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I love to travel just to explore new things in life from breathtaking natural wonders, interesting historical sites, delicious food, friendly people and colorful culture. I treasure every moment in traveling by writing in my journal, taking photos and publish it in my travel blog.
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Friday, May 31, 2013

A Healing Journey in Kamay ni Hesus

The Kamay ni Hesus (Hands of Jesus) Healing Center is one of the interesting places located in the sleepy town of Lucban. It is a hilltop shrine where thousands flock in order to visit to pray for wishes, hope and healing. It was built under Father Joey Faller, a gifted and well-known healing priest.
Noah's Ark

The shrine features religious images that depict different events taken from the Bible. From the entrance of the grotto, you can see the events from The Creation where you can see The Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve. Within that place also is Noah's Ark where you can see different images of animals and the huge ship where Noah used to save the animals during the Great Flood.
Kamay ni Hesus Shrine Hill
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The Ascending Christ statue in the hilltop.
The panoramic view of Lucban, Quezon from Kamay ni Hesus.
The highlight of the visit in Kamay ni Hesus is climbing the approximately three hundred steps to the hilltop where the 50-foot Ascending Christ statue was located. In addition, as you go up to the hill, you will see the events in the life of Jesus Christ particularly the Last Supper, the fourteen Stations of the Cross up to the Resurrection of Christ. In the hilltop, there are several people who pray at the Ascending Christ statue for hope and healing. Overlooking the hill, you can see the panoramic view of the town of Lucban.
The Kamay ni Hesus Healing Chapel
After the climb, we visited the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Chapel. There is a mass during weekdays at 9:00 am , Saturdays for anticipated mass and Sundays. On the other hand, healing mass was held during Wednesdays and Sundays at 9:30 am.
People are praying for their hopes, wishes and healing which prove that Filipinos are religious and having a strong faith in God.

The Kamay ni Hesus Shrine is one of the most visited tourist destinations where students having their field trip as well with groups of people such as families, office mates and companies visit here for the commemoration of Stations of the Cross during Holy Week.

Therefore, the visit in Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center is such a journey where you can recollect your experiences in life as well with the fact that you can have a strong faith in God by saying our prayers and climbing the hilltop shrine in order to express our hope and healing. In addition, this shrine is one of the most memorable religious journeys in my travel experience because I appreciated the fact that Filipinos are religious and having a strong faith in God and the people know the events in the Bible by different images in the hill.

How to Get There:

From Lucban town proper, you can ride a jeepney which takes you to Brgy. Tinamnan, where the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center is located. Also, you can take a bus bound to Lucena and from there, you can ride a jeepney to Lucban which will take you to Kamay ni Hesus.

Date of Travel: May 15, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"The Mount Everest Experience" at Escolta

In the midst of the scorching heat of the sun in a sizzling summer noon, I want to climb at the Mount Everest to escape the intense summer heat. However, it is located in the cold and snowy Himalayas mountains in the borders of Nepal and Tibet. However, I experienced that Mount Everest feeling in the busy and crowded streets of Escolta. How?

