Sunday, April 27, 2014

Paradise Ranch, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga

After the Hotair Balloon Festival link: here and Nayong Pilipino link: here. We headed to Paradise Ranch to eat our lunch and to spend the entire afternoon. 

Unang-una, naiinis ako pag naririnig ko 'yung mga salitang Paradise Ranch kasi naaalala ko si Changmin ng DBSK. Naiinis kasi ako sa kamukha nun eh. Joke. Hindi ko naman na naisip 'yun nung nandun ako, tuwing ganito lang na nababanggit. hahahaha. Kk, baliw. 

Sabi ng website nila,

Paradise Ranch
 is an environmental project design to educate children and the general public on protecting the environment and saving wildlife. it is located on the hills of Clark Air Base, with fog and temperature comparable to Tagaytay and Baguio, a million dollar view of the entire Clark Zone, surrounding cities and towns, overlooking the Sacobia River, Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Arayat and other mountains and majestic sceneries for everybody to enjoy without and membership!

Tagaytay at Baguio. Kaya naman pala may "Little Baguio" na area. Best months to go there would be November to February siguro 'cause April?

This was our free lunch. Controlled buffet. Mej bitin pero oks na rin.
Here are the attractions/things to see in Paradise Ranch.
Remember Channel 2's Honesto? This was their filming site.

Aeta's dancing in the tune of Waka-Waka. 
Fish Feeding Area
You are to ride that balsa.
Emote emote sa Little Baguio.
They also have a butterfly garden near this place.
Exploring the rest of the area.
Lika na, Edward Edward ulit.

This was the coolest place (literally) during that day! Sana nag set-up sila ng duyan dito.
As we explored more, we found this walkway and at the end of this was the pool.
Huhuhuhu. Sarap pls!
Near the pool was the Toon Town and these kids were also there playing.

After changing our shirts and freshening up, we went back to the bus.
Goodbye, Paradise Ranch.

It was fun while it lasted.

I enjoy going to places like this.
Tahimik and you'll feel one with nature. They also have cottages in there should you opt to have an overnight trip.

The only downer was the weather. It was really hot so it was a challenge to walk around the whole place. Para lang kasing nasa desert dahil sa lahar na nasa paligid. Marami pa nga kaming hindi napuntahan.

Ayan, as we rode the bus, tulog ako agad. Hindi ko na nga naramdaman na nakaalis na kami ng Paradise Ranch at nasa Duty Free na kami.

And there entered my most shonga moment ever,

As I woke up, I checked my phone and saw 14 miscalls from my mother.

"O asan na kayo? Anong oras kayo uuwi?"

Tumingin ako sa labas at may nakita akong Duty Free nga...
"Andito pa. Sa Duty Free. Subic."

"Subic? Bakit nasa Subic ka na naman?" Andun lang din kasi ako a week before. Duty free was our stop-over after going to Anawangin Cove in Zambales link: here.

"Andito nga kami sa Subic eh. May Duty Free sa labas."
"Layo pa nyan sa Pampanga. Nakaabot ka na naman dyan!"
"Ewan ko. Basta nasa Subic kami, bababa lang ako bibili sa loob"

And that's the end of our "Subic" Trip.
Someday ka sa'min, Mt. Pinatubo.

All in all, I must say that the voucher from Metrodeal was worth it. Thank you, MetroAsian Tours for making this trip as convenient as possible. This would have been very difficult have we decided to do a D.I.Y tour. Kulang kami sa tulog because we all headed to our meeting place in Glorietta immediately after finishing all our works/things to do. Alam mo 'yun, gising na ng maaga ng April 11 tas Pampanga na agad sa madaling araw ng April 12 but because it was a group tour, kebs lang matulog sa bus nang walang inaalala.
My friend's blog link: here

P.S. Sabi ko in one of my posts before, "as much as possible, somewhere North or farther South naman." Today's the 27th day of April 2014 and meron na lang akong isa pang pupuntahan before this month ends. Thank You po! 'Cause after 6 months, nakapunta ko ng ibang Northern and Southern Provinces. At sa 7th month (since October 2013 'to ah), ako na siguro ang pinakamasayang tao na may kaunting pera. Ajujuju. 

Thank You po!!! :D

Nayong Pilipino, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga

After watching the Philippine Hotair Balloon Festival link: here, we headed to Nayong Pilipino. 

Kung kelan lumayo, saka pa napuntahan. Ayan 'yun eh, dating nasa Pasay 'to pero first time ko lang pumunta.

Yes, Kalinga Village?
Be my lucky charm to Sagada, Banaue and Baguio! 
Apart from being a picnic place, Nayong Pilipino also has replicas of different tourist spots we have in the country. Para bang, around the Philippines in one day ang peg.

