It has  been  a long  while  since  I last published  an  article.  I   got momentarily  “sidelined”  because of  so many activities   I  do,  like  organizing  tours  for  Filipinos living here  in  Madrid.  During the past  months,  I  published  write-ups  on  a  regular  basis  but,  the  last  three months  had  been  extremely  hectic  for  me.   I have  taken  Filipinos  to  Lourdes,  France;  Fatima and Lisbon in Portugal;  to  famous  cities here in  Spain  like Barcelona,  the  most  cosmopolitan  city  in Spain  and  site  of  the  1992  Olympics and  many  international  events;  Valencia,  where  the world-renowned  “Las  Fallas”  celebration  is  held  and  where the largest  Oceanarium  in Europe  is  located.    I  led  a group  to  “Valle  de  los  Caidos”  (Valley  of the Fallen), the  burial ground  of  those  who fought  during the Spanish  civil  war in  the  40’s  and  where  Spain’s  dictator  Francisco Franco is  buried.  We had  a  bus  trip  to the  snow  town  of  Navacerrada;  to  the  town  of  La Granja,   the  hunting town  of  King  Philipp II   in  the  15th  century.  We  have  travelled  to  the  Monastery  of  El  Escorial,  where  the  members of the Royal Family  of  Spain  and Royal blood  relatives  are buried;   I  have  toured  Filipinos  in Avila,  a  walled  city,  and  famous  for  being the  birthplace  of  St.  Teresa  of  Avila;   we  have  gone to  Segovia,  known  for  its  Aquaduct,   built  during the  time  when the Romans  occupied  Spain.    The  structure  of the  Aquaduct  was  constructed  in such  a  way  that  the  blocks  of  stones – some weighing  at least  500 kilos  or  more,   had  been piled  up  one over  another – even forming  an  arch –  without  the  use  of  any  cement.     An  incredible  Roman  structure.    

Fatima Sanctuary

The  trips to Lourdes  and  Fatima  were  in  a  sense  religious  pilgrimage.   Lourdes  is  where  the Virgin appeared  before  St. Bernadette in  February 1858.  Until  now,  the  body of  St. Bernadette,  buried  in  the north  part  of  France,  remains  uncorrupted despite  being  dead  for  over  a  century  now.  In Fatima,  the Virgin   appeared  before  three farmer’s   children  Lucia,  Jacinta and Francisco,  between  May and  October 1917.    Both are  holy  places  and you feel a  huge  amount  of  “holiness”   while  visiting  them.  

What  I would  like  to share  with you  now  is not about  those  places  I  have  visited since  you can  find  more information  browsing  the  Internet  than  from what  I  write.   What  I  wish  to  tell you now  is  about  those  Filipinos who have  gone  to  immortalize  their  visits  to  these  cities  I  have  enumerated.   It is  very  interesting to observe  the conduct  of  Filipinos  to  record  their  stay.    Travelling,  Filipinos  are  pure  and  simple  “photo  addicts”. 

Smile!,  Say  Cheez,  Say Pa..ta..ta!  Ready,  one   two three!..  This  is  what you usually hear  from tourists/people  calling  out before  the  camera  shutter   is  pressed   to  take  a photo  of  someone  or  a group  of people, all for the purpose  of “immortalization”.   Pictures make  events,  people,  everything  around us “alive”.  Without  a picture,  how  can  we  ever  learn  of  the   past?  How  can  we  reminisce  the  birthdays,  weddings,  travels  we had,  how can we  see  places  we have not  visited if  not for the photos  taken?   A photo is  a  necessary  element in our lives – an  important mode  of  communication  that  illustrates  everything  we  want  to  be  reminded of  in the future. 

Filipinos  are indefatigable  and  incessant  photographers  and  posers when it  comes  to  immortalizing   their  visit  to  a  new  place  as  well as   during events and occasions. 

