Saturday, April 23, 2011

Way to the Cross the Caleruega way!

Get close to nature, get closer to God!

Doing Way of the Cross is one of the well-known traditions done by most Filipinos during Lenten season. This activity remembers the final hours of Jesus; this is also a devotion commemorating the Passion.

In our family, the stations of the cross is a kind of a "must-thing" which have to be done every year. It's more of a tradition and definitely became a routine in the clan. It is our own way of showing repentance and sacrifice; which I believe, are the sole schemes of Lenten Season.

This year, we're lucky to do the stations of the cross at Caleruega. This is a house of prayer and renewal located at Nasugbu, Batangas. With almost one and a half hour road drive from Batangas City, one can reach the cool, atmospheric Barangay Kaylaway, Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas where Caleruega is located. This place is perfect for retreats, recollections, prayer workshops, children/youth camps, marriage and family celebration venue, seminars, and agricultural, environmental and camaraderie-promoting activities. 

These are the unique views and infrastractures which can be seen at Caleruega:

The Transfiguration Chapel

The Transfiguration Chapel

With a European-inspired architecture, this chapel in Caleruega, situated at the top of a hill with Renaissance-themed stained glass portraying the Lord Jesus Christ, is a perfect location for solemn Christian activities.

Ifugao-themed Stations to the Cross

I remembered when we first stepped to the place, no one among the members of the family thought that the Ifugao carvings hanged along the roadside garden of the place was Caleruega's own rendition of the stations to the Cross. The stations have sculptures depicting the fourteen scenarios of Lord's sufferings with Ifugao characters-- wearing G strings and more of a Filipinoish-scheme.

Hanging Bridge

Though not situated above a deep creek or any high elevation, the hanging bridge in Caleruega is more than enough to add excitement and funny-thrill in a Christian and quiet setting.

Shrine at the top of the Hill

The trek going to the shrine.

The shrine above the hill.

The overlooking view.
Lenten season is about sacrifices. And taking the trek going to the shrine at the top of a hill can be a simple sacrifice. With the dusty wind and sand-like soil, and with the scorching heat, it is indeed a challenge to reach the shrine and pray-- overlooking a wonderful view.

Aside from these, Caleruega also offers nature-friendly environment with its colorful and eye-catching flowering plants gazing along the gardens and in some pathways. There are also numerous ponds which habitate gigantic golden fishes which became one of the attractions of the place. Moreover, Caleruega also offers a clean environment, which can be a manifestation that the thirty pesos, collected  as an entrace fee for the marvelous place, is spent well.

Caleruega is indeed a nature friendly environment!

Before leaving the place, I promised to myself that I will come back to Caleruega because it's a perfect gettaway to refrain ourselves and our minds from stressful activities in school and at work. It can also be a perfect avenue to find tranquility and to skip the huzzle and buzzle the busy city environment offer.

Forgive me for this. But I can say, I really enjoyed my Caleruega trip!
Happy Easter guys! =]

Friday, April 22, 2011


Click on photo for better quality/resolution

TITLE: Streetlight
PHOTO BY: Louie Florentine
LOCATION: Along the streets of Batangas City, Philippines

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Creed for the Future Engineers

I cant believe that next academic year, I'll be on my third year in the Engineering course. My option of taking it up is now or never, everything of uncertainty, wasnt sure if it's for me or not. My thing is that, I'll make a try and if it works, then go on. Never had I thought that I can make it this slight-far. And look where I am now! But I came this through not only because of my own efforts; not only of my parents', but also because of the effort and inspiration imparted to me by those "common strangers." Those people who always helped me in most of my setbacks for the past two years. 

Maybe this can serve as my material of appreciation for each and everyone of them. For treating me rightly, and if not, for making me learn my lessons. 

Well I'm talking about my classmates for the past two years being on the General Engineering course. For others, the engineer-hopefuls; but for me, the future engineers. They are the ones who stood by my side for every sunrise and goodbyes, and who never looked at me as how I became, but to how I really am. These are the "common strangers." The strangers whom I had never been afraid of talking to. The strangers who not only helped me, but also inspired me, taught me life lessons, brought me to an infinite bliss, and loved me. Well, "loved" is not a good term, because if not for all, then some, may continue to love me.

I am so lucky meeting these people and spending two academic years with them. Our journey to being what we want to be is still quite far.Two years is only the beginning. More brain whacking exams to take and more cups of coffee to drink and to be with while studying until dawn. More group study thingy and more stressful days and nights. More unexpected things that might, and eventually, happen. But if to face with a curve on the face, just like what we did, things will not only be accomplished, but will be successfully done. 

To my dearest friends and classmates, Thank you, good luck, and God bless us all.