Monthly Archives: December 2011

Rizal Day

100_5580

The “piso-inspired” medal in this photo is a finisher’s medal distributed by Greentennial Run during the running event Run Rizal held on September 18, 2011.  The run is a tribute and in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Philippine’s National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal (June 19, 1861).

The photo below is the actual Philippine One Peso Coin (PhP 1.00) with the bust image of Dr. Jose Rizal.

100_8656

December 30 is a national holiday in the Philippines called Rizal Day commemorating the day of execution of Dr. Jose Rizal at Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park) in 1896.

More information about the life of Dr. Jose Rizal here and Rizal Day here.  Below is the text of the poem “Mi Ultimo Adios” (My Final Farewell), written by Dr. Jose Rizal in Fort Santiago on the eve of his execution on December 30, 1896.

Mi Ultimo Adiós
Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida,
Perla del Mar de Oriente, nuestro perdido Eden!
A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida,
Y fuera más brillante más fresca, más florida,
Tambien por tí la diera, la diera por tu bien.

En campos de batalla, luchando con delirio
Otros te dan sus vidas sin dudas, sin pesar;
El sitio nada importa, ciprés, laurel ó lirio,
Cadalso ó campo abierto, combate ó cruel martirio,
Lo mismo es si lo piden la patria y el hogar.

Yo muero cuando veo que el cielo se colora
Y al fin anuncia el día trás lóbrego capuz;
Si grana necesitas para teñir tu aurora,
Vierte la sangre mía, derrámala en buen hora
Y dórela un reflejo de su naciente luz.

Mis sueños cuando apenas muchacho adolescente,
Mis sueños cuando joven ya lleno de vigor,
Fueron el verte un día, joya del mar de oriente
Secos los negros ojos, alta la tersa frente,
Sin ceño, sin arrugas, sin manchas de rubor.

Ensueño de mi vida, mi ardiente vivo anhelo,
Salud te grita el alma que pronto va á partir!
Salud! ah que es hermoso caer por darte vuelo,
Morir por darte vida, morir bajo tu cielo,
Y en tu encantada tierra la eternidad dormir.

Si sobre mi sepulcro vieres brotar un dia
Entre la espesa yerba sencilla, humilde flor,
Acércala a tus labios y besa al alma mía,
Y sienta yo en mi frente bajo la tumba fría
De tu ternura el soplo, de tu hálito el calor.

Deja á la luna verme con luz tranquila y suave;
Deja que el alba envíe su resplandor fugaz,
Deja gemir al viento con su murmullo grave,
Y si desciende y posa sobre mi cruz un ave
Deja que el ave entone su cantico de paz.

Deja que el sol ardiendo las lluvias evapore
Y al cielo tornen puras con mi clamor en pos,
Deja que un sér amigo mi fin temprano llore
Y en las serenas tardes cuando por mi alguien ore
Ora tambien, Oh Patria, por mi descanso á Dios!

Ora por todos cuantos murieron sin ventura,
Por cuantos padecieron tormentos sin igual,
Por nuestras pobres madres que gimen su amargura;
Por huérfanos y viudas, por presos en tortura
Y ora por tí que veas tu redencion final.

Y cuando en noche oscura se envuelva el cementerio
Y solos sólo muertos queden velando allí,
No turbes su reposo, no turbes el misterio
Tal vez acordes oigas de citara ó salterio,
Soy yo, querida Patria, yo que te canto á ti.

Y cuando ya mi tumba de todos olvidada
No tenga cruz ni piedra que marquen su lugar,
Deja que la are el hombre, la esparza con la azada,
Y mis cenizas antes que vuelvan á la nada,
El polvo de tu alfombra que vayan á formar.

Entonces nada importa me pongas en olvido,
Tu atmósfera, tu espacio, tus valles cruzaré,
Vibrante y limpia nota seré para tu oido,
Aroma, luz, colores, rumor, canto, gemido
Constante repitiendo la esencia de mi fé.

Mi Patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores,
Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adios.
Ahi te dejo todo, mis padres, mis amores.
Voy donde no hay esclavos, verdugos ni opresores,
Donde la fé no mata, donde el que reyna es Dios.

Adios, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
Adios, dulce extrangera, mi amiga, mi alegria,
Adios, queridos séres morir es descansar.

Puto Bumbong

100_8321

Puto bumbong derives from the words “puto” (steamed glutinous rice) and “bumbong” (bamboo canon or cylinder).

Puto Bumbong like Bibingka is a traditional Christmas food usually being sold outside of churches during the Christmas season after Simbang Gabi. (Misa de Gallo / Dawn Mass) and Pinoys  habitually eat these two rice cakes together.

Puto Bumbong looks quite unique than the other Philippine Rice cakes because of its purple color and its thin long shape.  The shape is the result from the process of cooking it from the bamboo tube where it is named after, while the color comes from the violet rice called “pirurutong”.  It is served with margarine, sugar and grated coconut and like bibingka, it is served hot.

