koi

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

25 June, 2017

Security in Silang





Took this photo at the Silang Municipal Hall last Monday, Laguna Day and Jose Rizal's birthday.
This was about a minute after missing an opportunity to shoot(a photo with my phone)...a photo of the Mayor outside her office, chatting briefly with constituents right next to where I stood.  It would have been one of those candid shots a la Time, Newsweek or Life (if you remember that mag you are old like me).
I do not know her and did not seek an audience with her, I was there for a transaction. Since I am apolitical and do not have friends nor close relatives in politics, the brief encounter was interesting in iterms of the sensation I felt.  From the way an employee waved me aside saying "dadaan si Mayor" to the way those who wanted to talk to her hunched humbly before her (well she is tall so maybe I exaggerate)...it is evident that change in little towns from reverence of their leaders at near-royal status can be...well..tough. The fact is theirs, like many ruling families in many other municipalities, has led this town forever. 

I must say however, I left Silang City Hall satisfied that theirs struck me as a decent office. This as opposed to other unkempt city offices where the employees, in dress and manner just reek of...corruption. Yes even out on the streets of Silang town proper, cars--2 different cars at 2 different times that morning, stopped to yield to ours going through! It was surprising because the courtesy was obvious...they didn't have to yield but they did.  I don't know if it being Rizal's birthday had anything at all to do with it, but whatever...I salute whoever drove those two (both red) cars.

I would like to know if the building itself is the original munisipyo from the time of Rizal (when was it founded? Climbing its wooden steps feels warm &fuzzy like entering a bahay na bato of the past. Also, transacting with them was fairly pleasant; decent and legitimate.

That was Monday. Tuesday evening, a terrible thing happened in one of Silang's up and coming villages. Wednesday morning, I heard about it. Thieves had broken into a home and shot the father of the family,killing him. By Thursday one of four suspects was  caught. By Friday, the other three were arrested. Incredibly, by today, we hear news that the three shall soon be released "for lack of a warrant". Apparently the police report was also bungled, with inaccuracies initially.

So, mayor, mayor in the hall...is your city one of the fairest in the land at all? The frequency of such similar crimes is common knowledge now. Please! Fix it!!

19 June, 2017

Bake My Day

Okay not only does Vista Mall's All Day Supermarket look pretty and feel nice with jazz playing in the background, they have delicious cakes and bread baked fresh in an equally quaint kitchen...

It looks like mine! With its subway tiled wall & blue paint.. their design concept seems appealing to many moms I know. Their Optimum Bank is being finalized as well... with...voila!  French green & Floral walls.

This bakery's staff is composed of very friendly & nice people. They seem very happy. Who wouldn't  be... in such interiors!

This is their Ube Custard cake. I grabbed a pack of edible flowers from the grocery..et voilĂ 





The Calax

I am just selfish.  A terrible thing happened at 7 a.m. last Friday morning.

About a dozen dump trucks stopped traffic on Nuvali blvd...along the portion behind Santarosa Estates 1&2. This Blvd is heavy with vehicles early weekday mornings... comin and going from Mamplasan...Silang South blvd...and Nuvali.

It was my green road... with trees on the left and green green grass.
I try to ignore the transmission towers.Ere.
Now...I cannot ignore & will have to go through... construction of the Cavite

Laguna Expressway Here




In the words of Darth Vader.... Noooooooooooo!!!!!








21 April, 2017

April Showers Bring Narra Flowers

I know...Narra overload in this blog.  But in the past posts they came in March

http://lagunagingerlily.blogspot.com/2011/03/mmm-
smell-that-its-narra-tree.html

, a day after a rainshower too.

These bloomed on April 19.




  Oh here is my pineapple in a pot...I do appreciate pineapples more now...never knew they took long to grow...




I woke up to the narra's fragrance, and looked at them in golden sunlight just after sunrise.

Bye-bye Narra tree, after 8 exactly years!

They do bloom at the same time...like these on Inchican Road...and further up, in St. Scholastica's Westgrove campus...

So have you seen/smelled any lately?  How about in the UP Diliman campus? 

16 April, 2017

Easter and the Mindanao Gum Tree


I've always said I think I'd like to live in Hacienda Sta. Elena...
Today I found a big reason I need (ha ha need, seriously, not just want) that space! 

You see, I am obssessed with the Mindanao Gum Tree/Rainbow Gum Tree/Eucalyptus. And today I saw it on the Fun Farm.  I have been to the Fun Farm several times yet never really noticed this until now.  I later saw it on the perimeter of the Golf course as well.

It is true, the bark gives off a woodsy scent...I sniffed it. But in my hands the loose strips of bark gave me one scented whiff and then the fragrance was gone.







I am moving, yes, but not to a place where I can plant my very own Mindanao Gum Tree, unfortunately.  Hopefully, will have my farm someday.  I am realistic and no longer romanticize farming at all.  But a plot of land is all I need. Or maybe, I could adopt one, or plant some seedlings in a forest conservation area. Can somebody let me know?








