My Euro Travel Pt. 19, Burgos/Bilbao, Spain

Hola ! Renxkyoko Iglesias  aqui.


This is my 19th  travel post, and maybe the 3rd to the last.  I really  need to get this done quick  because I’m starting to lose the memories. All I have left now are impressions.

By way of introduction, let me write down my random thoughts… as  usual..

* sips coffee*

The abdication of the Pope…….  I’m a Roman Catholic,  so it’s a given I should be  interested in what’s going on at the Vatican. To be honest , I’m not  interested  at all. What I’m really, really concerned about    is  the abysmally  low number of  young men  who  have  the calling for  priesthood.  The average age of priests  now is 65,  and when they retire , there’s no  guarantee there’s a priest who will take-over  the position.  There are even Catholic parishes here in the US where Episcopal priests have been tasked to ” say ” the Mass in the absence of a parish priest. Why Episcopal , you ask.  Well, the Episcopalian Church is  Protestant, yet Catholic.  It was actually once called The American Catholic Church, and it’s Preamble states  “ it’s a constituent member of the Anglican Communion,  a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic Church….”

It’s a no brainer to  know the one reason why men don’t enter the priesthood….. the vow of celibacy.  It’s almost unnatural to  suppress the primal animal instict to mate, most especially with men. So, as a member of the Church, do I approve of  married priests ?  I’m a tree hugging, bleeding heart social  liberal, but I’m not a solid , hard core one.  Some of my views are, in fact,  pretty conservative,  and that includes my view on celibacy.  I don’t know.  Don’t hate me, but I think I would  cringe at the thought of  a married  priest saying  Mass in front  of me just had a blow job or kinky sex  a few hours  before . * Ren, you pervert, perish the thought! *  So, what’s the solution?  Ordain women into priesthood. I think women can withstand life without sex .

By the way, the ” bad” priests are pedophiles , not gay or straight priests,  except that Cardinal from England who had to resign … he had made numerous compromising overtures to  adult seminarians….  * shakes head *   The Catholic hierarchy should not cover up the crimes of these pedophiles.  Sick bastards…. the pedophiles, I mean.  This is just my opinion, at the moment.

Oh, wait…… I’d like to tell you something. My mother has a relative who is  an ex-priest.  It was the Pope who ordained him when the Pope went to the Philippines  years and years ago.  He became a parish priest, but then, the parish had a beautiful secretary.  They fell in love.  He left the priesthood and married the girl…. and  now have 4  children .  Lucky girl. I wish I could find an ex – monk. * sigh *

Now on to Burgos and Bilbao, Spain.

Burgos and Bilbao were our last stops in Spain. Both are located  in the northern parrt of Spain. Bilbao is the capital of the province of Bilbao , and the autonomous region of the Basque country.

DSCN1695 DSCN1696

.Above 2 photos were taken from the hotel. In case you haven’t noticed it, all the buildings  are colored orange. The only one with a different color, red, is McDonald’s. This is the newer part of Bilbao. Bilbao is a nice place but it’s not a popular tourist destination. Funny thing though, Bilbao is  popular in our household.  Mom always adds Chorizo de Bilbao to her Philippine dishes., such as Cocido, Pochero, spaghetti  and  all sorts of soups and stews.


.I wonder what they call this in Bilbao….. just Chorizo?  They don’t make this in Bilbao, though. It ‘s a Philippine  sausage  concocted by some guy from Bilbao. He he … well, that’s true.


.Above photo is the Guggenheim Museum. The building was designed by American Frank Gehry and is made of glass, stone and titanium. We didn’t get to see what was  in there. We had lunch and just walked around  the vicinity .



.There’s one  important thing about Bilbao and the Basque region.. It is an autonomous region of Spain… kind of separate but equal  thing ……. giving an autonomous status to a place is actually the next step to independence, but of course, the Spanish government won’t allow that.  Majority of the   Basque people though vehemently  want  independence……. that leads  some to engage in ” terroristic” “activities. Calling it terrorism  depends on whose side you’re on, of course.  And people there don’t want to be called Spaniards and  to refer to the Basque region as Spain.  (  like Barcelona ). In fact, we saw a loooong line of cars waiting to be inspected at the border between Spain and France.


