Collecticon 2010 update

Last October 3, the author personally went to Robinson’s Place in Manila to visit the Collecticon 2010. Unlike last year were Ondoy’s wrath and the sad stories of collectors who lost their collection from the flood.

There were about 80 commercial stalls and table bourse traders selling   different kinds of collectibles ranging from comics, die-cast toys, action figurine, stamps, bottles, car plate , anime , stuff toys , key chain, accessories among other stuffs.

Traders in anime costume complete with colorful hats

This year’s event was full of life and euphoria as thousands of people from all walks of life ( mostly teenagers, cosplayers  and toys collectors)  went and participated actively in the collecticon 2010.

Coca-cola bottles (unopened / pristine condition ) for collection

Unlike other event , This is open to the public with no entrance fee !

crowd

You can see various collections being exhibited at the lobby and traders selling their goods. Various cos- players also added to the lively atmosphere of the mall. There was a live toy / collectibles auction were  starting bid started at  one  peso and some toys even reached several thousand of pesos !

action figures on sale

Just like any other  trade shows focusing on vintage stuffs , there are some sellers which are selling toys ( ukay-ukay ) .  Some of the toys are previously owned . These toys enjoy high patronage among the crowd with limited budget. Having a limited budget does not deter collectors to acquire toys or any vintage stuffs for their collection.

According to the traders, the organizers of Collecticon 2010 is also the same with the organizers of the much bigger Toy Convention .

Again, until the next event ! Congratulations to the event organizers .

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Bible Exhibit at Marikina Riverbanks Mall

portion of the exhibit

Philippine Bible Society’s roving Bible Museum goes to the shoe capital of the country the City of Marikina .   Last September 16, 2010 marks the first day of the Bible Museum Exhibit in Riverbank Center’s Exhibit Hall in Marikina City. The exhibit showed an amazing display of the societies collection of different bibles written in various local and foreign languages. According to one of the event organizers , They usually have roving bible exhibits as part of their public awareness campaign.

There are a lot of book collector ( Bibliophile)  in the country which focuses on Bible as their personal collection. Bible is the world’s most important and most sold item among books. Millions of bibles around the world are being published and sold each day !

Guests were welcomed by Riverbanks Center Advertising and PR Manager Ching Maipid, and PBS General Secretary, Nora Lucero. The ribbon cutting was led by PBS Board Member Dr. Natividad Pagadut, while PBS Board Member Bishop Renato Mayugba, offered the invocation and the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon.

a commemorative stamps and First Day Cover 1985 ” Philippine Bible Week” on special frame was one of the highlights of the exhibit .

The exhibit features facts and trivia about the Bible and shows a repository of extant old English , Filipino  and other major Philippine languages of Bibles that were published in the country.

Biblical  time line of based from the New Testament

There is a membership booth of the  Philippine Bible Society and its ministries which had in interesting videos  slides  Bible stories and facts about the  bible were shown in the exhibit.

tarpaulin exhibit of biblical personalities  in  written in Filipino

This highly interactive exhibits allowed the public to view some of the historical trivia that are based from the bible .

Replicas of the ancient Hebrew  robes  with  ten commandment tablets and robes of ancient Egyptian pharaoh

There is also a Bible House where visitors can avail of great discounts for their Bible needs. Leaflets were also given to the eager visitors who wanted to learn more about the society and its mission .

According to one of the volunteer ,There is a Bible Museum located in United Nations Avenue the office of the Philippine Bible Society.

The Bible Museum Exhibit will be in Riverbanks Marikina City until October 15, 2010.

Philippine Bible Society, Inc.
890 United Nations Avenue
Ermita, Manila 1000
Philippines
+63 (2) 526-7777

Flora and Fauna of Manila Exhibit

There was an exhibit of various Flora and Fauna at the Manila City hall lobby  from June 18 to June 30, 2010.  This was to highlight the founding date of the city of Manila.

Mr. Jeremy Barns- Director IV- National Museum, Mr. Larry Henares  – National Museum Chairman , Hon. Alfredo S. Lim -Mayor of Manila, Ms. Gemma Cruz de Araneta – Manila Historical and Heritage Commission during the cutting of ribbon last June 18, 2010 .

Ideopsis juventa manillana, Moore 1883

This butterfly species was first described by Moore in 1883 . This dried taxonomic butterfly specimen was exhibited by the Philippines National Museum . The butterfly species had the word Manila .

