Life in Colour, May Challenge: PURPLE

Read about the Life in Colour Photo Challenge, here.

This month’s color is PURPLE.

Purple is “a secondary colour made from red and blue, though you can find many different shades of purple. Stay clear of violet though as that will be making its own appearance. Although found in nature in shades of crocuses, lilacs, and irises, look for the bruised colours in a sunrise or sunset, an indigo sea, a full moon in an inky sky.”

Here are a gallery of self’s purples:

Some may be questionably purple, lol. Nevertheless.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

One Word Sunday Challenge: SIX

Travel with Intent has come up with a very interesting theme for this Sunday: SIX.

At first, self started browsing her archives and looking for pictures with six objects, six people, six flowers and so forth. But she came up empty.

Instead, she selected pictures of six meals she prepared during the pandemic! Who knew food mattered so much.

Two of the six are Filipino specialties: sinigang stew, and adobo fried rice.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Challenge Your Camera # 11: Still Life

Discovered another Photo Challenge! This one’s from Buddha Walks Into a Wine Bar, and it’s called Challenge Your Camera.

This week’s Challenge Your Camera (# 11) is STILL LIFE.

Here are a few pointers for the Challenge:

  • What is a Still Life? A still life is a work of art that focuses on inanimate objects. Usually commonplace objects which can include both man made objects (vases, items of clothing, and consumer products) and natural objects (plants, food, rocks, shells) as examples.

So, here are self’s still lifes, all of which she pulled from her archives. They’re mostly food-related.

Still Life # 1: Self loves farmers markets. The ones in her area are held on Sundays. She bought these mushrooms at the Menlo Park Farmers Market. This picture’s from a few weeks ago. The farmers markets stayed open throughout the pandemic, and self went regularly (of course masked). Her last COVID test was ten days ago, and that was negative.

Still Life # 2: Shoreditch, East London, November 2019. She doesn’t think she’ll be able to get back to London until late 2022, at the very soonest. In the meantime, she has a huge trove of photographs from her last visit. Someone with a sense of humor left this on a window ledge.

Still Life # 3: Her last visit home was September 2019. She spent her time in Dear Departed Dad’s hometown of Bacolod, and spent a few nights in a city close by: Silay. And ate herself into a food coma. All the variety of food made from rice! These are just two examples, and they’re from the public market.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Doreen Fernandez: When the World Was New

In 1953 Albert Herre listed 2,175 marine and freshwater species inhabiting Philippine waters, the first extensive checklist. Twenty-seven additional species were added later, bringing the total to 2,202. Some of these are ornamental, some not edible, some not attractive as food fish, but usable as fish meal or fish balls or for fermentation into patis and bagoong. Most of them have regional names, and may be difficult to pin to their scientific and other names.

Doreen Fernandez, from an unpublished manuscript, When the World Was New

Self thought she had every book Doreen had written, until last year, when she went to Silay, Doreen’s childhood home. There was a book she didn’t have: Fruits of the Philippines. A few months ago, self found a copy by going on Amazon, and ordering from a third-party vendor in New Jersey. It arrived several weeks ago. Joy!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: Doreen G. Fernandez

  • The drive from Dumaguete through Bais and Mabinay to Kabankalan, Negros Occidental is an excellent road, past hills and valleys, even a zig-zag portion, through fields and towns, and hardly a billboard.

Self has driven this route. Ten years ago.

Doreen G. Fernandez (self’s second mother) had made an appointment to visit Vicente Lobaton, kinilaw artist. Kinilaw is the Filipino version of sushi. And it’s rather a specialty in the Visayan Islands, in the central Philippines. The number one requirement is that the seafood be freshly caught. And in a country with over 7000 islands, there’s no excuse not to have seafood that is freshly caught. Kinilaw is served with a “dressing” called sawsawan. Want to know more? It’s all in Doreen’s book, Kinilaw (1991) She goes on to describe the meal, which involved kinilaw crab, fish, and shrimp. (SO hungry right now)

Doreen was from the self-same island that Dear Departed Dad was from. It has a very non-PC name: Negros. That’s right, the island is named Negros because its people were dark. It has been named that since the 16th century. It is divided into two provinces: Negros Occidental (where self’s Dear Departed Dad, and Doreen, were from) and Negros Oriental. Negros Oriental has this really cool city called Dumaguete, which became the title for one of self’s short stories (It’s in MsAligned 3, published earlier this year)

Vicente, who goes by Enting, has two restaurants on Negros. One is Enting’s Manukan in Sagay; the other is Enting’s Lechonan on 17th St. near Lacson in downtown Bacolod, the capitol of Negros Occidental.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Monday Read: THE FILIPINOS: PORTRAIT OF A PEOPLE, by Manuel D. Duldulao

p. 13: “the past comes rushing back . . . ”

  • On election day, in full view of more than 700 foreign and local journalists, and millions of concerned citizens, Marcos’s men ripped up ballots, bought others and muzzled voters. As many as three million names were stricken off the voters’ list.

p. 16 features a description of self’s favorite Filipino dessert, halo-halo (Literal Translation: mix-mix):

  • This delicacy, served in a tall sundae glass, contains diced bananas, sweet mango, chickpeas, kidney beans, strands of macapuno (the succulent meat of a variety of coconut) — all of these in syrup — plus pinipig (kernels of crisp and delectable rice), mongo beans, corn, langka (jackfruit), sweet potato, jello, ube (purple yam preserves), and leche flan.

