Sunday, December 1, 2013

Viaje a España

As was mentioned on my previous post, I recently made ​​my first trip to Spain in September. The trip was divided into 2 parts: 5 days in Castilla y Leon and 4 days in Madrid with a side trip day tour in Barcelona. My original plan was to stay only in Madrid for 5 days so I didn't have much time to prepare the first half of my journey. Although I did some pre-planning by reading travel books and checking travel blogs on the internet, but I didn’t really know what to expect prior to arrival.

Castilla y León

Lonely Planet describes this region as Spain without the stereotype with vast brooding plains, spectacular mountain peaks, with charming towns and castles. 5 days are not enough to explore the region but I managed to visit Valladolid, Burgos, Salamanca, and Segovia with a side trip to Pedraza y Tordesillas. There is much to be said about the scenery and I was very impressed with the sights starting day one.  I like the history vibes and the ancient feeling of the medieval towns I had visited. I don’t get to see on a daily basis buildings from the 11th or 12th century which are still functioning. It felt like stepping back in time. It was awe-inspiring. My favorite part of the trip was walking through winding streets twisting up and down the hill with well-preserved medieval architecture and charming bar and restaurants in every corner. 


Madrid

Madrid was quite a revelation for me. It is lively, with great architecture, so much culture as well as history. Unlike Castilla y Leon where I had to adjust with the temperature, the weather was warm and sunny and comfortable to get around. It´s a vibrant city with lots to do and see: it is beautiful to look at in the day, more so in the evening. I think there is no shortage of nightlife in Madrid. The highlight for me is that you can get anywhere by foot as most of the attractions are within walking distance. I just walked and saw a lot: narrow streets leading to eating places, historical spots, shops and tapas bars. My only regret was that I wasn’t able to visit the El Escorial as was initially planned.

Barcelona

Barcelona is resplendent with the creative modernista architecture. Even if you don’t know anything about architecture or modernismo en general but when you walk the streets of Barcelona you will intuitively be able to identify a Gaudí building as they are unmistakable. What I was not prepared however was the huge number of tourists in the city.






Overall Impressions

The Food: Prior to visiting Spain, the closest thing I experienced in the Spanish gastronomy was at the Instituto Cervantes. Most of the cities I’ve visited are like huge tapas bar as there a lot of options to choose from.The food was varied and flavorful. The eating schedule was different and takes time getting used to. I was overly impressed with the quality of food and the service and was even offered a glass of sherry after dinner, compliments of the house. It’s interesting to note that I felt like I was constantly eating when I was there. ¡A tapear!

The people: The people are vibrant and fun-loving. I didn’t expect such warmth. I think the people in Madrid are as equally friendly, knowledgeable and supportive as the people in the places that I had visited in Castilla y Leon. I didn’t have a hard time asking for direction or restaurant recommendations as they were always friendly and will go out of their way to help. Although I really made a lot of blunder, they took my attempts at Spanish as a compliment.

Anticipation was my constant companion when I went to Castilla y Leon as I was traveling alone. Despite the initial fears, the good thing about traveling alone is that the trip becomes more flexible and it is a good way to think and reflect. My trip to Spain was full of fun, and I had a great time appreciating life and culture. 


El Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Strolling through El Retiro Park in Madrid. It definitely is a good place to have a drink and people watch. :)

video




Pedraza, Spain

Pedraza is an enchanting walled medieval village located in the province of Segovia. This is probable one of the most beautiful Spanish villages that I have seen.

Puerta de la Villa is the only entrance and exit into town.













video


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Euro Trip

I embarked on my first ever trip to Europe last September. It was a very memorable trip for many reasons. 



