Friday, August 30, 2013

Cuyo Island

The rainy season has started, yet I couldn't resist an invitation to Cuyo Island in Palawan. I was invited to judge the Mutya ng Cuyo, my third time to judge a beauty pageant this year. Indeed, we take beauty pageants seriously in this country. The winner goes on to compete in Mutya ng Palawan and then to Binibining Pilipinas.
It takes an hour or less to fly to Cuyo. Its group of islands is in the northern part of Palawan, closer to Panay Island than the province's capital, Puerto Princesa. Cuyo is home to a 350 year old Spanish fort, which shelters a church and a convent in its high stone walls. Today, the Cuyo archipelago is best known for its famous resort island, Amanpulo, but it has much, much more attractions to see. I had my Lumix clicking away.

First time to ride a six-seater plane, Prince, Altaire, me and Benjoe.

As soon as you see the clouds, you forget your fear of flying.

A breathtaking view of Cuyo Island.

We have landed!

In almost  every town plaza in our islands, we have a monument to our national hero, Jose Rizal.

The bell tower built on top of one the oldest forts in the Philippines.

The Church of Saint Agustin.

The church keeper told us that some of these centuries old tiles have been stolen and sold for P12,000. a piece.

I thought the vestments of Saint Agustin was very Christian Lacroix.

A structure built on top of the old fort serves as a museum.

A 300 year old Bible.

An ivory image of the infant Jesus.

The quaint town of Cuyo.

I had to try these waffles sold on the streets.

All the sugary goodness we like!

The houses outside of town are beautifully fenced with flowering shrubs.

An old shipwreck has become a tourist attraction.

Pandan Island.

You can walk the island end to end in twenty minutes. I think Mega Mall is bigger!

Lovely island flora.

Can you spot a four leaf clover?

Exotic island flowers.

Benjoe had a field day with his camera.

The other side of Pandan Island has bigger waves.

Prince enjoying the splash.

I thought this was very cinematic.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Merry, Merry Poppins

I haven't blogged in three months, reason was, I gave birth to a baby named Poppins. Born out of love for food and fashion, Poppins is a collaboration between me and eleven friends who share the same filial love. Having a stressful job of never ending deadlines, I've always imagined a place where one can have quiet little dinners and funny named cocktail drinks. I've often pictured a corner where I can sit alone and people watch while sipping ginger tea. I've always wanted a couch away from home where a friend can pour out her heartaches over scotch. I've envisioned a home where milestones can be celebrated.
Along the way, I've met the young Chef Aiz Anog whose tummy spoke the same French I did. She prepared for us a menu that's both happy and hearty. My interior designer friend, Dinny Lazo interpreted my vision of supercalifragelistic, she artfully fused the restaurant and bar concept with a dramatic cove and purple sofas.
Three months old now, Poppins is taking delightful baby steps and like any parent, I dream of seeing her stride like a supermodel. 

One of my favourite design elements in Poppins, chandeliers sourced from Soler Street, Binondo.

Interiors by Dinny Lazo

In the kitchen with young Chef Aiz Anog

Creole Vegetable Soup
Carrot, celery, corn, potato and tomato soup sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Served hot.

Caesar Salad
Romaine, shredded parmesan, crispy bacon bits, home-made herbed garlic croutons, creamy Caesar dressing.

Poppins’ Chiquee Poppers
Chicken croquettes with jalapeño, mozzarella and bacon centers served with sun-dried tomato jam and roasted pepper mayonnaise.

Cauliflower Fritas
Beer battered cauliflower fries served with choice of Hickory or Cajun tartar sauce.

Shrimp, chicken & sausage rice stew made “N’awlins” style.

Pesto and Walnut Crusted Salmon
Baked crusted salmon served with grilled asparagus & rice pilaf and a honey grapefruit glaze.

Chocolate Cajun Pork Chop
Grilled herbed pork chop served with skillet broccoli, haricot verts, and peppers & garlic rice and Poppins’ mole sauce.

Poppins’ Good Ol’ Vanilla Ice Cream Crunch
4 scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream with salted ruby caramel apples and cayenne streusel.

La Dinny Bossa
Tequila, fresh mango and lime.

Supermodel Mojito
Light rum, lime and mint.

Seared organic Australian flank steak with peppers & cheese sandwiched in flour tortillas served with seasoned sour cream and salsa.

 Poppins is located at the corner of Tomas Morato and Scout Madriñan in Quezon City behind the Belo Clinic.