Friday, March 27, 2009

Top 10 Pilgrimage Destination on Holy Week

I've just thought of my top 10 Pilgrimage Destination this Holy Week. As the tradition goes here in the Philippines there are places that are frequently visited during this season to seek Spiritual Healing. Some people wants to renew their faith by visiting these places and at the same time relax during their time off from work.

Here goes my Top 10 Holy Week Pilgrimage Destinations. These are only my pick, it may not be as popular as the others. I've been to some of these places and some still has to be visited soon.

1.Vigan Cathedral in Vigan Ilocos Sur -Also known as St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral, this is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines build by Juan de Salcedo on 1574. Situated in Plaza Salcedo, close to the right of Cathedral is the Episcopal Palace where the Bishop resides. You may find the exterior of the Cathedral not so attractive but when you look at the interiors you'll see that the church is really beautiful. Just a segue, it's really nice to celebrate a wedding here it has a super long isle which I really like and the altar is so beautiful!

2. Paoay Church in Paoay Ilocos Norte - Further north you will find another Heritage Church in the Municipality of Paoay. The name of the Church is St. Augustine but it's popularly known by the place where it is located. This religious building is one of the four Baroque churches designated in UNESCO heritage site. Paoay Church is a fine example of Baroque Architecture with Oriental influences, it has also been called an earthquake Baroque church.

3. Our Lady of Manaoag Church in Pangasinan -This church is Spanish - Romaneque inspired with a littele German and Italian Renaissance Architectural composition located in Panganisan. This is one of the popular Pilgrimage Center in the Philippines where the Our Lady of Manaoag is known to be miraculous.

4. Sierra Madre Country Club - Located in Tanay Rizal built with the sceneries of the Mountains is a good location for a retreat this Holy Week. They have a Way of the Cross that you can do on the top of the mountain and Ecumenical Worship Chapel where they celebrate the Mass.

5. Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto - Located in San Jose Del Monte Bulacan, features a mock hill Calvary with life size statues that depict the passion and death of Christ. One of the popular pilgrimage area where thousands of devotees come during the Holy Week to do the 14 stations of the cross on the zigzagging hillside.

6. Caleruega - Located in Nasugbu Batangas is Caleruega Chapel. This is a Dominican built pilgrimage area literally on top of the hill. There are retreat amenities here like conference room, reflectory hall and dormitories. It's a nice place to commune with nature to reflect about your life and pray.

7. Mount Banahaw - also known as the Holy Mountain in the Philippines, it is located 100 kilometers southeast of Manila. It is the highest peak among a series of mountains and is surrounded by the towns of San Pablo, Majayjay, Liliw, Nagcarlan, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, Lucena, Tayabas and Lucban. This is a pilgrimage mountain where you can see a combination of catholic practices and superstitions from the local where faith healers and other religious cults go to meditate at the caves and commute with the spirits of nature.

8. Sagada - located in the Mountain Province, this enchanted place is best for people who wants to find themselves with silence and nature. The roads going here makes you feel selfless and thankful for the blessings you've been receiving in your life but as soon as you reach the place, you will find yourself being engrossed with the sceneries you will see and will forget about the stress and problems you have in the City. There are a lot of places to do your reflections, either by going to the enchanted falls of Bomod-Ok or the Caves of Sumaguing and Rice Terraces Views. This is really a haven for those who wants to rest and reflect.

9. Pampanga - Here you will see a lot of Kapampangans who do a sacred and personal acts of penitents. There are activities that show the passion and death of Christ.

10. Our Lady of Pe├▒afrancia Church in Naga City - This church was built in 1711, been here 11 years ago and I still can't forget the beauty of this Church. The paintings in the ceiling was really impressive I really want to show it to you guys but during those times I only have a film camera and I can't find the pictures now. huhuhu... more

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Daranak and Batlag Falls Day Tour

Talking about Tanay from my previous posts, I remember going to Daranak Falls and Batlag Falls last 2005 with my Hubby. He's just my boyfriend that time and we thought of going there just to see the falls. It was raining all day and I was too nervous coz the zigzag road to Daranak is slippery and we are just riding a scooter for a roadtrip. I was excited to see the Falls since we used to visit Tanay, I am wondering what this province has to offer.

