Showing posts with label curiosities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label curiosities. Show all posts

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Moonrise in Antipolo

I have posted a lot about the sun (sunrises and sunsets) but seldom about the moon. Last weekend presented an opportunity to take a few photos of the moon as it rose from the mountains of Antipolo, Rizal. I thought the rise of the full moon was made more dramatic by the trees that almost obscured the view from our home.

Here are some photos of the moonrise I took with my iPhone 6. I initially tried to get a photo using my trusty Canon Ixus, a very good point and shoot. The requirements (read: adjustments to the camera settings) though to make a good photo didn't allow me time for something that was going to happen over a few seconds. It was a good decision to use the smartphone instead. There are no filters, modifications or enhancements to the following photos of the moonrise.

A friend commented on the same photos that I posted on social media and said that they seemed eerie because of the effect the dark tree branches had. I replied that I saw that immediately before I took the photos. This was deliberate on my part as it was part of the composition, this eerie sort of creepy subject of the full moon. Now I look forward to more moonrise photos.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo City - Part 1

I keep procrastinating posting about Tahanan Bistro. We have been wanting to try out this restaurant located in our home city. It is not your typical restaurant in that it is actually the home of wood furniture maker and artist Benji Reyes. Tahanan is located inside a private subdivision in Antipolo City, Rizal. Click on the link I provided to get more detailed info including their address and contact numbers.

As we were the only ones who were there for lunch, we had the full attention of the staff. We had a quick tour of the areas open to the public including the personal collections of the owners, who we were told were abroad at the time. The food was really good and I will just let the photos sort of speak for themselves rather than me describing each and maybe make some mistakes about my choice of words for what was for us a really good gastronomic experience.

At the time, they only had 3 sets on the menu and since there were three of us, we decided to order one of each so we can also share and sample everything. They now have a new menu, which the Clairvoyant and her friends tried out last weekend. She says they were not disappointed and the bistro is now among the top recommendations we have for friends coming to Antipolo and wanting a place where they can have really good food. A couple of important notes though: First, it is fine dining and so it is quite pricey (read: definitely not mid-range). Last, if your idea of good food is more on the quantitative side (read: buffet) then this is also not for you. I think this last note is clear from their social media page and from the photos I shared here.

More photos of Tahanan in Part 2 coming soon.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Replica watch

With a lot of fakes being featured in the news and social media, I thought why not have a feature on a fake. Only, this fake is termed as a 'replica' by those who would like to twist the words or perhaps are too proud to admit this.

I got this watch during a trip to Dalian, China. Our group was going around the city during our free time while attending a conference and we chanced upon not a few shops selling what we knew were bootleg watches. Curious about the watches and why a lot of what appeared to be tourists looking at the watches, we decided to take a look ourselves. We ended up getting some as souvenirs (just for fun). One friend even asked for the 'higher quality' replicas of a luxury brand he fancied.

If you weren't an expert, a collector or familiar with luxury brand watches and the features of genuine specimens, would you suspect this was not the real thing?
This is supposed to be a replica of an Omega Speedmaster automatic watch with calendar, day and date features. The tachymeter doesn't work unless you deliberately wait for the second hand to be at the 12 o'clock position for each run.
The makers of this watch did a decent enough job trying to replicate the Speedmaster emblem embossed at the back of the watch.
Even the bracelet is made to appear as an Omega

Here's the dial bearing Greek letter

Technically, this is not a fake watch as it is very much real. It is functional and gives good time as well as has having desirable features like it being automatic (I haven't determined how long it will run on a full charge but it will not stop if you wear it during your typical day and leave it on the table overnight until the next use.), waterproof (we submerged our watches in our hotel room's tub as we had some fun with it) and having a scratch-proof glass face (we tried scratching it with a knife and later a paper cutter to no avail). It's only sin is its claiming to be an luxury brand watch. I keep the watch as a memento from that trip to China and do wear it once in a while. It's a bit heavy compared to the usual watches I wear (I prefer my Seiko Kinetic Titanium or one of my Swatches depending on my mood.).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Albino bougainvilleas

I noticed something unusual with our bougainvilleas one morning while I was having breakfast. Curious and already suspecting something, I approached and confirmed my suspicion. We had an albino among our bougainvilleas. But this was only a stem out of an entire bunch. Here are a couple of photos I took of the albino stem and leaves including  close-up of leaves sprouting from the stem.

The albino developed from our variegated bougainvilleas
Here is a close-up of the step with a thorn and new leaves sprouting from the stem
I don't know how long the stem will survive given that the plants are located where they could get a lot of sun. Bougainvilleas love the sun and triggers their flowering. We do have other bougainvilleas around our home that don't get as much sun and so don't bloom as often and as much as the variegated variety along our back fence. It is something special and I also made sure our daughter saw it.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Curiosities at a tollway stop - Part 2: old globes on bookends

The impending decision on the Philippines' rights to territories in the West Philippine Sea against China's claims based on their nine dash line invention brings to mind our interest (or fascination) with old maps. I bought a pair of bookends that immediately caught my attention at the antique shop at a tollway stop that I featured in a recent post. The following photos show these bookends each with a globe of what appears as old renderings of the world.

A pair of bookends I found at an antique store at a stop along NLEX
The items are in very good condition though they do look old. I like the details including the compass around each globe.
A closer look at the globes (they are identical) reveal Asia and where the Philippine Islands should be situated. Interestingly, China is marked as Tartaria on the globe, a clear reference to the Tartars and where dominion was according to whoever made the map.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Useful curiosities at a tollway stop

We start July with a post on a recent find I made along, of all places, an expressway. A recent trip to Bataan provided a pleasant surprise in terms of a store I found at one of the stops along the North Luzon Expressway. There is a shop selling antiques and a lot of other old (and used) items from the US, Japan and Europe. The information on the sources, of course, came from the shop keepers and later, from the proprietor/owner whom I met as we were about to leave the stop. I ended up purchasing several items including a set of cups with pewter holders, which I show in this post.

