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Showing posts from November, 2008

IFSA Bingo!

My first bingo social. Staff and students at the GQNPC came over to try their luck and win some goodies. Fe eventually won an umbrella. Kuya Jun and I were there to take photos, mainly of our table. :)


This was my first bingo social, and I just had to document the event! The activity was sponsored by the IRRI Filipino Scientists' Association, and was expected to last til about 9pm because there were about eight games. Unfortunately, I couldn't hang around for the duration of the event because I was also going over to Luke's second birthday party over at Tita Mely's house. Staff and students from the GQNPC lab were there to play too to try their luck with the bingo cards.

First off, I claimed the bingo cards from the IFSA people manning the ticket booths. People getting bingo cards were in long queues when I got there... hence the tension inside contrasted from the relaxed atmosphere by the players' tables. I got one ticket, which entitled me to two bingo cards. The frazzled coordinator mistakenly gave me three bingo cards instead of only two, all blue. After everyone has taken his seat and the tambiolo was inspected, the event officially began.
I had no idea t…

IRRI Duets 2008

Who says scientists don't have artistic talent? Last night's competition proved them wrong. IRRI Duets night was SRO night... Here are some of the decent shots I captured.

Diabetes Awareness seminar

Rice to control type 2 diabetes? Diet and exercise should do the trick... and for rice-loving people, new rice varieties being developed to have more fibre should help.

Tita Dory's 60th birthday bash

Grain Quality, Nutrition, and Post-harvest Center (IRRI)
Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines

Arvin (from Philrice), Jay and Vito (via phone patch), and other surprise guests that hopefully made Tita Dory's day.

Special thanks to:
Dara and Fe for organising the surprise gifts :)

Review: Boston Cafe

Rating:★★★★Category:RestaurantsCuisine: DessertsLocation:Lopez Ave., Los Banos, Laguna
I was surprised that the restaurant was still accepting customers at 10:30pm. But since I was there already on a drizzly evening, I decided to try their version of my favourite drink (the only beverage I order in coffee shops, actually), the cream-based chocolate milkshake.

Inside, I selected the choco chip drink, and I'm very happy to find that it's not too sweet :) and though the price range isn't exactly cheap, it doesn't break the bank account either.

I liked the clean interiors, the tasteful decoration, and the calming music. It's perfect place for dessert or coffee after dinner. I am not sure if Wi-Fi is available, but the presence of laptop-users in the restaurant suggests that it is a hotspot. The magazine selection is also entertaining, perfect for people going there alone for some down time.

There's a squirrel along Pili Drive?!

That's exactly the question I blurted out while I was driving home tonight along the mainly deserted Pili Drive. The animal just appeared out of nowhere, and crossed the street to go to what I reckon is the corn field. But then again, are there squirrels in the Philippines, and particularly in the UPLB area? 
Could it be a raccoon? But the mystery jaywalker did not have the tell-tale banding patterns on its tail. Could it be a skunk? I hope not! Besides, both of these mammals are only found in the Americas, right? Right?! Apparently not... There is actually a species of skunk found in the Philippines (mainly in Palawan and in the neighboring islands), the Palawan Stink Badger (Mydaus marchei). It's unlikely to be found in the UPLB campus, unless someone caught it for zoology class and then the animal managed to escape.
There are a lot of squirrels, it turns out, in the Philippines, and I had absolutely no idea! There are six species in the Sundasciurus genus which includes the t…

Lugaw Queen

Rating:★★★★★Category:RestaurantsCuisine: AsianLocation:National Highway, Los Banos, Laguna Philippines Opened only on October 29, 2008, the Lugaw Queen first caught my eye last night as I was driving home from work. And what made me slow down was the billboard: Lugaw Queen is open 24 hours! Another late night hang-out for me (aside from Goto LB and Mini-Stop)!

Tonight, I decided to try it out, since I left the lab at 10:30pm. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people - families, night shift employees, travelers - at that time of night, considering that the second semester in UPLB hasn't formally started yet (I think). But that shouldn't have surprised me given that the place is so well-lit and clean. And the reasonably priced food helped a whole lot too. The owners must have trained their staff well: even late at night, the people manning the counter were courteous and welcoming... not aloof at all.

I opted to try out the goto, egg, and chicharon lugaw (priced at P35.00 for a b…

Au and Ryan recognised for achievements in 2008

I was strolling along the corridors of the Institute of Biological Sciences one Sunday afternoon to while away the time and to take photos. What I saw on the bulletin board was one of the better news I had all week: my classmates in BSc, Ryan de Chavez and Au Lacaste, were recognised for achievements they earned this year! 
When I saw these, my reaction was, "Batchmates ko 'yan!" 
Kudos to Au and to Ryan!

Cafe Breton

Rating:★★★★Category:RestaurantsCuisine: FrenchLocation:Sta Rosa, Laguna, Philippines I loved the galette and the salad! The place is cozy too. Perfect for a quiet night out as an alternative to other coffee shops. My sister and I tried to eat here last year on Christmas eve... it took a year for us to come back. And it's all worth the wait :)

Todos Los Santos: Food trip

Travelling to and from the cemetery can be a physical challenge causing one's energy stores to get depleted along the way. Naturally, one needs to make a pit stop and eat. With a deluge of people pouring into the graveyards on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and thus a whole lot of potential famished customers, can the ever-entrepreneurial Pinoy be left behind? Not!
Outside the Sta Cruz public cemetery gates, one steps into a virtual food court. There's a lot of food to choose from for all consumer types. Even the most squeamish pilgrim will get something to eat here. This year's meal choices range from the usual donuts, to hamburgers, to the more popular street foods (isaw, adidas, palamig, sodas, arroz caldo, chicharon,chichacorn, candy, different types of peanut preparations, etc). Below are some of the food choices found outside the cemetery.
Rest assured, one would never go hungry out there, either while waiting for friends and family before entering the cem…

Todos Los Santos: Pinoy Style

On All Saints' Day, people commemorate all the saints - and their dead relatives - by bringing flowers, candles, and food offerings to their graves. 

According to Dr Lafarge, people going to the cemeteries remain quiet and solemn, in France. Nobody stays in the graveyard long enough to hold family reunions at the site. In the Philippines, however, today is another perfect reason for family and friends to congregate and celebrate... only, the party is brought to the grave site (perhaps to allow the deceased relatives to join in the festivities?). Today is even a perfect excuse to wear one's best clothes to impress others.
Today, my sister and I braved the long traffic queue to get to the Sta Cruz public and private cemeteries (with our aunts) to light candles at our dead relatives' graves.

The candle-lighting and offering then became a reunion of sorts because we caught up with a few of our cousins. Some we see every other week; others we see only on All Saints' Day. Take …