Friday, March 29, 2013

Palm Sunday in Lipa City (2009)

 * palms in blur 

* Lipa Basilica looming above the palms

 * the smile that launched my formative travel blog –
one of the first photos I used for a Multiply travel site

Got this from my pile of unsorted photos. Never had the chance to post them except for a short note in my other blog site in which I used a photo from this event. Long, lost photos make us remember the atmosphere – the feel – of an old activity which in this case is the festive mood of the people of Lipa as they gathered for the blessings of the palms. A rather late activity but still a crowd-drawing one.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Food for the Trails: Take a Break at RC Burger

* behold, RC Burger

Want to step away from the usual fast food type of burgers? Then try out the burger at RC Burger. Just a short walk away from San Pablo City plaza, this place boasts different burgers: tower burger, big belly burger, big thriller burger, small thriller burger, chicken burger, and even burger steak. With the Holy Week on its way, it will be good to have a place to take a break and fill in our stomachs.


* a RC Burger and fries for you

What makes this place worth trying is their Burger Challenge where you get to have your burger for free or you get to win some gadgets if you eat a particular burger for a certain time interval. But I’m not going to spill the details so better visit the place.

For inquiries you can contact RC Burger at the following numbers: (049) 573-0424, 0923-7492251, 0921-5704202, 0917-8148872, 0999-8789061.

Visit their Facebook page: at

2013 Palm Sunday Scenes in San Pablo City

 * all palms up 

 * a carozza depicting Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem 
* San Pablo Cathedral façade on Palm Sunday  

* on the church grounds  

 * one issue which has to be resolved by the religious: trash

We are almost halfway through with one of the high religious activities of the Catholics – the Holy Week. This commemoration started on a Palm Sunday, a recollection of Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem. Catholics celebrate this by bringing in raw palm leaves – or palaspas as we call them in Filipino – and getting them blessed by holy water by the priest. An intimate told me that what they used for the Linggo ng Palaspas is actually buli, the one they used to tie the sacks of the harvested rice from the fields. A regret of mine this time was that I was unable to document the blessings of the palm leaves on the church grounds. The afternoon was simply unbearable due to the searing heat.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Commemorating Holy Week in Kamay ni Hesus

* arch seen as you enter Kamay ni Hesus

If there’s anything which combines the requirements of a religious devotion, personal meditations, and family retreat that would be Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church in Lucban, Quezon. Formally the Kamay ni Hesus Ministry Foundation, Inc., this place was founded by Rev. Fr. Joseph “Joey” Ayala Faller with the help of Mr. Benito Javierto Brizuela and family.

 * view of the Grotto hill

   * posing with the Grotto hill  

* interior of the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church 

* part of the grounds of the healing Church where earlier visitors
probably wrote their messages on cement   

* visitor’s guide to Kamay ni Hesus

A marker on the place identifies its most famous feature as the Via Dolorosa Grotto of Healing Way of Purification and the 50-feet image of the Ascending Christ. Its inauguration was officiated by the Bishop of the Diocese of Lucena Emilio Z. Marquez and Bishop Ruben T. Profugo. It may seem recently constructed but the place definitely has definitely seen thousands of pilgrims and visitors alike.   


* attempts to capture flowers up close 

* a replica(?) of Noah’s ark and some amenities for the kids  

* a version of the Pieta

 * candle stands

The Kamay ni Hesus is not just a mountainside grotto but is comprised of a multi-purpose gym, a Luklukan ni Maria (most likely another place for prayer), retreat center and infirmary, prayer room, a church, and other fixtures like a reconstruction of Noah’s Ark (I’m not sure if its dimensions followed those mentioned in the Bible), and a depiction of the Sea of Galilee.

 * Stations of the Cross and other fixtures of the Grotto 

* the big statue of the Risen (or Ascending) Christ 

 * brief respite on the climb 

 * contemplating the heights  

* views from above to get an idea of the heights;
the photo on the left is the only stairs down

The climb up the grotto was very refreshing (beats the usual jogging in the mornings actually). A word of caution first: the stair are rather steep so those of old age who still want to do their pilgrimage better bring along companions. And do bring umbrellas too as the weather in the place is quite unpredictable. Better stay fit while doing your religious devotions. As I have observed, the place is not limited to the religious as the place has turned as well into a tourist spot. Worth visiting even outside the usual Catholic holidays.

Semana Santa sa Kamay ni Hesus 2013 Schedule
* schedule for this year’s Holy Week

Being a place for pilgrimage and religious activities, it is a busy place especially on the days before the Holy Week. Found below is the schedule of activities for Kamay ni Hesus for this coming week.

