Growing up, History was admittedly my Achilles’ heel. I found it excruciatingly painful listening to dates and persons of interest – from presidents, heroes, to commoners who made impacts in our history, meanwhile believing that there’s an understated beauty in antiques, cobblestones, artifacts, and pieces of what was the world before technology. Such a paradox, really – mainly rooted in my innate perennial complicated thoughts.
My birthday month, October, last year, I had the chance to gallivant, together with my family, in a place evidently showing Asian and European fusion from its street names, architecture, famous delicacies, and just about anything. Like my home country – the Philippines, Macau experienced European colonization from 16th century until 1999. Situated 60 kilometers west of Hongkong, we traversed via ferry boat at Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan Station, Hongkong. By then, Macau greeted us with a bright weather and clear azure skies.
Admittedly focusing in immersing myself into other nations’ culture and traditions, Centro Histórico de Macau was on top of the list. It constituted twenty locations that depicts Portuguese and Chinese culture exchange, was included in UNESCO world heritage list in 2005 that is an excellent boost for their main economic source – tourism.
While everyone seemed to flock towards Ruins of St. Paul’s – a 17th century stone facade made of intricate carvings with an Oriental theme, one should also not miss Holy House of Mercy, white building afront the fountain; St. Dominic’s Church, yellow edifice that’s rarely get unnoticed, Hotel Central, Leal Senado Building, and Macau General Post Office in Largo de Senado (Senado Square).
Although its rich East meets West vibe on 16th – 20th century architectural, cultural, and traditional influences entice tourists to roam around the streets tirelessly, their impressive themed hotels and casinos shouldn’t be missed, as well. It won’t be Las Vegas of Asia for nothing, after all. I, for certain, will do it on my next trip.