Saturday, January 31, 2009


Chinatown is indeed a gastronomic delight, a place where you can find authentic chinese food... and Masuki (which is dubbed to be the original Ma Mon Luk) located at Benavidez St., Binondo, is one of those food stalls that have survived over the years. It was established in 1930s but had to close down due to labor problems, and re-opened its doors in the 70s. Masuki, just like Ma Mon Luk's restaurant in Quezon Avenue, is what you'll call old school because it has the no frill feel, just like how you panciteria looked like ages ago.

I'd say their siomai tasted very like Ma Mon Luk's but i find their Mami more delicious, maybe its because of the special sauce that you pour to your taste, yes the same sauce that you use for the siomai.

Friday, January 30, 2009


our next stop in my Big Binondo food WOK is this hole in the wall shop (can only seat about 12 persons) that offers unique siomai in chinatown, they made it by hand, you can actually see how they make the siomai and instead of the usual steaming, they boil it just like how you'll cook palitaw, and they also grind their own pork so you'll really get 100% meat. even though i dont eat vegetables, and their siomai is full of leaves i dunno, i still love its taste (must be also because i love eating siomai). they also serve hot tea that is delicious too.
and they have another version, it's kinda like fried siomai but they presented it differently like a pancake and it taste good too!
this is how they acutally prepare their siomai, right in front of the store.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

chinese drug store

After our meal at Cafe Mezzanine, Ivan brought us to this chinese drug store, (i forgot the name but i'll look for my photos and update this to give you the name of the this drug store)  Chinese drug stores are known for their traditional and herbal medicine, and more people are trying this alternative medicines.  In the photo, Ivan is holding a dried tuko or gecko, which is said to help those who are suffering from asthma.
So have you tried any chinese medicine before? I have heard great testimonials and raves about the chinese herbal teas that are said to be very good in helping those who want to lose weight.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

cafe mezzanine

Our first food stop in the Big Binondo Food WOK is at Cafe Mezzanine which is located at the corner of Ongpin and Yuchengco streets. This place is also dubbed as the fireman's coffee shop since the owner is an active officer in the chinese firemen volunteer association and the walls of the shop is adorned with firemen's hats! We were even encourage to don the hats and pose with a nuzzle and pretend we are firemen :)

They served us kiampong, it is salted fried rice with peanuts (my first time to eat this food) and we were also served with soup, and was advised that kiampong is best eaten by pouring the soup in the rice, for beverage we were handed iced brewed coffee. by the way, its an eat all you can rice.

At the ground floor is Chuan Kee food store which is also very busy at the time we visited.

EDIT: i forgot to mention that while we were there, a group of kids presented a "lion dance" similar to the dragon dance but the head is that of a lion and its shorter, kinda like a cute dog this lion dance is... and this lion had two kids as performer and they eagerly await treats and the lion kisses anyone who gives a treat :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

inside binondo church

As i have mentioned in my previous post, i joined the BIG Binondo Food WOK with Ivan Man Dy, our meeting place was at the San Lorenzo Ruiz shrine or more commonly known as the Binondo Church. I took this shot while waiting for Ivan (our meeting time was at 2pm) but i went earlier since i was really planning to take some pictures before the tour.

From the Binondo church's lobby we then walk (as seen in the photo yesterday) to Plaza de Binondo just across Binondo Church as our first stop. From there Ivan gave us a brief history of the Philippines and of course about Binondo. Then we came back to the church where Ivan gave us tidbits of information about the church in a hushed tone since well we're inside the church so loud voices aren't allowed :) well anyways he informed us that the church is actually modern, about 60 years except for the facade and the bell tower which is 400 years old, well you already know that Manila was razed and burned to the ground during the world war II, so that explains why what you see in the photo now is already modern. To view the facade of Binondo church click here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

old manila walks tour

Last Sunday, i joined the Chinese New Year editon of the BIG Binondo Food WOK! A special WOK-ing edition of Old Manila Walks. From the website, they describe themselves as "a bunch of passionate, obsessive and saucy ‘street walkers’(!) determined to walk and talk about one thing: the history, the culture and the heritage plus everything over, under, outside, inside this city of our affections - Manila." Ain't that something? :)

