El Rey De Reyes, An Underwater Treasure in-Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

El Rey De Reyes

If you like unique sightseeing spots, there is one spot that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Capella Ixtapa and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.  But, be prepared – for this sightseeing tour you will need your swimsuit and a snorkeling gear!  Yes, it is that unique!

Below the blue waters at Las Gatas beach in Zihuatanejo, you will be able to see an impressive bronze statue of Christ, or El Rey de Reyes (The King of Kings).  This statue, which weighs a ton and a half, and is 12 feet tall, represents an expression of faith for the locals.

El Rey De Reyes

The history of this statue goes back in 2006, when locals were called to donate keys, which would then be used to form the heart of the Jesus sculpture.  When enough keys were collected, a sculptor from Acapulco named Marco Antonio Rivero Guerrero, created the sculpture.

In November 2006, the Archbishop Diocese Felipe Aguirre Franco blessed El Rey de Reyes, and in January 2007, Pope Benedict XVI blessed a replica of the statue.  It then travelled through several cities in Mexico, including Acapulco, Mexico City, Patzcuaro and Morelia, and was received by over 50,000 people.  At each city they visited, local priests conducted mass, rang the cathedral bells and citizens celebrated the statue with a festival and fireworks.

Once El Rey de Reyes was returned to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, they immersed it to the ocean at Las Gatas, a quaint little beach, located on the south side of the Zihuatanejo Bay, popular for swimming and snorkeling.  The statue is a symbol of the local’s commitment to faith.

If you are interested in visiting El Rey de Reyes, your Capella Ixtapa Personal Assistant can organize a scuba diving or snorkeling trip to see it in all its splendor.

El Rey De Reyes Un Tesoro Submarino En Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

Si te gustan los sitios turísticos únicos, hay uno que no debes perderte cuando visites Capella Ixtapa e Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.  Pero, ve preparado –para este tour vas a necesitar tu traje de baño y equipo de snorkel!  Sí, así de singular es!

Bajo las azules aguas de la playa Las Gatas en Zihuatanejo, tendrás la posibilidad de admirar una impresionante estatua de bronce de Jesucristo, o El Rey de Reyes.  Esta estatua, la cual pesa mas de tonelada y media, y tiene más de 3.5 metros de alto, representa la expresión máxima de fe de los locales.

El Rey De Reyes

La historia de esta estatua viene del año 2006, cuando los locales fueron llamados a donar llaves, las cuales posteriormente serían utilizadas para dar forma a una estatua de Jesucristo.  Cuando se habían ya juntado suficientes llaves, un escultor de Acapulco llamado Marco Antonio Rivero Guerrero, creó la escultura.

En noviembre del 2006, el Arzobispo Felipe Aguirre Franco bendijo EL Rey de Reyes, y en enero del 2007, el Papa Benedicto XVI bendijo una réplica de la estatua.  La cual posteriormente viajó a través de varias ciudades de México incluyendo Acapulco, Ciudad de México, Pátzcuaro y Morelia, siendo recibida por más de 50,000 personas.  En cada una de las ciudades que la estatua visitó, los curas locales organizaron misas, hicieron repicar las campanas de sus iglesias y los fieles celebraban la estatua con una fiesta y fuegos artificiales.

Una vez que el Rey de Reyes volvió a Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, lo sumergieron en el océano en la playa de Las Gatas, una pequeña playa ubicada al sur de la Bahía de Zihuatanejo, sitio muy popular para nadar y snorkelear.  La estatua es un símbolo de la fe de los locales.

Si estás interesado en visitar El Rey de Reyes, tu Asistente Personal de Capella Ixtapa puede organizarte un tour de buceo o snorkel para que lo admires en todo su esplendor.

Capella Singapore’s Peranakan Experience

Traditional Peranakan beading work.

Last week I had the opportunity to accompany one of the Capella Singapore Personal Assistants on a trip to the Peranakan museum as part of the new Peranakan Experience that we have created for guests who would like to explore the local Singapore culture.

Part of the tour took us to the Peranakan Museum, which showcased decades of age-old Peranakan culture and history.  For those unfamiliar, the Peranakan culture evolved from the early Chinese and Malay settlers in colonial Singapore and Malaysia who intermarried resulting in an exotic blend of cultures.

One thing I found particularly interesting was the strong matriarchal tendencies among the Peranakan.  While the men were the sole breadwinners for the family, the women, known as Nonyas, stayed home and ran the household.  As a result, one of the unique traits of Nonya women is that they are skilled in the culinary arts and crafts that distinguish the culture.  Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to experience both these luxuries.

Following our tour of the Peranakan Museum, we headed to a near by Peranakan restaurant.  The cuisine, while employing many traditional Chinese preparations, is extremely unique in its flavor profile.  We tried everything from a Fish Head Curry (not nearly as mad as the name suggests!) to Kueh Pie Tee, which featured shredded bamboo shoots and shrimp inside mini pie shells.  The flavors were exotic and bold and the dishes beautifully presented.

Traditional Peranakan beading work.

Traditional Peranakan beading work.

From there we headed to a shop run by a Peranakan woman, who still creates the traditional beaded shoes as well as selling beautiful kebayas.  Like the food the clothing was also brightly colored and rich in ornate detail.  We were told that some of the shoes could take several months to make as each bead was sewn on individually.  The same held true for the blouses and sarongs, as even the most “casual” kebaya was intricately decked out in skilled embroidery. Truly an art form!

The Peranakan culture is truly a significant part of the Singapore culture and something you really must experience for your self.  The next time you are at Capella Singapore be sure to ask your Personal Assistant for the Peranakan Experience.  I am sure you will love to learn about the history, culture and food just as much as I did!

