The art of creative gardening

The art of creative gardening

I love how people from urban areas are coping up with the busy lifestyle yet finding ways to still maintain a garden…

I used to be a busy urban lady who only goes home to sleep.. I tried to take care of a few cactus but alas – they didn’t lived longer.. don’t blame me for not watering the plants, I had a housemate too (hi ate Nina :D)..

So that is why I salute people who have the green thumb to grow a garden in the urban jungle.

Here’s what I saw from my hostel in Hong Kong. The wall garden is in the 2nd floor.


wall garden inside a hong kong building
I like urban gardens that adds beauty to a place.. Specially if the plants in the garden are all edible :D.. here’s what I saw in Malaysia:


hanging garden in Malaysia
For those with no space for a garden, try to create rooftop gardens as well. We have a rooftop garden ^_^.. This one is the rooftop garden of a former VSO Volunteer and a former business partner mommy Lilia Oguis.


rooftop garden in Cebu
Meanwhile, this one is in Indonesia:


plants in the rooftop - indonesia
You can accessories a garden by putting in outdoor furnitures. Yeah tables and chairs can complete that garden relaxation setting..

 


amenities
 

I like creative thinking like converting old stuff into something new. See the bicycles that are converted into flower decorations? Aren’t they pretty?

 


bicycle art
 

And you can put in more fancy decorations like a water fountain.

 


bicycle art
 

or how about be playful like putting in these cuties?

 


garden decorations
 

I don’t have a talent in designing yet but I adore beautiful places and gardens like this.. maybe someday, we can convert our house garden into something beautiful too.. who knows. ^_^

Book Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

Book Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

I’ve been reading lots of comments on facebook describing Manila as Gates of Hell in the latest book of Dan Brown called Inferno. Here’s some comments from brave souls:

Marky of www.nomadicexperiences.com says:

“Last year I went to a place called “Isla Puting Bato”. It’s the worst slum I’ve ever been to. The “Gates to Hell” aren’t the sprawling malls and towering condos we prefer to see. Rather, its the maddening dark alleys that leads nowhere. Its a place where people live like they’ve been condemned already. Dan Brown nails it and why do we get flustered by this unfortunate and sad fact?”

Missy Penaverde of http://www.soleofmissy.com/ says:

“She expects the Philippines to be a “wonderland of geological beauty, with vibrant seabeds and dazzling plains.”But after setting foot in Manila, Brooks gapes in “horror” as she has “never seen poverty on this scale,” slamming Manila’s “six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, horrifying sex trade.”… “Manila is the gates of Hell.”

So this is the reason why the Filipino community is in uproar? Lol! We better stop acting like a bunch of hypocrites. Let’s take this as a challenge to make our place a better place. I OUGHT TO HAVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK NEXT WEEK! :D”

 

On proper news, here’s a glimpsed of the story, according to an authority news site , Guardian:

“Sienna, a character in the book, is overcome by the city’s destitution, filth and child prostitution – and is later raped in one of its many slums. Depicting Manila, a sprawling city of 13 million, as a city of “six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution [and] horrifying sex trade”, Sienna tells readers she has “run through the gates of hell”.

Manila may be a city where extreme wealth and poverty regularly rub shoulders — roughly 43% of its 13 million inhabitants live in shanties – but Filipino officials do not appreciate having their city publicly panned.”

***

 

I used to give my personal opinion about the books that I’ve read but I’m holding this since I still have to read the book. Besides I think you already know my thoughts about the big city if you’re reading my past blog articles.

So if you still want to read the book, go ahead. You can buy it here:



If you’re Filipino and feel outraged, well I guess its a wake up call to go out.. i mean not only in the malls and tourists spots xD

Get out and see the whooping 43% who lives in shanties! And discern whether the book is really fiction.. Then lets all together make changes necessary to uplift our society… and once that’s done, let’s reread the book again to make sure it will just stay as a fiction.

