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 the … 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 →
PASTOR: “The Lord be with you!” CONGREGATION : “And with your spirit” PASTOR: “Will everyone please turn on their tablet, PC, iPad, smart phone, and Kindle Bibles to 1 Corinthians, 13:13. And please switch on your Bluetooth to … 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 →
The highlight of my mornings going to school in the Philippines is singing the national anthem. Then we all can start our day of studying.
We all go out in the courtyard, dress up in our uniforms, with our right hand on our left chest, eyes fixed on the flag, a conductor moving her hand the three-quarters beat, and we sing with feelings and gusto. In doing so, this is how we learn patriotism to the country and flag of the Philippines.
Even the lyrics alone makes me feel the freedom and pride how my ancestors fought hard to gain our independence.
Land of the morning
Child of the sun returning
With fervor burning
Thee do our souls adore.
Land dear and holy,
Cradle of noble heroes,
Ne’er shall invaders
Trample thy sacred shores.
Ever within thy skies and through thy clouds
And o’er thy hills and seas;
Do we behold thy radiance, feel the throb
Of glorious liberty.
Thy banner dear to all hearts
Its sun and stars alight,
Oh, never shall its shining fields
Be dimmed by tyrant’s might.
I must say, I love the Philippine National Anthem. It was first written in Spanish, then translated in Filipino, and finally in English, a total of three versions versions you can listen here.
Symbols on the Flag of the Republic of the Philippines:
Blue – peace, truth, and justice.
Red – patriotism and valor.
White triangle – equality and brotherhood.
Three stars on the corners of the triangle – the three main geographical regions of the country namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Sun at the center of the triangle – eight rays representing the eight Philippine provinces that started the revolt against Spain that symbolize unity, freedom, people’s democracy and sovereignty.
Very brief background:
Spain ruled the Philippine for 300 years. Magellan discovered the Philippines. Catholicism is the main religion due to the Spanish Rule.
America came to the Philippines. An outbreak of war ensued between Spain and America.
Spain surrendered the Philippines to the America.
Philippines revolted against America.
America proclaimed that Philippines’ independence is the 4th of July.
Just a minute now, Philippines does not want the America’s national day of holiday. They wanted their own date to fall on June 12. Finally, America approved it on August 4, 1964 that the Philippines’ National Independence is June 12.
I am a Canadian now but deep in my heart, I am still a proud Filipino.
Charles Dickens uses the technique of juxtaposition in the opening line of his novel “A Tales of Two Cities”:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
Unlike Charles, I will be using mostly humans to compare them with something and this brain will see the far side of life.
The Egyptians had grandiose idea of building spectacular pyramids. I envisioned that they are gigantic in order to create such monumental edifice.
Have bag will travel the Camino Way. This lady definitely will fit into this bag.
There was the bear necessities exposition in France below the Eiffel Tower. These are Canadian Bears. Can you tell which the live one is?
Blue Moon and the Rising Sun. Partial eclipse.
Dying, dying, dead trees at the Dead Sea. I get it, nothing grows here.
Just for fun, I am throwing in the jester position.
The night before we entered the Holy Site of Santiago De Compostela, we needed to be purified in order to be worthy and receive the joy of entering the Cathedral. Little did I know, our fearless driver, Pablo, is a … Continue reading →
We are called to love God and one another. That is our primary vocation.
The reason we rise in the morning and the purpose of our life on earth is to learn how to receive God’s love and then share it. God’s gift of life to you each morning is a sign that He has a mission for you that day.
— from Tweet Inspiration
Visiting the public market in a another country is one thing I include in my itinerary with or without the help of a guide. Here in Compostela de Santiago, before we enter the mainstream, the busyness of the daily specials … Continue reading →
Awake from your slumber! Arise from your sleep! A new day is dawning for all those who weep. The people in darkness have seen a great light. The Lord of our longing has conquered the night. Let us build the … Continue reading →
Travel agents provide suggested reading list and itinerary of daily activities so that we know what to expect. Did I read any of the books? No. Did I read the itinerary? A little bit. Should I have read everything given … Continue reading →
Layer up is the advise of our fearless leader . Make sure we have a rain gear underneath the layers of clothing we have to brave the elements of Camino de Santiago. The weather was so fickle. It cannot make up … Continue reading →
The walk to Camino de Santiago would be incomplete should I did not stop and smell the roses. It’s not about putting in 21 clicks a day. It’s not how fast I can reach the top of the mountain. It’s not how much … Continue reading →
“Gratia Dei Sum Quod Sum” ~ By God’s grace I am what I am. Upon opening the window of the hotel we stayed at Burgos, the gothic Cathedral is right in front of me. We spend the night at the Hotel Meson del … Continue reading →
Leaving work mid-morning, my commitment was at 11 a.m. It’s close by to work, walking distance but I haven’t been to this place. Plenty of time to walk the inside streets, enjoy the beauty of the autumn day and the rain stopped.
This is the west side of Vancouver, a beautiful neighbourhood that takes pride of their surroundings. The environment is warm and welcoming. Homes are old, mostly heritage, painted houses in living colours and well-kept. Luscious garden, recycled items, ornamental trees and chair to sit around.
There’s nobody around and understandably so, it was work week and the children were at school. I found myself alone in sweet serenity to commune with nature.
I reached my destination.
St. Augustine Church. This is the first time for me to visit the church. As mentioned in my previous post, Candle in Spain, I say the same prayer when I visit a church the first time hoping my wishes will be granted. I did not because I was there for my friend to attend a Mass of Christian Burial of her mother.