First, because it was my first long-haul flight. Second, I studied Spanish for 2 years and it was only appropriate to use it in real life. And last but not the least, I traveled alone when I visited some cities in Spain, the experience helped me discover my capacity as an individual

Thursday, August 29, 2013

In memoriam

History's greatest naval battle occurred in my hometown. I'm not sure if my paternal grandfather was a member of the guerilla movement who fought against the Japanese but he used to tell us stories about the second world war. He and his family along with other locals hid in caves. My grandfather mentioned that it was easy to distinguish the sound of an American jet fighter from that of a Japanese aircraft. The Americans did air assault against the Japanese infantry so campfires were not allowed for fear of being bombed.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cada Vez

Me quedé encantada con esta canción cuando la escuché por primera vez en un programa de viaje.
 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ready, pack, go! NOT!


Time flies really fast, September is just around the corner! I'm doing my best not to count the days. I've already bought the tickets and the accommodations have been arranged. I thought I've got everything covered and yet I am not prepared. I am on the verge of panic actually. I already have a packing list but haven't bought the essential items needed. Sigh. A friend of mine reminded me earlier today that I need a new camera. I love taking photos with my smartphone but I'm not really a photography buff. Besides, my 5-year-old digital camera is still working so I'm quiet hesitant to buy a new one. Hopefully my Ixus 80 will suffice in capturing those epic travel moments.

 

Its all a bit of a blur at the moment and my travel itineraries are not yet fixed. I've been scouring Lonely Planet for some travel tips and articles, hopefully I can get things sorted and come up with something substantial in the next few days. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reunited cover version

This is probably one of the best cover versions I've ever heard. Roadfill is the spike-haired half of the wacky Moymoy Palaboy duo known for their uploaded lip sync videos on Youtube. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Photo of the day

Getting the hang of using her newly discovered superpower. Kamehameha wave! 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

My bags are not yet packed...

For the past days, I've been prepping myself on my impending trip. I have watched a lot of videos on youtube on how to pack smart and travel light. This,  this and this. I've pretty much got everything covered (I think). 


I've tried doing a hands-on practice. For some reason, I still couldn't get the hang of it. Oh well...as the cliche goes, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And I'm trying my darnedest! Having a petite frame, it's quite a challenge globetrotting while carrying a huge backpack. I'm prepared to eat where the locals like to eat (except liver, yuck!). Anyway, while browsing the net for possible itinerary, I came  across a Groupon offer to Siem Reap which is very tempting. Alrightyyy...I will have to turn the other check as I prefer to travel in 4 countries in a single trip. 


Saturday, August 3, 2013

The poor traveler

Traveling on a shoestring budget can be a bit stressful. 4 countries in 8 days *gasp!*
So many places to travel, so little time!!!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mcdo's Wall

 
Choose your language.
  
 
I like the new store concept of McDonald's near my place. For some reason, it reminds me of the freedom wall in my college dorm located beside the notification board.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Spelunking

It's been a year since I had my first real caving experience. I'd love to go back to Sagada and enjoy the serene splendor of the Cordillera mountains.






Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Wall


The location of Fort Santiago was once the site of the palace and kingdom of Rajah Suleiman, a Muslim chieftain of pre-Hispanic Manila. The fort is shielded by 22 feet (6.7 m)-high walls, with a thickness of 8 feet (2.4 m) and an entrance measuring 40 feet (12 m) high. I hope it will survive another four hundred years. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

Latin and the Roman Languages

Latin: Omnes homines dignitate et iure liberi et pares nascuntur, rationis et conscientiae participes sunt, quibus inter se concordiae studio est agendum.



French: Tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. Ils sont doués de raison et de conscience et doivent agir les uns envers les autres dans un esprit de fraternité

Spanish: Todos los seres humanos nacen libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos y, dotados como están de razón y conciencia, deben comportarse fraternalmente los unos con los otros.

Portuguese: Todos os seres humanos nascem livres e iguais em dignidade e em direitos. Dotados de razão e de consciência, devem agir uns para com os outros em espírito de fraternidade.

Italian: Tutti gli esseri umani nascono liberi ed eguali in dignità e diritti. Essi sono dotati di ragione e di coscienza e devono agire gli uni verso gli altri in spirito di fratellanza. 

