Saturday, May 16, 2015


This post resurrects my lost love for poetry.  Poems bring to life that hidden voice in our psyche on thoughts, both real and abstract.

Last week, I received a special gift from Lau, a friend and colleague. It was a book of poems Things Happen, written (and signed) by his father Cirilo F. Bautista, the National Artist for Literature.  I thank Lau not only for the book, but also for reawakening the lost poet within.

And while I can only dream of having my own anthology published, I meanwhile bask in this little world for a few seconds of fleeting attention.

Starting with this poem I wrote in the late 90s. 


I smelled fear.
Veiled contempt
cloaked in blank stares
and aggression.
But then,
I see what is real.
And I saw your fear.

I smelled fear.
Floating adrift
with the stale air.
to cut through me.
But instead it cut you.

I smelled fear.
Crouching in your darkness.
But then,
you cannot hide from me.

I will find you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Aling Taleng's Halo Halo

If you happen to go for a road trip further south of Laguna- to the Pagsanjan-Cavinti road, don't miss a chance to drop by Aling Taleng's Halo-halo. It has been in business since 1933.

Halo Halo goodness!

My husband hails from Cavinti and we have actually passed by Aling Taleng's more than a hundred times over many years.  When we returned to the Philippines in 2013, we noticed that Aling Taleng's usual hole-in-the-corner look is sporting splashes of sunny colors, making it stand out from an otherwise busy small town road. The place is also air-conditioned which is a welcome treat especially during hot and humid seasons in the Philippines.

It is actually more than just a halo halo kiosk, it is a restaurant that serves a full menu of local favorites ranging from all-day breakfast, seafood, chicken cooked different ways, sinful crispy pata, pata tim, lechon kawali and vegetable dishes. They also have the diner-variety faves like fried chicken and burger.

My favorite is the Tortang Patola.  Saw this in the menu and really got curious... I was not disappointed. Minced patola with a perfect coat of golden batter, crisp on the outside but surprisingly tasty for a quite-bland veggie. Whenever we dine at Aling Taleng's, Kyla and I look forward to ordering the Tortang Patola. We also love the Crispy Tilapia and the Butter & Garlic Chicken.

Loved the Tortang Patola

Garlic Fried Chicken

Not to forget the star of the menu -- the halo halo, but of course! The serving is generous with finely shaved ice and topped with a sweetened kundol. I am not a fan of halo halo but I would make an exception for Aling Taleng's. I particularly like finely shaved ice bits, halo halo is not overly sweet and ingredients have generous portions. The sweet kundol topping also worked for me instead of the usual ice cream. Definitely worth a trip!

And oh, you will be delighted to know that they have Wifi too!