Good Reads

This is my first coffee table book about coffee. It’s more special because my parents found this and gave it to me as a gift. 

Kapihan (A Celebration of Coffee is the Philippines) is produced by Nestle Philippines Inc. in 2007. It holds more than 150 pages of stories and attractive photographs of coffee. Nestle Philippines dedicated the book to all those who contributed to the success of Nescafe, from the hardworking Filipino farmer, the appreciative consumer and to the committed team of Nescafe professionals.
Kapihan: A Celebration of Good Coffee in the Philippines

The first part of the book contains stories on:
– the discovery of coffee 
– how coffee reached the shores of Philippines
– when Brazilian Coffee Institute asked Nestle to develop a product that could make commercial use of   coffee

Kapihan: A Celebration of Good Coffee in the Philippines

The second part of the book shares awareness on how coffee is created–from growing coffee trees, the science behind coffee farming to the system of selling coffee to traders. It also gives a peak at how coffee is processed in order to become coffee powder.

Kapihan: A Celebration of Good Coffee in the Philippines
The third part is an ode to why Filipinos love coffee and it is supported by the health benefits we get from drinking coffee.
Kapihan: A Celebration of Good Coffee in the Philippines

The next section of the book, “Coffee Recollections”, is a travelogue of sorts wherein people’s coffee experiences took me to Binondo, Bukidnon, Sagada and Cordillera. I learned how rich the Philippines is when it comes to places and skilled people that produce great coffee. 

Kapihan: A Celebration of Good Coffee in the Philippines

The last two parts of book contains recipes and other uses of coffees.  Some recipes include Coffee Adobo, Coffee Sansrival, Coffee Pannacota and Coffee Truffle.

Kapihan: A Celebration of Good Coffee in the Philippines

Kapihan is a gallery, album, storybook, cookbook, travelogue and repository trivia. It’s a great book for Filipinos and coffee enthusiasts as it heightens one’s awareness on coffee and makes drinking coffee more enjoyable.

The book Kapihan is available at Fully Booked (Philippines), priced at P1,125.00.

One of the few realizations we had when we vacationed in Manila was this: that we come back because we want to have a feel of what our life used to be. Going back to our mother country means we get to reminisce of our childhood and relive a life we once used to be a part of. Seeing Manila grow and change with the times is a milestone but a part of me wishes that some things and places are still maintained to how it’s supposed to be. That’s why I love reading books and watching old films where I get to see how things were when Manila (and the Philippines) was young.

A Penchant For The Old
A penchant for the old. My love for what Manila used to be.
Curly Tops from my childhood. The romance of using a telephone.
I was fortunate to come across the book “The Manila We Knew” in April. It was a collection of stories and essays of life in Manila. Stories that capture one’s love for a city and its soul, life and history. In its pages you’ll find romance and tragedy, hope and struggle. 
I started reading a few pages on Sunday morning and it brought me back to a time when I wasn’t even born yet, when life in Manila was simpler. I’m glad that thru this book, I get to have a peek of what it’s like to be part of the old Manila.

Our photographer friend John Fick has released his first photography book “Lighting for Studio Photography DECODED” and we are so proud and happy for him.

John Fick is the first Filipino in Sydney to publish a book in photography.  The book took him three years to finish and he’s very elated that reception has been very good.  The plan was just to launch an ebook but due to emails and requests for a hard copy, John relented and had them printed (Good call, John!). 
Inside the Book:

Uprising author John Fick has launched his new “Lighting for Studio Photography DECODED” book which is set to become the standard of studio photography.

John’s book has captured the eyes and minds of budding photographers ranging from beginners to advanced skill set. Lighting for Studio Photography DECODED is a well written illustrative book and teaching tool filled with images, illustrations and diagrams to enable any photographer to skillfully see, capture and shoot the light of a studio set.

GRAB A COPY via the book’s website 
and buy the BOOK or EBOOK.

Lighting for Studio Photography DECODED by John Fick
A day after the first printing of John’s book arrived, we got together at home for high tea and had a few hours of catching up.  John is doubly busy now that he is also covering weddings and doing commercial shoots abroad.  We seldom see him now.  He is still based in Sydney but his photography takes him to different parts of the world.  
Afternoon Tea at Home

It was thoughtful of him to give us a book which he claimed, “This is the first book I’ve given out and signed, ha? I even had to buy a special pen for signing.”  At natawa naman kami dun.  

Lighting for Studio Photography DECODED by John Fick
Lighting for Studio Photography DECODED by John Fick
At talagang mahaba ang dedication (parang slumbook!) 
This was just the last bit of his message to us

Other our usual what’s-happening-in-your-life updates and photography tips, he shared with us his plans of having a second book which has a very good concept and we hope it pushes thru.  For now, we are enjoying his very useful book and learning more about lighting for photography.

Instead of writing how good a read this is, let me tell you my journey towards finding this book and how the story of Elizabeth Gilbert made an impact in my life.
Eat, pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

How I found this book. I found this at a time when I felt a little tired of reading fiction books. It was also at that time when I thought, “Since I can’t travel to all the places I want to go to, I will just read about it in books!” I had a phase when I kept buying Lonely Planet guidebooks in order “to travel” but I got tired of it the way I got tired of reading fiction. So I browsed thru some more at Borders and found autobiographies in their Travel section. I was in book haven when I saw tons of travel autobiographies–the answer to what I was looking for. The book “Eat Pray Love” caught my eye because it was about pleasures, spirituality and love. At the time I was craving to read about people’s travels, I also craved for some womanly wisdom on life as I was at a period of transitions (I just got married) and so I bought it because the book is not only about travel in the literal sense of the word but most importantly it was about a woman’s travel to finding her life and being happy again.

How it changed me. Before I read this book: I’m aware of things that give me pleasure, I know how to have fun; I have a strong faith–still growing in terms of my faith but nevertheless, my spirituality is intact; I’m able to manage problems, frustrations and difficulties; I have a stable support of friends and family; I’m content with my career; I’m inlove and have just gotten married to the love of my life; and most of all, given that I enjoy a busy life and I’m always surrounded by people I love, I welcome moments of solitude when I can just sit still and reflect. However, I felt there was a missing link to my everyday living. I’m inspired and blessed but I needed to make all the elements in my life work to the best of me. When I read this book, I found the answer: BALANCE.

Let me share the perfect quote from the book about Balance:

 “To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.”

That’s why every time I’m faced with challenges or I’m having difficulty on the many tasks I juggle, I stop, breathe, clear my head and find the answer/s thru my heart instead. Nowadays, that’s how I figure out what’s REALLY IMPORTANT in that very moment I’m in. With balance, I’m able to find my centre easily when I’m getting out of focus, and able to maintain my equilibrium in my day-to-day living.

I’m very very very excited to see the movie. As in! I can’t wait for it to be shown and see the book come to life. It will be shown on 14 October 2010 here in Australia. For your respective country’s release dates, please check it out here.

If you have read “Eat Pray Love” and want to know what happened in the lives of Elizabeth Gilbert and Felipe (the man she met in Bali), read about their journey to embracing marriage (again) in “Committed“.

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel by Karen Karbo.

I have yet to write about some books I’ve read in the past year (years?) like Eat Pray Love, Committed, French Women Don’t Get Fat, etc. but here I am again sharing with you another book I’m reading.

This book caught my fancy after watching the film “Coco Avant Chanel” (Coco Before Chanel) and I got fascinated by her life. I’m only at the 3rd chapter and I’m enjoying knowing more about her and the things a woman can learn from her.

What about you? What book are you reading at the moment?