Since today is Holy Thursday, I decided to put up this post about our travel year ago to probably one of the famous pilgrimage destinations in the Philippines, the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban, Quezon.
The shrine is a healing center built under the initiative of Fr. Joseph Ayala Faller, a well-known healing priest. A healing mass is conducted at the chapel every Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:30AM. We went there on a Wednesday but unfortunately, we arrived there past noon so we weren't able to attend the healing mass.
As soon as you enter the vicinity, it would be impossible to miss this amazing view of the hill where the 50-ft status of the Ascending Christ is erected. I am not a fan of walking, much more climbing, so it was really a big challenge for me. It was also around 1pm when we started the trekking the Way of the Cross going up the hill so imagine the torturing heat of the sun plus the humid air. It felt like we were in a sauna. But I did ask Mom to bring me here after seeing her first trip at the shrine, so I didn't have any reason to complain. Konting sakripisyo lang naman to, as compared as what Jesus went thru. Kaya, push lang!
Along the way up are life-size statues depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross
The Grotto Entrance
Adam and Eve (plus the devil) in the Garden of Eden
The Last Supper, which is the start of the uphill climb
Jesus praying at the Garden of Gethsemane
Jesus condemned to death
Crowning of thorns
Jesus carries his cross
Jesus falls the first time
Simon helps Jesus carry the cross
Jesus laid on the tomb
We had to stop midway because it was too humid and we ran out of water. So if you are to climb the hill, make sure to bring enough water with you. None of us volunteered to go down because who would want to start the climb all over again anyway? Hahaha. Tiis na lang muna ng uhaw!
And finally, we made it!
This 50-ft statue is currently the world's third tallest statue of the Risen Christ.
After reaching the top, we stayed for almost an hour to rest and enjoy the amazing view of Lucban.
It was truly a great experience to be able to reach the top. I tried counting the steps but I somehow got lost after we rested midway. People say it's 321 steps, some says less than that. Maybe next time, if given another chance, I'll count it na.
I think we spent more than hour climbing but a little less than 15 minutes going down. I realized that the steps going down are "bigger" than the ones going up. I was really tired that I wanted to just roll myself going down, hahaha!
Travel time is around 3hrs from Manila. When we got there, we first had lunch at the carinderias along the highway. Not sure if there are any fancy restaurants in the area. We ate in one of the carinderias and tried their famous pansit habhab. But unfortunately, I've had better pansit habhab in some places in Manila. Probably we just missed the right carinderia to try.
So would I want to go back to Kamay ni Hesus?
YES! But probably not during summer.
We usually do the Visita Iglesia on Thursday then we go around to watch the Penitensya on Friday. On Saturday, we just stay at home and at night, we attend the Salubong and then attend mass early Sunday. Hay, I miss spending the Holy Week in Pinas. This is the 2nd time that I'm spending it here in the sandpit. And starting Thursday until Saturday, we stay away from eating meat. So it's all veggies and seafood!
How about you, how do you spend the Holy Week?
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