Archive for travel

Why I Travel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 9, 2014 by angiegiegie
I took this photo while walking along the boulevard in Nice. It just captures the little beauties in life that one fails to appreciate...

I took this photo while walking along the boulevard in Nice. It just captures the little beauties in life that one fails to appreciate…

I have never felt so alive in my entire life had I not begin to travel by myself or a few people. Travelling is not really an excuse to escape the normal life. It is in travelling that I completely immerse myself to new places and be able to construct a better reflection of myself and the world. It is where my point of view on everything begins to mold itself as how a clay is being shaped to a pot or a sculpture.

It is in travelling that I realize that I cannot live in a constrained world where I have to merely obey people. In my opinion, obeying is not an entirely bad thing as long as you are conscious on what you are obeying. I adore my elders. I really do. It just sickens me that we have this world where some traditions seem to withhold ourselves from thinking, understanding, and embracing what it means to be human. They have set limits as we continue to set other forms of limitations in the present times. That includes how people perceive on developing technology and on how people manage conflicts.

So you see, travelling is where I feel more alive in the sense that I am able to sense things and appreciate the grandeur of what the world brings. It is in that moment that I feel that I have become a better human being as I see the different phases of humanity in different parts of the world. Despite these, many still succumb to the tedious life that they believe will bring them happiness. Then again, only they can survive better than the likes of me because they have jobs that can support their needs. So who am I to say that they are wrong when previous civilizations point out to us that we have to be more evolved in terms of strategy and foresight to survive? Saying this, do you think humanity is worth it when we only do things to survive, instead of finding ways to live?

It is sad to see at this point that what the world needs now are people who bring light to others yet are unappreciated.

I hope this simple image brings out some beauty in life as it is one of those moments that people tend to divert themselves from…

Dreaming Beyond Borders…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 13, 2012 by angiegiegie

While the entire continent is basking under the glorious days of Eurocup 2012 at Poland and Ukraine, I am sitting here, thinking of what I can write about despite the need to write any article on Europe and on the Philippines. Thinking of these two things, Europe and the Philippines, I cannot help but laugh at the irony I receive for every greeting from someone back in my home country. For many of my fellow country men, Europe is a big opportunity to become big, next to the States. If one was able to land there, he or she will be famous or is known to be incredulously rich. Other cases tell us that Filipinos that are ‘half-bred’ like some of our celebrities today, would easily get the popularity votes. To have something in relation to being foreign is a quality some of us would love to have. This mentality is so funny that I can hardly think of sending anything back home to my colleagues. I could not care less if I stepped foot on some places or if I missed opportunities to travel across Europe. I am also a student and aiming to get a Ph.D. so travelling for me is even my second or third priority if I take into consideration, trying to survive my designated country for the entire semester as my second.

I’ve already stayed in two countries, namely Italy and Poland. Of course, I encountered several Filipinos in Italy and those who stayed there for a long time were very different as compared to those who traveled or passed by Italy for vacation, etc. Yes, Rome is majestic and glorious, Venice is colorful, while Florence is spectacular. These were picture perfect in the cameras and post cards. People get dumb founded whenever they get something from these places. Some of my friends get too stupefied that they think I had the time of my life here in Europe. Yes, their system is incomparable to ours when it comes to transportation and security, but to survive and be practical in what you do, it’s tough. If you expect the sweet life, you’re dead wrong. It’s only in lucid dreams that you imagine yourself in some fancy hotel in the middle of some sub-urban area in Italy, France, or any part of Western or Eastern Europe you’re familiar of from those popular travel sites you’d come across. But honey, let’s face it, spending like a tramp is a prejudice here in Europe. Imagine that by simply cooking something on your own is twice or thrice less expensive than buying something in the street or ordering from a restaurant. Of course, curiosity tells us to buy impulsively and taste something new and local in that area we’re staying, but practicality seems to be something you’d appreciate especially when you actually live there for several months. If you think surviving traffic jams and snatchers in the Philippines was enough, think again. Here, you’d have to be the jack of all trades or practical enough to learn the ins and outs of every country, or city, plus it helps if you are fortunate enough to be fluent in 2 or more languages. So, you still think it’s easy to live in Europe? Think again. I had to learn two languages that aren’t related to one another (i.e. Latin versus Slovakian) just to buy food, and other essential needs. What more if you had to cross another country like Netherlands, or Sweden? Just crazy.