Happy Easter!


Xtremely Xpresso at Vista Mall

     The stress level of building, packing and moving has gotten so that I cannot even recall if I already posted this about our newest regular dining habit:



Uh, no, sorry I did not mean the beer as a regular habit at all...
Just that this is the only photo I have taken showing the place's pretty, cozy interior.  

Xtremely Xpresso has been open in Vista Mall a year.  Ever since it opened we had been passing it on random errands, its staff handing out the menu placemats.  I remember wondering if the food was good, considering the variety of dishes on the menu.  I remember looking at it and thinking it would make a good place for mothers to have brunch together...


Red Velvet Cheesecake
Until we finally started eating here this first quarter.  I guess the reason it became a habit is the frequent trips to All Home for the build.  This mall is quite close to home and has ample parking.  The other places there, like the big American diner, are just not very pleasing to dine in.  Food there is inconsistent, too.  But of course more than anything, we return to Xtremely Xpresso almost weekly just because we like the food. And my child loves her beverage. And everything remains consistent, satisfying, comforting, comes in good-sized portions, at very reasonable prices!  

Theirs soups alone give us good reason to return.  And if we finally come with a bigger group we shall definitely have the Big Ben's pizza.  

Pictured below on the upper left corner is my child's usual Peanut Butter Caramel Frappe.

I too, enjoy the drinks, the Vienna Coffee, Raspberry Avalanche, their bestseller the Eskimocha...  Of course! espresso is in its name.



Sigh, I am there way too often, yet have not taken better photos. I am breaking a rule here and cropping one (I remain anonymous), leaving my child's arm with thumbs up.  On the foreground, my Filipino breakfast with tapa, tocino and longganisa...

And guess what, they now have a weekend BREAKFAST BUFFET, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!

Our move was (I thought) imminent back in the beginning of this year, and now that we are finally really nearing the move for real, we have been eating out a lot more for convenience.  And this place has given us the most simple pleasure so far. 

Being from Santa Rosa, we never really knew of Xtremely Xpresso Subic  nor Clark. Well, it did sound familiar, so maybe.  The last time we were in Clark was around three years ago, and Subic well, almost a decade.  That was when my mother-in-law was still living...she is actually from Zambales. (A shame my husband's siblings do not now "have" Zambales, and we have not been there since, either.)

Back to Xtremely, so they have been successful in the north and now, here they are in Sta. Rosa, soon in Tagaytay too.  They've got their formula down pat, and I hope they hang in there, in here down South...surely Vista Mall will see more diners in the near future. (of course,, something I've always railed against....but well...)

20 February, 2017

Pineapple

A pineapple grows! Of course. Right before our move.
I can't even remember when I planted this-I'm sure it's a grocery-bought Dole Gold--in a pot. It is definitely more than three years ago.  
How nature amazes...The five point star here present

Two summers ago my Pomelo's blooms went on to become fruit, for the first time in ten years.  I had brought it with me from Makati in a metal drum.  I probably bought that seedling from the Manila Seedling Bank.

That same summer saw our first Mango from the seed I planted, from our neighbor's tree...some Guyabano from the tree that was already here before we moved in, a measly Rambutan, lots of Atis, and of course the prolific Golden Coconut which actually produces year-round.  Large Saba Bananas are also almost ripe for the picking again.



11 February, 2017

The Original Buko Pie

     So my good Korean friend/neighbor surprised me again tonight with her favorite Buko Pie after a trip to hot springs in Los Banos... This is the second time.
   
     The box was still warm.  I know when she has the opportunity she buys several boxes. How generous of her to give one to me!  She has many other friends to share this with.   

     When it comes to Buko Pie, close as our location is to the brands towards Tagaytay, we prefer this, Orient.  I love how the packaging is the simplest plainest, kraft box, and has not changed.  They do not need to brighten up their packaging---their pies are the best!

     Just look at it--Full of supple flesh, just the right sweetness, a thin, flaky light crust.  The rest of the offerings especially by the big chain going up to Tagaytay have crusts too thick and sweetened for our liking.  

     




Road to Camp N

   So I met the same Canlubang herd (I'd like to think) again this past week... The same herd in my Venare post, and most likely the same herd outside Nuvali, on the road to Casile. 

    This time on the road behind (beside?) Elaro (which I am attracted to for its hills and trees), toward Camp N.

     It has been sunny and bright here, and by 4:30 pm cool and windy. Temp read 25 but it felt more like 20. Tonight the moon appeared, full, bright yet diffused.




Note the Egret


Note the peak up ahead...Palace in the Sky (People's Park) and Tagaytay Highlands







29 January, 2017

That "Marcos Mansion", Canlubang

Zigzag down the ridge...



 Bouganvilla used to bloom here...


Down at Canlubang...

out to Nuvali

 Incredibly large crowds along the lake...