Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

Thursday, March 7, 2019

On homemade cheese cupcakes

I mentioned to the Clairvoyant that it seems that we won't be enjoying the cheese cupcakes we used to buy from the now defunct Shoppersville. The last bakeshop was now closed and I never thought my purchase of a box of cupcakes and brownies a couple of weeks before was the last time I would be getting these goodies. It looks like they are closed for good. 

And so the wife took some inspiration from that and after getting bit by the proverbial baking bug, decided to make some cheese cupcakes from scratch. It helped that she has a new mixer and got some 'assistance' from our daughter who had prodded her to make some cupcakes so she can take them to school for her baon.

Checking the cupcakes in the oven includes checking the temperature
The cupcakes were baking just right
Cheese cupcakes fresh from the oven
The cupcakes were great and reminded me of those we got at the old Shoppersville. Now, we know we can make these at home at least from time to time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Maligayang Pasko!

Maligayang Pasko! Nawa’y ang liwanag na ibinahagi sa atin ay ating ibahagi rin sa kapwa [May we be able to share the light that was shared with us.].

Our belen or nativity scene for the last 3 years is this one we got at the Padre Pio Center near Eastwood in Quezon City.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mango trees in full bloom

The village where I reside in was supposedly formerly a mango orchard. As such, there are many old large mango trees everywhere. The Clairvoyant and I like to think that a mature mango tree is the status symbol for a homeowner in our village and we are fortunate to have one in our home. We actually oriented our house to retain the mango tree in our lot (the right thing to do) and it is one of the distinct features of our home.

Most of the old mango trees where I reside are now in full bloom. Many branches (large and small) are now sagging with the weight of the flowers. I am afraid branches will start crashing down once the flowers transform into fruits.
Our mango tree had not been as productive the past almost 4 years after a large branch was removed by a strong typhoon in 2014. We were able to harvest something like 3 to 4 boxes of carabao mangoes then, and now look forward to a good harvest in a few weeks.
Another street and more flowering mango trees.
We hope to have a good harvest in the coming weeks and are praying that there won't be heavy rains that will ruin the flowers.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Adobo antigo?

We start February with a feature on food. The Clairvoyant was thinking about coming up with something new for lunch dinner last Sunday. She usually makes excellent (for me) pasta dishes so that was what we usually had for lunches. Last Saturday evening, the wife made pesto from scratch and cooked up great tuna pesto pasta. Last Sunday though, she decided she would try making adobo, a favorite dish in the Philippines that has many versions across the country.

Adobo antigo from the recipe in the book that was a gift from a close friend of ours. The plating does not seem enticing but the taste is two thumbs up!
"Antigo" directly translates into "antique" and so the recipe maybe is referring to an old way of cooking adobo. Perhaps its just me but I thought this version of the adobo was really good. It did help that my wife was very much attuned to our taste buds and we had all the ingredients needed to cook this favorite.

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.


Monday, December 25, 2017

Parol - Christmas lanterns

I had a meeting in Angeles City last week and took the opportunity to go lantern-shopping. We went to the shops in Dau, Mabalacat where we previously bought lanterns. A friend asked us to get her a parol and told us her budget was 1,500 pesos. That seemed to be a low budget for a nice lantern but you can get a nice medium sized parol for less after some bargaining with the shopkeepers. We ended up purchasing more parol as I got one for my parents' home and my colleagues also bought one each for their homes. We already have several at our home including one like the one I got for my parents.

