Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘Ireland’

โ€‹For the Love of Coffee

One cup for warmth

Two cups for friendship

My cup of coffee always honored at my presence

Without you, Iโ€™d be desolate at my office table

The living savior of my mundane hours
Coffee, coffee, you make my nerves alive

A little sip would brighten my weary eyes

Silencing my thoughts during the dead of the night

Lulling me to sleep in a rainy day
Coffee, coffee you will forever be

Whether instant, brewed, with cream or more cream

From Vietnam, Korea, or in the heart of Dublin

You will always be my steaming cup of coffee

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Touchdown Ireland! (Second Landing)

Almost all stores are lined up with green things: leprechauns, shamrock trinkets, green mugs and boxes. You'll enjoy shopping in Ireland :)

Almost all stores are lined up with green things: leprechauns, shamrock trinkets, green mugs and boxes. You’ll enjoy shopping in Ireland ๐Ÿ™‚

Leprechauns, shamrocks, and everything green. That’s what Ireland is known for. Stores have been lined up with these trinkets that sing of the magic the Irish culture bring, inscribed with Irish wishes to bring you luck.

I’m not into luck because I don’t believe that blessings come in chances (and because our good Father in heaven gives His ever-increasing favor and blessing to those who will ask). But I appreciate the culture Ireland brings, one thing you can learn as you travel.

An aunt of mine told me to experience culture. This is one advise that I will never disregard. In order to appreciate another nation, one must endow himself into its lifestyle, food, music, and language. This is how I began to love other nations, as well as cherishing the friends I have from these nations I’ve visited.

Because Ireland is totally different from the Philippines, here are a few points I noticed.

The fashion sense. Never, never go to a cold country in only t-shirt and jeans.

Me and my favority red coat while waving at Dublin Castle. I have no other coats like these, of course! And I can't wear this in the Philippines!

Me and my favority red coat while waving at Dublin Castle. I have no other coats like these, of course! And I can’t wear this in the Philippines!

Bringing layers of clothes can add weight to the luggage, but this is how you can survive or you won’t be able to get around town. Ireland has rainy weather on October, as cold, biting winds prevail even when it’s sunny. So, I have to wear long sleeves, boots or rubber shoes and leggings when I wear dresses. It would be good to wear a scarf and gloves that match your clothes. It would make you look classy as well as warmer.

At one of the doorways of the ruins of Clonmacnoise Monastery

At one of the doorways of the ruins of Clonmacnoise Monastery

The transportation system. If Manila is swarmed with jeeps, trycicles, and pedicabs, Dublin has a lesser transport system. Usually, they have buses and cabs that can take you around. But they are not awake 24 hours! In fact, they have scheduled stops, so it’s better be street-wise or you won’t catch up that ride! Because that’s a usual thing in Europe, my aunt said that it would be advisable to learn how to bike in case you’re too late to take a bus ride. It’s no wonder we would walk around the city to get to the next destination in the conference. But I loved these walks. It’s good for the heart. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Food Trip!ย Mashed potatoes, poached potatoes, and all potatoes. That’s real Irish diet. But they also have varieties

Fish and chips...very popular in Ireland. I never thought that "chips" are actually fries! :P

Fish and chips…very popular in Ireland. I never thought that “chips” are actually fries! ๐Ÿ˜›

though, like pasta, pizza, and sausages. In almost all their meals, they have bigger servings, which was quite a bit heavy for an Asian like me. But because of their weather, I believe, I even became hungrier. Fish and chips is one of the commonly popular meals in Ireland. But I was surprised that the “chips” were actually french fries!

Work and life balance. Most malls in Manila would close at around 9 or 10pm. But in Ireland, at around 7pm, most malls and businesses are already closed. The Irish people value family time, so most of the work would really cease at 5pm. The only ones open are pubs and restaurants (for those who want to extend the nightlife). I believe that workers here are well-compensated, so they don’t need to work overtime. My aunt, who studied in Netherlands, noted that the European working condition is not that pressured, compared to the American working culture which the Philippines has adapted.

Classic European apartment beautifully draped by colored vines. Not one like this in Manila :)

Classic European apartment beautifully draped by colored vines. Not one like this in Manila ๐Ÿ™‚

The warm people. You don’t have to ask, they’ll approach you and ask if you need help when they see you looking at an open map in your hand. The warmth of these people is so contrast to the cold, biting weather of Dublin.

The Celtic strain. It’s no doubt that the music and culture of the Irish people still has the tinge of the Celts, which I’ve fascinated me through literature and movies. Until now, I can hear the sound of the Irish jig in my head. Even pubs would play traditional Irish music. Enjoy your fish and chips while listening to it.

The Irish people no doubt has preserved history. Old churches and buildings attributed to great writers like Oscar Wilde still stand to this day. Even modern day pubs echo ancient Celtic ambience within its walls and furniture. One thing I regret is not dancing the Irish jig before going home. I just wouldn’t know if I’d get it right.

IMG_0448[1]“So how does Ireland smell?” A friend asked. I couldn’t give her one concrete description. As the sights and sounds vary, so does my beautiful memories of this country. I believe that our one week stay was too short. So, I swear to myself I’ll return to Ireland even by myself.

Touchdown Ireland!

