Grachtenpand is the Dutch word for houses that overlook the canal. The canal houses are essential to the city’s heritage and give a good glimpse of the Dutch Golden Age. The canal houses once served as homes for the wealthy but most have now been converted to offices, museums, hotels and shops.
(Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2013)
Maligayang Pasko - that would be, Merry Christmas in my very own language.I wish to send my greetings to followers and passersby from all corners of the world before the day gets too hectic.
So, Merry Christmas - eat, drink and be merry. I hope you all get nice presents!
(Manila, Philippines, 2013)
Cabra is Spanish for the word goat.
A couple of months ago “Eres madrileño si (You are a Madrileño if)…” was trending on Twitter. It completely cracked me up when I saw one tweet referencing the cabra in the Plaza Mayor. You are a Madrileño if you know exactly what I’m talking about without having to look at the photo. Anyway, the tweet goes…
#EresMadrileñoSi te dan ganas de pegarle a esta cabra porque te ha asustado más de una vez.
It says, “you are a Madrileño, if you feel like hitting the goat in the Plaza Mayor for scaring you more than once.” No one really hit the goat, and I don’t think anyone intends to. It’s just that no one really understood what it does, it just stood there and made clacking sounds. However, it does have a tendency to creep up on people.
I heard recently that the cabra is one of the street’s top earners. The kids seem to love it and it seems to attract a lot of attention. Also, I must admit, the plaza mayor seems empty when this little one is not around.
PS: Damn, I miss Madrid.
(Madrid, Spain, 2013)
make-it-happen-elena asked: Hi Aby! I'm Elena and came across your tumblr page! I enjoyed it alot. Are you still in Spain? I'm thinking of studying spanish there next year! Hope to hear from you soon!
I’m sorry I haven’t replied to this sooner, work has been quite busy. I’m back in Manila, and have been back since May.
I see you are thinking about studying in Spain, I say you should go do it, it will be worth it.
"I Made It To Fátima"
In June of 2012, we went on a roadtrip with a whole bunch of people across Portugal. Several towns were visited along the way, but Fátima was the final destination. The journey was quite nice but I didn’t really feel the solemnity of it all, being a journey to 5 towns as opposed to a pilgrimage. We also did not have enough time to pray, hear mass and do other spiritual deeds
In February 2013, I decided to fly to Lisbon alone solely to visit Fátima, again. I took a bus from Sete Rios station and was dropped off in the main bus station of the town—only a couple of steps away from the Santuario. I had two and a half hours in the town, which was enough for mass, prayers and even a meal. I would highly recommend that you do it this way and skip the tour groups. Fátima is not that difficult to get to.
And if you can’t make it to Fátima, at all, you can always stream the celebrations here.
(Fátima, Portugal, 2013)