Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bayon: The Temple of Many Faces


My apologies for taking so long in writing this continuation of my Cambodia trip series.  To answer the question from my previous post, the grandest attraction inside Angkor Thom is the Bayon Temple which stands enigmatically at the very center of the walled city.  (Sacred Destinations)  To initially unlock its mystery, the strategic location of the temple symbolizes an intersection between heaven and earth, a depiction of Hindu belief and Buddhism in one as the official state temple of Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII.  (Wikipedia)
bayon temple
Located just a few meters away from the south gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple embodies a baroque style of Khmer architecture.  And just like the leaning tower of the gate, towers of the temple also has the many faces of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, symbolizing its omniscience and omnipresence.  According to our tour guide Te, there are about 54 towers each with 4 gigantic faces so that makes a total of 216 faces!  With downcast eyes, wide nose, and thick lips curled in a mysterious smile, the Bayon is often regarded as the "Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia".
bayon temple
Aside from the many faces, there are also bas-reliefs carved on the walls depicting scenes of mythological and historical events just like Angkor Wat's.  One of my favorites are the dancers.  They look so beautiful, reminding me of my aunt who is an international dancer.  It's still fresh in my memory when she uniquely danced as a Khmer with all those weird facial expressions for a ten-year old me during my mom's batch hosting of their alumni homecoming.  Anyway, to tour around, it is advisable to start east, turn left to the first gallery, then go up level by level.  Or better yet hire a clever guide for perfect timings in avoiding crowds at vantage point pictorials.
bayon-temple
Talking about vantage points, Mr. Te found us a nose to nose with one Buddha face.  Trick was just to bend down and tilt the camera up a bit for that perfect shot!  It was preposterous to do such gesture considering that the place is sacred but we complied as per tour guide advise.
bayon-temple-cambodia
Another advise in touring around, watch your steps for you might stumble upon a crumbled stone.  There might also be some falling debris 'coz the temple is already centuries old.  There are crammed areas with wooden steep staircases which will do as ladders so we didn't dare at all!  Moreover, there are also tiny recesses which invites you to play hide and seek.  With narrow passages, it adds more to the mysterious effect of the temple.  But you may also feel the need to use 'em as a quick shelter from the rays of the sun or when it rains as was our case.
bayon-temple-siem-reap
Just like Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple also has mysteries of its own.  It enthralls you, captivates you, amazes you!  Explainable or unexplainable, there are really some things here on earth that are beyond our comprehension.  Sometimes, we just have to accept such things 'coz they are better left unexplained so just let go.  #hugot  Haha!!!
bayon
There are still more mysteries to unravel around Angkor Thom so stay tuned only here on The Other Side of Mae! :) #tosomtravels
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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Saving My First Kiss


Being a teenage girl with raging hormones - I missed out on that.
Going to the prom with a date - I missed out on that.
Receiving love notes, flowers, chocolates - I missed out on that.
Having hatid-sundo - I missed out on that too.
Oh, there are just so many things that I've missed out! However, reading books like this makes me realize that I'm not the only person in this world who misses out so much! So instead of ranting, I have to appreciate that:
I was that teenage girl who earnestly sought God rather than going out to the world (but I backslid these past years and that's another story)!
I actually go on plenty of dates with my varied circles of friends (teens who are my students, colleagues who are younger than me, batchmates of my age, single titas who are older than me, and sisters in Christ who are my sounding board to keep my sanity)!
I'm having a fair share of love notes, flowers, and chocolates every now and then from my sweet students/anaks (if I haven't became a teacher, I would not have received any)!
I'm enjoying the privilege of having my Papa as my driver who supports me in all my laags and patiently waits for me while I'm out there partying (though he keeps on reminding me of our 10 PM curfew)!
And so the list continues as there are still more things to be thankful for! Now I understand what is meant by saying, "the perks of being single". Yes, at 33 (going 34 next month), I'm proud of this status! I'm proud and loudly saying that I'm still NBSB 'coz I'm #SavingMyFirstKiss for that person God has in store for me! (I'm practicing purity ever since I've heard about my late Pastor Kuya Linus' preaching on the 3 M's - Master, Mission, Mate almost two decades ago). You might be blown at this revelation so I'd like to also say that I am not of this world. I am set apart for my Master! #tosomreads
Thanks to Lisa Velthouse, a mighty woman of God for sharing this book to all single Christian ladies who are also saving their first kiss for the man God prepares for them at the altar! :)
P.S. Thanks also to my new sister in Christ, Jessa Mier Cos for the book and to my forever atsi, Ann Sharon Lee for the berry sweet Japanese treat!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Feature Friday: Re Café


