My First Stop Outside of the Philippines

Finally, I got the chance to get outside of the Philippines. Fortunately, I bagged a trip to the world's smallest continent. I flew to Australia by boarding a Malaysia Airlines flight that has a stop over at Kuala Lumpur. Thus, the first place outside of the Philippines that I set my feet on is none other than the Kuala Lumpur Airport.

I like what I saw inside this airport. The Kuala Lumpur Airport is spacious, clean and has a lot of amenities. They also offer free WiFi access but the service is too slow. Kuala Lumpur is way better than NAIA Terminal 1 or NAIA Terminal 3 and even Perth Airport in Australia. I like the way that the terminal was designed, it made me think that I am inside a very big tent.
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Kuala Lumpur Airport

Another thing that I liked in Kuala Lumpur Airport is their Aerotrain.
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Kuala Lumpur Airport aerotrain

It allowed me to travel from one terminal to another without additional fee. I wish that our airport in Manila has its own train. It will be a great convenience for tourists who are going to the domestic terminal from the international terminal.
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Inside Kuala Lumpur Airport

Too bad that my stop over in Kuala Lumpur is just two hours. I did not got the chance to visit my Malaysian blogger friends. I hope that I travel to Malaysia for my next travel outside of the Philippines so that I can meet them all.

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Short Tour Around NAIA Terminal 1

Last October, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) made news for being voted as the world's worst airport. The focus of this news is the NAIA Terminal 1, which serves as NAIA's international terminal. Many people complained that NAIA Terminal 1 of lack of comfortable seating, bribery, unclean toilets, poor facilities, rude staffs and other things.

I got the chance to see the condition of NAIA Terminal 1 with my own eyes when I went there for my flight to Australia. What I saw is not encouraging and I agree with some complaints raised against NAIA Terminal 1 last year.
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NAIA Terminal 1
NAIA Terminal 1


I took a walk around NAIA Terminal 1 while I am waiting for my flight. I can say that the terminal is not terrible when it is compared with other airports in the Philippines. I have seen worse airport at the provinces. However, foreign tourists are not happy with this terminal because they have seen grander airport in other countries.
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Inside NAIA Terminal 1
Inside NAIA Terminal 1.

My first impression with NAIA Terminal 1 is that it is old, very old. The lighting inside the terminal is dim. Seats inside NAIA Terminal 1 is inadequate and a lot of people had to sit on their carts. I also took a peek at their toilets and I can say that malls have better toilets.
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No seats inside NAIA Terminal 1
Passengers have no seat.

NAIA Terminal 1 has few amenities as compared to NAIA Terminal 3. The international terminal has a Duty Free Shop at the top floor but that is all. I think that NAIA Terminal 1 should copy NAIA Terminal 3. The international terminal should lease some space for fast food restaurants so that passengers have something to do while waiting for their flights.

My feet took me outside of NAIA Terminal 1. I reached the waiting area located in front of the terminal building and saw a many people waiting for their balikbayan relatives. Food stalls, which sell cheap foods, and a Jollibee stall are located at the waiting area.
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Jollibee at NAIA Terminal 1

It is almost time for me to board the plane when I return to NAIA Terminal 1. I believe that the administrators of NAIA has a lot of work to do to improve NAIA Terminal 1. I suggest that they demolish this old terminal and replace it with a modern one. I am sure that foreign tourists and OFWs will like it when they are welcomed by an international terminal that's spacious, clean and has courteous staff.
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Malaysia Airlines plane at NAIA Terminal 1

My plane to Kuala Lumpur is waiting. I am off! See you in Kuala Lumpur Airport in the next post.

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The Best in Website Design from London


Running a website is a serious matter these days. In the early days of the Internet, having a website for your business is not important. But these days, having a website is already a necessity. Your website can make or break your business. It could either attract customers or give them negative impression. This is the reason why having a professionally designed website is very vital for your business.

There are many companies that offer website design services but most of them are not as good as Web Design London. These web designers from London are known internationally. They garnered a lot of international recognition and awards for their great services.

If you are planning to create a website for your business or if your planning to improve your existing website, I highly recommend that you try the services these web designers from London. They can help you not only in web design but also in web maintenance, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and other aspects of your website. Contact them now and make your business grow through your website.

