Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dumaguete's Sans Rival: Without Rival?

Even before we went to Dumaguete, I've been hearing a lot about the Sans Rival coffeeshop. The French term sans rival is literally translated into English as unrivalled or no rival. When I was small (really small), we used to buy a whole cake at Goldilock's and I just couldn't get enough of it.

So, when we visited Dumaguete last November 2011, we made sure that we check out this "famous" coffee shop there. It's easily accessible from where we stayed at the Bethel Guest House. In fact, its just a few blocks away from our accommodation and is near the corner of Rizal Avenue and San Jose Street. Rizal Avenue is similar to Roxas Boulevard in Manila as it is the road beside the sea and a favorite hang out especially during sunset.

If you are coming from Rizal Avenue, it is on the left side and just across a restobar named Zan Zibar. The Sans Rival closes early which I think is about 7 PM.

During our 4-day stay in Dumaguete/Siquijor, we visited the place at least 3 times. In fact, right after we checked in and had our lunch on our first day, Sans Rival was the first place we visited to have our afternoon snack.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Penitensya 2012: A Holy Week Ritual

Ever since I met my wife, all of my Holy Week vacations are spent in Pangil, Laguna. Aside from the Good Friday procession, one of the highlights would be watching men performing "penitensya" as part of their "panata" or "religious vow" which they promised to keep in exchange for an answered prayer, like healing from sickness of a loved one, passing the board exam, getting the dream job, etc.

What's ironic though is that although my wife wants to stay in Pangil during the Holy Week, she is still afraid of the penitensya (or what the locals call the people performing the ritual), a fear she had when she was still young. She said she isn't afraid of the flagellants (person performing penitensya or self-infliction of wound by whipping), but rather of being hit by blood splatter or because of the odor of fresh blood.

When I was young, I remember seeing these penitensya in Malibay, Pasay. But I doubt that there are still men practicing that ritual there. I guess most of these are now only being practiced in a few parts of the city but mostly in the provinces.

Stopover in Sta. Cruz, Laguna: Asian Traveller's Inn Resto

Everytime we go to Pangil, Laguna for a short break and pass by Laguna's capital, Sta. Cruz at almost lunch or dinner time we usually buy some food to-go or we just dine-in at the Traveller's Inn restaurant. The Inn is located in Barangay Pagsawitan where the public buses usually drop off passengers bound for Sta. Cruz.

The place is a favorite among the locals since the prices are quite reasonable and the place can easily be reached. It serves basically Chinese and Filipino dishes.

The last time we went there was last Maundy Thursday and the place was almost full, aside from those waiting for take-outs. I guess one reason for it being full is people doing the Visita Iglesia drop by to have their lunch.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pabasa ng Pasyon 2012

Ever since my mother's aunt passed away several years ago, the practice of holding the Pabasa ng Pasyon, or Pabasa for short, during holy week has been continued by my mother.

The Pabasa which is held at home starts at midnight of Holy Monday and usually ends at around 3 PM the following day, Holy Tuesday. People take turn reading the Pasyon ensuring that there is no interruption.

According to Wikipilipinas, the Pabasa is a "verse narrative about the life and suffering of Jesus Christ. The verses are structured in five-line stanzas, with each line containing eight syllables. It is commonly sung during the Holy Week. The reading of the Pasyon is a traditional religious practice in the Philippines and people gather around the reader of the Pasyon to listen and reflect. It is seen by many of its practitioners as a vow or panata." 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gyros at Stavros

We finally had a chance to try out Stavros' Kebab and Mediterranean House at SM Bicutan. After the 10 AM mass in our village, we went to the mall to do our grocery as well as have our lunch.

After parking, we went to Mang Inasal, my daughter's favorite chicken place. However, restaurant was full that we decided to look for another place to eat.

Stavros and Cafe Zenses are two new restaurants found in the 2nd level of the mall. Both were opened less than a year but never had a chance to try any of them.

We first went inside Zenses to check their menu. I found the ambiance good and the food looks ok as well. However, the wife didn't seem to like the selection. So, off we went to the restaurant next door.