Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Manila: Bollywood serves great Indian food!

I'm a big fan of Indian food. So when I found out we were eating at Bollywood in Greenbelt, I did not have any second thoughts. And everything we ate was great. We started with the papadums, which are thin wafers made from lentils, accompanied by mint, ginger and yogurt dips.

There were also stuffed papads, which are papadums stuffed with shrimps, potatoes and fresh herbs; spicy lamb dumpling called momos; and rogan josh which is mutton with a red curry sauce filled with Kashimiri spices.

We also had Star Pizzanaanas which are pizzas with a naan bread crust named after various Bollywood stars. We were served ShahRukh Kham or four-cheese pizza topped with cheddar, ricotta, mozarella and paneer cheese; and Aishawarya Rai which has ham, pineapples and capsicum for toppings. Of course, we had tandoori chicken and biryani as well.

For dessert, we had gulab jamum which are fried milk balls in really sweet rose syrup; and Bollywood mafiosi or pannacotta with fresh mangoes and rose water. They have a daily dinner buffet during weekdays and it's just PHP450 per head! At least I know where to go now when I'm craving for Indian food in Makati.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Manila: More art and architecture from UP Diliman

In the last entry, we mentioned Cesar H. Concio. Once the University Architect, Concio also designed Melchor Hall which houses the College of Engineering; Palma Hall which serves as the home of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy; and the student center Vinzons Hall.

In front of Vinzons Hall is the first reinforced concrete monument in the country. People often mistake it for a monument of Bonifacio, but the Grito de Balintawak actually depicts a nameless Katipunero. It was transferred here in 1968, saved from an imminent demolition.

Beside Vinzons Hall is the College of Business Administration (CBA). Inside the CBA Lobby is a very important work of Jose Joya, National Artist for Visual Arts, known as The Barter of Panay. In front of the building is an artwork of Napoleon Abueva called The Spirit of Business.

Abueva actually has numerous works scattered around campus including: the Nine Muses at the UP Faculty Center; the Crucifix with Two Corpora at the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice; the University Gateway; Diwata at the Faculty Center; Alma Mater at the lobby of Ang Bahay ng Alumni; Three Women Sewing the First Philippine Flag, also known as Tres Marias Plaza, at the UP Donors' Garden; and the Tribute to Higher Education at the entrance of University Avenue.

Vinzons Hall and the College of Business Adminsitration stand in front of the Sunken Garden, an important center of campus life in UP Diliman. So many memories, both good and forgettable, are linked to this open field. It played host to old forgotten traditions such as the “Cadena de Amor” and the grueling ROTC Sunday trainings; to today’s UP Fair. It’s a perfect afternoon hangout, great for football or Frisbee practice, and infamous for its evening escapades. And it was wonderful the Sony Ericsson K850i Cyber-shot camera has a really useful panoramic shot feature which allowed me to capture the place in its entirety.

Part 1: UP Diliman is a showcase of art and architecture
Part 2: UP Chapel and the Church of the Risen Lord

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Manila: UP Chapel and the Church of the Risen Lord

If you remember, I've already featured three campuses and their chapels namely the Ateneo and the Church of the Gesu, La Salle and the Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and FEU and its chapel. Now I'm featuring UP Diliman and its two chapels.

The Catholic church of UP Diliman is the Church of the Holy Sacrifice or the UP Chapel. It is a National Historical Landmark and was designated an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum owing to the fact that it stands as a testament to the creativity of not one, not two, but four national artists!

The dome-shaped structure, a fine example of Modern architecture in the Philippines, was designed by Leandro Locsin. Around the UP Chapel are fifteen large murals painted by Vicente Manansala depicting the Stations of the Cross. The marble altar and the large wooden cross above it were sculpted by Napoleon Abueva. And finally, the mosaic floor mural called the “River of Life” was designed by Arturo Luz.

Another renowned architect, Cesar H. Concio, was responsible for designing the neighboring Protestant chapel, the Church of the Risen Lord.

Part 1: UP Diliman is a showcase of art and architecture
Part 3: More art and architecture from UP Diliman

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Manila: UP Diliman is a showcase of art and architecture

The University of the Philippines is celebrating its centennial this year. I have always wanted to rediscover the Diliman campus and appreciate it in a different light. So I took time out one afternoon to take a stroll around.

Few people realize that UP Diliman is actually a treasure trove of architectural delights and works of art. Around campus, masterpieces of many renowned artists and architects go unnoticed. So I had my Sony Ericsson K850i handy to document my trip around the Diliman Republic.

I started my walk in Quezon Hall, the administration building of UP, designed by Juan Nakpil, National Artist for Architecture and a pioneer of Modern Philippine architecture. He is also credited for creating landmarks around the Academic Oval such as the Carillon which continues to bring music to the Diliman campus after 50 years of existence and Gonzalez Hall, the university’s main library.

Benitez Hall
, home to the College of Education; and Malcolm Hall which hosts the College of Law were designed by another renowned architect Juan Arellano.

In front of Quezon Hall is an immortal masterpiece and an undying symbol of the University of the Philippines, The Oblation by Guillermo Tolentino.

From there, I proceeded to another prominent structure, the UP Chapel. And thanks to the decades-old acacia trees which lined the Academic Oval and the cool afternoon breeze, walking to it was refreshing and relaxing.

Part 2: UP Chapel and the Church of the Risen Lord
Part 3: More art and architecture from UP Diliman

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Cavite: Bulalo in Tagaytay is available 24 hours a day

One of those rare times I got to go out. I've been so busy with school, I haven't been able to travel. Poor me! That's why the few hours that I got to go out last Saturday night was a breath of fresh air.

I had dinner with brods at Brittany Bay in Sucat. We had pizza and Czech beer at Grappa's before transferring to Dencio's for more beer, sisig and sari-saring sinugba. We transferred back to Grappa's for even more Czech beer until a weird idea came up. And we ended up having coffee in Tagaytay!

But I guess the highlight of the evening was the bulalo we had at 3 a.m. served at a 24-hour restaurant called GreenATS. Yes folks, bulalo is available in Tagaytay City 24 hours a day!
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