I visited the Dolorosa Chapel for spiritual reasons. It has been my practice to visit churches and even small chapels wherever we go. I realized later that the Dolorosa Chapel is popular for something else. It houses the Sto. Entierro, a miraculous icon of the dead Jesus Christ lying in a coffin-like glass case.
Many locals believe in the healing powers of said icon. They pray before it, then wipe the foot or vestment of the icon with their handkerchief and later wipe the hankie on the part of their body that needs healing... But bordering between spirituality and superstition, there are also other locals, mostly "albolaryos" (herbal medicine & spiritual practitioners) who believe in the icon's ability to bestow magical powers on their "anting-anting" (amulets) and "oracion" (encantations usually written in Latin on a piece of paper carefully folded and secured in a red cloth/pouch.) The "albolaryos" usually put their "anting-anting" or "oracion" underneath the icon's vestment or in the corner of the glass case.
Although rice is a staple food, Filipinos' breakfast isn't quite complete without the "pandesal". Sometimes "pandesal" is eaten with Filipino sausage ("longanisa") or cottage cheese ("kesong puti") or any other spread, but it is also often eaten without any spread while hot, or dunked in coffee.
While I was jogging along the baywalk of Sabang Beach, I wondered why the other joggers stopped not far away from Bay's Inn, then proceeded to jog again while chewing something. I soon discovered that they stopped to buy hot "pandesal" from a little boy. The "pandesal" was kept hot in a styrofoam container carefully tied to the boy's bike. He had brisk business that morning. Hubby bought some for us, too. There is something about the lowly "pandesal" that makes your day;-)
"Bayanihan" is the local term for collective and cooperative efforts of the people. Whereas in the olden times, this was exemplified in the collective "muscle power" of men carrying and relocating the nipa hut of a community member, today, it can be manifestes in different community projects. I witnessed the "bayanihan " spirit of Baler locals in their recent "Parol" & "Belen" Making Contest, Parade & Display. It was a nice feeling seeing all of them contribute to the making of their project. Local officials, residents, teachers and students of the different barangays joined hands in creating their Christmas "Parol"
(Christmas lantern) and "Belen"(nativity scene). Then, they proudly paraded the "parols" around the town while the "Belens" were displayed at the Quezon Park.
Bayanihan is like helping each other when times you need someone to help.... or rather you don't have to ask for help... they'd just help to finish the work immediately... like this one in this photo.
On the way going home around Maria Aurora, while waiting for others to come (since we are the leading our companion in this journey) I saw this nipa hut house up in the hill. I’m thinking… how could they live on that place up in the hill? It’s the only house I saw up there. Well, living in a province was very different from the cities…. Long walks, no neighbor near you, you have to walk very long to reach the town and sometimes local people in province was used of longer walking and it was their everyday life.
The Sabutan plant is abundant in the province of Aurora. Through the creativity and ingenuity of local entrepreneurs, its leaves are transformed into colorful works of arts in the form of woven hats, floor mats, bags, slippers and wall décor. These products are exported abroad.
I forgot to take a picture of their product because I'm busy shopping souvenir items.
This is most awaited annual event is the highlight of the celebration of Aurora Day, celebrated every February 18 with street-dancing, colorful parades, street decoration, a best float competition and a competition to select the best suman-adorned houses in Aurora.