Greetings from Isdaan (fishpond) Restaurant in Tarlac City (Philippines)!
I actually wrote this a week ago (and was set to autpost) while I was there with my office-mates for a company-sponsored team-building activity. Isdaan is located along the long stretch of Gerona Highway. From outside, you would think it is a big eclectic themed-park or resort. I said eclectic because of the presence of huge statues of monkeys, Buddhas, former Philippine presidents, and a lot more. I don’t know really know what they’re trying to achieve with this mix.
Anyways, as the name suggests, fresh fish are the main attraction at the restaurant. However, other favourite Filipino dishes are also served. In my opinion, I don’t think the food is outstanding – just okay – and the place is so — outlandish. Pardon me but that’s how I felt when I set foot there.
Oh, and there were clowns who entertained us on the day we went there.
I missed last week’s Mellow Yellow post, my fault. I was still in a lazy mood last Monday (a state I’m frequently in after a weekend’s rest) so I allowed myself to be tossed by the wind, so to speak.
The malls in Angeles are now decked in holiday decorations. I think that the mall management have already been ready with their stuff on the eve of the start of the first -ber month (September). As soon as the clock struck midnight, the sales staff (or elves, if you like) started the makeover in preparation for the holiday -ber months (September – December).
And on the first day of September, the mall was magically transformed! With lots of red, green, and sparkling gold in every corner, the mood there is very festive! Ho-ho-ho!
Here is a picture of my son and other members of the folk dance troupe in his class. They performed a Filipino folk dance during the annual celebration of their school’s Buwan ng Wika (The Filipino Language Month).
The celebration of the Buwan ng Wika in the Philippines is celebrated every year in schools, private and public, all over the country. This celebration is held to emphasize the importance to our national language, Filipino, in uniting the Filipino nation.
During this special month, several activities are held in every school. It includes performances of folk dances, poem and essay writings as well as parades. During my time the Buwan ng Wika used to be Linggo ng Wika (The Filipino Language Week). I myself and my siblings used to take part in various activities in our school during the Linggo ng Wika. Watching my son perform and take part in this significant school activity brings back those times 🙂
My younger sister just came back from a weekend holiday up north, in the Ilocandia region of the Philippines. She and her friends visited the historic town of Vigan, the capital of Ilocos Sur and one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines.
As you can see from the picture, the architectural style reflects mostly Spanish influences. I love the lighted lamps, so antique.
I hope to visit Vigan one day. I want to. I can imagine myself walking in the cobbled streets of Vigan, surrounded by these well-preserved brick and wooden houses, with the sounds of the kalesa and the occasional neighing of the horses. I can’t help but imagine what it’s like there 500 years back when the Philippines was under the Spanish rule.
In addition to our company Christmas party, the employers have kindly hosted a fun day for our (that is, us, employees) children. What’s even more fun was that it was an Angry Birds-themed party that got the children hooked!
Anyone who has not heard of the Angry Birds must be living in a cave.
I was meaning to post before 2011 ended but we all got caught up in the last minute “spring cleaning”. Every corner and cranny of the apartment was dusted, scrubbed and washed in preparation for the coming of the New Year. It weren’t only us though, our neighbors next doors were doing the same. It’s one superstition that a lot of us think won’t do any harm if we tried. It also a good way to meet a balikbayan neighbor (someone who repatriated, opposite of ex-pat) from Canada. He said he used to work in the construction business and, for a time, worked in one of toronto contractors companies.
Hmmm, I wonder if he is trying to talk me into renovating our kitchen because he keeps on mentioning about his experiences in toronto kitchen renovations. Well, he probably knows the problem as our units have the same layout and structures. Admittedly, the kitchen and the bathroom needed a bit of refurbishments but nothing major. Perhaps if I hear him talk again about his stint as toronto bathroom contractors, maybe I should toss this idea to our landlord. Who knows, we’ll get a better kitchen and bathroom makeover from this guy who seems to know what he is talking about and maybe even get a great $$$ discount, too.
But anyways, he is a nice old man. We all had fun watching the fireworks inside the compound. He even gave us several fireworks to light 🙂
Now I digress… I just want to say that we hope this new year will be a better one for everyone of us.
Last week, my son’s class went on a field trip. Since it was my day-off I took this opportunity to accompany my son. It was a great move as we both enjoyed the activity together. It was a fun, educational experience for the kids (and parents, alike) at the Ocean Adventure, it is the only open-water marine park in Southeast Asia located in Subic, Philippines.
The sea lion show was the popular choice of the kids, of course!
My younger sister and her boyfriend took us all – me, my son, our mom, and one of our nieces – to Paradise Ranch. It is a a nature and conservation park in the Clark, Pampanga. It has facilities for children to learn about nature and wildlife.
Just after the entrance of Paradise Ranch is Zoocobia Fun Zoo. It’s a 3-hectare property that was converted into a zoo.
It’s a big zoo but there are only a few attractions like the birds of prey, birds of paradise, and a host of ranch animals. However, my son and niece enjoyed looking and feeding the birds. And I’m happy they are happy.
This is a wall next to my apartment. It separates the apartment building and the house of the apartment building’s owner. This wall intrigues me so much – I hear kids shouting and playing, and yet when I come over to the owner’s house for something, I don’t see any kids at all.
There are fruit trees behind the wall. In the afternoons the tree provides shade, and I often see some of my neighbor’s put out chairs and for an afternoon chitchat.
On some days, my neighbors have snacks there – watermelons, mangoes, and sometimes I see them snacking on banana cue (banana fritters coated with caramelized sugar) and the favorite soda. With a bit of gentle breeze, it is an ideal place to while away the lazy summer afternoons. As I am still new in this neighborhood, I have yet to know my next-door neighbors. When I pass by this area, they give me a friendly smile and I nod in return. Who knows, in a few week’s time, I’ll be one of the mainstays there seeking the comfort of the shade and enjoying my neighbor’s company.
I woke up the other day and my sister-housemate had already gone to work. I wasn’t really feeling hungry but, as my mother always tells us, never skip breakfast. So I raided the fridge nonchalantly and these were all I could come up with for my breakfast. Gasp. It is lonely as it is to eat alone and it’s even lonelier that these were my breakfast – a cup of instant coffee and two slices of bread splattered with the yellowest margarine I’d ever seen. Gee I hope this is a low-cholesterol margarine.
Will have a talk with sis about stocking up our fridge this week 😀