Archive for rizal

tanay idyll

Posted in food, history, locales, nature, people with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by mijodo

daranak falls calls on you

From Antipolo (https://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/the-antipolo-ambient/), one can slowly descend through a circuitous pass along the other municipalities of Rizal, like Baras, Teresa and Morong and take pleasure looking at the number of scenic views of the boondocks and hills of the province. And then one can make a fullstop and explore the charming old town of Tanay.

Although a significant portion of the area is hilly terrain, Tanay is largely about plains and fields where you can appreciate the acres of rice plantings.  Here, the slight breeze coming from the wide expanse circulates evenly thus making Tanay an ideal short trip to enjoy some pasteural landscapes.

But the temperature goes down significantly, as one proceeds to its famous Daranak Falls, passing by some family owned orchards and farms. Many of Tanay’s residents and guests sample the refreshing gushing waters. The aquamarine color of the pool invites everyone to take a dip and cavort in its pristine coolness. It is an ideal family picnic setting, rustic style.

 One can romp around in Tanay’s small plaza and have some cola drinks and chips at several neighborhood stores, and then admire the antiquity of the Catholic church right across. It is a fine specimen of early renaissance architecture built in the 17th century utilizing local quarried stones. At the podium niche of the edifice, an image of the town’s patron saint, San Ildefonso de Toledo stands.

 Then go straightaway to the bay area, where the  small white parola (lighthouse) welcomes you to the rich resource of Laguna de Bay. Old fisherman’s bancas float idly, waiting for the respective owners to employ them amidst a smattering of waterlilies.  Then witness a farmer working with his carabao in the shallow and muddy section of the bay.  One can just sit and feel the wind in the newly established azotea right beside the lighthouse, probably just two lengths of the usual electric lamp post. As you admire the scenery, rekindle the feeling and maybe remember the past of your bucolic days in your own respective provinces.

Then cap off a visit at the nearby Kainan sa Tabing Lawa (Restaurant beside the Lake). The restaurant sits just beside the bay thus one can get a glimpse of the idyllic views from inside. Feast on different ways of cooked freshwater catch such as kanduli (catfish), dalag (mudfish), and pla-pla (big sized tilapia) with extra heapings of steaming rice and hot shrimp sinigang broth.  

 Escape the powerful heat of the summer, and cruise through some of the interesting points of Rizal where one can get comforted with its airiness and nippy temperature.

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the antipolo ambient

Posted in architecture, interior design, lifestyle, locales, people, religion, tradition, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2009 by mijodo

 

 
 

suman and casuy vendor at the church area

Next to Tagaytay perhaps, it is Antipolo which is the most popular destination for a quick and cool getaway from the metropolis.  Aside from the crisp coolness that envelops the area, it is Metro Manila’s panoramic vista that becomes a significant reason for  people to come and enjoy the Antipolo hills. Numerous quaint inns and botique hotels line along  Sumulong Hiway and take advantage of the romantic visual delight, particularly during night time period

 

Thus it is no surprise that restaurants and bars sit as well along the ridges as many customers revel on the views of Western and Southern portions of Metro Manila. Among these food places is the legendary Eagle’s Nest which started decades ago in nipa huts in stilts. Eagle’s Nest is where young people from the universities and offices  flock for cheap bottles of beer and tasty pulutan (food accompanying liquor or beer). Today the drinking area has changed a little bit.  Now huts have karaoke machines.

 

Still along Sumulong Hiway, a relatively new addition to the area of Antipolo is the Meralco Management & Leadership Development Center Foundation (MMLDC).  This is a learning and training institution which caters essentially to corporate and organizational clients.  There are several seminar rooms and auditorium type set ups that can accommodate to as many as 200 individuals. Although the whole place initially was reserved to those dorming in and taking seminars in the facility, MMLDC has opened its doors to those wanting to have dinner or lunch on impulse in its open area and nicely appointed restaurant.  For a fee, one can take a tour of the several hectare compound where one can find the swimming pool, an aviary, and a rainforest where teambuilding exercises are held. MMLDC can even hold wedding receptions.  Just imagine the nuptial photographs taken in a romantic garden setting of manicured lawns and dreamy backdrops.

 

One of the old important haunts in Antipolo is Hinulugang Taktak. It is a well-known respite site, most specially during the 50s and 60s where people could swim in its waters . It was so popular that a ditty was composed, asking the people to trek the mountainous Antipolo to enjoy the cooling waters of the falls. Today, although not a popular destination to dip your toes in, it is still a refreshing sight for those visiting.

 

If one has a friend or relative who is a member of the exclusive Valley Golf and Country Club, then ask the person to invite you to come in and enjoy a brisk walk inside the golfing premises, particularly to Hole No. 15 of the Executive Course to take in the stunning view of the entire course together with the man-made terraces. Of course, some drinks, courtesy of that member-friend at its clubhouse will be surely appreciated.

 

The basketball afficionado knows where the Ynares Coliseum is. This is where the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) stars make their impressive moves. But right beside it, one can be equally impressed as well with the neo-classical architecture of the newly built Provincial Capitol of Rizal.

 

Perhaps, the most famous Antipolo stop is the Church where the devotees go just before a long and important travel. People ask the church’s patroness, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage for blessings for a safe passage or journey. And in the end, after the prayers and mass, one can go to the tiendesitas beside the church to bargain for Antipolo’s food products of suman (rice cake) and casuy (cashew nuts).

 

Addording to Ms. Peng Young, marketing officer of MMLDC, during summer it is the breeze that circulates that makes the temperature in Antipolo still bearable.  A decrease of one or two degrees from what Metro Manila is experiencing is just a welcome treat for those people experiencing the highlands of Antipolo. Tayo na!