A One-time Binalot Dinner

Dinner time caught me inside a mall at Legazpi City. I decided to try another fastfood restaurant because I'm tired of eating at Mang Inasal and Chic-Boy. I also don't want to eat at Jollibee or McDonalds. I saw Binalot restaurant at the foodcout and decided to give their food a try.

Binalot is a Filipino word which means “wrapped”. Balot or pabalot is a Filipino habit where the visitor is given wrapped food that he can take back home. I believe that this is what the Binalot restaurant is trying to capture.

The girl at the Binalot counter told me that the best food on their menu is the Tapa Rap Sarap. She even joked that I will forgot my girlfriend's name if I try it. I almost told my companion to try other restaurant because I don't want to forget my beloved's name.

I ordered the Tapa Rap Sarap, which costs 89 pesos. Tapa is cured or dried meat. Sarap is the Filipino word for delicious. Rap is just a nonsense word placed by Binalot to make the name of the food sound cool. So, Tapa Rap Sarap means “delicious cured meat”.

Our order came and, true to the restaurant's name, the Tapa Rap Sarap was binalot (wrapped) in banana leaves.
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Tapa Rap Sarap of Binalot
Tapa Rap Sarap on banana leaves.

Well, the tapa is indeed masarap. The salted eggs and sliced tomato that accompanied the tapa enhanced the taste. I might order it again if I eat at Binalot in the future.

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A Parade of Delicious Chinese Dishes

Binondo Chinatown is just a small area in the City of Manila but it has nooks and crannies that delights the blogger in me. The whole town town is brimming with culture, history as well as food. That's why I believe that I can make a whole blog that is just focused on Binondo Chinatown, especially on the restaurants found in its every streets.

This belief of mine was affirmed when I, together with some officemates, went to small restaurant located along San Fernando Street. The name of the restaurant is Hou Kui Tea House. My officemate said that Chinese restaurant is as narrow as a corridor but many people eat at the place.
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Binondo Chinatown - Hou Kui Tea House

My officemates are especially hungry, that's why they ordered a lot of food. The dishes that they ordered came one by one, as if they are in a parade. The first dish that reached our table is a plate of lomi (100 pesos), which is good for 3 to 4 persons. I enjoyed eating the lomi, which definitely tastes better than the ones in Chowking
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Binondo Chinatown - lomi and rice
Big plate of lomi and my cup of rice.

Since it is a tea house, the lomi is accompanied with a cup of tea.
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Tea at Binondo Chinatown

Another delicious dish that we ate is this fish dish in sauce with onion springs.
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Fish dish at Binondo Chinatown

I focused too much on eating that I forgot to know the name of that Chinese fish dish.

We also ate beancurd (tokwa) with salt and pepper (120 pesos), which was hghly praised by an officemate. Another dish that I liked is the Taiwan pechay in oyster sauce (120 pesos).
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Taiwan pechay in oyster sauce at Binondo Chinatown


We talked about other restaurants and food shops in Binondo Chinatown that offers delicious dishes. My officemates mentioned a lot of restaurants that made my mouth water. I will find time (and money) to visit those restaurants and discover the yummy things that Binondo Chinatown has to offer.

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The Dog and His Master

Pictures of funny animals are always a hit in the Internet. Even news programs have segments that feature these amusing animals. I thought that I can only see such things in the Internet or at “Funniest Home Videos” until I saw this:
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Motorcycle Dog is riding

My fellow passengers were amused when they saw the dog standing on the motorcycle without falling. I had seen this scene twice along EDSA. They always capture the attention of sleepy bus riders in the early morning.

I am not sure if PAWS or the PETA will complain about what the dog owner is doing to his dog. One possible thing that they can say is the the “dog owner is endangering the life of the dog.” However, the dog owner will just said that his dog is wearing a helmet.

As if the scene is not enough, the dog owner added another amusing thing. Let's zoom in:
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Zooming in on Motorcycle Dog

You can see that the owner shaved the dog to show the logo of GMA. Is the dog owner a fanatic of GMA 7? Who knows. GMA 7 must find this guy and feature him in their morning show.

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Excellent Dentists in Munich

Are you a resident of Munich who is looking for a trustworthy and expert dentist? Or are you a tourist who suddenly needs someone to have a look at your pearly whites? You do not need to worry if you are in Munich because there is excellent Zahnarzt Muenchen (Munich dentist) that you can surely trust.