Photo Grabbed from Re Café
Feature Friday highlights businesses, people, fashion, and basically anything under the sun!
Word of mouth has it!  The rumored homemade burger in Circumferential Road is indeed a bomb!  The news has been spreading all over town since August but I had a hard time looking for the place 'coz it doesn't have a signage yet.  Well, as I've said "homemade", the café is just like a backyard hobby/toy of Ozamiz' renowned photographer, Laurence "Enshong" Miranda.  It is at their very own residence, right across Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses or let's just have Firm Foundation Christian Academy 'coz that's more prominent.
Anyway, I was so glad that Christ brought me to the place last Saturday for our One-to-One discipleship.  As we entered Re Café, the place was full of familiar faces.  Very familiar if I might add 'coz most of them were/are my students.  Getting a seat was also hard 'coz the space is small which is to be expected for a starting business.  I guess Laurence is still experimenting on being an entrepreneur as he is also experimenting in the kitchen with his very own goodies.
Speaking of goodies, there goes the burger which he calls hanbāgā.  Not his own word of course 'coz that's how to say hamburger in Japanese.  The owner is an avid fan of anime by the way.  As proof, you can also see some of his collector's item anime dolls in the place.  Anyhow, the hanbāgā is really big!  Jumbo bun, massive patty, whole strip of bacon, tomato, lettuce, and smothered with generous cheese.  At first, I thought I couldn't eat the whole burger but as Christ and I went into our discussion, I was surprised to have gobbled up every bit of it.  Mind you, it is not something that you'll easily get enough with.  The patty is so tender, made with real meat and no extenders.  You can say that it really is pure meat 'coz it falls into pieces once cut.  Additionally, you can also tell that it has no preservatives by the look itself.  It's freshly made, organic in my opinion, much more with the fresh lettuce and tomato.
To match with the burger, we ordered Oreo Milkshake and Banana Nutella Milkshake.  I had the latter.  One sip of it and I forgot my name!  Lol!  Seriously, it was heaven!  I really really love Nutella and the drink doesn't disappoint.  It is so smooth, not too sweet, and just has the right blend of everything in it.  Additionally topped with ice cream and I went nuts!  But wait, was it whipped cream or ice cream?  Duh!  It seemed like ice cream to me!  Haha!  For me it's superb that I almost had a brain freeze!  Hehe.....
re-cafe-ozamiz-burger
Now thanks to Kring2x for suggesting Re Café to be our One-to-One venue.  I will definitely go back to have a taste of their s'mores and crêpe.  So that makes dining in Ozamiz Americanized.  Thanks for bringing this concept to the city, Enshong!  As for the menu, it's OK to stick with the choices at the time being however, more tables and chairs please......Hehe.....  More power to you and to Re Café as you share to us your homemade goodies delicately handcrafted with so much love! :)
Credits to Enshong Miranda for the Photo
Credits to Enshong Miranda for the Photo

