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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Monasterio de Sta Clara, Katipunan

The Monasterio de Sta Clara (St Clare Monastery) is located along C-5 Road in Katipunan, Quezon City. I visited it a few days ago. I was in Marikina City that day and I decided to visit the famous monastery.

From Marikina Town Proper, I rode a jeep to Cubao and drop off to C-5 Road in Katipunan. Its a few meters away from the Katipunan Station of the LRT Line 2. I walked on an overpass to the other side of the road and followed the path where vendors are selling eggs wrapped in colorful cellophane.


The Monasterio de Sta Clara is one of those places of prayer where you will really find peace and tranquility (same as St Pio Chapel in Libis). There are statues to Saint Francis and Saint Clare. At a distance, I thought I’m seeing the entrance to the chapel, but it turns out to be the rear wall of the chapel.

There are lots of photocopied novena to Saint Clare lying around her statue. I took one, copied it, and posted it here on this blog.

Saint Clare of Assisi (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253, born Chiara Offreduccio and sometimes spelled Clair, Claire, etc.) is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares. (Wikipedia)


Eggs are donated to the sisters residing at the Monasterio de Sta Clara, C-5 Road, Katipunan, Quezon City. It’s wrapped in colorful cellophane with each color representing certain prayer.


Is this the logo of the Order of St Clare?


Statue of Saint Francis near the entrance of the Monasterio de Sta Clara, C-5 Road, Katipunan, Quezon City.



Copies of the Novena to Saint Clare are left at the foot of St Clare’s statue.


The chapel at the Monasterio de Sta Clara. It’s very… serene and spiritual. The same feeling I had when I visited the Chapel of St Pio in Libis, Quezon City.



The statue of Saint Clare at the Monasterio de Sta Clara, C-5 Road, Katipunan, Quezon City.

Prayer to Saint Clare of Assisi


O Glorious St Clare! God has given you the power of working miracles continually and the favour of answering the prayers of those who invoke your assistance in misfortune, anxiety and distress.

We beseech you, obtain from Jesus through Mary His Blessed Mother, what we beg of you fervently and hopefully (mention your petition). If it be the greater honor and glory of God and for the good of our souls. Amen.

God of mercy, You inspired St Clare with the love of poverty. By the help of her prayers, may we follow Christ in poverty in spirit and come to the joyful vision of your glory in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. One God forever and ever. Amen.

Novena to Saint Clare of Assisi

Dear Saint Clare, as a young girl, you imitated your mother’s love for the heart of your native Assisi. Inspired by the preaching of St Francis of Assisi, who sang enthusiastically of His Lord Jesus and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing St Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit. All through your life you offered your great suffering for your sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls.

You greatly aided St Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscan after his death. Most of all, you had a deep love of Jesus In the most Blessed Sacrament, which fuelled your vocation to love and care for the poor.

Please pray for me (mention your request) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God. Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of St Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer/s in the name of Jesus your Son. Amen.

Say 3 times the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Glory Be

Our Father, Who is in heaven, Holy is Your Name; Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver as from evil. Amen

Hail Mary, full of grace, Our Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Pray for us St Clare! That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Novena prayer must be said six (6) times each day for nine (9) consecutive days, leaving nine (9) copies in the pot of Saint Claire each day. Prayer will be answered on or before 9th day and has never known to fail. PRAY WITH FAITH.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sampiro Fiesta 2016

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Poblacion, Makati City, will celebrate its Sampiro Fiesta 2016 this June 29-30, 2016.

Sampiro Fiesta 2016

The theme of this year’s celebration is “The Merciful Love of God in the Eucharist and the Family: Realities and Challenges”.

Novena Masses

June 20, Monday 6:30 PM – Rev. Msgr. Jose Clemente F. Ignacio

June 21, Tuesday 6:30 PM – His Excellency Most Rev. Arch. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D.

June 22, Wednesday 6:30 PM – His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, D.D.

June 23, Thursday 6:30 PM – Rev. Fr. Renato De Guzman, SDB

June 24, Friday 6:30 PM – Rev. Fr. Joselito Martin

June 25, Saturday 6:30 PM – Rev. Fr. Enrique Manalo Luzung

June 26, Sunday 5:00 PM – His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, D.D.

June 27, Monday 6:30 PM – His Excellency Most Rev. Bp. Broderick S. Pabillo, D.D.

Parish Activities

June 19, Sunday 3:00 PM – Daong Maria, Fluvial Parade for the Virgen de la Rosa de Macati, Sta. Ana Ferry Station to Valenzuela Ferry Station

June 29, Wednesday – Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

6:00 AM – Rev. Fr. Ryan B. Dino, SVD

7:00 AM – Rev. Fr. John Patrick D. Calimlim

8:00 AM – Rev. Fr. Gabriel A. Paraan Jr.

