May 28, 2020

Charles Bridge - Timeless Thursdays 5

Around half a kilometer stretch across the Vltava River of Czechia is a stone bridge that is called Charles Bridge. It was built for almost 50 years under the orders of King Charles IV, King of Bohemia and the first Bohemian King to become Holy Roman Emperor. Let me share some of the shots I took while I was on the bridge and around its area.

Charles Bridge / Karlův Most

This post is part of Skywatch Friday. Click the image link below to see more skies around the world!

Ever since I saw Linkin Park's Numb music video when I was in late high school, I already grew curious about Prague, specifically this beautiful bridge where some of the video's scenes were taken. I was dark and eerie and beautiful. Since then, it has driven me to dream about this magical bridge and last December, I was there, walking along its path and wandering in awe.



Known to be one of the most famous symbols not just of Prague but of the whole Czech Republic, Charles Bridge or Karlův Most features 30 statues and statuettes which depicts religious personas of the Catholic Church including Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary, and other biblical figures and Catholic Saints. What we see now are just replicas of these Baroque statues that are mostly made from dark stones. (Left photo by my cousin Carmina)



Installed in 1683 was the statue of Saint John of Nepomuk. He is the patron saint of Bohemia and even has patronage in some cities and towns in the Philippines.Saint John is known as the first martyr of the Seal of Confessional. On this site at the Bridge, he was drowned by the orders of King Charles or Wenceslaus, King of the Romans and King of Bohemia, after he refuse to expose what the Queen has confessed to him.

Aside from his statue, a specific pilgrimage spot has been dedicated to Saint John of Nepomuk which serves as a shrine where he was believed to be thrown away to drown and die. A brass sculpture is rubbed while the pilgrims pray and remember the Saint.


Walking along the Saint Charles bridge on a -2 degree Celsius morning was a beautiful and unforgettable experience. I know all of the European cities are big dreams that came true on that trip but this specific memory is just so vivid because of the feels I have felt while I was there. Let me thank my cousin Carmina for being with me on this beautiful city and walking along the historic stones of Karluv Most. I'll forever be grateful!


Never stop crossing bridges and leaving marks
Steve

***
I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join this new Linky that I thought of starting - Timeless Thursdays(Bear with me for any short-comings, this is my first link ever)


Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.
This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Monday the same time (12 am)

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May 25, 2020

A Missed Adventure


Me and my Backpack

As I write this post, Monday evening, I should have been at a riverside cottage in Vang Vieng with my father. It would have been my 23rd country and would have been another trip that will surely be memorable because I would have done it with my Dad. I planned a trip for both of us to three countries - Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar - which my dad has never been to. It would have been my third time in Thailand (I love that country so much) and, Laos and Myanmar, aside from being my 23rd and 24th country, would also have completed my list of 10 ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) nations. But of course, the pandemic (or Corinna as my friend Iris Flavia would call it) decided to visit us all for good. I feel really sorry for my father more than me, because he has been very excited to travel again to another country and it would have been very fun for him to spend a week in three different countries.

As a little boy, I have always been a lover of Geography. My uncle taught me each and every country, its flag and its capital, and got me to memorize all of them at the age of 4. With that, it was more than drills and mind-sharpening for me, it started my love for culture, diversity, and the different kinds of people on this planet. Different attitudes, skin colors, and lifestyles, but all my brothers and sisters. 

Travel has taught me that I am not alone and I am not original. That people can differ in ways and beliefs but all are capable of understanding and accepting. For every photo I see on books that have become a "right in front of me", they all were proofs to the cliche 'dreams do come true'. It has helped me know amazing people who some become my friends, foods so foreign but became tastes that are stapled to my mind, and experiences and adventures that books and movies can never really enlive. 

About the Photo: This photo was taken by my cousin. All the patches on my backpack represents each and every country and territory that I have visited. In front of me in the middle of the lake is Taal Volcano, which erupted earlier this year and spewed out tons of ashes into the sky that covered a huge part of the Cavite Province. It displaces thousands of families not just those that are living on the volcanic island but also those that are at the coast of the lake. At this moment, some of those families are still in evacuation area battling more of nature's challenges such as this pandemic, and worse, the upcoming storm months. I just hope we don't have strong typhoons to come in this year. 

I missed an adventure, but never the hope that it will still happen, just on a different time.

***

This post is part of my friend Jesh's All Seasons, Our World Tuesday, and Betty's My Corner of the World

May 21, 2020

Home - Timeless Thursdays 4

Lockdown has been semi-lifted here in the Philippines but yes, not because it's safe already but to prioritize the economy and the businesses. Sadly, this is not what most people take of it and they started to gather round outside even if it's clearly unsafe yet and the numbers are not getting any lower. So I still stay at home, for 66 days now to be exact, without leaving our gates. Thanks to my brother who gathers our supplies from the outside world. And with all this time, I surely miss a lot of people, especially my best friends.

