Thursday, January 29, 2015

Postcards from Vigan, part 3: Pagburnayan, Buridek Museum, Hidden Garden and Baluarte

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So here is the third part in my Vigan series. Here I’ll cover the places we visited, brought to by horse-drawn callesa. Isn’t this owl clay jar adorable?


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The boyfie has visited this place before, the famous Pagburnayan pottery where guests can watch how earthen ware is made. (View my visual diary for larger-size images from Pagburnayan.)


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Here’s is JV at the potter’s wheel, taking over a shape that I presume the owners of the establishment won’t be selling to their buyers.


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Jars stacked one on top of the other, already baked and dried. Burnay in Ilocano means jar.


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Wish I tried my hand at the wheel, but my hands were busy with a camera.


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I love the play of shadow and light on the jars, which I guess are still waiting to be dyed. They bear a silence that is both raw and austere.


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The boyfie’s jar, a bit deformed. The driver of the callesa told us that pottery is one of the main sources of livelihood in Vigan.


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We also dropped by the Buridek Musueum, a great place for kids on a field trip. Kids-at-heart, are welcome too, of course.


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The façade of Saint Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, as depicted above. We passed by it when we left the main plaza.


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Buridek is Ilocano for youngest sibling, or bunso in Tagalog. If only we knew Ilocano, we would have known that the place was targeted towards kids.


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We also went to Vigan's Hidden Garden.


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The boyfie posing as Cleopatra.


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There were all sorts of plants and flowers – all available for purchase, of course. (More pics from Hidden Garden on my visual diary.)


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It was here that I bought my first potted plant, a succulent which I forgot the name of.


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Bought one pot each, without ribbons, of course.


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The cute leafy pots. Returning home to Manila, I discover that we already have the plant above in our garden, though in much bigger pots. They grow very long and only require watering once a week.


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A brass sculpture having its moment in the sun.


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Our last stop on our callesa tour was the Baluarte zoo, owned by Chavit Singson, the patriarch of Ilocos Sur’s ruling political dynasty.


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Besides parrots, there were all sorts of birds, such as ducks and cockatoos.


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Deer and horses on the grounds. (View larger images from Baluarte here.)


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There was even a show where visitors were invited to interact with some snakes and marsupials. I pitied the chained tiger, which looked sad and drugged. Anyway, there is another time and place (and a different blog!) where I will write about the political families ailing this country. For now, let’s move on with the show! There is one more (or two?) post to write and edit from our Vigan trip, which includes museums and Calle Crisologo.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In the navy

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Finally, I have been able to sleep on my own bed. Even if a hotel’s sheets are more comfortable, and the boyfie’s arms are a lot warmer, there’s nothing like the feeling of my own worn pillows and blanket.


Shirt and cashmere cardigan, +J by Uniqlo
Jeans, Uniqlo
Belt from an Italian market
Leather sneakers, Jil Sander


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As you’ve noticed, am trying to alternate posting travel pics with regular fare. Don’t want to bore you. Plus, I think the variety is good for all of us.


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Mind you, there are about two more installments to my Vigan series, and I haven’t even started looking at what I’ve snapped from Bangkok – still lots of work there.


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While editing a gazillion pics, a nagging voice inside tells me that I need to put the camera down. For one, I wasn’t even able to go for a proper Thai massage on my recent trip. Maybe next time, hopefully, I’ll be able to eat and enjoy and shop more – this visit was mainly for sourcing for my accessories line – though this time I was happy I was able to walk and wander more than on my first Bangkok trip last year. Am far from done with the city.


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These pictures were taken last Wednesday, before I boarded a plane and got my passport stamped. Wore +J on +J, Uniqlo on Uniqlo on Uniqlo. Is it obvious that I wasn’t breathing while these images were taken? Fit is always a good fitness motivation.