9:00 AM – Procession in honor of Saints Peter and Paul

12:15 PM – Misa ng Bayan – Rev. Msgr. Pedro Gerardo O. Santos

6:30 PM – Rev. Msgr. Pedro Gerardo O. Santos

June 30, Thursday – Feast of Virgen de la Rosa

6:00 AM – Rev. Fr. Ryan B. Dino, SVD

7:00 AM – Rev. Fr. John Patrick D. Calimlim

8:00 AM – Rev. Fr. Gabriel A. Paraan Jr.

9:00 AM – Procession in honor of Virgen de la Rosa

12:15 PM – Misa ng Bayan – Rev. Msgr. Pedro Gerardo O. Santos

6:30 PM – Rev. Fr. Gabriel Paraan Jr.

7:30 PM – Procession in honor of Virgen de la Rosa

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

1st Larawang Bulakenyo Turismo Photography Competition

The deadline for the 1st Larawang Bulakenyo Turismo Photography Competition is on June 15, 2016. Stock photos taken from August 15, 2015 until the deadline is included in the contest.

The theme for this photo contest is “Lalawigan Ko, Kikilalanin Ko”. Please visit their website at for more information.

This contest is open to all Bulakenyos (residents of Bulacan).

1st Larawang Bulakenyo Photo Contest

Thursday, June 2, 2016

1 Day Visita Iglesia in Pampanga

My good friend at the photography club invited me to accompany him in a 1 day Visita Iglesia in the province of Pampanga. We left Genesis Transport terminal in Cubao around 7:00 AM (the wait time is a grueling 1 hour).


San Antonio de Padua Parish Church in San Antonio, Lubao, Pampanga is our 1st Church on our list.

First we visit the town of Lubao. We got off at Brgy Sta Cruz along Jose Abad Santos Avenue from SM Pampanga in San Fernando. Our first destination was the San Antonio de Padua Parish Church in Brgy San An tonio, Lubao. We could have gotten off the Lubao Supermart and the L-TODA tricycle station in the corner but we went back from Sta Cruz Market.

So we took a jeep to to Brgy Pasbul and another tricyle to San Antonio de Padua Parish Church. I thought it’s a huge church but I think it’s more of a chapel. From San Antonio de Padua Parish we rode a tricycle back to Pasbul and a jeep to Lubao Plaza.

In Lubao Plaza, we took pictures of the Lubao Church aka San Agustin Church. I love the brick façade of this church and the huge patio. The Church of Lubao was founded in 1572 in Barrio Santa Catalina but was moved to the current site 30 years later due to yearly floods. A few meters from the Lubao Church is the Lubao Municipal Hall and the nipa hut of President Diosdado Macapagal.

Next to our list of church to visit is the Church of Guagua. It was built by light materials by Augustinian priests in 1590 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It could have been better if there are no nearby electrical wires on the front side of the church that ruins the vista. Next the Church of Guagua are the Municipal Hall built in 1937, the Plaza and a small Razon’s Halo-Halo store besides the creek. I don’t know if it’s the original Razon’s store of Guagua.

We then rode a jeep to our 4th church of the day – Betis Church, Guagua, Pampanga. I’ve seen pictures of this church’s interior but unfortunately, like the Church of Guagua, it is close on a Friday morning. Betis Church is a very interesting church with its Ionic columns on the main entrance. The side entrance (facing the street going to San Fernando) is also very elaborate.

Instead of going straight to San Fernando, we made a side trip to Sta Rita Church in Sta Rita, Pampanga. We have to go back to Guagua Town Proper and ride a jeep going to Porac. We took off at the Sta Rita Public Market and walk towards the church. The Sta Rita Church is dedicated to Sta Rita de Casia. My photography friend saw this church being featured on ANC due to the colorful umbrellas that lead to the main entrance (from the street).

The Sta Rita Church is beautiful and it was submerged in about 3 feet of lahar. As you enter the church, you will descend a few flights of stairs and you will see the arches inside the church which is half-way buried. There are also a lot of statues of saints lined up the façade of the church. Near the Sta Rita Church is Villa Epifania which is an ancestral house build in the 1930s. There are also other umbrellas along the street leading to the Municipal Hall.

