Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's in a (Business) Name? Veintitres

Manglaba na si Mang Laba...
Spotted along H. Cortes St., Mandaue City, Cebu

For more amusing business names, please visit Go Random.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday 1PM at Sunday 2PM

Photo by: H. Ersando
It is Sunday, 1PM and I am at Sunday 2PM, a mini book cafe tucked in the corner of Sarrosa Hotel.

Sunday 2PM Cafe
Sarrosa Hotel, Mabolo, Cebu City
(032) 520 5174
Monday to Saturday 10AM to 11PM
Sunday 2PM to 11PM

I have been summoned to tag along to act as a PA or Personal Assistant PE or Props Eater for a photoshoot (tigkaon sa mga props paghoman sa photoshoot).

The cafe opens at 2PM on a Sunday, but our six–man team was in the cafe an hour before opening time. The owner was kind enough to open the cafe early (the bride–to–be asked permission thru phone a few days in advance).

While the couple was busy making lovey–dovey poses in the corner of this small cafe (it can only sit 19 people—I counted the chairs, not including the two kiddie chairs stacked near the refrigerator), I got busy...

...studying the menu (food and drinks go from Php80 to Php120)
Photo by H Ersando

...admiring the cakes in the display case (brownies for Php 85 and cakes for Php120)

...looking at the thousands of Post–It notes covering the walls and shelves

...peering at the tiny faces on the Instax photos hoping to see familiar faces
Photo by H. Ersando

...inspecting the knickknacks

...reading the title on every bookspine on the shelves
(the books can be borrowed for a week, you just need to deposit 
Php200 for English books or Php400 for Korean books)
Photo by H Ersando

...drawing a self portrait on a Post–It note
Photo by H Ersando

...and getting my picture taken for Sunday 2PM's facebook page. Ha! Just kidding.
The cafe has a photobooth by the counter. Photos taken at the booth will be automatically uploaded to Sunday 2PM's facebook page.

L–R: Pink lemonade slush (Php120), blue lemonade (Php100), chocolate sin mousse (Php120)

The time came to wrap up the shoot and do my duty: consume the props. First in line: pink lemonade slush. The first word that registered upon first sip: sweet. Second: Cold. This icy cold and very sweet drink is an excellent drink to have on a very hot day.

Drink number two: blue lemonade. This, compared to the pink lemonade, wasn't too sweet. If I had tried this before the pink one, I'm not certain I'd have the same opinion. It could just be the pink sugar being stuck to my tongue.

The Chocolate Sin mousse was put in a take out box for later consumption. Later consumption came. Moist, triple chocolate, sinfully sugary, this cake is meant to be shared. But not meant to be paired with either of the two colored drinks I had mentioned. Sweet and sweet make a deathly diabetic combination.

Because of the tininess of the cafe, each person who chooses to stay in the cafe is required to have one order. So why just three for the six-man team? Sorry, Sunday 2PM, but I honestly didn't know this rule. Thank you though for not kicking three of us out. And a big thank you to the couple for letting me eat the props! :D

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Museum of the Filipino People

Boring. Nerdy. Ignorant. Call me any or all of these and I will agree with you. Boring because I'd rather go to museums than malls. Nerdy because I like learning (but have no patience to read the lengthy descriptions in an exhibit). Ignorant because I didn't know until early this year that we have the Museum of the Filipino People.

The Museum of the Filipino People is part of the National Museum. It is in the old Finance building located behind the National Art Gallery.

P Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Manila
Tuesdays to Sundays 10AM-5PM

Entrance Fee:
Adults Php 150
Senior Citizens Php 120
Students Php 50
Free admission on Sundays

The entrance fee gives access to the following:
Museum of the Filipino People
National Planetarium

Note: Taking photos is allowed but no flash photography,
commercial photography, videography, and tripods.

The Museum of the Filipino People has the following on exhibit:

San Diego
The San Diego was a galleon built in Cebu in 1590 by Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino shipbuilders. It sunk near the province of Batangas in 1600. The wreck was discovered in the early 1990s with more than 30,000 artifacts recovered. The exhibit toured around the world before becoming a permanent exhibit in the Museum of the Filipino People.

Kaban ng Lahi (Archaeological Treasures)
This gallery contains a collection of burial jars and vessels unearthed from various caves around the Philippines. Here, you will see jars and pots of different designs (there were burial jars shaped like heads) and learn how our ancestors buried their dead.
Clockwise from top left: a diorama of the discovery of burial jars in a cave; Manunggul jar, a burial jar discovered in Tabon Cave in Palawan; and Masuso pots (look closely it's got breasts!)

Kinahinatnan (The Filipinos and their Rich Cultural Heritage)
An exhibit about the different ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippines. My favorite gallery!

This gallery was just opened in February 2013. It's a small exhibit about Baybayin, the ancient Philippine script. What caught my eye in this exhibit was the Laguna Copper plate, the earliest known written document in the Philippines. It was discovered in Laguna in 1986. (The Laguna Copper plate is not the only thing on exhibit in the gallery but it's the only thing I took a photo of. :-)
 The Laguna Copper plate and its translation (click to enlarge).

