Monday, May 31, 2010

Binondo Cats

I noticed that a lot of shops in Binondo and Divisoria keep cats as pets (yes, pets and NOT for siopao!) Sometimes I would go inside the store to ask about the cat and not the merchandise :) I particularly love this school supplies store because they have the biggest cat I have ever seen!

Anyway, here are some cat pics from my trip to Binondo a few weeks back.
Hardware cat guarding his spot
He barely moved when a few customers went inside. So funny!
Whoops! Black cat is busy. No time to stop and pose for a pic.
This man owns a big orange cat that looks like my Nugget!
I noticed that he has a chipped ear. The vendor said that it a mark (from the veterinarian) that means that the cat is already neutered. Interesting. (UPDATE from my friend who works in a shelter: "tipping an ear is the universal sign of a cat being fixed. This way, if a person is trapping to spay or neuter a cat, they can let the ear tipped ones go and only bring in the full eared ones to the vet. The tip is cut off by using a hemostat and a surgical blade while they are still under anesthetic. It heals fast and the ear barely bleeds." Thanks, Cindy!)
We saw three cats in Po-Heng Lumpia House. This one just watched me from afar.
While the other two were super friendly! This pale orange one is my favorite because she kept following me. I noticed that her right ear was also chipped.
and this cat's ear too! Good to know that they are neutering outdoor cats there.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Honey In the Rock Café

I think I have found my new favorite restaurant in Baguio - thanks to my online friend, Gomi! Honey in the Rock Café is a quaint, cozy place that serves yummy organic food. I checked their facebook page and I love how they described their mission.

"We envision a healthy, adventurous diner, making a conscious effort to choose food that utilizes natural, organic and biodynamic ingredients. We envision an empowered diner, preserving his culinary heritage, but willing to embrace other culinary cultures, ---making a valuable socio-economic, natural and cultural contribution to food and beverage service. “Life is too short to eat anywhere else.”

Yes, so true. Now I suddenly feel guilty for eating at Mc Donald's twice this week!
Charmingly odd and colorful :)
I had a really good bowl of French onion soup which came with a side salad.
I loved it! It had strawberries, blueberries and alfalfa :)
Erman ordered Arroz Caldo which he said was perfect for the cold climate.

We both felt full after so we skipped the main meals and the desserts! Too bad because I heard that the chocolate cake here is the best. Oh well, I guess that just means that we have to go to Baguio again soon!

Honey In the Rock Café
Ground Floor KDC Bldg. (very near the fly over and BGH)
94 Marcos Highway
Baguio City

Friday, May 28, 2010

BenCab Museum

I've been looking forward to visiting the BenCab museum in Tuba, Benguet ever since it opened last year. Aside from National Artist Ben Cab's works, the museum also has an impressive collection of indigenous art and works from other notable Filipino artists.
It took us a while to get there since most of the cabs in Baguio had no idea where the musuem is. The website indicated that it was just a 15-minute drive from the city but I think it took us almost 30-45 minutes to get there since we kept stopping to ask for directions. Once you get to Asin road, keep your eyes peeled for the signages. They are quite small and can be easily missed when the car is going fast.
Yay! Finally here :) Entrance to the musuem is P100 for adults and P80 for students and senior citizens. The museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (except Mondays)
One of the first artworks I noticed was this beautiful Ben Cab portrait in the middle painted by my fellow UP Collegian artist and friend, Winner Jumalon :) I belive this artwork was a part of the Asian International Art Exhibition in Singapore in 2006.
32 Variations of Sabel
“Sabel is a major subject that recurs through BenCab’s works through the decades, inspired by a real-life scavenger, he photographed and sketched in 1965, the Sabel image has become the artists vehicle for the transmission of intensely emotional moods. When pushed to the limits of abstraction, the Sabel image serves as a fertile ground for the investigation of shape and structure." from bencabmuseum.org
Up close. This work reminded me of Sumi-e (ink and wash painting) and calligraphy combined.
The Cordillera gallery showcases the indigenous artworks from Northern Philippines. I think this is my first time to see so many variations on the Bulol (Ifugao rice god carving).
The Erotica gallery. There is an advisory posted on the door: "May contain works with imagegery which may be ffensive to minors and certain individuals"
I didn't find anything offensive here :)
Ramon Orlina's "Cordillera" glass sculrpture
More interesting works
and my favorite artwork in the musuem! A ceramic cat sculpture by Aba Dalena :)
After going through the wonderful artworks, we headed to Café Sabel downstairs. I think this is run by the same group that handles Café by the Ruins.
I ordered the Sabel Iced Tea (P100) and the White cheese quesadilla (P120). The Iced tea was great but sadly I can't say the same about the quesadilla. The whole wheat bread was so bland and it was burnt too. Next time I will try something more exiting like the Korean Squid Crepe or the Mountain Trail Tilapia Rice :)
Beautiful view of the duck pond and the forest at the back.
The museum
Organic farm and garden
We spotted Ben Cab but we were too shy to say hi... Maybe next time :)



BenCab Museum
Km. 6 Asin Road
Tuba, Benguet

map and more info can be found at their website

Oh My Gulay!

