Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Surviving Yolanda

It's been forty days since Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) washed away the city of Tacloban and some of the towns in the Eastern Visayas region. Having grown up in a city where we dealt with typhoons as part of our daily grind, it was a typhoon so strong and fierce like we never experienced before. And I never thought I'd see the day when a disaster I feared as a kid (something akin to tidal wave) would eventually happen almost thirty years later.

Prelude: The Calm Before the Storm

Kuwarenta. Yolanda.

Today, we remember the people and the lives taken away by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). 

May they find peace as they journey home to our Creator.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Around Weimar in a Carriage

After visiting the Buchenwald Memorial, we went to the picturesque town of Weimar. As we stepped out of our bus, it seemed like we were transported back to another time. Cobbled streets,  lovely flowers by the sidewalks, old structures, colourful rows of buildings, quaint shops and cafes, bicycles and carriages and a square filled with stalls and a crowd. This city in central Germany was pulsating vibe for its cultural and intellectual life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Buchenwald Memorial

It was a long drive from Gummersbach to Buchenwald. The memorial was once the concentration camp and SS area. Somehow the overcast sky seemed to be one with us as, with heavy heart, we went through the motion of viewing the exhibits, historical buildings and outdoor installations recreating what was once the camp and visiting the memorials built in memory of the those who were imprisoned and perished in this area. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hello Again, Cologne!

I first visited Cologne in March 2007 as part of my month-long backpacking trip around Europe. I stayed only for a day as I was hopping from one train to the next, exploring Germany for almost two weeks (you may read more about that trip here).

So I was happy when I saw in our seminar schedule that our first field trip will be to Cologne.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Postcards from Gummersbach, Germany


The Gummersbach is a town in the state of North Rhine Westphalia. The closest major city is Cologne which is about fifty-six kilometers. It has been my home for almost two weeks. However, I only got to explore this genteel town maybe a couple of times because I was too lazy to do some hiking from the Akademie to the town center and back. Plus, our schedule was packed that by the time we were done with our sessions, the town was also about to retire for the night.  But there was one early, foggy morning when I felt like taking a walk and I decided see the town.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Akademie

The Akademie

For participants to seminars conducted by the International Academy for Leadership (IAF) in Gummersbach, the Theodor Heuss Academy a.k.a. the Akademie will always be a home filled with beautiful memories.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Gummersbach Experience

The participants to the 2012 Human and Civil Rights Seminar 
in Gummersbach, Germany.
Photo by the International Academy for Leadership.

In 2012, I had the opportunity of participating in the Human and Civil Rights seminar conducted by the International Academy for Leadership (IAF) of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) in Gummersbach, Germany. But prior to getting to Germany, I and more or less 80 participants around the globe engaged in the online phase of the seminar. For two months, we read articles on liberalism and human rights as well as various international conventions, wrote essays, exchanged ideas in the online forum, answered an online quiz and made an artwork.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Roger, The Funny Guide at The Ruins in Talisay City

In 2011, I had the chance to see The Ruins in Talisay City in Negros Occidental and that visit was made all the more fun because of Roger, the guide with a great sense of humour. 

Recently, I came across a video on Roger in my news feed. So here's the video courtesy of the Bacolod Feelers.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Little Souls Sisters Convent in Tagaytay

Tagaytay is home to chapels, convents and retreat houses of various religious congregations. In one of our visits to Tagaytay, my friend DAMGT suggested that we go to the Little Souls Sisters Convent where she would sometimes attend mass. I also welcomed the visit to the chapel since it was at that time when I would drop by churches and chapels in my travels and storm the heavens with prayers for my friend who had an ailment, in the hope that she will be cured or at the very least, be in remission.

Bag of Beans

When in Tagaytay, another must-visit is the Bag of Beans. So that's where we hied off after our heavy lunch at Buon Giorno where we had a taste of their coffee (house blend and white mocha) and hot chocolate as well as a loaf of raisin bread fresh from the oven. Just the perfect companions for the cold weather and the long conversations.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Buon Giorno, Tagaytay!

It was a sunny Sunday morning, a beautiful start for a reunion with friends who were celebrating their birthdays that month. Since one of them hails from Cavite, we all trooped to Tagaytay, a welcome break from the usual get-together in the metropolis and it has been eons since my last visit to this city. After several missed turns at the exit, grumbling tummies, quick grab of pan de sal prepared by Tita Vicky Gomez and a sudden downpour, we made it to the Cliffhouse, just in time for lunch at the Buon Giorno! Caffe and Bistro. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Our Singapore Spree (A Guest Post by Mommy on her Travel with her Barkada)

Underwater World in Singapore

What happens when five Senior Citizens (who are in their sixties and seventies and have been friends for more than four decades) plan to go on a vacation (with no family in tow) and have the time of their lives?

Here is Mommy's account of that Singapore holiday with a side trip to Batam Island in Indonesia on October 2-9, 2009 with some members of our family barkada (which I call the Red Dog, a name given to the card game which has its own rules set by them).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Parade of Lights: 2012 Sangyaw Festival in Tacloban City

Last weekend, the city of Tacloban was buzzing with gastronomic feasts and merrymaking as they celebrated the Feast of Santo NiƱo. Too bad, I wasn't around to join in the revelry. So instead, I am posting in this entry photos of last year's Sangyaw Festival Parade of Lights. I am not sure if they continued with the parade of lighted floats this year.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera with The King and I!

Etcetera. And that stuck into my head as it has been repeatedly said for the most part in the show.

I grew up with the music of The King and I, thanks to my Daddy. And there were productions on stage and film, the last one I watched featured my favorite actors, Chow Yun Fat and Jodie Foster. In the Philippines, the stage was also set for The King and I. However, I never got to watch it last year. But thanks to an extended run, I finally got to watch this huge production people were raving about.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Happy Mother's Day Post

I could not join my Mommy on Mother's Day. And I was thinking of something to give her on that special day. Good thing, I saw my friend's post in my news feed. After several exchanges of text messages, placing of order and requesting friends to pick up my present, Mommy was so delighted to receive her cupcake bouquet by Merry J Cupcakes.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Hour at Cowrie Cove in Shangri-La Mactan

Jedi Master Ibon brought us, her padawans, to her happy spot where pica-pica was overflowing, booze comes at buy1-take 1 plus the trappings of a high-end resort. This place is none other than Cowrie Cove at the Shangri-La Mactan. From 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., you get drinks at half the price, refills of their chips and nuts, the cool afternoon sea breeze, a calming view of the sea, and of course the chatter and great company of friends.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

An Ode to My Travel Buddy

The first post of my blog for this year is dedicated to a friend, a travel buddy, a fellow gastronome and music aficionado, a mentor, a confidante and a sister I never had, who bade farewell at the close of 2012. I started writing a piece on her but until now, I am not even halfway through it because there are times when I find myself in tears. In time, I will get to finish it but this will do for now.

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