Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lunch with Mr. & Mrs. F. Sionil Jose in Cebu

I attended a luncheon for Mr. and Mrs. F. Sionil Jose, attended by: Jobers Bersales, Resil Mojares, Henry Go, Erma Cuizon, Hope Yu, Mayen Tan. Topics included literature, history, personalities, and more -- it was a 3 1/2 hour lunch, followed by a photo shoot.  Here are some pictures:

Here's a link with the biography of F. Sionil Jose:

tags: Cebu, Philippine literature, Resil Mojares, F. Sionil Jose, Frankie Jose, novelist, author, writer, Filipino, Cecilia Brainard

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New BPI Museum in Historic Cebu

Louie Nacorda invited me to visit the new BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) in Cebu City.  This museum is another welcome develop in the Historic District of Cebu City.  The Bank Manager Carlos Apuhin gave us a grand tour of this museum, which includes a small art gallery in one wing. The building of BPI is a designated historic building, although it continues to function as a bank.  The inside space was far bigger than needed, with a very high ceiling to boot.  The interior space was redesigned to reduce the work space -- the area that has to be lit and cooled by air conditioners, costing quite a lot of money.  The new interior design had space around the work area, space which is now the museum.

This museum provides a look at the banking and financial history in Cebu from the time of Queen Isabela in the 1800s, through the Spanish colonial period, American period, Japanese Occupation, to the present. It's an interesting museum, which is right next door to other tourist sites: Magellan's Cross, Santo Nino Basilica, and Fort San Pedro. The Chinese Heritage Museum is being developed just across the way.  A lot of development in historic Cebu, including new parks: Senior Citizen's Park and Collins Children's Park.

Here are some pictures of the BPI Museum.  The viewing of the BPI museum is by-appointment, so contact Carlos Apuhin beforehand.

tags: Travel, tour, Cebu, Philippines, Asia

F. Sionil Jose in Cebu - Play, Progress

I just got back from a lecture by Filipino author, F. Sionil Jose (Frankie) followed by a theatrical performance based on his short story, Progress. I was happy to see Frankie and his wife Tess.  It was the Cebuana writer, Lina Espina Moore who introduced me to them back in the 1987 soon after the release of my first book, Woman With Horns and Other Stories. We launched the book in La Solidaridad, the bookshop run by the Joses. Frankie and Tess have been most kind to me, launching my other titles in their iconic bookshop, La Solidaridad. One of the books was launched the day Mount Pinatubo exploded; I remember the layer of ash on everything when we left the bookstore - but that is a whole long story by itself.

I saw Frankie in California when he was there a number of years ago, then followed many years when I didn't see him.  When Mayen Tan (Lifestyle Editor for Cebu's The Freeman) invited me to tonight's event, I said, "Yes!"

Filipinos know that F. Sionil Jose is an important Filipino writer; to my non-Filipino readers, let me say that F. Sionil Jose has the great honor of being one of the Philippines' National Artists. 

So tonight, Frankie talked a bit and the Cebuano cast directed by Henry put on their entertaining as well as educational play version of Frankie's fiction set during the Marcos era. It's about a female public servant who is given the runaround and more just to get her promotion. Frankie's story has a serious tone; the play had a lighter tone.  The auditorium at CAP was filled with mostly students, who enjoyed the play and asked intelligent questions after the show.

If you're in Cebu, I do recommend the show.  Here are some pictures:

Comment from Michael Angelo Renoy Mapute, January 26:

Thank you Ms. Brainard for gracing the musical play, Progress, a deconstruction of F. Sionil Jose's short story.

More than enthralled, I was surprised to see not only Sionil himself but also the "visionary" creative author, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard.

It was staged last night at the CAP Bldg., of Cebu City attended by other local writers from Cebu.

