I was just recently in Bangkok, and had the humbling privilege of walking through the Grand Palace. Surrounding the temple of the Emerald Buddha, I saw these intricate designs all over the place, in different sizes and styles. I noticed the elaborate and meticulously designed temples and palaces. As I meandered about, I realized that the more intricately designed the temples and palaces are, the more it manifests the degree of their importance for the people.  Every little piece of gold mat, or gem, or glass that is mounted upon the walls and towers of the temples and palace buildings showed people’s devotion and love for their culture, their beliefs and their national identity.

Philosophizing with myself along the way, some more thoughts developed:

1. I will never belittle any expression of love in culture or religion.

2. When we no longer show such value in the churches and cultural symbols, we also consequently lose our identity and self-understanding.

3. These really intricate and passionate things we do are our response to the amazingly designed world that God has given to us.

4. These man-made things make a culture rich and beautiful, so they are things that people should be proud of. 

5.  As a Christian, I should always embrace and appreciate the symbolisms and rich expressions of my own religious heritage.

This my entry to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Man-made Things



There are many beautiful and special surprises that Chicago has to offer.  One of the them is this collection of stained glass art, the most prolific one in the country, just peekaboo-ing at you as you walk through the alleys of Navy Pier. I love staring at these works of art, just casually displayed for every passerby to enjoy.  I love most especially the religious stained glass pieces of art, because as a Catholic, I believe in the “incarnational” dimension of these holy images – they teach, remind and inspire… In the Church, we always make visible that which is invisible, and we do it through different forms, symbols, works of art, and even symbolic actions. It alludes to the richness of the worship.

Where’s My Backpack? Travel Theme: Birds

Where's My Backpack? Travel Theme: Birds

Birds are extraordinary creatures. When the Holy Spirit manifested itself, it took the form of a bird, a dove, descending from the heavens. Birds symbolize the spirit soaring in the skies, transcending the boundaries of space. A human soul experiences this “flight” when we it is full of the spirit of God.

Here, I want to share a photo of a blue-footed booby that followed our little boat during a whale-watching expedition in Puerto Vallarta, courtesy of Vallarta Adventures. It made the amazing ride even more amazing, like we were being guided by the spirit of God. It was flying right above us through the whole way, and the guide gave us an explanation why, but I didn’t catch it; i was too absorbed taking a good picture of this bird.

This is my entry to Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack Travel Theme Challenge: Birds … sorry, it’s just one bird, but I am sure there are many of these birds in that area. 🙂

simply beautiful...

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