Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I'm Alive!!!

Lily, I think. I'm such an embarrassment to biologists, I know.


Buhay pa ako, in case you're wondering (or celebrating, hahaha!!!). I have tons to blog about, pero out of commission pa ako till next weekend -- couple of books and articles to finish and TheHusband's birthday celebration to [ever-so-quickly] plan. We went on a short vacation, not really very relaxing at some points, but a welcomed respite from the daily grind. Do visit every so often.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Serious Talk

Warning: I'll be talking about faith and beliefs, Catholic specifically. I am not trying to offend anyone, I am usually reticent talking about my faith because I think it is something personal and a subject that calls for utmost respect, but I do want clarity and truth.


Sharkteeth and I were in Laguna since Saturday to tidy up the place a bit. We had a lot of things to clear and clean up (one of which is a DEAD CAT inside the house, WTF, right?!) and decided to stay overnight instead of going home to the parentals. S and I attended the Palm Sunday mass at St. Peregrine in Muntinlupa. Anyhooo, during the homily, the priest was lecturing against people who go on vacations during the Holy Week. Naturally, tinamaan ako kasi pupunta kami sa Baguio and it perked up my waning attention (sorry, but I have a self-diagnosed ADD). And the priest said, "Yung mga pupunta ng beach at magbabakasyon, pag may nangyaring masama sa inyo, don't expect God to help you kasi PATAY ANG DIYOS" [emphasis mine]. "Patay ang Diyos"? What the ...???!!! I so wanted to raise my hand and challenge his statement, but with the church being filled to the rafters and not wanting to mortify S, I timidly stayed my hand.

As far as I know, though admittedly, what I know about matters of faith won't go very far, the Church's dogma on Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection is precisely that -- He died on the cross and resurrected after three days. So where is this priest coming from? Where was it mentioned that Jesus dies during each and every Good Friday, as what the priest's statement implied? It saddens me that these men of faith --  those who are supposed to bring more believers to the fold and "win" back those whose faith are waning -- have a wrong understanding of the Church's belief(s), of the basic foundation of the faith they're supposed to be spreading. Either he doesn't really know what he was saying or he was trying to "scare off" people from doing fun things during the Holy Week, and I don't even know which is worse -- a priest, one whom I might secularly refer to as a professional, who knows nothing about his "profession" or a priest who lies to the believers to further an agenda only known to him.

When the mass was over, as S and I were leaving the church, instead of feeling at peace, as I usually did in my youth, I was just full of questions and confusion.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tempering My Temper

I was buying a few stuff for the home. Seeing a shorter line in another cashier, I made a beeline for it. I immediately regretted my decision because she moves ever so slowly. I thought, "meh, the one ahead of me is just paying for two umbrellas. How long would it take?" VERY LONG, apparently. My face fell a little when the cashier line I was supposed to queue in in the first place cleared up, and when I was about to transfer, two other customers beat me to it. So I stuck on my line, after all, the umbrellas ahead of me were already rang and paid for. Did you think the cashier proceeded to ring up my purchase? NO! She looked around languidly, seemingly unaware of my impatience. Then she looked at me and said, "Ma'am, lipat na lang kayo sa kabilang cashier kasi babalutin pa yung umbrella." That's when I lost it. I really did. "ANO?! PALILIPATIN MO AKO?! NGAYON?!!! AFTER I WAITED FOR YOU NA MA-PROCESS ANG DALAWANG UMBRELLAS, WHICH TOOK YOU A VERY  LOOOONG TIME? BAKIT, IKAW BA MAG-PA-PACK NYAN? MAY PACKER DYAN DIBA? RING MY PURCHASE AT AKO NA MAG-PA-PACK NG PURCHASES KO." My voice is naturally loud and high-pitched without any trace of lambing; combine that with my [natural] bitchface and you now have an unpinned grenade in your hand. The cashier must have sensed my irritation (to say the least) and immediately rang my purchases. It was over in a few seconds. May ibibilis pa naman pala ang kilos ng cashier na eto, kailangan lang ng konting, ehem, "prodding."

