Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy 85th Birthday, Nanay!

Maxima Reynaldo, my mother-in-law and the inspiration for the character of "Imang" in The Yellow Bar, turned 85 this week. She has accepted her birthday with her usual quiet dignity and grace. (It was our family that made such a fuss. I'm sure she would have been happier if we'd just let her play Mahjong with her friends as usual.)

Happy Birthday Maxima! You are a hero in so many ways. No book could do you justice.

Color Photos by Kong Reynaldo.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Retro Filipino Breakfast!

Pork alert. I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Manila to see family and to photograph historical sites from The Yellow Bar. On one lucky morning, me and my nephew, Kong Reynaldo, stopped by the Aristocrat Restaurant for breakfast. I do not know who owns this diner, but I'm going to do a 5 star review for them just the same.

I ordered the Longanisa plate. This is the best breakfast in the Philippines. Period. Here's what's it is: Two (2) perfect eggs, garlic rice, coffee and two (2) Longanisa sausages. If you have never eaten a Longanisa sausage; it is the sweet and flavorful pork sausage of the gods. There are many varieties of Longanisa in the Philippines, but the ones at this restaurant are masterpieces. Delicately charred and seasoned with sage– it will send you to heaven. Served with a vinegar dip to take the edge off all the fat you're consuming. (On the left is a picture I took after the second bite. It demanded to be preserved for history!)

The Aristocrat has been there since 1936. It is spacious, comfortable, and spotlessly clean. A family diner, nothing fancy, but much better than any over-priced 5 star hotel.

If you're in town, you must go there: 432 San Andres Street, Malate, Manila. (Located a few steps from historic Malate Church.) Take Roxas Blvd. Easy parking. Get a window seat so you can view Manila Bay.