Saturday, May 18, 2013

CAVITE: Imus - Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church

In the year 1775, town of Imus Cavite was separated  Kawit and became a officially free town. That time, Recolletos brought out their petition on government and because of that, October 3, 1795, Archbishop Juan Antonio de Obrigo y Gallego and Governor General Rafael Maria Aguilar approved establishment of Nuestra Señora del Pilar Parish at Imus. According to Fr. Emilio Quilatan, a Recolleto Historian, the image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar was also the one kept at the Intramuros before, brought to Hacienda de Imus and enshrined at Casa Hacienda Chapel.

When this church was established, the Image was presented at the new church.  From 1821 to 1840, Fr. Nicolas Becerra, OAR, became parish priest of Imus and built the present structure of the church made of bricks and adobe.

Diocese of Imus in 26th of April 1962 was established to be the Cathedral and became patron of the Diocese as well. This was headed by Rufino Cardinal Santos together with the acceptance of Bishop Artemio Casas at the there to lead the whole Diocese.

The visit
It was my first time to visit the province's Cathedral. It's quite huge and has a very serene interior lights and design. From the entrance you will notice a small room with lots of holy images of different saints including Nuestra Señora del Pilar. It is free to view the room but has time schedule for closure about 6:30pm.

Church info
Address: General Castañada St. Poblacion III-A, Imus Cavite Tel. Number: (046) 471-4829/ 471-2686 |Email:
Mass Schedule: Sunday: 5:30pm/7pm
                          Mon-Fri: 6:30am, 9:30am/ 5:30pm, 7pm
                          Saturday: 6:45am/ 5:30pm

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BATANGAS: Bauan - Sampaguita Beach Review, Itinerary, How To Get There, Things To Bring, Considerations, Budget and Expenses

Planning for a beach escapade doesn't have to be perfect. It also doesn't mean you have to leave it all in your instincts and luck, you have to see a guide or at least have an idea to avoid untoward incidents. Here's my Sampaguita Beach travel essentials you might want to check out.

Going there Isn't easy especially if you are a commuter because of steep and narrow roads getting there. If you are an adventurous type, here's one for you! I suggest you rent a car or bring your own so you can save more. I bet you will spend a lot if you just commute getting here.

Beach resorts in Brgy. Sampaguita were plenty but going there via land is just one, on the mountain. However I read a blog wherein they left their car at Lemery Batangas and ride a boat all the way going here. Much easier but you have to leave your car at the port alone.

Don't Expect super fine white sand here. Sands were like off white and not as powdery as in Puerto Gallera or Boracay. Maybe that's the reason why it is not yet explored well, not so much crowd aside from it is kinda hard of getting there. On the other hand, I really commend its waters, very clear and has a relaxing temperature.

Sampaguita Beach is basically at Brgy. Sampaguita, that's why you won't get lost. I recommend this beach resort if you are just staying for a day. It's cottages were cheap, just near the shore where you can keep an eye on your valuables and kids swimming easily compared with others nearby. However if you are going to stay for an overnight, I recommend you just bring your tent. Rooms were not so much pleasant, just a very ordinary one for P1500, compared to P200 pitching of tent.. You can just pick other resorts nearby to choose better rooms though.

4:30am - ETD Dasmarinas Cavite
7:00am - Breakfast at Lemery Batangas
8:00am - ETA Sampaguita Beach Bauan Batangas
9:00am - Swimming/ Photo-ops
10:30am - Cook for lunch
12:00pm - Lunch time
6:00pm - Took photos of sunset
6:20pm - Wash up
7:00pm - ETD Samapaguita Beach
10:00pm - ETA Dasmarinas Cavite

From Manila you can drive through Coastal road to Tagaytay rotanda. Right turn then straight ahead till you reach Nasugbu Batangas junction, turn left before you pass the welcome arch to Nasugbu.

Continue till you reach a fork and turn left to Lemery Batangas and pass Taal Batangas. You will reach another fork to Batangas City and Mabini Batangas. Take the right way going to Mabini Anilao till you pass 3 small bridges and see Rising Tide Construction Supply tricycle terminal on your right, then enter this way, the shortest way. But if in case road construction is still present, like in our case, you can go back and take the longer path. You go back to the other tricycle terminal, near EE corporation. From there you will see signboards going to the Brgy. Sampaguita. You won't get lost but if in case you can just ask the locals there.

Rice cooker

P800 - Gas Dasmarinas-Bauan-Dasmarinas
P50   - Entrance fee/person
P300 - Cottage/5-10 pax (they will let you use more than one for free)

Optional expenses
P10   - Egg
P10   - Cooking oil
P7     - Onion/pc
P5     - Garlic 3pcs.

1. Weather - If you are going there via land travel, check the weather first, mountain road might be slippery during wet season though it is cemented, it is still narrow and steep. Safety first!
2. Permissions - Ate Carina, the caretaker is very nice. You can ask her if you are going to use other tables, even if you just paid for one, use their electricity for cooking and extension wire since their electric socket is quite short.
3. Few items sold - unlike other beach resorts, they don't have complete food and things at their store. They don't have bread and floater rentals.