These Zahnarzt Muenchen are known for their passion. These dentists can give you beautiful and perfect teeth through their dental aesthetics. Also, these dentists in Munich understand that many people have fear of visiting a dental clinic. The creative-dentists of Munich provide painless dental service that will surely remove your fear of dentists. In the end, your teeth will be taken care of sans the anxiety.

The Zahnaerzte in Muenchen (dentists in Munich) that I am talking about have a website that you can visit. You can read the wide array of services that they offer, like dental implants and teeth whitening, in that website.

Heroic Priests in the “Unsinkable” Titanic

Ask anyone about the sinking of RMS Titanic and the most probable responses that you will receive are related to the popular movie “Titanic”, which is starred by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Few of the responses might be related to the true crew and passengers of the “unsinkable” vessel. But, I believe that no response will be given that is related to the heroic priests who did not abandon the sinking ship for the sake of the perishing passengers.

It is a little known fact that two Catholic priests are on board the famous RMS Titanic. This is what the report of Evening World (April 1912) said about the two priests:
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“Two priests of the Roman Catholic Church went down on the Titanic with men and women grouped about them responding to prayers. Not only Catholics, but Protestants and Jews, realizing that their last hour was at hand, took part in the final religious service on the sloping deck of the Titanic as she was heading downward for the depths.”

The priests are Reverend Thomas R. Byles from London and an unnamed German priest. Only the story of Rev. Byles is known and a website was dedicated for him.
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Reverend Thomas Byles
Reverend Thomas R. Byles

According to the report, both priest officiated Holy Mass in the vessel. Both their homilies is about the “necessity of man having a lifeboat in the shape of religious consolation at hand in case of spiritual shipwreck”.

When Titanic is struck an iceberg and is about to sink, Rev. Byles helped children, women and other people to the lifeboats. While he is active in saving other people, the priest did not forgot his calling. He also led the prayers, give absolution and comforted the people.

This is what a witness said of Rev. Byles:
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"A few around us became very excited," Miss Mocklare continued, "and then it was that the priest again raised his hand and instantly they were calm once more. The passengers were immediately impressed by the absolute self-control of the priest. He began the recitation of the rosary. The prayers of all, regardless of creed, were mingled and the responses, "Holy Mary," were loud and strong.

The sinking of the RMS Titanic is due to human error. The captain and crew are so sure that the vessel is unsinkable that they failed to be vigilant of icebergs. I believe that the presence of the two priest aboard Titanic is not a coincidence. God placed them to calm the spirit and bring salvation to passengers and crew.

I know that many people blamed God for the sinking of Titanic. I know that many people mock Christians for believing a God that allows tragedies, like the sinking of the Titanic, to happen. People of little Faith! Many of the tragedies that occur to human beings are due to their own faults. Isn't it unfair to blame God for things of our own doing? We also don't have the right to blame God even if many people die of natural calamities. God owns everything, even our own life. He has the right to give life or to take it. Our own responsibility is to ensure that we are pleasing in the eyes of God so that we are ready to face Him when we die.

Though we are disobedient and unfaithful, God still send His help for all of us. The presence of the two priests aboard Titanic is a testament to this. Many people were saved during that day simply because they believed in the two priests. The sea had swallowed them but God gave them, believers and non-believers alike, a chance to be with Him in heaven.

As the world remembers the sinking of Titanic, I hope that we also remember these heroic priests who served God and people in great time of need.

Going Black at Black Soup Café

The image that usually comes to my mind when I hear the word “pasta” is a plateful of noodles soaked in tomato sauce. That is why it is an unusual event when I met a different kind of pasta at a restaurant along Maginhawa Street of Quezon City.

It was a drizzly day when an attorney friend brought my brother and me to Blacksoup Café + Artspace.
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Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace

The restaurant occupies a small space, the size of a classroom, of the Maginhawa Building. What caught my attention, when I entered the restaurant, are the artworks that cover its walls. Well, the artworks at Blacksoup Café + Artspace are indeed eye catching.
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Artworks in Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace

It seems like the theme of Blacksoup Café + Artspace that day was provocative nude art.
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Artworks in Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace

I believe that artworks inside Blacksoup Café + Artspace changes. I saw different artworks posted in another blog from what we saw during our visit. This is good because regular patrons of this restaurant will have something new to look at when the artworks are changed.
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Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace counter

Our attorney friend told us that the restaurant has a lot of activities like film screening, poetry and live music.  I experienced none of those activities because we went to Blacksoup Café + Artspace during daytime.

