ISTANBUL

The great city of Istanbul has recently been a victim of unnecessary violence resulting to a wasteful loss of innocent lives. However, I do not wish to dwell on this negative incident but instead focus on what is positive about this mesmerizing city. I visited this mystical metropolis two years ago on a cruise and had the best trip of my life. The colorful…

MORADA BAY

Morada Bay Beach Cafe in Islamorada, Florida was a pitstop during my drive home from a weekend of fun and sun in the island of Key West. This restaurant, which was highly recommended by a coworker, does not only serve delicious meals…it also offers a breathtaking view of the bay from your table. The tables, chairs and umbrellas are painted with bright colors providing…

PIER AT THE REACH

I am currently in Key West, Florida for the weekend for some sun, surf and munch. I was a little worried that the weather would be horrible as we just had a tropical storm a few days ago. Thankfully, the Sunshine State lived up to it’s name and blasted this island with lots of sunshine and some nasty humidity.  Key West is the southernmost…

HALL OF MIRRORS

The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles was constructed in 1678 during the reign of King Louis XIV of France. It is the central gallery of the palace and features 17 mirror-clad arches reflecting the palace gardens from the 17 windows across the hall. When I took this photograph, I wished the entire hall was empty although the chances of achieving that…

WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL

The National World War II Memorial in Washington DC was built to honor and remember ALL Americans who served during the Second World War.  It consists of 56 pillars representing each US state, territory and protectorate involved in the war as well as a pair of  arches surrounding a plaza and fountain. As a Filipino, it was heartwarming to see a pillar for the…

WINDSOR CASTLE

The Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and it’s where Queen Elizabeth spends most of her private weekends.  The castle has been the family home to British kings and queens for over 1,000 years.  During my visit to Windsor the queen was not around, which is signaled by the Royal Standard flag flying from the castle’s Round Tower….

ROCKS OF AGES

The Stonehenge was created by a culture that did not leave any written record so every assumption about this ancient structure is debatable. During my visit to this famous site, our tour guide mentioned that this was once the site of musical concerts…made me wonder how many seasons of Stonehenge Idol ran on this site.  People also say that a visit to Stonehenge is…

FLAMME DE LA LIBERTÉ

The Flame of Libety Memorial in Paris, France is a replica of the flame on the torch of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. It is common knowledge that the Statue of Liberty is a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States of America. On the other hand, this memorial is actually a gift from International…

FORUM MAGNUM

The Forum Magnum, popularly known as the Roman Forum, was the heart of ancient Rome where commercial and political activities were once celebrated. Today, all that remain are the ruins of ancient buildings that once stood proudly around this historic square. I took this photo during a guided tour of the complex and I fortunately made the right decision to join one as it…

LIVIN’ ON THE EDGE

In the Greek island of Santorini, low-lying and colorful cubical buildings cling on the side of the remnant of a volcanic caldera hundreds of feet above sea level providing an unobstructed view of the Aegean Sea.  The island also boasts of  its beautiful sunsets and due to the layout of the buildings, you get a front seat view of the sunset anywhere you sit….

MUSÉE D’ORSAY

The Musée D’Orsay is a museum in Paris, France showcasing the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world. The building used to be a train station and is one of the most visited museums in Paris due to its large collection of works by painters like Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Inside the museum is…

CITY OF GOLD

The Palace of Westminster and the Big Ben are iconic landmarks of the British capital and are probably the most photographed in the world. The palace is known as the heart of British politics as this is where the parliament of the United Kingdom meets. The city of London is very rich in heritage and amazingly the past and the present blend together harmoniously….

THE PANTHEON

 The Pantheon in Rome is an ancient structure constructed around 127 AD by Emperor Hadrian. It is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in Rome and was continuously used throughout its existence. The building is now a Catholic Church and houses the tombs of two Italian kings (Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I) and that of the great artist Raphael. The square in…

HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY

Since it’s the season of Lent for Christians, I decided to use this photograph I took back in 2014 during my trip to the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey.  This is supposedly the former house of the Virgin Mary located near Selçuk, Turkey on a hill overlooking the ruins of Ephesus. The place was discovered in the 19th century based on descriptions in…

PALAIS BOURBON

The Palais Bourbon is located in the beautiful city of Paris along the banks of the River Seine and is home of the French National Assembly. The palace was originally built for the daughter of Louis XIV and was designed by Italian architect Lorenzo Giardini. After spending a few good hours at the Musée D’Orsay, I decided to walk to the Invalides for more…

TAJ 51

The Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites was my home away from home while I was in London on vacation for a week.  This was once the home of the Lords and Ladies of the Royal Court and just a few minutes walk to the Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. This 5 star heritage hotel boasts of providing its guests with one…

ROMAN TWILIGHT

  This photo was taken after spending an entire afternoon on a guided tour of the Roman Forum culminating at the Colosseum.  Unfortunately for me, the Colosseum was at that time undergoing major cleaning with more than half of the structure covered with scaffoldings making it impossible to capture this famous landmark in all its glory.  I took multiple photos inside and outside of…

