Posts Tagged ‘Angono’

Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.  ~Lydia M. Child

It is always a joy to visit the garden early in the morning. There is that feeling of being at peace with the universe when one is busy looking at the Koi gently swimming  and discovering something new – a bloom or a shoot of an annual plant that was not there on your last visit. I always look forward to seeing my Hoya orchids bloom every year. They are truly a sight to behold.  This morning I was pleasantly surprised when I saw several buds of flowers. There is no fixed month where one can see these flowers bloom, before you know it, they’re just there and all you need is to admire them and wait patiently for another shoot on another day. They seem to say, “you’re surprised, aren’t you” because they finally decided to show their face for you to utter those “oohs” and “aahs” because finally you have something to show for your effort after another year of regular watering. I thought of taking some shots but I could not upload them here anyway so I’ll just show what Hoya is like on a previous post that I did. Growing Hoya , you can find this at my Multiply blog.

Hoya belongs to species of hanging plants in the family Apocynaceae (Dogbane) and is commonly known as waxplant, waxvine or  waxflower probably because its small triangular  petals are wax-like and sturdy.

I have a close circle of friends at my Multiply home page and they’ve been my contacts for years. I normally don’t accept requests if I don’t know them personally but the other day, I was surprised that a certain Rembrandt Vocalan requested that I add him up, with a short note of thanks for blogging about Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant  located in the picturesque town of Angono. We went there two years ago to celebrate Valentine’s day. It turned out that Rembrandt is the son of the owner Pedrigon Vocalan. The former is an artist too and a photographer.  What a small world! One of these days, we may be able to revisit the place and explore the rich culture of Angono. It is known as the Arts Capital of the Philippines.


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Balaw Balaw is synonymous with native Philippine cuisine, exotic food and arts. I had a lesson in Arts when we visited this quaint place located in the heart of Angono. I could not express my delight in finding so many paintings on different subjects displayed in their three-storey gallery. I am ignorant when it comes to such a medium but I can admire a beautiful painting and a lovely wood carving.

Angono, Rizal is known as the Art Capital of the Philippines. It is the hometown of the famous artist Botong Francisco. Balaw Balaw started as a “tambayan” of sort by the owner, the late Perdigon Vocalan with his artists friends. It is now being managed by his wife. One of the waiters who served us is also an artist and his artworks are displayed at the second floor of the old building.

First thing you’ll see before entering the restaurant are these large busts. It was quite a little eerie seeing so many mascots hanging at the ceiling of the ground floor but the garden/pond in the middle of the restaurant is a welcome site. You could listen to old familiar music, think kundiman and Tagalog songs which you may not have heard  of for the last decade or two.They do offer exotic dishes like kamaro (cricket), frog legs, adobo or fried, fried itik, and the one which they call Uok, an edible worm found inside coconut trees.  We were not brave enough to try one. No exotic food please!




Minaluto is the specialty of the house. a big “bilao” consists of steamed rice, mussels, prawns, crab, water spinach, fried pork, salted red egg, tomatoes, eggplant and gambo. It’s a complete meal in itself, a typical  dish that you would find in any Filipino household specially during fiestas and other occasions so dear to us. Wow, this is what I like best, Sinigang na Kanduli sa Bayabas.  I like any kind of sinigang mixed with bayabas.  It reminds me of those days way back in the province when my three brothers and I used to climb guava trees to pick those ripe fruits for Mom’s kitchen. I love their Kare-Kareng Baka, beef chunks stewed in peanut sauce,  vegetables and shrimp pastes. Balaw balaw simply means shrimp pastes mixed with gruel and angkak, a food coloring to make it a little pinkish.

My son tried the Gayuma. It’s made  of coconut milk with gulaman (gelatin) cooked in  pandan. I settled for the safest drinks, buko juice (young coconut juice) and plain water.

We enjoyed going to the art gallery after our hearty lunch. What a sight, it was full of art collections and wood carvings.





The Gallery

The Gallery

Your visit to Angono would not be complete without dropping by this place.  This is not just an art gallery, but a museum of sort.

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