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The Truth and The Lies about Travel Blogging

The Truth and the Lies about Travel Blogging

Toronto Skyline Sunset

Travel blogging, yeah. It’s not for everyone, I know that for sure. The real question here is, why do you write travel blogs or better put it this way, why do you travel and blog? Simple enough, right? Nope! Everyone have a reason why they write, then publish their travel blogs and some have their very own “reasons” or “lies” why they travel and blog about it.

They’ve often said that they QUIT their jobs to travel and blog. Is it True or false? True that they quit their jobs but unfortunate because how long do you think they can survive without a source of income when the FOC’s are all used up and gone? In their travel blogs, do they have adsense, affiliates or sponsors? Chances are they do, but is it enough to survive on their continuous travels? You have to pay your flight/fares, pay for transport, sleep at hotels and eat at restaurants. Is it sustainable to really quit your job? No way, maybe find another job online or in the real world to be able to afford it and travel again, truth or dare? You tell me.

The truth and the real reason that I blog is to keep a record or journal of my past, present and future travels, fair enough? Right and mainly because I blog for leisure and not for financial gain. For me, blogging is a passion; like a hobby and I don’t rely on my “travel blog” as a source of income or even second income for that matter, since I already have an income to rely on monthly for the basic necessities in life. I can certainly monetize my blog, but why bother for now, maybe when I need a second income, will do just that.

I’ve worked so hard and have some savings for my travel expenses whenever I get the chance to take a vacation from work and also prepare for my future retirement. Yes, during our time as Baby boomers, we worked hard and worked our butts off, for what? For lots of reasons and for so many things in life, i.e. like buy a house or a condo, buy a car, travel and meet your soulmate along the way, get married, have kids and live the circle of life. It may sound mundane and a bit boring but that’s what life is all about.

Compare that to the other generations, like Gen-X or the Millennials for example. We have kids in our circle of friends who are Millennials. They are lucky that their parents are Baby boomers who are well off and hard workers. Most of these young people belong to the Fall of the infamous wall street and the deep recession of the 21st century.

When the economy recovered, they were out of luck, out of jobs and burdened with student loans taller than themselves. I’d refer to them as an unfortunate but lucky generation. Unfortunate because they can’t get jobs even if they have college degrees. There’s simply no jobs available anywhere unless they create it and become Entrepreneurs themselves. Lucky because they have mostly well-to-do baby boomer parents who have allowed them to live at home for now and support them while looking for jobs. The Gen-X’ers couldn’t wait to fly off the coup as soon as they were ready to face what’s out there waiting for them, be it jobs, people to live with as roommates or just go out in the world to live their very own lives to the fullest, as the cliche goes.

Back to travel blogs, sometimes the real truth hurts no matter how you splice it, the outcome still hurts so bad. Lies, bitter ones that sting so badly and why do they lie so much about it? Perhaps to console themselves or to pretend and make believe that travel blogging really pays off is somewhat ‘fake news’. Maybe some of them try to hide their failures in life with colorful “lies”.

Yeah, some bloggers are creative with popular sponsors and have great talents in choice of good paying ads and affiliates. That’s how they make enough money online. Maybe 1 out of 10 or so can make the cut, it’s a sad story but let’s be real. Travel vloggers on Youtube probably make more money in ads and patreonship, than travel bloggers who are somewhat successful in their own ways.

Some of us, travel bloggers really have to work for a living, then travel and blog about it. These are the “realistic” ones who knew all along that life is not a bed of roses and there’s no such thing as “FREE lunch” anymore. So let’s be real for once. With all that said and done, I rest my case.

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Percé Rock in the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, Canada

The Legendary Percé Rock

The famous Percé Rock is a 5 million-ton monolith and was formed over 350 million years ago. It rose from the depths of the sea as many have told legends about it. The early explorers mentioned two holes in the rock; one of the arches crumbled on June 17, 1845 so there’s only one remaining hole to date.

The Famous Percé Rock at the Gaspésie region in Quebec.

The name Percé Rock means a rock that’s been pierced with a hole in it. When we visited and strolled around Percé, one of Québec’s loveliest coastal villages, we saw the cafés, boutiques and art galleries lined its streets. In the Gaspé Peninsula where Percé is located, you can’t miss the magnificence of the Rock and shouldn’t skip a tour of Bonaventure Island, home to North America’s largest colony of northern gannets and other seabirds .

The Famous Percé Rock at Lowtide, you can walk and view the rock up close.

We have driven along the scenic road to Percé Rock, a limestone behemoth in the Gaspésie region where 110,000 northern gannets and 250,000 other seabirds live on a single island, and where a 5 million-ton monolith rises from the sea and at lowtide you can walk the pathway leading to the rock and literally touch it, but then be careful and make sure you go back on land before the tide rises so high that all you can do is swim ashore.

The Village of Percé in the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec Province.

Exploring the awesome Percé Rock with it’s magnificent view.

We walked the gravel pathway and took some photos but did not stay too long for fear of the tide rising so fast in the early afternoon. We spent some time in the pretty villages, and relived history. We didn’t have enough time to climb the region’s numerous lighthouses. We enjoyed surprise trail encounters with wildlife and there were some sea kayakers alongside the cliffs and coves to see North America’s largest gannet colony. All in all it was a great sightseeing day trip to the Gaspé Peninsula in the neighboring province of Quebec near the border of New Brunswick. We went to visit the Village of Percé after our trip to Quebec City where we also visited the Basilica of SainteAnnedeBeaupré, in Quebec City set along the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada.

The Gaspé Peninsula reaches out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on this map the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula is shown (Photo Courtesy of The Gaspésie Tour Quebec Maritime).