Their presence is more than a show of support to the local talents of Cebu.

tags: Filipino, Philippine, literature, F. Sionil Jose, Cecilia Brainard, writers

Thursday, January 24, 2013

F. Sionil Jose in Cebu

I'm looking forward to F. Sionil Jose's lecture and play this Saturday in Cebu - click on link for more details:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Beautiful New Park in Cebu City, across City Hall

Oh wow! This is a beautiful new park in Cebu City, right across the City Hall near the old Carbon Market. It's called Senior Citizens Park, but it obviously is for everybody.

There are also a lot of other developments in Historic Old Cebu and I'll be posting picture in these coming days.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Doug Noble's Birthday AND Traveling With Doug, by Cecilia Brainard

Douglas Noble's Birthday - scroll down for essay Traveling With Doug, by Cecilia Brainard

Cecilia Brainard

            Through the years, Lauren and I have travelled with Doug Noble. We were together in Cambria, Central Coast, in cruises to Alaska and South America, San Miguel Allende with Hilary Walling and Myrna Horton, and the Philippines with the Allens. We also did an Overseas Adventure Tours trip with him and Hilary Walling to Vietnam; and last April, Doug was with us in Malaysia, then on to Burma to join Kim Holmquist, Patrick Culbertson, Richard Bakke, and Hilary for a memorable trip led by my friend, John Silva.
            What amazes me is that Doug packs very light, two very small bags and that’s it. In the one bag that’s slighter bigger than a briefcase, he has his clothes; in the other, he has his camera gear and his journals. He never checks the latter in and has a fit when he’s separated from this bag. He will spend hours writing in his journal, blow by blow accounts of what happened each day; I used to keep travel journals but when we’re with Doug, I stopped and just let him do all the work. He very kindly sends me copies upon request.
            As a camera/video person, he is most competitive, and I’ve seen him curse another avid photographer in Hanoi when the man got between Doug and a woman making rice paper. “God-damn-it!” with the stamping of the feet.  But he later made up with the fellow and they became respectful pals during the rest of the trip. Another example of Doug’s passion for picture-taking happened in the Philippines when we arrived at the Bonifacio house/Museum. Eyes focused on the house, Doug rushed out of the van, and in his ardor failed to see the metal gate, or failed to see that the entryway wasn’t very big. He didn’t duck when he entered and slammed his forehead against the heavy Spanish Colonial metal so badly, he gouged his forehead and bled like you’ll never believe – I think you can still see the dent on his forehead.
            Food: hmmm, we have a lot of stories about this one.
            In cruises, he was famous for trying up to three soups, and five desserts all in one sitting. During those cruises, he liked to hang around the library where he’d work on a jigsaw puzzle; and during the non-sailing days, he knew the schedule of all the trivia games, raising these to a competitive level that Princess Cruise Lines is still talking about.
            More on food – in Buenos Aires, he had this idyllic idea of where we would have lunch – there were five of us, the Rosses were also there; but jet-lagged and tired from the morning’s walk, the four of us outvoted him and stood in line for empanadas in a small take-out place across our hotel.  Before we fully understood what happened, Doug got pissed at the people and stomped out. He did not want take-out empanadas, you see, he wanted us seated in a nice restaurant in Buenas Aires, having our grass-fed steaks and sangria. But back in the hotel, he regained his composure. I understood then that despite the American competitiveness, Doug is a Victorian romantic, which is why he loves High Tea in historic hotels, and why he will stay in them even though they’ve been downgraded to two or three stars.
            Oh, and Chinese food – don’t bring Doug to Chinese restaurants. We made this mistake in Makati, when the four of us (we were with the Allens) opted for Chinese food, and Doug was very unhappy about the food. “I hate Chinese food,” he said, and after dinner, he separated himself from us saying, “I have to find ice cream to wash away the awful taste of Chinese food.”  Consequently, whenever we see a Chinese restaurant called "Noble House" we always say, “There’s Doug’s restaurant.”
            One last thing about food – he’s the first to laugh at the food supply I bring when I travel – I will have a bottle of Margarita, See’s candies, cheese, salami, and other goodies. But he’s first in line when I serve my Margarita, cheeses, and salami.          
We’ve had great times travelling with Doug, and are looking forward to more. 
tags: friends, family, Cecilia Brainard, birthday party    

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cebu Philippines, Sinulog 2013

A friend asked what Pit Senyor means and I believe it's a corruption of "Sampit sa Senyor" meaning "Call Senior (God).

