My Ayuthaya Tour in Photos part 2, Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Relic

What images does “relic” conjure for you? A well-worn piece of blue beach glass, the faded pencil markings from a high-school journal, or the curmudgeonly character from the CBC television series, The Beachcombers?


This week’s photo challenge – relic is a convenient challenge for me. Few days ago I visited one of the ancient capitals of Thailand and I got photos that proves its existence and antiquity. My Ayuthaya tour is my entry for this week’s photo challenge.

Ayutthaya or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, is the capital of Ayutthaya province in Thailand. It is located in the valley of the Chao Phraya River, and it was founded in 1350 by King U Thong, who went there to escape a smallpox outbreak in Lop Buri and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom, often referred to as the Ayutthaya kingdom or Siam. Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. (wikipedia)

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How to get to Ayuthaya: (based on our travel)

From Bangkok

Go to Victory Monument, take the van that goes to Ayuthaya and tell the van driver to drop you off at the van terminal. Get a tuktuk ride, who usually charge you 200baht/hour tour but eventually gives you 700 baht for 5 hour tour around the city and temples. (We were three when we went for a tour so the price was not bad.) You will pay an entrance fee to some temples and in floating markets but some temples are free.

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Ten Days of Prayer to the Holy Cross, Day 1

Family Tradition Lives On

My grandfather was a devoted Catholic, a regular church-goer, a kind man but sometimes  hot-tempered one. He used to plan a yearly Novena for his devotion to the Holy Cross at the same time a feast and gathering for the family. When he passed away the annual activity had to stop too for no one in the family could provide time and take responsibility of the expenses to continue the Novena and get-together. I wanted to do it but I was financially incapable, too young, unemployed and I need to finish my degree that time. The only thing I was able was to promise that when the right time comes  I will continue what he’d started.

On his 16 death anniversary,  I think that the long-awaited time has come and it’s only right to fulfill my promise. I know it took me so long to realize it but I know too that he’d understand me, and God knows how I am dreaming and planning of implementing the event even I’m away from home. I asked my mom over the phone if she could help me organize the daily Novena at home as well as the party when the Ten Days of Prayer conclude. Invite all the relatives who used to pray with us and visit us for the devotion and carry on the family tradition. So blessed that my mom is more than willing to do the task. She even cried when I offered to finance the activity for she’s been thinking about it too however she is financially incapable of doing it. She’s just glad that one of her children cared about the tradition that my grandfather left to us.

I remember when I was a kid, my grandparents and their friends pray in ten days. My relatives from distant provinces would come and celebrate too. On the last day, a big feast will be held where neighbors, relatives, and friends join together in a holy mass in our small and old chapel, then food and drinks were offered after the prayer. They can sing or dance with live band played by some talented friends of my grandpa. Yes, I  still have vivid recollections of my grandparents dancing to Tango and Cha-cha among their friends who brought their bass, ukulele and guitars. It was a joy watching them with genuine laughter and happy faces and I treasure those memories. I want my daughter to experience the same joy of having a happy and prayerful family so I want to bring it back and see my relatives and neighbors pray, sing, dance and eat together again.

Today is the first day of the Nine Days of Prayer to the Holy Cross. The prayer culminates on the 20th of July and I am so looking forward to see my folks gather once again after a very long time.

I am very thankful that God bless me so much determination, sound mind and body so that I can carry on what my late grandfather had started.


My prayer:

Lord, when I look for a companion and support in my plans, you are always there, guiding my every decision. You help me make some things to happen – this plan to happen. Thank you for everything and being everything to me. Amen.

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Divine Blessing – Patience

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I am not a very patient person that is why I am so grateful that God bless me more of it today! All my five classes were extremely uncooperative, rowdy and rebellious. I could not even hear my own voice while teaching so I had to stop and took a seat and let them continue what they please. I usually chide them verbally but I decided to skip that segment because after 2 or 3 minutes of verbal scolding they begin to ignore me again. Today, I simply gave everyone a cold shoulder, and to  my surprise they stayed quiet while doing something else…

I’m praying that one day, these adolescents will become mature and appreciate what they have and regard education with high respect and value.

My Ayuthaya Tour in Photos, part 1

I’ve been meaning to visit the old capital of Thailand, Ayuthaya but only the past week that I had a decent time to enact the plan.
The city is called Phra Nakhon Si Ayuttha or Ayudhaya. It’s actually the second capital of Thailand after Sukhothai. I’m not very familiar of Thailand history but that was what I heard from the tour guide. Though I’ve watched the movie Sukhothai and King Naresuan, I vaguely understood the entire story of Thai ancient times.

At the Ayuthaya historical Park
The only photo of me that I like when I was there 😀
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Chedi
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More Buddhas wrapped in yellow-orange cloth
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another picture of me. i thought of using this as entry for photo challenge contrast but changed my mind 🙂
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I love these tall pillars covered with bricks…
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especially this scene where a statue of a Buddha is put in the center among these pillars
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local tourists take a leisure time before or after their visit and incense offering in the nearest temple too
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It was really hot that day but it did not stop me from strolling and discovering the ancient city
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This head/ face of a statue lay for a very long time that a tree had all its time to cover it with roots
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Actually this area shows statues of bodies headless or armless… More photos about them in my next post.
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Chedi, soon totally brick-less 🙂
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I think they call this ‘prang’. All made and surrounded with bricks and beautifully built.
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Another ‘prang’ with different design…still with bricks.
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close up side of one of the ‘prangs’
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Monkey faces on the wall, who’s the scariest of all?
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These bells create a melodic sound when struck skillfully. I saw a monk stopped by before I get here and he played a tune, so brief that he’s already gone when I reach to take a video or photo
Sister try to imitate the monk…

I enjoyed the trip in Ayuthaya as well as the food we had. The city is generally peaceful and people are friendly. I only complained about the humidity on the day we went there. It was terribly hot! I guess the heat abate my enthusiasm. 😦 But looking at my photos made me think that the trip was worth the heat and beat after all! At first I really expect something more like waterfalls, more floating markets and vast gardens but the tour guide only get us to series of temple stops until we get tired and decide to go home. I sound discontented but not really. The temples we visited depict the true history and ancient culture of Siam which was the most important thing to experience and see in person.

