Laguna Church Series: San Juan Bautista Church

The Neglected Church: San Juan Bautista Church

While most of the old Churches would boast about how old their structures are, this particular church though its age shows its antiquity cannot do the same. No one knows when the church was really built as most of the documents and things in the church were lost.

For over 40 years the church was taken for granted when the parish was transfered to another location. During that time no one took care of the structure and unfortunately the church had to be retrofitted with a new roof because of the damages it sustained from natural calamities, and due to the construction the important parts of the church had to be torn down as well.
Bas relief of saint john baptizing Christ 

The patron saint of the parish atop the entrance arch

View of the bell tower from what is left of a convent

Still there are treasures to be found inside the church. slowly they are rebuilding the parish bit by bit, one parishioner at a time.I particularly love this church because it is one of the few churches that faces the Laguna lake. I pray that this beautiful parish recovers and bring back the people back to this church.

For more information about tours for the Laguna Churches you may contact
Joel Aldor
Unit 3, #8225 Vicmar Bldg., Constancia St.,
Brgy., Olympia, Makati City 1207
Mobile +639174797015

Infanta, Quezon: Rituals of repentance, April 22, 2011

The Philippines is full of  traditions and customs, one of them is self flagellation of penitents.

Came in ten minutes late at the Raymond Bus Terminal in Manila and missed the 7PM bus, so we had to wait for the next trip. But the next trip is already fully booked as per the reservation officer. but we need to be in Infanta, Quezon by at least 2AM. So we took our chances and rode the 9PM bus. one of us had to sit on the floor near the driver as there really was no seat reserved for us. Luckily the conductor found empty seats as he organized some of the passengers while collecting fare.

We arrived in Infanta, Quezon at about 2:15 AM. Bought some cookies and a chocolate crinkle at a bakeshop and had some coffee at a Big Mak burger stand. 

After eating we walked around and looking for penitents until we reached the Infanta Church. We couldn't find any one so we asked around for information and we were directed to a certain street where most of the penitents are coming from.

As we were walking my photography bud saw this lugawan (congee) serving lugaw with kalabaw meat (congee with carabao meet) and since it was still early like the locals said, we decided to eat... again! ( lol )

When we finished our congee we walked around again asking locals some more information about their tradition. They say that the penitents go to the church and then goes to a river or the beach to wash them selves.

At about 3AM right in front of us with our very own eyes, we saw the first few penitents walking from the dark. I was stunned as if I saw a ghost. It was so surreal, I found my self standing unable to think what to do next. Then my friend told me to shoot, I replied "sige ikaw na muna". I was trying to digest the imagery until i finally came to my senses and took my first shot.

A penitent's saya, panyabat and tucarol

What's unique about the penitents in Infanta, Quezon is that they start their rituals before sunrise just before sunrise. The reason to this as one of the penitents say is that it takes time to numb them selves before they scathe their selves to bleed.

        A penitent waiting for his back to be cut.

One of the penitents who started early. His back looks like has ex-foliated his top skin already

Just like what the locals that we asked the penitents went in front of the Infanta Church where they prayed for their thanks giving or requests.

Penitents praying in front of the church

After praying they go back to the streets of the poblacion to continue their penitence.

The picture looks blurry but i like it. It seems like the images are moving when you look at them.

A man holds a surgical blade that he uses to cut the backs of the penitents. He says that it is his own devotion to cut penitent's backs during the holy week.

Sunlight has broken and they have not stopped still, I can now see better the extent of the damage they have inflicted to them selves.

a penitent standin on the streets while the sun continous to rise.

After a while they left the poblacion and converged into this place. I asked them where they are heading the penitent just said "sa tulay" (to the bridge). I asked him if they are to wash them selves there after flagellating them selves and he said no.

We decided to follow them and looked at what they would do. While walking we saw other people also headed to the bridge as well.

