Tag Archives: Santa Cruz

Saint Stephen High School Stamp Awareness Exhibition

Saint Stephen High School , 1267 Guillermo Masangkay Street ,Santa Cruz,  Manila -Philippines

Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus ( class 1971 alumnus) address the students about the importance of stamp and letter writing. 

Philippine Philatelic Federation in partnership with Saint Stephen High School and with special participation of the Philippine Postal Corporation conducted a Stamp Awareness Exhibition from November 10 to 13, 2015 at the main lobby area of the elementary school.

Ms. Josie Tacus ( Assistant Principal for Administration ) Mr. Hans Becker ( IPPS editor-in chief and Cebu Philatelic Club president) Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus ( SSHS alumni 1971 and Stamp Advisory Committee member PHLPOST ) Dr. Judy Go Tan (Principal ) Mrs. Milagros Endo ( Elementary English Supervisor) and Mrs. Merriam Alempolo ( Elementary English Assistant Supervisor )

Philatelic awareness

The school boast of winning 3 stamp design contests organized by the Philippine Postal Corporation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources ( DENR) and United Nations (UN) from 2010 to 2013.

International Year of Biodiversity- issued by PHLPOST : October 27, 2010

Saint Stephen High School students won First place Ms. Krysten Alarice Tan ( third year high school ) and Second place Mr. Justen Paul Tolentino ( fourth year high school) .

International Year of the Forest 2011- issued by PHLPOST:  October 24, 2011

Saint Stephen High School student : Ms. Trisha Co Reyes

Valentine’s Day – issued by PHLPOST : January 27 ,2014

Saint Stephen High School – Ms. Jamia Mei Tolentino

some elementary students were given leaflets and free stamp starter kits courtesy of Philippine Philatelic Federation member Mrs. Josie T. Cura and Mr. Alfonso Cruz

Here are related articles: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/saint-stephen-student-won-un-art-contest-and-stamp-unveling-ceremony/

https://renz15.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/valentines-week-celebration-at-the-philippine-postal-corporation/

The students did not just brought their school so much recognition , but they also brought recognition to the country in the eyes of the international community .

The stamp exhibit main aim is to bring awareness about stamp collecting , letter writing ( particularly hand penmanship writing ) , postcard collecting to the students.

presentation of token gift to Dr. Judy Tan ( principal ) Saint Stephen High School

Note: Saint Stephen High School will be celebrating their 100th founding anniversary in 2017 and there are plans to have a commemorative stamp issuance. People who collects stamps, memorabilia  and  Saint Stephen High School alumni cannot wait for their issuance.

The author would like to ” Thank ” Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus ( alumni ) , Dr. Judy Go Tan (principal)  and the faculties and staffs of Saint Stephen High School for the warm hospitality extended. All photos are taken by the author

Saint Stephen High School: http://www.sshs.edu.ph/

A Trip to Ambos Mundos at Florentino Torres Street in Santa Cruz

 750 Florentino Torres Street , Santa Cruz, Manila, Philippines

 Ambos Mundos

Whenever we have some foreign , local guest, students and convention guests from other parts of the country. We would try this restaurant in the heart of downtown Manila.

menus are written in black board

 Ambos Mundos means BOTH World  I must say , not just The best of East and West but the  best of Asia, Latin America and Europe ! The restaurant was founded in 1888 making it one of the oldest still existing in Manila.

students from Cavite province

I am very happy for this batch of students successfully defended their thesis and graduated few months ago.   One of them also collects postcards and stamps which is a common denominator of our hobby.  The team leader was the one who contacted me for a day tour of old restaurants that are located in Manila.

group of students from Del La Salle Univesity and College of Saint Benile and their balikbayan uncle from the United States

lawyers from the United States , Singapore , stamp collectors , heritage advocate

We would always pay this restaurant a visit , This is one of Manila’s best kept secrets . I personally thinks that what makes this good restaurant is it maintained its old world charm amid the hustle and bustle of modern metropolis .  We did a tour with some Postcrossing Philippines Eye Ball 2011

Some of the restaurant specialties

This seafood paella is a MUST for those people who crave for Filipino- Mexican- Spanish dish. According to some of my international guests and culinary chef, The Ambos Mundos variety had richer , more flavorful and more appealing to the eyes compared to their Cuban, Mexican , Peruvian and even Colombian paella.

