Monday, April 7, 2014

2story kitchen in Dumaguete

You will not mistake 2story Kitchen for any other restaurant in town.

The street view at night reveals a loft bathe in warm lights. Each small table is accented with a green lampshade. On one corner, a lonesome habitue tinkers his tablet; at the other end, a couple clowns around, oblivious of passers-by.

 Inside, its distinctly playful interior sets it apart from the competition. The menu, a selection of about 60 flavorful dishes (Korean-Filipino comfort food), is a culinary treat--from ssamgyupsal to seafood pasta to a humungous bowl of halo-halo for five people!

My Photography students and I had the good fortune of tasting all the dishes as part of a project.

Location: Santa Catalina Street, Dumaguete City
Contact Number: 0915 645 1995
Cafe Hours: 8:00AM-12:00MN daily

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

crossFit in Dumaguete

For the uninitiated, crossFit is a fitness program. But unlike any fitness program, a crossFit gym has no treadmill, no fitness machines.

A quote written in chalk just below the different routines read "We don't use machines. We make our own." In the last three sessions that I attended (save for some pilates equipment that I saw), gym rats have been using ropes, old tractor tires and improvised stairs among others.

I first heard about a similar strength and conditioning program two years ago in Epic Performance and Fitness Solutions in Cebu. The rate was rather hefty so I stuck to my yogalates and membership in Holiday Gym. A few weeks ago, the local paper Dumaguete MetroPost published an article about a newly opened gym called crossFit. I got curious and paid P100 for a session as a walk-in guest.   

The first session was all about assessment. After a few rounds of jogging, I was asked to do the plank, then step-up on an improvised ladder then a routine with the rope. I almost passed out. Two days later, I had the worst delayed muscle onset soreness that went on for 3 days! On my second session, I brought with me my Outdoor Education students for conditioning in preparation for our hiking and climbing trip. The third session was the most intense by far. It focused on the legs and core muscles. I did step-up on a tire for one thousand times! Then a lot of floor routines like crawl and mountainer's climb among others. That was good sweat! The fourth session was more on team exercises using bar, tractor tire and weights. All these in a military training vibe with a happy mix of people.

What I like about crossFit is its unpredictability. I was dead bored with the routines at World Fitness so I quit. It's too early to tell but it appears that my mind and body have been very receptive to all the pleasant surprises in every session.

CrossFit Dumaguete
Erco Sports Center, YMCA Compound,
Dumaguete City
contact number:  09278139280

gym schedule: Mondays thru Saturdays from 6:00-12:00PM; 3:00-8:00PM
rates: walk-in Php100/session; members Php 1,000/month plus Php200 one-time membership fee

finding the lost city of Bantil in Negros Island

A favorite topic spoken in hush-hush tone among historians is the missing chapter of Antonio Pigafetta's chronicle on the fabled city of Bantil in Negros Island.

The well-guarded chapter is an account on how Ferdinand Magellan and his men discovered and consequently obliterated a thriving city deep in the jungle in an island west of Zubu (present-day Cebu) and northwest of Isla del Fuegu (present-day Siquijor).

The hard to find entrance to the city has been a puzzle for years. There are many versions but the most popular one is that it could be accessed by going deep into a cave with hot spring water that ran through it. 

The missing chapter according to a well-known archeologist at the National Museum mentioned that before the carnage Bantil was a prosperous city in the sky that turned red during summer because of the blooms from fuego trees that covered all the vacant spaces in the city. The houses were all built high, either on top or around massive acacia trees, had thatched roofs and interconnected by intricately designed bamboo bridges. The heart of the city was the resplendent house of its head priestess Margaja-- a house decorated with diamond beads and strung together in gold thread at the main entrance. Below this opulent house were four tubs with turquoise water. An active volcano which all the natives worshiped stood as the backdrop of the prosperous city.

After years of research, all clues lead to a small barangay called Baslay in Dauin, Oriental Negros.
(to be continued)
*printed with permission from the National Museum of the Philippines