The shopkeepers turn on the lanterns when customers arrive. It is a very colorful display that tends to capture your attention and convince you to get one for your home. We got one each as well as a parol for our friend who asked us to get her one.
There are various designs and sizes that will fit your budget. And all are made very well. In fact, the province of Pampanga including Angeles City, San Fernando and Mabalacat, is well known for parol. There is an annual competition for the best parol in Pampanga and the competition is a tourist attraction in the province.
Some people prefer the colored lanterns as they are still colorful even when not lighted (i.e., during the day). I prefer the simplicity of the white parol.
There are other Christmas-themed decors available at the shops including Santa Clauses, reindeer pulling a sleigh, and flowers. I prefer the parol over these more 'contemporary' decors.
My brother sent me this photo of the parol at our parents' home in Cainta. I got this for only 2,300 pesos and you cannot get a similar one with comparable size and workmanship for less than 5,000 pesos in Metro Manila or nearby places.
The parol is one of the symbols of Christmas for Filipinos as it represents the star over Bethlehem when Christ was born. You know there is a Filipino abroad when there is a parol displayed at their homes. I remember seeing parol displayed outside the windows and balconies of apartments and high-rise condominiums around us when we were previously living in Singapore. My Ninang (godmother)  in Japan also had a lantern hung outside their home that my Ninong (godfather, who was Japanese) says reminded them of the Philippines and family. We have one similar to the one I got for parents hanging from our balcony as well as a classic star that hangs over our lanai.

To our family to yours, a Blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A curious painting by Monnar Baldemor

A very interesting painting we had acquired together with the work by Manuel Baldemor is one by his son Monnar. We chose this one among several presented to us by a suki art dealer. The first thing that caught my attention was the central figures of a couple of ladies who appeared to be dancing or prancing about. It helped, too, that the colors were vibrant, happy. The photo below of the painting does not give justice to this work.

The piece reminded me of the works by Salvador Dali and even that of Pablo Picasso. I am not aware of whether the younger Baldemor was influenced by these greats but it is likely given their body of work.Recently, I saw a huge painting by Monnar at the Art Circle Gallery at UP Diliman featuring another lady but this time with lots of shoes and watermelons in the background. These elements interested me as these were favorites of our daughter.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Watercolors by a Cebuano artist

There are two framed watercolor paintings at home. I also acquired them while on a trip in Cebu almost a decade ago. I forget the name of the artist but he was young and was introduced to me by Boy Kiamko who took the former under his wing. At the time, it seemed that the young artist, who was a college student then, was unsure about pursuing painting and needed some encouragement. The paintings depict close-ups of rocks and other items as seen through the clear waters of a river (stream?) in rural Cebu. These were of the more realism-style paintings that impressed. I thought then that the artist should pursue art as he obviously had the talent, and bought the two paintings to encourage him. I was traveling light at the time so there it wasn't a problem to lug the two framed paintings on the plane back to Manila.

The artist signed his name on each painting but I could no longer trace him or his subsequent works (if he did pursue painting) as I am limited by what he wrote on each painting: llauron. I've never asked his mentor about him so maybe one of these days I will. This wasn't in my agenda the last time I was in Cebu because I was vacationing with family in Mactan.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mother and child by Boy Kiamko

A painting in our daughter's bedroom is an abstract image of the classic mother and child. It is a work by well-known Cebuano artist Boy Kiamko. I got it the first time I met him, introduced by a common friend who also got some of his works.

Our daughter likes this painting as she understood what it represented and our explanation of its meaning to us. We have several mother and child pieces at our home including figures we got from trips abroad. I have another painting by Kiamko at my office. The subject of that painting is the jeepney.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Vietnamese painting

The Clairvoyant's second trip to Vietnam more than a decade ago yielded a few artworks including small ones that are now spread around our home. The small ones are mostly prints that we framed and hung in pairs. One oil painting stands out among that haul and which I feature in this post.

