Monthly Archives: May 2012

mailday monday {14 may}

postcards, postcrossing,

I was not able to visit the Post Office as often as I wanted this month, but I am glad I finally managed to send a number of postcards in the mail on 14 May. Check here if you shall be expecting a card from me one of these days:


  • Loreta, USA ~ Lighthouse – Batanes
  • Olia K, Belarus ~ Taluksangay Mosque
Direct Swap {International}
  • Zina B, USA ~ Taal Volcano
  • Jo A, UK ~ Dinagat Island, City Park – Surigao
  • Rere A, Indonesia ~ Taluksangay Mosque, Lighthouse – Batanes
  • Nalen A, Canada ~ Dinagat Island
  • Lucia D, Italy ~ Villa Escudero
  • Marta S, Switzerland ~ Villa Escudero
  • R Seetharman, India ~ Basilica at Dawn – Taal, Banaue Rice Terraces
Direct Swap {Local}
  • Mai S, Las Piñas ~ Fort San Pedro – Cebu
postcards, postcrossing
Birthday Postcards {Postcrossing Enthusiasts}
  • Willa ~ A Street in Vigan
  • Genebei ~ Dinagat Island
  • Fe ~ Dinagat Island
  • Sandra ~ Hundred Islands
In envelopes
  • Patricia M, USA ~ Philippine Map card
  • Nalen A, Canada ~ Hundred Islands, El Nido – Palawan, Basilica at Dusk – Taal
Hopefully these postcards reach their respective destinations very soon 🙂

Romantic Mini Breaks in Manchester

Urbis, an exhibition and museum venue in Manchester

Is there anything as alluring as an ounce of cheeky northern charm? Just like the locals, Manchester hotels, attractions and restaurants possess that Mancunian magic, making this the perfect place for a Romantic city mini break.

Treat the love of your life to a gastronomically gorgeous meal at ABode. The restaurant is run by one of the UK’s most highly acclaimed chefs, Michael Cains. Cains not only boasts the title of AA Chef of the Year 2007, but has also been awarded a MBE for his dedication and contribution to British hospitality.

The seven course tasting menu at ABode is well worth the £72 price tag. The specially crafted menu will ensure that your evening makes a really special impression.

Forget cocktails – romantic breaks call for sparkle. Where better to sip the bubbly than at Epernay, Manchester’s very own exclusive Champagne bar?

Unlike most Champagne joints, Epernay is not over-crowded or presumptuous. Described as ‘Manchester’s best kept secret’ it is tucked away by the city’s Great Northern Tower. The team of staff are friendly, knowledgeable and the champagne list is extensive.

Spend the morning after relaxing at The Lowry spa in Salford Quays.

In addition to your standard spa facilities, splurge on the Sensational Together package. This soothing day package is made for you and your partner, complete with his and her facials and full body massages.

To create your own day package, take a look at The Lowry spa menu and pick from the choice of Elemis and Carita treatments.

Check the What’s On guides for the Palace Theatre, the Manchester Opera House and The Lowry Theatre. All three regularly show a combination of musicals, plays and dance for a cultured and romantic evening on the tiles.

Book hotels in near the action to receive the best deals on accommodation for your romantic northern escape.

image is from

souvenir paintings


Paintings can also be such great mementos from your travels. It is something you can display in your house or give out to your friends + loved ones as gifts, too! Not only will they make for fantastic souvenirs, they are also perfect investment, once you decide to sell them to other people. Plus, their value does not depreciate but only increase after so many years.

Here is one perfect painting you might want to consider buying:

Title: Mag-iloy
Date: 2011
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: H60cm X W45.5cm
Price: Php 80,000

Read on to know more about the interesting artist behind this masterpiece:

Iconic Negrenese social realist painter Nunelucio Alvarado (1950) is regarded as one of the most prominent contemporary artists in the Philippines.  He has won numerous international critical acclaim for his powerful works that mostly portrayed the life and struggles of Negros Occidental’s  the working class. He was among the Thirteen Artist awardees of the Cultural Center of the Philippines + twice a recipient of the Philippine Art Awards (Philip Morris Art Awards), in 1992. He was honored with the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan sa Larangan ng Pintura Award by the CCP in 2004. He has also had over 50 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions both here and abroad including the prestigious Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the Queensland Art Gallery and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, USA.   His works are also part of the collection of the Singapore Art Museum.

Alvarado’s art is a panorama of Philippine life that ranges  from the decorative aspects of Negros life such as the colorful fruits and vegetables found in the market; or the simple family life that utilizes the bright prints and patterns under the Visayan sun; and on the darker side, the evils of  environmental, social and cultural degradation of which he is known for as a social realist.

Recognized for his unique and distinct style of bright-eyed squat and squared figures that employ strong vivid colors and dark lines, Alvarado frequently applies powerful psycho-sexual symbols with a touch of the surreal as he depicts the plight of sugarcane workers, fishermen and traders found in his native Negros Occidental.

While the artist portrays the pain of the working class, he also does not miss the strong family bond that exists amidst the struggles and sacrifices of daily life.  Along these lines, the artist has worked on numerous Mother and Child canvasses such as “Mag-Iloy”,  2011, a  60cm X 45.5cm oil on canvas. Here we find a son locked in the embrace of his winged mother, either alluding to the son’s desperate cling to the spirit of a dead mother or the mother is portrayed as angelic in her selfless love.  The work is a warm picture of comfort and protection in typical Alvarado style.

el viejo almacen postcard from argentina

postcards, souvenirs, Argentina, Buenos Aires

This multi-view card is part of the 10-postcards-in-envelope that I received from Argentina in April 17 that  features musician with their instruments, playing at the El Viejo Almacén in Buenos Aires. El Viejo Almacén is a tango club that was opened in 1969 by Argentine tango composer, singer + impresario Edmundo Rivero in San Telmo. People went there to savor the tango music and dance, + frequent visitors include Spanish novelist + short story writer Camilo Jose Cela + Spanish singer Joan Manuel Serrat.

 postcards. souvenirs, Argentina, Buenos Aires

The envelope I received also contains the following cards: Iguazu Falls {Cataratas de Iguazu}, Purmamarca, Civic Center San Carlos de Basiloche,  Bridge of Woman {Puente de la Mujer}, Caminito Street {Calle Caminito}, Government House {Casa Rosada},  + Hotel Llao, which I shall feature soon, too.

Thanks to Julio from one of my various Postcard groups on Facebook, for sending me this cards. This is also the first time I received something from Argentina, that is why I treasure these beautiful postcards. 🙂

Thought the lovely El Viejo Almacén windows also deserve the spotlight in this week’s Wednesday Windows, my first time to join, too! 😉