Thoughts from a young theologian

Philly and the City that never sleeps


This past weekend was an incredible busy one for me… and in a good way… I started my summer vacation and travels… The last class I had to teach was on the Thursday and so afterwards, I pretty much had more time to pack and prepare for the little vacation and pilgrimage I’m currently in the middle of…

So my first stop was Philadelphia, the land of middle of the street parking (see below), some relatives from my dad’s side of the family whom we visited and brotherly love. We also drove by the home stadium of the Philadelphia Flyers, one of the NHL teams I really hoped would beat the Boston Bruins this past year.. Then maybe we could have had a better outcome in the final…. Yeah… I’m still a bit sore over that…

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This wasn’t all a vacation trip though for my family, in fact, most of it wasn’t a vacation… We recently lost one of my uncles and so the rest of my family, including my grandmother and aunts flew over from the Philippines and went to Philly… It was nice to see them again and really nice to meet the second cousins I had never met before too… It’s too bad this sort of event is only guaranteed to happen when something bad or tragic occurs…

Philadelphia is a really lucky city right now too from the Catholic world perspective because the renowned and solidly orthodox Archbishop Chaput was recently transferred there. We read his most recent book “Render unto Caesar” at table last year in the seminary.. He’s pretty solid and the archdiocese of Philadelphia is really excited to have him coming in… I went to Sunday mass at a very beautiful church near my relatives’ home and the Monsignor celebrating the mass was so excited when he told me that his parish would be one of the first to be visited…

The next half of the day was spent in the airport…. This was the longest I’ve ever spent in one single airport… My aunts and grandmother had issues with their flight booking and my other aunt was on standby and didn’t end up getting a flight that day… Because we needed to be there to watch this all unfold, we were in that airport for half the day… Both my aunts and grandmothers flights were cancelled so we all ended up in a nearby outlet mall… We didn’t got lunch the whole day so at the mall, I got what should be the main dish in any Philadelphian restaurant: cheese steak… Mmmmmmmmmm

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The last site we visited in Philadelphia was the nearby Princeton university which, due to severe time constraints, we only drove through… I’ve included some of those pictures for you guys anyway… It just kinda looks like UBC anyway… I guess after a while, these ivy league schools start to look a little more similar.

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After Philly, my parents and I drove over to the city that never sleeps… The Big Apple itself, New York!!! I won’t lie… NYC is gorgeous and it’s massive!!! The skyscrapers lining it soar Hugh up into the sky… The only one I made it to the top to was the infamous Rockefeller Center and its Top of the Rock… The view up there is really exquisite. Among the things you can see, what stands out are the Empire State and Central Park, the one and almost only green spot in the city… One can really compare and contrast New York to a smaller, greener city like Vancouver… P.S. That last picture is of St. Patrick’s cathedral from above!!!

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The first night, we walked quite a bit around Times Square, a place from which I can see where New York gets its nickname from… That place seems like it would always be busy!!! The next day, my parents and I ended up taking a mini tour of the city with a guide bus and a boat ride… We got up close to the Statue of Liberty and walked by Wall Street and the 9/11 memorial, which is still under construction and will be opening very soon (September 11 of this year). One can also see the construction site of the new World Trade Center that’s going up little by little…

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The highlight of my trip to New York, however was most definitely the first and only broadway show I’ve ever seen… We watched the Phantom of the Opera, by far my favorite musical!!! It was incredible to see the whole thing live, as Andrew Lloyd Webber had envisioned it!!! Unfortunately, because of rules of the theater, I have no pictures to show you from that.. Maybe later, I’ll just post some of the theater pictures I was allowed to take…

One of the things I promised I wouldn’t be dropping even though I’m on a vacation is truly the spiritual life… It’s something so key as a seminarian to always keep going because it’s that which really roots you. So I did that through daily mass at none other than St. Patrick’s cathedral where one of my heroes, Abp. Fulton Sheen is buried. I couldn’t go down to see him, because no one can but I did manage to ask them to give him some flowers I had bought for him.. He did play a big role, through his books and tv show reruns in my vocational discernment after all… If I do end up going all the way, it’ll be partly his fault… Hehehehheheh

It was very nice to see that broadway show because the very next day, I left New York… It was an incredible long day of just pure traveling… I flew first from La Guardia airport to Montreal, where I met most of my World Youth Day group… Then from Montreal, we all took the slightly long flight to Paris… I didn’t get much sleep on that at all because I spent most of my time on that flight working on the talk I need to give to the group… At Paris, we had lunch and I started taking on my first role as a small group leader of one of the 5 groups we divided our larger group into… That was fun because I’ve been nervously stumbling along with my little knowledge of French and rying to get by with it…

Right now, I’m in Barcelona… It’s 7 am and I’m working on finishing my first post ever from Europe… I would have finished it last night but I collapsed on my bed, exhausted from all that travel…. Hehehehehehehe I can’t wait to show you some first hand stuff of the joy, excitement an enthusiasm of the World Youth Day very soon!!! God bless!!!

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One response

  1. looks incredible id really like to go!
    http://sandbetweentoes.wordpress.com/

    August 5, 2011 at 1:52 am

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