Friday, June 30, 2006

ateneo and zero-in

The exhibit "Flora: beauty, desire and death" is scheduled to open at the Ateneo Art Gallery in October. "Flora" is Ateneo's participation in Zero-in, a yearly effort by four institutions—the Ateneo Art Gallery, the Lopez Museum, the Museong Pambata (Children's Museum) and the Ayala Museum, now housed in a new and bigger building. The Zero-in exhibition is the major show for the year of the participating institutions.

Ateneo is currently exhibiting the works of Ronald Ventura, who won last year's Ateneo Art Awards. The Ventura show will run till late July. On 8 August 2006, the winners of the Ateneo Art Awards for 2006 will be announced at the Rockwell Center. A show of the finalist for the award will be held at Rockwell after which the show will transfer to the Ateneo Art Gallery. For details log in at the Ateneo Art Gallery site at or click the link on this page.

josef george kamel, s.j. drawing of nangka or jackfruit

Nangka [Artocarpus heterophyllus Lamk. Syn: A. integra (Thunb.) Merr.] Syn: Nanca, langka belongs to the breadfruit genus of the Moraceæ family. Its close relations are camansi (A. altilis (Parkins) Fosb), antipolo or tipolo (A. blancoi (Elm.) Merr.), kubi (A. nitidus) and marang (A. odoratissimus). It is known in English as jackfruit.

Nangka grows to 15 m, has a milky sap and produces female and male heads. Fruits generally develop in new growth around the trunk as the fully mature fruit can be as large as 60 cm. The composite fruit matures from green turning yellow when ripe. Inside the ripe nangka, pockets of golden yellow flesh surround numerous seeds. This is eaten as is, after removing the seed. The golden flesh is used for dessert, for which it can be preserved by boiling in syrup. This sweetened nangka is an ingredient in halo-halo. Nangka is also cooked with saba or frying banana when making turon. Nangka ice cream is a unique product of the Philippines.

Green nangka is treated as a vegetable and cooked with coconut milk flavored with a bit of meat or shrimp. The seeds can be boiled or roasted and eaten like a nut.

Nangka wood, when dried and properly treated is used for manufacturing guitars in Cebu. Elsewhere in Asia, the wood is used for stringed and percussion instruments.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

josef george kamel, s.j. drawing of santol

Santol [Sandoricum koetjape] Syn. hantol

Santol is associated with childhood memories. There are two popular varieties: the native and the Bangkok, known for its large fleshy fruit and introduced to the Philippines in the 1950s. Blooming during the cold months, the fruit matures as summer approaches. By late March or April, when classes are on summer break, santol satisfies the hunger for something sweet and slightly tart. Its yellow fruit encloses a clutch of five seeds covered with white stringy pulp that is sucked rather than eaten. The adventurous youngster swallows the seed as big as an adult’s thumb, headless of the warning that the ingested seed will germinate inside the stomach and in time force its way out of the nostrils, ears and other orifices of the body. This, of course, is urban or rather rural legend but there is always a sweet thrill daring to do the dangerous.

Santol can be eaten au naturelle, split the fruit and suck out the seeds and pulp. Add a bit of salt, if you please. Or it can be peeled so that more of the soft rind is kept, and the fruit is salted if you so please. A bit more complicated is storing the peeled santol in a jar and covering it with brine laced with sugar. Also easy to make is santol juice. Santol pealed and quartered is placed in a glass pitcher to which is added honey and water to cover. The mixture is then chilled for about three hours as the santol’s flavor leaches to the water. The santol flesh turns brownish because of oxidation the resulting juice has a light amber color like apple cider.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

josef george kamel, s.j. drawing of dungon leaf

Dungon [Heritiera littoralis Dryand. Ex W. Ait] Syn. Dongo
This slow-growing hardwood three was used extensively as posts for the colonial house or bahay na bato because the lumber was impervious to moisture and resistant to even the most assiduous termite. Even if the dugon or dungon-late, is a small tree, growing to about 10 meters, it was also used as post for the lofty church nave, in which case trunks of dungon were joined together.

Dungon thrives best along the seashore or in coastal forests. Its seed has a very tough shell and needs to be soaked in water for a while before it germinates. Dungon has yellowish-green bell-shaped flowers.

It is also known as dungon-mangle, dungon-lawlaw, dungon latian, maladungon and malarungon.

josef george kamel, s.j., pandakaki

Pandakaki Syn. Pandakaki-tipod, pandakaki puti (Tabernaemontana pandacaqui) belongs to the Apocynaceæ family, which includes such diverse looking plants as common oleander or adelfa, Plumeria rubra forma rubra or calachuchi, and the genus Allamanda of which the best-known species is the large yellow bell. Pandakaki is a shrub that grows up to 3 meters tall. It has white flowers and dark seeds, and like many of the Apocynaceæ family its sap is milky white and sticky. Endemic to the Philippines, pandakaki grows wild on limestone hills and is rarely cultivated as an ornamental.

Monday, June 26, 2006

josef george kamel, s.j. drawing of chico fruit and leaf

Chico (Manilkara zapota (L.) Van Royen) is a tree introduced to the Philippines from Mexico during the Spanish period. It is known as sapodilla in Spanish. This small tree, up to 5 meters, is grown in orchards and in home gardens. It is multi-branched, has shiny, leathery green leaves and bears a fleshy, brown fruit. When ripe it is sweet. The fruit has a gritty texture and is eaten as is or mixed with salad for its texture. Chico fruits profusely during the hot season and is one of summer’s delights for its refreshing quality, especially if served chilled.

josef george kamel, s.j. drawing of katuray

Katuray (Sesbania grandiflora (L) Pers. Called gaway-gaway in Visayan, the katuray tree can grow to 10 meters. The leaf is compound consisting of numerous green leaflets. The katuray flowers are either white or red. Both flower varieties are edible and have been part of traditional cuisine. Nouvelle cuisine Philippine has discovered uses for katuray by incorporating it with salad greens for added color and taste.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

josef george kamel, s.j. drawing of camansi or breadfruit

Kamansi Syn. camangsi or camansi [Artocarpus altilis (Park.) Forsberg Syn. A. communis J.R.&G. Forst., A. incisa (Thunb.) L. f., A. camansi Blanco].

Belonging to the breadfruit family of which the better-known relation is the nangka or langka, camansi has two varieties: the seed-bearing kamansi and the non seed-bearing kolo. Kolo is considered as the “true breadfruit.”

Kamansi, mistakenly called rimas in Tagalog (rimas is a different species), figures in Visayan cuisine where the unripe camansi is cut up as a vegetable and cooked with pork hock. The seeds are roasted and served as a snack.