Barasoain Church
Like the one in Villa Escudero link: here. Nayong Pilipino also hold a cultural show presenting the different Filipino folk dances. Ako, I enjoyed not only watching but also the coldness inside of the theater. hahahaha. 
There are also souvenir shops inside. They sell cheap souvenir shirts for only P 150.00 - P 180.00. Maganda 'yung tela at design compare dun sa Hotair Balloon na eeengk, P 280.00 - P 300.00 ang bentahan pero wiz.
Tilapia fishes here are "golden". I don't know why.

We were only there for around two hours (the cultural show took most of the time) so we weren't even able to walk around the whole place. There's definitely more left to see apart from the pictures I included here.

It's a beautiful place which will allow you to learn more about our country and its history. Must see! Lalo kung kailangan mo ng inspiration why once (few times.. sige, lots of times) in our lives, we need to see the world beyond our "comfort zones" 

Wishing everyone an #explore2014 etc. too. :)

Philippine International Hotair Balloon Festival 2014

Was able to watch/join this year's Hotair Balloon festival with two of my friends. Hihihi. Another activity has been crossed out on my/our list. Thank You po for #explore2014 namin pero baka pwede naman singitan ng #moremoney20142015201620172018forever. hahaha!

Anyway, we joined a group tour that was offered by MetroAsian Tours in Metrodeal worth P 1,795.00/person. 

Inclusive of: Transportation, Entrances to this Hotair Balloon Festival, Nayong Pilipino and Paradise Ranch. 

Back to the Festival:

We left Greenbelt 1 at around 2 AM. No decent sleep yet so I was asleep the whole travel time and when I woke up, we were already in Lubao.
We arrived at around 5 AM. 
As we noticed that people started to crowd near this area, we also walked towards them.

If you're viewing this years after 2014 as a guide, make sure to arrive early or you'll miss everything. Their preparations and inflating of the hot air balloons are the main attractions. Pag na-late ka, wala ka ng aabutan at kailangan mo na lang maghintay pagbalik nila sa hapon pa.
Yes, Kuya? Pasakay naman!

I don't know what this is called but this person was doing exhibition the whole time. 
Most of the balloons have been inflated!
Btw, whole day ride cost P 6,000.00

and.. and.. Someone proposed! Kaw na, tey!
Putukin mo nga, Angry Bird. hehehe
After taking more pictures, we decided to leave the field to look for something to eat.

I ordered an ala carte cheeseburger at Mcdo worth P 39.00 but I was given a double cheeseburger. Hahaha. Hindi ko na binalik!!!!! Nakagatan ko na bago ko napansin eh. 

This year's location was in Bgy. Prado Siongco, Lubao, Pampanga. Dati sa Subic nila 'to ginagawa eh.
Bringing of outside food is prohibited but you won't go hungry since there are alot of food booths in the area.

Just bring boxes or anything you can sit at because there's a shortage of chairs! Hindi tuloy masyadong masarap 'yung burger kasi nakatayo kaming kumain. Joooooke! Hahaha. Aarte pa ba ko sa double cheese burger koo.
When most of the hotair balloons have flown, we were entertained by these street dancers.

Ayan, since wala naman masyado makikita. We walked around once more and headed back to the bus... to sleep.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Visita Iglesia in Manila (Revisiting the Old Manila)

Pilgrimage? Old churches? A glimpse of the past? Lalayo ka pa ba e marami naman tayo sa Manila. (Syempre lalayo rin naman tayo pero love your own din kasi.)

This is to conclude my Lenten Season posts. Well, come to think of it I didn't do a Lent series naman. I just gave some suggestions about the churches you may visit but nonetheless.... HAPPY EASTER!

We decided to go to Manila for our Visita Iglesia this year. Closer and cheaper compared to our last year's Visita Iglesia in Tagaytay (link: here) yet still "holy" and "fullfilling".

Last April 9, Manila Cathedral was re-opened to the public after two years of restoration. 

Ganda, noh?
I wanted to post a before and after picture of the cathedral but I'm too lazy to look for the pictures I took way back 2011.
The original cathedral was built in 1579. Alam mo 'yung dati nag-aaral ka lang ng history tas maririnig mo 'yung pangalang Miguel Lopez de Legazpi na sinasabing Founder ng Manila? Then, malalaman mo na siya pala 'yung namili ng location kung saan itinayo 'tong cathedral. 
The street to the next church was filled with vendors that day.
San Agustin Church
San Agustin Church is one of the Baroque Churches in the Philippines and it is also a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. At si Miguel na binanggit ko kanina (close lang. hahaha) ay dito inilibing. I don't know if our history teacher failed to mention that before or I was just not paying attention but I had no idea he was buried there until now. Balik na lang ako para sa'yo, Sir Miguel.

The thing with century old places is that they reconnect us with the past and somehow make us realize that our stay here on Earth is also temporary. 'Yung existence ko ba ngayon, kagaya ng kay Miguel, ay magbibigay ng curiosity sa isang tao hundred of years from now? May chance. Sana may chance.

