Art Nouveau and Victor Horta

When I was young, my only idea of Belgium was Christelle Roelandts. The year was 1994. And my interest in Belgium began. Christelle Roelandts and 1994? Miss Universe 1994 was held in Manila, Philippines. Christelle Roelandts was Miss Belgium and she was one of my favorites. Unfortunately, she did not make it – not even…

Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Four Days: Day 2 in Beijing

After the tour on our first day, Jayson dropped us off at the hotel: Ease Cloud Hotel. When the agency (Royal Kites Tours and Travels) announced that we would be staying at Ease Cloud, instinctively, I googled it and read some reviews. Relatively, Ease Cloud Hotel is a new hotel. This means, there are only…

Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Four Days: Day 1 in Beijing

On 21 December 2018, my colleagues, my friends and my partner traveled to Beijing, China on a tour package. Our flight back to Manila was on the 24th of December, with high hopes of making it for the noche buena or the midnight Christmas meal on our respective homes. The original expected time of arrival…

Le Grand-Place, Brussels: Place Making is Community Making

When my book Performing Catholicism (UP Press, 2016) was chosen by the National Book Development Board to be part of the official book launch event of the Philippine Pavilion at the Frankfurt International Book Fair in 2016, I made sure to do a side trip to Brussels. Besides, the transportation system in this European region (i.e….

“Forced Migration” of British Convicts in Australia

Once upon a time, the concept of an Australian nation was nonsensical until 1 January 1901 when the Commonwealth of Australia was born. For a long time, Australia was a British colony. But its genesis as a colony was not intended for the British colonizers to explore raw materials for the benefit of the British…

The Royal Tombs: The Legacy of the Nguyen Dynasty (Tu Duc)

Earlier, I wrote about the Royal Tombs of Minh Mang and Khai Dinh. You may read the post here. In this post, I highlight our journey to Tu Duc’s Tomb. Nonetheless, the visit to Tu Duc’s was not really an intended one. After visiting Minh Mang and Khai Dinh tombs, we wanted to see next Gia…