Photos Courtesy of http://lakbaypilipinas.ca/

 

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A & B Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto – Part 2

Arran & Beverly’s Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto
September 28, 2014 – Part 2

(In Honor of their coming 3rd Wedding Anniversary)

The Wedding Celebration at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

The Wedding Celebration at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto was a joyous occasion for all of us in the family. Since the Bride and Groom have also indicated that we can post all the wedding photos taken with our family and friends, then feel free to share them on social media, perhaps I will do just that.

When we arrived at the hotel before the Wedding ceremony, everyone was having a free continental breakfast at the room next to the Museum Hall where the wedding will take place and everyone getting ready for the marching of the entourage.

When it was time to gather at the Museum Hall for the wedding ceremony, the guests were requested to find their own seats except for the reserved seats for the entourage, the one in the first 3 rows of the seating arrangement.  The wedding ceremony held at the Shangri-La’s Museum Hall and officiated by a minister started on time. The Wedding Entourage marched through the aisle and the Bride and Groom proceeded to the stage after the Father of the Bride gave away his daughter’s hand in marriage to the Groom with his Dad by his side.

Then the usual wedding ceremony started, with the veil and cord ceremonies. First the candles were lighted for the Candle ceremony and handed to the Groom and Bride who lighted the candles at the table. After the “I Do’s” were said and done, then the Marriage Certificate was signed by the Bride and Groom.

Music during the wedding was provided by a Violinist and a Violoncello/Cello Musician who made beautiful music together. It was a very lovely day for a wedding and the sun was shining brightly like a blessing for the newly married couple. The wedding ceremony ended with the guests waving the tiny bells at the end of the sticks given to us in lieu of the rice showers. And they marched down the aisle with everyone clapping and cheering for both of them!

It was a great wedding day for Arran and Beverly especially attended by the families and close friends of both parties. Then the Cocktails followed at the canopied outdoor garden patio where all the guests enjoyed the cocktail drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

A Ghostly Selfie at the Garden Patio and the people across the indoor room during Cocktails hour.

Angie & Cousin Oscar (Father of the Bride)

From there all the guests proceeded to the banquet ballroom across the outdoor garden patio located on the third floor. The Banquet Luncheon was served at Queen’s Park Ballroom for the Wedding Reception.

The Wedding Reception Ballroom Sign at The Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

The Wedding Reception Menu with Salmon Main Entree at The Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

The Lovely Wedding Cake at the Banquet at The Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

After the Luncheon Banquet was served and enjoyed, the program presentation was started with a Solo song rendition of “Close to You” by my niece, Anne Marie. The cutting of the wedding cake shared and enjoyed by the Bride and Groom followed and the wine ceremonial drink with arms entwined. (I don’t really know where all the Pro Photographers went because they were not in the way this time around but I got a nice spot in front of the wedding cake table so I took great photos of the Bride and Groom.) Along the way we were allowed to pose with them but I can’t post it here now for privacy reasons, I need their express permission to post it here which I will get from my niece/bride soon. When I get the okay then I will show our photos here.

Family and Friends attending the Wedding Celeration

There’s so much photos taken during the wedding festivities so I will start and make a nice set of photo collages for posting to minimize the volume. Here I’ll add the photo collage that shows how the lovely outdoor garden patio with canopies and rock garden located on the third floor looked like (so quiet and peaceful) after the cocktails hour when everyone have left and gone to the banquet ballroom for the wedding reception.

The lovely outdoor garden patio at The Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

After the wedding on our way home, we drove through the downtown Toronto area and I took some photos and will show them on the coming posts. Hope you enjoyed reading this wedding post.

Photos Courtesy of LakbayPilipina.ca

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A & B Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto – Part 1

Arran & Beverly’s Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto
September 28, 2014 – Part 1

(In Honor of their coming 3rd Wedding Anniversary)

The Intricate Wedding Invitation

The box seed-kit of Red Maple Tree is the Wedding Giveaway gift to the guests at the Wedding Reception. Truly Canadian all the way, Happy “Maple Tree” planting. Some will plant it in their balcony garden and maybe later on turn it into a miniature tree which I will probably consider doing. Others will plant it in their backyard or front yard, who knows? Since the Red Maple Tree is our National Tree and the Maple Leaf stands for Canada in the Canadian Flag, we honor it by planting the seed in our own backyard, as we say.

Wedding Ceremony at the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto’s Museum Hall

We attended the wedding ceremony held at the Shangri-La’s Museum Hall and officiated by a minister. After the “I Do’s” were said and done, then the Marriage Certificate signed by the Groom and the Bride; the wedding ceremony ended with the guests waving the tiny bells at the end of the sticks given to us in lieu of the rice showers.

It was a great wedding day for Arran and Beverly especially attended by the families and close friends of both parties. Then the Cocktails followed at the outdoor garden patio and banquet luncheon was served at the Queen’s Park Ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto.

The Lovely Wedding Cake was a beauty to behold.

Banquet Luncheon at Queen’s Park Ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto.

(Usually wedding receptions are held at night and wedding ceremony at the church but for practical reasons, the wedding reception followed after the wedding ceremony held at the same venue on the Museum Hall of the hotel.) Everyone had so much great memories to remember on this happy wedding day. Not only did we meet the bride and groom and their families for the very first time, but seems like we’ve known all of them for a long time already. I did take lots of photographs with my new Nikon1 J2 Digital Camera and a spare Nikon L810 in case I run out of battery which I did after the wedding ceremony. The wedding ceremony and reception with so much blissful moments to remember was a huge success!

Wedding Banquet Luncheon Menu included Salmon Dish at the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto.

