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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Baras, Rizal: Saint Joseph Parish Church

Facade of Baras Church
I am always fascinated by the mysticism of the church the moment I set my feet off to some of the captivating places I have visited in the past.  The church always appeals me because some of them have a historical relevance attached to a place as the church exists for more than hundred years old.  As landmark to every town, the church also serves as a sign that you have gotten the place.  The gritty look of the old church reminds us that we were colonized by Spain and it was of the different orders who brought Christianity to our country.

Internal design of the church

I had a short trip yesterday and made a visit to St. Joseph Parish church in Baras, Rizal.  Known as Baras church by the locals, the structure was built 300 years ago.  The Franciscan built the original church in 1595.  The dimly-lit cold interior is more interesting as the hall is accented by the large golden altar of the images of saints, and the rough timber beams gave most of the rustic feel of the church.  It is vintage plain and simple, and the look has a strong character that conveys its historical background.

There was a graduation event going on at the vicinity of Baras Church and what I had to do is to leave the place as early as I can.  There were vendors outside selling some foods and what caught my attention was the ice scramble as it was very hot due to summer season.
Bell Tower
Upstari to Bell Tower
Ice Scramble Vendor
A taste of iced scramble after the visit

Going to Baras Church is easy and you can take jeepneys bound for Tanay, Rizal.  Ask the driver to drop you off to the Municipal Hall and a 5-minute walk uphill to the church.  Travel time depends on where you came from.  From Cainta, Ortigas extension, it’s more or less one and a half travel time if you are taking a jeepney ride.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Silangan Gardens’ Pinto Art Museum

I have a huge appreciation for the arts and basically I have an eye for it although I have a little skill that is below par compared to the children’s art work.   There is a burning passion waiting to be tapped and in hope that one day I will have time to do draw my own art work.  This reminds me when I was just a kid because as a kid I always love to draw a picturesque of the nature like mountains, the sun and the seas.  And I remember during my elementary years in school I won twice in the drawing contests.  My interest vanished because being a kid I realized that I could sing that later in my life my talent molded me to become an occasional singer/entertainer.  And I felt that seeing these art works have an instant connection in me that words cannot describe.

The chapel in the garden

There's also a cafe lounge at the museum

But how did I find out about this art museum at Antipolo?  I google some tourist spots in Rizal province and later on in one of the blogs it featured Silangan Gardens. I was quite curious as few years back I visited Balaw Balaw in Angono where some art works are displayed in the said exotic restaurant.  I never thought that aside from Angono, Rizal, the arts capital of the Philippines, you can find some art works and sculptures in this town.

In my impression, Silangan Gardens' Pinto Art Museum houses local artists with their respective masterpiece into the Mexican inspired garden.  Since the place rises at Antipolo, you can also see the view of the city skyscrapers of Ortigas Center.

It’s not hard to find Pinto Art Museum of Antipolo, Rizal.  If you are coming from Cubao, you can take the FX and tell the driver to drop you off at Ynares.   And from Ynares you can ride the tricycle going to the Grand Heights Subdivision and let the driver know that you are heading up the Pinto Art Musem.  The tricycle ride is 40 pesos one way and the fare is not per head. You can reach your destination in less than 10 minutes.  The entrance fee of the Pinto Art Museum is 150 pesos.

Silangan Gardens has a size of one hectare.  There’s a lot of art work at Silangan Gardens made by different artists like Jim Orencio and Antonio Leano.  Honestly because there were so many masterpiece in the garden, I can’t mention them one by one. The arts were overwhelming as you can see the beauty in every masterpiece at the core of the garden.  But one of the masterpiece that I like most is "Oblivious" by Stephanie Lopez.  There were so many great masterpiece displayed at the Silangan Gardens and big as it is, an hour tour in the garden will not be enough to get through of the tour.  There were so many rooms that display all the art works.


I stayed at the museum for more than 2 hours and could not help myself but to sit down and relax a little because there were so many things to see in the garden aside from the masterpiece in every room.  As a Rizalian resident, it makes me feel proud to see a hub that houses some of the local artist as big as Pinto Art Museum.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Irresistible Taste of Baye-Baye

I learned how to make baye-baye from our helper who hails from the province of Negros Occidental where she is at our home right now. Baye-baye is one of the delicacies of the Ilonggos and is made from glutinous rice, “malagkit” in Filipino, “pilit” in Ilonggo.  It is roasted first mixed with red sugar muscovado then it is being hulled in the machine until it becomes soft and pliant. Strips of young coconut are added to make it more delicious.  In traditional way of making baye-baye and according to “manang”, in Negros, after the rice has been roasted, it is being pounded away in the old lusong (traditional mortar and pestle)

Baye-baye is one of the native delicacies of Ilonggo which can be found in the market or in the streets aside from the famous piayaya, barquillos, pinasugbo and kalamayhati. It makes really worth eating and it can be served as merienda.

all ingedients mixed together

Monday, March 24, 2014

Making Pork Embutido is Fast and Easy

Any foods that I like makes me curios how it is being made;  anything that I love to eat and that’s how I love to experiment doing it.  For the past few years I have been observing how to make embutido from our dedicated helper who’s been with us since our child hood.  She came back yesterday from the province and that’s how I remembered that before I always ask her to make an embutido. So I decided to make an embotido with her help as I have already forgotten the ingredients from which she derived it from my aunts in the province long time ago.

