Whenever I meet people from different geographies, they read me as someone from Spain. I do not have the mestiza look that can land me a good career in the entertainment industry, but my last name – dela Cruz gives a good touch of Spanish descent.
But, we, Filipinos know our history, and our last names origins. But I wouldn’t say no when Spanish and Latino friends adopt me for my last name.
Visit Spain! An invite is not for a honeymoon or a cultural date. I could only wish – as Spain is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Last week, we were invited to the Spain Tourism Board Dinner and we got to know experience Spain through the presentations of speakers and ambassadors who – even are speaking in English, evidently has a fluid Spanish accent. Interestingly, even if history connected Philippines and Spain in so many ways, there are still alot to know about this beautiful country.
- Spain remains to be on the top 3 most visited destinations in the world – and it is such a shame if we Filipinos, who is a Spanish colony will not get a chance to see this beautiful country.
- Biggest arrival figures in Spain came from United Kingdom, Germany and France.
- Spain became a gastronomical destinations for its traditional food and modern-innovative dishes. Some of the popular dishes from Spain – Chocolate Con Churros, Fideua, Paella, Tapas, and modern food like Parmesan Spaghetti (and this I got to taste!).
- The very basic ingredients we use for cooking are also used in Spain – oil and garlic!
- Spain is considered the home of the Best Restaurants in the World and many of the Michelin-starred chefs.
- Markets, like in the Philippines, are also popular in Spain – the Tourism Office of Spain suggested two destinations in Madrid – Mercado San Miguel and Mercado de San Anton.
- FIBA Basketball Cup 2014 is happening in Spain this year! Basketball fans (I know how die-hard basketball fans Filipinos are!) Mark the dates – August 30 to September 14, 2014.
- Spain as a colorful country has also a lot of colorful festivities –
- Running of the Bulls (July 7 to July 14 in Pamplona)
- Tomatina (which sounds like a fun event!) – runs every last Wednesday of August in Bunol, Valencia.
- Fallas (March 17 to 19 in Valencia)
- Having strong ties and beliefs in Catholism, Spanish old churches are a must-see in Spain:
- San Jeronimo El Real Church (Madrid)
- Cathedral de la Almudena (Madrid)
- Sto Nino de Atoca Church (Madrid)
- Convent of Las Descalzas Reales
- Santiago de Compostela – which is a favorite destination for pilgrims.
- Madrid and Barcelona ranked 2 and 3 respectively as the best cities for shopping in all Europe.
- El Conte Ingles’ is the leading shopping center in Spain for over 60 years.
- Spain does know how to take care of its tourists by offering discount, tax refund and even a welcome aperitif.
- Wondering what to buy in Spain? We got a tip! We can get the best leather goods and cologne in Spain.