Saturday, April 3, 2010

Holy Week Hike: Risen Christ at Rosario, Batangas

* zoomed-in shot of Risen Christ statue atop a hill in Rosario, Batangas

Please forgive my poor manipulation of my only shot of Risen Christ statue in Rosario, Batangas last year. Having brought nothing but my materials physics papers and a few clothes in my bag pack during the climb, I shall rely solely in my memories to relay our experience. Although souvenir pictures would have been better, experience still comes in the first place.

Perhaps the location itself (having a breath taking view of the town and nearby places), and its relatively low height, enticed the people of Rosario to make the hill a grotto. Well, yes they call it a grotto. Below the hill is a small ‘park’, depicting in cement-made statues the Stations of the Cross. Caves were carved on the hillsides to accommodate Virgin images. A man approached us to say that a certain statue of what looked like Mama Mary is a miraculous one. One could make a wish to her and if her eyes moved or closed, then your wish shall be granted. I do not want to spoil my narration by debunking their claim but it goes to show that the people there are still religious, if not myth believers.

Too bad the foot of the hill has been made the settlers’ sanitary landfill. I do hope that when a conscientious resident of Rosario would chance upon this entry, they would be able to inform the authorities of the problem. I believe that in the coming years it would be a tourist destination during the Holy Week. The local government should start right now to tidy up the places and impose the necessary health and sanitation rules to the place. If that would continue, man, I don’t think it would still be a good place to visit.

Scaling it is relatively easy. The steepness is just the problem as one would have to make effort in taking each step upward. A modest climber could reach the top at around 30 minutes or up to 45 minutes for the novices. I may be wrong at this but it was my estimate of our climb, 30 minutes. At the top, prices of food and drinks are gold, so it is advised that you bring your own. Personally, I could not help but recall the plight of the Filipino soldiers who resorted to guerilla warfare during the wars of the early 1900s. Mountain living and survival is no joke, I believe.

As usual, I brought home some souvenirs which I would not mention here because other people might follow after my concept of souvenir. Anyway, one can buy at the top some key chain souvenirs they call Bayugo, which comes from gugo (so they say). It is like a big peanut. A keychain costs around 15 pesos. Not bad for a hike experience like that. With that I am now eyeing Mount Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas which some books say that starting hikers could scale for one day. Why not? Nature is out here to be experienced anyway.

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