Thursday, August 09, 2012

HABAGAT - Days Without the Sun

I treasured the moment I last saw the sun.

This thought reverberated through my head as I stayed awake and wide-eyed before the earliest morning alarm clock went off. Distracted by the heavy rains and the images of deadly floods surrounding major cities of the Philippines, a heavy sigh was all I let out to express fear and disappointment as my hometown Marikina got more swamped.

This catastrophic incident was similar to Milenyo (2006) and Ondoy (2009). Having learned life's greatest lessons, residents and local government of Marikina are now more aware and more-than-ready to prepare each family’s survival kit – a strong will to live and help others survive.

To friends and family who are asking for our condition, we are fine. Thanks for the concern.

Despite the alarming peak of 21.4 meter-level of Marikina River, gushing floods out in the streets, alarm sirens sounding on and off every now and then, impassable roads, and hoarding of goods in nearby stores; we are all in good condition.

Let me share some photos of how "habagat" or seasonal monsoon rains worsened and caused widespread flooding in the Philippines.

Swamped Shoe Capital

Marikina River's Raging Waters 

'Drowning' Marikit-Na Statue 

 Walang makapasok na manggagawa :(

 The Vllage that Never Slept

Forced Evacuation for Residents Near the River

There are things that, once again, were proved. Priority and values are really unsinkable. Floods may rise, rains may pour, but a sacrificing character and indefatigable humor survive. No material thing can surpass family togetherness and faith in God.

After days of darkness, finally we saw the sun shine this afternoon, a truly treasured moment for all of us. There's hope to see Marikina as beautiful as beforeAs I sleep tonight, I hope and pray that when we open our eyes tomorrow, a new day will start with the sun shining brightly. Goodbye to the days without the sun.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Taste of India

They say the way to a (wo)man’s heart is through his stomach. This might be what an Indian restaurant owner wanted to prove as he bubbly roamed around his restaurant serving the exotic Indian dishes to big-eyed customers. Big-eyed, not because of the food, but because of the belly dancers expertly swinging their hips dancing to the beat of the chanting drums.

Even I got big-eyed, as I try to comprehend how the belly dancers tried to pivot their bodies around their not-so-lean waists, creating an artistic groove for everyone’s awe. But what made my eyeballs even bigger was when the restaurant owner came over to our table and presented their best-sellers. His smell was ‘different’. Yes, different from the usual scent I am used to. Noticing my look, he said ‘The food we serve makes you hot.” We placed our orders (hurriedly) and food was served.

Indian dish is known for the way it is being prepared. It contains a lot of herbs and spices. Tandoori (name of the restaurant) comes from the type of cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared.

We ordered Nan, a leavened, oven-baked flat bread, which is a staple food of India. There’s plain Nan and we also tried the egpgplant-flavored one. Nan was mixed with Keema Curry and Tandoori Chicken. The curry experience is different because the taste is meaty, thick and powerful. The dishes are ‘saucy’ and they’re heavy on chicken, lamb and veggies. I almost forgot about the belly-dancers as I consumed the dishes. The spices and aroma was strong but the experience was worth it. 

For those who have an adventurous palate, try visit Tandoori Indian Restaurant.

As we left the restaurant, I smiled at the belly dancers, thanked the owner and said to myself that if this is the way to a (wo)man’s heart…  I’m sure there is another way. ;)