The photo above does not do any justice on the painting. It is really much more impressive and I always like to look at it from a certain angle and lighting when it seems to come alive. The brush strokes are also impressive for me who is not an expert on art. It currently hangs in our bedroom where it fits perfectly against our accent wall. I forget who the artist is but there's a certificate of authenticity with us somewhere in our archives at home. Also, we recently found that there is another work of the same artist that we have not yet framed. I will feature that as soon as its framed for better appreciation.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Lady with a flute Jay-R Delleva

Another favorite of our daughter is this painting by Jay-R Delleva. The painting depicts a woman playing a flower flute while hummingbirds fly around her. Our daughter sees her as some kind of fairy and so we keep it at that. The painting's quite large and for a time sat on the console table in our guest room until we cleared it for my in-laws who were staying over a holiday weekend. The painting is now prominently displayed at the landing of our staircase.

Check out the artist's other works at DeviantArt. Many appear to be whimsical, some playful, and others on the weird side. But all, I think, are quite the fantasy.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Girl with bubbles and gumamela by Jomike Tejido

I start July with another post on a painting we have at home. There's a large painting at home that's quite unique. We got this painting through a fundraiser a friend of the Clairvoyant was running. It got her attention as the painting reminded her of our daughter's fascination with bubbles.

Unlike other painting we have of oil on canvass or water color on paper, this one is acrylic on treated banig (a native woven mat usually made of coconut tree leaves). A few months ago, I noticed some damage on the banig as insects were able to bore through it. The holes were not noticeable but upon closer inspection and some magnification (in my case using a smartphone) you can see multiple holes in a classic case of bukbok. We contacted the artist, Jomike Tejido, who is an architect by profession, to ask him about how we can address this issue. He examined the painting and generously took it to repair the mat and retouch his work. He mentioned that he had not previously encountered this issue so he was also curious about what happened and how it can be addressed. One thing that changed in the painting when it was returned to us was that there is now a smile on the girl in the painting. The artist asked the Clairvoyant about this so it could be a happy image and we agreed on his suggestion.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A living room centerpiece by Manuel Baldemor

A major piece in our collection at home is one by popular artist Manuel Baldemor. We had wanted to own one of his classic pieces before but couldn't afford to buy even one of the smaller paintings we had seen at galleries featuring his work. He is perhaps one of the most in-demand artists despite the price tags on his painting. The loud whispers state that he seems to be an artist who's highly likely to become national artist one day. He certainly is prolific but the value of his painting continues to rise.

The photo doesn't give justice to how beautiful this painting is. It is our largest painting at home measuring about 3 x 2 feet without the frame. We believe it is a very good investment and it currently is a main feature of our living room. It is not as dominating though as our bookshelves across from it, which also has our collections of books and souvenirs from our trips here and abroad.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A family of three by Norma Belleza

Another work of art is one that graces our living room and definitely one of our favorites in our small collection. This oil painting by Norma Belleza depicts a family of three among fruits and fishes. It is a typical scene in many of the artist's paintings. We got this one within about a year after we had moved to our new home away from the flood-prone area we used to reside at. We like to think that the painting also expressed one of our most fervent wishes. That is, we had wanted to have our own child for a long time. Little did we know that at the time we got the painting that our daughter was soon on her way. :)

Our daughter loves looking at this painting. And she always points to the child being her with her Mommy and Daddy. She also likes to identify the different fruits in the painting. I like the painting for its bright (happy colors) and the Filipino features on the persons in the painting. It currently is grouped with the Antonio Ko and Amador Barquilla paintings I wrote about in previous posts here.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Jeepney by Amador Barquilla

It seemed appropriate for me to acquire a painting with the jeepney as subject. The jeepney is an iconic vehicle in the Philippines and a transport mode that has often been called the "King of the Road." I fancied one by Amador Barquilla in another auction for charity more than 2 years ago (we got the Antonio Ko earlier this year). The scene is distinctive of the jeepney, which is depicted here as filled with passengers. People are on the roof or hanging at the back (sabit), which are common sights especially in the rural areas. I like this painting, too, because the colors are so vivid and I am amused by the way people are illustrated, each apparently doing one thing.

This is the second painting with the jeepney as subject that we have acquired. The first one is an oil painting by a popular Cebuano artist. I will write about that in a future post.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Art work by Antonio Ko, Jr.

