Bamberg – The Changing Seasons

Bamberg is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, laid out over 7 hills where the Regnitz and Main rivers meet. Its old town preserves structures from the 11th to 19th centuries including the muraled Altes Rathaus (town hall), which occupies an island in the Regnitz reached by arched bridges. The Romanesque Bamberg Cathedral, begun in the 11th century, features 4 towers and numerous stone carvings. (Wikipedia)

Hello everyone! We’ve just got back from our three-day visit in Bamberg. It’s a very charming place and we had fun walking around and discovering it. The weather might be a bit cold, but we didn’t mind. We took a train from Munich and it was a two-hour ride on the ICE-fast train. I just slept through the whole trip. Our hotel is near the train station so we’ve been walking around the town. The old town is brilliant, with all the canals, that’s why Bamberg is known as “Little Venice”. We visited their Residenz museum, very impressive, shame we couldn’t take photos inside. We also took their “hop on hop off” tourist bus when we couldn’t walk up the hills anymore. All in all, we enjoyed our holiday, our smile this week. So, what made you smile this week?

For: The Changing Seasons: April 2017, Skywatch Friday – 20 April 2017 Edition, Weekly Smile 68 #weeklysmile, Awesome Talents Abound – Echoes of my neighbourhood, Three Things Thursday: Happy Mail, GPS Easter Eggs, Pretty Flowers, & A Bonus Baby Goose, Jo’s Monday walk : Almodôvar, and the red shoes





Happy Easter Monday everyone! Hope you are all fine. Him Indoors and I had a quiet and contemplative Holy Week/Easter holiday week. The weather was fine on some days, that’s when we cycled or did some gardening. When it wasn’t that good, we stayed inside and did some chores and other hobbies. I was able to write/blog a lot. I managed to write some poems.

I’m very grateful that my mother is fine in the Philippines. Through messenger, we video chat almost every day. My aunt was able to stay with her and together they visited some churches and went to Bulacan to see the passion play. My brother and his family were also able to join them.

HRH the son and his beautiful K went to see Southampton v Manchester football game. They said they had a great time. OK, Southampton lost, but that’s another story.

That’s it from me. Have a lovely week everyone!

For: 52 WEEKS OF THANKFULNESS – WEEK 43, THANK GOD, IT’S MONDAY! — WEEK OF APRIL 17th 2017: When saying thanks is not enough, Jo’s Monday walk : Around Salir, Tell Me Something Good #53


Our Subic experience

Our Subic experience

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all fine. It’s lovely here in Bavaria, the sun is shining! Him Indoors and I are cycling to Ostpark, which is our favourite beer garden, with a lake, lovely garden and of course, beer plus sausages or grilled fish. Anyway, it has been exactly a month since I arrived back from my holiday in the Philippines. Let me just tell you some parts of it. This time was our (my Mom and I) three days stay in White Rock Beach Resort in Subic, Zambales. On the first day, my cousins and their families joined us. The Subic resort’s crown jewel is its 8-hectare private beach, a stretch of beige sands nestled in a cove. With calm, tsunami and storm surge-free waters, the 300 meter wide beach is perfect for a broad range of recreational, aqua and teambuilding activities. We had a great time, to say the least.

For: #MySundayPhoto – Favourite Building, ALL SEASONS -APRIL’S SEASONAL COLORS, Life-Size Balloon Person (Sundays In My City), Jo’s Monday walk : A Spring jaunt on Anglesey

Batanes Trip, Day 3 – Batan Southern Tour

Batanes Trip, Day 3 – Batan Southern Tour

Happy Mothering Sunday! I wrote a poem for my mother and I rang her. Anyway, here’s sharing with you our third day of Batanes Tour – the southern part. We started with Chawa View Deck – turbulent waves smashing at the foot of the coast lining with craggy cliffs, the view in Chanarian or Chawa view deck is nothing short of spectacular. Then we stopped at Mahatao, which is the town next to Basco when you’re going to the island’s southern portions via the National Road. Mahatao is divided into four barangays: Hanib, Kaumbakan, Panatayan, and Uvoy. It’s the smallest town in Batan in terms of land area but has the second largest population next to Basco.

