Declogging My Brain’s Sewer Line

Though I am not a writer, I think I am suffering from a writer’s block.  To be more precise an “amateur writer’s block”.  My trend of thought being so comatose disabled me from featuring something special or interesting on this blog for the past few days.  And since I seem to suffer from this condition, I decided to shut up and just revisit my Secret Garden coloring book this weekend.

plants thrive in my secret garden! yay!

This old coloring book has been my laxative-like remedy each time my brain’s sewer line is clogged.  Here’s the page I finished.

failed to do my weekend chores because of this! LOL!

I read somewhere that writing a crappy post such as this one is much better than not writing at all. I hope my loony trend of thought will soon be declogged and feature something interesting soonest!

My Frozen

When someone discusses anything about Frozen, young lads and lassies today would link and associate this to the fearless princess Elsa, her adorable sister and the cheerful Olaf.  Yeah, Frozen would be about the fun charming Disney movie and its sequel based on the fairy tale Snow Queen.

young people’s king of ‘frozen”

Frozen today would also be associated to a now classic seven-year-old song where the snow glows white on the mountain tonight and where the wind is howling like a swirling storm inside. Hahaha! Yeah, it is entitled (who would not know?) Let it Go.

But for me, I don’t associate Frozen to Frozen, the movie.  It is because prior to this film, during my younger years, my brain has been wired, stuck and enthused by an excellent 22-year-old song and a music video masterpiece.

I would associate Frozen to a mystifying lady in a black dress who would mysteriously collapse on the ground and would magically turn into numerous black flying crows.  I would correlate Frozen to a lady who tells us that “love is a bird, it needs to fly, let all the hurt inside of us die

Watch this, this is my Frozen.

Yup, my favorite song in Madonna’s 1998 album Ray of Light is my Frozen. 

But no matter what your Frozen is.  May it be the sensuous song by Madonna or the Let It Go from the movie Frozen, both songs seem to have an interlocking message.  It tells us that we should simply let go because we are considered frozen when our hearts are not open.

OMG! Sam Drew Me!

God is so smart and so clever that he decided not to bestow me the gift of being a drawing artist. Because of my being so egocentric, self-centered, narcissistic and self-obsessed, he knows that if He is to equipped me with such a talent, I would draw nothing but my self-portrait. 

But since God is truly unpredictably generous, He let me encounter an awesome Drawing Master. He gave me the amazing chance to know Sam of .AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? blog

I have been fortunate to bump into the wordpress blog of Sam.  His drawings posted on his blog gave me the impression that he indeed is a master drawer.  I may not be the arbiter who determines a good art work from the bad, but with my pretty rich exposures to various drawings and artworks that I have personally seen from various museums in various parts of the world, I guess I know a good artwork when I see one.

A fine art creation for me is something that prompts me to feel or do something: unconsciously grow goosebumps, write about it, stare on it for minutes, take photos of it, find out more regarding its origin or simply be breathless about it.

I was so impressed with Sam’s drawings that I did not hesitate clicking likes and commenting on his blog posts.  I was so impressed that I commented that “in case he run out of photos to draw, I can always volunteer and send mine” for him to work on.

Sam took it as a challenge and responded on my comment.  I did not, of course, hesitated sending him my photo.  And as expected, the one photo I choose includes me.  Without telling Sam the location where the photo was taken, he surprisingly recognized that it was taken in Glenorchy a beautiful southern town in New Zealand.

100% pure

After a short convo thru comment section of Sam’s blog, I no longer expected anything.  But surprisingly, when I tried checking out his latest blog post (I follow him by the way), this is what I saw.

OMG! Awesome!!!! (hahaha! i posted this photo without seeking Sam’s authorization, sorry Sam)

OMG! I uttered the biggest O.M.G. when I saw it!  I was so happy, I wanted to fly to Sam’s hometown and give him a kiss!

This is one big awesome surprise!  You just don’t know how glad I am when I saw it.    God may not grant me the talent Sam has but I know He was laughing out loud when He saw my jaw dropped, the moment I saw Sam’s super awesome drawing.  Thank you Sam from the bottom of my heart!

The Dismantling of a Building is Making Me Sad

There is one old building here in Manila that is being dismantled and pulled into pieces.  I am quite affected by this demolition simply because this structure has been part of my young college years.  Being just across our campus, I have always tagged this marvel as the extension of our college grounds. 

