A Letter for the Man I Love

IMG_5930_final 28 moonlit nights ago, sitting beside you over the infinite stretch of gray sand and hearing the passionate waves in La Union, I made a promise.

To myself and to you.

And that was the beginning of our romance and lifetime of togetherness is already brewing right there and then. Time is flying by so fast and day by day I got to taste the best feeling in the entire universe. Magnificent laughter, copious amount of fights, high on life and chasing dreams. A perfect balance and I am not complaining. It’s all I ever need and I am grateful for every single moment of my stay here on earth. Future for us seems more than bright, it is golden. And I couldn’t be happier. I found a gem in our relationship.

The day that you came into my life is also the day that I realized that there’s no such thing as alone. And the beauty of finding someone I can’t possibly imagined has finally arrived. The love and magic that’s rushing through my veins all the way to my fingertips when I’m with you is strange, enigmatic and indescribable and I am thanking God and you for drenching me with this feeling of joy and euphoria.

1354 kilometers.
Blanket of stars.
Glorious sunsets.
Deep blue seas.
Millions of human race and beautiful dawn.

That’s the distance between us.
But, I don’t feel it.

Because you, my bunch of happiness is here, right where I etched you at the very core of my heart and every cell of my skin. And no matter where I am or who I’ve become, I know that I am whole. I know that I am home.

To the man who has made me feel connected to another human being more than anyone else, Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m looking forward to celebrate hundreds of Valentine’s days with you, still forever in love.

I love you.
Always.

Yours forever,
The woman you prayed for

Viva Macau: Ruins of St. Paul

Feel the remnants of the past as you stand face to face with one of Macau’s significant landmarks.
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Macau is a small country. Most of the tourist attractions are adjacent to one another so walking is the best way to hop on one place to another. Though of course, buses are just around the corner, thus, commuting is a breeze.

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Narrow alleys were filled with dainty shops and cute cafes. Most of them were still closed when we passed by.

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An inviting bakery that resides on the corner of the street caught our attention. The store’s name, Cafe Free, is already intriguing so we took a peek on what’s inside.

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Our curiosity didn’t fail us. The cafe is made up of every delightful pastry there is in the world. Some of them is too cute to eat, it is beyond doubt that this piece of heaven was made by skilled bakers. Did I mention that they are also giving away free coffee, thus, the name of the store. Such a clever game plan.

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In our continuous search for the famed Ruins, we were able to pass by a massive church, baptized as Macau Cathedral.

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It is a high-ceiling building with stained glass windows that yields a refreshing appeal as the walls are painted in white and light teal.  There’s no ongoing mass so we just say our prayers, took a few photos and off we went to our main mission.

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Outside the Cathedral was a modest park with few benches and a parched fountain in the middle. Few locals can be seen in the area, some are buying time, while for others, it’s a good place to relax in a cold March morning.

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After following the helpful signs, finally, we saw it. Parked at the top of the stone staircase, lay a beautiful church that has stood beyond the test of time. I am certain that if this piece of stone could talk, it would tell all the things that happened on that fateful day when it was destroyed by fire. But, ironically, all was left was a magnificent chunk of crafted boulder that was officially listed as part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Grandiose Chinese New Year ornaments are still present in the area and offers a good venue for photo-ops.

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Though the facade was really spectacular, I can’t help to be inquisitive on what’s on the other side of the Ruins. So, to finally quench my interest, I went straight on the middle passage and see for the first time what really lies beyond this massive church.

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Nothing. Just several metal blue bars that serves as a backbone of the monument. After making a few steps, we found a series of pictures that clearly depicts the history of The Ruins of St. Paul’s.

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Situated below the stairs is the Macau Tourism and Cultural Activities Center, that grants a range of cultural and destination information services to visitors.

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Before going home, grab some pastries in Pastelaria Koi Kei. Their egg tarts and meat jerky just simply can’t be missed.

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When we visited Macau last year, there are few people strolling around the Ruins so it’s more conducive climbing those stairs and getting some souvenir photo with this important monument. This country has a rich historic past that is patent with its preserved architecture. Just make sure that when you click that shutter button of your camera you also capture the story behind it.

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Getting here:

From Senado Square, there are signs (in green posts) leading to the Ruins. These signs are in Chinese, Portuguese and English and are especially designed for every type of tourists.

Note: This trip was held last March 2013.

 

 

Viva Macau: Senado Square

Fondle the Mediterranean atmosphere as you walk through the paved town square that has stood for centuries.
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Labeled as the heart of Macau, Senado Square (Largo de Senado in Portuguese), has been one of the most prominent landmarks in this former Portuguese colony. The famed square was also part of the Historic Centre of Macau, which is included in UNESCO World Heritage List.  Today, it is still considered as a favored venue for various celebrations and events.
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When we visited Macau last year, it was Chinese New Year. The air was crisp and cold and Chinese New Year-inspired ornaments were noticeable in the area. Chinese lanterns were like reachable stars glowing in the middle of the night and the black and white cobblestones, cinched in a wavy pattern, added polish in this colonial setting.
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When my eyes roamed around the area, it isn’t too hard to notice that all signs were translated mainly in two languages: Chinese and Portuguese. The aura is like visiting two countries in one location. Such an amazing alloy of two cultures.
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It was evident from the historic buildings that the whole stretch was loaded with rich ancestry. The various architecture brims with elegance as the walls were painted white and yellow, and were completed with regal colonnades.
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Leal Senado

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Since there were very few people strolling around the vast space that evening, my sister was able to snatch an arresting panoramic view of the entire breadth.
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The next morning, since Senado Square is the jump-off point in going around the diverse attractions in Macau, we passed by the area again and get to see clearly the renowned Leal Senado, General Post Office, St. Dominic’s church, and Macau Business Tourism Centre in broad daylight.

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Everything was in bright red and glittering gold. The spirit of Chinese New Year has indeed enveloped the whole place. For a moment, we felt like we landed in a city of lucky charms and horoscopes.
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Chain of shops and restaurants were dispersed. From clothing brands, to jewelry outlets, to local food stores and even giant fast food chain, Mc Donald’s, can be seen. Though most of them were still closed by the time we arrived.
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Senado Square is one of those must-see tourist spots in Macau. And while you’re too busy rambling around this significant place, make sure to find time to grab your cameras and get that Instagram-worthy shot.

Getting Here:
Address: Senado Square, Macau
Bus routes nearby:3, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, N1A

(Directions courtesy of Macau Tourism’s website)

Note: This trip was held last March 2013.

Homemade Recipes: Spanish Sardines and Black Olives Pasta

Ditch the usual tomato or cream sauce and fancy an oil-based pasta for today’s lunch. Recipe by Karen Humilde
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Ingredients:
1 bottle of Spanish sardines, scales removed
reserved oil from the bottled sardines
2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
1 bottle of black olives, drained
olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sized onion, minced
1/2 kilo spaghetti or capellini pasta, cooked in package directions
1 pack seasoning mix
salt and pepper
grated parmesan cheese

Serves 3-4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes

Directions:
1. In a large saute pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil and the reserved oil from the bottled sardines.
2. Add tomatoes and toss quickly. Add spanish sardines and cook for a minute or two.
3. Toss in cooked spaghetti pasta.
4. Add black olives and seasoning mix. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

The Old Man and the Well

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To infinity. Captured in one of the remote provinces in Pangasinan, Philippines.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent