The Climb

Please press here for the music that accompanies this photograph “Always gonna be an uphill battle Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose Ain’t about how fast I get there Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side It’s the climb” – excerpt from “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. Of all the things and people to photograph at the Museo del Duomo, this elderly gentleman was the one who tugged at my heartstrings. An uphill struggle while things seem to be spiraling downwards.

Needs and Wants

What is there to write about Florence that hasn’t already been written over the last 2000 years? Nothing. I’ll tell you why: Florence is a city to be lived, imbibed, tasted, savored, touched, and heard. It is a city that caters to all the senses, touches the four temperaments (or humors, as the alchemists called them): choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine and melancholic. Regardless of what the guidebooks tell you or the directions they send you off into, there will be something missing, a wrong instruction that no longer applies to the reader, a missing bus stop, a construction crane that blocks…

From Womb to Room to Bloom

There are certain milestones in life that are simply not meant to be missed, at least not for me. Being a stay-at-home mother with occasional work over the years that kept my brain active, I was a hands-on parent who has been proud to witness and actively participate in my daughter’s activities year in and year out. The first day of kindergarten in India was traumatic for her, but she knew that at the end of the ordeal Mommy would be there for her, waiting at the gate to embrace the trauma away. For every new school she attended since,…

Florence: A Love Affair With Bridges

During my first visit to Florence I fell head over heels for the bridges over the Arno River. It was summer then, streets and bridges overflowing with people alike, making it difficult to set up a tripod and take your time with the shot. Winter in Florence, however, is a whole new ballgame. The wind feels like a thousand knives as it slices through your body and pierces your bones, and holding out for over an hour on a bridge to witness one of the most sensational urban sunsets is both a mental and physical challenge. Nevertheless, patience and perseverance…

Apartment Hunting and Other Adventures

Being sick in winter while living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world is not my idea of fun. Nevertheless, the bug finally caught me and I was bogged down by a terrible cold that had me more than out of sorts. The medicine supply I had brought with me from Manila for such eventualities had been consumed by my family over the Christmas holidays, leaving me with a meager ration that was in no way enough to see me through the rough patch. So down I marched to the Farmacia, which lucky for me is just…

Vivaldi and La Befana

Music is an intrinsic part of who I am, even though I am completely tone deaf, can’t sing even if my life depended on it, and most certainly can’t play an instrument. However, I write, cook and clean to music, and when I was still a student, I studied to it. When in Manila, jazz or bossa music is my preferred choice, with a little new age to even things out. But in Florence, surrounded by all the remnants of antiquity, the medieval age, baroque and of course the renaissance, not to mention the cold winter air, this music is…