“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…

Amsterdam: An Urban Center Dependent on the Waters

Many European cities such as Venice, Brugge, Gent, Paris, ​and Amsterdam are entwined with water. A lot of these magnificent cities are twinned with man-made canals, leading to rivers and onto the sea. Of these European cities, Amsterdam is exemplary, in such a way that its canals are significant to the city’s economic development. At…

Historic Centre of Macao and How it “Changed” Me

Macao has a very special place in my heart. My dad used to be an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for about six years. As the eldest of five siblings, I had the responsibility of joining him in familial celebrations such as Christmas and even Holy Week. Sometime in 2006, I even stayed there for about…

Baroque Churches in the Philippines: 500 Years of Christianity (Part 2 of 3)

In an earlier post about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS) collectively named the Baroque Churches in the Philippines, I have discussed the impact of Hispanic colonialism in Philippine culture. In particular, I was pertaining to how Catholicism influenced the everyday life of the Filipino people. I also described how the Church through the Hispanic…

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…

Wealth, Power and Madness: Châteu de Versailles (Part 1 of 2)

Three things come to mind every time Versailles is mentioned: Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette and the Treaty of Versailles (1919). Connecting them are wealth, power and madness. During Louis XIV’s reign, France was a leading European superpower. France fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War…

Manila, Entangled!

This post is an excerpt from my book Buhol-Buhol/Entanglement: Contemporary Theatre in Metropolitan Manila (Bern et al: Peter Lang, 2017). ENTANGLEMENT is persistent in Manila’s historical narrative. Travel writer Pico Iyer has observed many contradictions in the city of Manila. For instance, he describes the gallery going to his hotel room as an extraordinary space since: “on…

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,…