Palm Sunday – March 24
- Eucharistic Celebration (07:30 am)
  > Commemoration of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem
     From Rosario Hill to Healing Church
- Morning Masses (09:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am)
- Estacion General (Via Crucis at Grotto)
- Afternoon Mass (4:00 pm)

Monday – March 25
- Morning Mass (09:00 am)
- Afternoon Mass (04:00 pm)

Tuesday – March 26
- Afternoon Mass (04:00 pm)

Wednesday – March 27
- Healing Mass (09:00 am)
- Afternoon Mass (04:00 pm)

Maundy Thursday – March 28
- Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (04:00 pm)
 > Washing of the Feet
 > Holy Communion
 > Procession
 > Benediction (Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament)
> Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament

Good Friday – March 29
- Seven Last Words by Fr. Joey A. Faller (12:00 pm)
- Celebration of the Lord’s Passion (02:00 pm)
 > Liturgy of the Word
 > Communion
 > Veneration of the Cross until 11:00 pm
 > Procession around Healing Church

Black Saturday – March 30
- Continuous Veneration of the image of Christ crucified
- Easter Vigil (09:30 pm)
- Blessing of Fire
- Holy Mass
- Paschal Candle Rite
- Encuentro (Salubong)

Easter Sunday – March 31
- Eucharistic Celebrations
(07:30 am, 09:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 04:00 pm)

Souvenir Items and Pasalubong in Kamay ni Hesus
* pasalubong which can be bought in Kamay ni Hesus

Business, as expected, is thriving in this place. Within the church grounds there are stores selling t-shirts, religious and souvenir items, and food. It is suggested that you buy those items which will serve as good reminders of your visit to the place.

But there are more choices outside. Food stalls abound selling sweeties, local products – primarily the Pancit Lucban and Longganisang Lucban (the ones we found are tagged at 65 pesos for the small ones and 130 pesos for the big ones) – and even cleaning materials! It was good to see in that place some of the sweeties I tasted during my childhood days. Prices vary so better do a canvass first before buying anything.

[How to go to Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church, Lucban Quezon: There two ways: 1) I think the more popular route is for you to travel to Lucena City. For those coming from Manila, board a bus bound for Lucena Grand Terminal. Fare is 100+ pesos. Better allot around 200 pesos for a one-way travel. Upon alighting at the Grand Terminal, go to the jeepney terminal and look for the jeepneys bound for Lucban. Board this and ask the driver to drop you off at Kamay ni Hesus. Fare is 20 pesos. 2) The second route is to go to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. From this Laguna capital, you can board a jeepney bound for Lucban.]

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pagdiriwang ng mga Mahal na Araw 2013 San Pablo City Schedule

March comes in this year carrying with it one of the high religious activities of the Catholics – the Holy Week. Here in San Pablo such commemorations have grown into something akin to tradition. Thus for San Pableños and people from other parts of the Philippines here is the schedule of activities for the month of March. I obtained this from the large printed schedule found just outside the San Pablo Cathedral.
March 14
Kumpisalang Bayan (7:00 pm)

March 15
Parish Lenten Recollection (7:00 pm)
Speaker: Rev. Fr. Jerry Gaela, PhD

March 20
Parish Visita Iglesia
05:45 am – Assembly

March 24 (Palm Sunday)
06:30 am – Solemn Blessing of the Palms
                   Academia de San Ignacio de Loyola
Procession of the Palms: Schetelig Avenue – Barleta Street – Cathedral
Masses: 04:45 am, 06:15 am
07:45 am, 09:00 am, 02:00 pm, 04:00 pm, 05:15 pm, 06:30 pm
Solemn Mass presided by HE Bishop Buenaventura Famadico

March 25 (Holy Monday)

Masses: 05:30 am, 06:15 am, 07:00 am, 05:15 pm, 06:00 pm
08:00 am – Resurrection Chapel

March 26 (Holy Tuesday)

Masses: 05:30 am, 06:15 am, 07:00 am, 05:15 pm, 06:00 pm
General Station of the Cross
01:00 pm – Assembly at Lion’s Club
01:30 pm – Station of the Cross
05:00 pm – Celebration of the Holy Mass at Doña Leonila Park

March 27 (Holy Wednesday)

Masses: 05:30 am, 06:15 am, 07:00 am, 05:15 pm, 06:00 pm
General Procession after the 5:15 pm mass
Route of Procession: Cathedral – M. Paulino – Balagtas –
Schetelig – Azucena – Barleta – Cathedral

March 28 (Maundy Thursday)

06:00 am – Chrism Mass
05:15 pm – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Adoration of the Holy Eucharist after mass until 12:00 mn

March 29
(Good Friday)

07:00 am – Tenebrae (Morning Prayer)
12:00 nn – The Seven Last Words
                   Celebration of the Lord’s Passion
03:00 pm – Liturgy of the Word
                   Veneration of the Cross
                   Holy Communion
05:00 pm – Solemn Procession
Route of Procession: Cathedral – Barleta Street – Zulueta Street –
Lopez Jaena Street – Regidor Street – M. Paulino Street – Cathedral

