My First Korean Dinner

It is the Korean's turn to treat us for dinner. Our Japanese friend is done in treating us in a restaurant offering Kangaroo meat while I am done treating them in Cicerello's for fish n chips. Our Korean friend discovered that I am yet to dine inside a Korean restaurant that's why he invited us to dine in Chogajip, which is a restaurant located along Essex Street.

I have no idea how the Korean food tastes like. Because of this, I told our Korean friend to choose the best Korean dish for me.
Fremantle City - Chogajip's minimalist design

I noticed that the interior of Chogajip is simple or, for a better term, minimalist. This is in contrast with Outback Jacks that has a large crocodile hanging from the ceiling.

The rice wine reached our table first. This made our Japanese friend very glad. He is such a lover of alcoholic drinks.
Fremantle City - rice wine

The rice wine tastes good. It made me recall of the tuba, which I drank when I was in Davao.
Fremantle City - a feast of Korean dishes
A feast of Korean dishes.

Our Korean friend ordered Jaeyuk Bulgogi for the both of us. The Japanese got the Bulgogi. Each of us got small servings of kimchi, tofu and another item that I can't recall.

Bulgogi is thinly sliced beef marinated with soy, grilled and served with vegetables. Jaeyuk Bulgogi, on the other hand, is thinly sliced pork  marinated with chili paste, grilled and served with vegetables.

I think that my Jaeyuk Bulgogi tasted good. The Japanese, hearing my praises, stretched out his hand and used his chopsticks to snatch a piece of meat from my Jaeyuk Bulgogi.

I don't know how to use chopsticks. Both the Japanese and Korean tried their best to teach me using chopsticks. I had no choice but to ask for spoon and fork so I could eat with ease.

I can say that Chogajip's Korean dishes taste good. The shop is being ran by a Korean cook. His daughters serves as the waiters. It made me feel that I am actually eating in Korea.

If you are in Fremantle City and looking for a Korean restaurant. I suggest that you go to Essex Street and try the Korean dishes of Chogajip.


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Locked Out of Fremantle Prison

Prison is not a place to be proud of. It is the place where criminals and people shunned by society are incarcerated. In my country, the word “prison” evoke thoughts related to Sigue-Sigue, Sputnik and Bahala na Gangs. Our prisons are cramped spaces where prisoners are worse than sardines inside a tin can. Of the many places that I visited, only Fremantle City is proud of its prison. Actually, the prison house is one of premier tourist attractions in Western Australia.

Prison and its prisoners are vital part of the history of Australia. Unsavory people in the British Islands are exiled to Australia. It is a good arrangement for the British government. They rid themselves of criminals and political enemies. They let the Australian colonial government handle the prisoners.

The Round House, which I talked about previously, is a gaol (jail) used to handle local prisoners of Fremantle. When prisoners from Britain start pouring to Australia, the leaders of Swan Colony realized that the Round House is too small. They built the Fremantle Prison to handle large number of incoming prisoners.
At the front gate of Fremantle Prison, Fremantle City.
Fremantle Prison
The prison was built in the 1850s by convicts and was used as a place for incarceration for almost 140 years. Now, it is the only World Heritage site in Western Australia.

I visited Fremantle Prison one afternoon after the seminar. The only place that I was allowed entry is the first gate. I did not get pass the second gate.
Second gate of Fremantle Prison, Fremantle City
Second gate of Fremantle Prison.
My timing is not right. I visited Fremantle Prison at the time when the day tours are over. The prison guards told me that the next tour is the Torchlight Tour, which starts at 7 PM.

Did I miss a lot when I failed to “do time” inside Fremantle Prison? Well, the Fremantle Prison website has the answer for that.


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My First Crocodile and Kangaroo

The Japanese is dying to taste kangaroo meat. He kept on inviting me to go to an Australian restaurant for a kangaroo dish. Thus, the three of us (me, the Japanese and the Korean) embarked on a foodtrip for the sake of tasting kangaroo meat.

