DEPED, Spanish Embassy and Fundacion Mapfre Initiates turnover of Road Safety Teaching Aids for Public Elementary Schools in the Philippines

His Excellency Mr. Luis Antonio Calvo ( Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines ) together the Department of Education ( DEPED) undersecretary for Programs Ms. Dina Ocampo , Mapfre President and CEO Mr. Javier Warleta initiated a turnover of Road Safety Teaching Aids for public elementary schools in the country.

The materials were given to improve the teaching -learning process in schools , so that students may be aware on how to safety navigate Philippine roads , particularly the busy streets of metropolis .

On top of raising awareness among the youth, DepEd, Mapfre, and the Spanish Embassy would like to extend road safety consciousness to adults as well, since they are the members of society who use the roads more often. DepEd recognizes that changes will come faster if adults lead by example.

The ultimate goal of the program is to reach out to 47,000 school nationwide .  Fundacion Mapfre , the corporate social responsibility arm of MAFRE S.A .

Mapfre Insular Insurance is a leading Spanish insurance multinational company , operating in the Philippines through MAPFRE Insular has been working with Department of Education since 2011. developing modules in two learning areas ” Araling Panlipunan”  and ” Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao”  . Since then , road safety has been taught in at least two thousand schools nationwide.  Beginning March 2015 , teaching aids will be distributed  and used in schools.

Website: http://www.fundacionmapfre.org/

MAPFRE INSULAR : http://www.mapfre.com.ph/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MAPFREInsularInsurance

Las Flores : A Spanish Style Restaurant in Bonifacio Global City

Ground Floor, One Mckinley Place, 25th St. corner 4th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City- Philippines

facade of the restaurant

LAS FLORES, which means “The Flowers“, is a collaboration between the former Barcino owners and the popular Andilana group of restaurants in Barcelona. They flew in a Catalan chef Pepe Lopez to help create an authentic modern Spanish restaurant here in Manila.  The restaurant opened in July 30, 2012 and occupies an area of about 164 square -meters.

botanical illustrations

I quickly fell in love with the place, I saw a lot of illustration and drawings of flowers from Spain and Mediterranean areas that are hung in a portion of the restaurant which emphasize why the place is called ” Las Flores”.

stylish interior

The restaurant can sit up to about 50 to 80 people at any given time. It is also ideal place to hold seminars, meetings and special occasions. There is also an outdoor area which can accommodate more people , especially on weekends .

menu and the company logo

This menu was designed by Mr. Michael Parker. The menu board is like scrap book and you can see the artistry and lovely color combination.

 sliced bread in wooden basket

The restaurant is owned by childhood friends Mr. Dani Aliaga , Mr. Sergi Rostoll with the addition of  Mr. Uri Singla, another childhood friend.  Among the celebrities spotted at the restaurant includes  Ms. Malu Gamboa-restaurateur, Mr.  Rajo Laurel-designer ,  Ms. Solenn Heusaff actress and model, Lifestyle Asia’s  Ms. Cheryl Tiu, Metro Society’s- Mr. Philip Cu-Unjieng , designer  Ms.Rosanna Ocampo-Rodriguez to name a few.

tartar de atum

Tartar de Atum is tuna  tartar , pickled capers, mayonnaise , crispy onion , topped with raw chicken egg and drizzle with calamansi juice and fried onions to add some taste.  ( Php 395)

Mousse de foie con Mango is some sort of appetizer , with bits of ripe mango slices , coupled with the arugula, caramelized pine nuts, and foie mousse was the perfect combination. ( Php325 )

manchego with mango jam and crispy bread

Manchego is a type of Spanish hard cheese made of sheep’s milk.  It was served with mango jam  and crispy bread. According to the chef , It will take up to 36 months from harvesting of sheep’s milk , fermentation process and processing them to make it to hard cheese. The mango jam was created by their restaurant chef .

salmon fish fillet with salmon roe

Salmon and Salmo It  is smoked salmon fillet topped with salmon roe or eggs.  It has ricotta cheese truffle, oil vinaigrette, yogurt sauce and served atop crispy bread pieces. (Php 595).

chorizo iberico with crispy bread topped with sauteed tomatoes

Chorizo Ibérico is a Spanish style dried-cured sausage with spices which originated from the Iberian Peninsula . The sausage is a popular Spanish gastronomic food.  Chorizo can be eaten cooked ,sliced or sauteed with a little bit of oil .  It was tasty and it was one of the first “tapas” offered in the early Spanish restaurants. It comes with two slices of Pan con Tomate  . It is a crispy bread topped with sauteed tomatoes . (Php 315 per 50 gram)

jamon iberico with crispy bread topped with sauteed tomatoes

Jamon Ibérico  thinly sliced- light tasting ham.   It is  perfectly-cured ham is made from the choices pork meat  and has a more subtle flavor which makes it a good appetizer paired It comes with two slices of Pan con Tomate . (Php 990) per serving .

