Saturday, July 18, 2015

Mango tree for sale; rice planting season

Huge, old mango tree for sale

We are selling this huge mango tree in the farm in Bugallon, Pangasinan. It should be at least 100 years old. It has been producing less and less fruits (if the fruits survive the annual pest, "kurikong manga"), some branches are dying or dead, they just break and fall down. Before other diseases will cause more internal rot inside this huge tree, we are selling it to furniture-makers.

How big in terms of diameter at breast height (dbh), I don't know, I did not bring a measurement device, but it would require about three men to hug the tree. Below, our farm caretakers, Nong Endring Paragas and his son, Danny.

There are many huge branches at the top, but some of them are already dead/rotting and some are dying, can no longer sustain even few leaves.

About 11 or 12 years ago, we also cut a huge, old and decaying mango tree in the farm. This is our dinning table in the house made from that mango tree. About 2 inches thick.

The wooden desk made from some big branches of that tree. If there are buyers interested for that lone mango tree, please email me at Thanks.

Rice planting season

I visited the farm last Sunday, July 12. Here is the rice field in front of my treehouse, being tilled by our long time caretaker, Nong Endring Paragas. To save money, he and some rice farmers just spread the rice seeds randomly.

Advantage is that they save on the cost of labor planting. Disadvantages are (a) this requires more seeds, (b) grasses and weeds can grow simultaneously with the young rice plants, and (c) more difficult to remove weeds later that compete for soil nutrients and sunlight for the crops.

Below, this is outside the farm. Another rice field in front of the house of Nong Endring's son, Danny, who also helps in the farm. The women in the photo (with umbrellas) are uprooting the young rice, bundle them, to be transported to nearby rice fields for planting with equal spaces in between them.

Another side, just beside Danny's house. The south west monsoon (aka "Habagat") has resulted in nine days and nights of almost continuous rains in western Pangasinan-Zambales and nearby provinces.

Another set of rice fields, near our farm. Lots of water.

A mama carabao and her few months old kid. A few farmers still use farm animals to till the soil. This is non-costly of course but work is slow. One hand tractor can do work of perhaps 5 carabaos.

Above are among the sights that I enjoy whenever I visit the farm.

See also:
Vietnam rice terraces, April 03, 2013
Around My Treehouse, May 02, 2013 
Maya Bird as Rice Pest, May 05, 2014

Fields of gold, harvested, March 02, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Elle and Bien at Museo Iloilo, Oton Beach

Raiding my wife's photos as posted in her facebook wall,with the two girls in Iloilo, The other day they went to Museo Iloilo. I  myself  have not been there although  I  have been to the city many times.

The various art works look interesting.

Not at the Museo, but nice statues,showing the fishery livelihood of a municipality. Notice the giant crabs.

Yesterday, they went to a beach resort in Oton, Iloilo.

At Fort San Pedro, Iloilo, with a good view of Guimaras island-province at the  other side of the sea. Lower photo, Bien's bright face, with cousin Distiny.


See also:

Elle Marie and Bien Mary in Christmas 2014, January 04, 2015

Tamarind Springs Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur

On my last day in Kuala Lumpur, April 23, flying back to  Manila the next day, IDEAS CEO and friend Wan Saiful Wan Jan, brought me and fellow panel speaker Prof. Cris Lingle, to this very beautiful restaurant in a suburb of KL, the Tamarind Springs. IDEAS hard working staff Yogi and Amir joined us. It was after our panel workshop at the ASEAN People's Forum (APF) 2015, then a visit at IDEAS office.

It is wide , rolling and spacious, surrounded by  many big trees. The place is in a high-end suburban residential area of KL. From the carpark area, one must walk about 60 meters to the resto proper. Nice water fountain.

With many freshwater turtles, cool.

A golf course below the resto.

Some of the big trees on one side of the  restaurant.

From where we  sat on the  2nd floor, this swimming pool  is visible.

But it seems no one is using or  swimming in this  pool, moss and small fishes inhabit  the pool. This view is opposite where I  took the photo above.

No need for air-con, just a silent ceiling fan.

The bar. Buddha in red lights.

I forgot to take photos of our food, but it was sooooo delicious. I was not feeling well that afternoon actually. After slurping the soup, it was like magic, I immediately felt better. So I took more soup and the yummy fish.

This pathway from the carpark to the resto is lighted by those small scented candles at dawn until evening. Here the candles were already laid. Really nice and cool place.

Thanks again Wan, Yogi and Amir, for that great and memorable panel discussion then dinner.

See also:

Yummy Korean Food, July 12, 2013

Food of Penang, Malaysia, September 14, 2012

Elle and Bien in Iloilo Santa cruzan

The two girls left for Iloilo last Saturday night with their Mama, to participate in the local fiesta, Santa Cruzan in Lapaz, Iloilo City, the next day. Here they are, last Sunday morning, May 24. Elle was wearing  a new gown while Bien was wearing a gown that her Ate Elle used a few years ago.

 Colorful, right? Although Elle complained of the long walk :-)

After the walk, with their Mama Ella.

At home with their Lola Moyette or Lola Music, and their cousin Distiny. At my in laws' house in Lapaz, Iloilo City.

With Lolo Leo, cousins Distiny and Yoshi.

Have changed dress, photo with Mama Ella.

Elle got long legs, nice. And she likes to bring a book anywhere she goes. She likes Thea Stilton and Geronimo Stilton books.

Bien and Mama.

At a beach in Iloilo.

Part 2 of their Iloilo visit soon...

See also:

Elle Marie's 8th Birthday Party, October 10, 2014

Bien Mary's 4th Birthday Party, October 10, 2014

Elle Marie and Bien Mary in Christmas 2014, January 04, 2015

Elle and Bien have Moved Up, March 27, 2015

Le Apple Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, April 2015

I went back to Kuala Lumpur, April 22-24, 2015. I attended a panel discussion organized by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and the South East Asia Network for Development (SEANET) on April 23, one of the many panel discussions/workshops under the bigger ASEAN People's Forum (APF) 2015.

IDEAS put me at Le Apple Boutique Hotel (dark building in  this phoo) at the city center, about two blocks from the famous Petronas Towers (to its left). It is also beside Corus Hotel, where  I  stayed in 2005 when I  first visited Malaysia.

View of Le Apple, Petronas Towers, not far from WISMA CMA, the venue of the conference, about 5 minutes walk  from my hotel. Corus Hotel at the right.

View of Petronas Towers from my room at Le Apple. Afternoon and early evening.

Another view from my room, further lefft of the tower.

And view at the right side. I do not know the names of the  neighboring buildings.

My room. Modest and clean. Wifi is free/complimentary.

The hotel lobby, at the 2nd floor. Ground floor is the hotel restaurant and main entrance. When I took my breakfast on my 2nd day at the hotel, I learned that almost all staff of the restaurant -- cooks, waiters, waitresses -- are Filipinos. Good to briefly chat with them.

One downside of this  hotel -- we experienced power outages. Not once, not twice, but thrice  I  think. The back up power came to provide basic lights in the room but no air-con, no lights at the toilet, no tv. And even the elevator was affected.

When the electricity went back, the wifi would come on and off. I hope those were just accidental glitches and not regularly happening. Good hotel location but not good power back up.

See also:

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, September 07, 2012

Food of Penang, Malaysia, September 14, 2012