An Australian friend told us that the best kangaroo meat in Fremantle City could be found in Outback Jacks.
Fremantle City - Outback Jacks

Outback Jacks is located along Essex Street and just a short walk from Fremantle Markets. We entered the restaurant and saw this threatening figure hanging from the ceiling:
Fremantle City - Crocodile of Outback Jacks

It seems like that the owner of Outback Jacks is a big man with muscled body because he was able to defeat that large crocodile! Looks like the giant crocodile is larger than Lolong. The owner of Outback Jacks should inform the Guinness Book of World Record about this giant croc.

We sat outside (alfresco) while waiting for our orders of beer and a plate of various meats. There is one condition if you chose to eat at Outback Jack's alfresco. The condition is you must surrender an ID. I think that the reason for this requirement is to prevent alfresco diners from leaving the restaurant without paying their bill.
Fremantle City - Alfresco of Outback Jacks
Alfresco of Outback Jacks

A light rain shower occurred a few minutes later which forced us to eat inside the restaurant, under the giant crocodile. We waited more than 10 minutes before our orders reached our table. Here's what we got:
Fremantle City - Meat dish of Outback Jacks

The dish that we got is composed of crocodile meat, calamares, lamb meat and (of course) kangaroo. I only expected to have kangaroo meat but I was surprised that the Japanese also ordered crocodile meat. This meant that I will eat two exotic meats, which are crocodile meat and kangaroo meat.

The verdict? Six thumbs up. The three of us like the taste of all meats present in that dish. The meats are perfect for our ice cold beer.

The crocodile meat tasted like chicken meat. The kangaroo meat, on the other hand, has a little bit of sweetness. Of the two meats, my favorite would be the kangaroo meat.

Our Australian friend mentioned that kangaroo meat is not only delicious but is also good for health. Kangaroo is rich in protein and low in fat. It also known that kangaroo meat has higher dose of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is considered as anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetes.
Fremantle City - kangaroo

It's been a long time since I have eaten kangaroo meat and I miss it. It's good that the kangaroo meat that I ate behaved well in my stomach. I had a silly thought that it will jump around while it is being digested.

Satisfied with our dinner at Outback Jacks but still hungry for a chat, we decided to go to Fremantle City Wharf to have a taste of Australia's fish n chips.


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Maritime Heritage of Fremantle City

My visit to the Round House showed me the importance of Fremantle City during the early years of Swan River Colony. The city served as Western Australia's major port and many vessels berthed at its bay before embarking on long voyages to Europe or other parts of the world. The importance of Fremantle City in navigation is evident because of the presence of the time ball, which is used to correct the time in navigator's chronometers.

Fremantle City has two museums dedicated to maritime history. One of the museums is the Western Australian Maritime Museum located on Victoria Quay along the Swan River. The famous display in this museum is the submarine ovens in Fremantle City's World War 2 slipway.

The maritime museum that I visited is the one located close to Esplanade Reserve. This museum is the Western Australian Museum's Shipwreck Galleries.
Fremantle City Shipwreck Galleries

I am yet to reach the museum building but I was already welcomed by an interesting museum piece, which is a big anchor.
Fremantle City - big anchor

The first anchor that I saw is no match to another anchor located near the museum building. The anchor is much bigger than the first anchor and its wooden stock is taller than me. This anchor is the Eglinton Anchor.
Fremantle City - Eglinton Anchor

The Eglinton Anchor is anchor of the wooden barque Eglinton, which was wrecked in September 1852 while underway from London to Fremantle City. The current stock inserted in the Eglinton Anchor is just a reconstruction. The original wooden stock disintegrated under the sea.

I entered the Shipwreck Galleries but I failed to get some photos. Time constraint prevented me from exploring the inner parts of the museum. Too bad that I missed seeing the centerpiece of the Shipwreck Galleries, which is the wreck of the Dutch vessel Batavia.
Fremantle City - Batavia
Reconstructed remains of Batavia.
The story Batavia is a story of wreck and mutiny and can be read here.

