steel. Fortunately, there were no other stuff etched at the back of the watch (the other one didn't either).
The watch crown features the Olma logo (signed crown).

I have not opened the watch to see the movement but this is likely one of those with 18,000 bph. I have timed it only once so far and it performed very well with only a very slight gain over the period I observed it. That period turned out to be a very solid 55.5 hours.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Chocolate review: Meiji The Chocolate Vivid Milk

The Clairvoyant spotted some chocolate bars at the Japanese products section of the supermarket. We don't usually get milk chocolate but we were curious to taste this new bar from Meiji. It is marketed as a dark milk chocolate with 54% cacao content (its there in the box).

The packaging design on this one is quite interesting as it seems to be as close to artisan chocolate as Meiji has come so far.
The information on the back are in Japanese but one can deduce that there is info here about the origins of the cacao used for the chocolate as well as its characteristics (see the graph?).
Here's a close up showing what the local distributor thought was a translation of "vivid". That was unnecessary since the English was clearly stated in the package.
Here's another close-up of the other part of the back prominently showing the chocolate to be "Made in Japan"
The packaging of Japanese products is always interesting and can be a delight to behold. Opening the box reveals three bars of chocolate wrapped separately. But notice, too, the design of the inside of the box.

Opening one reveals another interesting design; this time on the chocolate bar itself.
Meiji did very well on this chocolate. It is a smooth milk chocolate. Not too sweet with just the right bitterness for its claim as a dark chocolate. I forgot how much one cost but it is about triple that of a Meiji Black bar. However, I think this 50g bar is priced just right for its quality.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Chocolate review: Sander Chocolate Venezolano Sal Marina

The recent trip by the Clairvoyant brought us some excellent chocolates from Venezuela. These were from a lawyer-friend from their office in Venezuela, who usually gifts us with chocolates whenever they meet for their firm's annual meeting.

"Sal marina" translates directly into "sea salt"
Details on the chocolate at the back
Details on the maker

This was probably the most fragrant chocolates we've had. We noted that although the packaging was quite simple, the chocolate spoke for itself, and proved the saying "don't judge a book by its cover." Indeed, one cannot judge this chocolate by the packaging as it was smooth and sweet-smelling. This is an example of a chocolate you should eat slowly so you can enjoy it longer. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Shachihoko Japanese Restaurant, Circle Mall, Marikina

We finally got to go to Marikina again to try out one of the many restaurants in the city. There are actually several areas where you can have good meals in the city. These include Lilac Street, the streets near and around City Hall, Gil Fernando Avenue, and the Circle Mall in SSS Village.

I usually pass the Circle Mall of SSS Village en route to my office via the Tumana route and have been curious about this ramen restaurant.
We had an early lunch and arrived in time for the restaurant to open business for the day.
We were the only customers so it was easy to take photos of the restaurant. The main dining area is on the 2nd floor.
Nice clean set-up with ample space for groups
They had lunch sets (bento) and typical Japanese desserts, which were presented to us when the waitress handed us the menus (opened to these pages).
Ramen and udon items in the menu
Donburi or rice toppings for people on the go
Other Japanese food favorites on the menu
I had the Shiroi Ramen, which was delightful though a bit on the creamy side. That's gyoza near my bowl. We usually order gyoza to go as additional viand on the side whenever we have ramen.
The bar set-up at the first floor allows customers to observe the kitchen.
Shachihoko serves good food and the service was also good. To be honest, the ramen is good though not at the level of the more authentic restos (e.g., Ikkoryu Fukuoka, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, etc.). It should satisfy your Japanese food cravings though and it is on the more affordable side.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Enicar ultrasonic manual wind vintage watch

I consider myself lucky to have acquired this watch through an auction. Enicar watches in good condition are hard to come by. I saw one being auctioned in another Fb page that was badly corroded despite the gold plating. This one looks great and functions very well.

