Roger Starkey
| Writer
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Passion and Pain - Holy Week in Pampanga | Travel Intelligence

The real highlight of Holy Week in Pampanga is not, however, the solemn chanting of the Passion but rather the

Good Friday bloodlettings. Beginning at Noon, several fanatical Catholics are nailed to crosses in a ceremony to

reenact the crucifixion of Jesus.

A Day in the Cockpit | Travel Intelligence

My tensions were somewhat allayed when I entered the arena to find the crowd laughing hysterically at the two

roosters in the pit that were refusing to fight. They looked more like two lovers on the dance floor than

bloodthirsty killers.

Manila - Navigating the Chaos | Travel Intelligence

Honking, tire screeching, pedestrians dodging cars as they attempt to navigate non-existent crosswalks and cars,

jeepneys, buses, tricycles, motorcycles and motor scooters ignoring all existing traffic laws. The only thing absent

from Manila traffic is order.

A Driver's Guide to Manila | Travel Intelligence

Driving in Manila is not for the timid or faint of heart. The conglomeration of cars on the streets, where anarchy

reigns supreme, more closely resembles the atoms in a heated molecule than typical urban congestion. Cars are

facing all directions and coming from all angles as laws and courtesy are ignored like a piece of food caught

between a priest's teeth at a potluck dinner.

What the Chicken Should Know About Crossing the Road in Manila | Travel Intelligence

For a measure of added safety, use the elderly and children as human shields. This may sound inhumane but, in

reality, it is the exact opposite. If a driver sees an elderly person or a small child, they are more likely to apply the

brakes rather than attempt to nudge the pedestrian along his way.

There's Something About Madrid | Travel Intelligence

With the Palacio Real dominating the landscape to our right, the enormous Casa de Campo sprawled out down

the hill below us and the Sierra de Navacerrada mountains perched in the distance, we continued the quest for

the definitive description of Madrid's charm.

Castles in the Sky - Barcelona | Travel Intelligence

The castells are a source of great pride for the Catalan people. They believe the construction of the human castles

is indicative of the Catalan people's ability to work in teams, persevere, endure suffering and, ultimately, to


The Festival of San Fermín | Travel Intelligence

One should also be aware that valor is taken seriously during el encierro. Therefore, any attempt by a participant

to jump ;out of the fenced-off corridor before being in serious danger from a bull is likely to get that person

pushed right back. Those choosing the safe route, and running well ahead of the bulls from the start, can expect

to be roundly booed upon ;entering the Plaza del Toros.

Finding My Favorite Beach - Mykonos | Travel Intelligence

With each successive beach, I began to wonder if I had chosen my favorite beach wisely and exactly how

someone could choose a favorite.

A T-shirt from Dublin | Travel Intelligence

A day of tourism that consisted of visiting alcohol producers and drinking establishments, sampling the local

products at every stop, had mostly silenced my inner voice of ethics. At that point, he, my conscience, was only in

the game for major decisions. Playing outside the generally accepted rules of competition was not a decision in

which he was going to trouble voicing an opinion.

Not So Troubled Northern Ireland | Travel Intelligence

Traveling north on the A2, after leaving the sterile castle, we passed mile after mile of stunning coastline and

thoughts that all of North Ireland was a land of trouble were beginning to be removed one gorgeous ocean view

at a time.

© Roger J. Starkey