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BATANGAS: Bauan - Chasing Sunset at Sampaguita Beach

If you read my first article how we got here, you would definitely think to go back home early. For the sake of love of sunset, I checked the internet what time I can catch this beautiful hour.. It was 6:05pm.

My father said... what!?? he was so anxious on the decision and thought I took for granted our safety. 

Still I waited for the right time. Everybody's gone! we were just the family left at the beach.. My parents were worried then.

6:20pm and the king was on the horizon. What a lovely day, my father was keep on shouting.. "now it's perfect, take as many photos as you want then let's go". I continued and still managed to swim afterwards without thinking the cliff that might end our lives later on!..haha

No worries though coz I was able to make this post, haha. Traversing through that cliff during that night made us kinda nervous, but it's ok coz there were street lights on one side of the path and we were moving slowly. If you are not a professional driver, please do not do the same. Safety first.

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BATANGAS: Bauan - Sampaguita Beach, The White Beach At The End Of A Roller Coaster Mountain!!

Nowadays, people were raging to plunge into beach water due to summer ultra magnetic heat and to relax from too much stress from their work. Most of beach getaways can be smoothly reached via airplane, long straight/curvy highways via car or up and down waves of sea via boat. But for this week's escapade, we climb a mountain just to reach a beach at it's foot! Yes! but not with our feet but with our car.

Upon searching the internet which beach in Batangas aside from affordable, have a serene view, uncrowded, clean and have white sand and blue waters, I found Sampaguita Beach at Bauan, Batangas. Since Batangas is the most accessible getaway from Manila and Cavite, this province is a great place to explore.

Since I just found few write ups for this beach, which made me more interested, I decided to try and explore it since I was planning to have a beach day outing during that week with my family. We went there by car via Tagaytay-Lemery road, not the usual way for most people. Most of the time they took Star Tollgate way especially if you are commuting from Manila to Batangas city. After jotted down the important details and landmarks to remember, we finally reached the corner in Bauan where we have to enter to reach our destination.

Unluckily, they are fixing that path and closed it for public. So we had to go back and passed a different path going there, much longer and confusing one. Ran for few miles and saw mountain in front of us.

We noticed few houses along and saw jeepneys passing on the same path we're driving. It was like one way. The road is made for two but the size is for one. We had to stop every time we saw vehicles approaching till we reached the mountain area. The uphill road was so steep and narrow you will feel like you gonna fall on the cliff every time your car make every sharp turn. That made us all nervous yet so excited. What a roller coaster ride!

The thrill doesn't stop there. At the almost top of the mountain, we had to descent  on curviest curve road and stop every time we were approached. Woohoo! A roller coaster ride down!! We were just lucky to have a great driver then. I suggest you hire someone who's professional and had experienced through this kind of situations.

After that mountain, clear, turquoise waters, semi-white sand and cold breeze from the mountain welcomed us. Just right for this scorching hot summer. Plus it was not crowded, perfect place to reflect and relax.

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BATANGAS: Taal - I Found The Largest Basilica in Asia!

Every time I went to Lemery Batangas, I always saw a church from a far viewed from the waters of Batangas. They say that it's Taal's Basilica, the Philippine's and the Asia's largest church - St. Martin de Tours. I always wanted to check it out, wondering how really big it is.

Had a chance to pass the town of Taal going to Bauan Batangas, I asked Raymond to look for the Basilica so we can experience it's architecture, design and heritage. Plus another landmark added to our list. With my family and Raymond, we visited the church and amazed how big it is plus its design.

Church construction begun in 1855 by Fr. Marcos Anton, though it's not yet finished it was inagurated in 1865 and finished by Fr. Agapito Aparicio in 1878.

It's 24-meter high and 10-meter wide Doric style, a classical ancient Greek architecture, main altar is amazing.

When we went there, there were "manangs"  praying in front rows of the church. As a courtesy, I didn't bother to move closer, and since I don't have telephoto lens, I just took photos of main altar from afar.

 At the right side of the church, like other old churches, they have this mint green "pulpito" while image of Our Lady of Caysasay is situated on the same side of the Altar.

                  The altar, the ceiling and the aisle.                                             My mom.

Outside, you will notice a small tower containing the large bell on the left side of the Church's facade which was destroyed during an earthquake in 1942 when it's belfry collapsed. It was considered as one of the largest bell in Philippines. It measures 19 feet in circumference, 9.33 feet around the crown, 6.42 feet high. It was constructed after, it's appearance doesn't fit Church anymore.

My family and the facade...with Raymond took te photo. . :)

Church info
Mass schedule
Mon-Friday: 6:00am
Wed & Saturday afternoon: 5:00pm
Sunday: 5:30am, 7:30am, 9:30am, 5:00pm

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