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PGT's El Gamma Penumbra Tara Na Byahe Tayo

It is given that one of the many talents of Filipinos is singing. The likes of International Singer Lea Salonga and of course, Youtube Singing Sensation and now International Young Diva, Charice Pempengco are obvious examples that we can be proud of. That is also why our first two grand winners of Pilipinas Got Talent -- Jovit Baldivino and Marcelito Pomoy stood out as well, with their powerful voices. Though Pilipinas Got Talent is sometimes criticized to becoming like a singing contest because of this, I would still be one of them, not because the two grand winners were my personal bet even since they did their auditions but the fact that they have swept away the hearts of many Filipinos.

Now, PGT is on its 3rd season and since I started viewing the auditions, I have seen a lot of singing, dancing and many other talents but I haven't been too much amazed until I saw Batangas Pride, El Gamma Penumbra aired last Saturday July 30, 2011.
They did a shadow play of promoting tourism for our country, Philippines. The musical score is from the Department of Tourism's and Bonamine's travel campaign WOW PHILIPPINES Byahe Tayo! The visuals were truly patriotic which showed our national animal - carabao, national dance - tinikling, national flower - gumamela and some Filipino way of living - nipa hut (bahay kubo), fields (bukid), tricycle, jeepney, kalesa as means of transportation and even famous monument as that of Bonifacio Monument and a lot more to see in the Philippines.

Well, I think it is still too early for me to make a bet, but if a unique and amazing performance is again to be witness from El Gamma Penumbra, then maybe this time Pilipinas Got Talent will have to show the world another amazing Filipino talent besides from singing.

Lau Pa Sat Food Festival

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For food lovers, here is another place you will surely love aside from the sinful indulgence of Makansutra which I have previously posted.

I had my lunch at Lau Pa Sat Festival Market, a wet market known long time ago as Telok Ayer Market.
I must say, its the grandest hawker I have ever seen in Singapore because of its architecture that stands out amongst other hawkers. You can chose from a variety of Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Muslim/Halal, and our very own Filipino food.

Lau Pa Sat still remains unfazed with the rise of high buildings and establishments around the area. This is definitely the spot for family, friends and lovers.
The nearest MRT station is Raffles place at the red line. You may take Exit I or F. Then walk towards Cecil Street and along Robinson Road, you will see Lau Pa Sat on the corner.

Aquino SONA 2011 is Philippines' Transformation

I was having a hard time watching the live streaming of Aquino's State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, prolly every Filipinos around the world is all-tuned in and the website did not quite keep up. But now, I have finally watched the SONA 2011 and even read the full transcript.

It all started with the famous term 'wangwang' that symbolizes greediness and corruption.
"Sa matagal na panahon, naging simbolo ng pang-aabuso ang wang-wang. Dati, kung makapag-counterflow ang mga opisyal ng pamahalaan, para bang oras lang nila ang mahalaga. Imbes na maglingkod-bayan, para bang sila ang naging hari ng bayan. Kung maka-asta ang kanilang mga padrino’t alipores, akala mo’y kung sinong maharlika kung humawi ng kalsada; walang pakialam sa mga napipilitang tumabi at napag-iiwanan. Ang mga dapat naglilingkod ang siya pang nang-aapi. Ang panlalamang matapos mangakong maglingkod—iyan po ang utak wang-wang."
Once again, His Excellency assured no-to-wangwang in his administration and is continually doing it. And also instill a sense of righteousness in the society.
"Sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, huwag po sana nating lilimutin: masasayang lang ang lahat ng ating narating kung hindi tuluyang maiwawaksi ang kultura ng korupsyon na dinatnan natin."
The SONA of President PNoy is all about the transformation of a better Philippines. We all know change doesn't happen with just a flick of the finger, it really takes time. The only thing we are sure of is, if we do it NOW then the SOONER we will see what we want it to be.
"Tama na ang unahan, tama na ang tulakan, tama na ang lamangan, dahil lahat naman po tayo ay makakarating sa minimithi nating kinabukasan."
While there will always be criticisms to Aquino's administration, on the brighter side -- His excellency is paving the right way towards a change for us Filipinos and for our country. And to those who are doing well and righteous in their individual post, we should all be thankful to them as we have seen a thankful President as he finished his address.

Sultan Mosque Shining Like Gold in Singapura

I usually walk now and then at least 30 minutes to 2 hours as a sort of my exercise over the weekend. I was on the way to Bras Basah (yellow line) where I go to church when I couldn't help but notice this shining structure like a gold.

This is Sultan Mosque or Masjid Sultan in Arab Street. A place for worship and prayer for our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Tourists pay a visit from time to time and take a nice shot of the mosque. If you want to see for yourself, you can just walk over Central Singapore and a lot of beautiful structures are just waiting for you.

The closest MRT station to this tourist spot is Bugis on the green line. Exit at Letter C (Rochor Center, Victoria/Queen Street). You will see Parkview Square and Raffles Hospital, walk towards these landmarks and between them is the North Bridge Road that will lead you along the way to the Sultan Mosque.

