May Kwento Ako #55 : Meeting Nobu Chef Matsuhisa

I have to thank friends for pointing me to this direction. First, I asked where to go for Sunday Mass. There was one Roman Catholic Church literally outside the window where I was staying in but I would not be able to understand most of the Sunday Service.

Hence, I went to a nice chapel frequented by Pinoys living in the city in the 8th Arr. And it felt good to me. Basta. The Service went very well. : )

Using the borrowed wifi that I brought with me, I walked towards this place which I only knew by name and nothing else. It was not a modern hotel but I am glad it was not. But it had a lot of good visual treats which I thought was always perfect for a walk around town.

Candidly, I asked the two young ladies at the desk if the restaurant was open and I could take a long around. They said that it would be opened soon but I could not dine without a reservation. Playing it cool, I simply said “Ok, thank you.” Until the maitre d’ walked in and asked what. They said I wanted to walk in and look around but did not have reservations as the evening was fully booked. The maitre d’ who was about my age asked me “Alone ?” I said, Yes. He asked “Would you want to dine ?” I said “Yes but no table according to the young ladies”. Then, he said … “I can give you a table if 1.5 hours was enough for me.” So, I said, “1.5 hours is plenty”. And it was a nice, nice evening. And he dropped by my table every now and then for a chat. And once I told him, “My 1.5 hours is almost over but I am just a little over half way with my dinner”. Then, he winked. So, we both had a good brief chuckle! Message sent, message received. Hahaha. Hay naku, Ginoo!

Learned that the interiors were done not too long ago by Philippe Starck.

The extra treat of the evening was meeting Chef Matsuhisa, a nice, young man who spoke good English, of course. He asked me if I had dined in the Nobu in Manila. I was a bit embarrassed not to have had the pleasure. He proudly claimed in a very pleasant way that he had spent 2 weeks during the opening of the Nobu-Manila which one day, I hope to have the pleasure of dining in.

But not during these times of quarantine, unfortunately. In due time.


May Kwento Ako #45 : Lipat Bahay ( Moving homes ), in France

In more modern cities where there are high rise buildings, modern conveniences like service elevators or lifts are common. But how about in centuries old cities like Paris where elevators are uncommon and often a luxury in homes. Oftentimes, only two people can fit into the elevator; suitcases excluded. Would they bring up the goods by the winding staircases ?

The thought of how people brought up their beds, sofas, dining tables in centuries old apartments in France has crossed my mind. But I parked the thought until one day, someone mentioned to me how it was done. And luckily, I witnessed an actual move shortly after.

There is an automated ladder that hauls up the goods in crates and someone up there receives it, presumably to unload and unpack.

I was amazed and glad it is now automated, probably only in recent years.

I took a video but I don’t know how to post the video of the actual crate going up the ladder – yet. Someday, hopefully.

Classic apartment building in France. So nice, isn’t it ?
I took a video but I don’t know how to post it. Items are brought up through
this automated ladder!
Yeah, the ladder goes over the pedestrians heads.
That truck below left contains all the furniture and personal effects that will be
brought up into the apartment.

May Kwento Ako #62 : The Goldenberg Mansion, Malacanang Palace Grounds, Manila

It is not everyday that we find 19th century homes in the Philippines still. This home, the grand mansion known as the Goldenberg Mansion was one of those that stood tall and proud by the exclusive enclave by the presidential palace, the Malacanang Palace in the Santa Ana, Manila area post world war 2 but I was told that in recent decades, this home has also been lost.

Much has been written about this mansion which I will not write about. But I want to say that once upon a time, a friend invited to join them as they cover an event in this mansion composed mostly of professional photographers with me and my friend as blurring hobbyists.

I post this as I fear that my external hard drive may one day crash and I will forever loose these photos and not enjoy them in my old age. Meanwhile, allow me to share these photos. Some of them blurred, I was in my first year taking up photography. I didn’t have the lens then. My crusty Nikon D80 and I were just getting acquainted. So, whoever said that it was easy …. I disagree.