I just walked along the beach of Bathers Bay on my way back to Esplanade Reserve. The lunch break is too short that's why I have no chance to have an extensive tour inside the Shipwreck Galleries. I will take a look at Batavia if I ever get the chance to return to Fremantle City.


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Photo of the Batavia came from the website of Western Australian Museum.

The Best Vantage Point in Fremantle City

My “tourist's guide book” mentioned of  a gaol, or jail, that is the oldest surviving building in Fremantle City. The book also mentioned that this is the place where the time ball is dropped and a cannon fired at 1 PM every day.

I am curious about the time ball. What does it look like? What is purpose of dropping it every day? Why is there a cannon? I imagined that the time ball is a sort of cannonball dropped into the cannon and then fired at 1 PM.

I went to Fremantle City's oldest gaol to satisfy my curiosity. The gaol is located on Arthur Head near the beach of Bathers Bay. Australians named the gaol as Round House but actually it is in a shape of a regular dodecagon. It was built in 1831 and designed by Henry William Reveley, who is the Swan Colony's civil engineer during that time.
Fremantle City Round House
(Photo by Gnanggara)

The Round House has eight cells, jailer's office and other rooms. The Round House is the earliest prison in Swan River Colony, which explains the presence of this device:
Fremantle City Round House - pillory

The image above shows a pillory, which is used to publicly humiliate law offenders. Pillory has three holes for the head and two arms. Passers-by were encouraged to pelt those who were pilloried with stones, mud, garbage, etc.

Fremantle City's Round House has a wide courtyard that has a well in the middle.
Fremantle City Round House - well
Visitors of Round House looking down the well.

Located beneath the Round House is a tunnel that gives visitors access to the beach.
Fremantle City Round House tunnel

The tunnel was excavated on 1837 by the Fremantle Whaling Company. The tunnel made it easy for whalers to transport whale, oil and other merchandise from Bathers Bay to Fremantle.
Fremantle City Round House tunnel
Tunnel to Bather's Bay

This is not just a simple tunnel because there are interesting things displayed in the cells that line up its walls. The best “display” can be seen once you reached the other opening of the tunnel. The best “display” is Bathers Bay.
Fremantle City Round House - Bathers Bay beach

The beach is the best place to see the other side of Fremantle City's Round House.
Fremantle City Round House - time ball

Did you notice the black ball hanging from the pole beside the flags? That ball is the so-called “time ball”. Before the advent of modern clocks, navigators has to make do with chronometers for determining their longitude during sea voyage. In early centuries, ships that will undertake long voyages gather at Bathers Bay to await the dropping of the time ball. Navigators will correct the time in their chronometers to 1 PM once they saw the time ball being dropped. The dropping of the time ball is accompanied by a shot from a cannon.
Fremantle City Round House - cannon
Cannon of Fremantle City's Round House.

The use of time ball was superseded by radio signals in 1937. The dropping of time ball was re-activated by volunteers in 1998 for the sake Fremantle City's heritage.

The location of the cannon is the best place to view Bathers Bay.
Best view of Bathers Bay from Fremantle City Round House
Best view of Bathers Bay from the Round House.

The view activated my imaginative mind. I imagined an armada of pirate ships making their way to the beach below the Round House. Then, I heard cannons firing, British soldiers (in their Victorian Era uniforms) frantically running to the gaol for cannonballs and their officers shouting orders.

Too bad that it is just an imagination. What I only saw from my vantage point is the calm sea.


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Visit Fremantle Round House website to see other photos of the historical gaol.

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers

Today, I join the whole world in greeting all mothers a happy and blessed Mother's Day!

What will be the fate of the world if there are no mothers to bear, rear and sacrifice for all of us. I bet that this world would be a dull one.

