Hi, my name is Rilyn Gancia. I just graduated from Point Park University where I studied sports, arts and entertainment management. I currently work as the marketing assistant at CONSOL Energy Center, guest services and in the Box Office at Stage AE. I am very excited to visit Spain and Portugal with the International Media Class! I am excited to visit the different companies abroad and learn the similarities and differences between these markets, and of course eat the food! During my free time I like to go to concerts, golf, watch hockey and hang out with my friends.
Flights, Bites, and everything nice.
I’m still trying to find words to describe the day of traveling and “touristing” on May 11 and 12. My patience was tested in the greatest way possible. At first I was very so not excited to stay in Philly airport for 6 hours, so when I heard that the flight was delayed a little happiness filled my heart. The plane rides I really had no problems with. I sat to sat next to a nice old lady, and for a while we talked about her grandchildren, the class, and places we’ve traveled and lived. I quickly realized that it would be quite beneficial for me to sleep so, I put on my neck pillow and dosed off pretty fast.
I woke up at a perfect time, they were just about to serve breakfast. After that we were actually pretty close to landing, and I was still searching for feelings… feelings like “ Hey Rilyn you’re in SPAIN”!! But nothing was settling in, and still I’m sitting here trying to feel that feeling of me just taking a deep breathe in, knowing that I am in SPAIN. Anyways… once we got on the plane everything was honestly a blur, a true out of body experience.
I can say that the airports were super clean and very specific, and a lot modern for what I would have imagined. There were only so many things I could take in during our first day in Spain. I was constantly fighting my allergies, asthma, tiredness, hunger, curiosity and straight sun hitting my body( hoping my golf tanlines would go away). The palace was the most beautiful place I will probably see in my entire life. I was in awe seeing the art and the architecture. the different rooms and just everything was beautiful! I know beautiful has been said a lot but I don’t know what else to say other than “beautiful”. So again, as much as I tried to concentrate I really don’t have much of a recollection of the first day there other than being really tired, even that nap that I took in the hotel didn’t really help me that much. But on to exploring and dinner, but first that nap.
So after my nap and my refreshing shower we took a walking tour around Madrid. And in my pure exhaustion I fell in love with Madrid. It wasn’t that hard. There were flowers at every window, cobblestone streets, the sun, and happy people. Even though it was a touristy place, the locals were thriving and at points during the walk and dinner, I didn’t feel like a tourist. I kind of felt at home.
Something I rarely talk about but I feel like I should bring up is cultural identity. I don’t talk about it much because I feel like no one really understands. So here is the short story. Growing up in a first generation immigrant filipino family was very difficult. I was tan, had dark hair and almond eyes. I didn’t fit the stereo-type of Asian, Pacific Islander or Hispanic, I am a combination of both. Growing up and identifying with a culture less popular was a challenge, considering I was the only brown skinned person in my school basically my whole life. But as I was walking around in Madrid, I saw these people walking around with their culture on their sleeve. That’s something that I always did back home, but very few understood and accepted, but there in Spain I felt like I could wear my Spanish influences on my sleeve and be welcomed with opened arms.
Now today I can say that I am completely refreshed and ready to go! Today was Ketchum and Havas day. We first walked in and I automatically saw the cool furniture. I know that the kind of outside the box furniture is a thing to inspire creativity, but it was actually cool to sit in one of those funky chairs! I really liked Ketchum, I like it a lot more than I thought I would. The case studies that they went through for us were so interesting! And again for them to come up with these ideas for little to no money is absolutely insane! My favorite was the clothes swap one and the migraine one. In my opinion they were very personal and tried to really connect the product and brand to the consumer. Something that I found extremely odd was that they didn’t really talk about Pittsburgh, nor where they that excited that we were a school from Pittsburgh? I’m not sure, I would have thought they would have brought that up a little bit more. But anyways, mid through the lecture they brought out some snacks! I know that it is their culture to make everyone feel at home and make sure that they don’t leave hungry. But again, the thought is what counts.
Havas Media was also very interesting! As soon as Niko walked into the room, I knew that him and Gustavo were friends just by their personality! I really like their project of “Meaningful Brands”. I think that branding is so important, and I was very surprised about how America doesn’t really care about brands. I always thought that we were all brand freaks! But I guess we were wrong?
Later that night, we all went out to dinner at this really nice place called El Pajar. It was recommended to us by the receptionist at the hotel! It was a little cute hole in the wall place, but man it was delicious. I ordered this meal deal. It was like pick 2 for 14 Euros. So I picked the paella (which was delicious) and something that had huevos in it. I like eggs so I figured I would like it, and also the little old gentleman taking our orders said it was delicious! I got my food and the eggs game with sausage patties. I googles the sausage patties and they were PORK BLOOD SAUSAGE! I ate pork blood sausage and I actually didn’t think it was bad! I guess Spain is just changing me for the better!
