This is a church. And this is a cave. It’s a church in a cave. Callao Cave is a seven-chamber cave that forms part of the 300 caves that dot this protected area. It is found in the town of Peñablanca, province of Cagayan, although it is often associated with the nearby city of Tuguegarao. Still, of all the wonderful tidbits about this cave network, historical or otherwise, the one trivia that leaped from this photo is the fact that a wedding scene in the movie The Mistress was shot in Callao Cave. And why do we know that? We hate to admit this, but we watched the movie. And why did we watch the movie? Because we’re fans of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo. Cheesy, yes, but we really don’t care. This photo by Justin Liu (check his Instagram acount, @justflying1112) is obviously shot with natural light. Callao Cave seems to be more gorgeous when it is draped by warm lights. Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading Cozy Beauty of Callao Cave (Peñablanca, Cagayan): Photo of the Day
Bohol is now more than the Chocolate Hills, the heavenly white beach of Panglao Island, the tarsier, the Loboc River cruise, the old churches, the man-made forest and other attractions. It now hosts one of the MOST important needs of any serious traveler — the toilet. Call it what you want — comfort room, restroom, or any other name — but it’s ideally a place of peace and comfort. We know, of course, that a clean toilet is a rarity for travelers on the road (but, mind you, seasoned travelers can do it the “natural” way). Imagine a CLEAN toilet. Imagine a CLEAN and ELEGANT toilet of a gas station. Now, stop imagining and go to Bohol. You’ll find this SHELL station (yes, we have to emphasize that it’s a Shell station as a token of appreciation for a gas station that takes a little from its billions of profits and gives back to motorists in the form of an ACTUAL, REAL clean toilet). We haven’t seen something like this, which is why we have this story about toilets. We hope other Shell stations follow suit. We hope ALL other gas stations follow soon (tell us which gas station has done so and we’ll feature them). Here, watch this video courtesy of Filipino-Canadian Jason Godfrey: Continue reading Gas Station Toilet: More Fun in the Philippines
This breaking news is shocking for the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia — Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi announced that Pope Benedict XVI will resign effective 28 February 2013. The official reason for the Pope’s resignation is his advanced age. The full text of the official declaration, posted the Vatican Radio’s website, reads: Continue reading Pope Benedict XVI Resigns: Official Declaration
The Holy Week, as the name clearly shows, is a week that should be, well, holy. So for Christians who went up to Baguio City for the long vacation, the least that could be done to observe the spirit of the Holy Week is to go to mass. Continue reading St. Joseph the Worker Church (Baguio City)
The Antipolo Cathedral, also a national shrine (National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage), is a favorite pilgrimage site. It’s one of the two well-known destinations in Antipolo (the other is Hinulugang Taktak). We decided to visit this cathedral one cloudy afternoon, in preparation for the visita iglesia we plan in the neighboring province of Laguna.
In front of the church is the marker placed in 1937 by the Historical Research and Markers Committee. The marker gives us a brief history of the Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje.
The statue of Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje was brought from Mexico to Manila by Governor Juan Nino de Tavora in 1626 and at his death in 1632 was turned over to the Jesuits for the Church of Antipolo. Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje was proclaimed Patroness of the Galleons. The statue crossed the Pacific, and returned, eight times on board the galleons of Acapulco: in 1641, 1643, 1645-46 on the San Luis; 1648-1649 on the Encarnacion; in 1650 on the San Diego; in 1851-1853 on the San Javier; in 1859-1662 on the San Jose and in 1746-1748 on the Nuestra Senora del Pilar. The statue of Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje was canonically crowned on November 26, 1926, by the Most Rev. Michael J. O’Doherty, Archbishop of Manila, on the Luneta, Manila, in the presence of at least one hundred thousand people.
We arrived in time for the 5:00 p.m. mass. It’s difficult to find the Cathedral’s location through the narrow and crowded streets of Antipolo. It’s even harder to look for a parking space. We can’t enter the cathedral premises or the public park beside it.
All the pews are occupied. The open area around the pews, still inside the cathedral but beyond the huge dome, is also the packed with people on their feet, spilling to the stairs and to the plaza below. Residents of Antipolo and travelers like us converge here.
The Antipolo Cathedral, built by the Jesuits between 1630-1633, damaged during the earthquakes of 1645, 1824 and 1883. We could have a good idea of strong earthquakes in the past based on damage to churches, just like the Manila Cathedral and the churches of Ilocos.
When you hear “Malate” (ma-la-teh), what first comes to mind? Maybe you got that right, but that’s not the subject matter of this post. We’re talking about the Malate Church. Continue reading Malate Church (Manila City)
With all the skyscrapers and modern structures in Makati City, it’s hard to imagine that a church almost 400 years old lies hidden in this business capital of the Philippines. If you’re from the north, passing through the Guadalupe bridge along take Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) towards Makati City, the first thing you’ll notice are the huge billboards right before the San Carlos Seminary. Behind the seminary is the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church (to be precise, it’s located in 7440 Bernardino Street, Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City; 896-8444, 895-9141; see map and directions). Continue reading Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church (Makati City)