Baroque Churches in the Philippines: 500 Years of Christianity (Part 1 of 3)

On 21 March 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in the Visayas. Some say the landing was an accident. For others, the arrival of Magellan in Cebu was a necessary event in the history of the archipelago. Whatever perspective one believes, one thing is clear: Magellan’s arrival commenced the 333 years of divide et impera in…

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, an Indian Architectural Wonder

Early July 2017, a colleague from the University of the Philippines Diliman passed on a daunting task of delivering a lecture on digital humanities in Mumbai, India. The task was terrifying but the thought of Mumbai was seductive. Mumbai is one of five Indian cities in my bucket list (the other cities: Delhi, Agra, Goa,…

Rio and its Playful Landscape (Part 2 of 2)

I am really glad, I did not let those popular biases perform interpellation on me. Otherwise, I would not have experienced the carioca landscapes between the mountains and the seas. My visit to Rio de Janeiro was spent for a few hours only. I will definitely go back to Rio to explore more its magnificence. Not…

Rio and its Playful Landscape (Part 1 of 2)

In the Philippines, when one thinks of Brazil, she thinks of the Amazon jungle, the carnival, beauty pageants, and Rio! Rio’s popularity has been on the rise since the 1960’s. The Bossanova song “A Girl from Ipanema” invaded the world radio, even winning Record of the Year in the 1965 Grammy Awards, beating American and English…

Sydney Opera House: Sculptural Marvel and Architectural Wonder

A trip to Sydney is never complete without a visit to the Sydney Opera House, one of the most popular and most visited tourist destinations not only in Australia but arguably also in the entire world. Just like any other first timers in the “Land Down Under,” the very first thing I did on my…

Gaudi’s Candyland

Oftentimes, we associate Barcelona with its football team, especially the powerful line-up beginning with Lionel Messi, Arthur Melo, and Arturo Vidal. For my friends who have visited Barcelona, they remember the city via Barceloneta (Summer Beach) and the 1.2 kms Las Ramblas (the Central Boulevard for many tourists). My other “nerdy” acquaintances think of Placido Domingo…

Hiroshima Means Peace

On 6 August 1945, 8:15 AM – Tokyo Time, Enola Gay released Little Boy and came straight to Shima Hospital in the Prefecture of Hiroshima. Little Boy is a kid but ironically, a powerful young boy whose audacity paved the way for almost 300,000 Japanese casualties. Years after Little Boy’s fall, thousands of Japanese continued to suffer, leading to…

Jantar Mantar, Jaipur or the Problematization of Science-Culture Divide

Jaipur is the largest city in the Indian province of Rajasthan and was founded in the eighteenth century by Majarajah Sawaii Jai Singh II (Jai Singh). As a planned-city (often, it is cited as the country’s example of a well-planned city), Jaipur is called the Pink City in reference to its distinctly colored buildings: painted…