Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Here are some of the scheduled tours being prepared by Nature Awareness and Conservation Club Inc. Please email them or call them for your desired tours:

May 12 - Villa Escudero in Tiaong Quezon

May 15 - Pahiyas Festival in Quezon

May 19 - Mt. Makiling in Laguna

May 26-27 - Anawangin Campers' Cove in Zambales

June 9-11 - Vigan/Pagudpud in Ilocos
                - Puerto Galera in Mindoro

 They are also preparing a tour to Holy Land from October 7-19.

Please contact Philippines' tourism industry's renowned tour guide Ms. Violeta Imperial at http://philecotourism.wordpress.com and 09155101600 or you could leave a message here and text me 09163333180 for more details.


For those of you who would like to witness and enjoy the Pahiyas Festival in Quezon, there's a tour that Nature Awareness and Conservation Club Inc. is organizing. Please read their invitation below.

Description: scan1
              NATURE AWARENESS & CONSERVATION CLUB, Inc.          
                     http://philecotourism.wordpress.com/  www.mothernatureasia.multiply.com
                     8061720 / 09155101600 / 09322439478   #18 Pioneer St., Moonwalk Vill., Las Pinas City, Philippines

PAHIYAS “Festival of Harvest and Blessings”
May 15, 2012 Tuesday

The Pahiyas Festival is held in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. It is an annual observation in thanksgiving for abundant harvests. Quezon folk decorate their homes with the choicest produce; they string fruits and vegetables together and make the “kiping,” the traditional Pahiyas d├ęcor of many colors. These are leaf-shaped wafers of rice makeup and looks like Spanish tacos; these are used to liven up halls and walls, and more craftily turned into arangya (chandeliers) that lighten up the town on fiesta night itself.

The literal meaning of “pahiyas” is actually decorating houses with kiping and vegetables. Aside from this, however, fruits, ropes and straw hats are also utilized. The decorating frenzy starts sometime before the actual fiesta, and the air is abuzz with healthy, friendly competition over who will have the best ornamented house that year. Whoever does gets a reward from the local government.

Other things to try out while there are the pancit hab-hab (which is eaten off banana leaves), the Lucban longganisa, the kiping that's actually edible and is said to be best dipped in vinegar. Also, visit the Lucban Church and put on some straw hats

Itinerary Lucban, Liliw and Nagkarlan
  4am : ETD Manila 
-      Mcdo Quezon Ave
-      Petron Boni Ave (South Bound)
-      Makati Buendia (Mcdonalds SM Hypermart)
-      Alabang Town Center Mcdonalds
  9 am   ETA in Lucban Photo Offs, Hear the Mass, Check out local sales          
            Visit the Kamay ni Jesus, Check out pansit habhab (pax account)
12 nn Lunch   
1 pm Pasabog Sa Liliw
  3 pm Nagkarlan Underground Cemetery
  4 pm : ETD Manil

Ensogo Selling Price P1,600/pax
·        Aircon Tourist Bus
·        Healthy Buffet Lunch,
·        Halo Halo in Liliw w cheez
·        Service of the Tour Shepherds
·        And wholesome fun

NOT INCLUDED: Breakfast, AM Snack, Tricycle around Lucban, Tip to the Tour Directors and Bus Driver.

1.     First Come First Served Book and Buy Reservation (seats will be very limited)
2.     3 dozen of lucban longaniza, broas, cassava cakes, will be raffled off to each bus  after the trip, kaya ang saya saya!!!
3.     Reservation is non refundable but transferable to others

Pick Up Points (please indicate where)
1. Mcdo Quezon Ave cor Edsa near Quezon Ave MRT
2. Petron Boni cor Edsa near Boni Ave MRT
3. Mcdo SM Hypermart Buendia near Buendia MRT
4. Mcdo Ayala Town Center

We will issue you the trip voucher after your reply

Thank you, Carpe Diem and GOD Bless

Description: signature2
Violet C. Imperial    
6978729 (9am to 5pm Only)  09155101600 / 09322439478
EMAIL: mother_nature888@nacci888.org  
Skype: MotherNatureAsia and Twitter: Mothernature888
My Life is GOD’s Gift to Me, what I do with it, is my Gift to HIM.      