DISTRICT OF FATIH

The Fatih district of Istanbul, Turkey is located on the European side of the city and is right on the historic Constantinople proper where most of my sightseeing was spent during my visit. This district is home to historic landmarks like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Çemberlitaş Column (Column of Constantine), Grand Bazaar and the Nuruosmaniye Mosque, which is one of the…

EL MORRO

 The Castillo San Felipe del Morro, commonly known as “El Morro”, is a fort in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico built in the 1500s to protect Spain’s access to the wealth of the New World. It is a masterpiece of military engineering designed to overwhelm and exhaust the enemy.  I took this photo from the top deck of the cruise ship as…

ALTARE DELLA PATRIA

The Altare Della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) is a monument in the heart of Rome, Italy built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. This monument is more commonly known as  Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II).  I took this photo on my way back to my hotel after an interesting and…

BETHESDA TERRACE AND FOUNTAIN

The Bethesda Fountain and Terrace is located at the heart of Central Park in New York City.  This section of the park has been featured in a number of movies and is probably one of the most easily recognizable features of the park. Luckily, they closed the terrace to the public the day I was there so I was able to photograph the whole…

COMMONERS VIEW

This bronze statue of a man standing beside a lion and holding a hammer and a scroll is part of the Victoria Monument in front of the Buckingham Palace in London. This statue represents Manufacture and is part of a quartet of statues surrounding the monument. The other three statues represent Peace, Progress and Agriculture and all are gifts from New Zealand. This is…

TULUM

 The ruins of  Tulum is located on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico.  This city was one of the last ones built and inhabited by the Mayans from AD 1200 until it was completely abandoned by the end of the 16th century. Our tour guide informed us that this is the only Mayan city which…

2015: The Year That Was

Now that the year is about to end, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for visiting my webpage and for encouraging me to push further on my hobby. I just launched this page last August 2015 and I am very pleased to have welcomed a number of new online friends who decided to follow my page. A lot of you…

TEMPLE OF JUPITER, POMPEII

  The Temple of Jupiter is located at the north end of the Forum, which is the economic, religious and policital center of Pompeii (just like our downtown today).  Behind the temple ruins is the massive Mount Vesuvius, which in August 24, 79 A.D erupted and covered the entire city with 20 feet of earth and ash killing its almost 11,000 inhabitants and erasing its…

PLANET CHORA

  With the Star Wars film hitting theaters just a few days ago, I thought this photo would be a nice tribute to one of my favorite films as this interesting looking building reminds me of one of their sets.  This is actually a church in the island of Mykonos (town is also called Chora) in Greece. I love the contrast between the blue sky…

SANTA MARIA DI LORETO

  The Santa Maria di Loreto is a 16th century church in the heart of Rome just across the street from the grand Monument of Vittorio Emmanuel II.  Construction of this church began in 1507 and was completed after 75 years.  Further to the back is another church, the Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano, which was built in the 18th century and creates…

TEMPLE OF ATHENA

   The Temple of Athena (more commonly known as the Parthenon) in Athens, Greece is one of the most photographed structures in the world. It is a symbol of Greece’s impressive and rich heritage as well as proof of an advanced and highly organized society from centuries ago. It has been my ultimate dream to visit this place so imagine my heightened emotions when…

ST. PETER’S ALTAR

   The altar at the St. Peter’s Basilica is adorned with works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini who is revered as the greatest architect and sculpture of the Baroque period. He created the baldacchino, which is the four poster pavilion-like structure in front of the altar and just right below the basilica’s famous dome. The altar also feature another one of his works called the…

THRILL OF SEASIDE DINING

  This is probably what one would literally consider as seaside dining…tables right by the water. I took this photo during my vacation in Mykonos, Greece on my way back to the town center after visiting its famous windmills. Deciding on taking a different route, I found myself in the shoreline with this breathtaking view of the sea and the town’s edge hanging on…

TOP OF THE ROCK

  The top of the Rockefeller Center provides you a great view of famous New York City landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and the Freedom Tower. If you open your eyes really wide, you may see the Statue of Liberty in one of the islands just right of the Freedom Tower. On the opposite side, you have an unobstructed view…

CHURCH OF ST. BERNARD DE CLAIRVAUX

I discovered this old church/monastery in North Miami, Florida while waiting for my Filipino friends for lunch. The restaurant was just across the street from the church and with Filipinos being fashionably late, I decided to use my waiting time to explore the compound. I learned that this church was originally built in 1133 in Sacramenia, Northern Spain and was dedicated to the Virgin…

ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

This photo was taken during one of my weekend vacations in the enchanting island of Key West, Florida where you can witness one of the worlds most beautiful sunsets. At the end of each day, tourists flock at Mallory Square or aboard boat cruises out at sea in order to witness the famous sunset. This photo does not give justice to the breathtaking experience…

SANTORINI

  A trip to Santorini, Greece isn’t complete without witnessing the glorious sunset while sipping a glass of wine in one of the hundreds of restaurants dotting the town’s famous cliffside. Imagine my disappointment during my visit when rolling clouds shrouded the famous sunset.  Although after reviewing my photos, I think the clouds may have added some drama to the scenery by diffusing the…

NOTRE-DAME BASILICA OF MONTREAL

   The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal is one of the most colorful churches I’ve ever been to (Sistine Chapel tops my list). The intricate designs, the gilding and the mood lighting add to the exquisite beauty of this architectural masterpiece. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, this is truly a great centerpiece to this Canadian city’s old world and European charm.