Daranak falls is located in Brgy. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal, a few minutes away from Tanay market. It is a government-owned park and part of the laguna watershed. If you are going by private vehicle, just follow the road going to Laguna from Antipolo. At the Daranak-Tanay junction, turn left and head straight uphill. You will see a sign "To Daranak Falls" at the left side of the road. You have to turn left there then you will pass through a forest then you'll see the parking area. Tricycles and jeepneys make special trips to Daranak, so it is also accessible for commuting public.

This is the Daranak Falls, this is the 1st falls you will see upon entering the park, there's still another falls but you have to hike up the hill to see it.

This is taken from the wood bridge that you have to pass through when entering the park. The water that flows here came from the falls.

Batlag falls is situated near the top of Daranak Falls. You will have to pay a separate entrance fee when you want to visit this Falls. I remember the time we visited this place, Encantadia the old teleserye from GMA had their shoot the day before that's why there are some props seen in the area.

The park is open daily at 8 am to 5 pm, entrance fee is around P20.00, I think they have different rates now. They have picnic huts, tables and sheds, complete with all the amenities you’d expect from any resort.

Daranak and Batlag Falls is a nice place to visit this summer. This is a nice Day Tour Trip with your family and friends. It's good to see nature near Manila and you wont have to worry of having long drives and traffic on your way here coz the roads are not crowded. more

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sierra Madre Tanay Roads

These are some photos of the roads of Tanay. I've been here many times whenever my husband and I wants to unwind. We always go here for a road trip either by car or by scooter eat bulalo then go back home. Seeing these mountains makes me feel so light plus the adrenalin rush of the zigzag roads makes you forget the stress you have in the city.

I love taking photos of the sceneries of the Sierra Madre. The mountains have different faces depending on the time of the day. I have many sets of photos on these area coz these are my favorite spots of the mountains. This set was taken during our ocular at Sierra Madre Country Club where we will spend our Holy Week Vacation. more

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sierra Madre Resort and Country Club Tanay Rizal

Our First Year Wedding Anniversary is fast approaching and since it will fall on Holy Week, I'm looking for a place to stay where in we could relax and have some sort of a retreat. I know everybody goes to Boracay and other famous destinations this season but we wanted to stay to a more serene and quiet place on Holy Week, we don't want to do any activities we just need to be together and reflect to respect the Holy Week Traditions. We are not used to go out during these days for the reason that our family is very traditional but it's our anniversary so we still decided to go.

I remember a place in Tanay Rizal that we usually see when we pass by the zigzag roads. It's the Sierra Madre Country Club in Tanay Rizal. It is literally in the Sierra Madre Mountains build on the top of the mountains having a spectacular view of the mountain range. I didn't know that they have accommodations there until my husband confirm to me that they allow overnight stay there. It was a perfect getaway for us this Holy Week simply because there's no traffic on our way there coz we will be passing by a mountain range zigzag roads going to Sierra Madre, it's not the main road so I guess I can expect lesser traffic. The area is cold coz it is elevated it's a perfect place to chill out and the place's ambiance is soothing with a great view of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

We then have an ocular last week to see the amenities. I took some pictures to share with you in case you want to see the place too.

This hanging bridge is one of the nicest view in Sierra Madre Country Club, there are some family rooms that are facing the same view which is a very nice room to occupy.


Patio or Walkway

There's another bridge going to the gazeebo
This horse was so camera shy he hid his head in the tree when he saw me that I'm taking the way they also have a horse back riding included in their amenities in case you wanna try.

Pine Trees & the Sun, this only proves that the climate is cold coz there are Pine Trees.

