I'm just a small fish in a small corner of this big Laguna, and this is how I've been swimming it

17 September, 2013


It's the same cheap plastic colander the "ginger lily" or "Kamias" was in in my first post. That's just to follow "tradition"--like the kamias, a whole bag of Rambutan came also from a neighbor...whose tree has been giving an excess of the fruit!

     At no other time have I had so much rambutan...many fresh-picked and for free.  Well, maybe over a decade ago during a series of long stays in Thailand. There, rambutan is regular fare, along with papaya, pineapple, and other tropical fruits it seems.

     It is only this year that I realize how much there is in Santa Rosa, and even more so in Silang.  I am happy that my child has come to love this fruit so much, she asks to have it for snack time at school.  In fact, so many of her classmates love this. It was actually interesting for me to see one of her classmates open his food container, packed tight with the peeled rambutan. This is what snack time ought to look like! Not the processed, plastic packaged, additive, preservative, coloring-laden junk kids are now being discouraged (hopefully) to snack on.

   Inside, it is an oval shape, with a firm, smooth cloudy gelatin appearance. To open it, you squeeze the middle level of the skin (it looks prickly but those prickles are soft not sharp) with your thumb and forefinger, this should open crosswise. To eat it, you may nibble it in bits.  It doesn't matter if some of the seed's skin gets stuck in the flesh. If opened at the right stage---apparently when firm and maybe even slightly green sometimes--the flesh comes off the seed easily.  The seed resembles an almond.

     The rambutan has a mild flavor. Strange how in the past weeks since its abundance I have come to actually seek the taste, despite the almost-blandness.  That's it's beauty I guess, a mild, gentle, juicy flavor that provides refreshment. In my childhood I've mostly had tangy, tiny ones, often not fresh anymore. It was always a surprise to open one...I was never sure if it was still alright--plump and smooth--or rotting.  In the groceries the fruits turn black on the outside. These are not as great as the ones I saw for sale by the roadside today:

     Just as I've admired the following fruits' colors:  Avocado Green, Macopa pink (and green), Guava Pink, Kamias Green...I have a new addition: Rambutan Red.  The photo doesn't quite capture it...but the Rambutan's red at this fresh-picked stage is not deep. It's something I would describe as maybe coral-red...it would make a good lipstick shade, I think.

    Lanzones is also in season. When I got this Rambutan, Lanzones had run out.  

07 September, 2013

Enchanted Kingdom's 18 this year!

     Just have to make special mention of the staff at Enchanted Kingdom. As is expected of an "amusement park" or "theme park", they make the experiences pleasant. 

   Since it seems I have a leeeetel beet more readers lately, I will post this old feature from 2011 where apparently I already mentioned the staff's being nice.
The only difference is I mentioned the ride attendants were serious (as they have to be); that's not completely true, many were seriously focused on their jobs, yet were cheery enough to also greet children. 

   During last weekend's visit I noted that even in the evening, and on a Sunday, ride attendants were still alright.  Not that we expect anything less; just that it had been an extremely warm day.  I even noticed the approx 2 liter water jugs at each ride's station.  I hope that is enough for the attendants and gets refilled regularly. 

   Here is the past post.

     I just cannot believe it's been 18 years since we drove to the park's soft opening.  There are new rides, and although the entrance-only promo I mentioned in that post is no more,  the day pass includes those new rides. (There used to be separate fees for certain rides and attractions).  The park is also undergoing a facelift.

   This really is sort of a landmark destination in Sta. Rosa.   It's close enough to Metro Manila, and the shuttle service is convenient.  Last Sunday, we noted many balikbayan visitors. Some probably visiting OFWs (Overseas Foreign Workers) with their entire clan. 

    Visit in October...the anniversary month. There will be a fireworks competition. Of course it is enchanting during the Christmas season, with all the decorations.

02 September, 2013

Animal Encounters

     Be sure to catch this show with your children at Enchanted Kingdom, by the Jungle Outpost.   Isa Garchitorena's Wildlife Experience.  It's a good show, brief, engaging, with lots of impact...

     Mostly reptile photos as my photographer failed to take clear shots of the cute little owl and hedgehog!  You must absolutely go see them yourself.

     If by some fluke you have been following this blog, you would have gathered by now that we are into bird watching. However "educational" they are labeled, we stay away from "bird shows" and "exotic animal" shows where they keep the creatures caged in not so happy habitats.  I don't particularly enjoy seeing birds being made to pedal bikes or do such tricks, for example. It can be amusing to children, but teaches them nothing about preservation of the animals' natural behaviours and habitats.

    This company obviously aims to educate us about wildlife; and you can tell by listening to Isa that they really care (seriously they have the credentials...she is like our very own Jane Goodall).  It is really important how they stress that these are not to be kept as "pets" in the home or apartment.  That was one point in my video posted earlier--the iguana I saw in the laundry area of my apartment in Makati was surely an escaped pet...or a pet that was purposely let loose by its owner. 

    You gain respect for the creatures, which in turn makes you hopefully consider them each time you toss something in the trash or even choose what to eat :-O 

Enchanted View

    Yesterday, Sunday, was extremely hot.  This was taken last night at closing time, Enchanted Kingdom, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. 

   From up there, the city looks very peaceful.

   This is on the other side of the SLEX (South Luzon Expressway).  Here is the ferris wheel visible from the SLEX.

     I am typing at the stroke of midnight. It is now Monday, 2 September.