Twelve Grapes and Other Mexican New Year’s Superstitions

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

Farewell to the old year brings many Mexican superstitions, which give us hope for the better year to come.  Some of my favorite superstitions are eating twelve grapes after the clock marks midnight of the New Year’s Eve; taking your suitcase for a walk, and wearing yellow or red underwear, to bring prosperity or love.  I spoke about these superstitions with Capella Ixtapa’s Personal Assistant Saris Rosas, and she told me about some new ones I haven’t heard before.  If you’d like to bring some Mexican traditions into your New Year celebrations, here are just some of the things we like to do with the hope of an excellent new year:

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

1.  The twelve grapes of luck.  The tradition consists of eating a grape with each bell strike at midnight of December 31.  According to the tradition, that leads to a year of prosperity.

2.  Wear red or yellow underwear.  Red underwear is supposed to bring you lots of love in the new year, and yellow underwear lots of money.

3.  Make a wish list.  Before your New Year’s Eve dinner, write on a piece of paper three wishes for the New Year and fold the paper.  Make sure the paper touches your skin throughout the dinner, then when the New Year arrives burn the paper.  Your wishes will come true!

4.  Candles.  The candle colors attract different fortune: a blue candle is supposed to bring calmness in the new year, the yellow ones abundance, the red passion, and the green candles health.  Burn your selected color during your New Year’s Eve festivities.

5.  Take your suitcase for a walk.  If you want the New Year to be filled with travel then you must pack your suitcase and take it for a walk around your home.  When you return make sure you enter with your right foot for good luck.

These are just some of the superstitions and traditions with which we give a welcome to the New Year in Mexico.  The Capella Ixtapa December holiday program embraces several of the fun Mexican traditions – both for Christmas and New Year’s.  What are your New Year’s traditions?  I’d love to read about them in the comments below. 

Las Doce Uvas Y Otras Supersticiones Mexicanas Para Año Nuevo

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

Despedir el Año Viejo en México trae muchas supersticiones, las cuales nos dan esperanza de un año nuevo mejor.  Algunas de mis supersticiones favoritas son comer las doce uvas cuando el reloj marca la media noche del 31 de Diciembre; salir con tus maletas y dar la vuelta a la manzana, y utilizar ropa interior amarilla o roja, para atraer la prosperidad o el amor.  Hablé de estas supersticiones con Saris Rosas Asistente Personal de Capella Ixtapa, y ella me contó sobre algunas otras que nunca antes había escuchado.  Si estas buscando incorporar algunas tradiciones mexicanas a tu celebración de año nuevo, aquí están algunas de las cosas que nos gusta hacer para esperar un excelente año nuevo:

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

1.  Las 12 uvas de la suerte.  La tradición consiste en comer cada uva con cada campanada al dar las 12 de la noche de Diciembre 31.  Esto, de acuerdo a la tradición, nos garantizará un año de prosperidad.

2.  Utilizar ropa interior amarilla o roja.  La ropa interior roja supuestamente atraerá mucho amor en el año nuevo, y la amarilla abundancia económica

3.  Hacer una lista de deseos.  Antes de la cena de año nuevo, escribe en un papel 3 deseos para el año nuevo y dobla el papel.  Asegúrate que el papel toque tu piel durante la cena, cuando llegue el año nuevo, quema la hoja.  Tus deseos se harán realidad!

4.  Velas.  Dependiendo de su color, las velas atraen diferente fortuna: azul te traerá calma en el nuevo año, amarillas abundancia, el rojo pasión, y las verdes salud.  Utiliza el color de lo que desees para el Año Nuevo durante las fiestas de Noche Vieja.

5.  Lleva tus maletas a caminar.  Si quieres que tu nuevo año esté lleno de viajes entonces debes hacer las maletas y salir a darle la vuelta a la manzana.  Cuando regreses asegúrate de entrar a tu casa con el pie derecho para tener buena suerte en tus viajes.

Estas son tan solo algunas de las múltiples tradiciones y supersticiones con las cuales damos la bienvenida al año nuevo en México.  El programa de fiestas decembrinas de Capella Ixtapa festeja varias de las divertidas tradiciones – tanto para Navidad como para Año Nuevo.  Cuáles son tus tradiciones de Año Nuevo?  Me encantaría leer sobre ellas en los comentarios a este post.

 

The History Of Mooncakes

Mooncakes 1

One of my favourite Chinese festivals, the Mid Autumn Festival happens each year on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar. This year, the Mid Autumn Festival took place on the 19th of September. The festival is celebrated throughout Asia, wherever there is a large ethnically Chinese population.  And in each of these locations it has adopted additional names, one of the most popular here is Singapore is the Mooncake Festival.

Mooncakes 1

For those unfamiliar, Mooncakes are a small pastry, often round is shape, that contain a variety of filling ranging from lotus seed pastes to nut mixtures to salted egg yolks.  These days you can also find chocolate, ice cream and green tea versions.  During September almost every food outlet sells their own custom version, so the varietals are endless.  The outside of the pastry is then imprinted with different Chinese characters and imagery, each design unique to its purveyor.  It is common for people to give them as business gifts as well as to relatives.

An exciting historical account of how Mooncakes came about dates back to the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongolians ruled China.  The people of China baked Mooncakes and hid messages in them, which contained their battle plans against the Mongolians.  The success of this method led to the successful uprising of the Chinese to overthrow the Mongolian rulers and the Ming Dynasty was born.  It is said that Mooncakes are eaten every year to commemorate this inspired act.

The next time you are in Singapore in September, look out for when the Mid Autumn Festival takes place and you could be in for a cultural treat.  And don’t forget to ask your Capella Singapore Personal Assistant about their favourite Mooncake source- you may be in for a treat!