I remember the days of my youth when my mom is doing everything just to bring food to the table and support our education. My father has a job, but like many Filipino fathers, his salary is not enough to support the family. My mother didn't hesitate to wash other people's clothes and sell various things to increase the family income. She even had to humble herself to borrow money that will be used for our tuition every start of a semester.
Mother's Day
(Source: 100% Katolikong Pinoy)
I know that my mother sacrificed a lot for me. That's why I can say that I am so blessed to have her as my mother. I feel so loved even now that I am already a grown-up man.

Did you know that Mother's Day originated in the Catholic Church's fourth Sunday of Lent, which is the day when Mama Mary is honored as the mother of the Church?

Mama Mary is mother of Christians. Remember when Jesus, while He is nailed on the cross, told the beloved disciple (Saint John the Evangelist) that Mary is to be his mother. Thiese words of our Lord signify that He is appointing His mother to be the mother of all of his disciples. All of us, “modern day” Christians, are also her sons and daughters because we are the current disciples of her Son. That is why it is very fitting to greet Mama Mary a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.

Today is an extra special day because we also celebrate to feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
Our Lady of Fatima

I love you Mama Mary!


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Australian Dinner at Cicerello's Landing

Seeing historical places is not the only good thing that I experienced during my short stay in Fremantle City. I also got the opportunity to meet different people from various countries. My two best buddies during my seminar in Fremantle City came from Japan and Korea.

The Korean told me that he went to a restaurant at Fremantle City wharf. He said that that restaurant has the best Fish n Chips in town. The Japanese heard this and insisted that we go to that restaurant and taste the fabled Fish n Chips.

Fish n Chips  (Fish and Chips) is made up of deep-fried battered fish and potato “chips”. It is a popular dish in Australia that's why I agreed to join my Japanese and Korean buddies. My Australian trip can be considered incomplete if I failed to taste Australia's fish n chips.

Our Korean buddy took us to Cicerello's Landing, which is located by the sea. Of course, we ordered Cicerello's traditional fish n chips. The waiter gave us two pieces of deep-fried fish fillet and chips. Each of us ordered a bottle of beer.
Fish n chips of Cicerello's Landing
Cicerello's fish n chips.

My Korean friend is right. Cicerello's fish n chips is indeed delicious. It is no wonder why visitors of Fremantle City eat at Cicerello's Landing. It is good to munch tasty fried fish and drink cold beer while having an interesting conversation. This is in spite of the fact that the three of us are having a hard time understanding each other because we are poor in speaking English.

The night is humid but there's little possibility of rain. We chose to dine at the tables on the landing by the sea.
Seaside area of Cicerello's Landing

I have no photos of the outdoor tables of Cicerello's Landing. I found beautiful photographs of the place here and here. It is refreshing to dine  by the sea at Cicerello's Landing but be always on the look-out for birds, which are constantly plotting to steal the fish n chips.
Bad bird eyeing my fish n chips at Cicerello's Landing.
This bird is eyeing our fish n chips.

I discovered that Cicerello's Landing got its name because it is actually the landing for the prawn trawler Miss Cicerello.  Cicerello's is so popular to the point that the restaurant is featured on a postal stamp.

Cicerello's Landing is also popular for its aquarium that holds over 50 species of marine creatures caught in the waters of Fremantle City. Customers eating inside the Cicerello's Landing are surrounded with marine life. Even their toilets are “teeming” with sea creatures.
Aquarium inside the toilet of Cicerello's Landing
Aquarium inside the toilet of Cicerello's Landing.
The three of us had a good time dining at Cicerello's Landing. I will definitely visit this restaurant again if I ever get the chance to return to Fremantle City.


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The Esplanade Reserve During Dusk

I mentioned in the previous post that one thing that I like with Framantle City is its large swaths of vegetation. Well, I happened to take a stroll on one of those swaths in the first day of my seminar in this city. I walked around Fremantle City's Esplanade Reserve as the sun went down.

