Showing posts with label neighborhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label neighborhood. Show all posts

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Katsu House Antipolo

There's a nice small restaurant near our home that we only recently tried out. We were craving for some Japanese food and thought, what if we walked to the restaurant and order some katsu? It turned out that the wife recalled they had ordered from Katsu House a couple of weeks earlier for one of their groups, and they were very happy with the food they had for lunch.

The Katsu House along Beverly Hills Drive in Antipolo City
A play corner in the restaurant
Table for a group of six
They have several tables at the restaurant but we're not sure a lot of people are eating there. At least those in the neighborhood probably order food for delivery or pick-up.
Table for two?
Here's a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/katsuhouseph/

You'll find their menu there but be sure to call them for new items that they may be offering. They are very helpful and from our experience are easy to deal with. We ordered for my father's 80th birthday celebration and we were very pleased with the chicken and pork katsu that they delivered. Tatay wanted to have some katsu as he also likes Japanese food.
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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Pulupot

We start April with something that seems unusual but is actually natural. There's a large, old tree near our home and along one of our favorite walking/jogging routes. The tree is one of those that grow roots from its branches. These roots appear to be hanging at first but they eventually reach the ground and bore into it. The result is quite unique and you won't see any other that's the same as this one or another. My biologist friend says its a rubber tree. And another thing about it is that it grew at the border of Antipolo and Taytay. And so it serves as a landmark for us whenever we go on a walk that we are crossing boundaries every time we pass the tree.

Old tree at the border of Antipolo and Taytay - there are two signs shown in the photo. One is stating that you are crossing over to Antipolo and the other states that you are entering Taytay.
One of the roots of the tree found the power and telephone lines along its way down and ended up with the tree "embracing" the cables and with one root even running along and above the phone line.
That second photo is the basis for the title of this article. "Pulupot" is a term in Filipino or Tagalog used to describe someone or something wrapped around another.
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Monday, January 2, 2017

Simple celebrations for the New Year

We celebrated the arrival of the New Year without much of the more festive atmosphere that included the food and drinks at the dinner table for what was supposed to be traditional media noche. Instead, we decided to have a simple dinner and had some sandwiches and slices of cheese to tide us by while we waited for midnight and the turn of the year. Our daughter made an effort to stay awake and she did follow our advice to take a nap during the early afternoon so she won't be sleepy at night. Her almost 2-hour 'siesta' was enough and we played and read with her so she won't get bored.

Towards midnight, we already made the observation that there seemed to be less of the initial revelry that usually ushered in the New Year. We thought perhaps it was because of the rains that day that may have been a deterrent for some who didn't want to risk spoiling their firecrackers by getting them wet. We also thought that maybe more people have become aware of the risks and costs of fireworks and have come to appreciate the fireworks displays that cities and municipalities have organized usually in partnership with the private sector. Those celebrations I think can become a tradition and help build stronger communities. And the benefits are definitely worth it as you get less noise, less garbage (from the exploded fireworks) and even much less air pollution from the smoke generated by fireworks.

And so we celebrated the coming of 2017 on the balcony of our home, enjoying the view of aerial fireworks care of our neighbors and those residing in the villages around us. We heard few of the sinturon ni hudas (Judas' belt) and sawas (snakes or pythons) and definitely of the other conventional paputok (usually ground-based fireworks) like the trianggulo, 'five star', fountain and other lusis. People probably now understand how costly it would be to quite literally blow your money on such things just for the sake of generating noise to drive away the bad luck. That's one pamahiin (superstition) that we certainly like to phase out.

Happy New Year to all!

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

No more village grocery store

One of the things that got our attention when we were looking for a place to build our new house on a few years ago was the familiar grocery store near the entrance to the subdivision where we now live in. Shoppersville was very recognizable to us because it was landmark along Katipunan Avenue and just across Miriam College. We couldn't believe at first that there was a mini version of the supermarket here in Antipolo. Aside from it being so convenient for us (you can just pass by for some items on the way home), the prices were less expensive than the typical convenience stores.

