Mechelen, a little magical town in the Flemish region of Belgium

In 2018, I prepared myself to miles of walking, after finishing a Summer School at the Antwerp University. My plan was to exhaust all UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS) in the Flemish region of Belgium. However, plans usually are just there to guide your anticipation and excitement. For a strange reason, my plan of visiting…

Iceland’s parliament’s birthplace at Ăžingvellir (Thingvellier)

I never imagined myself visiting what many Europeans call the most isolated place in their region: Iceland. Never did I also imagine to be traveling there during a pandemic. But in June 2022, I found myself strolling around Reykjavik, eating fermented shark, and being so cozy with the Nordic summer with single digit temperature. The…

Palawan: Arguably, the Philippines’ Best Island (Part 2 of 2)

As stated in the first part of this post, the locals (particularly, the boatmen and the tour guides) analogize the stalagmites and the stalactites formations of the cave as artistic sculptures or masterpieces by renowned masters. One formation I will never forget is attributed to Da Vinci: Palawan’s Last Supper, which as our boatman in…

Palawan: Arguably, the Philippines’ Best Island (Part 1 of 2)

My family and I were supposed to travel to Palawan in April 2020. We had to cancel the trip because of the onslaught of the pandemic. But above all, we were grieving over the losses of two loved-ones in the family: my partner and my dad who both succumbed to cancer in March and April…

From Shanghai to the Classical Gardens of Suzhou (Part 1)

A one and a half hour westward drive from Shanghai is the city of Suzhou in the province of Jiangsu. The city is home to kunqu, the oldest form of Chinese Opera and listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity since 2001. The city is also known for…

The Dead Lives Among Us: The Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty

The International Federation for Theatre Research – Asian Theatre Working Group (IFTR-ATWG) 2019 was hosted by the Korea National University of Arts in Seoul through the Department of Theatre Studies’s Prof. Meewon Lee. The colloquium was slightly different in the sense that the opening program and the opening keynote were scheduled at 3:00 pm. We…

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…