Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

A Photo a Week Challenge: BROWN

Self loves photo challenges. Especially ones that have to do with color.

Her last post was for Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenge: RED.

This one’s for Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge, and the color is BROWN.

The first one’s of a butterfly that landed on the wall of her house last summer.

The rest: self’s front lawn, last summer; danggit, in Negros Occidental, the Philippines; and chorizo, also from Negros Occidental.

 

Doreen G. Fernandez: Fruits of Memory

from Doreen’s Introduction to Fruits of the Philippines (Bookmark, Inc.: Manila, 1997):

I remember gathering lemons in our farm: they were large and lumpy and not like the neat American lemons in supermarkets, but they were fragrant, and basketfuls of them made cooling lemonades. Right near these trees were aratiles, which we called seresa, low enough to climb, and almost exclusively for us children, since adults did not usually bother to gather the little berries, although they willingly ate what we shared with them.

During the Pacific war about ten families, all related, lived on the farm, and, guided by a young uncle, we children picked wild fruits called tino-tino and maria-maria, which I have not seen since then and cannot identify. The tino-tino looked like the cape gooseberry, except that it was usually not eaten raw, but sliced and fried like tomatoes. The maria-maria was delicately sweet, but where is it now? The farm never seemed to run out of guavas, which we ate green or ripe, or of nangka, also delicious both green and ripe (cooked into ginatan or eaten fresh).

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Bourdain: Ugly Crying

Not real. Not real. Not real.

In celebration of food, community, and life, all the food pictures self can pull from her archives in 15 minutes:

  1. Cherries, Belmont Farmers Market, May 2018
  2. Leeks, Palo Alto Farmers Market, April 2018
  3. Giant Tomato, Mendocino Art Center, March 2018
  4. Buko Pie, Philippine Airlines, January 2018
  5. Dearest Mum’s Lunch, Manila, January 2018
  6. UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City, January 2018

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beloved 2: From Self’s Recent Trip to Manila, January 2018

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First cousin on mother’s side: Maitoni Cu-Unjieng

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Home-Cooked Food, with Lots of Fried Garlic

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Self is named after this iconic Filipino soup from the central Philippine islands: Batchoy

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs To Have the Letters ‘O’ and ‘U’ in the Word

Another great Fun Foto Challenge from Cee Neuner: Needs to have the letters O and U in the word.

Self’s word is SOUP. Specifically, a delicious Philippine soup that originates in the central Philippine islands of the Visayas:

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BATCHOY: Super Special Bowl of Heaven

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

UNUSUAL: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 19 July 2017

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is:

UNUSUAL

The prompt comes from guest host Lignum Draco: “Experiment.” Try something “unusual.”

Don’t know whether self is interpreting this week’s Photo Challenge correctly but, without further ado, self’s takes on “unusual”:

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Gina’s Filipino Café, 1101 Twelfth St., downtown Sacramento

  • There is only one Filipino restaurant in downtown Sacramento. And it just so happened to be very close to the apartment self was renting. Adobo is the quintessential Filipino dish. Anthony Bourdain said the best pork he ever tasted was in the Philippines.
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Still can’t get over the fact that this bridge over the Sacramento River is such a vibrant, fun yellow! Cool!

  • It’s all there in the caption.
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Dearest Mum was the reigning superstar of her day (She won the New York Times International Piano competition when she was just 14). In spite of that, she was very demure.

  • Photos from a stash self had in her closet. She stumbled across them just two weeks ago. Dearest Mum as a shy flower. Before self was even a notion. She went on to marry Dear Dad, who took her home to the Philippines (She had grown up East Coast, mainly New York City) and with whom she had five children.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Pleasures of Sourness

Does our taste for asim come from our sour green landscape? From the proliferation of sour-towards-sweet tastes in our fruits and vegetables? Certainly we Filipinos have a tongue, a taste, a temper for sour notes, which is one of our chief flavor principles. We not only sour our soups (sinigang) and cook sundry dishes in vinegar (paksiw, adobo); we also use vinegars (nipa, coconut) and citrus (calamansi, dayap) as dips and marinades.

—  Palayok: Philippine Food Through Time, On Site, In the Pot, by Doreen Fernandez

P.S. Señor Sigig, a Filipino food truck, was just featured on Bay Area food program Check, Please! Owner says everything is marinated for at least 48 hours. But the lines!

It’s Filipino/Mexican — there are burritos and nachos. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Average price of a meal: $12.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Appetites” (The Café Irreal, Issue 31)

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Bakery, Kanlaon City, Negros Occidental, The Philippines

  • When she was a toddler, cook cut everything into tiny morsels so that the girl’s mouth would not stretch and become wide and ugly. The girl ate only the sweetest pastries, only the smallest and most tender eggplants. Cook herself grew these in a corner of the garden, which every summer sprouted with little trees with purple-tinged leaves.

— “Appetites,” published in The Café Irreal, Issue 31

Easy Open Cap, Complete Nonsense

See the words on the lid of this bottle of macapuno (coconut fruit preserves)?

Self has been trying to get at the contents for two days. Granted, anyone who spends two days trying to open a bottle must be bonkers. But self really, really loves macapuno. And she hasn’t had any in about 10 years.

In Redwood City, she used to have this nifty thingamajig by Zyliss that wrenches open bottle caps in 10 seconds. But here, she hasn’t seen any store that sells the thing. So, she has to resort to:

  • running bottle neck under warm water
  • pounding on top lid with knife, block of wood, and hammer
  • inserting knife tip under the lid to break seal
  • wrapping lid with rubber bands and twisting and twisting and twisting

The Filipino manufacturer should be proud! They have perfected the super-tight seal! Bottle lid’s tighter than a seal on an oil rig! Paging BP Oil! No, even better, paging NASA!

In the meantime, those words EASY OPEN CAP on the lid are simply taunting her. Has the manufacturer never heard of “truth in advertising”? This dilemma has also given rise to snarky thoughts such as: You want the macapuno? You can’t handle the macapuno!

This problem would not occur in the Philippines where self recalls never having to touch food of any kind — because of help! LOL — unless it is delivered on a tray.

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Jar of Macapuno, Absolutely Impenetrable. “Easy Open Cap.” Bought two days ago. Enough is enough. Tossing today. Good-bye, $3.99

When all hope is lost, self shares her dilemma on Facebook. Which then leads to a Filipina sending her a link to this instructional video, which contains the words: “Even a two-year-old should have no problem opening a bottle lid using this method.”

LOL LOL LOL

Stay tuned.

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