I wanted to join this Binondo tour for the longest time because i've heard great recommendations and read about it but i have been busy and when i finally had the chance i grabbed it, and a very nice timing if i may say since i get to join the tour on the day before the chinese new year, which made it more exciting.
Meet Ivan Man Dy - our great tour guide who is very nice. I really had fun while nibbling our way through Chinatown, thanks to this great chap! I'll be posting more of my wok-ing tour, i recommend you guys join one of his tours to learn something new and appreciate our history. If you want to join one of his tours check out the schedule here.

chinese new year dragon dance

Kung Hei Fat Choi!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

chinese new year's eve

Tonight, the Chinese will celebrate their new year's eve, and it is celebrated big here in the Philippines, specially in Binondo area aka Chinatown, where most residents are tsinoys or mestizos who are half chinese, half filipino.
Chinese have lots of tradition when celebrating the new year, which we filipinos have also acquired, as you can see in the photo above, there are vendors selling a lucky pineapple adorned with sintores or dalanghita. according to the chinese, pineapple is a lucky fruit
walsking around chinatown, you'd also notice vendors selling garlic, ginger, and taro, with red ribbon tied to it, am not exactly sure what these root crops represent but io guess the cihinese also consider them lucky.
and of course, whenever new year is coming we always have to have fruits... lots of fruits
the charms and ornaments are part of the cinese tradition, most feng shui experts would recommend a certain jewel or glass or ornament that you should put strategically in your home.
and the star of the table - the delicious tikoy! made of sticky /glutinous rice and is usually round, most chinese give tikoy to friends and relative on new year's day because it is believed to be lucky.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


“You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin, and even vagueness - ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Friday, January 23, 2009

live mannequin

Found this "live mannequin" photo shoot at the La Mesa Eco Park's camping ground

Thursday, January 22, 2009

camping at la mesa eco park

As i have mentioned, La Mesa Eco Park is big and they do allow campers, most of the campers are boy scouts from different schools. Notice how easy it is to camp here? you can bring your own water dispenser (see photo beside the tree). also when we went there, there was a photoshoot at the "terraces" of what seemed to be a mannequin, i'll post the live mannequin tomorrow. and by the way, La Mesa Eco Park is also a favorite venue for "pre-nup" photo shoot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

no camera

yesterday i posted this stair and the view of La Mesa Eco Park from the top, and this is what you'll see after climbing those big steps! manila's water reservoir, it's just that it is fenced and there is a big cardboard notice that no camera and video is allowed (yeah i know, sometimes i dont follow the no camera rules sign) but i gotta take a photo to show to you guys :)

i know that they are just protecting the dam and making sure that our water is safe but come on! sometimes, this ridiculous rule of no picture taking allowed is kinda annoying.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

La Mesa Eco Park

As promised in my previous post, i'll be posting more of La Mesa Eco Park pictures here. This view is from the Shell Flower Terraces, two hectares of flower terraces which is actually the dam wall of the reservoir. This stair is steep, forgot to count how many steps, but when you go up here you'll see the dam reservoir.

The La Mesa Eco Park spans 33 hectares and lies within the La Mesa Watershed which measures 2,700 hectares (though the La Mesa Watershed itself is off limits to the public - of course to protect the reservoir of metro manilas' water source). La Mesa Eco park is a popular destination for family outings and picnics; a more healthful alternative to shopping malls. There are various outdoor activities you can enjoy at the park which include:
  • Lopez Picnic Grounds - Five hectares of picnic spots with grilling facilities underneath a forest of varied trees. (free just bring your own food of course hehehe)
  • Salt Water Swimming Pool – Probably the only salt water pool that is open to the public. Salt granules are used instead of chlorine making the water safer and less toxic. (entrance fee is 80 pesos per head)
  • Boating Lagoon - Similar to the paddle boat ride of Baguio’s Burnham Park. (100 pesos boat rental for 30 minutes, maximum capacity of 4 person in a boat)
  • Fishing Lagoon - one of the most popular to-do in the park
  • Butterfly Trail and Hatchery - entrance fee is 25 pesos per head
  • Overnight camping facilities are also available, seen boy scouts camp here.
You can view the La Mesa Eco park map here.