For our lunch, we ordered spicy balut (85 pesos) as appetizer and grilled saging na saba (50 pesos) for dessert. We ordered blacksoup pasta (175 pesos) for our main course because we want to know what black soup is.
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Spicy balut at Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace
Spicy balut

The first to reach our table is the spicy balut. It tastes good and a little bit spicy. Bicolanos might get disappointed but those who have low tolerance on spicy foods will like it. My only comment for this is that the chick embryo is missing. It is not true balut if the chick is not present.

Grilled saging na saba also tastes good. The banana was perfectly grilled. It should be eaten while it is hot. Let butter melt and seep in the grilled bananas.
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Grilled saging na saba of Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace
Grilled saging na saba

Blacksoup Pasta is as black night when it reached our table. The black color came from squid’s ink that was used as sauce. It was my first time to taste this kind of pasta and I like it. But, I still prefer normal pasta in tomato than this pasta of Blacksoup Café + Artspace. 
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Blacksoup pasta of Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace
Blacksoup pasta

We enjoyed our lunch at Blacksoup Café + Artspace. The place is good for friends to meet and have a long chit chat. If you are looking a good place to eat at Maginhawa Street or at Philcoa Area, I suggest that you drop by Black Soup Café + Artspace.

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A Late Easter Reflection

Easter is the most joyous event in Christian History. It is the moment when Jesus Christ finally destroyed the bonds that chain men to eternal damnation. It is the moment when the risen Lord broke the power of death. This is the reason why Easter Sunday is one of the most joyous Christian celebrations. People around the world; either they are Protestants, Orthodox, or Catholics join in one accord to celebrate to resurrection of God. One look at the photos taken around the world and you will see how many people revere this holy event.
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Easter Procession in Byelorussia
Byelorussian Catholics during an Easter Procession
Unfortunately, I am one those who are stuck in Black Saturday. While all the people around me celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, I still feel that my faith is inadequate to welcome Jesus Christ when he went out of His. I feel that I haven’t loved Him enough or obeyed Him enough. I am not worthy to be part of the welcoming party for Jesus Christ.

There is one event in the Easter story that I like the most. That portion of the Gospel was narrated by Saint John the Beloved Apostle:

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him." 
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was the gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him." 
Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher. 
Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" 
Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and what he told her.
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Noli Me Tangere - Mary of Magdala and Jesus Christ

What I like with this narrative is the reaction of Mary Magdalene when she recognized Jesus Christ. She exclaimed “Rabbouni”. I can feel the great joy of Mary when she recognized Jesus. Rabbouni! Rabbouni! Rabbouni! I can almost hear her heart shouting. How I yearn to exclaim like Mary. How I yearn to shout to the whole world that I finally found the Lord. “Rabbouni!”

The reply of Jesus is equally outstanding.  "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father…” Our Lord didn’t want Mary to hold on to Him yet He let her recognize Him. How great His love is for those who are seeking Him! In His mercy, He allowed Mary Magdalene to see Him so as to replace her sorrow with great joy.

I believe that Jesus Christ does the same thing for all of us. None of us here on earth are worthy to touch Him yet He still allows us to find Him. In His mercy, he allowed us, wretched sinners to recognize Him to replace the sorrow of sin with the gladness of hope for the eternal.

My Lord is doing the same thing for me. Though still clinging to the sorrow of my sinfulness, Jesus has come to bring Easter to my life. The only question is when will I open my eyes and recognize Him.