The Esplanade Reserve is a large park located near the wharf of Fremantle City. It is located beside the railway and is just across the Esplanade Hotel. There is nothing much too see in this park but it is a good place to relax under the shade of trees.
Fremantle City - Esplanade Hotel

The Esplanade Hotel is one of the notable building in the vicinity of the Esplanade. This four star hotel was opened in1896.

The most noticeable feature in the Esplanade Reserve is its large Ferris wheel. Tourists will definitely like to take a shot of this Ferris wheel and use it as background for their souvenir photos.
Fremantle City Ferris wheel

There are some monuments located inside the Esplanade Reserve, one of which is this monument:
Monument at Esplanade Reserve, Fremantle City

This monument was erected in memory of Panter Hardinc, Coldwyer and Maitland Brown who were killed by the “treacherous” Maoris. An interesting feature of this monument is a plaque placed beneath the original plaque. The additional plaque explains the side of the Maoris involved in the death of the three “whites”. It countered the original plaque by saying that the Maoris just defended their land and twenty of them died during the incident. I guess this is how the Fremantle City government balances the story surrounding the event commemorated by this monument.
Fremantle City - Esplanade reserve plaque

Another interesting monument that I saw is this:
Fremantle City -Vasco da Gama

This is a monument dedicated to Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama. He discovered the maritime route from Europe to India. He has no connection with Fremantle City that's why I don't know why his monument is here.

Beyond the Esplanade, across the railway, is the Fremantle City wharf. I ate the delicious Fish n' Chips at a restaurant beside the wharf. I will talk about that restaurant in the next blog post.
Fremantle City wharf
Fremantle City walkway over the sea.
I just waited for the sun to come down before I retired to my hotel located along High Street. My short walk around Esplanade Reserve is refreshing. Breathing the cool fresh air is the best way to start the evening.


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In the Little City of Fremantle

I can't help but compare Fremantle City with the cities found in the Pokemon world. Fremantle City, just like many Pokemon cities, has large swaths of vegetation. Fremantle City successfully balanced nature and man-made structures. What's missing, though, is the presence of Pokemons and that's a little bit disappointing.
Fremantle City - Pikachu is disappointed

I went to Fremantle for a short seminar. Of course, I didn't pass the opportunity to know more about the place.

Fremantle City is in the state of Western Australia and is located at the mouth of Swan River. It is the first area along the Swan River occupied by British colonists led by Captain Charles Fremantle. It served as Western Australia's major port during the 19th Century to early 20th Century.

What I like in Fremantle City is that it has clean surroundings and fresh air. The heaps of trash that I'm accustomed to is absent. Trees abound, which makes the city pleasing to the eyes. Fremantle City has plenty of old buildings and the good thing is that they are well-preserved and well-maintained.
Fremantle City old buildings
Well-preserved 19th Century buildings along High Street as viewed from the Round House.
Night shopping is unknown in this part of the world. I discovered this the hard way when I looked for a plug adapter because the electric socket in Fremantle City is different from the electric sockets in Philippines. Therefore, I couldn't charge my cellular phone. Unfortunately, shops are close very early and only few are open beyond late afternoon. The only good news is that restaurants and food shops are all open until evening and many of them are packed with people.
Fremantle City - Australian eating out

There are many places to see around Fremantle City and my handy “tourist's guide book” pointed me to many interesting places in the city and these are the Fremantle Prison, The Esplanade, The Shipwreck Galleries, the Round House and the city's historical wharf. I will talk about these places in next blog posts so please watch out for those.

There are other places in Fremantle City that are worth the visit. One of that place is the Fremantle Markets
Fremantle Markets in Fremantle City

Fremantle Markets was opened on 1897 during the height of Western Australia gold rush. It has over 150 shops that sell vegetables, meats, fish, groceries and other items. Fremantle Markets is the best place to buy souvenirs. I bought the kangaroo stuffed toy for my niece as well as other pasalubong at this place.