.Dinner at the hotel

On to Burgos…..

Burgos is in the n0rthern part of Spain, and is the capital of Castille.  Burgos has  a lot of medieval structures  that are well preserved.  Burgos though is noted for it’s number one  inhabitant …. EL CID, the National  Hero of Spain.  His war exploits , and his victories were legendary.  Please  google him.  Oh, and there was an old movie about El Cid, starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren.

Below is the statue of El Cid. Actually , it was the Moors  who called him  that name, from Arabic wotd Seid, meaning  ” lord”.



Oh, that’s Ruben, our tour manager.




.The Burgos Cathedral , built in 1221, and is a Unesco World Heritage site.  Gothic style architecture.

Picture below is from Wikipedia.








This  castle  was built in 840 AD.

That’s it for Bilbao and Burgos. To be honest, I felt   more history vibes  in Burgos  than in Bilbao.  Oh, and I got to eat Spain’s famous blood sausage,  Burgos Morcilla.  I liked it better than the one I had in London. Also, I did write before that one of my favorite Philippine dishes was  a blood dish too.  It’s an acquired taste, folks.

I think I missed one place in Spain. The problem is, I have no idea  where that is…. there’s a bunch of photos  in the folder, and I’m sure they’re from  another place in Spain.  I’m so lame. I really need to hurry up and get this done.  I’m even forgetting the names of places I’ve been to. Yikes !

I guess I’ll just post the photos  on my next post, which is France.

This is all for now. Good day, and stay cool. PEACE !


84 responses to this post.

  1. luckyyyyyyyyyy u/// jealous I lie…


    • Hi, Debaroon ! !

      Awwww ! You lie that I’m lucky? Well, you’re right, though. I don’t think I’ll be so lucky to find an ex-monk. Ha ha


  2. Love the travel posts, Ren! Re Pope retiring: Odd; re: Married priests: I think once you get over the initial change, it would probably be OK; re Female priests: Excellent idea!; re Charizo: Mmmm… they should make it kosher! re photos: Mmmm… gothic architecture!; re El Cid: Saw that old Charlton Heston movie. Loved it!

    Can’t wait to see/read your stuff from France!!


    • Thanks, vampyrefangs ! * whispers* I really love the blood dish.

      Oh, Popes don’t retire, vf, they abdicate.

      Aaaargh, I don’t think I can get over priests with wives. he he he

      Kosher chorizo! Much better. My family’s favorite hotdog brand is ….@__@, wth, I forgot… it’s kosher…. * slaps head* what is it………..

      haven’t seen the movie, El Cid.


  3. Como es ta senyora? Te amo espanya. La bonita! I hope my spanish is right…hehehe…another cool!


  4. that is a very very interesting and funny random thought you have at the start of this post 🙂 another factor for the decrease in young men entering priesthood would probably be the child abuse thing…anyway, nice pictures as always.


  5. I have to agree with your views on the priesthood, my lovely friend.
    As always, great pics!


  6. Posted by Tatsat on March 8, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    France is where I want to be for vaccation. And since I already am in love with the French language, it might not be that difficult either to blend in.
    Lovely coverage 🙂 It is so amusing to hear the voices from your head ( the first two paragraphs ) 😉 Amazing photos by the way…


    • ha ha….. my random thoughts can be so crazy…. strange, sometimes.

      You’ll love France. It has so much character.

      Cheers, tatsat !


      • Posted by Tatsat on March 8, 2013 at 9:14 pm

        It would be a disappointment to-not-be-crazy at your age Renx 😉
        You will always have a story or two to tell to the world- trust me with that 🙂 Keep it up.


  7. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on March 9, 2013 at 2:36 am

    ah lovely pictures! I think women would be better priests than men anyway. We are better at everything 😉 we give birth to babies, handle pain better etc. although at keeping secrets I think thats we fail at!
    I think there should be a younger Pope. One who is more in tune with world. but what do I know. I am not catholic.