Friday, September 16, 2016

Familia Olandesca Thanksgiving Celebrations

2016 is a great year for us in the family since we celebrated three big occasions for the first 2 quarters of the year!  As a middle class family, it is rare for us to host parties or even just to invite friends over for lunch or dinner at our house.  Though me and my sisters cook, we only have an open house once a year and that is solely during new year's eve.  Or maybe I can appeal for twice 'coz it is when two years happen at the same setting.  You know, saying goodbye to the previous year and welcoming the new year.  And since we do that every year, that already counts for two!  Hehe.....  Now back to the topic.  This year has been extra special for us 'coz we had milestones which call for thanksgiving!
To start with, Papa celebrated his 65th birthday twice last March.  He had it at PNB, the love of his life and at the compound with the pastors, the second love of his life!  When compared with us, it is Papa who always gets giddy for birthdays.  He plans, he invites, he solicits!  Hehe.....  Yes, he does!  He wants everybody to participate in the celebration so he gets everyone involved by hook or by crook!  That's how unique our Papa is.  Getting his own plans done, with the expense of anybody.  Haha!  That's why people came to love him!
65th-birthday-celebration
Papa with His Fellow Retirees and the New Bankers
65th-birthday-celebration1
65th-birthday-celebration2
Papa's Celebration with the Pastors
65th-birthday-celebration3
A month after, our second sister April celebrated her 30th birthday and thanksgiving for passing the Singapore Nursing Board Exam at Bethany Gardens.  It was an exclusive party for immediate family and close friends.  But having gone out of Ozamiz for almost a decade now made us realize that she only had a few friends left in town.  So the party became extra exclusive so everybody were given more attention and the event was so intimate.  The party started with a brief preaching from Papa's bff pastor, Uncle Marion.  Everyone had a good laugh when he inserted that everybody must lay their hands up on us for God's blessing of future spouses.  Lol!  Good thing is, there's already a future spouse (God willing) on hand for our birthday girl!!!  Now that's an add-on to the thanksgiving!  Hehe.....
aprils-30th-birthdayaprils-30th-birthday1
aprils-30th-birthday2
Then two months after, it was Mama's turn.  She had the grandest birthday bash for the first time of her entire life!  At 65, it was also her retirement party so her colleagues were all present as well as two of our honorable government officials.  Nevertheless, the party was jam-packed with relatives, friends, and friends of friends!  As lovers of ballroom dancing, we hired Sir Cleofe, Misamis Occidental's ultimate one-man band to entertain us with live music.  To get the party going, Auntie Bebot and company gave a dance number after our (the 3 sisters) opening number with the DI's.  Yes, we also hired dance instructors so we'll have partners on the dance floor!  Unfortunately, no photos of us dancing were taken 'coz the audience were all mesmerized by our dance moves!  Haha!
mamas-65th-birthday1mamas-65th-birthday2mamas-65th-birthday4
The night was full of fun for Mama 'coz she didn't expect to have that much guests!  No program was prepared and there were plenty of bloopers but we still managed to pull the night off.  What's important was she enjoyed entertaining her guests and well-wishers.  Moreover, the De La Torre gang made a running man video wherein Mama participated with her very own version.
mamas-65th-birthday3
Thanks to Ate Maritcha of Bethany Gardens and to Cakes by Roxannie for the dessert table!  Balloons and giveaways still from Fascino by Maria Rosalia!  :)
img_3135
mamas-65th-birthdaySo this is how we celebrated for the first half of the year.  Of course there will still be other celebrations coming for the last quarter of 2016!  Thank you, Lord for all the blessings that You showered upon us!  Thank your for keeping us under Your grace all through these years! :)  Spend some quality time with your family, folks for it must be where your heart is! <3

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Whimsical Wednesday: Taste of Asia

Whimsical Wednesday shows my fancy in a myriad of beautiful things.
Asian cuisine epitomizes a bomb of spices, herbs, condiments, and seasonings!  Every meal is a complicated mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, incorporating all the go, grow, and glow foods which are meticulously prepared.  Each country in Asia boasts a specialty dish or dessert.  To enumerate a few, here are my memoirs from the travels I've had around the region:
laksa singapore
Laksa (Singapore, 2005)
Nasi Lemak (Malaysia, 2005)
Nasi Lemak (Malaysia, 2005)
Braised Chicken Wing Noodle (Hong Kong, 2014)
Braised Chicken Wing Noodle (Hong Kong, 2014)
Portuguese Egg Tart (Macau, 2014)
Portuguese Egg Tart (Macau, 2014)
Nom Bo Kho (Vietnam, 2015)
Nom Bo Kho (Vietnam, 2015)
Pad Thai (Thailand, 2016)
Pad Thai (Thailand, 2016)
Beef Lok Lak (Cambodia, 2016)
Utan Bicol (Philippines)
Utan Bicol (Philippines)
Already salivating?  With all of these specialties to offer, no wonder why Westerners always love to visit Asia!  So come to Asia and taste its exotic blend of flavors!
No time for an Asian tour yet?  Head on to Ulli's Streets of Asia in Ayala Terraces Cebu.  That's the nearest from here (Ozamiz) where you can have a bite of everything Asian!  #tosomeats #tosomtravels
Ulli's Streets of Asia, Ayala Terraces Cebu
Ulli's Streets of Asia, Ayala Terraces Cebu
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Friday, August 26, 2016

Feature Friday: SM Skating

Feature Friday highlights businesses, people, fashion, and basically anything under the sun!
 