The local counterpart had shrimps, mussels ( tahong ) , clam ( tulya ), shrimps, chunks of pork meat ,  hard boiled eggs and topped with marine crabs / blue crab ( alimasag ). I do not think that they add saffron in the dish.  The rice had some tomato sauce   , This is a bit different.

The only downgrade is the marine crab / blue crab which does not have much meat . The rice is a little bit mushy and  It would take between 20 minutes to 30 minutes before they can serve the paella dish .

Paella – Small cost around Php 650 large Php 1,250

Lengua estofado with camote  ( deep fried) in special sauce ( Ox tongue with sliced sweet potato ( deep fried ) in special sauce )

This is another dish which originated from Latin America and Spain . The Ambos Mundos version had thick sauce and sweet potatoes ( deep fried) .

Lumpiang ubod with think sauce

 Lumpiang Ubod is a type of spring roll that uses local coconut palm heart  as the main ingredient -( julienne, allumette or thinly sliced   )  with  carrots, picama ,ground pork , shrimps and fresh lettuce wrapped in crepe . It come with thick sauce and crush peanuts  .

Foreigner guests and balikbayans would compare the price and its taste between a commercialized version and this version still wins hands-down.

Related article: lumpiang ubod ng niyog

Lumpiang Shanghai ala Ambos Mundos

Lumpiang Shanghai ala Ambos Mundos – This is one of our favorite menus along with its asado and fried chicken .  It is meaty and prefect combination to their chili paste , matching calamansi ( local citrus fruit )  and a little bit of soy sauce !

Pork Asado ala Ambos Mundos- This is another MUST Try, Since it takes a long time preparing the asado , This is sold per kilo basis, smallest order is 250 grams or 1/4 kilo . It had a special sauce

Yang Chow Fried RiceMorisqueta Tostada  is a  Hispanized  fried rice derived from the Chinese.

Kare-Kare – It is kind of ox tail stew with peanut sauce ,vegetables, which include (but are not limited to): eggplant, pechay , string beans and with shrimp paste .

Nido Oriental Soup– This is not the authentic bird’s nest soup which uses swiftlet’s nest made of saliva ( balinsasayaw )  as the main ingredient, They used pork soft tendons ( litid ng baboy ) with quail eggs, chicken eggs, corn starch and flour to thicken the soup.

Since early 2013 , Wah Sun / Sun Wah is closed , customers can order their menus at Ambos Mundos . Asado , Yang Chow Fried Rice are specialties of Wah Sun

How to get There :

The location of the new restaurant is near Claro M. Recto Avenue and about  5  minutes walking distance from  LRT line 1 ( Doroteo Jose station ) and about 8 to 15 minutes walking distance from LRT line 2 ( Recto- Isetann station).

Among this restaurant long list of celebrity clientele includes Dolphy, Chiquito ,German Moreno, Philip Salvador, Alona Alegre, Pacquito Diaz, Rene Saguisag among others.

Operations: Open Everyday from 8:00am to 9:00pm  except Holy Week

Address:750- 752 Florentino Torres St., Sta. Cruz , Manila 1003 ,Philippines

Phone Number (+63 2) 734-1160 / (+632 ) 734-41-08
Facebook Page: Ambos Mundos
Note: portion of  Florentino Torres Street is still under construction

Chong Hock Tong Temple in Manila’s Chinese Cemetery Demolished to Paveway for a New One

Chinese Cemetery -Santa Cruz, Manila – Philippines

Chong Hock Tong temple ( photo :by the author )

Chong Hock Tong Temple was built in 1878, it was one of the very few remaining pre-war structures in Manila. Gobernadorcillio Carlos Palanca Tanchueco ( Chinese name: Tan Quien Sien) and Mr. Lim Ong who has been credited for supervising the construction , financing the cost of construction  . The temple is closely affiliated with the Tsinoy community, it was never declared a historic landmark by the government. There are also century-old acacias and mango trees within the grounds with neatly manicured lawn.