Well, I went on hopping to a refreshment parlor which is similar to what I have done last year in Bacoor where I ate two orders of Digman halo-halo. This year, I tried to visit a cozy ice cream parlor located in the former shopping capital of Metro Manila which is Escolta.
The busy street teemed with the old buildings of Escolta.
After a five minute walk from Santa Cruz Church, you can find the Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks. It is an ice cream parlor in a small space of a building but you can try different food and delicacies especially their ice cream with different colors and flavors, courtesy of Big Scoop Ice Cream.
Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks
The entrance to Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks
I decided to order their specialty worth P200.00. It was named Mount Everest because it is a mountain of ice cream with nine flavors. It is where the highest mountain in the world got the height of approximately 8,500 feet which can be rounded off into 9,000. Well, the specialty is composed of nine scoops where I am going to choose from thirty flavors and it is garnished with nuts and chocolate syrup and topped by whipped cream and cherries. It looks delicious but challenging to eat.
First set of flavors: Strawberry, Vanilla, Avocado, Golden Langka, Cheese and Orange.
Second set of flavors: Mint Chocolate Chip, Rocky Road, Mocha, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Macapuno and Pistachio.
Third set of flavors: Mango Royale, Dark Chocolate, Midnight Cookies and Cream and Sweet Corn.
Fourth set of flavors: Banana Nut, Strawberry Fields, Double Dutch, Chocolate Peanut, Green Tea.
Fifth set of flavors: Guyabano Sherbet, Mango Sherbet, No Sugar Added Buko Pandan and No Sugar Added Mango.
Sixth set of flavors: Ube, Chocolate, Bubble Gum with Marshmallows and Cookies and Cream.
When I had a chance to take my order, I found myself that I will go with the Mount Everest. I chose the nine flavors which is somewhat interesting to my taste buds for sizzling summer. I chose Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla and Mango Royale as my four all-time favorite ice cream flavors. Then the remaining five flavors namely Strawberry Fields, Mint Chocolate Chip, Bubble Gum with Marshmallows, Mango Sherbet and Orange are somewhat new to my ears and it is exciting to take these new flavors. Then, I also bought iced tea worth P30.00 for drinks. I waited for five minutes then after that, I started to eat the Mount Everest.
Mount Everest and Iced Tea. Mount Everest Side A: Bubble Gum with Mallows, Mango Royale, Strawberry Fields in the bottom and Side B with Mango Sherbet, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate; Vanilla and Strawberry in the center and Orange in the top. Mount Everest is topped with cherries and whipped cream garnished with nuts and chocolate syrup.
It was approximately ten to fifteen minutes to take that specialty. I started to savor every flavor: the creaminess of milk in Chocolate and Vanilla, the natural fruit flavors in Orange, Strawberry, Mango Royale and Mango Sherbet as well with the real strawberry bits teemed with cream in Strawberry Fields and the coolness of Mint Chocolate Chip and Bubble Gum with Mallows teemed with chocolate chips and marshmallow bits. In addition, the garnished nuts, whipped cream and cherries add flavor to my excitement in eating the Mount Everest. Overall, it was such a relieving experience from the intense summer heat in the city as well with the sweet and creamy gustatory trip.
Menu A for Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks: Desserts and Snacks
Menu B for Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks: Main Dish and Beverages
A small but cozy refreshment parlor plus the seats are comfortable.
Aside from the delicious Mount Everest, Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks offered other desserts and I am interested to take if I come back here next time. In addition, the value meals and beverages are also delicious plus the prices are affordable and reasonable for customers. The ambiance here is also good and very clean although it is occupied in a small unit but the seats are very suitable plus the staff are very friendly and accommodating.
I will come back here soon for another post. Tara Let's Eat!

How to get there:
You can ride a jeepney from Lawton to Santa Cruz. Then ask the driver to take you to Plaza Lacson or Santa Cruz Church and you can walk from there to Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks. (You can pass the Bank of the Philippine Islands Building, Regina Building and Santa Cruz Building).

Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks
275 Escolta Street, Binondo Manila

Date of Travel: May 8, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Travel Guide | A Day Tour in the Historical Rock: Corregidor Island

This travel was truly remarkable for me because it happened three years ago plus it is my first out of town travel which motivates me to go back again in writing and blogging.