Related thought: I should do something with my temper. Ironically, for someone with an explosive temper, I am surprisingly very patient. As in napakahaba ng pisi ko. Napakahaba. But give me inefficient, illogical, or plainly stupid service, I really crack. I remember getting terrible customer support from Unionbank a few years back, and in my fit of anger, I castigated the agent with so much vehemence that my daughter said that it was like I was breathing fire into the phone. In fairness, in a matter of minutes, naayos nila yung problema. Which again brings up the point, magagawa naman pala ng mabilis, bakit kailangan pang i-prod. Next time, cattle prod gagamitin ko eh. Makita nila. Hmmmppp.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dog Shaming

Paki-dedma na lang ang wrong syntax...

When we were looking for a dog, I chose Kelly because he resembled my beloved dog, Bastic. Little did I know that Kelly's behavior is like Bastic's as well. Bastic, although very loving and devoted, is prone to jealousy. He never really warmed up to TheHusband and would either bark at him madly or ignore him when he visited. Well, except that one time when we had a new puppy whom I played with a moment too long -- Bastic got mad at me and ignored me the whole time, and when TheHusband, then still TheBoyfriend, came to visit, Bastic welcomed him with so much enthusiasm that TheHusband was a bit stunned of the attention he was getting. When I was back to his good graces, he was also back to ignoring TheHusband. Little surprise he died a few hours after my wedding.

Kelly is pretty much the same. Before he murdered our bunny, he was already showing signs of jealousy. He was always trying to "remove" the rabbit away from us when we were playing with it. He would give it sly side glances when we cuddle with it. Not just with the rabbit. It happens every time when we have a new animal or even when there are guests in the house. Alam nyo yung mga batang papansin and making "pasikat" when you have guests and gusto sila lang ang pinapansin? Ganun sya. Anyhoo, when we moved here, I tried to plant monggo, but when it started growing up, Kelly dug up everything. I thought, he must have liked that area kasi merong bit of shade and cool earth, and besides, okay lang, I can always plant new ones. Ever since last year, when we moved Sharkteeth's playhouse, he dug a hole behind the playhouse. It's the perfect spot. Cool soil, shade from the wall, cozy spot. I started planting again, away from the first spot, away from his spot. After successfully germinating the seeds, I moved them from the potting wells to the soil, an area where full sunshine falls in the morning. The plants took well to the soil -- the leaves were lush and the plants were growing up fast. ABA! ABA! ABA! A couple of days ago, makita ko, may hukay dun sa garden where I planted -- everything, save one plant, was uprooted. TheDog? He was eyeing me askance and wagging his tail tentatively. The very same manner he reserves for when he's guilty of something. When I told TheHusband about it, he concluded, "nagseselos na naman 'yan." And I realized that, yes, perhaps TheHusband is right. That TheDog got jealous of the plants. Why would he deliberately choose those locations to dig on those two separate occasions? Which brings me to my question: If dogs are capable of complex behavior such as jealousy, what other "human" attributes and behaviors do they have? Curiouser and curiouser. Meanwhile, Kelly and I are friends again. I mean, how can you hold grudge when he makes paawa look with his eyes?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Favorite Five: Makeup Edition

I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, I always favor light, barely there, no-makeup look. With my acidic, oily skin, I really don't have much choice but to wear light makeup; otherwise, I'd look like a muddy oil slick in a couple of hours.
Honestly, I can even trim this list to three, but in the interest of keeping up with the title, I'll list all five, the two of which I only do when going somewhere fancy.

1. YSL Teint de Perle Fine, by YSL. "Formulated with the purest and brightest pearl in the world, the Japanese Akoya Pearl. With ultra-fine and lightweight texture. Creates a perfect, pearlescent complexion with a naturally unified finish."