From Sta Rita Church, we walked back to Sta Rita Public Market, ride a jeep back to Guagua and rode another jeep towards San Fernando, Pampanga. We took off at the Bacolor Public Market and walk towards the Bacolor Church (San Guillermo Parish Church). This is our 6th church of the day. The Bacolor Church is buried in lahar about 6 feet. The entrance now to the church used to be the windows above the main entrance.

I like the wooden trusses used in this church. Plus, the bell tower is home to local species of bats. There is a Museum besides the church and a few meters away is the Campo Santo de Bacolor. We walked towards the road to San Fernando and by this time, it’s already 4:00 PM. We haven’t eaten yet and we got mesmerized by all these beautiful churches. The road from Guagua to San Fernando City is also part of the Death March road. We saw markers 96 and 97 but we failed to take a picture of the 100th Kilometer Marker.

Our 7th and final church for our Visita Iglesia in Pampanga is the Metropolitan Church of San Fernando. It’s dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. Like the 6 previous churches, this also has a single bell tower. It’s also opposite the City Hall of San Fernando and a few meters away from the Heritage Houses along A Consunji Street.

This 1 day Visita Iglesia in Pampanga is both tiring but it’s worth it. Next time, we’ll try to visit the other Pilgrimage Churches with Holy Doors during the Year of Mercy – Apung Mamacalulu Archdiocesan Shrine in Angles City, Divine Mercy Parish in San Jose, Floridablanca, Holy Rosary Parish in Angeles City, Sta Ana Parish Church in Sta Ana, and San Pedro Apostol Parish in Apalit, Pampanga.


Lubao Church aka San Agustin Church in Lubao Town Proper, near the Municipal Hall and Diosdado Macapagal Nipa Hut.


Guagua Church (Immaculate Concepcion) in downtown Guagua, Pampanga. I hope the City Government of Guagua would do something about the electric lines.


Our 4th Church is Betis Church in Betis, Guagua, Pampanga. This church is dedicated to Saint James the Apostle.


Our 5th Church is Sta Rita de Casia Parish Church, Sta Rita, Pampanga.


Our 6th Church is the Bacolor Church (San Guillermo Parish Church) in Bacolor, Pampanga.


To complete our Visita Iglesia, our 7th Church is the Metropolitan Church of San Fernando, Pampanga, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption.

The Mangroves of San Juan, Batangas

Last May 22, 2016 our photography club had the chance to visit the quiet town of San Juan, Batangas. This is in line with their photography contest that aims to showcase the best of what the town can offer.


One of the highlights of our trip to San Juan is a visit to their vast Mangroves area. According to the website of San Juan, there are 496 hectares of mangroves and swamp area. Of this area, over 100 hectares of intact mangroves forest is located along the coasts of Imelda, Bataan, Nagsaulay and Subukin. This is the largest mangroves area in all of Batangas Province.

No other than Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) chief Noelito M Pasco accompanied us to this natural wonder. These mangroves are classified as a finger type of mangrove as it is a strip located along the coast and is covered by daily tides. The predominant groups are Bakauan, Bungalon and Pagatpat (Source).

We were amazed at the pristine water and there are really very few residents leaving these mangroves. Navigating it via a small boat is like navigating a river that has not been commercialized. We do hope that the Municipal Government of San Juan, Batangas will do everything to protect these mangroves and at the same time, develop eco-tourism so that citizens will be aware on how important these mangroves are to our marine life and the environment.

Thank you again MENRO Officer Noelito M. Pasco for this wonderful trip.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Manila-Dagupan Railway

Manila-Dagupan Railway

Due to the issue of heavy traffic in Metro Manila, several proposals by presidential candidates to ease the traffic in Metro Manila were revealed. Most of the proposals are the establishments of railway system – including the on-going MRT7 to Fairview. There’s also the extension of the LRT1 from Baclaran up to Cavite via Emilio Aguinaldo Highway. LRT2 from Santolan station is also scheduled to be extended up to Antipolo.

The rehabilitation of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) particularly the Northrail Project will revive the train system from Manila up to Malolos City and Angeles City.

I happen to stumbled upon an old price list of the old Manila-Dagupan Railway and I wonder from when this pricelist is. Valenzuela City is still called Polo on this list and Balagtas, Bulacan is still Bigaa. There are also some other towns that are not familiar to me and I’ll probably Google these old names.

Santo Tomas – town in Pampanga

Calulut – a barangay in San Fernando, Pampanga

Bamban – town in Tarlac

Murcia – now called San Agustin, Concepcion, Tarlac

Moncada – town in Tarlac

Malasiqui – town in Pangasinan

I can’t believe that it’s just P7.45 for a first class train ticket from Manila to Dagupan during this time. Dagupan is 196 kilometers from Manila.

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