We were so happy to finally meet all our nieces and nephews of the bride’s family from Manila (their Dad is our first cousin who is very close to us). Sadly, their Mom have passed years ago but I’ve met her in Bacolod City where her husband was assigned to work while I was studying in Dumaguete City and visited them at their home in Bacolod. They moved to Manila and we’ve moved to Toronto, Canada.

The Wedding Cake Picture taken with me are the Bride and Groom

As requested by the Bride and Groom, we are respecting their privacy and no photographs of them will be posted on social media without their express permission.

(Photos Courtesy of lakbaypilipinas.ca)

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Travel Adventure in Quebec City – The Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré

My Travel to The Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré

We went to visit the Basilica of the Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré in Quebec City and there in the church are the relics of the Saint placed at the altar. This miraculous Saint have been revered all over Canada. Saint Anne de Beaupré has become the Patron Saint of the Province of Quebec and as the Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, little else is known about her. She is barely mentioned in the bible stories but everyone knows that she is the Mother of the Virgin Mary.

At the City of Quebec during our Visit to the Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré

My travel adventure in Quebec City to the Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré with my family was on a long weekend holiday so we only stayed there for three days and then back to Toronto after more than ten long hours of driving on a round trip basis.

Before proceeding to the Shrine, we went to the Downtown area of Quebec City to tour the place and have dinner in one of the Restaurants. The car was parked on the road near the sidewalks and we walked around the city proper. Quebec City is a lovely place, makes you feel the French culture all around.

The Basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupré

At the City of Quebec with Family on our Visit to the Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré

(Photos Courtesy of lakbaypilipinas.ca)

The architecture of the buildings also reminded me of the French influence in this beautiful place. It feels like being in Paris once again even if it’s still in Canada in the Province of Quebec, our only French-speaking neighbor province.

We did not have any hotel reservations so we stayed at the shrine’s Basilica Inn known for its hospitality, atmosphere, accessibility and proximity designed especially for pilgrims and visitors. Their rates were very reasonable and they had single, double and triple rooms with two twin beds so we got two rooms for four adults in the family. There’s also a dormitory for group occupancy.

They also have a cafeteria instead of a restaurant and the food was good. Here you have to line up and it’s a self-serve cafeteria. You choose from the smorgasbord and then pay at the cashier for the tray of food that you got. There are lots of tables and seats at the cafeteria that everyone can occupy. After we checked into our rooms we checked out the cafeteria and then we left to go to the basilica nearby, just a walking distance from the inn.

 

The Basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupré

PRESENTATION

(Courtesy of www.shrinesaintanne.org)

The RELICS of Saint Anne:

relic

The Shrine has in its possession three notable relics. (Photo Courtesy of www.shrinesaintanne.org)

The FIRST RELIC (a portion of the bone of Saint Anne’s finger) was obtained by the Carcassonne Chapter, and was brought to the Shrine on March 12, 1670 by Bishop François de Laval.

The first MAJOR RELIC arrived at the Shrine on July 26, 1892, as a gift from Pope Leo XIII. It is a 4-inch portion of the bone of Saint Anne’s forearm. It was obtained from the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, and was brought from Rome to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré by Bishop Joseph-Calixte Canac-Marquis (1821-1904).

Finally, on July 3, 1960, another MAJOR RELIC of Saint Anne (also from her forearm) was brought to the Shrine from St. Paul Outside the Walls, this time as a gift from Blessed Pope John XXIII.

History

The present-day Basilica was built to replace the first Basilica that was destroyed by fire on March 29, 1922.

Architecture

Two architects, Mr. Maxime Roisin of Paris and Mr. Louis N. Audet of Sherbrooke, worked for several years on the design and construction of this church. The construction began on July 6, 1923 and there are still parts that have not yet been finalized even today.

Like many churches, it was constructed in the form of a Latin cross. It is Neo-Romanesque in style, respecting the Roman style of architecture but using more modern techniques. It rests on solid rock. The granite used came from the quarry at Saint-Sébastien, in Beauce, QC.

Mosaics

The Basilica’s central vault is completely covered with a series of mosaic dedicated to Saint Anne. Her life is portrayed in the vault of the central nave and of the two transepts. Her virtues are written on the part of the vault where the nave meets the transepts. Her glorification is depicted in the apse (vault of the Basilica’s sanctuary). These mosaics are the works of Mr. Auguste Labouret.

Stained-Glass Windows

An ensemble of 240 stained-glass windows adorn the Basilica. They represent Christ, his apostles and disciples, as well as prophets and patriarchs who announced His coming. They also tell us of the history of devotion to Saint Anne here in the province of Quebec and as it spread throughout North America. Here’s what architect Mr. Audet has to say about these stained-glass windows:

“Saint Anne’s stained-glass windows are of a new kind in North America, for very few glass-painters have succeeded in mastering this art. The glass used in these windows must be perfectly clear and luminous in pieces one-inch thick and set, not in lead, but in reinforced concrete. The edges are chipped away with a hammer. Chipped in this manner, the glass pieces present numerous glittering facets ever twinkling in the sun. I dare say that these stained-glass windows are the best that have ever been produced since the Middle Ages. They are the work of Mr. Auguste Labouret, who invented this new technique.”

The 26 stained-glass windows in the ambulatory consist of relatively thin glass set in lead strips.

Sculptures

Two renowned sculptors shared the main sculpting work of the Basilica. First, there was Mr. Émile Brunet, renowned for his stone sculptures, particularly the capitals found atop each column in the church. These capitals, that portray the life of Christ, are considered pure works of art. Mr. Franz Moroder worked on the wooden sculpting, for instance the pews found in the nave and the 51 statuettes found on the pews in the sanctuary.

The chapel of Saint Anne, that of the Holy Family and the 10 ambulatory chapels.

