In my pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we walked down the narrow streets to enter Jerusalem, reenacting the Palm Sunday Walk; the heat was sweltering. I saw a man and his donkey sheltering from the heat. Being today is Palm … Continue reading →
Little do I know that the road I travelled in 2017 will become the theme for unity in the Christian world this year. Malta. Photos taken were stored, collecting dust. Now, I am revisiting the pictures I’ve made and reflect … Continue reading →
On top of the mountain plateau in Norway, close to Dyranut Turisthytta, is a place seems to be frozen in time even though it’s summer. The land is covered with snow and ice with a single shack in the middle … Continue reading →
When traveling with a group, we are shown beautiful sceneries, taken to historical places, impressive architectures and told stories to tell. That is all good. For me, I want to add flavor to my journey, take the good together with … Continue reading →
Here I am, another Sunday, another sacred space of faith and spiritual journey, more memories and reflections. There are times I don’t want to understand the course of our actions that affect other people similar to a “butterfly effect.” Still, … Continue reading →
“Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage, there is an opening called a roof-box. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber … Continue reading →
Ireland is a country of Gaelic people and mystical land. I could not understand their thick accent unless I ask them to speak slowly. I don’t know which one has the best accent: Irish or Scottish? There is a Gaelic … Continue reading →
A glimpse of blue sky, a wisp of clouds, birds, cathedral and concrete buildings is what I see in painting along the hallway wall of Malta’s airport. Looking at the mural makes me want to run outside and feel that … Continue reading →
Please note that this is a scary story of my pilgrimage to Garabandal. One has to be social when on a pilgrimage. I saw a woman sitting in the garden from the bedroom window where I was staying for … Continue reading →
Studying in public school, our creed has no bearings. We are unified as human beings in singing daily our national anthem out in the courtyard, rain or shine before we start our regiment of learning academics. Religion is not a … Continue reading →
Twenty years ago, I made the first journey to Assisi on my own. I was young, healthy and carefree imitating the life of St. Francis, poor in spirit. Alone I was, I met a lot of strangers along the road. … Continue reading →
Group travel takes a toll on my patience. Sometimes. The attitude of please-stop-telling-me-what-to-do or stop-crowding-me shows up. I can be an ass in an uncivilized situation. Once we reach a specified destination, some pilgrims want to be the first to … Continue reading →
Somewhere between Burgos and Leon, they have a long way to go. Their journey started on July 9 starting from France walking destination Santiago de Compostela. Through rain, snow, and heat they marched on meeting walkers from Iran, Germany, Americans … Continue reading →
This weekend, people are gathering at Lejac, British Columbia for another year of annual celebration for Rose Prince of the Carrier (Dakelh) Nation. This is in my own backyard and yet it seems harder to visit my neighbor than going on … Continue reading →
I would like to stay longer and soak up the three world’s religion: Islāmic, Judaism, and Christianity. I want to be with the Muslims, Jews, and Christians: and have interfaith dialogue. At the hotel in Jordan, waiting to leave for Canada, I … Continue reading →
In the Jewish tradition, Passover is a holy celebration that coincides with Christian’s Good Friday, Looking at the wall that surrounds Bethlehem, I doubt that anybody can pass over it. As the old saying goes, this too shall pass. … Continue reading →
What stories do we tell ourselves when we look at photos we’ve taken on our journey? Sometimes it’s hard to convey to listeners unless they have been there or know the history of the place. Do I start from the … Continue reading →
“That is my thunder, by God; the villains will play my thunder, but not my play.” – Alexander Pope
Two black-haired girls spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Little do they know, I can tell what they are up to even though they speak in their own dialect. It’s easy to read minds, you know since I am the queen of Mischief.
Frame by frame, a series of shots put together to capture this story of stealing their thunder by taking over their acts at lightning speed.
I had the last laugh and the best hug from Thomas.