To reach the Mount of Forgiveness, it’s an uphill battle in an open windy country side. The sign says 4.3 km of steady incline. From the distance I can see the electricity wind generators, in short windmills. towering the sky. The … Continue reading →
Spain is filled with churches and we tried to stopped by in most of them, time permitting. When I enter a new church, they say make a wish and your wish will be granted. I have three wishes and I pray it all … Continue reading →
Bull! No, I am not swearing. Bull, it’s exactly the first thing that greeted me at the hotel in Bilbao. It can be an imposing figure for a foreigner like me. Speaking of bulls, Pamplona is famous with Running with … Continue reading →
Entering the narrow pathways considered as a street in Santiago de Compostela, we could see the steeple of the cathedral. The pilgrims’ steps quickened as they are getting excited to reach their destination. In front of the towering old steeple, dating as … Continue reading →
This was filmed between 4th and 11th April 2011. I had the pleasure of visiting El Teide. Spain´s highest mountain @(3718m) is one of the best places in the world to photograph the stars and is also the location of Teide Observatories, considered to be one of the world´s best observatories.
The goal was to capture the beautiful Milky Way galaxy along with one of the most amazing mountains I know El Teide. I have to say this was one of the most exhausting trips I have done. There was a lot of hiking at high altitudes and probably less than 10 hours of sleep in total for the whole week. Having been here 10-11 times before I had a long list of must-see locations I wanted to capture for this movie, but I am still not 100% used to carrying around so much gear required for time-lapse movies.
A large sandstorm hit the Sahara Desert on the 9th April (bit.ly/g3tsDW) and at approx 3am in the night the sandstorm hit me, making it nearly impossible to see the sky with my own eyes.
Interestingly enough my camera was set for a 5 hour sequence of the milky way during this time and I was sure my whole scene was ruined. To my surprise, my camera had managed to capture the sandstorm which was backlit by Grand Canary Island making it look like golden clouds. The Milky Way was shining through the clouds, making the stars sparkle in an interesting way. So if you ever wondered how the Milky Way would look through a Sahara sandstorm.
For most walkers or hikers, going up the mountain is far easier than going down . When it comes to descending, it is really hard on the knees and toes especially when the mountain is too rocky and paved with … Continue reading →
Unlike Martin Sheen in the movie The Way, I came to walk the earth and walking part of Camino Santiago de Compostela is just one of my dreams. If you have seen the movie, this Posada was in the movie. … Continue reading →
Where am I? According to the itinerary, we would have walked the foothills of the Pyrenees near the French border. This is the Camino’s traditional start to the “French Route” where medieval pilgrims arrived into Spain from France after an … Continue reading →
Somehow this cloud does not look promising on the first morning of staying in Bilbao, Spain. The sun was struggling to break through the thick clouds.
It’s rather a warm day, the sun won, the rain lost, the clouds remained in the horizon giving a soft white fluffy cottony texture,
I found a corner bar that is open first thing in the morning. It is actually a coffee bar by morning and serves stronger beverage by night, if you get my drift. Here I decided to have my morning Java and a simple breakfast.
Ah coffee. Coffee tastes much better in Spain than Starbucks in Canada.
In the background, I could hear music playing to the tune of “It’s a Wonderful World. It seemed to me that it was coming from across the water,
After coffee, I decided to follow the music and crossed the bridge. At the other of the bridge, I found the lone player and people were passing, in a rush, and continued walking.
Well, I have all mornIng and now he has an audience of one, me. I requested if he could play the “It’s A Wonderful World” again. And he did. What a beautiful way to start a day. Of course, he deserves a good tip for making my morning memorable,
I walked away and he was playing the classical hymn “Ave Maria.”
Playground awaits for me. Bilbao knew that I love to play and I was greeted by this as I walked out of the airport. Just for me devoid of children, no competition. Come fly with me… and imagine that the … Continue reading →
For the longest time, I kept an article from Walkers’ World “If You Go…” dated year 2004.
Gate of Pardon
That year would have been the best time to go because of the Porta Santa or Gate of Pardon opens during Holy Year when the festival of July 25 falls on a Sunday for the pilgrims to pass through. Going through the door, your sins would be forgiven. With all the sins I accumulated over the years, I don’t think I would fit in that door.
Again I missed out year 2010 and the next time it will open is year 2021. Another 8 years to go and doing the math, I might as well give you how old I will be then. Nah.
One of the reasons I joined the 2012 pilgrimage was because of Santiago de Compostela.
My best friend spoke constantly about Compostela and asked me when I am going so I can bring pictures and tell her stories. By the time I went, she has left the earth. Jan lived vicariously about the stories of my travels.
I was sad going there because Jan was in my mind. Bo-ho-ho. Woe is me. And I heard her say in my head “shut up and enjoy yourself.” So I did.
It was a long walk before we reached the plaza of the main Cathedral, it was breath-taking. Compostela is the third most important church after Rome and Jerusalem in Christendom. I can die now having visited all three.
The legend says that this is the place where St. James remained and died. The Church has not validated or agreed to this, but hey, if it helps humanity regardless of race and creed, let the sleeping dog lie.
We attended the Pilgrim’s Mass where the giant incense burner is lit, pulled up and pushed in an upswing, just like a pendulum. The smell of incense filling my lungs, the choir singing in the background, the soft-spoken prayers, mesmerized by the swinging of the incense burner, suddenly in my mind, there she is. Jan is hanging on to the rope of the burner and swinging along with it.
I was laughing, quietly, my mind is so weird. Did I really see her?
Finally, I signed up with Walkers’ World to do the walk at Santiago de Compostela this October and I am looking forwardto my next annual pilgrimage.
My feet are being pampered tonight with Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Foot Spa Party. Looking forward, October 2013 as planned, these feet will be walking The Way. The ball is now rolling since my vacation is approved, signed up with Walkers’ … Continue reading →