“Please don’t let this feeling end, it might not come again…..” There goes the song as Lexie glides gracefully on ice in the 1978 romantic film, Ice Castles. How could I ever forget that movie! At the peak of VHS films, we watched it over and over again with my cousins as we had our annual summer vacation in Lipa. As a hopeless romantic fan, I wished to dance on ice as Lexie did in the movie. But there’s never snow in the Philippines so that childhood dream of stepping into ice only came to a realization now that I’m already an adult. Thanks to SM for granting a simple wish of this poor provincial girl!
ice skating philippines

Ice skating in the Philippines was brought to us by business tycoon, Mr. Henry Sy who owns the country's biggest chain of malls which is SM or Shoe Mart way back in 1992.  Yep, some 24 years ago already!  However, we never had the chance to try it as it was a luxury that only rich kids could afford.  So at 33, I am proud to say that I'm still delighted to have had tried skating on ice, thus fulfilling an itsy bitsy dream!
sm ice skating
Balancing on ice took time for me 'coz it was so slippery.  One move of one foot can make you slide all the way!  Left, fall.  Right, fall.  Left, right, fall!  That's the routine for beginners.  Once you fall, never spread your arms for another skater might run over you.  You have to take note that the blade of the ice skating shoes is very sharp.  So beware from exposing your limbs.  That's what our coaches warned us before hitting the ice rink!
philippines ice skatingMe and my sissy, June Ann may never be figure skaters but I was so happy we achieved balancing and walking with ice skates on.  Much more gliding on ice!  Yes, we did glided on ice!  Oh, what a joy we felt!  Thanks to our coaches!  Ooops, my apologies for forgetting your names.  Short-term memory loss.  Hehe.....  And just like before when I was younger, I still enjoyed watching the others do their graceful routines on ice.  This time, it was special 'coz I wasn't watching from the outside of the glass panel anymore.  I was already watching them while I was also in the inside!
sm ice skating
Unlimited skating is P420, locker rental is P50, companion pass is P100, assist coach is P150 for 30 minutes, skating aid is P100 per hour, and a pair of socks is P50.  All prices stated here are on a per pax basis as of summer 2016.  If you wanna train like the olympiad, Michael Christian Martinez, visit SM Skating's website here. You may also get updates on their latest promo and offers by following them on Twitter and FB.  Visit SM Skating in MOA where it is the coolest place in town!
sm ice skating1
You may also have fun ice skating at SM Megamall, SM Southmall, and SM Seaside City Cebu!
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

The South Gate of Angkor Thom

Gods on the left and demons on the right - these are the guardians of Cambodia's "Great City", Angkor Thom.  As you may look closely, bad-looking heads with eyes piercing on you lining up on one side and kind-looking ones smiling at you on the other side.  (Some of the heads here are only replicas due to preservation purposes of the original ones at the Angkor Conservancy.)  Source:  tourismcambodia.com
the south gate of angkor thom cambodia
This long causeway leading to the ancient city of Angkor Thom depicts life's constant battle between good and evil ever since the beginning of time.  We, human beings are always put in between choosing what is good or what is evil.  We are always on the verge - which way, which way?  Call me a liar.  We do not always choose what is good, right?  So for me, this is what this causeway represents and no matter what we choose, there's also always a supreme being watching over us just like this gate tower of the many faces of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.
South Gate of Angkor Thom Cambodia
If Angkor Wat houses a number of different kinds of Buddhas, Angkor Thom has the faces of Avalokiteśvara on top of its south gate tower, in 360-degree, representing omniscience.  That the Bodhisattva sees everything and knows everything thus, nothing could stay hidden from it.
Inside the Gate
Inside the Gate
Just like us.  Our ways, our thoughts, and our intentions are not hidden from God.  He sees everything and knows everything.  What we do in the open and what we do in secret, He surely knows.  All good deeds, He honors, given that the intention is pure.  All bad deeds, He despises, but sometimes He allows evil for evil.  He even knows our sin even if we haven't committed it yet.  As it is written,
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”   - Romans 3:11-12
So in between choosing what is good or evil, let us be reminded that there will always be consequences for every choice we make.  God created us in His own image and likeness.  God is holy and His standard is holiness.  However, we always fall short from His glory for He also gave us freewill.  Freewill to be on our own, to make our own decisions.  Good or evil?  In the gods side or the demons side?  That's why Jesus taught us how to pray:  "Deliver us from evil.  Amen." - Matthew 6:9-13
angkor thom
What's inside the great city of Angkor Thom?  Find out on my next post only here on The Other Side of Mae!  :) #tosomtravels
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Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Other Side of Mae @ 5!