By this time, you still think of reasons to compare the life here and life in our home country. Well, complaining isn’t going to get you anything. There’s no such thing as paradise nor the sweet life. Every path we take whether it be staying in our country or some other for good has its consequences. The difference is that we cope for different reasons. I and the other Filipinos living abroad cope with the lack of reaching out to our family, roots, and so on. We even try to catch the news via the internet. You guys from the Philippines I guess try to cope with the reality in our country and if not, day-dream on having better lives on some other part of the world. Yes, there are some countries that give ‘better opportunities’ for us, but do you think these are things worth stressing about? If our country ain’t that bad, we can grab those ‘dreams’ we try to pursue but I hope that before going any further, you know the consequences and losses you’ll be getting in the near or long future.

Living abroad is not the only viable answer to a better life, and I think those Filipinos living in transit beyond our home country know why.

Genova: Inner Peace

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 8, 2012 by angiegiegie

Inner peace.

It was one of the things that I slowly developed ever since the first day that I arrived Milan, Italy last September 17. This was also one of the famous motto formed by our group based in Italy. Till now, we are still in awe how some of our professors have the patience to deal with what they do in their work every single day including publishing international journals for their respective fields.

Who’d thought that crystallography wasn’t as easy as just knowing what a Bravais lattice is, or what diffraction’s for. It exceeded our expectations when we eventually came to recognize the symmetries in the crystal patterns. We would jokingly imagine our professor back in Italy as the Master in Kung Fu Panda, because after each lecture slide, she’d just take a deep breath and smile. This was her signature move every single time we meet her in the corridors as well. She carried the enigma of “inner peace”.

Italy was one tough experience I had to swallow. Most of it was due to the bureaucratic system there, whether it be in a shop, in the police station, or even in the university. Many would point this out to be one of the top problems Italy is and will be facing, added to their debt crisis. Seemingly weird though was that I may be only one of the few people who find the patience to deal with such things and hold on to inner peace.

What was this phrase really? It took me a semester to slowly understand it bit by bit. It was not just being able to stand the struggles in life and its what not. It was more than being able to focus and drive oneself to reach a certain target. It also meant being able to relax, sit down, and breathe. Italy has taught me, despite its faults, to have a clear mind. Day by day, I began to take my breaks seriously, usually by walking alone in a quiet place or to the city center. It was like saying, “another day, another adventure”.

Genova may not be as famous as the other Italian cities such as Milan, Rome, Florence, and such. It had its mysteries, its magic. Surrounded by the many beaches and boats of Liguria, it never failed to mesmerize me. It being not a touristic place, I was able to explore the many faces of the city, and walk round about with an attempt of being able to find my way back home. It may not have had me at hello, but whenever I needed a break from studying, I just needed to go to Porto Antico, Piazza de Ferrari, Sampiederna, and so on. The city was like a colorful kettle that had a rich history and diverse cultures, wrapped into one.

Some may say that I just find Italy better than the Philippines. At some aspects, maybe, just as what I mentioned in my previous entry. But one’s culture in Genova is very different as compared to a province in the Philippines. Cultures are hard to compare most especially when the people’s roots are far from one another. It’s like comparing Genovese’s love for focaccia and Genovese pesto to a Bicolano’s love for Bicol express and Laing. They’re two completely different things. One can’t wish a country’s culture to be similar to another.

My memories of the Philippines will forever have a special spot in my heart but to be honest, Genova also had its reasons to make me miss it every single day despite the problems I had to face. Thank you Genova, for letting me learn to hold on to inner peace every single day till now.