The sinulog festival is ongoing in Cebu, Philippines, and here are some links.  There are some four million visitors:

And here's the most recent update re Gwendolyn Garcia who danced at the Sinulog

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prayer for Healing the Family Tree

I love this prayer!


"Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional  needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.
With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.
I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members' guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits.
In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus' precious Name. Amen."
St. Joseph, Patron of family life, pray for us

Cebu Updates - links re Gwendolyn Garcia

I've been following events in Cebu, in particular about Suspended Governor Gwen Garcia. Here are some links about the topic:

LP-Cebu to File Charges Against Gwendolyn Garcia

UNA - Additional Charges Against Garcia Politically Motivated

Archbishop of Cebu, Jose Palma Visited Gwendolyn Garcia

Court of Appeals not Inclined to Grant TRO

Garcia Can Dance During Sinulog

Gwen Dances at 2013 Sinulog

Monday, January 14, 2013

This and That from my Facebook Site, Cecilia Brainard

This and...
 Sinulog Week in Cebu, Philippines
 An image in a crowd ... a long time ago....
"In a grimy gray drizzle, under ragged black flags that lifted and waved balefully in the fitful air; to the wail of a single piper, on streets winding through charred and blasted brick spray-painted with slogans of hate; by silent tens of thousands, past fathers holding sons face-forward that they might remember the day, past mothers rocking and shielding prams that held tomorrow's fighters, past old men who blew their rheumy noses and remembered their own days of rage ... Bobby Sands was carried yesterday to a grave of raw Ulster mud."~ 1981 report from Belfast by Richard Ben Cramer who passed away on January 7, 2013.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Article on Museo Sugbo, creation of Gwendolyn Garcia by Cecilia Brainard

 I'm sharing a piece published in Zee Quarterly about the Museo Sugbo. It was the beleaguered Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia who envisioned and made happen this highly rated museum in Cebu. Garcia has been holed up in the Capitol since before Christmas because of a Presidential suspension. I don't have the facts so I can't judge her, but I know that she did some good projects in Cebu, including creating this fine museum. I will state that the Liberal Party leaders in Manila seem to be messing around with Cebu's politics, positioning I suppose for the upcoming May elections. 

Manila, Cebuanos are paying attention. 

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Published in Zee Lifestyle, June 2010

My family called it, “Ang Palacio ni Yvonne - Yvonne’s Palace.” We used to drive by it most afternoons after Papa picked us up from our schools and took us on a ride. The route included a stop at the kiosk near Magellan’s Cross for Coca Cola and packages of M&Ms; a drive down the pier for fresh sea air; a stop at Monay’s Bakery for hot Pan Frances and Pan Monay; then the ride home down what is now M.J. Cuenco Avenue. That’s when we’d see old stone Provincial Jail and we children used to point and exclaim, “Ang palacio ni Yvonne!” We were referring to my Yaya Yvonne who had stolen some things from our house and ended up in the Provincial Jail of Cebu – the Carcel de Cebu. I used to feel sad that she had ended up there. She had after all taken care of me; she had even taught me to love raw green onions.

These memories were running through my head when I visited the old Carcel one January day, Sinulog week in fact, when traffic was impossible, and to my surprise discovered that the Carcel was walking distance from old Historic Cebu where I stay when I am in Cebu. I heard that the Carcel had been turned into a museum in August 2008, another welcome addition to the increasing cultural developments in Old Cebu. I was curious as I made my way to the place. I remembered it as a dreary place with gray walls and electrified barbed wire; it was near the old cemetery and the ice plant. It was heartening to see the pretty landscaping in front and the new signs announcing its respectable new name, Museo Sugbo. I liked the elegant ring of the name too – Museo Sugbu –which made me think of the Museo de Oro of Lima, Peru.

