Category Archives: Local Culture

A Secret Garden

Last weekend we had a long, fume-laden trek through the traffic to the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. Fortunately, and to our very great joy, it turned out to be well worth the effort. Winding up through the hills above … Continue reading

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Marble Splendour in Abu Dhabi

“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…” ~ Noel Coward As I sit in London, in Holland Park under scattered clouds and mere wisps of blue sky, amidst all the lush flamboyance of summer foliage, it seems … Continue reading

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Kitchen Table

Twenty years ago we bought a kitchen table. We bought it in Kuala Lumpur, as our family expanded to five, and it is made from the local rubberwood. Rubberwood is, according to Wikipedia, high quality, hardwood timber with a tight … Continue reading

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“There is Hell Waiting Here”*

The sandstone Sphynx bares its chest like a beacon above Anzac Cove. Bleak, grey, weeping seas, diluted with the blood of thousands, Johnnies and Mehmets both. No beaches worth their salt, nowhere to land, the King’s young allies culled by … Continue reading

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The Whirling Dervishes

A different city. A different dance. Not London but Istanbul. Not Sadler’s Wells but the Galata Mevlevihanesi. Not a ballet, but a timeless, hypnotic ritual dance created by Persian poet, prophet, philosopher and mystic, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi. The Mevlevi … Continue reading

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Exploring Corregidor

Corregidor Island is one of those Must-Do trips on the tourist trail around Manila. But it requires a ridiculously early start, at which I have baulked for years. Recently, however, I jumped at the opportunity to join a small group … Continue reading

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A Manila Christmas Carol

                Lechon roasting on an open fire, Parum-papum-pum, spinning slowly over glowing coals until glossy copper skin snaps and cracks like toffee, promising juicy, fragrant flesh beneath. The traffic churns, thick and smoky … Continue reading

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Manila Interational Schools: part I

As the expatriate community in Metro Manila continues to expand, many of the better known International Schools are bursting at the seams, waiting lists are growing longer and parents are struggling to find places for their children. So I have … Continue reading

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Easter: More Fun in the Philippines

As a Protestant child growing up in Australia, I remember Easter as a fairly dull affair. The shops were shut for days, friends went away, and my mother always insisted we went to Church on Easter Day, so she had … Continue reading

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Just Another Manic Monday at TNK

Another Monday morning in Manila, and a group of regular volunteers is en route to Tulay Ng Kabataan, a home for street kids, armed with crafts and books and merienda.  We arrive to the usual excited welcomes and so many kids … Continue reading

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