The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

20 November 2012

Eggs on the Aparador

The free-range chickens are so free that one decided to lay eggs on a glazed bonsai pot, on an antique aparadór in the cabana! This is one of the "concerns" of having open huts; open to the "elements" include not just the sun and rain but even domestic animals like dogs and chickens, and small reptiles.

It would be great though if she lays her eggs in the kitchen already!

18 November 2012


It's always sheer joy to see someone coming up the gate with a bagful of homemade súman! The locals always make some when there's a special occasion like a wedding or a big birthday party (which are fairly often), and of course, during the annual fiesta. My neighbors know that we love suman so they always send some my way!

This type (as there are as many kinds as locales) is THE suman of my barrio (or maybe Lipa-wide?): ground sticky rice (malagkít) mixed with coconut cream (gatâ) and refined sugar, then wrapped in banana leaves. Glorious!!!

11 November 2012

Earth Star

A beautiful surprise today: first time ever for me to see this bromeliad, Earth Star (Cryptanthus bivittatus) bloom! At first I thought the white flowers fell from a tree or was blown by the wind and landed suprisingly upright. But it turns out this bromeliad has reached full maturity and is now ready to produce offsets.

We've had these Earth Stars for around three years already; I distinctly recall a plant supplier giving it for free after purchasing a substantial number of greens. When we got to the farm, we did not know how to plant it; in fact it took me some time to learn that it is a bromeliad to begin with. In short, we've practically neglected it initially and yet it is a hardy plant and has now even bloomed.

04 November 2012


The locals call this tórdan (left), is it what we city folk call latundán? Or is it spelled la tundán, as in Spanish? We have a number of varieties of bananas within our farm, sabâ (right, plantain) being the most profuse. This tordan is much smaller and narrower, pointed just like the seňoríta variety, but the skin is not as thin.