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Planning for your next teambuilding or family vacation? Why not make it more meaningful and worthwhile by incorporating ecological and environmental activities?

LakadKaRin with Nature Awareness and Conservation Club Inc., now offers you the following "BUDGET ECO TOURS" for April: 

April 21 to 22 Mt. Pulag Fun Fun Fun Climb
P 3888/pax inclusive of round trip transfers, tent accommodations, full camp meals, climb fee, environment fee, trek guide, camp managers and lots of wholesome fun.

April 28 to 30 Banawe Nature Awareness Environment Camp
Organized by Conserving For Tomorrow Foundation Inc
Camp Fee P 3000 inc of Camp Accommodation, all meals, round trip fare and Banawe Tours

April 28 to 30 Donsol Whale Watching w Bulusan National Park & Best of Legaspi Tour
P 7,499/pax till end of April 15 and P7,999 till April 24 Tuesday
Inclusive of Round trip Aircon Bus, 3days/2nights Aircon Rm Quad Sharing, 3 Breakfast, 1 Seafood dinner, Whale watching interaction, Firefly Interaction and more surprises.

April 28 to 30 Vigan Laoag and Pagudpud
P 5,499/pax till end of April 15 and P5,999 till April 24 Tuesday
Inclusive of Round trip Aircon Bus, 3days/2nights Aircon Rm Quad Sharing, 3 Breakfast, Giant Empanada Snack, 3 Fulldays of Ilocandia Tour, Entrance Fees and surprises

April 28 to 30 Banawe SAGADA Singles Fun Adventure
P 3,999/pax till April 15; P4,250/pax till April 25
Inclusive of Round Trip Aircon Bus, 3days/2nights Aircon Quad Sharing, 3 Breakfast, 2 Fulldays of Tour, Private Service Jeep Around Cordillera and wholesome group dynamics during the night. 

FREE ENVIRONMENT AWARENESS wholesome games & CONSERVATION PROJECT Workshop FOR GROUP of 20pax & up, during or after your exclusive outing.

Nature Awareness and Conservation Club, Inc (NACCI) is a non-stock, non-profit NGO dedicated to pursuing "responsible tourism" by organizing eco tours that create nature and environmental awareness at the same time help provide sustainable supplementary jobs for locals in in the rural area which will encourage them more to care, nurture and protect their place's natural gifts as well as their culture and community.  Eco Tours involve immersion, dynamic games and proactive conservation activities like mangrove tree planting, adopt-a-turtle,  reforestation to name a few, as well as buying local and environment-friendly products. Violet Imperial - http://philecotourism.wordpress.com
INQUIRY Procedure

·        Please Fill up the blanks below and email to lyndanao@yahoo.com Earliest possible to get your travel goal well organized.
·        Company/Group: _______________________
Contact Person :___________________________
Land Line _____________________  
Cellphone :____________________
Email Address:____________________
Target EcoTour/Location: _______________
Target Date of Travel :_________________                                        
 Number of Participants: _______________
 Incomplete information will not be entertained
·        Payment can be made thru Metrobank Timog (Acct.# 0983098147196 - Armelinda O. Danao) 
·        First come First Served/Book and Buy/PAY Reservation which is non- refundable, non-rebookable, but transferable to chance passengers.
· scan the deposit slip and email it to lyndanao@yahoo.com so we can email back the trip voucher, detailed trip info and official receipt.

FOR INQUIRIES, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME AT: +639163333180 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +639163333180      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Thank you, Carpe Diem and GOD Bless
My Life is GOD’s Gift to Me, what I do with it, is my Gift to HIM. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012


While some Pinoys troop to the provinces during Holy Week, more still prefer to stay in the metropolis which could be a better idea. This is the only time that Metro Manila is not congested and crime rate is zero. It is also ideal for Visita Iglesia as so many churches abound.

