Quantcast
Latest Stories

Without Batting An Eyelash

Unforgettable Paris, Prague

By

Conclusion

MOI AND Jojie Dingcong in front of the Sto.Niño de Prague altar

Paris is a city not just of fashion and design, dahlings, but gustatory delights as well.

Our days were spent dining in excellent restaurants, doing long walks, and shopping, naturellement.

Jojie Dingcong is crazy over Christian Louboutin (CL) shoes for men, but for four days he could not get inside the store because a long line of customers had formed outside.

On his sixth day of waiting, Jojie was panicking, although the line had gotten shorter. There was disappointment when we finally got in—due to the high volume of customer traffic, all the men’s shoes were to be sold at a separate boutique on Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau.

We rushed to the place under a drizzle and got what we wanted. It was worth the effort, as CL shoes are truly stylish and beautiful.

That night we celebrated our triumph with a fab dinner at Camille’s. Two of our hosts, Edward Garcia and Babette Aquino-Benoit, showed us the way to entertain—that only the French,

MUNICIPAL House is a stunning art-nouveau building.

and, yes, the Pinoy in them, knew how to.

We then decided to do a sendoff party for Anton San Diego, as he was heading home to Manille the following day. Where to hold the party? If you’re in Paris, there’s no other choice but the Queen club, where we had lots of fun-fun-fun!

Jojie and I went on with our journey to another gorgeous, historical city, Prague. From Paris, it was a little over two hours of pleasant plane ride.

This time we immersed ourselves in the Czech Republic capital’s architectural wonders and splendor.

ORNATE 17TH-CENTURY three-story building at the Old Town Square; the Storch House

We settled in the eye-popping, newly refurbished art-deco hotel, K + K, in the heart of the city. Our dear Ilonggo pal, Bibot Nolan, recommended the place.

Old World ambiance

Taking a leisurely walk on cobblestone streets, we imbibed the city’s nostalgic, Old World ambiance, alongside its youthful vibrancy. To our delight, we were right smack beside Prague’s high-fashion shopping district. Our hearts were full of glee, but our wallets and cards were trembling. But spending goes with traveling, n’est-ce pas?

In every city I visit, I always go to the open market where there are organic fruits and freshly baked bread. On our first night we found a bakery a block away from our hotel, right across a très moderne mall.

The bread went well with some jam and blueberries. As we were enjoying our meal, we espied the shops of Armani, Kenzo, Gucci, Mango for Men, H&M, Lacoste, et al.

CHARLES Bridge in Prague

The next day, after a heavy brunch at the hotel, we started exploring Prague. We took a long walk across the river to see the National Gallery.

We spent a whole day at this colossal art haven.

The following morning, Jojie and I joined a combined bus/walking tour covering the whole city including the Presidential Palace and many historical castles.

Charles Bridge

But what amazed us the most was the Charles Bridge, which afford fantastic views of the city. Measuring 621 m long and 10 m wide, and resting on 16 arches, the bridge had a monumental Gothic feel, but is enlivened by what one might call an open-air sculpture gallery—with some 30 statues and groups of sculptures exuding a magical atmosphere.

CHURCH of Our Lady of Tyn

Prague is a small city similar to Paris, but full of history; every nook and cranny is a picture-perfect sight. I could go on and on, but I must thank my perfect host, true pal and southern brother, Jojie Dingcong, no less. Salamat gid palangga!

Sto. Niño Jesus de la Praga

The following morning, Jojie and moi fulfilled our “very purpose” of going here: to visit and pay homage to the Sto. Niño Jesus de la Praga. Its home, the beautiful, quaint Carmelite Church of Our Lady Victorious in Malá Strana, is extremely ornate. Almost baroque in style, the church is stunning, yet the splendor doesn’t dominate the solemn sight of people praying in pious silence.

After the church visit, we hit the art galleries again and went gaga over a visual feast; we picked up a few huge pieces to bring back home.

That same night I attended a grand orchestra performance held at the town hall on the recommendation of my soul mate Vicky Zubiri. It was so magical, I was completely mesmerized for a full hour-and-a-half.

Prague ham

The cuisine of the Czech Republic, especially in Prague, is rich and filling, derived from Austro-Hungarian traditions. Prague ham is served as an appetizer. This meat is renowned

PRESIDENTIAL Palace of Prague

outside the Czech Republic, too, for its unusual smoked and spicy flavor.

Polévka, the most frequently consumed soup, is of peasant origins—usually with a base of onions, cabbage and garlic.

Pork is particularly popular and eaten in abundance, often served with rice or dumplings.

People here adore sweets which come in different types of pastries and biscuits which tourists can buy from street stalls.

 

‘Liquid bread’

CHURCH of Our Lady of Victory, also known as the Church of the Infant Jesus of Prague–a Baroque church located on Karmelitská St. in the Lesser Town, at the foot of Petrín Hill

Prague is also home to “liquid bread” or beer; in a number of bars one can find many varieties which are quite inexpensive.

The next day we packed our bags with a heavy heart. Five days in Prague is much too short, dahlings. We headed home to Manille full of unforgettable memories.

Paris and Prague are two of the most beautiful cities in the world, but fair Manille will always be home and I will always love her no less, palangga.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Europe , Lifestyle , Paris , Prague , Travel



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

News

  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
    Marketplace