grilled fruits and vegetables

Parillada de Verduras con Salsa Romesco –  Spanish style- grilled vegetable dish has green asparagus, sliced- eggplant, shitake mushrooms, red bell pepper, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, barb led potatoes, whole garlic , white onions topped with rosemary leaves . This healthy vegetable dish is a good match on a tapas meal . I guess that the sliced eggplant, shitake mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and potatoes were an eclectic mix of vegetables and fruits that the Spaniards obtained after their colonization of the ” NEW WORLD”. (Php 425)

croquetas de chorizo

Croquetas de Chorizo- These ball shaped mash potatoes filled with Spanish chorizo then coated with flour and breadcrumbs then deep-fried into golden brown croquettes.  A definite must-try! (Php 215)

gambas al ajillo

Gambas al Ajillo  is a Spanish-Style Spicy Garlic Shrimp- This serving of light, fresh shrimps, chopped garlic , sliced chili pepper with olive oil and bread makes a good starter meal.   A Bucket list ! ( Php 395 )

secreto iberico

Secreto Ibérico – Stir-fried pork riblets served with humus, chickpeas sauce , basil and extra virgin olive oil. The ‘secreto’- SECRET is a specific cut (pork equivalent of the choice cuts) of the acorn-fed Iberian pigs known for its lean meat. Pork meat comes lightly marbled with fat that results to a rich flavor when cooked. (Php 995)

beef angus and foie minis

Beef Angus and Foie minis  – Delicious beef tenderloin from Australia topped with foie ( dusk or goose fattened liver) . The duck liver further enhances the tender beef  flavors . (Php 825) .

huevos estrellados with french fries and chorizos

Huevos Estrellados with French Fries and chorizos   – Spanish dish with  sunny side up eggs, potato wedges, diced chorizo and gambas which come up as an interesting combination (Php.395)

paella de marisco #21

Paella de Marisco #21  – This is a seafood variant of Spain’s most famous rice meal served right in its flat round shaped- pan.  It is a festive and colorful dish because each paella is a treated as work of art, not as a formula. Fresh prawns, clams, mussels , scallops and squid are mixed with arborio rice cooked to perfection . What is interesting about the paella dish is that they are individually numbered . This is also in my bucket list and a trip to Las Flores is incomplete without a sampling of this dish ! This is good for 2 to 4 people sharing. (Php 545) per serving.

flan de arandanos con nata

 Flan de Arandanos con Nata  – blackberries egg flan with cream . This is quite similar with our Filipino style ” Leche Flan” however they have blackberries , cream and mint leaves which add more texture and different flavor to the flan.(Php 275).

Chocolatisimo – is a chocolate fondant with melted chocolate inside. It is served with vanilla flavored ice cream on side. (Php 195) This is prefect for 1 to 2 person .

churros con chocolate and vanilla ice cream

Churros con chocolate  – Churros is a Spanish deep fried- fritters served with warm chocolate and scoops of vanilla ice cream on the side. This is a popular snack in the Philippines . The churros can be shared with 2 to 4 people  (Php 195). This is one of the best churros  that i have tasted in Metro Manila .

Pastel de manzana asada al horno  – This is a caramelized apple cake with slices of baked apple and ice cream. (Php 275) per serving.

Aside from great foods and desserts, this restaurant had also good wine , smoothies, coffee,  drinks too!

 Mr. Uri Singla and with fellow bloggers

Note: I must give this place an 8.95 rating out of 10 for its ambiance, food and pricing . I would like to ” Thanks ” Mr. Uri Singla for the warm accommodation of the group . Muchas Gracias !

How to Get There:

There are hybrid bus station located near the Ayala MRT station – WEST Route. There is a bus unloading station a few meters away from the restaurant. FARE Php 12.00

Another route is from Market Market  then  take  jeep with Gate #1 – Guadalupe route , Just tell the driver that you will go down to Sunlife building or One Mickinley Place – FARE Php 8.50 from Market Market .

