Posts Tagged ‘Hagia Sophia’


WOW Istanbul!

March 14, 2015

These days, I daily hear over the radio the announcements of Turkish Airlines flying from here to Turkey starting March 30…. Each time I hear the ad, I am reminded of Istanbul — a truly wonderful place to visit. So nice! So interesting! And so culturally and historically rich! The first time I saw the mosques well lighted at night, I couldn’t help but exclaim: “WOW!” It was just looking at pictures on a fairytale book. Thanks to Weng Ulayan, ang may pakana kaya ako naglanding dun!!!


Trip to Istanbul, Turkey with Hagia Sophia Mosque in the background. Walking distance from it is the equally famous Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet. I remember that when I was a student I reported in my Humanities class about Hagia Sophia. That time, I was so engrossed on its beauty and history. I was day dreaming about seeing it then. And the dream came true…when I already stopped dreaming about it! Kaya ang saya!!! Dreaming coming true when least expected… [Photo taken by Weng]


Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward for the Lollipop[?]candy Turkish style

February 28, 2015

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Reward.”

Varied-coloured sticky but delectable and yummy-looking candies are rolled to a stick…

Candy    … by this young Turkish man

… He gets “rewarded” for it by the young lady who looks appreciative of his effort and dexterity in making the lollipop [?]- Turkish style. Sorry! I forgot the name but I did ask the man what he was selling.

Of the photos above,
I love the language of hand transaction — of giving and receiving
conveying an act
of stranger’s two-getherness even just for moments.

Shot on the road leading to Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul.


Daily Prompt: The Power of Touch_Year 1166 Records

December 8, 2013

Texture abound in Istanbul, Turkey. Last month, I spent hours at Hagia Sophia, touched and felt some of what I saw and looked at with awe. I traveled back in time…somehow.


Touching the slab…. It is described as a record of decisions passed by a supreme religious assembly held at Hagia Sophia in 1166.

Synod Records

Though just a copy, there was that feeling of riding back in time by merely looking at them.



Size of the slabs in the 3rd photo above can be gauged by the height of the man standing in front of the tomb near the synod records


Daily Prompt: Perspective_Hagia Sophia

November 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.

Crossing the Bridge

Going from the European to the Asian Side of Turkey

Old the new

The old and new architectural design contrasts caught my attention.

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.


Hagia Sophia


Interior shot of Hagia Sophia


Another shot of the dome. The building is currently under renovation.

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]