Travel Diaries: Florence, Pisa & Rome

We’re down to our last leg! For our last stop, we did all the touristy things and filled our stomachs with Pizza, Pasta, Gnocchi, Cacio e Pepe and Gelato. (If you need recommendations, I suggest La Francescana Trattoria. Good food, not so high price.)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa!

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Florence:

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Il Duomo

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Rome:

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The Colosseo (Details)

Villa Medici

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Trevi Fountain:

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WHERE MY OTHER SISTER’S WALLET GOT STOLEN HERE

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Castel’San Angelo

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The Vatican Museum

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St. Peter’s Basilica:

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That’s it! ❤ I am extremely grateful that this trip happened.

Happy 30th Anniversary, Parents!

Europe 2018

Europe 2018:

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Travel Diaries: Cinque Terre

https://flic.kr/p/27zV98xCinque Terre literally translates to 5 towns. Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera is composed of the 5 fishing village of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Unfortunately, we were only able to visit Monterosso al Mare, as we were only there for a day. The weather was perfect: Sunny, but not too hot. The vibrant colours of the town matched the tasty dishes and the warm culture of the place. This is probably one of my favourite places we visited. My only regret was not bringing a bathing suit.

We rode a bus from the boat to Levanto, where we needed to catch a ferry

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Olive Trees! Their Extra Virgin Olive Oil here is so pure it only 2% acidity. The ones in retail usually have around 8% acidity.

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Monterosso al Mare:

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Monterosso is famous for their lemons. They’re a little bit bigger, and a little bit sweeter than your regular ones.

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Europe 2018:

Travel Diaries: Marseille & Provence

Next stop on our cruise was France.

Provence

When we arrived in Provence, I immediately felt the urge to get a basket, buy fresh fruits and sing the opening song in The Beauty and The Beast. (For reference: https://open.spotify.com/track/1cPfKp9ThNZ1fez9itmUMN?si=FYtC3JdySWOWV9Sn8ZXfFg) It was really charming. It had a certain Je ne sais quoi that only a small French town had. The small alleys lined with cobblestones, town centers lined with little cafes and shops. It was how I imagined France in my head. Down to the typography on the store signs. And to top all that off, this town smelled of lavender. A lavender farm is located in Provence, so they sold lavender soaps, oils, everything!

On the way to Provence.

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Main Road

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Town Area:

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Callisons: The good King Rene and Queen Jeanne were part of an arranged marriage. The Queen was happy, so the King asked the town to prepare all kinds of pastries and sweets. The queen tasted this cookie and smiled.  The shape of the cookie was to commemorate the queen’s lips that were smiling.

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Everything was simply charming. Even down to their handwriting.

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Aix-en-Provence is very famous for their Rosé. (Bottle not shown). It was very pale, almost orange in color. I don’t really know how to describe wine, but it was dry, and it was perfect with our meal.

Fresh Market:

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Marseille

Marseille was on the coast of France. It was lined with beautiful houses and at the highest point sits the unique Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral. From there, you could see the beautiful view of Marseille.

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View from Notre Dame de la Garde:

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Notre Dame de la Garde

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This cathedral’s interiors made it feel warm: from the striped archways to the gold domes. If you look closely, you can also see how they hung small model ships. Upon searching online, these are apparently replicas of ships or vessels of survivors from disasters during their voyage at sea.
“In the 17th century, it became the custom for those who suffered near disasters and had recourse to her to thank Notre Dame de la Garde with an offering of thanks. In this Basilica the ex-votos – literally, from the vow made – reflect the livelihood of the people: to thank Our Lady the survivors commission oil paintings of their ships in peril at sea or craft model replicas of their ships that hang from the ceiling vaults. “
Source: https://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/h137_Exvotos.htm

 

Europe 2018:

Travel Diaries: Gibraltar

The place looked like it was straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. (Well, at least the lighthouse part). Gibraltar is a small piece of land under UK territory. It is mostly dominated by The Rock of Gibraltar. It is quite literally a big rock made up of limestone. Gibraltar is known for being a fortress for Britain during the 2nd world war. This is why this small and dainty town is so rich with history.

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Travel Diaries: Cruisin’ Together

If you saw my post about Barcelona, I mentioned there that because of my sister’s lost passport, some of my siblings had to go around Europe via train. The others (My parents and their remaining children including me)  went on a cruise. Here are just some photos from the Cruise.

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Travel Diaries: Barcelona

 

 

So as I’ve said before, it has been a busy few weeks. From Korea, I went back home for a day and then went on an almost-20 hour flight to Spain with my family. So yes, I am writing this, I am half asleep from the jetlag.

It was an amazing trip though. Amazing in a roller coaster of emotions kind of way. We cried, laughed, feared for our lives, stood in silence out of awe, ate good food and enjoyed our time as a complete family.

Our first stop was Barcelona. 

On our first day, we went around the area where we stayed (Passeig de Gracia), AND WE WERE ROBBED. We were sitting in a bench in front of the Cathedral de Barcelona (picture below) , and within a matter of a few minutes, my sister’s bag was stolen. And in that bag was her passport. No worries though, she got a travel document and was able to go around Europe by Train with two of my siblings. The rest of us went on a Cruise, as planned.

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Bench where the robbery happened:

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Our second day was less tragic.