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Visita Iglesia:San Isidro Labrador Church

We now go to the seventh and last church for this year's online Visita Iglesia. From Balibago Church in Santa Rosa City, I now take you to Biñan City for a visit to San Isidro Labrador Parish Church.
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San Isidro Labrador Church, Binan City
(Source: Wikipedia)


It was evening when I reached Biñan City to meet my beloved, who is searching the market for cloths. The traveler/blogger part of me made me searched for Biñan's tourist spots while I was waiting for her. What I found is a park dedicated to Jose Rizal in the middle near the marketplace.
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RizalPark in Binan City


I found, to my delight, a church located near the park. The church that I saw is the church that has a relief image of Saint Isidore the Laborer, or San Isidro Labrador in Spanish, on its facade. The lover-of-old-churches in me prompted me to enter this church.
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Inside San Isidro Labrador Church


The evening mass is about to start and many people are waiting for it to start. I failed to take many photos as a courtesy for the Holy Mass. I also failed to have a look at the grounds of the church since it is already evening and my beloved is already looking for me.

I hope that I can visit this church again someday. I want to see more of it and know more about its history. I believe that this church is full of history because it is the first church built in Biñan City. Biñan City is already a bustling town during the Spanish Colonial Era and Jose Rizal even visited this place.

Prayer to San Isidro Labrador

Dear Isidore, you know how normal it is to cultivate the land for you were employed as a farm laborer for the greater part of your life. Although you received God's help materially through Angels in the field, all farmers are aided spiritually to see the wonders God has strewn on this earth. Encourage all farmers in their labors and help them to feed numerous people. Amen.

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Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

May the Lord deepen our faith in Him this Holy Week! Amen.

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Visita Iglesia: Balibago Church

I read a certain blog wherein the blogger wrote that she was surprised to see the Chair of Saint Peter Parish Church painted in pink. Her comment made me realize that that church in Santa Rosa, Laguna is the only church that I saw that has the unique color of pink. Many of the of churches that I saw are in the grey colors of adobe (i.e. Manila Cathedral) or painted in white (i.e. Cebu Cathedral).

Pink is an eyesore, specifically if it is used to color structures. Just recall the pink fences and pink footbridges during the reign of Bayani Fernando in MMDA and you will understand how irritating pink is. However, the Chair of Saint Peter Parish Church, used the pink color yet avoided being an eyesore.
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Balibago Church

Chair of Saint Peter Parish Church is located in Barangay Balibago, Santa Rosa City. Hence, the church is more popularly known as Balibago Church. The church is painted in pink to honor Saint Rose of Lima, of whom the City of Santa Rosa was named after. Saint Rose is usually depicted with pink-colored roses in artworks. The saint is one of the patron saint of the Philippines.
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Saint Rose of Lima
Saint Rose of Lima

I usually drop by Balibago Church whenever I visit Santo Rosa City. I also pray to Mama Mary in the little room dedicated for her at the side of the church.

Balibago Church follows the architectural form of the old churches erected during the Spanish Colonial Period. There is a separate bell tower and the altar is at the end of the church. The interior part of Balibago Church is simple. No fancy artworks or gimmicks, unlike some churches following the modernist forms.
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Altar of Balibago Church

I am a fan of old churches and I really love the old architectural forms used in those churches. Compare the old churches like the Danao Church, Binondo Church and Lucban Church with the Church of Gesu inside the Ateneo de Manila University. All I can say at the last church is “ugh!” Is that a church or a conference hall with a white cross used as an accent?

I am glad that the builders of Balibago Church avoided the use of modernist style of architecture. Filipino Catholics appreciate the old-style church than the modernist ones.
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Prayer to Saint Rose of Lima

Admirable Saint Rose, thou wert truly
a sweet flower blooming
on a rugged soil: thou wert indeed a rose
among thorns, bearing with meekness
and patience the stings of envious tongues,
and preserving perfect purity and modesty
amid the alluring blandishments of a deceitful world.

By the merits which thou hast thus gained
with our Divine Lord, obtain for me
the grace to bear afflictions with patience,
to remain pure and modest,
to be meek and humble,
and to be faithful to the inspirations
of the Holy Spirit, so that I may be
ever pleasing and acceptable in the sight of
my dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

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Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

May the Lord deepen our faith in Him this Holy Week! Amen.

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Visita Iglesia: Greenbelt Chapel

My days when I was an employee at a company at Makati Business Distirct is full of stress and anxiety. That's why I felt blessed when I discovered a refuge somewhere on the grounds of Greenbelt Mall. My refuge when I was still a Makati-boy is the Greenbelt Chapel.