True to its description, it indeed leaves my skin with a slightly pearlescent complexion. Like I said, my skin is oily, and while I can keep it in check using Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder (a T. LeClerc dupe), just using Banana Powder leaves my face looking matte and "flat" -- parang nadapa ako sa factory ng espasol. I top it off with Teint de Perle to give it a very slight sheen and dimension. Goodbye, espasol face!!! However, on most days, I just use Teint de Perle without Banana Powder for a more sheer and lightweight coverage.



YSL Teint de Perle
Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder

2. Benetint Lip and Cheek Tint, by Benefit: "Our original rose-tinted stain is kiss-proof, see-through color for lips & cheeks that lasts for hours. Naturally sheer and sexy on all complexions...it’s innocent yet provocative. Originally created for an exotic dancer in the 1970s, benetint has soared to cult fave status. It's loved by celebs, makeup artists and gals around the world. It's the sexiest flush you can get from a bottle!"
 

With my perpetual eyebags, I constantly look tired, even with 10 hours of sleep, so I usually use blush, instantly perking up my face. However, let me mention again that my skin is oily, and cream and powder blushes only last for a couple of hours before they turn to oily mud. So when someone introduced me to Body Shop's lip and cheek tint, I was sold, sold, sold! The first Body Shop lip and cheek tint was not the gel type that we have today -- it was reddish purple liquid in a little roller ball bottle. I loved it very much because it was so easy to use; however, they relaunched it in the gel form, which I've never quite liked. Anyway, kuripot that I am, I tried other dupes but was never satisfied, well, until I tried Benefit's Benetint. The color is buildable and you can go from the sheerest, faintest blush to I-just-jogged-a-mile-under-the-sun flush. I also like the light rose scent, though I keep my mouth shut tight when I use it on my lips. It isn't exactly cheap at >1.7K, but goodness, I have this bottle for a couple of years already and I have yet to finish it. Though, yeah, I have to concede that I only use it once a day and only the sheerest of flush.
Benetint


3. Rouge in Love 163B (Rose St Honore), by Lancome: "Love your lips! Finally, the long wear lipcolor you'll love to wear. This collection of radiant, high potency colors, with up to 6 hours of wear, is surprisingly featherlight, offering delightful comfort."

My first Rouge in Love was a present from Derdo (thanks!!!), and while I was initially apprehensive about the color (red!), I gathered enough courage to try it. Seriously. Well, I'm into peach and nude colors, and it's quite a leap of faith for me to use red. Well, I'm so glad I did because the color is perfect! It has very, very tiny (almost microscopic really) glitters that lends a slight sheen and dimension to the lips. Plus, the color is sheer and buildable, and faithful to the description, it is indeed featherlight. I think this is the perfect "gateway" red lipstick, in case you want to use more bold colors but are afraid to.


Rouge in Love

4. Color My  Brows, by Etude House: "Shades and moistens brows for a refined natural look."

Nobela yung product description, right? :) Well, that just about describes this product. I have long neglected my brows, and it always amazes me how different I look (in a better way) when I groom them. Sabi nga ni Tsokoholik, "gandang di inakala." This is quite easy to use and has a perfect consistency -- not too runny or too creamy. There are a number of colors to choose from, and I am using Rich Brown (left). It is perfect for my skin and hair color, as it is not too dark as to wash out my face, just making it a little more alive, alert, enthusiastic. :)


Color My Brows


5. MAC Extended Play Mascara, by MAC: "A lightweight curling, lifting mascara in a glossy shade of Endless Black. Applies with a slim-line brush designed to give each lash effortless, upward bending definition and extreme volume. Easy wash-off formula. Lasts 16 smudge-free hours."

I have very short and sparse lashes, and my bottom lashes are almost nonexistent, so using mascara is a tad difficult for me. This was a gift from my cousin (happy birthday tomorrow, H!), and I was so delighted when I saw that the brush is very thin and can catch all of my short lashes. I first curl them a bit, then apply this, and the result is simply amazing! It instantly widens my eyes, again making me look awake. On fancy occasions, I curl the lashes first, then sweep some Estee Lauder primer, then two coats of the mascara for a more dramatic look.

