Friday, May 26, 2006

What's for breakfast?

Sure, I took a long walk on the beach this morning but breakfast at my cousin’s house was too good to resist. Think of crabs, alimasag (baby crab), prawns, fish relleno, bangus, exotic fruits like mango, pineapple with its prickly skin, sineguelas, and “short” bananas. And for dessert, banana leaf-wrapped sweet rice (ibus). How can I turn my back on this tantalizing spread? And the lap lap of the sea, only steps away, provided a relaxing tune to help my appetite along. Never mind that I will have to walk longer and farther tomorrow to make up for all the goodies I ate (without guilt) today.

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Image by Rosario Charie Albar

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Paintings in My Private Museum

It sounds very rich to say,"My Private Museum". I wish I have one. But I'm not wishful thinking. Instead, I'm adding new paintings to my current collection of artworks. From Roxas City I brought home two oil paintings. Unang Apo is by Lino Villaruz and Cooking Woman is by A. Villanueva who is a former student of Lino's and is now a teacher of art himself. Cooking Woman is a very good copy of a painting done by the famous Fernando Amorsolo.

Villaruz's style borders on abstract with elements of pointillism. Notice the dots that shower his canvas. It reminds me of Seurat's paintings. I've seen Lino's other works including one in the style of Picasso's Portrait of Dora Marr.

"Ang Unang Apo" (First Grandchild)
by Lino Villaruz
Oil on canvas
18 x 24

Cooking Woman touches me because it is a poignant reminder of home. The water jar in the background is the same kind we had in our house. We played with clay pots as children and made "inedible" rice. The firewood reminds me of our "dirty" kitchen at the back of the house. In the foreground of the painting there is an almerez, where you pound garlic, peanuts, and other things your grandmother wants you to refine. The best almerez were from Romblon and made of local marble. And the plate with fish reminds me that we ate fish, prawns, shrimps, or crab everyday in the "seafood" capital of the Philippines. I am blessed with many beautiful memories of life in our little island.

"Cooking Woman"
by A. Villanueva
Oil on canvas
18 x 24

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hello BayBay Beach

Images by Rosario Charie Albar

Love this cocoon

Let sleeping dogs lie

Beached jellyfish

Dilis from jellyfish

Seashells on the seashore

Hey, those are my coconuts!

Money laundering

Good Friday at the beach

At the end of the day

Monday, May 08, 2006

Life is a Beach

My recent trip to Capiz was hardly a vacation. We were there visiting with an ailing relative who raised me as a child. How opportune that we found an inn across from Baybay beach. It gave us the chance to enjoy a quiet walk at sunrise, get our feet wet and observe how the locals greet a brand new day.

I especially enjoyed watching the children frolic in the water. And how their parents indulged them. One day I saw a baby half buried in sand. And when his mother scooped him from the sand and into her arms, he bawled and my heart went out to him.

We discovered many things along the shore everyday. There were an incredible number of seashells, hundreds of beached jellyfish, stray dogs sleeping peacefully in the sand, PE classes in the water, fishermen pushing their outrigger to sea, fish drying in the sun, tacky beachside cottages and restaurants, seafood entrepreneurs as young as 6 years old raking for clams and fingerlings and a coconut raider who was generous enough to give us some coconuts.

The sun rises fast in this part of the world and the temperature along with it. Breakfast consisted of fresh coconut juice, fruits usually mango and chico and rice cakes from vendors coming to our doorstep. For P20.00, I was well fed.

I can still hear the sweet Visayan tone of voice of hotel staff greeting us "Good Morning!" with the accent on "mor".

It was therapeutic to live at the beach. What a lucky break!

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Images by Rosario Charie Albar