Sunday, January 29, 2012

Picnic Brunch

Some friends and I decided to do things differently and I had the idea of doing a picnic brunch. Although as Pinoys, we love food and gatherings, I think picnics are not something that is socially ingrained in our culture (survey: how many us actually own a picnic basket?) and I think that is largely due to the lack of open, green space in urban centers. (Or perhaps the weather since it can get scorching hot in these parts.)

My office is right smack in the heart of the Makati central business district, and I consider myself seriously blessed for having the opportunity to peek out my window and see trees and grass amid the concrete jungle:

Since the Ayala Triangle Gardens park opened, the space has seen a handful of joggers, dog walkers, and both casual and romantic strollers. Still, I haven't seen anyone having a picnic, and the park has been open for like, what two years?

So on Saturday, we met up at the 'ungodly' hour of 8 am (actually, I was late, teehee), so we could, first, check out the Salcedo Community Market (which I haven't been to despite my proximity to Jaime Velasquez Park); and second, have brunch at Triangle Gardens. 

The Salcedo Market deserves another post altogether (and I was too shy to take out my camera and shoot) but what I can say is that I loved it. We saw quite a number of personalities, such as a travel TV host, a fashion magazine's editor-in-chief, the other half of local TV's famous twin celebrities (Grabe, he's a giant! I mean, he's lost weight na nga but super tall; I felt like a midget), and this cute writer-turned-chef (I think), who's a hotter and younger version of Rupert Everett. There were also the moms and dads, the expats, the young professionals, who look like they came straight from their graveyard shift, and the becks like us! It was a good crowd. 

There were grilled food, organic and vegetarian fare, Thai and Vietnamese dishes, sauces and spices, pastries and local desserts, taho, 'dirty' ice cream, handwoven products, even potted plants and flowers. There weren't many stalls (you can easily go through the entire market in 15 minutes) but there were a good mix and variety in the type of products. Also, I can't tell how much expensive the items were compared to grocery stores or dry and wet markets because I don't cook, hehe.

In the end, we bought the following:

Pork barbecue

Thai brown rice with green mango strips

Spicy sisig, or chopped parts of pig's head. I finished this all by myself and I think I had high blood by the time I got home :-P

Thai vegetarian salad. I think those are cucumber strips.

Laing, or gabi leaves cooked in coconut milk

Garlic parmesan and pesto dips

Grilled tuna belly


Our spread:

Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in Triangle Gardens, so yeah, beer or wine would have been perfect.

Our food amounted to about P1,500 (about US$35) including drinks for five, but we definitely overestimated our appetite as we had a lot of leftovers (which four of us had for dinner). So I think we can further bring down our cost to about P1,200 (about US$28) in case we do this again.

We were also blessed to have had cloudy weather so we were able to stay from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Between those hours, we were the only ones having a picnic, although there was another couple a few yards away from us, and they were the only ones... waltzing (for real).

I had the RelaxMD app on my iPad, so we listened/chatted to ocean waves, birds and wind chime sounds. :-) That pouch is a gift from Tatin; isn't it cute? I was also able to bring my Fisheye out of the house after a very long time.

One of the buildings that surround the park, Shangri-La Makati

The trees shield me from work, literally, as that's one of my office buildings right there, lol.

It was nice to be able to lie down and see this, but guess what? The park's security guard asked me to sit up because lying down is not allowed. IN A PARK.
I have to do this --> :-) because otherwise, I'd hyperventilate in anger. :-)

Part of the Philippine Stock Exchange complex, Ayala Tower One. I think that's one of our more handsome buildings.

There's public art, too. Permanent fixtures, I think, are those by Philippine National Artist Arturo Luz. This particular piece, Anito (god idol), is from his tribal series.

Happy bunch :-)

I hope we get more accessible spaces like this in the metro.

12 * :

Anonymous said...

If my friends were up for a morning picnic in Makati, I'd have bought an entire picnic basket and all, but... Oh well! Haha!

Bakit hindi pwede ang alcoholic beverages? Eeehh :( At di rin pala pwedeng gumulong-gulong dun sa grass * double :( *

Jason said...

I guess to avoid potential public disturbance.

Nope, di pwede gumulong-gulong pero pwede mag-kandungan, tulad ng ginawa ni ate at kuya na nagwa-waltz, lol.

almi said...

nice! ma-try nga ito minsan! ;) dumadayo pa kami sa sunken garden para mag-picnic, hehe. pwede gumulong dun, haha!

Jason said...

Di lang gulong ginagawa nila don, lol.

Nag wine and cheese party na nga din kami sa Sunken :-)

ms.chelle said...

I love salcedo market :) (paella! hungarian sausage sandiwches!)

When I was still working in Makati, my officemates and I used to buy lunch and eat on the benches in Velasquez park on the Saturdays we'd come in for work.

Jason said...

Thanks for the tip, I'll try those next time :-D

The Thai dishes were really good, though a bit on the expensive side.

Deepa said...

Ang saya! Your picnic blanket is so cute. And the FOOD. DROOL. I miss the Salcedo market!

Jason said...

Deepa, you're the only person I know who actually owns a picnic basket! I thought of you when I asked that question in my entry, lol.

Gail Dimapilis said...

I love this post! :) See you around!

Deepa said...

Yes... I thought of myself too. Hahaha! So glad I was able to use it 3x last year despite the generally sh*tty weather here.

OLIVER said...

Cool. Nakakagutom. :D

Anonymous said...

ay akala ko si christian bautista... si jason pala :)

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