May Kwento Ako #61 : A few stories and my photographs Chateaux Vaux le Vicomte

By the entrance of the Chateaux Vaux Le Vicompte

I am so thankful for this Video from YouTube’s worldfrombeyondHD for enlightening me with more details about this fabled and storied chateaux. To the folks behind this feature, I would like to send my appreciation.

And to Doctor Joel Estanislao for taking some fine photos of me. As a tourist traveling with a camera, rarely do I have good photos of myself.

The beauty of the Chateaux lies in the many stories some almost forgotten. In the tv series, Versailles, someone whispered that because it was impossible to use the palace for the film shooting, they scouted for the next best venue and ended up filming in this Chateaux.

I have to search more stories about the people that built this and those that lived here. The immense stories and the tragedies shadowing the happy times that lay hidden behind its thick walls.

The other stories lie in the YouTube documentary attached. Lest not forget the visuals, the experiences and the lessons.

Photo taken from the terrace. A view that was once admired by kings and nobles. There’s more to this property that I obviously missed.
From inside the Chateaux. Awesome, isn’t it?
How they did their accents inside the Chateaux.
They were true masters back in the day. A study of texture and the proportion here done just right.
The balance and composition were never too little nor too much for me.
The facade….imagine this being built before the Palace of Versailles was expanded to what we now know it to be. A study of clean symmetry.
The rear side of the Chateaux is just as magnificent as the facade of the main entrance.

May Kwento Ako #60 : A Neighborhood Directory of Covid19 – Testing Centers

  1. Covid Testing Centers in Alabang, Eastwood and Makati

2. Covid Testing Center in Ayala Avenue Extension, Makati

3. Covid Testing Center in Poblacion, Makati

Thoughout the recent months of quarantine, I have had to rely mostly on sources shared by friends and neighbours through Viber groups, Facebook, etc. To make it easier for me to go back to, I have decided to build this directory for our future reference. We are in this together. But the names and numbers may change so please do not blame me.

Will delete this post once the Covid19 virus has been totally blasted from Earth.

  1. HealthFirst Clinic, Reliance United : Call 0919 056 0490 (Smart); Text 0916 723 1206. 9AM – 5 PM Monday – Saturday. Located in Alabang, Eastwood, Makati, etc.

2. AEGLE Wellness Center : https://www.aeglewellnesscenter.com Call/Text 0917 821 9795, 0949 889 6237 (Smart), 02 8737 0077. Email info@aeglewellnesscenter.com

3. Project Safe Ph : For antigen testing for Php 3,000. Location : Matilde Street in nearby Poblacion. Contact Person : Mr Josh Aquino +63 917 817 1246, : http://www.projectsafe.ph or through Project Safe Ph in Facebook.

4. Executive Screening Center : For antigen testing. Location : 8th Floor of the Centuria Medical Makati near the Century Mall where the International School used to be. https://www.centuriamedical.com.ph/centers/executive-screening-center/

5. One Hospital Command Center is in a referral facility centre for the Metro Manila area. An initiative of the Department of Health in cooperation with the MMDA and other branches of the government.

6. LabMobilePh https://www.labmobile.ph

Covid19 Health Facility Referral Center in Metro Manila

Covid19 Testing Center


8. More recent additions to this page.

October 27, 2020

9. And another.

October 27, 2020

May Kwento Ako #58 : Bright White can be exciting in Apartments

Black as an accent color
The black and white artworks add magnetic details to a home.
Staircase leading to the bedroom with ensuite toilet and bathroom
The masters bedroom upstairs
Nice setup as viewed from the staircase
The kitchen by the Front Door
As one enters

Masters’ Bedroom in the upper

section of this loft.

This Living Room is a good place for some afternoon cocktails.

This rental property in Makati is available for rent and belongs to a friend.

I keep loosing the photos sent to me and so I am posting them here for easy finding in the future.

Tropical Living can still be very sophisticated, modern and efficient.

May Kwento Ako #57 : Stamp Collecting to Document Collecting

Now, I feel my age. I now have grown up responsibilities. I say this because each day simply progressed since we were born. Like there is not chapter that begins, no chapter that ends. Life just continues. One day, I was a stamp collecting boy in grade school in Naga. Sharing what stamps had been given to me with classmates who had the same hobby

. And it went on and on until we all graduated from university. No, I did not collect stamps in high school nor uni. Just grade school.

And then, in recent years, I now have been besieged with documents and papers that I had to read with important names and dates that were meaningful to me and my family.

Until just yesterday, as I had to dig up again more documents, alas, my memories of my grade school years many decades ago were right there before me. For the first time in about three decades, I opened them. Relishing on those years that passed. It thrilled me to see these stamps once again. Which my smaller fingers then sifted through, very carefully much like the documents that have been coming my way in the recent years.

The issue of mortality has been bothering me lately. Because of my age and this pandemic. I suppose that there are many other there who are in the same boat as me. We pray and deal with it. We appreciate each day as a beautiful day. It is now just past 6:00AM and a new day has begun.

This stamp from the Trinidad & Tobago has a story. I recall a classmate of mine, RB and I got into a fight over this stamp. I don’t recall the details except that we were likely to be in the 5th grade. There was novelty in the fact that the stamp had a silver foil on it. None of our country’s stamp had such hence the novelty. And the fight. Hahaha

Did I even think I would get to visit any of these countries in my stamp albums, no. It did not cross my mind that I would leave Naga where I grew up. And I was fine with that.

Now off I go for my morning walk. Till the next post.

Anyway, I am writing these features primarily for myself. To go over in my old age, I hope. And while I am at it, others will enjoy them and be enlightened by some of these posts. For what they are worth.

Stamps from the People’s Republic of China then. I don’t recall where the others were from now. Will edit in the future.

Have you seen a triangle shaped stamp before ? Or a “diamond shaped” stamp? well that’s what I called it then and now.

Please comment what the correct term should be.

Another tin foil on a stamp this time in a gold color. I don’t recall where this is from except that it must have come from a country that is a part of the British Commonwealth. But I wonder where this postage stamp is from.

May Kwento Ako #56 : Not Just Curtains

I have a thing for touching great fabrics. It’s texture, it’s sheen, it’s weight can be very telling. Where the raw materials came about intrigues me, specially silk which is a natural fibre produced by silk worms which feeds on mulberry leaves. Silk while very famous to be made in Italy, Spain and France among others, originated in China some 4,000 B.C. From some research, countries in Europe are not producing silk like it used to. People in the countryside are abandoning this tradition in favour of more prefer the perceived convenience of city living. But I know Europe is in very recent years is trying to bring back production of silk.

To my knowledge of Asia, silk is still produced in the silk farms of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Japan and China.

Sericulture is promoting propagation of silkworms to produce silk. Like wine, silk is an agricultural product which is largely depended on rural folks to take care of. So, I think places that produce silk tell a lot about a city, the country’s history and economics.

Here is a video that was taken sometime ago. But lower the volume settings please.

I thought I’d post it so I can easily go back to it of a happy memory. Specially at this time when I am homebound because of the Pandemic. Who isn’t going through anything these past months anyway. We all are. And I am drawing on some of my aha and happy moments to keep myself together. And I am the sort that enjoys a lot of alone time at home.

The thrill of putting this together and making it happen for the first time with so much fun and discovery to get this to happen. And now, I am more confident having taken this big step. Might have been done a thousand times for some but it was my first.

Thinking deeper, I know that life is short. And there are times in the recent months when I feel outraged at how my time is being forced to stop by this pandemic. So annoyed, so upset. I see posts of people and doctors about a segment of the reality of what are happening to those struck by this nasty virus. But I am thankful that I am able to snap out of it and just carry on with my time. I am thankful to be able to go to social media and peeked into what people are posting and how they moving on. And isolate and be careful of my movement when I need to leave my home.

Most of the music I hear over the radio and TV are now mostly mellow. And I appreciate that. Hitting the breaks in life – for this big reason … to surpass this nasty Covid19 Virus.

Fabric from Bangkok, Thailand; Curtain Mechanism from a supplier in the Mainland China; Awesome Music provided by the homeowner;

Location : BGC, Taguig, the Philippines.