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I met Sylvia Ilisan Purves (of Manila) at the St. Fagan’s National Museum of History in Cardiff, Wales. She was visiting from Cheltenham, England.
I met Aileen Silverio Cambronero (Quezon City) and her daughters, Yannie and Alyssa, at the Cardiff Airport in Cardiff, Wales. Residing in Cardiff, they were on their way to a vacation in Barcelona, Spain.
When I was in college in the Philippines in the 1970s, there was hardly a day that the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Belfast, Northern Ireland was not in the news. I joined a walking political tour of West Belfast, which was the center of the conflict. I learned firsthand about the strife between the two sides. The Troubles was a not religious but a political and economic conflict. The Catholics are natives, whereas the Protestants were British transplants. In addition, there is economic disparity with the Catholics being less prosperous than the Protestants. Tension is still in the air. The wall and the gates still exist, and neighborhoods have become very segregated. But any form of peace is welcome!
I got off at the bus terminal from the Belfast City Airport when I saw Caroline Flores Villanueva (Alaminos, Laguna), who was sitting on a bench. She is a flight attendant for Ryanair Airlines.
I was walking in Belfast’s City Centre when I met Aika Mei Brocka Murray (Manila). She is studying criminology in Belfast.
I turned around a street corner in Belfast’s City Centre, and I “Pinoyspotted” big time: Jess Estella (Olongapo City, Zambales), Ed Posadasi (San Carlos, Pangasinan), Evert Bagnas (Kawit, Cavite), and Kris Manarang (Angeles City, Pampanga). They work for a cruise ship company.
I joined a political tour in West Belfast, which was the center of The Troubles, and I met Hana Marielle Gonzales (Lucena, Quezon). She just moved to Dublin, Ireland, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
I stopped at a KFC in Belfast, and was greeted by Rhandel Cabuhal (Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro) at the counter. He would like to work in the health field someday.
I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the Edinburgh International Festival. Started in 1947, it is the world’s largest arts festival, showcasing topnotch performers of music, theater, opera, and dance from different countries. Also, there are visual-art exhibitions, talks, and workshops. Held over three weeks in August, the energy of the crowds and the performers make Edinburgh a one-of-a-kind art capital of the world!
I was walking in Edinburgh’s Old Town when I bumped into Evangeline Belleza Farmer (Manila). She was visiting from Aberdeen, Scotland.
The crowd was thick in Edinburgh’s Old Town, but it was easy to “Pinoyspot” a family: Ronald Manalo (Capalonga, Camarines Norte) and Marites Camelon Manalo (Rosario, Cavite) and their children, Mark and Precious. They were visiting from Cambridge, England.
Mary Etole and I took a tour of St. Andrews and Anstruther, Scotland. She is a nurse in Fairfax, Virginia.
I was in Stirling, Scotland, when I met Jeric Alfonso (Bocaue, Bulacan). He lives in Livingstone, Scotland.
I also met Marivic Honculada Arreza (Quezon City) in Stirling, Scotland. She was visiting from London, England.
I was in a gift shop in Glasgow, Scotland, when I met Gary Silvestre and his wife, Shellamie Zafra Silvestre. Originally from Tagum City, Davao, they are residents of Dublin, Ireland. They were visiting their friend Violeta Canlapan Sescon (Tarlac City, Tarlac), who lives in Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Rey E. de la Cruz, Ed.D., Positively Filipino correspondent, writes from Chicagoland when he is not loving the arts and traveling. He is the author of the children’s book, Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines, which also has Ilocano, Spanish, and Tagalog versions.
More articles from Rey E. de la Cruz