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Showing posts from July, 2018

The Art of Carlos Botong Francisco - Progress of Medicine in the Philippines

Pag-unlad ng Panggagamot sa Pilipinas (The Progress of Medicine in the Philippines) is a group of four large-scale paintings depicting healing practices in the Philippines from pre-colonial times to the modern period. Carlos Botong Francisco was commissioned in 1953 by Dr. Agerico Sison who was then the director of Philippine General Hospital (PGH) together withDr. Eduardo Quisumbing of the National Museum, Dr. Florentino Herrera, Jr. and Dr. Constantino Manahan. These oil on canvas paintings measure 2.92 meters in height and 2.76 meters in width (9.71 ft x 8.92 ft) and were displayed at the main entrance hall of PGH for over five decades. Owing to its location, the artworks were in a state of "severe deterioration" at the beginning of the 21st century from exposure to heat, humidity, dirt, dust, smoke, insect stains, grime, termites and an oxidized synthetic resin used in an earlier restoration. These canvases were restored three times, the last was in 2006 which restoratio…

Sweet Summer Days in Amsterdam

When summer descends upon Amsterdam, the whole city is transformed. The trees are green with foliage, flower boxes are brimming with colorful perennials, the canals are abuzz with boats and partying passengers and terrace umbrellas line the sidewalks for the best of people watching.

This houseboat is cooling off under the shade of its own green plants. There are no limits to growing a garden. All you need are a green thumb and good weather.

One of the important things to remember while walking around Amsterdam is to look down at the sidewalk to check if you are on a bicycle lane. Stay away from these lanes or risk being scolded by angry bikers (Motorcyclists also use this lane.) The other reason to look down at the cobblestone streets is sometimes there are surprises to behold. Like this bronze breast on the Oudekerksplein, outside the Oude Kerk (Old Church). A nod to the ladies of the night? Maybe. It's in the red light district.

There are many options for sightseeing in Amsterdam. …

When to go to Malumpati Cold Spring

There are so many exceptional beaches and swimming holes in and around Panay Island but I had never been to Malumpati Cold Spring in Antique. After checking out the attractions of Jawili in Aklan, we drove to Pandan which is a short distance from the border of Aklan province.
Everyone had the same idea as we did. Malumpati was insanely crowded. Summer break was well on its way and families were in the know where to cool down. Who can resist turquoise waters on a sweltering day?
I was naive to expect tranquil surroundings. I did find a little piece of heaven on the other side of the bridge that is enveloped by overgrown trees with hints of caves and my mind's idea of an idyllic day by the water. But it is not accessible to the public. Summer is not the best time to visit Malumpati nor weekends. I'll go back another day. Make that a weekday.

There's a minimal entrance fee to Malumpati Cold Spring. We paid 50 pesos for parking. There are people at the parking lot who say they…

Kiss my Turku

Nothing can truly describe the wonder of seeing the Art Chapel for the first time. I was at once drawn to the blinding light at the end of the proverbial tunnel as soon as I entered the chapel. But rather than walk up to the altar, I opted to sit awhile on one of the plain pine pews to slowly take it all in and savor the peace and beauty of my surroundings. I enjoyed precious few minutes of blissful contemplation (as I was the only visitor then) until a couple arrived and the missus asked me to remove my handbag from the bench so she could take a perfect photo of the Chapel. :( 

The architect, Matti Sanaksenaho, wanted to incorporate three symbols in his design. One of them is light, in this case, the idea of "the path from darkness to light". The visitor emerges from the shadows at the entrance and is led toward the light at the altar under exquisitely arched Finnish timber.

The model for the design of the Art Chapel was a block of wood inspired by a fish which the architect…

This is My Helsinki

The Kamppi Chapel or the Chapel of Silence is a non-denominational space for calm and reflection. The Chapel maintains a staff who can help anyone unload the cares that infest the mind and body and provides information about the services offered by the Helsinki Parish Union and the Social Services Department of the city. They're open daily.

This beautiful wooden structure was designed by K2S Architects Ltd. The curved exterior wall is made from treated spruce wood planks and oiled alder planks line the interior walls. Light pours down the chapel from a skylight above the ceiling. The unadorned chapel is exactly the place to find peace and quiet. 

"Silence is the only voice of our God." Herman Melville

Natural light streams into Temppeliaukio or Rock Church through concrete beams anchored on rock and crowned by a copper dome. Temppeliaukio is a Lutheran Church. It is also a venue for concerts.

There is a 3 euro entrance fee to the church.

Temppeliaukio or Rock Church simply ro…