I guess I can start with SEGOVIA IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD AND I WANT TO LIVE THERE FOREVER! So today was our cultural visit day, and it was great. First we went to Valley of the Fallen. Driving up and seeing the cross was an absolute amazing feeling. It was nice just being outside of the city, surrounded by nature and just in my own element. When we walking into the church all I could think about is how much my grandparents would want to be there and how much they would love it. I was left speechless in such a spiritual manner there. It was an amazing feeling. You know how you see people always taking pictures of them looking at the view? I felt that, deep breathe in and deep breathe out. During our free time I kinda walked around in the forest that had the stations of the cross. It was a very special moment for me, to be away from the class. I said a little prayer and it made me feel a lot better.
And then we drove off to Segovia, and little did I know that I would love it there. We first went to by the castle which we would soon go in! Segovia was the place that finally made me realize that I was in Spain. The cobblestone streets and the beautiful flowers at each and every house, the tiny streets, all the shops, everything I saw was everything I imagined Spain would be. Even though it was a high tourist area everyone there was so welcoming and full of life. I felt like everyone wanted to get to know you and make you feel comfortable. I can’t even describe it that place other then beautiful. And that I can see myself going back there. We went into the castle which was really interesting to see, but the best part was climbing up the tower. Well, not the best considering that I had to climb up 10000 steps and had to take my inhaler 4 times and I had no water. But man that view, it was worth it.
After going around for the town we had a group dinner. And it was my favorite dinner! Surprisingly liked the soup considering I have texture problems, and I loved the suckling pig! Every year my family does a pig roast very similar, but this pig was tender and just so delicious. The dessert was by far my favorite as well, since we got 3 mini ones.
But during our dinner, I started to hear this awesome band approaching. I couldn’t help but stare! I kept on tapping my foot as they played just outside from us, but I couldn’t help get up when I heard Stevie Wonder. I started to sing in English, but then realized everyone was singing in Spanish.. I took a card and liked them on Facebook. It was just so cool how they just played on the street and danced! It was just the coolest feeling ever.
Here I am blogging on the train to Barcelona! WOW that just sounded really cool. My sickness is starting to get really bad today. I keep on sneezing and coughing and I just feel like crap. I am not sure if it’s just my allergies or if I am actually getting sick. I feel bad cause I’m sitting next to Greg blowing my nose a lot. Well I am sitting next to a lot of people blowing my nose a lot. There were a couple of things about the train station that I found super interesting. They don’t have escalators like we do, they have escalators without stairs… Which was interesting to say the least, but it didn’t work in my favor considering the angle was pretty high and I was carrying my luggage. Another thing, you had to pay to use the bathroom? Thank God I had a couple of extra coins, because that would have been rough for me.
Earlier today we went to Toledo and visited the most amazing Cathedral. Again, all I could think about was my grandparents and how much they would love to be there. This cathedral was my favorite by far. They had little mini altars inside, some displaying different stories in the bible. I felt so blessed to be in there, so blessed that my eyes could see something so beautiful and holy. Again, I cannot describe this feeling.
Now that I think about it. I haven’t really taken a lot of picture, I guess I can just depend on my memories and reminisce on the feelings that I had there.
BARCELONA BARCELONA I am in Barcelona!
Hellloooo Free Day. I hope I meet the word requirement for today…. Not much happened that I can really go into detail with. Kariann and I have been planning to go make-up shopping so I decided to to stick with her all day. I got to hang out with a new people today. Not that I haven’t hung out with them, but obviously there are groups on this trip and I kinda switched today, but it was super fun! I got to hang out with Kariann, Kim, Courtney, Dana, Alicia, and Marissa! They are really awesome people! They were planning on spending a good amount of time at the beach, and man I really needed that! First we ate this place on the Rambla. I had this shrimp dish that was sooooo delicious! And then we made our way to the beach, taking the scenic view and also kind of getting lost. But hey we made it. I laid on The Mediterranean beach today! We stayed there for maybe 3 hours. I am really not sure I fell asleep on the beach and soaked in that sun. But it was a good day to relax! After the we beach we walked aorund the boardwalk and went shopping at the little tents. Oh we also got gelato! I ate macaroon gelato and it was absolutely delicious… I also bought my brother a clock made out of old vinyl! I really think he would like this! After that me and Kariann did some damage at the mall right by the port. When we were flying out of Pittsburgh Kariann and I were talking about make-up and she told me about this make-up store called Kiko. They only have in Europe! So Kariann and I went to the store and we bought so much stuff, but their products are not sold in the U.S, so all of my purchases are totally justifiable! The group of us(Courtney, Kim, Kariann, Alicia, Dana, and Marissa) also went to dinner, at McDonalds…One thing I can tell you is that if only the fast food workers in Spain looked like the ones back at home
Today was another exciting day. Today was our visit to TV3 and Camp Nou. Today was also my media day to ask questions and stuff… but we only got a tour. I still asked a ton of questions personally to our tour guide. I feel like my sickness is really start to flow through my whole body and this morning I woke up and couldn’t really talk, and all I had in my purse was basically tissues, cough medicine and cough drops! I also didn’t have an appetite, which really killed me because I really wanted eat a lot of the breakfast that they had downstairs. Everything looked so good!