March 30 (Black Saturday)

                   Easter Vigil  
08:30 pm – Blessing of Fire (Cathedral Patio)
                   Procession with Paschal Candle
                   Liturgy of the Word
                   Blessing of Water
                   Litany of Saints
                   Renewal of Baptismal Promises
                   Liturgy of the Eucharist
                   Baptism and Confirmation of Converts

March 31 (Easter Sunday)
03:30 am – Encuentro
Image of Our Lady – Fule Residence, T. Azucena Street
Image of the Risen Christ – San Pablo Colleges
04:45 am – Solemn Mass
06:15 am, 07:45 am, 09:00 am, 02:00 pm, 04:00 pm, 05:15 pm, 06:30 pm
03:00 pm – Easter Egg Hunting

Food for the Trails: Coffee Break at Si Christina Gateau Sans Rival, San Pablo

* interior views of Si Christina Gateau Sans Rival

A slight drizzle one time opened up a chance to visit Si Christina Gateau Sans Rival, a beautifully lit coffee/cake shop in our home city of San Pablo. The unusual cold nights every now and then proved a good excuse to get a taste of some coffee right in the city proper.

The place was cozy as expected but I do not see it as fitful place for an intimate meeting. Rather, it is a conducive place for simple group meeting or family gathering. The fixtures and its lighting may be contributory to this.
* good food in a good place

But beyond the interior designs the food was superb. We tried a Cuban sandwich and a red velvet cupcake coupled with a blackberry mocha coffee. The bittersweet combination of the food and drink was simply enjoyable. I am yet to try to more famous cakes they have there. Next time it has to be more than a simple coffee break at Si Christina.

[How to go to Si Christina Gateau Sans Rival, San Pablo City, Laguna: This coffee shop would not be hard to find. The place is close to the San Pablo Cathedral and in fact just opposite the city plaza.]

Food for the Trails: Isaw Atbp. Along Lopez Avenue, Los Baños, Laguna

My recent revisit to Los Baños, Laguna (LB for most of us who spent part of their life in this town) to obtain some documents brought back memories of my college days. I remember walking along Lopez Avenue whenever I had money just enough to bring me to San Pablo or whenever I want to do a solo food trip along this main thoroughfare to UP Los Baños.

As I walked towards Junction (Lopez Avenue and Los Baños-to-Calamba highway intersection) I could not resist the inviting smoke from a makeshift store just in front of Robinson’s Town Mall. In tracing the smoke’s origin, I found myself again in this small stall where isaw and the usual gang of innards are grilled and sold. As always these foods (often tagged as street foods) were satisfying.

From this impromptu eat I came up with the idea of covering some of the busiest streets in LB and make a blog post on the food being sold along these streets.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

2013 San Pablo Visita Iglesia Itinerary

Parishioners of the San Pablo Cathedral and nearby churches may join this year’s Visita Iglesia. The assembly and registration will begin at 5:45 am on March 20, 2013, the day of the tour. At 6:15 am a community mass will be held at the San Pablo Cathedral.

The list of the churches is found below:

Stations 1 and 2: St. Bartholomew Church – Nagcarlan
Stations 3 and 4: St. John the Baptist Church – Liliw
Stations 5 and 6: St. Gregory the Great – Majayjay
Stations 7 and 8: D. Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Pagsanjan
Stations 9 and 10: D. Shrine of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores Turumba – Pakil
Stations 11 and 12: San Sebastian Parish – Lumban
Stations 13 and 14: St. Augustine Parish – Bay

The Lenten season is definitely underway.

Most Reverend Buenaventura Famadico is San Pablo’s Fourth Bishop

I remember former Bishop Drona’s inauguration when I was still an elementary school student. But now the Diocese of San Pablo has a new one. March 2, 2013 marked the solemn installation of Bishop Buenaventura M. Famadico in the San Pablo Cathedral.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Los Baños Views from Philippine High School for the Arts

 * Mount Maquiling slopes

 * a marker for PHSA; will discuss this
in a later post focused on PHSA 
* part of the many houses inside the PHSA grounds
where students are lodged during their stay

Right before posting the photos here, sudden realization hit me that I missed taking photos of the famed auditorium in Philippine High School for the Arts or PHSA in Los Baños, Laguna. So it seemed more reasonable to share more about the view from this elevated place. The activity we did up there was thoroughly relaxing if combined with the literally breath-taking view of many area of Los Baños.
 * a wooden structure we found on the grounds of PHSA

* view of the lower area of Los Baños and Tadlac Lake

One serendipitous thing that happened there was my first sighting of the famous Tadlac Lake in Barangay Tadlac. Plans were made before to visit the lake but all failed. It turned that it would happen while I was perched up Mount Maquiling

* in pose

Tranquil. That’s PHSA.