Extended Play Mascara



Note: In my bid to post regularly, I'm going, or at least try, to post every Friday five of my favorite things. They might be a current or past possession, though others might not be necessarily mine -- could be a wish for my fairy godmother (where are you, by the way?), could be something I saw and found interesting, but it will always be driven by beauty and functionality, hopefully both, but that's a tall order.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mga Istoryang Sinauna: Mistaken Identity

Minsan, sumakit ang tiyan ng Mama Lucas. Mama Lucas was the cousin (I think) of my Inkong, my lolo on the paternal side. So there, masakit nga tiyan nya, and he went to ask for some medicine from my Impo, my lola on the paternal side.

Impo: O, heto ang Paregoric*, inumin mo.

Mama Lucas: [started to drink the medicine] Ano ba ito, ang sama ng lasa!!! Ayoko na nyan.
Impo: Napaka-DUWAG mo naman. Paregoric lang 'yan, nagkakaganyan ka!
Mama Lucas: [ngiwing-ngiwi ang mukha] Gumuguhit sa lalamunan eh. Napakapait pa! Sigurado ka bang Paregoric yan?
Impo: [checking the bottle] Aaaay, Ap-Ap solution** pala.



♥♥♥



*Paregoric: camphorated tincture of opium, used as an antidiarrheal and antitussive and for analgesic purposes.

From: The Herb Museum
 



**Ap-Ap solution: a solution made of salicylic acid(!!!), benzoic acid, and resorcinol for an-an (tinea). Kaya naman pala gumuguhit sa lalamunan...



From: Philamfood

♥♥♥


PS
Patay na ang Mama Lucas.
No, hindi yung Ap-Ap solution ang dahilan.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Real Tearjerker



 

TPS: You know, there's speculation that Andy's mom in Toy Story is Emily, the original owner of Jessie.
Sharkteeth: Have you watched that part? It was soooo sad. I was crying a little. On the inside.
TPS: Bakit "on the inside"?
Sharkteeth: I didn't want others to see.
TPS: Okay. I understand.
Sharkteeth: You know what's a real tearjerker?
TPS: Ano?
Sharkteeth: An onion.



Damn you, onion! You made Sharkteeth cry!
From: Gluten Free SCD and Veggie

Friday Favorite Five: Books Edition

I've been remiss in posting my Friday Favorite Fives, sorry! But I'm here again. A number of these books are geared toward the juvenile set, but then, that is just a label. These books are equal levels of awesome (to me) and are randomly arranged.

1. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo. "Bonasera, Bonasera. What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, then this scum that wounded your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you."

Although I was hooked from the start ("Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her."), it's the former line, gravely [hahahaha! pun intended] and darkly said by Don Corleone, that did me in [seriously, the puns are just begging to be said]. I was just browsing in National Bookstore and chanced upon this book, and I remember not having money to buy it, and for a few days, after work, I'd read a few pages, alright, I admit, a few chapters, till I couldn't take it anymore and bought the book (saka malamang eh a-kinse or a-treinta na nun kaya may pangbili na ako). The film is equally gripping. More than the morbidly fascinating details about the mob, it's the frank moral duality of the main characters, Don Vito, and eventually, his son Michael, that held my attention -- the family man, a loving father and husband; a Catholic who frowns upon bawdiness and believes in eternal damnation, who, at the same time, is a mob boss in control of a syndicate responsible for murder, manipulation, bribery, and well, all manners of sins (okay, except drugs); an astute businessman who knows the greatest strength of his allies and foes and uses it to his, and his "company's," advantage -- I'd even dare and say that the Don is a just man.  





2. The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford. "That night they became immortal, had they known or cared, for the ancient woman had recognized the old dog at once by his color and companion: he was the White Dog of the Ojibways, the virtuous White Dog of Omen, whose appearance heralds either disaster or good fortune. The Spirits had sent him, hungry and wounded, to test tribal hospitality; and for benevolent proof to the skeptical they had chosen a cat as his companion--for what mortal dog would suffer a cat to rob him of his meat? He had been made welcome, fed and succored: the omen would prove fortunate." 