Cinnamomum manillarum ( Lauaceae)

Fr. Manuel Blanco (1779-1837), who developed a botanical research garden at the church celebrating its 400th birthday today. Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas, first printed in 1837, has served as a guide to the islands’ plants ever since.

Fr. Blanco described Scyphiphora hydrophyllaces, locally known as nilad: a tree with white star-shaped flowers. He wrote, “Manila denotes a place where there are many of this tree and from this, great Manila derived its name.”

Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea (common names: nilad in Tagalog; chengam in Singapore and Peranakan communities of Malaysia) is a mangrove species  that is about 3 m (10 ft) tall.


It is often found in mangrove forests or sandy beaches. Its leaves are opposite. The leaf blades are broad and drop-shaped. Its terminal buds and young leaves are coated with a varnish -like substance. The flowers have four white lobes that are tinged in pink. They are arranged in dense clusters.

The fruits are elliptic and deeply ridged, becoming light brown and buoyant when ripe. Its dark brown wood can be used to craft small objects. Leaf extracts are known to be helpful for stomach aches. The flowers can be used as a cleansing or whitening laundry agent.

Capital city of the country ( Manila) , got its name from the nilad because the shores of Manila Bay are teeming with this shrub. The place was called “Maynila”, which means “There is nilad” or “Where is Nilad”  . The Capital city’s name   was also probably derived from the Indian – Sanskrit  word “nila” (नील) which means “indigo tree.” but still is subject for scholarly debate on the origin of the etymology.

Caprimulgus manillensis

The Philippine Nightjar (Caprimulgus manillensis) is a species of nightjar   in the Caprimulgidae  family. It is considered as an endemic species found only in the Philippines.

Its natural habitats  are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, and subtropical or tropical moist montanes.

The aim of this exhibit was to create awareness that a significant number of plant and animal species that were named after the capital city of the Philippines which is ” Manila “.

Reopening of Manila Metropolitan Theater

April 29, 2010 ( Thursday) Officials of the city government  said that the Met—fondly referred to as the “grand dame” of Manila’s theaters—is on its way to being restored to its former glory.

group photo of the stakeholders within the  Metropolitan Theater

According to old historical records, There used to be an old theater during the Spanish colonial period ( Teatro del Prinsipe Alfonso XII ) which was built near the present day Metropolitan Theater . The old theater was the main focal building within the large and sprawling Plaza Arroceros in 1862.

In 1862, the Teatro del Principe Alfonso XII was opened to the public and several foreign companies were hired to perform operettas, zarzuelas and three-act plays. On June 11, 1865, “La Conquista de Jolo” was staged there and it glorified the military campaigns of Governor Antonio Urbiztondo in the south, in 1750. Another play dedicated to the Spaniards who waged war in Jolo, Sulu  “Una Pagina de Gloria” was presented in April, 1876.

Unfortunately, the Teatro del Principe Alfonso burnt down a few months after that but it was never proven that an irate Muslim had put it to torch.

Japanese tourist posed at the Mehan Garden circa 1900’s – from the private collection of Mr. Centeno

Several years later,  During the American colonial period in 1924 , When  a member of then Philippine legislature proposed that a theater to be constructed near the Mehan Garden formerly Jardin Botanico de Manila established in 1858. The botanical garden was considered to be one of the oldest botanical institutions  in  Asia after the  Indian Botanic Garden in Horah established in 1787 by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kyd.  Buitenzorg Botanical Garden (now  Bogor Botanical Garden) Indonesia  was established in 1817 .   Singapore Botanic Garden was established in 1859 about a year after the establishment of Jardin Botanico de Manila .

No one lambasted him for being a profligate elitist with misguided priorities . The proposal was first conceived in 1924 when Manila was not only known as ” Pearl of the Orient” but also dubbed” Milan of Asia” , reputed to be as charming as Paris . This city embraced four cultures Asian, European , North American( American colony ), Latin American  through Spain and Mexico  .

It took another 6 years to lay the corner stone of the theater on a selected spot within the 8,000 square meter Mehan Garden . Finally on December 10, 1931 the art deco inspired architecture of  brothers  Mr. Juan Arellano and Mr. Arcadio Arellano following the American architectural planner Mr. Daniel Burnham lured by the unique opportunity of designing in tropical Asia these proud edifice would symbolized the power and glory of the American colonial administration.

The tiara domed  with stylized minarets, sensuous female figures in exotic drapes, an exterior with whimsical rope designs, friezes and curly cues, the clashing ethnic -like chimeras and asparagus turrets, the total effect of the architecture is totally different from the other colonial buildings.

