Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘city’

​Breathing Adventure: City Escape to Marikina (Part 1)

For the most part, I’ve been doing my Breathing Adventure series for out-of-Manila trips, particularly those that include hiking and outdoors. This is the first time I’ll be including the cityscape in my Breathing Adventure blog because Marikina is a place worth visiting within the metro.

I had the impression there’s nothing special to see in Manila because it is jam-packed with skyscrapers, state-of-the-art malls, posh family entertainment centers, and monster traffic. I find Manila too exploited and polluted to be enjoyed. Eco-friendly spots like wildlife sanctuaries and parks are slowly deteriorating because the government seems to focus more on infrastructure and housing projects. 
Here’s one part of Manila which does not follow the footsteps of industrialization. Marikina, which sits near the border of the Rizal province, has maintained its pristine quaintness and cleanliness. It keeps on flourishing in its quiet and productive way, as it maintains ordinances that keep toxicity out of the city.

Touring Marikina is like visiting old Manila as old buildings and infrastructure line up the street. The bright blue sky could be seen in the central district because the council does not allow high rise buildings to be built. There’s strict enforcement against littering, so the only trash you would see in the city are fallen leaves.

Shoe lovers should to visit Marikina because it is the Shoe Capital of the Philippines. A little tour at their Shoe Museum would be recommended before you shop for your own pair.

For only Php50, you would find a vast collection of footwear made by Marikina’s finest shoemakers. Most of them are owned by popular personalities in the Philippines.

The shoe walk of fame outside the museum, most are named for big names in the entertainment industry.

A giant shoe that would welcome visitors sits near the entrance

About 80 percent of the collection of shoes belong to Imelda Marcos, wife of former President Ferdinand Marcos and now a congresswoman for Ilocos Norte (ok, if she’s not familiar to you, think where the word ‘imeldific’ came from). 

Being one shoe-obsessed first lady, she had 3,000 pairs of shoes during her 20-year stint in Malacañang. Marikina shoemakers have provided her with 10 pairs a week, aside from the Gucci, Chanel, Charles Jourdan and Beltrami shoes she had in her collection. About 800 pairs were in the museum. And they show that the size of her feet was at 8 ½. 

I couldn’t remember how tall Imelda was because she would be flocked and mobbed by the media when I covered the president’s SONA as an unknown reporter at a small TV station. So, maybe this portrait would give me a clue.

Small as it is, the Shoe Museum features more interesting pairs. From fancy contest clogs to remodeled ancient footwear, these showcase the craftsmanship and the world-class quality of the Filipino sapatero (shoemaker).

A glimpse of Marikina shoemaking history

Shoes made for shoe design competitions.

Another set of shoes made for various shoe design competitions

A set of recreated ancient footwear, proudly made in Marikina. One is a pair of cavalier or pirate boots and the other is a pair of Roman strap sandals.

The museum also keeps shoe-like ornaments from around the world which were kept by Marikina mayors. 

All in all, this museum highlights the skill and artistry of the Marikina shoemaker. It’s something that the city is proud of and I hope they can keep it for generations to come.

A visit to the city would not be complete without walking around and around the Riverbanks. More on my next blog! 

The Magic Of Dinner Over Movies (Eighth Bite): At Home In the Metro In the Hammock Kitchenette

wp-1468025228049.jpgMy initial impression of eating in the suburbs is too commercialized and a bit crammed at most times. We are treated with an endless choice of fast foods lined up on every street corners, offering a variety of burgers and fries that is only made distinct by their packaging.

But hidden in the corners of Mandaluyong is a kitchenette that is closer to home. Safely tucked away from the noise and toxicity of the rushing main roads, the Hammock Kitchenette is the place where you can eat, relax, and swing away from the fast paced city life.

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Books to keep you excited while waiting for meals

Small but dandy, the place is not crammed like any other restaurant. This is ideal for a wp-1467684302951.jpgnoisy group like ours, who needed to giggle and laugh our hearts out on a weekend. The Hammock will instantly give you a warm welcome, homey feel upon entering. Some of furnishings remind me of home. On one table was a sungka board, where I tried to play with the white conch shells by myself. The other end was lined up with books, all yours for picking and reading while waiting for your food. (Just a reminder, not one is yours to take home)

The place won’t keep you hungry and bored, especially if you have fun friends to joke

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Mylene doing her artwork 🙂

around with and colored pencils to play with. In such hungry moments, creativity is unleashed. This place allows one to doodle or color mandala designs as meals are being prepared lovingly.

 

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A sample of their menu

The menu feature mostly Filipino food. Pasta, sandwiches, and shakes are also served. Prices range from Php70-100 for the shakes and Php120-200 for the main course. When it was served, the servings appeared little, to which I did not expect it to be heavy and full.

 

And my, my! The food is indeed worth the wait. First served is the Bagnet in Tamarind Soup (Php120) which is served with rice in a pot. The soup is

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You won’t regret when you try thier Bagnet in Tamarind Soup

not your usual salty taste as it boasts of something more unique. One of my friends ordered Pakbet ala bagnet (Php120) which was very healthy because the tasty bagnet was partnered with a lot of vegetables. My Chicken and garlic sausage pasta (Php130) was very tasty and satisfying because it is not lacking in meat pieces and the sauce. It was perfect combination to the Nutty Banana Shake (Php70).

 

Anyone for desert? Who wouldn’t? We took

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Go healthy with their Pakbet ala Bagnet

the chance to try Hazelnut mallows sandwich (Php70) which was a hazelnut version of smores which nearly overflowed to the side of our sandwiches. That’s the best finishing treat. Too bad we have to go.
Before we go, I left my little piece of artwork in the kitchenette. It’s would serve as a memorial on how I enjoyed the good food, friendly staff, and memorable place. I hope my little puppy would bring good vibes to the next visitors who would come here.

 

 

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Pasta and doodles can go together

Whenever you would be bored with fast food chains around the metro, drop by the Hammock Kitchenette. It is just located at 40B Basilan St., Brgy. Malamig, 1550 Mandaluyong. Its street is located just opposite of Rizal Technical University. Remember to bring your friends along so you can have someone to share the enjoyable moment. Bon apetit!

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My artwork proudly sits at their little art gallery. Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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