Decision making is challenging because sometimes we have no idea the impact of what we have decided. Just thinking about what to choose to wear is a grueling daily event. Some outfit brings happiness, others blah. What made us … Continue reading →
Making a choice in cutting off ties in any situation is difficult when it’s a no-win situation, an unbearable option that one is forced to choose. Even thinking that it is the lesser of two evils, it can still remain … Continue reading →
There are many kinds of prayer. There is a kind of prayer that’s like breathing. There is a kind of prayer that’s like talking to your best friend all day long. There is a kind of prayer in the face … Continue reading →
Who says we have no sense of humor? We are the first one that poke jokes on what we believe in to have fun and lighten up. When we were trying to open this door, no matter how much we … Continue reading →
Do you hear that? Do you hear your own heartbeat? No. What do you hear, then? Nothing. Do you hear the slug running that is at your feet? How is it that you hear these things? How is that you do not? … Continue reading →
It’s breathtaking to see from a distance the ice mass in the valley. Imagine 20,000 years ago this area is covered with a glacier. So beautiful that Norway attracts thousands of tourist visiting Briksdalbreen or Briksdal Glacier. The landscape is covered with … Continue reading →
Regardless of travel advisory, people from all over the world wants to see where it happened. Regardless of personal belief, they want to visit where it all began. Regardless of culture, pilgrims and tourist mix together. Regardless where they came … Continue reading →
It’s just a small incline, so they say, to go up the Crooked Hill. Besides, the way up is made of wooden steps, no dirt road. The first few steps look easy enough to climb up. My companions were showing … Continue reading →
From the distance, I could see the green hill with something erected on the mound. The site is open to the elements that nothing can shield me from the cold wind. The expansive cloudy sky is threatening that rain is … Continue reading →
Thousands of people were gathered on that day. What attracted me is this family with three children. Two girls and a boy. It reminded me what happened more than a century ago, a story of three ordinary children. They may … Continue reading →
A fool I was doing my very first pilgrimage on my own, wearing open toed sandals walking the plains of Assisi in a little town called Porziuncola all the way to top of the hill of Assisi where the Basilica … Continue reading →
These artifacts are priceless. …we live in a time of real urgency, when we have to mine the insights of the past.” The symmetry of first having your desire, your passion, your commitment tested as you cross into the “world … Continue reading →
It is a challenge and a hair-raising experience to go on a pilgrimage. It’s not an ordinary travel just because we paid an enormous amount of money to travel in luxury and be catered to. I join a pilgrimage because … Continue reading →
Copenhell is a kind of hell that most people would like to stay. Hot-hot-hot. Heat wave in May. Sweat pouring out of skin. Earth is steaming. Even the air will burn your skin. One just have to cover up for … Continue reading →
Just can’t get away from these two gals following me like kitty cats. If they were really cats and died in the process of following me, only satisfaction will bring them back. They are very proud of making street photography … Continue reading →
Historically, Birgitta and Saint Birgitta are not really the same person. It is difficult at times to know what parts are historically accurate and which part is the image of the saint. As a person, Birgitta was born in 1303 … Continue reading →
It was a warm sunny June afternoon when we visited the old town of Kaunas, Lithuania. Most old town has a plaza and a town hall for everyone to enjoy. Even a place to have a wedding celebration. First, I … Continue reading →
There is place for me in this historical tapestry, in the upper right corner, just above the Beatles. And so I write words, words that I have heard, a jumble of notes, these words are not mine. And so it … Continue reading →
When we arrived In the country side of Sweden, we had a good feeling that we indeed arrived in place of peace. The first thing that welcomes us is a table with flowers, candle and a saying. Being on the … Continue reading →
The rain came when we visited the ruins of Cistercian Alvastra Abbey in Östergötland. We are the salt of the Earth. We are not made of sugar. We will not melt. With high winds and strong rain, we aborted the walk … Continue reading →
These feet will take us wherever they want to go. Passengers from the hydrofoil are rushing to plant their feet on the ground of Estonia after a two-hour sail from Finland, 2,000 of them more or less. As pilgrims, our feet … Continue reading →
We just have to make do with what we have in a given place at a given moment as we travel along as pilgrims celebrating mass. There are times that mass is performed out in an open space and we were … Continue reading →
