Red Sun, Photo by PH Morton
Red Sun @ 3PM
It was a strange day today. At around 3oClock in the afternoon, the sky turned dirty yellow or has that sepia tone and then red. The atmosphere was just like the film or television science fiction which came to life.
Apparently this phenomenon was due to Hurricane Ophelia, which sadly battered the Republic of Ireland leaving at least three people dead
The MetOffice has said that the red colouring of the sky is due to the dust being pulled by the strong gust of wind from the Sahara desert in Africa.
The photo, by the way, was taken by Peter from our back garden here in North London. The sky was red and Peter just managed to take a small sunspot & flare coming off sun’s limb at 3 o’clock position (on the sun).
It’s beautiful but rather disconcerting as it reminded me of apocalyptic films often seen of films and television.
Sapin Sapin, Photo by Arnold Gamboa
Sapin Sapin Recipe
Sapin sapin is a dessert made up of colourful layers of glutenous rice.
Life size mortar and pestle, photo by JMorton
Agbayo (Life Size Mortar & Pestle)
The above photo was taken in Ferdinand Marcos’s Batac ancestral house. It was used when he was obviously younger as the mortar shows sign of erosion or depreciation.
Having lived in a farming community when I was a young girl, this life-size mortar and pestle is a familiar sight.
It was used in many things that needed pulping like my favourite sweet rice dessert called nilupak or dehusking palay, especially when going to a rice mill is a bit of a hustle.
The term used by Ilocanos, people of Northern Luzon, is agbayo, which means to pound.
Rice comes from palay grains, and if you only wanted a chupa or a ganta of rice, most Ilocanos would probably use a pestle and mortar to pound the palay to dehusk and turn into rice which then ready to cook.
Pounding rice is sometimes more than just a chore. It can be a way of bonding with friends and family.
I used to help my cousins when they were pounding in the mortar. Usually there are extra pestles around and two or three people can pound together but take turn. It is a matter of timing. It was a lot of fun though can be hard work. Having someone to help makes this arduous repetitive task less of a chore.
Banga, photo by JMorton
Banga – Ilocano Terracotta Pot
Banga, photo by JMorton
These photos were taken at the Ferdinand Marcos Ancestral House Museum, which is located at Batac Ilocos Norte.
The above ‘banga’ can be found in the house kitchen.
Having lived in London for several decades, walking through Marcos’s house is like going back in time, especially around the kitchen. I suddenly recognised things that I have forgotten.
If you happen to be in Vigan and wanted to have a trip on memory lane, that is if you are as ancient as me, or curious about Ilocano household before the 90s, then I would recommend a visit to this museum.
We used banga to cook our viand or ‘abraw’ when we were still living in Marag. The conical shape of banga sit perfectly on the 3 prong terracotta stove which uses firewood.
Liturgical Comb, photo by JMorton
Liturgical comb, a lovely name given to the more common or prosaic name of nits (lice) comb, used to comb out head lice.
Well that was how the suyod, we used in the Marag, Philippines looked like. 🙂
The above liturgical comb photo was taken by yours truly at the antiquity at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
It looks like it was carved from a piece of ivory. The carving of nativity and death of Christ was so intricate. An amazing work of art.
Chayote vine, photo by JMorton
Sayote, photo by JMorton
Chayote is what is called sayote in the Philippines. It is also known as vegetable pear worldwide because of its pear shape and colour. Chayote belongs to the gourd family like cucumber, squash and melon. Chayote is a rich source of vitamin C.
It is a much love vegetable in the Philippnes as it is very versatile. It can be stir-fried, lightly stewed and added to many recipes. It can also a good substitute for the unripe papaya for a chicken soup called tinola.
Sayote is mostly grown in the mountainous part of the Ilocos region in the Philippines. In fact the photo above is taken while we were trekking the rice terraces of Benguet.
The vine grows supported by chicken wire against a fence.
Gabi, photo by JMORTON
TARO, PHOTO BY JMORTON
Taro (Colocasia Esculenta )
At the back of our house in Marag, plenty of gabi or taro used to grow. They grew next to our well (bubon) where the vicinity always has water.
Gabi growing profusely in our backyard was a Godsend. It was a ready source for a vegetarian viand. Thank goodness we also had a constant supply of coconuts which goes deliciously with taro.
As children, we were told to treat gabi with respect. Eaten raw the leaves and stalks can be poisonous as they contain oxalic acid. The sap that comes out when the stalks and leaves are torn can cause itch.
Timber, photo by JMorton
Timber for Lumber
The words timber and lumber are often interchanged in their usage.
I have to admit I sometimes forget the difference. So I used a visual memory by remembering Hollywood films, where the lumberjacks would shout ‘TIMBER’ as a tree which just been cut from the bottom would fall.
Timber is the tree trunk, while a lumber is a long wood material sawn from the timber.
When I think of lumber, it always remind me of the Monty Python I am a Lumberjack ditty. 🙂 🙂 🙂
By the way you can tell the age of a tree by counting the growth rings.