Convergence

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Converge.”

This is my contribution to this week’s photo challenge. This shot of this beautiful hallway was taken at St. Agustin Church in the Philippines this summer. The arcs in my opinion gave weight to the character of the church’s architecture.

St. Agustin church Philippines

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Summer Vacation Part III: Feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola

The feast of Saint Ignatius de Loyola is celebrated on July 31. Saint Ignatius is the patron saint of the soldiers, the founder of the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) and he is also one of the patron saints of Liloan Southern Leyte.

It’s not my first time to celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola in Liloan because my mom is from there and we have relatives there as well.

Anyway, we arrived in Liloan 2 weeks before the fiesta¬†and it was raining (July is rainy season in the Philippines) but it wasn’t that bad compared to Manila. I’m thankful because the sun shined a couple of days after the arrival so we got the chance to go for a sightseeing and swimming. Then every morning, the sound of drums and lyres woke us up-yes there’s parade everyday before the fiesta! My cousins said that they celebrate their patron saint for a week and there are lots of activities before and during the fiesta. Like for example, the Lilo-Lilo Festival and the beauty pageant.

As a girl who grew up in Manila, I find fiestas outside the city more lively and more fun because people are cooperative and care about their community.

Summer Vacation in the Philippines Part II: The Old Man and His Violin

During my stay at Liloan Southern Leyte, I met an extraordinary man. He is an old man in his 60’s. He is a musician and he plays the violin but unlike the other violinists he doesn’t own a Stravidarius nor a Stentor.¬†His violin is homemade. It is made from a rod, strings, bottlecaps and a tin can. When someone asked him what he can do with his musical instrument, he just simply sat on the bench and played. First he played a couple of Filipino music and then I requested for a Delilah. I’m really impressed because he got the tune (almost) eventhough his instrument is not one of the best. It only shows that he got the skill and the passion.

Check out the video at the last part of this post.

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Playing with passion.
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The spectators

Summer Vacation in the Philippines Part I: St. Augustine Church and Manila Cathedral

Even though I have already moved to Norway, Philippines has always a huge place in my heart. That is why I never forget to  include Philippines in my travel plans. Two months ago I spent four weeks in the Philippines. Wherein the first week was spent in the metro, the second and third week at Liloan Southern Leyte and four days in the metro again before we head back to Norway. This year is my very first time to spend only four weeks in the Philippines. During the past years, I took at least  ten weeks there. But time changes and so as my plans. I have work and obligations to think about now.

Anyway, it is rainy season in the Philippines. So it was raining when we landed in Manila and then two days after that a typhoon came and that resulted to some changes in our plans. The original plan was to go to Tagaytay but due to the typhoon, we had to cancel it. It really sucks but the malls were opened the following day so it was not so bad after all and besides there are lots to see in Manila too.

Aside from the malls, we went to see the beautiful architectures and parks in Manila. Our first stop was Rizal Park but due to the damage made by the typhoon Glenda, they closed the park. So we moved on to the next stop which is Fort Santiago. Unfortunately it was also close. Some parts of Intramuros had to be cleaned up from fallen trees. However, the churches and museums were open so our Manila trip didn’t go to waste after all.

We’ve only visited the two of the most famous churches in Manila (we’ll make sure to visit all next timego!)

 St. Augustine church and museum. St. Augustine is the oldest church (400 years old) in the Philippines and is located in Intramuros, Manila.

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The church’s facade

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The library

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Inside the church. This reminds me of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican.

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Just a couple of blocks away is the Manila Cathedral Basilica. 

 

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The best way to explore Manila is by car. It is safer and hassle free. We rented a van with a driver for a one day for 2000 pesos.

Philippines 2014: Makati Avenue

Whenever I go to Metro Manila, I always stay at Makati Avenue Makati City because everything is accessible. From fastfood, restaurants, transportation and shopping malls (you name it). At the same time security is good here since there are police officers and security guards almost all of the time.

I was here a month ago and I stayed at Traveller’s Inn during the first week of my vacation in the Philippines. Traveller’s Inn is a condo-hotel located along Makati Avenue and P.Burgos. This part of Makati is known as the Red Lights District of the Philippines because of the night clubs, bars and women.

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A nice view of Makati Avenue from the condo-hotel.

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Sharing some stories from friends and family in the Philippines

It saddens me that there are people whom we elected as officials are taking advantage of a disaster for their own political sake. I can not imagine how they can sleep at night while their countrymen are suffering. As we all know, Philippines is getting a huge amount of support from other nations. Help does not only consist of cash donations but also medical teams, military aid, and etc. However, no matter how much help comes, there are still who have not yet eaten anything since the typhoon came. So the situation gets worse and people are desperate.

I have relatives in Liloan Leyte. Liloan is 2 hours drive from Tacloban City. Even though there are no reported casualties, there are lots of families who have lost their roofs, their livelihood and they have nothing to eat. So they also need help in order to survive. Aside from that, the small town is experiencing problems with the looters and some prisoners who have escaped Tacloban jail. According to them, the police has already arrested three of them but no one knows how many have already arrived in Liloan. They have also heard that some of those inmates who have escaped broke into a house, robbed the family who lives there and killed them.

Going back to the politicians who are taking advantage of the situation, a friend of mine whose father is working in a government office in Manila shared his conversation with his dad. He asked his dad what the office is going to do with the imported relief goods that arrived in their office. His dad said that some (not all) of the senators wanted the said goods upstairs because they will put names on the bags. (You know what will happen next.) So now I understand the delay…

My Heart Goes out to the Philippines

The news about the recent catastrophy in the Philippines is heartwreching. After the strong earthquake and now this. ūüė¶ ¬†Typhoon Haiyan has claimed the lives of circa 10000 people in Tacloban alone and caused severe damage to the city and to the nearby towns. They need our help and support. We should show them that they are not alone and that there is still hope for them.

There are many ways to help. One is through donations and second is through volunteering. Since I am here in Norway, I am donating cash to my chosen organization, which is Red Cross Philippines.

red crossJust click the logo to take you to the website then enter the amount you wish to give and the payment method you prefer.

For those who are in Stavanger area, you can also contact the Filipino Association in Rogaland.

FAR

Thank you for your love and support.