I stared at the clean walls of the Carcel, surprised that they were made of antique coral stone blocks after all. All my life, I thought it was made of cement that had turned dark and dingy. It was Jobers Bernales, Director of the Museum who explained that the walls had been stripped off its cement plaster to uncover the coral blocks, which probably came from Parian Church, a grand structure in historic Cebu, demolished in 1877-78 by the Bishop after a long battle with its parishioners. Indeed the Carcel displayed a Spanish Colonial look. Jobers explained that this was the look that Governor Gwen Garcia wanted when she envisioned the creation of the museum. The Provincial government developed and funds the museum.

The museum had been built in the tailend of the Spanish Occupation as a one-story building to house prisoners of the entire Visayas District, accounting for its fairly large size. Don Domingo de Escondrillas, the only Cebuano engineer-architect, designed it. The second floor was added during the American occupation. The Americans not only used the facilities for prisoners, but at some point used the place as horse stables. When the Japanese occupied Cebu, they used the Carcel to imprison guerrillas, the lucky ones who survived the torture they endured at the Cebu Normal School. When World War II ended, Cebuanos threw Japanese collaborators into the Carcel.

Steeped in this dark history, the Carcel should have been a depressing place but somehow the work done to the facilities – the chipping off the cement, the removal of extraneous rooms and shacks – erased any negative feelings of the place. The ten galleries surrounding a courtyard have a crisp solid look. The galleries are not huge; they are not crammed with a lot of artifacts, but there’s a respectful elegance in the display of the items that document Cebuano history on culture.
On the left near the entrance is one of my favorite galleries – the Pre-History Gallery. It gives visitors a good idea of how ancient Cebuanos looked like physically, the tattoos they had, what they wore, what tools they used, how they lived, as well as how they died. The Pre-History Galley has pottery shards, earthenware, ceramics, stoneware, shell beads, log coffins, and other funerary items. What caught my attention was a skull with pinprick holes on the forehead, possibly a result of syphilis, but more significant was the sloping shape of the forehead, indicating the person had undergone skull formation; the baby’s skull had been bound somehow to create the sloping elongation. The only other place I’d seen skull formation was in Peru’s National History Museum in Lima, where I saw elongated skulls and skulls with two large protrusions on top. It was interesting to relate the similarities of these two cultures.

The galleries unfold as if telling a story, and from the pre-Hispanic section, I climbed the steep stairs to the second floor with the Spanish gallery which shows
copies of the official appointment of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi as governor of Cebu, dated August 6, 1569; there is a copy of Legazpi’s letter to the King of Spain, dated May 27, 1565, the oldest letter to have been sent from the Philippines.
There is a Katipunan Gallery with an anting-anting vest as well as an anting-anting handerchief that belonged to Leon Kilat, a name I used to puzzle over whenever I saw his statue in Carcar. Born Pantaleon Villegas, he was the Katipunero who led the Cebuanos against the Spaniards in the Tres de Abril (April 3, 1898) Revolution. The story goes that the Spaniards had informed the Cebuano families that Carcar would be destroyed if they didn’t turn over Leon Kilat; the old families obliged by having Leon Kilat assassinated.

Another section that fascinated me was the National Museum Branch which has artifacts from recent excavations done in Plaza Independencia and Boljoon Church grounds. Most interesting are gold death facial covers, the skull on which these gold coverings were found, gold chain, a rare blue and white ceramic ewer, celadon ware, and a rare underglaze blue covered powder box decorated with a Chinese boy carrying a puppet. The gold death facial covers interested me most because I had also seen similar gold death masks and facial covers in Peru.

The other museum galleries include: the War Memorial Gallery; and memorabilia of Edward Sharp (a Thomasite), Justice Sotero Cabahug, Senator Vicente Rama, and Gregorio Abellana (a Katipunero). These galleries also document interesting periods of Cebuano history.

