Sinulog is by far the grandest festival I’ve ever experienced in the Philippines. It is an annual cultural and religious festival held every 3rd week (Sunday) of January.
Aside from its religious significance, Sinulog is also famous for street parties and the grand street parade that practically lasts the whole day.
“Sinulog” coined from the Cebuano word – Sulog which means “like water current” that describes its forward-backward steps. According to historical accounts, the first Sinulog dance was danced by Hara Humamay (Rajah Humabon’s wife). It was when they received the Sacred Image of Child Jesus (Sto. Nino) – a gift from the explorer Ferdinand Magellan – that the queen danced in joy with the other natives following her.
I will post some photos I’ll be taking this Sunday – the day of Sinulog itself.
Here are the route maps of Sinulog to guide our festival goers;
— is the capital and largest city of Andalusia – a province of Spain.
Aside from having a very accommodating and considerate tour guide here in Seville, we also had an amazing trip from its historical cathedral, parks and architectures to its traditional and entertaining dance known as “flamenco”.
I begin with the largest gothic cathedral in the world the – “Catedral de Sevilla” or “Seville Cathedral”. Its grandeur is undeniable and endowed with Seville’s remarkable history.
All throughout our trip, I typically start by snatching free pamphlets or fact sheets of the place where I’m in. And my multi-tasking is at its peak when I’m travelling as I listen to our guide, I’d write down notes and take some artistic snapshots of every corner, view and angle, and be mindful of my steps and the road 😉
Historical facts about the cathedral;
1184 – 1198 Construction of the main mosque of Seville and its minaret. (Spain was under the Muslims) Parts are conserved in the Orange Tree Courtyard and lower sections of Giralda tower, that I will post separately.
1248 After the “reconquest” of Spain by Ferdinand II, the mosque was consecrated as a Cathedral.
1434 – 1517 The construction of the Gothic Cathedral.
1528 – 1621 Construction of some parts continued including the completion of the bell tower – Giralda tower.
1618 – 1758 The Baroque phase of the Cathedral (my favorite period)
1987 Seville Cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
The cathedral’s construction lasted for more than a century. Our tour guide told us that when they were planning to build this, church elders declared, “Hagamos una iglesia tan hermosa y tan grandiosa que los que la vieren labrada nos tengan por locos.” (Let us build a church so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it finished will think we are mad). Well, maybe 🙂 but this church is really wonderful!
Giralda tower is the bell tower of this cathedral, said to be the symbol of Seville. This minaret is 76 meters in height and was originally constructed by by the Moors in 1184.
This pretty village in France is the perfect fairytale setting and classified as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France.” My favorite town as you may have noticed, I wrote about it in my previous post → Alsace France
Riquewihr a medieval town in the heart of the vineyards of Alsace, France. The charming half-timbered houses were built between 15th-18th century and with a Dolder that was used as a defense/gate from the 13th century.
Posting below the photos taken from this pretty village. This is where “Beauty and the Beast” got their movie inspiration. And you’ll see in these pictures why ❤️ Some I have posted already in Instagram 😊
Indeed, Riquewihr is a very charming village. It has preserved its tradition and beauty, still unchanged even after 400 years.
I’ve recently posted some photos from our trip to this beautiful place of Granada, Spain. Because of it’s Moorish historical background, a particular area in Granada is called Alhambra which in Arabic means reddish walls («qa’lat al-Hamra’» Red Castle). My daughter got a book – “Tales of the Alhambra” as her souvenir that I’ve used for research and information…
Because of it’s Moorish historical background, a particular area in Granada is called Alhambra which in Arabic means reddish walls («qa’lat al-Hamra’» Red Castle)
Alhambra is strategically located with a view of the whole city. The first historical document dates back as early as 9th century. The castle of Alhambra was built around year 889, and this castle became a military fortress because of its location. It was until the arrival of the first king of the Nasrid dynasty, Mohammed ben Al-Hamar (Mohammed I, 1238-1273), in the 13th century, that the royal residence was established in Alhambra. This event marked the beginning of Alhambra’s most glorious period. This sprawling hilltop fortress complex encompasses royal palaces, serene patios, and reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, as well as the fountains and orchards of the Generalife gardens. (Sorry, no pictures from inside the castle 😦 we weren’t able to get our tickets)
It was until the arrival of the first king of the Nasrid dynasty, Mohammed ben Al-Hamar (Mohammed I, 1238-1273), in the 13th century, that the royal residence was established in Alhambra. This event marked the beginning of Alhambra’s most glorious period.