Me and my collegemates then has considered its spacious airconditioned lobby as our place of solace, our relaxation spot and our undisturbed hideaway.  We truly adore the clean and spotless toilets which were way better, fresher and tidier than the lavatories in our campus.  During cram periods, instead of going to the library, a quiet corner within the building has been our retreat to focus on reviewing prior to an intense exam.

iconic piece of architecture (photo not mine)

hey! that’s our usual spot!

The building’s large cafeteria was our go-to dining hall every time our school’s canteen serves super oily, flavorless and unsavory dishes. The only thing that we seem to have failed to do was to hold the actual class inside that building!

The long airconditioned hallway of the ground floor from the main entrance leading to its side door has been me and my classmates’ short-cut route when we want to go to the nearby mall.  My college mates may not know this but I personally admire the huge old trees outdoor that surrounds the building and I gape and ogle towards the gorgeous art pieces (sculptures & mural paintings) that lies and hanged around the main lobby.

the facade of the main entrance… (photo not mine)

miss those quiet spots

This building has been so part of my college life.  Me and my classmates even celebrated a milestone with this building because its marvelous auditorium was in fact the venue of our baccalaureate mass and graduation rites when we finished our college degree in the old Manila Doctors College. 

And lately have I only known that the stunning auditorium was renowned for its excellent acoustics.  I never knew that this auditorium was done by the same engineers who did the Sydney Opera House.  If I only knew then, I should have instead sung an enchanting song when I was tasked to deliver the graduation speech during our college graduation rites.

with those acoustics, i should have sung a song!

philamlife building u.n. ave.

With all these memories and recollections, the ongoing ripping into pieces of the iconic and magnificent Philam Life building along United Nations Avenue in Manila is truly making me sad.

Stepping on a Fine Piece of Art

For the past 10 years I have been stepping on a fine piece of art.  Though I tread, walk and step on it, it is one treasure that I value so much that I am the one who would personally shake, remove dust and debris so as to clean it up. I would be the one to have it left lying under the happy sun for a day and retrieve it back.  And only last week did I decided to have it professionally cleaned.

I am talking about my much-appreciated Moroccan area rug. I value It so much because it is one of those heavy and bulky items that I decided to hand carry on my way back home after a long yet enriching trip from Morocco ten long years ago.

stepping on a fine piece of art…

My memory is still very clear in recalling how I and travel-buddy Joesel got to purchase it from a merchant inside the medina in Fes.  I can still reminisce how the seller showed us various intricate and colorful designs of various rugs for sale and was even invited by the owner of the shop to climb up to their roof deck for us to be shown on how lady-artisans do the intricate knotting of the wool so as to create a great piece of art. 

I can also remember how anxious I was when the rug I paid for a hefty price was delayed in having it delivered to our hotel. Delivery was so behind in time, I thought I was duped by the merchant yet sighed with a huge relief when the hotel’s front desk called me to inform that I have a package in their office for me to claim.

comment down below on what those symbols may mean… thank you.

proof of authenticity at the back! it says “extra superieuere”. whatever that is.

a closer look! it takes an awesome artisanal skills to do those!

I however can no longer recall the representations of the designs of the rug I chose as described during that time by the merchant.  What I remember is that I simply followed my heart on which to choose from among the beautiful Moroccan rugs presented to us.

Though it is ten years old, I know that it will take another 10 long years before my Moroccan rug can be considered vintage.  But the memory of this piece of art that I step on regularly will remain in me may it be considered vintage, collectible or antique already.

St. Petersburg Metro Stations & the Budgetarian In Me

Visiting and journeying to an out-of-country place entails a lot of readings and research.  I would usually explore the internet on how to go the cheapest and most convenient way so as to reach my hotel from the airport – should I go by train, by taxi, by bus or by other modes of transportation. 

Because I turn “budgetarian” when I travel abroad, it is a must that I have to know the Philippine peso conversion rate to that of the currency of the country I am to visit.  It is also essential to know the weather so that I can plan what appropriate clothes to bring.

I don’t join expensive, tiring and time consuming tour groups unless it is for free.  I would simply research on various tour packages and do it myself.  My point of reference during my DIY expedition of tourist spots are the hordes of Chinese tourists.  As soon as I see them, I know that I am in the right place. 

I do my own touring and not join tour groups because aside from its being cheap, I can control the time being spent on these tourist spots. I can leisurely stay as long as I want or simply pass by if such a sightseeing spot is plain and mediocre.