Jobers Bernales says the museum plans to add interactive facilities in the form of LCD monitors with videos in the prehistory and history galleries. They will be adding a changing gallery, which will showcase monthly or quarterly exhibits. There will also be a media gallery complete with old printers and broadcasting equipment. A gift shop and small café will be opened on the ground floor of the former bartolinas or isolation cells, near the old Spanish-period wishing well.
By August, the museum hopes to have a branch of the National Library, a multimedia library with internet facilities. Finally, once the twelve galleries are complete, Museo Sugbo plans to print a Museum Guide for Teachers, with lesson plans and questionnaire for classroom use.

By the time I leave the Museo Sugbo, any dread about the old Carcel has vanished and in its place I feel pride for my Cebuano heritage. The documentation of Cebuano culture and history in the Museo Sugbo validates what I had always known, what had always been there, but which had been ignored for so long.

The sad story of Yvonne’s Palace has been replaced with a story of hope.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning writer and editor of two novels and over a dozen other books. She has a website at and a blog at
Above photo above shows President Aquino and Gwendolyn Garcia

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

VISITING THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST, by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard (
published by The Freeman and, December 30, 2012 

            IN THE FALL, the weather turns and even in California, the summer-sizzle ends and cooler temperature sets in. My husband and I like to take a driving vacation during this time. Driving gives one the opportunity to see the subtle changes of the land as one goes north or east, or up the mountains or across wide plains of deserts. One is able to see and feel the land better.
              At this time of the year, places are not as crowded because children are back in school, and the changing of the season is lovely to see in forests and fields away from the city.
            This year we visited Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona, states that are part of the American Southwest, an area famous for its diversity and stunning scenery.  

In Utah, we saw the famous National parks with thousands of acres of land, kept pristine and safe from the crowds and pollution of cities. Zion, Bryce, and Arches -- each of these National Parks boasts natural rock formations that had been created over time by glaciers and rivers and earth movement, showing fantastic shapes and coloration. In Zion Canyon, you generally look up at cliffs and peaks and mountains, with names such as The Three Patriarchs, Checkerboard Mesa, and The Great White Throne. In Bryce you look down at what look like sand castles, except that the formations are made of rocks the size of mountains.  And Arches got its name from the numerous of sandstone formations shaped like arches. Despite the chill, it was a wonderful opportunity to take walks along rivers and in meadows and to see wild animals in their natural habitat. 
         In Colorado, we spent a few days in Durango, a small city with a population of only around 17,000 people. The city has a lovely historic district and an old-fashioned steam engine train (Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge train) that we took to the silver mining town of Silverton. Durango is the kind of place I like, small but with “attitude.” It has Fort Lewis College and many buildings from the 1800s during the time of the Westward expansion. The movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed just north of Durango at Baker’s Bridge. The city has built a most charming walkway along both sides of the Animas River that cuts through the city. The leaves were turning when we were there, and the cottonwood trees were blazing gold along the riverbanks. They say that cottonwood grows where there is water and cottonwood sightings were therefore welcome in the olden days of settlers traveling far.

            In Colorado we visited the Mesa Verde National Park which has hundreds of ancient Indian cliff dwellings. Ancestral Pueblo Indians who had lived for 600 years moved their pueblos to the caves and alcoves beneath the overhanging cliffs.  They thrived in this area from the late 1190s to the 1300s. A twenty-three year drought forced the ancestral people to move to other places with water, leaving behind their cliff dwellings, some of them surprisingly intact.