 

Books to read while you travel

Books to read while you travel

Since my first long journey out of the country last 2008, I have read the thickest books that I never thought I could finish.. Living in unfamiliar places is great if you’re on the “honeymoon” phase of settling, but the adaptation process sometimes can drive you nuts.. example, super spicy food on a 45 degree heat is okay to experience temporarily, but when you have to endure it for long months… is not fun. (I still love you Mother India)

So travel and reading books are my temporary escape since I’m not into movies or tv.

I read on the bus station, on the train, or just to get myself to sleep. And some of them I read twice already… not because there is an exam, but there’s a thug in the heart string most probably because it is associated with reality.

Read my top favorite books and feel the thug too.


coffee-shop


1. Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book, by far, tops my all time favorite books to read. It’s about a traveler who used to be a seminarian but chose to be a shepherd for the love of travel… he’s an educated shepherd and reads books while tending his sheep.. If the setting is in the Philippines, or anywhere in Asia, he would be a sosyal na farmer…


2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Set in Afghanistan, this is a story of Mariam, married at 15 years old to bitter and troubled Rasheed who is 30 years her senior. You think it’s fiction? It’s still happening.


3. Like a flowing River by Paulo Coelho. Like a flowing river is a compilation of short stories by Paulo Coelho. Short stories for short attention spans are great :D… Seriously, it really is a great read.


4. How to turn thoughts into things by Bo Sanchez. I’ve read the book a couple of times already.. repeatedly.. so I can memorize the message and brainwash myself so I can turn my thoughts into things. :D


5. Life of Pi. The story revolves around Piscine Patel and a tiger named Richard Parker.. while trapped in the great Pacific Ocean for 227 days… The survival tips strikes me most, who knows it can be useful just in case I found myself trapped in the ocean too :D


****

So those are my all time favorite books to read folks.. I’m sure there will be part 2 because I keep on reading ;D.. So far, here are the list of books I have read and blogged. How about you? Any recommended books to read? ^_^

Restaurant Review: Pan de Amerikana

Restaurant Review: Pan de Amerikana

They say its the first and only restaurant in South East Asia where decorations are upside down.. that should capture customer’s attention.. and indeed our curiosities were captured.


It’s a typical restaurant really, serves affordable Filipino dishes, with well mannered waiters. But what makes it different is how it was styled.



It really looks like a posh restaurant yet its good for the budget. No qualms for the food though, or maybe I haven’t acquired a critical taste yet xD.. i eat anything really. Here’s the menu for those who wanted to try it out:



And for those who wanted to try for themselves, Pan de Amerikana is located at 118 Katipunan Avenue, White Plains, Quezon City. It is open Monday – Saturdays 8am -9pm, Sundays 8am-3pm

 

We hailed a cab from Alimall in Cubao to get to the place. There’s also other options like taking the De-Castro-Cubao jeepney then get off at Boni Serrano and Katipunan Intersection but we havent tried it yet. For more details, you can also read another blogger review at http://www.soleofmissy.com/2012/12/pan-de-amerikana-overturned-restaurant.html

 

You can visit plenty more restaurants like this if you decide to travel to Manila. And before I end this post, I’d like to say thank you to Ate Veron for the company and to our sponsor, my college bestfriend who I havent seen for like 10 thousand years :)) thanks Saturn, may you find your Venus (or Mars xD)


Check out Miss Eat for more foodie finds.

Coffee Shop Hunt!

Coffee Shop Hunt!

I am on a hunt for coffee shops! So far, I’ve featured those that have done great service or have offered unique and quality coffee, food and/or ambiance.

For those whose been reading my blog, you may already know that I’m traveling around while working.. and big big thanks to coffee shops coz they have been my temporary office.. so those who have put in heart to create artsy coffee shops have my thumbs up.

So while I travel around, I’m gonna feature those who have passed as my eye candy..




For coffee shop owners, feel free to message me at grasya (at) grasya dot com if you want me to be a mystery guest in your establishment and do some quality control audit too.

Let’s pave the way for more digital workers to work anywhere and everywhere including any coffee shops in the world. ;)