These chapels form a top-quality artistic ensemble: mosaics, marble of various colours, stone, and granite come together in harmony to create a place of peace, beauty, and prayer.

Organs

Constructed by Casavant & Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe, it includes 44 stops. It was completely restored in 1988.

Church Bells

The Basilica’s set of bells is composed of nine bells, six of which were installed in the south tower and three, the heaviest bells, which were installed in the north tower. The total weight of the bells is 43,087 pounds. Each one has a name:

– Angelica: sol
– Jesus: la
– Mary: ti
– Anne: do
– Joachim: re
– Joseph: mi
– John the Baptist: fa
– Alphonsus: sol
– Patrick: la
History about Saint Anne

Historically speaking, we know very little about Saint Anne. The Bible says nothing about her, whereas other writings that circulated in the early Church speak about her at great length. The mosaic of the Basilica’s central vault brings many accounts found in these early writings to life. However, devotion to Saint Anne is grounded in something that is historically certain: the Virgin Mary had a mother, and being the mother of the Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Jesus was a sufficient reason for the Church to have a great veneration and respect towards Saint Anne from the very beginning.

Important moments in her life

After 20 years of marriage, Anne had not yet given birth to a child. As a result, Joachim, her husband, withdrew to the desert. An angel appeared to them both, and told them that their desire to have a child would be fulfilled. They meet at the Golden Gate at the entrance of Jerusalem, and some time later, Anne gives birth to Mary.
You are here: Home / Travel Adventure in Quebec City – The Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré
Travel Adventure in Quebec City – The Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré

My Travel to The Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré

We went to visit the Basilica of the Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré in Quebec City and there in the church are the relics of the Saint placed at the altar. This miraculous Saint have been revered all over Canada. Saint Anne de Beaupré has become the Patron Saint of the Province of Quebec and as the Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, little else is known about her. She is barely mentioned in the bible stories but everyone knows that she is the Mother of the Virgin Mary.

At the City of Quebec during our Visit to the Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré

My travel adventure in Quebec City to the Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré with my family was on a long weekend holiday so we only stayed there for three days and then back to Toronto after more than ten long hours of driving on a round trip basis.

Before proceeding to the Shrine, we went to the Downtown area of Quebec City to tour the place and have dinner in one of the Restaurants. The car was parked on the road near the sidewalks and we walked around the city proper. Quebec City is a lovely place, makes you feel the French culture all around.

At the City of Quebec with Family on our Visit to the Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré

The architecture of the buildings also reminded me of the French influence in this beautiful place. It feels like being in Paris once again even if it’s still in Canada in the Province of Quebec, our only French-speaking neighbor province.

We did not have any hotel reservations so we stayed at the shrine’s Basilica Inn known for its hospitality, atmosphere, accessibility and proximity designed especially for pilgrims and visitors. Their rates were very reasonable and they had single, double and triple rooms with two twin beds so we got two rooms for four adults in the family. There’s also a dormitory for group occupancy.

The Basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupré

They also have a cafeteria instead of a restaurant and the food was good. Here you have to line up and it’s a self-serve cafeteria. You choose from the smorgasbord and then pay at the cashier for the tray of food that you got. There are lots of tables and seats at the cafeteria that everyone can occupy. After we checked into our rooms we checked out the cafeteria and then we left to go to the basilica nearby, just a walking distance from the inn.

The Basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupré

 

PRESENTATION

(Courtesy of www.shrinesaintanne.org)

The RELICS of Saint Anne:

relic

The Shrine has in its possession three notable relics. (Photo Courtesy of www.shrinesaintanne.org)

The FIRST RELIC (a portion of the bone of Saint Anne’s finger) was obtained by the Carcassonne Chapter, and was brought to the Shrine on March 12, 1670 by Bishop François de Laval.

The first MAJOR RELIC arrived at the Shrine on July 26, 1892, as a gift from Pope Leo XIII. It is a 4-inch portion of the bone of Saint Anne’s forearm. It was obtained from the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, and was brought from Rome to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré by Bishop Joseph-Calixte Canac-Marquis (1821-1904).

Finally, on July 3, 1960, another MAJOR RELIC of Saint Anne (also from her forearm) was brought to the Shrine from St. Paul Outside the Walls, this time as a gift from Blessed Pope John XXIII.

History

The present-day Basilica was built to replace the first Basilica that was destroyed by fire on March 29, 1922.

Architecture

Two architects, Mr. Maxime Roisin of Paris and Mr. Louis N. Audet of Sherbrooke, worked for several years on the design and construction of this church. The construction began on July 6, 1923 and there are still parts that have not yet been finalized even today.

Like many churches, it was constructed in the form of a Latin cross. It is Neo-Romanesque in style, respecting the Roman style of architecture but using more modern techniques. It rests on solid rock. The granite used came from the quarry at Saint-Sébastien, in Beauce, QC.

Mosaics

The Basilica’s central vault is completely covered with a series of mosaic dedicated to Saint Anne. Her life is portrayed in the vault of the central nave and of the two transepts. Her virtues are written on the part of the vault where the nave meets the transepts. Her glorification is depicted in the apse (vault of the Basilica’s sanctuary). These mosaics are the works of Mr. Auguste Labouret.

Stained-Glass Windows

An ensemble of 240 stained-glass windows adorn the Basilica. They represent Christ, his apostles and disciples, as well as prophets and patriarchs who announced His coming. They also tell us of the history of devotion to Saint Anne here in the province of Quebec and as it spread throughout North America. Here’s what architect Mr. Audet has to say about these stained-glass windows:

“Saint Anne’s stained-glass windows are of a new kind in North America, for very few glass-painters have succeeded in mastering this art. The glass used in these windows must be perfectly clear and luminous in pieces one-inch thick and set, not in lead, but in reinforced concrete. The edges are chipped away with a hammer. Chipped in this manner, the glass pieces present numerous glittering facets ever twinkling in the sun. I dare say that these stained-glass windows are the best that have ever been produced since the Middle Ages. They are the work of Mr. Auguste Labouret, who invented this new technique.”

