Category Archives: Travel

The breath taking Garden grounds of Château de Versailles

Though I took these photos while walking through the garden grounds of Château de Versailles, in the far corners of my mind, I am taken back to a place called ‘Plumfield’, a place where 10 year old Annie ‘Nan’ Harding grew up. From the beautiful blue sky, the foliage and the pathways, an image like this can only bring back nostalgic memories of your favorite books growing up.

Truly, to read is to travel, giving one the sense of ‘I’ve been here before…’. Beauty has a way of inspiring and bringing back memories. #chateauversailles Château de Versailles

Experience the power of the north sea at oostende beach

Ostend (Dutch pronunciation: Oostende) Beach located in the province of West Flanders, Belgium has a strategic position on the North Sea that offers both major advantages for the city as a harbor (fishing and trade), and as a source of trouble (vikings and other conquering armies).

After the 18th century, Ostend was turned into a harbor of some importance when the Dutch, in 1722, closed off the entrance to the world’s biggest harbor of Antwerp, the Westerschelde. Ostend thus rose in importance when the town provided an alternative exit to the North sea.

At present, the beach is known for its sea-side esplanade, Royal Galleries, promenade pier, and fine-sand beaches. Here, a couple of preschoolers take a day trip enjoying the sand at Ostend. #LayasPaula #Belgium #Ostende 🇧🇪

LA RACLETTE!

A winter dish, which is usually eaten during frozen nights to warm up a little bit! Long ago, Raclette was a traditional meal for peasants in the mountains of Switzerland. Usually, they bring cheese with them when they go up or down the mountains and when there is campfire, they put the cheese close to the fire and when it melts to a certain softness, the peasants scrape it off as toppings on the bread.

Today, it is now considered a fantastic party dish! Each person takes a pan and lets the cheese melt in the Raclette maker. Can be combined with a variety of cheeses, vegetables and cold cuts. You can put chocolates as well, depending on the kind of Raclette party you’re having.

All the charm of a barbecue, except you can do it in winter! #LayasPaula #France 🇫🇷

Open Pit Mines as Assets for Ecotourism and Waste to Energy (WTE) Projects

During a recent Q&A with the DENR Secretary and his team on 15 June 2017 at Makati-Shangri-la, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) President Isidro ‘Butch’ C. Alcantara brought into light the potential of rehabilitated open pit mines to become assets for ecotourism and waste to energy projects.

Alcantara added that since mining companies will eventually have to give up their rights on the open pit mines after rehabilitation, there are currently NO CLEAR RULES & GUIDELINES as to the handover of responsibility on the implementation of future projects once these mines have finished operations.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said it is working in close coordination with the Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and is reviewing these open pit mines to become sanitary landfills after mine rehabilitation.

However, Alcantara was quick to add that “… it’s not just landfill. Some of them are really good prospects for ecotourism and waste to energy (projects)”.

For the full story, refer to the video clip below:

The Historical Significance Behind South Africa’s Freedom Day

For South Africa, the road to democracy was a long and difficult one.

History states that South Africa’s freedom was hard earned, yet despite years of conflict, racial discrimination, and even bloodshed, South Africa continues to rise above its challenges.

April 27 also commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held in 1994. This was the first historical democratic elections where the first non-racial national elections was held. On this day, we not only remember the bitter history and wrongs of the past, but to celebrate just how far the country has come as a nation in building bridges to a better future.

Now, the country is on its 23rd year of commemorating its Freedom. Though South Africa is still in the process of achieving the truest essence of freedom, the need to acknowledge the good achieved keeps South Africa motivated and moving forward.

Last night, I was privileged to join the South African Embassy in celebrating the country’s 23rd Freedom Day Celebration.

To never forget one’s history, to fight injustice in all its forms and to see how far one has come – may it be for a person, community, or a country – is what makes freedom all the more significant and integral for humanity to thrive.

Thank you to the South African Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Martin Slabber for having me. I am one with South Africa in commemorating this milestone in your country’s rich history. Happy Freedom day my dear friends!

SA Freedom Day Celebration