PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

The world of watersnake

The world of watersnake

PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

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The Cagsawa Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

The Cagsawa Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 In our last episode, we reached the ruins that are very popular in the Bicol region. We first had lunch before exploring the place and had a very interesting dessert that is hot and cold. We had very good feedback from […]

Road to the Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

Road to the Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Hello again for another part of our adventure here in Bicol Philippines. After our side trip from the monastery, we continued on to our journey to or main destination. We are headed out to see the ruins in Daraga Albay which […]

Take Me to Church “Divine Mercy Monastery” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “Divine Mercy Monastery” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to another episode of our travel here in the Bicol region of the Philippines. Last time we visited one of the oldest church in the region which is said to be 400 years old. As we were headed to one of the popular tourist sites, a church came up in our navigational app along the way. It is located halfway to a hill called Kawa Kawa and we decided to stop by as I love visiting religious architecture. We often visit old churches but today we will be visiting a monastery that is only five years old. Walk with me today as I share with you the charm of this place.

 

Divine Mercy Monastery

 

Join in the tour and see our previous adventures in the region.

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

Part 4 Discovering Life by the Road

Part 5 Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 6 A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 7 A Charming Mountainside Food Shack

Part 8 The Antlers of Ocampo

Part 9 Nabua Church

 

Driving from our previous stop in Nabua Church it will take you around 38 minutes to reach the monastery. Originally we were headed to a ruins location and this place is just along the way to our destination. Maybe just around 2-3 minutes away from the main road as you would make a turn going up hill.

I have not been here yet nor have I seen photos of the place online. Didn’t get a chance to do some research about the place since it was not in our plan. I was expecting to see an old church but I was surprised to see a structure that looks very new.

The complete name of the Monastery is  “Divine Mercy Monastery of the Carmelite Nuns of the Holy Trinity” and is located in Tabaco Rd, Ligao, Albay in Bicol. It was constructed in 2014 and is being run by the Nuns of the the Holy Trinity.

The design of the church is very different from the old Spanish churches that we have visited in our past travels. The materials are used are modern but arches are similar to old churches.

A shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel looks over on the right side of the building. Just beneath it is a small pond with Koi fish.

Say a prayer, toss a coin in the pond and make a wish. Normally in other churches there are prayer areas where you could light a candle and pray for your wishes. I was not able to find the prayer area here but I guess the pond is their alternative to it.

The monastery was constructed by the support of pilgrims through donations. There was a very interesting way to recognize the people who supported the construction.

The steps that leads to the monastery is made with tablets with the foot prints or hand prints of those who donated.

 

The names of the people and their home town is written on the tablets. I have noticed that they have come from different parts of the country.

If you would closely have a look, some also come from different parts of the globe. Countries like Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States have all given support to its construction.

I passed thru the side door and was wondering how the place looks like from inside. The structure is not the usual rectangular shape but somehow like a semi-circle.

An angel holding the Holy water basin stands near the entrance and is a common sight in churches.

Instead of a long aisle it has four short aisles with five columns of pews, each has around 7-9 rows of seats.

The ceiling is constructed of metal beams and sheet roofing. I am not sure if construction is already complete as the metal beams are exposed on the ceiling. Maybe they would still be covering it up in the future.

The retablo in the center also looks new unlike the ones in old churches that are made from wood with intricate carvings.

The dome in the center has painted glass windows which looks to be the 12 apostles. A very great way to allow natural light to the center of the building.

What completely drew my attention is the large painted glass windows. As some of you might already know I absolutely love painted glass in religious structures. This is my favorite part in churches and something that I could spend a lot of time just observing.

Saints and religious scenes are often represented in these windows. There are stories told in each window and its form is considered an artwork.

We came here in the morning around 10:00 am and based on my experience the perfect time to truly see its beauty is during afternoons. The light is softer in the afternoon and has a soft calm glow that passes through the glass.

