The Silence at Montemaria: After The Pilgrims Left

With paved roads, it is easier to travel now from Ilijan unlike the by-gone days. However, there is one particular part of the road where I remember it has a very dangerous incline towards the cliff and the sea. It is where my dad’s personnel had an accident when their truck fell off the road. Beautiful, it is reminiscent to that of Batanes. Moreover, it has become a place of controversial pilgrimage. They call it Montemaria or Mountain of Mary. From this point, you could see the busy ships passing by and a magnificent panoramic view of Verde Island, Mindoro, Batangas Bay and even Batangas City from afar (hey, we’re still 20 kilometers away from the city center). Wow! This place is such a sight to behold (minus the cow dung everywhere).

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San Diego de Alcala Pro-Cathedral of Silay City: Of Prominence and The Secluded

San Diego del Alcala Pro-Cathedral

I have seen the grand Pro-Cathedral of San Diego de Alcala or simply known as Silay City Pro-Cathedral, for so many times. It’s a landmark within the city center of Silay in Negros Occidental province. Dominating the plaza complex and sits beside the City Hall, for most passers-by, tourists, or even I, it catches their attention. One of the clear manifestations of the opulence of the by-gone sugar economy that once (and still is) the major propelling force of the province’s economy and society. For most Catholic Silaynons nowadays, this is where they go to church every Sundays and other special religious days.

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The Church of Angry Christ: Defying Norms

While most of the Catholic religious works of art depicted either agony of pain or benign, the Church of Angry Christ inside the Victorias Milling Central in the Victorias City at the province of Negros Occidental, will defy the norms of God’s face looking over man. Literally, you’ll get the feeling you’ll fear God, because the very vivid murals depicted an angry Christ! Now if you take Leonardo Da Vinci as someone who defies the stereotypical Catholic art mindset, think about Jesus being depicted as our own—Filipino! Something like a taboo? I don’t think so. Nope, this is not another Robert Langdon novel teaser for you either!

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Sat Siri Akal: Spice and Prayers at Iloilo’s Nanak Darbar Temple

Iloilo Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple

For so long, I have been looking for an authentic Indian food in Metro Manila. Authentic yet affordable. However, it seems that international cooking here in the nation’s capital is equivalent to dollar rates! I have to prepare at least P300 to P400 just to satisfy my craving for international food-and one of them is from the Indian sub-continent.

Good thing though, my dad brought masala chai from India. However, my craving didn’t diminished. One night in Iloilo (on a short weekend vacation) my friend Tara and the rest of her barkada invited me for a short “cultural immersion” in Mandurriao District. Curious, when she said that we’re going to Nanak Darbar Temple-the Indian Sikh temple in Ciudad Iloilo!

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San Joaquin Church of Iloilo: Stories Behind the Stone Carvings

San Joaquin Church Rendicion d' Tetuan

Last week, we were in Batangas for a visita iglesia in Taal’s prominent religious structures—the Basilica Minore de San Martin de Tours and Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine. Today, we fly all the way to the Visayas to visit Iloilo. Our first stop would go all the way to the southernmost town of the province, San Joaquin. This town is known to be one of the landing sites of the mythical Ten Bornean Datus. However, the crowning jewel of this southern town would be its 19th century church and its cemetery. The church however tells the story of the San Joaquin’s history, carved in stone.

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