Monday, 11 July 2011

Our Lady of Manaoag

A religious shrine with countless miraculous tales and healing powers - and the church that Kuya Mel (my brother-in-law) wanted to visit since he was still the way, he is now married to my sister for 6 years :)

This is the image you'll see upon entering the church premises

Kuya Mel is so happy and fulfilled as he is now at Manaoag Church

Our Lady of Manaoag (formally: Nuestra SeƱora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag, literal translation: Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag) is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, associated with a statue in Manaoag, Pangasinan said to be from the 16th century. She is the patroness of the sick, the helpless and the needy.

The church is one of the Philippines' most widely visited Roman Catholic Pilgrimage sites. Many people from across the Philippine archipelago come and visit the town of Manaoag, where the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is enshrined in a church dedicated to this name. The church is administered by the Dominican Order in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, located in Manaoag, Pangasinan, about 200 kilometers north of Manila.

Garro Family with Ate Indang

Hero Miel - in full concentration while utterring a prayer

inside the main church

shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag inside the church

The whole Garro family - Ate Cielo,Kuya mel with kids Hero Miel & Precious Meciel, were there together with Ate Indang and me. I'm happy that Ate Indang was able to go with us. She's our kind of 'special sister' as she is suffering from epilepsy (traumatic in nature) and is childish (her intelligence level is that of 7-8yrs old only). She enjoys travelling when she feels her body can do it. And of course, as we are visiting a church with the miraculous Lady of Manaoag, we are also claiming that she will be healed and be guided and guarded always.

Garro Family

Ate Cielinda a.k.a. Ate Indang

It was Sunday and the place was crowded with devotees. But you will still find peace inside you when you look at the face of Our Lady of Manaoag and pray with your heart. We also lined up to the upper floor of the church to be able to touch the miraculous image and whisper a petition and prayer to her.

If your going to Pangasinan or just passing by (on th eway to Baguio or vice versa, like us), take time to visit and utter a prayer to Our Lady of Manaoag and BE BLESSED!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Caleruega Philippines

-22 Aug 2010-
Caleruega Philippines
Brgy. Kaylaway,Batulao
Nasugbu, Batangas

Silence, solitude,harmony,the enchantment of creation,the freedom of Light, and the passion to share God's Word - this is Caleruega- the seedbed of preachers, the cornerstone of spritual inspiration.

This is a spiritual roadtrip for us friends. Alex asked us (Amy, Joseph and me) if we'd like to attend mass at Caleruega in Batangas,and since we haven't been there, we said yes. But Amy wasn't able to come with us as she was not feeling well that day. So the three of us headed to Nasugbu .

Our meeting place was Taft MRT station. From there, we took a bus going to Batangas and asked the driver to drop us to Nasugbu as we're going to Caleruega. We get off at Evercrest (this is Nasugbu already) and took a tricycle going to Caleruega.

Caleruega is a house of prayer and renewal. It is open to activities like retreats, recollections, prayer, and renewal workshop, study, research, youth camps, marriage and family encounter celebrations, skills training, leadership seminars, art, music, and liturgy workshops, and environment and agriculture-related activities.

This is the first roadtrip that we did. So its a bonding moment for us three and I think Caleruega is a good venue. The atmosphere is calm and relaxes you. We paid around Php25 for the leaflet given at the entrance gate which provides information as well as map of Caleruega. I think the mass starts at 10:00am and since we we're there early, we took the time to explore the place.

The Transfiguration Chapel,where the mass is held, is not that big but a lot of people comes there to attend the mass. And you can feel the solemnity of the mass...maybe because of the chapel's size...people really observe silence.

Celebrating the mass at the chapel and roaming in the peaceful but quite beautiful scenery will uplift your spirit while clearing your mind.

It was a wonderful place to visit, and I would love to go back there some other time.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Dumaluan Beach Resort,Bohol

Dumaluan Beach Resort Resort, Panglao Island in Bohol Philippines
-March 2009-

It was the first death anniversary of our Mom...since we knew Mommy will not want us to weep and be sad remembering her...I planned a family trip to Bohol. She may not be with us physically but she will always be in our hearts.

Bohol is known for nice beaches so we're excited to see it. We stayed at Bohol Plaza Hotel and they have van services that costs Php1200. It will take you to-and-fro the place you like to visit.

We asked the driver to bring us to the beach - a very nice beach if possible. And he recommended Dumaluan beach which is not that crowded, very nice & affordable.
There's no entrance fee, all you need to pay is the cottage you will be using. We took the small cottage which is already good for 10-12 persons, price is around Php250-350. It was about lunch time when we arrived and we're so hungry. Since we didnt pack any food, we ate at Dumaluan Restaurant & Lounge. The food was just so-so...nothing special and not big in servings...I recommend you pack food if you're a big group and wants to save on money as the food in the resto is not cheap.

behind them are the cottages

Ate Cielo with Dumaluan Restaurant & Lounge background

we don't want to waste money so, we made sure we finished off all the food! hehe

My family  - My Love :)
Well, we're fully charged and off the beach we go!

The first thing I love is the color of the beach - pristine blue-green water! And since the place is not crowded, we get to enjoy it more.

Fun under the sun!

enjoying the beach

Hero doesn't want to come out of the water even if he's left alone :)

The fine-textured sand is very inviting for the kids to have some fun as well. So make sure to bring their pails and shovels for some sand castle or even just sand digging activity.

excited for his "sand experience"

my nephew,Hero Miel, enjoys digging the sand
We did enjoy the sand, sea and atmosphere here in Dumaluan and if we're going back in Bohol, we will dropby again on this beach.

I'll share other Bohol destinations in my next blogs. :)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hinulugan Taktak National Park

Where was the name Hinulugan Taktak derived from?

Legend has it that sometime during the 16th century, the townsfolk of Antipolo were bothered by a church bell that produced harsh, unbearably loud sounds when rung during Angelus. They demanded that the local priest get rid of the bell . Bowing down to the clamor, the priest had it dropped in a nearby river. This explains the name, “Hinulugang Taktak” which means ‘where the bell was dropped’. As Antipolo became a religious site, the waterfalls also become a prominent destination for bathing and sightseeing. In the 1980s, it was declared a National Park by the government.

...and this is a place I've wanted to visit since I was young. And its because of the song that goes like this:
"Tayo na sa Antipolo at duo'y maligo tayo. Sa batis na kung tawagin ay Hi-Hi-Hinulugan ng taktak..."

-24 April 2011-

It was Easter Sunday, me,my sister-Ate Cindy and my friend -Joseph, decided to attend mass in Antipolo. Its the first time that we will be visiting Antipolo Church which is also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.

After hearing the mass, we ate lunch at a nearby carinderia (Carinderia is a local eatery selling and serving and viands with wooden benches-which in modern times have been changed to monoblocks or plastic chairs.)and agreed to visit Hinulugan Taktak since none of us have been there before. We hailed a taxi...I mean, a tricycle, from the church and asked the driver to take us there.

It was around 5-10mins ride and we paid Php50 for the trip. The entrance to Hinulugan taktak (that we've learned has been a National Park when we saw the sign there) costs Php8.00 (it's really cheap!). But if you will be using the swimming pool then you would have to pay extra (I think it's around Php15-Php20).

hoping this site development plan will push through...or is it already finished?

Since all of us were first timers, we were all excited to see what's inside. But to our dismay, the place is not that  appealing...and the worst...the falls has a very foul odour and the water is dirty, with a lot of litters floating...This really made me sad.

I'm expecting that it has a relaxing ambience because of the falls but I dont want to stay near the falls at all. There were 2 swimming pools, one Big, one extra small. But I don't want to try dipping at the pool as well because its super crowded.

So what we did was just to take pictures (make sure we choose a good spot and look as if we're enjoying being there hehe). We roamed around and saw that the place really looks promising.

view from top

view in the middle - from the bridge

view from the the other side - after you crossed the bridge

If only the water streaming below the falls can be cleaned from the litters and plant more trees and flowers. If only they could add addtional pool to accomodate a lot of people (coz there were quite a number when we visited) and additional shower & rest rooms. And if only those people visiting the place will take care of their surroundings (not to throw garbage anywhere, pee only to the restroom,dont smoke etc..) then it might be a very good place to go to.
top view from below

bridge to get on the other side

@ the Grotto : kids are looking at the wishing well

and we dont know where this stairs is leading to... we didnt climb it coz the steps are too steep