We have been told to act in an orderly manner and with a certain kind of decorum as pilgrims representing a holy order. Since I am a law abiding citizen in a foreign country, Sweden, the guards do not like … Continue reading →
Somewhere in a Nordic nation, a billboard: Come party with us. A perfect place for 45 Canadian pilgrims shepherd by two priest. We searched for the nun but couldn’t find one in the land of the Vikings. Just as well, … Continue reading →
Imagine that you inherited the land below this mountain, as far as your eyes could see in the middle of the desert. Thinking of Las Vegas, this is a gold mine that could easily be transformed into a watering hole … Continue reading →
The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers ~ Matsuo Bashō We can tell when Catholic churches in Cuba are no longer use to celebrate mass, tower bells were taken down and displayed beside … Continue reading →
Oh, there were resolutions to keep a low profile to pace myself to take it easy, because nothing is so important anyway but yesterday there was an inertia that got out of hand like a rolling thunder and good people … Continue reading →
Maybe if I call myself a traveler, it would be more acceptable. But I am not a traveler. I travel because of pilgrimage. On a pilgrimage, we call ourselves pilgrims. As a pilgrim, I go because someone asked me because … Continue reading →
The earth expanding right hand and left hand, The picture alive, every part in its best light, The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted, The cheerful voice of the public road, the … Continue reading →
I told my sisters not to shop on their trip to Holy Land and pay more attention to the real purpose of their pilgrimage: to walk where Jesus walked. So, instead, they sent me a photo of what they could … Continue reading →
In the mind of Calvin and Hobbes, they could easily fly anywhere they want to be. Imagine them riding this catapult and thrown into oblivion and beyond! One of the belief system in Cuba is to call on a witch … Continue reading →
Home of the locals in Havana, Cuba, is rife with history. It’s written on the walls, it’s written on their faces, it’s written on the wind. Fieles a nuestra HISTORIA: Faithful to our history. Let it be written, let it … Continue reading →
It’s not even a day, I miss them already; my family, friends, neighbors, cats, and the comfort of home. Leaving them behind to travel for my annual pilgrimage creates a nostalgic moment. Far away from home, I want to make … Continue reading →
CAUTION: Enter at your own risk, the sign says. Somewhere in the jungle of Cuba, to reach the other side of the mountain, we have to enter a narrow cave. This is not for the faint-hearted. Scared? We are the … Continue reading →
When joining a beauty pageant, one must have a perfect body with a curve. In Cuba, the street is lined up with beautiful curves preserved in time for hire. A show stopper. It comes in so many shapes, sizes, and colours. … Continue reading →
Who is counting? I for one, not. It is enough for me to see the numbers of thank you notes left here. One. One is the best number. It only takes one to be touched by many filled with gratitude. … Continue reading →
Somewhere in the forested area of Cuba, it was a delight to see a homestead. It was a simple dwelling. Inside, the interior is spare. My first thought, how quaint. It’s good to see someone who exists in very little … Continue reading →
No artist can ever draw this face for her maker created her perfectly and thus became incorruptible. This is the incorruptible Face of Bernadette of Lourdes. Song of Bernadette Songwriters: COHEN, LEONARD/ELLIOTT, BILL/WARNES, JENNIFER There was a child named Bernadette I heard the story … Continue reading →
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light. Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory. Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning. Earth teach me caring ~ … Continue reading →
When I was in Cuba, it seemed that I was always eating because the food is one constant when I travel. Needless to say, after dinner, I go for a walk. One night, we found a mother cat nursing it’s … Continue reading →
It is the land that glows and expands. There are so many possibilities what one can do here. It is one of the most beautiful lands I’ve ever seen. Cuba meaning “Land”. In its simplicity, this is a place that … Continue reading →
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~ Rumi Dawn of a new day On top of Mt. Sinai. Half light, half dark The light made it … Continue reading →
Yes, I am a smoker. When I tell people that I smoke, some of them are gracious enough to say that I don’t look and smell like a smoker. That is the kindest thing to say to a smoker. However, there … Continue reading →
In Cuba, Che Guevara is bigger than life. The Cuban artistically erected a monument for him even though he is not Cuban. Che revolutionized Cuba. No doubt, he is their hero. “Silence is argument carried out by other means.” The … Continue reading →
All I wanted is to take a photo of a blank wall. This is no ordinary wall. It’s a Cuban wall. It’s a Cuban blue wall. But in a place considered to be a tourist trap, it was next to impossible for … Continue reading →
Good morning, my loving family, etc Guess where I am? Guess again! Tee hee hee 😂😂😂 I am at the airport, boarding at 8:20 precisely Airborne 9 on the dot Arriving Toronto at 16:20 Yikes! I have been saying I … Continue reading →
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have … Continue reading →
A series of photographs taken during my pilgrimage to India in 2014. Our bus was at a standstill during rush hour and I saw this man crossing the road. A barefooted man wearing a sack for clothing. He bent down to … Continue reading →
In India, due to its caste system, there is a group of people called the “untouchables”. We are talking millions of them, not just a tiny group. These people received their ‘title’ by default, by birth. They are considered impure. … Continue reading →
Litany of Humility O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me. From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being loved… From the desire of being extolled … From the desire of being honored … Continue reading →
We want to know. All we wanted to know but were afraid to ask. All we really needed to learn we learned in kindergarten… or college… or life. We want to know who loves us. We want to know who … Continue reading →
My feet carry me in different parts of the world to understand the divinity of Mother Earth. I am grateful what Mother Earth provides beneath our feet. Along the way, we encounter a bridge and calm water that create a perfect … Continue reading →
And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at … Continue reading →
Notice how much joy the nuns and the man having so much fun? I wonder what they were talking about? Aren’t the nuns too hot with their outfit? Or the rest of the people under dressed? I just love this … Continue reading →
At the end of a long corridor, there was a door. It was open, a sign of invitation. Welcome and come in. No one was around but me. I hesitated to go further that maybe I was trespassing but I … Continue reading →
It was the end of Cesar’s pilgrimage. I know Cesar’s wife, Bennie. She organizes pilgrimages and I have joined a couple of her many pilgrimages. The Celebration of Life for Cesar seems to be a reunion all pilgrims. Such a beautiful celebration. … Continue reading →
Some old men went to Abba Poemen and asked, “If we see brothers sleeping during the common prayer, should we wake them?” Abba Poemen answered, “If I see my brother sleeping, I put his head on my knees and let him rest.” … Continue reading →
As we enter the Holy Sepulcher, there lies a slab of stone where Jesus’ dead body was laid. The Orthodox priests anoint the stone with rose scented oil, walking around it as they say their prayers and holding an incense … Continue reading →
My thoughts are collections of other people’s ideas. There is no need for me to rewrite the story. They are good as they are. The following writings are thoughts from ordinary people who do extraordinary work that help shape my … Continue reading →
Walking down from Mount Olives is Palm Sunday road, a road that Jesus took riding a donkey. It’s downhill and I saw this man and his donkey. They must be exhausted doing business with pilgrims like me to experience where Jesus … Continue reading →
Here I stood at Mount Olive, I could see the structure behind the wall with an onion-shaped golden dome. It’s calling me, and I wanted to visit the place, but it’s not part of our itinerary. Long after I came … Continue reading →
This is more than a crack on the wall, it’s one of the gates of Jerusalem called St. Stephen’s Gate or Lion’s Gate. I spent more time on the walls of the gate, soaking up the atmosphere, listening to … Continue reading →
In India, we have to leave our footwear before entering a temple. I prefer to keep my beat-up shoes rather than moving it outside for fear of losing them and have to continue the pilgrimage barefooted. I never understand the … Continue reading →
All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
While I was drinking a cup of coffee, a couple of birds were reluctant to go closer to a pool of water because of my presence. I stood still and kept quite in order not to disturb them since I want their company. Slowly they took the courage to dip their feet on the water while peering at me. When they realized that I will remain motionless, they took the plunge.
This is my reward, a memory of my stay at Kochi, Kerala, India. In addition, I am learning how to use the power of computer photography. My very first GIF, perseverance has its own rewards.
Riding a camel is not as easy as riding a horse. I remember having to ride on one and rely on this beast climbing Mount Sinai in pitch dark. I closed my eyes so that I don’t get scared and … Continue reading →
It was interesting to see contraptions along the coastline of Kochi. These are called Chinese fishing nets that are permanent fixture that is unique and an unusual way to catch a fish. It’s a great tourist attraction.
Curiously, my two nephews and their sister wanted to know how it works and paid the fisherman for show and tell.
