Saturday, April 22, 2017

Final Jubilee of Mercy Church

The Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Mandaluyong City is a familiar place of worship as it is located just a few blocks away from our former residence. On October 11, 2016 we headed to our 5th and last Jubilee of Mercy Church. It was a balmy day due to the afternoon showers but we performed all the assigned tasks even if there were a lot of stairs involved and it was a bit difficult for my aged parents to go up and down. We received our certificate of completion from the parish office and truly enjoyed this enriching and spiritually fulfilling experience that will further cement our Catholic faith.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Jubilee of Mercy Churches (Part 2)

We had three more churches to visit on our pilgrim's passport. We scheduled it during my sister's vacation here as she was the one who informed us about this special decree from Pope Francis regarding the Jubilee of Mercy pilgrimage.

On October 06, 2016, we visited (3) Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay City. After asking for directions from a tricycle driver, we found the church along a main road amidst the busy bustle of a congested city like Pasay. Thankfully it had its own parking space within its compound. It was our first time to visit this place of worship.

On the same day, we proceeded to another church since it was on our way, home. (4) The National Shrine of the Sacred Heart is in Makati City. I've heard of this church but it was our first time to set foot inside. By the time we arrived a heavy downpour had swept the entire city. It was also almost 6 PM because a traffic jam had developed from the rains, we barely had time to properly reflect as the parish office was closing for the day.  But we were able to complete all the assigned tasks. It is a spacious and lovely shrine, hopefully I can visit it again to hear mass some day.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Jubilee of Mercy Churches (Part 1)

Well hello there ... yes I'm still around a bit busy with personal stuff and life in general. Sorting through my pictures is a good distraction for me. This made me realize I wasn't able to blog about our pilgrimage to Jubilee of Mercy designated churches, last year. This being Holy Week, blogging about churches would seem appropriate, no?
In the Jubilee Year of Mercy, from Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016, some selected churches in the Archdiocese of Manila opened doors to make the pilgrimage an enriching experience. To accomplish this, Catholics need to pass through the church’s Holy Door of Mercy, profess the faith by reciting the Creed and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father. In the Archdiocese of Manila, the Jubilee churches are: the Manila Cathedral; Santuario de Santo Cristo Parish in San Juan; Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Mandaluyong City; Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay City; and the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Makati City. Since this is a pilgrimage—although a local one—the five churches in Manila made sure participants have a “passport” to guide them in their journey. After they accomplish the required activities they should proceed to the parish office for stamping of their passports.

Last May 3, 2016, we got our pilgrims' passports at (1) The Manila Cathedral.

It was a really hot day and we were drenched in sweat by the time we were done but it was an enriching and solemn experience towards being more merciful in every possible way.

(2) Sanctuario de Santo Cristo Parish in San Juan which we visited on May 05, 2016 is a church I am quite familiar with as it is located just a few blocks away from where I attended high school in the late 1980s. I remember my late aunt would hear mass at this parish every single day back then. So her driver would pick us up from home, she will be dropped off at this church then we would be taken to our school.

To be continued ... part 2!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Marching on

The month of March is upon us, obviously!  The first two months were fairly pleasant, weather wise. The whole nation was embraced by this really cool to the point of being cold climate. My kind of weather, perfect, really!

Appropriate weather to stay in bed a bit longer in the mornings all tucked in with many pillows and kumot (light blanket). I've been catching up on my long list of movies to watch, rekindling my passion and also updating my other blog where I get to put on my 'movie critic' hat. This reminds me why I started a blog in the first place .. to fuel my love for the art of cinema and sharpen my writing skills, kuno.

Being a practicing Catholic, the first day of March marked the start of the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday. So yesterday, D and I heard mass and 'got crossed'. Lent is a time of profound reflection and fervent prayers to atone for our sins. It is also a time for sacrifices which can take the form of fasting and abstinence (abstain from eating meat on Lenten Fridays).  Ever since I was born, our family has followed this tradition so surely I will adhere and conform. Besides it (not eating meat) can do good for one's health regimen. 

Speaking of diet, I'm glad to announce that I have managed to stick to my exercise routine of working out 5 days a week. Yet I am not obsessed to the point that I weigh myself constantly. In fact, I have no idea what my current weight is but I feel lighter,  more energetic and it helps brighten my disposition ... so I'm marching on. =)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"A Lorcha": a Portuguese cuisine experience

We have been going to Macau for several years now and I have grown to appreciate the place for various reasons. The fancy hotel stay, the tempting lure of the casinos, the accessibility of the different hotels through their free shuttle bus service, a few historical sites, the perfect mixture of the traditional landscape with  modern architecture as exemplified by the luxurious hotels. Of course, it goes without saying that there are all sort of cuisine available to satisfy one's craving.

Macau is a former colony of Portugal. A country which I unfortunately didn't have the pleasure of visiting when we were still based in Europe. Aside from the preserved heritage of tourist attractions, the 'conquerors' of Macau still make their presence felt through the numerous restaurants offering Portuguese food.

Our usual haunts include a restaurant named Madeira which is located within the Venetian Macao complex and Moa Besa, an intimate place that serves authentic culinary delights situated within the tiny alley of Senado Square, the main plaza in Macau. 

My sister was recommended by her work colleague to try A Lorcha, a famous restaurant that serves Portuguese dishes. So armed with a picture of a calling card of said restaurant, we boarded two cabs (Macau taxis only take 4 passengers) to have lunch. 

It is VERY difficult to communicate with people there as they don't speak English.  D and I took the first cab, once we traveled over the long bridge, the taxi driver pointed at some decrepit place and insisted it was "A Lorcha". I had done my research the night before on Google map and I was certain that wasn't the correct address.  After walking for several minutes, we reached a taxi stand and thankfully the lady driver knew the place so we made it like 12 minutes past our appointed time of 2 P.M.  Luckily, our table was still reserved and not given to someone else.

Judging from the facade of the place, you cannot tell it is a famous eatery. The area itself is off the chosen path and not easily accessible through the free shuttle buses of the fancy hotels. You really need to take either a taxi or know the specific bus which stops near the place.

The interiors are simple yet exude a cozy/homey vibe. Now I understand why you need to reserve as there are very few tables and even if it was already 2 P.M. it was still full and a bit cramped. The service staff were predominately Filipinos, some of them have worked there for decades. They were polite, friendly and not really 'overwhelming', if you know what I mean.

Note: be sure to make reservations as it is always fully booked.

Now on to their dishes, we ordered their specialties which has a distinct taste. Flavorful and delicious, quite rich though so make sure you drink plenty of water. 

Clams soup

Prawns Thermidore

Grilled African Chicken (spicy)

Char grilled Portuguese Chorizo

Seafood Rice
(milk and cream pudding with crumbled biscuits)

It was a pleasant dining experience in a nice place with good service. The food was different but full of flavors. So we are all smiles! =)