's Mall der? Stay In!

This is kind of how I feel in this heat: drianed, lethargic and all dried up! Eerie isn't it? This was at UP.
Just when my poor little toe is beginning to heal and walking gingerly is a thing of the past, my UP Sundays (walk days) are threatened by a burning hot and humid summer.
BTW I wonder what ginger has to do with this word, doesn’t all plant hood grow by the inch (even less)? Why is ginger singled out?)

Walking on the streets is like being roasted alive. 35 degrees and it will get worse.
It is a relief to get any kind of shade. I would hide in the long thin strip of shadow of lamp and electric posts; duck (literally walking single file) under overhangs and shed; and run for the nearest dappled shade of roadside trees (too few and far between in the Metro and definitely absent at the traffic intersections where you interminably wait for the PEDXing (pedestrian crossing) light.
The newshens tell you not to go out between 10am to 3pm and to bring water for fear of dehydration. I’ve taken to bringing a liter with me because I didn’t want to take the now seemingly “grilling” extra steps to stores. Where I used to enjoy little detours, I won’t go now.
Only detour I’d make from my Ortigas Avenue meetings is to go to Shangri-La Plaza to cool off before taking the light rail train home (MRT has a connecting walkway to the mall).

You could say I’m always at the mall these days, for shopping (True Value) and take in some shows. The malls, particularly Shangri-La EDSA, are great venues to get a bit of art and culture. I chanced upon the Ikenobo Exhibit recently.

I love flowers but don’t get any. The men I knew, ex or not, shy away from giving me bouquets. I seriously don’t know why. One then boyfriend told me he got me flowers but decided to stuff it in the trunk at the last minute...and told me all about it a week later. Another saw me looking at a rose peddler while we were stuck in traffic and had to ask if I wanted one. You never ask a girl if they want flowers, you just give. The ones who refuse flowers or profess to not want them are the ones who don’t like you and don’t want any from you. The gift of flowers is not at all cheesy – it is a kind of appreciation for the girl or woman we are (or in us, if it wasn’t obvious), no matter how accomplished. Incidentally, you could try your hand at Ikebana when your bouquet starts getting droopy.

I only had my phone with me, a decent Lenovo Q350. Takes okay enough pictures except when I rock on my feet a little or the subject moves, the image gets blurry. It doesn’t have a flash either but I like the painting like effect low light unintentionally creates in these flower pictures. And how about that fotor collage? Like much! : )
Who knew you can use mealy bug thingy speckled palm fronds, caterpillar ravaged leaves, and twigs stuck upside down. Paired with flowers and buds with armadillo shell like petals and pods and berries, the Ikebana is a tad more modern artsy and dramatic.

The next week I was at Robinson’s Place. for a cook fest held there. I’m no pro at emceeing butI joined in the informal but seriously cooking competition between hotel and restaurant/hospitality students.(though I am way older, campus people are my peeps ha-ha). The students had to cook within 60 minutes and everyone holds their breath (well, kind of) at judging time. .It was fun though! Three schools came up top: Far Eastern University; La Consolacion College; and San Sebastian College.

I tasted interesting food! Escargot with the snail meat taken out, creamed and then put back into the shell; planking lapu-lapu (grouper fish: guess how it planks hahaha); caimito (star apple or milk fruit) flan; duhat (java plum or jambul) cheesecake; coffee crusted steak; bitter gourd or ampalaya ice cream; crab meat and bangus belly wrapped in taro leaves with coconut curry cream sauce and topped with spicy dilis (anchovies) and mango shreds, looking a lot like a giant burrito. I don't have pictures because there's an official mag coming out.

In February, the malls were all decked up in Chinese New Year red and gold that turned pink and crimson for Valentines. While I didn’t take part in the fuss, I trolled the malls free concerts and musicals, the love month always choice for catching the Philharmonic Orchestra, quartets, balladeers, opera, and theater singers. It’s also research for me, for ideas decorating or planning events.

Sta. Lucia East set up a love park with trees to hang love notes from, a nifty idea when you learn each note meant money for charity, not just pogi points. This year’s lent message at the Greenbelt Chapel is clear: your sacrifice should count for something. Spend a little so you could give. Abstinence from something should be a way to help someone else.

So that was how my February and mid March went. In full color, much fanfare, and downright commercial celebrating which on occasion, serves. Because really, if not for the malls (and S&R) that make you spend on heart cakes, greeting cards, lucky charms, all kinds of cutesy, bouquets and celebration food, the special days won’t have that extra wow factor! Facebook greetings are nice but I’d rather celebrate live! : )
I didn't get to eat mall food though, because often, I was just passing through.  I did get to catch my breath after work and a doggone afternoon at yet another mall event, the 50th PCCI Philippine Circuit Dog Show where my friends from the Alaskan Malamute Club of the Philippines participated. I was there for moral support and to ogle my fur friends. You see, my UP walk is spent with Puck the Boston terrier.  At the Quezon Memorial Circle run, I am partnered with one of two malamutes, Stanley mostly.  It's kind of a drag race (I am invariably dragged or had to race to keep up), really. I love these two but I can't have one. I'm already responsible to two feisty doggies and I don't have airconditioning.
  Anyway, this wouldn't be my blog if there's no food in sight right? So here it is! The doggies' momma took me to Sonsi's for Tuguegarao Longaniza, San Mig Light for my friend and Stella Artois, my kind of beer : ) We bought more for our breakfast fry up and ate 'em with another friend's home made kimchi and mung bean side dishes.  I am telling you, it's a match made in foodie heaven - salty,spicy, garlicky good, crunchy and tender all at the same time! Of course you don't eat the "sticks".  Bliss!

p.s. Extra long post I know.  Catching up!!! : )




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