Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Holy Week 2016

For me, Holy Week won't be complete without the Visita Iglesia. Ever since we were young, our Maundy Thursday ritual is to hear mass (the washing of the feet) then visit 7 churches to pray at the Adoration Chapels where the Blessed Eucharist lies in state. As well as pray at the Stations of the Cross.  All churches are open for the vigil from 6 P.M to midnight.  

Nowadays, I notice that people visit the churches in the morning on Maundy Thursday and not follow this Visita Iglesia ritual I have grown accustomed to all these years. I guess to each his own!

This year it was just me and D as my parents were still tired from our month long vacation in HK.  We heard the 5 P.M mass at our parish church, the San Nicholas de Tolentino in Quezon City. So this would count as our first church.

Main Altar of San Nicholas de Tolentino Church
Adoration Chapel
The 11th Station of the Cross

2nd Church: Santo Domingo Church

Facade of Sto. Domingo Church

3rd Church: Santissimo Rosario Parish (UST)

After several decades I was able to return to my alma mater
The University of Santo Tomas

4th Church: St. John the Baptist Church

St. John the Baptist Church aka Pinaglabanan Church in San Juan

5th Church: Sanctuario del Santo Cristo in San Juan

6th Church: Parish of the Holy Sacrifice (UP Diliman Chapel)
UP Diliman Chapel

7th Church: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in QC

Naturally, Easter follows and it is time to rejoice as Christ has risen from the dead for our salvation. The best way to celebrate Pasko ng Pagkabuhay is to hear Mass and then have lunch together with the family.

Bonding over Korean food at Seoul Garden Seafood Hotpot

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Back to wifey mode

Yes so the warm heat welcomed us back home as soon as we stepped out of the airport terminal. I probably sweated my equivalent in weight the minute I exited the air conditioned airport so although I don't relish the discomfort, I use reverse psychology and believe that sweating without exercising is a good way to expel the excess kilos I gained during our month long stay in HK. Heh!

So as mentioned by my two most loyal readers in their comments in my previous post, yes I am blessed that my elderly parents can still find the energy to travel let alone do all that walking, commuting on very efficient public transport and regale us with their happy, cheerful presence. Although it is heartbreaking for me to see them frail and needing some assistance, it is still comforting that during their twilight years, they get to enjoy naman themselves with good food, nice climate and a change in scenery. In fact, they never cease to amaze me with their energetic stride and still persevere even though they are physically tired.

Our stay was not all sight seeing, dining out because our primary concern was the well being of my sister. So we helped her tidy up her apartment, carried her groceries and her laundry and even changed her high ceilinged bulbs. In short, manual labor but we did it out of love for her as she has been through a lot, health and otherwise.

I'm back now at my apartment in the loving company of the hubby whom I hate to admit I've neglected since December 9 when I moved back to the condo to take care of my sister. I am truly blessed too as I have a partner who understands wholeheartedly that my priorities shift as circumstances pop up. I feel guilty sometimes but it is lessened when he is the one who reassures me he is fine with the situation. Actually, he doesn't really have a choice, no? Bless him!

So three months is a long time to be away from routines and I can see there are a ton of chores which need my feminine touch. Positive attitude must reign as beads of sweat pour down my forehead and my back. 

Will continue my HK series as soon as time permits ... for now it is time to reflect as Holy Week is upon us. Have a meaningful Semana Santa, everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Macau part 2 (March 3 -5, 2016)

I had to cut the previous post short as I needed to start packing by installment as our things are all over the place as well as the items we bought here. Yes, we have been gone a month now and eventually it is time to head back to home sweet home. We are booked on an evening flight tomorrow.

Second day in Macau, as I feared my parents knees acted up so they had difficulty getting up and down the shuttle buses so we took a taxi to get to the city. Armed with a map with pictures of the Senado Square and our hotel, we merely pointed it to the cab driver so he would know our destination. A fair amount of walking was done but at least it was on flat surface and no stairs involved. Our 3rd day, we just stayed in The Venetian until it was time to head for the ferry terminal. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Macau (March 3 - 5, 2016)

Macau is a nice 'side trip' to experience since it is just one hour away by ferry from HK. You don't need a visa if you are a Philippine passport holder and you are allowed to stay 30 days each visit. It is a good 'deal' as you are only allowed 14 days stay in HK ergo we make a side trip then return to HK for another 14 days. Hey everyone does it, so why feel guilty, no?

The first few times we did it we only went for a day trip and returned by evening until the immigration officer suggested we could apply for a longer visit at the Chinese consulate in Manila. In other words, he knew what we were up to and sort of 'berated' us for it. 

So from then on, we decided to spend one or 2 nights in Macau. Besides personally, I prefer the laid back style in Macau. There are more tourists in sight and people are not always in a rush to get to their destinations. The weather is also as cold as in HK and I believe there are still a few attractions I haven't been able to explore as we are always pressed for time and lately as we are with my aging parents, they prefer to just play in the casinos than go walking to the attractions.

This time it was just me and my parents as the sister had to work. But she instructed me over and over again on what to do, how to get to where we wanted to go and to call her if we had any problems. Admittedly, I was a nervous wreck even while we are still in Manila and planning the Macau leg of our trip. I am not good with directions and cannot read a map even if my life depended on it. Even if we have been to Macau several times already, it was always with the guidance of sister dearest. I was also worried that my parents would get tired easily as we would have to do a lot of walking as well as ride the different shuttle buses to get around Macau.

So I went to Macau with a bahala na attitude and just trusted my instincts and my common sense to guide me. We were billeted in our usual 'digs', the Venetian Macau. It has a big food court so it took care of our meals. We also ate at the food court of the adjacent Galaxy Hotel & Casino. We were able to visit the St. Paul's Ruins and had lunch at a Portuguese restaurant near Senado Square. A massive complex called Studio City which was recently opened was also explored. It had hotels, a casino, a mall with boutiques and food arcade to amuse its visitors.

Here are some pictures from our Macau trip which I am glad to say went well. My parents had a grand time and although were tired, they did enjoy themselves. I managed to keep my pre-menopausal self (yes, I have to keep mentioning this condition LOL) from erupting into anger tantrums or aka as being masungit. 


Our suite at the Venetian

The view from our 23rd floor Venetian suite

Mom at the City of Dreams entrance

The dragon that changes its colors inside the City of Dreams

The Venetian Macao as viewed from the City of Dreams

The lobby of the Grand Hyatt Macau Hotel

Path way to the Studio City Hotel entrance

Opulent design at the Casino at Studio City

Casino at Studio City

Atlas, is that you?

Studio City

Entrance to Studio City

The Galaxy all lighted up for the evening

Massive UFO type decor that was showcasing a fountain with lights show
at the Galaxy

It is the year of the Monkey 

Evening sets over the City of Dreams

Shuttle Bus routes