The Great Escape

Rediscovering life in Palawan Philippines

Archive for the tag “photographs”

New Year’s in the Philippines

hello 2007

‘crazy fireworks here @ new years’ (photo credit: Jessica C)

December 31, 2011, Calamba City. – ‘Ka-BOOM!’ ‘Hiss’ ‘Pop, Pop, Pop’ – We were in my father’s hometown. It was early in the evening but the fireworks had already started. My Tita stuffed peso bills in our pockets and ‘the Chef’ and I scooted outside. We did not want to miss this. The sky was clear and a breeze blew over my skin and funny enough I got goose bumps even though it was a tropical 27-28 degrees. We walked to the back of the house and climbed the stairs to the empty balcony of the building next door. I was surprised we were the only ones out there.

The Filipino Tradition

The Filipino Tradition (photo credit: Paolo Dala)

The city was spread out in front of us in an almost unobstructed 180 degree view. Puffs of white smoke slowly dissipated in the black sky, the smell of sulfur lingered in our nostrils. – ‘BANG!’ ‘Crackle’ ‘Whiz’ – Fireworks from everywhere big and small exploded against the night sky. We didn’t know what time it was but I kept thinking it was midnight because the fireworks built to what I thought was a crescendo but kept going and going until our senses were satiated by sound and light. I thought to myself, ‘This is freaking awesome!” Satisfied, we finally called it quits and went back into the house.

Balut

My cousin gleefully eating Balut!

The table was set with a New Year’s meal – a big bowl of steaming soup, a dense, circular slab of puto (steamed rice cake), a pyramid of balut (boiled, fertilized duck egg), and a bowl of filled with grapes, longans and oranges – mostly round foods that would bring good fortune for the new year. Everyone wished each other a happy new year and we dug into the food.

As our heads hit the pillow I could still hear the distant ‘pop, pop, pop’ of distant fireworks as I drifted into happy sleep.

If you want to experience what it’s like in Manila just click on the YouTube video above. The next day we left on a plane for Palawan and marvelled at the haze and sulfur smell that still hung over Manila in the morning aftermath of the big celebration.

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I’m Canadian, Eh? 021

Photos and thoughts about Canada.

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for images about Canada, the country I grew up in.

Maple Syrup Lines, Wyebridge, Ontario

Maple Syrup Lines (photo: David Allan Barker)

Figgy duff, Saskatoon berry pie, and split pea soup are just a few of our tasty exports. ~ 12 foods Canada has given the world (besides poutine), Maclean’s, August 3, 2012

Ooh All Dressed Chips

Ooh All Dressed Chips (photo: Chinkerfly)

There seems to be some sort of confusion surrounding one of our most delicious, addictive chip flavours; Canadians know All Dressed Ruffles chips have a unique taste all their own, keeping us coming back for more (and more and more and more). ~ Americans are finally getting All Dressed Chips, but they don’t understand them…yet, The Loop, September 21, 2015

McBarge

McBarge (photo: Taz)

Whatever you eat here is one sad, sad meal. This boat was once home to a rare floating McDonald’s, which was built as a shining beacon of innovation for Canada’s 1986 World Expo. Conveyer belts delivered shakes and fries, glass windows offered panoramic views, and a tiny tugboat pulled up alongside the barge to collect Big Mac wrappers and cups. ~ Abandoned Floating McDonald’s Does NOT Serve Happy Meals, Huffpost Travel, March 17, 2015

The Land Where I Was Born 020

Photos and thoughts about the Philippines.

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for images about the Philippines, the country I was born in and which I am now rediscovering.

Halo halo especial

Halo halo especial (photo credit Jeff Younstrom)

Summer isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and the best way to beat this unbearable heat is with every Filipino’s undisputed favorite shaved ice dessert: the halo-halo! A medley of sweetened jewels, a gracious layer of icy granules, a heaping scoop of ube ice cream, all drowned in creamy milky goodness-it’s a sweet tooth’s dream. ~ Top 10 Halo-halo in Manila (2014 Edition), spot.PH, April 24, 2014

Power Breakfast Pinoy Style

Power Breakfast Pinoy Style (photo credit weye)

Magandang umaga! ~ 21 Delicious Filipino Breakfasts That Are Actually Hangover Cures, Buzzfeed, August 21, 2015

LECHON ON THE TABLE

Lechon on the table (photo credit whologwhy)

In restaurant circles, the dreaded F-word—fusion—is usually reserved to describe some sort of disparate multi-culti combination, like sauce soubise on top of tamales. But in the case of Filipino food, there’s no stronger term to capture the essence of Asia’s most unique, idiosyncratic, and underrated culinary tradition. ~ Coconut, Vinegar, and a Whole Lotta Pork: An Introduction to Filipino Cuisine, Serious Eats, June 14, 2014

I’m Canadian, Eh? 020

Random photos and thoughts about Canada.

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for thought-provoking images about Canada, the country I grew up in.