Five years ago, I started a blog.  A blog not grand, a blog unnoticeable, a blog intended only to document my simple life.  But to my surprise, along came people reading me.  With their sweet words, I got inspired to write more.  Their encouragement propelled me to take on another step.  So here it is!  After five years of journeying with you, maeolandesca.com is finally up today!  A blog systematized for your easy access.  A blog that's wonderful, whimsical, delightful, awe-inspiring, and brilliant, made with love and oh-so fantabulous experiences!  Hope you're gonna love it and do journey with me today, tomorrow and forever! <3


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tom Yum

   
             Serves:  5                                                                  Cooks in:  15 minutes
             Preparation:  15 minutes                                              Country of Origin:  Thailand

             Ingredients:

             1/4 kilo shrimps                                              green leafy vegetables         
             mushrooms                                                    dried chili
             lemongrass                                                    salt                   
             kaffir lime leaves                                            lemon             
             galangal                                                             
                                                                       
             Method:

           1.  Boil water.     
           2.  Add shrimps, mushrooms, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and dried chili.
           3.  Season with salt to taste.     
           4.  Top with green leafy veggies. 




Click here for another Thai dish recipe.  Click also below for related posts on Amazing Thailand!  #tosomtravels #tosomeats #tosomcooks



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Friday, July 22, 2016

Feature Friday: Puesto

Feature Friday highlights businesses, people, fashion, and basically anything under the sun!

Photo Grabbed from Maria Suzanne Saulong
Puesto is the Spanish word for post.  Since we have been under the Spaniards for more than 300 years, we had adopted their words into our language.  So puwesto in Tagalog and Cebuano means post, position, rank, seat, or place.  And Puesto in Ozamiz is the newest place in town which opened last month as a restobar.

Located at the 2nd floor of the de Barras building near the City Hall Grounds of Ozamiz, Puesto offers a beautiful view of the sunset at its left side.  I just found that out yesterday afternoon as I looked up the sky and was surprised by the glorious sight I just witnessed.  Behind the clouds were the radiant rays of the setting sun, making me imagine that God was residing there at the other side.  So no need to go to the roof deck of Temples Bar in Cambodia just to witness a beautiful sunset (might as well tell Atsi Ann this).  It is actually here in our very own city that we can experience one and let me insert, watching nature in awe also depends on a person's state of mind and heart.  Now go out and smell the flowers, all you who are stressed!

Anyway, aside from the wonderful sunset, Puesto had turned the place inviting with its bright lights.  Its newly furbished interior gives it a cozy ambiance.  Rustic in design, I love its laidback style.  It just suits my personality of simplicity and minimalist lifestyle.  In addition, they also have their placemats customized and mason jars for the utensils.  With only these minor details, I can say that Puesto can be at par with posh restos we visit in big cities.
Now with the food!  The food is really good and not commercialized.  It reflects the design of the place which is homey in attitude.  In our language, lutong bahay.  Cashew Waldorf Salad for starter opens up your appetite.  It's a mix of apples, celery, and I could see that they were not using cashew but walnuts instead.  It was such a delish!  So light and low in calories.  Then the Sinigang Tuna followed which Papa loved so much.  It's asim-kilig as a TV ad goes.  For the main course, Crispy Tadyang is the specialty of the house.  It is fried beef ribs that is sarap to the bones.  And though calamares, sisig, and chicken buffalo wings are classified as beer match or pulotan, we had 'em as viands because we are Filipinos and anything will do for viands for us Filipinos.  Hehe.....  Moreover, I loved the chicken wings which tasted almost the same as Chef Lau's.  It's sweet, spicy, and flavorful with a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top.  By the way, the portion of their servings is just right to the price for each entrée.   
So for a relaxing aftie for yourself, a bountiful dinner with your family, or just a quick drink with your friends, head on to Puesto!  My apologies for not getting its exact address but it's just at the right side of Ozamiz City Hall.  The former Gat's Bar and Across actually.  Get the picture?  Now tag along your friends for another food tripping adventure!  #tosomeats
With Kuya Rio de Barras

For questions, invites, and collaborations, direct message me on Facebook.  For updates on my whereabouts and whatabouts, follow me on Twitter and Instagram! :)
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