The rondalla is an ensemble of stringed instruments played with the plectrum or pick and generally known as plectrum instruments. It originated in Medieval Spain, especially in Catalonia, Aragon, Murcia, and Valencia. The tradition was later taken to Spanish America and elsewhere. The word rondalla is from the Spanish ronda, meaning “serenade. The rondalla was introduced into the Philippines when it was part of the Spanish East Indies. In the early Philippines, certain styles were adopted by the Filipinos, especially guitar and banduria used in the Pandanggo, the Jota, and the Polka. The use of the term comparza was common, however, during the American period in the Philippines, the term rondalla became more used. (Wikipedia)
Philippine Women’s University-Jose Abad Santos Memorial School (PWU-JASMS) has been teaching its high-school and grade school students the art of music in rondalla fashion. I had a chance to watch and listen to their rondalla music when I attended PWU’s 2017 graduation ceremonies held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last Saturday, July 8… and I was completely blown away!
I was transported back in time and felt that I was one of the Principalia (elite ruling class in the Philippines during the Spanish colonialization) living a good life in the 1800s.
I understand that PWU-JASMS Rondalla has won the NAMCYA (National Music Competitions for Young Artists) Rondalla Ensemble Competition held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on November 26, 2015. (from PWU Webpage)
The PWU-JASMS Rondalla was also chosen to perform during the gala dinner of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit hosted by President Duterte last April 29, 2017 attended by the leaders and delegates of the member countries of the ASEAN. (from Lifestyle Inquirer)
Unfortunately, I was unable to take a video of their performance… but fret not, PWU-JASMS has lots of VLOGS at Youtube and here’s one of them – – NAMCYA 2015 Semi-finals (Kayamanan ng Lahi).
Corniche is a buffet restaurant located at Diamond Hotel, a 5-star hotel, along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Philippines. Its selection of diversified food is composed of Asian, Western, and Japanese cuisines, including a salad and dessert station.
Aside from the delicious food it offers to hotel guests and walk-in customers, Corniche is one of those places that provides excellent service with a smile which makes your dining experience unforgettable… and that’s exactly the very reason why I am one of their frequent diners.
But hey, the Philippines is the home of excellent service with a smile… 🙂
Yup, it is really difficult or quite impossible to photograph a decent picture of sunsets if you’re living in the city like me. The Philippine metropolis like Manila, Makati, Quezon City, and Caloocan, to name a few, are cities heavily saturated with high rise buildings, malls , hanging power lines and cables like spaghettis on your dinner plate, and of course, those large billboards and left-over campaign posters with faces of our politicians as if Filipinos don’t know them enough… most of these politicians have been in politics and in the government for the past couple of decades as far as I can remember.
The sunset in the photographs below can only be seen during summer months (April through July) with the setting sun almost right in the middle of EDSA (a circumferential highway passing through several cities in the heart of Metro Manila).
I took this picture along EDSA just between SM CyberMall and Munoz in Quezon City. During non-summer months, the setting sun is located somewhere right of EDSA where it is covered by the high-rise buildings on the right side of the road. Unless you’re on the higher floors of a building or on top of a parking building of a mall, it is really quite difficult or near to impossible to capture a decent image of the sun setting on the horizon in the Metro of Manila.
In the past years, a Catholic seminary located near EDSA, Guadalupe in the heart of Makati, Philippines had a poster saying “VII. Huwag kang magnakaw.” which refers to the seventh commandment in a tablet claimed by Moses to have been written by his god. In English, it means “VII. Thou shalt not steal”. We all know that the Philippines, being a 3rd world country, is among the world’s most corrupt country — Jan 2017: PH still among world’s most corrupt countries: Transparency International Index. By having this poster seen by many, the Catholic leaders were hoping to make “corrupt politicians and government employees” alike to change their ways and be more prudent in doing government business. In those years, the Filipinos were one with what the Catholic leaders was advocating.
This year, the same Catholic seminary had changed their poster which now says “V. Huwag kang papatay.” which means “V. Thou shalt not kill.” It is quite obvious why the seminary have this poster nowadays. The Catholic leaders in the Philippines, namely the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), has continuously criticized the Duterte administration over the apparent disregard of human rights because of the alleged extra-judicial killings (EJK) that had already resulted to about 8,000 deaths brought about by the war on drugs since the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016 – – CBCP: Pastoral Statement on the Extra-Judicial Killings. The message is quite clear and of course, the Duterte administration lambasted the Catholic leaders. CBCP is now at the receiving end of social media bashes mostly by the avid supporters of the country’s populist leader. This time, the Filipinos are completely divided about this “EJK/human rights concern” on top of the worsening political polarization – – the avid supporters of Duterte crying for more bloodbath rationalizing the innocent deaths as just “collateral damage for the good of the many” while the anti-Duterte groups are rallying to protect the rights of every citizens in the country.
If you are using a lenspen to clean your gear’s lenses, don’t throw it away after the carbon-tipped disc has been quite used up. It is still useful!
I use my old lenspen to clean my reading glasses, the screen of my mobile phone, and even my watch and other sort of things made of glass. It can easily wipe away grime and oily smudges. Of course, the brush itself is excellent at dusting off those tiny dirt stuck in your laptop’s keyboards! :):):)
This popular street food in the Philippine is what we call the “Isaw-isaw” or plainly, a grilled chicken intestine for the un-oriented. You see, nothing is wasted in our country. We eat everything in a chicken… its head, its organs, its blood, and even its feet. And believe it or not, we call the chicken feet barbecue as “Adidas”.
Like the chicken, we also eat everything in a cow, a goat, a carabao (water buffalo), and a pig. We eat their heads, their guts and organs, their blood, and also their feet. We even eat the bone marrows of cows and carabaos.
So if our country is one of those places to visit in your bucket list, don’t be surprised if you see some parts of a livestock which you don’t normally eat being sold on the streets and in our local restaurants. It’s just one of the food we eat and is part of our local cuisine!
A masked vendor holding a newspaper with a headline “WAG MATAKOT”, which means “Don’t be afraid”!
I’ll let my fellow Filipinos translate what this phrase really mean in our country where scores of people are killed every day…
I sometimes miss these days…
… Nuong sumasabit ako sa dyip habang may sumisigaw ng “… Valiches, Novaliches”!
… Nuong umaangkas ako sa traysikel na kakalog-kalog dahil sa lubak na daan!
… Nuong sumusundot ako ng pisbol sa kalyeng mausok at maalikabok at isasawsaw sa sukang punong-puno ng naiwang pisbol na lumulutang pa!
… Nuong nagbabasketball sa kanto na ang pustahan ay isang litrong Coke at handang maki-ramble dahil lang sa isang litrong Coke!
… Nuong nakikipagsiksikan sa bus at pinagpapawisan ang kilikili sa init dahil walang aircon pa ang mga buses nuon!
… Nuong tumatakbo at naghahabol ng dyip sa may Blumentrit para makasakay!
… Nuong naglalakad sa gatuhod na baha sa may Dimasalang!
… At higit sa lahat, nuong nakikipag-inuman na isang baso lang ang gamit at sardinas na maanghang ang pulutan, solb na!
Yup, those were the days! Masaya at laging exciting ang araw! Gawin ko nga uli minsan yan to feel how exciting it was… :):):)
I’ll let the picture speak for itself…