During the month of May, pilgrims flock to this church in a Metro Manila suburb to visit the image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. It is said that the Lady is the patron of safe travels.
In recent years, because of its location (which is atop a hill), people troop to Antipolo during Maundy Thursday/Good Friday as part of their penitence.
There is a saying: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." So when you are on a provincial road trip, go for a culinary trip, too. Find out the specialties of the town, and savor the taste of local dishes and delicacies. You might not be able to return to the place you visited, so try their foods so you can have something to remember and talk about.
The Antipolo Cathedral teems with devotees most especially during the months of our Blessed Virgin Mary- May & October. People from all walks of life go there because of the miraculous intercessory powers of Our Lady of Antipolo, patroness of voyagers and mother to all.
See my Antipolo Travel Page for more info & pictures.
The province of Rizal prides itself with the waterfalls that are considered among the most beautiful natural formations of the Philippines. Not far from Manila,it can be reached by private or public transportation in about 2-3 hours. For less than $1,you can gain entry to the park,and experience an exciting adventure in an enchanting place.
See my Tanay, Rizal Travel Page for more info & pictures.
Rizal towns are known for its beautiful centuries-old churches. When you go there for your Visita Iglesia, bring your cameras with you to take pictures of the awesome architectural details of the churches. You can pass on the pictures to your children & grandchildren for their historical briefing.
Check out my shots of St. James' Church in my Morong Travel Page.
Antipolo Cathedral (or Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage / Nuestra Senora de Paz y Buenviaje) isn't my type since it's more like a gimmick place with scapular vendors and delinquent youths out on a trip in the guise of religion. Aside from that the original structure has been heavily damaged and is now replaced with some mediocre building.
It was relatively nice there though. Aside from the possibility that some travelers find huge crowds amazing, around the area they sell really good local cakes such as malagkit and suman and yummy cashew nuts for chewing. The once-famed and almost mythical trip to Antipolo is now an uneventful one thanks to the ubanization of eastern Rizal. Since the patroness is all about pleasant journeys though, a lot of travelers would consider stopping by here. Some lucky charms won't hurt.
On an ordinary day Tanay could be reached from Baras in a less than 10 minute drive. Just like Baras Church, San Ildefonso is a Franciscan project to promote Catholicism among Tagalogs.
Tanay Church is a newer structure built around more or less a hundred years after Baras was erected. It is evidently more massive on the outside and much more decorated on the inside. The interior is in rococo style, with lavish details in gold and pastel colors. Other things to note are the altar and the stations of the cross, done by some anonymous native called 'Maestro de Tanay'
Baras town proper is very close to Morong. The church is small and located at the end of a very narrow street connected to the main road. Since it's real easy to miss it, here's a tip- It is near the town hall so once it becomes visible, ask the very accomodating locals for this church's direction.
It's much like a hidden gem. The building is quite modest but well-preserved. There is very little alteration to the structure. Unlike most of its Manilan counterparts, the structure built at 1686 survived fires, quakes and the war. I think that's the church's asset. Other than that it's just a typical Franciscan structure made of black (or dark) stones. But seriously, i don't think one can still use the word typical after seeing San Jose.
Morong is not very far from Antipolo. The short journey from the hills to this pretty little town is scenic. Off the main road, the majestic bell tower, which is the most striking feature of San Geronimo Church, is visible.
The whole complex doesn't have that much. Everything else is typical. But that's forgivable since the bell tower attracts all eyes. It is even said that it bested every bell tower in towns surrounding Laguna de Bay. And that's a feat considering the fact that a lot of those historically leading towns have some of the best, oldest and most preserved Catholic structures in Luzon.
This one is really worth seeing.
This is where they plan to hold future animal shows (much like in international zoos such as Singapore Zoo or Jurong Bird Park). It wasn't complete as of 2006 Summer, but the guide said that hopefully they can finish by year end.
For your next Visita Iglesia, visit the centuries-old churches in the province. Practically each town has its own beautiful church with a glorious history.
At the entrance of the zoo, you will be greeted by their big pond where there are several fowl species. Loved their ducks :)
When the guide introduced us to this animal (i forgot the name) - this is the biggest rodent in the world. Reminded me of the sensei rat in the animation series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles :)
Weekend show with the Birds of Prey at 10 am. Photo ops at 50 per person, per bird. Quite expensive.
Shots priced at 50pesos per group, unlimited time of shooting. During our visit there were around 5-6 colorful parrots and 2 white parrots (i don't know their breeds though)
17 ADB Avenue Ortigas Center, Pasig, Philippines
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