  8. Wow. Great post. And I have a few things to say! First off, great pictures. I’ve never been to Spain and really want to go. Those cathedrals? Amazing. Europe really knew how to do churches right. (Also, Ruben was kind of cute!)

    Second, the priest thing. I’m not Catholic, but the love of my life (up ’til now) felt called to be a priest. Today, after a heart-wrenching eight-year goodbye, he is one. He was ordained in 2009. When the decision was being made, I couldn’t help feeling angry with God and the Church. Men are *supposed* to like women. If he’d belonged to any other church, we could have gotten married and he *still* could have done his priest thing.

    But, alas, that’s not the way the world works. And I know there are good reasons for priests to be celibate. I think you’re onto something with women ordinations.


    • Ruben was cute, yes. But tour protocol was, he wasn’t supposed to get close to the singles. yeah.

      Awwww. Really ? he’;s a good man, Jessica. The thought of him serving the Lord should make you happy. * cries* I know, that hurts.

      yes, they should change the rules. Women are less prone to temptations.

      jessica, you can blog about the priest… what you felt when he informed you about his calling.


      • I’ve thought about it. But I’m still friends with his family. I’m not sure it’s a good idea.

        But maybe someday!


        • Jessica, your story is almost exactly like the story I had read years ago….. a couple in love…. what the girl didn’t know was that the her Bf had been wanting to become a priest since he was little…. and it wavered only once when he kind of fell in love ….. and there was a scene where the guy was in front of the church one rainy night….. then he went to his GF’s house and told her that he had decided to fulfill his dream of serving……. then there ‘s one last heart breaking scene of the girl walking away after saying goodbye, and the expression of the guy as he looks at the girl walking away is so heart wrenching at first, then it becomes serene and peaceful and then he whispers, I love you , Liz, forever.


  9. I’ve always wanted to go to the Basque Region. I’ve heard that the food there is amazing. Regarding the Catholic priests, I’m not educated enough on the subject to share any points of view, but I like the idea that you’ll be looking for an ex-monk:)


    • the whole of Spain has the most delicious, SAVORY food, Mitzee mee…. just my opinion, though.

      Oh, the ex-monk…. * whisper* hey, at least, the probability of male shenanigans is rather low…. woooo !


  10. I enjoy reading your posts – They are full of life – All the best to your talent my friend 😀
    BTW -Will you visit and join my new blog , I would love to see you there too 😀


  11. Excellent written, an interesting post… 🙂

    Talking about these “Chorizo de Bilbao” whiich maybe could be philippine made – couple of years ago while I lived at home in Denmark, we had guests from Manila – when we went shopping for a cozy dinner – then they could tell me that many of the things in the super market were produced in the Phillipines… 🙂

    Beautiful photos… 🙂


    • We can’t find this kind at any regular grocery stores here in the US….only at stores that sell Philippine products. I understand it’s actually made in the Philippines, and the person who concocted the ingredients who lived in the Philippines was from Bilbao.

      Maybe the store you went to with your guests from manila was a specialty store that sells Asian foods?


  12. hello, Ren… thanks for another excellent tale of your travel. both Bilbao and Burgos look neat and modern. in fact, i was expecting stories about the ancient and the archaic, ahaha. it’s a surprise to see that most of these places are so modern and clean. maybe i was anticipating to hear about the olden, ferocious days of Spain and the Spaniards, whehe… still, you narrate the goings on in an intelligent and engaging way – kaya nakakatuwang marinig ang iyong mga kwento, marami kang alam. ^^

    btw, at talagang may hirit at commentary about priesthood ang isang ale, ahaha. 😉 🙂


    • They are both cleaner than Madrid, but then Madrid has more people. But Madrid is nice too. Toledo has more medieval buildings.. in fact, the whole of Toledo is a World Heritage place. The whole city was preserved from medieval times. \

      You know, the whole of manila could have been such a besutiful place had it been preserved, and not ruined by WW2… that Fort Santiago, the wide, lined with acacia trees avenues and the old buildings and churches, and the tranvia , just like in San Francisco. I saw old pics of manila. They were beautiful.

