Category Archives: religion

Back To Baguio (With Mama) : Saint Joseph The Worker Parish

After that tiring yet rewarding time we have spent exploring the Botanical Garden [Check : Back To Baguio (With Mama) : Botanical Garden], i got thrilled because finally I will get the chance to visit the Baguio Cathedral. I never got the chance to visit the Cathedral during the Panagbenga Festival last year and when I found out that Baguio Cathedral is part of our itinerary, i just can’t hide my excitement. We were initially told that we only have 10 to 15 minutes to explore the church and I thought it was just fine. However, to my dismay, our tour took us somewhere else. We were taken to a different church!20161218_101953tWe were guided to “Saint Joseph The Worker Parish“. I actually wouldn’t mind being taken to a different church but what pisses me off is that our Tour Guide is seemingly not knowledgeable enough about Baguio City. I mean, really? If you are a tour coordinator, you should be know the place you are exploring. If you are not familiar with the destinations, well at least you must do some research in advance before the actual event. Unfortunately, the rest of the group were misinformed.20161218_100656tThe Saint Joseph Parish Church is located in Pacdal Road in Baguio City. It is not as huge as the Cathedral but is equally stunning. It has a simple facade with a single belfry on the side.  The façade is punctuated by stained glass windows, the most striking of which is the central cross design that from the inside is in blazing red outlined in gold, over the choir loft.20161218_100616tA portico at the entrance of the church serves as shed from the scourging heat of the sun. I cannot find any further details on when the church was established but the church became known as the venue of Aga Mulach and Charlene Gonzales Wedding.20161218_100725tThe church’s nave. The interiors were adorned by golden chandeliers.20161218_100745tThe church features an interesting-looking retablo which resembles a Gothic-inspired church facade. I’m not sure if this is inspired from a real church much like what we have seen in Binondo Church.20161218_100800tThe stained glass windows illuminating the church’s interior.20161218_100825tIn one of the sanctuaries, you’ll find the image of Immaculate heart of Mary20161218_101010tAnd on the other side lies the church’s patron saint, Saint Joseph the Worker.
With much crowder Baguio Cathedral, Saint Joseph the Worker Parish is a perfect alternative in case you are looking for a much serene and quiet atmosphere.

How to Get to Botanical Garden
►Going to Baguio has never a hassle anymore. There are so many transit buses in the Metro that will take you directly to Baguio (Victory Liner and Genesis buses are two of the common bus companies that offers buses bound to the Summer capital of the Philippines. It is going to be 5-7 hours long travel and a one way ride may cost you up to Php450 or above. All places in Baguio can now be reached via jeepney or tricycle.
►Saint Joseph The Worker Parish is near the Baguio Plaza along with other popular destinations like Mines View or the PMA. Just ride a jeepney bound to such places and just ask the driver to drop you off to any of these spots

Where to stay in Baguio
► There are many places to stay while in Baguio. There are many transient houses, budget hotels and even a bedspace. This will depend on your budget but based on my own experiences, it is really ideal to book your stay ahead. I got most of bookings at TravelBookPH (due to the great discounts I usually get from them). You can check this List of Hotels In Baguio for your budget-friendly guide!

After a quick visit to the Saint Joseph The Worker Parish and after being misinformed that it was the Baguio Cathedral, we headed to another common spot in Baguio, the Wright Park and The Mansion. I am going to post more of our Baguio experience soon.

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Feel free to watch this video summary below and don’t forget to subscribe!
You might also want to check my previous Baguio-related Entries below
►Panagbenga Festival Grand Float Parade 2016
►Wright Park And The Mansion
►Mines View Park
►Cordillera World Museum
►Strawberry Farm
►Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
►Things To Buy When Visiting Baguio
►Things To Consider and To Expect Before Going to 2017 Panagbenga Flower Festival
►Side Trips in Baguio During the Panagbenga Flower Festival

List Of Churches In ZAMBALES for Visita Iglesia

Now that Holy Week is nearly approaching, you might be thinking on where you want your Visita Iglesia would be. Visita Iglesia is one of the traditional religious activity done by Filipinos every Lenten season (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in particular) where they will attempt to visit seven different churches and recite the Station of the Cross with them. Some will even attempt to visit fourteen churches to symbolize all the fourteen stations. Considering that the majority of religion in the Philippines is Roman Catholic, the country has so many churches to offer and now I am listing down some of the Churches in Zambales you might consider visiting this Holy Week.P3124180t1. Cathedral of Saint Augustine / Iba Cathedral – Iba Zambales (Check : Cathedral of Saint Augustine of Iba Zambales)

3548365846_06af9a9d71_b2. Saint Michael The Archangel Parish Church – Sta Cruz, Zambales (Image Source)

1259227483. St Vincent Ferrer Parish Church – Candelaria, Zambales (Image Source)

san andres parish church-masinloc, zambales4. San Andres Parish Church ( Masinloc Church) – Masinloc Zambales (a Cultural heritage church) –(Image Source)

P3124267t 6. Ina Poon Bato Church – Loob Bunga, Botolan, Zambales (Check : The Ina Poon Bato Church in Botolan Zambales)

