Monday, November 23, 2009

Ongpin Street

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This busy street was named after Don Roman Ongpin, a Chinese businessman who staunchly helped the katipuneros fight the Spanish. He continued his support to our freedom fighters even until the Americans have arrived in our shore and displaced our former enemy.

Today, people from all over the metro brave the traffic and flock to this place to have a taste of what is considered the best and most authentic Chinese cuisine in the country. Those who are into glitz and glamour will not be disappointed with the wide selection of gold jewelries this commercial district has to offer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

La Loma Lechon

Touted as the lechon capital of the Philippines (this will surely warrant a lot of comments from our Cebuano friends), La Loma is a district in Quezon City where they prepare all these mouth-watering lechon (spit-roated pig). Mila's, Mang Tomas, Ping-Ping - some of the popular names when it comes to lechon baboy (and baka, manok.)

It's said that it was Mang Tomas who started this industry way back in the early '50s. At that time, Mang Tomas was only selling pork around his neighborhood. His house was in front of the La Loma Cockpit Arena. After a day's worth of betting, some of the cockpit fanatics would buy pork from him and ask for it to be roasted to serve as their pulutan (finger food that usually accompanies beer drinking). In the long run, he decided to just sell roasted pork. And the rest, as they say, is history.


This photo was taken last month when my T and I went "touristy" in our own city. It was fun, you should try it. Anyway, I'm posting it today because the holidays are coming and maybe some of you are looking for a place to buy lechon or even a place where you can bring your balikbayan friends/family members. Trust me, its a very interesting place. Full of good food and rich history.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Been a while since I last posted here. Somewhere along the way, real life (moved house, got married, et cetera, et cetera) caught up with me. Am just happy that things are slowly returning to its old way.
Alrighty then, last Saturday my T and I decided to take advantage of the calm before the storm (Typhoon Ramil expecting to hit the northern part of country this midweek) and headed off to the Manila Chinese Cemetery. One bus ride and two train transfers after we finally reached our destination. We used the south gate as the one in the north is almost always close. We were greeted by two guards who, in a way, insisted that we use the services of a tour guide which was not really a bad thing considering the cemetery is about 60 hectares and the chances of missing the really interesting places was pretty high should we decide to wander on our own. Our guide was also a caretaker of the mausoleums inside. He's 62 years old and he (claims that he) was born in the cemetery (that totally freaked me out!)

Now for a little background: The Manila Chinese Cemetery is the second oldest in Manila and was the resting place of the Chinese citizens who were denied burial by the Catholic church during the Spanish occupation. It is considered the City of the Dead. Its mausoleums are lavish and come with almost all creature comforts that we know of (home furnishings, A/C, etc.).


One thing I found weird was the altar of Buddha, the Virgin Mary, Confucius and other famous religious leaders. Some practitioners may find that juxtaposition a little strange but I think the subliminal message there was that there is no need for religious wars. (My apologies for the blurred image below. It was almost sunset and we were losing good light.)


Admission fee: Free
Tour guide fee: Negotiable

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy 2009!

Wow. I can't even remember the last time I posted in here. Short of making excuses, allow me to say that I have been working on some "serious" project which took most of my time. One of my 2009 resolutions is to post more photos (at least before I leave for Europe on February).


Most of the time I am out of town with only my camera to keep me company. Good thing the view is excellent and the weather (and lighting) is perfect most of the time. The photo above was taken from the Aeta village. It shows the first leg of the 4x4 drive en route to the jump-off of the mountain.

A little background: Mount Pinatubo exploded on 1991 - it was considered as one of the most violent explosions of the 21st century. It also made the Americans (finally) leave their military bases. Several years after, the Philippine tourism initiated a program to help the local community. They opened Mount Pinatubo for tourists - both local and foreigners. Today, tourism is one of the major industry in the Tarlac area (second only to producing sugar from sugar cane).