I got my tattered copy from Book Sale for 20 pesos, I think, yet it went on to be one of my most favorite books -- "Scotch-taped" all over and with frayed edges and spine. It is sweet, happy, poignant, and melancholic, sometimes all at the same time. It is full of wit. Unlike its film adaptation, the book didn't anthropomorphize the three animals by giving them lines,  but the author has deftly "humanized" them with their emotions and distinctive characteristics. 




3. Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling. “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
I held off reading Harry Potter for as long as I could. It was creating quite a buzz then, and my mind associated it with the R.L. Stein scary series, so I was not inclined to read it. Onyxx lent me her copy, and initially, to humor her, I read the first book -- boy, was I hooked from the first line!!! (Thanks, Onyxx!) While I'd like to say that it's seamless, it isn't, yet, Dumbledore's death and Snape's  backstory more than made up for the oddities. Each installment was eagerly awaited, and I'd spend hours on stretch, sometimes days, reading till I finished.




4. Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins. “If you lack the iron and the fuzz to take control of your own life, if you insist on leaving your fate to the gods, then the gods will repay your weakness by having a grin or two at your expense. Should you fail to pilot your own ship, don't be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked. The dull and prosaic will be granted adventures that will dice their central nervous systems like an onion, romantic dreamers will end up in the rope yard. You may protest that it is too much to ask of an uneducated fifteen-year-old girl that she defy her family, her society, her weighty cultural and religious heritage in order to pursue a dream that she doesn't really understand. Of course it is asking too much. The price of self-destiny is never cheap, and in certain situations it is unthinkable. But to achieve the marvelous, it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought.”

This book explored themes of immortality, deities, love and sex, religion, the sense of smell and its connection to our memories and experiences. It has four storylines that ultimately and wittily meshed together in the end. I find it hard to find words to describe this book, yet I will throw all caution in the wind and say that it is an epic, in the truest sense of the word, and it is, indeed, epic! And to me, all the things in the book, never mind that it's fiction, oddly made sense.




 5. Cannery Row and Sweet Thursdays, by John Steinbeck. “Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitant are, as the man once said, 'whores, pimps, gambler and sons of bitches,' by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, 'Saints and angels and martyrs and holymen' and he would have meant the same thing.”


The charm of these two books lies on the characters --Doc, Mack and the boys, Lee, Suzy, Flora and Fauna, etc. -- all ordinary, unremarkable people going about their daily lives. Not everybody can win the Nobel or be famous or be filthy rich. Most of us will have a family, endure boring jobs, have some sort of fun at one time or another, get sick, experience fundamental joys and happiness and sorrow, and that's it. And it's okay. There's nothing wrong about it, and for me, that's the gist of Cannery Row and Sweet Thursdays. The ordinary lives of ordinary people such as myself. 







                    
NOTE: In my bid to post regularly, I'm going, or at least try, to post every Friday five of my favorite things. They might be a current or past possession, though others might not be necessarily mine -- could be a wish for my fairy godmother (where are you, by the way?), could be something I saw and found interesting, but it will always be driven by beauty and functionality, hopefully both, but that's a tall order.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sharkteeth's First Pasta

Garlic Pasta with Hungarian Sausage

Sharkteeth doesn't like tomato-based pasta sauces, so I almost always use garlic+olive oil as base for my pasta sauce. Anyhoo, last weekend, I was inspired (read: gaya-gaya) by Leah's post and decided to cook some pasta for snacks, but I was so busy DIY-ing and asked S to mince the garlic for me (I didn't have the patience to roast the garlic anymore). She really likes peeling garlic and mincing them because, in her words, "the smell is heavenly." When she finished mincing the garlic, she asked if she can cook the garlic sauce, and since it's quite easy, I just let her. With minimum effort and instructions, she was able to cook her very first pasta sauce. It was delicious! And I'm not just saying that 'cause she's my [beloved]  daughter. Masarap talaga!



