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Blog

Barcelona Conference

Posted on April 19, 2018 at 6:10 AM




To be relevant to today’s education needs, educators, these days, do not just teach. They engage in a whole myriad of activities. University lecturers like myself, for example, not only take on teaching but also conduct research and share them in international conferences for a couple of reasons.




One, we share our research results because, two, we need to get feedback as well to make better sense of our findings. All these are, of course, for the purpose of being able to provide our own students a better and more meaningful learning experience.


In this post, I share with you some of those I consider the highlights (a few of them my personal choice) of the Global Studies Conference I attended in Barcelona, Spain a little more than a year ago.




HIGHLIGHT 1: Of course, top-of-my-list highlight was my having been able to present my paper, receive substantial feedback from other academics and gain their interest in my topic.




HIGHLIGHT 2: Going to conferences also usually allows you to meet known academics and scholars. In my case, I was able to meet and have a chit-chat with Bill Ashcroft, one of the authors of “The Empire Writes Back,” considered the first major theoretical account of a wide range of postcolonial texts.







HIGHLIGHT 3: I also love that I was able to participate in a discussion of some major issues with other academics, the most important of which was about the emerging threat to liberal arts education in favor of courses that are deemed beneficial to industry leaders.


The educators leading the conference, representing five different countries, felt that the need was that strong that they called for an ad hoc session to listen to what other participants had to say. True enough, they were not the only ones who felt that there had to a be push back, if only to make sure that the world produces professionals who have cutting-edge skills needed in keeping with the needs of the times and the heart to be compassionate in the time of ever-growing technology.




Coming back from the conference, one takeaway I had with me was hope. Many generally feel that industry demands are slowly but steadily chipping away from the traditions of liberal arts education in favor of market price, values and ROIs. But for as long as there are educators (and graduates!) who are willing to push back, knowing that the world does not live on profits alone, then there is something to look forward to.




HIGHLIGHT 4: Last, but not the least, I was of course thrilled to have had the chance to explore Barcelona and enjoy cultural tourism. (And, yes, below you'll find tons of photos of my cultural tour of Barcelona. Enjoy!) The photo above is the facade of Casa Milà where the La Pedrera Museum is.




The signature you see above says "Gaudí." Why? Barcelona is a Gaudí country. Antoni Gaudí was a Spanish architect whose works are mostly located in Barcelona, Spain. It should not surprise you then, should you visit Barcelona, to find a lot of things Gaudí.


 

This is inside the restaurant of La Pedrera which is inside Casa Milà, one of Gaudí's main residential buildings. It is considered to be one of the most imaginative designs he had. For one, the facade of the building looks more like a sculpture than a typical building.




This one's inside La Pedrera Museum housed inside Casa Milà. Notice how beautiful and different Gaudí's architectural design is.



My first Barcelona breakfast. 




Here's more... Iberian ham platter and bread toast with tomato and queso. 




Casa Batlló below is Antoni Gaudí's modernist museum redesigned in 1904.




Now let's head to my food hunts...


Paella was one Spanish dish I never got tired having when I was in Barcelona. I must have tried most of the kinds of paella I laid my eyes on. In this photo, my new-found friends and I had paella mixta, a combination of paella Valenciana and paella de marisco. It basically contained both seafood and meat. 




And because I couldn't have enough of paella, I went for another one, this time arròs negre. Arròs negre, known sometimes as paella negra, is a Valencian and Catalan dish. 




And I had another one...




This was paella Valenciana this time. This paella Valenciana had a mixture of chicken and pork (although it may at times contain rabbit meat).


Should you get to Barcelona, find this awesome place called L' arròs at Port Vell, where FIlipino waiters attended to me. It's where I had this really yummy paella. (See photo of their resto below.)







An interesting sculpture I stumbled into while aimlessly strolling in the area.




I was on my way to Catedral de Barcelona (I was coming from the back part of the church) and there were several kids playing bubbles. I thought the bubbles were cute that I casually took a photo of them. I didn't expect them to come out this nice in the photo. Enjoy!




This is the facade of Catedral de Barcelona. While entrance is free, you need to queue up for several minutes, as the staff don't want the church to get crowded. After all, regular masses are held in this church a few times a day. 



I took a lot of photos inside Catedral de Barcelona, but I chose just a few to share with you so as not to inundate you. This one's a baptistery which I found to be one of the most interesting features of the church.









From Catedral de Barcelona, I headed straight to Sagrada Familia, another Gaudí masterpiece, if not his best. A part of UNESCO World Heritage, Sagrada Familia is a really huge but unfinished Catholic Church in Barcelona. This explains why you see cranes on top of the structure.


  

Sagrada Familia details...




It was a long day that day that I decided to treat myself to a cup of chocolate caliente, topped with yummy whipped cream, and churros.  




Oh, delicioso



Here are some of the things Filipinos will also find familiar, other than paellaLet's start with gazpacho. Just like in the Philippines, this soup, made of blended vegetables, is enjoyed cold. This has an Andalucian origin.



Here's calamares Romana. Unlike the usual crunchy/ crispy calamares or calamari commonly served in the Philippines, calamares Romana is tender, yet not soggy. 




Of course, I had to try (and bring home) polvoron!




While the Spanish polvoron and the Philippine polvoron have a great similarity, the one from Spain is more crumbly and refined. The one from the Philippines is more powdery and holds a little bit longer (maybe for a split-second...? ha ha ha). The Spanish polvoron also has a bit of white powder sprinkles on the surface. 




Next off, there's turrón. This one's called turrón duro. It may look like a white nougat, but it actually is more like a puting panotsa (white caramelized peanut or peanut brittle), even the taste. 



I'm sure there's a lot more to discover in Spain. I hope to get back there someday and explore further. Till next time, folks!

Categories: Trends in Education, Leading Academics and Scholars, Conferences

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