My sister invited me to have a day tour in Corregidor Island. I was excited because I am interested about the relevance of the place in our history as well with the fact that this was the first time that I will ride a ferry to reach a tourist destination.Within one day, we learned a lot of things about the history of our country by listening to the facts delivered by our tour guide and taking a glimpse of the structures that reflect in the heritage and historical past of our country in the historical rock.
Map of Corregidor
A trading vessel crossing the Manila Bay
Natural beauty of Corregidor Island
Corregidor Island is located 48 kilometers west of Manila and it is strategically found in the entrance of Manila Bay. As you can see, the shape of the island resembles to a tadpole and it is divided into four parts: Topside, Middleside, Bottomside and Tailside. Corregidor is the largest among the five islands in the Manila Bay.  Corregidor is part of Cavite City which is located ten miles away from the area.  However, Corregidor is located three miles from Bataan. The island is called as "The Rock" and American colonizers called it as "The Gibraltar of the East" because of its rocky landscapes and it stands as the memorial for heroes who fought during the Second World War against the Japanese invaders. In addition, Corregidor serves as a harbor defense for foreign invaders who came to our country and it is the headquarters of Philippine Commonwealth during the Japanese occupation.
Ruined barracks of Corregidor Island
Different weapons such as canyons and mortars in Corregidor Island.
Corregidor Island is popular for its ruined barracks which is located in different parts of the island, namely the Middleside Barracks, Topside Barracks and the Mile Long Barracks. These structures were built during the American period where the island was organized as military reservation. It was destroyed during the Japanese invasion after the Filipino American heroes held out the island on May 6, 1942. In addition, you can see battle weapons and batteries in different parts of the island. These weapons are used during the siege in Corregidor. These structures left untouched after their destruction that served as memories of the Second World War in the Philippines.
Pacific War Memorial, Filipino Heroes Memorial and Japanese Garden of Peace.
Spanish Lighthouse
The Pacific War Memorial is a park which commemorates the Filipino and American heroes during the Second World War in the Philippines. The place features the the major memorial structure which is a rotonda with circular altar. The rotonda was dedicated to the heroes who sacrificed their lives during the battle. There is also the Pacific War Museum where you can see archived photos and objects used during the war. Other structures found in the place are the statue called Brothers in Arms which symbolizes the unity between United States and the Philippines during the war and the monument called Eternal Flame of Freedom which commemorates the recapture of the Philippines from the Japanese invaders. There is also the Japanese Garden of Peace which is dedicated to the Japanese heroes who showed courage and bravery in the war. There is also the Filipino Heroes Memorial where you can see murals and tableaux of different historical events in the country as well with Philippine heroes and presidents. You can also take a bird's eye view of Corregidor and its neighboring islands through the Spanish Lighthouse and it is powered by solar energy.
Malinta Tunnel Lateral Walk
Lastly, the Malinta Tunnel is one of the interesting sites in Corregidor Island. It is the secret hideout of Filipino and American soldiers in the island during the midst of the siege. The tunnel served as a hospital, lateral and a government office of the Philippine Commonwealth during the Japanese invasion. You can experience the trek inside the tunnel visiting the different sites used during the war. In addition, experience the Lights and Sound Show inside the tunnel about the World War II in Corregidor for P150.00.
General Douglas MacArthur statue in Corregidor with his historical, quotable line "I shall return."
After the day tour at the historic Corregidor, we went back to Manila. I never forget this first travel experience because I appreciate the history of Corregidor which reflects the colorful past and heritage of our country and the courage and bravery of the Filipino and American heroes during the Second World War which show the love to our country.

You can also try other activities in the island such as the ROCKet Zipline, where you can experience a 30-second thrilling air glide with enjoyable scenic view of the Southbeach, hiking at Malinta Hill and camp adventure at the outdoors.

How to Get There: You can inquire at Sun Cruises at CCP Bay Terminal located at Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, Manila. It provides two internationally-classed 145-seater fast ferries in order to cater tourists to Corregidor  Island. The Trams or "Tranvia Buses" are the major means of transportation in the island.

Date of Travel: March 13, 2010


CCP Bay Terminal A, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City

A Visit to the Historical Sites and Commemorating the Valor of Heroes in Corregidor Island

The fall of Bataan marked the doom of the Philippines. Rocky Corregidor, guarding the entrance to Manila Bay, continued to defy the Japanese forces, but with the capture of Bataan it could not long resist the enemy assaults. 
General Wainwright displayed superhuman efforts to defend the island-fortress, but in vain. No general could save Corregidor then. And no army of the size that he had under his command could hold the place against overwhelming odds.
On May 6, 1942, Corregidor fell. Nearly 12,000 Fil-American soldiers were taken prisoner. Fortunately, unlike their comrade-in-arms of Bataan, the Corregidor prisoners did not undergo the rigors of a "Death March." With the fall of Corregidor, organized resistance against Japanese invasion of the Philippines came to an end.
                                                  Source: Chapter  25 - The Philippines and World War II, from the book "The Philippines: A Unique Nation" by Sonia M. Zaide
After the fall of Bataan in April 9, 1942, the island bastion of Corregidor with its network of tunnels and formidable array of defensive armament along the fortifications across the entrance to Manila Bay was the remaining obstacle by the Japanese soldiers headed by Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma. For instance, the Japanese had to take Corregidor as long as the island remained in American hands. On May 6, 1942, Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered the Corregidor Island and they raised a white flag to carry his surrender message to the Japanese. 1

The fall of Corregidor is one of the historical incidents happened during the Second World War in the Philippines. The Filipino and American soldiers showed their heroic acts by surrendering the island to the Japanese invaders in order to defend our country. Today, this event is still commemorated by visiting the three spots located in the island just to give tribute to the heroes of the Second World War.

