Boac Cathedral is dedicated in honor of the blessed "Virgin of Biglang Awa" and seats on a hill overlooking the town of Boac. Built in 1792, it is where Filipinos and Spaniards sought refuge from pirate attacks during that time. Its architecture is of Filipino-Hispanic Gothic with most of the original construction preserved; such as the facade and main body, the belfry and the altar. The stained glass windows embellish the walls and augment the age-old beauty of the church.
Good Friday is a vital religious holiday observed mainly by Christians as an expression of faith and in commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.
On a Good Friday, the streets of Boac is transformed into a big stage where one of the highlights of the Moriones Festival is being held – “The Via Crusis”. Together with a huge number of people from all walks of life, we lined up on the streets of Boac to witness the passion of Jesus Christ on the road to Golgotha.
Malacañang Palace has declared June 20, 2011 a special non-working holiday to commemorate the 150th birthday of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.
As Proclamation No. 154 issued by Malacañang on April 26, 2011 says:
WHEREAS, to give all Filipinos the opportunity to commemorate Rizal’s patriotic deeds and sacrifices for the country, rekindle their admiration and respect for him, and to celebrate this milestone with appropriate ceremonies, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) requested that Monday, June 20, 2011, be declared as special non-working holiday instead of June 19, 2011, which falls on a Sunday.
As a country that significantly values religious traditions, several practices are done in most places in the Philippines in observance of the Holy Week, one of which is the Senakulo. It is a traditional Lenten presentation re-enacting the Passion of Jesus Christ: his trial, suffering and death. It was derived from the word Cenacle or the "Upper Room" which is the term used for the site of "The Last Supper". These passion plays are staple rituals and still being practiced in many provinces in the country during the Lenten season.
the heart-shaped island of Marinduque
Marinduque is a heart-shaped island province located in the MIMAROPA region. It is divided into six municipalities, namely Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog, Santa Cruz, Torrijos and the capital town of Boac. It lies between Tayabas Bay and Sibuyan sea. It can be reached through a direct flight to and from Manila via ZestAir which lands at Marinduque Airport in barangay Masiga, roughly in between Gasan and Boac. There are also shipping lines bounding from Lucena City to Marinduque through Balanacan Port in Mogpog, Buyabod Port in Sta. Cruz, and Cawit Port in Boac.
Moriones Festival is a week long celebration in the island of Marinduque that starts from Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. It is considered as one of the most colorful events in the Philippines, a re-enactment of the story of Longinus, a Roman centurion who speared the crucified body of Jesus Christ.
Pahiyas Festival is an annual must-see event in the town of Lucban Quezon. It is celebrated every 15th of May to give thanks to San Isidro Labrador (Saint Isidore) for the town's abundant harvest with a grand display of colorful rice wafers (kiping), vegetables, fruits, and handicrafts adorning every house in the town. It is also believed that celebrating would ensure another bountiful harvest ahead.
Our last stop for our Samal island tour is the Maxima Aqua Fun Resort. Unlike other resorts in the island, they don't have a stretch of white sand beach where you can lay down, unwind and work on your tan. Rather, they offer a vast array of adventurous activities ideal for adventure seekers looking for an exhilarating experience. It's a perfect place for great aqua fun adventure coupled with natural attractions and scenic beauty of nature.
After visiting the friendly bats at the Monfort Bat Sanctuary, we asked our habal-habal drivers to drive us to Hagimit Falls.
Located at 2 kilometers away from Peñaplata proper and around 45 minutes from the bat sanctuary, Haguimit falls is composed of small waterfalls with natural swimming pools and huge rock formations. A great place to just relax and take a dip on cold fresh water.
Located in Tambo Babak, Island Garden City of Samal, the Monfort Bat Sanctuary is deemed as the largest bat colony in the world. With an estimated number of 1.8 million bats, it was given a Guinness World Record for having the largest colony of Geoffrey's Rousette fruit bats.
You will find here five bat caves that make up the Bat Sanctuary. The Monfort family of Davao has kindly donated an area of their land for the Bat Research and Conservation Center, in efforts to further understand bats and their importance to the ecosystem.
As most people say, you've never been to Samal Island if you don't experience riding a “habal-habal”. This single motorcycle is the most common ride you would find in the island of Samal, especially when going around the tourists spots in the island. There are no standard fees as each driver or operator charges differently. It also vary depending on where you want to go and how long your tour will be.
In our case, we took 3 motorcycles which the resort contacted for us. At first they were charging us Php 1,000 pesos for each motorcycle. It's a bit pricey because the resort definitely has a commission on the payment that we will be paying them.
Davao Del Norte - Blue Waters Beach Resort, "a Perfect Choice for a Comfortable and Affordable Oceanfront Accommodation in Samal Island"
Our boat docked at the Blue water beach resort's wharf where the staffs fetch us, carried our bags and brought us to the reception area. From the boat pa lang, we were so amazed on the resort’s amenities and it's beach area. We settled first, rested for a while then proceed to our room to keep our things. After a while, we requested them to find us a "habal-habal", so we could start our tour around the island while it's still early. After a few minutes, the motorcycles that they contacted arrived. I will have separate posts on the places we visited in the island later.
Davao Beach Club
The island garden city of Samal is a small island off the coast of Davao Del Norte. The beaches in the island are the most sought after asset of the province. Its landscape is an amalgamation of rocky heights, sprawling hills and pristine white sand beaches. There are also waterfalls, beach coves, caves, dive spots and adventure facilities for those who seek thrilling experiences.
On our 2nd day in Davao City, we joined the Davao Asics Run sponsored by RunClub and Asics. With me are my running friends, Clarice, Marvin and Ate Pinky.
As early as 5:00 AM, fellow runners gathered at the starting line in Plaza Del Carmen in Loyola Street and excitedly waited for the gun start.
The Davao Crocodile Park is a tourist destination in Davao that showcases a ‘state of the art’ crocodile farming system in the Philippines, equipped with modern facilities and equipment. Apart from crocodiles, other exotic animal species such as raptors, monkeys, bearcats, snakes, birds, and various reptiles can be found in the park. (?)
The major attraction is "Pangil", the largest crocodile inside the park. There are shows in the afternoon called "The Pangil Encounter", where caretakers get inside the cage and with a stick, probes Pangil. This prompts him to move towards the stick and kick his tail, splashing water to the spectators around. Katakot!!! Hehehe!