When we got to the place, we saw them continuing to hit them selves. It was a small barangay road, I asked around and I guess the reason they gather at this place is its proximity to the beach where they will clean them selves.

A foreigner trying to get a picture of the penitent.

A penitent's side that seems to be skinned off already.

Once again they line up the streets while self flagellating.

A penitent catching up with his comrades. 

Another person part of this ritual is the one who has the devotion to give lambanog to the penitents. Penitents drink lambanog while self flagellating to make it more tolerable for them.

From time to time they wash their blood drenched panyabats in water, that is why you should keep your distance from them if you don't like your shirts to get bloody like mine.

We decided to leave already and head to another place until we found this small shack where some of the penitents continue to self flagellate.

Penitents actually ask other people to hit their backs for them so that the blood (im just not sure if the blood that has came out or the hemorrhage forming) would look even

Finally we decided to leave 

We all have our way of saying sorry or asking for forgiveness. Though this is a culture rich event let us not forget that the true penitence happens in our hearts. After all the physical abuse that we did to our self let us stay silent and listen to God.

You can check the rest of the photos HERE or you can go to my site at thanks!
Directions going to infanta

You can take a Raymond bus in Sampaloc, Manila going straight to infanta. The fare is 185 pesos on a regular bus. you can walk around the town center or you may also take a tricycle to the beach which is about half a kilometer from the town center.

You can also check out the beaches of real Quezon while you're at it.

Corregidor: Reliving the battles fought.

Cradle of Noble Heroes as what this land is known for. A land that has fought so many battles to satisfy its thirst for freedom.

During the World War II one of the most significant battles were fought on a small island guarding the mouth of Manila bay called the island of Corregidor.

Source: & Wikipedia

About 48 kilometers (29.82 miles) from Manila this tadpole shaped island is accessible through a 1 hour and 45 minutes ferry ride from the Cultural Center of the Philippines via Sun Cruise

View of Manila from afar on board the MV Sun Cruiser 

Our Fast Craft MV SUn Cruiser II Approching the island
Upon reaching Corregidor Port we were taken by a tram around the island. The tram buses really were charming as it is open air that would let you enjoy the breeze from the sea.
View on top of a hill on board the tram
The island served as the headquarters of the Alliance and the Philippine Commonwealth Government during World War II. It was also divided into four divisions the topside, middle side, bottom side and tail side.

Building for Filipino Generals
Although the Americans and Filipinos fought side by side during the war Filipino and American Generals and Soldiers had separate barracks.

After the war there was not a single tree to be found in the island. The military was able to count that the island endured 16,000 bombing from the Japanese during the war until they lost count as the bombing continued.

The island was then reforested, using a helicopter the government spread Ipil seeds. Over the years other trees were added giving visitors of today cool tree shades that makes the island conducive to walking.
Pathway to one of the batteries

Our first stop was Battery Way. there are about four canyons in this battery. They were used to bomb airplanes and ships that attempts to enter Manila by the bay.

Battery Way Canyons

The author on one of the canyons

Battery Way

One of the shelters being explored by ivanlakwatsero
Canyon Coil Springs
Monuments are also to be found in the island commemorating the soldiers who have given their lives for our freedom

Standing on the highest part of Corregidor's Topside is the Pacific War Memorial, which was built by the United States Government to honor the Filipino and American soldiers who participated in World War II. It was completed in 1968 at the cost of three million dollars. The major memorial structure is a rotunda with a circular altar directly under the dome's oculusthrough which light falls on the altar during daylight hours. Located behind the Memorial is the Eternal Flame of Freedom, a 40 feet (12 m) Corten steel structure commissioned toAristides Demetrios symbolizing freedom.[5] (information from wikipedia)

At the far end of the Pacific War Memorial stands the Eternal Flame Monument. The monument overlooks the rest of the island and the Manila Bay

Eternal Flame Monument
A Spanish Lighthouse can also be found in Corregidor. It was used to guide the ships coming in the Manila Bay. The lighthouse is still used up to this day.
Spanish Light House

building ruins
After the tour we ate our lunch at the Corregidor Inn, the Island's only hotel. Lunch was served buffet style and the would not disappoint you. I specially like the carbonara as it brought me to butter haven.  

Plateful of carbs =) @ Corregidor Inn 

It was specially nice to eat at the veranda of the hotel restaurant while the cool breeze blows at you while looking at the serene ocean.
View of Manila Bay from the restaurant veranda

By 2pm our ship back to Manila arrived. I was full of inspiration and was really proud about our history. We were able to explore and learn the stories behind the ruins of the structures in the island, learn about the hardships that they had to go through in the tunnels to shield them from the bombs and fight the Japanese invaders.

As a Filipino I feel that every one should be able to visit this island and learn about how our brothers both Filipino and Americans have given up their lives and pay them due respects.

Experience Corregidor and travel back in time through Sun Cruise's package tours. I love the fact that you actually don't need to bring that much, just your self and maybe a bottle of water or snack which in case you forget you can still buy in the fast craft that would take you to the Island. To simply put Sun Cruises would take care of you once you step on board the craft till you get back in Manila.

Overnight Packages are also available plus an optional Malinta Tunnel tour for just an additional 150 pesos. That I will definitely try when I go back to the Island.

For more information you can contact Sun Cruises which is located at the Manila Bay

Reservations Office
CCP Terminal A. CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines
Tel. Nos. (632) 831-8140,(632) 834-6857 to 58
Fax No. (632) 834-1523

Sales Office
21st Floor Times Plaza Bldg., Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Tel. Nos. (632) 527-555 local 4511 and 4512
Fax No. (632) 527-5555 local 4513

Corregidor Inn
Corregidor Island, Cavite
Mobile: 0917-5276350

My Very First Aliwan Festival April 16, 2011

It was already past 5PM I was stuck covering a party for a client. Our contract expired about an hour ago but I am lenient with giving my clients with extra time to wrap things up but this time they haven't even sang the birthday song yet. I felt like I wanted to just run away... but then I haven't been payed yet... lol.

At about 5:30 when I had the chance to finally take off. Walked my way out of this very fine village in Quezon City, rode a tricycle then a bus bound to Taft avenue. I got off at Pedro Gil and took the LRT all the way to Vito Cruz. From the train station I walked my self a good 4 to 5 blocks maybe instead of taking the shuttle to the Cultural Center of the Philippines as traffic was really bad because of closed roads.

After walking a few minutes the crowd walking gets thicker. Suddenly I heard drums started beating into rhythm  at last I have finally reach my destination! Hello Aliwan 2011!

The Man that Can't Be Moved

Because of a discussion happening somewhere in the internet, I remembered this song. Am not gonna talk much just listen.

Meeting the Philippine Travel Blog Pips

Yeah I'm writing about it.... well I just wanted to share to you guys how wonderful the Philippine Travel Bloggers are... they are the nicest people that I have ever met... we had a great time in corregidor doing the adventure challenge and the zip line... well I'll be posting an entry soon so you guys would know how nice and fun the PTB pips are...

Ok now i think i can sleep.... good night world.... don't let the surot bite! =)

Bohol Trip March 17 - 20, 2011

Dear Reader/Viewer,

I have taken down the video of my trip to Bohol to protect the privacy of the people in the video.

My apologies to all who had been affected of this post.


Happy People

It's not that I don't like seeing happy people..... hmmmm or may be I really don't like seeing happy people? because it brings back memories. I don't like seeing fathers with their daughters carried on their arms because I remember my daughter when I use to hug her so tight until someone stole her from me. It never crossed my mind that someone could inflict so much pain and damage in my life like this as I have never hurt anyone in my life like this. I was careful about things because I don't want those things to happen to me. May be the saying that don't do to others what you don't want others do unto you is ain't real. Maybe it really is a dog-eat-dog world.... should I still care if I hurt people? should I pick up the lesson learn from a relationship to fuck everything off, hell do I care if I hurt you! so long as I get what I want? should I pick that up? because if you think about it if I try not to hurt anyone I still get hurt so why not hurt other people too that way we are equal... right?


Hi there!

I am currently trying to finish a vlog for all of you guys so please check really soon when I post it!

Happy Traveling! =)


Boracay, Aklan November 2009

I have been hearing about Boracay since the late 90's and way back then it was really expensive to get there but as I could see in the pictures of friends and acquaintances that you would not mind about how much you have spent just to get there.

On 2009 I finally got the chance to go to this enchanting island. I planned for me and my friend about two months in advance. I researched a lot before getting anything reserved and made sure that everything that I get was the best deal and here is how our trip costing turned out per head.

Airfare (roundtrip)                               2,600
Transfers (from kalibo)                           850
Hotel (7 days 6 nights)                         2,000
TOTAL BASE COST                             5,450

our plane at NAIA T3

We booked through CebuPacific for our air travel. We chanced upon a seat sale sale but the dilemma is there's only one seat on sale left and there's two of traveling! So I just booked the last seat available and booked another one on a regular fare rate then I just divided the total amount into two to be fair.
view from our coaster on our way to caticlan from kalibo


Our hotel offered airport-jetty port-hotel transfers and since we don't know the place and I don want my companion to get frustrated with getting to the hotel though that could have been a great adventure. Since it costs just 850 round trip for the transfers which is inclusive of everything as in we don't need to shell out anymore cash at all i opted to take the service as well as it sound to be a much cheaper option.

Hotel Accommodation 

After searching for hours on the net I finally settled to take Boracay Courtyard which is La Carmela de Boracay's sister hotel, at that time they had a great promo. How good was the promo? Well since it was off peak season the rates were already low but with the promo I don't think that you would think twice anymore

The regular rate for a standard room costs about 1,000.00 pesos only but with the promo that they had at that time we were able to book six days at the cost of three days only! It was because they have this book two nights get one night free! Hence the total cost of 2,000 pesos per head for seven days six nights when split into two!

La Carmela de Boracay main building
The rate also included free buffet breakfast at La Carmela de Boracay so we spend eating almost half of the day at the buffet. My favorite was the scrambled egg which was overflowing! which also caused me gaining weight! lolz! Because it was a buffet breakfast we usually end up eating until the last serving is given at 11 AM, so we don't need to eat lunch any more and we could spend the whole afternoon exploring the beach.
breakfast all you can! 
We were lucky enough to get the buffet breakfast because although it was a low season there were lots of people checked in at La Carmela because it was during the american Thanks Giving Holiday, if not we were only to get a plated dish.

our view while eating breakfast

Things we did in the Island

Beach bumming and Coffee.

Me and my companion are certified beach bums... hehehe... so we spent most of our time soaking under the sun during the day.

We are also coffee addicts so it was great to know the island has a Starbucks... =) we were so into having coffee that we searched for it the night we arrived in the island. unfortunately we were so tired that we gave up half way. Tired, we decided to go back to our hotel room and rest

The following day we made it a point to search for our place in the island... the coffee shop. After several minutes of walking we found the coffee shop! Happiness!

we spent more than half of our day playing tongits in the cafe. I think that is what's good when you are in a very long vacation since you don't have to worry about doing everything at a very short period of time.
enjoying the fine sand of boracay

My friend has been to the island before and I was the virgin... hehe... but since I was the one who is good in bargain hunting I was the one who planned the trip. But one good thing about having someone with you who has been to the place during your trip is that they could share the things that they enjoyed a lot during their stay there.

One thing that they enjoyed was the faous Choriburger! now you might be asking WTF is a Choriburger? Well a choriburger is a burger who's patty has been substituted with a chorizo.... we searched and searched for the choriburger throughout white beach. We were almost giving up again but then a certain smell passed through my nose... I followed it... (hahaha sounded like a dog there) and found it and I can't believe that we didn't see it the first time we passed by that area it was just near our hotel room. You should try it and judge it for your self.


After eating at La Carmela on thing that we love is sipping a fresh fruit shake while soaking under the sun on the beach. My friend also brought me to this famous place for shakes where they put the shakes on recycled plastic bottles. But in general I love the fact that you can buy fruit shakes almost anywhere we go.

Friday's Boracay

We have been meaning to go to Friday's Boracay ever since we got to the island but will power was an issue since all we wanted to do was lay on the beach. But on our last night on the beach we finally decided to go to the other side of the beach and eat our dinner at Friday's.

We walked back to the road at the back of white beach and rode a tricycle to Friday's. The tricycle took us inside the compound. Friday's Boracay is right just beside Discovery Shores, we walked downhill and into the white sand beach of station 1.

The sand on station 1 was the purest that you could see on the island but there was something else that stole my attention and scene stealer! But if you come to think about it who can resist the beauty of a setting sun?

This is the sunset that I was able to catch right in time at Friday's Boracay. Pardon the low quality of videos and pictures since I wasn't able to bring a good camera that time. Also I lost many of my pictures because my external hard drive got corrupted T_T
                                                                                             Island Hopping
Manny pacquiao's resthouse on the side of the island
 (as per manong bankero)
This manong who has been following and bugging us about island hopping and snorkeling for a few days already. We asked other people about island hopping and found that he actually has the lowest rate of all of them. we got to island hop for just 1500.00 which includes the snorkeling equipment. The only thing excluded for the fee was the environmental fee that you pay when you snorkel. The person who collects the fee will get to your outrigger once you are at the location. I was actually surprise to find the man collecting the fee and started to wonder where did he came from or was with us since we left the beach and                         just didn't notice him? 

One of the caves at Crystal Cave Island

It was a Sunday and I was at no bargain mode when it comes to going to church, besides the church in the island it self is a tourist attraction. It has this beautiful mosaic on its facade that has this tropical feel.

 Boracay Island Church Facade

Holy Water holders


This was at Hey Jude Bar this is the where my friend introduced me to this addictive game.


more of fuseball!!!!
Sand Castles

I recently read on an article that sandcastles may not be seen that often or not at all anymore. The article said that the local government will be implementing the law to prevent the landscape from further changing. They will only allow sandcastles to be built on the beach for special occasions or for promotional purposes only. And they have to apply for a permit for that.... imagine you need a permit to build a sand castle? weird. But don't worry about your children building sandcastles because tourists aren't included in the law unless you intend to make some money out of your castle.
glad I have a picture of me on a sand castle
One thing that you should not forget to do is to walk from station 1 to stations three! plus it would guarantee you to see all of the attractions on the beach like fire dancers, bands, parties! We walked all the way from station 1 to our hotel after we ate dinner at Friday's

My walk along the beach during day light

bought a bag made of net at this store which i use every time
i go swim at rizal memorial. they also sell flipflops

Dinner at Red Coconut

Chose to have dinner here because of the live band that they had which we really enjoyed. 

Anyways the trip was awesome like I mentioned we spent most of our time lying on the sand worshiping the sun during the day and watching the stars at night. I think that its a good time to visit the island during Thanks Giving as we experienced the not so crowded island yet get to see it as alive as it could be.

HAHA! sand got into my eyes on this picture! and I was also squinting because the sun was so bright!

I really had a lot of fun at the island. I sure hope that I could go back there but I have another island in mind for my next island trip..... carabao island! yay! but that's for another blog dear friends.... =)

BTW.... when we were going home, we almost missed our flight because of the huge korean crowd that was blocking the airport entrance. we were almost hopeless to get in. good thing we approached the security personnel.  what an adventure!

Going home =(