temple main altar ( before the demolition )

The architecture has been described as “reminiscent of those in Fujian province as well as those in Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia with their colorful friezes and uniquely upturned eaves.” There is also a small inner courtyard where sunlight can penetrate.

side altar ( with statue of Don Carlos Palanca) right side

The temple is very simple but the details are very vivid and colorful, it is also guarded by two fu- dogs and old bells are found at the side of the temple

fu dogs guarding the entrance

There was a persistent rumors late last year that the old temple will eventually be demolished to pave way for a bigger and stronger structure.

temple ground

I manage to got a first hand information a few days ago when a distant relative told me that the old temple was demolished when they went to the cemetery to pay homage to their parents.

cement rubble

Leaving no time to waste, I felt the urge to visit the Chinese cemetery to confirm if the story was true. Lo and behold,  the old temple was indeed demolished.

Manage to personally interviewed at least 10 people from caretakers, gardeners, mausoleum owners , security guards and joggers who frequent the place on what happened to the old temple. Each had different accounts and stories to tell.

The demolition of the temple started mid- February 2015 and ended sometime last week around March 13 or 14, 2015 . We were sadden by the recent development, We always try to visit the old temple and pay some homage to our fore bearers . We  visit  the grave site almost on a weekly basis” according to Mrs. Marilyn who requested to withheld her surname.

old logs from the temple

It was demolished to pave way for a bigger temple twice the size of the current one, Artisan and craftsmen will come from Taiwan . The structure will be stronger and better compared to the old  ones which had termite infestation and can accommodate more people. ”  a caretaker from nearby mausoleum.

The demolition is quite slow last February but took a quick phase as some of the wood are weak and were easily dismantled  towards mid-March” . – caretaker

It will be renovated and larger temple will be built , They were able to keep some old logs , altar , Buddha statues , bells and the statue of the one who built the temple ” ( Referring to Don Carlos Palanca. )  -caretaker

We will surely missed the old temple , It was built during the Spanish regime .   It was a time when Chinese and the non -Christians were segregated and have their own cemetery and the temple reflects some touch of Filipino artisans , some of the laborers who built the shrine are trained by the local Chinese and their mastery and craftsmanship is superb. The temple managed to stand for more than 130 -plus years is already a legacy on its ownI have no idea if they are restoring them or enlarging the templeIt seems to be re-building a new one” .  – According to a mausoleum owner.

Masakit na mawala ang lumang templo na saksi na sa mga kasaysayan at kaganapan dito sa lugar.  Noong bata pa kami madalas kaming pumunta diyan at umuupo pa kami sa mga batong upuan diyan para magpahinga” – an old lady with several relatives that were buried in an apartment type grave.

Ang templo na iyan ay parang landmark o  reference point namin kung bumibista kami dito, Diyan namin matatandaan na malapit na ang puntod ng aming mga kaanak. ” visitor to the cemetery.

this statue is a mute witness to the destruction of the temple

There was no proper consultation or even a public hearing conducted by the association , with regard to the demolition of the temple ” . They should have properly consulted those families which have plots here . I think they just decided on their own“. – Ms. Betty Lao

Based on what i have heard, there was no plan to restore the temple , but it was more of making the temple larger and grander with artisan from Taiwan and some say Mainland China -Fujian province .

The cemetery officials and the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association which managed the place cannot be reached  for possible plans on the temple.

Note: The names of the persons interviewed during the process were withheld for security , safety reasons ( except for those who willingly express that their sentiments to be published online) .

“We are saddened to hear about the demolition of Manila’s oldest surviving Chinese temple at the Manila Chinese Cemetery and shocked at the level of ignorance regarding heritage conservation in the country,” says Heritage Conservation Society president Ivan Henares.

Walk with Chan : Special Chinese New Year 2015 Tour

Chinatown , Manila – Philippines

 Santa Cruz church group photo

Walk with Chan in partnership with NGO groups like Binondo Fireworks and Firecrackers Lovers Association , photography groups, freelance media , bloggers , food and cultural hoppers went for a whole day tour of several important and historical places  which encompasses Santa Cruz, Binondo, San Nicolas and Divisoria areas.

Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz

We started the day quite early , most of the participants arrived at past 6:00am at the fountain area within Plaza Santa Cruz, We saw some photography group and families that are waiting for their tour around Chinatown.  The largest contingent was from Novaliches , Quezon City which numbered around a dozen participants , while there are some participants which came all the way from Nueva Ecija,  Cavite , Pasay , Parañaque , Makati , Pasig , Manila and Rizal province. There were 50 plus participants from different age group.

Golden Pharao ,  Chicken Plant , Rabbit’s Foot, Golden Chicken Fern, Lamb’s Foot

 Local peddlers selling them at a few hundred of pesos for unsuspecting buyer – They call them with different names  . They are being sold as good luck plants which are gathered from the forest ( Mount Banahaw and Mount Cristobal in Quezon province  ) according to the seller .  This fern species is critically endangered species and is found between 200 meters to about 1, 600 meters in altitude.  If grown improperly and grown in Metro Manila conditions , This fern species will surely meet its untimely death !

Cibotium barometz – This is medicinal and throughout its range some shamans , witch doctors , native people believes that it can ward -off evil spirits , hence a lot of them seems to e sold during auspicious times like Chinese New Year or Christmas season. This fern is slow growing and due to forest destruction and illegal collecting for the past hundred of years cause its dwindling population .

Range:

China, Taiwan , Nepal ,  Indonesia (from Java to Sumatra), Japan, North East India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines .

Website: http://www.forestferns.co.uk/tree-ferns/cibotium/cibotium-barometz

The common Chinese names for this tree fern species include ‘Jinmao Gou’ or ‘Jinmao Gouji’ (Golden Hair Dog Fern, Scythian lamb, Golden Fu Dog Fern ), in Guangdong province it is called “Huanggoutou” (Yellow Dog’s Head Fern). In Malaysia the fern is known as Penawar jambi, bulu pusi, bulu empusi. The common European names for this fern include the ‘Woolly Fern’, Tartar for ‘lamb’, the vegetable lamb’.

ordinary house plants become extraordinary ” Good Luck Plant” with red ribbons and nice plastic pots

It seems that it is very interesting mix of Philippine festivities like ati-atihan,  fire-blowers ,  people in vampire costumes, mardi-gras dancers and among others.

 fire-blowers

 The fire- blowers  are accompanied with loud banging noises ( mardi-gras beat)  are also an added attraction to the event. They held a small envelopes ( Ang Pao) and solicit money or goods from the spectators, tourists and even shop owners.

radish cake

We passed -by several places like Ongpin, T. Pinpin , Sabino Padilla, Salazar street then Benavidez site of our favorite Maki Place by Mañosa.

Maki Place

Lucky Chinatown Mall

The group slowly went to Lucky Chinatown Mall for a quick stop over ,It started raining before we left  the mall .

Ramada Manila Central

Some of the participants eventually break-away and toured the nearby Seng Guan temple just a few blocks away and then promise to return by lunch time at Ramada Manila Central.

Ms. Sydneylyn B. Tan- Business Development Specialist ( Ramada Manila Central)

Our group was warmly received by Ms. Sydneylyn B. Tan which explained the Emperor’s buffet promo . It was the grand launching of the promo  ( Luna Deck) and the hotel is starting to offer them on February 20, 21, 22 , 2015 at News Cafe Mezzanine and all sundays starting March until December 2015 including declared holidays .

participants and guests

 This is the time of the year that all restaurants within Chinatown district are filled to the capacity . We opt to book this place as this had a commanding view of the Binondo and San Nicolas district . Security is also tight and visitors had more time to relax and have some time bonding with each other.

desserts

There were exciting array of western, asian , fusion desserts fruits,  white fungus with dates, lotus seeds ( supposed to be good for a person’s skin and digestive system)    almond jelly , emperor’s salad , dimsum, bite size tikoy , muffins, cookies

pork crispy lechon

Another must try is the pork crispy lechon , Unlike other lechon in other restaurants, The skin  is very crispy and the meat is tender. It is also accompanied with sauce. We were fortunate to take photos of the food before it was chopped-up and eaten.  In few minutes , It was GONE !!!!

chicken feet with tausi

stir fry broccoli with fish fillet

noodle station

glutinous rice cake , firecrackers , umbrella and Chinese hat

 I was not able to taste all the foods offered by the hotel ( downside of being one of the organizers of the tour)  ,  We had a short program and need to entertain some guests .    . Maybe next time.

