With the rich and complex history and events that took place that resulted to a worldwide belief, culture and conviction, Israel in itself can be revered as a living or breathing museum. Every street corner seem to have a history connected either to Islam, Judaism or Christianity. Every crook, bend or junction seem to have something interesting to tell.
And when I was in Israel, I thought visiting a museum seem no longer noteworthy unlike the way I would usually require myself to visit at least one museum every time I got to go to a foreign country. The feeling of being in Israel itself was like being in a museum 24/7.
But when I got a good window of a time to go to an actual museum, I was hesitant at first but nevertheless, pursued with my commonly known “cultural day”. I did visited the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
The vibrant mix of pieces featured in Tel Aviv Art Museum are poles apart from the arts and artifacts seen in the old streets of Israel. The art pieces were not of a biblical, dogmatic or spiritual in nature. Instead, featured art were more of an intense personal expression, more of an eclectic retrospect and view and more of a strange emotional articulation. Its novelty-ness, freshness and innovation are awesomely high!
The modernism are so breath-taking I could not control myself from saying “Wow!” The visual art pieces were so cool and fresh, I want it printed on shirts and wear it! Tel Aviv Museum of Art indeed is a remarkable representation of modern Israel.
I am writing this article now from Jerusalem… Today is a pretty special Sabbath day here in Jerusalem because today is Black Saturday for the Christian Catholics. And since I belong to this denomination, let me give tribute to an awesome Saint who showed sincere generosity on the time of Lord Jesus’ death (which was commemorated yesterday – Good Friday).
His name is Joseph of Arimathea, considered one of the secret disciples of Jesus Christ, he was the one who donated his very own tomb so that Lord Jesus can be buried and laid to rest.
Hands down to this wealthy fella! His selflessness and generosity was obviously swift and instinctive because Lord Jesus during that time (who died on a Friday at around 3:00PM) needs to be buried immediately because the Jewish Sabbath is soon to come. That indeed is one fab of a deed!
And during my Holy City Tour in Jerusalem, I had the opportunity to actually see and set foot on the grave/tomb on where this generous dude was buried or laid to rest. Of course he was not placed in his own tomb because Lord Jesus has occupied it, but instead, his tomb was nearby and can actually be found in one timeworn corner of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Two connected bodies of water that the Lord Jesus Christ has a significant involvement with when he was physically on earth are the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a lake) and the River of Jordan. I have been so blessed and fortunate enough to actually have seen, felt and experience these two sanctified bodies of water.
I must have done something beautiful in my past that I was so blessed with the opportunity to be in these divine places. And since I am so overwhelmed and bowled over with this blessing and could not seem to describe in words how I actually felt, let me just post a number of photos during this divine trip and experience.
One of the many beauties of travelling in a foreign land without a set and pre-arranged tour package is that you got to explore and discover treasures of the city that you visit.
Case in point was the first breakfast me and my sister had here in Tel Aviv. Armed only with a google map, a dash of courage and heaps of appetite, we walked through the city streets of Tel Aviv to get to Xoho Café, the ranked number one recommended breakfast café in Tel Aviv by Tripadvisor.
Discovering Xoho Café was a bliss. As soon as we entered the café we were barged with a laid back yet cool and hip ambiance and deco. And from the funky interiors itself, it looks like the owner is someone who is so young, vibrant and creative I stopped wondering why this establishment was ranked number one by Tripadvisor.
My beautiful first impression of Xoho Café was even substantiated by the divine dishes that me and my sister ordered. When I asked the young server what to recommend, she simply stated that the Juanito Burrito was something not to miss in their café. My sister on the other hand settled for the delectable Sunny Side Up served with a bunch of toast, labaneh, olive oil and zaatar. The food was fantastic!
Upon stepping out of Xoho Café with the smile on my face, I can simply say that this café is a perfect combination of good food and funky design. Thank goodness to Tripadvisor, google map and our heaps of appetite, we discovered a treasure called Xoho Café.
Prior to leaving Manila (with a connecting flight in Hongkong) for an exciting adventure, I have been told by few friends on how stringent the security is prior to entering the Holy Land of Israel. I was told that prior to being allowed entry inside the state, questions asked at the immigration could be very stern, firm and exacting. Thus, prior to leaving my apartment in Manila, I internalize and assumed the thoughts of a beauty pageant contestant. Armed with a smile like that of a docile idiot, I guess talking about hope, happiness and world peace would be the best answers for the Israeli immigration officer to allow me in.
But what surprised me about the exceptional and unique airport experience I had on travelling to Israel was the time when I and my sister (whom I am travelling with) needs to get our El Al (Israeli Airlines) boarding pass at the Hongkong Airport.
All passengers of the El AI flight were gathered and escorted to W1 desk where the boarding pass will be issued. But prior to the issuance, I then have encountered the rarest airport experience I had. All of us passengers would first have to line-up so that we would have to be interrogated one-by-one by an Israeli airport security (I suppose). The questions were so plenty, we have not even landed to Israel!
Tons of questions were thrown at me and my sister – how are we related, who packed our luggage, when did we packed it, do we know someone in Israel, what are we gonna do in Israel, if we live together in one house, is the lock of our luggage is key operated or of a number combination, are the luggage keys complicated or plain and simple, etc. It was so plenty, I never had the chance to incorporate hope, happiness and world peace in my answers.
To add more rarity to the experience, we were then ordered to show then surrender our luggage keys to the solicitous interrogating officer. He gently explained that our luggage would have to be opened and rigorously inspected (because someone in transit might have planted a bomb inside) before it be towed inside the plane. Thinking of rather being safe than sorry, we of course issued our respective keys and were told to claim the same at the gate prior to boarding. We were then pointed to proceed to the W1 desk for the issuance of our respective boarding passes.
The only usual thing I experienced inside Hongkong airport was the grumpy face and cantankerous attitude of the Hongkonese issuing our boarding pass. While asking this Hongkongnese to make sure that I and my sister be seated together preferably at the aisle, I was actually thinking of rather answering the countless questions of the calm and mild Israeli security than that of talking to the rude and impolite Hongkonese airport staff.
When we arrived in Ben Guiron Airport in Tel Aviv, we again were barraged with multiple questions at the immigration desk before we were allowed inside Israel. I was actually not irritated nor upset. I in fact appreciated the rigorous (yet smooth) security measures that the Israeli Security carries out. Knowing how crazy the world – the universe rather – that we live in right now, these safety efforts and security measures would really be something worth appreciating.
Gusto ko pa naman sabihin yung… “byuti wid a hart” Hahaha!
Eurovision is a very popular song contest participated mostly by the members of the European Broadcasting Union. Though it is widely popular even to non-member countries like USA and China, I, being an inhabitant in the southeastern portion of the planet is not keen and familiar about this contest. News on who won in this prestigious contest would oftentimes be brushed-off in my country.
But for this year, I would have to go off a tangent. It is because I am very excited to see the talented Dami Im on the stage performing this year’s song entry by Australia. I am looking forward on seeing the dazed, dumbfounded and bewildered reactions of the audience after watching and hearing Dami sing. And I am most eager to witness how she would blow up the big stage in Stockholm with her amazing set of pipes during the night of the competition.
I have been a member of the Dami Army since day one of X Factor Australia 2013 (press the LINK for proof). And for this year I would have to admit that I would be cheering for Australia to win.
Though Philippines is not a member and participant in this contest, let me then initiate the casting of the Philippine vote for 12 points to Australia. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi,Oi, Oi! Here’s this year’s Aussie entry as performed by the fantastic Dami Im…