Even though the structure is fairly new its charm comes strongly from the large painted windows. The artist did a good job as it emanates an old church nostalgic feel to it.

Took another shot with a lower ISO to show the colors from the windows.

Saints and Martyrs are remembered as the sun passed through the glass. Each share their stories of faith during times of persecution.

On the further right side are two round painted glass windows perfectly positioned above the side entrance.

The scenes are parts of the life of Christ which is decorated with roses in the center and on the sides.

 

As much as I would like to stay longer it was time for us to leave and continue on with our journey.

I think our stopover here was well worth it is a beautiful monastery built by the support of people from all over the country and across the globe.

I am thankful for your time with me again in exploring this monastery. I hope you enjoyed the tour and please do let me know what you think about the place. What part did you enjoy the most?

Hope to see you again next time as I take you along with me to the Ruins of Cagsawa. Until then I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend see you soon.

 

See the churches we have visited during our travels.

Nabua Church

San Jose Church

Majayjay Church

Lilio Church

Calamba Church
St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church

Paete Church

Manila Cathedral

San Agustin Church

Immaculate Heart Convent

Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral

St. Mary Magdalene Church

 

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.229413 lat 123.551881 long Divine Mercy Monastery d3scr)

 

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Take Me to Church “Nabua Church” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “Nabua Church” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 After that amazing close encounter experience with the deer at Ocampo farm. We headed back home at the quiet coastal village in Balatan to plan our next stop. It has been months already since I last visited a church and our […]

The Antlers of Ocampo – Beautiful Sunday

The Antlers of Ocampo – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to another part of our adventure in the beautiful Bicol region in the Philippines. Last time we enjoyed a hot bowl of Kinalas and was also taken away the gorgeous view around the area. I have been wanting to […]

A Charming Mountainside Food Shack – Beautiful Sunday

A Charming Mountainside Food Shack – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to part seven of our Bicol region adventure in the Philippines. Last time we closed the episode of our visit to Hibiscus Camp. It was a pleasant visit as we had an amazing time dipping in the pool while enjoying the magnificent view. We didn’t have much to eat during our stay so I went out and looked for a place where we could buy food. We ended up with an amazing experience. Come with me today as I share with you a simple yet charming food spot that we discovered on our way down the mountain.

A Charming Mountainside Food Shack

 

Have a peek our adventure on the links below.

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

Part 4 Discovering Life by the Road

Part 5 Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 6 A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp”

 

 

The food place that we discovered is just seven minutes away by car. Located in Hanawan Consocep Road, Ocampo Camarines Sur the place would be hard to miss if you are coming down from Hibiscus Camp.

Before we go to the food shack, let me just tell how we ended up there. Last time I mentioned that the resort just had one food option which is fried yellowfin tuna. We didn’t want to eat tuna for lunch so we just ate nuts and the bananas that we bought from the fruit stall. We were about to leave and I was getting hungry so we went out of the resort and looked for a store where we could buy food.

We found a Sari Sari store which is type of store that can be found all over our country.

A Sari Sari store sells all sorts of junk food, candies, soda, alcohol and other some daily necessities like soap and shampoo.  We bought a soda and a bag of chips but was not satisfied with it as I wanted real food.

We stumbled upon this dog and her puppies which eating the chips. The puppies were giving me the look and I ended up sharing my chips with the. I love dogs and could not bear the sight of puppies begging me for chips.

Just beside the store is a food eatery which is common in our country. Not all offer good food but there are a lot of gems out there that are exceptional.

Their sign says Kinalasan sa Isarog (Kinalas is the name of the dish and Isarog is the name of the mountain where we are at). I do not know what Kinalas is but on the photo on their sign, it looks like some sort of noodles with meat. I always want to try something new, told the lady that we would like to order four bowls of Kinalas. After a minute the lady came out of the kitchen and said that they just have enough for one bowl.  Well, we cannot share just one bowl as it is only good for one person. It was a disappointment and we decided to just leave and look for another place where we could eat. But Kinalas has gotten into me and I wanted to taste it so badly.