I always make sure to drop by this church before I go home. I went to Greenbelt Chapel to talk to God my woes during the day. During especially stressful days, I just sat down and let the presence of God blow the negative emotions away.
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Greenbelt Chapel

Greenbelt Chapel is a memorable place to me because this is where I did my first (and failed) attempt to avail the Sacrament of Confession. This is also the place where I got acquainted with Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, who is now included to the list of saints I ask for intercessions.

Greenbelt Chapel is located in the garden of Greenbelt Mall. The location of this chapel is very accessible for employees who are using the MRT. The architectural design of the church is similar to that of UP Chapel, which is circular and the altar is in the center.
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Inside Greenbelt Chapel
(Source: Greenbelt Chapel Facebook page)

The interior of Greenbelt Chapel is simple. The only notable artwork is the stained-glass image of God on the ceiling above the altar.
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Stained-glass art on Greenbelt Chapel ceiling
(Source: Greenbelt Chapel Facebook page)

If you are somewhere in Makati Business District, I suggest that you visit Greenbelt Chapel and let your soul relax. Feel the presence of Jesus Christ in the middle of hustle and bustle of the business district.

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Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

May the Lord deepen our faith in Him this Holy Week! Amen.

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Visita Iglesia: EDSA Shrine

The golden-colored image of our Lady always catch my attention whenever I pass through EDSA – Ortigas. The huge image of Mama Mary serves as landmark for the People Power Revolution of 1986 that toppled the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos.

Many people remember EDSA as a peaceful event where hundreds of Filipinos gathered along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). The peaceful gathering was initiated by Cardinal Sin, who called the Filipino faithful to protect the Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos. Inspired by that event in the Philippines, People in the Eastern Bloc did their own people power revolution and toppled the Soviet governments.

What was forgotten is the fact that the People Power Revolution of 1986 is also a miraculous event. Unlike the “Occupy Movements” that are fashionable these days, the People Power Revolution was attended by many Filipinos armed with their faith in God. Many people brought their rosaries, prayer books and images of Mama Mary. Prayers were raised to God during the whole revolution. Many people saw miraculous events. God, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, answered their plea. The dictator left the country without any bloodshed.

The large image of Our Lady was then erected to pay homage to Mama Mary who never ceased to help the Filipino people, especially during the turbulent times in our history. The peaceful outcome of the 1986 People Power Revolution is the reason why the shrine was officially named as the “Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace.”
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Image of Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace on the rooftop of EDSA Shrine

I got the chance to visit EDSA Shrine after I attended a conference at Crowne Plaza Galleria. The church is small and “new” compared to the first three churches I featured in this year's online Visita Iglesia. Paintings on the shrine's ceiling depict the events during the People Power Revolution of 1986. EDSA Shrine is serene, which is unlike the hustle and bustle of EDSA and Ortigas Business District.

Unfortunately, I don't like the crucifix at the altar of EDSA Shrine.
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Altar of EDSA Shrine

What I don't like is the image of crucified Christ, which is made of “multifaceted” green-colored glass. The image is lighted during the evening, giving it a greenish glow. I might appreciate EDSA Shrine's image of the crucified Christ if it is displayed at an art exhibition but not at the altar. I still prefer the usual image of crucified Christ sculpted from wood or stone.

The outside walls of EDSA Shrine, along EDSA, has artworks that depict the two people power revolutions.
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People Power artworks outside EDSA Shrine

There is a sort of garden at the top of EDSA Shrine. I  visited the garden and had a good view EDSA. I also had a good view of the back of Mama Mary's image.
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Back of Mama Mary's image at EDSA Shrine

I appreciate the location of EDSA Shrine. It is very accessible to people working in Ortigas Business District. Most of the people I saw inside the church are employees at Ortigas. It is good that there is a church that they can go to after a hard day's work.

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Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

May the Lord deepen our faith in Him this Holy Week! Amen.

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Visita Iglesia: Santa Cruz Church

Let us go now from the ancient church of Binondo Chinatown to another church at the other end of Ongpin Street. That church is the Santa Cruz Church.
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Santa Cruz Church

What I love most with this chrch is that the Holy Eucharist is exposed not in a Perpetual Adoration Chapel, which are usually located on the side of the main church, but on the altar. Yep! Parishioners of this church has the privilege to be with Jesus Christ inside the the main church.