Visita Iglesia is a tradition of Pinoy Catholics usually during Maundy Thursday when they go to churches to pray and reflect on the Fourteen Stations of the Cross. There are a lot of ways on how to do this. Most go to fourteen churches, pray and reflect one station per church, and since the churches are few blocks away from each other, people go on foot. Others prefer only seven churches, two stations though on each church. Many decide to visit only one church and just do all the stations in it. Usually it's in Grotto in Novaliches where there are life-size statues of the Stations, or the most popular is the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo, Rizal which is the Pilgrimage City about 55 kilometers east of Metro Manila. You will see scores of pilgrims from all over the country traversing Ortigas Avenue or Marcos and Sumulong highways on foot. It is the "Alay Lakad". Company booths line both sides of the highways, giving away free fans, face towels, bottled water and even t-shirts. It's their way of "giving back" to the people while promoting their firms at the same time.

This year I did the Visita Iglesia with my co-Singles For Christ and here are some of our captured moments:

It was around three in the afternoon, after some minutes of discussion, we agreed to visit fourteen places of worship starting with the church where our SFC unit serves - the Our Lady of Fatima Parish Church in L. Castillo St. Galas, Quezon City. It is advisable to start at your parish church. To proceed to the next thirteen churches, we decided we'd just walk and take turns in leading the prayers. Camille (foreground) suggested that we pray the rosary while walking, but somehow it was not followed, we opted instead to just converse with one another to make the journey light and fun. Then off we we went to the neighboring church Holy Trinity in Sobriedad St., Balic-Balic Manila which is about 1.25 kilometers away. Their Stations of the Cross were set up outside the church.

We took a shortcut and reached our third church - San Roque in Dela Fuente St. Sampaloc. One of our co-members Cathy had to leave early to be on time for her duty, the rest of us proceeded to the twin churches in Bustillos - Our Lady of Loretto and  St. Anthony.

All the images in all the churches like this one in Our Lady of Loretto were veiled in violet signifying mourning and that there were no saints prior to the Lord's offering of His ultimate sacrifice.

Colored copies of  the Stations of the Cross were framed with violet scarves and mounted outside of the churches to accommodate  more devotees. 

The sixth church we visited was the San Beda Chapel in Mendiola. Small yet very opulent interiors. Their Stations of the Cross are "muralized" on top of the arched hallways. This is one of the most visited churches during Visita Iglesia.

After visiting San Beda Chapel, normally people proceed to St. Jude Archdiocesan Shrine in J.P. Laurel street just a block away. St. Jude is famous for being the "patron saint of the impossible".

Most pilgrims come with their families or in groups.

Straight ahead is our eighth church, St. Michael and the Archangels Shrine popularly known as San Miguel Church beside Malacanang Palace. It is the church to go to for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The Bible recorded St. Michael's name four times while the Q'uoran mentions him only once. He is one of the principal angels and the one who defended the good angels from their enemies. 

At the courtyard this tarpaulin caught our eyes. It lists the things that we should pray for aside from our own  intentions. Toppping the list are our country and the President.

Another eye-catcher were these decades of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary in silver cross frames. They make the convent's exterior walls look more glorious! 

I always visit San Miguel Church but it was the only time I noticed there is a "sunken altar in a cave" at the far end of the courtyard.
But it was temporarily covered by this makeshift open adoration  altar with a big picture of the Virgin of All Nations.  Another highlight of Maundy Thursday is the afternoon mass reenacting The Last Supper and the "washing of the feet of the apostles". Afterwards, the "blessed sacrament" is exposed and transfered to the adoration altar. Most churches put up makeshift altars to accommodate more worshipers.

That is St. Michael's statue.

Along our route we passed by this grand colonial Spanish house just across Malacanang Palace - the Bahay Ugnayan . It was transformed into an office where all representatives of all sectors of the society meet to discuss how to realize in unity the visions of our President for our country.

Going to our ninth church, we saw what could be the country's oldest fire station proudly standing and still functioning to this day. 

That is the magnificent Basilica of San Sebastian in Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila which is the  first and oldest Gothic church in Asia and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its walls are all steel brought in from Belgium more than 400 years ago.

The interiors are equally magnificent. 

Within its premises is Saint Rita Collge run by the Agustinian Recollect sisters. That is where  I studied from Grades 1-3.

All sorts of street foods were being hawked outside the churches

Those are fried calamari on sticks! Yum!

