Cagayan: The Legend of Apo Lakay-lakay in Claveria

The Legendary Lakay-lakay Rock formations in Claveria
The Legendary Lakay-lakay Rock formations in Claveria

The afternoon spent chasing waterfalls has gone. After seeing Portabaga, Macatel and Mabnang Falls it’s time to head back to Claveria. We know the town shuts down early so we had to get back to catch the eateries in the evening. It was a timely arrival in front of our inn as the sun was about to set over the distinct landmark of Lakay-lakay, a legendary group of rock formations at Taggat Lagoon clearly seen from the beach of Claveria. Among the delighted crowd playing along the waves of Claveria Beach, I remember the tale Mang Bong told us about Apo Lakay-lakay during our Parambolan feast.

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Of Flagellants, Carozzas and Good Friday in Angeles City

A flagellant on the floor
A flagellant on the floor

The Siete Palabras was our main reason for visiting Angeles City in Central Luzon on a Good Friday, but of course there is more to observe on the city’s lenten rites. We got there before noon and actually liked the festive mood the crowd seems to have and the number of stalls and vendors around the area. That is until a parade of flagellants came marching through with with their blood soaked backs yet incessantly self-whipping, seemed numb from the self-inflicted pain. It’s actually a first for me to witness such practice up close  and didn’t expect I would enter a melancholy world of self flagellation.

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The Siete Palabras of Angeles City

Siete Palabras Crucifixion
Siete Palabras Crucifixion at Angeles City

I could hear the hoofs of horses among the ambient noise from the gathering crowd as we approach the stage where the performance would start. A few people garbed in Roman Soldier Armors on horses and a few more in clothes in the time of Jesus were already at the venue. Under the scorching heat of the noon time sun, the spectators were already eager to get the program started. It’s the Siete Palabras at Barangay Lourdes North West (LNW), Angeles City Pampanga. A street theater re-enactment of the Seven Last Words by 70 volunteer performers in the barangay.

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Benguet: A Taoist Bell Church in Baguio

Bell Church Baguio Pagoda
Bell Church Baguio Pagoda

So what’s new in Baguio? Aside from what I’ve written about Baguio lately, there isn’t much really aside from new eateries, events and activities. Most of the new stuff are extending far out of Baguio’s corners. We had time to kill for the afternoon after lunch so we decided to go to this one lesser known landmark that I haven’t been to which they call the Bell Church, found up north of Baguio at the border of La Trinidad.

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Lakbay Norte 2: Images of Faith at Manaoag Church Pangasinan

Manaoag Devotees
Manaoag Devotees deep in prayer

The afternoon was easing down from the height of activity early morning. From the Patupat factory at Pozorrubio, we drove to neighboring town of Manaoag to visit its famous church. I’ve heard about the Manoaog Church ever since I was little since it is one of the most visited churches in the country due to its many miracles. It’s about 400 years old since the arrival of the original Ivory Image of Our Lady of Manaoag which was brought in from Spain via Acapulco. We were given at least 15 minutes to go around the church.

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La Union: The Taoist Macho Temple and the Caysasay Connection

Macho Temple
Macho Temple, the world's largest Taoist temple outside China

Its east meets west in La Union as we visit two places of worship from two different faiths. It’s not surprising to see the confluence of culture here as the Filipinos are known to be capable of dual faiths. Say for example, some Chinese homes have both the images of Buddha and Christ side by side. While not near each other we look at to sacred images  representing each faith in the Taoist, Macho Temple (or Ma Cho Temple).

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