If you opt to use the bus, the closest bus stops are as follows: Bef Sultan Mosque, Opp/Stamford Pr Sch, Opp Textile Ctr, Golden Landmark, Opp/Plaza Parkroyal

Also, there are a lot of souvenir shops around the area.

from postcards to blankets ...

to keychains and ref magnets ..

accessories ..

and for your kids too.. :)

Tourists flocked their way to see the shining mosque.

Recycle, Eat and Love Dinengdeng

Every once in a while in this busy city, there's always something I crave for. Something I can't just ignore. And always fell in love with.

Have you heard of Dinengdeng?

Yes, this is definitely 'it'. Not just recently but everytime I visit my hometown -- Ilocos, I always ask everyone for this.

eggplant with lima beans

Well, this is an Ilokano Food that is soup-based from bagoong and vegetables, similar to Pinakbet. Usually when eating bagnet or lechon kawali, grilled pork chops or any meat dish, the presence of Dinengneng is a must for the Ilokanos or maybe vegans too.

gourds with moringa oleifera (malunggay) and ground beef

You can have plenty of vegetable selections from calabaza, sabunganay (squash blossoms), kabatiti and tabungaw (gourds), tarong (eggplant), patani (lima beans), parya (bitter melon), utong (cowpea), marunggi/malunggay (moringa oleifera) and its fruit and many other green and yellow vegetables that you may want to experiment.

*Ilokano vegetable names with English/familiar words on italics.

gourds with kardis (kadios, pigeon peas)

Recycle and Eat. Actually, if there's meat leftovers or fish from your previous meals, you can recycle them by adding them as a main ingredient to this delicious dinengdeng instead. For vegans, you may not opt to do this.

Indeed, Dinengdeng is another pride of Ilocanos served for the stomach.

Customized Watermark Blogger Template

Just recently, I changed my template to a simple and neat white background courtesy of the template designer for Blogger.

I picked the brown Watermark template with the map as background.

But instead of using brown, I put white as background (#ffffff). As for the blog title, I used Rock Salt font in yellow green color.

The side bar is one of my fave part of this blog. It is where my social network, the beautiful places I have been and the sponsors(kuno) is located.

I also love the footer where feeds for Recent Comments and Posts are placed. And even my top label categories -- Travel, Food, Photography, Music And Lyrics and Random.

I used the default layout for the Watermark template.

Hope you guys, like it.. :P

Manila, Manila I hate coming back to Manila

Most Filipinos around the world might be familiar of the song that goes "Manila, Manila I keep coming back to Manila.." It emphasizes the Filipinos living in a foreign land and how it is to miss the country and loved ones while at far.

Here is the ode to the capital of the Philippines -- Manila from the Filipino band known as Hotdog.

But would it be the other way around like the title would suggest? Would it be nice if you heard someone who visited our country or even our fellow countrymen, saying Manila, Manila I hate coming back to Manila?

Because their experiences was not so good.

The airport taxi asks for more than what it is metered or worst, do transactions at a higher cost. We travel as cheap as possible but you spend a cost on taxicabs which is way higher than expected. Why need for extra cost, what's the use of meter.

Unsafe streets where robbery, snatching and other modus operandi are manifested. What's wrong with the bad guys roaming around the street. Oh rather, where are the supposed-to-be good guys doing in times like this.

Many vehicles plus traffic not just an hour but even more. The train is not that convenient. Thickly populated. Not well ventilated. We meant to travel and seek for the beautiful places there is, not to be stucked in the middle of EDSA and spend an amount of hours till we get where we suppose to go.

Manila is our waypoint to the world and the waypoint of the world to us. So whatever is up for them in this side of the world would definitely leave a mark that might lead to the impression of the Philippines as a whole.

Indeed, we all have our shortcomings. But we don't need to answer them like throwing back the bad impression against them. Rather to do the necessary to make things better.

And just recently, I went back home to the Philippines and pretty saw some changes. Better change. Queues for taxicabs have been strictly implemented all over the metro and even have an officer that issues taxi information sheet providing details for you to contact if there is any complaints. All taxicabs have already finished updating their taxi meter to issue official receipts. So, you can ask for it and use it in case taxi drivers ask you to pay for more.

There are task enforcers scattered over the streets to assure everyone's safety. Easy to approach and I think they're all giving their best effort to do their responsibilities.

There are designated areas to board or leave the bus along EDSA. Also people have been prevented to wait just anywhere but on the bus stops. This is because of the fences that was provided by MMDA. Though, I hope they make it sure that this will not easily collapse or whatever as I've heard to some others. Also they are making effort of integrating and expanding both MRT (Metrostar Express) and LRT (Manila Light Rail Transit). This would give way an organized and smooth travel for everyone.

Smoking ban in public places has also been implemented. Handing out penalties of 500 pesos ($11.50) to those who will not follow the said law.

Hope it's not just for now, but the beginning of a more better Philippines.

Sama-sama tayo sa daang matuwid. -PNoy