After we moved in, we did patronize the grocery store and saw that many people not just from our village but others from nearby subdivisions passed by to do some quick purchases here. Of course, they did have many of the same products you could buy at the 'main' store including their baked products like the pandesal and cheese cupcakes that we usually bought for domestic consumption as well as to bring at the office.

After the Katipunan Shoppersville perished in a fire a few months ago, we were happy that they continued to operate in Antipolo and that it seemed business as usual for them. Unfortunately, what seemed to be okay wasn't really so and they eventually announced that they would be closing the grocery. The business here probably couldn't sustain operations and, despite reopening their bakeshop on a converted container at Katipunan, there was just enough funds to operate. So perhaps the Katipunan branch was actually subsidizing the Antipolo one.

Now, the place is dark and seemingly sad with less people coming to what is known as The Village Corner. We're not even sure if there will be a new grocery there soon as the location may not be as attractive if it weren't for the familiar brand of its former occupant. Perhaps a SaveMore, a PureGold Jr., Rustan's or a scaled down Robinsons can take its place? I'm sure these large companies can afford to do so but then there won't be the feel of a neighborhood grocery store to them.

I guess it will be a wait and see but we hope it won't be so long a wait.
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Monday, February 8, 2016

A bit of neighborhood history

We transferred to our current residence almost 2 years ago. We have made friends and acquaintances in our neighborhood over that time and when we go around for walks or jogs, we already have a healthy number of hello's and hi's among the people we meet along our route. There are many foreigners in our village and it seems a lot of them are here not only because they work or have schooling (many are missionaries working and/or taking courses in a nearby seminary) but also because its a good neighborhood with a very nice environment. In fact, we've seen many homes with cars bearing diplomatic plates so I guess these are families whose members are working for embassies or agencies like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. The wife and I even joke among ourselves that we seem to be living in a white neighborhood. :)

The more interesting neighbors are the elder residents of the village. We always greet them when we pass them during our walks and they almost always are eager to have short conversations. We have one neighbor who is of Spanish descent and she is always cheery and has a lot of stories about the old neighborhood. She's very proud of her grandchildren and is always malambing to our daughter.

Recently, we met an elderly man who was clearing his front yard of dried leaves. He also has a lot of stories about what the old neighborhood looked like and how it was with residents. I mentioned my old grade school buddy who lived along the same street the old man was residing at. He knew their family and pointed to a new house where my friend's family's home used to be. It is always nice to know about the place where you live. Ours is one of the oldest if not the oldest residential subdivision in Antipolo. There's been a recent wave of homebuilding and relocations in the village; infusing new residents and young ones to the neighborhood. We like our home and our daughter enjoys her walks and her interactions with new friends - young and old.
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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Marison's again

We were back at Marison's again for lunch and decided to order pancit to go with the reliable salmon. Their sotanghon is really good and is fit to be classified as comfort food.

Sotanghon
We also decided to order dessert as we were unable to sample their offerings the last time we were there. We went for their macadamia sansrival and were not disappointed. It wasn't too sweet nor was it bland. It was just the right concoction of layers and the macadamias were as always delightful and crunchy.

Macadamia sansrival

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mogu Tree Noodle House

There's a noodle shop that has become a bit popular along Ortigas Avenue Extension and just before the Beverly Hills Subdivision gate. Mogu Tree Noodle House offers a different take on food that is quite appropriate for rainy days like what we have this wet season. Here are a few photos I took one time we decided to stopover and try out this small restaurant in Antipolo City.

Mogu Tree menu
Illustrative noodle combinations
They also have dumplings if you prefer to have somethings on the side to enjoy with your noodles
And if you can't do without rice, they also have some rice bowls .
Customers have the choice of noodles and what you want to go with them including the type of soup. Mogu Tree has a lot of ingredients to choose from and the suggested combinations in the menu shouldn't stop you from coming up with your own noodle concoction.
The noodles are served piping hot so I would recommend spending some time in conversation (if you have company) or doing something else while letting your meal cook a little bit more and cool off enough for you to enjoy eating.
You are free to experiment on combinations for your bowl of noodles. Of course, this will come at a cost if you opt to have more ingredients than the ones suggested in their menu. In our case, both the wife and I were able to come up with good meals based on our 'experience' with ramen. Mushrooms and dumplings work well with their plain noodle soup and ramen noodles. We will definitely be back but probably time our next meal during the off-peak as Mogu Tree seem to have acquired a good following during this season of rains. As the saying goes "Masarap humigop ng mainit na sabaw kapag maulan at maginaw" ("It's good to have hot soup when it's rainy and cold.") 
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hinulugang Taktak

