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With Atty. Kit Nieto , Mayor of Cainta, Rizal

With Atty. Kit Nieto , Mayor of Cainta, Rizal

I admired him from day one, rather from the day he introduced  himself and laid his agenda if he wins in our town.  He did with overwhelming support. Yesterday was the third time I met Mayor Kit Nieto but it was yesterday that I personally witnessed how he deals with his constituents – no fanfare, no fuss, just immediate actions on the problems at hand. We are so lucky to have someone who looks after the welfare of all the people of Cainta, be it personal problems, garbage collections in our area, improvements on the entire town, and such other important concerns that his constituents have.

It was my birthday and he gamely posed with me in a photo-op at his office when some of  my neighbors and I visited him yesterday. I told him in jest that if he becomes President someday, I would have this photo enlarged and framed.  He laughed.

Hats off to you Mayor Kit. We are so blessed  to have you around 🙂

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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

Minaluto

 

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.

 

sa-ugoy-ng-duyan

heny

self-portrait

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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