      Ah, the vow of celibacy ! ! he he he…. I don’t think I’d get past married priests. Ha ha ha


      • hello… i hope to visit Madrid and Barcelona before I kick the bucket, hehe. but your account of Toledo, Bilbao and Burgos prove quite interesting. shaks, makarating din kaya ako sa mga ‘yan? that was a cool travel experience, kapatid. lucky you… 🙂

        yes, Intramuros, calle Crisologo and several parts of Vigan would rival some of the old European cities in terms of historicity (haha) and the splendor of architecture. but I think, restoration and preservation are rather huge and costly endeavors. besides, they require a high degree of education and sense of history among citizens, something that is still inadequate in our midst, haha. but you know what, when i trek in the metropolis, i also look out for signs of those – the grandeur of the Filipinos past… ang adik lang. ^^

        hala pa… do try to get over it, dear. am sure the unmarried priests have busier and wilder imaginations, hahaha. and they say the mass, too and officiate catholic rituals, hehe. a lot of filipino folks kiss the priests’ hands, too. am i being bad, dear? oh, am bad, i guess… have a good week, Ren. cheers! 🙂


        • Am I the only one who think priests should be celibate ? I really cannot get past the thought of moi receiving a communion from the priest who just had a fghjkldsa, he he he. Well, I;m set in my ways, and wow, now I know myself, I’m a conservative. NOT. Just the priests. if they cannot fulfill that, they should leave the priesthood and get married and be happy. It’s a calling and a vocation. And you know if they have wives and children? Who’ll support them? Where will they live?


  13. I haven’t been to this part of Spain, but it looks pretty. I like the look of the Guggenheim museum. The modern architecture is just as good as the old, classical style. Nice photos as always. 🙂


  14. Posted by ladyotaku on March 10, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Chorizo de Bilbao! yey! love that specially on fried rice! hehe…

    priesthood in our local area…so many young priests here though, and most of them are good looking too(forgive me Lord, just appreciating the beauty of our species)…

    looking forward to your next posts!


    • Ah, ladyotaku, I have another story of a good=looking young priest in the Philippines, our subdivision’s parish priest…. all the young girls had a crush on him ( and his mode of transpo was a motorcycle ) …. so much so that the hierarchy had to transfer him to a Retreat House. Young, good looking priests will never survive singlehood, I tell ya !


  15. As a fellow avid traveler, I thoroughly enjoyed your post! For information on Entertainment/Current News, including information on the election of the new pope and more, please feel free to follow my blog:


  16. Posted by jakesprinter on March 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Wonderful post my friend 🙂


  17. As usual, wonderful pics! And i laughed hard on your pic with open mouth and slightly closed eyes… Who took that? Funny!


  18. Beautiful Pictures I loved every one


  19. ingget me much! 😀


  20. As usual, I feel a tinge of envy towards your expedition. And about priests? Gives me shivers just hearing the word ‘priest’. Bad experience with one. Hmmm…let’s see if I could bring myself to write about it.


    • Lemme guess, he hit on you?

      If not, I do pity some priests. Mom says the ones in the Philippines are overworked.

      They are like teachers… some will cause trauma on your psyche.


  21. The orange buildings are cute 🙂

    The statue of grandma and grandpa sitting on a chair reminds me of true love.

    Cheers to this beautiful post!


  22. Beautiful pictures, as always!

    Without knowing nearly enough about Catholic tradition, my thought has always been that the church should allow priests to marry. I mean…Peter was married, right?

    Perhaps you’re the best priest you can be if you’re unattached – Paul says as much when it comes to ministry – but not all men are called to be celibate, and it seem sensible that not all priests are called to be celibate. What happens when a wonderful priest is all-consumed by sexual desire and does the unthinkable because he can’t be married? I think we’re seeing the results of such.

