Earth Hour

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Morning Walk in Quezon Memorial Circle

I joined a few friends in a morning walk at the Quezon Memorial Circle recently.  Though the place is the resting place of the late President Manuel Luis Quezon, city officials in consultation with the heirs of the deceased decided to turn it into a people's park.  The circle, which used to be a flat piece of land in the middle of the city has been developed into a recreational hub for its citizens.

It is now a hub of activities.  When we were there, there were kids jogging around the park, young people playing volleyball, old people doing calisthenic exercises, and there was even a seminar on the benefits of coconut.

We were there to shoot photos and that's what we did the whole morning.  Here are some of the scenes I captured.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Revisiting the National Museum

I had the chance to see the National Museum again a few weeks ago, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they are allowing photography inside.  We were told that like in other similar places, they do not allow flash photography.  Since it was sunny that day, I knew I wouldn't have any problem with the light.

The National Museum houses the award-winning mural of Juan Luna called, "Spoliarium".  It is the first piece that will greet you upon entering the gallery.  It shows the bodies of dead and defeated gladiators being dragged in the dark undergrounds of the colosseum.  It won the gold medal at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884. The art piece is a metaphor for the colonial rule of Spain in the Philippines and was used as propaganda material by the revolutionaries.

I love this painting and it never fails to impress me every time I see it.  You must see it for yourself to truly appreciate its beauty.  

Inside this hall are other works of Luna as well as those of Hidalgo and other great masters.  Most depict important events in our country's history.

On the other floors of the museum are pieces of sculpture and paintings from the 20th-century Filipino masters.  

On our way out, we passed by the floor where the Philippine Senate used to hold office.  It's there where we realized that the building of the National Museum is itself a work of art. Built during the American Colonial Regime, the hall gives us a glimpse of that time. The ceiling, flooring and even the friezes adorning the walls were real national treasures.

This section of the building is still being repaired and renovated.  I am not sure if it will be open to the public once the repairs are done.

In another gallery, mostly showing more contemporary works of art, I was reprimanded by a security officer for taking pictures.  When I told him that we were informed by the people at the front desk that we could take pictures he said that we are allowed only if we include ourselves in the photograph.  I was dumbfounded actually but I just followed and let it be.

I will still go back to the National Museum in spite that,  It is indeed a repository of our nation's soul.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Not so good Teriyaki Boy Donburi

We had lunch yesterday at Teriyaki Boy at the Promenade in Greenhills Shopping Center.  We were supposed to have Chinese food but at the last minute our father decided he wanted something Japanese.

Donburi is one of my favorite Japanese food so I ordered a Suki Beef Teppan Don.  It's made of thin slices of beef stir-fried in teppanyaki sauce and onions and then placed in a bowl of steamed rice.  A raw egg served as a topping to the dish.  Sounds good, right?

Well, I didn't like it.  First, the dish was on the bland side.  There's something missing in the taste of this dish, a little salt or a little sweetness?  I couldn't tell but the over all taste was not as satisfying as I hoped it would be.  My sister-in-law also complained that the bit has a rancid taste in it.

Then of course there's the beef.  It is not tender even though the slices were thin enough.  It was like the cook forgot about it and somehow cooked it for too long.  Another disappointment was the rice.  It was not soft like the ones in other Japanese restaurants.  It was flaky and honestly, I had a hard time eating it with chopsticks so I had to ask for spoon and fork.

Luckily we ordered for their salmon and kani sashimi which were a lot better than the Donburi and saved our lunch from being a total disaster.