Pacific War Memorial
The entrance gate of Pacific War Memorial.
One of the interesting sites in Corregidor Island is the Pacific War Memorial. It was built in 1968 and located in the Topside, the Pacific War Memorial contains a circular rotunda, a steel structure, a garden and a museum. We visited the rotunda, a major memorial structure where it has a circular altar directly under the dome's oculus. There are instances that the sun shines directly on the circular altar in the daytime of May 6 at twelve o'clock in the afternoon, the day when Corregidor was captured by the Japanese army. Under the dome, there's a marble altar with an inscription which is dedicated to the heroes who died during the war.
The rotunda in Pacific War Memorial.
The dome's oculus where the sunlight shines at 12 noon of May 6.

A circular marble altar with its inscription for those who sacrificed their lives during the war.
Another structure in the Pacific War Memorial is the Eternal Flame of Freedom. It is a 12-meter high Corten steel structure that commemorates the sacrifices, hopes and aspirations of heroes and soldiers who fought during the Second World War. The lights of the structure are powered by solar energy and it gives light to the island of Corregidor during the evening. It is also the site where General Douglas MacArthur celebrated retaking the island from the Japanese.
Eternal Flame of Freedom
The Eternal Flame of Freedom
Another prominent structure in the place is the sculpture of two soldiers called "Brothers in Arms." It represent the Filipino and American soldiers who helped each other during the war and beside the sculpture are the flags of United States and the Philippines.
The sculpture that depicts the unity of United States and the Philippines, "Brothers in Arms"
There is an avenue in the place where the walls are made up of marble which inscribed the different battles in the Pacific during the Second World War. From that avenue, you can visit the Pacific War Memorial Museum. This museum contains weapons, photographs and other memorabilia used in World War II.
The marble walls where the significant battles of World War II in the Pacific was inscribed.
The entrance to Pacific War Memorial Museum.
An issue of Honolulu Star Bulletin with a headline about the Pacific War.
Pictures of Corregidor Island before the Japanese invasion.
The flag of United States of America with forty-five stars which represent the number of states during that time.
The pictures of different generals and heroes who fought during the World War II. The picture inset is the arrival of General Douglas MacArthur in Leyte Gulf.
The weapons used during Second World War in Corregidor.
Therefore, the experience in Pacific War Memorial is such an amazing journey because I learned about the history of our country during the war as well with the fact that different structures that symbolize the valor of Filipino and American heroes as well with the fact that it commemorates the glorious past of our history during the Second World War.

Japanese Garden of Peace

Another interesting site in Corregidor Island is the Japanese Garden of Peace which is located in the Tailside. This garden commemorates the heroic deeds of the Japanese soldiers and heroes who fought during the Second World War. It is used as a praying area of families of the Japanese war veterans. It contains a 10-feet Buddha, a reflecting pool, a Shinto shrine and other markers with Japanese inscriptions. There is also a souvenir shop located near the garden where you can see old photographs and Japanese currencies.
Stone Buddha of Fertility 
The Japanese inscription below the Buddha statue.
Tribute to the grave.

The marker for the repose of the souls.

More battle canyons.
Old Japanese currency and photographs.
Filipino Heroes Memorial
Filipino Heroes Memorial (Courtesy of www.lakadpilipinas.com)
The third place that commemorates the heroic deeds of our people is the Filipino Heroes Memorial. It is located in the Tailside of the island. The place features murals of different historical events from Battle of Mactan up to EDSA Revolution as well with the inscriptions which show the details. In addition, the faces of national heroes and Philippine presidents are also included in the mural. There is also a museum which show the old photographs of President Manuel L. Quezon during the Commonwealth and Second World War.

Therefore, visiting the three places in Corregidor represents the unity of three countries namely United States, Japan and the Philippines after the Second World War. In addition, it showed that these countries truly gave salute to the heroic deeds of the people who sacrificed their lives in the war in order to show their loyalty to their country. These places are interesting for tourists for the reason that it help them to recall the historical events that they studied in school or read in books.

Date of Travel: March 13, 2010

1 - Battle of Corregidor (Wikipedia article)
2 - http:///www.lakadpilipinas.com
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