Botolan_Church_in_Zambales_facade7. Sta Monica Church – Danacbunga, Botolan, Zambales (Image Source)

P3124280t8. Saint Rose of Lima Parish Church – Cabangan Zambales (Check : Sta Rosa De Lima Catholic Parish Church of Cabangan, Zambales)

P3124292t9. San Sebastian Church – San Narciso , Zambales (Check : San Sebastian Church in San Narciso, Zambales)
4608757504_f427e2fb5110. Saint William Parish Church – San Marcelino, Zambales (Image Source)

IMG_7760a Castillejos11. San Nicholas De Tolentino Parish Church – Castillejos, Zambales (Image Source)

P3124319t12. Saint James Parish Church – Subic, Zambales – (Check – Saint James Parish in Subic, Zambales)

You can also check the following posts
►List of Churches in CAVITE for Visita Iglesia
►List of Churches in BATANGAS for Visita Iglesia
►List of Churches and Chapels in LAS PIÑAS and PARAÑAQUE For Visita Iglesia
►List of Pilgrim Sites and Retreat Centers Near MANILA that You Should Visit This Holy Week
►List of Churches and Chapels To Visit in CAVITE CITY During Holy Week
►Batangas Pilgrimage Tour
►The Pilgrim’s Passport And the Designated JUBILEE Churches in Manila
►Zambales Pilgrimage Tour
►Manila Pilgrimage Tour
►Ina Poon Bato, The Patroness of Botolan

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The 37th Intramuros Grand Marian Procession #IGMP2016

Intramuros Grand Marian Procession is probably considered as one of the biggest Marian events in Luzon where over a hundred images of the Virgin Mary are being showcased in a parade along the historic road of Intramuros. The event is celebrated annually and is organized by the Cofradia every first Sunday of December. The event is also done in celebration of Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion (the principal patroness of the Philippines) which is on December 8.
IMG_0444tLooking back at history, the first Marian procession in Intramuros can be traced way back in 1619 during the Spanish period.  The tradition was preserved but the way it is being celebrated was changed throughout the years. Today, the annual grand procession is still being done where different most prominent Marian images are being paraded alongside with marching bands, folk dancers and of course the hundreds of devotees who travel all the way from their respective towns just to join the parade.IMG_1058TThis is actually my fourth year to attend such event and I am still overwhelmed to see all these miraculous icons being paraded along Intramuros. As a Marian devotee, it is truly a rewarding experience to witness such event that gathers different Marian images in the country. The streets in Intramuros was illuminated by candles coming from different carrozas that carry the Blessed images of Mary. We have to remind ourselves that despite of many Images or icons depicting Mary and despite of many titles the are being named to her, we are referring to one and that is the Blessed Virgin Mary. So now, allow me to share you the photos taken from the recently concluded 37th Intramuros Grand Marian Procession.
IMG_0341tSan Lorenzo Ruiz. He is considered as the first Filipino saint and his main shrine can be found in Binon Church in Manila (Check : A Trip To Binondo : Binondo Church)IMG_0338tSan Pedro CalungsodIMG_0344tSan AndressIMG_0353tSaint JosephIMG_0372tOur Lady of Fatima of Binakayan CaviteIMG_0386tIMG_0395tSta Ana of HagonoyIMG_0402tSagrada FamiliaIMG_0378tDulcisimo Nombre De MariaIMG_0413tSanta Maria Estrella Del MarIMG_0418tThe Annunciation
IMG_0427tLa Divina MatrimoniaIMG_0436tThe VisitationIMG_0449tNuestra Señora Stella MarisIMG_0458tNuestra Señora Dela OIMG_0461tMadonna Salus Infirmorum
IMG_0467tMary The Health of the Sick

