“Pasalubong” – gift

The days are slowly but surely passing by and I am still preparing all the things that I have to bring for another trip to meet my family again. One of my thoughts goes to the buying of “pasalubong” (term in the Tagalog language meaning gift for a love one after a year or more of absence from the Philippines), considering the special request of a dear sister, I had to go to Venice (a few minutes away from where I live) to get her a handmade glass bracelet for her. Actually you can find a lot of shops selling souvenirs but I really wanted to buy something really artistic and beautiful so I started looking at the the items displayed behind the shops glass windows and a particular sight caught my eye! Behind a desk intent in making a glass bead was a tall, young dark skinned man intent in forming a glass bead for a bracelet. I entered the shop, looked around, maybe the man behind the desk saw me with my interested but perplexed look, he came over to explain how he made those fabulous pieces. Satisfied with the explanation, found the right bracelet (unfortunately he had to prepare it in the way I wanted it), while making the right adjustments to the glass bracelet, he started talking about his life. He said that he is from Senegal but learned the art of glass bead making from a Venetian Lampwork artist and only almost 2 years ago opened his own shop. Wow! Life is truly an amazing journey! Today, I learned a new lesson. Hope is the energy that keeps a dream burning, the fire that has the power to create a miracle.

He created these, thinking about his childhood years in Senegal. He used to make bracelets then and now he is still creating them with the colors of a beautiful heart. A work of art that I can give as “pasalubong” to one of the most significant persons in my life.

Gueye’s shop

A canal near the train station of Venice.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

10 things to do in Cebu

The following are for me, some of the interesting things to do while you are in Cebu, Visayas island, Philippines.

1. Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu – I think every “cebuano” (a term to indicate the residents and original inhabitants of Cebu knows what this monument is and where it is located). For me, it is not only an important historical monument  but it also represents a place of serenity and prayer.

2. Yap – Sandiego ancestral house. Built during the 17th century, located in the Parian district, it is considered as one of the oldest houses in the Philippines.

3. Heritage monument. Though “recently” built ( July 1997 – December 2000), yet, I believe it is still very interesting to see because the monument represents and illustrates in one block the major and significant events in the history of the city of Cebu. Oh! It is also a 5 minute walk from the Yap Sandiego ancestral house!

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4. Fort San Pedro “Fuerte de San Pedro”. The original structure was made of wood built after the arrival of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and his expedition and in the 17th century a stone fort replaced the old structure to repel Muslim raiders. Considered as the oldest triangular bastion fort in the Philippines, this is surely a monument worth visiting. The following pictures are just a few of the things to see in this well maintained landmark.

5. Museo Sugbo. A Cebuano heritage museum really worth visiting!

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6. Sirao gardens. I heard a lot of interesting stories about this flower farm garden and so three years ago I decided to visit this place.  Sirao garden is beautiful to see but I believe I visited it at the wrong time. Even so, the place beautiful and relaxing.  It was really fun to  drink fresh coconut juice and pulp from a booth located outside of the entrance of the garden.

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7. SM and AYALA. For shopaholics, window shoppers and for those looking for a place to meet friends and to spend a moment with love ones, one of the best options is just to let the hours pass away in these two mega malls in the heart of Cebu. I did got the feeling of  having it all on one place! (Though I would prefer throwing my time island hopping and swimming!)

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8. Island hopping. I never miss this everytime I go to visit Cebu. Oh! I discovered that the best time to start the tour is to begin it not later than 8 a.m. and to return to the mainland not later than 3 p.m. (after 3 pm the waves are bigger!)

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9. The Taoist Temple

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10. Temple of Leah. It was still under construction when I visited it three years ago. A Cebuano version of  the Taj Mahal in India? 

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Life is an interesting journey.

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it is incredible how a rose can still be beautiful even after days of rain!

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Though it is not only today that I remember a very special woman in my life but I do feel so fortunate to have a mother like my mom. In her way she taught me a lot of vital things which made me what I am today (of course with the help of my Dad. My first lesson about the value of teamwork!). Though it was not always easy to understand her teachings (fortunately, I followed and improved some – evolution), the proof that she was right is in what I have sowed and harvested in these years. Time has given the answer…I am one of those lucky persons in this life to have an amazing mother!

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!

Time

Time flies so fast…

Will I be fast enough to say to those I really care about, how much life they have added to my time…

Wishing everyone a beautiful day!

It’s Friday!

Hello everyone! Aside from the fact that today is the last day of a working week for me and in the past days, here in the province of Treviso, it has been raining since the time we planted the crops (27th of April) for our vegetable garden and I thought of how companion planting helped us to have a good harvest every year without using pesticides. The following are my favorite plant combinations:

1.) Tomatoes + Onions + Basil + marigolds

2.) Beans + Eggplants + Celery + Marigolds

3.) Bell peppers + Spinach + Marigolds

4.) Beans + Cucumbers + Nasturtiums

And…flowers everywhere!

Wishing everyone a restful and happy weekend!

Good morning!

While I was thinking of the beauty of this beautiful rose, I thought of a vegetable salad prepared with walnuts, pieces of orange and apple.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil from the Puglia region, Italy + mix everything well…a healthy vegetable salad without having to add salt. 😋

Happy Thursday to all!