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Street Dancing in Paris

Whenever a crowd is gathered along Champs Elysées, I know there has got to be some kind of a performance taking place! Lunch time today, I saw a crowd near the Charles de Gaulle – Etoile metro and I hurried to see what they were watching. I can hear loud music as I got near…then I saw some feet in the air — uh-oh, this I must see!

I elbowed my way through the thick crowd of people and baguettes (it was lunch time), and watched some serious street dancing! My goodness, these people can actually toss themselves so high up in the air — I can’t believe it! I had to catch my breath whenever they do their stunts, then when they land safely on the ground, we all clap our hands out of relief, I guess. Too bad I wasn’t able to get pictures of them air-borne…my cell phone camera just wasn’t quick enough. :) The show lasted for a good 15 or 20 minutes, after which a hat was passed among the crowd so we can make a donation. I happily dropped some coins, and was also able to shake hands with some of the performers — totally oblivious of the swine flue alert…hehehe! :)

I hopped and skipped on my way to the bank…15 minutes late for my rendezvous. But at least, I was able to get some pictures for my blog:

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Blueberry Confessions

For a moment, I savored how short life is and threw my no-sugar-diet away. And the culprit? A yummy blueberry pie from the patisserie near my apartment — Paul.

Whenever I go out and pass by Paul patisserie, I am always curious why so many people are going in. Yesterday, being a lazy afternoon, I joined the queue of people and was introduced to Paul’s yummy pastry selections. When I saw this freshly baked blueberry pie, I forgot about my healthy diet and handed my 2.50 euros to the cashier. I spent the afternoon in heaven. :)

Miraculous Medal

I have always wanted to join a European religious pilgrimage when I was young. Of course, at that time, I never even thought that I will live in Europe one day. So now that I am here, my first agenda was to visit the nearest pilgrimage site in the city where I live in — and that is the Chapelle Notre Dame De La Medaille Miraculeuse (Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal) at 140 rue du Bac 75007 Paris.

It is in this chapel that Mama Mary appeared three times to a novice,Catherine Laboure, in the year 1830. Perhaps, the most significant outcome of those apparitions was the request of Mama Mary to make and distribute the Miraculous Medal, the design of which was shown by Mary herself to Catherine. This happened in November 27, 1830 at 5:30pm during Catherine’s meditation, and the official transcript given by Catherine is as follows:

Catherine first saw a picture of the Blessed Virgin, standing on a half-globe holding in her hands a small golden globe, with her feet crushing a serpent. From the open hands of the Blessed Virgin, beautiful rays of light where shining and at that same moment Catherine heard a voice saying:“These rays are symbols of graces that Mary obtains for people.” Then an oval formed around the apparition and Catherine saw emblazoned in a semi-circle this invocation, until then unknown: “ O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to you”, written in gold letters. Then the picture turned and St. Catherine saw on the reverse side: the letter M surmounted with a little cross and below it the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Catherine then heard these words: “Have a medal made on this model. Those who will wear it with confidence will receive great graces.” (Source: Official Website of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal)

We spent an hour touring this beautiful chapel and we lined up along with other tourists to buy Miraculous Medals for ourselves. I wanted so much to go near the altar and have a good luck at the incorrupt body of St. Catherine, but they were having a special ceremony for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and I was unable to go near. I guess I will just have to come back to take a look at St. Catherine and pray at the foot of altar where Mama Mary said these words:

“Come to the foot of the altar, it is there that graces will be showered on all those who ask with confidence and fervor”.

For those who wish to send their prayer intentions to the sisters of this chapel, you may do so here. I pray that all your prayers will be answered by God in one way or another. :)

Pilgrimage Tour to Europe: October 2008

We have a special affection for Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the priest who carried the stigmata for 50 years. So many wonderful stories of faith, healing, and forgiveness surround his simple life, with most stories bordering on the impossible. It is pure grace to be reading the stories that surround his life, and I swear, even a full-pledged atheist will find his religion in the presence of a great spiritual leader that is Padre Pio.

My insatiable quest for more Padre Pio stories led me to a beautiful chapel in Libis, Quezon City called The Philippine Center of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. When I entered the chapel, rows and rows of testimonies of Padre Pio’s intercessions for people from all walks of life lined its walls. A cloth from his blood-soaked glove, along with his life-size statue were made part of the altar. There, you can kneel down and write him a letter to empty your heart’s burden. Truly, it is a place of sanctuary for anyone who wants to seek Padre Pio’s intercession, as I have did a thousand times over.

I will soon dedicate an entire post to introduce Padre Pio; I have so much to share about this controversial priest. But for now, let me just help The Philippine Center for St. Pio of Pietrelcina promote their 2nd Grand Pilgrimage Tour to Europe which is scheduled on October 1 – 18, 2008.

The said tour will have Fr. Emmanuel Victor Clemen as Pilgrimage Chaplain. The cost of the whole tour is $4,178 per person, and will have the following itinerary:

…continue reading Pilgrimage Tour to Europe: October 2008

Liliw Laguna’s Tsinelas Festival

The whole FEU-East Asia College community went to Laguna for its annual summer outing that’s why I haven’t updated my blog for quite some time. Apparently, the place where we stayed at has no wi-fi access. I will not bother to blog about the place anymore since it is just your ordinary Laguna resort. Nothing extraordinary really.

But what I do want to blog about is our sidetrip to Liliw, Laguna! They call Liliw as the Tsinelas Country of the South, or the Footwear Capital of Laguna. In this quiet and laidback little town, you can see the prettiest and cheapest footwear in the Philippine archipelago. Lucky for us, they were having their tsinelas festival when we came! There was so much to see and so much to buy! I almost hyperventilated with excitement when I saw all the tsinelas, sandals, and shoes lined up! Imagine, you can buy 3 pairs of tsinelas for only 100 pesos! I was also able to buy dressy slip-ons for only 230 pesos! Oh, I’m really sorry for all the exclamation points…I am really just so elated with the idea that I can buy so many shoes with only 1,000 pesos in my pocket. I vowed to go back there with my husband soon. I cannot wait to buy him nice tsinelas too.

Here are some of the pictures I took: …continue reading Liliw Laguna’s Tsinelas Festival