Last May 12, 2013 was my second time at Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort (part of the greater Hacienda Escudero Estate). The first one was during the Canon PhotoMarathon 2012 Luzon Leg. This 2nd trip to Villa Escudero is very different than the first one in the sense that I was able to see more facilities of Hacienda Escudero. I was with my photography friends this year compared to last year where I went there solo.
The rear view of the Villa Escudero Chapel that I missed to see last year.
The means of travel also changed. Last year, I commute via bus and this year, I was in a car. The travel time is faster and less of a hassle. The first thing that I notice this year was the chapel where the mass was held.
I thought I travelled all the corners of Villa Escudero last year but I was surprised that there is a chapel. I doubt that this chapel was built within 1 year. So I probably missed it because there are a lot of houses before you reach the chapel. I probably thought that I was entering a residential area that is why I wasn't able to see the chapel last year.
Also, the Dining Hall besides the river is already completed. It was still on its construction phase last year during the Canon PhotoMarathon 2012 and it's nice to see that it's finished. It huge and gives a magnificent view of the river. There was also a fluvial parade that happened and this is something that I never saw last year as well.
Last May 12, 2013, Hacienda Escudero celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus. This event happened 40 days after his Resurrection but is usually happens on the following Sunday. Initially, when I saw the rear side of the chapel, there was a bas relief celebrating the Assumption of Mary (to heaven). I thought that it was the feast that Hacienda Escudero is celebrating. I only found out that it was actually the Ascension of Jesus that is being celebrated when the image of The Risen Christ was carried from the chapel to the Fluvial Float.
After the mass at the chapel (where everyone wears Filipiñana), there was the fluvial parade that I mentioned and a short program at the Grand Pavilion (where the Canon PhotoMarathon 2012's program was also held). The guest of honor was no other than Dulce! Her performance of her hit songs awed us, the audience. She is a regular guest to this yearly event at Hacienda Escudero and she's a personal favorite of Mang Ado (the owner of Villa Escudero).
The lunch and meryenda that followed were very delicious. In fact, I had a second serving of Pansit Sotanghon, Murkon, Potato Salad, among others. There was also unlimited Sorbetes (Ice Cream) for everyone and Ginataang Bilo-Bilo. The Escudero family was very generous to their guests and the staff as well since they also had their own salu-salo later in the afternoon at Ka Ado's residence.
Last year, during the Canon PhotoMarathon 2012, we were not granted access to have a tour of Ka Ado's residence -- at least the garden outside of their ancestral home. I'm very delighted that they opened the gates of their residence to the guests and staff. There was a Japanese garden as well besides the house and an elegant restaurant as well.
It rained in the afternoon and we were unable to take more pictures of the vicinity of Hacienda Escudero but it was a very memorable experience. We thank the staff and the Escudero Family for inviting us to their wonderful celebration of the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus. I'll definitely be coming back next year!
The Villa Escudero Chapel that I failed to notice during last year’s Canon PhotoMarathon 2012.
This Pavilion was under construction last year during the Canon PhotoMarathon 2012.
Ka Ado, the owner of Villa Escudero, is the one sitting with a cane.
This is the house of Ka Ado. It wasn’t open to the public during the Canon PhotoMarathon 2012. I’m very thankful that I was able to take a closer look at his ancestral house.
The iconic Pink Bahay na Bato