 

all in the family, all in the community

Posted in artifacts, culture, events, locales, people with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2009 by mijodo

jose blanco's portraiture of his family members praying

Picture this: a maestro for a father tutoring his seven kids on sunday afternoons on the skill of drawing using simple plywood as canvass and oil pastel as medium. Imagine this: the mother who had initially attended to  aficionados as probable buyers for her husband and children’s artwork started to create her own art at a mature age.

At first, I thought the Blanco family‘s reputation may have been caused by the peculiarity of having the whole brood making artistic expression altogether as Filipinos may find the whole idea fascinating and endearing.  But upon touring the Blanco museum, and passing through circuitous passageways full of murals and detailed portrayals of life whether in pastoral Angono or in Communist China where the whole family had been invited in the 80s, then I get to realize that their art is truly legitimate not just brought about by a heartwarming oddity.

It  just so happened that Jose Blanco was able to instill to his whole family his passion, discipline and academic knowledge of fine arts. And it was no surpise that his son Michael, recalled how his father had also been given pointers  by Angono’s own –  National Artist, Carlos “Botong” Francisco (https://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/land-of-the-other-giants/). In due time Jose Blanco’s tutelage of his family  was expanded in putting up an art academy for the people in the municipality to discover artistic talent.

Now the  Blanco kids are manning the school and passing the art baton on. Truly, in this community, it takes giants to create even more giants.

land of the other giants

Posted in artifacts, culture, locales, people, tradition, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2009 by mijodo

relief mural translation of botong francisco's painting on the "cry of pugadlawin" by bonifacio as depicted by the artists of angono 

The “higantes” may give some color to the festivities of Angono https://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/land-of-the-giants/), but it is the native cultural luminaries who are the true giants of this Rizal town. In fact, two of them have been conferred the honors of becoming National Artists.

One cultural treasure is the musical composer and professor Lucio San Pedro. He (together with lyricist Levi Celerio) created the haunting lullaby “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan”, and folksy song “Ang Pipit.” 

Another cultural genius from Angono is Carlos “Botong” Francisco. His works dwell much on Filipino history and  traditions. He created masterpieces such as “Muslim Wedding” and  “Bayanihan” (this one was commissioned by Filipino Drug Corporation – Unilab).

The people from Angono have been so proud of Francisco such that the young artists of this generation paid homage by translating his pieces into relief murals along Aurora Street where his house stands. Perimeter walls of residential homes have been used as canvasses.  Thus the street has become a virtual museum where everyone can sense Francisco’s artistry and patriotism.

It is just appropriate that the other youth of this country should look up to such men who created culturally elephantine works and stood tall in the process.

land of the giants

Posted in artifacts, locales, people with tags , , , , on November 26, 2008 by mijodo

here come the giants

Every November 22 to 23, the giants of Angono, Rizal gather once more to participate in the revelry of the town fiesta for San Clemente. Made from either fiberglass, plastic resin or the traditional papier mache, characters whether in human form or otherwise, are proppped up and paraded along the main streets of the town right beside Laguna de Bay. The ten to twelve foot colorful “higantes” (giants) are products of this town’s indigenous folk culture. Some higantes depict the family in folk costumes from the parents down to the grandchildren. Some are familiar entertainment creatures such as Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing of Sesame fame. And since Angono is both pastoral and bayside, naturally gigantic carabaos, humongous shrimps, and even enormous ducks are presented as well.

Many say that the Higantes Festival evolved from the tyranny of the farmlords during the Spanish Colonial Era. The oppressed farmhands created the first higante form, symbolic of their tormentor, and displayed it along the dusty roads, and mocked it through some finger pinching (in a way, a mild form of revenge (higante’) – which tagalog translation of the word could also be another origin of this tradition).

Totie Argana, one of the participants who have created many of these Higantes in many years, surmised nothing sinister nor dark about the beginnings. He avers that such forms were akin to the western farmlands’ scarecrows, utilized to shoo away birds during the Spanish regime. Michael, family member of the notable Blanco family, traced the higantes history to a more recent era – right after the Japanese Occupation in the 1940s. Just to perk up the interrupted (because of the world war) tradition of the town fiesta, giant mannequin forms were developed, and were proven to make the San Vicente Festival most colorful and exciting.

But it was through the initiative of restaurateur-painter, Mr. Perdigo Vocalan who called the attention of Department of Tourism, and made the Higantes Festival as important as the other festivals around the country. It was just as swell that miniature higantes (a paradox, isn’t it) are scattered among the many folk arts in his famous Balaw-balaw Restaurant as shown by daughter-in-law and resto manager, Luzvimin Vocalan.

The Higantes Festival only illustrates the genteel yet passionate character of the people of Angono where the people’s artistry is made even more siginificant by the town’s actual giants and geniuses.

rizal’s calamba

Posted in architecture, artifacts, interior design, lifestyle, locales, people with tags , , , , on August 10, 2008 by mijodo

 

In Leon Ma. Guerrero’s biographical book on Jose Rizal, the author conferred upon him the title of being “the First Filipino,” an honor that bespoke the greatness of Rizal’s intellect, strength of character, and more importantly love for nation.

Thus during a short visit to Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna where the National Hero was born, it is fascinating to see the relic and the antiquities of a bygone era, most specially during the youthful days of Rizal. In the garden area, there is even a “bahay kubo” (native hut) where Rizal and his sisters supposedly had “bahay-bahayan” (playhouse).

In Calamba not only do we get to see the Rizal family manor, and the church where Rizal got baptized, but also the big clay jar, symbolic of the legend of Calamba’s name (“kalan-banga”).