A Day Trip In Tanay : The Regina RICA

We left the Parola (Check : A Day Trip To Tanay : The Parola) around 9 am and its very odd that despite the scourging heat of the sun, the rain started to fall (may kinakasal yata na tikbalang). We finally made it to our next destination in Tanay, the well known pilgrim site of Regina RICA. Regina RICA is indeed one of the popular pilgrim destinations that is not too far from Manila (Check : List of Pilgrim Sites and Retreat Centers NEAR Manila That You Should Visit This Holy Week) . I have always wanted to visit this place but I never got a chance to do so. That is why when I saw that the site will be part of our itinerary, i really just can’t hide my excitement.IMG_0397tRegina RICA basically stands for Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia. The congregation behind this 13.5 hectares pilgrim site was founded by the former members of the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary in 2005. Standing on top of the hill is the marvelous image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. It is a 71ft tall image of the Virgin Mary, a masterpiece of artist and sculptor Jojo Barcena Jr. It is definitely a work of art and something pilgrims can marvel but this is not just a typical huge Marian image. This huge sculpture is actually habitable and people are actually encouraged to go inside for their own spiritual enlightenment and meditation.IMG_0375tThe map of Regina RICA showcasing all the facilities, retreat centers and activity areas that you can find within the huge hectare of land.IMG_0384tIMG_0378tThe huge image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary as seen from afar. Like I said, the rain began to fall and I thought that I will never get a chance to enjoy this trip. We were given an hour to explore the place which is actually good enough to attend a mass and to explore the other areas. Since we already attended the mass in Tanay Church (Check : A Day Trip In Tanay : The Tanay Church), we decided to explore the area instead. The rain stopped few minutes later and I started to navigate the place.  The first place that will welcome you upon entering the Regina RICA is their visitor center. Here, you’ll find souvenirs, a booth where you can write petitions, donation area and also venue to orient visitors of the do’s and dont’s while exploring the Regina RICA. This is not a field trip or excursion after all. It is a place of prayer and contemplation.IMG_0381tThe best way to reach the statue of Mary is by passing through their so-called Mary’s Sacred Trail. IMG_0389they also refer it as the S-Trail while others are referring it as the Sunflower trail. I’m not sure if it’s because of the curvy path or because the trail is formerly filled with sunflowers (I didn’t find any though) but as you can see the path is still surrounded by plants and flowers.IMG_0410tCandle Offering Stations can also be found along the way.IMG_0414tIMG_0407tIMG_0404tThe image of Our Lady of The Most Holy Rosary as viewed from the S-TrailIMG_0387tAlso from the S-Trail, you’ll get a nice perpective of the RICA Chapel which is located just below the hill. IMG_0420tThe very interesting Columbary as viewed from the S-trail.IMG_0426tAnd finally, after few minutes of passing through the S-trail, I have reached the foot of the marvelous image of the Virgin Mary. IMG_0434tIt was really stunning and I can’t help but to marvel its beauty! As you reach the top, you will be welcomed by a long queue of pilgrims and devotees. They were all lining up to enter the facility inside the habitable statue of the Virgin Mary. Please be mindful that this place is a place of prayer and meditation and they are not allowing anyone to take any pictures inside. You can bring your gadgets with you but please, as a sign of respect, refrain yourself from using it once you get inside. IMG_0460tIMG_0454tSo what to expect from Regina Rosarii statue? Once you enter, you will be prompted into a waiting area. Here, someone will brief you on what are the things you should do and observe once you enter the adoration area. They will provide you information and history about the Regina RICA,about their future and current projects and more. Please be mindful too that visitors are required to take off their shoes once they enter the facility. After few minutes of briefing, you and your batch will be prompted to go upstairs. Here, a member/ sister of the congregation will invite you to join a short yet spiritually enlightening prayer and meditation in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament . After doing so, you will now be guided to the exit so they can accommodate the next batch. IMG_0463tIMG_0466tOutside, you’ll find another activity area, the so-called Pilgrim’s LabyrinthIMG_0495tIt is a very simple activity where pilgrims are encouraged to follow the path all the way to the center where they can offer their prayers and also the path to go out. I actually thought that it is going to be easy but it surprisingly took me almost half and hour just to get the right path. It was really a rewarding experience though. IMG_0469tIMG_0499tIMG_0508tThe image of the Virgin Mary as viewed downhill.IMG_0502tThere is also a Way of the Cross trail for the pilgrims to try on. IMG_0514tThe Pahuwayan Columbary also offers an interesting work of art (also credited to Mr Jojo Barcena Jr)IMG_0517tIMG_0520tIMG_0523tIMG_0535tIMG_0538tRotunda De San Jose

Things You Should Know Before Visiting the Regina RICA
► Regina RICA is open every Mondays to Sundays except Tuesdays from 8 am to 5pm
► There is NO ENTRANCE Fee To Regina RICA
► Those with cars, however, should pay for the Parking Fee (Php50)
► Proper Dresscode should be observed. Female with short skirts is not allowed but if they want to enter the place, the facility is allowing them to borrow long skirts and shawls. (They’re kinda glossy so if you do not want to wear such, maybe going there in proper attire should be highly considered)

How To Get to Regina RICA via Public Transport
►From Star Mall in Shaw Boulevard, you can ride a van that will take you to Tanay town proper. Just tell the driver to drop you off to the Sampaloc Jeepney Terminal. From there, ride the Sampaloc-Bound jeepney and tell the driver to drop you off at the Sampaloc Tanay Market. From there you can ride a tricycle that can take you to the Regina RICA site.
► It is very ideal to asked the tricycle driver and made a deal with them to pick you up because it is quite hard to find a ride going back to the Sampaloc Market.

After an hour of exploring the huge hectare of land of Regina RICA (an hour is actually not enough to explore them all), we were taken to a nearby restaurant to take our lunch. After doing so, we went to our next destination and this is actually where the real adventure begins! We went to Calinawan Cave and it was my first every spelunking adventure!

By the way guys, In case you are planning to stay in Rizal for a day or two, you can check the list of affordable and “budgetarian” Hotels in the link below!

I can’t wait to share you my first caving experience and I will post them all in my next entry but for the mean time, if you have time , feel free to follow me at my accounts for more updates:

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Here are the links to the rest of my Tanay escapade: Feel free to visit the links below
Pililla Wind Farm
Tanay Church (San Ildefonso de Toledo Parish)
The Parola of Tanay
Regina RICA
The Calinawan Cave
The Daranak Falls
► The Batlag Falls