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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wander to wonder (How this blogger was personally inspired by Bohol's Chocolate Hills)

My first visit of Bohol was in May 2008 when I still use the film camera
and the second was in November 2009 when I was able to have my first digicam.
I dream of going back there and enjoy their white sand beach...
I wish the Boholanos Strength of spirit.
 I fervently pray that they will find new sources strength in these crumblings.
Photo taken from http://www.bohol.ph/


One of the essential virtues of travelling is wonderment. If one wanders as a task or to pass the time, one cannot embody such a virtue. In fact, there is no point in travelling when one does not have the capacity to find joy in simple things as children often do.


We often associate wonderment to children, which is, in fact, very apt. Children wonder at anything from thousands of hills to hundreds of sea urchins. This is, I believe, one thing adults should not overgrow from. 



All churches are the same. All mountains are the same. All beaches are the same. Sure, but it takes a traveller to embrace each visit to these churches, mountains or beaches special. Aside from historical insights and relaxation, a traveller is often drawn to these spots with awe both by its uniqueness and even, by its plainness. 




To revisit this childhood virtue and to ultimately, adapt this travelling virtue, one, I believe, should start in Bohol. I grew up remembering that I once memorized among others the definitions of a mountain, a plateau and a hill. I remembered it in my elementary social studies class. I just remembered that I could define well these bodies of land when I was a child but grew up forgetting them, of course. 


On my first visit to Bohol's hundreds of hills, I must be anticipating the visit too much. From the long highway we traversed, I could see ordinary mountains (Oh yes, all protruding body of land became mountains to me because I am a grown up already), plenty of them. Taking lightly the mountains with grasses and trees sprouting, I quickly told myself with evident trace of disappointment, “Oh, so these are the hills.” 



Just when I told myself this, the van took a turn to a winding road filled with tourist buses and vans and ended up on a higher portion. We are then instructed to climb the man-made concrete stairs up to “see” the chocolate hills. A genius bulb flashed before I made a step up: I told myself, these hills are brown during summer so they are called chocolate hills and since it was not summer on this visit, they must be green hills for sure and I should call them chocolate mint hills. (Hahaha, I remembered something useful from my social studies class, then.) 




After my struggles in going up step by step, my disappointment also vanished step by step along the way. The hills, hundreds of them, can be seen while we are going up. And when I finally reached the top of the highest hill, one hill sacrificed in order to have a human view of the beauty of one of the nature's wonder, I was simply speechless. I simply felt I was on top of the world. I closed my eyes to feel the heat of the sun and the breeze and the presence of the Creator all at once. When I opened my eyes, the hills, hundreds of them sprouting here and there, awakened the sense of wonderment in me, the child in me. I told myself, it is all worth it. This is way beyond definitions, way beyond my social studies book, this is a re-education of a child within.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Memories of Cebu (2009 Family Trip)



Our entourage posed by the Magellan's Cross 
(located just behind the Sto. Nino Church).

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Lapu lapu Shrine at Lapu lapu city.

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The sand and beach at Lapu lapu city.

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Some Tiki outdoor decors at the Lapu lapu Shrine

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My cousin who rested her tired feet 
in one of the wooden benches of the Sto. Nino Church.

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At the Chinese Temple in Cebu.

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Lapu lapu bust.

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Our favorite forage is in the pasalubong area of Lapu lapu shrine.
Tshirts, ref magnets, native bags, bling blings

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My portrait of Lapu lapu.

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The mural on the ceiling sheltering the cross of Magellan.

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The yellow ladies at the Magellan's cross.
Let us continue to pray with them for the safety of Visayas.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bohol: A photo tribute to Philippine's top tourist destination


Chocolate Hills. This viewing deck on top of the highest hill 
may now be a ruin but it surely is cemented in our thoughts 
when we were enjoying the cute drops of mint hills (they're green not chocolate colored)
after climbing more-than-a-hundred steps. Taken November 2009, our family entourage was joined 
by my 83 year old Lola who was serenaded by Lobor River Cruise singers
that day because it was here birthday  and by my nephew who was 3 years old at the time.

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The oldest and youngest of our troop posed by the door of Baclayon Church.
They froze the beauty of the intimate detail of the structure with them.

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The dance troupe of Loboc was also joined by Boholanos of the community; 
they are of all ages from children to grandmas...

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My Father in Bohol's Butterfly garden.
 It can be everywhere but it was here where he was tickled like this.

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Bohol's hanging bridge.

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Timeless. No words can express the happiness and pleasure of my Grandma.

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Classic. No words are necessary for the amusement of this Little Boy. 
Just look at the O form of his lips...

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We posed here at Baclayon Church.
We passed by the other churches but this is where we chanced to get down...

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The shrine of the blood compact.

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The tale to tell when one get home. 
Where's the long broomstick now?

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Going down the highest hill of Chocolate Hills.
One step at a time.

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My cousin enjoyed her bamboo dance called 
Tinikling, perhaps her first!

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This is said to be the face of Fr. Pio, says the guide.
Figure out yourself please.

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Architectural, historical and religious structure may have fallen 
but we will always pray that the spirit and determination of the people of Bohol will not. 
Tragedies come and when they go, we thrive and grow as a people. Filipinos do.
We will pray for the full recovery and restoration of this historical place of Bohol,
a top destination place in my heart.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

FOOT: Walking the alleys of Intramuros


There is no arguing that the structures in Intramuros are still well-maintained despite its oldness. However, if Intramuros should be a tourist attraction, it should somehow be zoned, where offices and establishments will be properly located and where portions, if not all, historical sites will be preserved. The electric cable wires abound and subtract the allure of this historical place. Also the cars and jeepneys destroy the oldness of the streets...

More on Intramuros here.
For travel tips on Intramuros, click here.   
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Warming up our smiles! Photo taken by Noynoy

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The Old church of Manila... 
Many students had a tour too when we had ours..
It was closed for renovation when we went there end of September 2013.
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The Church and the Plaza de Roma

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At last, we reached Fort Santiago.

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We started our walk from here at 7am.
What a funwalk...

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

FOOT: UST Museum shows religious ivory pieces to condemn blood ivory




We were lucky to have witnessed some old pieces made of ivory during our visit at the UST Museum. From July 18 to September 28, 2013, the UST Museum presents “Ars Eboris Sacri (Art of Sacred Ivory): Ivory and Controversy” at its Main Gallery.

"The exhibit will feature religious images from the 19th century and earlier. In the light of recent events involving illegally-sourced ivory and elephant poaching, the exhibit brings together a rare and fascinating collection of sacred images that are made of ivory and points out how these objects are inextricably linked to Philippine history and cultural heritage. Taking a stand against elephant poaching and the collecting and commissioning of new art from ivory, the UST Museum seeks to educate the public about existing sacred art and the context of the cultural heritage of the Church," says the UST website.


The exhibit opens on July 18, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. and will run until September 28, 2013. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday (excluding university and national holidays), 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For inquiries, please call the UST Museum at 781-1815 or 786-1611 local 8269 and ask for Mr. Red De Leon.



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             Only in June this year, the Philippines made a strong statement when it decided to destroy five (5) tons of a total of about 13 tons seized by the customs officers since Mid-1990s, with two biggest hauls in Manila's seaport and international airport in 2005 and 2009. See more report.

              The National Geographic magazine has a feature on "blood ivory," an advocacy that condemns illegal wildlife killing. Ivory tusks come from elephants. More story here. 





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Photo of this poster was taken from UST Website.

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Photo of the magazine cover was taken from National Geographic Website.

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