How to go to La Mesa Eco Park

by car: Take Commonwealth Avenue towards Fairview. You will be passing the following landmarks: UP Diliman, Iglesia ni Cristo Templo Central, Ever Gotesco, Sandiganbayan, Litex, Mercury Drugstore. Turn right at East Fairview Subdivision’s Winston St. then right at Marlboro St. all the way to Pall Mall St. where you should turn left. Turn right at the first corner. You will enter the La Mesa Dam Guard House. There is only one road to take then turn left to the parking lot, in front of which is the gate to the park. The lagoon is further down the path.

by public transportation: from SM North Edsa take a Fairview-bound FX, bus, or jeepney and tell the driver that you're goping to the La Mesa Eco Park, get off at the East Fairview Subdivision. At the gate, ride a tricycles that can take you to the Eco Park.

La Mesa Eco Park
Entrance Fee: 50 pesos
Special Rate: 40 pesos for Quezon City residents, 20pesos for Quezon City students, and FREE for Senior Citizens
Tel. No.: 430-4051 and 430-5207
Email Address:

Monday, January 19, 2009

kung hei fat choi

Kung Hei Fat Choi! only a few days now before we celebrate the Chinese New Year and as early as last week stores are already selling tikoy or chinese rice cake which is believe to bring good luck.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

little bride

revisiting LaMesa Eco Park

Revisited the LaMesa EcoPark yesterday with my cousins, and i really find this tree a beauty, much more so with the beautiful blue sky that afternoon and a bonus that i captured this girl as well who is also taking photos of her friends. :) hope you all are having a great sunday.

I'll be posting more LaMesa Eco Park pictures in the next few days, and also more photos on our boating adventure inside the park. please stay tune :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

my shadow

“If you're alone, I'll be your shadow. If you want to cry, I'll be your shoulder. If you want a hug, I'll be your pillow. If you need to be happy, I'll be your smile. But anytime you need a friend, I'll just be me”

Thursday, January 15, 2009

mount makulot

i know, i know, this blog is all about manila, but i can't help myself share with you this beautiful scene. Photo: mount makulot in batangas

Fast facts:

Batangas is a province of the Philippines located on the southwestern part of Luzon in the CALABARZON region. Its capital is Batangas City and it is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north and Quezon to the east. Across the Verde Island Passages to the south is the island of Mindoro and to the west lies the South China Sea.

Mount Makulot - is a mountain located in north-west of Cuenca, Batangas, Philippines. This mountain is a tourist attraction to the municipality. Sometimes, the mountain is called Mt. Maculot. The Mountain is about 600 m (2,000 ft) tall and it is also located next to Taal Lake. Mount Makulot, a 600-meter (2,000 feet) high volcanic rock wall, is said to be part of Taal Volcano’s crater rim. Some scientists contend that Taal Volcano was once a massive volcano before a violent eruption caused the slopes to cave in. This caused water to rush in, forming a lake that left only the tip of the previous peak exposed, and that is now known as the current Volcano Island. The slopes of the previous volcano now formed ridges surrounding the lake, with Mount Makulot as the highest volcanic cone on the south side.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

stressed out

Saw this poster ad inside the LRT selling refreshment drink that will help you out to de-stress. Are we, todays generation really stressed out that's why these type of products come up or are marketing people devising new ways and marketing strategies for us to buy?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ocean adventure

Sorry this photo is not taken fro Manila, but i want to share you this fun photo at the Ocean Adventure. Ocean Adventure is Southeast Asia's only open-water marine park and is located at Camayan Wharf, West Ilanin Forest Area, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, in Olongapo City. Admission fee is 450 pesos for adults and 370 pesos for babies and seniors and the park is open from 9am to 6pm daily.

They have Dolphin Show daily which showcases the bottlenose dolphins and false killer whale perform stunt and showcase their power and intelligence. They also have a Sea Lion Marine Patrol show and you'll love and be amazed how intelligent amazing creatures these sea lions are. For more Ocean Adventure pictures click here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

chelsea and bulak

chelsea and bulak

Sunday, January 11, 2009

ellinwood altar

Very nice stained glass eh?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

inside ellinwood

Here's what Ellinwood Malate Church looks like inside. When we visited the church there is a man working on the aisle putting up a nice set of flowers since according to the church coordinator there was to be a wedding on that day. Their aisle flower are usually made of white calla lilies and are nice to look at. Also for those who are looking for a wedding church for a christian wedding you can check Ellinwood they have quite a long aisle to walk too.

ellinwood malate church

Ellinwood Malate Church s one of the local churches of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). Ellinwood is located at 1660 Vasquez St., Malate, Manila.