Everyday, the world makes us realize that there is a lot to learn. Sabi nga, life is a continuous learning process.

At na-markahan ko na 'yan, God-willing din syempre, gaganapin ang 25th Wedding Anniversary ko either sa Manila Cathedral o sa San Agustin Church. Dahil dyan, invited ka mga 35-40 years from now. Please po, God. hihihi. :))) Baka ikasal. hahahaha.
Ate lunch before leaving the walled city.
Isa 'to sa mga binibenta doon, grilled corn.

 Be thankful for the small things.
Left Intramuros and went to Quiapo for our third church that day. 
Quiapo Church is also known as the Shrine of the Black Nazarene.

Sabi ko, isa na siguro ang Quiapo church sa pinakabanal na sardinas sa buong mundo. Tipong hindi ka na makahinga sa sobrang dami ng tao na sinabayan pa ng napakainit na panahon. We listened to the 7 Last Words here from 12 NN to 3 PM. It was both a challenge and a sacrifice to stand that long. Buti na lang maganda ang sound system kaya rinig na rinig.

 Life is also a series of struggles. Sarap sumuko, sarap tumakbo, sarap tanungin kung bakit sa'yo nangyayari ang isang bagay pero sa kabila ng lahat, mas masarap isipin na kahit anong mangyari Siya na ang Bahala at kahit kailan di ka Niya pababayaan.

 "God, Kayo na po ang bahala." 
Santa Cruz Church

It is also a historic church built in 1916. 

Veneration of the Cross
Across the church is this fountain and behind it is one of the gates to Binondo where the next church is located. 
Binondo Church also known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary built in 1762.

I've been here once last year during our Binondo Food Walk link: here.
Ulit, ang sarap balikan ng nakaraan (minsan)

Si San Lorenzo Ruiz, the First Filipino Saint, trained here before going to Japan as a missionary where he was executed for not renouncing his religion. 

This Visita Iglesia was more than church visits since it has allowed me/us to look back into the past. Ang sarap lang ng aside from fulfillment dahil nakagawa or nakapagsacrifice ka, busog pa 'yung utak mo from the informations na makukuha mo upon visiting these places. 

Sabi nila, mahirap mamasyal kasi mahal pero if we only try to research more and be more appreciative of what's closer to us. Okay na sa Manila. If you're into history or just want to explore, why not try visiting the Old Manila? Babalik ako to tour the Walled City again and for another food trip in Binondo. Hihihi. Di na naubusan ng gustong puntahan. :)))

ANYWAY, dahil ang Visita Iglesia na ito ay medyo Walking Tour din:

Manila Cathedral is near Plaza del Gobernador (gate ng Intramuros na malapit sa pier) and from there San Agustin Church is a few blocks away.

Lipat ng Quiapo (Carriedo Station kung sasakay kayo ng LRT), ang Santa Cruz Church ay walking distance lang din. Sa likod ng SM ang daan, tapos sa harap ng Santa Cruz Church ay may fountain (sinabi ko na kanina) at 'yung gate ng Chinatown ay nasa Ongpin Street, dire-diretso lang at sa dulo ng street ay Binondo Church na. 

Galing sa Santa Cruz papuntang Binondo church ay pwede naman lakarin (nilakad lang din namin) pero baka malayuan 'yung iba kaya pwede rin mag tricycle. :)

Other Churches:

Baclaran Church (Our Lady of Perpetual Help)
Malate Church
Sto. Domingo Church
Saint Pancratius Chapel in Paco Park link: here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lord, I offer You my life... (Lent 2014)

All that I am, all that I have
I lay them down before You, oh Lord
All my regrets, all my acclaims
The joy and the pain, I'm making them Yours

Lord, I offer my life to You
Everything I've been through, use it for Your glory
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You as a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life

Things in the past, things yet unseen
Wishes and dreams that are yet to come true
All of my hopes, all of my plans
My heart and my hands are lifted to You

Naranasan mo na bang magkaroon ng isang kantang gustong gusto mo tapos makalipas ang maraming taon, maririnig mo ulit 'yon at sa pagkakataon 'yon maiisip mong, "Bakit mas maganda?" "Bakit kumpara noon, mas sakto at mas ramdam mo na 'yung kanta ngayon? 

Siguro dahil mas mature na ako (Akalain mo nga naman na nag mature pa ko sa lagay na 'to), dahil mas marami na kong naranasan sa buhay, dahil mas marami na kong bagay na iniasa sa Kanya kaya parang lahat lahat lahat ng salita mula sa kantang 'yan e parang gusto ko na. Pero sino ba naman ako? Hindi naman ako sobrang banal na tao. Sa totoo niyan, paminsan maliban sa Thank You, Sorry at Gusto ko ng... wala na rin naman akong sinabi sa Diyos natin. Kaya nga siguro taun-taon e inuulit-ulit natin ang Holy Week para ipaalala sa'tin 'yung mga ganitong bagay.  