Maple Jello @ Cabane à sucre au pied de cochon

Sugar Shack Snack

Maple season is finally upon us. Quebec is home to hundreds of the best cabanes à sucres (aka sugar shacks) in the world and supplies about 80% of its maple syrup…..Martin Picard is the mastermind behind Au Pied de Cochon and since 2009, he is also the brains behind Cabane à sucre Au Pied De Cochon. This sugar shack is unlike any other. Not only does it elevate traditional sugar shack cuisine to an uber gourmet level, it also does so with an untamed imaginative flare. Pea soup with foie gras, mackerel omelet, pancakes fried in duck fat and smothered in the cabane’s maple syrup are just few of the dishes that have been featured at Picard’s sugar shack. ~ The 5 Best The 5 Best Sugar Shacks (cabanes à sucre) Around Montreal

Pillow Fighter

Pillow Talk

If you’ve ever wanted to hit your fellow citizens, then International Pillow Fight Day is for you.…..You can smack and whack your friends and strangers with a pillow until your arms go limp…..Of course, your opponents also have to be holding a pillow. And they can hit you back…..This pillow whacking free-for-all is how hundreds of Torontonians spent their Saturday afternoon on Easter weekend, as they converged at Nathan Phillips Square, pillows in hand, taking fluffy swings at each other during the Toronto segment of International Pillow Fight Day. ~ ‘Massive’ pillow fight takes over Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, The Globe and Mail, April 4, 2015

Kettle Valley Rail Trail

Riding the Trail

You might want to quit your job after reading this…..Outdoor gear company Woods Canada is hiring two people to take a five-month trip across Canada this summer and document their adventures hiking, swimming, canoeing and climbing along the way……Each person will be paid $20,000 plus all travel costs, accommodations, food and a full Woods wardrobe…..They will travel as a team along the Trans Canada Trail and work six days a week from May 12 until Sept. 30. Those worried about tenting with a total stranger for five months can apply in pairs. ~ Dream job alert: Get paid $20,000 to travel, camp across Canada, Metro, April 1, 2015

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The Land Where I Was Born 019

Random photos and thoughts about the Philippines

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for thought-provoking images about the Philippines, the country I was born in and which I am now rediscovering.

Filipino-American grocery

New Home

The year was 2008. I was 24 years old when I left the Philippines for the United States to marry the man of my dreams, who left the country right out of college. When I arrived in the States, I had nothing but two suitcases and the clothes I was wearing. Everything else—my family, my friends, my job, my home, everything that defined me, everything that I knew, everything that I loved—was left behind. Most people who move from one country to another only have one reason for moving: the pursuit of the good life. ~ The truth about chasing the American dream, Manila Bulletin, July 6, 2014

Sauces!

Sweet, Sour, Salty

At Maharlika, a number of foreign condiments await use on the table before diners: bright yellow and red bottles of patis, a fish sauce, suka, a coconut-sugarcane vinegar, banana ketchup, a blend of bananas, sugar and vinegar, and Maggi calamansi seasoning, a citrus based liquid. Bright sour, sweet, and salty flavors jump out of traditional dishes like crispy, sizzling pork sisig, oxtail kare kare with peanut butter, and fried chicken slathered with macapuno syrup. Head-on prawns decorate a number of dishes and fried chicken skin is offered as a pre-meal snack. ~ Filipino Fare for American Palates, Huffington Post,  October 16, 2014

Untitled

The Whiter the Better

My attitude was a bit different before, because I was socialized as a young child to think that I’d be prettier if I was light-skinned. I actually have trauma about it. At a preschool Christmas pageant most kids were cast as angels or elves, and I couldn’t help but notice that all the light-skinned girls were angels. I was just like, “But I want to be an angel… I’m an angel!” In a lot of places it’s still more common to think of light-skinned as being pretty. Actually, the last few times I visited the Philippines I couldn’t even find sunscreen – just skin lightening products. ~ How to Be Pretty in The Philippines

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I’m Canadian, Eh? 019

Random photos and thoughts about Canada.

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for thought-provoking images about Canada, the country I grew up in.

Northern Lights, Yukon, Canada

Northern Lights

The skies across the country will light up with the breathtaking colours of the aurora borealis during the solar maximum this year. Here are some of the best spots to catch the view. ~ The best places in Canada to view the northern lights, Canadian Geographic

"Love you forever and always"

Locked in love

Many places in Canada have been hit by this strange lovesickness. On Vancouver Island, the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet is full of love locks, as is the Humber Bridge in Toronto. The debate has just begun. Should we be thinking of environmentally friendly, aesthetically pleasing alternatives? Are the hanging locks more like artwork or graffiti? And if the authorities decided to get rid of them, would they keep on returning… just like an old love? ~ A love too heavy to bear?, Gazette, July 9, 2014

Ice Hotel Québec City

Cool Hotel

We went up to Quebec City especially to visit the Ice Hotel. We stayed on a Sunday night and managed to pick a quiet weekend – only 25 guests so there was plenty of solitude which added to the charm. Sophie gave us the talk on how to survive the night and she was fantastic. We slept through the night there – a little cold at first and then got used to the feeling of the sleeping bags and we both settled. ~ “Wow – this was an amazing experience,” John P., TripAdvisor Review

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The Land Where I Was Born 018

Random photos and thoughts about the Philippines

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for thought-provoking images about the Philippines, the country I was born in and which I am now rediscovering.

Philippines

Twin Beaches

That’s a tough one. Do I really have to pick? Just one? Does it really have to be just one? And who could blame them? With 7,107 islands, the Philippines has more than its share of spectacular beaches! And choosing just one is not an easy task at all. There are a lot of things to consider: the sand, the landscape, their personal experiences. Still, after a long time of bugging, pushing, and — sometimes — blackmailing begging, they were able to give an answer. Here’s a list of 30 best beaches in the Philippines as chosen by some of your favorite Pinoy travel bloggers. ~ www.philippinebeaches.org

Lines

…..a few still think Filipinos all live in slums or in the jungle. WRONG.

To be honest, I asked many, many people (locals and foreigners) what they like about Manila, and over and over, I was met with head-scratching and silence. They all told me they would think about it and get back to me. I’m still waiting. You see, Manila is a city that people love to hate. ~ Surviving Manila – A Foreigner’s Guide to the City People Love To Hate

Philippines

Cool Banaue

In its provincial boondocks, the Philippines has the ultimate paradox: the cool tropical town. Lower temps, however, aren’t the only things that make these towns cool. ~ 11 coolest towns in the Philippines, CNN, May 22, 2014

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