             Website :http://www.lasflores.ph/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lasflores.ph

Address: Bonifacio Global City , Ground Level
One Mckinley Place ,25th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Numbers
(+63 2) 552-2815, (+63 916) 619-3365
Operating Hours
Monday to Sunday 11:00am to 2:00pm for lunch and 6:00pm to 2:00am for dinner

Bonifacio Global City Branch
Ground Level
One Mckinley Place
25th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Metro Manila, Philippines

Phone Number
(+63 2) 552-2815, (+63 916) 619-3365

Operating Hours
Monday to Sunday 11:00am to 2:00pm for lunch and 6:00pm to 2:00am for dinner

– See more at: http://www.clickthecity.com/food-drink/b/vu522c0/las-flores-bonifacio-global-city#sthash.Pt1r1XDU.dpuf

Bonifacio Global City Branch
Ground Level
One Mckinley Place
25th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Metro Manila, Philippines

Phone Number
(+63 2) 552-2815, (+63 916) 619-3365

Operating Hours
Monday to Sunday 11:00am to 2:00pm for lunch and 6:00pm to 2:00am for dinner

– See more at: http://www.clickthecity.com/food-drink/b/vu522c0/las-flores-bonifacio-global-city#sthash.Pt1r1XDU.dpuf

Bonifacio Global City Branch
Ground Level
One Mckinley Place
25th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Metro Manila, Philippines

Phone Number
(+63 2) 552-2815, (+63 916) 619-3365

Operating Hours
Monday to Sunday 11:00am to 2:00pm for lunch and 6:00pm to 2:00am for dinner

– See more at: http://www.clickthecity.com/food-drink/b/vu522c0/las-flores-bonifacio-global-city#sthash.Pt1r1XDU.dpuf

Old Spanish Gate at Subic

It was early morning on January 8, 2012 when the author woke-up  at past 4:30am . The first instinct was to close the air-conditioning  unit , since it was rather cold . Then the alarm clock of Mr. Anthony Arbias finally set the tone for everyone to wake -up.

Subic bay early morning

The group was delighted by the early morning breakfast which consists of rice, corned beef , fish , scramble eggs  accompanied by hot pandesal and hot coffee .

welcome arch to  Subic

After the breakfast buffet meal, the group quickly set up for the next leg of the Olongapo -Subic tour . the group went to the main gate of the former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and meet  Mr. Mr. Alex Mesia and Engineer Ricardo A. Alcantara Jr.  our guides who were already patiently waiting for our group .

History :

Explorer Juan de Salcedo reported its existence to the Spanish authorities upon his return to Manila after Salcedo arrived in Zambales to establish the Spanish crown but it would be a number of years before the Spanish would consider establishing a base there.

Although there is already a naval base in the province of Cavite during the Spanish occupation, Most of the workers suffered from unhealthy living conditions and was vulnerable in time of war and bad weather because of its shallow water and lack of shelter. Because of these, a military expedition was sent to Subic Bay in 1868 with orders to survey the bay to find out if it would be a suitable site for a naval yard. The Spanish explored the entire bay and concluded that it had much promise and thus reported their findings to Cavite.

This report was not well-accepted in Manila as the Spanish command was reluctant to move to the provincial isolation of Subic. Finally, in 1884, a Royal Decree declared Subic Bay as a naval port.

Old West Gate, which the Americans  called the Spanish Gate, as the main gate to the station for many years. Behind the Spanish Gate was a little Marine Cemetery.  The Gate was also used as a jail by both the Spanish and Americans.

West Gate circa 2012

Beside the West Gate ruin lies a replica of the Spanish gate with modern cement and painted in pastel color – the former Spanish Gate KTV Restaurant is just a few steps away from the old fort.

Spanish Gate Restaurant

Unfortunately the KTV restaurant is for rent ,  tourism in the area had slowed a bit  and  there were countless of restaurants, bars , grocery , business ventures and even first class hotels had already stopped their operation.

There was a boom in business during the American stay  and when Mayor Richard Gordon took over  in 1992.

Mc. Kinley street signage with Chinese character below

Proof of the  business and tourism  boom are the bi-lingual street signage which also had Chinese characters written below . The tourist guides initially thought that the characters were Korean .  They quickly reiterated that there were a lot of Taiwanese and even Hong Kong tourists especially in the early 1990’s .

compound of shipyard building equipment

At present , there were a wave of Korean expats which make the  area as their second home . Most of the Koreans are investors from nearby Hanjin shipyard , students  and tourists.

Boardwalk Inn
Boardwalk Inn and Restaurant is one of the highly recognizable hotel facilities within the Central Business District of Subic Bay Freeport Zone. This simple yet very cozy  hotel  features a dive center, which is perfect for people who really love the great outdoors, especially aqua sports and other recreational activities. It offers scuba diving tutorials, advanced diving lessons, and other valuable information that people need to learn this super fun and exciting activity.

Bldg 664 Waterfront Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone , Philippines

 Contact information: Mobile phone number 0910-3609771. People can contact  via the land-line number (047)-252-2894, or through the alternative phone line (047)-252-2893.