HUNGRY.

Doreen G. Fernandez, Food Writer, Queen

From Hometown Foods: Essays on Filipino Food:

Quiet, bucolic Silay used to have a lot of gambling for high stakes going on behind the walls of those gracious houses. Some, I was told (I never saw them) had sophisticated warning, hiding and escape systems built into them in case of an unlikely raid — unlikely because of pakikisama, because important officials were among the gamblers, because it was an important part of the community lifestyle. Tales were told and zarzuelas were written about jewelry, land titles and car registrations flung on the gambling table; of haciendas lost in a night of gaming; of marriages sacrificed at the mahjong, panguingue or monte tables, or at the cockpit.

For these gamblers, I was told, were developed for kalan-unon (kakanin) for which Silay is famous, and the accompanying institution, the manug-libud (accent on ug and ud). The kalan-unon are portable — they can be eaten without getting up from the gambling table, and they used to be made by the best cooks in Silay — maiden aunts, young wives, mothers, girls, many from the best families. The food was taken around by the manug-libud (“libud” means to take from place to place, usually to sell) to homes with or without gambling, to restaurants and schools, in large round baskets covered with cloth and carried on their heads.

Are there any chefs from Silay in the Bay Area? Are there any Filipino restaurants in Redwood City? How about Half Moon Bay? Just wondering.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

A Lexicon of Filipino Fruits and Vegetables (Just Because)

  • Bamboo shoots – labong
  • Banana – saging
  • Bottle gourd – upo
  • Cabbage – repolyo
  • Calamansi – calamansi
  • Cashew nuts – Kasuy
  • Cauliflower – koliflor
  • Chickpeas – garbansos
  • Chico – chico
  • Chinese cabbage – pechay Baguio
  • “Chinese” peas – chicharo (one of self’s faaaavorite vegetables, growing up in Manila)
  • Coconut – niyog
  • Corn – mais
  • Cucumber – pipino
  • Custard apple – atis
  • Eggplant – talong
  • Fern leaves – pako
  • Ginger – luya
  • Green snap beans – habichuelas
  • Guava – bayabas
  • Lanzones – lansones
  • Lima bean – patani
  • Long cow pea – sitaw
  • Mango – mango
  • Mangosteen – mangostan
  • Melon – melon
  • Mung bean – mongo
  • Mustard – mustasa
  • Papaya – papaya
  • Peanut – mani
  • Pineapple – piña
  • Pomelo – suha
  • Potato – patatas
  • Santol – santol
  • Squash – kalabasa
  • Strawberry – stroberi (lol)
  • Swamp cabbage – kangkong
  • Sweet peppers – sili
  • Sweet potato – kamote
  • Taro – gabi
  • Tomato – kamatis
  • Turmeric – luyang dilaw
  • Watermelon – pakwan (Dear Departed Sister loved chewing pakwan seeds)
  • Yam – ubi (Ubi ice cream is the best!)

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Smell

Let’s nose around in our archives or sniff out new photos that are related to the sense of Smelling. Be creative and have fun.

Cee Neuner

Self found this Foto Challenge more than usually, er, challenging. She’s trying to keep her mind off food — for the first six weeks of the shelter-in-place, that was all she thought about, with disastrous consequences. And her roses don’t give off scent — mebbe it’s the type of soil? Even her Sheila’s Perfume rose has no perfume!

Anyhoo, after some determined hunting, she managed to come up with three photos:

  • Fried chorizo for breakfast in the island of Negros, central Philippines:

20190913_080713

  • A fresh-cut Christmas tree makes all the difference. Self got hers from Wegman’s, a local nursery:

20191130_152042

  • Just before shelter-in-place, self had her front door and front porch painted. The smell of fresh paint is the memory of singular happiness:

20200302_111031

Stay safe, dear blog readers.

Anthropology of Food: Doreen G. Fernandez

Doreen G. Fernandez was self’s Freshman English professor at the Ateneo de Manila University. Her greatness was in her writing. She wrote beautifully about her subject: Philippine food, and its long history.

Recently, self began re-reading her book Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture (Anvil Publishing, Philippines, 1994)

Her Process:

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 columns, friends, food critics and historians, fellow researchers, authors of books (and cookbooks), writers of columns, food anthropologists — everyone who eats and cares.

— Doreen G. Fernandez, 13 June 1994


For self, the biggest, most interesting stop in her very brief late December visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico was the Farmer’s Market. It was bitter cold, snow lined the tracks of the railyard just adjacent, and inside a vast warehouse were smells, the indescribable smells of chili, pine, roasted coffee. Oh, heaven.

20191228_125705

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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