Oh My Gulay is a lovely vegetarian restaurant owned by artist/director Kidlat Tahimik. I have been to Baguio several times but OMG has never been a part of the itenerary. Thankfully it was included this time because the place is amazing!
Everything inside is so fascinating!
Do you see the Galleon?
This is where the comfort rooms are.
The place is really cozy. It would be great if we could have something like this in Manila (plus the cool temperature!)I ordered the Anak ng Putanesca (p120) which was spicy and yummy! Erman had the Kamatis Pasta, which I'm glad I did not order since it was a bit too sweet for my taste. We stayed for a while and admired the view of the city from the balcony.
and also the view of SM Baguio!
I can't wait to go back :)

Oh My Gulay!
5th Floor La Azotea Building
Session Road, Baguio City

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bathtime with Nuggie

Ortigas is a very dusty place to live in. In just 2 or 3 days our balcony gets covered in black soot! Yes, pollution is really bad but we love this place :)
We try to keep Nugget away from the dust but all our efforts are futile. He really enjoys sleeping and rolling on the dirt! He even knocked over a pot once and played with the soil!
Everything sticks to him since his fur is naturally shiny and oily! Just look at those muddy paws on the couch. We usually bring him to the groomers (once in 3 months) but we decided that this time we will bathe him ourselves :) It's been almost a year since we last bathed him here so we were all pretty excited.
Nugget was struggling when I carried him to the bathroom. I know that he knew what was about to happen. I had to hold him down during the first few minutes but then he relaxed and just waited for the bath to be over. But he did look angry the whole time. Btw, please make sure that you check the ingredients of your pet shampoo. I read that some still have chemicals that cause toxic build-up in the fur :(
It's funny how he retained his shape even when wet. I mean, some cats and even dogs look really thin when wet but not Nuggie!
video
Click on Video to watch him :) He kept meowing the whole time!
video
And we're done! He finally looks happy again :)
Lots of shaking and licking after
more licking!
Before and after paw pics! Nug is now silky smooth and clean :)  I really love it when Nuggie is fresh and clean.  Not sure if he is fond of these baths though!  Wish he would be like my friend's cat who loves being bathed.  Maybe Nuggie will be happier if we get a new bathroom with all the fancy fixtures at http://www.qualitybath.com/ :D  Haha!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Café by the Ruins

Ever since we started going up to Baguio in February for the PMA homecoming, it has become a yearly tradition for us to have breakfast at Café by the Ruins.  It's also good that the hotel we stay in every year is just a few minutes away.
The place is beautiful.  At first I was wondering why it was named Café by the Ruins...  I asked the waiter and he said that the place used to be the site of the Governor's house in the early 1900's.  Sadly it was destroyed during world war 2.  Here is a more detailed description from their website: 

"The ruins we lay claim to are the remains of a garden theater which was later converted into the gracious home of Phelps Whitmarsh, the first civil governor of Benguet. The house was built early in the last century and destroyed in World War II.The governor maintained a famous garden where Mrs. Whitmarsh, an Ibaloi, propagated flowering plants and introduced strawberries and vegetable seeds. The bougainvilleas that still bloom at the Café's entrance adorned the front doors of the family home. Those vines have witnessed the comings and goings of Baguio's last 100 years." 
Cafe by the Ruins.com


Pretty fascinating, huh? :)
 The café has a very nice homey feel.  I love the lights and the bamboo walls.
 Yummy local jams, cookies and strawberry wine for sale.
 We ordered the set breakfast which comes with freshly brewed coffee (Yum!!!) and a fruit cup.
 I had the Fisherman's breakfast: Daing na Dalag (fried dried Mudfish) P230
 and Erman had the Filipino Longsilog P245.  Pandesal not included in the set.
After breakfast we checked the organic market organized by La Top Fresh Organic Produce.  They have this every Saturday and Wednesday morning from 8am to 12nn.
So many yummy veggies and fruits!
 I ended up with a 2 boxes of strawberries, cherry tomatoes, a pack of blueberries and gooseberries!  I've never had gooseberry before so I knew I had to try it :)

Café by the Ruins
25 Shuntug Road
Baguio City 2600
074 442 4010

La Top
Organic Produce
09085599580/09206598489

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