The Antipolo City Government in partnership with the Provincial Government of Rizal and other groups recently reopened the Hinulugang Taktak National Park. Hinulugang Taktak (literally Taktak Falls with "taktak" translating into "sprinkle"). I believe we were among the first few who checked out the park and the famous falls that's been part of Antipolo lore along with the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. The national park is along the way to the church where we hear Mass on Sundays and so we were already anticipating its reopening from the time we transferred residence nearby.

People used to go to Antipolo not just to visit the shrine but also to bathe in the waters of Hinulugang Taktak. However, due to the rapid, unplanned and uncontrolled development of the city, the waters feeding the falls immediately became polluted and at one point, the water fall was literally "taktak" or only a sprinkle (if not a trickle) of water. I'm sharing photos I took last weekend at Hinulugang Taktak for people to see how much progress has been made to rehabilitate the falls and the national park environs.

Sign outside the park

Quick info on the projects and initiatives for the national park
A view of the newly constructed walkways in the park. The old walkways are still there and you can compare how steep the old ones are.
Efforts were obviously made to make the park accessible to most if not all people.
A view of the swimming pool (not yet for use by visitors) from the walkway to the falls.
We saw this group comprised of senior citizens making their way back up from the falls. We learned that Antipolo City provided enough staff to assist senior citizens as they walked up.
A nice view of the falls from one of the more strategically and conveniently located tables in the park.
The picturesque Hinulugang Taktak is getting back to what it was like during its glory days.
"May amoy pa ba?" - yes, there is still a distinctive smell from the spray and mist. The streams and other waters leading to the falls are not yet that clean as evidenced by the bubbles and the soap suds accumulating at the foot of the falls.
A look at the gardens and the network of walkways at the park.
A view of the falls from the quadrangle in the middle of the park.
The park is clean and there are staff taking good care of the park grounds as well as garbage bins encouraging segregation.
There were already a lot of people at the park as most tables were taken. There is a meditation area and more tables on the other side of the park across from the river.
We saw some cottages near the park administration office that look like they will allow people to stay overnight at the park. We didn't inquire about this so we're not sure about it. It would be nice though if accommodations are available once the park becomes a popular spot again.
Downstream of the falls and away from the crowds are parts of the park that are still under development.

Park rules and regulations
Hinulugang Taktak is located along Taktak Road, the old Daang Bakal and about 200 meters from the intersection with Sumulong Highway (near Robinsons Place Antipolo). It is a short tricycle ride from the Rizal Provincial Capitol and along the way to the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Entrance is currently free but perhaps they will start charging fees to cover the costs of maintaining the park as well as making sure it is safe and secure for visitors. My only suggestion at this point is for the city to also manage parking as certain people and especially kids from the nearby communities have appeared at the parking area to become informal parking attendants. I think the city should at least deputize people in coordination with the barangay to ensure safety and security for visitors bringing their vehicles to the park.
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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring to summer

It's been quite hot these days with temperatures climbing to above 34 degrees Celsius in Metro Manila and hitting 38 degrees in northern Luzon. While beginning our daily walk around the village, we spotted one kasambahay sweeping the yellow orange flowers from the front of their house. The flowers are from the tall Acacia tree along our street. The flowering is indicative of spring, which is now the season in the northern hemisphere. It is my favorite season of mine along with autumn when I was still living in Japan. These days, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and people would be celebrating spring with the traditional hanami, literally "flower watching."

Sweeping the evidence of spring
To some, the nice colors of spring are a welcome sight but we should remember that one's perception might be quite different from another person's opinion about the same thing. In the photo above, the flowers from the acacia tree probably meant additional work for the kasambahay as it is just like any kalat that she must sweep from their garage.
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stacy's at Greenstreet

Back at the Capitol Greenstreet, we tried out the restaurant near at the main entrance to the building that we were curious about. Stacy's turned out to be a very pleasant surprise even though we had a peek the couple of times we've been at Capitol Greenstreet the last month. The restaurant is styled after the classic American diners we usually see on TV and the movies and offers a delightful menu for meals whatever time of the day.

