"VIVA ESPAÑA!!!" Madrid by stamporama
Madrid Travel Guide: 5,402 reviews and 11,014 photos
My country was a colony of Spain for 400 years, hence it is inevitable that a good part of our history, customs, language and culture are linked to Spain. Because of this I have always wanted to visit the country that has substantially contributed to every Filipino’s heritage, even if our forefathers revolted against it to gain our independence. That fact notwithstanding I would like to think that Spaniards likewise have some fondness for Filipinos so much so that they manufacture and named a chocolate doughnut-shaped cookie after us...maybe because we are also brown and sweet? The actual cookies do taste great by the way.
The typical images that flash through my mind when I think of Spain are: bullfights, flamenco dancers gyrating to the sound of guitars and castanets, paella and my favourite literary character Don Quixote (I’ve watched both stage and movie versions of The Man of La Mancha years ago). I got to sample paella in Madrid but somehow the ones I have eaten back home tasted better, and it could be due to its preparation where some of the rice is deliberately burned at the bottom of the pan to make it crunchy. I wasn’t able to watch a bullfight as the corrida is open only on Thursdays. I did get to see the monument of Miguel de Cervantes with his 2 famous characters, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, in front of him. As for flamenco, well I didn’t know where to watch one but no problem as I have seen a performance by noted Spanish dancer Jose Greco in Manila many years ago. I guess if you’ve seen it once (and by a master at that) then that’s sufficient for a lifetime.
However the greatest legacy Spain bestowed upon my country was religion, which is why the Philippines is the only Asian nation with a predominance of Catholics. Since it is part of Europe that is traditionally Christian, the major cities of Spain have their share of centuries-old cathedrals and churches that have become known worldwide.
Now it would have been foolish of me if I just limited myself to stereotypical Spanish attractions. Spain offers much, much more than those and my travelogue will show what some of these are.
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