Tayid Lighthouse a.k.a. Mahatao Lighthouse. This modern structure was built only in 2000 and completed in 2004. This used to be a functional lighthouse but is now regarded as a tourist attraction. It is rightly located on a hill at the east side of the Batan Island, from which cows graze on the hills. Once there, a stunning view of immense jagged mountains cliffs, hedgerows and a panorama of the Pacific Ocean can be seen.

Liveng/Hedgerows – This quaint quilt-like/ labyrinth-like patterns across farms divide farm lots, protects crops from wind and animals, control soil erosion, host migrant bird, and provide wood and reeds for domestic use. They constitute the sustainable agricultural systems of Batanes. The reeds are also used as ceiling materials for the traditional houses with cogon roofs. These hedgerows add up to the already picture-perfect landscape of Batanes.

Hailed as the “Marlboro country” of Batanes, Racuh A Payaman is a place that makes its every visitor wonder and ask themselves, “Is this real or I am dreaming?”, or “That such a place still exists in the Philippines? ”
Marlboro Country might be one of the most photographed places that an avid photographer would be looking for. The blue skies, green fields, and the hilly terrain and mountains – all of these blend the perfect color of nature that picturesque a perfect creation from a perfect Creator.

A store that lets you buy coffee, souvenir items, and food and leave the payment and just write it down in the logbook. That’s real honesty for you. This place is more of a store than a coffee shop,they sell variety products such as souvenirs,local foods/snacks,there’s also buko juice at the back and surprisingly,there’s motorcycle available for rental.You can also rent the traditional Ivatan stuffs for picture taking,like the headdress (Vakul for women and talugong for men) and Yuvuk which is the woven basket used by farmers.

The San Jose de Ivana Church, also known as Ivana Church, is a Roman Catholic church located in Ivana, Batanes, Philippines dedicated to Saint Joseph under the jurisdiction of the Prelature of Batanes.

For: ALL SEASONS – A HESITANT SPRING (March 26), #MySundayPhoto – Happy Mother’s Day, Dollar Day at Golden Gate Fields (Sundays In My City), Jo’s Monday walk : Dizzying heights!, Tell Me Something Good #50, Jerusalem kitties


Batanes Trip, Day 2 – Sabtang Tour

Batanes Trip, Day 2 – Sabtang Tour

Hello everyone! Second day in Batanes, we had a wake up call at 5:00am, had breakfast then a ride to Ivana Port. We caught the 6:40am ferry crossing to Sabtang. The faluwa is a large boat with a U-shaped body and no outrigger (katig). The faluwa ride to Sabtang Island was another half hour. It was a rough ride, the open sea was the connection of the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. I made it, well, sort of. I’m not really good with boats, I always say.


We arrived in Sabtang Port and had to register at the Municipal Tourism Office. Then we rode all day to 3 towns of Sabtang, which were like had been frozen in time.

our ride all day, so cool!

Our first stop was the village in Savidug, which is near the coast, where we could look at Ivatan stone houses. This is actually a living, breathing village. While a few of the houses are ruined, the rest are the homes of Sabtang’s small population. The houses, unique to Batanes, are small but obviously very sturdy. The roofs are made of layers upon layers of cogon grass. But first, we looked at their fruit tree, where they make their local wine, and then my Mom and I tried their gears.

At the end of the tour of Sinakan, we found a plaza of sorts — it has a basketball court and a cottage. The St. Thomas Aquinas chapel can be found beside what used to be a place where leaders can congregate.


Further on, we came across Savidug Idjang where the ruins of the ancient Ivatan’s fortress lie. Idjang is synonymous to a fortress. They use this fortress as a refuge during battles.


The Tinyan Viewpoint is a great vantage point for the Chamantad Cove. The rock formations, the cliffs and the breaking waves have left us mesmerised. The view was amazing!