Adam sculpture by Monti

The sculptures in the façade of the theatre are from the Italian sculptor Francesco Riccardo Monti , who lived in Manila from 1930 until his death in 1958, and worked closely together with J.M. de Guzmán Arellano. Highly stylized relief carving of Philippine plants executed by the artist Isabelo Tampingco decorate the lobby walls and interior surfaces of the building. Murals by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, namely “The Dance” and “History of Music” adorned the lobby. ( now kept at the GSIS museum for safekeeping).

The stained glass facade was commissioned by Kraut Art Glass established by family patriarch Mr. Mattias Kraut . Kraut  company is famous for their art glasses since 1912 and the proscenium was done by the House of Pre-Cast.

a gallery of Filipino artists

The venue played host to vaudevilles , zarzuelas , performances by world re known artists like Jascha Heifetz, violin virtuoso were also also held within the theater.  Indisputably , the Metropolitan theater was the masterpiece of Architect Juan Arellano . He did it in Art Deco style which was the rage in the United States.

During its heyday, the theater could accommodate 1,670 people: 846 in the orchestra section, 116 in the loge and 708 in the balcony areas.

Manila Metropolitan Theater after the war circa 1945

Badly damaged during World War II,The theater became an ice cream parlor, boxing arena , garage, motel ,  gay club and eventually a squatter colony of about 50 to 70 families before it was rebuilt in 1978 by former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

Popular variety television show hosted by Ms. Vilma Santos in the 1980’s to early 1990’s aired on GMA channel 7 provided the entertainment every Friday to the crowd . While several top Filipino celebrities made their debut at the grad dame, Its condition deteriorated in the ’90s due to several factors . First is the  water seepage  on Met’s roofing , Second is the strong  Bagyong Rosing  ( Typhoon Angela) which hit the capital city in November 1995 causing further destruction on the theater’s outer roofing.  The category 5 typhoon  wreaked havoc over Metro Manila, Calabarzon Region and Bicol Region.

The Met fell into decay and finally closed down in 1996 following a long-running dispute between the Government Service Insurance System and the City of Manila over its ownership and management.

In 2004, the GSIS and city government finally agreed to set aside their differences, and, with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, signed a tripartite agreement on a work action plan for the structure’s restoration.

Higantes provided a colorful backdrop to the festive atmosphere

Coincidentally , the Metropolitan theater was also featured in Philippine stamps ( Architectural Heritage series ) in 2003.

Almost P90 million, including P50 million released by President Macapagal-Arroyo, has been spent for the project.

Television host German Moreno has vowed to initiate fund-raising efforts for the Met , said Araneta. Lim added that they are also waiting for another P50 million promised by the President.

Author’s note: The author through the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club in cooperation with Manila Cityhall , Museo ng Maynila , National Press Club , Intramuros Administration and Philpost conducts a regular free guided tours within the Metropolitan Theater grounds every third sunday of the month . Pre-registration is required  to those people/ groups who wanted to join the free guided tours.

For contact : (0919-3901671 )

Email: L_rence_2003@yahoo.com

Land line: Mrs. Josefina Tiongson -Cura (+632) 735-5001 monday to saturday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM only !

Lucky Yu Sheng

“Toss for Good Fortune!”

old pictures of Singapore circa 1940’s to 1950’s

Makansutra Asian Food Village is located within the Manila Ocean Park complex with several street scene reminiscent of old Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand  or Canton in China. There are several hundreds of mouth watering dishes being served in several food stalls in the Asian themed food village.

For local and international tourist a visit to the place is considered as a chance to sample great Asian dishes presented in an unique manner.

The group was treated in an afternoon of delight last February 9, 2010 by the courteous and friendly staffs and managers of the Makansutra Asian Food Village were  a special dish only for the Chinese New Year, comprising several symbolic delicacies which we know as Yushang. When Yushang is eaten, the ritual is for all to energetically  toss the mixed ingredients high in the air with  shouts of “Loh Hei” which literally means to ‘scaling up in life’, and other traditional meaningful phrases like “xing nian kwai le” (happy new year), “nian nian yu yue” (yearly fortune), “sen di jian kang” (good health), prosperity  etc…

Ms. Tina Santos ( green shirt) together with Mr. Christopher Legaspi briefing the invited guests and media

Each ingredient in this dish has a definitive and symbolic meaning to it, all in relation of prosperity, good luck and well blessings for this New Year. It is the most auspicious and popular dish for the festive season. Almost every Chinese in Singapore and their friends (non Chinese included) must have this dish together and confer blessings to each other to ring in a great year ahead.