The 26 stained-glass windows in the ambulatory consist of relatively thin glass set in lead strips.

Sculptures

Two renowned sculptors shared the main sculpting work of the Basilica. First, there was Mr. Émile Brunet, renowned for his stone sculptures, particularly the capitals found atop each column in the church. These capitals, that portray the life of Christ, are considered pure works of art. Mr. Franz Moroder worked on the wooden sculpting, for instance the pews found in the nave and the 51 statuettes found on the pews in the sanctuary.

The chapel of Saint Anne, that of the Holy Family and the 10 ambulatory chapels.

These chapels form a top-quality artistic ensemble: mosaics, marble of various colours, stone, and granite come together in harmony to create a place of peace, beauty, and prayer.

Organs

Constructed by Casavant & Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe, it includes 44 stops. It was completely restored in 1988.

Church Bells

The Basilica’s set of bells is composed of nine bells, six of which were installed in the south tower and three, the heaviest bells, which were installed in the north tower. The total weight of the bells is 43,087 pounds. Each one has a name:

– Angelica: sol
– Jesus: la
– Mary: ti
– Anne: do
– Joachim: re
– Joseph: mi
– John the Baptist: fa
– Alphonsus: sol
– Patrick: la
History about Saint Anne

Historically speaking, we know very little about Saint Anne. The Bible says nothing about her, whereas other writings that circulated in the early Church speak about her at great length. The mosaic of the Basilica’s central vault brings many accounts found in these early writings to life. However, devotion to Saint Anne is grounded in something that is historically certain: the Virgin Mary had a mother, and being the mother of the Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Jesus was a sufficient reason for the Church to have a great veneration and respect towards Saint Anne from the very beginning.

Important moments in her life

After 20 years of marriage, Anne had not yet given birth to a child. As a result, Joachim, her husband, withdrew to the desert. An angel appeared to them both, and told them that their desire to have a child would be fulfilled. They meet at the Golden Gate at the entrance of Jerusalem, and some time later, Anne gives birth to Mary.

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My New Camera: CANON EOS M (Digital Camera)

My New Camera: CANON EOS M

I kept wondering, when will Canon have a Mirrorless Digital Camera? I have an old Canon Xsi 450D with an 18-55 mm Lens. It’s about 3 years old or more and it is great to handle and still functioning well in taking photographs. The only problem is that it weighs a tonne, well not really just a few pounds to lug along on my trips. I’ve always had a dream of a lightweight one to bring with me on my coming travels. But can you blame me if I had to dream?

Fast forward, now they do have a Canon Mirrorless Digital Camera, the CANON EOS M. Wow, finally, for me a dream come true but was suddenly shuttered by the expensive MSRP, OMG nightmare of a price! Should I line up and buy it or just wait a bit longer? So the waiting game continues, hoping that the price would go down a bit perhaps by a couple of hundred dollars. To my surprise, the Canon ads were too pricey MSRP. When dealers get them from the manufacturer, the company gives them discounts which in turn goes to the buyers, NICE! So I went shopping right away, before I did, I had to check and compare the prices online. My favorite camera store, Henry’s Camera, of course had the best selling affordable price and I looked for better prices but can’t find any so I went to the store after I called them to make sure the stock is available and it was still available, not sold out yet which will be as soon as the word spreads that it is here, the coveted Canon EOS M. I have to catch my breath, through all this excitement.

As soon as I entered the store, my fave salesman waves at me and I approached him. They get commission I guess if they make a good sale. He already knows me, so he got the UV filter ready plus the free camera bag, of course (compliments for a preferred buyer) that’s me. What else do I need? Perhaps a 16GB or 32GB SD/MC. The 32 GB is fine, I told him and I needed a new ND 400 filter and an extra battery. The bill total including taxes was a few hundred bucks for the Camera plus all the accessories bought with it less the complimentary camera bag. I was happy with the camera plus the free stuff and the great customer service so I gladly paid for the total amount of purchased items. Everything was placed in a canon shopping bag and handed to me by the salesman after the transaction was completed. A big thank you, a smile from me and welcome smile from him, of course.

Canon EOS M Camera

That someday is here and I got a new CANON EOS M, gladly called it my newest toy, LOL. When I got the Nikon1 J2 for my niece’s wedding 2 years and a half ago, Canon didn’t have this model yet. The Nikon1 J2 came with a 10-30mm lens and a 30-110mm telephoto lens as a bundle kit for $300 and it was worth every penny. The photos I got on the wedding day were fabulous and I loved every minute of using that Nikon mirrorless camera. It wasn’t only light (less than a lb) I guessed and it looked awesome with white camera body. My only regret was that it wasn’t a Canon although I liked Nikon, too.

Nikon1 J2

I have ordered a leather case for my new Canon EOS M so I used it to show off my new camera. Yay! It’s not only for looks but the case would protect the camera in a good way. As usual, everyone have a favorite camera of their own. My cousin likes his Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera, while my other cousin likes to use her iPad’s built-in camera to take photos although it has only a 5 mp lens and she’s happy with it and I got a new CANON EOS M Camera.