Located in the middle of Fremantle City is the newly restored Fremantle Town Hall. The building is a good background for photos.
Fremantle City town hall

Did you notice the “black bird” insignia located below the clock? That insignia represents the Black Swan, which is inhabits the length of Swan River. Black swans are quite important to Western Australians that's why they are well protected. They are even present in the flag and coat of arms of Western Australia.
Fremantle City - black swan
(Source: Wikipedia)
Fremantle City is well connected to other parts of Western Australia. Tourists can travel by bus to go to places around the city. The City of Perth can be reached by riding the train at Fremantle Railway Station, which is a fine example of Victorian railway architecture.
Fremantle City railway station

My seminar in Fremantle City of Western Australia is too short. I did not got the chance to see the wonderful wildlife parks in the vicinity of Fremantle City. I even failed to see the sights in Perth nor visit Rottnest Island.

Well, at least I enjoyed my stay in the city and my tour somehow filled the cravings of the traveler/blogger in me.


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Solemnity of Saint Joseph and the Labor Day

Today is special day not because it is Labor Day in the Philippines but because it is the day of a special man in the Church. That man is Joseph, who is also called as the Worker.

Saint Joseph is the foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the husband of Virgin Mary. God chose him to provide for the Mother and Child. The role of Saint Joseph is important yet he is just mentioned in few sentences in the New Testament. It shows that Saint Joseph is not a showy kind of man. He is the one who works, silently and piously, at the background.
Saint Joseph the foster father of Jesus

Saint Joseph is a carpenter by profession. That is why he is revered as the patron saint of laborers. It is fitting that his Feast Day coincided with Labor Day. The timing of Saint Joseph's feast day reminds us that more prayers are needed in these days when there is great discontent amongst the laborers. Labor Day is always accompanied with noisy rallies and protests. There is always a clash between policemen and protesters. Word wars between employers and laborers is a common event all throughout the year.

There is too much noise to the point that people just keep on babbling and everyone stop listening. Saint Joseph is perhaps telling us that nothing will be resolved as long as there is noise. There will be no solution for the problems of the Labor Sector if people shut their ears and just opened their mouths.
Saint Joseph the Worker

Being the foster father of Jesus and husband of Virgin Mary is not an easy feat. I believe that he experienced suffering when he accepted God's call to be the head of the Holy Family. The moment he discovered that Mary is with child due to the Holy Spirit, he felt afraid and he decided to “put her privately away”. This action of Saint Joseph shows how deep are the doubts in Joseph's heart. Why is he afraid? Did he found himself unworthy to be the husband of the woman chosen to bear the Saviour of the world?

Another trial that Joseph faced is when our Lord was born in Bethlehem. The Holy Family fled to Egypt to escape the murderous intent of Herod. Imagine how hard it is to carry the fear for your life while being pursued by soldiers. Imagine the his thoughts as they leave the land of their birth. A lesser man will exclaim “I didn't sign up for this!” but Joseph still followed God's will without complaining.

Jesus promised that those who follow Him will experience suffering and tribulations. I believe that Joseph experienced that promise of his foster Son. He, an unworthy sinner, is tasked to take care of God who is infinitely more virtuous than him. The Devil may have pester him with thoughts of unworthiness and tempted him to run away from Jesus because of it. Yet, despite of these, Joseph persevered and suffered in silence.

We, Christians, especially Christian laborers, are called to emulate Saint Joseph. We are called to work more and to talk less. We are called to fulfill our works in silence and without claiming that what we accomplished was only due to our own doings.

Injecting the solemnity of Saint Joseph to Labor Day is the good way to return civility in the talks between employers and workers. Word wars, burning of effigies, sloganeering and being self centered will never resolve the problems. May we trust in the Lord like Saint Joseph and let all the sectors resolve labor problems in a civil and peaceful manner.


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