            From Colorado, we moved on to New Mexico which I enjoyed. New Mexico still retains a lot of the Spanish Colonial influence, and is therefore familiar to me.  I’m referring to the Catholicism that is strong in this place, and to the folkloric Spanish-Mexican artifacts around. There are, for instance, quite a number of retablos around, some of them looking very much like the antique retablos of the Philippines.
            I didn’t know this until I was there but there is a connection between New Mexico and the Philippines. From the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century, New Mexico was part of the Spanish empire as the Philippines was, accounting for the familiar Spanish Colonial culture lingering in both places.
Further, because of the Spanish influence in New Mexico and because many New Mexicans spoke Spanish, New Mexicans were sent to the Philippines during World War II. One thousand eight hundred New Mexicans went to the Philippines as members of the New Mexico National Guard 200th coastal artillery. Many of them died during the Bataan Death March. Less than half survived to return to New Mexico.
            I had another reason to want to visit Santa Fe, a personal one. In 2008, a curator of a museum in New Mexico had contacted me and he acquired an antique silver rosary, part of my Spanish Colonial collection of Rosaries. My husband and I made it a point to visit the New Mexico History Museum, which displays the rosary near the entrance of the main exhibition. It was good to see this particular silver rosary once again; it was a prized one, dating to the 1700s, and made of fine silver filigree.

            The churches in the Santa Fe and Taos areas enthralled me with their use of adobe and folkloric elements. Adobe uses sun-dried clay bricks mixed with grass and mud as mortar. Adobe architecture was evident in the Chapel of San Miguel in Santa Fe; this was built approximately 1610-1626 and is reportedly the oldest church in the United States. The church is decorated with colorful, folkloric elements giving the church an intimate and charming feeling. 
Around thirty minutes drive from Santa Fe is a small town called Chimayo, famous for its Santuario de Chimayo that is known as the “Lourdes of America.” It is said that a miraculous Crucifix was found in the area in 1810. The Crucifix was placed in the nearby church of Santa Cruz, but the next day, the Crucifix would disappear and be found in Chimayo. This went on for several times until the priest understood that the Crucifix wanted to be housed in its own church in Chimayo. The Crucifix still stands in a small church. What is unique about this church is the small room off the altar with a pit filled with “holy dirt” that is said to be miraculous. The nearby hallway is filled with crutches, wheelchairs and other evidence of divine healings. The Santuario has other prayer areas in its complex, including a chapel to the Santo Niño. Thousands of pilgrims crowd Chimayo during Lent. 

In Taos, we saw the San Geronimo Chapel in the centuries-old pueblo, another lovely, small adobe church. And also in Taos is the San Francisco de Asis Mision Church, called by the artist Georgia O’Keefe as “one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards.” Built between 1813 and 1815, it is made of adobe with twin bell towers and an enclosed courtyard, and was also much admired by famous photographers Ansel Adams and Paul Strand.
I found the Santuario de Chimayo and San Francisco de Asis Mission to be very spiritual places, very relaxing and conducive to prayer.

The church which was not made of adobe was the large Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, which has Romanesque features. This cathedral was built in the early 1800s on the site where an original adobe church had stood. Outside the Cathedral was a statue of St. Kateri Tekakwitha who was canonized at the same time as our own Cebuano saint, Pedro Calungsod. We had fun standing in front of the statue of this Native American saint and listening to a guide talking about the canonization going on at that moment in Rome; it made me feel connected to the religious events in Rome. 
We also visited the Loretto Church in Santa Fe, although this church has been deconsecrated and it operates more as a tourist site for commercial reasons. Still, the spiral staircase inside this church is a beauty; this was reportedly built by a mysterious carpenter.
We made other stops during our driving vacation: Sedona in Arizona, which I found very commercialized now compared to what it had been a number of years ago; Las Vegas, where we did a bit of gambling and saw the Beatles Love performance by the Cirque du Soleil. But the highlight of my trip was Santa Fe and Taos in New Mexico, the sights and feelings of which will linger with me for the rest of my life.
Pictures: From top to bottom: Bryce, Arches, Narrow Gauge Train, Animas River, Mesa Verde (2 pics), antique silver rosary, Cecilia in Taos Pueblo, Chimayo, Lauren in front of San Miguel, San Geronimo, San Francisco, Cathedral of St.Francis Assisi, Loretto.
 tags: travel, Southwest, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Churches, Chimayo