Discoveries: Street Photography by Stella K

The latest issue of Fraction Magazine focuses on “Street Photography.”

This is an area dear to self’s heart.  Even in her fiction, self lives for The Moment.  For Discovery of the Unexpected.

She’s known Stella K for a while but only became aware of Stella’s street photography recently.

When Stella K and Tina B showed up two weekends ago to introduce self to the joys of hiking in Edgewood Nature Preserve (Amazing that it took two Emeryville residents to show self the joys of hiking in her very own backyard of Redwood City), Stella happened to mention in passing that her street photographs had been featured in Fraction Magazine.

Stella’s demeanor is very quiet and thoughtful —  even, shall we say, Read the rest of this entry »

Personal Library 11

Merry Christmas, dear blog readers!

It is raining again.

But so what.  Self likes the rain.  As long as it doesn’t come with high winds.  Like, this morning, self was even able to go outside without a poncho and plant a new begonia.  Getting wet now and then is very good for the soul.

Onward with the book tabulation!

Self is now starting with the second bookcase in the dining room.  This is the one right underneath the Santi Bose painting, “The White Room.”  There are 21 books in this area.

428 + 21 = 449 total of books catalogued thus far

Books in this section include:  The Translator’s Diary, by Jon Pineda; The Art of the Novel, by Milan Kundera;  Another Kind of Paradise:  Short Stories From the New Asia-Pacific, edited by Trevor Carolan (Self’s story “Lizard” is in here);  Philippine Speculative Fiction IV:  Literature of the Fantastic, edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar (Among the authors:  Maryanne Moll, Charles Tan, Apol Lejano-Massebieau);  Against Forgetting:  Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, edited by Carolyn Forché;  Palayok, by Doreen Fernandez; My Shining Archipelago:  Poems by Talvikki Ansel

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

So Doreen

Self is re-reading Tikim, a collection of Dear Departed Doreen Fernandez’s food essays (published by Anvil Press of the Philippines).  Here’s a section from the Introduction Doreen wrote, June 1994.  Her husband, Wili Fernandez, was the one she called “the intuitive gourmet.”  But it was Doreen who made Filipino food her vehicle for poking into all sorts of little-known areas of Filipino provincial life.  She was adventurous to the core:

“. . .  he indeed ate, and pronounced judgement.  I ate too, and wrote — and learned.  Soon I was no longer interested in just describing the food; I wanted to know its history, its setting, its meaning.  That was the beginning.

The learning process still goes on.  My teachers are all those who give me information about food:  market vendors, street sellers, cooks, chefs, waiters, restaurant and carinderia owners, farmers, tricycle drivers, gardeners, fishermen, aficionados, nutritionists, readers of my column, friends, food critics and historians, fellow-researchers, authors of books (and cookbooks), writers of columns, food anthropologists —  everyone who eats and cares.

She called self by her Filipino nickname, Batchoy, to the end.  (Batchoy’s the name of a famous soup.  Also, a man’s name.  Also, a short form of “Fatso” — BWAH. HA. HAAA!)

Self still remembers the time Doreen took her and fellow Atenista Lissa M to a new restaurant that hadn’t yet been reviewed.  It was somewhere in Makati.  Probably’s disappeared by now.

After the main course was over, Doreen ordered some tea.  She asked the waiter what kind of tea they had.

“Tea?  Ma’am?”  the waiter asked, looking for all the world as if Doreen had asked him to produce a golden egg.

“Yes,” Doreen said.  “What kind of tea do you have?”

After a long, long pause, during which you could see all the gears clicking in the man’s brain, he finally managed to say, “Hot, ma’am.”

Ta-ra, ta-ra, ta-ra, ta-ra!

Another Doreen Fernandez quote appears in the blog, Burnt Lumpia.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Caramel Tarts, Dirty Ice Cream, Happiness

The first piece self had to write for Dear Departed Professor Doreen Fernandez was a piece about Bacolod.  It was the first ever writing assignment Doreen gave to self’s freshman class at the Ateneo de Manila.

There were many good writers in that class:  Reine Melvin, Lourdes (Minette) Lee, Lissa Ylanan.  When Doreen called on self to come to the front of the room and read her essay, self thought she would die of nervousness.

But once she got up there, to the front of the classroom, once she began to read, she began to have an inkling that she had just found her place in the world, and that place would be earned by her writing.  Thanks much, Dearest Doreen!  Self misses you terribly.

Not too long ago, self found the essay in a closet and decided to bring it with her on this trip.  Here’s an excerpt:

At night, the blazes of the sugar cane fields would bloody the velvet sky and the stars would be spilling out in protest like so many guardian angels.

I never grew up in Bacolod.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Dear Doreen on Tatoy’s

Here are the places self is hoping to visit, this January, if she can rustle up enough funds, that is 🙂 Self decided to bite the bullet and not teach for a couple of months, hence she has to be extremely vigilant about finances.

Bacolod (imperative)
Iloilo (also imperative)
Naga (imperative)
Iriga (semi-imperative)
Manila (only for a few days, imperative)

Yikes! Self will definitely run out of funds and/ or time. Dearest Mum brushes aside self’s anxieties: January is sooo far away! Even self’s brothers haven’t given a thought yet to her returning (after three years, shows you how much they miss her)

But self is starting to read up/ research places to visit, things to do, food to eat!

A few days ago, she mentioned Claude Tayag’s list of “hole-in-the-wall” eateries in Manila. Then, she reached for Dear Mentor Doreen Fernandez’s classic Lasa: A Guide to Dining in the Provinces (Who published this book? Self certainly hopes it is still in print!) Imagine self’s excitement when she discovered that Doreen describes several of the restaurants included in Claude’s list! (Mind you, Doreen’s book was published almost 20 years ago!)

Here’s what she wrote about Tatoy’s:

The restaurant has 96 bamboo tables, and they are fully occupied, especially at lunch time. Customers come walking, on tricycles, in cars and jeeps, and even by the busload. It is a veritable dining Mecca.

The owner, Honorato Espinosa, is a humble, quiet man in rubber slippers, who oversees the operation by moving unobtrusively about like one of his employees. He started with a few tables, selling only litson manok (inasal to Ilonggos) stuffed with tanglad and tamarind leaves and roasted over charcoal. When it gained popularity, he bought a similar but larger adjoining restaurant. He serves only native (bisaya) chickens, leaner than the poultry-bred, and raised by him. These are marinated in a secret tenderizing and flavoring formula.

Wow! Tatoy’s sounds like a precursor of the “free-range, organic” chicken trend! Self is there, self is soooo there . . .

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