Then the Catholic monarchs came and parts of the castle were destroyed to give way for a new palace and the onset of Catholicism.
Below are the pictures taken from our trip, with the above intro and its spectacular sights, this is by far one of my favorite cities in Europe 🙂
On our fifth visit to Lourdes France, we were able to participate in the nightly rosary vigil. It starts at 9 pm and lasts for about an hour. Same feeling of peace and hope enveloped me as we sang to the hymns and recitation of the rosary. Chanted with various languages I may not know but still familiar and heartfelt. The procession is more than a ceremony that for devotees like us – is a time of prayer and peace.
I’d like to share the hymn – “Ave Maria de Lourdes” in French. As seen on a short clip I recorded below.
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!
O Vierge Marie, le peuple Chrétien, à Lourdes vous prie, chez vous il renvient.
Le fond de la roche s’éclaire à l’instant: la dame s’approche, fait signe à l’enfant.
“Venez, je vous prie, ici, quinze fois, avec vos amies entendre ma voix.”
Avec insistance la dame, trois fois, a dit: “pénitence” Chrétien, c’est pour toi!
“A cette fontaine venez et buvez; dans l’eau pure et sainte allez vous laver.”
“Je veux qu’ici même, au pied de ces monts, le peuple que j’aime vienne en procession.”
Alsace is a historical region in northeastern France, bordering Germany and Switzerland. It’s filled with beautiful small villages like one particular place called Riquewihr.
This old town is the perfect backdrop setting for fairytales i.e. Beauty & the Beast. Humming Belle’s song as we walked through this picturesque village. Charming and colorful houses, each has a unique theme of it’s own. And I even found the lovely fountain in this scene of Belle where she sat to read her book. The old town from the 16th century still feels the same until today and for me is the most beautiful village I’ve ever seen. I didn’t like to leave.
“Riquewihr – les plus beaux village de France”
Photos will be uploaded when I get back home, I promise 🙂
We stayed in Colmer, another quaint town in Alsace. Its cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings. The gothic 13th century St. Martin cathedral took 600 years to built and stands tall in the central Place de la Cathédrale. The area along the canals is known as the La Petite Venise (Little Venice). You can take a boat ride to explore the old fishermen’s district.
Strasbourg. The capital city of Alsace. Being in the border of France and Germany, it was enriched with a unique combination of German and French influences. Its enthralling past gives this city a distinctive and endearing history.
We took a boat tour after visiting the gothic Cathédrale Notre-dame that houses the astronomical clock.
It’s been 3 years since our last vacation and looking forward for a whole new perspective, visit places, meet people, discover their culture and the best part is to taste their food (Spanish tapas – yum!)
Here’s an accustomed checklist of mine improved through time & designed for long trips with young family members, kids and also elderly having special needs.
passport (VISA if applicable) – first on the list, obviously you can’t travel without it 😉
itinerary – unless you want to be carefree with your trip, be adventurous and just visit the places you’d like to see in your own time.
airplane tickets – internet made everything so easy and convenient. From buying to check in. Hooray for internet!
book your room – for me this is very important, it’s your home away from home. There are several sites that will help you choose the best hotel that suits you. Below are direct links for legit and safe – hotel booking sites ↓ you’re welcome 🙂
medicines – the basic over-the-counter medicines, in no particular order; pain reliever, anti-diarrhea, for motion sickness, for dyspepsia, maintenance medicines for our elder companions (anti-hypertensive, anti-cholesterol, etc), anti-histamine for allergies and first aid kit.
neck pillows – because sleep or even quick nap is a must!
shawl/cap – to keep you warm & cap for sun protection
clothing and other accessories – if fashion is your statement
vitamins and supplements – to support our immune system as we are exposed to a different environment when we travel
camera and extra memory cards – to store priceless selfies and memories
phone chargers, cable and adaptor – across the world, there are varying power outlets that may be different from your plug
powerbank – as we take a lot of selfies, our phone’s/camera’s batteries drain faster than usual