Prague Diaries: All In A Day's Walk

Prague is definitely a city to discover on foot. There are so many details to focus your attention on, and if you are the type like me who prefers to walk off the beaten track, then you will find yourself surrounded by the most charming company. 

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Prague Diaries: Down By The River

There are few cities in Europe that inspire so much visual poetry like Prague. Take your pick, and choose to focus on the historical buildings or the sensational views of and along the Vltava River. 

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Twinkle, Twinkle, City Light

f I had my way, I would spend my days in a helicopter flying over different cities to capture the skylines. Failing that, I had to content myself with either being on top of very high buildings, or at the foot of the same. Drones are not within my technological scope, and let's be honest, that takes all the fun out of the experience. 

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Living Antiquity: Umbria (2)

Like the other Umbrian places, however, the old part of Perugia is a living dream of interwoven alleys, staircases, balconies, archways and windows. It doesn't really matter whether you know where you are headed to or not, or where you eventually emerge, one simply has to get lost in Perugia.

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Living Antiquity: Umbria (1)

The treasures of Umbria lie deep within stone and the quiet mountains of the region. The villages of the area are old, (and by that I mean dating back to the 9th - 4th centuries BC!)  but ever so charming. Every step taken along the cobbled stones of the ancient alleys is a passage into an antiquity I have trouble wrapping my head around.

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Among the H'Mong

The H’Mong are hill tribals who can be found in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, and no matter in which country you happen to encounter them, it will be a special experience.

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Visita Iglesia (Part 3)

So it came to pass that my Visita Iglesia pilgrimage developed a third leg, which is not likely to be the last. This time we ventured into the opposite direction of Metro Manila and into the Cavite area, naturally with my ever-faithful cat Champagne in tow. It’s the perfect training for her, preparation for the long journey ahead.

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Visita Iglesia (Part 2)

When I went to visit the church of Our Lady of Good Voyage in Antipolo last week, I never expected it to turn into a fascinating pilgrimage. On Friday I embarked on the second leg of the pilgrimage in the historic Bulacan area, making my way towards San Jose del Monte, where the renown replica of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto is. Having been to the original in France, I had a very clear picture in mind as to what I expected to see, or at least hoped to.

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Visita Iglesia (Part I)

One of the many things Filipinos inherited from 400 years of being a Spanish colony was the plethora of Catholic traditions surrounding Lent and Holy Week. I was first exposed to the tradition of Visita Iglesia in Mexico, and found the concept of visiting seven churches on Maundy Thursday evening rather tedious. My parents stood their ground, and we made our rounds whenever possible.

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A Return To Ternate

The advantage of living in an archipelago is that the beach is never too far away. If the urge to escape the urban jungle of Manila bites me, I simply have to decide whether I want to drive north, south, west or far east. Either way I land on the shores of the Philippine Sea or the Pacific Ocean. 

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When The Road Takes You Elsewhere...

When my girlfriends and I get together and decide to go on a road trip, we never know how it is going to turn out. We all have an aversion to maps, our sense of direction is questionable, and we tend to take spur-of-the-moment decisions that will have the driver’s head spinning. In short, we would make terrible soldiers because we rarely stick to a plan, or even worse, we march on without a plan, let alone a strategy. This year marks our 30th year as friends and we have so much to be grateful for and many reasons to celebrate.

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Stop! Look...

Florence, being the art capital of the world, has visual treasures all over the city. This is the mecca for all art and design students alike, where Art History is taught outside of the classrooms and on the streets where it all happened.

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Florence: A Love Affair With Bridges

During my first visit to Florence I fell head over heels for the bridges over the Arno River. It was summer then, streets and bridges overflowing with people alike, making it difficult to set up a tripod and take your time with the shot. Winter in Florence, however, is a whole new ballgame.

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Fiesole: a summer capital in winter

Traveling to Fiesole from Florence doesn't give you enough time to take a nap in the car because it is so close. There is a local bus that you can catch from the center of Florence that will take you up the hill and into the main town square of Fiesole, but the ride up gives you quite an impression of the magnificent surroundings.

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Pisa: The Stuff of Legends

The first thing that catches your eye when visiting Pisa in search of the tower is that the complex it belongs to is spectacular unto itself. All the books and stories focus on the leaning tower which turns out to be "just" the bell tower of the adjacent cathedral, but few take the time to tell you all about the church that is actually the Cathedral of Pisa. 

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My Sorrow Lake

The lake left me stunned from the moment I laid eyes on it. Assorted sailing clubs and water-related activities are all based along the edge of the water, which has a total circumference of 18km. But everything was still, shut down for the Christmas holidays and the winter season. Only local residents strolling, jogging or cycling along the promenade could be encountered sporadically, and all the playgrounds were completely deserted.

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Rebellious Escapade

I had no definitive destination in mind, just a general area. It had rained in the morning but the weather forecast said it would remain dry from 3:00pm onwards after the 2:00pm shower. This was the perfect opportunity to test the accuracy of the weather App on my phone, so I decided rely on it for once.

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Goa On My Mind

There are so many sides to Goa that it is impossible to encapsulate it into a single article. Just look in your local bookstore and you will see what I mean. The sheer amount of book written about the place and the journeys to and from Goa are staggering. In the end, Goa is a very personal experience and no two psychedelic trips are alike or even remotely similar.

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DAPITAN: CROCKERY HEAVEN

Dapitan is a Mecca for wooden plates and bowls. They cost a fortune outside of the Philippines and on the pavements of this quickly market you can haggle the individual price per plate to a song and a dance. 

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