BUCKINGHAM FOUNTAIN 

Three years ago, I was in Chicago for a reunion with classmates from Physical Therapy school and it was a great opportunity to photograph  the city.  I arrived a day late and missed to join their tour around various  landmarks so I begged one of my friends to accompany me to the Grant/Millennium Park area for this photoshoot. Since I did not travel with…

PARIS, JE T’AIME

I visited Paris about 2 months ago and stayed there for a week enjoying their food, music, fashion, architecture and rich culture. I fell in love with the City of Lights and my last night was made most memorable by a dinner cruise along the River Seine. The photo above was taken at the Trocadero Fountains capturing lovers in each others arms swaying to beautiful French…

NOTRE-DAME DES VICTOIRES

This was a little square I found myself in while walking around the old walled city of Quebec. A friend informed me that the city invested money to revive this part of the city to attract more tourists. Apparently, I found the accents a little Disneyish thereby dimishing the authentic rustic charm of the place. Overall, Quebec still exudes this old Europe vibe which…

ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS

While exploring London’s Piccadilly area after an afternoon tea at the Browns Hotel and a little shopping at Fortnum & Mason, I noticed this interesting art exhibition featured in the middle of this huge courtyard. Apparently, I have stepped into the Royal Academy of Arts complex. The RA is an art institution focused on the creation, enjoyment and exhibition of visual arts. Unfortunately, I had…

LIBRARY OF CELSUS

The library of Celsus located in the ancient city of Ephesus, Anatolia (now part of Selçuk, Turkey) was built in honor of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus.  The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls as well as to serve as the mausoleum of Celsus.  I took this photo during my trip to Turkey last year and Ephesus remains to be the best…

VATICAN

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican is the heart of the Catholic church where millions of devotees pilgrimage to celebrate their faith and devotion. During my trip to Rome last year, my Catholic upbringing dictated that I should pay Vatican a visit. I spent an entire day visiting the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter’s Basilica and the amount of art amassed by…

FREEDOM TOWER

The Freedom Tower in Miami used to be the headquarters and printing facility for The Miami News. Decades later it was used to process, document and assist new refugees from Cuba. Today, this building is now a contemporary art museum.

THE COLOSSEUM

The Colosseum, also known as Flavian Amphitheatre, is the centerpiece of Rome’s spread of architectural masterpieces. Historically, this was a venue for entertainment such as gladiatorial fights and other public spectacles. The Colosseum is also considered as the largest amphitheatre ever built and is one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering. During my visit, our tour guide informed us that stones from the…

LE TIBRE

This statue, which experts analyzed to have been made around AD 80,  was discovered in 1512 and is a personification of the Roman river Tiber.  The statue is accompanied by Rome’s legendary twin founders, Romulus and Remus, who were supposedly left to die but was carried to safety by the river and was found and suckled by a she-wolf. This photo was taken at…

QUEEN’S BACKYARD

Every summer, Queen Elizabeth open the doors of the Buckingham Palace to the public while she takes a vacation in Scotland. My recent trip to London a few weeks ago made a visit to the palace inevitable. Photography is not allowed inside the palace so people were limited to taking photos of the facade (just like every other tourist outside the palace gates the…

THIRA

Thira, popularly known as Santorini, is a Greek island located in the southern Aegean Sea. It was the first stop of my Eastern Mediterranean cruise and I was looking forward to taking gazillions of photos of this famous island. Imagine my disappointment when we arrived on a cloudy day with rainshowers about every hour. Everything looked dull and gray with my photos coming out…

QUEUE OF THE SHADOWS

In 1682, Versailles opened its doors to anyone wishing to visit the palace and view its extravagant splendour.  Lines of visitors were screened by guards who made sure that no one carried weapons. Visitors were also required to observe proper palace etiquette including wearing a hat and sword, which were available for rent. To this day, people continue to line up by the thousands…

PICCADILLY CIRCUS

These panoramic photos of Piccadilly Circus were taken on my way to watch Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre after having tea at The Browns Hotel. It was raining at most times that day and this was one of those moments when the skies cleared for an hour or two. Piccadilly Circus is London’s version of New York’s Time Square with the theatre…

KENSINGTON PALACE

The Kensington Palace in London is one of the official residences of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. Prince Charles and Princess Diana called this their home after their wedding in 1981 and Diana continued to live here after their divorce until her death in 1997. Today their son Prince William lives here with his family. A section of the  palace is opened…

TOWER BRIDGE OF LONDON

A panoramic view of the Tower Bridge, London City Hall and The Shard taken from the Tower of London side of the River Thames. Unfortunately, it was the wrong time of the day to take this photo with the sun glaring into my camera. However, I tried to be optimistic about it and went ahead to take photos and this turned out not too…