Everything I've been through, use it for Your Glory.

Hindi ako perpekto. Marami-rami rin akong nagawang hindi maganda, mga bagay na ginawa ko na maaring pagsisihan o pinagsisihan ko na pero salamat dahil kahit kailan hindi naman ako napabayaan. Matagal pa at marami pa kong daranasin dahil para akong bumalik sa umpisa pero masasabi ko, lalo sa may kaparehong sitwasyon, it gets better. Mahirap din para sa'kin na sabihin 'yan pero paniwalaan na lang natin, life gets better. Hindi man agad but it will. 

“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

Maraming bumibisita ngayon dito sa blog ko dahil naghahanap ng pupuntahan ngayong Holy Week, sana sa kabila ng ilang araw nating pahinga ay wag nating kakalimutan ang tunay na dahilan kung bakit meron tayong tinatawag na Holy Week. Para Sa kanya 'to. Hindi naman siguro masamang magsaya pero ibigay natin 'yung nararapat na respeto at oras para Sa Kanya sa mga susunod na araw.

God bless us all. :)

"Rarely do we realize that we are in the midst of the extraordinary. Miracles occur all around us, signs from God show us the way, angels plead to be heard, but we pay little attention to them because we have been taught that we must follow certain formulas and rules if we want to find God. We do not realize that God is wherever we allow Him/Her to enter.”

Revisiting Mama Mary at Regina Rica in Tanay, Rizal



From Quezon City, Tanay, Rizal is a 1-2 1/2 hours drive if you're passing through Cogeo. 

We revisited Regina Rica two times last month so here's an update.

Found out that the meaning of RICA is Regina Institute of Contemplation in Asia. The rest of Regina Rica complex is still under construction but they're going to develop retreat houses probably like the ones in Caleruega, Batangas link: here. They held the Groundbreaking Ceremony last March.

Scroll down more for our third visit.
Regina Rosarii

They say that this statue is miraculous so make sure to climb the S-Trail to get to this hill. 
View from Mama Mary's hill
Behind me is the Sierra Madre Mountain Range
The chapel on a regular Sunday Mass
Nabawasan na 'yan so imagine how packed this place will get this Holy Week.
I'm sure a lot of pilgrims will head to this church. 
Color coded candles.
Shoot that candle. 
A candle cost P 20.00
I love driving through the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. AS IN. Baka ako nagd-drive. hahaha. 

Third Visit

You can be dropped directly at the chapel's entrance but we usually park near the orientation area and just walk to the chapel. This might get pretty tiring especially since most are uphill. 
79 feet tall statue
1. Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the mass begins so you can attend the CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER.

2. First timers shall be welcomed through a song, "Welcome to Rica, Welcome to Rica, Welcome to Rica. We are glad you're here."

3. In Regina Rica, they have what they call MOM or Mary's One Million. It's a signature campaign wherein you'll list your family members and the nuns will include them in their prayers. Until the fourth generation of your family shall be healed trough the "Prayer To Heal My Family Tree." Each family naman has our own problems and I was never sure if such thing exist until I heard the prayer at Regina Rica. There are times that we feel that we're still "paying" for the sins of some of our family members, diba? For these things that are out of our control, sa Kanya na lang natin iwan.

That's why we must be good because we don't know how our actions will affect our family's next generations.

Touch our hearts with peace even in the midst of chaos and crises experienced by our families.

4. After the mass is a healing prayer, you'll be asked to turn around and face the hill of Mama Mary and afterwards you'll be asked to form lines for the Anointing of the Holy Oil. Regina Rica's oil is the best smelling oil ever. The scent stays until the end of the day.

There is also Anointing of the Holy Oil after the mass at St. Pio Pietrelcina in Libis (near Eastwood Citibank Footbridge and a gasoline station) link: here.

5. Near the entrance of the church you'll find empty bottles that you are to fill with coins and offer them when you return. This is called "Bote Bote Para Kay Maria" I'm now filling my own bottle. 

Sunflowers are in full bloom already. 
Inside the nipa huts area are these labradors for sale. I waaaaaant.
There is also a hanging bridge which was close that day so I don't know what's on the other side.
Don't tease the monkey!
And that place's treasures.
Haaay, sarap matulog dito.

In this area are tables and nipa huts which you may rent in case you want to eat there. They have a restaurant but it's a vegetarian restaurant.
Lady on Top of the Hill
The first picture of Regina Rica that I saw has this sunflower lined S-Trail so I was kind of disappointed the first time we went there because there weren't any. Really glad that Mama Mary called us for the third time and I was able to see this. 

Regina Rica
Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal
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