History of Ellinwood Church

It was at the turn of the last century that a country was to be reborn. The Philippines, ruled by Spain for 400 years was to give up its hold on their colony as a more superior nation takes over. It was in the year 1898, in the waters of Manila Bay that the American Fleet defeated the Spanish Armada. With tha defeat came a new order and a new beginning.

As the American way of life and governance came in, religious aspect of it came into play. In the summer months of 1899 a shipped docked in Manila bearing Rev. Dr. James B. Rodgers and with him the start of the American Presbyterian mission in the Philippines. The first Presbyterian work in Manila started two areas: in Binondo and in the Ermita-Malate area. From there missions to as far south of the country continued - Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Bicol, the Visayas and Mindanao.

The 2 buildings were the Ellinwood Boy's Dormitory and the Ellinwood Bible School for Girls. English Sunday Services were held for students staying at the dormitory and also a separate Tagalog service for families staying in the Ermita-Malate area. From the start of formal worship services in 1907, the Rev. Dr. George Wright and his wife Anna were at the reins of the ministry. As years passed, both the Ellinwood and Malate congregations increased in number and the chapel in the dormitory was starting to become smaller and smaller as each Sunday passed.

In 1927 the 2 congregations started to dream of a bigger sanctuary 5 years later with Rev.Catalino Paulino, Ellinwood's first Filipino pastor, helping out, a new sanctuary was constructed and a new congregation was born. The members of the Ellinwood and Malate Congregation decided to become one and thus be called Ellinwood- Malate Church.

Friday, January 09, 2009

black nazarene devotees

Today, the entire nation celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene and i took this photo inside the LRT, as you can see most Black Nazarene devotees join the parade or got to Quiapo Church to offer their prayers and fulfill their panata barefooted.

While on my way to work, i saw hundreds of devotees lining the streets where the Black Nazarene procession will pass from the Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church, not counting the thousands of devotees already waiting at the church and the number is continuously growing. I haven't attended mass on this feast yet, i wanted to got today but i have work to do but hopefully i can join and offer a prayer next year.

As i am writing this, the procession has started and is expected to last for five hours will pass through Burgos St., left at Taft Ave, McArthur Bridge, going to Rizal Ave, right at Claro M. Recto, right again at Legarda, right at Arlegui St., left at Quezon Blvd, right at Palanca St., right again at Villalobos towards Plaza Miranda.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

just checking

yesterday morning, one of the LRT coaches emit smoke and stop midway at the tracks, and this old man cant help but check what's happening but still making sure that he isn't going overboard by not stepping on the red line :) well of course i peeked too! :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

tokyo tokyo

A view inside Tokyo Tokyo, a Japanese Fastfood restaurant that serves California Maki; Shrimp Tempura; Chicken Yakitori; Yakisoba; Omurice; Japanese Spring Rolls; Spicy-Sweet Squid Teriyaki; Honey Chicken Teriyaki; Pork Tonkatsu; Squid Ika Fry; Tepanyaki; Katsudon; Salmon Teriyaki; Sashimi; and Sushi. Prices are quite affordable and their best seller i think is their Sumo Meals (good for two meals) and of course their eat all you can rice promo. Though i am not a big fan of sushis, i like the taste of katsudon. So do you like Japanese food?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

lost in wonderland

"Be what you would seem to be -- or, if you'd like it put more simply -- Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

Monday, January 05, 2009

year end sale

The holiday is officially over and so are the year end sale run by different malls and stores. Hope you took advantage of the best shopping season and enjoyed your loot as well. I guess a lot of stores and merchant participated in the sale because for one they know that people still ave some money to spend, and i've heard that a big chunk of their revenue is during the holidays, hope they sell well too since the business wasnt really good this year due to recession and economic slump. But hey still looking forward to a better year though. (Photo: a display at Mango store enticing customers with their 70% mark down)
Related Posts with Thumbnails