Cool interiors reminded us of the first time we were at another restaurant, Mom & Tina's, that had similar interiors at their branch in Pasig
Old American charm - we were talking about the classic styled pink refrigerator at the bar
There were few diners that rainy evening and so we practically had the restaurant to ourselves.
We were just talking about their popcorn maker when we were served with a mug of freshly popped corn with marshmallows and pretzels.
Raspberry iced tea with straw made out of paper
Herbed cream dory fillet with aioli dip - note the heart-shaped serving of rice
Home-baked chicken parmesan

Read more about Stacy's from these two other sites: menu care of Munchunch and a nice article from When in Manila.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Homemade yoghurt from the Greek store

We continued to explore our find in our neighborhood, the store selling Greek food and wine. We decided to try out their home-made yoghurt and fruit preserves. We sampled their different fruits-in-syrup offerings and decided to get a jar each of rose petals and grapes. Unfortunately, it turned out that they no longer had a small jar of rose petals in stock and we ended up getting a larger jar but of the original packaging that they transported from Greece to the Philippines. We were told that these were their products in Greece that they brought to Manila as samples for their clients, which includes restaurants and hotels. For retail and "bulk" orders, they bring in the preserves in larger containers and re-pack them here in smaller jars or containers. This was less expensive compared to importing their products in jars.

Rose petals in syrup in their original packaging - a must try
Grapes in syrup in the re-packaged jar
Home-made yoghurt
Ready to eat
One scoop at a time
Delectable grape in syrup made of pure honey
Mix well before eating
I'm already looking forward to the weekend when we can get yoghurt and perhaps sample other goodies from our neighborhood Greek store. I just hope the weather holds this coming weekend.
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Friday, September 14, 2012

Dinner at Pho Hoa

For a second straight night, the Clairvoyant and I decided to have dinner at Capitol Greenstreet. Again, we decided to go to Jack's Loft/Pho Hoa where we knew their menus would provide us with many options for our dinner. The Clairvoyant went for Pho Hoa's noodles (Pho in Vietnamese) while I opted for Tenderloin Beef with rice. For dessert, we tried out Jack's Loft's "Death by Chocolate," moist chocolate cake that I say is a must try when having dessert or cake with your coffee.

Pho for the Clairvoyant
Tenderloin beef with rice for me
Death by chocolate, a must try at Jack's Loft
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Dinner at Capitol Greenstreet: Jack's Loft

The Clairvoyant and I decided to check out the restaurants at the Capital Golf area last week as we both arrived home early in the evening. It turns out that the place is now called Capitol Greenstreet. I haven't been in the area since our office had dinner at Gerry's a few years ago. Gerry's is a popular restaurant, which has a branch there that is located at the top level of the building and which afforded a nice view of the Capitol Golf Course during the day. There are several restaurants there including a branch of Pancake House and what looked like a new resto in what seems to be the old location of a branch of Carlo's Pizza (based on the photos in Greenstreet's Facebook page). As there were few people in the area at the time, we decided to go to the first place we saw that had some diners. And so we went to Jack's Loft, which appeared to be owned and operated by the people behind Pho Hoa. In fact, the two restaurants share the same space at Greenstreet.

Adobo flakes pasta - just the right serving of crispy adobo flakes over linguini
Fried chicken and french fries
Jack's Loft, the Clairvoyant remembered and reminded me, is where I first ordered iced tea served in a fish bowl at their branch in Eastwood. A definite twist to the "bottomless" iced tea concept, it's something one should probably try once at the restaurant. Their menu is basically American-style fast food offering burgers, sandwiches, desserts and a variety of drinks including the alcoholic types and coffee concoctions. There are many choices for diners so I think the restaurant is a safe choice for people who haven't quite decided what to eat or drink. Their desserts though are quite good and definitely something to try whether after a meal or over coffee.
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