100_8320

The lansungan or a specially made steamer is constructed with two protruding tubes on a kettle like shaped steamer. The tubes are for holding the bamboo tubes filled with the puto bumbong mixture in order for the steam to pass through

100_8347

It takes only seconds for the puto bumbong to cook and the speed at which it is done is almost as fascinating as the taste.

Here’s one “How to Make Puto Bumbong” that I got from a Filipino Recipe page from the web.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 2 tsp purple food color (ube)
  • 2 cups water
  • panutsa (sugar cane sweet) or mascuvado (raw sugar)

Utensils:

  • knife
  • muslin cloth
  • sifter or strainer
  • 2 pcs bamboo tube (bumbong)
  • steamer for making puto
Puto Bumbong Cooking Instructions:
  • Soak glutinous rice in water overnight.

  • Grind the soaked rice.

  • Mix food color while the glutinous rice is being ground.

  • Wrap the ground glutinous rice on a piece of muslin cloth and place it in a strainer to drain excess liquid. Another technique in draining excess liquid is by pressing a heavy object that has been placed over the muslin cloth.

  • Once the ground rice has slightly dried, rub it against the screen of a strainer to produce coarse grained rice flour.

  • The rice flour for making puto bumbong is now ready to cook.

  • Fill each bamboo tube (bumbong) with just enough glutinous rice and put them into the steamer. See to it that the steamer contains boiling water.

  • Steam rice flour in the bamboo tubes for 10 minutes.

  • Once cooked, shake out the contents of each bamboo tube or remove the cooked glutinous rice from the bumbong with the help of a knife.

  • Spread butter on the puto bumbong and place a small piece of panutsa (sugar cane sweets) or 1 tbsp. of mascuvado (raw Sugar)

  • Add a small amount of grated coconut before serving.

Charcoal Stove for Cooking Bibingka

100_8126

This is the “charcoal stove” being used to cook the “Bibingka” or the Filipino Traditional Christmas Rice Cake.  They are are handmade from either clay or cement.

The preparation of Bibingka is very time consuming.

  • A specially made clay pan is lined with banana leaf then placed on top of this kind of stove with pre-heated charcoals.
  • When the clay pan is a bit heated, the Bibingka mixture will be poured into it, then another piece of banana leaf will be placed on top of the mixture to cover it.
  • Another “pan” of pre-heated coal is placed on top of the clay pan of bibingka mixture. The “pan” of coal is usually made from scraps of galvanized iron.
  • The heat from the burning coals should be balanced and just enough to “bake” the bibingka gradually to the desired sponge-like texture. A slightly charred Bibingka is acceptable and is sometimes preferred by buyers.

This charcoal stove is very popular back in the days when the LPG gas stove is not yet available.  People prefer to cook food using charcoal instead of firewood because it does not produce smoke as much as the burning firewood.  Smoke from firewood sometimes affect the food taste and also cause coal stains on the pots.  In spite of the popularity of the LPG gas stove, most household still have this charcoal stove especially in the province, because it can be used anytime that you run out of LPG.  It is also being used for broiling.

Bibingka (Traditional Christmas Rice Cake)

100_8343

Bibingka is a traditional Christmas food usually being sold outside of churches during the Christmas season after Simbang Gabi / Misa de Gallo (Dawn Mass) along with the “Puto Bumbong”. The Bibingka in this photo is newly cooked topped with margarine and salted duck egg.  It comes along with a grated coconut and a free hot tea.  I bought this just outside a church right after the eight Dawn Mass (Simbang Gabi / Misa de Gallo) at PhP 50.00 (US$ 1.19). 

The price of Bibingka depends on the ingredients and toppings.  The basic ingredients are rice, flour and milk, or coconut milk or water. The common toppings are butter or margarine and salted duck eggs.  It looks like a spongy cake that is usually charred on both surface and infused with the unique smell of toasted banana leaves which makes it more appetizing.  It is best served hot.

Busy time for Bibingka vendors selling just outside the Sta. Clara de Montefalco Parish Church during the sixth Dawn Mass. 

100_8326

A charming and funny signage posted in a stall of a Bibingka vendor.  I took this photo after the third Dawn Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Church. The price of Bibingka here is PhP 30.00 (US$ 0.71) only.

100_8127

Today, there are more modern ways of cooking Bibingka such as baking them in actual oven in an ordinary cake pans, but the Pinoys (Filipino) still prefer the traditional way of  cooking Bibingka in a terra cotta pot lined with banana leaves atop a charcoal stove.

Parol (The Filipino Christmas Lantern)

This photo is taken from the grounds of an orphanage for gravely sick children. The group of miniature set of Parol hanging in this tree is one among the most ordinary kind of Parol.100_8429

This is taken from a churchyard wherein the Parol is planted in the soil through a stick instead of hanging it.  The Parol in this photo is a bit modern.  It has a built-in bulb that illuminates the star-shaped figure.

100_8137

Christmas in the Philippines would not be complete without the traditional Filipino Lantern or “Parol”.  “Parol” for Filipinos symbolizes the star that guided the Three Wise Men in search of Baby Jesus.