I always drop by Santa Cruz Church whenever I am in the area just to be in the presence of the Holy Eucharist.

Another thing that I like with Santa Cruz Church is the painting at the altar.
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Altar of Santa Cruz Church

Painted on the wall of the altar is a lamb, which represents Jesus Christ, with the living water flowing freely to the tabernacle. I am awed with this painting because it perfectly represents what the Lamb had given us, wretched being as we all are. Through His sacrifice, the living water flowed freely and all we have to do is to open our hearts and accept it.

The first structure of the church was established by the Jesuits in 1619. The Jesuits enshrined the image of Our Lady of the Pillar, of which there are aconsiderable number of devotees. Santa Cruz Church is currently run by the priests of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.

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Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

May the Lord deepen our faith in Him this Holy Week! Amen.

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Visita Iglesia: Binondo Church

From the Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval Manila, we go to another shrine dedicated to another saint who is also much revered by Filipino Catholics. Our second station for our virtual Visita Iglesia is in the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, which is more popularly known as the Binondo Church.
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Binondo Church

Binondo Church is a famous structure that marks the entrance to Binondo Chinatown. It was established by Dominican priests in 1596 to serve the large number of Chinese converts in the area. The original structure was destroyed during the British bombardment in 1762. The second structure was destroyed during the Second World War.

The church became the basilica for San Lorenzo Ruiz of its connection to the saint. San Lorenzo trained in Binondo Church before he was sent to a mission to Japan.
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Image of San Lorenzo Ruiz inside Binondo Church

Notice that the image of San Lorenzo is holding palm leaves in his left hand. The palm frond signifies the fact that San Lorenzo received the crown of martyrdom. The Japanese killed the saint, together with his companions, because they don’t want to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ.

My favorite part of Binondo Church is its altar.
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Inside the Binondo Church

I like it because the tabernacle is at the center, which is its rightful place. Above the tabernacle is the image of Mama Mary robed in golden clothing and carrying the child Jesus. Flanking them are the images of saints, many of whom I am not familiar.
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Altar of Binondo Church

The ceiling at the altar shows the painting of Saint Michael the Archangel and other angels. Looking at that painting give an assurance that I am fully protected from the Devil because Saint Michael and the heavenly hosts.
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Painting of Saint Michael the Archangel in Binondo Church

The ceiling of Binondo Church is painted with the scenes from the Bible. The paintings are arranged based on the mystery of the Holy Rosary. The center part of the ceiling shows the Glorious Mystery:
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Painting on the ceiling of Binondo Church
The Ascension and Crowning of Virgin Mary. 
The left part of the ceiling shows the Sorrowful Mysteries:
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Painting on the ceiling of Binondo Church
The carrying of the cross and the crucifixion.

The right part of the ceiling shows the Joyful Mysteries:
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Finding of Jesus in the Temple and the Presentation.

Looking below the church’s dome make you think that you are looking through heaven. There are so many cherubim looking down upon you.
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Cherubim looks down the dome of Binondo Church

The stained-glass windows are also good to look at.
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Stained-glass window of Binondo Church
Archangel Gabriel greeting the Virgin Mary.

If you are somewhere in Binondo Chinatown, I highly recommend that you visit Binondo Church. Many tourists go to this church because of it being a part of the Manila’s heritage. Devotees of San Lorenzo Ruiz must visit this church because this is where he learned and grew up in the Faith.

Prayer to San Lorenzo Ruiz

Beloved SAN LORENZO RUIZ DE MANILA, confronted with death, you proclaimed your readiness to die a thousand times for your Christian faith. Today the whole world admires your courage. We feel particularly proud of you as our brother. And we pray: You, a family man, protect our families. Keep them united in love. You, who bore your sufferings with patience and resignation, intercede for the sick of mind and body; help them to receive the grace of God’s miraculous healing. You, who died in a foreign country, take care of Filipinos living and working in this country and in other parts of the world. You, an example of Christian fortitude, sustain our faith and make it spread and grow strong all around us. You, the Philippines’ first saint, be the country’s special protector. Unite us as one people; help us to work in harmony for development and progress; and give us peace. AMEN.

(State your intentions). San Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.

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Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

May the Lord deepen our faith in Him this Holy Week! Amen.

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For more prayers to San Lorenzo Ruiz, please visit the website dedicated to him.

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