This immediate caught my attention as I browsed the cabinets full of coffee and tea sets as well as various mugs, glasses, bowls and plates.
The designs on the china are exquisite so you know this was finely made.
Even the handle on the pewter holder seem meticulously crafted.
The cups caught my attention among the many other cups, mugs, pots, glasses, plates and bowls in the shop. When I initially asked for the price of the five cup set, the shopkeeper couldn't give me one as she said it was a new item. Fortunately, I inquired about it before we had our meal at the restaurant nearby. When we did finish eating, I decided to cross over to what I thought was another, different shop from across the restaurant. It turned out to be an extension of the shop I earlier entered and there was the proprietor/owner who I casually engaged in conversation. I ended up asking about the cups and the shopkeeper eagerly brought it to us for the proprietor to give me a fair price for the cups. In a future post I will feature the other items I got from the shop.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Picking in Tagaytay

The Clairvoyant spotted a house along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road that sold antiques and other curiosities. We felt like we were in an episode of 'The Pickers' when we pulled along the road in front of the house. A woman emerged from the house to meet us and welcome us, inviting us to take a look at what they have. And they have a lot of stuff as can be seen upon entry to the house.

What could have been the sala or receiving area for guests is full of various items. The place was literally overflowing with stuff collected by the owners of the house from all over.
There were lots of Japanese dolls that seem to have been collected from many sources. I found that strange considering not so many people from the Philippines and particularly the surrounding areas of the house have gone to Japan. I suspect many dolls were brought from the second hand or 'surplus' shops that sold items from Japan.
What was supposed to be a kitchen was also full of stuff like candle holders, drinking glasses, framed old postcards, figurines, etc.
More items such as antique furniture like the chairs and tables in the photo are found in the rooms of the house. We notices a lot of old windows, probably recovered from old homes that were being demolished, and framed prints and paintings.
There were furniture sets and various framed items including what looked like souvenirs from trips in other ASEAN countries like Indonesia and Thailand. The wooden furniture were interesting because these were likely made from old hardwood and made by artisans now gone. You can probably have these restored to their old glory.
In addition to frames, there were also some interesting pieces like the dividers in this photo. The prints on the screens show images of what appears as royalty from China, Thailand or one of its neighbor countries, judging from what they are wearing.
Another looks at the walls show prints or reproductions of familiar paintings or photos. We suspect that while these prints or reproductions might have a little value due to their age, the frames would probably be the ones that are of significance partly because most appear to be of old wood.
There is what appears to be a bodega at the back of the house that is also full of various items including antique furniture, and furnishings and accessories.
Converted into a small table is this wooden slab that seems to be part of a desk dating back to when the Philippines was under the United States (Commonwealth period). The carving is obviously the seal of the US government. 
This is not your typical chair but actually an antique toilet. The pot is visible  through the hole in the seat.
I thought the prices indicated in most of the stuff were low especially with the antique furniture. Some likely had historical value so it would be worthwhile for someone on the hunt for authentic and valuable antiques to come with someone who knows these stuff. 

We picked up a couple of stuff, which I will feature in another post. We had ideas about some of the furniture we saw, which we thought could probably be restored. We know some people who could do that for us (we have a furniture suki in Taguig).

Monday, July 28, 2014

Angono Petroglyphs - Part 2

It took a while for this Part 2 to be posted and I didn't want to delay this more considering July is ending soon and Part 1 was weeks ago. And so without further adieu, here's the second and concluding part of my feature on the Angono Petroglyphs in Binangonan.

The site of the petroglyphs is just a stone's throw away from the museum building that also serves as an indoor lecture venue during rainy days. There is a platform that was constructed in order for visitors to be able to view the petroglyphs without disturbing or vandalizing the archeological treasures. Many years ago when the platform was not yet constructed and people had direct and close access to the petroglyphs and many have left their unwanted marks there.

The original path to the petroglyphs is a narrow trail at the side of the mountain.
A close-up from the previous photo reveals the stairs carved from the stone that made the site more accessible in the past.
Figures of people performing what looks like rituals or worship can be seen everywhere.
I couldn't quite decipher if there were other activities depicted in the petroglyphs.
Some figures though are grouped and seem to indicate entire families who probably worshiped together. However, most interesting in this photo is a depiction on the center-left of what were supposed to be giant land turtles that roamed the area.
Beneath the petroglyphs are more recent carvings on the rock. These were made by vandals including those who probably thought that leaving their own marks would ensure that these will also be preserved for "eternity." Their presumptions are likely to be true but then theirs will surely be remembered as acts of follies if not stupidity.
Another example of the vandalisms at the petroglyphs site can be clearly seen at the center of the photo.
The petroglyphs are carved on rock that is generally protected from the elements. The same protection was likely given to the people who came here for worship or whatever activities they did back in those ancient days.
Noticeable are the many holes on the rock face.
A look back at the figures etched on rock gives one an idea of the extent of the petroglyphs.
Many parts have been subject to natural weathering and we've been informed that the holes are natural and not man-made.
In some parts, there are plants already growing on the rock but these don't seem to be a threat to the petroglyphs.
We'll also probably be back here another time. Aside from the casino and resort hotel in the area, there seems to be some other attractions including, of course, the many art museums a bit further on in the Angono town proper.