The watch currently is strapless as I have not had the time to get an appropriate one for this piece. A nato or zulu strap did not seem to be suitable for this one.

Vintage watch face showing what I consider a very good patina.
Side view
Side view showing the crown
The watch back showing it to be of stainless steel, and the watch to be anti-magnetic. It doesn't say waterproof so have to be careful with this one especially during rainy days.
I already observed this a few times and on a full wind I can get 39 to 40 hours of accurate time from this Enicar ultrasonic. Again, not bad for an old watch. I will be posting again about this once I have found a suitable strap for this vintage piece.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Preferred travel watch

My good old Seiko Kinetic Titanium Auto Relay is still my preferred travel watch. I take this along with me whenever I am traveling to certain places for the first time. It is reliable and the kind of watch that few if any people will pay attention to ("hindi pansinin") whenever I am going around.

That's Amsterdam Central Station in the background of this photo taken from my hotel room.
Nevertheles, I now carry a back-up watch whenever I travel and that is usually something that I know to be reliable and preferably won't require a battery. If I know that I would be swimming or taking a dip in the beach then I always take one of my divers. My favorite would be my Swatch diver, which I have taken for swims in Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Sarangani.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Il Ristorante di Antonio, Antipolo City

We've always promoted the city that we call our home - Antipolo. There are lots of places to go to around the city and these include restaurants like those along Sumulong Highway as well as those you will find only in Antipolo like Vieux Chalet, Marison's and Abuela's. For this post, I would like to feature an Italian restaurant, Il Ristorante di Antonio, which is located at a building along the L. Sumulong Memorial Circle and across from the Unciano Hospital (Hint: It's on the 2F of a building that has a Yellow Cab Pizza branch at the ground floor).

The interior for me is very homey. It is a clean, well-lighted place.
Pumpkin soup, which our daughter liked very much
Bolognese cooked and tasted the way we wanted
They had a very good Marinara
Their Quattro formaggi pizza did not disappoint
Sign at the stairs of the building

You can see their full menu and other information in their website (link provided earlier and here). There is ample parking at the building so its no hassle for people coming to dine at the resto. I believe their food is authentic Italian and fairly priced. The restaurant is definitely one I recommend for those looking to eat Italian food whenever in Antipolo.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Julia's Pasta

I discovered this "fast food" option while going around Amsterdam Central Station. A good friend actually mentioned this but I hadn't come across it while in Enschede or Arnhem. Julia's Pasta is an excellent option for people on the go who don't want the hassle of going to a restaurant to get a healthy meal. I've always thought that you can eat healthy if only the available choices where to get your meal would only exert a bit more effort in providing these options. Julia's, I think, does just that.

They had what looked like freshly made pastas and sauces, and herbs that went into each box of pasta order ready to be plucked from the metal pots.
The staff were engaging and they seem to have everything available for a quick healthy meal for people on the go.
The box reminded me of Chinese food takeouts.
Fresh arugula!
I took my takeout with me back to the hotel where I enjoyed my food while sorting through my loot for the day. I highly recommend Julia's over sit-down restaurants, especially the fancy ones, for travelers/tourists who would likely be traveling on a budget. Its good, healthy food that's wallet-friendly. I wish we had more options like this in Manila though I'm sure there are many holes-in-the-wall types or "aristo-carts" offering good food choices as well. 

Note: I'm sure there are those who would have a different opinion about Julia's but then understand where I am coming from. Good food in Manila is usually associated with pricey restaurants and not all "artisto-carts" or informal food sources/stands sell healthy or even clean food.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Watch luminosity

I was checking which of my watches had lumes and which actually worked when lights were off. The older, vintage watches mostly had none and if they had, it appeared to be corroded or weathered. Anyhow, following are some photos I took of the watches that 'performed' well after I turned the lights off.

Hamilton King Khaki
Mido Ocean Star
Seiko Landmaster
Vostok Komandirskie
I have to check the others and will post about them soon.