I asked our guide, Ate Daisy if there where any other place where we could eat Kinalas. She told me that we should find a place as it is a very popular noodle dish in the region. She gave me a little insight into what the dish is. Bony parts of beef are boiled until the meat falls off the bone and are mixed with flour noodles. Just thinking of that tender meat and rich broth made my mouth water even more. After driving for around 7 minutes we saw this small shack and the sign says Kinalas. I parked the car on the side immediately and I was very excited.

Another dish that they are offering is Batangas Lomi. It is a noodle dish that can be spicy with a very thick soup. Batangas is a province in my home town where this dish originated from. Lomi has become so popular that it has become widely known in our country. Still my choice is Kinalas as it is something I have not tasted yet.

The name of the eatery is Tirs and Quel and it seems they also offer Baka Rabut. What is Baka Rabut? Well I found out that is just like the Philippine popular dish called Sinigang. A sour soup dish that can be made from different kinds of meat, seafood, pork and in this case beef. Log log is another noodle dish with a very thick sauce that is either shrimp based or made from stale bread.

Enough waiting let’s go up the stairs made from bamboo and order our food.

The moment we climbed up beautiful flowers greeted our way. From this point, I immediately knew that this place is one of those gems. A lone food shack at the mountainside almost feels lonely but that’s what makes it special. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, wide-open spaces, cool weather and I will share with you the view shortly.

My mother in law was so fascinated with the flowers and asked the owner if she could ask for have some plants. The owner was very kind and said that she would give her some to take home.

It was time for us to order our late lunch. We ordered two bowls of Batangas Lomi and two Bowls of Kinalas. It seems that they also offer some home-cooked local dishes here. Didn’t pay much attention as my eyes were set on my hot bowl of Kinalas.

They also had a small Sari Sari store on the side and selling what looks like native chips

There was one table inside that could sit around six persons but we wanted to eat in the native hut we saw outside.

While waiting for our order let’s explore the first place and enjoy this beautiful location. Just outside the store are tomato plants and it has a couple of tomatoes already.

On the right side, they planted other plants and in the way, they are arranged it could be vegetable plants.

We noticed that there is some sort of plantation near the area. We asked the owner what they were and we were surprised that the plants were strawberries. There were no fruits yet during this season but I was so fascinated as I thought strawberries only grew in Baguio which is the Mountain City of Pines in the country. The good soil and cool temperature here must have been a good condition to plant the strawberries.

In this area, they have some strawberry plants in black plastic bags. They may be buying the plants from somewhere else and then replanted here.

Since there were no fruits yet the owner said they can sell us some plants if we wanted to try planting them back home. I am not sure though if it would flourish back home as we have a very hot weather and the soil is not good.

My mother in-law still bought a couple of plants and try her hand planting them.

After a few minutes it was time for us to leave the small plantation as security in the form of this dog is headed our way. The dog was barking and was protecting his territory.

We got back safely near the eatery but our food was not yet ready. While waiting I took some more photos surrounding this area and Mt. Isarog is breathtaking. Imagine eating a warm bowl of noodles surrounded by this view. A cool wind blows brushes your face as the clouds cover the top of the mountain.

They have set up a table for us outside while waiting. The owner said that we could either eat outside or inside the hut.

It would be great to eat out but mother in-law said that it was getting a bit chilly and she would prefer to have her meal inside.

Let me share with you more photos of the landscape on the other side facing the hut.

A small hut made from bamboo just near the entrance is guarded by a dog. I am not sure if someone sleeps there or if used for something else.

There is small house further down and could be the owner’s house.

I saw these plastic containers and I believe they also make and sell vinegar. Could be coconut vinegar as they are abundant in the area.

After enjoying the gorgeous landscape it was time for us to eat. Let’s go inside as the hot bowls of goodness is ready to be served.