Website: http://ramadamanilacentral.com/

Panciteria Macanista y Buen Gusto- photo courtesy : Binondo archives

The old photos shows the glory days of the old panciteria ( noodle house) . This was mentioned in the El Filibusterismo – Chapter 25

Panciteria Macanista y Buen Gusto crowd along San Fernando street, Binondo

 The old panciteria ( circa 2015) building is almost in a sorry state and it was now owned by a Filipino-Chinese businessman who plan to convert and demolish the house into a building .  This is also a popular debate on several facebook pages and forum site on the real value of the old house. Sadly,  very few of the participants  knew the place even existed .

Wikipedia : http://tl.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_filibusterismo

lion dancers

The group toured parts of San Nicolas district and before 4:00pm , The group decided  to took a passenger jeepneys plying San Nicolas -Escolta route .

New Toho Food House

Antigua Toho or New Toho Food restaurant is considered as the oldest still existing Filipino- Chinese restaurant within Manila’s Chinatown- the store is located along Tomas Pinpin street near Dasmariñas street.  The restaurant was established in 1866 and was even mentioned in Jose Rizal’s -Noli Me Tangere novel .

pork asado

 Pork asado is a MUST try when you want to eat at the restaurant. It is always out of stock and it must be pre-ordered days or even weeks in advance, especially on special events and occasions.  It had a smokey flavor and had a right texture .

spring rolls

lumpiang Shanghai is another popular dish in this place

Pancit canton

 Pancit canton with pork liver, liempo , carrots, beans, shrimps , chinese cabbage

Chinese kikiam ( or Que -Kiam / Que Keng )

Another MUST TRY , Basic ingredients includes ingredients minced ground pork ( giniling na baboy),  diced carrots, shrimps ,finely chopped red onion ,minced garlic, chopped green onions or chives, minced Chinese mushroom, diced water chestnuts wrapped in soybean ( tao peh ) . Its special sauce ( spicy and non-spicy ) are to crave for.

participants ( photo credit: Mr. Ralph Soriano )

We then distribute the t-shirts which was sponsored by Binondo Fireworks and Firecrackers Lovers Organization and printed by Nick Printing

Nick Printing Services: 0923-375-5851/ 099-8615-76-90

The group took its final leg walking around Ongpin, Sabino Padilla, Yuchengco , Teodora Alonzo and Zacateros street.

Zacateros street could be derived from Spanish word for the one who works with hay either by cutting or selling it. We finished  the tour at the temple , ending our full day of tour.

Charlie Wanton Noodle House – a noodles house for everyone !

265 Haig Street, Daang Bakal , 1550  Mandaluyong City -Philippines

 Charlie Wanton Special restaurant

I always pass-by this home-style noodle restaurant whenever i visit my relatives in San Juan and Mandaluyong City. However this is my first -time to blog about this place. ( Thanks to the Uy family  who brought us there for  lunch !)

According to the employee, the first restaurant was located at Florentino Torres  street in Santa Cruz, Manila on 1958.  There are many factors ‘why’ this noodle house moved from the old location ( Manila ) . The blending of Filipino and Chinese cuisine is very evident with their long list of favorite menus .

 menu board

Much of the downtown Manila experience  is still retained.   It is unpretentiously a house turned into a restaurant. It has no frills and looks probably as it did decades ago. .  The proprietor is Mr. John Fernandez which is a always there at the restaurant.  Older generation  remembers that this noodle house is almost at par with Ma Mon Luk or Manosa .

beef mami special

The current noodle restaurant  in Mandaluyong opened in 1996.

Feature :  television, magazines, newspapers and blogs had already featured this noodle house.  The noodle house had maintained their quaint appearance and can sit up to 70 people at any given time  . The noodle house  had a small function area which can accommodate between 10 to 12 . There is a private room which is separated  from the main dining area.

chicken mami

Reservation is a must  if you are planning to bring your entire family and friends . The noodle house is quite jam pack from their loyal clientele  especially during weekends .