We met some locals. They smiled, waved, talked to us. They seemed really sincere in welcoming us to their community. I tried and bought their sandals as souvenir.

We had lunch at Morong Beach and enjoyed the view at Nakabuang Cave and Mayahaw (Ahaw Ark). Such a lovely day!

For: ALL SEASONS – TO KEEP MARCHING (March 19), #MySundayPhoto – What Remains? , Happiness is Like a Box of Avocados (Sundays In My City), I Want Your Smiles #weeklysmile 63, Three Things Thursday: Snow, Antique Cookbooks, & Dinosaurs on My Phone (Plus One Very Silly Kitty), The Dancing Fountain and Echoes of A Celebration, Jo’s Monday walk : the walled city of Lucca

Batanes Trip Day 1

Batanes Trip Day 1

Hello everyone! Nice to be back in sunny Bavaria after three weeks holiday in the Philippines. Allow me to share with you our first day in Batanes. Batanes is an archipelago province in the Philippines situated in the Cagayan Valley region. It is the northernmost province in the country, and also the smallest, both in population and land area. My mother and I took the plane to their capital city, Basco and we were shuttled to the hotel from the airport. The first thing that I’ve noticed was they looked after their environment. It is part of eco-tourism. Since it was still early, they gave us our breakfast then we freshened up in our room. We were so excited to stroll at the beach. We started the tour in the afternoon. A van picked us up, just the two of us. The tour guide is a native of the island, an Ivatan and he’s so friendly and knowledgeable of the area.


We started with Mt. Carmel Chapel, which is popularly known as Tukon Chapel. The design of the lovely Tukon chapel was based on the traditional Ivatan stone houses. It is a project spearheaded by the influential Abad family and nearby communities so they don’t need to travel far away to go to a church. The roof of the chapel is made of concrete red bricks and on its ceiling, one will be amazed of the prepossessing painting of different municipal saints which are painted by well-skilled Ivatan artists.


A short drive from the Chapel was the Tukon Radar Station of PAG-ASA. Strategically located at the top-most part of the island, perfect for weather monitoring purposes. We could also see the damage caused by the last typhoon. Just outside the Radar Station was the viewing deck which offers panoramic view of the island. On the East side was the Pacific Ocean and on the West side was the West Philippine Sea.


Then we walked to Idjang, which is a triangle shaped hilltop citadel in the island, made from limestone and wood. The Ivatan people of the northern islands of Batanes often built fortifications to protect themselves during times of war. They built their so-called idjangs on hills and elevated areas.


One of the attractions of the province is the Dipnaysupuan Japanese tunnel hidden in the hills of Tukon. It was built during the Japanese occupation of the country for the refuge of Japanese soldiers and lookout post. The entrance is low and one has to duck-walk towards the back until one can stand up. It is cold and damp and chilly inside.


There is no white sand here. Instead, countless boulders fill Valugan Beach, creating an incredible landscape framed by almost vertical cliffs and rolling hills.


Have a lovely week everyone!

For: Jo’s Monday walk : A garden extravaganza, Kibbutz Ramat Rachel , Tell Me Something Good #48


What’s in Bohol?

What’s in Bohol?

Bohol is a first income class island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, consisting of the island itself and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran City. With a land area of 4,117.26 square kilometres (1,589.68 sq mi) and a coastline 261 kilometres (162 mi) long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines. To the west of Bohol is Cebu, to the northeast is the island of Leyte and to the south, across the Bohol Sea is Mindanao.

The province is a popular tourist destination with its beaches and resorts. The Chocolate Hills, numerous mounds of limestone formations, is the most popular attraction. The formations can be seen by land (climbing the highest point) or by air via ultralight airplane tours. Panglao Island, located just southwest of Tagbilaran City, is famous for its diving locations and routinely listed as one of the top ten diving locations in the world. Numerous tourist resorts dot the southern beaches and cater to divers from around the world. The Philippine Tarsier, the second-smallest primate in the world, is indigenous to the island. (from Wikipedia)

For: Jo’s Monday walk : A walk through a Pub!, The foods of Israel