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Again, it’s early morning as I type this. Need to rush so I have time to read. Hopefully write as well. Peer in the darkness, let my eyes adjust to all the shades of navy and black. (Almost wanted to name this post Azuloscurocasinegro, after a complicated Spanish drama I thoroughly enjoyed, but chose to be more democratic.) Decipher and conquer the night.


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Just as I need to exercise every day to avoid stress at the office I find quality time with my many selves a priority. How else to compose myself come the time when I need to face other people?
Time's up! Time to go. Time is never enough!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Postcards from Vigan, part 2: Bantay Church Bell Tower

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Just as I did with my first Vigan installment, am now writing this as my relatives and I wait for a cab – but this time back to Manila from Bangkok. Pictured here are lamps, old wooden furniture, and mirrors at Grandpa’s Inn. The place we stayed at. You can view more pictures of Grandpa’s Inn on my visual diary.


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The inn is full of sentimental memorabilia, even period costume framed in wood. As most houses in the Philippines are filled with.


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Am writing about our first morning at Vigan City, best-known for its Unesco Heritage Site, Calle Crisologo, a cobble-stoned street of Spanish-era ancestral houses. (Will post more about period architecture by and by.)


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So I guess it’s obvious from this pic that I just woke up. The boyfie insisted that we take pictures even before we took a shower. I happily obliged.


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The details of the street lamps and the windows are only evident during the day.


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Perpendicular and adjoining streets have been paved with cement and not cobbled, hence the sign.


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The best way to get around and view the sights would be by the traditional way of horse-drawn callesa.


Friday, January 23, 2015

My Apartment, part 2

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As promised, I returned to My Apartment at LRI to snap more pics. First visited last July and again on January 8.


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Nothing much has changed: I am still in that part of my life where I yearn and crave to create my own physical space. Still working very hard towards that goal. In the meantime, I am happy with the two shelves that I had made last year to organize the clutter of my books and magazines. Next step would be spring cleaning, then possibly printing and framing my favorite pictures from my visual diary. So much to do!


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Though I wouldn’t the walls of my future pad blue, I do want lots of wood and glass and steel. Still having a conversation with the boyfie about the difference between functional furniture and decor. At least we agree that we both like the feel of solid and sturdy materials. Nothing could be more sincere.


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I don’t know why I liked this print so much. Maybe because I have a habit of compartmentalizing my life too much that I feel like meat to be sent to the butchers? Believe me, I have barely kept my sanity keeping things together.


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On our trip to Vigan, I finally gave in and bought my first potted plant (http://instagram.com/p/yE-6UsLZef/?modal=true). You see, as a writer, I’ve had an aversion to seeing anything organic in my room: things have to be clean and direct and antiseptic – let my books and my mind hold all the muck and dirt of my imagination. I guess it’s a sign of my age that I have grown fond of seeing things grow, of seeing physically the effects of nurturing.


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Will have to move out of the house soon as repairs can no longer be postponed. Still thinking whether I’d be joining the family in a rented place or set out on my own. If I did, what should I get first? A bed or a reading chair? I really should stop reading and working in bed.


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This somewhat morbid deer tote I came home with. Along with a nice-to-the-touch leather tray. Will show you by and by what sort of things (or crap) I place on it.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Postcards from Vigan, part 1

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I know I promised the boyfie that I would first edit pictures taken at Bantay Church Bell Tower, but the ever-OC in me would still prefer to go through images and events chronologically. So here are the first few pictures from our first trip together – my first to Vigan and his second – to mark one year of being together.


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Sounds cheesy, no? Sorry, there’s no escaping it. Apologies for the poor quality of the night shots. We just came off the bus after 10 hours of travel, hungry and eager to sleep properly on a bed.


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Would be posting more images as time permits. Am actually writing this now while waiting for a cab to bring me, my uncle, and cousin to the airport for a trip to Bangkok. Seems only fitting that it is equally still dark outside.


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There is so much to share! Hopefully, this will be the first among many travel-themed entries on these pages.