Here are the ingredients in doing embotido and I know how similar it is being done with any one’s own recipe:

I kilo ground pork
3 raw eggs
2 Magic Sarap
2 onions chopped finely
2 garlic chopped finely
1 Red pepper chopped finely
Chopped pickles.
Chopped carrots
Grated chees

Cooking Procedure:

1.       Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
2.       Mix well until it blended
3.       Spread the mixture in an aluminum foil that is enough to make some rolls
4.       Apply a little amount of butter in the foil so that the foil is enough to close when it is rolled.
5.       Roll the foil tightly and seal both ends. The margarine serves as a paste to close the foil so that the mixtures won’t scattered.
6.       Place the roll in a steamer for 40 minutes to one hour.
7.       Remove from the aluminum oil and serve it.

This is the simplest way to make an embutido when you have a budget of 300-500 pesos which makes 5 rolls or even more.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fashion Shots: Shooting Some Models in Cainta

Last Wednesday, I took the shots to some of the aspiring models.  They are students of Informatics College in Cainta, Rizal.  As an aspiring fashion photographer, it's always a good start to take some outdoor shots.  I don't have a complete set of lightings yet except that I use sunlight as natural light in taking photos..  I used car shade as my reflector and it was done at the church in Cainta to add drama in photography.  Without some photography sets yet, it tests your creativity for I only use my Canon 550D with upgraded lens 18-135mm..

I have been into landscape photography over the last 3 years which was great to start with and now I'm taking myself into the next step. And one thing for sure, I have plans of putting up my own studio someday.

I have been doing a lot of experiments when it comes to portrait and fashion photography even without a sophisticated lens and lightings.

It's good to be well-rounded though as photography is my passion.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pagsanjan Falls Via Cavinti Route

I googled Magdapio falls known as Pagsanjan falls and the pictures I've seen convinced me to switch my decision from my "Plan A travel" to go to Pagsanjan at the last minute.  As much as possible, I want a getaway that is near and Laguna Province was just a perfect fit.  Pagsanjan was approximately a four-hour ride from Quezon City. We left home at 7 a.m. rode HM Transport en route Sta. Cruz, Laguna in New York corner Edsa, Cubao and was nearly 4 hours travel time due to the heavy traffict in Edsa.

There are two jump-off points going to Magdapio falls: by going to Pagsanjan where you have to ride a canoe and pay P1250 and the other is Cavinti route.  If you are taking the Cavinti route, you can take a jeepney ride going to Cavinti and ask the driver to drop you off to the junction and they call it Johnson. There’s a sign in the jeep that is Luisiana or Lucban where you can take a ride. Once you’ve reach the junction, tricycles are available and ask them to take you to Pueblo El Salvador National Park. The falls itself is within the jurisdiction of Municipality of  Cavinti, Laguna.  The Cavinti route is the cheaper way to visit Pagsanjan falls if you want to experience real action adventure where the trekking experience begins to the famous waterfall.  Entrance fee is P270 per person which includes entrance, rent for the gears for trekking and life vest.  At the information desk, you will be asked to sign a waiver and the trekking is not recommended to those who have high blood pressure or heart failure. You need to bring a bottled water just in case you feel tired and thirsty in the middle of the trekking.

Tour Information Desk at Pueblo El Salvaro
head gears for trekking

The sign before the trail starts
Our guide Dennis
Off the trail

El Salvador del Mundo Statue
From the entranced of Pueblo El Salvador to the falls takes around 30-40 minutes to reach the falls. On the way to the trail is a statue of El Salvador del Mundo.  The trekking is not that easy as it started with the rappel ride and scary as it is, you need to descend with the circular railings. It will be followed by the steel steps that are steep and the guide said there are 589 steel steps to go down to the falls
When you reached the second rapelling, it means you are already closed to the falls and there are steeper steal steps along way.

As soon as we reached the falls, I took my dslr camera from my bag and took some photos of the magnificent world-famous falls.  The Devil’s Cave is reachable through the raft ride.  We didn’t go to the cave behind the falls as we didn’t bring some spare shirts.  We stayed for more than thirty minutes until we decided to go up and be back to the starting point of Pueblo El Salvador.

The experience in going up is harder unless you are an experienced hiker but patience is much needed in order to reach the starting point.

I could say that if you do not want to experience action to reach the falls, you better go to Pagsanjan and ride a canoe.

See more photos below:

circular railing through the rappel ride

going up to return to the start point
We go up again after spending 40 minutes at the falls

a view of the canoe
food trip in Sta Cruz, Laguna after going to the falls