Specialties:

Beef Wanton Noodles, Chicken Mami , Maki, Siomai , Tokwa con Isda rice, Asado, Chinese Que Kiam, Bola-Bola Siopao, Asado Siopao, Machang , Congee, Patatim Rice , Asado Rice,  Miki -Bihon Guisado , Charlie’s Fried Rice  among others.

Celebrity Clienteles: 

Famous Philippine celebrities and politicians that frequents the mami house are Ms. Elizabeth Ramsey , Mr. Carlo Aquino , Mr. Ronnie Rickets, Ms. Nanette Inventor ,  Mayor Benhur Abalos etc…..

Contact Information:

( +632) 718-1880

Operation : 9:00am to 10:00pm daily

Bread Story-Philippines

Bread Story, SM San Lazaro , Manila -Philippines

Bread Story -SM San Lazaro branch

Bread Story is one of the latest food bakery which opened their store in SM San Lazaro , Their first store was located in SM South mall and their clientele is growing .

freshly baked breads

The manager said that the store got their franchise from Malaysia  and  outside the country their branches can be found in  Singapore, Indonesia, Dubai, Kuwait  and Australia. I like their tag line – A beautiful loaf story. The ambiance of their place  and the color of their store ( mint green ) caught my eye.

Walnut Apple Cinnamon

Aside from smelling the aroma of freshly baked bread, you can also view their kitchen and see the bakers working.   The aroma and texture of baked goods as they come out of the oven is strongly appealing but it is a quality that is quickly lost.

Since the flavor and appeal largely depend on this freshness  which the bakeshop had captured . Cakes and pastries are also available at the counter in reasonable prices.

poster of the best sellers

Since its initial operations in February 12, 2012 , the store had now 4 branches all located in various parts of Metro Manila- They have SM Fairview, SM South Mall- Las Piñas City, Robinson Galleria and SM San Lazaro- Manila .

Blueberry  Cinnamon

Bread Pitt

This bread was had a catchy name and richly textured

The store mission : Making a beautiful loaf story in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Dubai, Australia, Kuwait  and now, the Philippines.

Website: http://breadstoryph.com/

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/breadstoryph

Emailbreadstoryph@yahoo.com

Job seekers troop to SM San Lazaro and other SM malls

SM San Lazaro , Santa Cruz,  Manila -Philippines

SM San Lazaro , Santa Cruz- Manila

SM San Lazaro entrance with long lines of job applicants from Manila and nearby places

Department of Labor and Employment in cooperation with SM group of malls for the past 6 years have conducted a job fairs every May 1 – Last year , There were more than 320,000 job seekers who trooped to various SM malls nationwide to find jobs.

job applicant looking at the bulletin board

This year was no different, in SM San Lazaro where the event was launched just few hours ago -long queues lined the mall ! In SM Mega-mall job seekers lined from basement up the  fifth level !

some of the applicants are busy reviewing their resume

Yakult -Philippines

Yakult Philippines is just one of the 68 companies present during the SM San Lazaro job fair

Yakult-Philippines: http://www.yakult.com.ph/

Rice in a Box Food Company

Ms. Leah Casamayor – SM San Lazaro- Mall Manager

The mall manager graciously “welcome” all the job applicants to the job fair .

Ms. Ruby Socorro Daquigan a supervisory labor officer from DOLE

ribbon cutting ceremony -L-R Mr. Edgardo Baisa ( assistant mall manager ), Ms. Ruby Socorro Daquigan ( DOLE representative ) and Ms. Leah Casamayor ( SM San Lazaro mall manager ) and Mr. Arvin Ang ( AVP marketing )

crowd

One of the advantages of visiting a DOLE job fair is that a job seeker spends less money and less timer and minimal effort to find a job because DOLE gathers as many employers as possible—whether local or overseas—under one venue.

Note: all photos are taken by the author

Department of Labor and Employment : http://www.dole.gov.ph/

Facebook SM San Lazaro : http://www.facebook.com/SMCitySanLazaro