So TV3 was really cool, and they had coffee machines that sold coffee for only .35 Euros! I really enjoyed the media visit at TV3. I really appreciated how they really wanted to “put Catalan on the map”. Again, I am so fascinated by how much pride they have in their culture, and how much they are pushing for it. I guess I am so used to having a lot of options back at home, but I was completely unaware of how limited they were in different channels! No surprise that a lot of the channel options that they have there are plenty enough of sports channels! The tour was so amazing and I thought that it was extremely nice that the tour guide Adriana really took the time to show us all around!
Camp Nou was so awesome and the most exciting for me! I was kind of sad that we didn’t get to talk to anyone who worked there because I would have love to really pick their brain, and had a lot to ask given its my major. But the tour itself was cool! And man, their locker rooms, are like 50 times better than The Pittsburgh Penguins I can definitely tell you that!
I learned a couple of things so far on this trip but one thing I have going for me is that I am really good at packing now! I am not sure if I talked about the Flamenco show.. But Let’s talk about the Flamenco show for just one second. I finally understand why everyone here is so skinny and beautiful, they flamenco dance. I really enjoyed our group dinner, the food was awesome! I think that was the best Paella I have had here! The Flamenco dancing was so interesting to see! It reminded me a lot of when I used to Folk Dance. But, they took it to a whole new level. Dancing like that has to take a lot of Athleticism. I was sweating for them! The costumes were very beautiful and so intricate, my favorite was the white dresses.
So today we had to pack everything up because we were leaving. We had one media visit stop before leaving to go Portugal! It’s so weird to think that we are almost at the end of our trip. So we were off to La Vangaurdia. Today was probably the worst for me. I was so sick and honestly could not pay attention to a thing. I was so exhausted and I felt so bad because during the whole meeting I was blowing my nose and coughing.
After that visit we had lunch and we went to La Sagrada Familia. I think another reason why I was feeling so loopy was because it also started to rain, which I think naturally for most people makes them feel sad. The church was so beautiful and the architecture was just stunning. Walking around and being able to sit on my own for a while really made me feel a lot better!
Today was also super busy because we also had to take a flight to Lisbon! The airport in Madrid was really really nice, which was no surprise. We also had to say goodbye to Mauricio today. It was really sad, he really made this trip for me and I really got to learn a lot about him.
Hello from Portugal! Today was a traveling tour day and a media visit! I decided to order room service and stay in while everyone went out for dinner, just to get some rest and sleep so I can finally feel better.
Yesterday we landed in Portugal at night and went straight to the hotel. Some of is were hungry so we went out trying to find someplace to eat. When we were walking around, we asked some kids hanging out at this park, and they suggested McDonalds! So we went to McDonalds haha. The McDonalds here are so classy. When we went upstairs to sit I was surprised to see lounge chairs and bean bags as an option to sit on!
Today Odette took me to the pharmacy to get some medicine so I have been taking cough and cold medicine and napping every second I can in high hopes that maybe I’ll feel better for the last day. I ordered some vegetable soup salad and some ginger ale. I can’t watch netflix here so I turned on the T.V and found NCIS (one of my favorite shows) on TV in English!!
I know I said that I enjoyed all of the speakers but today I really enjoyed the speakers. My 2 favorite of the day were Joao and Lara. Joao had a military and business background so when he was speaking I really understood where he was coming from (finally). I also thought it was very sweet of him to talk about his grand-daughter! You could just tell that he was just such an intelligent man. And then there was Lara, she was an American living in Portugal! Her perspective was so interesting. And I think she did have a great point. She said that it was important for people to utilize Portugal its neutrality. I also really really like what she said about how in an economic crisis that they were in, they turn to creativity. I think that is crucial, I think the best creations are made in times of crisis. Well off for now, Im going to finish eating go to sleep… at 9:15!