February 10, 2013

Happy Year of the Snake!

Dear blogging friends and followers,

There haven't been enough hours in the day for me to blog much the past months, but I want to take a moment to wish you an amazing new year.

I am in Moldova, very engaged in an exciting start-up project. Still I plan to post occasionally in the weeks ahead to show you a little of this small interesting little-known country in Eastern Europe, as well as other places I hope to visit. 

Stay brilliant!

December 29, 2012


One of our first stops on our two-day Styrian Alps road trip this past week (see previous posts) was the well-known old pilgrimage town of Mariazell.

I thought of James and his meme Weekend Reflections when I took this first photo; the town seen in a big red Christmas ball, with the basilica as an advent window on the building behind it. It's been a while since I joined this fun.

Austria, 2012

All the very best in 2013 to my blogging friends!
May only pleasant surprises come your way.
Thank you for the past year's fun 
and wonderful sharing.

December 28, 2012

Skies over Austria

Last week my honey and I landed in Austria. Coming from the tropics, we've been relishing the white winter wonderland here. (See previous post.)

But I've also been reminded again how the sky can take on such different personalities in different countries. 

These are a few captures from yesterday, starting with an amazing sunrise in my brother's back yard in the Vienna Woods.

These next two were take mid-afternoon on country roads outside Vienna looking towards the Styrian Alps.

 Austria 2012

I hope my blogging friends are 
enjoying fine skies with
warmth in their hearts and their homes 
this holiday season! 

Linking with Skywatch Friday.

December 26, 2012

Happy Holidays from Austria

To think that ten days ago I was snorkeling in tropical waters. It's a bit of a shock to the system to land in winter wonderland. But here I am, in Austria, enjoying the beauty of white landscape.

My honey and I took a two-day drive through the Styrian Alps this December 24 and 25. A magical white Christmas.

Austria, 2012
I wish you all the very best of the holiday season!

A big heartfelt thank you to my blogging friends 
for the joys of sharing over the past year!

December 4, 2012

Kalinga - Part VII - Community Unity

There is no shortage of community unity in Buscalan. 

Tending their fields, raising their children, preparing their food, celebrating their rites of passage... most of these village activities are family and community affairs.

Dried tobacco leaves
Taddok dance
Boiled pork shared with whole village

Listen to the beat of the gangsa gongs as the women gracefully make the simple steps of the taddok dance. This video was taken by our travel mate Bruce.

This is the seventh of my Kalinga series from my recent visit into the Butbut tribal village of Buscalan, high up in the terraced mountains in the north of the Philippines. You'll find more about these former headhunters and their amazing tattoos in my earlier posts.

I link with Our World and ABC Wednesday, where the letter of the week is U for Unity.

October 31, 2012

Kalinga - Part VI - Portrait of a Proud People

I'm not yet done with telling visual stories of our amazing visit to Barangay Buscalan, high up among the rice terraced mountains of Kalinga province.

The people of Buscalan may be materially dirt poor, but that they are a proud people with a rich culture is equally apparent. 

And, I must add here, their sincerely warm hospitality belies their history as ferocious head hunters.

Let my portraits do the talking.

Virgie was our able translator

Ti-A and her husband Charlie, barangay leader, were our generous hosts

Ti-A's mother kindly shared her home with us for the night

 Buscalan, Kalinga, 2012

These portraits of a proud people are my contribution to ABC Wednesday where the letter of the week is P.

I am also pleased to share with you (with his permission) this superb video put together by travel mate Jeremiah (shown in Part II with Whang Od). Jeremiah and his three friends hailed from Cebu, and all of us met in Tuguegarao for the start of our journey together. See Part I.

Whang Od from djsparechange on Vimeo.

Part VII still to follow.

October 29, 2012

Kalinga - Part V - Children

This is Part V of my Kalinga series. The posts have been consecutive, so it's easy for you to find Parts I to IV, which contain more information about the province - its landscape, its people, and its history.

In this post I will simply share some of the adorable children I saw in the poor mountain village of Buscalan.

Our group came with presents for the children, useful things like toothbrushes and multivitamins, as well as some candies, a rare treat. These were handed out in small bags, one-by-one, so the children were asked to line up in neat lines.

Minutes later, it started to rain, so all the kids ran for cover and the lines were no more.

Buscalan, Kalinga, 2012

 Wonder where we were? Here's the map.

Today I link with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday.

There will be a Part VI soon.