Photowalk 16 February 2014

I did say that there’s to be a delay in these photowalk uploads. I try to keep it as updated as possible. So here are last Sunday’s shots.

It was an easy Sunday. As usual, there were less cars and people on the streets on Sundays. Every Sunday, Emerald Avenue a.k.a. F. Ortigas Avenue, was closed off to vehicles from 6am-6pm, to give way to the car-less / healthy environment / healthy living campaign of the local government. (You have to give them some credit for trying to minimize our carbon footprint).

Empty Street

I thought we were just to have a quick bite at the nearest fast food joint (read: Mickey D’s) or at the nearby galleria food court, when Teki declared that we’ll be eating at Pancake House. I wasn’t exactly in a cooking mood (add wash-dishes-clean-up-after-meal mood) so I thought it was a real treat! We were watching our expenses since cash inflow was a little delayed than expected. But I’m really grateful that Teki manages to squeeze in a surprise allocation in our monthly budget for “entertainment expenses”. Add to that, I was getting a little stir-crazy from staying indoors too long. Heck, even Beanie wanted to get out! (Again, I think our cat has thrill-issues). Everyone could use a little jolt now and then to remind them they’re alive and not existing in a vacuum.

Well not that there was anything particularly edgy about our activities, but it’s gotten to a point where getting out of the house IS a jolt from the routine.

Ortigas Center Blue Skies

Blue, thin cotton skies, cool breeze, laid-back and relaxed. The distant chatter of families, children playing and barking pets as they scurried along the short stretch of empty road, floated in the air. I sure was glad Teki convinced me to go out today.

Ortigas Center Skies
Sapphire Road going to ADB Avenue

The one day in the week where people occupied the street, and not cars. There are still a few ignoramuses who insist on passing through despite the several huge, orange barricades and TPMO enforcers at both ends. An example where the law is taken as a mere suggestion rather than a mandate. The enforcers themselves are lax about it, at one time, almost endangering the many kids who have little control on operating the breaks on the go-carts and bikes they’re on. There was even one car who had the temerity to angrily honk at the road blocks, as if the barrage of sound would magically make the blockades stand and make way for him. Yes it was close to the 6pm cut-off, but there was still a good full hour for the people to enjoy the stretch of empty road, un-threatened and undisturbed.

Skater Boy

It was also fun to watch the skaters doing tricks on their skateboards. There were some who were showing off to get attention (mostly from the pretty girls biking), but there were some too who just really loved to do twirls and whoops and jumps on a little piece of wood on wheels. This guy is a regular. I see him almost every weekend. (Well at least on those rare days I do get to go down and watch the Sunday crowd).

Orange Interiors
Spice & Seasoning
Pancake House logo
Feeling the Orange-y theme

We had lunch at Pancake House near Malayan Plaza. This was our first meal of the day. Teki is a creature of habit and Pancake House is among her default go-to places to eat. I’ve always liked their orange motif. After all, orange is the new black, right?

Pan-Fried Chicken

I had their pan-fried chicken, which is one of my favorite fried chicken, (next to Jollibee, of course). I’d never get tired of eating fried chicken. Especially this, with its light, breading-less, crispy skin and tender, juicy meat, dipped in their tastes-like-home-made gravy. It reminds me so much of the fried chicken we used to have as kids.

Tocino with egg

Teki had Tocino with egg. Although usually, she has home-styled bangus. I guess this is one of those days she wanted to veer off the routine, just a tiny bit.


While eating, we regaled each other with random scenarios, alternately agreeing and laughing in disbelief at the purported revelations of our respective answers.

Plant Box

I’ve been living in the city for a number of years now so my senses have formed a yearning for some natural fauna and the smallest spot of greenery brings me joy. They are a welcome break from the dull greys of steel and concrete that surround us.

La Isla Condominium

Whenever I pass by this signage, I feel the urge to do a little calypso jig, and sing Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita”. This is one of the original residential structures in Ortigas, and is very well maintained. I imagine they aren’t open to renters and are very exclusive as I haven’t met anyone or seen any pedestrian coming from that place. Usually the gates are heavily guarded and have CCTVs all around their perimeter.

Ortigas Park Signage

It isn’t as sophisticatedly landscaped as the gardens that come with Ayala developments, but I’m thankful nonetheless for this little oasis, this tiny patch of green nestled in the middle of Ortigas Center. I also like wooden trellises. There’s something comforting about them, like unobtrusive markers that guide your path. Did I mention that I’m heavily surrounded by concrete and steel?

Greens & Yellows
The leaves that look like flowers
Green on Red
Tiny White Flower

This little white flower reminded me of the song “Tiny Dancer” by Sir Elton John. This delicate beauty managed to flourish despite the daily deluge of carbon monoxide and other noxious gases, and bring joy in its own little way.

Neighboring Areas
Hacienda de Mandaluyong

In the park, there’s a small bas-relief mural marking the 75th anniversary of the Ortigas Center Association, one of the earliest modern developers in the city. I’ve always identified myself to be from Marikina, but I guess this is my new home now.


I hope I don’t appear to be one of those artsy-fartsy, poser photographers who contort themselves in uncomfortable positions, giving the illusion of expertise only to produce mediocre, laughable images. Oh who cares how I look! I like taking pictures, that’s it. Someone once told me, there’s something spiritual about taking pictures. It’s like God’s extending a little bit of His power to immortalize a bit of life.  It’s also said in some cultures, that when you take pictures, especially of live subjects, a piece of their life is taken along with the shot. Credit goes to Teki for this shot.


To cap off our little field trip, we stopped by our favorite coffee-shop for drinks. I didn’t order from there and instead got Roasted Milk Tea from Chatime. Usually, I enjoy hanging out at Chatime, but this particular branch is the epitome of indifference that make up Nancy Friedman’s darkest nightmares.

Beanie in the bag


I did mention we took Beanie the Cat with us on this little outing, to let him experience a bit of the outside world. He still is wary of other people (and creatures), but once he knows that it’s just the three of us, he peers from inside the haven of his carrying case and sniffs in all the novelty that surrounds him. When we came home, he shortly fell sound asleep on the floor, only to wake the next morning. Too many thrills for one day, it seems.

Snowy Ortigas

I’ve always wondered what it was like to have snow, without having to move to another country or sacrifice our tropical state.

If there were a soundtrack to come with this day, the song “Easy” by the Commodores would be very fitting.  Here’s hoping everyone has lighter, freer, easier days.  Not necessarily and more than, Sundays.


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