This is the Spring Valley Pool I'm just not sure if this came from a Spring but there are 2 pools here. There's also an accommodation near the pool. The area is so big and the pool is located downhill, if ever you would want to swim you will have to pass through several staircase or you can bring your car down there but the road is too steep and tight.

This is the bridge to the Ecumenical Worship Chapel, I think this is where they celebrate the Mass. When you walk up to the left there's a Station of the Cross up the mountain and when you go to the right there's a Waterfalls.

This is the view from the Pool, there are lots of activities that you can do here. Good for team buildings, conference and retreats. There are obstacle course, firing range, children's playground, jungle trek and a lot more activities that you can enjoy.

Related Post:
Sierra Madre Accommodation and Rates more

Monday, March 9, 2009

PiG OuT DaY aT BuBbA GuMp

I'm on night shift for two weeks and can't even sleep straight in the morning, maybe my body clock is still abnormal. My hubby was home an hour past lunch and was bugging me to have lunch with him. Can't barely sleep at all I told him to get ready we'll just eat out, actually it's another way of saying drop me off in the office coz I'm still sleepy...hehe...

Too early for my shift, we went to Glorietta first to look for somewhere to eat. I can't think of a resto in Glorietta maybe my mind isn't working yet so I just dragged him to the Food Choices but he doesn't want anything from there. We just walked and looked for somewhere to eat until we reached GreenBelt and I know where we are heading again...haha! Now he knows what he wants...I knew it I knew it...We're pigging out at Bubba Gump again.

We ordered the all time favorite Dixie Style Baby Back Ribs and Bubba's After the Storm "Bucket of Boat Trash". We love this resto because of the nice ambiance and interiors plus we love the movie Forrest Gump. The concept of the resto was a kick-off from the movie "Forrest Gump" and this is how Forrest and Bubba would like to build their restaurant: fun, relaxed, and with room for the whole family to enjoy fresh shrimp, fish, ribs, and yummy desserts!We ordered Mudpie for dessert and I really can't resist it even if my tosils just got better the other day. Who would resist this dessert?!? hmmm...Yummy!

It's a nice place to pig out! Bubba Gump is located at the 2nd level of Greenbelt 3 Makati and the other one is at the 4th level of Trinoma. more

Saturday, March 7, 2009

LaST SaLuTe To d KiNg oF PiNoY RaP

I was shocked by the news yesterday that Francis Magalona the "Master Rapper" passed away. He died yesterday March 6 '09 at 12:20 pm at the Medical City Hospital in Pasig City. I remember he was diagnosed with leukemia last August but it was only less than a year and I can't believe that he's gone. He's only 44 too young to die.

It's really sad that he dies early, the "King of Pinoy Rap" is one of the most idolized, celebrated and influential rappers within the genre, I may not be an avid fan but I love most of his music. He's a great artist and very talented.

Hope his family would easily recover from what happened, I just read some entries of his blog and I can say that he and his family are brave enough to face this kind of challenges. Check out Francis Magalona's Blog here: or

His co hosts from Eat Bulaga gave a moment of silence for his soul, here's the video streaming more

Monday, March 2, 2009

FLy WiTh ZeST-O nOt WiTh SpiRiTs

As I was searching for a new place to explore, I found a site that directs me to a new Airline...ah no this is not a new airline, I just thought it was. Asian Spirit is now the "Asia's Most Refreshing Airline" not the ”Fly as an Asian, land as a Spirit” anymore. Wow! it's so refreshing, looking at the color of this airline is enough for you to feel refreshed..hehe...kidding aside the newly branded carrier by the name Zest Air was acquired by the owners of the most popular juice drink in our country Zest-O. Look they have similarities in color and I bet their snack includes Zest-O hihi...Love your own!

Zest Air has been continuously giving a major effort on re-fleeting since the start of the acquisition. So lets expect a new aircraft when we booked for this airline anyway it's a good strategy to market their business since there are now many local travelers here in the Philippines and we could benefit from it too if there are many players in the industry. There will be a tighter competition and that means more promos for us...Cool! more