23 April 2014

Getting Jaded with Vienna

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Austria, in the capital Vienna. This was a very short trip, just a weekend from Friday to Sunday. I didn't do much, but just explored the city, as I have been to Vienna two times before, in 2005 as well as in 2008. For the most part, I just explored the places I have previously seen already, and somehow, it made me reflect on how and why I was wow'ed back then, in 2005, 9 years ago, when I visited this city.

21 April 2014

Meandering in Malta: St. George's Basilica in Victoria

After exploring the Citadella, I headed south. By this time, it was already late afternoon, and as it was winter, the sun wouldn't last long. I found myself walking along mazes of streets, which is apparently an old district of Victoria outside the citadel. I just lost myself, turning left and right, until I found myself by the plaza facing the Basilica of Saint George. I went inside.

19 April 2014

The Traditional Filipino Moral Zeitgeist

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to talk to an aunt of mine. Given the fact that my family is pretty much spread all over the globe, there aren't plenty of opportunities to see each other in person (I don't even remember the last time I saw her, perhaps 2011?), so one time, she caught me online and so we started to chat. During this chat, we talked about family, and this topic is rather delicate, at least in my case.

17 April 2014

Meandering in Malta: The Citadella in Gozo

The highlight of my three-night stay in Gozo was the Citadella. This fortified walled-city is located in Victoria, which is the largest town of the island. I can see the citadella from Xagħra, which was the village I was staying in. In fact, walking from Xagħra to the Citadella felt a little quasi-dramatic. I was crossing the fields while gazing at this huge piece of rock up front.

15 April 2014

Book Review: The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The pages flew by, yet again.

After reading The Shadow of the Wind back in 2007, as well as The Angel's Game last year, I picked up The Prisoner of Heaven, which picks up the action after The Shadow, as well as providing linking material between The Shadow and The Angel's Game. It isn't a very massive book, unlike the others. Yet, it still is a page turner.

This is the story of Daniel Sempere and Fermin Romero de Torres. Most of it are flashbacks by Fermin, who was imprisoned in the castle outside of Barcelona. The main antagonist is Mauricio Valls, a literary fanatic who has a huge delusion of grandeur. This novel reveals that David Martin (the main character of The Angel's Game) was imprisoned by Valls so that Martin can write a novel for Valls, which would then propel Valls to literary stardom. This conflict, however, is minor, as most of the action takes place among the other prisoners around Martin, one of which is Fermin Romero de Torres.