Our first stop was Casa Battlo, a house designed by the great Antoni Gaudi. His designs were not only aesthetically nice, they were also innovative for his time. He even custom made brass door handles, that were extremely ergonomic. You could open the door form either hand, from any side. He also made custom lettering to signify different rooms all over the house.

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Our next stop was Museo de Picasso. They didn’t allow pictures inside so I don’t have pictures.

I was able to go around Passeig de Picasso and take pictures though.

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And then we went back to Passeig De Gracia and took a Tapas Tour from Casa Gracia. I was semi-tipsy from drinking wine while I was hungry, but I was able to take some photos. Photos are not of the tapas though. I took pictures of the buildings and the people around the neighborhood.

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For our last full day, we went to two other Gaudi-designed structures.

La Sagrada De Familia:

The facade did in no way prepare us for what we were going to see inside. From the heavy, dark and almost creepy outside, you’ll see a sanctuary made of caves of different colored lights and shapes. Almost as if replicating my experience of being catholic – beyond fear of God, beyond tradition, there is the light and the love of God that will keep us purposeful. (Woah, didn’t expect to get all religious. But yes, that’s how I felt)

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Park Guell:

Park Guell was a bit more chill. It was a beautiful park with beautiful views of Barcelona. The park was also designed by Gaudi.

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So yes, that was our Barcelona journey.

To see the other parts of this Europe trip, follow my next coming posts! 🙂

 

EUROPE TRIP 2018:

Travel Diaries: Seoul (June 13-18)

 

 

 

 

Posting this late since we’ve been traveling via cruise ship these past few days and there hasn’t really been stable wifi anywhere (will post about it soon as well!)

So my sister, her friends and I went to Seoul for a couple of days. It was really refreshing to be somewhere different, and hang out with nice people.

 

Our first stop was Nami Island:

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And then we went to the Garden of Morning Calm (I was confused about the name for a while, but I feel like the garden’s mood was quite literally what morning calm feels like)

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Then we went to Myeongdong the Ehwa Women’s University district:

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We had street food for dinner beside the Han River:

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The next day, we went to the Gwanghwamun palace, where he hung out in our hanboks:

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Good friends, good food, good times

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bukid Diaries: May 18, 2018

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Mama’s “classroom” where she teaches the farmers about organic framing and where she discusses the weekly agenda.

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As soon as we came down from the car, these kids (followed by these dogs) came to us. They’re actually sons of the head farmer, and they’re very warm and playful.

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It’s a dog eating a coconut!

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Fresh chilli peppers

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My “playmates”

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They saw this piece of plywood on the floor (used to close off the gate), and proceeded to play with it as if it were a gun

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A farmer intently planting the papayas one by one.

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When he was tired from running, he sat on the plywood and did this.

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They were harvesting coconut. My mom bought them a harness, but they prefer climbing.

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Throwing the coconuts towards the ground

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Climbing towards the coconuts!

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Instantly as the first buko stash arrived, our Kuya opened one with machete.

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Climbing down the tree.

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Lesson 3

So I’m taking this online class on photography. Lesson 3 was about conceptualizing photos. Our assignment was to photograph a person older than us. We had to research about them, and even look for baby pictures of them if they had it. I chose two subjects whom I thought had a lot to say. They were very comfortable around me, and I was very comfortable around them.

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Honoria Manjares

Ate Nhorie has been with us for 24 years. She came to help my mom 4 days before she gave birth to us. When I was young, I remember she would secretly finish my food when I couldn’t (when my Dad didn’t let me leave until I’ve finished), or secretly tell me the time when my Dad tested me. She would wipe the tears from my eyes when I cried, and whenever she would leave for Bicol, I would chase after her and she’d have to tell me that she was just buying medicine. Every September 28, she would bet on her lotto cards based on how old me and my twin sister were.

She is also very strict on us. Always telling us to go down to eat early, to keep our closets neat, and to make sure we don’t leave anything behind when we leave. She is family to me. She’s still with us, and she still sends her money back to her family in Bicol.

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When I was taking photos of her, she laughed because she said “Nakita ko dimple mo kasi, ang lalim. Ang cute.” I laughed. And reminisced to afternoons when I was a kid, and it was just me and her and my twin sister, we would spend it in the garden, or walking around the village, and I instantly felt nostalgia.

Love you, Ate Nhors.

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Roy De Guzman

If you’re my friend on facebook, you may have seen this face before. This is my uncle. He lives with us. When he was a baby, he got a high fever that caused the stunting of his learning capabilities. Growing up, I remember him visiting us in our old house. He was always smiling, and he loved it when we played jokes on him. He never forgets birthdays also, and always greets us.

He loves watching TV, and telling stories. In these photos, he told me the story of his special olympics medals (for swimming). He also likes keeping mementos. The frames behind him are from years ago. One is a family portrait from when they were kids, the other is a picture of him in a studio, and another is a framed cross stitch piece that says “home is where the heart is”

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Now that he’s living with us, and now that I’m an adult, I felt like my relationship with him got a little more complicated. See, it’s quite frustrating when he does things that he has been told not to do repeatedly. It’s small things like scraping off stickers, or disassembling door knobs. Sometimes it takes a toll on me, and I get mad at him. But at the end of the day, I know he has a good, caring heart. We often say that if he didn’t have his condition, he would be a politician, because of how easily could make friends with anyone.

Also love you, Tito Roy