Now, it’s the start of a new Canon adventure…

Canon EOS M Camera

 

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MY TRAVELS IN EUROPE SERIES #15 An Adventure in Brussels, Belgium

A Travel Adventure in Belgium – Getting Lost in the City of Brussels

The first thing I did when we got to the City of Brussels before the start of our scheduled tour of the city, I went and ventured out from our hotel downtown to find the financial district and look for the Bank of America because I needed to add more funds to my expense allowance (down to my last dollar). Unfortunately, I got lost and couldn’t find the financial district where all the big banks are located. I look so lost and decided to hail a taxi to take me to the nearest bank.

Drawings of the Grand-Place of Brussels © GIALWhile waiting for a taxi, here comes a good looking Dutchman and he passed by the sidewalk where I was standing waiting for a cab. For some unknown reason he looked at me and I happened to look at him but I was still feeling and probably looking so lost, he just approached me, smiled and said hi to me, then  ask me how I was (like the usual greeting). I’m not supposed to talk to strangers but for some good reason I broke the rule and replied to him and said hi back.  Then he commented that I looked so lost, if he can be of any help. I probably looked so touristy to him.  This Dutchman was dressed up in a business suit and looks like he was walking on his way to work that day. My first reaction was to say that I was a tourist to their city and I seem to be lost and can’t find my way. I asked him if he can help me find a taxi so that I can go to the nearest bank or the Bank of America. He said that he can do better than call a cab, since he lives in the city he knows where the banks are located. Then he offered to walk me to the Bank of America which he said was just a walking distance. I had to think twice before I reluctantly agreed. And he did walk me to the bank and even helped me cross the busy intersections in the city. We walked a block away and there it was, the Bank of America. He took me right to the entrance and opened the door for me. Wow, what a well-mannered man, I said to myself. And after I said my thank you for his help and goodbye for now, he left and told me that he was on his way to work at the financial district. Well done, young man! Now, I know that Dutchmen can speak English so well even with a Dutch accent and are very friendly like the Frenchman I’ve encountered on my trips. I did get to the Bank of America safely, thanks to the Dutch gentleman.

Grand-Place © Olivier van de Kerchove

And found my way back to the hotel which was not too far away and had plenty of time left to catch up with my tour group members having a late breakfast at the hotel cafe. They asked me where I’ve been so early in the morning and I told them I went to the bank and had a date with a Dutchman jokingly. They were so amused by what I said and that made my day. They really thought I was just kidding, in a way I did but there was a hint of truth in what I just said. Not really a date but a great encounter with a gentleman. I’m sure you have read my Lourdes trip and how I met a great young Frenchman who escorted me back to my hotel in the middle of the night while his parents waited at the gates of the shrine for his return after taking me to my hotel and then they can all go home together. These simple little gestures of kindness and help from complete strangers mean so much to me and I really thanked my lucky stars again for all these blessings!

Images Courtesy of www.brussels.be

 

 

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One More Summer Adventure in Toronto at Canada’s Wonderland Park

One More Summer Adventure in Toronto at Canada’s Wonderland Park

We had another summer adventure at Canada’s Wonderland Park with family member and a friend.  We usually plan to go and enjoy summer outings whenever we get holidays on long weekends.

It was a sunny early afternoon when we left the apartment to go to the entertainment park. As usual we get to use our season passes and enjoy the day at the park. There’s also a huge globe around the park and fountains, surrounded by beautiful flowers.

The International Street have dancing fountains that’s  accompanied by musical sounds on loud speakers.

There were lots of park mascots around to entertain the kids and adult guests;

Like the Bedrock’s Fred Flintstone  character. 

What do you know, I’m even taller than Fred Flintstone, LOL!

The dining area is set in the Stone Age town of Bedrock and the tables resemble

the cars that are made out of stone, wood, and animal skins.

This is the International Music Festival Tent where the performances are held and he common long benches are there to sit and watch the shows. Then we went to the Wonderland Theatre Castle where Broadway Shows are performed and we watched the shows on luxuriously padded individual seats, like in real broadway theatres in downtown Toronto.

There’s a cute statue of a turquoise colored elephant with

a pinkish mouth and ivory tusks around the wading pool area;

And lots of people like having their photos taken here.

The view from Wonder Mountain where there are caverns and walkways;

Leading to the look out point where you can get an aerial view almost of the entire park.

Then I found Smurfette, the only girl smurf that I love to watch on TV.

The little blue smurfs were also there, Papa Smurf was there.

Somewhere in the park you can also meet other mascots like Scooby Doo and others.

And what a great summer afternoon adventure we have enjoyed at Canada’s Wonderland Park.

(Photos Courtesy of lakbaypilipinas.ca)

 

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Taking a Year off after Graduating from College!

After graduating from College, did you take a year off?

One of our Professors in my Junior Year in College at Silliman University talked about taking a year off at the end of our college years and all for a good reason. Some graduates take a year off to travel and see the world and then go backpacking to Europe on a Eurail Pass. Others go on a volunteer trip to Africa and help some third world nations while others will still take a year off for their own personal reasons. Some say that they deserved a break, others want to forge their college friendships by traveling together with their college friends or roommates to some exotic countries and even some graduates find it a good excuse not to jump to the corporate world right away and enjoy their newly found freedom. It’s a matter of choice really because others who have graduated find it inexcusable to waste a year traveling when they can just as well  look for a job in their chosen career and start working right away.

On the other hand, I took a year off during my college years, not after college only because I got a job offer that was so enticing that I can’t resist to turn it down. And fortunately got an early taste of the corporate world that’s yet to come.