The net is lowered into the water, left for at least five minutes and raised back up by pulling the ropes. This is the hard part. The kids have to partake on this experience and pulled the ropes. They were so excited that they did catch something: a tiger fish, a wee one that has to go back to the sea to grow sharper fangs.
Did the kids dare to hold the fish? Nope, too scared to be bitten. Such scared cats.
Besides just a few steps away, one can find all kinds of fishes and have your pick.
There are contradicting history how the Chinese fishing nets arrived in Kochi, Kerala, India. Some says Chinese explorer introduced it, others by Portuguese that came from Macau. Who knows. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that this is the biggest bait for tourist.
Raj Ghat means Royal Steps and is a place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated on 1948.
In New Delhi, we visited Raj Ghat. To reach the memorial site, we walked a long corridor surrounded by beautiful green lawn, well-kept garden and a peaceful place. The vastness of this place is impressive.
Gandhi’s memorial site is made of black marble slab adorned with orange marigolds. The flowers are changed daily. A perpetual flame burns at one end. Inscribed on the stone is “He Ram” (Oh God).
It is mandatory that we must remove our shoes before entering the enclosure to keep the area free of dirt from our footwear.
The place was busy with visitors including school children on a field trip paying homage to him.
My life is my message ~ Mahatma Gandhi
The design of a simple memorial site reflects Gandhi’s modest life. Simplicity at its best.
He came, he saw, he conquer is the meaning of Veni, Vidi, Vici. This is the beginning of a love story about Taj Mahal.
It started when a prince, son of a Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar the Great went to a bazaar, saw a girl named Mumtaz Mahal and conquered her. It was love at first sight. She became his third wife and favorite. In return, she gave him fourteen children; however, she died giving birth. In her deathbed, he promised her that he will build the most impressive mausoleum over her grave and will never marry again.
Shah Jahan was heartbroken and devastated. The country was in mourning for two years. Subsequently, he undertook building a monument that took over 22 years, thousands of men and elephants to build this bigger than life structure to fulfill his promise to his beloved.
In every dynasty, there’s always a villain that is the Shah’s third son with Mahal named Aurangzeb.
Aurangzeb killed some of his families, took over the throne and banished his father to a tower in Red Fort at Agra. From the fort, Shah Jahan can only view from the distance where the love of his life lays. He died at the tower in Agra and was buried next to Mumtaz in Taj Mahal.
I can only imagine how hard it was for the Shah to be separated from his beloved.
What I find beautiful about Taj Mahal is the love story between the Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
If you are looking for Starbucks in India, good luck! You can only find the coffee shop in the Airport, departure area.
And if you are looking for a freshly brewed coffee, there is no such thing! Everything is instant coffee in India. The famous one is Nescafe or Folgers. Kate Crimmins are you rolling your eyes yet?
It was a problem, a very big problem for me. But hey, I am a pilgrim, this is not Club Med.
So, what is Indian Coffee? Pretty basic:
Instant Coffee – two packets if you want it strong
Hot Water – very small amount to dissolve the coffee
Warm Milk –lots to combine it with the dissolved coffee
Sugar – if you want it sweet.
Oh, some make it frothy to give it an espresso look. There’s hardly any coffee in this cup but bubbles.
I was kicking myself to get a “caffeine kick” to it. There’s hardly any caffeine in an instant coffee. Drinking two or three cups of this first thing in the morning is my form of “flagellation” for seventeen days to wake me up. I survived.
The minute we arrived in Canada, we stopped over at my sister’s place and I asked for a real good brewed coffee, mug size.
Aaahhhh…. good to the last drop followed by a refill.
There is no escaping the traffic. One has to learn to be an aggressive and defensive driver. It seems to be the louder and longer you blow your horn, drivers will allow you to converge.
Traffic in New Delhi, India
As I look out from the comfort of the bus, I asked Padre what is this area? “Is this the flea market.” The short response was that this is the slum area.
Slum area in New Delhi, India
On the other side of the coin, this is what most people prefer to see, an illusion of history past. This area did not bring any emotional sensation from me in comparison to the traffic and the slum area.
Taj Mahal, India
At the end of the day, our group, all 20 of us from Canada, Philippines and Austria gather for a meal to give thanks to India for opening their doors and converge with them.
Meal time prepared at a Catholic diocese
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Converge.”