 Visit their website

beach front

 The Subic sea front  area had a  wide variety of resort amenities and activities are planned within the community and designed to offer a wide range of social, cultural , recreational and bird watching experiences for visitors and residents.

This boat shape stage serves its purpose during important event

 play ground with anti-littering poster

Compared to major towns and cities across the country , Subic  is indeed an example of a city which strictly imposes its anti-littering campaign with scores of residents and even tourists apprehended for violating  this simple rule.

beach front is a favorite promenade area for joggers, tourists  and hawkers 

         Subic Bay Gateway Park

Subic Bay Gateway Park (SBGP) is a world-class industrial park offering approximately 300 hectares of prime industrial land and is host to about 80 direct locators and 60 plus sub-lessees. SBGP’s development is divided into three phases. Phase I is already operational and is 98% leased. Phase II is still being developed and is already 42% leased out.

Website: http://www.sbdmc.com/

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority logo

Website : http://www.sbma.com/

Sources:   Laurel , Tiu Herman ,  The Olongapo  Colonial Experience

Tarjeta Postal of King Alfonso XII

Tarjeta Postal or postcards were issued in the country during the reign of King Alfonso XII of Spain ( Reign from December 29, 1874 to November 25, 1885). These are the considered as the first postal stationary or postcards in the country.

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3 centimo de peso with portrait of King Alfonso XII -issued around 1889

It was in 1878 that the postal card was introduced in Cuba, Philippines and Puerto Rico. The use was sparse, though, and used postal cards of the early years are exceedingly uncommon.

The first postal card was issued on September 1879, 3 centavos de peso value surcharged on an earlier but unissued 50 milesimas card.

In 1880 U.P.U. postal cards were printed in Spain for use in Cuba and the Philippines to take advantage of the new treaty. Puerto Rico got their issue in 1885.

The benefits provided by the treaty included:

1.) There should be a more or less uniform flat rate to mail a letter or postal card anywhere in the world.

2.) postal authorities should give equal treatment to foreign and domestic mail; and

3.) each country should retain all monies it collected for international postage

However the postcards were printed from 1879 to 1885. Then another batch of Tarjeta Postal was issued during the reign of King Alfonso XIII.

IMAGE

5 centimo de peso with portrait of King Alfonso XII/ King Alphonso XII – issued around 1889

Inscription:” Sr.D. ” ( Senor Don or Mr. Sir ) is the title before the name and address

Sources and Bibliographies:

American Era Postcards: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/american-regime-manila-thru-postcards-part-1/

Elizalde Stamp Journal- October to December 1939

Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines and Puerto Rico. Published by the United States Postal Stationery Society, Inc, 2009. Robert Littrell, Donald Peterson and Byron Mitchell

United Postal Stationery Society, Copyright 2010; ISBN: 9780980011241

Flores Para Los Muertos Mural Paintings at Manila North Cemetery

Flores Para Los Muertos (Flowers for the Dead) was a joint project between of Pino Art Museum, Davies Paints, Boysen and the Manila city government last October 6, 2019.

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butterflies and birds

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Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a flowering shrub introduced to the country during the Spanish colonial regime.

Locally called peacock flower, caballero, bulaklak ng paraiso or paradise flower.

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heliconia

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hibiscus or gumamela

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bougainvillea

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lilium hybrid or commonly called star gazer

Collective Art

There were at least 300 creative artists from Ilocos Sur, Tarlac, Bulacan and Rizal provinces volunteered to come together and paint this mural.

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sunflowers

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 hydrangeas or milflores

Mr. Ferdie Montemayor ( artist) spearheaded in organizing the volunteers, together with other artists from the Pinto Art Museum.

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 looked like santan or ixora

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The team managed to paint the whole mural in just 10 hours which included 3rd district Congressman John Marvin ” Yul Servo” Nieto.

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bird of the paradise

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Managed to visit the wall few days after they painted the perimeter walls of the Manila North Cemetery.

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chrysanthemum

This also gives more time for the paint to age and the art work to mature.

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toucan and butterflies

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tulips

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roses

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Project

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 The project hoped to brighten the bare white wash walls of the cemetery which borders Manila and Quezon City.

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Zanthedeschia hybrid and Rapidophora leaves

The wall paintings is located along the 500 meters perimeter wall along Andres Bonifacio Avenue.

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Vanda hybrids

According to a long time resident of the area, The local government should also improve on the street lighting along the stretch of the avenue.

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Vanda sanderiana and hybrids

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Phalaenopsis hybrid aka moth orchids

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anthurium

The most popular flowers which the artists painted were orchids, hibiscus ( gumamela), tulips, anthuriums and bougainvilleas.

The public is also advise not to put graffiti or destroy the wall painting.