One classic case of venturing into a DIY-tour as based and followed from an online tour package was my touring the interesting metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia. Available in the internet are tour packages wherein you got to be see and experience various beautiful underground metro stations within St. Petersburg dubbed as masterpieces of underground architecture.  This 90-minute duration tour package is worth 33 US dollars per participant.

Pushkinskaya station

 I spent only 45 rubles or 75 US cents when I did it by myself!  45 Rubles is the entrance fee to get inside the metro train system! Hahaha! Here are some of the photos I took when I did my own touring of the most beautiful metro stations in the world!

Ploshchad Vosstaniya station

Kirovsky Zavod station

Avtovo station

Here’s a video slideshow to further entice you to go on a DIY journey!

Magnificence of Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

One of the many highlights of my St. Petersburg, Russia adventure was the visit to the magnificent Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  This icon had so much history in it as well as an overwhelming visual treat!

glorious!

One unique attribute of the amazing interiors is that the design on the walls were not paintings but intricate work of fastening and gluing together colorful tiny-tiny tiles so as to create massive and extravagant mosaics.  As I enter, there was a spine-tingling sensation because of the visual indulgence that this church offers.

Though I did not have the time and facility to measure, I found out in my readings that the interior’s breathtaking mosaic covers a total of 23,130 square feet, considered to be one of the largest in Europe. Can you just imagine the amount of time, passion and creativity it took to create this massively handsome building?

unbelievable!

i don’t know but this brings chills in me

sensory overload!

stunning!

selfie

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is not all appearances.  It was actually born out of an assassination that shook Russia.  This monumental structure was built on the very spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by a group of revolutionaries who threw bomb at the Tsar’s royal carriage.  And in honor of his father, Tsar Alexander III built this insanely gorgeous-looking church.  Thus, making this beautiful building a marker of significant history.

Now, have a visual feast from the video I created.

The Wishing Toe of Atlas

I happen to bumped into one quirky superstition while reading articles and editorials online about Russia’s cultural capital, St. Petersburg.  One irrational belief by the locals is about the magical powers of the huge and hard-to-miss Atlas sculptures near the Hermitage, one of the striking and imposing symbols of this lovely city.

The Sculptures of Atlas has been around since 1848 and surprisingly stayed standing even during the bomb-filled events of the Great Patriotic War.  Because of obtaining only minor damage during the war, locals reaffirmed on the unorthodox mystical nature of these sculptures.

super massive sculptures of atlas! look at how small people has become at the lower left portion of this image.

proof! hahaha!

People now would troop to these sculptures to touch the toes of Atlas which is believed to bring protection to those who rub it.  Also, locals and tourists alike come to the area to hold the big toes of Atlas because it is believed that it will bring good luck as well as make their wishes come true.

I actually got the chance to pass by three times in the area.  And three times did I go up so as to touch the wishing toe of Atlas.  One actually already came true prior to touching the wishing toe.  It is the awesome blessing sent by the heavens of seeing, feeling and smelling the charming city of St. Petersburg, Russia!

Here’s a video slideshow of photos & clips I took during my exploit with the Sculptures of Atlas.

Love Rules

Here’s one beautiful thing today!

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Love Rules! #loverules #neonlights

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Love rules.  Love over rules.

Got this material from my previous Brooklyn Museum visit.  Have a lovely day today everyone!

lab ruls!

 

 

Found LOVE at Blagden Alley

While trying to get ready with my next out-of-the-country adventure, I decided to transfer my recent travel photos to my external drive memory bank.  I noticed that there was one place in Washington that I failed to feature in my blog which I deliberately went to so as to experience, smell the area as well as get some awesome photos.

How can I forget the LOVE mural at the Instagram famous Blagden Alley?Or is it my subconscious telling me to temporarily miss it and only be aware again in time for the celebration of Pride Month this June?  This unique and eye catching piece of art is by Lisa Marie Thalhammer.  It is an LGBT-rainbow colored piece which communicates the simplest yet universal message of inclusivity and acceptance. Whatever it may be, let me then chronicle this little piece of experience that I had when I happen to see this meaningful and awesome street art found at Blagden Alley in Washington DC. At least through this street art, I can really say that I did indeed found LOVE in DC.  I hope next time its the one true thing!  Hahaha!And by the way, let me have this opportunity to greet everyone a “Happy Pride”!

Pumapag-ibig sa bwan ng Prayd!