Landing at Dublin Airport. Can't believe I had breathe in fresh Irish air ;)

Landing at Dublin Airport. Can’t believe I had breathe in fresh Irish air ๐Ÿ˜‰

Six months ago it was an invitation I never planned on going but dreamed to be into. Three months after, it became a compelling choice for me. Two weeks ago, it became a reality.

Ireland — a land I only thought of just hearing about. I never thought the soles of my feet would touch this very ground.

When a friend invited me to come for the annual 24/7 International Prayer Gathering, I thought it would be grand. Europe’s one of my dream destinations. But I’m more particular with United Kingdom, thanks to the influence of Victorian British literature. On the other hand, I wanted to see how this prayer movement goes in this part of the world where Christianity had once its strong roots, as well as where the shadows of Celtic history still emanates within its walls.

I had no plans though, since travelling was too expensive. But friends supported for my money. Yet, I was still undecided and I thought it was a crazy dream.

Not until the Lord spoke deep into my heart one night: whatever I’ll encounter there in Ireland will have an impact in eternity.

Ok. That’s it. It’s my choice to be a part of whatever impact there is for eternity. But what is it? It’s for me to find out.

And so two weeks ago, I am for it. I got my Irish visa, had hassles in my first booking (which the travel agency had weird reasons for cancelling it in less than 24 hours before my flight), booked again while still traumatized, and enjoyed my first lone travel outside the country.

Failte go Baile Atha Cliath!

A strip of Ireland, as viewed from my plane :) Failte go Baile Atha Cliath! :D

A strip of Ireland, as viewed from my plane ๐Ÿ™‚ Failte go Baile Atha Cliath! ๐Ÿ˜€

Or “Welcome to Dublin”.

I love the smell and sight of the city. I love the warm people, and my new friends, mostly those from Asia. I enjoyed the gathering along with the city tours. But despite all these, I kept on asking the Lord what was really in store for me there.

He gave me only two words: “nations” and “connections”.

Uh, wait. I came all the way from Asia for that “eternal impact”. Now, I tried to comprehend what’s the connection of these two words.

Until I got home, I did not understand. What I had is a small but important piece of the big puzzle God is putting together for eternity. I had thoughts that might be this or another. But God’s thoughts are higher than mine. I will see soon…and I will come to understand what He really meant.

But at this moment, I’ll cherish the good memories I brought along from the land of shamrocks and amazing writers, as well as its biting cold and various potato dishes. Nyaha! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad to

Gifts from my new friends. I just regret that did not bring anything from the Philippines. Lesson learned!

Gifts from my new friends. I just regret that did not bring anything from the Philippines. Lesson learned!

mingle with new friends despite of our differences in culture and thinking. I will not forget how different nationalities joined together to pray for nations. The intercession meetings and the worship at the boiler room are memoorable. Aren’t we one global community? ๐Ÿ˜‰

What I have discovered was that my prayer that I wrote at the beginning of 2013 was granted. I prayed that I will go to three new nations this year. And these are my connecting flights at Taiwan, Amsterdam, Malaysia, and Ireland!

So, what would be it’s impact in the future? I don’t know. But I had this deep feeling that I will never regret going to Ireland one day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oscar

image (3)I appreciated Oscar Wilde after my visit to Dublin, Ireland last week. From his childhood home (which is now American College) and Trinity College (where he had his education), I had a glimpse of the life of the popular Irish writer and playright whose works sit quietly in my bookshelf. When I returned home, I got to take a look Wilde’s bio, who I had not given keen interest at though I had appreciated his works in my earlier years.

Oscar Wilde's birthplace which was turned into the American College in 1995

Oscar Wilde’s birthplace which was turned into the American College in 1995

 

Trinity College, one of the universities where Oscar Wilde had his education and where his literary prowess started to flourish

Trinity College, one of the universities where Oscar Wilde had his education and where his literary prowess started to flourish

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA“The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Happy Prince and Other Stories” were just some of his works that got me drawn because of the flamboyance of his storytelling. Most of them being tragic, provoking thoughts on the irony of humanity: the tendencies for us to forget and be ungrateful at the sacrifices of another. His novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, on another note, depicts how man can be deceitful, as well as how Wilde attacks the hypocrisy of upper-class Victorian lifestyle, though stylistic as he was. But somehow, his reflective views had retaliated back at him at his later years.

Despite of his popularity and lavish lifestyle, Wilde died destitute. After being imprisoned by the father of his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, he was left on his own. It breaks my heart how this witty and celebrated writer was left with almost no one at his deathbed.

Somehow, I felt his loneliness at his final days. Involved in homosexuality, he must have searched for something missing in his heart. He was religious though, being brought up with a strong Irish Catholic background. But sadly, this missing piece must not have been found.

We all have heart issues. This gifted man himself, who had everything in the world once, have looked for real love. We’re all looking for it. In the end, he tried to search for it, especially to the people once close to him. But no one can give it because only the Lord can.
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAFame can never attest to everything. Perhaps, if one person might have shown compassion to him, he must have had everything. Love is the one thing more priceless than anything in the world. And it’s one thing we cannot comprehend fully, too.

Wilde never returned to Ireland at the end of his life. Tragically, he did not find home in his final destination, but wandered in France to search for his soul. Still, he deserves the accolades of being a gifted writer himself. He has contributed so much in the literary world and his works has not failed to move the generation to think on humanity itself. For once, Dublin has made alive in me a long lost genius who had never returned home…and reminded me that home can be found in those who love us most.

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