Attending a Seminar for  Baguio City as Managers DSM/RSM for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

I was only 19 going on 20, decades of years ago when I have decided that taking on a job at that particular time was quite a huge challenge but an opportunity I had to take. After getting my parents to agree with my plan to take on the job that my older sister was giving up so that she can go abroad and work in her chosen field as a nutritionist in a hospital with a Degree in Food/Nutrition that she just graduated a few months ago, I was ready for the new job challenge. She accepted a foreign job offer to work as an intern in the hospital’s food department as a Nutritionist. In order for her to leave and accept the job, she had to find a replacement in a hurry for her position as the Unit Manager and the Regional Sales Manager of the Northwest part of the province of Zamboanga in Mindanao.

We were on a training seminar for DSM/RSM in Baguio City.

From Baguio City we attended the Barrio Fiesta of the Tupperware Corporation held at Manila Hilton. At the Luneta Rizal Park Plaza while in attendance at the Barrio Fiesta in Manila Hilton (Building at the left).

 Intramuros, Walled City of Manila is now a Museum and an Outdoor Theatre so I visited this historical site.

The job offer was to take effect right away so she resigned and recommended me for the job. The  District Sales Manager arrived in our city and assigned me as the Regional Sales Manager in charge of a dozen dealers working in our provincial area. Everyone in town knows everybody so the  introduction to the group was done smoothly and the transition was swift and easy even if some of the dealers knew that I was 10 or 20 years their junior because most of them were in their 30’s and 40’s and doing so well in their jobs as dealers of the famous plastic kitchenware that was so popular the world over. Before the job offer was handed down to me, my sister on their group meeting with the dealers offered the managerial position to anyone of them willing to take over the challenge. And no one wanted to give up their territorial dealership for the different sectors of our province so the current RSM had no choice but to find an outside source to fill in the coming vacant job as RSM and I was that choice. It was up to me to accept or decline the job offer so I gladly accepted the RSM job without hesitation and much ado. 

At the Manila Hilton Hotel Banquet Room for the Barrio Fiesta wearing my own version of our Philippine traditional dress for ladies that is worn on formal occasions known as the “Filipino Terno” sans the Butterfly Sleeves (Designed by Me and created for the occasion by my Mom at our Dressmaking Shoppe in Dipolog City).

The Calesa was displayed as a decor at the banquet meeting hall.

The Manila Hilton Hall was decorated with Native Products displayed at Banquet table.

It was the right time for me to take a year off and formed a balanced trade off. I’m quitting a year of college but in return I get a year of working experience in the corporate world with a very reasonable starting salary and some perks on the job like expense accounts and some VIP privileges that I get to enjoy for a year. I still had to manage a dealership of my own territory aside from the Regional Management job that I had to tackle.  That gave me the chance to travel all over the islands and then attend our district and regional meetings as required; also attend events which was the real highlight of my new job aside from the regional sales management and selling of the popular kitchen wares.

Luau Christmas Party at the Head Office with the DSM of Cebu City,

her staff members and I wearing Hawaiian MuuMuu dresses.

Attending District meetings in Cebu and be a part of those happy Luau Hawaiian events being held there.

 

A dancer at the Luau Hawaiian event performing a Tahitian/Hawaiian Dance.

I didn’t only work so hard but also had the chance to travel from Mindanao (Dipolog, Zamboanga City, Davao City), to the Visayas (Cebu City, Tagbilaran, Bacolod and Iloilo) and to Luzon (Manila, Quezon City, Baguio City) for the DSM/RSM meetings and special events held every now and then, like Barrio Fiesta at the Manila Hilton, Christmas and Luau Party in Cebu City and others especially when our US International President and Managers arrived in Manila and Cebu to meet us all in person.

I did a presentation event of Tupperware items that were decorated.

And once I ended up as Queen for the Day’s Regional Rally and had lots of FUN!!!

This great job took me to other cities and towns aside from the sales that I did on my own hometown. It was a grueling job in sales and management, one that I learned with grace, passion and hard work, also with support from the higher management level, like DSM/RSM and other officials of our company and I loved every moment of it.  After selling Tupperware items at parties and filling up the orders, sending it to the company to fulfill and getting the orders on time for prompt delivery to the customers, everything went so smoothly. Even our weekly/monthly District and Regional meetings were well attended and we did a great job as a group under my management. It was a great success as a whole with lots of team work and great efforts, our sales were incredibly higher.

The President of the Tupperware Company  visiting in Manila and Cebu from the USA

Awards to the DSM/RSM were given by the President of the Tupperware Company,

We also received awards and recognition for all our endeavor and hard work.

(Photos Courtesy of Lakbay Pilipinas.ca)

It was a great job opportunity and after a year, I handed down the managerial job to the next deserving dealer. I had a real working experience even before I have graduated from college. An early taste of the corporate world yet to come after I go back to college and get a Diploma.  All in all I should say something good about this opportunity that I wouldn’t miss for the world and it was not only a learning experience but a very successful accomplishment in my young life. And what a job well done!

It was one chance of a lifetime that I had to take and never regretted my decision. I didn’t only learn valuable and important lessons in life but had lots of fun along the way, and then met some awesome friends and also great people! What an unforgettable life experience it was for me, done with much passion and loving every moment of it!

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My Old and New Paintings, A Small Art Collection

My Old and New Paintings, A Small Art Collection

After being only a Sunday Painter, then I started painting again and that was the start of my watercolour art painting collection. I have given out some of my watercolour paintings to my family and friends, mostly as social greeting cards on their birthdays, at Easter, Valentine’s Day or Christmas and New Year’s Day greetings. I have done a few sketches and used different other medium like charcoal, pastel and pencil. Sometimes I don’t have enough time to paint on the spot so I just take a photograph of the scenery I wanted to paint or object and then paint it from the photograph that I’ve taken. At times, I paint from memory of what I’ve seen someplace, somewhere in time and have never forgotten how it looked like. I remembered that particular look-out point in college and down below was a beautiful meadow filled with flowers of different varieties and colours, such as red, yellow, blue, orange, etc, etc. At times I see it in my dreams, such a beautiful sight!

“Vinta” Boat

vintaMy oldest painting is an oil painting on canvas but still unframed “Vinta” Boat (a native boat aptly called ‘vinta’). They used to be sea transportation, sailboats to go from one island to another, but since they’ve gone out of style and not used anymore, they are now extinct. They came back years later as boats for racing in a boat regatta. When the Dragon Boats started getting popular so did the “Vinta” boats and mostly for racing purposes. According to Wikipedia, “The vinta (locally known as lepa-lepa or sakayan) is a traditional boat found in the Philippine island of Mindanao. These boats are made by Bajau and Moros living in the Sulu Archipelago, Zamboanga peninsula, and southern Mindanao. It has a sail with assorted vertical colors that represents the colorful culture and history of the Muslim community. These boats are used for inter-island transport of people and goods. Zamboanga City is known for these vessels.” (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Taking a walk in one of our myriad city parks, I found this view of a quiet  brook in between the trees.

One time I was walking downtown and I noticed this old flatiron building, a heritage building built in the 1890’s. I’ve taken lots of photographs of this famous iconic building but what I really wanted was to paint this beauty the way I see it. So I started to paint it in different versions and from different angles of that same building, some kind of collective art project. This flatiron building painting has to be finalized from it’s unfinished version with a few finishing touches on the details. Then the final version will be done.

Gooderham Flatiron Building 1892

And also the Toronto Skyline with the freestanding CN Tower have fascinated me ever since. I decided to make an entire art project of this topic alone, the Toronto Skyline Art Collection. So far, I’ve painted a few versions and on different occasions, I wanted them to have something in common, the towering CN freestanding structure. These paintings and sketches are still in the early painting stages but here’s a sample sketch.

Toronto Skyline with the freestanding CN Tower Sketch

Another iconic structure is the Roger’s Centre (a.k.a. The Skydome) with a retractable roof (so far the only one in Canada) wherein MLB Baseball players can compete on a sunny day with the roof retracted or play inside on a rainy/stormy day with the roof closed. Even the 100th Season of the CFL was played here last year with the roof closed because of the early wintry weather. And Congrats to the “Argos”, they were the Grey Cup Championship Winner!!!! Way to go Toronto Argonauts Champions! It was also here in the Skydome where the Toronto Blue Jays MLB won three World Series in the 1990’s. I’m an avid baseball fan of the Blue Jays! Not as much a fan to the Toronto Maple Leaf NHL who plays hockey at the ACC-Air Canada Centre Arena, also used for concerts, other games and for assemblies.

The Roger’s Centre (a.k.a. The Skydome) on the left in this Toronto Skyline Photo

Soon I will set up my own virtual art gallery called the ‘trinityartgallery.ca’ and my domain is ready, all I need now is a web host to start my new venture. My paintings will be duplicated in the form of giclée (a printmaking method using an ink-jet printer for photographic images of paintings to produce high-quality reproductions; also written as giclee) and then those giclee with be reproduced in limited quantities, numbered and signed by me, the artist (with authenticity certificates). My original painting will stay in the vaults for safekeeping. Only the giclee will be sold at a very reasonable price in order to make my paintings affordable to everyone who likes to buy them and keep them in their collection. If some people wants an original, then it will have to be commissioned, one way or the other.

An old painting of the famous Eiffel Tower,

painted from a photo taken when I traveled to Paris.

One sunny spring day, I happen to go for a short walk at Edwards Garden when the tulips were in full bloom. At the end of the garden path I found a bunch of pink tulips, so pretty that I thought it would make a good subject for painting. All the tulips in the garden were red, orange and white but this particular small patch were pink. It stood out and I just took a photo of it and when I got home to my studio, I took my paint box, brushes, watercolour pad and I did create a pink tulips watercolor painting. So pretty indeed and I loved the way it came out after I painted it.

Pink Tulips Bloom at Edward’s Garden

I am a self-taught artist and even if I tried to take some art lessons, I never formally graduated in any kind of art courses. I read mostly art books and practice painting what I’ve seen and read about. When I get to own a gallery, I’d like to teach kids and everyone who wants to learn how to paint at my workplace, the art gallery where I will display some of my original watercolor paintings and sketches. Here’s an experimental piece of artwork, the chocolate hills!

The Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines (Experimental Version)

(Dark Chocolate was used in lieu of watercolour pigments)

Painting for me is not only an expression of my artistic talent but somehow whenever I paint and I’m kind of stressed out, all those feelings get neutralized by just doing  some art work. It’s really a great stress reliever of some sort. Painting somehow releases some of those stressful moments and takes some of my own aches and pains away. Even broken hearts can mend when you have done some painting and releases that energy bottled up within yourself. When I am painting, I feel like I am in another dimension and nothing can distract me from what I am painting or trying to accomplish and when I am done, I feel some kind of  tranquility and peacefulness within myself.

A Freehand Drawing of a Parrot with Watercolour Art Pencils

Why do I paint, draw and sketch? Mainly because I love what I do best in life and that’s painting, as a hobby for now and maybe in the near future I can find a niche out there that will want to buy and own some of my artwork. I plan to donate and share some of my own copies of watercolour giclée to school libraries and small businesses to decorate their bare walls and take pride in knowing that somewhere out there people see a part of myself where my art work is displayed and admired by them. Sometime in the near future I do hope to have my own Solo Art Show Exhibition.  Target date is 2016/2017 in Toronto!

Trees near a brook in Sunnybrook Park

(Photos Courtesy of Lakbay Pilipinas Blog)