Summer Trek

 

 

It seems that it’s always summer in the Philippines when typhoon is not making threats or low pressure is not brewing in the pacific ocean. But the day we decided to take a hike to the foot of a mountain was a perfect day for such expedition.
There’s one color that dominates the place. It’s green! From our house going up to the hills and down to the streams everything’s green. The palm trees, coconut trees and grass are in flourishing green.
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That volcano is called Mount Hibok-hibok. I heard that many tourists have climbed on that mountain and even the locals gather at its foot for picnic or camping. One day, I will experience that and of course share such experience on WordPress. 🙂
My aunts who are so eager to reach at our destination. Although sweaty and feeling a bit jaded from the 4 kilometers walk, they were no doubt a player on that day. There used to be cars or trucks pass this road but because of heavy rains that caused soil erosion, the road is impassable by 4-wheel vehicles nowadays. Motorcycles can pass only during dry season but during rainy days, this is next to impossible for motorcycle drivers.
After some heart-stopping climb in hills, we passed by streams that offers a more than a little comfort. This one is clean and its waters come from a cold spring not too far from where I took this photo!
This is what I’m talking about and the destination of my two aunts. This is called Saay Spring. The water is cold and crystal clear and people literally drink from where it originated. Many tourists who like to spend a cool but quiet moment with nature, they come and camp here. Some prefer an overnight stay. They bring their own tent, food and necessary tools for safety and camping. A real experience to be with nature…
I’ve posted this view before but I want to include this on this post.
Aunty enjoying her swim in the cold pool. The pool was not supported by the government, not even owned by a private organization or individual. It is a concerted effort of the inhabitants of the area for their own use and get-together. But because of the area’s unique location and rare quality of water the place became famous to the province. Some tour guides, resorts and hotels recommended this place to their guests too. So those who like nature tripping they come here and spend some time.
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Across the pool is an old house/cottage where occupants are friendly and helpful to tourists and locals on their overnight camping
After we’ve rested enough, I asked my friends to hike further. I know the place and I’ve been there many times. It was first time for my friends so I acted as their guide. We walked through narrow grassy and stony paths.
This is what there’s to see. Another mountain where a large rock serve it’s wall from the ground. It used to be majestic but I guess the climate, weather and farming change its look.
Wild plant and flowers along the way as we went closer to the foot of the mountain
There used to be more varieties of wild flowers but my father said the floods have washed them away. The ashes and lava in the 1950’s created a flat stony, rocky area in between hills. I was lucky enough to see the different wild fruits and even monkeys when I was smaller as my father brought me here when he harvested coconuts in a nearby farm
A closer look at the “rock wall”. I call it the “rock wall” the first time I saw it because it really looks like a wall made of rock. My father said that I was petrified the first time we came here because I thought there were ghosts, fairies and aliens hiding inside. 😀
When I was smaller the cashew trees are numerous in this area. My father’s friend had a cashew plantation close to the area. This is the only tree left after several floods uprooted them.
Wild ferns and grasses with sharp leaves grow here. They are the most common plants that die and grown again no matter how many floods and dry days come to this place. Very tough and persevering plants!
Not much really were there as addition to what I’ve seen 15 years ago. Though the place changed a lot. We went home tired that day but all of us enjoyed the long walk. It was a fun thing we done during summer. I was glad I visited that place again.

 

One Year Old!

New bud, new beginning, new year for beats of pieces!
New bud, new beginning, new year for Beats of Pieces!

I never thought I’d be able to stretch my patience to one year of posting photos, writing casual thoughts, ramblings, whining, quoting quotes, commenting and liking. I was full of determination though when I started Beats of Pieces. However, there was something at the back of my mind telling me that this blog would die after few months as ideas in my head usually run dry. But once I sit at my computer, it’s like auto mode log in WordPress. Until I didn’t realize the calendar’s revealing new dates and hey, it’s its one year blogsarry today! Continue reading “One Year Old!”

Daily Prompt: Seasonal Scents – Summer in the Pacific

Seasonal Scents

S’mores, salty ocean breezes, veggie burgers on the grill, sweaty people on the bus — what’s the smell you associate the most with summer?


 

Unseen and loud crickets rule the night,

While fireflies flash like Christmas lights.

Humid air is among the palm trees

Leaving us feeling sweaty and damp.

In the morning, dew vanishes quickly among the dusts

as the dazzling sun finds its way up.

In the kitchen mama’s ready with her summer special

Fruitshake, grilled fish, barbecue…

Ahh smell that destroy your diet and make you famished

Forget not what father displayed on the table.

Fresh fruits and coconut wine

And look! Brother has Frangipani especially for me

While little sister looks fab in her bikini.

Swash!

The waves in the beach summon

Look farther, the sea charms with its crystal waters

It’s shimmering under the sun

And from where I stand

The smell is salty, it smells of mud and of composts

and of rotten logs and twigs in the delta,

where the river meets the sea.

Ahh Summer in the Pacific!

Smells mouthwatering food from our kitchen

and fresh roses from my neighbor’s garden

Just also like a Thai Fruit Salad

Smells sweet, salty, sour, and fruity too!