Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Manila Public Restroom Patron

In Quiapo under the Carriedo MRT, you'll find a pay per pee public restroom near Scotts Burger that charges P5 per pop, it ain't the ritz, but it's the only clean one in a mile and SM Carriedo CRs don't count! Also bring your own TP! 

The most patriotic one is in Intramuros and it does kinda remind you to channel Maria Clara while you whiz.

Ginintuang Kasilyas: Where all the ladies go to do their business

The Shang and Glorietta's classy WCs cost P10, more than you're jeepney fare! It's when your pee weighs more than gold.

The quirky one for me is the public restroom in a monastery in Pampanga which includes instructions to pray while dumping and thanking God after thee flush. Amen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Masarap ang Regla: Yummy Filipino Bread Rolls

Masarap ang regla, malinamnam lalo na yung ma-init-init pa at galing sa pugon

It's that time of the month when the craving hits and you want that sweet bloody roll from the neighborhood pinoy bakery called Regla or Pan De Regla or Tinapay Regla. A direct translation would mean 'Menstrual Bread' or "Menstruation Bread Rolls'. It was aptly named because of its bright red filling.

In Waltermart supermarket, they've politely renamed the bread "Pan de Pula" or Red Bread. Hmm... how dare they change the name of the iconic pinoy artisan bread? What's next then the "putok" bread (a type of pandecito or bun) will be renamed Pop or The Bomb? Ewan...

Anyhoo, this sweet red or dark pink roll has a sugary custard in the center and goes well with Sarsi after siesta time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas in Kamuning

'Tis Christmas in Kamuning when the Barangay Captain gets the yearly Santa out of storage and into the streets.

Like everything pinoy, anything pricey should remain wrapped in plastic.


Reminds me of my Aunt Cely who still has her sofa wrapped in plastic for the last 15 years. To keep it clean, fresh and dust-free since the day it was bought.  Weh! 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ortigas and its Hundred Kitchens

The idea of hanging out in Ortigas is strange to me. I had lived there for 2 years and it was a complete bore. Things turned a lot different since I left which means once I vas out ze ztarted partying ja. They seem to have crammed every concept resto, bistro, coffee shop, grill at every street corner- so many foodie places! Emerald Avenue used to be a ghost town at 10pm. Now it's just great!

Every minute walking with Yoshke & V was a treasure. We wandered around Ortigas, spending more time walking, than eating in search for the perfect spot (which was supposed to be a Thai resto that closed rather early). My legs were killing me. We ended up at the most accessible place- a beer & grill joint.  It was the best we could do considering the Friday night crowd. I was there for the conversation anyway and Yoshke never disappoints. 

It was great to see you again Yoshke!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ang Kung Fu

Kung saka-sakali...
kung mamarapatin lamang... 
Kung pwede lang dinggin
pero Kung ayaw mo, huwag mo!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

ATM: Awesome Tubig Machine

A makeshift coin-operated water dispenser at a Cebu neighborhood. 

Drop 1 peso into the slot and you get to instantly fill out your 8-12oz water jug.

Photos by Fritzie Gumiran

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My First Manila Cab Ride with the Receipt-Issuing Meter

Finally, rode my first Manila cab with the receipt-issuing meter. At first, I mistook it for the car radio. 

I politely asked Manong where the meter was and he proudly showed off the gizmo, he says he's one of the first cabs to have the meter. But it felt like a sucker punch for him to have one, he had to loan money from his OFW brother just to buy the mandatory meter which cost P13,500. All cabs must have one by December 2009 or else they can't hit the streets. They can get fined and the fines are huge.

Manong had a lot gripes. Instantly, I became his morning therapist. This was his cab, not owned by an operator or cab company who could afford to shell out the money for the meters. What are other cabbies to do when they can't make meet their daily boundary?

The Boundary is the earning quota Philippine cabs have to make per day to hand over to their operators. Once they reach the said quota, they can keep the rest of the money as their daily earnings. Manong Cabbie in this case would do double shifts and sleep at the gotohans so he can pay off his debts.

He's pissed that you can only buy the receipt-issuing meters at two shops right beside the LTO offices. Taga na nga sa presyo, lakas pa kumabig. These shop owners have the monopoly of the sales of the receipt-issuing meters. Imagine, the number of cabs in Manila required to buy from these shops. 

These are cheap in Korea, he says. He has had several Korean passengers telling him so. But the LTO doesn't allow Manila cabs to buy secondhand ones.

He thinks the government should at least subsidize part of the cost; it's not a realistic expectation that every cab could get one by December.

Manong Cabbie also dislikes Manny Pacquiao. Wow he's like the first Filipino I ever met who vehemently dislikes the Pacman. He says Pacman's cab company na sosyo with a certain politician has the monopoly of the airport. 

