The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Taste of Byzantine Architecture in Manitoba

Adventures in August

August 28, Sunday

I got up early. After breakfast, I gave Grandfather a bath and showered myself as well. I also helped Tito Ren and Tita Lucy prepare the stuff we would be bringing. Around 11 a.m., we were all ready to go.

We attended the Sunday mass, and participate in the rosary procession, held at the Grotto in Honour of Our Lady of Lourdes, which stands beside the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Cook's Creek Village in the Springfield rural municipality of Manitoba, Canada. Springfield is significant for being the first rural municipality to be established in Manitoba. It is only about thirty minutes away from Winnipeg where I live.

A view of the church from the parking lot; I took this picture while I was still inside the vehicle.

Also known as "The Cathedral of the Prairies," the church was built around 1930 with the design of the French missionary and architect Father Philip Ruh, who based his designs on traditional Byzantine architecture. This type of architecture originated from the empire of Byzantium (AD 330), which consequently became Constantinople and is now Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey.

The elderly gentleman beside me is Polish. We had a short chitchat. He said that he with his family attends mass regularly at this church. He also expressed his awe for the fact that he shares a similar religion with the majority of the Filipino people. (Most of those who participated in the event were Filipinos.) The Polish guy also commended me for taking care of my grandfather. He was also surprised to learn that Papa is already 90 yet still able to take pictures. A neighbor of Ukraine and Russia, Poland is a country located in Central Europe.

Because of its multi domes and the colors of its façade, the Ukrainian church reminded me of St. Basil's Cathedral of Moscow, Russia; and this comparison is inevitable because, after all, there's a connection between Ukraine and Russia: Both of these Eastern European countries were parts of Soviet Union, or The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), until its dissolution in 1991.

St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, is one world wonder I wish to visit someday. (Photo credit)

The computer-generated image above is a Tatooine scene in George Lucas's Star Wars. Tatooine is the twin-sunned desert planet which was the homeland of Anakin Skywalker as well as his son, Luke. In the filming of the movie, standing in for Tatooine was an area in Cappadocia, Turkey. Perhaps, this is also the reason the architecture of the Tatooine structures above is somewhat Byzantine. Remember, Byzantium is the original name of Istanbul, Turkey's largest city. (Photo credit)

The majority of the people who attended the August 28 mass at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Cook's Creek were Filipinos.

In about thirty minutes, the rosary procession would commence.

Standing by an altar beside the grotto.

While waiting for the rosary procession, we had lunch at the rightside lot of the grotto. With us were a few relatives and a number of new acquaintances whom we met at St. Joseph's Church where we attend Saturday mass.

We had a pot luck, with every family bringing their own share of dish. Every one had a sumptuous lunch: laing, kare-kare, adobo, palabok, puto, spaghetti, turon, pancit, milon...

Tita Lucy, Tita May, Tito Jun, Grandfather, and Tito Ren

(Seated) New acquaintance Rowena with Lhoy, Weng, Tito Donard, and Tita Cora

The ladies...

...and the gentlemen minus Grandfather, Herminio, Ysmael, and I

Feeling like a revered statue by the bell tower

Feeling like Bernardo Carpio

In Philippine Literature, Bernardo Carpio is the extraordinarily strong person who was tricked by an equally powerful yet wittier wood fairy. The fairy had convinced Bernardo to enter his abode; but in doing so, he got trapped between the two smashing stones guarding the fairy's gate. Immensely strong but his strength just enough to prevent himself from being smashed by the stones, Bernardo was left standing where he was for the rest of his life. To this day, many elderly of San Mateo, Rizal, where the myth originated, still believe this tale to have really occurred in real life.

The store a stone's throw away from the church where I bought extra batteries for my digital cameraLhoy and Weng, two of my few best friends here in Winnipeg, without whom I would have been unable to capture myself in daring, usually crazy, poses.

Hermie (with one of his children), another good friend of mine here where I am

Feeling like the Oblation

The Oblation is the bronze statue of a naked person that has become the symbol of University of the Philppines, the premier state university of my country.

The Patron of the Philippine New Wave music scene

The eLven king of million magically majestic and mysterious things

Only when I glanced behind my back did I realize I'm a bit acrophobic.

An impromptu shot, the symmetry of the steel bars suddenly fascinated me.

This pathway atop the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes reminded me of the Great Wall of China, except, of course, that this one dwarfs in comparison with that built by ancient Chinese.

The Chinese have a saying, bú dào Chángchéng fēi hao hàn, which roughly means "You're not a real man if you haven't climbed the Great Wall." I'm glad I'm an eLf, therefore exempted from this somewhat machoistic supposition.

The Great Wall of China (Photo credit)

There is an urban myth which claims that the Great Wall of China is visible from the moon. I'm one of those who believe that this is a hoax. Just take a gander at the moon, even at its brightest and largest, at night: Can you even see any rock formation? All you need to do is reverse the situation. Assume that you're on the moon, do you honestly believe that you would be able to see any detailed structure on Earth?

Grandfather, Tito Ren, and Tita Lucy, all ready to go home

Of course, eLf's adventures would be incomplete without something like this.

~~The End, but...~~

to follow: "A Taste of Eastern European Rock music"


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