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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Liguanea Arts Festival 2011

The Liguanea Arts Festival at the Liguanea Plaza St. Andrew
On Sunday April 17 the Liguanea Plaza came alive with the artistic expressions of several talented Jamaicans! It was the Liguanea Arts Festival a showcase that features some of Jamaica's most talented in the field of the visual and even the performing arts! Photographers, painters and sculptures turned out in their numbers to showcase their wonderful works of arts to an eager public in hopes of catching their interest as well as get sales from their pieces.

The large turnout at the Liguanea Arts Festival
I arrived at the Liguanea Plaza at about 3:00pm, however, on my was a bit disturbed as the rain started to fall while I was en route to Liguanea. I began to wonder it this rain would have washed out the festival and that I may have been a bit too late to see the pieces on exhibit or get to capture any shots of the crowd. Nevertheless I still made my way up to Liguanea and was pleasantly surprised that the rain eased up when I arrived. It seems the rain only cooled down the temperature as it certainly didn't deter people from turning out the the Liguanea Art Festival. A lovely turn out was there and so were the number of booths! There were different alleys that featured different aspects of the visual arts: photography, paintings, sculptures, etc, yes a belly full of artistic expression in every alley.

Photographer Howard Moo Young (centre)
Some of the art work on display
An artist and his work
There were several well known artists, photographers and sculptors with some awesome pieces on display and for sale at the festival. However the visual arts was not the only highlight of the festival as the Akivaaba Drummers entertained the crowds with magnificent drumming accompanied by the traditional dances of local folk dancers. no event can be a success without the sponsors and the Liguanea Art Festival had its fair share of sponsors including corporate companies such as JNBS. There were also other sponsors of that were present that did more than just display their products but also offered samples, such as Appleton Estate who kept patrons in "high spirits" withe their samples.

Akivaaba Drummers
Dancers performing to the music of the Akivaaba Drummers
Michael Collins of JNBS one of the sponsors of the event
The Appleton Estate booth with mixed drink samples
This was certainly a testimony of the caliber of talent that exist in this small country called Jamaica! My visit to the Liguanea Art Festival, especially the pieces of top photographers such as Franz Marcouza & Howard Moo young, has certainly encouraged me to continue to pursue my passion for Photography. Hopefully I will not just attend the Liguanea Art Festival next year but I hope to have some of my work there on display and also for sale! To see more of my photos of the Liguanea Arts Festival click here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just "Chill Out"

Our variation of the Chill Out vegetable pizza
On my last trip the my beautiful home parish of Portland I was invited by my very good friend to a small restaurant on the beach called Chill Out. This restaurant by the sea is located in the tiny rural village of Long Bay in Portland on the eastern end of Jamaica. She discovered it some months ago during her stay in Portland and insisted that I dine there and experience what it was all about.

The front of Chill Out Long Bay Portland (taken with my Blackberry)
Chill Out really had that rural restaurant feel to it, yes brightly coloured painting and hand written signage, the true mark of a rural roadside restaurant. The large thatched roof also added to that rural by the sea feeling and added that little rustic charm to the feel and look of the restaurant. As we entered the establishment we could feel and smell the cool salty sea breeze rushing through the somewhat open air dining area and the aroma of food tantalizing the senses. All the factors came together to set a true relaxed and laid back atmosphere, great for relaxing.

The rustic dining area at Chill Out
The beach front just behind Chill Out
After going through their extensive menu which included several dishes including fish, chicken, lobster, shrimp and pizzas we decided to experiment with their vegetable pizza and 2 cold Red Stripe Bold to "wash" it down. The vegetable pizza was certainly an interesting dish, a flat crust pizza baked with cabbage, tomato and sweet peppers from what I can remember. However, being meat lovers we opted to pepperoni to the mix and created our own personalized pizza.

Nothing like a cold Red Stripe Bold
The dining experience was decent at Chill Out, somewhere I would visit again when I'm in Portland. I was told that their fried chicken was awesome, although I didn't try it on this visit but will make that my mission to try out with two cold red Strip Bold when next I visit the seaside restaurant called Chill Out.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Still Champions

The Titchfield High School Crest
It was a night for the history books, a momentous occasion for both schools involved, it was yet once again the finals for the TVJ School Challenge Quiz (SCQ). On Thursday March 31, 2011 the two top schools of the SCQ competition were poised and eagerly looking forward to victory, Kingston Collage (KC) and Titchfiled High School, my alma mater . KC, a formidable, season force to be reckoned with in the SCQ arena with their eyes set on a tenth victory. On the other hand, Titchfield a regular participant in the SCQ competition but has never secured a victory in the competition, this would be their first victory and exaltation as SCQ champions. The battle lines were drawn and both parties had their eyes set on victory!

As the anticipation began to build the tension increased as friendly rivalry issued forth on twitter and facebook with supporters cheering for their favorite team. I of course cheered for my alma mater, Titchfield High School as I kept holding to the dream that they would see their first win against the odds. The match itself was a tough one with several compound questions that kept the scores at bay to single digits in the first section. Right then and there Titchfield had a fighting chance as both teams were almost similar in points. However, as the match progressed and the speed section progressed, KC surged ahead and the dream of a Titchfield victory waded off into a nightmare of being beaten by the haughty KC team. At the beginning of the final section, the deciding factor, the buzzer section, There was yet still a glimmer of hope, but that quickly faded as   KC surged ahead to win the match and take home their tenth championship with a 33-11 victory, thus crushing the dreams if Titchfield's first SCQ victory.

Despite the defeat at the hands of KC, I am still proud of my high school for reaching thus far, their first finals in the long history of Titchfield High School. They didn't win the first place trophy, but they are still champions in my book and has made a great improvement within the last few years. Congrats to KC for their tenth win and congrats to Titchfield High School for a valiant try and copping second place in the SCQ competition. Keep up the good work Titchfield and try even harder next year! Last year was the semi-finals, this year the finals, maybe next year they will be SCQ champions!