A picture  tells  us  a  lot  of  stories,  it tells  us  the kind  of  and  what  is a person like and how  a  person looks like.   A picture  is   never  hiding, never concealing,  unless  it  has  been  purposely  truncated, which  is being  done by  famous  actors  or  actresses  who  wish  to  “hide”  their  “real  natural look”  for  fear  that  their true  physical  appearance would  be  discovered  by  their  fans,  and  the  consequences could be  terrible  for  them.   Pictures  cannot  talk  but the “sound”  they  emit  are loud  enough  to  be  heard  because  they  speak  a  lot  about  us,  about events,  they  tell  us  everything  we  need  to know  about  something about  someone.   Pictures  indeed  immortalize  our  mortality.    Not  all  though  like  to  have  his/her  photo  taken.   Some would  rather  keep  their  looks  for  themselves and  do not wish to be  recalled   of   the  way  they were in  the  past.   Filipinos  are  not  camera  shy.   Are  you  camera  shy?  Well  I hope  not.  But  I  am camera shy, or  it  is  just  that  I  am  not  fond  of  being  in  a  photo.   I  would  say  that   I  am more  of  a  cameraman  than  being the objective  of  the camera.   It  is  not  that  I  do not  fancy  posing  before  a  camera  but,  perhaps  I  would  rather  be  on the  sideline  and  not  at  the  centerline. 

Filipinos  are very  enthusiastic  people when  it comes  to  photo shooting.  They’ve  got  incredible artistic  skills  to pose  and  hang  on  to a position  while the  camera  is  being prepared.  Their  “addiction”  to  picture taking is   tremendous.  Well  at  least, that  form of “addiction”   is  much  better  than  being  addicted  to   something  else,  if you  know  what  I  mean.  Just  take  a  look  at   Facebook.  Facebook is the best   social  communication  link  ever  invented.   It  is the  haven  for  photos  of   people,  and  I  would  say  that  the Filipinos  are  the  leading  photo  “hangers”, or  “taggers”,  “up-loaders”, – whatever word  is appropriate –  in Facebook.    For  each  and  every  occasion,  trip   or  event,   you  need not  wait  a day to  view  in Facebook  photos  taken  at  a  party,   in a  trip,  in  an  event,  or  anywhere for that matter.   Facebook  will  just  be  repleted  with  photos taken  just  minutes  after   something important  has  occurred.   This “addiction”  though  is  harmless and  is   the  “cleanest”  form  of  addiction any  person  could indulge into,  and   its   much  cheaper,  it  is more  fun  and  it  gives   a  higher  social  status  level  to those  who  hang  photos  taken in places  they have  visited  when  it  is  outside  of their  country  of  origin. 

Filipinos are  said to be  “mababaw ang  kaligayahan” (low-keyed  on happiness level – literally translated)  which means  that  anything for that matter makes  them  happy.   It’s  true  in a  good  sense.    Simple  living  is what  most of  Filipinos  “advocate”,  if I can put it that  way.   Contentment  is  easily reached  with the  acquisition of anything they  did not  possess  before  and that  “thing” shall  be treasured  their whole life.  Like  the  photos,  they  are  “guarded  treasures”  for  Filipinos,  they  are  priceless possessions  that  are  kept  for the entire  duration of their  lives,  and  if  possible,  passed on to the  next  generation  after next,  until they  are  eventually  forgotten  in the  nook  and  corner  of  their  houses  and  only  to  be remembered  when  the  moment  of  passing  them  to the  next  generation,  has  come.

Life  is to be  cherished  and  not  despised….Eric 


Please  view our  updates on Travels for Filipinos   in  Madrid section on  our  trip  to  Fatima  on  15  August  to  celebrate  the Assumption Day.   

Take  a  peek  at  the  new  entries  we  have  in  International  Jobs  page  where  you  can  search  for  NGO  jobs.  It  could  mark  a  difference  in your professional  career.

Please visit  my  NEW,  NEW  page   VISIT:  SPAIN or  THE PHILIPPINES!!!,  and  take  a  glimpse  of  what  we  can  offer  our  Filipino  readers  around  the  world,  and if  any other nationality/ies  is/are  interested,  we can  definitely  work  things  out  for them  as  well.  DON’T  MISS THIS  OPPORTUNITY!!

Please visit  my updates  on   ABOUT FILIPINOSAROUND  page  and  learn  more  About  this  site  and  take  a tour  around  the  rest of  the pages. 

Please  view  updates in  Travels for Filipinos   in  Madrid section    about  the  Liturgical  Celebrations  on the  Occasion of the Canonization of  BLESSED  PEDRO  CALUNGSOD  in Rome  on  21  October  2012.   

See   likewise  our  trip  schedules  for  the  Summer.  IT’S  TIME  TO GO  TO THE BEACH,  BEACH,  BEACH….and  we  are  on  to  a  great  summer  holiday!!.

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Teacher, Public Speaking and Life Coach, Book and Poem Writer, Folkloric dancer and choreographer, a father, friendly and an admirer and beholder of natural beauty...God believer..

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