Bawal na kami sa NAIA. We're not allowed to pick up passengers at the airport, we can only bring them there. That single airport cab company now has exclusive monopoly of the terminals and they really have a hefty flagdown rate for OFWs. Yeah, I agree. My last airport cab from NAIA cost me P440 and my stop is just Pasong Tamo.

"Baket lahat ba ng umuuwi sa Pilipinas mayaman?" Manong gripes, "Maawa sila sa OFW"

Before I got off, he allowed me to take a picture of his meter. I'm not the first passenger, he says. People are so fascinated by it, they take pics with their cell phones to show to their friends.

I told him, "Manong,di bale sosyal na metro mo."

Oo nga eh, high-tetch na 'ito! He quips.

In Singapore, the taxi cab meter is a LCD screen. From Little India to Orchard Road with Yoshke it costs us $8 SG

In Berlin, a cab from Unter den Linden to the Hauptbahnhof station cost me around 15 euros (freakin' P900) but I love the rearview mirror taxi meter though, you can see the fare rate from any angle at the backseat.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Poi Goes Crochet Crazy

How are your fingers Poi? Can I say patience is your real virtue?

Poi is a visual artist and photographer, you can find her exhibition work all over Manila and the Cubao X quarters.

I love Poi's crochet hats. She is making me one soon in time for Christmas!

Well do ya, do ya, do ya want one?

Make somebody love you with a Crochet Cloche!

visit Poi's multiply shop

Monday, November 23, 2009

Curfew Hours in Manila

'Tay ayoko pang umuwi, gusto ko pang tumambay

So what are the kids up to lately?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sari-Sari Store Junk Food

When was the last time you've been at the neighborhood Sari-sari store?

The kids have it better now with the illegit movie tie-in merchandise. I used to buy Sari-sari store postcards when I was a kid which had frame by frame stills of movies like Petrang Kabayo and Inday Bote. Now they have more freebies at stake. 
These are not condom packs. But if they were, these would be king-sized Magnums.  

Hindi bato ang laman
. But rubber bands, sugar balls and these candy-colored rings!

Ang tunay na sikreto ni darna! I love these!  

Candies in pill blister packaging. Kids do start early with the uppers.

Sends the wrong message to the kids, don't you think? The tots might think all pill packs are the sweet deal.

An anemic version of Chocnut. Cheap and bland. It made my teeth hurt. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mad Hair

I love bed hair. I adore helmet hair.

I have hair envy for Helana Bonham Carter's untamed 'do.

So I really love this quick messy bun which I found on onehotchildinthecity which links to a YSL post

I gave it a try and I was a bit skeptic on how it would turn out after all Asian hair is mostly straight and not that poofy. Not bad, eh?

I've always wanted a hot hair bun 'do with layers like an ensaymada, but looks mad enough like 'sinabunutan ni Bella Flores'.  Yeah.

And this is it! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Riding a Manila Cab with X-rays

Took a taxi from Glorietta and I found this lovely surprise waiting for me in the backseat.

Someone's X-rays used as sun shields, taped on the backseat windows of the taxi. How ingenious.

The moment called for 'Someday You Will Be Loved' by Death Cab for Cutie, luckily it was still on my playlist.

The Cab driver however didn't want me taking his picture. He probably found me really odd, ogling over his skull scans. He denies that the x-rays are his, but the cab operator's. 

There seems to be no obvious hematoma or contusions on the headscan, often seen on x-rays of drivers in vehicular accidents. The bones I can't say, but there is somewhat a remarkable break on them.

From the street I would notice pedestrians smiling at me, perhaps it would seem like a playful illusion from their end, a bit macabre seeing right through a passenger's head.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hey Pitch!

i keep forgetting to water you on time.
Sorry Pitch! things could be better.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Film Stock and Memories

I'm sifting through years of family photos, there is so much to scan. I miss working with polarioids. I adore my Dad for getting this brown accordion-type polaroid cam (SX-70) when my brother was born. Too bad the polaroid film stock has been officially discontinued, it signals the end of a forerunner in instant photography. But the demand by enthusiasts has been strong lately, hopefully the Polaroid company would stay true to their word.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Tale of Two Cemeteries in Pampanga

There are two cemeteries in my mother's town in Pampanga. A private one called a Memorial cemetery with its manicured lawns, drainage system and sprinklers. Here the funeral rites often have this cowboy and his horse-drawn carriage bringing out the dead.

The Memorial cemetery used to be a rice field and a nesting ground for migrating herons.

Now its too crowded out here on All Saints Day. You could hardly see the tombstones, it feels more like a park or some outdoor barbecue event.

The other one is the Public Cemetery, the one I am more familiar with. There is no planning or mapping involved in creating this sprawl. Here the sepulturero is King. He decides who comes and goes where and for how much. He knows the empty plots, the forgotten bones and the fresh ones still decomposing since what year. 

Pink is the color of the season

Some tombstones are handmade and handwritten with love

While some remain forgotten and nameless

Some remain grand, towering over others. These are spaces for people who once walked the earth. They are known as Condominiums.

Some do get evicted from their plot. 

Some are hidden by the laundry of the living.

A few are still swimming in some organic soup since the typhoon.

This small town public cemetery in Minalin is also a testament to centuries of inbreeding. I could map out the families and realized I am not far removed from their bloodlines. Kampampangans tend to intermarry into clans within the town.

I also find interesting what other people often put on the grave while visiting- food, shoes, letters, trinkets, toys, beer, photos and even pieces of clothing.

Excuse my tapophilia, my fascination for cemeteries stems from no underlying deathwish, but from a grave need to understand and archive the past in my own way. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oral Sex on the MRT

Maybe I've been out of the loop lately or I haven't been on the MRT enough as of late. But these MRT public service announcements are ohlalala! very forward or somewhat risqué. Maybe I'm just being a prude. Or maybe I don't want to hear trivia about how to give good head while going to work haha.

One of the trivias overheard on the MRT PA system:
Ang lipstick ay inimbento ng mga Egyptians. Ngunit nilikha nila ito hindi para sa karaniwang Egyptian na kababaihan kundi para sa mga babaeng magagaling sa Oral sex. Kung nais niyo ng very inviting lips, mag lipstick na kayo. Cue Public Service Music.

The Lipstick was invented by the Ancient Egyptians. But not just for ordinary Egyptian women, but for Egyptian women who gave good oral sex. If you want very inviting lips, why not put on some lipstick? Cue Public Service Music.

Maybe this is a safe sex campaign by the DOH or some condom ad- I'm not sure. It was so loud on the tram, I probably heard everything wrong. But seeing some raise eyebrows on the MRT, I guess the ads are for real. There were some ads about sexual positions and global sex stats as well, so this is definitely a series of sorts.

I mean we are so tolerant on everything public on the radio or on the metro lately. I've heard everything from Ba-na-na-na and local rap songs on Why Gay love is far better than hetero lovin' in graphic detail.

Maybe tomorrow while going to Cubao, there'll be something on cunnilingus.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Darn Dengue

I went to Makati Med after spending the day at the Fire Station. I had to visit two friends stricken with Dengue- one is Ligaya's 11 year-old nephew Gelo and her boyfriend Q.

Too bad for Q. This is his first vacation in the Philippines and in less than a month he gets Dengue. There goes the island hopping plans. I can't blame him though MMC has just eaten through their vacay budget.  

He looks really pale now that his platelet count is really low plus the rashes that comes with Dengue is unbearably itchy. I also discovered doctors don't allow Dengue patients to eat dark colored foods, in case some part of their GI tract starts to hemorrhage and bleed, they can easily detect the blood in the wastes.

Now he's going back to NYC much sooner than expected minus Ligaya who wants to spend more time with moi. Q confesses he can't stay longer in Manila past Christmas. It must be the humid weather and yeah, our killer mosquitoes.

On Queue: Last Day Registration for 2010 Elections

We pinoys are definitely Vogons. Bureaucracy comes naturally to us, we like sending paperwork back and forth, we like signing things in triplicate plus making xerox.

I'm a first time voter (well by 2016 I will still be one) I have failed to register for a number of years now. And I have failed miserably today.

I have always been lazy at the idea of going back home to the province just to register. This is the only time I actually felt the election would matter.  So I got my residence certificate and passport and headed to the nearest voter's registry. Perhaps all this effort came in way too late. Well, so much for 2010.

Some people have been here since 5am at the Makati Fire Station. They were told to come back in the afternoon after all their papers have been processed. They came back around 1pm - no dice. The lines were still long and the paperwork still undone. More people even showed up, maybe half the population of Rembo Makati.

The second floor is packed tight like an MRT tram on rush hour and by 4pm, the staff stopped giving out voter forms. They told those who came in past 4pm to come back as early as 4am the next morning to get in line again. Though the official registry wouldn't start around 8am. It kinda felt like lining up for Wowowee.

Well, I'm not coming back to go through hell again. All I ever get at queuing at government offices are these horrendous varicose veins.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sing When You're Winning

Today, I think about all the friends I made in Singapore and most of them are from Manila. Yay!

We are all bloggers. And we are a cult. Well to some people, it might seem like that.

I guess during the trip I realized, I kept boxing in every nook and cranny of my life into several specific blogs of interests. I don't really have one that's quite normal, where I could relax a bit and not really think so much. In writing on my other blogs, there's always this pause, this conscious effort to make every post cohesive with the overall topic. Never veering or straying away.

It's about time i let loose a bit and just blog for pleasure. If there is such a thing.

MadManila is the perfect spot now to add everyone I know online, regardless what they are blogging about. 

So guys please send me your blog URLs :)