Daily Prompt: Perspective_Hagia SophiaNovember 21, 2013
From a predominantly Catholic country in the East [Philippines] to a predominantly Muslim Country [Turkey], it was indeed a total change in perspective for me, well, geographically that is. Anyhow, I quite enjoyed every new sights that I have seen, and every little new sounds that I heard, especially the Turkish language of course. It was also a joy to meet new people, and to meet old friends. Below are some shots taken from the bus as we head for Tuzla District when I arrived in Turkey on October 29. Friend Rowena Ulayan, now a resident of the place fetched me from Ataturk International Airport.
But of all the changes that I have seen, the magnificent and gigantic mosques are what really amazed me, particularly The Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet [click to see night shots of the mosque] and Hagia Sophia. The latter was special to me somehow because when I was in college, I wrote a term paper in my Humanities subject about it. Seeing it in reality was dream come true.
I was still in Istanbul when Typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan] struck our country with a storm surge that devastated almost everything in its path and killed thousands [over 4,000 as of press time] which up to now are counting. The day before I left Turkey for home members of the Filipino community were at the peak of discussion re sending relief to our people. That goes true worldwide. The outpouring of help and sympathy came in all forms. Ambassador Irakli of Georgia whom Rowena and I met in the art exhibit of Edward Munch and Andy Warhol at Ankara, in his email said: “…Let me express my condolences with regards to the destruction of the Philippine city of Tacloban by the typhoon “Haiyan”, which took the lives of hundreds of peaceful citizens. I was at the Philippine’s Embassy and expressed the condolences on behalf of the people and government of Georgia. Let me wish you and your country all the best!!!” The destruction of Tacloban City itself has brought a lot of changes — physically as many villages were swept away, emotionally and psychologically to the victims who survived, and to politicians who did not expect the extent of the damage as power and communications broke down and relief trickled slowly down to the people in the hinterlands. There will definitely be a change of perspective for all of us who never imagined the power of a typhoon such as this. [Click to watch recent scene from the aftermath]