Earth Hour

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Lunch at Dapô at Tisa

We recently had lunch at a quaint restaurant called Dapô at Tisa in Fairview.  It was my first time to eat there and also pleasantly surprised that there are dining places along Regalado St.  From the outside, the place looks like an old house converted into a restaurant and re-designed with adobe looking bricks.

The design inside is simple and without frills.  There was just this huge TV showing an NBA game with the sound blaring.  Except for that minor detail, I find the place cozy for a group lunch like the one we had.

We ordered a set meal which included meat, seafood, fish and vegetables.  The meal also came with rice, pansit guisado and a pitcher of red iced tea.

I liked what we got for starters,  sizzling tofu.  It has that creamy, melt-in-the-mouth feel but just a little spicy for my taste.  

The fried pancit canton has a lot of ingredients.  The sauce was also very tasty.

I also like this Sigarilyas in gata which is topped by chicharon.

The stuffed grilled pusit (squid) was also very good.

 All the food have generous servings and have reasonable prices.  The service was also very good and the staff was very friendly.  I want to go back and try the other selections on their menu.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Visita Iglesia 2019: Visit to Seven Churches in Manila and Quezon City

Last Maundy Thursday, we joined thousands of Catholic Filipinos to perform the Visita Iglesia, a tradition observed on this particular day of Lent.  Pilgrims visit seven churches to pray the Stations of the Cross and meditate on the suffering and resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ.

UST Parish Church
Traditionally, one walks from church to church, but we used our car, and so did the other devotees.  This created huge traffic jams on the roads leading to the churches, and parking spaces became battlegrounds.  Mercifully, volunteers managed the traffic inside the church grounds.

We first stopped at Sto. Domingo Church, which is near our place and is the shrine of Our Lady of Naval.  We prayed our first two Stations of the Cross and then lighted candles for our special intentions.

Our next stop was the UST Parish church along España Boulevard.  After praying the next two Stations of the Cross, we exited the church and found a group of people distributing copies of the Way of the Cross booklets.

At the back part of the booklet, the group explained that they aim to stop the spread of communism and socialism, which destroy the basic beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church.

We were supposed to make Quiapo Church our next stop, but it appeared most of Manila's Catholic population converged there.  We decided to go straight to Manila Cathedral instead.  However, we made a wrong turn and ended up heading towards Binondo Church.  We decided to make it our next stop. It was still not too crowded inside, so we were able to do our prayers in peace.

Binondo Church

A popular deli store offered water and snacks outside the church. It's an old tradition practiced on Maundy Thursday called pa-caridad or charity.  It's almost forgotten, and very few devotees practice it now.

We finally found our way to Manila Cathedral, but the traffic jam was terrible, that we had to walk to the entrance.  People had to fall in line to get inside because of security checks.  The long line due to the high volume of people almost deterred us from going in, but it moved fast, so we decided to go inside.

The cathedral teemed with people inside, but not everyone was praying, and several people were taking selfies and groupies!  Okay, some people were actually doing the Stations of the Cross, and their prayers mingled with discussions of other groups on what part of the cathedral they would take their next selfies and groupies in.

The Manila Cathedral

From the cathedral, we took another trip to the Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels, or the San Miguel Church.  We could not drive to the church because of the tight security since its neighbor happens to be the President of the Philippines.  So we had to walk, and I immediately noticed the number of food stalls near the church.  It appeared that none of the well-to-do residents of the area made a pa-caridad.

San Miguel Church
The stations were outside, in the courtyard, and as in other churches we've already visited, many people were busy taking their selfies and groupies.  Inside the church, the priests and their assistants were already preparing for the Mass of the Lord's Supper.  Also, the parish has a museum dedicated to the Blessed Mother and the angels.

We ended our Visita Iglesia this year at the two churches in Bustillos: the Shrine of Saint Anthony and Our Lady of Loreto Parish Church.  We did not get inside both churches because the Lord's Supper Mass has already started in both of them. However, like in San Miguel, both churches placed stations of the cross on their grounds.

We finished all 14 stations of the Way of the Cross and the seven churches needed to complete the Visita Iglesia.  By the way, I remember that a lay minister once told me that the Visita Iglesia should be done when the Eucharist has been removed from the main altar following the Maundy Thursday mass.  This is a response to what Christ said when He found the apostles sleeping in the Garden that they could not stay with Him for even just one hour.

Also, I hope next year, the pilgrims will be more aware that the Visita Iglesia is not a road trip, and they should be more considerate of the others who were doing their prayers.  They should also learn to be more caring about their surroundings and not just throw their trash anywhere.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Kingdom on Netflix: Royal Intrigue, Period Setting and Zombies

The hottest topic online today is the Korean series on Netflix: Kingdom.

Kingdom tells the story of a crown prince whose father is suffering from a mysterious disease.  The king's wife, a young daughter of the Chief Counselor, refuses access to the sick king even by his own son.

from the Internet

The prince decided to investigate the matter, bringing him and his aide to the Southern part of the kingdom.  There he found a bigger problem that could be related to his father's affliction.

The series runs for only 6 episodes and has all the ingredients of a compelling drama: political intrigue, family conflict, and zombies. Yes, zombies.  All of these ingredients are masterfully meld into one fantastic story that you, as the viewer, would be drawn into.  As in other Korean series, many questions are answered before you could ask them, but many are also left unanswered to make you continue to watch.

Another point that separates the series from the rest is the production. The decision to make this a period piece/historical drama meant period costumes, scenic locations, and other things that contribute to the production value.  At the same time, the series was beautifully shot and captured on screen.

And the zombies! Let's talk about zombies.  These are not the run-of-the-mill type you see on any show. You know, the ones that groan and drag their feet.  These zombies move fast and even run.  They also hibernate in the daytime and avoid the sun, but there's more to that than meets the eye.  They don't appear until near the end of episode 1, but you should see how they rise from their dead state when night falls.

Kingdom is one of the shows that you will binge on until you've seen all episodes.   I did it in one sitting, and I want more.  The creators made sure that there are enough cliffhangers for viewers to wait for the next season.  Hopefully, it will come soon.

Kingdom is available for streaming on Netflix.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hello 2019!

Goodbye, 2018.

Hello, 2019.

I hope it will be a great year for all of us.

Hopefully, there would be a lot of good things to write about this year.