The tenth is the Holy Face of Jesus Chapel in R. Hidalgo street.  Latin tridentine masses are often heard here.  Despite the expansion, it is still small and quite cramped yet unique. People go there probably because it's one of very few churches in Metro Manila dedicated to the "holy face of Jesus" (the one etched miraculously on the shroud that was used to wrap the lifeless body of the Lord)....

.... and the shells on the stone wall at the entrance where people could throw coins at after making a wish.
Makeshift altars representing the Stations are a common sight in every barangay during Holy Week.

This underpass was over crowded  because it led to the most famous church in the country -  the Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church in the City of Manila.

Some Stations of the Cross are carved wood or sculpted metal like this one in Quiapo Church where we prayed the Eleventh Station.

The open Blessed Sacrament of Quiapo was bedecked with flowers as  a lot of flower shops surround the place.
That is the famous Black Nazarene statue venerated by millions of devotees. The lights were dimmed but the spotlight  was on the image. It looked like a stage at the same time dramatic. 

Aside from the spotlighted statue, they had also projected a picture of the Blessed Sacrament on a big screen.

From Quiapo, we rode a jeep as we proceeded to our Twelfth Station at Sta. Teresita Parish Church in Mayon Quezon City. We were just right in time for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from the main church upstairs to the adoration altar below. 

We took another jeepney ride going to our thirteenth church - the Shrine of the Divine Word  popularly known as Christ the King along E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave Quezon City. The place is also a seminary and retreat venue. I took notice of their candelaria with pastel-colored candles. Usually green is for prosperity, pink is for relationships, blue for harmony and justice, yellow is for career or travel, and white is for healing.

The Blessed Sacrament of Christ The King

Along the path to our fourteenth and last church, we saw this showroom of beautifully-crafted sets of furniture, we couldn't resist posing by the windows.

Only two blocks away from Christ The Kings is the Perpetual Adoration Chapel of Saint Joseph also known as Pink Sisters Convent at the corner of Dona Hemady and 11th streets in New Manila.  So called because the monjas are garbed in pink and cream. This is the biggest Pink Sisters convent in the country, and the most solemn, ideal for meditation and deep prayer. Nuns take turns in praying at the altar for the intentions of those in the chapel and those who had written to them.

Typical convent's altar - nuns' pews are separated  from the worshippers' by a gate

And after that tiring yet very meaningful sacrifice, we had dinner together. 
The next day, Good Friday, I went home to Antipolo but I passed by the Antipolo Shrine where the day before millions of pilgrims trooped for the annual Alay Lakad. I missed that this year. Anyway, on the side walk there were anahaw fans made in Infanta being sold and distributed by Ms. Faye Escobar. You may want to contact her (09127813938) if you want personalized fans for giveaways. 

Luckily, there was a "mass confession" then. Fifteen priests from the Diocese of Rizal  were on hand to absolve sins. I took that opportunity and felt light and good after.

The adoration altar was in an open room inside the main church which usually serve as a chapel for baptism.

The candelaria of specialized votive candles with the image of  the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage etched on the glasses. This leads to the museum and the "mantle of the Black Virgin" which devotees kiss while whispering their intentions. The shrine is also where most people go to have their newly-owned vehicles blessed by the priests.

Thought these were black candles but they were dark blue and when I asked what does the color symbolize, the woman just said  it's up to the  pilgrim.

The caroza or the coffin where the Santo Entiero will be laid and paraded around the town after the Seven Last Words which is the highlight of Good Friday.

Huge tarpaulin of some scenes from the movie The Passion of the Christ were mounted  outside and served as the Stations of the Cross.

Your visit to the Pilgrimage City would not be complete if you don't take home its famous crunchy kasuy or cashew nuts....

...and its delicious, fresh and soft suman

Then there was on-the-spot silkscreening of religious photos courtesy of Mr. Edgar and his team of artists. They do bulk orders, just contact him at 09398188361 or 09075803246.

At home, I tuned in to GMA 7's live telecast of Siete Palabras from Sto, Domingo Church in Quezon Avenue. It was a very touching program with the UST Salingawi dancers, Tiples de Santo Domingo, and for the first time, some elders chanting the Pasyon in Pabasa style.

And of course on Channel 13, another favorite program during Holy Week, the Shalom Recollection by the fierce yet very funny Rev. Fr. Archie Guiriba at the Araneta Coliseum.