Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pandesal Project

pandesal photo credit:

I just had an idea.

This morning as I was cooling down from my morning jog, I saw the friendly neighborhood pandesal-on-wheels.  Unfortunately I didn't have any cash on me, so I decided to bring some tomorrow.  Anyway--

I thought about how pandesal gives me nice, cared-for feelings, and maybe I'm not the only one.  Maybe even hardened criminals would smile upon the sight of pandesal and coffee.  Maybe a successful, exclusive village-living entrepreneur would ask one of his/her servants to go to the bakery for some pandesal instead of ciabatta.  Pandesal is so pleasant it can do no wrong, and even when it hardens due to being left out it's easy to dunk it in hot coffee.

Earlier today I tweeted, "I've just realized that pandesal is inherently good and brings warm fuzzy feelings, perhaps even to the worst of people. Pandesal is love."  and "Like chocolate--nothing but warm happy memories. But there are those who avoid chocolate. But pandesal? Why run away from a good old friend?"

The idea came to me as a prickling of the spine, a twitch at the corner of my mouth.  The Pandesal Project.  Project Pandesal. [pan de sal = Spanish (Portuguese?)"bread of salt", pandesal = Filipino]

I remember my Batibot days.  One segment was about baking pandesal.  I really liked the old man who baked and shared the bread with his grandson (I think, or was it his son?).  Sharing pandesal is such a warm, tender moment.  Our version of milk and cookies, haha.

While I am not a foodie nor a baker, I do study culture, and I like food and how it is part of culture.  There's a whole discipline on the anthropology of food!  Anyway back to the idea.

The Pandesal Project would look into the different aspects of pandesal, such as:

  • the history of pandesal--how it came to the country, how it spread
  • making it--the ingredients, the processes
  • types/varieties--I'm assuming some provinces' pandesals would differ in taste, or ingredients, or size (also: economics)
  • what's inside--I like mine with butter. Let's catalogue all the yummy stuff that go in the pandesal!
  • economics--remember the uproar when pandesal prices went up? of course!
  • places--favorite places to get your pandesal.
  • packaging--old-skool pandesal comes in brown wrapper. Some bigger bakeries have theirs in brown wrappers too, but with the business logos, of course.  
  • partners--coffee, soda, hot chocolate...

It's a nice little long-term side project I can work on with friends, family, blogbuddies, even strangers (who hopefully become friends).  I think I can just go and collect information (recipes, etc.) and ask people to share their experiences every now and then.  Maybe even create a dedicated blog for it.  What do you think? :)

infographic: Oceans of Garbage

Ocean of Garbage
Created by:

why this affects me: 
  1. i live in an archipelago--islands surrounded by bodies of water--and i've been to enough beaches and islands to see the marine life AND the garbage that threatens to ruin them
  2. i like seafood. buttered prawns, calamares, and fried tilapia with mayonnaise are my favorites
  3. i'm an advocate of recycling
  4. i dislike using polystyrene/styrofoam as food packaging, and i avoid food establishments who use them as much as i can
  5. i used to have pet fish
  6. it's difficult, but i am trying to cut down on using plastic drinking straws
  7. i like turtles, and this image disturbs me: 

    a turtle trapped in a plastic ring.

sometimes i wish i could do more. i guess spreading infographics is a good start.

*I'd like to thank Meika Jensen of for sending me this infographic.  You can also spread it around! You can find the embed link here:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

LC-A: March, April, May

The trouble with having lots of cameras is having lots of film being left in the cameras.  Here's a three-month photodump from my LC-A.

Wesley Valenzuela's Methods of Illumination at Blanc Gallery:

There Can Be No Better World exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design:

People and Places:


i love my LC-A.

Far Eastern University Art Deco and Art Heritage Tour

Last weekend, I took part in a free tour of the Far Eastern University (FEU) in Manila. Conducted by Mr. Lawrence Chan (who also took us around the Post Office and the Metropolitan Theater which I blogged about here and here), the tour showcased the Art Deco and art pieces of the FEU.  There were also students from FEU's Tourguiding Committee who showed us around and were instrumental in opening closed doors (wink, wink).  Good job!

Sir Rence (in the cute green "TamaWOW!" shirt) telling us about the chapel.

It was my first time in the campus and I was awed at the architecture and the works of art of the university.  My tourmates were a lot of fun too, and I had a great time.  I brought along two film cameras: my Canon AE-1 Program (loaded with Fuji Superia 400) and my Superheadz Usagi Camel (loaded with Agfa Precisa 100).  I was thankful for the bright sunny day.

As we went in, were greeted by lovely bougainvillea by the campus gate.  Sir Rence also delighted us with his knowledge of the flora found in the campus--the kamuning plant and its sweet-smelling flowers, the sampaguita, santan, eugenia ferns, duhat, and of course, the trees, most of which are more than fifty years old.

I like greens and open parks so the sprawling campus square was a delight.  The Nicanor Reyes Memorial Square was our first stop. It has bronze sculptures done by National Artist Vicente Manansala.  We were also told that we were already standing at the Quiapo area of the campus--interesting, since we entered through the Sampaloc side.   If there was a visible boundary I'm sure I'd have a photo of myself being in two places at once.  The square used to be called Freedom Park--FEU was the center of student activities in the Morayta area--and allowed students to express themselves freely.

a beautiful accident.

The chapel, dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, has a mosaic at its facade, also done by Vicente Manansala.  Inside are paintings done by Carlos "Botong" Francisco (the Crucifix and Stations of the Cross).  The elevated altar allowed for those outside the chapel to see the mass.


The campus buildings feature passageways going to the next buillding. It could get disorienting for freshmen and clueless persons like me, haha.  Imagine going in a building from one side of the plaza and emerging on the other side! It was fun going through the hallways and seeing the buildings from inside.


The campus buildings and facilities were designed in the art décoratif style which expresses shape, symmetry, and subtlety.  Very well thought-of I must say, and carefully designed.

The highlight--literally--of the tour is the 8-storey climb up the new Technology Building for a view of Manila.  I was glad I did some cardio workout the day before!

The spires of San Sebastian

Cartimar & Isetann!

Makati in the distance

urban sprawl

Can you see the Manila City Hall's version of Big Ben? :)

There were several more artworks we were shown but I wasn't able to take photos of each--I stupidly forgot to bring extra film, haha.  Anyway here are snippets of the tour and more photos!

David's plaster behind.  Some students' art project, I'm sure.  I took this before we headed down for lunch--my stomach was pleading for food! 

The view of the chapel from the Administration Building.

Stained glass work by Antonio Dumlao.  Sarimanok motif.

Inside the auditorium.  

Bas relief by Francesco Monti.

Two of the buildings were under renovation.

I wish I could have a pocket herb garden like this someday. :)


A Nicanor Reyes time capsule scheduled to be opened during the university's centennial 16 years from now.

The Magi and their camels at rest until the next Advent season's journey. :)

 The skylight at the Admin building: above & below.

 Don't cry for me, Argentina.

(smiling) Tamaraw Garden.

I used to look up at this when going through the underpass.

gritty Manila.

Hello trees!

After the tour we had lunch at the nearby Nitz canteen, an institution in itself--it's been feeding u-belt students since the seventies!


 all done! time to have these developed!

I had a great time not only walking around and learning new stuff, but also meeting new people who share the same interests as I do.  Thank you again to Sir Rence and the FEU students who showed us around the FEU campus!

Mr. Lawrence Chan also conducts free tours of the Post Office and the Metropolitan Theater.  For inquiries you can contact him at [0919-3901671] or e-mail [].