My 5th year! I am proud of this. Before my first walk, I never imagined that I could do it but I did, and did and did it again. 5 years in a row! Just a little bit sad because our dad was not with us this year because he has a bigger part at our church in Marilao, Bulacan as an "Apostoles". It was just me and my brother, Daryll, this year.
When we first knew that papa was not coming with us, we backed out because it would not be the same without him (by the way, he has been doing this Visita Iglesia for more than 20yrs already). This would be his first time in a long span of time, rooting back to the 80s, that he would not be doing his 'panata', . But our minds changed and decided to carry on. Papa was a little disappointed not to join us, but well, everything happens for a reason.
So here's the tale of our journey..
Our original plan was to start at 5:30am but we were a little late because we cant get a trike going to the first stop. The sun was up and we hurried to our 1st destination.
1st Church: Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish (Mahinhin cor. Mayumi St. UP Vill. Diliman, QC)
The first of the many processions or Stations of the Cross that we have passed along the way
2nd church: Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Church (Sct. Ybardolaza Kamuning, QC)
3rd church: St. Paul the Apostle Parish (Sct. Rallos cor. Timog Ave. Brgy. Laging Handa, QC). We were a bit slow here because a group of older aged nuns originally went out together with us from the church and we're going in the same direction but after a few minutes, they were meters ahead of us already!
1st stopover: 7-11 along Q.Ave. Time to stock up on the sugars to get us going :)
4th church: Sto. Domingo Church (Quezon Ave. QC)
5th church: UST Chapel (inside University of Santo Tomas grounds)
6th church: Quaipo Church (at the very heart of the Metro, with all its chaos, I love going to this place). The goal was always to reach this place as early as we can because if we get there late, the throngs of people would carry you away, literally! And under the intense heat, you wouldn't want that. We arrived there before 10:30am, a good record time.
7th church: Sta. Cruz Church (Plaza Lacson Sta. Cruz, Manila)
Ah, Chinatown..Binondo..I love walking through here. And another good thing was that we discovered a shorter way going to the next church. Sorry papa, our newly-discovered route is way much better than what you've been doing for years already. Good for us!
Lunch time..I ushered my brother to one of the Chinese joints that I frequent when I'm in this area which is Four Season Cuisine. We had scallops, crabstick, shrimps and some tofu. It was okay, just a little bland and the scallops was intimidating us by its meat size. This is not my usual choice here but well, we are doing a little bit of fasting. Haha! Also, taking advantage of the airconditioning. It surely felt good.
8th church: Binondo Church (Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz, Manila). As usual, I like looking at the ceiling at the paintings. Mesmerizing!
Ooooohhhh....The heat is sooo on! You will definitely feel it searing your skin. Getting cooked!
The Pasig River was much cleaner and clearer (believe it!) last year than it is this year.
I thought I was in SG! Too much heat! Hehe :)
9th church: manila Cathedral (Gen. Luna St. Intramuros, Manila). Siete Palabras has already started when we arrived here. We welcomed the humid sweep of the industrial fans even for a short while.
10th church: San Agustin Church (Gen. Luna St. cor. Real St. Intramuros, Manila). This church was packed, both locals and foreigners. It was nice to see a lot of foreign visitors visiting our country, it means we are competitive and we have something good to offer.
Shortcut along Luneta Park. Again, the heat was too strong so we could not even stop to admire the view.
Stopover time! 7-11 again at TM Kalaw St. Their AC was working great and we stopped here, maybe, for 20minutes.
11th church: Ermita Catholic Church (M.H.del Pilar St. cor. A. Flores St.Ermita, Manila). I thought we were going to get lost going here because I forgot the route. Fortunately, I made a lucky guess so we made it.
12th church: Malate Catholic Church (M.H. del Pilar St. Malate, Manila). We are almost done. The last stretch is the most heat-enduring, throat-parching and feet-blistering moment in this whole trip.
But before that, we stopped by Aristocrat to buy some snacks when we get home to Bulacan. My forever choice is Caramel Cheesecake for P25 each. Totally worth the extra weight that we'll be bringing along with us to Baclaran. :)
Here we go, starting the last leg!
Oh crazy Pinoys! Look at what they've done to the statues, they placed dirty briefs and shorts on those "children's" heads. A foreigner was beside us when we peeked at this and he laughed first then eventually said, it was a shame. Tsk tsk.
Home stretch is still far-fetched! Still a long, long way to go! But we can endure anything, we did it for 4 years already. And yes we endured, even being scampered for a while there by some people asking for alms but they were flaky-looking characters. It got me scared for our safety, no joke.
13th church: Baclaran Church (Redemptorist Road Baclaran, Paranaque). At last! We did it! The feeling was awesome! Also knowing that we are doing this for Someone up there. I was so tired that I could not read any more the last 2 Stations of the Cross so I made my brother lead. We were so thirsty and the heat was absorbed by our bodies that you can also feel it coming out of you. Good thing I remedied a headache that was supposed to happen back in Malate by taking Biogesic ahead of time. It worked! Last year, I went home with a bad case of migraine. Whew!
The church was filled to the brim and we had to stay at the back but it was okay, we made it again.
After that, we headed to 7-11 and bought Big Gulp pineapple juice with lots of ice. It was such a heady feeling to drink all that up after being exposed to the scorching heat. The relief was immeasurable. Haha! Then we got on a bus to go home to Bulacan. It took us less than an hour and a half to reach home. We were also filthy but cant take a bath yet. We just relaxed our bodies on our beds instead. Whew!
Next year, I hope to do this again. :)