The shack has only four tables and materials used are mostly bamboo and nipa leaves as roofing material. Aside from us there was another group also waiting for their order. We had a small chat and found out that they were teachers on break. They said that they love visiting this place as it is so peaceful and the food tastes great.

That first that arrived was the two bowls of Batangas lomi. The soup is very sticky but very delicious and has thick egg noodles. It is topped with half boiled egg, pieces of meat, liver, crunch pork rinds and topped with toasted garlic. If I recall correctly the price of one bowl is around 60 pesos or $1.17 USD.

How would you like to try a bowl of the Batangas Lomi?

Now for the noodles that I have been waiting for. The moment it arrived the smell was very appetizing and I couldn’t wait to taste it. It is served with one whole egg, lots of meat and topped with crunch pork rinds. The broth is very beefy and the meat was so tender. The noodles were perfectly cooked and I enjoyed every bite. It is also best if you squeeze in the calamansi (our local lime) provided on the side for a little bit of sour taste.

I couldn’t bother with the price but I think the price is almost the same with the Batangas Lomi. All in all noodles that they served here is like comfort food out here beside the mountain. The noodles has exceeded my expectations and I was very satisfied.

Of course it would not be complete without a dash of chili oil.

How about you? What would you like to taste? Would you like to try the sticky soup of the Batangas Lomi or the fall of the bone goodness of the Kinalas? Thank you for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed this humble meal with us.

Hope to see you again in the next part of our adventure and if you love animals you would surely not want to miss our next stop. Until then have a very warm and #beautifulsunday everyone.

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.609427 lat 123.415055 long Tirs and Quel Eatery d3scr)

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All photos are original and taken with

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A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 It was a beautiful afternoon and the weather was perfect.  After our dip in the cool waters of the pool, we took a little walk and explored more of the resort. The resort wasn’t that big but I was told that […]

Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 After that short stop at the fruit stand along the way. We continued to our original destination to Hibiscus Camp located at Consocep, Tigaon, Camarines Sur Philippines. A small resort that will truly capture the hearts of nature lovers with a […]

Discovering Life by the Road – Beautiful Sunday

Discovering Life by the Road – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to the fourth episode of our Bicol Region trip only here in the Philippines. You have seen the long unending road that we traveled to reach the region. I took you on a tour on one of the local markets and ended up exploring a beach resort. Today take a ride with me to see more of this beautiful region. We often look forward to our destination but along the journey, we discover things that are worth the stop.

Discovering Life by the Road

Follow our journey on the links below

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

 

Our original destination is a lovely place called Camp Hibiscus near the foot of Mt. Isarog but on our way there something caught our attention. From Pararao which is the coastal village where we are staying will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there.

 

This place is unmarked if you would search for it on the map or any navigational app. But it can easily be spotted along the way if you are going to Camp Hibiscus.

But before we get there let me just share with you the road and the scenery on the way to our destination. Within that 1 hour and 30 minutes of travel you will see a lot of interesting things and relaxing scenery.

Here I realized that in this region they to maximize the means of public transportation. A bit dangerous if I would say but it seems this is the way of life here in this area.

The second most popular means of transportation here in the Philippines is the tricycle. It is meant to have a maximum of four passengers. A motorcycle with a sidecar attached on the side. Three passengers can fit inside the sidecar and the fourth passenger sits behind the motorcycle driver. In this case, they have added a metal platform on the back and the side of the tricycle as a way that passengers can step on and grab on the roof.

Curious about the tricycle? You can check out more about this vehicle from one of my old posts.

Born to be Wild

An arch that tells you the town that you are about to enter. It is very common in our country and you would often see the name of the mayor or a government official just beneath it. An arch to me is like a gateway and there is always something to discover in every town.

Here is another tricycle that is like a school bus that takes students to school and back home.

I love wide-open spaces and farms near hills and mountains. Rice fields can be found everywhere in our country but are slowly diminishing due to land conversion. Some landowners and farmers sell their land to be converted to residential subdivisions and commercial space. I hope that would not be the case in provinces like these.

