08 May 2015

Fishy Interests and Hacking Tools

I generally avoid meat and fish sections of the market. Though I am not a meat eater, I wouldn't say I have a real flesh aversion (I stop and stare and have this inner dialogue about nature being amoral) but I do avoid the slippery, smelly, humid section. Anyone who has picked scales off their wallet after dropping it on the wet floor will understand.

A fishing boat off Currimao, Ilocos Norte.
But recently I have gotten interested in fisheries. Perhaps if you're from the Philippines, you already know that fisherfolk are considered some of most vulnerable, improverished people in our country. For a nation with a really long and varied coastline, that says a lot about living context-appropriately. A chef friend of mine has recently gotten involved with the Oceana campaign for sustainable fishing, and our recent trip together got me thinking a lot about underutilized marine species, and observing the fisheries sector in general.

Mallet, large knife with handle, chopping board, with fish segments.
When I would ask vendors in houseware stalls selling mallet-like heavy wooden sticks with ends wrapped in rubber what they were for, I was always told they were for smacking animal or fish heads to kill them. Recently, though, I noticed that cleaver handles were in short supply, but the dull thud from the rubberized sort of clubs allowed vendors to hack away at larger tuna-family fish. I have no doubt that these are also used for chopping pork or beef.

Handle-less cleaver on chopping board.

07 May 2015

Coconut Husk Circle of Protection

Newly cemented area in Dumaguete Fruit Market, protected by a circle of coconut husks and a bunch of camotes.

11 January 2015

Mountain Dew Neon Bottles on Trees

"Mountain Dew Neon Bottles on Trees" is a definite theme of my walkings-around recently. Many neon things appall me, including these plastic bottles, but the way people tie them onto trees is fascinating. Apparently, they don't light up or anything, but provide a soft glowing effect. The bottles are driving sales in India and Thailand.

In Poblacion, Makati.
Also in Poblacion, Makati.

24 September 2014

Kid Drawings

Random chalk drawings by kids around Makati. Every kid should have chalk.

Dangling earrings.

28 August 2014

Fun in Gate Fabrication

Every once in awhile, you see a gate or fence that is really rad (like these and these). After all, the cost of making something run-of-the-mill is often not too much less than if you apply a bit of personal touch. Luckily for us, gates here are hardly pre-fabricated, as lot entrance sizes are extremely variable, at least while the real estate market has not yet become completely (appallingly) homogenized.
An orphanage of sorts, somewhere in Muntinlupa.

Take this bunch of happy, armless children, making things look very cool but also there to give integrity to the flat sheet metal. I would maim for this gate, which I believe is the gate to an orphanage. Constraints in welding materials and economy make such "best effort" attempts at human form acceptable and admirable, kind of like weaves that have geometric animals or people that make us go "oh wow".


Meet fruitmix.

I dwell in the realm of "hot" "coffee-like" beverages, but the summer almost got me consuming the cooling pampalamig (cooling) beverages available to aid in temperature regulation.

Ambulant vendors do well in poorly-insulated and open areas.

Fruitmix is basically chopped up fruit with milk, sugar, and ice. The cooling variety of drinks usually have fruit or jellies in them (think sago't gulaman, Thai iced whatever with weird jelly and fruit). You can find some version of them in all tropical places. Fruitmix is found most especially among fruit vendors, who transform their produce into this ready-to-eat/drink form. This genre of sweet-starchy drinks are somewhere in between a beverage and a snack, a kind of low-commitment merienda. I rejoice when I see such populist, fresh, bordeline-junk-food maintaining popularity despite the ubiquity of commercial drinks and sweets.

Fruitmix-- karatula-official.

27 August 2014

Urban Drying of Semi-Unidentified Plant Matter

Note: The eschewing of iThings (for the most part) has led me back to using a camera. I really enjoy the freedom of not having a device to charge all the time, as well as having a ghetto phone verging on analogue that lasts for three to five days without charging. I feel like I have part of my sense of the present back. Having the internet all the time had me bookmarking thousands of things (mostly about food and plants and stuff that I tend to rabbit-hole about in a bad way).

This blog will be used now for both garden and street and whatnot posts. I'm a grown woman now, with my many responsibilities and indulgences. I have chosen to retain, as of those indulgences, understanding and enjoying this world through documentation.

Cut stem on a piece of cardboard.
Sunny spaces for drying plant matter and mops out.

Urban drying of a branch (or a false trunk). Likely banana, but maybe other thing. Purpose unknown. Always nice thing to see plant use in urban areas. This is a Pasig warehouse, where many of the workers are migrants. We have a lot of migrants to thank for the persistence of interfacing with plants, against environmental odds.

13 June 2014

Smut Club Signage

Hotzone: fire and brimstone and women in teal two piece ensembles.
In celebration of my moving into the periphery of a red light district, I bring you some images of Subic Bay's girlie bars. Born out of the testosterone glut that was a US naval base, the skin trade in the area lives on. The whole Subic area really depresses the daylights out of me, but this particular stretch of the national highway makes me feel like I'm in some novel written in the 90s. The neon, thelarge painted signs, the chunky old Caucasians in Hawaiian shirts, the crackhead parking boys and rugby-sniffing apprentices. And the girls, some of them underage, who can only imagine the glory days of the district, when the customers were strapping young American soldiers, not overweight pasty men spending their pensions in the tropics.

Many clubs rely on word-of-mouth (and lately, websites), but exclamatory mural work helps to differentiate and state the concept of the establishment. Most of the painting is designed to be seen during the night, with light-colored letters against dark backgrounds.

Angels for Sale
"Guest Relations Officers", the driest euphemism.
Perhaps the saddest thing about the area is the resignation of the local government to the fact that women are its main product.

Great tourism strategy, Olongapo.

31 May 2014

Easy Rider

You can catch an "Easy Rider" to Dauin from the Dumaguete Public Market. There is (to my understanding), one terminal on each of the four sides of the market, each going to one or two destination outside the city (I've taken the Sibulan and Dauin one).

Easy Rider to Zamboanguita
 The general nature of operations of an Easy Rider is like that of a jeepney. The name is a mystery to me, as the vehicle is usually a multicab or fiera. It reminds me of the "bus" that used to bring me to school when I was younger. One of my school buses had a Nintendo Family Computer inside, proving that indeed, wonderful things can be done to a fiera.

A defunct route?
Driver documentation at the Dauin terminal, which is one of the busiest.
Repurposed bottle for chalk/marker holder, at the wooden board that keeps track of Easy Rider drivers
Fasten your non-existent "safe belt"

08 April 2014

Coco Martin on Cardboard

Found in the Dauin public market, on a hot day while looking for some provisions and drinks.

Coco Martin is an actor who is famous for being a handsome young guy who is really nice to his grandmother, as well as capable of speaking in a fairly dignified and non-mangled form of Tagalog. Among other things, I suppose.

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