Seoul Searching: Japanes Green House

There’s this somewhat, shall I use the word “hostility” that you will feel from South Koreans against the Japanese -at least on some of the online contents that I have seen about Korean culture. Some videos and articles gives a cold shoulder over Japanese products, well that is somehow understandable. After what the Koreans experienced during the Japanese occupation (much like here in the Philippines), we Filipinos are just either too forgiving or our memories are just too short for us to forget their atrocities. For me I feel that we have just moved on already.

But we cannot discount that there are good things that the Japanese have left to us such as politeness to our elders, food and a little bit of culture.

As for South Korea one of the things that Japan left can be found in the Royal Gardens of Seoul’s 5 palaces, The Royal Green House.Where used to be an agricultural garden of edible and medicinal plants is where the Japanese introduced Korea’s first green house. 

The green house is part of a the Japanese’ project to “violate” the Royal Palace’s grounds that included a zoo and botanical garden which was later transferred after the Japanes occupation.

The Daeonsi (large green house) can be found insde the Changgyeonggung Palace and is included in the free tour of the palace complex.

Meycauayan Train Station

On our not so distant past trains, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) to be specific, had been part of our daily lives. I can still remember during my high school days that my dad would wake us up at around 5 AM telling us “Gising na alas cinco na, dumaan na yung tren!” (Wake up it’s five in the morning, the train passed by already!)

 

There are train stations scattered throughout Bulacan, aside from the one that is in my home town of Valenzuela (which was a part of the said province until the late 1970’s) the next station nearest to my home is situated in Meycauayan, Bulacan.

We constantly hear the sound of its mighty horn each and every morning until one day we realized that we no longer hear it, the train no longer roars.

Today the station that served some Bulakenyos is in a depressing state. The station is in a prime location and the structure is a work of art! I mean the building could be used for a much more productive purpose other than grazing goats right? With the beauty of the building and its prime location it could very well serve as maybe a coffee shop with a generous parking lot, a restaurant or maybe anything that would generate income…. come on! we can be better than this!

I hope you don’t get me wrong guys. I love the PNR and it would be a dream from me to ride the train up north one day (ilang taon na kaya ako nun =( ) but for now when everything is on hold when it comes to construction I hope that we could make these stations of use productively.

By the way the station in Valenzuela is also of a prime location and was previously used by the local government as a police precinct but is now behind walls and of state that I don’t know.

 

This is part of my McArthur Hiway Motorcycle Series 

McArthur Hiway Series

For so many years I have been passing through the McArthur highway commuting to and from the office. On 2011 I decided to quit my job and live the life that I have always wanted and one of the things that I have wanted to do is to traverse this ubiquitous road and try to absorb the history that wraps through the path it has beaten. Like a lot of travelers would say one should travel slow to be able to appreciate more a certain space which I will attempt to do in this series. My journey would begin at my home town of Valenzuela, my mode of transportation? A motorcycle! Yep! That is a dream come true for me a swell. =)

My Route

My Itinerary

So join me as I travel through this road and discover the richness of it’s history!

Cebu City: Sinulog Country

Every time that someone says the word Cebu there are three things that comes into my mind the beach, danggit and señor Sto. Niño!

I arrived in Cebu International Airport about past midnight and I didn’t want to waste my money on checking-in in a hotel. It’s a good thing Doi of  The Travelling Feet told me that I could hang out for the night at the IT Park ( sorry no photos) where I spent most of my time having coffee, eating at a fast food and sleeping on chairs until daybreak.

By six in the morning when it was bright enough, I went to the Basilica of the Senor Sto. Niño to hear mass. I arrived at the basilica just in time for the start of the mass, unfortunately as I sit and listened I realized that I couldn’t understand a thing that is being said! The mass was in Cebuano! I had no choice but to wait for the next mass which will be done in English.

 

Lacking in sleep I can’t help but doze off a bit while waiting for the next mass. The celebration was done at the outdoor area and not inside the basilica it self so I went to a corner that ain’t that noticeable so I could take a nap guilt free =)

After hearing mass (which I still didn’t understand half of the homily as it was said in tagalog-cebuano) I went inside the basilica to observe the architecture and pray some more at the altar and at the image of the santo Nino so I could travel smoothly.

The basilica features a courtyard which is beautifully landscaped with statues where families hang out for a while maybe while waiting for the next mass or for a family member inline for the image of the sto. Nino.

The line was a bit long that just shows how Cebuanos love the Sto. Nino. Which also is the reason why one of the biggest celebration in honor of the senor is celebrated in Cebu.

If you want to get a taste of Sinulog better book your flights and accommodations months in advance as the festival attracts a lot of people both with devotions to the Sto. Nino and tourists a like .

For more information about the Sinulog Festival you may visit their official website www.sinulog.ph

Pit Senyor!

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