    Also, is a priest has sex within the confines of marriage, there’s nothing dirty about it. It’s a beautiful thing – God-ordained even!


    • TWWK, that’s why it’s a calling, a vocation, and I understand it;s hard. You do know they also take a vow of poverty? When one becomes a priest, all his properties are given away. If a priest cannot withstand a life without sex, then he is asked to leave or to take a retreat and reflect if that’s what he wants. The celebration of a catholic mass is different from evangelical ones. The protestant pastor stands in front of the congregation and talk.and talk, and talk…. the Mass is different, and very solemn…. I don’t know how I can explain it. It’s PURE. That’s the only word I can think of. I can compare them with Buddhist monks.

      I know sex is not dirty, especially if there;s love, and better still, in marriage.

      nevertheless, I still feel that the person celebrating the M ass should be extra-special. I don’t know how i can explain that. Sorry.


      • Even if we disagree, I understand what you mean by this being a calling.

        As for a Protestant service, it may lack the solemness of a Catholic mass, but it is no less holy. No less pure. We don’t meet just to hear some dude talk on endlessly (though Paul himself modeled sermons in the Book of Acts). Instead, we come together to worship God as a body. We listen to learn more of Him; we pray to have a honest, dynamic relationship with Him; we sing to tell Him how grateful we are for grace; and we, too, practice sacraments in obedience and remembrance.

        As for pastors, they, too, are called. And they, too, should live a modest life, if not a life of poverty (though many decidedly do not). The center of what they do is not speak sermons – what they do is shepherd God’s people. Their leadership over, prayer for, and relationship with the body of believers is of utmost important. Just as a priest’s responsibility goes far beyond mass, so does a pastor’s. They have a great responsibility that can’t be taken lightly; they, too, are called to ministry.


        • I’m sorry if I have not explained myself clearly, and I guess I’m now misunderstood. As I said, it’s a vocation and men who enter should know exactly what being a priest entails, a vow of chastity, vow of celibacy, vow of poverty, so many vows, and after 10 years studying to become priests, they are given a year to reflect if that is what they really want… they leave the seminary to be with the secular world, and if they still have doubts, they don’t have to return….. they are just like the Apostles who left everything to follow Jesus.

          TWWK , I don’t know how I can explain it and I’m sorry that you felt like I was devaluing the pastors . I know it’s as hard as taking care of a wife, children, how they are doing, and all this stuff being the head of a family too. Where do the pastor get the money to support the family if he has to get a job where he will work from 9 to 5… unless the ministry is the source of money, and then it becomes a job, not a vocation.

          That’s what makes a catholic priest different , TWWK. And if he thinks he cannot fulfill these vows, then he should leave, not change it because he cannot fullfill what is required of being priest.

          Sorry if I ‘m unable to convey what exactly is on my mind.


  23. hi…natutuwa ako sa Spanish opening mo, hihi. the pics are superb, dear… anlagay, wala ka pang maikwento nyan, ha… 😉 antay ko ang post about France. sana, you met an interesting French guy over there, yihee… 🙂 regards, Ren…


    • Oh, french guys… yowshhhhh ! I saw more handsome Italian men, though. O_O”

      To be honest, Once I get going, there’s no way to stop me, he he he. Eh, I love your emoticons. How do I get them? i used to have them, but when I moved to WP, I lost my emoticon features.

      Cheers !


      • ahaha, my sister also said that it’s the Italian men that she notices every time she goes to Europe. hehe, masaya kang kumwento… 🙂

        oh, i type the emoticons myself. for winking, it’s semi-colon plus the half parenthesis. for the smiley, it’s colon then the half parenthesis… regards, Ren… 😉


  24. Beautiful story !


  25. I love the pictures of the castles. This would be so much fun to visit.:)


  26. Posted by JK Bevill - Lost Creek Publishing on March 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Reblogged this on lost creek publishing.


  27. As always beautiful pictures Ren. And this time your views and descriptions are perfectly going with the pictures. Great work once again!! 🙂


    • Thank you, Arindam. And thank you for visiting … I know you’ve been quite busy , with your book writing and all.