Ingredients:
1 small packet of pasta (serves three)
6 tbsp olive oil (2 tbsp for the pasta and 2 tbsp for the sauce)
1 whole garlic (minced)
1 sausage (sliced)
feta cheese (the one we have at home has herbs and spices mixed in)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
chili flakes (optional)


1. Boil some water, salt, and olive oil. Add the pasta once the water is boiling. Stir. Once done, drain the hot water and "shock" it with cold water to arrest the heat. Add the feta cheese. Mix.
2. Heat the remaining olive oil (not too hot, okay?). Sauté the garlic. Add the sliced sausage. Add salt and pepper. If you like a bit of hotness, add some chili flakes. You can also add a bit of white wine -- it rounds off the flavor.
3. Add the pasta to the garlic sauce. Mix well. Add Parmesan if you like. As S says, "the cheesier, the better."

Try nyo eto. It's very easy to prepare, and the longest part is boiling the pasta.


Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2014

DIY Hermès Twilly-Style Scarves

What's a poor girl to do when she's hankering for something designer whose price is equal to weeks' worth of the family food budget? DIY, of course! :) My latest DIY project is an Hermès Twilly-style scarf, well, actually, two scarves, as I'm going to use them to cover the handles of my bag.

♥♥♥ 

Materials:
40x12" silk scarf
40x5" cotton lining (optional)
red rayon thread
scissors
cutter (optional)
flat iron
sewing machine (you easily hand stitch this)





 
1. Halve the scarf lengthwise. The width of the lining should be equal to the actual width of the finished twilly, in this case, 2.5". The ends are cut slanting, at an angle of 45°. Note that, normally, an original Twilly measures ~35x2", but, hey, I'm not running a bootlegging operation here. I'm classy that way. Hahahahaha!



2. Sew the cotton lining to the edge of wrong side of the halved scarf using zigzag stitch. Then, fold the scarf lengthwise, wrong side up, with the lining visible on the other side. One side of the folded scarf will be a bit wider than the other. Make sure the line of fold of the scarf is exactly aligned with the cotton lining. Press. The temperature is dependent on the fabric you're gonna use -- I used silk, so I set it on low. Sew the side of the fabric (the part zigzagged cotton+one side of the scarf and the other side of the scarf) using zigzag stitch. Then, fold the extra fabric over the zigzag stitch and sew again, thus creating a faux bias-covered seam. This will ensure that the edges won't easily fray.



3. Turn it inside out, right side out, lining in. Iron it again.

One of the few times I used a flat iron. Come to think of it, I only use flat iron when I'm sewing.
4. Fold the seam of the open side and iron again. Baste the fabric together, going back to where you started. Lock the thread.


♥♥♥ 

So here's the finished product:  Twilly à la TPS!





Hope you all like it! Till next DIY'ing.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Amazing Race Christmas 2013, Team KoKo: Bacolod


Warning: Long post, lots of pictures. If you are just piggybacking on your neighbor's WiFi, mahiya naman kayo. LOL!  




Hello, Bacolod!


The trip from Iloilo to Bacolod was fairly short, and it started calmly enough, but it became choppy shortly before we got to Bacolod. Our GoHotel check-in time was 1 or 2 pm, so we just rode a cab going to Starbucks, which is in the corner of Lacson and 18th. Bacolod has relatively wider roads, compared with, say, Iloilo and Dumaguete. And the place seems very clean.


I couldn't remember where we ate our lunch, probably SM or Robinson's. After we checked in, we rested a bit and freshened up. Back in Iloilo, I've mentioned to Derdo that I was looking for some batwan, a souring fruit. She graciously offered me some and asked her friend, Lina, to meet me in GoHotel. I was in the bathroom when Lina came over, and I sent Sharkteeth to meet her; too bad, she immediately left, and S wasn't able to give her our letter of thanks. (Thanks, Ms. Lina!!! Thanks, Derdo!!!) Aside from the precious batwan, Derdo also sent some sweets. I was in sugar heaven! 