In the early days, Parol is traditionally made together by family members (not bought).  It is usually made from a thin bamboo frames created into star shape, then covered with Japanese Paper or “Papel de Japon”.  Two tails is also added that symbolizes the rays of the star.  Sometimes the Parol is being made from recycled materials such as foils from cigarette packs or chocolate wrappers, used plastic materials, soft drinks straws, disposable plastic cups and the likes.  They are also made in different shapes but the star-shaped Parol has always been the popular one. .

In the modern times Parol making has evolved and there are different materials being used.  A ready-made Parol became a common merchandise during the Christmas season, thus Filipinos just buy them instead of making them at home.  You can find all kinds of Parol anywhere made from low cost materials to the more expensive ones like Capiz.  Parol that are made from Capiz are usually being exported and the Philippines is well known for this.

During Christmas season in the Philippines, different kinds and sizes of multi-colored Parol can be seen everywhere.  From ordinary household, to business establishments, malls, buildings and even in passenger jeeps.  You can find streets and avenues ornate with a long stretch of Parol.

Truly, Parol represents the Filipinos passion for the Christmas tradition.  It has been the most recognizable Christmas decoration for Filipinos.  My brother who lives in Canada once told me that, when you see that there’s a hanging Parol in a house in Canada, there is no doubt that a Filipino is living in that house.

25 Centavo Coin

 

100_7104

This photo is taken on December 1, 2011 in front of the Quirino Grandstand, Manila Philippines during the second day of the event titled “Barya ng mga Bayani : The Power of Small Change” An event organized by The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Officers’ Club and Employees Association and the Kabayanihan Foundation.  Filipinos from all walks of life donated 25 centavo coins and volunteered to string the coins by themselves.  It is also known as the Philippine’s World Record Breaking Attempt for the Longest Line of Coins.   

The stringed 25 centavo coin is photographed here drenched in rain water because it rained the night before. The volunteers came in the early morning of the second day of the event to fix the rain-damaged parts and to continue with the chain. By the end of the day, the Philippines believes it has broken the Guinness World Record for having laid out the longest line of coins in the same denomination, when it completed a 73.02-kilometer line of 25-centavo coins.  It is still awaiting the nod from the Guinness World Record.

Here’s a trivia on the development of the 25 centavo coin

ENGLISH SERIES

Diameter 23.5
Composition Nickel Brass
Edge Reeded
Obverse Lady Liberty Striking an anvil with a hammer and Mt. Mayon, year of Minting
Reverse Bank title and coat or arms
Issue Date 1958
Withdrawal Date 1967

PILIPINO SERIES

Diameter 21.0mm
Composition Nickel Brass
Edge Reeded
Obverse Juan Luna
Reverse State title, coat of arms, year of minting
First Minting 1967
Withdrawal Date 1974

ANG BAGONG LIPUNAN SERIES

Diameter 21.0mm
Composition Nickel Brass
Edge Reeded
Obverse State Title, Juan Luna, value
Reverse “ANG BAGONG LIPUNAN” BSP logo, year of minting           
First Minting 1975
Withdrawal Date 1983

FLORA AND FAUNA SERIES

Diameter 21.0
Composition Brass
Edge Reeded
Obverse State title, Juan Luna, year of minting
Reverse Value, Graphium idaeoides   
First Minting 1983
Withdrawal Date 1990

IMPROVED FLORA AND FAUNA SERIES

Diameter 16.0mm
Composition Brass
Edge Plain
Obverse State title, Juan Luna, year of minting
Reverse Value, Graphium idaeoides   
First Minting 1991
Withdrawal Date 1994

CURRENT SERIES

Diameter 20.0mm
Weight/Composition/First Minted Yr. 3.8 g / Brass / 1995
Weight/Composition/First Minted Yr. 3.6 g / Brass plated steel /2004
Edge Plain
Obverse “Republika ng Pilipinas”, value, year of minting
Reverse Logo of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas   

Belen (Nativity Scene) at the Home of Joy

100_8418

This photo was taken at the grounds of the Missionaries of Charity Home of Joy for the Sick Children.  The simplicity of the nativity scene and all the other plain decorations surrounding the place reflects the purpose of what this place is for.  Here are some details about the Home of Joy.

    • The Missionaries of Charity is the order of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, located at 1030 Tayuman Street, Tondo, Manila, telephone number (+632) 255-0832 and contact person is Sister Anselm.

    • It is an orphanage for gravely sick children, those with Down’s syndrome, hydrocephalous, and the likes.

    • They also take care of sick but not abandoned children from vey poor families who bring their sick children to the nuns so the nuns can take care of them and provide them food and medicines.

    • They need donations for their mission.

Taking of photos of the sick children and their ward facility is strictly prohibited but it is allowed around the grounds only.  My husband took this photo during the simple Christmas program of the lost and abandoned old people who are housed just across the street from the Home of Joy.  It was the first time we visited the Home of Joy.