Finding Finland

I never really thought much about this country before. It was, after all, a long way from my part of the world in Asia. Well, that is until I went to Thailand a couple of years back and met some of the lovely people from this beautiful country called Finland.

Yes, I had the chance to work with Finnish people while I was involved in mission work in Bangkok. Three of them I would say became my good friends while I was based there for more than a year.

My interaction with these friends as well as the other Finnish people in Bangkok allowed me to see slices of Finnish culture and of the country itself. Through their stories, I began to see what fun and beauty awaits the traveller to this country.

I must mention that I also got the chance to enjoy Finnish pastries and yes, Finnish coffee, thanks to my friends. I am never really fond of drinking coffee but Finnish coffee, wow! Give me a cup or two anytime!

I also heard a lot of the fun things that people could do in Finland even during winter! Winter time in this country simply doesn’t mean just staying indoors. There is so much fun one could have even during a Finnish winter trip.

What also intrigues me a lot about Finland is that from their side of the world, one could also get to experience a polar night and a midnight sun. A polar night refers to the time or period when sunrise is not seen for days, weeks or even months! As for the midnight sun, this is the time when one does not experience the sun set even at midnight! My Finnish friends told me about these and honestly, these unimaginable times to me (sans sunrise or sunset), made me wish that I could have the chance to tour this country one day.

Some of the outdoor activities that you could also enjoy in Finland include skiing, golf, fishing, and yes, yachting. You could also enjoy bird-watching there. And if you enjoy hiking then Finland is for you.

While I may have shared some thoughts about Finland, there is so much more to be discovered about it. But other than reading about it, there’s nothing like going there yourself (which I definitely hope to do so soon). So how about you, would you consider having a Finnish Holiday soon? 🙂

Helsinki Port Island. Photo credit: www.cepolina.com.

Reading as You Travel

While on a plane or on a ship on the way to my travel destination, you would often find me engrossed in a book. This is also true while I am waiting to board a plane or a ship. The books I love reading could range from a classic to a historical one. I have also a special interest in poetry and short story collections. It’s like communicating with several persons, several worlds in just one setting or should I say, one sitting.

A couple of months back, I had the strange but nice privilege to read an anthology of creative writing in Cebuano and English by members of the Women in Literary Arts, Inc (WILA) while on board a plane. I say strange and nice at the same time because it also meant reading my story among the collection in Babayeng Sugid, Cebu Stories. Erma M. Cuizon and Erlinda K. Alburo, both award winning authors, serve as editors of this collection published by Anvil Publishing, Inc. It is now available nationwide; check out the National Bookstore nearest you. And just in case you can’t find a copy there, you can also order online by visiting www.nationalbookstore.com.ph.

Perhaps on your next trip, you might want to take along this red book with you. But, of course, I wouldn’t complain if you would want to read it in the comforts of your own home or while you are sipping coffee in your favorite coffee place.

Babayeng Sugid, Cebu Stories was launched last May and is now available nationwide.

Note: Thanks to Gloria Sommer for the photo 🙂 This post is also linked with Blog Photo Challenge and Wednesday Whites.

Are You Ready for Rio?

As the London 2012 Olympics comes to a close, questions on the next Olympics as to when and where are now in the minds of everyone.

The next Summer Olympics is scheduled to be held from August 5-21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This will be the first time that the Olympics is held within South America.

More than 10, 500 athletes are expected to attend the 2016 Summer Olympics. It will feature 28 sports. Rugby sevens and golf will also be included in the program in Rio.

On another note, the beautiful city of Rio will also host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

To music lovers, Rio and Brazil will always be remembered as the home of Samba and Bossa Nova. But come 2016 and beyond, it will also be noted as host of the 2016 Olympics or the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. So for the athletes and travelers who love to be present where the Olympics games are held, get ready for Rio 🙂 Below is a video featuring the beauty and music of Rio. Enjoy 🙂