Eating rice at IRRI

Our next stop was lunch at the IRRI Cafeteria. We walked for more or less 20 minutes along Pili Drive. Every where I looked there were green fields, trees and mountains (hello skyline pigeon!) and I was enjoying breathing the fresh air. Not only was the sun not-so bright that day, it was even windy! Emman said Pili drive is dangerous because there are no sidewalks and vehicles go beyond the speed limit.

SONY DSCSo I HAD to have a picture taken on the middle of the road. Running to the sides giggling after the shot because a car was approaching was fun.

SONY DSCIRRI, or the International Rice Research Institute, is a nonprofit independent research and training organization that develops new rice varieties and rice crop management techniques to help rice farmers improve the yield and quality of their rice in an environmentally sustainable way. One of the goals of the organization is to reduce poverty and hunger and improve the health of rice farmers and consumers.

SONY DSCThe institute has offices all over the world but its headquarters is located on a 252 hectare experimental farm with modern laboratories and glasshouses and a training center leased to it by UPLB.

SONY DSCUpon entering the complex, it felt like I wasn’t in Laguna anymore.

SONY DSCEven if I click my camera randomly, the resulting image is still worth posting.

SONY DSCPart of the complex is the Riceworld Museum and Learning Center. Emman said the contents of the building were interesting. Unfortunately, it was only open during weekdays. Boo!

SONY DSCWe just roamed around a garden near the museum while waiting for the clock to strike 11.30 because we deemed it too early to have lunch before that.

SONY DSCI noticed that Emman was fond of taking pictures of patterns and then I remembered that if he wasn’t a computer science graduate, he could have easily been an artist whether digital/multimedia or architectural.

SONY DSCChanneling Rosalinda. Chos.

SONY DSCA favorite shot of fashun bloggers.

SONY DSCA Koi pond with mangrove (?) trees in the middle of the complex.

SONY DSCThe IRRI Cafeteria was huge and the strong air-conditioning was much appreciated. Again, it felt like I was in another country since the patrons were of different nationalities.

SONY DSCThe place easily filled up come lunch time. Upon seeing all the families sharing a meal, I suddenly missed my parents and siblings.

SONY DSCMenu for the day.

SONY DSC SONY DSCI had Pork Caldereta which was superb and Emman had Baked Fish with Bechamee which lacked seasoning for a Pinoy tastebud.

SONY DSCWhen Emman said the cafeteria was affordable, I didn’t expect that it was this affordable. The Pork Caldereta, which would have easily bested most of the versions I’ve had in the past was only 35 pesos. That’s the same price as one order in a regular carinderia but IRRI’s serving was heftier not to mention the place was air-conditioned. And half rice which was comparable to whole rice in other places only costed 3 pesos! If only I was aware of the price beforehand, I would have ordered every dish that caught my fancy on the menu.

SONY DSCA painting in the dining area that Emman and I fell in love with.

SONY DSCSatisfied-tummies shot.

SONY DSCEmman said we should wait for the shuttle bus to Los Banos because we need to conserve our energy for our next destination. The bus departs hourly and is for free so we roamed around IRRI while waiting for 1 o’clock. In places like these, I am always curious as to the contents of the buildings but they’re restricted so no exploration for me.

SONY DSCCome 1:15, still no bus in sight and they’re usually on time. When we asked the security guard about this, he said that shuttle buses are exclusive for employees’ use during Sundays. Nice, so we need to walk again for 20 minutes because jeepneys are very rare during Sundays and tricycles aren’t allowed inside the campus. Unless…



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