I have been blessed to have a lot of friends that are true to me and very caring and tested through out the years. But the closest ones I have aside from my college friends are who I call my Life Long friends. because we literally are life-long friends since we have all been classmates since Kindergarten until High School. We are a group of 8, 7 classmates since kinder - RJay, Judy, Stevenson, Myrcel, Lea, Faith, and Ivy - then we were joined by our best friend Dianne who moved to our school after Elementary graduation.

2002 - A photo of us seven during 6th grade

They will probably kill me when they saw that photo. We all parted ways during college because we took different degrees and went to different universities but we still kept in touch at times but not as much as when we all graduated college when we started to spend more time together again.

2010 - Dinner at Tagaytay with our best friend Ferdie

When we all started working and had our own jobs, we usually get together every other weekend. We are usually joined by our best friend Ferdie who was our class Valedictorian and the best cook in our group. We are the kind of friends who are not into drinking or clubbing, we all just want to eat and eat and eat! And through the years we also started to travel together around the country.

2015 - Camiguin, Philippines

2017 - Notice how we maintain our positions :)

Two of the group have married already and started their families but that does not stop us from making time for each other as much as we can be complete. Ivy got married last 2015 and now lives in Mindanao, the largest island on the south of our country, with her husband and two daughter. Faith got married last 2018 and now lives in Cebu another major island in the central Philippines with her husband Marvin. Lea flew to the Middle East to work there as a nurse, and Dianne was relocated to Paris by her company.

Our 2019 Photoshoot

The one above was the last time we were altogether, January of last year. When Ivy was home from Mindanao, Lea was home from Kuwait, Faith has not yet moved to Cebu, and Dianne was still fixing her papers for Paris. My heart will always be happy whenever I think about all of us together again, they are my Home. We would have been this summer actually because Lea and Dianne were planning to get here in August if not for the virus and Faith can always fly here as long as we tell her in advance and all seven of us would have flown to Mindanao to complete our 8 at Ivy's.

It's very sad that I know, they all want to be home as well to be with their families here but they just can't. So last Monday, I thought of singing another song, this time dedicating it for all the Filipinos abroad who will trade anything just to be here and back home in our country they call home. I hope you all would like it, we all long for home.


***
I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join this new Linky that I thought of starting - Timeless Thursdays(Bear with me for any short-comings, this is my first link ever)


Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.
This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Wednesday the same time (12 am)
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

May 16, 2020

Paris in my Eyes

Paris, you are a dream brought to life. Thank you for making me feel like I was special, that I am blessed, and that I deserve golden moments that are set within the beauty of your existence. Forever I will be grateful, Forever, I will always long to be immersed in your lights' passionate tender kisses.

Your views and scenes and hues will forever illuminate my heart with memories of dreams come true and of rewarding hopes for those that are yet to be a reality. Let me share some of your sparkling spots through images I have seen with my very own eyes.



Photos taken on different days from December 2019 to January 2020
Winter - This post is part of my friend JESH's ALL SEASONS

Never Stop Dreaming, It takes you There!
Steve

May 14, 2020

Baby Photos - Timeless Thursdays 3


I took out an old photo album from a shelf from my parent's bedroom. I wonder what it has but I do know it contains old photos. On the cover of the album was my name "Stevenson" handwritten by my late mother. Flipping the cover revealed photos of a baby, and since it has my name on the cover, this should be me. Of course I was unrecognizable, not only because it was a baby, but because I grew really big so my features have changed, except for my complexion and my eye color.


According to that card above that crib on the nursery, I was born at 2:25 in the afternoon on that June day. I was one of the babies who marked a new decade. I am so amazed on how tiny I am on that photo, I was so cute I think. When I was kid, they kept telling me that I look different, they say I look like an "anak ng kano" or an American child. I guess it's my fair skin, which was different than most babies here in the country right after getting out. My mom had several miscarriages before me so my age is a bit far from my older brothers, and if any of those miscarriages did not happen, I may not be here.


On the left photo, you can see my first visitors a few days after I was born. There's my Aunt Fausta and her daughter, My mom, my cousin Teena, my God mother Marcy and her daughter, and my Dad. My Older brother Erson beside me on the bed. On the right photo, it's my brothers Erson, Wilson, and my Mom. Oh I miss these moments when I get to feel comfortable in their bed and on their room.

My parent's bedroom has always been open for everyone. Cousins, friends, kids - we all grew up on our parent's bedroom. My mom had been blessed with a lot of loving friends and family who always finds comfort being in that room, and I will always remember it with these tiny floral Victorian wallpaper. My mom loved my cousins so much even when they had their own families so whenever they visit our house (we live at our Grandma's house), they always visit her in her room, especially when she was already ailing and cannot go downstairs often anymore.


On the left photo is me and my Paternal grandmother. She is the biggest reason why I am here as I am right now. She put me to school and she helped me be the best that I can be, and I promise her that I will not stop improving myself so she can be proud of me. I love her so much and she has always been there for me especially when I was not feeling well, she always cared for me. I am glad that I was able to take care of her before she left. On the right photo is a 3-month old me according to my Mom's writing on the Album.

***

I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join this new Linky that I thought of starting - Timeless Thursdays(Bear with me for any short-comings, this is my first link ever)


Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.

This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Wednesday the same time (12 am)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter