Spotted at Faculty Christmas Party

After course card day every December our respectable SHRIM teachers make complete fools of themselves by dressing up in costume for the annual Christmas party.  To many of the faculty members this is serious business! In the recent years we have dressed up for themes like the 70’s, Hollywood, United Nations, blue and white collar jobs, til last year’s cowboys and Indians…. and each year it has become more and more competitive!..  For 2008 the theme was “fantasy”…. enchanted creatures, nursery rhymes, Disney princesses and villains, Harry Potter, and characters from the Lord of the Rings’  Middle Kingdom….Enjoy the pictures for blackmail! See you next term and have good long break. Happy Holidays!

GUESS WHO?

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Coron Palawan- Restaurants (part 2)

KASOY -My food trip in Coron starts with my quest to find how the cashew nut is produced.  The locals are bewildered with my request and asks me wouldn’t I rather see the islands than go to someone’s house and see how the nuts are processed.  The nuts are not in season and with the hectic schedule I was unfortunate to see any production.  Anyway went to Horse Village to go riding.  During the trail our guide pointed out to us the cashew trees that were growing in the wild.

KAWAYANAN GRILL – is a local Filipino restaurant with nipa huts.  Try the grilled chicken, and a popular food among the locals called “danggit” or dried fish.  Coron danggit is a bit bigger and is not crunchy like Cebu danggit but is very tasty. In Kawayanan Grill it is served with ensaladang Lato (seaweed) on the side.  Lato is another local favorite.  I have never had seaweed this fresh before, it was just fantastic! Another interesting item is kilawing clams (ceviche). The clams are  big, fresh and raw.  They are sliced up into strips and marinated in vinegar. I love it that the seafood is so fresh.  Foreigners like to try our food but find it difficult to order since the dishes are written in Filipino.  The restaurant should put translations. The tourists I have met tell me that they wish they understood what they were ordering when it comes to Filipino food.

danggit (dried fish), lato (seaweed), grilled chicken

BISTRO CORON  – the place to go for decent coffee and an interesting take on apple pie in town. The place is owned by Frenchman Breuneau Challiat. He prepares the food and makes his own bread.   Great value for gourmet food. His pizza is much better than the others. Favorite items are the rosemary chicken, pork tenderloin in peppercorn sauce, and other popular classical French food.

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Paradise in Coron Palawan (part 1)

The Dutch lady in my dive group asks me where I am from, I tell her I am from Manila.  She replies “you are lucky to be so close to paradise. I have traveled so far to get here”. She is right! It took me only an hour by plane to get to Coron. And after diving two awesome shipwrecks I feel like I am in “heaven” and literary am in “paradise”.

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Coron town is located in an island called  Busuanga.  To get there I took a flight to Busuanga Island from Manila for less than a $100. The plane landed in a cattle farm called Yulo King Ranch. At the airport I paid P150 (USD$3) to ride a van to take me to Coron town. The airport is new and the roads are still being constructed.

We passed by a dirt road from YKR. Funny on the plane I was reading Thomas Friedman’s new book “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”.  Coron reminded me of Boracay 20 years ago before the rest of the world discovered it. With the direct flights now, I’m glad I came before the “crowding”.  And being “flat” it now has strong telecommunication sites and internet to keep one connected to the rest of the world.

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Dapitan Market

I don’t feel very “Christmassy”, maybe it’s the global economy or my first Christmas with all my siblings being away. I wish I had a reason to be really excited.  Anyway I finally put my tree up today because I believe happiness is a choice.

I look at my beautifully decorated “plastic pine shaped tree” and wonder what’s Filipino about it. Another tradition we picked up from the Americans! If our lechon (roasted pig) is the equivalent of the thanksgiving’s turkey, I wonder what tree could represent our culture for Christmas.  What tree represents Christmas and Filipino? I know the coconut tree! But it’s too skinny to decorate haha! Aha! A banana tree! Hmm again too skinny too…I wonder what tree would be festive enough not to remind you of poverty??? Parols (Christmas lanterns) are very Filipino but they don’t count. Like I said it has to be a tree!?! See how I try to amuse myself? Again happiness is a choice and retail therapy helps too.

One great place to go to is Dapitan arcade/flea market located along Mayon and Kanlaon Streets in Quezon City for ornaments, handicrafts and house decor export overruns.   Wish I found this place before I started to cater because they have wrought iron stuff like candle holder centerpieces, cupcake tree stands (P450 only) and Tiffany chairs (P700). Great finds too for decorative plates and glassware. One idea is to cook food and give them as gifts in ceramic platters. Wow prices are even cheaper than Landmark!

Hey! What about a foodie cupcake tree?!

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