I remember the Clairvoyant first showed me a painting by the late artist Antonio Ko, Jr. when we were newlyweds. He had this series of bouquets of different colors that we liked so much we said we'd like to have one in the future. That future was not an immediate one as we couldn't afford to buy one despite what seemed to be reasonable prices for a piece. It took us about 14 years to finally own one.  We acquired it through a fundraising auction where my bid finally prevailed after a suspenseful process. The online stage ended with bids too close to call so that the painting went to the live auction stage. We couldn't attend the live auction but fortunately a good friend was there to place our bids. And here is our prize:

The oil painting is framed on antique wood that complements it perfectly. The photo doesn't do the artist's work justice as it is a complicated piece with so much texture that is a testament to the excellent brush strokes applied by the artist. It now hangs prominently in our living area at our home. It is beside another oil painting by Norma Belleza that we acquired earlier. I will write about other works we have acquired over the last few years including one from an artist who's paintings we admired and we had only dreamed of owning before.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mama's garden

I was featuring my mother's garden but have not shown it in perspective. Following is a photo of the 'larger' part of her humble garden, which basically goes around my parents' home. You can see the orchids here that are the main attractions. Most of the plants are relatively low maintenance and our kasambahay Ate Ellen helps her care for the plants. As the wet season has arrived, they won't really have to water the plants that much.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Falenopsis Orchids for Mama

Last Sunday was Mothers' Day and as we were hosting lunch at our home, we decided to get something for our mothers and my sister whom we were expecting at noon. One of the first things that came to my mind was orchids. My mother has a nice garden where she has a lot of flowering plants. Among these were those that Tatay, my siblings and I had given her in the past that she nurtured and succeeded in propagating. My mother-in-law also has a garden in their home and there are many nice plants there under her care including fruit bearing ones.

Orchids I got from one of the shops at the Quezon Memorial Circle
Two things that go well together it seems are flowers and art. Here are two of the orchids and some of the paintings at our living room.
Here's another photo with the remaining orchid together with one of our favorite paintings.
My mother chose the lighter pink orchids while my mother-in-law chose the white with the pink interior. My sister opted not to get hers as she said it was going to be difficult for her to care for the orchids. I was going to give it to my mother but Tatay said we could keep it and then we could give it to Mama for her to nurture them until they flower again.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Comfort food: home-cooked pansit molo

My recent homecoming trip to Cabatuan, Iloilo was a most welcome change of pace. I remembered that I used to come home to recharge my batteries regularly including the time when I was studying in Japan. That was almost every year until the streak basically stopped after I came home, got married, and got busier at work. Last month, I finally was able to return to our home in Cabatuan where I have a lot of happy memories that to this day I cherish and remember with fondness.

Among the memories was the good food I ate there. This was usually cooked by my aunts with Nanay Paring and Nanay Nene usually rotating in cooking our favorite dishes. Of course, it won't be Iloilo if we didn't have the popular Ilonggo dishes. As if she read my mind, one of my closest cousins, Manang Dora, cooked molo. This was quite the perfect comfort food for me and the taste brought back a lot of my childhood memories.

Molo just the way I like it
It happened to be quite rainy when I was in Iloilo and so the hot soup and dumplings were just right for us to keep warm during the cool weather. Now I do look forward to the next trip back to Cabatuan. Perhaps that should be soon and with our daughter Ally coming, too, to meet her relatives from Tatay's side of the family.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Our home in Iloilo

I searched for my father's hometown in Iloilo on Google Earth and Google Maps before but didn't use the street view option. Last time around and after coming home I decided to take another look and to check if Google's street view includes the streets near our home there. Lo and behold! It does include them and the Google survey vehicle even passed in front of our home. And so we now have nice images of our home online. Below are the images that I embedded here using Google's features:

I can now go to Google Maps and click on the Street View option whenever I feel like I need to "go home".