Catherine's Palace in Pushkin

Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin

I was wondering
how many dozens
could fit in the

entirety of Catherine’s
Palace in Pushkin
when quite a few

dozen can fit inside
one of its ballrooms.
I also wondered

how it would have
felt to have walked
these halls on a

normal day in
Tsarist times when there
was no special occasion.

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Moscow At Night

Moscow At Night

Seeing the bright lights
of Moscow spread out
below you from the

Sparrow Hills view point
near Moscow State University
makes standing

outside in the humid
wind chill of a late winter
evening worthwhile.

No Walking On Ice Sign

No Walking On Ice Sign

I was laughing when
I encountered a
“no walking on ice” sign

just outside Moscow’s
historic Novodevichy
Convent because

of the fact that I
saw many footsteps
on the frozen pond.

Again, I couldn’t
help but think of
the people back home

as this same mentality
towards rules is too
familiar to me.

April Snow in Moscow

April Snow in Moscow

On my first full day
in Russia, I woke up
to see snow falling

rather heavily
outside my Moscow
hotel room’s window.

It was a surreal
sight, considering
I grew up in a

country where April
is often the hottest
month of the year.

Kuta Cowboys

Kuta Cowboys

I’ve heard so much
about Kuta Cowboys
seducing Western women

who are on holiday
on the very beaches
they roam in Bali.

Going around Kuta’s
beaches, I strained
myself to find them

and I could not find
any of them around.
I began to think it

was all hype until
my friend and I
decided to check out

Legian Road, and man
did we find a whole lot
of them hanging around,

mingling with, and picking up
Western women. I
was actually glad

they’re still there doing
their thing, but I also
was wishing and hoping

there are places in
my country that had
such a scene too

to prove it can be
fun not just for men
but also for women.

Hopefully some people
are already making
it happen at home.

Exploring More of Batanes

Exploring More of Batanes

The longer I stayed
in Batanes and
the more of it I saw,

the more I realized
why people say it
resembles places

like Scotland or Ireland.
It would be more true
if there weren’t palm trees.
_________________________________

Note: Pictured above is the Sabtang Lighthouse

Honesty Store Breakfast

Honesty Store Breakfast

I used the excuse
of wanting a quick
pre-dawn breakfast

the next morning
to buy instant noodles
and a can of soft drinks.

The amount for the
two items cost just
over a US Dollar.

Sabtang Seaside Cliff

Sabtang Seaside Cliff

I have a hard time
remembering the
last time I have

experienced such strong
breezes in the Philippines
when there aren’t typhoons.

I spent the walk to
the cliffs and back trying
to make sure that

my Minnesota Wild
cap didn’t fly away by
by tightening the strap

and holding it down
with my hands.
Thankfully it didn’t fly off.

My guide wasn’t as lucky
as the wind mugged him
of his hat when he

tried to adjust its
position while walking
back up to the van.

A Basco Street

A Basco Street

Even in the middle
of Basco’s streets,
Mother Nature looms large.

Such is the fact of life
when you visit the
province of Batanes.

Northern Seas

Northern Seas

I was awed when I
first saw a frozen sea
outside Peterhof Palace,

as it was at this point
I realized how far north
I really was.