Thursday, April 24, 2014

An Easter in Antipolo

Easter Sunday.  It was a rain-less and sunny Sunday, a perfect day to visit my sister in Antipolo, Rizal.

My sister who is two years younger than I am, recently moved together with her family from Cainta to Bankers Village in Antipolo.  Her place is located along Sumulong Hi-Way, a couple of meters away from her workplace in Assumption.  So it's very ideal and more practical for her to really get that house however far the location is from Metro Manila.

My daughter Sky is the one who was literally begging us to visit Antipolo so that she could have a whole-day playtime session with her two cousins - Maya and Pia (My sister's two daughters) and Seth (her new baby boy).

However, since after we've sold our van last year, it now became so very hard (and very expensive) for us to visit them specially after they've move to a farther location.  We couldn't visit them as much as we want to and they couldn't go to our place either.  We had to creatively schedule and time our visits correctly so that we could get to Antipolo the fastest time possible and with less traffic than usual.  Heavy traffic would mean more time on the road, less playtime for Sky and her cousins and more transportation expenses.

Our itinerary last Sunday was to go straight to Antipolo Church (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage), then buy some 'pasalubongs' before going to my sister's house.

How much did we spend for transportation to and from Antipolo?

From Paco to Antipolo Simbahan (Taxi) - 440.00 (includes a 120 pesos tip)
From Antipolo to Bankers (Tricycle) - 50.00 
From Bankers to Ynares (Tricycle) - 40.00
From Ynares to Paco (Taxi) - 340.00 (includes a 40 pesos tip)

Total Transportation Expense: 870 pesos

If that was an ordinary day, that would be more costly.  But lesser if you go there alone and use all modes of tranportation.  From Paco, I would ride a Jeepney (8 pesos) going to Nagtahan and then another Jeepney (8 pesos) to LRT Pureza.  Ride the LRT all the way to Santolan (14 pesos) and then ride another Jeepney going to Antipolo (20 pesos).  So all in all, the whole trip would only cost me a little over 100 pesos plus a bit of time lost due to heavy traffic.    

Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage
Our first stop was Antipolo Church.  I can only imagine how busy the Parish of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage was last Maundy Thursday and Good Friday since this was the final stop for hundreds people who participates in the annual lenten 'Alay Lakad' that starts at EDSA, Ortigas.  Way of the Cross markers were installed more than a decade ago along the stretch of Ortigas up to Tikling and all the way to Antipolo Church to guide pilgrims or trekkers on their spiritual journey.
Antipolo Marker
Just like all the other major Catholic Churches in the Philippines the parish is surrounded by a busy market place that sells local Antipolo delicacies like Suman, Casoy, and just about anything that you need.

The area is also now booming with mall-like structures, food restaurants and other boutiques.
I was trying to look for that store that sells those local donuts (the one rolled in sugar) but I couldn't find it anymore.  I hope they didn't go out of business.

After Antipolo Church we then went to Bankers Village for lunch, meryenda and dinner.  Sky got her wish and Neo got to play with Ora, the family dog who is so friendly and playful beyond compare that she wouldn't pass for a guard dog.

Here are more pictures:

Tam with the Kids
Maya Pia Sky
Barbecue for Meryenda
Neo and the Girls
Neo Maya Sky Pia
Ghost Neo
Neo and Pia
Neo Pia Sky Maya Rain and Seth




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Visita Iglesia 2014

The highlight of Lent in the Philippines happens during the Liturgical Paschal Triduum which starts in the evening of Maundy Thursday and ends on Easter Sunday.

I have been involved in Church activities since the 6th Grade after a classmate invited me to join the Savio Friends Club of Saint Raphael Parish in Pasay City.  In fact, you could say that I was practically raised inside the church and most of my fondest childhood and teenage memories are rooted inside the Church.

After Savio Friends Club (a Salesian youth organization with Saint Dominic Savio as Patron Saint and model), I joined the Knights of the Altar and started serving during liturgical celebrations as a Sakristan.  I also joined other church groups like the Junior Legion of Mary, Tarcisian Adorers, church choir groups and the Catholic Youth Organization.

Next to advent (Christmas), the season of Lent is the busiest in the calendar of activities of various church youth organization.  Visita Iglesia is one of the activities that we really look forward to during this time of the year.  The religious pilgrimage is not only a way for us to enrich our faith but also serves as a wonderful bonding activity for the members of the group.

I miss being involved in church activities.

Although I am not anymore actively connected with my former groups in the church, I have maintained the Visita Iglesia tradition together with my family and occasionally with friends.

Last week, my family and I went around 7 Churches in the city of Manila starting with the newly restored Manila Cathedral or the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception followed by the San Agustin Church in Intramuros.  We then went to five more Churches: Nuestra Senora De Guia (Ermita Church), Saint Vincent De Paul Parish (Adamson), Saint Mary Goretti Parish (Pope Pius XII Catholic Center), Saint Peter the Apostle Parish and the San Fernando De Dilao Parish in Paco.

Manila Cathedral
San Agustin
Nuestra Senora De Guia
Saint Vincent de Paul

Saint Peter, Saint Mary Goretti and San Fernando De Dilao
I have started documenting our Visita Iglesia experiences through my other blog RAINCHECK since 2011. To see where we've been in the past, check out the stories below: