Saturday, April 07, 2012

Flashback to 245 years ago

Flashback to 245 years ago in 12 hours travelling 250 kilometers by land
3 Krus atop Sierra Made Paete

Reconstructed paintings at the Ceiling of the Pakil Church
2012s’ Holy Week coverage flashed back to years 1767. 18th century was significant as this was when the churches of Paete and Pakil in Laguna were completely constructed. These churches, known for the preserved architecture and tableau reenacting the Lenten rituals were the targets of our destination. In the company of intrepid traveler Marc and photographer Miko, decades were reviewed in passing on Good Friday to commemorate the sufferings of Christ in the culminating week of the Holy Week season.
Sacritan in a rush for the 3PM rites

The one-day activity which started at 6 AM in C5 ended at the same spot after completing the loop that brought us to SLEX, around the Laguna de Bay up to Antipolo and up to Metro Manila at 6 PM.

Like our usual Luzon land travel when resources and information are within reach, this memorable event was just finalized the Maundy Thursday night before when a quorum was established. Transportation was available, camera, maps, GPS were in place and more importantly, a destination mapped out. Time was a constraint though and each of us had P 650.00 to spare for that day (covering breakfast and lunch and travel related expenses).

Pulpit posted againt solid concrete walls
Bloodied Penitent
As in the past years, travel time was in contrast to the uncomfortable and prolonged Wednesday and Thursday travelling conditions reported on media. Traffic was light including pedestrian volume at the holy sites. There was just a slight delay when we encountered the start and tail end of the Sto. Entierro (the Interred Christ) procession in Pasig along Ortigas Extension and in Makati along Kalayaan Avenue.

 Crosses at the foreground and background
Horses out of paper mache

Challenges that confronted us were not physical or logistical in nature but mental requiring decisions. We made hard decisions on questions like: “Where will we eat breakfast? (in Jollibee Lumban.) "There is a slow tricycle in front of us, should we follow the solid yellow lane restriction?" (We did.) "How much tip should we give to the parking aide at Jollibee Lumban? (P 7.0 in coins). "Do I drink a Coke or Wilkins distilled water?" (Both.)

At the Caliraya Surf Kamp, “Do we stay for the cold breeze or proceed with the church visit?” (We did stay for a while.) At the Capati restaurant in Paete, “Which fish do we order, Tilapia or Bangus? (We ordered both and were fresh and were so good!)

"Should we take Teresa or Angono on the way back?" (Teresa per Marc’s GPS.) "Should we stop for fruits along Mabitac?" (Lanzones is not in season, pina may not be sweet, only lakatan is in view, certainly not langka.) Planning to reach the Tatlong Krus of Paete, we asked, “Should we trek via the JP Rizal or drive via Longos, Kalayaan?” (a 30 minute ride via Longos and a short 5 minute trek.) "Do we do this again?"
Stoned Wall and Solid Side Doors
These situations were of course exaggerated to dramatize the pleasant 12 hour Good Friday trip where we saw the significance of the Spanish influence on Philippine history, the kindness of  local folks to strangers including police authorities who saw to our safe journey, the meaning of Christ’s absolute sacrifice for our salvation and ultimately our appreciation for our humanity.  During serious moments, we did not forget the 4 P's of Prayer: Pagpuri (Praise to our Creator), Pasasalamat (Thanks for the Gift of Family, Work,  Good Health, Friendship), Patawad (Asking for Forgiveness), and Paghingi (Favor and Guidance).

Stop Over Kitchenette after the Caliraya side trip
Travel whether long hauls or short land trips are valuable for the enriching experience. When travel triggers traditions that date back in centuries, they serve a valuable landmark. When it fulfills, it gives value to friends.

Happy Easter!

Similar maps seen in Garmin GPS and 3G Phones

Using Google Earth Version

Fotos courtesy of Miko and Marc

Lord, you know me better than I know myself.
Your Spirit pervades every moment of my life.
Thank you for the grace and love you shower on me.
Thank you for your constant, gentle invitation to let you into my life.
Forgive me for the times I have refused that invitation, and closed myself off from you.
Help me in the day to come, to recognise your presence in my life, to open myself to you, to let you work in me, to your greater glory.

San Pedro de Alcantara Church housing Nuestra Senora Turumba

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