Noodles – one of the auspicious foods served during celebrations

Most Malaysians , Singaporeans and the Peranakans ( Chinese born in Malaysia and Singapore) it seems, are somewhat indifferent to this dish that is so integral to Chinese New Year in Malaysia , Singapore and parts of China. Yes, it’s lucky and yes, it should be a part of any New Year banquet, but the consensus seemed to be that it rarely inspires cravings.

In the Philippines , this  dish is not commonly served in restaurants and some Filipino- Chinese families do not observed this ritual of tossing the salad.

Yu Sheng Salad ingredients

And I know why. Most versions of yu sheng are, to my palate at least, gloppy, overly sweet piles of unidentifiable ingredients with little discernible flavor, a dish of vegetables and fish (yu sheng means raw or fresh fish) that tastes nothing like either.

The yu sheng is assembled at a lucky red-clothed, triple-tiered prep area at the front of the restaurant. Every ingredient is made or prepared in-house, making the dish an incredibly labor-intensive endeavor. Many restaurants have simplified the process by outsourcing some ingredients and leaving others out altogether.

Before the yu sheng comes together the staff marinates fish slices (jellyfish is another option) and ginger matchsticks in sesame oil. Then pickled ginger (two kinds – white and red), pomelo sacs, pickled green papaya, shredded green onion, pickled shallots, carrot and picama strings, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, julienned lime leaves, and chopped cilantro are heaped onto a platter and anointed with a drizzle of plum sauce. The lot is showered with strips of deep-fried won ton skins, garnished with lime wedges and green and red packets of white pepper and cinnamon, and served with the marinated fish.

It’s up to diners to empty their packets of pepper and cinnamon onto the fish and give it a good mix before adding it to the other ingredients. Then, a squeeze of lime and much tossing with chopsticks, preferably while chanting a few lucky phrases to auspiciously usher in the New Year.

Filipino chef  trained in Singapore -Chinese style cooking tossing the salad

yu sheng is a textural marvel – the combination of six fresh and pickled ingredients, cut to almost exactly the same shape and size, culminates in one big, satisfying crunch. It’s sweet from the plum sauce, but also boasts varying shades of tartness from pickles, lime juice, and fragrant lime leaves. The overwhelming flavors are of fish and vegetables, spiced up with ginger two ways (pickled and fresh) and white pepper. The cinnamon adds a subtle warm note. Won ton crisps (most other versions use colored crunchies of unidentifiable origin) – sturdy, grease-less, and wheaty – are delicious enough to eat on their own. Kudos to the restaurant for its light hand with the dressing and for its use of sesame oil; I’ve had more than my share of yu sheng drenched in plain old cooking oil – blech!

Balance, balance, balance. Wondering at the magic worked in that kitchen. The combined knowledge of the restaurant’s chefs and prep cooks gives rise to dishes that are nuanced, complex, and always balanced. The yu sheng is no different.

The best illustration of the care taken at Makansutra  ,  those are red and green envelopes. They’re wrapped by hand and their jagged, uneven edges suggest one-by-one, scissor-cut origins. Each year,  staff cuts thousands of pieces of paper into rough squares, lays them flat on a table, spoons ground white pepper and cinnamon in their centers, and folds in the four corners. All this even though pre-filled packets can be easily sourced from a supplier.

For us,  Chinese New Year has always meant extra vacation days and a travel adventure. From now on,this popular dish called ” Yu Sheng ”  is also served at the  Makansutra Asian Food Village  .

mixed Yu Sheng

Winning Toss

Besides being full of flavors and textures, yu sheng is loaded with symbolic meaning. The raw ingredients signify the renewal of life, and the sound of the word for fish in Cantonese sounds like the word for prosperity. The most important (and fun) part of eating yu sheng is the mixing together of the ingredients.

Ms. Gloria B.Jane Baylon – DFA & Philippine News Agency press enjoying the tossing of salad

To ensure good luck for the coming year, everyone calls out “Lo Hei!”-which means “to mix it up” but also sounds like “to prosper more and more”-while they use their chopsticks to toss the ingredients as high in the air as they can. Now that’s what I call a well-tossed salad!

Makansutra Asian Food Village

Contact : Ms. Tina Santos

Location: Manila Ocean Park
Behind Quirino Grandstand , Luneta Park, Manila
Telephone: +63 2 567 3512
Fax: +63 2  567 3512 loc. 105

Business Hours : 11am – 9pm daily