What I love the most about driving in the province is the long empty roads. Not many vehicles and you could just cruise along the highway with not much stress. Just the sound of the road and a good music playlist to keep you awake. Sometimes the sound of the road can hum you to sleep especially in the afternoon.

Here you could start to feel the upward incline of the road. I was informed by our guide that there are parts with sharp turns and a little bit steep incline. I have seen a lot of those in our journey so it wouldn’t be a problem for me.

We were climbing higher and higher up the mountain. Here you could almost see the summit of Mt. Isarog covered by clouds.

As we drove further we saw a couple of huts on the side of the road. I figured I needed a quick break and it would be great to stop for awhile.

The huts were fruit stalls and everyone got excited as they wanted some fresh fruits for the road.

I learned that some of the vendors lived in the huts up here by the roadside. Somehow they managed to establish a source of living in this area. I had no idea that some people live out here along the sharp curves up the mountain.

They have very few options but I guess these are the fruits that are available during this season.

Avocados, Rambutan, and Bananas look freshly picked from the tree. Some Avocados are still unripe and would take a couple of days before it could ripen. One way of speeding up the ripening process is storing it with rice grains which proves to be very effective. Although fruits that ripen from the tree is always the best.

They were also selling some sort of yellow liquid in Coca Cola bottles. I asked the vendor about it and he said it was native honey. I have never seen honey with this color before and I was hesitant thinking it could be fake honey. I asked the vendor about the color and he said that the color gets darker with age.

Some sell honey which is just made from sugar.  It is really hard to tell and I have no idea how to test if it is authentic honey. We decided to just skip the honey for this round.

A kind of pumpkin that we saw earlier at the Balatan Public Market. Seems like this kind of pumpkin is very common in this region.

The fruit stalls up here has a certain kind of charm that is very different from the stalls in the flatlands. This is their daily peaceful way of life and the fruits were probably harvested from up the mountain. I do not know if they can sell all their fruits within the day but I think people here get by thru life every day.

Aside from fruits and vegetables they also sell other few items. On display in the background are sachets of shampoo, instant coffee, soy sauce and what looks like to be Ajinomoto seasoning.

Another stall looks like to be a small store and maybe they also sell cooked food at times of the day because of the table setup that they have.

Our tour guide Ate Daisy who is just enjoying the view.

Now I realized why this is the perfect stop over for this trip. We are just barely up the foot of the mountain but it feels like we are so high up already. Along with the cold wind gently brushing on your face, the view from here is gorgeous. Imagine waking up to this view every day would be magical. The folks who live here may not be well off but with the scenery, they have every day is like worth a million.

Here are just a few of the photos of the area.

We haven’t seen the other side of this area yet which had one fruit stall.

They had a lot of bananas and my wife bought a cluster. This type of banana is called “Senorita,” my favorite variety as the sweetness is just right. The texture is a bit firm and not too mushy.

On the other side of the road is a small open hut and a great spot to have lunch. It would be nice if they also served local dishes but I am not too sure if it would take off as I have only seen a few cars pass by since we stopped over. Best to leave it as it is just a peaceful quiet spot.

A nice peaceful spot along the road and the stopover is very much worth it. We had a glance of the life of people around here, how they live and what they see every time they open their eyes each morning. Thank you for joining me again today and I hope you enjoyed the stop by the side of this road. Please do join me again next time as we explore our original destination which is Camp Hibiscus. I am sure you would be delighted on our next adventure. See you soon!

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.610178 lat 123.417947 long Hanawan Consocep Road Fruit Stalls d3scr)

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

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All photos are original and taken with

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Baresbisan Beach Resort – Beautiful Sunday

Baresbisan Beach Resort – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Hello everyone and welcome back to another adventure to the Bicol Region in the Philippines. Last time we visited a market in Balatan where we saw an abundance of dried fish, vegetables and some local sweets. It was a hot day […]