Monday, September 22, 2008

the highs and lows of a sunday in september (part 1)

yesterday was one sunday for the books. not only was it probably the best sunday i have ever had, it was also the most jam packed, comprising of ALL the stuff that i would consider as fun!

it all started with dress up (of course). ever since coming back from dubai, i have been having a love affair with clothes. not saying that i'm striving for carry bradshaw levels but just that now, i'm actually having more fun getting dressed. bro and i are scheduled to go to a walking tour this morning of intramuros so i opted to go for a nice thin, retro-esque leaf green polo shirt i got from a store the other day (no plug-ins here i'm afraid, unless i get paid! hehehe), my faded pale grey jeans, my hounds tooth canvas belt, and my chucks. to accessories, my trusty aviators :)

the week prior, kuya booked us on a walking tour by eccentric historian, carlo celdran, on the historic city of intramuros. i have been hearing and reading of his tours for so long but just never got to actually consider going, particularly because i have been to intramuros countless times, and also, i have yet to find someone who would like to go on it with. going with kuya, being the urbanite that he is, well, just never came into mind. that was, until he invited me instead! of course being the history buff that i am, i was elated!!!!

I LOVE INTRAMUROS. i cannot say it enough. i may not be rich enuf to fly off to europe, to prague, london, cordova, salamanca, valencia, venice, milan, rome and paris, but i can always drive myself to intramuros. with a little imagination, it's almost as good.

carlo celdran and the tour was just as i had expected. it did not disappoint. not only was celdran able to summarize 400 years of colonial history into a 3 hour tour, he was able to do it without loosing ur attention. no long boring lecture about facts and figures here, he was in every way captivating. with his costume changes, voice overs and props, he was able to dramatize every single significant event in our history that somehow explains who we are as a people. his passion for the nation's past, as well as it's heritage is intoxicating. true, his appoach may be unconventional but it was definitely in every way effective. listening to him was like taking a whiff of fresh air. my love for history was validated. i especially enjoyed seeing how the foreigners in the tour reacted to him. celdran painted a beautiful picture for them to behold and see our country in a way few (even the locals) ever see. i believe, as long as there are people like celdran who teach about and love this country with the same fire in their bellies, then there is still hope for us all. hope that one day, we all will love this place as we should and start to actually take care of it... as we should.

after the tour, kuya and i headed to have lunch at this charming art deco house along the malacanan palace compound called la cocina de tita moning. this used to be the ancestral home of the legarda family that the current generations decided to turn into a museum cum restaurant. they dont accept walk ins except for those who join celdran's tours. to dine here, one usually has to book in advance and select their menu online (very advanced i have to say for such an ancient looking house).

the house was charming to say the least and was very well preserved. there were moments where in things got a bit creepy but then, its typical of all old houses. basing on its decor, u can tell that the legardas were very affluent. nothing drives the point in more than the huge hidlago painting, as well as the luna, that hangs on their living room wall.

our lunch was short of divine as well as sinfully gluttonous. o my goodness, by the time desert was served, i was near splitting in two. just to give u guys an idea of what we ate, we had....
onion soup and gambas al ajillo (prawns swimming in roasted garlic olive oil and salsa) for starters. we then had grilled eggplant salad, lengua cooked in white wine, paella valencia and sauteed fresh ubod as our entree. desert comprised of a fruit platter with cheese assortment and rice pudding, flambed bananas with rosemary chocolate sauce. i swear, having the coffee after was laboreous!!!! i was sooooo stuffed i wanted to cry. kuya didnt even bother touching the desert. he just took a pic of it for posterity :)

after managing to pry ourselves off our chairs and back into the car and vowing to NEVER eat like that again, it was imperative that we walk off our stomachs. the mall was the obvious choice. off we went to our weekly haunt!

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