The Comparative Landmarks of Paris, France and Cebu City, Philippines

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Paris the city of lights and love. 

Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to visit the city in this lifetime? I have a strong feeling that it is a roaring no! 

Whatever your reason for travelling, embrace it. As for me, laying my feet on the same land where Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Ernest Hemingway and other classic writers had been was such a privilege I couldn’t help but say, “If this is a dream, then I would like to dream more.”  I braced myself.

I breathed the air and I smelled literature!

I just never thought I’d tread those cobblestones alone and what surprised me more was how I loved the feeling of exploring – alone.

my exact thoughts when i decided to travel alone

I was not in the slightest sad nor nervous. I know I’d get lost. I was prepared. lol.

When I set my foot in the city of love, I was giggling and excited and God knew how I could hear my heart beating. The feeling is all coming back now. I wanted to devour the city and keep it inside my stomach to make the butterfly feeling lasts longer.

Then here I am looking back. After everything I’ve seen, when I retrospect, Paris reminded me so much of home above anything else. Yes, strange but here are the reasons why.

Paris streets reminded me of Colon street.

I am not exaggerating nor shaming the city most girls have been dreaming of. But it is a fact – it’s like any other city. You’d get lost because of too many corners that look the same you could mistake it for any wrong turns. Too many structures standing above their subway system. Traffic can be experienced when driving a private  car towards the city as early as 7am. Only that, instead of dusts, the buildings are drenched in carvings and some house the most treasured arts in the world which I never got to see because the museums were closed and under renovation when I set my stilettos on its toe-torturing cobblestones. The perks of not checking places for availability. I saved my money that day. Lol.

Also, you wouldn’t see trashes on their streets. Too bad Colon needs a lot of improvement to match the beauty of cleanliness.

The long stretch of Avenues des Champs Elysées mirrors I.T Park, Lahug

I swear I didn’t have the slightest idea what that place was. I was never the type to research so much about a place. I was more of a, “Come on, Paris! Suprise me!”  After seeing it though, I figured it is where you can buy a wide variety of chic clothing lines. I didn’t have any plans to go on a shopping spree in Paris so I didn’t indulge into checking those designer clothes. I just loved the long walk like I’m heading home after the end of shift in I.T Park, Lahug.

Truth be told, the reason the place was worth mentioning for an unfashionable girl like me (who dared to match the fashionable vibes by wearing stilettos) is the huge and splendid view of Arc de Triomphe when you are strolling on that avenue. The symbol of freedom and so many expressed courage.

Arc de Triomphe resembles Fuente Osmeña Circle


It stands strong and proud in the western end of Champ de Elysées, at the heart of Place Charles de Gaulle. It is the symbol of French pride like how Osmeña Fuente Circle turned out to be.

Arc de Triomphe connects 12 avenues. Can you imagine now how big it is? Ours was said to had been originally planned to have 6 avenues but only four were realized. I didn’t know these facts when I was in Paris. I did a little research today and was surprised that the famous circle in downtown Cebu was inspired by France’ Arc de Triomphe!

Aren’t we ambitious?

On the Arc, you can see the carvings that represents the French revolution. The names of the general and soldiers were also carved on its stones to honor their sacrifice and death. Like all the historical landmarks, the place can make you feel like you’re time travelling.

Trocadéro is like Fort San Pedro

With its canyons and its garden.

Trocadéro is located across the Siene just opposite the Eiffel tower. Like five big steps of elephant away. Not bad for my starting to ache feet.

Trocadéro is home to impressive gardens and ornamental ponds and fountains. Sadly, I was not able to capture it at its most beautiful state because they were cleaning the place that day. Emptied the ponds and fountains.

Yes, I missed the great performance of dancing water.

Although Fort San Pedro does not have fountains, the symbol of its existence mirrors so much that of Paris. Its the cultural richness that makes them so much more alike.

Eiffel Tower can be compared to Crown Regency Hotel for its Height and scenic view.

I would always salute its architectural prowess. The tower will always be a symbol of strength and beauty. Gracefulness captured in stillness.

I am not surprised to see more women looming in this remarkable piece of engineering art than men. I wish I could capture the spark in their irises when they gazed up and took photos of this enormous human made wonder in different angles.

However, I had so much thoughts and expectations about Eiffel tower.

I thought about the things I will see there like artists painting the place or immortalizing something exquisite and striking. Musicians filling the Parisian air with beautiful rhythm. Perhaps, meeting a poet from another country or a French poet sharing his writing to the people from all walks of life. However, I did not see a single painter under the tower. No musicians nor poets.

This is why I hate expecting. Disappointments hurt.

There’s a lift in the tower that  takes you to the second floor for a nice aerial view of the city. This is the part where I can compare it to Crown Regency. Now a city’s features may differ and I would understand if you don’t agree with my comparison. But I actually did not go to Paris to witness a breathtaking, scenic view of the urban queen.

I told you earlier what were my expectations and the invitation of a glamorous, picturisque peek of the city of lights was not enough to convince me to go up. I know I was being childish then and that’s a part of me I wish I had outgrown earlier because I never know when I will be able to have the chance of visiting Paris again. Well, we can not live in regrets.

REALIZATIONS OVER PARIS

That travelling alone makes you immersed yourself more in the place. It makes you feel braver and independent because you have to depend on yourself.

I saw more of the city. How it attracts people from all walks of life and how diffent we are yet driven by same wants, hopes and dreams.

I got lost in the city of love. Witnessed an Arab wedding on my way to Eiffel tower.

In heading back to Arc de Triomphe, I took a wrong turn and I got to see a street named after a famous writer like Lord Byron and just like that, I was dreaming again.

I experienced the kindness of a stranger when I asked for directions and she was as simple and as detailed as she could possibly be and made sure I got what she said correctly by also writing it down. “Just look ahead and search for Arc de Triomphe. You’ll never be lost.”

But to be honest, getting lost is part of my preparation in that travel. However, as I have mentioned, walking on heels was something my toes and sole couldn’t endure which brings me to lesson number 2. Wear something comfortable when travelling. I have unconsciously associated Paris to a huge runway. lol.

Another is, if you are visiting a place, it is always a nice thing to plan. That’s something I have learned in a hard and painful way.

Now let me be clear with the reason for comparing Paris to Cebu. I am not saying this for you to settle down and not dream of visiting Paris. Nope. I never want to clip your wings.

The only reason why I am saying this is for people to be aware of his own roots and to give importance to it. I do understand that something accessible is susceptible to getting ignored and being taken for granted. We shouldn’t be like that.

When I travel, I want to share where I came from to the people I would meet and to tell the world everything about our motherland (both good and bad.)

Visiting the place was worth all the sustained blisters. And if I had known before hand that the museums will be closed and the dancing fountain in Trocadéro would be emptied of water for it to be cleaned that day, I would have still gone and see her in her nakedness.

Travel not only to capture the beauty of a place, a city or country but to see her beyond the lights and glamor.

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