When In Manila: My Intramuros Adventure (Part I)

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Hello World! My Travel Tales Series continues and this time, let me take you to “The Walled City” (Ciudad Murada) of Manila which is popularly known as Intramuros. It is the oldest and the most historic part of the city because it was used during 16th century as seat of Spanish Government.

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It was guarded by Fort Santiago which served as fortress situated along Pasig River mouth. During Second World War, the walled city was heavily damaged. In 1951, the place was declared as National Historical Monument and managed  by Intramuros Administration.

This old city part of Manila showcased the Spanish-influenced architectures like the Palacio Del Gobernador which was the official residence of Spanish Viceroys (now it houses Commission on Election).

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This newly-renovated Ayuntamiento de Manila or Casa Consistoriales is the present Bureau of Treasury.

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The seat of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines is the Manila Cathedral.

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In front of the Cathedral is the Plaza de Roma. It was formerly known as Plaza Mayor and Plaza McKinley. The statue of King Carlos IV is prominently displayed in the center of the park.

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San Agustin Church was considered the oldest church. It was built in 1607 and can be found inside the walled city. It is located in General Luna Street (formerly known as Calle Real del Palacio). In 1993, this church became one of UNESCOS’s World Heritage “Baroque Churches of the Philippines.” It was also named as National Historical Landmark in 1976 by the Philippine government.

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There was a wedding when we went there so we just prayed briefly and wished to visit the church again. We walked back and enjoyed looking at the structures along the street. It was like being transported in another era with some “guardia sibil” outside the Spanish houses now used as offices and cafes along the road.

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Of course, the adventure was not complete if I would not visit “Fort Santiago”.  Fort Santiago has become a popular tourists destination. You need to buy tickets to enjoy tour inside. You have the option to walk or take a calesa ride. There are many calesas for rent inside. We opted to walk.

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I will be taking you inside Fort Santiago in my “Intramuros Adventure” Part 2.  There were lots of historical sights there that I would love to share.

And to top it all, we met apl.de.ap of Black Eyed Peas!

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When In Quezon Province: My “KAMAY NI HESUS” Experience

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Hello World! Let me take you to one of the sacred and pilgrimage sites in the Philippines- “KAMAY NI HESUS” in Lucban, Quezon. In February 2002, this shrine was established by the Healing Priest Rev. Fr. Joseph “Joey” Ayala Faller.

Father Joey is known for his “healing touch”. An accident which almost caused his life and injured his right hand permanently finally made him accept his healing vocation. The small finger and index finger bones of his hand broke and couldn’t be straightened despite attempts of surgical operations. It resembled the hands of Risen Christ and of “El Senor Sto Nino” (Little Jesus). For Fr. Joey, it has become a living reminder that God wants him to continue his mission on healing. It inspired him to build a pilgrimage site to welcome people who need God’s healing miracles- “KAMAY NI HESUS.”

From my hometown Labo, Camarines Norte, we arrived early so we still have time to drink hot coffee.

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I was excited and immediately captured some photos. Finally, I was there and longed to attend the healing mass officiated by Fr. Joey. According to schedule, he was the one who would do the mass. Yay!

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People gathered outside the gates from different parts of the country. The place has become an all-year round favorite destination of praying and healing.

When it finally opened, the first sight you would see is the “HOLY FAMILY PARK.”

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I couldn’t help but pose and be delighted with the beautiful relaxing sights in this part of this sacred ground.

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Located at the farther part of the park is the “LUKLUKAN NI MARIA.”

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There are many life-sized statues depicting the Life, Works and Passion of Jesus Christ.

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From where I was, I can see the 50-ft. tall image of Jesus Christ at VIA DOLOROSA GROTTO. Currently, it is the 3rd world’s Risen Christ statue. I would challenge myself to reach it later.

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But for now, let me pose for a while as I prepared myself for other sights before climbing and pray there.

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And let me make a wish first! Piso please….!!! (I wish I will…….I wish I may…I wish I can….). I threw a lot of course!!!!! You can enjoy watching “kois” and other fishes.

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Now, let me take you to the SEA OF GALILEE. It was fun. Well, you could tell with my numerous photos anyway. So, fun that I forgot to take a photo of the actual area haha and just enjoyed posing around.

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Now, time for the NOAH’s ARK! It was a sight to behold, seeing a replica of the ark of Noah and imagining pairs of animals going inside as related in the Holy Bible.

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NOAH’s ARK is the site’s area for retreats, seminars and recollections. It has complete amenities for accommodation, refectory and conferences.

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Hey, there was also a GARDEN OF EDEN. Checking out if Adam and Eve were there now!!!! I hope, I won’t see the serpent with the “forbidden” apple.

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There is a prayer room for those who want to contemplate.

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Now, this was the most exciting part of our visit- conquering the 350-steps to reach the top and touch the foot of the statue. There was a belief that you can “pour” your heart content and pray for whatever you want to be granted while touching it with your hand.

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The view at the top too was truly amazing. I saw the spectacular view of the town up there. I felt the gentle, cool breeze. I experienced something “divine” up there. It was a personal “sensation” that made me felt blessed and thankful- not just for this experience but for my “continuing journey” in life.kamay-23

And the highlight of this visit was attending the Holy Mass. The church was full of people from all walks of life. Those who want healing were separated by categories of “illness or condition.” I chose “general healing.”

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It was my second time to see Fr. Joey. The first time was when he conducted healing mass in Holy Trinity Cathedral in Daet, Camarines Note. He has an “aura” of mysticism which will draw you to his circle of believer. He said, “The great healer is Jesus, I am just an instrument.”

During the mass, the voice of Fr. Faller seemed to soothe my soul. A gentle wind cools the church and made me a little sleepy though. Well, of course I didn’t. He proceeded with the healing mass and went around the church proclaiming and claiming the mercy of God to heal us all. Everyone was silent and with eyes closed, his voice was the only sound you would hear. It was indeed a touching moment. When I opened my eyes, I saw many were silently crying. It was a releasing moment, as if the emotional burdens were wiped out or become light of all a sudden. I guess, every person there experience something- a change, a healing, a restoration, a deliverance.

During the healing part of the mass

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After the mass, Fr. Joey conducted blessing of rosaries and other objects

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I always consider every travel opportunity as a gift of experience. This one was meaningful and I would always love to be back here and whisper my prayers for my loved ones and for myself.

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