      Good luck to your success !


      • Thanks Ren! It’s always a pleasure of mine to visit your blog. But since past week I was occupied with so many different stuffs that I could not visit your blog.

        Have a great time!!


  28. Another beautiful pictures and great story. I enjoyed your post, Ren.


  29. I loved your rant at the beginning of the post. You never fail to get me smiling if you want to know. As for the travel bits. It’s a journey you will never forget, and \I love the way you have shared it. I’m from the Uk so that weirdo Cardinal has been all over the papers. He’s done a runner now


    • that cardinal, I’m sure he’s done a runner. Where is he now ?

      I’m glad I’ve gotten you to smile. And I’m glad my truth hasn’t gotten me in trouble yet, ~_~


  30. Nice to meet you! ^^
    I really like your posts.


  31. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on March 16, 2013 at 2:02 am

    • Rebecca, you’ve handed me a million awards already, ha ha ha. I have a list of those who have awardeded me , as early as last year and i have not done a single acknowledgement , yet ! Man, I’m screwed, totally ! 2012 was for the tour… 2013 is for the awards, I PROMISE ! ! ! By the way, where are the questions?


      • Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on March 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm

        eh i got lazy…I got tired after answering the questions… so i just decided to let people decide if they want to answer the same ones i did. 😉


  32. I always enjoy your words and photos and the way you draw me to a place…I enjoy following you on your travels, just not like some stalker priest who really should be giving mass and not doing sex.


  33. Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes on March 16, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Hi Renx! 🙂

    Love your pictures, as usual. Those Spanish buildings… so amazing.

    And your commentary on Priests and celibacy. I don’t “hate you” your opinion! 🙂 I do think marriage for them is okay though. I totally believe and expect that if women were ordained as Priests, they would be abused and possibly raped, and expected to stand for mass on Sundays. I wholly believe that.

    I just find them so foul, so corrupt – irredeemably. Catholicsm, to my view, needs to die now – needs to be let go and all the golden chalices sold for the benefit of the poor. So, don’t you please hate ME!

    Your expectation women Priests is an answer is so sweet, but to me not realistic. Abuse, abuse – they can’t help themselves, those old boys.

    But each to their own on that. Lovely to see your happy photos 🙂 N.


    • OMG, Noeleen. Women priests getting abused and raped ! Aaaargh ! Let’s think positive ! !

      Oh, no, I won’t hate you about your opinion of Catholicism. We each have our own opinions and i respect you yours. You should hear what we talk about over dinner, ha ha. It’s okay, Noeleen.

      Cheers !


  34. Posted by jalal michael sabbag. on April 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Viva Espania so delightful.Amazing vacation ,Great post especially the pictures.My regards.jalal


  35. You’re very lucky to have such great experience. I wish to do the same tour maybe 10-15 yrs from now. At that time, my kid would be old enough to appreciate the travel and at the same time, my savings hopefully would be enough for my family to avail that. 🙂

    And I find your view about church issues quite interesting. I like how you balanced your liberal and conservative thought.

    I am also one with you regarding priestly celibacy. Although unknown to many catholics especially us under the Latin rites, we are unaware of “married priests” in the eastern rites catholic. It’s legal and allowed by the Church. Why? The vow is one of the difference the eastern and latin rites catholics have. But in dogma and doctrine, everything we have are the same. It’s just that the married priests within their groups cannot become bishops.

    Regarding female priests, I’m not sure about that. Women are called to serve the Church in other ways anyway.

    And I love all the photos you posted here. I really hope I can visit Spain someday.


  36. Posted by 최다해 gongjumonica on April 19, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your experience. I laughed when I read the title and saw a chorizo de bilbao in there. A colleague has a family name of Bilbao and I think it really refers to the place. For example, Lucas de Bilbao is Lucas from Bilbao, Spain. Something like that. Haha!


  37. Thank you for always sharing your experiences with us, the photo are amazing,
    and oh oh oh the food so yummy looking, have a wonderful night peace and love Rock On!


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