There is also a zoological collection where you will find preserved insects and animals (what else!). I was too mesmerized by the creepy stuffed birds that I forgot to take some photos of the gallery. And here are exhibits that I forgot which gallery they belonged to:
Clockwise from top: Butuan Boat (evidence of an ancient maritime culture in the Philippines, one of the Butuan boats have been dated 320AD); a diorama of how archaeologists conduct underwater research; and a diorama of Rakuh-a-idi, a pre-Hispanic settlement in Batan Island (Batanes)

I am truly glad we have the Museum of the Filipino People and the National Art Gallery (can't say anything about the National Planetarium because I have not been there). Great job curators!

When in Manila, I encourage you to spend a few hours at the Museum of the Filipino People and the National Art Gallery.

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

The National Museum:
National Art Gallery
Museum of the Filipino People (you're here!)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

National Art Gallery at the National Museum

I am no art expert, I am just an art gawker. When in Manila, a visit to the National Art Gallery at the National Museum is a must for art lovers. 

P Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Manila
Tuesdays to Sundays 10AM-5PM

Entrance Fee:
Adults Php 150
Senior Citizens Php 120
Students Php 50
Free admission on Sundays

The entrance fee gives access to the following:
National Art Gallery

Taking photos is allowed but no flash photography, commercial photography, videography, and tripods.


The National Art Gallery is housed in a grand old building that was originally designed to be a public library, then transformed into the Legislative Building. It was only in 2003 that the building was renovated to become the National Art Gallery.

There are eleven galleries in the National Art Gallery exhibiting the works of Juan Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, Jose Rizal, and Fernando Amorsolo, among others. Regrettably, I only had time to see to see one gallery and I chose to spend my very limited time in the Hall of the Masters.

In awe of Spoliarium

Two works of art that have been declared as National Cultural Treasures can be found in the Hall of the Masters: Juan Luna's Spoliarium and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo's La Tragedia de Gubernador Bustamante. Juan Luna's Spoliarium received a gold medal in the 1884 Madrid Exposition.

I know the Spoliarium is big, but I did not expect it to be that big. 4 meters by 7 meters! I just stood back, opened my eyes as wide as I could, and tried to take it all in. How I wish I had the whole day to spend at the National Art Gallery, but for the few minutes I had, I am glad to have spent it being dwarfed by Juan Luna's Spoliarium.

The National Museum:
National Art Gallery (you're here!)
Museum of the Filipino People

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nangita og Uban Pa sa Torta og Uban Pa

The Saturday afternoon I brought myself to Torta og Uban Pa's doorstep, they had torta (of course! They wouldn't call themselves Torta og Uban Pa if they didn't have torta). The "og Uban Pa" (and others) were cake bars, cake pops, and chiffon cupcakes. 

I was disappointed that Torta og Uban Pa didn't have the "og Uban Pa" I came here for: cupcakes. All your fault Babe for Food, for posting all those pretty cupcakes on your blog! Okay, maybe it's my fault for going nine months after reading that post. But let's look at my health's bright side: I won't have to go on a cupcake eating spree.

While I was mulling over what to buy, a kid came by and bought a mallows bar. So that's what I had (when it takes me too long to decide, I will have whatever the other customer is having :D) and a revel bar (the chocolate that oozed through the cracks was calling me). The place is named Torta og Uban Pa, that tells me I should try the torta, too.

Left to right: Mallows bar, revel bar, and torta (photo by Mike Libby)

Kids would probably love all the mallows on the mallows bar but for me, on the whole, it was nothing fancy. The revel bar on the other hand, I loved. It was chewy and chocolatey. And the torta? I never liked torta because I always see it as oily cake. But that's torta from Argao. This torta from Catmon is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, doesn't crumble, and is not at all oily.

Presently Torta og Uban Pa's cupcakes are on order basis. Good news is, even if they are based in Catmon, 58 kilometers from Cebu City, I (and you, too!) can place an order (be it cupcakes, cakes, or torta) and orders can be picked up in the city. Yahoo!

Torta og Uban Pa
679 National Road, Catmon, Cebu
* If you're coming from Cebu City, this is on the right side of the road, across Community Rural Bank of Catmon.
0917 620 6940
Daily 830AM to 530PM

How easy on the pocket Torta og Uban Pa is:
Mallows bar Php 10
Revel bar Php 10
Torta Php 14 (Save if you buy by box! Box of 6, Php 80 / Box of 12, Php 150 / Box of 24, Php 275)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wisdom from the Road #8

On expectations
Leave your expectations behind. 

Expected Pinatubo's crater lake to be turquoise just like all the photos I have seen...
was disappointed when it turned out to be dark green.

Expected Juan Luna's Spoliarium to be big...
was awed when it turned out to be huge!

For more lessons from the road, please visit Go Learn.