*All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood*

Sunday, June 9, 2013

C is for crashed hard drive

I promised in my previous post that I will upload more photos from my Bali trip. Unfortunately, I lost my memory card and what's worse, my hard drive crashed and I was unable to retrieve all my files. When it rains, it really pours. *sigh*



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

V for vacation

Welcome to Bali!
 
 
There are many things to share on my recent trip to Bali. Blog post to follow soon.
 

Friday, February 8, 2013

T is for traumatized.

Note to self: Hide or restrict gross photos posted by FB friends. NOW I'M TRAUMATIZED. I have been getting goosebumps since I saw the photo of a breast infected by larvae.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

B is for book and for bad reading habits.

I have been meaning to catch up on my reading. I have a couple of books which remain unread on my shelf. Truth be told, I am the type of person who immediately buys the book which she fancies and then abandon them later on. Yes, I 'm selfish when it comes to my books. And yes, I'm an abandoner. Just like what happened to Carmen Laforet's Nada which I bought a month ago. I've been putting off reading the entire novel because the context is a tad difficult for me and I have to admit I got bored with the long narratives. Even though I haven't finished reading it yet I decided to switch to another book of the same genre. This book is recommended for intermediate Spanish learners and rated positively by many online reviews. However, until now I am still stuck on the 1st chapter.


Pending books to read.

I try to keep my books as new looking as possible. That's why I really hate it when people dog-ear the pages. Every bibliophile knows that this is the worst crime against books. It's the reason why I don't like lending my books to other people who are not family members or close friends. Books must be returned in the same condition that they were in when borrowed.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

La belleza de la naturaleza

The sun has finally come out after two days of consecutive tropical rain. I was finally able to take a walk around the neighborhood. Despite the heavy rains, the flowers were in bloom and the vivid hues were just gorgeous. I just couldn't resist taking a snap.











Monday, January 7, 2013

T is for Tubero

Are your pipes crazy? Here's the tubero's number. So call him maybe. 

Photo courtesy of Facebook

What the muck.






It looks like I will be doing the profession which I have been avoiding - teaching. I'm from a family of educators. While growing up, people always had this notion that I, too, will follow my family's tradition of going to the academe. But I don't think I have it in me. Teaching is a calling, it's a passion and must importantly, one must have patience. Classroom management is tough and I firmly believe that my personality is not fit for the teaching profession.
I am a living proof of the the famous quote "Youth is wasted on the young" at this point in time I really don't know what to do with my life. Oh boy, I sure have some serious personal issues. Sigmund Freud, please analyze this.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Una Aventura

Una historia con un toque de humor...



Se supone que Cristóbal Colón estuvo enamorado de la Reina Isabel la Católica. El romance destacado por una carta según una experta estadounidense.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

ODA AL GATO



Los animales fueron 
imperfectos, 
largos de cola, tristes 
de cabeza.
Poco a poco se fueron 
componiendo, 
haciéndose paisaje, 
adquiriendo lunares, gracia, vuelo. 
El gato,
sólo el gato 
apareció completo 
y orgulloso:
nació completamente terminado, 
camina solo y sabe lo que quiere...

Pablo Neruda







On Children

Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.They come through you but not from you,And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.



You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your childrenas living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 - a new year, a new blog


First off, I would like to greet the entire world a HAPPY NEW YEAR! To say a lot has happened in 2012 would be an understatement. Lets just recap a few highlights from last year's events. Let's see, my account was hacked, I accidentally drenched my passport...uhmm, what else? Oh, I gate crashed a party 3 times (although it didn't happen intentionally), did my first ever spelunking experience, I was able to find time to catch up with my learning Spanish and most importantly, I survived the Mayan prophecy! Note to self, to take time to give myself a pat on the back. 

I have to admit I kinda dread the changes that may happen this year at the same time I welcome all the challenges that may come my way. I just hope that by the end of the year, I will be able to manage to do everything I aimed to do. 

May we all have the very best of health, prosperity and peace in 2013!