So off we went to The Ruins. It was a short ride from Robinson's.
1. Ride a jeepney going to Bata. Fare: ~12 pesos I think. I'm not sure.
2. Alight at the Pepsi bottling plant. There's a trike terminal going to The Ruins. Fare: 20 pesos. 
3. The Ruins entrance: 40 pesos, children; 80 pesos, adults.


Byahe pa lang ang ganda na
Brief history: The Ruins is what remains of the mansion built by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson for his first wife, Maria Braga, a Portuguese. According to the very funny tour guide, Roger, most of the mansion's exquisite decors, furniture, and china were sourced from abroad, as Maria Braga's father, a ship captain, traveled across Europe and Asia and brought with him those finds. The mansion is by itself a beauty and an architectural and engineering marvel. The concrete walls were poured from a mixture of cement and egg whites. Tangent thought: Lagi sigurong yema and leche flan ang dessert nila and ang taas siguro ng cholesterol level nila. During the Second World War, USAFFE soldiers burned the mansion to prevent the Japanese Army from using it as a headquarter. It reportedly took many days before the roof and the floor burned completely. The concrete structure remains up to the present, which I think is a testament to the superb architecture of the time. Or perhaps the egg whites. Hmmm...must be the egg whites.







Facade of the mansion

It was smaller than I expected, but no less stunning. Its beauty stood the test of time and the ravages of war.

 

A wall of The Ruins is adorned by the framed paintings of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson and Maria Braga.  Aminin...poging-pogi si Don Mariano, right? Aartistahin ang dating, bigote pa lang, ulam na. Hahahahaha! And not surprisingly, Maria Braga is a looker as well.

Plants were allowed to grow inside, which added to the beauty of the place. The mansion's columns and highly detailed arches and cornices are all well preserved. Arrrrggg...Art App and Humanities 101, please don't abandon me now!!!

  













 









 


It boasts of a belvedere on the second floor, facing west, which commands a beautiful and dramatic view of the sunset. Must be nice, watching the sunset, sipping drinks...




The garden and grounds are well tended as well. This four-tier fountain was reportedly brought in from abroad. It now houses a number of kois; they remind me of the ravenous kois in Nuvali. *shudder* There's a mini-golf course and a giant chess set. A covered well is decorated by Christmas knick-knacks.








 


 


We left around half past five. Our trike driver was supposed to wait for us, but he wasn't there. Okay lang naman because there are lots of trikes available, just that we wouldn't have rushed had we known na aalis pala sya.

♥♥♥

Aren't you wondering why S was furiously taking notes? Well, she was writing her her own account (but we did use the same pictures) of the visit to the Ruins. Oh, my little dork, how I love you and your quirks.


















 ♥♥♥

 We ate in Manukan Country that evening. Syempre, chicken inasal. Naglakas-loob kaming mag-order ng oysters. Although the oysters were fresh and delicious, I only ate a few for fear of an upset stomach. I didn't wanna be traveling with an upset stomach, I mean, seriously, who does? I once ate oysters Rockefeller from a restaurant near NAIA, and it made me sick. It happened to me once when I was abroad, and calling it "awful" is an understatement -- I bet the cab driver deemed my behaviour suspicious. Anyhoo, back to the food. We ate in Pacita's (I think), and their chicken was delicious, way better than our local inasal/inato places here in Dumaguete. I was supposed to buy some napoleones, but like I mentioned earlier, Derdo gave me a box.


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We were supposed to leave for Dumaguete that night, but we weren't able to. I was quite thankful, actually, that we weren't able to -- otherwise, we would have traveled during the night. Traveling during the day was scary enough, with so many hairpin turns and long stretches of lonely solitary roads, I can't imagine how it would have been had we traveled during the night.

PopCake guarding our seats

Take me home, country road

We were so exhausted when we got home, which was around 2 pm of New Year's Eve. And TheDog was missing. Thank goodness, he was back before dark. So glad to see that white one again -- I missed him so much, akala ko napulutan na ng mga lasheng.


The Ruins
Talisay, Negros Occidental
E-mail: ruins@theruins.com.ph
Phone: +63-34-476-4334
Mobile: +63-917-832-6003