MEXICO: Dia de Muertos in Oaxaca

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The Day of the Dead is about giving respect and honouring our loved ones who passed away, but here in Mexico they do it in a festive and colourful way.

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On a dia de muertos tour arranged by my amigas, I went to the southern part of Mexico in a place called Oaxaca (wa-ha-ka). Packed in a small bus, fellow travellers and I were brought to a local public cemetery. 

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There was a stage with loud blaring speakers, a street market selling food and souvenirs, people offering us pan de muerto (a special bread during the day of the dead) and hot chocolate de oaxaca for free.

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There was a bit of pushing and shoving to get inside the cemetery.

Once inside, a sensory overload!

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Friends and families gathered around elaborately decorated graves, the air a mix of marigolds and smoke from burning candles, mourning melodies sang by hired musicians accompanied by their guitars.

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It’s like one big fiesta for the departed.

It feels good to be alive!

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MEXICO: Skulls & Bones

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In Mexico, death is not something to be afraid of, here it is celebrated.

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Marigold is the “day of the dead” flowers in Mexico, used in offerings to the spirits.

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I made a shoutout in 2011 about me being in Mexico for the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), years after I’m finally here.

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Dia de Muertos is a big event in Mexico, it’s as big as the Christmas celebration in the Philippines.

Everywhere I go, I see skulls and bones in all shapes and forms. Papier-mâché skeletons, candy skulls, aylavett!!! I want to hoard everything!

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I have a fascination for L’art Vanite, and in fact on my very first art exhibit – T.R.I.P (To Rest In Peace), someone saw my artwork of a hand-colored photograph of a cemetery and said it reminded him of the cemeteries in Mexico. I have a knick knack collection of crosses and skulls. I also make it a point to visit cemeteries wherever I travel, and so Mexico is the ultimate place to witness and experience all that.

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UP NEXT: Dia de Muertos in Oaxaca

MANILA in M E X I C O

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On the road from the airport to the city, I see eateries and sidewalk vendors selling their wares.I see crazy drivers cutting in and zooming by. I see busy street and crazy traffic.

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The sound, the smell, the order in the chaos –  everything feels familiar.I could very well be in my city.

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Then I see colourful houses and buildings, some hand painted signs in Spanish (which I adore!!!). Okay, this is not Manila. 

Si, I am in Mexico City!

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Mexico is a place that feels like home

— but not quite.

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I’m excited to be here! I can’t wait to try out real mexican food, go gaga over their folk art, understand Frida Kahlo, and most especially to experience the Dia de Muertos.

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NYC on a budget

NEW YORK CITY ain’t cheap, but you can find ways to make the most out of your trip without really spending much. So, here are some NYC “Tipid Tips.

Chillax in CENTRAL PARK

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Find a bench or sprawl on the grass – have a picnic, read, draw, write, or in my case, watch the world go by.

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

A friend gave me this tip – you can see all the masterpiece here for only a dollar! So, instead of buying an entrance ticket which costs around $25, tell them you are going to give a donation instead. I was a travelling artist and out of work, so a dollar will do 😉

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Check out some Art in CHELSEA

It’s a wonderful neighborhood full of galleries. So if you love modern and contemporary art, this is the place to be, and you get to see it all for free.

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* I will make another blog entry on the different exhibitions I saw on Chelsea 🙂

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Continue reading “NYC on a budget”