Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bohemia along Malingap St.

Bohemia is no longer just at Malate or in Cubao Expo. There is a destination at Malingap st. in Teacher’s Village Quezon City with a similar character. Like a Food Court in an outdoor setting, there is variety of food stalls representing various cuisines. Stalls have their distinct modest architecture and food specialties. Backyard, a stall serving pizza and processed meat is a creation of an assortment of second hand items.

Stall owner, a Norwegian-Filipino is in a hospital radiology construction venture. While the business arrangement among other concessionaires appears to have no written rules, there seems like a structure. Beer is available only at the beer outlet managed by the lot owner. There are no competing menus with other stalls. Rest room is shared. Cuisines available per stall are Lebanese, American, Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Filipino and Mexican. Customers can cross order and stay in their favorite seating area.

This compound at 33 Malingap st Teachers Village
between Kalayaan Ave and Maginhawa has no identifying name except that it is a place with limited parking space, visited by students, young professionals and the adventurous. Its other main difference from the mainstream food outlets is the stalls are manned by the owners themselves. They talk with authority about their food line from ingredients to preparation including financials. It operates only late in the afternoon and stays open until early mornings.

When this Malingap outlet starts featuring a live band in one of the elevated stalls in the future, I wonder if it will add to its non-traditional character.

Grabbed from Luis B.
The compound now has a name-Z Compound. Visiting recently this 2015, a new find is a Mexican resto Hijo D Pita. Hijo fulfills the expectation of a food trip. Place is bike friendly but bikers are advised to bring their own chain.

Friday, July 25, 2014


A recent escapade in Asia is in a relatively small island at 704 square kilometers (and still expanding) and with its forest reserve intact. Population of about 5 million (changing depending on the taxi driver) is inhabited by a mixed Asian race primarily Chinese. This country is modern with a heritage. While strict and quite authoritarian, it is a bit tolerant.
• Taxi driver says to his next passenger by cell phone, "There is a major jam, allow at 20 minute delay, OK?"
"Next time you file for a GSF refund, do it before entering the Changi immigration so I can see the items, OK?   This time I will refund."
• 20 seconds before the pedestrian traffic sign turns from Red to Green, construction workers cross the street.

It is walk friendly with exclusive pedestrian lanes from end to end, foliage from maintained trees providing protection to trekkers from the harsh sunlight. The air is refreshingly clean.
Its compactness allows mobility North to South. Board the bus, call a center for a taxi or van, hop in the North South, North East and Circle lines to move around anytime of the day.
It is a shoppers’ paradise (which is a secondary in my interest for this trip.)
You feel at home and think like work when in the central business district.
But it is a food trippers’ ecstasy. As diverse as street food to formal dining, Asian to Continental, visualize it, you will see it cooking.

View with me the documentary of the “Roamer,” the intrepid traveler in Singapore. While a part of a group, every opportunity to see the other way is grabbed. Not that extreme though as I have to be on track for the appointed moments of the exclusive family festival.

Thanks to our (family) sponsors. While a stay in the city is relatively still affordable, their generosity upgraded me several levels higher making this memorable extended weekend quite a luxurious one.

Singapore and family, a great way to fly.

Chito 7 July 2010

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Taking a ferry boat ride again in the city

The over 20 kilometer MMDA Pasig Ferry ride from Escolta in Manila to Pinagbuhatan in Rizal costs me P 95 pesos and 90 minutes in time excluding stops and connecting land trips.

The full stretch was split into two trips, the 1st part at the upper urban section from Old Manila to Guadalupe and the 2nd from Guadalupe to the mouth of the Pasig River converging to Laguna da Bay in Pinagbuhatan. Operational stations were Plaza Mexico, Escolta, Sta Mesa PUP, Sta Ana, Guadalupe and Pinagbuhatan.

Boat used was matched with the number of passengers per trip.  6 passengers from Escolta to Guadalupe sat in an 28 seater open boat while the sole passenger from Guadalupe to Pinagbuhatan (me) was transported in a 6 seater boat. I was brought to Pinagbuhatan by 5 crew, the operator, navigator and 3 aides. Boat was manned by an all MMDA crew except for the portion in front of Malacanang where a coast guard joined the ride. Ride was well documented and properly communicated to a base. Passengers signed a manifesto, time of departure and arrival were logged and reported, life vests installed in every passenger's seat and head count regularly made. Schedule though was not strictly followed to the minute.

Speed was determined by the state of the water and the landmarks. It travelled very slowly at the Malacanan Palace, fast and slow in some bends and fast at the Pasig side. Sights of interest other than the traditional landmarks and ferry stations were the bridges the most popular are Jones, Ayala, Mabini, Guadalupe.

When launched, it was meant to provide the commuters an alternative means of transport from East to West and vice versa. However, with the patronage, schedules, waiting time and the boat sizes it does not seem like an alternative means of mass transport.

The experience was refreshing. Wind from the moving board provided the breeze. Ride provided a change of pace from the routinary ride of the metro rails. There were no turnpikes, no announcement on the stations and as of this ride, no mad rush to get out of the station.  For someone with an affinity for water, the Pasig river traverse was a relaxing and even a rejuvenating one.

Friday, July 04, 2014

The 50 Most Influential Films About Travel

The 50 Most Influential Films About Travel

They don't call them motion pictures for nothing: Audrey Hepburn, in Roman Holiday, was the face that launched a thousand trips. Celebrate the chemistry between movie magic and real-world settings with a look at the 50 best film journeys.